Shake Your Money Maker: Southern Rock and Blues-Rock Fashions into a RE-BRANDING
One particular release that you may have missed this year was the sixth release from Black Pistol Fire. Raucous with their fusion of southern rock, blues and garage punk, Look Alive is a stand-out album that is emphatic in its style aswell as its music production. Fused between the boisterous concoctions of The Black Keys, Cleopatrick and the quirky expertise of Queens of the Stone Age, comes a rock-child that joins the list of ever-growing duo rockers.
Accustomed with the stigma of charcoal black already in a rock deluge, Black Pistol Fire have a certain class and persona when it comes to their tastefulness of blues-rock, which goes farther than merely immersing in the black décor. The album comes out swinging with self-titled, Look Alive and Pick Your Poison, with both indulgent songs swinging a depth into the work of Cage The Elephant and among others. Rampant throughout, the album boasts and brags with such a large pair of cajones, as we’re dazzled through the bright funky lights of of Never Enough and spat out the other side with Level.
The album is not just an aggressive boaster though, it has passive – often contemplating – slow-burners like Hope in Hell and Always On My Mind that wouldn’t be a shock to see such songs escape the song-writing booths of Pixies.
A glorious reprise for a fusion of classics – southern rock, blues and dripped in garage punk – Look Alive is a fanatic favourite to swoon and enjoy within your own time, and will no doubt become a classic in it’s own time.
Romp with frenetic energy, stellar line-up and an amazing concoction of noise,the band’s 2005 second album has become an instant cult classic.
Irrespective of the number of albums they sold (which stands at over 5 million) or how many emphatic tunes are within this album (which stands at 6 for the well-known), A Beautiful Lie is a nostalgic trip into creating a rock masterpiece for all the ages. The flaship of Thirty Seconds to Mars, ruled the rock roster from ’05 to at least 2011 across the western world.
With their collective reaching infamous heights such as, “The Kill”, “From Yesterday,”“Kings and Queens,” and “Closer to the Edge,” they are the flagship of breaking barriers and selling platinum in not only their home continent, but onto international soil, too.
However, I am also tempted to state the band in past-tense for their musical history, but believe or not – – they are a band that are still active and alive today in the industry.
Despite recent releases that don’t usually resemble the Thirty Seconds to Mars we witnessed back in ’05.
But, this is not new news for a band to change with the times, strip their chaotic rock anthems, and blossom into the ventures of pop to strike resemblance and relevance among an ever-growing listening audience – their rife trap-beat and achingly simple 2018 album, AMERICA showed us exactly that.
But, A Beautiful Lie was something else. Ripe with angst, passion and strong intentions, it ultimately set the precedence for the industry, swung opposing heads to the LA brothers, and allowed them to dominate the tempting top-position in the rock world.
Despite the rock teetering out to enter the plethora of mass culture, it still allowed them to achieve critical acclaim, notable accolades of awards and sell over 15 million albums worldwide – when we were still purchasing albums, that is.
Ah yes, a question that makes you think more than you would like to. With a question being equally challenging as, “what’s your favourite song,” give me to topical insights, fanatic favourites and delicious delights for me to delve into if I haven’t heard of them …
Of course, the more obscure the better!
Favourite albums are our most treasured moments of music, whether it’s for the simple delights of the music, the artist or the emotional connections with such an album, we love them.
It can be seemingly harder than it looks, as when you start thinking about favourite albums, you tend to drift more to favourite singles from a single band – and less so on such an album that has to the same satisfaction all the way throughout. After all, we’re forgetting about those filler songs in an album selection, aren’t we?
Now, you may certainly be the same but I can’t simply just decide on ONE favourite album, it’s like Sophie’s choice – far too many options, that’s for sure.
I’d have to say one of my favourites would be an album I recently reviewed and explored here on Man v Music – What Went Down by Foals. An integral part of my rock-indie collection and avid interest in such a band, it is a rock-hungry powerhouse of an album that is so dirty in material; ..
Other cult favourites of mine feature the lengthy ideals of Led Zeppelin, Arctic Monkeys, Tame Impala – simply for his musical themes – and a recent favourite of mine – the new punk prowess from Machine Gun Kelly. An unlikely contender, but there you are – music is certainly full of surprises. Enough surprises it seems, to surprise myself.
So let me know your own favourites and we’ll have a good ol’ chat about them.
A fierce album with all the heart, What Went Down is the Oxford Quintet’s fourth studio work.
But how did they end up where they are now?
With their collection topping up to five studio albums – and their enormous project of Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost fitting across a two-parter marathon in the late Spring of 2019 – Foals have been the frequent force behind the tales and triumphs of UK indie-rockmusic.
With their jarring SPACE ROCK and TURBULENT ANTHEMS setting the pace, it made an unlikely formula to top the lot and break the charts.
With five albums to choose from as an album to venture into (at least one first anyway) I had to seek out the storm of Foals‘ 2015 year with What Went Down.
DARK and DIRTY where it needs to be with Mountain at my Gates and Snake Oil, while being aware of itself enough to hold the gears back a bit with Birch Tree and London Thunder, it is such an impressive album – equally in production and music value – and for me, the far impressive to date.
Definitive in the band’s new approach to sound, it was also definitive in value too, with many music listeners returning to the music from Oxford quintet where they would once write them off for making music “too soft.”
Foals: The Journey
A band’s journey has never been so prevalent or distinguishable than these lot.
Starting with their pragmatic math-rock Antidotes in 2008, we saw the start of a band who were very much the fast and frantic in an ever-growing music scene. Old fan faves with Cassius and Balloons first gave us an idea of what kind of band we were dealing with …
Total Life Forever: 2010
… But when Total Life Forever came out two years later, we simply had to throw that out of the window. Far more lush and swell in the making, it really allowed Foals to flourish and really confirm, “right this is us, this is our sound.”
The fast, the funky and the off-balance with Antidotes was taken down a few pegs with Total Life Forever as a more sultry, considerate approach to taking life slower was picked. Rightly so, as this was the sound they eventually settled on.
Holy Fire: 2013
Much more brighter in complexity and contrast, came Holy Fire in 2013. Rolling with more tight-lipped writing, Holy Fire trail-blazed Foals’ distinguished sound and not only surpassed a mega indie anthem with My Number, but also hacked the charts overseas in America, too.
The album saw familiar favourites with airy Out of the Woods, critical rock additions with Inhaler aswell as fitting in the slow-burners with Late Night, that was so emphatically notable with the band from the prior release in 2010.
What Went Down: 2015
Simply picking up where they left off, What Went Down was a far more passionate desire to lay their stake in the ground – we are Foals and this is what we do.
Their now immense following were only thrilled to hear that more music was in the making.
Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost: 2019 (part I / part II)
Despite somewhat of a project with B-list unreleased works, this would be the band’s most prestigious and busiest years in the industry – releasing two music albums in the space of the same year.
Envisioning creativity and new directions, their fifth and most recent saw them delve into sounds we hadn’t heard of before. An impossible feat to do at this stage, you’d think, but we were albeit pleasantly surprised with Syrups and Cafe D’Athens off the first part. If Part I was the palatable starter, then Part II is the tasty desert of dreams.
Far more angry and emphatic, Part II is a screechy sure-fire of the best of indie rock. The RunnerBlack Bull, Like Lightning. With this album, I could keep going – thump after thump.
In all my time listening to music and being a fan of all genres, call me dumb or merely narrow-minded, but I have never witnessed such a journey in not only creating such a diverse array of music but how they seem themselves as musicians and individuals in an industry that is already so overpopulated with pumped indie kicks.
Released in April this year, their debut album reflects on humble beginnings, emotional dreams, and have since become one of the most exciting and vital bands of the new decade.
But after catching their big break; was it simply the luck of the draw? What makes them grab a number one at debut level as opposed to the thousand other artists who just … don’t?
Above all else, I think it majorly just falls down to the band being in the right place at the right time.
Their debut album, W.L, which was released on the 2nd of April this year, has elements of a perfect music fairytale. The album brings glossy, flourished and instantly catchy indie-rock hooks that resonate with the grandeur of UK music. Even future classics, Elephants and Juan Belomonte make you hesitate and think to yourself, “have I heard this before?,” with them being prominent in style and pizzazz. But for this story, it is more than likely you have listened to this before, yes.
After grabbing ad campaign success with beer powerhouses, Strongbow and titans of sports, Electronic Arts within the FIFA21 soundtrack, it is safe to say you’ve heard the sound of The Snuts before one way or another. Now, challenging the top spot with their debut, they’ve reached unfathomable heights in such a short span of time.
When a band skyrockets like they’ve done, it’s always important to think why. That way, once you get an understanding of how they’ve managed to grow so emphatically, our favourable bands and artists with similar music goals, can simply do the same.
Now, I know it’s easier said than doe per se, as the industry is as unpredictable as the UK weather, but it shows the precedent of how the music industry works and how us as consumers work. It makes me want to spit and squabble at the music industry with how it works internally because, there will be music artists who are just as talented, just as hard-working and dedicated to the cause, and they will not reach the same numbers as The Snuts would do in the span of the year they had. Hell, in the same in five years.
Truth be told, their music is delightfully fun, catchy and downright remarkable if you’re a fan of other indie-dwellers like Blossoms and The Amazons. But it’s not overly complicated or showing anything we haven’t heard of anything before, in fact – it’s quite simple. It’s just tapping into the right audiences, the right “holes” so to speak, and us as consumers will do the rest and play the music.
It’s simply sharing our love for an upcoming UK band among our friends because we’re proud of our music. A Scottish band, no doubt.
A popular trend-setting cause people can willingly get behind. #SNUTSFORNUMBERONE. The proof is in the pudding.
If the four lads from Whitburn pull this off, they will become the first Scottish band to deliver a number one debut album in 14 years. The last band that did that was The View in 2007 – and they haven’t been prevalent in the industry since 2015.
So far, they have topped the score with both vinyl sales and streaming since its release. The question is, they can maintain the speed and claim the top spot from Demi Lovato? Find out tonight.
Emphatic in style and breaking records, Scottish bands certainly don’t make music by halves. They’re certainly out to prove a point and they’re not doing a bad job going about it.