OFFICIAL RELEASE DATE: 30 MAY 2005
CAT NO: MR0066-AD
Welcome to the album page for our second compilation release of 2005 "ADVANCE".
"Advance" features a selection of the best new worldwide Independent artists and bands. It was compiled in the Spring of 2005 by the music loving ears of Matchbox Radio 24 and Matchbox Recordings. From 80's esq modern pop outfits, glammed up rock bands and epic dark pop stars to folky acoustic solo artists, experimental duo's, punk, new wave, college Indie rock and more. This album stands out in the world of true Independent releases. We would like to thank everyone who has bought, requested or blagged a copy. You have good taste.
Reviews by Dave Chislett below:
Versus - The Opera
Sounds a bit like Andrew Lloyd Webber escaped the west End for a while to write the vocal line for this one. A very theatrical feel to this whole number. But once again, a cleverly contrived change of tempo saves the song from mediocrity and predictability. Thus released the carnival type rhythm takes the Opera well into the realm of its namesake. This guy can really sing, which is just as well, as the notes he's going for demand it. Check out their site
Confused - National Suicide
Confused hail from Nottingham and comprise an ex music journalist, Sam and Jules, a stalwart of the Nottingham live scene, which probably goes a long way toward explaining Confused's eclectic, down-tempo appeal. This is very chilled stuff. But intriguingly so. "National Suicide" meanders through a series of byways and diversions which are nothing if not engaging, while sucking you in with a repetitive and haunting guitar hook. Its denouement is both predictable and refreshingly abrupt. It's great music for long drives yet demanding enough for heavy listening.www.confusedmusic.btinternet.co.uk
Dave Hepcat - Your Side
A resident of Leicester, Dave Hepcat presents a melodic kind of acoustic pop. You can hear all the punk troubadour influences, from Bill Bragg to The Pogues in here. His voice is refreshingly different, some time vulnerable, sometimes just downright frail, but with a sincerity of delivery and a good sense of melody that it does indeed become part of the appeal. This is not a strident, pop punk call to action, but rather a gentle affirmation of faith, support and loyalty, but there is no mistaking its quietly insistent power. I am left wondering what the rest of his material sounds like, which can only be a good sign.
Innersense - Recreation
This Kenitsh pop outfit is fronted by Katy Weber, who does a great job with the melodic noise-grrrl role for the band. Reminiscent of early Bangles material, this quirky little number is underpinned by some great off-beat guitar rhythms and a walking bass line. It's got the power guitars, but well down in the mix, making the most of Katy's voice and the melody line. If it were me, I'd have gone for a bit more power in the guitar department, but this mix means it's a great radio song. And at three minutes and six seconds in length, Recreation has got awesome crash-bang appeal that will make you want to hear it again. www.innersence.com
Mantis - Mutant
Mantis and his band The Prayer do reflect their stated influences of classic 60's and 70's rock, to the extent that you suspect Mantis was brought up at the foot of the altar of David Bowie, or maybe its just the song title. This is classic rock in the sense of its epic proportions, choral vocal lines and the underpinning of organ and ringing sustained guitar chords. The rest is pretty modern. It's an interesting mix, with a rich and clear baritone vocal delivery sitting powerfully atop the pile. Interesting, very interesting, would like to see this live! www.mantisandtheprayer.com
Vera Zero - I Bleed
Wow, this doesn't sound anything like he looks. Yes Vera Zero is a person. An American person in fact, not that he sounds like that either. This is another wild mix of musical history with modern innovation. Great use of vocal harmonies and counterpoints lifts the Gary Glitter-esque bed of guitars into a sublime new territory of texture. I Bleed may be a song of pain and frustration but the marching drum lines and lilting melody lift it into tone of those "Its so good to feel Crap" anthems that you will end up singing on the way to work.
Piero De lucia - It's Me
Until the vocals kick in on this piano driven song, you expect Kate Bush's ringing soprano to be the accompaniment. Instead, Piero's tenor forms the focus. This is a tightly wound song, delivered in a syncopatic style that hurries you through on the back of the rumbling piano. Piero hails from Italy, and plays piano, guitar and composes all of his own material. "It's Me" has an epic quality to it, stemming mainly from the strength of Piero's voice. He's no Kate Bush, but that may just be because he's a guy!
Saint - The Fathers
Belgian rock outfit Saint deliver a heartfelt brand of music fronted by the excellent vocals of ex-Wolverhampton resident, Steve Jones. Fathers is a rousing rock anthem, filled with ringing guitars and a strong chorus that is ably backed up by a solid rhythm section. It has real menace and a good deal of power. The back up provided by the rest of the band, Belgians Philippe Havelange, Olivier Demeyer and, Laurent Stelleman is a steady and powerful bed for Steve's voice. None the less, the voice is what you end up looking out for. www.saintonline.net
Serve Chilled - Alone and Blue
Scots band Serve Chilled consists of Glaswegians Nick Findlay, Dave Dee, Kenny Crichton and Grim. Alone and Blue is a melodic down-tempo ballade, but the band pride themselves on having the diversity to play full-out electric rock sets as well as this kind of acoustic, softer style. There are moments of ringing guitar in this track where you can hear the power that the band has harnessed, and it is this kind of understatement which lends them promise. This is worth keeping an eye on for sure.
XYZ - Hold My Hand
Definitely a pair of Soft Cell fans here! Hold My Hand has some nice nods to the electro pop of the early eighties, some of them more overt than others! This is a loosely structured song of lament and loss of the past, but it's got quite a cheery melody line that won't quite have you slitting your wrists. If you're mad for the current eighties pop-style revival, put these guys from Henley on Thames on your list.
Ambulanza - Something Out There
This Ambulance ( from Malta and Poland ) is powered by a mean disco back beat, and overlaid with eighties guitars and synths. Man what a mad mix. The result is a compulsively ass-shaking boogie woogie number with a suitably silly set of lyrics. Reminiscent of Fat Boy Slim for its complete lack of reverence for what should and shouldn't go into a mix: Nice! You gotta like it for its brazen approach to moving an audience. If you can't four-four this one into the dance floor, you aint got no rhythm baby! Check out their website.
Andrea Belenin - Perfect
Now this one really does hark back to the sixties. From the washing acoustic guitar to the vocal delivery, this has The Carpenters written all over it. It's a gentle, simple, happy tune. Despite the fact that at first you might not really get hooked in, by the end of the song, that big tow under the desk is tapping away with the rhythm. Simple, effective, uncomplicated.
Dave Irving - Some Days Up
Fired up by the acoustic guitar this track gradually gathers pace and instrumentation to turn from a basic acoustic ballade into a rich and textured song. A nice little twist that, and one that you're not quite set to expect. Despite the protracted intro and the overall gentleness of this number, it is a powerful song that sucks you in and engages you. It's a song that demands comprehensive listening. Very good indeed.
Freewinder - David Jones
Another big David Bowie fan here, with this cheeky take on Space Oddity meeting the Beatles in inner space. Based on a sly re-working of Space Oddity, the strong twelve strong acoustic foundation of the song is well delivered and sustainable. The raspy yet delicate female vocal line is a surprising counterpoint for this tribute to the original rock alien and notwithstanding the outrageous riff-stealing that the track exhibits; it's a great, quite thought provoking number. And hey, with a song title like this, it's not like they're trying to fool anyone right?. The official site.
Instinct - Now Is The Time
Whooeee! Loud guitars! Up front and out there. Always nice. The vocals are very reminiscent of the Gallagher brothers circa What's The Story Days... An epic snorter of a track, Now Is The Time seems to be a deliberate effort to place Instinct right up there in your face. The bass line even has a noticeable swagger to it. Pretty damn fine actually, like to hear if the rest of their material can deliver on the promise. Or is that a threat ?.
Lee Mitchell - Another Road
A very folky acoustic guitar number, Another Road is based on the unique vocal texture of Lee Mitchell and some delicate guitar work. Reminds one perhaps a tad of Cat Stevens in an earlier incarnation when perhaps he didn't grow his hair quite so long. In a milieu busy re-discovering analogue synths and song structures, this is a surprising, delicate and gentle little ditty.
Michael Constantino - Don't Know Why
Rousing over driven guitar denou quickly into a very west coast rock vocal line. Think Huey Lewis and the News and you're ion the right track here. Music to miss your girlfriend by in the summer when she ran off with your best mate's dad cos he had a better CD collection than you. Unfortunately, the song is marred by some dreadfully clichéd lyrics, otherwise it is a perfect example of retro-eighties-synth rock. The M.C website.
Paraphernalia - Weekend Anarchist
Oh yeah, noise pop, grrl punk! A nice shouty angry grrl song with plenty of menace and tinny distorted guitars. Think Yeah Yeah Yeahs etc. Nice, with a bit of an interesting middle eight thrown in just incase you thought they couldn't play their instruments. This has nods to some of the early seventies American punk scene, some Dead Kennedy's for fun, hell even some B 52's. Its great, simple. Should do well, cos if the White Stripes can do it, this lot should.
Petrissima -Tell Me
Funk bass and guitars swim with retro synths and horn while a fairly dreamy female vocal tells you like it is. Another intriguing mélange of musical influences. This kind of translates into a slightly rougher edged Sade. With work this could turn into a nice late night loungey staple kind of genre. As it stands, Tell Me is a strong track with promise. A kind of Matt Bianco turn on the horns is what really lifts this song out of the ordinary. And repeated listening rewards! www.petrissima.com
The Rising - Coming Down
This is the kind of epic alternative rock that made reputations for bands like The Cult and Spear Of Destiny. Considering the resurgence of interest in all things rock and retro right now, The Rising is right on the money. Coming Down is a strong, driving song with great vocals. No really, it's has the kind of thrumming epic proportions of which memorable songs are made, even though structurally, it is very simple. Ian Astbury would have been pleased to write or sing this one! The Rising at the BBC
The Watershed - Immunus
A droning bass line supporting ethereal vocals and some delicate keyboards in the background. No it's not the new New Order single, its Imunus from The Watershed! Actually that's a bit rude, because the break-out chorus takes this song into a whole other dimension, but the roots are there and the development is good. This is a brilliant, quietly hypnotic track. This is a very understated vocal delivery, allowing the hook ridden base line and clean, sharp guitar work to carry the listener along. I would be on the look out for these boys live.