If you’ve not been living under a rock for the past few years you’ve no doubt uttered the same sentiment yourself but Brighton punks Dirt Royal are so exasperated they’ve had to go and put their astonishment at the world as it is today into a short Clash/Libertines/Frank Turner inspired ditty named ‘Shoot Me Now’.
The little inciteful gem is sheer vexation wrapped up in exuberant hooks. It might not make you want to chuck a molotov cocktail over the Downing Street gates, but it’ll certainly make you want to put every copy of the Daily Mail on the Asda news stand in the bin.
Although their name sounds absolutely absurd, When Tigers Used To Smoke is actually a term used to start Korean folktales, kind of like “Once upon a time” in western phraseology. So, in keeping with the spirit of things, back when tigers used to smoke, there was a band of Birmingham folk who did create a rather fine EP. To mine ears it doth sound as thus:
Opening track ‘Circles’ is a sprightly, Blossoms-esque, angular indie tune, ‘The World Stills Spins Around’ adopts a Smiths veneer, ‘The Birds’ is a speedy-paced, fast drum and jangly guitar ode to living free and caring less, ‘Wake Up Call’ is a comedown moment of calm clarity, ‘All This Time’ sounds almost like Blur playing a Red Hot Chilli Peppers track, although that may just be that their vocalist here sounds like Damon Albarn and the tempo is pretty chill. The record is bookended by two ridiculously strong tracks, ‘Circles’ beckons us in and ‘3/4’ waves us affectionately back out the door with a manic waltz that blesses the EP with it’s title, “It All Just Seems Pretend” as the quintet encourage the listener to mull over life, death and everything else for a little bit, in the safe space of a charming melody.
I’m afraid no one has filled us in on how Koreans tend to end stories as well so we’ll just crudely sign off this review with a: The End.
‘It All Just Seems Pretend’ was released way back on 3rd February 2022 and we apologise profusely for not reviewing it sooner. We’ve linked the EP on Spotify for you below:
“I can only think there is a hidden movement of total bellends that’s maintaining the status quo. If you are one of those people then you aren’t allowed to listen to Alias Kid. Turn off the radio and go fuck yourself.”
Mancunian virtuosos Alias Kid are preparing for a big and boisterous return to the live stage this coming Friday night, 24th June 2022, at 33 Oldham Street, Manchester. They come packing a re-energised sound along with a brand new single in the bag, ready to be released on It’s Creation Baby imminently – a record described by the boys as “fucking rocking”.
Building on the solid foundation of 2015’s debut LP ‘Revolt to Revolt’ the eight singles already in their pocket and numerous massive festival dates and household name support shows – their last release ‘Out With The Boys’ being a fierce wall of total stadium rock sound – the group are ready to launch this next chapter by kicking the dials up again and seriously proving their worth.
We asked the lads if they’d be willing to let us in on the Alias Kid universe and these are the pearls of wisdom they set forth :
Alias Kid, who are we speaking to and how’s your day shaping up? Maz: Maz… lead vocals. Tony: I’m Tony Long, the resident New Yorker of the band. The glorified Yank. As far as my day, I just finished rough mixes on the upcoming Alias Kid EP and mastered a single for No Kisses. Simon: Hi I’m Simon Fort the drummer. I was originally going to watch ‘Top Gun’ with my mate Chez. We got there and couldn’t be arsed so we went on a piss in my brothers and his girlfriend’s pub. Nick: Nick Baxter, I play the bass and I play it pretty well. Had a pretty good day so far, but it’s still early.
Generally speaking, what are Alias Kid about? N: So far, my impression of Alias Kid is: it’s all about a long lasting whirlwind romance between Maz and Sean which is being thinly veiled behind a bitter rivalry. But I could be wrong, they could just hate each other. T: Correct me if I’m wrong, Maz, but isn’t Alias Kid about taking the piss out of all the bands that forgot what rock is? That’s why I joined, anyway… M: I won’t correct you Tony. T: It’s about having a fucking good time with your mates. Smoking cigs. Downing pints. Hugging a comrade and dancing in a sweaty crowd. Loud guitars and smashed drums. S: Playing drums and rocking and rolling.
Give us a bit of a backstory of the band? T: My backstory starts when the band came to Big City Jacks Recording Studio to track Inglorious and Beat Up Your Soul. They were working with Dan Brown (Happy Mondays, Black Grape) and I was still pretty new at the studio. Mind you I was working in a few studios back in NYC, but BCJ is my UK spot.
At some point the guys asked me if I’d heard the record and I told them I hadn’t. When they asked me for my honest opinion, I told them it was good but it was rocking enough for me. Rock n Roll has always needed an edge… kinda like a boiling pot that’s just about to boil over. That’s what a rock band SHOULD sound and be like, but the record didn’t have that.
Fast forward a few months when the guys wanted to come in again, and when I asked them where Dan was, they said they chose to work with me instead. I started as their Producer, but when James left, they needed someone to fill those shoes. Up until that point, I had already been writing guitar parts for the band. In fact, a lot of the guitars on the releases before the last two singles had me all over them. It just made sense for me to join, so I did.
N: Backstory seems to be that this is a very loud bunch of people who are full of energy. A band that has been about, done it all, and now they’re dragging me and Si along too.
A fair few of your songs are filled with frank and cutting social commentary. What are your thoughts on the current state of the country and the world? M: I think it’s weird you know. Most people you meet day to day are sound but then the people we put in charge are generally scumbags. I can only think there is a hidden movement of total bellends that’s maintaining the status quo. If you are one of those people then you aren’t allowed to listen to Alias Kid. Turn off the radio and go fuck yourself. S: “Worlds fucked” T: Yeah, what Si said. This isn’t going to be an expose on our political views, right? We show up, we fuck shit up, we play songs, and then we disappear into the night. I can’t be bothered with today’s politics cause it just riles me up. Trying to keep it real zen here. N: I don’t get involved either but everything does seem to be a shit show at the moment. If there is a Revolution, we’ve got the soundtrack ready.
The most recent Alias Kid singles have had a gigantic stadium rock sound. Who are your biggest influences? S: I used to play the piano with my grandparents as a young child. It was all a bit “vaudeville.” I listened to ‘Never mind the bollocks’ and that changed me. Eric Moore. Top drummer. I’ve got his dopestickz. They are ace. T: A lot of that has to do with the production I’ve brought to the band. When Maz and Sean first asked me to produce, I told them quite frankly that the old recordings sounded too… “safe”. The songs needed some hair on them, but more importantly, the recordings needed to sound like the band when they’re live. Since they were playing big festivals before I came along, I figured why not make the recordings sound like they should be heard in a stadium. We want Etihad, Wembley, anywhere where there’s a nose bleed section. My own personal biggest influences for that sound are The Darkness, Green Day, and My Chemical Romance. I like ‘em big. N: I much prefer the sound that the band has had with Tony producing. We talk a lot about bass tones and we all talk about what we want songs to sound like to the listener and how make them notice sections. I like rock bassists that can do that centre stage moment so everything isn’t always on the vocals or the lead guitar. Les Claypool, Flea, John Entwistle.
Your artwork has been remarkable, especially the covers of ‘Through The Night’ and ‘Out With The Boys’. Who is it by and can you tell us more about it? S: Not a clue mate. But I’ve seen it and its good. N: I love the tattoo style design, I think it’s class. T: That would be my buddy Jack Jerz from Brooklyn. He’s a sick comic book and tattoo artist. Funny story. I used to live with the guy and was begging him for a tat, but he was exploring different avenues or some shit. Then one day, I’m sat on my bed minding my own business when he kicked my door in and said, “Today’s the day!” He ended up inking my ribs right there in my bed. I’ve had break ups that were less painful than those four hours of hell, but totally worth it. I ended up hitting him up to see if he’d like a crack at designing the covers, and he was game.
Which Alias Kid song are you proudest of and why? S: I love ‘Out With the Boys’ great opening number. N: I absolutely love Messiah and love what me and Si have done to your beautiful song. It has swagger and then at the end it just explodes. T: I’m biased cause I did the last two, but the one that I love most from ‘Revolt to Revolt‘ is ‘She Don’t Yeah Yeah Yeah‘. It’s not cause of the mix…I think it’s pretty meh…but it’s because of what it’s become since when we play it live. It’s fucking huge. There’s a great guitar solo on it now, more harmonies, and it’s just so full of energy. We usually play it second and it’s probably my favourite part of the show. The fact that both Simon and Nick can also sing have added to it, too. M: I’m most interested in the new ones we are working on in the studio. They’re class. As for a live gig tune they are all top. If they weren’t great we wouldn’t have them in the set.
What has been the highlight of the band’s gigging career so far? S: Let’s see on the 24th. T: (laughing) Yeah, Si can say that cause it’s his first. For me it was opening for Black Grape at the O2 Ritz Manchester. I had THREE monitors in front of me. I could hear EVERYTHING coming off my guitar, and it was glorious. N: I wanna play o2 ritz… M: Been all over Europe, UK and Ireland on tour. You can’t pick one highlight just loads of good times.
Any gigging disasters you can think of to tell us about? M: There are no disasters, only variations from the norm. That’s what keeps things interesting.
Alias Kid have a new single release in the works. What can you tell us about it? S: Its fucking rocking. T: That it is. It’s kinda like an updated Motley track but for the ladies. N: New single is gonna be just a lot bigger sounding too. Really looking forward to it getting radio play.
What’s currently happening on the Manchester music scene? T: Since I work at a recording studio, loads! I just finished mastering a track for the opening band on Friday. They’re called No Kisses and it’s kinda like Yeah Yeah Yeahs meets The Kills, two bands I’m a huge fan of. Shout out to Karen O…I’ll make you an Old Fashioned any time. Some other bands to check out are Adventures of Salvador,The Red Stains, andMan & Boy. N: I like how there’s a big surge in grunge bands at the moment, especially with female singers, I keep seeing a band called A Void every time they come up here. There’s some great bands like Cottonsand Fuzzy Sun coming out of south Manchester/Stockport way too that are great but totally the opposite of that with like 80s synth and loads of reverbs, lolly’s of good bands doing this ever since Blossoms and The 1975/ Drive Like I Do. M: I’m fairly sure the Manchester music scene is as it has been for a while; loads of good underground bands working hard and doing great music while simultaneously being ignored by record companies who prefer to keep their rock and roll sanitised and under control.
You’re signed to It’s Creation Baby records who are boasting an utterly banging roster right now. How did you get signed to the label and what are your thoughts on your label mates (The Gulps, Cat SFX to name a couple)? M: You’d have to ask Alan McGee why he signed us. I’ve heard it’s because he thinks we are a great live band, I’ve heard it was as a social experiment and I’ve heard it’s because he thought it was funny that Sean set me on fire on tour. Maybe a mix of all three. S: Went to see The Gulps last Wednesday and they rocked it. T: They were so good. Lots of good vibes off those guys. I’m pretty stoked to be on a label with them. McGee’s also tops. Just a really sound dude who loves great music. N: I really like The View but have no idea if they’re still with McGee.
Are there any more upcoming plans for the band at the moment or any other news you want to fill us in on? N: It’s all happening. M: There’s plenty coming up that we can’t even talk about yet but hopefully we will be mixing it up over the next twelve months. S: Come and see us on the 24th . T: We’re at 33 Oldham in Manchester. We’re also playing theMade In Manchester Festival in Romiley on the 17th of September.
Alias Kid play Manchester’s 33 Oldham Street on Friday 24th June, supported by No Kisses with tickets still available (for the time being). We reckon the show’s going to be REALLY FUCKING GOOD!
Stay tuned into Edge of Arcady for more info on the new Alias Kid EP release as we get it. Find the video for the latest single Out With The Boys below:
We’ve all been there, when you’re carrying out your zookeeper day job duties, trying to look at the chameleons, snakes and tortoises, but instead of enjoying the daft insouciance of scurrying reptiles all you can think of is “everyone I thought I knew”, along with the feeling you intensely miss someone or other. Yep, we’ve all been there, right?
Reading duo ‘As Loud As A Mouse’ have, anyway, and they’ve built their second single, the raucously punky, math-rock indie floor filler ‘Reptiles’, around that very sentiment. Another impressively proficient dynamite single from the ‘Big Richard Records’ newcomers. We’re dead excited to hear where these two will go next.
‘Reptiles’ was released on 27th May 2022 on the brilliantly innovative ‘Big Richard Records’. You can have a listen by tapping the Spotify link below.
The Neversheds’ debut EP ‘Crawling’ is a sojourn from big beefy basslines and The Cure style melody to Buzzcocks and The Jam inspired punk rock over the space of three carefully crafted tracks. The band refuse to be pigeon-holed with ‘Crawling’ crammed full of mammoth, ascendant guitar roars and a Joy Division indebted vocal and bassline while ‘Don’t Rock The Bassman’ and ‘The Boat You Row’ take on elemental 70’s punk.
The London-based four piece, who made their live debut supporting The Others at their 20th anniversary gig back in April, feature singer and rhythm guitarist Dan Edmunds, Dan’s father Steve Edmunds on bass, Julian Kaufman on lead guitar and drummer Matthew Fletcher. The songs that make up the ‘Crawling’ EP were written by Steve Edmunds in the 1980s and 1990s before he put his rock’n’roll dreams aside to raise a family. Now, 30 or so years later, his musical tastes seem worthily inherited by his son who has helped bring his dad’s music to life and present it to a music-hungry public.
The ‘Crawling’ EP was released on all of the streaming services on 8th June 2022, just before the group played their single launch show at Camden’s Fiddler’s Elbow on 11th June 2022.
You can hear the full EP on the Spotify link below:
Swansea band Taxi Rank’s facebook bio claims they have “Too many guitars in a 5 piece rock band”. We can confirm that the exact number of guitarists they have is four (including their bassist) but if the towering 100ft high riffs on latest single ‘Animal’ are anything to go by then that number is categorically not too many. In fact it’s very fucking ideal! Other bands please take note.
Not only are those guitars in abundance but they’re fuzzed up with distortion and scuzzy as hell as even the song’s lyrics attempt to warn us unready listeners “plug your ears like a stethoscope/ it’s gonna be loud” before launching into a massive, earbusting melody. The song then lurches from grungy guitar breakdown to a light, funky respite of a bridge, before embarking on a complete shitstorm of a cavalcade of drums as the group declare with vociferously deafening self-belief “we can build our own fucking empire!”
In a world of solo artists and two-piece bands like Royal Blood claiming less is more, Taxi Rank prove that, sometimes, more, more, more fierce rock’n’roll power is what we’re really sat here craving.
‘Animal’ was released on 2nd June 2022. You can find a convenient Spotify link to tap and play just down below this here blurb:
On the release of ‘Spitting Off The Edge Of The World’ several thousand Yeah Yeah Yeahs fans were able to breath a sigh of grateful relief after the band’s nine year silence suggested their last underwhelming LP ‘Mosquito’ may have been their disappointing swansong. Their latest release dispels all fears and we can confirm Karen O and pals are back on startlingly energetic form.
Created with long term producer Dave Sitek, ‘Spitting Off The Edge Of The World’ is a commentary on the climate crisis that has been shamelessly dumped in the hands of the youngest generation, the New Yorkers teaming up with Perfume Genius to create a soundscape at home in the synth-filled land of M83 and Passion Pit, while O’s familiar and unremitting vocals along with Nick Zinner’s venturesome meanderings ensure each daring change of style the group commit remains only a side-shuffle away from the youthfully indispensable riot that was their 2003 debut ‘Fever To Tell’.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs have announced a brand new album to be released on 30th September 2022, entitled ‘Cool It Down’. You can preorder ‘Cool It Down’ on bandcamp now in a whole range of beautiful forms. Here’s the record’s tracklisting:
1. Spitting Off The Edge Of The World – feat. Perfume Genius 2. Lovebomb 3. Wolf 4. Fleez 5. Burning 6. Blacktop 7. Different Today 8. Mars
There’s a fabulous promo video to go alongside ‘Spitting Off The Edge Of The World’ and you can find it below:
AmyJo Doh & The Spanglesare having a massive, joyous, ska-pop-punk hullabaloo and we’re all invited to listen in on their latest EP ‘Take a Stand’, an joyfully upbeat, rainbow coloured blast of a record. The Spanish/English band were formed in Madrid by AmyJo Doherty (sister of The Libertines Peter Doherty) in 2013 and their latest release is a statement of glamorous intent and encouragement to boldly fight for your beliefs, AmyJo’s estuary English vocals over machine gun guitars creating a concoction like a slightly less crazy X-Ray Spex.
To broadcast their positively uplifting rock’n’roll communiquè they utilise classic rock and riffs aplenty on ‘Time Trap’ as a gentle and pertinent reminder that time is forever running down and there’s not a second to waste, showing short shrift to whinging armchair moaners and demanding “turn off your tele and get out of your chair, take a look at the world outside, there’s lots of lovely things out there” on ‘Shut Up!’, wonderfully hook-laden melodic punk on ‘It Is What It Is’, theatrically describing a battle with drink, paranoia and inner monsters on ‘Not Quite Sure’ and the rabble raising ‘Take A Stand’ asks the listeners to decisively stand up for their cause, with a magical keyboard outro.
AmyJo Doh & The Spangles ‘Take A Stand EP’ is out NOW on all of the streaming platforms. You can find the EP on Spotify below.
Also check out the live version of ‘Take A Stand’ recorded at “El Bunker de San Crispin” Studios in Madrid in June 2021 below as well:
Although tonight’s show is billed as Cast playing the whole of their classic debut nineties album All Change to commemorate the LP’s 25th anniversary, a notable gig in itself, your reviewer here is equally as excited to check out It’s Creation Baby’s most tipped signing The Gulps live for the first time as he is to hear some of his favourite teenage anthems in the flesh, which speaks volumes about the quality of The Gulps first three singles. Happily, both bands far exceed expectation.
It does seem the majority of the audience here are purely fans of the headlining act eager to rekindle some fond nostalgia of their obligation-free youth, but as The Gulps wait until 8pm to take the stage a heavy crowd has already gathered, curious to check them out, and the band thrive on the ready attention.
Visually, The Gulps are striking – guitarists Charlie Green and Francesco Buffone stand out in green and red sweaters, Buffone in matching red bandana, while the rest of the band don leather jackets and denim jeans gaping at the knee, a jacket that frontman Harry All discards partway through their set to reveal a french Debbie Harry tee shirt.
Let’s focus on Harry All for a moment, a veritable firecracker in front of four men who could otherwise maintain a Strokes level of blasé cool. His stage presence is commanding, with hand movements and claps like Mick Jagger but a facial expression emitting John Lydon levels of indignation.
The crowd are kept engaged throughout the band’s eight song set, comprised of plucky new missives from a debut album that’s currently in the works, epic melodic punk songs featuring sprightly riffs, plenty of high kicks and lyrics that appear to claim “music can change the world”, a lively cover of Blondie’s punker-disco-classic ‘Atomic’ leading into their own punker-disco-classic lockdown banishing, lithe spirited latest single ‘King of the Disco’. ‘Stuck in the City’ and ‘The King’s House’ storm the band through to the end of their set and the growing crowd is in uproar by the time The Gulps leave.
From the brand spanking new to some solid gold nostalgia, the venue is packed by the time Liverpudlian indie veterans Cast enter the room. Frontman John Power looks resplendent in a t-shirt emblazoned with a Working Class Hero slogan and is in talkative mood, expressing immediately how glad they are to be playing the show after two COVID casualty postponements.
The entirety of All Change does get played tonight, but in a different order than the original album tracklist. The singles, a bunch of under-acknowledged classics, get the greatest applause – ‘Sandstorm’ gets the room dancing, ‘Finetime’ keeps the gathered 90’s dads happy and animated, the anthemic ‘Walkaway’ inspires 800 heads to fly backwards, arms outstretched, eyes tight closed, chanting along. It’s album track ‘History’ that gets Cast moving on stage more than any other with an enrapturing freakout red lightshow as the guitarists break out the largest solos of the record. At this point John Power takes to the mic again to declare that the intention of the All Change shows has been to perform “a bunch of songs that captured a moment in time”, that they “don’t want to reclaim the past but it’s nice to make peace with the present”, a challenge that seems to have been achieved. To end the first half of the show and the album section the quartet break out their ultimate Britpop masterpiece ‘Alright’, ensuring a groundswell of encouragement to get them back onstage for part two, the ‘rest of the hits’ section.
Everyone’s undoubtedly come here to hear ‘All Change’, however the second part goes down really well as, although maybe not hitting the highs of their debut release, the singles of Cast’s ongoing oeuvre are still lodged deep inside our collective psyche, so tracks like ‘Magic Hour’ the wavy ‘Live The Dream’ and ‘Beat Mama’ keep the Tramshed captivated and ‘Flying’ manages to muster up the same ecstatic reaction ‘Walkaway’ gained all those many songs ago.
From a show where britpop legends Cast have managed to make peace with the present, new indie-punk hopes The Gulps have succeeded in getting us riled up for the future. Perfect!
The Gulps are currently finishing off a UK tour with gigs in Camden Assembly, London, 07/06/2022 and Castle Hotel, Manchester, 08/06/2022 both sold out.
Cast have a bunch of festival dates still to play this summer. You can check out the full listing over on their official website.
Find videos for The Gulps ‘The King’s House’ and Cast ‘Alright’ below:
In 2002 the British music scene was in dire need of resuscitation. Britpop was dead, a bunch of Radiohead soundalikes were picking at it’s bones and Melody Maker were trying to make icons of JJ72 and King Adora with little to no public interest. Over in the States The Strokes, The White Stripes and Interpol were stirring up a leather jacket rock revival, NME were attempting an international New Rock Revolution and The Vines were resurrecting grunge in Australia, but Britain was still struggling to find some rock’n’roll to believe in.
Enter The Libertines in gaffer taped skinny jeans, coldstream guard tunics, beat up guitars and a 7” copy of debut Rough Trade single ‘What A Waster’ grasped in their grubby mitts, up and ready to give UK music a punch up the bracket. OK, there were already a few bands having a go, The Cooper Temple Clause and Hoggboy to name a couple, with varying degrees of success, but it was The Libertines who would end up with all eyes on them for the longest and arguably had the most vital, life-affirming, fandom inspiring tunes.
‘What A Waster’ was the spunky product of a band desperate to set the scene alight with a youthful fire in their belly and punk rock on their record player. With a title almost wholesale lifted from a 1978 Ian Drury and the Blockheads single, and Pete Doherty adopting a vocal style not unlike Drury’s as well, for their first trick the London foursome distilled the whole pantheon of vintage musical sparks from The Jam all the way down to The Kinks into a nifty three minutes, infusing an English sound with a speedy ramshackle energy, clanging, screeching, guitars, harmonious backing vocals and humour that had been missing from British music for too many years. Part The Clash, part The Smiths, part Chas’n’Dave, part victorian music hall.
The lyrics reference British icons – James Joyce, the Bible and the Beano, in a format that could have made for a comic book strip in and of itself, a tale ironically sketching an unglamorous image of drug abuse, the esoteric act of jotting down dreams to suss out the subconscious and, according to the band, a discarded topical mention of the Taliban just nine months after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001 (“save me from tomorrow man, save me from the Taliban). The lexicon purposefully pilfers a wash of working class insults – “what a divvy, what a fucking div/ talking like a moron, walking like a spiv”, shamelessly and gleefully containing enough expletives – “what a fucking waster”, “you pissed it all up the wall”, “mind yer bleeding own yer two bob cunt” to recklessly guarantee no radio station in the world would touch the song with a barge pole.
The single’s other tracks were easier to pigeonhole than the first – I Get Along more overly inspired by The Velvet Underground or The Strokes, seeing Carl Barat deliver one of the group’s most quoted lines: “I get along just singing my song, people tell me I’m wrong… Fuck ‘em!” and Mayday, a perfectly succinct punk furore about the May Day riots of 2001, that the Sex Pistols would have been jealous of.
Twenty years later, knowing what we know about the road The Libertines would find themselves careening down, we can see the single as a snapshot of the havoc they were destined to wreak but at the time, when reading about the Boys in the Band on the cover of the NME, picking the CD up off the Our Price shelves and sticking it into our CD players at home, all we knew was a bloody great knees up was about to be had.
They have also launched a digital ‘What A Waster/I Get Along Live at the ICA 03/06/2002 EP‘ recorded across the road from Buckingham Palace on the single’s original release date – The Queen’s Golden Jubilee, available to stream on all of the streaming sites. Both 7″ and streaming EP were released on 03/06/2022.
We’ve linked the Live At The ICA 03/06/2002 for you to hear on Spotify below: