Walking on the Beaches Reading Richey Peaches

Richey Peaches casts his eye over some 'talent'...


Amplifer's sound is interesting. I'm sure I've heard it before (think part
65 Days Of Static, part Cooper Temple Clause and part Oceansize) but I
couldn't give you anything specific which sounds exactly like it. This
ultimately will be their mainstream downfall, if they indeed care a jot
about anything to do with the mainstream and the 'fashion' of current low-fi
indie bullshit (arguments aside, we all know the mainstream is all based
around right place, right time ethics and should be laughed at on a regular
basis). The 21st century doesn't welcome people with large attention spans
into its ranks and to truly absorb everything that is going on with
Amplifier's sound, you're going to need the patience of a saint. This
however, is by no means a condemnation of their songs. I believe it to be
more of a plus point. You're going to find similar sounds by checking out
bands like The Secret Machines and The Boxer Rebellion (and from what I
remember, both these bands wore nicer shirts). No doubt they'll be compared
to Interpol and then in turn to Joy Divison. It seems to be the fashionable
thing at the moment to consider everything with a dance beat and an
overiding atmosphere of darkness to Joy Division. It is of course, a
bollocks comparison and the token review of an NME wanker who hasn't even
listened to the record.

For me, this is the pick of the bunch because I didn't find myself either a)
laughing after the first few minutes or b) wanting to hack off my own penis
with a rusty breadknife. The songs themselves are good fusions of rock and
electronic-cum-scary-Pink-Floyd-sounds while the often overlooked but just
as important art work is also the best of the bunch. This is about as Joy
Division as it gets. A sparse, minimalist style, presented in good old
fashioned plain black and white. It's one of the best things this side of
contemporary and will have the Arctic Monkeys crowd crying into their
(retro) snakebite and black with absolute and all encompassing confusion.



I've been nice about one record this month so please allow me to get this
all out of my system. This is truly fucking awful. If Motley Crue and
shacking up with Pammy wasn't bad enough for you then you're going to
fucking love this. I'm not exactly sure why. So I hear, he's starting up
some sort of hard dance project? I mean, do correct me if I'm wrong but it
wouldn't surprise me. Anyway, this record is everything you expect from
someone who's had all the money in the world thrown at him and who has then
used it to wipe himself clean of any screed of rock credibility. For God's
sake, he's even using the twat from Good Charlotte to do vocals on one
track. Using ANYONE from Good Charlotte is a clear signifier that you're
obviously not interested in anything to do with hard rock/punk as
aforementioned band are as plastic as a child's paddling pool. AND THEN
you've got the added piss take of Chad Kroeger doing his usual 'thing' over
the top of another track. Jesus wept, why does this kind of shit EVER get
released? Oh yes. Money. I forgot for a second that music is a commodity and
must be sold en masse to an ever expanding market of fucking idiots who
don't know what's good and what's not. There's also another track featuring
Andrew MacMahon of Something Corporate. How ironic. He's a very ill person
at the moment, so I am to understand.

I have to admit though, it did provide me with some semblance of amusement
for a couple of minutes before I noticed I was wasting battery power on my
cd player and yes, alright in as much as it being a well constructed pop
record, it's perfectly fine, but I don't want well constructed pop records.
The world has enough already and only a few of those actually do pop well. I
find it offensive that I have this record in my room. It really is that bad.
Cheap, tacky, corporate American soft rock. Avoid. In fact, move country and
seal yourself in a concrete bunker for added safety.



It's a guilty pleasure of mine. I'm not a massive fan. I wouldn't go to a
gig (unless it was extremely cheap), I wouldn't even go as far as to say
that I would physically go out and buy a record (no, I'd wait to be sent it
through the post for free) because let's be truthful, it's bilge. However, we
all need a laugh sometimes and when faced with a band who don't take
themselves too seriously you're guaranteed a bit of a giggle so it's in some
way nice (?) to know that The Bloodhound Gang are still releasing records.
We'll start with the technicalities. It's crap, it's awful. It's the most
sexist and outrageously obvious form of machismo that has ever been commited
to whatever CDs are made from (and when it doesn't sound as good as vinyl,
who really and truly gives a toss?). So before we go any further with this
one I have to say now that I realise all the downfalls of Bloodhound Gang,
but if I was to take absolutely everything in the world seriously then I'd
be either dead or in hospital with a burst brain.

There are going to be those amongst you who revile at the thought of another
Bloodhound Gang album and the newest single from the album Foxtrot Uniform
Charlie Kilo isn't exactly subtle in any department, but what we have to ask
ourselves here is 'is it actually any good as a Bloodhound Gang album?'.
Some of you aren't going to care. Kudos to you. We need to consider though,
if they're operating to maximum capacity with their new material and the
answer is...yeah, it'll do. The opening track, Balls Out (excluding the
eight second introduction) is as fine a heavy opener as you could want.
There's obviously a sizeable amount of poor taste and teenage humour to this
which is exactly what anyone would want from one of their albums.

The worrying thing about all bands who have a considerably long period of
absence from the music scene is that their new albums are most likely going
to be shit. Lame offerings from bands who have been through their glory days
and think that an added sense of maturity is going to reinvent them. Being
somewhat impartial to Bloodhound Gang I'm naturally going to say that this
will do but to an avid fan, I'm not so sure. If I was going to be reasonable
here (and this is a rarity), then I'd advise anyone who was a fan of to pick
it up and make up their own minds. I can't be anymore philosophical about it
than that.



I don't dislike ambience. I don't even dislike Mike Oldfield but this was
the most difficult of the crop to even formulate an opinion on. My initial
reaction was that there are plenty of newer electronic bands / artists who
are trying to ply their trade at the moment and to much greater effect than
this. It aint no Tubular Bells, that's for friggin' certain. It's listenable
of course and anyone into ambient musings and electronic histrionics is
going to enjoy this. Shit me, I might even put this on again in a few weeks
time when I'm in the mood. The most striking thing about the two CDs on
offer in this double album set is the scope of his creativity and having
recently tried to make a few beats up on Reason, I can now appreciate how
difficult it is to get everything you want from the sound (this probably
having more to do with the fact that computers are untrustworthy and I am a
technology retard). As for the songs themselves, it's going to be hard for
me not to envisage swooping seagulls and waves lapping at the coastline when
I listen to this, but they are perfectly well constructed and will easily
reflect your 'mood', whatever emotion in particular you wish to soundtrack.

Depending on your taste of course, if you're wanting a more classical sound
to your ambience then by all means, go mad! Buy Five! You'll love this I'm
sure and I can't say a bad thing about it if again, I was to be reasonable.
Personally, being young and impressionable (but not wanting to give the
impression I know nothing about music) I can't go back on Boards Of Canada
and Squarepusher. Yes, yes I know you can trace the existence of contemorary
back to classical, without one you wouldn't have the other etc. but things
have to move forward logically and naturally and Mike Oldfield is doing the
most respectable thing he could possibly do and that is sticking to what he
knows best instead of trying to 'get down with the kids'. He'll probably
hate being termed as ambient or indeed 'chill-out' but when we dispense with
the pomp and the pretensions, that's exactly what this is. Far be it from me
to employ a 1984 attitude to minimalising words but ambience, just as punk
is a lifestyle not an excuse to string three chords together and moan about
something mundane, is a pleasing sound which can fit around what you happen
to be doing at the time. Anyway, you're too old to be complaining about
things like that now. He could release an album of heavy breathing and
people would buy it.



Steve Harris has mixed this?!! Wow! Really? Who the fuck is Steve Harris? He
plays bass in Iron Maiden doesn't he? Well anyway, this is balls. This is a
prime candidate for the Joy Division comparison crowd. Lots of jangly
guitars and disco beat drums. Oh wonderful. ANOTHER fucking band that think
it's a sure fire way of selling records to sound like Joy Division. The hard
fact of the matter is that it doesn't sound anything like Joy Division. It
has that industrial disco sound to it sure but please God, spare me from
another fucking band like this. It's just getting boring. THIS is boring.
Thank Christ it's only 3 minutes long. Even that seems like a long time. It
has energy to it but then again putting wet parts of your body into plug
sockets will have energy. It has a shouty bit which seems a little
pointless. It sounds like a song written by a band who are all bursting for
a piss 'quickgettothechorusnowandthendotheshoutybitandthenbacktothe
It's all rushed and it's messy and not in a good way. If you want loud and
fast and messy and not a little too obscene, then try and get your hands on
some Terrashima (RIP) who were the closest thing I've seen to a real life,
modern day Sex Pistols. Don't fall over yourself to buy into this Bloc
Party-lite tripe that is being pumped onto the airwaves. Energy isn't always
enough to convince me that as a band, you MEAN what you are doing. There are
plenty of bands with energy and intensity but without the songs, they're
just shit. The same applies to the reverse. Steal it and then burn it is all
I can say. In fact, lets burn them all. Bloc Party, Arctic Monkeys, The
Futureheads (how futuristic can it be sounding like The Jam?) and especially
the fucking Bravery.



If Kaiser Chiefs are anything to go by, Leeds should be avoided as a hotbed
of musical talent. This offering from Leeds / Bradford quintet is however,
passable. It sounds interesting enough. It's nothing fantastically original
but does everything really have to be original if it doesn't need to be? The
small slip of paper that came with this cd prounounces that the band have
been compared to the likes of Sonic Youth, Interpol, Trail Of The Dead and
God forbid, Mogwai. The only thing shining through here is the Interpol
influence to their music. Lots of feedback and sonic distortion add to the
atmosphere and helps them stand out as about the second best offering from
this month's selection. They're good enough to make me want to hear more
while not necessarily making me spill my tea with excitement over this
record. I've heard it all before and very recently as well, but they seem to
have the required amount of thought going into their songs which makes me
want to pay attention. I was slightly sidetracked by the NME wanker reviews
of the band, comparing them to Muse and generally creating the impression
that you're going to hear songs of great, epic proportions in the same vein.
Well, that's bollocks. I can see where they're coming from but really, it's
bollocks. It would be much more comfortable to put them into the catagory of
Interpol mixed (very slightly mind) with Oceansize and this deserves your
attention as well as mine.



I shouldn't be here to get into political conversations but sometimes it's
going to be unavoidable. The Hope suffer from the same thing Kinesis
suffered from. Shit music. Well meaning and socio-political in intent, just
really shit rock music. Unfortunately, singing about how much you hate
capitalists and wearing ex-army gear is not going to make me want to come to
your shows and buy your records. I'm still of the ilk that like their
revolution to be soundtracked by something that makes me want to throw a
brick at a policeman (as if I need any other reasons but that's beside the
point). All the tattoos and posing at the top of factory staircases isn't
going to impress me either. In fact I'll just laugh, not to mention the fact
that their drummer looks like Gordon Ramsey. Perhaps it's slightly childish
of me to think of a band as not just a musical force but an actualy, living,
breathing, moving piece of art but really now, would you like 'Crows In The
Cornfield' as much if the frame was shit? No, it'd ruin it for you wouldn't
it? I really, sincerely wanted this E.P to be everything that had been
missing from modern music but it wasn't anything of the sort. It sounds
stagnant and dull. If Generation Terrorists hadn't been so bloody clever and
musically awe inspiring, then I would of had that down as a modern day piece
of crap as well (when it came out of course) for it is, as we know, a copy
of Appetite For Destruction...but better. A lot better. I can't pin The
Hope's sound down at all but in this case, it's not a good thing that I
can't do so. It's more that I can't be bothered and I am honestly trying
my hardest. It's sort of like rock with some widdly widdly solo's and yeah,
I've lost the will to describe it anymore. Everything about it is wrong,
wrong, wrong. The image, the music, the lyrics, everything. Bands like this
confuse me because I want to like them and I do admire them for being one of
a few bands who actually talk about something important but it's just wrong
in every respect. Try it out, you may like it. After all, the enclosed
information says that they have been picking up a steady fan base for quite
some time, so good for them. There are worse bands that could be assembling
fan bases but I won't personally accept second rate, semi-articulate
political ramblings. Must try harder. A Lot harder.


Richey Peaches

Read more of Richey's ramblings in issue 23 of R*E*P*E*A*T, available here.

Skewer these reviews on our message boards here