Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Beats: Dew Scented – Icarus review


Dew Scented are a Thrash Metal band who are now in their 20th year of making people headbang. They’ve played a whole host of festivals all over Europe, including Wacken Open Air, Bang Your Head & Summer Breeze and had also embarked on a 16 country world tour with Nile & Melechesh.

Now, they bring you their ninth studio album; Icarus.

The album opens with a very nice, atmospheric & acoustic intro on Hubris which flows right into some heavy thrash metal while still conveying the atmosphere of the beginning which flows into the shredding guitars and drum build up of Sworn to Obey. Musically this is classic thrash metal all over. It’s fast and heavy but I was shocked when the vocals came in; however, as they are not what I’d expect from a band who describes themselves as thrash metal. The vocals are skilful and somehow fits but they’re leaning more towards deathcore than thrash.

Thrown to the Lions starts off with a wonderfully thrashy guitar groove and incredibly fast and heavy drums before an almighty death growl wakes you up. This grooviness continues throughout the song which is really quite awesome.

The album continues with a fast, heavy & thrashy groove but no two songs sound the same which is something I usually find with this genre.

The whole album is well thought out and heavy as fuck which is exactly what we’re looking for when it comes to a band of this calibre.

Basically, if you like thrash metal; buy it.

You can also listen to the full album stream here:


The album is out now on Metal Blade Records in Europe and Prosthetic Records in North America.


Nate

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Beats: #FonkyFriday - Shaolin Stank by Tudorguy

Ok. It's not Friday anymore so #FonkyFriday doesn't apply but y'know.

I have this whole twitter thing going on where I'll hashtag a day and a musical genre like #SoulTuesday for instance and sometimes (very rarely) someone else will get involved and join me on my musical adventure. Yesterday, however, I didn't do it but I noticed that Elliott did. He went for #FonkyFriday. It makes me happy when I see that I have influenced others, it's a great feeling.

So this guy seems like a bit of a boss, he's a musical and beer wizard; not unlike myself. He can actually make music though, something I envy.

He decided to compose a wonderfully fonky track called Shaolin Stank and I thought I'd share it with you as I liked it so much...


 Have a listen and let us know what you think.

While you're at it, you should find Elliott online and show him some love...

Twitter: https://twitter.com/tudorguy

He writes a great blog too: http://beerandjazz.blogspot.co.uk

Get your funk on and have a great weekend!

Nate
http://www.twitter.com/NateDawg27

Monday, 23 July 2012

Interview: Lisa Coverdale from Hold Tight! PR


I was thinking last week; who is absolutely fundamental to my blog but never gets any recognition? PR people. Sure, the artists make the music but without their record labels and the PR companies, their music wouldn't get heard and promoted unless they do it themselves, which does seem like a lot of effort. 

PR people work a lot. They don’t stop. There’s so much to do and I thought I’d give my homegirl Lisa a short break from supplying me with music in order to answer a few questions.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Beats: The Flower Kings – Banks of Eden review



The Flower Kings are a 5 piece Swedish progressive rock band with very different backgrounds which all come together to create something quite different to anything you’ve ever heard. When they got together, they had no specific goals of what they wanted their music to sound like; they just wanted to play so that is what they did.

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Booze: Cantillon Kriek Review


Woah. My first beer review in a while. I talk about beer a lot (only sometimes) but I don’t get round to reviewing any. Shame on me.

This time, it’s Cantillon Kriek which my good friend Stephen from Humpty Dumpty Brewery in Reedham, Norfolk brought back from his travels for me. I’d highly recommend checking out Humpty Dumpty, while we’re on the subject; they have a great range of beers in both bottle and cask

Now, onto the beer in hand (or glass – I can’t really type whilst holding a beer).

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Beats: Interview with Dussel Has Friends


Almost two years ago I was on twitter having a conversation about Hip-Hop with my favourite rapper of all time, Chuck D from Public Enemy and Rich who was operating the Dussel Has Friends twitter account weighed in on the conversation. We started talking and he gave me the link to one of their tracks “The Way I Like It”. I was impressed. Genuinely impressed. The conversation I was having with Chuck D when this occurred was actually about how shit most modern day hip-hop was. This track confirmed my beliefs that there is some awesome stuff out there, you just have to find it; well, in this case, it found me.

Dussel Has Friends are a hip-hop band from New York. Yes, a band; this means they actually play instruments. This is not over-produced bullshit. Dussel has friends are a bunch of actual friends who make kick ass rock music with rap vocals and lyrics that actually say something.

So, last week I commented on a link that Rich posted on the DHF fan page on Facebook and Rich replied “So, Nate, when are you going to interview us about our love of beer?” and they instantly became my guinea pigs for my slightly non-musical interview process…

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Bites: Guest Blog - Chocolate Stout Peanut Butter Marshmallow Brownies

As soon as I posted my first ever Booze guest blog from Rich and announced my first ever Beats guest blog from Mr Barfly, I had literally hundreds of requests to do a guest blog for me. Literally hundreds. I finally managed to narrow it down to one. Then this guy, Martyn from the twittersphere approached me with the idea of completing the Booze, Beats & Bites circle with a Bites guest blog as I don't do many bites posts and I couldn't help but oblige. This also makes me think that I need to write about food more. Note to self.

Anyway, Martyn has come up with a wonderfully bizarre and awesome sounding recipe that I need to try out...

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Beats: Guest Blog - Hard Rock Calling

Another guest blog for you here from a chap you may already know... his name is Glyn and he is more commonly known as Rabid Barfly on twitter. He sent me a message on twitter last week informing me that he was going to see Bruce Springsteen on Saturday (lucky bastard) and would like to do a review but his blog isn't really the right place for it and could he do a guest blog. At first I was going to say no out of jealously but he's a good man and he did share a bottle of Cantillon Gueuze with me on Friday so I thought, why not?

Monday, 16 July 2012

Booze: My first ever wine reviews (Collaborative)


I enjoy wine but I don’t really drink it often. I’ve never reviewed wine before so when given the opportunity to do so, I thought I’d give it a shot.

I know nothing about wine, for the record. I know that there are different types of grape from different regions etc but that’s it.

I have two collaborators for this (Both at separate times).

Right…

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Booze: Are you leaving?


I encountered rudeness on Friday and being the pleasant person that I am, I don't like it.

I was in a pub having a quiet pre-train pint with my good friend Matt, just sitting there chatting about general things. We had almost finished our pints and had rolled a cigarette for the walk to the train station when this happened.

A lady walked up to me and said "I noticed that you're rolling a cigarette. Are you going out then coming back in or are you leaving?" I was shocked that someone would do that. I wouldn't dream of it. We were planning on swiftly finishing our pints (about a quarter left) but I thought 'You know what? I think I want to stay for a bit longer now' so I replied with "Nope. Not right now” even though we were planning on leaving soon.

I barely had time to take a sip of my wonderful Acorn Global IPA with its sweet, caramel maltiness and a long hop-bitter finish when another lady who appeared to be with the first lady came up to me and asked if I'm leaving. Really? Even if she wasn't with the original lady she had been staring at me long enough for it to click that we weren't intending on leaving right then as we would've done when the first lady asked.

Fair enough, we were sitting at a four-seater table when there were only two of us but it was literally the only empty table in the entire pub and like fuck were we going to sit outside in the rain. Had they asked to use the two remaining seats, I would've obliged. I always do. I mean, that happens all of the time - just Matt and I sitting alone at a table with more seats than we require and someone enquires about the remaining seats/can they join us. Sure. No problem. Sometimes we even manage to start conversations with them. It's fine.

After these two incidents I could see these people and more just staring at us, trying to make us feel uncomfortable so I thought 'Fuck it' and made sure that my delicious pint lasted an extra quarter of an hour. A bit twattish? Probably but I was in the pub on my day off having a pint with my mate before I went out of town for the night and I didn’t want to be disturbed.

Then, when we did eventually get up and go, an elderly couple who had sat at a table next to us that was full of used plates and pint glasses literally ran to take our recently vacant seats. We were barely stood up and they were already there. I mean, these were elderly. Basically, if they were wandering down a busy supermarket aisle, they'd be slower than a snail on heroin but in this case they could give Usain Bolt a run for his money.

I actually felt insulted at the audacity of pretty much asking me to leave so they could have my seat.

It's absolutely fucking absurd.

I had never encountered this before and was wondering; has this ever happened to you? How would you feel? How would you react?

Nate

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Beats: Los Lonely Boys – Rockpango review


Los Lonely Boys are three ‘Texican’ brothers who debuted in 2003 with a multi-chart gold single, selling millions of albums, winning a Grammy, racking up reams of critical acclaim, opening for The Rolling Stones and many more accomplishments including being featured on guitar hero: on tour with their single, Heaven.

Rockpango is their fourth studio album and their first to be self-produced.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Beats: Shakespeare – The Sonnets



I never enjoyed Shakespeare’s works at school. I always appreciated that Shakespeare was an incredibly talented playwright who changed the way we see performing arts and the way we use the English language but it just wasn’t for me. Maybe it was because I wasn’t middle class enough or maybe it was because I was stoned all the time in high school and didn’t really understand what the fuck was going on. I don’t know; it just wasn’t for me.

Fast-forward a few years and I get a press release in my mailbox.

“The album reinvents Shakespeare’s Sonnets into modern music with the use of rare and exquisite Elizabethan instruments.”

Well, this sounds intriguing. Read on.

11 of Shakespeare’s sonnets performed on instruments from the early 17th century (That are worth £10,000 upwards) using only Shakespeare’s lyrics with no additions made, although occasionally lines have been moved around to fit the contemporary song structures. The meaning is never altered and the emotional content of the sonnets is always sustained.

Monday, 9 July 2012

Booze: Guest Blog - Two Cocks Brewery reviews

Well, well, well; you're in for a treat! I have asked my good friend Rich The Beer Glass Collector to review the three beers he bought from Two Cocks brewery (Which you may remember from a blogpost of mine) and he kindly obliged. Below is what he has to say:



"Although I’ve attempted to review beers in the past I’ve rather given up on doing it as they usually boil down to something along the lines of “Ooo, I like this one” or “Ugh, that ones not too nice” – perhaps I just haven’t got an educated palate, perhaps I just need to practise more, perhaps I should just stick to drinking beer rather than writing about it………………….

Anyway this review came about after fellow Facebook friend, beer blogger, music reviewer and all round good guy Nathaniel “Nate Dawg” Southwood set off an amusing thread about 2 Cocks Brewery. Now living in rural Berkshire which possibly has the least amount of breweries per county in England, 2 Cocks caused a bit of excitement within the local drinking community when they went into production last year. Things have quickly gone from strength to strength for Phil and Michael with their beers finding their way into pubs across the country and they’ve established a very strong local fan base with their cask ales in the pubs around West Berkshire.

They’ve also been very supportive of our local branch of CAMRA, organising a beer tour (which you can read about here - http://www.westberkscamra.org.uk/2_cocks_brewery_event_page.php) and a launch for one of their new ales (which you can read about here - http://www.westberkscamra.org.uk/gibbet_ale_launch_event_page.php)

Unfortunately for me I was unable to take part in either of these events and somewhat ashamedly realised I was yet to sample their beers, so taking all of the above into account I recently bought some of their bottled range; 1643 Cavalier, 1643 Roundhead and 1643 Puritan. History buffs amongst you will note the date as being that of the Civil War Battle of Newbury, which took place just down the road from the brewery buildings.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

The Session 65: So Lonely... – The roundup

EDIT: Last minute addition at the bottom, I've also added the host of the next session





Wow. Just wow. I am completely overwhelmed and surprised by the amount of replies I got because A) I’m only a new beer blogger – I’ve only been doing this since March & B) After I decided upon the topic, I had a second thought... I thought it was a bit of a shit topic.

Turns out it was quite a good and thought provoking topic.

I’ve been trying to work out the best way to do this with so many replies. I think I’m going to do it blog by blog and quote from each. It might be alright. We’ll see.

As you know, my topic was about going to the pub alone and in my post, I confessed that I go to the
pub alone quite frequently and gave a whole host of reasons why I do this; my favourite reason has to be just to get away for a bit. Out of it. With nice surroundings and a nice pint.

I noticed a theme whilst going through all of your posts: no matter where you are in the world, the same stigma of alcoholism is associated with going to the pub alone. It's interesting.

Beats: Kathryn Roberts & Sean Lakeman – Hidden People review



Kathryn Roberts & Sean Lakeman are a husband and wife team who – despite the very apt album title of Hidden People – have been lynchpins of the UK’s burgeoning folk-acoustic revival over the last two decades. Finally they have released an album together.

The album opens with Kathryn’s beautiful voice sans music on Huldra. This song has some background guitar and organ through some parts but it is focused on Kathryn which I cannot argue with it. It’s an absolutely beautiful song.

Oxford, NY comes next and is a lot more upbeat with Sean’s excellent guitar playing throughout. This guy is seriously skilled and his style works incredibly well with Kathryn’s voice.


Saturday, 7 July 2012

Beats: Karybdis - From The Depths review



Karybdis are a London based death metal band who focuses on mythical themes within their songs.

The album starts off with the sound of waves and a violin on Minotaur before a technical electric guitar arrives in the background then an almighty death metal growl with the drums. The waves and light guitar fades out and it gets heavy... technically awesome and heavy. The vocalist is also one of the best I’ve heard in this genre of music in a long, long time. The guitars are great, takes me back to the proper old school death metal style of At The Gates and other bands of that ilk.

Friday, 6 July 2012

Beats: Why is your band called that?


I got a press release today from Victory Records; a fairly big record label that specialises in hardcore punk, emo, pop-rock and metal. This press release was telling us about a metalcore band called A HERO A FAKE (Terrible name) and their new album The Future Again (Silly album title too) which is out on July 17th this year. The press release came with a youtube link to steam the album (Link here in case you’re curious: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0GUxI-EsjzI) but I haven’t listened to it because of the terrible name.

I conveyed these feelings on twitter, naturally and got a couple of responses…

James from the blog Beer Bar Band saidterrible band names are a guilty pleasure of mine. I'm talentless but want to start band called "Buttnuggets" just for the name

And Kitten Mitton raised a very good point by sayingIt would be better with a comma maybe? A Hero, A Fake

Firstly, James; I would listen to Buttnuggets, purely because the name is mildly amusing. It’s silly but it’s amusing and bizarre – like The Butthole Surfers. Silly band name… but they’re totally fucking awesome.

Secondly; Kitten Mitton raises a very good point – a comma would be better although I think the name would still be fucking ridiculous.

I’ve always been puzzled by terrible band names. I want to listen to a band whose name actually makes sense… maybe even means something.

I feel that band names have an impact on how you hear the music… I’m saying this is a terrible name for a band, I could listen to it but I’m kind of expecting them to be terrible purely based on the name so even if it’s a good album it could sound slightly rubbish.

Maybe I should just stop being so fucking ridiculous, I dunno. This is just how I feel.

I just want to ask “Why have you chosen such an absurd name?”

Maybe I should.

How do you feel about terrible band names? Does a band’s name change how you hear the music?

Nate

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Booze: Pint of Anchor Steam Please...

 EDIT: Apparently Anchor Steam is technically a lager as it's fermented with lager yeast. I stand corrected by Steve & Ben

Last night in the pub:

Me: Pint of Anchor Steam please.

Barman: *looks at 3 hand pumps* Sorry we don't have that, mate.

Me: I'm pretty sure you do as I had it in here on Sunday and it says on the board above my head; it'll be on a keg tap.

Barman: What's the name of the brewery?

Me: Anchor.

Barman: What's the name of the beer?

Me: Steam.

Barman: *Shakes his head then turns round to co-worker* Erm... Do we have A-N-C-H-O-R S-T-E-A-M?

Bar Wench: Yeah, it's that lager on the end.


A fucking lager?

This occured in a pub that has been National Beer Pub of The Year in the Good Beer Guide four times and been CAMRA's National Pub of the Year twice.

I was offended that she referred to Anchor Steam as a lager... I presume she said it purely because it's on a keg tap. It is not excusable.

I bought a pint anyway but I drank it with disgust at what had just occured.


Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Beats: Syd Arthur – On An On review

It's worth noting that the cover art is totally fucking bizarre and was designed by Liam (Vocalist)




Syd Arthur are what I’d call a psychedelic folk band and they're from Canterbury in Kent. They mix instrumental music with digital techniques to bring a 60s/70s sound into the modern day.

The album opens with First Difference which is a very laid back song; it starts off with funky stringed instruments and not very much in the way of percussion which is great for a change. There are drums but they’re just a background beat which is quite nice. The vocals are really raw which is awesome, something you don’t hear all too often these days.

The next track, Edge Of The Earth starts off with a weird atmosphere then goes into a violin for a bit before the vocals and what sounds like some synth comes in and progresses with guitars.

The whole album goes through a weird psychedelic folk weirdness which I really quite like. It has upbeat songs and some slower, more downbeat songs. There really is a mixture of everything.

When speaking to Joel from the band, I asked him who their musical inspirations are because, well, they have such a unique sound; this is what he had to say:

We have many inspirations, from the Canterbury Sound legends of Soft Machine and Caravan, through to Zappa and Miles Davis, with the best in psychedelic and 60's rock on the way. To be honest, we listen to such a wide ranging amount and styles of music, and it all filters its way through in its own way”

I can definitely hear all of those musical inspirations in the music which is awesome because a lot of the time when I ask a band who they say their biggest inspirations are, it’s nowhere to be seen at all.

All in all, I enjoy this album and I’d recommend this album if you want to listen to something different and modern but with a tinge of the 60s and 70s.

You can even download their song Moving World for free and watch the music video for Edge Of The Earth on their website, so you have absolutely no excuse not to check them out:


Then go purchase the album here:



Nate