Jen's Music Review

Published: 27 Jul 2011 09:290 comments

Reviews include Wolf Gang, The Lost Cavalry, Altered Sky and a recommend for Taking back Sunday

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Wolf Gang: Suego Faults

Back in January I said that if you only buy one album this year, make it The Joy Formidable's The Big Roar. I still stand by that statement, however if you do find yourself with some spare cash to splash then get yourself Suego Faults. I first came across Wolf Gang (masterminded by singer-songwriter Max McElligott) last year with the track Lions In Cages. With a hint of Passion Pit, The Naked & Famous and early MGMT it quickly became a favoured track on my iPod - which it still remains to this day. Since then Wolf Gang teased me with The King And All Of His Men, Dancing With The Devil, Something Unusual and the demo of Back to Back. Each of those tracks only intensified my wanting of the release of this debut studio record - which I can now ecstatically say certainly does not disappoint. As with TJF's Big Roar, many of Wolf Gang's earlier output has been reworked and remastered, and personally pleasing I'm now fully satisfied with a handful of new tracks to add to my playlist. I previously said that McElligott was my new Goulding with his use of synth and emotionally soaring vocals. On Suego Faults the former Fife resident continues to dazzle and makes no apologies for his contagious hooks and sparkling melodies. As I am sure you can tell, this one has swept me off my feet.

The Lost Cavalry: Desert Tracks

Self described by the London-based alt-folk band as a song about abandoned diamond mines, Namibia, sand and horses, Desert Tracks is eccentrically offbeat in the most amazing melancholy silk way. As a fan of Mumford, Marling, Sermanni, French Wives and Kitty The Lion, I certainly have time for The Lost Cavalry's sound. Formed in 2009 by Mark West - previously the guitarist in Fanfarlo - the southern folksters released their debut EP, Waves Freeze To Rolling Hills, last year and now return with Desert Tracks dropped from their own Two Six Heave label. I must say, the soldier-drumming beat (Jonny) mixed with an array of concertina (Mark), guitar (Nick), bass (Oliver), ukulele and glockenspiel (Toby) makes for a captivating combination. Its swirling melody is lively and bright - transporting you straight into the middle of a carnival…or an abandoned diamond mine in Namibia with sand and horses.

Altered Sky: In This World

Following on from debut demo EP We Can't Stand The Silence, Scottish alt-rockers Altered Sky return with In This World. Last year I said that with the right nurturing the band would successfully explode onto the music scene. Since then the quintet have gigged relentlessly - even headlining King Tut's - and have picked up a solid fan-base with their spirited shows. Recorded at Lofi Studios in Glasgow under the engineering of Bruce Rintoul, In This World is the most polished output from the band to date. Normally I have to be careful when comparing artists so as not to offend, but I know the gang won't mind if I say they sound like the British Paramore. Those that appreciate their riffs metallically heavy with a side-order of frantic drum beats and lady-lite vocals will find themselves a favourite new love. Beauty Is The Beast, I Know You Know and Say It Again are the three standout tracks on the EP. They're coolly strong and catchy, and will hook you with their vigour.

iTunes Download Recommendation

Taking Back Sunday: Call Me In The Morning

Long Islanders Taking Back Sunday have themselves a gentle and unassuming ballad with Call Me In The Morning. Taken from their self-titled fifth studio album, the track has a tender melody with lyrics that play on falling in love, sharing secrets and history - well, that's what I believe them to mean. Along with Yellowcard, Taking Back Sunday were a staple soundtrack to my uni years with Adam Lazzara's emotional vocals calling out to me many a time. Although there are a handful of equally as good TBS tunes to choose from (Liar, MakeDamnSure, Miami, You're So Last Summer, Cute Without The E…), Call Me In The Morning is my song of the moment.

Artist update:

Ed Sheeran, O2 ABC, Glasgow, 14 October, (www.myspace.com/edsheeran)

The Joy Formidable, Oran Mor, Glasgow, 19 October, (www.thejoyformidable.com)

Lykke Li, O2 ABC, Glasgow, 30 October, (www.lykkeli.com)

Festival Update:

With RockNess and T out of the way all eyes should now look forth to Belladrum, taking place on Friday 5th and Saturday 6th August. The Tartan Heart festival, set in Beauly, Inverness-shire, is a dark horse packed with an awesome line-up. From Texas, Newton Faulkner and Deacon Blue to my favoured sounds of Rachel Sermanni, Admiral Fallow, Anna Calvi and Roddy Hart. Belladrum is like no other festival I have ever been to. It's amazingly tightknit and seems as if you have stumbled into a magical village gala. If you like your music grassroots style, this one is definitely for you. Unfortunately all weekend camping tickets have sold out, however, I urge you to keep an eye out for any online competitions to win a pass. Go to www.tartanheartfestival.co.uk for more information.

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