To showcase the very best of the local music talent that can be found in the Sussex area, SQ has called upon its correspondent, Andrew Nicholls. Every month, starting from now, he will listen to and review tracks submitted through our Soundcloud account and display the best of what our coastal county has to offer, online for the world to see.
This is part one of October’s showcase features 10 tracks from Pink Narcissus, Prowess, Kalestix, Simon Mark Smith, Too Many Generals, Matt Bonner, Monroe, Synthronus, Junkyard Choir, and Written in Waters.
Pink Narcissus – Disinfectant
“Disinfectant” by Pink Narcissus is an incredible, startling, and well written piece of music from the first note to the very last. Having an undoubtable parallel with the last part of “The Chain” by Fleetwood Mac the song could easily be mistaken as part of their own back catalogue. “Disinfectant” is one of the best songs on this playlist, with elements that remind the listener of Pink Floyd as well as Fleetwood Mac, it has notes of more modern musicians and bands like The Red Hot Chilli Peppers of whom the vocals greatly resemble. If Pink Narcissus have more songs like this in their arsenal it would be hardly surprising to see them amongst the greats one day.
Prowess – Broken
While at times similar to bands like Sonic Youth, Avenged Sevenfold, and Deftones it’s difficult to put this song in a box. Vocally there’s a resemblance to the throaty sounds of The Distiller’s Brody Dalle, but Prowess’ singer’s more melodic quality to her voice has more beauty and thus makes the song a little sweeter. Musically Prowess are powerful; the guitars and drums drive each other forward and often alter between being quite simplistic and easy to perhaps play along with, and being very intricate. Live this style may drown out its vocals, but recorded like this it creates a powerful balance that is wonderful to hear.
Kalestix – I Am Not a Human
Once quite well renowned in the Eastbourne area hip hop act Kalestix are once again on the verge of a rebirth. Their new song “I Am Not A Human” takes the listener on a journey through their, some would say, slightly depraved minds to a place quite different than here. Opening atop a beat that could quite easily have come from the menu of an old school cartridge game the song begins with a verse by Cyril LeBop full of clever rhymes and subtle jokes. The hook, which takes a more melodic form than the rest of the song while remaining deliberately flat, displays the vocal talents of member Kai who then takes us into second verse that contains a Beastie Boys like quality. The third verse, by Evol, is a little angrier than the rest of the song but not in a bad way, it does so without losing the song’s comic book style. With a clever jab at this country’s foolish racists “I Am Not A Human” is a song with a message, and it’s a great one at that.
Simon Mark Smith – Facebook
Coming from a slightly older age group and bearing a style quite dissimilar to the rest of the songs in this playlist “Facebook” by Simon Mark Smith is a sinister song. With its content being a mix of a love song and a jocular look at the “harmless” act of Facebook stalking it’s a well written piece of music, both instrumentally and vocally, that somehow keeps your attention and in a way makes you think; someone might be watching YOUR Facebook, and it might be Simon! Brilliant.
Too Many Generals – Delirium Tremens
Opening like a Muse track Too Many General’s “Delirium Tremens”, which for those who don’t know is the technical name for the shakes caused by alcohol abuse, is a killer track that deserves to be played loud. A song that makes you want to rock out it features powerful and heavy rock vocals, head banging riffs, and epic drumming. Too Many Generals were sadly unsuccessful when they competed in the seventh heat of the Eastbourne Extreme Battle Of The Bands, but this is one song that they should be really proud of.
Matt Bonner – Every Night
A song all about singing a song “Every Night” speaks of the apprehension bands and solo artists feel as they walk out on stage to play in front of strangers with judging eyes. With this track Matt Bonner proves himself to be a truly exceptional singer and a name to look out for in the Brighton area. Beginning as an acoustic song it quickly becomes something else with different levels of instrumentation and a fairly brilliant solo that brings it to a close. “Every Night” is a standout track on this playlist, and well worth a download.
Monroe – She Knows
Coming from Alkaline Trio and Bruce Springsteen inspired Eastbourne band Monroe it was obvious that this song was going to be good from the very beginning. All about a girl called Jenny that threw all her dreams away with drugs and alcohol it’s a tragic tale of prostitution and the loss of innocence. With rough vocals, a contagious beat, and an old school rock sound the song fits its subject matter perfectly and allows Monroe to live up to the standard set by the fallen starlet that gives them their name.
Synthronus – Damnatio Memoriae
Though this track fits into a genre that’s often known for songs that have no purpose other than to be loud “Damnatio Memoriae”, which is about a man who abandoned the human race and placed his faith in the cosmos only to be cut down by the very thing he set out to find, steps away from the confines of its style and becomes something better. With a cacophony of guitars and thrashing drums that constantly change in a whirlwind of chaotic brilliance, and shouting vocals that scream out from within this is a piece of music that when listened to shows off its complexity and the talents of those that play it.
Junkyard Choir – Groundhog
This song by understated Blues gods Junkyard Choir is a waltz of styles, guitars, and sounds ranging from gypsy punk to country and rock-a-billy ruled by bestial, growling vocals that sing of the band’s revulsion towards the daily grind that holds us all back. With simple yet meaningful lyrics the track boasts exceptional guitar playing, intricate solos, and thrashing, pounding drums. The band came fourth in the recent Eastbourne Extreme Battle Of The Bands; this track proves they should have won.
Written in Waters – Hymn
Beyond haunting “Hymn” by Written in Waters is a sombre, striking, and heartbreaking song that moves you to the depths of yourself. With vocals that have a wailing, soul-like quality this piece of music is exceptional whatever way you look at it and belongs in the soundtrack of a great drama, or as an accompaniment of a black and white film portraying the horrors that go on in distant parts of the world. With parts that reawaken the senses, and parts that calm them, “Hymn” is a multi-layered piece and one that should be heard by everyone.
Look out for part two soon featuring Dirty Leaves, City Of Ashes, From Afar, State Your Name, Lost In Vegas, For Marla, We Sink Cities, Rosales, Loose Lips, and Chemical Smile.
Originally published, with embed music to go with the reviews, here: http://sqmagazine.co.uk/2011/10/sq-soundcloud-showcase-october-%E2%80%93-part-1/