TMMP’s Top Albums Of 2016 [Feature]

Sonic Boom Six The F-Bomb No Man No Right Feminism Song Review Camden Rocks Festival 2016 From The Fire To the Frying Pan YouTube Video Single Stream Download Torrent Racism Racist Best Top Album Of The Year Albums Of 2016 TMMP Barney Laila Khan Do What You Wanna Do Drop The Bass And Pick It Up Train Leaves Tomorrow LOVE Worship Yourself Joanna All The Same To Me Echoes In The Dark Interview Guitar Guitarist Vocalist Vocals Drummer Drums Bass Bassist Feature Album EP Single Review CD Concert Gig Tickets Tour Download Stream Live Show Torrent Music Musician Record Label News Update Facebook YouTube channel Twitter VEVO Spotify iTunes Apple Music Band Logo Cover Art Bandcamp Soundcloud Release Date Digital Cover Art Artwork Split Why Did Break Up New Final Last Latest News UpdateThe Dillinger Escape Plan Dissociation Ben Weinman Greg Puciato Billy Rymer Liam Wilson Kevin Antreassian Under The Running Board Mike Patton Calculating Infinity Miss Machine Ire Works Option Paralysis One Of Us Is The Killer Limerent Death Black Bubblegum Milk Lizard Party Smasher Inc Interview Guitar Guitarist Vocalist Vocals Drummer Drums Bass Bassist Feature Album EP Single Review CD Concert Gig Tickets Tour Download Stream Live Show Torrent Music Musician Record Label News Update Facebook YouTube Twitter VEVO Spotify iTunes Apple Music Band Logo Cover Art Bandcamp Soundcloud DEP Symptom Of Terminal Illness Wanting Not So Much As To Fugue Low Feels Blvd Surrogate Honeysuckle Manufacturing Discontent Apologies Not Included Nothing To Forget Best Top Album Of The Year Albums Of 2016 TMMP

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As the music industry slows down, its alternative end hibernating while the pop-enamoured mainstream hungrily ogles Christmas shoppers, the time has come to look back on a seriously strong year for organised soundwaves. For me, it’s been heavy, intense, and a hell of a lot of fun thanks to the releases listed below.

With so many exceptional contenders in the running for the top spot, the thought of ranking them in order of quality is plainly ridiculous. So instead, I’ve picked out three releases that had memorable impacts on me when I first heard them, and assembled the others in alphabetical order.

The Pretty Reckless’s Who You Selling For – along with previous effort Going To Hell – is conclusive proof (if it were honestly needed in 2016) that women belong in rock music, and are fully capable of kicking ass. The sexists of the music world are like Wile E. Coyote; they’ve run off the edge of the cliff, nothing surrounds them but empty air, they’ve looked down, and they’re panicking. Sonic Boom Six’s The F-Bomb picks up where that image leaves off – it’s cheeky, chirpy, happy and hard-hitting (sometimes simultaneously), addressing a wealth of gender-related issues and providing a great ska-fuelled party soundtrack as only Sonic Boom Six can.

Musically, Dissociation is The F-Bomb’s polar opposite. The Dillinger Escape Plan’s swan song is crammed with brutal and ultra-experimental mathcore – but it’s also Dillinger’s most delicate and diverse album. The Dillinger Escape Plan are living proof that you can achieve great things without compromise, by sticking to your guns and just going for it.

Beyond that point, you’re free to dive into an epic range of albums including solidly grooving rock sets, monolithic slabs of military-grade metal, and progressive masterpieces. Since I’ve not reviewed many EPs this year, I’ve also included a pair of extended-playing mind-blowers in the form of Dorje’s Centred And One and Toska’s Ode To The Author. Dorje specialise in utterly idiosyncratic rock tunes with added progressive spice, while to me, Toska (made up of Dorje’s backline, namely guitarist Rabea Massaad, drummer Ben Minal, and bassist Dave Hollingworth) represent the future of instrumental metal.

Both Dorje and Toska are bands on the rise – and they fully deserve to hit the same peaks enjoyed by the biggest names on this list.

There’s little more to say; for me, this list represents the top albums of 2016. Enjoy the full reviews linked below, follow TMMP on Twitter, subscribe to my brand new YouTube channel, and stay tuned for more world-class music next year!

1) The Pretty Reckless – Who You Selling For

1) Sonic Boom Six – The F-Bomb

1) The Dillinger Escape Plan – Dissociation

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2) Read more…

Posted on 04 December 2016

Animals As Leaders – ‘The Madness Of Many’ [Review]

Animals As Leaders The Madness Of Many Review Album 2016 November 11 Release Date Arithmophobia Ectogenesis Cognitive Contortions Inner Assassins Private Visions Of The World Backpfeifengesicht Transcentience The Glass Bridge The Brain Dance Apeirophobia Weightless The Joy Of Motion Tosin Abasi Javier Reyes Matt Garstka Sumerian Records Interview Guitar Guitarist Vocalist Vocals Drummer Drums Bass Bassist Feature Album EP Single Review CD Concert Gig Tickets Tour Download Stream Live Show Torrent Music Musician Record Label News Update Facebook YouTube Twitter VEVO Spotify iTunes Apple Music Band Logo Cover Art Bandcamp Soundcloud Release Date Digital Cover Art Artwork Split Why Did Break Up New Final Last Latest News Update

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Animals As Leaders represent that rarest breed of bands, so far ahead of their time that even their most visionary peers struggle to keep up. For fans of instrumental progressive metal, Tosin Abasi, Javier Reyes, and Matt Garstka need absolutely zero introduction, their names synonymous with music so intricate that the fact there are only three of them is still scarcely comprehensible. To those for whom djent is everything, Animals As Leaders are the leaders of the pack.

The Madness Of Many is not going to do anything to change that. The thought of Read more…

Posted on 04 November 2016

Hatton Manor [Live Review – Komedia, Brighton, 16/6/2016]

Hatton Manor Press Shot Komedia Logo Interview Guitar Guitarist Vocalist Vocals Drummer Drums Bass Bassist Feature Album Review CD Concert Gig Tickets Tour Download Stream Live Torrent Music Musician Record Label News Update Facebook YouTube Twitter VEVO Spotify iTunes Apple Music Band Hannah Boulton Matt Matthew Hornby James Purvis Eden

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Watching a band you love level up in front of a packed venue is one of the best experiences a music fan can have. Hatton Manor – the guitar-vocal duo now expanded to a trio with the addition of brand new drummer James Purvis – did exactly that at Komedia Read more…

Posted on 19 June 2016

The Dandy Warhols – ‘Distortland’ [Review]

The Dandy Warhols - Distortland - Album Review

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The average band doesn’t make it past their first album. Sometimes the sophomore slump hits hard, sinking careers as that difficult second long-player either never gets released, or just blows instead of blowing up. Rarely, you’re talking three to four albums – but you’re talking really rarely.

Keeping the flame burning after ten albums is an impressive feat – and with Distortland, The Dandy Warhols have hit an all but unbelievable career landmark.

Distortland is one of The Dandy Warhols’ most focussed albums Read more…

Posted on 17 March 2016

Six Underground Bands To Watch In 2016 [Feature]

6 Underground Bands To Watch In 2016

With the music world gradually gearing up for a brand new year, here are six underground bands to watch in 2016:

1) Dorje.

Dorje

I’ve ranted and raved about these guys for years – and frankly, they fucking deserve it. Dorje are an industry unto themselves, topping album charts across the Internet with their latest Catalyst EP, racking up some 800,000 YouTube views for their signature song Aeromancy, and nailing one of Indiegogo’s top crowdfunding campaigns while handling everything in-house with zero label backing.

Respect is due here – and this year will see a second EP alongside much touring. By the time Dorje are done, their peers will be craning their necks to catch a glimpse of them.

2) Black Peaks.

Black Peaks

If you just can’t cram enough mind-ruining math rock into your day, Black Peaks’ latest single Saviour is a must-listen. A massively improved version of an already epic track from early EP Closer To The Sun, and a mouth-watering taste of what to expect from Black Peaks’ upcoming album StatuesSaviour will blow you away. Play loud.

3) Signals.

Signals

As with Dorje and Black Peaks, I’ve written many an evangelical word about Signals over the years. Breaking fresh ground with every note, this Southampton-based math-pop quartet are genuinely unique. Hard-earned technical skills, thoughtful musicianship, never-less-than-perfect production, and an instantly recognisable sound topped off with Ellie Price’s consistently passionate vocals all add up to an act capable of cutting the mustard like a legendary ninja.

4) Toska.

Toska

When they’re not inducing jawbreaking gurns in Dorje, guitarist Rabea Massaad, drummer Ben Minal, and bassist Dave Hollingworth can be found frying facial features as Toska. Instrumental progressive metal is the name of the game here, departing from the standard Periphery-aping clone formula employed by many of their peers in favour of a genuinely new vibe. Toska’s debut EP Ode To The Author does contain hints of Karnivool, Porcupine Tree, Tesseract, and even Incubus – but more than that, it represents the birth of a meditatively immersive New Sound.

More to come on this one – but for now, just trust me. This will be frickin’ special.

5) Hatton Manor.

Hatton Manor

Hatton Manor – aka Matt and Hannah – are in the earliest of early days right now. But they are still one of the most flat-out superior acoustic guitar-and-vocal duos I’ve ever heard. Dipping their toes into the live and festival circuits during 2015, as well as releasing their debut EP Eden, Hatton Manor are moving into a new phase full of experimentation. By turns graceful, gritty, joyful and dark, Hatton Manor know how to strap you into an emotional rollercoaster from note one. Awesome.

6) Princess Slayer.

Thoughtful EDM might seem like an oxymoron – but Princess Slayer make it work through a creative approach that blends hedonistic playfulness with ruminative sincerity. Drummer and producer Vince Welch digs up gut-rumbling grooves, cute melodies, and carefully constructed sonic strata while vocalist Casey Lim thinks out loud through an intimate and vulnerable yet confident vocal. With many collaborations and their Living EP behind them, a Princess Slayer album is rumoured to be on the way. With any luck, 2016 will be the year it surfaces – and when it does, expect something exceptional and exceptionally cool.

If you enjoyed this feature, follow TMMP via Twitter and my brand new Facebook page for more from the world of world-class music!

Posted on 11 January 2016

Signals / Me And The Moon / China Bears [Live Review – The Star, Guildford, 23/10/2015]

Signals

Here’s a list of things that could stop me from seeing Signals when they’re in town:

1) Death.

That’s about it.

Since on a Friday night most punters tend to show up for the headliners and ignore the supports, said supports tend to be…shall we say…not very good. However, China Bears (75%) managed to buck that trend with a very nice, low-key, poppy indie-folk acoustic set that went over well despite falling victim to some standard-for-acoustic-sets-everywhere crowd chatter.

Me And The Moon (70%), meanwhile, were at an awkward point for any band, performing for the first time with an entirely new rhythm section who still need time to settle in. Here, they were a band of two halves – a frontwoman and guitarist working hard and successfully on their onstage confidence, meeting the gaze of every last person in the room, and a drummer and bassist who with time and experience will no doubt be doing the same sooner rather than later. Songwriting-wise, these guys were great – a work in progress with plenty of potential.

Signals (96%) have always been an immense band, in possession of a style brimming with cool subtleties. Complex but accessible, technical but still soulful, Signals’ self-label, “math-pop”, fits  Read more…

Posted on 24 October 2015

Hatton Manor / Tiago Saga / Jack Williams [Live Review – The Gods, Brighton, 17/10/2015]

Hatton Manor

Sometimes small gigs are the best gigs. With so many massive chain venues and mammoth festival fields out there, it’s easy to forget the joys of being packed sardine-like into a none-more-intimate room to enjoy an evening of top-class music.

Watching Jack Williams (83%) and Tiago Saga (85%), I was reminded of a recent interview with Jon Gomm, discussing the importance of authentic sincerity in the singer-songwriter world. These guys have authentic sincerity oozing from every pore, along with two distinct and enjoyable styles. Jack Williams is capable of projecting deep passions through borrowed equipment, while Tiago Saga’s versatile skills drift seamlessly through everything from Read more…

Posted on 19 October 2015

Hatton Manor – ‘Eden’ [Review]

Hatton Manor

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The singer-songwriter market is oversaturated. Full of countless clones plying folky wares with serious-as-cancer faces buried in their own backsides. Crammed, stuffed, and a little bit boring.

Hatton Manor offer something more than their pretentiously affected contemporaries. A guitar-and-vocal duo, Matt and Hannah (Hatt & Mannah = Hatton Manor) are simply better than the next pair. This is a big statement, but it’s easily justified. Even the briefest listen to Eden opener Mountain Man, for instance, proves their class and classiness. Hannah’s voice is bloody awesome, equal parts soul and control, while Matt’s multi-tasking guitar/vocal/percussion skills are Read more…

Posted on 23 August 2015

Jon Gomm [Interview]

Jon Gomm

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Imagine you’re a guy with an acoustic guitar. You practice a lot. You get good. You experiment with every technique you can possibly think of. You record an album, with the goal of getting gigs. It works – a bit too well. You end up touring for several years, performing in countless countries and covering every continent on Earth.

Things are going pretty well by the time you record a solo performance video for a song that, on paper, shouldn’t have commercial appeal. It’s six-and-a-half minutes long, your vocals aren’t auto-tuned so badly that you sound like Hatsune Miku, and you don’t have your hair cut in a trendy style that makes you look like an Iced Gem. But it also goes viral on the back of the fact that by now, you are a legitimate and undeniable Jedi-level virtuoso. Praise comes flooding in from every corner of the world. You win fans as diverse as Stephen Fry, and Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee.

When you’ve been through a journey like that, and it’s still ongoing, you could probably be forgiven for developing a big head and being a bit of a knob. Jon Gomm, however, remains a true gentleman despite social media success, global popularity, and the fact that his star remains deservedly on the rise. Whether you’re a long-time Gomm fan (Gommaholic?) or just curious, read on as Jon Gomm digs deep into the story behind his new live album Live In The Acoustic Asylum and discusses authenticity, drunk Italian dockers, and the counterintuitive reality of being a bipolar performer…

Your new live album Live In The Acoustic Asylum is out next month. What thoughts and feelings are going through your head right now?

Fear, I guess! Not so much about the album release, but just kind of releasing the songs onto the Internet one at a time – because that’s where they get the most added exposure – and then, you know, are people going to like it, are people going to be into it, is it going to be popular, and all these different things.

It’s a little like being a bird with babies in the nest, and then you push them out pretty much hoping they’ll fly, and if not they’ll go splat on the ground, and you’ll be pretty upset!

How did you go about selecting the songs you recorded for the album?

Well, at my gigs it’s pretty noticeable – particularly in the UK – that there’s generally two kinds of fans Read more…

Posted on 12 August 2015

Jon Gomm – ‘Live In The Acoustic Asylum’ [Review]

Jon Gomm

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Understatement of the day: Jon Gomm’s CV is quite impressive. The guy sells out gigs across the world, has performed on every continent on Earth, is welcomed at classical, folk, and metal festivals alike, and has won over fans as diverse as Stephen Fry and Tommy Lee. Behind his viral hit Passionflower – a solo guitar-and-vocal tour de force with a view count well into eight digits – lies a sizeable collection of songs guaranteed to both boggle the mind and brand themselves on your memory.

Live In The Acoustic Asylum is a collection of specially-recorded fan favourites. Passionflower is notable in its absence, but this collection doesn’t suffer for that fact in the least. Twelve-year-old instrumental Stupid Blues kicks things off with rugged pulsations and sharp waves of notes before Read more…

Posted on 04 August 2015

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