Tag Archives: crashalternativemusicblog

Syd Arthur -‘Sun Rays’

4 Jul

Syd Arthur release a new track ‘Sun Rays’, ahead of October 21st album release.  Listen below:


‘Syd Arthur’ is brothers Liam Magill, Joel Magill (bass, vocals), and Josh Magill (drums) and Raven Bush (violin, keyboards, mandolin). Formed in Canterbury, England, in 2003, the band has explored the myriad possibilities of improvisation, taking an exceptional approach born of prodigious musicianship, elemental song-craft, and an unabashed spirit of adventure. They have released three albums so far, including 2014’s Sound Mirror.

Syd Arthur will tour with Jake Bugg in the US in September 7th. Prior to that, they will perform at Bushstock and Glastonbury Festivals, as well as playing a headline show at London’s Electrowerkz on 13th July.


Retrospective Review: Sonic Youth – ‘Confusion is Sex’

25 Dec
Sonic Youth - Confusion is Sex Album Cover (Source Discog)

Image Source: Discogs.com, http://bit.ly/1YigbJD.


  • 1983 debut album from Sonic Youth on no-wave/post-punk label Neutral Records (headed by Glenn Branca). Neutral Records would later go on to release records by the Swans;
  • The only song that Lee Ranaldo plays bass on is the second track ‘Protect Me You’, a gothic-like, haunting drone melody that lingers on Gordon’s vocals ‘Protect me from ravagement/I’m ten years old/ I don’t know what I do/ Protect me myself’. The song is around six minutes in length;
  • The front cover of the album displays a sketch of guitarist Thurston Moore by bassist Kim Gordon;
  • Parts of the song use a ‘prepared guitar’ technique, which lends the screeching, metallic tones, grounded by the bass.


The first official studio album from Sonic Youth was put out on nu-wave, post-punk outlet Neutral Records in 1983. Arguably one of their best albums (certainly so, if you compare with every subsequent album between 1985-1988), ‘Confusion is Sex’ is littered with grunge, prepared-guitar riffs that sometimes thrill (cover of The Stooges ‘I Wanna Be Your Dog’) and sometimes haunt (‘Protect Me You’). The album was initially released following Sonic Youth’s first tour with label-mates the Swans.

‘Protect Me You’ Lyrics:

Protect me from ravagement
I’m ten years old
I don’t know what I do
Protect me myself

I’m fourteen
There’s nothing to do
Protect me yourself
I’m sixteen

Protect me from starving
I’m eighteen
Protect me you
I don’t know what you do

Protect me demons
That come at night
I don’t know what they say
They’re whispering over

Sends the night air away
And makes me forget
I hope they come
Again and again

Huh they come
Again and again
I hope they come again
Again, again

Listen here:
Copyright disclaimer: Crash Music Blog does not own rights to any of the material published; all content is published out of mutual admiration only. Any copyright queries/requests-for-removal-of-content, please contact crashmusicblog@gmail.com. Thank you.

Verdena – Il Suicido dei Samurai

30 Nov

Il Suicidio dei Samurai is the third album by the Italian alternative-rock band Verdena, released in 2004. In total, Verdena, an Italian alternative rock band originating from Albino, Bergamo have released six full-length albums, no less. Brothers Alberto (guitarist) and Luca Ferrari (drummer), unsurprisingly, had been playing together for ten years. With the addition of Roberta Sammarelli (bassist), they formed the band and in 1999 had their debut ‘Verdena’. Appearing on the  Il Suicidio del Samurai (which translates as “Samurai’s Suicide”) was also  Fidel Fogaroli, a keyboardist, though he would later leave in 2007 to pursue his own projects. The album’s second record “Luna” has been one of the band’s notable releases.

Verdena’s songs are always sung in Italian, with the exception of some covers, such as (“Reverberation” by 13th Floor Elevators, “Sunshine of Your Love” by Cream), “(His Latest Flame) Marie’s The Name” by Elvis Presley, “Harvest” by Neil Young and “Creepy Smell” by Melvins), as well as an original song called “Perfect Day”.

A mixture of rock, grunge and psychedelia, they are well-known on the Italian music scene. With influence drawing from the Smashing Pumpkins, Nirvana (Il Suicido dei Samurai is a nod toward Nirvana/Fecal Matter’s ‘Samurai Suicide/Anorexorcist’)) and Yuck, this is some good shit.

Listen here:

Looking Back: No Trend

26 Jun

No Trend: the post-punk band that redefined rebelliousness. Emerging through the hardcore punk scene in Washington DC during the 1980’s, these guys were quickly rejected by the punk clique for their noisey, brash nature. Even punks can be conventional. Whereas many artists will seek to make live gigs as pleasurable an aesthetic (and thereby conformist) experience for the audience as possible, No Trend did exactly the opposite; allegedly once putting runway lights at the front of the stage for a gig. Most of their songs are unpredictable, raucous bundles of noise.

The history of various members is still elusive to this day, but No Trend was one with the spirit of true anarchy, questioning and scrutinizing every tiny detail about society.  They never sought acceptance, even from the punk scene that first made their name. In ‘Teen Love’ – their most popular song – they narrate the life and death of two teenage lovers, depicting every element of teenage years ‘He had a stylized speech pattern/She used all the newest slang‘  before going on to describe how the couple are brutally killed in a car accident ‘They never got a chance to fulfill their “career dreams”.’ In ‘Too Many Humans’, only three sentences are screamed throughout the entire song: ‘Too many fucking humans/You breed like rats/And you’re no f*****g better“.

Record companies didn’t want to work with them; indeed their final LP ‘More’, released in 2001, took fourteen years before a record company (albeit a small, indie one, Morpheus Archives) would touch it. No Trend couldn’t care if people wanted to listen to them or not, they played anyway.

Listen here: http://grooveshark.com/playlist/No+Trend+Various/87955098

Copyright disclaimer: The editor(s) of Crash Music blog do not own rights to any images or media shared. Content is shared out of mutual admiration and not distributed for financially profitable purposes. The owners and/or license-holders can request removal at any time. Contact info here.

New Release: Jon Hopkins – ‘Immunity’

13 Jun

Having previously worked with a wealth of artists and producers (Brian Eno, Imogen Heap and Four Tet, to name a few) in theory ‘Immunity’ is Jon Hopkins’ fifth studio album. After earlier albums failed to receive critical acclaim, the record is somewhat of a wildcard for the master composer; but thankfully it shows the classically-trained musician at the very peak of this game.

The album starts off with synth-based percussion that lunges knee-deep into techno-crafted melodies with ‘We Disappear’. The pace slows somewhat for ‘Open Eye Collider’ – arguably one of the best songs – as Hopkins draws you into with its rattle-snake beat before attacking with grimey dub-base lines.

Despite his rising status as a house DJ, Hopkins never veers far from his pianist-background (he once paid his way through entering piano competitions). ‘Abandon window’ is an elegy to human emotion, featuring hauntingly beautiful piano compositions that offer brief repose from heavy beats. The pace quickens again with ‘Form by Firelight’ and I couldn’t help but detect a little reggae-influence in the base-line. ‘Sun Harmonics’ is a fitting contender for Summer soundtracks, invoking female vocals and harmonic beats, while the closing track ‘Immunity’ (featuring King Creosote) sees Hopkins return back to piano melodies.

Somehow I think the only way the experience of listening to ‘Immunity’ could be bettered is by seeing Jon Hopkins live; fitting, since he has a string of live dates planned all over Europe this Summer.

You can listen to the full album here (on Grooveshark).

Copyright disclaimer: The editor(s) of Crash Music blog do not own rights to any images or media shared. Content is shared out of mutual admiration and not distributed for financially profitable purposes. The owners and/or license-holders can request removal at any time. Contact info here.

Band of the Week: Filthy Boy

13 Feb

If I were born in Victorian times and got lost down a dingy South London alleyway, Paraic Morrissey (aka lead singer of Filthy Boy) is the kind of guy I would like to bump into. With a rough, libertarian-esque manner, he sings with deep vocals that are made for either telling you a bedtime story or whispering naughty gestures in your ear. The latter is a good thing really, because most of Filthy Boy’s music is about sex; from masochism to old-people getting dirty. Paraic himself admits that getting to play ‘Biggest Fan Ever’ to his schoolmates during their final year was a “good moment” because he “got to sing fuck me up the arse” on their school stage. Ironically, the song is a little spoken-word-esque at times: ‘You can be daddy and I can be mummy/ Let’s pretend we are married and you can tell me you love me/ I just made the dinner and you say it’s lovely/I say thank you honey and that’s when you fuck me. You fuck me hard.’  Their latest songs follow a similar, story-telling theme. ‘Let’s join up the beds/ Let me watch you undress and then fold up your clothes,’  he sings in ‘Jimmy Jammies’, an ode to an elderly couple enjoying a rare night of pleasure. It’s crude and sadistic, but upheld with such catchy and mature guitar melodies, it’s charming. And so English.

Originally formed in 2009, Filthy Boy (Paraic and Michael Morrissey, Harry Weskin and Benjamin Deschamps) are already well-known on the London gig circuit, having already played the likes of the Macbeth, Queen of Hoxton and Brixton Jamm to name a few. Since 2012, the band’s profile has gradually risen with mentions in the NME and by BBC Radio 1’s Zane Lowe. They’ve gone on to support TOY, The Vaccines, Zulu Winter and Palma Violets. Now signed to Stranger Records (the label behind Lana Del Ray and Bo Keeney) and managed by Oh Mercy (behind Death Rays of Ardilla) their debut album ‘Smile That Won’t Go Down’ is  forthcoming (April 2013).

Next Gig: Monday 4th March 2013 at the Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen, 2-4 Hoxton Square, London, England.





‘I Wanna Be Adored’ by the Stone Roses: Comment

6 Jan

I have never really been much of a fan of the Stone Roses. But, listening again to the 1989 song ‘I Wanna Be Adored’ I am intrigued by the opening bass line (Gary Mounfield’s signature, I understand); the haunting melody guitar melody in the distance.  Drums at 1:12; then the subtle build-up to the entrance of electric guitars at 1:30.

Reading the lyrics, it’s hard even for someone who writes poetry to discern their underlying meaning:

‘I don’t have to sell my soul/ He’s already in me.’

This is repeated three times.

Is Ian Brown referring to the fact that he doesn’t have to sell his soul to be ‘adored’ (as the title of the song would suggest)? This then conflicts with the song’s repetition of the phrase,

I wanna be adored’

Structurally, the song progresses from this psychic, trance-like melody into something deeper, more rock-like. Its underlying tone is one of quiet desperation gradually becoming fully-blown self-definition.

On the one hand, the ambiguous person wants to be ‘adored‘ but at the same time he is adored:

You adore me’.

This is an alternation between wanting to be loved and being loved. From the beginning you get the impression, with the earthly organic notes that define the song’s beginning, to the harder guitar riffs towards the end, that the point of the song is to be loved and adored as oneself. That’s without the need to lose anything of who you are.

© All rights to song lyrics reproduced here are with Stone Roses estate management (Ian George Brown, John Squire) etc. Removal of any material considered in breach of copyright can be requested at any time.  Email: crashmusicblog@gmail.com.