Archive for March, 2006

Julie’s Haircut

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2006

Julie´s Haircut
“˜After Dark, My Sweet´ cd/lp
VÖ: 07.April.2006
Label: homesleep records
Vertrieb: Cargo Records
With Adult Situations (Homesleep 2004), Julie’s Haircut’s announced the end of their musical and lyrical teenhood (the acne has cleared up, too). Their latest release, After Dark, My Sweet, showcases the band’s evolution as composers and players. But this doesn’t mean that Julie’s Haircut have wandered off in the direction of “New Age Classical” or some other “mature” nonsense – After Dark, My Sweet is a ROCK album. Well, it’s not just a rock album. The bulk of the record is culled from live studio improvisations, in the tradition of the late 60’s electric jazz masterpieces ala Miles Davis. And the record is certainly a psychedelic experience, too, thanks in no small part to the appearance of guest artists like Mr. Sonic Boom from Spacemen 3.

After Dark, My Sweet also highlights the sort of harmony and team spirit that can only be arrived at by a group of musicians who have been playing together since, well, forever. The members of Julie’s Haircut play off of each other like some kind of perfect music creature sporting 12 arms and a single giant brain. Unfortunately, this perfect single-headed multi-armed music monster eats as much as six regular people, so think twice before inviting it for dinner.

But seriously, band feeding warnings aside, After Dark, My Sweet is not only perfectly safe for you and your friends, it will certainly improve your lives. For ultimately, After Dark, My Sweet contains no less than a series of shiny musical jewels, born of long improvisations which have been meticulously refined, cut and polished – a process not unlike the editing of film footage for a soon-to-be classic movie. And these jazzy, psychedelic, rock jewels are the kind of magic stones that will project you into another dimension – the dimension just after dark”¦(editor’s note: end cheesy hyperbole here and conclude press release with recording notes and band line-up).

After Dark, My Sweet, the forth album from Julie’s Haircut, was recorded by Francesco Donadello (of Giardini di Mirò) during January, March and July, 2005. The album was mixed by Francesco Donadello at the Alpha Dept Studio and mastered by Silvio Cavuto at Groovy Lemon Studio. The album artwork is by Luca Lumaca and the Julie’s Haircut Logo is by Roberto Bagatti.

Guests:
Sonic Boom: Raagini, Kraakle on #2, Omnichord system 200m on “Ingrid Thulin”
TRACKLIST: 1. Open wound 2. Sister pneumonia 3. Afterdark 4. Satan eats seitan 5. Death machine 6. Liv ullman 7. Purple jewel 8. Gemini pt1 & pt2 9. Ingrid thulin 10. Pistils 11. My eyes have seen the glory
Bitte schickt mir die Belegexemplare zu. Vielen Dank!
MELODYCAT, Denise Mayer, Schieferstr. 16, 65388 Bärstadt,
0039 071 207 1561 oder 0174/1774147
denise@melodycat.de

Manta Ray

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2006

MANTA RAY
Torres De Electricidad
VÖ: 24.03.2006
Label: Acuarela
Vertrieb: Rough Trade Distributions

Electric, bare, straightforward, physical or tribal are some of the adjectives that come to mind when listening to the new Manta Ray record, Torres de electricidad [Electricity Pylons], the natural follow-up to their more conceptual previous album, Estratexa (2003). Having toured Russia, Portugal, France, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium and the US – gaining support from the American label FilmGuerrero (of which released the last record with two bonus tracks), this Xixón based quartet offers now a more evolved version of their musical direction. After a career of several years, the band can now take pride in feeling – as the main influence, their own songs, their own history, untainted – an equation of talent and inspiration cleared by their personal and stylistic expressions.

Yes, we can speak of the Stooges, Fugazi, or Joy Division and Trans Am, or Don Caballero, Neurosis, or the German school (kraut), Washington DC, post-rock or post-punk, but it´s been a long time since Manta Ray just sound like themselves. Or, better said, like the version of themselves they want to show to us every time effort and fervour come together for a new album. It was recorded at Estudios Gárate with their usual producer, Kaki Arkarazo at the board, and has been mastered by Roger Seibel (who has previously worked for people like Calexico, Sun Ra, Come, Yo La Tengo, Pussy Galore or Tortoise).

Torres de electricidad is solid, metallic, electrifying. There are more guts and heart to it than head (brain was what Estratexa had, largely) giving for the most part an urgent and agonic air to the songs. With the intention of recreating their live performance they draw more exclusively from guitars, bass, drums, relying to a less extent on samplers and electronic instruments, but more so on refining their arrangements in a live context incorporating string and wind performances on several compositions.

“No tropieces”, “El despertar”, “Todo puede cambiar” or “Mi Dios mentira” are representative of the coarser, rockier and intense side of this new record, while tracks like “Añada para Celia”, “Por qué evadirse a otros mundos aun más pequeños” or the album´s namesake switch towards a more atmospheric and introspective direction ““ mere examples of the two faces of over 42 minutes of inner and outer exploration by a band that adds one and carries another: it´s own pulse, asking the most of one-self once more, Manta Ray finds a road full of discoveries to build a future with, and without destroying the past.
Bitte schickt mir die Belegexemplare zu. Vielen Dank!
www.mantaraysite.com
www.roughtrade.de
www.acuareladiscos.com

Bei Fragen stehe ich Euch gerne zur Verfügung:
Melodycat, Denise Mayer, Schieferstr. 16, 65388 Bärstadt ,0174/1774147, denise@melodycat.de

The Frank And Walters

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2006

FRANK AND WALTERS
Souvenirs
VÖ Album: 31.03.2006
Label: fifa records
Vertrieb: rough trade

1. Band Bio

The Frank and Walters began in Cork, it was the early 90’s and their mission was to spread cheer and optimism throughout the world via their music. Naming themselves after some eccentric old boys from down the road, their energetic live shows, infectious melodies and seemingly irrepressible happiness built up a loyal following and before very long, every major and independent record label was showing interest. In 1991 the Franks signed to Setanta Records.
They very quickly got down to business. First they relocated to London and released a string of critically acclaimed EP´s, with three grabbing singles of the week in the NME and Melody Maker simultaneously”¦no mean feat! They were filled with crafted and memorable songs: “Fashion Crisis Hits New York”, “This Is Not A Song”, and “Walter´s Trip”. Choosing to earn their fame they played hundreds of gigs (becoming infamous for wearing oversized purple and orange uniforms at the slightest provocation…with very bad haircuts!). Initially supporting the Inspiral Carpets, Stereolab and the B-52s on their tours, the bands´ popularity grew and later on, as headliners, Suede and Radiohead supported them on their UK tours. Interestingly enough they also had a young man named Noel Gallagher as their roadie.

In October 1992 their first album, “Trains, Boats and Planes” was released on GO! Discs. It finally exploded in January 1993 when the Franks released their most recognisable tune ““ “After All”. With it’s gloriously catchy chorus and general up-beatness it was the perfect antidote to the dark winter days, and it thundered into the UK charts at number 11 ““ providing the band with their first appearance on Top Of The Pops where they met Linda McCartney and were duly forced into becoming vegetarians (fact! although two of them have since gone back to the meat).

Their second album, “Grand Parade” unleashed their full potential and to this day remains a classic. Described at the time as “˜The jauntiest of melodic joys’ by the NME. With tracks like “Colours”, “Indian Ocean”, “Tony Cochrane” and “How Can I Exist” the record propelled the band to new heights and tours across the pond after a deal with SONY.

The band opted to relocate to New York and write another album. “Beauty Becomes More Than Life” is generally recognized as a watershed album in the bands career. “A lost classic for the 20th century” was how the NME described it

15 months after “Beauty Becomes More Than Life” the bands fourth album “Glass” was released. The album represented a journey for the band where they decided to pursue an electro-pop theme and tip the hat to the music they had grown up with. The album, which was well received, has since been described as being “15 years too late and 5 years too early”, but this was by Ashley, who´s just the drummer so it doesn´t count. After this the band decided to call it a day but now some five years later they are back with a new double album “Souvenirs”, released in October 2005 in Ireland.
“Souvenirs” is the first ever collection of previously unreleased tracks, B-Sides, rexmixes and rare Frank and Walters material from the 90s, containing some of their finest moments. Amongst the long unavailable favourites are Frank´s covers of: Julian Cope´s “Elegant Chaos”, The Monkees “I´m A Believer” Magnetic Fields “Falling Out of Love”, The Smith´s “Cemetery Gates” and Tone Loc´s “Funky Cold Medina” along side different versions/mixes of their own “How Can I Exist” and the show stopper “Michael”.

It also features videos of their two classics “After All” and “Indian Ocean” and a rare My Bloody Valentine remix of “Take Me Through This Life” as well as a version of “Paradise” covered by Fame Academy´s Marli Buck.
SPECIAL: With purchase of the CD a special code then is given which let the “˜new owner´ download an exclusive third CD worth of even more vintage tracks from the bands website ““ www.thefrankandwalters.ie.

Also, due to the high demand from fans FIFA Records has made copies of Souvenirs CD3 available to purchase from www.roadrecs.com.

2. News (2005)

The Frank And Walters released their first single in over 5 years to radio in Ireland on September 19th. The single was “˜You Asked Me´ , with 2 B-Sides (“˜How Can I Exist´ ““ Grand Parade Version and “˜Pathways´). The track was immediately play-listed on all stations ““ National and Regional and reached number 8 on the play-list charts. Now, 4 months on it still remains in the Top 50. It also received Album Of The Month standing on both 2fm and Today FM (Irelands premier national stations).

Souvenirs was launched in Ireland on October 13th with 2 in-store shows ““ Tower Records Dublin (shop had to be closed due to crowds), Virgin Records Cork (store sold out of Souvenirs on the day).

Irish Tour commenced end October. The band played 8 shows across the country. All of them sold out. Dublin (Whelans), Killarney (The Granary) Limerick (Dolans Warehouse), Galway (The Roisin Dubh), Kilkenny (EVGB´s), Clonakilty (DeBarras), Dublin (The Village), Cork (The Savoy). The highlight of the tour was probably the Cork show with over 1200 people in attendance.

The band also embarked on a tour of the prisons of Ireland. The first show was held in Wheatfield prison and was covered by National TV Station TV3 as part of their news program.

Due to the success of the tour and record, the band were asked to appear on the TV show – Tubridy Tonight (est. audience 350,000), the TV show – Ardan (est. audience 100,000), the TV Show “˜The Last Broadcast´ (est. audience 100,000)

Towards the end of 2005 the band were also nominated for album of the year in the prestigious Meteor Awards, with U2, Damien Demspey and Bell X1. Full details available on the site:

http://meteormusicawards.meteor.ie/nominees/nominees_bestirishalbum.html

The ceremony will be held on February 2nd, 2006 where the band has been asked to perform live.

The band will be releasing their next studio album ““ “˜Renewed Interest In Happiness´ in autumn 2006.

Frank and Walters Frank and Walters

www.thefrankandwalters.ie
www.fifarecords.com
www.roughtrade.de