Search

Tomatrax

An independent online music magazine

CD Review: The Foreign Resort – The American Dream

Following up their 2014 album New Frontiers, the Danish trio blasted this emotionally charged and atmosphericly moving 5 track EP. The EP sounds like the band picked their favourite bits of the best post punk around with elements of The Cure, Joy Division, and XT appearing somewhere in the sound. The result is a collection of truly magnificent songs!

‘The new blood’ sounds like a new age version of New Order. The track races through with great energy, with a gritty atmosphere buried beneath taking you though dark and cold street corners where the lights are all broken. ‘Suburban Depression’ is perhaps the most apt song title around in terms of describing how the song sounds. The music is dark and eerie, dragging you along feeling the grim, dreary outlook. The fantastic vocals both add the narrative to match the soundtrack and provide immense feeling in every syllable.

‘Onto us’ brings in an amazing mix of Faith and Unknown Pleasures. The music has an energetic pace to it while also having a distant and bleak industrial atmosphere. ‘Under bright neon stars’ acts as a kind of light at the end of the tunnel, bringing in a sweet and lighter poppy sound, sounding like The Cure’s brighter poppy moments driven along with a Robert Smith-esq lead guitar.

The EP closes with the racy ‘Skyline/Decay’. The faint vocals combined with the echoing sounds create a dark foggy atmosphere like you are wondering through a forest in the middle of winter.

This is a truly fantastic EP. All manner of emotions, vivid imagery, and atmosphere is felt across the tracks.

Check out the Foreign Resort’s website to find out more!

 

CD Review: Triggerfinger – Colossus

This is album number five from Belguim trio Triggerfinger. The album captures the various post punk and Britpop elements, it feels as if the music is constantly evolving over the course of the album. The band make the various sounds their very own producing something that is familiar yet very fresh and exciting. Each track is bursting with life and a Charing energy that makes you want to jump on to the ride right away.

The title track is a racing and energetic post punk tune that mixes the dark elements of The Cure or Joy Division and the rocking elements of the the Cosmic Psychos. There is a thick dark atmosphere that drags you in while at the same time the raging sounds get you dancing away! ‘Flesh tight’ brings in a more raw and gritty sound. The music thumps along in a sharp and harsh manner, offset by some soft poppy chorus sing-a-longs.

‘Candy killer’ is a chilling horror movie style soundscape. The unnerving backdrop provides a tense atmosphere amplified by the chanting choruses of “killer killer”.
‘Afterglow’ sounds like an unplugged version of Porcupine Tree. The music is stripped back and minimal, however the band achieve an amazing all encapsulating atmosphere making you feel like you are out on a stranded ship in the middle of the ocean. ‘Breathlessness’ has a Manic Street Preachers feel to it. The music is energetic and rocking from the word go and all the way through. ‘That’ll be the day’ brings in a kind of heavy trip-hop feel to it with some cool drumbeats and a heavy-industrial backbone. ‘Bring me back a live one’ sounds like a cross of T-Rex and the Rolling Stones. There is a dirty vintage rock-and-roll sound meshed with a cheese 80s twist. The album closes with the dark and chilling instumental ‘Wollensak walk’.

This is a truly amazing album! In just over 35 minutes the album captures all manner of styles, sounds and atmosphere. The ever evolving sounds provide twists and turns at every corner keeping things interesting while also achieving so smooth and seamlessly that it all feels like it was meant to happen. There is something quite magical about the music here!

Check out Triggerfinger’s website to find out more!

Interview with Alex from White Summer

After two EPs and Double A-Side releases, White Summer have had their eyes set on displaying a complete body of work, their debut album. “Zero In Tennis” is the lead single taken from the bands forthcoming debut album due early 2018. Tomatrax caught up with Alex from the band to ask a few questions.

How did the band form?
Band formed many years ago in Mike and Jimmys hometown. After they moved to Melbourne they met the Zielke brothers and that’s when things got more serious and all members committed.

Where did the name White Summer come from?
A close friend of ours in Jimmy and mikes hometown came up with it and we thought ok cool, sounds good.

You’re about to release your latest singe, what’s it like to have it finished and easy to go?
If feels amazing to put out a new release. Winter 2016 we really worked very hard to write this album. A lot of commitment and hard work goes into writing music so it’s somewhat of a positive cathartic experience when you put it out there to the public. You listen back to the masters and think: “fuck. It was all worth it”

What made you pick ‘Zero in tennis’ as you latest single?
When you spend so much time on your own art it’s healthy to get an objective view on people’s opinions about a potential single. Talking to booking agents, family, friends, colleagues…..whatever. It’s healthy to hear many different points of view.

Your debut album is planned for release next year, how has work on that been going?
A lot of work behind the scenes goes into a release. You have to plan to the best of your ability so that you get the best exposure. Although it’s hard work it’s also very rewarding and fun.

How will the album compare with your previous releases?
This release is a lot more focused on structure and melody. I think although we are very proud of our previous releases, this is definitely our best to date. As a group we are very proud of what we have produced.
Our previous release was very much riff driven and dark. The forthcoming album still has those elements but with more melody in the foreground.

Do you know what the album will be titled?
Yes we do……let’s just say it’s one of the tracks on the album.

Do you ever listen to your own music?
Personally I don’t. I will only really listen to it before a big show to fine tune the memory for a set list.

What music do you listen to?
Wow. Where do we start….depends the mood I guess. I mean I was listening to Tina Arena chains the other day haha! She’s still got it. Bit of soul, r n b, old blues like Elmore James, muddy waters. But yeah I could answer this question for hours.

What do you have planned once your album is out?
Shows Shows and more shows. Some very exciting things in the horizon but we can’t give all our secrets away. Tight lipped. Look out for the 7th of July though!

 

White Summer’s tour dates are shown below. Check out White Summer’s Facebook page to find out more!

Friday 28th July 2017
Yah Yahs, Melbourne VIC
Supporting The Cherry Dolls

Friday 25th August 2017
Cherry Bar, Melbourne VIC (single launch)

Saturday 2nd September 2017
Frankies, Sydney NSW (single launch)

 

 

Interview with Suzie Stapleton

Australian-born alternative rock artist Suzie Stapleton has returned with a new single. Since relocating to London in 2015 she has joined forces with bassist Gavin Jay (Jim Jones Revue/The Righteous Mind) and drummer Ian White (Gallon Drunk) to create a collection of guitar-driven noir soundscapes laced with intricate melodies.

Tomatrax caught up with Suzie to talk about her latest music.

It’s been a while since your last release, what have you been up to over this time?
I guess the most significant thing that happened between then and now was that I moved to London from Australia. I left on Australia Day,  2015 – a kind of reverse invasion. I took some time out traveling and writing for a couple of months whilst I was not bound to a rental and whilst my worldly possessions were shipped across the seven seas. I mostly spent time in Spain in a small mountain town called Quentar, also passing through Germany and Czech Republic along the way, holing up in AirBnBs and writing. After a few months I settled in London, and started to conjure my new life. Since then I’ve been juggling a day job and touring and managed to find some kindred musical spirits in the process with whom I’ve been working.

What was the inspiration behind the black and white “abandoned playground” video for ‘You were there’?
That song has been kicking around for a few years. I had an idea stuck in my head for a clip which involved something along the lines of a paper mâché constructed diorama with cardboard puppets and a swing that would move in time with the bass line that underpins the track. However, I lacked the skills, patience, or any budget to see that come to fruition, so we settled on filming a real swing. The playground is in Hampstead Heath and has a lot of character. We filmed near the end of Winter so the bare trees and rickety wooden fence serve as a nice moody backdrop. The black and white thing trickled through from my Instagram account. I hate social media. For me it’s the opposite of creative thought. Though I must admit I am hopelessly addicted to it and I’m constantly trying to disconnect.  Anyway, I was getting frustrated wasting energy and time editing photos and choosing filters etc – I mean, who cares? And besides, despite my best efforts my pictures would generally come out looking like a child had vomited after  eating candy floss and rainbow all day suckers at the fair.  So I started publishing everything in black and white. This was partly due to an aversion to looking at a screen and a general lack of enthusiasm for deliberating about aesthetics, though also partly because I do love the look of black and white photography. I love iconic images from the 60s and 70s – something about the monochrome gives them a mystical element. Like embalming a moment in tar and moonlight.

When can we expect your next release?
The next single will be out next month ahead of a full band tour through France. The song is called Yesterday’s Town and was written when I was in Quentar. The lyrics are inspired by a book called Pedro Paramo by Mexican writer Juan Rulfo. In the book the protagonist goes in search of his father that he’s never met. He seeks out his father’s home town only to find a literal ghost town when he arrives. Whilst reading the book I was going through a process of grieving after losing a close friend. Spain conjured up a lot of images from the book, with the whitewash buildings and dramatic mountainous landscapes. I found the sentiment echoed certain aspects of what I was going through and they blended somewhere along the way in the song.

You relocated from Australia to the UK, what prompted that move?
In the years leading up to the move I had been coming over and touring Europe roughly once a year. The distance and cost made it hard to do it with any regularity. I definitely felt that the European market was better for my music – Australia can be a bit limited if you don’t have a more mainstream sound. For some time I had also felt a strong pull to explore my family connection. My father is English and my Grandmother was also living down near Brighton when I arrived. Sadly she passed away last year, but it was wonderful to spend a couple of years close to her.

How does making music in the UK compare to making music in Australia?

London is very fast-paced and there’s a lot happening all the time. I’m not sure it’s actually changed my creative approach all that much. I was living in Melbourne previously which is a great town for music – though London definitely feels more open to different musical influences. You can pursue anything here and find your place – though you may not have much room in your home studio (slash bedroom).

You’re also set to appear on the cover’s album Under the covers, how did this come about?
One other circumstance that factored in to my moving to the UK was that I had started working a lot with Cypress Grove, who is a based in London. We had been working via emailing files back and forth – first on The Jeffrey Lee Pierce Sessions Project, and then on his some of his solo work. He also collaborates with Lydia Lunch. They released an EP which was a precursor to “Under The Covers” and asked me to do some guest vocals on. That then evolved into the full album – again, I performed backing vocals on several of the tracks.

What song did you pick to cover? 
The songs were all chosen by Lydia. They are not the kind of songs you would normally expect her to burst into, ranging from Jon Bon Jovi to Tom Petty. I think part of the idea was to take songs from opposite sides of the spectrum – hated songs even – and interpret them in unexpected ways, to hear the songs anew. And maybe just to fuck with people a bit.

When writing what comes first, the words or the music?
If only I had a formula. Songs come together every which way. I generally work on musical ideas and record them on my phone or computer, then jot ideas down in a notebook or in my phone, sitting down to flesh those out in longer sessions. When I persist like this, at some point the ideas collide and magically permeate one another. And sometimes I wrestle fruitlessly with a thousand loose ends.

What do you have planned after the single release?
There’ll be another single out following ‘Yesterday’s Town’ and more touring – plans to visit Australia are underway. We’re also working towards a full album though that won’t be until the new year now. There’s also a lot of behind the scenes work going on for the The Jeffrey Lee Pierce Sessions Project – I’ve been chipping away on that on and off for a while now with Cypress Grove. It will be the fourth and final album in the series. I recorded a track for it this time around with Gavin Jay and Ian White, plus I’ve also been working as  producer, arranger, and co-writer for various other collaborations on the record. Many of the artists who’ve appeared on it previously will be back again – Nick Cave, Mark Lanegan, Mick Harvey, Jim Jones & The Righteous Mind – plus a few new faces. It will be out in 2018.

Check out Suzie Stapleton’s webpage page for a Free download of her latest single!

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑