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Tomatrax

An independent online music magazine

CD Review: High Tiny Hairs – LP

 

Spain’s dream pop trio, High Tiny Hairs, are back with another records worth of nostalgic 60s psychedelic rock. Once again, everything about the record has a vintage feel. On top of the groovy surf rock sounds and catchy poppy vocals, the sound has a certain character as if it came from a well used 12 inch vinyl. This gives the music quite a unique feel, as if it had been made 50 years ago only to be discovered recently in a time capsule.

‘BCNA’ is a fast rocking surfy tune. The music races along with elements of The Shadows and the Zombies, with the smooth psychedelic giving the song a great vibrance. ‘Upside down’ continues with a raw garage rock feel, it almost feels like you are listening to the band in a rusty garage. ‘Night walking’ is a catchy upbeat pop song that dances around having a lot of fun in the process. ‘Ratlin’ takes things to a heavier place with the growling guitars driving the raw energy along. ‘Stained’ is a spacey prog rock offering reminiscent of the Syd Barrett era of Pink Floyd. The slow moving sounds create a thick and hazy atmosphere. ‘On a plane’ is a heavy rocking tune sounding like the Beatles’ more experimental moments. The song starts in an energetic fashion and gradually gets more intense with the sounds thumping past with great power. The EP closes with the two minute stomping sounds of ‘Sunset’.

This is another fantastic release from High Tiny Hairs. The energetic sounds partied with the vintage atmosphere will transport you back to the 60s.

Check out High Tiny Hairs’ website to find out more!

Interview with Deniz Tek from Radio Birdman

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What inspired you to perform acoustic versions of your previous songs?

“James and I had casually discussed the idea of doing some acoustic performances in Hawaii, where we often spend time hanging out. Then we thought about recording, and this morphed into the concept of Acoustic KO. Both Raw Power and Kill City were landmark albums for me. I can’t overstate the importance of these recordings for informing much of my own work – Just about anything I do, or have done in music since first hearing them, has been inspired, at least in part, by these recordings. My own inspiration for doing acoustic versions of four of those songs now flows naturally from that intense personal history…along with my friendship and respect for James as a songwriter, guitarist and producer.”

How did you pick which tracks to perform acoustically?

“The electric versions on the records are definitive – you couldn’t improve on them doing them the same way, but reimagined as all-acoustic numbers opened up the songs to a new dimension. The songs chosen were those that were most likely to transcend the original, acoustically. Some of the tunes obviously are not gonna work that way – you wouldn’t try it with Search And Destroy or Death Trip for example. James, of course, had the final call on the track selection.”

Are there any plans to do any follow up acoustic renditions?

“Nothing definite – this is it for now.”

Are there any plans for any other collaborative releases between you two?

“No definite plans, but since we seem to work well together, anything’s possible.”

Have you had any reactions of the EP from the other members of Radio Birdman?
“No, I haven’t heard from any of the guys about it so far. Actually, we’ve had to keep it under wraps so they wouldn’t have heard any of it yet, except maybe Penetration that was premiered a couple of weeks ago. I am pretty sure the response will be positive once they hear it.”

Are there any plans to perform the acoustic versions in concert?

“We’ve talked about it, but nothing is on the table right now. It is possible, if we find the right places and times. My feeling is, why not?”

Radio Birdman will be touring with Died Pretty later this year, what can fans expect from your show?

“The song list will be drawn from all the studio recordings. We play ‘em pretty much true to form, although most of our songs have sections where we improvise solos. You could call it a “greatest hits” set – if we had any hits, which we don’t! In any case, we will play at full power and it will be loud. Hopefully some Died Pretty fans will discover us, and vs versa.”

Radio Birdman have been touring quite consistently for the past few years, are there plans to continue doing shows after this up coming tour?

“Nothing booked past this tour. We’ll be evaluating offers.”

On top of the Acoustic KO release, and touring with Radio Birdman, you also released another solo album last year and will be touring Europe in support of the album, is it hard to juggle the various musician projects?

“Yes, I’m touring to support the Mean Old Twister album, as well as preparing to record more material. You are right, the music projects keep me busy. But if it was just the music, it wouldn’t be very difficult. When you add in the need to earn money to pay the rent and take care of family commitments, it doesn’t leave time for much else. It can be challenging to find time to, well, rest, for example.”

Where did the name ‘Mean old twister’ come from?

“Comes from an old Lightning Hopkins tune, called “Backwater Blues”. Lightnin’ sings about a “mean old twister” (tornado) threatening his shack down south. Going with that theme, the booklet in the CD features photos my wife Anne shot of a twister that narrowly missed us in our little trailer Montana a few years ago.”

You’ve been working on a Radio Birdman book, how has that been going?

“I had to shelve that project for now, being too busy to write. I’ve got several chapters done. Maybe pick it up again later.”

What do you have planned after the upcoming Radio Birdman tour?

“Recording the next solo album in Montana, and then visiting some relatives and friends in Ann Arbor and Detroit. Eventually I will have to get back to work. And there are some coffee trees on a small farm in Hawaii that will need attention!”

CHECK OUT DENIZ TEK’S WEBSITE TO FIND OUT MORE!

Interview with Axel from Rag n’ Bone

Rag n’ bone’s new album new record A Handful of Ash, is a “statement on love, loss, communication, family, and the state of the current political landscape”, and creating dialogue around this is incredibly important to the band. Tomatrax caught up with Axel from the band to talk about their latest work.

How did the band form?

Raggers formed in early 2012 – Kiera, Sara and I (Axel) all went to university studying music together, where we decided that what we were doing in class could be improved upon if we ignored it – we also needed a shit hot Scottish drummer, so Jamie answered the call quite expertly.

Where did the name Rag n’ Bone come from?

Rag and Bone men were grubby scavengers who found old discarded goods and tried to sell them to merchants – in the beginning, this was apt to describe how we formed into being, our mutual and separate influences mushing together to try to eventually create something new and worthwhile – hopefully we’ve got there!

You’ve just released your debut album, what’s it like to have it out?

Aw, pretty good! It’s the culmination of the past 5 years of our lives as a band, collecting all of our work and ideas towards our sound, our messages and ideas together in one tight half hour blast. The response so far has been great and we really hope people gain something from listening to it.

Where did the title A Handful of Ash come from?

It’s a lyric from the song ‘Solitude’ and we thought it summed up the meaning of the album pretty well: our preoccupations with death, love, family, communication, language and identity necessitate that. It follows a wee bit of Wittgenstein and Joyce, in that you can’t escape your heroes, especially one built on words – you’re just going to become dust eventually anyway.

You’ve said that the album is statement on love, loss, communication, family, and the state of the current political landscape, what inspired you to make this statement?

Being young artists in Australia kinda makes it necessary to become active and try to make a definitive statement of support in your medium – our country’s treatment of our indigenous people, refugees, identity-fluid and the lesser fortunate people leaves one wanting. We’re still learning as we go too, but if anything, our hope is that a single listener is inspired to also make a stand for what they believe, too.

You’ll be playing some shows in support of your album soon, what can fans expect from your show?

A buncha noise, minimal banter, flailing limbs, hopefully a dope light show, Jamie smiling every now and then, Sara staring off into the middle distance, Axel breaking something, Kiera breaking your heart.

When writing what comes first, the words or the music?

For this record, they kinda went hand in hand with some exceptions: ‘Pissy Flow’ and ‘Mon Coeur’ were rehearsal room jams made good, while ‘Tall Ships’ was originally meant to be a poem – I read it at a poetry night once – it needed Kiera, Sara and Jamie. Usually the songs come in to the room with some form in both music and lyrics, but often with no pulse: they leave the room fleshed out and given life.

Do you ever listen to your own music?

When given mixes and masters, yes. When trying to remember where the cutlery overdub was, yes. Otherwise, no.

What other music do you listen to?

Oh damn. Right now I’ve personally been getting back into Charles Ives and early 20th Century Western Art Music, as well as a steady diet of the first three P.I.L albums, Danny Brown and heaps of local Perth Music – I know Sara recently bought a synth because of Les Cloix and Stranger Things, Kiera’s been clutching onto a copy of a Sugarcubes record and Jamie’s been learning Portuguese – hit up some Tropicalia there, fella!

What do you have planned following your upcoming shows?

Touring! We’re going over the eastern side of Australia in May, touring regional Western Australia around that time too and we have some exciting international opportunities we can’t reveal just yet! We’ve also just started writing the next one and it’s already sounding pretty cool!

 

Check out Rag n’ Bone’s website to find out more!

Interview with Shaun Coar from As Paradise Falls

The road towards the release of As Paradise Falls’ new album begins today with a first step – releasing their new single “Star Blind”. The track features brand new vocalist Shaun Coar (Vessel Born, Touring Vox for Feed Her to the Sharks, Bound For Ruin) and is a biting critique on the culture around “celebrities” in the modern era.

Tomatrax caught up with Shaun Coar, the band’s new lead singer, to ask a few questions.

You have a new album coming out soon, how has that been going?
The process of making this album has been a long and difficult journey for the band. During the recording of the album back in late November 2015. Our guitarist Glen Barrie passed away in his sleep. As you can imagine it’s not something you just bounce back from. But in the end we’ve finished the album and it’s something we are very proud of.

When will the album be out?
The album will be out around mid June .

What will the album be titled?
The album is called Digital RItual , its about how the digital landscape has changed our lives and effects of that.

Your press release said the album will re-define what you thought you knew about As Paradise Falls, do you feel people had misconceptions about your music beforehand?
That was in reference to the changes in direction of the band that happened during the course of making the album. We Digital had a couple of member changes including a new vocalist (me ha ha). I definitely write differently than the previous vocalist, Ravi, and have a completely different sound. So people familiar with our previous material may be surprised compared to the previous release APF put out.

What made you pick ‘Star Blind’ as the album’s single?
‘Star blind’, just had an epic nature to it that we all liked. We all enjoyed the chorus and felt it would resonate with people.

What was the inspiration behind the video for ‘Star Blind’?
The clip is a metaphor for the unhealthy relationship we at times have with digital media. Often we separate ourselves from reality to escape somewhere else. The clip serves as a warning not to be trapped and disconnect a little.

You’ll be touring with Trojans and Mirrors are all touring together on the State of Mind tour, what can fans expect from your show?
A lesson in physics and sonic bombardment.

Where did the name As Paradise Falls come from?
As Paradise Falls came from a game, xbox game I believe way way back.

Do you ever listen to your own music?
Yes , it’s like cooking a meal for yourself. What’s the point of cooking it if your not going to eat it.

What other music do you listen to?
Lots of stuff !! I dabble in hip-hop, electronica ,pop, metal and all its sub genres of course and film scores. I feel it’s important to have a wide range of influences so you don’t limit yourself.

What do you have planned after your upcoming shows?
After the shows we will probably retreat to the riff cave and cook up some more music. I feel we only scratching the surface of what we can write and achieve.

Check out As Paradise Falls’ website to find out more!

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