Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Unsung - with a purpose

Last week, I got an e-mail from a management company. Whilst in all other respects, I can't stand unsolicited mail, people introducing me to new bands does get my attention. Particularly when it's personalised and from the band's manager. So, I did as I was bid, and headed over to the myspace of The Mission District.

The band have just finished on a short UK tour - and I honestly mean it when I say that it was unfortunate that the short notice meant I was unable to make any of the dates. The last Canadian band to really come to my attention were The Arcade Fire - so it's a good sign - and The Mission District have continued that form.

That Late of the Pier style electronica that I'm really into, and is becoming more and more prevalent, is immediately evident from the first track on their myspace, So Over You. However, they're not sticking purely to that genre. The Best of you and Me is much more "pop", yet still with that addictive toe-tapping beat.

I'm reliably informed that they'll have an album out next year - and from what I've heard so far, I'm definitely going to keep my eye out for it.

Whilst I didn't make a gig for The Mission District, I will be out gigging next week. Which is quite unusual - it must have been ages since I've been to a gig as a punter. The band that's encouraged me out is The Bees - whilst they're not a band I'd rush out to an album for, Chicken Payback was my favourite tune in 2006, and being so far up in the sticks it's not that often a decent band is local, so it's important to take the opportunities when they appear.

However, this is Unsung, so I'm not going to talk about The Bees, but I'm going to talk about their 2 support acts - because I've never heard of either, so have to listen to them before getting to see what to expect.

Starting off with local(ish) band Seven Seals. Reading about them, they're far from totally unheard of me - and if I'd have been at Kendal Calling (as I hope to be in 2009) I'd have already heard of them.

I think, that overall, they're a bit too 'heavy' for me. However, there's sections of tracks that I definitely like. And entire tracks, like Black Drop - it's got the basic indie hallmarks - guitars, repetitive chorus - but then it's got some highly unusual instrumentation. Would be great to see live. Quit bugging me is wonderfully surreal and out of character with the other tracks, but having that 'different' thing on the album is great to get the ears pricking up instead of settling into the same old, same old. And for some reason, I'm taken by Cake Guiding Hand - but it's probably the title, as we all know that cake can do no wrong.

The Lucid Dream are an even more local band, and describing themselves on myspace as "psychedelic / indie", I'm hoping for good things. And, they've been on Tom Robinson's Introducing list, which is also encouraging. Sadly though, I've got a hint of trepidation about how they'll sound live. Some of their music is definitely more psychedelic than indie. Coming Down does the job as the nice slow one, and Love in my Veins has definite potential - classic guitar based sound. However, whilst I think that I Got the Devil is a good song, it's nice as music to listen to whilst doing something else. I'm not sure I could cope with listening to it in a venue - it might just be too much.

I'm reserving the right on Seven Seals and Lucid Dream until I've heard them live - it's often completely different impression you get in the different atmosphere. I'd say I like them both, but wouldn't rush out to buy any albums based on current listens. Things do change though. And, with a hint of irony, I can close this post with the classic line.

To be continued...

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