No Title Reviews May 009

Recent reviews for No title magazine –

-3 xxxxxxxxxxx Leeds / Bradford and Halifax bands i would probably never have listened to on initial snippets or recommendation, however i was asked to give them a proper critical rundown in the last NO TITLE, Leeds Music Magazine. Here’s what i thought!!!!!….

Colin Mounsey

‘Let Love Win’

Dogwater Records

Mounsey who are you? You are like this guy who thinks he’s a cowboy and likes to bang on about the saddest things in Yorkshire and make everyone go ‘aww yeah’ I remember when, sigh, that happened, ‘yeah…but not now eh?’…’Nooo’ oh dear ah well back to work. Mounsey uses simple acoustic instrumentation to apparently parallel a rural romanticism between Hunslett (Leeds) and American country music. His contemporary use of acoustic piano and guitar presents a gentle and intimate idea of life, encompassing grass roots country-folk elevated by his classical sequences though somewhat grounded by his adapted lyricism, evocative of a diluted Jeff Buckley or an under produced Richard Hawley. Almost approaching stoner-ballad on ‘O My Brother’ and light hearted sensitivity on ‘Everyone Said Goodbye’, a staggered country woe on ‘South Yorkshire Boy’, a light hearted vibrancy on ‘Everyone said goodbye’ and an abstract and warming solo piano recital in ‘201 765’, with a minimalist depth for want of concept. Every track has an independent approach on this album, which gives it a great range but also suggests each track is written by different people, which does little to guide the listener. Appreciating the fact that Mounsey made this album with local friends over several days, with support from Leeds’ local-vocal queen Hayley Gaftarnick, and self-described as ‘Radiohead meets Cher with a hint of John Denver’ makes an interesting impression and raises the question, ‘Is there many out there who would listen to Radiohead, then Cher, then Denver?’

Anola Gray

‘Debut EP’

Bigtone Recordings

Despite the un-be-known new wave suggestion their title suggests, (OMD) the identity of this band stands furiously firm, along with their initial approach and overall character. Their generously fulsome “emo-epica-metallo” sound holds little ‘new romanticism’ bearing, rather, drawing away in favour of carefully controlled graduation, sensational crescendo and schemes of elevated dramatic melodica’ instantly comparable to Muse, Incubus, Oceansize or earlier Radiohead. This progresses with a smartly regimented convention of melancholic harmony and a delirious undertone of smug cynicism. Fairbank’s vocals hold a positive slightness of local twang with a succession of respectively wailed phrases while the thunderous corroboration of the backing, Walsh Gardziel and Rattray, hold a steadfast and as equally individual promise. Anola Gray fit together some iconic characteristics of popular emo [?] rock pop themes to present an interesting blend of intelligent metal songs with appropriate aggression that reasonably maintain its emotional bearing with the sensitive yet strained vocal distinction. All of which would well satisfy the dwindling interests of any Emo fan, or sensitive side of any Sunday afternoon metaller. Some say that ‘from great depression comes great art’ and Halifax be of no exception. I would hope that Anola Gray might be a voice for a somewhat un-opinionated generation though what their opinion actually is, leaves cause for question.

Austere epic visionary’s with a melancholic smug strong angst.


‘The Dawn Approaches’

Stungun Records

Great Pop Potential, from the mouth of a major A+R executive, I imagine. Like a mature ‘young dad’s’ band you love to hate but can’t and a pleasant albeit surprising re-occurrence of their hooky riff’s replaying themselves in your head weeks after your maiden listen pushes you to develop a soft spot for Daybreakers. ‘Keep it coming, Keep it flowing’ and ‘It Ain’t Easy’ are two tracks that shine with enigmatic soul and a deep bluesy conviction. Daybreakers ooze a back slapping friendship with pop-radio and breath a healthy gust into a grown-up indie sound. They instantly strike with a positive anthemia and a vibrant Brass-Rock trait, similar to that of Kasabian or The Zutons. Crescendic pace with a slight LCD sound system build and an almost Reef approach to their funk rock break-down, very clean and bright vocals, that make proud, confident statements with simple focus and subtle balance of realist poetry in their lyrics. A solid unity and a dynamic consistency with every move, one may easily imagine Daybreakers tones drifting softly over the hot summer breeze of a sun-drenched Brit-fest with an appearance on alternative bigger stage the following year.

Check my new Reviews and Features articles in the Next couple of ‘No TiTle’ Magazines+ Blogs


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