Scene and Heard – CCCXXX : Wicked Vicious – Nasty Little Lonely (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

thumbnailOne of the fun things about reviewing new music is the chance to make up intriguing, though ultimately pointless, new generic descriptions about the music under the spotlight. The fact you can do it at all says something about the band in question, to be able to find a new way to describe them in an already tightly labelled and pigeon-holed world speaks of the inherent originality. So ladies and goblinkind, I give you Splatter-punk! One part industrial noise, one part apocalyptic doom disco, one part horror sound track…a few visceral guitar riffs, cheese-grater to the skin bass lines and an avalanche of primal beats and you pretty much have it. And if such a generic title is actually something more than the product of my late night, coffee-wired, sleep deprived brain then Nasty Little Lonely would be its leading light. Or should that be dark.

Charlie Beddoes vocals are suitable manic, unhinged yelps acting as punctuation to the brutal lyrics, a delivery that wanders between sweetly innocent and “look out, she’s got a knife, “ and the music is as relentless and inhuman as you would expect. Throw in a video filled with pomegranates, dolls, scissors, wedding portraits revenge, a cat and a mad goth girl and the nightmare is complete.

More NLL here

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Scene and Heard – CCXXXXV : Glitter –  Nasty Little Lonely (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

glitter cover.jpgYou can always rely on Nasty Little Lonely to throw a spanner in the works, it’s the reason that you have to love them so much. Just when the music scene seems to have found its beige balance of acoustic troubadours in wide brimmed hats, skinny-jeaned alt-rock fashionistas and production line pop liberally sampling the same old same old, along comes the latest single from Bristol’s most interesting noise makers. Howling like post-punk banshees they emerge from their industrial wastelands all sharp edges and challenging defiance, barbarians at the gates of popular culture.

They growl and groove, blast and boogie in equal measure, come on like a tsunami of burning oil and belligerent attitude and lay down musical layers so dense and dangerous that you will drown in its dark back wash. But behind the aggression and musical density is that same tribal groove and mutated melody thatyou might have thought had died with the likes of The Gun Club, Jesus Lizard or the Riot Grrls. Nasty Little Lonely is here to summon that ghost, welcome to the grooviest seance in town.

This is a band that isn’t just welcome, they are necessary, musical thorns in the side of the modern music scene, not only reminding us of a more ferocious and interesting past but beating an alternative route through the cloying commercialism of an era happy to settle for a lowest cultural and creative common denominator. Time to celebrate, that bland party is all but over.

Rack and Ruin – Nasty Little Lonely (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

12512542_587710751383644_4829455330873917295_nThe Arthur Rackham illustration on the cover of Nasty Little Lonely’s latest musical outing should give some idea to the uninitiated of what lies within. The dark fairy tale nature of the artwork reflects the juxtaposition of the industrial-gothic music vibe that the band does so well with the often-girlish yet sometimes sinister and warped vocals of Charlie Beddoes. But those in the know have been here before and relish these nightmarish soundtracks and broken dreamscapes.

And whilst the term gothic now seems to have been re-appropriated into just another sub-genre of metal by a generation who want to live in the Sunnydale of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, this gloriously grim gang manage to pull referential strands from the older, darker heart of the punk-gothique and industrial genres. Snake Oil is a wash of darkwave patterns that Bauhaus would have sold their soul for, if indeed one could have been found, and around this understated centrepiece they build their dark-art.

Tribal rock beats power on growling bass lines and wilfully savage razor cuts of guitar and between defined musical structures eerie atmospherics and Stygian sounds vie for attention and the end result is a heavy, claustrophobic and nebulous musical collection. Few do it better, it unites the dark hearted followers of earlier musical ages with todays children of a colder, more clinical night and as always this latest atramentous crusade has not only had me turning to the thesaurus for suitable descriptive words but is yet another fantastic set of songs by them.

Rack and Ruin is out on 22nd April.

10 acts to watch for 2016 – Selected by Ed Dyer

Well, that’s 2015 all wrapped up then, and musically speaking it wasn’t half bad at all. But, what will 2016 bring us? And who will be the artists and bands to watch out for? In an attempt to answer these burning questions I dusted off my crystal ball, muttered some incantations to the musical gods, realised this was all a load of crap and resorted back to good old fashioned gut feeling, common sense and a keen pair of ears to come up with my top ten artists to watch in 2016.

These are those artists who I feel are in the best position to break out of their own local and regional scenes and start making some waves on a more national basis. Generally they are the best of everything I personally have seen and heard in the last 12 months, and also the ones best equipped to break out. So this has been drawn from my own limited pool of experience and has not been influenced by any other sources, taste makers or media, and as I have already said, I have no particular foresight or insider knowledge other than my own instinct, experience and opinion. I have also omitted the bands I work with through Secret Chord Records as we all know they are the best of the best already! I present these in no particular order either; I am not daft enough to hang what reputation I have on one artist above all other. They are just listed in the order they came to me on New Year’s Eve as I sat quietly supping beer and reflecting on the past year.

Continue reading “10 acts to watch for 2016 – Selected by Ed Dyer”

Get Off The Good Foot – Charlton Lane (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

0004664649_10Bristol has been the breeding ground for many a musical movement over the years, from 90’s trip-hop through to its current, prominent wave of post-rock. For me though one of the most interesting sub-genres that seems to be slowly coalescing is formed at a point where garage rock and electro-pop are colliding head on. Already aware of the wonderful New York, no-wave distortions of Candy Darling and the industrial, grunge-goth of Nasty Little Lonely, I can now add to that small movement, the man who goes by the name of Charlton Lane.

Taking hypnotic and claustrophobic beats as a frame he adds jagged garage guitars, scuzzy punked out blues riffs and krautrock experimentation and the result is a gonzoid, splatter-gun take on electro voodoo blues, driven by deep grooves and programmed beats. And it’s glorious. Glorious in it’s ambition, its audaciousness, the way that it finds the coolest musical references from disparate parts of the musical canon and throws them all together to see what holds tight (and then uses a metaphorical hammer to force the rest into it’s designated place.)

As a one man outfit, I’m not sure how this translates to the live show, but then just look at the musical approach of Vienna Ditto and the things you can do with a pile of home made electronic kit, a roll of gaffer tape and a strange musical vision. Even if the full force of the recordings fail to materialise in the live arena, I have a suspicion that Charlton Lane’s failings would still be a much better prospect that many bands runaway successes.

Bad Jack & Other Stories – Nasty Little Lonely (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

a0890737114_2My review pile is a wonderfully chaotic place, a real juxtaposition of styles that tumble at random from the “to do” list onto the stereo for further consideration. So after a morning of trying to find new ways of making melancholic and pastoral singer song-writers minor key creations sound like more than the sum of their ponderous parts, it was with a squeal of delight that I greeted the latest Nasty Little Lonely e.p. that had finally made its way to the top.

Nasty Little Lonely are an awesome live experience and thankfully a lot of the energy and attitude that they bring to the stage is evident in this four-track collection. To experience their music is to meander between hard and jagged genres, cold metallic industrial noise and dark gothic, reverb drenched, post punk grit. The often affected vocals add to the demonic-dream dimension that the band seem to spring from, sounding more like a band that Clive Barker had imagined than a collection of actual human musicians. And surprisingly enough for all the extreme musical measures resorted to when creating this unique sound; they still end up with something rather, well, tuneful.

If a slice of howling, squalling, insane and possessed industrial noise is the sort of thing that floats your boat, if warped horror soundtracks and spikey, uncomfortable musical salvos are your thing, then Nasty Little Lonely are your very own one-stop shop of horrors.

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