Formed in 2014, Allfather came together over a shared interest of “vikings, anti-fascism and crisps”. It’s good to know the band have a sense of humour, because their 2016 release ‘Bless The Earth With Fire’ is not one to be taken lightly. Its six songs – if, indeed, they can be called songs, rather than an extended collection of devastating riffs – are heavy, dense and sludgy in equal measure. In short, if you’re a total riff junkie and value the weight and presence of a riff over almost everything else, you’ve come to the right place.
There’s a new Kurt Baker Combo album on the horizon. ‘Let’s Go Wild’ explores some new territory for the singer-songwriter and his band, moving further away from the usual power pop tropes and deeper into garage rock. For those who love it rough and ready but still crave a big hook, the album serves up more than enough gems.
Kurt Baker is a very prolific musician and songwriter. In the six year stretch between 2012 and Easter 2018, whether solo or part of a band, he’s released the equivalent of at least two albums per year. Against the odds, most of the material has been great.
Relocating from the US to Spain in 2013, Kurt formed the Kurt Baker Combo, a band who would ultimately inject a little more of a garage rock ethic into his gift for a power pop hook. Their first record, 2016’s ‘In Orbit’, was a little fuzzier than expected and took a bit more getting into than any of Baker’s earlier works, but still carried great choruses and a fiery energy throughout. Working to a similar formula, the Combo’s 2018 record ‘Let’s Go Wild!’, if anything, is even fuzzier. Given the rate Baker has released records, it was only a matter of time before one of his albums showed a couple of flaws. This is that record. In terms of production, some of the shinier power pop elements are absorbed by dense guitars and a world of vocal filters that sometimes make the material a little more difficult to process.
We live in an age where music feels ever more disposable. Bands no longer have the luxury of multi-album contracts to hone their style and with streaming services all the rage, “the album as an art form” is dying. The very idea that Shonen Knife have endured for decades is fascinating. Since the release of their debut album back in the 80s, countless bands have formed, recorded, toured, disbanded…but the Japanese pop-punk/bubblegum power pop band have genuinely gone the distance. They’ve had line up changes – aside from ZZ Top, who hasn’t? – but they’re still with us and on the basis of tonight’s show in Ramsgate, they’re better than ever.
Perhaps part of the appeal of tonight’s show lies with the venue itself. With a capacity of under 150, the Ramsgate Music Hall is the very definition of intimate and it allows an opportunity to witness bands up close. Really, really up close. When Shonen Knife take the stage, there’s immediately a feeling that tonight will be special.
Norwegian progressive rock band Gazpacho are back! It’s been a long time since the release of their dark opus ‘Molok’, but the past three years have been spent creating new music and touring.
The first fruits of that new music can now be heard with ‘Exit Suite’ and its accompanying video, which you can stream in full below.