Goose – What You Need

No strangers to the electronic music and indeed music world in general, Belgium’s Goose are a band with little to prove this far into their career. Accolades include Coca Cola using their 2002 track Audience in their commercials, remixes by peers such as Soulwax and Teenage Bad Girl to name but a few, as well as having music featured on various TV shows. 2013 saw the band break into the mainstream as third record Control Control Control produced by Paul Stacey (Oasis) and Dave Sardy (ZZ Top) saw them garner attention with the UK press and coupled with their reputation as an exciting live act, things seemed to be on the up for the band with the waterfowl namesake.

Latest record What You Need sees the band shake free the rock elements that were embraced on Control Control Control and in their place a return to grinding pop electro of earlier releases and in parts, this works extremely well. Title track and lead single What You Need fades in on a 6-note riff and twisting synths until falsetto vocals deliver the songs main hook. It’s a classic sounding opener which makes up a brilliant opening trio of tracks alongside the Nine Inch Nails meets Danger of Trip and the groups very own re-iamgining of Blondie’s Heart Of Glass in the disco grooves of So Long

Unfortunately no sooner have atmospheric strains of Call Me ended, do the band begin to incorporate less desirable elements into their songs that, had they dialed back a little, the songs could have been saved from their cheesy sounding fate. Examples of this come thick and fast as the lumbering Holding with it’s “All together now” lyric comes across as forced and trite and later album track Fall Fall Fall, which lacks the soul that its verses require and is followed by an even weaker euro-pop chorus.

There are glimmers of hope aside from the opening salvo though ;the chorus of In The Air landing some serious reverb-laden 80’s pop punches and the Depeche Mode-like instrumental Nightfall providing a welcome break from some of the more uninspired moments contained within the albums twelve tracks.

After the visceral likes of their 2013 release, What You Need starts out with the best of intentions and will potentially even provide their fanbase with some new favourite songs in the title track and the cool So Long, but as a whole cannot match up to heft and weight of it’s predecessor.

What You Need is out April 17th on Safari Records.

Live Review: The Chainsmokers & Nick Martin, 25.02.17

Starting the night, DJ Nick Martin warmed things up with a series of well-mixed popular tracks. Hit tracks mixed with a few classics had the crowd partially involved, but despite playing some huge songs and an impressive montage mixed towards the end of the set, it all fell a little flat possibly due to the magnitude of the headliners and the show expected. Although the set never really took off, it was impressive nonetheless and certainly worth a listen.

Opening with a remix of their hit Closer, the night started in a blaze of fireworks and CO2, a real eye opener. Although the bass was slightly overpowering, the minute the music started the crowd pulsed into life, moving to the beat. Although EDM acts arguably struggle to fill an entire stage when consisting of few members tonight didn’t leave that feeling, jumping around the stage and inciting the crowd it was clear The Chainsmokers knew how to throw a party. The lights and special effects, along with the music itself all came together and formed a very impressive show.

A number of classics found their way into the mix, bringing out huge sing-a-longs, such as Under The Bridge by The Red Hot Chili Peppers and What’s My Age Again by Blink-182. The production used this evening was seriously impressive, during most songs the lighting would pair off with use of CO2 cannons and pyro. During Something Like This, their track featuring Coldplay, screens behind the stage showed a lyric video and CO2 and streamer cannons went off, a real highlight in an already impressive evening.

Paris brought the heat to the evening with pyrotechnics being used frequently as fire cannons and fireworks went off throughout the performance, whilst the screens showed shots filmed by hand behind the stage. Ending the show with New York City, they ended things with a real spectacle as multicoloured confetti poured out of the canons, much to the delight of the crowd who went wild. They might be relatively new to the heights of success they’ve reached, but The Chainsmokers will certainly be going further with performances like this under their belts.

William Control – The Black EP – REVIEW

William Control had announced his four part album in the later half of last year and after dropping the first part in October of 2016, many were looking forward to what the rest of Revelations may offer. Following this on the 17th of February William Control dropped the second part of this album The Black EP. After having The Pale EP top the Billboard Dance and Electronic charts there is a lot of hope for this next installment. Without further a do let’s break down The Black EP.

Opening up William Control’s latest installment to Revelations is Analog Flesh in A Digital World. As openers go it is a strong start to the second installment of what will eventually be a feature length album. As the track starts the first clear thing is the strength of the instrumentation and the electronic backdrop that powers the track along. Soon after the vocals of William Control come in to play the song shows the potential this EP has especially with the cohesiveness that both parts of this song have. One of the only downsides of this track is that it’s musical instrumentation becomes a little repetitive towards the tail end of the track, and although having an instinctive bop does become a little stale. But all in all is an a powerful opener.

Following on from this opener is All I Need which yet again shows this clever and well orchestrated instrumentation that lasts throughout the majority of the EP. Yet again William’s vocals are a highlight on the track, however the main thing that stays vividly in the mind post this tracks run time is the samples drum patterns that help carry the song along. However this song does feel lackluster in comparison to that which comes before it. Yet that doesn’t mean the track doesn’t carry some power on it’s own.

After hitting the half way point on this EP we find Knife Play. This song is unfortunately the weakest on the release however that isn’t exactly a negative thing as it is in this track that the influences of Depeche Mode truly come in fruition and William Control sort of hit a stride which is a shame considering there is only one track left on this EP. Despite this being where the influence truly come in to view and where some form of stride is hit, the track feels like it is missing some vital parts the would warrant more than two listens.

Finally rounding off The Black EP is Velvet Rose, and this is truly an interesting closer as it is a huge change pace in comparison to the rest of the EP. One of the first things that is noticeable on this track is the instrumentation and the soft piano that runs throughout, it in this that the track finds it’s subtlety but also it’s beauty as it needs no more and no less. This undoubtedly is the best track on this release and is a perfect closer.

Overall, Wlliam Control’s new release The Black EP wouldn’t feel out of place again on the Billboard’s Electronic and Dance top ten, however at the same time it is easy to see why for at least some this EP may not hit all the right spots. However, with the well constructed vocal melodies and interesting instrumental arrangements this album does have many highlights even though it is only four tracks long. [7/10]

ambitions

ONE OK ROCK – Ambitions

ONE OK ROCK are a band that bring pop to rock in a way that very few others do in the modern day. With extreme melodic hooks straight from mainstream radio and electronics mixed sometimes with distorted guitars that bring a punch to the album’s underneath, Ambitions sees the Japanese giants collaborate with All Time Low‘s Alex Gaskarth (with whom they toured the US on last year’s Back To The Future Hearts Tour) for Jaded and apparently the whole of 5 Seconds of Summer on one track. Yes, really that mad.

Opening the record with Ambitious states exactly what the record is trying to be on multiple levels. The title shows their conceptual will to experiment with the music, and the music itself introduces the electronic sounds. Following it with Bombs Away gives a clearer picture of how the record means to go on musically though – the strength of electronic beats combines with Taka Moriuchi’s powerful vocals and a hard-hitting underpinning of drums, guitars and bass that allows the whole track to pull together which really uniquates Ambitions as a whole.

The lyrics in English are just as good as any band writing in their native language, yet ONE OK ROCK have recorded two versions of the album – the English version and Japanese one. The ability of the band to do this is impressive, and the lyrics hold great meaning. For example, the second verse of We Are is all English in our version but in the Japanese version it’s all in their native tongue yet both seem to fit the instrumentals perfectly. Not only that, but they have managed to engineer the lyrics to rhyme in English as well which is an added complication – well managed as always.

The most touching track on the album is Hard To Love, which is a well-executed acoustic(ish) track that stands out from the rest of the album quite distinctly. The crazily-blended electronics ONE OK ROCK bring are not even evident in the track, but to a more controlled extent than in other tracks where they just let rip on that aspect. Lyrics like “you showed me I was just a diamond in the rough” and “I was a rebel with a cause, I just didn’t know quite what it was” display the band’s ability to write cleverly even in a foreign language to them, and the heartfelt emotion included is best felt here.

Overall, one of the most bizarre releases in the scene probably since their last one so it could be said ONE OK ROCK have stuck to their winning formula on Ambitions. If you haven’t heard any of their music previously, listen to it – love it or hate it, it sure is an experience.

Scandroid Release New Video

Scandroid, is the 80’s synth pop side project of electronic artist Celldweller or Klayton. During the past few days Scandroid released a video for their cover of Tears For FearsShout. Klayton spoke out about the cover saying ‘I was moved the instant I heard Tears For Fears’ ‘Shout’ on U.S. radio in 1985. I’ve always had the intention and desire to cover the song since then…’ Check out the cover and its video below.