5 Notts Albums to Listen to This July

Words: LeftLion
Thursday 12 July 2018
reading time: min, words

Some banging albums from the best bands Notts has to offer...

Riff Bastard
Riff Bastard

Set to be released on Friday 20 July on Apple Music and iTunes, Riff Bastard’s self-titled debut album lives up to its name, delivering riffs that’re both heavy and groovy. The band wears their influences on their sleeve, mixing southern boogie-rock with stoner, doom, sludge and hardcore elements. The album starts with the song Shredding Skin, layering southern rock melodies on crushing riffs that don’t give up until all nine tracks have ended. It’s almost as if Lynyrd Skynyrd and ZZ Top were pushed through a punk meatgrinder and drowned in reverb. The band have the feel of nineties-era acts like Corrosion of Conformity, Orange Goblin, Down, Clutch, and Kyuss, giving them a rough and unpolished sound. The vocals are further back in the mix – in a similar fashion to doom metal legends Electric Wizard – which allows the guitars to overpower the song. This isn’t a bad thing either; as the band’s name suggests, the riffs are the main focus. Both Pepper Keenan (COC) and Neil Fallon (Clutch) are obvious influences on the vocals here, ranging from harsh southern shouts, to more husky and soulful wails, even unleashing some black-metal-esque shrieks. The bass has a jangly, slightly off-kilter nature throughout the album, adding to the chaotic, unpolished feel, which is only emphasised by the fast-paced drumming on the album. If this was released in the mid-nineties, it’d be a classic in the genre by today. Matthew Williams

Album (Opal Tapes)

When Aja first appeared, she was making singer-songwriter-y music. Go on YouTube and compare an earnest JamCafe performance in 2013 to now, where she flings herself around and takes live performance to extreme levels. The difference is startling. And so is this, her debut album. A ferocious and chaotic noise-fest, electronics are manipulated and contorted into punishing lightning bolts of sound. Sometimes it’s uneasy and confrontational, such as the claustrophobic electrostatic shock of Charge. Occasionally the mood shifts to something less extreme, but still uneasy and strange; XLR introduces echoes of ethereal vocals accompanied by piercing, twisted stabs of noise. Extreme, strange and dazzling in equal measure, it feels that Aja’s finally got to the place she wants to be. She’s still a singer-songwriter, but now her songs are less open-mic and more wreck-the-mic. Paul Klotschkow

Cadence Noir
Album (Self-released)

When reviewing a band like Cadence Noir, it’s traditional to draw a comparison with any other band featuring a fiddle. Every band that uses a violin sounds the same, right? Well, this reviewer isn’t going to fall into that trap so easily… mainly because the band that most readily sprang into my head on my first listen to Cadence Noir was one that I haven’t heard in around thirty years and doesn’t feature a violin at all. I imagine the band have never been compared to The Dogs D’Amour before. I’d also bet they’d rather that than Mumford & Sons. The key question arising from this glorious stomp of gothic folk rock is actually answered about ten seconds into the opening track: FFBB? F**k! F**k! Boom! Boom! Hey! Yep. That sums it all up nicely. Tim Sorrell

David Ochrombel
Making Memories
EP (Self-released)

The Americana-laced Making Memories is the second release from singer-songwriter David Ochrombel. Bending genres between rock, country, and blues, Ochrombel’s vocals are gritty but mellow, musing over themes of love and life, the slow twang creating a depressive feel. His songs are made up of steady, low beats combined with some lighter playful notes; the country influence most apparent in the guitar and vocal style, and the words wrapped up in them. Ochrombel has a way with writing memorable lyrics, notably in the repetition of Demons. This EP is both relaxing and gloomy, like a lone man and a contemplative bottle of whisky; a good collection for when you want to feel sorry for yourself. In all, the five-song project is a modern take on a lot of classic styles of music, and it works well. Elizabeth O’Riordan

The DandyLions
Less is More
Album (Self-released)

Coming at you straight out of the seventies, The DandyLions combine a stomping glam-rock sound with more modern pop-punk aspects. The band have a knack for writing tracks that are upbeat, catchy and full of easy-to-remember choruses. The lyrics are cheeky and clever, with some of the best to be found in Pick & Mix, Women in Charge and Domino. The DandyLions have a definite Marc Bolan/T. Rex feeling about them, not only in some aspects of their sound but also in their aesthetic, including genderfluid stage clothes, neon costumes, and punky face paint. The instruments are played enthusiastically; there are some great solo moments on the guitar as well as bass and drums. Overall, the album is well-produced and the band itself have found a chaotic sound, perfect for live gigs. Elizabeth O’Riordan

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