These are the songs that have been inspiring us this month with some features from artists we've had the pleasure of performing with.
Released 9th February 2018
Franz Ferdinand are a Scottish Alt/Indie Rock band that formed in 2001. Always Ascending is their 5th and most recent studio release. Franz Ferdinand have always had a soft spot in my heart, writing slick pop rock songs with off kilter, interesting synth parts and utilising interesting compositional techniques. Always Ascending features both in one. This tracks main synth uses an auditory illusion which tricks the brain into thinking that the synth line is, as the title says, always ascending. It has hooks on top of hooks and never fails to get lodged in my head!
Down at Mcdonaldz
I Shall Exterminate Everything Around Me That Prevents Me From Being The Master
Released 9th October 2007
Electric Six are a six-piece Alternative Rock band formed in 2001 from Detroit USA. They are probably best known for being a novelty act that gained notoriety in 2003/2004 with tracks such as 'Gay Bar' and 'Danger! High Voltage' after which they promptly disappeared from the British music landscape. This happen-stance however did nothing to slow them as they have recently released their 14th studio album. 'Down At Mcdonaldz' on paper shouldn't work, the chorus seems like it has too many words crammed into too small a space and the lyrical content seems absurd, but somehow all this coalesces into a song that works excellently. If you ever get the chance to see them live, and they play this, the whole venue will be singing along to it by the second chorus!
Released 3rd August 2018
Half Alive are an American band from California formed in 2016. Still Feel is a pop song with some disco/funk elements to it. It grooves from the outset with some lovely call and response vocals, great use of dynamics and an excellent bass line before hitting you with a heavy synth lead chorus. The pre chorus is infectious and catchy and serves as a great crescendo to the build-up in the verse and pre chorus. This song keeps changing throughout and keeping you on the toes before hitting the chorus again but this time with added brass. This track just gets better each time you hear it.
Released 8th February 2019
Caravan Palace is a 7 piece French Electro Swing band from Paris who formed as a three piece in 2008. I first heard Caravan Palace on Jools Holland's New Year’s Eve show and from the first note I was hooked. There is something about the combination of the 50's era swing aesthetic with the electronic style that speaks to me. This track again utilises a call and response effectively and is a great mid-tempo dance song with some interesting instrumentation and dynamic choices.
If I Like It I Do It
Emergency on Planet Earth
Released 14th June 1993
Jamiroquai are an Acid Jazz/Funk band from London England formed in 1992. They are fronted by Singer James Kay who writes the majority of the bands songs. Emergency on Planet Earth is the band’s debut album and as far as I'm concerned doesn't contain a single weak song. This is reflected in the albums chart performance, reaching number 1 in the UK albums chart, and this was at a time when that actually mattered! This track features a slick bass line and great funk sensibilities throughout. It has quite a laid back verse with the bass line working with James's Voice beautifully and providing some of the best hooks in this song. Before long the track kicks into the chorus which is instantly more intense and allows bass player Stuart Zender to stretch his musical legs. The outro of the song is an extended chorus which allows Zender to take his bass for a proper walk through the changes while James improvises over the top and the guitar joins in with a solo. One of my favourite Jamiroquai songs of all time!
Running Up That Hill
Hounds of Love
Released 5th August 1985
Incredible voice, incredible song! Admittedly I vaguely remember liking the Placebo cover more when I was younger but as time has gone on this song takes still makes me smile! And I have some great drunken moments of my friends and family trying to impersonate Kate Bush. Oh and if you haven't, check out the Placebo cover! It's awesome.
Take Me to the Top
Too Fast For Love
Released November 10th 1981
MOTLEY F*KING CRUE! One of my favourite bands and I don't even know why! Maybe it's the legacy behind their antics and the influence to be crazy and notorious on occasion? Either way, my love for Motley Crue increases all the time. I picked this song as it's my favourite from their debut. Saw them live in 2011 at Wembley Arena alongside Steel Panther and Def Leppard and after seeing Tommy Lee perform a drum solo on a roller-coaster, that's enough of an influence for me.
Feet Don't Fail Me
Queens of the Stone Age
Released 25th August 2017
Everything about Queens of the Stone Age influences me and us as a band greatly. Josh Homme is a visionary in the genre of rock and every album and most songs by Q.O.T.S.A I adore. Feet Don't Fail Me was the opening track to their latest album "Villains and it sets the course for the whole record. Another band we've seen live together in 2018 at the Eden Project, Cornwall. One of the best gigs I've ever seen, hands down.
Blade Runner (End Titles)
Blade Runner Soundtrack
Released June 6th 1994 (film released 1982)
A rather left field choice on my behalf perhaps but I've been influenced and have a lot of admiration for film music since the same time I started playing drums 12 years ago. I could sit and listen to numerous soundtracks for hours on end and always find something new and completely awe inspiring. The end credits to cult classic movie Blade Runner is on this list because one, Blade Runner is fantastic and two, the soundtrack composed by Vangelis is simply beautiful. There'll be more film soundtracks in the future from me I'm sure.
Hotter Than July
Released September 29th 1980
Saving the best till last maybe? Who in the world doesn't like at least one Stevie Wonder song?! Easily one of the most talented musicians of all time, almost untouchable. I've summed it up well I think. Thanks Stevie! I've chosen this song as an influence due to its bass line, groovy as f...
The Search for Everything
Released 14th April 2017
“Helpless” is the third song from John Mayer’s seventh studio album released in 2017.
John Mayer is always an artist that I end up going through the whole discography at least twice a year due to his technique and song writing abilities.
This song touches on the Stones vibe with the rhythm parts which is always going to get me interested! The addition of Clapton style lead parts and a tasty solo section which incorporates some nice backing vocal textures completes the whole song for me.
The Rolling Stones
Released 23rd April 1971
"Brown Sugar" is a song by the Rolling Stones. It is the opening track and lead single from their album Sticky Fingers. When I first starting getting in to the Stones this one was a standout and still is to this day.
The use of the Open G tuning against a standard tuning which is almost a Stones trademark and again, bluesy lead licks and horn section make this an obvious choice for me. It’s got the classic Stones vibe which is instantly recognisable.
Bursting at the Seams
Released January 1973
"Lay Down" is a song by English band Strawbs featured on their 1973 album, Bursting at the Seams.
The lyrics are loosely based on the 23rd Psalm in the Old Testament which shows some influence for me as I researched random parts of the bible for our song ‘Golden Rays of Salvation’ from our album.
I’ve chosen this song as this was the song and the band that made me want to play guitar all those years ago. I saw The Strawbs at Exeter Phoenix back in 2001 when I was 10 and from that moment on all I wanted to do was play guitar!
It features everything that I like from a rock song, solos and a catchy chorus!
Don’t Believe a Word
Johnny The Fox
Released 16th October 1976
“Don’t Believe a Word’ is from Thin Lizzy’s seventh studio album ‘Johnny the Fox’ and has been on every compilation of greatest hits ever since.
From the moment I heard Thin Lizzy I loved them and nothing makes me happier than hearing a guitar harmony on songs! It also has a wah solo which I’m also fond of!
The song was originally intended to be a slow blues track but after some re-working they ended up with this as the final version.
The vocal melody floats along whilst the instruments provide the aggression that the lyrics convey.
Satellite of Love
Released 8th November 1972
Transformer is the second solo album by Lou Reed and Satellite of Love was the second single from the album.
This song instantly relaxes me as the chord progression just effortlessly floats along with some great chord changes and tension builders in to a memorable chorus which features the late and great David Bowie on backing vocals which just add to the space effect that he’s going for. It features one of the strangest bridge sections I’ve heard with a flute and some nice runs on the guitar and bass.
The outro section is easily one of the most memorable outro’s of all time with the horn section and melodic backing vocals that instantly give away the Bowie connection.
The whole album was actually produced by David Bowie and Mick Ronson with both providing instrumental parts and backing vocals throughout.
Better Off With Me
Better Off With Me – EP
Dirty Blueprint are a Blues Rock Quartet from Somerset. Greta Van Fleet eat your heart out, this is where the real future of blues inspired rock lives! With two Eps under their belts, keep an eye out for these boys because I guarantee they’ve got their eyes on shows in a town near you!
Deadfly are a four piece grunge band hailing from our neck of the woods with great crunchy bass riffs and some great guitar work Deadfly’s particular brand of grunge grooves, and grooves hard! With Political themes in their lyrics you’re bound to be left with something to think about after you’ve finished rocking out!
This song is very short and very fast!
Antisocial are a punk band hailing from England’s ocean city, Plymouth. With lyrics and an attitude that exemplify the pain of living and working in Plymouth. These guys are definitely a band you want to keep an eye on with their great musicianship and a fun attitude to boot!
The Stone Angels
Spirit, Love and Higher Meanings
Come alive is our fourth song from the debut album, we have only played it live a couple of times, though every time we did it went down well. This is a track you are less likely to hear when we play live so why not check it out here instead!
The Stone Angels
The Stone Angels – EP
Animal is the second song from our latest EP, featuring a crunchy drop D guitar riff and a groove that should get you moving! It has been described by some as having a late 90’s post grunge feel so if that’s your idea of a good time why not give it a listen.