What? You don’t know about Strange Cages? <insert you name> Strange Cages, Strange Cages <insert your name>, I’ll just leave you to get acquainted…



Do you like contemporary music with a retro feel? Yeah? Awesome! Strange Cages are for you then! Hailing from the south’s seaside pleasure centre Brighton, sorry Bournemouth and New Quay, this trio make songs that sound like your favourite bands of yesteryear, but all modern and 2016. “How do they do it thisyearinmusic?” I can hear you ask. Well true believer the answer is simple. They write amazing songs!



Right, imagine if the Sonics, Music Machine, The Cramps, the Lemon Pipers, Count Five and Jimmy Iovine produced it and gave it a delicious pop sheen. OK, ok, there is more to it than that, but this is the crux of it. Loads of organs, loads of wayward guitars, filthy bass, unrelenting drumming and quizzical lyrics and all doused with a shambolic spirit, so you’re on the end of your seat as to whether they’ll make it to the end of the song in one piece.



But this isn’t the best thing. Oh no. Strange Cages are due to release their debut EP. Ego Killer is set for an early August release, which suits everyone at thisyearinmusic fine, and given the sneak peek we’ve heard, it’s going to define our, and possibly your, summer! Lead single Bam Bam Boom is three and a half minutes of what we’ve come to expect, catchy neo-acid-pop fuelled hysteria. A massive bass riffs kicks things off, and is the driving force of this three and a half minute juggernaut, until the rest of the band joins in and its descents into an existential freakout. Yeah, we knew you’d like it…!











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Wax Machine announce new single and launch night



Brighton is a melting pot of music. Every day you read about a new band forming or a debut gig. Sadly there aren’t enough days in the week to check it all out, so you have to optimise time. Some of these new avenues for music lead you to dead-ends, others take you to places that you didn’t think were possible.



The Wax Machine are one of these bands. This quartet have slowly been making waves with their 60’s garage rock inspired freak-outs. Earlier in the year their track Shades of Orange was featured on The Active Listener’s Great British Psychedelic Trip Revisited. Not bad for a band just starting to find their creative feet. Their next single, Red Room, is another slab of psych fun dressed up in an indie garb. In the words of Bachman-Turner Overdrive “You ain’t seen nothing yet!”



While Wax Machine aren’t doing anything that ground breaking or original, at times their sound is reminiscent to that of the Zutons, shambolic indie-psych, idiosyncratic guitars, driving horns and syncopated drumming, all under a pop sheen, there is something primal there too, however they are doing it well! Through their brand of neo-psych you are transported to a time when all you really needed for a good night out was your mates and good house band. And why shouldn’t we want to go back to that place? Luckily through Wax Machine we can!



Wax Machine will be playing at BLEACH in Brighton on 3rd August for their Red Room release party












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Brighton’s favourite live band returns with not only a new EP, but vision too



Since the release of Tano Dragon and thanks to countless gigs, Merlin Tonto have developed their indie prog sound thanks to Owen Thomas’ carefully arranged synth compositions and Miles Boyd and Stefan Eliades’ pulsating bass riffs and off-kilter drumming. But that’s not all, they have also grown not just as musicians, but as songwriters too. This is showcased in the themes of new EP Baotou. Not just content on setting some trippy synth loops to a beat, Baotou has a fully defined concept. When asked recently what Baotou is about, Miles said “The EP title is named after an industrial city in Inner Mongolia which has this huge man made toxic polluted lake, a by-product of all the industrial activity in the area. Apparently it’s created this dystopian, almost like alien environment which we thought really conveyed the sound and imagery of the EP”.



Although Baotou is made up of four songs, it needs to be played in its entirety and as loud as you can to get the full effect. Lead single Time Pilot kicks things off in fine form. It says “So you liked the last EP and have come back for round two? Good. We’re pretty much the same band, but you might notice some subtle differences…” These differences is that the rhythm section is tighter and the electronics more out there and ultimately it feels like a step up. Shimmering Mist opens with, well a shimmering mist of electronic drones and blips until the band comes together in glorious unison for a few moments and then a slow outro beings. Forest Primeval is chocked full of techno influenced pulses and bleeps, that show the bands influences aren’t just Kraut and Prog rock based. As it progresses it teeters on that brink of breaking and self-collapse, but luckily neither happen. Beat the Sun closes the EP with track that on one hand wouldn’t have been out of place on Tano Dragon, but shows how far they’ve come since then.



Over all Baotou sounds like Holy Fuck writing a twenty minute pop song, while Vangelis producers and orchestrates everything from his framework of synths. Their songs bustle with sci-fi motifs and lo-fi indie prog attitude, culminating in a sound that bustles and pulsates along while glitchy blips and hypnotic loops fire around you.



Rumour has it that the rest of 2016 will consist of gigging and writing and recording sessions for their highly anticipated debut album.








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Cold Pumas have always been touted to be the business, now, with their new album, they’re living up to the hype



Since their 2012 debut Persistent Malaise Brighton’s Cold Pumas have done the hardest thing. Keeping things on track and staying relevant. This might sound like an easy thing to do, but after that first album comes out and you get a bit of attention, it can sometimes go to a bands head, and by the time album two is released the band have gone off in weird and isolating directions. Remember that band who were once big, oh and that other one who had that song that peoople liked? You know who I mean…



Luckily this isn’t the case on The Hanging Valley. Everything is basically the same, but different. The music is tighter, if that’s possible for a lo-fi indie pop combo, the lyrics get to the chase quicker, but without losing any of their guile and insightfulness and everything is lavishly covered in a filthy Pixies-esque sheen. In short it’s a joy to behold, and listen to.



Listening to Fugue States, and The Hanging Valley, is like reading your own mind’s worse fears and greatest joys. Discouragement, Self-inflicted unemployment, love, the repetition of life’s repetitions, redemption, creative dormancies of romantic contentment, inner-city commute. It’s all there. In thirty eight minutes Cold Pumas describe exactly what it feels like to be alive in 2016, for better or worse. This is their power. They managed to cross class, employment and education and get you right to the crux of the song. And at the end of the day, isn’t that the point…?



The Hanging Valley is released on 19th August on faux Discx/Gringo Records








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Soul of a Leader’s autobiographical lyrics and inventive composition make them an exciting prospect



Brighton is a hotbed for new bands at the moment. Just walking to the shops it feels like you are witnessing bands form and projects getting formulised. Another band adding their name to this list is Soul of a Leader. Technically they aren’t a Brighton band as most members are from Hull, but they are just finding their feet and in our book that makes them a BN band!



Their debut single Palm Pleasures offers a lot to get excited about. The massive opening riff gives you the impression that this is going to be a slice of generic faux angst indie rock, but as suddenly it started it stops and a melodic morality tales based song takes over. Basically it’s about vanity and sexual promiscuity in mod culture. And you thought it was just another boy meets girl tale, right? When the chorus kicks in all hell let’s lose again and the big riff is back. This pattern follows until an exquisite middle eight kicks in. The stand out moment of the song.



As this is Soul of a Leader’s debut single it shows a lot of promise. Interesting subject matter, inventive arrangements and enough swagger to make it stand out on a packed dancefloor. There are some negatives, mostly that the lyrics sounds muddy in the mix. Let’s hope this is just down to the recording and mixing and will be sorted on their next single, which rumour has will be out later in the year.











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Brighton Noise team up with Red Deer People, The Emperors of Ice Cream and Lunar Quiet for a gig at Marwoods this weekend



So 2016’s European Championships are well under way. The summer is officially here.  If football isn’t your thing, or you’ve lost interest due to England’s ejection, JOKING, then Sunday at Marwood’s in Brighton might be your thing!



Those audio deviants Brighton Noise have put together another programme of forward thinking local talent. The first name on the bill is Lunar Quiet. Not much is known about these guitar bothers apart from they play fast, and after we saw them at this year’s The Great Escape their live shows are incendiary! Next up are The Emperors of Ice Cream. This quartet have been making a racket for a while now, but it wasn’t until last year’s Picture Pout/Small Time Hero 7” that is all started to make sense. They sound like a pub rock band that plays in 13/5 time and doesn’t care whether you like it or not. It’s loud, abrasive and thanks to their tongue in cheek lyrics, very funny. This is exactly what you need on a Sunday night!



The headliners are the Red Deer People. Sounding like British Sea Power covering Kraftwerk while Kurt Stenzel produces, their brand of driving showgazing Motorik needs to be heard live to be believed! Like TEoIC lyrically they have their tongue firmly in their cheek and use surreal imagery to get their message and vision across. Lyrics likes “He’s permanently looking for the fun, fun, fun, Like a fly round a light bulb when all he wanted was the sun, And I know it’s hot, but it never hits the spot” and “I haven’t read that book since I was fourteen, And ten year later now Holden seems – such a whiny little thing, He’s so unimpressed with everything”. As they only appear to release songs in April we might have a wait until their next single, so you better catch them while you can!



Tickets can be bought from the link below











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Brighton Noise put on another night of forward thinking electronics



In March Brighton Noise put on a night at The Prince Album. For those who turned up it was a night full of intriguing conversations, delicious local ale and of course excellent music. The headliner was Merlin Tonto, the undisputed heavy weight champions of Brighton’s music scene and the support, who are not slouches either, was made up by INWARDS and VCOADSR. Long after our collective ears, and the PA stopped ringing we knew we’d seen something memorable!



But that was the past. Let’s look to the not too distant future. This coming Friday, June 10th, Brighton Noise are back with another strong line up. Septillion J is first up. Give his recent support slot at Merlin Tonto’s EP launch this looks like a set for those who want to dance. Don’t expect any breaks in his tight, techno influenced set. Next seen one third of Merlin Tonto, under the pseudonym Japanese Sweets, give a rare solo performance. If you like eerie electronics, this one is for you.



The headliners are Native Ray. Those of you familiar with Hypnorized and Polymers know what to expect, for the rest of you this duo deliver multi layered electronica with an ear on the dance floor. While they are just finding their feet live, on record, or MP3 they have it all worked out. Imagine Raymond Scott working with Add N to (X) and you’re on the right track!



The doors open at 8, or 20:00 is you are of a military persuasion. Tickets are available from the link below as well as a limited number on the door on the night.










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