Guess who's back with a brand new track? If you said Rammstein, Amon Amarth, or Sabaton then you'd be technically correct. However if you already read the title and guessed Stara Zagora then you'd be actually, contextually, and correctually correct. And I don't mean Stara Zagora the sixth largest city in Bulgaria, home to Vesselina Kasarova the opera singer. I mean Stara Zagora, the brainchild of Ayrshire bearded wonder Sean McGeoch. It's due to be released on all the usual platforms this Monday the 22nd of April. So after you're all done getting over the resurrection of some guy fae 2000 year ago (who as far as I ken never made any music worth talking about) let's get ready tae talk about the return of Stara Zagora.
There are a lot of people out there who are quite happy to go and see a band just the once. The same way they might not re-watch a series or read a favourite book a second time. And I'm alright with that but when a band I like swing back into town I'll try to go every time I can. As such on the 29th of March I went to see Hayseed Dixie for the fourth time at Glasgow's QMU.
I have in my hands a compilation of songs from a band that are reflected perfectly in the cover design. A collage of politics and punk, brightly-coloured and eye-catching, quotes from legendary musicians like Strummer and Guthrie, but most strikingly, emblazoned across the front in large letters, is the idiom “Stop making stupid people famous”. Something I can absolutely agree with 100%, in a world of Jedwards and Biebers multiplying like bacteria on a yoghurt that’s been left out in the baking sun, we need a band like the Media Whores! I’m not saying kill all the stupid people, but let’s remove the warning labels and let the problem take care of itself.
play out their character’s ultimate doom in ‘What Way’. Juxtaposed by an almost pop beat, but that acutely menacing instrumentalism from the orchestra is never far away to add the prognostic portentous undertones. Empress delivers her final slice, the penultimate slice, with a thoughtful reflective winding-down track, where she pays tribute to her musical heroes and brings her character to a buoyant conclusion.
I'm gutted I missed the album launch at The Hug n Pint recently but i'm pretty sure I will be catching them soon, especially after listening to this body of work. There is always a fear that we get a bad album in to review, and we will struggle to find the positive words to describe it, but there is no problem with that when listening to Sunshine Rattlesnake - if you love your garage rock with a vintage vibe, tinged with an almost Nick Cave-esque melancholy, then you will absolutly bloody love the album.
. In this room, however, reality starts to impinge upon the dream, the mechanics of day-to-day material living are starting to ‘cough’ and splutter, causing noise when they’re trying to be ‘so quiet’, but sometimes noise is what wakes you up from your stupor. In the background ‘country music is playing soft’, the music of middle America gently humming away, but it’s not bad enough to turn off, so they just sit there listening and accept their predicament; in denial, everything is breaking down, even the spell of altered consciousness that they entered into in order to escape is close to falling apart.
With a smattering of exceptions most of my favourite music coming out of Glasgow these days is hip-hop, so it’s nice to have a proper band (with instruments and everything!) come along and represent the rock scene, and represent it they do, and very well! Psychedelic rocking pop, or psychedelic popping rock, as The Big Nowhere start us off with ‘When You Call My Name’ and then we dip down into the muddy waters of the blues for ‘At Midnight I’ll Take Your Soul’. I can already imagine this band sounding fucking great live and on stage! Lots of instruments making cameo appearances, keyboards, and I’m pretty sure I heard trumpets earlier as well!
The last track is arguably my fave on the record, I can’t get it out of my head, a mix of amazing soul samples keeping it old school hip hop with an updated oompth. Sage’s lines in this are flawless, and B bounces off him to reciprocate the high-level rapping skill with dexterity. Auris vermis level: 10