Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – “Push the Sky Away”

“Push the Sky Away” is the fifteenth studio album by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. Fifteen studio albums and a few side projects later, Cave proves he can still deliver a great album. The album is somewhat confrontational with subtle experimentalism and song writing similar to that of Leonard Cohen. Cave has stated that the songs from this record are about “the tension between the male and the female.” One track that particularly stands out for Nick Cave’s signature lyricist style is “Higgs Boson Blues” in which Cave deals with several aspects such as the Faustian bargain between the devil and Robert Johnson, the shooting of Martin Luther King and Miley Cyrus – all of which question the value of internet based “truth” or simply, Wikipedia.

“Push the Sky Away” is certainly not Cave’s best work but it is certainly one of his most interesting works with standout tracks being “We No Who U R”, “Mermaids” and “Higgs Boson Blues”.

“Push the Sky Away” is out today (Monday 18th January 2013) and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds will be doing a UK tour in support of the record in October and November. Details below:

Buy Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – “Push The Sky Away” on Amazon

London Hammersmith Apollo (October 26, 27)
Manchester Apollo (30)
Glasgow Barrowland (31)
Edinburgh Usher Hall (November 1)

Cactus&Cardigan // Band Of The Week // 07.01.13

Just as Cradle Of Filth effectively describes an English 6-Piece Extreme Metal band, Cactus&Cardigan employs the same effect for their brash, off the wall take on ‘Noise Rock’. What some may view as a random misnomer due to the band being made up of neither cacti nor frequently employing the use of cardigans as an unlikely dress code to their fun live shows; I view as a perfectly fitting title to their songs which tell stories sweeping from the Adult Entertainment Industry in ‘The Money Shot’ to informative methods of effective masturbation when your wife is out of town in their local hit ‘Wank Sock’.

It’s hard to lend justice to the clever song-writing in a short article, when really it must be heard first hand in an intimate setting from a stage or in their own home demos where they utilize a do-it-yourself mentality that, if you will, pluck all the right strings for a band such as this. Perhaps you would be forgiven for thinking there is an immaturity when browsing through a track listing of ‘Reggie Yates Is The Messiah’, ‘George Michael Cums Cobwebs’ or ‘Crab Sea Nesquik’, but a quick listen to either and all of the above in short, take you on a colourful journey which simultaneously makes you want to nod your head, punch your friend, snigger quietly, laugh loudly and then sometimes cry squeamishly. The important factor would be that you don’t disregard that although they are writing music about some unusual topics, the musicianship behind them really is fantastic and deserves to be taken seriously.

So a little bit more about the band? Well here are a few facts..

• There are three of them.
• They used to wear masks under the guise’s ‘Groin’, ‘Mouth’ & ‘Bubble’.
• They now answer to ‘Peter’, ‘Marc’ & ‘Jack’.
• They are based in Thurso, Highlands.
• They have self released a single; ‘Crab Sea Nesquik’ and have a flutter of other ideas on their Facebook which are set to become something more substantial this year.
• You should buy the above when it becomes available.

So there you have it my band of the week and hopefully yours. They are all things intense, fun, serious when they need to be and bursting at the seams with riffs. I revert to their own imagery to conclude…

Imagine a cold glass of ‘Crab Sea Nesquik’. Sure it sounds pretty disgusting and let’s be honest, it’s going to taste pretty bad; however it’s made of some smashing components (Crab and Nesquik, hello?!) and is intriguing enough for me to give it a try. Who knows, maybe, in fact, it could be the best thing you’ve ever had!

“5 Crab Sea Nesquiks please squire..”

Check them out now!! –

Review: Hiva Oa – Badger / Urban

Electrical and chemistry changes are telling your brain to try and process ‘Badger’ but let yourself immerse in it. I haven’t heard many artists taking the opposite direction from shoegaze, lo-fi pop this year, Hiva Oa certainly have. It feels like ‘Badger’ was conjured up in an abandoned chemistry lab, were once a crazed scientist taunted the musical mind. Take any musical sensibilities you had and throw them in the bin. The heartbeat sitting in the background, synchronized chaos chopping from deep classical instruments, harmless synths adding an extra layer rather than being used to construct the song. The whole track builds a mountain worth of momentum the whole way through, the haunting vocals channel you away from what you expected to be a drawn out intro. Then the last minute of the track is all that momentum released with precision timing. You don’t get to choose how you feel about Badger it chooses the emotion for you.

Then in walks in an acoustic track, which is the last thing you expect to come through that open door. Two tracks just showing how diverse Hiva Oa are. From intense noise generation to a laid back acoustic track the calm after the storm rather than before. The heavy breathing at the start touching on a raw acoustic vibe, repetitive guitar, textured with some unidentifiable chimes and again the use of classical instruments, brings a real sense of intrigue and fixation. A perfect storm for an acoustic track executed perfectly.

Angels & Airwaves – Diary

Brand new Angels & Airwaves? Give me a second to change my underpants.

By the looks of things Mr Tom Delonge has been hard at work with not only Blink 182 but Angels & Airwaves and let me be the first to say that I’m happier about the latter.

Having released a new video for their song/soundscape ‘Diary’ it looks like the band are headlong into new material. The video primarily aimed at the remembrance of their late producer/engineer Jeff ‘Critter’ Newell is a montage of AVA and everything about them, which bodes well for me. It’s full of synth sounds and pounding drum beats and at the very end some of Tom Delonge’s easily identifiable vocals. The song is beautiful. A real journey.

I can’t wait for their new EP and I know the same will reverberate through the rest of the AVA fanbase.

Inca Gold – Atom

The London four-piece who are currently recording their debut album, sent the track to FatCat Records who instead of leaving it on their demo pile, decided to share it. ‘Atom’ is a dreamy/dark-pop track with heavenly reverb. It has an almost dark nature which is readying itself to jump out at you. The way the song is crafted gives it an almost unbalanced feel. But in the best possible way. Their last EP ‘Inca Gold III’ is free to download.

Freelance Whales: The Happiest Band You Will Ever Listen To.

Pointed towards a band named Freelance Whales by a friend who described his affection towards them as ‘manic’ and that they were ‘all he’d been listening to’. These bold statements led me to give them a listen. The outcome? Constant smile.

Having just released their second album, Freelance Whales write the happiest and quirkiest music I’ve heard in a long time, and that’s a spectacular quality. Their two albums- Weathervanes (2009) and Dilivia (2012) are concoctions of pure, effervescent joy. Listen to their song ‘Starring’ from Weathervanes and get hooked on them like a drug.

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