Thursday, 4 August 2016

Introducing To You...MISS

Hello my pretties,

How are you finding the sweet taste of freedom after spending yet another year trapped between the four walls of education? As father would say: “Schooooools out. For. Summer!”

Enjoying our glorious British summer? The time of year when people are desperate to wear shorts and crop tops in the wind and rain. Primarily in a futile attempt to capture some kind of evidence that the sun was out for at least a second, as well as an excuse to expose as much skin when half the population really shouldn’t. People when will you learn to dress to compliment your figures, not to degrade them further! But hey each to their own I guess. One signifant tradition that our bi-polar weather system is the tradition where everyone is doing the Okey Cokey with the washing – “in out, in out, shake it all about”. For my international readers out there, that’s British summer weather 101 for you. Who says kids don’t learn anything outside of school aye?!

Photography by 


Moving swiftly on from fashion, or lack there-of, and the stereotypical British trait of talking about the weather. Let’s get down to business shall we? Now I’m a little late jumping onto this bandwagon…no pun intended because let’s be honest I am one hilarious gal but that would have been a little weak for someone with my suavity. Speaking of suavity, the band I want to corrupt, I mean, introduce to you this gloomy day is unsigned trio MISS. Now today I thought I’d spice things up in our little love affair by doing something a little different to my usual reviews and interviews. Rather than diving into just a fragment of an artists’ career and blow your mind with intense details, I thought I would try an ‘Introducing…” entry instead. After all, who wants to be stuck in a mundane loop, becoming speechless and redundant….totally didn’t rip off Green Day right there…anyway. Here we are. Rebel Yell’s debut 'Introducing To You..." segment.

Listen to 'Do You Feel Electric?'
Right let’s get the statistics and logistics and other fancy corporative words out the way first before injecting MISS’ venom into you. Born on 1st January 2015 members Marty Felton (Guitar/Vox) Benjamin Wade (Drums/Vox) Wilson (Bass/Vox) immediately achieved critical acclamation with their first EP ‘Do You Feel Electric?’ and have since continued to climb further up ladder of success.

So I have a little confession to make. I was going to write a review for their latest singe ‘Kinkajou’, but then after doing some homework on them I changed my mind to review their debut EP ‘Do You Feel Electric?”. But I feel so in love with all their work that I couldn’t choose one! Hence an introducing page instead. Honestly cross my heart you will put on a track, any track by them, and immediately will be hypnotised. Glued to the spot. Just listening. Before you know it seasons have passed, you’re in the middle of a zombie apocalypse and you’re more concerned about who ate the last piece of pizza that you could have sworn was there only moments ago. Okay…even I’ll admit that’s a slightly exaggeration…you remember that you finished the pizza before putting on MISS.

Hauntingly mesmerising melodies. Dark yet enchanting vocals combined with sophisticated lyrics. What’s more, although a heavy reliance on electronics the arrangements are minimalistic, demonstrating their technical and songwriting professionalism. Now the things I've heard about their live shows...well...that's information I don't think you could handle quite yet. But let's make a deal. Have a listen to their EP and single. Head down to the Hope & Ruin on August 13th and tell me for yourself what you thought of their set. Deal? Deal. They are one of those bands you don’t realise how true my ramblings are until you’re on the other side. So join the dark side. We’ll be waiting.

Until next time,
Unpleasant dreams.

Keep up-to-date with MISS:

Friday, 1 July 2016

PLUNGE Into Hysteria.

Hello my pretties,

My oh my I’ve been a busy little pixie lately. So many bands eager to have Rebel Yell’s poison course through their veins. I’m being drowned in so much new music I feel like a junkie who has just stumbled into a top-secret lab; or a kid in a candy shop. However this morning my lovelies I’m only giving you a quick hit. A top up dose really. Which is perfect for the act in the spotlight today. Let me introduce to the stage Brighton-based quartet PLUNGE. They like their rock dirty, their psych with an Indian flavour and long walks on the beach. Let’s meet the boys shall we?

Left to right: James Ely (Guitar); Pat Tams (Vocals); Dan Ely
                   (Bass); Saul Sanderson (Drums).

Now when people usually say psych rock I think along the lines of the flower power peace loving 60’s, with The Beatles being at the forefront; or the slightly more rock ambiance fashioned by The Doors. However, PLUNGE exemplifies professional, seemingly effortless instrumentations, similar to Witches. Steady but slightly slacked to aid their listener in a trip-like experience.

On June 3rd PLUNGE released their debut video for their single “The End”. Now if the song isn’t trippy enough for you then check out the video! It’s truly a masterpiece! The song itself had me hooked in seconds with its mesmerising guitar line. Initially giving off the impression of if Nirvana and Sabbath had a secret love child, PLUNGE would be it. Tams’ vocals are full of so much grit and angst that they drag you under and keep you restrained as a willing hostage. As soon as you’re released you want to inflict it all over again; a trip you never want to come down from. Moreover, they demonstrate their talent as musicians with incorporating exotic, Indian-esk drones and melodies. My personal favourite part of the song being the teasing, yet unexpected, heavier turn that accents Tams’ incredible vocals; with a drop into guitars and defeated vocals. This is one of those songs that no matter how hard I try to paint you a vivid picture, you will never understand the true magnitude of its effect.

Keep up with PLUNGE on:

This is my new addiction. What’s yours?

Until next time,
Unpleasant dreams.

Monday, 27 June 2016

Sami James: 'Show The World' EP Review

Hello my pretties,

It’s me again, Rebel Yell, miss me? Don’t be silly of course you did! Remember how I was saying I was in demand? Well slowly but surely I am making my way through that extensive list. Unfortunately one event that I was super psyched to attend, Dovehouse’s single launch for Cheap Tricks at the Hope & Ruin last Thursday, had to missed due to England’s glorious weather screwing over our already dubious train services. What’s more, not only would the night have been incredible, but also would have served as a part two to the news I have to share today. A few months back I had the pleasure of interviewing singer-songwriter Sami James (a support act for Dovehouse’s launch) for my fellow blogger Treble With The Bass, whereby he gave us a taster regarding his debut EP: Show The World. Guess what folks?! That day is here! So strap on your seatbelts and brace yourself because you’re mind is about to get blown…again.
Back in March, Sami stated his EP revolves around the concept of “having faith in your passion and following what you love” but his most interesting comment was how he defined himself as an artist. Declaring he is “honest and pure – no filter”. However I will be the judge of that. Right. The juries seated. And there is one smoking Judge on the scene. Let’s get to it shall we?

Track One: Judge Me

Sami doesn’t waste time in grabbing the listener’s attention. Within seconds they are hooked to both an interestingly rhythmic and melodic introduction, demonstrating the important of instrumentation without the support of lyrics. He further exhibits his ability as a songwriter as he composes an arrangement that enhances rather than drowns the vocal. Although, it’s worth noting that the composition, as a whole, feels full yet without sounding complicated or clustered. Now I’m aware that I went into student musician mode right there, shudders of fear rattled down my spine! But trust me all of those are remarkable check points that most musicians I’ve listened to fail to incorporate into one song, let alone the first 20 seconds of an EP. While the instrumentation leaves space for the vocal in verses, the pre chorus drops further allowing the vocals to become vulnerable, suiting the theme of judgment perfectly. Side note: the irony of a reviewer such as myself writing about an EP whose first track is titled Judge Me did tickle my funny bone…ya know because I’m judging it…and…never mind…I have an odd sense of humour you should all know that by now! Moving swiftly on…for someone who finds it exceptionally difficult to use repetition effectively within her own songs, it is refreshing to hear the technique being used effectively. What’s more, the lyrics are simple yet potent. Not masked in misleading metaphors. What you see is what you get. And that is something I love about Sami’s work. Brutal honesty in a beautiful package. Notably there is an unexpected guitar solo mid way through the song which provided a sense of release that the listener was unaware they needed.  However my favourite element of the whole song has to be last chorus. The change in the backing vocals from being in unison to being behind not only prevents the song from being dully repetitive but provides a subtle change that makes the listener fall further in love. 

Track Two: Flowers On The Ground

Delicate and beautiful. If I could leave it at that I would, but I don’t want the song to feel like I favour the others more by spending more time with them! After all songs have feelings too…I know how insane that sounds so hush! Let’s just blame it on lack of sleep shall we? Yeah let’s stick with that. That sounds highly plausible. Especially to those who know me, ya know what I’m talking about! Okay I’ve gone off on a tangent larger than the size of a politician’s ego. Back to beloved Sami. You can’t help but fall in love with the sweet introduction, contrasting the slight rock elements of Judge Me, Flower’s On The Ground accents Sami’s folk style. Throughout the entire EP Sami includes some intoxicating lines that restore my faith in the pop industry today. For instance, “you wear my shoes, you wear them all the time. But you’ll never really understand” revolves around a tiresome cliché however Sami words it in a way that restores its initial vivacity. I have a particular love for the juxtapositions that are intricately scattered throughout. What’s more, it is the most realistic interpretation of the uncertainty of a new love through lines such as “don’t need a reason to say I miss you, I don’t want you back in case I don’t”. Defying typical pop songs whilst still appealing to a mainstream audience. Again, my favourite part of the song has to be the last chorus due to its extremely minimal arrangement with pretty much just the vocal and another delayed harmony.

Track Three: Show The World

It's THAT guy you keep seeingaround Brighton.
Now time for the track that christens the EP. Large expectations for this as Sami himself described this as being “something special”. And that’s exactly what this track is. Notably being the most obvious one revolving around the theme of following your dreams no matter what. Whilst maintaining the acoustic ambiance found in the folk genre, remaining simplistic and hopeful. Moreover, the space within the song fashions a mesmerising quality that hypnotises the listener at the crucial half waypoint of the EP. Remember those killer lines I referred to? Sami works his magic again with the evocative lyric of “like a cigarette in a spiders web” and “you’re heart holds the answers you don’t understand”. However one of the most fascinating lines is the chorus hook of “show the world how you grow old” personally I find it a intriguing way to summarise this message of follow your dreams and show them just what you’re capable of. Again this man is a master of concluding songs, particularly by ending this with just vocals, mirroring the vulnerability of the message.

Track Four: Hurt To Remember

They say first impressions are key in any situation. First impression of Hurt To Remember is that it is very Beatles-esk. I don’t know if that is a compliment or offense for Sami but I regard it to be a compliment of the highest. However, the Beatle ambiance created within the opening immediately entwines with Sami’s Noel Gallagher’s vocal techniques, giving birth to a remarkable sound. One thing about this song’s chorus is that it has sure as hell as been stuck in my head since first listen. Piece of trivia for you, this is the only song to begin with the chorus hook – the strongest part of the song - this on the one hand could be risky as the songwriter has to maintain this intensity (which Sami does well) but on the other hand it is a technique encouraged in the pop industry – hook the audience as soon as you possibly can. Again Sami marries binary opposites, while the songs content seems to be more bleak then others off the EP it still manages to appear hopeful and uplifting, which mirrors the lyrical transition in the song its self. For instance, “does it hurt to remember all the places we spent together” to “look up to the sky and recognise myself once again”.

Track Five: Runaway

Ahhh Runaway. By far my favourite track off the EP! Fell in love with this upon first listen. No surprise really as this is the ‘rebel track’. The one that doesn’t quite follow social conventions created by the other four. The one your parents don’t want to meet…okay maybe that’s a bit too far…anywayyyysssss. This song is the rockiest yet maintaining its strong folk style, however the spoken word bridge further accents Sami’s extremely diverse influences and ability to compose for different genres. What’s more, compared to his melodic vocal delivery in other songs, Runaway is far more rhythmic again making it that bit more intriguing. Furthermore, the chorus is huge. There is no other way to describe it. Fascinatingly it depends on the backing vocals to carry it, with the lead vocal interjecting here and there. It juxtaposes all that Sami has presented us with so far. Would have felt out of place if it were located anywhere else in the track list. 

Captivated audience.
Overall verdict?
Sami demonstrates his talent as a songwriter by composing intricate melodies and intelligent lyrics in a way that is simple yet endearing to digest. He marries the hard truth of folk with a pop package that makes the songs enjoyable to pretty much any audience. The folk is strong in this one…any one? Ah come on that was tastefully horrific! Give me some credit here! Fine. Be that way then. Sami states that he is pure and honest in his delivery, I can confirm that as being true, he certainly favours message over fancy representation. Listen for yourselves:

I am truly gutted that I couldn’t witness a live rendition of the EP at Dovehouse’s single launch. However I will be keeping my eye on what the future has instore for Mr James. I will be there to inject the juicy details into your hearts and minds. Giving you the greatest rush you could possibly wish for.

Until next time,
Unpleasant Dreams.

Follow Sami James below:

Access Treble With The Bass interview here