Once Powerful Uncle
A cult outfit in the early 2000-teens, (allegedly, you never know with Lost Map…) more… “Herbert Powell”
Locked Hands has been making music for a few years (and BM has reviewed several previous singles) but this is Sean Ormsby’s first EP. Working from locked-down Leith (Edinburgh) quarters, the four tracks here are assisted by several other musicians but are mainly the work of Ormsby himself, when not co-running the Errant Media record label as well as forming one half of Blue Tiles.
The tracks on this EP sound disjointed, but in a good way. The first two both feature very echoey drums and bass, while the vocals and guitar/keyboards are relatively low in the mix, sounding a bit less Scottish indie and more like The Pop Group, also some jazzy tropes as well…
Opener ‘City Fathers’ also has some amazingly scuzzy guitar licks, and vocals which if anything sound a bit scat, i.e. random phrases. It’s an intriguing combination of sounds which BM can’t quite get her head around, but requires some repeated listening. Wow!
‘Trust Fund’ may or may not be about an actual Trust Fund…the vocals seemingly coming from two different rooms, and weird fairground organ noises – this is disorientating but also compelling.
Third tune ‘Made Unmade’ continues the sonic discombobulation with some odd electronic percussion and flighty guitar, along with the very unusual call and response vocals – it does sound deranged but my goodness it also sounds great, and timeless as well.
On the closing fourth track, fellow Errant Media artist and BM favourite Stephen McLaren collaborates on a mix of ‘Call of the Workers’ – it is actually if anything more basic in approach than the first three tracks, but features maverick vocal performances from both. The track is a litany of complaints about the lot of all workers, which we can all relate to in some way! The remix treatment comes in nearer the end when the various strains of the track meld and end with a simple guitar line – job done!
Overall, a banger of a release – very highly recommended.
A new single from Life Model is always welcome, and this comes from the band’s latert album!–more–> on the ever-evolving LNFG label.
It expands on their thick guitar sound, adding some further musical and vocal flourishes – could we maybe say a melding of Lush colliding with Teenage Fanclub in some Bellshill garage, or something?
Anyway it is a stonking, stomping confirmation of their intentions, and also has some subtle edges as well – maturing songwriting and some great guitar sounds, it is hard to ask for more really, along with a great guitar solo towards the end.
Stirling-based Constant Follower are releasing an album ‘Neither Is, Nor Ever Was’ later this year (October 1st) on the mighty Shimmy Disc label and this is the first taste of it. The band is led by Stephen McAll and the record had input from legendary US producer Kramer, as well as Scotland’s own Jonny Smillie.
It is an acoustic offering, with a haunting riff played on slide guitar maybe, along with some reflective lyrics. The overall vibe is wistful, with some great female backing vocals. There are keyboards and piano later on – supplementing the gentle but slightly unsettling themes… “The Merry Dancers” refers to the Northern Lights and the track reflects perhaps on the modern world’s loss on connection with the natural world outside our windows…
It augurs well for the debut album and they are playing some live dates around Scotland including the Glad Cafe Glasgow on September 30th.