The Madding Crowd ‘Gods Greatest Flaw’
Single Review By Andrew Barclay
Before I get to the review, here’s a little bio provided by the group to give you a background of this excellent band.
“We are The Madding Crowd; weary purveyors of songs of love, hate, happiness, chaos, rebellion, glamour, intelligence, wit, imagination, bile, passion, despair, rejection and sheer humanity. Hailing from Manchester, formed in April 2010, we are comprised of Singer and Guitarist Ben Corry, Lead Guitarist Dominic Corry, Bass Guitarist Claud Corry and Drummer Sav Patel. Our music contains elements of Glam, Punk, Rockabilly and Prog among other influences, and we have often been told that we possess a sound that is hard to describe and pigeonhole.”
Today Cool Manchester review the bands most recent single ‘’Gods Greatest Flaw’’.
The single begins with a deluge of fuzzy bass and frantic drumming before the vocals take us from a Stooges like intro into something more akin to the pastoral psychedelic moments from Pink Floyds ‘’Atom Heart Mother’’ and ‘’Meddle’’ albums, which comes as a pleasant surprise. The single weaves its way through dynamic changes and somehow remains catchy, a strong single and one that’s wetted my appetite for the bands forth-coming EP.
B Side ‘’Sylvia Burned’’ is a slow haunting acoustic track with soaring vocals and an almost Brett Anderson type lyric and delivery. Of the countless Mancunian groups around right now The Madding Crowd are certainly one of the best and I really hope they gain a mainstream audience.
The Madding Crowd have received radio airplay and made live appearances on North Manchester FM, Sine FM, All FM, Salford City Radio, Mersey Radio, Roundsound Radio among others. They have also been played by Stuart Maconie on BBC 6Music and quite rightly too. Highly Recommended.
The Madding Crowd online links
Sound Cloud https://soundcloud.com/vivalamaddingcrowd
Cool Manchester’s Spotify Picks
By Cool Manchester
Welcome to our new Spotify Picks articles.
We’ll be delving into the discographies of both worldwide loved stars and lesser known cult bands and artists. Since we love all things ‘Manchester’, our first Spotify Picks come from Mancunian musician Robert Paul Corless. Robert fronts both Gabrielle’s Wish & The Evil Poor, but in his time off from vocals he has been writing and recording some absolutely stunningly unique music .
Eromeda Records were handed nearly 11 years of music and over the past 18 months have released some ten albums, all with their own feel and style.
As with all our Spotify Picks reviews we’ll look at one track from each release to give the new comer a good idea of what to expect.
Robert Paul Corless aka Volume One was released in late 2014.
Of its eight tracks ‘Blithering Idiot Sniff’ perhaps best showcases Roberts talents for the moody synth wasteland sound which permeates throughout the rest of the album, but with ‘Blithering..’ the track moves into a catchy Kraftwerk-esque type song. A shorter mix of the same track can be found on a collection of B Sides and previously unreleased tracks entitled simply, “Off Volume”.
Volume Two is perhaps Robert’s best album to date in this writer’s opinion.
As a whole it is cohesive and feels very much an album written to be heard in its entirety.
That said, it does contain his first single “No More For Now”.
The track is good, but it’s not the one I’m picking out here, that’ll go to the bizarre “Sophia’s Correction”. Featuring the guitar work of Timmy Walsh (Northside, The Evil Poor) and Roberts strange rhythmic arrangements it’s a powerful listening experience. If you get time, I’d recommend the entire album, but if you’re just browsing, then “Sophias Correction” is the one to playlist.
Volume Three is perhaps the weakest of Roberts 10 albums so far, that is not to say it’s a poor effort, but because half the album contains singles, sandwiched between two opuses, the album just doesn’t flow as freely as his best work.
The track to pick out from Vol 3 is definitely “Solitude After They Left”.
Also released as a single, I really can’t say I’ve ever heard anything like it in my life before, and I’ve been involved in music here in the UK for 18 + years.
The track begins innocuously enough but very soon the repeated bass and beat groove become infectious and you’re reaching for the repeat button when the track finishes.
Volume Four is a darker album than its predecessors and contains some genuinely unnerving moments, but whilst it is a dark foreboding album, there are a few lighter moments, and one such moment is “First Born, Fire Horse”. With wonderful violin and melodic arrangement it’s the high point of an otherwise still darkly enjoyable album.
Volume Five went into a very different direction than anything else Robert’s recorded so far.
Guitars. That’s the best way to describe the album.
Three long tracks over 10 minutes in length are bookended by two shorter tracks, all six containing guitar work by many different session men. “Pushed & Pushing Toward The Night Pt3” was released as a single and although it’s not the kind of thing you’d expect to pop up on Radio 1 anytime soon, it is a wise choice of track showcasing perfectly the fine balance between beats, synths, brass and guitars.
Volume Six is quite popular so far with many of its tracks appearing in the most listened to track listings. It’s a much slower paced, relaxed listening experience to anything released beforehand by Robert and the stand out moment for me is “As Transcendent Function”
With searing guitar from Timmy Walsh & a lush electronic synth backing programmed by Corless, the track elicits an emotional response every time I hear it.
Volume Seven was released at the same time as Volume Eight.
The albums are completely different in tone and were recorded a decade between one another.
Volume Seven contains the explosively odd ‘’In Madame Blavatsky’s Scheme”.
Although there’s no actual song structure to speak of, the booms and clangs placed inbetween the backing synths make for an intriguing listen. Spotify included it on their ‘Cyclone’ playlist.
Well worth a listen.
Volume Eight released in conjunction with Volume Seven is a 12 track collection of the very first cluster of solo tracks Robert Corless recorded. Of the excellent 12 pieces on this album, “Tantagel” is by far and away this writer’s favourite. It’s notable in that it’s the only solo track featuring vocals, albeit it none worded melodic backing vocals. It’s an impressive track and certainly one of his best.
Volume Nine & Ten, like Seven & Eight before them, were released recently at the same time.
Whilst Volume Nine is a darker album, they’re both very similar in tone and style.
Volume Nine boasts some sonically brilliant moments but the best pick for me would have to be the albums final track “Trees That Have Never Been Planted”.
An upbeat percussive track it’s a great finisher and certainly THE pick from Volume Nine.
Volume Ten is a joy and really ought to be listened to as a whole (like all these albums do).
The stand-out here is a track called “Refute My Statement”. It’s a bright shimmering entity and really does warm the soul upon repeat listens. Much of the ambient genre in general is unappealing because it can often be so bland sounding, but with Roberts career background, his use of minimal sounds and melodic patterns make for a rewarding listen every time.
Robert’s music can be found streaming on Spotify and bought via iTunes.
By Cool Manchester
The Statler Project
Mechanical Intervention album review
By Andrew Barclay
I first saw the Statler Project live back in 2009 at The Star And Garter.
They were like the cosmic collision child of Happy Mondays, Joy Division and Primal Scream.
They are back with a new album, fronted by Bob Spiers The Statler Project really are a fresh sounding band and its my pleasure to relate to you the brilliance to be found on ‘Mechanical Intervention’
‘Industrial Temptation’ marches off into a slick and sleazy disco funk, Spiers vocals are a barrage of rhyme and intent until he sings “all things will disappear” and it’s here echoes of Primal Scream can really be heard. A fine song to start the album off with.
‘Escape The Mundane’ is clever tight funk-dubbed up and sprayed with keys and guitar to heighten the impact. The vocals lead strongly and the chorus pay off if I have to compare, reminded me of Depeche Mode mixed with some Fad Gadget. Repeated listens make this an ear worm you’ll be singing to yourself all day long.
‘Sasquatch’ shows the band have a sense of humour, something seriously lacking in some artists. Its disco beats and strange synths add up to a tidy little ditty about, well… bigfoot of course!
‘Buzz Buzz [prelude]’ fades into what is a brilliant sounding funky jam with edges of modern jazz in there, my only complaint is that this wasn’t 8 minutes longer
‘Contrast’ is aptly named, the bass and kick drum start this intense dark number off.
Bobs spoken verse reminded me of Robert Kings vocal delivery on one of the Scars more well known tracks. The whole track is musically veering into prog rock territory put always pulls back into that brilliant dark sound that’s now all their own.
‘Head Down’ is bellowing synth disco with ace bass descending lines that get you moving upon hearing them. The vocals, fast and clear again, burst into an infectious chorus ‘’they say you have to keep your head down”. Love it.
‘Superiority Complex’ is a crashing disco animal with a duel vocal that really pins Spiers voice upfront. A lovely guitar riff comes in around 2.36. The whole song works and the pay off is thrashing guitars being brought down into a strange psychedelic guitar/synth chanting end.
‘Ma Buzzer’. Sample ‘well I have a sort of suggestion’ … over a dubby funky bass.
It moves into a free form sounding jam of funk, dub funk and soul. More sampled voices.
A nice little instrumental break.
‘Buzz Buzz 1 & 2’ well my patience was rewarded. The song prelude from earlier comes back and its disco bouncing funk reminds me of the more funk fuelled moments from the stones in the 70s.
Reviewed By Ewan Saum
After going through difficult times and several changes in the band lineup, the latest offering from Gabrielles Wish “Hypnagogic” shows a return to form from the band. Extremely well written lyrics and complex melodies make “Hypnagogic” one of the best albums by Gabrielles Wish to date. The album will appeal to both new and old fans alike, it has darker strong guitar led-tracks (reminiscent of some of the tracks from “Portal”, released in 2003), which will appeal to the hard-core Gabrielles Wish fans, and it has more accessible upbeat tracks for new fans.
THE NOISE OF ENGLAND, the opening track, is very much in my opinion “The Noise of Manchester.” An excellent dark instrumental with heavy guitars, akin to The Fall, Joy Divison and James (during their experimental “Wah Wah” period). 10/10
DIGITAL STALKER is classic Gabrielles Wish. If you are good at what you do, why deviate from it? Strong guitar from Steven Bunn, great vocals from Rob Corless (reminiscent of Mark E Smith from the Fall), with Eastern undertones. “Freedom is just a word” 10/10
INDISPOSABLE HAPPINESS is a poppier sounding track but with lyrics that are definitely not pop, and more challenging, with a lot of religious connotations. Robert Corless sings “God loves a fool, Christ knows I’m a fool” witty lyrics comparable to those of Frank Zappa. 8/10
CELEBRITY PIGSTY is a very dark avant-garde track, similar to the work of Peter Christopherson (from Coil, Psychic TV and Throbbing Gristle), with a dig at the status of untalented reality-show celebrities being at the forefront of media in today’s society . 8/10
WANDERING THE STREETS. After the dark offering of “Celebrity Pigsty” comes “Wandering The Streets.” This is a great pop tune, with great vocals from Robert Corless, and excellent heavy drums. No wonder this track was released as a single! 10/10
WAR UPON YOURSELF, starts with an Eastern-feel to it (akin to The Cure’s “Snakepit”) and never strays from it, but also maintains a Gabrielles Wish sound to the track, thus making it their own. A truly original track. “Right on the money.” 9/10
DESTINY IS APPARENT. This track is a mish-mash of traditional Gabrielles Wish melodies with glam rock. Love the saxophone on this! 9/10
SEVEN FOLD. This track is very similar to The Fall. The drumming 2:20 min into this track is excellent, as is the bass guitar throughout the track. 8/10
HIT THE ROAD. The music in this track reminds me very much of The Cure during their “Pornography” period, but again Gabrielles Wish add their own stamp on the track and make it their own. The vocals on this track are almost Floydesque! 8/10
STAND TOGETHER. The most accessible track on the album. An excellent pop track, well deserving of it’s single release. Great complex guitar melodies, great vocals, and a really well produced track....LOVE IT!!! 10/10
ROUND AND ROUND (SQUARING THE CIRCLE). This track reminds me of Gabrielles Wish’s albums “Reformer” and “Circa”. I like the retro 80s/90s synth-feel to this song. 8/10
WASTED. Superb bass guitar on this track from Darren Moran. This is one of the weaker tracks on the album, however, it is still a good one! 7/10
ALPHABET FIVE ONE TWELVE. An epic track, with slightly gothic undertones, and romantic lyrics from Robert Corless. “Always be there for you, she is my true love, look in your heart now.” 9/10
QUADRA is an excellent track, and an fitting finale to the album. Gorgeous melodies, superb use of the flute, which further enhances the track. Both stunning and beautiful, and nice female backing vocals too! 10/10
I thoroughly recommend checking out this album, if you haven’t done so already, and purchase a copy to keep supporting our talented local bands. Long live Gabrielles Wish, may they continue for many years to come!
Ewan Saum INDUSTRY BIO.
Ewan Saum has spent nearly 10 years in the music industry, as both a band manager and a gig promoter; having raised money for cancer charities inc. “Gig 4 Life” and “Versus Cancer”, and helped out with music festivals.
Ewan started out as a Music Supervisor in the Film Industry, due to his knowledge of the current music scene, and of bands across the world. He has won 3 awards, from the radio station “Radio Gets Wild,” for “Best Soundtrack,” and was nominated for the award of “Best Soundtrack” at the prestigious East End Film Festival in 2014.