Friday, 22 May 2015

On Stage: Warm Soda

Their name has been buzzing around for a while and their compact powerful pop and rock songs are getting mostly positive feedback. On stage they are supposed to pick it up a notch and deliver energetic shows. So I flipped out my Indiestad pass and headed over to the small hall of Paradiso.

Warm Soda at Paradiso Amsterdam, May 19 2015

There I find that only half of the hall is filled up which surprises me, especially since it's a free entrance for everyone with the Indiestad pass. I thought the band had worked up more of a stir and may even have started a little hype, but the turn up proves me wrong. The quartet have a new album Symbolic Dream out and play many songs of this newborn LP. It is full of short catchy songs that throw you around between garage rock and pop. It mostly feels as "garage rock light" but in a good way.

Live this results in a tight set that should make it hard for people to stand still. But to the band's own surprise the crowd tonight is hard to get moving and no matter what they try the response is lukewarm at most. This isn't the band's fault since the music is catchy, groovy and full of nice riffs. It doesn't get the foursome down, it seems they start to play even better in the second half of the show. Most songs are quite short but towards the end they treat us to the psychedelic 'Stranger To Me' that is quite long, especially compared to the rest and has a great jam with lots of freaky guitar.

Tonight the crowd was probably nothing what they hoped for and they sure deserve better. But Warm Soda look determined and focused enough to make it and are definitely a band to keep an eye on, since with songs like this next time they could be selling out larger venues in not time.

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Thursday, 21 May 2015

Spinning: Twin Peaks - Wild Onion

Maybe you know Twin Peaks front man Cadien Lake from the duo he started with his brother Hal, Teenage Dream. When the band Smith Westerns asks Hal to join them, Cadien starts Twin Peaks. Their first record in 2013 is a pretty lofi recording, put together hastily to be able to sell I during their tour, but for its successor Wild Onion they take more time.

It has nothing less than sixteen tracks, which still doesn't make it an extreme long LP, since in the end it is just over fourty minutes. That's because most of the pieces are short ones, where the instrumental and melancholic intermezzo 'Stranger World' with a sexy saxophone is just over a minute. Still it never feels as a record that is all over the place despite all the variation. Nice rough songs like 'I Found A New Way' are alternating with slower songs like the lingering and psychedelic 'Ordinary People'. But especially you can hear echoing guitars and jangling drums in the mostly catchy rock songs that clearly have been inspired by the sixties.

Despite the band name, that really has nothing to do with the David Lynch series, the foursome were inspired by bands like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and The Beach Boys. At the same time they listened to bands of their own generation like Thee Oh Sees, Ty Segall and Tame Impala. Indeed you can hear these influences in the pleasant mix of sixties rock 'n roll garage rock and psychedelics. Because of the compact songs the record has a nice tempo and you're flying from the solid rocker 'Strawberry Smoothie' and the exhilarating 'Fade Away' to 'Good Lovin'' with its The Rolling Stones-like sound.

Twin Peaks didn't lose anything of their enthusiasm on Wild Onion and still sound just as sparkling as on their spontaneous debut. The foursome clearly aren't short of ideas and they have plenty of new material that will sound great live too. Recently they visited Paradiso Tolhuistuin during RAWK, where they showcased lots of new songs. Hopefully Cadien Lake will keep enough spare time to bring out albums like this regularly.

This review has been published on Festivalinfo in Dutch over here.

Listen to 'Wild Onion' on Spotify.

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Monday, 11 May 2015

On Stage: Tito and Tarantula

Photo courtesy of Plat & Blauw

Of course most of us know the legendary "snake dance" scene in Quentin Tarantino's From Dusk 'Til Dawn where Salma Hayek sensually dances to Tito and Tarantula's 'After Dark'. This song ended up on the Tarantism album which was hard to get the last few years in Europe. A completely remastered version was recently released and Tito got some of his old friends together with some new friends for a tour. Time to get reacquainted with them.

Tito and Tarantula at Melkweg Amsterdam, May 6 2015

Photo courtesy of Plat & Blauw

It can be a blessing or a curse that your composition becomes a cult classic, since it can get you a lot of exposure, but at the same time it may all people know you from. Halfway the show Tito Larriva is telling everyone with a big smile on his face, that we have to wait for the famous song and that there are still some other songs to play. The friendly Mexican born singer and guitar player doesn't seem to mind people may only know him from this movie score. But it would be unfair to give him credit for just that, since he scored more movies, some for his friend director Robert Rodriguez's movies and wrote plenty of other songs. Tonight they prove to be a versatile band, playing diverse songs from Americana to blues rock, and country to stoner. He got original members guitar player Peter Atanasoff and drummer Johnny "Vatos" Hernandez to join, but especially female bass player Lolita Caroll is drawing a lot of attention with her sexy appearance.

Photo courtesy of Plat & Blauw

Together the band turns this night into a very pleasant one with great music and a lot of laughs. Larriva comes across as a very modest and friendly man that likes a good laugh. It could be that they visited a coffee shop earlier today, but the band seems to be in good spirits. Larriva's hoarse and weathered voice is perfect for the bluesy and rootsy songs that are mostly about love and death, where ballads and roaring rock songs are alternating. What most of the songs have in common is a dark atmosphere and sometimes they will reveal the band's Mexican background. Larriva now and then will explain what the song is about, like the story of 'Killing Just For Fun' about his class mate in school that turned into a serial killer. At the end of the show it's finally time for 'After Dark' that in the end turns into a pleasant chaos where people are invited to dance on stage and Larriva passes his guitar to someone at the front to join in with a short solo.

Photo courtesy of Plat & Blauw

After a short break the band returns with a enthusiastic performance of that other song in From Dusk Till Dawn, 'Angry Cockroaches', that seems to turn into "stoned cockroaches" but is a great version nevertheless. Larriva calls it a strange night somewhere in the show, I don't know why. It certainly was a fun night, with great music and good vibes. Hopefully they can win over some more fans so that in the end they won't just be remembered for only that one famous movie moment.

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Because I forgot my camera I borrowed some pictures from the website Plat & Blauw.

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