Friday 27 April 2012

Less Is More For Moss

In January Dutch alternative band Moss released their third album 'Ornaments'. After the huge success of its predecessor 'Never Be Scared / Don't Be A Hero' the album wasn't more of the same but actually an in depth exploration of their sound. Stripped of any thrills it exposed the bare backbone of the band, resulting in an impressive record full of well composed and beautiful songs. What would it sound like live?

Moss at Melkweg Amsterdam, April 18 2012 (Ronald Says 8 out of 10)

The stage setup is in line of the album. Lighting has been stripped down to the basics. Two large white plates are hanging at either side of the stage and are used to project visuals on during the length of the show. Nothing really spectacular or fancy but merely functional visuals to support the music. Not a thing should distract from the music. The band members are all positioned in one line on the stage. No one is sticking out, every single one is subordinate to the music.

This works very well. They manage to create a warm atmosphere where their songs can flourish to the fullest. Their set is tight and well balanced where old and new songs are merging together perfectly. The band fully understands the phrase "less is more", giving songs room to breath. It still gives the music enough tension to keep every one focused. One of their biggest hits 'I Like The Chemistry' even appears early in the set which is no problem at all. They already have plenty of good songs to keep every one happy. New songs 'The Hunter' and 'Ornament' for example are at least as good. Moss are truly a unique band.

More Pictures

Official Website | MySpace | Twitter | Facebook | Spotify
Read more!

Tuesday 24 April 2012

RSD 2012: The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

I guess Record Store Day is kind of like Christmas to me: the records are the presents and the record stores with all the music lovers and musicians are like a big family. First I went to buy many of the special releases. After that I went hopping around to see the bands play.

Fortunately the stores aren't really wide apart in Amsterdam, so it was easy to visit Fame, Velvet Amsterdam, Concerto and Record Friend. This way I got to see many bands: after buying a lot of records, I caught one and half song by Face Tomorrow, who were kicking off early, Maurits Westerik of GEM while queuing to buy some more records, Wooden Saints whose individual members were spread all over the country at ten record stores, Houses, Jungle by Night, Case Mayfield, who was doing eleven store gigs at one day, and Bombay Show Pig. Thanks all for great day!

Face Tomorrow, Record Friend

Maurits Westerik (GEM), Concerto

Wooden Saints, Velvet Amsterdam

Houses, Velvet Amsterdam

Jungle By Night, Concerto

Case Mayfield, Concerto

Bombay Show Pig, Velvet Amsterdam

All RSD Pictures
Read more!

Wednesday 18 April 2012

Hooray For Shaking Godspeed!

Almost two years ago the Dutch formation Shaking Godspeed surprised with one of the best rock albums of that year, Awe. It was full of great heavy songs, a mix of psychedelic rock, blues and stoner. Live it still was solid as a rock as well. Surprisingly the band didn't get their big break yet. Maybe this will happen after all with their second long player Hoera that came out in February.

Shaking Godspeed - Hoera (Ronald Says 9 out of 10)
The band is maintaining the high level of their début with ease. Better yet, they even managed to outdo it. They have improved along the whole line: the formation sounds even more strong and tight, the songs even more varied and the production even more solid. Drums, organ, guitars and vocals are alternating, tumbling over each other and now and then are rolling you over with great force. What's even more impressive, is that the album doesn't have a weak moment. They manage to keep this up for eleven songs, without sagging for a bit. They have a dream start with 'Wonder', singing "Get Ready" several times and that's not a bad advice.

Buckle up, take a deep breath and get on board for the sensational and brilliant title track 'Hoera'. A simple but effective organ riff keeps on going the entire song with a fierce guitar riff on top. The song reminds of Queens of the Stone Age, but in this case that's a great compliment for the band. Josh Homme and co. couldn't have done it any better and would have loved to have come up with this song themselves. Besides stoner there's garage, blues and surf rock on the album. Within songs there's a lot of variation as well, without taking it too far. It always remains coherent and is kept together nicely.

The trio has taken writing irresistible grooves and hooks to perfection. Shaking Godspeed are proving once more to be one of the most creative band of our country. Without compromise and unnecessary frills, but with courage, they have without a doubt delivered one of the best records of this year. With tracks that are screaming for a live stage, so go see them when you get the chance. This band deserves a much bigger audience and should be heard far across the border.

This review has been published on ROAR E-Zine in Dutch over here.

Listen to Hoera on Spotify.

Official Website | MySpace | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Spotify
Read more!

Monday 16 April 2012

Coachella 2012: The Videos

So Coachella 2012 is a wrap. Over the past weekend the visitors could watch some nice performances due to a great line-up. For any one not attending, the festival streamed many shows live on YouTube. Because of time differences and a stupid thing called "sleep" I hardly saw any showmyself. Hooray for the internet! Since many performances are now still available on YouTube. Continue reading for the list (most credits to go LiveXS).

The Rapture

Explosions in the Sky

Bon Iver

Arctic Monkeys


Azealia Banks

Frank Ocean

Swedish House Maffia


The Black Keys


Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds



Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg Part 1 and Part 2

The Weeknd

St. Vincent

At The Drive-In

I will add videos along the way, so check back for updates. Let me know about other Coachella 2012 performances.
Read more!

Thursday 12 April 2012

Birth Of Joy Need Their Own Sound

There's a true revival lately of music inspired by the sixties and early seventies. Blues, (hard)rock or soul, just as long as it sounds authentic. And that's quite a nice development. Birth Of Joy got their inspiration from psychedelic rock. Think of bands like The Doors, Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin.

Birth Of Joy - Life In Babalou (Ronald Says 7 out of 10)
They released an album by themselves, performed a lot and were invited to the most popular talk show in The Netherlands. Presenter Mathijs Nieuwenkerk even called them the best rockband of our country at the moment. They were signed by Suburban Records and now we can listen to Life In Babalou. Indeed the aforementioned elements are all there. The band is playing great, swinging organs are melting together with roaring guitars and pounding drums. Just listen to the swinging 'No Big Day Out', one of the better songs. The record has a lot of speed and is nice to the ears.

It all does sound really familiar though. The band is borrowing too much from their icons especially The Doors. There's not enough variation which makes the songs exchangeable. Even after a few listens it's hard to keep them apart. 'Smile', 'Code Red' and 'Fat Fish' are nice, but are following the same pattern. The production of the record could have been better too. It's clear they have tried to make it sound authentic, but it makes it all a bit flat where it should blast from your speakers. And that's the way this music sounds best.

Life In Babalou definitely is not a bad record. Many people will enjoy it a lot and it's clear that the lads have lots of potential. They are putting on quite an energetic show I heard, so it's worth checking them out. They just need to find their own sound. They certainly are not the best rock band of our country at the moment. Maybe they will get there in the future. Things can go either way with this band and they are definitely interesting enough to keep an eye on. Good whisky needs its time too.

This review has been published on ROAR E-Zine in Dutch over here.

Listen to 'Life In Babalou' on Spotify.

Official Website | MySpace | Facebook | Twitter | Spotify
Read more!

Saturday 7 April 2012

Pretty Avarage Night With Primus

Primus are still touring around their latest album release Green Naugahyde. After seeing them in Paradiso last year they were now taking to a bigger stage. And that show got me hungry for more. So I headed down to Eindhoven where they were playing the new Klokgebouw venue.

Primus at Klokgebouw Eindhoven, April 1 2012 (Ronald Says 7 out of 10)
It was my first time at that venue which is located in an old factory building previously owned by multinational Philips that started out in Eindhoven many years go. It's a good location but the industrial surroundings never really get you in the mood for a rock show. We came in late and missed the beginning of the show. They had started off with a few of their classics, great songs like 'Frizzle Fry', 'Seas Of Cheese' and 'Mr. Krinkle'. At both sides of the stage the two familiar astronauts are staring at us and the big screen at the back is showing great visuals.

Before we know it it's time for the intermission with classic black and white Popeye cartoons. Three cartoons in total prove to be a bit too much for some people and for a good reason. One cartoon would have been good enough. When the band are back on stage they start playing Green Naugahyde front to back, which is a nice feature. They are tight as always. The sound is good and all members get plenty of room in the songs to show their freakishly great skills. Some new songs already made it into Primus fan favourites like 'Last Salmon Man' and 'Lee Van Cleef'. Of course Les Claypool is the center of attention with his "out-of-space" bass playing. Although some songs end up in lengthy jams, the band is running on routine tonight. There's hardly any interaction with the crowd and they don't really put in a lot of extra effort to make it into a memorable night.

At the end of the show there's time for two more Primus hits Groundhog's Day and Winona's Big Brown Beaver and that's that. It's still over two hours of high standard rock songs. I don't think this band can ever really disappoint. With their skills and song material there's always plenty to enjoy. This was a decent show, so I guess everyone leaves home satisfied tonight. But it won't be enough to keep us satisfied for another decade.

More Videos

More Pictures

Official Website | MySpace | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Spotify

01. John the Fisherman
02. Duchess and the Proverbial Mind Spread
03. American Life
04. Frizzle Fry
05. Seas of Cheese
06. Mr Krinkle
07. Fish On
08. Jerry Was A Racecar Driver
09. Hennepin Crawler
10. Last Salmon Man
11. Eternal Consumption Engine
12. Tragedy's A-Comin'
13. Eyes Of The Squirrel
14. Jilly's on Smack
15. Lee Van Cleef
16. Moron TV
17. Green Ranger
18. Hoinfodaman
19. Extinction Burst
20. Groundhog's Day
21. Winona's Big Brown Beaver

Read more!

Wednesday 4 April 2012

High Quality Rock With Shaking Godspeed and Bombay Show Pig

Every time I want to see Shaking Godspeed perform it turns out I can't make it to their live dates in Amsterdam. So after seeing them play in Eindhoven, this time I went to Haarlem to see them team up with new and promising band Bombay Show Pig.

Bombay Show Pig/Shaking Godspeed at Patronaat Haarlem, March 31 2012

When I arrive at the smallest of two venues in the Patronaat, it is still pretty quiet. It turns out the show is scheduled half an hour later than announced on the website and ticket.

Bombay Show Pig (Ronald Says 8 out of 10)

By the time this duo takes the stage it has filled up nicely. The mallets of Linda van Leeuwen hit the drums by force, laying down a solid groove. Together with guitarist Mathias Janmaat she is sharing vocals. They use loops and samples in a smart way. You never have the idea that you're listening to a duo. Their music is catchy with solid grooves and some heavy guitars now and then. It's a varied set, played with lots of confidence. It's obvious that they are no newbies. Van Leeuwen was in girls band ReBelle for a while and Janmaat has played with Dutch indie bands Voicst, Dazzled Kid and GEM. I for one am looking forward to their first album that's coming out on the 3rd of May.

Official Website | MySpace | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Spotify

Shaking Godspeed (Ronald Says 8 out of 10)
When it's time for the three members of Shaking Godspeed to play, the venue looks less full to my surprise. In my opinion they are tonight's main act and certainly not to be missed. I guess the people who left didn't know what was coming. It doesn't prevent the three from playing a solid set of their heavy rockers. On the contrary, it seems to make singer/guitar player Wout Kemkens even more determined. He's trying to encourage the crowd, but doesn't get a lot of response.

This by no means has anything to do with the quality of their performance. Their set is tight and I already knew that their songs are great. This combination of old hardrock, blues rock mixed with some stoner is just brilliant. The songs of their last album 'Hoera' are great and show even more variety. They have managed to come up with their own unique sound and know how to play with passion and energy. I really wish these guys will get their big break soon, since it doesn't get much better than this. Expect a review of 'Hoera' soon on this blog.

Official Website | MySpace | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Spotify

More Pictures

Read more!