A sporadically-updated music collection blog. Send questions to twitter or email me.

Monday, 20 January 2014

Tubelord - Pop Songs For Rock Kids

Seems it's been a lot longer than I thought since I last posted about Tubelord. I figured there had been at least something last year, but it seems there wasn't. Nothing, apparently, since the Azerrad 7" about 18 months ago. Nothing, then, since the band split up. The band's final gig on New Year's Eve at the end of 2012 was one of the most emotionally confusing days of my life - the crowd and setlist were absolutely sublime but the thought of it being the last ever Tubelord gig just hurt. The final two songs, safe to say, were seen through pretty damp eyes.

So, skip onwards a year to this past December and (a month or so after a subtle hint via twitter made me way too excited), everyone's favourite label Big Scary Monsters announced a vinyl-only pressing of the band's first two singles on one lovely 12". I must say, I'd thought it was going to be a repressing of Our First American Friends so this was very pleasant. At the same time, some old t-shirt designs were reprinted so the long-standing omission of Tubelord in my wardrobe (via being the most generic size ever, gents medium) is NO MORE. Thanks again Kev. Now, for the record itself.

Pretty subdued cover all told but UGH, THOSE SETLISTS. Such great songs. I suppose this cover, with its plain font and large expanse of white space, feels a little like a funeral booklet (do they have a specific name?) and I kind of like that, especially if it's deliberate. Also, that title. As well as being very appropriate for Tubelord, it makes me think of thekidswhopoptodaywillrocktomorrow. We're already onto a winner.

Nice little insert about the release. The bit at the bottom about them forming "a bond for life" with a support band is particularly nice, and I think is about Tall Ships. I'm guessing this since they are probably the only band I know of that are from Falmouth and the two bands are certainly friends - James who was in Tubelord has since joined the band, and they played a covers set at the final Tubelord gig (with Toby Hayes, formerly of Meet Me In St. Louis. Seriously). After that set, they joined the crowd which resulted in the rather surreal moment of lead singer Ric leaning on my shoulder to scream along to the end of Your Bed Is Kind Of Frightening. Have I mentioned this gig enough yet? Probably not.

The inner sleeve is so nice it deserves two photos. It's a lovely collage of band photos, gig photos and artwork. Lots of feelings.

So here's the record itself. In this photo (especially if you're seeing it on a small screen), it looks plain black. Maybe even a little dusty. Let's take a closer look though...

YES. Silver glittery vinyl for a silver glittery band. BSM knocking it out of the park when it comes to coloured records yet again. Limited to 300, how it hasn't sold out yet is beyond me.

We've got 8 tracks on here. Half ended up on Our First American Friends, half stayed as B-sides only. All are amazing. It's a testament to the strength of Tubelord's back catalogue that only one of these eight didn't make it into that final setlist (which, for the record, was Synthesize and was sorely missed by me), and picking a favourite would be difficult were it not for the presence of Night Of The Pencils. Even though it's a rougher version of the song, it only takes the opening riff for a rainbow of emotions to erupt from my heart - as anyone who saw me either weeping through the entire of it at that final gig or screaming it at the best person for me to sing Tubelord to apart from the band themselves when Tall Ships (who else?) played it at the silent disco at ArcTanGent back in August. It's 4 minutes of absolute perfection, the most incredible song from a band who excelled in making incredible songs. I still miss you, Tubelord, and I don't see that stopping any time soon.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Nai Harvest - Whatever

The Adam emo revival continues. This one isn't entirely of my doing, though. I was preparing to buy this when my pal Laura told me she had a spare, of the first pressing no less, and insisted I took it. She is both good and lovely, consider this post a dedication to a good human.

There's a lot going on here, isn't there? I quite enjoy the cat logo - at least I assume it's a cat. Cats are the best. Not massively keen on the whole tie dye-y feel of it though.

Insert, yeah! This side is pretty plain but you know I always love anything with lyrics on it - and the handwriting on this is pretty nice. Yas.

More fancy colours on the back of the sleeve, and a very fancily-coloured record. I am a fan of a nice splatter, and a splatter on clear just makes it extra-nice. This, pressing info fans, was limited to 350 (with the other variant of the first pressing being a tasty pink and yellow swirl). The other side of the insert makes it pretty obvious that there are but two members of this band, following in the footsteps of Algiers and... I dunno, now I've thought of Algiers I can't think of any other bands with only two members. Maybe it's a Sheffield thing.

For just two chaps, Nai Harvest make a glorious racket. I didn't even realise there weren't more of them before I got this, which is pretty impressive. There are RIFFS galore and some pleasantly raspy vocals, which are always a plus. On the whole, the album stays on the less whiny side of emo and at times even feels almost joyful. In short, it's really good. My personal favourite track is probably the first (and title-) track Whatever, though Sitcom Fade-In  gives it a run for its money (the math-rock widdliness of the last minute in particular). More, please.

p.s. shout-out to my buddy Conor, who runs one of the labels that co-released this. Good work, Conor.