Friday, 24 August 2012



The second full length album from Sone Institute is a grand proposition building on the momentum of his first record Curious Memories and bringing a whole new bag of tricks to proceedings.  A Model Life is a far reaching and all encompassing collection of crashing harmonious sounds engaging in the manner of the finest music library.

Sone Institute is the product from the mind of Roman Bezdyk, a modern composer and arranger exhibiting a vibrant fountain of music knowledge.  These lush, sweet sounds are the kind of easy listening gestures that point to a calm but exotic life well lived.

Making its mark early the record opens with what appears to be an old school acid rock freak out that seems to be occurring in a bingo hall on the fantastically titled “Witchcraft And Pornography”.  It is a gesture that gets repeated at the end on “Fear And Happiness” also.  However between there and here a large amount of sonic soil is covered.

All in all with its vocal samples and verbose offerings of logic, Sone Institute provides a sound similar to current darlings Public Broadcasting Service in addition to a clear concordance to Broadcast.  And on the whole there is a general feel of it being some kind of lost treasure that Jonny Trunk might find covered in dust in an archive.  Like the suspense and swing of “Frozen Leaves – Falling From Leaves” cause me to think of a Lalo Schifrin workout.

It is the track “Struck By A Rock” that takes the prize.  This is a truly astounding and levelling piece of music.  Upon receipt of its movements my heart breaks and traffic stops moving.

The ambiance continues with the title track which spans a delicate moment that reminds me of a waking Cinematic Orchestra moment containing lush tones and gestures along with a timeless edge.  It bleeds brilliant early morning colours by emphasising stillness.

From here once again the tone of the record changes as the appropriately named “Amoral Life” drops in with a porno flick sounding wah, echo and bass serving to highlight the brilliant playfulness of the work at hand.

After various moments of strings, beats and chill the album book ends with another acid freakout in the form of “Fear And Happiness” as truly this life has been a ride.

Here are fourteen tracks to marvel.

Thesaurus moment: expanse.

Monday, 12 March 2012



The second album from Skint & Demoralised is a certified romp that arrives after a number of dramas and devices such as split and reformation, unreleased albums, re-release dates and general major label hijinks.  As a result naming the album after a kitchen sink drama isn’t so conceited as a person might imagine.

Skint & Demoralised is a bleak duo hailing from Yorkshire.  Their initial success was driven by a self started online campaign benefiting from times before Myspace sucked itself whole and turned shit.

The concept was easy.  Matt Abbott a feisty young northern poet would unleash his rhymes as his mate Mini Dog (I shit you not) would add the tunes and backing tracks.  And initially it was good, a lowlife but high brow version of spoken world detailing adventures and a lifestyle that was interesting and tangible.  Unfortunately then came time to turn it all into a band and offer themselves as indie.

With the transition the words have become more lyrical and now mostly sung.  In other words, it has all gone a bit normal.  All remains very normal but the backing now feels slightly hack, generic indie rock in an irksome fashion.  Part of me suspects someone in a suit sat behind a desk somewhere suggested this all in the hope of tapping into the Arctic Monkeys audience and vibe.  Am I being too cynical?

Well, perhaps not when the original suggestion was potentially of an Arab Strap from Wakefield but instead ultimately what is served sits in some Embrace cum Doves territory.  There is suggestion of a Smiths type appreciation for existence (not least in the kitchen sink references) but the execution feels not fully formed.  Fuck a duck.

At this point that band has already broken up once which kind of causes me to question their commitment to the cause.  Is there much longevity let in this act?  No doubt while they remain signed they’re soldier on.

Music wise you would be forgiven for expecting something different.  Now gone full on indie there is a strange, retro sound to proceedings.  It probably won’t thrill them for me to report opening track “Hogmanay Heroes” makes me think of The Wonder Stuff.  All in all there feels a desire for the anthemic but unfortunately rarely is it reached (or even required).

As the record gallops on tracks such as “The Lonely Hearts Of England” have a weird Pogues vibe in their euphoric gallop as drunken nights are celebrated in blind fashion as if “Tubthumping” had not been delivered with irony.  Maybe it’s a northern thing.

I thought these guys were angry about signing on?  Where’s the edge?

Thesaurus moment: injudicious.

Hit Or Heist Records