Friday, 23 July 2010

NME-Europe is going to iMusicate

Hello Everybody.

You might have noticed a lack of activity lately on NME-Europe. We're not getting lazy or anything like that, it's just that we've moved!

From now on you can keep up to date with all things musical on our new site,

See you there!


The NME-Europe team

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Myspace Magic: Midnight Playground

Once again, NME-Europe returns to Liverpool for their latest MySpace Magic featured artist. Midnight Playground are a four piece with a deep sound and have started to make a name for themselves on the local scene. Here's what we were able to discover...

NME-Europe: Who are you and how did you come about?
MP: Hi I'm Martin (lead singer of Midnight Playround and guitarist). I met the other guitarist (Andrew) in secondary school and then we just started jamming and writing songs for a bit fun. But then we both thought 'these songs are too good to be just for fun' ;) so we decided to look around for new members to fill the line up. We asked a good friend of ours Chris (Bassist) to join then it was just the tree of us. We've been through a fair amount of drummers and changed our sound a lot and in the end we decided to ask a college friend of mine to play drums and he jumped at the oppurtunity. So, Midnight Playground were born!

NME-Europe: What's the reason behind your name?
To be honest I actually don't know where the name come from. Andrew is the one who named the band and we thought it sounded good so we stuck with it.

It is quite a smart name, I must admit.

NME-Europe: The dreaded question. Describe your sound!
MP: When we've played live a lot of people have described and compared our sound to the likes of Echo And The Bunnymen, Editors, White Lies, The Smiths, Joy Division, Talking Heads and just mainly that post punk vibe, which is great to be compared to. Personally, I think there are lots of different influences floating round because we all like different music and it just all comes together to produce what I think is a new creative sound.

NME-Europe: You haven't released anything yet. Is there anything in the pipeline?
MP: We are planning on releasing a 4 or 5 track e.p. Hopefully we will have something released in the summer maybe closer.

NME-Europe: What's your favourite album at the moment? Can you remember which particular band/album/track got you into music?
MP: Hmmm, my favourite album at the moment would be Mumford & Sons album because it's just epic! Either that or Paramore's new album but I'll just say Mumford & Sons to look cool!

In terms of initial music experiences, it was probably the likes of Luther Vandross, Sam Cooke and everything Motown because of my mum. But what started me playing guitar and actually writing music would have to be Bruce Springsteen, notably his 'Born To Run' album.

NME-Europe: Finally, what can we expect from Midnight Playground in the coming months?
MP: We hope in the next 12 months that we're still writing brilliant songs and hopefully be giging all over the UK and slowly building a fan base. It would also be nice to record a full album!

Well, there are a lot of objectives there to keep driving Midnight Playground on. I suggest you have a look at what they have to offer on their MySpace page.


Last 5 NME-Europe interviews:
The Savalas (Rome, Italy)
The Pin-Ups (Manila, Philippines)
Buzzradio (Liverpool, UK)
The Manse (Liverpool, UK)
A Number Of Fires (Liverpool, UK)

Read all NME-Europe interviews

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Album Review: Foals

Foals: 'Total Life Forever' (Warner)

1. Blue Bloood
2. Miami
3. Total Life Forever
4. Black Gold
5. Spanish Sahara
6. This Orient
7. Fugue
8. After Glow
9. Alabaster
10. 2 Trees
11. What Remains

Weird or unique? It's taken me countless listens to this album to decide and I'm still none the wiser! Foals, the Oxford quintet who made as much a name for themselves for ditching their high profile US producer (TV On The Radio's Dave Sitek, in case you're interested) as for producing a stunning debut - Antidotes - are a quirky bunch. Perhaps that's what makes their music so gripping.

Follow up Total Life Forever is wonderfully chaotic. It will need a few outings for listeners to get their head around it, but it's worth being patient. Opening track 'Blue Blood' is a prime example of what Foals are all about. A simple chord is enough to reel you in, before the track bursts to life and you're hooked. Marvellous piece of music.

The rest is an eclectic melee of sounds and emotions ranging from the chirpy 'Miami' to the profoundly chilling 'Spanish Sahara' - and where tracks like swirling Bloc Party-esque 'Black Gold', complete with its ominous announcement that "the future is not what it used to be" or 'After Glow', which is volatile in crescendo, also play a major role.

With lead singer Yannis Philippakis also sounding a lot more assured, the only logical conclusion to reach is that Total Life Forever is a neither weird nor unique. Quite simply it's bloody brilliant!


NME-Europe rating: 8.5/10
Top Track: 'Spanish Sahara'

Watch a vid...

Last 5 NME-Europe reviews:
The Golden Filter: 'Voluspa'
Los Planetas: 'Una Opera Egipcia'
Cybiont: 'Angels And Demons'
Two Door Cinema Club: 'Tourist History'
The Soft Pack: 'The Soft Pack'

Read all NME-Europe reviews

Monday, 17 May 2010

Myspace Magic: The Savalas

Following our extensive coverage of the SOS4.8 Festival, normal business is resumed with a return to our MySpace Magic feature. The latest band to hog the limelight is The Savalas, an alternative rock band from somewhere in Italy. Having been tipped off by another recent myspace magic band, BuzzRadio, NME-Europe decided to find out more....

NME-Europe: Buongiorno - that's as far as it goes. Who are you and how did you come about?
Sav: The Savalas is an Italian alternative rock band that started in 2005 from the ashes of different bands of our area : Dasazert, an alternative metal band and Dissectional, a Tool tribute band. We're from San Gemini, a nice medieval town in the woods not far from Rome.

At present the core of the band is two people: Me (Clito), on vocals and Giangi on drums. We are currently rebuilding our live line up, which will also include a bass player, a guitar player and a jack-of-all trades on samples, keyboards and guitar.

NME-Europe: What's the reason behind your name?
Sav: We just wanted a name who could represent our ironic side, and so we decided to honor one of our movie heroes, Telly Savalas. We had the idea watching an old Kojak episode. That man was a complete genius.

I resist the temptation to ask about lollipops...

NME-Europe: Dare you describe your sound? Tell us about what has influence you.
Sav: Our music explores a great variety of musical territories and atmospheres in a free and peculiar style.
Our influences are too many to quote: from Faith No More to Tool, from Jane's Addiction to The Beatles, from Fela Kuti to traditional chinese music, lots of music but also literature, visual arts. We also pay close attention to social issues, and it's the case in our next album.

A wide-range of inspirational sources there!

NME-Europe: Your 'next' album? What are your releases to date?
Sav: Up to now we have released two EPs, Hot Dog for Frank (2006) and Plastic Pills for Happy Passengers (2008).

We just recorded our first album, Pornocracy, under the Californian sun. It features some of the greatest alternative musicians such as Nick Oliveri (Queens Of The Stone Age, Kyuss, Mondo Generator), Martyn Lenoble (Porno For Pyros, Jane's Addiction, Dave Gahan) and Scott McLoud (Girls Against Boys, Paramount Style) alongside Massimo Pupillo (ZU, Mike Patton) and Xabier Iriondo (Uncode Duello, Afterhours). The album is produced by Alex Pappas (ex Finch) and supported by the American label, Above Ground Records.

An impressive line-up...
Yeah! It was amazing how these people accepted to collaborate with us, only on the basis of the songs we sent them.

NME-Europe: Have you got any gigs lined up to promote the album release? Who would you choose as your support artist?
Sav: We're still looking at gigs. If we could ideally choose an artist (cue dream mode!!!) it would have to be Jane's Addiction or Nine Inch Nails, not for the show but the party girls backstage.


NME-Europe: What's your favourite album at the moment? And if you look back, can you remember which particular band, album or even track got you into music?
Sav: Giangi's favourite album right now is the last jaga jazzist, my favourite one at moment is MGMT and The Beatles Remasters. Giangi's original influence was Faith No More, whilst it was Queen who got me going.

NME-Europe: Finally, tell us about your objectives/prospects for next 12 months?
Sav: Well, ideally we'd like to find a European partner label, release and promote the album, book and play a tour in the U.S and in Europe and in general spread Italian Pornocracy across the world...

For now, readers can check out a couple of their tracks and a video about their imminent release, Pornocracy.

NME-Europe would like to thank Clito from The Savalas for taking the time to talk to us and wishes them the very best with the album release.


Last 5 NME-Europe interviews:
The Pin-Ups (Manila, Philippines)
Buzzradio (Liverpool, UK)
The Manse (Liverpool, UK)
A Number Of Fires (Liverpool, UK)
My Raining Stars (Lyon, France)

Read all NME-Europe interviews

Thursday, 13 May 2010

NME-Europe Live: Triángulo de Amor Bizarro, Sala 12&medio, Murcia

Un volcán gallego explosionó en Murcia

Fecha: Viernes, 7 de mayo de 2010

Grupo: Triángulo de Amor Bizarro.

Local: Sala 12&medio – Murcia.

Calificación: Excelente.

Mientras la nube de cenizas del volcán innombrable islandés dejaba en tierra a numerosos viajeros en el norte de España, otro volcán, esta vez gallego y de música, llenó la Sala 12&medio de puro y enérgico rock.

Triángulo de Amor Bizarro, TAB, que así se llama el poderoso grupo gallego, al igual que un temazo de los New Order (un sencillo de 1986, incluido en su álbum Brotherhood), han sacado su segundo disco en este 2010, gran año para la escena Indie española en todas sus vertientes. El trabajo, llamado Año Santo (Mushroom Pillow) ha salido después de más de dos años y medio desde el lanzamiento de su estreno, y nos lo presentaron como ellos saben hacerlo, sin concesiones y con toda su potencia.

La noche comenzó con sorpresa, ya que no estaba anunciado el telonero, The Asimovs, que, aunque esperábamos con ansia la salida de TAB, nos sorprendieron agradablemente. Con un buen sonido y un cantante a medio camino entre Iggy Pop y Ian Curtis, su música recordaba en exceso a otros grupos (Artic Monkeys o Joy Division, según la canción) pero tienen algunos temas pegadizos, 'Welcome To The Human Race' es uno de ellos, y su directo es potente.

Después del consabido cambio de equipos, los gallegos salieron a escena y con una breve presentación de Isa, vocalista y bajista, para desvelar que se centrarían en su último disco, atacaron sus instrumentos con énfasis y ya no hubo más concesiones, a no ser las pequeñas paradas para que el batería se secara el sudor producido por la energía con la que tocaba.

Después música y sólo música, rock, punk, kraut, da igual cómo lo definamos, para mí calidad e intensidad. Con el nivel de ruido que hacen estos gallegos, los instrumentos suenan perfectamente definidos, una potente batería, las distorsiones del teclado, el profundo bajo y, por encima de todos, los punteos y rasgados de la guitarra, que van subiendo de nivel hasta límites insospechados. Los gallegos desgranaron el segundo disco prácticamente por completo, y lo fueron alternando con algunos de sus mejores temas de su primer trabajo, 'El Himno De La Bala', 'Estrella Azul De España' o 'El Fantasma De La Transición'.

El show se nos quedó corto, no hubo bises, aunque según nos comentaron al acabar, ellos hacen todo su repertorio seguido, no les gusta parar ni para que les aplaudan. El final apoteósico, sonando 'La Malicia De Las Especies Protegidas', con un ritmo desenfrenado que fue en aumento hasta el éxtasis, del grupo y del público, aunque algunos ni se inmutaran.

TAB es uno de los mejores grupos españoles, han hecho uno de los mejores discos del año y tienen un gran directo. Se puede pedir más. Sí, que vengan al Lemon Pop. Larga vida al Lemon Pop!


Last 5 live reviews on NME-Europe:
The New Raemon (Murcia, Abril 2010)
Final TalentoSOS (Murcia, March 2010)
Clint (Murcia, Marzo 2010)
Neuman y Capsula (Murcia, Febrero 2010)
B-Side Festival (Molina de Segura, Septiembre 2009)

Read all NME-Europe Live articles.