More Than Bricks And Mortar. (SAVE THE BOILEROOM!)

boileroom bannerHey everyone,

As you may already be aware, longstanding and legendary Guildford alternative music venue The Boileroom is presently being threatened with closure.

TMMP exists to support musicians and the music business. So, if you’re in a band, are a solo artist, or/and work in the music industry, and would be happy to be interviewed about the present state of independent live music in the UK (with a particular focus on the Boileroom), all you have to do is:

1) Sign the Boileroom’s Change.org petition.

2) Email musicalmeltingpot@gmail.com

3) Include the subject heading “SAVE THE BOILEROOM!”

4) Briefly explain who you are and why you’d like to get involved.

5) Share this post around.

6) Follow The Boileroom’s social media pages (links below) and The Musical Melting Pot on Twitter (via the box on the left, or the link below) for updates.

If you don’t make or work in music, fear not! You can still get involved and show your support by signing The Boileroom’s petition, following The Boileroom via Facebook and Twitter and The Musical Melting Pot on Twitter for updates, and spreading the word!

Remember: Lots of tiny actions add up to bigger ones. Every click counts.

Thanks for taking the time to read this.

Cheers,

Leon (TMMP)

Links

The Boileroom official website.

The Boileroom on Facebook.

The Boileroom on Twitter.

The Musical Melting Pot on Twitter.

Baby Godzilla – ‘The Great Hardcore Swindle’

If you need to know one thing about Baby Godzilla, it’s this: Before watching or listening to anything they put out, brace yourself.

Baby Godzilla are Britain’s answer to the Dillinger Escape Plan. Their music will fuck your brain in faster than a rabid dog with a Viagra-fuelled erection let loose in a picnic park, and their videos…well. It’s absolutely no exaggeration to say that this is the best thing I have ever seen. It’s made my day, my month, my year, and my life. Behold:

Links

Baby Godzilla on Facebook and Twitter.

After watching this video, you may find this link handy:

http://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-(ptsd)/#.U86Fg4BdXVs

Cyan Marble – ‘2/3′

cyan marble 2:3Prog is known for going over the top, stuffed to splitting point with pomp and circumstance. Epic-length albums, EPs, and even songs are more or less the norm. But prog is really about much more than that. It’s about thinking differently; being progressive.

With this two-track release, Cyan Marble are definitely thinking differently. The full package will, eventually, contain three tunes – but for now we’re treated to two, and two only. What’s on offer, though, is filling and fun enough already.

If Maroon 5 were locked in a padded room with their instruments after being pumped full of opiates and having the shit kicked out of them, their battered, bruised, and traumatised minds might well brew up something sonically similar to Behind the WallsSoup of Planets, meanwhile, is as bizarre as its title suggests, evoking images of The Mars Volta performing on a universe-spanning rollercoaster and leaving the listener no choice but to head back to Behind the Walls to start it all over again.

As for track three…well, the anticipation is killing me.

Links / Listen

Cyan Marble on Facebook and Twitter.

Yeti Love – ‘Yeti Love’

logoWhen an album brings to mind Boy Hits Car (one of my favourite bands of all time) and Spotlight Cannibal (one of my favourite bands of right now), it’s a winner in my eyes. On this, their eponymous debut album, Yeti Love are winning at music, and doing it in style.

Whatever these guys turn their hand to, it comes off perfectly. Yeti Love really have the acoustic-music Midas touch: Whether evoking the spirit of Bob Dylan on Saints Of White Lines; getting political on opener Old Man; flirting with intriguing instrumentation and Maynard James Keenan’s rhythmic flair on Ollos Do Sol; stealing a vocal harmony approach from Soundgarden-era Chris Cornell for Lonely Road; or experimenting with underwater melancholy on Switchblade Angel, it’s all more than good. It’s fucking great – an absolute belter of a long-player – and a must-hear album for those who like passion in one ear, and peace in the other.

Links

Yeti Love official website.

Buy Yeti Love on iTunes here.

Yeti Love will be touring with Boy Hits Car for the following dates:

26th July – The Underworld, Camden, London, UK

29th July – Marx, Hamburg, Germany

30th July – MTC, Cologne, Germany

31st July – Nachtleben, , Frankfurt/Main

The Jellycats – ‘When I Do’

the jellycats when i doLast Friday night was pretty damn special. As I said before, it was the best gig I’ve ever been to. It even beat Mötley Crue – something I’d always assumed was impossible. In short, Reel Big Fish killed it.

However, the greatest headliners are usually made so by being forced to raise the bar by their support acts. If the supports suck, headlining bands often suffer for it. The Jellycats, then, were the perfect opening act – and this album contains many of the songs that made the start of my night absolutely perfect.

The first thing to say about this album is that, at the time of writing, it’s completely free to download via Bandcamp. The Jellycats aren’t even asking money for it. So now you have no excuse to not have it on your hard drive.

When I Do is certainly worth more than zero pounds and zero pence. It’s a hyperactive, snotty, and fun-loving set of twelve ska-tinged tunes guaranteed to lodge themselves in your brain so deeply that you’ll need professional help to get them out again. From the horn-laden start of Hysteria to the title track’s closing moments via the wise advice of T-W-A-TBritish Poverty‘s political leanings, the essential A Drummer’s Guide To Self-Confidence and the irresistible bounce of Bipolar LoveWhen I Do is perfect from start to finish.

Make the most of The Jellycats’ generosity, download this album, and keep an eye on the future stars of ska. This album is also perfect for waking up in the morning, curing diseases of all kinds, and bugging the crap out of your neighbours at 3am.

Links / Listen

The Jellycats on Facebook and Twitter.

Live Review: Free From Gravity / Phoenix Chroi / Lisa Von H / Paper Fish / Isabella Joan (The Boileroom, Guildford, 19/7/14)

Here at TMMP, I always do my best to provide constructive criticism while avoiding sycophancy and its polar opposite – the kind of brutal and mindless bile commonly found in YouTube comments.

This review, then, is the hardest I’ve ever had to write.

Each band / artist who played last night had moments that hinted at promise and potential. But more time, practice, and experience is needed in every case. Playing to an underwhelming turnout is a far more intimidating prospect that performing in front of a packed room – but it’s in such situations that professionals are separated from amateurs.

I’ve seen acts turn up to play for next to nobody and still knock it out of the park – and at times like that you can’t help but admire and respect those performers, regardless of whether or not you’re into the music they play. Once you’ve witnessed that level of generosity even once, it sticks with you; and when you watch an act be deflated and defeated by the same situation, you have to wonder why. At that point, it’s probably easiest to dismiss the musicians in question with whatever negative statements come to mind, and have done with it.

Last night’s show was not a professional-grade show. The Boileroom is an incredible venue, and extremely well-run; that was still the case last night, but the same level of professionalism was not offered by the acts. As I mentioned above, more practice is needed; but in particular, stage fright was a major issue.

Here’s the thing about stage fright: The less a performer cares what his / her audience thinks, the better their performance is. This means that the less a band or artist care about what I (or any other critic) might think, the higher their chances of getting a positive response and / or review. Some people take on review-writing as a way of letting off steam, taking out their frustrations, fears, and insecurities on other people – but I don’t. I go to shows hoping that every band gives their set everything they have, stun their audience rigid no matter its size, and have fun doing it. Last night, that just didn’t happen. And when it comes down to it, I have to be honest; if I’m not, then any praise I offer to anyone else means nothing.

When I go to review gigs, I certainly don’t hope that I end up writing a piece like this. In the time these five hundred all-but-pointless words took to write, I could have reviewed at least two incredible albums, enjoyed the process, been inspired to a higher quality of writing than that used here, and offered a couple of new favourite bands the kind of words they could stick up on press releases and tour posters while remaining honest and non-sycophantic. There might have been a couple of minor faults that I could point out – without feeling or sounding like an asshole – as points for future improvement, and that would have been that.

I sincerely hope that I don’t have to write another piece like this for a long time.