Friday, 31 August 2012

Menomena - Moms (Album Review)

Boulder Canyon, you made a son out of me, I had a mother who swam in your streams, I know the ending yet I'm faking suspense...

Menomena return with their fifth studio album Moms, minus founding member Brent Knopf and with a bigger and bolder sound than before. There's less of the cut 'n' paste approach to crafting songs that's become their trademark, ironically despite one third of the band departing this is the most unified and confidant they have ever sounded. Previous album Mines was perhaps their most serious, ditching the overarching playfulness of Friend and Foe for a tense and moody atmosphere. Don't let the title of Moms fool you though, this album is a powerful beast of chugging riffs, crashing percussion and intricate sound design and this time around the playfulness, experimentation and bizarre tendencies of Menomena's earlier work have crept back in to the foreground, married with a rejuvenated exuberance that makes this their most exciting and perhaps best record yet.

Opening track Plumage is an immediate, upbeat and catchy reintroduction, complete with handclaps, fuzz guitar, arpeggiated synths and quirky lyrics; "I once was tragically hip and beautifully fine, now my beautiful hips are tragically wide." Capsule begins with a sleazy strummed guitar on maximum overdrive before being snatched away and replaced with a stuttering beat and tight bassline. In just over four minutes the track incorporates blues influenced chords, lush piano, booming sub-bass, prog-rock breakdowns complete with woodwind flourishes and more of those quirky lyrics; "no more trophies as the consolation fantasy, like a nervous random stranger at a gloryhole." There isn't a single song here that doesn't showcase something new or reinforce the band's knack for left-field songwriting and composition.

Standout tracks include the emotive lead single Heavy is as Heavy Does, which gradually builds with intensity to an epic climax, the theatrical and twisted Don't Mess With Latexas and the stunning and sublime closer One Horse which features cinematic string arrangements and sombre lyrics; "you always drank alone, you were a one-horse town." Across ten tracks Moms not only reminds us of all the things that previously made Menomena such a special band but armed with a more organically cohesive and confidant approach to recording they have managed to step into new territory and completely own it. It's extremely exciting to see a band maintain such a consistant level of brilliance in their output and judging by this latest LP Menomena are certainly one of the most talented and unique acts around.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Mischa Barton London Store Opening

Last night Mischa Barton threw a little pre-launch party sponsored by Johnny Walker Gold Label at her new boutique in Spitalfields London and I went along to say hi and check it out. The boutique is located in the heart of East London and will be selling Mischa's range of clothing, makeup and handbags (which are already into their ninth season). I know she's a big fan of East London so this is the perfect place for the store, and the garments are all affordably priced and the store sits nicely alongside the surrounding boutiques that Spitalfields has become known for. Check out some pictures below of Mischa & I and Conan Mockasin performing, with some special guest vocals... (click to see full size)

The Mischa Barton boutique opens tomorrow, but will have an official launch day on Saturday 11 August - during which customers will have the chance to meet Mischa, and enjoy 10 per cent off all purchases along with a glass of celebratory champagne.

Friday, 3 August 2012

Angels - The XX (Erol Sabadosh Remix)

"Erol Sabadosh is a master of minimalist remixes that manage to keep the tone of the original while being danceable. In "Angels", the fabulous new single from The XX, the producer not only showcases one of his best works but also one of his most danceable. Keeping the cohesive structure of the original, Erol adds pianos, synthesizers and a lavish production that rivals the original track." - Oh My Rock

"Erol Sabadosh handles The XX like so many have done so before him, and transforms their Original into a radio friendly & club floor drum-honey. It’s good floating in the arms of synthy angels." - Aerial Noise

"Erol mixes a nice live drum sound with some glockenspiel and bouncing synths to create a very atmospheric remix." - Surviving the Golden Age

Ping Launch Party

Last night saw the official launch party of the new concept venue in Earl's Court from Alex Potter, Fraser Shipsides, Johnny Boud and Stevie Thomas. Ping pong, pizza and cocktails come together in a grand space mixing boho chic with underground cool. The pizzas are hand made, delicious and surprisingly competitive in price. £7 will get you a pizza or a cocktail and the choices are varied and unique. We love it and are already looking forward to going back! The license is until 2am so we expect some kicking parties coming up too.

Symbolic Exchange & Death

Symbolic Exchange & Death is the title of the exhibition hosted by Wolf & Badger on Dover Street and presented by YuMiHu, featuring the work of artists Pinky Love, Eleanor Fawcett and Eleanor Barreau. The exhibition may be small in scale but the work is thematically ambitious and varied across sculpture, paintings, collage and print. Paloma Faith dropped in to say hello and even Ralph Fiennes walked in and purchased a piece while we enjoyed a champagne reception and mingled with the ├╝ber cool crowd at this private viewing. The exhibition is free and runs at Wolf & Badger Mayfair until 7th August 2012. All artwork is on sale so collectors better get in there quick before all of the pieces are snapped up, and we're pretty sure they will be!