Mad Mac 5: Back In The Habit

I don’t actually think these needs a smart-arsed introduction anymore, so we’ll just kick things off below:

And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead ”“ Inland Sea

Their name must be reminiscent of the public trying to leave when they start to play. (I think he means that you’d have to be dead to listen to it – Ross) My first impression is that this group do seem to be able to play a wide variety of instruments between them. It is a bit unfortunate that the backing music seems to drown the lyrics out a bit . Not sure why, perhaps the musical director thought that the words were not worth listening to? This should have been left to the audience to decide, but it does seem to be a little unfair to the vocalist. Did he upset someone when the tracks were laid down? I am sure if one could hear more of the lyrics, the overall sound would be greatly improved.

Trail of Dead - louder vocals please

Matt and Kim ”“ Daylight

This number has great orchestration a constant throbbing beat that would pound through the neighbour’s walls, drive them to distraction and then to the local council. They had strong lyrics, which came over the volume of the music, unfortunately it was difficult to identify which language they were using.  The lyrics were not sung but rather spoken – unfortunately not with the clarity of Rex Harrison in “My Fair Lady”. What the number was about and its purpose, will forever remain a mystery until the end of time – or rather till the start of the next track.

Obits ”“ Pine On

This is a bit more like the music I get to review. It is the sort of annoying row one hears from the oversized speakers of a car at the traffic lights echoing across the town. It makes you think of sledgehammers. A fast heavy rock number that any car it was played in would go about twenty miles an hour faster to keep up with the beat. Very reminiscent of the loud pounding rock beat of the sixties and seventies, I didn’t like those either. Would I include this band’s CD on my desert island discs collection? No. It’s only use would be to reflect the sun to attract a rescue plane to save me.

Sky Larkin ”“ Beeline

This number has a female vocalist – not too bad a voice, but seemed to have limited range; this could be due to the song. The title ‘Beeline‘ was repeated frequently not sure why, as the rest of the words were incomprehensible. Perhaps she could stand a bit farther in front of the group – about 70 feet should do it. I think she has a pleasant voice. Would I like to hear this number again? No, not without being paid an awful lot of money.

The Thermals ”“ Now We Can See

Now this is a heavy rock number very much in the genre of the great Rolling Stones. The lead vocalist sounds a lot like Mick Jagger. In my minds eye he would be doing the moves of Jagger and this would fit the lyrics. Rather than develop his own style, he has copied someone else. This is not a problem if it is done well, but total rubbish if done badly – thankfully this is done well.

Hutch Harris = Mick Jagger?

William Elliot Whitmore ”“ Old Devils

This track is very much in the country genre. A cross between Johnny Cash and Burl Ives. If you like country you will like this. I can imagine him singing with a now banned cigarette in a smoky pub performing in the corner. Of course now he won’t be in a smoky pub so to hear him would not damage your health. His sound is different from other performers, who prefer to rely on noise volume rather than quality. If his other numbers are in this vein then he is quite listenable.


Trail of Dead’s ‘The Century Of Self’ is available now through their website. I haven’t heard it yet, but the cover art is predictably awesome.

Matt & Kim’s album ‘Grand’ is also available through Faderlabel, which confusingly re-routes back to their own site, so I’m not sure what’s going on there.

‘I Blame You’ by Obits came out early last week through Sub Pop. The track ‘Pine On’ as reviewed above, is also available for free download.

Sky Larkin’s debut album ‘The Golden Spike’ is available through the fine people at Wichita Records.Beeline’ was actually a free Mp3 on itunes a few weeks ago.

‘Now We Can See’ by The Thermals is released by Kill Rock Stars on the 7th April and also features some excellent cover art.

William Elliott Whitmore’s ‘Animals In The Dark’ is available from Anti . Whisky to accompany this CD is available from all good off licences, supermarkets and booze king.

Words – Mad Mac
Pictures – From Myspace (Thermals pic by Whitey McConnaughy)

Lizard Hips

Junior Vice President of Keep It Fast. In other news: I work in social media, talk about dinosaurs, run a book club and have amazing facial hair. I am also a male man who is still not dead.

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