A gem to be found with FOUND.

Cloning, released on November the 6TH, represents a welcome return to action from Edinburgh band/art collective FOUND, which, as the name suggests, offers an engaging post-modern vision that sounds like it has torn a page or two from inside a Philip K Dick novel.

After 2011’s celebrated factorycraft, the BAFTA winning group’s new release sees three become two, with Ziggy Campbell and Kevin Sim continuing proceedings after Tommy Perman’s departure for pastures new, and this long awaited return sees the duo stick to a winning formula of opaque, experimental, synth pop, dowsed in sparkling analogue synth chords.

Opener A Souvenir for Every Hope You Had gallops along like a more sugar coated version of Mogwai’s Mexican Grand Prix, while diverse tracks such as The First Catastrophe and Halfway Cured give a polished, dream-like dystopian sound that ventures occasionally into 80’s horror film territory.

found

Standout track Wheel of Apocalypse brings Campbell’s vocal talents to the fore, as the Vangelis-esque synths juxtapose with romantic notions of impending catastrophe: “Futures come and futures go, there’s a future I can’t get to / Now it’s gone, I have to choose, a future where I can’t forget you.”

At eight minutes long, The Second Catastrophe continues the cataclysmic feel with pounding drums accompanying fragile, soaring vocals against an eclectic synth backdrop as Credits offers a strong, brooding finish to a distinctive, yet dynamic piece of work.

Holyesque get spiritual.

It’s a Sunday afternoon, and it’s bucketing it down. The four local lads who together make up Holyesque shuffle in soaked one after the other, some still sobering up post Finnieston flat-party, to sit down to chat about their upcoming double A side single and  Glasgow headline show at St Lukes and subsequent release of long awaited debut album At Hope’s Ravine in February.

Since the band’s inception in late 2010, a steady flow of single releases, celebrated gigs, European support slots and SXSW jaunts have gradually heightened the buzz around a group whose sound, driven by singer Pat Hynes’s raspy, primal scream and industrial guitar, fails to conform to any comparative music out there, and all the better for it.

Celebrated recent shows at Tenement Trail, the SAMA’s and Camden’s Barfly – with a certain Annie Mac in attendance, alongside multiple Radio 1 plays of upcoming single Silences, seamlessly draws a line towards an arrival at the big time, and the band, whose design background seeps into their image – keyboardist Keir Reid and drummer Ralph McClure both study at Glasgow School of Art while not making music – are keen to take full advantage, as Pat himself intimates.

“We are planning on keeping the momentum going. It’s picking up I feel like we are progressing and we going in the right direction.  We are in the best position we have ever been just now and we hope the anticipation will pay off and people are going to be into the album.”

The chemistry amongst the foursome – Pat, Ralph, Keir and guitarist Shug – is contagious. It’s like old pals that just happened to pick up their instruments and decide to make music, and Keir believes that this sense of camaraderie is what drives the band forward.

“When we started the band there was never any blueprint or any kind of set idea or discussions. Everyone has their own inspirations and influences. We were all from different angles and places.

Pretty much all decisions are made as a group. Anything creatively, whichever direction the band is going in, whatever we are doing, we all decide together.”

Although for many fans, the album seems to have been a long time coming from a band that first got our tongues wagging with 2012’s Rose, Keir mentions that the wait for the album wasn’t as a result of a lack of material, far from it.

“With an album generally it’s not about the amount of songs you have, there are so many other factors to take into account. It needs to be right. It annoys us when people think oh ‘we have finally got an album worth of material’. We held it off because we wanted to make sure it was right and done properly.”

With regards to At Hope’s Ravine, the band removed themselves from the goldfish bowl that is Glasgow, splitting their time between Copenhagen and Brighton, a decision, that Keir thinks, paid off dividends, especially with regards to ramping up the creativeness emanating from the band.

“We spent a week and half in Denmark where we got all the basics down and then went for two weeks to just outside Brighton to experiment and work with the songs more.

It was kind of this great atmosphere and we were like ‘fuck it will we try it’. We ended up singing in stables and using wee kids toy pianos, just anything. It was our first real experience of experimentation in the recording process. Trying to tap into something new.”

 

Keir is also keen to detail working with Grammy award winning producer John Schumann, a bona-fide fan of the band, and how it seemed the perfect fit for where they wanted to go as a group.

“We became quite friendly with him when we did the Ravonettes support slot (in 2012), he was into the band and we knew he was a ‘somebody’. I think we rubbed off on him.

He gets it, he understands what we are doing and he is enthusiastic about it. John brought out the best in us and sent us in the right direction.”

And although a few years have passed since their 18 date jaunt around Europe with the Danish indie-rock duo, Ralph doesn’t discount heading back out to the continent on a support slot ticket; although this time they might treat it a little differently.

“Something like that would be perfect for us. The last time we were on a tour we were young and impressionable but we learned a lot (from the Ravonettes). We were stealing their rider and wanting to go out and party every night while they were real pros. We were arseholes. It was an insight.”

The band also seem to have found themselves a niche market in the form of Austin, Texas, with a visit in 2016 not out of the question, off the back of trips out there the past three years in succession. Something Pat is eager to share.

“We seem to have a yearly residency now out there. We have a lot of friends now and we just have a really good time. It’s been getting better every year for us. Especially since we started playing in dive bars and cupboards. I think a lot of people suffer from that but for us it really did help us and turned out to be quite beneficial.”

Casting nostalgia to one side for a moment, Pat gets back down to speaking about their number one concern, the music, and the connection that exists between the foursome.

“The majority of time the best songs are done on the spot there and then. It’s the best feeling in the world for us when we are all playing things and it just comes together and you know there’s something there. It’s like there’s a silent understanding between us.”

Further to this, however, is the design element, which flirts alongside their music to deliver a whole package, something that the band themselves are keen on expressing, as Pat and Keir indicate.

“You need to offer more than just a song. People need to grab onto something. Whatever we are doing we want to make a visual element that worked with the music. I think it goes hand in hand. You spend so much time writing and recording a song and making it sound good, just to give it to a label to put their own thing behind it. For us it’s part of the process. One benefits the other.

I think music is pretty two dimensional. So for us it’s important to pull in these other aspects to it, to open it up for people to take more from it, not just the music.  It’s just another edge to the sword.”

Doing so, it seems, helps the band really develop their own sense of how they see themselves as a band, helping to avoid what Keir regards as “lazy” comparisons with other bands.

“We don’t like being pigeonholed. We have been against that from the get-go. There comes a time when it can become detrimental to a band.”

While Pat agrees.

“Pidgeon-holing. Fuck that. We’ve always wanted to leave things open to interpretation with regards to our music. We’ve always encouraged people to question what we are doing. Why this lyric is that in the song, why those visuals are in that video, for example.”

Meanwhile, seeing out the year by playing at new Glasgow venue St Lukes ,a venue they themselves chose for the upcoming single launch , will, Keir hopes, give them the kind of blank canvas they are looking for to really cement their ambition, purpose and intention to those in attendance.

“I’m interested in the idea of communities and religions and that place has been used as a kind of gathering place over the years. I quite like the idea of us re-contextualizing it in our own way, with our music and with our own visuals. We really can’t wait for it.”

In between all the preparations for the album, the St Lukes gig and the single launch, Pat points out that they haven’t let that get in the way of already looking towards album number two.

“We are already working on it (Album 2). There’s no breaks for us. What else would we do? We are in the studio writing new songs all the time.”

With a drive and determination that may put other like-minded bands to shame, the group don’t seem like they are the kind who would take stock. Indeed, the band seem pretty humble with respect to how much they feel they need to achieve before they have ‘made it’, judging by Keir’s admission.

“We know we will have made it when we come back in here to the pub with fur coats on with enough money to get a pint.”

Jokes aside, it’s refreshing to hear from a band, who, undoubtedly are one of the best acts to come out of Scotland in the past decade, who have their feet firmly on the ground and are just focusing on doing what they do best, making vibrant, intense and unique music.

Here’s to the Holy.

Tijuana Bibles preach their indie-rock sermon to the converted.

tijuana
From the streets of Coatbridge to the dusty, tumble weed strewn backwaters of Louisiana, Tijuana Bibles seem to have swapped the town’s famous Time Capsule for darker, True Detective-esque climes, such is their gritty, swaggering sound.

Their newest release, Ghost/Dance/Movement EP, is a remarkably polished effort that wouldn’t sound out of place squeezed amongst the bastard son of an Arctic Monkeys or Black Rebel Motorcycle Club whisky-fuelled consummation.

Opener Apogee grinds its boots into the dirt and hurtles along at an incessant pace, banked by heavy guitars and Tony Costello’s soaring vocals (“Bite down on the pill when she pulls the trigger/Sweet as a kiss to cure my killer”) echoing the punches thrown by Queens of the Stone Age at their most heavyweight.

Ghost Dance showcases the band at its most potent, snarling, and memorable, keeping with the pace from the previous track. Costello continues to impress both lyrically and vocally, as if preaching to a petrol-hungry mass of converts (“I feed from the fire of the sun/Love is the only weapon”).

Follow up Six to Midnight eschews heavy riffs and Shamen references, with gun-slinging, fist fights and red wine all thrown in for good measure, reflecting as it does the band’s drive and ambition in spades.

Closer Sun Chaser offers a perfect end to proceedings, a layered, Eastern sounding gallop which hints at desert horizons and immortality, backed up by some impressive cloud-high choruses to satisfy any pair of ears.

A stunning piece of work from a band who fully merit their status as one of Scotland’s hottest acts and who will, hopefully, continue to deliver, just as they did at their sell out show at Glasgow’s Oran Mor, which nearly shook the old church to its foundations.

The band had the 500 in attendance in the palms of their hands as they rattled through songs off the new EP with a panache and arrogance that puts them on a par with early Oasis. Frontman Tony Costello seemed born for the starring role as he confidently led the crowd into a sweat-filled frenzy, backed by thundering drums and snarly guitars.

A European jaunt followed that saw the Bibles play in venues across Poland, Germany and Estonia, winning over an army of new fans in the process.

Happily back in their native town, upcoming shows supporting The Enemy at mythical venue The Garage, alongsdie solo shows in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Kilmarnock, should see the band head into 2016 on the verge of greatness.

The Wellgreen set for Spanish adventure.

Glasgow’s The Wellgreen are ready to take things up a gear as they set sail for the Spanish Main in two weeks time.

After lighting the touch paper with debut release, Wellgreens, in 2010, the band followed that up with Grin and Bear It, both of which were self-produced under The Barne Society label.

Considerable local acclaim was quick to come their way from fans and fellow musicians alike, none more so that from Stevie Jackson of Belle and Sebastian.

The band, centred around multi-instrumentalists and vocalists Marco Rea and Stuart Kidd, actually ended up making music together after Stuart asked Marco to work with him on a song for a Christmas compliation album.

Developing a 60’s psychodelic piano-based sound that feels like a cross between The Left Banke, The Kinks and The Beach Boys, with a nod to The Beatles Revolver period to boot, the band’s commitment to old school recordings allow them to cement that classic, other-worldy feel, backed up by retro casio tones.

A gig at last year’s Indie Pop festival brought them to the attention of Valencian record label Pretty Oliva, and after captivating their Spanish onlookers, the result has led to a collaboration that seems like a match made in heaven, in the form of the ‘Summer Rain‘ LP.

The 12 track LP features remastered songs selected from their self titled debut, alongside tracks off second album, ‘Grin and Bear It‘, alongside 3 new songs thrown in. With that flying off the press over in sunny Spain, the label has seen fit to take the band on tour across the length and breadth of the country, which will see them play four concerts in the cities of Madrid, Oviedo, Santiago de Compostela and Valencia.

The dates in Spain will see the band go on their first tour as a bona-fide 4 piece, with Daniel McGeever y Jim McGoldrick helping to reinforce and layer their sound.

The band’s manager, Balir McLaughlin, is excited about what’s in store for The Wellgreen;

“There’s a wee circle of decenlty placed music heads over there that absolutely adore the band. So hopefully we can make the most of our time out here. These guys have been amazing during this whole release & tour.”

Here’s hoping the boys do Glasgow proud and return home having earned a new legion of Spanish speaking fans.

wellgreen 2