Tag Archives: Oasis

Stay, ‘The Mean Solar Times’ review

Fans of Oasis and Beady Eye may be interested to hear ‘The Mean Solar Times’ by Barcelona psychedelic rockers Stay, given Andy Bell’s contribution to three songs on the album.

Released through Minneapolis label ‘Picture in my Ear’, and featuring Britpop guru Owen Morris (Oasis/The Verve) on production duties, the 5th studio album from the Catalans is a rich and potent mix of 70’s psychedelia, 90’s Britpop, oriental and funk influences, intensified by frontman Jordi Bel’s youthful vocals.

Having gained something of a cult following in their native Spain, the band have carved out a niche as one of the go to support acts around, opening for the likes of Ocean Colour Scene, Beady Eye and The Pretty Things, as well as appearing at festivals such as Primavera Sound in their home city.  

Vintage tones, resplendent melodies, intricate instrumentals and organ-guitar interplay draw obvious comparisons with the likes of Big Star, Traffic and The Charlatans, as the band meander from the slow, jovial and intricate to the heavy, emotionally enveloping, demonstrating a flair and character that places above the level of simple pastiche.

Opener ‘Pinkman’, with Bell on guitar, sounds distinctly Charlatansesque, with brooding basslines, abrasive guitar hooks and a healthy dose of organs, sitars and soaring melodies, with the brief burst of flamenco guitar for good measure.

Follow up ‘Always Here’ is a sparkling wedge of feel good summery indie pop, while ‘Smiling Faces’ continues the winning formula first evoked in ‘Pinkman’ – layered guitars, melodies and anthemic soundscapes.

The glossy, merry ‘You Know It’s Right’ and ‘Shake The Sun’ could both have been lifted from Teenage Fanclub’s ‘Bandwagonesque’, while the frenetic, trippy ‘Mind-Blowing’ juxtaposes in a 6 minute wall of clashing sitars and organs.

While falling a yard or two short or true originality, ‘The Mean Solar Times’ is still a consistent, solid effort from Stay who, through a combination of strong musicianship, layered sounds and sweet harmonies, no doubt permits the band to remain flagbearers of the Spanish, Brit pop influenced indie kitsch sound for some time to come.

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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.