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Clearing The Backlog | The Best Music You Didn’t Hear In January Pt. 3

Gary Moore, Guru Guru, Hazmat Modine, Helicon & other acts to improve your life.

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As usual, I ran out of month long before I ran out of great music to review in January. So I’m putting together a few posts with all the great albums that didn’t get enough attention. You’ve got everything from rock, pop and jazz to Celtic blues, country-rock, hardcore and much more. Rather than blather on myself about them, I’m saving time by just including their press releases. But you can rest assured that they all get the official Tinnitist stamp of A Wop Bop A Loo Bop A Whop Bam Boom. Give them a spin before they get lost in the rearview:


En Attendant Ana
Juillet

THE PRESS RELEASE: “With the release of Juillet, Parisian quintet En Attendant Ana make good on the promise of their album Lost & Found, diligently crafting a set of ten songs that shimmer, glide and sway with a sophistication only hinted at by their debut. Recorded over the course of one week at an isolated studio in rural France, Juillet is the sound of a band reshaping itself, adapting to numerous transitions both within the band (Juillet is the first recording with current guitarist Maxence Tomasso) and in life. Primary lyricist & front person Margaux Bouchaudon says “I tend to consider it as a journey towards acceptation of losses (would they be friends, lovers or dreams through death, departure or disillusion…) but also towards self respect and independence.” Indeed many of the songs on Juillet feel hopeful, despite their melancholic tone, lacing a lilting melody or triumphant trumpet swell (courtesy of multi-instrumentalist Camille Fréchou) or charging guitar riffs from Tomasso or Bouchaudon.”



Gary Moore
Live From London

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Some shows are so momentous, they pass into rock ‘n’ roll folklore. When Gary Moore stepped onto the stage of London’s Islington Academy on Dec. 2, 2009, it was a true one-off, showcasing one of blues-rock’s biggest names in an intimate club setting. Nobody in the sell-out crowd that night suspected the great Irish bluesman was close to the end. But when Moore passed away fourteen months later, aged just 58, the show took on added poignancy, cherished as one of his last stands, kept alive in the memories of those who attended. Now, a decade later, the release of Live From London resurrects the much-missed Irishman, bringing his blazing talents back into the spotlight. The 2009 performance catches Moore at the height of his blues prowess, with classics like Oh Pretty Woman, Parisienne Walkways, I’ll Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know, and of course Still Got The Blues. Between the opener and encore, Moore gave us everything he had, and Live From London is a testament to one of the greatest and beloved guitarists of all time.”


Gums!
Temps

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Function-suite romantics Gums! are the project of veteran Glasgow songwriter Martin J. Smith. Over his two decades in music, Smith has built a reputation on mining the mundane and the miserable for unexpected gems of wistful pop. On Temps, Smith’s trademark literary flair and narrative focus are given room to be breathe over 12 tracks of essential indie. Smith explains “With Temps I wanted to tell a story over a period of time. I focussed on the story of a relationship over the course of 15 years, the songwriting style and arrangement shift over the course of the album to highlight the passage of time and a growing sense of alienation.” The Gums! sound is built around the interplay between the three vocalists, Nora Noonan’s casual, poppy tones providing the perfect counter-point to Smith’s “Scottish Leonard Cohen” delivery, with the intricate guitar work and soaring vocal melodies of Jack Taylor elevating the choruses to Teenage Fanclub-esque proportions.”


The Guru Guru
Point Fingers

THE PRESS RELEASE:The Guru Guru have been happily dealing in Borderline Rock. Imagine: lead vocals wearing a multicolored strait-jacket, haunted by feverish guitars and a tormented rhythm section. While influences are drawn from the likes of METZ, Pere Ubu, Deerhoof, The Jesus Lizard, The Mars Volta & Andy Kaufman, the indie-math- psycho-noise rulebook is torn apart, resulting in erratic songs that somehow seem to develop into wriggling earworms. After releasing a promising EP, 7 inch, 10 inch (split record with fierce trio Brutus) and their debut album PCHEW, they are now ready to release Point Fingers. With their second album they dig even deeper into the turmoil of their music and it’s non-stop madness. Instead of being in the nuthouse they now own the asylum and welcome you all to be folded origamiwise.”


Hazmat Modine
Box of Breath

THE PRESS RELEASE: “This new collection of original material finds Hazmat deep in command of their self-created idiom — swimming in international waters but never far from the American coast. Malian riffs infuse with Mississippi mud and Tin Pan Alley, stretching the band’s roots aesthetic to include notes of hibiscus and the buzz of mosquitos. There are songs about death, striving, hoarding, time and the march of dementia. Soaring horns and wailing harmonica are joined by the clang of modern India and the murmur of China, a distillation of Hazmat Modine’s travels through time, place and sound. Throughout, the CD weaves lyrics that reflect on the times and troubles of the world we currently live in. This is the bands most mature and original album yet, something so Hazmatian that it needs its own genre to define it… Familiar yet un-trodden, Box of Breath celebrates humanity and mortality.”


Helicon
This Can Only Lead to Chaos

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Glaswegian psychedelic heavyweights Helicon are soon set to release their second album, the aptly titled This Can Only Lead to Chaos. A 9-track effort, it sees the band delve even deeper into their self-confessed “evil psych rock with smatterings of sentient sitar” – coming out of the other end with something more raw and heavy, and far closer to the all-consuming live show that they’ve spent the last decade frying minds with. As angry and acerbic as ever, vocalist and guitarist John-Paul Hughes says of the themes explored on the album: “We are living in unprecedented times. This age of greed, individualism, fear, ignorance and manipulation of the masses has brought us to the point we are electing predatory liars and con men who bully and discriminate, then wear it as a badge of honour. They encourage and embolden others to follow suit then wash their hands of the consequences like some fucking modern-day Pontius Pilate and his privileged prick pals. We live in a society that denies climate change. We make stupid people famous. The Sun is the best-selling newspaper. Ed Sheeran is named ‘artist of the decade’. There are more food banks than McDonald’s in the UK. The whole shit house is going up in flames whilst fuckwits watch Love Island and flick through which filter to apply to their latest selfie.”


Jeff Parker
Suite For Max Brown

THE PRESS RELEASE: “I’m always looking for ways to be surprised,” says composer and multi-instrumentalist Jeff Parker as he explains the process, and the thinking, behind his new album, Suite for Max Brown. “If I sit down at the piano or with my guitar, with staff paper and a pencil, I’m eventually going to fall into writing patterns, into things I already know. So, when I make music, that’s what I’m trying to get away from — the things that I know.” Parker himself is known to many fans as the longtime guitarist for the Chicago–based quintet Tortoise, one of the most critically revered, sonically adventurous groups to emerge from the American indie scene of the early nineties. The band’s often hypnotic, largely instrumental sound eludes easy definition, drawing freely from rock, jazz, electronic, and avant-garde music, and it has garnered a large following over the course of nearly thirty years. Aside from recording and touring with Tortoise, Parker has worked as a side man with many jazz greats, including labelmate Joshua Redman on his 2005 Momentum album; as a studio collaborator with other composer-musicians, including Makaya McCraven, Brian Blade, Meshell N’Degeocello, his longtime friend (and Chicago Underground ensemble co-founder) Rob Mazurek; and as a solo artist.”


Les Amazones d’Afrique
Amazones Power

THE PRESS RELEASE: “A creative force that embraces international voices; sweet, strong harmonies that summon the rights of women and girls; a meltdown of heritage and new gen talent… Les Amazones d’Afrique are back with Amazones Power, the sequel to their widely acclaimed 2017 debut album, Republique Amazone. The roots of this pan-African female “supergroup” date back to 2014, when three renowned Malian music stars and social change activists — Mamani Keïta, Oumou Sangaré and Mariam Doumbia (also from legendary duo Amadou & Mariam) began a conversation about gender equality with Valerie Malot (head of the French booking/creative agency 3D Family). “What we found was that female repression in the continent and in the world, is something that touches every woman,” recalls Malot. “It’s not a question of colour or culture. It’s something generic. All women can relate to it.”