Lonely the Brave – Rattlesnakes Single Review

Lonely the Brave – Rattlesnakes Single Review

Cambridge stadium rockers Lonely the Brave have just dropped their new single Rattlesnakes, off forthcoming album Things Will Matter. This is their sophomore album following their monumental debut The Day’s War, one of my favourite albums of 2014. And if this single is anything to go by, Things Will Matter will be just as good.

The song starts off with a simple yet catchy guitar riff, followed by David Jakes haunting vocals. His peculiar voice is incredibly distinctive and makes them stand out from the numerous stadium-esque alternative Rock bands that seem to be all around us. There is almost certainly an Eddie Vedder influence on his style, an amazing vocalist in his own right.

The vocals seem quite quiet in the mix, although this may be intentional as during live shows Jakes is at the back near the drummer, as he has reservations about being a typical ‘frontman’. This could have influenced how the track was mixed, which although not displeasing is certainly unusual in most circumstances (unless you are in a Lo Fi band).

The riff at the end of each chorus and in the bridge has a very Biffy Clyro vibe, which is unsurprising as they are essentially their southern counterparts in many ways. Both bands being influenced by genres such as Math Rock and Grunge while putting a more radio friendly spin on it. The track builds up to a powerful crescendo, before fading out, leaving you wanting more. It clocks in at a short and sweet 3 mins 28 secs, a bit shorter than most tracks on their debut, but no worse off for it.

With that catchy riff and a soaring voice such as the one David Jakes is in possession of, you can not go too far wrong when belting out catchy radio friendly tracks such as this. The simplicity and honesty of this band, coupled with their ability to write a great hook are what make this band one to watch in the future.

7.5/10

Red Hot Chili Peppers – Dark Neccesities Single Review

Red Hot Chili Peppers – Dark Neccesities Single Review

As soon as I heard there was a new RHCP single out, I am pretty sure I let out a squeal of delight. I was introduced to Red Hot Chili Peppers at a young age and have loved them ever since. When Stadium Arcadium came out I was hooked, when I found out I’m With You was coming out, I pre-ordered it straight away. Well, I doubt that will be happening with new album Getaway, if their new single is anything to go off.

The track starts out with this melancholy bass line that sounds promising, not in the slightest reminiscent of that sweet funk we have come to expect from Flea, but it had me interested: were we returning to some of the slightly darker themes of Blood, Sugar, Sex, Magik? Was this a resurgence of that stripped down back to basics sound of Californication? Or was it something new?  some quiet guitar triplets come in, all good so far, then the piano started. When it comes to RHCP, not historically great. They have always seemed to work best as one guitarist, one drummer, Anthony Kiedis beautiful vocals and the almighty Flea.

Then the piano fades and Flea shows us that his funk roots are still there with a catchy bass line that gets you back into the swing of things, only to have it all come crashing down with more piano and now some strings as well. Anthony Kiedis comes in with his beautiful lilting vocal, although even he does not live up to his potential on this track. Flea’s bass work on this is completely fine, but it is mostly drowned out by the additional instrumentation. Josh Klinghoffer’s guitar work is probably the best thing about this track, with the verse and chorus being very reminiscent of his predecessor John Frusciante’s style of minimalist riffing, and he churns out a half decent solo in the last minute of the track, but whatever it is he is playing in the bridge, it is plain annoying.

Overall I found this track fairly disappointing. The track seems crowded, with the strings and piano feeling out of place and unnecessary. Kiedis is a fantastic vocalist, but there just seems to be something lacking in this song, While I’m With You certainly had its flaws, his vocals were never called into question on that album. The arrangement seems very haphazard and lacks any of the great elements that set RHCP apart other than Flea. It honestly sounds like what The Script would come up with if you asked them to write a Red Hot Chili Peppers track. Hopefully the album will have something else that will pique my interest.

4.5/10

Amaretto Iced Tea

Amaretto Iced Tea

With Summer just around the corner, its time to ditch the cups of tea while snuggled up on the sofa watching Netflix, and get outside in the sun, while cradling something a little more refreshing. Now, I know there will be a few of you who are reluctant to ditch your brew and biscuit, so I have provided this easy cocktail for all the tea lovers out there.

Serves 1

Ingredients:

300 ml of boiling water

1 black tea bag (around 6g if using loose leaf)

a small lemon

75 ml of Amaretto liqueur (Disaronno or similar)

3 tsp. of brown sugar

Plenty of ice

The first thing you need to do is get some ice on the go if you don’t have any ready made. Depending on the size of your ice cubes give them 2-3 hours at least.

So place your tea/teabag and the boiling water into your teapot and steep for around 10 minutes. Remember the ice will dilute it slightly so do not panic if it seems a little stronger than you would normally have it. Then remove the teabag or transfer the tea into another container if using loose leaf. Then add your sugar, stirring thoroughly. After this cut your lemon in half, squeezing the juice of one half into the tea.

To measure the Amaretto use a cocktail jigger, or if you don’t have one to hand a shot glass will do. Your average shot is 25 ml (35 ml in some countries) so if you use 3 it works out perfectly. So add 25 ml of Amaretto to the tea and leave to cool for about an hour. This lets the tea settle and also ensures all the ice does not melt immediately, leaving you with a weak watered down swill rather than the glorious refreshment it is supposed to be.

When the tea is sufficiently cooled, add your ice, the other 50 ml of Amaretto and a thick slice of lemon to garnish. Give it a good stir and enjoy in whatever outside space you possibly can.

Creamy Bacon and Red Onion Pasta

Creamy Bacon and Red Onion Pasta

This pasta dish is wonderfully creamy and indulgent, with 4 of my very favourite ingredients; bacon, garlic, cheese and a good splash of alcohol. The sauce, while no friend to your waistline is very versatile, and works equally well over some grilled chicken breasts with griddled asparagus.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

450g of pasta such as fusili or rigatoni

8 rashers of smoked back bacon, diced

1 large red onion, finely sliced

3 cloves of garlic, crushed

200ml of cream

100ml of chicken stock

100ml of white wine

50g grated Parmesan

15g of butter

1 tbsp. of plain flour

1 tsp. dried parsley

1 tsp. of sugar

Olive Oil

Black pepper

First of all, heat a medium sized frying pan with 1 tbsp. of olive oil, before adding the bacon. Gently fry for a minute before adding half the onion, stirring gently for another minute. at this point you want to turn the heat down a bit before adding a tsp. of sugar. This is just to very lightly caramelise the mixture. add some black pepper and stir occasionally. Meanwhile add the pasta to a large pan, a pinch of salt and a quick drizzle of olive oil. Then add boiling water until the pasta is covered and put on a medium heat. After this, take the bacon and onions off the heat and leave to one side.

Now onto the sauce. Firstly melt the butter in a medium saucepan before adding the garlic, 1 tbsp. of olive oil and a pinch of black pepper. stir vigorously for 30 seconds before adding the flour, again mixing vigorously to create a roux. then add the chicken stock, cream and the wine. For the best results, use a nice dry white wine, and remember, never use a wine you would not drink. lower the heat and stir gently for 2 minutes. Then, slowly add the parmesan and finally the parsley, stirring all the while.

The next thing you need to do is bring the bacon back on a high heat for a minute, adding the rest of the onions, which you want to retain a bit of bite. By this time the pasta should be cooked, so drain and put to the side. Then add the bacon and onions to the sauce and reduce down over a high heat. Then mix in with the pasta and serve. Add some black pepper and serve with some nice peppery rocket.

 

Five artists who have defied gender norms

Many artists over the years have challenged gender norms, whether by their actions or appearance. In some cases, it could be purely for the sake of theatricality, or simply as a way to express themselves further. These five artists have broken down the barriers of gender on numerous occasions, some having a lasting effect for time to come.

Marilyn MansonMarilyn MA

Marilyn Manson has always been one to enjoy theatricality, and his particular brand of gothic androgyny has become so instantly recognisable that few people have seen him without his signature makeup and milky contacts. His public image is so bizarre and sometimes downright confusing, and he revels in it. His androgynous appearance is most evident on the front cover of Mechanical Animals, where he is shown to have a virtually featureless naked body. A true born entertainer, never afraid to do his own thing.

 

Brian Molko. brian-molko-profile

With the heavy makeup, painted nails and occasional crop top, Brian Molko really went against the current in the 90s, wading through Britpop and indie bands to show the world the sheer brilliance of Placebo. He is most notable for his openness on topics such as sexual fluidity, mental health and cross dressing. He is sometimes linked to the resurgence of Goth in the 90s and with great songs like Nancy Boy, he brought a fantastic new sound to accompany his eye catching appearance.

Pete Burns

 

Pete Burns

Pete Burns, former frontman of pop group Dead or Alive (best known for the massive hit You Spin Me Round), is well known in the media for his androgynous appearance, heavily altered by cosmetic surgery over the years. He has undergone many procedures in recent years, which has often caused controversy, in addition to his various appearances on reality tv shows such as Celebrity Big Brother 2006.

 

Little Richard.Little-Richard-beautiful-001

Little Richard is seen by some as the first androgynous Rock’n’Roll star, often wearing dresses and makeup during live performances. This coupled with his (often censored) sexually explicit lyrics on huge hits such as ‘Tutti Frutti’ garnered him a great deal of attention throughout his career, cementing him as one of the first androgynous icons to appear in popular music. He is often seen as having issues finding his identity, however he was still fairly influential to later artists.

 

David Bowie. Ziggy Stardust

David Bowie was the ultimate icon, an absolute trailblazing trendsetter for the music world, and while his music is still as iconic as ever, that is not the only legacy he has left behind. His contribution to the world in terms of showcasing gender fluidity and rebelling against all gender stereotypes, ultimately paved the way for so many others to embrace their identity, and to be whoever they wanted to be. This is particularly well shown on albums such as Aladdin Sane and The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. He showed the world not just that it was okay to be different, but that we should celebrate our differences.

Hoi Sin Glazed Belly Pork

Hoi Sin Glazed Belly Pork

A great dish that is really easy to make and although it is not the quickest dish to make in the world, it is really worth the wait.

Serves 2

600g of Pork Belly

6 tbsp. of Hoi Sin Sauce

3 tbsp. of Clear Honey

3 tbsp. Dark Soy Sauce

1 tbsp. Rice Vinegar

1 tsp. Black Pepper

1/2 tsp. Five Spice

2.5cm (1 Inch) Piece of Ginger, finely grated

First of all, mix all your ingredients, except the pork, together in a large bowl. Then, if your butcher has not already done it for you, carefully cut your pork belly into 6 100g slices. After you have done this, place the pork into the bowl and gently massage the marinade into the meat for several minutes. Then cover the bowl with clingfilm and place it into the fridge to marinate.

Ideally, the pork should be marinated overnight, however if you are pushed for time. 2-3 hours will do. Get a good sized roasting tin and cover in tin foil. Preheat the oven to 160C/140C fan/Gas mark 3 and place the pork in the roasting tin, pouring the remainder of the marinade over the top. Add a small amount of water (around 50ml) before covering in tin foil and adding to the oven.

Roast for 2 hours, basting the pork in the marinade every 30 minutes. When the pork is nice and tender, remove the foil and turn the heat up to 200C/180C fan/gas mark 6. Remove the excess marinade and meat juices and transfer to a small pan, and stir frequently on a high  heat to reduce down. Pour half of the reduction back onto the meat before putting it back in the oven uncovered for 25 minutes. When the meat has finished cooking, transfer to a chopping board or large plate and leave to rest for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, add cooked egg noodles and edamame beans to the remainder of the reduction and stir through thoroughly, coating the noodles in the sauce before serving into bowls, then add the pork on top.

A great alternative to this recipe would be to add 1 tbsp. more honey and a chopped chilli, while replacing the belly pork with ribs and coating in sesame seeds for a great starter.

My Top 5 EDM records since 2010

 

5. Skrillex and Diplo Present: Jack Ü – Jack Ü (2015) Skrillex_and_Diplo_Present_Jack_Ü

The first record released by Jack Ü, the name under which Diplo and Skrillex collaborate under, is an absolute banger. As well as nabbing the Grammy for best Dance/Electronic album earlier this year and producing the massive hit Where are Ü Now ft. Justin Bieber (which also won a Grammy) , They create a great album that features a sound that perfectly mixes their own musical backgrounds while producing a fresh and interesting sound.

 

4. Random Access Memories – Daft Punk (2013)

Daft Punk

The Grammy award-winning Random Access Memories was a triumphant return for French Electro Duo Daft Punk after being pretty quiet on the creative front for a few years, with the terribly infectious Get Lucky as the lead single. Probably their best album since Discovery, it is definitely one of the best Electro Pop albums in the past decade.

 

3. Album Title Goes Here – Deadmau5 (2012)

Album Title goes here

The sixth studio album from Canadian Progressive House DJ Deadmau5 is a bit more experimental than previous albums, and is all the better for it. Standout track Professional Griefers ft. Gerard Way is one of the catchiest songs to ever grace the ears of man (check out the video too, it has giant robot mice throwing down UFC style) and while the album has a fairly dark tone, you can’t help but move to it.

 

2. No More Idols – Chase & Status (2011)

No_More_Idols

No More Idols broke a lot of ground when it was released, every track sounding vastly different from the previous one, taking elements of D’n’B, Dubstep, Big Beat and Grime, as well as many other genres. Another thing that adds to the quality of the album is the choice of guest vocalists, from the powerful performance by Mali on Let You Go, to the manic intensity of Tempa T on Hypest Hype. Overall this makes for an intriguing listen that perfectly showcases the talent that Chase & Status have expressed throughout their career.

In Colour – Jamie XX (2015)

Jamie XX In ColourNominated for best Electronic/Dance album earlier this year, In Colour blends elements of Electronic, House and Future Garage into 13 tracks of pure greatness. This being his first solo outing, he has done well to separate himself from his band, despite tracks like Loud Places ft. Romy sounding just like an XX track with extra Jamie, there are plenty great tunes such as Obvs and I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times) that show his diverse influences and his ability to seemingly turn his hand to any form of electronic music he pleases.