Louder Than War

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Smilex are the hell in your head, your darkest thoughts against dirty bass lines and colliding guitars.
Something about this band appeals to both misguided teenagers looking for a religion and lost adults disillusioned with everything that life hasn‘t offered. Smilex make you face what you’re most scared of - mundaneness, sex, violence and insanity. Each performance they give, no matter whether it’s to 5 people or 50, singer Lee strips himself naked in front of you metaphorically and physically as his art pours from him. It’s like witnessing a life speeded up - birth, puberty, insanity, senile dementia and death. I fear he won’t live very long before his anger breeds into cancer and eats out his black heart whilst ex-lovers and enemies team up in a angry mob and storm his Bastille, whilst Lee looks at them bemused and says 'but I told you all along I was like this...'.
Smilex are the throbbing vein in your head nagging at you that things aren’t right, you shouldn’t be accepting everything the way they are and you aren’t ok. Last November they produced an album, ‘7’, that aggressively and ground-shatteringly takes you on a journey through the dark places in the human psyche that contribute to the seven deadly sins. This is a serious piece of work - every scream and every guitar crescendo has been crafted out of sheer passion and a desire to be heard and understood. There is a sense in every song of the need to release all of the shit that life forces us to accept - often this manifests itself in the form sexual release but this sexual release is as much a way to hurt and punish each other as it is to get our rocks off. The message could be understood as - we’re all fucked and therefore we should just fuck our damaged hearts out until we die.
Smilex are anti-conformity, anti-boredom, anti-industry. They refuse to go away just because they aren’t producing music that is easily marketable in this sleepy age of bland guitar driven music. When Hard Fi are asleep they have nightmares where Smilex creep into their beds and rape them to death. Smilex embody why the underground is the underground but seeing them supporting The Damned at the Carling Academy last year it is clear they should be on larger stages and receiving well-deserved acknowledgment for their considerable talents. There is no other unsigned band around to rival their passion, determination and stage performance. As Lee roams about onstage and through his audience, looking for a focus for his rage or sexual expression, no one is safe. You could have this formidable, small man screaming into your groin or you could have his cock in your ear.
Smilex are on a mission to wake us up and get us up off our asses, whether they will achieve this in an age of apathy is yet to be seen but I think they are part of a one-band musical revolution that needs to happen. Maybe music isn’t on a downward spiral after all. Please save us, Smilex. We need you and we don’t mind what you want to do with us - we are willing victims. Buy this album, see this band - you need them in your life.

‘7’ their debut album is out now on itunes, Amazon.co.uk and Play.com. You can find out more about Smilex on their official website http://www.smilex.co.uk or their myspace page http://www.myspace.com/smilex.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

More Radioshows!


So the following are mine and Paul's radio shows from last Saturday (28th August) and today (3rd September.

Radio Show 9 - Dave and Paul.

Radio Show 10 - Dave, Paul, Bob and James.

Check 'em out people!

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Reba Hasko - Berlin piano chanteuse

Hello - remember me?

So, Reba Hasko then. She's from Berlin, she's a bit Goth - what's not to like?

Hasko has a classical background and lived in New York and San Francisco, before moving to Berlin. She's experimental with a touch of Brechtian cabaret about her and a very distinctive style.

She's got an album called Live at Studio 43 - It's lush, it's otherworldly, it's vocally startling and most of all ot feels like she's singing directly to you straight through the speakers.

Yes she plays piano - but don't let the Tori Amos comparisons put you off (if indeed they do...).

You can listen to some Reba Hasko tracks on her myspace page and here at CDbaby, where you can also buy her CD.

What are you waiting for?

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Guess what, it's another radio show!

Here it is

If you like it, you might want to listen live! We're on on Saturdays, between 7 and 9pm BST...

Listen by going to http://radio.uknova.com and opening the stream in your favourite stream player!

Monday, July 04, 2005

Another Radio Show

For those of you who enjoyed the first two, or didn't but for some reason are prepared to bare with us, here's the latest edition - 2 hours this time!!! Would love any comments you might have...By which I really mean compliments ;)

The first 20 minutes are a little random, we had problems connecting and it took us (/me) a little while to regain composure...I think it gets better after that though!

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Nizlopi - JCB

OK, fab song this.

It's actually another one from the car journey with Bob.

It's a truly beautiful song about parent - child relationships, about childhood, about idolising your Father.

The song has a website here, and the band's website is here.

The single's released on Monday, and if you buy it and post off the proof of purchase you can win a private gig with the band in your own living room with all your friends.

Get the song here.


Well I'm rumbling in this JCB
I'm five years old and my Dad's a giant sitting beside me
And the engine rattles my bum like berserk
While we're singing "don't forget your shovel if you want to go to work"

My Dad's probably had a bloody hard day
But he's been good fun and bubblin' and jokin' away
And the procession of cars stuck behind
Are getting all impatient and angry but we don't mind


We're holding up the bypass
Me and my Dad having a top laugh
Sitting on the toolbox
And I'm so glad I'm not in school boss
Glad I'm not in school, oh no

And we pull over to let cars pass
And pull off again speeding by this summer green grass
We're like giants up here in our big yellow digger
Like Zoids or Transformers or maybe even bigger

And I wanna transform into a Tyrannosaurus Rex
And eat up all the bullies and the teachers and their pets
And I'll tell all my mates my Dad's BA Baracus
Only with a JCB and Bruce Lee's nunchuckas


Said I'm Luke, I'm five and my Dad's Bruce Lee
Drives my round in his JCB

Monday, May 30, 2005

The Jayhawks - You Look So Young

I don't know much about this song. Actually I don't know anything about this song, or the band.

I just driving home from Somerset on Sunday night with Paul and Bob, and Bob was playing some compilation type CDs and this was one of the songs on one of the CDs.

I've listened to it quite a bit since and like it a lot. But then I like sparkly guitars, quite tambourines, doubled electric and acoustic guitars, and solid forward-thinking drums. Also they do the classic 3rd (major tonic) to dominant 5th(7th chord) change that I'm so fond of.

What more could you ask for?

Get it here!

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Internet Radio Extravaganza: Parte the seconde

We did it again! Anyone who wants to can get the show here. Hope you enjoy, and any comments welcomed!

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Internet Radio Extravaganza

So, me and fellow LTW member Dave did an internet radio show last night...

the results are here.

The file starts with The Final Countdown, by the mighty Europe, which was the last song of the previous set, then our set kicks in at the wrong speed, but soon gets sorted out by the powers that be...what follows is a selection of top tunes and some "comedy."

Hope you enjoy - any comments gratefully received...

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Alrighty Then!

OK, Paul thinks I should post stuff here, what with me being a member an' all.

So I am.

Joseph Cotton - No Touch the Style.

You might call this a song from my childhood. It's also fiendishly difficult to find. So hard to find is it that this version here isn't even complete.

I used to have a couple of friends call Leroy and Marlon who could accurately 'do' the entire song. Maybe I should get them to cover it. Although the last time I saw them do it was 14 years ago.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

The Mothers are a punk band featuring five mums from Derby in the UK. When they can arrange babysitting, they write songs and play gigs around the East Midlands.

The Mothers - We Love Kids

It isn't a publicity stunt, this is a real band. One of them even played a gig whilst 8 months pregnant (well ok, that might have been a publicity stunt, it did get in the Derby Evening Telegraph!).

Some of the song titles incluce: 'Babysitter', 'Toy Hell', 'Do You Need a Wee?' and my favourite 'Oh No! I burnt the dinner', the lyrics of which go:

I was boiling butter beans for some veggie stew
When the telephone rang
and I thought that it was you
but my instincts they were wrong
And the bloke who spoke to me
Was selling double glazing
For a kitchen company
He talked to me for quite a while
About my taste in kitchen style
But then, Oh no! something's burning!
Back to the cooker I was returning!

Oh no! Oh no! I burnt the dinner again .....
Lets get chips!

Genius is the only word for it.

The Mothers are playing at the EASTrogen Extravaganza Friday 29th April at Junktion7 in Nottingham.

Monday, April 18, 2005

It's been a long time - we shouldn't have left you, without a dope beat to step to.

It's a Mash-up special here at Louder Than War - two tracks from t'internet...

The first is Break by the Kleptones. A mash up of the Beasty Boys and Queen? Yes please! It's an excellent taster of the excellent Kleptones. They've got a lot available via bittorrent from their downloads page and they are well worth checking out. (Thanks to D and G for the encouragement / insistence that I listen to them)

The second tune is from the legendary Parkspliced, which might be available in full somewhere, but I haven't been able to find it (I've only looked for 5 minutes though!) The tune is a drum n bass remix of End of the Century, by someone/some people called Gameover. Drum n Bass good! Blur good! Drum n Bass remixes of Blur good!

Monday, April 04, 2005

I killed my dinner, with karate

Joanna Newsome - The Book of Right On

Beware. It'll get stuck in your head. But it's good man, really really good. Haunting and bizarrely reminiscent of a cross between Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians doing What I Am and The Pale doing Butterfly (shout out to the nineties massive and by the way, if anyone has that tune could they let us know via the comments?!)...

Anyway, it's great, and there's a harp in it, and the lyrics are odd, but it's definately got something about it, so enjoy!

Monday, March 28, 2005

The sound of the underground

MC Pitman - Pitman Says
Mc Pitman on the Giles Peterson show

Have you ever thought The Streets were just too mainstream and polished? - then MC Pitman is for you. The foul mouthed tea and biscuits obsessed northern ex-miner raps about "proper tea the way it should be" - and a good plate of chips and beans. Is he real? Is it all just an elaborate joke? Well it's up to you and if you want to believe...

Pitman on tea: "On average I drink about ten cups of tea a day, I just like tea, biscuits come as a bonus to enhance the tea experience, people can relate to a good cup of tea, it's what we do, unless you're a coffee twat"

Pitman on derelict mines: "We should use closed mines as nightclubs. To get in the club you have to be dirty - there would be no alcohol served, just tea. Bring your own biscuits 'cause you can't have mine"

Pitman on why he releases 7" singles: “Seven inch records fit in my work bag better than 12's. A flask, pack of biscuits and some wax, and soap.”

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Good old Sunday morning, bells are ringing everywhere

The Allman Brothers Band - Blue Sky

Well, I heard this tune for the very first time today, and I thought I'd break with LTW tradition (such as it is) by posting a bona-fide Country Rock classic...I figure if I've never heard it before, lots of other people won't either. I came across it thanks to a random torrent, a collection of someone's idea of the 100 greatest guitar solos ever (bt client of some kind required if you're interested). Most famous here for the Top Gear tune, the Allman Brother's Band are new to me, but very much not new...and this lovely laid back love song is perfect for anyone who's up for a bit o' middle-of-the-road class...

Who says we don't cater to all tastes?

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Meet Mystery Meat

Mystery Meat - Kiss All My Lurid Elements (Demo)

The demise of Ikara Colt has left a gaping hole in my musical heart. Who will fill the gap? Step forward Mystery Meat.

Former Colt bass goddess Tracy Bellaries has been quick off the mark and has formed a new band called Mystery Meat ALREADY! Her partners in crime are none other than Ciaran AKA Simple Kid and Alex, ex singer from the Blood Valley/Blood Group. They're gigging around London at the moment and in the process of recording some demos and stuff.

It seems that Ikara Colt singer Paul and guitarist Clare may still be working together along with former bassist Jon. The whereabouts of drummer Dom is as yet unknown, but my indie rock information gathering pigeons are on the case!

This track is scuzzy and more punky than Ikara Colt. Of course it is very raw and rough because they've literally only been together for a few months.

If you are in London, you can see then on March 25th @ Dirty Water Club. The rest of us will have to wait a little bit longer.

Update: Mystery Meat are playing at Nottingham Social on Sunday April 17th supporting Lost Sounds.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Om Niwais Shiva

Mahadeva - Astral Projection

Isn't it about time Louder than War jumped up and down and threw its hands in the air? I think it is, and what better way to do it than with a bit of Israeli psychadelic trance from nearly 10 years ago...

I don't know anything about this tune or the artists really, just that I really really really dig it, and it makes me want to dance around...I stumbled across it back in the Kazaalite days (it seems so long ago now...) and every so often am compelled to play it quite loud and throw shapes (by which I mean use my hands to make shapes in the air in front of me, not throw children's geometric toys around...) If I still went out "raving" as we called it in my day, this is the kind of thing I'd like the dj to play. (This and some nice progressive drum and bass , of which the beautiful Tokyo Dawn by Doc Scott is a fine example...)

And if that's not your bag, or it is and you just want to relax afterwards how about some nice geetar playing inna folk music stylee (Davy Graham and Alexis Korner - 3/4 AD)

Monday, March 14, 2005

Bloody Mother Fucking Asshole

Martha Wainwright - Bloody Mother Fucking Asshole

Martha Wainwright - Factory

Here's a sobering tale - if you're a parent and you unavoidably have to upset/mistreat/neglect/leave your child, make sure that said child isn't going to one day turn into a beautifully outspoken and talented singer/song-writer on a mission to dispel all crap from her childhood and challenge all adulthood demons. If this happens, you may find yourself in the position that famous folk musician Louden Wainwright III now finds himself in as the subject of daughter, Martha's brilliant 2004 track, 'Bloody Mother Fucking Asshole'. If only he'd got her the pony - things could've been so different. Trivialising powerful emotion aside - what I really wanted to say is that this woman is pretty amazing. Her voice and lyrics on this track give you goosebumps and grip you in a fury usually reserved for ex lovers, traffic wardens and photography tutors (a slightly personal one that last one..) I'd feel sorry for the guy if I didn't completely understand the difficult relationship between father and daughter only too well myself.

So where might you have heard her before? Well, Martha is part of a musical family - younger sister of Rufus Wainwright and daughter of folk singers Kate McGarrigle and Louden Wainwright III. She often sang with her mother and aunt but it was whilst singing backing vocals for her brother and witnessing the adoration he received that she decided that she wanted a piece of this for herself. She wrote her first song at the age of 18, now 28 - it's about bloody time she got some recognition. She has a similar passion to that of recent Louder Than War recommended artists, Carina Round and Ruth Theodore but there is also a hint of a sixties protest singer in her voice. There is definitely beauty in her honesty, whether the subject matter is pleasant or not. Anyone who went to see recent Hollywood epic The Aviator may have seen her singing 'Ill Be Seeing You' by Bing Crosby in one scene.

Martha is on tour in the UK until May, calling in at all the important places, for more details visit
her official website. Her self-titled debut album is out on 4th April but the single, 'Factory' is available on 21st March - both on Drowned In Sound. Also available over here is the 'Bloody Mother Fucking Asshole' EP, released in November last year.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Back in grade school is where I learnt to street fight

Juliette Lewis and the Licks - Comin' Around
Juliette Lewis and the Licks - Got Love To Kill

Hello music fans, I'm Katy. I'm a girl, don't be alarmed. My musical cv and case for having the right to inform you of what you should listen to goes like this: I once played guitar very badly in a punkgothpop band and yesterday I stood behind Thom Yorke in a coffee shop whilst he ordered a latte. For sure. I have obviously been sent from above to guide you, my disciples, into the land of good music. If you're feeling dead and asleep and like your heart needs a recharge, then be numb no longer! Here I bring to your attention the power that is early nineties grunge drummer goddess meeting alternative movie cult icon in a Distillers-fuelled punk pop marathon of dreams (too much?)! Yes, I bring to you the (surprising) greatness that is Juliette Lewis and the Licks.

If you haven't heard, Juliette Lewis (From Dusk Till Dawn etc etc) not content with being a Hollywood A Lister, being married to a Pro-Skateboarder and holding hands with Ville Valo in the 'Buried Alive By Love' HIM video (some people have all the luck) has teamed up with ex-Hole drummer Patty Schemel and some other semi-famous musicians for example, Kemble Walters (The Rise? Vise Versa? Nope, me neither.) and is touring the UK as we speak! After the fiasco that has been Minnie Driver recently, I wasn't expecting much from the actress-turned singer but hopefully like you will be, I was so glad I bothered to listen. This woman and this band rock a lot. It's cleaner than Schemel's musical past in Hole, it's kinder on the ears. The melodies may be nothing revolutionary but are fresh and make you want to jump around in some kind of fashion you haven't contemplated since you were a teenager. Occassionally Lewis' voice sounds a little try-hard but then this is to be expected - we know her as an actress we can only think of her as playing a part so therefore asume she is now. However, this is actually her and she is bloody sexy and should have done this ages ago.

The Licks are touring at the moment and their debut EP 'Like A Bolt of Lightning' is out tomorrow, it features 6 romping punky angsty tracks and is so worth a listen. Like a bolt of lighting indeed! For a taster, you can hear two whole tracks as soon as you enter the official website Juliette and The Licks. Go do it, it's time to wake up!

Monday, February 14, 2005

You're a stranger to me now

Ruth Theodore hails from Southampton on the English south coast, a city previously famous for producing the terrible, terrible Craig David and having a solid mid-table Premiership football team...but don't let that put you off.

Ruth Theodore - Threat
Ruth Theodore - Be Here

What we have here is an outrageously talented singer-songwriter who is just putting the finishing touches to her debut album. These two tracks in particular remind me very much of the fragility and passion of some of early recordings by Carina Round.

She has had residences at the Platform Tavern and Talking Heads in Southampton, Cabaret Voltaire and at the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh and at Mean Fiddler's Powers Bar in London.

'Threat' is just her voice and a guitar, showcasing her unusual aggressive fingerpicking style. Whilst 'Be Here' features a jaunty trumpet and a cowbell (never a bad thing!).

Ruth Theodore appears at:

A Different Kettle Of Fish
Wednesday 2 March.
Upstairs at the Bristol Pear, Bristol Road, Selly Oak
Doors 7:30pm
Entry £3 / £2 if you mention Louder Than War!

See you there...