A THOUSAND SUNS Destroycreate EP (2007)
With so many decent ‘rock’ bands around in South Wales at the moment it takes something special to stand out from the crowd. You could be original, well there is nothing spectacularly original about this lot; you could be heavier than anything that has gone before, well they aint gone down that route either; or you can just outshine everybody else with your talent.
Now then…. this is where these boys stand out. Nothing too fancy, nothing pompous, nothing excessive, they have just taken a tried and tested formula of slightly metallic rock, filed off all the rough edges and polished it so you can see your face in it.
It is adventurous enough to be interesting and although we have already said it is not particularly original, it has to be said they do have thier own sound and don’t sound like anyone else. It is slightly understated but then they don’t need to scream and play at a million miles an hour to prove anything.
You get the impression though that if they really wanted to they could be an air guitarists wet dream. Nice chunky rhythms to get you grooving with slick guitar licks over the top, complimented by vocals where you can actually understand what the vocalist is signing. Not normally our sort of thing but we would be more than happy for this to sit on our shelves.
ASTRALASIA Volumes 1&2 (Voiceprint) 2004
Before becoming major players on the UK underground trance/rave scene, Astralasia were a side project for members of the Magic Mushroom Band. This disc is a collection of the first two cassette only releases, originally released back in 1988/89 when they played events alongside such artists as the Shamen and Mixmaster Morris.
Volume One is laid back psychedelic hippyish stuff that would have come under the banner ‘Ambient House’; more chill out lounge than dance floor. Continue reading ASTRALASIA: Volumes 1+2
ACID MOTHERS TEMPLE AND THE MELTING PARADISO U.F.O. Does The Cosmic Shepherd Dream Of Electric Tapirs (Space Age Recordings) 2004
We here on Planet Iguana are determined to say “ hey man, have you heard, Acid Mothers Temple, they are well cool.” We are determined to like a band with a name that crazy… and no doubt we will persist in trying to like them for some time to come, and waste money on several more albums before we give up on them. But is going to be a long hard journey, because they are so damn wigged out it is unbelievable.
If this were on vinyl, we would check to see if it was playing backwards. They have released a shed load of albums, with different line-ups like some dysfunctional family living in a commune on Mars, there must be something listenable out there.
Our problem has recently been compounded by catching them live and discovering they are actually truly amazing on stage… but finding anything on disc to compare is hard work!
ALABAMA THREE: Outlaw (One Little Indian) 2005
Ten years and five albums in, this Brixton posse get better and better. They take their fascination for all things wild west to its natural conclusion and conjure up tails of train robberies, outlaws, gospel, six shooters and men who gotta do what a mans gotta do.
Their bluesy country techno rolls out of the speakers like the sound of an acid barn dance coming from the windows of the only saloon in a ghost town. These boys aint bothered about being in fashion, which is just as well cos their sound is peerless in its originality, nothing like it has gone before no one has dared to follow in their footsteps. A concept album? Maybe, but without all the pomposity that the term normally invokes. Down to earth rock ‘n roll that does not need to throw its weight around, it just leans up against the bar sipping bourbon and you know not to fuck with it. It gets the ladies arses moving left to right and the gangsters at the back feeling alright, all night
AKAHUM Electwistery (Worldvenue) 2007
It can be very difficult to get an ‘organic’ vibe going when making music with predominantly electronic ‘instruments’. Akahum have a bloody good go though and on the whole manage to pull it off.
The strange thing with this album is that, depending what mood you are in, it can be different things. Sometimes it is a psychedelic rock album, sometimes it is a techno album and sometimes it is a chill out album… and sometimes it is all of those things at the same time. Continue reading AKAHUM Electwistery
1234 is a tale of young love disguised as a film about a young indie band dreaming of making it big – but it might possibly be the other way around. Bespectacled guitarist Stevie (Ian Bonar) together with his mate Neil (Matthew Baynton) attempt to break out of the hum drum existence of working in a call centre by forming a band. First they recruit the slightly older and more experienced Billy (Kieran Bew) and slightly scatty bassist Emily (Lyndsey Marshal) – who moonlights as an artist, making sculptures out of hair and creating maps based on a day following strangers around.
The band rehearse in what appears to be a church hall, play gigs in pubs, lay down a demo and send it off to every record company they can think of – then build up a collection of rejection letters from said record companies. Continue reading 1,2,3,4
A BIT OF TOM JONES (2009)
The basic plot of A Bit Of Tom Jones is based around the flims idea of a guy buying Tom Jones cock in a pub and spending the rest of the film trying to sell it to rich perverts that collect celebrity body parts. (Which is, of course, not unusual). It is a cross between Twin Town, Satellite City and a Carry On movie. On times the plot is – well – just plain silly, but there are a considerable number of scenes that produce all out belly laughs. Porn cinemas, brothels run by grannys in the middle of a valley terrace, police stations, helicopters and dumper trucks all some how fit into the story.
Featuring everyone’s favourite dirty granny, Margaret John (Gavin and Stacy, High Hopes), Denise Welch (Waterloo Road, Coronation Street), Johnny Owen (Shameless and a fans view of the Cardiff City in the FA Cup) and the legendary Geno Washington, it is a reminder of how much talent is about in Wales at the moment. Continue reading A BIT OF TOM JONES
BEWARE OF MR BAKER (2012)
Ginger Baker is often cited as the best rock drummer in history. This a description that sends Mr Baker into fits of rage; he considers rock legends like John Bonnham and Keith Moon with contempt – not fit to lace his shoes – because he is not a rock drummer, he is a jazz drummer.
Beware of Mr Baker is a well constructed documentary tells the story of the rollercoaster ride that Baker has ridden for the last seventy plus years. Warts and all. And boy are there some warts. Continue reading BEWARE OF MR BAKER
BLACK POWER MIX TAPE 1967-1975 (2011)
Compiled from 16mm footage that had been lying undiscovered in the cellar of Swedish Television for 30 years, this film documents the US Black Power movement from 67 to 75. Broken neatly into a chapter for each year, it tells us chronologically of the struggle for civil rights in a society that claimed to be all for equality and freedom, but clearly was not.
We get footage of Malcom X, Martin Luther King, Stokely Carmichael, Eldridge Cleaver, Bobby Seale, and Angela Davis, speaking from platforms, giving interviews and just hanging around; together with ‘ordinary’ black people discussing the struggle to just get by in ‘the land of freedom of opportunity’. Continue reading BLACK POWER MIX TAPE 1967-1975
EXIT THROUGH THE GiFT SHOP: AKA The Banksy Movie (2010)
“Banksy is a sell out”. So reads the graffiti scrawled across the wall. Is this true? Well, he has certainly progressed from being an unknown street artist to an internationally renowned (all be it still anonymous) street artist that can put on sell out exhibitions, shift books by the shed load and – now – make his own films.
Exit Through the Gift Shop is, on the face of it, a documentary made by Banksy about a guy that tried to make a film about Banksy but messed it up so Banksy made a film about him. There is no point getting too bogged down in the plot because to be honest, it is difficult to tell if it is a genuine documentary or if it is another one of Banksy’s magnificent pranks. Continue reading EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP
THE GREAT HIP HOP HOAX (2013)
This is the true story of two Scottish rappers, Silibil ‘n’ Brains, tired of the music industry not taking them seriously, who move to London, put on fake American accent, pretend to be from California and dupe the entire music industry into taking them on. On the face of it an amusing, if not entirely original story. But it soon develops into something very deep and thought provoking.
We start with the boys gigging around their home town of Dundee and trying to get signed. No label was interested. Then, for a laugh, they made some phone calls with an American accent and told people they were from California. Quicker than you can say “apple pie” they are signed to Sony records, playing gigs at Brixton Academy and blowing the massive advance they had been given on booze and women. Continue reading THE GREAT HIP HOP HOAX
OTWAY THE MOVIE: ROCK AND ROLL’S GREATEST FAILURE (2013)
Those not familiar with John Otway – which let’s face it, is most of the population – could be forgiven for thinking this is a spoof documentary in the vein of Spinal Tap. Such is the nature of the crazy, wacky, bonkers, over the top, rock and roll extravagance that bounces around inside the head of one of rock’s greatest treasures.
But it is not a spoof, this is the story of a uniquely British eccentric rock and roll legend that has spent the last forty years reaching for the stars, not being put off by what anyone else thinks and, most importantly, not being put off by failure. Continue reading OTWAY: THE MOVIE