When the adverts for Flying Vinyl began appearing around a year ago, I initially didn’t subscribe. This was for two reasons-one, I had absolutely no money, and two, the idea of paying money for records which I may not even like seemed risky to me. However, after several months, as the reviews started flowing in, I finally put aside my apprehensions and joined Flying Vinyl. I can honestly say I have never regretted this decision. Its’ combination of pioneering music in its’ greatest format along with new music discovery is simply amazing. We join Flying Vinyl with their 11th issue; an issue that they hyped up brilliantly, heralded as their best issue yet. So lets see if it lives up to expectations.
First up, and I’m really excited about this, is Black Honey with ‘All My Pride’ and B-side ‘On Your Time’ (pressed exclusively onto light blue vinyl) from their new EP-‘Headspin’ which we are expecting this week. ‘All My Pride’ is led by Izzy B Phillips’ brooding vocals, tastefully interspersed with appropriate guitar solos and promises of great things for the upcoming EP. ‘On Your Time’ doesn’t let the side down either-a slightly slower paced song which swells to sing-along chorus’ throughout. All in all, the future looks bright for Black Honey and I look forward to bringing you a more in-depth review after the imminent EP release.
Next up is Skinshape with ‘Summer’ and ‘Mandala’. The first thing that strikes you is the beautiful artwork, and the next is the dreamy, relaxed drumming in the intro of ‘Summer’. This swaggering beat carries you through the song, over-laid with summery (how appropriate) psychedelic guitar and laid-back vocals. Second track, ‘Mandala’, is the first instrumental to feature in a Flying Vinyl package. Unlike many instrumental songs, it is musically diverse enough to make it interesting, and you can drift through the song on the wailing guitar lead without noticing the lack of vocals.
INHEAVEN are next with the strongly-messaged ‘Baby’s Alright’ and B-side ‘Meat Somebody’-another coloured record (ooh you do spoil us), this time green. If you look past the driving drum rhythms and catchy bass line in ‘Baby’s Alright’, you can hear the political agenda of the song; highlighting the war inclined attitudes of the west. ‘Meat Somebody’s rhythms and underlying guitar are just as driving as in ‘Baby’s Alright’, just with a slightly less hard-hitting message. INHEAVEN look to have a packed festival season ahead of them and we can hopefully expect more new music soon.
Another first now, as Sugarthief are the first band to appear due to a demo tape submitted to Flying Vinyl. First track ‘Crowning Youth’ features vocals that I can envisage being sung by many, laid over poppy-sounding guitar and has all the ingredients needed to make it in the indie music business. ‘New Ends’ leads with a punchy drum-beat before introducing wailing chords and once again catchy vocals. Out of the many small bands I have heard, Sugarthief are one which I believe have most potential and can see go furthest in the indie-pop scene.
Last is Oscar, another artist championed by DIY magazine alongside Black Honey. His style can be best described as quirky, and ‘Sometimes’ is no different. The main thing that strikes me is how perfectly Oscar’s calm and composed lyrics contrast with the manic guitar. ‘Gone Forever’ takes a slower pace-the crazy guitar is absent, replaced with a more vocally complex, minimalistic style. Still brilliant just in a different way. Whatever, Oscar is doing, it is catching on across the globe and I’m sure his career will continue to improve.
Seriously consider subscribing to Flying Vinyl, they are doing great things in the music industry and I hotly await the arrival of my next package.