Posts Tagged ‘Harry George Johns’

Videos of the Day

Here is an animated video of eggs committing various murders and other violent acts to the tune of The Scintillas Say What You Like. We also have Harry George Johns’ new video for Tie Your Own Noose featuring a street preacher having a revelation of his own, and some classic space-rock psychedelia with accompanying b&w movie monsters from Ride Into The Sun. Lastly watch the video for the Straw Bear’s new single Kitty (out 11th March), one of the stand out tracks from their recent excellent debut of pastoral yet eerie, psych-infused folk, Black Bank.

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Mad Mackerel 5:1 Harry George Johns

The last few months have not been good for Harry George Johns. On his Bandcamp page a few sparse words sum it up: “Winter 2011. I had an actual breakdown. Homeless, jobless, girlfriendless; I stayed on my friends’ sofa and borrowed food and some microphones and made Post-Breakdown Blues

Harry George Johns - Post-Breakdown BluesAnd so he did. Opening with Drink Myself To Sleep and closing with the stunning Hospital Blues, the scene is set for six tracks that are desperate, raw, personal and genuine; songs that feel as if they have been almost torn from the soul such is the force and the impact they carry.

We love the record. It is one of our discoveries of the year so far. Best of all, you can get Post-Breakdown Blues on a pay-what-you-want deal from his Bandcamp page here.

But please, don’t just take it and run, give something for it, and then turn down the lights, draw the curtains and listen to it. Really listen to it. It’ll be worth it in every way. But before that even, read his contribution to our 5:1 Interview series.

Five words to describe your music:
Sad. Dark. Miserable. Whiskey. Night-time.

One book you’d recommend to an alien:
I’m big on books man. Probably ‘Slaughterhouse 5’ by Kurt Vonnegut, right? If there are any humans that haven’t read it that’s insane. I’m surprised that’s not mandatory reading for anyone over the age of 15 with a working heart.

Five bands (or albums) that have most influenced you?
Hmm. Ryan Adams – for being honest. Led Zeppelin – for inventing RAD drumming. Eels – ‘Daisies of the Galaxy’ for being so sad and opening me up to instrumentation ideas. Skip James – for opening my eyes. Slipknot – for making it ok to be different and open-minded (aged 16).

One moment in time you’d like to have witnessed:
The moment that Kurt Cobain put the first 4 chords of Smells Like Teen Spirit together…

Five people (living or dead) you’d love to share a stage-jam with:
I’m way too rubbish at playing guitar to even stand a chance with anyone.. Maybe the Stooges would be a good jam.

One biggest regret in your career (to date):
Naah

Five things on your perfect rider:
Buffalo Trace. Ice. Halloumi.

One hour to live – who would you spend it with, and why?
Go listen to the record…

Five perfect songs:
Neil Young – Cinnamon Girl, Fugazi – Caustic Acrostic, Ryan Adams – Come Pick Me Up, Nirvana – Even in his Youth, O Death – Ralph Stanley

One song of yours that you’d most like to be played in 50 years time:
Hospital Blues

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Mad Mackerel's Best Of The Month: January 2013

So, all things considered January got off to a rip-roaring start where new tunes are concerned. Here is our selection of our best of the month’s downloads (27 in all) and a few new tunes too – more than 30 to pick from, so blow those January blues away with these babies.

Prissy Clerks – Bruise or Be Bruised
Mix of fuzzed up punk and slacker indie with garage pop undertones managing to balance a confused, dark isolation with some tender sweetness.

Download The Chaw – The Whole Night Through mp3 (from The Chaw)
Propulsive rhythms and guitar squalls drenched in reverb, referencing soundtracks of the classic spaghetti westerns, big open bar chords and barky low register guitar leads ala Dick Dale.

Download Water Liars – Fake Heat mp3 (from Wyoming)
Plaintive vocals building over the slowly increasing guitar distortion creates a real treat of a first taste from forthcoming album.

Big Harp – Waiting For Some Drunk
Literate Americana, with fuzzed-out, needle-sharp textures.

Download Indian Wars – Sweetheart Of The North mp3 (from Songs From The North)
First taste of new album is a cracker from countrified rockers.

Download Airstrip – Pleasure Center mp3 (from Willing)
Hypnotic and dark “nightmare pop”

Download Colleen Green – Time In The World mp3 (from Sock it to Me)
Showcases vintage synth tones alongside Green’s trademark multi-tracked harmonies, deep-fried guitar chords, and spartan drum machine beats.

Download Milo Greene – Parents mp3 (from Filter Presents: Milo Turns 50)
Eerily hushed and woozy version of the scathing 1982 classic Descendents track Parents. Cover of the month undoubtedly.

Lower Plenty – Strange Beast
Hazy, beautifully melancholy, suburban-country music. Click through to download for free.

Download Tom Morgan – Taste For Blood mp3 (from Orange Syringe)
Stripped back and laconic folk laced with self effacing black humour.

Download Swallows – The Winnowing mp3 (from Witching & Divining)
Rasping, gravelly vocals, sombre cello and chanted junkyard chorus call to mind Tom Waits and The Wicker Man in equal measure.

Wooden Wand – Outsider Blues
No description needed – best album of the month. Mellow, oak-aged, yet still oddly warped folk. Brilliant.

Download Summer Aviation – Love So Fine mp3 (from Love So Fine single)
Combine the fresh, supercharged sound of 60s pop arrangements with post-punk avant-garde: Think Burt Bacharach meets My Bloody Valentine.

Honeyslide – Sugar Routine
Warm distorted guitars, complex hooks and captivating melodies swathed in reverb to create piercing sonic landscapes.

PRAVADA – Campfire Song
Catchy-as-hell tune filled with swirling guitars and sugary indie pop harmonies.

Download Frontier Ruckus – Dealerships mp3 (from Eternity of Dimming)
Wonderfully folky Americana from much anticipated new album.

Harry George Johns – Hospital Blues
Raw personal folk, an incredibly personal diary of a dark and desperate time.

Download Cobalt Cranes – Head In The Clouds mp3 (from Head In The Clouds)
Blend elements of desert, psychedelic and shoegaze sounds, taking a modern approach to classic California rock.

Download The Lovely Bad Things – Fried Eggs mp3 (from The Late Great Whatever)
Garage-punk masterclass.

Download Torres – Mother Earth, Father God mp3 (from Torres)
Minimal, ragged, and raw folk from singer-songwriter’s debut release.

As Elephants Are – Lucifer
Another blistering slice of epic, widescreen indie rock.

Download Fletcher C Johnson – Happy Birthday mp3 (from Salutations)
A nostalgic paean to the 60s with a sweet melody and chorus. Perfect garage pop.

Download The Futurebirds – Man With No Knees (demo) mp3 (from Exhume)
Brilliantly ramshackle Americana and pedal-steel inspired psychedelia.

Download Little Wings – Sandy Babe mp3 (from LAST)
Little Wings at their warmest and most mellow.

Pickering Pick – Standing Stone
Warm, sensitive, thoughtful and restrained – perfect fare from singer-songwriter par-excellence.

Download Lazy Talkers – Killing Time mp3 (from Lazy Talkers)
Sweet, easy-going jangle from indie-folksters.

Jack James – Three Names
Brooding slice of dark folk (click through to download for free).

And to finish off, new tunes from Screaming Females with the sinewy and rickety Poison Arrow from their forthcoming tape release Chalk Tape, a second (brilliant) track from John Grant’s much anticipated new record Pale Green Ghosts, the excellent literate Americana tinged indie of Yellow Red Sparks and the song that gave them their name, and finally the mesmerising brilliance of Secret Mountains and their haunting track Coasting.

Download Screaming Females – Poison Arrow mp3 (from Chalk Tape)

Download John Grant – Black Belt mp3 (from Pale Green Ghosts)

Download Yellow Red Sparks – Yellow Red Sparks mp3 (from Yellow Red Sparks)

Download Secret Mountains – Coasting mp3 (from Rainer)

Harry George Johns - Post-Breakdown Blues

Post-Breakdown Blues the new mini-album from Leeds-based musician (and ex Dinosaur Pile-Up member) Harry George Johns, is an incredibly personal diary of a dark and desperate time. As Winter 2011 was in full flow, Harry found himself confronting issues such as mental illness, heartbreak and homelessness. He stayed on a mate’s floor with a laptop and a few microphones, and inspired by this dark time, Harry wrote and recorded Post-Breakdown Blues.

The mini-album will actually be available for download from his Bandcamp on a ‘pay what you want’ basis, just in time for Valentine’s Day, but those who want to get to know the man behind the music will also have the opportunity to write Harry a letter – yep, an actual physical letter, and Harry will reply with a personal note and exclusive tracks, but only available via old fashioned snail mail.

About the record, he says, “Over the course of one single week in December 2011, I lost my girl, my house, my job and pretty much my mind. I was sat in The Well in Leeds with a bag of clothes and my skateboard trying to figure out not what went wrong, but simply where I was going to sleep that night.

Drinking and drugs and all that stuff had taken over during the run-up to me losing everything. I knew I had to finally go talk to the doctors and therapists people had spent months urging me to see.

If there was anything that was going to help me pull through what looked to be the most heartbroken, poorest new year so far it was a handful of friends that let me sleep on their sofas, eat their toast and play their guitars. This record is just some of the soundtrack to my breakdown, my loneliness, introspection and just trying to get fixed.”

With song titles including Tie Your Own Noose, Drink Myself To Sleep, and Sleep Is The Cousin Of Death it is clear that it isn’t going to be an easy or a comfortable ride (this is raw, brutal, real and wholly at odds with the manufactured or faux heartbreak you see so often elsewhere). However, on the evidence of this video for album closer Hospital Blues, it will be a wholly engaging and compelling one, and one we are looking forward to immensely.

Download it below.

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