diskant is an independent music community based in Glasgow, Scotland and we have a whole team of people from all over the UK and beyond writing about independent music and culture, from interviews with new and established bands and labels to record and fanzine reviews and articles on art, festivals and politics. There's over ten years of content here so dig in!

 Subscribe in a reader

Recent Interviews

diskant Staff Sites

More Sites We Like

Archive for November, 2009

MAYYORS – Deads EP (12″, self released)

Posted: November 9th, 2009, by JGRAM

This is a truly bold and nasty sounding statement of a piece of vinyl.  Stripped bare there is fuck all information held within the limited packaging giving the vessel something of an air of mystery seemingly with the intention of leaving things pure for the music doing all the talking.  With no Myspace or record label attached there is no dog and pony show necessary.

Charging out of Sacramento this is a severe and frenzied attack on the senses that recalls the heyday of the Butthole Surfers at full strength crossed with a host of acts on Gravity Records such as Antioch Arrow.  Also throw in the sensation of a speeded up Bardo Pond on uppers instead of downers coupled with Pussy Galore gestations and you have quite the sonic soup.

For a while now there has been a real buzz surrounding Mayyors as the band appears to be serving as a vehicle for a number of seasoned and accomplished musicians (primarily Chris Woodhouse of FM Knives fame) to let loose and take off in a new, more experimental direction away from their existing and established outfits.

As with all things swinging on a hype there is the risk the listener may eventually get their fingers burned but for now Mayyors rule the roost.

Highly recommended.

Thesaurus moment: ghoul.


Overspill Poets

Posted: November 8th, 2009, by Mandy Williams

Overspill Poets are an alt-country/indie combo who have dramatically changed in sound since their first incarnation as nineties Kitchenware outfit Hug Their debut album Thompson Falls is released on Revenge Western and was made for listening to on a summer day trip.

The journey begins with the title track that laments lost love. While by leg two the boys from the North show off their instrumental skills. The band are clearly no strangers to the work of Teenage Fanclub as in ‘Sound of Sirens’ they manage to blend that sound with a Jersey Rock feel. Reggae/dub track ‘Summer,’ sees them take another turn in the road. Pastoral folk song ‘Boxing Gloves,’ looks back in time with a narrative comprising the two mythical figures Holly Golightly and Hazey Jane.

‘London’s gear when you grew up round here,’ sings front man Tim Taylor on ‘The Neon Lights are beautiful.’ Curling licks are provided by guitarist George Kitching.  Mid trip ‘Inner Space,’ takes time to reflect on lost opportunity. ‘I don’t need a volunteer to bang a drum and bend my ear, pull me out of here before I lose another year.’  While ‘Independence Day’ is a rousing protest anthem. ‘Northern Star,’ sounds more North Carolina than Newcastle, as the indie boys take to Americana like a fat kid to cake. The experience draws to a close with some psych era Beatles and a ballad which is lead by a heartfelt vocal. The standout track for me is the simple and affecting ‘Ricochets,’ where the instruments literally rebound off each other.

It has been an interesting and varied journey, driven by a band who speak from the heart. Each chapter tells a story and the vocals compliment the surprising guitars.  Lo-fi and lush with an edge, this album will find a place in your heart. Warm beat driven melodies sound track a road trip that is more Interstate 5 than M62.


Bad Lieutenant: Port Of Call New Orleans

Posted: November 1st, 2009, by Alex McChesney

Much as I enjoy his movies, I suspect that Werner Herzog and I have very little in common. I’m not German, have never had a mustache, and am not an acclaimed director. In fact, I suspect that our lives probably only intersect on one tiny point. Neither of us have seen Abel Ferrara’s Bad Lieutenant. Not that it really matters. Port of Call… was never intended to have any connection with that film, and it’s title seems to have been dictated by a marketing suit who happened to notice that both films involve… well… you know. It’s an unfortunate decision that gives this film the air of a dashed-off sequel when it very much deserves to be judged on its own merits.

Nicolas Cage plays the titular copper, who starts the film as a reasonably good lieutenant – at least as good as anyone in the film gets – who injures his back in the line of duty and quickly becomes hooked on prescription painkillers, so beginning a downward spiral of addiction that takes in everything from gambling to heroin. On the journey to rock bottom he struggles to keep himself together long enough to solve the gangland killing of a family of illegal immigrants, maintain some kind of relationship with his equally damaged prostitute girlfriend Frankie (Eva Mendes), and not get killed by one of the many, many people he pisses off on the way.

It sounds grim, but it’s played as a comedy, albeit a pitch-black one. Cage has never been the man to go to for a subtle, nuanced performance. He can, however, be immensely entertaining when let off the leash and allowed to gnaw on the scenery, and Herzog knows this, having clearly seasoned every last prop and encouraged him to indulge his vices in tandem with his character, albeit vices of performance rather than chemical consumption. The film never tips into pantomime however, not least because of Herzog’s traditionally documentarian style, which deliberately limits the use of multiple camera angles to lend a odd veneer of realism to scenes of bug-eyed crack-addled insanity, while some delightfully off-kilter inserts shot on video keep the audience unbalanced.

Screenwriter William M. Finkelstein is a veteran of TV police procedurals, having spent the majority of his career writing for the likes of L.A. Law and Law & Order, but anyone coming to Bad Lieutenant for a cop movie is likely to be disappointed. In a sense it has a lot in common with Herzog’s 1977 movie Stroszek, replacing that film’s doomed immigrant protagonist with one born and raised in the USA. Indeed, Bad Lieutenant explicitly references Stroszek on at least one occasion, suggesting that the similarity is not accidental. Herzog, who now lives in Los Angeles, was allegedly displeased with the way his earlier film was seen purely as an indictment of America, and perhaps this film can be seen as an attempt to soften that interpretation by placing greater responsibility for his downfall in the main character’s hands, though facilitated by modern society.

In any case, Bad Lieutenant: Port Of Call New Orleans should be relished for the bleak insanity of the Lieutenant’s rollercoaster ride of self-destruction, though it’s a ride likely to turn your stomach by the end.