Album Review: The Mad Ship – Ash Johnson

By Barry Humphries

Some gloriously sunny days over the last few weeks have already put me right into festival mood, so what a pleasure to have been able to sit down in the sun and listen to Ash Johnson’s debut album “The Mad Ship”, which is out on Friday 22nd June on Stunted Records. Right from the intro guitar on opening track “There’s No Goodbye” (second single from late April), it’s all music that I’d like to hear coming towards me in a big festival crowd.

Ash has been working on the songs for some time, and it’s obvious he’s taken the opportunity to draw and re-draw their boundaries to give each of them their own life. The sleeve notes put the songs into their contextual origins, and this novel idea gives a clear pointer for the inspiration of each of them.

Coincidentally, here at Urban Antenna, we were recently talking about the lost art of the construction of an album, which we concluded is down to the one-song-at-a-time-approach which is pushed on us by all those digital music platforms out there. Then lo and behold, “The Mad Ship” sails in and successfully bucks that trend with a clearly thought-out running order that makes it a real body of work that flows from beginning to end. I’d be only too happy to hear all these songs played live in exactly the same order they’re presented on the record.

Originally  hailing from Lincolnshire, Ash names a wide range of influences running through a diversity of styles, from  early childhood days when Mum played Johnny Mathis, Dad shared his love of Elvis and The Beatles, then being inspired to take up playing the guitar from hearing early Nirvana. He adds Elvis Costello and Tom Petty to the mix of personal favourites. “I’m drawn to melody….” is what he says, and you can hear it on every track he has to offer.

For those of you who now insist on doing the one-song-at-a-time-routine, then start with the singles “The Mad Ship” (which also features Chloe Rodgers on vocals), and “There’s No Goodbye”. Really though, the best advice I can give you is that you should treat yourself by sitting down and listening to the whole album from start to finish. The Mad Ship is a great debut album that Ash and all those associated with it can be really proud of.

The Mad Ship: https://youtu.be/lZZyCc3wwW0

There’s No Goodbye: https://youtu.be/lG9t_vBKk0E

Debt Neglector

Another great review from ten-midnight.com…check it out!

Ten-Midnight.com

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Debt Neglector from Florida put out their first record last year on Smartpunk  Records called “Atomicland.”, a 12 track album filled with punchy pop-punk tunes that are a level above the usual clones coiled springs of the genre. The band produces a slightly heavier more edgy sound with tuneful melodies, writing about real subject matters such as racism and depression they have hit the ground running in a short space of time. Having gained experience from their previous bands New Mexican Disaster Squad, No Friends, Gatorface and Eavesdropper, they all contribute to the party which can be heard coming through on the albums sound.

Play: Debt Neglector – Atomicland

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Heavy beats and melodic riffs introduce you to the title track “Atomicland” harmonies sprinkled around the chorus is a good opener and a taste of what’s to come. Although there is a pop-punk theme running through the album, the vocal stays…

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Best New Music: A PRODUCTIVE COUGH by Titus Andronicus

A good spot from S.B.G…a blog that’s well worth checking out!

S.B.G.

Titus Andronicus 1300.jpg Singer and guitarist Patrick Stickles, leader and founder of Titus Andronicus

There are times when you need to change, start from scratch. For the indie rock band Titus Andronicus this moment coincided with the writing and publication of their fifth studio album, A Productive Cough. Started as an irriverent, raw and genuine punk rock formation, the creative vein of the leader Patrick Stickles has brought the band to explore many different areas of the indie world arriving, with a sharp fracture, to the point where we find them today: in their last LP the band plays nowadays a sort of folk-rock with an almost-totally-acoustic instrumentation (“barroom rock” as said by someone), and you can visually imagine this quartet of musicians unleashing their passion for music through old and new rock motifs. Just to give you a better idea, in the middle of the album there is a very…

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FROM INSIDE THE ANTIDEPRESSANTS

The Antidepressants…check them out!!

Kulturno medijski center Slovenija

By Sasha Raven

Hey Maxim, can you tell us for the start, something about you and your band (band members)?

Hello, guys! Our band has been around since 2013, but we have known each other much longer. By the time I met my fellow band members I had not been doing much, and I guess I had something you could call a creative slump. I rarely played my guitar or even picked it up at all. However, I wrote some really cool songs. Some time later, I felt I had to bring some up-beat to these new songs. I craved for the real loud-and-proud crunchy guitar sound. That is how I found my old friends. They were all involved in their own projects until that life-changing moment when we met and I offered them to join the band. That is how the Antidepressants came to be. At the moment, we…

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Up Close & Personal: Aged Teen

Fanfare please…we’re introducing a new feature!! Music is great, we all know that. But what’s music without character? We want to know the ins and outs and ups and downs of the musical pioneers we love to listen to. Cue our new interviews feature: Up Close & Personal.

First up is an Italian singer-songwriter who goes by the name of Aged Teen…

Welcome to Urban Antenna! Let’s kick things off by finding out a little bit about Aged Teen and exactly what makes you tick.

Hey guys! My real name’s Dario Guarino, aka Aged Teen, and I’m a singer/songwriter from the Class of 1980. I’m all about writing new, original music on my acoustic guitar! Aged Teen actually started as a band, but I thrive as a solo composer, author and performer.

I live in Naples, Italy, and when gigging locally I tend to play a mixture of crowd-pleasing acoustic covers and my own material. I’m writing new music all the time and I’m determined to get heard by a wider audience. As much as I love Italy, my dream would be to gain recognition abroad. I prefer to write and perform songs with English lyrics in English.

So what’s behind the name, Aged Teen?

Well, as my career developed and I matured as a songwriter, I realised that so much of my inspiration came from my teenage years. I also think some of the best tracks I’ve written were during that time. Unfortunately, a teenager I was no more, so Aged Teen it was! It’s also pretty hard to find decent names that are not already taken!

We love that you’re not afraid to cross boundaries and incorporate sounds from so many genres. How would you describe your sound and what influences you the most?

“Alternative Acoustic Rock” is how I describe the formula I generally use. I was definitely influenced by ’90s Grunge and Alternative Rock, ’70s Punk Rock, ’80s Hardcore Punk, some Heavy Metal and Hard Rock, ’80s New Wave and Industrial, Outlaw Country and ’50s Rock ‘N’ Roll…I don’t know how many of these different influences you can hear in my music, but people often pick out Depeche Mode and Nirvana in there!

We’ve been listening to your new album and it really brings something new to the table. Tell us a little bit about it.

It’s called Time is Not on my Side and it’s available to listen to on BandCamp, Spotify, SoundCloud, Itunes, Cdbaby, YouTube…all the usual suspects! I’m really proud of it but I’m a modest guy so don’t want to say too much…I’d urge people to listen to it themselves and see what they think!

So what does the future hold for Aged Teen?

At the moment I play two or three local shows each week to pay the bills. The show’s called Graceland, after the legendary home of the King. I mix it up, play everything from old country and blues, to ’50s & ’60s rock ‘n’ roll, to ’80s pop hits, ’90s alternative rock and my own songs. As much as I love playing local gigs, which musicians don’t want to spread their wings?! I’d love to tour more and have the opportunity to play more of my own music. But having said that, I really enjoy re-arranging classic covers, putting my own stamp on things using my acoustic guitar, voice and foot drums. I’m working on new material all the time and hopefully it won’t be long until I’m following up Time is Not on my Side with my next album!

 

It’s been a pleasure Dario! A genuine, top bloke who is well worth following on social media. Check out the links below and give him your support. The Aged Teen 1980s cover playlist on YouTube is also well worth checking out – you’ll be surprised just how good they are!

LINKS:
http://www.youtube.com/agedteen

http://www.facebook.com/AgedTeenBand

http://agedteen.bandcamp.com

CONTACTS:

agedteenrock@yahoo.com

Dario Guarino  (FB)