Everybody might not have seen Bad Peter live, but the ones who have describe the band’s spirited performance as lively, compelling, and… well… damn good. They’re one of the busiest bands in the country at the moment, and recently, after signing with David Gresham Records, released their first EP, Let Go. For a five-track EP, Let Go has a surprisingly diverse set of influences and stylistic elements. Yet it maintains a distinct “Bad Peter”-sound. It’s bright, acoustic, sparkling and hair-raising – even sexy at times – while lyrically being both spirited and serious. Bad Peter is an acoustic duo consisting of PG Badenhorst and Alwyn Bekker, and we spoke to them about their career and their debut EP.
There’s something about Wolfgang Marrow that always makes me think of the live music/club scene in Black Snake Moan. And I don’t know why, but I think it’s something more than the Southern swampy Blues music they’ve got in common. Yes, the movie might be seen as an exploitative look at a sexy half-naked girl who’s chained up throughout most of the film, but behind its marketing campaign, it was a celebration of classic blues music, where it really comes from, and what it truly means. And Wolfgang Marrow‘s debut album, Bad Advice, might be the same…
Albert Frost woke up.
For such a prolific performer, his new album, The Wake Up, comes a surprising seven years after his last solo release, Devils and Gods. And for someone who’s spent 21 years as one of the Blues Broers before quitting the band last year, The Wake Up isn’t quite as bluesy as one might expect. “I’ve been slightly pigeon-holed as a blues guitarist,” Albert Frost explains – which is just how the music business works. But actually, my influences are very wide and range way further than just the blues. And I’ve never had a vehicle to explore that or felt that my voice is ready for this.”
Until now. The Wake Up, while firmly rooted in the blues [“I can’t escape it, I love it so much,” says Frost], is varied, eclectic, and certainly very different.
Scarlotte Will, a young local band, has launched their latest EP, Things Unseen. This five track mini-album promises to whet appetites for the accompanying tour, taking them all over South Africa.
The Johannesburg-based rock group Pollinator is relatively new on the scene, but has been making tongues wag as a live act with immense chutzpah. The energy that Evert Snyman (vocals, guitar), Louise Eksteen (vocals, bass) and Tim Edwards (vocals, drums) eject has set many venues alight. The question is whether their debut album, Honeyeaters, will ignite the same fire in the hearts of music lovers.
Cherry Vinyl’s debut album, Busking Cape Town, is a fun and energetic, melodic folk-rock offering. In a nutshell, this sounds like an album made by lovers of music. Everything sounds bright and light, with a positive attitude and hopeful lyrics beaming from the speakers. It’s also evident that these musicians know what they’re doing – when it comes to skilled use of their individual instruments, but also the production and arrangement involved in crafting each song, these songs are top class.
Bloc Party, slightly re-organised, is back with Hymns – their fifth album. After a hiatus starting in 2013, frontman Kele Okereke and guitarist Russell Lissack remain, together with Justin Harris and Louise Bartle (respectively the new bassist & drummer). It’s been four years since their last, more guitar-driven, album: Four.
De Wallen is a dirty rock ‘n roll band that reminds you of the phrase “sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll”. They’re raw and rough and cut to the bone, with dirty, rich, electric guitars, rocking loud and fast.
Crackerjack, the first single off the EP, is a powerful rock track with fat guitar riffs. It’s a fun, exciting and upbeat track that sets the energetic tone for the whole EP. The arrangement is neat, guitars are unreserved, and the vocals sound like a relatable tough guy. You know: The slightly intimidating guy with the stubble and tattoos who turns out to be the nicest guy you’ve met. Plus, in one of their publicity stills, his microphone is literally on fire.
Yes, I’m old enough to remember a time before Fokofpolisiekar. When the South-African music scene was fine, but certain popular genres were just left untouched in Afrikaans. Until Karen Zoid came around. The press dubbed her “South Africa’s rock chick”, and her rocking take on Afrikaans (with touches of punk & hip-hop) reinvigorated the genre for Afrikaans-speaking music lovers and musicians, and paved the way for the Fokofpolisiekar-generation.
Scarlotte Will isn’t easy to write about – mostly cause I have no idea whether their name means something. Even geographically, they refused to be boxed in: They hail from Gauteng – that is, Randfontein, Pretoria, and Kempton Park. However, the four-piece alternative rock band have been working hard to hang on everyone’s lips. They are one of the hardest-working and constantly-gigging bands I know of that teeter on the edge of “underground”. Whatever that means these days. They pop up regularly on stages at The Bohemian, Railways Cafe, and Arcade Empire, practically opened the main stage at Oppikoppi this year, and had a stint high up on the Tuks FM top 30.