Tag Archives: White Stripes

Album Review: Hot Fiction “Apply Within”

The Before:

Two-man bands have been a staple to the post-alternative rock scene for the last ten or so years. I tend to make assumptions about the sound: blues-inspired grungy riff-rock. The names The White Stripes and The Black Keys certainly come to mind. I appreciate the straight-forward style and deceiving simplicity of much that this genre (is it fair to call it so?) has offered.

Much in the vein of the aforementioned bands, British band Hot Fiction, brings forth their sophomore effort, Apply Within, out October 18th. The band describes it as a “soulful awakening”, though I’m not sure if that “awakening” is meant for the band or the listener. Regardless of the intent, they better make their points quick, as the album clocks in under the 40 minute mark.

The band is comprised of drummer/vocalist Andy Yeoh and guitarist/vocalist Simon Miller.

The After:

The band has a comfortable feel. It certainly fulfills my expectation of blues-inspired grungy riff-rock. However it does consistently feel fresh mainly due to the tunes’ strong melodies (see Harder Than Before) and percussion work that has that pleasant clarity and subtlety of not being canned. The guitar work is appropriate for the genre (are we still good with this?) of two-man riff-rock, and doesn’t rely too heavily on effects to draw in the listener, which is something that I have found to be draining on my ear juice.

Yeoh’s voice is strange at times (Gotta Go); pulling in and out of pitchy, frail to bold, and even 1960s white soul to Nick Drake circa Northern Sky (see Broken In a Good Way). And while I’m trying to figure out and adjust, the vocals blend with Miller’s guitar work that has many of the same qualities.

Ultimately, what kept me interested in the songs was the constant push and pull between the simplicity and dissonance of the melodies (see Sweet Goodbye). There is a fluidity to this album, even though the separate tunes hearken to different influences, conscious or not, such as the afore mentioned Nick Drake in Broken In a Good Way, a less orchestrated and instrumented The Band in You’re Not Alone, and even a streamlined Blood Sweat and Tears on No Soul.

As a side note, this is the point where I am conflicted over the possibilities of more instrumentation verses the uncomplicated nature of two-man groups like Hot Fiction. On one hand you have such potential to show range and counter-melody, but on the other you have the ability to become highly cohesive and streamlined in approach and purpose.

Regardless of my ramblings, Hot Fiction has put together an album in “Apply Within” that grooves, moves, and flows. This is a band that I could see developing further from influenced to influential as they explore their sound and push away from the precedents.

I give this album 3.5 g-bears.

Hot Fiction’s YouTube Channel

Jack White + Gary Oldman = Awesome Sauce

We at Grizzly Bomb have a collected affinity for one Mr. Jack White. Creative force behind acts such as The Upholsterers, The White Stripes, The Raconteurs, and The Dead Weather. He has also worked in some capacity with other musicians like Alicia Keys, The Electric Six, and Insane Clown Posse. That doesn’t even begin to describe his collaborative works industry wide such producing records for country icon Loretta Lynn. So it should come as no surprise when he teams up with someone awesome, but this one takes the cake. This time around Jack is hanging with the one and only Commissioner James Gordon.

White asked Oldman to direct his streaming concert (which happened a couple days ago) and the two seemed to really hit it off. White’s introduction to the famous JFK/Dark Knight/Dracula/Tinker Talior star wasn’t what you’d call conventional, but they both seemed in good spirits after and the result is pretty interesting. Check it out.

The White Stripes get Thumped. By Themselves.

I am, by no means, a music aficionado. I like what I like and hate most everything else.

A vast majority of my favorite artists are either dead, or long retired. When I go to the bar, my friends complain how sick they are of ‘over-played’ songs which I’ve never even heard. And to those who know me, it’s no surprise that I’d much rather go to the movie theater than to a concert. That being said, there always was one band I really wanted to see live, The White Stripes.

Continue reading The White Stripes get Thumped. By Themselves.