Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Guest Post: Imogen Reed - New Artist Alert: TUSK

Back for her third guest-post by popular demand, here's Imogen Reed's fantastic feature on Newcastle rockers TUSK. Enjoy!

Boy Bruce, The Mighty Atom / Subtle Fun cover art
image courtesy of wearetusk.bandcamp.com

One of the best places to discover new music at the moment is Newcastle and one of the brightest bands to emerge from there are the four piece self styled “indie math-pop” band TUSK. They’ve just released their third single and with it launched their very own recording label “Into The Blue” records, too. The band comprises Thomas Robertshaw, Jonathon Evans, Andy Cutts and Sam Hodgson and they’re one of the most exciting new bands you could hope to hear.

New single
Following on from the critically acclaimed success of their first two EPs, “Before The End/As You Begin” released in August last year and April 2012’s “Lloyd Fleet”, as of August 27th the band have just put out their third single, a double A-Side release called “Boy Bruce, The Mighty Atom/Subtle Fun”. You can download all three releases from their bandcamp.com page and it is definitely well worth a listen.
Trying to find another band past or present to compare TUSK to is very difficult indeed as they seem to defy pigeonholing. Their sound is very unique and they mix intricate guitar parts with storming bass lines and really assured vocals. This is the video for one half of their new single “Boy Bruce, The Mighty Atom”
They create a wonderful musical atmosphere, quite ethereal in places and remarkably fresh sounding considering the dearth of guitar-by-numbers bands there are out there at the moment who all seem to want to look and sound like each other. Listening to these guys is a breath of fresh air in a quite frankly, stale, sweaty, rehearsal room, smelling of cigarette ash and beer dregs, that have been there mouldering since Britpop tailed off in the late 1990s. At their heart is a good, solid guitar band and one that could really deserves to go places if the music buying public could be persuaded away from all the identikit groups that are out there.

Previous releases
This is the band’s second single “Lloyd Fleet” which was released earlier this year:
Again, this is another prime example of how they combine really intricate guitar rhythms with strong vocals. If you didn’t know any better you’d say they’d been around for years, honing their craft and gigging. There’s something very shy and unassuming about them too, they’ve none of the cocky “we’re ace” swagger that some groups with much less talent have.

Critically acclaimed
They’ve had a lot of critical acclaim and praise from those who are really in the musical know. BBC Radio 6’s very own Tom Robinson has singled them out for a few mentions and they’ve had a number of really successful sessions on BBC Radio Tees, too. Some of the videos for those sessions are accessible on their YouTube subscription page here, WeAreTusk.
They sometimes like to throw in a few unexpected covers; highlights so far have been a version of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” and Wham’s “Club Tropicana”. These are done with their own typical brand of quiet enthusiasm and really show off their considerable style and talent.

image courtesy of wearetusk.bandcamp.com
Difficulties of student life
If you’re in the position of living the difficult student life at the moment and thinking about having to do everything on the cheap, from food shopping to clothes purchases and making all sorts of cutbacks from stopping smoking, buying Chantix online or finding other ways to kick the habit, then it’s sometimes nice to try and use a bit of really good music as therapy to make tailing off cigarettes much easier and relaxing. One of the best ways to get your music for a reasonable price is from bandcamp and when you look at TUSK’s page, you’ll see a whole host of other bands that they recommend. Sometimes the downloads are available for free, so while you’re there, check them out too and maybe make yourself up an old style mix tape for literally next to no money at all.
You might also want to think about putting the saved cash towards going to see TUSK play live somewhere, which is highly recommended. They’ve got a few gigs coming up in Newcastle during the next couple of months or so, details of which can always be found at their Facebook page which you can find here.
The band’s next gig is coming up on 21st October as part of the Oxjam Music Festival where they’ll be playing alongside lots of other local acts. At the very least, downloading their singles from Bandcamp is definitely the way to go, you seriously won’t regret it.

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Thanks for taking the time to write :)