Strange Cages – Silver Queen

In September, Brighton’s Strange Cages released their second EP, ‘Silver Queen’ via the record label of the moment, Vallance Records (home to Sisteray, Beach Riot and False Heads).

Sleazy garage-psyche music, is too often devoid of emotion and passion. Too often a display of self-indulgence and mass ego. Well, Strange Cages, with influences indebted to Iggy, Toy, Neu and The Horrors are hell bent on bucking that trend.

Despite the hallmarks of the past in play, Strange Cages have found ways to make this EP relevant to 2018. There are the pop machinations of Blossoms and Goldfrapp shining through the synths on ‘The Leeches, the Fakers’. Meanwhile, ‘Children of the Gutter’ is a lost single of their peers Cabbage.

‘False Prophet Death Waltz’ and ‘Lasers of Joy’ are not the sounds of sane men. Psychotic and hullucagenic, thee early fire of the The Horrors is in full force. ‘Meanwhile, ‘Sick With Desire’ throbs like The Stooges one minute before seguing into the more beautiful moments of Syd Barrett’s Floyd era.

Ultimately, Strange Cages are a band with a clear direction and clear influences but not yet their own distinct style. It won’t stop you returning to the record but, the sense the sense that something truly great can come from this band lingers in the air.



Sisteray - Sisteray Said

“seems like we're generation of rejects”

Wounded and cornered, the British rock n roll band can look ready for slaughter. It is however, planning a viscous polemical assault. Enter stage right, Sisteray.

Reminiscent to The Rifles' hilarious 'She Got Standards', Sisteray have found their indie sniper rifle and head shots are being taken. 'Wannabes' is a beefed up glam rock number attacking the coke fuelled Liam lookalikes who just never leave rock n roll scene alone.

It's refreshing to hear the passion and intellect at which they attack a generation glued to their phones. If only for gig goers, it may result in more people being in the moment. Don't tell your friends what your doing and don't watch the band three feet from your face through an iPhone, twats. Be in the here and now, the time for reflection is in the pub the following day, with people, not social media!

The most striking thing about this EP is the development from 2017's '15 Minutes' EP. 2017 Sisteray would send you off to listen to 00s greats such as Hope of the States, The Rifles, Art Brut, Ordinary Boys and The Paddingtons. 2018 Sisteray, well, they've become colossus. The drumming is worthy of The Who's epic 'Live at Leeds' record and the guitar parts are becoming more interesting and unpredictable with every song. Roll on the 100 Club.

Sisteray -Algorithm Prison

The first time we saw Sisteray live, they had punk songs and they had rock n roll songs. They were good but, it felt a marrying of the two would lead to great things. This is what new single ‘Algorithm Prison’ does.

Lyrically, it snarls at the apathy that technology obsession breeds, especially in their home city of London where life is 24 hours if only you join in. Toss in Niall Rowan’s righteous Charlie Harper and Nicky Tesco vocals and you’re into banger territory.

Musically, it does being the merging of their punk instincts with a broader rock n roll escapism. The guitar riffs and solos, whilst angst ridden are deftly kissed with a sense of freedom. The juxtaposition of this style with a lyrical assault on the willingly downtrodden breed’s life into an indie/punk scene so often concerned with love stories.

Sisteray - 15 Minutes

After witnessing their cracking set at the Camden Assembly recently, TT decided to check out the London four piece's new EP 15 Minutes. Here is our track by track rundown:

Queen’s English

This twos and throws from rock n roll and punk to pretty good effect. It has enough swagger to reel in the Kasabian crowd but enough spikiness to alert the punk rockers.

There are times when the prose of Pete Doherty or Richard Hawley can be all that is needed to enrich the soul with their Blake-esque tales of Albion. Sometimes though, there is desperate need for youthful angst ridden social comment and ‘Queen’s English’ is most definitely that.

Kicking and screaming at everything the Tories have delivered in the past 7 years, Sisteray remind us of the class divide and how the other half expect us to live:

“Taught to live within our means / swap our dreams for repayment dreams”

The next ten years cannot be about Noel Gallagher again. They cannot be about Foals. It needs to be desperate, furious and all gut instinct once more.

Nostalgia Trip

Having defined who and where they come from, Sisteray lead on to who they are going to destroy. The past. The UK’s musical taste, on the fringes at least, has always been something to be proud of. The various scenes, labels and club nights springing up in pockets of Cities and suburbs has always been progressive. That is, until the past decade when the arse fell out of the industry.

The alternative scene has no TOTP’s outlet and the alternative scene is awash with middle class acts because the working classes have been priced out and ignored by the industry. The concept of building stars for the future seems lost, with the exception of John Kennedy, a few at BBC6 and This Feeling (the greatest club night and tv channel going).

Faaast Food

Musically, there is a slight disconnect between the great Coxon-esque riffs and the droll vocal delivery. Nevertheless, it’s another great swipe at the plastic 100mph lifestyle of the culturally vapid:

“Fame comes cheap / When you’re the scrap heap / Roaming round the jungle / To earn your keep”

Famous For Nothing

On Matt Forde’s Political Party podcast, Michael Portillo joked last year that if he remains on the BBC for another 5 years he is half way to becoming a national treasure. He’s right. Making quaint shows about trains has admonished his greedy Thatcherite voting record.

The same scenario has developed for the “stars” of Towie and Made In Chelsea. From our standpoint, a fart in a lift is never getting better with time. So, whilst some may say Sisteray’s rhetoric is old hat, we say it’s more needed than ever. The attack on their fake tan emptiness draws a line in the sand and demands everyone to pick their sides.

White Knuckle Joyride

All the angst and hatred of modern society fades away as this free flowing rock n roll number gives life to a more hedonistic realm.

The ending is nothing short of mesmerising. It has the escapist stadium friendliness of Oasis’ ‘Slide Away’, the cascading frenzy of BRMC’s ‘Whatever Happened To My Rock n Roll’ and all the joy of Charlatan’s all encompassing ‘Sproyston Green’.



Sisteray - Camden Assembly, London

Sisteray have been making a lot of good noises with their newly released EP 15minutes and opened a memorable night the Camden Assembly.

The fast and furious ‘Who R Ya?’ opens with it’s Strokes-esque guitars meets the Buzzcocks . It encapsulates everything to love about Sisteray. Every time you have them pegged as a kick ass punk band, guitarist Dan Connolly fires a Pete Townsend via BRMC slice of swirling mayhem.

Social comment is tough get across to live audiences when you’re the second support band. However, with the election looming and frontman Niall Rowan’s charismatic aggression, the Camden crowd are braying for Tory and reality TV blood by the end of this set.

The most poignant moment of the set emerges on ‘Nostalgia Trip’. The QOTSA riot attacks the endless stream of bygone acts hogging the limelight and delivers the line ‘'it's a nostalgia trip I can't afford the ticket', a message not lost on the gig lovers present.

This is a good set with great moments, such as ‘A Wise Man Said’, a furious homage to The Libertines’ ‘Delaney’ or, halcyon rock n roll of ‘White Knuckle Joyride’. Nevertheless, Sisteray seem to have merely scratched the surface of meshing punk, rock n roll and lyrical sniping. This is a journey you must be part of!