Simon Says: Travel The World One Band At A Time

on Monday, February 25, 2013
Words: Simon Opie

By riding the range that is the Altrock inbox we have rounded up a herd of fantastic bands to cover here whose music fills the entire spectrum of the things we like. So here come Nadja (Canada), Good Morning Spider (Sweden), Roosevelt (Wales), Long Distance Calling (Germany) and Borland (England) for your entertainment, with a distinctinctly enjoyable international flavour across the list.

Nadja - 'Dagdrom'

Nadja are a two-piece consisting of Aidan Baker (Guitars/Vocals) and Leah Buckareff (Bass/Vocals) and on their new LP 'Dagdrom' they are joined by Mac McNeilly from Jesus Lizard on drums. He turns out to be an inspired signing. I think the key to Doom Metal is to keep the rhythm rocking and McNeilly does this superbly, whilst the two members of Nadja add layers of shifting sounds and voices that might be described as shoegaze with intent. The album is stifling and laden with heavy purpose but really well done - a dark gem.

Try: 'Dagdrom'

Roosevelt – 'Valley Of Stone'

Tales of the Welsh backwaters never sounded so good. Roosevelt were my very first Sunday tweet of the week. This 6 song EP is a quite enthralling piece of work. It’s a blend of electronic, beat-driven rock with vocals that somehow have a twang that is straight from the valleys. Now I don’t know how you get to have people pay attention to your music but if my column prompts just a few people to search this one out then it will have been worth the writing.

Try: 'Kryptonite', 'Do You Love Me Now?'

Good Morning Spider – 'A Peg In The Hole'

GMS have the undeniable honour of being just my second Sunday tweet. A project band led by Viktor Rinneby they describe themselves quite inaccurately as Indie but they play music primarily influenced by New American Folk, with a touch of the Brian Jonestown Massacre. So never far from psychedelia but distinctively well constructed, spooky songs. This EP is a taster of an LP to come, and I for one can't wait.

Try: 'Doctors And Crackers'

Long Distance Calling – 'The Flood Inside'

For a dose of Post-Metal you could do a lot worse than this album. With a blend of Opeth and Anathema – and indeed Vincent Cavanagh of Anathema contributes some vocals – this is a super-confident, beautifully played set of tunes. Guitar music of what is by now almost an old-school kind but with a vitality and commitment that informs every aspect of its execution. Apparently this is Long Distance Calling’s first album with vocals and the songs reflect their heritage with extended instrumental passages and all of them weighing in at six minutes plus.

Try: 'Ductus', 'The Man Within'

Borland – 'Thrancis'

And so by some curious symmetry we close the column with another two-piece band, this time from Manchester, England. Ian Breen and Rob Gregg have been Borland since 2007. And no I don’t know if the band is named after Limp Bizkit’s exotic guitarist, but why not? This is dark ambient music at the other end of the spectrum from Nadja’s and hence nearly touching it. Throbbing post-electronica that hypnotises and inspires comparison with Matthew Dear on ketamine, and if you find that a surreal image then it's probably apt.

Try: 'Lucifer', 'Paris', 'The Necromancer'

For your chance to feature in a future Simon Says column, email your submission at altrock(at)

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