Indieterria review Brain Food – Brain Food EP

Dear Readers,

We are absolutely gutted that we can only review this EP good three weeks after its release (came out on March 13th 2020) but the world has been in chaos lately. Maybe you noticed… However social isolation has good sides  – you can sit on your ass and listen to a lot of music. We will not complain too much about being four weeks into a self imposed exile then. After all this is what music scouts do anyway if not attending gigs: typing away mountains of text about artists they seen or are about to see.  Plus, the fridge is stocked and we have 24 pieces of toilet roll…So without any more ado, here is the record we will be ranting about on this blog today. Meet the band.

Brain Food:
Liam Mckeown (vox, guitar)
Jakob Cusp (guitar, keys)
William S Carrott (bass)
Connor Doyle (drums, percussion)

Official bio:

Brain Food are a four-piece cosmic psych outfit originally hailing from the suburbs of East Birmingham. Forming in the dying embers of 2017, the band have been making waves with their energetic, spaced-out and shimmering live set. In their brief history they have supported the likes of Insecure Men, Froth, Stonefield, Boy Azooga, Frankie & The Witch Fingers, Dead Coast, Man of Moon and Public Access TV. August 2018 saw the release of debut EP “Get One On”, a DIY project of five tracks recorded, mixed and produced by the band, on their own makeshift record label, Room 15 Records.

Birmingham is known nationally (and internationally if you ever poked your nose outside the disunited kingdom) for having a vibrant psychedelic and garage scene. If you are local we don’t necessarily have to introduce you to the likes of DOXA, Table Scraps, Cherry Pickles, The Cosmics or The Lizards. Chances are you drink with members of those bands more often at The Sunny than we do. However if you don’t hang around Digbeth too often, Second City may be uncharted musical waters. Then you are cordially invited to have a look at this BLOG we did for the scene and check out the playlists. It`s worth it – we will tell you this much.

Brain Food – photography by Psychedelic Eye
https://www.facebook.com/psychedelic.eye.photography

Brain Food are part of the vibrant Brummie scene and their new, self -titled EP is exceptional, in many regards. It is first time in aeons that we had a pleasure to listen to a space psychedelia record. For those who are not into musical genres: space psychedelia (also known as “space rock”) originated in the late 1960`s and is recognised by lengthy compositions with distorted, other-worldly vocals. Hypnotic drums and keyboards often accommodate poetic, mystic and science-fiction themed lyrics. This sub-genre of psychedelic and progressive rock came to prove itself to be very influential, inspiring every musical movement from the 80s onward: grunge, stone rock, shoe gaze to post rock. Early enthusiasts of the space sound were Jimmy Hendrix, Marc Bolan, The Beatles and Pink Floyd. The ground breaking “wah wah” sound was born out of the genre. But we digress…

The band sticks to a very traditional definition of space psychedelia – this record is full of wonderful riffs, mellow if minimal drumming, ethereal vocals and lyrics that evoke emotional and  spiritual sides of humanity. It`s 27 minutes that should be spent lying in the grass on a summer day with your eyes closed and  enjoying the sun on one`s face.

The Brain Food EP cover

Opening the record  is “Poseidon” – although not a leading single – it is a perfect introduction to the EP. The song greets us with a powerful riff and the words “Wake Up – what do you see?”. The low bass and heavy drums giving this track such a groovy, trippy feeling.

Then comes “Canyon Crawler” with its oriental theme and deep, echo like effects. The song changes tempo several times over the course of seven minutes but does not feel too dragging or boring. It is very Beatles-que in nature (meant in the best way possible).

“That Feeling” could give Pink Floyd a good run for their money had Brain Food been born few decades into the past. For some reason we love how the vocals sound  – there is no indication that they have been reinforced but it feels like there is more than one voice singing.

“Cosmic Jones” starts with a wah wah motif to explode into a distorted, quietly beautiful love song. It may be a strange observation but this is the only song that brings outthe fact that Brain Food are a British band. You can hear the strong West Midland accent clearer than on other compositions. Though out  the record you can`t place where the band comes from – they could easily pose for American quartet or  anywhere else in the world. Which adds to the charm of the EP – anyone from any corner of the world could relate. But on “Cosmic Jones”  the band is undisputedly  British. Also its our favourite track from the record. Not related to the fact that we are Anglophiles.

The EP ends with “Forbidden Tongue”. What we really love about this track are those long  guitar solos that are the central part of  composition. Vocals are here relocated to the back seat and treated  alongside with other instruments. Very clever idea.

It`s hard to rate this record. Brain Food do not reinvent the wheel. But  it`s such a strong  space psychedelic release in all its classical glory. And we have a soft spot for all things psychedelic!

This is a kick ass* release and if you can get your hand on it – do so. Hopefully we will get a physical release sooner than later.

*Kick ass is equivalent of at least 4.5 out of 5.

You can follow Brain Food on social media:

https://www.facebook.com/brainfoodofficial/
https://www.instagram.com/brainfoodofficial/
https://brainfoood.bandcamp.com/
https://soundcloud.com/brain-food-650656456
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCt6TgF0ITsxJjDf3MuNMJKg
https://open.spotify.com/artist/4HqwUXaBaTJafihMSgeRsQ?si=JJ7P8nqqTFqjR5j9Dp6QeA

There is so much happening on the Brum scene we need to possibly consider a larger piece. Brain Food is one of those bands that you need to know if you want to know what`s hot on the indie circuit.

Big thank you to Sophie Hack (Bread Birmingham) for helping us with this review. Apologies for the delay.

M/R

Migration in Maltese local newspapers – press clippings part one

Migration in Maltese local newspapers – press clippings

This was not meant to be a blog post at first. Rather, it was an idea to have some local press articles about migration ready when we were to send a copy of local photography book on the issue to be reviewed abroad. In the beginning, we thought to have one week covered but interesting stories kept appearing and we kept on cutting them out. March went by and April arrived and we continued to gather all local stories on the subject. Then last week – everything changed. Two boat drowning in just five days and over 1000 people dead, only a handful bodied recovered to be buried on the island. We have spoken to several foreigner journalists covering the story and the first question they have asked us: what is happening in Malta. How is the migration phenomenon being reported on a local level. We came back to our archive now consisting of two months worth of local press articles and decided to scan everything and put it online. Whoever needs to view the articles can simply click on the scan and see the article.

We have made some notes on the sides of some articles, to explain a term used or to highlight some other issues or to inform who the person writing the article is. Each scan is described by the same key: Name_month_day_year_page, to make it easier.

Now, most of our archive is Times of Malta and The Sunday Times of Malta as this is the biggest (circulation wise) English newspaper on Maltese market and they have put in a lot of emphasis on the story in all its aspects. The other newspaper that we use as a second source in The Malta Independent, mostly to have stories that may not be reported in TOM. There is a third English speaking newspaper on the island – Malta Today but since it is a tabloid and their coverage may be sensational, we have so far not included it in the archive – we may in the future if a story that they report will be of value.

Please note one thing. This was not done to republish local articles for profit
or anything of that sort. This is solely for informational purposes, mostly hoping that foreigner journalists who may need to see the stories for their reports, will be able to realize how dedicated Maltese media are to migration issue and how complicated and multi-layered it is for such a small island.

Malicia had written in the past her thesis on how media report a story (her thesis was about Northern Ireland peace process reported by Polish newspapers) and she hopes that perhaps somebody will use this blog for similar purpose. She also hopes she is not breaking any laws but if somebody objects, please let her know and she will put this blog offline.

We will be also using this blog to promote the local photography book and to convince people far and wide to come to Malta and tell the world what is happening around the Mediterranean. We can`t have hundreds of people drowning and nobody to care.

So educational and informational purposes only – in case somebody is asking.

If you are a journalist covering a story regarding Malta and need any assistance to get in touch with local media representatives, freelance photographers, MOAS, Refugee Commissioner, etc, please get in touch via lil_lilac_tree@yahoo.com and we will try to help you as much as we can.

February 2015:

Times of Malta February 22, 2015, page 7

TOM_Feb_22_2015_p7
Times of Malta February 22, 2015, page 8

TOM_Feb_22_2015_p8

March 2015:

The Malta Independent

The Malta Independent March 20, 2015, front page

Malta_Independent_March_20_2015_front
The Malta Independent March 20, 2015, page 2

Malta_Independent_March_20_2015_p2
The Malta Independent March 20, 2015, page 5

Malta_Independent_March_20_2015_p5
The Malta Independent March 20, 2015, page 9 (editorial)

Malta_Independent_March_20_2015_p9_editorial

The Malta Independent March 21, 2015, front page

Malta_Independent_March_21_2015_front
The Malta Independent March 21, 2015, page 2

Malta_Independent_March_21_2015_p2
The Malta Independent March 21, 2015, page 3

Malta_Independent_March_21_2015_p3
The Malta Independent March 21, 2015, page 5

Malta_Independent_March_21_2015_p5

The Times of Malta /The Sunday Times of Malta

The Times of Malta, March 1, 2015 page 3

TOM_March_1_2015_p3

The Times of Malta, March 2, 2015, page 6
TOM_March_2_2015_p6
The Times of Malta, March 5, 2015, page 5

TOM_March_5_2015_p5
The Times of Malta, March 5, 2015, page 6

TOM_March_5_2015_p6
The Times of Malta, March 7, 2015, page 6

TOM_March_7_2015_p6
The Times of Malta, March 8, 2015, front page

TOM_March_8_2015_front
The Times of Malta, March 8, 2015, page 10

TOM_March_8_2015_p10
The Times of Malta, March 8, 2015, page 11

TOM_March_8_2015_p11
The Times of Malta, March 13, 2015, page 7

TOM_March_13_2015_p7
The Times of Malta, March 15, 2015, page 20

TOM_March_15_2015_p20
The Times of Malta, March 16, 2015, page 5

TOM_March_16_2015_p5
The Times of Malta, March 17, 2015, page 4

TOM_March_17_2015_p4
The Times of Malta, March 18, 2015, page 4

TOM_March_18_2015_p4
The Times of Malta, March 20, 2015, page 3

TOM_March_20_2015_p3
The Times of Malta, March 21, 2015, front page

TOM_March_21_2015_front
The Times of Malta, March 21, 2015, page 3

TOM_March_21_2015_p3
The Times of Malta, March 21, 2015, page 6

TOM_March_21_2015_p6
The Times of Malta, March 21, 2015, page 11

TOM_March_21_2015_p11
The Times of Malta, March 22, 2015, page 21

TOM_March_22_2015_p21
The Times of Malta, March 23, 2015, page 39

TOM_March_23_2015_p39
The Times of Malta, March 26, 2015, front page

TOM_March_26_2015_front
The Times of Malta, March 30, 2015, page 7

TOM_March_30_2015_p7

If you require a file with the URLs for every article, you can find it here:

Migration_March_2015

You can see the local press coverage of April 2015 under this link:

https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2015/04/27/migration-in-maltese-local-newspapers-press-clippings-part-two/

R+M