Sunday, 26 May 2019

Why I love hitting things with sticks?

It seems to me that drums is the obvious choice when deciding on which instrument to pick up. Why? I mean, they are noisy, which can instantly alienate me from every neighbour I'm ever going to meet. Plus, they're bulky and take up my entire bedroom, as well as plenty of space elsewhere in my house... and they can cost a bit too.

In spite of all this though drums will always be my favourite instrument to play, as they are the funnest instrument out of the lot. Well the funnest that I've tried, but I can hazard a guess that there wouldn't be any other instruments that I prefer, were I to try every single one out there (even a banjo). However, it's difficult for me to say why I know this, what makes drums so fun.

It may be because deep down I'm a psychopath that just wants to hit something and the drums bear the brunt of my rage, relieving stress in the process. There isn't really another instrument that you get to hit in the same manner as the drums, of all the percussion instruments the drums can definitely be played with the most energy.

It's doubtful that this is the main reason why the drums are so fun though. I could just put a punching bag up and get rid of stress while whaling on that instead, it would probably be more effective. No, I think its to do with the rhythm and finding the beat which makes drums fun. Why does playing in time to a beat feel so good? No idea. Some people would probably say it's to do with an animalistic or spiritual or evolutionary need that drives the brain to release dopamine when finding a rhythm. I don't think it really matters. All we know is that playing a beat is a great way to spend your time, so I shall continue to do so.

Saturday, 20 April 2019

The Elusive Bassist

Looking for a bassist can be hard work. It feels like searching for a needle in a haystack, while the needle is trying to get away, constantly slipping out of reach. So, while completing this difficult search it seems appropriate to put a blog post out there advertising how great it is to be a bassist, so more people become bassists and make it easier to find them.

From what I've heard (not from experience) bass is pretty easy to pick up but difficult to master. This means that it won't take long for you to be able to play with a band and gain all the obviously amazing perks that come with that. However, you'll also be able to keep challenging yourself into the future and master your craft.

Plus, you will automatically become the coolest person in the band. Everyone knows that while the other band members are flailing around on stage, the bassist automatically gets to look calm, cool and groovy.

Also off stage, the laid back nature of the bass will naturally help you become a calmer and cooler person, kind of like eating ten snickers every minute of every day but without the debilitating health problems.

Another great positive of the bass is that you will be working close with your drummer, fuelling a unique bond with them. As drummers are super awesome this will inevitably have a much needed positive impact on your life, probably filling a vacuous void that has existed for so long you forgot it was even there.

Bass can also be a great starting point to write a song and as the bassist you shall be well placed to create a sweet bass-line that can blossom into a brilliant song. 

Bass solos- nothing more needs to be said.

In addition to all this there are always bands looking for good bassists, so you'll have plenty to pick from.

So what are you waiting for? Pick up a bass and start playing, so annoying people like me can poach you for our bands.






Wednesday, 2 January 2019

CWM?

A question that has plagued me since the birth of this band is: CWM, what does that stand for? Now being a member of this band, you would think I would be aware of what CWM stands for, however that secret was kept from me for reasons... I'm unaware of. All I can do is guess, wonder to myself at the possible great secret 3 letters possess.

Hmm words.. words that fit the letters.. Cows With Milk may seem like a stupid name for a band, but when I think about how great milk is, it makes some sort of sense. On the other hand Crazy Wild Men makes a lot more sense when considering who makes up this band. Cars With Motors takes into account Rob's deep, deep fondness for all things Formula One. The rest of us aren't as bothered but we're general fans of cars, as long as they get our gear to practice. Carriages Wheel Monsters is completely bizarre but I am quite fond of the image it creates. Would a bizarre name suit us? Compasses Won't Marry takes the bizzareness up a notch, yet it has the ring of truth to it. Caged White Manatees takes a step away from the bizarre to animal cruelty. I'm not sure why I considered that. Could We Maybe? could be referring to all sorts of things, though the mind likes to assume sex. Come With Me is similar. Couldn't Win Monopoly is far too real and relatable for me to face being the name of the band, but maybe that's why it should be. Maybe not though as this name would just be plain false for John... the bastard. Classes Went Missing is possibly too dark, but Class Went Missing works better as a commentary on our lack of style or respect for the class system. Courageous Without Merit works well as some nice juxtaposition while remaining unclear what it is actually talking about...

Overall, I feel like I could run through possible names of CWM all day and have a weird amount of fun doing so. However, by the end I still wouldn't be able to find a name that perfectly beats any other I could come up with to represent this band. Maybe it doesn't need a definite answer.


Police, Thieves and Merchants Chapter 7: Chumps Will Murder


Jen and Lae were running among a series of chaotic scenes as the village they had lived and worked in was torn apart around them. There wasn't much time to waste taking in all that was happening beyond the random details their brains decided to pick out. The smell of smoke filled their nostrils as they crawled behind burning wreckage; the glint of an arrowhead as it speared past to go thudding into a cherished neighbour's ribs. The cries and screams that burst through the chilly evening air, now warmed in places by the blazing fires bursting forth from the former homes, emphasized tenfold whenever it was from someone they recognized. Their aim was simple, get to the trees. Trees reduced the visibility of their attackers and were far enough from the village to be encompassed by the attack. Unfortunately, as they groped forward blindly through the smoke, walking into Briax, Throx and any others still surviving – they couldn't see any treetops beyond the thick, grey haze now enveloping the settlement. Every now and then there hearts would freeze as a figure strutted out of the smoke dressed in the dark clothing signature to the attacking band. They were usually armed with a knife or bow and arrow and would attack a trailing member of the diminishing group. They were following a crying young woman who had also escaped from the pub moaning tearfully to herself as she felt forwards towards the tree-line behind the pub, which had to be close by now. As she lunched forward a dark clothed silhouette materialised in front of her. He was coughing from the smoke and was caught off guard by the young woman ramming head-first into him, tipping his scrawny body over easily. Nevertheless, he demonstrated amazing reflexes in his ability to jump back from the floor and gather the girl into a grip around the neck with a knife at her throat. She cried out in terror as he turned to disappear into the smoke. A bottle smashed against his face causing glass to lodge itself in his eyes, mouth and nostrils igniting a bawling scream from his mouth as he loosened his hold on the girl. A purple garbed man strode heroically from the smoke as Lae and Jen reached the scene. He picked up the woman, who had rolled back onto the floor, as she breathed heavily- still in shock from the incident.
Come on now you're nearly there,” he reassured her in an easy-going soothing voice as he helped her find her feet and continue.
Cax!” Briax exclaimed, appearing with Throx behind Jen and Lae.
Keep moving,” Cax replied with a grim expression. “We won't all make it through this.” Soon several others dressed similarly to Throx and Briax stepped in beside them, herding the motley group onwards hopefully towards the forest.
They trudged forwards eyes and ears hyper aware of the sounds around them, shoulders hunched as if to make them less visible. It was only a dozen more paces before Cax swore as a thin line of the attackers emerged from the misty smoke blocking their advance, grinning and leering over their new-found prey. Some held weapons, mainly knives and axes with a couple of bows among the throng. The two bows were trained on the miserable group huddled together standing splattered in mud and blood with smoke curling around them, threatening to take even the air from their lungs.
You'll never get away with this,” Cax spoke his eyes brimming with fury as they stung from the exposure to the smoke, staring hard at the thieves gathered before them.
Oh I think we will merchant,” a large, thick-set bald man sneered pushing through to face Lae, a small boy piggy-backing on his back. “We know what you hide in these villages, what you keep from the cities residing far away. With enough wine we'll be able to set ourselves up as merchants like you and give ourselves.. a fresh start.” A resigned look passed over his face as he looked back at the boy hanging on tightly to his back.
Jen was incredulous at these words and spoke thunderously in spite of her despairing state.
You've done all this..” she gestured around her at the ruined village, the screams and the smoke with the flicker of fire glimmering through. “For wine?!” She shook with rage and it was evident that the rest of the group were feeling it too as well as confusion from the words of the thief. The bald thief's mouth twitched in annoyance.
You wouldn't understand.. and why are they still alive?” he yelled louder, turning to his comrades. As he finished his sentence the bows thrummed taking one villager in the throat and hitting Xa in the side. He collapsed onto the floor blood oozing from the wound as Briax let out a screaming challenge to the thieves now closing in. Before they reached the group though a scruffily dressed man came punching and shoving his way through the villagers, now dispersing into the smoke.
Oi!” he yelled, pointing at the bald man. “You look like Crass, are you Crass?”
The remaining merchants looked at him bewildered as the thieves paused, confusion written across their face, allowing several villagers to run and find another way out. A few still remained with the merchants however, including a young woman now with a look of joy and worry on her face.
Fal? What are you doing?” she questioned in an astonished voice.
How do you know who I am stranger,” Crass called in a brass tone indicating for the thieves around him to hold. A few on the outskirts of the gang broke away anyway to gleefully chase any remaining villagers, cause relative havoc and most importantly loot anything valuable still remaining in the settlement.
Baxter says he wants you, says he's found a massive stash in the pub right..” he whirled around arm flailing out, clearly confused by the wall of smoke and shocked faces that greeted him.
There... no... there!” he finished proudly pointing into the smoke, the outline of the pub he had clearly come from still barely visible.
He says Greg's band is trying to steal it all, says you better hurry.”
A look of greed, twisted with annoyance and tinged with doubt wrapped around Crass' face. The thieves surrounding him were muttering among themselves, clearly discontented at the prospect of losing such a prize. A few on the end had already started edging away from the group towards the direction Fal had pointed in, clearly wanting to get some sort of head start on the rest of them without Crass noticing. Crass didn't take long to come to a decision.
Let's get what we came for,” he snarled. “With me!” He charged through the villagers, trampling on Xa's leg as he passed as the gang galloped forward. The remaining survivors among the group shrank back from them as they passed but the sense of urgency among the thieves was massive. In a few seconds there was merely harmless open space to the front of the bewildered survivors.
Run!” Briax yelled out suddenly, and the dozen or so survivors pelted forward coughing and spluttering out of the grey smoke and into the refreshingly green trees, keen to get away from the panic and violence they were leaving behind.

Sunday, 11 November 2018

How to make a band-mate happy


Just to be clear the word "band-mate" refers to the idea of "mate" as in a buddy or
friend not as in a sexual act where we're trying to conceive a child.

1. Hug them. At least once a week, or every time you see them if not once a week.
Not only does this express affection for band-mates it also gives you the chance
of winning the prestigious annual CWM band hug awards, of which the current champions
are CWM. (Send in pictures of band hugs to the email at the bottom of the screen 
to have a chance of winning).

2. If they literally only eat chips, only lightly make fun of that. They have their
own crazy reasons for not liking certain foods and it's not our business to judge,
or mock, or create blog posts that point it out so the world can see. However, light
teasing is more than appropriate.

3. If they have a beard, respect the beard area. Imagine there is a force field
around the beard preventing you from getting too close without permission. 

4. If they play bass, act like it's a proper instrument. No matter what.

5. If they ask you to turn it down, do so. Then turn the amp back up when no-one is watching.
 This way everyone thinks they're getting what they want.

6. If they play drums, act like they're a normal, proper human. No matter what.

7. Play in time.

8. Own some sort of vehicle.

9. Actually read the band WhatsApp group.

10. If after asking them to turn their amp down, they then secretly turn it up,
only hate them secretly.

11. If they say your instrument isn't a proper instrument, try not to punch them.

12. Bring snacks to Band Practice.

13. Don't live somewhere inconvenient.

14. Make fun of each other whenever possible. This way you will keep each others
ego's crushed.

15. If they're a guitarist, pretend they are as good as they say they are. No matter what.

16. Tell them when they've improved in some way.

17. If they're a singer, pretend the crowd love them. No matter what.

18. Get used to being in close quarters with each other. For the smaller,
sweatier stages.

19. If someone else asks you to join another band, rudely tell them no.

20. Learn how to play your instrument.

Sunday, 30 September 2018

What the Fuck is Our Genre?

One of the greatest mysteries in CWM is around the question: "What the fuck is our genre?" I mean
in a time of multiple sub genres of sub genres, simply replying with "Rock Music", may not be specific enough an answer to that question. However, I find myself struggling to come up with an answer other than that.

Everyone knows that google gives the answer to everything, so a quick peruse of google gives many exciting sub genres of Rock Music: Latin Rock, Shock Rock, Space Rock, Swamp Rock or Cock Rock. However, while many of these genres sound bizarre (particularly Cock Rock) we unfortunately don't appear to fit in any of them. Instead, some of the more well known sub genres seem to be a closer fit: Hard Rock, Alternative Rock or Punk Rock in particular.

Looking at these three more common sub genres closer can give an idea of how well our band will fit in them. Hard Rock seems to have a focus on a lot of  older bands with the likes of Queen, Led Zeppelin and AC//DC falling under the genre. I can definitely hear influence from these bands in our music as well as some of the aggression in tone required to fit in with this genre. However, this doesn't appear to be very consistent throughout all our songs.

Punk Rock has had a massive influence on each of our musical interests, which can be clearly heard on songs like Icebreaker. Yet once gain we manage to stray away from songs typical for this sub genre, particularly as the length of our songs are longer than typical punk songs and neither are they as fast. Our tendencies to follow the hard rock aggressive style prevents us from fully committing to the punk rock archetype. 

So now I'm driven towards Alternative Rock, a sub genre which a lot of bands seem to be shoved into without anyone fully understanding why. The main definition of alternative rock is that an alternative band will produce music distinct from mainstream rock; or it could also mean music heavily influenced by punk rock; or it could be underground rock artists receiving mainstream recognition. So basically, any underground rock band that currently exists and plays original music could probably fit into this sub genre. So it's not an effective sub genre as it doesn't give a band a distinct sense of identity from other Rock music.

So there we are, drifting in the middle of a few genres of rock music but not really with one we fully commit too. To be fair, I don't think that really matters- bands tend to hate being categorised as one genre or another anyway. Besides, there are more important questions to be asked- like what the fuck is Cock Rock?

Friday, 31 August 2018

Awesome Abums: Sleater-Kinney, Dig Me Out


When the opening track of Sleater – Kinney's dig me out blasts out I'm instantly hooked in by the teasing guitar riff overlaying the bouncing drum beat. It then proceeds to refuse to let me go for 36 minutes of the album's duration. Some songs are stronger than others but the combination of tantalising guitar work, bouncy drumbeats and rough vocals manages to hold me throughout.

There's a variety of songs on offer. The album begins with a series of catchy tracks of which my personal favourite is the opener “Dig Me Out”. This run ends with the powerful “Heart Factory” where the band slows the pace down a little. “Buy Her Candy” provides a softer moment in the album while “Jenny” gives a climatic finish.

Quick Summary:

“One More Hour”, I don't know why but I feel this is the perfect song to wake up to. Maybe due too the bleary guitar overlaying the verse which contrasts brilliantly with the catchy chorus.
“Turn it On”, once again the guitar draws me in and gets me nodding my head. When the drums kick in the chorus I have to start moving to the music. The bridge then finishes the build up of activity by getting me singing along to the vocals. A fun and catchy song.
“The Drama You've Been Craving” keeps this dancing up through the relentless drumming and the forceful, snappy vocals as they take turns singing. Meanwhile the intricate guitar keeps the song interesting as it dances around the determined pace. Personally I find this one a great song to run to, it really builds up the energy levels well.
“Heart Factory” slows down the pace with a quiet verse and powerful chorus. For me the dark guitar on the verse is the highlight of this song, giving me something enjoyable to just sit and listen to as it plays out.

“Words and Guitar” is full of catchy chorus' which demand the listener to jump around mixing with beautiful, eclectic verses which would be perfect to listen to lying in the grass of a sunny park. This deep contrast in the song works well and is followed by another high energy piece “It's Enough”. At less than 2 minutes long the energy doesn't stop or slow down but keeps rising throughout. A perfect song go nuts to and yell out the simple, repeated chorus at a show.

“Little Babies” slows down the pace once again. I wouldn't say this is one of the strongest songs on the record for me but the vocals on the chorus are catchy and the drums keep an excellent beat, so it is still enjoyable to listen to. “Not What You Want” hits the accelerator harder, the vocals on the verses in particular display the chaotic energy of the song as if on the verge of losing control . “Buy Her Candy” takes the foot of the accelerator again and brings forth a wonderfully sweet song by relying on the guitar and vocals for the brunt of the music. This adds to the rawness of the emotion of the love song and creates a nice quieter moment in the album for the listener to catch their breath.

“Things You Say” demonstrate more of what this album does incredibly well as the intricate guitar guides me through a quietly, powerful emotive song, flowing beautifully with the vocals and drums. “Dance Song 97” uses dynamics well to keep building itself up behind some excellent guitar riff-age before finishing quietly. This manages to add to the impact of the song and solidifies it as a gentler note on the album. “Jenny” wraps up the album and clocking in at over four minutes is the longest song available. The chorus is cathartic and mixing this with the slow tempo makes it a suitable and powerful finisher. It releases the listener while also giving them something to think about on their way out.

The album definitely worth checking out if you wanna hear catchy punk songs that also knows how to mix giving the listener an intricate and raw experience effectively, so if your intrigued give em a listen!