Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Album Review: Make-That-A-Take Records presents Songs For Mum




Make-That-A-Take Records are fast becoming one of my favourite labels in the world. Not only are they always putting out fantastic releases and putting on great gigs (so I hear, I've not had the chance to get up to Scotland to attend any yet), they also do lots of great work for local charities. They have just released a brand new compilation with the money made from sales going to The Maggie's Centre, a charity that offers free emotional, practical and social support to people with cancer and their family and friends. The compilation is named Songs For Mum and features thirteen bands playing songs of Loss and of Hope. Here's my review.

The first song is by Dundee's Lachance and is named Empty My Lungs. Normally Lachance play full band 90's inspired punk rock but on this track they have stripped things back and are playing acoustically. I really enjoyed the vocal break down at the end of the song and the harmonies throughout. The next song is by the acoustic project of former UNIFORMS member Derrick Johnston - Tragical History Tour. The song is called Old Words and features Johnston displaying a harsh, gruff vocal style that works really well with his acoustic guitar. The song is about trying to deal with the loss of someone by thinking about the negative things that they'll never have to experience. A very moving song. Up next is American hardcore band Great Collapse playing an acoustic song called One Year, a song that is dedicated to the memory of A. Carter Graham. This song features some great dual vocals that gives the song a great energy. The fourth song is named Nice To Be Nice and is by UK scene favourites Bear Trade. This is the first time I've ever heard Bear Trade playing acoustically and I really loved it. Singer Greg Robson's voice suits an acoustic guitar so well; you can't help but be drawn in by every word he sings.


The fifth song is by The Smith Street Band’s Wil Wagner. Taken from his solo album Laika, the song is called More Like Signals Midbest. Wil Wagner is the master of writing heartfelt emotional songs with his band and this solo effort is the same. It's about feeling like you're not a good person and not deserving of the great things you have. Up next is Broken Stories from Perthshire with a song named Playing On Repeat. This fiddle driven folk song is about dealing with loss and missing out on the chance to say goodbye. Broken Stories are a band I'd never heard before but on the strength on this song I will be checking out more. The seventh song is a cover of Teagan and Sara's Call It Off by All Talk. This two piece lo-fi pop band from Glasgow features dual male/female vocals that make for some fantastic harmonies. Dundee's Terrafraid provide the next song - Save You. Normally Terrafraid play full band emotional pop music but on the Songs For Mum compilation they have stripped everything back and just use a piano to create a beautifully atmospheric track.


Next up is Edinburgh's Turtle Lamone, who performs a cover of The Weakerthans Pslam For The Last Call At Elks Lodge. Having not heard the original song I don't really know how Turtle Lamone's version compares, but I really enjoyed this version of the song. The vocals are echoed which somehow adds a bit more anguish to the words and the guitar is simple and fairly quiet. It all feels very intimate. The Murderburgers supply one of the surprises on the album with an acoustic version of their song My Name Is Elbows. Originally released full band style on the album These Are Only Problems, the songs tells the story of Fraser Murderburger's childhood issues of having funny looking elbows but learning that it's okay for them to be different. The Murderburgers should play acoustically more, they sound great like this. Edinburgh based folk singer Davey Nolan provides the next song. Titled If You Have To Go this is another intimate feeling track. The production of the song feels raw and gives a feeling of this is what it would be like to see Davey live. The penultimate song comes from New York City's Make War, who have just been announced as headliners for the Friday at BYAF 9. The song, Dust Into Stars, is another acoustic folk number, full of emotion and moments that will really grab your attention. The final song on Songs For Mum is called A Song Of Regret and Lament by The Cut Ups. This song originally appeared on the 2006 album Paris Streets In Ruin, released by Household Name Records. The Cut Ups are a band I've been aware of for ages but have never really listened to. Going by this song that has definitely been a mistake, this is one hell of a song. It's a real heart pounding, fists in the air anthem that finishes with a really sweet and tender acoustic guitar outro.


There are fourteen excellent reasons to buy this compilation. Thirteen are the fantastic songs on the release. The fourteenth and most important is to help raise money for such a fantastic cause. Donate some money and get an excellent collection of music. Seems a very fair deal!

Buy Songs For Mum here: https://makethatatakerecords.bandcamp.com/album/songs-for-mum

For more information on The Maggie's Centre go here: https://www.maggiescentres.org/