B4.DA.$$ Joey Badass


Joey Badass is an American hip-hop artist who gained worldwide popularity with his critically acclaimed debut mixtape 1999 in 2012. His debut album B4.DA.$$ marks his entry into mainstream music with a compilation teeming with excellent production and meaningful lyrics, even though it suffers from noticeable inconsist­encies.

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Die Heuwels Fantasties launch latest album, Ja. Nee. Lekker.


While most Highveld South Africans were migrating to some or other coastal paradise last December, a small group of people remained behind in Pretoria to assemble at the Atterbury Theatre for the launch of Die Heuwels Fantasties’ latest album, Ja. Nee. Lekker. It was a strange event attended in large part by families and middle aged groups, rather than the head-banging, alcohol-fuelled student crowd that one might normally associate with the electro-pop group. 

Seated venues can tend to detract from the atmosphere of a high energy performance such as this one, however it did not stop the group from introducing many of the songs from the new album and revisiting some older favourites like “Pille vir Kersfees” with as much fervour and enthusiasm as one could ask for. The new album remains entirely Afrikaans, in keeping with the band’s history, and it retains the electro/pop rock sound that they have become known for and which, even in a seated theatre, brought the crowd to their feet for the last few songs.

Ja. Nee. Lekker almost seems to carry a sense of urgency through its 10 songs. It is fast, energetic and made up of many quick-changing, feel-good chord progressions. Synth sounds and extra instrumentation are abundant in the album and help to fill the space and keep the sound together. However, due to a live performance with only 3 guitars (bass, electric and acoustic) and drums, the feel of the album struggles to emerge on stage. Hopefully as the new songs receive more stage time during tours they will gain a live personality that better reflects their album versions.

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The Curious Incident: Penny Lonesome


The Curious Incident is an alternative pop band straight out of the UK, and they are everything you would expect from a British indie band. They conquered the hearts and minds of the local scene when they toured South Africa in November 2014 to promote their upcoming EP Penny Lonesome.

South African born lead vocalist Cavey Roberts has fallen in love with the Republic and, when asked about their tour, he said: “It was an absolute blast! We overcame loadshedding, wildlife on the highways and E-tolls to meet some of our favourite people in the world at our gigs. We played by candlelight, we played under electric lights, and have fallen head over heels for SA. We hope that our love [will] be reciprocated”.

The four-song EP is set to be released on 26 January and is well worth the wait. Their music sounds like a hybrid between local band Shortstraw and Manchester legends Oasis, with a hint of the Beatles.

The members of the band like radically different music types and in the end it produces a mash-up of styles. This diverse blend of taste really comes to the foreground in the EP, delivering a catchy mixture that you can’t help liking.

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Fall Out Boy: American Beauty/American Psycho


American Beauty/American Psycho is alternative rock outfit Fall Out Boy’s sixth studio album. With their prior albums producing a string of memorable hits, it is only natural for fans to expect that their sixth album would be no different. The Chicago rockers have delivered, with “Centuries”, the first single to be taken from the album, taking only a short time to reach Platinum status.

The album opens with a strong track entitled “Irresistible”, and from the get-go the listener knows that they can expect another explosive delivery from the band. Lead singer Patrick Stump’s clear, robust voice delivers the song’s clever, punchy lyrics without hesitation.

The album’s title track “American Beauty/American Psycho” was co-written by Nikki Sixx of Mötley Crüe fame. This collaboration becomes clear in the track’s rushed, drum-driven melody.

The first, so far most successful and most recognizable single from the album, “Centuries”, samples Suzanne Vega’s 1987 single, “Tom’s diner”. The song has a Rome-themed music video featuring the band members as gladiators battling a Goliath figure. The song once again prominently features Stump’s powerful vocals and its commanding chorus is what makes it memorable.

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Foo Fighters rock the city of gold


On Saturday 13 December alternative rock group Foo Fighters filled the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg with thousands of excited fans. This was the Foo Fighters’ second show during their stay in South Africa, following their Cape Town performance the previous Wednesday.

These two shows marked the band’s first ever performances in South Africa and it also served as the starting point for their Sonic Highways World Tour. “Tonight you are our guinea pigs,” lead singer Dave Grohl said about the tour kicking off in SA.

The opening acts for the evening were Jo’burg rock quartet BLK JKS and UK indie rock group Kaiser Chiefs, who donned Kaizer Chiefs F.C. jerseys for most of their performance.

The crowd erupted into a united cheer as the Foo Fighters opened their three-hour set with their Grammy award winning song “All my life.” Other highlights of the performance included “Monkey wrench”, “Learn to fly”, “Walk”, “The pretender” and “Times like these”.

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