Mood Board : Avalanche Party

Mood Board : Avalanche Party

By Andy Joice

Jul 17, 2019 15:25

In celebration of Avalanche Party's new single '7', vocalist Jordan Bell takes us through his seven favourite guitarists.

Bill Carter – Screaming Blue Messiahs

Bill Carter fronted one of the best rock’n’roll trios to walk the earth in the eighties, a band that never really ‘broke big’. Apparently David Bowie was a big fan, he got them to support him. A huge driving sound combined with lyrics based on futuristic, American lifestyle, jet planes, war, and muscle cars. As far as his playing style goes he didn’t use a pick, switching from bashing to plucking mid riff, creating a totally religious sound. One of the greatest ever. He used a heavy slapback to create a rhythmic, percussive style reminiscent of Wilko Johnson and Bo Diddley and shot it through two amps on full gain.

Rowland S. Howard – The Birthday Party

Absolute genius. First and best of a long line of people playing Fender Jaguar guitars to make noisy shit. He turned a spring reverb to full and then hit the thing where it had never been hit before. His playing is dissonant, jarring, and searingly beautiful. First in the Boys Next Door and The Birthday Party, the embryonic groups of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, and then in his later solo work – where he had the space to push his own brilliant songwriting. Delicate, intelligent, but at the same time capable of the most evil sounds you’ve ever heard.

Jamie Hince – The Kills

Jamie of the first guitarists that got me into using lower tunings and it’s the reason why his riffs sound so iconic. Another really inventive player with great feeling, he uses a lot of repetition in his guitar lines. His setup sounds like it must be really complicated but it’s actually quite simple, mainly just an octaver to help with the lower end and spring reverb. One of the best things he does is this fucking great stutter thing with a double DD3 delay system that sounds like an engine grinding into gear.

Leonard Cohen

World renowned as a brilliant songwriter, not as many people remember him for being a fucking great guitarist too. There’s probably a lot of people that can do Cohen’s kind of finger-picking style, but he is the guy that comes to my mind. I’ve got a lot of respect for anyone who can train their fingers to be so dexterous. ‘Avalanche’ is an absolute masterwork, but I’m going to pick ‘The Stranger Song’ as another great song that shows his high level of guitar playing too.

Joe Gore – Tom Waits/PJ Harvey

One of my earliest memories is of watching a taped VHS recording of The White Room, where a woman with dark hair and a white dress bangs a staff while a bald man in a suit plays a rattling slide guitar with a big flick-knife. Joe Gore played with Tom Waits for a long time before joining PJ Harvey for two of her best albums. He’s one of the most stylish guitar players around. Extremely inventive, he breaks all of the rules of conventional guitar playing. He was part of some of the coolest live videos available, there’s an amazing USTV performance of ‘Goin’ Out West’ by Tom Waits with Joe you need to watch, but here’s the first time I saw him play.

John Dwyer – Thee Oh Sees

John Dwyer’s guitar sounds like audio amphetamine. His riffs are pure speed, jerking around all over the place. He’s a genius, responsible for some of the best gigs I’ve ever seen, from the first time at the Brudenell Social Club to the last time at Hotel Vegas, SXSW. He just rips your face off. Delays, space echo. Probably the reason why the Death By Audio Fuzz War became so popular, his guitar overloads your ears. It’s infectious. He usesĀ  weird tunings too, that let his rhythm playing style have an amazing chop to it.

Link Wray

The originator. Integral to the Wild One, Outlaw, Rebel Without A Cause danger that was pushed into rock’n’roll in the early days. Influencer of a million guitarists. I listened to one of his ‘Best Of’ albums over and over again. It had all the classics – ‘Rumble’, obviously, but then great songs like ‘Jack The Ripper’, ‘Batman’, ‘I’m Branded’… spring reverbs on full, on-board tremolos cranked, he slashed his speaker cabinets with a knife to create that menacing, night-crawler sound.

Avalanche Party’s new single ‘7’ is out now.