GHUM: Bitter.

This might be all over the place because I am SO excited to write about the debut record by GHUM. It’s out on Friday, and once you hear this record- nothing will be the same again. And in other news, I now have a cat so I’m going to do my best to make a little Punk out of her. I think she’ll tolerate the beautiful noise I play. Speaking of beautiful noise, let’s get into the best record of 2022, shall we?

You know about my love for the band GHUM, that’s been apparent for a long time now. They encompass everything I love about music, everything I want from music and have a sound that I’m just obsessed with. When I listen to them, I get that same rush I did when I first heard TwoFiftyFour, L.A.Witch, The Kills and Warpaint for the first time. That same kick I got from hearing Seventeen Seconds by The Cure. That same rush I got when I heard The Cramps for the first time. In short, this band have that same thing about them that just makes me fall in love with music all over again. With a debut record, a lot can be expected. As a fan, you just want to finally hear the finished product. I can’t imagine the stress that comes with it from being in a band waiting for the world to hear it.

The record opens with Some People- the first big release for this record. The video to this is incredible, and listening to it in an album setting gives a bigger meaning and feeling to the song. I’m all in. I’m hooked. The record makes you want to take a road trip round Europe and forget the world you’re part of for a little while. There’s a lot of escapism on this record, and it’s down to their incredible way of giving you these dark and euphoric anthems. There is something to spooky and special about this record, and when you listen to the likes of Bad Brain, it really does hit you how incredibly talented this band is. Bad Brain may be my favourite song from the record at the moment, but my mind will obviously change. It is just a beautiful record, and I’m not just saying it because I adore this band. I think, if you’ve never listened to GHUM before, this record will blow your mind. They’re just the perfect band and even though they’ve only played Manchester once, it was one of the best gigs I’ve ever been to. They’re a band that you just HAVE to see live, and my god I’m so glad I have. With this record, you can quickly imagine how they will sound live. Songs like Over And Over, Bitter and Deceiver have this sound to them that make you long for a GHUM gig.

The way Laura sings “I hate you” on Over And Over is so gut-wrenching. You really feel the disdain and disappointment in her voice, and for a singer to project their emotions into a song like this is truly something to admire. You’re just fascinated by how she delicately sings of her hate- that fragility is a rare moment on the record because for the most part, she delivers the songs with this toughness- not intimidating at all, the opposite. She kind of gives you some of her strength. All of them make you feel empowered in a way that you didn’t think a band/record/song could. This is a truly special record from start to finish, and all that’s in between.

Every single song on this record deserves your complete and utter attention. Not only will you fall madly in love with the songs, but you’ll end up being besotted with how exceptional they are as a band. Jojo is one of the best guitarists you’ll ever hear. The way Jojo plays is remarkable, and the way MJ perfectly compliments her with her bass playing is just stunning. They both add this mystic groove to every single song. This is perfectly fitted with the drumming skills of Vicki- and on the song Echo, that’s where you really REALLY hear this glorious marriage of sounds. There’s chaos but there’s calmness on this record, and that’s part of the appeal.

The main reason as to why this is the best record of the year? Because it sounds like everything, you’d want your favourite band to sound like. If you’re looking for a record to get lost in or a record to listen to whilst you try tame your mind- this is for you. Stick some headphones on and blast this record in your ears. There is so much to love and cherish about this record. From the lyrics, to the way the drums sound like waves crashing against your soul and the bass and guitar bringing you back down to provide comfort. It’s just a glorious record and a joy to listen to.

I can only write about this record/anything I write about as a fan; that’s all I know. But trust me- this is the record of the year. Everything you could want and more. I cannot wait to play it religiously as I go to/from work. I can’t wait for the days to get shorter and let the songs take on a different meaning in different seasons. I can’t wait for the world to hear this record. It may be a debut record, but this band know exactly how they want to sound. This sure sound is just a dream to listen to. At times the songs are ethereal and there are times where this fury in Laura’s voice (the ending of Shallow where she belts out “You don’t know me” is SO powerful) every song has moments built into it that stick in your brain. The record ends with a 7 minute delight- Rivers. I won’t spoil it for you, but this may just end up being one of those songs that they use in films to really heighten the suspense.

They’ve done it. So easy. So effortlessly. So slick, so cool, so perfect.

AMYL AND THE SNIFFERS: Albert Hall, Manchester. 31st May 2022.

Of all the gigs I’ve ever been to at the Albert Hall, I can say with as much confidence as possible, that last night’s show courtesy of Bruise Control and Amyl and The Sniffers, was the best. From the atmosphere, to the sound to the bands, to the crowd. Everything about the bands last night and the crowd was just divine. I don’t think the Albert Hall will EVER see a show like this again.

This was the first time I’d ever seen Bruise Control live, and my god they made you feel like it was THEIR headline show. Give it time, and they’ll be playing venues like this all the time. The band had their family in the crowd and seeing the singer’s mum have the time of her life whilst singing and dancing her heart out to the phenomenal sounds her son’s band makes was just beautiful. Looking at the crowd and seeing so many people lose their shit to this band was everything we all needed and more. At one point Amy and Gus were stood behind me watching Bruise Control, and to see everyone in the room just lapping up this exceptional band was a sight to behold and treasure. You could see how much this meant to Bruise Control and those that adore them.

Around 9pm, Amyl and The Sniffers bounced onto the stage and immediately tore the roof off the Albert Hall. The energy from their set was an extension of what Bruise Control gave us. Punk music with a bold message and a sound loud enough to deafen you for days. As soon as they opened with GFY (Go Fuck Yourself) the crowd downstairs turned into a sea of bodies swaying, sweating and throwing themselves and each other around. In just 50 minutes, I can’t begin to tell you how many people were being pulled out of the crowd. One being Bruise Control’s singer- who I think was pulled out 5/6 times. To see everyone have this much fun and more importantly- being kind to each other when someone fell or wasn’t too steady was a true sentiment as to what Punk is.

The setlist was a healthy mix of old and new songs. So many songs were a highlight for me. Their performance of Maggot, Got You, Some Mutts and Security were INSANE. There were tamer moments, for instance the song Knifey, that showed a different side to Amy’s vocals. Yes, she belts those proper Punk anthems out, but on Knifey she tells the frustrations of just wanting to walk home peacefully without feeling threatened. She does it in a way that just simply explains the frustrations but delivers it in a way that breaks your heart.

The energy this band have is infectious. The crowd feed off them and vice versa. I saw Amyl and The Sniffers play their first Manchester show at the Deaf Institute a few years ago, and it blew my mind but last night’s show was something else. Maybe it’s because we’ve been waiting years for this or maybe it’s because seeing this band live is the most liberating feeling you’ll get. Amy bounces round the stage like the Duracell bunny who has had too many lemonades; at one point she takes a shirt thrown to her from the crowd and wraps it round her face, like a makeshift balaclava.  She also brings out the bodybuilder stance as well whilst Gus, Dec and Bryce deafen the crowd with their sound.

Every single song is screamed back at the band, and it is the most beautiful sound you’ll ever see. The band totally own the stage, and you can really feel the love they have for their fans, music and each other. The bond they have is just wonderful to watch and being able to see this is a real honour. Some songs are belted out louder than others- from the crowd; such as Guided by Angels, Hertz and Gacked on Anger. The whole set is perfect and I could have happily watched 12 hours of this. Bliss. Absolute bliss. You cannot help but want and need more.

You know how everyone claims to be at the Sex Pistols show at the Free Trade Hall, then went on to form bands? I’m pretty sure that the show at the Albert Hall will have the same impact. There is no way you could have attended the show last night and not been left with a fire in your tummy. Watching them last night, I felt like I did when I first Iggy Pop and The Stooges for the first time. Amy has the same effortlessly slick manners as Iggy on stage. Gus is one of those bassists that make you wish you were as cool as him. Bryce is up there as being one of the best drummers I’ve ever EVER seen live. Dec absolutely rips as a guitarist and controls the crowd effortlessly with his sound.

Two of the most exciting bands in the world ripped the Albert Hall a new one last night, and nothing and no one will ever be the same again.

Punk is not dead. It’ll never die.

BRUISE CONTROL

TONIGHT IS THE NIGHT! The finest Punk band from Manchester will play to a sold out crowd at Manchester Albert Hall supporting Amyl And The Sniffers. Those stain glass windows are in for a shaking tonight- trust me! Probably tomorrow I’ll write about the show once my hearing comes back (thank god I’m off work until Saturday!) but for now, I’m going to tell YOU exactly why Bruise Control are the best around.

Are you looking for a band that’ll unleash all the fury you hold within you? Or maybe you just want to listen to something loud, raw and beautifully Northern? Thought so. Bruise Control are the band you need. They’re the only band you’ll ever need. I’m so excited to see them play a venue like Albert Hall tonight. Punk in old church? Wonderful! It doesn’t get any better than 2 bands you absolutely love playing a venue you love. I’ll tame my excitement for now to focus on writing about Bruise Control. Stick with me. If you can/want to.

If you’re into bands like Ruts DC, Black Flag, The Speedways and Stiff Richards- then chances are that you’re probably already a fan of our beloved Bruise Control. They are everything you could possibly want from a band and more. The lyrics will smack you right in the gut. The drums, bass and guitar will feel like an exorcism of the soul. The vocals will rid you of anything eating you. Basically, they are quite frankly the most important band right now. They are the kind of band you’d probably see in your local boozer on an evening ripping up the tiny stage in the corner with locals feeling a bit wary of what’s going on, but everyone will know that what they’ve seen is probably life-changing.

The mundaneness of daily life is wiped away with this band. They just absolutely rip, and I cannot stress enough just how exciting they are. Bruise Control are the kind of band that become obsessed with. There’s no other way. Going to one show, two shows- not enough. You’ll want to go to every show that they do.

Their debut 4 track EP came out just under 2 years ago, and that EP is the perfect introduction to the band but what you need to pay attention to is their slick cover of Sabotage by The Beastie Boys. It should be a crime how good their cover is. This band are just exceptional. Sometimes you just hear something, and you just know that what you’re hearing will leave a lasting impression. I hope some 13 year old kid hears this band eventually and is inspired to create their own noise- that’s how brilliant Bruise Control are. The urgency in the songs, the ferociousness in their sound is just divine. I don’t think I’ve heard a band play this fast in a while, and sometimes you just need to listen to something that makes you feel like you’ve downed about 10 Pro Plus tablets with an espresso.

What a band. Viva Manchester!

L.A. WITCH: The Pink Room @ Yes, Manchester 18th May 2022.

It’s been a long time since I’ve been right at the very front at a gig. And it’s been a long time since a gig left me a little bit deaf. God bless L.A. Witch for being one of the loudest shows I’ve ever been to.

This show was meant to happen in 2020. We know what caused the delays, but last night the moment finally came.

I saw L.A. Witch play their first ever UK show when they played the Shacklewell Arms in London. It was ridiculous. I couldn’t believe that I was finally seeing them; I genuinely thought they would be one of those bands that I love that never find their way to the UK. I’ve been writing about the band since 2011, and they just blow my mind every single time. I adore their sound, and I love how they transport you into their world. A spooky but laid-back world. Sign me up! I never want to leave.

Last night, they played the Pink Room at Yes. The most important thing about this venue is that it has AIR CON. IT HAS AIR CON. You have no idea how important this is. The ultimate comfort. Let me be cold all of the time please, thank you.

L.A. Witch blast out all the hits. They tear the roof off with Untitled, Sexorexia, Dark Horse, Baby In Blue Jeans. They just kept the anthems coming. With a band like them, it’s difficult to work out who to focus on. Iritia is THE coolest bass player you’ll ever see. Ellie is up there with the greats on the drums- the sheer volume of the drumming was just incredible. Then you have their friend Lauren helping out on guitar who just looks and sounds effortlessly cool. Then Sade is front and center. The guitar is her machine gun. Her vocals are bullets the band look like they could probably knock you out, but we all know that they are just the loveliest and most beautiful humans around. I cannot compare their live shows to anything else in this world. It is like an outer body experience. I danced. My body hurt this morning when I woke up. The signs of a good night. There is so much passion and love in what they do, and how they play/their sound just makes you wish you were as cool as them. There’s no denying just how out of this world I Wanna Lose is live and you cannot help but just move your limbs and whatever else in ways that feel right to you.

L.A. Witch are most certainly one of the most dedicated and hard-working bands around. They seem to have been working and perfecting their sound for well over a decade, and in that time, they have played some amazing venues, toured with some excellent bands and won over plenty of new fans. The atmosphere in the room last night was gorgeous. This show was a long time coming, and let’s hope it won’t be too long for the next tour.

They ended on their enigmatic Get Lost, and the way this sounds like absolutely tops the recorded version. The distorted vocals, the reverb, the sheer loudness- everything.  It is just perfect and such a great way to end the set. They play the best modern day love song; Motorcycle Boy and you just feel like the band are taking you on a road trip on a dusty road into a world that only they know of. Kicking off the show, they played Kill My Baby Tonight which is such a great way to open the show. They could have opened with any song to be honest and it would have had us all hooked immediately. The heaviness in Kill My Baby Tonight stays through the whole set even on lighter songs like Baby In Blue Jeans. There’s this effortlessly slick feel to True Believers and Gen-Z. Your eyes don’t leave the stage at all, and sure they might be darting from one band member to another, but the admiration for them all is always there.

In an ideal world, I could afford to go to every single show they do wherever in the world. Even though they may not end up on this side of the world too often, you just treasure it even more so when it happens. There’s no denying that L.A. Witch will always be regarded as not only one of the best bands in the world ever, but most certainly one of the best bands you will ever see live.

GHUM: Bitter

NEW SINGLE ALERT! GHUM have released the title track from their debut record, Bitter and it is bloody brilliant. I mean, they don’t make bad songs so I guess that’s redundant but honestly- their debut record is going to rip. Laura’s vocals on this are so tough and so snarly. There’s so much power in this band. They all have this ability to just make you wish you were part of the band or wish you could make something like this.

I’m going by what they’ve released previously, and I think it is safe to say that their debut record is going to be nothing short of a masterpiece. It’s out a month today, and I am SO excited to hear it. I’ll probably have to take the day off work to listen to it (I probably would!) So the single Bitter is about, “how the right connection, even for someone that has been beaten up by bad experiences, drives them to go through the risks and fears that new relationships might bring. It’s hopeful, it’s about taking chances.” I think this is properly hammered home with the way Laura sings, “You are the only reason I put myself through this.” We’ve all made exceptions haven’t we. Sometimes it works out but there are times where it didn’t work out, and you’re not sure why you bothered. Laura’s vocals over the electrifying sounds that Vicki, Jojo and Marina MJ bless us with is enough to break the toughest of people. This is a ferocious number with the level of passion that you will always hear and expect from the band. I’ve played this song enough times to know that the record will be just as tough and powerful as this.

GHUM aren’t afraid to be aggressive with their sound, and to show us all exactly how it’s done. At times you feel like you are intruding on something so personal but the more you listen- the more you connect. For me, they are up there with the likes of L.A. Witch, TwoFiftyFour (come back please!!!) and Warpaint. There’s this dark but ethereal sound that has you hooked right away. I’ve listened to Bitter a handful of times on my break now, and I can pretty much call it one of their most heaviest and mind-blowing songs.

I’m not one for wishing time away, but I really cannot wait for the 17th June!

*Photo Credit: Paul Phung

WARPAINT: Albert Hall, Manchester 12/05/2022

If you’ve ever seen Warpaint live, then what I’m about to write will probably be old news to you. If you’ve ever read anything I’ve written about Warpaint, that too will also be old news. But it doesn’t matter. My point with this is to just tell anyone who reads this how amazing the band are. On record it is obvious they are brilliant, but live? Well, that’s a different level altogether.

My love for Warpaint started when I first heard the Exquisite Corpse many many moons ago. I felt like I had found the band that I needed my whole life. Warpaint just make eveyrything better. They fill you with joy, love and hope. Their laid-back sound is utterly transformed in a live setting and it’s pretty much life-changing.

They open with Stars; which is one of the most beautiful songs ever written. The song soothes the soul. It calms you and makes you feel like all is okay. I can’t describe how euphoric this song is live, but to be honest with you- the whole set is sheer euphoria. The way Stars goes gently into Champion is too much! It should be a crime to be this good. There are so many moments during the set that just leave you in awe. I had to stop myself from crying many times. I felt complete happiness at this show, and I’ve not felt that way in a hell of a long time. But let’s not get too personal now. I think part of the joy I felt was down to how long I’ve waited to see them live again. The set was divine. I mean of course I’d be happy if they sang the alphabet for 5 hours straight but this set was just all I wanted and more. There was a strong mix of old and new songs.

My absolute favourite moment of the show was New Song going into Disco//Very. Those two songs makes me SO stupidly happy and to get them back to back in this way was like winning the lottery but way better. I was sat at the top (it was the VIP section and I felt so awkward sitting there but being able to watch the crowd move and sing their hearts out was so beautiful. The most beautiful crowd I’d ever seen!) Those two songs are wat heaven must sound like. You cannot help but watch the stage with such love and admiration. I adore how much they love each other, and this comes across every single time. The moment that really shows this is when all four of them stand at the front of the stage and sing Melting together. I’m pretty sure that’s how angels sing you know. As much as I love rowdy Punk shows, the balance I get from bands like Warpaint ease the mind. They are such a gentle band and without sounding like a cliched fool- they have never sounded better! The confidence is stunning. Emily’s vocals sound stronger than ever- this is evident on Hard To Tell You. She hits the high notes (I’m getting goose bumps writing about it!) and my god it’s like nothing I’ve ever heard before. Pretty apt that they played an old church, right? This band have serious healing powers. Hard To Tell You is probably my favourite off the new record, and seeing it live was something else. I thought this would have been the one that made me proper bawl, but all I could do was soak up the moment and be in awe of Emily’s vocals.

At various parts of the show, you find yourself focusing on certain band members. Love Is To Die- you find yourself being in awe of Theresa’s vocals and presence. Like I mentioned already, Hard To Tell You leaves you fully engrossed with Emily’s voice. Jenny during Elephants and Beetles just blows your mind. Stella’s drumming on Disco//Very is just mind-blowing. These are just a couple of examples, but to be honest- the whole show just blew my mind. If I could live in a moment where I am constantly at a Warpaint show- I’d take it. I’m not sure how I’ve focused at work today because in my mind, body and soul- I’m at the show.

Something I’ve always admired about the band is how close they are. There’s this unity they have that makes you wish you were part of the band. I can’t really put into words what it’s like, but if you’ve seen them live- you’ll know exactly what I mean. Melting really summed this up. The way they stood round Emily as she played her iconic guitar, and they all created a different side to this song. I loved watching Jenny sway during every song. Her eyes closed as she sways to the music. There’s something about the sound like her bass makes that makes you instantly move just like her. Close your eyes and sway. The unbreakable bond they have is so beautiful to watch and you cannot help but smile like a total idiot whilst watching them.

Until next time, I’ll be keeping this show very close to my heart.

WARPAINT: Radiate Like This.

The day before Warpaint released their debut record The Fool around 11 years ago, I interviewed them at The Deaf Institute here in Manchester. I was petrified! I was about to interview a band I had loved for some time, and I was finally able to sit next to them and interview them. That feeling, that moment will never leave me. Since then, I’ve pretty much obsessed over any and everything they’ve released. I wear my Warpaint tattoo with utter pride. I adore this band. I love everything about them but the main thing is the bond they all have with each other. You can tell they love the bones of each other and love making music together and this shines through in all they do.

The artwork for the record sums up the feel of it. It is calming, you’ll feel like you’re floating and for that moment you listen to the record- you’ll feel alright. When the record came out on Friday- I just couldn’t wait to play it. I played it whilst getting ready for work and whilst on my way to work- I had it blasting in my headphones. The best way to listen to Warpaint is through headphones so you can really soak up everything that is going on. There’ll be times where Emily’s voice will make you cry because of the sheer gentleness. Jenny’s bass will make you move without a care in the world. Theresa will hypnotise you with the way she annihilates the guitar. The we have Stella who is just the best drummer around. The record opens with Champion, and this song perfectly guides us gently into the new record. Champion has everything you could possibly want from Warpaint. They’ll make you feel like you are gazing out to the ocean with the sun providing comfort on your back.

Radiate Like This is their first record in 6 years, and it honestly feels like you are listening to a brand new band. It is such an ethereal record and for me, this is so evident on Hard To Tell You which I think just may be one of my favourite Warpaint songs ever. The lyrics are heartbreaking, and everything else surrounding it is so light. Vocally, Emily will break you. There’s this beautiful fragility to her voice here, and the way Stella, T and Jenny accompany the dreamy vocals is just out of this world. I just want to spend the day doing nothing and listen to this song on repeat. I feel like I could write an essay on how perfect it is. It’s one of those songs that when you listen to it just once, it immediately takes over. Everything about this song is just divine. Maybe it’s Emily’s gentle voice, maybe it’s the lyrics. Maybe it’s everything I love about Warpaint in 5 minutes. I think that’s it.

What I adore about Warpaint and this record is how fearless they are. I love how they absolutely blow your mind with every single song. The way songs like Trouble, Proof and Stevie (Jenny’s bass on this sounds so heavenly. If angels played bass, this is what it would sound like!) sound like they are from another planet. It just blows my mind. Proof is definitely up there with one of the most exciting songs on the record, and the energy it has just makes you wish you could start a band like this! There will only ever be one Warpaint. I love how Proof gets quite heavy musically, and together vocally it feels like they are putting a spell on you. I think Warpaint put a spell on us all those years ago when they first started.

When you listen to Warpaint, you immediately forget everything that’s going on in your head. You’re quickly taken to their world; and their world is so tranquil and soothing. Warpaint have this heavenly sound that only they can create. I’m pretty sure they could make a Death Metal record and it would still sound gentle and soothing. Warpaint are that security blanket you need when everything seems pretty tough, and what they’ve done on Radiate Like This is just like they have done on their previous records. They make you fall back in love with music all over again. I don’t mean to fixate on it, but Champion has something about it that just makes you feel like you can take on anything. It makes you feel hella tough- even when you are the complete opposite. I cannot wait to see them do this live; there’s something about this that is just meant to be witnessed live.

If you’re looking for a song to really get you moving- you need to play Like Sweetness. This one has that slick Warpaint sound. That groove that makes you pull an ugly face and you just feel every beat, every note, every word. It just moves you. For me, Warpaint have always been that band I listen to when I can’t sleep or when I need my mind to quiet down a bit. Radiate Like This is made up of songs that will calm your mind, and Like Sweetness may just be the most gentle song on the record lyrically. When I paid attention to the lyrics the other day, I just cried. Not just because it’s beautiful, but because of how open the band are with their words. If you want to feel a sense of freedom or just sheer happiness, then go the nearest lake or body of water, put your headphones in and play Trouble on repeat for a little while. Honestly, that song is something else.

I could spend hours, days even giving you reasons as to why this is the most gorgeous record you’ll hear all year. But if you’re a Warpaint fan already, then you know this. I know I love music that is loud and such, but Warpaint are the band that are just good for the soul. This record is made up of songs that could calm any soul, that could tame any mind. This is their 4th full length record, and they are a band that keep on getting better and better. They have a distinctive sound/style, but they always change it up. They play around with all genres, and make their own. There’s no band quite like them. There never will be again. It’s obvious how much I love this band, and I’m SO excited to see them on Thursday.

Radiate Like This is a masterpiece. It is a glowing work of art that you just won’t be able to live without.

GHUM: Deceiver.

In a matter of weeks, the debut record by GHUM will finally be here. I cannot wait. Part of me wanted to hold off listening to anything they’d release (single wise) until the record was here, but I couldn’t stop myself. I’m glad I didn’t.

My love for this band is huge, and I adore any and everything they do. They’re one of those bands that once you listen to them, you’re just hooked for life. That’s how they got me. There’s a number of bands I can think of that I hold in this regard and to put GHUM in that list makes me happy.

Deceiver is everything us GHUM fans have come to expect from the band and more. It’s such a great song, and one to really get lost in. Am I obsessed with the song? Ever so slightly. I’m so excited for their record to come out, and going by the music they have blessed us with so far- I think we can call it as one of the best records of the year. Definitely the best debut record for sure! There’s an infectious fury in this song, and it’s that fury that makes you sing the words back with everything you have. There’s truly no better band around right now. It’s always been GHUM. It’ll always be GHUM.

This song along with Bitter are two perfect dark and eerie songs to set the tone for their debut record. Deceiver is about “a relationship where one of the parties is starting to discover a selfish side to their lover, disappointment after disappointment the trust starts running low and the love starts to fade away.” Something painful, but the band make it easier with this song. There’s this intense passion in all that they do and it comes across exceptionally strong on this song. I have a feeling their record will be full of moments like this- where the songs are dominated by intense and raw emotion- you can’t help but relate to it. The chorus is lethal, and is delivered with this snarl that leaves you in awe.

In a few weeks time, the debut record comes out. I’m fully ready to play the record religiously.

You can pre-order the record here: https://ghum.bandcamp.com/

HOORSEES: A Superior Athlete

I am SO excited to write about the new record by the finest band in Paris; Hoorsees. Their second record, A Superior Athlete comes out on the 22nd April via Kanine Records and if you’re looking for a record that is going to play a vital role in the music you listen to during the summer- then this is the one for you.

I really enjoyed writing about their debut record last year, and it’s still a record I love listening to. There is something really gentle about this band and their sound. They have a sound so precious and unique to theirs, and there’s no one else out there who sounds even remotely like them- and that’s what lures you in and keeps you there.

The record opens with the beautifully relaxing, Week-End At Bernie’s and it is such a soothing song. It’s the perfect opener to the record and really sets the mood for the record. Alex’s vocals on this really have you hooked, and what is so easy to love about this band is that they have a lot of soul in their sound. They make you feel like you’re on holiday or they make you feel like you need to just sack off every responsibility you have, and just enjoy this record. The first song really does grab you and before you know it, you’ve fallen deep into the world they’ve created on this record. That’s just with one song! The gorgeous and oddball lyrics hit you right again on the song Cream & Onion (I don’t know why this title makes me feel a bit like I’m going to puke, but the song does the opposite!) This song feels like the sun hitting you on your back as you spend the day lazily wandering round. Again, that’s just something I love about this band- they make you feel completely fine with doing nothing at all!

Around this time of year bands will contend to make a record that rules your summer. I think it’s safe to say that Hoorsees may have beaten them all on this one. There’s innocence to the lyrics that go beautifully with the slight dream-pop/shoegaze sounds. It is a gentle record, and shows us exactly why they are one of the most exciting bands around. Songs like Jansport and Drama Kings will be stuck in your head for days- you’ll be humming the song constantly. There’s no better song to have stuck in your head. With so much shit going on in the world, a band like Hoorsees are here to just lighten the burden of it all for a little while.

I love the heaviness on Memory’s Knife towards the end of it; it fits so well with the gentle tones of it. I just think with this record, they have showed us exactly why they are one of the most exciting bands around and how fearless they are with their sound. This record was written in two weeks, and for some that may be way too rushed but what I hear on this record is a band that are so sure of their sound and know exactly what they want to create. The band left the city and stayed at Alex’s grandmother’s house, and maybe that’s part of why the record sounds so care-free and light. You can play this record, and everything just feels okay you know? It’s that reassurance you need and it’s that friend you need to just hang out with and do nothing with. They are also a band that aren’t afraid to talk about the frustrations of daily life and how restless we become through boredom. I don’t even know if it’s boredom. Maybe it’s a touch of frustration that we can never shake. Either way, Hoorsees have created something truly beautiful with this record.

A Superior Athlete is everything you could want from the record of the summer, and so much more. You;ll play this on the coldest day in December, and it’ll take you back to warmer times. It is a comforting record and one that really does show us what Hoorsees are made of and why they are one of the most exciting bands around. It’s a divine record from start to finish.

A Superior Athlete is out this Friday (22nd April) via Kanine Records

BULLET GIRL: Talking Pony EP.

Good Friday has now taken on a whole new meaning because the debut EP from Bullet Girl is FINALLY here. It feels like we’ve been waiting forever for this. And yes, as that old saying goes- good things come to those who wait. I mean I was pretty impatient for this one, but I stayed up well past my bedtime last night/this morning and at midnight, I played the EP. I’ve been playing it all day (I’ve taken a break from listening to CROWS for the time being.) Good Friday? More like a BRILLIANT Friday. If you’re looking for something that is powerful, will burst your eardrums, give you a swift kick up the arse and make you feel something- then I URGE you to check out this EP. It’s incredible.

In 4 songs, Bullet Girl show us exactly what they are made of. They are a political, honest, focused and a poetic bunch. The songs are insanely brilliant. It opens with The Hunt, then we go right into Paper Guns which is just a treat for the ears. The whole record is. Of course, you want more, but what they’ve given us is a work of art that oozes passion, dedication and determination. You can truly feel the hard-work that has gone into this record. Everything about Talking Pony just screams every fury you possibly feel right now. Paper Guns nails this more than most. The despair and hurt on this are so raw, and you’ll probably be made of stone if you don’t connect even a tiny bit to this one.

With one EP they have firmly put their sound out there. There’s nothing like this around and thank God because no one can do it like Bullet Girl. They make you want to cast aside your daily responsibilities and just follow them on tour or something equally fun. They’ve got this energy to the songs that just makes you punch the air in agreement and yell the songs out. Nothing will hit as hard as the into to McViolence. That intro just gets me every single time. Pretty sure I could be having the worst day possible, and within seconds of that intro being blasted out- I’ll feel better. I love the sheer rage in the song. The whole record has this brutality to it that just makes you really connect to the band and what they are about. Again, it’s all about picking up on that drive and determination in this EP- it’s wild. I honestly didn’t know what to expect when listening to the record. Like, I knew it was going to be great of course, but I didn’t know how the songs were going to hit and how it’d feel to finally hear this body of work that they’ve worked so hard on.

The love and drive gone into this EP is evident on every single song. If you want music that will make you feel like you are being thrown about or if you want lyrics that are just an accurate social commentary that are sung with such vulnerability and urgency- then this is the record for you. These 4 songs were made to be heard by the world and to be treasured. The record ends beautifully on Parasites but it doesn’t have to end there. Simply play it over and over again. It’s the only way. The last 20 seconds or so on this one is just incredible. The screaming of “Better days will come” just hits you right in the soul.

Talking Pony calls out everything shit with the world, but it’s delivered in a way that givers you hope. Hope that it’ll get better. It has to, right? With bands like Bullet Girl telling it like it is, it’s a sure fire way of making us all feel less alone and less helpless.

Tour dates for May are:

7th May: Retro, Manchester (R-Fest)

8th May: Hyde Park Book Club, Leeds

9th May: The Washington, Sheffield

10th May: The Old Blue Last, London

11th May: Bedford Esquires, Bedford (supporting Personal Trainer

14th May: The Black Lion, Brighton