I have too much spare time that I have seem to have filled by playing FIFA as soon as I get home from work. I could be doing other things such as going to bed as soon as I get home (yes, it is acceptable to go to bed at 5.30pm, never question it) but FIFA takes priority. Music has slipped, sort of. I’ve not listened to much as it makes me sad not knowing when I’ll next go to a show. But anyway, there’s a wonderful French band called Basic Shapes that are here to kill your blues. Listen up!
Their newest EP, Clockwork Organs came out last week and it’s a really stunning record. It reminds me a little bit of Richard Hell mixed with The Buzzcocks. Basically, it’s a bloody great record and again just reinforces my love for French Garage Rock bands. There’s this beautiful energy on the songs and I love the urgency in most of the songs, and this is so clear on No Creep. It’s a real rowdy number that just gets you going. The songs are short and to the point; there’s no messing about here. Basic Shapes are here to tell you what they think and feel without taking 10 hours to make their point. We have the time to listen, that’s for certain, but sometimes you just need something that’s punchy and grabs you instantly.
There’s been a lot of great records that have come out so far this year, and I guess some could be cynical in thinking some get overlooked. Bands like The Vacant Lots and Fontaines D.C. (okay this isn’t out yet but whatever!) have put out (or about to) some of the strongest records of the year. Jehnny Beth has put out a glorious solo record that feels like an ethereal out of body experience. Then you’ve got bands like Basic Shapes who just go headfirst into chaos. Burning Flats and Night Train are such great songs, and they just make you crave going to shows so badly. Your bones start to turn to jelly and your mouth turns dry; you get the sweats. You just want to see a show. Badly.
Homeless Walk has slight Reggae hints flowing through it, and I love how this song just messes with everything you’ve heard so far. It’s definitely one of my favourites because it just takes a hard left at what you’ve heard so far. Then they go right into MYOB which is just a rowdy and manic number. It’s such a great record, and even thought they formed in 2018, this record sounds like something from a band that have been at it for years. There’s something about MYOB that reminds me of New York Dolls. It’s part the vocals and part the guitar.
The record ends with the 7-minute delight that is Night Train. This is a euphoric piece of art that just needs to be heard by everyone. Play it to anyone you know. Play it loud. Right in their face. Or maybe do it when social distancing fades away if it ever happens. It is such a tense song and the buildup, the crashing of the drums and the way the guitar sounds like an earthquake is just brilliant. It’s an effortlessly slick song, and the last 3 minutes and 30 seconds make you feel like you’ve stepped into a different universe. It feels like a totally different song, but they do it in such an unbothersome manner. It’s such an incredible listen. The vocals resemble a whisper almost on the last part of the song. You can imagine this being what they end their shows on. When those whispers are eventually taken over by the music, getting louder and louder. More intense with every second, flipping back to how the song started. It is SO GOOD! The whispers turn back into yells, and it is done so perfectly. If you’re someone who doesn’t listen to records in order- start with this one. Then maybe end on it also because it is THAT good.
Clockwork Organs is an impressionable listen and will definitely stick with you. You’ll feel exhausted after you first listen to it because it’ll take all your energy (in a good way) but you’re still ready to keep on going and to keep on listening to this mind-blowing record.