That feeling when one of the singers you adore so much comes back with new music; there’s truly nothing quite like it. The first time I heard Zola Jesus, was actually the song she did as Nika + Rory. The song was I’m Not Going Anywhere. I played it almost religiously. I then heard Nika’s work as Zola Jesus when brought out The Spoils, and that was it. My obsession was blooming and I didn’t want it any other way.
There are a few bands/singers that just stick with you, and the any announcement of new music from them just immediately hits you right in the heart and you feel alive again. Since 2009 I’ve had this admiration and love for Nika and all she creates. I cannot think of anyone else who does what she does, who makes the sounds she does, who has a mind like hers. She’s the only one, and let’s be honest- there won’t ever be anyone else like her ever again. Her voice is so haunting and so comforting. I’m not ashamed to say I’ve bawled my eyes out to some of her songs, but my god there are songs that just give you this euphoric feeling and nothing can come close to it.
Lost is the new single, and is taken from Nika’s new record Arkhon which is out 20th May via one of the best labels ever- Sacred Bones. If you’re a fan of Nika/Zola Jesus, you know exactly what to expect but at the same time you are ready to be thrown into the deep unknown. Lost is such a beautiful and open song, and so easy to connect with. We all feel lost. Some of us feel it more than others, some of us are just constantly lost. For some, it may be all we know. But it’s a feeling that so many can connect with; and the way Nika writes about it here is just divine and right to the core.
The percussion, the sound of breathing (at the start- I think) it’s got this reassuring feel to it. The start sounds like a panic attack coming on (something I know far too well) but then everything calms down, and you are centred. Everything is okay, and you feel reassured again. There’s something about that chaotic feeling of being lost that allows you to just go at your own pace and eventually find what you need. I think that’s something we probably need to cling on to more than we care to admit.
The video for Lost is stunning. It will leave you breathless and just in awe of this magnificent creation. It sums up the feel of the song so well, and it is shot in the most gorgeous way imaginable. I don’t want to write too much about the video; I want you to take some time out of your day to watch the video. Maybe a couple of times in a row, and just take it all in. The song is a masterpiece and if the whole record has this feel to it, then I think we may have found the most beautifully put together record of the year.
Over the past couple of days I’ve probably listened to the new Warpaint song more than anything else. That distinctive Warpaint sound is right there. That sound that makes you feel like you are floating in the crystal clear sea with nothing going on around you, and your mind is as clear as the sea.
For me, Warpaint are that band that just allow you to breathe. They have something so calming and comforting about them; I remember when I interviewed them in 2010 just before The Fool came out- I was anything but calm! It’s obvious how much I adore this band, and every single time they release something new, I feel like my metaphorical prayers have been answered.
Champion has the same energy as songs like Burgundy, Warpaint and Undertow. I think it could well be Jenny’s bass that does this. There is something about her specific sound that makes you just float on into somewhere only Warpaint could ever create. You feel as if you’re gently floating towards a sunset, and nothing nor no one can get to you. The band define inner peace and clarity.
It is such a gentle song, and this gentleness is what makes you keep playing this over and over. Stella’s drumming on this is a reminder of why you love this band so much. Then you’ve got Emily and Theresa’s vocals combining together. The drum is the heartbeat of this song (check from 2 minutes onwards) the bass is the part that moves you. The guitar is what keeps you steady. The whole song is just a gorgeous piece of art- it should be prescribed as medication.
The last 40 seconds or so of the song is just instrumental bliss. When you listen to this song, it’s so important that you just close your eyes whilst listening to Champion. Switch the world off and play this song on repeat for a little while; it’ll make you feel better.
The new record by Warpaint, Radiate Like This will be released on 6th May. You know already that it is going to be perfect. Just look at the artwork!
Many great things are from Torino; my football club (Juve of course!), my stepdad and the incredible SLOKS.
I wrote about SLOKS in 2018, and I was just blown away by what I was hearing. Could that feeling be replicated? Of course it could, and I’m sure it will happen with any and everything they release. Their latest record, A Knife In Your Hand came out a few weeks ago so, better late than never!
The record is INSANE! There have been so many great records to have come out this year, and SLOKS are another band you can add to the list. This record is full of ferocious Punk songs to make you lose your mind to. This is the kind of record you stick on at 1am when all is a bit quiet. Too quiet in fact, and you just need some noise to make you feel better. It’s a shock to the body, to liven it up and make it feel something. You’ll feel like someone is tormenting your brain on songs like No Makeup- which feels like you are listening to someone who is losing their mind a little. That’s what makes it all so easy to love and connect with. This band are just so great, and their sound is so raw it will leave you feeling beautifully uncomfortable.
I love this band so much, and there’s no point in me being anything other than biased about this record. The drums feel like punches to the head. The guitar is like someone giving you an electric shock and the vocals make you feel like you’ve stepped into an asylum with no chance of getting out. It feels like American Horror Story gone Punk. With the best time of year approaching (Halloween!) SLOKS have made the perfect record to get spooky and creepy to. Every song deserves to to be played as loud as possible. Take in the screams of despair on Bad To The Bone. Let those screams haunt you and plague your dreams like nothing else. Soak up that fear, and bite into it.
The songs are just mind-blowing, and make you feel like you’ve stepped into a creepy world full of all things strange, beautiful and just fucking creepy. It’s the kind of record I wish I could make (that’s if I had any musical talent or was in a band.) It’s just really loud, really powerful and when you listen to it, you feel this huge weight being taken off your shoulders. There’s this relief you get from playing this record; I can’t fully describe it but all I know is that it feels like a release. Maybe it’s because of whatever I carry in my head, and it’s released through music I love. Maybe that’s what I mean. Well, regardless of whatever I’m getting at- this record is INCREDIBLE. I want more. I need more. The way Killer vs Killer builds up is unreal. This live would be thrilling, and you’d be hard pressed finding anything else that compares to it.
You know when you hear a record, and you think to yourself, “I wish I could live in this record” well, that’s what I get from this one. The title track is a steady mind-fuck, and I wish it went on for longer. These eleven songs are out of this world, and the world they throw you in is one you never want to leave. I feel like I’ve joined a cult- but one that, even though it may make someone feel on edge, it makes me feel quite safe. Imagine this record live! Holy shit! It would be something else. Ruin It All played live would be so good. That intense drumming throughout would just make you feel like you are possessed. Who or what has a grip on you? SLOKS of course! As if you’d want anyone else.
These songs will stay fixed in your brain. It’ll make you feel like you’ve got something crawling over you. You’ll feel uncomfortable but you’ll never leave it alone. This is a proper sleazy Rock ‘n’ Roll record, and it just leaves you wanting more and more from the band. But for now we wait. This record was worth the wait, and it’s a record I am going to carry on being obsessed with.
A Knife In Your Hand is out now, and you can get a copy here:
If you’re looking for not only the best Punk record of the year, but THE record of the year, then I am here to help. It’s this one. 100% this record. Comfort To Me by Amyl And The Sniffers is everything you could want from a record. Are you wanting to feel tough even though you may be chickenshit? Are you wanting to feel like you can take on the world, but also wanting something that makes you feel safe? Buy this record.
My love for Amyl And The Sniffers has no limits. I fucking LOVE everything about this band. I love how they are just the most relatable and no bullshit band around. The songs are so easy to relate to. The songs are so easy to find yourself in. This band, and especially this record will influence so many kids to pick up a guitar and make their own noise. Amy Taylor is the best frontperson in decades. You will not find anyone with more charisma, intelligence and purity than Amy. I think she’s incredible. If I was 13 years old, and saw this band and saw Amy for the first time, I’d have sacked everything off and decided to be in a band and not stop until I made something like Comfort To Me. You know when you hear a record so good you just want to cry? This is where I’m at right now.
The record opens with Guided By Angels which we all know is INSANE. I love the positivity in this song. All too often we hear songs that are all “woe is me, the world sucks.” But the positivity on this song is gorgeous. I cannot wait for them to tour this record because this song will probably cause the most beautiful riot possible.
Next up we have the wonderfully titled, Freaks To The Front. I love this song. I love the title. I love how it just feels like home. That’s what I adore about this record. I feel like I am putting on my favourite shirt, and feel ready to face the day. I love the aggression on this one; I love how relatable this is. Then we are smacked with Choices, which is the best fuck you to people who put others down for the decisions they make; which is I think, mainly aimed at those who try to dictate to women what they should think, feel and what decisions they make. Fuck ’em. Your mind, your body, your life- your fucking choice. Always.
I love how the record feels like it was made with urgency, importance and a fuckload of passion. I just want everyone in the world to listen to this record at least five times. It’s got everything you could want from lust to rage. Your heart will break listening to Knifey. It’s awful that it’s a relatable song, and that a lot (probably most to be honest) women will relate to. I won’t spoil it for you, but make sure you dedicate some time to really soak this one up. It’s so important, even if it is awful that it’s relatable but the message is so important.
I feel like this is the record that so many of us are going to keep going back to, and when we do- we will be left in awe all over again. I’ve listened to it 3 times this morning, and each listen is just blowing my mind. Everything about Comfort To Me is astounding. The sheer joy you get from blasting this record out is unlike anything else. Comfort To Me is the kind of record that you need to play every single day. It’s got everything you need and more, and it’s just really one of the most flawless records I’ve ever heard. I know bands can sometimes put fillers on their records, but Amyl And The Sniffers have shat all over the second record curse and given us something to really adore and cherish. You know when you hear a record, and you just feel “Fuck, I really needed this right now.” Well, that’s how Comfort To Me feels.
Last year was a drag for us all, and it could have been easy for so many bands to throw in the towel and just sack it all off. Thank fuck Amyl And The Sniffers created this record. Every single song on this record deserves to be heard by everyone. Songs like Snakes, Don’t Need A Cunt (Like You To Love Me), Choices, Knifey- the whole record! They are just mind-blowing. I’m just in awe of how phenomenal this record is. This record makes you feel free; every song will make you want to move in ways that others may be confused about but fuck it- music is all about freedom and connection. Comfort To Me is a prime example of this, and I cannot wait for the band to come back to the UK and play this record to us.
By no means is this a review, it’s just a massive fan declaring their love for a band that they absolutely adore, and telling you to buy this record and play it loud.
One of the few things I’ve been super excited about is the brand new record by the finest band from L.A. A band who I have been obsessed with, in love with since the very start. A band who perfectly capture everything I love and want from music. A band that have been the soundtrack to my days- good and bad. A band that are just the coolest. A band that everyone should fall in love with.
This Friday, L.A. Witch’s second record, Play With Fire will finally be released. I’ve had a copy for a couple of months, and I’ve been dying to write about this record. Now I can finally do it, I’m not sure if my words will make sense but hopefully you will be able to make sense of my love for the record and get yourself a copy on Friday.
The record opens with the tougher than leather anthem, Fire Starter. It perfectly sets the mood for this record. It’s a record that you can imagine listening to whilst on the open road, the wind blowing in your face and slowly, every worry you carry is falling away from you. This follows right into the anthemic Motorcycle Boy- which is beautiful ode to a loved one in a way that only L.A. Witch can do. There is no room for comparisons here- whether it be to other bands or to their debut record. Play With Fire is the record of the year; that’s all you need to know.
Sade, Irita and Ellie have hugely excelled themselves on this record and have given us that holy water we desperately need to cleanse our mind, body and soul right now. The record is a masterpiece, and everything about it just oozes something so raw, so cool- it’s such an exciting record and they have truly gone above what we thought we were going to get on this record. Forget what you’d previously heard- Play With Fire is where it is at.
Dark Horse is a song I really need to praise. I know I said NO comparisons, but this song gives me serious Jim Morrison vibes. The poetry in the words, the way Sade’s vocals on this are just unreal. On some songs her vocals are distorted, but here we can really hear how strong her voice is. It also shows us how Ellie and Irita have tightened their sound, and along with Sade’s guitar- it’s just the perfect song. If you want a song that shows you how far the band have come and how they have perfected their art once more, then this is the song. Easily.
You know when you hear a record, and you just imagine how it will sound live? That’s what L.A. Witch give you here, and more. I’m not talking dingy and sweaty basement bars here- I’m talking big stadiums where the front row is made up of kids who will cite it as their first show, then go on to form their own bands and change the world. That’s how great this record is. The riff on I Wanna Lose blows my mind every single time, and with Ellie’s drumming and how Irita brings this urgency with the bass, and you’ve got Sade unleashing hell with her guitar- come on! What more could you ever need?
Play With Fire is the record we all need right now, and for eternity. It’s got this seedy road trip feel to it, it makes you feel like you’ve tripped up into an underworld that no one else has discovered yet. You also feel like you’ve joined a cult and L.A. Witch are now your guides. Do what they say, and you’ll be fine. The attitude on this record is on point, songs like Sexorexia (please god make this a single!) is empowering. It’s tough and my god Sade’s vocals will give you goose bumps and make you feel like you’ve found your own nirvana. It is INCREDIBLE. There’s something about this record that feels nostalgic but also unheard of. It is a proper magical record, and every single song on this record will take you over completely. Every single song deserves its place here, and the way the songs are placed is perfect. Listen to it in order first, then do whatever you want with it. Play each song 5 times before the next if that’s what you want to do. Blast it as loudly as you can. Knock on your neighbour’s door to tell them how great it is! Tell anyone who will listen that THIS is the record of the year. Play With Fire is one of those records that we will be talking about in years to come- it’s got a timeless feel to it, and it’s unlike anything you will have heard before. It is a truly mind-blowing listen from start to finish. If you want songs to waste away the day to, to escape to or to even heal parts of you- LA. Witch have got you covered, always.
The record feels like the best acid trip imaginable (I’ve never done drugs, but I’d imagine this record is how it feels.) You are taken into a different world, and what I adore about Play With Fire is that is stands for something. It’s a courageous record, and it gives you something to believe in; and it makes you feel like an outlaw on the run whilst listening to it. This record could easily be the soundtrack to a film, and I hope one day L.A. Witch create the soundtrack for a film because it would just be insane! For me this record fully justifies why I adore the band so much. Ellie is the best drummer around. Irita is the best bassist you’ll hear and Sade is ferocious on guitar, and her vocals are just as powerful. L.A. Witch are a band that are going to get better and better with everything they do- that’s obvious.
I’ll wrap this up with a quote from Sade about the record: “Play With Fire is a suggestion to make things happen. Don’t fear mistakes or the future. Take a chance. Say and do what you really feel, even if nobody agrees with your ideas. These are feelings that have stopped me in the past. I want to inspire others to be freethinkers even if it causes a little burn.”
Play With Fire is out this Friday via Suicide Squeeze Records.
There’s a handful of good things to have happened so far this year, and one of them is the fact that we’re going to get a new record by L.A.Witch. I’ve already gone on about how amazing I Wanna Lose is, but now it’s time to tell you about the brand new song, Gen-Z.
Do we need a raw Punk fuelled anthem? Of course! Always. L.A. Witch give us it completely on Gen-Z and there’s that solid L.A. Witch sound we all know and love on it- this is found in every element of the song from the drums, to the vocals, to the bass and to the guitar. Ellie, Irita and Sade are the best at what they do. Quite possibly one of the best bands ever, no question. They just have this effortlessly slick sound that makes you wish you had even a fraction of their talent. I love how they have this unified sound, and you can truly tell that they make music for them. They make it how they want. On their terms. Always.
Gen-Z is just another taste of their new record, Play With Fire which comes out next month. I’m so excited for this record. I just know it’s going to be one I have on repeat- that’s the thing about L.A. Witch- they make songs you can have on repeat constantly, and you don’t get tired of it. If anything, you find new parts to love. Listening to Gen-Z again (and again, and again!) I can hear parts of bands I love- at times Sade’s guitar reminds me of early Nirvana with a nod to Johnny Thunders. But there’s this Wall of Sound feeling that goes in and out of the song so perfectly. You might pick this up more if you listen to it through headphones. It’s Ellie and Irita who bring that feeling for sure. I just love how they sound, and how they make the kind of music that makes you feel cool but safe.
There’s a quote from Sade about the song, that really hit me in the gut and I think it’s something we can all relate to especially right now; “When I was a kid, music and guitar was my escape. Music was how I fought through my depressions. What will the future do to get through it? With constant pressure to be perfect and information/advertisements and brainwashing constantly being shoved in your face, you become a product of your environment. ‘Gen-Z’ is about being a slave to technology, specifically to our phones.”
I’m guessing if we could all escape (or be allowed to travel/go on holiday) right now, most of us would. L.A Witch always make you feel like you’re either at a skatepark in L.A. or at a beach watching the world go by. Two places that are perfect to listen to them at. The feel of Gen-Z is much like I Wanna Lose- it gives you that raw excitement for the record. I’ve struggled a LOT recently to write about music but hearing Gen-Z today has given me a boost. L.A. Witch are one of the few bands I listen to and instantly feel I need to write about, and just give me that love for music all over again.
I don’t need to delve into this further- check the song out for yourself right now!
Play With Fire is out 21st August 2020 via Suicide Squeeze Records.
In a few weeks’ time, the finest Garage Rock band from Toulouse will be releasing their debut EP. The EP is being out by the reliably great, Howlin’ Banana Records who have put out a lot of records that I love, and they’ve done it yet again with Cloud Factory.
The band are made up of formers members of Noir City and Cathedrale; and if you know your French music, you’ll know that this is a pretty cool thing to happen. They’ve com together to create some feel-good music, and right now we need that. There’s a lot of joy in their music, and this carefree sound is really what gets you hooked.
The EP, Cloud Factory #1 is a perfect glimpse into what is to come from this band and how this new sound will blow us all away. It’s a really refreshing listen and the band have so much promise. If live music were something we could indulge in right now, there’s no telling just how great their shows would be. But for now, we wait. Whilst we wait, we can cling onto the EP.
Amnesia opens up the EP and is their current single, but don’t let it make you think it is the highlight of the EP. Oh no! You see, the EP is made up of beautiful moments; and one of my favourites has to be Alice’s vocals on Dead Bodies. For some it’s a pretty morbid name for a song, but her vocals have this Bjork like fragility to it. However, Cloud Factory aren’t a band that you can link another to, they are effortlessly quirky and cool, and it really shines through on this EP. The sound is so new and just a delight to revel in. I know I usually listen to music that’s a bit heavier, but this is such an enjoyable listen. If you’ve got a lot on your mind, you can definitely take a load off whilst listening to this record.
My one gripe? There’s only 5 songs! I want more, but I always want more when it comes to music but like I’ve mentioned, it is such a strong introduction to the band and even if you are familiar with their previous bands, you don’t pick up on that at all on this record. They are exceptional musicians, and I really like the way Ben’s bass sounds alongside Bruno’s drums. Sometimes it can feel like one is competing to be louder than the other, but this doesn’t happen at all on this record. They are all equally heard and enjoyed. There’s a lot of rage on the song No Data, which might be why it’s my favourite for now. I’ll change my mind of course!
Talk Too Much and Try are excellent too, and the joyful noise that Cloud Factory give us with this record and on those two songs in particular is just a delight to listen to. As someone who does tend to sway towards more louder sounds, I can safely say that this EP is a great listen and is the perfect introduction to a band that deserve to be heard, and to be huge. It’s a real feel good record, and ideal for those long summer evenings. Even if we have to stay indoors for now. Also, this record is another that fully backs up my idea that French Garage Rock bands are sublime.
Cloud Factory #1 will be released via Howlin’ Banana Records on 3rd July.
Find joy wherever you can, and hold onto for however long you wish. For example, L.A. Witch have just put out a brand new song and announced a new record coming in August. That fills me with joy, excitement and sheer happiness. I’ve written about them countless of times, starting from when the band sort of started out. When they announced their first ever UK tour a few years ago, it felt like all my Christmas’ and birthdays had hit me at once, but better. I absolutely LOVE this band, and I will make it known whenever I can.
So, what’s the new song like? Well, if you’ve ever listened to their music you will know just how phenomenal they are and as musicians, they are nothing short of mind-blowing. They are at their peak on this song, and it is a beautiful taster for the new record. I Wanna Lose shows us exactly why L.A. Witch are the best around. This song also shows how great they are as musicians- both individually and together.
You need to play close attention to Irita’s bass on this one. She’s turned it up to beyond 11 and you can sense the determination in her playing on this that she wants to annihilate your eardrums. Let her. Let all three of them totally deafen you with their glorious sound. With Irita’s slick sounds and effortlessly cool tempo, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better bass player around. If you think she’s unreal on record, just wait until you see the band live. Everything you loved about them will become heightened and nothing will ever be the same again. Live music, remember that? Remember going to shows and seeing your favourite bands? We need that. We need it soon. Urgently.
Now let’s get into how Ellie thumps at your chest and ribcage, and skull with the pounding of the drums. How she sends your brain into a different universe, almost ripping you apart from your body and catapulting your soul into space. She comes in right after Sade’s intro and just keeps up the pace for the next 4 minutes, and makes you wonder, “How the hell does she do that?!” She plays like she’s got a point to prove, and you can really sense that hunger in her drumming. And again, like Irita you get this heightened at their live shows. If this is what we are getting from just one song, imagine how the whole record will be. I don’t know if I can wait until August! Honestly, they have never sounded so good and so loud. Take everything you heard by them before and let yourself soak this one up good and proper. From around 2 minutes and 20 seconds or so, Ellie’s drumming builds up and up into this really gnarly Punk sound. I love it so much, and she keeps that going right until the end.
Alright, now it’s Sade’s turn. She has one of the most distinctive voices around, and I love how she makes you feel like your listening to something from decades past but also something really futuristic. As a guitarist, she’s up there with the best of them. To be honest, if you were looking for musicians to create a supergroup, then L.A. Witch would be the band. They are just out of this world. Sade’s guitar on this is heavy, fuzzy and loud. They seem to have cranked the volume up more on this song and I hope the whole record has that feeling. I know people like to compare a bands new record to their last, but with bands like L.A. Witch and with this sound, there is absolutely no way you can do it. The only comparison is that they both are amazing. That’s it really. Her vocals mixed with how brutal Irita has become with her bass and how Ellie too has become more brutal with the drums, compliments everything so beautifully. Layer this with Sade’s guitar and of course, you’ve got one of the best songs you will hear all year.
There you have it. Another declaration of love from me to L.A. Witch. It’ll happen again no doubt before the record comes out. They’re set to tour the UK in November, and I really hope it happens (mainly because I love them, I love their shows, the Manchester show is a few days after my birthday and is at one of my favourite venues in Manchester.)
I Wanna Lose is a song that needs to be played loud. As loud as you can.
Play With Fire is due to be released on 21st August 2020 via the always great, Suicide Squeeze Records. You can pre-order the record here: https://lawitches.bandcamp.com/
Do you remember the first time you heard the voice of a singer where it totally consumed you? Do you remember that feeling that grabbed you? You may not have experienced it yet, or you may have experienced it a few times. It doesn’t matter how many times, but when you find someone who’s voice just grips you completely and their words also have a hold on you, you don’t let it go. You can’t let it go. They don’t let you go. It’s such a beautiful and vulnerable feeling, and that is why I can safely say that Jehnny Beth has one of the most hypnotising voices I have ever heard. Yesterday her debut solo record came out. I’ve not read anyone else’s take on the record, and I hope no one has compared it to the previous records with Savages because this is totally different. This is something I have never ever heard before, and my god it is nothing short of beautiful and poetic honesty.
To Love Is To Live is the name of the record, and it’s a pretty solid mantra to have. The record explores so much around lust, love, sex, intimacy, innocence and decadence. The things most would shy away from, Jehnny confronts it in the most ferocious and wonderful way possible. She has made the record with her partner Johnny Hostile (they have made amazing music in the past together and I urge you to delve into that.) The darkness on this record is so moving, and there is so much hope on the record. Given what we are all going through, we need that hope so badly.
The 11 songs on the record are carefully crafted, and you can hear the sheer dedication on every song. Of course, my favourite right now is her song with Joe from IDLES, titled How Could You but I want to talk about the song Flower first. This song is so sexual in ways you never thought a song could. It is a perfect dedication to a lover, someone who may be far from your reach but there’s that physical side that brings you both together and binds you together. The exploration of sexuality on this song is so vital. The way gender is thrown out of the window (thank god!) and sexuality is explored is just beautiful. For every queer person out there, take and make this song yours. It’s a masterpiece. The trembling in Jehnny’s voice on this really make you connect with the song and put you in her position. If like me you’ve been tuning into her readings from her book, which comes out next month, then you will have heard just how exceptional she is when it comes to describing feelings and thoughts regarding love and relationships, and all forms of intimacy that flow in between. I feel like this record could soundtrack the book.
We Will Sin Together is another glorious masterpiece on the record, and it features the always incredible Stella Mozgawa (one of the best drummers ever) and Romy Madley Croft. It’s the holy trinity of music on this one, and it is such a vulnerable declaration and also offers reassurance that you and the person will head into this together, no matter what. I could say it is one of the highlights on the record, but truth be told, the whole record is a masterpiece and every moment stands out in its own right. Just absolutely perfect. You feel as if with this song, it is just you and Jehnny in the room and she is aiming the song right at you.
What I adore about To Love Is To Live is the production and how raw it sounds. You can hear the care and passion in every single song, and there’s the beautiful raw sound that at times is bold and tall but there are times where the songs are gentle and frail. The balance is beautiful and THAT is how you put out a masterpiece. I honestly don’t feel my words can do this record justice at all. Is anyone else wishing tattoo parlors were open so we could get To Love Is To Live tattooed on them?! I’d get it done in a heartbeat. The Rooms is one of the more tender moments on the record, and Jehnny’s vocals on this are so exposed and so serene. For as long as I’ve loved Savages, I have been in love with Jehnny’s voice, her way with words and all she does. This record fully justifies my love and I absolutely wish I could sit with her, and discuss this record and the way she approaches her art. She’s just out of this world.
There is a strong Punk feel to this record, and the way she is unapologetically herself, unapologetically honest and ferocious on the record just makes you not only fall in love with her even more- but the level of respect just accelerates. I honestly can’t think of a record that has given such a wide range of emotions in a hell of a long time. Heroine is the perfect example of this (and Jehnny, if you see this please know that you truly ARE a heroine.) The romanticism in her words reminds me of Patti Smith to Baudelaire, with hints of Marquis de Sade. There’s this dark poetry on the record that lures you in. I don’t think we are made to get out of it to be honest. Why would you even want to?
How Could You is the loudest song on the record, and it feels like a riot in the ears. Jehnny and Joe’s vocals together is just simply divine. Two of the most powerful and vital vocals in music together, making something that is nothing short of an anthem. My god this is a powerful. I hope, when we can go to gigs together, she brings Joe out at a few shows and does this with him. Can you picture how wild it would be? I hope they make a music video for this, because I reckon it would be a mind-blowing and chaotic piece of art.
For me, this is one of the most incredible records of the decade and one of the most gorgeously put together records I have ever, ever heard. French Countryside shows us another side of Jehnny, and this side is the calming side of dedication and love. The gentle side of love and lust. The whole record oozes intimacy on all levels, and at times lack of it. This is such a heartbreaking song, and you can hear something truly painful in her vocals and that just makes you connect with her so much. I love how Jehnny has this ability to be tough, brave and in your face. But there is another side of her that is so fragile, almost child-like innocence and open. These sides to her are so wonderfully put across on the record, and I honestly cannot put into words how effortless she makes it. Some spend their whole career trying to master it, but Jehnny seems like she always had it in her and unleashed it right away.
The record ends on Human. It is 6 minutes and 2 seconds of important words, that NEED to be heard. It is the perfect way to end the record. The tension is so captivating, and just before we hit the 2-minute mark it smacks you right in the face. This is where she brings everything together and just messes with your head in the best way possible. I’m not going to say too much about this one because I want YOU to listen to it and soak up the song. The whole record oozes power, sensuality, lust, sexuality, decadence and all those glorious experiences that come with it. It’s nothing short of perfect.
Listen to the record in order, take it all in. Let the record take you over. Let it consume every single part of you and beyond. Explore everything and anything, and let this record be your guide.
Everything I’ve ever written about PINS is probably going to come out again as I write about their gorgeous new record, Hot Slick. With all the rubbish going on in the world- we need something to make us feel better. You can find that in Hot Slick, and that’s a promise.
PINS have been a band that I’ve been in awe of since the start. I found them by accident, and never looked back since. I can’t count how many times I’ve seen them live and again, I promise you that their live shows are amazing. They were due to play an album launch show tomorrow night here in Manchester, but that will now (hopefully) happen in October. It’ll be my first time seeing them in the city I am proud to call home. I’d only ever seen them play in London, so this show will be extra special when it happens.
Something you really get from PINS is that their songs are made to be witnessed in a live setting. They are a band that really show you what they are made of when you go to their shows, and what they have done on Hot Slick is not only show us that this record will be incredible live, but they have laid it all out on record. Forget what you heard on Girls Like Us and Wild Nights- Hot Slick is a different level. I love both records a hell of a lot, but that new sound is so strong and a real joy to listen to.
The only downside is that the record lasts about half an hour, but we can get round that by playing it over and over! There is so much to love about this record, and one thing I love the most is that Jamie Hince from The Kills produced the titled track. If you’ve read anything I’ve ever written, you’ll know just how much I fucking LOVE The Kills so this is a pretty huge thing! PINS have worked with Iggy Pop and Jamie Hince- that’s pretty incredible. PINS don’t have a distinctive sound, and that’s really clear on this record.
They aren’t afraid to experiment with their sound and to push what they can do. They are truly one of the most hard-working bands around, and that dedication comes right through on all they do, and Hot Slick is a raw declaration of this. I love the title track so much; it’s got a strong mix of Punk mixed with Donna Summer. It’s the trashing guitar with electrifying Disco feel. It’s pure magic and is such a powerful start to the record.
Hot Slick consists of 10 songs that will stay in your head all day. These songs will play on your mind. You’ll want to live out Love You To Death (Mark from Leather Party/a bunch of other great bands, and is married to Faith, features on this) and Ponytail will just make you feel like you can take on the world. I started writing this yesterday but wanted to keep on listening to the record in order to try but something coherent together, and to obviously just keep on playing the record. Daisies is the ideal song to listen to if you’re looking to self-isolate in the park with the sun hitting your back. The whole record has a Summer feel to it, and although the world is strange and uncertain right now- we are still lucky to have bands like PINS give us music to keep on going. I adore how different Hot Slick is, and how they have made this destined leap into this sound. I love the sheer dedication and passion in this record. It’s a proper labour of love and hard-work, and that just makes you treasure it even more.
Well, now it’s the 30th May and it would have been their album release party at YES tonight here in Manchester. I’m not the only one who is just itching to go to a live show, and the uncertainty of not knowing when it will be is brutal. But we will get there. In the meantime, we can blast out songs like Read My Lips, which is the ultimate anthem on this record, and just ignore all that’s troubling us for a little while. This is such a fantastic record, and you cannot help but be massively proud of PINS for what they have created here. I know the whole point of a “review” is to be constructive, but by no means would I write about something I didn’t like or could find fault in. The world is already full of negativity, what’s the point in adding to it? If what I’ve written makes just one person listen to the band/record I’ve written about, then I’ve done what I wanted to do. It’s not a review, it’s a declaration of appreciation for a bloody brilliant record.
Set Me Off has an AMAZING Talking Heads (I’m getting a Burning Down The House feel from it) feel to it mixed with something I can’t really think of right now, but it’s easily one of my favourites on the record. I love how every song on this record feels like it could be in an off the wall indie film, that’s a bit decadent in places. It is such a bright and care-free record, and I probably wouldn’t trust anyone who sees any bad in it to be honest!
There are so many thing that make this record a sheer joy to listen to, and there are so many moments on this record that make you realise why you bloody love this band, and music in general. Love You To Death needs to be a single, just because I reckon the video could be wild. PINS are one of the best bands to ever have come from Manchester, and Hot Slick fully justifies that. If you’re looking for something to really get into your soul, take over your mind and make your record collection look cooler- pick up a copy of Hot Slick from your local record shop, and play it LOUD.
There are still some tickets left for their rescheduled tour, which you can grab here: