THE VACANT LOTS: SOUP, Manchester 3rd December 2022.

Finally going back to SOUP to see a band I absolutely adore after a tiring week was just what I needed. I can’t count how many times I’ve seen The Vacant Lots live or how many times I’ve written about them. They are a band that I hold very dear to me- they’ve got me through hell and back. They just have something about them that makes you feel like you’ve escaped to another world. Music is there to be relatable and to give us some escapism.

The Vacant Lots open their set with the euphoric Departure.  This makes you feel like the band are about to guide you into their world with this one- the perfect way to open their set. Departure has such a soothing energy to it; it does make you feel like you’re ready for takeoff.

The set is a blissful mix of old and new- showing us exactly why they are one of the best bands you’ll ever see live. The set has all the greats; Mad Mary Jones, Fracture and 6AM, and the thing that just leaves you in awe is how talented Jared and Brian are. Brian is like s Scientist on stage and Jared is the Punk who holds the guitar like a weapon. No blood was shed this time (if you’ve seen them play live before, you’ll know what I mean!) The only downside was that the venue wasn’t packed. It rightfully should have been packed. It should have been a sweatbox, but those who were there evidently loved what they were witnessing.

I’ve got a handful of bands I could happily watch play live forever and not get bored of them- The Vacant Lots are one of them for sure. Every single time I’ve seen them play I’ve just been left in awe of what I’ve witnessed.

The way 6AM goes right into Mad Mary Jones was ridiculous. The whole set is slick, but this transition was something else. Noise after noise. My hearing right now isn’t great but I’m not bothered about it- you expect it from their shows. Especially if you stand by the speaker!

Never Satisfied is a prime example of Jared and Brian’s songs are sheer poetry with a bite. There’s parts of the set where Brian unleashes hell on the cymbal and drum, and Jared styles out annihilating the guitar in a way that you rarely witness. They take their turn in vocally delivering the songs, and the chemistry they have is evident on record and it’s truly something else when you see it live.

For me, The Vacant Lots are just exceptional live and the show tonight fully showed that. There may have been less than 20 of us in the room but they played their hearts out, and as if they were playing to a stadium full of people. That’s when you know a band truly have it. They’re just a pleasure to see live and if are ever given the chance to see them- take it.

GHUM: Fac251, Manchester 18th November 2022.

There are bands that you could watch live countless times, and you’ll never ever get sick of seeing them. Last night was only my second time seeing GHUM, and I think it was their second time playing Manchester (I might be wrong there, sorry if I am!) They played the legendary venue that is FAC251, and I can safely say that no other venue in town could have suited them more (maybe Soup Kitchen.)

GHUM’s debut record, Bitter came out in June this year and not a day goes by where I’m not playing it. It’s a perfect record, and a stunning debut. How does their live show favour? Exactly the same! GHUM are a band that you just have to see live. Their music was made to be witnessed in a live setting; especially in dark basement venues.

Although their set was cut short slightly- it did not change how amazing the gig was. Every single song was performed in a way that made to be heard in this setting. A small, intimate venue. Even if someone was being a bit overzealous with the smoke machine with the first few songs! Honestly, GHUM are a band that you know will keep getting better and better with whatever they do and whatever sound they have. Songs like California and Some People rip right through, Perro is electrifying live. Deceiver and Bitter was out of this world. Bad Brain is played with this fire and urgency that sticks with you well after the show is over. The whole set is an exploration of how and why they are one of the most exciting bands around. You cannot compare their live shows to anything else- it goes way beyond anything else you may feel from hearing them on record. They create this world that you just want to live in. This dark yet comforting world.

There’s this energy they all have that just lures you in, and every song they hit you with makes you feel like you are listening to them for the first time. For me they have got that same presence as the likes of TwoFiftyFour, Crows, L.A. Witch and Warpaint (basically just named bands I love and adore but y’know!) They make you wish you had even a tiny fraction of musical talent. GHUM are the best at what they do, and if you ever get the chance to see them live- you have GOT to take it. They make it seem so effortless. I mean Jojo is one of the greatest guitarists I’ve ever seen, Vicki is one of those drummers that just leave you in awe and Marina is such a slick bassist. Laura’s vocals will stay with you- she’s got this gentle tone but when she delivers songs like 1000 Men; there’s this beautiful growl to it that just stuns you.

Like I said, this band are the best at what they do. Nothing and no one comes close. The venue may not have been totally sold out but that didn’t matter at all- they made you feel like it was just you and them. Nothing around you mattered. There was an older couple near me, and they were dancing and moving in ways that most of us could dream of. For me, they summed up the euphoria that live music gives you and that GHUM gives you.

There are bands that you discover over time that become a massive part of you. You look at your record collection, and you wonder what it’d be like if you never heard them. There’d be a gap for this band, but you’ve yet to find them. I hope that anyone who ever listens to GHUM or discovers them for the first time feels like they’ve found the missing piece to their music jigsaw. I’ve not been to many gigs this year, but I can definitely place last night’s show up there with one of the best. Compared to their show in Manchester from 2019, you can definitely see and hear the growth in confidence.

GHUM are an absolute joy to listen to and when you see them live, that joy quickly turns to euphoria. The kind of band that makes you want to disregard your daily responsibilities and just follow them on tour. Hopefully it won’t be 3 years before they next come back to Manchester, but it was most certainly worth the wait!

GRAVE GOODS: Tuesday. Nothing Exists.

This record came out just over a month ago, and I had something written in my drafts. Looked over it, and deleted it. How I felt about the record then and how I feel about it now is different. Not by much, but there’s a difference. This isn’t a bad thing; I’ve had the record on repeat and can safely say that it’s up there as being one of the most flawless and interesting records of the year. It’s everything you love about music, and more.

If you’ve never listened to Grave Goods before, then you are in for a treat with this record. Grave Goods are made up of members from three bands that I’m a huge fan of: PINS, Girls Names and September Girls. If you mix up their sound and influences, and style- then you’ve clearly got a perfect band haven’t you. This is such a fantastic record from that slick sounds to the way the vocals are delivered. It’s got so much excitement to it; there’s this pure thrill you get from every listen because every single listen feels like you are being exposed to something new every single time. I reckon the ideal setting to listen to this record is on the top deck of a double decker bus, in the pissing rain and watching the world go by.

These seven songs are powerful, and songs like Story are a perfect listen on a grey and rainy day in Manchester. The whole record is a huge comfort, and with just seven songs the band completely and utterly show you what they are made of. The songs are digs are what society expects, thoughts, feelings and unspoken narratives. It’s just a phenomenal record, and I honestly feel like it’s a record that just needs to be heard. There’s an urgency to this record that just gives you a kick up the arse.

Listening to this record full whack through headphones or in your room is such a great sensation. You can’t help but take in the lyrics- Miles is a perfect example of this. The storytelling on this is just divine; it’s dark and humorous. The whole record has a dark sound but the lyrics/vocals add this gentleness. It works so well. It’s a heavy record, but it’s done in such a way that leaves you in awe. That’s all there is to it really.

The record ends with Die, and although it’s probably a morbid title for some- it’s a bloody lively song. The last minute of this song is euphoric and it just makes you start the record all over again. That’s when you know you’ve found a record that’ll you keep going back to over and over. You’ll use it as a reference. You’ll compare everything you now hear to this. Every song on the record fits perfectly. They sound as if they are made for this moment and whatever Grave Goods create next will be another masterpiece like this. You just know don’t you, when you listen to a band, and you know that regardless of how much music they put out, it’ll always be mind-blowing. They evidently a band that could never ever make a shit record. They’ve got this ideal sound that I just want to constantly hear. I bloody love this record.

Tuesday. Nothing Exists. Not only is the title of the record great, but you know how Tuesdays are probably the most boring day of the week? This record adds excitement. Play this record every Tuesday on repeat to add some spice to your life. It’ll make waking up less exhausting.

THE VACANT LOTS: Closure.

There are a handful of bands that, no matter what they release or however it sounds- I’ll always write about it. I may or may not instantly love it, but I’ll find the words to write about why I love the band. A band in particular that always stand out for me and just mean the world are The Vacant Lots. I absolutely adore this band and have done for what seems like an eternity. I feel like they are a band I’ve grown up with and just ended up loving them more and more with each record. They’re a band I could happily watch live forever, and not get bored of it. They take elements of everything I adore about music and make their own sound. It’s everything I love about bands such as Suicide, The Jesus And Mary Chain and a Henry Miller novel. Highly poetic, dark and gripping.

It’s no surprise that record number four, Closure, is a masterpiece. All they do is churn out genius works of art every single time. I’m in awe of the sheer talent that Jared and Brian have. Just the two of them. The two of them make these gorgeous sounds. Closure is everything their previous three records have been leading up to. If you’ve listened to them before, you’ll be familiar with this dark and hypnotic sound they have but on Closure they go a little lighter on the song Eyes Closed. It’s a synth-based lullaby. It’s gorgeous. Sound wise- this record isn’t as heavy as previous, but don’t let that fool you. The lightness on this record may be something slightly new, but that typical sound from Jared and Brian is still there. It’ll always be there.

Their previous work at times felt like you were stumbling out of a New York dive bar at 2am in the cold. This one feels like you’ve let that fresh Autumn air hit you in the face and you feel like you can possibly take on anything. That’s the powerful thing about music and bands you love- they can be your armor and guide. For me, Closure is one of the most enthralling records of the year. It’s chaotic and calm in all the right places. It’s just everything you could possibly want from a band you love.

The only downside to the record is that it lasts only 23 minutes but, these 8 songs will blow your mind. They’ll caress your eardrums. They’ll hit you right in the heart and soul. They’ve totally outdone themselves again, and I cannot wait for the tour in a few months. These songs live will be something else. Hearing the likes of Eyes Closed or Chase live will be insane! I cannot wait.

With a record like this, it’s hard to pick a favourite. I’ll end up changing my mind a lot but at the moment I think it has to be Red Desert that’s my number one. It reminds me of Darklands by The Jesus And Mary Chain. There’s this delicate sound on this song that reminds me so much of that whole record. It’s a joy to listen to, and it builds up perfectly the ending of the record. In just over 20 minutes, The Vacant Lots truly grip you on this record. If this is your first time listening to them; well, it’s not a bad place to start at all.

As the record comes to a gentle close with Burning Bridges, you cannot help but reflect on how remarkable the record is. Everything about the record is joyful and personal. From the lyrics to the production to the sounds and all in that is in between- Jared and Brian have yet again created something that us fans of the band will treasure for eternity.

With every record they just get better, and Closure fully backs that up. A real joy to listen to and an even bigger joy to be a fan of such an incredible band.

THE BATTERY FARM: A Working Class Lad.

I have made my love for one of the finest bands from Manchester known many times. But this time, The Battery Farm have completely and utterly outdone themselves. Everything they have done to date has been nothing short of vital, ferocious, and delivered with this passion that you wish most bands would. A Working Class Lad towers above everything they have done to date. This is the kind of song that makes you want to pin down tory scum and blast this song in their ears. Imagine if they would listen. Imagine…. But until then, we have got bands like The Battery Farm who are beautifully expressing how difficult life is and how shit it’s going to get until people listen to us. There’s beauty in it all, and that is what they express so wonderfully.

The hook where Ben screams his lungs out is such a pivotal moment in the song, and every time he unleashes that distinctive bellow of his, you cannot help but scream back and let his voice absolutely destroy your eardrums in the most perfect way. It is one of the best songs he’s written so far. The man is a poet. A proper storyteller. This is song for those who understand how tough everything is right now and how the majority of us are struggling. The comradery in this song makes me so proud to call Manchester my home.

The bassline on this, mixed with THAT drumming is out of this world. The guitar is electrifying, and it adds extra bite to the vocals, and drills home the importance of the lyrics. Bands like The Battery Farm are rare, and that’s why it is SO important that we treasure them. They tell our stories; they release our furies. They’ve got courage, heart, and passion. They’ve got the wisdom that you wish you had, but in time, you’ll get there. If you’re looking for a real Punk anthem- this is it. This is totally it. It’s the song that you play when the world gets a little too much, and as soon as this kicks in- you’re reminded that someone out there fucking understands. This band are way ahead of their time. Or maybe we are all behind and need to catch up. Whichever way you look at it, this band are the future.

What I adore about the band is how they can take painful daily life topics and make them beautiful. They make everything relatable, and you know they mean every single word that comes out of their mouths. Their words are so important, and I don’t say this lightly. There is so much power in this song and it is really is the best thing they’ve done to date. Their debut record Flies is out in November, and I cannot wait to hear it. Going by the previous 8 singles they’ve released and now this single- I think it is pretty safe to say that it is going to be one of the most thrilling records of the year. Nothing will touch it. Nothing will come close to the sheer importance of it.

There is so much heart in this song, and the way every ounce of this anthem hits your mind, body and soul leaves you wanting more. You cannot help but play this on repeat. You cannot help but scream along. Thank god we have bands like The Battery Farm around. They unleash every feeling surrounding identity and the shame we sometimes feel. Sometimes that shame is thrown onto us from others, so we turn that shame into something that means something- Art. That’s what The Battery Farm have done here, and will always do. It’s in their blood. We need them.

They’re playing the Dublin Castle in London on the 2nd September and will then be back home to tear the roof off Gullivers on the 10th September. Go see them. Buy the record in November and let this band get out everything you feel you cannot.

You can check out their upcoming gigs here: https://www.facebook.com/thebatteryfarm/events

MAD DADDY: The Road Racer EP

The exceptional new EP by Mad Daddy has been on my list of write-ups for ages, but I’m rubbish at keeping up with what I need to do. I’d rather take a nap but that’s no excuse! I’m going to use my words wisely and tell you all about one of the best bands to have ever come from the Isle of Man. The other being my uncle’s band, The 13th Pillar and the other being Voodoo Bandits.

This EP is ridiculous. They should serve time at Jurby’s finest hotel on the Isle of Man for making something this good. Should be a crime! But hey, it isn’t! The EP is made up of 4 fast, ferocious and f….ing incredible songs. Every single song will indeed make you feel like a road racer. Get your leather on and hop on your bike. Go as fast as you legally can and go out into the unknown.

Be Bad is Mad Daddy at their best- it’s filthy, beautifully obnoxious. It’s like Lux and Stiv Bators got into a fight with Iggy Pop, and this song came out. It’s my favourite at the moment, but with a record like this- you cannot settle with just one song. It’s the kind of song that you have to play as loud as you can and snarl along with Dolyn as he unleashes one of the best Mad Daddy songs to date. It goes beyond anything else they’ve done. It is one of the slickest records of the year, and the production is a dream!

Everyone on this record truly shines. Matt’s drumming on this EP is just *chef’s kiss* and again, it smacks you right in the face on Be Bad. The record ends on Here To Stay- Liam and Elvis on this one smash your eardrums on this. Every song on this EP sounds like a band trying to get to the finish line to prove their point. Their point being? Well, that they are one of the best bands in the world. But. you already knew that didn’t you. This is Mad Daddy at their loudest, their best and rowdiest. This EP really does feel like you are on the TT Race Course on Mad Sunday, and no one can keep up with you. It’s such an energetic record. Even though we’re just over a year from their debut record- this EP is another taste of what’s to come from this band.

Mad Daddy have ripped apart bands up and down the UK with their recent shows, and now they are back to mess up your hearing with their rambunctious Punk anthems. Iggy Pop is a huge fan, so that tells you just how special this band are and how remarkable this record is. Every song on this EP was made to be played full volume and with the wind in your hair as you drive and drive, with no destination in mind. It’s a proper gritty record, with songs that’ll have you craving live music, craving more from Mad Daddy. I started writing this review nearly 2 months ago, but for some reason, I’ve not had it in me to finish this or write about music. I’ve got enough records I need to write about so that’ll keep me going! But, if you need something to keep YOU going- go ahead and listen to this record. Isle of Man friends-ride the TT route playing this EP over and over.

Just when you think Mad Daddy have done it all, they unleash a heavy and gnarly record like this on us. It may only 4 songs long, but those 4 songs will ricochet through your eardrums, mind, body and brain at full pelt. Take it all in and play it loud!

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.

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!

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.