It has finally happened! Crocodiles have FINALLY dropped some new material which means- a new record is coming! 7th April to be precise kids! It’ll be released via Lolipop records, and the first single from the record- Degeneration is a perfect introduction to their new record.
If you’ve ever read anything I’ve written, you’ll know just how much I love and adore this band. They are a band that have been there for all the good and bad. A band that just know how to constantly create masterpieces. Underrated and exceptional. I just love love them.
Degeneration picks up where 2019’s Love Is Here left off (not including the covers record they put out in 2021!) Their new record will be their 8th full length record (again, not including the covers record but you can if you want!) Even though it picks up from Love Is Here, I can hear some of their early sound in this song- that rugged and distorted sound; the sound that I fell in love with many, many years ago. They have such a distinctive sound and style, and that applies vocally too. They’re a band that just make everything alright. Their poetic lyrics are timeless and their sound is how you’d want your dream band to sound.
The video to Degeneration is simple but you’ll also see Brandon and Charlie’s faces melt. I reckon that’s a strong sign for how great the new record will be- it’ll melt our faces off. I cannot wait! It’s only 2 months to go, but in the meantime- I’ll be keeping Degeneration on repeat.
Check out the video below:
Upside Down In Heaven will be released on the 7th April via Lolipop Records.
The North of England is home to some wonderful bands and musicians. Too many to mention, but today I’m going to focus on Leeds based Wormboys.
How do you describe their sound? Can you pick up any influences? What makes them standout? There aren’t enough hours in the day to describe them, but I’m on my lunch break at work so I have limited time but I’ll do my best to make this make sense!
Smalltime only has 3 songs on it, but don’t let that small detail put you off. There are hints of 90s Grunge on this record (the song Worm reminds me a little bit of Something In The Way by Nirvana in some parts) but Wormboys are a band that are confident in their sound and know exactly how they want to sound. There are 4 of them in the band, and each of them are just remarkable at what they do. It may only be a 3 track EP but those 3 tracks show you exactly what this band are made of.
There also elements of the Riot Grrrl movement on this record, and I think it’s most apparent on the euphoric Tree, which closes the record. I don’t feel like I’m listening to a band from 2023 when I listen to this record. I feel like I’ve been thrown back to the early 90s in the midst of all the greats such as Garbage (best band of all time), Bikini Kill, Hole, Babes In Toyland. Wormboys have such a solid sound and with one listen of this record I can confirm that the chorus of Tree will be stuck in my head for the rest of the day.
Wormboys are the noisy Queer band I’ve been looking for; there’s no other band out there that sounds like them. Now, I know this contradicts what I’ve said above about the 90s sound but there’s no current band around that has this sound like this. I just love how care free the sound is and you really pick up on this on Something Pretty. They make the kind of music I wish I had when I was in college and secondary school- trying to find my way. I made to adulthood but god knows how! You’d definitely expect to hear their music in a Student Union bar that has a questionable sticky floor along with questionable drinks on offer. There’s a lot of fun in their sound and a lot of depth. You can’t help but be in awe of Jake and Ruth compliment each other on the drums and bass. You’ve got Sop and Harry on vocals/guitar, and their vocals together are nothing short of heavenly and again, you really feel this on the song Worm.
This is only their second EP but it sounds like a band who have been at this for decades. Everything about this EP is worthy of your time and attention- the songs are just effortlessly slick, and that lo-fi sound, and that DIY ethic attached to it really comes across. If this record moves you, then go back and listen to their other stuff- it’s as equally mind-blowing. When you play the songs through headphones, you can really hear the sound fully and truly appreciate the lyrics and songs in general. I highly recommend playing Tree as loud as your ears can stand through headphones; just so you can really pick everything that’s going on in this song. There’s a lot but by no means is it overwhelming. If anything, it’s comforting. The loudness and the tender moments on the record are exactly why I love this band, and why I’ll probably be obsessed with this EP. The shifts in moods on the songs and the way the band just compliment each other with their own styles and sounds is just an absolute joy to listen to.
The band are heading out on a small tour starting this Friday: (please come to Manchester!)
Jan 27 Wharf Chambers Cooperative Club, Leeds Jan 29 The New Adelphi Club, Hull Feb 06 Little Buildings, Newcastle Upon Tyne Feb 07 The Hug and Pint, Glasgow Feb 10 Rad Apples, Dundee Feb 11 Wee Red Bar, Edinburgh
The EP also comes out this Friday, and I’ll end this with a gorgeous quite from Ruth about touring, which I think is so important: “It’s been life-affirming to headline shows around the country, consistently warmly received by crowds of queers and weirdos who are angry and upset about all the same shit as us.”
I’ve been lucky enough to see GHUM three times now, and I can 100% confirm and swear on my cat’s life that they just get better every single time. Their debut record is one I religiously play every single day. The atmosphere, the sound, the emotion- everything on this record is divine. So of course, they are going to channel this perfectly live, right? Of course!
On Tuesday night they supported Big Joanie at the Deaf Institute- a venue perfect for their sound. The first time they played Manchester was at the hottest venue in the history of venues- The Castle Hotel. How no one passed out from heat stroke that night I don’t understand. They played Fac251 last month and that too was exceptional. The Manchester show was something else. With it being a support slot, the setlist wasn’t as long as you’d hope for but what they gave us perfectly showed us why they are one of the best bands around- on record and live.
This was the last night of the tour and to make it even tougher- it was Vicki’s last show with the band. Whether you’ve seen them live or listened to the record- you will know just how an incredible drummer Vicki is. She is going to be missed a hell of a lot, but you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do. Whoever they have next on drums will be so lucky to play alongside such incredible musicians and I can’t wait to see what happens next.
As I’ve said many times before when writing about GHUM- they just have this sound that blows you away. For so many on Tuesday evening, this may have been their first time seeing the band and judging by how the crowd reacted to the songs- I think they have definitely got a new bunch of fans behind them. They are the kind of band that make you wish you were in a band but at the same time- you just want to spend your days constantly at their shows. They have this magical sound that truly comes alive when you’re at their show. The songs take on a more powerful meaning and start to mean more to you with every listen, and every performance. They put so much of themselves into their shows, and it’s just an honor to watch them and see them grow and grow.
Songs like Perro, Rivers and Some People are blasted out and are performed in a way that makes you feel like this is life or death- you feel on edge in the most wonderful way possible. GHUM have this way of taking you into this strange, dark and gorgeous world where no other band has ever dared to. You can’t help but let them suck you in. Over and over. The sheer intensity in every song is just divine. Laura has this gravelly tone in her voice and this strength (and it’s apparent in certain songs) and you feel that she belts out every single word the way she NEEDS you to hear them. Backed up by Vicki beating the shit out of the drums, MJ being the slickest bassist you’ll ever see and Jojo being the best guitarist in this country- it is obvious that GHUM are the most thrilling band around and you can see why a band like Big Joanie took them on for the ride during this tour. The power both bands have is insane and something that doesn’t happen all too often. These bands are rare. They are important and will take you off into their own world where whatever you see outside of your window doesn’t matter in those moments.
For me, GHUM have that Seventeen Seconds (The Cure) energy in every single song- the hypnotic sounds and eerie vocals, and the poetic lyrics. I honestly don’t think really small venues are going to be able to contain them for much longer and the show on Tuesday captured that perfectly. Nobody stood still and all was okay in the world during those 30/40 minutes.
Last summer a gorgeous debut record was released. I’m late in writing about it, but I have been listening to the record almost religiously for a few months now. Every listen just brings me such joy and even though my heart is probably with loud and rowdy sounds- NoSo’s voice is that necessary calm I need.
Representation matters and to have a non-binary singer echo the thoughts you can sometimes carry is such a relief. It’s more than a relief- it just eases the weirdness you can sometimes feel. That’s just my own personal experience, and a difficult journey I was on but I’ve reached a place of certainty now. These songs will take the doubts and fears you have and ease them in ways you didn’t think music could. In ways you didn’t expect a stranger could.
The record opens with the angelic Parasites and goes gently into the heartbreaking but beautiful Suburbia. This is one song I constantly have swimming in my head- the amount of times I’ve sang this in my flat when no one is around and usually when my cat is trying to sleep is ridiculous. I think Mary enjoys it. The line, “stay the same without me” is so haunting. The way in which they sing this is so delicate and you can hear the nostalgia and hope there. It’s just such a mesmerising song that’ll stay with you.
The next one up is David. Again, this is another that I’m constantly singing. NoSo wrote this song after they had a dream that they were a white man in a church pew. You can hear the longing in their voice of wanting to do the things that someone else does, and to be a mystery and serene. NoSo- if you by chance see this, you are divine the way you are but you probably know this.
I love and cherish the honesty on this record. I love how open NoSo is about their sexuality, their gender and who they are. This is the kind of record I’d want to have heard when I was growing up. That wish to be someone else so someone of your own gender would want you, to work out the feelings you had and what they meant, to let go of shame sooner rather than later. There’s a connection I feel to the songs that I absolutely cannot put into words. Not because it’s personal but because I simply do not have them. I’m just so grateful a record like this exists. I am so grateful that someone like NoSo exists and makes the kind of music that I can fully relate to.
To pick a favourite song off this record would be entirely foolish of me but at the moment my obsession is with Honey Understand. There’s something about this song that sounds like it would be perfect for a film. The chorus is beautiful, and throughout the whole song NoSo’s vocals sound darker than on other songs- not in a morbid way, but in a heavier way. I just think it’s a masterpiece. It reminds me a little (musically) of Sutphin Boulevard by Blood Orange. Which as we as we know, is one of the greatest songs ever made. It’s the bass. That bass and dreamy guitar just takes me right back to that song. You get hazy sunset colours in your head when you listen to this one. There’s no way I could get tired of NoSo’s voice, and this song fully justifies why.
The openness on this record is something that just needs to be treasured. The way they are so honest on Feeling Like A Woman Lately is beautiful. I’ll leave it at that because anything I write about this one will not do it justice. Just take in the honesty, take it all in. Man Who Loves You represents hearing someone you are fond of being spoken to badly by someone who apparently loves them. I think there’s an element to this where NoSo is a superhero and takes the person away from the ill-treatment and gives the person the love and respect they deserve.
The record ends with the gentle Everything I’ve Got, and the way they sing the chorus will just melt you. There’s this innocence to the chorus], but also a curse at the universe. Listen to it closely. It’s just a beautiful song that will break your heart in the most gentle way possible.
For me, this record is everything a Queer kid needs. It’s got the comfort, honesty and reassurance. These are NoSo’s words right from the heart and you cannot help but feel them right in yours. The instant connection and love I have for this record blew me away when I first heard it, and now I can’t go a day without playing the whole record in full. It is just a gorgeous work of art and I’m so glad that this record exists. We grow up in our own ways and we become the person we deserve to be in our own time- this record really expresses this. NoSo’s truth can be anyone else’s truth, and that’s why I have so much love and respect for this record.
NoSo will be playing two UK dates in March. 9th at The Lexington, London and 10th at YES (Basement) here in Manchester.