BULLET GIRL.

14 11 2021
May be a black-and-white image of one or more people and people standing

If you are looking for a band to really rip through your body, chew and spit out your guts, and make you feel alive- then I’ve got the band for you. That band is Bullet Girl. This band are something else. You know when you hear something for the first time, and you feel like the only one who has heard this and you just want to tell any and everyone about them? That’s EXACTLY how Bullet Girl make you feel. That feeling, that rush you get from finding a band for the first time is unlike anything else you’ll ever feel, and it is one of the greatest feelings in the world. It’s a feeling that makes you feel 10 feet tall. It’s a feeling that cancels out all the band in your mind briefly as you completely lose yourself in the band. Their music becomes every single part of you; you drown the world out and allow yourself to be consumed by the band. Is this too heavy? Not even a fraction.

Bullet Girl are exceptional, and that’s putting it mildly. We have bands like Fontaines, The Murder Capital and IDLES who are excellent at helping us feel safe and alright with expressing how we feel. They take ugly feelings and make them beautiful. Bullet Girl are pros at this too.  Their music is made to be played ridiculously loud. My work pals got me some great headphones for my birthday last week, and listening to Bullet Girl through this is just blowing my mind and my ears. I’m probably going to make myself deaf listening to this band, but it’s fine. I’ll be in a state of bliss as it happens.

They only have a handful of songs out so far, and of course it’s Concrete Bed that is the absolute monster of a song. That song was made to be played anywhere, everywhere and all the time. Imagine this in a massive stadium and everyone is screaming along. It would be unreal. Bullet Girl aren’t afraid to share what they know with the world, and they are true poets. Their songs are made to be played loud and sung even louder. They have everything you could possibly want from a band and more. If you’re looking for a band to become your life, then Bullet Girl are THE band for you, you and YOU. They are for any and everyone. They are an absolute joy to listen to. They go beyond being a Post-Punk band; there’s no way you can define this band. They make you want to sack everything off and live a life of sin in Dublin. Spend your days in a drunken haze, wandering around without a care in the world. I just really, really love this band. It was an instant love.

Panic 2020 reminds me a bit of the Pixies mixed with Talking Heads; but every song on theirs is just out of this world. You can lump them in a genre if you want or must, but this band are something else. Just when you think you’ve heard it all before, you find yourself completely immersed in Bullet Girl and it’s just as if you are hearing music for the first time. This is magical. This is worth sticking around for.

Their latest song, The Hunt is a brutal piece of art. Play this in the dead of night, or early morning when the early morning mist comprises everything you can see. The Hunt is their anthem. It’s got such a bite to it and that beautiful aggression in this song is just divine. It’ll make you feel like you’ve gone a few rounds in the ring with a real bruiser. You’ll feel weak after but fucking alive.

It’s nearly the end of another shitty year, but I think we can finally say that Bullet Girl are the band of 2021 and beyond. I honestly don’t think I’ll hear anything else that’ll move me like this for a long time. I’m open to it, but Bullet Girl are just something else. Every single song feels like it was made to be part of you and to feed into your daily life; especially those times where everything just feels a bit off. Bullet Girl make sense. Bullet Girl are quite frankly, the future.





CHINESE JUNK.

31 10 2021

I should have done this ages ago, but better late than not at all!

Chinese Junk are one of THE most exciting Punk bands around.  They make the kind of music that you hear in pubs that no one dare walk in without knowing the band will be there. They have this really ferocious sound. Like a Rottweiler that’s not eaten for a few hours- there’s this rage in their sound that will have you hooked. Their bio reads “Crappy songs about crappy things.” There’s nothing crappy about this band, but my god they capture mundane life beautifully. Prime example of this is the song, Fuck You, I’m Broke. Pretty sure I say this every single time I pay my rent and want to buy things I need/don’t need.

Last year they released the Permanent Reduction EP, and it is a perfect introduction to one of the finest bands around. This doesn’t sound like a current band; they make me feel like I’ve heard the Dead Boys for the first time. That brilliantly obnoxious Punk sound that is snarly as fuck. I just love this band, and I love their sound. They sound like a band who have been around for decades and decades. They have such a sure sound; it is such a solid sound and one that you cannot help but adore. You just want to throw some chairs around and scream the words back at the band.

Bargain Bin Girl is the best Punk love song you’ll ever hear; don’t let anyone tell you any different. It describes pure and true love in its finest. Right now, it’s my favourite song by Chinese Junk but that’ll change probably by the time I’ve written this. I love their sound and I love how there is nothing polished about their sound at all. Everything sounds like it was done in one go, and they achieve perfection immediately. The songs hardly get to two minutes- but why do they need to? What the band give you in such a short amount of time is just heavenly.

If you want songs that can sum up the difficulties and occasional mundaneness of everyday life, then Chinese Junk are the band for you. If you have a job you hate, if you live with people you can’t stand or you hate the town you live in- this band will make it easier to get through the day. I can no longer relate to that (thank God) but the lyrics and songs are still comforting and mean something. We all carry our own frustrations around every single day, and bands like Chinese Junk lighten the load a bit. You know there’s someone else out there who gets it.

They’ve called themselves the Kings of Pound Shop Rock but there’s nothing cheap about their sound. Of course, I wasn’t around when Punk first started, but Chinese Junk make me feel like this is what it felt like when the world heard Punk for the first time. It stays with you. This is my Sex Pistols at the Free Trade Hall moment. This is my hearing Sonic Reducer for the first time moment. This is my discovering the band Kraut for the first time moment.

Chinese Junk are nothing short of phenomenal and with just two EPs to their name so far, it is pretty fair to say that they are one of the most exciting and best bands around.

This band are SO new that they haven’t played a show yet. Their debut show is next month (27th November) at The Herald, in Harlow, and you can get yourself and some friends tickets right here: WeGotTickets | Simple, honest ticketing | Los Pepes

The line up is a killer- go if you can because I think Chinese Junk may just take over the world!





SLOKS: A Knife In Your Hand.

28 09 2021

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:

NEWS: Sloks – A knife in your hand (VRCD122/VR12122)





TABLE SCRAPS: Coffin Face.

21 09 2021

Where on earth do I start with this band? Easily my favourite band from Birmingham, and one of the best bands in the country. Table Scraps are a joy to listen to, and it’s hard to believe that this is only record number three! They just keep getting better. They are incapable of making rubbish songs and awful records. They are just consistently great, and their new record (number three) Coffin Face, is yet again, a delight!

The record comes out this Friday, so that’s something for us to all look forward to. After that? Well, that’s on you. This record is not to be ignored- it is a real face melter. It’ll make you want to trash your room and just jump around without a care in the world. With gigs sort of happening now, I am so excited for this record to be played live (I missed their Manchester show a few weeks ago sadly.) They are such a great band live, and what I love about this record is, much like the previous records, you truly feel like you are witnessing this live. It feels like it was done in one take, and the magic was captured instantly. I love the atmosphere on the record. They are so loud, and just phenomenal.

Table Scraps are exquisite musicians who could blow anyone away with their talent. Poppy is one of the best drummers I’ve ever heard, Scott is one of the best guitarists around and amongst this beautiful loud and chaotic sound, you have Tim on bass who just evens it all out. There’s no time for calm on this record, but if you are looking for a song to zone out to and find some inner peace for a few minutes, then you will adore God Of The Rainbow. This is a real psychedelic number, and I really don’t feel like I’m listening to a song made in 2021. I feel like I’ve gone back in time and heard The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band for the first time. I love this one moment of peace on the record, and I love how the band then go smack into Heart Beat. There’s no time to relax with this record- they don’t make music to relax to. Thank god!

If you’re looking for a record to just blow your mind, and leave you in absolute awe of what you are listening to- Coffin Face is the record for you. It’s such a great record. I feel like this is coming across as biased but like the great Bimini Bon Boulash said, “Not a joke, just facts.” Everything about this record just oozes cool, loudness and the urge to head out of town on a motorbike and not look back. The whole record (especially Threads) sounds like an engine being furiously revved in the hopes of escaping as something is slowly creeping up behind you, The louder you play this record, the more it shakes your bones and leaves you crawling around wanting more. Songs like Never Liked It remind me a little bit of The Cramps- it’s that Poison Ivy Rorshach sounding guitar that does it, and that beautiful snarly tone mixed with a good dollop of eeriness. It’s beautiful, it’s brilliant.

Coffin Face is a bruiser of a record, and it just towers over anything you’ve probably heard in a long time. For me, it’s on a par with the new Amyl And The Sniffers record. Punk in all the right places, but something beyond words everywhere else. It’s a real joy to listen to this record, and to also hear how the band have evidently become stronger in their sound. Coffin Face is a record to not just treasure for life, but to be utterly obsessed with. There’s something about Table Scraps that just makes you feel good. You could be in the shittiest of moods, but the second you hear any of their records- all is okay. In that moment, all is okay. You can’t ask for more than that.

The past year and a bit has been a claustrophobic fuck up of a year, but so much good music has come from it. Table Scraps are one of those bands who have used something so shit and turned it to something great. Whether or not the world is ending, Table Scraps have made the perfect soundtrack for it all.

Coffin Face is out this Friday. Pre-order the record right here:

https://table-scraps.bandcamp.com/album/coffin-face





AMYL AND THE SNIFFERS: Comfort To Me.

12 09 2021
Amyl and the Sniffers - Comfort To Me | Reviews | DIY Magazine

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.





NICK CAVE + WARREN ELLIS: Regent Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent 07/09/2021

8 09 2021
Nick Cave and Warren Ellis announce Autumn tour | News | DIY

Like most of us, I’ve not been to a gig in nearly 2 years. Having this be my first gig in some time, I knew it was going to be special. I had no idea what to expect- emotionally. I thought I’d maybe cry during certain songs or maybe just be overwhelmed by being there. None of that happened. Instead, I just sat for 2 and a bit hours smiling, sat holding my girlfriend’s hand. My version of Heaven.

The crowd were divine, and the atmosphere was just perfect. To see Nick and Warren in such a small venue (compared to Manchester Arena a few years ago) was such an honour, and the setlist was just perfect. Some may want older songs but to finally hear songs from Ghosteen and Carnage live is truly special.

I need to really focus on White Elephant. On record, this song is unreal. Fifth song into the set and they unleash this beast of a song. I felt like Nick was screaming this song at me. I loved every moment of this song, and in a way I felt like it was just me and Nick. I wanted to get on the stage and sing the song with him, and belt out the line: “With my elephant gun of tears I’ll shoot you all for free. If you evеr think about coming ’round here, I’ll shoot you in the fucking facе. If you think of coming around here. So aggressive, so powerful and just on another level of anything else I’ve ever seen live before. We all have moments from gigs where we can pick out the songs that really hit us- for me, this was it. At the end of the song, someone asked him to play it again. Oh if only! I’d have been happy with 2 hours of this song being played over and over.

I really thought I’d have been a bawling mess during I Need You, but for some reason tears wouldn’t fall. All I could do was stare at the stage in awe. I think for the most part I was just smiling at the stage and constantly thinking, “THAT’S NICK FUCKING CAVE UP THERE!” Every single song (all 21 of them) is beautifully performed. Not just by Nick and Warren but by singers Wendi Rose, Janet Rasmus and TJae Cole add a calmness to the storm. They all have such gorgeous vocals that can soothe the most wild and wired minds. On drums, guitar and providing ethereal and doom-like loops we have Johnny Hostile (an incredible musician if you aren’t aware of him!) Every single person on that stage last night was a joy to watch. They all played vital moments in making songs standout, creating an atmosphere so pure, terrifying and thrilling. How on earth had I gone this long without going to a gig? The thing that makes me feel alive, finally handed back to me. Don’t take it away from us ever again.

Hand Of God, Hollywood and T-Rex cover, Cosmic Dancer were unlike anything else I’d seen before. I’d put Hand Of God in the same league as White Elephant. I felt like someone was shaking my brain, hitting deep into my skull and singing these words right at me. Nothing mattered at all for those 2 and a bit hours. Nothing in this world can compare to a Nick Cave show, but you probably know this.

From Warren playing the flute on Breathless to Nick telling us his love for Stoke (because of the pottery not oatcakes. Imagine if Nick told us he loved a cheese and bean oatcake!) Every moment, every minute, every note, every vocal last night meant the world. The way Warren and Nick look at each other like schoolchildren who have done something that shouldn’t have when the teacher’s back was turned is just beautiful. The way they embrace at the end of the show was just so powerful. You could really feel the relief of these songs being performed, and the general joy at finally being able to tour. It meant as much to them as it did to us, and nothing can beat that.

Nick’s voice gets better every single time. He really makes you listen and cling to every single word. He is telling us stories, he’s giving us a guide to life. He’s letting us know that it’s okay to carry the weight of grief, uncertainty, loss and whatever else the world throws at us. There is so much love in his songs, and the love projects a side of vulnerability that just makes you truly connect with his words. Waiting For You, Darker With The Day- these songs will hurt but my god they are beautiful to witness live.

I adore the way Warren sits, yet makes the violin sound like the most aggressive instrument ever. Something so gentle is turned into something so beautifully violent, chaotic and joyful. His haunting synths are probably the cause of the atmosphere you get- you’re on edge. You have no idea what will happen next. You don’t want to know. Will it be loud? Will it be tame? Will I cry? Will my bones feel like they are being pulled out of my body?

There are probably key things I’ve missed out, but I’ve had 4 hours sleep and my mind is still stuck on last night. I think it will be for some time now. That’s how I want it to be.

It’s pretty safe to say that last night, God was most definitely in the House.





WAVVES: Hideaway

30 08 2021
Wavves: Hideaway Album Review | Pitchfork

Nathan Williams is underrated. Wavves are underrated, and it’ll be a crime if the new Wavves record, Hideaway is overlooked.

Is it the best Wavves record to date? Quite possibly. I’ve still got a lot of sentimental attachment to King Of The Beach and Wavves, but there’s something about Hideaway that just really hits you. Maybe it’s the opener Thru Hell that really makes you feel like you’ve been turned onto something truly great, or maybe it’s because you know that Nathan is just incredible at what he does, and let’s be honest- there’s no such thing as a bad Wavves record. This is their seventh record, and maybe it’s because a few years have passed between records but Hideaway has something about it that just calms you. It soothes that part of your brain that just will not shut the fuck up. It’s hard work carrying that around, but Wavves lighten that load. Always have, always will.

I know the record came out just over a month ago but no part of me has wanted to write about anything. It happens from time to time; and I think it means my brain needs re-setting. I’ve been playing Hideaway every single day since it came out, and it’s been a lifeline. I don’t think any record of late has done that, but I’ve noticed most Wavves records have this grip on me.

Hideaway may only be a short record, but with these 9 songs the band give you everything you need and more. Every song on this record will move you in all kinds of ways. When I first played the record in full, I was just blown away with the growth in the Wavves sound. To really appreciate this record, go back and listen to previous Wavves records and give yourself plenty of to soak up Hideaway. The record opens with Thru Hell, and I know it’s super cliched but it’s the one I keep going back to. It’s the one I play the loudest, and I LOVE the line “Can’t talk now, I’m goin’ through hell. Can’t see straight, I don’t feel so well.” Just something about that line that just speaks to me a lot. The song is made to be played loud, that’s for sure.

Aside from Thru Hell quite possibly being one of my favourite songs of the year, the record is made up of anthems that you cannot help but scream along to. Help Is On The Way right through to Planting A Garden, the record just really speaks to you. If you’ve never listened to Wavves before then of course, you’ve been missing out but Hideaway is a mighty fine place to start. Be pretty cool to hear someone’s thoughts on playing this record then go backwards into Wavves records. Wherever and however you start, you’ll probably keep coming back to Hideaway. It’s got a real safety net feel to it, and I love how Nathan can put out records that just speak to how I’m feeling/how I’ve felt time and time again. That’s when you know you’ve found a band to really cling to.

For the foreseeable, I’m probably going to keep on playing Hideaway at least 5 times a day and just getting totally lost in it. There’s a hell of a lot to love about this record, and yeah it’s a damn shame we may not get a UK tour out of this. I can only imagine what this record would be like live. There’s tender moments on the record (Caviar) and there’s parts where you just feel like the song was written for you (Honeycomb.) It is just a divine record, and one I know, like all Wavves records- I just won’t ever get bored of it.





POP.1280: Museum On The Horizon

10 08 2021
See the source image

Pop.1280 will release their new record Museum On The Horizon next month, and I am so excited for this. With one listen down so far, I can promise you that it is one of the most brutal and passionate records of the year. For me, they are a band that bring everything there is to love about music together so effortlessly, but they can probably also scare you shitless. That fear they bring in their sound is so hypnotizing; and if you’ve ever been to a Pop.1280 show before, then you’ll know just how they bring that feeling in a live setting also.

There is something really dark and beautifully sinister about their sound, and that’s what has always drawn me in. They are one of the most powerful bands I’ve ever heard, and they just capture everything so well in their music. I can’t help but be in awe of every single record of theirs. They are just remarkable.

Museum On The Horizon is a combination of pure Industrial noise, Punk and something that is yet to be discovered/named. This is the case with all their records, but there is something about this new record that sounds like it has a stronger purpose. It was made to move the listener, made to scare them a little and also expose you to a different world. One better than the one we’re stuck in right now. There’s this beautiful like 80s Synth tone on Not Too Deep but the vocals add this roughness to it that just get you hooked. If you’ve never listened to Pop.1280 before then you’ve been missing out but this new record is a great place to start. For me, it’s just like listening to them for the first time. I think I first heard them in 2010/2011, and what I heard just blew my mind. Some bands come into your life at the right time, and Pop.1280 are one of those bands for me.

The new record reminds me of Suicide mixed with Nine Inch Nails; that heaviness is just divine and you feel like you’ve stepped into a world that is so sacred and so unheard of. I adore how menacing the record sounds, and one song in particular that gives that feeling off a lot is Two-Body Problem. It’s like chainsaws hacking at your brain but getting nowhere near the skin. It’s fucking frightening and done so effortlessly. I’ve never taken drugs before, but I’d imagine it would hit like a Pop.1280 record. I love how there is this sound on this record that you know will go over some peoples’ heads when they first hear it (think The Birthday Party) but in a few months or maybe years’ time, people will listen to this record and just be stunned by what they are hearing. It’s such a joy to listen to, and as heavy as these songs are- they are perfect to listen to when everything feels off.

The intro to Brennschluss sounds like it could be in some dark Thriller film that was shot in Berlin in the late 80s, with nothing but grey skies and rain for comfort. It’s such a slick song, and one you can’t help but gravitate towards even after playing the record over and over. At the moment, I’m calling it as my favourite on the record but I will have changed my mind by the time I’ve played the record again. That’s how you know when you’ve found a solid record. You can’t pick one favourite song but every song can fit your mood or be a comfort to how you are feeling.

I just love this record, and I really thought I couldn’t love anything as much as I loved Imps Of Perversion (best record of 2013 and one of the best records to have ever been released on Sacred Bones no question!) These songs are made to be heard live, and to be played as loud as you can stand. Imagine hearing Mission Creep live and just losing your mind to it. There is something so freeing about Pop.1280’s sound, and I think that’s a big part of why I love this band. There are many reasons, and with every record they put out- I find a new one.

Pop.1280 have never sounded like a band that are now. They’ve always sounded like something from the distant future- something we just aren’t ready for yet, but my god we need them. The songs on Museum On The Horizon are so beautifully crafted, and manic and just a joy to listen to. Human Factor, Right Hand Man and Noncompliant are just masterpieces. The whole record is a work of art, and insanely brilliant. Again, it’s one of those records that when you hear, it just makes you wish you could make something like that. The production on this record is perfect. Is it their best produced record so far? There’s no doubt about that. Everything on this record is just so enthralling. You notice so much from the way the songs flow into each other, to the rage in the vocals. Everything on this record sounds exactly how you’d want your favourite record to sound. It’s one of those records that should be studied- it is such an intense record, and all you can do is just keep on playing it and let the band take you on this euphoric ride away from your own daily dullness.

Something to really notice on this record is how all 3 of them have pushed each other to experiment more on this record. Pop.1280 have always gone beyond, but there is something about this record that just really leans into the band pushing themselves. It is a real joy to listen to, and there’s no way on earth you could ever get tired of this record let alone the band!

Nothing has been held back on this record, and that boldness is what keeps you constantly hooked. I never score records, but if I did this would be a solid 10/10 and even then, that wouldn’t be enough.

Museum On The Horizon is out on 24th September 2021 via Profound Lore Records.





THE CARRION CRAWLERS: Covers EP.

22 07 2021

Say hello to your new favourite band that you’ll probably never know anything about- South Dakota’s The Carrion Crawlers.

A few days ago they released an EP full of covers, and it’s basically a handful of songs by bands I love. It’s a loud and chaotic record, and it’ll leave you needing more music from this band. The songs pack a healthy punch, and do every cover justice. All too often covers are bland and lack any creativity. And I know, I know some songs just shouldn’t be touched and there have been some really shitty covers over time. But, The Carrion Crawlers are here to disperse all these myths. Let them in. Play it loud.

On this glorious record, the band cover songs from Link Wray, Wavves, Bad Brains and Beach Goons. The record sounds like a bunch of friends dicking about in a garage or basement space, and trying to figure shit out. But, the thing is- none of it sounds like a practice run. The songs sound like they are theirs, like they did it all first. The cover of So Bored by Wavves is so good. This is such a stripped back version of the song, and you can hear the connection in the vocals to the song. If this is their first release (I think it may well be) then I’m pretty sure they are onto something really special here.

I love the raw sound on this record, and how it feels like it was all done in one take. I love how they make you forget that these songs are covers, and you just believe that they are their own. That’s just magical and a real indication of just how great they will be. There’s no imperfections on this record; my only gripe is that I want more songs. I can’t wait to hear what their own songs will be like, because this EP is just a delight to listen to. You want it to last forever. You want the band to narrate your day to day. Maybe you even want to join the band. I know it’s just one EP but they definitely give the impression that their live shows are probably brilliant. Have they even done a show yet? Who knows!

The cover of So Bored and the Bad Brains cover show the range of this band, and how they can take on any sound and at any pace. We all know that Bad Brains were one of (and still are) the best Punk bands to have ever existed, and no band will ever come close to them. I just love how fearless they are and how the can really go for it on this cover, and the whole record in general. It’s just a really refreshing listen, and such a joy to blast out super loud on an irritatingly hot day.

I’ll let the music do all the talking for this one, check out the record here:





HEMI HEMINGWAY: The Lonely Hunter EP.

19 06 2021

There’ve been some remarkable records released this year so far, and one in particular that stands out is the debut EP by Shaun Blackwell aka Hemi Hemingway. It’s a gorgeous and romantic EP, and it explores every emotion possible in the most open way possible. If you’re looking for a record that will break your heart, comfort you and just leave you in awe; then The Lonely Hunter is for you.

The record opens with the euphoric Burnin’ Blue. It’s a sad one, but one to really love. You get a 60s Wall of Sound feel from this record, and Burnin’ Blue captures it so well. It is such a strong way to open the record with. These six songs are just a pleasure to listen to, and you cannot help but get lost in Shaun’s voice.

If you’ve heard Shaun’s previous projects such as Night Shades, then you’ll just be stunned by his change in style. His vocals as part of Night Shades gives you a feel of The Cramps but his new project is something else. He just combines everything I love about music, and makes something you’ve never heard before.

I love the sadness in It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye. It reminds me of a cross between Ezra Furman and Shannon and The Clams. Then you get right into the titled track, and you cannot help but gently sway your body side to side in time with this precious love song. I adore the way Shaun shares his influences on this record, but also makes it so current and so relatable. It’s a different side to him, but the same passion. It is just such a joy to listen to and to just soak up these hypnotic sounds that will become part of you. The titled track is just a heartbreaking one, and the pining in Shaun’s voice is remarkable. There’s a desperation there, but not in a way that makes you shy away from it. If anything, it just makes you relate to it even more. It is a perfect record.

Hemi’s Lament has a touch of Leonard Cohen on it, but what I love about this record is that you could easily think you’ve found a record from decades ago. It does feel current but at the same time it feels like you’ve been thrown way back in time. It is such a poetic and vulnerable record. I love the way Shaun has explored what influences him and has also experimented so much on this record. In just six songs, he has made something that stands out. It is such a pure record and it’s one that you feel you’ll keep going back to. For me, it’s the kind of record you have playing in the background as you sit in your favourite chair whilst nursing as cup of tea or a whiskey. It’s got something about it that would sound perfect in a film. You know the film Lucky that starred the great Harry Dean Stanton? This record would have been perfect for it. Shaun could easily soundtrack a film, and this record justifies this perfectly.

Move Over Darling reminds me a tiny bit of Johnny Tillotson (if you don’t know who he was, you are missing out. Underrated- severely!) There’s a gentle nod to the late 50s/early 60s on this record, and it is done in such a careful but divine way. I think it is just one of the most beautiful records to have come out this year. My Lover, A Strange Her closes the EP and it is such a wonderful, wonderful song. For me it really shows us just how great Shaun is as a writer. He writes poetry that comes from the soul. Aside from the sax on the record, Shaun plays everything on The Lonely Hunter. His all has gone into this record and all it entails. It is a masterpiece, there’s no denying that.

Shaun explores his emotions and general human curiosities on this record, and he does it in a way that makes you feel he’s gone into your head and let your secrets out. If I could force the world to listen to this record, I bloody well would.

Tonight, Shaun will be treating the Shacklewell Arms (best venue in London) to the sounds of Hemi Hemingway and supporting him will be the exceptional Big Dipper. A dream line-up! The show is sold out, but hopefully these two rascals will take this show around the country soon!

The Lonely Hunter is out now via PNKSLM Recordings (and also Rough Trade.)