BAD DOD: Yikes!

18 04 2020

 

baddod

 

Nothing makes you wish you could go to show like finding a band from the other side of the world, who just blow your mind and you wish they would tour closer to home. Clinging onto some form of hope as all the shows I was going to go to this year get rescheduled. I’m not the only one, and that makes it easier.

 Right from Singapore we’ve got incredible band called BAD DODD. These guys make a lot of noise, and yesterday they put out their record Yikes! I think it might be their debut, but I’m not so sure. Irrespective of what record it is, it is brilliant. It’s like Grunge meeting Garage Rock then going right off into space and creating something insane. The vocals are something else, but musically too this band are stupidly great. There’s this powerful tone in the vocals where you can really pick up on every feeling, and truly connect with the songs. Ascended reminds me of hearing the In Utero record by Nirvana all over again (I’m not the world’s biggest fan of Nirvana but that record is one of the best of all time) and it’s got something about it that screams out every ugly feeling you’ve got, then forcing yourself to let it go. I LOVE this song, and I’m calling it as my favourite on the record. I know nothing about this band, but I can tell you right now that Yikes! is one of the most powerful records of the year; there is something really special about this record and the sheer rawness on every single song just makes it a joy to listen to.

 

 

There’s a brilliant DIY feel to this record, and it just makes you appreciate bands like this a lot more. I love how every song just feels like a huge riot in the brain. Feel Nothing Yet and Outta My Brain are the songs that you’d definitely expect to make the crowd go apeshit when they do this live, and it just makes me wish that they’d play some shows over here. One day, one day. Clinging onto something to keep going, right? That’s all we can do. But fucking hell! This is a phenomenal record and with every listen this brutal beauty is fast becoming one of my favourites of the year. They are a band to definitely pay close attention to.

 The aggression on the record is so fast and just makes you want to trash everything and throw it out the window. You can really hear how great they are as musicians, and that is something that you pick up on instantly on this record. There’s no bullshit here or showing off at all- they’re a great band, and this record is nothing short of a fine piece of art. If you’re wanting soppy ballads, then go elsewhere. This record is made up of powerful anthems to just blast out as loudly as possible, and to scream along to even louder. Me Gusta is a self-deprecating number that just makes you go back and wallow in teen angst for a while, but don’t regard this as a bad thing- it gives you a kick, and it’s a great song. The whole record feels like a release of built up tension, and it is done in an effortlessly cool manner. You can imagine how insane and gnarly their live shows are as soon as you hear this record, and if it is their debut- then that’s a lot of power to have instantly.

 BAD DOD have unleashed a monster on Yikes! and it’s a real joy to listen to. Everything from the production, the way they play together to the way the songs flow so nicely into each other is just a delight to the ears. This isn’t going to be a record that you listen to every once in a while, it is one to become hugely obsessed with. The record ends with Geezer, and again is another example of why this band are probably intense and insane during their shows. The record stops there, and you can either pause and go back, or just get back into it right away because you need that feeling to hit you all over again.

 

 

Yikes! is a mighty fine record, and every single song on this record is worth your time and money. It is most certainly a record to play as loud as you (and your neighbours) can stand. If you’re looking for a record that can unleash a thousand frustrations and more, then this is the record for YOU.





BAD BRAINS: The Yellow Tape/Debut Record.

16 04 2020

badbrains

 

There are records that become vital to you the second you hear them. The first note, that first lyric- stays with you. Something about it just does something to you, and you seek that same feeling in everything you listen to. This record that becomes your world can be one from decades ago that you’ve only just found, or it can be something brand new. It doesn’t matter. With this, time doesn’t matter. All that matters is that you find it or rather, it finds you.

 Anyone and everyone could talk about what the greatest Punk record of all time is or who the greatest bands are. It’s all a matter of choice. Some people don’t dig the Ramones (don’t ever trust these people) and some people might think that bands like Dead Boys served no purpose (again, don’t trust these people either!) Every band has made an impression. Some did it with one record then disappeared whilst others have lasted and are still being cited as an influence to this day. Again, it’s all choice.

 

 

 

I haven’t gone back and listened to old records I love and written about them in a while. Whilst seeking something new to listen to, I keep gravitating back to Bad Brains, so I’m taking it as a sign that I need to write about their debut record (The Yellow Tape if you want to go that way, it’s your call.) What Bad Brains did on their debut record is something truly remarkable. They merged two hugely vital styles of music- Hardcore Punk and Reggae and made something that just blows you away. Sure, it isn’t for those who may want lovey dovey soft songs, but it’s for those who are frustrated, who want change and are on the outside looking in. Outside of society but aren’t all too mad about it. Bad Brains will ALWAYS be one of the most influential bands of all time. When the record came out in 1982, many were shocked that the band members were African American. When you think about that now, you think “Why the fuck would it matter what they look like or where they are from?!” But sadly, that’s what it was like and to a degree it still happens to this day doesn’t it. All too many times we will see someone express their concerns for someone who is a certain race doing a certain style of music, and they will question it. But here’s the thing- music doesn’t have a race, gender, religion, or sexuality. Bands like Bad Brains are the prime example of music just going beyond labels and whatnot. Their debut record was ahead of its time, and to this day we still haven’t heard anything quite like it. Attitude and Banned In D.C. are just an example of two of the best songs ever created, and if you’re looking for something else to smack you in the kisser then blast out Supertouch/Shitfit as loud as you can. The whole record is a Hardcore masterpiece.

 H.R. has to be one of best frontmen of all time. There’s no one else who had that energy and power, and when you mix that with Darryl, Earl and Dr. Know- then you are going to get a wealth of trouble. They all played their part in creating one of the best and most important records of all time. Leaving Babylon is one of those songs that just play and escape the world; it’s got this power that isn’t found in anything else. Some songs we have H.R. screaming his lungs out, then we have him on this song pouring his heart out. If this song and the lyrics don’t break your heart, then you’re not hearing it right. It is one of the strongest songs of all time, and it’s political without it being all in your face. It perfectly shows injustice, and sadly it is something that still exists. This song, and the whole record are still so relevant.

 

 

Bad Brains are made up of some of the best musicians you will ever hear, and the fact that you can pick up on their distinctive sound, and their own individual style instantly full justifies why this band are nothing short of influential. They go beyond being a band that merged Hardcore Punk and Reggae. They go beyond anything in music could ever compare to; they gave us something that will never ever die out. Their debut record is easily one of the greatest records of all time, but when you go deep into their discography and even solo work, you will truly see that everything they did was just a mind-blowing experience. The way they mess with your head on songs like F.V.K. and are then able to just mellow you out on I Love I Jah (contender for my favourite Bad Brains song ever) is just a testament to their greatness.

 Bad Brains are a band that I’ll never tire of listening to or talking about. They’re one of those bands that have evidently brought people together and created a community with their sound. When I see bands like Ho99o9 (who I fucking love SO much and do amazing covers of Bad Brains songs) I can see another band who will have exactly the same impact Bad Brains did on a new generation. Bad Brains created a monster with their debut record, and that monster will never sleep nor will it fade away.





DOUBLE CHEESE.

15 04 2020

DC

 

I’d convinced myself that I’d already written about Double Cheese, but even if I have, they are good enough to write about again. And again. And again, why the hell not!

 If you’re slowly losing hope that we’ll get to attend shows this year and have a good time, then you probably need a band to cheer you up. Well, you’re in luck because Double Cheese are that band! They go above and beyond making it all alright. They make you feel like you’re at their shows and completely losing your mind. They’ve got this great furiousness to their sound, and it makes you just want to throw things about and shout. There’s a riot going on, and it’s the wildest sound you’ll ever hear! I think they’re making their new record, which is great because what they’ve given us so far isn’t enough- we need more. A hell of a lot more!

 

 

The record that came out last year, Brain Damage, is a prime example of how I love my music. I love the loudness, that raw and unfiltered sound that has no intention of ever being a polished and refined sound. It’s got edges, it’s got cracks and it’s a really gnarly sound that just shakes up them old bones of yours! At times you feel like you’re listening to a 60s Garage Rock band (see songs like Summer Is Over, which is a great song) but for the most part they take you on this wild futuristic ride that you never want to part from.

 If we get a new record from them this year, I’ll be stupidly happy. If it comes out, it’ll be a strong contender for the best record of the year. But lame titles aside, Double Cheese have a brilliant sound that just reinforces my love for French Garage Rock/Punk bands. Their sound will take you on a trip, and mess with your head. Prime example is Summer Is Over. You get that melodic 60s feel, then this heaviness comes in and just hits you in the face, then goes back to a slick sound all over again. This wild ride is what gets you hooked on the band, and you wouldn’t have it any other way.

 Back in February they released a 7” record with a couple of new songs on. The songs are divine, of course and they show us exactly why we need bands like Double Cheese. The songs are Mash Potatoes and The Ants; and they are a great taster of what is to come from them this year and beyond. Are they one of the most exciting bands around? Oh, for sure! You simply cannot deny just have phenomenal Double Cheese are. If you’re a fan of bands like Table Scraps, then you’re going to love Double Cheese- if you don’t already! They’ve got this intense and heavy sound on the last 7” record they put out, and that step up in sound shows us that they are a band that are no way at all afraid to experiment with sounds and take it up a notch. The vocals on this record are gloriously snarly and raw, and again show us exactly how their sound has grown.

 

 

Double Cheese are the type of band you find yourself going back to when you find yourself in need of SOMETHING that you can’t quite get elsewhere. They scratch that hard to reach itch, and just leave you in awe of their sound. I love the heaviness; I love how diverse their sound is and I love how loud they are. I really cannot wait to hear more from them, and I hope when all this madness stops- they bring themselves to the UK and just blow our minds.

 If you want it loud, then Double Cheese are the band for you.





BABY BRAINS: I Don’t Wanna Go Out.

11 04 2020

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This is the last song we will ever get by Baby Brains. When Baby Brains returns, it will be under a different name. The new name; Amanda Stone. Before that happens, I want to talk about the last Baby Brains song, I Don’t Wanna Go Out.

 I Don’t Wanna Go Out is sort of my mantra but given that we are told to stay home right now- I want to go outside. Basically, I don’t like being told what to do. However, I’m not an ass so I stay home. Aside from going to work because I have to, I don’t mind at all. I don’t think I could handle working from home. Besides, I like walking to and from work; just taking my time and listening to music. If you must know, Bad Brains are the best way to start your day. Listen to them at 8am when you’re going for a walk, it really helps. But anyway, this is about Baby Brains not Bad Brains.

 I’ve written about Baby Brains before and I probably mentioned that I was in awe of the trashy Garage Rock sound, and yet again I am in awe of it on the new song. The song is a demo, but even if we never get a more refined version of it- I’m happy. It’s a great song, and for someone like me who can sometimes be easily distracted- this song keeps my attention. Baby Brains aka Amanda makes really great music, and I cannot wait to hear what she and her band gives us next. I love the raw sound on I Don’t Wanna Go Out is such a stunning demo, and this 2 minute 40 second euphoric jam just makes you forget how bleak everything is right now. For those couple of minutes, you can spin yourself around your living room, in a trance as Amanda’s voice steadily hypnotises you. That slick sound and effortlessly cool groove just makes you pine for more Baby Brains music, but you know that whatever is coming next is just going to blow us all away.

 

 

I Don’t Wanna Go Out is the kind of song you’d put on in your car and drive off on a dusty road into the depths of the unknown. It has a real Garage Rock sound to it and it just makes you feel like you’re listening to something that is out of this world. I can liken the sound to a band I’ve been obsessed with from the start, and that’s L.A. Witch. They’ve got this spooky sound that really sends chills down your spine and before you know it- you are totally hooked. If you mix The Cramps with L.A. Witch, then you get Baby Brains. That spooky and captivating sound that you just cannot get enough of.

 It may be a demo, but to me it sounds perfect as it is- it sounds complete and raw. I love that unpolished sound and that beautiful distorted tone in the vocals is just divine. Amanda has one of my favourite voices, and when you hear something as stripped back as this, it really does show you how phenomenal she is. But you probably knew that already. There’s that smutty and snotty Punk sound too that I just cannot get enough of, and that’s something that’s always been in the music. It’s something that just gets you completely hooked, and all you can do is keep hitting repeat.

 This may be the last we hear of Baby Brains, but what a way to bow out. Is the world ready for Amanda Stone? Oh, I sure think so! Whatever she gives us next is going to be truly special, and I really cannot wait to hear it.





DITCHES : S/T LP.

5 04 2020

 

DITCHES

 

Drunken Sailor Records put out some incredible music, and recently they released the debut record by Swedish Punk band, Ditches. If you’re looking for something hard-hitting and wonderfully fast-paced, then this record is for you. As far as debut records go, this one is a killer. It’s got everything you could possibly want from your new favourite band and more! It’s got the makings of a real classic, and when all this madness is over (and you selfish fucks stop going out and meeting up in parks with your pals and having BBQs when we are meant to stay home!!) I’m pretty sure that Ditches will tour and blow the roof off every venue they grace with their talent. Until then, stay the fuck indoors and play this record.

 The record consists of 11 Punk anthems to get you through your day, and to play round your head as you gently sleep. I love every single song on the record, and I’m playing them loud enough right now to cancel out my noisy neighbours. I can hear way too much; I can hear them slam doors and cough super loudly. Thank god I’m not hearing anything too personal though. Stitch Me Up and Shelter go perfectly into each other, and I love how they feel like a Glaswegian kiss to the soul; violent but healing. They have got something really special about them, and I love how this record sounds like a band that are really in their prime. I love the loudness, and I love how perfect the production of the record is without it being over the top. There’s this beautiful rawness to the record that just makes you stop what you’re doing so you can really take in everything you are listening to. It is such a grand record, and as far as debuts go- this one is right up there as being a great one!

 

 

Ditches have a really powerful sound going on here, and it’s the kind of sound that makes you instantly know that their live shows will be what shows us what they are about even more. I love that fast-paced sound so much, and I love that aggression that’s in the sound too. The lyrics are hard-hitting too and are definitely worth paying attention to (Don’t Care being one of the strongest examples here.) It’s an effortlessly cool record that takes you back to how you felt when you first discovered Punk for the first time. That sense of wonder and thoughts of, “What is this?!” and before you know it, it’s taken over your life and no other music will do. It’s something that sticks with you, and when you keep finding bands that give you this feeling, then that’s it for life. I love how their sound reminds me a little of Hüsker Dü, and how they aren’t afraid to be sensitive and open with their lyrics. For me, Hüsker Dü were one of the greatest bands of all time and were exceptional at what they did. To hear bands now who remind me of them is really heartwarming because for some reason, I never expect it but when I hear it- I really get it.

 Will Fitzpatrick wrote this about the band on their Bandcamp page, and I think it sums up Ditches perfectly: “Meet Ditches, from Stockholm coming straight out the gutter and speeding into the part of your brain where all the catchiest melodies lurk for the rest of time.” This debut record has 11 songs that are played with such urgency and passion, you’d be hard-pressed to find anything else to grab you like this right now. Self-isolate and play this really loud!

 

 

Ditches debut record is out right now via Drunken Sailor Records.





MATT ELLIS: High Risk Assurance.

4 04 2020

mattellis

 

Matt Ellis, you absolute GOD! If you don’t know, Matt Ellis is in a band that I have been obsessed with for a few years now. I heard them whilst spending my lunch break at All Ages Records in Camden a few years ago- that band was Flesh Rag. I don’t know what it was about what I was hearing, but I knew it was something that was going to stick with me. I remember having a record already in my hands to buy, then I listened more and more to Flesh Rag being blasted out; the record in my hands was placed back where I got it from and I asked for a copy of the Flesh Rag record that was playing. This was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, musically.

 

 

High Risk Assurance was recorded in Matt’s bathroom last month. Some people take baths, others make great Punk records! There are only 4 songs on this record, but it still has that Flesh Rag feel to it, but it also has something else to it. It reminds me a little bit of the Ramones- the songs have that same pace of Blitzkrieg Bop and Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue. The songs are short, and fast. They are super lo-fi, and I love that he’s done this all by himself in a typically small space. The songs are heavy, and although at times his vocals are little quiet- you can still hear everything that’s going on, and the fact that the vocals are quite low just gives it that much vulnerability to it in a way. I just think it’s a really great record, and if this is what happens when we’re all stuck indoors- then keep it coming!

 The songs mainly hit the 1 minute 30 second mark, and the record opens with the face-smacking Poison Holiday. I would love to hear this live- can you imagine just how ferocious and rowdy it would be? It’s got everything you’d want from a real gnarly Punk song. It’s got the snarly vocals, the intense sound- everything you could want and more. I just love the sheer passion that comes through on this, and it really sets the mood for the record. It feels like with every song on the record, it gets louder. All By Myself is a touch louder than Poison Holiday, it’s an ode to self-isolation and Matt’s done it in such a great way. Sure, it’s easy to stay indoors and feel sorry for ourselves, but I’d rather stay indoors than risk make someone feel poorly by going outside for no good reason. To be honest, as an introvert who is partially shit with people I don’t know really well, staying at home (aside from going to work!) isn’t so bad.

 Missing You has a real Ramones feel to it; you can easily imagine Joey singing to this and I really love that about this song, and Matt’s style in general. He and Flesh Rag have a really authentic Punk sound that makes you want to start your own basement Punk band then make a record in your bathroom. My bathroom is too small to do this, but you get my point! I just love the DIY feel to this record, and it’s something I’ve always admired about Matt and the music he makes with Flesh Rag; they’ve always had this consistent DIY feel and you know they always do it THEIR way. High Risk Assurance is a great cure to the isolation blues some of us are feeling. It sucks to not be around people and to be able to go to shows, but records like this can ease the loneliness slightly.

 The record ends on Bad Day, and it’s the perfect song to play after you’ve had a bit of a shitty day. You can blast this super loud, and when the song ends, you’ll feel as if a massive weight has been lifted. Or you might feel angrier. It’s all on you, but just keep on listening until that nagging feeling disappears. It’s a great song, and the record truly is made up of a strong selection of raw Punk songs to just get you through the day.

 

 

Also, any money made from the Bandcamp sales of this record will go to the Toronto Overdose Prevention Society, so thank you to Matt for again being a great human being and making a difference. We need to help each other out now more than ever, and gestures like this go a really long way.





GNARCISSISTS.

2 04 2020

GNARCISSISTS

 

 

I think I may have found a band that perfectly capture everything I love about music, and the sounds of the bands I really, really love. I’ve said this a few times, and I always mean it. I just really love music and I’m pretty sure I’ve found a band here that just reinforce my love for music yet again.

 Gnarcissists are truly great; they remind me of The Gruesomes and all that good stuff. The bands I absolutely adore and cannot live without. They have this excellent sound that is yet again making me wish I could play guitar or something. I’d love to do that. I’d want to be like Johnny Thunders mixed with Jamie Hince and Gemma from Savages. I’d want to be loud and hold the guitar like a machine gun and it’d give off insane sounds that would deafen anyone who heard me. But I live through the bands I love, and I love Gnarcissists. They have this proper feel good atmosphere in their music, and it just makes you want to forget daily life and go do your thing. If I was a beer drinker, then I’d say this is the best band to drink beer to. It’s not like we’re allowed to leave the house at the moment are we, maybe that could be a new hobby.

 

 

Their most recent record came out in November and is really great record. It’s got songs on there that will make you just want to play it loud and lose your mind. They have a really tight sound on the Caught In The Webb record and it sounds like something you’d expect from a band that have been around for decades! I have no idea how long they’ve been a band or how many records they’ve put out (I’m just going by what’s on Spotify and Bandcamp) but what I’ve been listening to is nothing short of mind-blowing. I love the snarly vocals; I love the filthy music and how it sounds like some sordid back alley affair. It’s a really out there sound, and it’s one you wish you could be part of constantly. I’ve got a feeling that they are another band that are made to be seen live. Imagine their shows! They would be so wild.

 They’ve got some catchy numbers such as Celebrity and Fentanyl- both of which has a really strong Punk sound that makes you feel like you are definitely not listening to a new band! I love that retro kind of feel going on, and how they truly do experiment with their sound. There are times on the Caught In The Webb record where you feel like you are listening to band become stronger in each song. If you play it in order, you’ll definitely get this coming through. You don’t get that very often, and bands like Gnarcissists are to be treasured. I love, LOVE their song Suffocate and how the lyrics are a bit self-deprecating, but they’ve got this Dead Boys and Sex Pistols feel to it. Obnoxious Punk at its best. The vocals on this are my favourite on the record so far. Once I play the record a few more times, I might change my mind but for now I’m really taking in how that snarl gets you right in the gut. It makes you want to scream the song back.  Everything in the world is quite throwaway and everyone wants to consume more and more of the things they love, constantly. But when you have bands like Gnarcissists you can really take in how great they are. Everything about their sound just makes you want to escape deep into their world and be properly part of it.

 On Veut Juste and Buzzin are two other really strong songs to pay close attention to. Their first EP was just a little taste of what was to come and Caught In The Webb just threw them into the unknown and made them the best at what they do. If you’re looking for some rough round the edges Punk in all its beautiful glory, and a Garage Rock band with the kind of attitude you wish you could possess- then Gnarcissists are for you.

 

 

 Their songs were made for us all to sing along to. It doesn’t matter if you’re alone or self-isolating with your cat for the foreseeable; this band will make it a little bit easier. You’ll be singing along to PCP in no time!