BEAT IN MY BONES: Episode 3

This week there is music from: CROWS, METZ, GHUM, Hoorsees, The Battery Farm and the new one from Sextile!

I think I spend most of the show talking about CROWS and their show in Manchester from last Friday. Bloody incredible it was!

Right, I’m off to play FIFA x

CROWS @YES Manchester 8th April 2022.

Friday night. The end of one of the most stressful and mentally challenging weeks of my life. Nothing bad, just a lot. A release of sorts was needed. I’m not a drinker, so that’s not my preferred route. Too exhausted to go to the gym. Too mentally alert to try go to sleep. My only option was to go see a band who I’ve dying to see for so long. A band that are just divine to watch, to listen to.

Crows played the Pink Room at YES on Friday night. An upgrade from last time, where they played the basement. I hear Wembley is next. Has to be. Anyway, I won’t get ahead of myself just yet. I want you to really imagine being at this gig because it was truly one of the most healing and ethereal experiences ever (live music wise.) Now, I’ve been obsessing over their new record Beware Believers over the past week or so, and their debut record Silver Tongues for me, was one of the best records of 2019. They’re just such a fantastic band and their live shows are like a religious experience/outer body experience. It definitely wasn’t from this planet at all!

I think like everyone else in the room, we could have happily watched Crows play for hours. The around an hour set wasn’t enough. It’s never enough! But my god that band give everything they have on more on stage. On record you can feel the urgency in James’ vocals, but put the band on stage and everything comes together and it is delivered with this ferociousness that just makes you questions everything around you. His vocals live are phenomenal. The words are screamed and sung with such passion; as if his life depends on it. As if YOUR life depends on it. The words hit harder when you see the band live, and the song for me that made me feel like I had been baptised or whatever was definitely Healing. That song has been on repeat since the record came out, and I’ve got not intention of changing that right now. The lyrics are heartbreaking because they are true, and when you witness this song live it just changes everything for you. Maybe that’s part of the healing?

When the band unleash the old gem that is The Itch (I’m not doing this in order of the setlist) I’m pretty sure I am just covered in goosebumps at this point. It’s out of this world. On the same level of this intensity, we’ve got Garden of England- which is sang back at the band in the most beautiful way. Then you’ve got the likes of Slowly Separate and Room 156 that just shatter your heart but they fix this part of you that you didn’t know you needed. I just think that Crows are the most intense and euphoric bands around and I cannot urge you enough to go see them live. We all end up finding a band that we just have to always see live whenever we can, and I can confirm that Crows are 100% one of those bands.

There’s just something about the atmosphere they create and the way it all just really hits you in the gut. Steve and Jith both have this way of using the guitar and bass to add this unearthly loudness to the show that makes you feel like you are being carried out into the deep unknown. Sam beats the shit out of the drums which fit perfectly with the way James delivers the poetic and intense lyrics/songs. For me, they just capture everything I love about music. Seeing them live has made me appreciate and love their music more than I already do, and I honestly didn’t think that was possible. An absolute joy and honour to see Crows live.

Also, something I want to mention was that Safe Gigs For Women were at the show. It’s a shame that we need them, but thank God they exist. The work they do is remarkable. If you’re able to donate or volunteer with them, please do: https://sgfw.org.uk/

And of course, if you have the chance to see Crows live- take it. Grab that chance; it’ll be the best thing you ever do.

CROWS: Beware Believers.

In 2019 I wrote about the debut record from Crows. It was full of love and admiration. I was in awe of what I was listening to, and I found it hard to believe that it was only their debut record. Crows are a band that I’m constantly in awe of, and I love how they make me feel like I’m discovering the likes of The Birthday Party for the first time. They are loud, they are raw and they are criminally underrated. Their second record Beware Believers was released last Friday, and trust me- it’s unreal.

11 songs make up this record. 11 heavenly songs that will send you off into some odd dystopian dream/nightmare (I mean you could just take a look outside for this, but let me be a bit dramatic here.) There’s nothing more annoying than someone mentioning the second record curse when writing about a bands second release. Ease off the pressure and stop assuming everyone will release a shit second record. Crows are a band that do not make bad songs nor do they put fillers on their record at all. They make the kind of music to completely let loose to. If something is stressing you out or if you’re carrying some frustrations you just do not need- play this record as loud as you can stand. I’m not playing it as loud as I normally would due to being a little deaf from seeing METZ last night, but I’m brave. I can do this.

This year is clearly the year for exceptional records, and Crows can add their name to the list of bands contributing to this. I don’t think we’re going to hear a record as driven as this one. I don’t think it’s possible for anything to even come close to this record. Crows have been around for ages, and yes, it’s hard to get your heard around the fact that this is only their second record but what’s more difficult is that they haven’t taken over the world yet. Come on now! This needs sorting. I’ve listened to the record a lot the past few days, and I love the way every song flows perfectly into the next. I love how Only Times goes right into Slowly Separate. For me, that’s one of my favourite moments on the record; I love how beautifully chaotic this record, and I love that every song is delivered with such importance. These songs are vital, and you can tell just how much it means to the band.

I’m so excited to see them this week, and to see these songs live. I love when you hear a record, then you finally get to witness it live. You can really feel what the songs mean to the band and you can be part of how they are meant to be heard. Every song on this record, much like their debut, will make you want to trash any room you step into. Do it. Live a little. Throw some shit around, go wild. 

There’s a song on the record call Healing, and there’s a line that goes “I know that everything hurts, and I know that everything can heal” and it probably one of the most important lyrics I’ve heard in a while. Something so simple, but is projected in a way that really gets you right in the gut. I think Healing might be THE song for me on this record. I think it’ll probably be one of the most vital songs I hear all year. I love the vulnerability in the song and I love James’ vocals on this. I feel I could write an essay on this song and why it’s just so important. If they play this on Friday, I’ll probably have a bit of a cry or I’ll be too in awe of what’s happening and just stand there like a gormless twat! I cannot tell you how euphoric the song Room 156 is. This again is one I am so excited to see live (hopefully they play it!) For me, this record has this strong sense of urgency. It feels like the band just HAD to get this record out. Every word, every note played had to be released into the world. Thank God it finally has been.

Every song on this record shows us exactly why Crows are thrilling and a joy to listen to. The darkness but hopefulness in the songs will leave you feeling fragile but okay. There’s something about this record that makes you feel like maybe, maybe, it’ll all be okay. The record ends on Sad Lad which has this beautiful yet eerie feel to it. It’ll break you but by the end of it, you will feel healed. I really hope Crows know how important they are, and how important their songs are. There’s a lot of healing in the lyrics, and the way the it all comes together and just soothes your head and soul is divine. I’m just in awe of how loud and gentle this record is. Sometimes, you just don’t know how much you needed to hear something until it hits you right between the eyes.

Crows start their UK tour tomorrow, and you can get yourself tickets here: https://www.ents24.com/uk/tour-dates/crows-1-1

Go see them and let the healing begin.

METZ @ YES, Manchester 3rd April 2022.

Sunday. The perfect day to see one of the loudest bands around live. Even better when you have the Monday off to make sure you fully recover and can hear properly. I think the last time I saw METZ live was at YES, and it was such a great show. How was last nights show? Just as great- if not better.

The bands and fans have waited around 2 years for this tour, and it was absolutely worth the wait. METZ are a band that you listen to, and just let everything go to. I didn’t realise how badly I needed to see a band this loud, and when it happened- it was sheer euphoria. I wasn’t brave enough to get right into the crowd, but I had the time of my life on my lonesome at the back. The Pink Room at YES is probably one of the finest venues in this beautiful city. I’d put it up there with the likes of the Moth Club in London. It’s got this feel to it that just makes you feel like you are where you are supposed to be at that time. Anyway, profound shit aside- let’s talk the setlist.

METZ tear the roof off with Pulse- a proper smack in the face jam. A perfect way to open the set. Now, for some this 11 song set may have been too short (I mean I agree- I could happily watch them play for hours and still want more.) but the energy these 3 have on stage is insane. I just want to touch on how phenomenal a drummer Hayden is. On record, you know he’s great but bloody hell when you see METZ live, you truly get to witness how talented they are. Hayden’s drumming is unlike anything else I’ve seen- I can’t even give you a reference of who to liken him to but I promise you- he’s one of those drummers that will go on to influence so many. METZ are just a delight to watch, and the second their show starts you know it’s going to be something that stays with you. Alex’s vocals whilst annihilating the shit out the guitar are a sight to behold. He’s truly something else, and accompanying this you’ve got Chris making the bass sound like a lethal weapon. If you’ve never seen METZ live, then you’re missing out.

The setlist was perfect- cannot fault it. Not like I’d want to anyway! We were treated to Hail Taxi, The Swimmer, Eraser, new song Demolition Row, obviously Get Off (which was dedicated to the support Psychic Graveyard) and ended on A Boat To Drown In. There’s hardly any small talk here (and I’m all for that- bloody hate small talk) and they just keep the songs coming, and getting louder and louder with each song. YES is the perfect venue for a band like METZ. The sound there is great, and it’s a Pink room- what more could you want!

I think their show last night truly showed why METZ are not just one of the best band around full stop, but one of the most thrilling bands to see live. I know they aren’t to everyone’s taste and some may shy away from music as loud as this, but there’s no denying how talented METZ are. Canada’s finest for sure. Every record is a progression in sound, and is a masterpiece, and when you see them live you can’t help but wonder how the hell do only 3 people make this much noise? I’d put the show from last night as being one of the loudest shows I’ve ever been to. Top 3 with Melvins and The Jesus And Mary Chain. Easily.

The show last night was truly worth the wait, and everything you could possibly want from seeing a band that you adore. If annual leave and money wasn’t an issue- I’d happily follow METZ on tour. They are a joy to watch- lets hope we don;t have to wait so long for the next tour!

GHUM: Some People.

I feel like I have waited FOREVER to write this, but I am SO excited to write that GHUM’s debut record, Bitter will be out THIS YEAR. I am so so excited about this. I can’t put into words. I’m just stupidly excited to hear this record from a band I’ve loved for so long. There’s really no better feeling is there? When a band you adore get to finally put their debut full length record out

Bitter is made up of 9 phenomenal songs; I am confident in saying this because I love this band and going by what they’ve already released so far- it’s a pretty fair statement to make. Today they have also released their new song, Some People which is also accompanied with a pretty great video too. The new song is heavy, but the video is the polar opposite of it and it works so well. The video is directed by the wonderful Lydia Garnett who has blessed the world some wonderfully Queer art. When you take that and mix it with a song from a band you just love- it creates something that just makes your heart burst with utter joy!

There are some bands that when you listen to them, the impact just stays with you. Just this morning I was listening to the band on my way to work, and I felt like I was listening to them for the first time all over again. I’ve got a handful of bands that make me feel like that, and GHUM are easily one of them. I know that their debut record is going to blow our minds and from 17th June onwards- I probably won’t listen to anything but that record. I cannot wait!

The band got together about 6 years ago, so this full length record has been a long time coming. Their two EPs (self-titled and The Coldest Fire) are works of art and you know, it’s a fair call to make to say that Bitter will too be a masterpiece. I’m just so excited to listen to the record.

Check out the artwork here for Bitter:

For me it kind of gives you a hint to how the record will sound; a bit spooky, a bit dark but with tender moments. The band are made up of the best musicians around, and with this strong and distinctive sound they have- they will probably take over the world. Let’s dream big! They deserve it.

It’s an honour to write about a band like GHUM and to see how their sound has strengthened, and also how fearless they are with what they do. This morning I finished reading the book In The Miso Soup, and there’s part of the song that reminds me a little bit of the book: “We’re just ‘some people.’ But I want you to know; there’s some evil in me.” Really makes me think about the book and the ending of it. The book will mess with your head, and so will GHUM’s music to be honest- but all the best art does, right?! The magic in this song is all the way through. You’ve got the sheer intensity of Laura’s vocals that go right into Vicki’s drumming. Then you’ve got MJ and Jojo on bass and guitar creating this eerie atmosphere that pulls you in. You just can’t get enough of this song, of this band.

You can pre-order Bitter here: https://ghum.bandcamp.com/ and the record is out 17th June via Everything Sucks.

GHUM will also be playing a headline show in London at the Sebright Arms on the 22nd April.

ZOLA JESUS: Lost

That feeling when one of the singers you adore so much comes back with new music; there’s truly nothing quite like it. The first time I heard Zola Jesus, was actually the song she did as Nika + Rory. The song was I’m Not Going Anywhere. I played it almost religiously. I then heard Nika’s work as Zola Jesus when brought out The Spoils, and that was it. My obsession was blooming and I didn’t want it any other way.

There are a few bands/singers that just stick with you, and the any announcement of new music from them just immediately hits you right in the heart and you feel alive again. Since 2009 I’ve had this admiration and love for Nika and all she creates. I cannot think of anyone else who does what she does, who makes the sounds she does, who has a mind like hers. She’s the only one, and let’s be honest- there won’t ever be anyone else like her ever again. Her voice is so haunting and so comforting. I’m not ashamed to say I’ve bawled my eyes out to some of her songs, but my god there are songs that just give you this euphoric feeling and nothing can come close to it.

Lost is the new single, and is taken from Nika’s new record Arkhon which is out 20th May via one of the best labels ever- Sacred Bones. If you’re a fan of Nika/Zola Jesus, you know exactly what to expect but at the same time you are ready to be thrown into the deep unknown. Lost is such a beautiful and open song, and so easy to connect with. We all feel lost. Some of us feel it more than others, some of us are just constantly lost. For some, it may be all we know. But it’s a feeling that so many can connect with; and the way Nika writes about it here is just divine and right to the core.

The percussion, the sound of breathing (at the start- I think) it’s got this reassuring feel to it. The start sounds like a panic attack coming on (something I know far too well) but then everything calms down, and you are centred. Everything is okay, and you feel reassured again. There’s something about that chaotic feeling of being lost that allows you to just go at your own pace and eventually find what you need. I think that’s something we probably need to cling on to more than we care to admit.

The video for Lost is stunning. It will leave you breathless and just in awe of this magnificent creation. It sums up the feel of the song so well, and it is shot in the most gorgeous way imaginable. I don’t want to write too much about the video; I want you to take some time out of your day to watch the video. Maybe a couple of times in a row, and just take it all in. The song is a masterpiece and if the whole record has this feel to it, then I think we may have found the most beautifully put together record of the year.

Beat In My Bones podcast!

Oh dear.

What have I done? Why have I done this?! Will it be the first and last? Who knows. Who cares!

Anyway, I’ve done it.

45 minutes of your life that you won’t get back.

Songs from: L.A. Witch, Bullet Girl, Crocodiles and The Gun Club, and many more!

CHUBBY AND THE GANG.

Hello, I am an idiot. An idiot who has had a piece written about Chubby And The Gang saved in my drafts, and never finished it. I read over it, deleted it and now- I’m starting again. There’s nothing worse for me than having to read over what I’ve written. Awful. Anyway, now seems a good a time as any to write about one of the finest bands around- Chubby And The Gang.

Their most recent release came out on Valentine’s Day (Labour of Love) and if reading this is your first time hearing about the band- then it’s probably the ideal introduction. CATG are one of London’s finest Punk bands. They are loud and electrifying. They are the kind of band you find yourself seeking out so you can just become more and more obsessed with them. Even more impressive is that they are supporting The Chats on their tour soon! That’s a lineup to get really excited about!

CATG have that 70s Punk feel, and when you listen to them you cannot help but feel you are roaming the streets of London with them just searching for something to do in a time when there was nothing. That feeling of hopelessness and nothingness is something that’s been quite vocal in Punk, but it’s something that makes the listener feel less of a deadbeat. I love their sound so much, and although I didn’t write about their debut record in 2020 when it came out- let it be known that is is a phenomenal record and one I still play the shit out of! It’s way too good to not mention.

Their debut record, Speed Kills is made up of 13 proper Punk anthems. Play it in any order, play it loud and play it religiously. For me it captures the real spirit of Punk and I love the brutal tones on the record. These 13 songs will go down in Punk history as being some of the most rowdy anthems ever written. And of course, you can’t talk about their debut without mentioning how great their second record, The Mutt’s Nuts is. If you’re wanting something louder and more in your face- this is the one for you. This is a proper rowdy record, and you can really hear how feral their sound is on this record. It’s just as mind-blowing as their debut, but The Mutt’s Nuts has a little bit more bite to it.

Both are clearly magnificent records and you cannot help but play one after the other. I’m probably pissing my neighbours off by playing this stupidly loud. Their second record has hints of Black Flag and Dead Kennedys about it- fast, to the point and makes you just want to scream along. The band excel themselves with everything they do, and I think the song that really sums this up is the second track on the record, It’s Me Who’ll Pay. Pay close attention the lyrics. The Mutt’s Nuts consists of 15 songs that shout “fuck off” is different ways. Utterly brilliant.

CATG are that band that you just need to see play live- on record you can definitely hear the passion and pick up on the urgency in the music, but to see them live would be heightened beyond words! There is just so much energy in the music, and it’s the kind of energy that just makes you feel part of something that matters. If you’re moved by bands like Amyl And The Sniffers, The Speedways, The Chats- all that good stuff; then you’ll absolutely find a home in Chubby And The Gang.

DITZ: The Great Regression

Well, here we are. Another phenomenal record to become obsessed with. Nearly 9pm on a Sunday- the perfect time to play some music that is hectic, beautifully loud and wonderfully aggressive. If like me, you know nothing about the band DITZ, then well, we can go into this journey together. This twisted and eerie journey. You might need to lie down after this one.

DITZ are brilliant, and that’s putting it lightly. There probably aren’t enough words to describe how great they are and how glorious this record is. I love writing about bands I know nothing about. This is their debut record, and with just one listen, I’m finding it hard to believe that this is their first record. I know you get snobs out there who are all “it takes a lot for a record to move me.” Stay away from those people. They’ll make you feel bad for enjoying the music you love. It takes a lot for me to really really obsess over a record. I can listen to something a few times, then I listen to something else and it’s stored in my mind for another day. But every so often, I’ll hear something and I just KNOW it’ll become part of my daily listening. DITZ are probably going to be added to that. I reckon playing this record tomorrow morning on my journey to work blasting in my headphones will set me up nicely for the day. I love my job so there’s no dread there at all. It’s just getting on public transport and some people not being aware of personal space. You know how it is.

DITZ are a band from Brighton, and they have hints of heavy bands like PIGSx7(they’re supporting them in Brussels in May!) , JOHN (John Newton does appear on two tracks on the record) , METZ and maybe a taste of Sly and The Family Drone. Their debut record is a mighty fine masterpiece that will melt your brain. In just 10 songs, they fast become your favourite new band. How could you not fall in love with this sound? I love the sheer chaos in this record, and I love how it really smacks you in the face- especially on Three. That song is something else. It takes on a different direction midway, and it just blows your mind. I reckon this live will be a mental experience. The whole record was made to be witnessed live. You can just feel the sheer intensity on this record, and you just know it’ll be even more intense live. There’s something about this band that just makes you zone out from your surroundings and all you can do is let the record completely take over your brain. I don’t want to listen to anything else right now. I just want to soak up this record and play it at any chance I get. Trust me- it is beyond all I’ve described. My words don’t do it justice at all.

The band have been together since 2015, so this record has been brewing for years. They do say that good things come to those who wait, and that is so apparent with this record. They honestly couldn’t have made a better record, it’s just glorious. You’ve got the stunning single, I Am Kate Moss on there and it sounds even better as part of a full record. That song was just a taste of what DITZ are capable of. The record just shows us in 10 songs what they are made of and why they need to be heard. They must be heard. The record ends with the No Thanks, I’m Full which is just under 7 minutes long. Again, this is another song that will be ridiculous live! It closes the record, but it also makes you smack the play button and play the record from the start all over again. With every listen, you’ll pick up on new things to love about the record and the band

Something I really love about the record is that each song gets heavier and heavier. Halfway through and you’ll be right in thinking your eardrums have burst. That heaviness is part of why I really love this band, and why this record is just a real gem. It’s definitely one to treasure and it’s one of those records that you know in years to come, people will be talking about how great it is. Everything from the production to the sound to the vocals to the artwork is just divine. A flawless record that you just cannot get enough of.

There’s something truly special about this record. Although it’s a record that is so easy to love, it’s definitely difficult to pick one solid favourite song. I think if you’re looking for something really heavy, the latter part of the record will appeal to you. I just adore the record. Every single song on The Great Regression is perfect, and it’ll make you wish you could join the band. Imagine being in a band like this, and creating music like this. The band may have gone through some line-up changes over the years, but this record is a solid statement as to who they are and why they deserve to be heard.