GROSS NET: Gross Net Means Gross Net.

13 10 2019

GN

 

I’ve said countless times that music is a form of escapism for so many, but sometimes you need something to keep you right where you are- even if it is daunting, or terrible. I’ve always admired Gross Net (or Philip if you want to be proper) and how his mind works. He is one of the most expressive souls out there, and he takes you on this futuristic journey every single time. His newest record, Gross Net Means Gross Net is one of the most experimental records I’ve heard in a long time. It’s got this Scandinavian Noir feel to it; it could easily be played in some Thriller TV series as something truly gruesome and barbaric is about to happen. It is a creepy record, and it is nothing short of exceptional. I’m going to do my best to explain why this is one of the most out there records of the year.

There’s been a few years in between this record, and Philip’s last Gross Net record. This is a totally different sound, and as someone who is influenced by what they see- Philip has truly taken the state of the world (mainly the UK) and given us this tense breakdown of the shitshows that are occurring daily. Think a really political version of Einstürzende Neubauten with hints of Psychic TV. Basically, two of the greatest bands ever rolled in one. But, as we know, Philip is his own creation and a bloody genius. What this record gives you is something so eerie and captivating.

 

 

The best time to listen to this record is when it starts to get dark. This is not a daytime listen- this is dead of the night listen. I mean, it’s only 18:47 but it’s pretty dark out now so, and it works. You cannot help but be absolutely consumed by these songs and how remarkable the production is. It is, for me, the best produced record of the year. Shedding Skin is probably one of the most gloriously composed songs of the year. These aren’t just sounds, these are synth-based symphonies that will take over your soul in the most beautiful way. I love everything about Shedding Skin. It’s just over 6 minutes, and the lyrics are sure to hit you in the gut- they are explicit to the core (I mean in an exposing of the soul kind of way) and it isn’t hard to truly connect with this one. You can just imagine it being performed live in a basement bar, almost pitch black with a smoke machine creating this eerie mood, and a tense atmosphere crashing over.

Every song on this record serves the sole purpose to ignite the listener, and to get them to a place where no other piece of music could. The music alone on this record is so spooky and is comforting at the same time. Although there’s a song on the record named after a terrible person (Theresa May) it is actually one of the most gorgeous pieces of music you’ll hear. There is no need for words on this one, you can create your own story to this beautiful instrumental. In a way on this one, you get a glimpse into how Philip’s mind works- you can hear the care and feel the thought in this piece so much. Then it slides into Gentrification which almost feels like it could be played at a rave at 4am somewhere. He can make you flitter between several emotions on this record, and that just makes me admire him even more. He’s easily one of my favourite musicians around (and I think he knows this!)

 I love how the songs can touch on subjects you don’t really hear in modern music (how we’re all prone to consuming too much and not being aware of the consequence, thus turning a blind eye to our future) which can really be felt on Of Late Capitalism. Gentrification leads into Of Late Capitalism in such a succinct way, again it is another moment on the record where you can really pick up on the thought and care that has gone into this perfect record. Philip has massively pushed himself on this record, when you listen to his previous records you can hear something on this record that you haven’t quite heard him do before. It’s a cross between very early Scott Walker meets Suicide (the best duo ever), with hints of the future. It’s such a stunning record to lose yourself in. Dust To Dust is heart-breaking but my god it is the most beautiful song that Philip has ever done. To date, this song is the best thing he has done. Obviously, that’s just my personal view, and maybe I’ll change my mind but lyrically and the composure of this song is nothing short of mind-blowing. It just shows us how much of a genius he is, and how unafraid he is in his approach to creating such powerful music.

 

 

Gross Net Is Gross Net is one of the most thought-provoking records of the year. Sure, Philip will take you to a different world with the sounds, but the lyrics will bring you right back to Earth. This record is made up of 10 songs to truly hit you in the soul. One person, just one person has made this absolutely vital record. It doesn’t tell a story; it tells the truth. It is a truth to really, really listen to.





XENU & THE THETANS

12 10 2019

 

xenu

 

 

Here is something to invest in and play super loud: Xenu & The Thetans. You are welcome.

If you want fast and raw Punk, then get this record in your ears. Their debut record is everything you could possibly want from a Punk record; in fact, it is just everything you’d want from music. It is the kind of music you’d play to impress your cool uncle (basically, I’d play this record to my uncle and I’m pretty sure he’d love it, because he’s cool!) Every song feels like a smack in that face in the most euphoric way imaginable.

Xenu & The Thetans are a supergroup based in Mexico. Punk and Mexico go hand in hand, and the scene there should not be ignored. I’d go there if 1- I wasn’t scared of flying and 2- My passport wasn’t expired. I need to sort that, but I keep spending money on other things. I like to put things like this off because there’s always something better to do isn’t there. Anyway, the record. Yes.

 

 

I have no idea what the songs are about, but I’m not going to let that stop me from enjoying the record. Besides, hearing music in another language is just fine! This is the record you get drunk to and trash your room to, isn’t it? Guess my weekend plans are sorted. I jest, I’m going to sleep. A lot. Hopefully. What I love about this record is that I don’t feel like I’m listening to a band from now. I feel like I’m listening to a band that could have been buddies with the likes of Die Böslinge, Kraut or Bad Brains. They’ve got something about them that’s just effortlessly timeless and so, so cool. You cannot deny that Tee Crees Mejor Que Yo is probably one of the best Punk songs you’ve heard in a long time. It’s such a great record, and it’s probably a really great way to learn/improve on your Spanish.

You can always tell when a band plays with a lot of passion, and this band most certainly do. You’ve got one of the best humans around, Brandon Welchez ripping this record apart beautifully, and members from Davila 666 and Descartes A Kant (Johnny and Cristi) going apeshit on this record too. It is everything you’d want from a real Hardcore Punk record. Only a couple of songs go over the 2-minute mark, and it is enough time to just make you throw your body around in an insane way and probably smack someone in the face during it. Careless dancing- we’ve all done it. Xenu & The Thetans are the band you want to hear when you should really be heading home, but they pull you in and once they’ve got you- you’re done for. There is absolutely no denying just how excellent this record is. It’s fast, ferocious and loud- it’s the Punk record we all need. Like I mentioned earlier, it really doesn’t sound like a record from 2019 and that’s by no means a bad thing at all.

This tough and raw sound just makes you fall in love with the sound instantly. Every single song sounds like it should be chanted back at the band. Alternatively, you can just do it at home and have a great time. There’s only one way to play this record, and that’s loud. Super loud to the point where you wonder if you’ll ever hear again. You know how it is. The singer of this insane band, Julián Name keeps up ferociously and effortlessly with the intense drumming of Cachi. I love the sheer colossal sound on this record, and how you can hear influences from their own bands, and like I mentioned, Bad Brains etc. too. The songs are fast and powerful; a true Punk record to let blister your ears.

 

 

Sometimes I just hear something, and it makes me want to carry on writing about music; Xenu & The Thetans have created a record to keep going back to and appreciating every single time. Nadie Por Quién Morir is one my favourites to play on repeat and louder than the others, I love the slickness to it and how it just sounds like a drunken bar brawl. This record could have worked in the (greatest film of all time) The Warriors- it’s got that feel to it. I just really love this record.

Anyway, I’ve gone on enough about this record. Go listen to it, religiously.





HEAVY LUNGS: Measure.

10 10 2019

Image result for heavy lungs measure

 

 

Behold! The most astonishing EP from a band from Bristol that you will hear all year! Heavy Lungs have released today, Measure; a 5 track EP with songs to completely shatter your eardrums in the most pleasing way imaginable.

We all know that Danny Nedelko is one of the most charismatic front-men around, and that Heavy Lungs are just one of the most exciting bands around. But what have they done with Measure? How exciting is it? How loud is it? How does it feel to listen to this work of art? Well, I will do my best to ramble gently about this glorious masterpiece.

Ready?

Measure opens with Half Full- it has this exceptionally haunting feel to it. Danny’s voice has this trembling tone to it. You can hear every emotion possible in this, and it just makes you become so enthralled by it. You want to scream along with him, but you can’t. You cannot mimic such a voice. This morning I blasted out Self Worth a LOT. I love how it instantly smacks you in the face. Self worth as a concept is criminally underrated, and to hear a song like this just makes you sort of keep yourself in check. You know things are shit, but somehow you’ll find a way to carry on. I have no idea how I get out of bed most days, but songs like this show the ugly and good side of having emotions. I love this song SO much, and it is definitely got the strongest sound both musically and vocally. If you didn’t know where to start with Heavy Lungs- play this one really loud. You’ll get it. Keep on playing it. Let it hit you in the gut. Let the brutal honesty make you feel sick because you can relate so much. There’s so much power in this song, and even more power in this band. They’re just the best.

T.O.T.B is another face-smacker. Sometimes you just need something to hit you and wake you up. I was playing this at 7am this morning on the way to work, and it really woke me up. It’s such a big record- even if it is only 5 songs. But these 5 songs are the most important songs you’re going to hear all year. This year we’ve had Fontaines D.C. and The Murder Capital give us the most vulnerable and heaviest records- you can definitely put Measure there. It’s everything you’d want from your favourite band. I had a ticket to see their last Manchester show, but I had to bail last minute because my mind decided it was time for a panic attack. I’m trying to fight them off and go to gigs, it’s tough but these things happen. You can’t beat yourself up forever.

 

 

The first single from this EP was (A Bit  of a) Birthday. If like me you’re not big on having attention thrown on you, and your idea of hell is people gawping at you whilst singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to you- then this song will really speak to you. It’s about the waiting for the day to be over so it’s back to normal, the shitty clowns that appear at kids parties, wanting the money instead of the card- it’s got this really snotty Punk sound to it. I love how obnoxious it is- you can imagine some spoilt brat singing this because he just wants everything to be over. I absolutely love it, and the band nail it perfectly. Danny’s vocals on this have so much diversity to it, and I love how he portrays this brilliant bratty attitude on it; the total opposite of him and the band. It’s fucking incredible. The guitar on this is probably my favourite on the EP, Oliver has excelled himself on this one for sure.

What I adore about Measure is that Oliver, Danny, George and James has pushed themselves, and this has caused them to just sound exceptional. Their unified sound just makes you fall in love with them even more on Measure. It is easy to become obsessed with Heavy Lungs- they’ve got everything you could possibly want from a band. The lyrics on this EP to the production is just perfect. George is an absolute monster on the drums and James just brings this soul to the band with his bass-playing. There’s no other band out there quite like them.

Measure is out right now via Balley Records. Buy it and play it until your ears bleed.





THEE WINDOM EARLES: Mai Tai Pink Eye.

8 10 2019

 

TWE

 

 

If you’re looking for something extra creepy, and extra trashy- then you’ve GOT to listen to Manchester’s finest Thee Windom Earles. They are a fascinating band that make you feel like you’ve stepped into some weird Horror B-Movie. They are off the wall, in your face and just brilliant. Think along the lines of Captain Beefheart and The Cramps, then you’ll get it.

 Where do you begin with a band like this? I know nothing about them, all I know is that they are from the greatest city in the world (Manchester) and they make the kind of music that would even move us fellow introverts. They’ve got a really cool style, and this Psychobilly sound is just exceptional. You cannot help but move when you listen to them, and you cannot help but play their music super loud.

 Their debut record, Mai Tai Pink Eye came out in February this year. I know, I’m late with this one. But it’s such a great record. You don’t feel like you’re listening to a band from 2019. There is something nostalgic about this record- they’ve got every essence of The Cramps, but they don’t do it in a rip-off style at all. They take this creepy Rock ‘n’ Roll sound and make it theirs. If The Cramps came from Manchester, they’d probably sound like this. Songs like Sex Pizzeria are MADE to be played super loud and Oom Sha Cha too. Just play the whole record loud at least 5 times a day. You’ll feel better for it.

 

 

 

Mai Tai Pink Eye is not only probably the best name for a record you’ll hear this year, but it’s also got a such a tight sound. The production is flawless, and the sound is beautifully unruly. It is the best form of chaos possible- it’s basically a band making a lot of noise and having a great time doing so. I’m having a great time listening to it! It is such a thrilling record. Bands like Thee Windom Earles and Night Shades who are making their own style of Rock ‘n’ Roll right now; I’d love to see both play a show together. It would be insane. To hear a sound so refreshing on this record just makes you fall in love with music over and over again. Songs like Lunchtime Munchtime and Freight Elevator are just these incredible pieces of real Rock music. There’s the Garage Rock thrown in, there’s the effortlessly cool and weird style that lures you in. The vocals are delivered with this infectious energy that is happening throughout the whole record. I cannot praise this monster of a record enough! You cannot help but play every single song to death. It’s only 9 tracks long, but those tracks are enough to have you hooked in every single way. You’ll be having dreams about this record.

 Lick The Flipper has this awesome Surf Rock feel to it, but it also has something a little eerie/sinister about it. I just love how the band mess with your head. The only thing that’s consistent is how brilliant they are- everything else is a pleasant surprise. You just have no idea how the next song is going to hit you. I think this is the song I’m obsessed with the most (for now) it’s definitely a stand-out song on this record, but truth be told, the whole record is an underrated masterpiece. Manchester is truly home to some amazing musicians and bands- Thee Windom Earles absolutely back this notion up for sure.

 When you listen to this record you cannot help but let it take over your soul. You feel like it has corrupted you in the best way, and all good music makes you feel this way somehow. Imagine being about 14/15 years old, and finding a band like Thee Windom Earles and just letting this sound blow your mind, and you end up starting your own band? That’d be so cool. Instead, as a 32 year old, I’m just in awe of the band and I’m so glad they exist. I’m so glad I found them. Just when I think I couldn’t love this city even more, something like this happens! I think it is safe to say that Mai Tai Pink Eye is probably the year’s most underrated record. It’s got everything you could possibly want from a pure Rock ‘n’ Roll record.

 

 

 

So, there you have it- if you’re looking for something to shake them bones of yours or to just blow your mind, Thee Windom Earles are 100% the band for you. Let them take you on a weird trip- it’s on you if you come back down to earth or not.





JOHN: Out Here On The Fringes.

7 10 2019

JOHN

 

What’s got two heads, four arms and four legs? No, not some weird mythical creature but an exceptional duo called JOHN. Two pals, both called John. Drums and guitar. Rowdy and really exciting. What more do you need?

JOHN are a band we all need. A band we need to truly treasure. Their new record, Out Here On The Fringes came out on Friday. I’ve been playing it almost religiously since yesterday evening, and if I could fully explain why I’m in awe of this record in a way that makes sense, I would. Sadly, I can’t. So, you’re going to get a weird rant, again

The record consists of nine mind-blowing and deafening songs to just make you go apeshit to. It is a record that will stick with you because you become obsessed with the sheer heaviness and passion in this band and they have brought it to life once more on this record. It is a record that deserves to be heard and praised by all, those who have heard this record already know just how remarkable it is. We’ve seen this band grow and grow, and what they have created- what these two friends have created, is something beautiful. They have such a loud sound, you sort of expect there to be about five of them in the band, but these two know exactly what they are doing here. They’ve created a cult classic with Out Here On The Fringes.

 

 

I love how the songs feel like tormented souls trying to push out of the body. They’ve nailed that heavy industrial like sound that’s in bands I love, such as Pop.1280. There’s this effortlessly menacing sound on this record; sometimes bands try really hard to have a bruising sound, but for JOHN it just comes so naturally and that’s what makes you become obsessed with them. The vocals are so tough and snarly. You can hear the importance of every single word, and when you feel this you truly know you have found something to cling on to with bloody hands.

What makes this record so memorable? Well, as cliched as it sounds- everything. You want tight production? Got it. You want anthems? Got it. You want riffs that make you puke in your mouth because you get that hyped up from listening? Got it. Out Here On The Fringes has everything you could possibly want (and more) from an intense and heavy Rock record. There are essences of Punk on this record, of course. The Stoner Rock heaviness of drums and guitar make you feel like you’re in this insane world that you can only get to when you play songs like Solid State or Dog Walker. It is such a fucking strong record. It’s a record that just makes you want to kiss someone it’s that good!

The more I listen to this record, the more I notice about the record. Everything about this record is just an instant classic, you know? This could be one of those albums that the younger generation hear and think, “I’m going to do that.” It’s such a powerful record, and I really don’t think JOHN get how vital they are. Bands like JOHN, their buddies IDLES, and Heavy Lungs are SO important. They’re my holy trinity and have been for some time now. Each of them is just getting better and better. With this record, JOHN have created something to really wake you up. It’s the record you play when you just need to feel SOMETHING. The title track is one of the best songs I’ve heard this year, and musically it is an absolute beast too.

 

 

Out Here On The Fringes is one of the most exciting records you’ll hear all year. There is no way we can deny just how phenomenal JOHN are. They’ve got everything you could possibly want from a straight-up Rock record. The Punk attitude is infectious on this record, and with one listen you will be hooked. I have no idea how many times I have listened to this record today; I’ve been playing it on and off since 7am ish when I left the house.

My love for duos has fully be thrown into overdrive with this record. JOHN are just a joy to listen to, and the songs on this record need to be played really loud. Soak it all up and embrace your favourite duo.





FREEZ: Always Friends.

1 10 2019

 

freez

 

This Friday sees the release of Italy’s finest, FREEZ’s debut record. A record that will transport you back to the summer and give you some much needed warmth. I’ve written about FREEZ before, and to now write about their debut record is something I’m really proud to do. They’re one of the most exciting bands around, and just make you fall in love with music all over again and again.

Always Friends is a really exciting record; it has everything you would want from a Surf/Garage Rock. If you love bands like Wavves and DIIV- then you’re going to really love this record. It is such a feel-good body of music, and they’ve honestly created something worth treasuring here. It may be their debut record, but it most certainly does not sound like it. It sounds like a record from a band who have been around for such a long time, and that this is their fourth record or something. They have such a strong and established sound, again it is a record to play constantly.

It is such an enjoyable record, and I hope it is one that brings them over to the UK to show us just how great they are. Always Friends is a record to do nothing and everything to; you can play it whilst on the way to work, or at home doing nothing. Wherever and whenever you play it, it will just make you feel good. With so much shit going on in the world we need bands like FREEZ to make it all a little bit easier and they most certainly do that on this record. I can definitely say that this is one of the best records you will hear this year. It has so much wisdom, youth and joy. You cannot help but feel better when you play this record. It’s got that beautiful Surfer feel to it, and sometimes when bands try to grasp this sound, they end up sounding like everything that’s been done before but FREEZ nail it. They make it their own. There’s the occasional snarl in the vocals that add some bite to the songs, and I love that. It is just a real pleasure to listen to and play super loud!

 

 

The whole record is made up of songs that could be singles and make the band just take over the world. Songs like Bleeding Skies, Heads and Soul are just perfect, but please be assured that every single song on Always Friends deserves its place. Every single song fits perfectly; they’ve crafted this record with so much thought and care. There are no fillers on this record, and that alone makes it such a great listen. Basement is the one you need to play extra loud and soak in.

You’ve got your sun-kissed anthems on this record, and they’re the ones you’ll cling to as the days get shorter and darkness comes earlier than what we’re used to. They provide this warmth and soul that just makes you feel really soothed. It’s the kind of record you’d relax to but also probably blast out at a party. FREEZ are truly a remarkable band who take you on a gorgeous blissed out journey on this record, and it just blows your mind how young they are, and they have perfected such a great sound. Then again, they’re Italian and we know what we’re doing!

I really love that with this record, you can shut your eyes and you can be almost anywhere in the world. You could be on a beach or you could just be hanging out at home. A great way to listen to this record is to just play it through headphones and close your eyes. Right now, it’s a bit difficult for me to pick one song that standouts the most because it really is a phenomenal record, but I think I’m going to mention Soul again. That’s the one I keep going back to, but honestly, the whole record is nothing short of perfect. As far as debut records go, this is definitely up there as being one of the best. I really hope this record exposes FREEZ to new fans across the world so they can show everyone just how great they are. As I mentioned, the songs just fit perfectly together, and I love how Soul flows beautifully into Waiting For which a contender for best song on the record! The whole record is perfect to laze about to, but don’t think for a second that FREEZ are lazy. Oh no! They are one of the most hard-working bands around, and they’ve already toured round Italy a bunch of times. Now it is time that they came to the UK and blow us away with their live shows.

 

 

Irrespective of the kind of music you’re into, FREEZ have made something here for everyone. You cannot ignore how fantastic this record is, and how on their first full length record they have created something so powerful and memorable. It is a divine listen, and I hope you become obsessed with it like I have.

Always Friends is released this Friday via Wild Honey Records.





LEATHERS: Class Action.

1 10 2019

 

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On my day off today I have done what I set out to do- sleep past noon. I got up at about half past one. A well-earned rest, and I’m still tired. It’s okay, just a few more hours to kill before bedtime is upon me. I cannot wait. Anyway, I need to listen to some music to keep me awake for a little while longer whilst I avoid doing things I should probably be doing.

Bristol is the home to some amazing bands from IDLES to Emily Breeze to Oh, The Guilt and beyond. It’s a place that is just oozing talent of all kinds. It has this solid community and it’s a place that deserves to be praised for all the music it has given us. It is a truly phenomenal place, and there is no shortage of masterpieces coming out of there.

So here we are, another excellent Bristolian band to praise- Leathers. A brilliant duo who make you feel like you are listening to a Gospel version of The Cramps. There’s a lot of soul in this band, and they have something that just makes you want to absolutely play the shit out of this record. Before you know it, you will be chanting along to all the hits such as Bad News and One Track Mind (not a Johnny Thunders cover but still awesome!)

On their new EP, Class Action the band are firmly letting us know that this is the kind of sound that NEEDS to be heard, and it needs to be heard pretty loud. Luckily no one is home and I’m playing it as loud as I want. The more I listen to it, the more I can really appreciate how great they are as musicians. They play with this unified sound that maybe sounds tighter because they are a duo. If there was more of them, it may spoil it and besides, it just reinforces my fondness of duos. Of course, the only downside is that the EP is only four songs long, but you make do, don’t you? You just hit repeat.

 

 

I love that real trashy sound they have. It’s a really raw Garage Rock sound with beautiful notes of Psychobilly. Fully aware I’ve just made the band sound like a wine, but it’s alright! Anyway, the songs are easy to get hold of and learn by heart. You can really imagine their live shows and the crowd going nuts and singing along as loud as they can.

Class Action has a strong DIY feel to it, and I love when you can hear the hard work and passion gone into a record. I love how their song No More reminds me so much of Talking Heads’ Psycho Killer; part of me was hoping for part of the lyrics to pop up. Maybe they’ll do it at a show, that’d be pretty cool right? You know the part that would work, it’s obvious! It’s probably one of my favourites off the EP right now. There’s a level of fury in this one that coms across in such an effortless manner Ed beats the shit out of the drums on this one, and Chris’ voice just keeps you locked in- you find yourself going back to this song the most.

If you’re into trashy Garage Rock, then Leathers are the band for you and Class Action is most certainly the EP for you. Play it loud, play it often!

Class Action is released via KM Records.