BASIC SHAPES: Clockwork Organs.

2 07 2020

I have too much spare time that I have seem to have filled by playing FIFA as soon as I get home from work. I could be doing other things such as going to bed as soon as I get home (yes, it is acceptable to go to bed at 5.30pm, never question it) but FIFA takes priority. Music has slipped, sort of. I’ve not listened to much as it makes me sad not knowing when I’ll next go to a show. But anyway, there’s a wonderful French band called Basic Shapes that are here to kill your blues. Listen up!

Their newest EP, Clockwork Organs came out last week and it’s a really stunning record. It reminds me a little bit of Richard Hell mixed with The Buzzcocks. Basically, it’s a bloody great record and again just reinforces my love for French Garage Rock bands. There’s this beautiful energy on the songs and I love the urgency in most of the songs, and this is so clear on No Creep. It’s a real rowdy number that just gets you going. The songs are short and to the point; there’s no messing about here. Basic Shapes are here to tell you what they think and feel without taking 10 hours to make their point. We have the time to listen, that’s for certain, but sometimes you just need something that’s punchy and grabs you instantly.

There’s been a lot of great records that have come out so far this year, and I guess some could be cynical in thinking some get overlooked. Bands like The Vacant Lots and Fontaines D.C. (okay this isn’t out yet but whatever!) have put out (or about to) some of the strongest records of the year. Jehnny Beth has put out a glorious solo record that feels like an ethereal out of body experience. Then you’ve got bands like Basic Shapes who just go headfirst into chaos. Burning Flats and Night Train are such great songs, and they just make you crave going to shows so badly. Your bones start to turn to jelly and your mouth turns dry; you get the sweats. You just want to see a show. Badly.

Homeless Walk has slight Reggae hints flowing through it, and I love how this song just messes with everything you’ve heard so far. It’s definitely one of my favourites because it just takes a hard left at what you’ve heard so far. Then they go right into MYOB which is just a rowdy and manic number. It’s such a great record, and even thought they formed in 2018, this record sounds like something from a band that have been at it for years. There’s something about MYOB that reminds me of New York Dolls. It’s part the vocals and part the guitar.

The record ends with the 7-minute delight that is Night Train. This is a euphoric piece of art that just needs to be heard by everyone. Play it to anyone you know. Play it loud. Right in their face. Or maybe do it when social distancing fades away if it ever happens. It is such a tense song and the buildup, the crashing of the drums and the way the guitar sounds like an earthquake is just brilliant. It’s an effortlessly slick song, and the last 3 minutes and 30 seconds make you feel like you’ve stepped into a different universe. It feels like a totally different song, but they do it in such an unbothersome manner. It’s such an incredible listen. The vocals resemble a whisper almost on the last part of the song. You can imagine this being what they end their shows on. When those whispers are eventually taken over by the music, getting louder and louder. More intense with every second, flipping back to how the song started. It is SO GOOD! The whispers turn back into yells, and it is done so perfectly. If you’re someone who doesn’t listen to records in order- start with this one. Then maybe end on it also because it is THAT good.

Clockwork Organs is an impressionable listen and will definitely stick with you. You’ll feel exhausted after you first listen to it because it’ll take all your energy (in a good way) but you’re still ready to keep on going and to keep on listening to this mind-blowing record.





THE VACANT LOTS: Interzone.

26 06 2020

There’s no better feeling than that excitement of a band you absolutely adore releasing a new record. I’ve had a copy of the new record by The Vacant Lots for a couple of months now, and it’s been so difficult to not write about it until now. But it’s worth the wait; the record is astounding and will just blow you away.

If you’re looking for something to securely take you into a different universe, with the safe reassurance that you’ll never be able to leave, then Interzone is the record for you. Songs like Into The Depths and Party’s Over fully show us why TVL are one of the best bands around, and their electrifying sound is something to truly treasure. This is their first release on Fuzz Club Records, and given the amount of exceptional records that Fuzz Club have put out, it’s only right that TVL did so too.

Rescue was our first taste of the record, and it was the perfect way to get us to fall in love with the new sound they have created. It is is such a phenomenal record that oozes tense build-ups, dramatic sounds and hypnotising vocals. The vocals on Rescue are captivating, and Brian’s vocals are so strong on this record. Jared’s guitar on this record again sound like a beast. They both have this effortlessly cool way of creating their own noise, and you’d be hard-pressed to find anything better than this!

Interzone crosses all styles and will mess with your head in the best way possible. You will want to hear this record at 3am when everything is quiet and your brain won’t switch off. The comfort of this record will give you everything you need, and more. I strongly advise you to listen to Fracture on your own and through headphones. The same goes for Party’s Over. These two songs are beautiful in all ways imaginable. For me, Party’s Over is my favourite right now on the record and I also love how gentle Brian’s vocals are on Fracture- that’s another reason as to why it is a joy to listen to through headphones. Jared’s guitar on this is tamer than normal, but this more relaxed sound just shows us why they are both exceptional musicians.

The big question. Record number 3- is it their best yet? Yes. A huge YES. I’m obsessed with everything they’ve done, and continue to do but there is something about this record that towers over previous releases. There is something about this record that just feels more sacred, and you know, it could be down to what is going on in the world. There could be many reasons as to why, but I can promise you that this record is so beautiful, so gentle but ferocious in all the right places. The times where Brian’s vocals are gentle and where Jared annihilates the guitar- when these two worlds collide, that’s when it kicks off. That’s when you know you’ve not only found an amazing band but also one of the most exciting (and most vital) records of the year.

The lyrics are poetry, and the music is like a dream. Interzone is such a gorgeous record; it will heal the parts of you that you’ve neglected. It’ll also make your record collection look cooler! Every song on this 8 song masterpiece is a work of art. I love how Station goes into Party’s Over. The way it just gently slides into the last song is so beautiful. You feel like the record is a whole journey into something you can’t quite explain, then as Party’s Over hits, that’s when your body starts to wake up. Maybe your mind too. You come alive again, in a totally different way. The essence of this record feels like rebirth or something. The slick change in style and sound on this record is divine, and it’s something you keep falling in love with on every listen. I’m utterly in love with Party’s Over, and I’m pretty sure I can call it as one of my favourite songs that Jared and Brian have ever done. I love the sorrow in it, I love how it could be a dark song but it can also be full of hope. You can take it however you want, and that’s why I love this song and why this record is a masterpiece. It’s their masterpiece, but to be honest, everything they do is a work of art to me anyway.

None of us know when we will see the bands we love perform live again, but we have the music. We have the new records, and the new music can spur us on. This is what we needed, this is what I needed. Interzone is quite simply, a vital listen.





CLOUD FACTORY: Cloud Factory #1.

20 06 2020

No photo description available.

In a few weeks’ time, the finest Garage Rock band from Toulouse will be releasing their debut EP. The EP is being out by the reliably great, Howlin’ Banana Records who have put out a lot of records that I love, and they’ve done it yet again with Cloud Factory.

The band are made up of formers members of Noir City and Cathedrale; and if you know your French music, you’ll know that this is a pretty cool thing to happen. They’ve com together to create some feel-good music, and right now we need that. There’s a lot of joy in their music, and this carefree sound is really what gets you hooked.

The EP, Cloud Factory #1 is a perfect glimpse into what is to come from this band and how this new sound will blow us all away. It’s a really refreshing listen and the band have so much promise. If live music were something we could indulge in right now, there’s no telling just how great their shows would be. But for now, we wait. Whilst we wait, we can cling onto the EP.

Amnesia opens up the EP and is their current single, but don’t let it make you think it is the highlight of the EP. Oh no! You see, the EP is made up of beautiful moments; and one of my favourites has to be Alice’s vocals on Dead Bodies. For some it’s a pretty morbid name for a song, but her vocals have this Bjork like fragility to it. However, Cloud Factory aren’t a band that you can link another to, they are effortlessly quirky and cool, and it really shines through on this EP. The sound is so new and just a delight to revel in. I know I usually listen to music that’s a bit heavier, but this is such an enjoyable listen. If you’ve got a lot on your mind, you can definitely take a load off whilst listening to this record.

My one gripe? There’s only 5 songs! I want more, but I always want more when it comes to music but like I’ve mentioned, it is such a strong introduction to the band and even if you are familiar with their previous bands, you don’t pick up on that at all on this record. They are exceptional musicians, and I really like the way Ben’s bass sounds alongside Bruno’s drums. Sometimes it can feel like one is competing to be louder than the other, but this doesn’t happen at all on this record. They are all equally heard and enjoyed. There’s a lot of rage on the song No Data, which might be why it’s my favourite for now. I’ll change my mind of course!

Talk Too Much and Try are excellent too, and the joyful noise that Cloud Factory give us with this record and on those two songs in particular is just a delight to listen to. As someone who does tend to sway towards more louder sounds, I can safely say that this EP is a great listen and is the perfect introduction to a band that deserve to be heard, and to be huge. It’s a real feel good record, and ideal for those long summer evenings. Even if we have to stay indoors for now. Also, this record is another that fully backs up my idea that French Garage Rock bands are sublime.

Cloud Factory #1 will be released via Howlin’ Banana Records on 3rd July.





JEHNNY BETH: To Love Is To Live.

13 06 2020

Do you remember the first time you heard the voice of a singer where it totally consumed you? Do you remember that feeling that grabbed you? You may not have experienced it yet, or you may have experienced it a few times. It doesn’t matter how many times, but when you find someone who’s voice just grips you completely and their words also have a hold on you, you don’t let it go. You can’t let it go. They don’t let you go. It’s such a beautiful and vulnerable feeling, and that is why I can safely say that Jehnny Beth has one of the most hypnotising voices I have ever heard. Yesterday her debut solo record came out. I’ve not read anyone else’s take on the record, and I hope no one has compared it to the previous records with Savages because this is totally different. This is something I have never ever heard before, and my god it is nothing short of beautiful and poetic honesty.

To Love Is To Live is the name of the record, and it’s a pretty solid mantra to have. The record explores so much around lust, love, sex, intimacy, innocence and decadence. The things most would shy away from, Jehnny confronts it in the most ferocious and wonderful way possible. She has made the record with her partner Johnny Hostile (they have made amazing music in the past together and I urge you to delve into that.) The darkness on this record is so moving, and there is so much hope on the record. Given what we are all going through, we need that hope so badly.

The 11 songs on the record are carefully crafted, and you can hear the sheer dedication on every song. Of course, my favourite right now is her song with Joe from IDLES, titled How Could You but I want to talk about the song Flower first. This song is so sexual in ways you never thought a song could. It is a perfect dedication to a lover, someone who may be far from your reach but there’s that physical side that brings you both together and binds you together. The exploration of sexuality on this song is so vital. The way gender is thrown out of the window (thank god!) and sexuality is explored is just beautiful. For every queer person out there, take and make this song yours. It’s a masterpiece. The trembling in Jehnny’s voice on this really make you connect with the song and put you in her position. If like me you’ve been tuning into her readings from her book, which comes out next month, then you will have heard just how exceptional she is when it comes to describing feelings and thoughts regarding love and relationships, and all forms of intimacy that flow in between. I feel like this record could soundtrack the book.

We Will Sin Together is another glorious masterpiece on the record, and it features the always incredible Stella Mozgawa (one of the best drummers ever) and Romy Madley Croft. It’s the holy trinity of music on this one, and it is such a vulnerable declaration and also offers reassurance that you and the person will head into this together, no matter what. I could say it is one of the highlights on the record, but truth be told, the whole record is a masterpiece and every moment stands out in its own right. Just absolutely perfect. You feel as if with this song, it is just you and Jehnny in the room and she is aiming the song right at you.

What I adore about To Love Is To Live is the production and how raw it sounds. You can hear the care and passion in every single song, and there’s the beautiful raw sound that at times is bold and tall but there are times where the songs are gentle and frail. The balance is beautiful and THAT is how you put out a masterpiece. I honestly don’t feel my words can do this record justice at all. Is anyone else wishing tattoo parlors were open so we could get To Love Is To Live tattooed on them?! I’d get it done in a heartbeat. The Rooms is one of the more tender moments on the record, and Jehnny’s vocals on this are so exposed and so serene. For as long as I’ve loved Savages, I have been in love with Jehnny’s voice, her way with words and all she does. This record fully justifies my love and I absolutely wish I could sit with her, and discuss this record and the way she approaches her art. She’s just out of this world.

There is a strong Punk feel to this record, and the way she is unapologetically herself, unapologetically honest and ferocious on the record just makes you not only fall in love with her even more- but the level of respect just accelerates. I honestly can’t think of a record that has given such a wide range of emotions in a hell of a long time. Heroine is the perfect example of this (and Jehnny, if you see this please know that you truly ARE a heroine.) The romanticism in her words reminds me of Patti Smith to Baudelaire, with hints of Marquis de Sade. There’s this dark poetry on the record that lures you in. I don’t think we are made to get out of it to be honest. Why would you even want to?

How Could You is the loudest song on the record, and it feels like a riot in the ears. Jehnny and Joe’s vocals together is just simply divine. Two of the most powerful and vital vocals in music together, making something that is nothing short of an anthem. My god this is a powerful. I hope, when we can go to gigs together, she brings Joe out at a few shows and does this with him. Can you picture how wild it would be? I hope they make a music video for this, because I reckon it would be a mind-blowing and chaotic piece of art.

For me, this is one of the most incredible records of the decade and one of the most gorgeously put together records I have ever, ever heard. French Countryside shows us another side of Jehnny, and this side is the calming side of dedication and love. The gentle side of love and lust. The whole record oozes intimacy on all levels, and at times lack of it. This is such a heartbreaking song, and you can hear something truly painful in her vocals and that just makes you connect with her so much. I love how Jehnny has this ability to be tough, brave and in your face. But there is another side of her that is so fragile, almost child-like innocence and open. These sides to her are so wonderfully put across on the record, and I honestly cannot put into words how effortless she makes it. Some spend their whole career trying to master it, but Jehnny seems like she always had it in her and unleashed it right away.

The record ends on Human. It is 6 minutes and 2 seconds of important words, that NEED to be heard. It is the perfect way to end the record. The tension is so captivating, and just before we hit the 2-minute mark it smacks you right in the face. This is where she brings everything together and just messes with your head in the best way possible. I’m not going to say too much about this one because I want YOU to listen to it and soak up the song. The whole record oozes power, sensuality, lust, sexuality, decadence and all those glorious experiences that come with it. It’s nothing short of perfect.

Listen to the record in order, take it all in. Let the record take you over. Let it consume every single part of you and beyond. Explore everything and anything, and let this record be your guide.

To Love Is To Live is out right now, and you can pre-order Jehnny’s book here: http://hyperurl.co/CALMJehnnyBeth ffff





DRUG HUNT.

10 06 2020

Right from the mean streets of San Diego and right into your ears are a band called Drug Hunt. Looking the band name up may lead to weird results, and probably things that aren’t safe for work but when you get to what you want, you fast realise you’ve stumbled upon a band you have no idea how you made it this far without.

If like me you are madly in love with bands like Melvins, OM, Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, Bambara- then you’re going to be really excited over Drug Hunt. Their sound is heavy, brutal, dark and poetic. They have such a unique style that just blows you away with every listen. Their self-titled EP consists of 4 songs that will twist and turn their way into your mind, corrupt your soul and leave you feeling very strange afterwards. Nothing will feel the same afterwards. Initially I wanted to focus on the EP but the more I listen to their music, the more I’m inclined to basically write a love letter to the band.

Drug Hunt have a heavy Psychedelic sound, and they have that Jim Morrison poetic feel to the vocals/lyrics. Imagine if Jim Morrison was still alive and joined the Melvins. That’s basically Drug Hunt but my analogy doesn’t do the band justice at all. The Tower is about 6 and a half minutes long, and it then slides into the euphoric 5-minute wonder that is, The Well. The EP is beautifully crafted, and the way the songs flow into each other is mesmirising. The songs were made for you to escape deep into, to just ignore reality and go right into their world.

The songs on this EP are mighty and deafening. They are beautifully terrifying; you cannot help but keep going back for more and more. Their sound is everything I want from music- it is uncomfortable and leaves you on edge. I don’t want something to make me feel safe, I want to listen to something that makes me feel a little bit on edge. Drug Hunt do this in such a grand way. Another band that remind me of this are Italy’s finest, Sonic Jesus. Sometimes it is the uncomfortable sounds that provide the most comfort, and you definitely get this from Drug Hunt.

The five of them in this band all play a vital part in messing with your head in the most wonderful way imaginable. The guitar on The Altar for the last minute or so will make you want to weep it is THAT good. There’s a lot of heart and soul in this band, and it comes across so perfectly on the EP. It’s a real joy to listen to, and to just get totally wrapped up in. I love bands that aren’t scared to push themselves, and I love when they do that to the listener- exposing them to new sounds too, and really pushing what they thought they knew.

Drug Hunt are nothing short of exceptional, and although we may only have so far, a handful of songs, there’s absolutely no telling what will happen next. They truly take the listener on a mind-bending journey with their music, and right now, we probably need that.





CROCODILES: Shitty Times Volume 1.

6 06 2020

I’ve not written anything in a while because I’ve been preoccupied with my new best friend- my PS4 and investing too much time in FIFA20. Anyway, this is my first weekend in ages where I am not working. A full weekend to do nothing but sleep. Bliss. But, besides all this, I’ve spent a lot of time being angry at what we are seeing. At the end of this, I’ll post some links to various organisations that need our support in any way possible.

We need to educate ourselves; we need to call out those who are barbaric and wrong, and they MUST be held accountable. One band I have always admired for the way they speak up is of course, Crocodiles. Yesterday Bandcamp waived their fees which meant bands were getting paid in full. However, most were forfeiting their profits and donating them to causes related to Black Lives Matter. Crocodiles were one of these bands, and the result is the effortlessly cool collection of covers called Shitty Times Volume 1. From Madonna to Lou Reed, these 6 songs will blow you away. Let’s get to it.

The record was recorded in Paris (where Charlie lives) and in L.A (where Brandon lives) but you don’t feel the distance at all. You feel as if you’re in the room with them both as they create these covers. I adore their cover of the Madonna classic, Burning Up. If they did Borderline, I’d have lost my mind, but this comes really close. It’s such a great cover, and I love how Crocodiles cover songs and just make them theirs. Take their cover of U Sexy Thing they did a few years ago- it’s genius. It takes nothing away from the original but gives us something new.

For me, it’s all about their cover of Hangin’ Round by Lou Reed. We all know that Transformer is one of the best records ever made, and this cover makes you appreciate the song in a totally different way. They keep that effortlessly cool sound going; that sound that you always got from Lou and always get from Crocodiles. It’s such a great cover, and I hope that when we can go to shows again, they put this in their set. Can you imagine how amazing it would be?! They could do the whole record; I doubt any of us would mind. Make the show last 2 hours or so, that’s totally fine by me.

Raphaëlle Verlaine from the band Metro Verlaine takes on the cover of Elli & Jacno’s Oh La La. If you’ve ever seen Metro Verlaine live, you will know just how powerful her voice is, and this cover really shows us this. Again, it is such a great cover, you sort of forget about the original. I love that the way Crocodiles cover the songs makes you forget about the originals, but when it’s over you can and listen to them and hear it all in a different way.

Who Stole My Skateboard? Originally by Satan’s Rats is a blistering cover. This is the one you blast out so loud until you drown out the world. After the Lou Reed cover, this might be my favourite.  The guitar on it is just, * chef’s kiss * it’s THAT divine. You can’t help but keep playing it. It takes nothing away from the original at all, it just adds to it.

You can buy the record here: https://crocodilesband.bandcamp.com/

There’s a limit to about 100 tapes made, and they’ll be shipped in about 3-4 weeks.

All proceeds from the release will be going to the DeDe McClure Bail Fund, and you can find more about it here: https://www.facebook.com/pg/CommunityBailFund

If you’re in the UK and wanting to donate to a cause closer to home, then please consider supporting: https://www.gofundme.com/f/black-minds-matter-uk/donations

If you’re not angry about what you are seeing, then you are part of the problem.

Black Lives Matter.





PINS: Hot Slick.

30 05 2020
Pins: Hot Slick review - Manchester trio trade indie for anodyne ...

Everything I’ve ever written about PINS is probably going to come out again as I write about their gorgeous new record, Hot Slick. With all the rubbish going on in the world- we need something to make us feel better. You can find that in Hot Slick, and that’s a promise.

PINS have been a band that I’ve been in awe of since the start. I found them by accident, and never looked back since. I can’t count how many times I’ve seen them live and again, I promise you that their live shows are amazing. They were due to play an album launch show tomorrow night here in Manchester, but that will now (hopefully) happen in October. It’ll be my first time seeing them in the city I am proud to call home. I’d only ever seen them play in London, so this show will be extra special when it happens.

Something you really get from PINS is that their songs are made to be witnessed in a live setting. They are a band that really show you what they are made of when you go to their shows, and what they have done on Hot Slick is not only show us that this record will be incredible live, but they have laid it all out on record. Forget what you heard on Girls Like Us and Wild Nights- Hot Slick is a different level. I love both records a hell of a lot, but that new sound is so strong and a real joy to listen to.

The only downside is that the record lasts about half an hour, but we can get round that by playing it over and over! There is so much to love about this record, and one thing I love the most is that Jamie Hince from The Kills produced the titled track. If you’ve read anything I’ve ever written, you’ll know just how much I fucking LOVE The Kills so this is a pretty huge thing! PINS have worked with Iggy Pop and Jamie Hince- that’s pretty incredible. PINS don’t have a distinctive sound, and that’s really clear on this record.

They aren’t afraid to experiment with their sound and to push what they can do. They are truly one of the most hard-working bands around, and that dedication comes right through on all they do, and Hot Slick is a raw declaration of this. I love the title track so much; it’s got a strong mix of Punk mixed with Donna Summer. It’s the trashing guitar with electrifying Disco feel. It’s pure magic and is such a powerful start to the record.

Hot Slick consists of 10 songs that will stay in your head all day. These songs will play on your mind. You’ll want to live out Love You To Death (Mark from Leather Party/a bunch of other great bands, and is married to Faith, features on this) and Ponytail will just make you feel like you can take on the world. I started writing this yesterday but wanted to keep on listening to the record in order to try but something coherent together, and to obviously just keep on playing the record. Daisies is the ideal song to listen to if you’re looking to self-isolate in the park with the sun hitting your back. The whole record has a Summer feel to it, and although the world is strange and uncertain right now- we are still lucky to have bands like PINS give us music to keep on going. I adore how different Hot Slick is, and how they have made this destined leap into this sound. I love the sheer dedication and passion in this record. It’s a proper labour of love and hard-work, and that just makes you treasure it even more.

Well, now it’s the 30th May and it would have been their album release party at YES tonight here in Manchester. I’m not the only one who is just itching to go to a live show, and the uncertainty of not knowing when it will be is brutal. But we will get there. In the meantime, we can blast out songs like Read My Lips, which is the ultimate anthem on this record, and just ignore all that’s troubling us for a little while. This is such a fantastic record, and you cannot help but be massively proud of PINS for what they have created here. I know the whole point of a “review” is to be constructive, but by no means would I write about something I didn’t like or could find fault in. The world is already full of negativity, what’s the point in adding to it? If what I’ve written makes just one person listen to the band/record I’ve written about, then I’ve done what I wanted to do. It’s not a review, it’s a declaration of appreciation for a bloody brilliant record.

Set Me Off has an AMAZING Talking Heads (I’m getting a Burning Down The House feel from it) feel to it mixed with something I can’t really think of right now, but it’s easily one of my favourites on the record. I love how every song on this record feels like it could be in an off the wall indie film, that’s a bit decadent in places. It is such a bright and care-free record, and I probably wouldn’t trust anyone who sees any bad in it to be honest!

There are so many thing that make this record a sheer joy to listen to, and there are so many moments on this record that make you realise why you bloody love this band, and music in general. Love You To Death needs to be a single, just because I reckon the video could be wild. PINS are one of the best bands to ever have come from Manchester, and Hot Slick fully justifies that. If you’re looking for something to really get into your soul, take over your mind and make your record collection look cooler- pick up a copy of Hot Slick from your local record shop, and play it LOUD.

There are still some tickets left for their rescheduled tour, which you can grab here:

https://www.songkick.com/artists/410582-pins

They are also auctioning some really cool items right here too:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/usr/wearepins





THE VACANT LOTS: Fracture

23 05 2020


With every passing day, we get closer to the new record by The Vacant Lots. I’ve already heard it, and I can promise you that it is a perfect record from start to finish. The record is out 26th June, so I’ll write about it closer to the time.

Jared and Brian released the next single from Interzone yesterday. Fracture is a really calming number and it is one of those songs that leaves you in a solid state of bliss with every single listen. What I absolutely adore about TVL is that they have this strong ability to crush your brain with their louder songs, but when they take a more gentle approach like this, they just soothe your soul. That’s what makes them one of my favourite bands, and I’ve noticed that this is something I gravitate to in the music I love from bands I hold very dear to me.

Oh, and one super cool fact for you- the Arp synth used on the song once belonged to one half of the best band ever- Alan Vega from Suicide, and there are moments on the song where you can hear their influence on Jared and Brian. It’s such a beautiful thing.

Who knows what state the world will be in when Interzone is released; all I know is that whatever the situation the record will make it easier. For now, let’s enjoy the glorious sounds of Fracture and let our minds drift off for a while.





GATEWAY DRUGS: PSA.

16 05 2020

 

gatewaydrugs

 

A strong contender for the most magical and captivating record of the year is the new record by Gateway Drugs. It is produced by one half of one of the greatest bands ever (and my girlfriend is the only person I know that loves them as much as I do which makes her the coolest yet again!) Sune from The Raveonettes. You can hear his influence throughout this record, and it just makes everything feel right even when it’s all off balance right now.

PSA came out last week, and after playing it a couple of times I think I have soaked it up enough to put something coherent together. I hope! It is a dreamy record; it makes you feel so happy and so at peace with all around you. It’s a feel-good record, and right now we really need this. The past few weeks I have found myself playing a lot of Minor Threat and VOID, so I need something more laid-back to ease everything. Gateway Drugs have made the most euphoric sound you could possibly wish for. Everything from the vocals to that gorgeous reverb sound is perfection. Slumber is THE song of the summer. Maybe when we can all go out and do fun things again, this song may just be your soundtrack. The record makes you want to go on holiday and just take it easy for a few weeks. As someone who has been doing additional hours at work the past couple weeks (I don’t mind at all, I love my job) the idea of going on holiday would be great right now. I’d like to just sit and do nothing, with this record blaring out. But, I can settle for a Saturday night indoors playing it loud enough to soothe my soul. It’s a great record, and to even try pick a favourite moment or song on this record would be impossible.

 

 

Gateway Drugs are in a league of their own. There is a sun-kissed Shoegaze feel that I cannot get enough of; you just want the record to consume every single part of you, and oh boy! It sure does. It is a remarkable record, and you can truly hear the growth in their sound from when their debut came out a few years ago. For me, Sune’s production is nothing short of flawless and he’s truly pulled something out of the band that I really don’t think anyone else could. It is such a divine, heavenly record that is SO GOOD for the soul. It’s soulful record with everything you could possibly want, and more from a record to just make you feel. That’s it; it just makes you FEEL. You cling on to that because it is yours.

I’m Always Around is gorgeous, and Liv’s vocals on this are so delicate and pure. You have it etched in your brain, and the beauty in her vocals on this is definitely a standout moment, even though the whole record consists of them! I think because three of the band are siblings makes you appreciate the tight sound more, and that gives the music an added beauty. I’m in love with Liv’s vocals so much, and I love how everyone has their time to shine on this record. But like I’ve said, it’s a bloody great record and it is difficult to pick out the best moments. The songs I favour right now will keep changing, and that’s when you know you’ve found something truly special. Gateway Drugs may only be 2 record into their career, but PSA makes you feel like you’re listening to a band who are at least 5 records in. It is such a bold and euphoric record; Back Room Lover is musically out there. It’s an effortlessly cool song and it just gives you a strong feeling of Summer. When you listen to this, you can feel that summer breeze hitting the back of your neck as you gaze out to the sun. It’s such a beautiful song.

As I wrap this up, I want to bring to your attention their cover of Psychotic Reaction by the Count Five. Anyone who knows me knows how obsessed I am with the Count Five, and when I found a copy of Psychotic Reaction in Born Bad Records in Paris- I lost my damn mind! I fucking LOVE that band. I’m a bit dubious when I hear songs I love being covered, but when it done in a way that clearly pays homage to the band or the band make it their own- then I’m sold. Gateway Drugs have evidently made it theirs and beyond. It’s a wild cover, and it is the perfect way to close the record. As far as covers go, this is one to truly fall in love with. They go absolutely apeshit during the last few minutes of the song (it’s 5 and a half minutes long- the original is way shorter!) and it shows us just how strong they are not only as a band, but as musician. I hope that once bands can tour again, Gateway Drugs come to the UK. I hope they play this as their last song so us in the crowd head home in awe of what we have heard. Fully knowing we will never be the same again. Holy shit the last few minutes of this is incredible. If you want to start with this cover as your introduction to the band- then go ahead. I reckon Lester Bangs (greatest Music Writer of all time) would love this cover too.

 

 

I’ve been in a bit of a slump recently when it comes to writing about music, but I can safely say that Gateway Drugs have eased it. PSA is such a remarkable record, and if you’re looking for a record to become obsessed with and to play religiously, then please make it this one.





MODULATOR II : Slivered Hearse.

9 05 2020

 

modulatorii

 

Are you ready to take a psychedelic trip into the unknow? Into the weird and beautiful world of French pioneers Modulator II? They’ve put out one of the most far out records of the year. It’s completely off the wall and it’s a joy to listen to. If you’re looking for something to listen to so you can escape the hell that’s going on, then this is the record for you.

 I’ve been wanting to write this for a couple of weeks now, but I’ve not had the time to properly listen to the record let alone write about it. I’ve been banned from my manager from doing extra hours at work, so I’ve spent my weekend asleep. I treated myself to a walk earlier, it was okay, I guess. Nothing to report. I could sleep for hours, but I’ve got the time and desire to write about this record so here goes!

 Modulator II are no strangers to the strange; neither am I and neither are their fans. They sure know how to make music that messes with your head and makes your body turn to jelly. They move you in ways that you want all music to move you. They don’t leave you feeling completely battered, just a little bit wired and out of your mind. That euphoric glow in their sound has never been so prominent! The record opens with The Big Crunch, and it’s just the perfect way to open a grand record like this.

 

 

If you’ve never listened to them before, then treat this record as your initiation into the unknown. There’s this effortlessly cool and experimental sound going right through the record. I’ve made my feelings known on this band and the band members before (Cédric and Romain are in the equally great band, Dusty Mush who I’ve written about before!) With this record they have truly created something to treasure, and to play loudly.

At the moment I am hugely obsessed with Uncanny Valley; I love the furious drumming and the way the guitars and bass come together to basically riot against the drums to see who can be loudest. I love when a band does this. It’s easy to do this and just be out of control with no meaning, but this band give it all they’ve got, and it sounds like a beautiful noise. I just really love this record and waiting for it so long just makes it sound that much sweeter.

 Of course, it is the kind of record you’d want to hear live, but given what’s going on right now, who knows when this will happen. Like so many I am desperate to go to a show and just feel something but waiting this out and being responsible is what’s needed right now. In time, we will get there. For now, we just play the music as loud as we can and let the music get right into our bones. Bands like Modulator II aren’t afraid to go beyond and to just push the listener, and you get this so clearly on songs like Stopover Commander and Extinction. The whole record is a joy to listen to, and to just soak up.

 

 

Stolen Body Records is the home to some flawless bands, and this record is a mighty fine example of this. Every song on this record is a step up from what you previously heard, and I love that you can hear the band get better in every single song. Stopover Commander is a delightful noisy number that you just cannot get enough of. The last 30 seconds or so of this song are some of my favourite moments on this record. If like me you are obsessed with bands like Sleep, then this song will give you serious Holy Mountain vibes. It’s out of this world and is a record that will definitely be one we talk about in decades to come. I know I will be.

 Silvered Hearse is out RIGHT NOW via Stolen Body Records.