THE GRUESOMES: Cave-In.

13 12 2020

Back in 2000 Canada’s finest, The Gruesomes released the effortlessly cool record; Cave-In.

Go forward 2 decades, and this record is getting re-released by Alien Snatch!Records. There’s even some new artwork for the record too.

If you know The Gruesomes, you will know that they are probably one of the greatest bands ever! Their slick and just effortlessly cool sound is timeless. Their first record came out in 1986 (I think) and they’ve had this cult-like following.

I’ve been obsessed with them for so long, and when I heard that Cave-In was getting re-released, I just knew I had to go back and listen to it and try to put into words how great the record is. Of course Tyrants of Teen Trash will always own my heart but Cave-In is such a solid record. It came out 20 years ago, but it sounds like it could have come out back in the 60s. That’s what is so special to me about The Gruesomes- you never knew what decade they could have come from. They take you back and forth through time, and I think Cave-In is a prime example of this.

Stop It,Girl is a beautiful woeful number telling some girl to stop dragging your heart around. The Gruesomes do this so well. They spew out the songs of longing and heartache in such a beautiful and romantic way. But by no means is done in a soppy fashion. No thank you. Not round here. There’s that Punk like snarl in the songs, such as You’re Not The Boss Of Me and it’s the perfect fuck you to someone who has gone too far. There’s a hypnotic Psych groove in this one, and it’s definitely one of my favourites on the record. 

Going back and listening to this record, and knowing it came out 20 years ago but it takes you further back than that. For me, listening to this record is just like discovering The Gruesomes for the first time all over again. These 14 songs fully justify why I love this band so much, and why having this record re-issued is such a great thing. It will turn more people onto this band. Bands like The Gruesomes, The Mummies and The Cramps just had something so unique and beautifully creepy about their sound. They made you feel okay with being absolutely weird. The three greatest bands of all time, for sure.

Cave-In has everything you could possibly want from a record. It’s got rebellious songs to lose your mind to and songs to just really treasure. I just adore this band a hell of a lot. Come And See Me (I’m Your Man) is such a wild song. The vocals on this are so raw and it just makes you wish you  could go to a show so badly. I think it’s one of their most underrated records, but to be honest the band in general are just criminally underrated.

If this was my first ever time listening to The Gruesomes, I’d be utterly blown away. But you know, you still get that same buzz if you’ve heard it a billion times before. Serves You Right is the one you need to blast a little extra loud. It’s a real bratty and snotty number that should get you moving.

I just absolutely love this band SO much, and to be able to hear this re-issue and to know that The Gruesomes will gain some new fans from this is just so fucking cool!





SWEET REAPER: Sidekick.

5 12 2020

The Reaper is back. That Sweet, sweet reaper is back. Another record for us freaks and weirdos. Another record to blast out sky high, on repeat. The brand new record is out in just over a week, and I promise you it is again another super exciting record for us Garage Rock fiends, and it is definitely another exceptional record put out on Alien Snatch! Records. These 10 songs will make you feel like you are on some intense trip and the comedown doesn’t even cross your mind.

A little something to settle your nerves. A little something to make you feel less awkward; this record is brilliant. Sidekick consists of solid anthems that will make you long for going to shows and being covered in lukewarm beer. Those were the days. Sweet Reaper make constant masterpieces; they’ve been around long enough now for us all to recognise this. Every single song on Sidekick is just a filthy and slick record. If like me your attention span is piss poor, then this record is going to serve you well. You can’t be still and listen to this record; it just makes you want to throw things, do things. Anything but sit still. Being still makes me feel uneasy (but I LOVE being asleep) and the new Sweet Reaper record just makes you want to soak up this record in all ways possible. There are no bad songs on this record. But let’s be honest, Sweet Reaper have never made a bad song or an average record. Everything I’ve heard so far just leaves me in awe, and Sidekick goes above and beyond.

Their last record, Closer Still only came out this year and to hear something like Sidekick in the same year is just a real treat for the ears. What did we do to deserve this band! With Christmas coming up (raise your hand if you too are spending it alone!) maybe force people to listen to this record instead of those awful mushy Christmas songs. Sweet Reaper are of course one of those bands that you just need to see live, and given how that’s probably not going to happen any time soon- all we can do is play the records loud and get others to fall in love with them too.

At the moment I think Isle of Life is my favourite/the one I keep on going back to. There’s something about it that gives off a beach feel; it just makes you want to watch the waves crash against some rocks, and let that sea air get right into your skin. They’ve got the same energy and feel to their sound like my favourite French babes, dr chan. There is something about both bands that just makes you forget everything around you, and just makes you feel liberated when you listen to the songs.

Sidekick is such an effortlessly slick record, and for me not knowing a new record was coming just adds to the excitement. It’s an unexpected masterpiece; I love every single song on this record. I love how Spaceship makes you feel like you’ve gone into another world. I love how Doomsday Clock is probably going to lose our minds when we can finally see this band play live. I love how Same Old Thing is just under 2 minutes long and makes you feel like you’ve discovered the likes of the Ramones for the first time all over again. It’s just such a perfect record, and again they’ve made one that you can play over and over, and not get bored.

The production on this record is on point, and every song on this record radiates such beautiful energy. I love how every song could be played at a houseparty continuously and not one single person would get tired of it. I just adore Sweet Reaper and their sound/style.

Buy this record and play it loud!





SWEET REAPER: Closer Still.

12 10 2020

About 6 months after it was released, I’m finally going to write about the new Sweet Reaper record. I thought I already had, but clearly not. Besides, it’s meant I have been listening to it non stop the past few days and by no means is that a terrible thing.

Sweet Reaper makes that good stuff. That real gnarly Garage Rock music that hits you in the soul. The kind of music that makes you feel less alone with feeling lonely and a bit useless. There’s something about that fuzzy guitar and powerful vocals that just hit you, and the drums are like euphoric crashes to the soul. It’s a fantastic record, and to be honest, it just reinforces my love for them.

Closer Still is just a feel good record, and you cannot help but forget your trouble for that half hour or so as you listen to these blistering songs. Again, it is another record you wish you could see being performed live, but the universe is on it’s arse at the moment and we can’t do shit. I hope when this all ends Sweet Reaper make their way to the UK and blow us all away with their brilliance. There’s only 3 of them in the band, but don’t let that for a second make you think they are tame and are afraid to be loud. Far from it!

This trio knows exactly how to deafen the listener in the most pleasing way possible. Don’t believe me? Play Car Crash loud through headphone, and you’ll understand. Dead Man is the song you can imagine the crowd pogoing to so furiously and probably causing damage to their bodies- but why do we care?! It’s all part of the fun. And fun is one of the many things that this glorious record is.

The record has 11 songs to just blow you away, and aside from that, you cannot help but be in awe of the slick production on this record. It’s got that strong DIY/lo-fi feel, and this is one of the many things that makes this such an incredible record. Is it their best work so far? Damn right it is. You can really hear something different on this record, and it’s on songs like Faster Getaway and Sidewalk Psycho. The latter being one of the really loud moments on the record. They aren’t afraid to mellow out on some songs, just like they don’t shy away from being brutally loud on some of the songs. It’s such a strong record, and if you’ve been obsessed with it for the past 6 months- you’ll get exactly why.

You just wish you could crawl deep into the safety net of this record, and let it shield you from the shit that’s going on. But, that’s why one of the most freeing things we can do is play music loud in our homes and just shut the world out for a bit. Same Nightmare is one of my favourites at the moment but given I’ve had nearly 6 months to really soak up this record- I do change my mind a lot. I’ve got a lot of time for this song; there’s something about the lyrics and the whole creation of this song that just sticks with me. You can go between playing the record in order or putting it on shuffle, or whatever.

Every song sounds perfect regardless of the order you listen to it, and for me that’s what makes it such a standout record. Of course it’s best to listen in order, then allow yourself to just let it play however you want. It just works. If the order of the record meant that Sad Eyes was the opener rather than Sidewalk Psycho, the record would still have this same feel. I guess that’s what makes it correct in calling this a perfect record. Every single song deserves its place, and is such a joy to listen to.

As long as we have bands like Sweet Reaper, maybe, just maybe- we’ll be alright.





TV CRIME: Metal Town.

2 09 2019

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I have had a bunch of records I have wanted to write about, but just couldn’t bring myself to do so. I lost my best friend- my beloved Gran on the 23rd August. Since then, everything has seemed utterly pointless. I can’t make it through the day without crying or having a panic attack. I may write about music again soon, or I may not. I have no idea. Maybe I’ll use it as a distraction. I have no idea.  I’m attempting to push through it to write about a record I have been SO excited for; Metal Town by TV Crime.

TV Crime are fronted by one of the coolest human beings around- Shaun Hencher (he fronted VIRALS, and if you weren’t a fan of them- why the hell weren’t you?!) I’ve written about TV Crime a bunch of times, but I’m super excited to write about their debut full length record which has been released via the equally phenomenal Alien Snatch! Records (fun fact: they have never released a bad record!)

Metal Town is a record that you cannot help but play insanely loud. It’s got a strong 70s Rock feel to it, but there’s also this Garage Rock feel. I know a lot of bands fall into this category, and they don’t back it up. But with TV Crime, they make you feel like you’re truly watching this band rehearse in a garage or sweaty basement room, playing with all they have. The record doesn’t sound polished in an overbearing way. It sounds like a band who are sure of themselves, and have created something that they (understandably) are proud of.

 

 

As a huge fan of theirs, I am so proud of what they have created on this record. Take songs like Can’t Remember Your Name and Neo Waltz- they really have this 70s Rock feel that bands like Amyl and The Sniffers have given us. The two bands are responsible for some of the best music around, and have been for the past few years.

TV Crime aren’t afraid to absolutely push themselves on this record. If you want to compare them to Shaun’s old band VIRALS, then that’s on you. But just so you know, they sound nothing alike. Shaun’s vocals on this record are so strong, and there’s this beautiful roughness to it that just makes you want to try snarl out the words like him. Luke absolutely destroys the drums with no hint of an apology found- just how it should be. This is prominent on songs like Clocking Out and In The Gutter. The title track of the record though, shows us just how brilliant this band are. It’s under the 2 minute mark but don’t let that deter you. In that short time, TV Crime show you that they aren’t to be messed with. TV Crime are the kind of band that make you want to ditch everything, and just follow them on tour.

Something to just adore about this record is that the 13 songs take you on this voyage through the wonder of music. They have evidently put their all into this record, and every single song on this record justifies why this is one of the most incredible debut records I’ve heard in a long time. I knew that I was going to be blown away by this record, but the level of greatness on it is truly something else. At the moment, I think I am calling Television Crime and Never Been In Love  as my favourite songs on the record, but I’m likely to change my mind because a record this great doesn’t happen that often you know. I love how it just embodies everything I love about music, and it has this unfiltered Rock ‘n’ Roll sound. It’s an honest record with a Punk heart, and for me that’s more than enough to make me fall in love with it.

 

 

TV Crime are headed out on a tour of Europe in the next few weeks, so please go see them if you can. Hopefully they’ll make their way to Manchester soon. Until then, I’ll keep playing this record as loud as I can and as often as I can.

Metal Town is released officially tomorrow via Alien Snatch! Records.





BIKES: s/t III

25 06 2019

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About three years ago I wrote about BIKES. I went on about how I love their rugged Garage Rock sound, and how they just moved me with their sound. A few years later, I’m happy to be writing about their new (okay, it came out in April…) record. A record that is effortlessly cool, and firmly cements my love for this exceptional Berlin band. This record is not short of powerful and raucous moments that you just cannot get enough of.

Ten songs make up this record, and it just below the half hour mark. But  as someone with a bit of a crappy attention span- it works just fine! Sure I want the record to go on forever, but what they’ve created with this record is something that you have on repeat all the time. I adore everything they offer up on this record. I love how the sound is slightly more refined now, but at the same time it is still raw.

 

 

With no apologies (and why should they anyway!?) BIKES give you songs that hit you in the gut. There’s something about this record that has more boldness to it, and the song Friday Night was made to be played whilst alone, and bored. Just to get some feeling out, you know? It’s got a bit of a Bluesy feel to it, and I really love how they’ve taken this early sound that The Rolling Stones had, but dug really deep into the lyrics with it. It’s one of my favourites on the record and will probably be the one I gravitate to the most.

Something else I love about this record is that it has been put out via Alien Snatch!Records. They’re the best at what they do, so it is no surprise that they got their hands on this record and put it out. It’s the label that will cause me to be endlessly broke, but it’s fine! This is the kind of record that ruin your speakers to. You can’t help but play it super loud, that’s the only way to listen to a band like BIKES. You’ve just got to really push yourself with how loud you (and your neighbours) hear this record. It’s a wild record, and these songs are just a glimpse into how phenomenal the band are. Go back and listen to their records, and you’ll hear that this is a band that are focused and aren’t afraid to push themselves, and their fans/anyone who listens to this record.

There’s a relaxed feel to this record, and it kind of makes you feel that the best way to play this is without anyone else around you. Sometimes you need that, and records like this are perfect to do it to. All you can do is play it loud and sing along as loud as you can. All the best records make you feel this way, and BIKES most certainly give you that feeling.

This record has hints of The Gruesomes and The Rolling Stones in it, and that’s nothing short of an excellent mix. There’s a real Rock ‘n’ Roll feel, and the rawness of Garage Rock. Everything I adore about music is in this record, and in BIKES. They are a band that once you listen to, you’re just hooked for eternity.

If the inside of your head feels like a warzone at times, then this record will soothe it slightly. Or that’s just my personal take. I could have this record on repeat and feel alright, which is strange but always needed.

 

 

This is definitely one of the best records we’ll hear this year; it’s got everything you could possibly want from a record. And if you’re someone who likes the odd catchy bop or two, then you’ll find them for sure on this record.

Play it loud, block out everything around you and maybe, play it a little louder.

PS: Can someone PLEASE book these guys on a UK tour (specifically Manchester)

 





LAME.

23 09 2015

In my biased opinion, many great things have come from Italy. However, the music from there is something I’ve always had slight reservations about. There’s more to Italian music than Litfiba (they were kind of good so it’s okay.) I can only apologise for Eiffel 65. I’m so sorry. Italy has more to offer than that.

LAME come from the same beautiful city as my stepdad. Torino is one of the best cities in the world, and is also home to LAME.

LAME make a lot of noise, and their most recent release The Lame Shall Enter First is probably one of the year’s most underrated records. I don’t even know how many people have heard it or are even into this band, but the record is an angry piece of work that cannot be played quietly and privately. I’m writing it whilst listening through headphones but I know the ideal setting for it is to be played so loud until the walls shake and pictures and mirrors fall down. It’s effortlessly brutal. Cold Night feels like a maniac losing their mind late at night, when they probably should be asleep.

Known for the bluesy but Punk sound, they don’t fail to live up to that notion. Half the time you feel like smashing shit up whilst listening to the record, the other half you just want to sit with a bottle of something and watch the weary world go by. Like most bands I’ve written about, and write about, LAME are a mixture of strange and wonderful kinds of genres and noises into one and end up creating something really weird and passionately brilliant. I always want to listen to something that makes me want to start a band, even though I never will (too old and I have no musical talent) but if it can leave me feeling this way then surely it can cause some lost teen in the depths of Cleethorpes to pick up an instrument and make some noise of their own. That’s all any of us can hope for.

Another thing I love about LAME is that they feel like you’ve invaded a nightmare. You’re looking in and LAME are providing this menacing and eerie soundtrack. You want to be part of it somehow- so you start feeling as if you’re being chased through some creepy forest with some local loon close behind you muttering delirious words, brushing branches out of their face to grab a closer look at you, and to probably grab you. You’d run a lot faster with LAME blasting in the background. This feeling of being lost in the wilderness could drive anyone a bit nuts, but LAME are the perfect soundtrack to losing your marbles slightly.

Sounding like a band possessed by something greater than any of us could imagine, LAME are just a rowdy lot with something brilliantly sinister in their music. Much like Bikes who I wrote about last night, they make you want to leave where you are and go explore somewhere new.

You can listen to their recent record here: https://aliensnatch.bandcamp.com/album/lame-the-lame-shall-enter-first

As far as first LPs go, this one is nothing short of excellent, and it leaves you wanting more and more from them. Favourite new band.

Play it as soon as it gets dark, unless you’ve got a weird imagination like mine- if so, sitting at your desk on your lunch break whilst listening to something weird like this will probably give you equally mental images in your head.

FORZA LAME!





BRAIN TRAPS.

22 09 2015

Sometimes you’ve just got listen to music that shatters your brain and makes you feel as if someone is stood up in your face screaming muffled words at you. More often than not, this is pretty much what I listen to and I guess it’ll cause my hearing to be questionable in later life.

Brain Traps are a mighty fan band from Cologne. I’ve never been to Cologne, but I’m going to assume it’s a nice place. Does all the music sound like that there? I sincerely hope it does. Brain Traps are great for many reasons, and for me I just love the way they make you feel as if someone has grabbed you by the head and is shaking you repeatedly. There’s no venom just pure fury, and I love this kind of music. It doesn’t make you feel loved, it makes you feel as if you’ve gone a few rounds with a heavyweight boxer and lost spectacularly.

Their fuzzy sound with hints of reverb will speak to those who are clinging .onto something as great as Psychocandy and the likes. This is different, and is a different wave of heavy. I’ve said it about many bands before that I’ve written about, but Brain Traps are the kind of band I’d want to sound like. They are noisy fuckers who are the ideal band to play one of those dodgy basement venues that have next to no lighting and make you sweat buckets before you get in the venue.

I have no idea what kind of comparisons have been thrown at Brain Traps, and I really can’t think of any (I’m not that lazy) but they just merge all the kinds of music I love into one and make their own kind of noise. The kind of noise that your parents wouldn’t really approve of, but would probably listen when no one is around. Ah man, life is too short to act like you don’t want a bit of rowdy music in your life.

Brain Traps do sound like a bunch of naughty school kids who have snuck into the music room at school and have gone a bit mental. There’s a fair deal of experimenting in their music, and in all its chaotic glory- it works. It’s loud in all the right places and is the right side of confrontational.

Their songs are really short but as proven by the likes of Ramones and Girl Tears, you don’t need to do a 10 minute symphony to get your point across. Brain Traps are an excellent band who will make the most uncomfortable and awkward person feel alright in their own skin. They unleash what you can’t, and they do it in a way you wish you could. They’re just perfect for any mood, and I really hope they play in the UK soon because I get the impression that their live shows are what really makes them. Some bands just come alive during their shows, and I reckon that Brain Traps are one of those bands. The kind that leave you smelling of everyone’s drinks and sweat after the show because you got a bit carried away and threw your body around with everybody else in the venue.

The kids are alright, they’ve got Brain Traps.

Listen and purchase: https://braintraps.bandcamp.com/