GYMSHORTS.

14 06 2018

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Any band that sing about needing a burrito are probably going to be great, right? Gymshorts live up to the sheer joy and greatness that is found in a burrito (don’t trust anyone who doesn’t like Mexican food, seriously.) Gymshorts are all you could possibly want from a Punk band, or a band in general. I’m on my dinner break, so I am going to use my time wisely to write about these 4 exceptionally talented folk.

They’ve recently come off tour with another great band-La Luz. Imagine seeing them together. That’d just be something else for sure. Gymshorts play with this 90s Riot Grrrl aggression mixed with this brutal and charismatic lo-fi sound.  They are fronted by Sarah, who pretty much melts your face with how powerful her voice is and how she pretty much annihilates you with her guitar. Her vocals are equally as loud as her guitar- nothing is overpowered or compromised, and it’s an absolute joy to listen to. They just make you want to throw away your adult responsibilities and just follow them on tour and be completely immersed in the music and live shows. It’s a kick in the gut and it feels so good. So good.

I think they may only have two records out so far, Wet Willy and No Backsies. Both are meant to be played loud to the point where you’re going to be deaf for a couple of days. They’ve got this raw and grand sound that is such a pleasure to hear and something I’ve not heard in a long time. They basically take all the parts of music that I love, and rip it up to make something completely out of this world. They truly are an exceptional band, and they just make you want to throw a whole bunch of shit around, and be irresponsible. Sometimes we need music to bring this out of us, and Gymshorts do this so well.

No Backsies was released first, and it’s got this proper ferocious feel to it that makes you feel like an angry dog is biting at your ankle. You don’t care for the blood that is drawn; it is the sheer rush that spurs you on. I think this is the louder record out of the two, and it definitely cemented their raw and rough sound. They consistently make you feel like you are in their rehearsal space where nothing is held back and everything just comes tumbling out. No hang ups at all. Both records are nothing short of being effortlessly brilliant. And fuck it, I hate the word but Gymshorts are definitely cool. They make you wish you were in a band as cool as them.

They’ve got a real Punk attitude in their sound and the way in which Sarah carries her voice. The distorted and almost shouty vocals are really what lures you in. Sometimes when a singer tries to do this, they really fuck it up but Sarah has this way of not making it come across as forced. It’s definitely not forced, and that’s what keeps you listening to them.

They can sing about burritos all day long and I wouldn’t get tired. There aren’t enough songs about them, thank god Gymshorts have done it. I love Punk and I love Mexican food, so it’s no surprise that I am in love with Gymshorts music. Sure it may not be to everyone’s taste, but they really are an incredible band who sure know how to play.

The new record, Knock Knock should be out this year, and the song above (Breathin On Me) pretty much shows just how exciting the new record is going to be. It’ll be released via Wallflower / Burger Records. Bachelor Records will also be releasing it in Europe. Buy the music and of course, play it loud.

 

*photo by Casey Joseph





SHADY AND THE VAMP: The Holy Teachings Of Rock ‘n’ Roll.

15 12 2016

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A few months ago I wrote about Shady And The Vamp. They’re not a new band, but they were new to me. One song, and I was in love. That’s how it is with me. I instantly know if I’m going to love a band or not. I need all the distractions I can get, which is why I’m choosing to write about their new record, The Holy Teachings Of Rock ‘n’ Roll now rather than putting it off.

The record came out last month and I foolishly forgot to write about it. I’m not into writing, or even reading reviews of records. This isn’t a review, I guess. It’s just going to be me going on and on about why I love the record. I’m not going to pick out weak songs and pull it apart. Instead, I’ll just go on about why they are one of the best bands around and why this is one of the finest records of the year.

The Holy Teachings sounds like an extra smutty version of the first New York Dolls record. I’m fairly sure Johnny Thunders can hear this record wherever he is now, and is probably impressed by what he hears. The Holy Teachings is the perfect level of rowdiness and has a beautiful obnoxious sound. It’s effortlessly Punk sounding and it feels like a kick to the gut. The kind of kick that sets you back and leaves you in awe of what you’re hearing. It might even leave you wishing you were in a band so you could make this kind of noise.

Every song is so powerfully loud and sinfully short. Selfishly I want the songs to last longer than 2 and a half minutes but it just means I’m playing it more than 3 times in an hour- and I’m cool with that. Shady And The Vamp are everything I want from a band, everything I want from music. They’ve got this brilliant Punk/Garage Rock sound that is probably in virtually everything I listen to. Maybe that makes me a bore (I just know what moves me, and it isn’t just one style of music.) We all have a preference, and this is mine. They execute this sound so well. All you can do is play it loud and by the fourth listen, you’ve memorised every word and you are shouting along with them.

Shady And The Vamp’s debut record sounds like something that caused a whirlwind decades and decades before- they’ve captured the raw essence of Punk and Rock ‘n’ Roll. They’ve truly created something wonderful with their debut record, and it just leaves you begging for more and more from them. We’ll have to wait. They’ve got a little Psychobilly sound flowing through which makes me love them even more.

They’re not from this planet. Nothing from this planet can make something like this. The fury and passion in their sound is so powerful and so genuine. This isn’t a forced sound, this isn’t a sound that feels like they’ve cottoned onto something fashionable for the hell of it. They sound like a band who truly need to make music. They sound like a band that will hopefully be around for a long time. Creating this exceptionally weird and brilliant sound that just shoves the middle finger in the face of those who buy into the crap they are constantly forced to listen to. You need to escape the inside and embrace what’s on the outside because it just sounds much better- it sounds like Shady And The Vamp.

I refuse to pick a favourite song off the record, all I can say it is one of the best records of the year and is criminally underrated. The Holy Teachings Of Rock ‘n’ Roll is out now on the consistently brilliant, Bachelor Records.

Shady And The Vamp sound like the kind of band you must see live in order to appreciate just how loud they can get. I hope next year they find themselves in the UK playing as many dark, dingy basement bars as possible





SHADY AND THE VAMP.

5 09 2016

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Do you ever hear a band and just wish you were either friends with them, or in the band because they sound so good? Does it leave you feeling shameful of your own musical misgivings? You’re not alone. I feel this way about most of the bands I write about, some more than others. This evening I am projecting this feeling onto a band called Shady And The Vamp. Not only is their name pretty cool, they also sound it. Effortlessly brilliant and they combine my love for Garage Rock and Punk in such a way that leaves me wishing I was in the band. Yeah, this happens a fair amount but basically- Shady And The Vamp are great.

I know virtually next to nothing about the band other than there is three of them, they’re based in Switzerland and I love them. That’s all you need to know, right? They are wonderfully loud and have this angst in their sound that doesn’t come across like a stroppy teenager. More like an adult who is tired of your shit and just wants you to be quiet. We can all relate to this. They’re the ideal band to listen to whilst on your journey to work so you can block out everything and everyone around you. Play as loud as your ears can stand, let everyone enjoy the band through you. At least it isn’t Techno.

Shady And The Vamp play the kind of music that is perfect for either a house party or a dive bar. Do they make you feel as if you’re listening to a band from Switzerland? I can’t make that call as I’m not familiar with many Swiss bands, but if they all sound like this then please send me there now and take me to the next show. Their sounds are playful, rowdy and just an absolute pleasure to listen to. There’s something about them that makes you feel as if you’ve encountered a band like The Damned for the first time. It sounds a bit strange, a weird feeling hits you but you know you’ve found something pretty damn neat and nothing is going to compare to it.

I know a lot of people take comfort in music, I’m one of them. I’ve never felt at ease listening to something gentle. I have to have something quite rowdy in my ear in order to help me settle. The complete opposite of how I am- that’s the music I go for. I love their take on Piangi Con Mi (originally done by Italian greats- The Rokes.) As We Told You Earlier by Shady And The Vamp is such a great record, and it’s just full of songs that could excite the most boring of souls. I’m pretty sure that’s why I instantly fell in love with them, and wished I was in a band like theirs.

My love for Garage Rock and Punk is pretty obvious. I like how some bands can sound aggressive and gentle at once. I like the way vocals are distorted and how the music can send a body into a deep frenzy. How it all sounds like it was meant to be heard in a basement bar- that’s what I want to hear. Bands like Shady And The Vamp are perfect to listen to, and to just zone out. I’d imagine their live shows leave the crowd wanting to destroy the place. Tearing down the walls, but being kind to each other. That’s how it should be.

Shady And The Vamp have been going for a few years, and they do sound like a band who could easily have been around with The Vagrants or The Gruesomes. They’ve got an old soul burning in their sound and that’s part of the appeal, and part of their beautiful charm. They’re currently on tour in Europe, and if they ever make it to the UK I will feel like a kid at Christmas that finally got a puppy. To soften the blow for those who are yet to see their live shows, their new record The Holy Teachings Of Rock n Roll is out in October via my favourite label Bachelor Records.

Until then, check out their previous releases here: https://shadyandthevamp.bandcamp.com





DIE BÖSLINGE

9 06 2016

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Now I have a functioning record player, I can go back and listen to the 7″ I’ve acquired over the past few months. It’s pretty good to blast something pretty obnoxious and slutty as the sun starts to set. I guess most would want something romantic, but I’m more at ease with something rowdy. I don’t have much to go on about these guys, but what I do know is that they give the likes of the Dead Boys a run for their money in the tyrant, snotty league.

I was sent a copy from one of my favourite labels, Bachelor Records. Everything they stock- I want. If I won the lottery, a vast majority of my winnings would probably be sent right to them. They are the hub of all things noisy and great. They’re responsible for a large chunk of my collection. Whenever I want something louder than usual, I turn to them. Is this how problems start?

These guys are really loud and have a real rowdy Punk sound that would shock anyone’s grandma. But not mine, she’d probably be into this. She once told me she liked Nick Cave, just so you know- I’ve got the coolest family. The band recorded this 7″ release in just a day. It’s raw and energetic sound captured the hearts of rebellious Punks everywhere in ’79. You can’t get a copy of the original anywhere, and Bachelor have sold out. So why am I even telling you about them if you can’t get hold of their music? I clearly like to torment you, whoever you are. Or maybe you’ll find a way of getting a copy. Power to you if you get your grubby hands on an original copy, mind.

The three tracks on the 7″ are typical of that fast Punk sound. Do whatever you want when you listen to it, but be quick. The songs are delivered with such force and this great rush that spurs you on. How could they release this and to then be never heard of again? It’s a damn travesty. Bands like this should always be around, but I guess in some respects they still are.  All 3 songs on the EP are sung in German dialect so this is by no means a conventional or typical release. It’s a rambunctious wonder for us who like things a bit strange.

The songs sound like a spew of rage from frustrated teens/adults trapped in a world that begs them to conform. Fuck that! Conform?! Get out of town. What good ever comes from doing what others tell you to do? NADA. Nothing. Don’t do it. Do what makes you happy and get some Die Böslinge in your life. I have no idea what they’re saying, but when has that ever stopped me from enjoying music? All I know is that these 3 made just one release that’s equally as important as any other Punk record that came out around that time, or ever. It takes all the elements of Punk we know and love, and they made something of their own. And what they made was a delightful whirlwind of chaotic sounds that free the mind, body and soul.

Play it so loud your neighbours feel like you’ve moved in!





BIKES.

22 09 2015

Berlin heartthrobes Bikes are brilliant. They are a proper rowdy and obnoxious band. Their sound is part Iggy and The Stooges and part drunken street brawl. The songs are awfully short (like myself) but don’t let that be a deterrent. They’re one of the finest bands doing this kind of music. What kind of music is it? Oh it’s just noise to the outsider, but anyone else would realise very quickly that it’s a stroke of potential genius. The G word is lobbed around too often, so I’ll say it is potentially genius, but in my heart I know it has already reached that point.

When I find a band like Bikes I feel like I’ve won the lottery. However if you saw my bank statement you would probably think I’ve been a victim of fraud. Truth is, I’m shite with money. I found a new record store to venture in next week when I get paid, but today on my lunchbreak all I could do was lustfully look at it as I walked past. It didn’t help that my uncle (he’s on holiday in Canada) sent me a photo of two records he bought today (The Cramps and Fucked Up.) My time will come next week on pay day.

Money woes aside, Bikes are the kind of band you go to when you’re broke,bored and unsure. They’re the right kind of loud and they just make you want to pack up your stuff, and escape to Berlin. As you make your escape, you decide that Bikes are going to be your soundtrack and you throw yourself into their scene. Bruised and sore, covered in various shades of booze and sweat. They are the epitome of a good time for those who want to throw themselves into the unknown. Their sound is a mixture of weirdness, Punk and Garage Rock. All the typical things that I adore rolled into one to make this incredible sound.

They’ve been going for quite some time now, and I’m foolishly only just now discovering them. I first heard them about half an hour ago, and I knew I had to try write something about them, even if it makes no sense. I’ve never planned any form of writing, and I’m fairly sure it shows. Bikes are the tyrants that are coming to save you. Their menacing and infectious sounds can pull anyone through the worst day of them and are just a real joy to the ears, and soul.

You can do a whole bunch of nothing to this band or you can go on a journey of self-discovery, regardless of your mood and general state of being, Bikes are a band to really get behind and play as loud as you can stand. They’ve got a song called Ocean Penis, that’s pretty great.

All you snotty nosed brats and restless adults, let Bikes be your soundtrack.

Get the tunes here:

https://bikeshateberlin.bandcamp.com





MAKEOUTS.

17 09 2015

Built on a chaotic and destructive sound, Makeouts are one of the best bands around and you need to listen to them. The noisiest band in Stockholm for sure. They’ve got elements of The Damned in their music and the loudness of a gang of teenage lads causing trouble in school. They’ve got a sound of pure rebellion in them, and it’s something to fully embrace.

In all honesty, I don’t know much about them other than where they are from and how great they are. Their sound is a bundle of chaos that works so well, nothing here needs to be tamed. If anything, they could probably go a little louder and a bit more brutal. They make the kind of music you’d want to trash your room/house to. It’s a whirlwind, a riot and should be getting into the brains of the youth. They’ve been around for quite some time now so I think it is fair to call them one of the finest Garage/Punk bands in not just their homeland, but Europe. They’ve got something really rare about them and it makes you want to delve deep into their music.

Makeouts aren’t just for snotty nosed brats or those who are constantly bored, hell they can be for anyone, everyone. Their accessbile noise is what makes them so appealing and just a general treat for the ears. You just stick them on repeat and go off into your own world. I don’t know if they’ve ever played over here, but when/if they do, I’m pretty sure they’ll cause some kind of hysteria that leaves fans in a puddle of sweat and other fluids, just wanting more. With the trail of destruction they could potentially leave just by hearing them on record, I’m fairly sure their live shows are different levels of crazy.

Have we had a band as exciting as Makeouts come around? Maybe we have, but it is important to know that these guys aren’t wet around the ears no more. They’ve got a solid sound that needs to be played loud, you need to sing a long and listen as if your life depends on it. They have songs to go nuts to, to sing a long to at 3am when you should be asleep and not having another drink. They’re the right level of destructive and chaotic. It isn’t forced, it isn’t for show and they aren’t trying to impress you. You know all of it comes from a genuine place and I think that’s what makes them easy to approach and to just enjoy their music.

They’re that band you find by accident when you’re supposed to be doing something else, but you get immersed in their music and you just forget all you were supposed to be doing. That’s not always a bad thing and don’t let people call you out on it.

Play Makeouts as loud as you can stand and go break stuff.





NEW SWEARS.

17 07 2015

“I don’t know what I’m going to do with myself,  
Turn off my brain and put a cigarette in my mouth.”

There’s something addictive about bands who make you want to trash every room you walk in. The urgency to just destroy stuff upon hearing a song by New Swears is uncontrollable. I mean this is the best way imaginable. Sure half the time we listen to music that makes us want to gauge our eyes out, hack off our ears and run away. New Swears the opposite. They make you want to join their gang and make a lot of noise.

New Swears are a band that sound drunk. You can’t imagine going to their shows and standing like a frigid nun. You would move around intensely and you’d leave covered in bruises, blood, sweat and probably on a Thursday night, someone’s piss. The latter, I’d imagine, isn’t a selling point. But my point is that these guys sound beautifully out of control and they don’t care what you think. It’s part Britney melt-down mixed with some lo-fi grooves. It’s all you need and more.

Their music consists of underground party tunes or you know, you could just play them loudly on your own without anyone around. Both are acceptable. Of course the best way to experience how brilliant New Swears are would be to catch one of their shows.  New Swears make the kind of music to make you unleash all that tension inside you. It can be any kind you so desire, but they just pull it out of you almost as if they have healing powers. They probably do, so get in line.

New Swears have this intense sound which some may be (foolishly) intimidated by. The sheer loudness and destructive nature in their music is really what I love. I love that they are unapologetically daring with their sound; who else is doing this. By no means are they are hardcore tribe, they’ve got something more than that. They’re a band that I firmly believe MUST be seen live. I’m slowly going through their back catalogue, and I’ve found some inner peace with the song Candy Land. It’s one of their more toned down songs. I love the lyrics, and it would sound equally as great if the words were screamed instead of sung. They are just wonderfully talented guys who need to be heard loudly and constantly. Oh I have fallen in love.

There’s this passionate fury coming out of their music that makes you want to do what they do, and maybe louder. New Swears make you want to put on your favourite battered and ripped t-shirt and sail on into the night covered in questionable markings and smells. Some bands take themselves far too seriously and create music that is too hard to relate to. Then we have bands like New Swears who make sense of all those daily life annoyances. They sum it all up in a way that makes you feel alright with dissatisfaction at all around you. They make you feel slightly more comfortable in your own skin. They also make you want to raise your own kind of hell.

I have no idea what New Swears are up to, but you can listen to their music here:

https://newswears.bandcamp.com/