DIE WÄRME.

15 10 2019

 

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With a drop-in temperature and the sun setting earlier, it is time for music that fits this season and the mood it brings. I don’t mind this at all. The only thing that bothers me is having to wear a coat- however, I am adamant that it isn’t cold enough to wear a coat yet here in Manchester. That will catch up with me, it usually does.

There’s a band from Berlin called Die Wärme (The Warmth, I think?!) and I cannot find anything about them online. I respect any band that can sound this great yet are completely unknown on social media etc. They have a strong Post-Punk sound, and their first (I’m assuming) release is up on their Bandcamp page. It could be their 100th record, I don’t know but I’m going to talk about the one I’ve found online and do my best to write something that makes sense.

 

 

They have a sound that just makes you want to jump around and have a great time, and you don’t care for the fact that you know nothing about them nor can you understand what they are saying. Who cares when it sounds this good! I love this dark sound them have, but there’s something about the bass on this record that reminds me of early Joy Division and very early The Fall. It’s that distinctive sound that is found in a lot of bands since, and it’s by no means a bad thing. The Fall were, and always be the best band of all time. Mark E. Smith forever, and ever dear reader. Forever.

Die Wärme’s singer reminds me of Siouxsie so much, and of course I mean this with sincere love and admiration. Siouxsie is just the best isn’t she, and it is so good to hear new bands still being inspired by someone who truly changed everything. There’s that gorgeous Gothic mixed with Punk sound on this record, and it really does make you feel like Siouxsie has made a German record. That’d be pretty cool! The record only consists of 8 songs, and of course it leaves you begging for more. I can’t help but think that their live shows must be really intense and so energetic. With just 8 songs that blow you away, and they do it in a way that takes you back to the start of bands like The Cure, Siouxsie etc. It just has that sound that moves you, and makes you want to completely lose yourself in what you’re hearing. They’ve mastered the art of captivating the listener; it’s hard to not be moved by this record.

The intensity in the music is heightened by the vocals, and this kind of atmosphere makes you just want to delve deeper into what you’re hearing. It makes you want to go for a walk late at night and the cold air hits your face, and you don’t care for where you go- you just need to go where the music takes you.

At the moment I’m really into Aufzug and Gene from the record. I love the sound and how grand it sounds; this big sound they have is just flawless, and makes you want to fall into a world of bands that have this sound. It is the perfect sound for this time of year; the grey and intense mood they create is something to really treasure.

 

 

I wish I knew more about this band; I wish I knew if we were going to hear more from them but for now let’s just take these 8 songs and appreciate them to the fullest. It’s a remarkable record and is probably one of my favourite finds of the year.





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)

 





THE UNDERGROUND YOUTH: Montage Images Of Lust & Fear.

15 04 2019

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The Underground Youth are such an incredibly underrated band, and with each record they have this ability to just shock you with their sound. A sound that is in no other band you’ve listened to, a sound that you cannot get enough of. The Underground Youth have yet again, put out another exquisite record. A record that pierces right through your heart and soul. A record that must be played obsessively.

Montage Images Of Lust & Fear is not only a great name for a record, but it totally sums up the atmosphere on this record. I’ve been a fan of The Underground Youth for a stupid amount of time, and I remember seeing them live a couple of years ago, and I was just in awe of their set. Easily one of the most impressive bands I’ve ever seen live, and I cannot wait to see them again next week at my favourite venue in Manchester but before then- I’m going to go on about their new record.

 

9 songs. 43 minutes. What can you get from a record in that amount of time? What do you expect from a record in that amount of time? Well, with this record think Rowland S. Howard’s Teenage Snuff Film meets Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds’ Let Love In record. Craig’s vocals have never ever sounded better. I absolutely love the bones of this record, and I adore how you can hear so much growth in this record. The Underground Youth are one of the hardest working bands around, and always seem to be on tour. So when you listen to this record, you cannot help but think of how these songs are going to sound live. I’m already obsessed with Craig’s vocals on Last Exit To Nowhere. It’s the second song on the record, and it just blitzes its way right on through you. It doesn’t calm down after that. The Death Of The Author is a gorgeous and eerie song that sends shivers right through you.

I love how drums can give a record or a song a mood, or create an atmosphere that just spooks you. Olya’s one of the best drummers around- she has this effortlessly cool way of just beating the shit out of the drums and letting every beat shatter through your body. You move to her beat, and the way she does this is something I’ve never seen before. She gives so much tension in the way she plays, and it is the kind of tension that you crave from music. It’s the kind of tension that makes you love the band you’re obsessed with even more than you already are. In short, she’s incredible. The Underground Youth are incredible, but you probably already know that.

Montage Images Of Lust & Fear is a record that will scare the shit out of you, but will also be a record that you cannot get enough of. It’s a record that consumes you in the best way imaginable. The atmosphere on this record makes you wish you could make something like this, but let’s be honest- no one can do it like The Underground Youth. I love the romanticism in their music. It’s not the conventional and boring type, it’s something beyond anything you’ve ever known. I’ve been listening to The Underground Youth for a long time now, and with every record they blow my mind but this record has something else. It’s heavier, it’s darker and keeps you right on the edge. You can’t help but wonder what is going to happen next on the songs. You don’t know what part of the song is going to rip right through you.

Although it is a heavy record, one song in particular is on the gentle side. Too Innocent To Be True is such a beautiful and timid song. There is this wonderful gentleness to Craig’s vocals on this, and I hope they play this song on their tour because I think it’ll show a side to the band that doesn’t get shown often. It’s a mellow moment, and it fits so perfectly on the record. The bass on this song carries you away, and you just float on with it.

Blind I and Blind II feel like they could be some creepy thriller film, set in black and white. There’s something really magical about how Blind I flows right into Blind II. Blind I feels like the build up and eruption of something really bad happening, and Blind II is like the aftermath of it. Play the songs right after each other, and hopefully you’ll see what I mean. Blind II reminds me a little bit of Ghost Rider by Suicide, which is always a good thing. The song feels like a chase, and the way Craig quiets down on this song, when they do this live I’m pretty sure the crowds will go nuts especially when it picks up again. It’s probably my favourite song on the record at the moment. It’ll change though, because a record this fantastic isn’t made for you to just have one solid favourite. Every song is there to be adored and obsessed over. Each song will get their turn, I promise.

 

Of course I’d love more songs on this record because I just love The Underground Youth a hell of lot but with just 9 songs, they again blow your mind. Play the songs as loud as you want, listen to it over and over. Every listen will give you something new to love about the band and this record.

Montage Images Of Lust & Fear is a truly remarkable record, and for me, has left a lasting impact. It’s an absolute pleasure to listen to and just fall in love with.





STONY SUGARSKULL.

11 03 2019

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Berlin is home to many brilliant bands. The ones I love have a raw and eerie feel to them. I really thought I had written about Stony Sugarskull before, but I checked thoroughly to see that I stupidly hadn’t. I used to make lists on my phone or bits of paper of bands I needed to write about, but as of late I’ve got sloppy with it. I’ll redeem myself now.

Stony Sugarskull make dreamy yet dark music. Music that makes you feel like you’re in a haunting place like The Cure’s Seventeen Seconds. If you’ve ever read anything I’ve written, you’ll know that I compare a lot of music to that record. If a band or record can make me feel how that record does, I’ll fall in love with it. I’ve already headed that way with Stony Sugarskull. They make me feel like I’m watching a Nordic tv thriller or something. They fill you will grey and black imagery. You don’t see bright colours, and I love that about them. I love how they create this almost smoky effect with their music. It’s as if everything is in a haze, and you’re slipping in and out of a dream.

Monika’s vocals are so ethereal and they evoke all sorts of images in your mind. Her voice is gentle in all the right places, but she can make it gnarly when she needs to. The only person I can liken her voice to is Sade from my beloved LA Witch. I love the calmness in Monika’s voice, and she’s such a great guitarist too. You can really tell that she has such a strong vision with Stony Sugarskull. I think this project has only been going a couple of years or so, but you can definitely hear someone who has studied and worked at they do. The sound is so strong and so unlike anything else. There are elements of 60s Rock ‘n’ Roll but there’s something else lurking within; I’m not entirely sure what it is, and because I’m questioning it, it makes me listen more than I already do. When you find something that gives you this constant wonder, I think that’s when you know you’ve found something you’re going to love for a hell of a long time.

For me, its songs like Party Girl and Skunk Ghosts that really standout. They’re the ones I keep  going back to, in like a ritualistic listen. When you can become obsessed like this with the music, that’s when you know you’ve found something you’ll treasure for a hell of a long time. I just adore the darkness and chilling feel in the music. I love how it can terrify you and can then soothe you in the same breath. This conflict is what keeps you with them. Butterflies has this haunting feel to it, but Monika’s voice is so calming you can’t get freaked out by it, it just heals the parts of you that other songs can’t quite get to. It’s got the vulnerable feel to it like Fade Into You by Mazzy Star (that song never fails to instantly make me sob.)

Stony Sugarskull make you feel like you’ve discovered My Bloody Valentine for the first time. Their sound is out there, completely and beautifully unusual- and just a sheer revelation. I can’t believe I hadn’t written about them before, but after years of listening, the love for them grew. Maybe that had to happen first. I love everything about this band. I love the trippy feel they have, I love how the drums and the guitar reverb come together to make this delicate but whole sound. I love how the vocals are intertwined with it all to create this perfect sound that makes you feel like that this is what’s been missing from you for years.

I honestly cannot express my love for this band any more than I have, or maybe I can. We’ll have to wait and see, but I’m sure I can. I’m super excited to hear more from them, and to be taken on a whole new trip with these beautiful sounds.





DISGUSTING BEAUTY.

9 10 2018

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We all have our own take on what Post-Punk is. Or what any genre is. It’s personal taste. What is Post-Punk exactly? Who knows. And the fact that it isn’t set in stone makes it all the more interesting. Who are Disgusting Beauty? Well, that’s an easy one. They are one of the best bands you’ll hear right now.

Disgusting Beauty have the romanticism that was in Jim Morrison’s lyrics. Lead singer, Silver even has that same beautiful tone to his voice like Jim had. With just one EP, Disgusting Beauty have made themselves one of the most exciting bands around and are probably one of the greatest bands from Berlin right now. The songs are dark, they are wonderfully creepy and the vocals is what tames the darkness slightly. There is something so powerful about their sound. It’s a sound that vibrates through your soul and makes you feel like nothing else. Disgusting Beauty are just an excellent band, and I really hope others pick up on how fantastic they are.

The EP came out in April, but you know- better late than never to write about them. Their music completely messes with expectations of certain genres, they take a sound that is so well-loved, and just make it into something else. The way they sound together is a sheer thing of beauty. You know how Warpaint sound perfect together? Like they were destined to come together and make music? Well, that’s exactly how Disgusting Beauty sound. They have this gorgeous united sound that makes you feel like you’re listening to a band who have been doing this for decades. To have such a powerful bond and such a strong sound is liberating to hear. There is something truly special about this band, and I really hope it isn’t overlooked.

Their bio (via bandcamp) reads, “born during a smoke-filled sunrise after nights exploring the gloomy streets of Berlin. ” My words are possibly useless when writing about them, so if you take anything from listening to them- let it be that accurate statement taken from their bio. They sound like a band you could wander round a city listening to on a damp, drizzly night. The misty evening descends upon you, as you loiter in doorways plotting your next move and walking into poorly lit bars, then soak up your thoughts with a glass of whiskey. Maybe they give you a different image. But this is something they give off so wonderfully in their sound. The four songs on their EP are just perfect to get lost in, roam the streets and not care for finding your way home any time soon.

The lyrics to the songs read like a Rimbaud poem. Full of romantic hopes and wishes. Full of scenarios that only music can take you to. The songs are poetry, and full of beautiful imagery that you get completely lost in. Close your eyes, and let Half Of Me just take you away. It’s five minutes of beauty, lust, longing and all that falls into this. I think this is probably my favourite song on the EP right now. I could change my mind, but I love the lyrics so much. They are just so beautiful and partially heart-breaking. I know I’ve mentioned it a fair amount of times, but they are just a romantic band. Not in the soppy sense. The dark and raw sense- like Nick Cave. You know, the best kind. The only kind I can relate to.

They’re playing a few shows in London next month I think. If anyone wants to bring them to Manchester, that’d be much appreciated. I’d imagine their live shows are as intense as their sound- which I am completely in favour of. I feel like I cannot do the band justice, I just hope the world listens to this band who are bending all aspects of what is expected from certain genres.

If you want your music dark, intense and moody- Disgusting Beauty are for you. Wander the streets, listen to the music and let them just take you to a sacred spot where there are no interruptions. Euphoric bliss to get completely lost in.

Enjoy.





THE UNDERGROUND YOUTH: What Kind Of Dystopian Hellhole Is This?

14 02 2017

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This week The Underground Youth release their eighth record, What Kind Of Dystopian Hellhole Is This? If there was a prize for best album title, it would easily claim first prize. With such a bold statement as its name, can it live up to it? Can it hold the weight? Oh come on, of course they do. This might come from a biased view point, but it is accurate all the same. Every song on this record has its own way to make you label it as your favourite song on the record. Each song is going to move you, push and pull you in all ways imaginable.

For me their new record seems to tower over their previous seven, and I know it is such a failed clichéd thing to say but if you go back and listen to each record and you then listen to this, you will see how they/mainly Craig’s remarkable way with words has really grown. The capture the essence of their base (Berlin via Manchester) in their songs, and they make you just want to sack everything off and move. I for one, am trying to do that because the city I’m currently in has ruined me in ways I didn’t think I could. Daily panic attacks are a given, my own reflection is a piss poor outline of myself. I try to avoid looking. My auntie gave me some dear advice on Sunday when I went home. She said, “Music will get you through.” I’m hoping she’s right because I don’t really have much else. It’s what I have when no one else is around and I don’t like to burden anyone anyway.

Anyway, let’s move on because I sound like a proper whiney twat.

The Underground Youth are going on a pretty extensive tour to promote this record. They’re playing right near my house in a few weeks, and I’m going to try my best to make it. I’ve never seen them live before, even though I spend a lot of time listening to their music. I’ve wondered how their live show would be. I hope they make it as dark and as eerie as possible. I sadly missed their show at The Lexington. Me and my panic attacks. I’m pretty sure it was one hell of a show, and it was at one of my favourite venues too. The new record seems to be one of those that you’ve just GOT to see live. It has all these intense elements to it that make you intrigued into how they will unleash these songs openly on stage.

For me, I really hope they play The Outsider on this tour as it shows a side to them that will lure the meekest of people in. Once they get in, that’s it. I love the distorted vocals and how it has a very subtle Shoegaze feel to it. I rarely pay attention to labels that are given to bands as it can just hinder/harm your take on them. I’ve read how The Underground Youth have been labelled over the period of their career, and I’ve not really picked up on any specific sound and I think that is part of the charm. The fact that you don’t know what it is or what era you think they are from makes it all the more better. This record could easily have happened circa Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds’ Kick Against The Pricks or Outside Your Room by Slowdive. That’s what it sounds like- something that may have already happened but also something so brilliantly new and brutally fascinating.

Your Sweet Love is a big highlight for me. I love the sheer intensity of it, and again, it is one I really hope they play live because there is no denying how electrifying the atmosphere will be once they indulge magically into this (just over) 6 minute symphonic blissful sound. There’s no telling where this song will take you, it’s just wonderfully captivating. The whole record is, and I don’t think any part of me will grow tired of obsessing over it and finding new songs, new pieces of the songs to love and cherish dearly. The record ends with the moving Incapable Of Love. It is the perfect song to end this glorious record on, and it really cements the title of the record. The record feels like a novel- not a piece of music. I hope anyone who hears this record picks up on that. It feels like something a write you love from way back has written and it’s been brought to life through music. Think Schopenhauer meets Henry Miller. A mixture of these two worlds and put together in the most perfect way possible.

It is truly everything I want from a record. Like all great bands, The Underground Youth have this effortless way of creating a new sound with each record and eight records in, they’ve again surpassed themselves. They do it every single time, and I love them for it.

Buy the record tomorrow and come out to see them at one of their shows!





DEATH INDEX.

24 02 2016

 

Today I was treated to a wonderful MRI scan on my spine/back. Like the letter stated, I took a CD with me to listen to, when I got there I was told due to the kind of scan I was having I wouldn’t be able to use the headphones. I thought, “Okay I’ll just take a nap.” That happened briefly. Of course leading up to today I was panicking internally-turns out it wasn’t that bad but I am rubbish with keeping still. As I lay there, all I could think was how much the scan sounded like a My Bloody Valentine/The Jesus And Mary Chain record. It was noisy and it sounded like someone letting loose with a load of reverb. I think I managed to drown it out and pretend it was a song. I don’t know. Whatever gets you through, right? Maybe Kevin Shields also went for a MRI scan and thought “This could work on a record.” I’m going with that. Anyway, from one noise to another-Death Index.

Created in the belly of Berlin via bands members from Italy (ciao bella!) and America, the Death Index record is brutal. It’s uncomfortable, it’s noisy and it is dark. Put it down as one of the loudest records of the year. Some regard the likes of Sinatra as easy listening. Bands like Death Index are my kind of easy listening. Or maybe, uneasy listening. I don’t want music to make me feel comfortable. As someone who never has, and will never settle, Death Index are the perfect band for me. Again, like most bands I go on about they are one to really invest in seeing live. I’m pretty sure you’d leave with some kind of injury. Anything less than a bloody nose is poor.

Not many people know this but Italy does have an incredible music scene. I used to think it was just Litfiba but it really goes beyond that. A lot of Garage Rock bands have come from the most beautiful country in the world (yes I’m being biased but it’s still true) and there’s some excellent Punk bands from there also. Marco’s old band La Piovra were one of Italy’s finest, and it’s pretty obvious that Death Index are going to be equally as great, right? Of course, especially when it also involves the frontman of the brilliant Merchandise; Carson Cox.

Please don’t assume that this a straight-up Punk record. It really isn’t. It oozes destruction and it confronts the end of time/the ruin of human beings in such an unconventional manner that you cannot help but want to stick two fingers up to the world. By world, I probably mean Government because they’re the problem and they can’t find a solution. Their debut record holds a wealth of angst. When you mention angst to most they immediately think stroppy 13 year olds. Not with this record. This is for adults who have had enough and can see through all the corruption and bullshit in the world.

There are brilliant moments on the record where you feel like you’re watching a Thriller, and you imagine someone lurking in a dingy alleyway in Berlin on a damp and cold night, tossing their cigarette end onto the ground as they head into the night finding someone or something to hunt down. Maybe I’ve got it wrong or maybe my mind has ran off with the music again. All I know is that the lyrics, the music and the general atmosphere on this record is nothing short of perfect. I have no idea what anyone else thinks, but I know for me that this record has everything I want from music. It has lyrics that make you think, the music makes you want to throw your body into walls and flail limbs about beating off the sweat of others and it’s a moody record.

There are many things that make me proud to be Italian, and musicians like Marco fully justify it. Carson’s’ vocals have this soothing but real brutal tone to it. You get the urgency of the words straight away and you aren’t floating off to the beach in your mind. Far from it. You see the world in all its darkness, you see through people but you get on. If you fixate on the things that fuck you up and piss you off, you’ll never get out of your mind. Music frees you. Music like Death Index frees you.

I’ve been listening to the record a few times this evening, and I wish I could give you my favourite track but that’s impossible. Each song is a body of something truly marvellous, and I’m really excited to go see these guys in May here in London. As an extra special treat for us, King of the Guitar- Charlie from Crocodiles is joining them. It’s definitely going to be worth travelling south of the river for. I’m really into Patto Con Dio, and I think it’s because it’s just over 7 minutes and I’m a sucker for long songs especially when they’re as important as this one.

Some could regard this as downer of a record because of the topics it touches on but I don’t always want something that makes me feel like I’m escaping the world. This is a record to face the world and to face daily life. It’s a brutally honest record, and you can tell it comes from a place that most want to shy away from. Many have possibly tried to make something as honest and as raw as this, but the way in which Carson and Marco have done it makes you disregard previous efforts. Death Index is where it is at. For me I don’t see this regard as a downer at all. I want music that sparks something in my brain. I want to see different sides and I want to see how others view the world. I adore the frustration and urgency in this record. It has that raw sentiment to it that captures the essence of Punk. Punk means different things to different people, and Death Index expose it all in a way that cannot be shunned.

Play this loud. Deafen yourself. Take note of the lyrics and go to one of their shows.

Their self-titled debut is out this Friday via Deathwish.