TEENAGE BURRITOS

23 10 2018

 

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I am hugely late on writing about Teenage Burritos, but now is the right time.

Teenage Burritos, aside from having a great name, make the kind of music that I just adore. They sound like The Shangri-Las with instruments. They are just one of the most exciting bands who make this style of music, and anything that resembles 60s Girl Groups is totally fine with me. They are one of the best bands I’ve heard from the West Coast in a while, and I wish I wrote about them sooner than this. I’ve missed out way too much.

The band make songs that make the cold days warmer, and if you’ve never had your heart ripped out before- they’ll make you feel like you have, because hey- no one likes to be left out. Teenage Burritos make songs for you to play super loud in your bedroom and just yell the words back at your speakers. They’ll make you want to throw your limbs about in whatever way you wish. They’ll make you feel as if some of the songs were written for you. I love that they sound like the Ramones mixed with Best Coast and The Crystals. Basically, my ideal sound.

Earlier this year they released their debut full length record, Something To Cry About and for me the fact they have covered Black Flag just makes me love them way more than I did before. I’ll touch on this cover in a bit, I just need to rant a bit on how their songs are just the coolest first! They make the songs that make you want to just waste your days away, staring into nothing and listening to these gorgeous songs on repeat. I love the heartbreak in some of the songs. I love how they make sorrow sound like a beautiful thing, and something to not shy away from. There is longing in some of their songs (Woman is a good example of this, and is definitely one of their best songs so far.) I just love how they create this haunting yet relaxed sound. They make you feel like they have made these songs for you. I’d love to see their show, I’m pretty sure it’d just be an ethereal experience from start to finish.

If you want to call Teenage Burritos a Garage Rock band, then go ahead- be my guest. But it is worth noting that they have so much more going on for them. They don’t need a genre to define them. At times their vocals remind me of Bikini Kill (Tambourine Girls is the song that nails this totally!) and they then flip this, and just hit you with utterly soothing songs. They are just a perfect band, and a perfect example of what I look for in music.

Teenage Burritos cover Paralyzed by Black Flag. How does it sound? Fucking insane! It’s obviously a great cover, and they make it theirs. They don’t make you feel as if you’re listening to a cover. I feel like I’ve gone back to the 90s in the midst of the Riot Grrrl movement, and it just sounds so good. I love how they mess with your head on this record. One song will be gentle, and all of a sudden they just hit you with this incredible aggression and beautifully brutal sound. If you play this record loud, and you have no idea which songs will go which way- it heightens the whole experience, and it’s just brilliant.

Teenage Burritos make music that you just get lost in. There are moments for you to probably cry, moments for you to scream, dance, wallow and all that’s in between. They are such a carefree band, and the music they make just makes you feel pretty damn good. Some of the songs are taken from a previous EP, and all they have done with these songs is make them tougher and even better to listen to.

Again, this is a band that I am happy to be obsessed with and constantly listen to. Their songs have so much emotion and beauty in them. As musicians, they are just nothing short of phenomenal. Absolutely a band I would love to see live.

Listen to Teenage Burritos. Listen to them loud, and move your body in whatever way you wish. It doesn’t have to be in time, just so long as you feel free.

 





TABLE SCRAPS. The Castle, Manchester. 04/10/2018

5 10 2018

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Whilst living in London, I missed many chances to see a band I quite frankly adore, and am obsessed with. My missed chances came down to clashes with other plans, public transport being a shithead and my own misgivings- panic attacks. The thought of potentially going out on my own would more often than not cause me to feel like I was, to put it heavily but honestly- dying. I still get that feeling. This week I’ve noticed it happening, but I’m not beating myself up over it. I left a city that was pretty much killing me in all ways possible, and now I’m finally settled in a place I should have been in many years ago. Why is this relevant? It probably isn’t. I’ve been up since 5am. I’ve done my washing, ironed (I know!!) some clothes and to my disgust, drank coffee because I wanted to see if it would help me stay awake. I’m now at work. I start at 8, I’ve got 15 minutes to tell you about why last night’s show was brilliant. Please note: the coffee hasn’t helped at all and I really want to take a nap.

Table Scraps are quite frankly one of the best bands you will ever see. I’m not exaggerating with this one. You want riffs that melt your face? Got it. You want vocals that beautifully burst your eardrums? Got it. You want the bass to sail through you and make you move in ways you didn’t know you could? Best believe you’ve got it. Oh, and you want the drums to sound like some higher being is in the room? Got it, and then some. Table Scraps are three musicians who, in my eyes (and ears) are HUGELY underrated. On record, it is obvious how amazing they are. But when you see them live, it’s totally different. The Castle is a tiny venue. It’s a pub with a small back room, which is basically a sauna. Last night was a sweatfest, and I don’t think it could have been better any other way. Scott is EASILY one of the best guitarists around. In fact, he’s most certainly up there with being one of the best I’ve ever seen. He makes his guitar sound like a machine gun being wielded by a maniac. This is purely down to the way he thrashes his guitar about and gives you this face-melting solos when you least expect it.

Let’s talk about Poppy and her being probably the best drummer you’ll see. There’s a couple of drummers I love hearing, and seeing them play live. I’ve got my list on my mind, and I’ve pushed Poppy to the top because I honestly don’t think I’ll ever witness anything or anyone as great as her again. I know fuck all about playing music, I just love music as a fan and write as one. I don’t know what the technical terms are or whatever, but let’s just go with Poppy being the best drummer around- and most definitely in this country. Again, she treats her drums as a weapon. Every beat is felt in your chest, and you move to the perfect timings. Then we move on to Tim. The tallest bass player I ever did meet. The bassist is the backbone of a band, but with Table Scraps that doesn’t occur. They are all the backbone of the band. I love the way Tim guides and glides us through the songs. He isn’t as manic as Scott is, but don’t let his cool, calm stance fool you. He’s got this subtle way of making you pay close attention to what he is doing. And what is he doing? Making you witness that the bass can be equally as aggressive as the drums and guitar.

Table Scraps annihilate the stage at The Castle, and blow our minds. My personal favourite was I’m A Failure. It’s my favourite song by them, and I was super happy to see it live. This is only the second time they have played Manchester and I sincerely hope it isn’t the last. Just give them a residency at The Castle or Soup Kitchen. But to be honest, they are a band that could easily play a huge arena and win people over. There is something about them, and I rarely say this because I love small venues, but there is something about Table Scraps that makes you want to see them play a huge stadium. Their sound is massive, and it is meant to be heard by us all. I honestly don’t see why they couldn’t sell out a huge venue, and just rip us all to shreds with their brutal sound. I hope one day they get there, because they truly deserve it.

The set ends with the excellent, Motorcycle (Straight To Hell) which sees Scott launch himself into the crowd for a few seconds, and the end of this song is greeted with Scott, Poppy and Tim just going absolutely nuts on stage. It was the perfect ending to one of the best shows I’ve ever been to.

If you ever get the chance to see them, GO. You’ll probably be a bit deaf the morning after but it’s worth it. They are truly one of the most talented, coolest, greatest and best bands around.

Oh, and one last thing- they’ve got a tape out on Burger Records. Do you know how big a deal that is?! HUGE.





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





VADAAT CHARIGIM.

23 10 2016

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As I have slept for most of the day (I went to the gym so I could say I did leave the house) I wanted to write about a band that leave you in a sleepy/dreamy state. Not as relaxed as Beach House but not as loud as My Bloody Valentine. Something in the middle, swaying to either side- depending on which song tugs at your heartstrings and ears the most.

Vadaat Charigim sing in Hebrew. I don’t understand Hebrew but I know I love the music, and it sounds beautiful with the music. It works. It works really, really well. But why wouldn’t it? From what I have read about the band, there is a lot of frustration, truth and questioning in their songs. The desire to escape. Something which I have been feeling for a long time. I’ll get the guts so I can get out of this destructive rut, but right now I have nothing. Which is why I guess I cling onto things like finding some hope and understanding in music- regardless of the language it is sung in. That’s the power and beauty of music- there are no boundaries. That’s how any form of art should be. So long as it is honest- that’s all that matters.

As I don’t understand the lyrics, I find other things to love about Vadaat Charigim. Lyrics are a huge thing for me, but with this band I find it so easy to love every part of their music. The vocals have this gorgeous vulnerability to them and irrespective of not being able to understand the lyrics, you do pick up on where the frustrations within the song lies. You can pick up on moments of despair, loss and joy. The songs are a wealth of emotions and for a band to allow you to feel them with one obvious barrier- that makes them worthy of more respect than your average.

For me Vadaat Charigim capture the early sounds of Slowdive, My Bloody Valentine and Swervedriver. The gentle sounds and the sheer delicate vocals make Vadaat Charigim such an easy band to fall in love with. The soothing tones and the way the guitar has this constant hypnotic groove going on just makes you feel like you’re floating above everything and everyone. You feel like you’ve escaped to this world where everything is gentle and secure- the total opposite of real life. There is nothing wrong with needing this form of escapism, and I really wouldn’t trust anyone who didn’t seek that feeling out from time to time at all. We all need it, regardless of how tough you claim to be. Just like your mind wander off wherever it feels like when you listen. Just go with it.

I think their latest release may have been Sinking As A Stone which came out last year. The songs are comforting but heavy at times. The heaviness hits in all the right places and comes mainly from the drums, with the guitar intertwining with it all. The vocals as mentioned, are gentle. They feel like a peacemaker amongst the riots in the songs.  Vadaat Charigim are the ideal band to listen to through headphones and zone out to. They take you some place truly magical and although the topics in the songs can be quite intense, you find other parts of the songs to ease it all. The band have been quoted stating that some of their songs are about being stuck. I guess by knowing this, I have found the right band at the right time.

The band are playing a free show tomorrow night at the Shacklewell Arms.





FROTH.

11 04 2014

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When your mind races and your body feels like it is seizing up, the only cure for this is to listen to music. Aside from cruel diseases, music is a cure. It eases loneliness, it drives away sadness, it can bring joy- it’s more than a cure. It’s everything. It can stop fear momentarily. There is something about it that can make you feel as if you can do anything. The ultimate high.

You find a band sometimes that instantly makes you wish that right now, you were elsewhere. In body you can be in one place, but in mind you are some place else. I suppose it gets messy when your heart gets involved, but I’ll try to avoid that for now. I suppose when you can escape in your mind well…it’s cheaper than an actual holiday. My body hasn’t felt right since I came back from Brussels; I am desperate to go back. Anyway, this is about music- not my desire to go back to Brussels.

Froth are a Los Angeles band that with first listen, you’re going to wish you lived in LA. Although, maybe it is the idea of LA that will lure you in. Froth have got a sound that is found in a lot of bands I love; a typical blissed out Psychedelic sound with 60s Girl Group harmonies. A real Garage Rock vibe is surrounding Froth’s music, and it is so easy to love them on first listen. It’s like seeing a cute puppy for the first time. What  love the most about Froth is that they don’t sound like a band that are around now. There’s a wave of nostalgia in their music that too, is found in a few bands that I am fans of. That’s another reason to love them. Their debut record came out last year (Patterns) and it’s probably one of the most underrated records of the year. Let’s not make the same mistake again. The whole point of making a mistake is to learn from them. Some mistakes are fun to keep on making, so I guess they aren’t really a mistake. There can be beauty in a fuck-up.

I’ve said it about a few bands before, but Froth make the kind of music I wish I could. Their sound is beautifully relaxed with a gorgeous Psychedelic glare. They’ve got a real DIY ethic, and if you’ve got a label like Lolipop Records and Burger Records putting your music out there, it is easy to see why. I’ve read some snippets about Froth, and I’ve read that their live show is something that needs to be seen; as you listen to their music it is easy to imagine what it would be like. Froth are a band for those who REALLY love music, and I’d imagine they would attract a passionate crowd to their shows.

As Summer is faced approaching, the pressure of heading to a beach can be a drag for those like myself who cannot (and will not) part with their black clothing and Docs. How am I supposed to relax when I feel like I am melting? Surely there are better places to hang out? Good luck if you’re in LA. But, I suppose you’d find some place better. My point is, if you dress like me (do people call you a scruff too?!) and you know what the Summer means, then just listen to Froth. Something about their music will make you feel less dreadful about imminent heatwaves galore! There’s only so long you can stay indoors before you totally lose it. Find a tree and just sit under it. Froth are a band that you can just shut off to; there is something really assuring about their music. You feel as if you’ve heard it before, but the truth is- you’ve not heard anything quite like it.

I may never get to visit LA, but I feel like I’m already there when I listen to Froth.

So, if you want some Summertime grooves or something to just soothe your soul, then give Froth a listen: http://froth.bandcamp.com