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.





L.A. WITCH: Play With Fire.

18 08 2020
Play With Fire | L.A. WITCH

One of the few things I’ve been super excited about is the brand new record by the finest band from L.A. A band who I have been obsessed with, in love with since the very start. A band who perfectly capture everything I love and want from music. A band that have been the soundtrack to my days- good and bad. A band that are just the coolest. A band that everyone should fall in love with.

This Friday, L.A. Witch’s second record, Play With Fire will finally be released. I’ve had a copy for a couple of months, and I’ve been dying to write about this record. Now I can finally do it, I’m not sure if my words will make sense but hopefully you will be able to make sense of my love for the record and get yourself a copy on Friday.

The record opens with the tougher than leather anthem, Fire Starter. It perfectly sets the mood for this record. It’s a record that you can imagine listening to whilst on the open road, the wind blowing in your face and slowly, every worry you carry is falling away from you. This follows right into the anthemic Motorcycle Boy- which is beautiful ode to a loved one in a way that only L.A. Witch can do. There is no room for comparisons here- whether it be to other bands or to their debut record. Play With Fire is the record of the year; that’s all you need to know.

Sade, Irita and Ellie have hugely excelled themselves on this record and have given us that holy water we desperately need to cleanse our mind, body and soul right now. The record is a masterpiece, and everything about it just oozes something so raw, so cool- it’s such an exciting record and they have truly gone above what we thought we were going to get on this record. Forget what you’d previously heard- Play With Fire is where it is at.

Dark Horse is a song I really need to praise. I know I said NO comparisons, but this song gives me serious Jim Morrison vibes. The poetry in the words, the way Sade’s vocals on this are just unreal. On some songs her vocals are distorted, but here we can really hear how strong her voice is. It also shows us how Ellie and Irita have tightened their sound, and along with Sade’s guitar- it’s just the perfect song. If you want a song that shows you how far the band have come and how they have perfected their art once more, then this is the song. Easily.

You know when you hear a record, and you just imagine how it will sound live? That’s what L.A. Witch give you here, and more. I’m not talking dingy and sweaty basement bars here- I’m talking big stadiums where the front row is made up of kids who will cite it as their first show, then go on to form their own bands and change the world. That’s how great this record is. The riff on I Wanna Lose blows my mind every single time, and with Ellie’s drumming and how Irita brings this urgency with the bass, and you’ve got Sade unleashing hell with her guitar- come on! What more could you ever need?

Play With Fire is the record we all need right now, and for eternity. It’s got this seedy road trip feel to it, it makes you feel like you’ve tripped up into an underworld that no one else has discovered yet. You also feel like you’ve joined a cult and L.A. Witch are now your guides. Do what they say, and you’ll be fine. The attitude on this record is on point, songs like Sexorexia (please god make this a single!) is empowering. It’s tough and my god Sade’s vocals will give you goose bumps and make you feel like you’ve found your own nirvana. It is INCREDIBLE. There’s something about this record that feels nostalgic but also unheard of. It is a proper magical record, and every single song on this record will take you over completely. Every single song deserves its place here, and the way the songs are placed is perfect. Listen to it in order first, then do whatever you want with it. Play each song 5 times before the next if that’s what you want to do. Blast it as loudly as you can. Knock on your neighbour’s door to tell them how great it is! Tell anyone who will listen that THIS is the record of the year. Play With Fire is one of those records that we will be talking about in years to come- it’s got a timeless feel to it, and it’s unlike anything you will have heard before. It is a truly mind-blowing listen from start to finish. If you want songs to waste away the day to, to escape to or to even heal parts of you- LA. Witch have got you covered, always.

The record feels like the best acid trip imaginable (I’ve never done drugs, but I’d imagine this record is how it feels.) You are taken into a different world, and what I adore about Play With Fire is that is stands for something. It’s a courageous record, and it gives you something to believe in; and it makes you feel like an outlaw on the run whilst listening to it. This record could easily be the soundtrack to a film, and I hope one day L.A. Witch create the soundtrack for a film because it would just be insane! For me this record fully justifies why I adore the band so much. Ellie is the best drummer around. Irita is the best bassist you’ll hear and Sade is ferocious on guitar, and her vocals are just as powerful. L.A. Witch are a band that are going to get better and better with everything they do- that’s obvious.

I’ll wrap this up with a quote from Sade about the record: “Play With Fire is a suggestion to make things happen. Don’t fear mistakes or the future. Take a chance. Say and do what you really feel, even if nobody agrees with your ideas. These are feelings that have stopped me in the past. I want to inspire others to be freethinkers even if it causes a little burn.”

Play With Fire is out this Friday via Suicide Squeeze Records.





L.A. WITCH: Gen-Z.

15 07 2020

There’s a handful of good things to have happened so far this year, and one of them is the fact that we’re going to get a new record by L.A.Witch. I’ve already gone on about how amazing I Wanna Lose is, but now it’s time to tell you about  the brand new song, Gen-Z.

Do we need a raw Punk fuelled anthem? Of course! Always. L.A. Witch give us it completely on Gen-Z and there’s that solid L.A. Witch sound we all know and love on it- this is found in every element of the song from the drums, to the vocals, to the bass and to the guitar. Ellie, Irita and Sade are the best at what they do. Quite possibly one of the best bands ever, no question. They just have this effortlessly slick sound that makes you wish you had even a fraction of their talent. I love how they have this unified sound, and you can truly tell that they make music for them. They make it how they want. On their terms. Always.

Gen-Z is just another taste of their new record, Play With Fire which comes out next month. I’m so excited for this record. I just know it’s going to be one I have on repeat- that’s the thing about L.A. Witch- they make songs you can have on repeat constantly, and you don’t get tired of it. If anything, you find new parts to love. Listening to Gen-Z again (and again, and again!) I can hear parts of bands I love- at times Sade’s guitar reminds me of early Nirvana with a nod to Johnny Thunders. But there’s this Wall of Sound feeling that goes in and out of the song so perfectly. You might pick this up more if you listen to it through headphones. It’s Ellie and Irita who bring that feeling for sure. I just love how they sound, and how they make the kind of music that makes you feel cool but safe.

There’s a quote from Sade about the song, that really hit me in the gut and I think it’s something we can all relate to especially right now; “When I was a kid, music and guitar was my escape. Music was how I fought through my depressions. What will the future do to get through it? With constant pressure to be perfect and information/advertisements and brainwashing constantly being shoved in your face, you become a product of your environment. ‘Gen-Z’ is about being a slave to technology, specifically to our phones.”

I’m guessing if we could all escape (or be allowed to travel/go on holiday) right now, most of us would. L.A Witch always make you feel like you’re either at a skatepark in L.A. or at a beach watching the world go by. Two places that are perfect to listen to them at. The feel of Gen-Z is much like I Wanna Lose- it gives you that raw excitement for the record. I’ve struggled a LOT recently to write about music but hearing Gen-Z today has given me a boost. L.A. Witch are one of the few bands I listen to and instantly feel I need to write about, and just give me that love for music all over again.

I don’t need to delve into this further- check the song out for yourself right now!

Play With Fire is out 21st August 2020 via Suicide Squeeze Records.





NADU: Determinator II.

19 06 2020

A lot of the music I love and write about comes from the West Coast. I went through a stage a few years ago where I would only listen to music from there and wouldn’t give anything else a chance. Certain places just seem to always give us great music. Something in the water, right?

I’ve had my copy of Nadu’s new record for a few months now, and finally being able to share my thoughts on it is a pretty great feeling. If you’ve never heard his music before, you’re in for a right treat with this record. And if like me, you’ve heard what he’s done before, then you too are in for a treat!

Determinator II consists of 6 pure Garage Rock songs to blow out your eardrums and to shake you right to your core. Nader has done all of this himself, and he could well be the poster child (adult really) for that DIY ethic we all admire and appreciate. Knowing he has done all of this by himself just makes you appreciate the record more and you take in every minor detail too. Nothing goes unnoticed and you can really hear just how much work has gone into this record.

The record opens with the electrifying Survive; the perfect way to open the record and to bring you into Nader’s world. A world that just oozes everything you could possibly love about music, and more. It’s such an anthem of a song, and you just long for the days where we could go to shows and really enjoy music.

Of course with Nader being in L.A and me being in Manchester, there’s no chance I’ll catch a show of his anytime soon but what he does so well with his music is make you feel as if you’re right there at his show. You feel like you’re at a dive bar that’s a little too crammed, and you’re standing too close to people you do not know but nonetheless, you are all having a great time- that’s exactly what the whole record gives you, and this is something I really love about a lot of the bands I write about. When they can give off that feeling, you know you’ve found something genuinely great.

Nader has this great way of creating rambunctious Punk songs that take you deep into the pits of sheer raw energy and by no means do you want to climb out. The songs on this record are colossal. They are made to be played so loud you can feel your face melt and your body quake with every listen. It’s a bloody amazing record, and it picks up perfectly where Determinator left off. I think there’s about a 3-year gap between the records, and you can really hear the growth in Nader’s vocals and musicianship. He knows exactly how he wants to sound and is totally focused on that. You really get this on Determinator II. It’s so apparent. Attraction has quite a Grunge feel to it, especially vocally and the urgency in this song just makes you keep going back to it. This is one to be obsessed with.

I can’t stick with one favourite song on the record. My mind changes with every listen (and I’ve played this a lot!) but I think at the moment I might be taken with Ain’t Easy. He makes the guitar sound like this weapon of destruction, and with a snarl in his voice, this is definitely one of the heavier songs on the record. Determinator II is made up of 6 songs that show us pure talent and obsession with music. It’s got the potential to be one of those records that some kid hears and thinks, “I want to do that!” That’s all we can hope for. Make your own noise and make it loud.

Considering how shitty this year has turned out to be, we are getting a solid list of great music this year. Irrespective of genre, this year has truly given us some great records. From Gaga to The Vacant Lots (next Friday) to L.A. Witch (August!) and Nadu. Find joy where you can, and cling onto it.





L.A. WITCH: I Wanna Lose.

18 06 2020

Find joy wherever you can, and hold onto for however long you wish. For example, L.A. Witch have just put out a brand new song and announced a new record coming in August. That fills me with joy, excitement and sheer happiness. I’ve written about them countless of times, starting from when the band sort of started out. When they announced their first ever UK tour a few years ago, it felt like all my Christmas’ and birthdays had hit me at once, but better. I absolutely LOVE this band, and I will make it known whenever I can.

So, what’s the new song like? Well, if you’ve ever listened to their music you will know just how phenomenal they are and as musicians, they are nothing short of mind-blowing. They are at their peak on this song, and it is a beautiful taster for the new record. I Wanna Lose shows us exactly why L.A. Witch are the best around. This song also shows how great they are as musicians- both individually and together.

You need to play close attention to Irita’s bass on this one. She’s turned it up to beyond 11 and you can sense the determination in her playing on this that she wants to annihilate your eardrums. Let her. Let all three of them totally deafen you with their glorious sound. With Irita’s slick sounds and effortlessly cool tempo, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better bass player around. If you think she’s unreal on record, just wait until you see the band live. Everything you loved about them will become heightened and nothing will ever be the same again. Live music, remember that? Remember going to shows and seeing your favourite bands? We need that. We need it soon. Urgently.

Now let’s get into how Ellie thumps at your chest and ribcage, and skull with the pounding of the drums. How she sends your brain into a different universe, almost ripping you apart from your body and catapulting your soul into space. She comes in right after Sade’s intro and just keeps up the pace for the next 4 minutes, and makes you wonder, “How the hell does she do that?!” She plays like she’s got a point to prove, and you can really sense that hunger in her drumming. And again, like Irita you get this heightened at their live shows. If this is what we are getting from just one song, imagine how the whole record will be. I don’t know if I can wait until August! Honestly, they have never sounded so good and so loud. Take everything you heard by them before and let yourself soak this one up good and proper. From around 2 minutes and 20 seconds or so, Ellie’s drumming builds up and up into this really gnarly Punk sound. I love it so much, and she keeps that going right until the end.

Alright, now it’s Sade’s turn. She has one of the most distinctive voices around, and I love how she makes you feel like your listening to something from decades past but also something really futuristic. As a guitarist, she’s up there with the best of them. To be honest, if you were looking for musicians to create a supergroup, then L.A. Witch would be the band. They are just out of this world. Sade’s guitar on this is heavy, fuzzy and loud. They seem to have cranked the volume up more on this song and I hope the whole record has that feeling. I know people like to compare a bands new record to their last, but with bands like L.A. Witch and with this sound, there is absolutely no way you can do it. The only comparison is that they both are amazing. That’s it really. Her vocals mixed with how brutal Irita has become with her bass and how Ellie too has become more brutal with the drums, compliments everything so beautifully. Layer this with Sade’s guitar and of course, you’ve got one of the best songs you will hear all year.

There you have it. Another declaration of love from me to L.A. Witch. It’ll happen again no doubt before the record comes out. They’re set to tour the UK in November, and I really hope it happens (mainly because I love them, I love their shows, the Manchester show is a few days after my birthday and is at one of my favourite venues in Manchester.)

I Wanna Lose is a song that needs to be played loud. As loud as you can.

Play With Fire is due to be released on 21st August 2020 via the always great, Suicide Squeeze Records. You can pre-order the record here: https://lawitches.bandcamp.com/





DRUG HUNT.

10 06 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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





VAGUESS.

26 03 2020

vaguess

 

 

With a new record by Vaguess coming out in April, it’s only right I talk about why they’re a bloody great band in order to sway you to buy the record when it comes out. I say this like Vaguess are a band, but it’s really just Vinny and if you know of his previous musical outlets then you’ll know he is nothing short of incredible. Vaguess is another outlet of his musical experiments and just shows us why he’s a remarkable guy. This is an appreciation piece on his music, and how much I love his writing, I just love him. A lot.

 If you’re looking for the ultimate sound to laze about to, or to make you want to start your own band or just enjoy some really great music then Vaguess are the band for you (it’s pronounced Vegas in case you needed to know.) They make energetic Garage Rock sounding music that just makes you want to have a good old time. I can’t count how much music Vinny has generously unleashed into the world but be assured that the guy is a machine when it comes to putting music out. He’s everything you want your favourite singer to be, and he’s got this way of creating down to earth lyrics that just hit you in the gut. Especially if you’re looking for something to just connect with; he then delivers this with a ferocious sound that cements a strong Punk influence.

 

 

There’s this beautiful venom and disdain on Two Hands which is about someone who was shitty to Vinny and let’s be honest, if you’re going to be shitty to anyone as precious as this guy- then you’re a proper doofus. The whole of Have A Good Summer is just a delight to listen to, even the songs that will break your heart like Two Hands and Everywhere Is Assholes (a pretty great and accurate name for a song.) But the way in which he breaks your heart just makes you want to delve into what makes you tick and write about it. He’s just got this way with words that leaves you in awe, and the way he delivers it vocally is so wonderful.

 As someone who is simply, obsessed with music, hearing someone like Vinny create music like this just makes me so happy. His lyrics are clever and to the bone; he’s not afraid at all to be vulnerable with his words but he’s also an absolute monster of a musician! There’s nothing he cannot do- he’s superman. I just adore everything he does, and I am SO excited for the new record next month. I can’t wait to really listen to it, and write about it like the obsessed fan I am.

One of my favourite records by him is his One Man’s Trash EP that came out back in 2017. It’s got a really raw sound to it and the lo-fi atmosphere on it is something that is really strong on this record. It’s always there, but this one it is more prominent. I just love how you can really tell that this is love and passion, and the way he gets it across just makes you wish more were like this and you kind of wish you could do it too. But hey, no one is as great as this guy. There is something so pure and innocent about his sound, but you can imagine live shows to be the complete opposite. There’s no denying that his passion for music is probably accelerated during his shows, and it’s something I really hope I get to see one day. His music means a hell of a lot to me, and his way with words are a huge part of this admiration I have for him.

 His 2013 release, Back Off Warchild became an instant classic and is still a prime example of the kind of musician he is- it’s got the reverb and fuzzy vocals that I just love so much. I can’t get enough of his music, and every so often I’ll go back to this record and it’s just like finding his music for the first time all over again. There’s no denying just how exceptional Vinny is, and like I’ve mentioned already, I’m just so excited to hear the new record. There’s isn’t too long to wait, and I just know it’s going to be one of the best things we get this year.

 

 

 

 

So, there you have it, this is just my appreciation and admiration of Vinny and the music he creates. Keep an eye out for his new record, I reckon it’ll blow all of our minds! Guest List To Heaven will be his 7th Vaguess record, and is set to come out on 4th April





NADU: Survive *Single Premier*

20 03 2020

thumbnail_NaduIG

 

 

During all this madness, we can always count on music to make everything better. Whether it be an old band you love, or a band you’re finding for the first time. With that in mind, I am beyond happy to share with you the premier of NADU’s brand new song, Survive which is taken from his brand new EP, Determinator II which will be out in May.

 I’ve already listened to the EP, and I can promise you that this is going to be one of the most exciting records we are going to get this year. It’s a real fast-paced Garage Rock record, and the fact that it is all done by one person makes it that more special. You can hear every ounce of passion and creativity in this record, and it definitely shines through on the lead single and EP opener, Survive. His first EP was released in 2017, and since then he’s been playing shows across the West Coast and Midwest of America and unleashing this brutal sound that you just cannot get enough of. On record, it’s just him but catch his shows, and you’ll find Nadine Torres and Kenny Esparza right next time. Buy the EP so they can head over this way and do some shows!

 

 

Survive is the perfect lead for this release; the bold and brash DIY sound is insane, and Nader’s vocals have never sounded so good! The way it just smacks you in the face right from the start, and when the vocals kick in and the drums- you just know that it is over. It is such an exciting song, and sure it’s just over 2 minutes long, but in those 2 minutes you are subjected to some real gnarly sounds. If this song doesn’t make you want to start your own band, make your own noise or whatever then I really don’t know what will! As a kid, Nader immigrated to Texas from Bangladesh, and a couple years ago ended up in LA where NADU was born. This is a project that Nader created after leaving corporate jobs behind and fully dedicating himself to music, and it’s fair to say that he made the right decision.

 My only advice to you is, if you’re stuck indoors for the foreseeable then open your windows and blast Survive as loudly as you can. The same advice applies for when the EP comes out. I was going to write about the EP here, but I’m going to hold off until closer to the time. Lord knows we all need things to look forward to right now!

 You can stream Survive, and pre-order Determinator II here .





BEST COAST: Always Tomorrow.

21 02 2020

best-coast-always-tomorrow

For the past decade or so, I have been in love with Best Coast. I think this is the band that may have started my obsession with bands from California and becoming obsessed with the way they made me feel like I was right there rather than where I currently was. Always seeking some form of escapism, and I always find it in music. Best Coast released their new record, Always Tomorrow today and I’m so excited to listen to it and write about why I love it. Maybe it’ll bore you, maybe you’ll feel the same way as me.

 Today in Manchester it has rained pretty much all day. This week has given us the kind of weather that makes you want to stay at home and not go anywhere, even if like me, you love your job- you still don’t want to get out of bed. But that’s probably part of me having depression too but whatever. The sun has again come from Best Coast. This record is totally different; it is not like Crazy For You (the baby) or California Nights, and all in between. The thing I have always adored about Best Coast is the growth. What we got from Crazy For You and the journey from there to here is fucking insane. You feel like you’ve grown with Bethany and Bobb. You feel part of the journey. Always Tomorrow is such a mellow record, lyrically. Musically it is their heaviest and still has that beautiful honesty in the lyrics. I love how Bethany doesn’t need to be over the top with her words- she is so relatable, and personally, I think the band are criminally underrated.

 I’ve got a lot of sentimental value attached to Best Coast. When I met my girlfriend 10 years ago (we’ve not been together that long because back then I was a dick to her) and I would always bang on about Best Coast to her. She loves them too, and during our weird friendship (which was me being too much of an idiot to say how I felt) Our Deal was the song, THE SONG. This is why I feel like I’ve grown up with the band, and songs like Different Light and For The First Time are the songs that make you realise just how far the band have come, and how strong Bethany is. She’s just an exceptional writer, and I love the emotion she pours into the songs. I think For The First Time is a polite fuck you, and I love that.

 

 

Always Tomorrow is full of hope and growth; like I said it’s a heavier record, and it’s still got that typical Best Coast anthemic feel- this is apparent on songs like Graceless Kids. I’d play this stupidly loud right now if it wasn’t 11pm. I think this will be the one that is screamed by Bethany, and by the crowd back to her on tour. There is something so powerful about this song, and honestly, listen to it through headphones so you can soak up every single word. I just love her so much, and her words have got me through a hell of a lot and beyond. Make It Last is one of those songs that just make you feel something other songs haven’t quite done yet. It’s such a perfect song.

 Rollercoaster is one of my favourite songs on the record; I love the slick sound on this record, and I love everything about this song. It is hard to pick a solid favourite, and I know I don’t need to, but I feel like this might be the one I end up going back to. There is something about this record that reminds me slightly of Courtney Barnett, and that’s always a great thing, you know. They’ve both got this beautiful way with words that makes you feel like they are telling your story and spilling out everything you are thinking and feeling.

 This record will tug at your heartstrings and it will stay with you, just like all their records do. Best Coast have been doing this for a decade or so now, and I love how every record is different and a step up from what they did before. I love how well Bethany and Bobb work together, and I love what they create together.

 For when you feel hopeless, hopeful, lost, lonely or found- this record will be such a comfort. Songs like Rollercoaster, Wreckage and Master Of My Own Mind will get you right in the gut, and again are prime moments of growth on this record. Bethany’s voice has never sounded so strong, and you can feel every single word that she sings. She has such a distinctive voice, and I love how her voice and Bobb’s musicianship are just a perfect combination. They are both brilliant musicians, and Bethany’s voice is so soothing.  True is Bethany’s 60s Girl Group moment; it reminds me of the Wall of Sound era. You could imagine Ronnie Spector belting this one out, it is a gorgeous love song. It has this innocence and wonder to it that just makes you really proud of what the band have achieved and make you so proud to be a fan.

 

 

 These 11 songs will be all you need; they will comfort you, and they will be your crutch. It is such a beautifully honest record; just play it loud and let everything out. Let songs like Seeing Red be your release. Then fall into the world that Best Coast have given us for the past 10 years or so. It’s a stunning record, and just what I needed. Even the cover to the record fills you with hope; there’s something about the cover that makes you want to stare at it whilst playing the record. You can also sense the creative urgency on this record and given that it’s their first full length record in 5 years, it’s like they were never gone.

That wonderful lo-fi sound is there, it will always be there, and they do it in their own way. They make their own rules, and it’s just one of the many reasons as to why I love and will always love Best Coast.





VIVIAN GIRLS: Memory

28 09 2019

 

VG Memory

 

A week has passed since the new record by Vivian Girls came out. When they announced they were reuniting and putting out a new record in July this year, I felt the same excitement a kid at Christmas gets. This was my kind of Christmas. I finally listened to the record in full today, on repeat. I’ve got a lot of thoughts and feelings about the record, every one of them is positive of course. Having a band that you’ve adored for so long come back and come back with this kind of record makes everything a little bit better.

 Memory is a record that us Vivian Girls fans are going to just obsess over. However, if you’ve never listened to their music before; allow yourself to have your mind blown and your soul soothed. Vivian Girls are good for the soul, and they have truly excelled themselves on their fourth record. Every record of theirs has this gorgeous and gentle atmosphere, and Memory keeps that up. The songs are made for lazy days, and to give you some hope when you feel a bit hopeless and alone. They give you this feel of sunshine on your bones even when it is murky outside. They make you feel like you are away from where you are. It really is an exceptional record that was worth the wait. 

It is a hypnotic lo-fi record that if you’re already a fan of the band, just reinforces your love for them. If you’re new to them, it’ll make you feel like you’ve known them all your life. They have kept that same eerie and haunting tone, mixed with sun-kissed sounds that ease you. They have perfected this sound, and they did so just over a decade ago. How they’ve done it now just makes you feel like you aren’t slipping into a wave of nostalgia, no chance. They make you feel as if you have grown with them. Lonely Girl is the song that has swam right into my heart and choked me up. Everything about this song gives the listener comfort and some form of safety.

 

 

At the moment, I will certainly take safety from music because I think it’s what I need. I cannot cope with my Gran’s death at all, and I need something to just take me away from it all for a while- I’m using this record as the most beautiful form of escapism I can find right now. The song feels like a sunset, with gentle waves hitting the rocks on the beach. It is comforting in unconventional ways, and I’ll take that.

I love the heaviness in Sludge. It is just over 2 minutes long, but you cannot help but keep going back to it for when you want a lesser dreamy sound. It feels like something from a film. A film scored by Vivian Girls would definitely have my attention. They have never sounded so good, and it’s not just because we’ve missed them. Ali has been one of my favourite drummers for so long, and on this record, she has developed a more distinctive sound, and that flows so beautifully into Cassie and Katy. They are just the most perfect band, and I’m just so pleased that they have made this record. It was the right time, we really needed it. We’ll always need this band.

If I could drive, this would be the kind of record I would go on long drives to as the sun sets and the road becomes more and more desolate. Cruising into the unknown with Vivian Girls as my guide. It sounds perfect. On the other side of this, they make you feel like you’re on an L.A. beach just watching the world go by. I’m Far Away is again another song to have on repeat. Over and over. The best way to listen to this record is often, and constantly hitting repeat. Play it in order, then play it however you want. Obsess over certain songs, then play another. Go into it however you want once you’ve played it in full- it still flows beautifully. However, I just need to mention that All Your Promises is the one that you should always end your listening on. There is something about it that makes you feel like this is the song that just MUST hear last. It’s got a finality to it that is just so pure; I can’t get enough of it. It is truly a masterpiece. A real Vivian Girls masterpiece. The artwork kind of sets the mood in a way- you feel like you’re in a whirl of hazy sunshine- with the purples and deeper shades of blue leaving you in awe. A late summer’s evening with music for company.

 Aside from the Memory sounding divine, the production on this is out of this world. It is a record that has been made with a lot of love, a lot of care and a lot of thought. They haven’t just made this record for the hell of it. I think they needed to make it as much as we needed the record. It’s a sentimental record, and you just cannot get enough of it. It’s such a light and feel-good record, there are absolutely no fillers- just gorgeous moments to fall in love with, over and over.

 

 

Like I mentioned, if you’ve never listened to Vivian Girls before then dive headfirst into Memory then work your way through their discography in whatever way you want. You can be traditional with It, or you can be a little rebel- it’s all on you. As someone who has been hugely in love with this band for nearly 10 years, I can honestly say that this is their best record.

 It’s s lo-fi gem full of songs to just feel utterly free to. Let go and listen.