CLOUD FACTORY: Cloud Factory #1.

20 06 2020

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In a few weeks’ time, the finest Garage Rock band from Toulouse will be releasing their debut EP. The EP is being out by the reliably great, Howlin’ Banana Records who have put out a lot of records that I love, and they’ve done it yet again with Cloud Factory.

The band are made up of formers members of Noir City and Cathedrale; and if you know your French music, you’ll know that this is a pretty cool thing to happen. They’ve com together to create some feel-good music, and right now we need that. There’s a lot of joy in their music, and this carefree sound is really what gets you hooked.

The EP, Cloud Factory #1 is a perfect glimpse into what is to come from this band and how this new sound will blow us all away. It’s a really refreshing listen and the band have so much promise. If live music were something we could indulge in right now, there’s no telling just how great their shows would be. But for now, we wait. Whilst we wait, we can cling onto the EP.

Amnesia opens up the EP and is their current single, but don’t let it make you think it is the highlight of the EP. Oh no! You see, the EP is made up of beautiful moments; and one of my favourites has to be Alice’s vocals on Dead Bodies. For some it’s a pretty morbid name for a song, but her vocals have this Bjork like fragility to it. However, Cloud Factory aren’t a band that you can link another to, they are effortlessly quirky and cool, and it really shines through on this EP. The sound is so new and just a delight to revel in. I know I usually listen to music that’s a bit heavier, but this is such an enjoyable listen. If you’ve got a lot on your mind, you can definitely take a load off whilst listening to this record.

My one gripe? There’s only 5 songs! I want more, but I always want more when it comes to music but like I’ve mentioned, it is such a strong introduction to the band and even if you are familiar with their previous bands, you don’t pick up on that at all on this record. They are exceptional musicians, and I really like the way Ben’s bass sounds alongside Bruno’s drums. Sometimes it can feel like one is competing to be louder than the other, but this doesn’t happen at all on this record. They are all equally heard and enjoyed. There’s a lot of rage on the song No Data, which might be why it’s my favourite for now. I’ll change my mind of course!

Talk Too Much and Try are excellent too, and the joyful noise that Cloud Factory give us with this record and on those two songs in particular is just a delight to listen to. As someone who does tend to sway towards more louder sounds, I can safely say that this EP is a great listen and is the perfect introduction to a band that deserve to be heard, and to be huge. It’s a real feel good record, and ideal for those long summer evenings. Even if we have to stay indoors for now. Also, this record is another that fully backs up my idea that French Garage Rock bands are sublime.

Cloud Factory #1 will be released via Howlin’ Banana Records on 3rd July.





BAD BRAINS: The Yellow Tape/Debut Record.

16 04 2020

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There are records that become vital to you the second you hear them. The first note, that first lyric- stays with you. Something about it just does something to you, and you seek that same feeling in everything you listen to. This record that becomes your world can be one from decades ago that you’ve only just found, or it can be something brand new. It doesn’t matter. With this, time doesn’t matter. All that matters is that you find it or rather, it finds you.

 Anyone and everyone could talk about what the greatest Punk record of all time is or who the greatest bands are. It’s all a matter of choice. Some people don’t dig the Ramones (don’t ever trust these people) and some people might think that bands like Dead Boys served no purpose (again, don’t trust these people either!) Every band has made an impression. Some did it with one record then disappeared whilst others have lasted and are still being cited as an influence to this day. Again, it’s all choice.

 

 

 

I haven’t gone back and listened to old records I love and written about them in a while. Whilst seeking something new to listen to, I keep gravitating back to Bad Brains, so I’m taking it as a sign that I need to write about their debut record (The Yellow Tape if you want to go that way, it’s your call.) What Bad Brains did on their debut record is something truly remarkable. They merged two hugely vital styles of music- Hardcore Punk and Reggae and made something that just blows you away. Sure, it isn’t for those who may want lovey dovey soft songs, but it’s for those who are frustrated, who want change and are on the outside looking in. Outside of society but aren’t all too mad about it. Bad Brains will ALWAYS be one of the most influential bands of all time. When the record came out in 1982, many were shocked that the band members were African American. When you think about that now, you think “Why the fuck would it matter what they look like or where they are from?!” But sadly, that’s what it was like and to a degree it still happens to this day doesn’t it. All too many times we will see someone express their concerns for someone who is a certain race doing a certain style of music, and they will question it. But here’s the thing- music doesn’t have a race, gender, religion, or sexuality. Bands like Bad Brains are the prime example of music just going beyond labels and whatnot. Their debut record was ahead of its time, and to this day we still haven’t heard anything quite like it. Attitude and Banned In D.C. are just an example of two of the best songs ever created, and if you’re looking for something else to smack you in the kisser then blast out Supertouch/Shitfit as loud as you can. The whole record is a Hardcore masterpiece.

 H.R. has to be one of best frontmen of all time. There’s no one else who had that energy and power, and when you mix that with Darryl, Earl and Dr. Know- then you are going to get a wealth of trouble. They all played their part in creating one of the best and most important records of all time. Leaving Babylon is one of those songs that just play and escape the world; it’s got this power that isn’t found in anything else. Some songs we have H.R. screaming his lungs out, then we have him on this song pouring his heart out. If this song and the lyrics don’t break your heart, then you’re not hearing it right. It is one of the strongest songs of all time, and it’s political without it being all in your face. It perfectly shows injustice, and sadly it is something that still exists. This song, and the whole record are still so relevant.

 

 

Bad Brains are made up of some of the best musicians you will ever hear, and the fact that you can pick up on their distinctive sound, and their own individual style instantly full justifies why this band are nothing short of influential. They go beyond being a band that merged Hardcore Punk and Reggae. They go beyond anything in music could ever compare to; they gave us something that will never ever die out. Their debut record is easily one of the greatest records of all time, but when you go deep into their discography and even solo work, you will truly see that everything they did was just a mind-blowing experience. The way they mess with your head on songs like F.V.K. and are then able to just mellow you out on I Love I Jah (contender for my favourite Bad Brains song ever) is just a testament to their greatness.

 Bad Brains are a band that I’ll never tire of listening to or talking about. They’re one of those bands that have evidently brought people together and created a community with their sound. When I see bands like Ho99o9 (who I fucking love SO much and do amazing covers of Bad Brains songs) I can see another band who will have exactly the same impact Bad Brains did on a new generation. Bad Brains created a monster with their debut record, and that monster will never sleep nor will it fade away.





BAD WEED: Self-titled.

21 09 2019

 

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Back in 2015 I wrote about one of Vienna’s finest bands- Bad Weed. I fell instantly in love with their Garage Rock sound. Forwarded four years, and we FINALLY have their debut record.

Their debut record consists of 13 songs to get you through whatever it is that’s eating you. I’m playing the record at a nice volume- loud enough to drown out the awful sounds that are coming from the neighbours across the way. These songs were made to be played loud and often. They’ve got a summer feel to them, and with it being pretty hot outside- Bad Weed are the ideal soundtrack. Delete Me is one of the highlights for me; I love the self-deprecating feel to it and how sometimes, you just want to hide for a while. An entirely relatable song to go nuts to. I love how they have this reverb that is really subtle within the songs and the gentle fuzzy tones in the music just makes you feel like you’ve found your own sacred place to escape to.

 

 

Maybe it is because they’ve been around for a while now, but this really doesn’t feel like a debut record. They’ve really got their sound locked on this record, and if you go through their discography, you’ll hear for sure that Bad Weed are such a focused band with how they want to sound, and it truly shows on their debut record. By no means can I skateboard (but I follow it for sure and I adore Elissa Steamer a hell of a lot) but Bad Weed make the kind of music you’d want to skate to and just zone out. Or maybe you want to hang out at the beach doing a whole load of nothing. They’re such a perfect band to just waste the day to. I’m probably going to waste my weekend away by doing nothing and listening to this record over and over. I don’t feel bad for it, and neither should you.

The only downside of this record is that I want more songs. This is because I’ve loved them for ages so of course I want more! The only time I’ll ever indulge in greed is when it comes to music. The record only came out yesterday, but I cannot get enough of it. I honestly cannot throw any comparisons your way with this record; it’s really something else. Every song fits right into the next. I really hope with this record they tour the UK. Again, they’re the kind of band I’d use all my annual leave at work so I could follow them on tour. They’ve created this energy on this record that makes you feel like you are at their show. You can imagine everyone cramped in a sweaty room throwing themselves about to these songs. I love this raw energy they have, and how they can immediately throw you back into the throes of summer.

 

 

 

Their debut record is the soundtrack to lazing about and wallowing if needed. They make you content with doing a load of nothing, and just wandering around on your own with these songs in your ears for company. They give you time to reflect on this record, and it’s one of those records that you can just dedicate time for yourself on. It’s that record you go to when you’re by yourself and just want something to free you almost. It’s got all the elements of a Garage Rock record, and hints of Punk flowing through it. I love the relaxed feel on songs like Falling Down, but I also love the hyperactivity that is there on every song, and sometimes it is subtle but for the most part this record just pumps you up. Bye Bye Baby is one of the songs I keep going back to. I love this Ramones feel it has to it. It’s mellow yet hyper in all the right places. I love how it fits perfectly into the next song, Walking. Again, this record is honestly made up of songs that flow perfectly into each other. I can’t get enough of it. Poor Boi is only 59 seconds long, but it’s still such a brilliant song that fits so perfectly. You can just keep on hitting repeat constantly and not get tired of it. Bad Weed have most certainly made something effortlessly cool and different here

These 13 songs are nothing short of perfect, and just everything I’d want from a debut record that I’ve waited so long for. I really cannot wait to see what happens next for them, but for now I’m just going to enjoy this record, over and over.