CASUAL DRAG.

25 04 2020

 

CASUAL DRAG

 

The only good thing to come out of this virus and isolation is the fact that Nick Cave has launched a 24-hour stream called Bad Seed TeeVee. It’s magical. It’s everything us fans want, and more. Yet I don’t think any of us expected it. It’s just amazing. I’ve spent time watching it when I should have been asleep or probably doing something else. I have no idea how long it will be up for, but for now we can all get lost in the world of the Bad Seeds.

If you’re looking for a hard-hitting Garage band to blow your mind, then look no further than Edinburgh’s finest, Casual Drag. Of course, you have to play their music loud, but don’t let that make you feel that they are all noise and no substance. Far from it! They are such a joy to listen to and have a really exciting sound, and I truly hope we get more from them real soon because they are just * chef’s kiss! *

 

 

Johnny is a BIG song; it’s like it is their anthem. That last minute of the song is powerful, it’s an instrumental riot and it shows us just how brilliant they are as musicians. There’s this effortlessly cool sound going all the way through, and the way the pace is picked up to unleash this furious sound is such a brilliant thing to listen to. It’s a huge song, and that last minute or so of the song is something you cannot help but soak up. The aptly titled Isolation Island is another prime example of how talented the band are. That deliciously fuzzy guitar sound is what dreams are made of. I just love this song a hell of a lot, and to be honest it’s probably one we can all see ourselves in right now. How will we adapt to getting back to “normal?” Did normal ever exist?! Who fucking knows.

Casual Drag make anthems, they don’t just make standard songs and the fact you get this from just the three songs they have up online shows us how great they are. They are a band that are evidently going to keep on getting better and better. This is how music should make you feel, regardless of what you’re into. They just make you super excited about music and given how tough it is for us all right now- we need that excitement more than ever.

 When MC5 yelled “Kick out the jams, motherfuckers!” I think that was an instruction to Casual Drag (I know it was like 40+ years before their time, but you know what I mean!) Casual Drag definitely kick out the jams, and the rest! They have this really intense and loud sound that just leaves you itching to head to a gig. Oh man this is tough and brutal! Anyway, let’s keep borderline positive. We have bands like Casual Drag to get us through it all, and beyond. If you like your music loud, bold and intense- then you’re going to fall head over heels in love with this mighty fine band from Edinburgh. They aren’t afraid to use their instruments as weapons, and with a solid demand to be heard- you simply cannot ignore a band this great.

 

 

THREE SONGS! Three songs! That’s all they’ve got but you feel like you’ve been with them for life. Bleach Head is my favourite so far; I love the aggression on it and the snarly vocals. It’s just a strong example of how phenomenal this band are. Sign me up as their biggest fan for sure!

 

*Artwork by Conor Moore at Green Cap Design





BAD DOD: Yikes!

18 04 2020

 

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Nothing makes you wish you could go to show like finding a band from the other side of the world, who just blow your mind and you wish they would tour closer to home. Clinging onto some form of hope as all the shows I was going to go to this year get rescheduled. I’m not the only one, and that makes it easier.

 Right from Singapore we’ve got incredible band called BAD DODD. These guys make a lot of noise, and yesterday they put out their record Yikes! I think it might be their debut, but I’m not so sure. Irrespective of what record it is, it is brilliant. It’s like Grunge meeting Garage Rock then going right off into space and creating something insane. The vocals are something else, but musically too this band are stupidly great. There’s this powerful tone in the vocals where you can really pick up on every feeling, and truly connect with the songs. Ascended reminds me of hearing the In Utero record by Nirvana all over again (I’m not the world’s biggest fan of Nirvana but that record is one of the best of all time) and it’s got something about it that screams out every ugly feeling you’ve got, then forcing yourself to let it go. I LOVE this song, and I’m calling it as my favourite on the record. I know nothing about this band, but I can tell you right now that Yikes! is one of the most powerful records of the year; there is something really special about this record and the sheer rawness on every single song just makes it a joy to listen to.

 

 

There’s a brilliant DIY feel to this record, and it just makes you appreciate bands like this a lot more. I love how every song just feels like a huge riot in the brain. Feel Nothing Yet and Outta My Brain are the songs that you’d definitely expect to make the crowd go apeshit when they do this live, and it just makes me wish that they’d play some shows over here. One day, one day. Clinging onto something to keep going, right? That’s all we can do. But fucking hell! This is a phenomenal record and with every listen this brutal beauty is fast becoming one of my favourites of the year. They are a band to definitely pay close attention to.

 The aggression on the record is so fast and just makes you want to trash everything and throw it out the window. You can really hear how great they are as musicians, and that is something that you pick up on instantly on this record. There’s no bullshit here or showing off at all- they’re a great band, and this record is nothing short of a fine piece of art. If you’re wanting soppy ballads, then go elsewhere. This record is made up of powerful anthems to just blast out as loudly as possible, and to scream along to even louder. Me Gusta is a self-deprecating number that just makes you go back and wallow in teen angst for a while, but don’t regard this as a bad thing- it gives you a kick, and it’s a great song. The whole record feels like a release of built up tension, and it is done in an effortlessly cool manner. You can imagine how insane and gnarly their live shows are as soon as you hear this record, and if it is their debut- then that’s a lot of power to have instantly.

 BAD DOD have unleashed a monster on Yikes! and it’s a real joy to listen to. Everything from the production, the way they play together to the way the songs flow so nicely into each other is just a delight to the ears. This isn’t going to be a record that you listen to every once in a while, it is one to become hugely obsessed with. The record ends with Geezer, and again is another example of why this band are probably intense and insane during their shows. The record stops there, and you can either pause and go back, or just get back into it right away because you need that feeling to hit you all over again.

 

 

Yikes! is a mighty fine record, and every single song on this record is worth your time and money. It is most certainly a record to play as loud as you (and your neighbours) can stand. If you’re looking for a record that can unleash a thousand frustrations and more, then this is the record for YOU.





NADU: Survive *Single Premier*

20 03 2020

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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 .





DRAGGS.

7 01 2020

DRAGGS

 

So, we know that Kel Mason from Gee Tee is an exceptional musician, right? If you’re a fan of Gee Tee then you’re probably aware of his other project, DRAGGS. DRAGGS are ridiculous. They’re this super lo-fi sounding band that are really creepy. You don’t feel safe when you listen to them, and I’m totally fine with that. I love the heaviness of the sound, and I love how really weird it all is.

 DRAGGS are obscure and everything you want from creepy sounding lo-fi Garage Rock. I’m hooked. I love how distorted it all is, how difficult to listen to it is- I mean this in the best way possible. They aren’t an easy listen, and I love that about them. I love how you have to be really focused to listen to DRAGGS in order to really get the sound. This isn’t a band that you casually listen to, oh no! This is a band that you set time aside for, so you can really hear everything that’s going on. And trust me, there’s a LOT going on.

 

 

The more you listen to DRAGGS, the more obvious it is that Kel is a genius. That’s for another post though, right now I just really want to tell you as many reasons as I can as to why DRAGGS are incredible- but maybe you already know this. If you do, then sorry for wasting your time. Anyway, the thing to really become obsessed with is the production. The production on their records is INSANE. It is pretty much perfect, but there’s this strong DIY feel that just makes you feel like you could do this. Maybe you could. Are YOU the next Kel Mason? Let’s move on quickly.

 DRAGGS sound like you’ve taken Night Nurse during the day and you’re attempting to hold yourself together. There’s this woozy feel to their sound that I’ve not really heard before. Or maybe I have, but with DRAGGS it is something else. You feel like you have zero control over anything, and sometimes that is totally fine. Songs like New Teeth, Slob City and the whole of Slime Street will make you feel odd, but in a good way. This is some of the weirdest music I’ve ever heard, and I adore it. It’s part futuristic, part outer body experience. There’s enough going on here to keep you hooked- I just love how weird and off the wall it all is. It’s something that I know I’ll keep going back to. But like I said, DRAGGS aren’t a band that you just listen to casually. You need to really focus when you listen to them; you might miss something important if not!

 

 

 

Slob City and 3D Funeral are two of DRAGGS releases that were made to purely blow the minds of anyone who listens to them, and they truly succeed in doing this. I absolutely adore the Slime Street release, but to be honest I just find the whole catalogue of music to be nothing short of fantastic. They don’t make for an easy listen, and I’m all for that.





AVE NEGRA.

7 12 2018

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Bands that you know zilch about are always fun to write about; you have no opinion formed, and the music is almost heightened because of this.

Ave Negra are another effortlessly brilliant band from Costa Rica, and the way they sound just has this almost enviable cool feel to it. Costa Rica has some amazing bands, that we know. Ave Negra are a band that you’d want to join and go on tour with, and trash hotel rooms with. The way they sound on record makes you believe that their shows are probably on the wild side. I think they’re in the middle of recording songs for a new record that could be out next year- so you can have that as one of your reasons as to why 2019 won’t suck that much.

The band have this Garage Rock sound that makes you want to pick up an instrument, make it your weapon of choice and just cause a wealth of chaos with the sounds. There is something truly special about the music that comes from Costa Rica, and Ave Negra are definitely up there as being one of the most exciting bands around. The only way to listen to them, is to do it loudly. And often, of course. They are songs that (even if you don’t know what’s being said, like me) you can just really enjoy. The music is nothing short of slick, the vocals are gnarly and powerful. They are just an absolute pleasure to listen to. I love how you can pick up a wealth of emotions in the songs, and the band have this admirable way of making you feel like you’re either at the front of the stage during their show. Or that you’re in the throes of them creating these songs- you’re like their guinea pig or some weird shit. I don’t know.

In all honesty, there’s no one I can compare them to. There’s no other band like this, and I don’t think that there has ever been a band quite like them. Their songs feel like a brawl that has spilled out into the street and gotten way out of hand. They’re a rowdy bunch, and that’s just part of the reason as to why I love them. Ave Negra are a band that I’d love to see play live. You can imagine the crowd going nuts to songs like Indio Comido (easily one of my favourites) and Vivo Por Mi. If you’re looking for a band to become obsessed with, and to get pangs for- Ave Negra are for you. You’ll listen to them, and you’ll be left wanting 2019 to hit us with some new music. After listening to the bulk of their songs, I can safely say that Ave Negra are a band that definitely need your attention. Sack off that awful task of buying Christmas presents, and just stay indoors and listen to Ave Negra. That’s all you can do, and that’s all you should do.

For me, I think Costa Rica is massively overlooked for the music they give us. They truly nail that Garage Rock sound, but they have this way of adding something to it that isn’t seen or felt anywhere else. Maybe it’s the drive, maybe it’s the passion- I don’t know. But I do know that some of the best bands around are from there. Maybe it’s time we moved our focus there, because they are evidently doing something right. Hell, it isn’t just right- it’s perfect.





THE HONEY CULT.

29 11 2018

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The Honey Cult are a duo that sound like there’s about 20 of them. This huge sound is brutal, it’s fuzzy and it’s insanely loud. They come from Maryland, which is home to two bands I love- Beach House and Void. Maryland doesn’t have a set scene, and the diversity within the exceptional music that has come from there has left plenty of room for bands like The Honey Cult.

Their first release came out earlier this year, and the day after my birthday they released a few more songs. Including a brilliant cover of Do You Wanna Dance, which makes you feel as if the song is theirs. That’s the power of a great cover, but there’s something you need to know about The Honey Cult- they’re spooky as hell. Their sound is like The Mummies, The Cramps and some off the wall Garage Rock sound- which is obviously why I love them so.

They make the kind of music you want to play stupidly loud, and to then press your ears right up against the speakers. Who cares if you go a bit deaf- if this is the last band you’ll ever hear, then so be it. I love how they make you feel like you’re in a straight to video horror film. Where the fake blood is obviously ketchup, you know the film. The songs wallop you right in that mush of yours. You want every song to consume everything you are, and you want to live deep inside of these songs. There’s this alluring decadence to these songs that just completely enamour you. I can’t get enough of this band, and it’s tough to wrap my head round the fact that they are a pretty new band. They sound like they’ve been doing this for decades.

The Honey Cult make machine gun sounding songs, songs that sound like a motorbike leaving a trail of dust behind as you ride off into the sunset. That machine gun sound coming from the guitar creates these jolts that work with how you move your body to these songs. These songs are incredible. They are fast, they are off the wall and they just leave you wanting more, and crave them to be louder. I think The Honey Cult are a band that are just going to get louder each time, and I just adore that about them. They make the kind of music that would have The Cramps and Captain Beefheart losing their minds over. They have something about them that just instantly makes you want to throw your limbs about, turn the volume up to an anti-social level and just lose yourself in these songs. The songs have so much soul to them, and the creepy atmosphere that they give off is nothing short of exceptional. The only band I can think of that they come close to in the UK is Table Scraps. They’ve both got this wild energy to their songs, and this energy just makes you want to go to all of their live shows, and be free of any daily responsibilities. If you love Table Scraps, then you’ll love The Honey Cult for sure.

I love the reverb in the vocals, and how the drums and guitars speed up in certain songs (Crimson Mask is the prime example) to keep up with each other, and they then create this pace that just keeps you on edge. I love the sheer excitement that they bring, and I love how they have this ability to just make you oblivious to where you are when you listen to them. They really make you lose yourself in the music, and for me that is such a powerful thing. It’s something that doesn’t hit us all too often, but when it does- you’ve got that band for life.

If you check their Facebook page, The Honey Cult don’t even have 100 likes yet. They are still in their baby pages, but don’t let that put you off- they are absolutely one of the best bands you’ll hear. For me, they are most definitely one of the best and most exciting bands I’ve listened to this year and I can’t wait to hear a hell of a lot more from them.

Play ’em loud!





SANDY DISH.

26 10 2018

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Writing about a band that have only two songs is going to be pretty tough going, but it seems like I like to do these things to myself, so here it goes. Apologies in advance if this piece is shit to read.

If you’re looking for a Punk band that sound like something Bikini Kill would have taken on tour with them- then Sandy Dish are the bad for you. They have this wonderful Riot Grrrl sound mixed with something else that clearly, goes beyond words. Their songs are loud, fast and really rowdy. Maybe you’ll smash some shit up when you listen to them, and that’s totally fine.

There’s five of them in the band, and all of them are exceptional at what they do. They aren’t afraid to be totally obnoxious and gnarly with their sound, and for me that’s a real refreshing thing to hear. I love how you can hear the sheer rawness in the demos, and how it feels like you’re watching them unleash these songs for the first time in their garage. They’re not working shit out, they know EXACTLY how they want to sound and they brutally execute this. They may have only two songs up on their bandcamp page, but I’ve played them enough times now to hear all these brilliant sounds, and how the vocals are wild. There is so much going on, but it isn’t overbearing. You just want more, and you want it louder.

Sandy Dish make songs that make you feel like you haven’t showered in days or changed your clothes in a while. They have this brilliant dirty sound. Obviously the thought of not having a shower every day or not being able to change my clothes makes me feel really uneasy, I can appreciate the filth that Sandy Dish fill you with. I think this is mostly apparent in the song, Full Cream Bitch, which lasts just under two minutes. In this short space of time, you feel like the band have got you in a choke-hold and are screaming the song right at you. Sometimes you just need a band that hit you with this, and Sandy Dish do this so perfectly. Loud just doesn’t feel loud enough. Sandy Dish are addictive, but by no means do you ever feel like you can get enough nor do you feel sick from indulging heavily in their music.

Rank Dank Skank is insanely great. I love everything about this one. I love how the drums and guitars feel like a smash in the face. I love how the bass sort of relaxes the song a bit, and adds this real slick sound. The vocals are brilliant. I love the yelling and it just shows how exceptional this band are. All five of them are ridiculously great, and just make you want to catch one of their shows immediately. If this is how Punk is going to sound from now on, then we are all in for a treat. In just two songs they have created something that just fills you with excitement and anticipation for what’s to come. I really, really cannot wait to hear from them. These two demos sound perfect, and I hope this is a sound they keep because I love the rugged sound, and that raw DIY feel that is so evident here.

With just two songs, Sandy Dish have blown my mind. I want more, but I can wait. It’ll be worth the wait. Most things are. However, the pizza I had delivered last night really wasn’t.