HEAVY LUNGS: Measure.

10 10 2019

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Behold! The most astonishing EP from a band from Bristol that you will hear all year! Heavy Lungs have released today, Measure; a 5 track EP with songs to completely shatter your eardrums in the most pleasing way imaginable.

We all know that Danny Nedelko is one of the most charismatic front-men around, and that Heavy Lungs are just one of the most exciting bands around. But what have they done with Measure? How exciting is it? How loud is it? How does it feel to listen to this work of art? Well, I will do my best to ramble gently about this glorious masterpiece.

Ready?

Measure opens with Half Full- it has this exceptionally haunting feel to it. Danny’s voice has this trembling tone to it. You can hear every emotion possible in this, and it just makes you become so enthralled by it. You want to scream along with him, but you can’t. You cannot mimic such a voice. This morning I blasted out Self Worth a LOT. I love how it instantly smacks you in the face. Self worth as a concept is criminally underrated, and to hear a song like this just makes you sort of keep yourself in check. You know things are shit, but somehow you’ll find a way to carry on. I have no idea how I get out of bed most days, but songs like this show the ugly and good side of having emotions. I love this song SO much, and it is definitely got the strongest sound both musically and vocally. If you didn’t know where to start with Heavy Lungs- play this one really loud. You’ll get it. Keep on playing it. Let it hit you in the gut. Let the brutal honesty make you feel sick because you can relate so much. There’s so much power in this song, and even more power in this band. They’re just the best.

T.O.T.B is another face-smacker. Sometimes you just need something to hit you and wake you up. I was playing this at 7am this morning on the way to work, and it really woke me up. It’s such a big record- even if it is only 5 songs. But these 5 songs are the most important songs you’re going to hear all year. This year we’ve had Fontaines D.C. and The Murder Capital give us the most vulnerable and heaviest records- you can definitely put Measure there. It’s everything you’d want from your favourite band. I had a ticket to see their last Manchester show, but I had to bail last minute because my mind decided it was time for a panic attack. I’m trying to fight them off and go to gigs, it’s tough but these things happen. You can’t beat yourself up forever.

 

 

The first single from this EP was (A Bit  of a) Birthday. If like me you’re not big on having attention thrown on you, and your idea of hell is people gawping at you whilst singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to you- then this song will really speak to you. It’s about the waiting for the day to be over so it’s back to normal, the shitty clowns that appear at kids parties, wanting the money instead of the card- it’s got this really snotty Punk sound to it. I love how obnoxious it is- you can imagine some spoilt brat singing this because he just wants everything to be over. I absolutely love it, and the band nail it perfectly. Danny’s vocals on this have so much diversity to it, and I love how he portrays this brilliant bratty attitude on it; the total opposite of him and the band. It’s fucking incredible. The guitar on this is probably my favourite on the EP, Oliver has excelled himself on this one for sure.

What I adore about Measure is that Oliver, Danny, George and James has pushed themselves, and this has caused them to just sound exceptional. Their unified sound just makes you fall in love with them even more on Measure. It is easy to become obsessed with Heavy Lungs- they’ve got everything you could possibly want from a band. The lyrics on this EP to the production is just perfect. George is an absolute monster on the drums and James just brings this soul to the band with his bass-playing. There’s no other band out there quite like them.

Measure is out right now via Balley Records. Buy it and play it until your ears bleed.





LEATHERS: Class Action.

1 10 2019

 

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On my day off today I have done what I set out to do- sleep past noon. I got up at about half past one. A well-earned rest, and I’m still tired. It’s okay, just a few more hours to kill before bedtime is upon me. I cannot wait. Anyway, I need to listen to some music to keep me awake for a little while longer whilst I avoid doing things I should probably be doing.

Bristol is the home to some amazing bands from IDLES to Emily Breeze to Oh, The Guilt and beyond. It’s a place that is just oozing talent of all kinds. It has this solid community and it’s a place that deserves to be praised for all the music it has given us. It is a truly phenomenal place, and there is no shortage of masterpieces coming out of there.

So here we are, another excellent Bristolian band to praise- Leathers. A brilliant duo who make you feel like you are listening to a Gospel version of The Cramps. There’s a lot of soul in this band, and they have something that just makes you want to absolutely play the shit out of this record. Before you know it, you will be chanting along to all the hits such as Bad News and One Track Mind (not a Johnny Thunders cover but still awesome!)

On their new EP, Class Action the band are firmly letting us know that this is the kind of sound that NEEDS to be heard, and it needs to be heard pretty loud. Luckily no one is home and I’m playing it as loud as I want. The more I listen to it, the more I can really appreciate how great they are as musicians. They play with this unified sound that maybe sounds tighter because they are a duo. If there was more of them, it may spoil it and besides, it just reinforces my fondness of duos. Of course, the only downside is that the EP is only four songs long, but you make do, don’t you? You just hit repeat.

 

 

I love that real trashy sound they have. It’s a really raw Garage Rock sound with beautiful notes of Psychobilly. Fully aware I’ve just made the band sound like a wine, but it’s alright! Anyway, the songs are easy to get hold of and learn by heart. You can really imagine their live shows and the crowd going nuts and singing along as loud as they can.

Class Action has a strong DIY feel to it, and I love when you can hear the hard work and passion gone into a record. I love how their song No More reminds me so much of Talking Heads’ Psycho Killer; part of me was hoping for part of the lyrics to pop up. Maybe they’ll do it at a show, that’d be pretty cool right? You know the part that would work, it’s obvious! It’s probably one of my favourites off the EP right now. There’s a level of fury in this one that coms across in such an effortless manner Ed beats the shit out of the drums on this one, and Chris’ voice just keeps you locked in- you find yourself going back to this song the most.

If you’re into trashy Garage Rock, then Leathers are the band for you and Class Action is most certainly the EP for you. Play it loud, play it often!

Class Action is released via KM Records.





L.A. WITCH: Octubre

2 11 2018

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Writing about L.A. Witch for me, is just as great as listening to them. If I ever made a list of my favourite bands of all time, they’d be in my Top 5. I love how they take every type of music I love, take every element of music I love and make something that blows my mind every single time. There isn’t a song by them that I am not obsessed with. Every single song is like sweet poetry to my ears. I just absolutely love them, and I love how they have grown. I first wrote about them in 2012 and I’ve seen them become the stars they deserve to be. When they played their first ever London show- I was there, and I knew it was a love I would have for life. Get this- they’ve supported The Kills AND The Distillers. How cool is that? I’m just so proud of them. Anyway, we’ve got a new EP from them and it’s incredible. Obviously.

These five songs are vintage and typical L.A. Witch. They don’t really play these songs live anymore, but the band have let us know that these five songs need to be put into the world. Something extra cool about the record- Gregg Foreman produced it. Gregg is one of the greatest musicians you’ll ever hear and see. Him working with the band is everything I could ever hope for. The EP is just a pleasure to listen to, and the heavy moments will have you moving in no time. It’s just the coolest EP you’ll ever hear.

Hearing the songs in a new setting is so great, and my god Sleep is one of those songs you cannot get enough of. Ellie has this style of drumming that throws you way back to the 60s Girl Group era, Irita has this slick bass style that sends you off into a trance. Then Sade comes in and smacks you upside the head with her guitar. Each of them are nothing short of brilliant. Let it be known that they are some of the best musicians you’ll ever listen to. If you’ve ever seen them live, then you’ll know just how insanely amazing they are. The way they craft these songs just leaves you in awe. I can’t pin point one thing in particular that I adore about them. Each of them have something that just makes you want to pick up and instrument, and make your own noise.

BB’s Momma is my favorite right now. I love Sade’s vocals on this, and how Ellie and Irita give us this aggression in their drums and bass. Then the keys kick in (is this Gregg playing? It sounds like it) and the keys just add something to this whirlwind, and Sade’s guitar encourages the madness towards the end of the song. The instrumental break just makes you lose your shit.

Heart of Darkness has always been a song I’ve adored, and to hear it in a new way is so beautiful. There is an extra dose of darkness added to these songs on the EP, and I think Heart of Darkness is the song that possess the most. I love the eeriness in Outro. No words are needed on this one; it feels like you’re wandering round a California wasteland with the hot and unforgiving Autumn sun beating on your skin, and the warm breeze directing sand into your hair and eyes. The sun blinds you, but the heat is on your bones. You can’t help but zone out when listening to this gorgeous instrumental song, but as soon as it is over- you start the EP up all over again.

With every single song I’ve heard by L.A. Witch, I can safely say each one just shows why I love them so much, and why I can’t get enough of their sound. There are a few bands that I always have this constant need to write about, listen to and buy all their music- L.A. Witch are definitely one of them.

If you’re looking for something to still give you the heebie jeebies, then listen to this EP. If like me, you’re an old fan- hearing the songs like this will just fill you will unfiltered joy. If you’ve never heard their music before, then be prepared- you’re in for a lifetime of love, respect and admiration.

Buy the record, go to their shows and let the music completely and utterly take you over.

Stay weird x





SEXTILE: 3.

17 09 2018

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I’m fully aware that Sextile have been a constant feature here recently, but they are THAT good and deserve all the attention possible. Besides, I’m still wanting to go back to Saturday night so I can re-live their show all over again.

3 is their new EP which came out on Friday. It’s made up of five songs to lose your mind to. The songs are dark, synth-filled and all kinds of creepy. Brady’s vocals on this one is pretty incredible. He’s someone with such a powerful voice that makes you just hang on to every word that comes out of his mouth. The way he uses his voice reminds of Wes Eisold. It takes a lot for me to say that because I pretty much idolise Cold Cave/Wes, but there is something about Sextile that makes me feel like I did when I first heard Cold Cave 9 years ago.

The EP opens up with the stunning, Disco and it then rips right into Drop You which is probably my favourite. Well, it’s my favourite today. I’ll probably change my mind in a few hours or so, but I just love this raw Industrial feel. It feels like night-time on the mean streets of Berlin in the 70s or lurking in basement bars in New York. It’s got a real sordid feel to it, and I love that about Sextile. I love music that has this unconventional darkness and some what smuttiness to it. Sextile are such an exciting band, and the best of them truly comes out on Drop You. It’s a song that holds so much within it, and seeing it live just blew my mind.

Paradox is a hypnotic song with early Depeche Mode flowing throughout it. It’s not a gentle song by no means. Their songs aren’t gentle- they are brutal and hold a wealth of fight within them. It’s the kind of song you play as you approach a fist fight or a scrap in a bar. It’s got rage, it’s got power and it’s such an exciting song to listen to. It’s the type of song that just sparks up wild images for your take on what the video should be like to this song if you were to re-create it. There is most certainly something about Sextile that just HAS to be heard and they are a band that stick with you. You’ll remember the first time you heard them, the first time you saw one of their shows- the vital moments stick with you.

Spun is a brilliant song. The guitar on this is so aggressive and it goes so well with Melissa’s drumming and Brady’s commanding vocals. I know I said I’d change my mind within hours as to what my favourite song is, but Spun is definitely up there. I love the sheer uregency  in Brady’s vocals. Like I said earlier, he has such a commanding voice and they both have such an amazing presence on stage too. This song is the one that could set the tamest of the tame free. It could make the calmest person you know just go apeshit.

Hazing closes the EP, and although it’s a fantastic song; it’ll make you want more and more. Thankfully they have enough records to keep you satisfied for now, but it’s definitely a song that shows them for all they are. Call them Post-Punk, call them Industrial or whatever- but genres don’t count here at all. There is something super special about Sextile, and it’s what lures you in. They’ll have you hooked in no time.

A lot of the bands I listen to from Los Angeles sound like you could listen to them on the beach doing a whole load of nothing. Sextile are the polar opposite. They make you want to wander round the city streets late at night in search of something that the daytime cannot give you.

If they are playing a show near you, go see them. Part of the attraction is the relationship between them and the crowd. It’s utterly cult-like, so be well prepared to be initiated.





COLD CAVE: You & Me & Infinity.

28 04 2018

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Some bands stay consistently good, but there are a select few for me that are just always mind-blowing. My love for Cold Cave will be approaching its tenth year next year, but my love for Wesley Eisold and his words go back further. Cold Cave are a band that have always been a lifeline for me, and I can honestly say that their fans are the best. There is something so remarkable about Cold Cave fans, and I think it really does come from Wes’ glorious way with words. Yesterday they released You & Me & Infinity- a four song EP that has a similar sound to their Love Comes Close record.

You & Me & Infinity is yet again another brilliant release by Cold Cave, and is one I can say I will hold close to me. It is a combination of Wes’ words, the musicianship and the urgency and passion in his voice. The sound is dramatic but not in an irritating or bland way. It is deeply passionate and deeply moving. For me, and probably most fans of theirs- I regard Wes as a poet. His got the same way with words as Baudelaire and the eeriness of Poe. Musically, lyrically Cold Cave are beyond all I have ever heard. Cold Cave are a band that I can listen to irrespective of my mood, and they will stir up feelings like no other. There is so much hope, love and lust in the music but they aren’t afraid at all to touch on despair, rage and destruction.

This EP has four songs that just utterly reinforce my love for Cold Cave and it also shows how in the near decade of their existence that they have become one of the greatest bands ever. I know this is all my opinion and is obviously biased, but when it comes to Cold Cave I only know how to write one way- and that is with sheer love and devotion. For the past month I’ve been wanting to find a piece of music that sums up how I’ve felt about leaving a city that broke me to moving to a city I should have always been in. The move has been calm, and this record is calming. It feels like home. That’s how Cold Cave have always been for me.

Glory and Nothing Is True But You are perfect love songs. They are full of love and deep admiration. You can keep your generic flowers and sunshine love songs. I’ll stick to Wes’ words- they hit deeper and mean so much more. I feel like Cold Cave have been such an important part of my life, and I am constantly in awe of what they do. I love the relationship between Wes and Amy. I love how their love for each other merges into their music- it makes it easier to connect with and believe in.

The record ends on My Heart Is Immortal, and it is the best song to close the record on because it immediately makes you start the record all over again. The wonderful synth sound with hypnotic and the way Wes and Amy’s work together is nothing short of perfect and pure. There is something truly wonderful and magnetic about Cold Cave. I found a home in Wes words and my own take on peace in the music

I feel as if words do not do Cold Cave justice. I guess that’s why so many of us that love them have tattoos showing our love for them etched upon our skin. The love is forever, the music is forever, the words are forever. Cold Cave are eternal.

Buy and stream the record here: https://coldcave.bandcamp.com/album/you-me-infinity





LOVERS CLUB: Empty Ballroom Blues

31 01 2018

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One of the most exciting bands to emerge from London, Lovers Club has just released their phenomenal EP Empty Ballroom Blues. It excels everything they have done to date, and it truly shows how great they are and undoubtedly, 2018 will be their year.

There is only one criticism of the EP-it’s not long enough. I want, I need more songs. This is a band that leaves you needing more. The need is greater than the want here. Everyone seems to follow certain “buzz” bands without giving a thought to those who are making something worth listening to. Lovers Club are that band. They are massively underrated and effortlessly cool. Alec’s vocals are nothing short of eerie and gripping. They make you feel like you are being chased down a dark alleyway with no hope of survival. They fill you with this dark excitement that takes you back to hearing The Cramps and The Mummies for the first time. That might just be me, but it’s alright. Lovers Club have this sound that makes you just want to totally immerse yourself in all that they do and hope they never ever call it quits. It’s a beautifully creepy sound that takes you over in the best way imaginable.

The opener, Empty Ballroom Blues truly sets the tone for the EP. It has this grand sound to it that is found in bands that have been at it for decades, but Lovers Club have this magnetic confidence in their sound that just makes you feel and believe that this is a band who have been around for decades. It’s a proper established and powerful sound that as I’ve said, just leaves you wanting more. Needing more. Alec’s guitar skills remind you of part Poison Ivy and part Johnny Thunders. The band has this raw Rock N Roll feel to their sound that is lacking in music right now. Are they are saviours? If you want them to be.

The Barge is just under 2 minutes and again, it isn’t enough. But it is taster of what Lovers Club is capable of and what is to come. It feels completely right to just keep on hitting repeat with this EP. Nothing can touch it. I truly feel that this is going to be one of my favourite things I hear all year, and will most definitely be one of my most played. The Barge has this brilliant distorted sound to it. It feels like it could have been in a Vincent Price film- it’s got this brutality to it that comes through effortlessly in Alec’s voice. Everything about this song just goes so well together. When the chorus kicks in, you can really hear just how great Alec, Oliver and Matt are. Towards the end the song has this energy to it that makes you think it’ll go on forever. It makes you want it to go on forever. Then it ends making room for the closer, Dark Country.

Dark Country is a heavy song. It carries something quite sinister to it, and I think that’s why I really love this one. I love the whole EP but Dark Country has this really heavy feel to it which just oozes a shade of evilness that makes you want to be part of it all. The whole EP feels as if it was made for a Horror film. The atmosphere they create in their music is something which I absolutely adore, and I really cannot wait to see and hear what they do this year because they really are the best new band around. Sure it is a biased opinion, but I’m not going to waste anyone’s time by writing in a negative manner. That’s just pointless. I love finding new bands and writing about how much I love their music, and how exciting they are. Lovers Club are one of those bands that make me want to keep writing about music- and recently that love has been fading. It’s back again. I think. I hope.

Anyway, you can buy/listen to the EP right here: https://loversclub.bandcamp.com/album/empty-ballroom-blues-ep

They are playing a few dates in London over the next couple of months at:

23rd February- The Black Heart

1st March- The Lock Tavern

See you at the front!





SAMANTHA URBANI: Policies Of Power.

19 08 2017

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I first got obsessed with Samantha Urbani’s voice when I heard I’m His Girl by Friends. Her voice was like nothing else around. The band were like nothing else. Then it ended, and I was hoping I would still be hearing Samantha’s voice somehow.

About two years ago Samantha put out a song called 1 2 3 4. I was again, obsessed with it. I was playing it all the time. I was hoping something would come from it. I waited and waited. The wait ended yesterday.

Samantha released the debut EP yesterday called Policies Of Power. The cover of the EP is striking. Samantha is just the beautiful person with such a gorgeous voice that moves you. There’s a message to this EP, and with all the shit going on in the world- it’s needed. 1 2 3 4 sounds a little different now on the EP, but it’s still perfect. Samantha’s voice on this version of 1 2 3 4 reminds me so much of Solange. Both of them are extremely talented people who I admire so much. I just imagined what it would be like if they made a record together. They could do live shows. Imagine hearing Losing You then all of a sudden it goes into 1 2 3 4. I’d be a mess. I’d lose it. Anyway. Back to the record.

If you want to know what the best EP of the year is, it’s probably going to be this one. It’s got this 80s New York underground club scene feel to it. Samantha has made a body of art here, and this collection of songs make you feel utterly free and content with who you are. We need more of that. It is such a feel good record. It’s just absolutely perfect.

There is so much compassion, passion and love in this record. You can easily feel the thought and care that has gone into this EP. These 5 songs cannot be lumped into any genre you want to throw Samantha’s way. There is something so curious and inviting about this EP, and it is such a solid piece of art. In some respects, it’s a Pop record. It can easily go against most of the records that have come out this year and come out on top. It’s got everything going for it, and it was truly worth the wait. Also, Sade’s (the greatest singer of all time. ALL.TIME) sax player on Smooth Operator, Stuart Matthewman plays sax on Time Time Time. It’s a phenomenal song. The whole EP is just 5 phenomenal songs.

Samantha is someone I’ve admired for so long. Everything about Samantha just leaves you in awe. Samantha’s voice is so distinctive and it is so soothing. I’ve heard people compare Samantha’s music to early Madonna. I can see it, and every part of me would love to hear Samantha sing Borderline (I’m not a Madonna fan really but we’re both part Italian, so I have to. Oh and Borderline is one of the best songs of all time.) Samantha’s voice takes you on a journey but it is up to you where you go. Go Deeper is the one to lose yourself in. It’s just over 6 minutes long, and it is such a wonderful song.

I really cannot praise Samantha and Policies Of Power enough. Sometimes you need something or someone to move you in a way you’ve been seeking, and this is exactly what Policies Of Power does- and then some!