DIE WÄRME.

15 10 2019

 

DW

 

With a drop-in temperature and the sun setting earlier, it is time for music that fits this season and the mood it brings. I don’t mind this at all. The only thing that bothers me is having to wear a coat- however, I am adamant that it isn’t cold enough to wear a coat yet here in Manchester. That will catch up with me, it usually does.

There’s a band from Berlin called Die Wärme (The Warmth, I think?!) and I cannot find anything about them online. I respect any band that can sound this great yet are completely unknown on social media etc. They have a strong Post-Punk sound, and their first (I’m assuming) release is up on their Bandcamp page. It could be their 100th record, I don’t know but I’m going to talk about the one I’ve found online and do my best to write something that makes sense.

 

 

They have a sound that just makes you want to jump around and have a great time, and you don’t care for the fact that you know nothing about them nor can you understand what they are saying. Who cares when it sounds this good! I love this dark sound them have, but there’s something about the bass on this record that reminds me of early Joy Division and very early The Fall. It’s that distinctive sound that is found in a lot of bands since, and it’s by no means a bad thing. The Fall were, and always be the best band of all time. Mark E. Smith forever, and ever dear reader. Forever.

Die Wärme’s singer reminds me of Siouxsie so much, and of course I mean this with sincere love and admiration. Siouxsie is just the best isn’t she, and it is so good to hear new bands still being inspired by someone who truly changed everything. There’s that gorgeous Gothic mixed with Punk sound on this record, and it really does make you feel like Siouxsie has made a German record. That’d be pretty cool! The record only consists of 8 songs, and of course it leaves you begging for more. I can’t help but think that their live shows must be really intense and so energetic. With just 8 songs that blow you away, and they do it in a way that takes you back to the start of bands like The Cure, Siouxsie etc. It just has that sound that moves you, and makes you want to completely lose yourself in what you’re hearing. They’ve mastered the art of captivating the listener; it’s hard to not be moved by this record.

The intensity in the music is heightened by the vocals, and this kind of atmosphere makes you just want to delve deeper into what you’re hearing. It makes you want to go for a walk late at night and the cold air hits your face, and you don’t care for where you go- you just need to go where the music takes you.

At the moment I’m really into Aufzug and Gene from the record. I love the sound and how grand it sounds; this big sound they have is just flawless, and makes you want to fall into a world of bands that have this sound. It is the perfect sound for this time of year; the grey and intense mood they create is something to really treasure.

 

 

I wish I knew more about this band; I wish I knew if we were going to hear more from them but for now let’s just take these 8 songs and appreciate them to the fullest. It’s a remarkable record and is probably one of my favourite finds of the year.





BIKES: s/t III

25 06 2019

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About three years ago I wrote about BIKES. I went on about how I love their rugged Garage Rock sound, and how they just moved me with their sound. A few years later, I’m happy to be writing about their new (okay, it came out in April…) record. A record that is effortlessly cool, and firmly cements my love for this exceptional Berlin band. This record is not short of powerful and raucous moments that you just cannot get enough of.

Ten songs make up this record, and it just below the half hour mark. But  as someone with a bit of a crappy attention span- it works just fine! Sure I want the record to go on forever, but what they’ve created with this record is something that you have on repeat all the time. I adore everything they offer up on this record. I love how the sound is slightly more refined now, but at the same time it is still raw.

 

 

With no apologies (and why should they anyway!?) BIKES give you songs that hit you in the gut. There’s something about this record that has more boldness to it, and the song Friday Night was made to be played whilst alone, and bored. Just to get some feeling out, you know? It’s got a bit of a Bluesy feel to it, and I really love how they’ve taken this early sound that The Rolling Stones had, but dug really deep into the lyrics with it. It’s one of my favourites on the record and will probably be the one I gravitate to the most.

Something else I love about this record is that it has been put out via Alien Snatch!Records. They’re the best at what they do, so it is no surprise that they got their hands on this record and put it out. It’s the label that will cause me to be endlessly broke, but it’s fine! This is the kind of record that ruin your speakers to. You can’t help but play it super loud, that’s the only way to listen to a band like BIKES. You’ve just got to really push yourself with how loud you (and your neighbours) hear this record. It’s a wild record, and these songs are just a glimpse into how phenomenal the band are. Go back and listen to their records, and you’ll hear that this is a band that are focused and aren’t afraid to push themselves, and their fans/anyone who listens to this record.

There’s a relaxed feel to this record, and it kind of makes you feel that the best way to play this is without anyone else around you. Sometimes you need that, and records like this are perfect to do it to. All you can do is play it loud and sing along as loud as you can. All the best records make you feel this way, and BIKES most certainly give you that feeling.

This record has hints of The Gruesomes and The Rolling Stones in it, and that’s nothing short of an excellent mix. There’s a real Rock ‘n’ Roll feel, and the rawness of Garage Rock. Everything I adore about music is in this record, and in BIKES. They are a band that once you listen to, you’re just hooked for eternity.

If the inside of your head feels like a warzone at times, then this record will soothe it slightly. Or that’s just my personal take. I could have this record on repeat and feel alright, which is strange but always needed.

 

 

This is definitely one of the best records we’ll hear this year; it’s got everything you could possibly want from a record. And if you’re someone who likes the odd catchy bop or two, then you’ll find them for sure on this record.

Play it loud, block out everything around you and maybe, play it a little louder.

PS: Can someone PLEASE book these guys on a UK tour (specifically Manchester)

 





STONY SUGARSKULL.

11 03 2019

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Berlin is home to many brilliant bands. The ones I love have a raw and eerie feel to them. I really thought I had written about Stony Sugarskull before, but I checked thoroughly to see that I stupidly hadn’t. I used to make lists on my phone or bits of paper of bands I needed to write about, but as of late I’ve got sloppy with it. I’ll redeem myself now.

Stony Sugarskull make dreamy yet dark music. Music that makes you feel like you’re in a haunting place like The Cure’s Seventeen Seconds. If you’ve ever read anything I’ve written, you’ll know that I compare a lot of music to that record. If a band or record can make me feel how that record does, I’ll fall in love with it. I’ve already headed that way with Stony Sugarskull. They make me feel like I’m watching a Nordic tv thriller or something. They fill you will grey and black imagery. You don’t see bright colours, and I love that about them. I love how they create this almost smoky effect with their music. It’s as if everything is in a haze, and you’re slipping in and out of a dream.

Monika’s vocals are so ethereal and they evoke all sorts of images in your mind. Her voice is gentle in all the right places, but she can make it gnarly when she needs to. The only person I can liken her voice to is Sade from my beloved LA Witch. I love the calmness in Monika’s voice, and she’s such a great guitarist too. You can really tell that she has such a strong vision with Stony Sugarskull. I think this project has only been going a couple of years or so, but you can definitely hear someone who has studied and worked at they do. The sound is so strong and so unlike anything else. There are elements of 60s Rock ‘n’ Roll but there’s something else lurking within; I’m not entirely sure what it is, and because I’m questioning it, it makes me listen more than I already do. When you find something that gives you this constant wonder, I think that’s when you know you’ve found something you’re going to love for a hell of a long time.

For me, its songs like Party Girl and Skunk Ghosts that really standout. They’re the ones I keep  going back to, in like a ritualistic listen. When you can become obsessed like this with the music, that’s when you know you’ve found something you’ll treasure for a hell of a long time. I just adore the darkness and chilling feel in the music. I love how it can terrify you and can then soothe you in the same breath. This conflict is what keeps you with them. Butterflies has this haunting feel to it, but Monika’s voice is so calming you can’t get freaked out by it, it just heals the parts of you that other songs can’t quite get to. It’s got the vulnerable feel to it like Fade Into You by Mazzy Star (that song never fails to instantly make me sob.)

Stony Sugarskull make you feel like you’ve discovered My Bloody Valentine for the first time. Their sound is out there, completely and beautifully unusual- and just a sheer revelation. I can’t believe I hadn’t written about them before, but after years of listening, the love for them grew. Maybe that had to happen first. I love everything about this band. I love the trippy feel they have, I love how the drums and the guitar reverb come together to make this delicate but whole sound. I love how the vocals are intertwined with it all to create this perfect sound that makes you feel like that this is what’s been missing from you for years.

I honestly cannot express my love for this band any more than I have, or maybe I can. We’ll have to wait and see, but I’m sure I can. I’m super excited to hear more from them, and to be taken on a whole new trip with these beautiful sounds.





BRAVE YOUNG YEARS.

26 08 2018

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From Munich, I give you one of Germany’s most exciting bands- Brave Young Years. With the weather finally going to back to normal, Brave Young Years make the kind of music that fits the mood of the days getting darker quicker and the sky becoming more and greyer. They have this mood within their sound that is something you, after just one listen, realise it’s something you’ve needed for a while.

Brave Young Years have been going for a few years now, but they have only just released their debut record. As far as debut records go, this one is one to remember for years to come. The mood is bleak, tense and poetic. It’s a pleasure to listen to. It reminds me of very early Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds, and perhaps remnants of Rowland S. Howard’s Pop Crimes. It’s a haunting record and the darkness that flows throughout this record is something I can’t get enough of. I love the despair that comes through and seeps deep right into your soul. Bands like this don’t come around often but once you find them, you really cannot live without them.

Through is a song that has some really intense lyrics, and the sheer emotion that comes out in the vocals is something that keeps you on edge. You tense up and you feel every single word. You get that a lot on this record, but this song in particular really pushes it.  The way that the line, “I pushed you away in a slightly pathetic way, and spared us a bit of time” is sung really gets you right in the gut. The whole record is made up of songs that one could take as being painful, but at the same time you feel totally comforted by the words and how they just get you. By no means is this for everyone, but those who “get” it will never let this band and these songs go. With just one record they have created something so powerful and so moving. I can’t get enough of this record, and I think it’s something I’ve definitely been needing to hear, sound wise, for a long time. I love the atmosphere they have created on this record. It feels like it is a soundtrack to an eerie film that does not have a happy ending. It’s a truly powerful record, and it’s not for the faint-hearted at all.

Without getting repetitive and overbearing about it, I really love their music so much. It is the other side of what I love for music and what I look for in music. I absolutely adore bands like Brave Young Years because they are unafraid to show this side and to express this beautiful darkness in their sound. Some may regard it as morbid, but it’s not like that at all. Their lyrics are brutally honest and beautifully vulnerable. This fearlessness to be this open is something I really respect and love, and the way the music and lyrics go together is just stunning. Everything is so vital but nothing is overlooked. Nothing is more dominant than the other- every element of their songs is intense and created in a way that keeps you hooked.

Brave Young Years are an exceptionally passionate band who take you on this chilling journey. If they can be fearless, then so can you. I’m just in awe of how dark the lyrics can get and how even though a lot are rigged with pain, there is so much beauty in these songs. A beauty that will always keep you listening to them. I just love them, and the way they create this tension in their music is something I can’t get enough of.





BRAIN TRAPS.

22 09 2015

Sometimes you’ve just got listen to music that shatters your brain and makes you feel as if someone is stood up in your face screaming muffled words at you. More often than not, this is pretty much what I listen to and I guess it’ll cause my hearing to be questionable in later life.

Brain Traps are a mighty fan band from Cologne. I’ve never been to Cologne, but I’m going to assume it’s a nice place. Does all the music sound like that there? I sincerely hope it does. Brain Traps are great for many reasons, and for me I just love the way they make you feel as if someone has grabbed you by the head and is shaking you repeatedly. There’s no venom just pure fury, and I love this kind of music. It doesn’t make you feel loved, it makes you feel as if you’ve gone a few rounds with a heavyweight boxer and lost spectacularly.

Their fuzzy sound with hints of reverb will speak to those who are clinging .onto something as great as Psychocandy and the likes. This is different, and is a different wave of heavy. I’ve said it about many bands before that I’ve written about, but Brain Traps are the kind of band I’d want to sound like. They are noisy fuckers who are the ideal band to play one of those dodgy basement venues that have next to no lighting and make you sweat buckets before you get in the venue.

I have no idea what kind of comparisons have been thrown at Brain Traps, and I really can’t think of any (I’m not that lazy) but they just merge all the kinds of music I love into one and make their own kind of noise. The kind of noise that your parents wouldn’t really approve of, but would probably listen when no one is around. Ah man, life is too short to act like you don’t want a bit of rowdy music in your life.

Brain Traps do sound like a bunch of naughty school kids who have snuck into the music room at school and have gone a bit mental. There’s a fair deal of experimenting in their music, and in all its chaotic glory- it works. It’s loud in all the right places and is the right side of confrontational.

Their songs are really short but as proven by the likes of Ramones and Girl Tears, you don’t need to do a 10 minute symphony to get your point across. Brain Traps are an excellent band who will make the most uncomfortable and awkward person feel alright in their own skin. They unleash what you can’t, and they do it in a way you wish you could. They’re just perfect for any mood, and I really hope they play in the UK soon because I get the impression that their live shows are what really makes them. Some bands just come alive during their shows, and I reckon that Brain Traps are one of those bands. The kind that leave you smelling of everyone’s drinks and sweat after the show because you got a bit carried away and threw your body around with everybody else in the venue.

The kids are alright, they’ve got Brain Traps.

Listen and purchase: https://braintraps.bandcamp.com/





BIKES.

22 09 2015

Berlin heartthrobes Bikes are brilliant. They are a proper rowdy and obnoxious band. Their sound is part Iggy and The Stooges and part drunken street brawl. The songs are awfully short (like myself) but don’t let that be a deterrent. They’re one of the finest bands doing this kind of music. What kind of music is it? Oh it’s just noise to the outsider, but anyone else would realise very quickly that it’s a stroke of potential genius. The G word is lobbed around too often, so I’ll say it is potentially genius, but in my heart I know it has already reached that point.

When I find a band like Bikes I feel like I’ve won the lottery. However if you saw my bank statement you would probably think I’ve been a victim of fraud. Truth is, I’m shite with money. I found a new record store to venture in next week when I get paid, but today on my lunchbreak all I could do was lustfully look at it as I walked past. It didn’t help that my uncle (he’s on holiday in Canada) sent me a photo of two records he bought today (The Cramps and Fucked Up.) My time will come next week on pay day.

Money woes aside, Bikes are the kind of band you go to when you’re broke,bored and unsure. They’re the right kind of loud and they just make you want to pack up your stuff, and escape to Berlin. As you make your escape, you decide that Bikes are going to be your soundtrack and you throw yourself into their scene. Bruised and sore, covered in various shades of booze and sweat. They are the epitome of a good time for those who want to throw themselves into the unknown. Their sound is a mixture of weirdness, Punk and Garage Rock. All the typical things that I adore rolled into one to make this incredible sound.

They’ve been going for quite some time now, and I’m foolishly only just now discovering them. I first heard them about half an hour ago, and I knew I had to try write something about them, even if it makes no sense. I’ve never planned any form of writing, and I’m fairly sure it shows. Bikes are the tyrants that are coming to save you. Their menacing and infectious sounds can pull anyone through the worst day of them and are just a real joy to the ears, and soul.

You can do a whole bunch of nothing to this band or you can go on a journey of self-discovery, regardless of your mood and general state of being, Bikes are a band to really get behind and play as loud as you can stand. They’ve got a song called Ocean Penis, that’s pretty great.

All you snotty nosed brats and restless adults, let Bikes be your soundtrack.

Get the tunes here:

https://bikeshateberlin.bandcamp.com





THE CHEATING HEARTS.

19 07 2015

Any kind of music that makes me feel as if my brain is going to explode or if my body is being pulled about in different directions is fine by me. It’s pretty much what I look for. I don’t like mushy stuff, that doesn’t benefit anyone (maybe it does, but it just isn’t for me.) Those mushy songs portray love in the worst way. And general feelings. I want to feel as if I’m in the midst of a fight that I shouldn’t be in. I want the drums to turn into bruises and the guitar to feel like a bash to the face.

The Cheating Hearts have this huge gang feel to their sound, but there’s just two of them. I’m a massive fan of duos, and when they make more noise than most that’s when I know I’ve found something I’m going to treasure. The Cheating Hearts are a mighty fine German band who sound like The Cramps mixed with (early) The Damned. They make you feel as if you are not in this era. They’ve got a typical Rock & Roll feel mixed with something really creepy. An ideal tour for me would be these guys and The Creeping Ivies. It would be brutal, raw and intense.

I know the word “cool” is redundant and let’s be honest, nobody apart from Lou Reed captured the real essence of cool. But if you want the REAL meaning, just watch Almost Famous. Lester Bangs character nails it perfectly. However, The Cheating Hearts are slick and real cool. This is a band that should be influencing young ruffians to pick up an instrument and make some noise. If I was 14/15 and hearing these guys, I’d be quick to find some friends and make some noise. Instead, I’m just a 28 year old with no musical talent constantly wishing I did. Oh to pack up daily life and exchange it for dive bars and going to places I never thought I would. I can dream, it’s all I have.

Their record wonderfully titled, Fuck Love came out just over a year ago. I’m late to the party but you know, better late than never…well, depending on the circumstances I guess. Fuck Love is a gritty and rowdy records. It’s for those who adore the weird side of things and embrace with arms and minds open. There is something really magical about this record, and like I mentioned above, it really does make you feel as if you’ve gone back in time. They do not sound “now.” I struggle to work out what a “now” sound is. It is a lot of synths? Count me out.

Their bio says that they will soundtrack your next break-up. Sometimes having your heart gorged out needs a soundtrack, The Cheating Hearts are that soundtrack. Some may want to listen to Adele and cry into a box of Milk Tray, but fuck that. Throw yourself into something like this and forget what happened. A break-up doesn’t have to ruin you, nothing in life does. Sure it is easier said than done, but I’m all for rambunctious sounds like The Cheating Hearts to tell my story/unleash it all for me. Sure if your heart isn’t broken these guys can still be you soundtrack, I’ll be constantly playing them without thinking about anything other than how bloody great they sound.

The Cheating Hearts are a brilliant explosion of all things I look for in music. Their lyrics are witty in all the right places and the music is all I could wish for. With only one record released, Fuck Love just leaves you wanting more. There’s only so much having it on repeat can do for you until you start craving for more music. With one listen I just knew I was headed into something I couldn’t get enough of.

The Cheating Hearts are going to put you in a chokehold and rip out your heart when they are done. You’ll love it and you won’t be able to stop yourself from having that feeling over and over again. Don’t fight it, there’s just no point at all. They dress in wedding garments and look like a couple who are on the run. Their look is as crucial as their sound. They look like how they want you to feel when you listen to their music, and trust me you will. This Garage Rock/Punk sound they have going on is nothing short of incredible and I need more.

You can buy/listen to Fuck Love here:http://thecheatinghearts.bandcamp.com/album/fuck-love