AUTUMNS-Das Nichts.

6 03 2016

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A few years ago I wrote about Autumns. I wrote about how much I loved them and how Christian is the Northern Ireland equivalent of Alex Zhang Huntai (Dirty Beaches/Last Lizard.) I think I mentioned how brilliant it is to have one person make a load of noise with such urgency and passion. A few years have passed, and now I get to write about Christian’s new EP, Das Nichts.

Christian is currently in America where in the next few weeks, he will be playing his first set of live shows out there. I couldn’t be more proud of him. He makes the kind of music I wish I could, the TV static sound and the distorted vocals aren’t to everyone’s taste but for me it’s exactly what I look for in music. I sincerely hope the American audiences fall in love with him and hear what I hear. I’ll post the dates towards the end, but for now- Das Nichts.

Das Nichts is the kind of record you play late at night when you should probably be asleep. My sleep pattern at the moment is semi-questionable but I can still function. I think life would be easier/better if we all took more naps. Anyway. With this EP Christian has definitely delved into the Electronic side of music more. For some they associate this with really bad 80s music, to an extent they could be right but what they don’t seem to acknowledge is the darker side. Das Nichts sounds like Suicide meets My Bloody Valentine with the fury of Rowland S Howard. The songs are going to torment your mind and you won’t want to sit down with a cup of tea whilst listening to this. With one listen, I loved it but I feel because it is the kind of record that puts you on edge, I feel that’s what makes it Christian’s best work to date. When I hear music like this I always seem to want to know what goes on in the head of the person making it. But recently I’ve started thinking what goes on in my brain and how it would sound if I translated it to music. It would sound a bit like this record. Maybe slightly more tame as I’m annoyingly shy. I try to get better at it, but what can you do. Das Nichts is a remarkable EP that is made for night time/very early morning listening when the world is asleep.

This EP is intensely dark and would sound perfect in some Danish Thriller that messed with your mind. If this is how Christian’s debut record is going to sound, then we are most definitely in for a treat. It’s the right kind of loud, the right level of noise and creepy. I can only imagine how brilliant this is going to sound live. The first track on the EP, Motel Lover is 19 minutes and 45 seconds long. It’s a solid way to start the EP and I think it straight away indicates to the listener where the EP is going. It’s going somewhere no one and nothing else can take you. You feel like you’re on a motorbike at 2am heading deep into the unknown. The night air sends chills over you and the dark mist keeps you on edge. It’s beautifully terrifying and is under 20 minutes of straight up noise. The static guitar sound mixed with the repetitive kick drum keeps your attention locked. There are swift changes in the song here and there but it’s the torment of the kick drum that remains your focus throughout. When it comes to an end, you find yourself looking around to check who was there and who took you to wherever this song may have taken you to.

I really can’t praise Christian enough for what he’s done with Das Nichts. It’s a captivating listen that will scare you a little but you won’t want to turn it off. Something about this EP will make you feel a little uneasy and unsure of what is around you- it will heighten all you feel as you listen to it, and that for me is what makes this the best thing he has done to date. The suspense in the EP makes you feel like it is the soundtrack to something. I’m 100% sure that Christian could easily create a soundtrack for some dark and unsettling Thriller film going by this EP. He would be perfect for it. Das Nichts isn’t a kick in the gut kind of listen, it is more like someone messing with your head in a way you didn’t know was possible. This kind of exposure of the mind is what makes this one of the best things I’ve heard this year. Sure there’s still many months to go, but this is truly something else.

Das Nichts is out on 15th March via Clan Destine Records and you can pre-order a tape here: http://clandestinerecords.bandcamp.com/album/das-nichts

As mentioned previously, here are his US dates for this month:

3/09 New York @ Nothing Changes + (with Nite Fields)
3/12 Lafayette @ The Spot + (with Nite Fields)
3/13 Indianapolis @ State Street Pub + (with Nite Fields)
3/20 San Francisco @ Rickshaw Stop * (with Lust For Youth)
3/21 Frenso @ Dynamite Vinyl + (with Nite Fields)
3/23 Long Beach @ 4th Street Vine – (with Gold Class)
3/24 San Diego @ The Whistle Stop
3/26 Los Angeles @ Non Plus Ultra # (with SEXTILE)

Christian will also be drumming for Nite Fields on all of their dates.

 

 





THE DEBUTANTES.

16 09 2014

 

 

 

Any band that can mix a 60s girl group feel with sad/woeful guitar sounds will probably become a band I end up adoring. The Debutantes are pretty much that band.

The Debutantes consist of Sarah and Paula from September Girls and their pal Leon. Together they have made something really beautiful. They have this sadness flowing throughout their songs which is done in a way that isn’t all “PITY ME! LIFE IS HARD!” kind of bullshitty way. Their songs will heal hearts and make you want to dance. If you don’t end up doing questionable moves to Burn The Merchandise then something isn’t right. Perhaps go see a doctor.

In the midst of the reverb sounds, you can’t tell that they are from Ireland. They sound like a band from the West Coast with their sun-kissed guitar sounds, but don’t let location fool you. A great band can make you feel like you are anywhere in the world and that is what makes The Debutantes so great.

With the sun appearing less, walk into the dusk with their record blaring in your ears. Or be a bedroom dancer and sway to their summery grooves in a freeing fashion. The Debutantes will make your heart swoon and make you gush with glee. They are just a brilliant band.

The EP will be released as a cassette on the ever wonderful Soft Power Records, and you can catch Soft Power at the Indie Label Market in Edinburgh on 11th October (day of the EP release also.) The tape is limited to only 100 copies.

You can stream the EP here: http://softpowerrecords.bandcamp.com/album/the-debutantes-s-t-e-p





THE #1s

2 10 2013

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When I was at college I was a big fan of The Cribs. I enjoyed their Garage rock sound and probably enjoyed the fact they’re from Yorkshire too. Easily swayed, but not anymore. The Cribs played fast and their sound was unlike the rest. It’s been a while since a band has pulled off that sound in the way The Cribs did. I’ve not listened to The Cribs in some time; I sort of lost interest after 2008/2009. Typical.

There’s a band from Dublin called The #1s and they remind me of The Cribs when they first started. They play fast and with fury. You can hear a clear and raw distinctive sense of urgency in the vocals. Their songs are the kind you are supposed to scream back at them at one of their shows with sweat falling freely from your face and it trickles into your mouth as you scream the words back. The morning after, you’ll have a sore body and you’ll be unable to speak. This happened when I saw Crocodiles last month, and I’m hoping it happens tonight when I go see them. Lord knows I need it.

The #1s self-released a cassette, Italia 90 and it’s my favourite thing I’ve heard by them so far. I love how every song feels like a slight punch in the gut. I think it was released a few years ago, but since then they’ve released a 7″ on Cork/Leeds based Art For Blind Records and later this year they’ll be featuring on The Big Itch Club’s 7″ which features Faux Kings and my personal favourite. September Girls. Big things are happening for The #1s and they truly deserve it.

What I love about their music is that they are capable of unleashing all the feelings that  make us feel fed up. I feel fed up and disconnected from  most things, which is why music is a huge help. The older I get, the less I relate to everything around me. I don’t know what kind of person this makes me, but if I think about it- I just get more annoyed at myself. Music is the one thing I’ll only ever lean on because people are not permanent. And I think to be dependent on a person sort of weakens you. It’s alright to be weak though, that I know. I’m not a tough person at all. Never will be. Music is a crutch. My point is, The #1s make music that unleashes the shit feelings we feel in a very real way. All too often bands do it but you cannot connect due to how they project it all. Or how they act. Bands like The #1s are obviously true to their words, and you connect. I’m just speaking for myself, so there’s a good chance I’m wrong. But that’s okay.

The #1s have a new song called Sharon Shouldn’t which is released 4th October.  In Europe it will be released on Alien Snatch! and in America on Sorry State. The release will feature two b-sides, Boy and Girl. It is an evidential step-up from what they’ve previously released, but it is as rambunctious as their other songs. Sharon Shouldn’t is their third release; it is slightly more ferocious than their past releases but clearly shows how strong the band are. If this is the first time you’re hearing the band then I highly recommend you explore their back-catalogue. It is full of blissed-out gems that will fit any mood.

The #1s are a band anyone can relate to, and with most things in life separating ourselves from others it is good to know music is probably going to be one of the few things that bring people together.

You can listen to The #1s glorious sounds here: https://soundcloud.com/thenumberones (I Wish I Was Lonely is a good one!)