SISU-Blood Tears.

13 09 2013

 

We have moments of clarity and realisation in really peculiar moments. The worst is when it happens when you’re stuck on train or whatever, and you cannot get out to do something about it. Or you have pen and paper near you to write anything down. I have a shit memory at times, so I just forget anything that could be of use to me. Sometimes though; I manage to cling. More people should learn to keep secrets, and keep their own. But sometimes we are given an insight into a world that’s a billion times better than our own. You know where you can find a better world? Right inside the depths of SISU’s debut record, Blood Tears.

SISU is fronted by Sandra Vu who is the excellent drummer in Dum Dum Girls. If I could drum, I’d want to have the talent she has. She adds something a bit aggressive to a band that are wonderfully delicate. So what kind of music does she make in SISU? Well, if you’re looking for a Dum Dum Girls clone don’t bother. SISU are quite synth focused which adds a really dark and reluctantly I say this, a “goth” vibe to it. If Bauhaus merged with say, Depeche Mode- this is what you’d get. SISU’s music has a wonderful New Romantic feel to it also. Blood Tears is a record you need to play whilst walking late at night with a heavy mist looming. There is something quite sinister about this record, and that’s why I love it. The song Electronic sounds like it should be featured in a horror or thriller film- as the bad guy approaches his next victim. The record is gorgeous and creepy; it makes you want to put a cape on and go deep into the night. Or you could just stay at home and play it. I’d go for the latter, it is much safer.

I’m not going to make any comparisons to Dum Dum Girls as I think that’s quite unfair. They are separate bands with completely different sounds. Different is always good, especially in music. The structure to this record is just perfect; every song flows perfectly into the other. It flows majestically even if it feels like a haunting soundtrack to a dream you once had. The darker the sound, the better. SISU’s music was made for those creepy basement bars where you are surrounded by people who just “get” you. Without words, but a knowing nod- they just get you. Blood Tears is a debut record that I know I am going to hold very close to my heart for some time. I think this is how my brilliant stepdad felt when he heard Siouxsie And The Banshees for the first time. You know you are hearing something incredibly inspiring here. I hope they play the UK, because there are some brilliant venues here that were made for bands like SISU.

I could happily praise this record for as long as words fall out of me. I’ve noticed something in the song Let Go that reminds me of Garbage’s debut record. There is an attitude to SISU’s music that is found in Garbage, and although I said I wouldn’t compare them earlier- you find this in Dum Dum Girls’ music too. But you probably knew that. Shirley Manson is an incredible force that has evidently influenced so many.  I have no idea if Sandra is influenced by Shirley, but her voice has the same “I’m going to make you listen to me” feel to it. It’s bloody empowering.

I believe music is probably one of the few things in life that can give you a real sense of pleasure and freedom. Blood Tears feels like it could strengthen the weak ones. That it can find those who truly need to be found. The dark atmosphere that is in this record is nothing short of divine and you never want it to end. Ten songs just isn’t enough, but you can always hit repeat can’t you.

I sincerely hope Sandra and the band are proud of this record because it is honestly unlike anything else I’ve heard all year. SISU are on that Dirty Beaches level (who they are currently on tour with and I really wish I lived in America right now because of it!) They aren’t conventional with their sound and you can just sense a lot went into the music. I think when you pick up on that, you gain a different insight to the record. I’m not for conventional anyway, which is why bands such as SISU mean a lot to me.

A debut record can have a massive impact on the fan/listener; you fully get that with Blood Tears. It is a passionate and bold record that I cannot wait to have in my possession and play on a daily basis. That eerie bass-line in Sharp Teeth is enough to make The Cure go to the studio and make something as ethereal as Seventeen Seconds. It may be 2013, but SISU truly take you somewhere else. I don’t know where, but being found doesn’t matter.

Blood Tears is out on Mono Prism Records on 17th September. Even if you are on poverty row, go buy this record. I have so much more left to say about Blood Tears, but I’ll stop here….for now.





DUM DUM GIRLS-Trees And Flowers.

21 01 2013

dumdum-girls

“Dawn cracks the dark,
And it breaks the silence.
Of my waking hours,
And  my heartbeat’s license.”

I was walking home earlier, and for most of the journey I had one song on repeat. I do this a lot; find a song to love and just play it until my ears no longer wish to hear it. Of course when it comes to Dum Dum Girls (and others) there are songs of theirs I will never grow tired of. As I was walking, I had a thought; and this is where it gets dangerous. Stop reading.

I was listening to DDG’s cover of Trees And Flowers on repeat as I was walking home. I felt, even though Dee Dee didn’t write the song, she summed up every little thought floating around me- in head and heart. I walked and carried every single word. You see, I have this fear (you could call it me being stupid if you want) that I’m going to be one of these people who die having done nothing of worth. I know we create our own self-worth and shouldn’t let others define it, but there comes a time where people’s views on you just drains you. Their expectations crush you, and you want to remove yourself from them. 26 being treated like a 6-year-old. You build up resentment towards people. But you cannot express it, so you turn it into self-resentment. It’s easier to dislike yourself and beat yourself up than it is to let someone else do it. Thing is, people are cruel. To each other and to themselves. Not everyone is gentle and kind. Not everyone wants to be. I try, and one day I’ll grow tired of trying.

“For I hate the trees,
And I hate the flowers.
And I hate the buildings.
And the way they tower over me.
Can’t you see.
I get so frightened,
No one  else seems frightened.
Only me.”

I wish I could write as beautifully as this, but I just write honest nonsense that holds no worth. Or I just need to find something I’m good at. One day, one day. And typically so, it will be too late.

Trees And Flowers is a guide and a safety net. I have unspoken fear within me, and I’ll keep it unmentioned for I don’t think we should discuss our fears because people will use them against you. Sometimes they will be obvious with it, sometimes they will be subtle. Regardless of how they do it, they sure will. DDG’s version of this song adds a lot more loneliness and vulnerability to it compared to the original by Strawberry Switchblade. Dee Dee’s voice has never sounded so pure and vulnerable. If you’re going to cover a song, you should make it your own. Dee Dee goes beyond this. She makes you feel as if she wrote it, and she wanted to share this frightening feeling with whoever hears it, so they felt less alone with what they carry around with them.

Of course, I could be entirely wrong with all of this. Maybe I am. I don’t strive to ever be right and it doesn’t bother me admitting when I’m wrong. I worry when I’m right or if anyone should agree with me. A worrying thought for sure. I do constantly worry that my own (lack of) self-worth is going to do a lot more harm than it should, the only solution to it is out of my hands. In the space of 7 days I have sent out 50 job applications. I’m constantly being told I’m not trying hard enough or whatever. If I was violent, I’d probably punch them. But I cannot waste my strength on people who are a bit toss can I? No. I can’t. They just add to it. As do I. I’d go mental if I didn’t write, or go to the gym. It’s an outlet to frustrations out of my hands.

Trees And Flowers, as sad as some of the lyrics are, is a piece of hope. I’ll cling onto it, it’s all I can do.





Dum Dum Girls-Lord Knows (video.)

25 09 2012

“Together but all alone.”

Have you got End Of Daze yet? You should. It’s the best EP you will hear all year. Okay, so after what seems like an eternity the video to Lord Knows is finally here.

Before I declare it as VIDEO OF THE YEAR (which it is) you must watch it with a clear mind. Maybe feeling a bit week and lost; because when the video has ended, you will feel complete again. This basically is what happens when you listen to Dum Dum Girls anyway. They give you everything you need, and much more in order for you to carry on. I know it is hard at times; I know more than I should. Lest we try to forget. Fight to forget it, and you end up wearing everyone else’s scars. What a bastard it is. But anyway, Lord Knows is like a call to change. To stop the hurt; to just be better. If this song was around a few years ago, I may not have been such a horrible person to a few. Maybe that all had to happen. I am without them, and I feel much better. Dum Dum Girls make it okay for you to have vulnerable and unsure feelings. The way Dee Dee writes is nothing short of great poetry. I’m talking the genius of Rimbaud. Mixed with the heart of Patti Smith and the soul of Lou Reed. She’s the Patti of my generation for sure. Don’t turn a blind eye, you’ll be missing out. You don’t want to miss out.

Lord Knows is dark and will ease you into self-discovery. If it doesn’t make you emotional then you are watching it wrong. The fragility of the video and song just hits you right in the gut. Christin Turner ( http://www.christinturner.com) has truly directed the best video of the year for sure. It is just 4 minutes and 19 seconds of pureness and honesty. The song and the video are nothing short of beautiful.

End the daze kids, end the daze xx





Dum Dum Girls-End Of Daze (EP.)

17 09 2012

“I get so frightened. No one else seems frightened, only me.”

I have typed this over and over, hoping I could start it and go into something that makes sense. It didn’t work, so I downed some Jameson whiskey and I feel human again. Before I really get into this, if you aren’t aware of my love/admiration/respect for Dum Dum Girls then you may not understand anything I am about to write. Thing is, I don’t understand half of what I write. Out of sheer love for Dee Dee, Sandy, Jules and Malia- I am going to do my best get this to make sense. I make no promises.

There are so many things right about this EP. I have one problem- it’s an EP, not a full record. I want more and more. That’s just me being a greedy fan. I’ve got past that though, I can fully see how much we need End Of Daze, as an EP- not a record.

My love for Dum Dum Girls started a few years ago. Catholicked was the song I heard. “These sins are my own.” I heard that line and knew immediately I had found a band that would just mean more to me than anything else. Songs such as Rest Of Our Lives to Coming Down mean more to me than I can put into words. I stand by that their cover of Oh Those Eyes by The Vagrants is the best cover ever. I’m meddling in the past here aren’t I. I should tell you about End Of Daze.

You’ve heard Lord Knows already, right? Waiting for the video? Me too, but it will be worth the wait. Anything DDG do has always proven to be worth the wait. When a band can grip your attention and leave you always wanting more- that’s when you know you have found a band that are going to be your lifeline. What I adore about End Of Daze, is that from the very start you know it is going to be one of the most pure and beautiful things you will hear all year. I said before I heard it that End Of Daze would be the best EP of the year. Now, I am rarely right- but I am right with this. I can just feel it.

I cannot help but listen to the EP with a massive smile on my face. I don’t want to be THAT person, but a couple of months ago I put on Twitter something like “Wouldn’t it be cool if Dum Dum Girls covered Just Like Honey.” Dee Dee asked me to email her..who has their VERY own cover of Just Like Honey? I DO. I could reel off my favourite things that have happened this year, and that would be my number 1, for sure. It is something that I cannot put into words. Honestly one of the best and beautiful things anyone has ever done..I’ll never understand why Dee Dee did it, but I’m forever grateful.

The EP opens with Mine Tonight. If you’re like me and you pay very close attention to lyrics, you will probably see yourself in the lyrics. This pretty much goes for every song on the EP. There’s hurt, pain, death, love and loss surrounding End Of Daze. Yet the last track on the EP, Season In Hell feels like Dee Dee is telling you everything bad that has gone on, all those ugly feelings you posses so well- let it go, let it all go. It is over. End Of Daze feels like a healing process and is vulnerable. It is truly perfect and a joy to listen to.

Trees And Flowers is a stunning cover. I’m talking, “stops you in your tracks” kind of stunning you know? The lyrics seem much more  frail and open when Dee Dee sings them. For those who feel like their mind is a prison, you may enjoy this one more than most. I get it, I truly do. We all find our own way out in the end. It is okay to be scared. I guess you’re never alone, even if you feel like you are.

Something I truly adore about Dee Dee is how honest she is with her lyrics. When your art is your life, you can’t afford to be someone else can you? Sure a good writer puts themselves in other people’s shoes. But to allow yourself to be so open and exposed- that takes guts, heart and strength. A trait that I fully support, and wish more did.

One of my favourite lines from the whole EP comes from Season In Hell, “A confession’s not a cure. There’s always darkness to endure, on a path to be redeemed.” You truly pick up life lessons from a Dum Dum Girls song, End Of Daze is full of them.

I could quite happily sit here and right a thousand more words as to why I think it is the most beautiful thing I have heard all year. However, you can stream it here, a week before it is released : http://stereogum.com/1154362/stream-dum-dum-girls-end-of-daze-ep-stereogum-premiere/album-stream/

It is dark, it is comforting, it is pure and it is accurate. It is everything you want from a band that you love and more. I knew my mind was going to be blown, I just didn’t expect it to be as wonderful as this. Dee Dee, Sandy, Malia, Jules- Thank you xx





Dum Dum Girls- Lord Knows.

1 08 2012

“I can’t hurt you anymore.”

Basically, Dee Dee could sing the phone book and I’d regard it as the best thing ever. I love her voice, I love her lyrics and I think she is just incredible (anyone who covers a song by The Jesus And Mary Chain song just for me is a beautiful human being in my eyes.)

What I love about Dum Dum Girls is that they make music that compares to nothing and no one else. You hear something all too often and you think, “Oh that sounds like…” With Dum Dum Girls, you don’t get that. Well, I don’t. I’m pretty sure their loyal fans feel the same way. I remember hearing Catholicked and being in awe. Then came Jail La La and I knew. I just knew I had found the band to sum up every feeling. Only In Dreams was pretty much my soundtrack to last year. Coming Down got me through everything from the days where I hated everything to my mum getting sick. The whole record just oozed out everything I felt, and more. I suppose most who find a record to do this, they never go back to it. I still play it everyday. Coming Down is my crutch. I think I’m heading that way with Lord Knows.

I heard Lord Knows the other day when Dee Dee did a solo set for KEXP, but my internet connection decided it didn’t want me to hear it properly, so I thought “Alright..September it is..I can wait.” NO. I’m not waiting.

Lord Knows is vulnerable and perfect. For those who feel like they are always hurting those they love; this is your anthem, your prayer. I constantly feel like I’m fucking up so this song is like a blessing right now. I honestly cannot write about Dum Dum Girls without getting really into it, without being 100% personal. I can think of 1 or 2 I want to play this to and say, “This is all of it. I’m sorry.” But they’d say I don’t need to say sorry. No point in apologising if you haven’t done anything wrong I guess.

Lord Knows, if I wasn’t about to head out to the gym after writing this, would make me cry my heart out. Maybe I’ll do that later, or maybe I’ll cling onto knowing someone can sum up all this and much better than I ever can. Maybe things come to you when you need it most, this song definitely does that.

The lyrics to Lord Knows are just perfect and so honest. Dee Dee writes like no other. She gets right to the heart of it, and makes you feel less alone. To posses such beauty in words is something I really admire about her. She deserves a lot more recognition as a songwriter.

Basically, Lord Knows is out of this world. End Of Daze is out 25th September, and it’s the best EP of the year. I’ve not heard it, but I just know. I know.

Dum Dum Girls; thank you. Just..thank you xx

You can listen to the song here : http://wearedumdumgirls.com/