VHS DEATH.

11 01 2020

 

VHSDEATH

 

I’ve said it many times before, there is something really special about Bristol. I don’t need to give you names of the bands I love from there- you already know. There is something about the music scene there that is so diverse, so special and just a joy to listen to. It’s just a haven of exceptional talent, which leads me onto VHS Death.

 VHS Death is the solo project of Natalie Wardle (previously of Returning Videotapes) who is based in Bristol. VHS Death is this beautifully haunting project that is full of these dark and eerie Industrial sounds. Natalie’s debut release as VHS Death consists of seven songs that will hit you in the soul and will be swarming round your head for days. Hawkmoth (Death Head) is just shy of seven minutes long, and it is such an incredibly open song. The lyrics are so brutally honest, and the way Natalie speaks and sings them over this heavy Industrial sound will just blow your mind.

 

 

Although the record came out in November, we can say that this song is one of the heaviest and most honest songs we will get this year. It is heavy in many ways, and I know some of us don’t want deep and meaningful- we want music to be an escape, but with this-it brings you into the reality. It’s nothing short of perfect.

 These seven songs on Llorona are brilliant insight into Natalie’s mind, and these songs are just a masterpiece. They are this captivating journey into the world of VHS Death. I love sounds like this. Sure, at heart, I’m a Punk but I love this sound. Bands like Psychic TV, Cold Cave, Drab Majesty- I bloody love them. VHS Death is up there for bands that will move you, for me. Easily. This is all Natalie’s work, and you can truly hear the passion and devotion to this project in the songs.  I adored Returning Videotapes, but VHS Death is a different direction- and that’s what we need. There are bits of the song DMT that remind me a little bit of A Forest by The Cure. It’s the atmospheric background sound that feels like a grey mist clouding your surroundings. It is wonderful, and just a real joy to listen to.

 Each song is so easy to become obsessed with, and I think when you first listen to this record you see it as this eerie and slightly dangerous body of work. But the more you listen and let yourself mentally dissect the songs- you see it as something completely different. There is so much going on but that doesn’t mean it is a difficult listen at all, far from it. You can truly imagine these songs in a live setting and songs like Prey and Nothing are probably the ones that’ll blow us all away when we see a VHS Death show.

 Something that is just beyond incredible is that Natalie will be taking this project to LA in October as part of the Deathwave Records Festival. If I had a hell of a lot of money, I’d fly Business Class and go out there for it. I say Business Class because I want to be able to sleep in a bed and forget the fact I am up in the sky and cannot roam round freely or get off at the next stop. Maybe one day.

 

 

Broken Glass is a heavenly seven minute euphoric delight, and after it we a treated to the gentle and ethereal Elara. These two songs together are something to really treasure. The way they flow into each other really shows how exceptional Natalie is, and how with just one record as VHS Death has made something you want more and more of. I really cannot wait to see what happens next with this project.

 You can stay up to date with all the VHS Death information you need here: https://www.facebook.com/pg/VHSxDEATH





HATE MOSS.

2 12 2019

HATEMOSS

 

There is so much that I love about Hate Moss that I have no idea where to begin. The name of the band alone should make you love them. This Brazilian/Italian duo are based in London, and I think if I still lived in London, they would be THAT band that I constantly go see. They have something about them that just makes you really want to invest in them. As far as duos go, they’re up there with the best of them. They take elements of bands I love and make something of their own which is beautifully dark and creepy.

I think the best time to listen to Hate Moss is, well, all the time! But aside from that, listening to them in the dark when nothing and no one is around is an ideal setting. I’ve got a few bands that I listen to like this, and there’s something so sacred about listening to music in this vulnerable setting. I guess in a way, it makes you really soak up everything that’s going on in a more heightened manner.

 

 

Hate Moss don’t make sounds for those wanting sickly delicate emotions and thoughts. They’re for those who aren’t afraid to stay on the edge of something that could probably terrify someone else. Their songs have this euphoric glow to them, and it is really brought to life on songs such as The Time Your Remake which is 8 minutes of sheer heaven. Their synth-based sounds remind me of the likes of Drab Majesty and my all-time love, Cold Cave. They give you this atmosphere that gets you right in the gut.

Hate Moss totally stop you in your tracks when you listen to them. You simply can’t do anything when you listen to them apart from just that- listen to them. The vocals will send shivers right through you, and the music alone will increase everything you could possibly feel when listening to them. Two people are doing this- just two people. The incredible thing is that they don’t have that many songs, but every song feels like this ethereal cloak of darkness that you want to constantly cover you. They are such a special band, and you can really hear where they want to go when you stop and listen to their music.

Songs like Evil and Honey were made for you to just play really, loud. They’re the kind of songs you can see yourself screaming back at the band. Sometimes you just find a band or a song that you absolutely cling to, and these songs because your everything for that specific moment in your life.

 

 

I could quite happily switch off from the world and listen to Hate Moss on a loop. I could also sleep for a few days because I am so tired. But anyway, Hate Moss have something about them that just makes you feel like their live shows are really something else. This duo really knows how to get the listener right in the gut, and with just a handful of songs- they have mastered this perfectly.





FANTAZMAZ: Better In My Head.

1 12 2019

fantamaz

 

This isn’t going to be long, because I’m not well and I’m not happy that I had to pass on seeing Amyl & The Sniffers tonight. I saw them earlier in the year, and I was SO excited about seeing them tonight. But it’s not meant to be. Instead, I made myself pizza and watched a film. I’m mad at myself for getting ill. I eat vegetables, I take vitamins and I do my best to look after myself (and the planet by not eating animals!) but it happens. I just wish it happened earlier or not at all! Anyway, you’re not here for that and neither am I.

Fantazmaz have just one song out, and that one song is powerful enough to write about. With the world evidently on its tits at the moment and lies being spat at us by pretty much every politician, it’s pretty easy to cling onto bands or a song that let out our frustrations, and Fantazmaz do exactly that. They are fronted by Thamila who has such fury in her vocals, and just reels you in immediately. I can only liken her to Amy from Amyl & The Sniffers, and I mean that because when I first heard Amy I thought “OH SHIT! WHAT IS THIS!?” And I was hooked, Thamila has done exactly the same. Raf and Chokis keep this fury up with their guitar and bass, then you have Edgar on the drums and it feels like he is the one sort of pushing the band to be louder and unapologetically ferocious. They may just have one song for now, but this one song is enough to make you really believe in this band.

 

 

I love how this song feels like you’re escaping everything around you and opting for living in your head. I wouldn’t recommend living in mine, but when you can create a world to escape from it gives you this comfort and to be honest, we all need that. It is such a vital Punk song, and once you hear it- it really stays with you. You have the chorus repeating in your head like a mantra, and it’s a pretty cool one to take on.

You can stream/buy the song on their Bandcamp page, and you can keep up to date with the band right here. I cannot wait to hear more from them because two minutes and nineteen seconds just isn’t enough!

Play it loud!





FALSE HEADS.

5 11 2019

FH

 

It’s that wonderful time of year where we play, gun shot or firework. To drown out the exploding sounds (I really hate fireworks) I’m playing False Heads super loud. I can just about drown out the fireworks.

 When I lived in London, I heard of False Heads quite a few times, but I foolishly didn’t pay close attention. They probably played a shit ton of shows I could have gone to, but I can’t dwell on the past. Fast forward 3 years since they formed, and False Heads are most certainly one of the most exciting bands in the country and maybe one of London’s loudest bands. Their sound will get out all of your frustrations and disdain. There’s a slight Grunge like feel to their sound, but aside from that you can’t really lump them as anything but excellent.

 Their newest single, Fall Around come out on the 25th October. Initially I was going to write about the single, but they deserve way more than that. The new single is a heavy and raw song to really get stuck into, and to let False Heads suck you into this world they’ve created with their brutal sound that makes you feel like you’re in a pub brawl that’s spilled onto the street. I love the heaviness on Fall Around- that really heavy drum and guitar sound together is just divine, then you get the slick bass hitting you along with the vocals. It is such a perfect sounding song- if you listen to it after listening to previous songs you will massively hear how their sound has just continued to evolve and is still on this brilliant journey. They take you along for the ride, and it is such a joy to listen to.

 

 

Songs like Slease, Retina and Help Yourself were made to just lose your shit to. I’m annoyed at myself for never seeing them when I had the chance in London, but the thing with their music is that they make you feel you’re right in the midst of their live shows when you listen to them. I love Slease, and I think it’s one of the year’s most underrated gems. It’s got everything you’d want from a heavy sounding band. They have this captivating sound that just makes you want to turn it up a little louder, and to try see if you can actually make your ears bleed from the loudness. They’re that great, they’ll have you wanting to do dumb stuff.

Their debut record should be with us next year, and I reckon it’ll be something to truly treasure and pay very close attention to. False Heads have songs that are nothing short of anthems, and in a few years’ time they’ll be playing them to stadiums full of devoted fans. They have this glorious Post-Punk feel to their sound, but they give us something more. Something we may never have heard before; there is so much charm in their sound, and the lyrics are so easy to connect with. False Heads may only just be getting started, but they’ve won over a wealth of fans all over. You cannot deny just how great they are, and how a sound like this is so vital.

 

 

With new single Fall Around thrust into the wild now, there is really no telling how the debut record will sound like but I reckon it will consist of real heavy bruisers that will be destined to be played loud and screamed back at the band.

Iggy Pop and Danny Fields are fans of this trio, and if that isn’t enough to get your attention then I really don’t know what will.

*Photo by Neil McCarty





JOHN: Out Here On The Fringes.

7 10 2019

JOHN

 

What’s got two heads, four arms and four legs? No, not some weird mythical creature but an exceptional duo called JOHN. Two pals, both called John. Drums and guitar. Rowdy and really exciting. What more do you need?

JOHN are a band we all need. A band we need to truly treasure. Their new record, Out Here On The Fringes came out on Friday. I’ve been playing it almost religiously since yesterday evening, and if I could fully explain why I’m in awe of this record in a way that makes sense, I would. Sadly, I can’t. So, you’re going to get a weird rant, again

The record consists of nine mind-blowing and deafening songs to just make you go apeshit to. It is a record that will stick with you because you become obsessed with the sheer heaviness and passion in this band and they have brought it to life once more on this record. It is a record that deserves to be heard and praised by all, those who have heard this record already know just how remarkable it is. We’ve seen this band grow and grow, and what they have created- what these two friends have created, is something beautiful. They have such a loud sound, you sort of expect there to be about five of them in the band, but these two know exactly what they are doing here. They’ve created a cult classic with Out Here On The Fringes.

 

 

I love how the songs feel like tormented souls trying to push out of the body. They’ve nailed that heavy industrial like sound that’s in bands I love, such as Pop.1280. There’s this effortlessly menacing sound on this record; sometimes bands try really hard to have a bruising sound, but for JOHN it just comes so naturally and that’s what makes you become obsessed with them. The vocals are so tough and snarly. You can hear the importance of every single word, and when you feel this you truly know you have found something to cling on to with bloody hands.

What makes this record so memorable? Well, as cliched as it sounds- everything. You want tight production? Got it. You want anthems? Got it. You want riffs that make you puke in your mouth because you get that hyped up from listening? Got it. Out Here On The Fringes has everything you could possibly want (and more) from an intense and heavy Rock record. There are essences of Punk on this record, of course. The Stoner Rock heaviness of drums and guitar make you feel like you’re in this insane world that you can only get to when you play songs like Solid State or Dog Walker. It is such a fucking strong record. It’s a record that just makes you want to kiss someone it’s that good!

The more I listen to this record, the more I notice about the record. Everything about this record is just an instant classic, you know? This could be one of those albums that the younger generation hear and think, “I’m going to do that.” It’s such a powerful record, and I really don’t think JOHN get how vital they are. Bands like JOHN, their buddies IDLES, and Heavy Lungs are SO important. They’re my holy trinity and have been for some time now. Each of them is just getting better and better. With this record, JOHN have created something to really wake you up. It’s the record you play when you just need to feel SOMETHING. The title track is one of the best songs I’ve heard this year, and musically it is an absolute beast too.

 

 

Out Here On The Fringes is one of the most exciting records you’ll hear all year. There is no way we can deny just how phenomenal JOHN are. They’ve got everything you could possibly want from a straight-up Rock record. The Punk attitude is infectious on this record, and with one listen you will be hooked. I have no idea how many times I have listened to this record today; I’ve been playing it on and off since 7am ish when I left the house.

My love for duos has fully be thrown into overdrive with this record. JOHN are just a joy to listen to, and the songs on this record need to be played really loud. Soak it all up and embrace your favourite duo.





NIGHT SHADES: Dead Nerves/The Desert.

16 07 2019

nightshades

 

 

Today I woke up to see that Night Shades had announced a new release, and I knew I was going to have a good day (I also had the day off work so that’s a plus *note- I love my job, but I do like to sleep!) Night Shades are making the kind of music I’d love to make if I was in a band. They are creepy and wild; they are just a phenomenal band that I cannot get enough of, and knowing that there’s a new release coming real soon is just great.

I’m going to give you a little breakdown into the songs- there’s only three so hopefully you’ll stick with this. It’ll be worth it, trust me.

DEAD NERVES: The first track on the record, and as Shaun counts in the band you get a sense of just how intense this song is going to be. He has SUCH a distinctive voice, and it’s the kind of voice you want to hear when you need music to just get your heart beating a little faster. The urgency on this song is exceptional, and I think for me, a large part of this is Niall’s drumming. Niall is a great drummer, and he brings this urgency to Night Shades that is backed up by Clare, Shaun and Vince on this song in particular. I guess you could sum it all up quite easily by saying Night Shades consist of some of the best musicians around. There is this bite to Dead Nerves that makes you feel like you’re the toughest person around. I love music that gives you this energy, and Dead Nerves definitely gives that feeling. It’s a real rowdy song that feels like a bar fight. If you’ve never listened to Night Shades before, this has got to be the one that wins you over.

KATIPO: To soothe your bones a little bit, Katipo is a beautiful instrumental moment on the record. Sure I love their loud and rowdy songs, but this instrumental is so gorgeous. It is delicate in some parts, but it picks up. The song twists and turns, and takes you on this trip. You stay on edge as you listen to it. One thing I adore about Night Shades is their effortless way to keep you on edge. As someone who has anxiety and can have a panic attack when I least expect it/probably at inappropriate times, Night Shades give you this positive anxiety- you’re on edge from excitement with their music. You know something is going to happen, and the butterflies are brewing in your belly- it kicks in, and all these euphoric moments occur. That’s, for me, one of the best ways I can sum up Night Shades and although there are no vocals on Katipo, it perfectly sums that feeling on edge feeling.

 

 

The Desert:  Hello song of the year! Clare and Shaun’s vocals on this are insane. Everything about this song oozes a real creepy feel and I love it. It’s like hearing The Cramps for the first time. The first time I ever heard The Cramps, it changed my life forever and I was in awe of every tiny detail. Night Shades give you that same feeling. You’re hearing something really incredible, and it just moves you in a range of ways. The way they deliver the urgency on The Desert is ridiculous, and it’s the kind of song that you know is going to be magical when they do it live. It’s a song that just makes you fall in love with them all over again. We had the instrumental in the middle, and we are smacked right in the face with The Desert. Although it ends on this song, it just makes you play it all over again. But, you’re going to have to wait until 26th July to do this.

This 3-track record was recorded live, and I think that adds some romanticism to it. The songs are perfect, loud, tender and raw. They will make you move and by no means will they make you want to rest. Night Shades make the kind of music that would fit perfectly in a eerie horror film, or a thriller. Something that messes with your head, for sure.

The launch party for the record will of course be held at The Shacklewell Arms on the 26th July. There’s no other venue that can do their sound justice nor can any other venue sum up the feel of the band. You can pre-order the record on their bandcamp page here. It’s going to be on hot pink vinyl, and will be released via El Beasto Records.

Buy it, play it loud and feel like the toughest motherfucker around.





HAXON.

13 07 2019

 

HAXON

 

 

When I left London early last year, I know I was going to miss something in particular. I wasn’t going to miss the city at all, but I was going to miss my favourite venue ever- The Shacklewell Arms. I’ve seen some of the best gigs of my life there. I’ve seen TwoFiftyFour play to about 10 of us for an acoustic show, I’ve seen L.A Witch and Tall Juan’s first ever UK shows there. But I’ve missed out. I’ve missed out on seeing a whole bunch of bands, and I’m going to write about one of the most exciting London based bands around (aside from GHUM who are playing The Shack tonight, but I’m seeing them on Monday so it’s alright!) HAXON. Remember the name. HAXON make music to terrify you. Ready?

HAXON have members of bands I LOVE (Lovers Club and Night Shades.) If you’re looking for the coolest band around, then look no further than HAXON. They played The Shack last night, which is a venue made for bands like this. They sound like The Cramps mixed with Screaming Lord Sutch and The Birthday Party. Basically, fucking weird and absolutely off the wall in the best way imaginable. The kind of music you’d hear in a Vincent Price film. Perfect. They are a band that just need to be played really loud so you terrify your neighbours, In my apartment block, we’ve got some really annoying neighbours so for me, HAXON are the ideal band to use to drown out their noise.

 

 

If you’re looking for a band to blow you away and to leave you covered in goose bumps, and I don’t mean goose bumps just for the reason of them being brilliant. I mean for them scaring you- then you need HAXON in your life. You need to just play them, and go crazy to the songs. The songs sound like a mad-man rambling, and I love that. I love how possessed Alec’s vocals are. He’s easily one of my favourite singers of late, and with HAXON he really pushes his vocals and gives us something that is so insane and powerful. The songs will make you move in all kinds of ways. It’s just perfect.

 

Their debut EP, Haxoff, came out in May. It consists of 5 songs that will leave you salivating for more, and more. If you have seen them live, then I can only assume that it was one of the best shows you’ve ever been to. However, if anyone would like to bring them up here to Manchester- I’d really appreciate that! The EP is nothing short of stunning. It sounds like nothing else, and I truly mean that. I know I mentioned The Cramps, The Birthday Party and Screaming Lord Sutch earlier, but this EP is truly something else.  There is something about it that will freak you out, but at the same time you’ll just be beautifully overwhelmed by what you are hearing. Sometimes I’ll hear a band, and think “this is why I still write about music, this is why I love music.” For me, I can happily add Haxon to that list. With just one EP they have definitely left their mark, and I do hope that there is a lot more to come from them because 5 songs just isn’t enough.

I’m A Tree is like a drunken rambling, and I absolutely love it. I love how manic and ferocious it is. I love how it twists and turns, then slides into Lucky John which has the same tone to it. It’s just an excellent EP that will make you want to make your own noise, it’ll make you want to down a bottle of Bourbon in a saloon bar and cause a fight. It’s got this infectious rage to it, that I just cannot get enough of. It’s everything I want from music, and more. They should be hugely proud of what they have created here, because it is out of this world.

 

 

It’s a real sleazy and seductive EP that’ll make you feel a bit dirty and in the need of a shower after listening- and that’s always a great thing. Honestly, if you get the chance to see them, please go. Let the music take you over, let it freak you the hell out and let it put everything you’ve ever known to shame.