LOST CULTURE.

15 06 2019

lostculture

 

Surf Rock isn’t dead. It’ll never die. It might be a redundant name for a type of music, but it isn’t so bad. For the most part, you know you’re going to get something that’s carefree and will set you up for the day. It’s the kind of music that can you take you away from a place that is grey and rainy, and transports you to a beach wherever in the world.

As someone who love lyrics, and uses that as a focal point for most things I listen to- I’ve made an exception. Or maybe the exception found me with this one. Lost Culture are predominantly a band without vocals. This isn’t a bad thing at all because the music is enough to get you to create your own story. They put a record out last month called Weirdo Beach, and it’s enough to have you hooked. These songs are so good, and you know what, you don’t always need words.

 

 

On this record they give the listener the chance to create something of their own. Maybe you feel like you’re in a Spaghetti Western film or maybe you feel like you’re at a local skatepark, or maybe you’re just wandering around soaking it all up. Maybe you’re doing all three, and respect to you if you are- that makes you pretty cool.

Weirdo Beach is 8 songs of instrumental bliss. The way they absolutely annihilate their instruments, and just send you into a frenzy is something to truly be in awe of. At times they remind me of The Mummies, then they hit you with The Cramps guitar style (Poison Ivy will always be the greatest of all time!) These three buddies from New Jersey sure know how to move you, and they give you this feeling that their live shows would be even wilder. If they ever make it to the UK, then I’ll be happy. Until then, I’ve got the music.

Go back a year, and their first self-titled release is equally brilliant. Weirdo Beach has slight more edge to it, and shows that they aren’t afraid to be louder and rougher with their sound. I just love that they create real happy music without it being awfully tacky, you know? They do it in a way that makes you okay with hanging around doing nothing. It’s okay to waste your days, it’s okay to have a self care day. When you have these days, this is the perfect band to relax to. I don’t know where they take me with their sound, but I know it’s some place really magical. I could happily spend hours and hours just listening to their songs. They don’t have the heaviness of lyrics, and sometimes you need that. Sometimes you just need the sound, and that’s enough to make it all alright!

Their song Pistols at Dawn makes you definitely feel like you’re in a saloon bar and some fool is trying to start something with you. They’ve got something about them just leaves you wanting more and more; they’ve not been together long (I don’t think, but I could be wrong) but they have such a together sound. You can really hear how they are experimenting and how their instruments are weapons. The drums sound like a smackdown. The bass sounds like something guiding its way through your soul and the guitar is this cool, jangly sound that just moves you. A real slick sound that I cannot get enough of.

 

 

14 songs in total, and they are 14 songs that you cannot help but stick on repeat. If you live in New Jersey, support this band with all you’ve got. Get them over to the UK. Supr happy I found this band. I love that they have a laid-back sound, but at the same time just leave you in awe with how brilliant they are.

Play it loud, always.





THE VOIDZ: O2 Ritz, Manchester. 7th November 2018.

8 11 2018

the20voidz20by20kalen20barowsky20main

 

If you’re ever wanting to see some of the world’s most talented musicians put on a show, then for your own sanity- go see The Voidz. Everything about the show last night was just utterly mind-blowing. It’s 7:40am and I’m going to try explain why this was one of the most inspiring and earth-shattering shows I’ve ever seen.

Let’s get it out the way first; The Voidz are fronted by the coolest person in the world, Julian Casablancas. However, if you are thinking it’s all about him then you’re dead wrong. The band is unreal, and left you wishing you could be as cool as them. So there you have it; it isn’t about Jules- it’s about the whole damn band. Oh and please stop assuming they are going to play a bunch of songs from The Strokes. Ain’t happening, kiddo. The Voidz have records that are eccentric and mind-blowing. They’ll fuck with your head, and that’s why you love them so.

They open the set with Leave It In My Dreams, and to be honest that just sets the tone for the whole set. It is full of this raw emotion that Jules conveys so well in his voice. His voice is so distinctive, and you just know it is him when you hear it. The way he can project it so it fills up the whole room is pretty damn spectacular. They blitz through the show with M.utually A.ssured D.estruction and Permanent High School most certainly being my favourite. But there’s something that needs touching on- Amir and Beardo.

If you’re ever looking for two guitarists to be left in awe of, then open your mind up to Amir and Beardo. The way they sound together is just nothing short of guitar heaven. I swear Beardo is the happiest person I have ever seen on stage. His smile and stage presence is a thing of beauty. He totally hams it up on stage, and you cannot help but grin like a total buffoon back at him. He’s absolutely mesmirising. Amir too, has the same quality. They both bounce off each other, and as Jules steps back from the stage- you truly notice what this band are about. They are loud, the songs are important and the way they sound together is just stunning. If I could think of my dream line-up, I’m pretty sure these guys would be it. The Voidz are the body of Punk, the soul of Punk and the heart of Punk. But they’re not a Punk band- they’re out there, and they aren’t afraid to truly push themselves.

There’s an improvised song early in the show when Jules spots a young kid in the audience. His concern for if the kid is old enough to be there, and if they have headphones on causes him to suggest that the kid shouldn’t be so close to the speakers. Anyway, if it was the first show that the kid had been to then they are pretty damn lucky.

For some of the shows they’ve mixed up the set which is pretty great, and the show last night was just a perfect set. The show ended on Human Sadness. But we were also treated to Black Hole and Dare I Care. Songs like Wink were greeted with such rapture. In fact, every song was.

There is something really remarkable about The Voidz and it truly comes to life at their shows. Alex is such a ferocious drummer, and you have Jeff and Jacob who add a calmness to the set. But don’t let that fool you. The Voidz, like I said, are made up of exceptional musicians. Musicians who know exactly how they want to sound and aren’t afraid to experiment and push themselves, and for me that’s what makes a band great. On record they are obviously perfect, by my god their live shows are out of this world.

The Voidz are loud, passionate and brutal. They aren’t coming for your blood, but just your undivided attention- which is pretty easy to give.

 





Ho99o9: United States Of Horror.

6 05 2017

ho99o9

 

With a smack to the face and a kick in the shins, a bloody nose. Broken bones. Grazed knuckles. Aching joints. That’s what the debut record from Ho99o9 will bring you. Pain, anguish, destruction, pleasurable noise, decadence, truth, brutal and brave truth. A riot. They’re not just a Hip Hop group, but man, they have made the best Hip Hop record in a long time. As far as debut records go, this one is going to be ringing in your ears even when they release their fifth one. It’s got this level of greatness to it that comes from sheer determination, and boy- they have it!

When I first heard Ho99o9 in 2014/early 2015, I was instantly moved by their attitude and how they really had this strong Punk sound that we so desperately needed. Ho99o9 were and still a band that we urgently need. They speak to everyone irrespective of race, age, sexuality, background. None of it matters, it never should matter. Their songs are to be played as loud as possible, and for every word to be yelled and learnt. Keep up the pace.

At the moment, Street Power is my favourite song on the record but I’m fully expecting that to change. 17 songs in 46 minutes. 17 songs that will blow your mind, blow your eardrums and leave you wanting more. 17 songs that shape our frustrations at the world and the things we see. The things we can change, and the things that are out of our hands, for now. No band has been this brave in a long time. United State of Horror is a body of work that oozes blood, sweat and rage. It’s the perfect record to expand your thoughts to and see things for how they are.

For just two people to make this much noise and to have such an incredible force within their debut record is just amazing. They take the sounds of two genres and make something really out there and unlike anything else. Sure they’ve had the Death Grips, Bad Brains and Black Flag comparisons but there is something else within them that is totally unlike anything else. Songs like Splash and Knuckle Up really show this, and for me, I’m just really in awe of Eaddy and theOGM. Just two people with such truth and rawness to their sound. It’s like exposing a wound. People will turn away but are still intrigued at the gore and guts. There’s gore and a whole lot of guts in their songs. How can you not be moved even slightly by them?!

I spent most of yesterday listening to the record at work, and I just intensely focused on the lyrics. Today I’m trying to take in every detail within the music. The way they make you feel like an electric shock is flowing through you. This isn’t a band that should be labelled as “not suitable for…” forget that. They are a band for EVERYONE. They hold something so important within them, and it isn’t something that needs ignoring.

Again, they are one of those bands that you’ve got to see live. I’ve yet to, but how they are on record will easily be shown in a different light during their live shows. They just have something in their music that needs to be in a live setting. Venue size doesn’t matter, the more that hear them- the better. Songs like Sub-Zer0 and War Is Hell just need to be seen live, you get that immediately from them. I think I’ve move on to Sub-Zer0 being my favourite right now.

From their EPs to this debut full length record, in just a few years Ho99o9 have created their own movement on their own terms. The finest thing to have come from New Jersey via L.A in a long time. Well, ever really. United States of Horror is a record that deserves your complete and utter attention. It’s easily one of the best records of the year, and the rage within it will feed into your soul. It’ll find its way deep inside of you, and will never leave.

You know what to do- play loud. Learn the words, throw your body around to the songs, go to the shows and let Ho99o9 completely and utterly take you over.





EVOL.

24 03 2013

 

As a Music Writer (I hate the term “Music Critic” or “Music Journalist”) it is always really nice when a band reach out to you. It’s even better when they make music that you really really love.

I believe you shouldn’t use age or any of those factors when talking about musicians. It doesn’t take anything away from their music, but Evol are pretty young. But they are also pretty damn amazing.

The singer, Kevin emailed me maybe an hour or so ago. He’s from Burlington. It’s in New Jersey. You may or may not have heard of it. When a band on the other side of the world reach out to you, well, it’s a nice feeling. It’s nice knowing someone is paying attention to you. So you must return the favour. I had to return the favour, I couldn’t ignore such a band at all. The music Kevin and his friend Luke make is brilliant. Two people making a LOT of noise. You know how I love duos who make noise. The Kills started all that a long time ago for me. It is something that has stuck, and I’m glad it has. I can’t imagine not having that as one of my music based habits.

Evol make music that will gloriously melt your brain. They unleash a lot of fury, which is understandable. Kevin told me that where he lives, people are either into death metal or 2 Chainz. And I thought where I live was bad. We all face our own battles, right?! They are influenced by Sonic Youth. There aren’t many shit bands that are influenced by Sonic Youth. It is like Sonic Youth were put here to influence and bring out the best in budding musicians. I think, by judging Evol, they’ve filled their purpose and much more.

The thing that really sold me was that Kevin has only been playing guitar for just over a year. In such a short time he’s managed to create his own noise that you cannot help but want more and more from. There’s also one other thing that really touched me. Kevin is influenced by Punk Rock. The good stuff. The genre that taught a generation to speak up and take no shit from anybody. The genre that spoke to so many; and still does. It is not dead, a lot of band still carry that Punk Rock ethic with them. You don’t have to be in a band to do that, you can apply it to everyday life; to just keep on going. But, Kevin said something that I thought was truly beautiful about Punk Rock, and also makes me believe (and hope) that Evol go far with their music. He said this: “Punk Rock taught me that I don’t have to live up to African-American stereotypes.” It is sad that we live in a world where we have to live up to what is expected, but you know what? Thank goodness for Punk Rock to save our souls and teach us important lessons such as not giving in to those stereotypes.

You can listen to Kevin and Luke’s music here: https://soundcloud.com/#covert-bummer You should play it pretty loud. It’ll infect your brain in a good way. Always in a good way. They’ve done a brilliant cover of Sonic Youth’s  Silver Rocket. Oh and their own song Solitude is beautiful also. They don’t just stick to one style of music. They mix lo-fi with ambient vibes and hints of Krautrock. I love them. I just love them.

 

(Oh and Kevin agrees with me that The Jesus And Mary Chain are better than The Beatles. Not many hold this opinion, but it’s good to know that someone else shares it. It’s a shame we live in a world where disliking them is wrong. We can all have an opinion, remember that. Be nice.)