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





BAD BANGS.

30 10 2019

 

BADBANGS

 

Bad Bangs are an exceptional Garage Rock band from Melbourne. Their songs are made to make you move, maybe get a little emotional, a little drunk if you want and just have a good time to them. Their debut EP, Grow It Out came out last year and they recently released a new song called Too Much.

They may not have much about them online, but there’s enough to get you hooked good and proper. They have this Bluesy feel to their music, and they remind me a little of the Goddesses that are, L.A. Witch. They have something spooky about them, something really powerful and just captivating. Bad Bangs make the kind of music to lose your shit to, and their song Time is definitely one to go all out on. That instrumental towards the end is so grand and just exceptional. You can really imagine them going nuts to this live.

I really love that you can hear this DIY sound coming right through. All the songs are written (and sung) by Shelby. She’s got such a distinctive voice; it’s distorted in all the right places and it is so strong. She has so much power in her vocals, and her lyrics are just so relatable. You connect so easily with their songs, and this is part of the appeal. The band currently has Ben on bass and Tim on drums. On the EP, Monica Ireland was the drummer. That’s just a little bit of trivia for you.

 

 

Moody is their sun-kissed anthem. This is the song you waste your day to, and just take time out for yourself. Treat it as self-care if you want, but it’s the song that you absolutely soak up and let it take over your soul. This lo-fi sound is something I can’t get enough of, they really put their all into what they do, and you can sense that from the jump on this EP and it is apparent on their new song too. You can’t help but feel that their live shows are totally wild and inspiring. For now, I think Other Side might be my favourite from the EP, but Moody is truly something else. All I know is that with just one EP they’ve made a huge impression.

During the summer they released Crush which again, is another sun-kissed anthem. They have this stunning way of just making you feel like you’ve escaped to the beach and away from all of life’s troubles. The song is delicate in all the right places, but there’s this slight aggression on the guitar that compliments the vocals so well. Shelby is an incredible guitarist, and the way she and Tim sound together is so good. Mix that with Ben’s bass and you’ve got a dream sound on your hands. They truly are such an exciting band, and once you start listening to them- that’s it.

Bad Bangs have such a slick sound, and they sound like a band who have been doing this for decades. They have such a refreshing sound, and this is the kind of sound that just takes over your heart and soul, and whatever else you are willing to allow music take from you. Although there’s an EP and a couple of other songs, Bad Brains have really made their mark. I love how they have this classic lo-fi sound mixed with Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound feel; then they add something of their own that’s not been heard before, and it just makes you fall instantly in love with what you’re hearing.

 

 

I really hope we get to hear more from them, and somehow, they make it over to the UK and play some shows. Bands like this don’t come around often, and what Bad Bangs are doing is something remarkable. They take everything I adore about music and make something to just blow your mind in the most euphoric way imaginable.

These three musicians are nothing short of enthralling, and I hope they get you hooked on their sound like I am. Play loud!





HOORSEES: Major League of Pain EP.

16 10 2019

 

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On Friday 18th October, Parisian band Hoorsees will be releasing their EP, Major League of Pain. This EP is made up of 6 songs to comfort you, make you feel alright with feeling low and providing a form of guidance when everything has gone a bit awry.

They are fronted by DR CHAN front man, Alex. If you’ve ever listened to DR CHAN, you will know that they have a real hyperactive Garage Rock sound. Their music makes you want to jump around and get into some light-hearted trouble. The tone in Alex’s vocals with Hoorsees is totally different; it is more mellow and little somber. It just shows us how brilliant he is. It is a totally different sound. Out of respect- no more comparisons.

The sound that Hoorsees have is one that throws you into a world of heartbreak, and every single step that comes with it. There are different stages, different types of heartbreak and Hoorsees delve into this very well and sensitively. The vulnerability in the lyrics especially on Boyhood and TV & Bad Sports just shows us how exceptional this band is, and how being this open is something to really back. Paris is truly home to some incredible bands, and musicians. Hoorsees are most certainly one of them and the beautiful romanticism in this record is so soothing and just a delight to listen to. It is calming in all the right places but will also break your heart. Infectious is such a beautiful song but my god it will rip you apart. It’s got the innocence of a first love to it, but at the same time you can apply the heartache to anything- it doesn’t have to be from a romantic stance. It’s such a beautiful song, and I love the sheer emotion in Alex’s voice on this. It’s a different side to what he can do vocally, and it is a different side to the band. A side I really hope they never leave because they do it so well.

 

There is a glorious distorted feel to the record, and if you’re a fan of music with a lot of heart and a wealth of emotion; you’ll probably love this record. Aside from their demos up on their Bandcamp page, this is their first proper release. The demos and the Major League of Pain EP are totally different, and in the few years that have passed between them, you can really hear a band that are sure of their sound and know exactly what they want.

 

 

I really love how you can feel that these songs are made to be played live. They carry a lot of emotion in them, and the way the vocals and guitars come together to send you off on this journey into their heartache is something to really appreciate and admire. There is something really special about bands from Paris, and France in general, you know. Hoorsees have this really big romantic feel to their sound and that’s what keeps you being drawn back in with every listen. Of course, you want more, but with just 6 songs they take you into their world and what a world it is. It is music to waste the day to, music to watch the world go by, skate to it, absorb in your surroundings- just soak up this blissed-out record.

I think at the moment for me, it’s all about the last track on the record- Horror Sees. I adore the bass on this, and how the drums give you this wave crashing sense. It’s a laid-back EP from start to finish, and I think this is the most relaxing song on the record. It’s one I’d definitely love to see them do live. I know they’ve got a pretty big tour happening in France so if someone could bring them to the UK, I’d really appreciate it!

These 4 friends truly know how to tug at your heartstrings; they gently take you into their secretive world. This lo-fi sounding record is covered in wonderful pop-like melodies that will stick in your head for days. It is a perfect record to just lose yourself in and kill time in a way that means something to you. It’s a laid-back EP with songs to just fit your mood; Merry Grime is the perfect song to capture this. Play this one loud and often.

 If you are lucky enough to live in France, then I urge you to go see them on tour and let me know all about it!

Tour dates are in the poster below:

tourdates

Major League of Pain is released this Friday via Crème Brulée and In Silico Records.





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.





GROSS NET: Gross Net Means Gross Net.

13 10 2019

GN

 

I’ve said countless times that music is a form of escapism for so many, but sometimes you need something to keep you right where you are- even if it is daunting, or terrible. I’ve always admired Gross Net (or Philip if you want to be proper) and how his mind works. He is one of the most expressive souls out there, and he takes you on this futuristic journey every single time. His newest record, Gross Net Means Gross Net is one of the most experimental records I’ve heard in a long time. It’s got this Scandinavian Noir feel to it; it could easily be played in some Thriller TV series as something truly gruesome and barbaric is about to happen. It is a creepy record, and it is nothing short of exceptional. I’m going to do my best to explain why this is one of the most out there records of the year.

There’s been a few years in between this record, and Philip’s last Gross Net record. This is a totally different sound, and as someone who is influenced by what they see- Philip has truly taken the state of the world (mainly the UK) and given us this tense breakdown of the shitshows that are occurring daily. Think a really political version of Einstürzende Neubauten with hints of Psychic TV. Basically, two of the greatest bands ever rolled in one. But, as we know, Philip is his own creation and a bloody genius. What this record gives you is something so eerie and captivating.

 

 

The best time to listen to this record is when it starts to get dark. This is not a daytime listen- this is dead of the night listen. I mean, it’s only 18:47 but it’s pretty dark out now so, and it works. You cannot help but be absolutely consumed by these songs and how remarkable the production is. It is, for me, the best produced record of the year. Shedding Skin is probably one of the most gloriously composed songs of the year. These aren’t just sounds, these are synth-based symphonies that will take over your soul in the most beautiful way. I love everything about Shedding Skin. It’s just over 6 minutes, and the lyrics are sure to hit you in the gut- they are explicit to the core (I mean in an exposing of the soul kind of way) and it isn’t hard to truly connect with this one. You can just imagine it being performed live in a basement bar, almost pitch black with a smoke machine creating this eerie mood, and a tense atmosphere crashing over.

Every song on this record serves the sole purpose to ignite the listener, and to get them to a place where no other piece of music could. The music alone on this record is so spooky and is comforting at the same time. Although there’s a song on the record named after a terrible person (Theresa May) it is actually one of the most gorgeous pieces of music you’ll hear. There is no need for words on this one, you can create your own story to this beautiful instrumental. In a way on this one, you get a glimpse into how Philip’s mind works- you can hear the care and feel the thought in this piece so much. Then it slides into Gentrification which almost feels like it could be played at a rave at 4am somewhere. He can make you flitter between several emotions on this record, and that just makes me admire him even more. He’s easily one of my favourite musicians around (and I think he knows this!)

 I love how the songs can touch on subjects you don’t really hear in modern music (how we’re all prone to consuming too much and not being aware of the consequence, thus turning a blind eye to our future) which can really be felt on Of Late Capitalism. Gentrification leads into Of Late Capitalism in such a succinct way, again it is another moment on the record where you can really pick up on the thought and care that has gone into this perfect record. Philip has massively pushed himself on this record, when you listen to his previous records you can hear something on this record that you haven’t quite heard him do before. It’s a cross between very early Scott Walker meets Suicide (the best duo ever), with hints of the future. It’s such a stunning record to lose yourself in. Dust To Dust is heart-breaking but my god it is the most beautiful song that Philip has ever done. To date, this song is the best thing he has done. Obviously, that’s just my personal view, and maybe I’ll change my mind but lyrically and the composure of this song is nothing short of mind-blowing. It just shows us how much of a genius he is, and how unafraid he is in his approach to creating such powerful music.

 

 

Gross Net Is Gross Net is one of the most thought-provoking records of the year. Sure, Philip will take you to a different world with the sounds, but the lyrics will bring you right back to Earth. This record is made up of 10 songs to truly hit you in the soul. One person, just one person has made this absolutely vital record. It doesn’t tell a story; it tells the truth. It is a truth to really, really listen to.





XENU & THE THETANS

12 10 2019

 

xenu

 

 

Here is something to invest in and play super loud: Xenu & The Thetans. You are welcome.

If you want fast and raw Punk, then get this record in your ears. Their debut record is everything you could possibly want from a Punk record; in fact, it is just everything you’d want from music. It is the kind of music you’d play to impress your cool uncle (basically, I’d play this record to my uncle and I’m pretty sure he’d love it, because he’s cool!) Every song feels like a smack in that face in the most euphoric way imaginable.

Xenu & The Thetans are a supergroup based in Mexico. Punk and Mexico go hand in hand, and the scene there should not be ignored. I’d go there if 1- I wasn’t scared of flying and 2- My passport wasn’t expired. I need to sort that, but I keep spending money on other things. I like to put things like this off because there’s always something better to do isn’t there. Anyway, the record. Yes.

 

 

I have no idea what the songs are about, but I’m not going to let that stop me from enjoying the record. Besides, hearing music in another language is just fine! This is the record you get drunk to and trash your room to, isn’t it? Guess my weekend plans are sorted. I jest, I’m going to sleep. A lot. Hopefully. What I love about this record is that I don’t feel like I’m listening to a band from now. I feel like I’m listening to a band that could have been buddies with the likes of Die Böslinge, Kraut or Bad Brains. They’ve got something about them that’s just effortlessly timeless and so, so cool. You cannot deny that Tee Crees Mejor Que Yo is probably one of the best Punk songs you’ve heard in a long time. It’s such a great record, and it’s probably a really great way to learn/improve on your Spanish.

You can always tell when a band plays with a lot of passion, and this band most certainly do. You’ve got one of the best humans around, Brandon Welchez ripping this record apart beautifully, and members from Davila 666 and Descartes A Kant (Johnny and Cristi) going apeshit on this record too. It is everything you’d want from a real Hardcore Punk record. Only a couple of songs go over the 2-minute mark, and it is enough time to just make you throw your body around in an insane way and probably smack someone in the face during it. Careless dancing- we’ve all done it. Xenu & The Thetans are the band you want to hear when you should really be heading home, but they pull you in and once they’ve got you- you’re done for. There is absolutely no denying just how excellent this record is. It’s fast, ferocious and loud- it’s the Punk record we all need. Like I mentioned earlier, it really doesn’t sound like a record from 2019 and that’s by no means a bad thing at all.

This tough and raw sound just makes you fall in love with the sound instantly. Every single song sounds like it should be chanted back at the band. Alternatively, you can just do it at home and have a great time. There’s only one way to play this record, and that’s loud. Super loud to the point where you wonder if you’ll ever hear again. You know how it is. The singer of this insane band, Julián Name keeps up ferociously and effortlessly with the intense drumming of Cachi. I love the sheer colossal sound on this record, and how you can hear influences from their own bands, and like I mentioned, Bad Brains etc. too. The songs are fast and powerful; a true Punk record to let blister your ears.

 

 

Sometimes I just hear something, and it makes me want to carry on writing about music; Xenu & The Thetans have created a record to keep going back to and appreciating every single time. Nadie Por Quién Morir is one my favourites to play on repeat and louder than the others, I love the slickness to it and how it just sounds like a drunken bar brawl. This record could have worked in the (greatest film of all time) The Warriors- it’s got that feel to it. I just really love this record.

Anyway, I’ve gone on enough about this record. Go listen to it, religiously.





THE BATTERY FARM.

11 10 2019

 

TBF

 

Manchester, Manchester. The greatest city in the world. A city that feels like home; it’s just the best. There are so many bands to have come from this beautiful city that I get to call home, and there a wealth of new bands emerging that, in time, will be regarded as highly as those before them.

 A band that most certainly demand your attention are The Battery Farm. They have a new single out in a couple of weeks, and this single’s subject matter is mental health. It is about lead singer, Ben’s struggle with his own mental health issues and this stigma that surrounds masculinity and speaking up about mental health. More than ever, we are embracing opening up- bands like IDLES are so encouraging with regards to speaking up. Then again, what kind of dickhead would want someone to shut up about it? Yesterday was World Mental Health Day, but that doesn’t mean that we stop talking or stop checking up on friends. We all have our own struggles; I’m open about mine but of course, hypocritically, I wish I wasn’t. I’m doing my best to write more about music, so I don’t have to “deal” with the two deaths I experienced so close to each other. One I can handle, but losing my Gran? I’ll never get a grip on that. Anyway, personal rant aside- let’s talk about music.

The Battery Farm consist of two brothers and two pals (the brothers are pals too obviously!) These 4 lads are making the kind of noisy Punk that makes you want to do something positive as well as trashing your room. They are a band to be hugely proud of, and not just because they are talking about things we tend to shy away from. They’ve been getting a fair bit of exposure, and I’ll post tour dates at the end. But what we need to discuss is their style and how they are such a bold, and vital band.

 

 

 Their debut single, 97/91 came out a couple of months ago. It’s got that beautiful heavy sound that is in bands like IDLES, The Murder Capital and Fontaines D.C. They aren’t afraid to have this openness and darkness in their sound, and I love it. I absolutely love this song. I love how you can feel every ounce of passion in Ben’s voice, and how the band just play with this infectious fury that just spurs you on. You cannot help but feel every single word- some people sing from their heart, some sing from their gut. Ben definitely sings from his gut, and that’s where this urgency is coming from. There is so much weight to their sound, and I love the dark tones and how they really are a fearless band. Their songs could easily be in some creepy Thriller film, or it could come to you in your dreams. It is frantic in the best way possible. I’d say I cannot praise this band enough, but I probably can. And will.

 Their songs are perfect for venues like our beloved Soup Kitchen, The Castle etc. but they could so very easily be blasted out in stadiums with every single person screaming along. Imagine that? Imagine everyone yelling the words to 97/91. It is such a powerful song, and although I know I should be going back to their new one, I Am A Man; this song has a ferocious grip on my ears. In fact, both songs do. So, let’s move on.

I Am A Man is a totally different sound to 97/91, and it works so well. Their new single as mentioned, is about Ben’s own struggles. It is so easy to relate to these lyrics; “I wanna talk but I don’t know how” is such a simple line, but it holds so much. It’s the way it is chanted by the band, and how it just completely sums up the whole stigma around mental health. Many do want to talk, and they have no idea where to start or even where to go. With just 2 songs, The Battery Farm have made a vital impact- and with I Am A Man the beautiful Mancunian snarl just nails it. The sheer honesty and openness in this aren’t fragile at all- it is brave. I’m aware that calling someone brave can sometimes be condescending but it is said here with the utmost respect. They just make you connect with them in ways bands that have been around for decades haven’t done yet. The words are sheer poetry, and they are merged with the most brutal drums, bass and guitar imaginable. It works so well and you cannot help but smack repeat on it. The lyrics become a mantra- we need more bands like this.

 

 

 

 

The Battery Farm have described their sound as, “frantic, visceral and violent.” It’s a pretty spot on description- but don’t let the violent part put you off. In this instance, that violent sound comes from daily frustrations and just wanting to change something, anything. It’s the vital force of their sound that makes you feel like you are pushing yourself through a wall of people to be heard. It’s a struggle, but you’ll get there.

 As someone who is obsessed with lyrics, I really love how The Battery Farm are so open to sharing their thoughts and what they see. They are showing us their world, their reality and the thing is- it’s like a lot of ours. Their songs are relatable, and if the lyrics make you feel uncomfortable- then they are doing it right, they are getting through. Their passion and dedication is something to truly admire, and with just 2 songs they have left me in awe. I really cannot praise them highly enough. Not just for touching on delicate subjects, but for being unafraid in doing so and for creating such a beautiful, and heavy sound. Hopefully they will be a band that, in the future, others are citing as them as their influence. 

 Here are some of their upcoming shows:

8th November 2019 – The Peer Hat, Manchester for Abattoir Blues Records

21st November 2019 – Werkhaus, London

1st December 2019 – Fab Café (acoustic)

7th December 2019 – Eagle Inn, Salford

28th December 2019 – Sound, Liverpool

22nd February 2020 – The Peer Hat, Manchester for Deco Records

18th April 2020 – Ulltra Festival, Hull

I Am A Man is released on 24th October.

*Photo by Gemma Corry