VOODOO BANDITS.

8 08 2020

By now you know how much I miss home, and that I haven’t been back on the Isle of Man in nearly a year. I miss the beach. I miss proper chips. I miss pals. I miss my family. I miss my brother’s dog. I miss my mum’s cat. I miss fresh air. It can’t be helped, and knowing everyone is safe and well because they shut the borders so the virus wouldn’t ruin the Island is a good thing. But still, I just want to go home. I thought my need to go home couldn’t be more heightened but the other night, I received an email from a band that are from the Isle of Man. Cue my homesickness going into overdrive.

Voodoo Bandits are 4 buddies from the Isle of Man and they are in short, brilliant. I’m not trying to put a biased view on you, but it’s the truth. They’ve got this powerful Surfer Rock feel, and knowing that there are bands on the Isle of Man that sound like this make me so proud to be from there. If I had bands like this back home when I was growing up, I may have been more sociable. Instead, I stayed in my room listening to music. You could say that I’ve been waiting for social distancing since my teens!

Initially I was going to write about their glorious new song, Backyard Wrestling but they deserve more than that. I’m going all in. I’m just going to give you all reasons possible as to why they are one of the most exciting bands around. They’ve been compared to bands like WAVVES and Hockey Dad, and even The Strokes but to be honest, they’ve got something else. Personally, I can only hear a slight nod to WAVVES and that’s about it. You can really hear a band that are truly dedicated to what they do, and are perfectionists- and that is by no means, a bad thing. You truly feel that this is a band that are sure of themselves, and they’ve only been putting music out since 2019.

Backyard Wrestling came out on the 31st July and it is a perfect Summer anthem. It makes you want to escape to the beach and laze about. I guess it’s a frustrating listen right now (unless you’re a selfish prick who doesn’t know how to SOCIALLY DISTANCE!) but it just gives you that beautiful summer mood. The one band I can liken this to is the debut record by Best Coast which coincidently, turns 10 years old this year. That record is the definition of summer and Voodoo Bandits, 10 years on, have created their own summer mood for us all to enjoy. But it doesn’t start and end with this beautiful song.

Yesterday’s Jam and and Empty Swimming Pool are two ethereal gems, and have made 2020 less crappy. Hearings songs like this just make you feel good. The lyrics have a sadness to them, but the music makes you forget that. Take the music away, and read the lyrics and you’ll see just how gorgeously poetic they are. Again, just another reason to love this band and be utterly proud of the Isle of Man. Watching their music videos, and seeing places that I know so well and seeing the beach makes me homesick but at the same time, just so proud and delighted. Sink Below is the perfect example of this, and the video could even be used as a tourism promo video for the Island. Vocally, it is still my favourite song of theirs and I adore the lyrics on this so much. They’re just an effortlessly cool and slick band. Exceptional musicians and an absolute asset to the Isle of Man!

If you’re looking for a new band to get rid of your blues, or to just make you mentally feel free- Voodoo Bandits are the band for you. There’s this perfect innocence in the songs that gives you such a freeing feeling; they are just a delight to listen to. Of course I’ve not been to one of their shows, but going by the sheer passion and drive they have on record, I’m pretty sure it will come across just swell at their shows. I love them. I just bloody love them; exciting, enthralling and a pleasure to listen to. I’m super excited to hear more from them.

You can waste your days away listening to Voodoo Bandits right here: https://voodoobandits.bandcamp.com





FONTAINES D.C. : A Hero’s Death.

30 07 2020
A Hero's Death Fontaines DC.jpg

In a few small hours, the world will be able to finally hear the new record by Fontaines D.C. I don’t say this lightly when I say it is truly one of the most heartfelt, heartbreaking and brutally honest records of the year. There will be no comparisons to their debut, Dogrel. The only fair comparison is that both records are phenomenal and show us exactly why they are one of the most exciting and exhilarating bands around. If you’re looking for a record that soaks up all of your anger, insecurities, fear, lust and all that goes in between, then this is the record for you. Treasure it.

Fontaines D.C. are quite frankly the best at what they do. We can all agree on that, right? With so much uncertainty in the world it’s hard to find any good in anything or in anyone. It’s totally okay to have a meltdown. It’s okay to feel like shit and not have the words to describe why. You can be as happy as a pig in shit one minute, then be a bawling mess the next. I get it. More than I wish I did. One of the few things that can get me out of a rut is music. Certain bands can drag me out when I can’t. We all look for a crutch in conventional and unconventional things. What they have done on A Hero’s Death is something that goes beyond words. It’s the record you’ve been needing for so long. You’ve been so desperate for this record. You will cling to it- day and night. It will be all you have at 3am when the world goes quiet, but your mind doesn’t.

Vocally, Grian has excelled himself. His voice on this record is that of someone who isn’t afraid to be vulnerable with their words and share them with you in a way you didn’t know someone could. Without being too personal, I’ve struggled since last August when my Gran died to find any joy in music. I didn’t want to hear anything new. I didn’t want to hear anything old. I got in this phase of just playing certain songs over and over. To the point where I didn’t want to listen to music. I cried myself to sleep many times listening to The Murder Capital. I blocked out bits of grief to Fontaines D.C. I was finding ways to cope. Nearly a year on, I’m still there. I’ve made peace with grief, fully not accepting she is gone at times. The poetry on A Hero’s Death is beautifully crafted, a sheer romantic record in all ways possible. The typical to the not so typical. One thing that is constantly constant is the greatness and honesty on the record.

A Lucid Dream is my number one obsession right now; I love the ferocious energy it has, and I cannot wait to see them perform this live (May cannot com quick enough.) There is something about the way it musically sounds like The Birthday Party but vocally, it goes beyond. I love everything about this song. You can just imagine it being played live, with the lights as dim as possible with the smoke machine going on overdrive, and everyone in the room just loses their mind to it. Heavenly. God, I miss going to gigs.

You Said is a gentle number, vocally. But don’t let that fool you. It is a monster of a song and the way A Lucid Dream flows right into it is just divine. I love how the songs flow into each other. The order of the songs on A Hero’s Death is sublime, and you cannot help but fall in love with this record within seconds. Their second record comes just around 18 months or so (a little less) than their debut. You can hear the growth and power in what they do. I’m all for music sometimes keeping me on edge/making me feel a little uncomfortable but A Hero’s Death is a safety net. It is such a comforting record that just soothes your soul. One of my favourite moments on the record is Carlos and Conor’s guitar on You Said. It is so gentle, but it is so powerful. Mix this with Tom’s ethereal drumming and Conor’s slick bass- you’ve got the most beautifully created song imaginable.

There is so much poetic imagery on this record, and songs like Oh Such a Spring feel like a lullaby and all of a sudden you are smacked in the chops again with the title track. It’s an effortlessly brilliant move, and the way Grian chants “Life ain’t always empty” just makes you feel less alone. The song is a mantra for those who are unsure or are struggling. It’s alright. It’ll be alright.

The last song on the record is just over 5 minutes long and I urge you to play No on your own, through headphones. The whole record should be played like this, but this song in particular just makes you feel like you need to go outside and find a place quiet/sacred and listen to it through headphones with no interruptions. Make this song yours. It is one of the most beautiful songs I’ve heard in a long time. I read somewhere that bands like Suicide and Beach House played an influential role to this record. As someone who adores both bands, I can definitely hear a nod to Beach House on this one. It is the most perfect ending to such a perfect record. I’m in awe of every single song.

2019 saw the band probably work harder more than most. Touring was relentless and their music was (and of course, still is) vital. A Hero’s Death is one of the few positive things to happen this year, and my god it is such a powerful and important record. It is one of those records that you hope some kid in a tiny village hears, and they scribble their thoughts in a notebook. They find like-minded pals and form a band which allows them to speak their truth and what they see/feel. It is such an inspiring record, and I honestly don’t think anything is going to top this record. I love the sense of community the band give off. You can feel it on the Facebook group, you can feel it intensely at their live shows. They are a band that just make everyone feel every single word, every note, every beat. Every single detail is felt right in your soul. And you cling to it.

With 11 songs coming in just over 45 minutes, Fontaines D.C. have given us something to treat as our reflection. Something that pulls things out of us that we may be afraid of. It’s comforting but it is also THE most exciting record of the year. My words don’t do this record justice. It’s out tomorrow- BUY IT!





DRIBBLE: Taking Off.

27 07 2020

It can sometimes be pretty difficult to write about a band that you no NOTHING about and they have only one song to go off on. But, when they make the kind of music you love it isn’t so bad.

Dribble only formed at the start of the year, and given how much of a shitshow 2020 has been, we can consider Dribble to be one of the positive things to happen this year. They’ve got this beautiful heavy sound- a real raw Doom sound, and it is that sheer heaviness that lures you in right away. Think bands like KYUSS, Melvins etc. with a gnarly Punk feel. Basically, mix Black Flag, Minor Threat with Melvins and you will get Dribble. The only way to listen to Dribble is as loud as possible.

Something to really be in awe of is that the band are a duo. There’s only two of them making this beautiful noise (see, I was right about duos being the best!) Taking Off is a beautiful nod to the bands and styles of music that Luke and Thomas love. Taking Off has this effortlessly slick and heavy sound- the guitar feels like trees being hacked down and the drums are the intense echoing of the noise ricocheting through. The song will shatter through your rib cage and tear out your insides. All the gore, all the blood, all the mess. It is such a hard-hitting song. To have this much of an impact with just one song, well, you know they are going to do great things. Bands that have a heavy sound like this truly come alive in a live setting. It may be a while before we are able to witness Dribble in all their loud and rowdy glory, but it will most certainly be worth the wait.

I can’t wait to hear more from the band, but for now let’s all sit back and blast Taking Off as loud as possible.

Taking Off is out via the brand new DIY label, Pantherburn Records.





L.A. WITCH: Gen-Z.

15 07 2020

There’s a handful of good things to have happened so far this year, and one of them is the fact that we’re going to get a new record by L.A.Witch. I’ve already gone on about how amazing I Wanna Lose is, but now it’s time to tell you about  the brand new song, Gen-Z.

Do we need a raw Punk fuelled anthem? Of course! Always. L.A. Witch give us it completely on Gen-Z and there’s that solid L.A. Witch sound we all know and love on it- this is found in every element of the song from the drums, to the vocals, to the bass and to the guitar. Ellie, Irita and Sade are the best at what they do. Quite possibly one of the best bands ever, no question. They just have this effortlessly slick sound that makes you wish you had even a fraction of their talent. I love how they have this unified sound, and you can truly tell that they make music for them. They make it how they want. On their terms. Always.

Gen-Z is just another taste of their new record, Play With Fire which comes out next month. I’m so excited for this record. I just know it’s going to be one I have on repeat- that’s the thing about L.A. Witch- they make songs you can have on repeat constantly, and you don’t get tired of it. If anything, you find new parts to love. Listening to Gen-Z again (and again, and again!) I can hear parts of bands I love- at times Sade’s guitar reminds me of early Nirvana with a nod to Johnny Thunders. But there’s this Wall of Sound feeling that goes in and out of the song so perfectly. You might pick this up more if you listen to it through headphones. It’s Ellie and Irita who bring that feeling for sure. I just love how they sound, and how they make the kind of music that makes you feel cool but safe.

There’s a quote from Sade about the song, that really hit me in the gut and I think it’s something we can all relate to especially right now; “When I was a kid, music and guitar was my escape. Music was how I fought through my depressions. What will the future do to get through it? With constant pressure to be perfect and information/advertisements and brainwashing constantly being shoved in your face, you become a product of your environment. ‘Gen-Z’ is about being a slave to technology, specifically to our phones.”

I’m guessing if we could all escape (or be allowed to travel/go on holiday) right now, most of us would. L.A Witch always make you feel like you’re either at a skatepark in L.A. or at a beach watching the world go by. Two places that are perfect to listen to them at. The feel of Gen-Z is much like I Wanna Lose- it gives you that raw excitement for the record. I’ve struggled a LOT recently to write about music but hearing Gen-Z today has given me a boost. L.A. Witch are one of the few bands I listen to and instantly feel I need to write about, and just give me that love for music all over again.

I don’t need to delve into this further- check the song out for yourself right now!

Play With Fire is out 21st August 2020 via Suicide Squeeze Records.





BASIC SHAPES: Clockwork Organs.

2 07 2020

I have too much spare time that I have seem to have filled by playing FIFA as soon as I get home from work. I could be doing other things such as going to bed as soon as I get home (yes, it is acceptable to go to bed at 5.30pm, never question it) but FIFA takes priority. Music has slipped, sort of. I’ve not listened to much as it makes me sad not knowing when I’ll next go to a show. But anyway, there’s a wonderful French band called Basic Shapes that are here to kill your blues. Listen up!

Their newest EP, Clockwork Organs came out last week and it’s a really stunning record. It reminds me a little bit of Richard Hell mixed with The Buzzcocks. Basically, it’s a bloody great record and again just reinforces my love for French Garage Rock bands. There’s this beautiful energy on the songs and I love the urgency in most of the songs, and this is so clear on No Creep. It’s a real rowdy number that just gets you going. The songs are short and to the point; there’s no messing about here. Basic Shapes are here to tell you what they think and feel without taking 10 hours to make their point. We have the time to listen, that’s for certain, but sometimes you just need something that’s punchy and grabs you instantly.

There’s been a lot of great records that have come out so far this year, and I guess some could be cynical in thinking some get overlooked. Bands like The Vacant Lots and Fontaines D.C. (okay this isn’t out yet but whatever!) have put out (or about to) some of the strongest records of the year. Jehnny Beth has put out a glorious solo record that feels like an ethereal out of body experience. Then you’ve got bands like Basic Shapes who just go headfirst into chaos. Burning Flats and Night Train are such great songs, and they just make you crave going to shows so badly. Your bones start to turn to jelly and your mouth turns dry; you get the sweats. You just want to see a show. Badly.

Homeless Walk has slight Reggae hints flowing through it, and I love how this song just messes with everything you’ve heard so far. It’s definitely one of my favourites because it just takes a hard left at what you’ve heard so far. Then they go right into MYOB which is just a rowdy and manic number. It’s such a great record, and even thought they formed in 2018, this record sounds like something from a band that have been at it for years. There’s something about MYOB that reminds me of New York Dolls. It’s part the vocals and part the guitar.

The record ends with the 7-minute delight that is Night Train. This is a euphoric piece of art that just needs to be heard by everyone. Play it to anyone you know. Play it loud. Right in their face. Or maybe do it when social distancing fades away if it ever happens. It is such a tense song and the buildup, the crashing of the drums and the way the guitar sounds like an earthquake is just brilliant. It’s an effortlessly slick song, and the last 3 minutes and 30 seconds make you feel like you’ve stepped into a different universe. It feels like a totally different song, but they do it in such an unbothersome manner. It’s such an incredible listen. The vocals resemble a whisper almost on the last part of the song. You can imagine this being what they end their shows on. When those whispers are eventually taken over by the music, getting louder and louder. More intense with every second, flipping back to how the song started. It is SO GOOD! The whispers turn back into yells, and it is done so perfectly. If you’re someone who doesn’t listen to records in order- start with this one. Then maybe end on it also because it is THAT good.

Clockwork Organs is an impressionable listen and will definitely stick with you. You’ll feel exhausted after you first listen to it because it’ll take all your energy (in a good way) but you’re still ready to keep on going and to keep on listening to this mind-blowing record.





THE VACANT LOTS: Interzone.

26 06 2020

There’s no better feeling than that excitement of a band you absolutely adore releasing a new record. I’ve had a copy of the new record by The Vacant Lots for a couple of months now, and it’s been so difficult to not write about it until now. But it’s worth the wait; the record is astounding and will just blow you away.

If you’re looking for something to securely take you into a different universe, with the safe reassurance that you’ll never be able to leave, then Interzone is the record for you. Songs like Into The Depths and Party’s Over fully show us why TVL are one of the best bands around, and their electrifying sound is something to truly treasure. This is their first release on Fuzz Club Records, and given the amount of exceptional records that Fuzz Club have put out, it’s only right that TVL did so too.

Rescue was our first taste of the record, and it was the perfect way to get us to fall in love with the new sound they have created. It is is such a phenomenal record that oozes tense build-ups, dramatic sounds and hypnotising vocals. The vocals on Rescue are captivating, and Brian’s vocals are so strong on this record. Jared’s guitar on this record again sound like a beast. They both have this effortlessly cool way of creating their own noise, and you’d be hard-pressed to find anything better than this!

Interzone crosses all styles and will mess with your head in the best way possible. You will want to hear this record at 3am when everything is quiet and your brain won’t switch off. The comfort of this record will give you everything you need, and more. I strongly advise you to listen to Fracture on your own and through headphones. The same goes for Party’s Over. These two songs are beautiful in all ways imaginable. For me, Party’s Over is my favourite right now on the record and I also love how gentle Brian’s vocals are on Fracture- that’s another reason as to why it is a joy to listen to through headphones. Jared’s guitar on this is tamer than normal, but this more relaxed sound just shows us why they are both exceptional musicians.

The big question. Record number 3- is it their best yet? Yes. A huge YES. I’m obsessed with everything they’ve done, and continue to do but there is something about this record that towers over previous releases. There is something about this record that just feels more sacred, and you know, it could be down to what is going on in the world. There could be many reasons as to why, but I can promise you that this record is so beautiful, so gentle but ferocious in all the right places. The times where Brian’s vocals are gentle and where Jared annihilates the guitar- when these two worlds collide, that’s when it kicks off. That’s when you know you’ve not only found an amazing band but also one of the most exciting (and most vital) records of the year.

The lyrics are poetry, and the music is like a dream. Interzone is such a gorgeous record; it will heal the parts of you that you’ve neglected. It’ll also make your record collection look cooler! Every song on this 8 song masterpiece is a work of art. I love how Station goes into Party’s Over. The way it just gently slides into the last song is so beautiful. You feel like the record is a whole journey into something you can’t quite explain, then as Party’s Over hits, that’s when your body starts to wake up. Maybe your mind too. You come alive again, in a totally different way. The essence of this record feels like rebirth or something. The slick change in style and sound on this record is divine, and it’s something you keep falling in love with on every listen. I’m utterly in love with Party’s Over, and I’m pretty sure I can call it as one of my favourite songs that Jared and Brian have ever done. I love the sorrow in it, I love how it could be a dark song but it can also be full of hope. You can take it however you want, and that’s why I love this song and why this record is a masterpiece. It’s their masterpiece, but to be honest, everything they do is a work of art to me anyway.

None of us know when we will see the bands we love perform live again, but we have the music. We have the new records, and the new music can spur us on. This is what we needed, this is what I needed. Interzone is quite simply, a vital listen.





CLOUD FACTORY: Cloud Factory #1.

20 06 2020

No photo description available.

In a few weeks’ time, the finest Garage Rock band from Toulouse will be releasing their debut EP. The EP is being out by the reliably great, Howlin’ Banana Records who have put out a lot of records that I love, and they’ve done it yet again with Cloud Factory.

The band are made up of formers members of Noir City and Cathedrale; and if you know your French music, you’ll know that this is a pretty cool thing to happen. They’ve com together to create some feel-good music, and right now we need that. There’s a lot of joy in their music, and this carefree sound is really what gets you hooked.

The EP, Cloud Factory #1 is a perfect glimpse into what is to come from this band and how this new sound will blow us all away. It’s a really refreshing listen and the band have so much promise. If live music were something we could indulge in right now, there’s no telling just how great their shows would be. But for now, we wait. Whilst we wait, we can cling onto the EP.

Amnesia opens up the EP and is their current single, but don’t let it make you think it is the highlight of the EP. Oh no! You see, the EP is made up of beautiful moments; and one of my favourites has to be Alice’s vocals on Dead Bodies. For some it’s a pretty morbid name for a song, but her vocals have this Bjork like fragility to it. However, Cloud Factory aren’t a band that you can link another to, they are effortlessly quirky and cool, and it really shines through on this EP. The sound is so new and just a delight to revel in. I know I usually listen to music that’s a bit heavier, but this is such an enjoyable listen. If you’ve got a lot on your mind, you can definitely take a load off whilst listening to this record.

My one gripe? There’s only 5 songs! I want more, but I always want more when it comes to music but like I’ve mentioned, it is such a strong introduction to the band and even if you are familiar with their previous bands, you don’t pick up on that at all on this record. They are exceptional musicians, and I really like the way Ben’s bass sounds alongside Bruno’s drums. Sometimes it can feel like one is competing to be louder than the other, but this doesn’t happen at all on this record. They are all equally heard and enjoyed. There’s a lot of rage on the song No Data, which might be why it’s my favourite for now. I’ll change my mind of course!

Talk Too Much and Try are excellent too, and the joyful noise that Cloud Factory give us with this record and on those two songs in particular is just a delight to listen to. As someone who does tend to sway towards more louder sounds, I can safely say that this EP is a great listen and is the perfect introduction to a band that deserve to be heard, and to be huge. It’s a real feel good record, and ideal for those long summer evenings. Even if we have to stay indoors for now. Also, this record is another that fully backs up my idea that French Garage Rock bands are sublime.

Cloud Factory #1 will be released via Howlin’ Banana Records on 3rd July.





NADU: Determinator II.

19 06 2020

A lot of the music I love and write about comes from the West Coast. I went through a stage a few years ago where I would only listen to music from there and wouldn’t give anything else a chance. Certain places just seem to always give us great music. Something in the water, right?

I’ve had my copy of Nadu’s new record for a few months now, and finally being able to share my thoughts on it is a pretty great feeling. If you’ve never heard his music before, you’re in for a right treat with this record. And if like me, you’ve heard what he’s done before, then you too are in for a treat!

Determinator II consists of 6 pure Garage Rock songs to blow out your eardrums and to shake you right to your core. Nader has done all of this himself, and he could well be the poster child (adult really) for that DIY ethic we all admire and appreciate. Knowing he has done all of this by himself just makes you appreciate the record more and you take in every minor detail too. Nothing goes unnoticed and you can really hear just how much work has gone into this record.

The record opens with the electrifying Survive; the perfect way to open the record and to bring you into Nader’s world. A world that just oozes everything you could possibly love about music, and more. It’s such an anthem of a song, and you just long for the days where we could go to shows and really enjoy music.

Of course with Nader being in L.A and me being in Manchester, there’s no chance I’ll catch a show of his anytime soon but what he does so well with his music is make you feel as if you’re right there at his show. You feel like you’re at a dive bar that’s a little too crammed, and you’re standing too close to people you do not know but nonetheless, you are all having a great time- that’s exactly what the whole record gives you, and this is something I really love about a lot of the bands I write about. When they can give off that feeling, you know you’ve found something genuinely great.

Nader has this great way of creating rambunctious Punk songs that take you deep into the pits of sheer raw energy and by no means do you want to climb out. The songs on this record are colossal. They are made to be played so loud you can feel your face melt and your body quake with every listen. It’s a bloody amazing record, and it picks up perfectly where Determinator left off. I think there’s about a 3-year gap between the records, and you can really hear the growth in Nader’s vocals and musicianship. He knows exactly how he wants to sound and is totally focused on that. You really get this on Determinator II. It’s so apparent. Attraction has quite a Grunge feel to it, especially vocally and the urgency in this song just makes you keep going back to it. This is one to be obsessed with.

I can’t stick with one favourite song on the record. My mind changes with every listen (and I’ve played this a lot!) but I think at the moment I might be taken with Ain’t Easy. He makes the guitar sound like this weapon of destruction, and with a snarl in his voice, this is definitely one of the heavier songs on the record. Determinator II is made up of 6 songs that show us pure talent and obsession with music. It’s got the potential to be one of those records that some kid hears and thinks, “I want to do that!” That’s all we can hope for. Make your own noise and make it loud.

Considering how shitty this year has turned out to be, we are getting a solid list of great music this year. Irrespective of genre, this year has truly given us some great records. From Gaga to The Vacant Lots (next Friday) to L.A. Witch (August!) and Nadu. Find joy where you can, and cling onto it.





L.A. WITCH: I Wanna Lose.

18 06 2020

Find joy wherever you can, and hold onto for however long you wish. For example, L.A. Witch have just put out a brand new song and announced a new record coming in August. That fills me with joy, excitement and sheer happiness. I’ve written about them countless of times, starting from when the band sort of started out. When they announced their first ever UK tour a few years ago, it felt like all my Christmas’ and birthdays had hit me at once, but better. I absolutely LOVE this band, and I will make it known whenever I can.

So, what’s the new song like? Well, if you’ve ever listened to their music you will know just how phenomenal they are and as musicians, they are nothing short of mind-blowing. They are at their peak on this song, and it is a beautiful taster for the new record. I Wanna Lose shows us exactly why L.A. Witch are the best around. This song also shows how great they are as musicians- both individually and together.

You need to play close attention to Irita’s bass on this one. She’s turned it up to beyond 11 and you can sense the determination in her playing on this that she wants to annihilate your eardrums. Let her. Let all three of them totally deafen you with their glorious sound. With Irita’s slick sounds and effortlessly cool tempo, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better bass player around. If you think she’s unreal on record, just wait until you see the band live. Everything you loved about them will become heightened and nothing will ever be the same again. Live music, remember that? Remember going to shows and seeing your favourite bands? We need that. We need it soon. Urgently.

Now let’s get into how Ellie thumps at your chest and ribcage, and skull with the pounding of the drums. How she sends your brain into a different universe, almost ripping you apart from your body and catapulting your soul into space. She comes in right after Sade’s intro and just keeps up the pace for the next 4 minutes, and makes you wonder, “How the hell does she do that?!” She plays like she’s got a point to prove, and you can really sense that hunger in her drumming. And again, like Irita you get this heightened at their live shows. If this is what we are getting from just one song, imagine how the whole record will be. I don’t know if I can wait until August! Honestly, they have never sounded so good and so loud. Take everything you heard by them before and let yourself soak this one up good and proper. From around 2 minutes and 20 seconds or so, Ellie’s drumming builds up and up into this really gnarly Punk sound. I love it so much, and she keeps that going right until the end.

Alright, now it’s Sade’s turn. She has one of the most distinctive voices around, and I love how she makes you feel like your listening to something from decades past but also something really futuristic. As a guitarist, she’s up there with the best of them. To be honest, if you were looking for musicians to create a supergroup, then L.A. Witch would be the band. They are just out of this world. Sade’s guitar on this is heavy, fuzzy and loud. They seem to have cranked the volume up more on this song and I hope the whole record has that feeling. I know people like to compare a bands new record to their last, but with bands like L.A. Witch and with this sound, there is absolutely no way you can do it. The only comparison is that they both are amazing. That’s it really. Her vocals mixed with how brutal Irita has become with her bass and how Ellie too has become more brutal with the drums, compliments everything so beautifully. Layer this with Sade’s guitar and of course, you’ve got one of the best songs you will hear all year.

There you have it. Another declaration of love from me to L.A. Witch. It’ll happen again no doubt before the record comes out. They’re set to tour the UK in November, and I really hope it happens (mainly because I love them, I love their shows, the Manchester show is a few days after my birthday and is at one of my favourite venues in Manchester.)

I Wanna Lose is a song that needs to be played loud. As loud as you can.

Play With Fire is due to be released on 21st August 2020 via the always great, Suicide Squeeze Records. You can pre-order the record here: https://lawitches.bandcamp.com/





JEHNNY BETH: To Love Is To Live.

13 06 2020

Do you remember the first time you heard the voice of a singer where it totally consumed you? Do you remember that feeling that grabbed you? You may not have experienced it yet, or you may have experienced it a few times. It doesn’t matter how many times, but when you find someone who’s voice just grips you completely and their words also have a hold on you, you don’t let it go. You can’t let it go. They don’t let you go. It’s such a beautiful and vulnerable feeling, and that is why I can safely say that Jehnny Beth has one of the most hypnotising voices I have ever heard. Yesterday her debut solo record came out. I’ve not read anyone else’s take on the record, and I hope no one has compared it to the previous records with Savages because this is totally different. This is something I have never ever heard before, and my god it is nothing short of beautiful and poetic honesty.

To Love Is To Live is the name of the record, and it’s a pretty solid mantra to have. The record explores so much around lust, love, sex, intimacy, innocence and decadence. The things most would shy away from, Jehnny confronts it in the most ferocious and wonderful way possible. She has made the record with her partner Johnny Hostile (they have made amazing music in the past together and I urge you to delve into that.) The darkness on this record is so moving, and there is so much hope on the record. Given what we are all going through, we need that hope so badly.

The 11 songs on the record are carefully crafted, and you can hear the sheer dedication on every song. Of course, my favourite right now is her song with Joe from IDLES, titled How Could You but I want to talk about the song Flower first. This song is so sexual in ways you never thought a song could. It is a perfect dedication to a lover, someone who may be far from your reach but there’s that physical side that brings you both together and binds you together. The exploration of sexuality on this song is so vital. The way gender is thrown out of the window (thank god!) and sexuality is explored is just beautiful. For every queer person out there, take and make this song yours. It’s a masterpiece. The trembling in Jehnny’s voice on this really make you connect with the song and put you in her position. If like me you’ve been tuning into her readings from her book, which comes out next month, then you will have heard just how exceptional she is when it comes to describing feelings and thoughts regarding love and relationships, and all forms of intimacy that flow in between. I feel like this record could soundtrack the book.

We Will Sin Together is another glorious masterpiece on the record, and it features the always incredible Stella Mozgawa (one of the best drummers ever) and Romy Madley Croft. It’s the holy trinity of music on this one, and it is such a vulnerable declaration and also offers reassurance that you and the person will head into this together, no matter what. I could say it is one of the highlights on the record, but truth be told, the whole record is a masterpiece and every moment stands out in its own right. Just absolutely perfect. You feel as if with this song, it is just you and Jehnny in the room and she is aiming the song right at you.

What I adore about To Love Is To Live is the production and how raw it sounds. You can hear the care and passion in every single song, and there’s the beautiful raw sound that at times is bold and tall but there are times where the songs are gentle and frail. The balance is beautiful and THAT is how you put out a masterpiece. I honestly don’t feel my words can do this record justice at all. Is anyone else wishing tattoo parlors were open so we could get To Love Is To Live tattooed on them?! I’d get it done in a heartbeat. The Rooms is one of the more tender moments on the record, and Jehnny’s vocals on this are so exposed and so serene. For as long as I’ve loved Savages, I have been in love with Jehnny’s voice, her way with words and all she does. This record fully justifies my love and I absolutely wish I could sit with her, and discuss this record and the way she approaches her art. She’s just out of this world.

There is a strong Punk feel to this record, and the way she is unapologetically herself, unapologetically honest and ferocious on the record just makes you not only fall in love with her even more- but the level of respect just accelerates. I honestly can’t think of a record that has given such a wide range of emotions in a hell of a long time. Heroine is the perfect example of this (and Jehnny, if you see this please know that you truly ARE a heroine.) The romanticism in her words reminds me of Patti Smith to Baudelaire, with hints of Marquis de Sade. There’s this dark poetry on the record that lures you in. I don’t think we are made to get out of it to be honest. Why would you even want to?

How Could You is the loudest song on the record, and it feels like a riot in the ears. Jehnny and Joe’s vocals together is just simply divine. Two of the most powerful and vital vocals in music together, making something that is nothing short of an anthem. My god this is a powerful. I hope, when we can go to gigs together, she brings Joe out at a few shows and does this with him. Can you picture how wild it would be? I hope they make a music video for this, because I reckon it would be a mind-blowing and chaotic piece of art.

For me, this is one of the most incredible records of the decade and one of the most gorgeously put together records I have ever, ever heard. French Countryside shows us another side of Jehnny, and this side is the calming side of dedication and love. The gentle side of love and lust. The whole record oozes intimacy on all levels, and at times lack of it. This is such a heartbreaking song, and you can hear something truly painful in her vocals and that just makes you connect with her so much. I love how Jehnny has this ability to be tough, brave and in your face. But there is another side of her that is so fragile, almost child-like innocence and open. These sides to her are so wonderfully put across on the record, and I honestly cannot put into words how effortless she makes it. Some spend their whole career trying to master it, but Jehnny seems like she always had it in her and unleashed it right away.

The record ends on Human. It is 6 minutes and 2 seconds of important words, that NEED to be heard. It is the perfect way to end the record. The tension is so captivating, and just before we hit the 2-minute mark it smacks you right in the face. This is where she brings everything together and just messes with your head in the best way possible. I’m not going to say too much about this one because I want YOU to listen to it and soak up the song. The whole record oozes power, sensuality, lust, sexuality, decadence and all those glorious experiences that come with it. It’s nothing short of perfect.

Listen to the record in order, take it all in. Let the record take you over. Let it consume every single part of you and beyond. Explore everything and anything, and let this record be your guide.

To Love Is To Live is out right now, and you can pre-order Jehnny’s book here: http://hyperurl.co/CALMJehnnyBeth ffff