DITCHES : S/T LP.

5 04 2020

 

DITCHES

 

Drunken Sailor Records put out some incredible music, and recently they released the debut record by Swedish Punk band, Ditches. If you’re looking for something hard-hitting and wonderfully fast-paced, then this record is for you. As far as debut records go, this one is a killer. It’s got everything you could possibly want from your new favourite band and more! It’s got the makings of a real classic, and when all this madness is over (and you selfish fucks stop going out and meeting up in parks with your pals and having BBQs when we are meant to stay home!!) I’m pretty sure that Ditches will tour and blow the roof off every venue they grace with their talent. Until then, stay the fuck indoors and play this record.

 The record consists of 11 Punk anthems to get you through your day, and to play round your head as you gently sleep. I love every single song on the record, and I’m playing them loud enough right now to cancel out my noisy neighbours. I can hear way too much; I can hear them slam doors and cough super loudly. Thank god I’m not hearing anything too personal though. Stitch Me Up and Shelter go perfectly into each other, and I love how they feel like a Glaswegian kiss to the soul; violent but healing. They have got something really special about them, and I love how this record sounds like a band that are really in their prime. I love the loudness, and I love how perfect the production of the record is without it being over the top. There’s this beautiful rawness to the record that just makes you stop what you’re doing so you can really take in everything you are listening to. It is such a grand record, and as far as debuts go- this one is right up there as being a great one!

 

 

Ditches have a really powerful sound going on here, and it’s the kind of sound that makes you instantly know that their live shows will be what shows us what they are about even more. I love that fast-paced sound so much, and I love that aggression that’s in the sound too. The lyrics are hard-hitting too and are definitely worth paying attention to (Don’t Care being one of the strongest examples here.) It’s an effortlessly cool record that takes you back to how you felt when you first discovered Punk for the first time. That sense of wonder and thoughts of, “What is this?!” and before you know it, it’s taken over your life and no other music will do. It’s something that sticks with you, and when you keep finding bands that give you this feeling, then that’s it for life. I love how their sound reminds me a little of Hüsker Dü, and how they aren’t afraid to be sensitive and open with their lyrics. For me, Hüsker Dü were one of the greatest bands of all time and were exceptional at what they did. To hear bands now who remind me of them is really heartwarming because for some reason, I never expect it but when I hear it- I really get it.

 Will Fitzpatrick wrote this about the band on their Bandcamp page, and I think it sums up Ditches perfectly: “Meet Ditches, from Stockholm coming straight out the gutter and speeding into the part of your brain where all the catchiest melodies lurk for the rest of time.” This debut record has 11 songs that are played with such urgency and passion, you’d be hard-pressed to find anything else to grab you like this right now. Self-isolate and play this really loud!

 

 

Ditches debut record is out right now via Drunken Sailor Records.





MATT ELLIS: High Risk Assurance.

4 04 2020

mattellis

 

Matt Ellis, you absolute GOD! If you don’t know, Matt Ellis is in a band that I have been obsessed with for a few years now. I heard them whilst spending my lunch break at All Ages Records in Camden a few years ago- that band was Flesh Rag. I don’t know what it was about what I was hearing, but I knew it was something that was going to stick with me. I remember having a record already in my hands to buy, then I listened more and more to Flesh Rag being blasted out; the record in my hands was placed back where I got it from and I asked for a copy of the Flesh Rag record that was playing. This was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, musically.

 

 

High Risk Assurance was recorded in Matt’s bathroom last month. Some people take baths, others make great Punk records! There are only 4 songs on this record, but it still has that Flesh Rag feel to it, but it also has something else to it. It reminds me a little bit of the Ramones- the songs have that same pace of Blitzkrieg Bop and Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue. The songs are short, and fast. They are super lo-fi, and I love that he’s done this all by himself in a typically small space. The songs are heavy, and although at times his vocals are little quiet- you can still hear everything that’s going on, and the fact that the vocals are quite low just gives it that much vulnerability to it in a way. I just think it’s a really great record, and if this is what happens when we’re all stuck indoors- then keep it coming!

 The songs mainly hit the 1 minute 30 second mark, and the record opens with the face-smacking Poison Holiday. I would love to hear this live- can you imagine just how ferocious and rowdy it would be? It’s got everything you’d want from a real gnarly Punk song. It’s got the snarly vocals, the intense sound- everything you could want and more. I just love the sheer passion that comes through on this, and it really sets the mood for the record. It feels like with every song on the record, it gets louder. All By Myself is a touch louder than Poison Holiday, it’s an ode to self-isolation and Matt’s done it in such a great way. Sure, it’s easy to stay indoors and feel sorry for ourselves, but I’d rather stay indoors than risk make someone feel poorly by going outside for no good reason. To be honest, as an introvert who is partially shit with people I don’t know really well, staying at home (aside from going to work!) isn’t so bad.

 Missing You has a real Ramones feel to it; you can easily imagine Joey singing to this and I really love that about this song, and Matt’s style in general. He and Flesh Rag have a really authentic Punk sound that makes you want to start your own basement Punk band then make a record in your bathroom. My bathroom is too small to do this, but you get my point! I just love the DIY feel to this record, and it’s something I’ve always admired about Matt and the music he makes with Flesh Rag; they’ve always had this consistent DIY feel and you know they always do it THEIR way. High Risk Assurance is a great cure to the isolation blues some of us are feeling. It sucks to not be around people and to be able to go to shows, but records like this can ease the loneliness slightly.

 The record ends on Bad Day, and it’s the perfect song to play after you’ve had a bit of a shitty day. You can blast this super loud, and when the song ends, you’ll feel as if a massive weight has been lifted. Or you might feel angrier. It’s all on you, but just keep on listening until that nagging feeling disappears. It’s a great song, and the record truly is made up of a strong selection of raw Punk songs to just get you through the day.

 

 

Also, any money made from the Bandcamp sales of this record will go to the Toronto Overdose Prevention Society, so thank you to Matt for again being a great human being and making a difference. We need to help each other out now more than ever, and gestures like this go a really long way.





GNARCISSISTS.

2 04 2020

GNARCISSISTS

 

 

I think I may have found a band that perfectly capture everything I love about music, and the sounds of the bands I really, really love. I’ve said this a few times, and I always mean it. I just really love music and I’m pretty sure I’ve found a band here that just reinforce my love for music yet again.

 Gnarcissists are truly great; they remind me of The Gruesomes and all that good stuff. The bands I absolutely adore and cannot live without. They have this excellent sound that is yet again making me wish I could play guitar or something. I’d love to do that. I’d want to be like Johnny Thunders mixed with Jamie Hince and Gemma from Savages. I’d want to be loud and hold the guitar like a machine gun and it’d give off insane sounds that would deafen anyone who heard me. But I live through the bands I love, and I love Gnarcissists. They have this proper feel good atmosphere in their music, and it just makes you want to forget daily life and go do your thing. If I was a beer drinker, then I’d say this is the best band to drink beer to. It’s not like we’re allowed to leave the house at the moment are we, maybe that could be a new hobby.

 

 

Their most recent record came out in November and is really great record. It’s got songs on there that will make you just want to play it loud and lose your mind. They have a really tight sound on the Caught In The Webb record and it sounds like something you’d expect from a band that have been around for decades! I have no idea how long they’ve been a band or how many records they’ve put out (I’m just going by what’s on Spotify and Bandcamp) but what I’ve been listening to is nothing short of mind-blowing. I love the snarly vocals; I love the filthy music and how it sounds like some sordid back alley affair. It’s a really out there sound, and it’s one you wish you could be part of constantly. I’ve got a feeling that they are another band that are made to be seen live. Imagine their shows! They would be so wild.

 They’ve got some catchy numbers such as Celebrity and Fentanyl- both of which has a really strong Punk sound that makes you feel like you are definitely not listening to a new band! I love that retro kind of feel going on, and how they truly do experiment with their sound. There are times on the Caught In The Webb record where you feel like you are listening to band become stronger in each song. If you play it in order, you’ll definitely get this coming through. You don’t get that very often, and bands like Gnarcissists are to be treasured. I love, LOVE their song Suffocate and how the lyrics are a bit self-deprecating, but they’ve got this Dead Boys and Sex Pistols feel to it. Obnoxious Punk at its best. The vocals on this are my favourite on the record so far. Once I play the record a few more times, I might change my mind but for now I’m really taking in how that snarl gets you right in the gut. It makes you want to scream the song back.  Everything in the world is quite throwaway and everyone wants to consume more and more of the things they love, constantly. But when you have bands like Gnarcissists you can really take in how great they are. Everything about their sound just makes you want to escape deep into their world and be properly part of it.

 On Veut Juste and Buzzin are two other really strong songs to pay close attention to. Their first EP was just a little taste of what was to come and Caught In The Webb just threw them into the unknown and made them the best at what they do. If you’re looking for some rough round the edges Punk in all its beautiful glory, and a Garage Rock band with the kind of attitude you wish you could possess- then Gnarcissists are for you.

 

 

 Their songs were made for us all to sing along to. It doesn’t matter if you’re alone or self-isolating with your cat for the foreseeable; this band will make it a little bit easier. You’ll be singing along to PCP in no time!





SUCK.

31 03 2020

suck

 

Everything has been cancelled, and everything is shit. I know, you know, we all know. I am getting restless; I need to go to a show. I need to see a band I love perform and get totally lost in everything live music gives me. It’s horrible having nothing like this to look forward to. I don’t like uncertainty. I don’t like things that mean the world to me being pulled away from me. But, I’m not the only one who feels like this and that’s somewhat comforting. I guess you have to hold onto that to get through.

 Alright, so we’ve got a great band from Germany called SUCK. Try looking the band name up- good luck with that. They’ve got a bone-rattling sound that’ll make you crave going to a live show really bad. I’m hooked on their sound, and I feel now would be a great time to see their show. They were due to play some UK dates, but they’ve since been cancelled. However, we’ve got the music still, in all its wonderful glory. So, if you’re looking for something that’ll ease the pain of being away from all you know for a while, then look no further than SUCK.

They’ve only got one EP out (I think) but this one EP is a killer. It’s a real rowdy number, and this trio are not afraid to be loud to the point where your body is like, “Should I be doing this?!” Yes. Yes, you should. Enjoy it. I love this futuristic Punk feel that they have, and that’s really clear on the song Roadkill. I love the way the guitar has this elastic sound- like you can sense it stretching as far as it can, and it becomes more and more intense. Then you hook this up with the vocals and the drums- you are SO welcome. This is the song to play whilst you drink alone in self-isolation. That’s what we’re meant to be doing, right?

 

 

There’s something really memorable about SUCK and they’ve only been going a short while. They really deliver their songs in a fast and punchy manner. You keep up with them, but as you do your best to keep up you stop every so often to marvel at what you’re hearing. I love the vocals. A lot. Isabell’s vocals remind me a little bit of Poly Styrene- she’s got that raw and super powerful feel to her vocals. You absolutely listen to everything she is saying, and their song Mama’s Got A Backpatch is one that you feel is HER moment when they perform this live. You can really hear this soothing depth to her vocals on this, there’s this captivating fragility to her vocals on this but don’t let that make you think she and the band are pushovers. Far from it. This one tender moment is rare on this heavy-hitting record.

On the flip side of this song, you’ve got the bold Bulletproof. It’s got this hypnotic groove to it, and it just loosens you up and you fall right into a beautiful Punk filled trance. Musically, this is my favourite song on the record. But right after this we’ve got Roadkill and that’s just one of the best Punk songs you’ll have ever heard- trust me. It’s like The Damned sped up mixed with Bikini Kill; nothing short of brilliant. Effortlessly brilliant, and you just wish you could let this song follow you around wherever you go.

 Frog is such a great debut record, and in these 6 songs you truly do hear something exciting and different. You long for sounds and bands like this, and you’ve just got to treasure them. Hold onto them. This is why we need Punk; this is why Punk will never ever die. Ever. Play their song Decadent Life sky high, and you’ll hear one of the greatest bands around right before you. This song is all you could possibly want. Imagine being in the crowd as they perform this and being in the midst of all that beautiful chaos. It’s got the excellent pure Punk sound that first launched itself into the world 40+ years ago!

 

 

If fast-paced riffs, intense drums and dominating vocals are your thing- then you’re going to love everything that SUCK have to offer. They aren’t sparse in showing us what they are made of and definitely get you ready for what is to come from them. It’s been a year since their first EP, and I really hope something new from them hits us soon.





NIGHT CHILL.

29 03 2020

 

nightchill

 

Ready for some creepy instrumental noise? Good!

Night Chill are an instrumental band straight from Ontario via the dark, eerie underworld of a time forgotten. Their sound is made for horror films and dirty backstreets. Their music is made to freak you out and fall deep into their world.

Their music is for those who like to be creeped out and to expand what they listen to, and how they listen to it. It’s a real experience when you listen to Night Chill. You focus on everything that’s going on from the drums to the theremin. Everything is so vital, and you cannot help but get hooked on this.

 Their music isn’t what you’d expect from a band, oh no! Their sound is like a soundtrack to a film. You can imagine someone being surrounded by werewolves, vampires, witches or bats as they try to escape. They are the prey, and their predator catches up to them quickly as the prey stumbles and falls every so often out of fear. As they draw in to draw blood, the prey lets out a yelp- but no one can hear them. There’s something beautifully sinister about Night Chill, and the use of the theremin just gives them extra creepy tones. They are a band to truly be in awe of, and songs like Theatre of Blood (sounds like a film) really show us how great they are as musicians. The way Thea captures you with how she uses the theremin along with Denton on guitar and Adam on bass to add this slick groove. Then you’ve got J.J. Daggers on the drums to add this cutthroat tension. How could you not love this band and everything they are about!

 

 

Burial Ground is an example of their heavier side, and for me it’s another prime moment on how they all shine. As they are an instrumental band, it is easy to just soak up how great they are without the distraction of vocals and lyrics. I mean there’s nothing stopping you from making up your own words as you listen to them, but let’s be honest you’d want someone with a Vincent Price type of voice narrating this. Can you imagine! It’d be a seriously spooky trip! It’d mess with your head for sure. I love how their songs give off this image of someone being chased, like I mentioned above. There’s this fear of the unknown in the music and it’s part of their charm. Creepy’s Bite is a brilliant introduction to the band if you’re looking for a place to start. The drums on this are a step up from what we’ve heard before, and the guitar and bass are heavier and fuzzier. Everything on this song oozes the right ingredients to make an occult anthem. The theremin is there in full force to give you the heebie jeebies too!

 You can really hear a wealth of influences in their sound- there’s the beautiful oddness of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins to a subtle Surf Rock feel. There’s this distorted tone too that is a key factor in hooking you right in. They take on you a really intense journey as you listen to them, and you find yourself slipping deeper into their world. The demonic sound is wonderfully executed here, and what I love about it is that they make it sound so effortless. They aren’t doing it to be cool or to be different; they are doing it because this sound belongs to them, and you can truly tell that it is something they love. When you pick up on that, it makes it easy for the listener to really get where the band are coming from.

 Night Chill are an utterly fearless band who are here to put some fear into your bones and wake you up. I love this part of the bio that they sent over to me, and it really does sum them up perfectly: “Night Chill play music for all audiences: horror kids, occultists, art fiends, masked maniacs, weirdos, connoisseurs of unwritten horror soundtracks, trash culture enthusiasts, cosmic abominations, and all other dwellers in the darkness! All are welcome to join in on the unholy symphonic rites and dig on Night Chill’s rip-roaring rock & roll black magic ritual!”  If that doesn’t sell it to you, then I don’t know what will. It’s the perfect description of the band.

 

 

With one listen you’ll feel like you’ve been possessed, and when you accept that there’s no going back, you’ll find yourself right in the pit of the Night Chill cult. Everything about their sound is an utter spookfest, and I cannot get enough of it. The sounds they have up on their Bandcamp page are there for you to let seep right into your soul and takeover every thought and emotion you have. Let them do it, don’t be afraid. Do not be afraid and don’t look behind you.





THE RATZ: After The Blackout.

28 03 2020

 

theratz

 

Ready for something to knock you out in matters of seconds? Alright then, well you need to listen to the new record by New Haven’s The Ratz. The songs aren’t meant for you to slow dance, instead they are made for you to smash your body into someone else, bounce off a wall and leave you battered and bruised. Perfect, right? Of course. Their new record consists of 8 songs that were made to blow the roof off and melt your brain.

 The Ratz are the kind of band that take you back to when Black Flag and Fugazi were ruling the world and weren’t afraid to speak out and speak loudly. The gang mentality that The Ratz have makes you want to be part of what they are giving you. They are insanely talented, and prior to listening to their new record I went back and listened to some of their older stuff, and my god this band know how to play. After The Blackout (seems apt right now) is their new record, and it is full of hyperactive Punk songs that don’t even come close to hitting the 2 minute mark, and although I can be a sucker for songs that hit over 5 minutes, what The Ratz do in so little time is just so vital. You could easily imagine this band ripping apart venues like CBGB years ago. They’ve got that gnarly and raw Punk sound that just makes you want to lose your mind. Destroy You just gets to the 2 minute mark, and it’s one of the best songs that they have ever done. I love how they are unapologetically raw with their sound and are just so brutal. Ines is a fucking incredible guitarist, and she makes you wish you were as cool as her. The way she plays is just *chef’s kiss! *

 

 

You cannot get enough of this band; I just love them. The artwork for the record is so cool, and it really gives off the feeling you get when you listen to the record; you feel a little bit dirty but in the best way possible. It’s a brutal record, and it’s got this rambunctiousness to it that you simply cannot get enough off. Put it in a drip and hook it right into my veins!

 After The Blackout is the record you play to hype yourself up. It gives you that boost, that spring in your step so you feel alright in going outside and facing up to whatever you need to. As far as Hardcore records go, this is some top level shit. I’m not a pro at Hardcore Punk, but I know what I like, and I know what I’m not a fan of, and it’s fair to say that The Ratz are definitely a band to adore and play loud. I love what they do, and I just love their whole style. Each of them brings something unique to the band, and it is so obvious on this record. Like I said, I went back and listened to earlier stuff to get mor familiar with their sound, and what they’ve done on After The Black Out is firmly let us know what they are about and they have truly shown us what they are made of.

 The Ratz are the kind of band that you psyched up to see on a weekend after you’ve had a tough week. I’m one of the lucky ones where I love my job and I love the people I work with, but there are people who work and hate their surroundings, and when the weekend hits then BAM they can unleash it all. As someone who suffers with depression and anxiety (who doesn’t! But this isn’t from a Buzzfeed quiz, I actually went to a doctor) sometimes a lot gets pent up, and my release comes from music. Finding music, listening to it and writing about it. I am so fucking grateful when a band reaches out to me and asks me to write about them because it keeps me focused on other things. I think that’s part of the reason as to why I’ve never been paid to do this, and never want to. If someone in a band ever says to their friend, “Hey, send your music to Olivia, she’ll probably write about you because she loves music!” then that’s fine by me, that’s all I want. I’m happy with that and having bands like The Ratz reach out is just the best! I love this record, and I love how it’s got that raw sound that you find in bands like Flesh Rag (Canadian Punk band that we all know I’m in love with!) After The Blackout deserves to be played insanely loud and as often as you can. Take it like a vitamin to keep you nice and healthy.

 The atmosphere that The Ratz have created on this record is one to completely wrap yourself up in. You can really picture yourself at their show with a bunch of people around you who equally love this band, your arms around each other shouting the words back. It’s a real Punk mentality with a sense of unity (see bands like my beloved IDLES for the same feeling) and this sense of unity is what Punk is about. No one gets left behind. The loudness on the record may intimidate some, but please just play the record. Soak up just how amazing they are as musicians, and you will truly hear one of the best Punk bands around. In fact, let’s leave genres out of this and soak up how great they are as a band.

 

 

 If you’re looking for a wild record to lose your shit to or if you’re looking for something new to just give you a kick- then The Ratz are for you. Immerse yourself in the record and play songs like These Streets and I Don’t as loud as you want. These 8 songs will enhance your life and make you and your record collection look that much cooler.





THE CHATS: High Risk Behaviour.

27 03 2020

thechats

It’s here! The debut record by The Chats- one of Australia’s finest bands. These three wonderful ratbags are back with 14 songs to get you in the mood to self-isolate. Well, what else is there to do! Doom and gloom aside, The Chats are just a brilliant band. If you love bands like Skegss and Amyl and The Sniffers then you’re probably already onto The Chats, and you’re probably excited for this record.
The Chats are that band that keep appearing at your local pub; part of the furniture and no one dares tell them to go home. Why would you? They’re everything you want from a rowdy band, and they just make you want to hang out with them and get into mischief. I love how their songs just are declarations of impish behaviour. Ignore the song The Clap- you probably don’t want to behave in that way, but as far as songs that find humour in an STD this one is pretty great. They’re owning it, and fair play to them. The humour in the lyrics and the way they just share their life with us is so cool, and they aren’t afraid to let us in on their mishaps and fuckups.

They make songs that are just destined to be chanted right back at them, and you can imagine Josh crowd surfing as the fans go mental to Identity Theft and shout the words as loud as possible. Maybe this will happen on their tour later in the year, if the universe allows us to leave our homes again for fun! I just bloody love this band and their carefree attitude. Aside from that though, they are really great musicians. They just keep getting better and better, and the production on High Risk Behaviour is really tight too.
Their two Eps showed us exactly how great they are, and how on earth does it come across on a full-length record? Well, we can call this as one of if not THE most energetic records of the year. They pick up nicely where Get This In Ya!! left off, and these songs are proper rippers. They make you want to just trash shit, skate around or just get up to no good. Dine n Dash is a great song about being too broke to eat, so you get your fill then fuck off without paying. It’s one of my favourites off the record, but it’s just a non-stop party record. The songs are made for you to just let loose and forget your troubles and find humour in what’s getting to you. They talk about being broke and doing nothing, and not really letting it get to them. Their laid-back style is what really makes you connect with the songs.
Eamon’s vocals just hooks you right in, and you want to copy his style as you chant the words back. Then you mix this with Matt’s INSANE drumming and Josh’s guitar, and also Eamon’s bass well, then you’ve just got top musicians who really love what they’re doing. Ross River is a great tale, and you picture yourself right there with Eamon as he describes what’s going on. Pub Feed is a great example of this too and how they are just craving some good, wholesome pub food. Sometimes, that’s all you need.
The songs don’t even hit the 3 minute mark, but don’t let that deter you in any way. The songs were made to be played loud and on a loop. They have this wicked energy that just makes you move and flail those limbs about. I love how freeing their sound is, and again, the carefree attitude. It’s like, “everything is shit but don’t worry about it.” Sometimes you just need to hear that, or in a roundabout way you know? Just so you don’t feel so down and out about what’s going on in your head. It’s so easy to worry and assume the worst, but with The Chats they’ll give you the brutal truth but put their own twist on it that makes you feel lighter.
There are some exceptional bands in Australia, and some really great Punk bands. The Chats are a band that I’ve seen a lot of people make reference to when talking about new and exciting bands, and it’s so easy to see why. I mean, this is their debut full length record and it sounds like something from a band who are well into their career. The energy they have on record is poured right into their live shows too. It’s like all this pent-up energy is released how they need it to be in their live shows, and on record it is just a taste of this energy. They are such an easy band to love and become obsessed with; High Risk Behaviour is a remarkable record, and I love how they have a distinctive sound but no part of you gets tired of it at all. Songs like Do What I Want are just so rebellious and mischievous, they just make you want to hang out with them and get into trouble. It’s pretty clear that The Chats will be a band that kids listen to, and are influenced by to start their own band and it is such a great thing!

High Risk Behaviour is such a great record, and it was definitely worth the wait. The two EPs they gave us were just a little taste of what was to come, and now we have it you’d be hard-pressed to let go of that excitement. With any luck, I’ll get to see them in October. I can’t wait to see how this all comes alive in a live setting. I think this is how people felt when the Ramones first got peoples attention. These 14 songs are made for wasting your days away to, go out for a walk and play this record in your ears and let every annoyance you have slip away.
High Risk Behaviour is out right now via Bargain Bin Records.