This week there is music from: Big Dipper, Metz, GHUM, Fontaines, Kate Clover and a hell of a lot more!
That feeling when one of the singers you adore so much comes back with new music; there’s truly nothing quite like it. The first time I heard Zola Jesus, was actually the song she did as Nika + Rory. The song was I’m Not Going Anywhere. I played it almost religiously. I then heard Nika’s work as Zola Jesus when brought out The Spoils, and that was it. My obsession was blooming and I didn’t want it any other way.
There are a few bands/singers that just stick with you, and the any announcement of new music from them just immediately hits you right in the heart and you feel alive again. Since 2009 I’ve had this admiration and love for Nika and all she creates. I cannot think of anyone else who does what she does, who makes the sounds she does, who has a mind like hers. She’s the only one, and let’s be honest- there won’t ever be anyone else like her ever again. Her voice is so haunting and so comforting. I’m not ashamed to say I’ve bawled my eyes out to some of her songs, but my god there are songs that just give you this euphoric feeling and nothing can come close to it.
Lost is the new single, and is taken from Nika’s new record Arkhon which is out 20th May via one of the best labels ever- Sacred Bones. If you’re a fan of Nika/Zola Jesus, you know exactly what to expect but at the same time you are ready to be thrown into the deep unknown. Lost is such a beautiful and open song, and so easy to connect with. We all feel lost. Some of us feel it more than others, some of us are just constantly lost. For some, it may be all we know. But it’s a feeling that so many can connect with; and the way Nika writes about it here is just divine and right to the core.
The percussion, the sound of breathing (at the start- I think) it’s got this reassuring feel to it. The start sounds like a panic attack coming on (something I know far too well) but then everything calms down, and you are centred. Everything is okay, and you feel reassured again. There’s something about that chaotic feeling of being lost that allows you to just go at your own pace and eventually find what you need. I think that’s something we probably need to cling on to more than we care to admit.
The video for Lost is stunning. It will leave you breathless and just in awe of this magnificent creation. It sums up the feel of the song so well, and it is shot in the most gorgeous way imaginable. I don’t want to write too much about the video; I want you to take some time out of your day to watch the video. Maybe a couple of times in a row, and just take it all in. The song is a masterpiece and if the whole record has this feel to it, then I think we may have found the most beautifully put together record of the year.
Hello, I am an idiot. An idiot who has had a piece written about Chubby And The Gang saved in my drafts, and never finished it. I read over it, deleted it and now- I’m starting again. There’s nothing worse for me than having to read over what I’ve written. Awful. Anyway, now seems a good a time as any to write about one of the finest bands around- Chubby And The Gang.
Their most recent release came out on Valentine’s Day (Labour of Love) and if reading this is your first time hearing about the band- then it’s probably the ideal introduction. CATG are one of London’s finest Punk bands. They are loud and electrifying. They are the kind of band you find yourself seeking out so you can just become more and more obsessed with them. Even more impressive is that they are supporting The Chats on their tour soon! That’s a lineup to get really excited about!
CATG have that 70s Punk feel, and when you listen to them you cannot help but feel you are roaming the streets of London with them just searching for something to do in a time when there was nothing. That feeling of hopelessness and nothingness is something that’s been quite vocal in Punk, but it’s something that makes the listener feel less of a deadbeat. I love their sound so much, and although I didn’t write about their debut record in 2020 when it came out- let it be known that is is a phenomenal record and one I still play the shit out of! It’s way too good to not mention.
Their debut record, Speed Kills is made up of 13 proper Punk anthems. Play it in any order, play it loud and play it religiously. For me it captures the real spirit of Punk and I love the brutal tones on the record. These 13 songs will go down in Punk history as being some of the most rowdy anthems ever written. And of course, you can’t talk about their debut without mentioning how great their second record, The Mutt’s Nuts is. If you’re wanting something louder and more in your face- this is the one for you. This is a proper rowdy record, and you can really hear how feral their sound is on this record. It’s just as mind-blowing as their debut, but The Mutt’s Nuts has a little bit more bite to it.
Both are clearly magnificent records and you cannot help but play one after the other. I’m probably pissing my neighbours off by playing this stupidly loud. Their second record has hints of Black Flag and Dead Kennedys about it- fast, to the point and makes you just want to scream along. The band excel themselves with everything they do, and I think the song that really sums this up is the second track on the record, It’s Me Who’ll Pay. Pay close attention the lyrics. The Mutt’s Nuts consists of 15 songs that shout “fuck off” is different ways. Utterly brilliant.
CATG are that band that you just need to see play live- on record you can definitely hear the passion and pick up on the urgency in the music, but to see them live would be heightened beyond words! There is just so much energy in the music, and it’s the kind of energy that just makes you feel part of something that matters. If you’re moved by bands like Amyl And The Sniffers, The Speedways, The Chats- all that good stuff; then you’ll absolutely find a home in Chubby And The Gang.
Well, here we are. Another phenomenal record to become obsessed with. Nearly 9pm on a Sunday- the perfect time to play some music that is hectic, beautifully loud and wonderfully aggressive. If like me, you know nothing about the band DITZ, then well, we can go into this journey together. This twisted and eerie journey. You might need to lie down after this one.
DITZ are brilliant, and that’s putting it lightly. There probably aren’t enough words to describe how great they are and how glorious this record is. I love writing about bands I know nothing about. This is their debut record, and with just one listen, I’m finding it hard to believe that this is their first record. I know you get snobs out there who are all “it takes a lot for a record to move me.” Stay away from those people. They’ll make you feel bad for enjoying the music you love. It takes a lot for me to really really obsess over a record. I can listen to something a few times, then I listen to something else and it’s stored in my mind for another day. But every so often, I’ll hear something and I just KNOW it’ll become part of my daily listening. DITZ are probably going to be added to that. I reckon playing this record tomorrow morning on my journey to work blasting in my headphones will set me up nicely for the day. I love my job so there’s no dread there at all. It’s just getting on public transport and some people not being aware of personal space. You know how it is.
DITZ are a band from Brighton, and they have hints of heavy bands like PIGSx7(they’re supporting them in Brussels in May!) , JOHN (John Newton does appear on two tracks on the record) , METZ and maybe a taste of Sly and The Family Drone. Their debut record is a mighty fine masterpiece that will melt your brain. In just 10 songs, they fast become your favourite new band. How could you not fall in love with this sound? I love the sheer chaos in this record, and I love how it really smacks you in the face- especially on Three. That song is something else. It takes on a different direction midway, and it just blows your mind. I reckon this live will be a mental experience. The whole record was made to be witnessed live. You can just feel the sheer intensity on this record, and you just know it’ll be even more intense live. There’s something about this band that just makes you zone out from your surroundings and all you can do is let the record completely take over your brain. I don’t want to listen to anything else right now. I just want to soak up this record and play it at any chance I get. Trust me- it is beyond all I’ve described. My words don’t do it justice at all.
The band have been together since 2015, so this record has been brewing for years. They do say that good things come to those who wait, and that is so apparent with this record. They honestly couldn’t have made a better record, it’s just glorious. You’ve got the stunning single, I Am Kate Moss on there and it sounds even better as part of a full record. That song was just a taste of what DITZ are capable of. The record just shows us in 10 songs what they are made of and why they need to be heard. They must be heard. The record ends with the No Thanks, I’m Full which is just under 7 minutes long. Again, this is another song that will be ridiculous live! It closes the record, but it also makes you smack the play button and play the record from the start all over again. With every listen, you’ll pick up on new things to love about the record and the band
Something I really love about the record is that each song gets heavier and heavier. Halfway through and you’ll be right in thinking your eardrums have burst. That heaviness is part of why I really love this band, and why this record is just a real gem. It’s definitely one to treasure and it’s one of those records that you know in years to come, people will be talking about how great it is. Everything from the production to the sound to the vocals to the artwork is just divine. A flawless record that you just cannot get enough of.
There’s something truly special about this record. Although it’s a record that is so easy to love, it’s definitely difficult to pick one solid favourite song. I think if you’re looking for something really heavy, the latter part of the record will appeal to you. I just adore the record. Every single song on The Great Regression is perfect, and it’ll make you wish you could join the band. Imagine being in a band like this, and creating music like this. The band may have gone through some line-up changes over the years, but this record is a solid statement as to who they are and why they deserve to be heard.
Given the state of the world at the moment, a song like this seems, sadly, very apt. It’s hard to avoid the news and it’s even harder to not feel helpless. All you can do is hope it all gets better, and that feels like such a throwaway comment to make. I know. I know. Sometimes you just look at the state of the world, and words fail you don’t they. I guess when words fail you, you can turn to music in the hopes someone else can say what you’re carrying round.
Bullet Girl are a band I’ve written about previously, and will be a band I carry on talking about for as long as they make music. They are back with a new single/video called McViolence and like I said above, this song is pretty apt write now. The dual vocals with Aaron and Dylan on the chorus is exceptional- I reckon this song live will be something else!
As I write this on my lunch break at work and have the song on repeat, I can’t help but think that Bullet Girl are quite possibly, from another planet. How can a band be this good?! Well, I only write about music I love and when I listen to Bullet Girl, I can’t help but get excited for what they’ll do next and for their future. McViolence is a heavy song in every sense of the word; taken from the press release, “The song was inspired by an unprovoked attack on two of the band members from a group of teenagers in their hometown.” Remember when My Chemical Romance sang, “Teenagers scare the living shit out of me.” That fear is something that never goes. But, we must remember that regardless of age, gender, race etc- there is good and bad in everyone and everywhere.
McViolence is a hard look at this horrible culture of toxic masculinity, and Bullet Girl aren’t a band to shy away from topics most would try turn away from. The song is extremely powerful and a beautiful piece of noise. The video shows violent clips (which you’re advised to proceed with caution) but these clips really show the essence of toxic masculinity and how it is something that’s always been there. We can live in hope that it dies out because it’s just such an ugly way to be. Although a heavy topic, the song is insanely brilliant and shows us what we can expected from their debut EP, Talking Pony which will be released on the 15th April via Blue Organ Records and has been produced by the brilliant Daniel Fox from Girl Band. I cannot wait to hear it and to play it religiously. That’s the only way to listen to Bullet Girl- constantly.
Around the release of the debut EP, the band will be playing some dates:
17th March: The Good Mixer, London
7th May: R-Fest, Manchester (Retro Bar)
24th September: Post Punk Strikes Back, Porto
Further dates will be announced soon!
Before I get into how remarkable this record; I just want to touch on how I nearly missed out on tickets for their UK tour. Fortunately, the venue for Manchester got upgraded to Gorilla so I managed to get a ticket. No one should miss out on seeing this band live, so do the right thing and grab a ticket from here: https://www.seetickets.com/tour/bambara (also use Twickets if any have sold out!)
Right, the record.
There’s no set way to describe the sound and style of Bambara that does them justice. Nothing and no one can define them- they are THAT good. ‘Good’ isn’t even strong enough a word to use. Can you tell that I love this band a hell of a lot? I love how their music feels like a Henry Miller novel brought to life. I love the seediness in the songs. I love the poetry. I love the romanticism. I love the way the songs sound. I love how Reid’s voice can sound like a snarl but gentle at the same time. Everything about this new release just oozes perfection. I’m obsessed with every single song. If you don’t get goose bumps from this record, then turn the volume up a bit more!
Feelin’ Like A Funeral is a masterpiece (every song is but this one right now sticks out) and you find yourself going back to it, over and over. Just to really pick up on how stunning the lyrics are. You want to live in the world they have created with this song. In fact, you’ll pretty much feel that way when you listen to all of their songs. You’ll feel like you’ve been downing really strong whisky in a dive bar and you then stumble into the night, with no set place to go. The songs will echo in your brain and you won’t feel alone. Or, you could just stick your headphones on and see where your mind takes you.
The record ends on the euphoric Little Wars. The last minute or so of this song is divine. It becomes heavier and heavier (sound wise) but the vocals add this beautiful softness. It is such a glorious way to end the record and it’s no surprise that you’ll end up playing the record all over again. This mini LP is just a joy to listen to. The lyrics are more personal than on their previous records and that’s just one of the many reasons to not just love this record, but the band. They constantly evolve. The song writing is just a stroke of genius, as always.
What I adore about Bambara is that you simply cannot put their sound next to someone else’s. It is a completely different and unique sound, and I know that is so cliched and bloody typical, but there’s really no other band around that are like them. That’s what makes the band a real joy to listen to; with every listen it is like you are discovering them for the first time. I love the heaviness in their sound and I love the occasional gentleness in the vocals. Put that together and you get a really exciting band. For me, this is the band at their absolute best and of course like any great band- they leave you wanting more and more.
Love On My Mind may only consist of 6 songs, but it is the perfect step into what we’ll get next from them. But before all that, it just makes you so excited for the tour that’s coming up. These songs are going to absolutely rip live. Can you imagine hearing Point And Shoot, and Feelin’ Like A Funeral live? Holy shit!
What sounds like The Cramps and The Count Five, and is a masterpiece? The new song by Big Dipper of course! The new single from Mr Big Dip himself was released on the 14th, and you can treat the song as a little Valentine’s gift for your ears and soul. The song is divine.
If I was one for genres, I’d probably make one up and call this Cowboy Punk. I love this song, and I love his vocals. I love the woeful lyrics and how you really feel for him. Sad cowboy blues- the Dip has sure got ’em on this one.
One of my favourite lyrics from the song has to be, “But at the end of the day it’s just a fart in the breeze.” I don’t even need to quote the line before it to point out how great it is. It basically just poetically tells you how rubbish/pointless some things can be. But there’s a lot of sadness on Just Love that is so beautifully written- it’s that last verse; it’ll rip right through you especially this part; “When I really start getting to thinking about it, it all becomes so clear. See, I cut my fingers so I can’t touch her no more. And I cut my arms off so I can’t hold her no more.” There is something so painful and beautiful about this part, it just really hits you in the gut.
The romanticism in the song has a proper storytelling feel to it; you cannot help but be reminded of Tom Waits, Nick Cave, Leonard Cohen, Scott Walker (I’m just naming my favourites but the point still stands.) The longing and heartache in the song will ruin you but my god it’s beautiful. If a song can’t take you on an emotional and spiritual journey- then what’s the point? You just want to get completely lost in this song and feel the way Big Dip does. When you listen to the song, you feel like you’re sat outside on a step with him, a little bit drunk at 2am when the bar has closed and you’ve been thrown out and he’s just pouring his heart out. We’ve all seen sights of people doing this on a Friday night, and usually with sick on their shirt and a questionable burger in their hands, whilst bits of lettuce and mayo fall to the floor. This however, is different. There’s class to this drunken breakdown.
The longing and hopefulness that turns to hopelessness in this song really gets to you, and it also shows you how great a writer/singer/musician our Dip is- but also the other musicians on this song are exceptional. With every listen, you soak up little details and they fast become vital to your appreciation of the song.
Whether you’re loveless or full of love, listen to this song and let it grip you.
A year after the remarkable, Tough As Nails was released- the loudest band from Australia are back!
Legal Noise are one of the best bands around, and if you’re looking for something to burst your eardrums or make the room shake- then they’ve got TWO brand new songs for you.
Flashback/Static Knife was released on Friday, and both songs are perfect for blocking all noise out to. Incredible. Highly addictive and rowdy.
Let’s start with Flashback:
This one goes in right for the gut. It’s unapologetically loud; it’s got this insane fuzzy sound- the reverb mixed with some kind of psychedelic feel. Then you’ve got the drums that are just a constant bash to the skull. It’s just such a joy to listen to. If you’re a fan of Birmingham’s finest, Table Scraps, then you will be fall madly in love with Legal Noise. Hell this noise is so good it should be illegal! (I’m probably not the first person to say that, I’m sorry!) There’s this heaviness to Flashback that reminds me so much of Sleep and another band that I’ve totally forgot the name of. There’s a lot going on, and a lot to take in but that’s what makes it a masterpiece. Playing this gem through headphones is the only way. Tune out from all around you, and let Legal Noise corrupt whatever is left of your mind and take over. Would you even want it any other way?
Now, let’s move onto Static Knife:
This is wild. It starts with this hypnotising drum that goes smack into this electrifying guitar that just fries your brain and makes your body feel like it has been beaten. If music doesn’t make you feel like that, then what is the point? This is the kind of song (to be honest, all of their songs do this) that makes you wish you could be at a Legal Noise show. This song sounds a little rougher than Flashback but that isn’t a bad thing at all. It’s a great thing! This feels like it was done in one take, and all they intended to do with this song was taken care of immediately. It’s a real heavy number and the vocals on this- oh man, you can just imagine chanting this back at the band. I just love how this song sounds like a drunken brawl at 3am.
Both songs are wonderfully chaotic. All over the place in the best way possible. Legal Noise know EXACTLY how to make songs that are made for playing ridiculously loud and take you right to your happy place. Nothing makes me happier (music wise) than music like this. Beautifully loud, rowdy and almost like a panic attack for the ears. As someone who does have anxiety attacks, I should probably not want to listen to music that makes me feel on edge. but I won’t change my music taste to fit my mind. No way! Legal Noise are just a dream to listen to, and they make you want to trash any room you go in like an uncontrollable toddler who can’t get its way.
If the new Legal Noise record sounds anything like these two songs, then we’ve probably found ourselves the record of the year haven’t we.
If you’re lucky enough to live in Australia, then check the poster below for tour dates for next week!
Over the past couple of days I’ve probably listened to the new Warpaint song more than anything else. That distinctive Warpaint sound is right there. That sound that makes you feel like you are floating in the crystal clear sea with nothing going on around you, and your mind is as clear as the sea.
For me, Warpaint are that band that just allow you to breathe. They have something so calming and comforting about them; I remember when I interviewed them in 2010 just before The Fool came out- I was anything but calm! It’s obvious how much I adore this band, and every single time they release something new, I feel like my metaphorical prayers have been answered.
Champion has the same energy as songs like Burgundy, Warpaint and Undertow. I think it could well be Jenny’s bass that does this. There is something about her specific sound that makes you just float on into somewhere only Warpaint could ever create. You feel as if you’re gently floating towards a sunset, and nothing nor no one can get to you. The band define inner peace and clarity.
It is such a gentle song, and this gentleness is what makes you keep playing this over and over. Stella’s drumming on this is a reminder of why you love this band so much. Then you’ve got Emily and Theresa’s vocals combining together. The drum is the heartbeat of this song (check from 2 minutes onwards) the bass is the part that moves you. The guitar is what keeps you steady. The whole song is just a gorgeous piece of art- it should be prescribed as medication.
The last 40 seconds or so of the song is just instrumental bliss. When you listen to this song, it’s so important that you just close your eyes whilst listening to Champion. Switch the world off and play this song on repeat for a little while; it’ll make you feel better.
The new record by Warpaint, Radiate Like This will be released on 6th May. You know already that it is going to be perfect. Just look at the artwork!