HOORSEES: Major League of Pain EP.

16 10 2019

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

Tour dates are in the poster below:

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





WHACKS: Whatever Man, I Don’t Care!

30 09 2019

 

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Completely late with this one- 3 years late in fact. Better to be late than something profound, I guess. Anyway, it’s worth the wait- trust me. Unless you’ve already heard this record, then you can just be disappointed in how long it took me.

Paris has given us some amazing musicians and bands. One I will always write about is Dr Chan. I love that band so much, but there’s another band from the fine city that have the same fury in their sound and that band is WHACKS. They are loud, chaotic and a real pleasure to listen to. They make you want to waste your days away doing nothing and not feeling bad about it. I have a day off work tomorrow, and I’m not going to feel bad at all for doing nothing.

Their record Whatever Man, I Don’t Care! came out in 2016, and it is such a great record. It’s got everything you’d want from a modern Punk/Garage Rock band. They’ve got the same energy as bands like The Chats and Skegss. They make you feel like you’re front row at the most chaotic show imaginable. It is such a great feeling, and WHACKS are such a brilliant band. I have no idea what they are up to or if they are still making music (I really hope they are) but what they’ve done on this record is something that just makes you want more and more. There’s only so many times you can play something on a loop before you think, “I need more right now and something different.” WHACKS have such a strong sound that makes you wish you could create something this tight and ferocious.  I love their song Agitated, I love how hyperactive it sounds and how you feel a bit twitchy listening to this with the burning desire to head out and do something. You cannot sit still to this record, and that’s part of the charm of WHACKS.

 

 

 

WHACKS have thoroughly perfected a sound on this record that is entirely theirs, and you cannot help but fall in love with it. It sounds like all the bands you love, but at the same time they take you off into a totally different direction. You feel like you’re wandering the streets of Paris looking for things to do or just hanging out at a skatepark watching the world go by. This is a record to play as loud as you want, and as often as you can. It is such a relatable record- for those of us who are a bit self-deprecating or whatever, this record will get you in the gut. There is so much to love on this record. You cannot help but be taken by the vocals, but the drums and guitars are like this rambunctious force that cannot keep you still at all. It’s such a rowdy record that you just must play super loud. Their sound is heavy and a bit like Nirvana meets the Beastie Boys in a way; and that’s a pretty solid sound to have. I think the record closer, Hello evokes this the most. It’s a great closer and one to play when you’re a bit pissed off at the world or whatever. There’s angst on this record that is so well put across, and I think Hello is the song that really gets this across the most.

 Sugar is the one you need to keep on playing, and to shout the words back. Can someone bring this band to the UK because they are a band that will put on an excellent live show for sure. If you’re looking for a band to spill your drink to and jump along with- this is the band for you. WHACKS are everything you want from a band who aren’t afraid to just scream their lungs out and play as if their lives depend on it. Sugar has so much going on and it is probably my favourite on the record (for now. I will change my mind because it is such a great record!) There is something special about WHACKS. They’re like a Garage Rock version of the Beastie Boys- basically, they’ve got that rebellious streak that just makes you want to cause a bit of trouble. I think this is more apparent on Step Up, Stand Out. It feels like an anthem for the lost ones who just have no idea what to do but are happy to kill time doing nothing.

 

 

 The more I listen to this record, the more I want to hear from them. Maybe we will get something new from them. Maybe they’ll even come to the UK one day- who knows. All I know is that this record was a joy to listen to, and to play loud enough to drown out the rain hitting the windows this evening.

 

*Photo by: Adèle Colonna Cesari





ISSUE: Cross The Line.

14 07 2019

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If you’re looking for a band that sound like KRAUT mixed with VOID, then you’ll find it in Paris’s finest Punk band, ISSUE. One of the greatest guitarists of all time are in the band also (Charlie from Crocodiles, of course!) Cross The Line, their debut record, came out on Friday and let me tell you, it’s obnoxiously loud and really cleanses the soul.

Cross The Line is a proper rowdy record. Every single song, all nine of them, will blow your mind and eardrums in 16 quick minutes. The record is over far too soon, but there is no harm in playing it all over again, and again. And again. It’s record to trash shit to, it’s a record to just go completely wild to. It’s everything you want from a raw Punk record. Play it as loud as you can, then try a bit louder. Only a couple of the songs are over the 2 minute mark- how it should be done with this kind of music. The songs are full of this rambunctious energy that makes you want to just play it so loud, and throw shit out of the window. I mean, maybe don’t do that but you get what I mean. They have this ability to make you feel like you are right at their show taking it all in with elbows hitting you in the face and lukewarm beer being thrown about.

 

 

This is definitely one of the most enjoyable and out-there Punk records I’ve heard in a long time, and it just makes you feel like you’re experiencing bands like KRAUT for the first time. As soon as I heard this record, I automatically likened it to An Adjustment To Society by KRAUT (which is one of the greatest records ever made.) The same level of excellence is there, and I can’t get enough of it. By no means am I comparing the bands in a lazy way. I’m just holding them up as highly as each other because they are fucking incredible.

25 and Spit Mask are currently my favourite songs on the record, but my mind does change quite a bit. I’ve found that the record sounds best if you play it in order but the thing is, when you play it in no particular order you still get that “OH SHIT!” feel- like it’s hitting you for the first time. There is so much to love about this record. The production is perfect; the sound is something that’s been well thought out and you can definitely hear how much effort has gone into creating something so powerful. Mirror is a song that is meant to be play a hell of a lot, and definitely at a deafening volume. It’s a record that makes you want to start your own Punk band or just immerse yourself in as much live music as possible.

In terms of touring, I have no idea where they are going but if someone could get them to the UK that would be really much appreciated by me. They definitely have a sound that is made to be heard live. I love how the songs feel like an animal that’s been trapped for years, and is now being released into the wild. It has this brilliant untameable sound that I adore so much. In the best way possible, this record is so chaotic and brutal. I can’t get enough of it, and songs like  I Surrender just annihilate your eardrums in the most perfect way.

 

 

Cross The Line is out now via Third Coming Records; and the record artwork is by Nicky Rat.





DR CHAN: The Peer Hat, Manchester 3rd May 2019.

3 05 2019

 

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It’s obvious how much I love French Garage Rock Gods, Dr Chan. Any chance to write about them or tell someone about them, I’ll do it. You know when you hear something, and you can’t help but think, “Yep, this is the band for me.” Well, that’s what I got from them a couple of years ago when my obsession began.

I last saw Dr Chan live last year in London at the Lock Tavern. It was the last show I attended before I left that city and moved to Manchester. A move that I should have done years and years ago. It was the last show I went to, and it was the perfect way to leave that city. The room was packed and full of love; it was just a brilliant show. Last night, there was no more than 10 of us watching them. I don’t even think it got to double figures. I felt bad for the band because I know just how brilliant they are, and how they are the best at what they do. It didn’t dishearten the band though, they still played as if the room was full.

They blazed through songs from Southside Suicide and Squire. I’m pretty sure that these are my most played records. I love how they just take you somewhere with their music, and give you that opportunity to zone out and forget everything. Yesterday I had a pretty stressful day, but as soon as Dr Chan hit the stage- I was calm again.

I really loved hearing the songs off their most recent record, Squire, last night. Growing Up is probably my favourite off that record and it’s an absolute joy to see live. They play with this effortlessly cool stance, and you can tell how much they love doing it. When you get that from a band, you know that you have found something really beautiful. It’s just an absolute pleasure to watch them.

Dr Chan make the kind of music that I’d want to make. It’s a raw Garage Rock sound, and they are unafraid to really push their sound. For instance, their record Southside Suicide sounds nothing like Squire- but you still know it is them. They have a distinct sound, but aren’t afraid to change it up. They do this so well in their live shows, and as sad as I am that not many of us were there last night, I’m just happy that they played a show here in Manchester. They’re playing the Shacklewell Arms in London tonight I think, and if I still lived there- I’d have been right at the front again.

There’s a handful of bands I love that I would happily go see live every night, and Dr Chan are easily one of them. On record they are brilliant, but something remarkable happens during their live shows. They transform songs like The Sinner and Bloody No$e into something else live, and it’s just a pleasure to watch.

For me, I can easily say that Dr Chan are one of the best bands I’ve seen live and are most certainly one of my favourite bands in general. I love how they can take you to the streets of Paris or make you feel like you’re hanging out at a skatepark. They’ve got something about them that comforts you within the lyrics (this is really apparent on the Squire record) and the music alone just does something to you. Alexin is a great song-writer, and to see the growth into their new record is just astounding.

I can’t tell you enough just how great they are. My only advice is, listen to them and if you see that they are playing a venue near you- go see them!





HOORSEES.

6 03 2019

HOORSEES BAND

 

One band I have written about tons of times is Dr Chan. I love their flawless Garage Rock sound. I love how they just make brilliant songs that never get old. Every listen is like listening to them for the first time. A huge part of my love for Dr Chan, and now Hoorsees is due to my love for Alexin’s voice. He has such a distinctive voice, and is of course, a brilliant musician. Dr Chan and Hoorsees are made up of excellent musicians, and its fairly obvious that France is consistent in giving us some amazing music.

Hoorsees have been around for a few years, and their songs are just an absolute joy to listen to. The music takes you off into this Shoegazey kind of dreamland. It’s just wonderful to listen to. Especially on songs like Bad Words. Then you have Pitfall which again sounds like My Bloody Valentine but with less reverb. Hoorsees have such a strong sound, and it’s a sound that you cannot get enough of. They send you off into a whirl with their gorgeous sound. You don’t want to come down from this at all.

Their debut record is due out this year sometime, and going by what they’ve released so far- I’m pretty sure we are in for a treat. Hoorsees are a band that once you listen to, you just fall instantly in love with them. Bands like this are rare, but are a real pleasure to find. By no means am I making any comparisons between Alexin’s two bands, but one thing they sure have in common is that they make music that just makes you feel good. When you hear something that just grips you, and you cannot find the words to fully explain it- I think that is when you know you’ve found something you’re going to love for years and years to come. Whilst we are in an age where everything seems so throwaway, it’s bloody good to have bands like Hoorsees who give you something to hold on to.

I love listening to a band, finding out where they are from and feeling like I am in their city or wherever taking everything in. Hoorsees make you feel like you are wandering around the city with a load of nothing to do, just killing time. They have a relaxed sound, but also one that is very defined. I’m going to go back to their song Pitfall quickly. I really love this song, and how there’s this pleading, almost romantic desperation in the vocals. Call it passion, call it art. Call it what you want, but it’s so great to hear. I love the strength in the vocals and the way they are married up with this 90s reverb sound.

Hoorsees also give you that notion of clinging onto your youth/childhood. Given that the world is probably going to shit, this is something we are probably doing more than ever. The closer on their Youth EP, Wasted Youth, definitely gives you this feeling. It is also something that is quite apparent on their new single, Boyhood.

Boyhood is the perfect song to eases you into their debut record. It shows a lot of growth from their Youth EP which came out nearly two years ago. Hoorsees are made up of brilliant musicians who really hit you in the gut with their music. They’re a really great band to listen to through headphones, and just zone out from everything to. The create this escapism in their music that is just so good, and so beautiful.

Play ’em loud in your ear. Wander round your city, and just give yourself some time- and self-care.

 





DR CHAN: Squier

10 10 2018

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One of the most energetic and mind-blowing bands I’ve heard, Dr Chan are back with a new record. With a second record, this pressure or ideology of it being difficult and also a band growing up. Sure that works for some, but Dr Chan are the opposite of what is expected. Irrespective of genre. And that’s exactly what makes them standout and one of the best bands around.

What can they do with Squier that they may have already done with Southside Suicide? Oh man, so much!

I saw Dr Chan play London in February this year, and I think it was the last show I went to before I finally left that city. They were the perfect band to go out on, and let me tell you something- they are one of the best bands you’ll ever see. They play as if they are rehearsing at home. You feel like you’re invading their personal space, but at the same time you know they want you there to take in just how brilliant they are.

There is no point at all in me or anyone comparing their two records. It’s so clear that they are an excellent band and are just an absolute pleasure to listen to. The title track is a real gnarly song that you can just unleash hell to. The record is relaxed in all the right places, but my take on what sounds relaxing is probably different to someone else’s! But anyway, it stays the same. Dr Chan are a band that you’ve just got to play loud and more importantly, they are a band that you’ve got to see live. The songs on Squier are nothing short of amazing, and I’m so proud of what they have done on this record. They aren’t a band that are here to win approval of others or to be like anyone else. I guess you can call them punks, if you want. They are wonderfully shoving the middle finger at those who want them to sound like everyone else or whatever. This is all on their terms, and it is so obvious on this record. Growing Up is such a great song, and for me this one shows how far they’ve come and just how amazing they are.

For those who are already familiar with the band, you’ll be able to pick up on certain moments in the songs that may remind you of songs on Southside Suicide, but if anything they’ve got louder and more fearless with this record. I love how the songs sound like a party that’s gotten way out of hand and there’s no point in even trying to save it. I love how the songs sound like something you’d play whilst trashing your room. I love how the songs are so effortlessly rowdy and bold, and just so different to anything else. I guess some want to lump them as Garage Rock. That’s fine and all, but there is so much more to Dr Chan than being a genre of music. I love how their sound feels like it is echoing right through you. I love how the guitar and vocals have this laid-back but fuzzy feel to it. The Sinner is for me, one of the best songs on the record but to be honest, it’s impossible to pick one. Every song for me is a masterpiece. I just want to play it really loud and waste the day away.

Dr Chan have this brilliant ability to make you feel like you’re right there with them. They make you feel like you’re there as they record these songs, you feel part of the music and when the music takes you over- it’s a beautiful feeling. I’m being biased, but who the hell cares! Dr Chan have put out one of the most incredible records of the year. This doesn’t sound like a band who are only on their second record- they sound like pros who have more about them than most. They probably do anyway.

Girls is a great song, and I think it’ll definitely be one to lose your shit to if they play it live. I might call it as my favourite right now. I love how their sound, even when sometimes touching on dark-ish subjects, just makes you feel so happy. Girls is such a brilliant song that makes you happy to hear. Maybe don’t listen to the lyrics if you don’t want to feel a bit sombre. Dr Chan make you feel like it is summer at the skate park every damn day and I love that about them. Another standout moment on this record is the bass on God Hates You. It is such a slick sound, and is one of my favourite parts on the record. The song is great and let it be known that lyrically, the band are writing some mind-blowing songs. The words are just brilliant, and the sound is phenomenal. I just love this band a hell of a lot.

Once again, their record Squier will be out on the consistently great Stolen Body Records. Buy the record, and play it sky-high.





STALLED MINDS.

10 12 2017

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France is home to two of my great loves- Rimbaud and the Born Bad record store in Bastille. It is also home to exceptional musicians who have undoubtedly been an influence on the bands I listen to. Paris has an insanely great Punk scene. It’s enough to make you sack off all responsibilities and move there to really immerse yourself in it. Or you can live vicariously through others. It’s the cheaper option.

I’ve written about loads of bands from Paris over the past few years. I don’t seek them out on purpose, it just happens. Accidents are sometimes alright. One band I found today that have immediately won me over are Stalled Minds. Easily one of the loudest and best bands around right now- even though their self-titled release came out two years ago, they still have this exciting and new sound. They make you want to break stuff, they make you want to start a band that is part Bad Brains and part whatever the hell you want so long as it is loud. I’m currently writing this with my housemate’s cat on my bed. I’m looking after him until tomorrow evening, and he’s currently having another nap. Every so often he lets out a snore and I tell you what, he manages to fit it in time with the music. He’s got good taste.

Stalled Minds are the kind of band you want to join and trash basement bars with. You want to lob lukewarm beer over the crowd and go insane to their song, Shit City. They have this energy in their songs that you’ve never quite heard or felt before. They’re a band that you’ll wonder why on earth they aren’t huge, but you treasure them and play the music as loud as your ears can stand.

From what I’ve heard so far, and yes I am late to the party, I just absolutely love their sound. I love how the vocals are sometimes distorted. I love how furiously they play and how it feels like a collective riot. There is such a united sound, and I think that it is one of the many reasons why I love them and why they just sound so great. It’s an impeccable sound that they have crafted and they just sound so effortlessly cool.

A couple members of Stalled Minds are in the equally great Youth Avoiders. I’ll be writing about them real soon too. Both bands play with this infectious fury that sort of eases the mind but also unleashes everything you’ve pent up. Music should be a release, and Stalled Minds take good care of that notion.

If you’re looking for a band to blow your mind and eardrums then listen to Stalled Minds. Listen to them as loud as you can handle, then push yourself to go a little louder. They’ll make you want to start a band, they’ll make you want to go to every live show they ever do. But until you see them, you’ll imagine the show in your mind- covered in sweat and beer.