FLESHEN FELLA.

10 10 2020

Are you after some grimy and loud music? Do you fancy something that makes you feel like you’ll need a cold shower after listening or maybe have someone cleanse you? Fleshen Fella have released a record that will make you feel that way and more.

Made up of 4 friends, Fleshen Fella was born out of a bonding experience whilst working on a film. Something so relatively simple has turned out to be something really great. This may or may not be the only thing we get from the band, so it’s important to really treasure what they’ve given us. They’ve given us something that sounds like everything you could possibly want from a band who makes strong Garage Rock music to lose your shit to.

The 5 songs on this record are made to be played loud, and often. You cannot help but fall in love with this majestic record that is sleazy in all the right places. Desperation is my favourite on the record at the moment. I love the decadent sound and the powerful vocals. Knowing that this band was made up as a way to get them to bond more and get to know each other, the sound is super tight and you wouldn’t be alone in thinking this is a band who have been buddies for years and years, and that this isn’t their first record. It’s a really sleazy record and one you can imagine being blasted at sordid parties or basement bars.

If I’ve read correctly, the band have only played live together once and to then make this record. It would honestly be a shame if they never made another record or 5; they’ve got such a wild sound. That lo-fi and DIY feel they have (really shines on Psyche) is so delicious and you just want to keep on consuming it. It’s a record to definitely indulge in with zero apologies. We may never get anything else from Fleshen Fella but what they’ve given us is nothing short of a work of art to treasure.

The last song on the record, Untitled is NOTHING like the other 4 songs. This one is a straight up 60s Psychedelic number. Think of bands like The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band, Strawberry Alarm Clock and The Vagrants. Maybe The Doors too and The Pretty Things. This is nothing like the other songs on the record, and it is such a dreamy, mellow number and such a gorgeous way to end such a heavy and rowdy record. Untitled pacifies you in the most soothing way imaginable, and you really feel like you’ve stepped into a totally different world compared to All Tied Up and Imonia Blues. Untitled also smacks you right in the gut, but differently to the other songs and it really is a great way to wrap up the record.

Fleshen Fella has made songs that sound like a William S. Burroughs novel; twisted, deranged and beautifully crafted. They are storytellers (Imonia Blues is a prime example of this) and they’ve easily made one of the finest records of the year with this. We may never get anything from them again, which of course is a shame, but this is such a great record and it is one that you’ll keep going back to. It’s definitely one that with every listen, you find a new reason to love every song.

And so, the start must face the end. Like all things in this world. Music lives forever. Viva Fleshen Fella!

This glorious record is out now via Fantastic Mess 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.





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/





DRUG HUNT.

10 06 2020

Right from the mean streets of San Diego and right into your ears are a band called Drug Hunt. Looking the band name up may lead to weird results, and probably things that aren’t safe for work but when you get to what you want, you fast realise you’ve stumbled upon a band you have no idea how you made it this far without.

If like me you are madly in love with bands like Melvins, OM, Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, Bambara- then you’re going to be really excited over Drug Hunt. Their sound is heavy, brutal, dark and poetic. They have such a unique style that just blows you away with every listen. Their self-titled EP consists of 4 songs that will twist and turn their way into your mind, corrupt your soul and leave you feeling very strange afterwards. Nothing will feel the same afterwards. Initially I wanted to focus on the EP but the more I listen to their music, the more I’m inclined to basically write a love letter to the band.

Drug Hunt have a heavy Psychedelic sound, and they have that Jim Morrison poetic feel to the vocals/lyrics. Imagine if Jim Morrison was still alive and joined the Melvins. That’s basically Drug Hunt but my analogy doesn’t do the band justice at all. The Tower is about 6 and a half minutes long, and it then slides into the euphoric 5-minute wonder that is, The Well. The EP is beautifully crafted, and the way the songs flow into each other is mesmirising. The songs were made for you to escape deep into, to just ignore reality and go right into their world.

The songs on this EP are mighty and deafening. They are beautifully terrifying; you cannot help but keep going back for more and more. Their sound is everything I want from music- it is uncomfortable and leaves you on edge. I don’t want something to make me feel safe, I want to listen to something that makes me feel a little bit on edge. Drug Hunt do this in such a grand way. Another band that remind me of this are Italy’s finest, Sonic Jesus. Sometimes it is the uncomfortable sounds that provide the most comfort, and you definitely get this from Drug Hunt.

The five of them in this band all play a vital part in messing with your head in the most wonderful way imaginable. The guitar on The Altar for the last minute or so will make you want to weep it is THAT good. There’s a lot of heart and soul in this band, and it comes across so perfectly on the EP. It’s a real joy to listen to, and to just get totally wrapped up in. I love bands that aren’t scared to push themselves, and I love when they do that to the listener- exposing them to new sounds too, and really pushing what they thought they knew.

Drug Hunt are nothing short of exceptional, and although we may only have so far, a handful of songs, there’s absolutely no telling what will happen next. They truly take the listener on a mind-bending journey with their music, and right now, we probably need that.





GATEWAY DRUGS: PSA.

16 05 2020

 

gatewaydrugs

 

A strong contender for the most magical and captivating record of the year is the new record by Gateway Drugs. It is produced by one half of one of the greatest bands ever (and my girlfriend is the only person I know that loves them as much as I do which makes her the coolest yet again!) Sune from The Raveonettes. You can hear his influence throughout this record, and it just makes everything feel right even when it’s all off balance right now.

PSA came out last week, and after playing it a couple of times I think I have soaked it up enough to put something coherent together. I hope! It is a dreamy record; it makes you feel so happy and so at peace with all around you. It’s a feel-good record, and right now we really need this. The past few weeks I have found myself playing a lot of Minor Threat and VOID, so I need something more laid-back to ease everything. Gateway Drugs have made the most euphoric sound you could possibly wish for. Everything from the vocals to that gorgeous reverb sound is perfection. Slumber is THE song of the summer. Maybe when we can all go out and do fun things again, this song may just be your soundtrack. The record makes you want to go on holiday and just take it easy for a few weeks. As someone who has been doing additional hours at work the past couple weeks (I don’t mind at all, I love my job) the idea of going on holiday would be great right now. I’d like to just sit and do nothing, with this record blaring out. But, I can settle for a Saturday night indoors playing it loud enough to soothe my soul. It’s a great record, and to even try pick a favourite moment or song on this record would be impossible.

 

 

Gateway Drugs are in a league of their own. There is a sun-kissed Shoegaze feel that I cannot get enough of; you just want the record to consume every single part of you, and oh boy! It sure does. It is a remarkable record, and you can truly hear the growth in their sound from when their debut came out a few years ago. For me, Sune’s production is nothing short of flawless and he’s truly pulled something out of the band that I really don’t think anyone else could. It is such a divine, heavenly record that is SO GOOD for the soul. It’s soulful record with everything you could possibly want, and more from a record to just make you feel. That’s it; it just makes you FEEL. You cling on to that because it is yours.

I’m Always Around is gorgeous, and Liv’s vocals on this are so delicate and pure. You have it etched in your brain, and the beauty in her vocals on this is definitely a standout moment, even though the whole record consists of them! I think because three of the band are siblings makes you appreciate the tight sound more, and that gives the music an added beauty. I’m in love with Liv’s vocals so much, and I love how everyone has their time to shine on this record. But like I’ve said, it’s a bloody great record and it is difficult to pick out the best moments. The songs I favour right now will keep changing, and that’s when you know you’ve found something truly special. Gateway Drugs may only be 2 record into their career, but PSA makes you feel like you’re listening to a band who are at least 5 records in. It is such a bold and euphoric record; Back Room Lover is musically out there. It’s an effortlessly cool song and it just gives you a strong feeling of Summer. When you listen to this, you can feel that summer breeze hitting the back of your neck as you gaze out to the sun. It’s such a beautiful song.

As I wrap this up, I want to bring to your attention their cover of Psychotic Reaction by the Count Five. Anyone who knows me knows how obsessed I am with the Count Five, and when I found a copy of Psychotic Reaction in Born Bad Records in Paris- I lost my damn mind! I fucking LOVE that band. I’m a bit dubious when I hear songs I love being covered, but when it done in a way that clearly pays homage to the band or the band make it their own- then I’m sold. Gateway Drugs have evidently made it theirs and beyond. It’s a wild cover, and it is the perfect way to close the record. As far as covers go, this is one to truly fall in love with. They go absolutely apeshit during the last few minutes of the song (it’s 5 and a half minutes long- the original is way shorter!) and it shows us just how strong they are not only as a band, but as musician. I hope that once bands can tour again, Gateway Drugs come to the UK. I hope they play this as their last song so us in the crowd head home in awe of what we have heard. Fully knowing we will never be the same again. Holy shit the last few minutes of this is incredible. If you want to start with this cover as your introduction to the band- then go ahead. I reckon Lester Bangs (greatest Music Writer of all time) would love this cover too.

 

 

I’ve been in a bit of a slump recently when it comes to writing about music, but I can safely say that Gateway Drugs have eased it. PSA is such a remarkable record, and if you’re looking for a record to become obsessed with and to play religiously, then please make it this one.





MODULATOR II : Slivered Hearse.

9 05 2020

 

modulatorii

 

Are you ready to take a psychedelic trip into the unknow? Into the weird and beautiful world of French pioneers Modulator II? They’ve put out one of the most far out records of the year. It’s completely off the wall and it’s a joy to listen to. If you’re looking for something to listen to so you can escape the hell that’s going on, then this is the record for you.

 I’ve been wanting to write this for a couple of weeks now, but I’ve not had the time to properly listen to the record let alone write about it. I’ve been banned from my manager from doing extra hours at work, so I’ve spent my weekend asleep. I treated myself to a walk earlier, it was okay, I guess. Nothing to report. I could sleep for hours, but I’ve got the time and desire to write about this record so here goes!

 Modulator II are no strangers to the strange; neither am I and neither are their fans. They sure know how to make music that messes with your head and makes your body turn to jelly. They move you in ways that you want all music to move you. They don’t leave you feeling completely battered, just a little bit wired and out of your mind. That euphoric glow in their sound has never been so prominent! The record opens with The Big Crunch, and it’s just the perfect way to open a grand record like this.

 

 

If you’ve never listened to them before, then treat this record as your initiation into the unknown. There’s this effortlessly cool and experimental sound going right through the record. I’ve made my feelings known on this band and the band members before (Cédric and Romain are in the equally great band, Dusty Mush who I’ve written about before!) With this record they have truly created something to treasure, and to play loudly.

At the moment I am hugely obsessed with Uncanny Valley; I love the furious drumming and the way the guitars and bass come together to basically riot against the drums to see who can be loudest. I love when a band does this. It’s easy to do this and just be out of control with no meaning, but this band give it all they’ve got, and it sounds like a beautiful noise. I just really love this record and waiting for it so long just makes it sound that much sweeter.

 Of course, it is the kind of record you’d want to hear live, but given what’s going on right now, who knows when this will happen. Like so many I am desperate to go to a show and just feel something but waiting this out and being responsible is what’s needed right now. In time, we will get there. For now, we just play the music as loud as we can and let the music get right into our bones. Bands like Modulator II aren’t afraid to go beyond and to just push the listener, and you get this so clearly on songs like Stopover Commander and Extinction. The whole record is a joy to listen to, and to just soak up.

 

 

Stolen Body Records is the home to some flawless bands, and this record is a mighty fine example of this. Every song on this record is a step up from what you previously heard, and I love that you can hear the band get better in every single song. Stopover Commander is a delightful noisy number that you just cannot get enough of. The last 30 seconds or so of this song are some of my favourite moments on this record. If like me you are obsessed with bands like Sleep, then this song will give you serious Holy Mountain vibes. It’s out of this world and is a record that will definitely be one we talk about in decades to come. I know I will be.

 Silvered Hearse is out RIGHT NOW via Stolen Body Records.





THE VUMMS: Count The Roses.

28 02 2020

 

I think I may have stumbled across one of the finest debut records I’ve heard in a while. As someone who is obsessed with Garage Rock, my mind has been blown by The Vumms. I know NOTHING about them but I know they are brilliant. This release is everything I need right now, so I’m going to use my lunch break wisely to talk about why I love them.

The Vumms are from Cleveland. I don’t know about the music scene there but I’m happy to say that The Vumms are the  best band from there right now. I had NO idea what to expect from this record, and I’m just in awe of how beautiful it is. I adore the artwork too. I love the colours used and how the photo used just lures you in- like you’re going to truly experience something that is good for the soul, and something truly poetic. I’m in love with this record to the point where I’ll be obsessed with it by the time my break is over.

 

 

The 5 songs on this record are nothing short of beautiful. The vocals on Crusader have a sort of Grunge like feel to it, and when it kicks in it definitely enhances that feeling. There’s a strong 60s feel to the sound, and there’s this beautiful romantic feel to the record even when you least expect it. Count The Roses is a gorgeous song; it feels like a real Summer anthem. If I could drive, I’d blast this out so loud with the windows down and just drive. No idea where to, but I’d just drive. Ideally to a beach in California. I think that’s where my heart lies because that’s where my mind takes me. I’ve never been though, and I’m pretty sure I couldn’t handle a long flight. I’d need to be in Business Class so I can have a bed and sleep the journey away. Otherwise I’d panic and want to get off!

I’m pretty open about my mental health and how crap it can be at times, and I can honestly say that this record makes me feel good. That’s something I’ve not had in a while, and I’m treasuring it more than I normally would because it is unexpected. I don’t know what it is about this record, but it just fixes your soul and calms your head down a bit, you know. Sometimes we need that and The Vumms do it so beautifully.

Count The Roses is only 5 songs but these 5 songs are just full of beauty. Even the song Can’t Sleep has this beauty to it. It touches on how the mind can get tired too from lack of sleep. The lyrics are accompanied by these beautiful sounds, and although the lyrics could be morbid for some, The Vumms make it sound anything but. There’s no way you can listen to The Vumms and not smile, and not feel happy. They have this power to just lift your spirits and sometimes you just need that.

 

 

The Vumms have created something truly delicate and captivating. I can only hope that  their sound evolves more and more, and they of course, take over the world (or do a UK tour- I could settle for that.)

Count The Roses is out now, buy it and play it on repeat!