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!