BASIC SHAPES: Clockwork Organs.

2 07 2020

I have too much spare time that I have seem to have filled by playing FIFA as soon as I get home from work. I could be doing other things such as going to bed as soon as I get home (yes, it is acceptable to go to bed at 5.30pm, never question it) but FIFA takes priority. Music has slipped, sort of. I’ve not listened to much as it makes me sad not knowing when I’ll next go to a show. But anyway, there’s a wonderful French band called Basic Shapes that are here to kill your blues. Listen up!

Their newest EP, Clockwork Organs came out last week and it’s a really stunning record. It reminds me a little bit of Richard Hell mixed with The Buzzcocks. Basically, it’s a bloody great record and again just reinforces my love for French Garage Rock bands. There’s this beautiful energy on the songs and I love the urgency in most of the songs, and this is so clear on No Creep. It’s a real rowdy number that just gets you going. The songs are short and to the point; there’s no messing about here. Basic Shapes are here to tell you what they think and feel without taking 10 hours to make their point. We have the time to listen, that’s for certain, but sometimes you just need something that’s punchy and grabs you instantly.

There’s been a lot of great records that have come out so far this year, and I guess some could be cynical in thinking some get overlooked. Bands like The Vacant Lots and Fontaines D.C. (okay this isn’t out yet but whatever!) have put out (or about to) some of the strongest records of the year. Jehnny Beth has put out a glorious solo record that feels like an ethereal out of body experience. Then you’ve got bands like Basic Shapes who just go headfirst into chaos. Burning Flats and Night Train are such great songs, and they just make you crave going to shows so badly. Your bones start to turn to jelly and your mouth turns dry; you get the sweats. You just want to see a show. Badly.

Homeless Walk has slight Reggae hints flowing through it, and I love how this song just messes with everything you’ve heard so far. It’s definitely one of my favourites because it just takes a hard left at what you’ve heard so far. Then they go right into MYOB which is just a rowdy and manic number. It’s such a great record, and even thought they formed in 2018, this record sounds like something from a band that have been at it for years. There’s something about MYOB that reminds me of New York Dolls. It’s part the vocals and part the guitar.

The record ends with the 7-minute delight that is Night Train. This is a euphoric piece of art that just needs to be heard by everyone. Play it to anyone you know. Play it loud. Right in their face. Or maybe do it when social distancing fades away if it ever happens. It is such a tense song and the buildup, the crashing of the drums and the way the guitar sounds like an earthquake is just brilliant. It’s an effortlessly slick song, and the last 3 minutes and 30 seconds make you feel like you’ve stepped into a different universe. It feels like a totally different song, but they do it in such an unbothersome manner. It’s such an incredible listen. The vocals resemble a whisper almost on the last part of the song. You can imagine this being what they end their shows on. When those whispers are eventually taken over by the music, getting louder and louder. More intense with every second, flipping back to how the song started. It is SO GOOD! The whispers turn back into yells, and it is done so perfectly. If you’re someone who doesn’t listen to records in order- start with this one. Then maybe end on it also because it is THAT good.

Clockwork Organs is an impressionable listen and will definitely stick with you. You’ll feel exhausted after you first listen to it because it’ll take all your energy (in a good way) but you’re still ready to keep on going and to keep on listening to this mind-blowing record.





THE VACANT LOTS: Interzone.

26 06 2020

There’s no better feeling than that excitement of a band you absolutely adore releasing a new record. I’ve had a copy of the new record by The Vacant Lots for a couple of months now, and it’s been so difficult to not write about it until now. But it’s worth the wait; the record is astounding and will just blow you away.

If you’re looking for something to securely take you into a different universe, with the safe reassurance that you’ll never be able to leave, then Interzone is the record for you. Songs like Into The Depths and Party’s Over fully show us why TVL are one of the best bands around, and their electrifying sound is something to truly treasure. This is their first release on Fuzz Club Records, and given the amount of exceptional records that Fuzz Club have put out, it’s only right that TVL did so too.

Rescue was our first taste of the record, and it was the perfect way to get us to fall in love with the new sound they have created. It is is such a phenomenal record that oozes tense build-ups, dramatic sounds and hypnotising vocals. The vocals on Rescue are captivating, and Brian’s vocals are so strong on this record. Jared’s guitar on this record again sound like a beast. They both have this effortlessly cool way of creating their own noise, and you’d be hard-pressed to find anything better than this!

Interzone crosses all styles and will mess with your head in the best way possible. You will want to hear this record at 3am when everything is quiet and your brain won’t switch off. The comfort of this record will give you everything you need, and more. I strongly advise you to listen to Fracture on your own and through headphones. The same goes for Party’s Over. These two songs are beautiful in all ways imaginable. For me, Party’s Over is my favourite right now on the record and I also love how gentle Brian’s vocals are on Fracture- that’s another reason as to why it is a joy to listen to through headphones. Jared’s guitar on this is tamer than normal, but this more relaxed sound just shows us why they are both exceptional musicians.

The big question. Record number 3- is it their best yet? Yes. A huge YES. I’m obsessed with everything they’ve done, and continue to do but there is something about this record that towers over previous releases. There is something about this record that just feels more sacred, and you know, it could be down to what is going on in the world. There could be many reasons as to why, but I can promise you that this record is so beautiful, so gentle but ferocious in all the right places. The times where Brian’s vocals are gentle and where Jared annihilates the guitar- when these two worlds collide, that’s when it kicks off. That’s when you know you’ve not only found an amazing band but also one of the most exciting (and most vital) records of the year.

The lyrics are poetry, and the music is like a dream. Interzone is such a gorgeous record; it will heal the parts of you that you’ve neglected. It’ll also make your record collection look cooler! Every song on this 8 song masterpiece is a work of art. I love how Station goes into Party’s Over. The way it just gently slides into the last song is so beautiful. You feel like the record is a whole journey into something you can’t quite explain, then as Party’s Over hits, that’s when your body starts to wake up. Maybe your mind too. You come alive again, in a totally different way. The essence of this record feels like rebirth or something. The slick change in style and sound on this record is divine, and it’s something you keep falling in love with on every listen. I’m utterly in love with Party’s Over, and I’m pretty sure I can call it as one of my favourite songs that Jared and Brian have ever done. I love the sorrow in it, I love how it could be a dark song but it can also be full of hope. You can take it however you want, and that’s why I love this song and why this record is a masterpiece. It’s their masterpiece, but to be honest, everything they do is a work of art to me anyway.

None of us know when we will see the bands we love perform live again, but we have the music. We have the new records, and the new music can spur us on. This is what we needed, this is what I needed. Interzone is quite simply, a vital listen.





NADU: Determinator II.

19 06 2020

A lot of the music I love and write about comes from the West Coast. I went through a stage a few years ago where I would only listen to music from there and wouldn’t give anything else a chance. Certain places just seem to always give us great music. Something in the water, right?

I’ve had my copy of Nadu’s new record for a few months now, and finally being able to share my thoughts on it is a pretty great feeling. If you’ve never heard his music before, you’re in for a right treat with this record. And if like me, you’ve heard what he’s done before, then you too are in for a treat!

Determinator II consists of 6 pure Garage Rock songs to blow out your eardrums and to shake you right to your core. Nader has done all of this himself, and he could well be the poster child (adult really) for that DIY ethic we all admire and appreciate. Knowing he has done all of this by himself just makes you appreciate the record more and you take in every minor detail too. Nothing goes unnoticed and you can really hear just how much work has gone into this record.

The record opens with the electrifying Survive; the perfect way to open the record and to bring you into Nader’s world. A world that just oozes everything you could possibly love about music, and more. It’s such an anthem of a song, and you just long for the days where we could go to shows and really enjoy music.

Of course with Nader being in L.A and me being in Manchester, there’s no chance I’ll catch a show of his anytime soon but what he does so well with his music is make you feel as if you’re right there at his show. You feel like you’re at a dive bar that’s a little too crammed, and you’re standing too close to people you do not know but nonetheless, you are all having a great time- that’s exactly what the whole record gives you, and this is something I really love about a lot of the bands I write about. When they can give off that feeling, you know you’ve found something genuinely great.

Nader has this great way of creating rambunctious Punk songs that take you deep into the pits of sheer raw energy and by no means do you want to climb out. The songs on this record are colossal. They are made to be played so loud you can feel your face melt and your body quake with every listen. It’s a bloody amazing record, and it picks up perfectly where Determinator left off. I think there’s about a 3-year gap between the records, and you can really hear the growth in Nader’s vocals and musicianship. He knows exactly how he wants to sound and is totally focused on that. You really get this on Determinator II. It’s so apparent. Attraction has quite a Grunge feel to it, especially vocally and the urgency in this song just makes you keep going back to it. This is one to be obsessed with.

I can’t stick with one favourite song on the record. My mind changes with every listen (and I’ve played this a lot!) but I think at the moment I might be taken with Ain’t Easy. He makes the guitar sound like this weapon of destruction, and with a snarl in his voice, this is definitely one of the heavier songs on the record. Determinator II is made up of 6 songs that show us pure talent and obsession with music. It’s got the potential to be one of those records that some kid hears and thinks, “I want to do that!” That’s all we can hope for. Make your own noise and make it loud.

Considering how shitty this year has turned out to be, we are getting a solid list of great music this year. Irrespective of genre, this year has truly given us some great records. From Gaga to The Vacant Lots (next Friday) to L.A. Witch (August!) and Nadu. Find joy where you can, and cling onto it.





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/





CROCODILES: Shitty Times Volume 1.

6 06 2020

I’ve not written anything in a while because I’ve been preoccupied with my new best friend- my PS4 and investing too much time in FIFA20. Anyway, this is my first weekend in ages where I am not working. A full weekend to do nothing but sleep. Bliss. But, besides all this, I’ve spent a lot of time being angry at what we are seeing. At the end of this, I’ll post some links to various organisations that need our support in any way possible.

We need to educate ourselves; we need to call out those who are barbaric and wrong, and they MUST be held accountable. One band I have always admired for the way they speak up is of course, Crocodiles. Yesterday Bandcamp waived their fees which meant bands were getting paid in full. However, most were forfeiting their profits and donating them to causes related to Black Lives Matter. Crocodiles were one of these bands, and the result is the effortlessly cool collection of covers called Shitty Times Volume 1. From Madonna to Lou Reed, these 6 songs will blow you away. Let’s get to it.

The record was recorded in Paris (where Charlie lives) and in L.A (where Brandon lives) but you don’t feel the distance at all. You feel as if you’re in the room with them both as they create these covers. I adore their cover of the Madonna classic, Burning Up. If they did Borderline, I’d have lost my mind, but this comes really close. It’s such a great cover, and I love how Crocodiles cover songs and just make them theirs. Take their cover of U Sexy Thing they did a few years ago- it’s genius. It takes nothing away from the original but gives us something new.

For me, it’s all about their cover of Hangin’ Round by Lou Reed. We all know that Transformer is one of the best records ever made, and this cover makes you appreciate the song in a totally different way. They keep that effortlessly cool sound going; that sound that you always got from Lou and always get from Crocodiles. It’s such a great cover, and I hope that when we can go to shows again, they put this in their set. Can you imagine how amazing it would be?! They could do the whole record; I doubt any of us would mind. Make the show last 2 hours or so, that’s totally fine by me.

Raphaëlle Verlaine from the band Metro Verlaine takes on the cover of Elli & Jacno’s Oh La La. If you’ve ever seen Metro Verlaine live, you will know just how powerful her voice is, and this cover really shows us this. Again, it is such a great cover, you sort of forget about the original. I love that the way Crocodiles cover the songs makes you forget about the originals, but when it’s over you can and listen to them and hear it all in a different way.

Who Stole My Skateboard? Originally by Satan’s Rats is a blistering cover. This is the one you blast out so loud until you drown out the world. After the Lou Reed cover, this might be my favourite.  The guitar on it is just, * chef’s kiss * it’s THAT divine. You can’t help but keep playing it. It takes nothing away from the original at all, it just adds to it.

You can buy the record here: https://crocodilesband.bandcamp.com/

There’s a limit to about 100 tapes made, and they’ll be shipped in about 3-4 weeks.

All proceeds from the release will be going to the DeDe McClure Bail Fund, and you can find more about it here: https://www.facebook.com/pg/CommunityBailFund

If you’re in the UK and wanting to donate to a cause closer to home, then please consider supporting: https://www.gofundme.com/f/black-minds-matter-uk/donations

If you’re not angry about what you are seeing, then you are part of the problem.

Black Lives Matter.





THE FUN STOPPERS.

2 05 2020

 

THEFUNSTOPPERS

 

I’ve had no desire to write anything recently. Work has wiped me out, but I’m glad that I am lucky enough to still have a routine where I can leave the house, and to work. And not be stuck with my own company 24/7. I slept until 4pm today, and I could have stayed asleep for the rest of the day but that’s probably because I’m allowing myself to be lazy and attempt to switch off. A routine is keeping me sane.

 I sometimes struggle to write about bands that are predominantly instrumental but a really great band from Alberta have been in touch called The Fun Stoppers have a really unique sound that I love. We’ve got a mutual love for another great Canadian band, The Gruesomes (of course) and if a band mention them to me- I’m likely to love them. And that’s exactly what has happened here.

 

 

The Fun Stoppers are a duo, but their strong and unique sound makes you think you’re listening to an orchestra of Garage Punk heroes. It’s just two of them here though; Glen and Dale. They are so good at what they do, and all you can do is became utterly enthralled in what you are hearing.

 They haven’t been around long (their Bandcamp page only has songs up from this year) but they have a sound that is really strong. They make you feel like you’re listening to The Beach Boys, The Gruesomes and The Cramps all at once. I thought I’d miss hearing vocals, but you get used to it pretty much right away, and you just enjoy soaking up how great they are as musicians. Glen is a solid guitarist, and you cannot help but end up being obsessed with the sounds he makes. That guitar is a lethal weapon, and you don’t even want to take cover- you don’t want to miss whatever he will do next. Mix this with Dale’s drumming, and you’ve just got the perfect duo. Dale plays like someone who has a point to prove, and that’s what hooks me on bands like this. There’s this passion in the music that you just find yourself gravitating towards. It’s so powerful.

 Their songs don’t really pass the 2-minute mark, and their newest song Sick For You is a proper gnarly one. The vocals have this wonderful snarly sound and the menacing lyrics mixed with the electrifying guitar and demonic drums just make it one of the most exciting songs I’ve heard in a while. I love that fuzziness to it that is found in a lot of songs/bands I love. This song is like a cheap Horror film (this is a compliment) and you can imagine it being featured when someone is about to meet a bloody and gruesome end, but they make it obvious that the blood is so far from being realistic.

 

 

The Fun Stoppers are such an exciting band, and with or without vocals- you cannot help but marvel at their talent. I’m sold on bands that forgo vocals; I think! I love their creepy sound and wild style; I love how you that make you feel like each song is like some weird experiment- are they musicians or mad scientists?! Who knows! Maybe we will never find out, and maybe that’s alright.

 Play them loud and freak out your neighbours!





THE CB DOGS.

19 04 2020

thecbdogs

Here’s another great band from Singapore for you; The CB Dogs. They’re like a Singapore version of Dead Boys. Smutty, snotty, and beautifully obnoxious. Not for the faint-hearted or easily offended, and grossed-out. The CB Dogs have a feral sound that is unlike anything else around. It’s loud, it’s unapologetically loud. Every ounce of brutal and raw sounding energy possible is found in their music, and it’s a joy to listen.

 The songs are pretty graphic, and I wouldn’t play them in front of any prudish folks you may know. They have that shock tactic that’s found in Punk, but for The CB Dogs this is something else. Their sound is like the underdog finally having enough, and letting the world know it is pissed off. This is pretty clear in their song Johnny Tay. It’s a “fuck you” to whoever Johnny Tay is, and they do it pretty damn well. This band aren’t afraid to make their feelings known- whether it’s telling someone to fuck off or just voicing their frustrations, The CB Dogs have a lot of bite to their sound. Like a Rottweiler that’s tired of being dragged around, The CB Dogs just unleash every fury imaginable and they do it in a really fun way. There’s smutty humour in their lyrics also, and that’s just what makes them a solid listen.

 

 

The CB Dogs aren’t afraid to tell us exactly why they aren’t joining the army and voicing their disdain for them. The Army is one of their most political songs, and it’s one that really shows why they don’t want to be part of something like this, and respect to them for doing so. I’m not sure how their Government feels about this song, but I’m sure others will have the same sentiment as the band. I really like the line, “We the citizens of Singapore pledge ourselves as one united people. Regardless of race, language or religion.” It may seem simple to most, but you know it means a hell of a lot to this band, and I’ve got a lot of respect for that, and them. Then again on the absolute flipside of this, they’ve got a song called Horny Bastard. It’s pretty clear what it’s about.

 The CB Dogs aren’t just a Punk band or whatever, like their buddies Bad Dod (Williem from the band did the logo above), they’re doing something really special. They’re creating/part of a scene in Singapore which NEEDS to be heard, sometimes you need to go further and dig deeper to get the sound you want and to find your new favourite band. The CB Dogs are a band that cannot and will not be tamed. You can’t muzzle them at all, and why would you want to? Their sound is a wild ride, and you just don’t know what you’re going to get next but you know it will be loud and utterly fearless. They may not have many records out, but what they’ve given us thus far is a really strong collection of songs that I cannot wait to hear more and more of. You can just imagine that their shows are as crazy as their sound, and that excitement in the music probably comes to life really well during their shows. Some bands just HAVE to be seen live, and I reckon that The CB Dogs are one of those bands, easily.

 They may or may not take themselves seriously lyrically and that doesn’t always matter, but musically they’ve got everything you’d expect from a tight sounding band. There’s nothing really stopping them from being the best band in the word is there? They’ve got what it takes to be named next to the Dead Boys as being one of the most exciting and decadent bands of all time.

 

 

The CB Dogs are a real joy to listen to, and you can hear a lot of influences in their sound, but they also have something of their own. And this just makes you want to delve deeper into the Singapore Punk and Garage Rock scene.





BAD DOD: Yikes!

18 04 2020

 

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Nothing makes you wish you could go to show like finding a band from the other side of the world, who just blow your mind and you wish they would tour closer to home. Clinging onto some form of hope as all the shows I was going to go to this year get rescheduled. I’m not the only one, and that makes it easier.

 Right from Singapore we’ve got incredible band called BAD DODD. These guys make a lot of noise, and yesterday they put out their record Yikes! I think it might be their debut, but I’m not so sure. Irrespective of what record it is, it is brilliant. It’s like Grunge meeting Garage Rock then going right off into space and creating something insane. The vocals are something else, but musically too this band are stupidly great. There’s this powerful tone in the vocals where you can really pick up on every feeling, and truly connect with the songs. Ascended reminds me of hearing the In Utero record by Nirvana all over again (I’m not the world’s biggest fan of Nirvana but that record is one of the best of all time) and it’s got something about it that screams out every ugly feeling you’ve got, then forcing yourself to let it go. I LOVE this song, and I’m calling it as my favourite on the record. I know nothing about this band, but I can tell you right now that Yikes! is one of the most powerful records of the year; there is something really special about this record and the sheer rawness on every single song just makes it a joy to listen to.

 

 

There’s a brilliant DIY feel to this record, and it just makes you appreciate bands like this a lot more. I love how every song just feels like a huge riot in the brain. Feel Nothing Yet and Outta My Brain are the songs that you’d definitely expect to make the crowd go apeshit when they do this live, and it just makes me wish that they’d play some shows over here. One day, one day. Clinging onto something to keep going, right? That’s all we can do. But fucking hell! This is a phenomenal record and with every listen this brutal beauty is fast becoming one of my favourites of the year. They are a band to definitely pay close attention to.

 The aggression on the record is so fast and just makes you want to trash everything and throw it out the window. You can really hear how great they are as musicians, and that is something that you pick up on instantly on this record. There’s no bullshit here or showing off at all- they’re a great band, and this record is nothing short of a fine piece of art. If you’re wanting soppy ballads, then go elsewhere. This record is made up of powerful anthems to just blast out as loudly as possible, and to scream along to even louder. Me Gusta is a self-deprecating number that just makes you go back and wallow in teen angst for a while, but don’t regard this as a bad thing- it gives you a kick, and it’s a great song. The whole record feels like a release of built up tension, and it is done in an effortlessly cool manner. You can imagine how insane and gnarly their live shows are as soon as you hear this record, and if it is their debut- then that’s a lot of power to have instantly.

 BAD DOD have unleashed a monster on Yikes! and it’s a real joy to listen to. Everything from the production, the way they play together to the way the songs flow so nicely into each other is just a delight to the ears. This isn’t going to be a record that you listen to every once in a while, it is one to become hugely obsessed with. The record ends with Geezer, and again is another example of why this band are probably intense and insane during their shows. The record stops there, and you can either pause and go back, or just get back into it right away because you need that feeling to hit you all over again.

 

 

Yikes! is a mighty fine record, and every single song on this record is worth your time and money. It is most certainly a record to play as loud as you (and your neighbours) can stand. If you’re looking for a record that can unleash a thousand frustrations and more, then this is the record for YOU.





BAD BRAINS: The Yellow Tape/Debut Record.

16 04 2020

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There are records that become vital to you the second you hear them. The first note, that first lyric- stays with you. Something about it just does something to you, and you seek that same feeling in everything you listen to. This record that becomes your world can be one from decades ago that you’ve only just found, or it can be something brand new. It doesn’t matter. With this, time doesn’t matter. All that matters is that you find it or rather, it finds you.

 Anyone and everyone could talk about what the greatest Punk record of all time is or who the greatest bands are. It’s all a matter of choice. Some people don’t dig the Ramones (don’t ever trust these people) and some people might think that bands like Dead Boys served no purpose (again, don’t trust these people either!) Every band has made an impression. Some did it with one record then disappeared whilst others have lasted and are still being cited as an influence to this day. Again, it’s all choice.

 

 

 

I haven’t gone back and listened to old records I love and written about them in a while. Whilst seeking something new to listen to, I keep gravitating back to Bad Brains, so I’m taking it as a sign that I need to write about their debut record (The Yellow Tape if you want to go that way, it’s your call.) What Bad Brains did on their debut record is something truly remarkable. They merged two hugely vital styles of music- Hardcore Punk and Reggae and made something that just blows you away. Sure, it isn’t for those who may want lovey dovey soft songs, but it’s for those who are frustrated, who want change and are on the outside looking in. Outside of society but aren’t all too mad about it. Bad Brains will ALWAYS be one of the most influential bands of all time. When the record came out in 1982, many were shocked that the band members were African American. When you think about that now, you think “Why the fuck would it matter what they look like or where they are from?!” But sadly, that’s what it was like and to a degree it still happens to this day doesn’t it. All too many times we will see someone express their concerns for someone who is a certain race doing a certain style of music, and they will question it. But here’s the thing- music doesn’t have a race, gender, religion, or sexuality. Bands like Bad Brains are the prime example of music just going beyond labels and whatnot. Their debut record was ahead of its time, and to this day we still haven’t heard anything quite like it. Attitude and Banned In D.C. are just an example of two of the best songs ever created, and if you’re looking for something else to smack you in the kisser then blast out Supertouch/Shitfit as loud as you can. The whole record is a Hardcore masterpiece.

 H.R. has to be one of best frontmen of all time. There’s no one else who had that energy and power, and when you mix that with Darryl, Earl and Dr. Know- then you are going to get a wealth of trouble. They all played their part in creating one of the best and most important records of all time. Leaving Babylon is one of those songs that just play and escape the world; it’s got this power that isn’t found in anything else. Some songs we have H.R. screaming his lungs out, then we have him on this song pouring his heart out. If this song and the lyrics don’t break your heart, then you’re not hearing it right. It is one of the strongest songs of all time, and it’s political without it being all in your face. It perfectly shows injustice, and sadly it is something that still exists. This song, and the whole record are still so relevant.

 

 

Bad Brains are made up of some of the best musicians you will ever hear, and the fact that you can pick up on their distinctive sound, and their own individual style instantly full justifies why this band are nothing short of influential. They go beyond being a band that merged Hardcore Punk and Reggae. They go beyond anything in music could ever compare to; they gave us something that will never ever die out. Their debut record is easily one of the greatest records of all time, but when you go deep into their discography and even solo work, you will truly see that everything they did was just a mind-blowing experience. The way they mess with your head on songs like F.V.K. and are then able to just mellow you out on I Love I Jah (contender for my favourite Bad Brains song ever) is just a testament to their greatness.

 Bad Brains are a band that I’ll never tire of listening to or talking about. They’re one of those bands that have evidently brought people together and created a community with their sound. When I see bands like Ho99o9 (who I fucking love SO much and do amazing covers of Bad Brains songs) I can see another band who will have exactly the same impact Bad Brains did on a new generation. Bad Brains created a monster with their debut record, and that monster will never sleep nor will it fade away.





DOUBLE CHEESE.

15 04 2020

DC

 

I’d convinced myself that I’d already written about Double Cheese, but even if I have, they are good enough to write about again. And again. And again, why the hell not!

 If you’re slowly losing hope that we’ll get to attend shows this year and have a good time, then you probably need a band to cheer you up. Well, you’re in luck because Double Cheese are that band! They go above and beyond making it all alright. They make you feel like you’re at their shows and completely losing your mind. They’ve got this great furiousness to their sound, and it makes you just want to throw things about and shout. There’s a riot going on, and it’s the wildest sound you’ll ever hear! I think they’re making their new record, which is great because what they’ve given us so far isn’t enough- we need more. A hell of a lot more!

 

 

The record that came out last year, Brain Damage, is a prime example of how I love my music. I love the loudness, that raw and unfiltered sound that has no intention of ever being a polished and refined sound. It’s got edges, it’s got cracks and it’s a really gnarly sound that just shakes up them old bones of yours! At times you feel like you’re listening to a 60s Garage Rock band (see songs like Summer Is Over, which is a great song) but for the most part they take you on this wild futuristic ride that you never want to part from.

 If we get a new record from them this year, I’ll be stupidly happy. If it comes out, it’ll be a strong contender for the best record of the year. But lame titles aside, Double Cheese have a brilliant sound that just reinforces my love for French Garage Rock/Punk bands. Their sound will take you on a trip, and mess with your head. Prime example is Summer Is Over. You get that melodic 60s feel, then this heaviness comes in and just hits you in the face, then goes back to a slick sound all over again. This wild ride is what gets you hooked on the band, and you wouldn’t have it any other way.

 Back in February they released a 7” record with a couple of new songs on. The songs are divine, of course and they show us exactly why we need bands like Double Cheese. The songs are Mash Potatoes and The Ants; and they are a great taster of what is to come from them this year and beyond. Are they one of the most exciting bands around? Oh, for sure! You simply cannot deny just have phenomenal Double Cheese are. If you’re a fan of bands like Table Scraps, then you’re going to love Double Cheese- if you don’t already! They’ve got this intense and heavy sound on the last 7” record they put out, and that step up in sound shows us that they are a band that are no way at all afraid to experiment with sounds and take it up a notch. The vocals on this record are gloriously snarly and raw, and again show us exactly how their sound has grown.

 

 

Double Cheese are the type of band you find yourself going back to when you find yourself in need of SOMETHING that you can’t quite get elsewhere. They scratch that hard to reach itch, and just leave you in awe of their sound. I love the heaviness; I love how diverse their sound is and I love how loud they are. I really cannot wait to hear more from them, and I hope when all this madness stops- they bring themselves to the UK and just blow our minds.

 If you want it loud, then Double Cheese are the band for you.