CROWS: Beware Believers.

In 2019 I wrote about the debut record from Crows. It was full of love and admiration. I was in awe of what I was listening to, and I found it hard to believe that it was only their debut record. Crows are a band that I’m constantly in awe of, and I love how they make me feel like I’m discovering the likes of The Birthday Party for the first time. They are loud, they are raw and they are criminally underrated. Their second record Beware Believers was released last Friday, and trust me- it’s unreal.

11 songs make up this record. 11 heavenly songs that will send you off into some odd dystopian dream/nightmare (I mean you could just take a look outside for this, but let me be a bit dramatic here.) There’s nothing more annoying than someone mentioning the second record curse when writing about a bands second release. Ease off the pressure and stop assuming everyone will release a shit second record. Crows are a band that do not make bad songs nor do they put fillers on their record at all. They make the kind of music to completely let loose to. If something is stressing you out or if you’re carrying some frustrations you just do not need- play this record as loud as you can stand. I’m not playing it as loud as I normally would due to being a little deaf from seeing METZ last night, but I’m brave. I can do this.

This year is clearly the year for exceptional records, and Crows can add their name to the list of bands contributing to this. I don’t think we’re going to hear a record as driven as this one. I don’t think it’s possible for anything to even come close to this record. Crows have been around for ages, and yes, it’s hard to get your heard around the fact that this is only their second record but what’s more difficult is that they haven’t taken over the world yet. Come on now! This needs sorting. I’ve listened to the record a lot the past few days, and I love the way every song flows perfectly into the next. I love how Only Times goes right into Slowly Separate. For me, that’s one of my favourite moments on the record; I love how beautifully chaotic this record, and I love that every song is delivered with such importance. These songs are vital, and you can tell just how much it means to the band.

I’m so excited to see them this week, and to see these songs live. I love when you hear a record, then you finally get to witness it live. You can really feel what the songs mean to the band and you can be part of how they are meant to be heard. Every song on this record, much like their debut, will make you want to trash any room you step into. Do it. Live a little. Throw some shit around, go wild. 

There’s a song on the record call Healing, and there’s a line that goes “I know that everything hurts, and I know that everything can heal” and it probably one of the most important lyrics I’ve heard in a while. Something so simple, but is projected in a way that really gets you right in the gut. I think Healing might be THE song for me on this record. I think it’ll probably be one of the most vital songs I hear all year. I love the vulnerability in the song and I love James’ vocals on this. I feel I could write an essay on this song and why it’s just so important. If they play this on Friday, I’ll probably have a bit of a cry or I’ll be too in awe of what’s happening and just stand there like a gormless twat! I cannot tell you how euphoric the song Room 156 is. This again is one I am so excited to see live (hopefully they play it!) For me, this record has this strong sense of urgency. It feels like the band just HAD to get this record out. Every word, every note played had to be released into the world. Thank God it finally has been.

Every song on this record shows us exactly why Crows are thrilling and a joy to listen to. The darkness but hopefulness in the songs will leave you feeling fragile but okay. There’s something about this record that makes you feel like maybe, maybe, it’ll all be okay. The record ends on Sad Lad which has this beautiful yet eerie feel to it. It’ll break you but by the end of it, you will feel healed. I really hope Crows know how important they are, and how important their songs are. There’s a lot of healing in the lyrics, and the way the it all comes together and just soothes your head and soul is divine. I’m just in awe of how loud and gentle this record is. Sometimes, you just don’t know how much you needed to hear something until it hits you right between the eyes.

Crows start their UK tour tomorrow, and you can get yourself tickets here: https://www.ents24.com/uk/tour-dates/crows-1-1

Go see them and let the healing begin.

METZ @ YES, Manchester 3rd April 2022.

Sunday. The perfect day to see one of the loudest bands around live. Even better when you have the Monday off to make sure you fully recover and can hear properly. I think the last time I saw METZ live was at YES, and it was such a great show. How was last nights show? Just as great- if not better.

The bands and fans have waited around 2 years for this tour, and it was absolutely worth the wait. METZ are a band that you listen to, and just let everything go to. I didn’t realise how badly I needed to see a band this loud, and when it happened- it was sheer euphoria. I wasn’t brave enough to get right into the crowd, but I had the time of my life on my lonesome at the back. The Pink Room at YES is probably one of the finest venues in this beautiful city. I’d put it up there with the likes of the Moth Club in London. It’s got this feel to it that just makes you feel like you are where you are supposed to be at that time. Anyway, profound shit aside- let’s talk the setlist.

METZ tear the roof off with Pulse- a proper smack in the face jam. A perfect way to open the set. Now, for some this 11 song set may have been too short (I mean I agree- I could happily watch them play for hours and still want more.) but the energy these 3 have on stage is insane. I just want to touch on how phenomenal a drummer Hayden is. On record, you know he’s great but bloody hell when you see METZ live, you truly get to witness how talented they are. Hayden’s drumming is unlike anything else I’ve seen- I can’t even give you a reference of who to liken him to but I promise you- he’s one of those drummers that will go on to influence so many. METZ are just a delight to watch, and the second their show starts you know it’s going to be something that stays with you. Alex’s vocals whilst annihilating the shit out the guitar are a sight to behold. He’s truly something else, and accompanying this you’ve got Chris making the bass sound like a lethal weapon. If you’ve never seen METZ live, then you’re missing out.

The setlist was perfect- cannot fault it. Not like I’d want to anyway! We were treated to Hail Taxi, The Swimmer, Eraser, new song Demolition Row, obviously Get Off (which was dedicated to the support Psychic Graveyard) and ended on A Boat To Drown In. There’s hardly any small talk here (and I’m all for that- bloody hate small talk) and they just keep the songs coming, and getting louder and louder with each song. YES is the perfect venue for a band like METZ. The sound there is great, and it’s a Pink room- what more could you want!

I think their show last night truly showed why METZ are not just one of the best band around full stop, but one of the most thrilling bands to see live. I know they aren’t to everyone’s taste and some may shy away from music as loud as this, but there’s no denying how talented METZ are. Canada’s finest for sure. Every record is a progression in sound, and is a masterpiece, and when you see them live you can’t help but wonder how the hell do only 3 people make this much noise? I’d put the show from last night as being one of the loudest shows I’ve ever been to. Top 3 with Melvins and The Jesus And Mary Chain. Easily.

The show last night was truly worth the wait, and everything you could possibly want from seeing a band that you adore. If annual leave and money wasn’t an issue- I’d happily follow METZ on tour. They are a joy to watch- lets hope we don;t have to wait so long for the next tour!

Beat In My Bones podcast!

Oh dear.

What have I done? Why have I done this?! Will it be the first and last? Who knows. Who cares!

Anyway, I’ve done it.

45 minutes of your life that you won’t get back.

Songs from: L.A. Witch, Bullet Girl, Crocodiles and The Gun Club, and many more!

CHUBBY AND THE GANG.

Hello, I am an idiot. An idiot who has had a piece written about Chubby And The Gang saved in my drafts, and never finished it. I read over it, deleted it and now- I’m starting again. There’s nothing worse for me than having to read over what I’ve written. Awful. Anyway, now seems a good a time as any to write about one of the finest bands around- Chubby And The Gang.

Their most recent release came out on Valentine’s Day (Labour of Love) and if reading this is your first time hearing about the band- then it’s probably the ideal introduction. CATG are one of London’s finest Punk bands. They are loud and electrifying. They are the kind of band you find yourself seeking out so you can just become more and more obsessed with them. Even more impressive is that they are supporting The Chats on their tour soon! That’s a lineup to get really excited about!

CATG have that 70s Punk feel, and when you listen to them you cannot help but feel you are roaming the streets of London with them just searching for something to do in a time when there was nothing. That feeling of hopelessness and nothingness is something that’s been quite vocal in Punk, but it’s something that makes the listener feel less of a deadbeat. I love their sound so much, and although I didn’t write about their debut record in 2020 when it came out- let it be known that is is a phenomenal record and one I still play the shit out of! It’s way too good to not mention.

Their debut record, Speed Kills is made up of 13 proper Punk anthems. Play it in any order, play it loud and play it religiously. For me it captures the real spirit of Punk and I love the brutal tones on the record. These 13 songs will go down in Punk history as being some of the most rowdy anthems ever written. And of course, you can’t talk about their debut without mentioning how great their second record, The Mutt’s Nuts is. If you’re wanting something louder and more in your face- this is the one for you. This is a proper rowdy record, and you can really hear how feral their sound is on this record. It’s just as mind-blowing as their debut, but The Mutt’s Nuts has a little bit more bite to it.

Both are clearly magnificent records and you cannot help but play one after the other. I’m probably pissing my neighbours off by playing this stupidly loud. Their second record has hints of Black Flag and Dead Kennedys about it- fast, to the point and makes you just want to scream along. The band excel themselves with everything they do, and I think the song that really sums this up is the second track on the record, It’s Me Who’ll Pay. Pay close attention the lyrics. The Mutt’s Nuts consists of 15 songs that shout “fuck off” is different ways. Utterly brilliant.

CATG are that band that you just need to see play live- on record you can definitely hear the passion and pick up on the urgency in the music, but to see them live would be heightened beyond words! There is just so much energy in the music, and it’s the kind of energy that just makes you feel part of something that matters. If you’re moved by bands like Amyl And The Sniffers, The Speedways, The Chats- all that good stuff; then you’ll absolutely find a home in Chubby And The Gang.

BAMBARA: Love On My Mind.

Before I get into how remarkable this record; I just want to touch on how I nearly missed out on tickets for their UK tour. Fortunately, the venue for Manchester got upgraded to Gorilla so I managed to get a ticket. No one should miss out on seeing this band live, so do the right thing and grab a ticket from here: https://www.seetickets.com/tour/bambara (also use Twickets if any have sold out!)

Right, the record.

There’s no set way to describe the sound and style of Bambara that does them justice. Nothing and no one can define them- they are THAT good. ‘Good’ isn’t even strong enough a word to use. Can you tell that I love this band a hell of a lot? I love how their music feels like a Henry Miller novel brought to life. I love the seediness in the songs. I love the poetry. I love the romanticism. I love the way the songs sound. I love how Reid’s voice can sound like a snarl but gentle at the same time. Everything about this new release just oozes perfection. I’m obsessed with every single song. If you don’t get goose bumps from this record, then turn the volume up a bit more!

Feelin’ Like A Funeral is a masterpiece (every song is but this one right now sticks out) and you find yourself going back to it, over and over. Just to really pick up on how stunning the lyrics are. You want to live in the world they have created with this song. In fact, you’ll pretty much feel that way when you listen to all of their songs. You’ll feel like you’ve been downing really strong whisky in a dive bar and you then stumble into the night, with no set place to go. The songs will echo in your brain and you won’t feel alone. Or, you could just stick your headphones on and see where your mind takes you.

The record ends on the euphoric Little Wars. The last minute or so of this song is divine. It becomes heavier and heavier (sound wise) but the vocals add this beautiful softness. It is such a glorious way to end the record and it’s no surprise that you’ll end up playing the record all over again. This mini LP is just a joy to listen to. The lyrics are more personal than on their previous records and that’s just one of the many reasons to not just love this record, but the band. They constantly evolve. The song writing is just a stroke of genius, as always.

What I adore about Bambara is that you simply cannot put their sound next to someone else’s. It is a completely different and unique sound, and I know that is so cliched and bloody typical, but there’s really no other band around that are like them. That’s what makes the band a real joy to listen to; with every listen it is like you are discovering them for the first time. I love the heaviness in their sound and I love the occasional gentleness in the vocals. Put that together and you get a really exciting band. For me, this is the band at their absolute best and of course like any great band- they leave you wanting more and more.

Love On My Mind may only consist of 6 songs, but it is the perfect step into what we’ll get next from them. But before all that, it just makes you so excited for the tour that’s coming up. These songs are going to absolutely rip live. Can you imagine hearing Point And Shoot, and Feelin’ Like A Funeral live? Holy shit!

BIG DIPPER: Just Love.

What sounds like The Cramps and The Count Five, and is a masterpiece? The new song by Big Dipper of course! The new single from Mr Big Dip himself was released on the 14th, and you can treat the song as a little Valentine’s gift for your ears and soul. The song is divine.

If I was one for genres, I’d probably make one up and call this Cowboy Punk. I love this song, and I love his vocals. I love the woeful lyrics and how you really feel for him. Sad cowboy blues- the Dip has sure got ’em on this one.

One of my favourite lyrics from the song has to be, “But at the end of the day it’s just a fart in the breeze.” I don’t even need to quote the line before it to point out how great it is. It basically just poetically tells you how rubbish/pointless some things can be. But there’s a lot of sadness on Just Love that is so beautifully written- it’s that last verse; it’ll rip right through you especially this part; “When I really start getting to thinking about it, it all becomes so clear. See, I cut my fingers so I can’t touch her no more. And I cut my arms off so I can’t hold her no more.” There is something so painful and beautiful about this part, it just really hits you in the gut.

The romanticism in the song has a proper storytelling feel to it; you cannot help but be reminded of Tom Waits, Nick Cave, Leonard Cohen, Scott Walker (I’m just naming my favourites but the point still stands.) The longing and heartache in the song will ruin you but my god it’s beautiful. If a song can’t take you on an emotional and spiritual journey- then what’s the point? You just want to get completely lost in this song and feel the way Big Dip does. When you listen to the song, you feel like you’re sat outside on a step with him, a little bit drunk at 2am when the bar has closed and you’ve been thrown out and he’s just pouring his heart out. We’ve all seen sights of people doing this on a Friday night, and usually with sick on their shirt and a questionable burger in their hands, whilst bits of lettuce and mayo fall to the floor. This however, is different. There’s class to this drunken breakdown.

The longing and hopefulness that turns to hopelessness in this song really gets to you, and it also shows you how great a writer/singer/musician our Dip is- but also the other musicians on this song are exceptional. With every listen, you soak up little details and they fast become vital to your appreciation of the song.

Whether you’re loveless or full of love, listen to this song and let it grip you.

LEGAL NOISE: Flashback/Static Knife.

A year after the remarkable, Tough As Nails was released- the loudest band from Australia are back!

Legal Noise are one of the best bands around, and if you’re looking for something to burst your eardrums or make the room shake- then they’ve got TWO brand new songs for you.

Flashback/Static Knife was released on Friday, and both songs are perfect for blocking all noise out to. Incredible. Highly addictive and rowdy.

Let’s start with Flashback:

This one goes in right for the gut. It’s unapologetically loud; it’s got this insane fuzzy sound- the reverb mixed with some kind of psychedelic feel. Then you’ve got the drums that are just a constant bash to the skull. It’s just such a joy to listen to. If you’re a fan of Birmingham’s finest, Table Scraps, then you will be fall madly in love with Legal Noise. Hell this noise is so good it should be illegal! (I’m probably not the first person to say that, I’m sorry!) There’s this heaviness to Flashback that reminds me so much of Sleep and another band that I’ve totally forgot the name of. There’s a lot going on, and a lot to take in but that’s what makes it a masterpiece. Playing this gem through headphones is the only way. Tune out from all around you, and let Legal Noise corrupt whatever is left of your mind and take over. Would you even want it any other way?

Now, let’s move onto Static Knife:

This is wild. It starts with this hypnotising drum that goes smack into this electrifying guitar that just fries your brain and makes your body feel like it has been beaten. If music doesn’t make you feel like that, then what is the point? This is the kind of song (to be honest, all of their songs do this) that makes you wish you could be at a Legal Noise show. This song sounds a little rougher than Flashback but that isn’t a bad thing at all. It’s a great thing! This feels like it was done in one take, and all they intended to do with this song was taken care of immediately. It’s a real heavy number and the vocals on this- oh man, you can just imagine chanting this back at the band. I just love how this song sounds like a drunken brawl at 3am.

Both songs are wonderfully chaotic. All over the place in the best way possible. Legal Noise know EXACTLY how to make songs that are made for playing ridiculously loud and take you right to your happy place. Nothing makes me happier (music wise) than music like this. Beautifully loud, rowdy and almost like a panic attack for the ears. As someone who does have anxiety attacks, I should probably not want to listen to music that makes me feel on edge. but I won’t change my music taste to fit my mind. No way! Legal Noise are just a dream to listen to, and they make you want to trash any room you go in like an uncontrollable toddler who can’t get its way.

If the new Legal Noise record sounds anything like these two songs, then we’ve probably found ourselves the record of the year haven’t we.

If you’re lucky enough to live in Australia, then check the poster below for tour dates for next week!

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WET TROPICS

When you hear something new for the first time, everything around you stops. Time freezes- but only for you. Everyone else gets on with their day but you stand frozen, as what you are hearing starts to take grip on you. It’s just one of the many ways music can grip you.

Wet Tropics are just a great band and a joy to listen to. They have this really loud sound and there’s something about this massive sound that just has you hooked right away. Think bands like Fontaines DC and The Murder Capital. That dark, haunting and poetic sound that just gets right into your soul and under your skin in the best way imaginable.

Everybody Get In was released a year ago, and even though I’m one of the late ones discovering this band- there is something about this record that is just bigger than anything else you’ve ever heard before. The songs were made to be played in sweaty venues with a smoke machine covering the band and crowd, and we all leave a little hard of hearing afterwards. They have a gorgeous Post-Punk sound with hints of something we’ve never heard before. You cannot help but fall in love with their sound and to just get completely immersed in it. Sack off those awful Christmas songs we are forced to listen to, and play some Wet Tropics.

There’s hints of early The Jesus and Mary Chain on the record- and by that, I mean that beautifully aggressive fuzzy sound that was made to be played horrifically loud and make your windows shake. God bless this record and Wet Tropics! I think there’s possible only 3 of them in the band but they so much louder than the 3 of them. It’s an addictive sound. Tragic Accidents is their Just Like Honey moment, and it’s beautiful.

The drums are exceptional- they feel like a volcano about to erupt. Then you’ve got the bass and the guitar coming together like a hurricane on every single song. They are a joy to listen to, and when you listen to them for the first time you can’t help but think “How did I go this long without this band?!” I love the storytelling in the lyrics; it reminds me a tiny bit of The Fall and that is always a good thing.

There may only be 9 songs on Everybody Get In, but the beauty is that you can just keep hitting repeat over and over. They released the song, Rat Shredder 9 days ago and it sounds completely different to what we were given on Everybody Get In, but they still have this sound that makes your brain immediately click into it and know it’s them. There’s this brilliant rage and menacing tone to Rat Shredder. Effortlessly slick! If you’re a fan of Table Scraps, then you’ll definitely love this song for sure.

Wet Tropics are one of my favourite finds of the year for sure. I just love their sound and how it doesn’t fall into any set genre. For me, it’s the best kind of noise and the kind if noise I can play continuously and never ever get tired of. I’m so excited to hear more from them!

Play their music loud!

CHINESE JUNK.

I should have done this ages ago, but better late than not at all!

Chinese Junk are one of THE most exciting Punk bands around.  They make the kind of music that you hear in pubs that no one dare walk in without knowing the band will be there. They have this really ferocious sound. Like a Rottweiler that’s not eaten for a few hours- there’s this rage in their sound that will have you hooked. Their bio reads “Crappy songs about crappy things.” There’s nothing crappy about this band, but my god they capture mundane life beautifully. Prime example of this is the song, Fuck You, I’m Broke. Pretty sure I say this every single time I pay my rent and want to buy things I need/don’t need.

Last year they released the Permanent Reduction EP, and it is a perfect introduction to one of the finest bands around. This doesn’t sound like a current band; they make me feel like I’ve heard the Dead Boys for the first time. That brilliantly obnoxious Punk sound that is snarly as fuck. I just love this band, and I love their sound. They sound like a band who have been around for decades and decades. They have such a sure sound; it is such a solid sound and one that you cannot help but adore. You just want to throw some chairs around and scream the words back at the band.

Bargain Bin Girl is the best Punk love song you’ll ever hear; don’t let anyone tell you any different. It describes pure and true love in its finest. Right now, it’s my favourite song by Chinese Junk but that’ll change probably by the time I’ve written this. I love their sound and I love how there is nothing polished about their sound at all. Everything sounds like it was done in one go, and they achieve perfection immediately. The songs hardly get to two minutes- but why do they need to? What the band give you in such a short amount of time is just heavenly.

If you want songs that can sum up the difficulties and occasional mundaneness of everyday life, then Chinese Junk are the band for you. If you have a job you hate, if you live with people you can’t stand or you hate the town you live in- this band will make it easier to get through the day. I can no longer relate to that (thank God) but the lyrics and songs are still comforting and mean something. We all carry our own frustrations around every single day, and bands like Chinese Junk lighten the load a bit. You know there’s someone else out there who gets it.

They’ve called themselves the Kings of Pound Shop Rock but there’s nothing cheap about their sound. Of course, I wasn’t around when Punk first started, but Chinese Junk make me feel like this is what it felt like when the world heard Punk for the first time. It stays with you. This is my Sex Pistols at the Free Trade Hall moment. This is my hearing Sonic Reducer for the first time moment. This is my discovering the band Kraut for the first time moment.

Chinese Junk are nothing short of phenomenal and with just two EPs to their name so far, it is pretty fair to say that they are one of the most exciting and best bands around.

This band are SO new that they haven’t played a show yet. Their debut show is next month (27th November) at The Herald, in Harlow, and you can get yourself and some friends tickets right here: WeGotTickets | Simple, honest ticketing | Los Pepes

The line up is a killer- go if you can because I think Chinese Junk may just take over the world!