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

badbrains

 

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.





BABY BRAINS: I Don’t Wanna Go Out.

11 04 2020

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This is the last song we will ever get by Baby Brains. When Baby Brains returns, it will be under a different name. The new name; Amanda Stone. Before that happens, I want to talk about the last Baby Brains song, I Don’t Wanna Go Out.

 I Don’t Wanna Go Out is sort of my mantra but given that we are told to stay home right now- I want to go outside. Basically, I don’t like being told what to do. However, I’m not an ass so I stay home. Aside from going to work because I have to, I don’t mind at all. I don’t think I could handle working from home. Besides, I like walking to and from work; just taking my time and listening to music. If you must know, Bad Brains are the best way to start your day. Listen to them at 8am when you’re going for a walk, it really helps. But anyway, this is about Baby Brains not Bad Brains.

 I’ve written about Baby Brains before and I probably mentioned that I was in awe of the trashy Garage Rock sound, and yet again I am in awe of it on the new song. The song is a demo, but even if we never get a more refined version of it- I’m happy. It’s a great song, and for someone like me who can sometimes be easily distracted- this song keeps my attention. Baby Brains aka Amanda makes really great music, and I cannot wait to hear what she and her band gives us next. I love the raw sound on I Don’t Wanna Go Out is such a stunning demo, and this 2 minute 40 second euphoric jam just makes you forget how bleak everything is right now. For those couple of minutes, you can spin yourself around your living room, in a trance as Amanda’s voice steadily hypnotises you. That slick sound and effortlessly cool groove just makes you pine for more Baby Brains music, but you know that whatever is coming next is just going to blow us all away.

 

 

I Don’t Wanna Go Out is the kind of song you’d put on in your car and drive off on a dusty road into the depths of the unknown. It has a real Garage Rock sound to it and it just makes you feel like you’re listening to something that is out of this world. I can liken the sound to a band I’ve been obsessed with from the start, and that’s L.A. Witch. They’ve got this spooky sound that really sends chills down your spine and before you know it- you are totally hooked. If you mix The Cramps with L.A. Witch, then you get Baby Brains. That spooky and captivating sound that you just cannot get enough of.

 It may be a demo, but to me it sounds perfect as it is- it sounds complete and raw. I love that unpolished sound and that beautiful distorted tone in the vocals is just divine. Amanda has one of my favourite voices, and when you hear something as stripped back as this, it really does show you how phenomenal she is. But you probably knew that already. There’s that smutty and snotty Punk sound too that I just cannot get enough of, and that’s something that’s always been in the music. It’s something that just gets you completely hooked, and all you can do is keep hitting repeat.

 This may be the last we hear of Baby Brains, but what a way to bow out. Is the world ready for Amanda Stone? Oh, I sure think so! Whatever she gives us next is going to be truly special, and I really cannot wait to hear it.





DITCHES : S/T LP.

5 04 2020

 

DITCHES

 

Drunken Sailor Records put out some incredible music, and recently they released the debut record by Swedish Punk band, Ditches. If you’re looking for something hard-hitting and wonderfully fast-paced, then this record is for you. As far as debut records go, this one is a killer. It’s got everything you could possibly want from your new favourite band and more! It’s got the makings of a real classic, and when all this madness is over (and you selfish fucks stop going out and meeting up in parks with your pals and having BBQs when we are meant to stay home!!) I’m pretty sure that Ditches will tour and blow the roof off every venue they grace with their talent. Until then, stay the fuck indoors and play this record.

 The record consists of 11 Punk anthems to get you through your day, and to play round your head as you gently sleep. I love every single song on the record, and I’m playing them loud enough right now to cancel out my noisy neighbours. I can hear way too much; I can hear them slam doors and cough super loudly. Thank god I’m not hearing anything too personal though. Stitch Me Up and Shelter go perfectly into each other, and I love how they feel like a Glaswegian kiss to the soul; violent but healing. They have got something really special about them, and I love how this record sounds like a band that are really in their prime. I love the loudness, and I love how perfect the production of the record is without it being over the top. There’s this beautiful rawness to the record that just makes you stop what you’re doing so you can really take in everything you are listening to. It is such a grand record, and as far as debuts go- this one is right up there as being a great one!

 

 

Ditches have a really powerful sound going on here, and it’s the kind of sound that makes you instantly know that their live shows will be what shows us what they are about even more. I love that fast-paced sound so much, and I love that aggression that’s in the sound too. The lyrics are hard-hitting too and are definitely worth paying attention to (Don’t Care being one of the strongest examples here.) It’s an effortlessly cool record that takes you back to how you felt when you first discovered Punk for the first time. That sense of wonder and thoughts of, “What is this?!” and before you know it, it’s taken over your life and no other music will do. It’s something that sticks with you, and when you keep finding bands that give you this feeling, then that’s it for life. I love how their sound reminds me a little of Hüsker Dü, and how they aren’t afraid to be sensitive and open with their lyrics. For me, Hüsker Dü were one of the greatest bands of all time and were exceptional at what they did. To hear bands now who remind me of them is really heartwarming because for some reason, I never expect it but when I hear it- I really get it.

 Will Fitzpatrick wrote this about the band on their Bandcamp page, and I think it sums up Ditches perfectly: “Meet Ditches, from Stockholm coming straight out the gutter and speeding into the part of your brain where all the catchiest melodies lurk for the rest of time.” This debut record has 11 songs that are played with such urgency and passion, you’d be hard-pressed to find anything else to grab you like this right now. Self-isolate and play this really loud!

 

 

Ditches debut record is out right now via Drunken Sailor Records.





MATT ELLIS: High Risk Assurance.

4 04 2020

mattellis

 

Matt Ellis, you absolute GOD! If you don’t know, Matt Ellis is in a band that I have been obsessed with for a few years now. I heard them whilst spending my lunch break at All Ages Records in Camden a few years ago- that band was Flesh Rag. I don’t know what it was about what I was hearing, but I knew it was something that was going to stick with me. I remember having a record already in my hands to buy, then I listened more and more to Flesh Rag being blasted out; the record in my hands was placed back where I got it from and I asked for a copy of the Flesh Rag record that was playing. This was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, musically.

 

 

High Risk Assurance was recorded in Matt’s bathroom last month. Some people take baths, others make great Punk records! There are only 4 songs on this record, but it still has that Flesh Rag feel to it, but it also has something else to it. It reminds me a little bit of the Ramones- the songs have that same pace of Blitzkrieg Bop and Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue. The songs are short, and fast. They are super lo-fi, and I love that he’s done this all by himself in a typically small space. The songs are heavy, and although at times his vocals are little quiet- you can still hear everything that’s going on, and the fact that the vocals are quite low just gives it that much vulnerability to it in a way. I just think it’s a really great record, and if this is what happens when we’re all stuck indoors- then keep it coming!

 The songs mainly hit the 1 minute 30 second mark, and the record opens with the face-smacking Poison Holiday. I would love to hear this live- can you imagine just how ferocious and rowdy it would be? It’s got everything you’d want from a real gnarly Punk song. It’s got the snarly vocals, the intense sound- everything you could want and more. I just love the sheer passion that comes through on this, and it really sets the mood for the record. It feels like with every song on the record, it gets louder. All By Myself is a touch louder than Poison Holiday, it’s an ode to self-isolation and Matt’s done it in such a great way. Sure, it’s easy to stay indoors and feel sorry for ourselves, but I’d rather stay indoors than risk make someone feel poorly by going outside for no good reason. To be honest, as an introvert who is partially shit with people I don’t know really well, staying at home (aside from going to work!) isn’t so bad.

 Missing You has a real Ramones feel to it; you can easily imagine Joey singing to this and I really love that about this song, and Matt’s style in general. He and Flesh Rag have a really authentic Punk sound that makes you want to start your own basement Punk band then make a record in your bathroom. My bathroom is too small to do this, but you get my point! I just love the DIY feel to this record, and it’s something I’ve always admired about Matt and the music he makes with Flesh Rag; they’ve always had this consistent DIY feel and you know they always do it THEIR way. High Risk Assurance is a great cure to the isolation blues some of us are feeling. It sucks to not be around people and to be able to go to shows, but records like this can ease the loneliness slightly.

 The record ends on Bad Day, and it’s the perfect song to play after you’ve had a bit of a shitty day. You can blast this super loud, and when the song ends, you’ll feel as if a massive weight has been lifted. Or you might feel angrier. It’s all on you, but just keep on listening until that nagging feeling disappears. It’s a great song, and the record truly is made up of a strong selection of raw Punk songs to just get you through the day.

 

 

Also, any money made from the Bandcamp sales of this record will go to the Toronto Overdose Prevention Society, so thank you to Matt for again being a great human being and making a difference. We need to help each other out now more than ever, and gestures like this go a really long way.