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.
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!
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.
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!
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!
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.
Many great things are from Torino; my football club (Juve of course!), my stepdad and the incredible SLOKS.
I wrote about SLOKS in 2018, and I was just blown away by what I was hearing. Could that feeling be replicated? Of course it could, and I’m sure it will happen with any and everything they release. Their latest record, A Knife In Your Hand came out a few weeks ago so, better late than never!
The record is INSANE! There have been so many great records to have come out this year, and SLOKS are another band you can add to the list. This record is full of ferocious Punk songs to make you lose your mind to. This is the kind of record you stick on at 1am when all is a bit quiet. Too quiet in fact, and you just need some noise to make you feel better. It’s a shock to the body, to liven it up and make it feel something. You’ll feel like someone is tormenting your brain on songs like No Makeup- which feels like you are listening to someone who is losing their mind a little. That’s what makes it all so easy to love and connect with. This band are just so great, and their sound is so raw it will leave you feeling beautifully uncomfortable.
I love this band so much, and there’s no point in me being anything other than biased about this record. The drums feel like punches to the head. The guitar is like someone giving you an electric shock and the vocals make you feel like you’ve stepped into an asylum with no chance of getting out. It feels like American Horror Story gone Punk. With the best time of year approaching (Halloween!) SLOKS have made the perfect record to get spooky and creepy to. Every song deserves to to be played as loud as possible. Take in the screams of despair on Bad To The Bone. Let those screams haunt you and plague your dreams like nothing else. Soak up that fear, and bite into it.
The songs are just mind-blowing, and make you feel like you’ve stepped into a creepy world full of all things strange, beautiful and just fucking creepy. It’s the kind of record I wish I could make (that’s if I had any musical talent or was in a band.) It’s just really loud, really powerful and when you listen to it, you feel this huge weight being taken off your shoulders. There’s this relief you get from playing this record; I can’t fully describe it but all I know is that it feels like a release. Maybe it’s because of whatever I carry in my head, and it’s released through music I love. Maybe that’s what I mean. Well, regardless of whatever I’m getting at- this record is INCREDIBLE. I want more. I need more. The way Killer vs Killer builds up is unreal. This live would be thrilling, and you’d be hard pressed finding anything else that compares to it.
You know when you hear a record, and you think to yourself, “I wish I could live in this record” well, that’s what I get from this one. The title track is a steady mind-fuck, and I wish it went on for longer. These eleven songs are out of this world, and the world they throw you in is one you never want to leave. I feel like I’ve joined a cult- but one that, even though it may make someone feel on edge, it makes me feel quite safe. Imagine this record live! Holy shit! It would be something else. Ruin It All played live would be so good. That intense drumming throughout would just make you feel like you are possessed. Who or what has a grip on you? SLOKS of course! As if you’d want anyone else.
These songs will stay fixed in your brain. It’ll make you feel like you’ve got something crawling over you. You’ll feel uncomfortable but you’ll never leave it alone. This is a proper sleazy Rock ‘n’ Roll record, and it just leaves you wanting more and more from the band. But for now we wait. This record was worth the wait, and it’s a record I am going to carry on being obsessed with.
A Knife In Your Hand is out now, and you can get a copy here:
Where on earth do I start with this band? Easily my favourite band from Birmingham, and one of the best bands in the country. Table Scraps are a joy to listen to, and it’s hard to believe that this is only record number three! They just keep getting better. They are incapable of making rubbish songs and awful records. They are just consistently great, and their new record (number three) Coffin Face, is yet again, a delight!
The record comes out this Friday, so that’s something for us to all look forward to. After that? Well, that’s on you. This record is not to be ignored- it is a real face melter. It’ll make you want to trash your room and just jump around without a care in the world. With gigs sort of happening now, I am so excited for this record to be played live (I missed their Manchester show a few weeks ago sadly.) They are such a great band live, and what I love about this record is, much like the previous records, you truly feel like you are witnessing this live. It feels like it was done in one take, and the magic was captured instantly. I love the atmosphere on the record. They are so loud, and just phenomenal.
Table Scraps are exquisite musicians who could blow anyone away with their talent. Poppy is one of the best drummers I’ve ever heard, Scott is one of the best guitarists around and amongst this beautiful loud and chaotic sound, you have Tim on bass who just evens it all out. There’s no time for calm on this record, but if you are looking for a song to zone out to and find some inner peace for a few minutes, then you will adore God Of The Rainbow. This is a real psychedelic number, and I really don’t feel like I’m listening to a song made in 2021. I feel like I’ve gone back in time and heard The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band for the first time. I love this one moment of peace on the record, and I love how the band then go smack into Heart Beat. There’s no time to relax with this record- they don’t make music to relax to. Thank god!
If you’re looking for a record to just blow your mind, and leave you in absolute awe of what you are listening to- Coffin Face is the record for you. It’s such a great record. I feel like this is coming across as biased but like the great Bimini Bon Boulash said, “Not a joke, just facts.” Everything about this record just oozes cool, loudness and the urge to head out of town on a motorbike and not look back. The whole record (especially Threads) sounds like an engine being furiously revved in the hopes of escaping as something is slowly creeping up behind you, The louder you play this record, the more it shakes your bones and leaves you crawling around wanting more. Songs like Never Liked It remind me a little bit of The Cramps- it’s that Poison Ivy Rorshach sounding guitar that does it, and that beautiful snarly tone mixed with a good dollop of eeriness. It’s beautiful, it’s brilliant.
Coffin Face is a bruiser of a record, and it just towers over anything you’ve probably heard in a long time. For me, it’s on a par with the new Amyl And The Sniffers record. Punk in all the right places, but something beyond words everywhere else. It’s a real joy to listen to this record, and to also hear how the band have evidently become stronger in their sound. Coffin Face is a record to not just treasure for life, but to be utterly obsessed with. There’s something about Table Scraps that just makes you feel good. You could be in the shittiest of moods, but the second you hear any of their records- all is okay. In that moment, all is okay. You can’t ask for more than that.
The past year and a bit has been a claustrophobic fuck up of a year, but so much good music has come from it. Table Scraps are one of those bands who have used something so shit and turned it to something great. Whether or not the world is ending, Table Scraps have made the perfect soundtrack for it all.
Coffin Face is out this Friday. Pre-order the record right here:
If you’re looking for not only the best Punk record of the year, but THE record of the year, then I am here to help. It’s this one. 100% this record. Comfort To Me by Amyl And The Sniffers is everything you could want from a record. Are you wanting to feel tough even though you may be chickenshit? Are you wanting to feel like you can take on the world, but also wanting something that makes you feel safe? Buy this record.
My love for Amyl And The Sniffers has no limits. I fucking LOVE everything about this band. I love how they are just the most relatable and no bullshit band around. The songs are so easy to relate to. The songs are so easy to find yourself in. This band, and especially this record will influence so many kids to pick up a guitar and make their own noise. Amy Taylor is the best frontperson in decades. You will not find anyone with more charisma, intelligence and purity than Amy. I think she’s incredible. If I was 13 years old, and saw this band and saw Amy for the first time, I’d have sacked everything off and decided to be in a band and not stop until I made something like Comfort To Me. You know when you hear a record so good you just want to cry? This is where I’m at right now.
The record opens with Guided By Angels which we all know is INSANE. I love the positivity in this song. All too often we hear songs that are all “woe is me, the world sucks.” But the positivity on this song is gorgeous. I cannot wait for them to tour this record because this song will probably cause the most beautiful riot possible.
Next up we have the wonderfully titled, Freaks To The Front. I love this song. I love the title. I love how it just feels like home. That’s what I adore about this record. I feel like I am putting on my favourite shirt, and feel ready to face the day. I love the aggression on this one; I love how relatable this is. Then we are smacked with Choices, which is the best fuck you to people who put others down for the decisions they make; which is I think, mainly aimed at those who try to dictate to women what they should think, feel and what decisions they make. Fuck ’em. Your mind, your body, your life- your fucking choice. Always.
I love how the record feels like it was made with urgency, importance and a fuckload of passion. I just want everyone in the world to listen to this record at least five times. It’s got everything you could want from lust to rage. Your heart will break listening to Knifey. It’s awful that it’s a relatable song, and that a lot (probably most to be honest) women will relate to. I won’t spoil it for you, but make sure you dedicate some time to really soak this one up. It’s so important, even if it is awful that it’s relatable but the message is so important.
I feel like this is the record that so many of us are going to keep going back to, and when we do- we will be left in awe all over again. I’ve listened to it 3 times this morning, and each listen is just blowing my mind. Everything about Comfort To Me is astounding. The sheer joy you get from blasting this record out is unlike anything else. Comfort To Me is the kind of record that you need to play every single day. It’s got everything you need and more, and it’s just really one of the most flawless records I’ve ever heard. I know bands can sometimes put fillers on their records, but Amyl And The Sniffers have shat all over the second record curse and given us something to really adore and cherish. You know when you hear a record, and you just feel “Fuck, I really needed this right now.” Well, that’s how Comfort To Me feels.
Last year was a drag for us all, and it could have been easy for so many bands to throw in the towel and just sack it all off. Thank fuck Amyl And The Sniffers created this record. Every single song on this record deserves to be heard by everyone. Songs like Snakes, Don’t Need A Cunt (Like You To Love Me), Choices, Knifey- the whole record! They are just mind-blowing. I’m just in awe of how phenomenal this record is. This record makes you feel free; every song will make you want to move in ways that others may be confused about but fuck it- music is all about freedom and connection. Comfort To Me is a prime example of this, and I cannot wait for the band to come back to the UK and play this record to us.
By no means is this a review, it’s just a massive fan declaring their love for a band that they absolutely adore, and telling you to buy this record and play it loud.