THEE WINDOM EARLES: Mai Tai Pink Eye.

8 10 2019

 

TWE

 

 

If you’re looking for something extra creepy, and extra trashy- then you’ve GOT to listen to Manchester’s finest Thee Windom Earles. They are a fascinating band that make you feel like you’ve stepped into some weird Horror B-Movie. They are off the wall, in your face and just brilliant. Think along the lines of Captain Beefheart and The Cramps, then you’ll get it.

 Where do you begin with a band like this? I know nothing about them, all I know is that they are from the greatest city in the world (Manchester) and they make the kind of music that would even move us fellow introverts. They’ve got a really cool style, and this Psychobilly sound is just exceptional. You cannot help but move when you listen to them, and you cannot help but play their music super loud.

 Their debut record, Mai Tai Pink Eye came out in February this year. I know, I’m late with this one. But it’s such a great record. You don’t feel like you’re listening to a band from 2019. There is something nostalgic about this record- they’ve got every essence of The Cramps, but they don’t do it in a rip-off style at all. They take this creepy Rock ‘n’ Roll sound and make it theirs. If The Cramps came from Manchester, they’d probably sound like this. Songs like Sex Pizzeria are MADE to be played super loud and Oom Sha Cha too. Just play the whole record loud at least 5 times a day. You’ll feel better for it.

 

 

 

Mai Tai Pink Eye is not only probably the best name for a record you’ll hear this year, but it’s also got a such a tight sound. The production is flawless, and the sound is beautifully unruly. It is the best form of chaos possible- it’s basically a band making a lot of noise and having a great time doing so. I’m having a great time listening to it! It is such a thrilling record. Bands like Thee Windom Earles and Night Shades who are making their own style of Rock ‘n’ Roll right now; I’d love to see both play a show together. It would be insane. To hear a sound so refreshing on this record just makes you fall in love with music over and over again. Songs like Lunchtime Munchtime and Freight Elevator are just these incredible pieces of real Rock music. There’s the Garage Rock thrown in, there’s the effortlessly cool and weird style that lures you in. The vocals are delivered with this infectious energy that is happening throughout the whole record. I cannot praise this monster of a record enough! You cannot help but play every single song to death. It’s only 9 tracks long, but those tracks are enough to have you hooked in every single way. You’ll be having dreams about this record.

 Lick The Flipper has this awesome Surf Rock feel to it, but it also has something a little eerie/sinister about it. I just love how the band mess with your head. The only thing that’s consistent is how brilliant they are- everything else is a pleasant surprise. You just have no idea how the next song is going to hit you. I think this is the song I’m obsessed with the most (for now) it’s definitely a stand-out song on this record, but truth be told, the whole record is an underrated masterpiece. Manchester is truly home to some amazing musicians and bands- Thee Windom Earles absolutely back this notion up for sure.

 When you listen to this record you cannot help but let it take over your soul. You feel like it has corrupted you in the best way, and all good music makes you feel this way somehow. Imagine being about 14/15 years old, and finding a band like Thee Windom Earles and just letting this sound blow your mind, and you end up starting your own band? That’d be so cool. Instead, as a 32 year old, I’m just in awe of the band and I’m so glad they exist. I’m so glad I found them. Just when I think I couldn’t love this city even more, something like this happens! I think it is safe to say that Mai Tai Pink Eye is probably the year’s most underrated record. It’s got everything you could possibly want from a pure Rock ‘n’ Roll record.

 

 

 

So, there you have it- if you’re looking for something to shake them bones of yours or to just blow your mind, Thee Windom Earles are 100% the band for you. Let them take you on a weird trip- it’s on you if you come back down to earth or not.





SHEER MAG: A Distant Call.

22 09 2019

 

sheermagadistantcall

 

If you’ve never listened to Sheer Mag before, then where have you been? Start wherever you want in their discography, but please PLEASE get your hands on their new record A Distant Call immediately because it is the purest Rock ‘n’ Roll record you’ll hear all year. It’s got that 70s Glam Rock feel to it- it’s basically like the New York Dolls but with the absolute heaviness of Motorhead. Tina has the most powerful voice you’ll ever hear. No one else has this utter power she posses in her voice, and it’s the kind of voice that just makes you stop you in your tracks.

Her vocals on A Distant Call are better than ever, and she truly gives it to you on the opener Steel Sharpens Steel. I hope that they open their shows with this because it has got this energy to it that just makes you want to go completely nuts. There are two bands that have this immediate energy to them right not- Sheer Mag and Amyl and The Sniffers. These bands have a raw and unapologetic sound, and the heaviness and strength in their sound and vocals just makes you not want to listen to anything else but them. When listening to this record, it is so important to pay close attention to the lyrics. They are heartbreaking, but also give you comfort. It’s a record made up of loss and strength, and how it can shape you in whatever way you wish. Sometimes though, you have no control over it. A Distant Call came out the day my Grandma died; it’s taken me a month to properly listen to this record and there are some lyrics on this record that hit really hard. It is truly a powerful record, and one to really cling to.

 

 

A Distant Call is of course Sheer Mag’s best record to date, and I’m likely to say this with every record they do. I love how their songs sound like they could be in some off the wall 80s teen film (Dacre Montgomery can be the lead as the rebel who just fucks shit up beautifully, you’re welcome.) Tina’s vocals give you this solid reassurance, that you feel like someone has your back and can voice those feelings you can’t quite shake- Blood From A Stone is a prime example of this. What they did in 2017 with Need To Feel Your Love, they have evidently done again with A Distant Call. They’ve given us songs to just lose our shit to, and to just have a great time listening to. I’ve never seen Sheer Mag live but I can honestly say that their songs are made to be witnessed live. They’ve clearly got that about them, and I cannot help but be in awe of that. I love the vulnerability in the lyrics, and I love how the heaviness of the music compliments it so well. You can’t help but feel these songs were made for you. Be the loner, be on the outside, be whatever you want- Sheer Mag will guide you.

This record is made up of 10 songs that flow so perfectly into each other. In half an hour, Sheer Mag take you on several journeys. Part of you feels like you’re an outcast at a school prom which then transforms into a total badass who has stopped giving a fuck about what anyone thinks. There is so much growth in this record, and if you listen to their two records, one after another you will truly hear how much they have grown and how they aren’t afraid to push themselves. By pushing themselves they have really created one of the strongest records of the year, by far.

Hardly To Blame is my favourite right now but I’ll probably change my mind because this record is way too perfect to have one cemented favourite. I think with A Distant Call you immediately do fall in love with it but, it is so important to just listen to it over and over to pick up on different moments on the songs to fall in love with. The guitars on this record are something else, and tower right above Need To Feel Your Love. The growth is just beautiful, and you really cannot help but be proud of what they have done on this record. Cold Sword is a song that you know is going to be a real delight when/if they do it live. I love how Tina delivers her vocals on this, but everything on this song is so complimentary. I know that Cold Sword will be one I end up going back to and obsessively playing over and over. Also, you’ve GOT to get obsessed with The Right Stuff. Play it through headphones, and take in how amazing Kyle, Hart and Matt are on this. They give the listener everything you’d want from a piece of music, and Tina’s vocals are tougher than ever on this. Again, this is one I’d love to see live. It’s a masterpiece.

 

 

A Distant Call will make you feel like the toughest person out there. Put on your boots and go cause some trouble. It’s a record that has some gorgeous moments and it is just such a rowdy record that you need to play loud and often. Chopping Block is the one you need to turn up a little louder than the others- take in the heaviness of the vocals and guitar on this one, then let every other element in this song take you over. It is phenomenal. Sheer Mag ARE phenomenal, and this record justifies this 100%.

 





BIKES: s/t III

25 06 2019

a4203192094_10

 

About three years ago I wrote about BIKES. I went on about how I love their rugged Garage Rock sound, and how they just moved me with their sound. A few years later, I’m happy to be writing about their new (okay, it came out in April…) record. A record that is effortlessly cool, and firmly cements my love for this exceptional Berlin band. This record is not short of powerful and raucous moments that you just cannot get enough of.

Ten songs make up this record, and it just below the half hour mark. But  as someone with a bit of a crappy attention span- it works just fine! Sure I want the record to go on forever, but what they’ve created with this record is something that you have on repeat all the time. I adore everything they offer up on this record. I love how the sound is slightly more refined now, but at the same time it is still raw.

 

 

With no apologies (and why should they anyway!?) BIKES give you songs that hit you in the gut. There’s something about this record that has more boldness to it, and the song Friday Night was made to be played whilst alone, and bored. Just to get some feeling out, you know? It’s got a bit of a Bluesy feel to it, and I really love how they’ve taken this early sound that The Rolling Stones had, but dug really deep into the lyrics with it. It’s one of my favourites on the record and will probably be the one I gravitate to the most.

Something else I love about this record is that it has been put out via Alien Snatch!Records. They’re the best at what they do, so it is no surprise that they got their hands on this record and put it out. It’s the label that will cause me to be endlessly broke, but it’s fine! This is the kind of record that ruin your speakers to. You can’t help but play it super loud, that’s the only way to listen to a band like BIKES. You’ve just got to really push yourself with how loud you (and your neighbours) hear this record. It’s a wild record, and these songs are just a glimpse into how phenomenal the band are. Go back and listen to their records, and you’ll hear that this is a band that are focused and aren’t afraid to push themselves, and their fans/anyone who listens to this record.

There’s a relaxed feel to this record, and it kind of makes you feel that the best way to play this is without anyone else around you. Sometimes you need that, and records like this are perfect to do it to. All you can do is play it loud and sing along as loud as you can. All the best records make you feel this way, and BIKES most certainly give you that feeling.

This record has hints of The Gruesomes and The Rolling Stones in it, and that’s nothing short of an excellent mix. There’s a real Rock ‘n’ Roll feel, and the rawness of Garage Rock. Everything I adore about music is in this record, and in BIKES. They are a band that once you listen to, you’re just hooked for eternity.

If the inside of your head feels like a warzone at times, then this record will soothe it slightly. Or that’s just my personal take. I could have this record on repeat and feel alright, which is strange but always needed.

 

 

This is definitely one of the best records we’ll hear this year; it’s got everything you could possibly want from a record. And if you’re someone who likes the odd catchy bop or two, then you’ll find them for sure on this record.

Play it loud, block out everything around you and maybe, play it a little louder.

PS: Can someone PLEASE book these guys on a UK tour (specifically Manchester)

 





LOVERS CLUB: Empty Ballroom Blues

31 01 2018

a0409383280_10

 

One of the most exciting bands to emerge from London, Lovers Club has just released their phenomenal EP Empty Ballroom Blues. It excels everything they have done to date, and it truly shows how great they are and undoubtedly, 2018 will be their year.

There is only one criticism of the EP-it’s not long enough. I want, I need more songs. This is a band that leaves you needing more. The need is greater than the want here. Everyone seems to follow certain “buzz” bands without giving a thought to those who are making something worth listening to. Lovers Club are that band. They are massively underrated and effortlessly cool. Alec’s vocals are nothing short of eerie and gripping. They make you feel like you are being chased down a dark alleyway with no hope of survival. They fill you with this dark excitement that takes you back to hearing The Cramps and The Mummies for the first time. That might just be me, but it’s alright. Lovers Club have this sound that makes you just want to totally immerse yourself in all that they do and hope they never ever call it quits. It’s a beautifully creepy sound that takes you over in the best way imaginable.

The opener, Empty Ballroom Blues truly sets the tone for the EP. It has this grand sound to it that is found in bands that have been at it for decades, but Lovers Club have this magnetic confidence in their sound that just makes you feel and believe that this is a band who have been around for decades. It’s a proper established and powerful sound that as I’ve said, just leaves you wanting more. Needing more. Alec’s guitar skills remind you of part Poison Ivy and part Johnny Thunders. The band has this raw Rock N Roll feel to their sound that is lacking in music right now. Are they are saviours? If you want them to be.

The Barge is just under 2 minutes and again, it isn’t enough. But it is taster of what Lovers Club is capable of and what is to come. It feels completely right to just keep on hitting repeat with this EP. Nothing can touch it. I truly feel that this is going to be one of my favourite things I hear all year, and will most definitely be one of my most played. The Barge has this brilliant distorted sound to it. It feels like it could have been in a Vincent Price film- it’s got this brutality to it that comes through effortlessly in Alec’s voice. Everything about this song just goes so well together. When the chorus kicks in, you can really hear just how great Alec, Oliver and Matt are. Towards the end the song has this energy to it that makes you think it’ll go on forever. It makes you want it to go on forever. Then it ends making room for the closer, Dark Country.

Dark Country is a heavy song. It carries something quite sinister to it, and I think that’s why I really love this one. I love the whole EP but Dark Country has this really heavy feel to it which just oozes a shade of evilness that makes you want to be part of it all. The whole EP feels as if it was made for a Horror film. The atmosphere they create in their music is something which I absolutely adore, and I really cannot wait to see and hear what they do this year because they really are the best new band around. Sure it is a biased opinion, but I’m not going to waste anyone’s time by writing in a negative manner. That’s just pointless. I love finding new bands and writing about how much I love their music, and how exciting they are. Lovers Club are one of those bands that make me want to keep writing about music- and recently that love has been fading. It’s back again. I think. I hope.

Anyway, you can buy/listen to the EP right here: https://loversclub.bandcamp.com/album/empty-ballroom-blues-ep

They are playing a few dates in London over the next couple of months at:

23rd February- The Black Heart

1st March- The Lock Tavern

See you at the front!