DR CHAN: The Peer Hat, Manchester 3rd May 2019.

3 05 2019

 

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It’s obvious how much I love French Garage Rock Gods, Dr Chan. Any chance to write about them or tell someone about them, I’ll do it. You know when you hear something, and you can’t help but think, “Yep, this is the band for me.” Well, that’s what I got from them a couple of years ago when my obsession began.

I last saw Dr Chan live last year in London at the Lock Tavern. It was the last show I attended before I left that city and moved to Manchester. A move that I should have done years and years ago. It was the last show I went to, and it was the perfect way to leave that city. The room was packed and full of love; it was just a brilliant show. Last night, there was no more than 10 of us watching them. I don’t even think it got to double figures. I felt bad for the band because I know just how brilliant they are, and how they are the best at what they do. It didn’t dishearten the band though, they still played as if the room was full.

They blazed through songs from Southside Suicide and Squire. I’m pretty sure that these are my most played records. I love how they just take you somewhere with their music, and give you that opportunity to zone out and forget everything. Yesterday I had a pretty stressful day, but as soon as Dr Chan hit the stage- I was calm again.

I really loved hearing the songs off their most recent record, Squire, last night. Growing Up is probably my favourite off that record and it’s an absolute joy to see live. They play with this effortlessly cool stance, and you can tell how much they love doing it. When you get that from a band, you know that you have found something really beautiful. It’s just an absolute pleasure to watch them.

Dr Chan make the kind of music that I’d want to make. It’s a raw Garage Rock sound, and they are unafraid to really push their sound. For instance, their record Southside Suicide sounds nothing like Squire- but you still know it is them. They have a distinct sound, but aren’t afraid to change it up. They do this so well in their live shows, and as sad as I am that not many of us were there last night, I’m just happy that they played a show here in Manchester. They’re playing the Shacklewell Arms in London tonight I think, and if I still lived there- I’d have been right at the front again.

There’s a handful of bands I love that I would happily go see live every night, and Dr Chan are easily one of them. On record they are brilliant, but something remarkable happens during their live shows. They transform songs like The Sinner and Bloody No$e into something else live, and it’s just a pleasure to watch.

For me, I can easily say that Dr Chan are one of the best bands I’ve seen live and are most certainly one of my favourite bands in general. I love how they can take you to the streets of Paris or make you feel like you’re hanging out at a skatepark. They’ve got something about them that comforts you within the lyrics (this is really apparent on the Squire record) and the music alone just does something to you. Alexin is a great song-writer, and to see the growth into their new record is just astounding.

I can’t tell you enough just how great they are. My only advice is, listen to them and if you see that they are playing a venue near you- go see them!





DR CHAN: Squier

10 10 2018

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One of the most energetic and mind-blowing bands I’ve heard, Dr Chan are back with a new record. With a second record, this pressure or ideology of it being difficult and also a band growing up. Sure that works for some, but Dr Chan are the opposite of what is expected. Irrespective of genre. And that’s exactly what makes them standout and one of the best bands around.

What can they do with Squier that they may have already done with Southside Suicide? Oh man, so much!

I saw Dr Chan play London in February this year, and I think it was the last show I went to before I finally left that city. They were the perfect band to go out on, and let me tell you something- they are one of the best bands you’ll ever see. They play as if they are rehearsing at home. You feel like you’re invading their personal space, but at the same time you know they want you there to take in just how brilliant they are.

There is no point at all in me or anyone comparing their two records. It’s so clear that they are an excellent band and are just an absolute pleasure to listen to. The title track is a real gnarly song that you can just unleash hell to. The record is relaxed in all the right places, but my take on what sounds relaxing is probably different to someone else’s! But anyway, it stays the same. Dr Chan are a band that you’ve just got to play loud and more importantly, they are a band that you’ve got to see live. The songs on Squier are nothing short of amazing, and I’m so proud of what they have done on this record. They aren’t a band that are here to win approval of others or to be like anyone else. I guess you can call them punks, if you want. They are wonderfully shoving the middle finger at those who want them to sound like everyone else or whatever. This is all on their terms, and it is so obvious on this record. Growing Up is such a great song, and for me this one shows how far they’ve come and just how amazing they are.

For those who are already familiar with the band, you’ll be able to pick up on certain moments in the songs that may remind you of songs on Southside Suicide, but if anything they’ve got louder and more fearless with this record. I love how the songs sound like a party that’s gotten way out of hand and there’s no point in even trying to save it. I love how the songs sound like something you’d play whilst trashing your room. I love how the songs are so effortlessly rowdy and bold, and just so different to anything else. I guess some want to lump them as Garage Rock. That’s fine and all, but there is so much more to Dr Chan than being a genre of music. I love how their sound feels like it is echoing right through you. I love how the guitar and vocals have this laid-back but fuzzy feel to it. The Sinner is for me, one of the best songs on the record but to be honest, it’s impossible to pick one. Every song for me is a masterpiece. I just want to play it really loud and waste the day away.

Dr Chan have this brilliant ability to make you feel like you’re right there with them. They make you feel like you’re there as they record these songs, you feel part of the music and when the music takes you over- it’s a beautiful feeling. I’m being biased, but who the hell cares! Dr Chan have put out one of the most incredible records of the year. This doesn’t sound like a band who are only on their second record- they sound like pros who have more about them than most. They probably do anyway.

Girls is a great song, and I think it’ll definitely be one to lose your shit to if they play it live. I might call it as my favourite right now. I love how their sound, even when sometimes touching on dark-ish subjects, just makes you feel so happy. Girls is such a brilliant song that makes you happy to hear. Maybe don’t listen to the lyrics if you don’t want to feel a bit sombre. Dr Chan make you feel like it is summer at the skate park every damn day and I love that about them. Another standout moment on this record is the bass on God Hates You. It is such a slick sound, and is one of my favourite parts on the record. The song is great and let it be known that lyrically, the band are writing some mind-blowing songs. The words are just brilliant, and the sound is phenomenal. I just love this band a hell of a lot.

Once again, their record Squier will be out on the consistently great Stolen Body Records. Buy the record, and play it sky-high.





DUSTY MUSH: Cheap Entertainment.

4 06 2017

Dusty Mush – Cheap Entertainment

 

Last week, one of the finest bands from France released their new record. Dusty Mush are an obsession of mine, and in an ideal world they would be everyone’s obsession. There’s time.

Cheap Entertainment consists of 10 songs that were designed for you to laze about to, to walk round your streets out of sheer boredom and frustration. They unleash all those daily frustrations in 10 solid songs with only one tipping over the 3 minute mark. Like a wealth of great bands, they don’t need to create long ass songs to make a point. They do it instantly and with this passionate fury that makes you want to leave your bland daily life behind in order to find something that has meaning.

As far as debut records go, I don’t think Dusty Mush could have made a stronger record than this. It is beautifully loud and feels like a pleasurable riot to the ears. The songs will stir a fight within you that will make you want to flail your limbs about and completely let go. You’ll zone out unapologetically to this record. As you blast out Cheap Entertainment, you cannot help but block out the world. And I guess right now, a lot of us need that.

The delightful screams in More & More will project your own annoyances at the world and possibly your surroundings. It’s a record for those who have had enough and can see all the faults. We don’t broadcast them out loud, we hold it close and bands like Dusty Mush allow us to let them go. We all need music like this. The world needs a band like Dusty Mush.

Unfortunately I never got chance to see any of their recent shows in the UK which I’m sad about, but hopefully there will be some more coming up soon. What I adore about Dusty Mush is that, like a lot of bands I am crazy about, they sound like a band that just need to be seen live in order for us to really get a sense of what they are about. The record actually does sound like something someone has recorded at one of their shows. It has this brilliant raw sound to it, and that’s something that is to be muchly appreciated and respected. As a debut record, I really cannot praise it enough. From start to finish the songs are designed to blow out your eardrums and to blow your mind.

Dusty Mush are the kind of band you’d want to be in. You can easily hear the fun, love and passion that has gone into making this record. You can really let go to this record, and sure 10 songs may not feel enough (great bands like this will always leave you wanting more) but it is one of those records that you can play on repeat and not grow tired of it. For me, it is most definitely one of the best records of the year. It’s a record that is just a solid body of fun songs that you can, like I said earlier, laze about to or you can just play and zone out.

Everything about Dusty Mush and this record captures what I love about music. It is half an hour of fuzzed out songs with wonderfully distorted vocals. The perfect mix, and a sheer pleasure to listen to and indulge in.

I hope they come back to the UK soon because these songs are just made to be performed live.

Cheap Entertainment is out now on Howlin’ Banana Records/Stolen Body Records.

Buy it and play it loud.





DR CHAN: Southside Suicide.

23 02 2017

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Last night I wrote about how much I love Dr Chan and how excited I am for their new record, Southside Suicide which comes out tomorrow on Stolen Body Records. I’m going to attempt to now write about why it is one of the finest records around and why if, you’re into making lists, it should top your Records of the Year list come December.

I tried to listen to it at work but I realised something would lose my attention and I didn’t want it to be Dr Chan. Within first listen I feel like I am at one of their shows or watching them rehearse in some cramped room. It’s definitely not an overproduced record nor is it one that sounds like they’ve tried too hard to sound a certain way. It sounds like a very honest and brutal record that stems from frustration and the sheer passion to make music. That’s how it should be. If all bands sound like this in Paris, then let’s runaway there right now and cast ourselves deep into it. The songs on Southside Suicide sound like they are for those who are fed up with what’s around them or those who just need some form of escapism. I can relate to all of that. For me, it’s everything I’d want from a modern Garage Rock band but at the same time it would fit nicely next to The Vagrants or even The Mummies.

Currently my favourite track off the record is BLANnnK$$$ (Bloody No$e) I love how unapologetically loud and rowdy it is. It feels like a drunk person losing their shit in a bar. They start ripping up a pool table, throwing glasses and punches. Going absolutely nuts for no valid reason. There are no calm moments on this record, and that’s why I love it. BLANnnK$$$ (Bloody No$e) is such a hyperactive song and it’s so addictive too. I find myself going back to it, just constantly hitting repeat. When it kicks it, it just sounds like a thousand riots and gunshots in the mind. It goes completely off and it’s easily one of the best moments on the record, but even that is hard to pick. It’s a solid record from start to finish, and I can’t get enough of it.

A real party for the ears this record is. It deserves to be played on a loop and as loud as you can possibly stand. It’s got something remarkably special about it, and I have no idea how big they are in France or out of France, but I know that I just love them and their sound is for me, entirely perfect. It’s like finally meeting your soulmate or breaking in a pair of Dr Martens or eating a really great pizza. It just makes you feel really good, and right now- I fucking need that.

I honestly cannot compare this record or this band to anything else I’ve heard before, and that’s such a rare thing to be able to do now. Everyone wants to buy into some pissy phase that means nothing and holds no meaning. Bands like Dr Chan are rare. You pick up on every tiny detail in the songs and it makes you want to go see some live music, it makes you less afraid of your own shadow, it makes you want to start your own band.

The songs are short like a real Punk song, but they have something else to it. It’s such a fantastic record and if I had the words, I’d easily write hundreds and hundreds more about why I love it so much. I like certain sounds, and sometimes I just need a certain sound in my ear but Dr Chan are unlike anything else. Buy the record this weekend and play it loud. Damage your hearing to make Monday less of a drag, just so you can block everything out.





DR CHAN.

22 02 2017

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Music should freak you out. It should corrupt and warp your mind. It should make you think outlandish things and make you behave wonderfully irrationally. But within reason, of course. It should take you somewhere no one can touch you, it should be all kinds of sordid, gentle, poetic and like a thrash to the body. It should heighten everything you think and feel. It should make you feel ten feet tall.

Here come Parisian greats, Dr Chan. They make this Psych infused Garage Rock that sounds like The Doors meets Wavves. You feel like you could be on a beach in California but in the same thought, you feel like you could romantically be wandering around a cemetery in Paris then onto some dingy alleyway trying to find your way home after dark. Their sound is brilliant, and once you start listening- you’re hooked good and proper.

Sometimes you hear something really bloody great and you know that whatever you write about them just isn’t going to be good enough. I’m not going to dwell on my inabilities right now. This Friday, Stolen Body Records are going to put out their new record, Southside Suicide which again is probably going to be a right I fawn over constantly. I can’t wait to hear it and play it obnoxiously loud in my ears.

Dr Chan aren’t the kind of band you play quietly in the background and every now and then, you pick up on key moments in their songs. Far from it. They’re a band that you play as loud as you can stand and totally lose yourself in their music. Last year they put out Mental Dhead which was one of the most underrated records of the year. It was everything I wanted from a band- it was loud, snotty and deliriously great. It sent you off into another world. You didn’t know if you were in a daze or truly floating round the streets of Paris with these guys. There’s something about them that just makes you want invest all your time into their music, and to go to every single show they do. On record they’ve got this brilliant energy that makes you wish you were in a band. I’m pretty sure their live shows are equally as infatuating.

These guys truly send you off into a whirl. They’re every part Psychedelic but not in your typical way. They’ve taken it, and made it their own. Dr Chan are going to blow minds again with Southside Suicide on Friday, I’ve not heard it but I just know. I know I’m never right about anything, but we can let it slide this time.

Mental Dhead is a mighty fine record, and as far as debut records go it is most definitely a really tough record to top but I’ve got every bit of faith that they can do it. If all bands in Paris sound like this, maybe we should all move there and just lose our minds at their shows. There is something effortlessly freeing about the music Dr Chan make and that’s something to alone, be admired. I’m still hooked on their first record, but I can’t wait to hear their new one on Friday.

If you’re looking for a band to set the mind free and to just forget everything for a while, go give them a listen. Play as loud as you want and cancel the world out for a while.





OS NOCTÀMBULOS.

19 10 2016

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Sometimes I find a band that I spend ages listening to thinking I can write some words about them that I think do them justice. Then I have those times where I don’t even think one semi-decent sentence is enough. That’s how I feel about the band I’m listening to right now. Whatever I write about them will not convey just how incredible they really are, just so you know. So you might as well not bother reading this and just go listen to Os Noctàmbulos right away.

Os Noctàmbulos are one of the finest bands right now roaming the mean streets of Paris. Their sound is dark, intense and like a seductive blow to the brain. It’s like meeting your dream person and falling in love instantly. Over and over. They make the kind of music that’ll make your body gently sway and your mind float away. They don’t sound like anything else you’ve heard in a long time, probably. I first heard of them a while back on my copy of the Vegetarian Meat compilation. I heard them and I was hooked, and delved into all they’ve done. Their sultry and relaxed sound is perfect for those who are content with taking something slightly sinister yet toned down over straight up noise. They sound like a real 60s Garage Rock band. If Paris had a sound, it would be these guys. I wandered round Paris once, a few years ago. Around some graveyards and record stores. I found a copy of Count Five’s Psychotic Reaction and felt like I had won the lottery. Os Noctàmbulos evoke that beautiful atmosphere that Paris conjures up on a damp November day. I also ate too many cheese sandwiches that day.

For me, these guys are one of those band that again, combine everything I love and want from music- and make it their own. Over the summer they released Stranger. Stranger is a group of solid songs that will set you off into a trance. Spin, whirl and fall into a deep trance. Don’t snap out of it, just keep falling into it. Fall into these hypnotic 60s grooves. This is the kind of band my mum would probably dig, and that’s not an insult. Far from it.

Stranger is one of the most underrated records of the year and if I decide to list my favourite records of the year in a few months, I’ll definitely have this in my top 5. Although I am rubbish at making a decision, I am sure of the music I have loved this year and Os Noctàmbulos are one of the bands that have truly blown whatever is left of my mind this year.

I love music that makes you feel like you’re in a certain place, a city. Sometimes a place you’ve never been, sometimes somewhere entirely familiar. Os Noctàmbulos do take you into the unknown but they also have a familiar sound about them. I know my obsession for them will grow and probably spiral out of control, but I don’t care. I’ve never seen them live, but I am fairly sure that their live shows would be nothing short of perfect and inspiring.

Regardless of what you’re into, I’m pretty sure that Os Noctàmbulos will appeal to you. Something in their lyrics and in the music will stir something inside of you, like they did to me. I can only hope they do. Sure they’ll make you want to start a band, any decent band will make you feel that way but if anything, Os Noctàmbulos will make you want to invest all your free time in finding as much music as possible and going to as many shows as possible. Bands like this don’t come around often- treasure them dearly.

The majestic and magnetic sounds of Os Noctàmbulos will send you off where you need to go in no time. Don’t let anyone interrupt or take that feeling from you.





DRUGGY PIZZA-Like Pigs In A Slot.

14 03 2016

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France. Home of two people I love- Serge Gainsbourg and Eric Cantona. I should say Zidane being a  Juventus fan, but I can’t forgive him for headbutting Marco Materazzi. You’re an adult, not a kid in a playground. Anyway, as I’ve written about Druggy Pizza before it is fair to say that they are also a fine product of France. Their sound is destined to mess with your head, and if you don’t feel slightly nauseous and unsteady after listening to them, then you’ve done it wrong.

Their split record with Peace And Love Barbershop Muhammad Ali came out towards the end of last year, and both bands made a lot of noise on the record. It is one of the finest splits to have happened in the long time, and it can only be played loud. Obnoxiously loud, in fact. I delved deep into the world of Druggy Pizza when I wrote about them recently, and I’m happy to write about them again with the focus on the video to Like Pigs In A Slot. The video to this incredible piece of noise will have you fearing sleep and being aware of the grim reaper following you as he casts a dark shadow over you. The video is equally as rowdy as the song. The song totally messes with your head, that’s for sure. But when you sit down and watch the video- you feel uncomfortable and unsure of what to do. For me, that’s how music should be. I’ve said it many times before that I hate it when music feels too safe. I want something that teeters on the edge of madness, and Druggy Pizza do exactly that.

 

If you don’t feel tormented and troubled after watching the video, then I don’t know if there is any hope for you. It’s a great mind-fuck and it’s a harmless evil. The video makes you question going outside and plagues you with concern about looking over your shoulder. It is perfectly unsettling, and for some this is probably a massive turn-off but I take comfort that out there, someone must feel the same as me when listening to music like this. It isn’t for those who want something conventional or something gentle. Don’t get me wrong, gentle is fine and all- but sometimes you want something that dangles you over the edge grasping on a hint of sanity. It’s brilliant and reinforces my love for Druggy Pizza.

You can listen to more of Druggy Pizza here, and you can also buy their split record with Peace And Love Barbershop Muhammad Ali: https://druggypizza.bandcamp.com/