22 Jun 2017

Strange Cages - The Cracks (EP review)

Strange Cages might be, in fact probably are, the best musical thing occurring in Brighton at the moment. A garage rock trio that hark back to the most savage end of sixties psych garage, their reptilian rock 'n' roll is Earth shatteringly good, a tour de force of snotty guitar music that shakes you right to the core. The Cracks EP is their best release to date, and does an extremely good job of capturing their scintillating live shows on record.

21 Jun 2017

Enter the woozy garage rock stylings of L.A. Witch

L.A. Witch are a three piece from the city of Los Angeles, but as I'm reliably informed by the press release, do not partake in any kind of witchcraft. Which is kinda disappointing. But they're a fantastic trio that have a woozy garage rock sound that'll instantly thrill fans of the BJM, Willie Nelson and PJ Harvey alike. Far from the gold paved streets of Hollywood, L.A. Witch's music festers in a much murkier realm, a darker, more twisted realm. Sounding more like something brewed in William Burroughs' basement than  the glam commodity fetishism L.A. has become a beacon for, the band's raucous garage sound pummels into the void, whilst getting up its momentum in an impassioned burst of rockabilly momentum with a tambourine stomp in tow.

Introducing... Gaygirl

A lot is made of the south-London scene at the moment, and whilst I agree that the likes of HMLTD, Shame, Goat Girl and co are very much worthy of such plaudits there are a few bands that are slipping under the radar who are just as worthy of your attention. One of these is Gaygirl, a post-punk meets shoegaze meets grunge quartet hailing from Brixton.

20 Jun 2017

Richard Dawson - Peasant (album review)

"This is about the future. If people think this album is about the past then I have absolutely failed."

(Richard Dawson interviewed in Loud and Quiet)
What a mess we're in aye? If only we could only retreat to the times of yore, "when it was all fields round here". One listen to Richard Dawson's breathtaking opus, 'Peasant', should vanquish all of this cosy but destructive nostalgia, smashing our rose smothered glasses with a single mighty blow. Yes, it is true that if you were in the lucky position of say... a nobleman, then chances are your life would have consisted of nothing but bountiful splendour. However, if you were in the far more likely scenario of say... being anything but that, then it's a whole other story entirely.

Kirin J Callinan - Bravado (album review)

Kirin J Callinan is a eccentric as they come as a lyricist and vocalist and the instrumental work on his sophomore record live up to the over the top persona that bleeds through all of his music. Bravado is a perfect concoction of cheesy 80s Pop, Euro dance, emotive American dad rock… Oh wait you don’t think that sounds good? Well it is.

16 Jun 2017

Lorde - Melodrama (album review)

What did Lorde’s debut Pure Heroine tell us about her? It told us she was one of the more introverted members of pop’s elite, it showed she has a fixation with minimal, crisp, raw R&B flavoured beats. It also showed us that as a lyricist Lorde is very thematic; although each track on that album did unfold with its own unique narrative, there was an underlying theme throughout it was about being a teenager and all reveries of that inevitably come attached to the naivety of a 17 year olds mind. Lorde’s sophomore effort holds on to the quintessential elements her music and amplifies them with help from better producers and a lyrical diversity.

As you can probably tell by the cover art,Melodrama is a break up album, but no need to for any tissues here. This album is about finding solace in independence. It’s gloriously triumphant as a whole - however it does throw in a few tearjerkers take like Liability, for instance - sounds like a modernised reincarnation of a track from David Bowie’s Hunky Dory or Lou Reed’s Transformer. Not only through the piano, but through Lorde’s singing style cramming vast amounts of information into each verse and then giving a heart melting chorus which will ooze through the cracks in a broken heart. This song is a lonely ballad about Lorde returning home only to be comforted by her own self “I do my best to meet her demands Play at romance, we slow dance In the living room, but all that a stranger would see Is one girl swaying alone Stroking her cheek”.

13 Jun 2017

The Horrors Return...

They’re back! The Horrors are back! Time for journos and scribblers everywhere to start digging out their tired old chiches and saying things like ‘shimmering’, ‘Southend’, ‘kaleidoscopic’, and ‘neo-psychedelic’ (*yuck*) again. Anyway, the band have released the first single, ‘Machine’, from their as yet untitled fifth album, that will follow on from their superb 2014 effort, ‘Luminous’. The track proves, thank heavens, that they’ve still got it.

10 Jun 2017

Black Lips - Satan's Graffiti or God's Art (album review)

In 2014, The Black Lips released what was critically described as a last gasp swipe for the mainstream, Underneath The Rainbow, a fairly solid yet ultimately characterless affair. In all honesty,  a Black Lips record in 2017 seemed like the last thing that would cause any kind of intrigue to me. Lo and behold though, what we have here in their 2017 effort Satan’s Graffiti or God’s Art is a conceptual, clever, but ultimately wild and uncontrollable record that is bafflingly good.

Chugging Gun Club fuckabouts like Lucid Nightmare might seem the most sonically appealing at first; this is classic Black Lips, why people fucking love them. But instead, no; the appeal of this record comes from the obnoxious amount of sonic ground they cover throughout.

9 Jun 2017

Into Beach House's World... Chariot

This dream pop band has released a new single called Chariot last month. The band which began in 2004, I see as being the catalyst what far shoegaze is all about today. Their previous albums Depression Cherry and Thank Your Lucky Stars were so dreamy and mystical, I didn’t believe they could get better. There is a common consensus, that dream pop and shoegaze is all a bit dim and depressing, but in fact this is the complete opposite (well most of it). This music leaves you stroking your hair and face and feeling a bit fragile (in a good way tho) - exactly what Beach House have achieved.  The lyrics of this track merge into one another, the soft and luxurious voice of Victoria Legrand hides under the surface, allowing the melodies of Alex Scally to seep through, transcending the listener. In a time of stress, Beach House is the perfect band to invite your ears to; they relax and calm your senses. If the quality of this track is mirrored within the upcoming album then ooo its gonna be good. It's the kinda tune which you would’ve slow danced to in an 80s disco, really.

Football is the only sport, Guinness is the only drink, John Cooper Clarke is the only poet

A gift to a nation out of darkened places in cheap streets where murder breeds and cars collide and colours clash. John Cooper Clarke stands to deliver Beasley Street. As he does with many of his poems, he blends satire with thought provoking statements with his unique touch and produces a timeless poem that stands relevant today, to his adoring crowd. When I grow old and sat with regrets, I don’t want one of them to be that I did not succeed in turning everyone I know into nearly a bigger advocate of Cooper Clarke than myself, and witnessing this live.

6 Jun 2017

Driving Blind: A Chat With Ride Ahead Of Their First Album in 21 Years

After a successful couple of years of reunion tours, the almighty shoegaze band from which this blog takes its name are gearing up to release their first album in over 20 years. The rather excellent Weather Diaries is a forward looking explosion of energy, a record that stands up to their best. On a sunny day in a pub in Shoreditch, where the speakers played deep cuts from Blur's much-worse comeback effort Magic Whip while I waited, I met with Andy Bell (guitar, vocals) and Steve Queralt (bass) to talk about everything from politics, producers and pictures.

1 Jun 2017

HUMAN PARASITES: A chat with depraved art-punks LICE

Bristol band LICE have been cropping up all over London recently, and for good reason. Their live shows brim with bloodthirsty, shamanic performances, whilst choppy, searing instrumentation sets them way above the Fall comparisons people make. Garnering fans across the city have taken them in as part of the emerging crop of amazing bands springing up over London, (Charlie from Shame said “of course LICE are part of the scene” when I interviewed them earlier this month for CLASH) they’re a band with so much potential to unleash great song after great song of obnoxious, misanthropic, ugly social commentary.

Catch up first by reading our review of their single, Human Parasite, right now. 

29 May 2017

Jlin - Black Origami (album review)

There’s a scene in Toy Story where Buzz and Woody are trapped in the Sid’s bedroom; he decapitates toys and switches their bodies creating Frankensteinien monstrosities who are introduced as terrifying, but in the end they play a key part in the protagainsts escape. The various snips and snags and jagged fluency of Jlin's sophomore Black Origami sounds like it is a collection of compositions created by these unlikely heroes. It’s a dark and completely shattered form of unique beauty.

24 May 2017

Pull My Strings: A Review of the Great Escape

Some cultural context for the Great Escape, a multi venue festival that takes place in Shoreditch-on-Sea every May, comes from well before the festival was first held - 1980 in fact. The Dead Kennedys' were invited to the Bay Area Music Awards, to pick up their 'best new wave band' accolade, but instead of performing California Uber Alles, as planned, they rocketed into the first 20 seconds of Cali... before Jello Biafra belligerently sneered "hold it! We've gotta prove we're adults now. We're not a punk rock band, we're a new wave band." The band dropped black ties onto their shirts with painted on letter esSes to make them a group adorned in huge dollar signs, and lurched into a freshly composed number called Pull My Strings. Contained within that song is all the context you need to understand what the Great Escape is like.

I swizzed a free ticket, and whilst I was aware of it's rep as an industry festival, I didn't know that it would be quite like it was; hours of queues, hours of queues in which men in burgundy hoodies discuss 'lucrative content' in shrill middle class voices, whilst men with bad haircuts discuss 'the most exciting next big thing' with the monotony and excitement of the google translate audio voice. Nearly everything has a sponsor; bands that sing "Patti Smith wouldn't put up with this shit!" mere moments after plugging VEVO.

Strong Island Recordings Announce Beach Ball - A Must See Summer Psych Out

Summer sees the inaugural Strong Islands Records Beach Ball, an event in aid of MacMillan that'll take place at Coastguard Studio in Southsea. It'll feature a lot of our favourites, DJs and a whole fucking record fair. Chase those (probably inevitable) post-election blues away with it.

16 May 2017

GFOTY - Month of Mayhem (track review)

In case you hadn’t seen PC Music have been releasing tracks daily this month, and GFOTY’s second track of the month is the best so far. Its driving abrasive synth beat sounds reminiscent of artists like Pharmakon and Death Grips. GFOTY’s performance on the song is perfection providing an ear worm chorus and a cheerleading final verse. The visuals which accompany Month of Mayhem are equally as perplexing showing GFOTY in a studio accompanied by someone in an unsettling wolf mask. The track ends with around 30 seconds of blissfully plucked harp music leaving very confused but overall very satisfied.

14 May 2017

A Tiny Draught of The Vile Stuff: The Stubborn Beauty of Richard Dawson

"My bedroom walls are papered with the stripes of Newcastle United
Between which I perceive the presence of a horse-headed figure
Holding aloft a flaming quiver of bramble silhouettes
He is the King of Children
Singing like a boiler: 'Tomorrow is on its way'"
- Richard Dawson 'The Vile Stuff'

What if... the water supply of the Simpsons retirement home was spiked with LSD, whilst what sounds like three different guitars battle out to play three different songs? And what if... the guitar amp was actually powered by rusted lines on deserted pylons, whose creaking structures are by now fully submerged? On the Newcastle artist Richard Dawon's outstanding 2014 album, Nothing Important, the impression is given that a fuse may overheat at any moment; great sparks erupting, leaving the plastic plug socket an oozing, molten mess.

Dawson's guitar is a turbulent creature, at times seeming to violently disavow the wishes of its player. It's an instrument prone to deviant fits of (mis)behaviour; sloppy sounding and rhythmically jumbled, like a crazed butcher hacking away at a carcass with a blunt blade. Meanwhile Dawson's voice alternates between a guttural gasp and shrill falsetto, sounding both regionally specific and wholly unfamiliar. Across three solo albums proper (The Magic Bridge, The Glass Trunk, Nothing Important), Richard has managed to carve out a position as England's most visionary singer-songwriter.

Harry Styles - Sign of the Times (album review)

The two biggest selling albums of 2017 in the UK so far are Ed Sheeran’s Divide and Human by Rag’n’Bone Man. These days it feels like there are two paths to commercial success either jump on a tropical house instrumental, with some Rihanna style dancehall vocals, or be an authentic everyman like the two previously mentioned. You can imagine Ed slopping from town to town busking to pay his bills. The ginger neo-minstrel is just so dedicated to his noble trade and he could never do anything but music and above all he’s a nice guy. A lovely guy. Very nice.

Matt Maltese: For After You've Stopped Worrying And Learned To Love The Bomb

Most the music I cover on here personally often comes from the darkest realms of human consciousness. Be it foam-mouthed garage rock, droning clusterfucks of psychedelia, or nuevo-shamanic dirge-pop, music that shakes the Earth at its very core. In fact, the amount of times I've published the word 'apocalyptic' this year must have hit three figures.

9 May 2017

Let's Talk Some Connan Mockasin

There are so many artists in this day and age which don’t get adequate publicity which they deserve. Discover Weekly on Spotify enlightened me to the ethereal Connan Mockasin, who has reignited the psychedelic pop scene.  He’s originally from New Zealand but moved to England in 2006; but with little success he moved back home.

Forget Consensus: The Best of 2017's Musical Margins

There's a lot of talk around about how divergent our tastes have become from one another. To a degree that's accurate, as you do now tend to see less large scale movements, all centred around a crazed infatuation with some new emerging sound - bar noticeable exceptions like Footwork. Yet in the wake of these scene based surges has risen an insidious new form of consensus culture, sharing no similarity with either large scale collective creativity, or some fractured utopia where we each individually venture into new and uncharted regions of sound. Instead, we lay witness to a poisonous rise in sites like Album of The Year, Metacritic or Rate Your Music. Outlets, which in theory, should expose people to a greater degree of music, but in actuality form a creative hierarchy, where the same set of consensus albums receive countless of plaudits, and many of the more interesting new forms fall through the cracks. One useful tool these sites have created, is the ability to see an album of the year list generated from an accumulation of all the other large music publications' end of year lists. It's useful in so much as proving just how indistinguishable these lists have become, making it more essential than ever for this foul trend to be bucked. Below are just a number of albums or projects, whose work deserves far greater coverage, ones who expose a great deal of consensus "greats" to be pale and uninspired.

RIP Jovis and the Bedwetters. Glam-pop outfit Show Boy come of age on their debut single...

Jovis and the Bedwetters are no more. The premier pop group of the South London scene have gone from a glam-stomping novelty to a serious pop-osition with their first track under new guise Show Boy. Debut track Young Gun sees them come of age, in a glammed up furore of Nile Rodgers guitars and caterwauled vocals. Hear it below.

7 May 2017

[Enter Queen Zee and the Sasstones]

As someone that goes through weeks of listening solely to tubthumping, filthy garage rock, even I can unhappily confirm the longheld criticism that it's a genre a bit too dominated by a certain brand of machismo. Whilst there has been no shortage in bands that feature musicians that aren't white, straight, and male, a look back on the genre's history reveals it to be a haven for angry young men (who, to be fair, historically have things to be angry at) and there'll always be a worry that garage will remain a breeding ground for masculine ideals. So with that in mind, enter Queen Zee and the Sasstones, our heroes for the evening.

Cashmere Cat - 9 (album review)

Cashmere Cat is a Norwegian producer who is best known for having produced Kanye West’s Wolves, as well as for working with artists like Ariana Grande and Benny Blanco. His debut album brings in a star studded line up for one of the most creative electronic pop albums of the year.

The interesting thing about 9 is that there are only two tracks here that are pretty radio friendly. Trust Nobody is a standard sunny alternative R&B it features Selena Gomez doing a sort of trap style hook which is initially awkward, but given a few listens I find this style suits her quite well. Quit features another former child star, and previous Cashmere Cat collaborator Ariana Grande. Her vocal performance is fantastic as it has been on all of her recent projects. This track tricks you into expecting some Ibiza style EDM drop but instead soothes you with a much more satisfying smooth synth and some tropical percussion.

Sevdaliza - ISON (album review)

The astronomical success of Artists like FKA Twigs, Frank Ocean and Lorde playing around and fusing abstract, dark and gloomy sonic ideas and crafting them into sleek sounding accessible songs has led to a new generation of would be household names. Sevdaliza is one of the most interesting and forward thinking artists to borrow ideas from these artists in recent years.

Iranian born singer-songwriter Sevdaliza has an MA in communication as well a few appearances for the Dutch international basketball team, and she has a pretty good debut album to add to that. ISON isn’t a perfect record, but standing at over an hour long, it’s certainly ambitious for a first full length release. But definitely to its credit this album has plenty of refreshing expansions on styles of the records its influenced by.

6 May 2017

Mac DeMarco - This Old Dog (album review)

For me, Vernor Winfield McBriare Smith IV’s (Mac DeMarco) sound brings about an almost nostalgic feeling. Salad Days was constantly playing during my summer in 2014. His soothingly woozy guitar tone soundtracked my post-college days, during a summer, that essentially consisted of fuck all apart from music, alcohol and another brilliant performance from England at a World Cup.

The Canadian’s debut full-length album, 2, was released to rave reviews, producing country-like guitar riffs on Cooking Up Something Good, while deploying his deadpan delivery over unsettling pop-ballads such as My Kind Of Woman. What followed was the release of Salad Days, where DeMarco’s slacker attitude remained solid on his second album, and it also included his best release to date; the brilliantly dark, synth-driven Chamber Of Reflection.

Perfume Genius - No Shape (album review)

Mike Hadreas tackles homophobic prejudices and difficulty with self-expression on his 4th album as Perfume Genius, and whilst it’s not his crowing jewel it’s certainly his most triumphant work to date. Mission statement Go Ahead serves as a middle finger to people who would dwindle Mike for being different. He asks “what you think? I don’t remember asking” over an awkward yet thumping drum beat which is embroiled with bouncy stuttering squeaking synth stabs. Mike sounds at his most empowered when he sings “you can even say a little prayer for me” possibly addressing religious people who are opposed to homosexuality.

5 May 2017

Aaron Dilloway - The Gag File (album review)

From its earliest days reverberating out of Throbbing Gristle's Death Factory, noise and industrial have had a fixation upon trash, muck and bile. On Aaron Dilloway's latest album, The Gag File, the sewage is flowing down the street, not only letting leash an ungodly foul stench, wreaking havoc upon its outward appearance, but also revealing fellow neighbours most unsightly secrets. It would be of no surprise to discover that this truly grotesque monstrosity is some locked up product of Cronenberg, deemed too ghastly for even body horror aficionados.

Aaran Dilloway is something of a legend within the noise community having been a founding member of the seminal act Wolf Eyes - a group which he remained a part of until roughly a decade ago. Across his solo work to date, he has created tape-led abominations; great hulking creatures, emitting blubbering, woeful cries from their sludge filled mouths. This may be a more concise and lean effort than his sprawling opus Modern Jester, but pleasingly, appals and debases to an equal measure.

LCD Soundsystem's resurrection: The Verdict

As the world caves in and the Earth rushes head on for armageddon, it seems only one man can make things seem like they're going to be okay. One man can provide lavish technicolour to a world that'll seem even more grey in retrospect than the post-war era, a mean feat considering we only look at that time period in retrospect via the medium of black and white footage and photographs. In 2017, only one man can save us, and that man is James Murphy.

4 May 2017

The Caretaker - Everywhere At The End Of Time, Stage Two

What more fitting way is there for a project themed on memory to end, than for said memories to slowly wither into the ether. The Caretaker's lifespan is drawing to a close, and it's even beginning to become clear for those without a press release at hand. A malignant unease is seeping in, the spectral haunting that defined James Leyland Kirby's output - under his Caretaker moniker - is gradually becoming claustrophobic, the memories once looked upon as a source of comfort are now cause for concern, what the character clings onto whilst the remainder of his world drifts away.

The second stage of his six part album - Everywhere At The End Of Time - continues its thematic arc, encapsulating the experience of those who undergo early onset dementia. Stage One could feasibly have passed for some unaltered lost stash of big band LP's, their crackly content worn through heaps of dust and their musky surroundings, whereas throughout the run-time of Stage Two, we find the editing process rising far more clearly to the foreground, its intrusive presence forever changing our relationship with the weathered music that it draws from.

Introducing Starcrawler, Rough Trade's Newest Signing

There are only a handful of record labels whose signing announcements are always worth paying attention to, and there might not be any of the size of Rough Trade that have such a high success rate. So when the London label announces a new band it's always my prerogative to listen to them straight away. Following their signing of Goat Girl last year, who I instantly fell in love with, they've today announced the next band on their roster will be LA garage rock troupe Starcrawler.

MADONNATRON! Music To Soundtrack A (Good) Modern Day Wicker Man

Right, imagine a Wicker Man remake. But a good one. One without Nick Cage. Maybe with Daniel Day Lewis or Idris Elba as the protagonist. Got that image in your head? Well, Madonnatron's music is the soundtrack to that film. Announcing their debut album yesterday, with the track Headless Children, Madonnatron are part of the South London scene that has birthed us everyone from the Fat Whites, to Meatraffle, through to Shame and Goat Girl recently.

3 May 2017

Mushy or Garden? A Chat With Power Pop Trio Peaness

Melodically rich power-pop, Peaness have every ingredient necessary to be the 'next big thing': infectious guitar hooks, gorgeous harmonies, and above all, the fact that they sound like they're having fun during every second of every song. With one of the most amusing, if ill-advised, names in music, we caught up with the band before they both headline London's Thousand Island (fka Upstairs At The Garage) and release their next EP Are You Sure?

Sam Gellaitry - Escapism III (EP review)

The latest EP from Scottish producer Sam Gellaitry is his most dynamic project to date. Now signed to XL Recordings Sam Gellaitry gained 100,000 followers on souncloud via self-releasing tracks, but make no mistake he is no generic trap producer.

28 Apr 2017

Table Scraps: Savage Garage Rock Explorations In Retro 3D

Garage rock at its most confrontational and savage, Table Scraps are Birmingham's “most respected (and feared) fuzz merchants”. The trio’s latest effort My Obsession is their first since lead singer Scott’s skeletal surgery sees them back with a vengeance; an old skool 3D video sees the band returning even more savage and deranged than on their 2015 debut album More Time For Strangers.

Californian Light: Childhood's New Single Sees Them Come Of Age

Ethereal noisemakers Childhood are back, and dreamier than ever. If the name doesn’t ring any bells, the London-based quintet were first catapulted into relevance when they supported the godfather of jangle Johnny Marr on his 2014 tour. Since then, their triumphant debut album Lacuna (and subsequent collaborations) ensured that they’d never stray too far from the spotlight. After some time away to re-group and evolve, the outfit have returned with this tremulous ode to South London.

27 Apr 2017

Ibibio Sound Machine - Uyai (album review)

Arriving from London-via-Lagos, Nigeria, Ibibio Sound Machine are an 8-piece that make escapist disco referencing everything from frontwoman Eno Williams' own rich Nigerian musical heritage, to the Human League, to LCD Soundsystem, to Motown floor fillers. They've just put out their second record, Uyai, a powerful record full of pounding rhythms, jagged synth lines and Ibibio (language of Nigeria) chants to make it one of the most unique records of the year so far.

25 Apr 2017

LICE!: on Human Parasite, the Bristol art-punks' first seminal record

LICE are off the fucking wall. A depraved strut, a manic Mark E. Smith style vocal, and searing lyrics, they are well and truly one of the most exciting things to happen in the history of Western art. Finally, they've got a song to match their unhinged live shows, their debut single Human Parasite. It revolves around a strutting bassline and frontman Alastair Shuttleworth's deranged vocal performance. I'll be honest with you, normally when I review a track I give it two or three whirls and that's enough, I don't need to hear it anymore. But Human Parasite. I can't stop listening to it.

From The Stone Roses Bar to Valhalla Dale: in conversation with Jellyskin

Jellyskin are a Leeds three-piece that make pop from beyond the void. They self describe as "a long lost Stereolab/Suicide collaboration", and that certainly rings true on their new track Eater; a warped, frantic 2 minute burst that sounds like an underwater Ghost Rider. Dysphoric cosmic pop, Jellyskin create noises on guitars that shouldn't be possible, juxtaposed with the glacial vocals of Zia Larty-Healy. Fresh off supporting The Moonlandingz, I had a word with one of the most exciting upcoming musical outfits in the north.

24 Apr 2017

Las Cobras: Uruguay's Next Big Psychedelic Export

Hi friends, for those of us that don't know, I spent pretty much all of the month of March slaving away over THIS; Echo Chamber, a magazine which me and a bunch of friends put together. Among the stars are Las Cobras, an upcoming band from Uruguay that channel small-town frustration into druggy psychedelic escapism. You should read it (pages 20-25), because there's a good interview with them, alongside a pretty amazing photoshoot.

Gorillaz - Humanz (album review)

Damon Albarn and his animated band are back with their highly anticipated come back record Humanz. It’s loaded with clangers, but even more bangers.

Mental Health and Musicians: A Few Words On Crim3s

There’s something both reassuring and beautifully progressive about the recent wave of musicians, actors and those that stand on an industry-pedestal publicly speaking out about mental health.

More and more people with a social platform are sharing their experiences with depression, anxiety, bi-polar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (the list goes on) and this is a hugely important thing. It is not only minimising taboo’s about whether or not it is deemed acceptable to share these things openly, but it's also showing that those whose lifestyles appear perfectly desirable at first glance are in fact not always going as smoothly as you’d imagine.

23 Apr 2017

Hang: Some Late Thoughts On The Return Of Foxygen

Foxygen are a band that’s known for producing a blast from the past. Their second album We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace and Magic (deep breath), was a brilliantly put together 60s pastiche and a great collection of work.

Predominately, lead singer Sam France applied his clear admiration for The Rolling Stones to many of the songs on the album with his Jagger-esque foibles. The record was filled with elements of pop, psych, soul and of course classic rock, with multi-instrumentalist Jonathan Rado helping to create an album that fans of the The Kinks and the Stones would more than appreciate.

22 Apr 2017

GAS - Narkopop (album review)

On Narkopop, Wolfgang Voight - a.k.a GAS - situates his brand of sonic naturalism away from the pastoral. In his dense, foreboding forest, the shadows of trees morph into spectres; moonlight pierces the eye, projecting vivid, lysergic imagery. Narkopop is the first GAS release since 2000's Pop, yet as a project, his work appears to have only grown in impact over each passing year. The sound has always been a singular one, akin to rippling lakes in the depths of pitch black woodlands, whilst the distant reverberations of industrialised towns seep in across the still air. Most exciting of all is the fact that it reignites a lineage of experimental German music, connecting the dots between modern electronic meddlings and the Krautrock forebearers of the 1970s.  

The Veldt's new double A-side Symmetry/Slow Grind reviewed

Ride and Slowdive are releasing their first albums for 20 years over the next couple of months, so as is seemingly recently par for the course, hype around a shoegaze revival is tangible. Alongside the big-hitting English names of the genre, the revival has paved way for under-appreciated American anomalies The Veldt to return all guns blazing. In fact, a few months ago we were lucky enough to interview them, but in the present, they're releasing new music.

21 Apr 2017

Lost Classic Album of the Week #2 | Litmus - You Are Here

WHAT? A full throttle space-rock attack on the senses, interstellar nihilism

MORE DETAILS: London band, their 2004 debut album.

FOR FANS OF: King Gizz, Follakzoid, Hawkwind, Syd's Pink Floyd

Ploughing Through The Haze With The Drug Store Romeos

Drug Store Romeos are a hazy psychedelic three-piece from Hampshire that make the perfect kind of misty-eyed dream-pop for 2AM heartbreak. At the end of the month they're bringing their celestial sounds to Portsmouth Psych Fest, and already have a load of gigs under their belt all around the south. Set to put out their debut single on Strong Island (a label that hosts Vapour Trail favourites Melt Dunes, among others), they're a young band with a lot in store. In preparation for their return to Portsmouth (more on that later), I shot lead guitarist Charlie a few questions over.

20 Apr 2017

10,000 Russos - Distress Distress (album review)

10,000 Russos make nasty music. Horrible music; distorted and contorted drone psychedelia, giving a sound equivalent to the vision of Francis Bacon's triptychs. Never before has a trio been able to make such an evil sound, or create such jarring imagery with just guitars and a taste for blood. On their second album, the Portugese trio sound harder, darker, and more scathing than ever; ever wondered what 2017 sounds like? Well, Distress Distress is the answer.

The Only Regressive Thing That Could Kill Guitar Music? CHAUVINISM.

Ah, Lee Broadbent from Cabbage. Shouting loudly about your anarcho-commie politics is all well and good (it’s so hot right now!) but it is shown up as utterly false when you allegedly decided to take your grotty dick-wipe hand to a girl who had made the unfortunate error of queueing all day just to see her favourite band from a good spot. At a Kasabian gig, the kind of environment already dominated by masculinity, you decided to thrust your knob in a girl’s face. A girl who was there with her dad. Christ. Where to begin with this one, eh?

19 Apr 2017

"Aryan Nation", Introducing the Political Fuzz of Erika M. Anderson

The world is baying for political music, and the fuzzed-out noise-pop of EMA might be what we all need. Aryan Nation may be on the nose with its politics, but it's instantaneous guitar thrills and Anderson's own raucous, husky voice provides the perfect sonic backdrop for such a commentary.

BALL - Heavy Swedish Psych Occultism

The brainchild of Swedish rock 'n' roll enigma S. Yrék Ball, BALL are a hard rocking brown acid psych band that combine insane musicality with depraved howling and a self described occultism. With their new song Speeding,  they up the back breaking insanity of their music, as well as announce a record for release later this year.

Vocals are a depraved bark, gunslinging guitars alternate between obnoxiously technical hard rock soloing and evil-tinged psychedelic noodling, making for an intense psychedelic cocktail that could summon satan himself. Indeed, the track breaks down with a satanic voice croaking: "Come down and join us, come down and join us down here, I wish you would", before the track's handed a new lease of life in a I Am the Resurrection style return to life. Obviously Speeding is better than I Am the Resurrection, though.

18 Apr 2017

Shamir - Hope (album review)

Shamir Bailey’s sophomore LP is a fascinating progression for the Vegas based multi-instrumentalist. The infatuating electro house beats off his debut Ratchet have been traded for lo-fi guitar recordings, but the quirky infectious vocal leads which made the Ratchet one of the greatest debuts of the decade are carried over to his second album entitled Hope.

The music here shines a light of vulnerability on Shamir as an artist and the context given from the moving description attached to this album on soundcloud makes me feel like I shouldn’t be listening to this at all. Hope is clearly very personal to Shamir and I feel privileged to hear it.

16 Apr 2017

Clarence Clarity - Fold 'Em (track review)

Ever Wondered what The End Of The World sounds like? It’s glitchy synthetic and drizzled in Clarence Clarity. London-based singer-songwriter, producer and the genius behind one of the most futuristic records of the decade (No Now) Clarence Clarity is back and he has yet again delivered a song which is infectious fun and pop flavoured when it really shouldn’t be.

Eat Yrself Fitter! A Playlist of The Fall For Beginners

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People often ask me; "Cal Cashin, you're a music journalist; who do you think the greatest band of all time is?" The answer, something I'll share here for the purpose of contriving an introduction to this piece, is obvious. The answer to this is The Fall.

John Doran, editor of the Quietus once said: "There are only a few things that separate us from the rest of the animal kingdom... the most important of these attributes, is an appreciation of the music of The Fall. This means if you do not listen to such albums as Hex Enduction Hour, This Nation's Saving Grace and The Unutterable you are worse than savage. The solution to what ails us is clear -- be less beastly, listen to The Fall."

15 Apr 2017

Blaenavon - That's Your Lot (album review)

The Hampshire based three piece have been creating a buzz for quite a while, and their debut album That's Your Lot is magical. The twelve track journey contains the early singles Orthodox Man and My Bark Is Your Bite, along with a version of Prague differentiating from the early KOSO EP. Ben Gregory sings vocals and plays the guitar, and his poetic lyrics are a collection of imagery and feelings which could stand alone as beautiful poems.

Lost Classic Album of the Week #1 | Kaleidoscope - Kaleidoscope

WHAT? Stonking, skronking garage rock with a hazy, twilight zone feel to it.

MORE DETAILS? 1969, Puerto Rican five piece making some of the era's most futuristic sounds.

CAN I THINK OF A FUN FACT OFF THE TOP OF MY HEAD? The original vinyl copies of this are worth THOUSANDS. There was only 500 pressed and it's notorious as piss.

FOR FANS OF... The Velvet Underground, The Stooges, Electric Prunes, anything vaguely psychedelic, or even vaguely good...

14 Apr 2017

Arca - Arca (album review)

Arca’s last album Mutant felt like it was of another universe. This album feels like Arca’s soul has been exiled into dead space millions of light years away. Arca has become one of the most exciting electronic producers of the decade, and his extra-terrestrial textures have lead him to huge collaborations with FKA Twigs, Bjork and Kanye West.

His latest project is understandably self-titled. This record feels infinitely more human than his previous LPs; this is probably down to the addition of vocals, and the nature of it as self-titled implies all kinds of things about this as a statement of self-reflection. Arca’s voice glides blissfully through a thin line between beauty and monstrosity.  The opener Piel is unsettling and a fitting introduction to the lonely and heartbroken reality that Arca invites the listener into. Anoche is a highlight on the record Arca sings “I dreamed you last night, your figure and your arms” on this staggeringly beautiful art-pop opus.

Lights Out: Why Royal Blood's Return Proves They Might Have Even Less Imagination Than We Thought

Last year, I think the nastiest band I got my reviewer claws on was sneering Denace The Menace punk duo Slaves, a pair that well and truly proved that in a post-White Stripes, post-DFA1979, post-Japandroids, post-uhhh [are Fuzz a duo? They sound it on their debut] age, there really is seemingly nowhere you can go as a two-piece rock band. Every avenue for this one dimensional setup has been walked down, all the water has gone from well. All the chickens have gone home to roost and the metaphors are all mixed up.

13 Apr 2017

Husky Loops - Husky Loops (EP review)

Husky Loops' take on hard-rocking post-punk is refreshing, their debut EP is testament to the fact that the more diverse your influences the more you'll be able to bring to your music. There's all the trademarks of rock and post-punk as we know it; Jah-Wobbling basslines tight and high up in the mix, piercing guitar tones from all over the sonic field, and lyrics of darkness and the nature of the human condition. That's undeniable. But the crossrhythms of the drums, the bass motifs that wander, and some of frontman Danio's guitar absurdisms make this far more interesting. In short, with their debut EP, Husky Loops have made something so astronomically better than all the Joy Div and New Order copyists, and have already poised themselves as an exceptionally exciting propositions.

A Few Thoughts On "A Sign Of The Times"

Zayn Malik dropped a surprisingly decent solo record last year so the time has finally come for everyone's favourite wannabe rockstar to follow in his ex-bandmates footsteps. Or maybe not.

12 Apr 2017

Top of the Interplanetary Class: How The Moonlandingz Went From Fiction To Releasing The Best Debut of 2017

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2015 saw the release of one of the most ambitious British records of the 2010s so far: The Eccentronic Research Council’s Johnny Rocket: Narcissist and Music Machine, I’m your biggest fan. A 40 minute allegorical album that combined the visceral story-telling narrative of Maxine Peake (of Shameless fame) atop eerie atmospheric pop songs made on brooding vintage synthesisers. The Johnny Rocket album told the narrative of Peake’s deranged and twisted character, the archetypal obsessive fan gone too far; from the fictional town of Valhalla Dale, a northern township a simple bus ride away from Sheffield. She becomes infatuated with Johnny Rocket; frontman of local rock and roll band The Moonlandingz. When the narrator’s infatuation becomes too much, the album reaches a heavy literary climax and-

17 Mar 2017

PREMIERE | The Depraved New Video For Weird Sex's Stonking 'Mummy's Little Solider'

London quartet Weird Sex are a noisy bunch. On their debut release, a split EP with Broken Soundtracks that contains 8 tracks of maniacal scorched earth garage rock, their sound sees rough and ready garage rock meet blaring confrontational feedback, which atop is the depraved sneer of frontman Joey Ackland. Everything you need and more from a garage rock band, their music sounds genuinely dangerous, while they have a live show to match.

To accompany that comes a video for lead track Mummy's Little Soldier. Maybe the most confrontational of all the EP's tracks, it's accompanied by a video that matches its thundering intensity and emanating sense of danger. A video resembling a Halloween special of Nathan Barley accompanies the depraved noise, making it the EP's strongest track alongside the Butthole Surfers-like noise assault of Please Come Home, the raucous Trevor, and the warped waltz of Never Get Old.

8 Mar 2017

International Women's Day: A New Music Playlist

Today (March 8th) is International Women's Day. To celebrate, here's a selection of new music from female musicians to soundtrack your celebrations.

6 Mar 2017

Truck Festival 2017 Will Be The Best Weekend Of Summer

Taking place annually in the heart of rural Oxfordshire, Truck Festival is one of the fastest growing music events in the country. Drawing in bands big and small to what never ceases to be an eclectic line-up, the festival has grown substantially over its two-decade career and last year saw 10,000 fans flock to performances from Manic Street Preachers, Everything Everything and tons more. Returning this July 21st - 23rd with an equally mind blowing programme, here are 20 reasons Truck Festival's 20th birthday celebration will be the best party of the season.

Kieran Pedder: Truck Festival 2017 Exclusive

An unlikely addition to the Truck Festival line-up poster this year is regular dude/total fuckin' babe Kieran Pedder. Just why exactly is a mystery to most. I got the low down from Pedder about how a bit of online fun may just turn into the best, if most bizarre, musical moment of the year.

28 Feb 2017

The Past Couple of Months: 10 Great Tracks We Missed

Hi friends, it's me, your friend Cal. I've been super busy with uni work and Simpsons Hit and Run since the new year, so posts have been a bit thin on the ground. To overcompensate in a way that isn't actually all that interesting, I thought I'd give ya a quick round up of all the stuff I've not been bothered to write about... Fill your boots, yer at yer A'ntie's. It's not all as bleak as Rag and Fucking Bone Man, I promise.

21 Feb 2017

Oliver Wilde / Post-Frenz Container Buzz (album review)

Oliver Wilde is an artist that finds himself in somewhat of an unusual position ahead of his latest release. Despite having shared two albums and an extended EP thus far, Post-Frenz Container Buzz represents the first time the 27-year-old has had an audience to consider whilst writing an album, having produced the majority of his previous work years before they were put out by his label. Furthering Wilde’s unconventional career path, a life-threatening heart condition has prevented the Bristolian from ever consistently touring, with his show in London late last year ending a two year absence from the capital. Its fair to say things have been far from textbook.

12 Feb 2017

Dean Garcia: An Interview

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Dean Garcia is among the most prescient names the come outta alternative music over the past 25 years. Making his name in the band Curve in the early nineties, real dream-pop pioneers; shoegazing ethereality, with genuinely brilliant experimental dance and hip-hop elements. Since the band's dissolution, he's worked on a number of projects along a similar vane; Headcase, SPC ECO and most recently S T F U, his project with Preston Maddox of Bloody Knives. I spoke to Dean about a number of things, from recent ventures to Mick Jagger's tinfoil windows.

10 Feb 2017

On Melt Dunes' Fearsome New Single 'Flesh'

Premiere: Melt Dunes - Flesh
The most dangerous sounding live band in the country, Melt Dunes' satanic guitar freakouts sound like the meeting of the abyss and the void. Their new single, Flesh, has arrived and uncompromisingly set a precedent for 2017 as the year for apocalyptic aggro-psych.

25 Jan 2017

Father John Misty / Pure Comedy (single review)

Depending on who you ask, in the last five years Father John Misty has either gone from strength to strength, or from twee folk shaman to pretentiously insufferable (insufferably pretentious) soothsayer of farty millennial nonsense. I quite like him. I also like the trajectory of his music; from the baroque-pop-with-an-edge attempts of 2012's Fear Fun, to the romance-album-with-an-edge stylings of 2015's I Love You, Honeybear. He remains, in my opinion, the only artist who can fit the lyric "mascara, blood, ash and come, on the Rorschach sheets where we make love" in a piece of orchestral, twinkly, heartfelt balladry and not make you want to hit him.

23 Jan 2017

Win Tickets to X-Posure Live This Weekend!

Returning this Saturday January 28th at the new location of Omeara, London, Radio X's legendary X-Posure Live all-dayer is bursting with the most interesting new talent on the indie music scene. We've got a pair of tickets to give away - all you have to do is follow us on Twitter, and retweet this post!

16 Jan 2017

Sundara Karma / Youth Is Only Ever Fun In Retrospect (album review)

Champions of the festival circuit in the Summer of 2016, Sundara Karma found themselves standing pretty high before their debut had even seen the light of day. With major indie titans such as Peace and Wolf Alice away working on their own records, now is as good a chance as any to seize the throne.

5 Jan 2017

Get Inuit's 'Barbiturates' Is the First Banger of 2017

Wake up, shake off those January blues and get a whiff of that teen angst my friend. With what's undeniably the first absolute belter of 2017, Kent quartet Get Inuit are here to bring you out of your post-festive melancholy and remind you that guitar music exists. On their new single 'Barbiturates', incendiary guitars stop and start in a restless frenzy, frontman Jamie Glass delivering an equally frenetic vocal which simmers gently for one second before skyrocketing uncontrollably the next. The track teases and provokes, pulsating raucously for upwards of four minutes, but not losing a shred of momentum along the way.