PINKY PINKY: Turkey Dinner.

12 06 2019

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This Friday sees the release of the debut record by LA’s Pinky Pinky. Their debut record is 11 Surfer/Garage Rock songs for you to waste your days to. They’ll make you want to laze about and do a whole load of nothing. Sometimes you just need that, and sometimes it is a band that can drag this feeling out of you.

There’s no point in me trying to give you bands as comparisons to Pinky Pinky. They have something you haven’t heard before, and this delicate sound they have just soothes you. We all need something to ease the brain at times, and Pinky Pinky do it in a way that just helps you gently drift off with them. The songs give you a beautiful summer mood.

 

 

The songs have a lovely storyteller feel to them, and I think this is really evident on Lady Dancer. You can imagine the person they are singing about in your head. I love when bands can create something that makes you think, or takes you off somewhere. You can just imagine meeting this kind of person on Lady Dancer, and being totally consumed by them.

You’ve got your lo-fi sound that makes you feel you’re listening to them play in their garage (I’m all for this sound, by the way) and they project daily insecurities and anxieties so well- better than I probably could. The band grew up together, which I feel is part of why they have such a tight sound. It’s like you can feel their bond come right through in their songs. They played some shows here in the UK last month, and I reckon the next time they come back to us it’ll be at bigger venues, with more of us singing and swaying along to these laid-back songs.

Something which I adore about the band is Anastasia’s love for Fiona Apple. I can’t praise Fiona enough, and her debut record is probably one of the best records of all time. I’ll stop before I go off on one again. You can sort of hear Fiona’s influence flowing through some songs, and I think it makes you really appreciate how great the band are. To be able to pick someone like Fiona and add this Surfer Rock feel to it is just something I love. It’s something I love a hell of a lot, and it makes me excited to hear more from the band. Pinky Pinky have this sound that hits you with a wave of reassurance. Even if you’re having a shitty day, you can put their record on and you’ll feel better. Or maybe you’ll just want to trash your room then take a nap. Any of this is okay.

With a few EPs to their name, it is safe to say that Turkey Dinner is the record that is going to win over new fans for Pinky Pinky, and it’s hopefully going to please a number of fans. There is a lot of growth in this record, and they have not been shy in experimenting with different sounds. If you’re not going to be courageous with your art, then what is the point?

 

 

As the record comes to a close on Loose Change (I hope this ends up being a single) it is fair to say that this record has a lot of attitude to it and wisdom. It’s a record to grow to, identify with and just become obsessed with.

Turkey Dinner comes out on Friday (14th June) via Innovative Leisure.

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MADONNATRON: Musica alla Puttanesca.

4 06 2019

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As an Italian, I obviously love the name of the new Madonnatron record. As a music lover, I am obsessed with the Tron. They are one of the most exciting bands around, and if you’re someone who likes your music to be beautifully odd and different- the Tron after for you. This is their second record, and it sounds like a band well into their career. When a band are so sure of their sound, it just makes you love them more than you already did.

The record opens with a slight disco number, Goodnight Little Empire which is such a great way to open a record. What I adore about Madonnatron is that they mess around with all music styles, and make it their own. This whole record is s mash-up of any and everything, and it is just divine. How is this their second record? It sounds like something a band that have been together for decades would make. It’s a solid record that just lifts you up. Music wise, this record is strong and vocally- it’s yet another masterpiece. There is so much growth on this record, and it smacks you immediately on the first song.

Musica all Puttanesca is 11 songs of sheer joy. You cannot help but feel good when you listen to these songs, even if there are a couple of sad elements, the general feel of this record is just blissful and uplifting. I’m not even going to make any comparisons to their debut record; there’s really no point in doing so, because it’s totally different in the best way possible. What I love about Madonnatron is that they aren’t afraid to push their limits. Anything they do is never a repeat of what they have done before, and all great bands do this. A lot of bands I love take this approach, and it’s such a brilliant thing to hear. You don’t want to keep hearing the same songs over and over, and the Tron most certainly are one of the most exciting bands around.

 

 

In just 45 minutes, the Tron blow you away on this record yet again. Songs like Liminal and Sucker Punch are just made to be heard live (I really hope they do them on the tour this month!) and I’m just so excited that I finally get to see them live soon. I should have seen them many times whilst living in London, but something (mainly my panic attacks) got in the way. I guess you have to push through what your minds turns you against at times, right? This is a record that can be played in any order, and every song will hit you again with new reasons to fall in love with it. 2 minutes 40 seconds in Liminal feels like a religious chant or something, it’s like The Shangri-Las meets The Slits in a way. For me, that’s a sound I get quite a bit off this record, and again- it’s another reason to adore it.

Let’s get into the heavier songs for a sec. Superhands is raw, it’s rough, it’s brutal and snarly. It’s the one you play extra loud, it’s the one you absolutely scream back at the band if they play it live. Hell, if they don’t- just belt it out in the comfort of your room, or even on public transport. Get everyone involved with the Tron! Superhands right now is my favourite song off the record, but that’s because I’m needing heavier sounds at the moment, but I’ll change my mind with every listen because there’s no way you can pick just one favourite. No way.

Flesh Pond and Sucker Punch are two other songs I really hope they play live, because there is something in these songs that just makes you move and feel totally untouchable. There’s an unconventional Pop sound in Sucker Punch. I know most turn their nose up at Pop, but that’s because Pop music now is crap (for the most part) but this has something really sincere and pure about it. Sucker Punch is a great song, and it’s slowly creeping up as first place for me at the moment. I adore the vocals on this one, for me this is my highlight vocally. I love how their voices come together and just create this gang-like, almost ritualistic chant. I love that, and I love how powerful this song is and how the vocals really give this song that extra push. I could listen to it on repeat forever, and never get tired. It sounds like something that would be in a really cool superhero film where the hero (actually, heroine) is unexpected/not who or what you think. It’s a powerful song for many reasons. One listen isn’t enough.

Blue Pill has an early 90s Suede/Elastica feel to it, and I guess that’s why I love it so. It’s got something about it that is so dreamy and ethereal. It’s one of those songs you listen to, and just escape the world for a while. You let them take you elsewhere on this, and the world that Madonnatron have created on this record just makes you never want to come back down to earth from. They take you to another world, and this world is unconventional and beautiful.

 

 

Musica alla Puttanesca is an eerie and wonderful record that will spook you in the most captivating way imaginable. Nightmare In Silver is a Halloween jam. Play it all the time mind, don’t limit yourself! It’s a record that you play an insane amount of times, and just get blown away with every listen. I can’t help but fall in love with it every time I listen to it. I’ve had it on repeat the past few days, and I’m pretty sure my brain is currently made up of Madonnatron lyrics/songs. It’s not a bad thing at all. It’s probably better than what usually goes on! (I’m probably thinking about naps, cats, my girlfriend and when I can have a nap…repeat.)

The mighty Tron are heading out on tour in a few weeks. Get your tickets here: https://madonnatron.com/shows.php





GHUM.

1 06 2019

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I had convinced myself that I had written about GHUM ages, and ages ago. Turns out I was wrong. However, as my love for this brilliant band has grown, maybe now is the right time to write about them.

GHUM are a band that have magical, mysterious and ethereal songs. Every song feels like a glorious whirlwind. If you love the way Warpaint take you off into another world, then you are going to be OBSESSED with GHUM. They have that same eerie and mysterious feel to their sound, and for me it is obvious on songs like TV. GHUM have hypnotic grooves and really laid-back vocals that just soothe your soul.

 

 

They’re heading out on tour next month (I’ll post the dates at the end) and I am SO excited to be able to see them here in Manchester. I really cannot wait. I’m pretty sure it’s going to be one of those shows that just stay with me forever, and I’ll just be in awe of them. I really cannot wait.

I think GHUM are one of those bands that if I started a band, I’d want to have elements of their sound. They are heavy yet ethereal. The only other band I can think of that do this are TwoFiftyFour, and everyone knows how much I adore that band (where do you think the name of my site came from!?) GHUM have this relaxing sound but there is something really heavy there. The heaviness gives the listener this really raw atmospheric feel, and as someone who loves music that provides a moment of escapism, I can safely say that GHUM are pros at this. I love everything about their sound, and it is the kind of sound that I cannot get enough.

The band are based in London but they come from Spain, Essex, Brazil and London. They have a new EP coming out on the 28th June called The Coldest Fire  via Everything Sucks Music. I reckon it’s going to be a collection of dreamy yet haunting songs. The best kind. I hope the songs are beautifully creepy as The Window and I’m The Storm! GHUM are one of those bands that make me realise why I love music so much, and why I love writing about music. This is the kind of sound I want to always hear. I love the layers within the songs, and how with each listen you can pick up on something else to be left in awe of, or a lyric to really connect with.

Undone is the song you’d want playing everywhere you go, like a theme tune. It’s got this eerie feel to it that is so addictive. You can imagine hearing it as you wander city streets late at night whilst the world sleeps. Well, depending on what city you’re in really. If I still lived in London, this would be the perfect song to play whilst on everyone’s favourite trip- the night bus! 253 night bus, that was always a treat.

GHUM are the kind of band you’d hope young kids hear and think, “This is what I want to do!” They’ve got something about them that just fires you up. It’s in songs like Get Up and Witches. I really hope these two songs make their live shows because I reckon they will just be mind-blowing. Especially Get Up- it’s got this brilliant build-up that is so intense, and the vocals are snarly as fuck! I absolutely love this song, and it’s one of the year’s most powerful songs. When you listen to it, you feel tough and sometimes that’s exactly what you need.

 

 

In short then, GHUM are the UK’s finest band and if you’re looking for a band to put a fire in your belly or to blow your mind or to just move you like nothing else- then you need to listen to them, obsessively because there’s no other way you can listen to them really.

Here are some tour dates for you:

13th July: The Shacklewell Arms, London

14th July: The Sunflower Lounge, Birmingham

15th July: The Castle Hotel, Manchester

16th July: The Hug And Pint, Glasgow

19th July: The Wheatsheaf, Oxford

20th July: The Chelsea Inn, Bristol

They are also playing the Roadkill Festival at The Victoria in London 10th-11th August!

Buy the EP at the end of this month, come to the shows and sing your beautiful heart out!

 

*Photo by Poppy Marriott. Please check her work out here!





URF.

29 05 2019

 

Supporting Crocodiles a few weeks ago were local band, URF. Manchester is known for having brilliant music scene. It’s something to be massively proud of, and another reason as to why I love this city.

URF capture the doom and gloom of daily life, but don’t let that put you off. They do it in a way that is so intricate and articulate; it’s sheer poetry. They have this effortlessly cool Shoegaze sound that will just blow you away. On record they’ve got something that reels you in, but when you see them live something switches. Their live shows are something else. There’s something really mysterious and industrial-like in their sound. They have a song called Night Driving which is one of their greatest, if not best song to date. That’s just my opinion, mind. I love how intense it is, and also has quite delicate moments within it. They take you for a ride on all their songs, but this one in particular takes you further.

 

 

For me, they are the kind of band that after hearing once- you’re hooked. I love bands like that, and I love this really intense atmosphere they have. Each of them create this mood, and it’s just a pleasure to listen to. For The Ride shows us just how powerful Abbi’s voice is, and I can honestly say that her vocals live are even stronger than on record. For The Ride has this euphoric build-up, and the instrumental part of this song will leave you covered in goosebumps. It’s the kind of song that leaves you in awe, and completely taken aback that something can be this great. It’s a beautiful song, and that instrumental part is just perfect.

Now we’re going to get into their new song, Solitude.

Solitude is a heavy word. It’s something most would shy away from. There’s nothing wrong with being alone, and experiencing it is probably good for the soul because if you can’t tolerate your own company- who will? There’s nothing more peaceful and powerful than listening to music on your own. Just taking everything in, and grasping everything a song or record gives you. Solitude isn’t a dirty word. URF have created something really amazing with their new single, and it captures being alone perfectly.

There are dark moments in the song, sure. But it is beautifully done, and it leaves you wanting more and more. The instrumental will have the same effect on you also, and maybe that’ll take you to a different zone. Music that can elevate you or just take you out of where you are mentally is so powerful, and I adore that URF have done this again. They are so hypnotic and bold; it’s a sound that I cannot and will not ever get tired of.

Solitude is the kind of song you’d hear on a Scandinavian detective drama (either whilst a detective loses his mind or something brutal happens) but don’t let that put you off. I’m basically getting at, URF have made something here which shits you up but is also ethereal. Seventeen Seconds by The Cure- that’s the same level that this song is on. Of course all their songs are, but Solitude in particular is on that level.

 

URF are nothing short of incredible. They’ve supported the likes of The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Crocodiles and Estrons. They will also be playing the Manchester Psych Fest this year. They are also playing their own show at YES on 15th June!

Buy their music, go to their shows and wear your URF shirt with pride, like me.

I can’t praise them enough. They’re just such an exciting band, and are making something that really hasn’t been done before. You can throw in all the comparisons all you want, but it won’t stick because URF have something. It’s something that goes beyond words, but will evoke all kinds of feelings. Get lost in the music, it’s all you can do.





AMYL AND THE SNIFFERS: Self-titled

28 05 2019

 

Everything I’m going to write about the best Punk band around has probably been said before. I’ve probably said it before, but when a band is THIS GREAT, it is totally okay to just keep on repeating yourself. Maybe others will catch on and see how amazing they are.

A couple months back I finally saw Amyl and The Sniffers live. The show left me a bit deaf, and emotionally charged. They’ve got the real and raw essence of Punk in them, and I honestly feel like this is how people felt when they first heard the Ramones when they came out. There is something about Amyl and The Sniffers that just gives you this indescribable energy. Part of you wants to smash shit up, the other part wants you to have someone smack you in the chops.

 

 

The new record is 11 songs that need to be played loud. Really, really loud. It’s the record you play when your neighbours are pissing you off, and you need something really powerful to shut them out. Every song on this record was made to be blasted out, and to give you this kick that you need.

Bryce is one of the most fascinating drummers around, and for me it’s the song  GFY that show us just how effortlessly brilliant he is. The speed of his drumming is equally, and perfectly matched with Dec. Angel sees Gus show us what he’s made of, and it also shows us a tender side of the band. You can really hear the hurt in Amy’s voice, but still leaves you fully aware that she is someone that you don’t fuck with.

When there is hype around a band/record, it is easy to be jaded about it and not expect a thing. But, with Amyl and The Sniffers- hype or no hype, they are just one of the greatest bands out there who leave you amazed that they are still so early in their career. The absolute urgency that is in their songs is perfect, and it hypes you up for their live shows. If you’ve seen them live, you’ll know what I mean.

Gacked on Anger is one of my favourites- especially lyrically. You can really feel the lyrics. Especially if you’re someone who has nothing, but still wants to help out. Control also has this real vulnerability to it also. That’s part of my love for the band. Sure the sound is rowdy, but there is this vulnerability in the lyrics and I guess that’s why the music hits you a bit harder than most.

There’s this beautiful youth within the songs, and it’s something that when you pick up on it- you cannot help but treasure it. It’s obvious on songs like Got You. Songs like Shake Ya are there for you to turn up a little louder than the others, and just totally lose your shit to. Punisha is also there is melt your face and blow you away. This just a phenomenal record. If you’re someone who looks for things wrong with a record because you find it too perfect, then sorry- you will not find a damn thing wrong with this record. Their bold and ferocious sound is so strong on their debut record, and they make you feel like they are right in front of you blasting out these songs.

 

 

As far as debut records go, you can put this right against some of the most influential and best records of all time. It’s a masterpiece, and an absolute joy to listen to. I am so excited to see what’s next for Amyl and The Sniffers because they really do deserve every ounce of praise that comes their way. The most exciting band around, for sure.

 

 





THE COATHANGERS: Soup Kitchen, Manchester 29th April 2019.

30 04 2019

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The Coathangers have been around for a hell of a long time, and it is no surprise that they are one of the best bands around- live and on record. Last night they played one of Manchester’s best venues, the Soup Kitchen. It was the perfect venue for this band. In a dark and sweaty basement was a lot of noise brewing and it was sublime.

The band are made up of three exceptional musicians who swap instruments for a couple of songs during the set- this alone sets them apart from others, and shows just how effortlessly brilliant they are. If you are wanting a solid Garage Rock sound mixed with something to straight up blow your mind, then you need to see The Coathangers live. There is something about their live shows that leaves you wanting more and more.

Something I really love about The Coathangers is that some of their songs have a relaxed feel to it, like Warpaint but then you’ve got those heavier songs like Crimson Telephone (which is amazing live) reminds me of LA Witch. What I’m getting at is, The Coathangers are a band that you’ve just got to invest in. Buy the records, go to their shows. There is something about their live shows that have a Bikini Kill feel to it- rowdy, inspiring and wonderful.

Personally, my favourite song to hear last night was Perfume. I just really, really love that song and it was just perfect to see live.

Hey Buddy is sung by Stephanie who whilst singing, is beating the shit out of the drums. I have massive respect for anyone who can drum and sing at the same time. Stephanie does it in a way that makes you wish you could do it. It’s again, another brilliant moment in their set. They just make you wish you could play like them. They truly are a phenomenal band, who just make you wish you could follow them on tour.

Meredith is such a mesmerising bass player. She’s got this effortlessly cool way of executing brutal basslines, especially on Stranger Danger. She just annihilates it. Julia is also hypnotic, she can sing soft and she can really hit you in the gut with her vocals. It is perfectly evened out with Stephanie’s vocals. Their vocals are opposite, and they work so well but it all comes together in unison on F The NRA, which is one of their most important songs. It’s a real gnarly Punk song that needs to be played and heard as loudly as possible. I love how hardly anyone had their phones out to record songs or take photos, everyone was just in the moment and it was truly beautiful to see.

With their sixth record released in March, it is safe to say that The Coathangers are exceptional, hard-working and one of the most exciting bands around. They play songs from most of their records, and everyone goes nuts for it. There is no denying how talented they are, and how loved they are. They are truly one of the most exciting bands around, and can still make you feel like you’re discovering them for the first time with every single listen.

It was an absolute honour and pleasure to finally see them live last night, and I doubt it’ll be my last time.

VIVA THE COATHANGERS!





AMYL AND THE SNIFFERS: The Deaf Institute, Manchester. 6th April 2019.

6 04 2019

“I’m poor, I’m broke, but I’m just fine.”

You know how the world and its mother insists that they were at the Sex Pistols gig decades and decades ago at the Lesser Free Trade Hall? Well, tonight at The Deaf Institute, Amyl and The Sniffers gave off that feeling- this was a gig that EVERYONE wanted to be at. I feel bad for those who didn’t see that their set was at half 8, and walked in just as their show was coming to an end.

I was right at the back, but I saw it all. I was right at the back and not near speakers, but I can’t hear properly. That alone makes it a brilliant show. As someone who has panic attacks a fair amount, I was convinced this would be the reason why I wouldn’t be able to make the show tonight. But I went. No hint of anxiety was there, and amongst a room full of sweaty strangers- I felt safe. I was in my own world. I needed this. I needed to witness this beautiful form of chaos and see a band that I absolutely adore, for the first time.

The first thing I want to talk about is their cover of Deceptacon by Le Tigre. A song that is just obviously one of the best. Le Tigre mean a lot to me, anything Kathleen Hanna does means a lot to me. She’s a fucking goddess, and seeing Amyl and The Sniffers put this song in their set tonight gave me that feeling I got when I first heard Kathleen Hanna’s voice.

The first thing you notice about Amyl and The Sniffers is their energy. If you’re feeling a bit shitty, go to one of their shows or just listen to their music. It’ll do something to you that nothing else will. This gig tonight was truly something else, and I don’t think any band has ever ripped The Deaf Institute apart like this before. There was a mosh pit immediately, Amy stage dived a few times, she handed the mic around to the crowd (one lucky person made it on stage to sing with her for a few seconds before security clocked on.) It was a show that made you feel some type of way. It made you feel alive, and I know that sounds so corny but it really gave you that intense feeling. I love how Amy has this massive grin on her face the whole time. You can tell that they all love playing shows so much, and it truly shows on their faces and the way they all play with this strong and united energy, which flows right into the crowd instantly.

70s Street Munchies was one of my many highlights. It’s easily my favourite song by them, but seeing it live just hyped the song up even more for me. I love how Amyl and The Sniffers are such a strong Punk band yet they don’t make it feel clichéd or make it sound like something we’ve all heard before. They’re doing it their way, and it’s nothing short of perfect. Westgate and Mole (Sniff Sniff) were intense and brilliant. New songs like Monsoon Rock were incredible. Monsoon Rock has this really brutal intro, it’s incredible. I’m Not A Loser and Stole My Push Bike saw everyone go totally nuts and lose their shit. I loved, LOVED Balaclava Lover Boogie so much. I love how this song has this almost Funk rhythm to it- for me, Amy’s vocals on this are my favourite, easily. She has this way of screaming the songs at you but they do not have any hints of intimidation to it. You listen. You listen intensely, and shout the words back. You cannot take your eyes off the band, they are all just a sheer joy to watch, and will leave you wishing, “I wish I could do that.”

They may have only been making music together for a couple of years, but if you heard them and knew nothing about them- you’d have thought that they have been together for decades and are either as band that spilled out of New York in the 70s, or were part of the Riot Grrrl movement in the 90s. What I’m getting at is basically, they take everything I am in love with about music and just blow your mind. They’re like the Ramones meets Bikini Kill, but at the same time they are just unlike anything else.

On record they blow your mind, but live they absolutely burst your eardrums. Tonight’s show in Manchester was nothing short of rambunctious joy. Nobody was stood still at this show; as soon as the band came on stage there was this glorious roar in the crowd, and that energy went straight into the band.

Of all the shows I’ve been to, I really don’t think I’ve seen this much energy in a room before. I hope some people who were there left wanting to start their own band or movement. The atmosphere was nothing less than what I’d expect from a Manchester crowd. They’re the best crowd, always. There was just so much love and respect in the room, and it just added to the beauty of the show.

I really cannot praise Amyl and The Sniffers enough, and something tells me that this will not be the last time I go see this band. They leave you wishing you could be at their shows every night because sometimes, you just need that raw and rowdy feel from a show. They give you it, and a hell of a lot more. Drinks flew, items of clothing ended up on stage and hearing was probably lost by most of us. A memorable show, for sure.

Go see them. Stand at the back and soak up the atmosphere, or go right into the depths of the crowd and throw your body around with everyone else. Wherever you are, you’ll just feel part of this truly mind-blowing experience, and you’ll probably compare everything else you listen to or any show you go to, to them.