DUMB TALK-Handshakes.

3 11 2013

 

 

I wrote about Dumb Talk some time back when I probably started listening to them at silly o’clock and thought I had something to say. I did have something to say, and I still stand by what I wrote about them. They are a band that New York should be massively proud of. Apparently Lady Gaga’s new one has leaked, but who cares?! Dumb Talk have a new single out. At least their sound isn’t pretentious.

I’ve been a fan for over a year of Dumb Talk, and I remember being obsessed with their songs, Princess and Cry Baby. I just played them over and over. They have this relaxing feel to their music but they have a brilliant element of Garage Rock to it. They clear your mind but at the same time they make you want to hurl stuff out of a window. Differences draw you closer.

Handshakes gives you back the summer feeling that is now just a distant memory. Now all you’ve got is questionable radiators, less daylight and wearing more layers of clothing than you wish to. But, if you’re anything like me (god help you) you’ll probably still be wearing band shirts and jeans without any regard for keeping warm. I hate wearing a coat. Handshakes sounds like the whole band are steadily getting drunk, but it’s okay. That hazy feel they have to their music is why it is so easy to love them.

I won’t bore you with words describing the song and such, watch the video. Buy the song. Support the band. They make beautiful music to dream to. And sometimes, you just need that. A simple dream to keep something in you alive. Dumb Talk are doing it right. They’re a band to love and to treasure. Hold them close, they’ll guide you as they softly sing “Come on baby….”

You can purchase the single here: http://evilweevilrecords.bandcamp.com/track/handshakes-digital-single

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DUM DUM GIRLS-Lost Boys And Girls Club.

2 11 2013

 

 

With the passing of Lou Reed casting an indefinite dark shadow over those who loved him, finding joy in most things over the past week has proven to be a drag. The person responsible for your how you think at times and the one who made you feel less of a freak is no longer around. The music will linger on; and you’ll forever wish his final breath lasted longer. To heal once more; to heal himself.

Two days ago, Dum Dum Girls made the loss less painful. Lost Boys And Girls Club is the perfect song to ease the loss, and to drag you into the underworld that Lou Reed once lured us into. I think it is fairly obvious that Dee Dee Penny is this generation’s Patti Smith. Her poetic heart creates words that twist and turn to your soul. Grabbing you at your lowest and saving you. The beauty that is in Patti’s music is found in Dum Dum Girls.

Lost Boys And Girls Club is taken from the new record, Too True and is out January. Record of 2014? There is no doubt in my mind that it will be. I don’t think I have the patience to wait for it, but I must. I must. Until then, I’ve got Lost Boys And Girls Club to play on repeat. I’ve mentioned in previous ramblings that I find it easy to write about certain bands because they just make you feel something; they move you. Dum Dum Girls are one of those bands. For many years I’ve been in awe of Dee Dee’s songwriting skills. The simplicity of songs like Rest Of Our Lives just blew my mind because it spoke of love in the purest way. Along came the song Coming Down and it became a crutch for me. It still is.

What I love about Dum Dum Girls is that their sound constantly sounds like a new day emerging. A sunrise to give you hope. Dee Dee’s words make you feel less alone when you feel unsure or nervous about the person you are. Lost Boys And Girls Club is perfect for those who need some form of direction. I’m 27 in 10 days and I still feel hopeless at time; but bands like Dum Dum Girls form a glue that keeps the heart together. The mind wanders, and goes into another world.

Speaking of “another world” the video to the single is brilliant. It is sinful and dark. Fake leather and darkness set the mood; it just seems to evoke everything I love. As soon as Dee Dee appears in the video, she has the striking presence as if you are back a few decades discovering Siouxsie for the first time. She steps into what resembles to Garden of Eden, luring you in. As if you’d ever want to turn away.

The way she sings “There’s no particular place we are going, still we are going.” does wonders for the mind and soul. It reassures you to be okay with not really knowing what you are doing or where you were going. If this was something we all were sure about, there would be no point to our existence.

From being part of a Blank Generation to now a Lost Boys And Girls Club, the teachings and meaning of Punk lives in bands like Dum Dum Girls.

Join the club.

 





WARPAINT- Love Is To Die.

28 10 2013

 

 

With a wealth of sadness covering those who adored, admired, loved and treasured Lou Reed, to find anything good right now in the state of music is difficult. It is obvious who has been influenced by him, and as I go through the musicians I love it is fair to say that most of them would not have existed if it wasn’t for Lou Reed. For some reason now, listening to any music I am starting to pick up on Velvet Underground/Lou Reed influences in their music. His music is going to live on in those who truly loved him.

This leads me onto a band I’ve adored for many years now. I had the honour to interview them three years ago, the day before their debut record, The Fool was released. I’ve never sensed that level of passion of music before from a band. The way they spoke about how they make music to how they are with each other was truly inspiring. To finally hear something new by them, given what has happened in the past 24 hours has truly eased the loss of a man who was nothing short of a poetic genius.

Love Is To Die is yet again, an ethereal gem from Warpaint. It is melancholic but utterly tranquil. Much like songs such as Lissie’s Heart Murmur and Stars, Love Is To Die is a song to escape to. What I immediately noticed about Love Is To Die is that it STILL has that floating on water feel that is found on all of The Fool. You always feel as if you are dreaming when you listen to Warpaint. Theresa’s vocals on Love Is To Die sound so divine and vulnerable. The way she trembles as she sings just makes you really really excited for the new record. I guess you start trembling too.

Warpaint are a band feel very comfortable writing about because they have this brilliant ability of transporting you elsewhere, and it makes you feel free. When you feel free you can unleash everything you feel. Sure it may not be coherent at times, but you still manage to get it out.

On Wednesday I’m FINALLY seeing Warpaint live, PINS are supporting too which makes me even more excited. I’m pretty confident that every feeling I’ve had from listening to Warpaint on record is going to be heightened when I see them live. Love Is To Die is probably going to be one of those songs that just make you close your eyes and sway your cares away. It’s so easy to do it in the comfort of a room with no one present. But to do it in front of the band who set every part of you free, well of course it is going to be intense yet liberating.

Everything is so clear on Love Is To Die. The way Stella drums is perfectly merged with Jenny’s haunting bass playing. Theresa’s vocals flow in and out of you as you sway to Emily’s captivating guitar melodies. I’ve only been home a few hours, but I’ve not really listened to anything else.  Love Is To Die is like a dreamy gaze into the unknown. Pure and gentle. As I listen to Love Is To Die I find myself being reminded of that feeling that hit me when I first heard Warpaint, when I heard Elephants. Elephants is more chaotic than Love Is To Die, but I knew I was hearing something truly special. I wear my Warpaint tattoo with love, pride and respect.

I’ve exhausted every feeling imaginable in past writings about Warpaint, and I know I’ll never get tired of expressing my admiration for them.

 





COLD CAVE- Nausea, The Earth And Me.

19 10 2013

 

There are many bands that express our disdain towards the world in a way better than we ever could. At times it does get frustrating when we cannot do it, but when we find those who can do it in a way better than our own- we cling onto them. We cling onto them as if they were some kind of religious figure. I don’t believe in a god, but you get my point. We cling onto them for hope, guidance and a way to pull through. Every single time I listen to Cold Cave I am reminded of just how powerful they are. How influential Wes’ words are to me, and have been for many years- regardless of which band of his it is.

This year I finally saw Cold Cave live. I saw them in what I felt to be the best place, the Electrowerkz in London. The venue is dark, sweaty and creepy. I couldn’t imagine seeing them anywhere else. I was in awe of Amy and Wes; how they transported you into a world where you felt safe and accepted. Of course when you go outside, this feeling isn’t always the case. But I’m old enough now to not want to seek acceptance or approval. I’d rather waste my time and thoughts on something else.

Nausea, The Earth And Me is 6 minutes of intensity and truth. Yet again Wes shows here just exactly why he is one of the greatest lyricists around. His ability to capture the feelings we try to push aside is just wonderful. A prime example of this is:

“Tell me how does strength make a difference,
When all I ever strongly feel is indifference.”

The bravery that you feel coming through on this song is a real source of comfort, you feel human again as you listen to Wes’ voice and take in his words. The boredom we feel when we are forced to hear people speak, when really they should just be quiet. Sometimes it is really exhausting to listen; switching off is easy and is sometimes for the best. The world can make you feel ill and can turn your stomach at the very thought of some people’s actions. It’s alright to turn your back. My back is probably better than my front, but only just,

Cold Cave have put out some really pure and passionate songs this year; Nausea, The Earth And Me is probably the most exquisite of them all as it just builds throughout. A Little Death To Laugh is constantly floating through my head, but there is something about this one that just cements the Cold Cave sound. A sound which unifies lost souls and tired bones.

“Tell me why am I even listening,
When you’ve never said a thing I want to hear.”

Wes’ words are from the heart straight to the soul. Without them, I’d see and feel no hope. They’re everything and beyond, for always.





THE CREEPING IVIES-What Would Joey Ramone Do?/Ramona Wolf.

19 10 2013

 

 

The Creeping Ivies have been a band I have cherished for some time. I remember when I first heard them I immediately wished I was slightly musically gifted because they made the kind of music I wish I could make. If I was in a band, this is EXACTLY how I’d want them to sound. I’d probably be slightly more aggressive just to be obnoxious for the hell of it. Why not! Music is freedom and is also a way of putting on an act. Maybe it wouldn’t be an act.

I love Becca and Duncan because they are two of the best musicians I’ve heard in quite some time. Becca is a stunning guitar player who has this control in her vocals that is found in the likes of Patti Smith. Then you have Duncan who reminds me of a young Bobby Gillespie in The Jesus And Mary Chain; playing with fury and the desire to make your body move in the most outrageous way possible. The Creeping Ivies make you want to turn your back on everything society expects from you, everything your family, friends, lovers, peers and the like too. They make you turn into the person you want to be by creating such freedom in their music.

The Creeping Ivies have a new double A-side single out very soon, What Would Joey Ramone Do?/Ramona Wolf.

What Would Joey Ramone Do? Is probably one of the things I say to myself when something baffles me. Sometimes I substitute Joey Ramone for Morrissey. What Would Joey Ramone Do? is The Creeping Ivies at their creepy best. It reminds me ever so slightly of their song, Ghost Train. Mainly for the brilliant trembling you can hear in Becca’s voice, she seriously has one of the most distinctive voices I’ve heard in a very long time. When I listen to The Creeping Ivies, it just makes me wish they were playing London some time soon. Stupid commitments got in the way last time. Always the way. What Would Joey Ramone Do? is an excellent punch in the gut kind of song. It makes you want to leap about the way Joey used to do whilst wearing your battered leather (fake leather for me) jacket until every ounce of frustration falls out of you.

 

 

Ramona Wolf sounds like the soundtrack to the most pleasurable nightmare you’ll ever have. You can imagine being hunted down in a desolate and murky forest by the most stunning vixen; you run and run, but you don’t care if she catches up with you because you are in awe of her beauty. You probably start caring once she rips you to shreds though, always the way isn’t it. Ramona Wolf sends chills down your spine, as you immediately feel as if you are trapped in the woods with no way out. The feral beast called Ramona will get you, you might as well let her.

The Creeping Ivies are one of the very very few bands who take their influence of Punk and Garage rock and use it in a way that doesn’t seem like a blatant rip-off. What they have done is, taken bits of both and created something that I do hope in years to come will be influencing other bands to make this kind of music. If you cannot scare the shit out of those listening at least once, you’re probably doing something wrong.

Becca and Duncan will be releasing their second record, Ghost World early next year via Dead Beat Records. I have every faith in them that they will create something equally as mind-blowing as their debut, Stay Wild. When I wear a t-shirt of The Creeping Ivies, it feels the same as wearing a (fake) leather jacket. It is like armor/protection. It makes me feel like nothing can touch me; their music has the same effect. Except, I don’t wear the shirt as much as I’d like because I’ve ripped it. Most of my clothes are ripped, but it’s okay. I’ll probably just get a new one.

Anyway.

The double A-side single is out 16th November (4 days after my birthday) on Holy Smoke Records. You can stream the single right here: http://thecreepingivies.bandcamp.com/





THE WHARVES/THE ROSY CRUCIFIXION.

15 10 2013

 

 

Soft Power Records have got a back catalogue that is on the same level as Sacred Bones to Art Fag. They have the weird and wonderful on their label. From Dirty Beaches split 7″ to Autumns, they are responsible (for the most part) for what I listen to on an almost daily basis. So it is with no surprise at all that they’ve sent me something else for me to fall hopelessly in love with.

This time, they’ve sent something they’ve never done before- a split LP. Knowing this is an entirely new thing made the whole listening process of the record much more exciting than most. This is a big deal for both bands and of course Soft Power Records.

The first half of the record belongs to The Wharves, and it’s ridiculous. They’re from London. They have a creepy late night alleyway danger feel about them. It’s the kind of music you’d imagine Jack The Ripper stalking the streets of Whitechapel to. It is entirely eerie but nothing short of brilliant. They do have a Garage rock atmosphere that floats throughout, but the thing that really stands out for me is the vocals. The vocals on Thick Syrup is just stunning, a brilliant way to start this LP. The vocals are on a different level. I’m not even going to try find a comparison because it will not work. But if you’re fans of September Girls and The Black Belles, then you’ll probably love The Wharves. Unhand Me is something that should be on Halloween playlists. Again, the vocals are divine but on this one they are slightly chilling. There’s a cryptic  feel that flows throughout and I think that is what instantly draws you in. I probably couldn’t switch it off even if I wanted to. The Wharves make music that sounds like it should have been in a Vincent Price film. They stir up the beast inside of you and unleash a thousand furies. Bloody brilliant.

Scotland is the home to fine music. From my hero Shirley Manson to The Jesus And Mary Chain to The Creeping Ivies to The Rosy Crucifixion. Emily from the band was once described in an interview as Patsy Cline’s evil sister. To be described like that is awesome, more singers should aspire to that. Her vocals have an attitude that is found in the likes of Faith from PINS to Alison Mosshart from The Kills. There’s this infectious power there that just lures you in. I feel as if I should be wearing a cloak whilst listening to them (I’m actually wearing Superhero and a band t-shirt. The band? Loom.) They have a ghastly vibe; and I firmly believe that if music doesn’t scare you even a tiny bit, then there’s no point. Most of the bands I listen to have sinister sound. I think this makes up for the fact that I’m far too sensitive/gentle for my own good at times. Even if I’m not, music makes me feel tougher than I am. It’s like when you listen to the Ramones and you feel as if you can take on the world- you just don’t care. The Rosy Crucifixion and The Wharves have come together, and has led to something truly memorable and beautiful being created. I’ve heard a lot of new music this year, but to hear two of the most exciting bands around on one record like this just, as a music lover, well it feels like Christmas but better. Sinners has an enchanting voodoo feel about it. You can imagine Screamin’ Jay Hawkins (if he was alive obviously) just creeping up and yelling some crazy shit.

Both bands have made something that would sound perfect in a film from say, the 1920s. If I was 15 years old hearing this, it would sure make me go out and learn to play the guitar and create something as thrilling as this. This is what I want to hear. This is what I want on the airwaves and television sets. This split LP is something that sounds like it is from another time and planet. Play it loud and let everything around you just spiral out of control.

The LP is out 25th November 2013 on Soft Power Records.

Stream it here: http://softpowerrecords.bandcamp.com/album/the-wharves-the-rosy-crucifixion-split-vinyl-lp





LITTLE DEATH MACHINE-Velvet Skin.

15 10 2013

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As someone who has a place reserved especially for music that is probably deemed as creepy or whatever, it is no surprise that Little Death Machine are one of my favourite new bands. They remind me of other bands I love such as Natural Assembly who make dark and beautiful music. There is tension in their music that is just fuelled by Clare’s destructive drumming and Daniel’s unapologetic thrashing on guitar. They make noise for those who aren’t afraid to play their music obnoxiously loud and flail about to it.

Velvet Skin is their new single, and is equally as rambunctious as Hit Me. Hit Me is aggressive to the core, but not to the point where you cannot listen to it. The complete opposite. You find yourself singing along with Daniel as he cries out “HIT ME!” Velvet Skin is a tantalising taste of what is to come from them. Little Death Machine have an undeniable talent that is sure to give them a cult like following, much like Cold Cave have.

Velvet Skin’s video is equally as eerie the song. The black and white video adds something quite sinister to the song. The drums are heavy on Velvet Skin, and the beautiful thudding sound is I think, what makes this song have that haunting feel to it. It does feel like something is creeping up on you. The drums sound like footsteps of something terrifying; it keeps you on edge. Little Death Machine make music that is exciting to listen to; there really aren’t that many bands that are doing this right now. Most are scared to be as dark like this, but LDM drag it out of you, and when it comes out- it feels good.

What I adore about Little Death Machine is that they have a brilliant raw sound. This makes you realise instantly that their music comes from a really special place. I think it why you just treasure them right away. I’ve yet to see them live, but I think I’ll be making my way to their Electrowerkz show in November (Met line permitting!) It’s 4 days after my birthday, so I may treat myself. On record, you can hear the fury and passion. I’d imagine live this just erupts into something wild and throws you into a state of delirium that you probably don’t want to come down from.

Like I’ve said before about LDM, there is nothing typical or conventional about them. They make rowdy music that is just good for the soul. Nothing should ever be typical or conventional. Stand for something, and go against what is wrong.