DRUGGY PIZZA.

28 12 2015

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A few weeks ago, my favourite new band of the year Peace And Love Barbershop Muhammad Ali (PALBMA if you’re lazy) released a split record with the equally great Druggy Pizza. I’ve already ranted about how much I love Peace And Love Barbershop Muhammad Ali, so now it is the turn of Druggy Pizza to be subjected to my affections.

Firstly, I know nothing about Druggy Pizza and secondly, they have pizza in their name-that’s possibly why I immediately decided I would love them regardless. Their release a couple weeks back is a split release but it would be pretty dickish of me to compare the two. I won’t do that. Nothing good comes from that.

I could be wrong but I think Druggy Pizza have been signed to the excellent Bristol based label Stolen Body Records. Their back catalogue of releases is really worth checking out, just so you know. Druggy Pizza have a hazy and woozy feel to their sound. You feel like you’ve taken something you probably shouldn’t have and gone some place you normally wouldn’t when you listen to them. You feel like you’ve entered some real dark and sordid world where if you leave, then try to return- the place wouldn’t be there any longer. Everything about their sound is distorted and most would find this hard to digest. You feel like this is the soundtrack to a murder scene in a horror film. Almost as if you’ve walked in on someone doing something they really shouldn’t be doing and you cannot tear yourself away from it. This is the kind of music that makes me glad I have this shitty blog to write about music rather than subjecting a friend to my thoughts because I’d have to shut up wouldn’t I.

If you’re familiar with the band Pop.1280 then you will instantly get what Druggy Pizza are doing. This sound is messed up in the best way possible and I reckon the best time to listen to them is around 3am when you should be asleep. For the most part now I don’t have any trouble sleeping. A few years ago it was pretty shit and all I would do was try find music to get me through it until I could sleep. This was the kind of music I’d be looking for. I guess because the world is asleep at that time, so you kind of feel like you’ve stepped on something sacred. That’s how I feel about Druggy Pizza, and like I mentioned, I know nothing about them. All I know is that I love their music. That’s enough, right?

Their split record shows a band that aren’t afraid to be wonderfully weird and to mess about with insane sounds. If you want something polished and careful, then these guys aren’t for you. Druggy Pizza features Cédric from the equally strange French band Dusty Mush. I’m well overdue writing about them too, but I’ll rectify that soon enough. Druggy Pizza is a leap into the unknown and when you come out of it, you;’ll probably feel a bit out of sorts. Like Pigs In A Slot is the song that will make you feel as if your body is being thrown around and punched. You’ll feel slightly confused and bruised, and you will never want it to end.

Hopefully there will be more to come from Druggy Pizza, but in the meantime you can purchase the split record here:  https://stolenbodyrecords.co.uk/product/palbmadruggy-pizza-split-3/

 

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GAL PALS.

28 12 2015

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To be stuck in the past can be a terrible thing, unless it is musically. It’s alright to be stuck in 1970 wishing Iggy Pop was crowd surfing above you whilst smearing peanut butter on his torso. It’s better than living with a bunch of “if only I did this….” Give me Iggy Pop’s destructive antics any day.

In the throes of boredom and needing something new to listen to, I found Gal Pals. They remind me of very early Dum Dum Girls mixed with Ronnie Spector’s angelic voice. In short, they’re my ideal band. A drum and guitar combo- that’s a sure fire mix for a good time. They’ve got a real summertime glow to their sound. The kind of band you’d play on a road trip in mid July just as the air con in your car breaks and you want to slap the person who is driving because they should have double checked it was okay before you set off. You stick on some Gal Pals and you forget all your grievances.

Gal Pals have played with a bunch of bands I love from Girl Tears to Crocodiles to The Babies. Like a lot of bands I’ve written about, they strike me as one of those bands you need to see live to really get into the music. You get the impression that it is all played with an urgency in their live shows, and they are also another band I can use to justify my love for duos. With most still cramming in their end of year list and even though they are redundant part of me is hoping that some place Velvet Rut by Gal Pals in there. It is one of the most cheerful and feel good records of the year. Sure there are songs on the record that can catapult your mood to heartbreak but for the most part the songs just take you on a daydream to the beach, even if it’s awfully cold outside. Any band that can change your mood and make you feel like you’re going some place else whilst listening to their sounds is alright by me. As I mentioned previously they do sound like early Dum Dum Girls, and this is probably due to that 60s Wall of Sound feel. Although there’s only two of them, they have a big sound. A sound that has a gang-like feel to it. At best it is boisterous and is quite rebellious in the right places.

As I take advantage of being home alone for the next few hours, I’m playing Gal Pals as loud as I can to really experience what is in their music. For two people, they make a lot of noise and I think that is probably why I like them. If it is noisy, I’ll probably enjoy. Loud music I can deal with, loud people I cannot. Gal Pals make the kind of music that makes you want to dance around to on your own, take a road trip, take a mind trip into the unknown. You can get away to their music, which is always a good thing. Daily life can be mundane, and it is important to find things that give us a break from all of that. Songs like Dumbhead can make hopeless (or helpless) romantics go easy on themselves and feel alright in their own skin.

I have no idea what kind of sound has dominated the airwaves this year but I know there is always a place for a band like Gal Pals. One can only hope they find their way to the UK soon so we can dance awkwardly to their songs and as we make our journeys home, wish we could start our own band. The artwork to the record, I feel sums up how their music makes the listener feel when blasting it out.

You can listen to their earlier sounds here: http://galpals.bandcamp.com/





TALL JUAN.

22 12 2015

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With everyone ramming their opinions at everyone else with regards to what is the best song/video/record of the year, I’ve decided to stay on the prowl with finding something new to listen to. I know at this time of year I’ve written about my favourite records of the year (if you want to know, it is Boys by Crocodile closely followed by Carly Rae Jepsen.) But this year, I don’t really care for it. I’ve spent this year seeing bands I love and buying records instead of food. Records last longer. I’ve found record labels that have ended up funding my habit of buying records and I’ve adopted All Ages Records in Camden as my second home. I hate lists so god knows why I wasted so much time on making them previously. Give me chaos but organisation is a bag of shite.

Tall Juan is someone you need to get to know. Are you bored of life? Are you sick of being forced to enjoy Christmas? It’s alright, get into Tall Juan and you’ll be okay. He’s a one-man version of the Ramones and that’s probably why I am absolutely in love with him. His handsome looks and belly-flipping vocals will make everyone regardless of age, gender and sexuality swoon.

Juan was born and raised in Buenos Aires and is currently based in New York. His sound is part Ramones part something we’ve never ever heard before. Some people just have this ability to create something so beautifully immediately and he’s one of those who has this ability. He makes you want to pogo but at the same time, when you listen to the lyrics you just want to have a little cry. I’d opt for dancing. Next month he is FINALLY embarking on a tour of the UK/Europe. He’s doing TWO dates in London in two venues I love (The Lock Tavern and The Shacklewell Arms.) I’ll do my best to get to both, but I’ll for sure be at the one on the 21st January. You get the feeling from his music that he’s one you need to see live in order to really get into the music. I’m not saying on record something is lacking-far from it. But he plays with such urgency you can’t help but think that this NEEDS to be seen live in order to really appreciate it.

Juan seems like the kind of person you could walk round discussing everything the Ramones ever did whilst eating pizza. That’s an ideal conversation for me. He makes the kind of music I wish I could so therefore he makes the kind of music I really really love. He incorporates everything I love about music and everything I look for in music, and has created something we should all get behind. He’s got a solid following in New York (and probably in the States in general) but now it is time we all got turned onto his sound. Play his music loud and do whatever you feel like doing. I could happily write thousands and thousands of words about why I really love his music, but it pretty much speaks for itself. He’s an incredible musician and he makes you feel as if you’re taking some crazy trip with him through his music.

His UK January dates are as follows:

20th Brighton,UK – The Green Doors
21st London,UK -The Lock Tavern
22nd London,UK -The Shacklewell Arms

You can listen to his music here:

https://talljuan.bandcamp.com His cover of Chinese Rocks is excellent. Pretty sure Joey Ramone would be into it.

 





DRY HEEVES.

16 12 2015

 

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Possessing a bloody excellent name for a band, you immediately think you’re going to listen to a band with a dirty (not in a porn sense) and rugged sound. You expect something quite menacing and unruly. Chaotic yet easy on the ears. If this band was a woman, I’d date her. Or you know, I’d stare awkwardly in her direction then wander off because I didn’t feel adequate enough. That’s a bit extreme but Dry Heeves are fucking perfect and I’ll try unleash a coherent reasoning behind this notion.

For me, I can only seem to listen to music that makes me feel something a person (regardless of who they are) can’t. Music always should give you a heightened feeling. This sense of elation is sacred and can’t always be felt and you should by no means ever try to force it. Dry Heeves make it easy. They are all fearless bands who evidently don’t care what anyone thinks. They’ve got their own sound and their own way of doing it. For me, that’s how it should be. They have a true essence of Punk about them. Sure enough they sound like a typical band I’d be into, but don’t let that trick you into thinking you’ve heard it all before- because you haven’t. Their sound is part smack in the face, part swaying on your lonesome in your bedroom to the easy grooves. Some may deem it as far too simplistic, but I just think they’re a bunch of guys who know what they are doing and know how they want to sound.

I think they’re still a relatively new band but they make you feel like you’ve known about them forever. As I listen to them, I just feel like I’m meeting up with a friend that I’ve not seen in ages. Sure they sound rambunctious but they feel familiar, as if they’ve always been there. I guess it is like meeting your soulmate. This is getting far too soppy now. They make you want to break stuff too. In reality, you’ll probably break some bones as you lob your body about in time to the drums and thrash to the guitar in crucial moments. There’s an element of urgency and such passion in their music that makes you immediately become their biggest fan. I won’t fight you for that title- no part of me is competitive. Do what you want, pal. I don’t care.

Their record, Boogie Till Ya Puke came out last year, and myself included, failed to acknowledge it at the time for being so great. I was too busy playing The Other I by my beloved 2:54 on repeat. I’ve tried to tame that, but I can’t but it’s alright. Boogie Till Ya Puke is not only wonderfully titled, it is also a bloody great record. You feel like you’re listening to something that has been around for decades. I know some would label it as as “fun” record but calling anything/anyone fun or nice is just weak. Language is there to be used in all its glory- don’t settle for mediocre spiel!

Boogie Till Ya Puke is a record that I sincerely hope in 10 years from now, some kid in the middle of nowhere gets hold of, skips town and starts their own movement. Or they could do it now, that’s fine. What I’m getting at is that this record and this band have their own approach and it’s not something that should be overlooked in any way. I could be alone in my praise but I don’t care. I love this band a hell of a lot and if they ever make it to the UK, I’ll be at the front boogying until I puke.

VIVA DRY HEEVES!

Listen: https://dryheeves.bandcamp.com/





THE AR-KAICS.

15 12 2015

 

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I don’t really agree with sharing weaknesses with anyone, but when it comes to music I’ll gladly unveil the kind of music that sends my heart fluttering and my legs to go like jelly. I like to listen to all kinds of music, but what really grabs my attention is something that sounds like a mixture of 60s Garage with something passionately aggressive. Something that moves you emotionally but also makes you want to slam your body into the nearest drum kit. With everyone else reeling off the bands that got them going with their indulgent end of year list, I’ll just ramble about a band that are relatively new (but probably aren’t.) Let’s not dwell on the past, let’s head into the unknown listening to a band that are everything I want from music.

The Ar-Kaics are 4 pals from Virginia. They sound like The Vagrants and The Gruesomes. They are my idea of a great time, my concept of a great band. The kind of band you’d hope someone would listen to and be inspired to go out and make their own kind of noise. They’ve got a basement band sound, you feel like when you listen to them you’re spying on a band rehearsing. The rawness in their sound is unlike anything I’ve heard recently, and it gives you some much needed faith in modern music.

 

Their songs are short. But part of you is wanting them to last a little while longer, but the other part of you knows that it would just ruin the moments in your mind if it was stretched out. These are the songs for kids in cold, desolate bedrooms to throw their body around to. For those who are uncomfortable in their skin and are attempting to thrash their way out of their hell. The Ar-Kaics are one of those bands that don’t happen all too often, and I’m such a fool for not finding them sooner. I just believe that music should leave you feeling something. It doesn’t matter what, but it’s always useful when it is something positive. The Ar-Kaics have that teenage lust/wonder in their music that is so important to hold onto. When you lose that as you head into adulthood, you cling onto the feelings of youth wherever you can.

If like me you are wishing to escape everyone lobbing Christmas songs your way, The Ar-Kaics are the dream band to listen to whilst you escape it all. Go back in time, or forward a couple months. The Ar-Kaics could be anyone’s favourite band, so let it start with you.

You can listen to their gorgeous sounds right here:

https://thearkaics.bandcamp.com/

 

 

 





FLESH RAG-S/T 7″

4 12 2015

 

 

 

Canada as I’ve mentioned before is the home to some great music, but for me there is one band that have massively blown me away with their appealing rage and passion. I discovered Flesh Rag a few months ago whilst in All Ages Records. A brilliant record store in Camden that stocks some of the best music around. It’s ran by guys who know their stuff and are just a pleasure to talk to. I’ve spent many lunch breaks in there forgoing buying something to eat because I’d rather my ears fed than my belly full. I was immediately hooked by Flesh Rag because they reminded me so much of Dead Boys, who I highly regard as one of the greatest bands ever.

Their new 3 track EP consists of songs that do not reach the 3 minute mark but that does not matter. The fury and urgency are put across in a way that doesn’t require any more time. The songs are for the hopeless, helpless and those who are fed up. To feel these emotions all you need to do is put the news on and see how the government are bending us all over and having their way with us, without any say so. I mean Flesh Rag aren’t really political, but it’s easy to apply songs that stir something in you like this and apply it to what you see on the TV etc. If you’re not fed up and you’re all okay with it all, then you’re just part of the problem.

I got home when I bought it this week and played it pretty loud. Nobody was home and I doubt the neighbours were home. I played it and off I went to Punk paradise. I was front row at their show in my mind. Bodies covered in sweat moving around in timely and untimely fashion. What I get from the music of Flesh Rag is that it is made for a live show. The day they come to England will be a bloody great day, but until then I live with the images in my mind that I have created. The power of music greater than we know, and that’s one of the many reasons as to why I adore the music that Flesh Rag make.

I wasn’t born when Punk first came around, but it’s always been the one style of music that owned my heart more than anything or anyone else could. I remember falling in love with the Ramones for the first time, I remember hearing Horses for the first time, I remember hearing the Sex Pistols and knowing that this was IT. Flesh Rag have brought up these feelings that I got the first time with those I’ve mentioned, and more. I feel like I’ve gone back to the 70s and been thrown into a world of chaos and fury. As someone who cannot settle into a daily routine, Flesh Rag are the perfect band to help me adjust. I’d take better care if I knew how. Panic attacks bring on migraines and migraines bring on panic attacks- music is the thing that eases it all out. Unless it’s a really bad migraine and all I can do is just sleep. You sometimes find yourself delving into thoughts and feelings when a band hits you in the gut for the first time, and with Flesh Rag I know that feeling is going to happen each time I listen to them. I’m pretty sure I got the last copy of the 7″ from AAR, so I’m sorry if you were looking for it- but to know that there’s a place for these guys makes it all worth it. Their music is the opposite of how I am, and I think that again, is part of my attraction to their music.

Matt’s gritty snarl on It Ain’t Enough is one of my favourite music based moments of the year. You can keep what the mainstream radio shoves down your neck and shove it up your you know where- I’d take a band like Flesh Rag over them any day. The sheer grittiness in the vocals and the angst in the drums, bass and guitar makes you want to start your own kind of noise. Some are adamant that Punk is dead. But for me, Punk is an attitude, a way of being not just the music. Bands like Flesh Rag are keeping it alive. Ignore all that “Pop-Punk” shit, that’s nothing. You need bands like Flesh Rag. Let them help you get through daily life by creating music for you to lob your limbs about to, sweat it out and throw your body into a wall as if your possessed. I’m fairly sure anyone who has seen their live shows are super lucky, so I’ll wait my turn. Live in my mind until it happens.

There have been many great records released this year, but as far as 7″ EPs go- Flesh Rag undoubtedly are the winners this year for the best release.

The self titled 7″ is out now on It’s Trash Records, and details for picking up a copy/streaming the release are here:

https://fleshrag.bandcamp.com/





THE COURETTES.

21 07 2015

This afternoon on my lunch break, I headed 5 minutes down the road into Camden Market. I went to my favourite record stall. It’s the home to some of the weirdest sounds I’ve ever heard. Sadly I’m too poor to buy everything (I got a record by The Gruesomes there and felt like I had won the lottery.) I’ve bought many records from their based on the artwork on the records. I do this frequently, and sometimes I know exactly what I’m looking for. Today however, I wasn’t really sure what I wanted. Part of me wanting PJ Harvey, the other was going for the Melvins. Sadly they had nothing by Sleep which I was quite sad about, but what I picked up made up for the void.

I picked up The Courettes because I loved the description under the drummer, it reads: “Loud as hell drums.” That’s EXACTLY what I was looking for. Only one copy, so I clung onto it for a while before settling. As I paid for it me and the guy who works there was telling me a bit about the band. The more he told me, the more I was falling in love with a band I hadn’t heard yet. Fast forward finishing work and going to the gym, I come home and I listen to The Courettes.

The Courettes are a mighty fine duo who are for those who lust after obscure and off the wall sounds. This duo is so powerful and brilliant, they make you want to start something like this yourself. They come from Brazil/Denmark but they sound like a typical American Garage Rock/Punk band. That’s what is so beautiful about them, you think you know something about them but you really don’t. They are an irresistible mystery that you can’t get enough of.

As I turn up the volume more and more, I start hearing all this lucid sounds dripping in and out. It is one of the finest releases of the year, and will heartbreakingly so be underrated. However those that get their ears and mitts onto this record will know just how excellent it is. It is for the psychotic, the freaks, the weirdos, the ones who will not ever settle. It is fast, rebellious and music at its finest.

Sometimes when you accidentally find a band, they end up being one you truly treasure because maybe you associate them with someone or maybe you have a cool story about how you found them. Regardless of your reasons, how you got there and why you stuck with it just stays with you. You develop this deeply passionate admiration for the band, and all you want to do is waste your days listening to them. The Courettes are a duo that make a delightful noise that immediately hooks you. The vocals are raw, the guitar will blow your brains out and yes, the drums are loud as hell. Loud as hell and heaven sent.

There’s a riot going on in The Courettes music, don’t fight against it. Stick with them and be equally as loud. They’re playing a few shows in the UK, including The Fiddlers Elbow on Friday night as part of the Weirdsville night. This duo for me, have an ideal sound. The sound that’s in many bands I cherish and adore. The bands I constantly listen to.

Their debut record, Here Are The Courettes is out now. You can listen/buy the record here:http://thecourettes.bandcamp.com/album/here-are-the-courettes

Sooner or later this band will corrupt your soul and take over your record collection, just go with it. They’ve got a real wild sound and style that you simply cannot get enough of.