CROCODILES:Wait Until Tomorrow.

14 01 2019

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There’s nothing better than your favourite band putting out new music, and writing about it. It’s common knowledge that I regard Crocodiles as highly as the Velvet Underground, The Gruesomes and Patti Smith. There is something about Crocodiles that just makes you absolutely love music and want to completely lose yourself in what you hear. This year, it’ll be 10 years since their debut record came out. I remember finding it by accident, and it just changing my life in the best way possible.

10 years on, and my love and respect for them is still massive. Where do you go after a decade? Well, for Brandon and Charlie, they just do what they do best- they absolutely excel with every record, every single, every tour. They’re a band that are consistently phenomenal but at the same time, you never know what you’re going to get from them. From their cover of Groove Is In The Heart to Me And My Machine Gun to Hard- they just have this brilliant ability to make you feel like you’re in 70s New York hanging round places others fear, but for you the smut and sordidness is what gets you through.

Wait Until Tomorrow is such a great song. The guitar is really ferocious, and Brandon’s vocals have never sounded so strong. There is something so distinctive about them, and that’s what makes them standout. They are an unforgettable band, but they are still hugely underrated. They are easily one of the best bands you’ll ever see; their energy and the way they bring their songs to life just makes you wish you could do it. They are a band that you just don’t get tired of seeing and listening to. The lyrics are again, nothing short of romantic imagery and makes you feel like you’re wandering round Baudelaire’s Paris.

I love how they have a cult-like following. There’s something about their music that appeals to damn near everyone. Even my mum loves them! (My mum is pretty cool though, so that explains why.) Their new single picks up where Dreamless left off. They always have this brilliant way of making each record sound a step-up from what has come before, and it’s so easy to see why I just love them so much. I can’t wait to see the new songs live.

 

 

So I’ve not really wrote about the single. It’s alright. I’ve just gone on about why I love them, and how excited I am to hear new music. It’s been a little over 2 years since Dreamless came out, and they are easily one of the most hardworking bands around- but don’t think for a minute they were doing nothing in that time! Wait Until Tomorrow could well be one of the strongest singles of the year, and I am pretty confident that the new record will be my favourite of the year. I doubt I’ll sway on that one.

Wait Until Tomorrow is a song that needs to be played really loud. Loud enough to make your neighbours fall in love with what they hear. There really aren’t that many bands who have this consistent feel to their music- you always know that whatever music Brandon and Charlie give us will always be absolutely mind-blowing. We all have a band that mean the world to us- it doesn’t matter if it’s a band that you found last week or 20 years ago. Time makes no difference, and Crocodiles are utterly timeless.

Fellow Croc-Heads, the band are heading out on a European tour next month. Pretty sure they’ll add more dates soon enough (I need a Manchester show!) and we’ll know more about the new record soon.

In the meantime, keep Wait Until Tomorrow on repeat. It’s out via one of France’s finest labels- Deaf Rock Records.

 

 

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SPELLLING.

8 01 2019

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One of my favourite record labels are releasing a record in February which I am pretty sure is going to be one of the year’s greatest records.

Spellling is an extremely talented musician from the California. She makes music to zone out to, she makes music that gives you a better world and makes you feel like you’re floating. There is something so soothing and so pure in her music, and her voice is out of this world. If you’re a fan of Zola Jesus or Banks- then you’ll love Spellling. Her sound is wonderfully off the wall and beautifully strange.

Mazy Fly will be her second release, and for Sacred Bones to pick this is up is just incredible. That label is home to most of the bands I love, and they’ve never ever put a bad record out. Sacred Bones are so great at finding musicians that have this way to just hit you in the soul, and take you some place truly magical. And sometimes strange.

Pantheon of Me came out late 2017, and it’s one of those records that just freak you out. Not in a bad way, but in a way that leaves you wondering how you made it this far without hearing something so incredible, and just absolutely perfect. I’m fairly sure she does everything herself. This record was produced by her, and she’s just everything you want from a musician. She isn’t afraid to take a sound and completely tear it apart, and create something so different and so wild. Check the song, Choke Cherry Horse- it’s got this riff in it that is so heavy, but her vocals are so gentle and soft. It’s a captivating contridiction and it’s what just leaves you constantly hooked.

She’s got the genius in her that resembles Dorothy Ashby. She has this effortlessly cool sound that’s in the likes of Erykah Badu and Banks. There is something so interesting about her sound, and the way she just makes her vocals do some amazing things. Vocally and musically, there is no denying how brilliant she is. I’ll call her a genius, and I’ll stick to that. Hopefully you will to come February when her second record comes out.

I love music that completely and utterly goes beyond what you’ve expected or does something to your imagination. I love how Spellling just has this calming sound, but at the same time freaks you out with the things her vocals can do. The production on her records are incredible. If I had any musical talented, she’d be someone I’d want to produce my music and work with all the time. The calming sound in her music is so beautiful, and it just eases the brain. Sometimes you just need that.

Bolt From The Blue is my favourite song by Spellling so far. I love the heaviness. I love how she has this big sound which is eased with her gentle voice. The song makes you feel like you’re underwater, and everything is just still and relaxing. Her voice is nothing short of perfect. I love the sheer soul in her voice, and I love how utterly fearless she is. I cannot wait to hear the new record in February, and I’m just super sure that it’s going to be one of the best things I’ll hear. I’ve already put it in my Top 3 (if I was going to make a list.)

Higher Ground is also a song worth becoming infatuated with- there’s so much going on in this song,  but it doesn’t overwhelm you. It just leaves you in awe. Every single song leaves you in awe. Spellling has this beautiful way of creating something truly remarkable with her words, vocals and music.

Wherever she may take you when you listen, you’re sure as hell aren’t going to want to come back from it for a while. Her music is gentle, brave and comforting. Her sound is unlike anything else, and I really cannot wait to hear more from this beautiful soul.





FLAT WORMS.

23 12 2018

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I’ve said it countless times; I just love music that freaks me out a bit and sounds like something from a nightmare. For me, bands like Pop.1280 are a prime example of this and to be able to find bands that carry the same heaviness and obscure sound is something I’m always looking for. Flat Worms are a band I can happily place next to Pop.1280 for so many reasons. However, this piece isn’t based on comparisons- it’s just sheer admiration.

Flat Worms are loud, insane and are quite frankly, one of the best bands to have come out in a hell of a long time. Sure they have a Garage Rock sound, but there is something else there. Something quite industrial like. The music sounds like a madman going on a rampage, and I love that. I love how unsettling their sound is, and how it makes you feel like you’ve heard something you possibly shouldn’t have. I love the mystery surrounding them. When bands have virtually no online presence, I respect that a hell of a lot. You have to work at finding music to truly move you, and Flat Worms really make you work for it.

 

I’m not really sure how long they’ve been making music for, but last year they released their debut record which is evidently just the outline of how brilliant they are. They make you want to trash stuff and if you’re feeling festive about being chaotic- tear down some Christmas trees and bin off tradition. Flat Worms have this magnetic rowdy sound that brings out a side of you that other bands can’t get to. They make you want to make your own noise, or just play their sounds ridiculously loud. That’s the only way to listen to a band like this- as loud as possible.

Although I likened them to Pop.1280 earlier, they really do not sound like anything else I’ve ever heard before. I love the rage and passion in the songs. I love how the songs sound like a brawl in a bar, and how they have this unapologetically ferocious sound. It’s like a feral animal roaming free at night, fucking anyone up who gets in its way.

I’m curious about their live shows. Anyone who has seen Flat Worms live is bloody lucky. Imagine being that close to something so off the wall and brilliant. You’d probably leave feeling a bit deaf, but also smug in knowing that you’ve witnessed a bloody phenomenal band. There’s just three (I think) of them, but they make enough noise to make you feel like you’re listening to an orchestra of noise. They have this brilliant and effortlessly cool sound, and the darkness that flows in and out of the songs is remarkable. The lyrics are clever, and take you aback in some instances (Followers is a strong example of this.) Their music is made to be played loud, and for you to just lose yourself in. Flat Worms are easily one of the most exciting bands around, and with just one record out they have made something worth paying close attention to, and of course becoming healthily obsessed with.

If you’re looking for a band to blow your mind, and to make you feel like you’ve been let in on the world’s biggest secret- Flat Worms are for you. Play them loud; it’s the only way. I hope Red Hot Sand becomes your obsession like it has become mine. It’s over 5 minutes of brutal noise that just sets them apart from anything else you’ve heard in a long time.

Los Angeles is home to some amazing bands that I have fallen in love with over the years, and I can quite happily add Flat Worms to my list. I love the sheer rawness they have, and how they just don’t fit into any genre of music at all. They stand out and above, and I really love and admire that about them.

I hope they become louder and louder, because they are band that we are all in need of.





TWIN TRIBES.

22 12 2018

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I always seem to search for music that makes me feel like I am hearing Psychocandy or Seventeen Seconds for the first time. If it is has a tense atmosphere, and freaks me out a bit- I’ll probably end up being a fan.

I’ve found a band that have the right level of eeriness and intensity in their sound. A band that take you back to peak 80s Goth music mixed with something you have yet to hear. Twin Tribes are probably the best band in from Texas right now. They sound like they were formed in a desolate Berlin alleyway- which is a brilliant sound, and it’s something I really admire. If you love bands like Cold Cave and GLAARE; then Twin Tribes will probably win you over. They also remind me slightly of Drab Majesty, which I really love.

Twin Tribes are a fairly new band, but don’t let that deter you. They sound like they’ve been at this for decades, and their sound is so evolved, and so solid. This duo has created something truly beautiful in such a small amount of time. You can pick up on influences in their sound, but you can also hear things you have never heard before. They have this passionate yet delicate sound. There is haunting tone throughout their songs that lures you in. One passing listen isn’t enough, they are truly a band to invest a lot of time in. They have this really strong atmosphere in their songs that takes you away from where you are, and they create a beautiful world for you to fall into. Shadows is definitely one of the songs that send you elsewhere. Not so much an out-of-body experience, but an escape of the mind. Sometimes, you just need this and Twin Tribes do this in such a careful and beautiful way.

They have this feel to their sound which I liken a bit to Sextile. Sextile are a hugely important band to me, and the way in which Twin Tribes leave you feeling utterly  enamored by their sound, for me, is like Sextile. These songs were made to move you in all ways possible, and in ways you never thought of. The Vessel is my favourite song by them right now. I love how the synth creates this soothing tone, and the vocals compliment it so beautifully. There is a gorgeous darkness in the music, and that’s another thing I really admire about them. Only two of them, yet they make something effortlessly gorgeous and grand. It just makes you want to do the same.

Lapiz Lazuli has this heaviness to it, which isn’t felt in many of their songs. I really like this heavy sound because it’s really different to what I’ve heard so far, although it is a brief instrumental it has something that makes you go back to it. It may be a brief song, but there is something in it that hits you right in the gut. You don’t always need words, and this song proves this in such a majestic way. Still In Still is also another song that has a real tense feel to it, and is definitely one to keep going back to.

Sometimes when you listen to a band, you can’t help but let yourself imagine what their live shows would be like. I’d imagine a Twin Tribes show to have an eerie atmosphere in a small venue, and the songs would all be heightened owing to the addictive energy in the room. Twin Tribes is a band that you cannot help but become obsessed with, and I cannot wait to hear more from them.

 





OH, THE GUILT: Darkest Days.

21 12 2018

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Bristol is home to many bands. Many phenomenal bands from the likes of Idles to Emily Breeze. There is a scene there that has no boundaries, there is a scene there that we all want to be part of. It feels like a real family unit. You can really sense that everyone is backing each other, irrespective of the genre, there is so much love and respect there.

I’ve written about Oh, The Guilt before and I’m late to the party in writing about Darkest Days. It’s a 7 minute song that deserves to be at the top of any list you make (good ones only, don’t be a dick!) I have a weakness for songs that have intense build-ups and songs that last over 5 minutes. I love the euphoria that smacks you right in the gut, and my god Oh, The Guilt completely and utterly nail this. Everything about this song is the definition of perfect. Single parts come together and just create this utterly divine song. It’s not a song-it’s a blissed out symphony.

How can a song this vital yet precious come alive in the form of a music video? Quite easily. The video to this beautiful song is shot in such a captivating manner. It is so powerful, and do emotional. You find yourself listening to the song, then immediately going back to the video. Then back again to the audio; it’s a song you need to play through headphones to truly pick up on every detail in the song. The drums are phenomenal, they are definitely one of the best moments in music this year. You want to keep it on a loop, and just lose yourself in them. I liken the drums to Stella Mozgawa (Warpaint) on Warpaint’s debut record, The Fool. Everything about Oh, The Guilt reminds you of what you love about music and what makes you fall in love with certain songs, and specific parts in songs.

Elijah, Hannah and Chris have created something truly beautiful with this song. The way Hannah annihilates the drums, and each crash wonderfully echoes into Elijah’s guitar is so captivating. They all come together with this sound that is glued together with Chris’ bass. Each of the create moments in this song that make it a work of art in its most purest way. The video reinforces the sheer beauty in the song, and the video adds more vulnerability to it- which is just absolutely gorgeous.

I’m not going to go on and on like I normally do. I want you to just take some time out of your day, bin off Christmas for a bit and play this song. All 7 minutes and 46 seconds of it. Allow yourself to have this time, and just breathe. And just be. Be whatever the hell you want.





PETE SHELLEY.

15 12 2018

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Our heroes, in our eyes, are invincible. They never die. We expect them to live forever. We expect them to always be around so we have their words as a safety net. We take what they give us for granted, at times. But we adore them. We love them. We cling. In love, lust, pain, life and death- we cling, and we hope.

Over a week has passed since Pete Shelley from Buzzcocks left this world and went elsewhere. Pete Shelley created the songs that I identified with as I hit an age where I was solidly uncomfortable with who I was, and ashamed of what I was. A gay kid growing up in a place that wasn’t the most welcoming towards my kind. It’s improved now, but in my mind- it’s always there in the back of my head when I go back. Certain songs by Buzzcocks were the soundtrack to my self-doubt, my self-hate. Myself. As I got older, and a little bit wiser- the songs took another meaning for me. Now, we are without Pete and I’m unsure what to do.

 

 

Buzzcocks were EASILY the best Punk band from the UK. They came from the greatest city in the world, and a city I am so proud to now call home- Manchester. Pete created songs that made you feel less alone as you fell into the cruel depths of unrequited lust and love. If he could get out from it- so could you. He was that best mate that you’d go down the pub with, and talk about these woes with. That’s how he made you feel. He made you feel less alone, and less strange for carrying these feelings around. His words were poetry. Words for the soul, words to mend the heart. Words to soothe the mind. His words came from a place that hit you right in the gut. For me, there is no denying that Pete Shelley was one of the greatest songwriters of all time- and criminally underrated. No one has ever written like him, and no one ever will. He had the ability to write about what hurts us in such a delicate and vital way. A proper poet.

I remember the first time I met my girlfriend. It was about 8 years ago. I wasn’t in the best place mentally, and I wasn’t the best person to her. I fell in love with her, but never let it on. She felt the same but I was a dickhead who was petrified of their own feelings, and in the process truly hurt someone I never meant to or wanted to hurt. Fortunately, I got my shit together and grew up, and we’ve been together now for 2 and a half years. But there was one line that stuck out more than anything. When she was with someone else, this line plagued my mind: “And if I start a commotion, I’ll only end up losing you and that’s worse.” If I spoke up sooner, I’d have saved us both from unnecessary hurt. But like I said, I’ve grown up and we’re both better now. These are the songs that find you, and you cannot help but cling to them. I clung on to that line for dear life. Things worked out though, finally.

A Different Kind Of Tension is my favourite song by Buzzcocks. I love the lyrics, and how they just show us how the world contradicts us and how expectations are always haunting us irrespective of our age and such. It’s a song that I hold very dear to me, and one I’ve used as a safety net many, many times.

It was the sheer tenderness and honesty that made me fall in love with Buzzcocks, and it is that same tenderness and honesty that made me love them even more as I got older. They were…are… a band that any and everyone can identify with.  Their music was genderless, and I loved that about them. They made us gay kids feel so safe with their music, and they spoke of things that we couldn’t find the words for. We have so much to thank Buzzcocks and Pete for, we really do.

 

 

If it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t have a lot of the bands we love and adore now. They changed everything. Not just for Manchester, not just for Punk, not just for us lost kids- but for everyone. The innocence and questioning in Pete’s lyrics, and the way he observed the world and portrayed what he saw was truly remarkable.

We cling, and we hope. Thank you, Pete x





AVE NEGRA.

7 12 2018

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Bands that you know zilch about are always fun to write about; you have no opinion formed, and the music is almost heightened because of this.

Ave Negra are another effortlessly brilliant band from Costa Rica, and the way they sound just has this almost enviable cool feel to it. Costa Rica has some amazing bands, that we know. Ave Negra are a band that you’d want to join and go on tour with, and trash hotel rooms with. The way they sound on record makes you believe that their shows are probably on the wild side. I think they’re in the middle of recording songs for a new record that could be out next year- so you can have that as one of your reasons as to why 2019 won’t suck that much.

The band have this Garage Rock sound that makes you want to pick up an instrument, make it your weapon of choice and just cause a wealth of chaos with the sounds. There is something truly special about the music that comes from Costa Rica, and Ave Negra are definitely up there as being one of the most exciting bands around. The only way to listen to them, is to do it loudly. And often, of course. They are songs that (even if you don’t know what’s being said, like me) you can just really enjoy. The music is nothing short of slick, the vocals are gnarly and powerful. They are just an absolute pleasure to listen to. I love how you can pick up a wealth of emotions in the songs, and the band have this admirable way of making you feel like you’re either at the front of the stage during their show. Or that you’re in the throes of them creating these songs- you’re like their guinea pig or some weird shit. I don’t know.

In all honesty, there’s no one I can compare them to. There’s no other band like this, and I don’t think that there has ever been a band quite like them. Their songs feel like a brawl that has spilled out into the street and gotten way out of hand. They’re a rowdy bunch, and that’s just part of the reason as to why I love them. Ave Negra are a band that I’d love to see play live. You can imagine the crowd going nuts to songs like Indio Comido (easily one of my favourites) and Vivo Por Mi. If you’re looking for a band to become obsessed with, and to get pangs for- Ave Negra are for you. You’ll listen to them, and you’ll be left wanting 2019 to hit us with some new music. After listening to the bulk of their songs, I can safely say that Ave Negra are a band that definitely need your attention. Sack off that awful task of buying Christmas presents, and just stay indoors and listen to Ave Negra. That’s all you can do, and that’s all you should do.

For me, I think Costa Rica is massively overlooked for the music they give us. They truly nail that Garage Rock sound, but they have this way of adding something to it that isn’t seen or felt anywhere else. Maybe it’s the drive, maybe it’s the passion- I don’t know. But I do know that some of the best bands around are from there. Maybe it’s time we moved our focus there, because they are evidently doing something right. Hell, it isn’t just right- it’s perfect.