WOMEN OF THE NIGHT: Pastel Colors.

11 07 2019

 

Some time ago, I wrote about the New York band, Women Of The Night. Obviously if you look the band name up, you might get something suspicious but it’s okay. You’ve probably got worse on your internet history.

Pastel Colors is a body of work that is to be played almost religiously and without any distractions. It is an ethereal and beautifully sordid record. It is gentle and it makes you feel like Jim Morrison has come back to make a Post-Punk kind of record. It is such a effortlessly cool record that just makes you want to sit in the dark, with your headphones in and just slip into a different world. Alternatively, it also makes you want to wander the streets late at night and take everything in that’s around you.

I love the song White Lighter which reminds me slightly of The Velvet Underground. Jords has something about him that reminds you of Jim Morrison and Lou Reed. It’s that snarl in his voice and delivery of the songs that make you feel like you’ve headed back in time. They mix everything I love about music, and create something that you just can’t get enough of.

 

 

It is such a soulful record that makes you completely lose yourself in every word, every song. As someone who has been a fan for some time now, I love hearing how they’ve developed their sound and created something truly magical on Pastel Colors. It’s got that seedy alleyway sound that you just want to be completely immersed in. I love the unconventional romantic tones in the songs (think Nick Cave, Leonard Cohen) and how they are unafraid to be so stripped back with the lyrics. Songs like Brighton Beach give you this cloak of comfort that you freely wrap yourself in.

I have no idea what genre you’d put them in, but why do they need one? This record goes beyond- it cannot be restricted in any way. I love how this record appears to the loner in us all, and makes it romantic. There’s nothing wrong with this  at all, and sometimes it does the soul good to be alone. Pastel Colors is the ideal record to just take time out to.  Quiet Nights is a beautiful example of this. The vocals and the relaxed guitar sounds just soothe the mind. It is almost like a lullaby for the mind. I’d say it makes me want to take a nap, but I could take a nap anywhere at any time. Solitude can be bliss, and Pastel Colors is one blissful record.

You feel like you’re living these songs out with them, and to be this connected to the songs is something to truly admire. They do it with so much ease. Regular Day exposes how mundane everyday life can sometimes be, and there’s slight humour in the lyrics. I guess it’s only funny if you can relate, mind!

 

 

I think one of the main things that I adore about this record is the dark mood in the songs, but also hints of hope and love. These 13 songs are just gorgeous, and it is entirely criminal that Women Of The Night are massive. I’m also desperate for them to tour the UK. I’m a fan of music that gives us an escape route; something to just get lost in, you know? Women Of the Night do it in a way that is beautifully addictive. You can’t leave it alone. Then again, why would you want to?

 

 

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THE CHATS.

10 07 2019

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As I write this, I have my housemate’s dog next to me snoring his head off. It’s a good job he’s cute, because the sound would annoy me. Besides, the pup is a champ- he can sleep through anything and me blasting out The Chats isn’t interrupting his slumber. Maybe he’s dreaming about starting his own band. He’s cool enough to do it.

The Chats are one of the best new(ish) bands from Australia, and the honesty and relatable content in their lyrics is what massively drew me to them. They have the kind of lyrics that anyone can relate to. If you’re constantly skint- you’ll probably identify with most of their songs, especially Bus Money. I can relate to having nothing- I’ve been without a bank card since last Friday. I guess it’s good that I haven’t wasted any money. Anyway. The Chats are the kind of band you play when you absolutely need to let the draining emotions of the day go. They’re the ideal band to just play hella loud and scream along with. Their songs were made to be screamed back. Right at the top of your lungs until you nearly pass out.

They go beyond being a Punk or Garage Rock band- they’re just relatable, and have this way of making you smirk with some of their lyrics. Their mishaps in Mum Stole My Darts is a prime example of this. I really admire that they sound like nothing and no one else. It’s easy for a band of a certain style to just sound like everything you’ve heard before, but The Chats are a huge exception.

 

 

I adore the fury in their sound, and I love this passion in the vocals. The lyrics are witty and relatable- I know I keep saying that, but listen to them and you’ll get it. They are loud in all the right places, and I love the urgency in their song Temperature and how the lyrics are a little mischievous too. There’s the wonderful impishness in the lyrics, and it’s all part of their charm.

They’re heading out on a headline tour here in the UK in December. As soon as I get my bank card, I’ll have to get a ticket. They’re the kind of band you just HAVE to see live to really get a feel for their music. Records are great and all, but live music is something else. Songs like Nambored and Pub Feed just NEED to be seen live. You need to see the energy they put into the songs and their live shows. Being sucked into this sweaty atmosphere screaming out the songs that get you through the day; there’s nothing better. Nambored is one of my favourite songs (so far) and I’m happy to have it on a loop for sure.

They’ve only got a couple of EPs out, and I cannot wait to see what else they’re going to hit us with. With just a couple of EPs, they have created something that’s not been done before nor can anyone touch them. Songs like VB Anthem, Yeah Nah and the anthemic Smoko just show us why they are one of the most exciting bands around, and why they have the potential in the future to be citied as the next generation’s bands influences. The three of them create this effortlessly cool noise that eases the soul, and just makes you want to waste the summer months away doing a whole load of nothing.

 

 

The Chats make songs to lounge around to, sing a long to and to just really enjoy in the purest way possible. I can honestly say that they are one of the most exciting bands I’ve heard in a while, and I’m super excited to hear more and to watch them deservedly, take over the world. These rascals are exactly what I and the world need. VIVA THE CHATS!





SHEER MAG.

4 07 2019

SHEERMAG

 

 

I should have written about Sheer Mag ages ago, but that’s just how it goes. They have a new record coming out next month, and are touring the UK in November (they’re playing YES in Manchester, which is the coolest venue in the city and it’s a week before my birthday!) so now is the right time. Better late than never, I guess.

Fronted by the incredible Tina (Christina) Halladay, Sheer Mag are THE Punk band that we all need. They have this brilliant attitude and force within their music which is like Amyl and The Sniffers mixed with KRAUT. Which is obviously a great thing, as I love both bands. They are loud in all the right places, and will just fill you with utter joy when you listen to them. The music is so powerful, and full of this ferocious energy that you just cannot get enough of. I can’t pick what it is I love so much about Sheer Mag, but I’m pretty sure that when the new record comes out, my love will be reinforced all over again. I can’t wait to hear it.

Sheer Mag make you want to just throw your limbs around in a way that would leave others wondering if you’re alright, but they just move you in so many ways. The songs will make you cry, shout and just be glad that someone out there gets you. We all need that, and Sheer Mag release it all. They make it seem so effortless.

 

 

The rhythm that Sheer Mag has is so soulful, and so poignant. They make you feel their music right from the soul, and I think that’s part of why we need bands like this. They aren’t afraid to be loud, and Tina isn’t afraid to pour her heart out in the songs, and leave it beating on stage. The vulnerability and the passion they have is so beautiful, and such a rare thing to see. But when a band you love show this, you cannot help but connect with them in ways you never thought you could.

They make the kind of songs that you just have to scream along- whether you’re at their show, or just hanging out at home. They bring it out of you, and their new song Blood From A Stone gives you that feeling and it’s the kind of feeling that you cannot help but cling on to. You have to. They sum up the heightened feelings we are sometimes wary of. There’s something about Sheer Mag that you cannot do without. They make you feel like you’ve gone back to the 70s but at the same time, take you deep into the future/to a place that is unknown to others. The trip they take on you on with their music is the kind of trip you don’t want to end, you just want to stay in the moments that they create, and I am pretty sure that their new record is going to do the same.

I’m super excited to see them live, and to really immerse myself in all that their music gives me. I can’t wait to see how their songs are performed live, and to see it all take on a different meaning. On record they give you this energy that spurs you on, and I’m confident that their live shows do the same.

There is so much soul in the songs, and I think it really comes across in songs like Pure Desire. The guitar has this slick tone, and Tina’s vocals have this Gospel like feeling to it. They are truly unlike anything else you’ll ever hear. Just Can’t Get Enough also has this raw and soulful feel to it. They’ve got something that you won’t find anywhere else. They need to take over the world or something, because bands like this cannot be ignored. Until You Find The One will break your heart in such a gorgeous way, and I think it is their most delicate song. It reminds me slightly of The Ronnettes, which is always a good thing. They’ll toy with your feelings, but one thing for sure is that you’ll keep coming back for more.

 

 

Like I said, I should have written this years ago but the excitement for their new record is building, and I cannot wait to hear it. We need bands/music that is fearless and makes you feel something, anything at all- Sheer Mag go above all this. They have such a distinctive sound that would make even the most reserved person move.

So there you have it, delayed appreciation for a band I should have written about ages ago. Hopefully this makes up for lost time.





GHUM: The Coldest Fire EP.

28 06 2019

 

 

I want to start this by saying I am going to compare my excitement for this record to when I first heard TwoFiftyFour. Anyone who knows me, or has read anything I’ve ever written knows that this band are massively important to me for so many reasons. It’s that kind of excitement that a kid gets on their birthday; it hits you right in the gut. GHUM are quite possibly, for me, the most exciting band around right now. They have this utterly gorgeous moody sound that you just get lost in, and you know what? It doesn’t matter if you don’t get found.

The EP starts with the powerful Saturn. The bass is what gets you on this, with the drums merging into it. Then the guitar comes in with this infectious riff. Then we are hit with the ethereal vocals. It’s the perfect way to open up this EP. I love the spookiness in this, and it just makes you immediately want more. It has you hooked. GHUM are the kind of band that once you listen to; that’s it. Nothing can touch them. This is how I felt, and still feel about TwoFiftyFour. It’s that heavy sound mixed with something really eerie. I love the sheer intensity GHUM’s music, and I honestly cannot wait to see them next month here in Manchester.

 

 

1000 Men is THE song. It’s so big and so intense. It’s the lyrics, it’s the vocals, it’s the hypnotising sound that just gets you. With this song, you can really imagine it being used in a film or something you know. It’s got that bite to it that just makes you pull really weird faces because you’re all, “Did they just do that? Did the vocals really make that sound? Did the drums really just…holy shit!!” That’s basically how it is when you listen to this one. It’s a beauty. It’s my favourite. I cannot narrow down why, but I just love how it’s got a really deep sound to it. I’ve seen GHUM be compared to Warpaint (which is pretty damn cool!0 and I hear it on this one. It’s like Warpaint meets Melvins. Basically, two bands I am obsessed with. I’m fine with this. The more I listen to this song, the more I can feel my obsession for this band grow. I cannot wait to hear this live, I really can’t. This is the one I’m really excited for. I feel I could write an essay on this song.

I haven’t touched on Get Up because you should know that one by now. The EP ends with In My Head. It’s beautiful, of course. What else would you expect! This record just leaves you wanting more. Four songs isn’t enough, of course but whatever comes next is again just going to blow us all away. In My Head has some really hard-hitting lyrics, and I think it is one of those songs that you play alone. In fact, this is the kind of record that you play through headphones with no one else around. That’s exactly what I’m doing now (I got to work early so I could write this up.) You can hear all different layers in this song; it’s got vulnerability in all the right places and it has this magnetic intensity in the vocals. I honestly cannot praise this record and band enough, but I clearly will try! In My Head has that chilling sound to it that has the potential to spook you- but once you get over that (and you will, immediately!) you can truly hear something really mind-blowing.

The Coldest Fire is nothing short of perfection. With just four songs, GHUM have fully exposed their sound in a way most would hope to do with their debut full length record. They are a band that need to be heard. Whether it’s on your way to work, or laying wide awake at 4am because sleep doesn’t want to be your friend- they are band that will just reinforce every single reason as to why you love music, and why we need bands like GHUM.

 

 

The Coldest Fire is out right now, via Everything Sucks Music. GHUM are also playing a few shows next month. They’re playing London’s finest venue, The Shacklewell Arms on the 13th July, and are playing all over the UK including The Castle here in Manchester on the 15th. They are also playing The Waiting Room in London in October.

Buy the EP right NOW, learn the songs, fall in love with them and come see them on tour.

 





BIKES: s/t III

25 06 2019

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About three years ago I wrote about BIKES. I went on about how I love their rugged Garage Rock sound, and how they just moved me with their sound. A few years later, I’m happy to be writing about their new (okay, it came out in April…) record. A record that is effortlessly cool, and firmly cements my love for this exceptional Berlin band. This record is not short of powerful and raucous moments that you just cannot get enough of.

Ten songs make up this record, and it just below the half hour mark. But  as someone with a bit of a crappy attention span- it works just fine! Sure I want the record to go on forever, but what they’ve created with this record is something that you have on repeat all the time. I adore everything they offer up on this record. I love how the sound is slightly more refined now, but at the same time it is still raw.

 

 

With no apologies (and why should they anyway!?) BIKES give you songs that hit you in the gut. There’s something about this record that has more boldness to it, and the song Friday Night was made to be played whilst alone, and bored. Just to get some feeling out, you know? It’s got a bit of a Bluesy feel to it, and I really love how they’ve taken this early sound that The Rolling Stones had, but dug really deep into the lyrics with it. It’s one of my favourites on the record and will probably be the one I gravitate to the most.

Something else I love about this record is that it has been put out via Alien Snatch!Records. They’re the best at what they do, so it is no surprise that they got their hands on this record and put it out. It’s the label that will cause me to be endlessly broke, but it’s fine! This is the kind of record that ruin your speakers to. You can’t help but play it super loud, that’s the only way to listen to a band like BIKES. You’ve just got to really push yourself with how loud you (and your neighbours) hear this record. It’s a wild record, and these songs are just a glimpse into how phenomenal the band are. Go back and listen to their records, and you’ll hear that this is a band that are focused and aren’t afraid to push themselves, and their fans/anyone who listens to this record.

There’s a relaxed feel to this record, and it kind of makes you feel that the best way to play this is without anyone else around you. Sometimes you need that, and records like this are perfect to do it to. All you can do is play it loud and sing along as loud as you can. All the best records make you feel this way, and BIKES most certainly give you that feeling.

This record has hints of The Gruesomes and The Rolling Stones in it, and that’s nothing short of an excellent mix. There’s a real Rock ‘n’ Roll feel, and the rawness of Garage Rock. Everything I adore about music is in this record, and in BIKES. They are a band that once you listen to, you’re just hooked for eternity.

If the inside of your head feels like a warzone at times, then this record will soothe it slightly. Or that’s just my personal take. I could have this record on repeat and feel alright, which is strange but always needed.

 

 

This is definitely one of the best records we’ll hear this year; it’s got everything you could possibly want from a record. And if you’re someone who likes the odd catchy bop or two, then you’ll find them for sure on this record.

Play it loud, block out everything around you and maybe, play it a little louder.

PS: Can someone PLEASE book these guys on a UK tour (specifically Manchester)

 





LOST CULTURE.

15 06 2019

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Surf Rock isn’t dead. It’ll never die. It might be a redundant name for a type of music, but it isn’t so bad. For the most part, you know you’re going to get something that’s carefree and will set you up for the day. It’s the kind of music that can you take you away from a place that is grey and rainy, and transports you to a beach wherever in the world.

As someone who love lyrics, and uses that as a focal point for most things I listen to- I’ve made an exception. Or maybe the exception found me with this one. Lost Culture are predominantly a band without vocals. This isn’t a bad thing at all because the music is enough to get you to create your own story. They put a record out last month called Weirdo Beach, and it’s enough to have you hooked. These songs are so good, and you know what, you don’t always need words.

 

 

On this record they give the listener the chance to create something of their own. Maybe you feel like you’re in a Spaghetti Western film or maybe you feel like you’re at a local skatepark, or maybe you’re just wandering around soaking it all up. Maybe you’re doing all three, and respect to you if you are- that makes you pretty cool.

Weirdo Beach is 8 songs of instrumental bliss. The way they absolutely annihilate their instruments, and just send you into a frenzy is something to truly be in awe of. At times they remind me of The Mummies, then they hit you with The Cramps guitar style (Poison Ivy will always be the greatest of all time!) These three buddies from New Jersey sure know how to move you, and they give you this feeling that their live shows would be even wilder. If they ever make it to the UK, then I’ll be happy. Until then, I’ve got the music.

Go back a year, and their first self-titled release is equally brilliant. Weirdo Beach has slight more edge to it, and shows that they aren’t afraid to be louder and rougher with their sound. I just love that they create real happy music without it being awfully tacky, you know? They do it in a way that makes you okay with hanging around doing nothing. It’s okay to waste your days, it’s okay to have a self care day. When you have these days, this is the perfect band to relax to. I don’t know where they take me with their sound, but I know it’s some place really magical. I could happily spend hours and hours just listening to their songs. They don’t have the heaviness of lyrics, and sometimes you need that. Sometimes you just need the sound, and that’s enough to make it all alright!

Their song Pistols at Dawn makes you definitely feel like you’re in a saloon bar and some fool is trying to start something with you. They’ve got something about them just leaves you wanting more and more; they’ve not been together long (I don’t think, but I could be wrong) but they have such a together sound. You can really hear how they are experimenting and how their instruments are weapons. The drums sound like a smackdown. The bass sounds like something guiding its way through your soul and the guitar is this cool, jangly sound that just moves you. A real slick sound that I cannot get enough of.

 

 

14 songs in total, and they are 14 songs that you cannot help but stick on repeat. If you live in New Jersey, support this band with all you’ve got. Get them over to the UK. Supr happy I found this band. I love that they have a laid-back sound, but at the same time just leave you in awe with how brilliant they are.

Play it loud, always.





DRAB MAJESTY: Modern Mirror.

14 06 2019

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One of the most exciting duos around, Drab Majesty are releasing a new record in July. A record that will reinforce our love for them, and get us excited over their UK tour in September. Deb Demure and Mona D make exquisite music together, and I’m going to explore that with my take on Modern Mirror.

The record opens with the haunting yet angelic A Dialogue. The song is highly atmospheric, and I cannot help but feel this could be a song that they open their sets with. It’s got something about it that is stoic and something that just grabs you. It starts with these strong vocals, then it all comes together and it is this huge sound. The kind of sound that you’d probably hear at the end of the night in a dingy, dark club as you make your way outside. There is something euphoric yet final about it. It’s the perfect song to start the record with.

 

 

 

Drab Majesty have been a band I have leant on for some time, like Cold Cave. There is something about the lyrics and the way the music eases any ugly feelings, and lord knows I’ve been at my worst recently. Music is powerful, and music can heal. It can be that thing that just holds you together, and I hold Drab Majesty so highly- purely because of what they mean to me. It goes beyond being a band that evoke escapism; they have something about them that just makes me fall in love with them every single time I listen to them.

The Other Side is 6 minutes of sheer heaven, and it makes you wish you were wandering the streets of L.A. taking this song in, and ignoring the world for a while. There’s a lot of Garage Rock bands I love that come from L.A. but Drab Majesty are on the other spectrum of the music I love, and it’s this dark and intense sound. Some may call it “Goth” or “Darkwave” but I really don’t have a name for it. All I know is that their lyrics, and songs are so powerful and so wonderful to get lost in.

Only a couple of songs on this record are under 5 minutes long, which I adore. I love songs that last over the 5 minute mark and have intense and euphoric build-ups. Drab Majesty are pros at this, and knowing that they will be playing my favourite venue in Manchester (Soup Kitchen) in a few months, just makes me super happy. It’s the perfect venue for them and I cannot wait to hear the new record here.

There’s this devotion and passion in these new songs that shows how they aren’t afraid of experimenting with new sounds and pushing their sound further. Careless and The Demonstration are two perfect records, and with their third they do something beyond what they’ve done before. The best way to experience this record is to listen to Careless, then The Demonstration; then allow yourself to immerse yourself in all that Modern Mirror is. You’ll hear this subtle growth, but the beautiful darkness is there. Ellipsis and Dolls in The Dark are for me, their biggest sounding songs on the record. They take you somewhere new on these songs, somewhere no other record or song ever has. If you’ve never listened to Drab Majesty before, please invest in their previous two records in time for the release of this gorgeous record that is, Modern Mirror.

Modern Mirror may only be 8 songs long (as a massive fan, I could quite happily listen to triple the amount!) but it is a record to truly cherish and keep close. It’s the kind of record that’ll keep nightmares at bay, and allow you to soak up the darkness in order to be less afraid. I needed this record more than I thought I did. There’s something about it that is so soothing, and I think a huge part of this is Deb’s voice. It is so comforting and easy to just fall in love with. The songs tell a story, and that just makes you connect even more so with this stunning record.

Modern Mirror shows us exactly why Drab Majesty are one of the best bands around. Their sound is heavy, eerie and sublime. There’s no denying just how phenomenal the new record is. Buy the record when it comes out in July, and please come see them on tour.

 

 

Modern Mirror will be released on 12th July via Dais Records.

Tour dates are:

18th Sept – Dingwalls, LONDON

19th Sept – Soup Kitchen, MANCHESTER

21st Sept – Wharf Chambers, LEEDS

22nd Sept – Clwb Ilfor Bach, CARDIFF

They will be joined by the equally beautiful, SRSQ.