TEEN CREEPS: Birthmarks

18 04 2018

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There are some excellent things to have come from Belgium, and Teen Creeps are most certainly up there as being one of the greats. Their snarling Garage Rock sound is nothing short of addictive, and I’m going to use the last 20 minutes of my dinner break to tell you why.

Birthmarks is their latest release, and I’m fairly sure it is their first full length record. It consists of 9 songs that have been created to just melt your brain and make you do things others would question. There’s nothing wrong with that at all. The record opens with the brilliant, Sidenote which consists of the gnarling roar of “I wanna be the last thing on your mind.” A simple but massively effective lyric that is perfect on the opening of the record. It is like a ritualistic call to come listen and invest in this record. Birthmarks have an effortlessly obscure sound that may remind some listeners (musically, not vocally) or early Placebo. There is something about the guitars that hurls you way back to hearing Placebo for the first time. Again, this is by no means a bad thing. For someone like me, it’s bloody great.

 

Teen Creeps are an exceptional band, and to finally have a record that really shows us what they are made of and how powerful they are is super cool. How I feel about them is how I feel about Küken. I’ve written about them loads because their take on Garage Rock and Punk is mind-blowing. Teen Creeps in some way are a little tamer, but lyrically Teen Creeps have this real urgency and rawness to their words. They are sung as if their lives depend on it, and when a band can do that it makes you really cling on harder to what you hear.

The record has been out for nearly two weeks now, and I can confidently tell you that it is one of the most brutal and loud records you’ll hear all year. It’s got everything you’d want from a proper angsty record. The loudness is so powerful, and it really does grip you. It’s like a loving chokehold (I have no idea if such thing exists, but let’s pretend it does for argument’s sake!)

Mercury is one of their softer songs, and I use that word as loosely as I possibly can. It is one of the quieter moments on the record, but it does pick up perfectly. Then it leads effortlessly timed into Will which is one of my favourites on the record. But, as usual, I will change my mind after my next listen. I’ve mainly listened to this record solidly the past few days to really get a feel for the record. It is a record that you connect with. Maybe it’s because you’ve got some rage to get out, or maybe you just love hearing something so wonderfully loud.

Good Intensions is over 5 minutes of pure bliss. I guess we’re all feeling better now the sun has made a guest appearance, and this is the perfect song to gaze off into the sunset too. It’s got something really special, and (stay with me on this) romantic feel to it. It reminds me of the early Shoegaze sound found in bands like Lush and Slowdive. It’s a beautifully crafted song. I think it’s probably now my joint favourite. I told you I’d change my mind! But I won’t change my mind on this being one of the most exciting records I’ve heard so far.

Teen Creeps are touring the record close to home and in Holland, so maybe treat yourself to a weekend away or a well-earned holiday to see this excellent three-piece band from Ghent.

Birthmarks is out now on PIAS Belgium. You can buy the record from any decent record store, kids! And if they don’t have it, make them order you a copy right now!

Play loud. Play often and let this fantastic debut record blow your mind.

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MIND RAYS.

22 02 2017

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Sometimes you just need to listen to something that feels like a massive jab to the face. I’ve become more and more restless but also annoyingly tired, so I need to listen to something that fits my mood. I don’t want to move but I don’t want to sit still. I want to listen to something that heightens all of this because nothing else will cut it.

Belgium is a beautiful place. I fell in love with Brussels twice. I spent a lot of money in a record shop there, twice. I could have happily spent all my time in there. It’s one of the best places I’ve ever been. Peaceful and timeless. Mind Rays are from Belgium- their sound isn’t peaceful. Well, to some it isn’t but for me? It sort of is. It’s what I need right now.

This Ghent based band have been around for some time, and upon first listen you can easily picture them thrashing about on some dingy stage in a sweat infused basement bar where all the outcasts unite- the best kind of place. You can picture them injuring each other and themselves as they flail about on stage, how much they bleed from smacking their face into a mic stand justifies how good the show was. Their sound is brutal and loud. If you want a label then I guess you can have Garage Rock with a bit of Punk. I’d just call it a riot to be honest.

Their new record, Nerve Endings is out next month and it’s probably going to be one of the most rowdy records you’ll hear all year. They make it easier to deal with your frustrations of daily life and being a bit of a loner, but that’s probably just me. These kinds of things just get you through. I was going to go to the gym tonight, but I just want to find more bands like Mind Rays and get totally lost in them.

Mind Rays make the kind of music to just straight up melt your face. Their earlier stuff is slightly less aggressive but only slightly. It’s all the right kind of loud and beastly. They make the kind of music that makes you morph into some kind of scary monster that isn’t to be fucked with, lurking in the shadows. I have no idea what their live shows are like, and I can only imagine that they are just as lively on stage as they are on record. Their songs don’t feel like something that has been recorded in a studio, you feel like you are listening to a band practicing and lobbing their all into it. You really pick up on the blood, sweat and maybe a few tears. And screams.

They’ll melt your mind, they’ll awaken the rusty and sleepy parts of you. They’ll make you want to slam your body into stuff, they’ll make you want to throw things around. They’ll make you want to act like a rebellious swine, and that’s one of the best things a band can do to you. They’ll lure you out of your comfort zone and before you know it, you’re comfort zone is going to be immersing yourself in this mind altering and thought bending sound. There are some bands that you just cannot get enough of, and for me, Mind Rays are easily one of those bands.