THE DEVILS.

3 10 2018

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If you’re looking for a real Garage Rock/Trashy band, then look no further than heroes of Naples- The Devils. A duo who have been sent from the fiery pits of Hell to lure you in with them, and to convert you at their church of Rock ‘n’ Roll. If at first listen you are afraid, then stick with it.

Buckle up.

The Devils are a proper exciting band; Gianni absolutely destroys the guitar, and Erica is sent to brutalise you with her screams and drumming. They both rip right through you with their smutty sound that would have Lux Interior smirking. These songs aren’t meant to be heavenly, but they sure sound it. The way they just make you feel several shades of wrong for getting into these blistering songs that are evidently about the things no one else dares touch on. Just look at the song titles, and you’ll understand. The songs are loud and sound like the end of the world approaching. Maybe The Devils are a cult- where do we sign up?

The songs ooze all the things that you’d probably shy away from, but the way in which they grip you with their sound is nothing short of inevitable. With even just a few seconds in, you know that they are going to be a band that you cannot shake off. Don’t Tell Jesus is a massively eerie song that makes you feel as if you’ve done something you maybe shouldn’t have. They bring out the side of you that others may want to suppress. Unleash it.

They released the funny but weirdly cool titled record, Iron Butt at the start of the year. I guess you’ve got to be kind of a hard ass to stomach these songs. We have some exceptionally romantic songs on this record such as Guts is Enough and Put Your Devil into my Ass. Some will turn their noses up at these songs, mainly for their titles but they are missing the point. Put all that aside, and you’ll easily hear that you’re listening to a really, really exciting band who will just ruin you completely with their glorious sound.

The feedback in the songs, the screaming, the sheer loudness is what kept me going back for more from them. I’m obsessed with how much noise two people can create, and how they just make it sound like a constant Horror film. One of those low-budget Horror films that has brilliant music kicking in when something terrible is about to happen. You can’t help but think something is going to go off when you listen to The Devils. You don’t feel safe listening to them, and for me that is most certainly part of the charm and attraction.

Sin, You Sinners was their first record but by no means treat this as a record that makes you feel the band are being cautious. This is a band who right from the start knew what they wanted to do, how they wanted to do it and who they were coming for. Their songs are consistently great, and the sheer speed they play at is amazing. You can’t help but invest a lot of time into them, they just have a sound that you feel you have been searching for, for so long. Now you have it, can anything else compare?

Gianni singing and Erica’s screaming are a perfect match, and you can’t believe that they have only been making music as The Devils since 2015. They sound like the spawn of The Cramps, but at the same time- unlike anything else you’ve ever heard.

Of course I am slightly biased with my love for the band as they are Italian, but to be honest- I’d still be obsessed with them regardless of where they are from. When you listen to them, you can’t help but let your mind go off and make you imagine you are at their live shows. Their live shows are probably completely wild, and I sincerely hope they come over to the UK soon and unleash their Hell upon us all with their brutal sound.

Play loud, of course.

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SLOKS.

25 09 2018

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Torino is home to one of my biggest loves- Juventus. Much to my stepdad’s dislike (he supports Torino) Juve are my team. But Torino is home to a band that are just insanely brilliant and most definitely sound like they have escaped somewhere secure and broke out.

SLOKS sound like everything you want your new favourite band to sound like. They are like The Cramps but with more spook and weirdness in their sound. They are totally over the top and I love that so much about them. Their songs are just wild and loud. They don’t sound like anything else I’ve ever heard, but the reference to The Cramps is as close as you’ll get.

Lead singer/screamer Ivy Claudy has such powerful vocals. Her screams go right through you like an electric shock on wet skin. It makes you feel like you are out of control of everything around you, they send you into their twisted world that feels and sounds like nothing else you’ve put yourself through before. Her screams on the song, Use Me sound like someone possessed. It’s part eerie but part bloody amazing.

SLOKS are afraid to push themselves and have this off the wall sound. They totally destroy your soul with their music, and you love them for it. You want them to take every ounce of you and be part of their gang. Their songs are like fires that keep being prodded to get bigger and bigger. The music is brutal and the sheer fuzziness of it rips right through you. They are such a great band to listen to, and there’s just so much to love about them. I don’t know if I can really put across how great they are.

The vocals are distorted, but my god the screams are electrifying. Play them loud enough, and your neighbours will end up calling the police. Maybe be careful with that one. The songs are made to be played loud. Either in the comfort of your own home, or in some dodgy bar where you have no idea if you’ll leave with or without a few bruises. You can’t help but be fixated on how their live shows must be when you listen to them. You can feel the drums really go through you, the vocals are something else and the guitar just sounds like a machine gun going insane.

At the heart of it, SLOKS are a fantastic Garage Rock band but they offer you so much more. Every single song is like a punch in the gut. Your body takes frequent beatings as you listen to their songs. Today they released their new record, Holy Motor which is just a body of out of control HITS. Every song is a hit. No song feels like it is there just to take up space. These are songs you’ll obsess over, and nothing will cure you from this. It’s the fuzzy vocals. They really grip you.

Would you play this band to your parents? Well, if they’re as cool as my mum and stepdad, you would! The songs on every release I’ve been listening to just show you how this band are entirely unapologetic in what they do. They aren’t doing it for anyone else but themselves, and those who feed off this kind of music. So sure, we can call it Garage Rock or whatever- but let’s be honest, it’s just genius.

SLOKS aren’t a band that are going away any time soon. In fact, they are probably going to get louder and louder. It’s worth sacrificing your hearing for.

This is why being Italian is so cool- bands like this!

Holy Motor is out today via Voodoo Rhythm Records.





THE DIRTIEST.

12 09 2018

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If the Ramones sung in Italian, or were Italian they would sound like The Dirtiest. These 3 buddies are one of the most exciting bands from Italy, and it just makes me so proud to be Italian when I hear exceptional bands like this.

Their songs are the definition of Punk and just have this, and I hate using the word, “gnarly” sound. It’s completely rugged and brutal. It just makes you want to throw things around and break stuff. Throw a tantrum and body slam into a wall. They just absolutely take you over with their brilliant songs.

The Dirtiest make songs that sound like the drunken aftermath of a party that went too far. They have this loud and fuzzy sound that just brings this out in such a massive way. I think it’s the most obvious on the song, Centro Shot which has the awesome chant, “Grappa hey!” If you’ve ever smelt let alone tasted grappa, you’ll know how brutal it is. It smells like paint stripper and will probably burn your insides as it drips down painfully. However, if you have more than one shot of it, you probably won’t feel this at all. It’ll just feel like a warm cuddle inside, perhaps. I hate the stuff.

I love that their songs feel like a kick in the kisser. They have this sound that produces a riot in your ears and just makes you want to unleash it as ferociously as you can, without hurting anyone of course. They aren’t afraid to be exceptionally loud on this EP, and in general. They are definitely one of the best Punk bands I’ve heard in a long time. If you love the Ramones and Dead Boys- then you’ll fall in love with The Dirtiest. 100 Shots! is their first release where all the songs are sung in Italian, and irrespective of if you understand what’s going on or not- it’s pretty easy to hear that this band are nothing short of exceptional, and sure know how to just obliterate your soul as you listen to them.

With their new EP, it is obvious that The Dirtiest have gotten more rebellious and more dirty with their sound. The record is incredible, and it’s just made up of songs you cannot get enough of. It sounds like a drunken brawl, and it’s such an addictive sound. Their first release has a more relaxed sound, but don’t be fooled- that rough, Punk sound is still there. They take the whole concept of Punk and just give you this delightful trashy sound that you cannot get enough of. I keep going back and forth with their songs, but I couldn’t possibly pick a favourite. Under The Glare is a real snotty number, and I love it. The first release is solid. The songs have a more fuzzy/reverb sound to them, and over time they have become louder and utterly fearless with how they sound.

I love that they mixed that early sound found in The Jesus And Mary Chain and the Ramones and just make something that is just so incredible. All you can do is helplessly play their music loud and scream a long with them. You just know that from their records that they are probably one of the most exciting bands you’ll see live- given the chance.

If you’re looking for a band to rip through your eardrums and delve right into your soul- do yourself a favour and listen to The Dirtiest. Loud.





LAME: Alone And Alright.

27 08 2018

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Back in 2015 I wrote about a band from Torino. I obviously praised them a ridiculous amount, and now I get to do it all over again by writing about their most recent release. It came out in March, so I’m a few months late on this.

LAME are just an exceptional band, and they really show this on Alone And Alright. A pretty cool name for a record, right? It’s a great record to listen to on your own without letting anything interrupt you. This is a real loud record that has everything you’d want from your favourite band. It’s made up of songs that’ll make you want to break stuff, you’ll want to throw your body around and in no time, you’ll be singing the words as if your life depends on it.

The record starts with the brilliant Evelyn. The song has tones of 60s girl groups in the harmonies but it’s got this wild guitar that just kicks off and doesn’t stop until you get to the end of the 10 track record. From listening to the record a couple of times, it’s pretty safe to say that this is the best way to start the record. Every single song is fantastic, but this is the one that really sets the mood of the record. We are then blasted right into Deep In The Barn, which just makes you stop what you’re doing. It’ll stop you because it is such a great song. I love this record, every damn song is out of this world.

What I am obsessed with about this record is that it just makes you want to ditch your responsibilities, and move to Italy. As an Italian (a bit more than half Italian so I can say this) I want to do this anyway. There are so many amazing bands in Italy right now, and LAME are most certainly up there with the greats. Italians sure know how to do Garage Rock and take it to where it should be. Alone And Alright is a record that you can easily become obsessed with. The way it just takes you on this exceptional trip into what you thought you were going to get from this record to what you actually get from this record, well, it just blows my mind. I’ve heard a lot of phenomenal records this year, but this one is probably my favourite in terms of how the songs really take you over and the way it has all come together, you know?

This is only their second record but my god it sounds like a band who are well into their career, and this could easily be record number 5 or 6. It’s got something about it that’ll keep you going back to it. Disappear is at the moment, my favourite. I love how haunting it is and how powerful the vocals are. This is the one I’d play louder than the others- it’s got something about it that just makes you want to keep playing it obnoxiously loud. I’m listening to it pretty loud right now with headphones because my housemate’s dog is snoring. Loudly. He looks super peaceful and cute, so I don’t mind. Memories is another strong song on the record, and I just love how it is a continuous flow of brilliant songs. There are truly no fillers on this record, it’s made up of 10 songs that you won’t be able to get enough of. You’ll want more and more, but all you can do is hit repeat. I love how heavy the songs are and even when it is slightly tame, there is still this mind-blowing heaviness to the song. You’ll pick up on this on the song, When You’ll Be Mine. This is a close favourite. Oh fuck it. I’ve changed my mind. This one is now my favourite. It’s a heavy song with this gigantic guitar and bass that echoes over the drums. The way it is done just makes me want to only listen to this song for the rest of time. It is seriously, seriously a bloody great song. I could probably write an essay on why this is one of the greatest songs I’ve ever heard. Maria’s vocals on this are insane. I wish I could sing like her.

Stefano and Maria’s vocals together are just perfect, it’s meant to be. The way they fit is just honestly, perfect. Then you’ve got the wonderful Massimo constantly giving off this blistering guitar sound that just stops you in your tracks. How the hell can someone play like this?! All three of them are just exceptional at what they do, and really it is a crime that they are not selling out arenas or having an international holiday named after them- something that big. They deserve it. I just absolutely love them, and this record is a real beauty.

I’ve gone on a bit, I know but this is a truly phenomenal record that has no dull moments and you’ll be longing for more. Even in your sleep you’ll be dreaming about this record. I know I will.





SURF CASSETTE.

22 08 2018

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Gone are the days where the best band to come from Italy were Litfiba. Gone are the days where you wrongfully assumed all Italy could produce musically, was awful pop music (Eiffel 65…I rest my case.) Italy is home to many great Garage Rock bands. Most have gone unnoticed but there are some such as Freez and Beat Degeneration that are giving us some amazing music. Another band to add to the list are Surf Cassette, a trio from Milan.

Surf Cassette make the sort of music you’d play whilst on a day out at the beach. They don’t make you feel as if you’re listening to a band from Milan. You get a real surfer/lo-fi feel from their music, and makes you think of bands from California that you love and cherish. If you love the likes of Wavves, then you’ll easily love Surf Cassette. Their songs feel like a comforting dream that you aren’t ready to wake up from just yet. Their songs are gentle in all the right places, and have glorious ethereal moments that make you just hit repeat constantly.  Wonder Woman is the song for me that gives off this real dreamy feel, and it’s a song that you can just get completely lost in.

Something I really love about Surf Cassette is their ability to really leave you in awe. The songs are beautiful, the lyrics are beautiful and the vocals are so gentle, and an absolute joy to listen to. You cannot help but feel completely relaxed and fall into a daze as you listen to them. With the rain falling hard in Manchester this evening, Surf Cassette make it still feel like summer with their blissed out style that makes you want to constantly be on holiday.

I love that they do not have a typical Garage Rock sound. They make you feel and think differently compared to others that make this kind of music. Surf Cassette are like that loyal friend who will wander around town with you, talking about nothing in particular, kicking empty cans on the pavement to unleash the boredom and people watching to kill time. They just have this really relaxed feel to their music, and the song Wasted in particular evokes all of this. It’s such a great song to just do a whole load of nothing to.  Lust For Life truly feels like a proper summer song as does Mess In My Head. If you’re lucky enough to live close to a beach, listen to these songs as you wander up and down, soaking up the sun.

There are some beautiful moments on the songs- especially vocally and if you can listen to these songs through headphones, then please do it. The vocals on Rebel are just perfect, and the sheer softness in the vocals and harmonies is just stunning. It really hits you when you listen through headphones, but don’t play it too loud. Just let the song take you over, and soak it all up.

As much as I love music that I can play as loud as I possibly can/can stand, Surf Cassette strip that away. They’re a band that are easy on the soul, they are good for the soul. You don’t need to play them ridiculously loud in order to appreciate how beautiful their music is, but you know- feel free to do so. They make music to waste days to- either on your own or in the company of someone that you cannot get enough of.

They put out a new song, Like A Drug back in June and it’s one of the best songs you’ll hear this year. It’s everything you want from a summer anthem, and you’ll want to keep listening to it- even when the summer fades away and it starts getting dark at 4pm. I can’t get enough of it. I just adore everything about this song, and the band. Like A Drug is easily up there as one of my favourite songs of the year.

I don’t care if it makes me biased, Italy has some amazing bands out right now. For me, the holy trinity is Freez, Beat Degeneration and Surf Cassette. Oh, and I’ll through Sonic Jesus in their too.

Milan may be known for its part in fashion, but Surf Cassette are better than any fashion trend. Listen to the music, and let yourself get completely immersed in it all.





FREEZ.

10 03 2018

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I’m not counting the days or anything, but I am leaving London for good soon. FINALLY. I can’t wait to not work just to pay rent, which is what I do now and it is no way to live. Anyway, with that aside it is important I find a band to pack to. A band to let my mind drift off rather than sort my life out. I’ve packed my books away already. Three big boxes full. I need a band that can make such a dull task less boring and less irritating. I give you the finest band from Northern Italy, and that band is Freez.

Freez are an incredible band from Schio which is in the Vicenza province. They are 4 friends who make music that send your mind and body off into a whirl. They are easily one of the best bands from Italy right now. I massive rate this band and also Beat Degeneration (who I’ve already written about.) Freez have this brilliant and effortlessly cool sound. There’s nobody else quite like them, and what I really love about their sound is that it just makes you happy right away. The lyrics at times may ooze the boredom of every day life but nothing is ever perfect, and they create the perfect balance of this. Their sound isn’t heavy but there is definitely some Punk undertones in their sound. They do make you feel like hanging out at the beach doing nothing all day, and that’s something I really enjoy getting from music.

The vocals are distorted in all the right places and are mixed beautifully with a relaxed guitar sound. It’s such a clichéd and annoying thing to say, but they really do have a blissed out sound. Freez do have a real summer feel to their music, and it is such a joy to listen to. Freez have perfected this surfer rock sound in a way that would make those who have tried to do so, quite envious of them.

They are most certainly a band that come alive at their shows. A band that you just have to see live in order to really appreciate how great they are. I have no idea when or if they’ll come to the UK but at the moment they are on tour in southern Italy and heading to France.

Routine was released last February and it is such a great record. It has everything you could possibly want from a band who make this style of music, but at the same time they definitely aren’t shy with experimenting with different sounds, and to really push themselves. The cassette was a limited release and came in three colours (white, peach and surf green.) Although there are only 5 songs, it is more than enough to make you fall in love with their music. Freez make music for you to waste your day to. Well, personally I don’t see it as wasting a day but others might. Some days you just need to do a whole load of nothing, and Freez are the band to do nothing to. Witch is my favourite song from the Routine tape. I love the urgency in it and how ferocious it is. It’s probably their heaviest song so far and it is one that I find myself constantly playing over and over again.

There is really no point in me naming bands that you could possibly compare Freez to- that just strips away the effort and passion they put into their music. They are such a young band who really do have such a promising future. I absolutely adore their sound and I love how they just fuse together a surfer rock sound mixed with everything in between to make something of their own. If you feel like going on holiday this month, then head to southern Italy to see them or France if you feel like it.

In my biased opinion, Freez are amazing. I cannot wait to hear more from them.





BEAT DEGENERATION.

24 01 2017

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In my biased opinion, Italy is the home to some great music. It’s obviously the best country in the world, is home to the best football team in the world (Juventus) and the best goalkeeper in the world, aside from my brother (Gigi Buffon!) There’s one band in particular that reinforce my belief that Italy is the home to some bloody brilliant music- Beat Degeneration.

Beat Degeneration have a beautiful sound that’ll catapult you headfirst back to the 90s. There’s hints of Slowdive in their sound, a strong Shoegaze sound is present but don’t be a dismissive fool about it. Their sound oozes heat. They make you feel like you’re relaxing on a beach in Puglia or wandering around a damp, and dreary London. They take you, they bloody take you. They take your mind, and up away you go. It’s a lucid trip and you didn’t touch a thing.

They’ve got this way of getting you to drown out daily noise and to just get yourself focusing on them. They grip you tightly, but in a non-threatening way. They sway you, nurture you and soothe your soul with their gorgeous sound. You can’t help but feel as if you’re not stuck indoors on a freezing cold January night. Where they take you is far more exciting than where you are.

Last year they released the brilliant Dream Machine which you can pick up as a free download here: https://beatdegeneration.bandcamp.com/releases Get a copy and play as loud as your ears can stand. It’s the perfect record to escape to, it’s also perfect to do nothing to. As far as debut records go, Dream Machine is just great. It was written and produced by frontman, Guido Giorgi. The band now consists of Manuel (“Gerry”) on the drums and Piero on bass. Like a lot of bands I’ve written about, Beat Degeneration strike me as a band that you’ve just got to see live. On record they have this beautiful energy and ability to take you some place unknown to others, I’m pretty sure their live shows will be the right kind of wild and chaotic. Something to unleash your daily frustrations to.

The record ends with the 7 minute wonder, Nowhere (A Land Where I Belong) and it shows a different side to Beat Degeneration. Sure you’d think with a name like that they’re just a bunch of snotty nosed kids making noise, but you couldn’t be further from the truth. Nowhere shows you exactly what Beat Degeneration are capable of, and that’s blowing whatever is left of your mind. Nowhere is the perfect song to close the record with. It’s gentle and easy on the mind. There are a few moments on this record where you feel like you just want to go to some sweaty basement dive bar and be covered in beer and sweat. But there are tender moments like this where you just want to be. Nowhere is the song you play through headphones and just let yourself drift off. Either to sleep or to a clear place in your mind, just go. Drift away freely and think of nothing. Allow yourself to have these moments.

I really hope they play some UK shows soon after doing a number of dates around Europe last year. I’m pretty sure their shows will be captivating and freeing. They’re not a band to go see live and not move to. Even the most rigid would find it hard to not move a little bit to the sounds of Beat Degeneration. I’ve played the record in full a few times now, and I’ve gone back to it to play in a different order, but with every intention of ending on Nowhere.

The songs are great. Really strong songs that deserve to be heard as loud as you can stand. They’re your new favourite band.

FORZA BEAT DEGENERATION!