Ho99o9: United States Of Horror.

6 05 2017

ho99o9

 

With a smack to the face and a kick in the shins, a bloody nose. Broken bones. Grazed knuckles. Aching joints. That’s what the debut record from Ho99o9 will bring you. Pain, anguish, destruction, pleasurable noise, decadence, truth, brutal and brave truth. A riot. They’re not just a Hip Hop group, but man, they have made the best Hip Hop record in a long time. As far as debut records go, this one is going to be ringing in your ears even when they release their fifth one. It’s got this level of greatness to it that comes from sheer determination, and boy- they have it!

When I first heard Ho99o9 in 2014/early 2015, I was instantly moved by their attitude and how they really had this strong Punk sound that we so desperately needed. Ho99o9 were and still a band that we urgently need. They speak to everyone irrespective of race, age, sexuality, background. None of it matters, it never should matter. Their songs are to be played as loud as possible, and for every word to be yelled and learnt. Keep up the pace.

At the moment, Street Power is my favourite song on the record but I’m fully expecting that to change. 17 songs in 46 minutes. 17 songs that will blow your mind, blow your eardrums and leave you wanting more. 17 songs that shape our frustrations at the world and the things we see. The things we can change, and the things that are out of our hands, for now. No band has been this brave in a long time. United State of Horror is a body of work that oozes blood, sweat and rage. It’s the perfect record to expand your thoughts to and see things for how they are.

For just two people to make this much noise and to have such an incredible force within their debut record is just amazing. They take the sounds of two genres and make something really out there and unlike anything else. Sure they’ve had the Death Grips, Bad Brains and Black Flag comparisons but there is something else within them that is totally unlike anything else. Songs like Splash and Knuckle Up really show this, and for me, I’m just really in awe of Eaddy and theOGM. Just two people with such truth and rawness to their sound. It’s like exposing a wound. People will turn away but are still intrigued at the gore and guts. There’s gore and a whole lot of guts in their songs. How can you not be moved even slightly by them?!

I spent most of yesterday listening to the record at work, and I just intensely focused on the lyrics. Today I’m trying to take in every detail within the music. The way they make you feel like an electric shock is flowing through you. This isn’t a band that should be labelled as “not suitable for…” forget that. They are a band for EVERYONE. They hold something so important within them, and it isn’t something that needs ignoring.

Again, they are one of those bands that you’ve got to see live. I’ve yet to, but how they are on record will easily be shown in a different light during their live shows. They just have something in their music that needs to be in a live setting. Venue size doesn’t matter, the more that hear them- the better. Songs like Sub-Zer0 and War Is Hell just need to be seen live, you get that immediately from them. I think I’ve move on to Sub-Zer0 being my favourite right now.

From their EPs to this debut full length record, in just a few years Ho99o9 have created their own movement on their own terms. The finest thing to have come from New Jersey via L.A in a long time. Well, ever really. United States of Horror is a record that deserves your complete and utter attention. It’s easily one of the best records of the year, and the rage within it will feed into your soul. It’ll find its way deep inside of you, and will never leave.

You know what to do- play loud. Learn the words, throw your body around to the songs, go to the shows and let Ho99o9 completely and utterly take you over.





L.A. WITCH: The Lexington, 18th February 2017.

20 02 2017

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If you’re a fan of the phenomenal L.A. Witch you’ll have seen that some low life decided to steal some of their gear after their show in Bristol last week. For some, they may have just packed up, cancelled the tour and headed home. Not L.A. Witch. They’re doing this tour until the very end and putting their all into every single show. The kindness and love from fellow fans and musicians has been overwhelming and just beautiful to see. I don’t think I’ve seen a bunch of people rally round like this, and it’s just a wonderful thing to see. For every shitty situation, there’s always some good. It’s the kindness of others that gets you through in instances like this.

I saw their first ever show in London in November at the Shacklewell Arms. A bunch of us crammed into a small, sweaty room to finally witness one of the best bands around. I’ve been going on and on about their music for 3 or 4 years now, and to have finally seen them last November was just a real highlight for me. To see them on Saturday? Oh man, it towers over that show for sure.

Their show at The Lexington was nothing short of divine. You could tell that they were playing with slight caution at the start, especially Sade as she was borrowing a guitar and pedals. However, the nerves slipped away with ease as she held that guitar as if it was her own. The way they played had no indication of what had happened a few nights before, but I noticed there was something about them this time that really hit me. They played with this unbelievable force and passion that made you just want to jump on stage and join in. They made you want to be part of their gang. It must be said that Ellie is a fantastic drummer and the way she basically annihilates the drums during Kill My Baby and Ain’t Comin’ Home is insane. For the most part she makes you wish you could play the drums, but for the remainder you just stare in awe of her beating the shit out of the drum kit.

Hearing songs like Good Guys and You Love Nothing was so great, especially as I don’t think Good Guys is really played much, or maybe at all. Heart Of Darkness closes the set. Irita really owns the set with her bass on Drive Your Car, and Sade rips into the song, Brian with this fury that is so wonderfully captivating.

As I gazed upon the stage, no part of me could think of a band that they reminded me of. I really cannot think of anyone or anything I have heard before, and I was instantly shot back in time to when I first heard them in 2013. It just smacks you blissfully in the face. I love being able to hear songs like Get Lost live because these early songs are the ones that had me hooked completely. Get Lost is a real highlight of the set because at the end, they just really let rip. It’s such a raucous song and they just do it so perfectly well in their set.  I guess part of me really loves them so much because if I had any musical talent, I’d want to sound like L.A. Witch. I stood with my eyes closed a lot and swayed during a few of their songs, just letting the music take me wherever. I’m having a really shit time at the moment, and I just wanted to hear something that would take me out of my mind and body. They most certainly did that, and for that hour or so- nothing in the world, nothing in my head mattered. I remember vividly closing my eyes during Ain’t Comin’ Home and just being covered in goose bumps. Most definitely one of the best shows I’ve been to in a long time and easily one of the best bands I’ve ever seen live.

Each song is played with this way of just leaving you stunned, there is simply no denying just how great this band is and with their debut record FINALLY coming out this summer- I think everyone is finally going to realise just how brilliant they are and I have every ounce of faith that their debut record is probably going to get played to death by me, easily.

I managed to get the set list from the show, so if you’re interested they played:

Intro

You Love Nothing

Kill My Baby Tonight

Brian

Untitled

Ain’t Comin’ Home

Sleep

Feel Alright

Drive Your Car

Baby In Blue

Get Lost

Encore:

Good Guys

Heart Of Darkness.

 





THE LONG WIVES-Where I Put The Gun.

17 07 2015

“So tell me all your secrets,
And I’ll tell you where I put the gun.”

There are some bands and singers I will never grow tired of listening to and writing about, some more than others. I have a handful of bands/singers that when I listen to them, I just get this urge to write some over the top rant about why I love it. I guess it’s because if I did it to a person they would tell me to shut up and go away. Nobody needs to hear it. So I write it instead because it just needs to come out.

The Long Wives aka Brandy St John is in my list of “Greatest singers/musicians of all time.” I don’t have a solid list, but she’s in my top 5. Her music is dark poetry for the soul. Her music is that hint of hope when you feel other wise helpless. Her voice is so powerful in a non confrontational way.

When you listen to her music, you can’t help but think of one person you know who would really love her. Whether or not you and that person still peak is a different matter, but you think of them. Foolishly or not. It’s there. Brandy’s words and voice can tear open wounds and heal them in a way that doesn’t leave you flinching at the thought of being in pain.

Where I Put The Gun is dark and menacing, but there’s this fragility in Brandy’s voice that makes you just connect. Like two destined lovers who have been pulled apart and drawn together more times than they should. You can’t leave her music alone. Where I Put The Gun is the kind of song you’d play as you hit the open road on your own. Not looking back on anything or anyone.You can torment yourself with the past or you can put it to use. Brandy’s music makes you aim to do the latter. Her voice has this gorgeous healing/soothing way of just making you forget all the bad and ugly around you. She just carries you off on this eerie journey that you can’t imagine not being part of.

This dark sound is entirely comforting, and I’m pretty sure my music collection would look dull without her. If someone put Poe’s words to music this is how it would sound. Although Judas Hex is my favourite song by her, Where I Put The Gun has this equally woeful feel to it that as bizarre as it may sound to some, it is comforting and can fight off any feeling or loneliness. You can sense she puts her all into her music, and when I listen to her I just have this urge to launch myself into some intricate ramble about how her music makes me feel and why I love it so. But words fail me at times. There are no words to describe how beautiful her music is and how bloody brilliant she is. She’s everything I want from a singer.She is the opposite of what we expected from sun-kissed bands from the West Coast. She’s the hunter stalking her pray up in the hills, just watching and waiting for nightfall. Her words are full of feelings most of us would rather not acknowledge. I’d rather be terrified of how I feel than to not feel anything at all. What Brandy pulls out of you is brutally raw, and for that I am so thankful.





BEST COAST- California Nights.

4 03 2015

 

 

 

There are some songs that when you listen to, nothing can touch you. Every sad and horrible feeling you are carrying around fades away. A song that just becomes a part of you, a very important part of you. It doesn’t matter who sings it, just as long as you feel it.

Songs that take you away, I feel, are the best ones. Real life is dull and repetitive. How do you escape it? Through headphones. You take a song that whisks you away to some place so calming and your own piece of perfection. You can find it anywhere. You might already have that song, if you do then remember you can always have more.

For me, the song that sums up everything surrounding escapism and daydreaming is California Nights by Best Coast. It is 5 minutes of sheer bliss. I urge you to take 5 minutes out of your day to zone out and listen to this gorgeous song. I’ve been a fan of Best Coast for years, and I say with confidence that this is their greatest song to date. Their debut record holds a lot of sentimental value to me, but I am willing to move on from it and cling onto California Nights with all I have. It sounds nothing like their previous songs/records, but still holds firmly onto that beach/dream-esque atmosphere. Best Coast are a band you listen to when on the beach on a hot day with nothing else to do. Pretty hard to do that when it’s freezing cold out, so you play it on repeat and allow it warm your bones in the comfort of your own home.

Listen to it on the journey to/from work to imagine you are anywhere you want to me, place it at work, on your lunch break, before you go to bed. It doesn’t matter, all that matters is you allowing yourself to be taken on this ethereal trip that you don’t want to come back from.

I wanted to write a massive essay on how this song makes me feel and such, but my words will not and cannot do the song justice. I heard it last week and it’s all I’ve been listening to. It’s all I want to listen to. Some songs win you over instantly and become a huge and vital part of you, that’s exactly what California Nights has gone and done. It is one of those songs that reinforces your love for a band, for music.

Have it on repeat, and go somewhere nobody can disturb you.





BANKS-Goddess.

9 09 2014

 

“But I’m so tired of eating
All of my misspoken words.”

 

After waiting for what seems like an eternity or something equally dramatic, the gorgeous Banks has FINALLY released her debut record. Anyone who has heard her EPs knows just how bloody great she is, and how she manages to make you long for a full length record in just one song. Goddess is a record for those who have ripped hearts out, had their hear ripped out, those in love, in shame, in doubt and in pain. In short, it is one of the best records to come out this year.

In some songs Banks is longing for the love of the one who holds all her affections, but in others she is the one wanting to leave romance behind. She’s a storyteller, and she has this ability to really rip you apart with her honest words. Songs such as Change show the harshness of love and how manipulating it can sometimes be but opposite to this are songs like Waiting Game which echoes a desire to be loved. Personally, I feel You Should Know Where I’m Coming From to be the best song on Goddess, but I’m likely to change my mind.

Goddess isn’t a record for those who are tough; it is for those who have recently been hurt and if you can get through Someone New without crying then you are a stronger person than me (although it doesn’t take much.) There is so much that needs to be said about this record, but I really have no idea how to get the words out. It is one of those records where you just have to really REALLY listen to it. Take in every single word that Banks sings, and how she sings them. She sings these songs as if they were made for you. Her lyrics at times are sad, but not in a “woe is me” kind of way, but in a way that just stops you in your tracks and throws you back to a time where you felt that way.

One of the best things about Banks is that she is unlike anyone else, but if you’re someone is keen on comparisons, then basically Banks has an Aaliyah like quality to her voice. It is delicate and extremely powerful in the right places. She can break you and mend you with her songs, and that is what makes her not only believable but accessible too. Goddess is a mighty fine debut record, and one I’ll probably never grow tired of listening to.

Banks sings about love and relationships in a way most would shy away from. She’s not afraid to exploit the ugliness of them and the beauty of them. The good, the bad and everything in between she unleashes, and she does it in such an elegant way that makes you become addicted (there’s probably a better word) to her voice. Goddess is the kind of record you play when you stumble home at 2am and are unsure about everything around you. Banks’ voice will ease you into a peaceful slumber and you’ll wake with a clear head.

I don’t know what it is exactly I love about her music, but I’m guessing is it the sheer honesty and detail in her lyrics. Take the song, Fuck ‘Em Only We Know- the lyrics to it are full of detail and love, “I know exactly just how many kisses fit between your eyes.” That’s modern romance in all its glowing glory. And back to You Should Know…the line “If I told you solitude fits me like a glove, would you let me out?” is probably my favourite on Goddess.

In all its seductive and haunting glory, Goddess is one of the most impressive records I’ve heard in a long time. It doesn’t feel like a debut record, and I think that’s what makes it effortlessly brilliant and memorable. It is one of those records that her fans are going to cling harder onto than they did with her EPs, and why? Because the song cut into the heart and soul a little deeper. Her songs are bold, beautiful and vulnerable, and that is why Goddess doesn’t feel like someone’s first record. Some say perfection doesn’t exist but they’ve probably not heard Goddess yet.





NO-FI.

5 08 2014

nofi

 

 

Oh the sheer urge to leave England behind is growing by the day it seems. Who is to blame for such urges? Bands such as No-Fi. A band from the West Coast who make me feel like I am there without enduring a painful flight journey with some bratty kid sat behind me kicking the seat and some overweight and sweaty guy next to me spilling into my seat whilst dribbling at the sight of his in-flight meal. I’ll get there by the power of my mind. They say the mind is a terrible thing to waste, but I’m wasting it on nothing bad.

No-Fi are pretty damn good. On record they sound as if they are trashing their guitars about and drumsticks are flying everywhere. A pleasurable riot ensues as soon as you start listening to them. Like a glorious smack in the chops, these guys know how to hit you with wonderfully sordid grooves. Why sit at the beach when you can head to your nearest dive bar and indulge in whatever behaviour you desire after consuming a little whiskey.

Do you want to know who they sound like? Sorry, I can’t tell you. Not because I’m being a selfish ass, but because I genuinely have no idea who I would mention. Besides, comparisons are for those who are too lazy to actually listen. If you want a band that sound like the Velvet Underground, then go listen to the Velvet Underground. Pretty simple really.

Going by what’s on their Bandcamp page, I think they’ve only got one record/EP out and much like Girl Tears (I will mention my love for them whenever and wherever I can) they’ve pretty much created a solid sound with just one record. No-Fi are again a band that have EVERYTHING I love about music in one. They’ve got a Punk feel to it, some mellow moments and some hard rambunctious grooves to get you going. They wouldn’t sound out of place anywhere, their style is utterly timeless. Just back to Girl Tears a second, when I first wrote about them I felt glad that writing about music/music in general is my love. I’m getting the same feeling as I write about No-Fi. If you can be moved like this by a band so quickly, then I think it means you have found something truly special. You can’t let go of it, even if you tried. Their songs are swirling around your head on a daily basis as you stroll down the street heading nowhere in particular.

nofiartwork

* artwork by Simone Hills*

In an ideal world these guys would be playing dingy venues in London so I could stare and be in awe of how brilliant they are (Girl Tears would of course be there.) Back to what I wrote in my post about 13th Pillar earlier, I really do need to start playing the lottery.

Their debut released manages to merge so much in one go, yet sounds ridiculously tight. They have a sound that many try to figure out and probably struggle to achieve, they’ve done it in their first release. So what comes after that? The world of course. Your hearts, ears, souls, mind, bodies- they are coming for it all.

What’s so great about their music is that you can tell they are the bestest of friends and they really love making music. When you can feel that love and passion from a band in their music/live shows, you know you’ve found something worth treasuring.

You can listen to their record (and buy it) right here: http://nofiband.bandcamp.com/

 

*Band shot taken by Sophie Appel.





BONFIRE BEACH.

4 08 2014

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The best thing about music is the ability it has to just transport you to anywhere in the world. It doesn’t matter if you’re in a box room in Grimsby or a town house in York, music can take you anywhere. It gets you to where you want to go, where you should be.

A band that take you on such a divine journey like this are West Coast gems, Bonfire Beach. I don’t know anything about them, all I know is that I really like their music. I think that’s enough to know. I don’t know if LA has a typical sound, but when I think of LA I would immediately hear the beautiful sounds that Bonfire Beach makes. They have a traditional Summer feel to their music. They just make you want to go sit down at the beach and do nothing. Look out at the sea, read a book or just watch people pass you by. Their hypnotic grooves are what summer dreams are made up of. From those loathing their jobs to those wanting to leave school; they unleash your frustrations in their captivating sounds. You find yourself swaying out of time to their songs, the music just moves you and you don’t care for being in time or holding any form of rhythm. If you’re in your room, why take it seriously?

Bonfire Beach may have tunes for the summer and maybe they would sound out of place in the harsh winter months (you’ll never know unless you try.) They’ve got that seductive glow that is found in say, New Young Pony Club (think they’re just known at NYPC now) and have the ability to lave you satisfied with what you have heard, yet wanting more. Bonfire Beach have an effortlessly cool feel to their music. I really hate using the word “cool” to describe something or someone, but it seems alright to describe Bonfire Beach as being cool. They’re really soothing but have this excellent subtle aggression to their sound. Basically, if Courtney Love made Hole sound mellow, this is how they would sound.

They’re a band to do nothing to, but a band to fall in love with. After a few seconds past listening to them, I knew I had found a band that I’m going to play almost religiously this summer and way into the depths of autumn and winter. Their eerie sound resembles 80s Goth with a mix of something unheard of; they’ve got something about them that just lures you in and grips you passionately. I guess it is like falling in love for the first time, except it happens with every song of their that you listen to. They are magical, mysterious and gentle on the ears.

You can listen to them here: https://soundcloud.com/bonfirebeach

Personally, I think they’re just perfect.