L.A. WITCH: Octubre

2 11 2018

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Writing about L.A. Witch for me, is just as great as listening to them. If I ever made a list of my favourite bands of all time, they’d be in my Top 5. I love how they take every type of music I love, take every element of music I love and make something that blows my mind every single time. There isn’t a song by them that I am not obsessed with. Every single song is like sweet poetry to my ears. I just absolutely love them, and I love how they have grown. I first wrote about them in 2012 and I’ve seen them become the stars they deserve to be. When they played their first ever London show- I was there, and I knew it was a love I would have for life. Get this- they’ve supported The Kills AND The Distillers. How cool is that? I’m just so proud of them. Anyway, we’ve got a new EP from them and it’s incredible. Obviously.

These five songs are vintage and typical L.A. Witch. They don’t really play these songs live anymore, but the band have let us know that these five songs need to be put into the world. Something extra cool about the record- Gregg Foreman produced it. Gregg is one of the greatest musicians you’ll ever hear and see. Him working with the band is everything I could ever hope for. The EP is just a pleasure to listen to, and the heavy moments will have you moving in no time. It’s just the coolest EP you’ll ever hear.

Hearing the songs in a new setting is so great, and my god Sleep is one of those songs you cannot get enough of. Ellie has this style of drumming that throws you way back to the 60s Girl Group era, Irita has this slick bass style that sends you off into a trance. Then Sade comes in and smacks you upside the head with her guitar. Each of them are nothing short of brilliant. Let it be known that they are some of the best musicians you’ll ever listen to. If you’ve ever seen them live, then you’ll know just how insanely amazing they are. The way they craft these songs just leaves you in awe. I can’t pin point one thing in particular that I adore about them. Each of them have something that just makes you want to pick up and instrument, and make your own noise.

BB’s Momma is my favorite right now. I love Sade’s vocals on this, and how Ellie and Irita give us this aggression in their drums and bass. Then the keys kick in (is this Gregg playing? It sounds like it) and the keys just add something to this whirlwind, and Sade’s guitar encourages the madness towards the end of the song. The instrumental break just makes you lose your shit.

Heart of Darkness has always been a song I’ve adored, and to hear it in a new way is so beautiful. There is an extra dose of darkness added to these songs on the EP, and I think Heart of Darkness is the song that possess the most. I love the eeriness in Outro. No words are needed on this one; it feels like you’re wandering round a California wasteland with the hot and unforgiving Autumn sun beating on your skin, and the warm breeze directing sand into your hair and eyes. The sun blinds you, but the heat is on your bones. You can’t help but zone out when listening to this gorgeous instrumental song, but as soon as it is over- you start the EP up all over again.

With every single song I’ve heard by L.A. Witch, I can safely say each one just shows why I love them so much, and why I can’t get enough of their sound. There are a few bands that I always have this constant need to write about, listen to and buy all their music- L.A. Witch are definitely one of them.

If you’re looking for something to still give you the heebie jeebies, then listen to this EP. If like me, you’re an old fan- hearing the songs like this will just fill you will unfiltered joy. If you’ve never heard their music before, then be prepared- you’re in for a lifetime of love, respect and admiration.

Buy the record, go to their shows and let the music completely and utterly take you over.

Stay weird x

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NADU.

25 10 2018

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Here’s another LA based Garage Rock hero for you- Nadu.

Nadu is on record, just Nader Islam but the live shows has 3 of them. Can one person make a lot of noise on their own? Can one person do everything and make it perfect? Only a fool would say no! Nadu on record, is phenomenal. So let’s get into all the reasons why Nader Islam is a brilliant musician.

Most of the time, I find music by accident or clicking on something I should/shouldn’t have, or whatever. When a band reaches out, that’s something that still takes me aback. Anyway, Nader reached out to me and with one listen- I knew I had to write about his band. A band like this cannot be ignored. A band like this need to be played loud. So, for all you Garage Rock fans- get your lugholes round this!

At the moment, we just have one release up on his bandcamp page and it is enough to satisfy your noisy needs for now but of course, you’ll want more. And more. Then some more. You get my point. For me, I love being able to hear the sheer rawness in a song or record. I love something that sounds like maybe it isn’t quite done, but you know it’s incredible either way. I get that from Nadu. The songs have this real rugged sound, and you can really pick up on the Garage Rock feel. There is something really special about this, and knowing it is all done by one person makes it that bit more impressive. I don’t think I’ve ever used ‘impressive’ in my writing before, that doesn’t mean nothing has left me feeling that way before. Now was just the right time to use it.

I’ve mentioned it so many times, but LA has some brilliant musicians of all genres but the Garage Rock bands are something else. Nadu are a band that you definitely want to hear more from. You know that with everything you hear from them is just going to blow your mind, and irrespective of how loud you play the music- you’ll hear the insane reverb, the fuzziness in the vocals, the way the drums are so brutal and how everything just comes together so effortlessly, it’s just a pleasure to listen to.

The record is called Determination, and I can safely say that this fits the mood of the record completely. You can hear in every single song the sheer passion, dedication and effort that has gone into it. The songs have this brilliant energy within them, and it’s hard to believe that just one person has done this. Imagine what the live show must be like with more musicians!

I’m pretty sure that Nadu are one of LA’s most loved Garage bands, that’s pretty clear on what I’ve seen being said about them by their fans and the like. They have a sound that massively appeals to those who are sick of hearing the same ol’, same ol’.

With just seven songs, I can confidently say that Nadu are a band I hope to write more about. I can’t wait to hear what they do next, and with a record as strong as this as their debut- they are pretty much capable of anything, and everything.

If you’re lucky enough to live in LA, make sure you catch one (or all!) of their live shows. Stand right at the front, and go absolutely nuts to the songs.

VIVA NADU!





SAFETY PINS.

24 10 2018

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Los Angeles is home to some of the best bands in the world. A lot of bands I am obsessed with come from this side of the world. Safety Pins, if you’re interested are only in double figures for ‘likes’ on their Facebook page. However, this is to do with music- it isn’t a popularity contest so just take my word for it that these guys are great.

If you ever wondered what Ritchie Valens would sound like if he was in a Punk band, then consider yourself lucky because Safety Pins are here to give you that experience. You’re welcome.

Their songs have this gorgeous high school sorrow- you know the kind. You could imagine hearing this band play as a form of protest against prom because the person they wanted to go with went with some idiot instead. You let go of that feeling as you get older, but Safety Pins really take you there and keep you right there with them. It’s really apparent in the song, Love.

Safety Pins have songs that are brutally fast and effortlessly cool. They’re the kind of band you’d want to be friends with. Lounge about in their garage as they practised these songs, and ate a ton of pizza between songs. They have this youthful sound that is found in say, Wavves perhaps. They don’t have that surfer feel in their music, which is totally fine by me. I just love how Safety Pins don’t sound like a new band. They sound like they’ve been doing this for decades. They take everything I love about music, and everything that draws me to Los Angeles based bands it seems. They give you that constant summer mood, but also have this beautiful melancholy within the sound. For me, they are perfect.

I’m all for finding Punk bands that make you want to play their music loud enough to piss off your neighbours. Safety Pins are a pleasure to listen to insanely loud. I love how you can really hear that addictive fuzziness in the guitar, and how the reverb trickles throughout the vocals. This is pretty great on the song, Bad Brains. Which for now, I’m calling it as my favourite. It’s a condensed version of everything I love about music. The vocals are layered in this brilliant way that adds something quite haunting to it. It sounds like it should be in some straight to DVD horror film. Maybe play it at a Halloween party, if you dare.

Safety Pins aren’t a band that fall into any genre. They aren’t a band that you can easily compare to anyone else. That’s what makes them really enjoyable to listen to. I have no idea what their live shows are like, but I reckon they are a band that in time are definitely going to be making a hell of a lot of noise beyond their local town- if they aren’t already.

As I mentioned earlier, they have this summer feel to their music but there it also this sadness that is some of the songs. The vocals have this sense of sorrow and longing, but not in a “get over it” kind of way. It is done in such a tender and cautious way, and that’s just part of the appeal for me. I love how they are unafraid to show vulnerability in their songs but also be really, really loud when they want to be. Which thankfully, is often.

They may only be a small band right now, but they most certainly have the makings of being everyone’s favourite band. They’re definitely one of my favourite new bands of the year for sure.

This band are coming for you.





THE VOIDZ: Virtue.

12 10 2018

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“Everything I say is everything you wanna hear
My heart is broken through my dreams

I don’t wanna be a puppet that the ghost of my young self still controls
Jackets are the eyes to the soul.”

 

If you’re looking for a group of musicians who have come together to create something weird and mind-bending, then obviously you need to listen to Virtue by The Voidz. Fronted by my constant obsession, Julian Casablancas- The Voidz are nothing like The Strokes so don’t even bother carrying that assumption round. The Voidz are from outer space via New York City/LA.

Virtue has been floating around since March, so with me being stupidly late to the party. Here is my take on one of the most exciting records of the year.

Something I really love and respect about the band is that they are so care-free with their sound. I love how you can truly hear how daring they are, and on this record they go beyond what they gave us with Tyranny. This incredible futuristic sound on Virtue is like nothing else I’ve heard. For me, its songs like Pyramids of Bones that really push every single boundary possible. It’s like the Misfits head butted a kraut rock band, then created a soundtrack to a video game-  resulting in this masterpiece. The lyrics are great, and Julian’s voice has honestly never sounded so good. I love how you can tell they all push each other to go further with their sound. Being so fearless pays off, and you can’t help but wish you could have been in the studio with them when they made this insane record.

I love how at times, this record feels like Julian is delivering a sermon and the band are echoing his truths with some of the most amazing sounds you’ll ever hear. I know some have regarded The Voidz as being too much or too strange, but fuck that! These songs are unlike anything and everything you’ve heard. Also, Jeramy Gritter is one of the best guitarists we’ll see in our lifetime. The Voidz aren’t a band; they’re a gang. A gang of buddies, musicians who are here to blow your mind with their genius ways.

Permanent High School reels off the strain and frustration of high school, and how it can easily find its way into adulthood. Certain aspects just don’t go. When you hear Jules sing about it all, you find the stress of it all easing off. ALieNNatioN is such a hypnotic song, it’s the perfect song to listen to if you’re looking to zone out, or feel like you’ve taken something you probably shouldn’t have. It eases you in, and you slip into such a calming state. You won’t nod off though. The musicianship on the record is nothing short of brilliant, and ALieNNatioN is truly one of those songs that make you really see how incredible a band is.

I love hearing bands like this, and seeing how fearless they are. The Voidz are a band that don’t fall into any genre at all. They just make you feel good, and also leave you in awe of how exceedingly great they are. I’ve always loved Jules’ way with words, and on this record he really is showing us some of his best work.

The record consists of 15 songs and lasts a little under an hour. For me, I could listen to double this. On repeat. Constantly. Like I mentioned earlier, it does feel like someone is giving us all life lessons with mind-blowing and mind-bending sounds echoing it all.

Is it a record to play loud? You know, I’m not sure. I think with this one and it’s probably because Jules is someone I have looked up to since Is This It, but for me this is a sacred listening kind of record. The songs are gentle but also wonderfully rebellious with hints of Punk throughout. The attitude and essence of Punk is so obvious here, and it’s probably one of the reasons why I love this record. I loved Tyranny, but there is something about Virtue that towers above it slightly.

Next month, The Voidz are coming back to the UK for some shows. I guess this means birthday month for me this year is going to be pretty great again!

If you’re looking for a record that messes with all genres but at the same time, sticks a middle finger up at all and what society and the world expects of us/you- then Virtue is the record for you.





SEXTILE: 3.

17 09 2018

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I’m fully aware that Sextile have been a constant feature here recently, but they are THAT good and deserve all the attention possible. Besides, I’m still wanting to go back to Saturday night so I can re-live their show all over again.

3 is their new EP which came out on Friday. It’s made up of five songs to lose your mind to. The songs are dark, synth-filled and all kinds of creepy. Brady’s vocals on this one is pretty incredible. He’s someone with such a powerful voice that makes you just hang on to every word that comes out of his mouth. The way he uses his voice reminds of Wes Eisold. It takes a lot for me to say that because I pretty much idolise Cold Cave/Wes, but there is something about Sextile that makes me feel like I did when I first heard Cold Cave 9 years ago.

The EP opens up with the stunning, Disco and it then rips right into Drop You which is probably my favourite. Well, it’s my favourite today. I’ll probably change my mind in a few hours or so, but I just love this raw Industrial feel. It feels like night-time on the mean streets of Berlin in the 70s or lurking in basement bars in New York. It’s got a real sordid feel to it, and I love that about Sextile. I love music that has this unconventional darkness and some what smuttiness to it. Sextile are such an exciting band, and the best of them truly comes out on Drop You. It’s a song that holds so much within it, and seeing it live just blew my mind.

Paradox is a hypnotic song with early Depeche Mode flowing throughout it. It’s not a gentle song by no means. Their songs aren’t gentle- they are brutal and hold a wealth of fight within them. It’s the kind of song you play as you approach a fist fight or a scrap in a bar. It’s got rage, it’s got power and it’s such an exciting song to listen to. It’s the type of song that just sparks up wild images for your take on what the video should be like to this song if you were to re-create it. There is most certainly something about Sextile that just HAS to be heard and they are a band that stick with you. You’ll remember the first time you heard them, the first time you saw one of their shows- the vital moments stick with you.

Spun is a brilliant song. The guitar on this is so aggressive and it goes so well with Melissa’s drumming and Brady’s commanding vocals. I know I said I’d change my mind within hours as to what my favourite song is, but Spun is definitely up there. I love the sheer uregency  in Brady’s vocals. Like I said earlier, he has such a commanding voice and they both have such an amazing presence on stage too. This song is the one that could set the tamest of the tame free. It could make the calmest person you know just go apeshit.

Hazing closes the EP, and although it’s a fantastic song; it’ll make you want more and more. Thankfully they have enough records to keep you satisfied for now, but it’s definitely a song that shows them for all they are. Call them Post-Punk, call them Industrial or whatever- but genres don’t count here at all. There is something super special about Sextile, and it’s what lures you in. They’ll have you hooked in no time.

A lot of the bands I listen to from Los Angeles sound like you could listen to them on the beach doing a whole load of nothing. Sextile are the polar opposite. They make you want to wander round the city streets late at night in search of something that the daytime cannot give you.

If they are playing a show near you, go see them. Part of the attraction is the relationship between them and the crowd. It’s utterly cult-like, so be well prepared to be initiated.





SEXTILE.

14 08 2018

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I thought I had written about Sextile but I clearly hadn’t. I’ve been a fan of them for a couple of years now, so better late than never to write about them. They are touring the UK in September along with a new EP coming out, but I’m just going to focus on their music to date and try put across my love for them in a somewhat coherent manner.

They’ve had a few line-up changes, but now it’s just Brady and Melissa. I’m always in awe of duos because I feel they work a bit harder than most, and when they make this much noise- I can’t help but be impressed. There’s a real rugged industrial feel to their music, and if you’re a fan of my biggest loves, Cold Cave, then you’ll adore Sextile. Or you’re probably smart and love them already.

What I love about Sextile is that they make me feel like I am listening to Seventeen Seconds by The Cure all over again. If you’ve read anything I’ve written before, you probably know that I’m always looking for music that makes me feel like I’m listening to Seventeen Seconds all over again. Sextile do it in such an incredibly eerie way. They’ll freak you out with their wonderful synth based sounds. This is the kind of music you’d find in some real dark and twisted thriller. You know, when someone really creepy is chasing someone through a forest or down a desolate street. It’ll give you the chills, and you won’t be able to stop listening.

I love how they make their drums sound like Bobby Gillespie when he was in The Jesus And Mary Chain- simple but genius. They’re an effortlessly brilliant band that have something about them that just makes you want to cast daily responsibilities aside and follow them on tour. Sure the set may be the same, but imagine having that constant feeling of seeing a band you love every single night on stage. There’s no better feeling, if you’re a music obsessive like me. One Of These which is taken from 2017’s release, Albeit Living is one of the best openers I’ve heard for a record in a long time. It’s a probably smack in the belly, and like I mentioned- the drums on it is just like The Jesus And Mary Chain’s Psychocandy era. As well as Seventeen Seconds, Psychocandy is another record I use as reference for how a new band I’m listening to make me feel. If they have that urgency and eeriness to their sound like those two, I’ll probably love them.

I’m currently playing them loud enough to drown out the car alarm that keeps going off across the road, and it’s a pretty solid distraction. Maybe my neighbours would get into Sextile too, but its 10:30pm and I’m not that much of an asshole to cause a disturbance. But the person with the car alarm, that’s a different story. It’s been going on since 3 this morning. Anyway, enough of that.

I’m pretty sure they’ll get the Cold Cave, Nine Inch Nails and Drab Majesty comparisons lobbed at them. They’d be in good company (I’m being biased but still) but Sextile have something about them that gives them a brilliant distinctive sound. Part of you feels like you’ve gone way back in time, and another part of you feels like you’ve headed deep into the future because this is totally unlike anything else you’ve heard before. I love how Sextile can create such a dark and creepy atmosphere with their music. It feels so natural, and it is something to absolutely treasure.

For me, I’d say the best time to listen to Sextile when it’s dark out. Allow yourself to feel a little on edge and unsure, then go full pelt into the music. Don’t hold nothing back. Sextile will take you on this journey into what you didn’t think you were ready for, but you totally needed. I love the sordid and animalistic sound they have, and I’m pretty sure in a live setting it’ll just be out of this world.

Sextile do have a new EP coming out in September, and I think it is the first where it is just Melissa and Brady. It was recorded in their home- imagine being their neighbour! That’d be ridiculously cool. They used a LinnDrum on this record, and it sounds so, so good.

You can pre-order it here: https://sextile.bandcamp.com/album/3 and it will be released via Felte Records. Buy the EP and come see them on tour!





GLAARE: To Deaf And Day.

4 11 2017

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There are a handful of bands that make a massive impact with their debut record, and it leaves you wondering how you’ve got this far without them. How music could have got this far without them, and how on earth can they create perfection instantly. These thoughts and more come trickling in as I listen to the absolutely gorgeous debut record by GLAARE. To Deaf And Day is magnificent and it is one of those records that makes me want to head out to L.A. and obsessively go to all of their shows. Spend my days listening to their music and being in a state of bliss. Sounds ideal. In my head, I’m doing that right now.

GLAARE are a 3-piece from Los Angeles, and their music makes you think you are listening to a band from Berlin in the 70s with their glorious Goth sound. They’ve been labelled by many as being Goth. Sure, but if you don’t give a shit about genre (I’m with you) then you’ll probably just call them amazing and other praise-like descriptions. Their sound is so freeing and so wonderfully romantic. Rachael’s voice is absolutely haunting and comforting. The way she can sing over such eerie sounds and relax the mind is nothing short of admirable and powerful. Some have resembled her voice to Zola Jesus. I’m a MASSIVE fan of Zola Jesus (true story: I nearly set my kitchen on fire whilst listening to Stridulum because I wasn’t paying attention to the cooker.) Rachael’s voice is lighter and the power in her voice is different to Nika’s. Both possess voices that I wish I had, and voices that are just incredibly underrated. Imagine if they did a song together! I’d be in heaven.

To Deaf And Day is one of the best moments in music this year, no contest. Everything about this record gives me that same feeling I got when I heard Seventeen Seconds by The Cure for the first time. I always look for music that will give me that feeling of hearing that record for the first time, and GLAARE have done exactly that, and more. To Deaf And Day is meant to be heard in a setting that will not have any interruptions. I recommend drawing the curtains, turn off the light, hit play and shut your eyes. I think this is how I’ll fall asleep tonight.

For me, this record is the kind of record I’d never ever shut up about. I think it is going to be one of the records I continue to play probably every single day for the rest of the year, and beyond. It is effortlessly beautifully. It is elegant and timeless. A true testament to how great this record is comes out on the song Isky which is 5 minutes and 44 seconds of euphoria and beauty. Every song on this record shows how brilliant they all are, but there is something about Isky that really hammers it home how great they all are. Right after Isky is the one I’ll probably keep on a loop- Suffer. Again, there is something about Rachael’s voice here that just makes me feel at ease. We are then hit with the possibly most heavy sounding song on the record- Surrender/Control. This is such a strong song (I don’t mean it in an annoying hipster sense, I mean actual weight of the song) and it feels like you’re watching everything around you just fall to the ground and crumble as you listen to this song. Maybe if/when the world ends this is the song that will be playing.

For sheer sentimental value, the opener My Love Grows In Darkness is probably my favourite. The lyrics are gorgeous, and possibly lyrically, one of my favourites this year.

There is no denying just how phenomenal this record is. It may be their debut record but it feels like something a band with decades of records would make. Everything about To Deaf And Day defines perfection. It has this glorious darkness to it that will comfort anyone and become their safety net. It just oozes this heavenly sound that simply makes it one of the best records I’ve heard in a long, long time.