L.A. WITCH: L.A. Witch

8 09 2017

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Just so you know, this is going to be hugely biased. I have been waiting YEARS to finally do this and I honestly couldn’t be happier about it. This is my version of Christmas and my birthday all in one. I am so excited to play this record and to write about it. Note: I wrote most of this on the train into work this morning at 7:20am.

What you need to know about L.A Witch is not only are they one of the greatest bands ever (there’s proof, just go to their shows) they are also one of the most hard-working bands around. They never ever seem to have any time off. Whilst touring can be hectic and tiring, L.A. Witch always put their all into their shows and each show is played with sheer devotion to what they do. And what do they do? They blow our minds, of course!

If like me you are obsessed and in love with their music, you’ll know pretty much every song on their debut record. From dodgy YouTube recordings, to the demos and to seeing their live shows- these songs are familiar but at the same time, absolutely brand new. On record, these songs are louder and the drums. Oh lord, the drums!

Sade has a voice unlike no other. She sounds like she’s been catapulted into us from the future with a nod to Ronnie Spector (who is probably the most underrated singer followed by Aaliyah.) Sade is a phenomenal vocalist but her guitar skills are equally as fantastic. She makes you want to pick up a guitar and annihilate everything in your way. There’s so much determination in what she does, in what they all do. A band entirely focused and it truly shines through on this record. Drive Your Car is her moment on the record. She just destroys it. The goosebumps are prominent. Play it loud.

Next up, I want to write about Irita. The best bassist you’ll ever know. She’s got this slick tone and when you see them live, you find yourself totally taken by how she gets in this zone. The music takes her where she takes you. Does she do this on record? Damn right she does! For me, You Love Nothing is her strong moment on the record but to be honest, it’s every single song for all of them. This is a band that know what they want to do, go with them.

On this record, each of them sound louder than before. There are times on the record where you try to work out which sound is moving you the most. That’s why we need to talk about Ellie. The coolest drummer around. I love when you can hear, on record, the drums ruling over slightly. However, this doesn’t happen on this record. It happens for all of them at the right time. Perfection exists and it is on this record. Ellie is such a brilliant drummer to watch and she truly, truly shows this on record. Get Lost has ALWAYS been a favourite of mine, and Ellie’s drumming on this song is insane. The speed picks up near the end of the track and it’s this ferociously glorious sound that makes you feel so alive. Record of the year. I was always going to say it.

I’ve been a huge fan for so long and to finally here the songs I’ve adored come together like this is just amazing. Every little detail justifies why they are the best band around. L.A. Witch will make you want to get in a car and just take off. Anywhere. Just far. They make you want to hit the West Coast, and never want to leave. Laze about at the beach, in skate parks, record stores- whatever you so desire. It is such a beautifully intense record that will just ease the mind, body and soul. It’ll take you somewhere, trust me. If Heaven had a sound, it would probably be this record. It is loud in all the right places, it is eerie, it makes you feel like you’re lurking in a graveyard and it’ll make you want to make your own noise. It’s a beast of a record, and as far as debut records go- this is just simply up there with the greats. Only a fool would find fault in it. LA. Witch just make you wish you could join their band. That’s all there is to it. They just make you want to join in and go along for the ride. They’re the ones taking the wheel though. I’m cool with being the passenger.

I could go on forever about this record and how brilliant it is, and how it means everything to me to finally hear it. Hopefully when you’ve played it you will see what I mean.

The band is currently on tour in Europe with some UK dates in the next few weeks. Buy the record, come to the shows. Have the time of your life.

L.A. Witch- thank you. You should be immensely proud of this record.

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THE GUN CLUB: Fire Of Love.

3 09 2017

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At the end of August 1981, a band called The Gun Club released a record that was unlike anything else. Nothing before or after has ever come close to it. A genre-bending record that still towers over most to this day. It was made to be played loud and obsessively. In short, it is in top end of the best records I have ever heard and will ever hear.

Last week I was feeling pretty shitty so I did what I normally do- bought a record. I wasn’t sure what I was in the mood for. I had my hands on Repeater by Fugazi but then my hands latched onto a live record by The Gun Club. This was difficult, and I know I should have just bought both. I opted for The Gun Club but I will return to rightfully purchase some Fugazi.

Fire Of Love is easily one of the greatest records ever made. It’s this brilliant mix of rockabilly and punk undertones. It’s everything I want from a record. It’s perverse, obnoxious, loud, eccentric and utterly wild. Jeffrey Lee Pierce was a great frontman, and Fire Of Love was just a brief taste of how wonderful he was.

The record opens with Sex Beat and it is such a powerful start to the record. It immediately locks you in. A tight grip round your lugholes. Once you hear this record, that’s it. It’s got this kick to it that makes you forget all you have heard before. When you hear something new, you find yourself comparing it to this record. Seek for the things that give you the kind of kick Fire Of Love gives you, and you’ll be alright.

I spent a lot of last week really studying this record. I wanted to see how it felt with every listen. I wanted to pick up on all that was going on in the record with every listen. I spent my journeys to and from work listening to it. I occasionally listened to it at work and any other chance I got. It’s a record that you can get lost in. You can immerse yourself in it as you travel to work, you can find another world in it as you lay on your bed listening to it, you can fall in love to it. You can do whatever the hell you want to this record- and it will wonderfully heighten everything you think and feel. It’s simply, a perfect record that continues to stand the test of time. Time is a mere obstacle in comparison to this record.

Fire Of Love is one of those records that some lost teen hears in their formative years and picks up a guitar, and changes the world. This is such a powerful record. It’s got this feel to it that still leaves you amazed with every listen. From the fury in She’s Like Heroin To Me and the sheer force within Fire Spirit. It’s timeless. As clichéd as it sounds, it truly is a timeless record. It may only be 40 minutes long but each song takes you away from where you are.

When you listen to this record, you can easily pick up on bands that have since been influenced by this record and The Gun Club in general. Bands like this are rare. Fire Of Love is THAT record that stays with you for your whole life. It’s that record that you can easily remember first hearing, where you were, what you were wearing and what you were doing. It’s a defining moment- for the band and for those that have heard the record.

Fire Of Love is made up of 11 songs that will change your life, enhance your record collection and blow your mind. When you listen to it, you’ll probably hear how it has influenced bands you love. For them, it is probably THAT record that made them realise they had to start a band. It’s got that sound to it that makes you want to make your own sound, your own noise.

Stick your headphones in and go for a walk playing this. You’ll probably feel about 10 feet tall as you wander round listening to it. Jack On Fire will be the one that makes you feel tough and unstoppable.





Ho99o9: United States Of Horror.

6 05 2017

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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.