ZIG ZAGS: Soup Kitchen, Manchester 21st May 2019.

22 05 2019

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Last night I got the chance to see one of the loudest bands ever. There’s only a couple of bands that have left me partially deaf after a show, and Zig Zags are one of them. They are LA’s nosiest band for sure.

They played my favourite venue here, the Soup Kitchen. The only bad thing about this show was that there was hardly anyone there. I’m disheartened about this because Zig Zags are a brilliant live band. However, although the turnout was poor that didn’t stop them and maybe subconsciously they decided to play louder than usual? I don’t know, but I do know this- it was one of the standout shows I’ve been to this year. It was their first time in Manchester, and I really hope it isn’t their last because they are a band that you’ve just GOT to see live. There’s something about them that just spurs you on.

They recently released their new record, They’ll Never Take Us Alive. I wanted to write a review about the record but, I kind of wanted to see their show first before taking it on. I wanted to see how it’d come across in a live environment because it has such a big sound. So, this is part live review/part record review/part me just going on about how great they are. I don’t know where any of this will go, but it’s out of pure admiration.

 

 

The new record is full of anthems, and I as I watched them in awe last night I couldn’t help but feel that their songs would be perfect in a stadium. They have this wonderful, grand sound but it isn’t overpowering. They are amazing musicians, and I swear Dane is one of the greatest drummers of our time. Although the venue wasn’t full, last night he played as if it was a huge fucking stadium and for me- that just sold it. The way they played last night just cemented my respect for them.

Zig Zags remind me of the Misfits mixed with the Melvins and Sleep; with a hint of Noothgrush. Basically, a perfect sound On record, sure you can hear loud they are but when you see them live, something else happens. The songs are heightened and they have this bigger feel to them. Considering they played a small venue, they made it sound like you were somewhere quadruple the size of where you were. For me, that shows you just how great a band is.

With three records into their career, each one is a step bigger and louder. They evolve in a brilliant way, and I really hope I get to see them live again because this was some show! I don’t think there’s a band around right now that are like this, and I just love how they can just annihilate your eardrums in the most beautiful way possible. They’ll Never Take Us Alive is definitely one of this year’s most out there records, and one that oozes fearlessness and this ferocious energy that you just cannot get enough of.

 

 

Zig Zags are the best at what they do, and not only do their records prove this- but their live shows do too. I’m pretty much going to live in the two shirts I bought last night!

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PINKY PINKY.

26 03 2019

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I’ve said it countless times that Los Angeles produces so much great music. So many bands I love come from the westcoast, and they are all to blame for my fantasy to run away there, lounge about on the beach and listen to music I love. Then at night-time, head to a basement bar and listen to even more music. Spend the rest of my days like that- my idea of bliss. Anyway, let’s talk about Pinky Pinky.

Pinky Pinky are three best friends who make the kind of music to make you dance like an idiot to. They make you forget your troubles, and they just have this gorgeous carefree sound that once you hear, it leaves you addicted. You don’t just listen to them once and carry on with your day. Oh no! You become entirely consumed with what they give you. They have absolutely perfected a sound that is so ethereal but nothing to mess with. It’s a one of a kind sound, and it’s one that when you hear it, you know you’ve been in need of it for a hell of a long time.

They’ve been best friends forever, and this unity they have really comes out in their sound. You really get a sense of their passion for music, and the way they work together. The music just makes you feel good, and maybe it’s because they are unleashing their insecurities and anxious feelings. For me, that’s a good thing. The less of us that feel alone, the better. Music is a safety net for so many of us, and you can add Pinky Pinky in there as a band who truly make you feel comforted.

 

They’ve got a couple of EPs already released, and their debut record is due out this year (June, I think) and going by the single, Do Me Dirty (Charlie), I think it is pretty obvious that it is going to be a flawless record and will be the soundtrack to the summer for so many of us.

For three people, they make a lot of noise. The kind of noise you get lost in and want to be part of. I’m pretty sure that their live shows are as great as their records. I can imagine the songs really coming alive, and you being able to take more from the songs. Hot Tears is one of my favourite song of theirs right now. I love the heaviness in it, and I’m pretty sure this is one song in particular that becomes totally different live. It’s got such a raw Bluesy feel to it, and it’s something I hope the band dive into further on. It’s such a great song and a brilliant sound, but they also have this way of hitting you with smoother, and more delicate songs. Everything about Pinky Pinky’s music is worthy of your time and attention. They’re truly doing something we’ve not heard before, I can’t get enough of it.

There’s no one else you can compare Pinky Pinky too, so obviously there’s no point in even trying to do so. Their earlier songs have this raw Bluesy sound, but it’s mixed with that 60s Wall of Sound feel. They pretty much take everything I love about music, and make something totally unreal. They’re just a brilliant band, and exceptional musicians.

If you’re wanting to check out their live shows, they are heading to the UK soon:

May 17 – Glasgow, Scotland @ Mono*
May 18 – Edinburgh, UK @ Sneaky Petes*
May 20 – Manchester, UK @ Soup Kitchen*
May 21 – Birmingham, UK @ Sunflower Lounge*
May 22 – London, UK @ Seabright Arms
May 24 – Manchester, UK @ Dot to Dot Festival
May 25 – Bristol, UK @ Dot to Dot Festival
May 26 – Nottingham, UK @ Dot to Dot Festival

*17th May to 21st May are dates with The Nude Party.

Their debut EP is a dream. I’ve had it on repeat this evening, and I cannot get enough of it. They have a song called Hot Under The Habit which is going up there in my favourite songs by them. Sure I love them all, but this one is right on up there. I love the gnarly guitar, and I love how it has this real raw feel to it. You blast it out loud, and it just moves you. This is the song I keep on going back to. This is my one, I’ve decided. It’s a brilliant EP, and I’d be happy to have it on repeat for the foreseeable. It’s so, so good!

Anyway, I’ve rambled enough. Listen to them, and come see Pinky Pinky on tour!





WALLOWS: Nothing Happens.

23 03 2019

 

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“It’s not a crime if you take what’s given
It’s just a crime if you’re payin’ for it
What’s the fun if you know what’s comin’?”

 

A debut record holds so much weight for a band- they can either fuck it up, or make you listen. Listen obsessively or disregard after one listen. Wallows truly have nothing at all to worry about with their debut record, Nothing Happens. It’s a record that’ll make you feel like everything is alright amongst that inner chaos that boils inside of you. It’ll be that friend you need when everyone else has turned their light off and gone to bed. It’ll be everything you need to get you through.

The record opens with the gorgeous, Only Friend. Dylan’s vocals on this song remind me so much of Julian Casablancas. They both have this beautiful, relaxed sound in their voice that just eases you and makes you hold onto the lyrics even more. I love how as this song fades, it goes gently into Treacherous Doctor which is one of the many moments where Braeden and Dylan’s vocals are in sync of each other, and just show us how great they are as singers. Each song flows gently and effortlessly into the next. The way in which Treacherous Doctor has this powerful instrumental moment which is delicately eased into the Sidelines.

 

Nothing Happens has been the only thing I’ve been listening to solidly since yesterday. It’s 38 minutes of sheer joy and genius. It is such a beautifully put together record, and although they’ve been a band for a number of years now- there is definitely a grown sound in this debut record. It is such a joy to listen to, and the way in which it takes you away from where you are and into their world, I really cannot praise it enough. Are You Bored Yet? is great to hear on this record, and how it slots between Sidelines and Scrawny. There is something about their songwriting that just really hits you. Are You Bored Yet? and Scrawny are two of my favourite songs of the year, and lyrically too. I really don’t have the words to do those two songs justice with how great they are.

As someone who is prone to panic attacks and the like, I seek comfort in music. I take the tablets because I have to. But for me, music is the one thing I rely on the most to ease me out of certain places. I’ve taken a lot of comfort from this record, and it is songs like What You Like and Do Not Wait that really ease the mind and body. But, let’s not dwell on that side. You just need to know about how great this record.

I think some have probably made the comparisons to The Strokes. Normally I shy away from comparisons and the like, but for me, Nothing Happens has something about it that Is This It had when I first heard it. There’s this wonderful laid-back sound on this record that is found on Is This It. But, the bands aren’t the same. Wallows make you feel like you’re in this blissed-out summer mood, and I think Ice Cold Pool probably has my favourite chorus. Just throwing that one out there. I adore Braeden’s vocals so much on this song, and it’s definitely my favourite song that he sings on, on this record.

Now to turn my focus on Cole; Worlds Apart is his moment. I’d say Scrawny is too, but I’m going with Worlds Apart, because I just love how he keeps up the pace of the song, and gives it this brilliant rhythm. It’s a sad song, but there is something so innocent about it, and what I love so much about Wallows is that they keep you guessing on what decade they are from. Worlds Apart has a 60s psychedelic feel to it, but songs like Scrawny sound like they from now.

What You Like is again another one of the songs I keep obsessively going back to. I just love everything about this song. I love the vocals, I love the production, I adore the lyrics a hell of a lot and the sound is just perfect. It’s another song where Cole’s drumming just leaves you in awe. Something you cannot help but treasure about this record is how well produced it is. Not in an over-produced way, far from it. You just hear that Wallows know exactly what they want their record to sound like, and how they want the record to flow. It flows perfectly. I know I’ve already mentioned it, but the way in which each song flows into the other is just brilliant. I can’t help but really focus on that. John Congleton has truly produced a phenomenal record here.

 

Everything I love about music is in this record. I loved the excitement surrounding the release of this record, and finally being able to listen to it. Listening to it over and over again, it just makes me love Wallows all over again. It’s such a brilliant record, and every single song fits perfectly. The record ends on Do Not Wait- a 6 and a half-minute masterpiece. If you’re looking for a band that’ll surprise you with their sound, and never give you anything typical- then Wallows are for you, Nothing Happens is the record for you. Do Not Wait is a wonderful song to end the record on, and it’s definitely a song that you turn to. Just listen to it closely, and you’ll get what I mean. Dylan’s outro on this is another stand-out moment on this record. For me, they all shine on this record- but this song just shows us all how bloody brilliant they all are.

Start to finish, Nothing Happens is an effortlessly brilliant record. Obviously as a huge fan of the band I’m going to say this, but in all honestly- it’s one of the best debut records I’ve heard in a long time. Listen to the record, and just fall into a state of escapism. Just be. Let the songs carry you. Cling to them if you want; you won’t be alone in that, trust me.





WALLOWS.

1 03 2019

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I’ve laid off writing because I’ve torn the tendon in my shoulder, and I’m in pain. A lot of pain but I’ve put this one off for far too long. I’ve been in need of writing about Wallows for the past two years. First listen back then, I knew I was listening to something gorgeous. Now they’re fast approaching the release of their debut record, I guess now is a good time to unleash my love and admiration for them.

I love Wallows because every song I’ve heard so far is just perfect. They make you feel like you’re on holiday, they make feel so carefree and alright. This band makes me really happy, and I’ve only got a few bands that give me this feeling. I love Dylan and Braeden’s vocals so much. I love how they are both delicate yet tough. Wallows have been together for quite some time, and I really like how you can pick up on this because their sound is so together. You can really how focused they are, and how they have this passion in their sound that just makes you fall in love with them.

Their lyrics have this sadness in some of their songs- it’ll remind you of The Cure in a way, and they do it in such a poetic way. Their songs are so captivating, and so easy to relate to. They make you want to waste your days watching the sunset at the beach, with their beautiful music playing. Recently I’ve been solidly listening to Wallows. They just give me this calm feeling that I guess most would get from meditation. Wallows make you zone out and feel like you’re in a constant state of euphoria.

I need to get my love for their newest song, Scrawny out there. The lyrics are easily my favourite of the year. I know it’s only March but my god these lyrics are every level of perfect. Dylan’s vocals on this one are my favourite to date. He hits certain notes, and it goes so well with the way Cole carries the rhythm along with Braeden- all three of them have this ability to just make you zone out with what they do, and just soothe the mind. Scrawny just may be my favourite song of the year. The lyrics are incredible, and I absolutely adore the line, “I can still have wisdom and look like a child.”  As someone who looks like they could pass for a teen still, I can wholeheartedly relate to this line. It’s the kind of lyric you’d want tattooed on you. It sounds simple, but there is so much in that line that makes you see just how brilliant the band are. Much like Morrissey, they have this way of hitting you with one-liners that just stick with you. As someone who is obsessed with lyrics, Scrawny just gives me everything I want. It’s straight-up poetry.

Let The Sun In shows us just how gentle Braeden’s voice is. What I love about Dylan and Braeden’s vocals  is that they are so distinctive. Wallows sound like no one else I’ve ever heard, but they have this wonderful L.A. feel to their sound. They just have that gorgeous summer feel flowing throughout their songs- even the slightly sadder ones. The trumpets on Let The Sun In make you so happy. For me, Braeden’s vocals have a 60s feel to it, and they are beautifully married with Dylan’s contemporary sound. I know what I mean by this, I just how it comes across the way I want. Basically, their vocals are totally different and go so well together. It’s Only Right is a perfect example of this also. Wallows make beautiful music that you can’t help but sing a long to.

There’s a verse on It’s Only Right that just hits you pretty hard; “I hear you talk, when you’re not there. It comes at me from everywhere. Can you lose the rest of me, and take my mind away?” The song is nothing short of divine, but this part for some reason gets me every single time. This song does, and I have no idea why. It has this heightened instrumental ending that reminds me slightly of Beach House. I could write about Wallows forever and not get bored. I’d always find something new to say, and something different to love.

Aside from writing perfect songs; Cole, Braeden and Dylan have this brilliant way of taking you back in time and also catapulting you way into the future. I’m so confident that their debut record is going to be nothing short of incredible. I just really, really love Wallows. I love their dreamy sound, I love their poignant lyrics, I love how they make you feel they wrote the songs for you. I love how Cole has this relaxed drum style. I love Braeden’s calming vocals. I love the way Dylan delivers certain lines on songs. Together, they just make the kind of music I am always looking for. They ease every terror in my mind, they ease the panic attacks and calm down the aftermath. You want to live inside these songs. They wrap you up, and make you feel safe.

Before I conclude this, I need to talk about the purity of Are You Bored Yet? which features the wonderful, Clairo. Her voice with Dylan’s is just a pleasure to listen to. The song is full of sadness, but also hope. The hope in this song is so pure and innocent. I adore the line, “Will you tell the truth so I don’t have to lie?” Instrumentally, it is definitely one of their finest songs. It shows a different side to the band, but also gives you that sensitive side that you cannot help but fall in love with.

Their debut record, Nothing Happens is released on 22nd March.

Also, check out their covers of This Charming Man:

 

And, Boys Don’t Cry:





FLAT WORMS.

23 12 2018

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I’ve said it countless times; I just love music that freaks me out a bit and sounds like something from a nightmare. For me, bands like Pop.1280 are a prime example of this and to be able to find bands that carry the same heaviness and obscure sound is something I’m always looking for. Flat Worms are a band I can happily place next to Pop.1280 for so many reasons. However, this piece isn’t based on comparisons- it’s just sheer admiration.

Flat Worms are loud, insane and are quite frankly, one of the best bands to have come out in a hell of a long time. Sure they have a Garage Rock sound, but there is something else there. Something quite industrial like. The music sounds like a madman going on a rampage, and I love that. I love how unsettling their sound is, and how it makes you feel like you’ve heard something you possibly shouldn’t have. I love the mystery surrounding them. When bands have virtually no online presence, I respect that a hell of a lot. You have to work at finding music to truly move you, and Flat Worms really make you work for it.

 

I’m not really sure how long they’ve been making music for, but last year they released their debut record which is evidently just the outline of how brilliant they are. They make you want to trash stuff and if you’re feeling festive about being chaotic- tear down some Christmas trees and bin off tradition. Flat Worms have this magnetic rowdy sound that brings out a side of you that other bands can’t get to. They make you want to make your own noise, or just play their sounds ridiculously loud. That’s the only way to listen to a band like this- as loud as possible.

Although I likened them to Pop.1280 earlier, they really do not sound like anything else I’ve ever heard before. I love the rage and passion in the songs. I love how the songs sound like a brawl in a bar, and how they have this unapologetically ferocious sound. It’s like a feral animal roaming free at night, fucking anyone up who gets in its way.

I’m curious about their live shows. Anyone who has seen Flat Worms live is bloody lucky. Imagine being that close to something so off the wall and brilliant. You’d probably leave feeling a bit deaf, but also smug in knowing that you’ve witnessed a bloody phenomenal band. There’s just three (I think) of them, but they make enough noise to make you feel like you’re listening to an orchestra of noise. They have this brilliant and effortlessly cool sound, and the darkness that flows in and out of the songs is remarkable. The lyrics are clever, and take you aback in some instances (Followers is a strong example of this.) Their music is made to be played loud, and for you to just lose yourself in. Flat Worms are easily one of the most exciting bands around, and with just one record out they have made something worth paying close attention to, and of course becoming healthily obsessed with.

If you’re looking for a band to blow your mind, and to make you feel like you’ve been let in on the world’s biggest secret- Flat Worms are for you. Play them loud; it’s the only way. I hope Red Hot Sand becomes your obsession like it has become mine. It’s over 5 minutes of brutal noise that just sets them apart from anything else you’ve heard in a long time.

Los Angeles is home to some amazing bands that I have fallen in love with over the years, and I can quite happily add Flat Worms to my list. I love the sheer rawness they have, and how they just don’t fit into any genre of music at all. They stand out and above, and I really love and admire that about them.

I hope they become louder and louder, because they are band that we are all in need of.





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





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!