DRAB MAJESTY: Modern Mirror.

14 06 2019

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One of the most exciting duos around, Drab Majesty are releasing a new record in July. A record that will reinforce our love for them, and get us excited over their UK tour in September. Deb Demure and Mona D make exquisite music together, and I’m going to explore that with my take on Modern Mirror.

The record opens with the haunting yet angelic A Dialogue. The song is highly atmospheric, and I cannot help but feel this could be a song that they open their sets with. It’s got something about it that is stoic and something that just grabs you. It starts with these strong vocals, then it all comes together and it is this huge sound. The kind of sound that you’d probably hear at the end of the night in a dingy, dark club as you make your way outside. There is something euphoric yet final about it. It’s the perfect song to start the record with.

 

 

 

Drab Majesty have been a band I have leant on for some time, like Cold Cave. There is something about the lyrics and the way the music eases any ugly feelings, and lord knows I’ve been at my worst recently. Music is powerful, and music can heal. It can be that thing that just holds you together, and I hold Drab Majesty so highly- purely because of what they mean to me. It goes beyond being a band that evoke escapism; they have something about them that just makes me fall in love with them every single time I listen to them.

The Other Side is 6 minutes of sheer heaven, and it makes you wish you were wandering the streets of L.A. taking this song in, and ignoring the world for a while. There’s a lot of Garage Rock bands I love that come from L.A. but Drab Majesty are on the other spectrum of the music I love, and it’s this dark and intense sound. Some may call it “Goth” or “Darkwave” but I really don’t have a name for it. All I know is that their lyrics, and songs are so powerful and so wonderful to get lost in.

Only a couple of songs on this record are under 5 minutes long, which I adore. I love songs that last over the 5 minute mark and have intense and euphoric build-ups. Drab Majesty are pros at this, and knowing that they will be playing my favourite venue in Manchester (Soup Kitchen) in a few months, just makes me super happy. It’s the perfect venue for them and I cannot wait to hear the new record here.

There’s this devotion and passion in these new songs that shows how they aren’t afraid of experimenting with new sounds and pushing their sound further. Careless and The Demonstration are two perfect records, and with their third they do something beyond what they’ve done before. The best way to experience this record is to listen to Careless, then The Demonstration; then allow yourself to immerse yourself in all that Modern Mirror is. You’ll hear this subtle growth, but the beautiful darkness is there. Ellipsis and Dolls in The Dark are for me, their biggest sounding songs on the record. They take you somewhere new on these songs, somewhere no other record or song ever has. If you’ve never listened to Drab Majesty before, please invest in their previous two records in time for the release of this gorgeous record that is, Modern Mirror.

Modern Mirror may only be 8 songs long (as a massive fan, I could quite happily listen to triple the amount!) but it is a record to truly cherish and keep close. It’s the kind of record that’ll keep nightmares at bay, and allow you to soak up the darkness in order to be less afraid. I needed this record more than I thought I did. There’s something about it that is so soothing, and I think a huge part of this is Deb’s voice. It is so comforting and easy to just fall in love with. The songs tell a story, and that just makes you connect even more so with this stunning record.

Modern Mirror shows us exactly why Drab Majesty are one of the best bands around. Their sound is heavy, eerie and sublime. There’s no denying just how phenomenal the new record is. Buy the record when it comes out in July, and please come see them on tour.

 

 

Modern Mirror will be released on 12th July via Dais Records.

Tour dates are:

18th Sept – Dingwalls, LONDON

19th Sept – Soup Kitchen, MANCHESTER

21st Sept – Wharf Chambers, LEEDS

22nd Sept – Clwb Ilfor Bach, CARDIFF

They will be joined by the equally beautiful, SRSQ.

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PINKY PINKY: Turkey Dinner.

12 06 2019

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This Friday sees the release of the debut record by LA’s Pinky Pinky. Their debut record is 11 Surfer/Garage Rock songs for you to waste your days to. They’ll make you want to laze about and do a whole load of nothing. Sometimes you just need that, and sometimes it is a band that can drag this feeling out of you.

There’s no point in me trying to give you bands as comparisons to Pinky Pinky. They have something you haven’t heard before, and this delicate sound they have just soothes you. We all need something to ease the brain at times, and Pinky Pinky do it in a way that just helps you gently drift off with them. The songs give you a beautiful summer mood.

 

 

The songs have a lovely storyteller feel to them, and I think this is really evident on Lady Dancer. You can imagine the person they are singing about in your head. I love when bands can create something that makes you think, or takes you off somewhere. You can just imagine meeting this kind of person on Lady Dancer, and being totally consumed by them.

You’ve got your lo-fi sound that makes you feel you’re listening to them play in their garage (I’m all for this sound, by the way) and they project daily insecurities and anxieties so well- better than I probably could. The band grew up together, which I feel is part of why they have such a tight sound. It’s like you can feel their bond come right through in their songs. They played some shows here in the UK last month, and I reckon the next time they come back to us it’ll be at bigger venues, with more of us singing and swaying along to these laid-back songs.

Something which I adore about the band is Anastasia’s love for Fiona Apple. I can’t praise Fiona enough, and her debut record is probably one of the best records of all time. I’ll stop before I go off on one again. You can sort of hear Fiona’s influence flowing through some songs, and I think it makes you really appreciate how great the band are. To be able to pick someone like Fiona and add this Surfer Rock feel to it is just something I love. It’s something I love a hell of a lot, and it makes me excited to hear more from the band. Pinky Pinky have this sound that hits you with a wave of reassurance. Even if you’re having a shitty day, you can put their record on and you’ll feel better. Or maybe you’ll just want to trash your room then take a nap. Any of this is okay.

With a few EPs to their name, it is safe to say that Turkey Dinner is the record that is going to win over new fans for Pinky Pinky, and it’s hopefully going to please a number of fans. There is a lot of growth in this record, and they have not been shy in experimenting with different sounds. If you’re not going to be courageous with your art, then what is the point?

 

 

As the record comes to a close on Loose Change (I hope this ends up being a single) it is fair to say that this record has a lot of attitude to it and wisdom. It’s a record to grow to, identify with and just become obsessed with.

Turkey Dinner comes out on Friday (14th June) via Innovative Leisure.





WALLOWS: Manchester Academy 2. 7th June 2019.

7 06 2019

 

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The crowd at tonight’s show consisted of mainly teenage girls. As soon as Wallows stepped on the stage, the venue was deafened with screams that could rival a One Direction concert. There would have been a time where this would have annoyed me, but tonight it was beautiful to hear. A couple of hundred kids in this room watching a really great band. A lot of them were with their parents, and it may have been their first ever show. A pretty cool first gig if you ask me. I was stood behind a dad and her daughter. The dad was wearing a t shirt of The Smiths (which alone is great!) and was singing and dancing along with his kid. It was a beautiful moment. Some kids would be embarrassed, but there was so much love there. It was beautiful.

Nothing Happens is the band’s first full length record. It is made up of songs that sound like The Smiths meets The Cure and dives right into The Strokes. Personally, I love it. Three bands I love, and Wallows have created a sound that is equal parts L.A. and 80s Manchester via New York and the South of England. Maybe that’s why this crowd were absolutely brilliant. There’s something about Manchester, and given it was Wallows first time playing here- it most certainly was a night to cherish. Manchester crowds never disappoint, and they created such beautiful moments tonight.

 

 

The set opened with Do Not Wait which is by far my favourite song off Nothing Happens, and probably my favourite Wallows song. I love the depth in the lyrics, and I love the angelic yet grand sound in the song. Dylan’s vocals on this one are something else, and he truly does it justice live. To have them open with such a big song was great, and it only got better.

Songs like These Days, Pictures of Girls and Are You Bored Yet? are probably sung louder by the crowd than the band- but everyone is just so taken with it. There is something about Wallows that makes it so easy to fall in love with their sound. I loved how the crowd sang Clairo’s part on Are You Bored Yet? Braeden and Dylan share vocals throughout the set, and their voices compliment each others so well. When they need to be gentle, they truly hit you with the fragility in the tone. But when they need to ramp it up and be rough with their tone, they deliver it effortlessly.

With only one full length record and an EP to date, they had no problem selling out shows. This show was originally at the Deaf Institute but got upgraded. To be honest, they could have easily sold out The Ritz or the main Academy next door. That’s for next time though, and there definitely will be a next time.

Wallows give you more than a show. They are the best at what they do, and let it be known that Cole is one of the best drummers around. The band have got a lot of soul, and a lot of heart in their music. Their lyrics are relatable and their songs are just blissed out gems that you can’t help but continually to fall in love with.

The set closes with Scrawny. This song has my favourite line of the year, “I can still have wisdom and look like a child.” I can wholeheartedly relate to this, and it’s such a great song. To see it live just gave me a new appreciation for it. I cannot wait to see them again. I really can’t. My only downer is that they didn’t play Uncomfortable, but hey- the show was just perfect and the set just showed us why they are not only a great band and musicians, but also one of the most exciting performers around. They all have this beautiful energy, and create this atmosphere that you cannot help but soak up.

 

 

I hope kids that were at this show end up starting their own bands or something, and use this show as their blueprint or something. It was perfect. Manchester truly embraced Wallows tonight, not just because it was their first time here but because this is the best city in the world!





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!





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: