FLESH RAG: Inside Your Mind.

17 10 2018

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About a year and a bit ago, I was in All Ages record store in Camden, and this song was blasting out of the speakers. I already had a record in my hands that I was going to buy, but after hearing this song (and limited money) I put the record down, and bought the first Flesh Rag record. Since then, I’ve been hooked. More than hooked. You can call it obsessed.

Writing about Inside Your Mind is going to be an enjoyable experience. Flesh Rag are essentially, a Punk band but there’s way more to them than being a genre. They have that raw, snarly feel that the Dead Boys had. When their songs are really obnoxious, that’s when you play them a bit louder – In Another Dimension is a prime example of that. Flesh Rag are a band that can only be played loud. If you even try to listen to them quietly, the dial magically turns itself up.

I love how Matt’s vocals remind me of Stiv Bators and Captain Beefheart. He’s got a real distinctive sound, and on this record you notice it more. Just One Kiss is definitely peak Dead Boys reference, and as someone who is a huge fan of Dead Boys- I feel Flesh Rag pick up where Punk left off. This is their first full length record, and if you’ve listened to their previous hits- you’ll hear a band that are stoic in their sound, and most certainly are our saviours. It even says so on the press release; “Flesh Rag is Rock and Roll salvation, and only believers are gonna be saved.” Embrace your sins, and forget holy water saving you- Flesh Rag are where it is at.

Sunday Morning is one of my favourites on the record. You’d like to think that a song with this title may be gentle or easy on the ears. Fortunately, Flesh Rag do not do what is expect. This is a loud number, and it makes you think a little of any song off Raw Power by The Stooges. Sometimes when you pick up influences easily in a band, it takes away the excitement and originality of the music. However, with Flesh Rag I can hear all these influences and it is just amazing. It is almost as if I don’t need to listen to all the records I love on a loop- I can just listen to this record, and it takes me where the likes of Safe As Milk and Young, Loud And Snotty do.

Inside Your Mind is made up of 13 instant Punk classics. I love that Flesh Rag again, do not make you feel like you are listening to a band from 2018. I feel like I’m experiencing Punk in the 70s and living through it. For me that is such a powerful trait to possess, and I can’t praise these Kings of Canada enough.

Flesh Rag are evidently a band that properly come alive at their shows. They probably throw things around, have stage invasions and have the crowd leaving covered in beer, and bruises. All the things any good show should do. Inside Your Mind is such an exciting record, and is easily one of the best (current) Punk records I’ve heard. But like I’ve mentioned, they go beyond being a Punk band. Love Dump is one of my favourites, and that one really messes with whatever you expect from the band, and music in general.

You can stream the record here: https://fleshrag.bandcamp.com/  and you can get yourself a physical copy now too. Inside Your Mind is released via Schizophrenic Records.

Play this record loud, because any other setting just won’t do!

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BABY BRAINS.

16 10 2018

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I’ve found one of the coolest bands/singers ever. EVER. Baby Brains. Heard of ’em? Let me educate you about this absolute gem of a singer. She’s everything I want from a musician, and more. I’m in love with her music. I’m in awe of her voice and how wonderfully talented she is.

She is just one person. One person who magically combines all of my favourite bands in one. She reminds me of The Shangri-Las, New York Dolls, LA Witch and Ronnie Spector. I want her to take over the world, but right now she is taking over mine. Her voice is so gentle and comforting. She reminds me of very early Dum Dum Girls. She has the same soft tone to her voice like Kristen does, and how I felt when I first heard Dum Dum Girls years and years ago, well Baby Brains has brought that feeling back to me.

You know when you hear something, and you can’t really work out what life was before you heard their music? That’s how Baby Brains makes you feel. That’s exactly how I feel. I feel like she makes the kind of music I’ve been searching for. You know that feeling you get, when you hear something and every single part of it just makes you insanely happy? That’s what I get from Baby Brains. There is something so effortlessly wonderful about her voice. Amanda Steever is her name- don’t ever forget it.

I think she first released some music back in 2015, and as I go back and listen to her music, there is really no denying just how brilliant she is. Her lyrics are incredible, she’s an astounding vocalist and plays her guitar with a lot of soul. There is so much soul in her music, and she combines my favourite styles of music in one- 60s Girl Groups, a bit of Garage Rock with a bit of Punk. She makes heartache sound so beautiful, and there’s so much innocence the songs. Her EP, Eat Your Heart Out is a beautiful piece of music. Who’s He Going To Meet is a gorgeous song, and it’s a sad song but the way in which she sings it soothes the pain. It’s a brilliant EP, and it sounds like someone who is easily ready to take the world over with their music. I can only hope that she does.

If I had the money, I would pay for her to fly to the UK and play some shows. She has this sound that just makes you wish you could see her show every single night. Imagine how good that would be! Imagine how great you would feel. Walk Alone is one of, or probably is my favourite song of hers… right now. I’ll change my mind, of course. Every single song is just an absolute pleasure to listen to and to have playing loudly in my ears. This is the most perfect sound. She makes the kind of music that makes me want to keep on writing about music I love. There have been a handful of bands that have done this, including TwoFiftyFour and LA Witch.

Baby Brains is evident that Johnny Thunders is alive and well in certain musicians. He is definitely flowing in and out of her sound. She has that same magnetic sound in her guitar that just makes you move without a care in the world. Just like Johnny Thunders did, and always will.

I’m calling Baby Brains as being my absolute favourite find of the year, and I really cannot wait to hear more from her and write about her.





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.





DR CHAN: Squier

10 10 2018

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One of the most energetic and mind-blowing bands I’ve heard, Dr Chan are back with a new record. With a second record, this pressure or ideology of it being difficult and also a band growing up. Sure that works for some, but Dr Chan are the opposite of what is expected. Irrespective of genre. And that’s exactly what makes them standout and one of the best bands around.

What can they do with Squier that they may have already done with Southside Suicide? Oh man, so much!

I saw Dr Chan play London in February this year, and I think it was the last show I went to before I finally left that city. They were the perfect band to go out on, and let me tell you something- they are one of the best bands you’ll ever see. They play as if they are rehearsing at home. You feel like you’re invading their personal space, but at the same time you know they want you there to take in just how brilliant they are.

There is no point at all in me or anyone comparing their two records. It’s so clear that they are an excellent band and are just an absolute pleasure to listen to. The title track is a real gnarly song that you can just unleash hell to. The record is relaxed in all the right places, but my take on what sounds relaxing is probably different to someone else’s! But anyway, it stays the same. Dr Chan are a band that you’ve just got to play loud and more importantly, they are a band that you’ve got to see live. The songs on Squier are nothing short of amazing, and I’m so proud of what they have done on this record. They aren’t a band that are here to win approval of others or to be like anyone else. I guess you can call them punks, if you want. They are wonderfully shoving the middle finger at those who want them to sound like everyone else or whatever. This is all on their terms, and it is so obvious on this record. Growing Up is such a great song, and for me this one shows how far they’ve come and just how amazing they are.

For those who are already familiar with the band, you’ll be able to pick up on certain moments in the songs that may remind you of songs on Southside Suicide, but if anything they’ve got louder and more fearless with this record. I love how the songs sound like a party that’s gotten way out of hand and there’s no point in even trying to save it. I love how the songs sound like something you’d play whilst trashing your room. I love how the songs are so effortlessly rowdy and bold, and just so different to anything else. I guess some want to lump them as Garage Rock. That’s fine and all, but there is so much more to Dr Chan than being a genre of music. I love how their sound feels like it is echoing right through you. I love how the guitar and vocals have this laid-back but fuzzy feel to it. The Sinner is for me, one of the best songs on the record but to be honest, it’s impossible to pick one. Every song for me is a masterpiece. I just want to play it really loud and waste the day away.

Dr Chan have this brilliant ability to make you feel like you’re right there with them. They make you feel like you’re there as they record these songs, you feel part of the music and when the music takes you over- it’s a beautiful feeling. I’m being biased, but who the hell cares! Dr Chan have put out one of the most incredible records of the year. This doesn’t sound like a band who are only on their second record- they sound like pros who have more about them than most. They probably do anyway.

Girls is a great song, and I think it’ll definitely be one to lose your shit to if they play it live. I might call it as my favourite right now. I love how their sound, even when sometimes touching on dark-ish subjects, just makes you feel so happy. Girls is such a brilliant song that makes you happy to hear. Maybe don’t listen to the lyrics if you don’t want to feel a bit sombre. Dr Chan make you feel like it is summer at the skate park every damn day and I love that about them. Another standout moment on this record is the bass on God Hates You. It is such a slick sound, and is one of my favourite parts on the record. The song is great and let it be known that lyrically, the band are writing some mind-blowing songs. The words are just brilliant, and the sound is phenomenal. I just love this band a hell of a lot.

Once again, their record Squier will be out on the consistently great Stolen Body Records. Buy the record, and play it sky-high.





DISGUSTING BEAUTY.

9 10 2018

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We all have our own take on what Post-Punk is. Or what any genre is. It’s personal taste. What is Post-Punk exactly? Who knows. And the fact that it isn’t set in stone makes it all the more interesting. Who are Disgusting Beauty? Well, that’s an easy one. They are one of the best bands you’ll hear right now.

Disgusting Beauty have the romanticism that was in Jim Morrison’s lyrics. Lead singer, Silver even has that same beautiful tone to his voice like Jim had. With just one EP, Disgusting Beauty have made themselves one of the most exciting bands around and are probably one of the greatest bands from Berlin right now. The songs are dark, they are wonderfully creepy and the vocals is what tames the darkness slightly. There is something so powerful about their sound. It’s a sound that vibrates through your soul and makes you feel like nothing else. Disgusting Beauty are just an excellent band, and I really hope others pick up on how fantastic they are.

The EP came out in April, but you know- better late than never to write about them. Their music completely messes with expectations of certain genres, they take a sound that is so well-loved, and just make it into something else. The way they sound together is a sheer thing of beauty. You know how Warpaint sound perfect together? Like they were destined to come together and make music? Well, that’s exactly how Disgusting Beauty sound. They have this gorgeous united sound that makes you feel like you’re listening to a band who have been doing this for decades. To have such a powerful bond and such a strong sound is liberating to hear. There is something truly special about this band, and I really hope it isn’t overlooked.

Their bio (via bandcamp) reads, “born during a smoke-filled sunrise after nights exploring the gloomy streets of Berlin. ” My words are possibly useless when writing about them, so if you take anything from listening to them- let it be that accurate statement taken from their bio. They sound like a band you could wander round a city listening to on a damp, drizzly night. The misty evening descends upon you, as you loiter in doorways plotting your next move and walking into poorly lit bars, then soak up your thoughts with a glass of whiskey. Maybe they give you a different image. But this is something they give off so wonderfully in their sound. The four songs on their EP are just perfect to get lost in, roam the streets and not care for finding your way home any time soon.

The lyrics to the songs read like a Rimbaud poem. Full of romantic hopes and wishes. Full of scenarios that only music can take you to. The songs are poetry, and full of beautiful imagery that you get completely lost in. Close your eyes, and let Half Of Me just take you away. It’s five minutes of beauty, lust, longing and all that falls into this. I think this is probably my favourite song on the EP right now. I could change my mind, but I love the lyrics so much. They are just so beautiful and partially heart-breaking. I know I’ve mentioned it a fair amount of times, but they are just a romantic band. Not in the soppy sense. The dark and raw sense- like Nick Cave. You know, the best kind. The only kind I can relate to.

They’re playing a few shows in London next month I think. If anyone wants to bring them to Manchester, that’d be much appreciated. I’d imagine their live shows are as intense as their sound- which I am completely in favour of. I feel like I cannot do the band justice, I just hope the world listens to this band who are bending all aspects of what is expected from certain genres.

If you want your music dark, intense and moody- Disgusting Beauty are for you. Wander the streets, listen to the music and let them just take you to a sacred spot where there are no interruptions. Euphoric bliss to get completely lost in.

Enjoy.





BORING GIRLS.

4 10 2018

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Just so we are clear, France is home to some of the greatest bands and musicians of all time. However, the newer bands are something else. A lot of them have this insane energy and wild sound that makes them tower above anything else you’ve been into. I’m about to go on and on about a band I adore; you might just want to skip to the parts where you can listen to them instead.

Boring Girls are 4 musicians who will just straight up blow your mind. They have this effortlessly cool sound that makes you instantly think you are wandering round the city streets, soaking up all it has to offer. Then before you know it, you’re stumbling out of a bar with a carafe of wine trying to find your way home.

They have such great harmonies and sound like a band who have been together way longer than a year. They’ve got a 60s Girl Group sound going on, but at the same time a really strong Garage Rock feel that you can’t get enough of. The vocals are wonderfully distorted in all the right places. Their EP came out last week, and although it’s just four songs- it is four songs that show you just how brilliant they are.

The EP is titled P.L.N (Perverse Lustful Narcissistic) and it is full of songs that devour these emotions/feelings. There is something hugely wonderful about Boring Girls that just makes you want to leave your daily responsibilities behind, and go to all their shows and beg them to let you join the band. I mean, the latter won’t happen but they sincerely do make you want to see their live shows constantly. With just four songs they do this, and these four songs will stay on your mind for a while.

Sometimes you just know in your gut when you’ve heard something really remarkable, and Boring Girls hit you with this feeling. They hit you pretty hard with this feeling. I’m on my second listen of the EP now, and I can’t get enough of it. They have a sound quite similar to PINS first record, Girls Like Us but as you delve deeper into their sound- you know that nothing can really come close to them. They are just such an exciting band that you cannot get enough of. I’m excited for anyone else who may discover them, and listen to them for the first time because it is such an amazing feeling. I’m always looking for music that sounds like this, or gives me a feeling just like this. Will I find another who do the same to me? Who knows, but right now I’m all about Boring Girls and their effortlessly cool sound.

Will they make it over to the UK? Who knows. But if they do, I’m certain we’ll have a list of venues fighting it out to have them play. You just know instantly from listening to them that their live shows are probably out of this world. They have this tight sound, and it is raw in all the essential places. It is a truly wonderful EP, and if it is their debut (which I think it is) then they’re going to destroy us all with whatever they do next.

Boring Girls are quite simply one of the most exciting bands we are going to hear. They are anything but boring. They are everything I want from a band, and more. I’m super excited to hear more and more from them. Four songs isn’t enough, but for now it’s enough to rouse up my attention and whatever else I’ve got. The songs are just such a pleasure to listen to, and to really indulge in.

If you live in France, go see them. Make them the biggest band in your country.!





THE DEVILS.

3 10 2018

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If you’re looking for a real Garage Rock/Trashy band, then look no further than heroes of Naples- The Devils. A duo who have been sent from the fiery pits of Hell to lure you in with them, and to convert you at their church of Rock ‘n’ Roll. If at first listen you are afraid, then stick with it.

Buckle up.

The Devils are a proper exciting band; Gianni absolutely destroys the guitar, and Erica is sent to brutalise you with her screams and drumming. They both rip right through you with their smutty sound that would have Lux Interior smirking. These songs aren’t meant to be heavenly, but they sure sound it. The way they just make you feel several shades of wrong for getting into these blistering songs that are evidently about the things no one else dares touch on. Just look at the song titles, and you’ll understand. The songs are loud and sound like the end of the world approaching. Maybe The Devils are a cult- where do we sign up?

The songs ooze all the things that you’d probably shy away from, but the way in which they grip you with their sound is nothing short of inevitable. With even just a few seconds in, you know that they are going to be a band that you cannot shake off. Don’t Tell Jesus is a massively eerie song that makes you feel as if you’ve done something you maybe shouldn’t have. They bring out the side of you that others may want to suppress. Unleash it.

They released the funny but weirdly cool titled record, Iron Butt at the start of the year. I guess you’ve got to be kind of a hard ass to stomach these songs. We have some exceptionally romantic songs on this record such as Guts is Enough and Put Your Devil into my Ass. Some will turn their noses up at these songs, mainly for their titles but they are missing the point. Put all that aside, and you’ll easily hear that you’re listening to a really, really exciting band who will just ruin you completely with their glorious sound.

The feedback in the songs, the screaming, the sheer loudness is what kept me going back for more from them. I’m obsessed with how much noise two people can create, and how they just make it sound like a constant Horror film. One of those low-budget Horror films that has brilliant music kicking in when something terrible is about to happen. You can’t help but think something is going to go off when you listen to The Devils. You don’t feel safe listening to them, and for me that is most certainly part of the charm and attraction.

Sin, You Sinners was their first record but by no means treat this as a record that makes you feel the band are being cautious. This is a band who right from the start knew what they wanted to do, how they wanted to do it and who they were coming for. Their songs are consistently great, and the sheer speed they play at is amazing. You can’t help but invest a lot of time into them, they just have a sound that you feel you have been searching for, for so long. Now you have it, can anything else compare?

Gianni singing and Erica’s screaming are a perfect match, and you can’t believe that they have only been making music as The Devils since 2015. They sound like the spawn of The Cramps, but at the same time- unlike anything else you’ve ever heard.

Of course I am slightly biased with my love for the band as they are Italian, but to be honest- I’d still be obsessed with them regardless of where they are from. When you listen to them, you can’t help but let your mind go off and make you imagine you are at their live shows. Their live shows are probably completely wild, and I sincerely hope they come over to the UK soon and unleash their Hell upon us all with their brutal sound.

Play loud, of course.