LOST CULTURE.

15 06 2019

lostculture

 

Surf Rock isn’t dead. It’ll never die. It might be a redundant name for a type of music, but it isn’t so bad. For the most part, you know you’re going to get something that’s carefree and will set you up for the day. It’s the kind of music that can you take you away from a place that is grey and rainy, and transports you to a beach wherever in the world.

As someone who love lyrics, and uses that as a focal point for most things I listen to- I’ve made an exception. Or maybe the exception found me with this one. Lost Culture are predominantly a band without vocals. This isn’t a bad thing at all because the music is enough to get you to create your own story. They put a record out last month called Weirdo Beach, and it’s enough to have you hooked. These songs are so good, and you know what, you don’t always need words.

 

 

On this record they give the listener the chance to create something of their own. Maybe you feel like you’re in a Spaghetti Western film or maybe you feel like you’re at a local skatepark, or maybe you’re just wandering around soaking it all up. Maybe you’re doing all three, and respect to you if you are- that makes you pretty cool.

Weirdo Beach is 8 songs of instrumental bliss. The way they absolutely annihilate their instruments, and just send you into a frenzy is something to truly be in awe of. At times they remind me of The Mummies, then they hit you with The Cramps guitar style (Poison Ivy will always be the greatest of all time!) These three buddies from New Jersey sure know how to move you, and they give you this feeling that their live shows would be even wilder. If they ever make it to the UK, then I’ll be happy. Until then, I’ve got the music.

Go back a year, and their first self-titled release is equally brilliant. Weirdo Beach has slight more edge to it, and shows that they aren’t afraid to be louder and rougher with their sound. I just love that they create real happy music without it being awfully tacky, you know? They do it in a way that makes you okay with hanging around doing nothing. It’s okay to waste your days, it’s okay to have a self care day. When you have these days, this is the perfect band to relax to. I don’t know where they take me with their sound, but I know it’s some place really magical. I could happily spend hours and hours just listening to their songs. They don’t have the heaviness of lyrics, and sometimes you need that. Sometimes you just need the sound, and that’s enough to make it all alright!

Their song Pistols at Dawn makes you definitely feel like you’re in a saloon bar and some fool is trying to start something with you. They’ve got something about them just leaves you wanting more and more; they’ve not been together long (I don’t think, but I could be wrong) but they have such a together sound. You can really hear how they are experimenting and how their instruments are weapons. The drums sound like a smackdown. The bass sounds like something guiding its way through your soul and the guitar is this cool, jangly sound that just moves you. A real slick sound that I cannot get enough of.

 

 

14 songs in total, and they are 14 songs that you cannot help but stick on repeat. If you live in New Jersey, support this band with all you’ve got. Get them over to the UK. Supr happy I found this band. I love that they have a laid-back sound, but at the same time just leave you in awe with how brilliant they are.

Play it loud, always.

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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.





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.





MADONNATRON: Musica alla Puttanesca.

4 06 2019

tron

 

As an Italian, I obviously love the name of the new Madonnatron record. As a music lover, I am obsessed with the Tron. They are one of the most exciting bands around, and if you’re someone who likes your music to be beautifully odd and different- the Tron after for you. This is their second record, and it sounds like a band well into their career. When a band are so sure of their sound, it just makes you love them more than you already did.

The record opens with a slight disco number, Goodnight Little Empire which is such a great way to open a record. What I adore about Madonnatron is that they mess around with all music styles, and make it their own. This whole record is s mash-up of any and everything, and it is just divine. How is this their second record? It sounds like something a band that have been together for decades would make. It’s a solid record that just lifts you up. Music wise, this record is strong and vocally- it’s yet another masterpiece. There is so much growth on this record, and it smacks you immediately on the first song.

Musica all Puttanesca is 11 songs of sheer joy. You cannot help but feel good when you listen to these songs, even if there are a couple of sad elements, the general feel of this record is just blissful and uplifting. I’m not even going to make any comparisons to their debut record; there’s really no point in doing so, because it’s totally different in the best way possible. What I love about Madonnatron is that they aren’t afraid to push their limits. Anything they do is never a repeat of what they have done before, and all great bands do this. A lot of bands I love take this approach, and it’s such a brilliant thing to hear. You don’t want to keep hearing the same songs over and over, and the Tron most certainly are one of the most exciting bands around.

 

 

In just 45 minutes, the Tron blow you away on this record yet again. Songs like Liminal and Sucker Punch are just made to be heard live (I really hope they do them on the tour this month!) and I’m just so excited that I finally get to see them live soon. I should have seen them many times whilst living in London, but something (mainly my panic attacks) got in the way. I guess you have to push through what your minds turns you against at times, right? This is a record that can be played in any order, and every song will hit you again with new reasons to fall in love with it. 2 minutes 40 seconds in Liminal feels like a religious chant or something, it’s like The Shangri-Las meets The Slits in a way. For me, that’s a sound I get quite a bit off this record, and again- it’s another reason to adore it.

Let’s get into the heavier songs for a sec. Superhands is raw, it’s rough, it’s brutal and snarly. It’s the one you play extra loud, it’s the one you absolutely scream back at the band if they play it live. Hell, if they don’t- just belt it out in the comfort of your room, or even on public transport. Get everyone involved with the Tron! Superhands right now is my favourite song off the record, but that’s because I’m needing heavier sounds at the moment, but I’ll change my mind with every listen because there’s no way you can pick just one favourite. No way.

Flesh Pond and Sucker Punch are two other songs I really hope they play live, because there is something in these songs that just makes you move and feel totally untouchable. There’s an unconventional Pop sound in Sucker Punch. I know most turn their nose up at Pop, but that’s because Pop music now is crap (for the most part) but this has something really sincere and pure about it. Sucker Punch is a great song, and it’s slowly creeping up as first place for me at the moment. I adore the vocals on this one, for me this is my highlight vocally. I love how their voices come together and just create this gang-like, almost ritualistic chant. I love that, and I love how powerful this song is and how the vocals really give this song that extra push. I could listen to it on repeat forever, and never get tired. It sounds like something that would be in a really cool superhero film where the hero (actually, heroine) is unexpected/not who or what you think. It’s a powerful song for many reasons. One listen isn’t enough.

Blue Pill has an early 90s Suede/Elastica feel to it, and I guess that’s why I love it so. It’s got something about it that is so dreamy and ethereal. It’s one of those songs you listen to, and just escape the world for a while. You let them take you elsewhere on this, and the world that Madonnatron have created on this record just makes you never want to come back down to earth from. They take you to another world, and this world is unconventional and beautiful.

 

 

Musica alla Puttanesca is an eerie and wonderful record that will spook you in the most captivating way imaginable. Nightmare In Silver is a Halloween jam. Play it all the time mind, don’t limit yourself! It’s a record that you play an insane amount of times, and just get blown away with every listen. I can’t help but fall in love with it every time I listen to it. I’ve had it on repeat the past few days, and I’m pretty sure my brain is currently made up of Madonnatron lyrics/songs. It’s not a bad thing at all. It’s probably better than what usually goes on! (I’m probably thinking about naps, cats, my girlfriend and when I can have a nap…repeat.)

The mighty Tron are heading out on tour in a few weeks. Get your tickets here: https://madonnatron.com/shows.php





GHUM.

1 06 2019

Image may contain: 4 people

 

I had convinced myself that I had written about GHUM ages, and ages ago. Turns out I was wrong. However, as my love for this brilliant band has grown, maybe now is the right time to write about them.

GHUM are a band that have magical, mysterious and ethereal songs. Every song feels like a glorious whirlwind. If you love the way Warpaint take you off into another world, then you are going to be OBSESSED with GHUM. They have that same eerie and mysterious feel to their sound, and for me it is obvious on songs like TV. GHUM have hypnotic grooves and really laid-back vocals that just soothe your soul.

 

 

They’re heading out on tour next month (I’ll post the dates at the end) and I am SO excited to be able to see them here in Manchester. I really cannot wait. I’m pretty sure it’s going to be one of those shows that just stay with me forever, and I’ll just be in awe of them. I really cannot wait.

I think GHUM are one of those bands that if I started a band, I’d want to have elements of their sound. They are heavy yet ethereal. The only other band I can think of that do this are TwoFiftyFour, and everyone knows how much I adore that band (where do you think the name of my site came from!?) GHUM have this relaxing sound but there is something really heavy there. The heaviness gives the listener this really raw atmospheric feel, and as someone who loves music that provides a moment of escapism, I can safely say that GHUM are pros at this. I love everything about their sound, and it is the kind of sound that I cannot get enough.

The band are based in London but they come from Spain, Essex, Brazil and London. They have a new EP coming out on the 28th June called The Coldest FireĀ  via Everything Sucks Music. I reckon it’s going to be a collection of dreamy yet haunting songs. The best kind. I hope the songs are beautifully creepy as The Window and I’m The Storm! GHUM are one of those bands that make me realise why I love music so much, and why I love writing about music. This is the kind of sound I want to always hear. I love the layers within the songs, and how with each listen you can pick up on something else to be left in awe of, or a lyric to really connect with.

Undone is the song you’d want playing everywhere you go, like a theme tune. It’s got this eerie feel to it that is so addictive. You can imagine hearing it as you wander city streets late at night whilst the world sleeps. Well, depending on what city you’re in really. If I still lived in London, this would be the perfect song to play whilst on everyone’s favourite trip- the night bus! 253 night bus, that was always a treat.

GHUM are the kind of band you’d hope young kids hear and think, “This is what I want to do!” They’ve got something about them that just fires you up. It’s in songs like Get Up and Witches. I really hope these two songs make their live shows because I reckon they will just be mind-blowing. Especially Get Up- it’s got this brilliant build-up that is so intense, and the vocals are snarly as fuck! I absolutely love this song, and it’s one of the year’s most powerful songs. When you listen to it, you feel tough and sometimes that’s exactly what you need.

 

 

In short then, GHUM are the UK’s finest band and if you’re looking for a band to put a fire in your belly or to blow your mind or to just move you like nothing else- then you need to listen to them, obsessively because there’s no other way you can listen to them really.

Here are some tour dates for you:

13th July: The Shacklewell Arms, London

14th July: The Sunflower Lounge, Birmingham

15th July: The Castle Hotel, Manchester

16th July: The Hug And Pint, Glasgow

19th July: The Wheatsheaf, Oxford

20th July: The Chelsea Inn, Bristol

They are also playing the Roadkill Festival at The Victoria in London 10th-11th August!

Buy the EP at the end of this month, come to the shows and sing your beautiful heart out!

 

*Photo by Poppy Marriott. Please check her work out here!





URF.

29 05 2019

 

Supporting Crocodiles a few weeks ago were local band, URF. Manchester is known for having brilliant music scene. It’s something to be massively proud of, and another reason as to why I love this city.

URF capture the doom and gloom of daily life, but don’t let that put you off. They do it in a way that is so intricate and articulate; it’s sheer poetry. They have this effortlessly cool Shoegaze sound that will just blow you away. On record they’ve got something that reels you in, but when you see them live something switches. Their live shows are something else. There’s something really mysterious and industrial-like in their sound. They have a song called Night Driving which is one of their greatest, if not best song to date. That’s just my opinion, mind. I love how intense it is, and also has quite delicate moments within it. They take you for a ride on all their songs, but this one in particular takes you further.

 

 

For me, they are the kind of band that after hearing once- you’re hooked. I love bands like that, and I love this really intense atmosphere they have. Each of them create this mood, and it’s just a pleasure to listen to. For The Ride shows us just how powerful Abbi’s voice is, and I can honestly say that her vocals live are even stronger than on record. For The Ride has this euphoric build-up, and the instrumental part of this song will leave you covered in goosebumps. It’s the kind of song that leaves you in awe, and completely taken aback that something can be this great. It’s a beautiful song, and that instrumental part is just perfect.

Now we’re going to get into their new song, Solitude.

Solitude is a heavy word. It’s something most would shy away from. There’s nothing wrong with being alone, and experiencing it is probably good for the soul because if you can’t tolerate your own company- who will? There’s nothing more peaceful and powerful than listening to music on your own. Just taking everything in, and grasping everything a song or record gives you. Solitude isn’t a dirty word. URF have created something really amazing with their new single, and it captures being alone perfectly.

There are dark moments in the song, sure. But it is beautifully done, and it leaves you wanting more and more. The instrumental will have the same effect on you also, and maybe that’ll take you to a different zone. Music that can elevate you or just take you out of where you are mentally is so powerful, and I adore that URF have done this again. They are so hypnotic and bold; it’s a sound that I cannot and will not ever get tired of.

Solitude is the kind of song you’d hear on a Scandinavian detective drama (either whilst a detective loses his mind or something brutal happens) but don’t let that put you off. I’m basically getting at, URF have made something here which shits you up but is also ethereal. Seventeen Seconds by The Cure- that’s the same level that this song is on. Of course all their songs are, but Solitude in particular is on that level.

 

URF are nothing short of incredible. They’ve supported the likes of The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Crocodiles and Estrons. They will also be playing the Manchester Psych Fest this year. They are also playing their own show at YES on 15th June!

Buy their music, go to their shows and wear your URF shirt with pride, like me.

I can’t praise them enough. They’re just such an exciting band, and are making something that really hasn’t been done before. You can throw in all the comparisons all you want, but it won’t stick because URF have something. It’s something that goes beyond words, but will evoke all kinds of feelings. Get lost in the music, it’s all you can do.





AMYL AND THE SNIFFERS: Self-titled

28 05 2019

 

Everything I’m going to write about the best Punk band around has probably been said before. I’ve probably said it before, but when a band is THIS GREAT, it is totally okay to just keep on repeating yourself. Maybe others will catch on and see how amazing they are.

A couple months back I finally saw Amyl and The Sniffers live. The show left me a bit deaf, and emotionally charged. They’ve got the real and raw essence of Punk in them, and I honestly feel like this is how people felt when they first heard the Ramones when they came out. There is something about Amyl and The Sniffers that just gives you this indescribable energy. Part of you wants to smash shit up, the other part wants you to have someone smack you in the chops.

 

 

The new record is 11 songs that need to be played loud. Really, really loud. It’s the record you play when your neighbours are pissing you off, and you need something really powerful to shut them out. Every song on this record was made to be blasted out, and to give you this kick that you need.

Bryce is one of the most fascinating drummers around, and for me it’s the songĀ  GFY that show us just how effortlessly brilliant he is. The speed of his drumming is equally, and perfectly matched with Dec. Angel sees Gus show us what he’s made of, and it also shows us a tender side of the band. You can really hear the hurt in Amy’s voice, but still leaves you fully aware that she is someone that you don’t fuck with.

When there is hype around a band/record, it is easy to be jaded about it and not expect a thing. But, with Amyl and The Sniffers- hype or no hype, they are just one of the greatest bands out there who leave you amazed that they are still so early in their career. The absolute urgency that is in their songs is perfect, and it hypes you up for their live shows. If you’ve seen them live, you’ll know what I mean.

Gacked on Anger is one of my favourites- especially lyrically. You can really feel the lyrics. Especially if you’re someone who has nothing, but still wants to help out. Control also has this real vulnerability to it also. That’s part of my love for the band. Sure the sound is rowdy, but there is this vulnerability in the lyrics and I guess that’s why the music hits you a bit harder than most.

There’s this beautiful youth within the songs, and it’s something that when you pick up on it- you cannot help but treasure it. It’s obvious on songs like Got You. Songs like Shake Ya are there for you to turn up a little louder than the others, and just totally lose your shit to. Punisha is also there is melt your face and blow you away. This just a phenomenal record. If you’re someone who looks for things wrong with a record because you find it too perfect, then sorry- you will not find a damn thing wrong with this record. Their bold and ferocious sound is so strong on their debut record, and they make you feel like they are right in front of you blasting out these songs.

 

 

As far as debut records go, you can put this right against some of the most influential and best records of all time. It’s a masterpiece, and an absolute joy to listen to. I am so excited to see what’s next for Amyl and The Sniffers because they really do deserve every ounce of praise that comes their way. The most exciting band around, for sure.