POP.1280-Paradise

5 04 2016

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About two weeks or so ago Willis Earl Beal wrote something so important regarding music writers and how certain publications rating systems and the like are fucked, how they force feed readers to like what they like and expect them to hate them when they turn their back on them. What I’ve noticed is too many music writers are passionate about hating a band rather than praising one they love. It made me think about review records and if there’s really any point. I don’t review something in the hopes someone agrees with me, I do it because I hope someone goes and buys the record regardless of what I write. I could never ever write about a band or singer I didn’t like. I’ve been told by some place I was going to write for- they told me they never gave full marks for a review so I wasn’t allowed to praise something I loved too much. I pride myself on having better morals than being a semi-decent writer. Needless to say, I didn’t write for them. Which is probably why I’ll never make a living out of this. You accept it after nearly 10 years. So, with all of this said I’m going to write about why Pop.1280 have yet again released another mind-bending and mind-blowing record. I know of one other person who digs this band as much as I do(my uncle.)

Pop.1280 make music that is hard to stomach at times. When I first heard them I had this feeling that they would become something of an obsession. I loved how loud and frightening their sound was- and still is. Decades ago, kids used Punk to piss off their folks. I sincerely hope some kid is out there blasting out these guys to piss theirs off, and their neighbours. The thing that I love the most about Pop.1280 is that with every release, they get a little more terrifying. This is the kind of music you play when you want to scare someone shitless. Personally, I’d be tempted to use their music to try use it in a more romantic setting. Their music sounds like falling in love anyway- tormenting and chaotic. Have I been doing it wrong? No. My mind and god knows what else is wired differently. Paradise sounds like a nightmare, probably, to those who’ve never delved into this murky world that Pop.1280 have been building for years. It’s a world that makes you shudder, ache and think. Paradise just reinforces my love for them and if anything, has got me pretty excited for their London show in a few weeks.

9 songs in 39 minutes. 9 songs that are set to fry your brain, make your eyes go funny and make you question your surroundings. Something I’ve admired for some time about Pop.1280 is their ability to make you feel as if you’re trapped. Trapped in the hell of your own mind, in the midst of others- anywhere. They create this atmosphere that makes you feel as if you’re the last person left on Earth and everyone else has disappeared. It’s creepy. Really fucking creepy, and it isn’t for people who dream of sunshine and rainbows. I don’t know what kind of person latches onto a band like this. I have, and I guess you can draw up your own conclusion about it. I initially started writing about this record last week, but I stopped myself from writing because I realised quite quickly that this isn’t a record you casually listen to. I’ve taken it in. Or maybe this record has taken me in, chewed me up and spat me out. Do what you want, Pop.1280. This sinister feel to the record (and like their previous ones) has got me ready to see them live in a few weeks. I’ve never seen them before, and I’m really hoping it sounds equally terrifying live.

Phantom Freighter is the second track on the record, and in some ways it sounds like someone losing their mind. In general, Pop.1280 seem to capture the sound of madness really well. Phantom Freighter is a tension-filled track that makes your heart beat quicker than it probably should. It keeps you on edge, and I think that’s pretty much a solid for Pop.1280’s music overall.

Paradise will make you delve into some dark and lonesome emotions, and that’s perfectly fine. You shouldn’t always feel comfortable or secure when listening to music. Nobody should want predictable. For me, the fact that a band like Pop.1280 exist and can still make people feel a little uneasy like The Birthday Party did gives me hope. Not sure what kind of hope, mind. I’m pretty sure Paradise justifies why Pop.1280 are one of the best bands on Sacred Bones (pretty much all bands/musicians on that label are great) but it also shows why they are one of the best bands around. They’ve still got that raw and unpredictable sound that was on The Horror and Imps Of Perversion, and I think it is something that they will always be able to really put into their sound.

Sometimes you don’t need the news or a horror film to scare you shitless- just listen to Pop.1280 if you want some kind of kick.

 

 

 

 

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RECORDS OF 2013.

21 12 2013

I thought I had 10 solid records to list as my favourite this year. My utter favourite has not changed; that was the only one I was 100% sure on. I change my mind a lot, about most things. What I like today, I may dislike tomorrow. Or in 10 minutes. It keeps things interesting to an extent, then it just gets confusing. I don’t like order or structure. Music is my favourite sound. People bragging about how much they drank the night before is my least favourite. If only there was a mute button for conversation.

With it being close to the end of the year, everyone thinks their opinion is better than other people’s when talking about their favourite record, songs, books etc of the year that has passed. My opinion isn’t made for counting or even worth acknowledging. To the one person who’ll read this; I hope you own at least one of the records I mention here. Of course, you don’t have to own it but you know..buy yourself something nice. Anyway. This isn’t in order, but the last record I mention is my favourite of the year.

Dirty Beaches- Love Is The Devil/Drifters. Anything Alex does always blows me away. He’s someone who, when you listen to his music, you can tell is truly in an untouchable zone when he makes music. You can sense that nothing distracted him in the process, and when you listen to his music nothing distracts you from that intimate moment you have listening to his music. To an extent music is pretty voyeuristic. We are listening in on other people’s thoughts and feelings. They know someone is listening; they just don’t know who. I’ve read vile criticism of this record from those who wanted Badlands part 2. It’s rally unfair to Alex because he’s one of the most passionate musicians out there; and to assume he’s going to make the same record over and over is just wrong. Same goes for many more, I know. But Alex’s music just stands out. I finally got to see him live this year, and watching him felt like you were witnessing someone unleash every demon that their body posses. It was a truly beautiful show. I interviewed him, and although it was done via email I could easily sense just how much music means to him. He’s not someone who’s had success come easy to him, and that hunger is firmly within him to keep making music. When I heard the song, Love Is The Devil it just broke my heart because it had this raw beauty to it, but pain also. It was overwhelming at times to listen to this record because of the rawness of it. The honesty in this record just makes you proud to be a fan of his music. Alex’s music makes you want to everything behind and fall in love with a gloomy European city that has history of romantic and haunting literature, with locals telling stories in dingy cafes.

Ezra Furman- Day Of The Dog. The hot pink cover did it for me. Ezra is an incredible song-writer; Day Of The Dog showcases this better than before. The songs are full of lust, self-doubt, hate (directed at the self and others) and is done in a way that doesn’t seem like it is self-pitying bullshit. So far from it. The philosophical lyrics with the delightful sax playing just makes this record a pleasure to listen to. For me, Tell ‘Em All To Go To Hell is a brilliant “fuck you” and is the perfect soundtrack to those pissed off moods we are all prone to. Ezra has this way of touching on dark subjects in a way that disguises just how dark the feeling is. It’s the kind of music you speed off into the sunset too, where night-time is all you crave. His song-writing skills are enviable. He’s not afraid to pour his heart out for all to hear; for me that’s what makes this record wonderful.

Deptford Goth- Life After Defo. For the most part, what I listen to is some kind of take on Garage rock. However, sometimes something in music happens and I just fall for it. I have no idea what genre Deptford Goth’s music falls into. I don’t really care. There’s only two kinds of music for me- music I listen to and music I don’t listen to. Why waste your time on pointless sub-genres that feed those pretentious idiots out there. Deptford Goth’s debut record is one I have played constantly on train/tube journeys as everything is dark and the odd flickering street-light is all I see. I’ve walked country roads listening to this when I was living at my mum’s- when the evenings were light. His music fits the night-time perfectly. His gentle voice makes you feel as if you have something like a best friend walking with you to guide you through anything and everything. This is the kind of music that just stays locked in the heart. I’ve tried listening to Life After Defo when it is light out, but when you start to feel tired when on a long journey as the day fades- his music becomes so apt. I advise getting on a train just as it’s getting dark, head into your nearest city and walk around listening to this record. It just makes everything feel alright and secure.

SISU-Blood Tears. Fronted by Dum Dum Girls’ drummer Sandra (she’s also the best drummer I’ve ever seen live) SISU make hypnotic music to lose your mind to. Blood Tears has an eerie feel to it, as if it should be in some insanely fucked up horror film. Th best songs usually have this feel to them don’t they. Yet Sandra’s delicate voice makes you feel at ease. It’s the kind of record you play when the sky is covered in a haunting mist; the sounds will direct you where you want to go. You get lost in the beautiful moments that Blood Tears creates. Blood Tears posses this attitude that makes you think you can pretty much take anything and anyone on. Think, Garbage’s debut record- that kind of powerful. Dominant but not obnoxious in the slightest. It’s a powerful record that pretty much merges everything I love and adore about music.

PINS-Girls Like Us. Debut record of the year; no questions about it. This ferocious and dark debut record from the finest band in Manchester is one I’ve been playing on constant repeat since it came out. Every song is addictive. My love for PINS started last year when I heard the anthemic LuvU4Lyf. If you’ve seen PINS live, you will know just how pleasurable this song is to witness live. It is like a battle cry for hearts that are full of love; all bouts of lust have faded, and it has become something tougher. Speaking of tough, Girls Like Us has a gang-like feel to it. All too often I’ve seen PINS be described as a “girl band.” If only people defined music by what it sounds like rather than the gender of those making it. PINS are pretty much the most exciting band in the UK and I honestly cannot praise this record enough. It is, in my mind, a debut masterpiece. I’m so excited about how their sound is going to grow; I just bloody adore them. You get that, right?!

POP. 1280-Imps Of Perversion. The only person I know who really loves this band aside from myself is my uncle. We both share a mutual love for all things weird and loud. POP.1280 are one of the best bands on the brilliant Sacred Bones label. You see, Sacred Bones have never released a shit record. Some labels do have questionable moments; but Sacred Bones do take risks, and they do it in a way that means the listener is going to experience some of the best music imaginable. By no means are POP.1280 easy to listen to. This isn’t a record to woo a lover to or to play to your Gran at a family gathering. Oh no. Imps Of Perversion is a collective of perverse songs that you should play in your bedroom as loud as you want to. Feel as free as you want. Let the music fuck you up and over. It’ll go through your bones, smash your skull and leave you wondering why this isn’t played on commercial radio. Let them have your noise; you’ve got your own. Imps Of Perversion is as noisy and as brutal as it gets. This is one record I’d love to have witnessed the recording process for. It is brilliantly weird and wired.

The Long Wives- A Collection Of Demonstrations And Demons. I’ve been writing about Brandy for some time now, and since accidentally finding her music there’s not been a day where I’ve not listened to her haunting voice. Her voice is scary and powerful. Her songs show that she is one of the best song-writers around; the way she tells stories enables you to feel the fury she feels in her songs. This is her debut record, but it’s pretty much a collection of old songs and demos on there. It does have my favourite, Judas Hex on. It’s one of my favourite songs by Brandy, but to pin point what it is that I love about her music would take an eternity; I simply cannot justify my love for her music. If I ever had the money and was okay with being on a plane for 8 hours, I’d fly to LA and hang out with her in a graveyard and discuss life in general with her. She’s like a stripped back version of Zola Jesus; by this I mean her music makes you think. And I mean REALLY think about everything around you. Her music to me, is romantic and can cure the heart of any illness that is surrounding it. Her lyrics are vulnerable and the way she sings is just breathtaking. She’s an inspiration for sure.

Willis Earl Beal- Nobody Knows. From one musical genius to another; Willis is the man who is putting some much-needed soul into music right now. He appeals to the loner in me, which as I get older, becomes more and more obvious. I like my own company more than I used to, which  guess is an adjustment to getting older. I hate being in large groups of people, I just really hate it. Willis’ voice has a lot of soul to it, and his debut record had a lot of pain surrounding it. Read his background story, and you’ll see why. Nobody Knows has bouts of hope and strength in it. His song with the gorgeous Chan Marshall (Cat Power) just makes you feel as if everything is going to be alright again. It also makes you want them to make a full length record together. Followed by a tour is dingy, intimate venues. I can picture it now. Perfectly. Nobody Knows is the perfect middle finger to those who think most fall victim to that “second record” beast. It is obvious for the most part that it is a myth. Willis stamps all over it. His voice is extremely powerful; just look up videos of him singing without any music and you’ll quickly realise that he’s one of the greatest.

Savage Sister-Savage Sister. Savage Sister; with a name like that you’d think they’d be making menacing goth style music. They’re pretty much the opposite of that. They’re as gentle as Youth Lagoon, Beach House and Tamaryn combined. Basically, they are ideal. Their dream-like debut release is just ethereal from start to finish. Of course it is like you are floating amongst the clouds with your eyes shut as everything just passes you by. You don’t need to take notice of anything around you, because with this record, Savage Sister create moments for you that stay lodged in your brain and etched upon your heart forever. This debut release was one I’d been hugely excited for last year, and when I was emailed a copy I was so excited to finally hear it. There is something magical about this band; and they are much more than a sacred listen. Everyone should listen to them because they could possibly be the soundtrack to those memorable moments in your life. Savage Sister make music to float away and dream to. Listen and dream away.

CROCODILES- CRIMES OF PASSION. So this was pretty much an easy one. It was my record of the year before it was released; before I even heard it. I just knew it was going to blow my mind. I heard it a few months before it came out, and I was trembling with excitement as I listened to it. I get the same excitement now when I listen to it. I notice something different about each song with every listen. I initially thought I could pick one song that I loved the most, but I realised this wasn’t going to happen for me. I love She Splits Me Up but I love the lyrics to I Like It In The Dark (“I don’t have the time for a graveyard of the mind that they call shame.”) But I adore the whole romantic feel throughout the record. I was beyond excited to finally meet the band in the summer and to be able to see them live a couple of times; when I interviewed them about this record, I started picking up on different things about it. Songs that influenced by poets such as Baudelaire to Patti Smith. I’ve loved Crocodiles since the start and to hear them go from the likes of Neon Jesus to Marquis De Sade is just amazing. Live they are on a different level. Their fans really feel the music, and know they are part of something unruly and unconventional; that’s why I love them. If I was in a band, I’d want to have the same approach to music as Crocodiles do. There are so many reasons as to why Crimes Of Passion is my record of the year; but for the most part, the meanings are sentimental and close to my heart. VIVA CROCODILES!

In





Arousing Sounds: Albums Of 2012.

21 12 2012

As if thinking of my favourite songs of the year didn’t hurt my head enough, I’m going through albums. This year I listened to less new music, mainly because my obsession for certain bands (that are either dead or split up) just came back. I may have missed out, I may not have. Who knows, why should you care. I do stand-by that EPs were better than full length records this year, but again; just my opinion. I found some obscure bands at 2am due to not being able to sleep, I also couldn’t get enough of Girls Aloud’s greatest hits (Something New is the best pop song of the year easily.) Some amazing debut albums came out this year from Emeli Sande to 2:54 to Willis Earl Beal. This year, in every sense has been alright. For me personally it picked up in July. Oh and when I saw Crocodiles FINALLY in September. Anyway. I’ve given myself a headache trying to think of my favourite albums of the year. My top 5 is a solid decision, but those before? I cannot put them in order. So what I’m going to do is be a boring twit and list the first 5 in no order. Then the 5 after will be in order. I’m making life hard for myself again, I know. It’s what I do. It is the only way I know how to function it seems.

Ellie Goulding-Halcyon.

The XX-Coexist.

Beach House-Bloom.

Cat Power-Sun.

Garbage-Not Your Kind Of People.

Spiritualized-Sweet Heart Sweet Light.

Willis Earl Beal-Acousmatic Sorcery.

Toy-Toy.

The Creeping Ivies-Stay Wild.

Bowl Cut-Anti-Everything EP.

Okay, I’ll stop listing records and write about my top 5.

5. Pop.1280- The Horror. Probably the most intense record released this year. It is dark, it is creepy and best of all; it is sinister. Everything cryptic you could feel is conjured up in this record. It’s not a record you play in the background whilst doing mundane tasks. No way. This is a record you play when you are alone. Do not listen to this when surrounded by anyone because they will just distract you from the music. The basslines and aggressive drums blow-up your eardrums and just freak you out. If this doesn’t move you in a menacing manner, then you’ve listened to it wrong. Simple as. I love The Horror because for me, it just has everything I love about music. I’m not a morbid person, I probably give off that vibe because I am prone to being grumpy (people need to stop being arses, that’s why. But I’m a bit shit so it all works out I guess) but this record takes you to a dark place in such a poetic manner. It’ll haunt you, but you don’t want it to leave you alone. Go with it.

4. Tamaryn-Tender New Signs.Every year a record comes out that makes you feel like you are living in a dream. It grabs your soul, and sways you. It is the much-needed hug at 3am when you cannot sleep and you miss the one you love because of distance. It is the comfort that you need when you feel hopeless. It is music for the soul, and it warms your bones. It owns a piece of your heart, and the ethereal vocals do something that just soothes you like no other. Tender New Signs was that record, for me. It is much like what The Fool by Warpaint was to me in 2010. It is on that level. So pure, and so divine. Tender New Signs is a dream that you cannot bring yourself to wake up from. Not many things in life are perfect, but this record is.

3. 2:54-2:54.The next three records are as follows: debut record of the year, EP of the year, favourite record of the year. 2:54 put out the best debut record of the year. Everything about it had that mind-blowing eerie vibe to it. Like you are being hunted down in a forest. Let’s be honest, you wouldn’t mind Colette or Hannah hunting you down would you. No, you wouldn’t. I just think they’re the best UK band around because they have something different to other bands. You can tell they are serious about the music, and play with such passion. I remember hearing the demo to Creeping in 2010 and just being hooked. I wanted more, but there wasn’t much around. I played it to death, and I’ve pretty much done the same with their record. Every song sends you into a trance that you never want to be shaken out of. I know I compare everything to Seventeen Seconds by The Cure, but I truly felt the same way listening to 2:54’s debut as I did when I first heard Seventeen Seconds years ago. Some people get excited about Christmas and such, I get excited over bands that make raw music like 2:54. If Sugar didn’t make you jolt your body, then something was up with you.

2. Dum Dum Girls-End Of Daze. EP OF THE YEAR. Anything DDG do just amazes me. Dee Dee’s songwriting on this EP just left me in awe. Season In Hell gave me hope, Mine Tonight broke my heart, I Got Nothing made me feel less alone and Lord Knows made me feel less shit about the bad in me. The cover of Trees And Flowers reduced me to tears (doesn’t take much, shut up.) End Of Daze feels like starting over. When you listen to End Of Daze, you feel as if you are being cleansed of all the bad that has gone on. Any bad you have done or any bad you have had done to you; it all fades as you listen to the glorious EP. I’ve taken walks listening to Dum Dum Girls, I’ve nearly broken gym equipment listening to them. I’ve found peace listening to them, in Dee Dee’s words. It is like finding a safety net, a cure for all. If you want hope and love, you will find it in a Dum Dum Girls song. Season In Hell is one of my favourite songs of the year because it just makes you feel like everything is worth it. When she sings, “Doesn’t the dawn look divine” it just lifts you up. End Of Daze is the purest healing process you will ever be exposed to. Be vulnerable, and take the words in.

1. Crocodiles-Endless Flowers.To hell with what anyone thinks, this is the best record of the year. You shouldn’t need telling why, but whatever. Maybe you do. Everything about Endless Flowers is wonderful. Summer Of Hate and Sleep Forever were quite brutal and raw. Endless Flowers is a gentle caress. No Black Clouds For Dee Dee is a gorgeous ode to Brandon’s wife (Dee Dee from Dum Dum Girls) and I think anyone who is in love will fully relate to the song. Everything about it is innocent and beautiful. Dark Alleys is my favourite. It’s over 5 minutes of euphoria. Seeing some of the songs from Endless Flowers, Summer Of Hate and Sleep Forever was truly one of the best things I experienced this year. Maybe it was because I had waited over 3 years for it. I guess I could class 2012 as just waiting things out, because the good finally happened. My girlfriend gave me a copy of Endless Flowers on vinyl as a Christmas present, and part of me doesn’t want to ever play it because I want it to stay as perfect as it is. Then the other part of me wants to hear it in all its fuzzy glory. I obviously will play it. Maybe I love the record even more now she bought me that, and it just reminds me of her. But it is truly my favourite record of the year because well, I just love Crocodiles. They’ve been a crutch over the past 3 and a bit years; Endless Flowers just reinforced my love for them. Not that it needed doing, but you get my point. I could go on forever about this record, but I’ve said enough. It’s my favourite, simple as.





“It’s not worth saving, when you say wait.”

3 08 2012

Longing VS wanting. Innocence VS not really knowing. Caring VS not caring. Life VS death. Love VS stupidty. In the long run, it is probably all the same thing. You wish to burn out what you see in your mind. You wish you could see certain things forever. You wish you did one thing differently, at one point. You wish you were more eloquent with your words. You wish you wrote THAT song so you could play them it; so they get it. Will they ever get it? Does anyone ever really understand? Are we just killing time by explaining. These are the thoughts I am not paid to write down. I’ve never been paid for this. I don’t expect to. They want you to be like them. Dress like that, talk like this. Walk as if you don’t care, behave like an obnoxious fool. Keep me indoors please.

You slip away from reality sometimes. You lose tough. With yourself and others. Maybe you only talk to 2 or 3 people everyday. But they are the ones that you love so much. Maybe one of them you love more than most, because this person owns your heart. This person is on your mind, constantly. Or maybe it just isn’t like that. Maybe you have no idea. Sometimes you think you cannot get lower or higher than your current state. I don’t think this makes sense, because I don’t want it to.

As you get older you learn to cast away your wants, your needs and your desires. You learn that none of it matters. You see everything around you become so typical and bland. You notice you have no plans. You don’t want what they want. You don’t want a 9-5 lifestyle where you do the same thing every day. You still want freedom burning inside of you. The only burning they have is heart-burn. They are typical, and you cannot relate. You know of no one else who feels the same. You think you are wrong, for about 5 minutes. Then you realise that being different is not a bad thing. It is never a bad thing. They may mock your thoughts and how you view the world. But it gets you through.

Trust your heart- not theirs. If you must, spit blood upon those who tell you that you are wrong.

Nothing and no one is worth the torment.

It’s like I am teaching myself all the things I wish I knew sooner. But I just can’t listen to myself.





Pop.1280

20 02 2012

More noise. Just as noisy and HARD as Sex Church. Possibly louder? I have no idea. My ears are going to hurt after I’ve written this. I’m still not convinced I’m playing this loud enough. I don’t feel like my ears are going to burst and bleed just yet. I’m waiting for that to kick in. I think if I carry on, I’ll have made myself deaf by the time I’m 30. If that happens, I doubt I’d have a point in living would I. Happy Monday to you ALL!

Pop.1280 are on Sacred Bones are affiliated with my favourites Sacred Bones so obviously I feel a lot of love towards them. This is the kind of music that makes you want to start a fight. I don’t condone such behaviour, but there’s always a few bands that give you this feeling. Don’t ever ignore it. Always go with it, but for fucks sake be partially safe? Listening to Thirteen Steps, it is kind of hard to not want to thump a person the chops right now. Maybe it’d be safer to start a Wall Of Death instead.

The band have this angsty feel to their music that can be found in early Nine Inch Nails records, which is probably why I have fallen hard for Pop.1280. I have no idea who or what influences them, so I will not be making assumptions. Just daft comparisons that may or may not make sense. They come from New York City. Home to most things I love and virtually nothing I hate. I guess I should just live there right? Someone help me live the dream. L.A. or New York- I am 100% with either. The name of the band does indeed come from that gritty novel by the awesome Jim Thompson. Dark and heavy stuff, would you want it any other way? No. Of course you wouldn’t because this is where the passionate kind of music resides.

Sure, if you want the whole “I sure love you baby” kind of thing- then you won’t dig this at all. There’d be more chance of you enjoying having the shits than liking Pop.1280 if you cannot handle the heavy stuff. Why take a boring love song over something so ruckus and grand? Maybe it’s because I am a quite person who loves noisy music. I don’t know. I’ll never know, somethings you need to leave unknown.

It is fairly obvious that The Horror is one of the year’s best releases, and so fucking typically industry schmucks are going to overlook it. This pisses me off. It pisses me off more than you or I could imagine. THIS IS INCREDIBLE, and what are you going to do about it? This is too good and loud and bold for you to ignore. It’s like a beautiful girl at a party, except you don’t want to stare at the girl, you want to listen to EVERYTHING she has to say. This record is THAT girl..if we’re going down that route, and I seem to have taken us down there. I should say sorry, right? No. I won’t apologise for this and how Pop.1280 make me feel. That’s like saying sorry for being honest. Never say sorry for that.

I love all that Pop.1280 make me feel. They have the same vibe that made me fall in love with Cold Cave in 2009. The dark, honest and menacing feel that makes you so fucking glad to be alive, and to savour every breath. And every listen. I’m always looking for something that can make me feel like this, always. And I’ve successfully found it in Pop.1280.

Pop.1280 have a sound that makes you want to head to a dark, cramped underground bar where those who think and feel the same as you do. Dressed in black in a worn out leather jacket and boots (this is me on a daily basis.) Losing yourself in the sounds, and finding that part if you that you thought had died. They’ve given you another a chance at life. Go with it.