THE MURDER CAPITAL.

13 05 2019

 

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With a name as dark, and as sinister as The Murder Capital- you’d hope that their sound is every part moody and brutal. They go beyond that, and in turn it makes them one of the most exciting bands around. I know nothing about The Murder Capital, but I sure as hell know I love their sound. I love how heavy it is, and I love this beautiful and magnetic darkness in the music and lyrics. There is honesty, there is eeriness and there is a wonderful glimpse of vulnerability within their songs. There is so much about The Murder Capital that makes them such an effortlessly brilliant band. There is something about them that stirs something within you, and once it grips you- that’s it.

Last month they supported Idles, which just shows how talented they are. Imagine being at that London show seeing two of the best bands around. Does it get better than that? Probably not.

There is this gorgeous desperation in the music, and it is evident on the song Green & Blue, where James’ vocals just shatter your heart in a way no other song has. His voice is powerful, but not in an overbearing way. He has this tone to his voice that can be brutal when needed but is fragile at the right moments. He truly shows this on Green & Blue. The Murder Capital have a distinctive sound that has you hooked on them immediately.

I wanted to wait a while before writing about them, because I really wanted to take the time to get to know the music rather than do my usual passion ramble about something I love. I’m aware it is annoying. The Murder Capital have got two songs up on their Spotify page, and those two songs are enough to make you fall in love, and believe in them. You just know that something truly remarkable is going to happen with them. I can’t wait to see it, I just know that when their debut record comes out- it’ll blow us all away. But in the meantime, I’ve got Feeling Fades (which has been produced by the genius that is, Flood) and Green & Blue on a loop. However, look below and you’ll be lucky enough to watch a stunning live performance of More Is Less, which is just a masterpiece.

The Murder Capital are a band that just HAVE to be heard. They must be heard as loud as you can stand. I’ve yet to see their live shows but something tells me it’s nothing short of a magical experience that will take over every single part of you. These five pals from Dublin are really one of the most exciting and powerful bands around. They have something about them that just makes you listen. I mean REALLY, REALLY listen to them. Their sound is intense, and it is the kind of intense that is in a record by The Birthday Party. You’re constantly on the edge of something, and you never know when it’ll hit. For me, that’s something I always look for in music. I want something to always keep me on edge. Which sounds a bit fucked really considering I’m on medication for depression and anxiety! Besides, music helps me out more and having something to listen to that throws you deep into the unknown is such a powerful feeling, and one that nothing else in the world can compare to.

The Murder Capital are quite frankly, going to blow your mind. Maybe you’ll catch onto them soon. Maybe in a few months, or a year. But when they grip you, embrace it. Really embrace it because bands like this do not happen  often.

 

*Photo credit: JustGrayce

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THE UNDERGROUND YOUTH: Montage Images Of Lust & Fear.

15 04 2019

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The Underground Youth are such an incredibly underrated band, and with each record they have this ability to just shock you with their sound. A sound that is in no other band you’ve listened to, a sound that you cannot get enough of. The Underground Youth have yet again, put out another exquisite record. A record that pierces right through your heart and soul. A record that must be played obsessively.

Montage Images Of Lust & Fear is not only a great name for a record, but it totally sums up the atmosphere on this record. I’ve been a fan of The Underground Youth for a stupid amount of time, and I remember seeing them live a couple of years ago, and I was just in awe of their set. Easily one of the most impressive bands I’ve ever seen live, and I cannot wait to see them again next week at my favourite venue in Manchester but before then- I’m going to go on about their new record.

 

9 songs. 43 minutes. What can you get from a record in that amount of time? What do you expect from a record in that amount of time? Well, with this record think Rowland S. Howard’s Teenage Snuff Film meets Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds’ Let Love In record. Craig’s vocals have never ever sounded better. I absolutely love the bones of this record, and I adore how you can hear so much growth in this record. The Underground Youth are one of the hardest working bands around, and always seem to be on tour. So when you listen to this record, you cannot help but think of how these songs are going to sound live. I’m already obsessed with Craig’s vocals on Last Exit To Nowhere. It’s the second song on the record, and it just blitzes its way right on through you. It doesn’t calm down after that. The Death Of The Author is a gorgeous and eerie song that sends shivers right through you.

I love how drums can give a record or a song a mood, or create an atmosphere that just spooks you. Olya’s one of the best drummers around- she has this effortlessly cool way of just beating the shit out of the drums and letting every beat shatter through your body. You move to her beat, and the way she does this is something I’ve never seen before. She gives so much tension in the way she plays, and it is the kind of tension that you crave from music. It’s the kind of tension that makes you love the band you’re obsessed with even more than you already are. In short, she’s incredible. The Underground Youth are incredible, but you probably already know that.

Montage Images Of Lust & Fear is a record that will scare the shit out of you, but will also be a record that you cannot get enough of. It’s a record that consumes you in the best way imaginable. The atmosphere on this record makes you wish you could make something like this, but let’s be honest- no one can do it like The Underground Youth. I love the romanticism in their music. It’s not the conventional and boring type, it’s something beyond anything you’ve ever known. I’ve been listening to The Underground Youth for a long time now, and with every record they blow my mind but this record has something else. It’s heavier, it’s darker and keeps you right on the edge. You can’t help but wonder what is going to happen next on the songs. You don’t know what part of the song is going to rip right through you.

Although it is a heavy record, one song in particular is on the gentle side. Too Innocent To Be True is such a beautiful and timid song. There is this wonderful gentleness to Craig’s vocals on this, and I hope they play this song on their tour because I think it’ll show a side to the band that doesn’t get shown often. It’s a mellow moment, and it fits so perfectly on the record. The bass on this song carries you away, and you just float on with it.

Blind I and Blind II feel like they could be some creepy thriller film, set in black and white. There’s something really magical about how Blind I flows right into Blind II. Blind I feels like the build up and eruption of something really bad happening, and Blind II is like the aftermath of it. Play the songs right after each other, and hopefully you’ll see what I mean. Blind II reminds me a little bit of Ghost Rider by Suicide, which is always a good thing. The song feels like a chase, and the way Craig quiets down on this song, when they do this live I’m pretty sure the crowds will go nuts especially when it picks up again. It’s probably my favourite song on the record at the moment. It’ll change though, because a record this fantastic isn’t made for you to just have one solid favourite. Every song is there to be adored and obsessed over. Each song will get their turn, I promise.

 

Of course I’d love more songs on this record because I just love The Underground Youth a hell of lot but with just 9 songs, they again blow your mind. Play the songs as loud as you want, listen to it over and over. Every listen will give you something new to love about the band and this record.

Montage Images Of Lust & Fear is a truly remarkable record, and for me, has left a lasting impact. It’s an absolute pleasure to listen to and just fall in love with.





CROWS: Silver Tongues.

24 03 2019

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If you’re looking for a record that’ll make you feel like a weight has been lifted off you whilst also feeling like you could happily trash a room or 5- then all you need to do is get a hold of the debut record by the fantastic, Crows.

Silver Tongues isn’t a record for those who wish to always be in the midst of silence (I love the quiet, but sometimes I just need a band like Crows to balance it all out) this record is straight up noise, and I cannot get enough of it. The titled track opens the record, and it 5 minutes of pure noise, this thrashing against the skull kind of noise that makes you so fucking glad that you’re breathing. I think I’ve found another record to cling to here.

Hard to believe that this is Crows debut record. They’ve been around for some time now, and have been ripping apart venues all over. Now they have a body of work to shatter our eardrums in the most pleasant way imaginable. Every single song has the power to be an anthem. These guys could easily blow the roof off a stadium, but we all know that sweaty, intimate venues are the ones that get the music across the most. There’s probably no better feeling than being in a cramped room with this band pouring their heart out on stage, and playing with every ounce of passion they have.

 

 

I can’t think of anything else like this record, and I sure as hell can’t name a band like Crows. No one else is doing this. I can only liken them to The Birthday Party. They’ve got that intense sound that can scare you shitless but it also gives you so much joy. It is such an effortlessly perfect record, but you can definitely hear how hard they’ve worked at this record. Empyrean is the third song on the record, and although it’s only slightly delicate- it’s the lyrics that come for your mind, body and soul. There is so much going on in this song, in the best possible way. It’s easily one of my favourite songs on the record, for now. I’ll change my mind with every listen- it’s one of those records that you probably can’t commit to having one favourite song. Every song will mean something to you, and over time will take its turn to be your favourite. When a band can do this with a record, then you know you’ve found something special, and Crows have done it with their debut record.

Wednesday’s Child is one to really sink your teeth into. I was born on a Wednesday, so that’s probably why I’ll call this as another strong moment on the record, but who am I kidding. The whole record is just a beautiful masterpiece. The sheer loudness and mind-fuckery on this record is absolutely stunning, and I really can’t think of anything else I’ve heard in a while that has moved me like this. I write as a fan, so I’m not going to ever dissect a record and give you its faults. I’m not a musician, and I have no right to do that. I love music, and my god Crows are just defining why I love music and why I love writing about it. They’re heading out on tour soon, and I reckon these will be the shows that show us exactly what they are made of and more. So much more.

Silver Tongues is a record that stays with you after your first listen. Something happens- it’s like this sigh of relief when it ends, and you think , “Thank god this record exists.” It’s something we all need, and with the world and some people being utterly trying- this record is a massive source of comfort, and it also keeps you on edge. You don’t know what to expect from this record, but what you get from it is something you never knew you could get. I’m obsessed with music, and I am obsessed with Crows. This record is truly something else. Goose bumps from start to finish. I feel like I’m 14 years old and discovering The Birthday Party for the first time, and taking my stepdad’s tapes of The Cramps and being engulfed into this weird and captivating world. I’m still there, and I want music to always take me there. Crows have absolutely outdone themselves with this record.

Crawling gives you that raw and vulnerable feeling- I love how graphic the lyrics are, and I love how the music really enhances the openness of this song. It’s one that would definitely have its meaning heightened once you see it live, I reckon. It’s such a ferocious song. I can’t get enough of it. Chain of Being is another song to really play loud, and listen intensely too. I mean, you should do this with the whole record but these two songs in particular have something about them that gets you right in the chest.

 

 

The last three songs on the record (Tired and Failed, First Light//False Face and Dysphoria) show a side to this record that is darker but a lot more fragile. The vocals on Dysphoria will break your heart, the lyrics will be etched upon you. It’s over 5 minutes of a wealth of emotions, and it may be too much to handle but for me, these lyrics are huge. There is so much importance within this song. There’s something about this song that’s got me hooked and I think it’s the one I’ll keep going back to over and over. Silver Tongues is a gorgeous record that messes with your head in the right way, but the song Dysphoria is truly something else. It’s a masterpiece on its own. You feel like something has forced you up and into this different dimension with this song. It takes you somewhere sacred, and that alone makes it. It just makes it. Again, another moment on the record where I’m covered in goose bumps. I’ve found a home in this song.

I think you can pretty much tell that Silver Tongues is a record I am in love with. It’s made up of “Oh shit!” moments where you are taken aback with what they have done, it’ll hit you right in the gut.

Nothing will be the same after your first listen, and there’s nothing wrong at all with that.





STONY SUGARSKULL.

11 03 2019

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Berlin is home to many brilliant bands. The ones I love have a raw and eerie feel to them. I really thought I had written about Stony Sugarskull before, but I checked thoroughly to see that I stupidly hadn’t. I used to make lists on my phone or bits of paper of bands I needed to write about, but as of late I’ve got sloppy with it. I’ll redeem myself now.

Stony Sugarskull make dreamy yet dark music. Music that makes you feel like you’re in a haunting place like The Cure’s Seventeen Seconds. If you’ve ever read anything I’ve written, you’ll know that I compare a lot of music to that record. If a band or record can make me feel how that record does, I’ll fall in love with it. I’ve already headed that way with Stony Sugarskull. They make me feel like I’m watching a Nordic tv thriller or something. They fill you will grey and black imagery. You don’t see bright colours, and I love that about them. I love how they create this almost smoky effect with their music. It’s as if everything is in a haze, and you’re slipping in and out of a dream.

Monika’s vocals are so ethereal and they evoke all sorts of images in your mind. Her voice is gentle in all the right places, but she can make it gnarly when she needs to. The only person I can liken her voice to is Sade from my beloved LA Witch. I love the calmness in Monika’s voice, and she’s such a great guitarist too. You can really tell that she has such a strong vision with Stony Sugarskull. I think this project has only been going a couple of years or so, but you can definitely hear someone who has studied and worked at they do. The sound is so strong and so unlike anything else. There are elements of 60s Rock ‘n’ Roll but there’s something else lurking within; I’m not entirely sure what it is, and because I’m questioning it, it makes me listen more than I already do. When you find something that gives you this constant wonder, I think that’s when you know you’ve found something you’re going to love for a hell of a long time.

For me, its songs like Party Girl and Skunk Ghosts that really standout. They’re the ones I keep  going back to, in like a ritualistic listen. When you can become obsessed like this with the music, that’s when you know you’ve found something you’ll treasure for a hell of a long time. I just adore the darkness and chilling feel in the music. I love how it can terrify you and can then soothe you in the same breath. This conflict is what keeps you with them. Butterflies has this haunting feel to it, but Monika’s voice is so calming you can’t get freaked out by it, it just heals the parts of you that other songs can’t quite get to. It’s got the vulnerable feel to it like Fade Into You by Mazzy Star (that song never fails to instantly make me sob.)

Stony Sugarskull make you feel like you’ve discovered My Bloody Valentine for the first time. Their sound is out there, completely and beautifully unusual- and just a sheer revelation. I can’t believe I hadn’t written about them before, but after years of listening, the love for them grew. Maybe that had to happen first. I love everything about this band. I love the trippy feel they have, I love how the drums and the guitar reverb come together to make this delicate but whole sound. I love how the vocals are intertwined with it all to create this perfect sound that makes you feel like that this is what’s been missing from you for years.

I honestly cannot express my love for this band any more than I have, or maybe I can. We’ll have to wait and see, but I’m sure I can. I’m super excited to hear more from them, and to be taken on a whole new trip with these beautiful sounds.





TWIN TRIBES.

22 12 2018

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I always seem to search for music that makes me feel like I am hearing Psychocandy or Seventeen Seconds for the first time. If it is has a tense atmosphere, and freaks me out a bit- I’ll probably end up being a fan.

I’ve found a band that have the right level of eeriness and intensity in their sound. A band that take you back to peak 80s Goth music mixed with something you have yet to hear. Twin Tribes are probably the best band in from Texas right now. They sound like they were formed in a desolate Berlin alleyway- which is a brilliant sound, and it’s something I really admire. If you love bands like Cold Cave and GLAARE; then Twin Tribes will probably win you over. They also remind me slightly of Drab Majesty, which I really love.

Twin Tribes are a fairly new band, but don’t let that deter you. They sound like they’ve been at this for decades, and their sound is so evolved, and so solid. This duo has created something truly beautiful in such a small amount of time. You can pick up on influences in their sound, but you can also hear things you have never heard before. They have this passionate yet delicate sound. There is haunting tone throughout their songs that lures you in. One passing listen isn’t enough, they are truly a band to invest a lot of time in. They have this really strong atmosphere in their songs that takes you away from where you are, and they create a beautiful world for you to fall into. Shadows is definitely one of the songs that send you elsewhere. Not so much an out-of-body experience, but an escape of the mind. Sometimes, you just need this and Twin Tribes do this in such a careful and beautiful way.

They have this feel to their sound which I liken a bit to Sextile. Sextile are a hugely important band to me, and the way in which Twin Tribes leave you feeling utterly  enamored by their sound, for me, is like Sextile. These songs were made to move you in all ways possible, and in ways you never thought of. The Vessel is my favourite song by them right now. I love how the synth creates this soothing tone, and the vocals compliment it so beautifully. There is a gorgeous darkness in the music, and that’s another thing I really admire about them. Only two of them, yet they make something effortlessly gorgeous and grand. It just makes you want to do the same.

Lapiz Lazuli has this heaviness to it, which isn’t felt in many of their songs. I really like this heavy sound because it’s really different to what I’ve heard so far, although it is a brief instrumental it has something that makes you go back to it. It may be a brief song, but there is something in it that hits you right in the gut. You don’t always need words, and this song proves this in such a majestic way. Still In Still is also another song that has a real tense feel to it, and is definitely one to keep going back to.

Sometimes when you listen to a band, you can’t help but let yourself imagine what their live shows would be like. I’d imagine a Twin Tribes show to have an eerie atmosphere in a small venue, and the songs would all be heightened owing to the addictive energy in the room. Twin Tribes is a band that you cannot help but become obsessed with, and I cannot wait to hear more from them.

 





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.





COEVAL.

19 09 2018

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You know that feeling you get when you hear a band for the very first time, and you just know that you’re going to be a fan for as long as they make music and not even them splitting up could taint your love for them? That’s EXACTLY how COEVAL have me feeling.

They’re pretty much a brand new band, and the three of them are just exceptional and make bloody amazing music. The songs are dark. Really dark, and really heavy. They aren’t for those who like pointless mushy love songs. They are for those who want something hard-hitting, poetic and haunting.

This dark and eerie sound is something I can’t get enough of- the songs are euphoric and feel like you’ve stepped into a twisted film where you don’t know who to trust, or if you won’t see tomorrow or not. The sinister feel comes through wonderfully on Bene’s vocals. He has such a distinctive voice, and honestly- you cannot compare COEVAL to anything or anyone else. His vocals on Ex-Future will fry your brain and most certainly have you hooked for life.

For a band that are so new, this EP is so perfect and so beautifully put together. They sound like a band who have been doing this for decades. It definitely goes beyond what is expected from a band when they first put their music out into the world. The guitars sound like chain saws on New Light, and pretty much all the songs. They sound like weapons being aimed to take your soul and take over every single part of you. The drums will throb beautifully in your ears, and all you can do is turn the songs louder to reach this state of nirvana that COEVAL bring out. The songs may be dark and whatnot, but my god they are excellent.

I love the unconventional romanticism in the songs. Pure, just like a Nick Cave love song. I love the real rowdiness in the songs and how none of the band members dominate the other with just how talented they are. I am so in awe of this band. They are definitely up there with being one of the most exciting bands I’ve heard this year. They don’t sound like a band from London. They sound like a band who have roamed the Parisian streets at 3am looking for the meaning of life. They have this gorgeous sound that I reckon most will just lump as ‘Goth’ and be unaware of everything that is going on. They aren’t a band that caters to music genres. They are a band that will beautifully rip you apart with their poetic and captivating sound.

The EP has been released on the ever influential and always brilliant, Le Turc Mécanique who are constantly putting out exceptional Punk records, and beyond. It is definitely worth delving into their releases, and if you do- you’ll see exactly why COEVAL made them their home for this record.

Within 15 minutes, COEVAL have established themselves as being one of the best new bands around. If they can leave their mark like this with just four songs, imagine what they can do with more and more records. I’m super excited to see what they give us next and I hope they find their way up here in Manchester soon. Us Northerners would be honoured to have them.

Let the songs ricochet right through you, and fully embrace every feeling that COEVAL give you. Play loud, as always.