Ho99o9: United States Of Horror.

6 05 2017

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With a smack to the face and a kick in the shins, a bloody nose. Broken bones. Grazed knuckles. Aching joints. That’s what the debut record from Ho99o9 will bring you. Pain, anguish, destruction, pleasurable noise, decadence, truth, brutal and brave truth. A riot. They’re not just a Hip Hop group, but man, they have made the best Hip Hop record in a long time. As far as debut records go, this one is going to be ringing in your ears even when they release their fifth one. It’s got this level of greatness to it that comes from sheer determination, and boy- they have it!

When I first heard Ho99o9 in 2014/early 2015, I was instantly moved by their attitude and how they really had this strong Punk sound that we so desperately needed. Ho99o9 were and still a band that we urgently need. They speak to everyone irrespective of race, age, sexuality, background. None of it matters, it never should matter. Their songs are to be played as loud as possible, and for every word to be yelled and learnt. Keep up the pace.

At the moment, Street Power is my favourite song on the record but I’m fully expecting that to change. 17 songs in 46 minutes. 17 songs that will blow your mind, blow your eardrums and leave you wanting more. 17 songs that shape our frustrations at the world and the things we see. The things we can change, and the things that are out of our hands, for now. No band has been this brave in a long time. United State of Horror is a body of work that oozes blood, sweat and rage. It’s the perfect record to expand your thoughts to and see things for how they are.

For just two people to make this much noise and to have such an incredible force within their debut record is just amazing. They take the sounds of two genres and make something really out there and unlike anything else. Sure they’ve had the Death Grips, Bad Brains and Black Flag comparisons but there is something else within them that is totally unlike anything else. Songs like Splash and Knuckle Up really show this, and for me, I’m just really in awe of Eaddy and theOGM. Just two people with such truth and rawness to their sound. It’s like exposing a wound. People will turn away but are still intrigued at the gore and guts. There’s gore and a whole lot of guts in their songs. How can you not be moved even slightly by them?!

I spent most of yesterday listening to the record at work, and I just intensely focused on the lyrics. Today I’m trying to take in every detail within the music. The way they make you feel like an electric shock is flowing through you. This isn’t a band that should be labelled as “not suitable for…” forget that. They are a band for EVERYONE. They hold something so important within them, and it isn’t something that needs ignoring.

Again, they are one of those bands that you’ve got to see live. I’ve yet to, but how they are on record will easily be shown in a different light during their live shows. They just have something in their music that needs to be in a live setting. Venue size doesn’t matter, the more that hear them- the better. Songs like Sub-Zer0 and War Is Hell just need to be seen live, you get that immediately from them. I think I’ve move on to Sub-Zer0 being my favourite right now.

From their EPs to this debut full length record, in just a few years Ho99o9 have created their own movement on their own terms. The finest thing to have come from New Jersey via L.A in a long time. Well, ever really. United States of Horror is a record that deserves your complete and utter attention. It’s easily one of the best records of the year, and the rage within it will feed into your soul. It’ll find its way deep inside of you, and will never leave.

You know what to do- play loud. Learn the words, throw your body around to the songs, go to the shows and let Ho99o9 completely and utterly take you over.





TALL JUAN: Olden Goldies.

3 05 2017

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For the past few years I have been obsessed with Far Rockaway resident, Tall Juan. I found his music by accident and it’s probably been one of the best musical finds of mine. I’ve seen him at every London show he’s done, and next month he’s playing The Lock Tavern again- for free!

On Friday, his full length debut record is coming out. I’ve been waiting for this record for so long, and I really cannot wait to go out and get myself a copy. Play it to death, and just keep buying it. His style is Ritchie Valens meets Joey Ramone. He’s everything I want from a musician, but his live shows are something else. Again, I cannot wait to see him next month and to see these new songs performed live. He has this hyperactivity to his music and he brings this so well to his live shows. You can’t help but think when you listen to him, that his music is the kind that really comes alive in a live setting. The kind of music that has a firm home in dingy venues where you leave covered in other people’s beer and sweat.

His record kicks off with a tighter version of I Don’t Know What To Do. This new version is just as great as the previous version.  I always felt from his music that they are the perfect songs to play when you need your mind to wander or if you’re wandering around doing nothing- his music is the perfect friend to bring along. His voice is so strong on his record, and I am just so happy for him. He seems to be doing a show every night, and he’s just one of the hardest working people I know.

From trading emails back and forth with him over the years, to seeing his first UK show and to now hearing his first record- I’m just so massively proud of him. Prior to Olden Goldies I’ve said that his music makes you feel like you are strolling around New York City in the late 70s trying to find something to do and before you know it- you’ve stumbled in on a Ramones show. He just takes you back and time and brings you back to now in such a beautiful way.

The record consists of 15 tracks that aren’t really longer than 3 and a half minutes. They all sound like perfect Punk songs to fit your mood. You can play them whilst you laze about at home, at beach, travelling to work, whilst you’re at work- anywhere, everywhere. You’ll find a home in these songs and you’ll find a best friend in Juan’s music and words. It’s hard to write about this record without going on about how proud I am of him, but I know how hard he works and how hard he has worked on this record, and it truly shows. He has a distinctive sound, and it’s a sound that comes right from the soul and is just nothing short of brilliant.

As I listen to the songs, I can easily pick out the ones he’s put in his live shows and to hear the final version of them is awesome. You get to hear the transition of the song and experience the finished product. Parecida A Vos is always my favourite song to see him do live because of the way he annihilates the ending. He unleashes something that makes everyone in the crowd go nuts, and we love him for it. The Olden Goldies version of It’s True sounds tougher than the first version. It’s produced here in such a clean way but still has that distinctive sound of his, it’s just so easy to love. The same goes with Why Not? Although I’ve heard the songs before, hearing them this way and on a full length record makes it all feel new again.

His cover of Mac De Marco’s Another Juan (original is Another One) and of course, Time Bomb by the Ramones are excellent moments on the record, and he makes you believe they are his songs. He makes them his own, and if you’re going to cover a song- making it your own is crucial. The record ends with Take Your Time, and this is easily the moment on the record where you stick your headphones on and play it a little louder than usual, just so you can pick up on the emotion in his voice. His voice is so good at projecting raw emotion and each song is played with this beautiful urgency.

I know I’ve said it before, but I’m just so proud of him and this record. It’s probably going to be my favourite record of the year. I have to be biased with this because I just bloody love him and I love this record. Every song is wonderful, the production is great and you can tell just how much time, work and effort has gone into making it.

Olden Goldies is out this Friday (5th May) on BUFU Records.





STEAL SHIT DO DRUGS.

26 02 2017

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What’s in a name? Nothing? Everything? Something? Who cares! Steal Shit Do Drugs (SSDD if you like censorship!) are one of the most exciting bands around, and they are currently a couple days into a month long tour of the UK and Europe. They’re playing some neat sweaty venues, which is perfect for their brilliant degenerate sound.

I think they’ve only been around for maybe 2 years and I think last year was when their first record came out. I could be wrong though. The record consists of 11 in your face Punk/Garage Rock songs that are made to be screamed back at the band out of fury and love. Find your passion and yell. I’ve read nothing about Steal Shit Do Drugs, so I have no idea who they are being compared to. It’s lazy to make any comparisons, so I’ll stay away from that. But in all honesty, I can’t really think of anyone that they sound like. They sound like a band from the Punk era but they also sound like a band that are slightly ahead of everyone else right now. We need more rowdy sounds in our ears to unleash the frustrations of daily life, and Steal Shit Do Drugs are the best band to do it to.

I don’t know what the Seattle music scene is like, but I’m going to declare Steal Shit Do Drugs as the best band from there. It’s not really a bold statement, more like an honest one. But, it’s just my opinion and that’s never counted for much. I love how their sound can just capture the true hell of a daily routine that eats at you, surrounded in a place that you are desperate to get out of. You’re in a version of hell that others would probably be okay with, but it’s your hell and this is the comforting soundtrack to it. I can only imagine that their live shows portray this in a fantastic way. They strike me as a band that you’ve just GOT to see live to really dig the sound.

Lead singer, Kennedy has this glorious charm that comes across beautifully on record and he allows you to imagine him strutting about on stage. Getting in the face of the crowd and screaming the words at them, just waiting for someone to scream them back at him. There’s a real urgency to this sound, and they are band that just need to be heard. There’s simply no denying how great Steal Shit Do Drugs are, and I’m pretty sure this month long tour of the UK and Europe is going to win a number of people over

Organdie is my favourite track so far. It’s a real loud number that echoes sounds of The Stooges in the best way imaginable. It’s got a real dirty Punk sound, it’s the kind of Punk that shocked parents like the Dead Boys and The Stooges. It’s flamboyant and it’s in your face. There are quiet moments and all of a sudden the last 2 minutes of the song are just a massive yelp-fest. It’s brilliant! I can’t get enough of it. I think it’s the one that’s going to really get the crowd going at their shows, if they play it,  of course.

They’re the kind of band that you’d want to tour with, that you’d want to go record shopping with, hang out with, join their band and the kind of band you MUST go see live at any given chance. Buy the music, play loud, learn the words and yell with them as loud as you can.





DR CHAN: Southside Suicide.

23 02 2017

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Last night I wrote about how much I love Dr Chan and how excited I am for their new record, Southside Suicide which comes out tomorrow on Stolen Body Records. I’m going to attempt to now write about why it is one of the finest records around and why if, you’re into making lists, it should top your Records of the Year list come December.

I tried to listen to it at work but I realised something would lose my attention and I didn’t want it to be Dr Chan. Within first listen I feel like I am at one of their shows or watching them rehearse in some cramped room. It’s definitely not an overproduced record nor is it one that sounds like they’ve tried too hard to sound a certain way. It sounds like a very honest and brutal record that stems from frustration and the sheer passion to make music. That’s how it should be. If all bands sound like this in Paris, then let’s runaway there right now and cast ourselves deep into it. The songs on Southside Suicide sound like they are for those who are fed up with what’s around them or those who just need some form of escapism. I can relate to all of that. For me, it’s everything I’d want from a modern Garage Rock band but at the same time it would fit nicely next to The Vagrants or even The Mummies.

Currently my favourite track off the record is BLANnnK$$$ (Bloody No$e) I love how unapologetically loud and rowdy it is. It feels like a drunk person losing their shit in a bar. They start ripping up a pool table, throwing glasses and punches. Going absolutely nuts for no valid reason. There are no calm moments on this record, and that’s why I love it. BLANnnK$$$ (Bloody No$e) is such a hyperactive song and it’s so addictive too. I find myself going back to it, just constantly hitting repeat. When it kicks it, it just sounds like a thousand riots and gunshots in the mind. It goes completely off and it’s easily one of the best moments on the record, but even that is hard to pick. It’s a solid record from start to finish, and I can’t get enough of it.

A real party for the ears this record is. It deserves to be played on a loop and as loud as you can possibly stand. It’s got something remarkably special about it, and I have no idea how big they are in France or out of France, but I know that I just love them and their sound is for me, entirely perfect. It’s like finally meeting your soulmate or breaking in a pair of Dr Martens or eating a really great pizza. It just makes you feel really good, and right now- I fucking need that.

I honestly cannot compare this record or this band to anything else I’ve heard before, and that’s such a rare thing to be able to do now. Everyone wants to buy into some pissy phase that means nothing and holds no meaning. Bands like Dr Chan are rare. You pick up on every tiny detail in the songs and it makes you want to go see some live music, it makes you less afraid of your own shadow, it makes you want to start your own band.

The songs are short like a real Punk song, but they have something else to it. It’s such a fantastic record and if I had the words, I’d easily write hundreds and hundreds more about why I love it so much. I like certain sounds, and sometimes I just need a certain sound in my ear but Dr Chan are unlike anything else. Buy the record this weekend and play it loud. Damage your hearing to make Monday less of a drag, just so you can block everything out.





DR CHAN.

22 02 2017

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Music should freak you out. It should corrupt and warp your mind. It should make you think outlandish things and make you behave wonderfully irrationally. But within reason, of course. It should take you somewhere no one can touch you, it should be all kinds of sordid, gentle, poetic and like a thrash to the body. It should heighten everything you think and feel. It should make you feel ten feet tall.

Here come Parisian greats, Dr Chan. They make this Psych infused Garage Rock that sounds like The Doors meets Wavves. You feel like you could be on a beach in California but in the same thought, you feel like you could romantically be wandering around a cemetery in Paris then onto some dingy alleyway trying to find your way home after dark. Their sound is brilliant, and once you start listening- you’re hooked good and proper.

Sometimes you hear something really bloody great and you know that whatever you write about them just isn’t going to be good enough. I’m not going to dwell on my inabilities right now. This Friday, Stolen Body Records are going to put out their new record, Southside Suicide which again is probably going to be a right I fawn over constantly. I can’t wait to hear it and play it obnoxiously loud in my ears.

Dr Chan aren’t the kind of band you play quietly in the background and every now and then, you pick up on key moments in their songs. Far from it. They’re a band that you play as loud as you can stand and totally lose yourself in their music. Last year they put out Mental Dhead which was one of the most underrated records of the year. It was everything I wanted from a band- it was loud, snotty and deliriously great. It sent you off into another world. You didn’t know if you were in a daze or truly floating round the streets of Paris with these guys. There’s something about them that just makes you want invest all your time into their music, and to go to every single show they do. On record they’ve got this brilliant energy that makes you wish you were in a band. I’m pretty sure their live shows are equally as infatuating.

These guys truly send you off into a whirl. They’re every part Psychedelic but not in your typical way. They’ve taken it, and made it their own. Dr Chan are going to blow minds again with Southside Suicide on Friday, I’ve not heard it but I just know. I know I’m never right about anything, but we can let it slide this time.

Mental Dhead is a mighty fine record, and as far as debut records go it is most definitely a really tough record to top but I’ve got every bit of faith that they can do it. If all bands in Paris sound like this, maybe we should all move there and just lose our minds at their shows. There is something effortlessly freeing about the music Dr Chan make and that’s something to alone, be admired. I’m still hooked on their first record, but I can’t wait to hear their new one on Friday.

If you’re looking for a band to set the mind free and to just forget everything for a while, go give them a listen. Play as loud as you want and cancel the world out for a while.





MIND RAYS.

22 02 2017

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Sometimes you just need to listen to something that feels like a massive jab to the face. I’ve become more and more restless but also annoyingly tired, so I need to listen to something that fits my mood. I don’t want to move but I don’t want to sit still. I want to listen to something that heightens all of this because nothing else will cut it.

Belgium is a beautiful place. I fell in love with Brussels twice. I spent a lot of money in a record shop there, twice. I could have happily spent all my time in there. It’s one of the best places I’ve ever been. Peaceful and timeless. Mind Rays are from Belgium- their sound isn’t peaceful. Well, to some it isn’t but for me? It sort of is. It’s what I need right now.

This Ghent based band have been around for some time, and upon first listen you can easily picture them thrashing about on some dingy stage in a sweat infused basement bar where all the outcasts unite- the best kind of place. You can picture them injuring each other and themselves as they flail about on stage, how much they bleed from smacking their face into a mic stand justifies how good the show was. Their sound is brutal and loud. If you want a label then I guess you can have Garage Rock with a bit of Punk. I’d just call it a riot to be honest.

Their new record, Nerve Endings is out next month and it’s probably going to be one of the most rowdy records you’ll hear all year. They make it easier to deal with your frustrations of daily life and being a bit of a loner, but that’s probably just me. These kinds of things just get you through. I was going to go to the gym tonight, but I just want to find more bands like Mind Rays and get totally lost in them.

Mind Rays make the kind of music to just straight up melt your face. Their earlier stuff is slightly less aggressive but only slightly. It’s all the right kind of loud and beastly. They make the kind of music that makes you morph into some kind of scary monster that isn’t to be fucked with, lurking in the shadows. I have no idea what their live shows are like, and I can only imagine that they are just as lively on stage as they are on record. Their songs don’t feel like something that has been recorded in a studio, you feel like you are listening to a band practicing and lobbing their all into it. You really pick up on the blood, sweat and maybe a few tears. And screams.

They’ll melt your mind, they’ll awaken the rusty and sleepy parts of you. They’ll make you want to slam your body into stuff, they’ll make you want to throw things around. They’ll make you want to act like a rebellious swine, and that’s one of the best things a band can do to you. They’ll lure you out of your comfort zone and before you know it, you’re comfort zone is going to be immersing yourself in this mind altering and thought bending sound. There are some bands that you just cannot get enough of, and for me, Mind Rays are easily one of those bands.





THE MUMMIES.

9 01 2017

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For Christmas I was given a record by the best person I know. Some time ago I mentioned to her that I found it virtually impossible to find anything by The Mummies. Anything I did find would have just cost me a stupid amount to have posted, so I resigned myself to the fact I was going to live the rest of my life with an eternal gap in my record collection reserved solely for The Mummies. That changed on Christmas Day. I was given their compilation, Play Their Own Records! My holy trinity of records is complete- The Gruesomes, Count Five and now, The Mummies. I mean I’m obviously still going to prioritise buying records over food, and any spare money I have will always go on records but finally having these three records means a hell of a lot to me.

The Mummies are a band that I know virtually nothing about. I love that there is hardly anything about them on the internet and they have no social media accounts. You may find out about them by accident (I did, and I can’t really remember how or when) or a band you like already may have mentioned them at some point. Regardless of how you find out about them, when you become a fan you become obsessed with trying to find their music or whatever else you can about them. Let it rule your life, take what you can get.

Their sound is loud, raw and has frequently been labelled as “budget rock.” For me, they are one of the greatest Garage Rock bands of all time. They’ve got a creepy style- it feels almost cult like and that’s how they lure you in. Covered in bandages (like a mummy) thrashing their instruments around (the musical kind, easy now) and just playing with this fury that makes you loathe yourself for not having any musical talent (this could just be me, mind.) This urgency they evoke can only be appreciated if you play it ridiculously loud. They recorded most of their songs on the cheapest equipment they could get their hands on and you know what? Sounds a billion times better than pretentious arty types spending thousands and thousands on a guitar they are scared to get a drop of sweat on. The Mummies can teach all of us a thing or two about their approach to how they make music.

The underdawgs for sure. The Mummies are one of those bands that, if you saw them live, it would probably stay with you forever and would be the reason as to why everything you get into is compared to that moment. They broke equipment, got barred from venues, made arses of themselves on stage and didn’t give a shit about it. Their approach to music was something to be admired- they just didn’t give a shit about pleasing self-absorbed “music critics” who tell you what to listen to and who slag off bands for no reason. They were for those who wanted something else, for those who were bored of the mundane- and they still are. They’re a band that once you love, you will always hold them dear to you. Whatever you own of theirs will be something you play almost every single day and possibly turning the volume up a little louder each time. Scare the neighbours but also- blow their minds and let them in on the world of The Mummies.

Some may have regarded them as joke but others, like myself, see them as one of the greatest Garage Rock bands of all time. One of the best bands of all time, especially as they are quite elusive. The not knowing is what draws you in and their sound is what keeps you there.