NIGHT SHADES: Dead Nerves/The Desert.

16 07 2019

nightshades

 

 

Today I woke up to see that Night Shades had announced a new release, and I knew I was going to have a good day (I also had the day off work so that’s a plus *note- I love my job, but I do like to sleep!) Night Shades are making the kind of music I’d love to make if I was in a band. They are creepy and wild; they are just a phenomenal band that I cannot get enough of, and knowing that there’s a new release coming real soon is just great.

I’m going to give you a little breakdown into the songs- there’s only three so hopefully you’ll stick with this. It’ll be worth it, trust me.

DEAD NERVES: The first track on the record, and as Shaun counts in the band you get a sense of just how intense this song is going to be. He has SUCH a distinctive voice, and it’s the kind of voice you want to hear when you need music to just get your heart beating a little faster. The urgency on this song is exceptional, and I think for me, a large part of this is Niall’s drumming. Niall is a great drummer, and he brings this urgency to Night Shades that is backed up by Clare, Shaun and Vince on this song in particular. I guess you could sum it all up quite easily by saying Night Shades consist of some of the best musicians around. There is this bite to Dead Nerves that makes you feel like you’re the toughest person around. I love music that gives you this energy, and Dead Nerves definitely gives that feeling. It’s a real rowdy song that feels like a bar fight. If you’ve never listened to Night Shades before, this has got to be the one that wins you over.

KATIPO: To soothe your bones a little bit, Katipo is a beautiful instrumental moment on the record. Sure I love their loud and rowdy songs, but this instrumental is so gorgeous. It is delicate in some parts, but it picks up. The song twists and turns, and takes you on this trip. You stay on edge as you listen to it. One thing I adore about Night Shades is their effortless way to keep you on edge. As someone who has anxiety and can have a panic attack when I least expect it/probably at inappropriate times, Night Shades give you this positive anxiety- you’re on edge from excitement with their music. You know something is going to happen, and the butterflies are brewing in your belly- it kicks in, and all these euphoric moments occur. That’s, for me, one of the best ways I can sum up Night Shades and although there are no vocals on Katipo, it perfectly sums that feeling on edge feeling.

 

 

The Desert:  Hello song of the year! Clare and Shaun’s vocals on this are insane. Everything about this song oozes a real creepy feel and I love it. It’s like hearing The Cramps for the first time. The first time I ever heard The Cramps, it changed my life forever and I was in awe of every tiny detail. Night Shades give you that same feeling. You’re hearing something really incredible, and it just moves you in a range of ways. The way they deliver the urgency on The Desert is ridiculous, and it’s the kind of song that you know is going to be magical when they do it live. It’s a song that just makes you fall in love with them all over again. We had the instrumental in the middle, and we are smacked right in the face with The Desert. Although it ends on this song, it just makes you play it all over again. But, you’re going to have to wait until 26th July to do this.

This 3-track record was recorded live, and I think that adds some romanticism to it. The songs are perfect, loud, tender and raw. They will make you move and by no means will they make you want to rest. Night Shades make the kind of music that would fit perfectly in a eerie horror film, or a thriller. Something that messes with your head, for sure.

The launch party for the record will of course be held at The Shacklewell Arms on the 26th July. There’s no other venue that can do their sound justice nor can any other venue sum up the feel of the band. You can pre-order the record on their bandcamp page here. It’s going to be on hot pink vinyl, and will be released via El Beasto Records.

Buy it, play it loud and feel like the toughest motherfucker around.

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ISSUE: Cross The Line.

14 07 2019

issue cover

 

 

If you’re looking for a band that sound like KRAUT mixed with VOID, then you’ll find it in Paris’s finest Punk band, ISSUE. One of the greatest guitarists of all time are in the band also (Charlie from Crocodiles, of course!) Cross The Line, their debut record, came out on Friday and let me tell you, it’s obnoxiously loud and really cleanses the soul.

Cross The Line is a proper rowdy record. Every single song, all nine of them, will blow your mind and eardrums in 16 quick minutes. The record is over far too soon, but there is no harm in playing it all over again, and again. And again. It’s record to trash shit to, it’s a record to just go completely wild to. It’s everything you want from a raw Punk record. Play it as loud as you can, then try a bit louder. Only a couple of the songs are over the 2 minute mark- how it should be done with this kind of music. The songs are full of this rambunctious energy that makes you want to just play it so loud, and throw shit out of the window. I mean, maybe don’t do that but you get what I mean. They have this ability to make you feel like you are right at their show taking it all in with elbows hitting you in the face and lukewarm beer being thrown about.

 

 

This is definitely one of the most enjoyable and out-there Punk records I’ve heard in a long time, and it just makes you feel like you’re experiencing bands like KRAUT for the first time. As soon as I heard this record, I automatically likened it to An Adjustment To Society by KRAUT (which is one of the greatest records ever made.) The same level of excellence is there, and I can’t get enough of it. By no means am I comparing the bands in a lazy way. I’m just holding them up as highly as each other because they are fucking incredible.

25 and Spit Mask are currently my favourite songs on the record, but my mind does change quite a bit. I’ve found that the record sounds best if you play it in order but the thing is, when you play it in no particular order you still get that “OH SHIT!” feel- like it’s hitting you for the first time. There is so much to love about this record. The production is perfect; the sound is something that’s been well thought out and you can definitely hear how much effort has gone into creating something so powerful. Mirror is a song that is meant to be play a hell of a lot, and definitely at a deafening volume. It’s a record that makes you want to start your own Punk band or just immerse yourself in as much live music as possible.

In terms of touring, I have no idea where they are going but if someone could get them to the UK that would be really much appreciated by me. They definitely have a sound that is made to be heard live. I love how the songs feel like an animal that’s been trapped for years, and is now being released into the wild. It has this brilliant untameable sound that I adore so much. In the best way possible, this record is so chaotic and brutal. I can’t get enough of it, and songs like  I Surrender just annihilate your eardrums in the most perfect way.

 

 

Cross The Line is out now via Third Coming Records; and the record artwork is by Nicky Rat.





HAXON.

13 07 2019

 

HAXON

 

 

When I left London early last year, I know I was going to miss something in particular. I wasn’t going to miss the city at all, but I was going to miss my favourite venue ever- The Shacklewell Arms. I’ve seen some of the best gigs of my life there. I’ve seen TwoFiftyFour play to about 10 of us for an acoustic show, I’ve seen L.A Witch and Tall Juan’s first ever UK shows there. But I’ve missed out. I’ve missed out on seeing a whole bunch of bands, and I’m going to write about one of the most exciting London based bands around (aside from GHUM who are playing The Shack tonight, but I’m seeing them on Monday so it’s alright!) HAXON. Remember the name. HAXON make music to terrify you. Ready?

HAXON have members of bands I LOVE (Lovers Club and Night Shades.) If you’re looking for the coolest band around, then look no further than HAXON. They played The Shack last night, which is a venue made for bands like this. They sound like The Cramps mixed with Screaming Lord Sutch and The Birthday Party. Basically, fucking weird and absolutely off the wall in the best way imaginable. The kind of music you’d hear in a Vincent Price film. Perfect. They are a band that just need to be played really loud so you terrify your neighbours, In my apartment block, we’ve got some really annoying neighbours so for me, HAXON are the ideal band to use to drown out their noise.

 

 

If you’re looking for a band to blow you away and to leave you covered in goose bumps, and I don’t mean goose bumps just for the reason of them being brilliant. I mean for them scaring you- then you need HAXON in your life. You need to just play them, and go crazy to the songs. The songs sound like a mad-man rambling, and I love that. I love how possessed Alec’s vocals are. He’s easily one of my favourite singers of late, and with HAXON he really pushes his vocals and gives us something that is so insane and powerful. The songs will make you move in all kinds of ways. It’s just perfect.

 

Their debut EP, Haxoff, came out in May. It consists of 5 songs that will leave you salivating for more, and more. If you have seen them live, then I can only assume that it was one of the best shows you’ve ever been to. However, if anyone would like to bring them up here to Manchester- I’d really appreciate that! The EP is nothing short of stunning. It sounds like nothing else, and I truly mean that. I know I mentioned The Cramps, The Birthday Party and Screaming Lord Sutch earlier, but this EP is truly something else.  There is something about it that will freak you out, but at the same time you’ll just be beautifully overwhelmed by what you are hearing. Sometimes I’ll hear a band, and think “this is why I still write about music, this is why I love music.” For me, I can happily add Haxon to that list. With just one EP they have definitely left their mark, and I do hope that there is a lot more to come from them because 5 songs just isn’t enough.

I’m A Tree is like a drunken rambling, and I absolutely love it. I love how manic and ferocious it is. I love how it twists and turns, then slides into Lucky John which has the same tone to it. It’s just an excellent EP that will make you want to make your own noise, it’ll make you want to down a bottle of Bourbon in a saloon bar and cause a fight. It’s got this infectious rage to it, that I just cannot get enough of. It’s everything I want from music, and more. They should be hugely proud of what they have created here, because it is out of this world.

 

 

It’s a real sleazy and seductive EP that’ll make you feel a bit dirty and in the need of a shower after listening- and that’s always a great thing. Honestly, if you get the chance to see them, please go. Let the music take you over, let it freak you the hell out and let it put everything you’ve ever known to shame.

 





THE CHATS.

10 07 2019

thechats

 

As I write this, I have my housemate’s dog next to me snoring his head off. It’s a good job he’s cute, because the sound would annoy me. Besides, the pup is a champ- he can sleep through anything and me blasting out The Chats isn’t interrupting his slumber. Maybe he’s dreaming about starting his own band. He’s cool enough to do it.

The Chats are one of the best new(ish) bands from Australia, and the honesty and relatable content in their lyrics is what massively drew me to them. They have the kind of lyrics that anyone can relate to. If you’re constantly skint- you’ll probably identify with most of their songs, especially Bus Money. I can relate to having nothing- I’ve been without a bank card since last Friday. I guess it’s good that I haven’t wasted any money. Anyway. The Chats are the kind of band you play when you absolutely need to let the draining emotions of the day go. They’re the ideal band to just play hella loud and scream along with. Their songs were made to be screamed back. Right at the top of your lungs until you nearly pass out.

They go beyond being a Punk or Garage Rock band- they’re just relatable, and have this way of making you smirk with some of their lyrics. Their mishaps in Mum Stole My Darts is a prime example of this. I really admire that they sound like nothing and no one else. It’s easy for a band of a certain style to just sound like everything you’ve heard before, but The Chats are a huge exception.

 

 

I adore the fury in their sound, and I love this passion in the vocals. The lyrics are witty and relatable- I know I keep saying that, but listen to them and you’ll get it. They are loud in all the right places, and I love the urgency in their song Temperature and how the lyrics are a little mischievous too. There’s the wonderful impishness in the lyrics, and it’s all part of their charm.

They’re heading out on a headline tour here in the UK in December. As soon as I get my bank card, I’ll have to get a ticket. They’re the kind of band you just HAVE to see live to really get a feel for their music. Records are great and all, but live music is something else. Songs like Nambored and Pub Feed just NEED to be seen live. You need to see the energy they put into the songs and their live shows. Being sucked into this sweaty atmosphere screaming out the songs that get you through the day; there’s nothing better. Nambored is one of my favourite songs (so far) and I’m happy to have it on a loop for sure.

They’ve only got a couple of EPs out, and I cannot wait to see what else they’re going to hit us with. With just a couple of EPs, they have created something that’s not been done before nor can anyone touch them. Songs like VB Anthem, Yeah Nah and the anthemic Smoko just show us why they are one of the most exciting bands around, and why they have the potential in the future to be citied as the next generation’s bands influences. The three of them create this effortlessly cool noise that eases the soul, and just makes you want to waste the summer months away doing a whole load of nothing.

 

 

The Chats make songs to lounge around to, sing a long to and to just really enjoy in the purest way possible. I can honestly say that they are one of the most exciting bands I’ve heard in a while, and I’m super excited to hear more and to watch them deservedly, take over the world. These rascals are exactly what I and the world need. VIVA THE CHATS!





SHEER MAG.

4 07 2019

SHEERMAG

 

 

I should have written about Sheer Mag ages ago, but that’s just how it goes. They have a new record coming out next month, and are touring the UK in November (they’re playing YES in Manchester, which is the coolest venue in the city and it’s a week before my birthday!) so now is the right time. Better late than never, I guess.

Fronted by the incredible Tina (Christina) Halladay, Sheer Mag are THE Punk band that we all need. They have this brilliant attitude and force within their music which is like Amyl and The Sniffers mixed with KRAUT. Which is obviously a great thing, as I love both bands. They are loud in all the right places, and will just fill you with utter joy when you listen to them. The music is so powerful, and full of this ferocious energy that you just cannot get enough of. I can’t pick what it is I love so much about Sheer Mag, but I’m pretty sure that when the new record comes out, my love will be reinforced all over again. I can’t wait to hear it.

Sheer Mag make you want to just throw your limbs around in a way that would leave others wondering if you’re alright, but they just move you in so many ways. The songs will make you cry, shout and just be glad that someone out there gets you. We all need that, and Sheer Mag release it all. They make it seem so effortless.

 

 

The rhythm that Sheer Mag has is so soulful, and so poignant. They make you feel their music right from the soul, and I think that’s part of why we need bands like this. They aren’t afraid to be loud, and Tina isn’t afraid to pour her heart out in the songs, and leave it beating on stage. The vulnerability and the passion they have is so beautiful, and such a rare thing to see. But when a band you love show this, you cannot help but connect with them in ways you never thought you could.

They make the kind of songs that you just have to scream along- whether you’re at their show, or just hanging out at home. They bring it out of you, and their new song Blood From A Stone gives you that feeling and it’s the kind of feeling that you cannot help but cling on to. You have to. They sum up the heightened feelings we are sometimes wary of. There’s something about Sheer Mag that you cannot do without. They make you feel like you’ve gone back to the 70s but at the same time, take you deep into the future/to a place that is unknown to others. The trip they take on you on with their music is the kind of trip you don’t want to end, you just want to stay in the moments that they create, and I am pretty sure that their new record is going to do the same.

I’m super excited to see them live, and to really immerse myself in all that their music gives me. I can’t wait to see how their songs are performed live, and to see it all take on a different meaning. On record they give you this energy that spurs you on, and I’m confident that their live shows do the same.

There is so much soul in the songs, and I think it really comes across in songs like Pure Desire. The guitar has this slick tone, and Tina’s vocals have this Gospel like feeling to it. They are truly unlike anything else you’ll ever hear. Just Can’t Get Enough also has this raw and soulful feel to it. They’ve got something that you won’t find anywhere else. They need to take over the world or something, because bands like this cannot be ignored. Until You Find The One will break your heart in such a gorgeous way, and I think it is their most delicate song. It reminds me slightly of The Ronnettes, which is always a good thing. They’ll toy with your feelings, but one thing for sure is that you’ll keep coming back for more.

 

 

Like I said, I should have written this years ago but the excitement for their new record is building, and I cannot wait to hear it. We need bands/music that is fearless and makes you feel something, anything at all- Sheer Mag go above all this. They have such a distinctive sound that would make even the most reserved person move.

So there you have it, delayed appreciation for a band I should have written about ages ago. Hopefully this makes up for lost time.





BIKES: s/t III

25 06 2019

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About three years ago I wrote about BIKES. I went on about how I love their rugged Garage Rock sound, and how they just moved me with their sound. A few years later, I’m happy to be writing about their new (okay, it came out in April…) record. A record that is effortlessly cool, and firmly cements my love for this exceptional Berlin band. This record is not short of powerful and raucous moments that you just cannot get enough of.

Ten songs make up this record, and it just below the half hour mark. But  as someone with a bit of a crappy attention span- it works just fine! Sure I want the record to go on forever, but what they’ve created with this record is something that you have on repeat all the time. I adore everything they offer up on this record. I love how the sound is slightly more refined now, but at the same time it is still raw.

 

 

With no apologies (and why should they anyway!?) BIKES give you songs that hit you in the gut. There’s something about this record that has more boldness to it, and the song Friday Night was made to be played whilst alone, and bored. Just to get some feeling out, you know? It’s got a bit of a Bluesy feel to it, and I really love how they’ve taken this early sound that The Rolling Stones had, but dug really deep into the lyrics with it. It’s one of my favourites on the record and will probably be the one I gravitate to the most.

Something else I love about this record is that it has been put out via Alien Snatch!Records. They’re the best at what they do, so it is no surprise that they got their hands on this record and put it out. It’s the label that will cause me to be endlessly broke, but it’s fine! This is the kind of record that ruin your speakers to. You can’t help but play it super loud, that’s the only way to listen to a band like BIKES. You’ve just got to really push yourself with how loud you (and your neighbours) hear this record. It’s a wild record, and these songs are just a glimpse into how phenomenal the band are. Go back and listen to their records, and you’ll hear that this is a band that are focused and aren’t afraid to push themselves, and their fans/anyone who listens to this record.

There’s a relaxed feel to this record, and it kind of makes you feel that the best way to play this is without anyone else around you. Sometimes you need that, and records like this are perfect to do it to. All you can do is play it loud and sing along as loud as you can. All the best records make you feel this way, and BIKES most certainly give you that feeling.

This record has hints of The Gruesomes and The Rolling Stones in it, and that’s nothing short of an excellent mix. There’s a real Rock ‘n’ Roll feel, and the rawness of Garage Rock. Everything I adore about music is in this record, and in BIKES. They are a band that once you listen to, you’re just hooked for eternity.

If the inside of your head feels like a warzone at times, then this record will soothe it slightly. Or that’s just my personal take. I could have this record on repeat and feel alright, which is strange but always needed.

 

 

This is definitely one of the best records we’ll hear this year; it’s got everything you could possibly want from a record. And if you’re someone who likes the odd catchy bop or two, then you’ll find them for sure on this record.

Play it loud, block out everything around you and maybe, play it a little louder.

PS: Can someone PLEASE book these guys on a UK tour (specifically Manchester)

 





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 song  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.