Archive for the ‘Post Punk’ Category

Technical issues have meant we’ve been quieter than usual this week, but hopefully with all those resolved we can get back to normal service. It is a shame as we spent the weekend with middle sprat wallowing ankle, and sometimes knee, deep in swampy mud at Truck Festival.

Truck has been a bit of a Mackerel family institution for a few years now, a small(ish) friendly and well run festival with an eclectic musical line-up and tea and cakes served by the local WI. This year’s musical line-up was a bit bigger and more mainstream and it was clear that, on arrival, the atmosphere was quite different.

I’m told Truck has been bought out by a much larger, much more “business focused” company and it certainly felt that way. Gone were the days of sauntering up to the entrance, a friendly chat and in you go – now we had sniffer dogs, unsmiling ticket checkers and most unforgivable of all, a two hour plus queue to get in (others queued for twice as long). It set the tone for a weekend that could be viewed in two distinct parts – music that was brilliant and organisation that was not.

As the rains came, and came again, and again and again over the first two days the entire site including the camping fields turned into a horrific mud bath. Given the forecast was known for a few days (at least) I was anticipating some kind of contingency plan from the organisers especially as tents quite literally began to submerge in thick, syrupy mud. I expected wooden or metal walkways to be put down on the main paths, maybe open a second entrance to the main arena to spread the footfall a bit, and as we were on a farm, lots and lots of straw to go down to try and soak up the worst of the mud.

Literally nothing was done and a “who cares and fuck you” attitude prevailed. A few token and totally inadequate bales of straw at the entrance and that was it. Otherwise it was sink or slip or swim, and for lots of people that meant sink (and slip for pretty much everyone else).

It was such a shame as musically the festival was brilliant. Friday set us up with contagious indie pop from Big Moon and Hinds on the main stage, British Sea Power’s soaring, cinematic rock in the Market Tent (complete with giant dancing bears) and a fabulous set of infectious punk rock from Dream Wife (who were unrecognisable from the band we saw at the Great Escape a year or so ago). Headliners Slaves and Franz Ferdinand were both excellent in the driving rain that failed to dampen the spirits of the audience and created possibly the slippiest, sloppiest mosh pit ever.

Saturday was spent almost entirely in the Nest whilst the rain hammered down outside and vendors’ stands began to resemble a mud wrestling carnival. The visceral drive of Dead Pretties was an unexpected discovery whose set began brilliantly but tailed off a bit towards the end – almost as if the set would have worked better in reverse, before LIFE took the stage and created mayhem with a brilliant set of angry punk that somehow melded the Dead Kennedys, Sleaford Mods and the Fall into a perfect combination. Abattoir Blues’ crunchy, grungy rock maintained the tempo if not quite the intensity before the Crows racheted things up again with an excellent set of energetic post-punk. A brief excursion to somewhere near the main stage where Sundara Karma’s psych-inflected rock went down extremely well before a return to the dry of the Nest for a fabulous set from Yak complete with crowd surfing guitarists and a perfectly judged set of brutally infectious, needling guitars and pummelling percussion. Suitably impressed, middle sprat slogged off to watch the Wombats whilst I stayed for headliners, and once fictional band, Moonlandingz who were a revelation – fronted by the Fat White Family’s Lias Saoudi and backed by Sheffield experimental outfit Eccentronic Research Council together with Fat Whites’ Saul Adamczewski. Their spaced out, motorik rhythms and funky indie-disco melded perfectly with a nightmarish, sinister edge that created a cosmic wig-out of epic proportions. We slowly waded back to our damp tent to the strains of a Libertines greatest hits set.

Sunday saw us back in the Nest with middle sprat for the screaming guitars of Weirds’ industrially tinged grunge led by a frontman who could teach Paddington a thing or two about hard stares. On the main stage Cabbage showed just why they are causing such a stir as the next big indie thing, a brilliant set of sardonic, krautrock tinged indie and a fine line in insouciant showmanship being greeted rapturously by the big crowd. Back in the Nest our first experience of singer-songwriter Kevin Devine was a joy – much more in line with previous Truck discoveries, his was a wonderful collection of songs and a fabulous voice and made for a welcome change of pace – a little oasis of Americana amid the loud guitars and crashing drums. It was back to the guitars and drums for All Them Witches who were slightly one-paced and predictable compared with previous fare. Back outside to watch a surprisingly (for me) engaging and uptempo set from indie stalwarts Maximo Park (middle sprat’s set of the weekend), and then, joining the huge crowd, for the Vaccines – closing the Festival and pleasing the masses with a collection of mostly energising mainstream indie anthems. The contrast was great at times, one truly terrible new song that sounded like something Fleetwood Mac would have knocked out and rejected in five minutes juxtaposed with sing-alongs to Wreckin’ Bar (Ra Ra Ra), Post Break-Up Sex and If You Wanna.

They left the stage early, fireworks went off and we exited en-masse through the claggy mire flanked by unsmiling security and a question mark about the future of the heart and soul of Truck…

Ten of the best songs we heard at Truck

10 Vaccines – Wreckin’ Bar (Ra Ra Ra)
9 Dead Pretties – Social Experiment
8 Maximo Park – Apply Some Pressure
7 British Sea Power – Waving Flags
6 Dream Wife – FUU
5 Kevin Devine – Another Bag Of Bones
4 Yak – Hungry Heart
3 LIFE – Popular Music
2 Cabbage – Uber Capitalist Death Trade
1 The Moonlandingz – Black Hanz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Ian Felice – Kingdom Of Dreams
  2. Torres – Three Futures
  3. Together PANGEA – Money On It
  4. Oh Sees – Animated Violence
  5. Prism Tats – Brainwaves
  6. A. Savage – Winter In The South
  7. Protomartyr – A Private Understanding
  8. Beaches – Void
  9. Sloan Peterson – Rats
  10. Speedy Ortiz – Screen Gem
  11. DIIV – Cow  (Sparklehorse cover)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An appropriate companion piece to our earlier BAIT post, Meatraffle blast out a rallying cry to the proletariat to throw off the chains of mediocre, mass produced music and get down to their sweet and chaotic sonic waves.

Throwing out land shanties of burning bankers, friendly local drug dealers, enduring friendship and the Russian Revolution: psychedelic, socialist, utopian, death ragga, erroneous funk, trapdoor jazz, bastard musik.

Watch the video for Love HZ the b-side to their latest single Brother (hear it here), which is to be released on limited 7” vinyl and digitally today, via Moshi Moshi Singles Club.

 

BAIT – Waspy

Posted: July 14, 2017 in Alternative, Music, Post Punk, Rock
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We’re big fans of the noisy, post-punk and mordant black humour of Southend-on-Sea duo BAIT.

The excellently named Waspy is their latest release, a thunderous cacophony of industrial percussion and pummelling riffs. Marvellous stuff.

Frighten your granny below…

 

After three long years of anticipation, San Francisco’s psych-blasted, starry-eyed weirdos The Fresh & Only’s are returning with their new album, Wolf Lie Down.

The brilliant title track is one of our favourites of the year so far, and now we also have the smouldering garage chug of Impossible Man for you.

Stream both below.

 

 

METZ Are Back

Posted: July 12, 2017 in Alternative, Music, Post Punk, Rock
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Brutal noise rockers METZ are back with a new record, Strange Peace, that sees them turning in a much more nuanced, interesting set of songs, one that feels particularly indebted to Sonic Youth, Preoccupations, Fugazi and the more angular edges of the alt rock pantheon.

It’s a record that is still immersed in the kind of biting social commentary they’ve often dealt in, but this time it’s more audible than ever: provocative and uncompromising but, dare we say it, a lot of fun too.

Check out the infectiously powerful first single Cellophane.  The album arrives on the 22nd September via Sub Pop.

 

 

 

Time for some more musical films…

Hull Goth Punk outfit Lumer have released the video for their unhinged new single Gruel on Warren Records.  Reminiscent of Bauhaus, Killing Joke and YAK it is a brutally thrilling cut.

 

Spirit Valley’s expansive, primal psych-rock falls somewhere between the fuzzed out rock’n’roll of The Black Angels and the warped synths of Moon Duo check out new single Waiting For Real.

 

Fuzz Club Records’ live session series – the Fuzz Club Sessions – has already seen cracking releases from the likes of Night Beats, Heaters, The Entrance Band and 10,000 Russos and it’s still showing no sign of slowing down. The latest to join the club is Austin’s finest garage/surf heavyweights, Holy Wave.

During a UK tour in support of their 2016 LP Freaks Of Nurture, Fuzz Club invited the band to an analogue recording studio in South London to lay down a live album. As with all the sessions, it’s to be released as a series of videos from the day and pressed to vinyl (released July 20th). Here is the video for the sublime, washed-out croons of California Took My Bobby Away.

 

Grunge-pop four-piece Otherkin have shared the video for their new single React. They describe it as “a trivial, little joke-man ends up massive, and acts like a total plum with his new-found size. He is still, at core though, a fat, old human, and his reign of terror doesn’t last long. It’s a pretty simple analogy.”

 

The video for Muertos’ excellent  single Spin takes their vintage garage sleaze and dials it right up – a full sonic assault of feedback collides with a motoric beat and the band’s signature duel vocals. Drawing influences from the likes of Jesus and Mary Chain, The Kills, and The Black Angels, this single marks the announcement of the band’s first long player which will be released later in the year.

 

Weasels may well be our favourite (land) animal so any song with it in the title automatically gets a thumbs up from us. Crumbs’ sound comprises a bumper post-punk/pop party bag mix of sprightly basslines, super-danceable cowbell-tinged rhythms, fizzing guitars and effervescent interchanging vocal lines. Weasels Can Wait is a two minute jangly romp – a party song about being the one crying at the party. The video also features an inexplicably long worm!

 

Saint Leonard’s Horses bewitching gothic video for latest single Little Girl Scientist features Sophie Kennedy Clark (Nymphomaniac, The Danish Girl) as a tortured soul who uses witchcraft to conjure up her lover. It is book-ended with a voice over by acclaimed author and journalist Jonathan Meades. 

 

Brighton three-piece LOM combine their love of folk, soul and pop to create songs centred around the rich vocal harmonies of two sisters Leila and Millie Watts, and the finger picking style of Owen Davey’s acoustic guitar. There is some nice animation in their video for recent single There Is A Place. It follows the journey of a woman who sets out to regain her youthful joy in simple things.

 

  1. Hiss Golden Messenger – Standing In The Doorway
  2. L.A. Witch – Kill My Baby Tonight
  3. Offa Rex – Sheepcrook and Black Dog
  4. Caroline Says – Winter Is Cold
  5. Wand – Plum
  6. Hans Chew – Give Up The Ghost
  7. Terry – Glory
  8. The Mynabirds – Cocoon
  9. Guantanamo Baywatch – Area 69

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the start of the year, London label Fuzz Club Records put out a brilliant new record from Mexican duo Has A Shadow – a menacing, nine-track dive into motorik, almost-gothic post punk propelled by eerie organs, metronomic percussion, screeching guitars and haunting, atonal vocals.

Watch the video for Sorrow, one of the stand out tracks from the record.

 

 

Sonically, Widowspeak exist somewhere in the overlap between sombre indie rock, dream pop, slow-core and their own invented genre, “cowboy grunge”.

New album Expect the Best is the follow up to 2015’s All Yours. While previous albums were conceived as a duo, the new LP finds the band playing to the specific strengths of the current four-piece touring incarnation and exhibits a marked increase in energy.

Their usual palette of dusty guitars and angular twang are still here front and centre, but now with a bit more 90s homage, even if abstractly. The Pacific Northwest influences creep in throughout, as do varying flavours of New York’s legacy, the city the band still partially calls home.

Have a listen to first single Dog, with its self-examination and palpable sense of dread that comes from feeling adrift.