Posts Tagged ‘Strange Cages’

It’s time for MM’s annual round up of our favourite songs of the year. Thanks as always go to all our regular contributors – Mrs Mackerel, Chris T Popper, the Italian Job, Polly Pocket and a very welcome return to the fold for Dr Roddy.

So without further ado, lets start the countdown.

100 Cabbage – Preach To The Converted

 

In a year that we lost the great Mark E Smith, Manc neighbours Cabbage stepped up to the plate and delivered an album of sneering, swaggering and violently nihilistic songs that were cut from the same cloth as the Fall. Preach to the Converted is a prime example, a snarling, surf-tinged punk stomper.

 

99 Yowl – Warm (In The Soft White Fire Of Modern Living

 

Yowl capture the frustration of the 9-to-5 London grind like few others (also making Chris T Popper’s best of the year list in 2016). In frontman Gabriel Byrde, they have someone who can spin poetry on songs about alienation and exhaustion. Yowl are often viciously loud, but on Warm (In The Soft White Fire Of Modern Living) it is tempered with a more fatalistic, loose feel that calls to mind Lou Reed as much as it does Parquet Courts.

 

98 Teenage Cavegirl – No Good/So Bad

 

Austin, Texas boy/girl duo Teenage Cavegirl offer exactly what their name says they should. The tribal drums and trash-pop guitar lines combine to create a deceptively simple slab of primal garage rock. Throw in some plaintive lyrics, an anthemic chorus and wrap it all up in under two minutes.

 

97 Black Delta Movement – Let The Rain Come

 

Inspired by the ghosts of the Sonics and MC5, influenced by the kaleidoscopic thrum of the Black Angels and Wooden Shjips, Let The Rain Come is a propulsive, mesmerising gem of powerful psych-rock that layers an industrial sheen over it’s pummelling hypnotic heart.

 

96 Cool Ghouls – CCR Bootleg

 

A boisterous, jerky slice of indie that rambles along with an unshakeable airy confidence and a knowing nod to the great band’s chooglin’ style.

 

95 Parquet Courts – Wide Awake

 

Channelling their inner Talking Heads, Wide Awake is a shout along anthem propelled on something akin to tropical percussion and a sparse, funky and naggingly insistent guitar refrain.

 

94 Yak – White Male Carnivore

 

A welcome return from the noisenik trio. White Male Carnivore is what, in the old days, we’d have called a rip-snorter. Crunchy, muscular and prone to an odd left turn (those weird backing vocals, the wry nod to American spirituals), the song careers along moving everything out of its path with sheer force of will.

 

93 Sunflowers – Sleepy Sun

 

A mutating slab of space rock – all slurred riffs and acid-bleached vocals. Just as likely to be a nightmare as a dream depending on your drug of choice…

 

92 Strange Cages – Hypothalmus Blues

 

Brighton’s Strange Cages are purveyors of a snotty, psych-surf rock ‘n’ roll sound in the vein of The Cramps or Ty Segall. The wonderfully titled Hypothalamus Blues combines elements of krautrock and post-punk with a paranoid, schizophrenic vocal.

 

91 Sleep Eaters – Ghost On Fire

 

Just over two minutes of cacophonous, fuzzed out, desert, cowboy garage-rock, that sounds like a feral cross between The Black Lips, The Stooges and the Screaming Blue Messiahs – imagine all three dropped into a sun-baked, spaghetti western playing to a whiskey bar full of gunslingers on speed.

 

90 Ron Gallo – Really Nice Guys

 

Taking aim squarely at the music industry and those bands who are “better people than musicians“, Ron Gallo’s blackly acerbic wit is filtered directly through the prism of 60s garage rock and fuzzy psychedelia.

 

89 Nest Egg – Denied Doctrine

 

A three-piece from Asheville, North Carolina who describe their head-heavy and kosmische psych-rock wig-outs as ‘mood music for nihilists’. Denied Doctrine is a mind scrambling swirl of malevolent, chugging guitars and hypnotic reverb.

 

88 Mothers – Pink

 

Pink grips like a vice and over seven taut, potent minutes of nervy, hypnotic, krautrock it builds layer upon layer of bewitching intensity that never lets up.

 

87 Lonely Parade – I’m So Tired

 

A mix of wiry post-punk and buzzsaw guitars – disaffected dissonance never sounded so good!

 

86 Crepes – Bicycle Man

 

Infectious indie-pop par excellence. A groovy bass-line and hooks sharp enough to burrow deep under the skin.

 

85 American Pets – Forgetting

 

Taking inspiration from the likes of The Velvet Underground, Wilco, Tom Petty, and Serge Gainsbourg, LA based indie band American Pets’ Forgetting is a quietly strummed mix of bleak suburban nostalgia and nightmare.

 

84 Wharves – High School Hero

 

The naggingly, groove infused High School Hero sounds like a weird mash up of glam-rock era Bowie, Devo, Nick Cave, The Clash’s Magnificent Seven and Tom Tom Club’s Wordy Rappinghood. Even more weirdly it works… brilliantly.

 

83 Lord Huron – Ancient Names (Part II)

 

Lord Huron are not particularly known for their garage rock credentials, but Ancient Names (Part II) bursts out the blocks with a heavy, distorted sense of urgency proclaiming “gone are the days of laughter and love“, and over the course of two short minutes conveys a darkness of heart and soul that is epitome of resigned despair and hopelessness.

 

82 Thurston Moore – Mx Liberty

 

A typically corrosive broadside at the “mockery of democracy” that currently prevails in the USA. Thurston Moore’s brings his trademark barbed guitar squall and brutal, bruising percussion to the table and wins the argument. Hands down.

 

81 Flasher – Skim Milk

 

Crisp, exhilarating guitar riffs matched to a melodic ease and with some enjoyably rowdy call and response vocals, Skim Milk is a gem of sharp, precise indie rock.

 

80 LICE – The Human Parasite

 

Lyrically obtuse, melodically caustic and revelling in ugly, uncomfortable home truths, LICE’s debut single was a scratchy, skronky, instant classic. “All humans carry, through their daily lives / A compulsion to torture and destroy / Be not afeared of your impulse to despise / Your neighbour just because they have an accent you dislike.

 

79 The Men – Maybe I’m Crazy

 

A wired, pulsating, synth-driven rocker complete with wonky sax at the end. Play loud.

 

78 Phosphorescent – Around The Horn

 

The centrepiece of latest album C’est La Vie, on Around the Horn Phosphorescent calls the shimmering motorik of the War on Drugs and then raises it with an eight minute mini masterpiece of swelling, throbbing country-psych.

 

77 Gong Gong Gong – Siren 追逐劇

 

Desert psych anyone? South-east Asian freakout? Chinese blues? All this and more is thrown into the melting pot and stirred to a magnificent, galloping frenzy.

 

76 Phobophobes – Where Is My Owner?

 

The low rumble of menacing, dirty sleaze – a fetid, swampy stomp set atop twinkling drums and sweet organ flourishes. Over it all is the sardonic refrain of “Where is my owner? I thought that I came with one”

 

Friday Round Up

Time for a quick and dirty round-up from our unkempt and overflowing in-box, looking back over the past month or so.

We have fuzzy art-rock from Sego who mix together warped psych rock and indie pop to create bleak pop songs that soar into big hooks and brilliant melodic noise. Opting for a slower tempo on Cigarette Kids, their most recent single is less skronk and more groove, a song that captures the mood of early shoegaze and post-punk.

 

Brooklyn three-piece Big Bliss deliver shimmering, jangling, energetic post punk, Override is the b-side to latest single Contact.

 

The Monster from Bird Concerns features gritty guitars, tight vocal harmonies and driving drum beats. Fueled by early musical influences of punk and garage artists, this is an excellent three and a half minute surf rock confessional.

 

Not much known about the excellently named The Boys With The Perpetual Nervousness, but they have a lovely line in sugary, jangle pop of C86 vintage. Listen to Nervous Man.

 

We’ve featured Falmouth based Tinnedfruit a couple of times and new single Oh Matron is another tasty slice of fuzzed up garage psych.

 

Vancouver trip Bad Pop shared the gentle On Your Own, a sweetly melancholic slacker-pop song.

 

Ricky Hell & The Voidboys take their name and influences from obvious sources, but their self-styled Cleveland gutter-pop works brilliantly on the buzzsaw riff and nihilistic lyrics of The Feeling Is Alright. It comes from their Hell Is Real album available on Bandcamp.

 

Taking inspiration from the likes of  The Velvet Underground, Wilco, Tom Petty, and Serge Gainsbourg, LA based indie band American Pets’ Forgetting from new release Doing The Best We Can is a quietly strummed mix of suburban nostalgia and nightmare.

 

The Tillers’ are a country string band capable of seamlessly moving from hard-tackle thump to tender graceful melody – lightening-fast banjo to intricate guitar flat picking, plaintive fiddle, deep anchoring bass and clear tenor harmonies. Revolution Row comes from their new self-titled record, which is out next month.

 

Lastly we have some more snotty, psych-surf rock ‘n’ roll sound in the vein of The Cramps or Ty Segall, from Brighton’s Strange Cages. They’ve appeared on MM a few times and excellent new single Hypothalamus Blues combines elements of krautrock and post-punk with a paranoid, schizophrenic vocal.

 

With their frenetic, snotty, psych-surf rock ‘n’ roll sound in the vein of Ty Segall or The Cramps, Brighton’s Strange Cages have made big strides in their short existence.

We featured them back in 2015, and now the trio are now set to release a new 6-track EP The Cracks on Vallence Records this June. First track to surface is Leader Of A Cult combining elements of krautrock and post-punk with a nicely paranoid, schizophrenic vocal.

Watch the video below.

 

Friday Round Up

Once more drowning in a sea of new tunes, and so here is another quick and dirty round-up of the first seven to impress…

Parts Primitive is the debut album from London-based band Primitive Parts. The band consists of Sauna Youth, Monotony and Male Bonding alumni who first practiced in 2012 after working together in a record shop in Crouch End with the goal to make something that might sound like ‘Stiff Records in the 60s‘. They count The Deep Freeze Mice, Mick Jagger and Swell Maps among their many influences. Listen to Miracle Skin from the album here,

.

Also from the streets of London comes three minutes of blues tinged rock n roll from Josh Flowers. With an influential nod towards the likes of The Black Keys, White Stripes and Blueskins, Smoke In My Eyes is an appropriately sleazy slice of garage blues.

.

From Brighton, psych/garage rock upstarts Strange Cages release a cracking new single, Pony, next week. A raucous, bluesy and playful two minute sonic blast that calls to mind the Stooges jamming with Blue Cheer.

.

Dilly Dally are four Toronto punks delivering an updated version of the quiet-loud-quiet simplicity mastered by the Pixies. New track Desire (from their forthcoming debut long player Sore) is as crunchy as they come.

.

Natural Snow Buildings records are usually of epic length (Daughter of Darkness was eight hours long), but new release Terror’s Horns clocks in at a more common 45 minutes. Listen to the weirdly excellent Sun Tower, a mere four minutes of sometimes blissful, sometimes contemplative, often menacing conditions. Stringed instruments trill, percussion gongs, feedback hisses and vocals maintain near monotone as if in a cultish trance.

.

Wovoka is the second track from the recently released Wovoka Gentle EP [Yellow] out Yucatan Records. Wovoka Gentle are an experimental folk three-piece from London, with their roots in folk and Americana songwriting, but also drawing upon the psychedelic soundscapes of the late 60s as well as contemporary experimental, jazz and collage music; marrying classic instrumentation with sampling, analogue synthesis and sound manipulation.

.

Guitar, piano, electric guitar and an occasional drumbeat, are all that fill the sonic space around Amy Bezunartea’s clear voice, which she uses to deliver lines that are bold and often confrontational. Listen to the deliberately sparse title track, and first single, from her new album New Villain.

.