Forged in the depths of the outermost reaches of existence itself, Gun Shy was first uncovered taking temporary residence in Southampton in January of the Earth year 2016 before announcing their First Transmission, which was released in May via Failure By Design Records, a five song audio transmission that drew influence from genres ranging from post-punk and doom to post rock. Gun Shy asks its followers to remain vigilant and to keep watching the skies as their new EP, The Long Dance, is due for release on Earth date May 12th 2017 via Wrong Way Round Records on both cassette and digital formats.
You can pre-order The Long Dance here and stream the EP here
You can watch the video for the tracks Whilst You Execute and In Perfect Silence below Read More…
Rebel Dykes is a documentary about a bunch of kick ass post-punk women who lived the life in London in the 1980s, the documentary film is being made because the history of the London Rebel Dykes of the 1980s is in danger of being forgotten. Rebel Dykes created their own world, made their own rules, and refused to be ignored. We can’t let history tidy them away. They were a bunch of kickass women in leather jackets who made their own punk bands, zines and squats. They were the first generation of sex positive outlaw women, and nothing has been quite the same since.
The crowdfunder page can be found here and Rebel Dykes website is here
You can read more about, and view the trailer for, Rebel Dykes below
Somewhere in the middle of Florida is UV-TV, they write melancholy pop songs that are a mass of jagged and abrasive edges that combine strong hooks with infectious chainsaw guitar riffs, a sound that has drawn comparisons to Black Tambourine, The Jesus And Mary Chain and The Shop Assistants, but for me there’s also a hefty dose of two of my home town’s, Manchester UK, favourite sons woven into their DNA. Glass was self-recorded over a hectic two days in a retired Gainesville train station, and it was released via Deranged Records on the 10th March.
From the opening hyperactive blast of Wasting Away, the finest minute of buzzsaw guitars you’ll hear this year, I had a good feeling about this album, and my gut feeling about this release was right on all eleven counts. The first six tracks are all sparkling amphetamine laced punk rock that should have you bouncing round the room, it’s only as you get deeper into the album’s latter stages that they branch out and their other influences become apparent. Take It All has a distinctly post punk feel to it, whilst Severed Hand and the title track bring a darker element to Glass. The penultimate track, FEAR, channels the authentic feel and sound of the first wave of UK punk bands, whilst the epic Dissolve closes things in a hectic squall of feedback and noise that builds to a crescendo that is a fitting end to what for me is undoubtedly going to be one of my favourite albums of 2017.
It’s rare to find an album that has one foot firmly in the past, but that also manages to be the most refreshing blast of energetic punk rock I’ve heard this year. UV-TV owe an equal debt to The Jesus And Mary Chain, Shop Assistants and the Buzzcocks, along with elements of Joy Division and the C86 UK indie scene to make a hybrid that is one of the best albums I’ve encountered in a long time. The enthusiasm and franticness from the organic lo-fi recording process really comes across, and if you want an idea of just how impressed I was with Glass, I promptly bought their 2014 Demo EP when I had finished writing this review. I’m normally sceptical of what is written on press releases but the closing line on theirs is prefect, this is UV-TV, listen loud.
You can pre-order Glass
on vinyl via Deranged Records here
‘s website is here
can be found here
and the Deranged Records Bandcamp
This Is All Pretend
Animal Style Records
It’s been two years since Pillow Talk‘s last release, their new album is one that has been shaped by singer Joshua Cannon‘s personal experiences, including family bereavement and the toll this took on him over the last few years, but he has channelled these negative events into the creation of This Is All Pretend, a release that follows on from their 2015 EP, What We Should Have Said. Pillow Talk released their debut album via Animal Style Records on the 10th March 2017, and it is available on vinyl, on gold and red and white swirl variants, and digital formats.
Monogamy eases you into This Is All Pretend with ethereal tones, echo drenched guitars and synths that are stretched across a strident drum beat that belies the mellow feel of the opening track, This is All Pretend comes across as the kind of late night mellow soundscape you need in your life from time to time. It’s a release that washes over you with waves of treble and echo, there is no upbeat track to lift the album, it remains in a firmly mellow state across it’s ten tracks and thirty five minute run time, whilst this is not necessarily a bad thing it meant that I found that the tracks tended to blend into each other, not in an unpleasant way, but there is no moment that makes you sit up and take notice.
I can’t help feel that this release owes a hefty debt to the mellower side of the post punk bands of the eighties such as The Cure and The Chameleons, but under their placid exterior there is fire that is fuelled by injustice, they released the track Little Worries ahead of the album’s release to support organisations that are working to combat the current US administrations policies. This Is All Pretend is a natural progression from Pillow Talk‘s previous releases, their name is well chosen as this is an album that’s perfect for the late night’s that merge into early mornings, although on a personal note the use of auto tune, even though it’s used for effect rather than to hide deficiencies, did detract from the album and was a jarring element that I never like to hear used.
Pillow Talk‘s website is here and their Facebook page is here
You can purchase This Is All Pretend here
Hailing from Leuven, Belgium, Brutus create a pummelling, meteor-shower of sound, they mix intense black metal blast beats and math-rock flourishes with brash post rock tones and hardcore punk intensity, to make make a sound as monolithic and frantic as it is emotive and unique. Stefanie Mannaerts delivers both the beats and the vocals, a delivery that to me seems reminiscent of Penetration‘s Pauline Murray, alongside guitarist Stijn Vanhoegaerden‘s ethereal treble laced style and Peter Mulders’ powerful sub-frequency bass lines. Burst was released yesterday, the 24th February, and is now available via digital platforms, and on physical formats via Hassle Records.
Frantic opener March means that Burst hits the ground with pounding drums and a driving technical riff that’s juxtaposed against a soaring female vocal, this segues into All Alone that delivers more of the same, intricate riffs played at breakneck pace that are overlaid with an emotive female vocal, one that carries melody and sweetness one second and abruptly switches to a vocal straining rasp the next. This style occupies much of the album but there are tracks that deviate from their genre spanning hybrid, Drive stands out on the album, with it’s revved up post punk style and echo drenched guitars, a track that hints at an influence from the likes of The Chameleons, whilst the atmospheric Bird brings a more reflective downbeat element to the mix.
Brutus‘s sound spans everything from rock and punk through to math rock and hardcore, this kind of marriage is a hard trick to pull off, yet Brutus have managed it without breaking sweat. There are constant changes in the timing and pace, often during a single track, if this had been a straight up full tilt assault it would have become a repetitive technical exercise, but the creativity and unpredictability contained on this album mean that Brutus have delivered something unique on their debut release. The intensity of hardcore is married to the technical elements of math rock and the attitude and delivery of post hardcore to create a deceptively subtle and melodic debut release, one that simultaneously manages to be brash and heavy, making Burst an impressive and original debut
You can order Burst from iTunes here or from the band’s official store here
Open Door Records
Reviewing an album is always going to be a subjective exercise, but sometimes an album can be exactly what you need to hear and can reflect your mood, and there are few things better than finding a band that unexpectedly manages to match your state of mind. With that in mind this Southern Californian trio’s self titled debut landed in my inbox at exactly the right moment, it’s a downbeat, yet energetic, fuzzed out soundscape that is a hybrid of punk, hardcore, post punk and shoegaze that brings something unique and very welcome to 2017. Iris Jupiter‘s seven track offering follows on from 2016’s Zero Cool EP, that was released on Pacific Nature Records, it represents a logical progression from their initial lo-fi offering, everything sounds tighter and more refined, but crucially without losing the spirit of their debut release.
The opening track, Carly Beth, opens with a driven bass line that breaks down into a chorus that reflects pain and anguish, all the while this is accompanied by a twisted fuzzed out guitar line that encompasses punk and shoegaze, along with pulses of intense hardcore. Life Pile lets the bass line take the lead, with more than a hint that there’s a debt owed to Peter Hook‘s low slung influential bass style, before it explodes into heartfelt rage, a style that carries over into Mizar. Eat The Sap takes things into a darker place with a brief ode to isolation before we hit the glorious Ween (V4008), this track carries a hypnotic bass line and a piledriving guitar riff that abruptly segues into Science Is A Liar (Sometimes), this brings the pace of the album down with a melodic riff that builds to a climax with it’s anguished refrain of “feel the weight that’s pressing me down”. Solar Denial wraps things up with the heaviest riff on this impressive debut album, and it brings what has been an all too brief septet of slabs of heady dark fuzz to a close with a satisfying squall of feedback.
There’s a hefty influence from the likes of Joy Division, Smashing Punpkins and Placebo in their sound, but this is married to elements from punk, indie, shoegaze and emo that stops Iris Jupiter from being derivative of the bands that came before them. This impressive self titled album is delivered with a dark disturbed feel, and a genuine yearning rage and pain in the vocal delivery, that delivers something that is very much a product of 2017. Iris Jupiter have delivered the perfect soundtrack to those moments of doubt and introspection, but crucially I found that rather than encouraging you to wallow in dark places Iris Jupiter lift your mood. Their restrained rage is matched against an ominous distorted soundtrack, the end result is that this is a debut full length that is something to be treasured.
Iris Jupiter‘s self titled EP was released on the 13th January 2017 and can be ordered here
Iris Jupiter‘s web presence can be found here
Open Door Records will be releasing the self titled debut album from Southern California’s Iris Jupiter, the debut full length delivers a collision of down tuned power pop riffs and noisy shoegaze, that is shored up by steady beating pulses of hardcore. Iris Jupiter will be playing an album release show at VLHA, Pomona, CA on the 14th January with I’m Glad It’s You and The Total Bettys.
Iris Jupiter‘s self titled debut album can be pre-ordered here and streamed here
Iris Jupiter‘s website can be found here
Open Door Records have confirmed that they will be releasing the self titled debut album from Southern Californian trio Iris Jupiter, the debut full length promises to deliver a collision of down tuned power pop riffs and noisy shoegaze, that is shored up by steady beating pulses of hardcore. Iris Jupiter will be playing an album release show at VLHA, Pomona, CA on the 14th January with I’m Glad It’s You and The Total Bettys.
Iris Jupiter‘s self titled debut album can be pre-ordered here
Iris Jupiter‘s website can be found here
Basically Johnny Moped
German Shepherd Records
This is the first release of 2017 from Manchester based independent label German Shepherd Records, Basically Johnny Moped is the new single from the Hamsters with the bands live favourite occupying the A-Side, coupled with the anarchic punk sea shanty, Freudian Ships. This is the long lost Hamsters single that was recorded and ready for release back in January 2015, it was scheduled for release as a double A-Sided vinyl single before label funding issues meant that the recording never saw the light of day, thankfully German Shepherd Records launched a rescue mission so at last it may be heard, and as a result it has finally surfaced today, the 6th January 2017
Basically Johnny Moped occupies the A-Side and it’s a track that celebrates the legendary outsider punk band, appropriately enough this is a single that is delivered in the experimental style of the some of the more eccentric outfits that the UK punk scene spawned four decades ago. The single weaves a condensed tale of the rise and fall of one punks largely forgotten bands, and it name checks a lot of their contemporaries and people who were involved in the band. It’s an entertaining and eccentric salute to a band that trod their own path, and it’s one that’s delivered in a style that’s a cross between the pub rock and early punk bands of the 1970’s. Freudian Ships occupies the AA-Side, this is a departure from the A-Side, it’s a deranged sea shanty concerning a hapless bunch of mutineers who end up adrift in both a physical and moral sense, it’s delivered in the same shambolic style as Basically Johnny Moped but as I’ve indicated it has more than a whiff of piracy and the high seas about it.
German Shepherd Records have a varied and unpredictable roster of bands and the Hamsters could not have found a better home for the release of this almost lost single. The Hamsters channel elements of the original punk attitude with a post punk style, as befits a band who were originally around in the late 1970’s, that is all delivered with a gruff eccentric approach that is not without it’s charms. If you have a love for the more experimental side of the UK punk and post punk scenes then Basically Johnny Moped would be a single that will make a fine addition to your collection. Basically Johnny Moped is now available for download via German Shepherd Records.
The German Shepherd Records Bandcamp can be found here
The Hamsters Facebook page can be located here
Bootleg 3 EP
There is something of a convoluted back story as to how The Johnnie Squizzercrow Experiment came to release the Bootleg 3 EP, sadly it is one I have only tugged at a few strands of, but I have enough to share the basics of the EP’s origins. The band were disappointed with the direction that their, now disowned, album was headed in, so The Johnnie Squizzercrow Experiment decided to take matters into their own hands. They remixed the raw recordings for the ill fated album, stripping them back down into their raw live state and releasing the alternative mixes as the limited edition Bootleg 3 EP.
The Johnnie Squizzercrow Experiment deliver authentic and unpredictable punk rock in the style of the first wave of UK punk bands, with a hefty influence from the likes of The Slits and X-Ray Spex. The opening number, Baliff, carries dub tones in the bass that is married to a distorted post punk guitar style, both this track and Consumer carry razor sharp social observations that are all delivered with a northern sensibility, this is especially prevalent on the dead pan vocal delivery on the short but sweet Fuck Off. The Bootleg 3 EP concludes with TV Dinner, another track containing wry observations that carries dub stylings, but on this track it is juxtaposed against a gentle melodic guitar riff.
The Bootleg 3 EP delivers something unique amongst the releases I’ve heard this year, the quartet of songs contained on the EP blend reggae, post punk, indie and punk together and the result is unlike anything else I’ve heard this year, it manages to capture the original attitude of punk and harbours obvious influences in it’s DNA, but crucially they manage this without actually sounding like anyone else. The Johnnie Squizzercrow Experiment have produced something unique and, as their name indicates, experimental, the Bootleg 3 EP is a limited edition physical release that was originally intended to be solely for gig goers, but whilst stocks last this unique EP is available via their Bandcamp.
The Johnnie Squizzercrow Experiment‘s website is here
The Bootleg 3 EP can be ordered here
Chaos 8 released their sophomore album, Cause And Effect, earlier this year, the album can still be purchased direct from Chaos 8, via their Facebook page, and is also available digitally via iTunes. Chaos 8 saw the year out with a final show at Trillians Rock Bar, Newcastle on December 1st and they have released a third video, this time for the track What Have You Become, using footage filmed at their final concert of 2016
The Punk Site review of Cause And Effect is here and Chaos 8‘s Facebook page is here
Cause and Effect can be ordered from iTunes here
The video for What Have You Become can be viewed below Read More…
German Shepherd Records
Staggs is Michael Scott and Paul Ridley, the duo used to be core members in the Newcastle, UK anarcho punk band Reality Control back in the 1980s. Their recent releases have been characterised by a more electronic sound, but they appear to have gone back to their roots for the Adult Loonies EP. The title of the EP relates to their debut release, Weird Kids EP, so this may indicate that the band have matured, at least physically, whilst simultaneously imitating and revisiting their past.
The lead track, Gone For A Burton, features a cross between new wave, anarcho and punk styles, and it’s certainly as catchy as anything, vocally it’s reminiscent of a demented delivery by Howard Devoto, the original Buzzcocks vocalist and front man of Magazine. Musically it’s pure late 70’s punk and early 80’s early new wave, but that’s not the end of the story, the track features vocal samples and knowing references to moments of pop culture, and I found that every time I played this track it grew on me, the infectious and subtle charms of this track are not to be underestimated. It’s A Larf picks up where the first track left off, but in a slightly more strident manner, it alternates between a weirdly snarled verse and an upbeat post punk chorus that carries more menace and strangeness that its predecessor.
The Adult Loonies EP features two brand new tracks that are performed, with their tongues firmly in the cheeks, in the punk style of their youth, if you are a fan of old school punk rock and new wave then this really should be on your Xmas list. Gone For A Burton is easily the stronger of the two tracks, It’s A Larf comes across as the B Side of this release, but both tracks feature a combination of punk rock attitude, new wave rhythm and post punk stylings that I find oddly appealing. On the basis of the two tracks on the Adult Loonies EP I hope that Staggs make further efforts to recreate their past glories.
The Adult Loonies EP can be streamed and purchased here
Live... In The Moment
Gang Of Four are a legendary British post punk band who formed almost forty years ago, in the current incarnation only guitarist Andy Gill remains from the original line up. The remainder of the band’s members have been accumulated over the last few years, John Sterry has replaced original vocalist Jon King and the current line up is completed by Jonny Finnegan, drums, and Thomas McNiece on bass. The album was recorded at London’s Islington Assembly Hall on the penultimate date of Gang Of Four‘s 2015 tour and it features a set list that touches on most of their extensive back catalogue.
From the opening chords of Where The Nightingale Sings, from last years What Happens Next album, the Gang Of Four‘s sparse funky post punk sound is in full effect, to my ears the spiky guitar riffs sound as good as ever, and the years appear to have been kind to their material. The set is largely split between their early material and their most recent releases, whilst some will only want to hear the classics I usually prefer a band to still be producing material, not just trotting out their greatest hits. Gang Of Four‘s latest material sits happily alongside their classic songs, which of course make an appearance in the set, Damaged Goods is delivered mid set and arguably their best known song, I Found That Essence Rare, makes an obligatory appearance, a pumped up version of this classic early single is almost inevitably the final encore
When a band is reduced to having one original member in place it’s debatable whether it is the band, with only Andy Gill surviving from the original line up it almost sounds like a completely different band, but things change over time and Gang Of Four still sound fresh and relevant, if not like their old selves. The Gang Of Four‘s influence can’t be underestimated and many have acknowledged their debt to the band’s innovative sound, after almost forty years Live… In The Moment is a document of a band that have been ploughing their own furrow without compromise since the early days of the punk scene.
Live… In The Moment can be ordered on CD and vinyl here
Gang Of Four‘s web presence can be found here
Chaos 8 released their sophomore album, Cause And Effect, earlier this year, the album can still be purchased direct from Chaos 8, via their Facebook page, and is also available digitally via iTunes. Chaos 8 saw the year out with a final show at Trillians Rock Bar, Newcastle on December 1st and they have released a second video, this time for the track Make Me Believe, using footage filmed at their final concert of 2016
The Punk Site review of Cause And Effect is here and Chaos 8‘s Facebook page is here
You can order Cause and Effect from iTunes here and view the video for Make Me Believe below Read More…
Chaos 8 released their sophomore album, Cause And Effect, earlier this year, the album can still be purchased direct from Chaos 8, via their Facebook page, and is also available digitally via iTunes. Chaos 8 saw the year out with a final show at Trillians Rock Bar, Newcastle on December 1st and they have released a video for the track 4 Minutes using footage filmed at their final concert of 2016
The Punk Site review of Cause And Effect is here and Chaos 8‘s Facebook page is here
You can order Cause and Effect from iTunes here and view the video for 4 Minutes below Read More…
The Johnnie Squizzercrow Experiment have released a limited edition physical release intended for gig goers, but it is available, whilst stocks last, via their Bandcamp. The Bootleg 3 EP features alternative, non-album remixes of the raw recordings of tracks Bailiff, Consumer, Fuck Off and TV Dinner that were used in the making of album.
The Johnnie Squizzercrow Experiment‘s website is here
The Bootleg 3 EP can be streamed and purchased here
Chaos 8 released their sophomore album, Cause And Effect, earlier this year, the album can still be purchased direct from Chaos 8 at their shows and via their Facebook page. The album is now also available digitally via iTunes.
Chaos 8 are seeing the year out with a final show at Trillians Rock Bar, Newcastle on Thursday December 1st with support from Manchester based electronic band St Lucifer.
The Punk Site review of Cause And Effect is here and Chaos 8‘s Facebook page is here
You can order Cause and Effect from iTunes here
Kill The Ill
Inverted Kite Records
Brine are a post pop punk band that formed in 2014 in Seattle, the members of Brine have spent much of the last two decades playing together in various bands and projects, the quartet that make up Brine put together a new band, importantly with a new and distinct sound and style, immediately after the dissolution of their previous two projects. They put together their first demo in the summer of 2015, and they have now released their debut album, Kill The Ill, today, 2nd December, via Inverted Kite Records.
There are so many influences that converge on Kill The Ill that it makes this a hard album to pin down, new wave and power pop are the overriding influences but there are hints of indie, post punk and grunge in Brine‘s DNA that gives them a unique hybrid of styles. Every track is delivered with a signature darkness that is reflected both lyrically and musically, Kill The Ill never quite meets the standard set by it’s superb title track, but that track set the bar for this album so high that it would be a difficult task for any band to better it, as good as the rest of the album is I implore you to give that track a listen at the very least.
The production on Kill The Ill is thankfully minimal, the light touch behind the mix gives Kill The Ill a glorious live feel that suits the material perfectly. Brine blend nuances of punk, new wave and alternative rock into their own unique style, there are echoes of the dark style of Alkaline Trio, and given that Matt Skiba has forsaken that band for arena tours with Blink 182, I would recommend their legion of fans investigate Brine, whilst they differ stylistically from that band they harbour the same darkness at their core, and they deliver it with style.
Kill The Ill can be ordered via Inverted Kite Records Bandcamp here
Let The Silence Stay Where It Was
New Damage Records
Toronto’s spaced out post punks Sparrows released their sophomore album, Let The Silence Stay Where It Was, via New Damage Records earlier this month, once more they have teamed up with their longtime collaborator, Kenny Bridges of Canadian melodic punk outfit Moneen, who has taken the helm on producing the album. Let the Silence Stay Where It Was is Sparrows first release on New Damage Records and it follows on from their impressive 2013 debut album Cold Ground.
Let The Silence Stay Where It Was opens with the atmospheric and intense number Three Four Two Five, Three Four Two Five, the track ebbs and flows but all the while maintaining the intensity. The track leads into the sinister The Written Rules Of Choking that carries a dark cathartic element, this theme is continued with Carrying On With A Modern Lifestyle. The single Cave Eater makes a welcome appearance and raises the tempo of the album whilst still carrying a hefty cloud of darkness on it’s back. This is an album that carries all the aggression and abrasiveness you’d expect from Sparrows but it’s the delivery that raises this above the majority of post hardcore bands. Let The Silence Stay Where It Was is an album that has seen Sparrows retain the signature sound that was established on the debut album, but they have refined their approach, the combination of crushing post hardcore riffs, which are juxtaposed against almost tranquil elements in their songs, mean that this is an album that never strays into being repetitive.
Each track on Let The Silence Stay Where It Was carries it’s own character, and this is something that sets them apart from the majority of bands in the post hardcore genre. Sparrows have been building a solid reputation, both live and in the studio, and following the release of Let The Silence Stay Where It Was they will be returning to their frenetic touring schedule. This is band that subtly delivers the aggression of hardcore, and however you look at it that is an achievement.
Let The Silence Stay Where It Was can be ordered ,and their tour dates can be viewed, here
Californian quartet Super Whatevr are the result of a series of poor decisions and misfortunes that have befallen the lead vocalist of Super Whatevr, Skyler McKee. Like any good story the wrong turns and mishaps of one individual have an upside, in this case it’s the debut EP by Super Whatevr, that is ironically entitled Good Luck. His bad luck and mistakes have led to the creation of an impressive five track EP that is comprised of four original songs and a bonus demo track.
The Good Luck EP carries on in the melodic post punk legacy that the likes of Interpol and The Editors spearheaded in the early to mid 2000’s. The Good Luck EP is a set of curiously upbeat, yet seemingly disgruntled, songs that are not without their charm, the balance between the melancholy subject matter and delicate more upbeat indie tunes is maintained throughout the four completed tracks The only downside to this release is the additional demo track, it feels like something of an afterthought and doesn’t come close to meeting the standards of the rest of the Good Luck EP
Super Whatevr have managed to produce an intriguing EP of upbeat tunes that deal with the trials, tribulations and disappointments of daily life. The end result is a quartet of curiously upbeat, yet simultaneously downbeat songs, the more you become familiar with the Good Luck EP, the more Super Whatevr grow on you. if I was to review this EP in a months time I suspect the gritty lyrical content, and it’s indie tinged melodic post punk style, could well have grown on me even more than it already has.
Super Whatevr ‘s web presence, where you can stream the Good Luck EP, can be found here
The Good Luck EP can be purchased via iTunes
Almost four decades ago in the UK there was a year that turned everything on it’s head, politically, socially and musically, this became known as the winter of discontent, it was a time of deep social division and political infighting that led to the election of a right wing government, the effects of that era can still be felt to this day. It was this backdrop and the confluence of factors that informed the development of what has become known as post punk. Now this brings us to Nots, who appear to have produced an album that sounds like it has arrived in 2016 having bypassed the last 37 years.
Nots have made an album that is full of the energy that the early punk scene had in abundance, but it is also full of the spiky and angular rhythms that characterised the sound and style of the post punk music of that era. Cosmetic appears to proudly embrace the influences of bands from that era, such as The Fall, The Au Pairs and Public Image Ltd, and in doing so they have produced a sparse yet complex and experimental album, it is one that is full of manic energy and frantic rhythms that are delivered in a challenging and unconventional manner. The manic drumbeats and frantic bass lines are overlaid with angular guitar, snatches of synthesizer and discordant vocals that compliment the overall atmosphere and dark tones of the album. Vocalist and guitarist Natalie Hoffman is also involved in art and design, she creates challenging pieces of art that compliment the abstract post punk nature of Nots.
Quite how a quartet from Memphis Tennessee came to replicate the sound of a scene that was inspired by musical experimentation and political uncertainty a lifetime ago is a mystery. Unless of course they happened to be living in an era that reflected those conditions, and this was an uncertain time with the potential for a right wing government to be elected at a time when heightened social divisions have created an atmosphere of alienation and discontent, but we couldn’t be letting history repeat itself again… could we?
Cosmetic can be ordered here
Natalie Hoffman‘s artwork can be found here
Cause And Effect
Chaos 8 are a alternative quintet from the North East of England, they were formed in 2012 from the songwriting partnership of guitarist Paul Williams and vocalist Beki Straughan. They released their debut album, Burn, in 2013 to critical acclaim, and have continued to tour relentlessly across the UK, all the while building up to the release of their sophomore album, Cause And Effect. Like their debut album, Cause And Effect is a completely DIY affair from the roots up, everything is done off their own backs and is a demonstration of their commitment to Chaos 8.
Their debut album was one I liked a lot, it balanced Becky Straughn‘s vocals against a powerful musical backdrop, now what does Cause And Effect have to offer, it would have been easy for them to tread water and repeat the formula from the impressive debut. Cause And Effect opens with the punishing industrial number, Four Minutes, it’s immediately apparent that Chaos 8 have refined their sound and this is a more precise and heavier beast of an album than it’s predecessor. Each song varies the influence from the punkier faster numbers to the darker industrial material, there’s a even a more gothic touch on End Of My Days with it dark orchestral strings.
Cause And Effect has shades of both Killing Joke and Ministry when they were in their prime in it’s DNA, but this is in no way a throwback to a past era, the influences may be worn on their sleeves but this a contemporary album that veers towards industrial and post punk stylings, but retains a punk edge of aggression that focuses the material perfectly. The second album is traditionally supposed to be the difficult one, Chaos 8 are blissfully unaware of this cliché as Cause And Effect is a step up from their impressive debut. This is an album that should to bring them the attention they deserve as this will definitely be one of my favourite albums from 2016.
Cause And Effect will be released on the 30th September and the album will be launched on that date at the Horseshoe Inn, Wellingborough, UK where physical copies of the album will be on sale. Chaos 8 will be opening the Great British Alternative Festival in Skegness on 7th October and will also be playing Trillians Rock Bar, Newcastle on Thursday December 1st with support from Manchester based electronic band St Lucifer. Cause And Effect can be purchased direct from Chaos 8 at their shows or via their Facebook page, there will also be a limited edition coloured vinyl edition that will be available later this year.
Chaos 8‘s Facebook page is here
Minnesota’s Tiny Moving Parts have announced a slew of new headlining tour dates today, alongside their previously announced Fall tour with Touche Amore and Culture Abuse. The new dates include support from Microwave, Movements, My Iron Lung, and A Will Away. Their tight, mathy post hardcore pop punk combination shows their skills in spades, their live show is frenetic, their musical prowess is impressive and the complexity of their songs makes it difficult to believe there are only three of them onstage.
Tour dates can be viewed below and tickets will be on sale on September 23 at 12pm local time here Read More…
A Will Away
, Culture Abuse
, Math Rock
, My Iron Lung
, Tiny Moving Parts
, Touche Amore
As part of its recurring series of split single releases, Spindown Record Club will release an exclusive split single from Ted Leo and Publicist UK, which is set to ship on September 24.The split features the first new Ted Leo track in years and is a 100% solo recording where he channels his inner darkness. Publicist UK are a four piece post punk supergroup that play incredibly vibrant, yet dark music. Currently signed to Relapse Records, the band is composed of Dave Witte (Municipal Waste, Melt-Banana), Zachary Lipez (Freshkills), Brett Bamberger (Revocation, East Of The Wall, Ted Leo), and David Obuchowski (Goes Cube, Distant Correspondent). Their contribution is also an exclusive track that proves these four guys are going places. Read More…
, East Of The Wall
, Goes Cube
, Melt Banana
, Municipal Waste
, Publicist UK
, Spindown Record Club
, Ted Leo
Tiny Engines Records
Chicago trio Yeesh have brought us Confirmation Bias, their first release for Tiny Engines Records, the album was recorded and mixed by Dave Vettraino at Public House Sound Recordings in Autumn 2015. This is their sophomore album, and it has the unenviable task of following the success of last years debut release, No Problem.
Confirmation Bias opens with a slow build up of feedback that gives you the idea that you’re going to be in for an aural assault, and it doesn’t disappoint, they lurch straight into Xan Wagon, this is a slice of frantic disjointed punk rock, had the album continued in the vein then I’d have been happy enough, but it doesn’t, it never settles into it’s comfort zone once. Yeesh incorporate elements of indie, garage, punk, post punk and even a touch of hardcore into their idiosyncratic blend of styles and influences, trying to describe a band like this is a difficult task, we can try a less together Fugazi, or maybe a more together Dead Milkmen, but neither of these quite hits the spot, especially as the sound and style varies from song to song, and even during songs.
Confirmation Bias is ten deranged slices of whatever the hell this is, it has a definite punk influence but it has incorporated so many other styles they’ve become a unique beast, that has it’s own unique sound. Another point in it’s favour is that the album has a wonderful live quality to it, you get the impression the touches in the studio have been very light and Yeesh have made exactly the album they wanted to. I think the best advice is that you give the two tracks that are available for streaming, via the link below, a go and make your own mind up.
Confirmation Bias was released on July 22nd and can be ordered here
Really Rad Records
The two founding members of Feel Better, Joel Parmer and Taylor Jay, originally started to lay the foundations of the band back in 2013, they performed the stripped down concerts with just two guitars and vocals. They transformed into a full band the following year and adopted the unusual moniker, Telescopes as Time Machines, and this line up released the Quiet World EP. In 2015 the line up became the current four piece, they adopted a new name and started working on the material that would eventually became this self titled debut album.
From the first chords of For Clarity’s Sake to the fading strains of the final track, the epic almost seven minute long Plumes, this is an epic thoughtful interpretation of post hardcore that has emo touches and elements of spiky post punk leanings. The vocals are an impassioned emo howl that sits astride the angular post punk riffs and intense drumbeats that characterise the album. All of the eight tracks on this self titled debut are consistently and passionately delivered, however this is also the album’s Achilles heel. If I had to criticise this album it would be that eight tracks tend to bleed into each other, whilst the pace and tone varies throughout the album the approach to making music remains somewhat one dimensional.
Despite the similarities in the way the album is delivered this is a strong and consistent debut release, Feel Better are a band that has been slowly working towards this release. If you are a fan of post hardcore then you should investigate this original variation on a well trodden path.
Feel Better‘s self titled debut album can be downloaded for $1 or more here
Feel Better‘s website can be found here
The CD and Cassette of Feel Better can be purchased from Really Rad Records here
Bay Area post punks Creative Adult are releasing their sophomore LP Fear of Life today via Run For Cover Records. They will embark on a headlining West Coast August tour, tickets for all dates are currently on sale.
Creative Adult will be spending the rest of 2016 touring behind Fear of Life including visits to Australia, Europe and the UK
Fear Of Life can be streamed and purchased here and the video for Charged can be viewed below
Grieving are a quartet from Cambridge, UK that formed in 2015 and Demonstrations is their debut EP. They have been steadily leaking the tracks that make up Demonstrations on their bandcamp and the complete five track EP will finally surface at the tail end of the July 2016. Grieving have been steadily building a reputation through regular live shows and they’ve gained airplay on national radio in the UK on BBC Radio One.
Demonstrations opens with My Friend, The Ghost, this starts the EP in an understated manner with a laid back guitar riff that builds to an impressive chorus and it ends in a full post hardcore attack that is continued on Ownership, this is a much more accessible track and it features an impressive angular post punk guitar riff. All five tracks on Demontsrations vary in style, No Sleep is the obvious crowd pleaser on here, it borders on pop punk with it’s steady chugging riff, albeit one that has a much more spiky quality than you’d expect from that description. Little Armoured veers away from their previous style and is features a more experimental indie rock style, which for some reason reminds me of the Pixies. Demonstrations closes with my personal favourite, Warmest Jets, which is a return to more familiar territory and boasts an infectious guitar hook that leaves you wishing they’d recorded just a few more tracks.
Their choice of band name is somewhat misleading, I was expecting something heavy and very dark, what you actually get with Demonstrations is an impressive combination of post punk and post hardcore stylings, they incorporate these styles and blend them with the noisier end of indie rock into what is an impressive self released debut EP. I would certainly recommend fans of these genre’s investigate this release, their originality and the quality of the songwriting that is displayed on Demonstrations is something that marks them out as a band to watch.
Grieving will be playing The Blue Moon in Cambridge, with support from Goldblume and Gutters, on July 30th to celebrate the release of the EP.
Demonstrations will be released on July 29th 2016 on CD and pay what you want download and will be available direct from Grieving here
Tiny Engines Records
Strange Relations are a trio from Minneapolis, they are comprised of Casey Sowa, drums and vocals, Marisa Helgeson, bass and keyboards, and Nate Hart-Andersen on guitar. Going Out follows on from their debut album, Centrism, that was released on Tiny Engines Records in 2015.
opening track Drift has a hypnotic bass line, whilst the tone of the song is light the vocals sound agitated and at times appear to be bordering on a nervous breakdown, Ceremonies follows, this is a more ethereal track, it comes across as a union between the likes of the Cocteau Twins and early New Order. The tone changes distinctly half way through Going Out, Predation is a spiky affair, the post punk influences come to the fore on this number and the EP closes with Weeknites, this is easily my favourite track on here, the song has a frantic and disturbed quality that is reminiscent of the discordant post punk style of the likes of The Au-Pairs, the tone of this number is reflected in the lyrics, they seem to depict the inner turmoil of a mind late at night when insomnia has struck.
This is not your run of the mill indie release, there is no pop sensibility to Strange Relations, they have produced a blend of the darker side of indie and post punk that has a stark minimalist tone throughout. The songs seem to echo with a burning sense of frustration and reflect the darker side of human nature, especially on the closing track Weeknites. Strange Relations draw on a variety of influences to produce a unique hybrid that is worth investigating if you like your indie rock on the dark side.
Going Out will be released on July 8th 2016 on Tiny Engines Records and can be ordered as a download or cassette here
The Big Oil Recording Company
Less Win are an experimental post punk band from Copenhagen, Denmark. They were originally comprised of Casper Morilla, guitar and vocals, and Patrick Kociszewski, bass and vocals, they released a string of EP’s and splits prior to the release of their debut album, Great. Matthew Moller has replaced the drum machine that provided the beat on their early releases, and he appears to have allowed them to express a greater degree of freedom and improvisation. You can hear the ghost of post punk bands all over this sophomore release but they have added their own personality to the compositions, as a result they have produced a stark, foreboding and unpredictable album.
The experimentalism that was such a hallmark of the original post punk movement is present throughout the album. Solid bass and sparse guitars pepper the songs, whilst the understated drums and the use of discordant saxophone add a haunting touch to the proceedings. The production on TRUST suits the material perfectly, it has an has an atmospheric sound that borders on being claustrophobic at times, this is an album that is shorn of any embellishments and is cut to the bone. Less Win have kept true to the sensibilities of the first wave of post punk bands, even at their most accessible, on the track Where You Lay Your Hands with it’s driven bass line, they retain a spiky and abrasive quality that can be deeply unsettling.
This is a challenging and at time disconcerting album, the songs go off at unexpected tangents and keep you constantly guessing. This is not a feel good album in any way shape or form, but in the early hours of the morning the dark abrasive compositions will come into their own. This is probably the least commercial thing I’ve heard in a long time, it is dark, sparse and at times disturbing, and I can’t help loving them for it
TRUST is due for release via The Big Oil Recording Company on June 24th 2016 and can be ordered here
Copenhagen’s Less Win have shared Where You Lay Your Hands, a startling and abrasive new track taken from their debut UK album, TRUST, which is due for release on June 24th via The Big Oil Recording Company. They are embarking on a UK tour this coming June with The Bodies and are playing a headline show at London’s Shacklewell Arms on July 5th
You can stream Where You Lay Your Hands here.
You can pre order TRUST here.