Sheffield three piece Feral Family release there latest single ‘Sasquatch’ a riff heavy garage rock power house that’s chill wave undertones make it an instant banger.
The first full length record from Aussie band Loose Tooth comes to us courtesy of Courtney Barnet ran label Milk! Records, not a bad endorsement to have on your first outing, but there’s not doubt that it’s fully deserved, ‘Keep Up’ is packed with dreamy anthems rooted in post punk vibes through out with their jangly guitars and melody acting as an anchor.
Opening track ‘Keep On’ epitomises all that’s good on this record, driving bass, power steady drums with vocal melodies riffing with guitars to create killer tracks. The feeling stays the same on ‘You Say’ and, single, ‘All the Colours Gone’, these tracks are simple but effective in the sense that they seem so naturally written but still give a big pop energy with punk at the heart of it. The likes of ‘Butter Knife’ and ‘You Want It’ slow things down a little whilst still keeping this garage rock vibe that ties all the different sounds on this record together. ‘Miss You’ show a completely different side to the album that bleeds a little deeper but a personal highlight for me is ‘Asteroid’ where the record really seems to find its feet and encompasses everything around it. And that’s the beautiful thing about ‘Keep Up’, it’s easy to call it a garage rock or indie album but there’s so many more influences in there that give it a rich sound but it has a constant direction all the way through. Listen to ‘Keep Up’ bellow:
False Advertising have come along way since the first time we got behind them for ‘Wasted Away’, over two years ago now, bigger shows, bigger fan base and arguable an even bigger sound, but there’s consistency in the quality of the riff heavy, powered out music they produce. ‘You Said’, is just one in a line of massive rock singles and EP’s they’ve brought out since their debut album, and despite the recurring big guitar sounds and pounding drums False Advertising do what a lot of other bands their size, who release as often, fail to, keep it interesting. At it’s core ‘You Said’ is an absolutely belting pop track quilted in layers of hooks and melody, guitar tricks and ‘Hole’ vibes, Jen’s vocal delivers the finishing blow with power and precision. Magnificently production and stuck right in my head ‘You Said’ is available for stream and download now.
The first new music since 2016’s ‘Romantic’ has arrived from Slow Hollows, the heavily melancholic new single ‘Selling Flowers’ is a heavenly blend of misery and euphoria. L.A.’s finest sad boys follow up their past glories perfectly, with a track that builds through brilliant layering from start to end that see’s the keys over taken by strings and back again, to a ride heavy work of art that invites melody from brass, synth and guitars to create a stunning track that reminds me of a much more youthful, less angry, ‘The National’. The start of a new chapter for Slow Hollows that’s off to its brightest possible start.
Check out their North American tour dates bellow:
5. Song of Praise – Shame
Londoners Shame are undoubtedly going to make it on to most top ten lists by the end of the year, having taking the UK scene by storm this and being every newspaper and magazines’ great white hope for the future of British Indie and still, somehow, managing to miss out on a Mercury Prize nomination. Their debut ‘Songs of Praise’ is a fast-paced, post-punk influenced storm of big guitar riffs and pacing drums with ‘One Rizla’ and ‘Concrete’ being the stand-out tracks, whilst tracks like ‘Gold Hole’ and ‘Tasteless’ give the album an added edge that make those ‘The Fall’ comparisons a little too easy.
4. Somewhat Literate – Retirement Party
Chicago’s Retirement Party dropped their debut LP back in May on the back of a huge wave of praise from online press, and rightly so; ‘Somewhat Literate’ is a fine blend of emo vocals and big 90s guitar riffs that interwind like if J. Mascis had a summer job in Modern Baseball. Energetic from start to finish and undeniably angsty and heartfelt, it drags me back to being a kid at a basement show loosing my shit – I just wish those bands were this good.
3. Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino – Arctic Monkeys
It’s split opinions where ever I ask: the biggest indie band in the world releasing a rock/lounge music concept album about a hotel resort on the moon was never going to please everyone. For me though it was a breath of fresh air, Alex Turner, in parts, seems to fudge the lines between this Sci-fi world and autobiography with his most compelling songwriting to date. Some of the best bass lines on an indie record ever, combined with smooth organs and Turner’s crooning vocal just make this album an absolute dream and people asking where the guitars are just aren’t listening hard enough with tracks like ‘She Looks Like Fun’ meeting somewhere between Humbug and AM. I love it, sue me!
2. Clean – Soccer Mommy
Sophie Alison, aka Soccer Mommy, has made a record that both musically and lyrically epitomise what we’re all thinking and feeling. Tracks like ‘Cool’ and ‘Your Dog’ are relatable, emotional and consuming all at once. Clean is a free-flowing ten tracks of softly stroked guitars that meet hooks and melody that touch on all emotion and a narrative ready to break your heart. Lo-fi in parts with hi-fi production it’s truly a breathtaking listen where I keeping finding something fresh with every play through.
1. Lush – Snail Mail
To release your debut album at 19 years old is pretty impressive but Lindsey Jordan’s debut is so good it’s hard to believe where all this unstoppable force of sound and melody is coming from. ‘Lush’ is an angsty, worked out, riff-driven album that twists and turns between indie ballad and guitar pop, but constantly delivering the same results; heavenly hooks layered on well-written, thought out pieces of music that almost juxtapose the sweet and sour lyrics at times. Lush is a beacon of hope for indie guitar music bringing it back to its roots whilst, at the same time stripping it down, cleaning it up and adding something to it that was lost for a long time before.
After 25 years and a pretty impressive back-catalogue TMBG have established themselves as one of the weirdest and most fun bands around, and after all that hard work you would blame the Brooklyn duo if they were a little burnt out. But their new track, “All Time What” has proven they still have what it takes to write a super catchy pop song still some essence of ‘what the fuck?’ in parts. The new single packs together fuzzy bass, hard hitting but tamed drum beats along with chugging guitars, glued with saxophone and seamless vocals that let the song flow to unexpected places.
Listen to new sing ‘All Time What’:
TMBG new album ‘I Like Fun’ is out Jan 19th two days after they kick off their European tour at Brundenell Social Club in Leeds, which, going by the latest material, will be an energetic orgy of noise night after night.
European Tour Dates:
21 Sep – Leeds, UK @ Brudenell Social Club
22 Sep – Cambridge, UK @ The Junction
23 Sep – Bristol, UK @ Marble Factory
25 Sep – Munich, DE @ Ampere
26 Sep – Antwerp, BE @ De Roma
27 Sep – Amsterdam, NL @ Paradiso
28 Sep – Berlin, DE @ Columbia Theater
29 Sep – Hamburg, DE @ Knust
1 Oct – Koln, DE @ Luxor
3 Oct – London, UK @ Barbican
4 Oct – Manchester, UK @ Academy 2
5 Oct – Edinburgh, UK @ Queen’s Hall
6 Oct – Dublin, IE @ Button Factory
Author: Charlotte Smith
Salford to Fallowfield – it’s not an easy journey to make on a Friday night at rush hour but alas I arrive at Fallow Café just in time to see the second support act take to the stage before headliners Meadowlark.
One Little Atlas, possibly better known as O>L>A are a band I’m familiar with already after seeing them support a local band sometime last year so I knew what to expect when they stepped into the taped off section of the room I’d then identified as the stage. The duo, who are based in Manchester, are comfortable on stage, they give off a vibe that makes you feel like you’re stood in one of their bedrooms watching them jam. They are typically northern and interact well with crowd firstly asking who’s here to see the main act. A few muted cheers creep out of the crowd to which O>L>A respond with an accusational “fucking hell come on you aren’t all here to see us!” The crowd livens up as they wade into both old and new material, which leave the growing audience transfixed by the uplifting experimental percussion and vocals worthy of a church procession. The band finish their support slot with a huge ballad which is received well by the dispersing crowd (probably rushing off to get to the bar or toilet first), it climaxes and a huge thankful sigh is expressed. A swig of cheap wine later, O>L>A leave the stage and enter a crowd of old fans and definitely a few new ones.
I manage to wiggle my way towards the back of the attic space at Fallow Café and into the smoking area to reconvene with the photographer for this piece and quickly find myself rushing back inside in order to get a good spot for the headliners. There’s a definite buzz in the air, one that I didn’t expect as I’ll be honest, I’d never heard of Meadowlark until a few weeks ago when I was assigned the gig. I googled their name and two top results appeared; the band (thank god) and the bird. I had it in my mind that Meadowlark were sweet and tranquil, much like the bird suggested. I listened to a few of their tracks and it certainly felt that way. Their live shows, on the other hand, are far from tranquil.
The band open with recent release ‘Headlights’ and the electronic drum kit claims the tiny space around it. Kate McGill’s vocals are beautiful. They are innocent but full of emotion. Daniel Broadley is the quite opposite, he is animated and full of energy and the contrast works so incredibly well that you could almost forget where you are through pure captivation of what is happening on stage.
The band don’t say much, not until after their third track when McGill asks how the crowd are doing after noting their quietness. The crowd recognise this quietness but each member of that audience knows that this is not through lack of enthusiasm, more like complete awe. The fifth track of the set invites Broadley to address the crowd. He tells the story of ‘Quicksand’ and how the song was inspired by a Humans of New York post he had seen on Facebook. The words of the track emanate the stranger’s story of working in the Pakistani brick kilns and you can see the passion Broadley feels for the track through his facial expressions during the performance.
The next 10 minutes are filled with more upbeat tracks with the band playing ‘Sunlight’ and ‘Satellite’, both of which receive a big “WOO” from an overly manly man somewhere behind me. An acoustic version of ‘Postcards’ follows of which McGill claims as her favourite track off the forthcoming album and as an ode to an ex-lover. The crowd are deathly silent during this performance and as interesting as Broadley is to watch, his talent for playing a range of instruments and dancing whilst doing so, it is extremely difficult to focus on anything else other than McGill. The audience is completely lost in her voice.
The roller coaster set is brought to a close with an acoustic version of ‘Fly’ much to the crowd’s approval. Everyone seems to know this one and the band invite them to sing along to the chorus. The room is filled with varying tones all singing the hook over and over again. Complete elation can be seen on both of McGill and Broadley’s faces as a number of balloons aptly appear over the crowd. It’s super cheesy and I can’t work out whether it was done by the band or a fan but either way, it’s just enough cheese to be acceptable. “One more time Manchester” remarks McGill as the song and evening draws to a close. The crowd lap this up and the last chorus is louder than before and a huge round of applause begins to precede over the singing. By the looks of the crowd, Meadowlark killed it tonight in this tiny venue in the depths of Manchester’s studentville. They finish with a thank you, an invitation to buy merch and promising “we’ll see you again very soon”.
Author: Bradley Shea
In 1999, Blink 182 were on top of the world thanks to several high-charting singles from their critically acclaimed third album Enema of the State. Three friends from San Diego had managed to bring pop punk to the mainstream for the first time since Green Day dropped Dookie in 1994, but with each release the band grew further apart as their conflicting music tastes made making music together a chore.
Fast forward to 2016 and following a disappointing comeback album in the form of 2011’s Neighbourhoods, Blink 182 are back to take over the airwaves. Founding member and co-vocalist Tom DeLonge has since left/been kicked out of the band after repeatedly failing to meet deadlines in favour of chasing aliens in the desert – no, really – and Matt Skiba of Alkaline Trio fame has stepped up to the mic in his place. It’s a creative decision that has done wonders for the band, their energy and enthusiasm fully on display across the 13 tracks that make up California.
About 40 seconds in to opening track ‘Cynical,’ it’s clear that Blink are fully embracing their roots and delivering what fans have been hoping for in the build up to the albums release. Travis Barker’s frantic beats provide a solid backbone for the band to build upon, and the bouncy riffs that were more prominent in their earlier work are at the forefront once again. First single ‘Bored to Death’ shows the band at their most epic as it blends their untitled 2003 album and with the earlier work, while ‘Sober’ proves to be the stand out track on the record, complete with a series of ‘na na na’s that will bury themselves in to your brain for days.
The addition of Skiba on vocal duty with long term member Mark Hoppus adds another dimension to the band that they had previously been lacking. His delivery is much more effective than DeLonge’s even if it does lack the nasal tone he made his trademark, and his presence will no doubt make Blink sound much more professional when playing these tracks live. Songs such as ‘Home Is Such A Lonely Place’ and ‘Left Alone’ show just how much the band have grown with Skiba in their ranks and by the time the closing notes on 30 second closer ‘Brohemian Rhapsody’ ring out, you’ll find yourself completely forgetting that DeLonge was ever a part of the band.
There are weaker moments, however, in particular the predictable ‘Kings of the Weekend’ which is a fun pop punk tune but lacks substance, and the Alkaline Trio-influenced verse of ‘Los Angeles.’ Skiba’s was always likely to bring aspects of his other band along for the ride with Blink, but while the chorus in this song soars, the trio never quite nail the tone they’re aiming for in the verses. Nevertheless, California is the best that Blink have sounded in years and cements their place in the annuls of the genre.
It’s good to have you back boys!
Recommended Tracks: ‘Sober,’ ‘Cynical,’ ‘Left Alone’
Author: Jake McGloin
Shoegaze newcomers Summerhouse released their debut five track EP this year that’s packed with fuzzy guitars and dreamy vibes. Grunge elements and slick beats make this Manchester based band an irresistible listen and an exciting prospect for the future. Embedded in this bands ethos is a pure wall of noise and catchy hooks through out every track, see them live at Fallow Cafe June 24th and experience it for yourself (tickets here).
It’s a saturated market for female singers in the modern ages, and it would be easier to compare Manchester born Lusaint to the likes of Lana Del Rey and Lorde due to the dark edge of her music, but her haunting vocal and eerie beats set her apart. It’s a sound that oozes cool from every note, her hypnotising voice drives straight though any distraction and plays beautifully to the elements of pop and rock that are littered thought out her, as it stands, small catalogue of music. She’s still in the formative stage of her career but imagining how great she can be is just damn exciting.
Blooms have been showing off their gorgeous surf pop sound around Manchester for a while, and it’s wavy vibes and dreamy riffs are making them one of the cities more exciting prospects. The trios perfect blend of surf riffs and pop melodies make them a heavily listen with Marr like guitars in parts and California feels through out, they’re definitely one to break out on a rainy Manchester summers evening.
The Hyena Kill
This Manchester two piece have been causing a storm throughout Manchester for some years, but this year they seem like a real force to be reckoned with. Their raw live shows and ability to create double barrel noise from seemingly nothing is just something that can’t be compared. The Hyena Kill are insanely explosive and not to be missed.
It’s roots are firmly planted in early folk but theres undoubtably elements that seep in to the music from the likes of The Gaslight Anthem, Arm&Hearts is like a Mancunian Bruce Springsteen, guitar in hand and gruff vocals at the ready. Steve Millars acoustic project is filled with heart and passion that’s seen a little to rarely and might seem more at home in the dark back room of an old Irish bar, but thank God he’s sharing it with us instead. Hard hitting and deeply melodic ‘The Jaded Captain’ EP is out now.