A recent round up.

I thought I’d do a little round up on digital things I’ve been listening to lately…

I’ve been following the Damaged City fest Instagram(punk/hardcore fest in Washington DC ) and watching any clips and videos of the bands that I can find, which has led me to their Bandcamp pages and subsequent pile of new downloads! These are the kind of things Instagram is actually good for.

razorbumps

First up is Razorbumps, who released a record last September on Pop Wig Records (guys from Trapped Under Ice/Angel Dust/Turnstile run this label, who knew?!) called HELLARAZORS and it’s great. It’s 8 tracks of glam garage punk. Expect leopard print, glam sunglasses and wicked vocals with a tonne of swagger. I’m hoping for a Sheer Mag/Razorbumps tour asap. Get on this band, they’re HELLAFUN.

https://popwigrecords.bandcamp.com/album/hellrazors

rashomon

And next up is Rashōmon. Killer punx from Washington DC with a groovy d-beat vibe. As far as I know they only have this demo out so far, but I absolutely love it. The singer sings in their native Japanese, which obviously sounds badass and I can’t get enough of it. It’s so damn short, it’s around 5 minutes in total, but definitely worth your time and whatever price you want to pay for it on their bandcamp and hopefully there’ll be another release on the way.

https://rashomondc.bandcamp.com/album/demo-2017

blank spell

And lastly I’d like to share this Blank Spell from Phili and their LP Miasma, released June 2017. As far as I know it’s released via World Gone Mad records, who put out S-21, Haldol (and currently have a pre-order up for a Riña record I can’t wait to hear!) This record has a bit of a post punk goth sound to it at first, then it gets fast as hell and slick as fuck. I love those high shouted vocals. Another name your price download, what are you waiting for?!

https://blankspell.bandcamp.com/album/miasma-lp

I think that’s a nice varied mix and I’m super happy that I got to live vicariously through the Damaged City Instagram to check out these bands and hopefully I can pass on the enjoyment!

 

 

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Harmonies R Us

Alright as usual I had scribbled some notes and meant to write this post weeks ago, but… whatever. I don’t have an excuse, I just suck at this.

MOVING ON…

New music. Records that have me absolutely gagging for sunshine, bare legs and wearing shoes without socks. These are but a pipe dream right now as there’s currently 3 feet of snow outside my house, but I reckon these three records that I’m going to share with you will hopefully cheer you up and have you feeling dreamy. I think these three bands fit nicely together, as the post title suggests: harmonies aplenty. We have La Luz, Habibi and Shannon and the Clams. Predominantly female bands, all female led with some of the slickest, smoothest delicious vocals you’ll hear in recent times.

habibi

Let’s start with Habibi. I caught their last release a couple of years ago, which actually came out long before in 2013! I’m not lying when I say that I’ve listened to that album a lot (it’s a self titled by the way) and that I’m SO stoked they’re putting out new material. Heavily influenced by Motown and the singers Iranian heritage they pull together 4 new songs on this ep, Cardamom Garden, of smooth garage girl-group grooves (omg alliteration hi) which have an altogether more psych sound than their previous release and even feature singer Rahill singing some lyrics in Farsi. I just fucking adore it. It’ll have you wishing for those shoes without socks I mentioned before (I live in Scotland ok, that’s a big deal to me) Anyway, click the cover above and It’ll take you to their Bandcamp, you won’t regret it. Unfortunately their full length isn’t on Bandcamp, but it is on Spotify, so search for Habibi and enjoy!

https://habibitheband.bandcamp.com/album/cardamom-garden

laluz

Next up we’ll delve into La Luz. From Seattle and releasing on Hardly Art records, they’re in good company with the likes on Chastity Belt, The Julie Ruin and Tacocat to name a few! Their last record, Weirdo Shrine, came out in 2015 and is another that is on my constant rotation. The absolutely nail the dreamy surf sound that I’m just a huge sucker for. More smooth as silk vocal harmonies and eerie reverb with some absolutely killer riffs. Delicious. Their new record is out in May, called Floating Features. They’ve released one track so far from it, Cicada, and an awesome video for it, I can’t wait til release day, May 11th!

https://laluz.bandcamp.com/album/floating-features

clams

And last but by no means least is Shannon and the Clams, who don’t really need any introduction, but I’ll do one anyway. Onion is their 5th album, with Shannons powerful and soulful voice alongside true genius 60s garage and doo-wop, this band are fun and you will be singing along by the end of the first track. Another favourite for you to check out is the band Hunx and his Punx, where you’ll recognise Shannons vocals straight away. These guys are a more straight up Ramones style punk singing about gay punk things, it’s perfection. Sadly Onion isn’t on my beloved Bandcamp but it’s widely available and out now, go get it! This is their rad video for album track The Boy, which will have you swaying in no time. I’ll also link you Hunx because I’m good like that.

https://hunxandhispunx.bandcamp.com/

Hopefully that’s plenty to keep you all going through the big freeze with sunnier thoughts in your mind!

 

 

PSA: new ex Jungbluth music!

I thought I’d share this as I believe it’s important news people should know about. Sadly Jungbluth announced last year that they’d be calling time on the band, but from the ashes of it (with the same members) starting something new. As a long term fan of anything those guys put out, (Alpinist being one of my favourite German bands ever) I’m heavily invested in them, so their new band Criminal Body is always going to be exciting. They’ve only released one track so far but they weren’t lying when they said they were doing something different. This track is delightfully darker and altogether post punk (or post Jungbluth, lol) and surprisingly it’s in English, which they didn’t stray into too often with previous bands. I’m intrigued by it and desperate for more. They have a preorder up for their new record right now that you should all jump on ASAP before it no doubt sells out! Click the pretty record for the store.

Enjoy!

Late To The Party…

Yeah ok its the 10th of January, it’s pretty late on for an “end of year” post but I’m going to do one anyway, a slightly different one I’ve decided. I hadn’t felt much motivation to talk about music lately, but then I remembered all the great shit I heard last year and how it made my year better.

So I thought I’d do a small list of records that had the biggest impact on me last year, as opposed to my “best of 2017”, because I don’t really think like that to be honest. I don’t listen to a record and think “this is the best record I will hear all year”, instead I sort of think “I know I’ll listen to the fuck out of this and will do for a long time to come”, which I think is more valuable personally. I’ll try to keep it to 5, but I’ll see how I get on. Here goes…

Sheer Mag – Need To Feel Your Love

So this came out in July but I think I heard it earlier because I preordered the record from Static Shock. Having anticipated a full length from Sheer Mag for a long time, it’s needless to say that I was 100% fucking delighted with this. It didn’t disappoint me in any way. Still that same 70’s recording sound, those sweet Lizzy riffs and Tinas soulful but brash vocals. Perfection. This was my record of the summer and seeing them on the 22nd was also a big highlight for me, getting to sing and dance the night away at a sold out show in Mono. I will be spinning this forever probably. Thanks Sheer Mag.

L.A. Witch – L.A. Witch

I’d seen L.A. Witch before, on the strength of the handful of tracks they have on Bandcamp, I thought they’d be more than worthwhile seeing live. Also another band I was dying to get a full length from. Their self titled came out in September, and again they played in Mono (thanks Freakender for putting two of my favourite shows last year! Shout out also to Mothers Love and Future Glue who played that show also, very very good bill all round!) and holy shiiiiit they absolutely killed it. I think they must have almost played the full record and thankfully they played it to a lot of people too. It’s a record that I’ve put on a lot because it’s just such a dream. They’re a three-piece and just seem to fill every space on this record with reverb, heavy floor tom hits and sleazy bass riffs. It’s got that surf sound with a massive dose of garage psych and it’s just excellent.

Pissed Jeans – Why Love Now

I was so stressed on the run up to this record coming out. Pissed Jeans had released a couple of tracks from it and honestly, I didn’t love them. The Bar is Low sounded a bit like The Hives (which is fine, but not what I wanted from Pissed Jeans) and Ignorecam was almost too heavy. It was a stressful time because I love Pissed Jeans and I really needed a new record from them that would satisfy me. This came out February, and I’m still listening to it, and it makes me smile in a sinister and sarcastic way every time I listen to it. You need the record as a whole to understand to context of it. It’s another piece of music centred around the mostly fucking useless and disgusting male psyche, as written from Matt Korvettes perspective. There’s a lot on here that interests me as a feminist and a highlight is the spoken word track “I’m a Man” written and spoken by author Lindsay Hunter about the absurd inner monologue of an office alpha male, it’s honestly a fucking masterpiece and I thoroughly implore you to listen to it. It’s an altogether shinier and more polished sounding record from them, but it’s sludgy and still dirty and their still pushing themselves towards new things and I’m very happy about that.

Chastity Belt – I Used To Spend So Much Time Alone

I posted about this record when it came out so I’ll keep this short and you can go back and read the original post if you like! Chastity Belt are a band that mean a great deal to me, and really the winner on this record for me is that opening track and literally the opening lyrics “you’re hard on yourself, well you can’t always be right”. It’s got an immediate hook and it hit my really hard. The whole tone of the record is quite sombre but actually uplifting in an honest and intimate way. A definite classic post punk record for me and I’ll happily be in love with this band for a long time to come.

Daudyflin – Ofbeldi

My favourite punk band of 2017, hands down. I was so ready for this record and thanks to Iron Lung Records it got a great release. There’s not a huge amount I can say about it other than it’s 11 tracks of Icelandic seething feminist terror. I’m told the album title translates to “violence”, which seems massively appropriate as there’s nothing soft about this record. The songs are all in Icelandic and although I don’t know what any of it means I’m super glad it’s in their native language because holy shit it sounds fierce. Highlight track for me is track 4 Medvirkni, the opening riff is killer and the d-beat is relentless and has the best mid song scream ever in it. Thoroughly recommended for anyone who needs something to stomp to.

 

Ok, I’ve done it, that’s 5 records, hooray! I’m now thinking that I might post about some 7″s/tapes from last year too, because there’s definitely a lot that need a mention. Stay tuned for that…

Downtown Boys

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“You’re worried I’ll treat you like you treat me.”

Hi Downtown Boys, welcome to my constant rotation. This album, Cost of Living, only came out in August, but I feel like I’ve been needing it for a long long time. It warrants a post of itself. So let’s talk about it…

I’m very new to Downtown Boys, I’d seen a few people posting about them, but honestly I think I first saw of this album via Sub Pop Records. Before anyone thinks anything untoward about Sub Pop being a big fat cat corporate company – shut up for a minute. Sub Pop are releasing great things (mostly) and I’m really happy for Downtown Boys taking the step towards being more distributed and getting more tours and for more people to hear their music, it’s really important. And this also means I get to see them TWICE in October!

Moving on! What am I hearing on this record? A whole lot of things that I wasn’t expecting to be honest. We have keys, we have sax slotted nicely in songs giving a groove and mellow backdrop to gang chants. This is political music made by people who know we need to hear it, I won’t list the topics that are sung about, but it’s shit that we all need to know about so please listen to the lyrics and get on board. Victoria Ruiz’ vocal delivery reminds me of the speak/shout style of Self Defence Family with the attitude of Bikini Kill and even musically reminiscent of SDF too. Although this is angry and reactive music, it has a delicacy to it, it’s not rammed with “sick riffs” and “tight drums”, it’s actually at some points verging on Pixies style sparseness with plenty space around the vocals for them to be heard.

What’s also great? UKs Drunken Sailor Records have just repressed Downtown Boys debut 7″ for their Euro tour next month. If you want it before you see them, it’s available at www.drunkensailorrecords.co.uk.

In the mean time all their releases are on Bandcamp and I’m going to spend the rest of today familiarising myself with them, as should you!

www.downtownboys.bandcamp.com

Xylitol.

How does a person living in central Scotland get into a punk band from Olympia, Washington? So the chain of events goes…

My Danish babe friend who lives in Germany recommends me an Icelandic band called Daudyflin, I then seek out and buy any records of theirs I can. Then Daudyflin hook up with Xylitol from Olympia for a US tour and end up releasing a tour tape split together and I fall in love with Xylitol immediately on hearing their side of the split and then relentlessly listen to their ep …Is Toxic To Pigs?? and grin from ear to ear.

This ep is 10 minutes of hate on cops. Yeah ok it's not a new concept, but this is definitely played with wry smiles on their faces. These are also some of my most favourite vocals I've heard in a long time. Unashamedly female, seething but still sang with recognisable lyrics, making you want to sing along. I sure as hell want to snarl along to "no more justice, this is war, burn the precinct, loot the store".

I'm forever grateful for people sharing music and it warms my heart when people listen to something and think "I know someone who would love this" and pass it on. Keep doing this, it's such an important way of ensuring music is heard and enjoyed.

Also UK folks, if you know of any UK distros carrying this record please get in touch!

Get stuck in!

http://xylitolband.bandcamp.com/album/is-toxic-to-pigs

Impalers.

Hi all, just thought I'd post a short sharp update while I have some time this morning about Impalers, their new record and their general all round excellent existence.

I love d-beat, and the best shit just sounds like sped up Scandi Motörhead. Luckily- that pretty accurately describes Impalers, although a little more "jangly" (this is a v technical term) and they're from Texas. They're working it big time.

And with that in mind, I implore you to get over to Static Shock and order Cellar Dweller right now because it absolutely utterly rips the face off you, allowing you to sew it back on in a crust manner.

Over and out.

V

http://theimpalers.bandcamp.com/album/cellar-dweller-lp

http://staticshockrecords.limitedrun.com/products/597060-impalers-cellar-dweller-lp-pre-order