More exciting new shit…

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I’ve previously chatted about a lot of punk based music on here, but obviously that’s not all I’m about. I love me some metal, always have always will. Give me an HM2 pedal or give me death. Anyway…

Introducing the first effort from new Glasgow band Dark Habits, Cave Paintings ep. I snagged the cassette release of this the other week. The guys tell me none of them have a tape player to listen to it on, which is pretty hilarious but I’ve assured them it sounds up to scratch. And of course it does, Lewis (guitarist) runs Glassworks Studio in Glasgow, so the man knows his shit, but seriously, get a tape player, you’re missing out!

It actually sounds great, fucking great. I’m a total sucker for this shiiiiit. My eyes lit up from the opening riff immediately. This is savage and relentless and it’s… from Glasgow. I don’t mean that in a bad way but these guys sound like they’d be at home on AC//13 with bands like Young and in the Way or even slotted nicely into Southern Lords hardcore d-beat roster. These are easy comparisons but there’s a great track that’s separating them nicely from the “blackened hardcore” gang, Self-Exorcism. Slowed right down to a sludgy scrawling bass riff with a stripped back drum beat and some electronica thrown in, it’s almost industrial sounding but the vocals are sat nicely above it all and holy shit they are haunting.

I’ll be honest and say this is a fairly unexpected sound to come out of Glasgow right now, but there’s a wealth of incredible variety around the Central Belt, and these guys only add to it. From the dreamy sulk-core of Chump, to the break neck bratty hardcore of Sick of Talk and now the blast to d-beat riff fest of Dark Habits, who’s putting on the next mixed bill show?!

This is a really solid first release and I’m looking forward to seeing Dark Habits live and seeing what else they bring to the table. Has anyone been in touch with Southern Lord yet? That needs to happen. Can someone bring me some ice for my neck? I don’t headbang as much as I used to.

Download or buy the tape from their Bandcamp, it’s only 3 bloody quid!

https://darkhabits.bandcamp.com/album/cave-paintings

Demos for days


Nekra – Demo 2017

I heard this band a couple of weeks ago and I’ve been hooked since. Their demo tape has just been released via La Vida Es Un Mus and I shit you not this is some of the best hardcore I’ve heard from the uk in the longest time. Rough as toast in the absolute best possible way with scathing but still fun as hell vocals from Spooky (yeah her names is Spooky, I’m so happy about this) and riffs far and wide. Beautiful. Recorded by Jonah from Career Suicide/Fucked Up (I’m geeking out, so are you) so you’re with me, right? Women are punk, see you in the pit.

https://nekra.bandcamp.com/releases

Also, I can’t get enough of La Vida Es Us Mus releases aesthetic, basically I’m a sucker for that fucking yellow. Keep putting music out with that colour and you’ve got a guaranteed sale from me.

Ending the drought…

 

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It’s about time I posted something again I guess! Since I managed to turn my laptop on and remembered how to type (somewhat) I thought now was as good a time as ever.

I wanted to start off with a pretty heart felt review (of sorts) of one of my favourite bands new records: Chastity Belt – I Used to Spend so Much Time Alone. Chastity Belt are a band that mean a lot to me. They were one of those pivotal bands that helped change the overall direction of my musical tastes. That’s a pretty big claim for a band of four women from Seattle!

When a particular album shows up at a time when you most need it – you hold onto that record – probably forever. (This is why people have autobiographically organised record collections!). The record I’m referring to is Chastity Belts second album Time to Go Home, released in March 2015. It’s a dreamy, riot grrrl-ish, tongue in cheek Mid-West American indie delight. I listened to it to absolute death, and I still spin it a lot two years later. The bands new release is in a whole different but equally excellent zone.

I Used to Spend so Much Time Alone has a much darker and less humorous feel, leaning more towards a post-punk/shoegaze sound but brought back down to its roots with the great Julia Shapiros super laid back vocals. Opener “Different Now” has those beautiful, shimmery reverb driven guitar hooks then delves into a more solemn yet altogether more sincere “Used To Spend” later on with lyrics like feeling like a champ, but for how long? I used to spend so much time alone. 

This record is great, it’s easy to listen to but when reading more into Shapiros lyrics you get a different perspective on the band, this may be their “grown up” album, it’s dealing with issues of depression and loneliness and dealing with them very openly and honestly. It’s a different album for them but I honestly love it and I love them even more for it. Give it a listen and read along to the lyrics, you wont regret it.

Yet another time Chastity Belt have got my back.

Here’s the obligatory Bandcamp link to listen to/buy this beauty:

https://chastity-belt.bandcamp.com/album/i-used-to-spend-so-much-time-alone

 

 

Thank fuck for Bandcamp.

So yeah it’s been a while since my last post, life is busy and I am tired. Which is a nice lead on to the topic I am about to discuss…

I feel like I’ve hardly had time to listen to a lot of music lately, but one particular thing that I always seem to have time for are the HUNDREDS AND THOUSANDS OF AWESOME RECORDS ON BANDCAMP.

I have a fifteen minute walk to work, which is some of the most precious time a person has in a working day – the commute. Say what you will about shitty commutes to work – choose the right music to listen to and you’re golden. Thankfully my walk is rather lovely and not stressful.

I fucking love 7″ records, there’s just something about them, they have this urgency and rawness that doesn’t always come across in a full length. Now I don’t have one of those fancy turntables with the USB shit to transfer that stuff to my phone, and my laptop barely turns on any more, so what’s my next best way of listening to raging bangers on the move? BANDCAMP HELLOOO! SO many good records at your fingertips with the added ease of being able to pay for the stuff there and then, or even buy a hard copy and still be able to stream it. Genius. (My bandcamp profile is just Vari McLaren if you wanna see what I’ve got!)

So, what have I been listening to? I’ll give you a little run down, not all of it is new but it’s all good.

Triage – Power Beat 7″, April 2016 – Really awesome power d-beat from Toronto. They’ve got a couple of releases up on Bandcamp, both awesome. This 7″ is relentless and I love where the vocals sit in the mix. Spot on.

Leather Daddy – s/t 7″, Feb 2015 – This isn’t new in the slightest, but I fucking love it. It’s got some great attitude and enormous punk groove to it. They’re from Boston need I say more? I don’t even know if they’re still a band any more! If any one knows please let me know!

Chump – Treat Me Mean, April 2016 – Chump are from Glasgow and I’ve seen them a couple of times now and I looooove them. A very different vein from the previous two releases above but still so interesting. They play a really lo-fi, deep, soothing indie which reminds me of Warpaint to an extent. The sound on this ep is so great too perfect for their style. Just buy it ok?

Sheer Mag – III, March 2016 – C’mon, you know Sheer Mag by now, right? This is the third 7″ from them and they are the epitome of the successful punk 7″. With each release I just love them more and more. I hear The Stooges and Thin Lizzy in them, and these are two bands who I ADORE. Honest and relevant lyrics with sweet fucking riffs and a recording style that some might hate, but I fucking love. It’s scratchy and lo-fi, but goddamn it works. Get all three of these records, you absolutely won’t regret it.

Ok I think I may have rambled enough for this evening. I hope I’ll post some more of these snippets over the next few weeks, but I won’t bore you with too many.

Buy records. Listen to records. Talk about records. It’s healthy, honest.

V.

“It only hurts for a moment.”

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Fucked Up. What a band. What a fucking band. I never get tired of them, they’re always changing and challenging the hardcore punk boundaries and I can’t get enough of it. Their album, Hidden World, is ten years old this year, which blows my mind. It was one of those “game changers” for me. I listened to a zillion hardcore bands growing up, went to the shows, bought the records and t shirts, but never felt 100% comfortable with it. I was never super hardcore or super metal or super indie or whatever, I was always kind of floating around the periphery of scenes. Fucked Up made me feel at home, they made me feel like a finally “got it”. They had the hardcore roots (Haymaker split, Colohan vocals, previous bands etc) but they also had that perfect weirdness that set them out from all the other hardcore bands (who I am not belittling by the way, I loved that shit!) and it just makes me grin from ear to ear. Hidden World in particular has that punk build up and Damien’s vocals kick in and it makes me want to punch the fucking ceiling, but then later in the album there’s all these layers of mesmerising guitar and bass that I feel like I should be frolicking around a fucking meadow to. So basically if I go see them perform this album, these are the kind of antics you can expect from me (the part punching/part frolicking) and you’d also see a very, very happy face. I think it’s so important to genuinely smile at music that makes you happy, which is why I look like a fucking creep at so many gigs, because I can’t stop smiling.

 

To conclude: (I don’t know what I’m concluding, because I’m not really sure what I just wrote lol) I love Fucked Up. Go see them.

The end.

Self Titled.

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So I’ve been talking about this for a while now, mostly with myself, but also to some of my poor friends. I’d feel bad for bombarding everyone on my social media with these posts so I thought I’d do that thing people do these days and start a blog. About (mostly) music and all of the varied crap that I listen to.

It all stems from this little beat up notebook here. I started to write down things that I was listening to and what I thought of them, or things to listen to later and check out, records/CDs/tapes to buy, shows to go to, things that I think my friends would like. Just lots of nonsense about music. I have a poor memory, which is why this all came about!

It’s quite a therapeutic thing for me to write about, music, and I am under no illusion that anyone will give a damn about it and I most certainly am not a writer. I’m just a bore who needs an outlet, gimmie a break!

I’ll write something “serious” soon when I fully figure out this website editing shit.

 

Vari