Sunday, 18 December 2016

WHATEVERS – 'Totally Buggin'' cassette review


WHATEVERS – 'Totally Buggin'' cassette review


Well, at seven tracks in probably as many minutes, this is one of the shortest tapes I own, but that doesn't make it any less great. WHATEVERS are a female two-piece (drums and guitars with dual vocals) who play very lo-fi pop-punk with funny lyrics and vocal melodies. It's pretty darn catchy with a bit of a 90s vibe, and you definitely won't forget songs like 'I Hope Not Sporadically', 'I Do Not Wear Polyester Hair' and 'Cher and Dionne' any time soon (those song-titles alone should give you a pretty good indication as to the tone of this stuff). A really fun little listen with cool artwork that also comes on a pink shell cassette; ace!


xox

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

NACHTHEXEN self-titled 7" review



NACHTHEXEN self-titled 7" review

NACHTHEXEN are bloody amazing. Their first release, a cassette called 'The Other' was one of my favourite releases of recent years, and this new EP is no less brilliant. Four tracks of angry, energetic, synth-fuelled punk-rock from four women from Sheffield, with some tight drum and bass work, and keyboard sounds that still remind me of old horror movie scores. Despite there being a kind of dark, gothy vibe to this, there are a lot of moments on it that will make you laugh, as well as loads of gang shouts, and some ace lyrics about anxiety, intoxicated males and the spaces they claim, diet culture, and there's also a re-recording of their classic 'Cheer Up Luv'. Definitely worth checking if you fancy some shouty-synthy-gothy punk-rock with politically strong lyrics. It also has cool artwork and comes on lovely piss-yellow wax. Ace!

*They also have a track on our latest comp cassette*

xox

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

NASDAQ / MOTHERTRUCKER split 12” (DAQTRUCK) review



NASDAQ / MOTHERTRUCKER split 12” (DAQTRUCK) review


Well how's this for a monumental line-up for a split record? Manchester-based NASDAQ's EP 'AGM / Fourth Quarter Slump' blew me (and pretty much anyone else that listened to it) away when it got released a few years back, and Stourbridge-based MOTHERTRUCKER have been consistently putting out colossal stuff for as long as I can remember. So NASDAQ only have one track on here but it's about fifteen minutes worth of instrumental magic that drifts in and out of huge riffs, sweeping highs, technical funky beats, and ambient interludes. They're very very good at building momentum, playing a similar rhythm for a good few minutes at a time, but working in subtle intricacies on each instrument, giving you plenty of time to get into the groove of each section before it falls away into new territory. Nestled in amongst the longer parts of this tune, there's an absolutely killer riff at about 8:50 in, which is made all the more special for its short length, and is worth replaying the whole song back for. I'm always amazed at the dynamism and contrast in highs and lows that they manage to create with just one guitar. Awesome stuff. MOTHERTRUCKER are another great band for dynamics, but focussing a little more on the heavier side of things, with the kind of cathartic riffs that only a band that has been going for over ten years can forge. Both of their songs on this half of the split are dark, sludgey, post-metal affairs, that contrast the heavy textures of metallic riffing with delayed, stoner leads, which break into atmospheric, spacey interludes, before caving back into some more monumental riffs and sweeping melodies; a contrast that's emphasised by some careful and effective song structuring, and some really killer drumming that's all at once solid and pounding, and tight and technical. An atmospheric yet crushing listen. Definitely a split to pick up for fans of amazing prog / stoner / post-metal heaviness.

This split is coming out next year I believe, so the best way to keep up to date with its release would be to follow the guys on the ol' Facebook:

xox

Monday, 12 December 2016

THE HUNX self-titled CD review



THE HUNX self-titled CD review

So I know Jay from THE HUNX because he used to put on ace gigs of skatepunk bands in Birmingham when he was at Uni down here (I discovered some great bands through shows he put on); it therefore makes sense that he would play in an ace skatepunk band himself, and here they are. THE HUNX have that sound that reminds me of stuff that used to come out on HOUSEHOLD NAME RECORDS like HOSTAGE LIFE, crossed with anything that comes out on FAT WRECK CHORDS, and UK skate punk bands like NO CONTEST and fellow Scousers DOWN AND OUTS. It's pretty much all played in double time so it has a load of energy, some wicked guitar work, ace sing-a-longs and choruses (as well as some funny bits of spoken word), and lyrics that range from the humorous 'Pizza Song', to the more politically driven 'House of Frauds'. If you're after fast, melodic skatepunk done right, you can't go wrong with this cracking five track EP, and Mark Bell illustrated the cover so it looks as ace as it sounds.


xox

Saturday, 10 December 2016

THE POTENTIALS – 'We Are the Potentials' CD review


THE POTENTIALS – 'We Are the Potentials' CD review


THE POTENTIALS are class; they play 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' themed fuzzy pop-punk (yes, seriously) that's lo-fi, catchy, and full of energy, with some really funny lyrics and absolutely loads of three-part vocal harmonies. That's actually one of the best things about this EP; pretty much constant vocals of mostly singing but with a bit of shouting too. Lyrically and musically, it predictably (being themed on a show of that era) has a pretty 90s vibe, but generally reminds me of bands like FABULOUS DISASTER. My two fave tunes on here are the irresistibly catchy opener 'The Potentials Theme', which is a perfect introduction to the band (and I believe has a video now), and 'Hail Moloch' which is probs one of the most memorable and fun tunes on here, but this is an entirely enjoyable listen, whether you're into Buffy or not. It has awesome artwork by Jack Fallows too!


xox

Monday, 21 November 2016

ANDREW CREAM – 'Self Portrait' review



ANDREW CREAM – 'Self Portrait' review


I'd never heard of ANDREW CREAM before this, but his stuff is really pretty wonderful; kind of full band acoustic / folky pop-punk stuff that's really bright and energetic with really catchy vocal melodies and choruses. I had to check that this wasn't the vocalist from the amazing ABOVE THEM because his tone of voice is quite similar, and actually I guess it's not too far off musically either (apart from the acoustic-ness of course), which is never a bad thing. There are some really posi lyrics on here too about finding yourself, becoming who you want to be, and other lovely bits of personal politics, which makes it a really fun and uplifting listen. I've had this on in the car quite frequently for a while now, but I could pretty much listen to it at any time, whether I felt up or down, and that's a pretty rare thing. So yeah, really glad I got asked to review this, and you should totally check it out if you need a lift, or you just like some folky pop-punk!


xox

Monday, 14 November 2016

TEGAN AND SARA – 'Love You To Death' review


TEGAN AND SARA – 'Love You To Death' review


Who doesn't love TEGAN AND SARA? They continually change and develop their sound, and consistently write incredible music regardless of what genre their music might fall under. This new album bears more similarity to their last album 'Heartthrob' than anything before that, swapping dark, subtle melodies and emotion of albums like 'The Con' for massive, bright pop songs, and as much as I miss the sound of said album, I really can't complain because this is brilliant. The choruses to some of these songs are so catchy it's just ridiculous; 'Faint of Heart', 'Dying to Know', and 'Stop Desire' will stick to you very quickly, and when they do slow the pace and pull back for the ballad '100x' (one of my faves for sure) it's just beautiful, and shows off their perpetual capacity for writing sensitive, touching songs. I can't really work out what's so great about the sound they have now; it's almost like it combines the best of 80s, 90s, and contemporary pop with their own, irresistible, distinct writing style, but whatever it is, it's phenomenal. If you liked 'Heartthrob', this maybe doesn't quite reach the heights of that masterpiece, but it comes very bloody close, so you should love it. If you don't really know TEGAN AND SARA I urge you to check them out ASAP, especially their newer stuff if you dig stuff like ROBYN, FOXES, and METRIC, but also check out albums like 'The Con' for something darker. Another stunning piece of work.


xox