The whole emo-grunge thing is certainly a thing with younger bands, it’s not really but my cup of tea but every now and then there’s one that grabs your attention because they don’t spread themselves too thinly. Take Glasgow’s Flakes with their new tape out on Struggletown Records, few can pull of a trudging slowcore track like ‘got the morbs’ and get away with it. Meandering and delicate, a pacemaker. Music doesn’t need to be played faster than this.
This my favourite kind of music: splurging guitars, dreamy off-key vocals with a decent helping of key changes. Well-deserving recipients of the emo badge are Ensslin, a band from Russia who sound like a mish-mash of Ribbon Fix, early Football, etc and Sore Eyelids (the washy guitars in particular). Just two songs, but there’s more going on than most manage in their whole discography.
A very kind so-and-so (BaronxBones) filmed Notts emos Soul Structure at our show in London a couple of weeks back. The sound is super crisp, and where lineup goes this is a new dynamic for the three-piece, with Chris from The Blue Period taking over on drums. Pick up their debut LP The Body of Man from Barely Regal if you like what’s coming out your speakers.
It’s good to keep tabs on people like Dan Riehl – now, some may be familiar with his drumming in The Reptilian (who toured the UK with Empire! Empire! back in 2012) but Dan is also a great purveyor of music promotion in his hometown Kalamazoo, MI – helping out-of-town bands with a place to play and rest their heads once the sweat has dried up.
Adding to that, there’s his new band Guppy – a four-piece comprising members of Seventeen Again, Anybody But The Cops and Shoto that relishes in the wailing, inexhaustible sound of bands like Dinosaur Jr – a thumbs up for any Exploding in Sound Records fans. Stream their EP “We Grow Small, We Grow Stupid” below and pick it up on gold-tape from Skeletal Lightning.
Alcopop! and Dog Knights Productions share the release credentials on this latest split by long-haulers Johnny Foreigner, slack punks Doctrines and best buds Doe and Playlounge. These four-way splits don’t come around too often and, like the bit of chocolate at the end of a cornetto, they satisfy immensely. Dare you to pick a favourite.
Following on from his tape, Welcome to Lovers House, the multi-talented Sheffield Adam John Humphrey has compiled 11 songs for his new self-titled album.
Toucans is quite simple in nature and as you can no doubt guessed – the buildings blocks start with a few short strums on the guitar. In some cases, a casio keyboard is added or a faint kick drum, and that’s about it. Those that irk at things being too minimal, will be won over by Adam’s sparse and surprising songwriting that help turn what, on the face of it could deemed ‘just another background-noise bedroom recording‘ to something with serious substance and style.
Camberwell four-piece, The Johns Experience play courageous power-pop that harks back to the days of 90’s middle America, with the exception of the London accent of course. Put aside the Archers of Loaf or Sebadoh reference points for a second, and you’ll come to realise that this lots affinity for writing damn catchy songs is what’s most important here.
Totally boss is an underused expression. It’s something that’s saved for the ultimate, the supreme, or undefinable – a phrase to describe the feeling one gets from the ‘demolition’ of a ‘greasy burger’ or crafty goal scoring in the game of football. Where music goes, there’s few that can be given such a title, because most take themselves too seriously and ruin the fun outcomes. Safe to say, there’s little sign of Rice Milk nominating themselves for a prize at next years Ivors but boy are they good.
Following on from 2013’s Be A Mensch, Newcastle two-piece Rice Milk’s newest tape out on Good Food: tapes & zines is a stripped-back combo of lighthearted pop and oafish indie. From the recurring riffs in take my weight to the stunted songs in length like nye, Weird Year is a proven short and snappy release, it’s only drawback being there’s not enough of it to go round.
Leaving little time to meddle in the glitzy dramas of Scandinavian post-punk, Copenhagen screeching punks Tvivler (Danish for doubter) go back to basics with this debut four-song EP Negativ Psykologi #1, their first installment in a 7″ trilogy. (you ‘erd).
These four-tracks have all the ferocity of JR Ewing or a Life At These Speeds – jammed with a great big ton of distortion and hiss.
Sorry about the quiet round here, been busy with work, Primavera, etc. Saw Ohio’s Total Babes at The Lexington last night supporting the mighty Pile. I really thought they were quite special – way more original than your usual 90’s indie-fuzzy-rock-Pavement-ripoff. They also have the drummer of Cloud Nothings bashing things out back too and have a nice record out on Wichita Records.