Archive for October, 2022

Commemorating the spookiest day of the year with a haunting official video ripe for the occasion, it sees the experimental pop duo team-up with esteemed video directors Philip Reinking & Tom Linton (who directed 2020 twisted fantasy ‘The Hat’).  Speaking about the video the directors say:

"A werewolf serial killer is stalking the streets of London. Inspired by Classic Hammer horrors and Jack the Ripper, ‘Hurt Like No Hurt’ was filmed at the Royal Naval College in Greenwich and comes with an added pinch of camp that will have you howling for more."

Eerie and atmospheric with pulsing electronics that pave the way for more urgent rock flourishes, the emotive new track is a runaway rollercoaster ride that embarks on a tumultuous journey through both genre and feeling. Described by the duo as “departing from a place where Giorgio Morodor meets John Barry, to a destination where The Stooges meet The Supremes”, the track was arranged by Rob Ellis (PJ Harvey, Anna Calvi).

A clamouring track where visceral and cathartic lyrics lead to a triumphant and transcendental climax, vocalist Jova Radevska explains of the track:

“’Hurt Like No Hurt’ is a song about relationship ghosting, the merry-go-round of breaking up and making up, and the inevitable finality of it all. An ultimate realisation that there comes a point where no matter what, there’s just no going back; when the only choice is the inevitable grief and acceptance of loss in order to emerge as a stronger person. Sometimes no further words need to be spoken, the sound of silence is enough.”

Filled with Yova’s trademark experimental magnetism, ‘Hurt Like No Hurt’ sees quietly oscillating electronica, bursts of cinematic mandolin and the clarion calls of distant trumpets slowly surrender to the raw power of thunderous Motown-style drums, growling bass and an ascending tsunami of massed guitars.

Arriving as the first glimpse of new music from Yova since the release of their debut album Nine Lives earlier this year, the track is taken from their new ‘Hurt Like No Hurt’ digital bundle. The full track-list will land on 18 November, and includes a live session rendition of the duo’s track ‘Rain’ previously remixed by Erasure’s Vince Clarke, alongside an instrumental version of ’Hurt Like No Hurt’.

Watch the video here:

YOVA are Jova Radevska and Mark Vernon. With Vernon a seasoned veteran of the alternative music scene — having managed and recorded with John Cale, and co-produced tracks on PJ Harvey’s debut album ‘Dry’ — a chance encounter with Macedonian vocalist and songwriter Jova would pave the way for their bewitching collaborative project.

Their debut album ‘Nine Lives’ was released earlier this year to praise from the likes of Louder Than War, Electronic Sound and MOJO, with the latter hailing the album as “a beguiling debut from a duo of sonic adventurers” in their 4/5 star review.

With their video for previous single “An Innocent Man” scooping the Best Animation Music Video at the New York Animation Awards, the band also played their debut live performance in London earlier this year. Yova are currently putting the finishing touches to their second album due for release Spring 2023.


Pioneering Boston rock band Nervous Eaters, contemporaries of bands like the Ramones, The Police, Iggy Pop, and The Pretenders, are debuting ‘End Of The World Girl,’ the next single and a video off their forthcoming album titled Monsters + Angels out November 11 via Stevie Van Zandt’s Wicked Cool Records.

Watch the video here:


Of the track, singer, guitarist, songwriter, producer Steve Cataldo says, "When I wrote “END OF THE WORLD GIRL” last year, I had no idea the song might turn out to be somewhat prophetic. With so many world leaders talking about WW3 and atomic warfare, there’s no telling what might happen. I would say, today, right now, is the best time to “Heat up the oven an get some Good Lovin” going on or better yet, how about a date with a “streetwalking, sweet talking, End of The World Girl”.

Formed in the mid-70’s, the Nervous Eaters would eventually become the house band for the legendary Boston punk rock club The Rat, where they established themselves as a leading punk rock band in the Northeast, playing with a who’s who of punk and new wave luminaries, including The Police, The Ramones, The Cars, Patti Smith, Dead Boys, Iggy Pop, The Stranglers, Go-Go’s and many others.

The Cars’ Ric Ocasek produced the band’s original demos, which got the band signed to Elektra Records, and they went on to tour around the world. However, after a series of poor decisions on the part of the label, their major label debut album failed to deliver on the promise of their legendary live shows.

After dissolving the band, Nervous Eaters returned in the mid-80’s and has been revived over the years with various lineups.

The current version of the Nervous Eaters formed in 2018 and includes three other Boston rock vets, bassist Brad Hallen (of Ministry, Ric Ocasek and The Joneses), drummer David McLean (of Willie Alexander’s Boom Boom Band) and guitarist/vocalist Adam Sherman (of Private Lightning), and between them, they have recorded and/or toured with such artists as Ministry, Iggy Pop, Aimee Mann, Jane Wiedlin, Susan Tedeschi, Jimmie Vaughan, Lenny Kaye and many others.


Photo: Carissa Johnson

Christopher Nosnibor

I am not happy. I was supposed to be at a gig in Sheffield this evening – a gig that had super-early doors – 18:30 – and a super—early finish (22:00). When booking the ticket for the gig, I checked the trains, and there was a 23:05 that got me home some time a little after midnight. Now, the last train home is at 21:22. I could split the journey, and make the 22:25 train to Doncaster, arriving into Doncaster at 22:49. But it only connects with the 23:50 out, which thanks to a lengthy wait in the arse-end of nowhere, takes 9 hours and 58 minutes, arriving into York at 08:48. Getting a train to Leeds is marginally, better, but not really: the sole train that goes via Leeds instead of Doncaster arrives in Leeds at 23:27, missing the 23:25 by 2 minutes, and so getting into York at, or there’s the 23:05 from Sheffield to Doncaster, which then connects to the 23:50 to Leeds, which, having missed the cancelled 23:24 means waiting for the first train out on Sunday at 08:14. No thanks.

This is not a criticism of striking rail staff: there are no strikes involved here. The reduced timetables are companies, heavily subsidised by the government, cutting services to maintain maximum profit. When I say cutting services, it’s not really a service when you can’t get anywhere when you need to.

They may not have sufficient staff to run the services, but why is that? The mantra that ‘no-one wants to work anymore’ is quite simply bollocks. It’s just that no-one wants to work to the detriment of their health and wellbeing, no-one wants to work two or three jobs to then have to still find time between shifts to queue at the local foodbank. No-one wants to work themselves to an early grave without spending any time with their families. People work to live, they don’t live to work, unless they’re deranged.

At a time when the economy is on its knees, the government claim to be supporting both people and businesses. But what gig venues need is for people from beyond the immediate catchment to be able to attend live music shows.

Back in 2014, I published a collection of essays entitled The Changing Face of Consumerism, which focused largely on the demise of the high-street record store and the like. Things felt pretty bleak then, but these were positively halcyon times compared to now, where we’re living in an amalgamation of every dystopian future ever written or dramatized.

Time was when travel was considered a luxury – but that related to air travel, not domestic rail. It simply should not cost more to travel domestically than to travel overseas. And in looking to book tickets for non-existent return to tickets from York to Sheffield, I noticed the price was around £28. Given that it’s approximately 50 miles between the two cities, that’s around 25p a mile, around 5p per mile more than the average vehicle, be it petrol or diesel. It wasn’t so long that it was perhaps £17. Similarly, pre-pandemic, a return to Leeds was around £12. Not it’s about £18. This cannot all be put down to rising fuel prices, and however much the government insist it’s all down to ‘Putin’s war on Ukraine;, this was escalating long before the tensions did.

But with crippling inflation and real-time wages crashing, like many people, I don’t have the same disposable income I had before, and so I choose the events I attend with a no small amount of consideration. To now not be able to attend because it’s simply not possible to travel isn’t only frustrating for me: the rail providers have lost a ticket sale, and the music venue has lost the sale of maybe three or four pints, and the band potentially, say a T-shirt or CD sale, in a climate when bands only survive by the skin of their teeth by selling merchandise on tour because everyone’s streaming music nowadays and the only people who make off that are the streaming platforms and major labels.

It’s a domino sequence, and what should be clear from this real-life example is that by cutting public services, or running what should be public services privately, for profit and the benefit of shareholders, is that the people who actually require the service are the ones who suffer, but it also has a knock-on effect to many other areas of the economy. The venue sells fewer pints, so they buy in less beer; the breweries sales decline, especially in the face of rising production costs and small breweries fold, large ones cut staff to reduce costs against declining sales. The staff who’ve been laid off don’t have an income, let alone disposable income to go to gigs, to go to pubs and bars, to go to coffee shops, to have meals out.

We no longer manufacture or have any industry to speak of: we’re dependent on people dining and drinking out, on going to the cinema, on going bowling, attending sporting events, on watching live music.

So when these tertiary industries are crushed, so is the nation as a whole, because there is nothing else. How does this stack up against the aim for growth and a high-skilled, high salary economy? This is, of course, a rhetorical question.

Call it trickle-down economics, call it what you like: the fact is that giving money to the rich, be it by tax breaks, or allowing major corporations to siphon off immense profits to divvy out to shareholders and top-flight executives does absolutely nothing for the majority of people, be they working people, laid-off people, or zero-hours contracts people who are statistically in work but in reality earning nothing.

One can’t help but feel that capitalism is slowly suffocating itself, and at an accelerating rate. Before long, the top 5% will own everything while the rest are dying in the gutter, at which point the elite will have no-one left to milk anything from. But until that day, they’re just going to keep on draining every last drop.

Fuck’s sake. I just wanted a night off with beer and live music over the county border.


Danny Elfman has unveiled a brand new music video for Boy Harsher’s remix of ‘Happy’, the latest visual to accompany his recent remix album ‘Bigger. Messier’ [Anti- / Epitaph]. Complete with unsettlingly saccharine smiles, laughter and cheerleading choreography that feel like a warped VHS tape unearthed from the deepest depths of the 1980s, the music video brings to life the duo’s darkwave pop rendition of the song with the help of directors Muted Widows and Elfman’s creative director Berit Gwendolyn Gilma.

Watch the video here:


The release comes just in time for Elfman’s highly anticipated back-to-back concerts on October 28th and 29th at The Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, CA, both of which will feature Boy Harsher as a special guest. Entitled Danny Elfman: From Boingo to Batman to Big Mess and Beyond!, the live concerts will see Elfman presenting expanded, full-length versions of his internet-breaking, critically acclaimed performances at Coachella Music and Arts Festival earlier this spring. His first official career-spanning headline performances, both nights at the iconic Hollywood Bowl will feature Elfman backed by the same rock band, orchestra, and choir that he played with at Coachella, as they perform songs from Oingo Boingo; his solo career, including his 2021 album ‘Big Mess’; as well as a plethora of his film scores and television themes from Alice in Wonderland, Batman, Edward Scissorhands, The Nightmare Before Christmas, The Simpsons, and more.

The audience will be transported into Elfman’s vision and magical world; with his haunting compositions brought to life on stage and enhanced by visuals on the big screen. Fans who didn’t make it to the Coachella shows or those who were there and want to experience an extended version won’t want to miss it.   

The release of this music video also arrives on the second anniversary of the release of Elfman’s original version of ‘Happy’, serving as a full circle moment for him and a return to the origin of his expansive and wildly ambitious Big Mess project: the track that ignited it all two years ago. A biting social commentary, ‘Happy’ marked the first taste from Big Mess upon its initial premiere in October 2020 and saw the 4x Oscar nominated, Grammy and Emmy Award-winning artist deliver the unexpected yet again – just as he has all throughout his incomparably prolific career.   

Following the release of ‘Happy’ along with several other dynamic singles and aesthetically inventive videos, Elfman officially debuted ‘Big Mess’ in June 2021 to widespread acclaim. Clocking in at 18 tracks, the kinetic double album finds Elfman breaking bold new ground as both a songwriter and a performer while joining forces with drummer Josh Freese (Devo, Weezer, The Vandals), bassist Stu Brooks (Dub Trio, Lady Gaga, Lauryn Hill), and guitarists Robin Finck (Nine Inch Nails, Guns N’ Roses) and Nili Brosh (Tony MacAlpine, Paul Gilbert).  

Always continuing to push the envelope, Elfman then unveiled ‘Bigger. Messier.’ this past summer –a brand new genre-defying album of remixed and reimagined versions of music from ‘Big Mess’. The 21-track project is comprised of collaborations and guest vocal features from a sprawling array of artists including Trent Reznor, Iggy Pop, HEALTH, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, Zach Hill of Death Grips, Xiu Xiu, Squarepusher, Ghostemane and many more. With the help of his collaborators Gilma and Stu Brooks, and his longtime manager Laura Engel, Elfman enlisted a unique arsenal of artists to use the original Big Mess songs as their canvases and experiment in their own distinct voices.   

Both ‘Big Mess’ and ‘Bigger. Messier.’ channel the riveting unpredictability that has pulsed through all of Elfman’s projects to date, from his early days with the theatrical Mystic Knights to the rock band Oingo Boingo, to his prolific work scoring over 100 films & television series including Marvel’s new blockbuster Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Noah Baumbach’s buzzing new film White Noise, and Tim Burton’s highly anticipated new series Wednesday.


Photo by Jonathan Williamson

The Circle Music – 9th September 2022

Christopher Nosnibor

Dakini, the debut album by Lisa Hammer (Requiem In White, Mors Syphilitica) was originally released back in 2009. It’s been described as ‘music for ritual, introspection and awakening of the senses’, ‘a complete manifesto of inner search in which a lot of influences from different genres of music’, and that it was ‘designed to carry the listener away from the manifest world and into a deeper space’.

Re-released here on limited coloured vinyl as an expanded release with three additional tracks, it provides an ideal opportunity for existing fans to re-evaluate, and reacquaint themselves, and for latecomers to be introduced.

It happens that I’m in the latter camp, and so am coming to the album with fresh ears, and only the facts that it’s pitched as being for fans of Dead Can Dance while promising ‘unprecedented vocals, sometimes angelic and sometimes damned as if they come from another period forgotten by the time.

Now, one might ask, if the original release was a ‘complete manifesto’, is the inclusion of additional tracks not gilding the lily? Especially when considering that ‘the Indian ragas correspond with times of the day, so the album represents a condensed 24 hours, which is perfect for ritual, or any emotional and spiritual trip.’ In context, there is the question off how to assimilate the additional material in the least obtrusive way, with the least impact on the flow that is so integral to the original concept?

Opening the album with a new, seven-minute ‘Alte Clamat Epicurus’ works nicely; it’s an evocative vocal incantation with a sparse droning backing. It sounds – in the mind’s eye, and with a small soupçon of imagination – like a sunrise, like an awakening. Hammer sounds both otherworldly and most incredibly earthy, which is no small feat – but then, I find that this is something particular to music, particularly vocalisations, which tap into echoes of ancient spirituality. While exalting the heavens, there feels as though there is a deeper connection with the ground, the rocks, trees, the elements. It paves the way perfectly for ‘In Taberna Quando Sumus’; simple, rhythmic, repetitive. As the album progresses, one becomes attuned to the sense of an arc, of a cycle, and Hammer leads the listener on a journey inside. Some of the musical arrangements are so minimal as to be barely there, the sound of the wind and cavernous reverberations, while others are centred around hypnotic percussion and wordless choral vocalisations, as on the powerful ‘Samsara’ and the lilting, ethereal ‘Vajra’.

That flow is disrupted somewhat with a dance mix of ‘Chant Nr 5’ dropped as the fourteenth track at the end of side three. In the sense that it bookends the side, which opens with the original version, it makes some sort of sense, but still… it’s incongruous, sweeping away the drifting incense with a busy beat and quavering organ tone. Perhaps this is why I’m always hesitant to use the term ‘world’ music: it’s such a western-centric view of the globe, where ‘the world’ is vast and the west occupies only a sliver of it, both geographically and culturally. In the west, the west is the world and perceives its cultural dominance as such. It’s a badly skewed perspective.

While Dakini incorporates elements of what would commonly be described as ‘world’ music, it’s really ‘world’ music in that it truly embraces music from the world in its full breadth, with the delicate sing-song of ‘Lullaby’ perhaps owing more to western traditions and showing that for Hammer, all sources are equal, and it makes for a rich and moving listening experience.

Side four ends, and closes the album, with the third and final bonus track, ‘Hurdy Gurdy Gavotte’. And there, it sits perfectly.


Criminal Records – 28th October 2022

Christopher Nosnibor

Having released the No Guts All the Glory EP in November last year, just seven months after their second LP, False Company, Weekend Recovery have already been making announcements about album number three, to be named Esoteric. We’ll have to wait and see if it lives up to its titles promise of obscure knowledge and rare wisdom, but lead single ‘Chemtrails’ has already garnered some advance radio play and some kudos from DJs in the process.

First, it’s a snappy tune with a nagging guitar and an airy vocal hook and a load of their now trademark woo-oohs, so it’s radio-friendly, but more than that, this song packs a lot onto two minutes and eighteen seconds. Stylistically, it’s a poppy punky hybrid that’s equal parts X-Ray Spex and Shampoo. Then there’s the fact that Lori shifts into a spoken delivery for the verses: it’s not rappy, but it’s rhythmic, and puts the lyrics to the fore.

Lyrically, it’s interesting, in that it’s wide-ranging in its coverage. Now, it’s hard to pinpoint precisely when the ‘chemtrails’ debate began to really get traction, or why, other than ‘The Internet’ regarding the latter, but it starts out with the protagonist articulating mental confusion with the endless barrage of fake news and waves sending her insane, ‘chemtrails’ in her head and the endless talking, before swinging round to take what for some may seem an unexpected swipe at one of the particular strains of feminism that’s become popular among female-fronted circuit peers as she says ‘See, what you wanna do is stop being so right on / Telling girls to come forward, and stand where they belong / You jump into the crowd and shout and dance around.’ It shouldn’t be in any way divisive to point out that inverting the behaviours of patriarchal society by means of ‘positive discrimination’ is not the route to equality, but it’ll be interesting to see how this pans out, but it there needs to be the kind of discussion Weekend Recovery seem to be inviting here.

Sonically, it’s got more separation, and is less ‘wall of fuzz’ than the last album and EP, which is perhaps another factor in its radio appeal, although the drums are pretty dense and thick, a far cry from the trebly crack of the snares on so many commercial pop songs.

It’s a strong offering that has more depth than is first apparent – and that’s entirely the point: ‘Chemtrails’ is a song about questioning conformity. Because pop doesn’t have to be bland or vacant.

Weekend Recovery - Chemtrails (3000px)

Weekend Recovery by Jess Johnson

Photo by Jess Johnson

Unsounds Records – 1st November 2022

Christopher Nosnibor

Andy Moor has been nothing if not prolific over the course of his career, which is now well into its fourth decade, and his collaborations are truly multitudinous. He’s one of those musicians who clearly thrives on this approach to working – as comfortable contributing as steering his own path.

I’ve covered a fair few of his efforts over the last decade and a bit, both here and elsewhere – with my belated introduction in 2011 arriving via his appearance on Anne-James Chaton’s ‘Transfer /2: Princess in a Car’ single release.

Moor’s style is by no means accessible or easy, and is as distant from mainstream as is possible, but it’s highly distinctive, and this is unquestionably a significant part of his appeal, both to listeners and fellow musicians.

For this work, the accompanying notes explain how ‘Christine Abdnelnour and Andy Moor have explored the notion of hypnagogia or ‘unprotected sleep’ to drive their process for this improvised album, delving in their own experience and memories. Unprotected sleep is commonly defined as an altered state of consciousness that occurs beyond the proper or intended time of waking up, not sleeping in your own safe bed, or even sleeping without a blanket. Being slightly out of phase, one is vulnerable, fragile, but the mind is at the same time very fluid, ultra-associative with an extraordinary memory. In their music making Abdelnour (saxophone) and Moor (guitar) explore the possibilities of real and hallucination sounds and ranges that might come with deep dreaming.’

I had never known that this was a term before, but that it exists speaks on multiple levels, and on a personal level. Sleep is one of the most vital of human functions, but also the most neglected. I’m writing this at 11:30 at night after starting work at 6:30 this morning; five hours of sleep disturbed by lengthy anxiety dreams and broken by the occasional nocturnal anxiety attack is standard. I’m by no means alone in my difficult and often antagonistic and troubled relationship with sleep.

On Unprotected Sleep, Christine Abdelnour and Andy Moor soundtrack the traumas of troubled sleep magnificently. Moor’s scratchy guitar is both metronomic and agitatingly atonal, forging an aural representation of the head-nodding fatigue that so often sweeps over while challenged by needling thoughts that prick a way to wakefulness, or otherwise nag at the psyche

The heavy, grating drone of ‘80db is Loud if You’re Snoring’ ret with scraping guitars and squawks and scrapes if feedback before surging amongst the clattering of cans and escalating to a peak that will inevitably collapse. It drones and groans, and ultimately fades out.

On ‘Compartment 5’, the drone reaches an oppressive level, and it’s enriched by a blank, drony thrum. The density grows, as does the intensity, and it reminds me of the hours spent turning over and over, unable to find that right position, unable to get comfortable, and unable to that headspace conducive to settle to rest: instead, everything is an awkward, uncomfortable churn, accompanied by an unsettling sense off impending doom. The ‘Exchanging Oversize Chrome Objects’ brings a head-pounding crashing beat and uncomfortable churn that’s deeply unsettling, and there’s an uneasiness that permeates the album as a whole.

For many, the experience, if not necessarily the specific sounds, will resonate. Unprotected Sleep is a far from relaxing or soothing sonic experience, built on drones and dissonance, lurching atonal wandering guitar parts and inconsistent tempos that butt against low-key but uncomfortable saxophone drones and honks. Enjoyable is not the word, but compelling most certainly is.



To promote the release of debut album, Crease, Kee Avil heads back out on the road around Europe from this week through to late November, and to coincide with this, has unveiled a live video for ‘HHHH’.

She presents an organic production of her Crease live show with co-producer Zachary Scholes. Enhanced by visuals from Myriam Bleau who will provide backdrops for the shows.

Watch the video here:



27 Oct 2022 – Munich, DE @Favorit Bar
30 Oct 2022 – Montecosaro, IT @Teatro Delle Logge
31 Oct 2022 – Rome, IT @Fanfulla
01 Nov 2022 – Turin, IT @About: Blank
02 Nov 2022 – Milan, IT @ARCI Bellezza
03 Nov 2022 – Foligno, IT @ARCI Subasio
04 Nov 2022 – Bologna, IT @Circolo Dev
05 Nov 2022 – Ljubljana, SI @Galerija SKUC
06 Nov 2022 – Bratislava, SK @T3 – means of culture
07 Nov 2022 – Prague, CZ @Punctum
08 Nov 2022 – Krakow, PL @Klub RE
09 Nov 2022 – Warsaw, PL @Chmury
10 Nov 2022 – Dresden, DE @Scheune Blechschloss
11 Nov 2022 – Bremen, DE @Kultur in Buunker e.V.
13 Nov 2022 – Utrecht, NL @Le Guess Who?
18 Nov 2022 – Porto, PT @Understage


Photo by Lawrence Fafard  |  Mask by Ariane Paradis

Poole Music

AB – Experimental musician John Also Bennett – may be absolutely nothing to do with COVID vaccines, although there is something of a pandemic element to his new album, which, as the accompanying notes explain, ‘emerged from a bicoastal pandemic road trip through the badlands of South Dakota’ before ‘relocating with his wife (Kranky composer Christina Vantzou) to the cliffside village of Livaniana on the island of Crete, [where] Bennett discovered a method of translating his minimalist lap steel phrases into live MIDI information, which he then used to trigger different waveforms to extend the resonance of the instrument. This multi-layered generative process resulted in a collection as vast and bewildering as the terrain that inspired it: Out there in the middle of nowhere.

It’s quite a backstory for quite an album. The first piece, ‘Nowhere’ is a fifteen-minute epic that’s ultra-sparse and also immensely evocative of… nowhere. It’s the sound of a lost, lonely desert twang: notes bend and hang in the overheated, dusty air. Anyone who’s seen that cover art to The Eagles Greatest Hits – and we’ve all seen that – will know what I mean when I say this sounds like the music that cover really should house. That hot, red sun, the eternal road, straight stretching toward a bewildering horizon, desert on either side… It’s not about tequila sunrises and living life in the fast lane. It’s an image of desolation, of isolation, or being lost and alone. ‘Nowhere’ is the soundtrack to that. A minimal twang that reverberates across the dunes says that in time, without water, without sustenance, you could die out here. You are lost. So lost. And not just geographically. Chords land, in time, but they’re still the sound of desolation, of isolation, and they exist out of time and out of space.

The album contains four tracks (or five if you have the digital-only bonus of the instrumental version of ‘Badlands’), three of which extend beyond the twelve-minute mark, alternated with briefer compositions, with the four-minute ‘Spectral Valley’ and seven-minute ‘Embrosnerós’ are both ambience embodies, and serve as interludes to the big pieces on here.

‘Badlands’ is a beast, but also a work where very little occurs. Notes hover like spectral shadows, ghostly glyphs riding above the solid realm while feet trudge through gravel. There’s something steadily mundane that contrasts with the immensely spatial single-note reverberations. And it’s extremely appropriate. This is not an album of action or movement.

JAB is clearly focused on atmosphere here, and less is very much more. It’s haunting, and leaves you wondering, feeling as though you’re wandering a deserted graveyard, wondering… wondering.

It’s an album that explores both time and space and leaves you wondering if you have either.




JAB. Photo: Christina Vantzou

Blaggers Records – 28th October 2022

Christopher Nosnibor

I thought I was pretty much abreast of happenings on the Leeds scene, but seemingly since lockdown put paid to live action for two years and since then reduced rail services and skyrocketing rail fairs have capped my forays over the county border significantly, it transpires I’ve missed out on a lot, including the emergence of post-punk influenced indie quartet Cliché Cult. They’ve banged out five singles already since forming in 2020, and this, their first with Blaggers Records, home to JW Paris, who have found favour on 6Music and on these virtual pages also.

‘Slippy’ is kinda loose-sounding, rough ‘n’ ready Northern indie with some chiming guitars that see it land somewhere in the region of Turn on the Bright Lights Interpol and Gene and Marion in that way that nods confidently in the direction of The Smiths but avoids the maudlin self-pity and whiny nasal vocals.

You wouldn’t describe them as typical Leeds, but it’s not hard to discern why they’ve built themselves a following, and fast, and if you’re looking for a song that fits the description of ‘indie anthem’, look no further.

Cliché Cult - Artwork