Posts Tagged ‘Berries’

Xtra Mile Recordings – 8th July 2022

Christopher Nosnibor

She sang it! She sang it! Yes, the hook to the album’s opening song, ‘We are Machines’ is ‘We are machines / it’s how we function’. Simple pleasures and all that. But there are many pleasures packed into this album’s forty minutes.

Having been showcasing BERRIES tunes since the time of their second EP back in 2017, the arrival of their full-length debut is a cause of excitement. And the anticipation is justified, with a tight set of songs that don’t disappoint.

What’s promised is an album ‘rammed with taut, angular guitar lines and packing a gritty, garage-grunge punch’, and that’s what’s delivered. None of the songs are over four minutes in duration, but they each contain so much action, so much traction, so much movement, each takes time to unravel the tightly-woven, knotted, intermingled noodly jumbles of guitar lines. There’s a lot of taut, tense jangling and angling going on here, as they cut across the mathy aspects of the guitar lines and the spiky post-punk chop of Gang of Four, and they marry it all together with strong melodic vocals.

The tension is appropriate for an album that tackles themes of mental health, feeling overlooked and sexism ‘with a searing honesty and intensity’ to present, as the put it, a collection of songs about “growth, strength and rising above all of the negativity and noise”.

There isn’t a duff track to be found here. Yes, the singles are obvious choices and standouts, not least of all the gutsy ‘Haze’, which is more or less representative of the album as a whole with its bold , grungy guitars and dynamic construction, exploding into the chorus after an understated verse, but then ‘Discreetly’ really pushes things hard, and rocks more overtly than much of the album with a monster chorus and driving riff – and frenzied guitar solo – and packs it all into two and a half minutes. ‘Fabricate’ calls to mind Kenny Loggins’ ‘Dangerzone’, and is propelled by a thick, gritty bass, while the guitars stop and start and stutter, and ‘Basic Tables’ starts with some tightly interweaving, stop/spart guitar work before breaking into a breezy chorus.

What BERRIES achieve is a perfect balance of passion and personal honesty, with sass and a pop sensibility. That means that How We Function feels sincere, as it is, but isn’t lecturesome or lugubrious. It doesn’t sugar-coat difficult emotional matters, but isn’t whiney or woeful. How We Function is an album of empowerment, of determination. The songs are both instant grabs and growers, and with this much energy, it’s exciting, not just the first time, but again and again.

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BERRIES have unleashed a third cut from their debut album ‘How We Function’ (out 8 July 2022).

Rhythmic and rambunctious in equal measure, meticulous new track “Haze” seesaws between infectious and antsy in a beat — and evokes how unexpected the onset of intrusive thoughts and mental hurdles can be.

Just as biting as earlier tracks “We Are Machines” and “Wall of Noise”, albeit with a more measured edge, the new track showcases the band’s tight musicianship and ability to find optimism — and craft an arresting melody — in a tough time.

Of the new release, Berries explain: “”Haze” represents the barriers we often put up and how scary but also uplifting it can be when they break down. The “Haze” descends when least expected and is hard to fight through, but it’s important to recognise the strength it takes to open up and fight past the intrusive thoughts and be the best version of yourself.”

Listen here:

BERRIES – UK DATES

July

8 – 2000Trees Festival

31 – Kendal Calling

September

17th – Lost Evenings V Festival in Berlin

October (Headline)

19 – Nottingham, Bodega

20 – Bristol, Mr Wolf’s

21 – Hull, The Adelphi

22 – Leeds, Santiago Bar

25 – Manchester, Gulliver’s

26 – London, Oslo

November

9 – Newcastle, Cluny *

10 – Glasgow, Drygate *

11 – Sheffield, Leadmill *

12 – Manchester, Gorilla *

23 – Oxford, O2 Academy 2 *

24 – Birmingham, O2 Academy 2 *

25 – Bournemouth, Old Fire Station *

26 – London, Islington Assembly Hall *

Berries

Credit: Caetano Candal Sato

Kick Out The Jams & End Of The Trail Creative are putting on a 3-day mini-festival, The Brighton Rock ‘N’ Roll Circus at The Black Lion between the 12th-14th May 2022. The event, supported by CD Baby, Blackstar Amplification & The Zine UK, which features bands like The Pearl Harts, Moon Panda, Berries, A Void, Enjoyable Listens, Sons, DEH-YEY, Bullet Girl, and Aural Aggro’s new faves, Warning Signal is a free entry alternative to The Great Escape.

And what a lineup!

Circo das Arabias

From the organisers: "Driven by a desire to offer live music fans in Brighton and from further afield a free alternative to the official Great Escape programme of shows, which are only accessible with an expensive conference badge or festival wristband, indie promoters Kick Out The Jams and End of the Trail have come together at The Black Lion for The Brighton Rock’n’Roll Circus; an exciting free entry three-day mini-festival of over forty bands running from 12th-14th May.

This show is the natural successor to The Brighton Mix-Up which last took place in May 2019, a similar three day show also at The Black Lion. Of course, the pandemic put a stop to all music festivals for a couple of years, so it’s really good to be back in Brighton again with an amazing lineup of bands from around the country, playing in an intimate venue in the heart of The Lanes area, bang in the middle of the town."

Kick Out The Jams & End Of The Trail Creative need your help! Unfortunately, they haven’t been able to secure the usual sponsorship for their 3-day FREE ENTRY mini-festival in Brighton in May.

Faced with taking a pretty big hit on production expenses associated with putting on an event of this kind, as the pub is not a regular music venue & doesn’t have any live music tech in place for the show, they are having to hire it all in.

So, if you are planning to come to the show and seeing some (or all!) of the 40+ bands they’ve lined up for you, please consider helping them with these costs by contributing to the Go Fund Me campaign.

Thanks for your support!

https://www.gofundme.com/the-brighton-rocknroll-circus

Grappling with themes of insecurity and isolation, the gritty new track combines tight instrumentation with jagged riff-roaring melodies. Calculated and convulsive in equal measure, ‘Wall of Noise’ comes as a taste of the band’s debut album, which is expected for release this summer.

Chewing through twangy vocals, angular guitar lines and a guttural garage-grunge feel, Berries cultivate a craggy landscape of layered noise-rock that is evocative of the “noise” that so many of us constantly find pervading our own thoughts. Pelting us from all angles with their meticulously frenetic sound, the band explain of the track: “Lyrically the song gives a nod to how self-doubt and how solitude can heighten and affect these feelings. Feeling lost or confused can produce the noisiest thoughts in your mind and that’s what we wanted to convey in this song.”

And, while its lyricism might deal with notions of self-doubt, the track marks a clear, confident and calculated next step in the band’s development.

Listen to ‘Wall of Noise’ here:

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Now this, we dig. Berries have announced the release of their new single ‘Wild Vow’ – the first track taken from their second EP, which sees the band further explore their unique take on riff-driven rock with even more grit and confidence. ‘Wild Vow’ boasts big riffs and choruses and further highlights the clever musicianship, weaving guitar and basslines and well-considered dum patterns that this exciting three-piece are becoming known for.

Get your lugs round ‘Wild Vow’ here:

Berries have some live dates coming up, too:

5th July – Headline Single Launch Show with Scruff of The Neck Records at The Old Blue Last, London with The Opera Comic + Rylands Heath, Free Entry.

22nd July – Tramlines Fringe Festival for Northern Crossroads Promotionsat The Church House Inn, Sheffield.

19th August – The Soup kitchen with Scruff of The Neck Records supporting Proletariat + King Kartel, Manchester.

8th September – The Finsbury, Gigslutz Promotions, London

 

Berries Wild