Posts Tagged ‘Blaggers Records’

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

12th August 2022

James Wells

I have questions. Not least of all, why is the bassist with A.R.T, Tiarnan Mathews known as 10” Tiarnan? I sincerely hope it isn’t because of the obvious, unless it’s ironic. But then, they all have daft nicknames, with lead guitarist Bradley Allen being known as General Sweet Tooth, drummer Scott Gordon as Dijon Mustard, and rhythm guitarist Tom Strange also known rather dubiously as Daddy Strange.

To their credit, they’ve been favourably described as ‘Bowie meets The Killers’ rather than ‘oddball creepy buggers’, which s a plus, or they wouldn’t be getting a review. I’m not prejudiced, just really busy, and give preferential treatment to acts who aren’t a bit sus.

‘Nothing Better to Do’ is pitched as ‘strolling a line between indie rock and glam, whisked together with the charm of the likes of Madness and Dexy’s Midnight Runners’ and I have to admit that this doesn’t sit comfortably. I loved Madness as a kid, but by my mid-teens I not only found them a little wearisome, but had started to take issue with their flag-waving fanbase. Granted, you can’t necessarily blame a band for the fans it attracts, but nevertheless, it can be offputting.

It’s early days for A.R.T, and there’s a lot going on here with a load of 80s indie in the nagging guitar line and a certain needling insistent groove that’s hard to ignore. There are hints of Orange Juice in the mix, not to mention a dash of funk but equally some raucous white soul and a splash of blues, before they chill the vibe with a mega sax break. Why did sax breaks seem to die a death in the 80s? Shit, we need more sax breaks. We need more A.R.T.

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A.R.T artwork

Blaggers Records – 27th August 2021

Christopher Nosnibor

The Kecks go goth with their new single! Well, perhaps not quite, but ‘Tonight Might Be Different’ is certainly a slide down into darker territory compared to its predecessor, ‘All for Me’. It’s got a slinky bassline and a smooth but stutter lead guitar line that hints of late-night smokiness and even a dash of desperate sleaze. It’s not a radical shift in real terms: ‘All for Me’ made nods toward early Pulp, and this, too, expands on their Fire years death disco indie stylings, the combining the gloom and catchiness of tracks like ‘My Legendary Girlfriend’.

Lyrically, it’s an interesting one, veering between paranoia and frustration that are both relevant and relatable to many as Lennart Uschmann reflects ‘I’m so busy giving everybody else attention / My friendship starts to feel more like a disease’. But then again, these thoughts emerge from a jumble of confusion, a state which finds him ‘coming home too late and messing up the place by being way too stoned.’

Meanwhile, outside, ‘They’re kicking down the doors and making lots of noise’, and it’s all very visual, even if it is cut-up and fragmentary. It could, and probably should, all be a horrible and incoherent mess, but the end result is far from it, and it’s all in the execution.

Switching from a sinewy lead guitar to a chorus-coated echo-heavy picked rhythm that’s got that circa 1984 post-punk sound, the punchy drumming and solid bass bring a real rock swagger, and it all comes together to make for their strongest single cut yet.

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The Kecks _Tonight_single_cover