Posts Tagged ‘Garage’

Christopher Nosnibor

This was supposed to be the perfect bookend to the year: after Percy supported Soma Crew at The Crescent in May, the roles were to be swapped tonight following the release of Percy’s new album, Monorail, in June. But sadly, it wasn’t to be, on account of Percy’s drummer Jason royally fucking his back.

Gigs at this time of year are always a risk, and not only on account of the potentials for injury (as the icy pavements on the way only highlight): the fact that it’s hard sub-zero means a lot of people can’t face wrapping up again after work to turn out on an evening, and then there all of the obligatory work / mates drinks and all that cal. Throw in Steve Mason playing across town and this one was always going to be a gamble, but despite the headliners’ late withdrawal, it’s a respectable crowd who witness The Rosettas emerging sounding stronger than the last time I saw them at the end of September. The sound is solid, buzzy, grungy.

The singer’s confidence leans into arrogance throughout, and not just in ignoring advice sagely dispensed in my coverage of said show in September, while actually mentioning the recommendation not to drop a cover as their second song, they slam in with a faithful rendition of Blur’s ‘Song 2’ as the second song of the set. But it makes sense, and it is well played, as is the majority of the rest of the set. I suspect the singer’s suffering from a cold or something that gives his voice quite a ragged edge, but actually, it sounds decent.

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The Rosettas

Unfortunately, technical issues and a lack of organisation means the set ends abruptly and somewhat chaotically, but they played with enthusiasm and were a lot less reliant on covers, and ultimately made the best of a less than ideal situation.

They seem to clear out and take half the audience with them, but, undeterred, Soma Crew take the stage and drench it with sonorous droning feedback. Then they build into a single chord dragging for all eternity as the muffled drums plod away in the back and they hit peak hypnotic. And then the tremolo enters the mix and the volume steps up with the arrival of the snare drum and…. and… and… the set drifts, and my mind drifts, and it’s a most pleasant experience. Time hangs in suspension. ‘Mighty Forces’ is indeed mighty, and the mid-pace one chord chugs are supremely soporific. Everything is measured, mellow, hazy. Everything comes together to conjure a thick sonic mist, and it’s absolutely magnificent. It’s also seriously loud, as I come to realise about two-thirds of the way into the set. When did that happen? Did it get louder? Perhaps. Probably. I can’t help but feel that Soma Crew are seriously underrated, and tonight they really hit all the sweet spots at once.

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Soma Crew

Leeds trio Nervous Twitch are worthy headliners, and launch into their set without a word, no fuss, not a single note of level checking. Pow! It’s proper, unfussy, old-school punk, three and four chord thrashes played with big energy, and they’re as tight as any band you’ll hear. Sure, with a female singer (who also plays bass), they invite obvious comparisons to X-Ray Spex and Penetration, and as much as they’re punk, they’re catchy and poppy at the same time, and ultimately, they’re good fun.

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Nervous Twitch

There are, of course, many bands playing in the next fortnight, in every city across the nation. Some will draw crowds, others less so. While I enter temporary hibernation, it feels like an appropriate time to reflect, and to celebrate the venues we’re fortunate to still have, and the fact that while times remain tough, 2022 has at last seen live music return to the social calendar. And for all the other shit we’re surrounded by – I can’t even begin the list – this is something we can be immensely grateful for.

1. THE DWARVES play music that crosses all rock genres including hardcore, garage, punk, surf, noise, death metal, experimental, industrial, hip/hop, grunge and good old-fashioned pop. Even their modesty is legendary.

2. THE DWARVES first tour in 1988 covered over 6,000 miles and highlights were featured in the Village Voice. The tour consisted of 3 cities, 4 shows and $165 dollars cash. The band slept in a cargo van and booked gigs on stolen telephone cards.

3. THE DWARVES began in the 1980’s as an Illinois punk garage band, covering everything from the Seeds and Moving Sidewalks to Gang of Four and Devo. They still have skinny ties and tight pants to prove it.

4. THE DWARVES have recorded for visionary independent labels including Sympathy For The Record Industry, Epitaph, Fat Wreck Chords, Sub Pop, Bomp!, Amphetamine Reptile, Man’s Ruin, Recess, Theologian, Glitterhouse, Burning Heart, White Jazz, High Voltage, No Balls, Zodiac Killer, MVD, Midnight, Reptilian, Riotstyle, Burger and Greedy Worldwide. Some of them even paid royalties.

5. THE DWARVES have been stabbed, bludgeoned, swarmed, arrested, shut down, sabotaged and even fellated onstage and much of it is available on video, like the compilations FEFU, Fuck You Up & Get Live and Salt Lake City.

6. THE DWARVES were one of the first hardcore bands to regularly use samples, drum loops and found sounds, even on their earliest recordings where they used cassette tapes to generate them.

7. THE DWARVES teamed up with Top Ten producer Eric Valentine (Third Eye Blind, All American Rejects, Slash) to make their last 5 studio albums. He even showed up to some of the sessions! Valentine and Blag Dahlia helped write songs for Smashmouth and Skye Sweetnam.

8. THE DWARVES were kicked off tour with a UK metal band for sleeping with the girls the headliners had hired to hang out backstage. They were banned from venerable punk dive CBGBs for breaking a table and bleeding on the floor making the venue cleaner and improving its décor.

9. THE DWARVES played with the Minutemen weeks before D. Boon died, visited GG Allin in prison and did coke with the Lemonheads in a seedy hotel room. And that was all in one day! Their list of collaborators on records is vast, including the ones they can contractually mention like Dexter Holland, Josh Freese, San Quinn, Nash Kato, Gary Owens, Stacey Dee, DJ Marz and Spike Slawson.

10. THE DWARVES music has been featured on television shows like Viva La Bam, Nash Bridges, Rob and Big, Laguna Beach, 16 and Pregnant, Homewrecker, Jackass and dozens more. They appeared naked on Monster Garage and Playboy After Dark, where HeWhoCanNotBeNamed mated with a pumpkin.

11. THE DWARVES are the very best looking band in show business. They’ve shared bills with the Cramps, the Offspring, Vandals, TSOL, JFA & countless more!

12. THE DWARVES did a live one-hour performance on Japan’s prestigious NHK network. At the dinner afterward, they literally ate a horse. This turned out to be better than all of the food in Indianapolis.

13. THE DWARVES inspired a current popular catch phrase with their bestselling 2013 self-help book Make the Dwarves Good Again.

14. THE DWARVES played Berkeley’s punk collective 924 Gilman Street the first month it opened and appeared there with the likes of Green Day, NOFX and the Didjits. They were later banned for beating a spectator, but don’t worry, he was a fan of some other group.

15. THE DWARVES are a true independent band with no outside management or record deal, DIY forever. They leave no remains when they die, only footprints in the snow.

16. THE DWARVES bassist Rex Everything has been tased while committing battery and resisting arrest. He loves kittens, puppies and long walks on the beach. Guitarists HeWhoCanNotBeNamed and The Fresh Prince of Darkness teach and counsel troubled teens when not ingesting cocaine and masturbating to hardcore pornography.

17. THE DWARVES have been members of groups like KMFDM, Gnarls Barkley, Mondo Generator, Kyuss, Motochrist, Penetration Moon, The Queers, Scream, Bloodclot, Decent Criminal and The Uncontrollable. Don’t hold it against them.

18. THE DWARVES are OG’s (Original Grunge) appearing with Nirvana, Mudhoney, L7, Supersuckers, Rev. Horton Heat and the Fluid. They appeared in the film Kurt and Courtney where they were described as “one of the more violent bands.”

19. THE DWARVES were attacked by a disturbed person enraged over the band’s lyrics. The first rock ‘n’ roll battle record, ‘Massacre’ proved the old adage that the truth hurts, but so does being assaulted.

20. THE DWARVES could be saluted by groups as disparate as the National Organization for Women, the Vatican and the Daughters of the American Revolution for promoting greater gender understanding.

21. THE DWARVES are snotty bastards who live in California. Their notorious ‘Blood Guts & Pussy’ album cover, depicting a dwarf clad only in dead rabbit and blood spattered Amazons, led to widespread banning and protests at gigs for years to come.

22. THE DWARVES guitarist HeWhoCanNotBeNamed died in 1993 as reported in SPIN (100 sleaziest moments in Rock #79), Alternative Press, SF Weekly and Harper’s, among others. Being denied entrance to Hell, he returned to mortal form, commenting later, “that which kills me makes me stronger.”

23. THE DWARVES music has been featured in films like Ghostworld, Hostel, Observe and Report and Me, Myself and Irene, where Jim Carrey crooned ‘Motherfucker’ while having a nervous breakdown in a car. In the hardcore porno ‘Rocksuckers,’ genitals collide to a ballsy Dwarves soundtrack. Lloyd Nickell’s video for ‘Stop Me’ contains content deemed harmful by the FBI, FCC and Mothers Against Intercourse.

24. THE DWARVES are mostly a cat band, but enjoy a good doggy now and again.

25. THE DWARVES singer Blag the Ripper sang the novelty hit ‘Do the Sponge’ on the cartoon series Spongebob Squarepants. Dwarf Sgt. Saltpeter has written and performed over 20 musical pieces featured since the show began. That’s Balls, Folks!

26. THE DWARVES have been active for over 40 years and Blag has published three novels of transgressive fiction, Armed to the Teeth With Lipstick, Nina, and Highland Falls.

27. THE DWARVES performed onstage with Turbonegro at the Leeds Festival, UK and have toured Europe 12 times, performing at Reading, Pukkelpop, Goteborg Gallopp, Download Donnington, Groezrock and Rebellion Fest to name just a few. Please don’t ruin a perfectly good gram of hash with tobacco.

28. THE DWARVES website was hacked by Islamic jihadists (http://tcat.tc/1bWYQPX). Peace be upon you!

29. THE DWARVES have an average penis size of nine inches, but most of that is Nick Oliveri.

30. THE DWARVES’ singer Blag co-hosted an advice show with Bay Area radio DJ NoName called We Got Issues. His former podcast Radio Like You Want spread the gospel of bad music and intrusive interviews with accomplice Mike Routhier. Now he croons lounge country style as Ralph Champagne

31. THE DWARVES have just had a slew of their classic back catalogue albums, including Blood, Guts and Pussy, and Come Clean, reissued on vinyl with new (still awful) artwork with infinite gratuitous nudity and bonus tracks, . You can get them all via MVDB online, here.

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Photo: James Farrell

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:

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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.

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Photo: Carissa Johnson

Christopher Nosnibor

There’s a queue up the two flights of stairs half an hour before doors, and the front two rows are packed out long, long before Weekend Recovery are due on, a mere fifteen minutes after opening. Tonight’s event is something of an oddity. LA rock act Starcrawler, who are something of a hot ticket and have been since their emergence in 2015, being hailed as the saviours of rock ‘n’ roll – like so many before, and likely many to come – are playing a handful of UK headline dates in between festivals, with All Points east in London on August 28th and End of the Road on September 3rd. Having sold out Norwich and Liverpool at £15 a ticket, Leeds is a late addition to the tour, and free entry. It’s Friday night and of course it’s packed, and likely would have been if they’d charged, which is why this seems odd, even if they’re treating it as a warmup for End of the Road.

There’s nothing remotely warm-uppy or stop-gap showy about tonight, and there’s a buzz from the outset.

Weekend Recovery open with ‘There’s a Sense’, one of their poppier, woohoo-ey tunes, followed by a beefy ‘No Guts’ and they do a decent job of grabbing the crowd. Lori busts some Quattro moves as has become her style, and they look confident on the bigger stage with the larger audience. It’s the thick, fuzzy bass that fills the sound throughout the set, and they really seem to have hit their stride as a three-piece of late. Bringing on guest a vocalist for new song ‘In the Crowd’ it goes unexpectedly ragga/ska before piling into a lively rendition of ‘Going Nowhere’ that makes for an energetic finale to a set that no doubt won them some new fans, and deservedly so.

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Weekend Recovery

I know nothing about main support Genie Genie, but they seem to have plenty of fans already, and the Bauhaus ripping off Bowie glam gloom schtick is no real surprise, although one guy with a laptop strutting around being menacing at the start of the set rather is. Then the band’s other dozen members flood onto the stage wielding saxophones galore. It’s high theatre, but highly derivative, as the black-mulleted singer tears his tattered t-shirt from his scrawny white torso as the brass honks and parps over quivering organ pipes. All the ham and oversized crucifixes can’t compensate the mediocre material with cornball schlock horror cabaret about Jack the Ripper, guv, and of course, they go down a storm as half the room chant along with endless nananana hooks and the like. There’s no accounting for taste.

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Genie Genie

The crowd are baying for Starcrawler for a good five minutes before they arrive, and hell, they arrive. Side on, I’m badly placed for photos as lithe-as-anything beanpole Arrow de Wilde is practically a sliver from this angle and keeps vanishing behind the mic stand. What the band deliver is proper old-school rock ‘n’ roll, an assimilation of glam, punk, and hair rock played with a flamboyance and an energy that’s infectious. The crowd are rabid.

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Starcrawler

As the set progresses, I find myself growing less enthused: the band are lively but the moves swiftly become predictable and the material is average, and I find myself quite unmoved by the spectacle. Perhaps people are distracted by the appearance and delivery, and as such are oblivious to the fact that this is pretty middling rock fronted by the lovechild of Courtney Love and Mick Jagger. There’s no question that they’re completely committed to putting on a show, and they play hard, but there’s minimal interaction with the adoring audience. Maybe they’re too cool for that, but in a 350-capacity venue it feels a little bit superior – but, viewed from another angle, it’s a band worthy of the 2,000+ capacity O2 kicking out their festival. Either way, it’s hard to really fault Starcrawler: they deliver a solid set of proper old-school rock, and the fans love it.

Weekend Recovery have announced the 2023 release of album number three, Esoteric, via Criminal Records, with a pretty plush video that’s all proggy/space rock… New direction? We’ll just have to wait and see…

Click the image below to preorder:

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Christopher Nosnibor

Tonight’s bill represents a Sheffield invasion of Leeds, with four noisy bands packed in back-to-back. And they may only be from across a county border, but it’s apparent these guys aren’t from around these parts (and I say that as someone who’s ventured from North Yorkshire, where things are different again). I mean, since when did thick silver neck chains become a thing? There’s a proliferation of them on stage tonight.

It’s a small stage and a small venue, and a four-band lineup means it feels busy even before any punters turn up, and it’s one of those sweaty, drinking-like-it’s Saturday night intimate gigs that has something of a party vibe the moment you walk in, and it’s made all the better by a sound man who isn’t afraid to crank it up.

Spaff are on first, and their name certainly sets the bar low in terms of expectation. And visually… The singer’s questionable choice of office trousers and wifebeater vest (and seemingly obligatory chain) is paired with an iffy haircut. But the trio prove they’re not a load of wank, slugging hard and sound infinitely better than they look. Slamming down driving grunge riffs, they get properly heavy in places, while in others they’re more overtly punk. They showcase some particularly impressive drumming, with facial expressions to match, playing every beat with his mouth and manic eyes. There’s some innovative stuff going on with the arrangements, too, where the groovesome bass sometimes doubles as guitar, and it’s a solid sound. The last song is by far the best, with a genuine hook.

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Spaff

Apparently making their ‘technical’ debut after a number of previous debuts, Sickboy show off more questionable style, although it’s probably not intentionally an homage to Trainspotting: the drummer appears to be wearing scrubs while the bleach – haired guitarist has a knitted tank-top-cum-waistcoat, but again, musically they’re gutsy and loud, and they sound immense, with gritty guitars to the fore. The stage is a bit tight for four of them, so the singer spends much of the set in front. He prowls, hunched, menacing but awkward, anguished. There is a kinda 90s vibe with occasional hints of rap/rock crossover, and throughout they’re channelling a lot of angst, and in places sound a fair bit like Filter.

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Sickboy

Caesar Did It have one hell of a lot of effects and incorporate sequencers into their thick, post-grunge sound. It’s so dense, but also melodic, even a shade Alice in Chains or Soundgarden. Going slower, heavier, they venture into stoner rock territory, driven by some hard-hitting, expressive drumming. The guitarist has a short-sleeved t-shirt over a long-sleeved t-shirt that’s pure 90s, and has a chunky silver chain. He and bassist Kane share vocal duties to create a sound that nicely balances layers and thick, dirty overdrive.

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Caesar Did It

Another gig, another lineup as Weekend Recovery continue their heavy live schedule in promotion of their new EP ‘No Guts, All the Glory’. Lori’s gone for some permutation of the superhero outfit, only it’s her bra rather than her underpants on the outside. I’m not sure it’ll take off, but stranger things have happened. The band’s true superhero tonight is stand—in drummer Elaina from Caesar Did It, filling in for Dan (not to be confused with bassist Dan) who’s out due to work commitments (damn those dayjobs!), Playing two sets back to back is pretty hardcore, and best of all, she’s a good fit, being a hard-hitter and super-tight.

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Weekend Recovery

Dan’s bass is dominant in a good way: it fills out the sound and he plays with passion, throwing some shapes and lofting his instrument in true ‘axeman’ style, and everything looks and sounds cohesive throughout this punchy set. ‘In the Mourning’ is an early rocket, and ‘Yeah’ is back into the set after not featuring on their last trip to Leeds in January.

If ‘There’s a Sense’ feels a bit flat and short on breath, the crowd are too busy bouncing and throwing themselves about or falling over to notice, and they immediately pick up the energy and power on through and end with a searing rendition of ‘No Guts’. It’s a ripping finish to a fiery set.

There are probably going to be some sore heads in the morning.

This is my first time at Headrow House in ages. Literally years. May 2019, to be precise, when Big Joanie supported Charly Bliss. It’s remarkable to reflect on that, now that Big Joanie are playing truly huge venues as the support for IDLES. This, of course, is, in a nutshell, why we need grassroots venues, and why it’s worth arriving in decent time and checking out the support acts. Tonight is another case in point.

But first, on arrival, I realise how much you forget. Like I’d forgotten how the downstairs bar is so loud and busy, and thought there was a larger selection of beers. Upstairs in the gig space, it’s less loud or busy, but then, it’s early doors, and I need a refill before the music starts.

Helle are up first, and they simply blow everyone away. They’re intense, fierce. Authentic, angry old-school punk, the female-led act employ S&M imagery in both their songs and appearance. It’s in your face in the best possible way – forceful, confrontational, strong, with edge.

It’s an unusual experience hearing two bands cover the same song just a few days apart, and noting the difference: against Healthy Junkies’ solid but standard rendition, Helle’s cover of ‘These Boots are Made for Walking’ is a feedback-soaked stompfest and kicks all kinds of arse. The singer possesses real presence, strutting and swaying, and has big, gutsy vocals to match: she’s raging, alright, and channelling the spirit of the late 70s all the way.

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Helle

Railing against the government, railing against the patriarchy, etc., etc., may seem old and standard, but 45 years since punk broke, it’s still relevant – which is depressing. In context, Elton John’s ‘Benny and the Jets’ seems like an unpunk song to cover, but they kill it, hard, while closer ‘Pornography’ goes hardcore. It doesn’t get better than this.

Pulverise bring a different kind of intensity, the Leeds five-piece collective being unashamedly nu-metal/rap-metal/sports metal in their stylings. With a 5-string bass chug and two guitars laying down slabs of distortion, it’s a full-on kick with a keen sense of groove. It’s very much a Judgement Night Soundtrack kind of groove at that, and the RATM influence on the sound, if not the subjects, is also apparent. And then they whip out a metal cover of’ ‘Insane in the Brain’ that sounds like Pitch Shifter and then it segues into ‘We Ain’t Going Out Like That’: it certainly illustrates the band’s vintage, and it’s good fun in a retro, kinda sports metal way.

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Pulverise

Weekend Recovery change their lineup more often than Lauren changes the colour of her hair, and so it is that the band on stage tonight isn’t the same I saw at Long Division in Wakefield in September last year, and the lineup launching the EP isn’t the one that played on its recording. On the one hand, it’s rather a shame: on the other, onwards and upwards, and the current lineup may well be their tightest yet.

Ant & Dec’s ‘Let’s Get Ready to Rumble’ makes for a corny but fun intro tape, and it bleeds into the Countdown Countdown for the band to rush onstage against the clock… badum, badum, badaladum… boshh! And they’re straight in with ‘Radiator’, the opener from sophomore album False Company.

The bass sounds like twigs rattling in a bag, scratching away during this first song, but everything comes together soon after. The sound and lighting are top notch, even if the stage show is channelling The Sisters of Mercy circa 1985, with Lori in particular so swathed in smoke as to be barely visible for the majority of the show. They slay ‘In the Mourning’ early in the set, and it’s a varied one, showcasing tracks from the new ‘No Guts’ EP as would be expected for a launch event.

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Weekend Recovery

And oh yes, the EP is a solid 4 songs, as Lori pointed out to me from the stage, although only two of them feature in the set, which draws heavily on recent second album False Company. The first of these is ‘It’s Obvious’, a slow-burner with a mid-80s feel. Early single ‘Out of Control’ is played at breakneck speed, on account of Lori having a moment while programming the backing.

Across the set, they showcase tunes that could and would be immense given the right exposure. It’s followed by the rarely-aired heart-rending new tattoo before getting back to full-throttle energy with turn it up, the only song from their debut album: it’s very much a forward-facing set, with very few further reaches into the back catalogue.

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Weekend Recovery

Forster channels Suzi Quattro, and not just on account of her getup: she’s all the rock up there and has come into her own as a performer since tasking on the role of sole guitarist as well as singer. A kick-ass ‘Zealot’ prefaces set closer and ep lead ‘No Guts, All the Glory’ which is perhaps their strongest single to date, and rounding off a strong set to round off a night of great performances.

Chapter 22 Records – 27th October 2021

Christopher Nosnibor

After paying their dues pedalling their hefty wares in all the little venues the length and breadth of the country after relocating to London from Brazil, Your Mum are really starting to reap the rewards of some incredible sweat and toil for the release of their second album.

Having shared the stage with DIY stalwarts such as Maid Of Ace, Svetlanas, Healthy Junkies, Hands Off Gretel, I-Destroy & Dream Nails as well as well-established acts and legends such as New Model Army, The Adolescents, Vice Squad, Kirk Brandon, UK Subs, The Vibrators and TV Smith, they’ve scored prestigious deals with to Chapter 22 Records in the UK and M&O Music in France. For all that, their latest release is accompanied by a video which was shot entirely on a GoPro & edited by the duo, who are evidently staying true to their DIT ethos and their roots – no sellout here!

The title track of their new album, now released as a single, finds the duo weighing in hard and heavy with blistering overdriven bass that sounds like bass and guitar at the same time, propelled by thunderous drums: ‘Club Tropicana’ is ain’t and nor is it some mellow, languorous beach chillout with a cocktail: no, the only thong tropical about this is the raging heat, meaning it’s mostly about the fuzz, Anelise Kunz’ full-lunged vocals distorted by volume and it blasts away for a high-impact, high-octane three minutes of raw power.

If you’ve not yet met Yur Mum, let me introduce you – because you’ve been missing out, and this is a beast of a track.

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Yur Mum Press Shot 1

12th February 2021

You sometimes feel like the world spins faster for some than others. That’s certainly the case for Weekend Recovery: it doesn’t feel so long ago since the emerging alt-rock act from Kent were turning up at a basement bar in Leeds to play their Paramore-influenced radio-friendly rock with fingers crossed the local support would bring some punters. They’ve toured nonstop since their inception in 2017, and it’s worked well for them in terms of amassing a fervent fanbase, and relocation to Leeds, if anything, has helped set them apart from the sameness of the scene of female-fronted alternative rock bands in and around the capital right now.

So fast forward not that very long, but add a debut album, even more extensive touring including some high-profile festival slots, as well as a change of lineup, into the busy timeline, and Weekend Recovery 2021 slams in hard with a new album. With ten tracks clocking in at twenty-nine minutes, you get the idea: this is concise, punchy, and with no fat left untrimmed. Weekend Recovery have always penned focussed songs, but they’ve really nailed it right here.

‘Radiator’ opens it up – and bleeds – with a nagging guitar motif, before the band plunge into megalithic hard rock territory, coming on more like Black Moth or Cold In Berlin than their usual selves. And it’s good: where there was a simmering tension to their songs, which cut jagged and raw on Get What You Came For, you feel like False Company is the album they always wanted to make but couldn’t, for various reasons. That, or it’s the album that shows what life experience can do: while they certainly weren’t afraid to crank it up and let rip previously, False Company is harder, heavier, and altogether darker.

That isn’t to say they’ve lost their pop edge one iota, and there’s a keen ear for melody on display throughout. And it may well be down to the melody, but ‘Can’t Let Go’ sounds like a glam/metal reworking of ‘These Boots Were Made for Walking’. It’s fitting, as it’s a proper stomper, and whereas the energy on previous releases stemmed from a combination of froth and bounce alongside the fizzing guitars and turns of pace, on False Company it’s more centres – the sound is denser and more-up front somehow.

Single cut ‘Going Nowhere’ – a reflection on stasis that’s specifically about relationships but could equally be a metaphor for the last 12 months – stands out as a furious post-punk pop banger with the spiky angst of Siouxsie and Skeletal Family, not to mention hints of X-Ray Spex melted into a song with massive accessible appeal. ‘It Doesn’t Seem Right’ is the ferociously fiery alt-rock corker they’ve always threatened.

‘Surprise’ is the quintessential album slowie, and sounds suspiciously like a power ballad to my ears. Single cut ‘There’s a Sense’ provides a dash of levity, an airy pop tune that harks back to ‘Why Don’t You Love Me?’ from the previous album and it does feel a shade throwaway in context, a tune dispensed at pace to grab the ear. Likewise, ‘You Know Why’: on its own sounds a bit like a hook with not so much meat, the ‘na-na-na’ refrain sounding like it’s leaning on My Chemical Romance just a bit too hard to be cool, but in context of the album its bubblegum buoyance feels more tempered, and in fairness, it’s a full-tilt punk blast with hints of X-Ray Spex.

Elsewhere, ‘Yeah?!’ has large elements of Nymphs in the mix, capturing that blend of grunge and classic rock and spinning it with a strong hook, and finally, in its juxtaposition of guitar lines and vocal melody, plus aaaaallll the dynamics, closer ‘Zealot’ feels like their most evolved and sophisticated song to date.

In terms of the ‘difficult second album’, the machinations behind the scenes – not to mention timing – may have made its coming together a major challenge, and the cover art speaks volumes – it was a mountain to climb, an endless staircase to where? But none of this is evident from the finished product: instead, False Company is darker, harder, stronger, denser, more assured-sounding and more evolved, and every aspect is a step up from its predecessor: Weekend Recovery have really upped their game and expanded their range, delivering an album that really is something special.

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Healthy Junkies are everything that epitomizes the indie punk spirit – driven, authentic, and capable of causing a riot at any moment. Following the release of their new album Forever on the Road pt.1, the band are back with a new single from the record in the form of infectious full on garage rock onslaught ‘Tricky Situation’, as they prepare to release Forever on the Road pt.2 on 11th December.

As a band that have toured relentlessly since their formation in 2011, until the global lockdown of 2020, they came into their new music still firmly locked in the groove. On the new single, guitarist Phil Honey Jones explains, “the lyrics take on a variety of tricky situations including ‘getting lost in translation’, ‘a bloody revolution’ and problems with ‘The U.S immigration’. The Brexit fiasco is referenced with ‘No deal, no good’ and ‘Off with her head’ being symbolic of course.”

The new double album was made during the aforementioned period of quarantine and have reflections of recent tours and life beyond the road. It offers a compelling record more akin to chapters of a thrilling novel rather than bubblegum throwaway rock n pop. Lead singer Nina Courson shines throughout with her Parisian drawl inflecting the Junkies’ brand of rock n roll with tones of 60s femme fatales Nico and Brigitte Bardot.

Check the video for ‘Tricky Situation’ here:

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HG Band