Posts Tagged ‘Single Review’

1st July 2022

James Wellls

Third Lung have been kicking out singles at a remarkable pace over the last year or so, and continue their forward trajectory with ‘Lo Hi’, a song that’s cut from the core of emotional turmoil that’s likely relatable to many. ‘Lo-Hi’ is about how people can find themselves ‘alone not knowing how to move forward. Until, they find the courage to ask and faith in their friends and loved ones to utter the 3 most beautiful words, I Need Help.’

That those words are beautiful, I might question, and would probably disagree with – they’re clunky, awkward, and to many of us, embarrassing, uncomfortable, desperate, a last resort, an admission of failure. But, as the band say, ‘One of life’s most encouraging yet hardest lessons to learn is to trust the people closest to you, with you’.

There’s nothing clunky, awkward, embarrassing, or uncomfortable about the song, though. ‘Lo-Hi’ straddles influences from U2 to The Associates; it’s another big-hitter with arena potential, and surely it’s only a matter of time before they achieve it.

Third Lung Artwork

19th June 2022

Christopher Nosnibor

Having put their lockdown Argonaut side-project Videostore to bed with a one-off live show, Nathan and Lorna Argonaut have resurfaced under a new guise. It’s similar to the Videostore format – simple, lo-fi indie, and if there was ever any question over their no-budget ‘bedroom’ credentials, then the video for this first offering – which is as much Toyah and Robert as anything else – is all the evidence you could want.

It’s neat, simple, catchy, and as usual exploits the contrasting dual vocals over fizzy guitars and aa primitive drum machine. The lack of pretence is disarming, and it’s a solid tune – and clocking in at under a minute and a half, it really is as no-frills as 3p beans and 19p loaves of bread back in ‘95.

Christopher Nosnibor

Somehow, despite being in the business almost literally forever, and having played live and supported artists such as The Beautiful South, Scouting For Girls, Luka Bloom and Dr and The Medics, MuddiBrooke has bypassed me. Perhaps it’s because of playing with the aforementioned artists.

Anyway: ‘You Don’t Own Me’, written by Philadelphia songwriters John Madara and David White and recorded by Lesley Gore in 1963, has become established as something of a classic, and it’s a good fit for Derby’s all-female alternative rockers, who know how to use a distortion pedal to optimal effect.

It’s a thumping riff-driven blast that explodes in under two and a half minutes and it perfect. To be fair, some songs are pretty much impossible to fail with – you simply can’t go wrong with some songs, and this is one of them. It’s a strong signature of female empowerment, and MuddiBrooke absolutely run with the sentiment and crank the amps up full-tilt to slam the point home in a fuck-you, taking-no-shit fashion that’s on a par with L7, Hole, and The Nymphs. Big lungs, big sass, big guitars… Yes.

Brooke, Anna and Mary may all be in their mid-twenties, but know how to channel that grunge vibe, and how not to take any shit. It may be a cover, but it feels like a manifesto.

AA

Muddi

Machine Man Records – 27th May 2022

Christopher Nosnibor

‘Into the Glow’ is the second single from Michael Haggerty’s upcoming album, Fire Behind The Paper Trees, and his second official release under his real name having previously recorded as Krebs. Perhaps stepping out and being himself is in some way liberating, but whatever the motivation or rationale, it’s fair to say that the results are thus far positive.

There’s something somewhat uncomfortable when critics speak of ‘craft’ in their critiques. Perhaps it’s because ‘craft’ connotes something one works at, and improves, honing to a point whereby a level of quality can be achieved consistently, day in, day out, up at the crack of dawn and chiselling away until sundown, manufacturing… which there is a certain sense to, and it’s valid to a point, but this is to diminish the flare of creativity, the sparks of emotional channelling, the way in which elements of chance and happenstance all combine to make art. Because music isn’t furniture.

‘Into The Glow’ is probably as close to perfect songwriting as you can get. It is crafted: the dynamic shift between the 80s-style electronic verses and more guitar-driven choruses is precise, and balances subtlety with impact. The tempo change is sweet and shifts from reflective to driven, and the production is vast – also crisp, cold, mechanical. Bleak, brooding, but shining with optimism, ‘Into The Glow’ packs so much range into its concise three-and-a-half minutes, it’s a glorious thing.

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Christopher Nosnibor

Australia’s unstoppable metallic hardcore act Outright have dropped a music video for ‘Burn’, the second single to be revealed from their long-awaited second LP, Keep You Warm, due out on 15 July via their long-running band-owned label, Rage and Reason Records.

It’ll make your eyes and ears bleed, and I kept worrying the amps were going to fall over – possibly as much an effect of my vertigo as the crazy visuals – and it’s all over in a blisteringly intense minute and a half. And it is intense.

It all happens so fast and so hard, you’re likely to miss the relatable content:

“’Burn’ is an intense expression of the burnout that can happen when we don’t set boundaries or hold compassion for ourselves,” says Outright lyricist and vocalist Jelena Goluza. “When we normalise self-sacrifice we teach people that we don’t matter and that can be weaponised against us – but nothing gets done when you have nothing left… It’s dedicated to anyone else who feels this in their professional and personal lives, activism or everyday pressures,” she adds. “I won’t set myself on fire, just to keep you warm”.

There are no medals for death in service to others, and self-care is not selfish. So listen up, and listen good. And listen to this.

AA

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1st June 2022

Christopher Nosnibor

It shouldn’t be a deal, really, but it is: Glytsh are a rare thing, namely an all-female industrial duo, comprising French singer Jennifer Diehl (aka Luna Blake) and Swiss guitarist Claire Genoud (aka Hella Sin). Like so many ‘rock’ and metal-orientated genres, industrial of all shades, from the electro to the metal end of the spectrum is depressingly the domain of the white male.

In this predictable, recycle-heavy world of white male angst, Glytsh are a breath of fresh air. But Glytsh aren’t a breath of fresh air because they’re women: they’re a breath of fresh air because they’re fucking exciting. While ‘(Hard)core memory’ still works with established tropes, their debut single, a cover of Nine Inch Nails’ ‘Closer’ set out their stall and managed to draw a fair bit of positive attention in the process. On the one hand, it was a pretty faithful cover, but also had enough of a slant to it to show that they’ve got game. And now, with the arrival of ‘(Hard)core memory’, Glytsh prove that they’ve got both style and substance, meshing together both electro and metal elements in an explosive three and a half minutes.

From a low, bass-heavy electronic intro, ‘(Hard)core Memory’ starts slow-grinding and sultry before tearing into a lumbering rock riff with screaming metal vocals, a collision between Rage Against The Machine and Marilyn Manson. It’s pretty full-on, and that’s before the Slash-style guitar solo blasts in near the end.

‘(Hard)core Memory’ has got the lot, and yet I somehow suspect that Glytsh have got a lot more to offer yet.

AA

Enigmatic Italian singer Elena Alice Fossi, best known for being a member of Kirlian Camera, has released the first single, ‘Devious’, which is taken from the forthcoming new full-length of her dark electro project SPECTRA*Paris. Her fifth album under that moniker is entitled Modernism and has been slated for release on August 26.

“What’s the moral conduct to follow?”, singer, composer, and lyricist Fossi asks. “This song certainly won’t teach us any morals! With a decidedly noir matrix and via its gloomy lyrics, it lets itself be crossed by a glamorous imprint where the blood goes to be combined with the enchanting reflection of a bewitching shadow. God’s body has indeed been invaded by his servants.”

Watch the video here:

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SPECTRA*Paris was conceived as an electronic rock oriented project in the wake Elena’s previous project SIDERARTICA. In 2007 she self-released the ultra-rare promo 3" CD-R limited to 25 copies "Spectra Murder Show" and immediately got picked-up by a label, which led to the acclaimed first album Dead Models Society (Young Ladies Homicide Club) hitting the streets in the same year. The debut reached the charts in many countries and went up to gold. Elena followed-up with two successful albums in 2010, License to Kill and Christmas Ghouls. Tracks from these recordings as well as the latest album Retromachine Betty (2017) have been used in tv and catwalk soundtracks.

With Modernism, SPECTRA*Paris chronicle Elena Alice Fossi’s musical prison-break into the freedom that only true art can grant. Aided by her accomplice and long-time friend Angelo Bergamini, who co-produced and supervised every sound in this chapter, the composer and singer has delivered a fascinating personal statement via a wide range of electronic music.

AA

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1st June 2022

Christopher Nosnibor

It’s not often I’m on the fence, but here I am, the splynters stabbing into my arse. Opening bars of the new single form Wylderness, taken from second album Big Plans for a Blue World (out 1 June vi Succulent Records)  suggest dreamy, chyming shoegaze, but y’know, I’ve heard it a myllion tymes before doing this. And much as I lyke it, much as I dig Slowdive, Ride, Chapterhouse, and later exponents like The Early Years (criminally underrated and sadly failed to really make their mark), I have to admit that so much is wishy-washy, winsome and airy to the point of lacking in enough substance to really prove compelling.

Past the opening bars… layers and aspects reveal themselves. ‘Wet Look’ is still dreamy, wynsome, wystful, but there’s a brooding steeliness infused within it, with hints of Interpol and post-millennium post-punk, and it just nags hard enough to draw you in for a second listen. Something about that reverb, that interplay between the guitars, that spaciousness, that melancholy… sigh.

AA

Wy

Cruel Nature Recordings

Prefacing the deluxe edition of their most recent album, Functional Music, expanded to include tracks from the Hyper-Suburb EP, Russian new wave experimentalists Dvanov have offered up aa video single for ‘Уварово (Uvarovo)’.

The St Petersberg-base band started out as Voda-i-Ryba back in 2013, before changing their name.

And what a time to be a Ukrainian—supporting, anti-war band in Russia, and what a time for Dvanov: ‘Уварово (Uvarovo)’ is the last release with vocalist Vlad Kilin and marks what they call ‘the beginning of a new stage in the Dvanov’s life,’ adding ‘In these songs, the cultural memory of revolutions and childhood memories of anxious summer nights collide with the ghosts of modern capitalism. There are the evening and the ringing of endless fields behind the walls of supermarket, cicadas crackle and there’s nowhere to go. We are releasing this at a tragic time when our country has waged an imperialist war. No war! ‘

‘Уварово (Uvarovo)’ is a crazed, beat-driven frenzy of oddness, a bit noisy, a bit industrial, a bit electro, a lot wtf.

Oh, and all proceeds from the sale of Functional Music are going to a Ukraine crisis support charity – which makes it extra-functional.

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8th June 2022

Christopher Nosnibor

I was an inch away from typing ‘we can all relate to this situation…’ when I realised that, no, that is absolutely not the case, and in fact, that’s fucking bollocks.

We have Conservative MPs saying that if we can’t make ends meet we need to work more hours of get better jobs, while other still suggesting that it’s possible to make meals for 30p per portion and the main reason people use foodbanks is because they can’t cook and can’t budget. It’s sickening and also maddening to see in such stark relief the chasm between the haves and the have-nots, and just how incapable those with money are of seeing things from the perspective of those without. When you’ve got a prime minister anguishing over the wage cost of a nanny and £840 a roll wallpaper (that’s a month’s wage for many people) when pensioners are spending the day on the bus because they can’t afford to heat their flat, it’s apparent just how fucked-up and how far the division has split in contemporary capitalist society.

So it’s a situation probably about half of us can relate to, when the band detail how their latest single is based on their own experience of “the doldrums of being skint, working your arse off to be able to afford a postage stamp-sized flat, only to have to shave in the kitchen sink because the landlord won’t fix the one in the bathroom. Take that and then put it in lockdown, it felt like the walls were closing in – very claustrophobic. You can’t escape to anywhere apart from your own daydreams. The song is an anthem of escapism in the modern era.”

Your head is really the only safe haven left, the only space where you can spread out, and where you can go without fear of being captured on CCTV surveillance – at least for now. It’s also the only place most of us can actually afford a holiday (I often wonder just how the fuck so many of my ten-year-old daughter’s classmates get to go off on skiing holidays and spend Easter in the Maldives when we have to scrape for three nights self-catering off-grid in Wales… like how do people have so much fucking money?).

What’s not fucking bollocks is this tune, which is absolutely top. Because ‘Holiday in my Head’ is about escapism, it’s not completely bleak – but it’s two and a half minutes of driving indie / post-punk, a collision of Asylums, early Editors, and Radio 4, with a strong serving of Gang of Four on the side. Hooks? Hell yeah, it’s got hooks to tear you apart, the choppy guitar duelling with the big, bold chorus that grabs you by the throat and blows your socks off – simultaneously.

Short, sharp and punchy, it’s an absolute blinder of a single, and quite an evolution from their previous outings. It may be more of an afternoon off and a quick pint in your local than a week on a beach in Greece, but then again, if the week in Greece involves being around other holidaymakers and temperature above 20C, I’d take what The Velvet Hands are offering every time.

The Velvet Hands - Artwork