25/04 1 comment
Is there a genre called summer punk yet? There should be now. It’s been (unofficially) invented by Fair Ohs, typical of a trio from London whose sound is a paella of influences. As well as the tropical anger of Hey Lizzy, there’s soweto rhythms out of Africa, shouty beats apparently reminiscent of French yé-yé pop, soul-focused horns, and blissed-out Bridget Bardot covers that scream soleil. I would label them London’s version of Fool’s Gold, but there’s far more rock grunt going on here. Madcap and maverick, Fair Ohs are like a world music compilation album drenched in good old-fashioned British ale.
For more, see this interview with Dummy Mag - including why they gave up Jazz, why they mixtapes, and why they’re “pretty much a hardcore band not playing hardcore because (they) have the ethics of a hardcore band”. There’s also news of a forthcoming co-release with fellow Tough Love Records act Spectrals. Check out Fair Ohs’ neat lil blog for details of upcoming gigs.
25/04 0 comments
The biggest trends of the last fortnight have been TV election debates, volcanoes and Yuck. Since they first surfaced, the London fourpiece has picked up a lot of kudos, plus been added to the Field Day bill. I’ve collated some more great Yuck tracks (below) to complement the aforementioned Georgia. First there’s Suicide Policeman, wistful pop which sounds distinctly like an 80s/90s band I can’t place and cooks poppy hooks, deadpan vocals, brass toots and pretty lyrics in an washed-out cauldron. Then Sunday, an philosophical tale featuring rivers of reverb, guitars so grief-laden that they might be made of stone, and a fleetingly Counting Crows-like intro. And yup, it sounds a little Dinosaur JR-esque, a band Yuck are soon to support. And finally we have Automatic, a solemn and initially library-quiet boy-girl duet that ghosts along on a blue piano wave, like The xx on Benzedrine.
These last two are demos, so, as The Fader point out, the minimalism and brevity is kinda to be expected. Not that this makes Yuck any less exciting a prospect. I’m aiming to catch them at White Heat on 4 May, so maybe see anyone there…
25/04 0 comments
My terrific and often angry flatmate, known as The Drill, was recently trying to name a film: it featured waif-like women in watery scenes, and equal doses of innocence, whimsy and lurking anger. The movie turned out to be Heavenly Creatures, and it might as well have been scored by partial namesake Creatures of Love. The London act’s aptly-named ‘dreampop’ revolves around the voice of Bonita McKinney, a stupurous, swirling love potion of a sound that, in league with throbbing keys and chiming guitars, slowly convinces you that your eyes… are better… closed….. And yet there’s a intensity present here, too, the lyrics being a fevered maze of pent-up emotions, honeyed lust and see-through social masks.
24/04 0 comments
London sextet Trim The Barber added me on MySpace. There’s only one song to listen to there (although a previous EP is on last.fm), but never fear: Now The Joke’s On You is a captivating, energised injection of post-punk rock with a grim political overtone. Guitars screech and the slalom through solos, drums thrash in all the right places and Matt Potter sings cute hooks like a baleful Sid Vicious after one too many ciders in the sun. There’s even some vioin in the final instrumental section, and violins are always nice.
Apparently, forthcoming EP ‘Dead End Wall’ offers “a brand of post/psych/pop/gaze with powerful yet melodic harmonized vocals., wailing, reverb soaked guitars, big fuzzy breaks and off-kilter drumming”. Bring it on!
23/04 0 comments
Step aside, step aside, and make room for the best new London band SOIWT has heard in yonks. Probably named after the Kinks lead singer who they sound nothing like, Ray Dar Vees seem to mix stirring, lighters-in-the-air rock anthems (debut single Heart Attack) with burnished softies better suited to subdued Sunday nights (White Gold Tears). Or, in the case of It’s A Feeling I Get, something betwixt the two. The lyrics are pleasantly introspective, and the guitars and drums played with gusto, but I most like singer Fred Murray’s earthy, earnest tones: he’s all heart, and it’s fabulous to hear.
With renowned producer Craig Silvey on board, and a contract with the Pure Groove-linked Seven Sevens label, the future looks mighty promising for this threesome. Indeed, Heart Attack is so good, it could yet be a song of the summer if Xfm and Absolute really push it - although, secretly, selfishly, I kinda hope that doesn’t happen…
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