Low Hum – ‘Strange Love’

Low Hum are a revolving around the talents of Hawaiian guitarist Colin Desha, now based in Los Angeles.

Both places are well noted for surfing, so it comes with little surprise that surf-rock is the bedrock with which the Low Hum’s sound is built but refusing to be one dimensional, it runs a gamut of other vital influences; namely psychedelic pop, space-rock post-punk and a touch of Krautrock. Loosely inspired by Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove, ‘Strange Love’ is hypnotic and heady brew of swirling soundscapes and danceable grooves. Harnessing its power from a vital blend of propulsive beats and krautrock-esque rhythms, it thunders onward with hypnotic effect as fuzz-filled crunchy riffs and bubbling basslines pummel through the swirling haze of fuzz and distortion. Amid an electrified vitality, driving intensity and incandescent glimmer, there are some similarities here to early Toy, or ‘Primary Colours’ era Horrors – and that is never a bad thing at all.

Listen to ‘Strange Love’ below – it is quite something, no question.

ALFFA – ‘PLA’

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Alffa are Dion Wyn Jones & Sion Eifion Land, a two-man riff machine from Llanrug, Wales.

Performing in their native Welsh, this pair have a massive sound and craft explosive tunes echoing the likes of The White Stripes, The Black Keys & Royal Blood et al. The self-dubbed “punk-blues” two piece introduced themselves with powerhouse singles ‘Creadur’ and ‘Tomos Rhys’ late last year, and Alffa are back with new single ‘PLA’ – provoing once again they are a force to be reckoned with. ‘PLA’ is every bit as muscular as it predecessors announcing it’s presence with a deafening combination of ferocious, serrated guitar riff, thunderous and propulsive drums and searing, biting vocals. It is a thundering three-minutes of gritty rock ‘n roll abandon as mammoth riffs crash into pulverising percussion for a dazzling and mighty whirl of noise.

You can listen to ‘PLA’ below – and if that is to your liking, there is plenty more where that came from here too.

 

BILK – ‘CM2’

BILK are young Essex trio of Sol Abrahams (vocals/guitar), Luke Hare (bass), and James Holland (drums) who’s preference is an angsty blend of indie, rap and punk; and a fondness for Fred Perry and Adidas.

The trio introduced their  feisty, energetic and raw wears toward the end of last year with ‘Slob’ and the good news is, BILK’s first offering of 2019 in just as thrilling. New single ‘CM2’ is a fast, furious and ramshackle dose of gritty guitars and spat-out vocals, combining tongue-in-cheek humour with insightful social commentary. An apologetically raw and lippy indie-punk sound, laced with crunching guitars, buzz-saw riffs and furious fast-paced drums providing fuel for the volatile, semi-rapped/spat-out streetwise lyrics that are brash and mouthy. ‘CM2’ is a tongue-in-cheek homage to the boys hometown of Chelmsford, if I’m honest, I’d hoped it was a homage to Championship Manager 2 but that is more than a little before their time but regardless of their muse, this is an absolute gem. 

BILK play Eastbound Festival, Dublin (in the Sound House on Eden Quay) on May 12th.

Tune into ‘CM2’ below:


Japanese Television – ‘Bloodworm’

A furious fusion of post-punk, psychedelia and krautrock, ‘Bloodworm’ is the new single by British four-piece, Japanese Television.

Recorded by Kristian Bell of The Wytches in an old isolated village hall onto an 8 track tape, ‘Bloodworm’ follows the band’s acclaimed 2018 debut EP, and finds them further exploring the outer reaches of their versatile sound.

‘Bloodworm’ is a furious, fuzzed up trip across a cosmic, kaleidoscopic world – owing as much to post-punk, psychedelia and krautrock to sci-fi, it is whirlwind of exploding colours and exhilarating energy. The pace is unrelenting, frantically clamouring to one frenetic crescendo as another, propelled on the back of breakneck beats, scintillating riffs, off-kilter rhythms and a swirl of demonic organs – forged together, it is delivered with a burning intensity. Frantic, fevered and frenetic; ‘Bloodworm’ is an outrageously brilliant track (and one that is a close relation to one of Wales’ finest sons, Hippies Vs Ghosts).

Listen to ‘Bloodworm’ below, it is out now via Tip Top Recordings.

Munky – ‘One in Five’

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Having spent the guts of 2018 on the road gigging tirelessly around Ireland and Britain, Dublin-based post-punk outfit Munky returned home and hit the studio towards the end of last year.

The Dublin outfit shared the first fruits of their labour in the studio with the raucous ‘You’ve Got Male’ and Munky are back with another new track called ‘One in Five’. A thrilling five-minutes-plus assault, a sensory overload, of relentless, caustic post-punk and psych fuzz as Munky take victim blaming to task. An unrelenting, furious and feverish song, like a pent up spring, it recoils, unleashing a sprawling barrage of noise; searing riff, spiralling guitars and pounding drums, topped off by a caustic croon and screeching vocal.

A meaty, muscular and raucous post-punk juggernaut, 100% of the proceeds of ‘One in Five’ will go to the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre (songwriting royalties, sales, streaming etc. you name it).

‘One in Five’ will also take its place alongside previous single ‘You’ve Got Male’ to form the bones of an as-yet-untitled, forthcoming five-track EP.

Listen to ‘One in Five’ below:

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Eyesore & The Jinx – ‘On An Island’

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Liverpool post-punk outfit Eyesore & The Jinx return with second single ‘On An Island’; a politically charged cacophony of pent up post-punk fury.

Recorded in a former slaughterhouse and produced by Jonathan Hartley from superb Liverpool garage/psych stalwarts Clinic, ‘On An Island’ is a tightly wound, caustic slab of guitar noise and distortion. Underpinned by an insistent, nagging bassline and increasingly manic, winding guitar lines and metronomic drumbeat, it shifts between taut spoken word segments and thundering one chord bedlam without so much as a moment’s notice. The thrashing chaotic noise over one chord, barking chorus and quick pace rambling vocals makes ‘On An Island’ hard to ignore as it tackles “the cultural residue of post-Brexit Britain…”. Drawing sounds and aesthetics from an abrasive clutch of early-eighties post-punk groups (particularly The Fall, The Gun Club, and The Birthday Party), other influences include Parquet Courts and the unmistakable energy of The Cramps – their frantic whirlwind approach is nothing short of phenomenal.

Listen to ‘On An Island’ below – just as a point of interest, it is best served LOUD.

Death Hags – ‘Electrochemical Communication’

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Death Hags is the multifaceted project of Los Angeles-based, French electronica artist, Lola Jean. Working mostly from the secluded hideaway hills of East LA, Jean crafts hypnotic, futuristic and minimal electronica inspired by the likes of like Brian Eno or Björk.

The latest release from the enigmatic creative force that is Death Hags, is new single ‘Electrochemical Communication’. A hypnotic, futuristic and post-industrial-themed track, it revels in its charmingly monotony and krautrock-esque gripping repetitiousness. A steady drum machine tips along at a metronomic pace and joined by hooks and melody, as synths swarm and cascade to create a rich atmospheric soundscape; a perfect backdrop for Jean’s soothing vocals and poetic lyrics (in both English and French) to thrive. ‘Electrochemical Communication’ is born of a shadowy futuristic world of that is hypnotic, dreamy and filled with spellbinding electronic beats; simply astounding.

Listen to ‘Electrochemical Communication’ below:

The Hannah Barberas – ‘Look, Know’

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Self-proclaimed “DIY pop partisans”, The Hannah Barberas – Damien, Lucy, Doug & Matthew – an indie-pop foursome from New Cross, London have proven themselves a reliable source of home-brewed charms, with a knack for charming effervescent indie-pop gems.

This rep has been confirmed by a slew of irresistible singles and EPs over the course of the past 18 months or so. The foursome have kicked off 2019 with a cover of ‘Look, Know’, one of the band’s favourite songs by The Fall, and released to mark one year since the passing of Mark E Smith. It is a fitting fans tribute that remains pretty faithful to the original with meaty, very bassy basslines and snappy, biscuit tin snare leading the way with dual vocal exchanges adding a hint more pop veneer. And the intro includes a wee snippet from Mark E Smith reading the classified football results on the BBC’s Final Score – always worth being reminded of. Not only is great cover, the proceeds will go to a good cause; available as a name-your-price download, all proceeds will be donated to Macmillan Cancer Support.

You can listen to ‘Look, Know’ below & download it, just name-your-price, from bandcamp.

Munky – ‘You’ve Got Male’

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Having occupied most of 2018 touring tirelessly around Ireland and Britain, Dublin-based post-punk outfit Munky returned home and began work on recording new material towards the end of last year.

With several demos in the bag, the foursome headed off to refine the fruits of their labour in the studio, where they enlisted the producing talents of Girl Band’s Daniel Fox. The Dublin outfit have kicked off 2019 by unleashing the as-yet-untitled forthcoming EP’s lead single; the raucous ‘You’ve Got Male’ and it is a thrilling three-and-a-half-minutes of relentless, searing psych-punk and psych fuzz over rather danceable grooves. An unrelenting, electrifying juggernaut, ‘You’ve Got Male’ unleashes a sprawling barrage of relentless, spiralling guitars and pounding drums from the get go. Searing riffs and danceable rhythms duke it out, cutting through swaying bass lines, while frontman Zac Stephenson’s caustic croons sit up top, airing a disdain for the powerful and hypocrisy that goes hand in hand with neo-colonialism.

A furious first taste of the new EP, ‘You’ve Got Male’ is breathtaking, potent and feverish as it screeches through serrated layers of sonic energy – and is best consumed at high volumes.

Listen to ‘You’ve Got Male’ below:

Introducing: Durty Mick

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Durty Mick is the musical moniker of Kildare musician Owen Murphy who from the confines of his bedroom, armed with an acoustic guitar, microphone and laptop, crafts a home brewed fervently DIY sound.

There is a decidedly mellow, late-night, nocturnal vibe to his sound as his ponderings delivered in a despondent world weary vocal tone accompanied by lyrics of everyday observations draped with a prowess for intuitive songwriting and storytelling. Latest release ‘Beige Slave’ captures all this perfectly – and more acutely than any written description. A gentle acoustic guitar-driven number, it revolves around some ruminating sounds, chilled out rhythm, acoustic plucks and strum while Murphy shares his flowing musings. Previous single ‘The Degenerate Manifesto’ is cut from the same cloth, expanding on the loungey, laid-back murmuring backdrop for Murphy to express his contemplative reflections. Both tracks have the right amount of home brewed, rough around the edges sound – a little hiss here and a touch of reverb there adds a distinctive character.

There is a touch of King Krule to Durty Mick but that is in no way a bad thing. An innovative, interesting and exquisitely crafted exploration that rewards again and again with repeated listens.

Tune into Durty Mick below – his debut album Damage Limitationist is out next week.