ALFFA – ‘PLA’

_104596520_alffa_horizons

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:


The Red Leslies – ‘Intercourse Weapon’

45132936_2185218695066126_7244623493407440896_n

The Red Leslies are a garage-punk band from Southern California revolving around core members Luis Sanchez and Adrian Martinez whose sound is derived from influences like The Ramones, T. Rex, The Strokes, Buddy Holly and Lou Reed.

Having formed in 2015 The Red Leslies have spent the intervening years playing gigs at rowdy house parties, empty swimming pools, along with more traditional venues, and now have their debut record In White primed for release in March. And with that news comes lead single ‘Intercourse Weapon’; a fast, furious and fuzzed-up burst of guitar driven energy. It is riff driven garage rock at its triumphant best, fuelled by a fizzing vitality it races forward, pumped with adrenaline that is tempered by a melodic sensibility and hooks you could hang your hat on – and topped off by some simply scintillating vocals. This is a full-blood garage-rock explosion with raucous and riotous energy dripping out of every pour.

Tune into ‘Intercourse Weapon’ below and keep those eyes peeled for their debut record In White come March.

Johnny Fenney’s Albums of 2018

jfalbums2018

Aside from compiling my own end of year lists, I always look forward to checking out other people’s take on the year and none more so than that of Johnny Feeney.

A reliably insightful musical sage, Johnny’s guest appearances are always interesting and add an extra flavour to the blog and I look forward to reading – of which, surely I’m not alone?

A massive thanks to Johnny for taking time out to compile this list, and on that note, I’ll leave you with his Mr. Feeney’s favourite records of 2018.

10: Parquet Courts – ‘Wide Awake!’

New York City garage-rock outfit Parquet Courts enlisted the help of Danger Mouse on production duties for their sixth full-length studio album, with a more polished sound evident throughout. The band’s trademark spiky guitars are joined intermittently by keyboards, cowbells and whistles to create a highly entertaining and fun record.

Listen in full here

9: Django Django – ‘Marble Skies’

The kaleidoscopic third album from Django Django is a veritable smorgasbord ranging from the group’s distinctive, jangling Beach Boys-style surf rock to lilting dancehall to electronic club bangers. Although there are some slower moments of real beauty present, the high points are when the Djangos speed things up such as on ‘In Your Beat’.

Listen in full here

8: IDLES – ‘Joy as an Act of Resistance’

The Bristol punk-rock quintet go from strength to strength with their second album, following up from last year’s brilliant debut Brutalism. The album’s twelve tracks of pummelling, angry punk are a furious state-of-the-nation address to post-Brexit Britain, with moments of lacerating wit thrown in for good measure by formidable lead singer Joe Talbot. Powerful.

Listen in full here

7: Dream Wife – ‘Dream Wife’

The debut album from this London-based all-female trio is punk-rock at the other end of the spectrum from IDLES but is nonetheless a fantastically good listen. Dream Wife specialise in melodic, (mostly) radio-friendly pop-punk with incredibly catchy hooks, lots of attitude and feminist undertones that may not become too apparent until you see the band live.

Listen in full here

Continue reading

no reception. – ‘Door Mat’

39922668_1954412561534836_1912978893199900672_n

No reception is a one woman pop punk machine, the brainchild of Claire Julian who takes charge of roles as songwriter, vocalist, guitarist, bassist, and drummer.

Julian’s brilliant brand of angsty, lo-fi indie with a pop-punk streak is clear for all to see on new single ‘Door Mat’. Taken from the recently released EP, See Through, ‘Door Mat’ is a super buoyant affair that unleashes a three-minute, power-pop blitz of catchy riffs, crunchy guitars, infectious pop melodies and fast paced drum grooves that are all coated in a light fuzz and imbued with youthful energy and punky aggression. An irresistible power-pop punk nugget!

Listen to ‘Door Mat’ below now – and the entire EP is available here.

BILK – ‘Slob’

36623712_401592426992951_6238075144263172096_n

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.

Their latest single ‘Slob’ is an absolute riot; it is frenetic, feisty, energetic, raw and anthemic. Crunching, raw guitars and buzz-saw riffs meet furious fast-paced drums to drive the energy forward, providing fuel for the volatile, semi-rapped streetwise lyrics that are brash, mouthy and tongue-in-cheek.Talking themes of youth, unemployment and drugs the trio present a firm middle finger to the people who looked down on them as dosers for choosing music. This is an apologetically raw and lippy indie-punk sound.

Tune into the sound from the suburbs, ‘Slob’ below:

Thumper – ‘(You’re Bringing Me) Down’

42045160_2108047706113374_3486383416981585920_n

‘(You’re Bringing Me) Down’ is the second single – following ‘AFL‘ – lifted from THUMPER‘s forthcoming EP Out of Body Auto-Message, due out in November.

The Dublin five-piece deliver a thrilling (sort of oddball) seven minutes of spiraling effects, psych fuzz, repetition and tension. Hyperactive guitar riffs saw their way through the fuzz and fueled by a steady, rock solid drum beat as frontman Oisin Leahy Furlong screams, demanding your attention. It’s a bit of slacker noise-pop, a bit power-pop, a bit psych but a whole lot of magnificent. Not for the faint of heart, it is thrilling trip that spirals out of control in the final moments. It’s not often that a song of seven minutes will ebb and flow to such a degree as to keep you on the edge of your seat guessing where it will charge to next but ‘(You’re Bringing Me) Down’ does, and at a frenetic pace. A raucous, seven-minutes of irresistible noise-pop loaded with contagious energy and loaded with purpose that is all kinds of brilliant.

Tune into ‘(You’re Bringing Me) Down’ below now & keep an eye out for the forthcoming EP, & THUMPER play a late show on Friday, November 30 in the Workmans, Dublin.

Drens – ‘No’

30127039_1884143518264702_8256089421191839744_o

Drens are a fuzz loving garage rock / surf punk foursome from Dortmund/Cologne, Germany.

Their debut ‘Wilhelm Be Gone’ was released in January of this year and has been quickly followed by the brand new single, ‘No’. A freewheeling frenzy of energetic surfy punk-tinged indie, ‘No’ packs a hell of punch. Unleashing itself with all the energy of a coiled-up spring, wave after wave of hi-octane racy riffs, spiky guitars, snappy drums and rumbling basslines coalesce with equally springy (Zebedee-esque) vocals for a whirlwind salvo of raucous vitality. A lively, infectious and fun tune, it is a bona fide two-and-a-half minutes of punky indie gold (and the video is pretty nifty too).

Listen to ‘No’ and its predecessor ‘Wilhelm Be Gone’ below:

The Echo Bombs – ‘Pistachio Pudding’

19702549_1390339861056821_8265816045652998283_n

Phoenix, Arizona trio The Echo Bombs – aka Eddie Horn, Daniel Endicott & Michael Regan – do a rather redoubtable trade in the seriously potent garage rock stakes.

They play fast, energetic and loud, something abundantly clear upon hearing ‘Pistachio Pudding’ – first single off the forthcoming second album, Pleb, penned for released in April. Musically, it’s a whirlwind of crunchy guitars, searing riffs, pounding drums and raspy vocals (decrying a seething revulsion at growing older), all clamouring for air above a sea of fuzz. There are shades of Weezer meets Fidlar, in a confection of punky, surfy, power-pop that across two-and-a-half minutes, delivers an undeniably infectious catchy and anthemic cut of garage-rock.

You can listen to ‘Pistachio Pudding’ below – as yet, there is not confirmed date for The Echo Bombs new record but watch this space.

JOHNNY FEENEY’S ALBUMS OF 2017

albums of 2017

Aside from compiling my own end of year lists, I really do enjoy checking out other people’s take on the past 12 months and none more so than Mr. Johnny Feeney.

A reliably insightful musical sage, Johnny’s guest appearances are always interesting and add an extra flavour to the blog and I look forward to reading – of which, surely I’m not alone?

A massive thanks to Johnny for taking time out to compile this list, and on that note, I’ll leave you with his Mr. Feeney’s favourite records of 2017.

10. Grandaddy – Last Place

Previously split up in 2006, Grandaddy’s first album in eleven years saw the ever-eccentric, cult Californians return with a bang with their trademark, electronica-tinged alt-rock. The familiar sounds of Jason Lytle’s distinctive, melancholic vocals, chugging guitars and synth flourishes are all present and correct on a wonderful comeback album that was well worth the wait.

09. Fangclub – Fangclub

Dublin rockers, Fangclub, have been tearing up stages around the country and further afield for a while now and, thankfully, their self-titled debut album delivers on the promise of their raucous live shows. In a classic guitar/bass/drums set up, the trio display a keen ear for an infectious hook and make a thunderous racket not dissimilar to Nirvana. If you like it loud then look no further.

08. Wolf Alice – Visions Of A Life

The London four-piece’s sophomore album sees a fine follow up to 2015’s commercially successful, Mercury-nominated My Love Is Cool. The adaptability of vocalist Elise Rowell means the group are equally comfortable on the melodic, anthemic indie-rock side of things (‘Beautifully Unconventional’) as they are on the heavier material (‘Yuk Foo’) and anything in between. It’s this broad range that makes Wolf Alice such an interesting proposition.

Continue reading