City Victim – ‘Screaming’

City Victim are an Irish alt-rock band currently based out of Galway who since forming in early 2019, spent the year drip feeding singles – four in fact – and they are kicking off 2020 with their best release to date; ‘Screaming’. 

‘Screaming’ echoes the style of previous but sees a further evolution of their sound. While channelling classic post-punk influences – Television, Wire and The Cure – combined with more contemporary bands such as Interpol and Beach Fossils, the single is fleshed into a bold and peerless bout of slowburning aggression that thrives on the darker side of post punk. Amid the intensity, ‘Screaming’ is a real groover as it swaggers along driving, meaty basslines with layers of shimmering guitars keeping pace with the burrowing rhythm as hushed yet passionate vocals float stridently above. It is a huge tune, and one that wields a mighty power, and is utterly brilliant.

Listen to ‘Screaming’ below. City Victim will hit the road in February / March for a tour with the great Eoin Dolan, Dylan Murph and Sheepy – dates below.

01/02 Craft Taproom, Liverpool
02/02 Stamps (Crosby)
21/02 Pharmacia, Limerick
12/03 Roisin Dubh, Galway
13/03 Sin E, Dublin

Guest Post: Johnny Feeney’s Albums of 2019

Aside from compiling my own lists, I really enjoy looking over other people’s albums of the year rundowns and none more so than Mr. Johnny Feeney.

An insightful musical sage, Johnny’s guest appearances are always interesting and bring added flavour to the blog and I look forward to reading his contributions – of which, surely I’m not alone?

Yes, we’re a bit late with this one but sure better late than never, right?

A huge thanks to Johnny for taking time out to compile this list, and on that note, I’ll leave you with his favourite records of 2019.

10: DIIV – ‘Deceiver’

Following up 2016’s supreme Is the Is Are, Brooklyn shoegaze quartet DIIV’s third album Deceiver draws obvious comparisons to My Bloody Valentine with its multiple layers of shimmering, squalling guitars and lead singer Zachary Cole Smith’s dreamy vocals. Expect plenty of loud / quiet / loud moments on this dazzling return.

Listen in full here.

09: Hot Chip – ‘A Bath Full of Ecstasy’

Although their newer material has perhaps lost some of the menace of their early output, ultra-consistent Hot Chip prove they are still adept at releasing dance-pop of the highest calibre. A perfect antidote to the grim global political and environmental situation we find ourselves in today, I challenge anyone to listen to the likes of ‘Positive’ or ‘Melody of Love’ and not feel a wave of joy wash over you.

Listen in full here.

08: Black Midi – ‘Schlagenheim’

The Mercury-nominated debut album from this four-piece experimental-rock band hailing from London is definitely not going to be to everyone’s taste. From the brutal opening salvo of ‘953’ to the wonderful closer ‘Ducter’, this relentless record is one that never lets go. A highly ambitious record, understandably it doesn’t always quite come together. But when it does hit the mark it’s absolutely thrilling. Improvised mayhem never sounded so good.

Listen in full here.

07: Marika Hackman – ‘Any Human Friend’

The latest LP from Marika Hackman certainly has a much more pop-leaning sound than her early fans would expect from the English singer-songwriter. Hackman’s usual vocals and guitar lines are regularly joined by jaunty synths to create upbeat tunes merged with deeply personal lyrics exploring themes such as same-sex relationships (‘All Night’) and masturbation (‘Hand Solo’). The jaw-dropping title track that closes the album is beyond staggering.

Listen in full here.

06: Drahla – ‘Useless Coordinates’

This bludgeoning debut record from Leeds post-punk outfit Drahla comes with driving guitars, a pummelling rhythm section, and Luciel Brown’s breathy vocals. Viciously, skewed saxophones add to the overall sombre atmosphere. Clocking in at a breathless half an hour, Useless Coordinates starts off dark and doesn’t veer off course once.

Listen in full here.


05: Mattiel – ‘Satis Factory’

The highly accomplished second album from the Atlanta-based singer-songwriter prominently features Mattiel Brown’s distinctive, booming vocals and some delightful, grooving and soulful blues-rock. Brown has an uncanny ability to create expertly crafted sub three-minute rock songs with an infectious hook. A very impressive piece of work.

Listen in full here.

04: The Murder Capital – ‘When I Have Fears’

The superb debut album from the Dublin post-punk five-piece is a moody, atmospheric affair. Brooding, menacing guitars and percussion are paired to pulsating effect with the haunting, angst-ridden vocals of lead singer James McGovern. A formidable live act, the group’s sound has been captured masterfully on record by UK producer Flood. Along with Fontaines DC and Girl Band, the Murder Capital are at the forefront of an exciting wave of great new Irish rock bands.

Listen in full here.

03: Aldous Harding – ‘Designer’

New Zealand folk artist Aldous Harding’s third studio album is the epitome of easy listening – nine tracks of blissful, exquisitely arranged songs. Harding’s tender vocals are accompanied by multiple layers of instrumentation and backing vocals to devastating effect throughout. A gorgeous album that gets better with every listen.

Listen in full here.

02: Vampire Weekend – ‘Father of the Bride’

After a six year hiatus and losing a key member in multi-instrumentalist Rostam Batmanglij back in 2016, Vampire Weekend fans could be forgiven for worrying if maybe this was the beginning of the end for the New York indie-poppers. Instead Ezra Koenig re-emerged with an exceptionally strong set of tracks, enlisting the help of the likes of Danielle Haim on vocals and guitarist Steve Lacy. The result is an immensely enjoyable, if overlong, album.

Listen in full here.

01: Fontaines DC – ‘Dogrel’

The eagerly awaited debut of Dublin punk rock quintet Fontaines DC delivers emphatically on every level. An extremely diverse and lyrical record, lead singer Grian Chatten’s miniature vignettes of Dublin City are accompanied by an ever-changing soundtrack from the rest of the group. From the piledriving punk of ‘Chequeless Reckless’ and ‘Hurricane Laughter’ to the jangling stomp of ‘Sha Sha Sha’ and ‘Boys in the Better Land’ via the tender ‘Roy’s Song’ and ‘Dublin City Sky’, not a single foot has been put in the wrong place. In a new Golden Age of Irish guitar music, it’s the Fontaines DC’s star who’s shining brightest at the moment.

Listen in full here.

The JUNGLES!!! – ‘Roller Coaster’

The JUNGLES!!! are Japanese noisemaking outfit comprised from members of Red Bacteria Vacuum.

Together this trio make one hell of a noise as evidenced by furious new single ‘Roller Coaster’. Released as part of a new Japanese compilation called Tokyo Chikatetsu Vol 2, ‘Roller Coaster’ is wild! It is just under four minutes of furious, unrelenting energy and thunderous noise as pounding drums fearlessly keep a frantic tempo as scintillating riffs, meaty guitars and screeching vocals wield a furious and powerful spell. The potency and pace never lets up, it is an absolute riot, and all cloaked in layers of fuzz and distortion. 

Listen to ‘Roller Coaster’ below – and turn it up loud!

NANCY – ‘Clic Clac’

Based in the North East of England, NANCY have demonstrated a propensity for audacious sonic adventures in art-rock meets post-punk.

This enigmatic talent has already afforded us an insight with furious and colourful whirlwind EP The Mysterious Visions last year and weird and wonderful single ‘When I’m With You’. NANCY has returned with another super single; raucous new foot-stomper ‘Clic Clac’. Clocking in just shy of two-minutes, ‘Clic Clac’ is a spectacular return, a hyperactive frenzied blitz of bone rattling drums, furious, jerky guitars, buzzing riffs and fizzing effects as slightly deranged vocals roar above. A chaotic, wild and arresting jam.

‘Clic Clac’ is out now – tune in below:

HAVVK – ’52’


Formidable Irish outfit HAVVK will release their debut album Cause & Effect on November 22 and the alt-rock trio have been upping anticipation with a slew of scintillating singles – ‘Always The Same’, ‘Birds On A Wire’ and ‘Shifting Shape’ – and HAVVK have added another to the fold.

Written while living in London, new single ‘52’ exudes an ominous and tense atmosphere, reflecting the divisive nature of the Brexit campaign, as HAVVK attempt to make sense of the darkness and find a way through.
Front woman Julie Hawk’s distinctively impassioned vocal take centre stage, soaring majestically over the ethereal alt-rock backdrop before packing a punch as the chorus sets in, mirroring the anger for the situation at hand. It is raw and filled with anger, it is a song laced with ethereal beauty and finds a space where harsh and gentle can coexist. ’52’ is yet another majestic reason to look forward to the HAVVK’s forthcoming debut LP.

Listen to ’52’ below & HAVVK will be launching Cause and Effect on 6 December 2019 at the Bello Bar in Dublin.

Strangers With Guns – ‘Problem Is You’

Strangers With Guns are a Dublin based trio who’s raucous sound is a hypnotic fusion of grunge, post-punk and early ’90s lo-fi indie-rock.

Their latest single is ‘Problem Is You’ and it captures all that this Dublin trio offer – and how. The gritty raw materials of slant-edged rhythms, searing riffs and furious percussion provide the perfect vehicle for raw, almost spoken word vocals, to hit home. There is a hint of threatening menace to ‘Problem Is You’ as it grinds and grunts its way through a murky but muscular world of riffs and distortion; much like Death in Vegas’ ‘Aisha’ duking it out with Slanted and Enchanted era Pavement. It is a strident, sharp sound that finds time for a cataclysmic climax toward the end too. A solid and encouraging opening gambit from a trio with bags of promise.

Listen to ‘Problem Is You’ below now:

Luna03 – ‘Fade’

Luna03 are a Waterford-based outfit, comprised of P. Lucey, D. Falconer and T. Carey, they craft washed-out, hazy and melodic indie jams.

Utilising guitars/effects and enhanced by electronic beats, loops and sequencing software, Luna03 create a minimalist, ambient and experimental wash of sound. The trio’s new single ‘Fade’ takes us on a melodic waltz through a wonderland where dreamy melodies combine with subtle synth, cosmic squiggles and frazzled electronics combine to convey a deep intimate and wistful air. Reverb-laced vocals, melting guitar, smooth bass-line and rising, sparse percussion combine to complete the drifting, floating atmospheric cocktail of washed-out sound. This is an utterly gorgeous, hazy tune and one that washes over you with a great ease, it will leave you all the better for the experience.

Listen to ‘Fade’ below now and if it is to your liking, Luna03 have an EP of the same name out now and if you like, you can listen to it here.

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: