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:

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.

The Innocent Bystander – ‘Neon Lights’

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The Innocent Bystander is a new project from Dublin-based producer/songwriter Mark Healy, which grew from an ambition to “make guitar music that takes nothing from the Blues” – and the result is an interesting and personal take on a classic indie sound.

Towards the end of 2018, we were introduced to the latest in a string of well received singles – ‘Waster’, ‘Electrocute’ and ‘The Complacency League’ – with latest offering ‘Neon Lights’. Shifting along a powerfully danceable groove, ‘Neon Lights’ is spiky slice of irresistible guitar-based electro-pop, complete with seductive synth-work and a ridiculously catchy, sing-a-long chorus that will worm its way into your psyche and tumble around your head all day. This sparkling delight of irresistible neon-bright sounds has been perfectly paired with a visual companion; namely an excellent, decidedly urban, neon-bright and retro-futurist video which you can watch below.

The Innocent Bystander play a headline show in Whelan’s Upstairs, Dublin tonight (as in January 25). Doors @ 8 pm / tickets €14 – more info here.

The Innocent Bystander are currently working on a debut album, There’s Music Still Left in These Streets, expected in 2019.

Leggy – ‘Eden’

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In 2017, Cincinnati Indie trio Leggy released a self-titled record of collected works of their material since 2013 and this year, they’re going one step further and releasing their first full-length album.

Entitled Let Me Know Your Moon, it is out on March 8 and is preceded by ‘Eden’; the first single lifted from the forthcoming album. It is an expansive indie rocker, gritty and anthemic, sliding between a garage rock and indie before taking a different shape as it goes along, veering off on a motorik beat into more experimental post-punk territory. There is a sweetness to ‘Eden’ also, mostly in the form of the melody which bubbles away beneath the layers of crunchy guitar, meaty riffs and mild doses of fuzz and distortion as the powerful, passionate and compelling vocals sit front and centre. A phenomenal tune and mouthwatering taste of what we can expect from Let Me Know Your Moon come March.

Listen below.