Eyesore & The Jinx – ‘On An Island’

21314397_791286307663106_600006975896891575_n

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’

22405609_2097752783795006_3622914140081378268_n

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’

a3778830320_5

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’

artworks-000469292049-4cn1eu-original

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

dmibk

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’

48393043_1132449903598605_2533943546868662272_n

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’

50728492_1801685209936112_9171007340315410432_n

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.

Paint Thinner – ‘Distortion’

a3781293536_5

Formed from the remnants of Detroit underground outfits – like Terrible Twos, Fontana, Frustrations and Human Eye – post-punk noisemakers, Paint Thinner, are readying the release of their debut album, The Sea of Pulp, penned for release on February 15.

Ahead of their debut, the Detroit foursome have released the raw, rough-hewn post-punk powerhouse that is ‘Distortion’. Opening with an ominous and forbidding sense of doom, it is propelled onward by a repetitive, chugging post-punk guitar, meaty bassline and crashing drums.It is a tune that doesn’t mess about, it means business with its relentless, powerful drive chugging ever onward, burrowing inside inside your consciousness. ‘Distortion’ plumbs the murky depths, bubbling below the surface, deftly conveying powerful emotions, it ratchets up the tension to explode with an emphatic, cataclysmic climax. Think of early-The Horrors meets early-Wire; as far as opening introductions go, they don’t come much more emphatic than this.

Check out ‘Distortion’ below and keep an eye out for the debut album in February.

Weston Decker – ‘Black Smoke’

artworks-000399700800-1fqzlg-original

An air of intrigue surrounds Weston Decker, a musician from Boulder, Colorado in the United States.

This interest is piqued by the backstory, in Decker’s own words, the project was “conceived in Terminal 2 of the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, Weston Decker grew up surrounded by Gary, Indiana’s vibrant reggaeton scene of which both the Hyenas who raised him played a central role. He eventually settled in Transylvania where he found work as a barnacle scraper. After a segway crash nearly fucking killed him, he began crafting music to pass the time in the hospital usually while tripping Ambien”. The outcome of which can be seen/heard on 2017’s Fuck This Album, and 2018’s Fuck This Album Too.

The Weston Decker backstory is perfectly suited to the immersive music that accompanies it – and ‘Black Smoke’ is a case in point. A blend of unsettling, shadowy post-punk and bruised jazzy vibes, ‘Black Smoke’ explores an outpouring of varied emotions through the half-spoken-half-sang lyrics, creating a slumbering and otherworldly sound; somewhere in-between dreaming and reality. Different it definitely is and well worth some of your attention.

Check out ‘Black Smoke’ below:

Albums of the Year 2018

Capture3

Yes, it’s that time of year again, lists, lists and well, more lists – and from every angle possible. That said, drawing up a list of my favourite records from throughout the year is one of the most enjoyable aspects to the blog.

There was lots of great music in 2018 (as is the case every year) but here are 18 of my favourite records from the year – 18 for 18 if you will.

Without further ado, here are my favourite records from 2018. Enjoy!

18: Conor Mason – ‘On The Surface’

Conceived, developed and rendered into life over eighteen months in his hometown of Derry, Conor Mason’s fourth album is a treasure trove of musicianship and songwriting craft and is very assured in his musical landscape, conjuring the wistful wonderment of Elliott Smith, Grandaddy, Villagers and Matthew Jay. In essence, it is an exploration living life with uncertainty; the highs and lows, curiosity and change, and significance, or insignificance, of humans in the universe. Flowing gently by, amid a sea of hushed lilting vocals, whispering lyrical poeticisms and subtle instrumentation, Mason reveals himself master of hook, harmony and heart. At times fragile, tender and touching, his songs are paradoxically permeated by an air of richness and comforting warmth, yet shrouded in melancholy, and draped in Mason’s intuitive song writing and storytelling abilities. A beautiful record.

Listen in full here.

17: The Coral – ‘Move Through The Dawn’

The Coral returned with their ninth studio album in 2018 and their prolific work rate and flair for psychedelic folk and classy pop songs shows no signs of abating. Move Through The Dawn glides along serenely, laden with seductive, sweet melodies and lush string arrangements, with the likes of ‘Reaching Out For a Friend’ and ‘Sweet Release’ bouncing around your head all day. While ‘Outside My Window’ and ‘Stormbreaker’ remind us on The Coral’s other side (and the closest relations to 2016’s Distance Inbetween); heavier riffs, jagged guitars and general air of menace. It is another wonderful and solid record from one of Britain’s most enduring and lovable bands.

Listen in full here.

16: Kneecap – ‘3CAG’

Comprised of Mo Chara, Móglaí Bap and DJ Provaí, Kneecap are a satirical hip-hop trio from Belfast who perform in Irish. The trio combine a fluency in Irish with an amazing delivery and a wry sense of humour to produce one of the most unique homegrown records of 2018. Over eight tracks, their mixtape 3CAG offers a satirical take on life for young people, with a particular west Belfast slant. If like me, your command of Irish leaves a lot to be desired, it doesn’t matter a jot. The beats are superb and so infectious, and the flow and lyrical skill on show is second to none, with plenty of laughs thrown in for good measure – anyone who might be sceptical to begin with will be easily won over, just press play.

Listen in full here.

15: Gwenno – ‘Le Kov’

Gwenno’s debut, 2015’s Y Dydd Olaf, was almost all in Welsh; Le Kov, sung in Cornish is just as stunning and serene a sonic dream. The music continues in a retro-futuristic psych-pop vein, but Le Kov is even more expansive sounding than Y Dydd Olaf. Gwenno’s calm, precise and often reverbed vocals navigate a whirlwind of electronic noise, intricately weaved mixture of moods, textures and pulsations, and soaring strings.The record feels alive, vital and organic, like a luminous dream, it is a place playfulness, shimmering beauty, mythology and modernity that are all interwoven with freeflowing ideas, synth-lines and electronic blips, and an undercurrent of poetical dissent. A stunning record – inviting and bubbling with creative ideas, energy and possibilities – from a unique talent.

Listen in full here.

14: Half Man Half Biscuit – ‘No One Cares About Your Creative Hub So Get Your Fuckin’ Hedge Cut’

Album number 14 from Half Man Half Biscuit sees Nigel Blackwell and company in top form with a collection of great, cheerful, upbeat tunes combined with witty, sardonic lyrics. Musically it picks up where Urge for Offal left off, a rocky, brash and pretty loud post-punk indie backdrop for sardonic but never cynical takes on everyday life. In short, it’s got what a HMHB LP always has; the irresistible wordplay, varying cultural references, surreal and improbable surreal tales, and the most quotable lyrics in the world. A real treasure.

Listen in full here.

Continue reading