Penguin – ‘Fiction’

penguin1

Penguin are protopunk-influenced alt-rock newcomers from Newcastle-upon-Tyne, who made their musical introduction with debit single ‘Not A Problem’ back in May.

On that occasion the Geordie outfit delivered a cut of anthemic, indie-rock brilliance; and they are at it again with latest single. ‘Fiction’ is an irresistible three-minutes of relentless, fast-paced alt-pop fizzing with a lively electricity. Propelled onward by clattering percussion, driven guitars, meaty riffs and playful rhythms, ‘Fiction’ is as infectiously sing-a-long as Futureheads at their very best. And if that comparision where not enough, the wonderfully exuberant breakdown finale brings to mind the late, great Beta Band. An utterly marvellous fun and riff-filled adventure to a place of sheer joy! If this doesn’t warm your heart and plaster a delirious grin across your face, nothing will.

‘Fiction’ is out now, listen to it below.

Introducing: Stoat

20424015_1574304385959440_5739287509699390241_o

With an extensive back-catalogue, an indie/post-punk sound similar to HMHB meets Sultans of Ping FC and Irish to boot, it is a mystery how Stoat existence remained unknown (to me at least) until very recently.

After taking a breather for a few years, so far in 2017 Stoat have been revealing new material with a view to releasing an LP called Try Not To Think About It later in the year. The latest single lifted from the forthcoming record is the title track, providing a welcome introduction to both band and LP. Spearheaded by militaristic drums, jerky and somewhat jagged punky-reggae guitars and wry, sardonic lyrical quips. Delivered with hawkish precision, they tap along in perfect time regaling tales of the downside of fatherhood, domesticity, and steady employment. Striking a balance between bashing out a memorable jam and being light-hearted is a tough ask, many have tried and many have failed. But thankfully – like the aforementioned HMHB & Sultans – Stoat deliver the goods. Hopefully there’s more to come from Stoat in 2017, an excellent – if somewhat belated – discovery.

Check out ‘Try Not To Think About It’ & other recent single, ‘Talk Radio Makes Me Feel Alone’ below.

La Bête Blooms – ‘Lost and Found’

18922562_1751809121503209_130184414965487705_o

Hull alt-rockers La Bête Blooms introducing themselves to loudly last year, blazing a trail of unabashed rock ‘n roll wizardry.

Little has changed for 2017, in fact, The Hull-based quartet of Daniel Mawer, Jack Gallagher, John Copley, and Louisa Robinson, continue on their quest of deliver fierce, firery and spikey indie-punk. Latest single ‘Lost and Found’ is is explosive from start to finish. A two-and-a-half minute blast of razor-sharp guitars, menacing basslines and gritty vocals that remains surprisingly upbeat and catchy despite its portrayal of an apocalyptic world. All ends up, La Bête Blooms’ dynamic and visceral concoction of alt-rock, grunge and post-punk makes for one hell of an exhilarating experience – one can only imagine it is ever better witnessed live.

‘Lost and Found’ is out now via Adult Teeth. Tune in below.

JW Ridley – ‘Blitz’

DCMtATOUQAAVt5d

Following swiftly from his recent single, ‘1990’, JW Ridley returns with a new release in the form of single ‘Blitz’.

It follows on nicely from ‘Everything (Deathless)’ and ‘1990’ in what has been a staggeringly assured run of early releases. This latest effort from the London artist is a short, punchy and urgent three minute sliver of new-wavey-y/post-punk. ‘Blitz’ is all at once, brooding, gorgeous and frenetic. It harnesses its power from riff-tapping, propulsive synth, as urgent verses – in a haunting, reflective vocal – make way for a chorus that envelopes expansively into an immense scenescape as motoring, post-punk guitars, driving beats pushes ‘Blitz’ on, ever forward. Yet another captivating and compelling cut from JW Ridley, hopefully it is but a prelude to even great rewards with an EP coming later in the year.

For now, listen to ‘Blitz’ below now.

Something for the Weekend: New Music Playlist #1

BGPL1

A brand new feature on the Gruff channel, a weekly 15-track Spotify playlist series featuring some of the finest new music to prick my ears.

Clocking in at under and hour, it’s an easily digested slice of new music, just in time for the weekend. There’s a nice mix of genres and styles too, allowing me to share more great tunes for your ears, so hopefully it can be a regular feature. We’ll see how it goes, I guess.

Continue reading

Chick Quest – ‘Down in a Crypt’

Chick-Quest--Down-In-A-Crypt-

Self-described ‘Spaghetti Western Post-Punk Dance Party’, Chick Quest are an unconventional punky foursome – Ryan White (vocals, guitar), Iris Rauh (drums), Marcus Racz (trumpet, keyboard), and Magdalena Kraev (bass) – hailing from Vienna, Austria.

Chick Quest explore rather unusual realms of music, taking in parts punk, post-punk, ska, funk, b-movie and spaghetti western soundtracks. The Austrian foursome are readying their second album, Model View Controller. Ahead of its release later this month, Chick Quest provide a preview with ‘Down In A Crypt’. Its all dance-y and fuzzed-up post-punk with a spooky b-movie-esque organ riff, crunchy guitar riffs, brisk bass-line and dynamic beats. Catchy, infectious and simultaneously rather creepy; it’s a hard act to pull off but pull it off they do.

Model View Controller is out February 24th via Triangular Sounds. Until then, why not give ‘Down In A Crypt’ a spin below.

Datura Daydream – ‘Sea Six’

15392789_1274295049299053_5913240427936217606_o

Toronto based trio Datura Daydream – Kevin Robert Fong (vocal/guitar), David Larocque (bass) & Turner Roscoe Wigginton (drums) – have a flair when it comes to brewing cinematic psych/kraut inspired post-rock.

The trio have unleashed new single ‘Sea Six’ – and an accompanying video – the latest to be lifted from their recent album, The Lick Is In The Lisp and it is quite the epic. A sprawling, nine minute heady brew of swirling psych, hazy vocals and throbbing bass propelled forward by metronomic krautrock beats, ‘Sea Six’ flits between a beautiful, meandering dreamlike stasis and surging kaleidoscopic, cinematic crescendo. Which, by any standard, makes ‘Sea Six’ pretty damn spectacular.

The Lick Is In The Lisp is available to buy/stream right now from here. Before that however, you can check ‘Sea Six’ below.

Also, it is recommended you watch the video from beginning to end – it is well worth it – but be warned, there are lots of flashing lights etc.

Dead Naked Hippies – ‘Lights Out’

15042014_1802527296686577_7993432489752080877_o-720x480

‘Lights Out’ is the debut single from Leeds trio Dead Naked Hippies.

Produced by Matt Peel (Eagulls, Pulled Apart By Horses, Autobahn), ‘Lights Out’ offers a thrilling introduction to the raucous sound of Dead Naked Hippies.

This trio – Lucy Jowett – (vocals), Joe Clarke (guitar), Jacob Marston (drums) – trade in scintillating, punk-tinged indie-rock brilliance. ‘Lights Out’ blaze forth with coiled riffs, terse drums, insistent bass and Jowett’s impassioned vocals. Drenched with pent up emotion, ‘Lights Out’ slowly uncoils, revealing itself as an unflinching, focused three minutes of gritty, cathartic and rage-fuelled fuzz-drenched rock ‘n roll abandon.

More new music is promised soon – which is great obviously – but for now get your ears around the frenetic, electrified and scintillating master-class that is ‘Lights Out’.

Millions Like Us Podcast #21

millions-like-us-podcast-21

Hello! We’re back (again) with another delightful mix of music and chat that is, Millions Like Us Podcast, Episode #21.

First off, apologies for the delay with this one but it was entirely out of our control. Some technical mumbo-jumbo put a spanner in the works but we (and by that I mean Stevie, poor sod) finally pulled it together after a lot of hard graft. Some sound issues remain but hopefully it doesn’t hamper the listening experience any more than usual. 😉

Anyway, back to the Pod. For Episode #21 we – Justin, Barry & Stephen – brave some dodgy internet connections, technological misadventures and timezone challenges, to bring you a bumper 90 minutes plus of music chat and an eclectic, hand-picked selection of superb new tunes.

Thanks for your patience with us with this one, we really appreciate it. We’ve all got the thinking caps on to figure out a more efficient way of doing this so once again, thanks for baring with us and we hope you enjoy Pod #21!

You can subscribe to MLU on iTunes and Podcast Republic, Mixcloud & SoundCloud, or find us on Facebook & Twitter. Or you can email us at millionslikeuspodcast[at]gmail[dot]com.

Continue reading

Playlist: Best Songs of 2016

bg-songs-2016

Lists, lists, lists and more lists. Yes, it is that time of year when lists become more common place than overly optimistic Liverpool fans in August.

Time, or lack of it, truly is the enemy once again but I’ve compiled a 100+ strong song Spotify playlist; selection of personal favourites from throughout the year. Pretty self-explanatory this, but there’s loads of great stuff in there from many styles and genres and, from across the globe.

I hope to have an ‘Albums of 2016′ post completed this week. Anyway, for now, I hope you enjoy the playlist.