Chick Quest – ‘Down in a Crypt’

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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.

Dead Naked Hippies – ‘Lights Out’

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‘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’.

Playlist: Best Songs of 2016

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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.

 

Introducing: False Heads

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London grunge/punk trio False Heads have marked themselves as noisemakers supreme over the course of the past 12 months.

They have released a slew of blistering singles and their latest ‘Weigh In’, is as ferocious an intro as possible. ‘Weigh In’, and indeed their grunge/punk hybrid, is rammed with vicious hooks, fierce, crunchy guitar riffs, hammering percussion and banging bass line. Three-and-a-half-minute burst of coiled up aggression, delivered with a primal energy; this is raspy, aggressive, and downright infectious. The companion to ‘Weigh In’, ‘All Eyes’ leans toward the grungier end of the spectrum yet similarly menacing, viscerally snarling and hard to resist. False Heads certainly sound like a trio with fire in their bellies, and with a bunch of singles and live dates planned for the coming year, these guys look like an exciting prospect.

Three lads who make a whole lot of noise, what’s not to like? Well, for now, check out ‘Weigh In’ & ‘All Eyes’ – as good a start as any.

Introducing: Sean OB

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Sean OB – aka Sean O’Brien – is a songwriter, multi-talented musician and producer.

His name be unfamiliar but his work will not, fronting the decidedly brilliant and criminally underrated Dublin punk-ska trio Trap Door, before joining Raglans in 2012. O’Brien has now returned with a brand new project under the moniker of Sean OB. Described as “Buddy Holly meets Jamie T” – and there is some truth in that statement – heralding this project is debut single, ‘Alive’. It marks an evolution of the punky-indie sound he carved out with Trap Door. Amid the rumbling and rattling guitars of this spiky piece of punk-tinged-indie, it is O’Brien’s gripping way of telling a tale that, like before, wins the day. ‘Alive’ is an excellent intro to a project with plenty of promise. There’s an EP in the works with producer Rob Kirwan (Hozier/The Horrors) in 2017, so keep an eye out for that in the new year.

For now though, you can listen to ‘Alive’ below, and if it is to your liking, Sean is playing Whelan’s Upstairs, this Saturday, November 19th | Doors @ 23:00 & more details here.

 

Whenyoung Share Scintillating New Single ‘Actor’

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One of this year’s HWCH standouts, London-based Irish trio, Whenyoung have shared a brand new single, ‘Actor’.

Penned for release on November 25, it follows-up their brash but brilliant debut single ‘See How They Run’. A stinging pillory of projecting artificial images of oneself through social media, ‘Actor’ is another infectious and fiery piece of punk-flavoured garage-rock. Guitars screech and wail amid a squall of distortion and fuzz which engulfs everything in its wake, but punctured by a powerful beat and sweet, yet punchy vocals. Bursting with vitality, melody ‘Actor’ is bristly, driven and of course, totally irresistible! Whenyoung’s second single adds a far greater weight to the their ever growing rep.

‘Actor’ is officially released on November 25 with a headline show, at London’s Shacklewell Arms on the 24th. Stream ‘Actor’ below right now.

Jinx Lennon to Release Two New Albums in October; Shares ‘Past Pupil Stay Sane’

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Jinx Lennon is a unique talent, a national treasure to be exact. Influenced as much by post punk and hip hop, he is the embodiment of a modern folk singer. Whether it’s played on a one string guitar or sampled disco beat, raw garage noise and blues, his are songs of raw truths that kick back against the humdrum bullshit of modern life.

Needless to say, it has been far too long since we’ve had a new record from Jinx – the last seems like a distant memory – so news of not one, but TWO new Jinx records this month, is cause for serious excitement. Recorded with Liverpool experimentalists Clinic, Past Pupils Stay Sane & Magic Bullets of Madness to Uplift Grief Magnets will be released simultaneously on October 21st. Ahead of the double release, we’ve been afforded a glimpse of what’s to come in the shape of ‘Past Pupil Stay Sane’ and it is typically brilliant and typically Jinx. His way with words and delivery is unique and backed by a steady electronic beat, synths, twangy reverberating guitar and acoustic strum ‘Past Pupil Stay Sane’ is Jinx at his very best. There’s no one quite like him anywhere in the world – brilliant as always.

Both Past Pupils Stay Sane & Magic Bullets of Madness to Uplift Grief Magnets will be released simultaneously on October 21st. For more info / pre-orders go here.

Hard Working Class Heroes 2016 Preview: 8 Must See Acts

 

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Hard Working Class Heroes takes place in venues across Dublin this week.

Running from Thursday, October 6th to Saturday, October 8th and it will showcase well over 100 of Ireland’s most promising emerging acts. One of HWCH’s biggest draws (and festivals of its ilk) is rambling around, seeing acts you have previously been unfamiliar with. That said, there are a couple of names that immediately jump out and come highly recommended with the much sought after BarryGruff seal of approval*.

The full line-up / stage times for Hard Working Class Heroes 2016 is here. And as always, feel free to share your own recommendations in the comments section below. *May not be much sought after.

Eoin Dolan: Thursday, 19:40 – 20:10 @ Tengu Downstairs

Galway-based singer-songwriter Eoin Dolan is, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the finest finds from the past 12 months. Dolan has a real flair for twinkly and whimsical, good old fashioned pop gems, with a healthy dose of Brian Wilson, Syd Barrett and Lennon/McCartney (moments) threaded through the fabric of his sound. His brand of surfy psych-pop is totally charming, entirely irresistible, easy-going and timeless. Dolan’s self-titled debut album was released last month, for a taste of that & what to expect at HWCH, check out ‘Dear Brian'; a playful blend of woozy, soothing sounds, sinuous melodies, SFA-esque synth work, giddy-pop-playfulness and reverb-drenched vocals. Not to be missed.

New Pope: Thursday, 21:40 – 22:10 @ Tengu Downstairs

Galway-based New Pope – fronted by Dave Boland – deal in truly beautiful, timeless and carefully crafted acoustic folk sounds. Passing with a whisper rather than a roar, New Pope’s songs are delivered with warmth and tenderness, as Boland’s distinctive vocal creates a warm, lush atmosphere – and an overwhelming sense of sense of nostalgia. Last year’s YOUTH EP & LP are wonderful and New Pope were excellent at Electric Picnic this year, and if that doesn’t entice you? Check out the layered, lush and beguiling beauty of ‘Love’ below:

Slow Riot: Friday, 20:10 – 20:40 @ The Hub

Limerick trio Slow Riot‘s ferocious, tense and searing post-punk, has marked them out as one of Ireland’s most promising guitar bands in sometime. Taking classic post-punk influences – Gang of Four, Television, Wire – and infusing them with more contemporary ones such as Girl Band and Future of the Left, they create an irresistible and thunderous modern take on a classic sound. Still need convincing? Check out the intense, insistent and menacing ‘Trophy Wife’ below. Peerless.

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The Undertones Celebrate 40 Years & Share New Kevin Shields Remix of ‘Get Over You’

 

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This year, legendary Derry punk outfit The Undertones celebrate the 40th anniversary of the birth of band; a fairly impressive milestone by anyone’s standard.

To mark this auspicious occasion, The Undertones are re-releasing the self-titled 1979 debut and its 1980 follow-up, Hypnotised, on heavyweight vinyl and remastered from original tapes, and original replicated artwork. Two fantastic records (and personal favourites) which contain between them such glorious moments as ‘Teenage Kicks’, ‘Here Comes The Summer’, ‘Jimmy Jimmy’, ‘My Perfect Cousin’, ‘Wednesday Week’ and ‘There Goes Norman’. As part of a 40th anniversary remaster / digital release, Kevin Shields of My Bloody Valentine has remixed the band’s 1979 single ‘Get Over it’ mixed from the original multi-track. It’s not a ‘remix’ as perhaps we would normally expect, instead certain elements are cleaned and polished up, with the guitars in particular given a crunchier, meatier feel. It sounds less rough than the original while keeping true to its spirit and essence. You can listen to both versions below.

The reissues are out October 7th through Union Square Music on 180-gram heavyweight vinyl,  along with Kevin Shields’ 2016 remix of ‘Get Over You’, available on 7”, 180-gram heavyweight red vinyl.

 

Introducing: Whenyoung

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Whenyoung are a London-based Irish trio – Aoife (vocals/bass), Niall (vocals/guitar), and Andrew (vocals/drums) – who’ve got quite the flair for urgent, driven and fiery punk-flavoured garage-rock.

They sound brash, fiery and driven by a furious intensity. With their debut single ‘See How They Run’ / ‘Show Me How’ earlier in the year, they have made one hell of a first impression for themselves. ‘See How They Run’ is a ferocious two minute burst of vitality that fizzes and crackles amid crunchy guitars, relentless percussion and knockout vocals – fierce and raspy yet simultaneously pleasant. This vocal trait carries over into ‘Show Me How’ which is just as bold, brash and brilliant a squall of screeching guitar noise. Not only is Whenyoung’s sound blisteringly ferocious. it is catchy, hooky and totally irresistible!

You can check out ‘See How They Run’ / ‘Show Me How’ below. Whenyoung will be in Dublin next month, they play Hard Working Class Heroes on Friday, October 7th (The Workman’s @ 22:30).