Genius – ‘2226’

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Based out of the port city of Busan, South Korea, GENIUS is Steve C, Lee Chung Mok, and Kim Il Du.

Since forming in 2009, they independently released two studio albums Yangatchi (2009) and Birth, Choice, Death (2010), before releasing their third album, Beaches (2014) through Helicopter Records. The rock and roll foursome released their new and fourth album Starsea back in August and ‘2226’ is the latest single lifted from the record. ‘2226’ is a fuzzed-up, scuzzy and meandering rock and roll jam. Imbued with a punk spirit, the drawled vocals and buzzy punk guitars wade through a haze of fuzz and feedback with a loose, free-flowing vibe. As incessant the buzz and fuzz is, ‘226’ is strongly melancholic, dreamy and somewhat catchy – in short; it’s a top tune!

Starsea is out now & you can stream it here. For now, listen to ‘2226’ below now:

Johnny Kills – ‘End Game’

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Brighton/London-based garage-surf trio Johnny Kills have been delighting our ears with a series of infectious and scuzzed-up singles; ‘Let’s Talk About Me’ & ‘My Shirt Guy Is High’.

The trio have returned with a scintillating, razor-sharp single ‘End Game’. A fizzy sub-three-minute blast of fuzzed-up and scuzzy alchemy. Vocals flicker in and out between meaty bass, crunchy riffs and searing percussion, all the while maintaining a sweetly melodic core. Clocking in at just under three minutes, it does not mess about and it will certainly brighten your day.

Everything from Johnny Kills thus far has been sensational, here’s to that trend continuing into the future.

For now though, you can take a listen to the superb ‘End Game’ below.

Penguin – ‘Fiction’

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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

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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.

Something for the Weekend: New Music Playlist #1

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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.

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