Silverbacks – ‘Pink Tide’

Over the past few years, a few things have become certainties; my hair is not going to get any less greyer, Wrexham will break my heart come the season’s end and Silverbacks releases don’t disappoint.

The most recent Dublin-based outfit have been been nothing short of phenomenal; the unrelenting, unshakeable and sometimes post-punk spectacles of ‘Just In The Band’, ‘Dunkirk’ and ‘Just For A Better View’. Firmly in the here and now, Silverbacks are back with whispers of an album in 2019 and new single ‘Pink Tide’.

Like their other recent releases, ‘Pink Tide’ is once again recorded with Girl Band’s Daniel Fox, and raucous and buzzing with a jagged edged exuberance. Interlocking guitars provide precise freneticism, and pivots ‘Pink Tide’ off-kilter as Dan O’Kelly delivers his low-toned and world weary vocals. It is effortlessly gritty with scintillating riffs and guitar work, and when the solo kicks in at the 2:30 mark, provides a cathartic jolt towards the finish. It is barbed, searing and raucous without ever being messy, in fact incredibly tight, kept in check by the metronomic drums and those frenetic guitars. Electrifying, explosive and exhilarating as per usual – in my humble opinion, Silverbacks are Ireland’s finest emerging band.

Tune in to ‘Pink Tide’ below:

Silent Forum – ‘Safety in Numbers’

‘Safety in Numbers’ is the third single released by Cardiff based Post-Punk/ New Wave outfit Silent Forum and following on from the swaggering, jerky off-kilter art-rock energy of ‘How I Faked The Moon Landing’ and ‘Robot’, ‘Safety in Numbers’ enters a much more reflective musical realm.

Teaming up with the superb Libertino Records, ‘Safety In Numbers’ is a warm and touching ode to community and ‘the importance of looking after your friends’. Sombre and touching, it braces shadowy post punk tones with flashes of uplifting, inspiring new wave, while the art-rock influence still simmers away – most pronounced with the utterly divine harmonies. Harnessing the measured and restrained power of a constant drum beat, steadily rumbling bass and melodic guitar strum, the heart-filled tale is shared through rich, sombre and moving vocals. ‘Safety In Numbers’ is wonderful; it is warm, vulnerable, honest and touching – and you will be all the better for making its acquaintance.

‘Safety in Numbers’ is out now through Libertino Records. Tune in below:



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.

DRAMAS – ‘Comfort Zone / Robot’

DRAMAS are Austrian duo Viktoria Winter and Mario Wienerroither, who from their Viennese base, cultivate a stunning brew of dreamy electronic-pop.

Lifted from their 2018 LP Nothing is Permanent, ‘Comfort Zone / Robot’ is a beguiling example of their flair for dreamy pop and ethereal electronica being pushed into more experimental, spaced-out zones of bleary psych. Winter’s beguiling vocal floats with a weightlessness above a blanket of hypnotic shimmering synth and frazzled electronics, on contrast to the deep bass groove and snappy beats which propel us onward. Their’s is a sound of consummate balance and ‘Comfort Zone / Robot’ finds an exquisite balance between bright and dark, heavy and light and analog and the digital. This is sweet, hypnotic and dreamy, and its transfixing allure is just irresistible.

Listen to ‘Comfort Zone / Robot’ below and if that is to your liking, why not check out Nothing is Permanent here.

Low Hum – ‘Strange Love’

Low Hum are a revolving around the talents of Hawaiian guitarist Colin Desha, now based in Los Angeles.

Both places are well noted for surfing, so it comes with little surprise that surf-rock is the bedrock with which the Low Hum’s sound is built but refusing to be one dimensional, it runs a gamut of other vital influences; namely psychedelic pop, space-rock post-punk and a touch of Krautrock. Loosely inspired by Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove, ‘Strange Love’ is hypnotic and heady brew of swirling soundscapes and danceable grooves. Harnessing its power from a vital blend of propulsive beats and krautrock-esque rhythms, it thunders onward with hypnotic effect as fuzz-filled crunchy riffs and bubbling basslines pummel through the swirling haze of fuzz and distortion. Amid an electrified vitality, driving intensity and incandescent glimmer, there are some similarities here to early Toy, or ‘Primary Colours’ era Horrors – and that is never a bad thing at all.

Listen to ‘Strange Love’ below – it is quite something, no question.

ALFFA – ‘PLA’

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Alffa are Dion Wyn Jones & Sion Eifion Land, a two-man riff machine from Llanrug, Wales.

Performing in their native Welsh, this pair have a massive sound and craft explosive tunes echoing the likes of The White Stripes, The Black Keys & Royal Blood et al. The self-dubbed “punk-blues” two piece introduced themselves with powerhouse singles ‘Creadur’ and ‘Tomos Rhys’ late last year, and Alffa are back with new single ‘PLA’ – provoing once again they are a force to be reckoned with. ‘PLA’ is every bit as muscular as it predecessors announcing it’s presence with a deafening combination of ferocious, serrated guitar riff, thunderous and propulsive drums and searing, biting vocals. It is a thundering three-minutes of gritty rock ‘n roll abandon as mammoth riffs crash into pulverising percussion for a dazzling and mighty whirl of noise.

You can listen to ‘PLA’ below – and if that is to your liking, there is plenty more where that came from here too.

 

BILK – ‘CM2’

BILK are young Essex trio of Sol Abrahams (vocals/guitar), Luke Hare (bass), and James Holland (drums) who’s preference is an angsty blend of indie, rap and punk; and a fondness for Fred Perry and Adidas.

The trio introduced their  feisty, energetic and raw wears toward the end of last year with ‘Slob’ and the good news is, BILK’s first offering of 2019 in just as thrilling. New single ‘CM2’ is a fast, furious and ramshackle dose of gritty guitars and spat-out vocals, combining tongue-in-cheek humour with insightful social commentary. An apologetically raw and lippy indie-punk sound, laced with crunching guitars, buzz-saw riffs and furious fast-paced drums providing fuel for the volatile, semi-rapped/spat-out streetwise lyrics that are brash and mouthy. ‘CM2’ is a tongue-in-cheek homage to the boys hometown of Chelmsford, if I’m honest, I’d hoped it was a homage to Championship Manager 2 but that is more than a little before their time but regardless of their muse, this is an absolute gem. 

BILK play Eastbound Festival, Dublin (in the Sound House on Eden Quay) on May 12th.

Tune into ‘CM2’ below:


Japanese Television – ‘Bloodworm’

A furious fusion of post-punk, psychedelia and krautrock, ‘Bloodworm’ is the new single by British four-piece, Japanese Television.

Recorded by Kristian Bell of The Wytches in an old isolated village hall onto an 8 track tape, ‘Bloodworm’ follows the band’s acclaimed 2018 debut EP, and finds them further exploring the outer reaches of their versatile sound.

‘Bloodworm’ is a furious, fuzzed up trip across a cosmic, kaleidoscopic world – owing as much to post-punk, psychedelia and krautrock to sci-fi, it is whirlwind of exploding colours and exhilarating energy. The pace is unrelenting, frantically clamouring to one frenetic crescendo as another, propelled on the back of breakneck beats, scintillating riffs, off-kilter rhythms and a swirl of demonic organs – forged together, it is delivered with a burning intensity. Frantic, fevered and frenetic; ‘Bloodworm’ is an outrageously brilliant track (and one that is a close relation to one of Wales’ finest sons, Hippies Vs Ghosts).

Listen to ‘Bloodworm’ below, it is out now via Tip Top Recordings.

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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