Saturday, December 31, 2011

Total Control: INTERVIEW!

It's a real pleasure to present an interview with Total Control as the final post in 2011 for Gilded Gutter. Their debut album 'Henge Beat' has received a massive slobbery kiss from nerds, labels and music weirdos alike. They've just completed a 2 month tour rounded off here in London courtesy of Upset the Rhythm, which was easily one of the best shows I've seen all year. Special thanks goes out to Daniel Noort for helping hook up this interview.

You can hear some songs recorded live earlier this month at the aforementioned UTR show on NTS Radio, click here!

DW = David West/Guitar
DX = Daniel Stewart/Vocals
MY = Mikey Young/Guitar
ZAP = Zephyr Anthony Pavey/Bass

So you’ve just finished a big tour, how is it being home? Is it weird when all the shows stop, or are you kinda relieved to get a rest?

DW: Being home is weak, I really believe in the redemptive power of repetition so it is very disappointing to not make the same motions with my hands and voice for half an hour every night. It's a bit Zen,innit?

ZAP: I'm catching up on 2 months of food and sleep in the NSW Blue Mountains, quite a necessary treat. I'm having weird dreams about missing flights at Heathrow and lining up at the express checkout at various international supermarkets but the line never moves fast enough think i'm playing bass in my sleep as well.

How was ATP? What do you make of big festivals like that?

DX: There are festival people. I am not one of them. But ATP is the best festival I've been to, and it was great to play.

ZAP: Also not a mega festival chad type but ATP is sweet. It doesn't have shitty sponsors with ugly logos, disgusting "young zany energetic" orange skinned promo slags shoving their carcinogenic product down your throat while you're already choking on dust and dehydration because a "young zany energetic" marketing team decided that the desert in summer and $5 a bottle water is how festivals work. It does have good ticket prices, fantastic hospitality and accommodation, cheap drinks (a bar tender apologised for my pint being too expensive at 2.50), no need for expensive bottled water as you can just stroll back to your cabin from any of the venues in 2 minutes and make a cup o tea. BUTLINS! PROPER CHIPS

DW: It was the best of times, it was the blurst of times. I would never contemplate personally attending an event of that magnitude but I must say were I forced to attend one festival, it would probably be an ATP. My main impression of ATP was that British seaside resort/festival staff are incredibly nice and polite, and also 'Butlins!!!'.

What’s been the most memorable part of this recent tour?

ZAP: Mikey performed a PERFECT parallel reverse park in exactly 2 moves.

DW: For me personally, an epic ping pong battle against M.Young in Memphis. He so sporty!

What shows have you attended in the past that made an impression on you?

DX: Directly before the tour Zephyr, Mikey and I watched a Bob Seger covers band called TOTAL B.S. in San Francisco. Easily one of the best bands we saw on the entire tour. I am forever impressed by a great song being played by great players, and I grew up without access to bands like the Silver Bullet Band. To see this scab tribute made an impression on me.

Gary Numan's set at ATP made an impression on me. It was terrible. Gary Numan's first four LPs, including the Tubeway Army LP, have SO MANY great songs on them, and Gary decided to play a industrial metal chugga of 'Cars', and a handful of Nine Inch Nails covers.

Those are the shows that come to mind. We did also see Thee Oh Sees every night for five weeks. They work harder than most any band I've come in contact with.

ZAP: I saw Emmy-Lou play in golden gate park and that was good enough for me she had fantastic hair and a great outfit.

Do you remember the first show you ever played? What brought on that “I can do that” feeling that got you on stage?

ZAP: 16/17 years old, a pub in Enmore, Madball style band called Never You Mind, I was nervous so played my guitar a little too intensely rendering my hand almost useless for a week after. At the time Sydney punk was mostly bored old bastards that had been playing the same shit for 15 years and just kept doing it coz theres fuck all else to do, also because 'changing' is the worst thing anyone can ever do in hardcore, there was probably more interesting shit going on but I loved the bonehead crap. I have always felt like I could get on a stage and do whatever I wanted because I saw my dad's friends mic up a lobster and lower it into a pot of boiling water at a real animal rights'y squat show when I was 5, how I could I do any worse than that?

DX: 15 years old, Wollongong Youth Centre, punk band called xTwo Right Handsx. There was a strong straight edge / hardcore scene in our town, and a lot of people got involved at the same time. It was a violent shithole, it was something to do.

Do you prefer playing or recording?

MY: They are both entirely different feelings so it's hard to compare but I think I enjoy the creative process and working towards and finally releasing a product more than I do performing. I don't think performing is a natural thing for me to do sometimes and I feel kinda sweird. though other times it makes me feel ace so who knows.

ZAP: I like playing the same thing over and over and fucking around with it then adding some wacky effect and realising it sounds crap then going back to the initial idea blah blah and all that kinda thing more than I like lugging all our gear across town and up or down some stairs then waiting around at a stinky pub with shit beer for 5 hours to play a selection of songs precisely in quick succession, BUT I also love getting rat-arsed on cheap/free piss with my mates and kicking out hot licks with all knobs to the right! (aka up to 11)

DW: I don't look forward to playing live but usually feel good afterwards, whereas I look forward to recording and then question my entire involvement with music afterwards.

Tell us about the tracks on split 12” with Thee Oh Sees, were they made post ‘Henge Beat’? I was wondering if it was a taste of things to come…

MY: Yeah they were made around middle of the year at the rehearsal room we usually practice in. All of them were pretty new. I don't think we had played any live before. I don't really think they are a sign of things to come, they just happened to be what we had at the time.

DX: The were made post-Henge Beat. The first song was worked out of a demo Mikey put together when he was living in my parents house in Philip Island, the next two were written by Al and Mikey respectively and tuned up by the band, the last song was worked out of a demo Al made. They are great songs, and a thing of come to taste.

How do you feel about 'Henge Beat' topping many end of year lists? Did you expect or care if people responded well to it when it was made?

MY: I usually have no idea what people will think of records I'm involved in. I'm usually so over exposed to it that I don't know whether its good or not, but I felt strangely satisfied when this was done and thought it would be received well. We did a pretty good job and while it's not why we make records, people digging it so much definitely gives us some sense of achievement.

DX: I am very happy with the record and would hope that people listened to it more than a couple times. I haven't heard many records this year that I would want to listen to next year, so it'd be in my top ten too.

ZAP: I appreciate a good response to the band but im only interested in grocery shopping lists and 'to do' lists.

I love the artwork on the album cover, a conundrum for everyone who looks at it - I was wondering what were some of your favourite record covers?

DX: Thankyou!

I like the cover of the first Ramones LP. I like the cover of Highway 61 Revisited by Bob Dylan. I like the cover of Agitated / Cyclotron by the Electric Eels. I like the cover of The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society by The Kinks. I like the cover of the first h100's record, generally referred to as the Dismantle EP. I like the cover of the Lil Bunnies 45. I like the cover of The Age Of Quarrel by the Cro-Mags. I like the cover of the Straight Ahead 12". I like the cover of the Replicas LP by Tubeway Army / Gary Numan. I like the cover of Rikk Agnew's All By Myself.

It should be evident that the TC record looks nothing like any of the record covers that I like. HAHA.

ZAP: Recently I've bought a couple of records with great photographs on the cover, A Suicide 12" with a color photo of Marty 'n' Al wearing cool ass clothes hugging on the Bowery sidewalk in the early 80's with trash and boarded up windows all around them. The Nikki Sudden Rowland S. Howard 'wedding hotel' 12" with Rowland on one side at the peak of his impeccable dandy style, sitting in front of the old church the record was made in with a guitar and a slightly unimpresssed look on his face, single long dangly earring, red scarf, spikey mullet, great shirt and coat. perfect.

What do you want to achieve with the music made in Total Control?

DX: Music for people to try to have sex to, and then get too anxious and paranoid to deliver, but try anyway, and something memorable happens. Maybe a baby comes out of it.

MY: I'd like to achieve whatever we wanted. We all have varied tastes and are up for trying things. I just wanna try whatever we want and put out the stuff that works and we can stand by. I don't want it to be a band that has a consistent sound but also over time certain strengths pop up and they usually steer you in a direction whether
you know it or not.

Can you tell me a little bit about “See More Glass”? I really love how paranoid and numbed it is...

DX: I wrote those lyrics out of a couple of fragmentary images I took away from A PERFECT DAY FOR BANANAFISH by JD Salinger. It is one of the best short stories he wrote, and he wrote some of the best short stories I have ever read.

What do you make of people trying to put a label on Total Control? The need to define it somehow?

MY: It's fine I guess, I need to do it when explaining music to people so I see it's necessity but I don't always agree with the comparisons made or the labels used.

One genre that comes up a lot with descriptions of Total Control is Punk. Punk seems to morph into many forms nowadays and is constantly being challenged, what do you think makes 'Punk' these days?

DW: It's kind of like labelling the sun y'know, people can write poems about it, but let's see those poets actually look directly at that shit!

DX: As always, loud guitar and Schadenfreude.

What’s your take on the attention Australia’s music scene has got recently? As an outsider it looks like there’s been a sort of resurgence, is this accurate or have we all just been really slow?!

DX: No resurgence. It is better than it has ever been.

I read that ‘Carpet Rash’ is about being disappointed by the future, with that in mind, 2011 saw the end of the world predicted, incorrectly, twice. What do you make of people who predicted and believed judgement day was upon us?

DX: Carpet Rash is about that, yes. It's also about intimacy with inanimate objects.

Doomsday prophesy is a good way to get attention and maybe some money or control over other people. I'm not entirely sure that people could possibly survive the ecological catastrophes imminent, but we survived the ice age. I spent over a decade of my life utterly convinced that human extinction was around the corner, and the broad variety of conspiracy theories and ecological catastrophy propoganda was lit to me. It's a good way to avoid having to think about your own death.

Looking at the future – what plans does Total Control have for 2012?

MY: No plans beyond some early festival shows in Australia. We have all been away for a good while and need to settle our living situations and all that junk before we get too heavy into plans. I'd say we will relax and make some new songs for a while.

“I’m full of dust and guitars” – Syd Barret, if you were cracked open what would be inside?

DX: Purity, valor, nobility and war.

ZAP: The first riff in sweet home alabama,the abattoir scene from 'in a year with 13 moons',the Nan Goldin photos of her friend Joana, a pocket sized miniature version of my girlfriend and funny things James said.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Michael Chapman 'Fully Qualified Survivor'

Something a little different but I've been really enjoying the newly reissued Michael Chapman record 'Fully Qualified Survivor', originally released in 1970 and recently put out on Light In The Attic. 2011 has seen Michael Chapman supporting Thurston Moore on tour and to round the year off this month's Wire magazine boasts an insightful interview covering his 40 year career, featuring some great stories and thoughts on his favourite records. A corner stone of today's English Folk music 'Fully Qualified Survivor' attests that, this man is a wizard with a guitar.

Find copies at Light in the Attic

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Radioslaps 'Music Is A Mistake'

Here we have debut tape from London's Radioslaps self released earlier this month. Three piece, Alba (synth, vocals), Melissa (drums, vocals) and Pumu (guitar, vocals) have put together ten scuzzy garage punk numbers. 'Music Is A Mistake' isn't challenging garage bands who have come before, rather made out of a love for them and bringing new blood to the genre. These ballistic recordings play out crunchy guitars, shattered rhythms, saccharine synths with simple melodies measured with erratic, atonal vocals. All in all Radioslaps raucous approach makes this album a burst of adrenaline, available as a download or cassette tape through their Bandcamp page.

You can listen to 'Music Is A Mistake' on Radioslaps Bandcamp
Radioslaps Facebook

Monday, December 26, 2011

Eddy Current Suppression Ring 'So Many Things'

'So Many Things' is a collection of singles and demos from Eddy Current Suppression Ring complete with covers of The Pagans, The Chosen Few and The Go-Go's. Cherry picked from material spanning seven years these twenty-two tracks stretch over a double LP. Since their inception Eddy Current Suppression Ring have united people in a love for underground punk-rock-garage-whateveryouwannacallthem bands and have played a part in putting Australia's music scene back on the map over the last few years. The Christmas present to myself this year was a no-brainer, thank you Goner!

You can find copies here

Eddy Current Suppression Ring - You Let Me Be Honest With You by Gilded Gutter

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

2011 - Gilded Gutter's End of Year List

Good Throb 'Demo 2011' (Self Released)
Hygiene 'Public Sector' (La Vida Es Un Mus)
Kitchens Floor 'Look Forward To Nothing' (Siltbreeze)
John Maus 'We Become the Pitiless Censors of Ourselves' (UTR)
Metal Mountains 'Golden Trees' (Amish Records)
Mind Spiders S/T (Dirtnap)
Pink Reason 'Shit in the Garden' (Siltbreeze)
Psandwich 'Northern Pysch' (Columbus Discount)
Royal Headache S/T (RIP Society/Eighteen Records)
Slug Guts 'Howlin' Gang' (Sacred Bones)
Total Control 'Henge Beat' (Iron Lung Records)
Tyvek 'Nothing Fits' (In The Red)
Veronica Falls S/T (Bella Union/Slumberland)
Wounded Lion 'IVXLCDM' (In The Red)
Yussuf Jerusalem 'Blast From the Past' (Florida's Dying/Eighteen Records)

Honorable mentions for two albums that came out at the VERY END of 2010. I have continuously listened to them all the way through 2011 so therefore, Dikes of Holland S/T (Sundae Records) and Deaf Wish 'Mercy' (Radio Records Melbourne) deserve a shout out.

***Sun City Girls - Brothers Unconnected@Boston Arms May 10th***
Dan Melchior Un Das Menace@Ryan's Bar May 18th
Francis & the Holograms@Power Lunches September 2nd
Group Doueh@Barbican Centre May 11th
Group Inerane@Plan B November 30th
Grouper@St Giles in the Fields 6th October
Hipshakes/No/Wake Up Dead/Domestic Blitz@Ryans Bar April 22nd
Jack Oblivian/The Limes/Harlan T Bobo@Boston Arms December 2nd
Mr Peppermint@The Palatine May 28th
Pink Reason@Shacklewell Arms July 14th
Please@Yes Way, Bussey Building August 13th
Pooh Sticks@Bush Hall February 24th
Purling Hiss/Steve Gunn@Lexington October 9th
The Rebel@Power Lunches November 19th
Screaming Females@Lexington September 9th
Total Control/Satellites of Love/Yola Fatoush/Good Throb@Oliver's Yard December 7th
Total Control/The Pheromoans/Suana Youth/Mickey Gloss@Old Blue Last December 15th

Black Mamba Beat/Wake Up Dead Split Cassette (Kind Turkey)
Covergirl Demo Tape (Self Released)
Group Inerane Tour Single (Sublime Frequencies)
Halo Halo 'Manananggal' (Savoury Days)
Human Hair S/T (Sex Is Disgusting)
John Wesley Coleman/Timmy's Organism split (Goner)
King Tuff/Hex Dispensers split (AV Club)
OBNIII 'Mark On You/Heavy Heart' (Tic Tac Totally)
Satellites of Love S/T (MiLK Records)
Suana Youth 'Lists' (Self Released)
Tense Men Cassette Tape (Cazenove Tapes)
Thee Oh Sees/Total Control Tour Split 12"(Castle Face)
Wax Idols 'All Too Human' (Hozac)

Michael Chapman 'Fully Qualified Survivor' (Light In The Attic)
Cheater Slicks 'Our Food is Chaos' (Almost Ready)
Dead Moon LPs (Mississippi)
Eddy Current Suppression Ring 'So Many Things' (Goner)
Reatards 'Teenage Hate' (Goner)
Sperm Wails 'Lady Chatterley' (S-S Records)
Ty Segall 'Singles 2007-2010' (Goner)

I Trust My Guitar
WAY THROUGH 'A Way Through Bethnal Green'

Captain Beefheart
Bert Jansch
Lucian Freud

Friday, December 9, 2011

Thee Oh Sees/Total Control Split 12"

The past week has been totally nuts for shows and I've been all over merch tables like white on rice, or yellow in custard, or pastry on mince pies...

Big Take Over hosted a show for Total Control at Oliver's Yard here in London a few days ago, BTO sure put on a fantastic gig and Total Control played to a crowd of besotted fans dumbstruck that they were here, THEY WERE REALLY HERE! It was at this show that I picked up a copy of their split 12" with Thee Oh Sees (Castleface). Both sides feature 4 previously unreleased tracks.

Thee Oh Sees feature on Side A with hyper garage rock numbers maintaining high energy throughout. I've always enjoyed Thee Oh Sees live but listening to their records has often left me deflated, not here though. Everything I love about them on stage is captured here and these are my favourite recorded songs from Thee Oh Sees to date. Side B cools off with Total Control's creeped out synth punk which departs a little from their 'Henge Beat' material, possibly showcasing what's in store for future records? I sure do hope so.

500 copies on limited edition half clear/half yellow vinyl
500 copies on black vinyl
For those who missed the shows try Castle Face Records

LONDONERS! You have another chance to see Total Control next Thursday after their ATP appearance before they go. This band are not to be missed!

Thee Oh Sees - AA Warm Breeze by Gilded Gutter

Total Control - Sweaty by Gilded Gutter

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Thurston Moore/Talk Normal Split 7"

Talk Normal just played a show in London after finishing a tour with Wire where I nabbed one of these singles. Side A are three short pieces by Thurston Moore featuring off kilter guitars brimming with abrasiveness and feedback. Side B is one minimal track by Talk Normal playing out bleak, thrumming guitars alongside soft spoken word vocals creating a cavernous, isolating tone fluxed with menace.

The first 500 had a colour cover and are sold out
100 copies were repressed with a black and white cover

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Group Inerane - Tour Single

"Group Inerane is the now sound of the Tuareg Guitar Revolution sweeping across the Sahara Desert and inspired by the rebel musicians that started this music as a political weapon used to communicate from the Libyan Refugee camps in the 1980s and 1990s. Spearheaded by the enigmatic guitar hero Bibi Ahmed, Group Inerane has been together for several years and carries the rich tradition of Tamachek guitar songs for another generation." - Sublime Frequencies

Managed to pick up one of these tour singles on Group Inerane's travels through Europe. Blending folk, pop, blues and everything in-between to make mesmerizing, feverish tangents of rock made deep within the Sahara Desert. Get one while you still can, utter magic!

Group Inerane: "Tehiteyman" by alteredzones

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Thank You!

THANK YOU to everyone who played, helped and made it out to the show last night, it was a BLAST!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Gilded Gutter Show Tonight!

Interrupting usual blog posts for a friendly reminder about the show tonight.


@Power Lunches - 5 pound on the door

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wax Idols 'No Future'

Wax Idols are a quartet formed by Hether Fortune in Oakland featuring a classic line up of guitar, bass and bass. Thus far in the Wax Idols cannon one single 'All Too Human/William Says' on Hozac Records precedes their debut 'No Future' on the same label. After being kicked out of Bare Wires and Hunx & His Punx Hether Fortune took the bull by the horns to front her own band as well as playing in Blasted Canyons currently, and it's not a shock to find that 'No Future' sounds nothing like previous groups she's played in. Wax Idols deliver splintered, melody heavy guitars, rubbery bass and direct, heady rhythms lead by vocals sung with a whole load of gusto. These new songs echo bands like Joy Division in that they hand out happy and sad in equal measure. Saccharine tinged guitars carries melodies through opener "Dead Like You", disturbed towards the end by a blood curdling scream giving a taste of things to follow as bright pop is shadowed by moody undercurrents. Another highlight is "Human Condition" a song dealing with feeling curiously sung in disaffected, vacant vocals as though challenging those trapped in a life long trance - going through the motions, and this is what I take away from listening to 'No Future', eleven songs going through paces of human emotion. This debut is 35 minutes of carefully crafted pop songs slickly recorded whilst sounding as though they were made by a neighbour playing too loud through the bedroom wall. I can't wait to see what the next album will sound like...

Wax Idols - Hotel Room by Gilded Gutter

Get the album from Hozac

Wax Idols Facebook Twitter Tumblr

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Wounded Lion ' IVXLCDM'

Wounded Lion are; Brad Eberhard (guitar, vocals), Lars Finberg (drums, guitar), Raffi Kalenderian (bass, percussion, vocals), Shant Kalenderian (guitar, bass, vocals) and Jun Ohnuki (bass, drums, organ, percussion). The five piece are grounded in LA, featuring hammering rhythms, crunchy guitars, elastic bass and organs. Some may already be familiar with Finberg's work in other projects - he's the current drummer for Thee Oh Sees, original drummer for A-Frames and masterminded band Intelligence. 'IVXLCDM' follows up last years debut on In the Red, this new album attests that since their first single on S-S Records Wounded Lion have continued to hit their stride. Recorded with Chris Woodhouse these 10 songs capture Wounded Lion's playful, wrong-footed manner towards their collage-like style of songwriting further shown in videos where pieces of horror, nature, sex and fiction are woven together creating nonsensical stories and images in their own form of art-punk.

The primitive approach to 'IVXLCDM' is best shown early on in the record by "Wyld Parrots" kicking off with a rumbling bass, incoherent vocals and forthright drums. Flipping over, Side B features "I'm Sad" with off kilter guitars bending in and out of tune, clobbering rhythms and a yell-a-long chorus, "I am sad (why are you sad?), because I want to play more music and I want to sing my song" declares Finberg in a deadpan yelp. It's this innocent and unrefined approach that sums up Wounded Lion's demeanor, another example of this is stormy number "Raincheck Vibrations" dealing with childhood imagery and frustrations of being an adult. Right out of the gates guitars transmit a menacing tone allowing Finberg to get his story across "I was watching batman, batman and catwoman were alone in an alley, they were getting kinda close, their caped shoulders were touching, their faces drew nearer and nearer, they were so close, then robin came running round the corner and screwed everything up..." 'IVXLCDM' is a weighty, raw sounding album recorded in a way that sounds unlike anything else around whereby, Wounded Lion utilizes simplified parameters they set themselves to take their songwriting to a place without limits.

Video for "Raincheck Vibration"

Wounded Lion Facebook
Support In The Red

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Ty Segall 'Singles 2007 - 2010'

With a prolific catalogue of material behind him, Goner Records has culled 25 tracks of singles, demos and rarities from Ty Segall's work helping paint a picture of how his song writing has developed and arrived at this year's well received 'Goodbye Bread' (Drag City). This Double LP fills in some gaps for those of us missing now out-of-print tapes, EPs and 7"s from the Ty Segall cannon. Cannot wait for this to show up at my door..

Order from Goner

Monday, November 21, 2011

Psandwich 'Northern Psych'

Psandwich are a group based in Washington Beach Ohio featuring; Ron House (vocals), Brett Burleson (electric & acoustic guitar, bass), John Olexovitch (electric guitar, vocals) Bobby Silver (bass, keyboards & vocals), Zac Szymusiak (drums, piano & vocals). Some may already be familiar with Ron House from Columbus Discount's reissue last year of 'Blind Boy in the Backseat' and his other two projects Great Plains and Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments. House's distinct narrative heavy vocals coupled with a melodic bass secure a core allowing psyched out guitars to roam alongside pummeling rhythms. 'Northern Psych' is the first album from Psandwich debuting freaked out psychedelia you'd expect from Bubble Puppy or 13th Floor Elevators whilst racing with the pulse of avant-garde garage. Arresting opener "Ceiling" gives a taste of things to come as the five piece steam roll their way through these eleven charged songs. Moody undercurrents of paranoia in the first track resurface in wall climber "Not In Jail" where metronomic beats steer prowling siren guitars gradually ascending to feverish solos. Another highlight is otherworldly "Spinal Scroll Stroll" where the album takes things down a notch with foggy vocals drifting over spooked razor guitars anchored by a melody heavy bass lifted by crashing rhythms. Coming full circle 'Northern Psych' is a force unto itself testing the limits before finishing the way it started. Much like after a great night out - once the needle is off the LP this album has left me feeling like I need to lie down in a dark room with a flannel over my head.

Find copies at Volcanic Tongue and Florida's Dying

Psandwich Facebook

Columbus Discount Records

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Mannequin Men 'Mannequin Men'

Just got my first beer coloured vinyl in the form of Mannequin Men's new self titled album on Addenda Records, where the boys really hit their stride with the four piece's most cohesive effort to date. Recorded live at Key Club in Michigan 'Mannequin Men' makes a sludgy start with "Don't Grow", akin to Spacemen 3 or Teenage Fanclub setting the tone for the album. Spirited rhythms cemented at the core allows crunchy guitars to tumble across infectious melodies alongside a rubbery bass, an echo in the vocals lends depth and warmth to the songs that as a whole sound unpolished. And sure enough, you can pick out other influences along the way as their past three albums will attest, Mannequin Men wear their hearts on their sleeves when it comes to revealing inspirations in their songwriting. It's this unfeigned approach and a sense of alliance which best describes the band's personality. Shown further with next track "Flying Blind", a heartfelt number that is earnest and engaging in equal measure. The universally loved "Hobby Girl" is also featured for those of us who missed out on the Hozac Singles club 7" (can anyone hook me up?!!). Some personal highlights are "OK" and "Wake Up Dead" towards the end of the album where things cool off and feel curiously poignant especially with Richards singing "I've got a little bit left in the tank cummon" in closer 'Van'.

What sets this album apart from their last few records is how Mannequin Men have refined their sound. The revival of garage rock over the last few years I think has left some bands misunderstood. Don't get me wrong I'm a garage rock lover, but with a genre heavily rooted in aesthetics anything on the surface that fits the mold is too easily pigeonholed sometimes, like 'LoFi' to that end. Mannequin Men may be labeled by some as garage rock but I think looking for something a little deeper makes listening to their songs more rewarding.
Mannequin Men Facebook Tumblr Twitter
Addenda Records get the album here

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Grouper A I A 'Alien Observer/Dream Loss'

From the outside looking in is Grouper's isolated viewpoint, delving in the abyss and teetering on the brink of this world and the next. Liz Harris was encouraged to perform and learn instruments as a child whilst being raised in a sect named The Group, living in the Sonora Mountains in North California. "We were isolated from the rest of the world, in that we only hung out with each other. I didn't meet anyone from outside the commune until I was 11 when I first went to public school...We were taught that our world was separate." (The Wire, 334). Children were moved in between families within The Group rarely spending time with their genetic relatives, but also had free reign in the countryside near the sea. It's clear to see how these early experiences impacted Harris' approach to art and is able to summon an unparalleled sense of disconnect in otherworldly voids she creates. 'Alien Observer' and 'Dream Loss' similarly to earlier work, embody the sense of being disengaged. Songs creep in and wash over you like an ethereal breeze or wave with the help of her set-to-whisper singing. Electronic effects react to and echo ambient natural surroundings creating a plain allowing Harris to venture inwards and externalize the limbo she exists in. One of the most captivating female artists around today and worth every bit of your time, Mississippi Records is said to have some.

Grouper Facebook

Friday, November 11, 2011

Cheater Slicks 'Our Food Is Chaos: The Allen Paulino Sessions'

Almost Ready has released tracks by Cheater Slicks recorded in 1989 during their first line up of the band which included Allen Paulino on bass. This bill didn't last as Paulino would by replaced by Merle Allin until guitarists Tom & Dave Shannon and drummer Dana Hatch did away with bass altogether. These early crude recordings brilliantly show how their dissonant demeanor can easily be mapped back to these first tracks featuring, a gnarly cover of 13th Floor Elevators "Rollercoaster", and personal highlight "Born Loser". I love that this record shows Cheater Slicks as an unwavering scuzzy, degenerate garage punk band who've stood firm for nigh on 25 years. Since forming in 1987 Cheater Slicks are one of those bands like Sun City Girls or the Fall, who don't challenge or even seem to care what musical trends may be going on around them - they create their own unmatched identity and exist on the outskirts where enjoying their songs is as easy as allowing them take you into their world.

Almost Ready Records
Cheater Slicks Facebook

The Pheromoans 'Darby Joan & Fosters'

Poised to be released very soon on Clan Destine Records is The Pheromoans new second record to follow up 'It Still Rankles' (Convulsive Records). Not to be missed!

New track from the album!
Darby Joan & Fosters by thepheromoans

You can preorder here

The Pheromans Facebook Blog

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Something Men 'Birdy Roof'

It's surprising a band like Something Men are from the UK given that their songs heavily rooted in Rock 'n' Roll fit so well in with the recent garage rock revival across the pond. The foursome have just released with their debut single 'Birdy Roof' on EZPZ Records. These guys definitely sound like they spent their formative years listening to Bo Diddley and absorbing all the garage rock bands that followed him, 13th Floor Elevators immediately come to mind. And sure enough, Something Men put a contemporary spin on the genre much in the way The Beets do in their rock 'n' roll-slacker demeanor. This is another fine example of a band not challenging the past but having fun with a type of music they clearly love.

(These guys are looking to do some shows in London up until the end of the year if you know of anything -

Something Men- Mud Brown Mistress by ezpz records

Something Men Tumblr Facebook

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Tense Men Cassette

UK duo Tense Men have released their first single on Cazenove Tapes. Bands like Woven Bones come to mind as they mix shoegaze, punk, pop and noise. Tense Men have a looped bass part with primitive delay-heavy guitars worked on top alongside commanding rhythms that create four urgent and menacing numbers. Great debut release!

Tense Men Tumblr

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Pheromoans 'Bar Rock' EP

New 12" on Texan Label Monofonus Press from UK band The Pheromoans out imminently!

Pre-order here

Check out a video for one of the new songs from The Pheromoans made by Monofonus Press right here.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Mannequin Men: interview!!!

Had the pleasure of catching up with kevin from the Mannequin Men about their new album, tour and upside down pizza...

For those new to you guys quick introduction - tell us who you are and what you play...

Kevin- i play guitar and sing, Seth-plays drums and also sings, Ethan-plays guitar, and Miles plays bass

Have you been in or are currently in any other bands?

we all have a few side projects kicking around. i'm in a band with Seth called Calibrated Crematorium that's put out a couple records and is kinda a pop project. Mannequin Men has been the family car though for quite a while so most of the stuff before that you likely haven't heard across the pond.

You're based in Chicago - as an outsider it looks like an awesome city with a strong music scene supported by some great local labels, tell me about the area... Where's the best spots to buy records? Go to shows?! EAT?!! (i saw on telly something about upside down pizzas - do you REALLY have upside down pizzas?!!) (REALLY!?!!)

Ha. I honestly don't know but I can say with all honesty if there is upside down pizza here and I'm missing out on it I'm going to have a real problem with that. Possibly, you're thinking of Chicago deep dish which has the sauce on top? Dunno. I'm pretty serious about pizza so maybe a bit of research is in order. Reckless Records is probably the best record store in town and Ethan works there so maybe that's a bit of homerism. Permanent is great for newer stuff too though. There's tons of places to go to shows so it's a bit hard to nail it down. Some really great DIY spaces making names for themselves like a loft called Mortville. Best club around has been the same best club since I was too young to get in and that's definitely the Empty Bottle. I love Chicago and we all do, it's where I was raised and it still feels like a brand new suit.

Are there remnants of the Blues, Jazz, R’n’B and early Rock ‘n’ Roll Chess Records brought to the city? Any surviving characters or landmarks around that keep that memory alive?

That's a great question with a kind of unfortunate answer. First of, yes, there's still a memory of that in people here but you have to really seek it out. Just last year at the Taste of Chicago Andre Williams played and you kinda see the heads coming out of the woodwork. Syl Johnson, Twinight Records and that kinda stuff will always be in the hearts here, but Chess Records, was commodified a long time ago so it's definitely not the same....not that it could be I suppose.

What was the first type of music made an impression you?

I'd love to say it was something real cool or strange like Beefheart or something but it was likely when I was about three years old and starting hearing my sister playing Michael Jackson records around the house. That music had a power that has yet to be matched. It was a language, and I couldn't get enough of it.

How did you find your new label Addenda Records ?

Addenda had put out a record by a band we all mutually adore (The Eternals) and so when we were looking around for people to do the record we figured we'd ask if they'd be into it. They were really excited and genuine about their interest and we're really happy we decided to work with them. I've known Dustin (one of the owners) for almost eight years now and he's a real true blue music guy. Having people like him behind your stuff just makes you feel even more bulletproof.

I like to ask bands whether they prefer playing live or being in a studio recording, you guys have combined the two on ‘Mannequin Men’ – what made you decide to make the new record in this way?

Pretty much listening to Tonight's the Night and reading Shakey. There's a saying that I truly believe in, and that's "you can't polish a turd". If your songs stink, no amount of studio trickery is going to solve that. I think we wanted to go and try to do it ourselves and let the songs be what they are.

Gary Panter returned to do a second album cover for you guys – he really out did himself! Did you guys share any ideas with him for the piece or did you just let him go away alone and work his magic?

This one we kinda let Gary run with it. The first thing he sent wasn't really what we had in mind even though it was great and we were pretty worked up about what we should do. Gary has become a friend of the band and he's the sweetest guy on the planet, but we didn't know what would happen if we asked him to rework some things.
He was totally sweet about it and two days later sent us the current cover which was a total 180 from the first. We all adore it and adore him and couldn't be happier to work with one of the greatest living artists I can think of. He's a total hero of the band.

What are some of your favourite record covers?

Oh man. another good question...i'm going to forget so many. I really like Damned Damned Damned, historie de melody nelson by serge, on the beach, ...and don't the kids just love it by the televsion peronalities, maggot brain by funkadelic....goes on and on. I'm pretty into rocksteady from the 60s too and jamaicans at that time had such a clever aesthetic, very simple, beautiful record covers.

The Neil Young documentary 'Don’t be denied' was on TV the other night over here – have you seen it? It’s covers snap shots of his career and he reflects on what he’s done so far – noticed you guys are pretty big fans what’s your favourite Neil Young period?

definitely have seen it. we're all pretty into Uncle Neil. I know it's a huge cliche to say you celebrate someone's entire catalog but I'd have to say I do. I'm most into the holy trilogy (time fades away, on the beach, and tonight's the night) but it changes day to day. The man is a genius and a legend and a loser and everything in between. An incredible career and he's the punkest motherfucker that ever lived.

He also talks about the change of direction his music took in the eighties - "they were criticizing me for changing my style so much and people couldn’t comprehend that you could believe what you were doing even if you didn’t do the same thing over and over again." With the word ‘matured’ knocking around with this new record are you coming up against that a little? Miles touched on it here i was wondering what the rest of the band thought?

Yeah, I think we're a little worried that the punk kids will think we're old and shitty, but we've never been all that connected to the drunkenness and chaos and shit that those kids love, it was more a product of trying to figure things out. So at this point, you kinda just let go of that worry and just enjoy the fact that you're doing something you believe in. In this business that's a hard spot to get to and mean it.

You guys did a split single with Jack Oblivion – if you could collaborate with anyone else who would it be?

tough one. if it could be anyone ever it'd be nice to work with Bob Darin in his late 60s period. Some of the most beautiful, creative, and well written songs i've ever heard. If it had to be a living musician, I guess it'd be ok to jam with Crazy Horse.

You’re about to head out on tour are there any favourite spots you’re looking forward to revisiting?

we really like hanging out in Canada so it'll be nice to go back there. the last time we were in montreal I had the flu and threw my arm out trying to bounce a super ball over power lines on a dare so i didn't have a really good time. i'm looking forward to getting back there for sure. Also, we're playing Cake Shop in Manhattan and that's one of my favorite clubs in the US so I'm pumped to get back there too I suppose.

Have you planned what you'll listen to while you're on the road? (making road trip mixes is the best!)

Ha, yeah, we just got a new van that has a CD and tape player which is a total luxury for us. We're all working on mixes and things of the sort to bring along. Probably be everything from Eek-A-Mouse to Kevin Ayers.

A recent Twitter post said "If I was directing a movie about our band I'd cast the guy who plays Lincoln Lee on Fringe to play Seth." - who else would play the rest of the band?

well Ethan would be played by a young Jack Nicholson, Miles would be a shaggier haired Jesse Eisenberg which is a comparison he'll hate and probably contributed to my reasoning for making it...and I'll go ahead and say that Jean Paul Belmondo can play me. Yeah, that works.

What's the future for Mannequin Men?

Well, we were listening to some R. Stevie Moore in the car on the way to a show recently and we are all kind of excited about making a really strange studio record next, maybe throwing a lot of curve balls and having fun. We'll be touring the west coast in March around SXSW and we'll likely start writing again in the period between the tours so we'll see.

'I'm full of dust and guitars' - Syd Barrett - if you were cracked open what would be inside?

gonna be hard to top that one...i would say closed doors with faint noises coming from behind them.

Mannequin Men Facebook and Tumblr

Find copies of the new album here

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Gilded Gutter Compilation Show

Four bands from the recent 'Gilded Gutter 2011 Summer Compilation' will play as a launch for the album at Power Lunches - Saturday 3rd December - 5 pounds on the door.

For more details the Facebook event is here

Line Up:

Wake Up Dead
London based punk outfit made up from members of Black Time and Black Mamba Beat. Their first 7" is a double A Side and will be released on new label EZPZ (set up by Josh from The Love Triangle).

Good Throb
Snotty London via Reading Punk outfit making noise about everyday humdrum. Check out their self released debut cassette 'Demo 2011 Tape'. Featuring members of Shitty Limits and No.

Black Mamba Beat
Trio from South Africa now based in London are to follow up last years debut LP on Jeet Kune with a 12"EP on EZPZ Records soon.

Bomber Jackets
Bomber Jackets are; Jackie P, Sarah Datblygu, Sian Dorrer, and Nick Ferrari, who offer electronic musings on the mundane. So far the group made up of members from Wet Dog, Charcoal Owls, Plug and the Pheromoans have put out a split 7" with The Rebel. Soon to be released are singles 'Larching phase' on Night people and 'Old Lord Fauntleroy' on Alter.

The compilation is free to download on the blog if you'd like a taster of the bands...

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Kitchen's Floor 'Look Forward to Nothing'

'Look Forward to Nothing' (Siltbreeze) is the highly anticipated follow up to universally loved debut 'Loneliness is a Dirty Mattress' (2010 RIP Society) from Australia's Kitchen's Floor. The trio pick up where they left off with their bleak and noisy garage-art rock but flip it on it's head by creating something more lush. "116" best shows off the introduction of bright pop melodies tangled into the amalgam of cacophonous instruments. A personal highlight is raucous track "Regrets", the accelerated guitars played alongside rattling rhythms is where the album really feels like it gains full momentum. From the outset there are curious jolts in rhythm creating an unhinged feeling complimenting the consistent unaffected, mono-toned vocals. Instrumental track 'Every Day' sustains a repetitive, buzzing state for three and a half minutes brilliantly capturing the humdrum of daily life. There are parts of the album that bring Pink Reason to mind especially on 'Kidney Infection' which mirrors a similar solemn/lone wolf attitude. Brimming with angst this primitive second album hits all the noise-punk pleasure centres, 'Look Forward to Nothing' could very well see Kitchen's Floor make it into Top Ten lists for a second year in a row.

Kitchen's Floor - Regrets by Gilded Gutter

Find the record at Siltbreeze
Kitchen's Floor Facebook

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Talk Normal: Interview!

New York noise makers Talk Normal are returning to the UK in November for a slew of shows with Wire and Jad Fair now that they're close to completing a new, second album. I caught up with the Andrya and Sarah to find out about their recent work...

So you've been recording lately - what have you been working on?  Where were you recording?

Our next album! We're mixing now (as I type this, in mid-October). We recorded new material mostly in two places - at a studio in Brooklyn called Vacation Island, and in Hoboken NJ at Echo Canyon West. Nearly one full song and parts of a few others come from tracks created in our rehearsal space. Some editing took place @ Thump Audio and Christina Files' home studio. Mixing will be completed at The Farm. This album is covering a fair amount of NYC-area geography.

Do you ever have any preconceived goals or ideas when recording, or do you prefer to work in an improvised way?

Sarah:: Hardly anything is improvised, tho we are always glad for happy accidents, of which there are a few on this record. When we enter the studio, we have our songs @ a place where we've workshopped them and have been performing them for a while. Our “budget” or lack thereof doesn't allow for much improvisation in the studio (time-wise). But we are quite specific about our sounds, so for the most part these songs would be at this 'realized' stage regardless. Tho thankfully, there has been time for a few quick and fun sonic explorations.

Do you prefer playing shows or recording?

Sarah:: I find recording extremely fun. It's nerve-wracking in a way because you want it to be fully realized.... but in my own combination of haphazard and also extremely specific work habits, I can get a lot of joy out of the studio process. Which is just different from playing live shows – performing live can be so totally invigorating, but I know I am capable of reacting to the audience more than perhaps I'd like (positively or negatively). It's hard for me to tell in advance how a crowd will affect me. All that said... I love shows...

To my ears at least, your songs seem like each track is it's own tale, where do you draw themes from in your music?

Sarah:: Anywhere. Often there is one idea that sparks the beginning of the story, if it is a story. Or a phrase, or kind of sentiment. Some are from older experiences, written down or saved in the mind. Others are momentary inspirations, sometimes teased out further. i.e. Mosquito came entirely from a walk Sarah took on the way to practice. Hot Song was put into words by Andrya inspired by a profound cultural clash that reached all the way through young children near us. Admittedly there is some kind of story behind each one.

I've always wanted to know more about 'River's Edge', it's so frenzied - can you tell us a little about that song?

Sarah:: I had done a done a lot of private writing when I was younger, which I rarely shared with others. At some point I shared some of that with Andrya for creative use/inspiration, and some years later I started to have a kind of nervous writer's block about that kind of writing, maybe because the landscape for it's output had changed so much. Andrya encouraged me to throw together quick thoughts about that pressure/block, and keep focused on the underlying knowledge that it was surpassable even tho it seemed like a heavy black cloud. We took some of those short phrases and put them to song, to my own chagrin sort of in a way that almost says “doesn't take much... expresses a lot”. Definitely a “less is more” track lyrically. We molded it and some other artist references were thrown in by Andrya, and thus the lyrics were born. The music came out of an old jam that we sometimes played for warm up and focus. Exploration within the basic guitar structure, for me. And Andrya's desire to command a drumroll into a new orchestration it'd never seen before. The mechanics of her structured performance through the song take a tremendous amount of skill and commitment – a very visceral live experience.

New York is a hotbed for art of all kinds - where do you pull inspiration from where there's so much on your doorstep?

Sarah:: Same old same old – a moment, a feeling, an event, an experience, a newsflash, a striking visual, something you think you want to forget, a song...

On the same note, NY is packed with artists and bands - what do you think it takes to play and survive as a musician in such a creatively busy environment?

Sarah:: Something excitingly done or new or re-imagined or thrillingly replicated or all of the above. Commitment (both time and money are seriously abused in these endeavor). Luck?

I've read you guys are Laurie Anderson fans and that the band name is a reference to her. There was a retrospective recently of Anderson's stuff at the Barbican not too long ago.  A highlight was her pillow piece where the audience had to put their head on a pillow which rested on a plinth to hear music playing inside it, the audience's participation and experience gave the piece it's meaning.  With this in mind, your shows are really intense do you ever aspire to have a connection or affect your audience in this kind of way?

Sarah:: Connection yes. I've finally started looking people right in the eye, whether they like that or not I have no idea. But the show isn't defined by their experience...

Last time I saw you play it was in a basement on the Lower East side and distinctly remember the room being gripped by your performance, do you like playing smaller spaces?

Sarah:: We've had great 'bigger' shows too, but small ones can end up feeling... intense.

I'm super excited you're coming to London to play with Wire - are there any dates you're particularly looking forward to on your upcoming tour?

Sarah:: It's like the UK local tour! Very exciting to be seeing so many places in England, and looking forward to returning to Scotland. Later w/oWire, Paris should be lovely, opening for Jad Fair.

What shows have you played that have been highlights?

Sarah:: I had a really nice time recently when we played in San Francisco @ a place called Secret Alley. Wicked DIY venue.

Are there any other projects or goings on we should be looking out for from you ladies?

Sarah:: Right before we leave on tour I'm pleased to be taking part in the performance of a Ben Frost composition for 6 guitarists.

'I'm full of dust and guitars' - Syd Barrett, if you were cracked open what would be inside?

Sarah:: Blood and organs.

11/15 @ HMV Institute w/ Wire Birmingham, UK
11/16 @ Manchester 3 w/ Wire Manchester, UK
11/17 @ Liquid Room w/ Wire Edinburgh, UK
11/18 @ The Arches w/ Wire Glasgow, UK
11/19 @ Academy 2 w/ Wire Newcastle, UK
11/20 @ Brudenell Social Club w/ Wire Leeds, UK
11/22 @ Concorde 2 w/ Wire Brighton, UK
11/24 @ XOYO w/ Wire London, UK
11/25 @ Academy 2 w/ Wire Liverpool, UK
11/26 @ Whelans w/ Wire Dublin, IR
11/29 @ Thekla w/ Wire Bristol, UK
11/30 @ Phoenix w/ Wire Exeter, UK
12/01 @ The Globe w/ Wire Cardiff, UK
12/02 @ Academy 2 w/ Wire Oxford, UK
12/03 @ The Plug w/ Wire Sheffield, UK
12/05 @ Shacklewell Arms w/ Noveller + more London, UK
12/06 @ Magasin 4 Brussels, BEL
12/07 @ Petit Bain w/ Jad Fair Paris, FRA

Talk Normal website
Check out a live sessions on Free Music Archive
Talk Normal Facebook

Friday, October 14, 2011

Drosofile 'Mal b/w Your Roberts'

Guitars set to a pace of drudgery and ritualistic rhythms escalate alongside indecipherable spluttered vocals are at the core of Drosofile's single 'Mal'. This noise piece is; French man Nicolas Murer (Mulan Serrico) and America's Will Foster (Guinea Worms). A duo who, could have possibly found common ground sharing a few Brainbombs records in their collections. In a vacuum of paranoia this single summons an out of body experience with its banausic currents of siren guitars played beside metronomic beats which curiously ascend to nowhere. Initially released on a limited edition tape by Stochastic Releases 'Mal' will now be Drosofile's debut single due next month for French label SDZ Records (The Rebel, Liminanas, The Mantles). A really exciting new project with an equally brilliant video to match - a piece aptly in time for Halloween.

Drosofile - Mal from MULAN SERRICO on Vimeo.

Find copies here

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Way Through - Deep Map Project of Bethnal Green

London's Way Through have made a zine coinciding with their debut album release 'Arrow Shower' on Upset the Rhythm.

'Deep Map Project' delves into Bethnal Green's history alongside exploring Chris and Claire's personal experiences of things that lay right on their doorstep. The painstaking research that went into writing this offers a richer understanding of the area, and the duo's individual input expounding on what they treasure in this part of Tower Hamlets gives a unique spin on telling Bethnal Green's story.

Lovingly made with a hand drawn map, photographs and a mix CD to accompany the piece, this zine celebrates a much loved area of East London - a truly inspiring zine.

More on where to find a copy on Way Through's Blog

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Grope Town/Roseanne Barrr Split Tape

Belly Kids is a new publishers specializing in zines, tapes, records and comics. They released a split tape with noise hit-makers Roseanne Barrr (London) and Gropetown (Glasgow) over the summer, here's a little bit about the release in their own words...

"Roseanne Barrr are a hypnotic Bass and Drum power duo full of distorted guitar sounds, meticulous drum patterns and teen-cult chants. Gropetown are a DIY punk troupe heralding from Glasgow. Reminiscent of Arab on Radar, Holy Molar and XBXRX the music is ultra chaotic, unquestionably tight and seriously rowdy.

The Tape is limited to 100 and features a hand printed sleeve of lyrics and writing. We are so super stoked both bands are busy on tour and you can catch them up and down the country!!"

Find the tape at Belly Kids
Listen to tracks on Belly Kids Bandcamp

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Royal Headache 'Royal Headache'

There's an influx of bands around right now fitting the 'pop' 'punk' 'garage' description and while you may think you've heard it all before Royal Headache does something so right with this much loved genre. For their debut release this foursome from Sydney Australia took on Mikey Young of Eddy Current Suppression Ring and Straight Arrows' Owen Penglis for production duties. The twelve songs on 'Royal Headache' are a whirlwind of addictive guitar riffs, rabid rhythms and Shogun's unparalleled voice, making this record hard to stop listening to. Delivered with a heady rush you'd expect from the Wipers, Royal Headache race with the infectiousness of 70's Power Poppers The Nerves alongside frenetic garage rock. Opener "Never Again" sets the tone with a joyously intense energy level that increases through the following four short and fast songs, a personal highlight on Side A is "Pyschotic Episode". Things are taken down a notch with instrumental "Two Kinds", letting things cool off until closer "Pity" brings the album neatly round full circle with one last fiery number. Out on RIP Society in Australia and Eighteen Records in Europe - yet another must have album from down under.

Royal Headache Facebook

Royal Headache-Psychotic Episode by Gilded Gutter

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Total Control 'Henge Beat'

Total Control's run of 7"s leading up to debut 'Henge Beat' had already won me over. It was surprising that after immediately enjoying singles like 'Retiree' (Iron Lung Records, 2009) and 'Total Control' (Aarght Records! 2008) this new full length didn't have the same instant impact. Instead, 'Henge Beat' has proven to be a grower and is another great example of how when something doesn't grab you straight away it pays off to persevere with it. Australia's Total Control are; Mikey Young, Guitar (Eddy Current Suppression Ring, Ooga Boogas, Brain Children) and Dan Stewart, Vocals (UV Race, Straitjacket Nation, Stained Circles, Distort zine), Alistair Montfort, Guitar (UV Race), Zephyr Pavey, Bass (a photographer), James Vinciguerra, Drums (The Collapse, AIDS) . These eleven bleak songs brimming with paranoia are akin to English Post Punk bands like The Prefects, Swell Maps and Glaxo Babies. Personal highlights are "One More Night", "Love Performance" and "Carpet Rash", this album isn't to be missed and is more rewarding with each listen.

Total Control Bandcamp

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Veronica Falls 'Veronica Falls'

The first full album from Veronica Falls arrives on Slumberland (Bella Union in the UK) after a run of well-received singles and an EP of their spellbinding boy/girl harmonies and dark, echo-laden indie-pop won over Captured Tracks, No Pain In Pop and Wichita Recordings. This London quartet rose from the embers of the Royal We and Sexy Kids in 2009, and recorded their debut LP with Guy Fixsen (My Bloody Valentine, the Breeders) and Ash Workman (Metronomy, Summer Camp). Veronica Falls' stormy pop songs balance uplifting melodies with dark undercurrents; "Beachy Head" is named after the white cliffs in Eastbourne, well known for being a suicide hot spot in Britain, and the single's swoon-some sing-along melody, with unhinged vocals mirrored by jarring guitars, finds the track dealing out happy and sad in equal measure. This kind of tragicomic songwriting has much precedent in British indie, and sure enough, the band's lineage in twee and C86 is easy to follow; Veronica Falls aren't challenging the past, but breathing new life into the genre. Another album highlight is "Right Side of My Brain" which finds Roxanne Clifford defiantly singing, "Take your hands off me" alongside rattled guitars and forthright rhythms, and indeed, these twelve vexing pop songs are delivered at a consistent feverish pace that are as heartfelt as they are heartbroken. Veronica Falls is a joy to behold from start to finish, easily one of my favorite records of the year.
(written for edited by Other Music)

Beachy Head by Veronica Falls

Buy from Other Music

Veronica Falls website
Veronica Falls Facebook

Friday, September 30, 2011

Le Pecheur 'Demon 1'

Le Pecheur (The Sinner) formed in the ashes of garage punk band The Last Rapes of Mr Teach who broke up last month. Since then, Pier has accumulated solo material recorded over the last couple of years along with songs made this summer for this new project. Now complete with a live band Pier is joined by Xavier (The Last Rapes of Mr Teach) and Caelan on guitar, Le Pecheur have already played some shows with La Secte Du Futur and have released a split 7" with JC Satan. Pier's songwriting is driven by finding a way to put feelings to music using a four-track recorder bought some years ago. 'Demon 1' is rooted in 13th Floor Elevators style garage rock with a few modern day bands coming to mind as well like The Beets and The Mantles. What separates Le Pecheur from these bands is the balance of melodious yet off kilter guitars and curiously spooked vocals. Highlights come thick and fast like 'Black Death', 'Jesus De Nazareth' and 'Voodoo'. As I understand it, the presently unsigned Le Pecheur are planning to relocate from France to London and are planning a tour in December/January time.

Le Pecheur Bandcamp

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Satellites of Love: Interview!

Satellites of Love has fast become one of London's most loved new Punk bands and are poised to release their first 7". Ralph from the group answered a few questions for Gilded Gutter so we can find out a little bit more about them. They'll have copies of their new single at Power Lunches on October 7th.

As there isn't much to read about the band may be we can start at the very beginning? How did you guys form Satellites of Love?

Nothing too interesting really. I moved to London in February 2010 with the intention of forming a hardcore band that mixed up different elements of the styles I’m into. I asked Tom and Jop if they wanted to try it as we had played in a band together for 4 years a few years ago. I was sort of forcing Jop to play a style that isn’t really his own so he decided he didn’t want to do it. That band became NO, and me, Tom and Jop carried on and wrote the first few SoL songs. After we had written the first half a dozen songs we asked Noel to come and sing as I was a big fan of him in Facel Vega, and thought he would be someone who would bring some interesting ideas to the band.

Have any of you been in or are currently in any other groups?

Me and Tom play in NO. Tom and Jop play in Warm Ways. Tom plays in Domestic Blitz. Noel plays in Advert, Prize Scenes, Facel Vega and possibly Flats as a hired gun. We have all been in a bunch of bands, some good some bad.

For a lot of people reading this it will be their first time hearing about Satellites of Love, is there anything you're trying to 'do' with your songs?

Not really. Although we obviously have musical influences, a lot of them are ones we don’t all share. We don’t sound much like a lot of the bands that I feel influence the stuff I bring to the band, but a lot of that is to do with the style of vocals and drumming and the fact that we play at high volume. I’m really not fussed about trying really hard to do bands that overtly sound like the music I listen to, but it does sometimes leave you with that weird feeling where you listen to it on record and think ‘would I like this if I wasn’t involved in it?’. I’m more comfortable producing music that is an expression of non-musical ideas, although I’m not trying to sidestep the fact that we obviously take things from other bands.

Do any of you make work outside of music?

I don't. Tom’s whole life is as challenging to mainstream society as any artwork another human could potentially produce and I don’t want to compete with that.

Your songs seem heavily set in punk, do you have any influences outside of this genre?

Or may be I've got this wrong entirely - in which case put me right!
I think we are all into a lot of different stuff so I can only speak for myself, although we have all spent a lot of time playing in DIY punk and hardcore bands and I see this a continuation of that. My main areas of musical interest are mostly punk/hardcore and things derived from that, especially a lot of postpunk stuff. Outside of that I’m really into early blues music and some more abstract styles, although I wouldn’t claim that that influences us directly.

Do you prefer playing or recording?

Playing, but recording can be fun as long as it sounds good, everyone is getting along and you have good snacks on longer sessions.

Do you have anything coming out that we can pick up?

We have a 7” that Andrew who does Club Milk is helping us put out. That should be out within the next few weeks. At the same time we have a tape coming out. Between the two there are 11 songs; some new versions of ones on the demo, and some new. We still have some copies of the 7-track demo we put out at the start of the year.

What do think the shape of London's music 'scene' is at the moment?

I don’t know about things being a scene in terms of any common musical threads or ethics, but I think there is some good stuff about. My favourite current London bands are Plug, The Lowest Form, Wake Up Dead and Woolf. Having said that I don’t get out much, so I am sure I am missing out on some really good things.

What's been the most fun you've had playing a show so far?

I really enjoy playing, but I wouldn’t really say I have fun when we play. Outside of actually playing, I generally enjoy shows where we play with friends' bands. Not to sound like a total dick, but I feel there are quite a few bands around that I would probably be able to get into more if they were less fun. I’m not really into the trend there seems to be at the moment for mixing more abrasive styles of playing with ‘fun’ elements. I always get a sinking feeling when you are watching a band that has harsh vocals and guitars and then they chuck something in like a jaunty samba rhythm in the drums. People in London seem to love that stuff, which is weird because at least once a day London makes me want to ram a screwdriver through my neck.

Same questions but as a member of the audience?

The two times I have seen Endless Grinning Skulls so far have been amazing. I’ve enjoyed watching Mob Rules a lot recently, and Corey Orbison were pretty special when they played in London the other night. I’m really looking forward to seeing Bill Orcutt next month.

Are there any bands you'd like to rave about here?
In the UK I think Endless Grinning Skulls from Nottingham are great, definitely the best live hardcore band I have seen in years. It’s a shame, but the majority of music I get excited about isn’t contemporary. I’ve been getting really into Spike In Vain, Crime and the City Solution and Live Skull recently, but that is all old stuff.The Abner Jay 10" that came out last year was probably my favourite record of 2010, although again it's old music.

What's the future of Satellites of Love?

We're going to play a run of shows with Woolf at the end of the month, put out that 7” and tape, but nothing else planned after that. We try and practice every week so we will just knuckle down and write a bunch of new songs. Hopefully we will get asked to play a bit more often if people get the 7” and like it, and I think the idea would be to record again before the end of the year.

'I'm full of dust and guitars' - Syd Barrett, if you were cracked open what would be inside?

Pud pud.
Thanks for taking an interest.

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