WEAK NERVES – GLAZED

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London 3 piece Weak Nerves released a new EP a few weeks ago, entitled ‘Self Esteem’ – 6 songs each with serious clout of their own, ranging from the thumping and eventually explosive riffs of (the really good and maybe actually my favourite) ‘Dying to Know’ (hope you’re moving on/ and hoping that you’re not) to the directness of ‘Glazed’.

Their 2013 EP included the excellent ‘Bedroom Rot’, which fittingly revelled in high-yield bedroom-rock; vocalist Sean Keane getting a lot back from the gruff delivery of his only semi-articulated syllables whilst lick-happy guitars brought melody and energy in equal measure.

‘Glazed’ exhibits a kind of amped-up version of the angsty slackerism from ‘Bedroom Rot’ until the brooding bedroom aggression splits at the sides as the chorus howls

I’m glazed, not fazed

From the openly raw shrieks to the barely hidden dark and sleazy claustrophobia of the verses, ‘Glazed’ stands out as the most affecting song on the EP.

That said, this EP brings a serious dose of psychedelic haziness which features throughout, but more notably in ‘Community Spirit’, adding another layer of sound to a proudly guitar-lead EP.

Crazily enough their first EP is still available as ‘name your price’ download on Bandcamp, so go get that but not before you’ve got your ears round the grungey goodness of ‘Self Esteem’

 

I’M A CONSERVATIVE MILKMAN (Blog is not dead post #1)

ImageBlog is not dead, got a dissertation to finish and then I’ll be Back to feeding the blogosphere deer with sweet musical milk pronto.

 

In the mean time go read other cool blogs like zineandnotheard and listen to these:

 

Bully (super tight) have 2 new songs, here’s one!

and also here is a prime cut of Australasian guitar music from The Eversons from an EP they released a few years ago. Check out their entire bandcamp!

CEREAL – JONATHONANON/SK8 OR DIE

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I never fully know how excited to get about any band’s release, or whether if the excitement should be relative to any band’s status, but for what it’s worth I am looking forward to Cereal’s upcoming EP  a lot a lot.

The Falmouth based 4-piece came out with a demo called ‘SK8 or Die’ a month or so ago and just today released ‘Jonathonanon’, which slams into your ears as a raging bone-r-attler of a tune, before sitting back into a chugging, grungey riff as the vocalist (called Sam, I think) growls out the verses, sounding as if he’s almost quivering as he does so – maybe overcome with the energy of the guitars that is to follow him. The foil for the gruff vocals is the lead guitar line, which carries the song along; seeing it home with all the piercing ferocity of an electroshock-headache (haha). ‘Jonathonanon’ is a song that feels as if it’s already been in incredible motion before it even started, and by listening to it we only catch a glance of how unremittingly kinetic it is, I suppose because it seems to end with so much left to give, which is massively to its credit.

Maybe this idea of only glimpsing the potential of a song also comes from the fact that Cereal have only released 2 of them, the other tune, ‘Sk8 or Die’, is just as great, if different, featuring warming slacker melodies accompanied by whoops and joy.

I have to check myself sometimes when waxing so lyrical about any group, but sticking to the facts a moment Cereal are soon set to be releasing their Eat More EP. But from what I’ve heard so far it’s gonna be so much fun and one of the most slammin’ releases.

Both demos are ‘name ur price’ on Cereal’s bandcamp and sound better in headphones than from my laptop speakers.

LA SERA – LOSING TO THE DARK

Katy Goodman

With their official break up 2 months ago, the band whose influence is felt not only as the solo acts it spawned spread their already-considerably-spread wings, but in a wider appreciation for the late 00’s noise pop band which actually had the strength of its convictions, Vivian Girls, deserve one last mention as we consider La Sera. Earlier this month La Sera released ‘Losing to the Dark’, which is not so much a gentle teaser for their new album as it is a slap across the face. It represents a change from the rich, sometimes folksy melodies of their first two albums and employs the immediacy of some of Vivian Girls’ back catalogue, but not in the same scrappy way.

The song starts with winding screeches of a distorted guitar, assured yet aggressive. The change in approach doesn’t mean that Goodman’s famously golden melodies aren’t present; they lace the cocktail of distortion and darkness with glowing tunefulness. It wouldn’t take much searching to find darker undercurrents in many Vivian Girls/La Sera song but here Goodman leaves what are distinctly gothic elements out for all to see. Lines like ‘every moment of our lives/ is like a knife into my heart’ are not ones any songwriter can leave bare without being conscious of their effects.

La Sera’s third album ‘Hour of The Dark’ will be released May 25th on Hardly Art Records and this single is a free download, so get yourself a scoop of the dark tasty La Sera ice cream you thought you’d never taste.

 

ORIGINALLY written for The Edge –  http://www.theedgesusu.co.uk/?p=43122&preview=true

WALLEATER – GIVE IN TO ME

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shit. The new Walleater song is called ‘Give In To Me’. The Leeds 4-piece have not so much written a song as directed an experiment in giving sound a physical massiveness.

From the start, the heavily distorted guitars swirl in their own chaos, simultaneously provoking hope and hopelessness, before seemingly calling off the attack and leaving space and time for the vocals to settle

I smile/ and it helps a little

But at the minute mark the chorus bursts open. ‘Give In To Me’ sucks you into to moving at its own pace, twice as affecting as anything played at twice the speed, and is accompanied by the euphoria of wilfully being pulled under by a song. The chorus’ hulking melody is hidden somewhere in the thick atmosphere of the distortion of the guitars and the vocals, the seemingly distant rasps of which give the song its most likely hardcore attributes.

The process repeats; the verse accepting the vastness of the chorus and we are thrown under again. Then a moment’s refection accompanied by the ‘tsks’ of a high hat, before, more willingly than ever, mountains of sound rain down and we are moved by the glacial force of ‘Give In To Me’. The song pulls punches in the short term, in favour of coming in from behind to knock you off your feet with a fist the size of a skyscraper.

Yo you know what this all means? Walleater are releasing an a self-titled 4 track EP on Close to Home Records on April 14th (digital release) to be spread over two 7-inch releases which hopefully means that sometime by the end of April I will have myself 14-inches of Walleater which probably wouldn’t even be enough. It all goes full circle and sound IS turned into physical massiveness after all (14 inches).

RADSTEWART – INSANE PARTIES

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Preamble: Radstewart dropped their second track from their upcoming EP about a month ago, it’s called ‘Insane Parties’, and during my completely planned visit back to the UK I went to see them support Mowbird in Brighton and the Cardiff-based show-stealers were really great and nice guys with well-priced band t shirts.

For like ever, Indie Rock in some form or other has been fundamentally linked to the mini subcultures of US colleges and high schools, so I guess it was kind of inevitable that the British university system should be tackled at some point, and who better than articulate lo-fi rockers Radstewart to do so?

As far as the lyrics are concerned, the sentiments expressed in the lines

They go to those parties/ they’re totally insane, man

and the more direct

If you go out and get drunk/ in a Native American headdress then you’re a cunt

make Radstewart’s ‘Insane Parties’ an antidote to all of the attitudes embodied by how ‘Fresher’s Week’ is sold to British students. ‘In a Native American headdress’ could be changed to anything from ‘as a Smurf/Where’s Wally’ to ‘tightly and brightly’, but the song rings true to anyone who has stood the wrong side of a university accommodation window, looking out and wishing everyone would drop the act.

The song opens with a seductive lead guitar waltzing over the tricky pickings of its accomplice, the vocals come in, the listener is addressed, and it’s unmistakeably Radstewart; we get our ears around the exposed workings of a song that refuses to hide behind excess production values, or something. Ultimately, however, ‘Insane Parties’, is Radstewart’s beefiest tune to date (even though ‘Garage Faery‘ is ‘shoutier’) as the 4-piece drop a scuzz bomb in the chorus; they come at us with that straight screw-faced head banger brutishness, punctuated by a more precise guitar line, but one that eventually loses itself in the debris of the post-scuzz bomb landscape.

Radstewart are releasing their 5 track EP, ‘Wiccans and Beatlemancers’, in a couple of weeks and no doubt their take on ‘the state of things’ will continue with titles like ‘Student Wiccans’ and ‘Graduation Blues’. Their song, ‘Fix The Roads’, which is also on the EP, proves that Radstewart are not only on the frontline of student’s battle against students, but also student’s battles against the council:

 ‘They’ll never the fix the roads because they know that students don’t pay tax’

‘Insane Parties’ is available as a free download on Soundcloud – DON’T LOOK A GIFT HORSE IN THE MOUTH

OSOOSOOSO – NEIGHBORS

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Osoosooso is a project led by the not ‘ex’ but current State Lines member, JD, which is important because State Lines are still a band. Next month Osoosooso are releasing a 7-track EP from which ‘Neighbors’ is taken.

The first moments suggest that Osoosooso exhibit the stripped back pop-punkyness which was present in parts of State Lines’ second album (which is super great); it’s thudding palm muting ahoy, but then the drums and the other guitar twitch into action and the lyrics twist towards the tangible with the lines  ‘I thought I heard your voice in the back of my head/turns out you’re next door’ and suddenly you’re wrapped up in a full bodied, purposeful pop-punk tune as you figure out why frontman Jonathan hates his neighbours so much.

I tried to be the nice guy’ (either that or ‘I’ve been such an asshole’) is so often the call of the pop-punk; the world turning on them despite their best efforts, and Osoosooso is no exception and it turns out that bummed out guitar music is still the best way for smart, frustrated American late teens and early twenty-somethings to communicate their vulnerable admittance of emotions, often drawing from the mundane world they are surrounded by and about which they’re so cynical; ‘I hate the neighbours’, for example.

It’s just Osoosooso good (haha) and I’m really looking forward to the EP. Since I started writing this (I know right), the band previewed another of the songs from the EP, the intimate and twinklier, ‘Safe’ and it’s hard to decide if it is better than ‘Neighbors’ or not but it was never supposed to be a competition.

‘It lets me know I’m safe’