CALM

Originating from various parts of the UK and basing themselves in South London, CALM are made up of Adam James, Jack Gee, Louie Cameron and Mark Zanna.

Let’s see what they have been up to:

Vivid

They’ve taken Ride’s psyche meets shoegaze classic ‘Seagull’ and condensed it into a punchier three-minute single. Other Creation Records influences lurk here with jangle of mid-career Felt and the spiky side C86 of Jasmine Minks.

A rehash this is not though. ‘Vivid’ is firmly planted in the modern world and has more pop clarity the aforementioned. It’s crisp and defiant, a sure thing on the alternative scene.

What You Saying

The hallmarks of Ride are here again. Much like their Aussie peers DMA’s, they are dragging the early 90s in to the modern day with some Foals-esque licks.

Their underlying sense of rebellion is striking. Whilst making accessible alternative tunes, there is a feeling of ‘us vs the world’ surrounding them. Encouragingly, they have flirted with shoegaze, punk, and jangle pop here, and their identity continually shines through.

Little Avis

Little Avis are a four-piece hailing from Oldham and Manchester. Consisting of Lee Hunter (vocals & guitar), Dave Buchan (drums) and brothers Martin (bass) & Paul Garside (lead guitar).

With a string of gigs coming up in April and May, let’s check out their releases in 2019 so far:

So Pretty

Guitarists Paul Garside and Lee Hunter have found a style which raises the question ‘what if Frank Black made a Graham Coxon record?’ There’s an awkwardness and charming nature permeating from start to finish. It threatens to become one of Teenage Fanclub’s effortless rumbles at times but, then a choppy riff or slacker rock solo splices though to keep you on your toes.


Ghalib

‘Ghalib’ is a track about an Indian poet of that name and thoughtfully carries lyrics of his work and sentiments.

Musically, front man Lee Hunter has channelled in his inner Jonathan Richman with the spirit of The Futureheads at their pop best not far behind. Meanwhile, Garside and Hunter’s playing taps in to a post-punk in spirit and has the riotous nature of Graham Coxon’s classic ‘That’s When I Reach For My Revolver’.

There is a lightness at play here too. A brevity which continually lifts them into a serious but playful mood worthy of their idols Talking Heads.

 

Catch them on tour here:

18 April - Oldham - Whittles

20 April - London - Dublin Castle

30 April - York - Fulford Arms

4 May - Failsworth - The Not So Secret Garden Party

18 May - Manchester - The Peer Hat.

Dangers of Love

Southend’s Asylums have led the charge on reimagining pop-punk in the UK recently. No longer is it the juvenile pop of the late 90s, a breed of intelligent and humble heartfelt acts are now emerging. Picking up the baton are Deptford’s Dangers of Love.

Let’s check out what they have been up to so far:

Dangers of Love

A drunken swagger reminiscent of Tribes courses through this hopeful anthem. There is a menace lurking throughout worth of Glasgow’s PAWS but, the warmth of Teenage Fanclub always wins out. In its simplicity comes a humble and incredibly lovable soul.

I’m A Pretender

The innocence and affectionate song writing of Palma Violets builds the punky verses to a Slade-esque solo. Yet again, they find a warmth and a purity in the mayhem.

Why Would You Run

The warped jangle of Asylums combines with a winner takes all spirit. Their cavalier attitude screams glory in the face of desperation. This is the new sound of spilt snake bites and sticky DMs.

Crushed Veneer

Crushed Veneer are a three-piece punk rock outfit from London. They consist of Kieran (Guitar & Vocals), Al (Bass & Backing Vocals) and Julia (Drums).

They recently released the single 'Denial' to rapturous praise from Tom Robinson. It's not hard to see why! Their latest single ‘Denial’ has taken the escapist spirit of Gaslight Anthem and stripped it back a gutsy minute of punk rock.

Last May, they released their EP 'Desire and Need To Live'. It showcases a real love of Dinosaur Jnr and especially Husker Du on the aggressive and melodic 'Kind of Blue' and 'Sew Me Up'.

The heartache shining through on 'Wild Nights suggests the song-writing process wasn't nearly as cathartic as it should have been. Meanwhile, on the title track, Crushed Veneer have possibly hit upon their niche. When Frank Turner first emerged, the mainstream turned away from his blend of folk punk rock. If Crushed Veneer have half his success with this blend of emotive punk and lo-fi rock, the world will be a better place.

*Image courtesy of Simon Perry

The Wha

When a good new band emerges, it gives a tingling feeling in all the wrong (but very right) places. Hope and dreams flood the consciousness. When three of that band are still at school, you dream a little bigger. Might Ireland's The Wha be the frontier of this generation?

The Kilkenny four piece (Finn Cusack, Sam Cullen, Marek The Lech, Abe G Harris) released their debut single 'Innocents' Friday on all streaming services. Finn Cusack has an effortless sixties croon reminiscent of Alex Turner on his soundtrack to Submarine.

Sonically, this is Costello's 'Olivers Army' meets Irish modernists The Strypes. Much like the early Smiths singles, The Wha and their close associates are beautifully obsessed with 60s imagery.

Where do they get the nerve to be this good on a debut single?





Ivory Wave

Something is afoot in the in the Midlands. Gazelle, The Assist, The Pagans SOH, The Cosmics and now, Ivory Wave. The Brummie four piece are gathering momentum rapidly with their blend of Madchester, 00s indie-punk and the finer points of Foals.

In 1988, Factory Records and the Happy Mondays put out 'Rave On' EP. Calling on Paul Oakenfold and Steve Lilywhite for remixes, they changed popular music forever. Ivory Wave's tracks are begging for the next big DJ/producer to come along and unite guitars and dance music once more. In fact, on 'Separate Beat' and 'Club', its hard not to hear Oakenfold doing something special.

Like the Mondays, no one sounds like Ivory Wave currently. Latest single 'Gold' has production values akin to Primal Scream on their 'Chaosmosis' album. 'Cool Kids' merges Black Grape and The Twang, but frankly, is so fresh, the sound is theirs. The minimalist drums, psyche wobble, sax, and venomous vocals are going to blow a hole through dance floors in the UK.

*Image courtesy of Luke Jones

Gazelle

Gazelle are a four piece from Leicester consisting of Ryan Dunn (Vocals/Guitar), Ben Gooch (Guitar), Richard Sorbi (Bass) and Danny Wright (Drums).

For anyone who has lived through boom eras of bands, their two songs will bring a tear to the eye. The touchpaper has been lit for a time in the sun once again.

They've tapped into the all the best bit of The View, The Rifles, and The Courteeners to reflect the pent up desperation of the working classes to escape their surroundings.

Let’s check out those two songs:


Finger On The Trigger

This is the sound of being young, angst ridden and full of dreams. Escape is the name of the game and the immediacy of the All The Young style guitars and Tom Clarke-esque lyrics will surely give them everything they ever wanted.


Where Nothing Ever Happens

This is the legacy of Peter Lloyd and Tony Moon’s Sideburns zine from 1976:

3chords.jpg


Like the original punks, Gazelle have concerned themselves with the boredom of their surroundings. Musically, this lends itself more to The Rifles’ second album ‘The Great Escape’ than punk but, the spirit of ’76 is undeniable.

Sugarthief

The Staffordshire four piece are made up of Jordi James (Lead vocals & Guitar), Jack James (Guitar), Reece Downton (Drums) and Luke Owen (Bass). With the heart and soul of Peace and Magic Gang and the showmanship of Foals, they look set to fulfill many of 2019's guitar needs.

The biggest criticism you can level at them is, they sound like the bands who initially inspired them. The conscious of Peace, the gentle sun kissed sway of Swim Deep and the credible pop hooks of Magic Gang run through their veins.

There is of course, always a need for bands of this ilk. However, in 'Where Did It All Go Wrong' and especially on recent single 'Good Luck I Hope You Make It', a glimpse of something more emerges.

'Where Did It All Go Wrong', angry and funked up riffs set to a tale wayward romance, it's a standard musical affair. However, with lyrical nuggets like “help me away from my emotion” and “can't stand to face society's rejection”, a brutal honesty and credibility materialise.

Fast forward 12 months to their last release 'Good Luck I Hope You Make It', my how they have honed their skills. Lyrically, they've taken their distinct world view to a more personal level. In an age “it's no use in breaking people / As one day you'll find its a lonely scene ”. Despite a clear message to someone, its universal appeal is undeniable as Owen Jones is abused by morons on a peaceful protest.

With the striking bassline and laid back guitar riffs, they've funnelled warmth of Richard Hawley's Coles Corner through a summer vibe. Couple this with the story of letting go, it's impossible not to visualise this sound tracking a coming of age movie.

Jellyskin

Fresh from supporting Brian Jones Town Massacre and The Moonlandingz, Leeds duo Zi and Will have taken their experimental electronica to the next level with recent single ‘Mountain’.

In a world which is tearing itself apart, their vast, unfathomable mountain landscape is the perfect imagery to ponder its complexities. Then, up pops a hint of Django Django's pop classic 'Default' and the faint hope of the synths lifts the mood. A horizon emerges, one where Nigel Lawson is not interviewed on climate change, Nigel Farrage is known as the worst kind of metropolitan elite and Tommy Robinson is simply known as, the cunt!

As The Horrors expanded horizons on their 4th and 5th albums ‘Luminous’ and ‘V’, there was always a nagging sense they hadn’t quite hit the home run. Now we know what it is. Jellyskin’s mix of pop hooks and unique synths have created a new landscape for which we should all be grateful.

*Image courtesy of Francesca Tirpak

Family Jools

Some bands, like The Libertines have a volatile and short moment in the sun. Bristol’s Family Jools however, like The Mamas and Papas or The Band, no less dramatic but with a fuller of body work.

There's a richness and a quality to their craft which is way beyond their fledgling years. From debut single 'Twisted Side' to 2018's 'Sister' to their last release 'Don't Know', there is a clear lineage through the classics of The Beatles, The Band and electric Dylan.

There work to date, all has moments you long to hear again, the blistering guitars of 'Twisted Side' or the soul music of ‘Don’t Know’ for example. However, everything feels like a great album track and frankly, this band are to talented not to possess an array of classic singles.

Cafe Spice

The three piece from Manchester are Georgia Gage, Niamh Feeney, Eleanor Lang. We'd come up with more words for an introduction but, their own is superior to anything we can conjure:

“Café Spice was born over a love of singing in harmony, beautiful songs, plain naan and sausage rolls on a wet and windy night in a curry house in Glasgow called Café Spice.”

To date, they've published just one song online, 'Lauren', a sumptuous piece of harmonising. The folk boom of the late 2000s and early 2010s may have long dissipated, but, with vocals this beautiful and in such high quality, a renaissance cannot be far away.

Be Sure to check their Manchester gig at the legendary Jimmys out February 6th.

Bexatron

Bexatron are a four piece from London. They are hell bent on reawakening the golden ages of glam, punk and post-punk with their volatile and heady spirit.


Lets check some tracks out:

Dirty Disco

Combining early 70s glam-rock with early 80s post-punk sounds bloody iffy on paper, in reality, Bexatron have funnelled these two stylised eras into a sound that screams “come and watch us live”.


Out of My Tree

Unsurprisingly, this is a boozy rock number. So many bands die on their arse professing hedonistic tendencies. Bexatron though, walk that tight rope of “real deal” just right. Self-destruction is rife and guitar solos this good are impossible to ignore!

*Image courtesy of https://www.quitegreat.co.uk


INDIGOs

Between 1990 and 1992, the pendulum of rock music was swinging from the British shoegaze of MBV and Ride to the American grunge of Sonic Youth and Nirvana. In 2019, Bristol duo INDIGOs have decided to set the pendulum in the middle.

Let’s check out what Jack Croft and Sophia Barnes have been up to:

Rebirth

At the heart of this alternate reality is a great pop song. Croft and Barnes have an angelic vocal touch, even amidst the distortion. Breakdowns are hazy and guitar solos are dirty and infectious, various generations of BBC6 are set to be enthralled.

Breathe In

Leaning towards their love of grunge, the enthusiasm of the big riffs is inescapable. Not content to put out a solid rock number, they twist and turn it through their shoegaze prism and deliver Mercury Award level underdog.

*Image courtesy of Gilbert Pillbrow

The Cosmics

The Cosmics are a three piece hailing from Ireland who, despite such little output, have already played Glasto, Isle of Wight, Kendal Calling and Reading festival.

Our friends/inspiration over at https://www.thezineuk.co.uk/ are hosting their Christmas party at Camden’s Monarch Tuesday 4th December so, to whet the appetite, lets check some tunes out:

 

Johnny

On this tale of the bad boy and his undeniable allure, The Cosmics have taken their love of Sonic Youth and condensed it into a Ramones via Iggy Pop romp.



Inishfree

It’s inevitable that this year’s single would surpass 2017’s work but, the caution to the wind approach was not. To pull this off at such a fledgling stage is quite something.

The riff, a nod to Oasis’ ‘Listen Up’ is distorted through a MBV prism whirs throughout, the perfect platform for the mayhem that ensues. Singer, Erin Grace, adopts the style of Wolf Alice’s Ellie Rowsell. The co-opting of poetry and angst ridden punk combusts perfectly alongside the explosion of Sonic Youth guitars.


Waste of Time

What an opening line!

“I only liked you for your 90s vibes”

Setting the sardonic and cutting tone from the start on this ex bashing banger!

*Image courtesy of Psychedelic Eye 

Lacuna Bloome

Hailing from Brighton, Lacuna Bloome are a four piece made up of Niall Logue (vocals, guitar), Sam Leaver (guitar), Molly Walker (bass) and Noah Haines (drums).

With airplay from John Kennedy and b-listed on Amazing Radio, their stock is rising fast. They have now been added to This Feeling’s #Alive tour this autumn. So, let’s see what all the fuss is about:

I Am

A hazy indie rock n roll number with summer tinged nods to the Roses, C86, Ride and the baggy period of Blur.

There is no denying that we live in fractious times. However, when a single, this effortless and free flowing emerges, it's as though peace and utopia have been achieved.

 

Alright

 On ‘Alright’, they combine their lyrical romanticism with the driving guitars of Teenage Fanclub on this swirling pop-pysche number.  The spirit of Douglas Copland's 'Generation X' is evoked as they conjure their own world and rail against the tomorrow their being denied. It’s one thing to go against the grain in a band, to do it sounding this joyous is another thing altogether.

Getrz

Getrz are a four piece from Swindon. Recently, they have supported the mighty Sisteray and played Truck Festival to glowing reviews.

Lets see what they have been releasing in 2018:

P.S.A

Another product of the growing dissident punkadelic movement. They straddle the heavy hitting riffs of Breed and the warped psyche of The Blinders. P.S.A is the next line in dystopian rock n roll for this generation to unite behind.

Striking out against all those who ignore them, Getrz are righteous, Getrz are furious and Getrz are your clarion call:

“You're running the country / But you've got no money”

We are the 99%, we are the upper class!

Old Town

With nods to The Libertines' vocal delivery of 'Barbarians' and The Strokes' riffs on 'Soma', Getrz have found their alternative soul. It is one full of desperation and degradation, they showcase all the hallmarks of the next aggressive yet fragile sounding icons.

Insomnichord

We always aim to make support slots, you never know when something will blow you away. Insomnichord were ones we walked in late on (thanks TFL) at Water Rats last month. What we walked into was mesmeric!

A cacophony of spiralling psychedelia and otherworldliness just kept pouring out of them like machine gun fire. Let’s take a look at their debut single:

Oh Henry! Oh Man!

The hallucinogenic mind set of Syd Barrett’s Pink Floyd oozes through Rollo Ellison's soft vocal. The need to dare like King Crimson is immediate as well.

The manner they fire the guitar solo just seconds from the start is, in spirit not sound, the genius of Peter Green. It’s the ability to take a an aged genre, in this case psyche, stick to its principles but get right in your face with them like Green did with the Blues that’s so impressive

With The Horrors returning later this year, a support slot beckons!

Image Source: Jacob Coleman

485c

485c are signed to the legendary Fierce Panda label and its not hard to see why:

Kapow

If 'Kapow' were to create a guitar sound venn diagram, it would have The Strokes one side, Dutch Uncles the other. The immediacy and power of the New Yorkers is channeled through the Stockport art rocker pioneers. As so many peers are cutting loose, 485c have taken a really interested side route to glory here.

Better The Man

An infectious indie guitar gem which illuminates the darkest of moods. Move over Belle & Sebastien, infectious indie rock has a new king.

Strange Medicine

When all the great mid 00s bands went off to record new material or on to side projects, the mainstream vultures swooned in Scouting for Girls and The Hooisers and killed the scene stone dead.

Strange Medicine is the perfect tonic to that injustice. It resets the clock to The Strokes’ ‘Is This It’ and has lovable rawness to it like The Cribs classic ‘Martell’. Guitars are pop, pop are guitars!

Image Source: Domante Kaminskaite  http://www.dkaminskaite.com/

RedFaces

Quite how Sheffield keeps producing exciting rock n roll bands is beyond this Essex outsider. However, in RedFaces, they have an act with perhaps more pop instincts than anyone in the past five years. Here's why:

Take It or Leave It

The trippy bass line, the warped synths and the defiant rock n roll message, Kasabian’s legacy begins here. It’s not got the hallmark quality of the Kasabian debut, but it does have that free flowing youthfulness which will carry it a long way.

Wise Up

The poppy riff will bring ELO to mind and, as this rock n roll standard develops, the traits of Britpop and The View begin to emerge. There is a sense of urgency that can omly emerge from young outsiders looking to make their mark. This is a real return to garage pop music, long may it continue.

Avalanche Party

Hailing from Castleton in North Yorkshire, Avalanche Party are a five piece who are hell bent on taking garage rock n roll to the stadium masses. Lets find out why:

I'm so wet

This marches to the spirit of The Doors via a darker and more dangerous landscape. The swirling guitars and psyche keys project and a rage that keeps appearing the best new bands of late (Cabbage, The Blinders, Dead Pretties). However, there appears to be a level of old school musicianship and pop sensibilities lurking behind the fury, this, more than anything, will carry this band far!

Solid Gold

FINALLY! Someone has taken the quality of Ty Segall and Thee Oh Sees and channelled it through death defying rock n roll. The aforementioned are great, but, the extrovert death defying spirit of AP could just take that sound to the masses.

Revolution

Another example of AP taking injecting classic genres with a new lease of life. The glam-psyche of Tame Impala's classic 'Lonerism' and has been cross bred with the immediacy of early BRMC via the vastness of Soundtracks Of Our Lives. Besides the fact it sounds great, it’s the ambition of it all that listeners will latch on to in these bleak times.