Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Introducing :: BLUSH

Words: Linn Branson

We first featured a new young group of four Essex boys from Southend called Humbug here early last year. With first track 'Lucky One', we reckoned they were one to watch.

Those who kept watching might be aware that there have been a few changes. While Humbug are no more, three of the four original members now comprise recently formed outfit BLUSH, along with new recruit, guitarist, Henry - and not one of them is yet to step out of their teens.

"The change in name and style came after our bassist left Humbug in April," the band's Matt Dominey says. "We then took a short break before deciding to effectively start a new band with the same members. We wanted to create songs that had more energy, rawness and would transfer better into a live situation."

After a period of brainstorming, and opting for BLUSH as a name ("we chose the name BLUSH after I saw it as a name for a hairdressers in London and thought it would make a cool band name too. We were looking for a name that distanced ourselves from our previous outfit"), they now introduce themselves with their debut track, 'Daggers'.

With a slightly garage pop scuzz, Ben leads a rich vocal force over winding bass notes and catch guitar line melody, added by way of synth textured underpinning - particularly around the 2:17 mark.

Humbug may have departed, BLUSH look like they could be here to stay.

The band play their first gig as BLUSH on September 8 at the Railway Hotel, Southend. More dates are being scheduled.

BLUSH are: Ben Rotherham - vocals/guitar, Ferghal Swanwick - bass/synth, Henry Ince - guitar, Matt Dominey - drums.


Track Of The Day :: Spray Paint - Thrash Master

Words: Ellie Ward

Second album of the year by Austin's trio of post-punks Spray Paint, 'Dopers', is out next month; they even recorded in the middle of a tour, which may account for the brief, manic but ultimately brilliant 'Thrash Master' they have unveiled from it.

Produced by Chris Woodhouse (The Oh Sees, Ty Segall, Mayyors), 'Thrash Master' is a grungy blitzkrieg of battering drums and bassy riffs that fill out the sub-two-minute run over such lyrics as, “That motherfucker’s had his shirt off since last October” and “That guy’s an asshole”.

'Dopers' is released on October 23 via Monofonus Press.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Track Of The Day :: White Baer - While Running From The Gods

Words: Linn Branson

Dundee quartet White Baer have just released their new three-track EP, 'The Promise of a Life of Violence', with this lead track, 'While Running From The Gods', being a bit of a "wow!"

The band - Dan Hedge (guitar, vocals), Nicky Johnston (guitar), Danny Sturrock (bass), Adam Valentine (drums) - who all knew each other from high school but only began playing together in September 2014, released their debut EP 'Police Me' last October, and now followed by this latest record which came out yesterday.

"The title track, and to an extent the whole EP, is about control," bass player Danny Sturrock tells us. "I don't think I can do it much justice here, but it's about breaking free after a lifetime of necessity. I think that theme pervades all three of the tracks."

From the darkly ominous opening notes, 'While Running From The Gods' broadens out over five-and-a-half minutes into something bordering on epic. Editors-like guitars and bass crash over Dan Hedge's emotive vocal ("fuck the angels of my sea/and their foreign prophecies") - with a breakdown around the three-minute mark where he comes over all Tom Smith (albeit a Scottish-accented one) and it storms to a rousing finale of haunting cello strains, before concluding on a drum and feedback fade-out.

We can only hope a visual treatment is planned to accompany this track: something suitably big and cinematic would definitely be worth a watch.

White Baer play Buskers, Dundee on October 4 with We Came From Wolves. Check their socials for other dates being confirmed.


Monday, 31 August 2015

Track Of The Day :: Jackson Dyer - Steal Away

Words: Linn Branson

Jackson Dyer may not exactly venture very far on melody on this new single, 'Steal Away', released last week, but it is so chilled and beautifully delivered that you want to curl up in the warmth of Sydney-raised, Berlin-based Mr. D's soul-rich vocal.

After releasing his second EP 'White Threads' last spring and touring Europe, the Australian singer/ songwriter took a break to work on moving towards a more mature, band-oriented sound (a tribute to some of his favourite artists like Here We Go Magic, Grizzly Bear and Fink), he has now returned with this first new work, about which he says: "Steal Away is a song of escapism, written on a cold Berlin day while I was quite homesick and yearning for the ocean and a break from the concrete of the city."

'Steal Away' combines soul with an indie folk appeal, but to categorize it solely as either since it embraces a jazz element and draws on instrumentation to give depth to its lyrics, ‘I’ve been yearning for you/I’ve been yearning for a quiet place', with echoing layers of harmonies.

Jackson Dyer plays tonight, August 31, at About Blank (Sommerloft), Berlin, with a full band.

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Album Review :: False Advertising - False Advertising

False Advertising

False Advertising (Self-Release)

September 4 2015


Words: Dave Beech

Despite murmurings of the band beginning as far back as 2013, Manchester's False Advertising took things slowly. Very slowly. Unlike most bands who strive to record and release almost as soon as they're able, False Advertising built on their insider knowledge of the industry, bouncing ideas back and forth, finely tuning their sound in to something they were happy with, then ripping it up and starting all over again. A painfully drawn out process it may have been, but the result is a debut album of intense slabs of fuzzy grunge, wonky slacker riffs and poppy vocal melodies that somehow manage to never once feel at odds with the overall weight of the record.

It may come as surprise that an album so long in the making feels as loose and as laid back as 'False Advertising' does, and it's completely to the band's credit that nothing here feels overwrought with post-production tinkering. Instead, tracks such as 'Another Mention' and 'Finish Line' drip with a transatlantic, early Queens of the Stone Age vibe, whilst others offer up more of a British take on the grunge scene of the '90s Pacific Northwest. It's in the album's slightly poppier numbers where False Advertising really shine though. The previously released 'Wasting Away', for instance, brings to mind fellow Brits Doe, with Jen Hingley's sugary vocals cutting through the track's perpetual fuzz and clattering percussion excellently. Elsewhere, 'Only Way' manages to incorporate both sides of the band brilliantly; the sludgy guitar lines falling away in to the aforementioned wonky bass riffs effortlessly.

Though the band finished recording the album before they'd even set foot on a stage, holding off until now to release it has allowed them to find footing they otherwise might have missed out on. A string of dates and festival appearances have boosted both their popularity and visibility across Manchester and though their sound isn't wholly original, it's a breath of fresh air when compared to the various blues-driven indie bands that populate the city's dive bars. As such, False Advertising aren't moving mountains, but they are doing more than enough to shake up a scene in danger of stagnating.

Track Of The Day :: Sudakistan - Mundo Mamon

Words: Alison Mack

Sudakistan are a (mainly) South American five-piece, residing in Stockholm, Sweden, and delivering a kind of garage rock that could easily be native to the US or UK.

Following their appearance at The Great Escape, the band last week released 'Mundo Mamon', the latest track from upcoming debut LP 'Caballo Negro'. Produced by famed Swedish producer Jocke Ã…hlund (Les Big Byrd, Caesars, Teddybears) and PNKSLM founder Luke Reilly, the record is out on October 30 via PNKSLM Recordings on limited edition vinyl, CD and digitally.

Fusing Latino rhythms, with psych-like guitars, and a wholly infectious energy buzz, the track ripples with layered vocals, drum rolls and a joie-de-vivre spirit to carry you along.