Monday, October 16, 2017

Little Indie Roundtable Review - w/e October 20 2017

This week our three guest reviewers take on another five new tracks and give them a spin through the headphones before they then air their opinion on each.

This week's panel: Beach Riot frontman, Rory O'Connor; Little Indie contributor Sam Geary; vocalist/guitarist with Welsh band Stay Voiceless, Chris Morgan.


The James brothers - Ellis, Neil and Jacob - of Oldham, Lancs, collectively known as Gardenback, return with this new single (released October 13), following their spring single 'Sleepless', sounding as if they've been listening to a lot of Madness and The Specials in the interim, spiked with a Bad Breeding punch.

'Bulldogs' they say, was written after "an EDL march in our hometown of Oldham. This response found itself when we created this distorted and driving song, made with an aggressive energy parodying the behaviour of these 'British Bulldogs'."

Rory O'Connor: Immediate thought, sounds like a cross between the Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster and some mid- naughties indie band vocal! I really like the wonky, fuzzy chorus guitar and pulsating bass. Chorus doesn’t quite lift enough for me though. 3/5

Sam Geary: Who barked?! Great track; huge energy. Love it. 4.5/5

Chris Morgan: Love the social commentary in this track. Straight to the point. Plus, if you played it at the wrong speed on your turntable it'd sound like Dead Kennedys. Pounding when the drums kick in. 4/5

Total score: 11.5/15


The project of London/Brighton brothers Tom and Nick Klar debut this first single. The track - out now via Cannibal Hymns - fuses dark lyrics (“everyone you know will disappear like gold”) against hazy, psych pop melodies. Catch live at The Haunt, Brighton on October 21 and Scala, London on October 25 - both w/Dream Wife.

ROC: Maybe a touch too Tame Impala for my tastes, although I do like the overall dreamy vibe. My main issue is that I don’t feel like it really goes anywhere, but I can see the appeal for other people. 2/5

SG: This is like going into the chill zone after the last track. Nice melodies but nothing that stands out. 3/5

CM: This one sounds like the Police getting their hands on one of The Cure's B-sides. A good one to unwind to. Nice. 3/5

Total score: 8/15


From Bristol’s Art Is Hard Records, the new sludgey, Matt Peel-produced track from the Leeds garage rock quartet - out on November 17 - they describe as a “call to arms to sack off work and go lay down somewhere instead.” Catch live next on October 21 at Glasgow's Massive Sanctions All-dayer at The Hug and Pint.

ROC: Banging intro lift! Like a Pavement middle 8, as are the vocals... very Stephen Malkmus in places. I think I'd like this live A LOT. If I could add one thing it would be a great vocal melody coming in at some point. Overall it’s like early 90s Manchester baggy meets dissonant slacker rock from the US. 4/5

SG: While I didn't like the opening seconds, the sleazy, American-like vocals smash it. 4/5

CM: Scuzzy, jagged guitars with a nice groove. People who like Elastica will like this. Good shout, Mush! 3/5

Total score: 11/15


Also from Leeds, the first cut from the quintet's upcoming EP ‘A Bitter Gourd’, released next month via Hatch Records. Produced by Hookworms’ MJ, the five-minute track fills out with hooky guitar riffs and an inclusion of brass. Catch live at Leeds’ Hyde Park Book Club on October 24.

ROC: Totally appreciate something new sounding, i.e. a sax or some horns with a beefy riff and some Streets style vocals; pretty unique, but it’s not blowing me away. I think the formula is great, but the song isn’t grabbing me. Dare I say there’s a bit of the Meat Puppets in there near the end - if that’s intentional, then fuck yeah! 3/5

SG: Love the foot-tapping beat, and again the vocals, combined, make this interesting, but way too long. 3.5/5

CM: Despite the urgency of the guitar hook, a decent chorus and 'move your feet' disco beat, the only thing I'll remember about this is the frustrating saxophone/kazoo line. Sorry, this one's a bit too frantic for me. 1/5

Total score: 7.5/15


Out now via LAB Records, the latest from the Glasgow quartet. Another rocker of garage-surf-rock guitar riffs, strident bassline and powering rhythms, with twin sisters Chloe and Hannah Van Thompson’s honey-oozing harmonizing vocals.

ROC: Some massive vocals and harmonies here, love 'em. Drummer is sick too. I really like the chorus, it’s an awesome chord progression and vocal melody. The call and response at the end is mega too. Looking forward to hearing more. 4/5

SG: Great vocals from these wee Glasgae girls, which correspond well with the more abrasive guitars. 4/5

CM: Now we're talking! A trashy bassline, driving beat. What's not to like? A subtle ambience in the vocals too. I like this. 4/5

Total score: 12/15

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