Thursday, June 07, 2018
Little Indie Roundtable - June 7 2018
Each week Little Indie takes three guest reviewers and six new tracks, and after giving them a spin through the headphones, they then give their opinion on each.
This week's panel: Ben Andrewes, drummer with London dreampop band Margot; Tim Senna, BBC introducing reporter (BBC WM) and Drivetime presenter at Switch Radio; Little Indie contributor, Izzy Butler.
ROUTINE DEATH - CHARM TOOTH
Dark, lo-fi single combining repetitive drum-machine, post-punk basslines and dreamy washed out vocals. Released on July 6 via Fuzz Club, and taken from their debut album ‘Parallel Universes’ (out now). Separated by 7,000 miles, Routine Death is the husband and wife duo of Lisa (Gothenburg, Sweden) and Dustin Zozaya (Austin, Texas), the latter also playing in psych-pop outfit Holy Wave.
Ben Andrewes: Quite scuzzy and rough around the edges but simultaneously soft and youthful in an early KV kind of way. I like the vibe of it but would like more if the song developed. 3/5
Tim Senna: Cool sounding opening riff and with the band name 'Routine Death' I want to see this song under a montage of cliched horror movie murder scenes. Once the vocals kicked in I was super pleasantly surprised, very ethereal and evoking a kind of Cats Eyes/ Warpaint vibe that melts my icy indie heart in music. 4/5
Izzy Butler: Love the opening vibe, and like Tim said, the vocals are Warpaint-ish, which is no bad thing at all. Quite a dark, haunting number. 4/5
Total score: 11/15
THE RUNGS - TREES
Self-released new single by the Brooklyn-based alt-pop trio, the first off their upcoming EP, which was recorded and produced at their home studio. Quirky, unconventional song structure with analog synths, distorted guitar and some eccentric vocals from Mandy Gurung.
BA: Reminded me of a blend of Grimes, video game music and IDM that circled the internet circa 2007. She has a nice voice. 3/5
TS: I was unsure about the start of the song as it sounded quite rough but as before the moment the vocals kicked in a smile spread across my face. Indie/ dream-poppy, bouncy high-tempo and unafraid to playfully change up its own sound every few seconds This song is so fun. 5/5
IB: Another song with a great opening riff. This really bounces along, like something you want to pogo up and down to, but loses it a bit for me at times. 3/5
Total score: 11/15
OH MADDIE - I DON'T LIKE YOU
Released May 18 on Dog Heart Records from their self-titled EP out June 22. Follows debut single, ‘Youth’, coupling the acerbic wit and cattiness of Dylan’s Highway 61 years with the glam stomp of T-Rex in their prime. Swooping synths, pounding drums and exploding guitars.
BA: A nice song that made me feel good to listen to. Kind of like a more pop leaning Kevin Morby with a tinge of Randy Newman’s comedy. With some masterful production it would go from good to great. 4/5
TS: The low pitch techno-y intro reminded me of Muse's 'Uprising', then the song develops into a fun lil bopse. The vocals are more traditional rock sounding but the instrumental is fresh and interesting which I found cool. 4/5
IB: This sounds so different to their debut. Less Americana, more 70s glam pop. 3.5/5
Total score: 11.5/15
THE VACANT - TOUCHING DOWN
Lead single off the forthcoming second EP 'Precipice' - out June 8 - by the Bath-based alt-rock three-piece. Big atmospheric soundscape, combining a rock base with atmospheric synth-pop.
BA: Atmospheric rock with undertones of M83-style uplifting electro pop. I liked the mood of the song but was hoping to be hit with little more wall of sound euphoria and punch when it finally kicks in.
TS: Begins quite slowly but builds up nicely and the lyric "the view from Hell" really cuts through. Cool aerial shots of sprawling spaghetti like road in the music video too, it reminds me of that Top Gear episode where they went searching for the world's best driving road and James May ended up naked and sweaty in a lightweight Aston Martin. Oh right the song, it's cool, didn't make a huge impression on me and feels a bit muted, but who cares? 4000 people viewed it and enjoyed it so my opinion is worth no more than theirs. The guitar solo is cool as well. 3/5
IB: This sounds very grand, epic, majestic, like they have a whole orchestra in there. Very clever. A beautiful song. Love the video scenery too. 4.5/5
Total score: 10/15
ILL WILL - SULPHATES
Also from Bath, this alt-rock four-piece, who take influence from post-punk and 90s grunge, follow their debut EP ‘Strange Smiles’ released in February and lead single ‘Couch Surfer’, with this new cut of guitar-driven rock.
BA: Dynamic and driving rock that reminded me of a blend of QOTSA and Alvvays. Great performance and execution. I bet they would be great live. 4/5
TS: Probably the 'rockiest' of the tracks with the piercing opening riff, strong vocals. Chorus seems strong too, can imagine people moshing to this live. 4/5
IB: Sounds fierce, and the female vocalist sounds pretty ballsy. Good rock-out track. 3.5/5
Total score: 11.5/15
THE TWISTETTES - HATE HATE
Flip side to single 'Weird Me' released June 1 by Scottish punk, riot grrl sister two-piece: Jo Darc (lead vocals/bass), Nicky Darc - backing vocals/drums). They describe their sound as "dirty, twisted bass...a hit of swinging flare and thumping driving drums."
BA: Bombastic female led punk. Certainly not my normal listening, but I liked the bass that sounded like a broken motorbike engine and their accents. 3/5
TS: With a bassline this fat I feel like the buildings in my neighbourhood are falling down one by. Punk is a seriously undersupported genre in this country at the moment so it's sick to see people making music like this, the flow to the lyrics is also great during the faster parts. 5/5
IB: Yay, you go gals! Nice to see two women doing the drum n bass line. This works well. 3.5/5
Total score: 11.5/15