What We've Been Listening To...New Candys, Possum, Filth, Mush, The Novus, Roscoe Roscoe, Cowgirl, Scores
By Jon Milton
It’s June already! Wow, that’s gone quick. This year has already seen a couple of excellent psych-rock albums released in the form of Diagonal’s eponymous debut and Mt. Mountain’s ‘Centre’ and now another one has come along in the form of 'Vyvyd’, from Italy’s New Candys. Like Diagonal and Mt. Mountain the band sit on the more accessible side of the genre with a clean production values abundant throughout this record. There’s also shoe-gaze with a healthy nod toward Jesus and Mary Chain and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club going on.
Brooding singles ‘Twin Mime’ and ‘Zyko’ kick off Vyvyd powerfully and the rest of the album moves nicely along, encompassing reflective moments on songs like ‘Begin Again’ and even bringing the blues on ‘Helluva Zoo’. All good stuff.
Next month sees the release of ‘Lunar Gardens’ the new album from Canadian band Possum, and Friday saw them release the third and final taster in the form of ‘Guest of the Moon’. The band were new to me until last month but I was very impressed by their single ‘Clarified Budder’ and this new track sees them continuing to seamlessly meld psych rock with Jazz very nicely, across this wah drenched jam. Think King Gizzard, Soft Machine, Oh Sees, (seventies) Miles Davis and Can coming together to give you some sort of idea of how they sound. We’ll have a full review of the album nearer the time of its release.
Friday was a very healthy day for new singles overall. Promising young band from Stoke on-Trent Filth released their excellent second single ‘Fully Introspective: Love, Truth, Happiness’, which sits nicely alongside Mush’s laid back ‘Peak Bleak’, taken from their forthcoming RSD 2021 single.
If you’re unfamiliar with Filth, their debut single ‘Tangerine Dream’ out last year is well worth a listen and from the evidence here, they certainly seem to be a band to watch. If you’re unfamiliar with Mush, where have you been?
For a more mellow, trippy and psychedelic take on Sixties music have a listen to ‘Jacob’s Ladder’ the second single by Roscoe Roscoe. If you prefer more of a cool Seventies vibe tinged with a bit of 90’s slacker rock, there's ‘Better With You’ the new tasty new single from Cowgirl, and if Eighties post punk with a bit of goth rock thrown in is more up your street you may want to check out ‘Castaway’ the new single from the Novus. The Novus are natives of Stourbridge, famous in the eighties for Pop Will Eat Itself and The Wonder Stuff, but this new single reminds me of another West Midlands based band, Balaam and the Angel, and a bit of Death Cult too. Big and swirly.
Concluding our round up this week is ‘Broaden Out’, the third single from Scores. The band are from LA and Kansas and Broaden Out is beat-driven indie-rock electronica, very much in the mode of Holy Fuck and Caribou. ‘The song is about coming to terms with the fact that some of the things I struggle with in my head, I may never outgrow’ says singer CJ Calhoun of the song’s introspective lyrics and its their best tune yet.
By Jon Milton
The Cult of Dom Keller’s new album sees them ‘channelling recent limitations and turning them to their advantage…radically altering their creative approach and morphing their sound into a whole new beast’ and very well they do it too. ‘They Carried The Dead In A UFO’ is dark, moody and immersive, like an industrial noise-rock version of Massive Attack’s ‘Mezzanine’.
They Carried The Dead In A UFO begins with the psychedelic ‘Run From The Gullskinna’ and ends in the drone rock of ‘Last King Of Hell’. In between it all gets pretty woozy – clanging metal, eerie organs, and rumbling bass awash with vocals that swirl above and below the mix, real head music for the willing escapist.
The Mezzanine vibe comes out most in ‘Lyssa’ and ‘She’s Turning Into A Serpent’ and there are touches of (Contino Sessions) Death In Vegas and (Dig Your Own Hole) Chemical Brothers in play too. Just at the point when you’re almost completely under, ‘Amazing Enemy’ kicks in like a new dawn rising. Lovely stuff.
There are times when listening to They Carried The Dead In A UFO that you feel like you could be in film (Bladerunner probably) and at other times in a dream, or a narcotic haze. It’s a powerful piece of music that messes with your head, and that can only be a good thing.
They Carried the Dead In A UFO is out now on Fuzz Club Records. Listen / Buy at
They Carried The Dead In A U.F.O | Cult Of Dom Keller | Fuzz Club Records (bandcamp.com)
By Jon Milton
They’re a clever bunch, are Squid. I’m sitting here listening to ‘Bright Green Field’ and it’s doing my head in trying to figure out what each song reminds me of, but the sheer range of influences covering artists known and unknown makes it a bloody hard job.
There are elements of minimalism, krautrock, dub, electronica, heavy rock, jazz, indie, p-funk, jazz funk and more, so much more. This is no homage to any artist though, with every song retaining a quintessentially Squid-like hard edge - barking vocals, pounding beats, or searing guitar, cutting through the subtleties of the remaining instrumentation.
This album has been a long time coming, from a band that seem destined to make remarkable albums. The band whet our appetites with their ‘Town Centre’ EP, a masterful piece that’s only disappointment was that it wasn’t longer. The band announced signing with Warp Records with their 'Sludge/Broadcaster' single last year, but remained quiet about the album until this March, the announcement coinciding with the release of ‘Narrator’, which was subsequently followed by the ‘Paddling’ and ‘Pamphlets’ singles in April.
Bright Green Field begins with looped noise in the shape of 'Resolution Square' before 'G.S.K.' strides into play, swiftly followed by ‘Narrator’, a song that on initial listen felt like it should close the album, such is its manic crescendo. This is the genius of Squid, a complete disregard for convention that enables them to seamlessly shape-shift their sound at the drop of a hat.
Narrator, as with a few songs on the album is almost two or three songs in one, and you have to marvel at how they’ve managed to converge so many diverse ideas to such good effect. ‘Boy Racers’ continues this trend, a song that begins relatively conventionally before morphing into a Bladerunner-like depiction of engines revving.
'Paddling' picks up the pace, frantic, scampering motorik-driven indie followed by the minimalist-tinged ‘Documentary Filmmaker’. You’d be forgiven for thinking that this might be a chilled part of the album, such is the beginning of ‘2010’, but no, within a minute or so there’s snarling, harsh noise to knock you out of your daze, before the song alters its self once again.
Momentary calm returns again with ‘The Flyover’ before the manic, excellent ‘Peel Street’ hurtles in, followed by the menacing ‘Global Groove’. ‘Pamphlets’ brings us to a close, again transforming itself mid-way through, and fittingly finishing the album at a canter.
As with all great albums, Bright Green Field reveals layer upon layer after repeated listens, and is best consumed uninterrupted, in one sitting. There is so much ebb and flow to it that at times you feel like you could be in the middle of a play, moving from scene to scene, living the moment.
It's a stunning debut album, that feels like the culmination of a lifetimes worth of ideas. In fact, it's a work of art.
What We've Been Listening To...Osees, Night Beats, A Place to Bury Strangers, JW Paris, Laundromat, The Goa Express
By Jon Milton
The sun is shining (where I am at least!) and there’s a lovely bumper crop of new releases out today for you to get your teeth into.
First up is yet another live album from Osees in the form of ‘Levitation Sessions Volume II’. With this collection the band raid their back catalogue with tunes like ‘Stinking Cloud’ and ‘Spider Cider’ from 2011’s Castlemania, ‘Encrypted Bounce’ from Drop and ‘It Killed Mom’ from 2007’s Sucks Blood alongside newer tracks like Snickersee and established favourites like ‘The Dream’, ‘Web’ and ‘Tidal Wave’. Whilst not packing as much punch as the first Levitation Sessions and more recently Live at Henry Miller Big Sur, its still a highly enjoyable listen and there’s also a bunch of Chrome covers thrown in to boot.
On a similar tip is ‘Revolution’ the new single from Night Beats. Revolution is taken from taken from the bands fifth album ‘Outlaw R&B’ which comes out on Fuzz Club out at the start of June, and it has that wonderful garage rock 60’s feel about it, resplendent with squalling guitars throughout.
Back with a new single and new line up are Brooklyn’s A Place to Bury Strangers, ‘End of the Night’ is taken from the band’s new EP ‘Hologram’ slated for release in July on Dedstrange. End of Night sounds like a rather pleasurable mash up of Jesus and the Mary Chain and My Bloody Valentine.
We’ve had X from Working Men’s Club, and now we’ve got Y?, out today on Heavenly. Its been billed as the B-side to X and it does have the feel of a dub, not that that’s a bad thing of course. Electro beats, looped vocals, a rumbling bassline and synth stabs echo the bands debut album more than the beefed-up new direction that the band seem to be taking on X.
Other singles of note out today are the new singles from JW Paris, The Goa Express and Laundromat’s. JW Paris continue their fine line of indie rock with ‘Sober’, The Goa Express go jangly with ‘Second Time’ and Laundromat slow things down with 'En Bloc', which completes their Red EP.
Following the success of their 2020 EP A Camera Wanders All Night, and after a restless year-long hiatus from the gig circuit thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, Manchester's Document are finally embarking on their debut UK tour in August, giving you ample excuse to grab tickets before the main delayed gig schedules start to kick in from September .
This tour will feature both performances of tracks from their critically acclaimed debut EP, plus new material, which they are heading into the studio next month to start recording.
Document will be supported on the tour by some incredible up and coming UK artists, such as Loose Articles, Wych Elm and Autosuggestion.
Dates are as follows:
3rd – Nottingham, The Chameleon
4th – Sheffield, The Washington
5th – Leeds, Wharf Chambers
6th – Manchester, Night & Day Café
7th – Birmingham, Dead Wax
11th – Edinburgh, Sneaky Pete’s
12th – Glasgow, Broadcast
17th – Bristol, The Lanes
18th – London, Windmill Brixton
19th – Brighton, The Hope & Ruin
Catch the lockdown performance of lead single The Spy Who Came In from The Cold, live at Bury Met, below: