By Jon Milton
OK, I’ll admit it, I’m guilty on occasion of worrying about what I eat, and the amount of exercise I do, isn’t everyone? Remedies, the new single out today by Premium Leisure is a comment on ‘the noise that fogs our perceptions of healthy living’, suggesting that we all take a more considered and laid-back approach ‘ to do what makes you, and people around you, feel good’ which sounds like very sensible advice in these overtly self-conscious times. The song itself has that breezy T-Rex vibe that White Denim explored on their Performance album, which means it’s rather cool, with a low-fi, seventies-glam fuzzy feel about it.
Premium Leisure is the solo project of songwriter/producer and Willie J Healey guitarist, Chris Barker. According to Chris, the song was first conceived as a piano-ballad in his flat, but soon evolved into a more groove-led offering, complete with Drummer Mike Monaghan [Saint Etienne, Gaz Coombes] adding the track’s sharp, clean percussion.
Remedies is out now, and is the first single to be released on new South London Plum Cuts label and the first track to be taken from a 4 track EP that will arrive at the start of 2021. You can check out the video below. Me? I'm off to put me feet up.
What We’ve Been Listening To This Week…SUUNS, Yammerer, Magick Mountain, The Heads, Osees, Roscoe Roscoe, Bobhowla, Tempesst
By Jon Milton
We start this week with fuzz rock, Leeds style and specifically Magick Mountain. Having been dormant for a couple of years since their debut single ‘Zodiac’ came out via Come Play With Me the band have been busy working on their debut album ‘Weird Feelings’ which launches next month. New single ‘The Creeper’’ is the third teaser track from the album and is a mid-paced number with a kind of Hendrix vibe about it. According to the band there are a couple more tracks on the way before the album drops which we’ll definitely be keeping an ear out for.
Staying with fuzz, Ian reviewed the new album by the Heads this week which is a bit of a cracker from a live performance at Thekla in 2001. Its fair to say he’s pretty enamoured with it, and you can read his full review here. Similarly noisy is Protean Threat, the new album by Osees, as they are known by now. After the psychedelic experimentation of Face Stabber, Protean Threat is full of short-ish in your face tracks. It’s a little too early to pass judgement for me as their albums tend to be growers but early impressions are very favourable. The band also have an album of outtakes out next month ‘Metamorphosed’ and have released a track from it this week ‘Electric War’.
Also on the blog this week we featured Boa Constrictor, the excellent new single by Yammerer which you can read about here and ‘Midnight Fears’ from Bobhowla, which you can read about here.
Spotify suggested the debut single by Roscoe Roscoe on Monday ‘Brain Retrieve’ which was a very good shout. Within just under 5 minutes ‘Brain Retrieve’ manages to straddle grunge, psych rock, shoe gaze and prog rock, which should be incentive enough for you to give it a listen. It’s a great tune from a band that we know very little about. Spotify also suggested ‘High on My Own’ from the similarly unfamiliar to us Aussie band Tempesst. Good tune this, and another that reminds us of the Bees with its psychedelic touches and harmonised vocals. They have an album on the way.
Last up this week is ‘Pray’, the new single from SUUNS, taken from their forthcoming EP ‘Fiction’ out next month. I first came across this band earlier this year when one of their tracks was played on a Boogaloo Radio show as part of a selection of songs picked by Human Pet. They in turn had been put onto the band by the Eskimo Chain. Pray is a slow burner that builds nicely, in keeping with a lot of this Canadian bands stuff. The EP is on pre-release here.
By Ian Smith
A live album recorded at the Thelka on the 6th of December 2001. This performance was part of the ‘The Gnostic Bash: A Tribute to Kenneth Anger’. Anger intended to make a film of Aleister Crowley’s Gnostic Mass and was looking to raise funds for the project.
This is really something. There are two tracks in total but that’s not important. The sound is overwhelming, loosely structured and freeform but nothing is wasted. The key word here is energy. This is a relentless assault on the senses; you can focus on the mayhem ensuing or drift off to your own world.
The Heads manage to create a soundscape where time is irrelevant. I could happily listen to these pieces if they were twice as long. Some acts have the ability to make time stand still and it’s good to know that there is still material to pillage from The Heads archive. Like Hawkwind on mandrax, the barrage of riffs is a joy to behold.
Subtlety. Allow the listener to form their own picture and pick out their own nuances to concentrate on. It’s in your face but standoffish. There are numerous Heads bootlegs and live performances available but this seems to encapsulate everything rather nicely (although I confess that I have not heard all of it, far from it). And I got through the whole review without mentioning ‘Psych’. Ah fuck.
You set the scene. Journeys without maps.
‘Reverberations Volume 2’ is out now on the ever-wonderful Cardinal Fuzz. Listen/Buy at
By Jon Milton
Up until recently it was believed that constrictor snakes kill by asphyxiating their prey, but recent research has suggested that they do this by stopping the flow of blood, otherwise known as circulatory arrest. This approach is so efficient that their prey cark it at an incredibly rapid pace, which for convenience we’ll say is around one and a half minutes, as this is roughly the length of Yammerer’s excellent new single, Boa Constrictor.
We profiled the band earlier this year, and they were one of the few bands that I managed to see in 2020 before the world went to pot. Boa Constrictor is their first bit of new music this year, which follows on from their excellent debut Reality Escape Resort EP and the RSD 2019 cassette only single Donnay Death Housing Cryssis, which is now out on Bandcamp. In keeping with the bands previous output, Boa Constrictor is gloriously deranged, motorik driven post-punk that sounds like a soundtrack to the snake taking hold of vocalist Jay Sunsea/J George JC and rapidly taking him out. Not that constrictors tend to kill humans that often of course, although it has been known...
Yammerer's label Restless Bear also have a powerful new track from Deh Yey out in a couple of weeks ‘I am Result’, which might just be the best thing they’ve done yet – more on that around release date.
Boa Constrictor is out now. You can listen/buy here.
By Jon Milton
Normally we feature noisy artists that straddle musical genres such as Krautrock, Post Punk, Psych rock, garage punk, noise rock and the like on this blog, but sometimes make an exception for indie rockers that make well crafted songs that stick in your head after a couple listens. One such example is Bobhowla, and more specifically their new single Midnight Fears, released today.
I must confess I do have a bit of a weakness for Tears for Fears and it certainly feels like there’s a hint of them on this single, along with the kind of vocal line Liam Gallagher would lap up. Midnight Fears also has a swerving rhythm that reminds me of something from the world of dance music that I can’t pin down (Slam maybe?) – the mark of a canny songwriter getting right into in your head of course.
Midnight Fears is taken from the band’s forthcoming debut album ‘Everything’s Wrong, but it’s Alright’ which launches at the end of next month. Newly assembled as a four piece, the band features singer/songwriter Howard Doupé and Rod Jones of Idlewild who also produced the album at Post Electric Studio. Doupé says of the album:
“This collection of songs have been a lifetime in creation. Working with broad group of musicians has meant the final product is a multi-coloured trip through pop sensibilities tinged with elements of folk and sonic ambience. With themes of yearning, presence, purpose, fears and the celebration of achievement, there’s an element of heart-felt honesty. Maybe the like not seen since the writings of Frightened Rabbit’s Scott Hutchison. For the first time in years, the time is right to present these tracks as they are. The current worldwide situation has directly affected both the recording and determination to support the emergence of new artists. Particularly during the uncertainty of live performances.”