By Mark Glenister
The 4 piece from Hull release another single from their forthcoming EP ‘The Disappearing Act’ but this time you can hear 2 different versions of ‘By Her Teeth’ – the original is available to download, this version has a film noir quality about it, sounding like Nick Cave and his Bad Seeds at their menacing best, with lead singer Alex Evans sounding ever more confident as the brooding front man.
Its what you’d expect from Lumer as a defined and well-planned next step, if you have been following their past few songs, this is a natural progression, and for fans of the band they are definitely going in the right direction.
The other version, or Alternate version is available to see & hear on Youtube and is again influenced by Nick Cave, but this time its at his brooding, melancholic best - a feat which Evans has said in a recent interview was the aim of this single, he said that was trying to emulate Cave, but poorly.
I think he does himself and the band a disservice by saying this, yes you can see the influence of someone like Nick Cave in this, but Evans and the rest of the band have put their own stamp on it, and if you are trying to emulate someone then Mr Cave is a pretty good benchmark.
To have the same song sound so different in 2 versions is a real accomplishment, its going to be interesting and hopefully rewarding to see how this band progress now, I certainly cannot wait for the next step.
Watch the band perform the alternative version here.
What We've Been Listening To This Week: The Goa Express, I Like Trains, Colorama, Hoofs, Bananagun, Nest Egg
Stand out single this week comes from yet another promising band from Manchester, The Goa Express with ‘Be My Friend’. Its almost a year to the day since the band released their last single ‘The Day’ (which also appears on the 7-inch release of this single) and this is some follow up. Be my Friend leads with a punchy riff, bouncing bass and propulsive drums - pure psychedelic pop at its finest. Check it out here and buy the limited vinyl here.
Similarly psychedelic and super is ‘And’ the new single by Colorama. 'And' is taken from the new Colorama album ‘Chaos Wonderland’ which gets its digital release on 31st July. Frontman Carwyn Ellis attributes the title of the album to travelling a lot and seeing a lot of flux, but whilst doing so witnessing ‘the warmth and inherent goodness of the vast majority of people I’ve encountered’ which is a pretty cool way to view life, and this is a pretty cool single too. He’s joined on the record by the eminently prodigious Shawn Lee, and a handful of guests including Lovisa Sigrunardottir (Lay Low) and Valerie Etienne. Listen to it here.
Another band returning after a long hiatus is I Like Trains, who’ve just released ‘Dig in’ the second single from their forthcoming album Kompromat, which is due to be released on 20th August. Dig in mixes post punk and krautrock to wonderful effect and it’s a top, top tune. Check it out alongside a great video here.
Talking about post punk, whilst browsing the Murderati Facebook page this week I noticed a post from Dutch band Hoofs about their new single Crash, asking for people’s thoughts. It seemed only right to give it a play, and that listen revealed it to be a short, sharp, bright bit of post punk, good stuff indeed. Give it a listen yourself here.
Switching our attentions to albums, remember the Bees? The Mercury prize nominated band that managed to fuse sixties psychedelia with a host of other musical genres, and in doing so make it sound contemporary? Melbourne’s Bananagun sound like that band reimagined and revitalised on their debut album ‘The True Story of Bananagun’ with their own brand of breezy psychedelia mixed in with afrobeat, funk and soul. The parallels between the two bands are uncanny; if you told me that it was the Bees I’d be none the wiser, songs like ‘Bang Go the Bongo’s’, ‘The Master’, Freak Machine’ and ‘She Now’ just sound like them, but in a really fresh way. The Bees didn’t really do too much in the way of afrobeat, but if they did it would definitely sound like the sublime ‘People Talk Too Much‘ on this record. Similarities with the Bees aside though, this a wonderful, summery listen.
Last but not least this week, we reviewed the new album by Nest Egg this week which you can read about here. There’s only 6 tracks on Dislocation and all of them are mighty fine – thrashy numbers like the title track and What!!??! I’m a Bastard!!??! interspersed with brooding krautrock and post punk. It’s a very compelling listen.
By Jon Milton
One of the exciting crop of bands emerging from Liverpool these days, post punk upstarts Eyesore and the Jinx take a wry look at human behaviour in their new EP ‘The Exile Parlour’, observing the effects of alcohol and other stimulants on groups of individuals, Brits abroad, fetishism and entitlement across its four constituent parts.
Produced by Daniel Fox of Girl Band, it’s their first vinyl release, and for a vinyl feti- (ahem) lover like me had to be snapped up, the mixture of artwork, 10-inch grey vinyl and four great tunes far too hard to resist. It’s on one of them crowd fund campaigns too so doubly worthwhile – have a look here and see what I mean / get yourself a copy.
I spoke with vocalist/bassist Josh, about the EP, and whether lockdown had fuelled more observations…
Nightlife chronicles the particular nuances of Liverpool’s nocturnal revelling – is this a picture you see repeated across other cities across the UK or is there something unique about your home turf?
I've not really had too much of a chance to sample that much of the UK's nightlife, I'm a bit of a shut-in these days to be honest (lockdown aside), so I couldn't really say for certain but there are definitely similarities to be seen in some other cities, particularly in the North.
The idea for 'Nightlife' came from a specific street in Liverpool called Seel Street, where there's a tangible change in the atmosphere of an evening, and it transitions seamlessly from a relatively normal eating and drinking spot, to utter bedlam. It's very much the eye of the storm in Liverpool and a place where various different factions of the local nightlife tend to meet. So of a weekend, you get a bit of a gross melting pot of hen/ stag parties, students and some locals, and after a few drinks and other bits and bobs, those different groups tend not to get along very well and it all suddenly gets very tribal, which is where the subject matter for the track and video came from.
Leisure Time considers the wonders of British holiday makers abroad, and their unique approach to blending in with local people and culture. Did you draw your inspiration from personal experiences, and if so please elaborate?
Believe it or not, I don't relax very well. So I tend to struggle a bit when I'm on holiday. I'm quite fidgety and don't really know what to do with myself. This obviously isn't typical of all British holidaymakers, but I think there's definitely an element of that, in the 'brit abroad', which started the thinking behind 'Leisure Time'. I nabbed the title from an American family who were having absolute murder one evening when I was on holiday a few years back. Can always can count on the yanks for a decent quip.
What topics do the other two songs on Exile Parlour cover?
There's a pretty broad range of topics that run through the EP, but it was only after it was finished that I realised there was a thread running through the four tracks which centred on people's changing behaviours particularly when pursuing pleasure. The second side of the EP was where I got the chance to experiment with narrative songwriting for the first time, so the other tracks are a lot more story based than any of our previous releases.
I wanted the title track to involve the subject matter of the earlier singles, to establish a bit of link between our earlier output. Those earlier tracks focused more on isolation but, I wanted to look at it from a totally different perspective than I had done previously. So, isolation as a form of fetish was naturally where it led (it is a thing by the way, though I wouldn't advise googling it, if you're in work). The story of the track is set in an online fetish forum for people with a fetish for isolation, amongst other things.
The final track is one that we've had for a very long time, and only really bring it out in the live show on special occasions. It was written around the time that the Harvey Weinstein story first broke. It was impossible not to be appalled by the stories that emerged around this time, and unnerved by the similarity in the various accounts. It goes without saying but those that came forward and continue to come forward to this day, to tell their stories are some of the bravest people around, and I/ we have nothing but complete admiration for them.
The song itself recounts a sadly all too familiar story of a powerful man who abuses his position and is ultimately undone by his own sense of entitlement, and is quite rightly held accountable when he thinks he's above accountability. .
The vinyl for Exile Parlour is a thing of beauty. Who was responsible for the design?
This is the work of our good friend and collaborator Mat Greaves, who does all of our artwork and even did the video for 'On an Island'. You can see more of this work here: https://www.matgreaves.com
What’s it been like working with Daniel Fox?
Working with Daniel was great. We're all massive Girl Band fans, so we were a little star struck to begin with but once we managed to get over ourselves it was all good.
We've worked with quite a few other artists in the past on some recordings and I think previously we've underestimated how important it is to work with someone with a similar temperament as ourselves - we're not the most outgoing bunch - and Daniel definitely made it a lot easier for us in that regard.
Whenever we got together he'd turn up with a huge suitcase, which he was adamant you could fit the body of a small person or child in. I never did get round to asking him how he knew that.
Given the observational nature of human behaviour in your songs, has the pandemic provided you with much new material? If so in what ways?
Not massively to be honest, no. I've got the immune system of a pensioner so I've unfortunately had to shield for the majority of the last few months so I've not really had a great deal of contact with other people. There's only so much you can write about the Hermes man who never gives you enough time to answer the door. Our political overlords however, have provided ample material with some of their performances in recent times. They're always very generous like that.
How have you found navigating your way through lockdown?
It hasn't been too bad, to be honest. It was only after lockdown started that I realised I'd been unknowingly self-isolating for the last few years. The only difference being the last few months have been government mandated. I've found myself having a lot more time to read than usual, which was a bonus. Currently making my way through 'The Plague' by Albert Camus - apt reading for a pandemic.
What’s your three-year plan for the band?
We're not really a three-year plan type of band, and I feel like that's going to be the case even more so now in the wake of the pandemic, and what feels like an almost inevitable second wave. I think the plan for the immediate future will be to start work on an LP.
We've accumulated a fair old bit of music in these last few months, and the months prior to the lockdown so I imagine the rest of the year will be spent trying to make sense of what we've made so far and put it into some sort of cohesive bit of work. That, and navigating a global health crisis should keep us busy for a while at least.
The Exile Parlour EP is out on 24th July on Eggy Records. You can order your copy here
By Ian Smith
‘Dislocation’ is the follow-up to 2018’s ‘Nothingness Is Not A Curse’ LP (Fuzz Club). Hailing from Asheville, North Carolina, Nest Egg have honed this mood on the US live circuit. Taking Krautrock as a starting-point, the sound moves through various guises, creating a feeling of dread….. This is a soundtrack to a bleak Autumn day - stark, barren and cold.
‘Dislocation’ carries on where ‘Nothingness Is Not A Curse’ left off, only more so. 6 more humming tracks of cacophony. Nest Egg’s music builds, ebbing and flowing, searching for its own space. Peaks and troughs, lefts and rights, highs and lows, noise and silence.
I would be loath to pick out individual tracks as this album deserves to be heard as a whole (Sod it, ‘Helix’ is the standout). This record is searching for life. Guitars exude white noise, battling with analogue synths. Tribal-like drums add to the feeling of claustrophobia. Vocals are detached, resigned and sometimes no more than a murmur.
‘Mood music for nihilists’ indeed. You should really buy it.
Nest Egg - Dislocation is released on The Acid Test Recordings and Little Cloud Records on red vinyl on 10th July 2020.
What We've Been Listening To This Week...The C33s, Lord Loud, Home Counties, The Novus, Bloodhound, The Transpersonals.
By Jon Milton
This week got off to a flying start with the release of the new c33s single on Monday. The band released a string of great tunes last year and this is another belter. Harpurhey Hostility sees drummer Judy Jones take on lead vocal duties, initially giving the song a kind of B52s 52 Girls type feel to their trademark garage punk / surf rock sound before the bands other influences - Oh Sees, The Cramps, Dick Dale start coming through. You can read more about it and give it a listen here.
Staying in Oh Sees territory I happened upon a post in one of their fan pages yesterday by a band called Lord Loud talking about their new single Labyrinth, and what a fine tune it is too. John Dwyer’s influence hangs heavy in this riff heavy number from the two piece, but is that a bad thing? Of course not. Labyrinth is taken from their forthcoming album Timid Beast which is out on September 4th. You can listen to Labyrinth and some other cuts from the album via the bands Bandcamp page.
Just as we were going into lockdown in March, we were mightily impressed by the debut single by Bristol’s Home Counties ‘Redevelopment’, and they returned this week with a new single about a subject close to our heart, ‘Dadbod’. According to songwriter and vocalist Will Harrison "Dad Bod explores modern middle-class masculinity, with a particular focus upon the ‘progressive’ metropolitan man. The song initially takes a light-hearted standpoint listing the aesthetic traits and status symbols of modern men before moving on to address a darker side which is hidden behind the comfortability and respectfulness of a ‘Dad Bod’." It’s another good tune from them and its taken from their debut EP which releases in September on Alcopop Records. Listen here.
Last but not least of the new singles out this week, is the new single by the Novus ‘Man on the Bridge’. The band are from Stourbridge and the song is about a chap they saw dancing around in his underpants in Camden once. Its produced by Gavin Monaghan at his Magic Garden Studio who also produced the c33s single, and you can find out more here.
On the album’s front we managed to catch up with a couple of releases from earlier this year that had managed to somehow pass us by, firstly ‘Fragile Skeleton’ by Bloodhound and secondly ‘This is the Sound of a Ship on the River Avon’ by the Transpersonals.
Fragile Skeleton is Bloodhound’s debut album and its a bit of a noisy beast, albeit interspersed with some atmospheric tracks that serve to add depth to the album as a whole. The first three tracks ‘Everyone is My Friend’, 'Again' and 'Praise' are very enjoyably grungy but sensibly next tracks 'Short', 'Cold', and 'Try' change tact before we get heavy again with 'Am I Okay'. 'Worn Down' is again more considered, and then the noise returns with 'FRSTRTD', on which they’re joined by Brooders. The album closes with the wistful 'If This is The Way It Is'. Very good indeed. You can listen to the whole album here.
The AI gods on our chosen streaming platform played a blinder this week, coming up with a peach of an album in 'This is the Sound of a Ship on the River Avon'. It’s the three extended trippy psychedelic workouts that make this the joy that it is - opener 'Timothy Leary’s Not Dead' which features samples of everyone’s favourite psychoactive advocate, the instrumental title track and closer 'San Francisco' with its wonderful fade out. If you like A Storm in Heaven, the Verve’s first album you should dive straight in. In between each of these masterpieces are the 'The Sun and Moon Are Closing In' which is slightly menacing and sounds a bit like Bauhaus, and the breezy sixties psychedelia of 'It Feels So Good'. Perfect weekend listening, stick it on via this link.