What we've been listening to...Porchlight, Stores, Geese, Midlight, Treeboy and Arc, Feet, The Howlers, Les Bods, Parquet Courts, Fuzz Lightyear, On Video, Belishas, Tragic, SHEAFS
By Jon Milton
August has been a busy month for new releases, with the likes of Feet, Treeboy and Arc and The Howlers releasing full EP’s, Pip Blom and Parquet Courts giving us tasters for their new albums, Midlight, Geese and Les Bods continuing to impress, and exciting new talents Porchlight and Stores releasing impressive debut singles.
Brighton band Porchlight’s have released a bit of a stunner with their debut single Drywall, fusing post punk and krautrock very nicely. Judging by the footage of some of their gigs that’s appeared on social media, they have a lot more in the tank to get excited about too, with some of the footage revealing elements of muscular post punk / funk crossover reminiscent of the Pop Group.
There was a little snippet of Liverpool’s Stores online last year that sounded intriguing and got them on our watchlist, so we were looking forward to hearing their debut ‘bones’ when it came out earlier this month. The single doesn’t disappoint. Coming from the same label that brought us Eyesore and the Jinx (Eggy Records) was always going to be a good sign, but ‘bones’ is a real marker, snarling post punk that really hits the spot.
Another debut single that caught our attention earlier this year was ‘Disco’ by Geese. It’s obviously difficult to make too much of a judgement based on just the one track, particularly as the band haven’t been able to tour, but the release of their new single ‘Low Era’ provides further solid confirmation of their credentials, with its smart indie swagger. The band’s debut album comes out in October on Partisan Records, and they’re touring the UK in November. Could they go on to be massive? Possibly…
Another band that you feel could (and should) go on to be huge is Midlight. The band released their wonderful ‘Emergency Song’ earlier this year and have just followed it up with another great tune in ‘Daily Routine’. These guys certainly know how to write great songs and they seem to have real crossover appeal, so it feels like only a matter of time before a big label will be coming along and snapping them up.
Les Bods were talking about their new single ‘Tea Stained Day’ when we interviewed them last year and the track has finally got its release this week. There’s a kind of Led Zeppelin meets Oh Sees vibe about it, like ‘In the Light’ getting a garage rock makeover. The band are massive fans of both LZ and John Dwyer and co, and quality 70s rock in general, and they very much wear those influences on their sleeves, which is alright by us, particularly when they put out tunes as good as this.
After what seemed like an absolute age Treeboy and Arc issued ‘Role Models’ and ‘Logistical Nightmare’ last month as tasters for their new EP ‘Life Preserver’ which came out at the start of the month, adding the masterful ‘The Condor’ and ‘In Dreams’. There was talk of an album last year so one would hope that we won’t have to wait as long for new material to emerge next time.
Feet similarly returned after a long hiatus a month or so ago with a string of new singles, brought together on their Walking Machine EP. In a recent interview the band suggested that they felt that their debut album ‘What’s Inside is More Than Just Ham’ was perhaps a little too adventurous in places, resulting in an inconsistent body of work, and this EP took more of a back to basics approach and this is certainly evident. Their trademark playfulness and magpie approach to song-writing persists, but songs like Peace and Quiet and Busy Waiting certainly pull no punches.
The last (but not least) of the big EP releases of the month comes from The Howlers with their debut ‘The Sum of Our Fears’. Lead singles ‘I don’t love you all the time’ and ‘Lost without you’ gave us a glimpse of a new direction from the band, more confident and commercially focussed, and that feel carries across the whole EP. Excellent stuff. The band’s long delayed tour begins at the end of the year, and they’re well worth checking out live.
Other tunes worth checking out this month are the new single from Parquet Courts ‘Walking at a Downtown Pace’ taken from their forthcoming album out in October, ‘Spectator’, the new single from SHEAFS, ‘He is Me’ from On Video and ‘Brother’ from Belishas. And if you like your noise, make sure you check the brutal new tunes from Fuzz Lightyear ‘Berlin, 1885’ and ‘Baby Killer’ from Tragic.
By Jon Milton
Real gigs are back! It’s been 18 long months since we’ve been able to stand alongside each other in a crowded sweaty room watching bands get up and do their stuff, but happily those days are here again, and it feels great!
First gig back, and the headline band was Manchester’s Document, who emerged in early 2020 with their stunning debut ‘Pity’. With the release of their subsequent EP ‘A Camera Wanders at Night’ the band looked set to take the alternative music world by storm, only to find their progress halted by the pandemic. This gig, the Windmill Brixton, was the penultimate date of their first UK wide tour, and their first appearance in the capital.
Support on the night came from Loose Articles, fellow Manchester residents who certainly made their presence known with their feisty brand of punk. Brash and in your face, what the band lacked in musicianship they certainly made up for in spirit and charisma. No doubt by the time they support the Foo Fighters in February next year, they will have had time to get their set absolutely bang on.
Despite their lack of touring opportunity to date, Document are very much close to the the finished article. As we found when we interviewed the band last year the band have extensive experience of treading the boards with other artists and their level of professionalism really showed. In lead singer Alex they have a front-man with real presence on stage. At times he seemed to be lost in a trance or acting out a persona, before suddenly coming back into the room to look the audience straight in the eye and bump heads with the nodding throng.
Document are however certainly not a one-man band. Each of the other members all played their part, confidently strutting around, rocking out and providing additional focal points for the show. The band opened with the masterful ‘ The Spy Who Came In from the Cold’ and concluded with a frantic version of ‘Pity’ a fitting finale for an excellent performance. In between were a mixture of tracks from the EP and unreleased songs, providing an exciting glimpse of what’s on the horizon from the band. They perhaps need one or two more songs with the intensity of 'Pity' but no doubt they'll come in time. They also need to be playing on a bigger stage!