What We’ve Been Listening to…Tragic, Butch Kassidy, Cucamaras, Mhaol, Cross Wires, Les Bods, O., Human Interest, Cowboyy, Splint, Yabba
By Jon Milton
Tragic don’t seem to get a lot of press, which baffles me. Harnessing a mixture of all out punk energy, post punk finesse with a bit of grunge thrown in here and there for good measure sounds like a great combo, after all. If you’ve not heard of them before, their new EP ‘Recidivism’ should serve as a good start. The EP features the frenetic ‘Backfoot’ and ‘Wake Up Terry’, two Nevermind era Nirvana-esque tunes ‘Terry The Self Obsessed Empath’ and ‘Downtown’ and the sublime ‘Recidivist’ and very good it is too.
For those who favour immersive, psychedelic noise with a bit goth thrown in for good measure, check out Butch Kassidy’s ‘Live at Village Underground’ set. They remind me of ‘Dreamtime’ era Cult/Death Cult, early eighties Cure and even Sisters of Mercy, with lots of brooding and intensity and chunky basslines. Five tracks span just under half an hour and it's well worth a watch.
Cucamaras new single ‘Porcelain’ is a self-assured little number seemingly signalling a new direction for the band after their ‘Soft Soap’ EP earlier this year. The vocals have that Lenny Bruce touch that fellow Nottingham dwellers Do Nothing do so well so maybe there’s something in the water up that way.
Way back in the 1980’s World Domination Enterprises released an absolutely belting tune in the form of ‘Asbestos Lead Asbestos’ with the most wonderfully abrasive guitar that you could ever hope for. There’s a touch of this on ‘Asking for it’, the new single from Mhaol and it perfectly complements the songs powerful message. Their debut album ‘Attachment Styles’ is out in February next year.
It's been a while since we heard from Cross Wires, but they’re back with a new single ‘Mourning’ and a second album ‘Yesterday in Mourning’ on the way. Says singer Jonathan of the track “My original basic Garageband demo idea had the feel (in my mind anyway) of a ‘Boxer’ period track by The National but once we got in a room together and the boys worked their magic it ended up having a Berlin era Bowie meets late period Blur feel to it. It’s one of my favourite things we’ve ever done”.
Another band back after quite a while are Brighton’s Les Bods with their new single ‘Level Dweller’. The band unashamedly make music from that golden late sixties / early seventy rock era, with this latest tune sitting somewhere between Jimi Hendrix and 13th Floor Elevators. Hopefully there will be more from the band next year, although given their laid-back approach to releasing output over the last two and half years, my expectations are limited!
A week or so ago I had the pleasure of seeing the wonderful O. play at the Mutations festival in Brighton and those good people at Speedy Wunderground have now seen fit to release the first single from the two-piece, OGO. Given that only drums and saxophone feature it should come as no surprise that both instruments get a proper workout on this track from two incredibly talented individuals. OGO is kind of in the same vein as Binker and Moses and the Comet is Coming but these two have their own unique style.
As its been a while since my last article (give me a break, I have a family, a day job and post pandemic fatigue!) here’s a few honorary mentions of notable tracks from exciting new artists released over the last couple of months, all via the excellent Nice Swan Records:
- Human Interest - Mixing Paint
- Splint – 145
- Yabba – Get by
- Cowboy - Gmaps