What we've been listening to this week...Personal Trainer, Mister Strange, Silverbacks, Crack Cloud, Wolfhounds, Filthy Tricks, All Things Blue
Links to music and articles in blue
Another week of lockdown completed. Hooray! Anyone else feel like they’re in a witness protection programme?
We’ve come across some great music discoveries this week. First up, Mister Strange, a Manchester four piece who describe their music as ‘wunder-fuzz’. They’ve released three tracks in the last month or so, all on Bandcamp; Iguana Thieves, a fireball of fuzz and wah garage-rock with hints of Oh Sees and Jimi Hendrix; Elevator Road, a magical onslaught of 60’s psychedelic rock taking in the Stooges and MC5; and most recently Interlude Pt 1, a laid back instrumental psych groove. It’s all bloody marvellous, and I for one can’t wait to hear more from them. If you’re wondering if any of this alchemy will be available on Spotify or other streaming platforms, their response is ‘when the time is right’. So there.
Continuing the fuzz and traversing a line between the 60s and 90s music (maybe) are Dutch band Personal Trainer, who have just released an excellent single in Issue Box. Issue Box comes and goes in a blink of an eye with a touch of Dinosaur Jr giving the song that 90’s slacker feel. Also taking in the 90’s but this time in a trip hop vein are White Flowers. The band released their first two singles earlier this year, and we loved both of them. This new track Day by Day takes a slightly different path to its ethereal shoegaze predecessors. The shoegaze feel is still kind of in there, but this single adds a Twin Peaks Angelo Badalamenti element alongside a bit of Massive Attack and Portishead. Great stuff.
Crack Cloud released a new track this week, the delightfully deranged Ouster Stew. It’s very early 80’s Devo meets Human League with a Haircut 100 sax solo and a drum wig out thrown in for good measure. We like. Similarly frenetic with some 80s influence going on, but nowhere near as mad is Muted Gold, the latest single from Irish band Silverbacks. The band have released a steady string of excellent singles thus far and this new one is no exception. Muted Gold is taken from their forthcoming album, which we look forward to hearing.
Moving into slightly more commercial indie rock territory is Leah the new single by Warrington five- piece Filthy Tricks, who cite Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, The Doors, Sly and the Family Stone and the Violent Femmes as influences. Leah follows on from the bands’ debut EP ‘Run the River’ which was released last year and is a song written about guitarist Gerard Den Hoek’s personal experience of meeting someone who has made a massive change to his life for the better, having previously been in a dark place. The song is fittingly upbeat and positive, and I’d add U2 into that list of influence.
We don’t often do cool psychedelic pop on this blog, but I thought I’d make an exception for Chad, the latest single by LA based outfit All Things Blue. The song oozes summer and is a love song of sorts, about ‘having your heart dangling by someone else’s hook for too long’ and is taken from the band’s forthcoming debut album. We wrote about the single here and you can listen to it here.
Last but not least this week is Can't See The Light, the new single by Romford’s The Wolfhounds. For those unfamiliar with the band, they originally started releasing music in the 80’s, with their single ‘Cut the Cake’ featured on the seminal C86 compilation, with perhaps their most notable single of the time ‘Anti-Midas Touch’. After a long hiatus, the band reformed and released ‘Middle Aged Freaks’ in 2014 and ‘Untied Kingdom’ in 2016. As was the case with Slowdive when they reformed and bought out their excellent eponymous album in 2017, time seems to sat well with the band, and Can’t See The Light sits comfortably alongside the current crop of politically aware post punk artists.