By Jon Milton
Back in the early 1980’s, alternative music bands like The Jam, The Ruts and The Clash all started to embrace brass and other instrumentation in their music, and new artists like The Redskins, Dexys Midnight Runners and Rip Rig and Panic emerged with it fully immersed in their sound. Flash forward 40 years and a similar situation has developed over the last year or so, most notably with bands like Moreish Idols, Deadletter and Opus Kink.
The latest of this new wave to come to our attention is Fake Turins, although in fact the band have been plying their trade since 2018, also incorporating clarinet, percussion, synths and noise/FX alongside the traditional guitar, drum and bass. Their latest single ‘Yr Made of Gold’ (released yesterday) is a thing of absolute beauty.
It’s the first track to be released from their ‘Inheritance’ EP, due out in May on Opus Kink’s Hideous Mink label. Dominic Rose’s vocals effortlessly switch between spoken and soulfully sung on the track, accompanied by sublime rhythms. Kind of like Galliano meeting Talk Talk uptown.
Photo by Alfie Bungay
Says Rose of the track: ‘It’s a song about the passing of time, watching ourselves become the heroes/villains we looked up to as children. Mutating into our parents & facing their struggles. This song was written from the anger of my father & how my inheritance of his rage become my own’.
However, just at the point of discovering the band for the first time and becoming a wee bit smitten on this song, comes the news that the band are calling it a day. Inheritance will be their last EP and the band play their final gig at London's Village Underground on June 8th.
Sad news, but I guess the logistics of sustaining an 11-piece band must be pretty challenging. Let's hope these talented individuals re-emerge further down the line in some new format. For now, just sit back and enjoy the music!
What We've Been Listening To...The Black Delta Movement, Geese, JJUUJJUU, Moreish Idols, Gurriers, Gilla Band, Helicon
By Jon Milton
Back in 2020, I optimistically wrote a blog identifying a few bands that I was looking forward to hearing new music from that year. One of those bands was the Black Delta Movement. It’s been 5 long years now since their debut album Preservation came out but now, finally, they’re back with a new single and an album planned for release some time this year on Fuzz Club Records. Was it worth the wait? From the sounds of ‘Fourth Pass Over the Graveyard’ I’d say so. Six minutes of insistent groove, tight as you like beats and a slinky seventies funk feel to boot bodes very well. Frontman Matt Burr is supported on the track (and the album) by Little Barrie, and it’s a fine combination. There’s even some gigs on the horizon, including an appearance at the iconic 100 club.
I thought that was a great start to the month and then I heard the new single by Geese. Kooky title, kooky video but my, what a song. ‘Cowboy Nudes’ sounds SO fresh, SO good and SUCH a step forward for the band. The bands’ first album Projector was an impressive start, although it felt a little rough around the edges in places. This new track is an altogether different ball game. This will be one of the songs of the year.
Last month Wide Awake Festival announced a new round of acts playing at the event in May. I always feel duty bound to listen to those that are unfamiliar, and in doing so was blown away by one of them, JJUUJJUU. Their 2018 album Zionic Mud is an amazing album, well worth checking out and they’ve also just released a top new track ‘Nowhere’ to follow up on the two singles they released last year. I guess you’d probably file under ‘psych rock’ but listen for yourself and make your own mind up. Hopefully a second album is on the way.
A band that has not made it on the bill at Wide Awake and really should is Moreish Idols. Their debut EP ‘Float’ came out last year on Speedy Wunderground and it was wonderful. New single ‘Nocturnal Creatures’ picks up perfectly where that EP left off and is further evidence of the bands’ promise. Definitely one to go and see this year and I’m very much looking forward to hearing more from them.
Other highlights out right now are new singles from Gurriers, Gilla Band, and Helicon.
By Jon Milton.
Last Tourist’s debut album is an absolute smorgasbord of wonderful musical influences.
Imagine if you combined all the best bits of shoegaze. A touch of Ride here, a bit of Slowdive there and of course a hint of My Bloody Valentine throughout. Then add some of the bands that immediately influenced Shoegaze, namely Spacemen 3 and Jesus and Mary Chain. And finally add in some of the bands that influenced them, such as Suicide and The Velvet Underground and you should start to get the picture.
Last Tourist channels that ethereal mix of obscured vocals, distortion and echo beautifully. The vocals draw comparison with JAMC throughout, and across a number of tracks there are subtle elements of both Psychocandy and Darklands. Tracks like Riding Seas and Public Service have elements of Nowhere era Ride. The Slowdive influence comes through on Lemon Twist and Lust, and Cave in the Hills blends JAMC with Suicide. Interlude and Spiritual Cove blend Spacemen 3 and MBV.
The band clearly wear their influences with pride, with Last Tourist more celebration than pastiche. And those were golden eras of music in many ways, so why shouldn’t they be celebrated? This is an album to escape to and is all the better for that.
What We've Been Listening To...English Teacher, Gnoomes, JOHN, Coyboyy, Shame, Tulpa, Saloon Dion, The Goa Express, Patio Gas, Skull Practitioners, Cross Wires, Shaemless, The Maddocks
By Jon Milton
Nearly two weeks into 2023, I was wondering whether post-pandemic mental fatigue had pretty much killed off the creative process for most bands. The only things to perk up my ears were new singles from Shame and Cross Wires. Looking back on the rest of the month now I should really have had more faith, as there’s been a bumper crop of wonderful tunes to restore the spirits.
Of those early runners, Shame’s ‘six-pack’ thankfully picks up from where Drunk Tank Pink left off, and is a Wah laden belter. Cross Wires second single ‘Drowning’ from their forthcoming second album continues to showcase their evolution as a band.
There’s been a couple of excellent debut singles this month, from The Maddocks and Tulpa. The former is a new band from Manchester whose ‘This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things’ bounces along very nicely and the latter have risen from the ashes of Mush. Tulpa’s ‘Ricochet’ is a cracking tune that reminds me a bit of ‘Ecstasy’ era My Bloody Valentine with its dual female/male vocal and breakneck rhythm.
Cowboyy’s debut single ‘Gmaps’ came out late last year and the band have just released a second single ‘Tennis’ on Nice Swan Records. If their forthcoming EP is as good as these two tracks its going to be pretty special and marks them out as one of the bands to watch this year. Nice Swan alumni Saloon Dion and English Teacher’s ‘I Don’t Feel’ and ‘Song About Love’ respectively both continue both bands knack of releasing quality, with the latter getting a release on another top label, Speedy Wunderground.
January has also seen some bands seemingly re-emerge from nowhere having been quiet for a while. Firstly, the brilliant Gnoomes with their hypnotic ‘Loops’, the first track to be released from their new album, due out in April on Rocket Recordings. The band are also touring here in March/April for the first time since 2019’s ‘Mu’ came out and should be well worth paying a visit to go and see. Skull Practitioners have also been quiet since 2019 but have this month released their impressive debut album ‘Negative Stars’. It's another worthy of diving into, if you like your garage punk.
Patio Gas used to be called Filth, who had a great debut single out in 2021 ‘Fully Introspective’ and then went quiet. They’re now back with their new name and a first single ‘Going Backwards’ from their debut album which will be released later this year. After a couple of iffy singles Goa Express are also back with a bang with ‘Portrait’. Portrait flies along and hopefully signals a return to form.
A more consistent performer is John (Times Two) who have unleashed a bit of beast this month in the form of ‘Hopper on the Dial’. Its immense.
Finally, have a listen to Dutch band Shaemless’s new single ‘Camel Blue’. It rocks, in a post punk way.
By Jon Milton
We try our hardest to keep tabs on new talent and write about it as and when it emerges, but every now and then we come across bands who have released a few tunes over the year that have flown under the radar. So, to compensate for this oversight, here's a few recommendations that you really should check out.
It’s been just over a year since East London duo Human Interest released their first track ‘Spiced Apple’ a lively little number with a lot of lust for life about it. January saw the band release the glammy ‘Feel Good’ and then both tracks appeared alongside the slinky ‘Cool Cats’ and Velvety ‘These Parties Are Awful’ in March to make up the band's debut EP, Desire Paths. Another top tune 'Alive' surfaced in July.
Always one to spot potential, Nice Swan Recordings entered the fray and released their latest single ‘Mixing Paint’, upping the production values and raising expectations of more to come in 2023.
Bristolians Bible Club have just released their third single of the year ‘Hide’, a further example of the intense dirge psych sound that they first revealed on ‘Mr Lizard’ in April and ‘Ford Capri’ in September. Hide incorporates saxophone and violin for the first time and it’s a cracker. The band’s influences come from Saharan-Rock outfits (I had to check that out too) like Tinariwen, classic artists like CAN, The Doors, NEU!, Spacemen 3 and Oh Sees and more contemporary bands like Squid and (don’t let this put you off) Black Midi.
A little raid of Opus Kink’s playlist uncovered this playful bunch of weirdo’s. The band began their slightly unsettling but utterly enchanting recording career with debut single ‘Daddy Got Pony’ in May and have released a further two tracks in Beep! Beep! Honk! Honk! and ‘Age of Goat’. Imagine if Madness had written ‘Driving in my car’ on acid and you’ll get the gist for the former and the latter is deliciously unhinged, with some wonderful screaming at the end.
If we've not featured you and you've dropped a few excellent tunes in 2022, drop us a DM or send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org.