What We've Been Listening To This Week - Do Nothing, Egyptian Blue, Laundromat, Mush, The Howlers, Yard Act, Les Bods, The Camel Show, Sourdough, TV People
Links to music/features in blue
Its been a bit of a bumper week for new music this week – three fantastic EP’s, a cracking debut single and a clutch of other tasty tunes.
Pick of the bunch for us is the long-awaited debut EP from Do Nothing. They first came to our attention last year when they released the magnificent ‘Gangs’, which alongside their previous singles Waitress and Handshakes gave a glimpse of the level of talent emerging. The Zero Dollar Bill EP features three new tracks alongside the previously released LeBron James and Fits. The furious assault of Comedy Gold opening proceedings before the more measured and considered New Life kicks in, followed by Contraband, taking the tempo up again and then the two singles draw things to a close.
Throughout the EP, muscular bass and drums propel each of the songs along with neat, intricate guitar interplay and Chris Bailey’s Lenny Bruce distinctive spoken/sung vocals. The quality of song-writing on this EP is remarkable, each song unique and an absolute gem. The only disappointment here its not an album, but no doubt it will only be a matter of time before that happens.
Brighton based Laundromat also released their debut EP ‘Blue’ this week, with three cracking tunes, ‘Off’, ‘Humans’ and ‘Slow Clap’. You can read all about the EP in our interview with main man Toby Hayes here.
Egyptian Blue’s second EP landed on Friday out on Yala Records. ‘Body of Itch’ has just the three tracks, Nylon Wire, Four is the Last Four and Never, all of which are excellent. As with last year’s Collateral Damage EP, Body of Itch has that jagged Gang of Four post punk feel about it, although the quality of their writing is clearly evolving nicely. Having toured with the Murder Capital earlier this year the band are fast establishing themselves as a band to watch, and hope fully we’ll hear more from them later this year.
Also, from Brighton are Les Bods who’ve just released their debut single People. People is a top tune, a dash of Krautrock, a bit of garage rock and even a dab of glam rock on the chorus. They also have some very cool t-shirts on their Bandcamp page.
Having only released their debut album in February you’d think it might be a while before we heard from Mush again, but they’ve just released a new track Fear Index, taken from their forthcoming EP to support Record Store Day ‘Great Artisanal Formats’. The EP features 5 tracks, none of which feature on the album and it should be well worth listening out for, from the evidence of Fear Index.
Remember when we could go to gigs? The last one I went to was to see the Howlers in February, and in a world without Covid19 I would be seeing them at the Sebright Arms later this month. Unfortunately, Covid19 is a reality and they’ve had to push that gig back to October, albeit at the slightly larger Lexington. This week though they released their third single Badlands which if you’ve been to see them play will recognise as the song that opens their set. We talked about Covid19 with Adam from the band this week, and discovered lots about how things work in the music industry (including some stuff that we couldn’t publish) which you can read about here.
Another gig fondly remembered was seeing Treeboy and Arc last year at the Shacklewell Arms. Some of them have formed another band ‘Yard Act’ who released their debut single The Trapper's Pelts this week and it’s rather good. ‘What a day to be alive, the state of everything’ it begins, and then continues to sneer, Mark E Smith-like brutally and unrelenting. Love it.
Other tracks that grabbed our attention this week were Time Eats Up, the new single by Dubliners TV People, Fall by the Welshmen The Camel Show and Expected by Luton’s Sourdough. ‘Time Eats Up’ was written at the tail end of a 6-month spell of unemployment within the band and looks to capture how time can become a sinister and oppressive force, somewhat apt for the current situation across the world. Fall blends the seventies and the nineties in a kind of Lemonheads way, and talks about the need to be original in a very ‘wannabe’ world. Sourdough list their influences as Pixies, Sonic Youth, The Smiths and Echo and the Bunnymen and on the evidence of ‘Expected’ I’d also add the Cure in their early days into that max.