This week saw the release of two singles that will undoubtedly be up there with the best of the year. One marked the return of Traams after a 4 year hiatus, and the other from new upstarts TV Priest who also announced details of their debut album, set for release in November.
Traams last single was the frantic, but quite brilliant ‘A House on Fire’ which came out in 2016. Since then the band have been quiet, but this week brought us ‘The Greyhound’, the first of three new songs set for release in 2020. Just under ten minutes long, The Greyhound is a krautrock meets post punk masterpiece that at no stage outstays its welcome, and in fact flies past before you know it. The addition of saxophone toward the closing stages of the track is absolutely inspired, a perfect foil to the mesmeric guitar, bass and drum rhythm section. Proper head music and simply magnificent.
I had The Greyhound down as song of the month, and then along came ‘This Island’, the new single from TV Priest. Having been mightily impressed by the band after hearing their debut single ‘House of York’ we interviewed the band here in June at the time of their equally impressive second single ‘Runner Up’ and I delighted to say that the new single maintains their high standard of output.
The band describe ‘This Island’ as ‘a song about feeling under prepared in your responses yet powerful in your convictions’ and about ‘nationalism, fearmongering, hate, anger, sadness, loss’. Musically the song also blends krautrock and post punk, but errs more on the latter in the vein of artists such as Public Image Limited and Echo and the Bunnymen. The guitar, from the point that it kicks in on 50 seconds is absolutely sublime, the star of the show that really elevates the song, making it the pure joy that it is. It’s the lead single from their debut album ‘Uppers’ which sold out of its initial run of coloured vinyl within 24 hours, prompting them to release some more, such was the demand. Everyone that I have spoken to about this band seem to have been similarly blown away, so expectations are naturally going to be high for the album, but if they can sustain this level of excellence ‘Uppers’ will undoubtedly be one of the albums of the year too.
Also out this week was the new single by The Schizophonics, the follow up to last years’ immense ‘Steely Eyed Lady’. ‘Black to Comm’ is a cover of the MC5 song, with this version adding punchy garage rock edge. Its rather good.
There was no round up last week due to a mixture of bad internet and holidays, but our choice of tunes was ‘Dead Beat’ by Mush, 'Turbulence' by Lord Loud, Infinity x2 by Magick Mountain and The Sheets by Lumer. Mush's Dead Beat is another excellent tune from the band and taken from their forthcoming EP (which also features previous single Fear Index). The Sheets shows some real progression in Lumer’s song-writing, and an almost Morrisey like element to the vocals. Infinity x2 rocks beautifully, undoubtedly taking inspiration from Osees who are also a key influence on Lord Loud. On Turbulence however there’s a bit more influence from Jimi Hendrix and Red Hot Chilli Peppers at their most reflective.