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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.
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