Confession time, I adore The Wendy Darlings. They’re great. No, they are really fucking great.
This single came out in April (?) on Marineville Records. It’s their 2nd 7″ for the label. The ‘A’ Side ‘Girls From Japan’ is a big loping tune. Bounding along like an adorable puppy. But a puppy that got a bark and just enough bite.
Confession time, again, my old label released a 7 song EP by The Wendy Darlings in 2009 (all gone) so I am a little biased but I don’t think their are many better noisy guitar pop bands making noise and heat in 2011. The B side ‘Wild Guess’ is a little less immediate but no less a song. It chugs along – like a bastard mix of The Jesus and Mary Chain and something a little more snotty – it’s the massive guitars and pounding bass as the song builds that draw you in. Why aren’t people screaming from the roof tops about The Wendy D’s. Why? Why? Lord knows.
And a final confession, the band are not only brilliant on record. Back in May they played the Odd Box Weekender. They’re a fucking immense live band too. Get it? This lot are the real deal. The whole package. And they’re French. Fuck me? What more do you guys want?
This came out in March on new label Towed By The Ghost. It pairs together two Cambridge (UK) bands. I was already familiar with The Puncture Repair Kit having seen them on a few occasions and their song ‘Murder’s Probably Wrong’ comes close to capturing their live charm. The song seems to gallop a little when on stage they seem to swoop and soar – it seems a little ‘sped’ up. No mind, I still really like the band and their indiepop meets folk sound.
Flip the record over and we get ‘Josefina’ by Model Village a band I had checked out via their online presence a few times and they sounded pleasant enough but nothing had bowled me over. But herein lies the folly of relying on online streams as a way to assess a band. Their song on this 7″ is rather fabulous. I’m on about my 8th play of the day already. I love it when a pop song does this to me. I am hypnotised. Rachel Duncan’s vocals are warm and they’re starting to do something a little weird to me. The bands sound comes somewhere between Standard Fare and Camera Obscura. A little less indiepop than the latter – but with a little more finesse than the former. Splendid stuff.
Email read fail. This band (The Ninja Stars) emailed me back in January. Somehow I read it, tonight. And clicked the link and I was lucky that it worked.
“We have been exploring the delights of cheap keyboards, distorted percussion + vox, no reverb & no compressors this time. We haven’t got a clue where we’re going the next time. We arranged, recorded and produced everything in 2 days, putting much effort into catching the restless energy of being spontaneous. We sure had fun.”
And I find the songs they sent me weirdly addictive. Not like anything I have been listening to for a long while. Simple songs and haunting vocals.
Prize Pets are a four piece from Nottingham. We won’t hold that against them, either. Their first single ‘New Weirdos’ has just come out on Sex Is Disgusting. And I heartily approve. Lead song – ‘New Weirdos’ is a fantastic song where everything is pushed as loud it can be in the mix. And what a fierce mix it is, mashing together distorted rock’n'roll that comes informed by the likes of The Birthday Party and Gallon Drunk with the faintest echoes of mid 80s Butthole Surfers lurking in the back ground like a trippy teenager.
The two B sides are just as good too with ‘Chocolate Advert’ grinding an incessant Fall-esque riff and ‘Poncho’ is all frantic guitars and frenetic drumming. Lovely.
Race Horses have pedigree. A few years ago, an earlier incarnation of the band (Radio Luxembourg) got my attention with their hyperdelic sunshine pop – indeed their song Mostyn A Diego remains a firm favourite of mine to this very day.
Fast forward a few years and with a slight line-up change and a name change later the band are still making some of the best wonky pop that I’ve heard in an absolute age. With influence falling over themselves in these grooves you are taken down a bubblegum sunshine pop highway with stops that take you spinning off on a carousel of whirling waltzers, with nods to 60s psychedelia and a passing hint of other fine Welsh wizards Super Furry Animals and Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci tumbling around the mix. I can’t quite fathom why Race Horses aren’t picking up more attention. They’ve got huge swirling tunes and pop hooks to kill for.
This single is out now on Fantastic Plastic Records.
This is a 7″ that is about to land from Captured Tracks. I got an advance copy from my eMusic subscription. I bought it blind. Two new songs from a new release on Captured Tracks can’t be all bad can it? Can it?
The cover of this 7″ looks like some long lost goth pic from the mid 80s. The ones that gentlemen (or is it a lady that graces the sleeve?) of a certain age have in their dusty shoebox of youth. And that goth picture wasn’t at all misleading. This is sub goth fare. And it’s hardly the most exciting thing to come to the surface lately. If you want to hear what happens when people discover ‘Robert Smith’ and then record a lo-fi homage to the early 80s incarnation of The Cure you’d be foolish to miss listening to this release by Minks – it comes with the obligatory plodding bass lines augmented by a slightly drunk sounding synth. This is taking the Cure, before Robert Smith discovered pop music, lipstick and big hair, as a starting point. Or in my case, a stopping point.
Another wonderful 7″ on Hozac Records. Where do they keep digging up these bands? They’ve found Mylelin Sheaths in Alberta, Canada it seems. And this 4 song EP is everything I love about noisy guitar bands. All 4 songs are full to bursting with pop songs that career along with gay abandon. This is uplifting pop-punk of the highest order. Lead song ‘Do the Mental Twist’ is delivers and exhilarating rush of pop. Try and imagine ‘Never Understand’ being mugged by power-pop-punk. Yes, it’s that good. ‘I Don’t Wanna Have An Operation’ is what happens when the spirit of the Ramones is channelled via a lo-fi distortion drenched production.
The flip side Drugstore/Pharmacy doesn’t let the band down. A little less immediate on first listens – it’s still better than 99% of the stuff you are likely to stumble across at the moment. This is the sound of young love and teenage kicks and cheap cider and happy smiling faces. I want more of this stuff! And luckily the band have another 7″ out now on Bachelor Records.
I luckily managed to snag one of the first 200 copies on Gold vinyl – which comes in a different sleeve (pictured) to what is currently available on the Hozac website. Get ordering.
There are guitars on this 7″ single that make me so fucking happy. They’re the kind of guitars that sound like the end of the world. Like The Beach Boys in their pop pomp being pushed through a lo-fi blender. These guitars are on ‘Don’t Leave Me on The Speaker’ which is the most accessible pop moment on this EP. It’s also made me wish the band would explore this ‘pop’ side a little further as this song is the one I keep dropping the needle on the groove for. It really is a wonderful moment.
That’s not to say the rest of the EP is bad, per se. It’s just more familiar territory for Eat Skull. ‘Jerusalem Mall’ sounds like a distant cousin of the Butthole Surfers with squealing guitars layered on top of a doomy sounding backing and ‘Thank You Smoke Breaks’ is an out and out thrash where things rumble along at a hundred miles an hour. I really really like Eat Skull. And I’d like them even more if they explored their pop side a little further.
Beachniks have just released a 7″ on Captured Tracks. It’s their first. Information on the band online is fairly scant. But if I was to guess – I’d say the band were from 1987. Bristol or Glasgow if I was to narrow it down to two possible locations. The band sound like The Vaselines having an almighty dust up with Bubblegum Splash. And of course I approve.
The songs on the EP are super short and just as sweet. With titles like ‘Brighton Beach and ‘Coney Island’ this is primitive indiepop that pushes all my buttons – girl/boy vocals, simple drums, frayed guitars – you get the picture.
The Captured Tracks website states the band feature members of Crystal Stilts and German Measles. So there. An indiepop supergroup. I think I’d prefer it, if they really were from 1987, to be honest. But whoever the band are, this single is still a cracking slice of lo-fi pop music. It comes in a fab old school poster sleeve, too.
Horowitz are a band from Stoke-on-Trent in England. Horowitz make fizzy fuzzy pop that begs for the volume to be nudged towards max. Horowitz are everything I love about this thing called indiepop.
This 7″ has been on my hit list for ages. Although it took a while to see the light of day. But it is out now on Cloudberry Records. And as with anything that Cloudberry release – it’s a well turned out whipper snapper with a fab illustration by Andy Hart for the sleeve. As always, looks are never as important as the impressions made in the grooves and the two songs on this fiery 7″ are both wonderful. They hammer home the bands gift for marrying kick arse melodies to some of the best fuzzy guitars you are likely to hear.
I think Horowitz are a much underrated band and this 7″ is another reason to wonder why they’re not gaining more fans/exposure. I, for one, can not wait to see Ian and Pete take to the stage at the London Popfest in a few weeks and showers us with as much noise as they can get away with. If you play this 7″ loud I don’t know how it can fail to raise a smile.