The Blanche Hudson Weekend are a band from Leeds. They’ve released records on their own Squirrel Records label and my own label Odd Box Records. I am delighted to be releasing their 3rd LP – ‘How Many Times Have You Let Me Die?’. It’s not out yet. But you can pick up the CD EP that preceeds it at the moment and preview three songs from the album on the Odd Box bandcamp. Talking of which, here is the not yet released song ‘Blood and Butter’.
The other half of The Manhattan Love Suicides – Adam and Rachel are now part of The Medusa Snare. The Medusa Snare started life as a bedroom side project, that Adam was doing in his spare time. Since the demise of The Manhattans, Adam has fleshed the band out to a five piece.
‘Cinderella’ is a ten song noise pop assault. A little of the pop immediacy that the Manhattan Love Suicides revelled in, is missing. The 60′s girl group punk is gone but the fuzz guitar and catchy tunes remain. A J Miller as Adam is now calling himself is now centre stage on guitar and vocals. He seems to have made the transition to front person easily – his one tone vocals are the perfect foil for the buzzing indie pop tunes that rattle along at ten to a dozen on this LP. Having seen the band at a recent Odd Box show – I can assure you that the band bring a full compliment of noise to their live show and be fair it’s prominent across the songs that make up ‘Cinderella’.
Oddly – having been born in the North of England ‘Cinderella’ feels like an American release – ‘NCY’ is shards of vicious guitar and ‘This Is Not A War’ is something of an anthem. Elsewhere you can hear the sonic footprint of My Bloody Valentine on songs like ‘Ixtab’ and ‘Belenkaya’. All in all this is easily one of the best LPs I have heard this year. Sometimes, when bands split up, you are left with two new projects that don’t meet the giddy heights of what came before. Luckily, since The Manhattan Love Suicides came to an end – we’ve been blessed with not one, but two new bands that are worth cherishing. Cinderella shall go to the ball and if there is any luck this buzztastic guitar noise will be blasting out in the ballroom.
The Manhattan Love Suicides blazed a trail for the past 3 years – taking no prisoners and kicking out consistently fuzzy rock’n'roll gems. Two key figures in the band were guitarist Darren and singer Caroline. After The Manhattans came to an end this summer – a new band was already being born and at it’s core were the duo. They’re helped out on this record by a revolving cast of ‘Weekenders’.
This 7″ single on the Squirrel Records is the first offering from The Blanche Hudson Weekend and those Manhattan Love Suicides fans desperate for to mainline a new fuzz pop hit won’t be disappointed. However the ‘A’ side ‘Crying Shame’ is where a shift in direction is signposted. There is precious little fuzz here – but the sound is still raw. Where the guitar used to buzz it now shimmers and this gives a whole new dimension to the songs that the duo have written. It’s not a huge departure – but it’s enough to tell you that The Blanche Hudson Weekend are something a little different. The fuzz pop freaks will also be happy with this 7″ as the ‘AA’ side delivers two choice cuts of more familiar fuzz pop – ‘The Last Ride’ is a cheery tale about someone being sent to the gallows and the feel of the song is like a more world weary take on adrenalin punk rushes that the Manhattan Love Suicides were so adept at delivering. If that song wasn’t enough to keep you happy, we are then treated to ‘Noise and Fury’, the song, and it delivers on both counts, with the needle pushing the red throughout. It’s rather wonderful, really. Three songs in to their life and the Blanche Hudson Weekend are living proof that you can’t keep a good dog down. This single kicks hard.
The 7″ is available to pre-order now from the Squirrel Records. It’s officially released on 23rd November.
“The Blanche Hudson Weekend is here, featuring Caroline and Darren (ex-Manhattan Love Suicides) along with a bunch of other Weekenders, and bringing to you all kinds of noise, fuzz, melody, dissonance, rawness, killer tunes and buzzsaw pop. Take a bit of 1960′s girl group sounds, mix with Girls in The Garage typr ramshackle production, add some gun slugging guitars and sugar sweet vocals with a keen ear for a great hook, then lock the doors, bolt the windows, switch off the phone, kill the lights, turn up the volume to ear splitting levels and enjoy The Blanche Hudson Weekend”
Debut single expected at the end of November. The My Space page is here.
After a strong performance at this years Indietracks – I thought I’d repost this review from the old blog of Downdime’s debut LP.
Downdime are another impressive band on the Squirrel Records roster. Their début LP has just been released and even features an original Manhattan Love Suicide Eddy Lines on skin pounding duties. Whereas the Manhattans take their perfect melodies and press it through a fuzz filter – Downdime are all about clearer lines and sharper sounds – although there is still an element of fuzz to their pop – the synth/keyboard sounds give the band an added depth.
After seeing the band live a few years ago – I am genuinely surprised by ‘Knowing Too Much’. It really is a pristine pop record – with an aching melancholy at its heart whereas the band were a much noisier proposition back then. Songs like ‘Any Good Reason’ and ‘Lessons’ are all about hooks and melody. Downdime have made a very good record, début or otherwise. Give them a listen, they’re worth a lot more than 30 minutes of your time.
The Manhattan Love Suicides have re-issued their debut LP. Available on CD in UK and Europe officially for the first time. But this no ordinary re-issue. This is Longer. This is Louder. The longer part collects up their singles that have been released since their 27 song single catch-all collection ‘Burnt Out Landscapes’ that came out last year. So you get some of their best ever recordings – Kessler Syndrome, Don’t Leave Me Dying, Veronica and 10th Victim along with a clutch of unreleased songs – the super scuzzy ‘Dirty Knives’ being an instant kick of adrenalin. As for Louder. You get their debut self titled LP. Remastered. The fuzz hums with a bigger kick. The bass pounds at the heart of the recordings. One of my favourite records just got better. Phew.
If that wasn’t enough – you get a bonus DVD collecting together 11 promo videos. Some of which have been specially made for this collection. Others are for singles like ‘Keep It Coming’ ‘Clusterfuck’ and ‘Heat and Panic’. All in all, having watched the videos back it’s a testament to the bands vision – that the visuals match the music perfectly. The band have a definite aesthetic that they are proud of. The videos slash and shock – much in the same way as the band does when they blast out their 6 song machine gun fire live sets.
Deluxe Edition – Longer and Loud is out now on Squirrel Records.