Facebook Slider

The Dirty Contacts - The World's End

Hastings five-piece The Dirty Contacts (a dirty contact being an electrical term I am told) roll out their debut single on thee prestigious State Records label, recorded and produced by maestro Mole, and mixed by Jim Riley at Ranscombe Studios no less.

You may recognise drummer Mr. Greensmith from his most excellent recent appearance with The Nuevo Ramon Five (for those of you lucky enough to catch them at Beatwave this summer). There's also an ex-Cannibal in the mix - bassist Mr. Forrester and Sinelabs/Fratcave/Beatwave and self confessed Robo-man, Mr. Ellis on keys. Will all this name dropping ever end I hear you say? And do these tracks live up to such exalted credentials? In a word, yes!

Title track ‘World's End’, for those of a churlish disposition, could be assumed to refer to living in Hastings, and indeed the cover art depicts a scene of the pier on fire. Frosty The Fuzzman does not restrain himself in unleashing the fuzz; cutting like a buzzsaw, it’s heavy, scuzzy, almost grungy, and it screams, crackles and pops like a bowl of apocalyptic Rice Krispies* whilst Mr. Rees has his wailing down pat to compliment this. I admire (very much) a band who are not afraid to go into the red.

It’s worth a mention that these tracks were both recorded live to 8 track - and it shows - the sound production is second to none. The whole composition feels like it's being pushed to it's very limits. In short, it's ordered chaos, contained madness and it’s also quite different from what I expected. This isn't your standard garage-by-numbers offering (and for that reason it's a little lost on me), which doesn't mean to say that it's not an outstanding track for all of the above reasons and in and of itself.

On the B side you'll find a cover of the Billy Childish penned ‘When You Stop Loving Me’ (oh, that riff). But why a cover? TDC are clearly more than capable of writing their own stuff. It's brave to take on Childish - the Medway god of garage punk himself. However, they nail it good and proper (I almost want to say exceed the original, but can’t bring myself to do it!). The organ adds another dimension to the overall sound, which the original lacks, and brings us back into more familiar territory (and 3,2,1 I'm back in my wee garage comfort zone). So if the title track is a little too off piste for your tastes, the flip side is definitely worth the purchase alone.

 

*did I really say that?

Read more...

The Winachi Tribe - Transition

 

I’m heading off to Derbyshire this weekend for Bearded Theory and one of the things I am most looking forward to is seeing Winachi Tribe live for the first time. Having followed the band for a few years now, this new single is a great appetiser for the full show. It’s impossible to talk about the Winachis without mentioning Sly Stone, Black Grape and Grandmaster Flash. Similarly, it’s hard to hear the band without being reminded of the aforementioned bands.

The Manchester dance vibe is strong with them. Ian Brown prompted them to choose the name of the group and Brown’s percussionist Inder Goldfinger is a central member of the Tribe. Like Brown’s solo work, The Winachi Tribe mix funk guitars and ‘90s synths with irresistible grooves. ‘Transition’ is exactly what you would expect from the band based on their track record. They haven’t let their time in Hollywood effect the music either. The production on ‘Transition’ sounds like a step up from previous recordings but they recorded it themselves.

Winachi Tribe sound like a sister group to our Blogtober headliners, Makings. The combination of intelligent lyrics and infectious beats make for a heady buzz. Liam Croker’s lyrics are singable but original; at least in their subject matter. Speaking to him recently, he pointed out the influence of Match Of The Day host Gary Lineker in the chorus, and also credits his Mum with some inspiration. The bridge of “Don’t let the grass grow beneath your feet” is Croker paraphrasing one of his mother’s favourite idioms.

‘Transition’ is a booty shaker with a positive message. It’s exactly what we need in these trying times. If you’re at the showcase stage on Saturday, and see a sunburned Irish guy, dancing like an eejit, come and say hi!

Transition can be purchased from beatport.

 

Read more...

Peggy Gou - Once EP

Peggy Gou left Korea for the hip capital of Europe, Berlin, and looks like she's conquering the dance world. She’s set for Coachella next month, on top of her continuing tour of clubs all over the world. Once is her fifth studio outing. After releasing four 12”s in 2016, she set about making her name DJing before returning with this three track EP.

It’s also her first time singing on a record; “I’ve recorded my voice before but this time I tried to sing… I'm not a pro singer but I did my best,” she says.  ‘It Makes You Forget (Itgehane)’ is a fine debut for her voice. The Korean vocals work very well with the backing track as Massive Attack percussion mixes with Chicago house synths for a danceable but chilled tune.

All three songs come in over six minutes long but ‘Itgehane’ and ‘Hundres Times’ are both worthy of the time spent. While the former is a floor filler, the latter is a more contemplative number, mixing early Nightmares On Wax with The Orb. ‘Han Jan’ adds little in terms of quality. It’s a generic throwaway tune and sounds overly familiar, even on the first listen.

Once is worth a listen, particularly for the groovy ‘It Makes You Forget (Itgehane)’. While I can’t claim any special expertise in dance music, I’ve heard enough of it that a new record has to do something individual and/or original to stand out. Once doesn’t offer that. This is one for aficionados only. 

Listen to more from Peggy Gou here

Read more...

The Future West - Radio Town EP

 

The Future West are a fixture on the thriving Dundalk independent scene. Centred around The Spirit Store venue, the border area is churning out quality acts like Seattle in the ‘90s. Following the likes of Accidents In The Workplace, Ae Mak and Richard Richard, Francis Watters and his troupe released their debut album, the fantastically titled, Holy Shit… Here Come The Future West, last year and Radio Town is the three track follow up.

It was recorded in the isolated surroundings of Black Mountain Studios; a place that is becoming as central to the local scene as The Spirit Store itself. Word of mouth is spreading about the studio with Nix Moon, Sonnets And Sisters and Elephant all cutting records there in recent times.

Working at Black Mountain with producer Joseph Edwards has paid off for Watters et al. While last year’s album had a disjointed feel, Radio Town takes the disparate influences that The Future West are trying to capture and focuses them. It gives the EP an overall feel of unpredictability and spontaneity that you would expect from The Flaming Lips or The Butthole Surfers but with a unified sound.

‘Dream Catcher, Mind Snatcher’ sums up the bands “retro psych wave” vision with its Beta Band verses, and a chorus that marries Stoat to The Small Faces and The Jam. The title track serves up some Jefferson Airplane mixed with modern stoner rock (if that’s not a tautology) while ‘Dark Day Dawn’ channels ‘90s Britpop through the dual prism of The Killers and Whipping Boy.

Radio Town is a great leap forward for The Future West. It’s mellow and chilled even as it continually reinvents itself. This is a creative and ambitious record that hopefully translates into an equally powerful live set on this summer’s festival circuit. We’ll be looking out for them.

Radio Town EP is available from bandcamp.

Read more...

Baby James - Find The Time EP

 

The second EP from Stockholm’s rhythm rock revivalists comes within 12 months of their debut, No Brainer. While that record felt rushed and incomplete, Find The Time sounds, quite appropriately, like they’ve been able to put more hours into it. The Lou Reed/Mick Jagger vocals tread familiar ground. The traditional rock setup of twin guitars, bass, and drums is informed primarily by The Rolling Stones and their contemporaries.

The spare, blues-rock riffs and smooth grooves make the music immediately accessible. The down and dirty ‘Lose Your Mind’ shakes things up with a sleazy, funky tone, and catchy gang vocals. ‘Heal Me’ sounds like an Exile On Main Street offcut, while ‘Burning Desire’ owes much to AC/DC’s ‘Rock And Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution’. The title track opens with a riff that, presumably accidentally, sounds like Fugazi before finding more comfortable, Creedence Clearwater Revival ground.

That over-familiarity of the music is the downfall of Find The Time. The tunes are good and the band play rock ‘n’ roll well, but then so do a myriad of other bands. There’s nothing unique here to keep the listener coming back for more; nothing beneath the surface to dig into. Baby James sound like a fun band to bring your mates along to see but, on record, this has been done before, and done definitively. They’ve made massive progress since No Brainer, but Find The Time isn’t a defining leap forward. Hopefully they will continue to evolve with their next release.

 

Read more...

Bullet Girl - Post-Atomic Youth

 

This debut single from Dublin’s Bullet Girl is a noisy, three minute, pop punk romp. It’s the type of song that sounds superficially easy, but the dearth of quality tunes like this one in our inbox suggests that it is more difficult than it may appear.

The lyrics are generic, rebellious teen doggerel but Aaron Doyle delivers them with a raw conviction. The quality of the music and the viciously honed assault of the production overcome Bullet Girl’s lyrical shortcomings. The satisfyingly overdriven riffs hurtle along at high speed, while Dylan Keenan’s lead guitar screeches a dissonant countermelody during the verses. The syncopated harmonics sound like Steve Albini’s guitar committing self-harm with Tom Morello’s pedalboard.

The video ticks all the aggropunk boxes, with the band performing in an urban wasteland setting, graffiti art, and a gang of masked youths marching with fists raised. The song doesn’t end as much as it explodes in a riotous cacophony of atomisation, like Slayer raining blood in their thrash heyday.

Bullet Girl sound like cousins of Southend’s Asylums. It’s the creativity of the instrumentation, and the shrill, hyper-real tone of the recording that make ‘Post Atomic Youth’ stand out. The band have successfully captured their ferocious live sound on a record; something few acts can boast. And for a debut single, that is an achievement in itself.

 

Read more...
Subscribe to this RSS feed