Brighton three-piece power-pop punk project Lazybones have put together a hugely enjoyable four-track romp of an EP that will have your head nodding. There’s not much in the way of depth and complexity in Bang! Bang! but with a bass this dirty and songs so catchy, who really cares.
Fashion Victim kicks us off, making full use of vocalist Candi Underwood’s lung capacity as she belts out a tirade against conformity and clothing choices. As I mentioned, we’re not going too deep here, but it does contain the line ‘You wear your Metallica T, but where’s you Kill ‘Em All‘ CD?’, so all is forgiven.
Next up is Heart Beats Like a Drum, which sees dirty, heavy bass employed to create a feeling akin to early hypnotic Queens Of The Stone Age tracks. My favourite track on the EP
We then enter strange territory with what appears to be an ode to jeans with Denim. Odd, but otherwise this is a bouncy number that keeps the record ticking along nicely and sees some of the organ work enter the spotlight.
Closer All My Friends Are Dead sounds like it might be a pretty serious number, but no such worries as we move between some staccato riffs, 60s influenced organ and a full on rock-out chorus.
Hopefully Bang! Bang! is a sign of things to come and Lazybones will managed to pull together a full album of fun garage pop rock anthems like these.
This is the first full EP from LA post-punk (very much on the punk side) three-piece Flat Worms since their fantastic eponymous debut album in 2017, and it was worth the wait.
Into The Iris is a six-track, 16-minute adrenaline rush, that barely takes its foot off the pedal. opener Surreal New Year starts at breakneck speed – all fuzzy guitar riffs, impatient drums and a distinct Dead Kennedys vibe.
This continues with title track Into The Iris, which draws on more hypnotic elements and brings vocalist Will Ivy’s lazy, drawling lyrics (you can hardly call it singing) to the fore.
Things barely drop off through Plastic at Home, with it’s nice wobbly bass line and Shouting at the Wall, which has a strong retro feel to it – no bad thing in this case.
Only as we hit the final third of the EP do things start to slow down a little with laid back instrumental Scattered Palms and melancholy closer At the Citadel, a more pedestrian number which unfortunately shows that Ivy’s vocal style isn’t as well suited to the slower pace.
Overall a great EP that whet’s the appetite for another full-length album. Hurry up fellas!
Stuffed & Ready is the third album from LA’s post-punk trio Cherry Glazerr and a follow-up to 2017’s rather enjoyable Apocalypstick. This is a much more mature effort though. It has elements of Riot Grrl punk interspersed through it, but most songs take a much softer tone that highlights Clementine Creevy’s angelic voice.
The are touches of 60s-influenced Franco pop on Self Explained and indie-pop on Distressor, though heavy guitars are never too far away.
We have some slow swing on Isolation, before crunching guitars sweep in for the chorus. Some changes of direction on Daddi, along with a smattering of drum machine, make it stand out as more interesting than your standard alt-rock numbers.
There are a lot of competent rock numbers which, when matched with Creey’s softer vocal style, make for an enjoyable listen. This perhaps isn’t going to set the world on fire, but this release will certainly find the band some new friends.
The Twilight Sad have been knocking around for a few years now but, much to my shame, this is my first encounter with the Scottish post-punk five piece. But I’ll certainly be exploring their back catalogue after this.
It Won/t Be Like This All The Time is and emotionally-wrought journey through a combination of indie-rock, post-punk and shoegaze, all heavily dipped in 80s-style synths that are reminiscent of Editors at their best.
Opener [10 Good Reasons for Modern Drugs] sets the tone as a building track that layers sound on top of sound to devastating effect. It’s a style that’s re-employed across several tracks on the album, and is responsible for most of the album’s strongest moments such as Auge/Maschine and I/m Not Here [Missing Face].
Elsewhere on the album, there are a few tracks such as The Arbor and Keep It All To Myself that adopt a lower-key swing beat that will have your head swaying unconsciously, rather than the vigorous head nodding that will accompany most of the rest.
Vocalist James Graham’s heavily-accented folky voice is one of the things that makes The Twilight Sad stand out from their indie rivals but may not be to everyone’s taste. I’ll admit it took a bit of getting used to and initially I found myself enjoying the album in spite of it. However with further listens I’ve grown to appreciate the delicacy encapsulated within it, that adds to the beautiful bleakness this album oozes out of every pore.
It might be a little too early to be talking about album’s of the year – there’s a long way to go yet – but this album certainly has the potential to be in the mix and will be sitting on my playlist for some time to come.
While this album was initially released last year, it gets a vinyl launch next month and is well worth checking out if you are looking to add to you collection.
This North Carolina group’s influences aren’t hard to spot on Skeleton House if you like The Cure or The Smiths, but it’s still a solid work in it’s own right, drawing on low-key sombre guitars, with a dreamy yet lamenting quality.
Singer Ray Clark evokes memories of Alison Moyet at times, and even a less bombastic version Muse’s Matt Bellamy during more energetic times. Clever use of guitars show a broad range of styles, from stacatto plucking in Body In Stars, some excellent loud-soft arrangements on Only Nightmares, and languid dreaminess on Black Cat and Skeleton House.
Yet it is on the slow build tracks such as Catch Fire and Roadkill where the band really comes alive with driving rhythms building to impressive crescendo.