Words by Karl Johnson
The pubs are open, live music will shortly follow. Spring has brought about a sense of general optimism, blessing the British Isles with a surprising heat and bursts of hail and snow. Some things don’t change, in today’s climate we must expect the unexpected. Let new music be your rock in stormy seas, and with that in mind, we’ve selected some new tracks to help settle your stomach this week. You can also find our new music playlist on Spotify here.
‘Boiler Suits & Combat Boots’
New London project The Umlauts embody groove and psychedelic sensibility on their hypnotic debut release Boiler Suits & Combat Boots. Mind-bending organ sounds, Kraftwerk-esque electronic textures, drum machines and a groove that melds dance music with post-punk, their 6min 26secs debut offering truly takes no prisoners. As the band put it, “Boiler Suits and Combat Boots is a humorous take on how artists fetishize Berlin as being the centre of the ‘cool’ art world and the dystopian uniformity that is contained within this.” Their debut EP Ü is expected in June. Find the band on Spotify here.
‘To Tear at the Sea’
Welcome to South Coast outfit Torrid Horror‘s new release To Tear At The Sea, it’s an organ-led cauldron of seasick post-punk which boils over into a groove-heavy brass section for a send off you just don’t expect – but thoroughly enjoy. The track comes in at 7min 5secs to allow some breathing room for such a departure in sound, but due to the stellar musicianship and unique vision the track breaks new ground as opposed to sounding disjointed. One for the live stage no doubt, hold your Strange House-era The Horrors references until you reach the grand finale and pass the spoken word junction, there’s more than meets the eye to love within. Find the band on Spotify here.
Only three releases in, South London’s Pushpin have developed a sound that encapsulates the spirited and vocally intricate nature of quality indie music. But they don’t leave it there, they must push further, and further they travel. With Apples, a heavier instrumental focus and tightknit drumming is swamped by pulsating electronics, bringing an underlying layer of grit and drive to the somewhat clean-cut set up. With hooks coming out of their ears, each release is slab of perfectly playful pop. Find the band on Spotify here.
Scowl are new signees to London label Blitzcat Records, their heavy but instrumentally-lean take on punk-tinged and psych-scorched rock makes new single Lord Porno a remarkable listen. Their debut single The Virgin marks itself with a slow-burning groove that throws up images of a sludgy Gang Of Four, new release Lord Porno is angsty and driven with flecks of psychedelia that stain the track’s rolling rhythms. Vocally it’s murderous and possessed balanced only by it’s otherworldly guitarplay. Find the band on Spotify here.
Taken from their self-titled album released in March of this year, Norwich outfit The Lowtones effortlessly drift through the subtle instrumental textures that made 70’s post-punk so magnetic. The song in question is called Glass World and acts as the closing track on the album, providing an emotionally drenched lyrical display and a guitar tone and driving bass growl that reflects the subtlety of self-reflection. With the vocals echoing the intimacy of The Chameleons and The Cure combined, The Lowtones provide a personal journey of tangible emotion. Find the band on Spotify here.
Art-punk trio Negative Nancies belong to the creatively-free scene of Dunedin in New Zealand. Recent release Monkey Chest is a riot, a cavernous and beat-driven practice of experimentalism. It’s vocally melodic and excels with straying guitar lines and a casio keyboard sound that cuts through the track and turns it on it’s head. The closest thing I can think of that it kind of reminds me of is the early output of The Kills, but even that is a stretch. Certainly unique in it’s beautifully chaotic structure, Monkey Chest is cut from the band’s album which is due this month. Find them on Bandcamp here.