I have to admit I have really fallen behind recently, trying to make the most of the glorious sunshine we are currently experiencing has left little time to sit down and write. Which is BAD!! Mainly because there has been a sudden explosion in the amount of new records being released that deserve full attention. I have been like a kid in a sweet shop recently greedily trying to consume as much of the music as possible. Too much time listening and not enough time writing.
Time to rectify this.
To ge a little bit more up to date I thought I’d start by doing a roundup of some of the recent releases that have been taking up my time of late. This will then be followed by reviews of some very awesome full lengths by bands such as State Faults, Ape Up, Best Practices, Suis La Lune and many more…
Review #1 = Homelife – Translation
Translation is the first full length album from Homelife and it’s a really impressive debut. 10 songs of emotional Mid West punk rock joy, listening to this record is my first experience of the band and I knew inside the first 30 seconds of the opening track ‘Shapeless’ that I was going to be a fan. Bringing a sound similar in vein to that of Title Fight and Basement, it also brings to mind older Small Brown Bike and maybe a bit of Hot Water Music for good measure. Homelife is a band whose members have a background in hardcore which still comes through in their music, although now they have mixed emotion and sensitivity to the sound and the lyrics with great results. I like this album a lot, it’s one I’m sure to revisit time and again. Translation was co-released on vinyl by Black Numbers and Bermuda Mohawk on the 15th of May and can also be downloaded on a name your price basis HERE
Review #2 – The Cribs – In The Belly Of The Brazen Bull
My favourite UK indie band are back and it’s a blessed relief. The Cribs have returned with their 5th studio album ‘In the belly of the brazen bull’ and have dispensed with the dead wood that was Johnny Marr to make a record that marks a return to their best. Don’t get me wrong, I really like their last album ‘Ignore the ignorant’, how could you not with a song like ‘Cheat on me’ on there and I was only (kind of) joking about Johnny Marr, but it feels like the old Cribs is back. The fun, catchy, 3 piece Cribs who have come back to give UK indie bands a well deserved smack in the mouth. The sound is a lot dirtier on this record and really reminds me of ‘Pinkerton’ in several places, a lot of it was recorded with Steve Albini at his studio in Chicago and even though Steve Albini claims his input is minimal he always manages to record bands at their best and this record is no exception. The Cribs are the only band the NME should cover from here on, every other mainstream ‘indie’ band that magazine has tried to push on us are nothing but a footnote now. The record was recently released on Wichita Records and you can buy it from all good record shops if there are still any left.
Review #3 – LE Yikes SURF CLUB – LE Yikes SURF CLUB
Coming in June Grizzly Records will be releasing a limited edition cassette of the new LE Yikes SURF CLUB 5 track EP. I love that cassette’s are now making a comeback, it really reminds me of first getting in to music as a young teen although I no longer own a cassette player and will need to rectify this. Especially if there are gonna be awesome releases, like this one, that I’m not gonna wanna miss. LE Yikes SURF CLUB play fast and incredibly catchy surf punk in short one to two minute bursts. The retro surf sound is immediately appealing, along with the great cover artwork but LE Yikes also have the songs to back this up. Featuring members of punk band Dirty Tactics, each song is well crafted with a truck load of hooks and full of reasons to get you up and dancing. Trying hard to think of who you could compare them to, maybe Male Bonding with more of a punk edge. Maybe its best not to get bogged down by comparisons, if you like punk rock and 60’s surf guitar playing you will get a big kick out of this EP. Click HERE to go to their bandcamp page.
Review #4 – Dowsing/Parker Split 7″
New from Count Your Lucky Stars Records is this split 7″, 2 songs each from Dowsing and Parker. First up are Dowsing, with a full length record about to come out its good to be reminded of their enjoyable brand of good, honest, American indie rock. The first song on the record, ‘That Would Be A Lot Of Cool’, is a really great, heartfelt song that gets in your head. I like the simplicity of the sound, straightforward guitars, drums and bass which is then nicely complimented by the great overdriven sound on the guitar solo. The second song, ‘Somerset’, has a more gentle pace and is more of a grower but grow on you it does. Very much looking forward to the full length.
Parker are a band impossible to dislike, another addition to the many great bands spearheading an emo revival right now. Think early Get Up Kids/Promise Ring with a caP’n jazz feel to the vocals, with a description like that you know I’m a fan. Of the 2 Parker songs on display here the first one, ‘Make It Home Safely’, is the one that really stands out. The 2nd track, ‘Eleanor Roosevelt’, again is more slow paced but is really likeable, more arty than poppy emo, but the first one, to me, was an instant hit. I played on repeat John Peel style after my first listen and it just gets better. A full length from these guys is a very exciting prospect indeed.
Click HERE to go to the Count Your Lucky Stars bandcamp to stream/download
It’s not all been good music wise of late, I wrote a review of the very disappointing debut from Daytrader for bandbucket.com which you can read if you so wish by clicking HERE
Cheers for reading, more reviews to come in the next few days x