I was midway through a write up of their 2017 releases when a new track came landed and knocked them away. Last year saw Victories let ‘Wiccan’ and ‘Mandy Machine’ loose on raw ears, now it’s ‘Fork in the Road’s turn to tear up. The first two are singles I dug out of Spotify. The latter a live video so far streaming only. Their catalogue backs up to 2010.  

For a fact off the bat; Each release gets tighter, gets more taught and tougher. In scope and conviction, songcraft, execution. It’s a clear pitched trajectory and timeline and motion.

It’s bigger here, faster. SUV bumpers ride up to my hips, steaks come in slabs as bloated as fists and talk runs at rates that I can’t penetrate. Wide open spaces with every bit packed up and built on and everyone got to get first. Southern Rock dominates each bar I find, bloated like those steaks but with half less to chew on.

Exit to Mexico Beach. Highway 98 so long, straight and one-laned a road that it’s easy to drift down its high-pine lined stretch. Got told it’s a shifted down, stripped down beach front, without the rude lights and the half builts and built up. Air smelt a little cleaner there.

From white sand that drops steep into warm green sea water I caught earshot of whoops and applause. I dried off to move to the source.

Two legends post transformation.

Underworld have electrified, moved, soothed and tranced. Iggy has lived in and outlived his rivals plus his protegees and remains. Reincarnations, incantations, reflect… and what got grown here came out somewhere in next. Both acts can be tracked through their tectonic shifts and this single ripped right out from nowhere.

I didn’t know Brix and co. existed before an all day event at Rock City a year or two ago, I’ve been grabbing hold of news and new songs ever since. J&MC I got introduced to by way of a Psychocandy record being leant to me by a friend in a red Paddington Bear duffle coat in a south Wales college clique of uber-cool PVC musicfreaks. I caught the Mary Chain last at Latitude just gone where a broken effects pedal reduced their set to half hour. Needless to say I jumped at the chance to review these two bands.

I’d been consuming this desolate Dadaist ‘tronica since first offered the review. Blancmange’s newest album is a wide room to walk through, you can pick up and put down pieces of each song and move on to examine the next piece you fancy; A crystalline beat, hook or texture, a word. It’s flashy because it’s unflashy. It towers with no overcrowding. It’s open and wide and almost afraid of its own empty space.

It’s 2018 in the Rescue Rooms, Nottingham. It’s ’77/78 in CBGBs for an hour.

Im going to go ahead and namecheck from the off. Ramones, NY Dolls, Patti Smith, HeartBreakers, DMZ, Television… Reads like a grubbed up punk bible in a dirt-black hard-back CBGB sleeve. Snort off the face of it, tear out the pages and roll up a whatever, there’s enough blood and sweat in there to keep it all stuck.