You could hunt around looking for fat to trim off but you’d be hard pushed to find much to cut. Personality Cult’s new debut LP is a lean hard wired helping of short, sharp, sweet tracks packed with thin wry-lipped smiles and breezy snot nosed punk.
Enter a drone on delay, drag out the scratches and build, call in a smooth set of chiming guitars and slam with a drum weighted howl. Hollow Thieves opens Bad Llama’s new EP with a clean polished anger and grandeur.
Polka dot dresses swirl through the mind in tail finned gas swilling automobiles. Iced beers drip in sunshine, drive in movie screens show black and white flicks over slicked back black hair and blonde lipstick curls. This is cherry coke sweet. Polished like high chrome in saccharine shades.
A full blood moon’s hanging thick over Rockies. Earlier on I saw dinosaur steps and bones, pressed into layers of once-flat beach sand that turned into mud that turned into rock that turned to upended slabs that jut out of the sides of sharp mountains. What was flat nearly upright. What was beach now a cliff. And everything round me got here out of chaos.
Now I’m sat between ridges and ranges and chaos is here in the house… It’s been in my ears and it’s been in car stereos and it’s given long journeys brief fever. Slumb Party’s ‘Happy Now’ is breakneck in pace and in place of a thrill is a pupil dilation from trying to make sense of each track; these things pass quicker than oncoming cars at a speed that I don’t want to print.
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.