This is the long-awaited first album from London quartet Dream Nails, a glorious amalgam of rage, fun, protest and emotion; reminding you just how good their live shows are.
Interspersing the tracks with short spoken ‘skits’ to introduce songs and keep the momentum going it is a concise 24 minutes, full of insight and energy.
From the start, you are pulled into their world as the celebratory holiday sound of ‘Jillian’ flows into the bitter twists of the workplace in ‘Corporate Realness’. Whatever the messages, the bass sound and drum dynamics are off the scale. The lyrical ideas keep coming, but it is also their music that pushes forward; when I have seen them live the meticulous attention to their set up and sound pays dividends and this production has captured that as-live atmosphere.
The razor-sharp bass and surf-rock guitar splendour of ‘Swimming Pool’ is frenetically followed by ‘This Is the Summer’ which manages to celebrate the season as well as weave a strong environmental theme through the perfect structure of a powerpop single. Watch the video too to see the band performing in a scrapyard, wrestling with a giant frog and footage of climate demonstrations.
‘Payback’ has caustic riffs, a soaring echoing guitar and an excellent wide-ranging vocal performance in thoughtful quieter sections and then unleashed full-on.
‘In Other News’ introduces one of the most disturbing news items from last year, when homophobic taunting on a London bus led to assault. The band’s explosive response pulls no punches; ‘Kiss My Fist’ is musically and lyrically a very powerful track.
Catch them live when you can, in the meantime enjoy this scorching debut LP!
Following some single releases over the last few months the debut album from London quartet Bugeye arrives…
Opener ‘On And On’ is a disco stomper, spiked with punky edges and although filled with synth swathes it still sounds organic and played live by the band. ‘Breakdown’ has the desperate vocal and staccato rhythms of an early 80s misfit chart song. ‘Shake and Bake’ is enhanced by a sliding keyboard figure, a shouting title line chorus and a psychedelic ‘theremin’ sound somewhere in the mix.
The concise ‘Blue Fire’ has stealthy superdeep bass and sinister overtones and lodges firmly in the brain. Some albums may be running out of steam by this point but ‘When The Lights Go Out’ keeps the energy level up with a banging chorus and rock and roll piano to push the rhythm along then the track evolves into an instrumental electronic spectacular near the end.
I am usually drawn to calendar list songs (…Friday I’m In Love…Manic Monday….) so ‘Sunday Monday’ is immediately interesting with its work-life balance over some great drumming, duelling guitar and a constantly varying backing.
And still four more tracks, including ‘Electric’ a previously released perfectly constructed pop single and a great vocal powerhouse performance on ‘Nightlife’ and ‘Don’t Stop’
Definitely a band to catch live when the time comes – the ten tracks on this LP would form a rich and juicy setlist….
Derby based four-piece Pet Crow release a follow up to their 2017 debut long-player ‘A Simple Guide to Small and Medium Pond Life’ and the punching intro to opener ‘Limbo’ is a clear statement of intent. As on all of their tracks the band seem to extract depth and endless variety from the conventional bass/guitar/drums line-up as Danielle’s vocals soar and echo above.
Favourite track of mine and forthcoming single, the lively ‘Insomnia’ is B-52’s in full garage mode, with some of the busiest drumming on the album. ‘NOCD’ is a relentless groove with atmospheric guitar adornments and bass way up in the mix. ‘What We Doin’?’ maintains the power output level with an insistent chorus and unpredictable changes of pace.
‘One Whole Summer’ is a celebratory and creative three minutes with the drum kit flayed until it sounds like it is being thrown down the stairs and features the haunting refrain ‘….we can stay up all night…and the next day is a mess…’. ‘Controlling’ has some sparser passages and strange effects with a playful vocal driving the song. Title cut ‘Take The Edge Off’ is a sub two minute punk burst mainly built around the title phrase and still there are three more tracks to discover (including a surprise appearance of a frantic saxophone on ‘Scars’).
The album features excellent production, successfully capturing a ‘live’ sound – I was lucky enough to see them performing last year when they played a memorable standout set at the Leicester Indiepop half-dayer.
London quartet Wolf Girl release their debut album ‘We Tried’, following on from their 2015 EP ‘Mama’s Boy’.
From the opening riff of ‘Don’t Ask Me Questions (I Can’t Even Answer The Phone), this is an addictive slice of garage punk with a great title and some neat lyrical imagery of the difficulty of meeting and sustaining communications (…notes go rotten in your pocket forgotten…) , but it is that fuzzy guitar that steals the show.
‘Middlesexy’ continues this groove then ‘Are You Reading A Dirty Book?’ is a tale of a coldly disintegrating relationship over jangly guitar and 1950s backing harmonies. ‘Sourpuss’ is a smartly constructed pop song, and so the album sustains its momentum; the next track clocking in at 1 min 17, always a treat to find. A change of vocalist for the list of persecutions in ‘Rotten’ (..Rotten tomatoes slide down our windows and somebody lobbed a pineapple into our lounge…everybody hates us in this town…) .
The surreal flourish of ‘The Maybe’ leaves a lasting impression as the lyrics float over a persistent bass line.
I’m sure this album would sound great live, as their banner said at the launch gig (featuring the brilliant Chorusgirl too!)… ‘Congratz! It’s a Wolf Girl’..