Perspex Flesh LP

May 27, 2014

PFLP

I guess I arrived pretty late to the party on these guys. I first heard the name Perspex Flesh after missing them play in Newcastle earlier this year, soon to discover the joys of past releases and also news of an imminent debut album. Alas, the album was long delayed. Plenty of people were questioning if and when it was going to be released. Delays and speculation aside, it finally came out and I pre ordered my copy for it to soon be handed to me by a man in a red jacket. Straight out of the box, straight on the record player and instantly it’s heavy beauty washed over me. Hailed as being pretty much the best thing going in the current UK hardcore punk ‘scene’ it’s easy to understand why. The whole record is a huge, juicy punch in the face. The kind that you really crave. Something refreshing, a sort of anger ridden cathartic experience. Super muscular riffs are hidden among a dirty, gritty sheen where snarled vocals shine through. There’s an energy and passion that seems can seem lost or subdued in some people, but it’s prominent here. It’s a quick journey (only 26 minutes) but who wants a 2 hour long hardcore record. Quick and sufficient, it’s done at a perfect blink and you’ll miss it pace.  That being said, you’ll be playing it on repeat anyway.

The album is out now via Static Shock Records. You can download it for free (although a suggested donation of £4.00 is encouraged) but I urge you to get the LP before it sells out and you’re left disappointed. Act with haste.

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The Audacious Art experiment are releasing some absolutely essential music as of late. Every release they bring to the table seems to be exactly to my taste. This one is an upcoming split cassette release between Amorous Dialogues and Pjaro.

Amorous Dialogues fly through eight highly energetic, make you want to be there slices of hardcore gold. As you’d expect, it’s fast and shouty. At times there’s a slower, more sedate opening to a song which just feels like a chance for the band to grab a breath before they throw themselves back into the speed dirge which they’re known for. Eight songs in just as many minutes. Blink and you might miss it. Seriously can’t get enough of this band. I loved their previous split with Etai Keshiki and this just adds to that visceral, hardcore punk vibe that feels so fresh and intense.

On the other side we have a different story. Pjaro offer us two slightly less intense yet still as inviting tracks. A perfect example of alternative/math rock done right. It’s not overly complicated and it’s not pretentious but it sounds fantastic. Guitars aren’t overcooked so still have that slight bite and vocals have that ‘i don’t care, but secretly I do’ atmosphere to them. Not a step wrong. Apparently the last two songs recorded as a two piece as now they’re three. I’m treating this release as a sort of sweetener before their new album that they’re currently recording. Yep, my mouth is watering, now I just want you to stuff it with more beautifully crunchy guitar and raspy vocals.

The split cassette is due out on 1st May via The Audacious Art Experiment. I know i’ll be getting myself a copy. For now though, you can listen to both sides through the wonders of the world wide web.

www.theaudaciousartexperiment.com

Leave Me Here presents…Goat

September 3, 2012

What do we have here? yep, it’s yet another great gig brought to us by the lovely folk that are Leave Me Here. It seems they really have a talent for picking out the strange and obscure music that only just seems to peering onto our radars. A cut above the rest.

For our pleasure, they’re brining the Swedish psych band Goat to Newcastle.

I’ve had numerous encounters with the band. Not on a personal level, but via the wonders of the world wide web. I’ve read reviews of their records, watched their videos and listened to their music and I’m still not able to get my head around it. I must say, on my first encounter I wasn’t sure if it was really my sort of thing. So I left it. But, as time passed, I decided to go back for another go and it all started to make sense, I think.

It’s definitely a weird one. They play sort of hazed out, full on psych jams that just seem to bleed culture out of every note. Lazily, I’d probably class it as ‘world’ music, whatever that means. Bringing together a wealth of different influences from afro beat to psych, the Swedish 7 piece piece together with such force and style that’s it’s hard not to be enthralled. I’m excited to hear their strange sounds take over the Star and Shadow. Seriously catch them if you can, this is one of only 3 UK dates!

 

 

Two great supports feature on the bill. First comes in the form of Beauty Pageant, who I’ve mentioned on here before. I haven’t seen them live in almost a year so I’d imagine they’ve become the best live band in Newcastle. I might be wrong, but every time i listen to their EP, I fall in love all over again. Seriously, check them out live and, until then, have another listen to that EP.

 

Last but not least is PIGSPIGSPIGSPIGSPIGSPIGSPIGS (I think that’s the right amount of PIGS). Now, I’ve heard a little about these and managed to make a picture of them in my head, but other than that I’m oblivious as to what to expect. I think it’s best left as a mystery though. Let’s see what happens on the night.

 

Hopefully that’s all the convincing you need. Just get yourself along, it won’t disappoint. Here’s the details:

Star and Shadow Cinema
20.10.2012
8.00pm
£5

Get your tickets here.

Leave Me Here.

 

Silver Fox are an all girl post punk band hailing from the lovely Northern city of Newcastle and they have a new 7″ on it’s way.

Their first piece of wax, ‘Waves On In’ was a slow, sort of dream like journey. It basically sounded like they were trying to write music for Twin Peaks without making it sound like a cliche. Does that make sense? It’s what I thought of anyway. It wasn’t polished though, it felt really raw and real, just the way I like my music.

Their new 7″ ‘CAPITAL KISS/AROSA’ takes that sound and tears it apart. Beginning with a barrage of noise, it calms down and transforms into a lovely, noisy pop song. Reminiscent of early Raincoats material, it’s a 3 and a half minute slice of pop, stripped down to the bare bones and pumped full of passion. It’s got a really catchy melody that I’ve had stuck in my head since I first heard it. I just want to join in, shouting ‘Capital Kiss’ although I think I’ve probably got too deep a voice to pull it off with any conviction.

It’s due out ‘soon’ on MÏLK records, but for now just have a listen to it, over and over again.

Also, check out their first 7″ on M’Lady records.

wearesilverfox.blogspot.co.uk

That’s right, Sunderland premier music festival Slit Festival has just announced its first batch of bands. A lot of the names are probably very familiar. They’ve got a wealth of local talent including the likes of Young Liar, Warm Digits, Let’s Buy Happiness and The Lake Poets. Nothing too ‘shocking’ to be honest, but that’s not a bad thing at all. They seem to have picked some of the best bands from the North East and brought them together for one weekend of music.

There are a couple of nice surprises on the line up though which come in the form of past local heroes The Unit Ama and This Ain’t Vegas. Now these are two great bands who have been await from things for a good few years. Luckily though, they are returning to play Split Festival this year and I, for one, am genuinely ecstatic. I’ve loved This Aint Vegas for a long time and have always hoped for a return and finally, it’s here. I’m hoping they live up to my expectations. I remember being about 15 or 16 sneaking into the Cumberland Arms to watch them play and loved every minute of it.

Tickets are on sale now, I suggest snapping one up before they’re gone!

Split Festival

A new release from Newcastle based psychedelic outfit Haikai No Ku has caught my attention recently. Yet another outing from the busiest man in Newcastle; Mike Vest, this time with the help of Jerome Smith and Sam Booth.

It’s typically experimental and has that standard ‘underground’ feel, whatever that means. Extremely lo fi recording techniques are present throughout, as you would expect, but that’s probably why I like it so much. I always try to get myself involved with what’s going on in the world of DIY music, especially in Newcastle, but there is just so much I find it difficult to keep on top of it all. This is a gem though. The release is made up of three tracks, all with a very psychedelic outlook and a very spatial feel. The overloaded, feedback laden guitar guides us along a lengthy but ultimately enjoyable journey through sound. I could sit and listen to it for hours on end trying to pick apart every little noise or every single guitar part but instead I think you should judge it for yourself.

It’s been released as a CDr on Fuckin’ Amateurs who, in the past, have put out stuff by Bong & Jazzfinger.

More details here.

Remember that Slowcoaches tape that made its way onto the internet not so long ago. Well, it was great. I still have it playing on repeat. It’s deliciously fuzzy pop punk of the highest merit. that’s why I love it so much. It’s no nonsense, unadulterated fun.

The first run of 100 tapes sold out almost instantly. Luckily though, tape label Tye Die Tapes has done a second run of just 50. So, if you know what’s good for you I suggest snapping one up quickly before they’re gone forever. Order it over at their Bandcamp page.

Just buy it, stick it in your dusty old walkman and have fun.

 

Tye Die Tapes

Nope – Revision

April 29, 2012

The band Nope first came to my attention through their association with instrumental rock legends That Fucking Tank. That being because Andy Abbot is the guitarist in both bands. Therefore, my opinions of Nope cant help but be influenced by and compared to my opinions and experience of That Fucking Tank. Each have their similarities, but each also have their blindingly obvious differences. In basic terms, they’re both largely instrumental and feature great, complex guitar work. Other than that, they’re an entirely different beast.

I was recently introduced to the debut album, Revision, by Leeds/Bradford based band Nope and decided to share some thoughts on it. From the outlook, it has a fairly obvious but unique tone to it. It could lazily, and wrongly, be labelled as Krautrock but that’s sort of understandable. It has similarities and contains some of the Krautrock staples, but I think it’s better to say that it’s INFLUENCED by Krautrock. Fairly long winded yet always fresh. The lengthy guitar riffs never seem to let up, even in songs stretching past the 7 minute mark. While they are based upon repetitive structures, it’s the small details that really give it depth. It definitely has that improvised feel to it. It’s done so well though that it always feels coherent.

The long, driving guitar lines are that of dreams. When you listen you just want to sit back and air guitar to it. Or at least that’s how it made me feel the first time I heard it. Add to that the never ending beat of drums and frequent outbursts of effect laden, half spoken verses it really makes for a great album. I particularly like opening track ‘Black Mask’ which I feel could be an ‘alt disco’ anthem. I think the true masterpiece here is album closer ‘Crooked Staff’. Sitting at just over 18 minutes, this mammoth of a track is brilliant. Starting with the unmistakeable drone of guitar feedback, plenty of cymbals and a few drums, it soon meanders into a wonderfully creative psych rock jam. It seems as if though all of the different ideas the band have shine through on this track. It explores every different angle of the music and really is a pleasure to listen to. In fact, the whole album is. But you can judge that for yourself.

The album is due out on June 1st 2012, released through Obscene Baby Auction & The Audacious Art Experiment. It’s definitely a date to pencil in your diary. Get some industrial, krautrock influenced, psychedelic rock into your life now.

www.obscenebabyauction.co.uk
www.theaudaciousartexperiment.com

ZNS Tapes

April 20, 2012

ZNS tapes was a German born cassette label running from 1987-1993. It released a very limited run of cassettes from numerous different artists. There was a range of different styles and sounds on here from soft, gentle ambient music to the more rough and coarse electronic sounds. There’s a wealth of music on here. We have full tapes from individual artists such as Suicide Commando, Maeror Tri and MØHR as well as split tapes and compilation tapes. While the range of styles in the music is vast, there is still a definite ‘feel’ to the whole label and that itself is something to get excited about.

Always being released on a limited run, these tapes are very rare and difficult to get hold of. Luckily though, they’re all online for free. I only just discovered this today after searching for some earlier Maeror Tri releases (of which one was on this label). It’s full of obscure gems and has been a really great discovery. It’s something I think I’ll get engrossed in.

Check it out and enjoy the world of underground cassettes

http://zns.gewalt-am-objekt.org/

This Aint Vegas

April 13, 2012

Over the years, the North East music scene has produced a wealth of talent. On one hand, you have the alternative ‘indie rock’ bands Maxïmo Park and The Futureheads, on the other you have Sting.What I’m trying to say is that there has been a plethora of musicians, spanning the whole sound spectrum, some of which have gained critical success, some of who haven’t and some who weren’t even looking for it. Hidden in between this mass of names and genres is a band called This Aint Vegas. I have to say, without a doubt, that they are one of the best bands to ever come out of the North East.

Now this is a band who stayed clear of the ‘mainstream’ but still managed to have a fairly sizable, underground following. I myself was one of those people. Soon developing an obsession with the band I tried to make it to as many shows as possible. Even though I was only 16 at the time I managed to sneak my way into various over 18s venues to see the band play (and drink a few beers while I was at it). I think it was the first ‘local’ band that I ever really had much respect for. They really did open my eyes to the world of ‘alternative’ music.

Their sound was raw yet distinctive. While they took a lot of inspiration from early post hardcore forefathers Fugazi, they managed to make music that didn’t seem like a direct copy but rather a fresh reinterpretation of the music we’d heard before. The sharp, angular guitar work mixed in seamlessly with the Northern accent heavy vocals to give a truly distinctive sound. They were an inspirational band, not only to me but to most people still playing music in the North East today.

Sadly though, like all good things, it had to come to an end. Through their time as a band they released two albums, three singles and a split single featuring a Devo cover. While the albums and final single are still readily available over the internet, their early, very limited, vinyl only releases were more of a task to track down. Now though, they have kindly put their whole discography up and Bandcamp for our perusal. These are songs I’ve been spending years searching for with no luck. Songs that I’d only ever heard live. It’s so refreshing and inspiring to be hearing these tracks again. It’s revived my love for the band. I’m hoping that it might also get some more people listening to them. So for this reason, I had to share it.

 

Seriously, listen to it all. Absorb it. Love it.

 

A selection of This Aint Vegas now play in the ornithological rock band B>E>A>K who are also pretty ace.

Check them out on Bandcamp