The big problem with music is that there’s too damn much of it. I mean, I was just putting a playlist together, so I was going through the gargantuan collection on my phone and I was like: “oooo haven’t heard that for ages; I miss that album; shit, I used to love that” and so on…. Anyway, I was basically left marvelling at what a wonderful thing it is to be so damn spoilt for choice, and everyday there’s more and more of the stuff!
As such, my listening is more often than not dominated by things I’ve been reviewing or researching for whatever reason, and April had been a busy month! I’ve heard a lot of seriously excellent records – the new albums from singer songwriter Kevin Morby and Canadian rockers Greys being particularly outstanding, although it’s the sublime new album from Ben Watt that’s taken up most of my journey’s home. However, as coincidence would have it, over the last couple of weeks I’ve had three EPs, all alternative rock, all female fronted, but all distinctly different, vying for my undivided attention. Check them out…
Haybaby – Blood Harvest EP
This power trio from Brooklyn are an intriguing mix of indie, grunge and sludge punk (whatever that may be) and last year’s ‘Sleepy Kids’ was one of my favourite albums of 2015. So, I was understandably excited to discover they had new music hitting the racks, and after managing to get an advance copy, was not disappointed. In fact, Leslie Hong and company have built on their loose style and added a little more bite on five scathing tunes stacked with cool bass grooves, histrionic guitar lines and massive riffs; not to mention the excellent vocals. Check out the killer ‘Kramer/Dreams’:
False Advertising – Brainless EP
Like Haybaby, False Advertising also released an album towards the end of 2015 and have followed it up with an EP less than six months later. In the case of Jen, Chris and Josh, who describe themselves as “twisted power grunge” and have a more nineties feel to their sound, it was a case of not only maintaining creative momentum but also dealing with some personal issues. As a result, their sound has also toughened up a little more, yet they still mange to include some killer hooks. What you get are five furiously energetic tunes that neatly blend punky grunge rock and angular indie with a touch of pop sensibility – frantic guitars with badass choruses. Here’s a snippet of their live show and the disturbing ‘Alopecia’.
Making Monsters – Bad Blood EP
This record won’t actually be released until the middle of next month, but the Northern Irish quartet are definitely ones to watch – whatever ‘it’ is, they’ve got it and I for one am loving it. Besides being blessed with a heavy alternative sound, bursting with top drawer guitar work and some really well constructed songs, in Emma Gallagher they have an exceptionally good vocalist of quite stunning versatility. This is a band that definitely stand out from the pack and there are plenty of moments on ‘Bad Blood’ that really nail it – watch this band rise.
Like I said above, Ben’s new album, ‘Fever Dream’ is quite sublime, but I have also been revisiting the previous offering, ‘Hendra’ with some regularity of late. Both records are packed with quality songwriting, where the attention to the tiny details of everyday life manages to paint vivid pictures of loss and regret or love and relationships. The accompaniment from Bernard Butler is nothing short of superb and both albums make for a truly involving listen.
Here are a bunch of links to find out more about everything I’ve been going on about and maybe even purchase some the bands’ music at ridiculously low prices – some of the earlier releases may even be name your price!