Archive for April, 2017

Kamikaze Girls – Berlin and Deal

April 5, 2017

Kamikaze Girls have signed to Big Scary Monsters and announced their debut LP – Seafoam – is out on 9th June.

Check out the taster here –

Kamikaze Girls Facebook Page


Swords of Thought – Breathe In Light ep review

April 5, 2017

They’ve done it again… So Low… gentle beat, quiet vocals, bass… and a unique grungey sound that I really can’t work out what they did to cause… it simultaneously does nothing whilst building the noise; it is mellow and melodic, whilst the guitar crackles in ways I struggle to remember hearing before.  Everthing and nothing.  Even on a track like this which is kinda just noise their sense of melody shines through.

Track 2, Dirty C.  Very Sonic Youth.  I just love the way they’re just the most beautiful lazy pop, drenched in noise.  I love the vocals, love it all.

Demon D, pace rises, drums get thumped, stop start.  More fuzzy laziness combined with noise and speed this time.

The title track – Breathe In Light – is both longest and lastest.  More of the same.

In many ways Swords of Thought nail all the best things.  I love the trend nowadays towards complex and changing time signatures that many bands use… but something more simply danceable’s probably better most of the time.  I love pop music, but love a bit of noise – check and check.  The lead song from the ep is not just ‘not the most poppy’… its positively ‘barely a song’.  Balls.

I just find this kinda thing really easy to listen to… just so chilled out whilst having energy and melody and oodles of noise.  SoT make me happy.

In terms of criticism… wear influences on their sleeves a bit too much perhaps; the sound’s a bit late 80s / 90s / early 00s perhaps… maybe a bit dated (this is a big part of the reason I love them); not sure they’ve ever written a song as good as Kool Thing or Monkey Gone To Heaven.  Who has?  Minor criticisms in the grand scheme.

Swords of Thought Bandcamp

10 Music-Related Things I Fucking Hate

April 5, 2017

Foals, and every band who has allowed their music to be poisoned by their malignant, cultural-appropriation bullshit.

Auto-tuned vocals.

Music writers who give marks out of ten or stars or some-such other shit.

Music writers who lick arse all the time.


Radiohead, apart from their good songs.  I’m pretty sure they have some good songs but I don’t really know because I have spent over 20 years doing my best to avoid everything that they have done since the mighty “Creep”.  Its never a good sign when a band hits their peak trying to rip off Nirvana.  See also: Blur.

Blur, I fucking hate Blur.

Music writers who claim to be independent whilst favourably reviewing bands they work for.

Music writers who think objectivity, professionalism and fairness are things that they should pay attention to.

Music writers who use the word authentic without having considered what it means.

Music writers who do lists.

The proliferation of boring singer-songwriters who are pretty damn good if you waste your time and consider them objectively, but who are fucking shit and pointless given how many of the pointless conservative shit fuckers there are.  You can sing?  Great!  You can play guitar? Great!  You can write a nice enough little ditty?  Superb!  Now fuck off and either DIE or try doing something interesting.


People who can’t count.

99.9999% of punk bands, especially the math-y, emo-y ones who have a nasty modern sound.  Not nice nasty but nasty boring nasty.

Retro bands.

Bands that fail to take the best bits from the past.

“For fans of…”  Now this is a biggie.  Its bollocks.  Spacemen 3, Black Flag and Bad Brains are my best examples.  “For fans of Spacemen 3” actually means “this band rip off Spacemen 3, and given that every single band who have ripped off Spacemen 3 are fucking shit then this band are fucking shit, and in actual fact the only chance of you liking them is if you have never heard Spacemen 3, in which case you might love the idea and not realise this mob are vastly inferior”.  “For fans of Black Flag and Bad Brains” actually means “this band is a hardore band and by definition they are pretty shit, because although I love hardcore no hardcore band other than Black Flag and Bad Brains are really worth listening to.”

Nervus, Sibling, Belleview Days, Camcorder – the Boileroom, Guildford, February 27th 2017

April 4, 2017

Not a proper review… but I have to write a few words… [edit – actually, I already wrote a few words and they’d been stuck in a draft folder for a month].

Camcorder – missed ’em.  A bit gutted.  Wanted to see them play with a little less loud sound system.  I know they’re a noisy band, but I think that they’re probably better on record or with the sound a little more under control than when I saw them at the Star.  Boileroom gigs start too early!

Belleview Days.  Bit of a Biffy influence?  Indie rock… less modern sounding than many younger bands, I liked ’em.

Sibling.  Not bad, not blown away, wouldn’t mind seeing them again.

Nervus.  I like them… again, not 100% my thing, but they do have a certain something (mainly two singers – one on keys, one with a bit of guitar action going on – who know what they’re doing and keep things interesting.)

Senseless Things, Skinny Girl Diet, The Tuts – Shepherds Bush Empire, London, Saturday 25th March 2017

April 3, 2017

Senseless Things announce a gig.  First since 1995, unless you count three of them getting together to play four songs in tribute to the might Wiz from Mega City Four 10 years ago.  Not keen on simply seeing old bands relive the glory years, not keen on big venues… but fuck it, its Senseless Things so I’ll get a ticket.

FFWD a few months and they announce the support.  The Tuts – who I quite like, but I’ve never seen live.  Skinny Girl Diet – who I totally adore, but I’ve never seen live.  RESULT.

And perhaps there you have why I instinctively knew I had to get a ticket for Senseless Things.  Did they just get any old band from back in the day to support?  Or did they make a point of choosing two young bands, both of whom happen to be all-female and political?  And damn fine.  Both seem to owe a debt to bands of Senseless Things era as well, which probably helped them get on the bill.

The Tuts came on first.  They are quite retro pop-punk.  Sort of remind me of the likes of Heavenly and the Pooh Sticks in a way, catchy songs, loads of energy… and they had a load of fun up there.  They are not a band that are original or noisy enough for me to love, but I like them a lot, and know that I’ght have loved them had they been around back in the day.

Second on we had Skinny Girl Diet.  Seriously, everything.  The way they dress.  The way the drummer is having the most fun, whilst the singer / guitarist is having less fun than anybody anywhere ever.  The bassist rocking a BC Rich Warlock, whilst looking vaguely like a hippy / goth student from 1990 in a long skirt and velvet jacket.  They play fast.  They play slow.  They play loud, they play quiet.  If Nirvana had been 10 times angrier, infinitely more female, much fuzzier, more political then they might have been as good as Skinny Girl Diet.  I absolutely love them, I really do.  I never ever do ratings, but if I was the sort of moron reviewer who did I’d give them 10/10.  Maybe 11.  Maybe even 12.

Senseless Things… what can I say, legendary band from my youth… I can’t say I loved them all the way first time around.  Great early singles and first album, second album was perhaps a touch bass heavy and commercial sounding, third and fourth more mature and darker, maybe less consistent than the first.  But all through their career they wrote some classic singles / songs… as a result they’ve probably got 30 stone-cold classics to choose from.  Their Post(card) Things CVs are incredible… between the four of them they have played with Muse, 3 Colours Red, The Streets, and Gorillaz and got a co-writing credit on ‘Can’t Stand Me Now’ which has to go down as one of the best alt / punk songs of the last 25 years.  And that’s before we talk about the less well know stuff including Mark and Cass’s current band, Deadcuts.

I have not got much more to say.  They got on stage.  They rattled through 20-odd songs plus a three song encore.  The place was rammed, the crown were enthusiastic (lie, the crowd were bang up for it, with significant swathes over-excited).  There was some stage-diving despite an early 1990s crowd and a twenty-teens security team.  Morgan’s bass playing.  Everything about them.  How good a song is Too Much Kissing?  One new song.  I hope they do it again soon.

Morass of Molasses, Space Church, Grits, Silent Mode, Buffalo Club night at the Star, Guildford, 30th March 2017

April 2, 2017
As their set started I was worried that they were going to be pretty poor… but my concerns were soon found to be totally misplaced.  Band with most commercial potential – Silent Mode.  Is this down to age / look as much as sound?  Maybe, not sure.  The combination of a relatively modern sound and more stoner rock vibes makes for a nice combination.  Vocals really reminded me of Brian Molko… not everyone’s sup of tea but I have a bit of a soft spot for Placebo… and they’ve managed pretty darn tidy career.

Grits are a bit like Silent Mode – definitely a band that could fairly be described as alternative, whilst coming from a place that is probably quite straight-ahead rock too.  At times they remind me of the frantic energy of MBV at their best (for the avoidance of doubt this is very high praise coming from me), whilst not sounding much like them at all.  I’d love to know how that set was meant to sound compared to how it came out… chaos, falling cymbal, collapsing drums, more falling cymbal, more falling cymbal, more falling cymbal, more falling cymbal, more falling cymbal, more falling cymbal.  Bit of luck I have a soft spot for amateurism and chaos – the band who I suspect might be the most technically gifted of the four on show really did come across somewhere between unlucky and clowns.  Not the best set of the night, not the best set Grits will ever play… and I don’t 100% get where they’re coming from.  But when they get it right they really get it right.

Space Church.  I swear they sound totally different every time I see them.  My perception was wonderful noisy all over the place weirdness the first time I saw them.  I love the album.  At the Boileroom recently I thought it was the sound that gave me a totally different perspective (no pun intended, still available on 7″).  Much quieter, more professional, more like a band who might actually want to be liked as opposed to really really not giving a flying anything.  They seemed to carry that back to the Star, sort of… maybe it was the venue / sound less at the Boileroom, and more them developing.  No idea.  Most interesting band on show, and one I’m actually finding harder to pin down the more i see them.

Really enjoyed Morass of Molasses – a sludgey stonery bassless heavy quite retro sounding bluesy damn fine thing.  Probably the band I enjoyed most, despite, on paper, perhaps being the one I’d think I’d like least.  Second time I’ve seen them and I think I’m getting them more.  But not enough to write much… I blame lack of shared reference points between MoM and WEM.

I really can’t work out which of the following statements is most true –
(1)  There are a ridiculous number of really good bands around Surrey / Hants right now.
(2)  The Buffalo Club guys can spot a band.
(3)  I love any old shit so long as its live, loud and a bit different.

Gigs in Guildford and Surrounds April 1st 2017 onwards

April 1, 2017

Updated list of upcoming gigs by bands in and around Guildford that have caught my eye… this does purport to be a full listing – it’s stuff that’s caught my eye, with bands or promoters I particularly like in bold.  If you’re in a band or a promoter or venue then you’re welcome to get in touch and let me know about what you do – if it interests me I’ll add you on.

Saturday 15th April 2017
Moper (ex-SBB), Group of Man at the West End Centre in Aldershot

Friday 21st April 2017
Camcorder, Moper (ex-SBB), Tailblock, Grenades at the Fighting Cocks in Kingston

Sunday 23rd April 2017
End of Salvation, Gutlocker, Kill For Company, Spreading The Disease at the Star Inn, Guildford

Friday 28th April 2017
Wonk Unit, The Wonder Beers, Second In Line at the Star Inn, Guildford [Jasta11 Gigs]

Friday 28th April 2017
Masiro, Slug 13, Luau, Who Saw The Light at the Lounge Bar in Alton [Trial n Error Night]

Saturday 29th April 2017
ALLUSONDRUGS at the West End Centre in Aldershot

Sunday 30th April 2017
Muncie Girls at the Boileroom in Guildford

Monday 1st May 2017
Meat Wave at the Boileroom in Guildford

Thursday 4th May 2017
Muncie Girls plus Support at the West End Centre in Aldershot

Friday 5th May 2017
Diggeth, Cavalli, March The Desert, Squid Resist at the Face Bar in Reading [The Swamp]

Saturday 6th May 2017
Forward 4 Wiz Trust 10th Birthday Celebration
I Plead Irony, Parachute For Gordo, Deadstate, Princess, Red Means Danger, Joe Booley, The Hunt at the West End Centre in Aldershot

Tuesday 9th May 2017
Shame at the Boileroom in Guildford

Thursday 11th May 2017
Hands Off Gretel at the Boileroom in Guildford

Sunday 14th May 2017
Buzz Rodeo, PORCH, This is Wreckage, Space Church at the Star Inn, Guildford [Buffalo Club Night]

Friday 19th May 2017
Morass of Molasses (album Launch), Cybernetic Witch Cult, Prophets of Saturn, Sons of Endor, Tuskar in Reading [The Swamp]

Friday 19th May 2017
Skraeckoedlan, Tank 86, Pensevor at the Sanctuary, Basingstoke.  [Buffalo Club night].

Saturday 20th May 2017
Deadwound, Pensevor, Sealclubber at The Fighting Cocks, Kingston

Friday 2nd June 2017
The Frankleys, Camcorder plus more TBC at the Star Inn, Guildford [Jasta 11 Gigs]

Friday 2nd June 2017
Heinous Pianist, Sizzling Bonobas, Senor Fire at the Lounge Bar in Alton
Note – First support band should really change their name to Sizzling Bono His Smug Face Melting on a Barbecue for the World’s Pleasure and Delight

Sunday 18th June 2017
Jungfrau, Swords of Thought, and more TBC at the Star Inn, Guildford [Buffalo Club Night]

Friday 30th June 2017
ALLUSONDRUGS / Icarus Dive / Silent Mode at the Star in Guildford [Jasta 11 Gigs]

Sunday 30th July 2017
Moper (ex-SBB) at the Facebar in Reading

Promoters to follow –

The Buffalo Club Facebook Page – Noise, alternative, all sorts.

Jasta 11 Gigs Facebook Page – Indie, alternative, all sorts.

Leafy Incline Promotions Facebook Page – Noisy, grungey stuff.

Rose Coloured Records Facebook Page – Indie, alternative, all sorts.

The Swamp Reading Facebook Page – Sludge, Doom

Trial N Error Productions Facebook Page – Sludge, DoomAll sorts / experimental

Venues to Follow –

The Boileroom Guildford Facebook Page

The Facebar Reading Facebook Page

The Lounge Bar Alton Facebook Page

Sanctuary Basingstoke Facebook Page

The Star Inn Guildford Facebook Page

West End Centre Aldershot Facebook Page

Past Events –

Friday 7th April 2017
Confessions of a Traitor, Gutlocker, Throatpunch City, Silent Mode at the Lounge Bar in Alton

Friday 7th April 2017
Hummune, Wychhound, Morass of Molasses, Nyogtha at the Facebar in Reading

Sunday 9th April 2017
UNMAN, Typical Hunks, Lost You To The Cities, Gift of Blindness and Sleepwalker at the Star Inn, Guildford [Trial n Buffalo Night]