Sunday, 20 October 2019

Dischord - Director's Cut



  In the words of Edwyn Collins, "Rip it up and start again..."

  Dischord are the Blackpool band who impressed back in 2016 with the concept album War Or Peace (a song from which featured here : https://justsomepunksongs.blogspot.com/2016/09/dischord-red-poppies.html). They've been together since 2011 and feature Chris Newton (vocals), Zowie Swan (bass), Dave Swan (guitar) and Jake Fenton (drums). They're currently preparing to release a new album, it'll be out on Oct 31st and will be titled Convent Crescent.

  On the surface it's a soundtrack to a short horror film released by Chris and Zowie last year and as well as Dischord it features numerous other bands such as Soulcakes, Despairground, The Never Dead etc.  You haven't heard of those bands? Not surprising. Read on...

  In March 2018, Zowie and I released a short horror film, ‘Convent Crescent’. We knew it was only the beginning of a much longer story. What we didn’t realise at the time was that it was also the beginning of a new Dischord album.
In 2016 we released our third album, ‘War Or Peace’. It was our proudest achievement at the time; a concept album about war, death, love, forgiveness and, well, peace. The album’s final track, ‘Love’ became our favourite track to play live, and closed that album with our most important lyric: “They call me blind, but my name is peace. I am the silence when the guns have ceased.”
The problem with writing your best album is the subsequent question: what comes next? Fast forward to 2019 – imagine a Hellish time-jump montage of Brexit negotiations, Theresa May dancing to Abba, Boris Johnson shuffling into no. 10, Tommy Robinson covered in milkshake, Mosque attacks, John Lydon sporting his ‘Make America Great Again’, school shootings and Donald Trump mocking the disabled – a post-satirical dystopia seemingly designed by Quentin Blake and Spitting Image on a particularly bad day. Ample fodder, we were repeatedly told, for a political punk band.
But fodder for what, exactly? Evolution has always been integral to our writing process. We’ve never wanted to repeat ourselves. Ultimately, the point of ‘War or Peace’ was that war, political corruption, religious extremism, nationalism, terrorism and suffering are universal, self-perpetuating and doomed to continue indefinitely without drastic systemic upheaval… Despite the reign of leaders so grotesque as to be utterly immune to parody, nothing has changed. There is nothing to say we haven’t already said – and continue to say on stage every night. There are only so many punk songs you can write before they all begin to sound the same.

  Having taken ‘punk’ as far as we could without repeating ourselves, we were faced with a dilemma: could we change our focus, push our style to the point where we risked no longer being ‘Dischord’? And, what the hell was ‘Dischord’ anyway? A band who played three minute fast, shouty songs, or four people pouring every ounce of their souls into their instruments?

  Should we split up? Start a new band? That would be too easy. Should we grit our teeth and write a hardcore album about ‘Brexit Britain’? That seemed about the least punk rock thing we could do. That’s what you’d expect from us.

  Why not evolve? Why not take a risk? As strange as it sounds now, Seaside Suicide was a risk. Prior to that we had never played hardcore punk. We didn’t know we could do it. We didn’t know if people would connect with it if we did.

  So we set ourselves a challenge. Many artists we admired – David Bowie, Marilyn Manson, The Beatles – reinvented themselves from album to album, using new personas to find fresh perspectives and create new sounds. If they could reinvent themselves with each record, why couldn’t reinvent ourselves with each song?

  What if Dischord wrote the soundtrack to Convent Crescent?



  Ten tracks performed by ten different ‘bands’, each one of them Dischord in disguise. It was the perfect opportunity to shake things up. For me to get back behind the drums, to let Jake demonstrate his abilities as a guitarist and – more importantly – a producer, to let Zowie take on lead vocals, for Dave to hang up the Gibson and break out the Spanish guitars, 12 strings and effects pedals, to open our studio doors to a variety of guest musicians.

  So began the creation of one the most insidious concept albums ever written. A novel and its soundtrack written simultaneously, with songs for once not written to flow together, but written deliberately to jar, to contradict each other, whilst surreptitiously forming an elaborate concept – a narrative told in secret.

  We’ve always said that the album was the ultimate artform, the perfect combination of music, film, art and poetry. We’re taking that to its extreme with this album: A record, a novel and a short film all in one, combining to tell a complete story.

  ‘War or Peace’ declared love to be the solution, and we thought that was a full stop, but now we’re exploring what that actually means. ‘Convent Crescent’ is a story of love. It is also a story of death, rape, murder, demonic possession, sacrifice, addiction and loss because it’s written by the same damaged minds that brought you ‘The Wakes’, but ultimately it’s about love.

  For our last album, we designed a set of tarot cards, featuring characters representing the albums’ themes: The Soldier, Death, Love, War and The Devil. ‘Convent Crescent’ is their story, and if you think we’re not angry, you’re not paying attention.

 
  Intrigued? If you want to hear a band determined not to stand still it'll be available via Lickerish Records (https://www.lickerishrecords.co.uk/)  and you can pre order the album here https://dischorduk.bandcamp.com/album/convent-crescent-official-soundtrack

  You can get more info here : https://www.facebook.com/dischorduk/

  This is one of the songs on Convent Crescent, it's a dark delight and it's called Director's Cut...

Saturday, 19 October 2019

Almighty Uprisers - Fit to Work

 

  "WHAT PLANET ARE YOU LIVING ON..."

  Happy days! There's been loads of really great new releases popping up recently and I'm getting a bit of a backlog on here but I'm slowly ploughing through them. Today I'm posting a song that went down well on the show a couple of weeks ago by a band that formed above a funeral directors up in the north east of England back in 2015 but who I only came across recently. They're called Almighty Uprisers and they mix up elements of ska, punk, reggae and dub and add angry, anti-establishment lyrics to produce a heady brew that impresses. They're a 5 piece with a line up of Sparra (Lead vocals/Guitar), Scott (Guitar/Backing Vocals), Bill (Bass/Backing Vocals), Paul (Drums) and Nath (Keyboard). You can get more info here : https://www.facebook.com/thealmightyuprisers/

  They released their debut ep a year ago, it featured 6 tracks and was titled Take Control. 12 months down the line they've followed it up with the Fit To Work ep, another 4 edgy reggae punk songs about politics, the ill being forced back into work by the DWP and the trouble caused by excessive drinking. You can check it out here : https://almightyuprisers.bandcamp.com/album/fit-to-work-e-p

  This is the title track, it starts slow with a voice telling us that an average of 90 people have died after they had been declared fit for employment by assessors before inviting you to turn your anger into energy as you skank around your room as the pace picks up. It's called Fit To Work...

Thursday, 17 October 2019

Miscalculations - Shallow Water



  Miscalculations formed in Harlow, North London back in 2013 and could possibly be described as being the archetypal band of No Front Teeth Records with vocalist Marco Palumbo-Rodriguez having graced numerous of the acts that've featured on that excellent label; The Gaggers, Disco Lepers, Botox Rats, Cold Callers, Stalin Video to name just a few. Oh, and he also runs the label. Alongside him in the band are Shaun Clark (drums), Mauro Venegas (guitar) and Robert Perrson (bass). They've recently released their 5th full length, it follows Miscalculations (2013), Kill The Whole Cast (2015), A View For Glass Eyes (2015) and Echolocation (2017) and it's titled The Perfect Candidate. You can get more info on the band here : https://www.facebook.com/miscalculationslondon/ and check out their music here : https://miscalculations.bandcamp.com/album/the-perfect-candidate

  Their music is described as "Agitated yet melodic, Miscalculations are sharp as a surgeon’s blade. Punk Rock + Electro Punk." Back in 2014, Prostitutes frontman Kevin Patrick McGovern chose their song Dead Vocabulary as one of his Top 10 tracks of the year (https://justsomepunksongs.blogspot.com/2014/12/top-10-songs-of-2014-as-chosen-by-kevin.html) and he described them as "this angular and moody injection of post-modern post-punk. Indecision and frustration combined with whirling Joy Division inspired leads; create a nice little number with deranged disco vocals that bleed perfectly into the cacophonous mess" which is a better description than I can come up with.

  The Perfect Candidate is a dozen post punk bangers overlaid with Marco's distinctive vocals and comes highly recommended. The song I'm highlighting today first appeared on last year's Sharp Solution ep (https://rockstarrecords.bandcamp.com/album/sharp-solution) but is definitely deserving of it's inclusion on the new album. It's called Shallow Water...

Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Longtooth & Wasterman - Killing Hal



  Leicester's Longtooth & Wasterman (aka Greg Semple and Karl Traae) return today with a new track on which they get transported to a not too distant future where they find themselves onboard the Starship Enterprise NCC-170, the crew are all missing! The ship is being taken over by a rogue photocopier that has attained sentiency and is threatening to takeover the universe! Meanwhile Sophia Janeway (formerly of Hanson Robotics) beams in to save the day. It's all played out to an electro-punk soundtrack...

  The duo have been described as having a sound that lands somewhere between Crass, Atari Teenage Riot and an angrier Sleaford Mods. They mix up the energy and anger of punk rock with drum and bass and hip hop. Electro beats and cutting lyrics. Punk music for the modern age. You can find out more here : https://www.facebook.com/Longtoothandwasterman/

  You can check out their music name your price on Bandcamp :   https://longtoothandwasterman.bandcamp.com/

  A refreshing change from the standard punk tunes you get served up on here, this is a bonkers space odyssey called Killing Hal...

Plastics gonna kill us all
Long live the photo copier
The last survivor of the humans spawn
Long live the photo copier
AI AI AI A I I A (repeat)
Long live the photo copier
Long live the photo copier
1 0 1 0 1 0 1 1 (repeat)
Long live the photo copier
Long live the photo copier

We couldn't stop the diesel
But the diesel stopped us
Sacked your dad for the self driving bus
Long live the photo copier
Long live the photo copier
Who’d have thought
That the first AI
Would choose the gender
Of a woman
And not of a guy
Tell us why tell us why we got a lady AI......stand by
Long live the photo copier
Long live the photo copier
Long live the photo copier
Long live the photo copier
AI AI AI A I I A (repeat)
Long live the photo copier
1 0 1 0 1 0 1 1 1

she ruined my sci fi
Ruined my life
Before her point of view
I found titillation nice
I know you're quite angry
I know you're quite right
The oppression by cock
And the fight for your plight
Long live the photo copier
Long live the photo copier
AI AI AI A I I A (repeat)
Long live the photo copier
1 0 1 0 1 0 1 1 1

Our fun is over
What’ve we done
My 3 titted alien is on run
She had to wear a mini skirt
She had to be young
For the ratings of the cock
But the cocks day is done

I want to be digitised and fly across the stars
I won't need air or water when I'm colonising Mars
Just a little bit of graphite
And a little blob of grease
They could even fit an off switch
So they won't need any police

Upload our brains and cast off this flesh
Then there won't be any criminals coz there won't be any left
And when we’re all dead
And when we’re all gone
The photo copy copier
Will copy copy on
Copy on



Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Rats From A Sinking Ship And Markus Kienzl Featuring Benjamin Zephaniah - Looney Left



  In recent times, a majority of the British press never seem too far away from printing their next headline decrying the looney left. Supposedly first used before the 1987 general election it's a term often trotted out by red tops like The Sun, The Mail and The Express to pour scorn and derision on pretty much any idea the Labour Party might come up with. It's a slur that's thrown around not just at the Labour Party though, it's also used to label groups or individuals that don't share those tabloid's editor's political views and though I'm no expert on US politics but I'm sure people like Bernie Sanders also get tarred with the same brush and no doubt it's a term used world wide. Unfortunately it's a term that's been used so often that a sizeable proportion of the general public are swayed by the headline and don't bother to look deeper.  If they did they might wonder, is it such a bad thing to think society's needy should be protected. Is it a bad thing to want nuclear disarmament? Is it bad to think animals should have rights or that the NHS should be protected? Today's song suggests that being a caring human being shouldn't lead to you being labelled looney left.

  Rats From A Sinking Ship are Lusty and Jamie Price, a rap punk duo from Ilkeston who've featured on here a few times previously but who return today with what's quite possibly their best track yet. If you're unfamiliar with them you can find their music here :  https://ratsfromasinkingship.bandcamp.com/



  They recently completed work on their new album, it's a collaboration with Austrian producer Markus Kienzl and if the first single from it is anything to go by it's going to be very special indeed. The single sees them team up with legendary poet, activist, author and actor Benjamin Zephaniah for one of the year's best songs. Jamie lays down a bruising soundtrack whilst Lusty scornfully questions why he should be criticised for preferring to wave a flag for the community as opposed to one for the jubilee or for being pro human rights. Why should he be considered a troublemaker for caring about those who sleep on our streets or are being brutalised in places like Congo and Bahrain. So far, so great, but then then they play their trump card.... Benjamin Zephaniah adds a touch of class as he calls for revolution, world peace and the saving of the planet. He doesn't like the smell of anyone who is Conservative and he hasn't any respect for the church and state and you know what, I'm with him 100%. Great music, great lyrics. A vital release.

  Looney Left...

Monday, 14 October 2019

Cassels - A Snowflake In Winter (Guest Review by Billy Ouka)



  Another guest review today, this one by Billy Ouka (aka Simon Geddes, vocalist with Accrington post-industrial revolution punk band Slug Butter  https://www.facebook.com/Slug-Butter-1289415334489121/ ). Billy's been waxing lyrical recently about a song from the new album, The Perfect Ending, by Oxford band Cassels. They're a duo comprising of brothers Jim and Loz Beck and they make music for  misanthropes and malcontents. You can find out more about them here :   https://www.facebook.com/casselsband/

  And now over to Billy...

  It was the cover that immediately took my notice, I'm glad it did, the first few bars suddenly explode into the intent of the song, a cynical attack using music, as art, as protest, a comment upon today's lack of attention to the world around us, the music biting, gentle, insightful, expressing the feelings behind the song, if ever you thought punk was dead then this will change your point of view, young, fresh, current, I can hear so many bands that could have influenced these young brothers from Oxfordshire but I bet they've never heard of any of them, if these lads are doing it, just how many more bands and musicians are there, sat in their bedrooms making punk rock? 

How did growing up in the hotbed of rock ‘n’ roll that is Chipping Norton influence you as youngsters?
Jim: For me, it’s probably the primary source of the pessimistic and misanthropic worldview which permeates all of our music. Growing up in a small town with all of the small-minded attitudes that come with it – the racism, homophobia, and disdain for anything or anyone that appears to even slightly contradict the norm – meant there was a lot to seethe about.
On the positive side, growing up in a vacuum did mean we were able to develop our music without being influenced by others. We got all of our parroting out of the way in our countryside bedroom (another benefit of living in the middle of nowhere – we could make all the noise we wanted) pretty early on, and quickly began to sound like ourselves 
The lyrics are spot on, a scathing comment upon today's political climate 
I like to think that I’m a deep thinker
And I’m pretty sure that I’m a person with conviction
But in reality I know
I’m a snowflake in winter
Blown along on the wind of the latest liberal opinion

No way
Snowflake

Every tut at the newspaper sets off a chemical reaction
And every opinion piece you read
Is accompanied
By a tiny dopamine release
And I’m afraid to say
Exposés don’t necessitate action
Holding a mirror to an ugly face
Doesn’t change the reflection

No way
Snowflake

And believing the general public
Will level-headedly consider
All the available facts and figures
Before rushing to make rash decisions
And form erroneous opinions
Is ridiculous as believing
The late-night polemics
Of ego-centric and overzealous television presenters
Can bring about the downfall
Of a tyrannical president

The album is worth a listen too, a creeper that immediately stands out 
https://cassels.bandcamp.com/album/the-perfect-ending-lp

From what I can gather they're getting some attention, Radio 6 and magazine articles

https://www.thefourohfive.com/music/article/a-conversation-with-cassels-growing-up-in-a-vacuum-meant-we-were-able-to-develop-our-music-without-being-influenced-by-others-156

  So check them out, give your support on their Facebook page and lets see them grow into the band people take notice of.

  This is A Snowflake In Winter...  

Sunday, 13 October 2019

Flangipanis - Scully



   Flangipanis are a male-backed 4 piece punk rock band from Brisbane who formed in 2008 and have been partying it up ever since. The line up is Jodie (guitar/vocals), Josh (guitar/backing vocals), Pauly (bass/backing vocals) and Josh #2 (drums). They sing about "drinking, fucking up, getting fucked up, and sometimes fucking" and they're great fun. Their songs are often short and frequently potty mouthed but it's pretty much impossible to take offence even when they're encouraging you to Get Your Boobies Out or commenting that even if you've only got 4 fingers you're fine as you can still have a wank and open a door! Good old fashioned juvenile fun that unfortunately seems to be often frowned upon nowadays but as fan Peter H says about one of their releases, "I love this album because Happiness is all that matters and the Flange's do what they do better than anyone else, simple as that." 

  They're not only fun but also hardworking and deserving of your attention, as Wreckless Enterprise Records co owner Ronny Van Dyk tells me, "they drove 1,000 kilometres from Brisbane to my town Wollongong to play a show we set up a few days ago. Just one show! The money we can afford to pay them will barely cover their fuel, let alone anything else. How’s that for dedicated?" They've a few more shows lined up Down Under so if you're in Australia make sure you check them out if possible. You can get more info here : https://www.facebook.com/flangipanis/

  And so to the new record. It's an ep that blazes through it's 7 tracks in less than 10 minutes. It's titled Community Backwash and features grin inducing, up tempo songs about binning someone off, pissing in someone else's beer and heading into town to sing all their favourite songs. It's only downside is that it finishes leaving you gagging for more but no worry just click on their earlier releases...   https://flangipanis.bandcamp.com/album/community-backwash

  This is the ep opener, it starts with some weird ET type music and everyone's favourite X Files redhead saying "Mulder, suck my dick" before getting the party started with a love letter to Agent Dana. It's called Scully....