Sunday, 11 May 2014

NEW MUSIC ROUND-UP (Mexanines / Honeyblood / Witch Hunt / Allusondrugs / Brawlers / Catfish & The Bottlemen / Lyger / Southern / Superfood / Wytches)

As mentioned in my Record Store Day article, one good way to try some new bands is emusic, every month for a tenner you can download around 23 songs, this month i decided to have a look at some of the bands i'd have liked to have caught at Live At Leeds but couldn't fit them in.

First up from Bradford are The Mexanines, 'Shimmer' isn't one of their newest songs but it's the only one on emusic, based on this i'll be checking out their newer stuff as soon as i can, great backbeat with catchy hooks, also nice use of saxophone which you don't hear many bands utilising these days.

Next is Glasgow's Honeyblood with their first single 'Bud', with a lovely slackerpop style and gorgeous coy vocals, Bud is a really relaxing song with a catchy undercurrent throughout. B-side 'Kissing On You' is a much more raucous affair and all the better for it, Bud i really liked but i love the B-side much more, looking forward to hearing their next single.

Leeds own The Witch Hunt next, now i've already heard their excellent new EP 'Little Book Of Hate' so decided to check out previous single 'Crawl', Louisa's vocals cut straight through to the core as they always do. The Witch Hunt are currently Leeds best kept secret, like a more minimalistic twisted Florence & The Machine, i actually did catch them at Live At Leeds but just needed to hear more. The demo of 'Polly' shows clearly that amazing songwriting will always trump spending loads on production costs.

Allusondrugs unfortunately clashed with labelmates NARCS at LAL, so i felt compelled to give their new single 'Nervous' a try, wonderfully catchy rock that i was for some reason expecting to be heavier, with a real 90's rock vibe with great spiralling guitar lines. 2nd track 'Handicapped' however does showcase their heavier side, again carrying that 90's rock style that brings to mind Alice In Chains with an eastern guitar riff, the future looks good for these Leeds lads.

Another Leeds band up next, Brawlers with the interestingly titled 'I Am A Worthless Piece of Shit' despite branding themselves as punk, this EP carries way more melody than the average punk band. They do have some great melodies but don't quite blow me away with the first few tracks, things pick up later on with 'No Sweat' which kicks off with a heavier guitar riff, Brawlers seem to me to be at their best when at their fastest, like moments in 'Heart Attack', i'm not as keen on the slower stuff.

The first band i've ever heard of coming from Llandudno up next, the weirdly titled Catfish & The Bottlemen with their latest offering 'Kathleen'. Previous singles have got me interested in this band, and their latest single is even more explosive than before, starting out slower and building to a crescendo of energy, can't wait to hear an albums worth.

Lyger are a band i'd not heard of until today, i'm glad that's changed, Two singles here, starting with 'Power Struggle' a great alt-rock style awash with distorted rhythm, however the other single 'Stroke' shows how exciting this band is. If these are their first singles, surely there's even better to come.

The brother/sister duo Southern were in my bands to watch article and previous single 'Shout It' had my dying to hear more, so new single 'Where The Wild Are' was a must have. Thom's vocals carry the main song with an intense energy backed beautifully by Lucy's elegant harmonies. Lucy then takes lead on 'Oh Won't You Go' with a breathless whisper style, showcasing the versatile songwriting with this relaxed lull of a song, and finally we have 'Four Days' a western styled duet between the two with a big stomping drumbeat reminding me of the thing i love the most about Southern, you never know what they'll come up with next.

During GOD DAMN's set at LAL, they asked who was going to see Superfood later, at that point i had no idea who Superfood were. I've rectified this by downloading their 'MAM' EP, and they are a glorious fuzzed up mess of a band, opener 'TV' serves as a great introduction to the twisted pop that follows. 'Bubble' especially shows their nack for irresistibly catchy songwriting, gotta love their teletext style website as well, definitely ones to catch.

Finally i had a little credit left over from last month so i went for the new single 'Gravedweller' by The Wytches, these guys have been getting a lot of attention and recommendations lately so i had to have a listen. Now this is some demented psychedelic stuff, two parts genius with one part mess all mixed up with a real early Nirvana style undercurrent, with a guitar line that swirls around your brain. I'm on board, where do we go from here? Things are turning out all weird...

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