An ongoing list of short reviews by Scarlet Hall, editor of MASH.
ANNAS BONES @ THE LAST BIG RICHARD GIG OF THE YEAR
The first thing I noticed about Anna's Bones when they appeared up on the Amersham Arms stage for the last Big Richard gig of the year, was their undeniable warmth and enthusiasm! It was lovely to see a band who smile’s instead of keeping up the moody facade that so many others do. And let me tell you, smiling once and a while doesn't make you any less mysterious! Getting to speak to them all after the show confirmed that they are in fact absolutely lovely people indeed!
Frontwoman Becky reminded me of 80’s indie girl bands like the raincoats or Dolly Mixture in the way she danced and sang at the same time. It really made us in the audience feel as though we were joining in with all the fun the band were having. Although Anna's Bones may be a new band, performing certainly isn't new for them! As the 4 members straddle between multiple other bands such as Dingus Khan and Superglu! Meaning their influences are wide and varied, from hearing some folk melodies in there to indie/ punk jangling guitars and vocals. With only 6 songs to date, they got everyone at the Amersham arms heckling "One more song! One more song!" after leaving them wanting much more.
Hopefully at the next gig they will be able to give the people what they want and play a few more new tunes! But until then, I will be humming their incredibly catchy tunes over and over!
Also while you're at it, check out Dingus Khan & Superglu
'CIRCLE' BY OSLO TWINS
I have to be honest, at the moment I've been noticing that I'm stuck in a wormhole of listening to the same old classics I love and not straying far from the post-punk genre. So when I stumbled across Oslo Twins and had a listen to their new single ‘Circle’ I was pleasantly refreshed like someone had thrown a bucket of water on my head in 30-degree heat!
As soon as the song started and the vocals kicked in it was like the 2021 version of Kate Bush was singing in my ear with a hint of Susanne Sundfor as a backing singer.
Circle embodies classic pop melodies which are everyone's guilty pleasure with a nod to 80s synth and industrial bands that have had a big part in inspiring the bands overall sound as a dream trip-hop band.
Reading deeper into the song I learnt that vocalist and songwriter Claudia was inspired to write about herself and sublime femininity from reading Madeline Miller’s novel ‘Circe’ which narrated the life of a goddess/sorcerer from Greek mythology. It’s in some ways an atmospheric love song with the melancholic feelings of longing lingering throughout. It’s been lovely listening to something that I normally wouldn't have, I think I need to go to an Oslo Twins to get the full experience!
First photo by Otto Neckel
Second Photo by Willow Shields
'MODERATION DECORUM' BY THE RINGARDS
4 piece post-punk band from East London, The Ringards, may have turned to the darker side of gloomy punk today with the release of their new single ‘Moderation Decorum’. If you’re familiar with The Ringards you’ll already know that they have cynical undertones and satirical lyrics courtesy of Enzo Salinie, but this newest song is a step further than ‘Helen Mirren’ and ‘Septums(muzzle me)’. With an intro that reminds me of a more brooding, thunderous start of ‘Two Tribes’ by Frankie Goes to Hollywood and with a tone throughout that echoes The Danse Society with ‘These Frayed Edges’, ‘Moderation Decorum’ exudes all things mystery and dominance. The Ringards give a new meaning to what ‘Post punk’ is, although taking influence from late 70s bands they put their own spin on the genre by writing and creating songs that collectively share their experiences in the ever-changing world, making it new, fresh and unlike anything before. Which I think is extremely important in this new tidal wave of post-punk bands spurting out from London at the moment!
'SIREN SONG' BY BOOK KLUB
As described by the Glasgow based, post-punk bands very own drummer & vocalist Jack Martin, "'Siren Song' is a song about metamorphosis at the cost of one's humanity, and it too transforms from one thing into something else entirely." There’s no better way to describe it.
The song starts on a cold, bleak landscape with whispers, eerie nursery rhyme piano and melancholic vocals which all together reminds me of a more modern, moodier version of a song by the infamous gloom rockers Echo & the Bunnymen. However, it soon picks up the pace to become an uncontrollable fit of rage that you can clearly hear in the rasp of front-man Reece Robertson’s voice. Along with what I’m hearing as a sort of a machinery malfunction that you can pick up on every now and then giving ‘Siren Song’ a sinister feel. Although most of Book Klub’s songs do have dark undertones, I think Siren Song brings a new darkness. It feels as though the intro lures you in like the pied piper, then once you’ve fallen for the sweet but spookish melodies there’s no going back and you have to face what the rest of the song has in store for you!
The band however have much more of a polished look and better morals might I add than the pied piper!! There are no medieval capes and pointy shoes. But instead, the imagery for Siren Song presents them wearing black and white smock shirts and flowy dresses just tying it all together perfectly.
Siren Song is out tomorrow, Wednesday the 25th of August over on Disobedient Records! Be sure to give it a listen!
Also, check out Disobedient Records at Disobedientrecords.com
All photos by Rosie Sco @rosie.sco
As we come out of the sunless winter months into a somewhat more hopeful, yet still cloudy time, along comes songs like ‘351’. A raw, emotional tale that throws light on dealing with the effects of repetition paired with beautifully warm, hazy guitars. Although this may sound like an unquestionable indie song, it's not. It’s cut sharply through with the edge The Hypothetics bring; a quartet from Bristol whose inspiration’s range from Hip-Hop, Indie, Dub and bringing soulful lyrics into all of their songs. Not to mention the uncanny similarities between frontman George Bailey's vocals and King Krule’s. After watching the band's Factory Studios sessions it’s undeniable how effortlessly they bring about a certain energy that ties in with the ethos of punk and youth culture. From having self-released 4 singles before the age of 18 to headlining Rough Trade and The Louisiana, it's evident the drive and talent this band has. A huge one to watch.
'CHAISE LOUNGE' BY WET LEG
Everyone’s new favourite band ‘Wet Leg’ have just emerged, already signed to Domino Records and with a new single under their belt I have a feeling there’s a lot more they have in store for us.
Just 2 weeks ago they came out from the shadows with ‘Chaise Lounge’ a piece of indie perfection paired with titillating deadpan lyrics, that mention your parents and “buttering your muffin” all in the space of 20 seconds! Who does that!? Well, Wet Leg does.
With a nod to Delta 5, Silverbacks and Dry Cleaning ‘Chaise Lounge’ delivers an effortless cheeky post-punk vibe which leaves you wanting to hear more and more and more!!
Not to mention their fucking cool video that they made themselves in their hometown in the Isle of White.
Keep an eye on Wet Leg, exciting things are coming I can promise you that.
'RESTLESS IN COMFORT' EP BY CYNICS.
4 piece band from London, Cynics, are back with their new EP ‘Restless in comfort'. Influenced by the likes of The Clash and other 70s punk bands to The Arctic Monkeys, Nothing but Thieves and Fontaines DC. ‘Restless in comfort’ embodies what it means to be young and full of opinions that should be shouted from the rooftops. Frontwoman Olivia channels female punk icons through her way of singing and stage presence… if you fancy going to see this powerhouse of a band in the flesh, they are hopefully headlining a gig on the 9th of July at The Camden Assembly although it may be rescheduled! :( Keep an eye out and don't miss it!!
NEW SINGLE 'LOTS OF NOISE' BY STERLING PRESS
The Fresh-faced band from West London, Sterling Press formed in spring 2020 just in time for a national pandemic, but instead of fizzling away into the abyss, they focused all their time on writing and recording. Earlier this year we got to hear what they've been up to in their first-ever debut single ‘Very fun times’ and just last week they released their second single ‘Lots of noise’!
Taking inspiration from bands like Ian Dury, Squeeze, Blur, Walt Disco, and Disq it’s clear they were going for a full-force anthemic feel with ‘Lots of noise; and I must say they might’ve just achieved exactly that. It’s got a touch of Ska revival groove that pays homage to The Specials and Madness and is packed full of classic Britpop vocals… I honestly think they may have gotten Damen Albarn to do the backing vocals, seriously it sounds just like him!! The chorus is so catchy it’s almost addictive, I can’t stop listening to it.
Keep an eye on Sterling Press... I have a feeling they have very exciting stuff on its way.
BRIE'S NEW SINGLE 'NOS'
4 self-proclaimed ‘stinky men’ Brìe lure you in with their harmonious guitars and romantic whispers before they hit you with an in-your-face, pogo-worthy explosion called ‘NOS’.
I’ll say it now, Brìe are a must-see band! Hopefully, in the months to come, you’ll be in a musty venue watching frontman Lew scream down the microphone with all his might and you won’t have any other choice but to jump up and down. I can feel the pushes, shoves and beer being poured over me already... Go listen to Nos now and you’ll know exactly what I mean!!