On we go some more, on we go again, there is always music isn’t there? Five more musical things then, same as we said last time, five (or so) musical things that have caught ears over the past few days, five musical things plucked from the overflowing in box or the feeds or the clouds or wherever these things come from. Five (or maybe six today) slices of music that have come our way and it is all very simple, five things, in no particular order, five sets of links for you to do whatever you want with. Five things we think worth your time, there is always music, there are always typos, there is always art, art excites, music still does, here they come again, the home team, go explore, more more more… and someone said why don’t we give each band theur own piece, if we gave each one a page of their own there would be no cross pollination would there?
1: Fox Face have a new album out, End of Man (Dirtnip records) “Fox Face aren’t precious with their melodies, bludgeoning them with guitars that threaten to outpace the careening drums. Underneath that noise, there are well-composed songs, but the appeal of Fox Face is that they spit out hooks so rapidly that they seem almost careless”.
Fox Face are from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, we have covered them before, must confess I had kind of forgotten about them, it has been a while. This was a breath of fresh air in the in-box this cold dull January Saturday morning, seems the album was officially released yesterday. Now we can’t say they’re breaking any new ground, we can’t deny they sound a lot like a lot of bands who have come and gone over the last thirty or forty years, is there some (very) early don’t-mess-with-us Girlschool in that raw attitude they’re kicking up along with the Bikini Kill flavours and the garage punk goodness of it all? This new album is twelve slices of on your toes punk rock, no filler, no messing, no holding back, and there’s depth there, it isn’t all just surface noise, these people know what they’re doing, this is crafted well, they’re the kind of band Emma Harvey would paint
Thinking about a fox face may give many of us warm, fuzzy feelings. But don’t forget that foxes have teeth.While Milwaukee quartet Fox Face may not bite your face, their new album End of Man might just melt it off.
Featuring players drawn from various corners of the Brewtown music scene, Fox Face came together organically ahead of the recording sessions for their November 2017 debut album, Spoil + Destroy. Main songwriter Lindsay DeGroot (The Olives) started working on her songs with multi-instrumentalist Lydia Washechek (Static Eyes). Eventually fellow Olives member Mary Hickey joined up on bass, and the final piece of the band was found with the addition of drummer Christopher Capelle (Midwest Beat, Long Line Riders). Spoil + Destroy was one of the best garage punk albums of 2017-2018, taking on science deniers, misogynists and other jerks with songs anchored by fiery guitar playing and rock-solid ensemble playing.
End of Man, set for release January 22nd, 2021 on now Milwaukee-based Dirtnap Records, bumps up the furious guitar sound of Spoil + Destroy a few more notches. It’s not hard rock, per se
, but the album’s sound edges in that direction. And you can tell that Fox Face has been playing together for several years now, because these recordings are tight AF. There’s no filler or extraneous padding; the arrangements and playing make for a cohesive whole, and lyrically the songs are direct and to the point while still remaining universal enough to be met on personal terms by the listener.
The songs again are again mostly provided by DeGroot, but everyone brought lyrics and music to the party. (Capelle instigated the album’s one cover, a reinvention of the Ethel Waters number “There’ll Be Some Changes Made,” recorded for Milwaukee Record’s Public Domain series.) The songs speak to our current fraught climate in both outward- and inward-looking ways. It’s necessary to call out the stomping title track as the best song Black Sabbath never wrote. Beyond that: Listen to the album, and let your ears find the songs on your own terms.
End of Man may not be a party record … at least, once you let the lyrics filter past your lizard brain enjoyment of the blazing riffs. But art is not supposed to be all fun and games. Standing up and speaking truth may not be the easiest path for a band or its listeners, but there is much to be said for catharsis. Anyone feeling despair and helplessness about our current political and societal breakdown should find some common ground to rage along with these new songs from Fox Face“. Here’s the Bandcamp link
2: – Sandy Ewen and Weasel Walter have just released something. “Sandy found a place where we can play, so we got together and played. We didn’t really intend to make a record, but we played and it sounded and felt good, so here it is. We think this is a different kind of thing than our other releases. It allows itself to develop. It’s not forced. There’s some space here the whole time. Maybe you will agree?” – WW
And while we’re here, the ever industrious Weasel Walter has just announced the re-issue of The Flying Luttenbachers 1992 live album Live At WNUR 2-6-92. Classic otherness from the self proclaimed “cosmic warriors of punk jazz/no wave/free death apocalypse noise”. It surely goes without saying that pretty much everything The ever evolving Luttenbachers do is vital. here the Bandcamp link
3: Deadletter have a new single out this week, Fall of the Big Screen, it sounds rather good. Yes we could stick in the box called post punk but it does rather sound like they have something to add. Apparently they’re from Yorkshire and now based in South London, “2019 saw the band emerge as a genuinely thrilling live prospect, showcasing their brand of chaotic hedonism across the country” but this is 2021 and we can’t remember the last time we got to see a live band or for that matter anything like chaotic hedonism and the music palaces and filthy backroom toilets (and the art galleries, don’t forget us painters) are all closed and…
Of this fine new single ‘Fall of the Big Screen’, frontman Zac Lawrence notes: “As streaming services became household names, there was little doubt in anyone’s minds that they were the future. Thousands of films, documentaries, and series alike, right there at the click of a button. No more will the cinema be regarded as the entertainment giant it once was. Just like its’ musical cousin, the independent venues that hold big screens and popcorn machines are slowly but surely evaporating. Who needs to make the choice and effort of how and when to be entertained, when Mr Bezos and Mr Hastings have presented you with all you can ask for from the comfort of your own living room? We have swapped theatrical experience for ease of access. We are being sold free choice at the click of a button when in reality our options are shrinking as monopolistic corporations haunt every item of consumption, as we are algorithmically given a narrow margin of preference which blinds us to any true alternative. The Fall of the Big Screen is imminent, and this is our cry of understanding.”
Previously from Deadletter
4: Sébastien Guérive – Now this video looks rather good, it fits the music rather well – “We are really glad to announce the release of the new album Omega Point by French composer/producer Sébastien Guérive. It will be out on March 19 (2021) on vinyl & digital (Atypeek Music / The Orchard)” said the e.mail. The album itself, on first listen, is a clever blend of something that’s too rewarding to just label it as some kind of ambient classical thing, the album is clever, quietly colourful in a different way. He’s from France, the album is a warm minimalist delight, cleverly detailed and far from the obvious roads that many of these things tend to go down, Omega Point is an elegant album, an album that breaths rather well, the whole album does sound and feel like the video looks. More via his Bandcamp
Here’s a Fox Face video from 2017. “‘Clever Girl’ is the amalgamation of situations where men approach with their unsolicited input, opinions, suggestions about how women should be, and instead of feeling defeated saying ‘F**k that, I’ve worked hard. I can do this.’”
6: Shame – Okay okay, one too many, why not? “The second studio album by the British post-punk band” Shame has just come out, here’s a slice and here’s the Bandcamp link. Why not indeed? Let not be idle now, monkey see and monkey do so they say, we might have heard it before but this is urgently good and like the wheels on a bus things do keep on turnig, things jsut go on, they just go, all I see is circles, I like this, you like this, we all like this, things must go on, it just goes on, it goes it goes it goes on and on and on and on and on
And well, why not? from Wolfgang Bülds 1980 film about female bands in England and Germany “Girls Bite Back”.
And that indeed will do for today, the images on this page are pieces from the recent ReCultivate on-line show hosted on these fractured pages, explore more of it here
More of this tomorrow or next week or whenever, maybe? Here’s a classic slice of 1981, More was their name, volume was their game, don’t sit down, just rock…