The editorial bit again again yet again, the introduction that heralds the latest Five Music Things thing and whatever it is actually all about. Five? There’s something rather compelling about five. Cross-pollination? Five more? Do we need to do the editorial bit again? Is there another way? A cure for pulling cats out of hats? Is there a rhyme? Is there a reason? Was there ever? What do reasons make? Five more, everything must go and same as last time (and the time before) five, and no, we never do and the proof of the pudding is in that proof reading. When we started this thing, oh never mind, it doesn’t matter and like we asked last time, does anyone bother reading the editorial? Does anyone ever actually look down the rabbit hole or is it all just method acting? We do listen to everything that comes in, we do it so you don’t have to, we are very (very) very very picky about what we actually post on these fractured pages or what gets played on the radio or what we hang in a gallery. Cut to the chase, never mind the editorial there’s loads of music further down the page, well five or so pieces of music that have come our way in the last few days and cut cut slash and cut to the damn chase, who needs an editorial or words in general? Just facts and links then, here you go, grab your five, eat your greens, go eat some art, go eat some dirt, we’re still still still just about washing off the dust clouds after Nick Cave’s triumph in our local park, now that really was a gig, possibly one of the best ever, well in terms of the many thousands of gigs we’ve been to…
Here we go then, five (seems we don’t write reviews any more, well that’s what some cowman or other said. Some people aren’t paying attention are they)
1: The Messenger Birds – Detroit-based experimental/noise rock band The Messenger Birds are excited to announce the Friday, November 18 release of Tragic Comedy, the duo’s forthcoming album. We’re told Tragic Comedy picks up right where the band’s debut LP, Everything Has To Fall Apart Eventually, left off – “a world in isolation, outlandish conspiracy theories on an infinite feedback loop, overwhelming amounts of death and grief and uncertainty, and storylines that sound so hyperbolic and satirical that the only logical conclusion would be that we are all just living in a simulation and none of this is real”.
“‘Tragic Comedy’ started out as a natural carryover of themes from our first record and then became an animal of its own, Parker Bengry and Chris Williams of The Messenger Birds said. “The more objectively sad and deranged our lives and the world around us became, the more it felt like an inside joke we weren’t in on or some elaborate prank someone was doing to us. A lot of what we were writing was sort of like ‘oh, this would be really funny if it wasn’t true’ and took on this Nathan Fielder-esque dark sense of humor, which maybe isn’t the most healthy way to process life-altering traumas, but it’s what worked for us.”
Sounds like a slow burning slice of something potentially epic to these match-fit ears and history is easy to manipulate, eas to write of some golden age. And yes, this is like something we’ve never seen and Tragic Comedy does seem to say that as a bsnd The Messanger Birds have their finger on the pulse (and yes, they’ve probably paid more in taxes that 45 or indeed Thick Lizzy and her gang of puppets), and yes, sometimes you maybe do have to riot. Tragic Comedy is powerful, Tragic Comedy is epic, angry, reflective, Tragic Comedy is a mirror and everything has to fall apart eventually and sometimes victory is the same as defeat. This is real life, keep your mask upon the nearest shelf. The album is out on November 18th, there’s a number of tracks up on the Bandcamp page already and now I’m a little worried about going out to buy groceries…
The Messenger Birds are from Detroit, Michigan, I guess being from Detroit right now adds to it all and yes, do as you please, enough is enough. Do people change? The Messenger Birds sound like a significant alternatrive rock band, a band saying something, mirroring something, dare we mention R.E.M and mean it as a compliment? Remy Zero maybe, something significant anyway, but not quite everthing there where those other bands left it, a touch of Nine Inch Nails maybe…
“Accompanying the announcement is the release of the LP’s title track, which was the first song the band finished writing completely for the album and set the tone for what the record would actually become. It starts with a dream-like, otherworldly guitar lullaby that transports you to this alternate reality where nothing makes any sense, and the more you try to make sense of it, the less it makes any sense at all.
“We really built the rest of the song around that concept when the big groove kicks in with the drums and fuzzed out guitar and bass,” the band adds. “We kept progressively adding more layers and weird atmospheric background noises until it escalated into a symphony of feedback and church bells and a cathartic wall of noise. Hopefully the end result feels like jubilant chaos.”
The Messenger Birds is not a rock band—it’s just two guys. But there is more to this two-piece than meets the eye and a lot of noise to back it up. The Messenger Birds have earned a reputation for an abrasively loud and energetic live show, and their Detroit brand of alt-rock seamlessly blends monster riffs, catchy hooks, intricate melodies, droning synthesizers, and unapologetic lyrics into a coalescence of sub-genres, a sound that all at once is difficult to categorize as simply alternative rock. At face-value, the band has often drawn comparisons to Queens of the Stone Age and Highly Suspect. As you dive deeper into their catalogue, however, you find little traces of Nine Inch Nails, Manchester Orchestra, and even Explosions in the Sky.
The band’s 2020 debut LP, Everything Has to Fall Apart Eventually, broke singles like the widely popular “Phantom Limb,” which has accumulated nearly 7 million streams on Spotify since hitting the platform, and the haunting and apocalyptic “Play Dead (Just for Tonight).” Written almost entirely in the fall of 2018 and recorded in early 2019, the album feels eerily like a premonition of a world on the brink of global pandemic and teeming with political unrest.
Tragic Comedy builds upon these themes and features the melodic and anthemic “Midwestern Mirage,” the infectious rock groove of “If No One’s Going to Look My Way,” the frantic and anxiety-filled punk rock fever dream “Do As You Please,” and occult-centric ode to fringe Internet culture “Bad Faith Actor.”
There you go, some background, a taste of the new album and well, a US two piece alt-band with just a little more about them, just look closer, see..
2: Chris Connelly – Now I really don’t know why this should be so unexpectedly good? This is the lead track from Chris Connelly’s new album, an album dedicated to The Velvet Underground vocalist Nico. The album is out in late autumn, ‘Eulogy to Christa: A Tribute to the Music & Mystique of Nico’ spans the life of one of “the most unique, tragic and misunderstood female artists in the history of music”. This first track has just been released this week, there’s a bit of Scott Walker promise to it all, it has us curious for more..
And well, we’re just exploring our in-boxes here, and we have been blasting Rev.Co and 1000 Homo DJs rather a lot recently in a fit of 90’s nostalgia and I must admit we hadn’t been paying too much attention to what Chris Conelly had been doing in recent times – “Heralded by some as Connelly’s finest vocal performance, ‘Eulogy to Lenny Bruce’ previews a 24-track collection where Connelly purposefully adopts the personas of Nico, Lou Reed and John Cale – even Andy Warhol makes a cameo!”, we await more while we explore his recent past and Sex in The Graveyard and such.
3: Wooze are off on tour. British/Korean duo Wooze (a phonetic translation of ‘space’ in Korean – 우주) were formed in 2017 by Jamie She and Theo Spark at Brixton’s Muddy Yard. Explore Wooze on Bandcamp. We like their yellowness and their throne and well, it passed our way and the proof of the pudding is in the proof reading and…
4: O’o – and we’re still dipping our toes in the InFiné waters and this is taken from O’o debut album ‘Touche’, an album that came out last June. InFiné have already brought us the delights of UTO this month and well, pretty much everything we’ve found on the label that’s from both Paris and Berlin has been rather rewarding so far – Parisian duo Uto, more delight from Willow Kayne, a little more from Fiona Brice, InFiné’s Gaspar Claus and indeed Sabrina Bellaouel, another track from the new Grave Goods album and…
Here, have some more…
5: Dead are from Australia, you probably knew that already, they kind of sound a touch mean in a brooding kind of don’t mess kind of way, kind of… They kind of sound like you’d maybe expect a band called Dead to sound, I rather like the way they sound, here they are, you’ve got to admit that brooding is kind of colourful, kind of like a colourful bruise, all purple and blue and red and tender t othe touch. Here’s the Bandcamp thing yet again, this is the opening track from the Dead LP “The Laughing Shadow.”
“Dead live and operate on land stolen from the Dja Dja Wurrung people”, well that’s what they said, here’s some more, we rather like their style, this one is really tasty, give it a minute or two to come to the boil…
And well, while we’re here….
Cowman – Slaughter (Coju Records) – Apparently we don’t write many reviews these days? Really? That’s news to us, there’s loads of reviews going up all the time here isn’t there? We do get a lot (and we mean a lot!) of things that feel like things we’ve heard many many times before, piles (and piles) of so called “experimental” noise rock that could have been made in the back rooms of Camden in the early part of the last decade of last century, bands with a love of noise and little else in terms of the walls they build. Cowman, whoever they are, are one of those bands. Actually now we read the hype sheet, we see he’s a one man band called Ben –
“After the Sonic-Youth/Pavement infused squall of the car-crash-themed -crunch- ep, Cowman now drops “Slaughter”, a welcome return to full-on, balls-to-the-wall experimental noise rock, reflected by its glitched air-disaster artwork. With This Heat and Big Black serving as inspiration, “Slaughter” is Cowman’s first recording to be released on vinyl and tape. With politically engaged songs on topics ranging from Operation Hydrant to the ousting of Boris Johnson, “Slaughter” is perfectly timed for the cost of living crisis…let the post-COVID slaughter continue….” –
Well yes, reviews? We don’t really need to do them quite like we did in the days of print, not when we can just post the info, the music and the links, not really, although we do actually write hundreds of reviews, we’re at it all the time! Frankly I spend way too much of my life thanklessly writing reviews of art shows, bands, albums, gigs and here comes yet another one.
What we have here is yet another so called experimental noise rock band who sound like lots (and lots) of so called experimental noise rocks bands who like to namedrop things and bands like Big Black (they always namedrop Big Black!). These three tracks (and a fourth in the shape of a radio edit) on this new EP are kind of semi interesting but really, they do sound like hundreds of things we’ve heard before only not quite so good and we are wondering what the point is in terms of the person who made the pieces of music or in terms of us reviewing it? I mean, it isn’t that bad, there’s nothing that wrong with this EP, the lead track is the only one of three with vocals and yes, even though the press release says this is a step away from the last EP, it does rather sound like that shambling forward movement of Pavement, however unlike Pavement or Sonic Youth, it doesn’t quite know where it wants to go and ulitmately doesn’t really go anywhere that much. The press release talks of “the sound of civilization collapse, the decline of the West; an anguished agit-punk attack that channels Rudimentary Peni, Big Black, Crass, and This Heat” and well, not really hearing any of that on the EP, the music is down there, are you? I mean, you’re name dropping some impressive bands there, you’ve got to be good to back that up, this kind of feels like something that would get a 5.6 review if this was Pitchbloodyfork and we stupidly gave everything marks.
The new Cowman single is out on September 30th so ignore the misleading date on the Soundcloud thing there. Do we need to review these things? Here’s the music, there’s the links and well I kind of feel like I wasted quarter of an hour of my life (cover art isn’t that exciting either), and when we do write reviews, we tend to save it for the things that really do excite us (the many things that do, we write hundreds of reviews damn it!).
Hang on, stop the damn bus, the e.mail included a link to the previous release and not the new one! I’ve been listening to the Crunch EP! So the e.mail complaining we don’t review things anymore included the wrong link to a release from a couple of months ago rather than the latest release and well frankly I can’t be bothered with wasting more time than I already have (the link to the record label didn;t work either!)
So, in conclusion, The Crunch EP, the one that to my ears sounds like a poorman’s Pavement that doesn’t know where it wants to go, is just down there. The new release, the one that the press release tells us it wants us to think it sounds like Big Black messing with This Heat is on the Bandcamp page, well just one track of it is, one track that pretty much does the same as Crunch did is. There was a link in the e.mail for us to download something which I guess is going to be the new EP but frankly if we downloaded every damn thing that was sent in here without having something on-line to listen to first, what with the hundreds of press releases that come in here every single day, if we download them all without checking them out first, then we’d need a far bigger boat that the one the bloke in Jaws needed. The one track we could hear on Bandcamp from the new EP did very little for these This Heat loving ears, the link in the press release when Iwent back to checkout the rest of never did work and well, maybe someone needs to get their shit together before they send press releases (that turn out to be from fake record labels) and follow up e.mails and more follow up e.mails and why the hell do we bother?
Stop press: One man band with his fake press release from his fake PR person has written a whole hissyfit of a blog page himself now about our review basically attacking the other bands featured on this page, our tastes in music, yellow trousers and Organ in general, kind of makes you wonder why he was so keen to get some coverage in the first place really? Yeah, I probably should have just ignored his e.mails and his bugging and the rest of it, but hey, this kind of crap is how way too much of it goes around here with bands, labels, PR people (or indeed their piss-taking made-up fake PR people bands make up) and all their bulshit…
Anyway, coming up soon on these pages….