It’s been the best part of three years since Single Mothers unleashed the incendiary treasure that is their debut album Negative Qualities. Following a mostly-changed line up for last year’s Meltdown EP, they return with a second record Our Pleasure, out now via (in the UK) Big Scary Monsters.
Picking up their pace in terms of releases, Silent Forum shared their second single within as many months. Darkly fretful, Trust is held back from outright despair by its jaunty guitar melody, a delicate balance that sounds much more contained on record than their visceral live shows. Speaking of such, they don’t have any gigs lined up at the moment that I know of, though I did hear a rumour that plans of one with surf-punk wunderkinds HODAD could be in the works…
From the beginning, Trampolene have never stuck to one style – with each EP or ‘pocket album’ comes a mix of energetic indie rock, gentle acoustic pieces and spoken word poems. More recently though, they’ve starting mixing these diverse elements within the same songs. Latest single Beautiful Pain starts off sounding like one of singer Jack’s solo tracks, just simple guitar and his soft voice; gradually the rest of the band join in, though through this evolution it retains much more delicacy than their full-band songs usually have. The title track of a forthcoming EP, this song is available now with the remaining three released on July 7th.
Having made their name so far with a spasmodic string of CDs, cassettes, digital tracks and a Too Pure Singles Club 7″, Forever Cult are on the verge of putting out their most substantial release to date. A 10″ EP titled Homewrecker, via their regular base Clue Records, will be unleashed on the world come July 7th. You can begin to prepare yourself with a taste of that now, by listening to lead single Codeine.
Twenty years ago, The Immediate believed their chance at superstardom to be over. Despite a solid local fan base and live reputation, the demo tape they sent to a label failed to get them a recording contract; and falling victim to the stresses of being an unsigned band they grew disenchanted with the industry and began to hate one another. Two decades later, they’ve let go of those hopes and reunited to play music just for the love of it. Not that they aren’t taking it seriously or don’t care about their songs being heard as widely as possible, but the youthful dreams of ‘making it’ have given way to a satisfaction with music being a hobby. Two EPs on, and the band are finally putting out their debut album (well it’s normal to self-release nowadays, isn’t it?).
There is great risk with bands reforming that they end up sounding like overgrown adolescents, trapped forever in memories of their ‘glory days’, viewed of course through a heavy rose tint. In terms of the music here it’s possible that little has changed – though I don’t know how the band sounded first time around, as it probably won’t make them feel good if I mention how old I was(n’t) then. The point is that while I’m sure their individual tastes have far expended in the interim, the main influences behind these songs are likely the same ones they grew up on, having the feel of classic pop long outdating anything likely to be bothering the charts today. The lyrics on the other hand represent how that band have changed – subjects such as family holidays, sharing child custody and overcoming mental health issues probably wouldn’t even have crossed their minds at an age of getting drunk and suffering their first heartbreaks. However maturity isn’t just about growing up and having families, it’s about understanding your place in the world, and what is really important; and in existing to share stories just for the joy of putting them out for people to hear, it’s this that Manbuoy really shows.
I’m generally averse to hype bands – if too many people are raving about an artist, they tend to turn out not to be worth my time. Now, call me a hipster if you like, but the truth is that niche music is more interesting and anything that’s accessible enough for all the new music places to love equally, probably isn’t. Occasionally though, something comes along that everyone is talking about just because it’s impossible to ignore. That was Kamikaze Girls‘ Sad EP last year, which as the title suggests, tackles mental health difficulties head on. Now they’re back with debut full length Seafoam , which expands to face a more general disillusionment with being a young person in this modern world, particularly highlighted in the video for Deathcap. While personal factors have contributed to the mood of this album (opener One Young Man is based on real events), it’s the general attitude of just having had enough with the way things are that gives a sense of relatability, and the reason everyone is listening to them. The album is out now via Big Scary Monsters, and the band are on tour next week, including Buffalo in Cardiff on June 29th for DIY Cardiff.
Ended up doing a little bit of retrospection, on account of a strange thought that struck me whilst starting to write this. It seemed unlikely, but thanks to the internet keeping a record of everything, I was easily able to confirm my vague suspicion as being actually true – Officers were the first band I came across when I got back into new music somewhere around five years ago, that I’m still following. I say ‘still’, though I did lose track for a while; they were quiet for a long time and I had to assume they were no more. So imagine my surprise when last year, I picked up Fizzy Blood’s Come Play With Me single at a gig, only to discover that the other side of the 7″ contained Attack. Skip forward a few months, and electronic rock’s seemingly most elusive band have another new single out, Born In May. This one is a bit different to what’s come before, letting go some of their shadowy intensity to expand into something more airy and colourful. Slipping even into shoegaze territory, the song’s release was somehow perfectly timed for what felt like the first day of summer.