The internet has made it easier now than ever to compare our lives to those of others’, and allows greater control over how we portray ourselves too. Of course, the natural reaction then is to present the most exciting, happy and well-adjusted version of your world at all times; yet it can be hard to remember that those you are scrutinising are also doing the same, that there is far more to them than the complete, ‘perfect’ selves you are permitted to see. If All Your Parts Don’t Make A Whole targets this thinking, and how easy it is to hold yourself to unattainable standards, because it can seem like everyone else has it together and you’re the only one struggling. Likes and follows have become the new social currency, replacing the number of real-life friends you might’ve previously judged a person’s popularity by. It’s easy for these to be used to measure ourselves against what we think we should be, for the acquisition of them to become an obsession, when that time could be better used living our real lives.
Although you should obviously take three minutes of that to watch the video below; and in the real world, Press to MECO will be self-releasing second album Here’s To The Fatigue on November 11th.
Well, where to start – it’s been a long couple years, boys. In the time Samoans have been away, Four Bars has shut; the venue where I both first, and most recently (nearly said ‘last’ there, but hopefully not!) saw them. Watched the band live, that is – as for the individual people involved, most of them tend to turn up fairly frequently around Cardiff, occasionally in my work which is cool if always a little awkward.
Rescue, the group’s debut album, has been spun half to death though I’m still sure I’ll never get bored of it. The split with Freeze The Atlantic in the interim was a fun little snack, but something more substantial is definitely overdue. And so we look forward to Laika. This second full-length record has been announced for release on September 29th via their own Apres Vous Records, and is preluded by the aerial Patience.
I half think this song reminds me of something else, or is it akin to that curiosity where you meet someone new who it feels like you’ve always known, fresh yet familiar at the same time? Alternatively, maybe I’ve just listened to the damn thing too many times already. You can’t really blame me for that, as from its sudden intro the track softens into a swirling, undulating dream which holds you in a trance you’ll never want to leave. Even after it finishes, when you find yourself hitting play again… If it’s not obvious by now, I’m loving this and pretty keen to hear the rest of the new album; I hope they’re as glad to be back as we are to have them.
Coming to my attention last year as Pines, a subsequent name change seems to have upped the band’s productivity as they’ve already recorded and released debut album Dixieland under new moniker Greet Death.
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.
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.
Alright, so there are a lot of punky-noise-pop bands kicking around at the moment, and yes I love a fair few of them. Pinact though are a level above most, debut album Stand Still And Rot being loaded start to end with flawless, introspective indie songs. New single Seams follows their lead, if anything a tad less fuzzy, which serves to allow the beautifully simple pop song at its core to really shine through. I’ve listened to this maybe a dozen times now and each play it hits me again how special it is, sounding almost like an early-00’s Ash b-side (or maybe I’ve just been listening to Cosmic Debris too much lately!). Anyway this song will be on the band’s second album, The Part That No One Knows, released on August 25th.