When a band generates a buzz of the level that’s surrounded Estrons for a while now, it’s quite easy to get distracted and start celebrating that, rather than the band themselves. Sometimes it can be necessary to take a step back, listen to the music rather than the hype, and remember what matters – that they just write damn good songs.
Cold Wash is the b-side to recent single Glasgow Kisses, and showcases exactly what it is that makes this bunch of former ‘strangers’ stand out from all the rest. Direct and passionate, the track captures the band’s untameable energy and autonomous spirit; that’s why I listen to them, not the amount of magazine coverage they get. And not that their being from Cardiff matters all that much, but it’s great to remember how damn lucky I am to have bands so important that I can consider local.
Speaking of which, if you’re around this area you can catch Estrons at their live best next month, as they play a hometown show with CHROMA and Palomino Party at Clwb Ifor Bach on December 9th.
Alright, so it’s by my judgement and depends what’s available at the time on soundcloud. Hence there’re actually sixteen songs here… you’ll see at the end. I’ve added some self-explanatory, and some more imaginative descriptions, but don’t worry too much about reading those; better to just hit play and listen for yourself.
Artefact Siren – Simultaneously taut and ethereal, like a kite in a breeze.
Bryde Less – Always transfixing, her voice soars and rages with emotion on this tale of unequal love.
Chain Of Flowers Flesh Blood And Bone – Slightly more upbeat and jangly that we’re used to from this gloomy lot. I did say just slightly.
DISJOY Divided – Building starkly to crash in a wave of frenzied noise, ebb and repeat.
Estrons Strobe Lights – Boisterous shout-a-long from a bunch of Strangers.
Excellent Skeleton Think I’ll Run – Give it two listens and you’ll be singing this in your sleep, desperately trying to remember where you heard it.
Florence Black The One – Classic rock with a hint of grunge, for people who aren’t old enough to remember either.
GRAVVES My Pet Rihanna – I hope the pet in question is a Tasmanian devil crossed with a hurricane, as there’s no way this song is about a gerbil.
Himalayas Thank God I’m Not You – To be fair, I wouldn’t want to be anyone else if I could write songs like this, with so much venom yet compelling the listener to dance like nothing’s wrong.
The Immediate Not Shabby – Beneath some intriguing metaphors, is an uplifting ode to coping with less-than-perfect mental health.
Lastigband Jelo – The sound of a summer morning spent stumbling joyfully, maybe lightly intoxicated, through the Welsh countryside.
My Name Is Ian Fight, Drink And Die On TV – Cardiff’s new favourite late-night festival singalong. There’ll be tees with this on everywhere next.
Neurotic Fiction Generals – Gently choppy pop, like the sun sparkling off a breezy lagoon.
Silent Forum Trust – Relentlessly agitated post-indie* that you know just from listening is explosive live.
SUNS Wear Me Thin – This drowsily beautiful slice of summery bliss hides unexpectedly agonised lyrics.
And the bonus track: Twisted Ankle Netfix & Loathing – EP Eat A Phone was released last year, but wasn’t on soundcloud then to make the appropriate list; I wanted to give it a shout anyway, so here’s an extra.
*Term stolen from TRAAMS, I think it was.
Every now and again, Fizzy Blood ease off a little on the creepiness and write something headed in the direction of soaring modern alt-rock. Latest single Summer Of Luv is one such example, not anywhere near as hippy as the title might suggest but still sort of laid-back (well at least for the first half) by comparison to their other recent releases. The song is available digitally through Killing Moon, and now the heatwave has eased off to ‘bearable’, can be the one to dance away your summer nights to.
Is the insanely warm weather giving you Migraines? Trash are here to help. Not only do they feel your pain, but their upbeat fuzz-pop can’t fail to make you feel uplifted too. The song will be part of their self-titled EP, due out August 11th on Clue Records.
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…
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.