Album Review | Muncie Girls – ‘Fixed Ideals’

Muncie Girls Fixed Ideals

Muncie Girls Trump Debut Album with Sophomore Record ‘Fixed Ideals’

Fixed Ideals is the second album from Exeter rockers Muncie Girls, following their debut LP, From Caplan to Belsize (2016). This band is a cross between The Primatives and Transvision Vamp, alongside an air of The Suncharms; basically encapsulating all things indie pop and indie rock, but with a quirky edge thanks to their often politically-fuelled and angry lyrics that cover a range of issues. The trio consist of Lande Hekt on bass, rhythm guitar, and vocals; Dean McMullen on lead guitar; and Luke Ellis on drums.

The album starts with the impending bass riff of opening track ‘Jeremy’, immediately evoking a 90s vibe which promises either a Green Day style bubble-gum punk anthem, or an indie pop track reminiscent of The Killers (more specifically the breakdown of ‘All These Things That I’ve Done’).

Once the drums kick in, lead singer Hekt’s sweet and distinct vocals quickly come into play, with her South Western twang creeping through to bring a refreshing sense of deadpan to lyrics such as “Im so angry/ I’m gonna get a tattoo, that says ‘Fuck Jeremy Clarkson, and fuck you too!’” The chorus of this track really grows on you; becoming surprisingly catchy; paired with some great guitar work which gradually gets heavier just as the vocals become more passionate, successfully emitting the band’s more punky vibes.

The second track ‘Picture of Health’ conveys a sort of rocky sound that I think can be best described as ‘shoegaze on steroids’. The lyrics refer to, in my eyes, the importance of looking after yourself and others. These heartfelt and important themes of friendship are also apparent in the later, punchy song ‘Laugh Again’ with “You’ve been so sad for so long/ I wanna see you laughing again my friend”.

Picture of Health’ effortlessly glides into ‘High’ which is a continuation of the shoegaze vibes but with a much lighter feel, reflecting the track’s title, with airy lyrics such as “I just want to feel real”, contrasted with the harsher, more political side “we’re playing a game, we know who to blame, they tell us again and again and again ‘it’s those pesky refugees and lazy claiming families’”.

‘Clinic’ again conveys these indie vibes, achieved via a deep bass and some nice punchy applications of guitar. This is contrasted alongside Hekt’s raw and real lyrics of frustration and helplessness, regarding her battle with mental health and the importance of the NHS. Some of the most emotional tones can be heard in the melancholic ‘Falling Down’ where stripped back vocals, bursting with emotion complement lazy rolling drums, and blunt, honest lyrics “I’m gonna stop smiling, when it doesn’t feel like the right thing”.  

‘Bubble Bath’ begins with plucky guitars, almost convincing you into thinking you’re listening to a U2 track, until of course Hekt’s vocals sweetly deliver “I feel like a child with shampoo in my eyes”. As the bubbles sound effect will make you check your surroundings for a rogue fish tank, the graceful yet personal and reflective lyrics such as “I remember saying that I’m gonna give up eating animals”, contrast nicely with the lighthearted, and child-like nostalgia of this track.  

The guitars of ‘Locked Up’ and ‘Fig Tree’ are reminiscent of Teenage Fanclub, while the killer riff of ‘In Between Bands’ make this stand out as a dramatic track on the album; with all tracks conveying a sense of angst throughout Hekt’s passionate yet syrupy vocals, which definitely allude to Sinead O’Connor in places.

Another stand out track is ‘Hangovers’ where Muncie Girls’ heavy style is swapped for soft guitars, and deeper vocals to create a folky little number. It’s a nice break from the full-on intensity of the album. It’s refreshing and different; and reflects the title as it tries to be softer, through airy pianos and soft melodies.

The album’s finale ‘Family of Four’ conveys the band’s political honesty, with lyrics concerning Hekt’s upbringing and being raised by a single mother “it’s all we can afford” and “thinking that the welfare state would support someone like me”. This track gradually fades out nicely, which is a nice, calm end to a smashing album.

Overall, this album is absolutely worth a listen (or several!). It’s one that positively grows on you, and will almost definitely become one of your favourites, as the infectious sugar-coated grunge tracks get stuck in your head and allow you to appreciate the wonder that is Muchie Girls.

P.S If you’re inspired enough, you may want to try and catch them on their upcoming world tour – kicking off in Manchester on the 26th!!!

8/10

By Megan Wood

 

EP Review | Sisteray – ‘Sisteray Said’

Sisteray - 'Sisteray Said'

Sisteray Prove Once Again They’re One of the Best Underground Bands Today

When a song begins with as epic drumming as this does, and face melting guitar riffs, I often think how on earth is this going to take off from this moment!? It’s surely not going to, but I was very very wrong.

I was overwhelmed with a punk rocker vocal and in your face lyrics. Can you imagine when this song gathers its deserved momentum, anything other than a crowd erupting at the very first bang of the drums? Cause I can’t.

The song has the feel of Empire, by Kasabian, and at moments it reminded me of Come On Feel The Noise by The Quiet Riot. What’s not to get ecstatic about? It’s a song for the people, the people who have had enough of certain individuals in an ever growing vain society. And the people want nothing better than having a record like this to express it!

So here it is guys. It’s a song I’d be in waiting for amongst that festival crowd, a song where I’d be encouraged to climb on the shoulders of a stranger, and absorb every single second of this new and pure rock anthem.

With that being said, the song ‘Rumour Mill’ had me fascinated by the intelligence  of the lyrics, it’s punk rock poetry, yet you’re not quite realising you’re being hypnotised by a steady tempo on the drums, and occasional teasing guitar riffs. And then the song explodes, which had me throwing my head back and forward like a well seasoned heavy metal rocker.

Lyrically someone, somewhere, has done a lot of talking without thinking. And we all know of those people! The wordsmith behind this record has painted this picture in a rather genius way, and It’s honestly difficult to go back from the fun you’re having now.

Especially when the track ‘Algorithm Prison’ has more edge, it made me think are we all just playing by the rules? Accepting whats in front of us as normal? Like we are players in a real life version of the PC Game The Sims. Being controlled by a hierarchy, that we believe care?

It reminded me a lot of ‘Bring It On Down’ by oasis. It’s melodically banging and with those lyrics the track really had me buzzing! I thought maybe I was in for some breathing space when I heard ‘Sisteray Said’, but the utterly awesome happened again!

I’m well drunk on this EP at this point, but the opening bass just tipped me over the edge.

It was my flaming sambuca. I was a ‘Sisteray’ worshipper now. This song was just 2 and a half minutes of musical mayhem, and no matter how much you want to escape it you can’t.

This EP showed me how brilliantly skilled these musicians are and I cannot stress that enough, they’re different class. The writing with edge but bringing you honesty, adding fuel to the fire while taking you on that rollercoaster with them. This band are the real deal and I cannot wait to hear more.

Words by Captain Sound

Single of the Week | Ginger Snaps – ‘With Or Without Her’

Ginger Snaps - With or Without Her

Single of the Week gets Ginger Snapped!

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday it’s the return of Single of the Week, probably the longest running feature we’ve had here at WFM! This week we have the immensely talented Ginger Snaps who’s been dropping bangers since 2016 with ‘Phat Kids’!

His newest Single ‘With or Without Her’ has got Single of the Week for undeniable catchiness and wonderful production – something which is always prevalent on every Ginger Snaps track. This song takes a slower approach than it’s predecessors, as it seems lead singer Jay Brook seems to mulling over something as he sings “Take it easy little soldier / You’re almost done with this’.

Listen Below:

Jay’s casual rapsy delivery is really infectious and calming to listen to, as he reels off lyrics on top of this subtle crunch sounding drum beat with spiraling guitars. The crystal clear production is impeccable, which really makes this track stand out from a lot of other peoples. You can just tell by the way it sounds it’s been looked after and carefully crafted.

Ginger Snaps still continue to be one of my favourite acts of the year, and I expect something big from them next year like an EP or Album because I’ve got the taste for it, and I need to hear one!

That’s it for this week, you think you have a Single of the Week get in touch over twitter by messaging @WFMBlog or email: wordsformusicblog@gmail.com

Words by Alex Wise

Add it to your Spotify Playlist!

EP Review | The Americas – ‘Guitar Music Is Dead’

The Americas - Guitar Music Is Dead EP

The Americas Release a Stellar Debut EP with ‘Guitar Music Is Dead’

‘Guitar Music is Dead’ is the debut EP by West Midlands trio, Harry, Aaron and Alex. The Americas have had a busy year to say the least, gigging all over the country, recently performing at the fringe at the Tramlines festival in Sheffield.

I must admit, the band is very new to me, but the sound doesn’t feel that way at all. The sound is so nostalgic that the tracks seem to have years behind them. The short, six track EP packs a whole load of guitar in one place. The ring of the classic bluesy vocals are complemented by rock and country guitars while hats are surely tipped towards indie music, making you really question the Midland origin of the band.

This nostalgia is really alive in the sound, the six short tracks taking great influence from good old fashioned guitar music. The lead track, ‘Come on Out’ has a Mick Jagger, Rolling Stones drawl, down to the “Oh, Oh, Oh” in the background of the track. The vocals are also delivered beautifully Jagger-y in ‘I Don’t Wanna Go Home’ and ‘American Morning’, putting Jagger in a country situation with clever guitar and drum arrangements.

 

 

True, expected country rock is really explored in ‘Rosanna’, one of three tracks released before the EP. The production of the track is really intriguing, the tempo is particularly mellowed out, giving you a rather odd feeling while you listen. The song, before the guitar amplifies towards the end, is rather hypnotising, you may catch yourself feeling as if you’re in a Southern American bar surrounded by people in cowboy hats dancing around you.

The lyrics and their sentiment in the EP, although filled with guitar and drums, make for comfortable listening. Lyrically, the EP seems to encapsulate a certain extent of storytelling with pretty dreamy melodies. ‘Backyard Love Song’ comprises electric guitar and a steady drum beat, but begs deliverance by a raconteur.  The track describes an uninspired life and relationship with the typical wish to get out of their town and regular life. Here, the story begs a familiarity and relationship with the listener, while also inspiring ambition in “Maybe I could get away/ across the country and stay…. It’s somewhere out there, of that I’m sure”. We can see this ambition in the shape of the EP and the number of gigs performed, as well as the quest to make sure guitar music is in fact not dead.

The Americas by @anniewarnerr
The Americas by @anniewarnerr

Perhaps the stand out track of the album is ‘Bad News’. This track strays from the remaining consensus of the EP. With a much faster deliverance and a heavier feel. Here, the vocals seem less bluesy and more snare like. This is more likely a rock track with indie roots, bringing a further dimension to the EP, maybe teasing other avenues they are willing to explore musically.

 

All in all, this EP was a surprising listen. I was not expecting such nostalgia in a new release, but this really is what makes The Americas stand out. The tongue in cheek title Guitar music is dead is definitely challenged in the EP, band member, Aaron explaining ‘Guitar music seems to die every year. Huge artists like Kasabian and the Gallagher brothers always claim to be the ‘last survivors’, maybe adding The Americas to the list.

This band is definitely one to watch!

Words by Robyn Hartley

 

Facebook: The Americas

Twitter: @TheAmericasYeah

Instagram: theamericasyeah

 

Album Review | IDLES – ‘Joy as an Act of Resistance’

Idles -Joy As An act of Resistance

IDLES prove they’re One of UK’s Finest with Second Album ‘Joy as an Act of Resistance

Punk is well and truly kicking in Idles’ new release – Joy as an Act of Resistance. It is the second album by the Bristol band consisting of Joe Talbot, Adam Devonshire, Mark Bowen, Lee Kieran and Jon Beavis. For those of you unfamiliar with the band, I would compare them mostly to Slaves. Their half sung, half shouted style is most definitely infectious and really grabs you through their music.

Idles released their first album Brutalism in 2017 (FULL REVIEW HERE). The band did reportedly struggle to find their sound initially, Talbot claiming “It took us a long time to get productive because we didn’t know what the fuck we were doing at all, we were fucking terrible for a long time.” However, this time was obviously well spent, with Brutalism being very well received, and the sophomore album is in no way secondary to this.

The witty lyrics of sarcastic frontman, Joe, reference heavily, with some more obscure and unexpected than others. Rock is an obvious reference point in ‘Cry to me’. The track seems almost synonymous with the Rolling Stone’s track of the same name, but Idles successfully stamp their post-punk sound all over it.

Perhaps highlighting Idles laid back approach to music and care free attitude, the 80’s classic Dirty dancing appears on the album “I carried a watermelon/ I wanna be vulnerable in the shape of Love song”. It seems Idles have a particular penchant for the past, quoting 1960s Nancy Sinatra ‘These boots were made for walking’ In ‘Never fight a man with a perm’, almost with the delivery of One of these days- Operation Ivy, post punking a classic once again. Revival seems the name of the game here.

We can really see that, Idles have not lost their sense of humour in anyway in their second album. While delivered in true Idles fashion, some may call loud and angry, light-heartedness doesn’t go a miss with obvious reality TV references “You look like you’re from Love Island in Love song” and self-degradation in ‘I’m scum’.

But, Idles cannot be discredited for tackling a variety of subjects throughout the album. There’s so much truth in the album, the frontman in particular really sharing his reality through the music. ‘Colossus’, the album opener, bursts through the speakers with great fury and anger. Addressing Talbot’s alcohol addiction, the frontman almost spits the line “I waste away for fun” repeatedly .This track isn’t the first time he has spoken so candidly about his problem with drink, “I’m just a prick. I get paranoid, jealous, angry, violent”. This reality and truth is achieved by both the tempo and the intensity of the drums changing continually creating a certain chaos and anxiety.

Loud and angry aren’t the only characteristics to achieve truth in this album. ‘June’, the most poignant track on the album by far, is notably the slowest song on the album. This is really quite a difficult song to listen to, being Talbot’s platform for the grief surrounding the death of his daughter, Agatha, in June of 2017. Much like ‘Colossus’, the song really feels like a relief for Talbot, personalising the album incredibly although the frontman claimed he was unsure if this song would be released. The most haunting lines in the song are “Dreams can be so cruel sometimes/ I swear I kissed your crying eyes and A stillborn was born/ I am a father”. The tone of Talbot’s voice is extremely harrowing while the production is extremely simple, almost sitting on the lines of Nana- The 1975.

The album is also highly uplifting, achieving many a mode in a series of twelve tracks. ‘Television’ tackles self-love and reflection in the age of such ridiculous beauty standards and media pressure. This track encapsulates Joy as an act of resistance, calling for acceptance of uniqueness against continual calls for obedience, most notably in ‘Love yourself’, “The bastards make you not want to look like you and I smash mirrors and fuck TV”.

The song stands as a message of positivity and confidence while the media perpetuates nonsense for conformity and insecurity. Similar to this is the most poppy song on the album, ‘Danny Nedelko’, names after the Hungarian frontman of Heavy Lungs, perpetuating hope and positivity. The song circles around the issue of immigration expressed in “He’s made of bones/ He’s made of blood/ He’s made of flesh/ He’s made of love/ He’s made of you/ He’s made of me/ Unity!” This track is actually quite refreshing, although still delivered in Idles’ fashion, a social message is put forward rather eloquently. Although Talbot describes the song as ‘more of a humane portrait than a political song’, he also wanted the ‘two notions to be inseparable’. The song achieves such that, the song captures immigration as a human issue rather than a black and white issue as often shown in the media.

All in all, I would describe this new release as eclectic and truthful. Taking influences from a variety of sources, while addressing multiple facets, the album is an obvious journey through a life lived.

I already can’t wait for the next one!

10/10

Words by Robyn Hartley

New Release | Toothpaste – ‘Bedtime’

Dream Pop band Toothpaste release New Track ‘Bedtime’

London Dream Poppers Toothpaste have released their first single of the year, and it’s steeped in DIY dream pop textures that will warm you up when listening.

As the track starts with a slow guitar and a beat so laid back that it could fall off the chair when leaning back, Toothpaste create a perfect bed of music for equally mellow vocals. The song stays around that slow melodic beat for the entirety of the track never drifting too far, as some finger clicks are introduced.

The track was produced by band member Daisy Edwards, meaning the band had a huge say int what this track sounded like at the end. However it did have some mastering work completed by Slowdive’s Simon Scott, who has an ear for this style of music, refining the track to a high standard.

The tracks has some very dark undertones to it with the lyrics, as they read “Waiting in my bed for the Perfect Time / To tell the one I love I might be dead Inside / Oh what a nice surprise”. This is at contrast with the beautiful atmosphere the band have created for us on this track, and it works so well. It’s a delicate number the band have created, one which I would love to see performed live.

Which you can see, as the band are having a FREE launch party! – Details Here

Toothpaste Single Launch Party

Hope you enjoyed the track, what did you make of the bands first release of the year?

Words by Alex Wise

 

 

 

 

Interview | Jack Barnett Answers 10 Questions

Jack Barnett

Jack Barnett Takes on The 10 Questions!

When did you start to write music?

Started writing when I was about 14. I was in a band in school me and the singer wrote all of our songs together.

What made you want to get into music?

A friend of mine had started to learn to play guitar and I thought it was cool so I started to. From then on I’ve picked up any instrument that I can get my hands on!

Best venue you’ve ever played and why?

Probably Tiny Rebel at hubfest last year. I wasnt even playing my stuff I was filling in for the Oldus Fawn guitarist and had to learn everything in one afternoon. They sound was great and 0 mistakes, the most enjoyable gig in a while for me I think.

One band/artist you’d love to support?

Jamie Lenman, it wouldn’t fit at all but he’s my all time favourite song writer and his shows are outrageous.

What’s the greatest love song ever written?

Green grass by Tom Waits. Also Laisse moi t’aimer by Mike Brant.

The best album that you’ve heard this year?

This year I’m not so sure. In the past 12 months Glassjaw – material control, an album I’ve been waiting 15 years for and it didn’t disappoint.

Most overrated band/artist of all time?

So many! I don’t like the Beatles I never have, it makes some people vomit bile when I say that. What they have contributed to modern music is undeniable but I just cant get on with it.

What was the last song you streamed on Spotify?

Yeah right by Joji

Which three artists/bands should we be looking out for? (Musically not for Criminal Offences)

My cardiff music scene day one Little Rêd, Oldus Fawn is one to see live and someone a little further afield Soccer Mommy.

What do you want to accomplish next as a band?

Probably record a little more. Make things sound even bigger again.

Just would like to say thanks once again to Italia 90 for taking the 10 Questions on. Make sure you follow them and check out their music!

Follow Him! – Twitter

The Chapel’ –  Listen Here

Album Review | Her’s – ‘Invitation To Hers’

Hers - Invitation to

Liverpool Dream Pop Duo Her’s do Good on their Debut Album ‘Invitation To Hers

The charm of dream-pop duo Her’s is that you never quite know where you are with them, yet that dizzy displacement is what you came for. It’s 2018, and we have been given ‘An Invitation To…’: a succinct slice of wit as a title, heightening the supposition that here we have an album that is a confident debut; a statement of standing by their intent. Her’s take us by the hand into their kaleidoscopic world: jarring in its restlessness, captivating in its colour.

Her’s have been dogged, since their first collation ‘Songs of Her’s’, by parallels drawn between themselves and the hazy chimera of Mac DeMarco. Though they were once steeped in DeMarcian sensibilities, with swooping, twinkling guitarwork and drawling vocals as nonchalant as a backyard hammock, ‘An Invitation To…’ is a bold step away from that. Her’s have tapped into the springs of originality, bravery and identity. ‘Harvey’ opens with a sleepy Parisian instrumental that kicks into skittering drum beats and gleaming synth that feels like you’ve been dragged back into a kitsch 50’s gameshow. They tamper with vocoder-distorted vocals, at once kooky and almost nightmarish. Despite ‘Harvey’ being a frontal curveball, it’s an infectious track that is as silly as it is fun. In a genre that is meant to be light and free, yet weighed down by taking itself too seriously, Her’s have created something that feels authentic.

‘An Invitation To…’ is packed with melodic ambition. With instrumentals echoing the carefree jangles of 80s pop music in the likes of ‘Mannie’s Smile’ and ‘Low Beam’, their sound is sun-dappled, contrasted with slippery vocals; one moment baritone, the next minute soaring high, but always mocking. There is nothing smooth about Stephen Fitzpatrick’s voice. The minute you are settled with the sound, he distorts it at will.

‘Don’t Think It Over’, one of the more visceral, sensitive tracks on the album. Its throbbing basslines from Audun Laading and shrug-of-the-shoulders mumbles is at odds with the lyrics that tell a story of budding paranoia: “Still you sweat / Over what she could be doing / It’s a simple threat / Is it only the beginning?”.

The influences on ‘An Invitation To…’ are far more variegated than what you could imagine; Her’s show a refreshing irreverence for the confines that come with being a “dream-pop duo”. Wallowing vocals walk bravely into the post-punk territory in ‘She Needs Him’, optimism clashes with numb melancholia in a Joy Division vein. Laading’s inclination for powerful bass is best shown in ‘Under Wraps’, which exudes a Brooklyn-born coolness as if it came from the same streets as The Strokes, just breezing along, rather than running at a hundred miles an hour.

This is a knock-out debut album. It’s hard to not be enamoured with its ever-changing style and sound – but above all, its imaginative sense of humour. It sounds beautiful and strange without the ostentation of other artists in their milieu. How could you refuse an invitation to Her’s?

Words By Sophie Walker

 

 

New Release | Nervous Pills – ‘Our Returns Policy’

Nervous Pills

Sheffield Grunge Rockers, Nervous Pills release New Track ‘Our Returns Policy

Our Returns Policy’ is the new release from Nervous Pills – the alternative, grungey, indie rock trio consisting of 3 Sheffield lads Tom, Harry and Liam; and this debut single proves to be just as satisfying as it is catchy . After meeting at school and deciding to form a band 5 years ago; these guys have been spending some time refining their sound, and playing various gigs in and around their hometown – which included two successful stints at this years’ Tramlines fringe. Now the band have finally officially released some of their creative output for us to enjoy.

Of the top of my head, the one word to describe this band would be ‘LOUD’, but I think they deserve much more credit than that! For me, this track oozes the full-on energy associated with classic grunge and indie rock, with the band’s influences clearly including the likes of Nirvana, Arctic Monkeys and The Cribs. Their sound also manages to capture the deep, moody bass of Joy Division, alongside an air of punk rock – with bands such as Idles and Flatworms also being extremely influential to the band’s musical productivity.

When listening to ‘Our Returns Policy’, you are greeted by a wonderfully heavy introductory bass line, executing a simple yet effective riff. It feels reminiscent of something off Nirvana’s Bleach album, and is effortlessly continued throughout the song to provide the perfect mix of intensity and composure, not to mention major headbanging potential.

With the edition of some fuzzy, indie guitars and classic drums, this quickly becomes a track you could most definitely mosh to!  As well as being strangely catchy, with lyrics adhering to how capitalism draws us into buying things we later regret; the wonderful Sheffield tones of lead vocalist Harry shine through to deliver these lyrics with a relatable, non-nonsense yet passionate style, nodding towards Milburn’s Joe Carnall and early Alex Turner.

You can sense the hard work and passion these guys have put into their debut, through every aspect of both the music and singing of this track, not forgetting the atmospheric backing vocals from Tom and Liam, which really help the track to build before it’s explosive finale. By the end you’ll definitely be shouting with them loud and proud “YOU WON’T GET YOUR MONEY BACK!“.

This is an exciting debut from a band with a lot more to offer. Keep your eyes peeled for their new material and upcoming gigs in Sheffield this October!

By Megan Wood

Our Returns Policy is available of Spotify now!

Facebook: Nervous Pills

Instagram : nervouspills_band

 

New Release | Pizzagirl – ‘Highschool’

highschool_Press Shot.jpg

Bedroom Synth-Artist Pizzagirl release New Track ‘Highschool’

Bedroom Music Makers are one of the most interesting when it comes to listening to new music, because a lot of the time they’re completely alone when making a new track. So they know no boundaries, and each idea they have isn’t contested so you get to hear the purest form of the artist.

Pizzagirl took this route when releasing his new synth orientated track ‘Highschool’, which sounds like its been picked directly out the 80’s and on the way caught a bit of the 00’s on it’s back legs.

Listen Below:

The slow and smooth the track works it’s way over the three minute mark, giving you a solid slice of synth-pop action. The vocals are completely soaked in reverb and slightly lost in the beaming synth which raged throughout the track.

For the majority of the song the pace sits at the same tempo, which heightens its cool and overall suave feel. It sounds as if he written the song from the perspective of John Hughes out of the Brat Pack film, as he frets about losing his cool.

This has been released ahead of his sophomore EP Season 2 which will be released this November!

What did you make of the track?

Words By Alex Wise