30 June 2011

New: Birthdays

Remember Birthdays, the Boston-based purveyors of vibrant synth heavy pop such as Howolding Girls and Software (featured on Basement Fever back here)? Well they're back and they're brilliant, still.

Samuel Yager, the man at the core of the project, has been busy recording a full-length but has found time to put out a little sneak preview of what might be to come in new track Pizza Baby. It;s different, edging away from the pop sound, but Pizza Baby is excellent - exploring darker electronic territory, with broody, bassy sounds and a high-pitched psychedelic vocal that reminds of Connan Mockasin. It might be different but it's equally excellent and has got my mouth sufficiently whetted for the upcoming full-length.

Birthdays - Pizza Baby

Facebook | FMLY

16 June 2011

The Bell Peppers

With a name like that, you probably wouldn't expect The Bell Peppers to sound how they do. Rather than a Red Hot Chilli Peppers cover band or the new theme tunesters for Man v. Food, the Manchester band opt for nonchalant and lo-fi surf-rock vibes. It's a sensible move, and one that might get them some more attention from bloggers who like to link bands to the weather - if we actually get any sun this summer. If you like Y Niwl or simply a convincingly retro sound, then you'll like these - and so will your gran.

The Bell Peppers - Rubber Bullets

The Bell Peppers - Monquito Diner

Bandcamp | Facebook | Nods to The Pigeon Post

14 June 2011


Horses band

Abrasive and anti-social bluesy garage rock from Sheffield/Manchester two-piece Horses, who kind of come across as a mixture of Manchester's Brown Brogues and Sheffield's Bhurgeist if you were looking for an easy, lazy comparison. It's scrappy, it's lo-fi, it's good.

Hear more stuff at SoundCloud and catch them live at Sheffield's Tramlines festival in July.

Smile by HORSES

Die tonight by HORSES

Facebook | SoundCloud

10 June 2011



Blogged about south Wales four-piece VVOLVES at the start of the year following a debut EP release on Peski Records. It was all dancey, punky youthful synth-led pop - vibrant, energetic, and perfectly effective. Looks like they've decided to move in 2 entirely new directions since then, though, with 'Strange Blood' and 'People' springing up on their bandcamp page for free download this week.

The former track, Strange Blood, is slow-paced, pensive, down-beat and almost-balladry in its make up; crying vocals, big guitar sounds, violin sounding synth, slow paced drum crackles, and minor-key piano chords throughout. It's affecting and effective - and couldn't be much more different to other new song People. Surfy guitar chords jerk in time with echoing snare hits bringing to mind Fair Ohs, and the similarity to US surf-punks remains a fairly valid comparison for the rest of the track also.

Arguably pretty brave to cover such a broad range of sounds especially for a band so early into their 'career', but it pays off here for sure. Listen below and hear more at bandcamp.

VVOLVES - Strange Blood

VVOLVES - People

Bandcamp | Facebook

9 June 2011

Best Friends

Best Friends

Sheffield four-piece Best Friends' lo-fi garage-meets-surf rock racket may be nothing overly original but it's an excellent blend of sounds and perfectly executed also. Distorted vocals, twanging guitar, buzzy bass, crashing drum sounds and the soundtrack to your summer, maybe. Patriotism may largely be a racist's excuse, but it makes me feel a little proud when stuff like this comes out of the UK. Listen below or download the full EP on bandcamp or SoundCloud

Best Friends - Lip Curl

Best Friends - Beach Bitches

Bandcamp | SoundCloud | Facebook | Twitter

8 June 2011



Shamelessly stolen from my other blogging venture (lostlostlost), Yawn are a Chicago tropics-loving four-piece - all rim-clicks, 'tribal' chanty vocals, bongo-taps, and high-pitched, high-paced guitar work. It's the sort of thing that some people will compare to Animal Collective, Dirty Projectors, and Yeasayer but it certainly deserves to be seen as its own 'thing'. It's exciting, it's vibrant, and I really, really like it.

Yawn - Toys

Yawn - David

Homepage | Bandcamp | lostlostlost post

6 June 2011



13,000 plays. That's all I'm saying to myself as I listen to Canadian three-piece Friendo for the first time. How and why have I not heard of these before? I don't know. The important thing is that I have heard of them now.

All I know is that at least one member either used to be or still is in noisy band Women, and that these woozy, reverberating jams spanning all kind of genres and influences (you can hear bits of punk, 60s-style pop, and an experimental, noisy edge) are all kinds of ace.

Check out some stuff below. Also, Cardiff folk should see them supporting Cold Pumas at Buffalo Bar on July 8 along with Saturday's Kids. That'll be excellent.

Friendo - Callers

Bandcamp | Facebook

2 June 2011

Revisiting: The Black Tambourines

The Black Tambourines

Posted about Falmouth three-piece The Black Tambourines back in November not long after their split 7" release with New Years Evil on southwest label Art Is Hard, commenting on their excellent surfy, noisy pop jams based on the tracks contained on that release. As excellent as those tracks were, it's only since recently (and belatedly) stumbling on their latest Hombre EP that it's been cemented in my mind just how good and really exciting these bunch are. Should never have doubted their 'stayability' - evidence below.

The Black Tambourines - All Gone

The Black Tambourines - Vitamin D

Facebook | SoundCloud | Blogger | Split 7"

1 June 2011

Yung Mums

Yung Mums

Scrappy, abrasive and lo-fi garage-punk from Vancouver all-girl three-piece Yung Mums, showing that good music is often knowing when enough is enough rather than messing around with being 'tight' or sounding clean. They're fairly simple jams but perfectly judged - just the kind of excellent stuff that would start out on Sex Is Disgusting were they UK-based.

Yung Mums - Thru With U

Yung Mums - Dead South

Yung Mums - Cobra

Bandcamp | Facebook | MySpace | Image from Bodies of Water