For some reason I don’t think Sterling Press are singing about Tesco 20p carriers here. Plastic Bag is another essential communication from the London lads of ‘Lots of Noise’ fame. An all-in optimistic alt-indie tune about anticipation to the point of feeling sick, and longing to “feel the magic/ like a plastic bag/, feel the weight of the world/ step away from me”. Whatever it is they’re alluding to is left tantalisingly open to your interpretation. Complete with a monster of a pub rock chorus and a seriously uplifting middle 8 made up of their most soaring riff yet, this is Sterling Press’ greatest effort so far.
Bonus track Daisy is a turbo charged close relation of prior single Lots of Noise, a tongue-in-cheek ska-soaked tribute to the great British holiday, well deserved “euro pints/ with cheap dinners/ and holiday homes” after a draining 50 weeks of workplace labour. Wall of sound guitars end up making way for a eurodisco breakdown before collapsing into an emphatic assertion backed with fast paced drum roll, “we really need to wake up”.
Sterling Press begin a 7 date tour of the UK starting with a sold out gig on Friday 5th November (plenty of bangers but no fireworks) in Bristol. Be sure to catch them if you’re into this. Tickets available here.
Mired in controversy over last year’s shock exit of joint frontman Tom Meighan, Kasabian have kept their heads down since but comeback single Alygatyr is the sound of a band reenergised, hungry and able to take back their place at the top of the charts.
Now solely fronted by Serge Pizzorno, Kasabian have upped their game with a single sounding fresher and stronger than their recent releases. The bass is fuzzed up to the max reminding us they were making dancefloor rock’n’roll long before new peers like Royal Blood had a go. Utilising autotune stupendously in the pre-chorus chant “I wanna know if you hear the rhythm out in space” before roaring out the biggest chorus they’ve come up with since Empire, the suggestion that the band are fully back on track is strong.
Meighan has also released a new single named ‘Would You Mind’ which we’ll review on Edge of Arcady soon, but with their current well received tour and powerful material like this it seems there’s plenty of fuel left in Kasabian’s tank yet.
The Gulps have been touted for a while now as the most exciting new punk band about, making a severe mark on the London music circuit since the lifting of lockdown restrictions. But until now, unless you were lucky enough to find yourself in the audience at one of their reportedly riotous shows, we’ve only had one pretty barmy and contextless single in the form of The King’s House to whet our appetites.
New single, Stuck In The City, then, is big! Really, really big! The hype around them focussed on the punk element of their sound, a fury and ire that is doubtlessly there, but there is greater depth here, with rich melody to rival their 90s Creation counterparts, singer Harry All sounding like an early Liam Gallagher when the record closes in on the chorus, a tune more akin to Oasis and Ride than the spiky punk of The Hives. And although the bulk of the record is sung in English, the European band (from Spain, France, Italy, Lebanon) haven’t anglicised themselves in the least, reciting the entirety of the bridge in the singer’s native Spanish tongue.
If The Gulps have been Stuck In The City until now, they’re finally ready to be unleashed on the world and, if this song is anything to go by, they may just have the musical ammunition to take it over.
‘Heads or Tails’ is a 1 minute 35 second new wave tornado that packs in social commentary and performer Beija Flo’s dismay at the fate of her hometown, Harlow in Essex. A speedy, vivacious, experimental jam backed with samples of Beija’s mates chatting and kicking off. You actually feel like you’re spending a night in the town with them, your head firmly in your hands, only your experience is happily inside a hi-octane, hyperactive indie song. And just as a would-be second verse launches with Flo exclaiming “This is destroying us inside!”, the musicians drop their instruments and the song is done.
Thankfully Heads of Tails is only the first in a trio of singles to be released by Beija Flo. Recorded in Liverpool band SPQR’s Yellowbird Studios with producer friend and long-time collaborator Sam Baker, the trilogy will see us through to Spring 2022. If you like what you hear, the single, with limited signed and numbered art print, is available to purchase at https://iambeijaflo.bandcamp.com/ as well as an extensive range of poetry, merch, artwork and music.
You can also catch Beija Flo live this autumn/winter on tour and supporting Dexter… sorry Michael C Hall’s new wave band Princess Goes To The Butterfly Museum as they tour the UK for the first time.
West London hardcore five piece Chubby and The Gang have quite rightly noted that the UK (potentially the world) is in a state. Thankfully, with Fucked Up’s Jonah Falco in the producer’s chair, Charlie ‘Chubby’ Manning-Walker and his troop have the anger, nous and know-how to express exactly how much of a state.
The Mutt’s Nuts takes the brutal spirit of debut album Speed Kills with its Bad Brains, Minor Threat, Black Flag energy and imbues it with the 60’s pop tincture of genre-mates Johnny Thunders and Ramones. A perfect mash of gob-drenched styles.
The adrenaline charged title track acts as an announcement of arrival and, no less, a statement of intent. The record pulls in subjects from the dumb realness of giving over your time-earned wage to “not sleep outdoors” (It’s Me Who’ll Pay), people condemned by social or economic circumstance to spend time in prison (Coming Up Tough), to Chubby’s own Travis Bickle sentiments from his time driving a cab (On The Meter), and whether making the grade in meritocratic society is worth the sacrifice (Overachiever).
Like the human condition and life itself, the fierceness sits alongside the tender lovesick heart of Take Me Back To London Town, the corrupted Elton John rock’n’roll piano of Life On The Bayou, and the hazy lost love of Life’s Lemons.
Johnny Thunders referencing Lightning Don’t Strike Twice (“maybe baby, I was born to lose”) remembers the seething anger of feeling disadvantaged in society from birth. Finally, the new single I Hate The Radio ends with, ironically, the most radio-friendly melodic chorus of the record; maybe even their whole catalogue.
Chubby and The Gang may be royally pissed off with the state of the world but, with The Mutt’s Nuts, they communicate it in such a way that makes sure the world will want to give an ear and listen, buzzsaw guitar, piss stained alley imagery and all.
The Mutt’s Nuts is out now on Partisan Records. Chubby and The Gang embark on a 40 date UK & Ireland tour playing pretty much everywhere from 4th November 2021. For listings and tickets click here.
‘Lonely Bitch’ is a dream-pop lullaby of self-preservation to the point of sweet, sugary self-sabotage. Layered with drum machine, synthesiser and 20 year old Mollie Coddled’s summery voice, the singer lets us in on befuddling, anxiety-inducing events with a prospective partner that left her preferring to stay at home with “no fucking friends to call”. Events that also provided inspiration for this self-produced bedroom-indie track with shades of Easy Life and Lily Allen at her pure-pop mid-00s best.
Mollie has a bunch of things available to buy on bandcamp and you can watch the brand new video for ‘Lonely Bitch’ below.
Right off the starting block ‘Don’t Turn Out The Lights’ launches into a riff out of The Stooges toolbox and when James Cummins vocals kick in like a Lee Mavers for the 2020s you know you’re in for a bloody big treat. Nestled in the heart of the track is a brilliantly overwhelming sense of foreboding that refuses to quit, not even in the starkly tranquil bridge when the bassline is exposed, the singer repeatedly begs or warns the listener with the title of the song and the darkly rollicking final minute promises if you were to pull on the bulb string something terrible would go down.
Proletariat are four Manchester boys with a whopping 13 singles under their belt and if you’re aching for more after this gem of a tune be sure to check out prior single ‘Losing Control is a Beautiful Thing’.
“We never knew when we started rehearsing the song that it would turn into a twenty month jam.”
Way back when, in the early days of Edge of Arcady, we received a message from Irish indie group Pineto Cats, pointing us in the direction of their seven minute epic video A Line To Separate. With an easy start and Matt Berninger style vocals, the song veers off with myriad tempo changes and hectic mood swings, the video every bit as ambitious as the song.
Christer Kavanagh, lead singer and guitarist, took some questions from us, letting us in on the making of the record, starting the band and how the video came to be.
Tell me a bit about A Line To Seperate. A line to separate was a labour of love and also a shot in the dark! We never knew when we started rehearsing the song that it would turn into a twenty month jam. We gelled as players, buzzed off of each others ideas and generally had a real fun time writing music and collaborating. We knew that at six minute and forty-nine seconds, and with profanity in the chorus, radio and/or commercial use was more than likely off the table, but it was never about commercial success, it was about pushing our song writing to its limits and beyond.
We recorded the song in two studios: Hellfire Studios in Rathfarnam, Co. Dublin and Bay Studios, Wicklow town, Co. Wicklow.
The video looks like it was a big project to put together. How did it come about? We shot the video in our rehearsal space, Dangerous studios in Wicklow town, with Kill Productions as our co-conspirator. We were working on a small budget so most of the production came from good old fashioned ideas and creativity. Oh yeah, and a twenty euro LED strip light with twelve different colour settings. We shot something like twelve hours of footage over three days and the seven minute video was whittled out of all of that.
How did Pineto Cats form? I formed the band myself in the 27th month of the 21st century way back in march 2003! Nearly nineteen years ago. I started learning to play guitar in 2002 and had written my first song ”Coming Up” by March of the following year. The first jam took place in my mother’s house in a room upstairs with myself and drummer Eric Horner. Not long after that, bassist Glen Dunne and second guitarist Paul ‘Sparky’ Doyle (all Wicklow town musicians) joined the band and the Pineto Cats were formed. The band has undergone many line-up changes and periods of abandonment since it’s inception, with current members, bassist Kev Pedreschi and second guitarist Jack Laverty joining in 2018 and drummer Derek Byrne joining in 2020.
Who or what are your influences? We have a rather large spectrum between the four of us when it comes to influences. Anything from reggae to classical! Grunge, folk music, indie bands from the Noughties, the 70’s New York punk scene to Manchester in the 90’s & The Hacienda. Dylan, Lemmy, Leonard Cohen, The Beach Boys, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Love, Joy Division, Flaming Lips, Prince, Super Furry Animals, The Pixies, Bowie, Iggy, Lou Reed, Sonic Youth, Pink Floyd and Richard Hawley….. To name but a few.
What are Pineto Cats currently up to and what are your plans for the near future? At the minute we are rehearsing our live set, we’re half way through the process. Working on songs mostly written during lockdown with some golden oldies thrown in for good measure. We hope to release a single before Christmas and start gigging early in the new year.
Recorded raw and live in front of an audience at the Albion Rooms studio, Bat Man is a series of short sharp punk rock jabs. If no-one informed you otherwise, you’d be forgiven for thinking you were listening to Queens Of The Stone Age covering an outcut from The Clash’s debut LP.
Introduced by frontman Charlie James declaring in a cockney snarl “This one’s about a mugging in the street in Southampton. He had a bat and I had nothin-k”, a full force, pounding bombardment of brooding, cocky riffs and militant drumming ensues for two and a half minutes, ever so faintly reminiscent of the original 1960s batman theme, as the singer recalls legging it from a self-styled caped crusader, fuming that the police were nowhere to be found, as “they were too busy beating up a black man”.
You’re not going to find this song on streaming services or YouTube as it’s only available through The Dead Freights’ mailing list, which you can join by checking out their social media or clicking here:
Gang of Youths have this knack, where their songs sound a bit like Bruce Springsteen, but they get you right in the heart in a way The Boss won’t do. ‘The Man Himself’ follows in the same finely crafted tradition. Still present are the Australian five piece’s trademark violins, piano and stadium guitar over a supersonic drum beat, here complimented by recordings of an Indigenous Pacific choir’s worship song, used to pay tribute to ‘The Man Himself’, frontman Dave Le’aupepe’s father who died from cancer in 2018.
The words are an emotional punch to the ribs, dealing with the long-lasting, confusing experience of grief, the singer turning to a portrait of his dad for “sage advice”, the uneasy awareness of “I don’t know what to feel, I don’t know how to feel right”, becoming resigned to the hope of taking “A single step at a simple pace, and the outward momentum will maybe unfuck you in time”, wanting to be a different kind of father to his kid but knowing the similarity may run too deep to diverge.
The Man Himself is the latest sampler from Gang of Youths’ upcoming as-yet-untitled third album, after the ‘Total Serene’ EP.