Exclusive: Hear ‘Fuzzy Mouth’ from Brooklyn outfit Sheen Marina

Having released its first single ‘Everything’s the Water‘ last month, Brooklyn based outfit Sheen Marina now look forward and toward their forthcoming five track ‘Great Attractor EP’ with the release of ‘Fuzzy Mouth’ – A track which we’re stoked to exclusively feature below!

Self described as “a weird noise rock/math pop/psychedelic funk track about a lonely astronaut”, the shape shifting single mingles with the four other tracks from the EP to give the idea of a singular constantly evolving piece. Out later this month, it was put together in guitarist Justin Mayfield’s basement studio and features the new band lineup, including newcomers Ed Ryan (bass) and Alex Ruiz (drums).

The record’s release coincides with a show on November 27th at C’Mon Everybody back home in Brooklyn, NY, with support from Brim and Tiny Gun – For those of us in the UK, you’ll just have to make do with the ‘Great Attractor EP‘ on its release!

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Album Review: itoldyouiwouldeatyou – Oh Dearism

Review from Ben Forrester

Evolution is key in all matter of things, from music to politics; it’s all about looking forward and progressing with new ideas. itoldyouiwouldeatyou are very much a band that believe in evolution and watching their manifest getting stronger since the release of their beautiful 2016 EP ‘I Am Not Your Fault‘ has been nothing short of inspiring.

Following a string of single releases over the past year, this collective of young musicians from around the UK are ready to share their debut full length. These recent singles have definitely shown off a bigger and bolder sound for the band and although ‘Oh Dearism‘ still carries the emo pop majesty of yore, this goes deeper than before to make for an extremely ambitious debut.

Earl, King, Whatever‘ sets the tone with a three and a half minute roller coaster of an opener. Organ drones and thoughtful, harmonised vocals ease you in with the upfront and honest lyricism’s of vocalist Joey, but comfort isn’t this albums only function. As the track explodes into a post-hardcore attack of pummelling drums and spiky guitar riffs, you get the idea straight away that ‘Oh Dearism’ is here to challenge its listener, to take them through this collective hive mind and let you swim around and bask in its happiness and sadness.

itoldyouiwouldeatyou really pull out all the stops here, from massive, anthemic choruses (‘Young American’), to enticingly techy time switches (‘Gold Rush’), they’ve brilliantly combined pop sensibilities with math cleverness and a punk attitude. There’s quite a lot of musical ground covered here and the band have definitely ramped up the guitars that add some density for sure. Johnny Foreigner/ Yr Poetry guitarist Alexei joins long serving guitarist Josh to make a great team, switching it up between the soaring and the intricate; ‘Almost Zero‘ being probably the most impressive example of their dual guitar work, though it is a constantly ripping affair.

Although Joey displays a deeply impressive range of vocal stylings across the track listing, the rest of the band do chip in to add some really interesting textures, from gorgeous group harmonies to impassioned yelps. For me, the general idea with this album is big impact. Whether it’s the quieter moments like the string laden gorgeousness of ‘Gathering Things Together And Not Dividing Them‘ or the chaotic, 8 minute journey of ‘Greek Fire‘, it’s clear that the band want to provoke a reaction of any kind.

itoldyouiwouldeatyou want you to really listen in and squeeze yourself into all the nooks and crannies they’ve deliberately carved here. This is is by no means a difficult listen and it’s crawling with earworms, but at the same time the devil is in the detail. In short, ‘Oh Dearism‘ is furiously brave and delightfully beautiful. The collective seem limitless at this moment in time and with a debut as powerful as this, your heart will be theirs the second you press play.

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Flasher share fourth wall breaking video for ‘Material’ ahead of EU Tour

(Photo credit: Amy Breesman)

Having discovered that Washington, DC, outfit Flasher featured former Priests bod Taylor Mulitz on guitar, I knew right away we were in good hands. Not quite the often in-your-face punk output from his former band, along with drummer Emma Baker and bassist Daniel Saperstein, Flasher offers up a slightly cleaner sound, riding a groovy post-punk wave with the occasional dip into shoegaze.

Ahead of a run of shows over here – their first ever UK shows (including a support slot for Parquet Courts in London – Full list of dates here) – they’ve just put out a fourth wall breaking new video for the wunderbar single ‘Material’. Directed by Nick Roney, it feels like a softer Tim and Eric on occasion, taking a humorous stance on all the pimple popping videos, Illuminati theories and other laborious shite that Youtube and other streaming sites have become. Tune is a ripper though!

‘Material’ is taken from their debut LP Constant Image’ released a few months back, produced by Nicolas Vernhes (Animal Collective, Deerhunter, War On Drugs). A cracking bit of kit, it’s one we’ve played to death the past couple of months!

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Album Review: Architects – Holy Hell

Review from Ben Forrester

No one would have blamed Architects if they’d have decided to step down as a band following the tragic passing of guitarist, founding member and chief songwriter Tom Searle in 2016. But in the spirit of Tom and his total dedication to the band, Architects have stayed together and are ready to release their eighth studio effort. The band had said that they would only release new music if they thought it was in keeping with the awe inspiring legacy that Tom has left and as promised, ‘Holy Hell‘ comes out fighting.

Musically, this feels like a continuation of the band’s last two albums, combining chunky metalcore riffs, synth laded swirls and the incredible voice of Sam Carter that ranges from beastly growls to angelic swoons. But the difference here is the emphasis on melody and for that it boasts the bands heftiest hooks.

Recent single ‘Hereafter‘ and ‘Mortal After All‘ in particular are designed to be sang out loud, eyes wide and arms aloft. To be honest, you could pick the chorus of any track on here as this is an extremely bold set melodically. The band have written to the size of the rooms that they’ll be playing in from now on and the results are mountain moving.

Although Architects definitely want to keep moving forward sonically, you do get glimpses of the past, with some pretty crushing breakdowns and full throttle riffs coming into play. Despite its epically harmonised chorus, ‘Royal Beggars‘ goes back to satisfying, pit friendly ecstasy of ‘Hollow Crown‘ while ‘The Seventh Circle‘ is under two minutes of fully explosive hardcore, guitar sweeps and all!

There seems to be this even balance of pushing forward a new sound but also reflecting and looking back at the power of what makes this band such a furious metal act. Personally, this is exactly the sound I was hoping to hear from the band, lots of neck jamming groove metal but with melodies that rocket to the moon.

Holy Hell‘ has a lot to offer, it’s full of passion make no mistake, some of it angry but some of it hopeful. There is no denying just how powerful these songs are and I think it’s fair to say that there are few bands that can write melodies this majestic over instrumentals this heavy. Triumphant is an understatement, Architects are back to shake the metal world upside down with a revelation of a comeback!

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Album Review: All The Best Tapes – APEX EMOTION

Review from Jay Stansfield

If Tortoise came out of their shell, it might sound like this. From Progressive Jazz into almost math-rock psychedelia, sounding close to Senser and Mr Bungle without Mike Patton, the album opens up with what can only be described as some kind of weird post-rock crossover. ‘red snake awakens /// HIBERNATION SICKNESS’ is a full-on math-rock opus, sounding not too dissimilar to Axes if they were featuring on a Japanese Anime about Megacity Robots.

Powerful, harmonising guitars and crazy time signatures abound in ‘holomarket /// GT LIFE’, this is music for people who veer more towards the intellectual side of things but without acting like a chin stroking twat. It’s got 80’s Manga prog-metal seeping through its very core and the musicianship of the band is exceptional. It’s tight, powerful, no-shits-given performance only makes you want to stand in front of them and watch it all happen live.

With giant robots and Bladerunner all around you, ‘retrieving the arrow /// KING OF SWINE‘ sucks you into an insane guitar scratching, solo twiddling, drum smashing concoction of massively produced post-rock, with some fear inducing bits to keep you awake at night. It’s a humongous head trip of really cool ideas and creative prowess, eclectic beyond measure and full of raw energy.

‘champagne funeral /// THE INTERNATIONAL RICH LADS PARTY ANTHEM’ goes from the staple math-rock into some kind of cod reggae meets Ozric Tentacles, before transitioning into a tom-filled drum paradise of headbanging mastery riddled with space-rock metal guitars and epic guitar melodies. ‘another time, out of time /// THEME FROM A SILENT FILM (IN TWO ACTS)‘ has a super 80’s intro with what sounds like the theme from a VHS thriller and with its almost alien-like structure, moves into what the Wild West might sound like if it were inhabited by androids. Perhaps if Ennio Morriccone had been a post-rock guitar masher in some alternative Japanese Universe with trumpets and big male vocal choirs, this is the kind of music he’d make.

just returning cockpit pressure /// PHANTOMILE’ brings more math-rock to the table, with an underbelly of metal riffs and guitar synths that sweep into melodic soundscapes and then back into tightly structured bundles of metal. ‘ceremonial tears /// WATER PALACE HYPER RACEWAY‘ has a gorgeous arpeggiated synth leading into jangling, chorus guitars before jumping impatiently back into the choppy, metal-fuelled rifftastic sound slowly becoming embedded into your very core with every thoughtfully placed note.

One of the nice things to mention about ‘APEX EMOTION’ is that the album “tells the story of RED SNAKE; a world champion racing driver and international playboy who finds himself in cryogenic stasis after a near fatal accident on the track, only to awaken three-hundred and thirty-three years in the future to a nightmarish cyberpunk megacity. He vows to return to the thrill of the race in this foreign time and compete in the PHANTOMILE at the WATER PALACE HYPER RACEWAY but standing in his way is the dominant force in future hyper racing, KING OF SWINE”, which might not sound like ‘Tommy’ by The Who or ‘Lamb Lies Down On Broadway’ by Genesis but quite fantastically, the music really paints a picture all by itself.

Without even reading about the concept, you can get an idea of what they are creating through the music and that’s no mean feat in the world of music, particularly with this kind of genre.

This is an album needing a good few listens but one that leaves an immediate impression, sparks the imagination and has a level of style and presentation not heard for a considerable amount of time. It most definitely requires two listens in a row and three might teleport you into the very cyberpunk megacity they’re weaving into the fabric of reality. Be careful in there!

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Bringing Out The Worst In People: An interview with Viagra Boys

(Photo credit: Renan Peron)

Last week when we played in France, some old lady took her tits out and I started sucking on them.”

Pretty standard stuff in the day of a Viagra Boy. Sebastian Murphy, vocalist in much talked about Stockholm outfit Viagra Boys is talking us through his October. He laughs recalling the event in France.
Yeah it was a party, you know.”

Spontaneous outings of the naked form are becoming a regular occurrence at Viagra Boys shows, though it’s been like this since the beginning, as Sebastian tells us.

In the beginning there was a lot of weird shit. Somebody tried to crawl behind the drums naked, some girl’s taking their clothes off… I think it’s kind of like – it brings out the worst in people.” He laughs. “Or the best.”  

Arriving at The Eagle Inn in Salford before doors, I catch Sebastian upstairs, inspecting a bottle of red from the rider with a keen eye. When asked how he’s doing, he suggests he’s been “marinated’ from all the touring leading up to tonight. Later, stood on stage shirtless, with every inch of his torso covered in tattoo’s, he talks of vodka breakfasts and Taco Bell dinners, suggesting that this country will be the death of him.

(Photo Credit: Ollie Nordh)

As the band blast through pulverising, punk work-outs, Sebastian is up front, shadow boxing, ducking and diving, giving his inner Karate Elvis a workout. On receiving a can of Carlsberg from the rider, he works himself into a frenzy at its percentage and, ultimately, existence. In an American drawl, owing to a Swedish mother and American father, he asks the audience “What is this? Why did they create it?

Hours before, he’s joined by bassist Benke Nitad as we share shivers outside in the cold Salford air. It’s not just France that’s been in on the act, as the pair note that Brighton – specifically The Pipeline – turned into a party as the 40 or so in attendance behaved like the band were performing to a crowd of hundreds, turning the venue upside down. Partying runs throughout the Viagra Boys timeline, with a rented karaoke machine in a hair salon back home marking their beginning.

I sang a Mariah Carey song…” Says Sebastian. “But we had already spoken before then. We used to hang out at bars and talk about punk. We always talked about maybe starting a punk band and then we decided that night that we were gonna do it.
Then we just did it.” Says Benke. “Called some friends over (Thor and Benjamin, who play drums and guitar) and made a couple of songs, booked some recording time and recorded those four songs. Everything just went from there.”

Those four songs would become debut EP ‘Consistency Of Energy’, four grim tales of being black-out wasted, erectile dysfunction, bodily fluids and dodgy narcotics (“You need a refill every hour/You’re getting nosebleeds in the shower”). But before all that came the name – something to ruin your internet search history. The story goes that before deciding on Viagra Boys, there was an unspeakable, politically incorrect name of which no one outside the core band seems to know. Benke and Sebastian laugh at the mention of their original moniker.

We have a friend, a dear friend of ours, I think it was a joke more or less.” Admits Benke.
We were talking about Speed and Viagra at the bar and we were thinking about different names. We had practiced a little bit and we needed a name, then he came up with that. That’s fine.” Says Sebastian with a laugh. “We’ll go with that.

Three track EP ‘Call Of The Wild’ followed in 2017, but it was the arrival of ‘Sports’ earlier this year that had people really taking notice of Viagra Boys. Ludicrously catchy, Murphy’s Americana vocals are piss-funny and – as is the case with any hit single – easy to remember.

I think that track is maybe easily accessible, just ‘cus it’s three notes the whole song.” Comments Sebastian with a laugh. “The lyrics are pretty easy to follow also.”
Benke bursts out laughing at this, as Sebastian grins and continues.
I think a lot of people can relate as well, whether they’re sports fans or not.

We joke of the track becoming a sports anthem, potentially replacing the national anthem at a laboriously lengthy baseball game or similar (“That’d be great!” – Sebastian). Though as brilliant and humorous as the lyrics are, the band are notably high on their evolving sound.
I think we took a step forward music wise as well from the earlier things.” Considers Benke. “It’s a different kind of music, more of everything.
Sports’ and follow up single ‘Just Like You’ would eventually find their way onto ‘Street Worms’ – their debut album – brimming with morbid subjects, from repressed sexual desires to mortality and, of course, sports. Drawing comparisons to Dead Kennedys, The Fall and Butthole Surfers amongst others (we called them a more digestible Pissed Jeans), their debut full-length ticked a number of boxes.

Whilst online reviews try to pigeonhole the band, Benke and Sebastian find the ‘punk’ tag can be more associated with who they are as much as how they sound.
It’s probably more attitude than the music, I guess.” Says Benke.

This attitude and lifestyle can occasionally drift into other aspects of Viagra Boys, notably the studio process, where – on occasion – Sebastian turns up empty handed.

I think that’s how good music is made, when you don’t overthink it I guess and just kinda go for it. But I don’t know.” Shrugs Sebastian. “I don’t really know. I don’t think it helps.” He chuckles.
It’s usually better to be a little bit prepared…” Adds Benke. “Lyrics don’t have to be finished before, but you’ve got to have an idea of what it’s gonna be. Otherwise it’s kind of tough. Usually he comes up with nothing…”

(Photo credit: Ollie Nordh)

We just go there, get it done in a couple of days. Then you think about it for a while after that.” Says Sebastian. “We’re not the type of band that’s in a studio for 24 hours re-doing shit or anything like that. We definitely just go up there, record it, and if it’s not good, you record something else. Try not to linger too long in any one idea. Try not to overthink things.
The best thing is to be prepared, so then you can think about stuff before you head into the studio…” Adds Benke.Pelle (Gunnerfeldt) and Daniel (Fagerström) – we’re kind of similar persons – so it clicks and works really well with both of them.”

Street Wormsnine tracks leave the listener feeling unwashed. As Sebastian would say – It’s a party. Going off band name alone, it’s not hard to believe that its members have some grotty stories to tell. Life experience. With substance abuse, research chemicals and being unable to get stiff making up lyrics within their oeuvre, it’s no surprise to hear they’ve shared some heavy experiences.

We’ve gone through different periods in our lives.” Says Sebastian. “I think when we started out it was a bit too much, but I can’t speak for the whole band, because not the whole band is in the same spectrum of abuse. Most of the time, half the band will go to the hotel early and pass out, then maybe a couple of others will stay up all night – chasing the… something.” He laughs. “I think we wanna do this for a long time, so we don’t wanna get burnt out either. But you can’t help who you are sometimes…”

Couple of years ago, we did a little bit too much…” Says Benke, with Sebastian keen to add this was a little bit too much of everything.
You can’t write music, you can’t do anything. You just talk about shit and nothing happens. Then you have to think about what you’re doing.” Laughs Benke.
If you’re gonna make good music, you can’t be taking drugs every day.” Says Sebastian. “You’ve gotta be a bit clear minded to know what’s going on, in a way.”

Whilst the jury remains out on whether Viagra Boys future looks hazy or clear – you can’t help who you are sometimes, as noted by Sebastian – one thing is for sure. They want to crack on with this full time and keep chasing the next hit.

We’re just gonna make more music.” Nods Sebastian. “We wanna continue doing what we’re doing. I don’t know what that’s gonna be like or where we’re gonna be.
Hopefully we start in a couple of weeks, writing new music.” Adds Benke. “Then it’s touring. I guess that’s what you wanna do if you’re gonna do this.”

After all, they’ve got to make more music if they want to return to Europe and meet more older French women.
That’s what we live for.” Grins Sebastian.

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