EP Review: Hoof Glove – Hoof Glove

Review from Marcus Clarke

I’ve always been drawn to a particular kind of punk music, one that concerns itself with an intensity and attention span both as erratic and as short as a teething toddler, though packing enough punch to leave you toothless again. When flailing at the nexus of infantile vigour seamlessly crafted into a deluge of progressive motifs, that’s when I find myself cracking a smile. It’s a certain sensibility; a protrusion of the tongue still subterranean to the vertical cheek, a royal flush of virtuosity, aggression and playfulness; daft song names and carpal tunnel syndrome. Whatever it is, Hoof Glove is that.

It’s almost irrelevant that Hoof Glove are a ‘DIY supergroup’ (made up of members of Cattle, Thank, Hex and Ona Snop to name but a few), for the Leeds music community, collaboration is as natural and as abundant as the fungal spores that inhabit the dank basement air in which this noise is produced. Just a few minutes of involuntary inhalation and your capillaries are laced with the bastards, regular permutations upon the hour. That’s the science of the sound. The biodiversity of noise. Genealogies are useful but they can’t tell you which drink you should pick to go with your meal deal.

Live sets matter, that raw truth is sealed in the clarity of the production so you can digest the chaos. A black coffee would go down a charm no doubt. Get lost, lose yourself, send out a search party, who called the search party? I did. You? Well alright then.

All of these songs are my favourite song.

One index finger raised, proceed to throttle.

Hoof Glove. Hoof Glove.

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Live Review: Hot Snakes at Gorilla in Manchester 25 January 2018

Review from Marcus Clarke

It’s been a good six years or so since Hot Snakes crashed onto the shores of this island with their newly reformed selves and wave of driving, discordant, surfer inspired garage-punk. 2011 saw the triumphant reunion of post-hardcore’s most fervent pyrotechnical guitar heroes, Rick Froberg and John Reis, after Hot Snakes break up in 2005. On this miserable January night, they’re here to transport our minds to somewhere in the distant west, where the breakers keep coming and never let up. Here, in the confines of Gorilla in central Manchester, there is little space to dwell on the darkness of peak winter woes.

Supporting bands Hopper Propelled Electric and Liines leave enough time to build up ample anticipation for the main event. Finally Hot Snakes take to the stage, with Reis making friends at the front of the crowd for some time before launching into new song ‘Death Camp Fantasy’. Tonight, the band have four albums to play from and it’s clear from the off that the new material from ‘Jericho Sirens’ (to be released on Sub Pop 14 years after their last full length) hasn’t suffered any fatigue. And neither has the band, as they rip through the set at an incredible pace that bands of a similar age would struggle to keep up with.

Original drummer Jason Kourkounis holds it down for the first half of the set, kicking out numbers from ‘Automatic Midnight and ‘Suicide Invoice‘. ‘I Hate The Kids‘ creeps in with Reis’ menacing string bends and hammer-ons for what is one of their most memorable songs.

Throughout the dissonance and dangerous melodies, bassist Gar Wood never stops smiling. It’s fair to say the crowd here is mostly in their late 30’s (excluding Johnny Marr of course) but there’s a healthy contingent of younger fans at the front and it’s obvious from Wood’s beaming grin that they certainly do not hate these kids. Fittingly, they dive head first into ‘Gar Forgets His Insulin’, which has a rodeo style shuffling rhythm played so fast that if you’re not so familiar, you’d be forgiven for losing the first beat of the bar to the hectic showdown. Another newbie, ‘I Need A Doctor’, sounds like it could be one of their most catchiest tunes to date.

Mario Rubalcaba now takes over on drum duties as they play through their most attuned hits from ‘Audit In Progress’. Nutritional anthem ‘Think About Carbs‘ has everyone gyrating under the cavernous ceiling of Gorilla, while ‘Having Another?’ serves as a more laid back tribute to Californian shores. The band seem to prepare themselves for something raucous. I’ve assumed correctly as they thunder through the opening bars of ‘Braintrust’, arguably their most popular song, leading to a good old sing along.

Hi-Lites’ and ‘Retrofit’ end their set with lighting precision and energy before (of course) returning for an encore with Kourkounis to play ‘Suicide Invoice’, ‘If Credit’s What Matters…’, ‘Automatic Midnight’ and ‘No Hands’.

A kid at the front shouts “Do you know any Jehu?”, referring to Reis and Froberg’s second band formed in the early 90’s, a more convoluted and mathematical predecessor to Hot Snakes (Jehu were supposed to perform in the UK back in 2016, but didn’t thanks to the wasteman that is Barry Hogan). The kid’s heckle makes me wince somewhat (even though Jehu are one of my favourite bands), because despite the the impressive scope of their collective legacy, and the fact that snakes don’t have legs, Hot Snakes stands on its own, and in the year of our lord two thousand and eighteen, it doesn’t sound like it’s going to sit down any time soon.

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5 Things to love about…AFROPUNK LONDON

Preview from Marcus Clarke

Attending a festival for the first time can be somewhat of a spiritual experience. We all remember our first festival right? Well my first Afropunk in London last year was nothing like Carling Weekend 2007 (ahem…), it was a complete eye opener and proved to be an overwhelmingly positive and emotional experience for me. It’s a fair assessment that British rock festivals have been predominantly white since before yer mam lost her shit to a certain black left-handed guitarist rocking an Isle of the opposite colour. I remember attending Sonisphere one year only to be heckled with “Rude boy!” by a gang of punters, repeatedly asked if I liked reggae and was selling weed at Parklife, and one time while watching Bloc Party at Leeds Fest (nee Carling Weekend) I had a rather bizarre IRL Stormzy/Lukaku moment, as an audience member turned round to ask if I was Kele Okereke… from Bloc Party… who we were both watching… right there on stage.

So when I stepped into Alexandra Palace last year for a festival that not only was full of punks of colour, but a hella load of women on stage, prompting the world’s best dressed punks to lose their proverbial shit like Jimi made ‘em do in 1970, it was like having the whole world of festivals as I’d known flipped upside down, and it was beautiful. This brown little snowflake (Bran Flake?) felt incredibly safe, empowered and inspired, so I’m super excited that this year Afropunk returns to London with a new venue (Printworks) and an outrageous line-up that’s waaaaaay too good to do a Top 5 list about…
(wait, what’s that? …oh we ARE doing a top 5 list? Ok, I suppose I can try and make that work…)

Umm, here are my Top 5 (definitely not definitive by any means) artists to check out at Afropunk London 2017!

Danny Brown

Through his iconoclastic assaults on rap, Detroit rapper Danny Brown has drawn from an arsenal of EDM, left-field Hip-Hop, post-punk and electronica to redefine what it means to be a rockstar. His unmistakable high pitched delivery can switch like a traumatised Pitbull, whipping up ferocious amounts of energy. But beneath all the leather, devil horns and his impressively long crotch twitching tongue, it’s his deep introspection and reflective subject matter that makes this icon human and relatable, a nature that was exhibited so clearly on his most recent and ground-breaking record ‘Atrocity Exhibition’, which came out on Warp Records last year. Everybody wants to party with Daniel because he knows how to turn personal pain into a powerful release. Sounds pretty punk to me.

Thundercat

Is there a musical equivalent to a poet laureate? Because if we needed one for all us freaks and weirdos I would nominate Stephen Bruner aka Thundercat. He is the Frank Zappa of our times, fingering pleasurable low-end vibrations at phenomenal speeds and crooning out falsetto cascades of remarkably insightful bilge, gradually unblocking your beer bloated brain with every listen. I guess what I’m basically trying to say is that Thundercat is a giant Berocca. From Kendrick Lamar to Flying Lotus, Michael McDonald and Suicidal Tendencies, he’s worked with the best and he’s bound to blow your mind!

Kojey Radical

(Photo Credit: dannymac)

Kojey Radical appeared to me from a puff of smoke, seemingly out of nowhere as a guest in the middle of Gaika’s set at Afropunk last year. I was pretty blown away seeing an emcee (or poet as 6music types like to identify him) with such a commanding and clear cut performance. He’s not your standard everyday rapper, his style spills out but never drowns his substantial lyrical skill. As the name suggests he is a radical turn in the road for rap. Get to know!

The Internet

Sometimes punk doesn’t have to be reduced to 3 chords or spitting in your face to get its point across, sometimes it can be slick, progressive and, dare I say it, sexy! The Internet came through with Tyler, the Creator’s Odd Future family back in the early 2010’s but since then have become their own worthy entity (with 3 of the members all releasing superb solo albums this year). Their 2015 breakthrough album ‘Ego Death’ is packed full of gorgeous bangers (just try not to shoulder bounce to ‘Get Away’, impossible!), and multi-talented lead vocalist Syd is her own unique mould of punk, unequivocally cool and powerful, she makes anyone of any gender swoon.

Saul Williams

I think if the word Afropunk was created for anyone in particular it was Saul Williams. I remember seeing him play in a small basement venue in Leeds in 2008, donned in bright colourful feathers and hanging from the ceiling. That night I witnessed a new avenue for performative exploration, unashamedly black and jumping head first into the future. Spoken word artist, rapper, actor, producer; he was Death Grips before Death Grips, Kanye before Kanye, Kanye before Kanye was Death Grips, he’s always been ahead of the curve! His latest album ‘MartyrLoserKing continues to confront and engage with the troubles of our times.

AFROPUNK LONDON kicks off on July 22nd and runs through to the 23rd! Tickets can still be purchased here!

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5 Things to love about…Supersonic Festival

Preview from Marcus Clarke

Festivals seem to be stagnating in the face of an ever-shifting industry landscape, taking safe bets on line-ups laced with nostalgia trips rather than taking big leaps into the unknown. Supersonic exists largely outside this bubble, and for the past 10 years it has been bringing some of the best experimental and forward thinking musical experiences to Birmingham. The festival also does well to carry on the tradition of heavy envelope pushing sounds, after all it was these parts of the midlands that brought us so many great metal pioneers (the festival just so happens to boast a Black Metal life drawing class, a screening of the new Melvins film and a talk on Napalm Death’s contribution to DIY culture).

But it’s all about thinking outside the box, and so Supersonic’s line-up contains a diversity which will have any music lover with a keen ear and an adventurous mind drooling in excitement.

Here at BCFB we’ve selected our top 5 acts to catch this weekend at Supersonic. Take a look and get yourself a ticket!

Destiny Frasqueri is one of raps most inspiring and irreverent rebels, galvanizing the strength of sisterhood through her broad Hip-Hop sound. Her debut mixtape ‘1992’ is due for a deluxe re-release this year, and includes such anthems as ‘Tomboy’ and ‘Kitana’. She isn’t shy of her punk roots, having collaborated with the likes of fellow New Yorkers Show Me The Body (and one might also expect to see her rock the occasional Slipknot hoodie). Princess Nokia is a millennial horn blower leading the charge for a positive inter-sectional musical revolution and she is definitely not one to sleep on.

Is that a bass sax you’ve got strapped to your sen? Or are you just pleased to see me? Reed-wielding badman Colin Stetson has played with the likes of Arcade Fire, BADBADNOTGOOD and Bon Iver. His unparalleled circular breathing technique and use of contact mics to add extra harmonics through vibrations in his throat have made him the go to jazzer to create extra-special something. His performances are as much physical as they are musical, he is certainly a sight to see.
Myself and Andy (Editor of BCFB) were lucky enough to catch these guys in Manchester this week, and they were nothing short of out of this world. Yasuko Onuki and Ichirou Agata have been trailblazing across the universe for the past 25 years with their super-fast grindcore-esqe positive vibrations, leaving listeners feeling like they’ve been sucked into a 16-bit cartridge dosed up on E-numbers. Lasers, yelps, bass chugs and screaming guitars whip up a wild and overly stimulating performance. You’d be a chump to miss these champs.

Putting the ‘super’ into Supersonic is this ‘supergroup’. The underground star hookup of Kevin Martin (The Bug) and Justin Broadrick (Godflesh, Napalm Death) have intertwined once before in the form of industrial noise-hop group Techno Animal. Now they are finally reunited for their special performance of new project Zonal. With artists like Death Grips, Moor Mother and Ho99o9 bringing experimental and noisy hip-hop back into fashion, what better time than now for some of its stalwarts to return to the fold.

Zu’s 2009 release ‘Carboniferous’ is perhaps one of the best noise-rock albums of the noughties. Their sound can only be described as a squad of elephants attempting set up a kitchen blender. This is definitely one for all the math-rock, noise-rock, jazzy crossover geeks. Splendid maddening stuff.

Supersonic Festival kicks off on June 16th and runs through to June 18th! Tickets can still be purchased here!

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Album Review: Pissed Jeans – Why Love Now

Review from Marcus Clarke

Review from Marcus Clarke

I frown upon the idea of using a press release as a starting point for an album review – but since when am I going to let some jumped up two-bit music critic tell me what to do eh? In the first paragraph of Sub Pop’s blurb for ‘Why Love Now’ (the fifth album from the Pennsylvanian punk-rock four-piece Pissed Jeans), the band are described as a “male-fronted quartet”, immediately drawing my attention to the fact that the term ‘female-fronted’ is so often used to lamely summarize acts with women holding it down on the mic. So here’s a mind prod for you, I posit that Pissed Jeans are a feminist band. You just can’t argue with that (I mean you could try but if you’re gonna @me combat me!) Their whole shtick is about openly discussing the traps and pitfalls of being a man in the 21st century. Of course, this is expected from a punk-rock band as pertinent to our times as Pissed Jeans, but the main theme of this album in particular appears to be very specific to the subject of masculinity, more so than in their previous material. Advertently deconstructing their own masculine identities makes them contributors to feminist oral literature, the experience of being a man – carving out the grotesque parameters of manhood with razor sharp sardonic wit, laying waste to male pride, exposing boneheads for flaccid willies. Why Love Now ejaculates the zeitgeist right onto the table.

Even the riffs on this album have found their sound drenched in a bit of 80’s sleaze, as the band come the closest to sounding like AC/DC and Motorhead yet. But unlike their amp-wrecking forefathers, their matters are in order to reflect their wrongs rather than to glorify their privileges (compare ‘I’m A Man’ to Black Flag’s morally reprehensible ‘Slip It In’ and you get the picture). Though Pissed Jeans work isn’t to have an overbearing moralising purpose, it’s simply to say “This shit is ugly, why are we still doing this?

Why Love Now is brought into the world literally kicking and screaming, as the grinding angst ridden growl-fest of ‘Waiting On My Horrible Warning’ wails of fear for what might be happening to your body on the inside, the creeping realisation of mortality as the world exhales you out into your thirties. This is far from the usual punk opener and there’s even acknowledgement of that, as the now (I’m imaging) red boiling face of Matt Korvette roars “everyday I used to play punk but now i’m just singing the blues”. In taking this entrance it cuts deeper than any d-beat could, even the choice of bleeping out a “fuck” adds to the bubbling pain. It feels too easy to call it a work of genius so early on, but if I can’t call a spade a trowel then I’m done with this here business.

The Bar Is Low’ is a swaggering pop anthem about the impenetrable haar of mediocrity, a society in which men who are rapists (Bill Cosby, Donald Trump), racists (Nigel Farage, Donald Trump), and essentially lacking in any intelligence whatsoever (Boris Johnson, Donald Trump) can still be at the top. It’s an idea that permeates through everything, to paraphrase Korvette in a recent interview with Sub Pop, “as a woman how far are you willing to go to choose a presidential candidate if it means giving up your rights as a woman?” Have we gone so far down this miserable road that this is all we can ask for? The phenomenal women’s protests around the world last month may mark a turning point, but I see this kind of sup-par attitude everywhere. From people’s aspirations for a socially equitable future, to expectations on dating sites. How many times have you read “I’m interested in anyone who isn’t an arse-hole”? The bar is indeed down the proverbial fucking toilet, and James Cameron sure as hell ain’t gonna pick it up.

J.G. Ballard meets Charlie Brooker as ‘Ignorecam’ presents the notion of deriving sexual pleasure from being ignored by a woman on the other end of a sex-cam, a grueling twist on 21st century loneliness and hyper-social perversion, while ‘Cold Whip Cream’ goes deep, and may be (if I’m not mistaken) the first punk song about pegging “…so speak up and have no shame, ‘cause you’ve got the pressures of being straight… you’re wondering what it’s like on the other end, but you’re worried she won’t bend”. Masculinity holds on by the thinnest of grey pubes in this brutally open tour of contemporary sexuality, rammed with more innuendos than you could fit in your en… *ahem*… Don’t worry though, Matthew says relax, as a “universe waits behind that door”.

Love Without Emotion’ is a stranger amongst the crowd. Dressed in uncanny 80’s nostalgia via Bradley Fry’s chorus effected guitars and the Billy Idolized hook, giving us what we wanted like Stranger Things and San Junipero did last year. But similarly to the latter, the question stands: is it real or just an empty box picked from the shelf? Aesthetic over something deeper? Love without emotion? A recurring theme of Pissed Jeans is the inability to engage emotionally and have the purity of an honest connection with other people, breaking through that glass door of cynicism and misanthropy. And it’s the belief that this is an essentialized trait of maleness which is the cause of both catastrophic suicide rates amongst men, as well as horrifying domestic violence and femicide statistics. Sorry, I got a bit serious for a second there, but it’s a reality I wouldn’t be able to confront without the art of Pissed Jeans, which brings me to the highlight of the album…

In a 2014 interview with The Fanzine, Lindsay Hunter – author of ‘Ugly Girls’, cited Pissed Jeans’ ‘False Jesii Part 2’ as a major influence for her critically acclaimed novel. Since then she has become good friends with the band and was asked to write some material for Why Love Now. The result is a stunning and vivid audio tirade of unapologetically lustful and cartoonish sexual declarations, cut with the trenchantly crude wit of Redd Fox and boot stamped with the boldness of a Rudy Ray Moore – had he been raised in a trailer park that is. “Me, I’m your boss/ make me a coffee and dip your undies in it, ‘cause I like me coffee with a nip of cream”. Hunter’s harassing character appears as a hyper-real entity, with an inflated sense of male sexual superiority and privilege, but I’m sure if you had a root around your office you’d find at least a dozen of these wankers. The primal rhythms stir up ferocious amounts of libidinal energy, a perfect accompaniment to the spoken word track, compressed within an inch of it’s life – putting it at risk of an immediate restraining order.

It’s worth mentioning the success of the production work from the legendary Lydia Lunch and Arthur Rizk, who manage to make Pissed Jeans distinguished brand of rock spike through the extremities of heavy hardcore and noise. Apparently Lunch threatened to “bend” the band “over the bathtub”, whatever that means? Seems to have worked wonders in producing such a gut-wrenchingly psychotic punk expulsion though.

Rizk’s influence is most clear in the metal moments of ‘It’s Your Knees’ with it’s exquisite downtuned power riff. A song about unnecessary male commentary on why one would want to fuck a girl (It’s all in the knees apparently). ‘Worldwide Marine Asset Financial Analyst’ sounds as absurd as it reads, tearing through with a tornado guitar solo and clocking in at just 1 minute 27 seconds, while ‘Have You Ever Been Furniture’ bemoans the pain of having low-self esteem.

Why Love Now oozes and throbs with sexual confusion and disappointment. It reeks of cum, sweat and aspirin but carries the intellect of a well read poet who views life’s shit stains to be as rich and as colourful as rainbows. When I can relate to a band as much as I do with Pissed Jeans, it’s like the world suddenly clicks into place and my understanding of my body can flow freely like the blood in my veins. It’s a harmonious state drawn from a chaotic mess. The feeling is often so direct that it tickles me and I find myself laughing, as if I have become intoxicated. Even when listening to the music alone it’s like I’ve found a best friend to share my existential pain with. It’s therapy is what it is.

Much like a successful sitcom about dysfunctionality – over the course of the past decade, Pissed Jeans’ whole output has been consistent and reliable while growing in strength. Somewhat like Bukowski and his attachment to so called “low culture”, Pissed Jeans deliver hardcore truths and scream about the shock of the mundane; all transcribed with the overhanging stench of beer burps popped through gritted teeth, looming like a morning fog loitering above the top lip. Their play is on the farcical nature of humanity, stripped nude on stage, coying and crapping itself with the dumbest of smiles. You wanted to know “how low can punk get?” well, Pissed Jeans said ‘Let me take you down there. Bring a pair of wellies’.

Listen to a few choice cuts from ‘Why Love Now’ and a host of other 2K17 BNGRZ in our Now Playing playlist!

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The Best Of 2016: Marcus Clarke

marc

In 2015, we reached out to a host of our comrades who had been involved with Birthday Cake For Breakfast somehow during the previous 12 months, getting their take on the best releases of the year. For 2016, we’ve looked closer to home – those who’ve contributed to the site itself and been influential in such a prosperous 12 months!
In the lead up to 2017, Birthday Cake For Breakfast will feature Top 5’s from our contributors. Take it away, Marcus…

5: Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool (XL Recordings)

Just as Brexit means Brexit, Radiohead means Radiohead, as the band returned this year to give us exactly what we wanted (which, incidentally is the opposite of what we’ll probably get from Brexit). I might be the only person who actually enjoyed 2011’s ‘The King Of Limbs‘, but this latest album takes the approach of pleasing every kind of Radiohead fan. Much like a Wes Anderson film, it’s a formulaic masterpiece. Jonny Greenwood’s cinematic string arrangements bring the band to new levels of the sublime. Well executed mardy sonic poetry.”

4: Show Me The Body Body War

For starters this band use a bloody banjo instead of a guitar, though it’s rammed through a butt tonne of distortion mind – sounds quite outrageous. Rock and Hip-Hop have had a troubled relationship over the years (Danny Brown blames Fred Durst), but with enough nuance a sweet spot can be achieved. Dope Body did it, Run The Jewels play with it at times but Show Me The Body charge full speed ahead with their unique brand of groove laden noise-punk. Like Girl Band managed to pull off last year, this album sounds like nothing else around at the moment. That’s one of the many reasons why I find it so exciting to lose my shit to.”

3: Run The Jewels – Run The Jewels 3 (Mass Appeal Records)

Thank fuck Mike and Jamie dropped this shit early on Christmas Eve, otherwise I wouldn’t be talking to you about it now. The third installment of the self-titled trilogy from rap’s middle-aged rebel-rousers does not disappoint. It sees the pair going for gold, killing their masters and basically just proving they’re the shit. Featuring some of their most radical lyrics and supreme production yet (‘Everybody Stay Calm’ manages to work as a throwback to Gang Starr’s ‘Mass Appeal’ while simultaneously dropping us into a dystopian future/present). Dope beats, super-charged lyrics and a surprise appearance from your favourite Chicano-Americano emcee makes this record a sweet bonus to a healthy year in music.”

2: BADBADNOTGOOD – IV (Innovative Leisure Records)

Most people I know discovered this Canadian quartet through their collaboration with rapper Ghostface Killah, but (like the hipster I am) i’m inclined to tell you i’ve been following this talented bunch for a good while. It’s really fulfilling to see how far they’ve come and how far they’ve brought Jazz to the forefront of popular music (see also Kendrick Lamar and Kamasi Washington). I mean, it wasn’t that long ago when the only Jazz popstar we could fathom to talk about was Jamie Cullum (…eww). Through their love of Hip-Hop and (more importantly) records that Hip-Hoppers love to sample, they’ve delivered the most beautiful record of 2016. For me this is like Jazz Fantasia, wonderfully colourful and epic in its ambition, playfulness and instrumentation. It’s got me picking up the bass guitar again as well as being my most played record. Put quite simply: it’s stunning.”

1: Death Grips – Bottomless Pit (Harvest Records)

Now Death Grips are here at the number one spot because… well, I’m not gonna lie… They’re here because they’re my favourite band. I bum Death Grips big time, that’s no secret, but like I said about Radiohead, they’ve delivered an album that pleases every kind of Death Grips fan. I’ve been with them from the beginning, experiencing all of their wildly diverse incarnations, but what they manage to achieve on ‘Bottomless Pit’ is give you a definitive picture of what Death Grips is about – and that’s just pure unbridled energy (I saw them live this year for the third time and it was rahhwwww). It’s as poppy as it is fucking mental, there are as many sweet hooks as there are blast beats, it’s the sound of my brain on the daily – perfect chaos. Essentially Death Grips are The Prodigy for millennials (but don’t tell anyone that), more power to them!”

Listen to the sounds of 2016 for Birthday Cake For Breakfast in our jam-packed Spotify playlist!

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Album Review: Mums – Land Of Giants

Review from Marcus Clarke

Review from Marcus Clarke

Bigger is Better, Size Does Matter, Turn It Up To 11; these were all familiar idioms of late 20th century postmodern excess and gluttony. Give us everything you’ve got and more; the 12 piece reggae band, the supersized deluxe meal with bacon, cheese and chipotle (chips and dips included), the Renault Espace fully equipped with rear enforced ball-bags, half a dozen cup-holders and a fully adjustable mini-disc shelf available in 50 shades of zebra print. An introductory mouthful of convoluted words that have no intrinsic meaning, simply for the shock and awe. It’s all tassels on the titties, marketing in free fall.

Nobody wanted austerity, but here we are banging mammoth tusks on clod, racking up a prevolutionary cacophony not heard since the ground shook with volcanic eruptions and such. Stripped down and back in the cave is where we find this mammalian band of reprobates. In the Land Of Giants is where they dwell, a time when percussive thunder and riffs ruled the earth. To cut the crap, all we wanted was value for money, bang for our buck, and hence we got bands like DFA1979, Metz and God Damn giving us their big sound in a small package. That idea, a sonic TARDIS if you will, has become a tradition, and one of its most bombastic followers happens to be a three-piece rock band from Widnes called Mums. Who else lid?

Appearing sans bass guitar, Mums is comprised of Jack Evans, guitar/vocals; Roanne Wood, guitar/vocals; and Lewis O’Neil on drums. The band have been roaming the planet for a few years now, after a few releases and names changes (f/k/a Aeroplane Flies High and then Mothers) we finally have their first proper full-length to indulge in. And by ‘eck, it’s it a proper belter!

All three members push the boundaries of how loud they can play their instruments, which makes for a rather unique sounding record indeed. As the melodic vocals surge for air beneath the waves of distortion and avalanching drums, it’s when Mums hit their downtime that we really appreciate the inherent warmth of their music. It’s not all tooth and claw, it’s more like the heat of the sun bursting through the atmosphere. It’s a vitalic excitement of molecules, real life vibrations. You can hear the speakers rattling and shuddering towards the point of complete collapse. It goes beyond what so many of their peers dare to do with heavy music because this sounds raw and unruly, ignorant and yet experimental. A prehistoric beast that cannot be contained.

In a series of ten cataclysms, Mums construct an awesome wall of noise that is just as pretty as it is violent. Evans’s vocal melodies dance with his and Wood’s guitar lines like lava oozing and spewing from below. In tracks like ‘Rosies Noisey’ it can seem utterly chaotic, but it always funnels itself into a catchy refrain (“You’ll find a way! Find your way home!”). ‘Teamin’ seems like the band are reaching breaking point with its lackadaisical guitar chimes teetering on the edge of atonality. It’s both slacker and stoner starring in their own buddy movie, dragging and coughing up trouble and shenanigans.

Can of Worms’ is perhaps my favourite on here, showcasing Mum’s classic use of dynamics and switching of tempos, creating an absurdist fairground ride that reaches dizzying heights with nauseating levels of feedback. It’s a track that will make you laugh and smile simply because it is a pure representation of a band having fun and getting away with madness.

Mums are one of only two bands i’ve seen to have blown out the front skin of a kick drum (basic GSCE physics tells us that’s quite a feat), so it’s no surprise that the awesome raw power of Lewis O’Neil’s swaggering gallop in ‘COPS’ is what charges us heroically towards the back end of the album. You’d think by now the sheer volume of this record would have physically worn me down, but it’s the spindly off-colour harmonic tones, the kind of ammo that Slint glock out on (albeit 40 decibels higher), that enable me to push on. There’s beauty in their decay.

Finishing up with lead single ‘In A Museum’, which again staggers with their typical lazy natured groove, with an attitude of audacity and an “oooing” a chorus – a molten lullaby dribbling out between the hairy thighs of Weezer and Biffy Clyro. This is heavy pop in need of a shave, but it’ll round-house kick that razor straight out your hand before you can say “Son I really think you could do with a trim, then you might be able to get a proper job in an office or something where they pay you enough so that one day you can afford to put us in a decent care home” …or something like that.

Bands like Mums, bands that are loud as fuck and tour a lot, always struggle to get their live sound captured correctly in the studio. It is to their benefit then that Mums have adopted a minimal production approach on Land Of Giants. Less is certainly more in this case. To the untrained ear this could be what a great live album actually sounds like. It’s the truest representation we could ask of Mums and it’s a job well done! It is the sound of naivety exchanging flirtatious looks with cockyness. It’s arousing, exciting and exhausting, but it’s totally worth falling in love with.

Land Of Giants is out October 21st through Superstar Destroyer RecordsPre-order here!

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