St Valentines day. A day of love. A love for new music. OH YES!! I did it. Here we are. Back in the seat again and we’ve got some amazing records out this week. Honestly, I haven’t lied once. In fact, I didn’t even put an album of the week as for this week, EVERY RECORD IS ALBUM OF THE WEEK. So, get to your local record shop or get on the interwebs as you’ll seriously wanna pick up all of these.
God Damn – ‘God Damn’
(One Little Indian)
A big staple here at BCFB, it’s always disgustingly wonderful to hear new noise from God Damn. 2016’s ‘Everything Ever‘ LP was a mammoth blend of plump hooks and juicy riffs, so I for one was eager to get stuck into LP3. Not only is this the band’s first album to feature third member James Brown on keys and guitar, but it was also produced by legendary producer Sylvia Massy.
With Massy working with anyone that is worth their salt in the pop and rock world, she was the perfect person to help God Damn keep it catchy whilst being heavier than a sack of hammers. The result is basically God Damn’s boldest statement as a band, and does not give one fuck.
‘Whip Goes The Crack‘ sounds like Ty Segall covering early Marilyn Manson, while ‘Bleeding A Rope‘ sounds like Cedric Bixler-Zavala fronting Fu Manchu. This is sonically rich in fuzz and noise, with killer references – unmistakably God Damn. This is thanks to the distinctive song craft of guitarist and vocalist Thomas Edward, who is the master in writing a banging riff to go alongside the most infectious refrain; the “fuck, fuck, fuck em all” refrain in ‘Mirror Balls’ is one of the most satisfyingly defiant lines they’ve ever written. Of course, what makes Thomas really fly is the unreal powerhouse drumming of Ash Weaver and the wickedly freaky, noise-laden synth/guitar work of James who just fits like a glove into the band’s sonic palette. There’s always been a strong chemistry within this band and you can tell that they spent many hours together, locking in the very fabric that binds these three killer musicians together.
Although this is a big stride forward for God Damn, for me this goes back to the obnoxious, ear splitting onslaught that made me fall in love with them all those years back. This is the very essence of this band, it’s pissed off but full of power and more than ready to get right up in your face. Thank fuck for God Damn.
Grotbags – ‘Grotbags’
(Dipped In Gold)
Featuring long serving members of Manchester’s DIY scene, Grotbags have been a consistently brilliant and entertaining live force to see around the city these past five years. So it’s been a wondrous thing to see upcoming label Dipped in Gold have snapped them up to release their highly anticipated debut album. Writing songs that’ll make you laugh is definitely Grotbags’ main aim, but beneath the humour lies an extremely solid band that write fucking great songs. This is all about punchy, college-rock inspired punk tunes with big choruses and shout along refrains based on piss your pants funny stories.
Over the course of 22 minutes and 35 seconds, we hear of nights out at Satan’s (‘Puke’), receiving unexpected dick pics (‘Tinder Surprise’) and meeting overweight infants (‘Big Baby’). These are just the picks of the litter for me, but every track here is as side splitting as the last, and you just cannot deny the sharp wit in both the storytelling and wordplay that the band bring in (“Its a joke, you’re a yolk” from ‘Fried Egg’ is my favourite line, by the way. Just spat my coffee out listening to it again). The fairly recent addition of Saxophone plays a big role in the bands sound, definitely driving home their power pop tone. In places it acts like the second guitar, beefing up these super strength hooks, which I think is a neat trick. It’s especially cool to hear a new version of first EP hit ‘Cute‘, now with a big 80’s style Saxophone melody all over it.
Having heard these songs in a live forum for a number of years, it’s great to hear them all committed to tape and production wise this perfectly captures the party spirit of a Grotbags live show. This is an extremely uplifting and effortlessly hilarious debut, but then again, what would you expect from the greatest band in the world?
Nyx Nótt – ‘Aux Pieds de la Nuit’
Aidan Moffatt is an institution in Scotland’s Alt Music scene, with a more than fruitful career of bands, collabs and solo work. Mainly known for his distinctive vocal and superb lyrical talents, Aidan has made several instrumental records under the name ‘L. Pierre‘, but returns back to this format under a new moniker. Named after two mythical goddesses of night, ‘Nyx Nótt‘ is a project that was created in the wee hours when everyone in Aidan’s household was asleep. Its title translates as “At the feet of the night” and as it may be apparent, is very much an ode to the night.
There is a strong cinematic pulse that flows through the seven tracks and acts as the perfect soundtrack to your subconscious. I remember first watching ‘Birdman‘ and being mesmerised by its soundtrack centred around a jazz drum kit. For these pieces, Aidan employs a similar technique, each piece entered around a reverb soaked jazz kit that keeps up the pace but still evokes a rolling feel of unease. Opening track ‘Mickey Mouse Strut‘ is an engulfing experience that opens the album with a thrilling sense of unpredictably; building on lilting saxophone samples and orchestral swirls. However, there are plenty of ear worm melodies and the beautifully crafted ‘Theme From‘ is a particular highlight, acting as the theme from an imaginary Netflix show with a sumptuous string laden piece of theatrics.
‘Aux Pieds de la Nuit‘ is an extremely intoxicating release that is drenched in atmosphere. It definitely has that late night haziness and I found myself sitting in a darkened room letting its alt jazz meets ambient soundscape wash over me. It is continual proof as to why Aidan Moffatt is so highly regarded and a true visionary.
Beach Bunny – ‘Honeymoon‘
Since the release of her debut EP of lo-fi bedroom recordings in 2015, Chicago resident Lili Trifilio has developed her Beach Bunny project into a fully fledged emo pop band. Having released a couple more EP’s as a quartet, Beach Bunny are ready to unveil their debut album and embark on a world tour in its promotion. ‘Honeymoon‘ is a very immediate album that embraces you straight away. Recorded in Chicago’s iconic Electrical Audio studios, the quartet enlisted the help of producer Joe Reinhart. Joe has worked with some of the best emo rock acts in the world today and is extremely good at capturing that indie rock rush.
These are honest, up front songs; ‘Promises’ might sound like a breezy pop song, but as Lili states “things aren’t as they seem” as this details the pre and post frustration of a break up. It’s a proper emo anthem in the making though. Lili’s vocals are really lush, at times they can be quite candid and innocent but then she can bring out the similar powerhouse delivery of Paramore’s Hayley Williams or Frances Quinlan from Hop Along. These contrasting tones contribute to the vulnerabilities that the album exudes, whether it’s looking at loss or love; ‘Dream Boy‘ is a highlight filled with an optimistic, lets fall in love type passion.
I just like how all emotions are laid out in front of you, there’s a youthful exuberance that I am just overcome with when listening to this. But also the playing here is so snappy and tight, the rhythm section is so bouncy and I love all the fun guitar interplay that goes on. In short, ‘Honeymoon’ is so darn charming and is sure to make Beach Bunny a big hit in 2020.
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