The Parrots

parrots_cover2_copyThe Parrots
‘Weed for The Parrots’
Luv Luv Luv Records

The fact that the sound of the 60s still resonates with teenagers to this very day can only be testament to the mighty garage genre. It’s a steady diet of lo-fi psych that seems to keep giving and rightly so.

The Parrots here are no strangers to this musical phenomenon. Brought up on small plates of the good stuff, these Spanish amigos have not only masterminded the fuzzed out, reverbed, laid-back sounds we associate with the classic nuggets of yesteryear, they also know how to smash it out live. Proof of this has been witnessed by many willing to dance like they are stuck in an earthquake at their own weekly parties, whatever country they choose to squat. Including us.

Live is where it’s at for this trio and ‘Weed For The Parrots’ feels like it’s been recorded straight to tape in your dad’s shed. It kicks off with the jangling riffs and upbeat tremors of ‘Terror’, closing sharply following a minute’s worth of garage gold that leaves you feeling like you have been cheated. This craving is made better with the stomping bass lines of ‘White Fang’ that jams into a frenzy fronted by Diego García’s wails, which leads superbly into a psychedelic riff akin to a valium rush from their flagship tune ‘To The People…’.

This come down doesn’t last long though, their cover version of the Almighty Defenders’ ‘All My Loving’ tips the scales as the most upbeat track on this EP. It’s one of the highlights in their live show and a closer at that. Pushed to 11, this party choon could make a room full of people explode and that is exactly what is does. As an incendiary tool, it’s their most potent track on the album in comparison to the ‘I’m Not Alone’ – a track that feels like school just ended, or the campfire sounds of ‘Wild’ that sees bassist Alex de Lucas take the mic in a stripped down, marshmallow dripping lo-fi ender.

As far as debut’s go, this is a rock n’ roll peach. We can’t wait to see what they have in store next.

Harry Palms

Nopes

Nopes_Nectar_Of_The_Dogs

Nopes
Nectar Of The Dogs EP
Magnetic Eye Recods

Nosediving in at suicidal levels of volume, Bay-area punk rock four-way Nopes are sure to be the most agreeable racket you’ll hear all week.

This bunch sound like they’ve just strolled out of 1985 and they don’t give a fuck. Their soon to be released Nectar Of The Dogs EP is a five track ode to the raw and the rough basement sounds of yesteryear, with opening track ‘Matinee At Market’ setting the bar dangerously high.

Tube amps cranked hot and riffs cooking to boil over, Nopes thrash out a gloriously indecipherable barrage of noise and fun throughout. With lyrics snarled and spat and ‘skins beaten thin, tracks like ‘Backdoor Breakdown’ and ‘Homecoming’ sounding like a long-lost Husker Du/Angry Samoans collab plucked from the archives and span on fast forward. But the real crowd pleaser comes with closer ‘Jingle Berries’ – a hit repeat good stomper that sends the needle peaking into the red.

Head to Magnetic Eye Records from June 16th to grab a copy of this noisy gem.

WAND

Wand_Golem_CoverWand
Golem
In The Red

As the eerie space wind samples that precede Golem greet your ears, there’s a sense of trepidation and tension instilled, but its laced with magic and set to explode. Wand’s opening riffs are as merciless as they come, and take a firm grip on your malleable mind that refuses to let go for thirty five minutes straight.

Tube amps cooking hot and phasers set for the heart of the sun, Wand sound like Sleep on speed. The sheer power and noise behind ‘The Unexplored Map’ is enough to knock you straight through a stone wall, and it’s both terrifying and exciting that this is just the beginning of their nine track assault.

Sure, you could argue that there’s a somewhat saturated scene as of late, with any old Tom, Dick or Harry shouting the odds over a din of feedback and fuzz and calling it “psych”. But Wand are the antidote to these teenage dirt bags, standing alone in their own bold sonic dimension.

Tracks like ‘Reaper Invert’ and ‘Floating Head’ summon the kind of sludge you’d expect to hear oozing like molasses from the double-stacks of King Buzzo, while ‘Melted Rope’ floats up to newfound cosmic territories with delight, seeing frontman Cory Hanson’s vocal warble almost recalling that of Lennon’s, if he’d hooked up with Kevin Parker via some time travel assisted jam.

Wand’s display of fine sonic wares doesn’t stop there, though. ‘Cave In’s misleading riffs morph into a crazed double-time stampede of swirling noise that just cries for the volume knob on your hi-fi to be, not cranked, but yanked clean off in a frenzy of ear-bending glee. Shortly before namesake ‘Planet Golem’ stoops to Sabbath levels of dark doom rock before oscillating into near-speed metal territory.

Long after Golem has peaked, you’re left marvelling at a record that unites both the futuristic and the fantastical. Whether you’re a fan of medieval sludge and doom, or sci-fi synth mystique, Wand show no fear in blending the two together seamlessly.

Golem is out now on In Red Records.

Gallows

desolation_sounds_artworkGALLOWS
Desolation Sounds
(Venn/PIAS)

I like to feed on broken hearts,” roared former Gallows vocalist Frank Carter, but it seems that these days, his ex-bandmates like to feed on adversary. Be it Mr Carter’s 2011 departure, or that of his guitarist brother Steph two years later, each obstacle placed in Gallows’ way sees them return stronger, darker – and, dare we say it, better?

Certainly, Desolation Sounds is no mere re-tread of past glories. There’s still plenty of hardcore rock n’ roll vitriol on display in the likes of ‘Leviathan Rot’ and ‘Leather Crown’, but in general, this is a more expansive and ambitious beast of a record than its predecessor. Witness the eerie choral intro of ‘Chains’, which gives way to sludgy, granite-hewn riffs, or the brooding, gothic vibe of ‘Bonfire Season’, with Wade MacNeil’s mournful vocals lending a sinister edge to proceedings. Later, the clipped, almost robotic rhythms of ‘Death Valley Blues’ and the Mastodon-gone-schizophrenic attack of ‘Swan Song’ will have wondering just what else these guys have up their sleeves.

Overall, Desolation Sounds is the result of Gallows being completely true to themselves, and just as it must have been a liberating experience for its creators, it’s deeply compelling for the listener. Oh, and most of these songs will probably sound even better live. Find out for yourself at the following dates:

May
22nd – Glasgow Cathouse
23rd – Leeds Slam Dunk Festival
24th – Hatfield Slam Dunk Festival
25th – Wolverhampton Slam Dunk Festival
26th – London Garage
27th – Manchester Sound Control

Alex Gosman

Millencolin

True BrewMILLENCOLIN
True Brew
(Epitaph)

Millencolin, bless them, have never been the most original of bands. The Swedish quartet have freely admitted that, in the early days, they were huge NOFX fanboys who just wanted to sound as much like their heroes as possible. Fast forward a couple of decades, and they now often resemble Sweden’s answer to Bad Religion; be it in the oohs -n’-ahhs backing vocals, the gloriously melodic buzzsaw guitars, or vocalist/bassist Nikola Sarcevic’s willingness to open lyrical fire on society’s ills (check out the video for excellent anti-racism anthem ‘Sense & Sensibility’ below).

And you know what? It really doesn’t matter, especially when Millencolin continue to write smart, addictive songs as well as they do here. Whilst the band have hardly been slouching at home in the seven years since so-so previous record ‘Machine 15’, the time away has definitely done them plenty of good; the likes of the title track and ‘Chameleon’ see them sounding more fired-up than they’ve been in a decade, and the majority of the record measures up well against old classics like ‘No Cigar’ and ‘Bullion’.

Ultimately, True Brew sees Millencolin returning to their roots in damn fine style. Let’s drink to that.

Alex Gosman

Whatever Nevermind

whatever_nevermindWhatever Nevermind
Various Artists
Robotic Empire

Keeping in line with the current montage of Nirvana whirling around the media, the fantastic Robotic Empire label have revealed their second tribute to the band.

Following 2014’s take on In Utero, which featured an all star cast of Ceremony, Daughters and Jay Reatard, this time around, Nevermind is given the cover treatment.

Featuring a diverse range of acts from Torche’s low-end sludge rendition of ‘In Bloom’ to La Dispute’s post-hardcore ‘Polly’ drawl, via White Reaper’s thrashing ode to ‘Territorial Pissings’, there’s much gold to be found here. Especially in Young Widows’ thankfully innovative spin on ‘Teen Spirit.

GNOB

gnob_temple_of_sinners
Gnob
Temple Of Sinners EP

It’s not often that you stumble across a band that love sludge, and space cakes, so much they launched a KickStarter to fund a trip into orbit as the first stoner rock trio to jam in outer space. Gnob are that band, and thank green we’ve found them, and their new EP, Temple Of Sinners – a mind-melting home brew of cosmic dirge that is guaranteed to blow your ears clean off.

Sadly, KickStarter denied their proposed £498,000 space ritual fund-raiser, but this bunch plough on to higher realms regardless. Opening track ‘Curse Of The Jester’ takes a treacherous plunge into some seriously evil aural gloop, before coming up for air to breath the kind of vocal you’d expect to find on Master Of Reality. Bridging the gap between this filthy offering, and the bold psychedelic dimensions that lay ahead, though, is ‘Ceremony’. Five minutes of what’s only describable as shamanic, almost recalling the sitar-like noodling prowess you’d expect to hear hailing from the mystic Goat commune.

As if your ears weren’t smouldering already, ‘Temple Of Sinners’ morphs into a ten-minute psychedelic close, building Sleep-indebted riffs to monolithic heights before hurling into a wonderful haze of warped eastern jams.

Hit play below and let Gnob’s sludge ooze (careful) from your speakers. There’s nothing short of a masterclass in the dark arts of sludge, doom and psych to be found here.

Dave Palmer

Teenage Bottlerocket

tbrTeenage Bottlerocket
Tales From Wyoming
Rise Records

Sometimes, the biggest joys in life are the most straightforward, uncomplicated ones. The great thing about Wyoming quartet Teenage Bottlerocket is that they don’t fuck around, not wasting a single chord or word over the 35-odd minutes of Tales From Wyoming (their sixth record), and no end of great tunes.

Seriously, those tunes – they don’t half stick in your head. These guys play melodic punk rock in a similar vein to the Ramones, Misfits and Screeching Weasel; with few songs clocking in past the three-minute mark, and all the important topics – girls, horror movies, insanity, heavy metal heroes, comic book villains, etc. – covered. Watch the video for ‘They Call Me Steve’ below.

Alex Gosman

Run The Jewels

Run The Jewels feat. Zack de la Rocha
“Close Your Eyes (And Count To F**k)”

RUNe

You know that El-P and Killer Mike are on some next level shit when you see videos as powerful as this. America’s ridiculous history of death, violence and inside jobs within their Police force has reached peak. It certainly never manages to learn anything from humiliating black culture, who they clearly see as aliens out there.

This artistic new video by director AG Rojas constructs an exhausting chase that paints the perfect picture of the battle that young black Americans face. The battle that never seems to end. It’s just a shame that some of the confusing YouTube feed comments are written by so many people that don’t ‘get it’. What is there not to get? Maybe these are the same people with no brains that essentially fuck everything up…and they are somehow given jobs as Police officers.

Run The Jewels recall the fine work of Zach De La Rocka on this tune, who we all know from RATM. This jam was tight without the video, but let’s hope a few of the people on the other side of the game in those Police departments are watching, and learning like us out here. This is a cold and tiring look at reality from the ever growing list of unjust Police brutality.

Riddles

RIDDLES_photocredit_Kiera_CullinaneRiddles
‘Psychedelic Power Engine Iron Claw Thunder Mistress’

What would Hawkwind have sounded like if they hadn’t kicked Lemmy out of the band, let him cane his speed and take full control of the musical reigns? Sadly we’ll never know, but Hastings’ Riddles offer a pretty likely idea.

‘Psychedelic Power Engine Iron Claw Thunder Mistress’ is the near six-minute space rock epic from this electrifying foursome, and it will leave your ears red raw. Phasers cranked and tubes cooking hot, this lot only do business if it’s coated in feedback, fuzz, and steaming along at 100 miles per hour on a hell-bent journey to terrifying sonic altitudes.

Watch the dark and twisted new music video below that matches this head-melter perfectly, and keep an eye on their facebook page for gigs.