Welsh Indie band The Cradles are releasing their new single and announcing themselves to the world with ‘Ideal Girl’ on March 25th. They are being hailed by those such as BBC Radio Wales as a new Indie sensation, but listening to this track you find that there’s more to The Cradles than that. Their sound evokes that of the recordings of many a 60s rock group and the performance of both lead and backing vocals that are smooth and harmonious in unison. There’s more of a garage edge to their sound too, akin to The Sonics with their tumbling percussion and bass line and falling guitars. A track that translates an era on modern terms. Not a bad feat for starters.
Owen Riddle @oriddleo1995
My Personal Murderer hail from Odessa in Ukraine which is headed up by it’s founder Yevgen Chebotarenko. Their third studio album Cauchemar has been highlighted as a more outward facing work by the group with new styles and approaches drawing from their new band members and collaborative efforts with other artists.
The title track features gradual, ringing riffs that sound out behind the spoken words of lyrics that reflect a fragmented and intimate narrative. ‘The Worm Prince’ offers up rotating riffs and distorted assortment of instrumentation with lead guitars cutting through the washed out sounds. These sounds and the hooks of the track are accentuated with minimal electronic additions to draw the sound out. ‘Constant Waiting’ is an eerily intimate track with teased out riffs, brushed percussion and whispered vocals. These are poised for a rapidly sweeping build up of sound to drive the song on to higher places. ‘Crawling Son’ offers up a similar culmination of a peak sound, but delivered in a style more akin to the Manic Street Preachers with those rough, yet ringing guitars. Tracks like ‘Soup For the Creature’ develop a tense rhythm of rumbling, quickening bass lines and tentative percussion. The album as a whole is intimate and close in places, loud and abrasive in others. It evokes similar acts such as Manic Street Preachers and Savages in their controlled aggression and their lyrical creativity. An interesting listen indeed.
Owen Riddle @oriddleo1995
In the space of a month we’ve got garage rock titan Ty Segall’s album ‘Emotional Mugger’ and now the lead single for another industrious (they’ve released 5 albums in 6 years) garage act, Parquet Courts. Hailing from Brookyln, the band’s slacker rock style has attracted the ears of critics mainly since they’re second album, ‘Light Up Gold’. The band’s third and fourth albums highlighted the band’s witty lyrics which can be overlooked given their cool but lazy style of delivery. The titular track, ‘Content Nausea’ is a great poem let alone song, as the band lament modern life. By the way, it ends with a great refrain, ‘I am a land mine, wrong supplier’. Just thought that deserved a mention. Musically they’ve never really strayed too far from their messy garage roots, it has been the bands clever lyrics that has kept (me at least) interested.
Dust, from their upcoming album Human Performance, feels as gritty and dirty as the lyrics are. Musically the track shows some change for the band who retain that core garage rock sound they’ve crafted but incorporate new elements. The jangly guitar that starts the track is replaced quickly by distortion; as if someone has just walked in a dusty motel room from the outside. The chorus hypnotically reminds us that ‘dust is everywhere, sweep’; the germophobes worst nightmare. Dust ends with a distorted, almost choked up trumpet which eventually merges into the rest of the rest of the horror-like distortion. Overall, it sounds promising for the upcoming album, due for release on 8th April.
Brooklyn Indie Rockers DIIV return with a follow up on their 2012 album Oshin with their second studio album Is the Is Are. Their particularly predictable strand of Indie slanted dream-pop has not been something ridiculed like their counterparts Swim Deep and Peace etc. At the same time they are far from the standard of Beach House or even the Horrors in mastering the genre. Oshin was the solid debut all of their British ‘B-Town’ counterparts didn’t get as their sound had much more substance to it and an air of genuine quality. The notorious second album is where your reputation is cemented however.
‘Bent (Roi’s Song)’ very much follows the path of many Indie groups who dip their toe into Psychedelica. The loose riffs echo modestly across the track and are underpinned as always by a steady and lightly rumbling bass line. The nonchalant and dazed vocals ink into the instrumentation and it is perhaps because of this, the song progresses uncomfortably and indefinitely until you get the guitars hook in the chorus. Musically, it has a little more mystery to it then most of their Indie counterparts produce. ‘Dopamine’ offers you those loose riffs again with a swooning echo of a vocal which is presented as a little indefinite next to the rest of the instrumentation. Once replicated across the whole track, the whole song sounds unsure of itself until they pour in some ringing guitar solos into the mix and the rhythm becomes more solid. ‘Under the Sun’ is a track with more of a kick and tangible structure to it with more solid percussion behind it. The frayed vocals work better in this environment as it gives an element of depth and light and shade to the track. It is completely plucked from a late 80s indie disco however, so if offer nothing in the way of novelty, but it is a keen rocker of a song. ‘Is the Is Are’ is mirrors TOY but with a little less psychedelia and with those wispy vocals. The tones and variations of the instrumentation are more prominent though. They offer more than one dimension with this track.
‘Blue Boredom’ offers up the same instrumentation and rhythm format that’s on offer in pretty much every track on the album. Sky Ferreira offers up a whispered vocal and provides a welcome variation in the vocal department. You find near identical sounds on ‘Incarnate Devil’ minus the guitar solo they borrowed from a couple of their singles. ‘Healthy Moon’, Loose Ends’ and ‘Dust’ regurgitate sounds from the album you’re already familiar with and just familiar with in general. They would have been able to conceal the lack of variation from track to track with a ten track album, but at seventeen it is a long, tedious slog to get through. ‘Waste of Breath’ is welcome at the end for a couple of new ideas like a distorted guitar solo, but the fact you find joy in such a simple thing is perhaps a clue to the quality of the album. They have really took a step back here with such a lack of imagination and dynamism. An echoed vocal and loose riffs aren’t going to get you anywhere in 2016 and someone should have told DIIV that long, long ago.
DIIV – Is The Is Are = 5.5/10
Owen Riddle @oriddleo1995
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