Well, after attending a flurry of gigs, Into Creative have been hunkering down to listen to some recently released albums and we are glad we did, there are some amazing new releases out there so read on and do check them out.
Artist: The Men
Album: New York City
Label: Fuzz Club Records
If you’ve got your ear to the ground, or are in the know, you’ll know. Right? If not, then trust me on this in that Fuzz Club Records, based in the East End of London, are one of the most exciting record labels on the go at the moment. Releasing new music from a wide array of bands and artists and also offering a fantastic membership subscription service, they are making all the right noises, all the right waves in what can be a cluttered marketplace. The fact they stand out is testament to what they do.
They’ve just released the ninth studio album from The Men, the Brooklynites paying homage to their home, calling the album New York City. Make no mistake folks, this album is dipped, steeped and marinated in all things NYC. And what a joyous, sweaty, sticky joyride it proves to be, over the thirty-six minutes or so it takes to pummel through the ten tracks.
Hard Livin’ kicks things off, immediately transporting us to 70s CBGBs or the back room at Max’s Kansas City. A blistering opening, evoking the spirit of the New York Dolls. Heady stuff, indeed.
Echo DEMANDS to be played at full volume, crashing guitars, guttural vocals and drums that seem to threaten, it’s edgy, it’s raw, it’s rock and roll, and I can only imagine how this would sound live. Off the scale, probably.
Elsewhere, on side one, we find God Bless The USA which sees a cool guitar riff reminiscent of the Sex Pistols’ cover of Somethin’ Else. The band clearly enjoying the two and a half minute punk rock out. Eye is a real highlight on the record, that guttural vocal again. The track, a more slowed down, sleazy rocker with a beguiling guitar hook.
Side two doesn’t relent either. The band continues to deliver rocking tunes. Through The Night, a case in point. It’s urgency scratches an itch that won’t abate, its guitars wailing against dual vocals. The band eventually slow things down a bit on the Americana tinged Anyway I Find You which offers up a different sound yet it fits like a glove with the other tracks on offer here.
Would also mention the packaging on the vinyl is great, the design on the inner sleeve is nuanced, the pure white vinyl cool and the album cover (of a drum kit) gives an element of mystery. Back to what I said at the start, Fuzz Club Records have got it sussed.
For more details on The Men, head over to their website here and while you are at it, head over to Fuzz Club Records to order the album and find out more on the label here.
Artist: Doctor Explosion
Album: Superioridad Moral
Label: Slovenly Recordings
Hailing from the Gijon area of northern Spain, Doctor Explosion have been bringing us their spin on garage rock for a few years now and new release Superioridad Moral more than packs a punch. The band manage to power through nine songs in twenty-five minutes but, while brief, it is packed with some stellar tunes.
Now, confession time. The band sing in Spanish and as I don’t know the language, I haven’t a clue what the lyrical content covers but I do know this, Jorge Explosion’s vocal style merged perfectly with the musical output. The album titles translates as Moral Superiority by the way. Initial track Insatisfaccion is delivered with a ridiculously good bass line, persistent drums and scuzzy guitars, the sound reverberating from the speakers.
Vestir de Mujer showcases the band’s more harmonious sound, allowing the melody-laced music to flow organically. Coming up next is the absolute feel good belter of El Dia Que David Bowie Murio (The Day David Bowie Died) which sees the band wig out in homage to the late, great singer.
An album that really forges the Spanish band’s reputation, what would be great is to see more ‘foreign’ language bands get a platform in the U.K. as this is a market that goes largely unnoticed on these shores. That’s to our detriment and we really should seek out bands like Doctor Explosion more.
The album while short, is a joy, mixing garage punk, psychedelia and rock. Penultimate track Mi Lista de Cosas Que Hacer sees the band expand their sound before album closer Paleto (They Call Me Country) draws on the spirit of Sandford Clark’s original version in a hillbilly/country style, a great choice to finish the record off.
For more on Doctor Explosion head over to their Bandcamp page here and for more on Slovenly Recordings, visit their website here.
Artist: The Happy Somethings
Album: A Gathering Of All Sorts
Label: Subjangle Records
Having a read of The Happy Somethings Twitter bio gives a clue to their raison d’etre – “independently unpolished band who like to be happy. Pop for pleasure and try not to take things too seriously. Unintentionally retro“. Don’t think I’ve read a better sounding bio than that since I don’t know when!
The Derbyshire trio have been on the go for a few years and already have a couple of albums in their cannon. The new album sees a mix of new music, non album singles and remixes of some of their best tracks so there really is something for everyone here. Sixteen tracks all in. A veritable bunch of all sorts.
Opener Worried Fools is simple. Casual guitars strum in the background while a vocal is delivered in a lightly deadpan, couldn’t care less style which seems apt for the track. Anglepoise however sees the band plug in to the amps, elements of guitar feedback jostling for position with the understated harmonies that ripple throughout.
There is of course, shades of C86 and twee melodies but don’t be fooled to think this is a purely nostalgic trip, it isn’t and there is plenty of forward-thinking music here, balancing against that retro gaze.
The Happy Somethings sound moves from off-kilter pop to traditional indie and I get the feeling that while they claim to be unpolished, they use that to their advantage and they certainly know their way to melodious and harmonic tuneage.
Stand Together Song is a stand out track. The music the star here, the sound building and rocking for over a minute before the vocals come in, mixing glam rock and psychedelia before it abruptly ends. Stupendous. Radio Broadcast is layered with dual vocals, harmonies and those musical, melodic waves that dance around aurally.
A Gathering Of All Sorts is an album you’ll immediately warm to, from a band who are making slightly irreverent, quirky, at times funny, at times scathing, music. What’s not to like?
Keep up to date with The Happy Somethings via their Bandcamp page here and via the Subjangle label here.