This edition’s round-up of fresh musical cream shall focus on the noisier underside of the UK indie scene. Those who like their music squeaky clean and fuzz-free, posing with a happy haircut and a smile on the front cover of NME – look away now. The following bands may well puke on your dad and bum your sister.
First up are Male Bonding, hailing from Dalston, London. Recently signed to legendary label Sub Pop (who once signed a little band called Nirvana) they play an awesome style of slacker indie that sounds like it’s been bleached by too much time at the beach. Drawly tunes like ‘Year’s Not Long’ bring to mind the soundtrack of a lost druggy summer running around seaside carnivals. What’s great is the balance between light and dark in the songs, as fuzzy pop is balanced nicely with unpleasant undercurrent. Poppy Beach Boys/Wipers moments clash with 80s noise rock influences like Flipper. With a GG Allin cover under their belts, they’re also clearly sickos.
If the Ting Tings discovered crack and good music they might end up sounding like Hackney duo Comanechi. They unleash sweet and sexy girl vocals with low-slung bass pounding and post-punk guitar. They’ve released ‘jizz coloured’ vinyl on Merok Records, and supported the wonderful Yeah Yeah Yeahs (in fact singer/drummer Akiko kind of resembles a mini Karen O) as well as the inimitable Gossip. They’ve also shared a stage with cult heroes Coachwhips, resulting in a strange gigography straddling both pop and art crowds. Songs (with names like ‘My Pussy’) range pleasantly from poppy punk nuggets to sludgy riff bastards, always thrashing and raging in an extremely listenable and energizing way. Live performances are also super-hyper trash fashion ridiculousness: guitarist Simon lost beneath a wall of fringe, Akika sometimes clad in nothing but nipple tassles. This band makes me want to down 16 packets of sherbet and repeatedly hit my head against the wall. In a good way.
Getting a bit more obscure, Blood Crips inhabit the bright lights of Leeds and play cool fuzzy punk which is preposterously awesome for a completely ignored band. They haven’t been around for long but sound like a drowsy, Neanderthal power-pop band thrashing in a bedroom. This might sound shit but when the songs are as catchy, immediate and well-written as ‘Sugar’ the lo-fi adds to the charm and, like The Replacements before them, they conjure the spirit of 70s rock through indie means. They also have a fucking badass name; let’s hope they don’t get ‘murked’ before they can rock the party a good few times.
Finally, Run, Walk! have released one little EP but have been snapped up on Holy Roar Records and are infusing pleasing amounts of noise and rawk to modern indie. They may look like a couple of mild-mannered chaps but their Lightning Bolt-meets-Death From Above 1979 sound is a face melting yet strangely cohesive buzz. Super-heavy noise rock is rarely danceable but this somehow manages to be. Catch them as soon as you can – if all is right with the world, they won’t hide away long.