First up are the Philadelphia Grand Jury, otherwise known as the Philly Jays. Formed in Australia, they’ve recently set up shop in trendy Shoreditch in London and have set out upon a UK assault, including a well received slot at Live at Leeds earlier this month.
The Philly Jays have a distinctive DIY attitude; lead singer and guitarist Simon started producing music from an early age, building his first makeshift studio in the basement of his grandma’s house.
He later went on to get involved in producing records for bands such as Wolfmother, the Temper Trap, Van She and more, which made him aware of how much he wanted to be in a band himself. Joining up with long time friend Joel (bass and keys) and eventually roping in Calvin on drums, the final Philly Jays line up was formed.
Simon continues to take care of all of the band’s production, including their debut album Hope is for Hopers, which was released in September last year. Their DIY sensibilities really come through in their tracks; the songs all have a classic garage rock vibe, with a punk edge that is totally unleashed in the band’s raucous live performances. Highlights include catchy track ‘The Good News’, which has a summer anthem feel to it and is accompanied by a ‘Where’s Wally’ inspired video, and closing track ‘I Don’t Want To Party (Party)’, whose title belies its party inducing capabilities.
The Philly Jays quite accurately describe themselves as a “self-funded, self-produced, self-engineered, self-released, stage-destroying independent punk soul machine”, and are scheduled to tear up notable London venues such as the Barfly and 93 Feet East this June, hopefully returning to more northern territory later this year.
If admittedly silly band names and disjointed post-punk is more of your thing, then check out Ice, Sea, Dead People. What started as a joke between friends in the dreary suburbia of Bedford has now become a credible outfit attracting kudos from the likes of Art Rocker, and webzines such as Drowned in Sound.
They have also shared stages with bands like Les Savy Fav and Kill Kenada, and in June will support Future of the Left in London. ISDP are a bit like the feral younger sibling of These New Puritans raised on a diet of Jarcrew, Fugazi and art-rock noise, with notable tracks like ‘Hence Elvis’ and ‘My Twin Brother’s A Brother’ displaying their penchant for brutal riffs and screaming vocals.
The band are all students who manage to fit in nights of nationwide aural devastation around their university schedules, recently cramming a UK wide tour into the Easter break. I fully recommend the Ice, Sea, Dead People album due for release in September this year, which promises to see their melodic musical savagery cranked up a notch.