EP: The Ethical Debating Society – ‘Mutual Indecision’

Writing bubblegum pop melodies before tearing them apart with riot grrrl moxie, The Ethical Debating Society’s (TEDS) DIY punk attitude and multi-faceted lo-fi sound has been preserved on their latest six track extended play, Mutual Indecision; a collection of previously unreleased songs recorded at Sound Savers – Mark Jasper’s Hackney warehouse studio.

Produced by Jasper (Witching Waves), mastered by Dai Jones, and released by Radical Possibilities, the Mutual Indecision EP features vocalist/guitarist Tegan Christmas, vocalist/guitarist Kris Martin, and drummer Eli Tupa obliterating rough DIY indie with cathartic and justified rage! Opening with pop-punk anthem ‘Poor Liam‘, the three-piece examine the “alright-jack-shit generation” under the microscope; the “petri-dish for patriarchy”. “You have, and you are, a tool / That’s so fucking precious…”

Emoticon‘ – another whiplash-inducing headbanger – disturbs with distorted chaos, Tegan and Kris harmonising over obnoxious guitar riffs, frustrated with social change. Kicking over her drum kit and strapping on her guitar, Eli shreds lo-fi sludge on ‘Prawn Operation‘; screaming Spanish lyrical angst against male entitlement, before switching back to percussion for the punishing ‘Paywall’ – life as commodity: “Buy, buy, or bye bye.”

Pantomine‘ follows with equally irresistible visceral lyricism; challenging alpha male bullshit as abrasive riffs strain under the ferocity of raw instrumentation. Closing with ‘London Particular‘, the London-based trio implore you to look around: your estate regenerated and community lost… “…the fog clears and your heritage has gone. Now all the flats and all the shops ask you for money you haven’t got.”

Following their 2015 debut LP, New Sense, and in anticipation of their long-awaited sophomore record, Mutual Indecision delivers equally spontaneous scuzz, sounding as if TEDS got together in the studio, hit record on analog, and jammed unapologetically through the feedback – an imperfect punk record that is chaotically perfect.

mutual indecision e.p. by the ethical debating society

Catch The Ethical Debating Society playing live for us next month, on 19th May at Shacklewell Arms, supporting Hypsoline with Rom Coms. Tickets here!

Ken Wynne


“What does the future hold for the female of the species?”

Welcome ‘user17359’. You will shortly be departing Trinity Lunar Port for Mars Sanctity Terminal, immersing yourself in VUKOVI‘s latest record for the duration. Since their formation twelve years ago, the genre-defying Scottish duo – comprised of vocalist Janine Shilstone and guitarist Hamish Reilly – have been in flux; roaming rabid wolves sinking their teeth into a constantly evolving sound all their own. From 2011’s It Looked So Good On Me… and 2012’s …But I Won’t Wear You Again EPs, to 2017’s self titled debut and 2020’s Fall Better LP, Janine and Hamish’s chemistry is infectious; a combination of “dark themes and dirty fucking riffs.” Now, VUKOVI are exiting the stratosphere and heading into deep space with sci-fi/horror NULA; a conceptual album set in a distant (yet unnervingly familiar) future. Inspired by sci-fi escapism like Katsuhiro Otomo’s Akira, NULA is a cyberpunk abomination; a sonically ambitious mutation of anthemic pop melodies.

Opening with the cinematic ‘DEPARTURE’ and moshpit inducing ‘TAINTED’, VUKOVI set the tone for NULA. “You’re a fucking monster…” Considered the property of nefarious capitalist corporation Sanctity, and exploited through inhumane experimentation for over twenty five years, the eponymous extra-terrestrial is an otherworldly reflection of Janine’s own survival; her subconscious trauma bleeding into her lyrics. Compulsive, creative and unapologetic: We’d like to wish you a safe and pleasant journey.

“You think I’m a god… Fuck that, fuck you too!” ‘LASSO’ condemns pop idol worship – and highlights the music industry’s hypocrisy, through filthy, fuzz-drenched riffs and insatiable pop-tinged vocals. ‘QUENCH’ delivers sexual liberation with moxie and nu metal groove. “I’m not in love, just wanna feel your touch!” Infused with synthetic noise, ‘SLO’ follows; an ethereal exploration of OCD: “You have a toxic reliance on it and in your eyes that condones reckless behaviour.” Yet, despite feeling broken and vulnerable, NULA (and indeed Janine) re-claims control on mid-album pop-punk-rager ‘I EXIST’, through blood, death and raucous riffs – courtesy of Hamish’s live wire intensity! “I’ve found you, motherfucker!” “I think about what’s happening in the world too much… The greed. The cruelty. There’s a lot of that on the record,” Janine explains. Depression… It’s a temporary feeling. Emotionally driven, VUKOVI stage-dive into anthemic chaos, stronger and feeling empowered: “Stand up / You’ve got to fight… / I know it’s tough / But it’s not enough to give up…”


After brief respite during interlude ‘ATTENTION’, the disquiet duo’s distorted disorder continues on ‘SHADOW’, ‘HADES’ and ‘KILL IT’; three tracks propelled by an infectious combination of electronic instrumentation, heavy-as-fuck hooks, and raw emotion. “One taste of blood is not enough…” For NULA, revenge is poetic. Confronting abuse with justified angst – “Oh, I’ve waited, for retribution / I’ll watch you burn…” – ‘HURT’ is heavy metal catharsis, whilst ‘SAD’ is a somber realisation that you can never forget trauma. Just like Ripley in Ridley Scott’s Alien, NULA is a survivor realising her own strength and resilience. “I’ll never be whole but I’m a fighter / Kick me in the dirt but still like dust I’ll rise / I’m gonna be heard.” There is no closure, but that is okay. NULA represents female empowerment, and there is life after trauma.

So… “What does the future hold for the female of the species?” Janine pauses for a zeptosecond during closer ‘XX’ before declaring in her distinct Scottish drawl: “She is the answer to extinguishing this toxic masculine cesspool of a society. She deserves to live in a world without fearing for her life… She is the future of humanity… and it’s time to fuck the system!”

Ken Wynne

ALBUM: A Void – ‘Dissociation’

Since their formation, A Void – the London-via-Paris triple threat of guitarist/vocalist Camille Alexander, bassist Aaron Hartmann, and drummer/backing vocalist Marie Niemiec – have been channelling their societal frustrations into a style of unapologetic alt-noise-grunge all of their own, with a punk-as-fuck riot grrrl attitude. From their 2016 EP, Roses As Insides, to their 2018 debut LP, Awkward and Devastated, A Void exude cathartic rage through raw visceral energy.

Mixed and mastered by Jason Wilson at Stakeout Studios, A Void’s sophomore LP Dissociation is a more mature record, spanning a song-writing period of two years, but no less aggressive than their previous offerings. Opening with the one-two punch of ‘Sad Events Reoccur’ – a six-minute punk rager presented in two parts – the trio take no prisoners with a Dinosaur Jr.-esque fuzz.

Propelled by L7 inspired chaotic energy and Hartmann’s heavy-as-fuck basslines, Alexander and Niemiec’s sing/screaming vocal harmonies throughout ‘Stepping on Snails’ encourage us to break free from anxiety, and embrace life through hypnotic grunge. Alexander’s intoxicating punk guitar groove throughout ‘One of a Kind’ is relatively calm in contrast to the trashing breakdown of ‘Newspapers’ – Instead of destroying myself, I decided to destroy everyone’s ears!” – and its doom-sounding counterpart ‘Bag of Skulls’. Whiplash is expected!

‘Sick As a Dog’ follows as a dark, cathartic track detailing the fear of abandonment; “the idea of channelling pain through several emotional states”. Mental health is a reoccurring theme in the band’s lyrics – Alexander not shying away from her emotions as she screams with a sense of hopelessness: “When all the changes make you lose the plot / and bring you into a state of dissociation.”

From the distorted guitar sludge of ‘2B Seen’ to the softer dissonant strings of ‘5102’, A Void’s bewitching sound is vampiric, demanding your energy as you headbang along to the snap of Niemiec’s rhythm, and Alexander’s emotional outbursts: “I’d rather face my fears alone than with someone like you / …toxic mermaids are swimming around you / They wanna suck all the blood that’s inside you!”

Taking inspiration from nineties punk-infused grunge, reminiscent of Hole, Silverchair and Sonic Youth, the nostalgia-inducing playfulness of ‘In Vain’ and ‘Bad Habits’ leads to the anthemic closing track ‘Sonic Untitled’ – a vitriolic attack on toxic masculinity. “Just give and give and give and give and give and get nothing! / So scared to live in the shadow of a woman…”

“When you compose an album like this, each song is a reflection of a different personality…”, the band explain. From mental health and heartbreak to womanhood, A Void confidently stage-dive into twelve cathartic tracks of justified punk rock angst; delivering a deeply personal record of riotous grunge.

Dissociation, the new album from A Void, is out now. Buy here.

Ken Wynne

Track Of The Day: Shoun Shoun – ‘Sway With Me’

Following the release of their genre-defying do-it-yourself debut, Monsters & Heroes, Shoun Shoun’s (‘shoon-shoon’) lead vocalist and guitarist Annette Berlin ventured out into the woods to direct the music video for ‘Sway with Me‘; a droning, fuzz-drenched art-punk experiment.

‘Sway with Me’ – one of many highlights from the Bristol-based four-piece’s psychedelic LP – shimmers in ethereal feedback, disorienting the listener with its soft-loud-soft dynamic. Opening with delicate lo-fi rhythm, Giuseppe La Rezza’s percussive groove and Ole Rudd’s infectious bass-line build to a crescendo of unpredictable post-punk noise. Piercing through its psychedelic melody, Boris Ming’s abrasive violin strings complements Berlin’s eccentric, distorted guitar riffs and evocative lyrics – “Feel your way through time and space.”

Created with the assistance of Adam Hillmann, Sam Wisternoff, and Caleb Bruce, Berlin’s gothic music video for ‘Sway with Me’ hearkens back to both the silent-era of German expressionism and the golden age of home video; a curiosity presented in scratched monochrome, broadcast decades later on cable TV, recorded onto VHS, and rediscovered during a midnight viewing of Nosferatu and The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.

Like the track itself, Berlin’s visual language exemplifies the DIY ethos of the band, complementing Shoun Shoun’s idiosyncratic sound. ‘Sway with Me’ – or its German reprise as Monsters & Heroes closer ‘Schwing Mit Mir’ – is an experimental livewire shock to the senses. The perfect introduction to Shoun Shoun’s uncompromising ingenuity.

Ken Wynne