ALBUM: pink suits – ‘political child’

Having first formed back in 2017, Margate based queer punk-rock duo pink suits incorporate politically driven rage, dance and even theatre into their work, exploring issues of sexuality, mental health and a resistance of binary gender. Blasting into our ears at the end of last year with their raging single ‘Fake Great Britain’, they are now set to release their debut album political child later this month. 

A collection of thirteen tracks, each as poignantly charged as the last, the album sets out pink suits’ manifesto with a raging, angst-driven energy. With just drums, a guitar and the riotous force of their voices, Lennie and Ray offer an inclusive Feminist rebellion to bring about radical change. Truly a soundtrack for these times; a rallying cry to make our voices heard and fight for an upheaval of a neoliberal society. 

Kicking off with ‘My Old Man’s A Dustman’, the album starts as it means to go on: with a seething, all-too-poignant social commentary on the increasingly terrifying state of the UK right now. As intense beats and whirring hooks provide the backdrop for gritty blazing vocals, an impending sense of doom is created, reflecting the way many of us are feeling right now and the urgency felt in the need to “… strip authority from all abusive powers”. 

Continuing in a similar vein, ‘Decades Back’ and ‘Salute To The Sun’ ooze the duo’s quirky, playful energy as swirling punk-rock riffs race with an impassioned, riotous zest. Next up, stand out single ‘Fake Great Britain’ pretty much epitomises the message of political child as a whole. Propelled by a frenzied power and scuzzy hooks, it hits you with its raw, punk-fuelled lyricism raging against austerity and the fake ‘great’ ideals of a post-Brexit UK. With a ferocious passion, it’s a rallying cry against this government and the intolerance it promotes, its lies and the detrimental effects it’s had on all of our mental health. A perfect queer punk anthem inciting us to fight fascism with all our might. 

Perhaps more uptempo in sound, ‘We Can Shout’ reflects on the power of protest and the need to stand up to authority. With the seething cry “we can break it from the inside out”, pink suits seem to assert the importance of spreading information and discrediting the fake news we are so often fed by the right wing press. Touching on a theme that is particularly resonant right now – with the government trying to take away our right to protest – the track manages to firmly lodge its important message in your ears with its catchy refrains and buoyant energy.

The next three tracks seem to stand alone as their own entities, stepping away from the trademark punk-driven force of the rest of the album, showcasing the many different sides to pink suits and their eclectic sonic capabilities. Whilst ‘Gold Girl’ treats us to a Riot Grrrl reminiscent angst-driven power as penetrating screams blast out across the scuzzy soundscape, ‘Be The Best’ is propelled by steady marching beats offering a tongue-in-cheek commentary on toxic masculinity, and addressing the damaging importance that the government places on the military and arms trade, as well as the dangerous patriotism rooted in the desire to fight against other nationalities. And then there’s ‘3AM’: what appears to be a soothing respite from the seething rage of other tracks as the duo take a twinkling moment of personal reflection. 

Returning to their vibrant fist-clenching energy, the next two tracks awaken the senses with a racing force. Following ‘This Hole’, ‘Anarchist Wisdom’ offers a raging reflection on the prejudice that’s so rife in society – name-checking some of those responsible for spreading hatred, going against both morality and humanity. As a ferocious screech of “be a Feminist” blasts into the ears, I feel a shiver down my spine; with this immensely powerful sonic storm, pink suits just seem to magnificently capture the burning anger, frustration and sadness that so many of us are feeling right now.

Drawing the album to a close, the final three tracks continue with a similarly empowering energy. Following the seething statement of intent of the collection’s title track, ‘Scarred’ is propelled by a driving punk energy as it builds in tempo to a wonderfully frenzied climax. Finally, ‘Pink Suits Everyone’ may appear more melodic in sound than the majority of the album, but is no less pressing in its stirring intent. Offering a vibrant message of inclusivity and hope, here the duo urge us to come together and unite against the powers that seek to contain us. 

With political child, pink suits have not only created a completely necessary and ferociously poignant listen, but have done so whilst oozing an infectious vibrant energy and colourful charisma, cementing each of their raging, yet catchy, offerings firmly in our ears, leaving us longing to catch their colossal, swirling power live (we may have news on that this week…).

political child offers a perfect riotous catharsis; an immense formidable force, coated in a rousing cacophony, calling us to arms in these truly terrifying times. 

political child is out 16th April. It was recorded, mixed and mastered by Aim4 Recording, Canterbury.

Mari Lane
@marimindles

Photo Credit: Kathryn A Betts

Premiere: Nun Habit – ‘Slip ‘n’ Slide’ / ‘Righteous Jerk’

Having wowed us with their sparkling charisma and buoyant energy playing for us at The Finsbury back in 2020, London-based queer five-piece Nun Habit have now announced their debut album, set for release in August. Taken from the album, the band have now shared a very special double A-side release with us.

First up, it’s ‘Righteous Jerk’ – “an anthem for the breaker-upperee whose only regret is that they didn’t get around to doing it first“, it oozes an eerie mysticism before being propelled by thrashing beats and scuzzy, reverb-strewn riffs. With a shimmering whirr of synths and Kate’s sweeping soulful vocals, it builds with an anthemic fuzz and twinkling energy as rich musical layers are fused together to create a frenzied, swirling splendour.

Then a different side to Nun Habit is revealed in ‘Slip n Slide’. With Greg taking the lead with the vocals this time, it begins as a gentler offering as delicate effervescent melodies flow alongside a glistening fuzzy whirr, with shades of the likes of The Postal Service. Sparkling with a lilting, jangly energy, the track graduates to a vibrant disco-infused cacophony, showcasing the band’s wonderfully quirky charisma.

Offering a much-needed euphoric sense of joy, both tracks exemplify all there is to love about Nun Habit. Not only their eclectic, musically rich soundscapes, but also their infectious sense of fun and refreshing tongue-in-cheek wit of their imaginative lyricism. Both ‘Righteous Jerk and ‘Slip n Slide’ will have you up and bopping ’round the living room, longing to be surrounded by sweaty friends dancing along to the unique, immersive energy of Nun Habit live.

‘Righteous Jerk’/’Slip n Slide’ is out on Monday, 5th April. Which also marks the day that Nun Habit launch a Kickstarter campaign to fund a vinyl pressing of their upcoming album, hedge fun. Produced by Ric James (Yassassin, Foals), hedge fun will be released in August, with an accompanying celebratory launch party on 16th August at The Victoria in Dalston. More info on bandcamp.

Mari Lane
@marimindles

Photo Credit: Armadillo Media / @Armadillo_Media

 

Track Of The Day: Hadda Be – ‘Wait In The Dark’

Following the jangly energy of latest single ‘Another Life’, London-Brighton band Hadda Be (fka Foundlings) have now shared a brand new offering taken from their upcoming debut album.

Propelled by scuzzy riffs and thrashing racing beats, ‘Wait In The Dark’ shows us a heavier side to Hadda Be than what we might be used to, proving them as a band who are able to constantly hone their sound, reluctant to be pigeon-holed into any one genre.

With a gritty, frenzied energy and shades of the whirring splendour of Sonic Youth, it builds with a frenetic tension to a magnificent, swirling cacophony. Oozing a riotous, grunge-infused spirit, it offers all the fuzzed-out, angst-driven power we need to motivate us through the next few months, when hopefully brighter things – and the possibility of live music – will be on the horizon.

Of the track, the band explain:

“’Wait In The Dark’ is a direct and visceral reaction to the turbulent political and cultural times we find ourselves in. There’s a lot of anger and passion in this song. It felt liberating to have a moment on the album where we really let loose, not allowing ourselves to be wrapped up in analytical posturing. Like with our first ever single, ‘Misery’, the track started off with a bass line and everything else was built up from there. We’re particularly excited about getting this one out on the road.

Filmed remotely during lockdown and directed by Chris Tomsett (AKA Innerstrings), you can watch the psychedelic new video for ‘Wait In The Dark’ here:

Wait In The Dark‘ is out now. Another Life, the debut album from Hadda Be, is set for release 30th April via Last Night From Glasgow.

Mari Lane
@marimindles

Photo Credit: Luthiem Escalona

LISTEN: King Hannah – ‘State Trooper’

Following the release of their utterly captivating debut EP Tell Me Your Mind and I’ll Tell You Mine, Liverpool’s King Hannah have now shared a sweeping new offering.

A cover of the Bruce Springsteen 1982 track, ‘State Trooper’ is a beautifully bewitching listen. Maintaining all the gritty charm of the original, but with an added majestic splendour, the swooning hypnotic grace of Hannah Merrick’s vocals ripples alongside scuzzy hooks and a dark, spellbinding energy. A truly exquisite rendition of a song from one of my all-time favourite albums. It’s pretty hard to do The Boss justice (speaking as a mega super fan!), but King Hannah have managed it with flying colours – adding their own ethereal grandeur, they have succeeded in making it completely their own.

Of the decision to cover the track, the band explain:

“We have always loved the Bruce Springsteen album Nebraska, how sparse and raw it sounds, and how it is effectively a live demo recording. We wanted to keep that live-feel when covering ‘State Trooper’ and so we tracked the song live in our little home studio. We tried to do justice to the atmosphere of the original when arranging the track, with rumbling tom-heavy drums, warm creamy guitars and intimate slap-back vocals.”

Tell Me Your Mind And I’ll Tell You Mine, the new EP from King Hannah, is out now. Catch the band on tour later this year:

16/10/21: District – Liverpool  
20/10/21: YES (Pink Room) – Manchester
21/10/21: Hyde Park Book club – Leeds
22/10/21: Broadcast – Glasgow
23/10/21: Star and Shadow Cinema – Newcastle  
24/10/21: The Cookie – Leicester
25/10/21: Jericho Tavern – Oxford
26/10/21: Hare & Hounds – Birmingham
27/10/21: Lexington – London
28/10/21: Hope & Ruin – Brighton
29/10/21: The Louisiana – Bristol

Mari Lane
@marimindles

Photo Credit: Craig Whittle