LIVE: Sextile – Electrowerkz, London 18.09.18

Beneath the flashing lights and amidst the smoke machines of London’s Electrowerkz, Sextile brought their brand of manic ‘Disco’ to town on Wednesday night. The L.A. band celebrated the release of their new EP with a set full of pounding beats, wailing guitars and glitchy synths.

Greeted by a loyal and energetic crowd, drummer Melissa Scaduto and guitarist & vocalist Brady Keehn bounced around the stage for the duration of their gig. Joined by a brilliant, blue-haired multi-instrumentalist for their live shows, the trio played with an energy that matched their manic synth textures.

Front-man Brady jolted back and forth across the stage, delivering his delayed vocals with care-free aplomb. His movements were mimicked by the crowd who fed from his jagged energy – which amped up each time he played guitar throughout the set – whilst Melissa kept things steady with her relentless drum beats.

The aptly named ‘Mental’ taken from the band’s 2017 album Albeit Living, and new track ‘Spun’ (taken from 3) were highlights in a set that included tracks from both releases. The trio barely paused for breath between songs, and closed the night covered in sweat to the sound of rapturous applause. Sextile’s sound was built for venues like Electrowerkz, and with the help of support act Numb.ers – they electrified their crowd on Wednesday night.

(Support came from Numb.er)

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Track Of The Day: Pip Blom – ‘Come Home’

Having recently supported none other than legends The Breeders on their recent tour and received plenty of acclaim from the likes of BBC 6 Music and BBC Radio 1, Dutch artist Pip Blom is back with another slice of infectious garage pop.

Flowing with scuzzy, discordant hooks and Blom’s trademark seductively lethargic vocals, ‘Come Home’ maintains the catchy, jangly spirit of earlier releases but with an added gritty edge. With a fuzz-filled energy and slick lo-fi melodies, this new single is further proof that Pip Blom deserves every bit of success she’s been receiving so far, marking her out once again as a firm favourite here at Get In Her Ears.

 

‘Come Home’ is taken from Pip Blom’s upcoming EP Paycheck, out 5th October via Nice Swan Records. Catch the band live on their extensive UK tour:

14th November – Hyde Park Book Club, Leeds
15th November – Sneaky Pete’s, Edinburgh
16th November – Think Tank? Underground, Newcastle
17th November – The Night and Day Café, Manchester
19th November – The Sunflower Lounge, Birmingham
20th November – Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff
21st November – The Prince Albert, Brighton
22nd November – The Lexington, London
24th November – The Shipping Forecast, Liverpool
25th November – Whelan’s (upstairs), Dublin
26th November – The Cookie, Leicester
27th November – The Boileroom, Guildford

Mari Lane
@marimindles

ALBUM: The Joy Formidable – ‘AAARTH’

As guitarist and vocalist Ritzy Bryan explains; AAARTH is what happens when you stop “giving a fuck about things that don’t matter”. The Joy Formidable‘s fourth album is an aural plunge in to the depths of freedom and self-exploration and brims with the trio’s trademark chunky, yet intricate sounds. The record is set to be released via Hassle Records on 24th September.

AAARTH bursts in to life with the sound of ‘Y Bluen Eira’. Sung entirely in Welsh, it’s a powerful, all-encompassing track; permeated by waves of Ritzy’s buzzing guitar, Rhydian’s brooding bass lines and Matt’s heart-thumping percussion. ‘The Wrong Side’ follows, pushing through with steady grace before the thunderous ‘Go Loving’ breaks in. It’s a superb example of the band’s ongoing ability to pause and punch in all the right places.

Acoustic guitar and dirty, distorted bass lines sit perfectly next to each other on ‘Cicada (Land on Your Back)’, whilst Ritzy’s hushed vocals on ‘All In All’ provide a moment for quiet, ambiguous reflection about the “something missing”. The track’s pay off hits at the three minute mark in the form of swirling, atmospheric riffs and crashing drum beats. ‘What For’ bleeds in afterwards, leaving no room for respite. The same can be said for ‘The Better Me’, which rips and roars for just shy of four minutes, and hosts an incredible outro that will be the highlight of future live sets. It’s a song about “self-acceptance, living with your mistakes and appreciating how we all make up the whole and have something different to offer” Ritzy extrapolates.

The melancholy ‘Absence’ follows, acting as a calm interlude before the raucous ‘Dance of the Lotus’ kicks in. It’s easily one of the strongest songs on the record, with its perfect drop-ins and wonderful guitar wails. Penultimate track ‘You Can’t Give Me’ rings out with orchestral elements and buzzing guitar for a full five minutes, before ‘Caught On a Breeze’ closes the album with more belting percussion, rumbling bass lines, and filthy guitar riffs.

AAARTH is a fierce new collection of songs which reinforces The Joy Formidable’s seemingly endless ability to keep the momentum going with (what feels like) minimal effort. A decade after the release of their debut EP, A Balloon Called Moaning, the trio are still releasing sharply produced, thunderous sounds that are best appreciated at full volume, or in the flesh on a live platform. Don’t miss out on their in-store gigs at Rough Trade (dates below).

AAARTH is released on September 28th on CD, LP, limited boxset, Indie retail exclusive vinyl & Rough Trade exclusive vinyl. Pre-order here.

The Joy Formidable Live Dates 2018
Sept 29 – Rough Trade in-store, Nottingham
Sept 30 – Rough Trade in-store, Bristol
Oct 01 – Rough Trade in-store, London East

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

EP: Weekend Recovery – ‘In The Mourning’

One of GIHE faves is stumbling back out of their debauched weekend state to bring a banging follow-up EP to the album, Get What You Came For, which came out earlier in the year. Indeed it’s so, the Kentonian punk-pop four-piece Weekend Recovery is back with four brand new tunes and EP, In the Mourning, to get pulses racing.

The crunchy, clashy guitars on opening track, ‘Bite Your Tongue’ pull you in from the get-go, setting the track up for a metal song only to be answered with lilting vocals and the walk-down riff from one of Pearl Thompson’s sordid nightmares, switching back to a Buckethead dream out of nowhere. It’s brill and sets the EP up perfectly.

With the following track being the EP’s title one, it’s in prime position to become one you keep going back to. Weekend Recovery have stuck to their guns, to what they’re good at, producing up-tempo, gurgling-guitar, persistent percussion and wickedly crooned hits. ‘In The Mourning’ may well be the highlight track.

After that comes a pair of great songs that take a different path, one that might hint towards what will be next from the band whose stage presence has rocked us and The Finsbury to its core. On the one hand, ‘On My Knees’ is the EP’s track that most sounds like it would have also made a fab track on the album. On the other, closing track ‘I’m Not That Girl’ is a maudlin, lamenting rock ballad with damn inspiring near-country harmonies throughout its chorus that, not gonna lie, makes us excitedly ponder, “What’s next?”.

In The Mourning, the new EP from Weekend Recovery, is out 27th September.

Em Burfitt
@fenderqueer

WATCH: Host – ‘b4me’

“Cut your hair but not your ties” advises Host as she faces down multiple camera lens’ in her new video for single ‘b4me’. It’s an infectious slice of electro-pop from the Irish newcomer, which navigates the tricky territory between being in love with the idea of being loved, and not being able to reciprocate that desire.

Following on from her debut single ‘Goodbye’, Host has spent most of her year writing, recording and producing music alone. ‘b4me’ is another sharply produced offering from the newcomer, who had this to say about her new track: “Usually, like many other artists, I write my songs based off an exaggerated version of the truth; but ‘b4me’ is far from fiction. I produced the song fully before adding a lyrical element to the music and for me, that alone spoke volumes, but sometimes you just have to speak your thoughts aloud to make them fully register”.

Fact or Fiction: we’re happy to dance along to Host’s upbeat tunes. Watch the video for ‘b4me’ below, and follow her on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Track Of The Day: Dish Pit – ‘Family Man’

“Do as I say, not as I do – I’m three times bigger than you” sneers Dish Pit‘s front-woman Nora on new track ‘Family Man’ – written from the perspective of a stereotypical “bully father”. The Montreal trio combine distorted guitars and aggressive drums to undermine the image of the seemingly perfect ‘Family Man’.

The new track is their first release since wowing crowds on their extensive summer UK tour, and the band are now set to return to the studio to record their debut album with the help of established producers Gordon Raphael (Strokes, Damon Albarn) and Steve Albini (Nirvana, Breeders).

Listen to ‘Family Man’ below and follow Dish Pit on Facebook for more updates.

Photo Credit: John Johnson

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

ALBUM: Gazelle Twin – ‘Pastoral’

A unique artist with razor sharp vision and uncompromising creativity; Gazelle Twin (aka Elizabeth Bernholz) combines glitchy beats, menacing samples and an uncanny new costume on her forthcoming album, Pastoral. Set to be released via her own label Anti-Ghost Moon Ray on 21st September, the record marks another transformation for the performer; this time she’s exhuming England’s “rotten past” and questioning its uncertain future.

Bernholz has been honing her own unique vision since the release of her debut album, The Entire City, in 2001. She released her sophomore record Unflesh in 2014 to critical acclaim, and between Motherhood and curating another two atmospheric records (2016’s Out Of Body & 2017’s audio/visual project Kingdom Come), she’s now released Pastoral – and it’s been worth the wait.

“What species is this? What century is this?” she questions on opener ‘Folly’, in a vocal pitch so high it practically curdles the blood. It sets the precedent for the rest of the album – electronic soundscapes that form a permanent sense of unease. Nervous, persistent percussion and repeated lyrics on ‘Better In My Day’ act as an apt parody of the clichéd phrase the track is named after. Bernholz’s warped vocals drip with apathy on ‘Little Lambs’, alongside twitchy synth samples and pulverizing drums. It seamlessly transitions in to ‘Old Thorn’, which recycles the same synth sequences, but which ring out with a different kind of intensity.

Gazelle Twin’s dystopian carousel of sound continues on following track ‘Dieu Et Mon Droit’, which translates as “God and my right”. The phrase is a motto associated with the British Monarchy, and Bernholz’s lyric “Dripping down like shit in to the sewer” feels like a repulsive but brilliant analogy to the Monarch’s inheritance to divine rights. It’s followed by ‘Throne’ – a brief but intriguing interlude of echos and slowly spoken words about power and the wounds it inflicts. When these tracks are performed live, one can imagine Bernholz’s jester-like, red and white costume acting as a powerful vitriolic visual aid here.

Midway through the record we arrive at ‘Mongrel’, with its lyrics – “what species is this? What century is this?” – shadowing opening track ‘Folly’. Her motif provides an insight in to the exhaustion her exploration of these themes can bring. The line “I’m too tired to protest but I’m too worried I’ll regret this. I’m not ready to accept this” feels particularly poignant in the current Brexit-obsessed political climate. The remarkable ‘Glory’ follows, with its slow-building, beguiling vocals and steady, deep drums that spread out across ominous synths.

The daintily named ‘Tea Rooms’ describes the unease of “living in a pastoral picture”, highlighting the uncomfortable reality lurking behind England’s quaint postcard image. The atmospheric ‘Jerusalem’ follows, before the marching beats and seething spoken-word lyrics of ‘Dance Of The Peddlers’ kicks in. It’s less of a dance, more a defiant attack on the Peddlers she speaks of. It transitions seamlessly in to the heart-palpitating ‘Hobby Horse’, which acts like a warning to said Peddlers to “get on your hobby horse and get out of here”. With her humble recorder, bared teeth and samples of football hooligan chants; Bernholz has created a claustrophobic, charged gallop of anarchy.

The false joviality of the synth sequences on ‘Sunny Stories’ are undermined by Bernholz’s powerful vocal display and an ominous under layer of sinister noise that rings out at even interludes. It’s a haunting penultimate track, and is followed by ‘Over The Hills’ which closes the record with an intriguing forty seconds of voice samples and a hymn-like soundscape. Gazelle Twin delivers her Pastoral vision through grinning but gritted teeth. Her altruistic style is one that can’t be mimicked – even though she herself is a master at adopting the traits of others, and transforming in to a new species of performer who offers brutality and intrigue in equal measure.

Pastoral is released on 21 September 2018 via Anti-Ghost Moon Ray. Pre-order here.
Follow Gazelle Twin on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut