EP: Berries – ‘Live From Big Smith Studios’

Fuelled by the riff-driven melodies of Nirvana, the massive choruses of Biffy Clyro, and the punk rock attitude of Riot Grrrl pioneers Bikini Kill, London based trio Berries have spent the last five years releasing an incendiary blend of grunge and garage rock, culminating in two explosive extended plays; 2016’s Those Funny Things and 2019’s Lies.

The three-piece – consisting of Holly Carter on guitar/lead vocals, Lauren Cooper on bass/backing vocals, and Lucie Hartmann on drums/backing vocals – recently signed with London-based label Xtra Mile Recordings, dropped the single track ‘Copy’, and have now released their latest EP, Live Sessions from Big Smith Studios; a collection of four tracks recorded live in Antony Smith’s studio.

Opening Live Sessions from Big Smith Studios, Berries immediately launch into a live rendition of their latest single ‘Copy’, a high-energy performance that gives the riff-laden track even more of an edge. Lauren’s raucous bass-lines, Lucie’s pounding drums, Holly’s distinctive lead vocal delivery and scuzzy guitar hooks are so flawless that you would be forgiven for mistaking this for the original track; if not for the various nuances between the two (“Don’t copy it exactly / Rough around the edge”).

The remaining three performances – ‘Dangerous’, ‘Silent’ and ‘Lies’ – are live versions of their respective tracks taken from the EP, Lies. Recorded for John Kennedy’s Radio X show, along with ‘Copy’ and ‘Lies’, ‘Dangerous’ is the highlight of Live Sessions from Big Smith Studios; an infectious collision of drum strikes, pulsating bass guitar, and distorted riffs combining indie, grunge and punk to cause a euphoric shock to the senses. Holly creates a sense of danger with her haunting lyrics, inspired after travelling home late one night after a gig: All of the thoughts and feelings of walking the streets alone at night and the different personalities you meet on the way.

Recorded for the virtual single launch of ‘Copy’, the band let loose on ‘Silent’, channelling the spirit of punk rock, and evoking Black Sabbath at the same time, with a fast-paced rhythmic foundation that elevates the track’s off-kilter hook, leading into a metallic breakdown that will have you banging your head! ‘Lies’ concludes the EP with a seemingly effortless performance oozing razor-sharp guitar licks, duelling drum and bass grooves, sassy vocals, and intense shredding.

Raw, complex, and full of little flourishes, Live Sessions from Big Smith Studios showcases the band’s signature style and strength as a live power trio. And it won’t be long until Berries are able to replicate this noise in front of a live audience! Worthy of repeat listening, this four-track extended play will scratch that rock and roll itch until we can all get together, drink warm beer, dance, and sing along with Holly, Lauren, and Lucie.

Watch the live video for ‘Dangerous’ here:

Live Sessions From Big Smith Studios is out now, listen on Spotify and download/buy here.

Ken Wynne
@Ken_Wynne

Photo Credit: Cae Sato

Track Of The Day: BERRIES – ‘Copy’

In a riveting, riff heavy tune that takes off with intention the moment it begins, London-based trio BERRIES bring us a garage-rock banger with their brand new single. Having been firm favourites here at GIHE for a number of years, they’ve also received well-deserved acclaim from the likes of John Kennedy and Huw Stephens, and look set to continue gaining fans with this energy-fuelled latest release.

Gritty, overdriven guitar open ‘Copy’ with a provocative sonic adrenaline that sets the scene for the bold disposition that carries throughout the track’s entirety. This undeniably catchy riff never lets go, and with this captivating high-energy, BERRIES grab fans of indie-rock, punk and grunge all at once.

With only three players – Holly, Lauren and Lucie – BERRIES’ ‘Copy’ sounds impressively gigantic between its pulsing bass-lines and driving drums. The band’s instrumental chemistry is evident even in their studio recording, as the track scurries around itself reacting in the most particular ways.

Lyrically, BERRIES gives us an independent mood that is “rough around the edge” and self-motivated. ‘Copy’ forgets about the opinions of others and sticks to its own unique path, creating a track that is both electrifying and autonomous at every moment; relentless in both tone and fiery character. Of the track, the band explain:

“… (it’s) about imitation and how we are programmed by society to try and live up to other people’s expectations of happiness and how unhealthy, self-critical and obsessive this way of existing can be.”

 

If ‘Copy’ serves as a taste for the upcoming BERRIES’ record, set to be released  via Xtra Mile Recordings, listeners are certainly in for an original and memorable sonic experience from this power trio.

Jillian Goyeau
@jillybxxn

LIVE (Photos): Berries EP Launch, 06.11.19

Celebrating the release of London trio Berries’ new EP, Lies, last Wednesday three of our most favourite bands got together to put on a night of the most exciting live music.

Kicking things off, captors of my heart Chorusgirl treat the crowd to their truly luscious, emotion-strewn dream pop. As Silvi describes set opener ‘In Dreams’ as “a nice song about my hometown”, she revels in “all the familiar faces” in the crowd as the band continue to deliver their effervescent harmonies and impressive driving riffs. From tracks from their first album such as ‘To Be A Defector’ to newer tracks such as the hugely stirring ‘Stuck’, Chorusgirl deliver their shimmering sounds with a heart-rending, cathartic energy.

Next up, The Franklys blast out their energy fuelled rock ‘n’ roll with their immense empowering charisma. From the soaring buoyant power of ‘I’m Not Guilty’, to the swirling grit of ‘Keeper’ and many more riff-tastic anthems in-between, the half Swedish band completely captivate the crowd with their catchily riotous sounds.

And then, the three women of the hour, Berries, take to the stage with their trademark fun-filled energy and sparkling magnetism. Treating the jam-packed venue to dazzling guitar solos, front woman Holly’s distinctive spiky vocals and an all-encompassing life-affirming sense of unity, the trio deliver familiar offerings such as the frenzied force of ‘Discreetly’ and ‘Faults’, amongst songs so new their name is not yet decided – “It’s ‘Trace’, not ‘Once'”, Holly asserts. In between designated swigs of drinks, Berries don’t disappoint, with their admirable raw passion and buzzing charisma, proving them worthy of the highest accolades.

Massive thanks to all three bands for a great night of live music!

Berries’ new EP Lies is out now, via RoseColoured Records/AWAL. Stream now.

 

Words: Mari Lane / @marimindles
Photos: Jon Mo / @jonmophoto

Track Of The Day: Berries – ‘Silent’

Although there are only three people in London-based Berries, the garage band manage to make a big noise. ‘Silent’, the first single from their forthcoming EP, fuses dazzling guitar solos with spiky, sassy vocals and a big pop chorus – and you’ll want to play it loud.

This song doesn’t stop moving – noisy rock drums keep the pace while the guitar soars, weaves and then even goes a bit prog-y in a fun, kinda life-affirming way. ‘Silent’ is pure rock ‘n’ roll. If it doesn’t make you want to bounce around with an air guitar and flip your hair about, we don’t know what will.

The trio are set to support Bleached at their sold out show at The Lexington on 22nd August, and we’re confident they’ll blow their crowd away with their furious live energy. Listen to ‘Silent’ below and follow Berries on Facebook for more updates.

 

Photo Credit: Matthew Young

Victoria Conway