EP: Tape Runs Out – ‘Talking Through Walls’

In a glistening manner, indie/electronic band Tape Runs Out take listeners down a lively new exploratory path in their newborn EP, Talking Through The Walls. Like cutting a crisp corner, the wind of the EP’s overturning tone provides a sense of urgency throughout this twinkling release that allows intricacy a spotlight, and quietness its space. In Talking Through The Walls‘ opening track ‘Make It Work’, the feeling of nostalgia is set for the record that stands parallel with the smell of untouched stories. With a shoegaze-strewn, dream-like element to the sonic landscape, Tape Runs Out lay out a bed of travel where moments of swelling synth and shiny guitar can be immortal. 

The freshness of Talking Through The Walls resides in Tape Runs Out’s ability to introduce folk sounds and timbres that ever so unexpectedly fit the band’s sonic language. ‘Ice Cream Soup’, found halfway through the release, bends in ways sounding both digital and analog as synths mimic a traditional guitar slide. There is a distinct and quirky charisma embodied in what Tape Run’s Out have stumbled upon here.

Ending the EP with lullaby-like elegance, ‘My Childhood Hands’ is an emotionally enduring mural painted with background samples that sound like home. As the pulsing keys initiate the song, here there remains room for listeners to have their own moment with the piece before the tremolo begins to shift the song’s footing. As the drifting instrumentation builds, listeners shuffle along picking up tiny yet significant elements that gradually layer in the mix like a story. This tasteful font in which Tape Runs Out have written their EP so strategically in, illustrates the band’s attention to detail. Talking Through The Walls is an instrumental adventure worth the conquest. 

Talking Through Walls is out now via Kuang Grade Recordings. Listen on Spotify.

Jill Goyeau
@jillybxxn

EP: ARXX – ‘Wrong Girl, Honey’

Following up their last EP, Daughters of Daughters, garage rockers – and GIHE faves – ARXX returned in November with Wrong Girl, Honey. A jamming blend of early ’90s influence and thoroughly modern melody, their second EP is a highly-listenable peek into the Brighton duo’s repertoire.

I feel dead lucky to be able to say I’ve seen ARXX play live several times. I’m going to be honest: I see a lot of bands. I even see a lot of bands I really enjoy, but ARXX are on another level. Last May, I caught them playing a packed VANS store during The Great Escape, and people were streaming out of the door, beers-in-hand.

When a band can impress you live as well as on a record, you know you’re onto something wild, and beautiful, and immense.

Wrong Girl, Honey opens with the anthemic power-chord-driven ‘Iron Lung’, a track that packs fifty punches into three minutes. Guitarist and singer Hannah always delivers unforgetable riffs while drummer, Clara, gives it her all on the skins. Every track on the EP is memorable and vast, widely building in tension throughout, before leaving you with ringing ears and a desperate craving for more.

The EP closes with a change of pace with ‘The Storm’, a song that opens with just Hannah and a palm-muted guitar. Conjuring feelings of long-gone 1950s dance halls, of unfilled dance cards and swing, with lyrics examining what it means to be young and in loss (“I wish I was more than this), it only adds to the brilliance of this band.

Wrong Girl, Honey is an expansive exploration of not just a tribute to the riot grrrls who came before, but a band who knows music and knows how to speak to a new generation of girls who know their worth. Girls ready to fight for it.

 

Wrong Girl, Honey is out now. Listen on Spotify, or buy on Bandcamp now.

Em Burfitt
@fenderqueer

EP: Rookes – ‘Liminal’

Rookes is a solo electro-pop project based in London. She has just released her second EP, Liminal, using ’80s synth sounds as a frame for her powerful voice, reminiscent of the best of the Eurythmics or Yazoo. This sets the scene for a four track EP, in which Rookes explores her own love experiences during two years of exploration of her queer identity across the London dating scene. 

‘Salvage’ is a slow, shimmering start dealing with post-breakup feelings, becoming more urgent and uptempo with the chorus, whereas ‘New Lovers’ has an eerie ’80s feel, with spiralling synths. However, the synths gain a harder edge as the song goes on, expressing the fear of a dangerous love (“do me no harm”). 

Lead single, ‘Liminal’, is catchy and poppier, where a lover is asked to take a romantic risk; suggesting both hope and caution, it’s a beautifully uplifting ballad. ‘Constellations’, however, closes the EP on a poetic note, oozing a dreamy warmth alongside soaring strings and shimmering synths.

This EP is polished, dramatic, and features intriguing songwriting. And you can dance to it! The emotions and experiences are completely relatable in songs centred on looking for love; finding it (but not being ready), and then losing it again. A stirring collection that will leave you wanting more of Rookes’ glistening soundscapes. 

Liminal is out now. Stream on all online platforms.

Fi Ni Aicead
@gotnomoniker

EP: Foxcunt – ‘A Visit From Foxcunt’

Who wouldn’t want a visit from Foxcunt? Fuelled by a shared love of “cider, art and dismantling state oppression”, which are, in my book anyway, ingredients for a top night, their latest album is riotous, shout-along political punk, as outspoken as their deliciously swear-y name suggests.

The band take shots at the patriarchy, post-Brexit Britain and the stress and monotony of life today. Current single ‘Anxiety Dream’ is a clear standout. Its crunchy guitars have a nervous, post-punk energy, intensified by the lyrics, which list the worries from an anxious brain. Meanwhile, ‘Competition’, with its homage to punk classic – Jilted John’s ‘Jilted John’, asks why, if life isn’t supposed to be a competition, “why are you always trying to win?”

Feminist-anthem-in-the-making, ‘Make Her Smaller’, could become the first dancefloor-filler to rail against gaslighting, coercion and emotional abuse. But while its post-punk brilliance and poppy harmonies will have you raising your fist in the air, ‘Rip Yr Fucking Cock Off’ is angrier, feistier and calls for direct action. It could start a movement, or a fight. Depending on the amount of Strongbow you’ve consumed.

Their ode to post-Brexit Britain, ‘BSE’, asks us to consider whether we’re as ‘great’ as we think, recalling the days of so-called Mad Cow Disease. A duet with alternating shouts of “Creutzfeldt!” and “Jakob!”, it channels a kinda wayward Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood.

In addition to the musical nods, the band wear their influences on their (album) sleeve, too. With artwork seemingly inspired by sloganeering feminist artist, Barbara Kruger, the band’s passions are everywhere.

Ultimately, A Visit From Foxcunt is an angry, joyous and empowering experience. But, while the band are blistering on record, I can’t help but think their energy will translate even better live. Next time they play ‘round my way, they’re definitely getting a visit from me!

 

A Visit From Foxcunt is out today, available on Bandcamp and Spotify. You can catch Foxcunt live at our monthly Finsbury night on 13th December!

Vic Conway

Photo Credit: Micky Strickson

EP: Vulpynes – ‘Dye Me Red’

With four unforgiving, relentlessly scuzzy songs, Irish grunge duo Vulpynes release their second EP Dye Me Red.

Kicking off the stormy ride with a riveting riff dripping in fuzz, Molly and Kas launch their EP’s roller-coaster ride with ‘I Can’t Sit Still’: immediately introducing listeners to a perfect taste of what’s to come. Tastefully driven angst spoken through guitar tones meets hard hitting vocal melodies that marry in a chaotic yet sparse way. No matter the moment, Dye Me Red hosts a harmony between noise and sparseness throughout, allowing each instrument their room to thrive and dance within their own vein. With such tight instrumentals in correspondence to rebellious, catchy melodies, Vulpynes draw wisps of early Foo Fighters or The Distillers with a chanting tone throughout the whole of this EP. 

It is hard not to feel Riot Grrrl energy with the powerful vocal doubles coating Dye Me Red. At just the right times, listeners feel like they’re invited to the party with the EP’s punchy communal vocal layers. ‘Bitches Are Like Waves’, the follow up track to ‘I Can’t Sit Still’, serves a protest-like disposition. As much as this song emotes lyrically, it also draws severe attention with its instrumentals. With delicate percussion sounds in a punk setting and classic guitar character, Vulpynes do an incredible job of showcasing the dance-ability of electric guitar. It is indeed hard to sit still throughout the journey of this EP’s sounds, there is truly an undeniable movement to it. 

In more ways than one, Vulpynes embody their lyrics – “won’t settle down, gotta settle up” -throughout their music that doesn’t wait for anyone. ‘The Hunt’, the EP’s finale, is a noisy, ghostly outro that haunts the EP with its feet sturdy in the ground. With elements reminiscent of Kim Gordon, Molly and Kas leave us with a hushy universal sentence: “I am not your prey.” Through their bold lyrics, sharp instrumentals and unique chemistry, Vulpynes create a space for everyone to celebrate themselves as emotional human beings. Dye Me Red is an empowering, charging EP for anyone seeking a release. 

 

Jillian Goyeau
@jillybxxn

EP: Breakup Haircut – ‘What Did You Expect? I Got It Off The Internet!’

You know when you fall for a band without even hearing a bit of music? Breakup Haircut had me at the press release. Formed just three months ago for First Timers fest – a festival where every band plays their debut show, they’re now releasing their first EP.

What Did You Expect? I Got It Off The Internet! is joyously lo-fi pop punk with, in the band’s words, “boppin’ bass” and witty lyrics that’ll put a big smile on your face. With songs like ‘I Wish I Was Cool Enough To Move To Berlin’ and ‘I (Don’t) Wanna Do Things’, it’s funny, relatable and, refreshingly, shows that the band don’t take themselves too seriously.

With this EP, Breakup Haircut sound like they are having the best time making music together, and their enthusiasm and sense of fun is infectious. You won’t be able to resist it.

What Did You Expect? I Got It Off The Internet! is out via Hell Hath No Fury Records on 27th September. Catch them live for yours truly at The Finsbury on 11th October – we can’t wait!

Vic Conway

Photo Credit: @thsheridans

EP: Timid Deer – ‘Melodies For The Nocturnal, Pt. 1’

Salisbury band Timid Deer consist of Naomi Henstridge, Tim Milne, Tom Laws, Matt Jackson and Jason Allen, and their new EP, Melodies for the Nocturnal Pt.1, sees an expansion in sound from acoustic folk to a more melancholy indie. 

Opening track No Country’ sets the tone for what is a gently melodic, minimally atmospheric, and ethereal EP. The piano intro, bass notes, and Naomi’s gentle sweeping voice lead into a haunting love song – “Take me to the river..we can drown together with wild flowers all around”. The synths and guitar solo add to the atmosphere, without being invasive.

‘Sinner’s Heart’ continues the same elemental themes, with a slightly jazzy feel and dreamy atmospherics coming to the fore, whilst conjuring the image of a spurned lover fighting back. Things take a darker turn with the creeping aura of ‘The Tide’ with its ominous piano intro, with flowing waves getting deeper, washing the lover away; “You my lover, will pay the price.”

Lead track ‘The Shallows’ continues the story – “I’ll be waiting in the shallows… we can wash away our fire… our sorrow” – set to a slow rock mix with layered vocals, whilst final track ‘Sleepless’ is a dreamlike love song oozing soaring angelic vocals and a spine-tingling beauty. 

The band intends to write and record a follow-up EP later this year, and we can’t wait to hear what they create next. If, like me, you are a bit of a Goth at heart, Timid Deer come highly recommended.

 

Melodies for the Nocturnal Pt. 1 is out now. 

Fi Ni Aicead
@gotnomoniker