EP: LIERS – ‘Elixir’

Formed by lead singer Liz Seaver, Dublin’s LIERS spent most of 2018 cutting their teeth on the Irish live music scene. Performing at Electric Picnic and supporting bands like Fangclub (alongside Vulpynes) at popular Dublin venue Whelan’s; LIERS have taken a few moments away from the stage to share their debut EP Elixir. 

Released in January of this year, the record opens with title track ‘Elixir’. It’s a blend of 90’s tinged guitar sounds, with quiet verses leading in to loud choruses in true grunge style. LIERS cite Foo Fighters, Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, and Alanis Morrissette as some of their influences, so it’s clear from the offset their EP is going to be full of power chords and powerful vocals. ‘Universal Female’ flows in the same vein, with Liz’s strong voice leading over a rush of alternative sound, designed for when you’re feeling “perfectly imperfect”.

Third track ‘Can’t Got Back’ is a melodic reminder to reluctantly move forward, even if it makes you rage and cry, whilst the penultimate ‘Realise’ is a plunge in to heavier riffs and percussion, detailing an emotional breakthrough in its lyricism. Closing track ‘Host’ is a shimmering slice of open-hearted garage rock, ending the EP on a strongly optimistic note.

Whilst their name suggests deception, it’s clear that LIERS are able to communicate their love of 90s music in an honest and melodic fashion through the five tracks that form their debut EP Elixir. Liz, Ed (lead guitar), Stephen (bass) and Ronan (drummer) should take pride in this impressive debut.

Listen to Elixir on Spotify. Follow LIERS on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

ALBUM: Queen Zee – ‘Queen Zee’

Making weirdness in to wonderful, inclusive, explosive new tunes; GIHEs favourites Queen Zee have shared their debut self-titled album and it’s every bit as glorious as we’d hoped. Released via their own label Sasstone Records, the group have created ten tracks that gleefully cut down any of the forces that attempt to stand in the way of equality.

The tongue-in-cheek ‘Loner’ opens the record, and it’s an in-your-face anthem taking the piss out of being a solitary, socially inept loser. Zee’s vocals dominate the track as swirling guitar and non-stop percussion keep the riot going. It’s followed by the equally punchy ‘Lucy Fur’ and ‘Sissy Fists’, which are belting fusions of grunge & punk. The latter smashes apart any associations of weakness and is a proper hardcore two minutes of pure adrenaline.

‘Idle Crown’ is a riotously executed piece of Marilyn Manson-esque pop sleaze. The narrative centers around two LGBTQ+ characters trapped in a toxic heteronormative relationship, who are unable to live as their true selves. It’s hard to resist screaming along to the chorus of ‘Porno’ and ‘Victim Age’, both of which will have you kicking and screeching around a dance floor.

The album’s standout track is undoubtedly ‘Boy’. It’s an anthem for trans-gender rockers and their allies who refuse to be ignored, or oppressed by transphobic or homophobic attitudes. “You can try and bury my head in the sand, but that won’t make the body at the surface a man’s” sings Zee, as manic guitar and heart-pounding drums smash out for just shy of five minutes. ‘Hunger Pains’ follows with Zee’s ravenous screeching and more trademark corkscrew guitar riffs, whereas the brief interlude ‘Anxiety’ is a mellow yet candid admission to not feeling well.

Whether you admit to it or not, we can all relate to closing track ‘I Hate Your New Boyfriend’. It’s a hilariously vicious take-down of a misogynistic partner who drains your friend and by default drains you too. Turn it up extra loud anytime you know said antagonist is in the vicinity. With their punk attitude and ability to write abrasive and infectious tracks, there’s no danger of Queen Zee being melted in to a “masculine mould” – and we’re rejoicing in support of this “whipping girl born into a big man’s world”. What a debut, invest immediately.

Photo Credit: Jon Mo Photography

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

ALBUM: Le Butcherettes – ‘bi/MENTAL’

A vivid exploration of maternal relationships, enduring grief, and coping with the many faceted mental health issues encountered along the way; Le Butcherettes‘ new album bi/MENTAL is a potent infusion of almighty vocals, hefty guitar riffs, and commanding percussion. Released via Rise Records, the band’s fourth album was produced by Talking Heads member Jerry Harrison (No Doubt, Violent Femmes, KD Lang) and recorded at his home studio in Northern California.

Cited as their most personal album to date, bi/MENTAL is an ode to frontwoman Teri Gender Bender’s mother. She states that with the aid of producer Jerry, she was able to be “vulnerable and in-your-face at the same time” and that freedom permeates bi/MENTAL. Opener ‘spider/WAVES’ is six minutes of off-kilter unhinged sound, dominated by Teri’s trademark falsetto vocals and accompanied by spoken word from Dead Kennedys’ front man, Jello Biafra. It leads in to the knockout ‘give/UP’ lamenting the struggles surrounding grief. The opening line paints a morbid picture – “I’ve been putting off for days / a visitation to your grave” – but Teri’s passionate delivery and the infectious, rolling rhythms make this track a real blood-pumping tune that’s hard to sit still to.

‘strong/ENOUGH’ is an anthem of defiance and acceptance – “I’m not the kind of girl you thought I was” – whilst ‘father/ELOHIM’ explores a narrative of reckless behaviour and freedom. ‘little/MOUSE’ follows, before the scratchy nostalgic opening of ‘in/THE END’ breaks through, developing in to a retrospective ballad about faithlessness. A seething, buzzing bass line dominates ‘nothing/BUT TROUBLE’, whilst the sultry vocals of Chilean vocalist Mon Laferte take centre stage on ‘la/SANDÍA’.

Gritty guitar and psych-tinged keys meet on ‘struggle/STRUGGLE’ where pain and grief culminate in a speaking-in-tongues outro from Teri. ‘dressed/IN A MATTER OF SPEECH’ follows, before the unsettling screams and screeches of ‘mothers/HOLDS’ conquer the next three minutes of the record. Featuring the vocals of Alice Bag, ‘mothers/HOLDS’ is an example of the dark magic that’s conjured when two assertive, defiant women come together to create art.

The heady, mesmeric sounds on the penultimate ‘sand/MAN’ are followed by closing track ‘/BREATH’. It has a gentle opening, with slow guitar and a child-like voice sample interrupting intermittently like an old memory, but that’s swiftly discarded around the two minute mark. The track kicks back in in true raucous Le Butcherettes fashion, closing the record on a willful, assertive note.

Inspired by the “the death of a living mother”, the duality of life, and the inevitable strife caused by the fluctuation of mental health; Le Butcherettes bi/MENTAL is a cathartic burst of emotional rock music designed to clear the cobwebs between your ears.

Listen to bi/MENTAL on Spotify here.
Follow Le Butcherettes on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

EP: Petty Phase – ‘Petty Phase’

Southend Riot Grrrls Petty Phase have shared their new self-titled EP via Headcheck Records, and it’s eleven minutes of energetic punk sounds designed to get your head thrashing.

On opening track ‘Made To Order’ the band break down the “barbie doll” mold enforced on girls and women in the media. Through ferocious guitar riffs, Alyx’s buzzing bass lines and Jen & Rosie’s defiant dual vocals; the track becomes a cathartic take down of stereotypes, executed with genuine riot grrrl flair. The same can be said for following track ‘The Jesus Touch’ which brims with more of the band’s thrashing riffs and trademark no-nonsense attitude.

The deadly opening riff on penultimate track ‘Y2k’ cranks the volume up another notch, before the band take down double standards in riotous fashion on closing track ‘Different For Girls’. Jen & Rosie’s powerful vocals make for a catchy chorus here, ending the record on just as defiant a note as it started on.

If you’re in to all things riot grrrl – or looking for a modern intro to the vital 90s movement – definitely check out Petty Phase’s new EP.

Follow Petty Phase on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

EP: Projector – ‘How Does It Feel?’

A visceral, grunge-infused exploration of love, loss and anxiety; How Does It Feel? is the knockout debut from Brighton trio Projector. Released via Roadkill Records on 9th November, the four track EP showcases the band’s ability to fuse nostalgic 90s noise with crushingly relatable modern sensibilities.

Recent single ‘Full Circle’ is an impressive opening track, and Bassist Lucy’s vocal range is beautifully showcased here. Switching between coarse, gravelly screams and clear, magnetic harmonies; her voice is enviably distinctive. Drummer Demelza’s beats drive the song to its conclusion, alongside Edward’s spiraling guitar sounds. It bleeds in to ‘I Am Shamed’, which is a raging onslaught of furious, fx-soaked riffs. Edward’s vocals take center stage here, giving the track an urgent, manic dimension.

The band’s earlier single ‘Break Your Own Heart’ is just as infectious after multiple listens. It’s a thundering, three and a half minute blur of aggressive, melodic sound. Closing track ‘Let Me’ is an ode to mutual self-destruction. “Let me ruin you, I’ll let you ruin me too” sings Lucy, an invitation that’s underscored by brooding bass lines and more of Demelza’s perfect percussion. It bookends a brief but blistering record that’s been crafted with aggressive intricacy.

So, ‘How Does It Feel’ listening to Projector’s debut EP? It feels pretty fucking good. We recommend you invest your listening time in the Brighton trio, and that you catch them live at Moth Club on 10th November. Tickets are available on DICE now.

Order your copy of ‘How Does It Feel?’ here. Follow Projector on Facebook for more updates.

Photo Credit: Jessie Morgan

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: Jo Passed – ‘Their Prime’

Living in the city with nowhere to rent? No time outside of employment, and no realistic expectations to live up to? Then you should invest in Jo Passed‘s debut album, Their Prime. Released via Sub Pop Records (Royal Mountain Records in Canada), the Vancouver-based four piece have written a record that encompasses these anxieties – but most importantly – uses a combination of melodic noise and grunge-inspired sound to break through them.

Comprised of Jo, Elliot, Bella & Megan-Magdalena, Jo Passed’s new record is the amalgamation of front-man Jo’s fears and frustrations at not being where he thought he’d be in his 30s. Jo has been part of the DIY music scene since his late teens along with high school best friend Elliot, both of whom thought they were “freaky music weirdos” when they began writing their own tunes. Now, with the multi-talented Bella & Megan-Magdalena on board, Jo’s fear of missing out has been neutralised and channeled in to songs like hazy album opener, ‘Left’. It’s three minutes of reverb-heavy riffs that cloud the ears with a gentle anger.

Second track ‘MDM’ hosts noise-rock riffs and floaty, quietly furious vocals, before ‘Glass’ and ‘Undemo’ pass by in steady fashion. The brief ‘Facetook’ bleeds in with its distant vocals and downbeat, diluted guitar sounds, before ‘Repair’ pushes things in a more positive direction. Breathy, laid back vocals are mirrored in the percussion and guitar parts, preceding the cathartic pay off which comes three minutes and twenty seconds in.

The guitars on ‘R.I.P’ drift dreamily above more pensive vocals, before the relatable ‘Millennial Trash Blues’ punches its way through with more noise and feedback, ricocheting between loud & quiet from start to finish. ‘You, Prime’ rings out in similar fashion, as does following track ‘Sold’ with its manic riffs and driving percussion. Ambient interlude ‘Another Nowhere’ provides space for reflection, before the spacey ‘Places Please’ closes this journey through uncertainty and identity.

Jo Passed’s debut record is a strung-out, melodic tonic for those pushing through the fear of missing out, or indeed, being past Their Prime. You can purchase your copy here.

Follow Jo Passed on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut