ALBUM: Scrunchies – ‘Feral Coast’

Through mutual admiration of each other’s bands, a group of Minnesotan punk rockers began jamming together in Minneapolis, forming Scrunchies just over four years ago. As a local supergroup – with Laura Larson playing for Kitten Forever and Baby Guts before that, Danielle Cusack playing for Bruise Violet and previously Tony Peachka, and their stint in Buzzcocks cover band, Buzzcunts – Scrunchies released their debut LP Stunner in 2018; a DIY stunner that captured the spirit of 90’s riot grrrl. Joined by Condominium’s Matt Castore (as bassist and engineer – having previously recorded Scrunchies debut), the trio’s sophomore effort Feral Coast, is arguably more punk-as-fuck; ripping out riffs with cathartic rage!

Opening with ‘The Houseplant’, Castore’s bass groove can barely contain the punk rock energy Scrunchies are about to release, leading to Larson and Cusack’s propulsive rhythm and screaming lyrical angst. ‘Torrini Decorating’ follows with an equally obliterating punk sound, and Scrunchies are only just getting started! ‘No Home Planet’, another whiplash-inducing ripper, tears apart the fabric of the universe with crushing riffs from Larson (“It’s not the end of the world…”) before Cusack’s punishing percussion on ‘Sway’ has this reviewer gathering his friends together for an impromptu moshpit.

Maintaining their intensity, the infectious bassline of ‘New What’ is followed by the fuzz-drenched hooks of ‘Wildlife’; the trio crescendoing into a cataclysm of feedback near the halfway mark. ‘Black Egg’ will offer listeners no respite before the thrashing ‘Absolute Maximum’ shreds sludge with lo-fi, early Seattle grunge-esque riffs, surrealistic stream of consciousness lyrics, and authentic riot grrrl brattiness. “Don’t take offence I’m trying, but I’m barely alive / You wanna stick your hand in, well it’s mine, mine, mine!”

Inspired by the noise rock of Shellac and Sonic Youth, ‘Parallel’ disturbs with jarring harmonies – and a Kim Gordon-esque deadpan vocal delivery in the bridge – layered over scuzzy post-hardcore guitar hooks. And quickly catch your breath during ‘Ditch’ because you will find yourself shouting along with the loud/soft dynamic of ‘Feral Coast’! Encouraging women and queers to embrace the same DIY ethos that empowers Scrunchies, Feral Coast is a raw, spontaneous record that is comfortable with perfect imperfection; delivering chaotically crafted punk ragers that inspire.

Follow Scrunchies on bandcamp, Spotify, Twitter, Instagram & Facebook

Ken Wynne
@Ken_Wynne

Track Of The Day: Momma – ‘Rockstar’

An effortlessly cool guitar tune that playfully picks apart the novelties of being in a band, Brooklyn-based Momma have shared their latest single ‘Rockstar’. Following on from their previous offering ‘Medicine‘, the group have announced this single alongside the news that they’ll be embarking on their first UK tour in May, with a headline show at London’s Brixton Windmill on 10th May.

Formed of Etta Friedman (guitars/vocals), Allegra Weingarten (guitars/vocals), Aron Kobayashi Ritch (bass) and Zach Capitti Fenton (drums), Momma create sounds inspired by the 90s pop and alternative scenes. Blending soft dual vocals with grunge-tinged guitars, the band seamlessly craft heady, swirling anthems focused on their observations on life, with ‘Rockstar’ being an infectious, melodic combination of these talents.

“Etta and I wanted to write a song about making it big, and becoming rock stars,” Allegra explains about the new single. “We didn’t want to take anything too seriously, lyrically, or musically. We just wanted the song to sound big. We thought it would be cool to have our own little rockumentary condensed in a 3-minute music video. It’s also kind of like a manifestation – I think we shamelessly want all of these things to happen in our careers.”

Directed by LA-based duo Batshit!, the video is a playful ode to Friedman and Weingarten’s rock music comedy favourites such as Josie and the Pussycats, School of Rock and Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny. It also features spiritual guidance in the form of a poster of Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain.

Watch the video for ‘Rockstar’ below.

Follow Momma on bandcampSpotifyTwitter, Instagram & Facebook

Momma will be supporting Wet Leg and Snail Mail on a series of US dates and announcing additional UK shows soon.

Photo Credit: Cooper Winterson

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

WATCH: Wet Leg – ‘Oh No’

A playful take on the relatable desire to doom-scroll on social media when you find yourself alone with your thoughts, Isle Of Wight duo Wet Leg have shared a new video for their latest single ‘Oh No’. Taken from their upcoming self-titled debut album, which is set for release on 8th April via Domino Records, the video gives fans an opportunity to sing-along to the catchy lyrics as the duo dance around in a uniquely Wet Leg costume.

Formed by Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers, Wet Leg began making music together in the summer of 2019 and in the space of two short years, the pair have garnered a loyal and excited following. Their refreshingly laid back attitude, dead-pan humourous lyrics and memorable guitar licks provide their listeners with instant gratification and new single ‘Oh No’ is no exception. The accompanying video, like all Wet Leg videos, was self-directed by the band.

“The footage was shot on the Isle of Wight at the bottom of a chairlift that you can take from the top of the cliff,” Teasdale explains. “The rope costume – made by costume designer Kate Tabor – weighed an absolute tonne and it took three of us to carry it down the cliff to shoot. We’d each grab onto a limb, and after 20 minutes of heavy lifting managed to get it down the steep steps leading to the beach. We’re thinking of starting it up as a work-out class for alternative types.”

“It’s been a pretty wild ride for us these past few months, we never really thought much past actually making music and playing gigs,” Teasdale continues. “It’s quite an odd thing to suddenly open yourself to so much criticism and praise alike. The comments that complete strangers will leave on our videos are so funny and range wildly in sentiment. Although we know it is bad for us to read them and we try to avoid it, sometimes it’s irresistible when you’re on your own; the 3am doom scroll really gets you. For this video, we have obsessively selected our favourite bits from the comments sections across our socials, the good, the bad, the ugly and have repurposed them to make something new – it has been quite cathartic actually.”

Watch the video for ‘Oh No’ below.

Wet Leg UK 2022 In Store Tour Dates
Thursday 7th April – Banquet @ PRYZM
Friday 8th April – Rough Trade East
Saturday 9th April – Resident, Brighton
Sunday 10th April – Rough Trade, Bristol
Monday 11th April – Rough Trade, Nottingham
Tuesday 12th April – HMV, Birmingham

Follow Wet Leg on bandcampSpotifyTwitterInstagram & Facebook

Photo Credit: Hollie Fernando

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

ALBUM: Los Bitchos – ‘Let the Festivities Begin!’

The first week of February. The deepest depths of winter. The coldest time of the year. A couple of weeks on from ‘Blue Monday,’ supposedly the most depressing day of the year. What better time to release an album full of summer party bangers? Enter Los Bitchos, wielding their debut record Let the Festivities Begin!, a bumper pack of the pan-continental band’s signature swashbuckling, psych-swirling instrumentals – the sound of the festival you are already impatiently looking forward to.

This is an album dedicated to joy. It is full of irresistible grooves and winding guitar lines and occasionally punctuated by yells of triumph overheard at the end of takes. The guitar line on ‘Pista (Great Start)’ is almost physically tangible, reaching out of the speaker to tickle your spine. Other tunes, particularly ‘Tropico’, move with the synth pulse and go-ahead danceability of a Tom Tom Club record. Half the song names sound like the captions of polaroids from a summer holiday – especially ‘Lindsay Goes to Mykonos’ and ‘Try the Circle!’ – a feeling heightened by the sunny flange guitars that lead most tunes. The group seem to stand for escape to faraway climes, from their pseudo-Spanish name through to the evident inspiration they’ve drawn from the music of warmer countries, from Turkish and Australian psych to Argentinian cumbia.

With Let the Festivities Begin!, Los Bitchos herald the arrival of summer with an album to thaw your soul. It’s playful and modestly epic, encapsulating the infectious spirit that has led the group to be one of the best loved acts on the scene.

Los Bitchos’ new album Let The Festivities Begin! will be released on 4th February.

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Photo Credit: Tom Mitchell

Lloyd Bolton
@lloyd_bolton