INTERVIEW: Tokky Horror

The last time I spoke with Tokky Horror producer Zee, it was face-to-face outside of Hackney’s Sebright Arms in 2018. They were fronting a completely different band at the time, but the ethos behind their art has always been the same: make space in music for marginalised folks and get in the mosh pit if you can.

When we meet via Zoom for a chat this time around, Zee is taking their lunchbreak in the basement of Future Yard, an independent music venue in their native town of Birkenhead. Opening a month before the Covid-19 pandemic hit in 2020, Zee has been working as their Operations Manager for the past few years.

“Tokky Horror played our first gig here, which was nice,” they tell me. “Birkenhead has always been this kind of outsider town to Liverpool. There’s a river that runs between us, and Birkenhead is always seen as ‘the dark side’ of the river. We’re not seen as properly scouse, and we’re not seen as properly Welsh, we’re kind of something in between. So it’s actually nice that the majority of Tokky’s beginnings have been in Birkenhead and we’ve been able to play my hometown.”

Alongside dual vocalists Mollie Rush and Ava Akira – two absolute forces of nature – Zee initially formed Tokky Horror virtually, sending demo’s back and forth online to entertain each other during the pandemic. Full of hyperactive beats, punk attitude and jungle-inspired electronics, the band playfully coined their sound as “virtual hardcore”. Since then, Tokky Horror have released their debut EP, I Found The Answers And Now I Want More and toured extensively across the UK.

Newly signed to Venn Records, the trio are currently preparing to release their upcoming EP, KAPPACORE on 12th May. Zee is wearing a black hoodie with the Tokky KAPPA-inspired logo on the front when we speak, which feels pretty apt. I ask what fans can expect from their new release.

“I think we didn’t really know what we were doing when we started Tokky Horror,” Zee laughs. “We just kind of kept rolling with it and writing and having fun just to kind of entertain ourselves. The songs that we’ve come up with that are now on KAPPACORE are the first songs we wrote properly together post-lockdown. Most of them were written around tours and live shows. So this almost feels like our first release. The initial EP we did and the stuff we released through Alcopop! was almost like the equivalent of a band getting into the practice room, which we couldn’t do at the time. It was us jut kind of playing with ideas and seeing what we were, and what we wanted to do. Whereas KAPPACORE is the first time we’d all come together to write something and be like, ‘This is what Tokky is, this is our statement.'”

This statement has been delivered in the form of the EP’s first single, ‘Toilet’. A blend of drum & bass beats, manic riffs and surprisingly vulnerable lyrics, the track is inspired by Zee’s own experiences of finding their feet within activist scenes in music and further afield. This need for real change is something that has always fuelled Zee’s output.

“I think a lot of my music has been about that, forever,” they comment, “but ‘Toilet’ specifically is more aimed at activist scenes. I always felt when I was younger and slightly more naive, that these movements I’d associate myself with were perfect. So lots of queer movements and scenes would be perfect in my quite naive head.

I think a lot of punks love the word ‘anarchy’, but they would much rather be pissed in a toilet somewhere than making genuine change, and it was quite hard for me to realise that. It was really hard for me to accept. I went through this big period of feeling almost hopeless. I think maybe in some part of my teenage, early 20s mind, I was like, ‘we’re going to burn this horrible world down! We’re going to build a new one!’ – then I realised the people who were going to burn it down were just wasted. That’s what ‘Toilet’ is about. You’re more likely to find these people passed out on the toilet floor, then stood outside Parliament protesting. I think I’ve realised that you have to be the change.

Whilst these epiphanies were initially painful for Zee, they were also the catalyst for creating the new space and ethos they felt was lacking from music scenes.

“The entire premise of Future Yard and my work here is to give young people and people from disadvantaged backgrounds opportunities to work and have careers within live music,” Zee continues. “We’ve worked on a tonne of training programmes and it’s about being the active change in your community and actively participating. I don’t think you can wait for a movement to come by and fix it, I think we have to just make these kinds of gradual, small changes ourselves. As far as Tokky Horror is concerned, we try to do that in our everyday existence. We try to play venues where we agree with their ethos, we try to make music that will maybe encourage people to do that. Our team and the people we work with, we trust them to be part of that change.”

Taking part in this year’s Independent Venue Week was another element of that. Tokky Horror played six live dates back in February to celebrate it, beginning their mini tour at The Moon in Cardiff, dropping by London’s Black Heart in Camden, before wrapping things up at the Quarry in Liverpool.

“I love Independent Venue Week,” Zee enthuses. “I love the ethos behind it and the way the public engages with it. You can tell there’s an appetite from people to support venues and support the bands during that week. There’s a real positivity around the whole thing. Particularly given that last January, most venues were closed because of Omicron. It was really nice to see a fully functional venue week this year. It was probably one of my favourite ever tours. You just go to the best venues in the country, what more could you want?

The Black Heart show was funny. It was absolute carnage from the moment we stood on the stage. I’ve always wanted to do that with my music, I’ve always wanted it to be that from the get go, that the room just explodes. The Black Heart was almost perfectly that. The circle pit opened during the intro music. We played ‘Insomnia’ by Faithless and as soon as that synth dropped, our guitarist James and I looked at each other, and we were like ‘this is gonna go off…’ We played some great shows that week. We played Blackpool, Newcastle and Manchester. We sold out a bunch of those dates out as well, which was great.”

Performing live is clearly where Tokky Horror thrive. Vocalists Ava and Mollie are renowned for their visceral, in-your-face energy and their commitment to making sure everyone in the mosh pits at a Tokky show has their boundaries respected. Carving out a safe space for their fans – whilst also feeling safe enough themselves – is at the center of all that Tokky Horror do. I ask Zee if fans have spoken to them about these triumphs, and their response is honest and considered.

“There’s a lot of women and gender queer, and queer people that come to the shows and are in the front row, and it’s really nice,” Zee says. “They don’t feel like there’s going to be this type of masculine mosh pit, and that they’ll get the shit kicked out of them. Having said that, we have had a little bit of backlash against moshing at our events actually. People have said that it made them feel uncomfortable, which I fully understand. I think it’s something that we’re trying to find a kind of happy medium on, where people can mosh and party and move, without it getting out of hand.

It’s such a great vibe at the Tokky gigs. The energy that the crowd brings, we’re always fully grateful for that. I don’t think we’ve ever played a show that’s not had a mosh pit. Even when there’s only five people in the room, they’ll start dancing and kind of going crazy. That’s amazing. We make music for you to move to. It is part of the culture, and it’s part of the band. But we’re trying to do that safely and do that in a way that makes people comfortable. It is 100% what we’re about. I would never want people to not want to come and see us, or turn away from a show because of it either.

I think moshing in general is having a little bit of an identity crisis. We’re seeing an increase in moshing at events that wouldn’t normally have them. There’s been a big backlash against moshing at jungle and drum and bass events. If I’m honest, I love moshing. I think it’s a great way for people to express themselves and to have that chaos and adrenaline rush that people crave. It’s just got to be safe. It’s got to be handled in a way that has the audience in mind, and people’s varying access requirements in mind. It’s a work in progress.”

It’s certainly something the band will be considering on the impressive run of live dates they have coming up in the next few months. This includes a slot alongside Brighton electro-punks CLT DRP – who Zee loves – supporting Alice Glass in Leeds, and a run of dates supporting Enter Shikari on their UK tour.

“Shikari were one of those bands that as a teenager, they kind of blew my mind a little bit,” Zee smiles. “I’ve always really loved electronic music. That’s what my Mum and Dad were really into, stuff like the Prodigy, Orbital and Underworld. But I grew up also loving heavy music and punk, so as soon as I heard Enter Shikari and the ridiculousness that was going on in their sound, something just really spoke to me. I really loved their Take To The Skies album. So to be going out on tour with them now and have that kind of nod of approval is really surreal, but a very lovely thing to have.”

Following these live dates, Tokky Horror will be on the festival circuit, which includes appearances at Blackpool’s Rebellion Festival, Burn It Down Festival in Devon, and the amazing ArcTanGent Festival in Bristol. “It’s the first time we’re playing ArcTanGent and the lineup is absolutely insane,” Zee comments. “We’re playing on the same day as HEALTH and IGORRR, who is one of my all-time biggest influences as a producer. I’m really glad that we get to play it.”

Before I let Zee return to their work, I ask if they have any bands or artists who they’ve been listening to recently that they’d like to recommend.

“I’ve got a tonne! Off the top of my head, I really love this band called Nihiloxica. It’s really percussion-led kind of techno. It’s absolutely amazing. I’d also recommend Zulu, who are a black power violence band. They’ve just dropped their album A New Tomorrow, and I’ve been rinsing that, it’s phenomenal stuff. They’re on my to-see-list this year.”

Tokky Horror UK Live Dates 2023
8th April – Manchester Punk Festival, Manchester (DJ Set)
13th April – St Lukes, Glasgow (supporting Enter Shikari)
14th April – New Century Hall, Manchester (supporting Enter Shikari)
15th April – KK Steel Mill, Wolverhampton (supporting Enter Shikari)
16th April – SWX, Bristol (supporting Enter Shikari)
17th April – Outernet, London (supporting Enter Shikari)
26th April – Oporto, Leeds (co-headline with CLT DRP)
27th April – Rock City Beta, Nottingham
28th April – The Black Prince, Northampton
30th April – Sounds From The Other City, Salford
18th May – KAPPACORE EP Release Party Blondies, London
26th May – Sneister Festival, The Hague NL
9th June – Fiestas De La Artes, Manchester
5th August – Rebellion Festival, Blackpool
18th August – Convoy Cabaret Festival, Dorchester
19th August – Arctangent Festival, Somerset
9th September – Burn It Down Festival, Devon

Follow Tokky Horror on bandcampSpotifyTwitterInstagram & Facebook

Kate Crudgington

GIHE: Albums & EPs Of 2021

After sharing our Tracks of 2021 last week, the GIHE team want to shine a light on some of the brilliant Albums & EPs that have been released during the last 12 months. These records kept us dancing around our bedrooms/living rooms/home offices, miming underneath our face-masks and distracted us momentarily from the uncertain world we’re currently all living in.

So, in alphabetical order, here are our top Albums & EPs of 2021 (with some honorable mentions at the end…)


Adult Mom – Driver
Consistently my most listened-to artist over the last couple of years, Adult Mom aka Stevie Knipe creates the most beautifully heartfelt music. Although I had thought it would be hard to follow the perfect relatable emotion of their debut Momentary Lapse Of Happily, and 2018’s Soft Spots, this year’s Driver does not disappoint. With the lilting musicality and raw emotive splendour of each track, the album has been in my ears on literally a daily basis since it came out in March; I have sought comfort in the luscious depth of Knipe’s vocals and found myself fully immersed in the album’s twinkling grace. I’m sending extra love to Stevie at the moment, as they were diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this year and are currently having to undergo treatment. I can’t wait to hear more gorgeous music from them when they’re ready. (Mari Lane – Co-Founder)

Blonde Maze – Something Familiar
I’m honestly not sure how I would have got through the last two years without the sound of Blonde Maze in my ears daily. Even before her debut album Something Familiar came out in Autumn, I had been completely addicted to her utterly dreamy creations – ever since she’d been a guest on our radio show about five years ago. To have a full LP filled with her exquisite soundscapes has been just what I’ve needed recently. Bathing the ears in shimmering ripples of dreamy reflection, each luscious track is a perfect cathartic tonic. My album of the year – it’s been the beautifully calming and delicately uplifting soundtrack I’ve so needed. (ML)

Divide & Dissolve – Gas Lit
Released via Invada Records in January, instrumental activists Divide and Dissolve’s second album Gas Lit continues their sonic mission to erode the foundations of colonialism and white supremacy. Produced by Ruban Nielson of Unknown Mortal Orchestra, the record is an aural purging of injustice, fuelled by the diversity of Takiaya Reed’s doom-ridden saxophone sounds and Sylvie Nehill’s phenomenal percussion. It flows with a unique gargantuan grace that unsettles and soothes my cells every time I hear it. I had the pleasure of interviewing Takiaya about the album earlier this year too, which you can read here.
(Kate Crudgington – Co-Founder)

Du Blonde – Homecoming
With Homecoming, Du Blonde gave us the DIY stadium rock record we didn’t know we needed. After becoming disillusioned with the music industry, they wrote, recorded and produced this album of swaggering, empowering anthems for outcasts. A bag of contradictions, it’s both silly and serious, wonderfully weird yet radio friendly. A powerful record, I love the way Homecoming embraces self-destruction and self-love. It has a proper punk energy and inspires you to get shit done on your own terms – after you’ve had a dance, of course.
(Victoria Conway – Contributor)

Fears – Oíche
An intuitive artist who has transformed her darkest moments into graceful electronic soundscapes, Fears aka Constance Keane shared her poignant debut album Oíche (meaning “night” in Irish) in May. Released via her own label TULLE, the Irish-born, London-based musician balances her intense ruminations on trauma alongside delicate synth loops and tentative beats to shine a light on a personal metamorphosis. Much like the coarse fabric she used to create her altruistic dress on the album’s artwork, Fears allows her lived experiences to take up space and permeate this record, which swells with unflinching honesty and elegance. Oíche is a collection of shadowy lullabies that span five years of emotional territory, and the result is a truly immersive and enlightening body of work. (KC)

Fightmilk – Contender
Following 2018’s Not With That Attitude, this year total faves Fightmilk released their second album Contender via Reckless Yes, and it was everything I could have hoped for. With new bassist Healey and a perhaps more ambitious musicality than previous releases, this year’s album marks a maturing in sound for the band, whilst maintaining their trademark anthemic power-pop energy. Filled with the perfect balance of jangling melodies, an endearing, refreshingly honest lyricism and shades of a raw tongue-in-cheek wit, the album covers themes from space travel and capitalism, to love, heartbreak and self-loathing, all the while oozing a raw emotion and the band’s distinctive, quirky charisma. With all the scuzzy musicality and shimmering energy we’ve come to know and love, Contender showcases a band that are continuously refining their sound and, in the process, consistently continuing to win my heart.

Gazelle Twin & NYX – Deep England
Inspired by the tracks that formed Gazelle Twin aka Elizabeth Bernholz’s 2018 album Pastoral, Deep England is a dark fable that serves as a warning to listeners not to get swept up in national apathy. Whilst Bernholz’s unique vision of Britain’s past was brought vividly to life on her original record, with the support of the NYX drone choir her vitriol is able to take its fullest, most nerve-shredding form. Together, they present their altruistic vision of Britain in its “post-truth” sphere, embroidering a new tapestry of sound for these jarring and uncertain times. Deep England is a phenomenal artistic accomplishment; a shadowy, graceful collection of sounds that radiate with unease – truly unlike anything you’ve heard before. (KC)

“And all that I’ve learned / is everything burns” laments Lingua Ignota aka Kristin Hayter on ‘Pennsylvania Furnace’, the fourth track on SINNER GET READY – an apt sentiment for a record that blazes with a unique orchestral agony. Released via Sargent House, Hayter’s fourth full length offering is an emotional exorcism inspired by the severe brand of Christianity in rural Pennsylvania where she currently lives. Its strictness permeates her vision to the core, with her sensational vocals remaining the lifeblood of SINNER GET READY. She uses her voice to devastating effect, harrowing up the soul with her effortless ability to switch from a soft, divine cry to a cord-ripping, desperate plea. A stunning record that I’ve returned to many times this year. (KC)

Little Simz – Sometimes I Might Be Introvert
Sometimes I Might Be Introvert is an outstanding album, ambitious and sprawling while maintaining the punchy immediacy of expression synonymous with Little Simz’ earlier work. She confidently glides between styles, from epic Scott Walker-style arrangements to afrobeat grooves, which form mere backdrops to the artist’s lyrical acrobatics. Simz enumerates the anxieties, troubles and triumphs of her life and career throughout the album’s 19 tracks – this album already has an undeniably classic quality. It is a singular expansion of the possibilities of hip-hop, of pop music more generally, and an unrepentantly fantastic album of Baroque ambition and fabulous execution. (Lloyd Bolton – Contributor)

Lunar Vacation – Inside Every Fig Is A Dead Wasp
The latest album from Atlanta-based Lunar Vacation, Inside Every Fig Is A Dead Wasp oozes a shimmering allure throughout. As each track treats the ears to whirring hooks and a sparkling musicality, I just fall more in love with Grace Repasky’s honey-sweet crystalline vocals on each listen. Floating seamlessly with an ethereal splendour, a stirring melancholy ripples on a seemingly serene surface, creating a perfectly dreamy collection. With shades of Alvvays or Best Coast, Lunar Vacation have fast become one of my most favourite bands of 2021. (ML)

New Pagans – The Seed, The Vessel, The Roots and All
An intuitive rumination on the personal and the political, New Pagans’ debut album The Seed, The Vessel, The Roots and All is a gritty, deeply poetic consideration of inequality and social injustice. Released via Big Scary Monsters, the Belfast band’s first full length record dives into the paraphernalia surrounding religion, romance and women’s pain, and resurfaces having transformed these tired archetypes into aural talismans of strength and defiance. I’m such a big fan of everything they’ve released so far and I’m hoping to hear these songs live at some point in 2022. (KC)

Noga Erez – KIDS
The GIHE team collectively adore Tel-Aviv producer & pop renegade Noga Erez’s second album, KIDS. It’s a stylish, swaggering collection of songs that explore personal growth, morality and what it means to disconnect and reconnect with the world around you. Erez has worked closely alongside her collaborative & life partner Ori Rousso to create a razor sharp, intensely catchy record that proves she’s got the musical mileage she sings of. Through her witty lyrics, slick production and commanding beats, she blazes a unique musical trail that pulses with authentic energy, spotlighting her talent as a producer, vocalist, MC and performer. What a star. (KC)

Nova Twins Presents: Voices For The Unheard
Driven by their desire to spotlight the work of underrepresented artists of colour in the heavy music scene, Nova Twins aka Amy Love and Georgia South put together this blistering collection of alternative anthems with the help of Dr Martens to showcase this eclectic range of talent. Featuring tracks by Big Joanie, Khx05, Loathe, Oxymorrons & LutSickPuppy, the record is a fun, furious blur of noise from a group of artists who have been galvanized by their individual experiences of discrimination, but who are now united in their attempts to create the music they wish they had heard growing up. A proper gem of a record that’s introduced me to some brilliant artists this year. (KC)

pink suits – political child
Having completely blown us away with their riotous, seething energy at our first gig at The Shacklewell Arms earlier this month, queer Margate duo pink suits released their debut album political child, in the Spring. With just drums, a guitar and the riotous force of their voices, Lennie and Ray offer an inclusive feminist rebellion to bring about radical change – with each powerful track on the collection, they deliver a seething, all-too-poignant social commentary on the increasingly terrifying state of the UK right now. Throughout political child, pink suits offer a perfect riotous catharsis; an immense formidable force, coated in a rousing cacophony. The duo have provided an utterly necessary soundtrack for these times; a rallying cry to make our voices heard and fight for an upheaval of a neoliberal society. (ML)

Wolf Alice – Blue Weekend
Each time I’ve tried to write about Wolf Alice’s third album, Blue Weekend, I’ve fallen short of the words to describe how profoundly comforting I find it. Emotional, but with a few grunge ragers thrown in there too – plus a lyric that everyone should adopt as a mantra “I am what I am and I’m good at it / and you don’t like me? Well that isn’t fucking relevant” – Ellie Rowsell’s magnificent, elastic vocals and poignant lyrics effortlessly stretch across the record. I listened to Blue Weekend twice a day for over a month, discovering something new every time I let its cinematic sounds wash over me. Pure musical escapism that’s rooted in real fucking feelings. Properly sublime stuff. (KC)


Ailsa Tully – Holy Isle
Long term favourite of GIHE, Welsh artist Ailsa Tully released her EP in Autumn this year. Offering four exquisite slices of stirring folk-strewn indie, Holy Isle showcases Tully’s ability to reflect on feelings of vulnerability and loss with a gently uplifting, sparkling grace. As the collection flows with a shimmering, stripped-back musicality, the juxtaposition of Tully’s crystalline, honey-sweet vocals and the gentle lilting melodies creates a delicate, captivating majesty. As the beautifully rippling instrumentation glistens with a heartfelt splendour, I can’t help but become utterly immersed in the raw emotion and poignant, resplendent charm of Holy Isle in its entirety. (ML)

Aisha Badru – The Way Back Home
Having previously charmed our ears with the soothing sounds of last year’s ‘Soil’s Daughter’ and 2018’s poignant debut album Pendulum, singer-songwriter Aisha Badru released her EP The Way Back Home earlier this month. Flowing with twinkling, folk-inspired hooks alongside Badru’s rich, soulful vocals, each track oozes an immersive, heartfelt emotion. With a gentle, lilting energy and shimmering grace, a sweeping majestic splendour soars throughout this beautifully stirring collection as it soothes the mind with its gently uplifting allure. (ML)

Bitch Hunt – Shapeshifter
Having formed at First Timers Fest in 2017, London based non-binary band Bitch Hunt have since played live for us and been lovely guests on our show on Soho Radio. This year they released their debut EP Shapeshifter, via Reckless Yes. A shimmering collection of five lo-fi, yet heartfelt, offerings, it reflects on themes ranging from nostalgia and relationships, to gender and identity, delivered with a wonderfully scuzzy musicality and twinkling energy. Treating us to their effervescent, stirring brand of unique punk-pop, Bitch Hunt have crafted a collection that is beautifully poignant, whilst offering a welcome glimmer of optimism and solidarity. (ML)

BLAB – Word of Mouth
Formed of three previously released singles and a brand new track, Southend-based BLAB‘s debut EP is the sound of a songwriter fully embracing their own choices and leaning into the raw power of each moment. Released via Cool Thing Records, BLAB aka Frances Murray combines direct lyrics with infectious guitar riffs to push past personal and political frustrations, providing her listeners with sharply observed judgements on both. (KC)

Deep Tan – Creeping Speedwells
With acclaim from the likes of NME, So Young and BBC 6Music, Hackney-based trio deep tan have been favourites here at GIHE for some time now, and we’ve been very much enjoying their debut EP Creeping Speedwells, which was released this summer. Propelled by glitchy beats and whirring, twinkling hooks, each track captivates the ears with the trio’s compelling seductive allure. Flowing with fuzzed-out shades of ’90s trip-hop, whilst maintaining a unique sparkling edge and gently haunting majesty, the whole collection offers a spellbinding, rousing splendour that’ll immerse you in its dark, psychedelic haze. (ML)

Hilary Woods – Feral Hymns
I saw the title of this EP, listened to 30 seconds of it and downloaded it IMMEDIATELY. Released via Sacred Bones, Feral Hymns by Irish multi-instrumentalist Hilary Woods captures a relatable sense of gloom across five instrumentals that she worked on with collaborator Lasse Marhaug. Woods describes her ambiguous sounds as “A collection of hymns set at dusk…Unspoken bonds, primal pain, cyclical patterns, unsent love letters.” I find her melancholy, fleshy sounds intensely moving and I can’t wait to hear the new full length record she’s currently working on. (KC)

Jenny Moore’s Mystic Business – He Earns Enough
Featuring members of Trash Kit, F*Choir and Bamboo, Jenny Moore’s Mystic Business are a six-piece choral punk ensemble who released their debut EP in October. A poignant collection covering themes such as the struggles of living in a patriarchal, capitalist society and the fears women and gender minority people face when walking home alone, He Earns Enough showcases the soaring, harmonious power of voices coming together in unity. With each track propelled by an anthemic, mystical energy, the collection offers a simple, yet stirring, message, oozing a sweeping, celestial splendour that’ll bewitch the listener instantly with its eerily enchanting allure. (ML)

M(h)aol – Gender Studies
I was blown away by the power of Irish post punks M(h)aol when I saw them perform their debut EP live at The Shacklewell Arms in November. The brooding, shadowy sounds on Gender Studies vehemently reject outdated attitudes and social constraints concerning gender, identity and equality. It’s a vital, much needed antidote to toxic patriarchal standards, providing listeners with a cathartic exhale of fury and freedom. (KC)

TOKKY HORROR – I Found The Answers And Now I Want More
GIHE writer Jay Mitra penned a great review of dance-punk trio TOKKY HORROR’s debut EP earlier this year, branding it “a cyber goth masterpiece that hits you as hard as MDMA” – and they’re not wrong. Packed full of manic electronics and pounding beats, I Found The Answers And Now I Want More is a whirlwind of EDM energy that’s impossible to sit still to. (KC)

Honourable Mentions

Alex Loveless – Phone Keys & Wallet (EP)
Arlo Parks – Collapsed In Sunbeams
BISHI –Let My Country Awake
CHERYM – Hey Tori (EP)
Elodie Gervaise – Syzergy (EP)
Elsa Hewitt – LUPA
Grace Petrie – Connectivity
Halsey –If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power
Maria Uzor – Innocence and Worldliness (EP)
Me Rex – Megabear
Naoko Sakata – Dancing Spirits
Nun Habit – Hedge Fun (EP)
Okay Kaya – The Incompatible
Penelope Trappes – Penelope Three
SPELLLING – The Turning Wheel
Tirzah – Colourgrade
WILLOW – Lately I Feel Everything

EP: Tokky Horror – ‘I Found The Answers and Now I Want More’

If you love The Prodigy’s ‘Firestarter’, Tokky Horror’s latest EP I Found the Answers and Now I Want More is the exhilarating debut you need to hear. Hailing from Liverpool, London and Manchester, the virtual hardcore collective made up of Zee Davine, Ava Akira and Mollie Rush layer growling guitars with EDM. The result? A cyber goth masterpiece that hits you as hard as MDMA.

Kicking wormholes through genres, the queercore group mix rave and rock to produce a record that emulates the same intense and futuristic energy of The Matrix. This is the kind of special EP you need to listen to through both earphones to fully appreciate.

Dragging us into a new dimension is the brazen, pulse-racing opening track ‘Girlracer’, which launches listeners into punk-infused drum and bass. Lyrically tearing apart the pop culture bond between masculinity and fast cars, the song revs its engine angrily at the expulsion of women from hyper-masculine spaces, which Davine notes often includes “dance culture itself.”

The beats on ‘Simulate Me’ pulse at levels that could match a Love Honey vibrator. Laced with laser synth sounds and erotic imperatives like “touch me / love me”, the song frankly takes on the topic of virtual love and dating, particularly fitting for the pandemic restriction era we are living in. Next up is ‘Godliness’, which stands out against the others and offers a slightly mellower take on electronic rock. As Davine says, “I think we show our more expansive side on ‘Godliness’…it’s us letting our guard down a bit for something more genuine.”

With croaking, shrieking vocals and distorted heavy guitar sounds, ‘Eden on Acid’ is probably the most punk-sounding song of the EP (and my favourite track too.) It’s only one and half minutes long, yet has an edge and intensity to it that reminds me of the intro of My Bloody Valentine’s ‘Only Shallow’. Finishing with ‘Sleeper’, Tokky Horror strips the opening riff from The Beastie Boys ‘Sabotage’ and creates an exhilarating build-up to a hypnotic refrain. A strong end to an EP that shows off the trio’s instrumental momentum and individuality.

Listen to Tokky Horror’s new EP, released via Alcopop! Records, here.

Follow Tokky Horror on bandcamp, Spotify, Twitter, Instagram & Facebook

Jay Mitra