Track Of The Day: King Hannah – ‘Crème Brûlée’

We have actually previously featured this song from Liverpool duo King Hannah as Track Of The Day way back when it was first brought to our attention in July last year, but – with its official release having just been announced on City Slang Records – we felt it only right to sing its praises once again.

In fact, ‘Crème Brûlée’ had me so completely hooked the first time around that the band even featured in my Ones To Watch for 2020 (hate to say I told you so…). It just completely cast me under its spell on first listen.

With a sweeping, ethereal power and the longing, impassioned vocals of Hannah Merrick that flow with a majestic musicality, it’s just utterly compelling; a stunning introduction to the band who I hope to hear a lot more from over the coming months. Although they’re just one single down, with already over 11,000 streams on Spotify and a sound as captivating and original as this, I have a feeling that they’ll be enchanting many more ears.

And now ‘Crème Brûlée’ comes complete with its own beautifully homemade, documentary-style new video. Watch now:

‘Crème Brûlée’ is out now via City Slang. Listen on Spotify.

Mari Lane
@marimindles

Photo Credit: Lucy Mclachlan

LIVE: The Coathangers @ Arts Club Loft, Liverpool, 30.04.19

Why aren’t The Coathangers better known? It’s a question that occurs whilst writing this review. Perhaps, with their self-titled debut coming along in 2006, they emerged at a time when bands were pretty uniformly all-male and ironically pro-choice band names were unheard of. Whatever the case, it’s led them here, to a smallish loft venue in Liverpool on a Tuesday, calling in support from two of the city’s emerging punk acts.

Piss Kitti take to the stage by degrees, with guitarist Dominic, bassist Quinn and drummer Daniel already onstage and set up before lead singer Esme followss. The group are joyously unrefined and uncoordinated, whilst the set is shallow fried DIY punk – all power chords and burps down the mic, shrieks and thuds. But there’s social commentary too: “We always get told off for doing this one because it’s about the lad bands round here that are absolute melts”, Esme announces before the band crash into ‘Bore’.  It’s ironic, and perhaps deliberate, that it has the best chorus of the set.

After Salt the Snail tell us “We’ve got absolutely nothing to say”, we wait for what seems an age for The Coathangers to appear. When they do, they creep on in darkness – so dark, in fact, that the gold lamé hooded dresses worn by all three of them are quite startling when the lights come up. It’s an eerie opening too, with jungle sounds and the bassless lilt of ‘Lithium’ and its tale of medication, sung sweetly by singer/guitarist Julia.

In some ways, it belies the rest of the show, most of which flits between Julia’s vocals and the gritty Wanda Jackson pipes belonging to drummer Stephanie. The set is largely taken from new album The Devil You Know, with several album track highlights that reflect the band’s duality: ‘5 Farms’, a straight up garage slammer that meanders into swing; ‘Stranger Danger’, equal parts creepy and bluesy; ‘Hey Buddy’, a maraca-backed cool AF 70s rocker.

But The Coathangers are more in-sync than in-opposition: bassist Meredith takes lead vocals on ‘Memories’, and towards the end of the set, the band have all swapped roles, with each taking a turn on lead vocals and drums. At one point, the band finish a song and collapse into laughter. It’s an insight into Coathanger World, and helps explain the trio’s willingness to go on making music, for over ten years and across six albums. “We’ve been on tour for five months!”, offers Stephanie, by way of explanation.

There’s a smattering of older tracks for the diehards in the room – the titular track from previous LP Nosebleed Weekend, its lead single and the band’s signature tune ‘Make It Right’, and ‘Shut Up’ from 2014’s Suck My Shirt – before the band close with fan favourite ‘Squeeki Tiki’, featuring Julia playing the song’s hook on a dog’s squeaky chew toy, before they strut off, those dresses flashing gold. There’s no encore, after a set with very little bantering with the crowd and no endless tune-ups. Just 45 minutes of pop-rock, garage and Runaways-style punk performed with a minimum of fuss. It’s worth its wait.

John McGovern
@etinsuburbiaego

Track Of The Day: Queen Zee – ‘Idle Crown’

Hot on the heels of their last single ‘Fly The Pink Flag’, GIHEs favourites Queen Zee have released new track ‘Idle Crown’, and it’s a smartly executed piece of Marilyn Manson-esque garage punk. Released via the band’s own label Sasstone Records, the Liverpool group have yet to record something that we don’t instantly fall in love with.

Blending activism and politics into their fleshy, raucous tunes, ‘Idle Crown’ is another fiery gem in Queen Zee’s crown. Front person Zee explains the inspiration behind the track:”‘Idle Crown’ is essentially a narrative between two characters trapped in a toxic relationship. It’s something everyone can relate too, but what I wanted to do was question heteronormativity using a familiar setting. A theme throughout our album as a whole is society’s wish for LGBTQ+ people to conform to a standard, regardless of the happiness or health of them. Within ‘Idle Crown’, I used two LGBTQ+ characters trapped in a heteronormative relationship to express the pain of being unable to live as your true self”

The band will head back out on the road again with Marmozets in February 2018 to deliver more of their fearless, provocative sounds to the eager crowds who caught them live earlier this year. Together, Queen Zee (vocals/guitar), Jason Taylor Brown (guitar), Frank Wortho (bass), David Bloom (drums) and Courtney Colley (Keys & Vocals) “give so much of a fuck, that they really couldn’t give a single fuck” – and we’re more than happy to follow their example.

Listen to ‘Idle Crown’ below.

Queen Zee February 2018 Tour Dates (with Marmozets)

Friday 2nd  – Cardiff – The Tramshed
Saturday 3rd – Southampton – Engine Rooms
Sunday 4th – Brighton – Concorde 2
Tuesday 6th – Cambridge – Cambridge Junction
Wednesday 7th –  London – Student Central
Thursday 8th – Nottingham – Rescue Rooms
Friday 9th – Newcastle – Riverside
Sunday 11th – Sheffield – The Leadmill
Monday 12th – Edinburgh – The Liquid Room

Follow Queen Zee on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

WATCH: Queen Zee & The Sasstones – ‘Boy’

We’re hooked on the sound of Liverpool punk sass-perts Queen Zee & The Sasstones, and after watching their new video for ‘Boy’, we guarantee you will be too. 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,” seethes Queen Zee over manic guitar and heart-pounding drums throughout the track. Despite the infectious dancing rhythms, Queen Zee’s lyrics reveal the frightening reality faced by many transgender people, who live in fear of “That skinny kinda lonely kid / raised on homo-trans-hate rhetoric / Waiting for me to come outta the club / a concealed weapon clenched between his fists.”

With their punk attitude and ability to write abrasive heavy-pop tunes, 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”. Take a look at the incredible video for ‘Boy’ below and follow Queen Zee & the Sasstones on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut