LISTEN: Mealtime – ‘Denim’

Manchester band Mealtime have shared their debut single ‘Denim’ and it’s a sultry synth-pop gem. Released via Someone Great Records/PIAS, the six-piece have a refreshingly melodic approach to songwriting, culminating in an upbeat and well produced new track.

‘Denim’ is about the relationship between distorted body image and modern beauty standards, but this heavy context is hidden behind buoyant riffs, catchy beats and smooth vocals. Speaking about the track, the band explain: “’Denim’ is a polite introduction to the six of us, and it’s only going to get weirder. With our sound, we’re interested in making something that’s equally as melodic and sweet as it is chaotic, abrasive and challenging.”

Following their sold out debut headline show at Manchester’s YES in March, the band played a free single release live show on 3rd May at Manchester’s Fairfield Social Club alongside Dream Wife and The Ninth Wave. Keep your eyes peeled for more of Mealtime’s live dates, and listen to ‘Denim’ below.

Follow Mealtime on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

EP: URF – ‘For The Ride’

The sound of URF‘s debut EP is as satisfying as the band’s name. The punning colloquialised portmanteau of Ur, hinting at something primal and original, and Earth, being both something spacey and, quite literally, grounded. As a callback to the drone/post-rock American group, Earth, and Black Sabbath who also went under the moniker, it’s a good indicator of what the band will bring too – combining a sound that draws from shoegaze, ’90s indie, post-punk and psych, but with their own shiny new twist.

For The Ride’s opener, ‘Say You Don’t Mind’, starts things off with a spectral but bassy guitar, before lead singer Abbi Parcell comes on all Liz Fraser with soft, almost whispered vocals. But there’s nothing soft about the song’s chorus which explodes with a My Bloody Valentine swoop into crunching guitar. Dry synths courtesy of Sophie Erasmus haunt the track, reeling the listener into the whirlwind of a chorus, at which point Abbi’s vocals become yelps as Jack Brigg’s drums crash around them and the guitars become more sinister. At its close, the synths rise to the fore, drawing sharply from the chaos.

 

‘Night Driving’ has a more standard Britpop chug feel, particularly in the driving chords of its chorus and the picked guitar solo of its middle-eight. There’s more than a nod to Siouxsie Sioux in Abbi’s vocal style and, with a chorus that leans like Suede running into Hole, there’s a feel of an alt.rock trip on the cold night roads of a Northern town. That is, before the track’s final minute leaps into a flurry of percussion, as though the drive has come to a firey end.

The cinematic finish leads perfectly to closer and title track, ‘For the Ride’, which opens with a balladic guitar, and just a hint of a Western feel from lead guitarist Scott Woodcock. It’s a sombre, brooding opening, over which Abbi’s vocals mourn and flow into a banshee wail. The song builds from a post-rock epic that starts at a canter, before picking up the pace to full-rock gallop four minutes in, and taking no prisoners with an emphatic, shoegaze-meets-desert-rock-meets-psych steeplechase for its final 90 seconds.

The Manchester five-piece only released their first single ‘Athena’ in August last year, but already seem to have carved a niche within the ever-growing UK psych scene. For the Ride is the distillation of a number of wide-ranging influences, but crucially the band haven’t let those influences over-ride the scope of their ambition. Creepy, epic, rocking and melancholic, the three tracks show off the breath-taking potential and indicate that URF are ready to put together something truly elemental.

For The Ride is out now.

John McGovern
@etinsuburbiaego

Track Of The Day: ILL – ‘ILL SONG’

A manic cacophony of post-punk & prog noise: Manchester’s ILL have shared their single ‘ILL SONG’ ahead of the release of their debut album, We Are ILL – due tomorrow on May 11th via Box Records.

Recorded over 18 months in the crumbling mills of Ancoats, Manchester, the band channeled their furious love of pop punk in to a record that challenges not just the ears, but the stigma surrounding mental health issues, the politics of identity and gender, capitalism and misogyny. Their latest track ‘ILL Song’ is a surreal, humorous blend of this activism – with a healthy dose of fun thrown in too.

We Are ILL will be released on limited edition transparent blue vinyl, gatefold CD and as a digital audio download on May 11th. The release is accompanied by a launch show at Sebright Arms on the same date, with support from LibraLibra and The Ethical Debating Society, hosted by Club The Mammoth (RSVP here).

Watch the video for ‘ILL Song’ below and follow the band on Facebook for more updates.

ILL UK Tour Dates 2018

11 May Sebright Arms, London (album launch)
12 May Doubledotbash Festival, Reading
21 May Soup Kitchen, Manchester (supporting Screaming Females)
31 May The Soundhouse, Leicester
1 June Head of Steam, Newcastle
15 June Liverpool (TBA)
16 June The Deaf Institute, Manchester (album launch)

Photo Credit: Megan Powell

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Track Of The Day: RedRooms – ‘Our Hearts Beat As One’

RedRooms are a four piece from Manchester influenced by the likes of Siouxie and The Banshees, Echo and The Bunnymen, Killing Joke, & Cocteau Twins. The band are busy working on and recording an album at the moment, but they’ve shared single ‘Our Hearts Beat As One’ with us; and it’s a blues infused beauty with multiple layers of meaning.

Speaking about the track, vocalist Natalie has said” It’s about feeling alone in a world where you feel like you’re the only one who cares about anything. It’s about not wanting to bring children into that kind of world, it’s about going through the motions of living in that world whilst you slowly stop caring yourself. It has bits about the breakdown of a relationship used as a metaphor too…” We can certainly relate to that!

Rumour has it the band will be touring the UK early next year, so keep your eyes peeled for updates on RedRooms Facebook page, and listen to ‘Our Hearts Beat As One’ below in the meantime…

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

LIVE: PINS – The Garage, London 08.11.17

“Iggy Pop couldn’t make it tonight, so you’ll have to make do with me instead” joked PINS‘ bassist Anna at the band’s headline London show last night. She was introducing ‘Aggrophobe’, the collaborative track which catapulted PINS in to public consciousness earlier this year. Needless to say, she aced Iggy’s spoken word parts, and along with band-mates Faith, Lois, Sophie & Kyoko; proved that PINS are a band with an uncompromising, sparkling talent.

Fresh off the back of supporting The Breeders on their European tour, the girls were glammed up and ready to give the crowds plenty of their thunderous post-punk sounds. Opening their set with the hypnotising ‘Trouble’, the crowd were swaying in time to the snaking bass lines and devious guitar, before they were treated to several new tracks that boasted stomping percussion, and plenty of PINS’ trademark commanding lyrics. 2012 single ‘LUVU4LYF’ sounded as sharp and vital as their new offerings, as did iconic Wild Nights track ‘Young Girls’ which the band closed their set with.

The glorious ‘Bad Thing’ – the title track of their most recent EP – bled perfectly in to latest single ‘Serve The Rich’, which is laced with rallying cries and bold bass lines. Vocalist Faith delivered her lyrics with effortless confidence and charisma, and became the human catalyst for dancing when she moved from stage to barrier to interact with fans. ‘Girls Like Us’ gave her the perfect opportunity to do this, and members of support band Madonnatron didn’t hesitate to scale the barriers and join her for a dance on stage.

PINS’ gigs are always polished, fist-pumpingly good affairs that prove these Manchester post-punks are the coolest girls in town, with a sound that’s equal parts ferocious and fun. Make sure you get involved next time.

Follow PINS on Facebook for more updates.

Photo Credit: Andrew Benge

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut