ALBUM: pink suits – ‘political child’

Having first formed back in 2017, Margate based queer punk-rock duo pink suits incorporate politically driven rage, dance and even theatre into their work, exploring issues of sexuality, mental health and a resistance of binary gender. Blasting into our ears at the end of last year with their raging single ‘Fake Great Britain’, they are now set to release their debut album political child later this month. 

A collection of thirteen tracks, each as poignantly charged as the last, the album sets out pink suits’ manifesto with a raging, angst-driven energy. 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. Truly a soundtrack for these times; a rallying cry to make our voices heard and fight for an upheaval of a neoliberal society. 

Kicking off with ‘My Old Man’s A Dustman’, the album starts as it means to go on: with a seething, all-too-poignant social commentary on the increasingly terrifying state of the UK right now. As intense beats and whirring hooks provide the backdrop for gritty blazing vocals, an impending sense of doom is created, reflecting the way many of us are feeling right now and the urgency felt in the need to “… strip authority from all abusive powers”. 

Continuing in a similar vein, ‘Decades Back’ and ‘Salute To The Sun’ ooze the duo’s quirky, playful energy as swirling punk-rock riffs race with an impassioned, riotous zest. Next up, stand out single ‘Fake Great Britain’ pretty much epitomises the message of political child as a whole. Propelled by a frenzied power and scuzzy hooks, it hits you with its raw, punk-fuelled lyricism raging against austerity and the fake ‘great’ ideals of a post-Brexit UK. With a ferocious passion, it’s a rallying cry against this government and the intolerance it promotes, its lies and the detrimental effects it’s had on all of our mental health. A perfect queer punk anthem inciting us to fight fascism with all our might. 

Perhaps more uptempo in sound, ‘We Can Shout’ reflects on the power of protest and the need to stand up to authority. With the seething cry “we can break it from the inside out”, pink suits seem to assert the importance of spreading information and discrediting the fake news we are so often fed by the right wing press. Touching on a theme that is particularly resonant right now – with the government trying to take away our right to protest – the track manages to firmly lodge its important message in your ears with its catchy refrains and buoyant energy.

The next three tracks seem to stand alone as their own entities, stepping away from the trademark punk-driven force of the rest of the album, showcasing the many different sides to pink suits and their eclectic sonic capabilities. Whilst ‘Gold Girl’ treats us to a Riot Grrrl reminiscent angst-driven power as penetrating screams blast out across the scuzzy soundscape, ‘Be The Best’ is propelled by steady marching beats offering a tongue-in-cheek commentary on toxic masculinity, and addressing the damaging importance that the government places on the military and arms trade, as well as the dangerous patriotism rooted in the desire to fight against other nationalities. And then there’s ‘3AM’: what appears to be a soothing respite from the seething rage of other tracks as the duo take a twinkling moment of personal reflection. 

Returning to their vibrant fist-clenching energy, the next two tracks awaken the senses with a racing force. Following ‘This Hole’, ‘Anarchist Wisdom’ offers a raging reflection on the prejudice that’s so rife in society – name-checking some of those responsible for spreading hatred, going against both morality and humanity. As a ferocious screech of “be a Feminist” blasts into the ears, I feel a shiver down my spine; with this immensely powerful sonic storm, pink suits just seem to magnificently capture the burning anger, frustration and sadness that so many of us are feeling right now.

Drawing the album to a close, the final three tracks continue with a similarly empowering energy. Following the seething statement of intent of the collection’s title track, ‘Scarred’ is propelled by a driving punk energy as it builds in tempo to a wonderfully frenzied climax. Finally, ‘Pink Suits Everyone’ may appear more melodic in sound than the majority of the album, but is no less pressing in its stirring intent. Offering a vibrant message of inclusivity and hope, here the duo urge us to come together and unite against the powers that seek to contain us. 

With political child, pink suits have not only created a completely necessary and ferociously poignant listen, but have done so whilst oozing an infectious vibrant energy and colourful charisma, cementing each of their raging, yet catchy, offerings firmly in our ears, leaving us longing to catch their colossal, swirling power live (we may have news on that this week…).

political child offers a perfect riotous catharsis; an immense formidable force, coated in a rousing cacophony, calling us to arms in these truly terrifying times. 

political child is out 16th April. It was recorded, mixed and mastered by Aim4 Recording, Canterbury.

Mari Lane
@marimindles

Photo Credit: Kathryn A Betts

Premiere: Nun Habit – ‘Slip ‘n’ Slide’ / ‘Righteous Jerk’

Having wowed us with their sparkling charisma and buoyant energy playing for us at The Finsbury back in 2020, London-based queer five-piece Nun Habit have now announced their debut album, set for release in August. Taken from the album, the band have now shared a very special double A-side release with us.

First up, it’s ‘Righteous Jerk’ – “an anthem for the breaker-upperee whose only regret is that they didn’t get around to doing it first“, it oozes an eerie mysticism before being propelled by thrashing beats and scuzzy, reverb-strewn riffs. With a shimmering whirr of synths and Kate’s sweeping soulful vocals, it builds with an anthemic fuzz and twinkling energy as rich musical layers are fused together to create a frenzied, swirling splendour.

Then a different side to Nun Habit is revealed in ‘Slip n Slide’. With Greg taking the lead with the vocals this time, it begins as a gentler offering as delicate effervescent melodies flow alongside a glistening fuzzy whirr, with shades of the likes of The Postal Service. Sparkling with a lilting, jangly energy, the track graduates to a vibrant disco-infused cacophony, showcasing the band’s wonderfully quirky charisma.

Offering a much-needed euphoric sense of joy, both tracks exemplify all there is to love about Nun Habit. Not only their eclectic, musically rich soundscapes, but also their infectious sense of fun and refreshing tongue-in-cheek wit of their imaginative lyricism. Both ‘Righteous Jerk and ‘Slip n Slide’ will have you up and bopping ’round the living room, longing to be surrounded by sweaty friends dancing along to the unique, immersive energy of Nun Habit live.

‘Righteous Jerk’/’Slip n Slide’ is out on Monday, 5th April. Which also marks the day that Nun Habit launch a Kickstarter campaign to fund a vinyl pressing of their upcoming album, hedge fun. Produced by Ric James (Yassassin, Foals), hedge fun will be released in August, with an accompanying celebratory launch party on 16th August at The Victoria in Dalston. More info on bandcamp.

Mari Lane
@marimindles

Photo Credit: Armadillo Media / @Armadillo_Media

 

Track Of The Day: Hadda Be – ‘Wait In The Dark’

Following the jangly energy of latest single ‘Another Life’, London-Brighton band Hadda Be (fka Foundlings) have now shared a brand new offering taken from their upcoming debut album.

Propelled by scuzzy riffs and thrashing racing beats, ‘Wait In The Dark’ shows us a heavier side to Hadda Be than what we might be used to, proving them as a band who are able to constantly hone their sound, reluctant to be pigeon-holed into any one genre.

With a gritty, frenzied energy and shades of the whirring splendour of Sonic Youth, it builds with a frenetic tension to a magnificent, swirling cacophony. Oozing a riotous, grunge-infused spirit, it offers all the fuzzed-out, angst-driven power we need to motivate us through the next few months, when hopefully brighter things – and the possibility of live music – will be on the horizon.

Of the track, the band explain:

“’Wait In The Dark’ is a direct and visceral reaction to the turbulent political and cultural times we find ourselves in. There’s a lot of anger and passion in this song. It felt liberating to have a moment on the album where we really let loose, not allowing ourselves to be wrapped up in analytical posturing. Like with our first ever single, ‘Misery’, the track started off with a bass line and everything else was built up from there. We’re particularly excited about getting this one out on the road.

Filmed remotely during lockdown and directed by Chris Tomsett (AKA Innerstrings), you can watch the psychedelic new video for ‘Wait In The Dark’ here:

Wait In The Dark‘ is out now. Another Life, the debut album from Hadda Be, is set for release 30th April via Last Night From Glasgow.

Mari Lane
@marimindles

Photo Credit: Luthiem Escalona

ALBUM: The Other Ones – ‘The Other Ones’

London based pop-punk four-piece The Other Ones join Reckless Yes for the release of their self-reflective and self-titled debut album, following their two self-released extended plays: 2017’s Perfect Girl, Normal Boy and 2019’s Picking Up the Pieces. The result is an evolution of the infectious sound they have cultivated over the past five years; a fusion of punk-rock riffs and melancholic pop influences, from Buzzcocks and My Chemical Romance to The Smiths and Kate Bush.

Introducing The Other Ones with opening track ‘Drown You’, bassist Vicky and guitarist Nick whet the appetite for the rest of the record with their unrelenting energy; the power (pop) couple’s distorted riffs offset against front-woman Steph’s and Nick’s spellbinding vocal harmonisation. Next, the cathartic ‘On Top of Me’ reflects on mental health and the struggle that we have all experienced at some point in our lives: “I wake up every day / I wish I could run away / You say it’s getting better / Why do I feel the same?”

‘Forever Young’ is another self-reflective track, this time nostalgic for younger, care-free days; oozing fuzz and swooning vocalisation. Shimmering pop-punk that is the perfect addition to your next mixtape! Relationships are explored next in ‘Money’ (“We never kiss / We never touch / We only talk about money!”), a track that drenches the listener in distorted sound. Originally recorded for their first EP, The Other Ones instinctively let loose on this reimagining; particularly drummer Francis with a thrashing percussive soundscape reminiscent of Jord Samolesky’s latter work in Propagandhi.

Slowing everything down for ‘Out of My Head’, scuzzy guitar riffs define the track’s soft-loud-soft dynamic, transitioning into the acoustic track ‘I Wish I Was Your Boyfriend’, where gender identity is left ambiguous. Raw emotion (and a spacey bridge) dominates ‘Better Off Alone Again’, whilst ‘Wasted Youth’ sees The Other Ones picking up the pace with Vicky’s throbbing bass-lines and a punchy drum assault from Francis.

‘Sad Case’ is yet another reimagining from Perfect Girl, Normal Boy, further showcasing Nick and Steph’s overlapping vocal abilities, but it is the title track, ‘The Other Ones’ that truly defines their impressive debut. Propelled by the scuzziest of riffs, ‘The Other Ones’ is a fitting anthem for the misfits of society – the freaks who won’t conform to societal norms – firing on all cylinders with a fierce, impassioned performance from Steph. Fuck all societal expectations to be a certain way… Strive for complete self-expression: “We are the other ones / We are the other ones / We are the other ones / We are not alone!”

Closing The Other Ones’ self-titled LP is the ethereal acoustic soundscape ‘I Think Too Much’; an unexpected, but welcomed, departure from the preceding ten tracks of energetic DIY punk rock.

With their debut, The Other Ones have delivered infectious hooks, emotionally-driven melodies, and enough feverish feedback to reinforce their underlying message: Fuck you to anyone who has ever told you that you’re not enough just by being yourself. “We’re the freaks and we don’t belong.”

 

The Other Ones‘ is out now via Reckless Yes. Buy on bandcamp.

Ken Wynne
@Ken_Wynne

Photo Credit: Keira Anee Photography