Track Of The Day: Pretty Happy – ‘Sudocrem’

A frantic, witty, cathartic burst of art punk noise, Cork trio Pretty Happy have shared their latest single ‘Sudocrem’. Taken from their recent EP Sluggers Bridge, released via Art For Blind Records, the track ricochets between manic vocals, spoken word verses and whirlwind guitar cacophonies to reflect the irritation of the characters the song is based around.

Formed of Abbey Blake (guitar), Arann Blake (vocals, bass) and Andy Killian (drums), Pretty Happy have been busy cutting their teeth on the DIY Irish music and arts scene over the last few years. Abbey is a founder of Angry Mom Collective, a movement set up to challenge the gender imbalance in Irish arts, whilst Arann and Andy are keenly involved in the local drama and film scenes. Together, the trio combine their talents to create their distinctive sounds and ‘Sudocrem’ is another of their riotous, tongue-in-cheek offerings.

Centered around the Cork-centric story of a girl who is suffering from alcohol poisoning in the Mercy Hospital whilst her partner sits across the road in the Franciscan Well pub, ‘Sudocrem’ kicks and screams with the kind of frustration, panic and anxiety that can’t be soothed by the childhood medicinal staple it’s named after. Speaking about their new EP which the track is lifted from, the band explain: “With Sluggers Bridge we have attempted to capture our live theatre-influenced, art-punk sound. We wanted to make this EP as interdisciplinary as possible, taking as much inspiration from the Irish stage as we do the Irish music scene. This EP is uniquely Cork, influenced greatly by the people and humour of the city.”

Listen to ‘Sudocrem’ below.

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Photo Credit: Nicholas O’Donnell

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Track Of The Day: The C33s – ‘Benzodiac’

Named “the future” by BBC 6Music’s Chris Hawkins, The C33s are back and leave no listener’s head unturned in their latest surf-rock plea to tackle life’s harsh realities riff-first. It’s been a long roadmap, two lockdowns and one cancelled Christmas since last year’s single ‘Harpurhey Hostility‘ took a political dive into Mancunian society’s most disenfranchised, but The C33s are back with new track ‘Benzodiac’ – the newest addition to their bible of uncompromising home-truths.  

‘Benzodiac’ is the first single and the title track from the 3-piece punk outfit’s new EP and was fuelled by the band’s frustration at the closure of the live gig scene last year. For that reason, it’s production clings as close as possible to the raw live experience, taking the Californian genre to dizzy new heights before slamming you back down to a gritty-garage reality that the band have best described as “concrete surf-rock”. 

The single is explained by the band as “a frank observation of addiction, renewal and rebirth”, but prepare to be anything but sedated as an intoxicatingly slick and progressive guitar riff provided by Cav Green pulls you in, making it the perfect soundtrack for your favourite desert cult-classic film. We are thrown into epic surroundings with urgency as this track builds with Judy Jones storming in raucously on the kit whilst Ste Phillips fuels the anticipation with an exhilarating and palpitating bass line, meeting the perfect use of a tantalising reverb and echo-inducing delay during Cav’s guitar solo.

What’s exciting about this track is Cav’s move to a more spoken-word style vocal like that of The Damned’s 1977 release Damned Damned Damned, while the delivery of lyrics like “the universal will just to become” resemble the more recently fashioned passionate and punchy vocal of Idles’ frontman Joe Talbot. Not to forget Judy’s rousing dual harmonies throughout and her first-class punk yelp that creates the ideal sought after abrupt cliff-hanger ending to this single that paves the way for a future that is The C33s.

The new from The C33s, also entitled Benzodiac, is set for release in August on Rare Vitamin Records, and will available to purchase on 10” vinyl, CD and cassette.

Lauren Roberts
@robauren

Track Of The Day: Sophomore – ‘Montenegro’

Following last May’s timely single ‘Social-Distancing’, a track which tackled important issues such as the spread of misinformation amidst the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, Australian-based alt-rock foursome Sophomore have recently thrown their latest refreshingly punchy single ‘Montenegro’ into the ring. Only the band’s third single, but undoubtedly a release set to solidify their rightful place within Australia’s recently opened and ever-growing gig circuit, ‘Montenegro’ was written in an old olive mill-turned-hostel, nestled deep in the mountains of Montenegro from which this exciting new release takes its name.

Despite the exotic writing location, the track itself is wholly relatable to anyone who has lived through the past year, as it explores the feeling of being lost despite being unable to escape the place that find yourself in. Its repeated, yet captivatingly catchy, lyrics speak about waking with the “best of intentions” only to be stopped in your tracks, despite having “nowhere to go…” It also touches on being far from home – a harsh reality experienced by a countless number of Australians who struggled to get back into the country last year, for which this track could serve as a subtle acknowledgement.

Lead guitarist and vocalist Vanessa oozes a nostalgia for ’90s grunge and simpler times with a new-age Pixies vocal that chimes in alongside a deep and progressive baseline, immediately drawing us into this modest yet thought-provokingly explosive track. Anticipation continues to build as both Vanessa and rhythm guitarist Elly’s moody yet mesmerising harmonies strike out against the resonant attack of the kit, entrancing us with the band’s poignant riff-based resurgence of the post-rock genre.

‘Montenegro’ is accompanied by a video of the band getting lost in the endless corridors of a building that has laid abandoned since the 1920s – the perfect location choice for the song’s inescapable yet blissfully honest narrative. 

Watch the video here:

Find out more about Sophomore on their Facebook page.

Lauren Roberts
@robauren

Track Of The Day: Krush Puppies – ‘Slay The Dragon’

Having charmed us with their immersive live performances on more than one occasion, Alexa Daly, Jenny Wells, Jess McGill and Heather Britton – aka Krush Puppies – have been establishing themselves on the London scene for a few years now, with support slots for the likes of Squid and Sorry already under their belts. Now, they have shared a unique, medieval-inspired, new single.

Propelled by an eerie, synth-driven drive, ‘Slay The Dragon’ is a poignant reflection about “transcending the monsters we’ve all had to endure“. Showcasing the band’s swooning harmonious vocals, which flow throughout with a mystic allure, the track builds with a gritty, swirling energy and scuzzy hooks to a frenzied cacophony, suddenly coming to a halt with a resonant, impassioned wail. Oozing a whirring, bewitching splendour, it oozes a raw, haunting majesty reminiscent of fellow London post-punkers Goat Girl. Offering equal parts playful wit and angst-driven emotion, ‘Slay The Dragon’ cements Krush Puppies as definite ones to watch.

Recorded during Lockdown No.1, ‘Slay The Dragon’ is out now via Strong Island Recordings.

Mari Lane
@marimindles