Track Of The Day: Piney Gir – ‘Voice Of The Ages’

Following 2019’s seventh album You Are Here, London-based, Kansas-raised GIHE fave Piney Gir has now announced a new EP, Astral Spectra, which is set for release later this month. And now, ahead of the EP, she has just shared a characteristically uplifting new single.

Flowing with the jangle of twinkling hooks and an immersive sunny energy, ‘Voice Of The Ages’ reflects on the necessity of facing your demons to come out stronger in the end. As the distinctive shimmer of Piney’s luscious celestial vocals soar with an effervescent splendour alongside the striking grandeur of the track’s almost orchestral sounding musicality, a wonderfully majestic indie-pop anthem is created.

Oozing a swirling, psychedelic sense of nostalgia, ‘Voice Of The Ages’ retains its own unique sparkling grace, showcasing Piney Gir’s trademark honey-sweet and harmonious uplifting pop-sensibilities. Of the track, she explains:

This song simply flowed, it was like a message from the subconscious mind or a force of the universe channelling through me. I couldn’t get it out of my head quickly enough; it couldn’t have been written any faster.” 

‘Voice Of The Ages’ is out now via Reckless Yes. Astral Spectra, the upcoming EP and the first part of a set of concept EPs, is set for release 25th June. Pre-order here.

Mari Lane
@marimindles

EP: Bitch Hunt – ‘Shapeshifter’

Bitch Hunt have just released their debut EP and we couldn’t be happier. The non-binary alt-rock four-piece (and I’m sure there are plenty of other hyphenated terms you could apply – this is a band with range!) are alumni of the 2017 edition of London’s First Timers Fest – a festival with an impressive track record of assisting in the formation of some of the best music coming out of the city in the last few years (Big Joanie and Charmpit both played their first gigs at the festival). As such, it’s been something of a wait for this debut EP for those of us who were already aware of the band, but the wait has proved to be very much worth it.

Shapeshifter offers a shimmering collection of five songs characterised by a lo-fi aesthetic and heartfelt lyrics. EP highlight ‘Eau Claire’, which was released as a single back in April and described by us as “perfect punk pop”, is a nostalgic song (though a nostalgia with the rose-tint wiped clear) written about singer Sian’s time spent in a Wisconsin town of the same name. Fittingly then, Twin Peaks fans might even detect a hint of Angelo Badalamenti’s soundtrack in the slacker bassline in the verse here, but a closer point of reference might be The Breeders’ ‘Oh!’ from 1990 album Pod. There’s a similarly woozy feel to the guitars and vocal delivery which accentuates the bittersweet content of the lyrics. In fact, the EP as a whole warrants favourable comparison to the early 1990s output of Kim & Kelley Deal’s band. That’s not to say there is anything derivative about this, though, Bitch Hunt have carved out their own distinctive sound and on this track in particular there’s a real sense of a landscape portrayed in the breadth of the sound – no mean feat considering the relative simplicity of the arrangements.

Closing track, ‘I Wanna Be Un/Happy’, showcases another side to the band’s sound. Here the guitar and bass interweave in a manner reminiscent of Interpol on the verse before the song bursts into life in the chorus. The contrast hinted at in the ‘Un/Happy’ of the title is reflected in the difference in sound between the doom-filled verse and uplifting chorus.

A spiky guitar part on ‘Identity Clinic’ provides the clearest link between what appears to be some of the influences on this EP – ’90s britpop a la Elastica & the bluesy end of the early 2000s garage revival (White Stripes, Black Keys etc). The lyrics are disarmingly open while remaining playful – “leave me out to cry”, we’re implored – and listening to the EP as a whole, the listener is left with the feeling that this mix of honesty, heartache and a sense of humour might be the defining characteristic of Bitch Hunt’s songs. ‘Out of Eden’’s biblical references serve a similar purpose – playing with our familiar understanding of phrases to provide counterpoint and illumination to what appears to be a story of two relationships – one destructive and the other restorative.

The EP can be bought for the low low price of £5 over on the band’s bandcamp page and has been released by Reckless Yes – a label with impeccable taste – so this reviewer would urge you to do so. It’s a real treat.

Shapeshifter, the new EP from Bitch Hunt, is out now via Reckless Yes.

Gregory Metcalfe
@gregorysparty

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

 

Track Of The Day: Nervous Twitch – ‘Tongue Tied’

Having charmed us live at The Finsbury and with previous single ‘Keeping Faith In Something, Leeds trio Nervous Twitch re-released their first three albums this year and have now shared a vibrant new single.

Taken from their upcoming fourth album, ‘Tongue Tied’ is a comforting ode to “Self-reflection and amazement over the contradictions in life”. Propelled by scuzzy surf-rock inspired hooks and an instantly catchy uptempo musicality, it’s a colourfully retro slice of uplifting punk-pop. Guaranteed to get you singing along on first listen, it’s a perfect example of Nervous Twitch’s ability to create instantly infectious and undeniably joy-inducing offerings.

Listen to ‘Tongue Tied’ now:

 

‘Tongue Tied’ is out now via Reckless Yes, ahead of Nervous Twitch’s fourth album, set for release early next year.

Mari Lane
@marimindles