ALBUM: The Wants – ‘Container’

Formed by Madison Velding-VanDam and Heather Elle from New York art-punk band Bodega, The Wants‘ debut album Container is a punchy, defiant, riot of a record that simultaneously reflects and resists anxiety, on both a personal and wider scale. With its swaggering beats, techno influences, and to-the-point lyricism; it flows seamlessly from track-to-track demanding uninterrupted listening from the offset.

The Wants began taking shape when drummer Jason Gates and Velding-VanDam met in New York in 2014, but became fully formed while Velding-VanDam and Elle were working together under the Bodega moniker years later. Realising they all had a passion for electronic music, the three began writing together, and Container is the result of this collaboration.

Instrumental opener ‘Ramp’ commands attention with its thudding kick drum, while eponymous track ‘Container’ pulses with brooding bass lines and deadpan lyrical delivery. Pounding instrumental ‘Machine Room’ bleeds in to ‘Fear My Society’. “Will you love me if I’m a failure?” agonises Velding-VanDam, over funky beats and surprisingly buoyant synths. It feels odd to dance around to a track that’s fueled by anxiety and alienation, but it’s a natural response to The Wants driving rhythms.

Making space to individually review each of Container‘s tracks feels odd, as the record is such a cohesive creation, where each track transitions smoothly in to the next. Instrumental ‘Aluminium’ blends in to the unsettling ‘Ape Trap’. “I will stay a deviant, or else I die of boredom” Velding-VanDam sings, desperate to escape his metaphorical cell. Instrumental ‘Waiting Room’ builds on this tension, until its relieved by the confessional ‘Clearly A Crisis’. “I have no intimacy, I’m never vul-ner-able” – Velding-VanDam takes care to repeat, and speak this line with intense clarity.

The funky beats on ‘Nuclear Party’ float around as the cute threat of “kiss my bombs” ricochets between your ears. The bouncy ‘Hydra’ follows, before eerie instrumental ‘Voltage’ closes the record on a somber note. It’s a striking offering, with each scratch, pulse, and echo captured clearly. The band recorded the album in their bedrooms and their rehearsal space — a re-purposed HANJIN shipping container situated in the middle of a dumpling factory parking lot — so it’s a testament to their personal, and joint production skills that these elements can be heard in the mix.

With their myriad of influences – including the literature of Jenny Holzer, the sounds of The National, and a love for techno –  The Wants have created a sonic space on Container that’s somewhere between the catchy electronics of Depeche Mode, the angsty lyrics of early Sonic Youth. It’s a distracting record, in the best possible way, and deserves your undivided attention.

Listen to Container in full here. Follow The Wants on Spotify and Facebook for more updates.

Photo Credit: Madison Carroll

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Track Of The Day: draag – ‘Ghost Leak’

A hazy ode to feeling inconsequential; L.A, shoegaze outfit draag have crafted a strung out, dreamy soundscape on their latest single ‘Ghost Leak’. The track is lifted from their upcoming EP Clara Luz, which is set for release on 21st February.

draag was originally a solo project, fronted by Adrian Acosta who was trained as a mariachi singer by his Father. After exploring the worlds of underground punk, no wave, and experimental jazz, Acosta soon met and added Jessica Huang, Nick Kelley, Ray Montes and Shane Graham to draag’s lineup. Together, the five piece create music that’s  garnered comparisons to My Bloody Valentine and Sonic Youth.

Speaking about their latest single, Jessica Huang explains: “‘Ghost Leak’ is the feeling of being completely invisible and inconsequential. It is also a message to someone we lost — to let them know they weren’t invisible.” draag’s new EP has been underscored by personal hardships, illness and isolation, but there’s a sense of hope that filters through their muddy soundscapes, making it easy to escape into their music.

Watch the video for ‘Ghost Leak’ below, and follow draag on Facebook for more updates.

Photo Credit: Devonte Johnson

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Track Of The Day: Pet Crow – ‘What We Doin’

This Pet Crow is wearing its dancing shoes, and maybe even a tiny leather jacket! The latest single from the Derby band is a proper anthem in the making. An ode to hopelessness and feeling a little lost without feeling sorry for itself, ‘What We Doin” is poppy, rock ‘n’ roll perfection.

Big, bouncy guitars lift the melancholic vocal, which ask, “who knows what they’re doing?” while the spiky, post-punk riffs make you want to move rather than mope. It’s fun and energetic.

From the opening bars, you can hear nods to a huge range of influences; think Sonic Youth, Gang of Four and Vivian Girls. But ‘What We Doin'” feels as fresh as it is familiar.

Taken from Pet Crow’s forthcoming album, Take The Edge Off, ‘What We Doin” is an exciting taster of what’s to come. I’m looking forward to hearing what more the band can do.

‘What We Doin” is out now. Pet Crow’s new album, Take The Edge Off, is out in February 2020 on vinyl and digital download. 

Vic Conway

Track Of The Day: Projector – ‘Superstar’

“Don’t wanna be a woman with a smile like flat champagne” sings Projector’s vocalist & bassist Lucy Sheehan on the band’s latest single ‘Superstar’ – and we couldn’t agree more here at GIHE.

Based in Brighton, Lucy, Demelza (drums), and Ed (vocals/guitar) formed Projector in 2017, and began creating music reminiscent of the 90s grunge era. Their blend of poetic lyrics and abrasive, yet catchy sounds caught the attention of PRS & Festival Republic’s ‘Rebalance’ initiative in 2018, and since then the trio have been busy recording and gigging across the country.

Filled with crashing drums, powerful vocals and strung out guitar riffs; ‘Superstar’ is an immersive, raw exploration of the uncertainties that come with trying to make it big. It’s an atmospheric new offering from this promising trio.

Listen to the track below, and follow Projector on Facebook for more updates.

Projector UK Tour Dates 2018
Oct 15th – Electrowerkz, London (w/ Thyla)
Nov 7th – Green Door Store, Brighton
Nov 8th – Paper Dress Vintage, London
Nov 14th – Heartbreakers, Southampton

Photo credit: Jessie Morgan

Kate Crudgington
@kcbobcut