New Track: ARXX – ‘Ride Or Die’

I challenge you to listen to this new one from absolute faves ARXX without hitting repeat at least 10 times… It’s just such a totally infectious anthem. Following acclaim for recent singles ‘The Last Time’ and ‘Couldn’t Help Myself’ from the likes of NME, DIY and BBC 6Music, ‘Ride Or Die‘ premiered on Clara Amfo’s show on BBC Radio 1 last week.

All propelled by thrashing, impeccable time-keeping from Clara, ‘Ride Or Die’ showcases the gritty, emotion strewn vocals of Hanni, alongside sweeping catchy pop hooks and an empowering euphoria of unified voices singing along with the chorus. An utterly uplifting celebration of queer love and platonic friendship, it’s the perfect sing-along anthem live. Being able to share a room full of adoring fans, all joining in joyously with “I would” at The Social a few months back was a blissfully memorable experience that I hope to re-live very soon.

Of the track, the duo explain:

“To us it’s about a lot of things, primarily it speaks about the kind of commitment and dedication to something you love, that means there is no possible or conceivable way that you would give up on it. In one breath it is an unapologetic celebration of queer love, and in the next breath it expresses the unwavering determination that we both hold for our band.

Another truly impressive offering from one of the most exciting – and completely lovely – bands in the universe. ARXX continue to establish themselves as master creators of the freshest, most addictive and most empowering, indefinable euphoric anthems, and I couldn’t be happier that they exist.

Produced by Steve Ansell (Blood Red Shoes) and mastered by Katie Tavini (Arlo Parks), ‘Ride Or Die’ is out now via Submarine Cat Records. It comes ahead of the release of ARXX’s upcoming album of the same name, which is set for release on 31st March. Pre-order here.

Mari Lane

Photo Credit: Rosie Powell

New Track: Alien Chicks – ‘Cowboy’

A riotous fever dream of a song, ‘Cowboy‘ by GIHE faves (and ‘Ones To Watch‘ for 2023) Alien Chicks has themes of regret, confusion and self blame holding up its foundations. The track has a surreal feel to it that echoes the way these feelings surface in the subconscious; amorphous and jarring.

The song begins with a mellow vibe. Soft, low vocals float over music that complements them, but it’s already moving at a fast pace. The beat is quick, with a sense of tension coiled within it that hints at what awaits as the song ramps up to the chorus. The repeated “I am nervous” gets neither louder nor faster, but you can feel that tension growing within it – subtly but still noticeable, until it crashes into the discordant clash of the chorus.

The structure echoes the feelings that the song captures – regret and blame and self-doubt often creep up on you. The way they fester under the surface until it feels like they’ve been triggered by the most insignificant of misfortunes – a cut lip becoming the final broken straw that allows a broiling and chaotic eruption of emotions to burst through. The lyrics are chaotic; they take you on a bizarre journey that sucks you into the weirdness of it until, seemingly spontaneously, it makes its own unique sense. It captures that dreamlike feeling of reality being visible but not quite within reach. 

The juxtaposition of the gentler verses, versus the hectic instrumental clashes in the chorus, throws you around. The theme of intense confusion is as much baked into the tortuous lyrics as they are the cacophonous sounds.

‘Cowboy’ ends abruptly, jolting you sharply out of the journey it’s on and back to reality. It feels like you’ve lurched out of its dream, left alone to recalibrate with just threads and whispers left behind. Throughout the track, you can feel the way that a wide variety of different genres have influenced Alien Chicks’ music style; they’ve been combined in ways that jar, but with obvious intention. It’s a carefully constructed and instantly immersive song that knows exactly how it wants you to feel and nails it. A perfect example of the relentless funk-fuelled punk-rock that this unique South London trio are able to create.

‘Cowboy’ is out now via Slow Dance Records. Make sure you catch Alien Chicks live sometime soon – it’s an incredible experience! Details on their UK April tour below, and tickets for their Lexington headline show on 19th April here.

Kirstie Summers / @ActuallyKurt
Photo Credit: Lauren Cremer

New Track: Death Valley Girls – ‘Sunday’

Having been big fans of LA’s Death Valley Girls for a few years now, I’m super excited to hear that they will be announcing their new album at the end of next month. Our second taster from the upcoming release (following 2021’s ‘It’s All Really Kind Of Amazing’) comes in the form of truly dreamy new single, ‘Sunday‘.

Oozing a glistening, ethereal splendour, ‘Sunday’ offers a sweeping slice of anthemic, soul-strewn psych-rock. Building with a fizzing energy, it harks back to the psychedelic sounds of the ’70s California scene, whilst showcasing the bands’ ability to create something that is utterly unique. Reflecting on the process of addressing your pain and being honest with yourself, it’s a beautifully immersive trip into the cosmic world of Death Valley Girls; stepping away from some of their previous scuzz-filled post-punk offerings, but no less stirring. So, bathe in ‘Sunday’s blissful haze as Bonnie Bloomgarden’s distinctive impassioned vocals ripple throughout this uplifting shimmering soundscape.

Of the track, Bloomgarden expands:

Recently I realized I have been numbing, medicating, intellectualizing, and avoiding my pain and feelings for most of my life. Over the past few years I learned you have to feel and move through your feelings or they get stuck, and then you become a vessel or container for all the feelings you are trying to avoid! If you acknowledge, feel, and process them, you get to release and move them out of you! This song is to honor that process! Feel your feelings, be so sad you wanna cry forever, and then move on, you gotta keep moving!”

‘Sunday’ is accompanied by a wonderfully trippy, animated, Alice-In-Wonderland-inspired video, directed by Arturo Baston. Watch here:

Islands In The Sky, the upcoming new album from Death Valley Girls, is set for release on 24th February via Suicide Squeeze Records – pre-order here. And catch Death Valley Girls live when they’re over in the UK next month – more info here.

Mari Lane

Photo Credit: Neto Velasco

Track Of The Day: VISCERENE – ‘Zeros and Ones’

An ominous reflection on the way that technology influences our behaviour, industrial/electronic duo VISCERENE have shared their debut single ‘Zeros and Ones’. With a sound reminiscent of Pretty Hate Machine-era Nine Inch Nails, the track is a brooding cacophony of chaotic synth textures and glitchy beats, exploring what happens to our thought processes when we spend too much time online.

Formed of Charlie Beddoes and John Briginshaw, VISCERENE is the sound of two experienced musicians navigating new sonic territory on their own terms. Briginshaw is a session drummer, who wanted to create music instead of just playing songs by other people. Beddoes is a bassist and vocalist who has played in many bands, including Rub Ultra, No Santa, and most recently fronted Rock In Your Pocket and Nasty Little Lonely. Now, the pair have combined their many talents to create visceral electronic noise under their new moniker.

“‘Zeros and Ones’ is about technological determinism,” Beddoes explains about their debut offering. “The lyrics refer to how human behaviour changes because of technology, and not always for the better!” The duo explore this element of the human psyche through Beddoes’ cutting lyrics and Briginshaw’s ordered yet erratic percussion.

As well as forming this new project, Beddoes has recently released her memoir, Overdriven, which is described as “the true story of a girl with a dirty bass sound and more ambition than sense”. Her book is full of fascinating anecdotes about the 80s and 90s rock scenes, as well as her own experiences of being a women in rock and alternative music spheres. You can buy a copy here.

Listen to ‘Zeros and Ones’ below.

Follow VISCERENE on bandcampSpotify, Facebook and Youtube

Kate Crudgington