The descent of society continues in free fall as the excitement of freedom, of expression, of chaos remains subdued, far away, distant. Towns & cities are desolate places where curtain twitchers rule, the satisfied ones, whilst the rest are worked to death.
But lucky for us, we still have tunes & following what feels like a quiet last few weeks for quality new LPs, I’m taking a look at the best new bands that have deservedly been dominating the airwaves in my house over recent times (almost said “unprecedented times” but luckily I chewed on my tongue)….
“She said have you ever spat cum onto the carpet of a Travelodge?” retorts lead singer (or should it be spoken worder), Florence Shaw on the band’s opening track, Goodnight, to the masses on 2019, Sweet Princess EP. A line nailing the band’s dry sardonic spirit against a background of bass heavy & arty post punk.
This is the South London quartet, Dry Cleaning, where deadpan storytelling & witty observations of everyday mundane life are told over spiky riffs. Oddly it’s an irresistible combination creating an unusual set of tracks which are quite difficult to place….perhaps if you combined the wit of Jonny Rotten, the gritty side of This is England & the rawness of Gang of Four you would get halfway there.
Dry Cleaning released EPs Sweet Princess & Boundary Road Snacks & Drinks in 2019 & are fresh off a tour in early 2020 including a headline slot at Village Underground.
Danceable post punk, a cynical eye & humour are thrown into the mix successfully by Nottingham based four piece, Do Nothing. First emerging way back in 2018, we’ve had a taster of a track here & there with the band preferring to build a fierce reputation via wild & unpredictable live shows (remember what those were?) where lead singer Chris Bailey shapeshifts from a Tom Waits style crooner, a cynical Mark E Smith to a suit clad David Byrne with an almost stand-up comedy feel at times. Think The Rakes (or more recently The Wants) combined with The Fall.
The early tracks have just been topped by the release of the thrilling Zero Dollar Bill EP on 10 April 2020.
Winner of the Best New Band name is Billy Nomates, who is just fresh from the release of her debut single, No. Punk spirit shines through here with a fiery & outspoken voice coming from this raw & edgy female artist. Two fingers are stuck right up in the face of societal norms with lines like “I won’t shave everything off, I’m not twelve” against a groovy bass riff that just urges you to get on your feet. Reminiscent of the social commentary of fellow Bristolians IDLES or Nottingham’s Sleaford Mods.
Billy Nomates debut album was due out in the Summer released by Geoff Barrow’s (Portishead) Invada Records – likely to be delayed.
Ever since I witnessed lead singer of Leeds post punkers, Yard Act, clutch a tinny, stop mid tune at the Belgrave in Leeds, pull out a crumpled bit of paper to read the song’s bridge – a hilarious poem about a nut allergy of an imaginary husband (I think albeit I was several pints deep), I’ve been hooked.
The minimalist post punk four piece formed last year creating a primitive sound which is defined by heavy basslines & thorny guitars ahead of a spoken word delivery detailing the humdrum & the ordinary. Northern poetry with more than a nod to John Cooper Clarke.
Debut single, The Trapper’s Pelt, produced by the talented Bill Ryder Jones was released in April. Big things to come.
The Lounge Society
I have no idea how to explain the recent phenomenon of the Calder Valley region which seems to be a hot bed for talent producing the likes of The Orielles, Working Men’s Club & esteemed novelist Benjamin Myers (check out his book, The Gallows Pole) in recent years. The Lounge Society are its next big export.
All aged 16/17, this eclectic four piece have just been signed to legendary indie label Speedy Wunderground & just released their debut single, Generation Game. There is an undeniable air of confidence which seeps out of this record besides a mix of influences ranging from the jangliness of Velvet Underground to the loud rock n roll of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. Play it loud.
The Lounge Society released Generation Game on March 27 2020.
All of the above releases are available at any reputable record stores online or on the necessary evil that is Spotify
Review by Scott Bingham (Follow him on Twitter at @in_the_riot) & check out/follow our top tunes of 2020 Spotify Playlist – https://open.spotify.com/playlist/0AVMLJN0GtxWoydQzgO2lR?si=mdDM8vf5RhyKW8vuI5HVjQ