Lump On #1
There is a certain amount of exhaustion that comes with trying to keep you finger on the pulse of what is happening in music and honestly if you’re doing it all the time it starts to feel like a full time job. So in the hopes of making it easier for you to be able to discover new and different artists, here is a digestible selection of artists/releases - or anything - that I think is worth investing your attention in.
Personal Trainer - Gazebo EP
Right, crucify me. But I am getting so bored of every new indistinguishable band trying to have the same angular whacky post-punk energy. It’s getting so boring. In two years when the bubble has deflated and every band people pinned their hopes of getting in early on look like the post-punk equivalent to the pigeon detectives, you can look back at this and say ‘by god he was right’. And most of Personal Trainers brand new 5 track EP Gazebo doesn’t do massive amounts to burst through the boring film that is forming on top of the underground at the minute…except for the last track ‘The Loozer’. My god. It sounds like it should be on a completely different release. It’s like they stopped trying to fit the format of whatever guitar music landscape they are trying to fit in for one song and when you listen to it, it sounds so much more authentic then anything else on the EP. It is full of pavement and car seat headrest vibes, and if they concentrate of being that more authentic version of themselves, then Jesus Christ we might have something on our hands. Listen to the rest of the EP cause its decent. Then listen to ‘The Loozer’ and lump on.
As earlier mentioned ‘Holm Front’ is a label ran by the band Sports Team and although it's early days there are signs that the roster they are building is going to be full of bands that lineup with the bands own attractive energy. Releases so far include the earlier mentioned Gazebo by Personal Trainer, the side project of Parquet Courts’ Max savage in the form of Maxband’s ‘Top of the stairs’ EP and single releases for other interesting emerging UK talent ‘Ugly’ and ‘Walt Disco’. I think Sports Team are one of the most exciting bands to emerge in the last few years and with them going straight to number 2 with their debut album, they know what works. With them in charge of the roster I think it’s only a matter of time before someone involved with Holm Front makes serious moves. It’s not happened yet but there are signs, in the bands they are putting out, that point towards Holm Front finding someone with the same bursting energy that Sports Team themselves bring. Either one of the next best things or someone genuinely interesting bands to listen to. What have you got to lose?
That wasn’t rhetorical, the answer is nothing.
This is going against the grain of the other two as Iceage aren’t exactly fresh. The band released their first album in 2011 and throughout the decade haven't really ever reached their potential in my opinion. What they have done however is manage to more or less get more melodic with every release. On 2018’s ‘Beyondless’ the progress was the most notable and at points on that album the band seemed to have shrugged off the chains that their own creative direction had them in and created some incredibly hooky energetic music. The release of their most recent single ‘The holding hand’ earlier this year has continued this trend and is my favourite single of 2021 so far. The song builds tension around the release of this huge chorus in the final act of the song and it sounds like a full on massive festival ready rager. If this is a hint at the direction a (at the time of writing this) yet un-announced new album then Iceage could finally be ready to fulfil the potential they’ve had for years. Listen to ‘The holding hand’ and keep your eye on anything you might hear from this point on. This is gonna go one of two ways, but if it goes the same direction as ‘The holding Hand’ then the world will be a better place for us all. Please don’t mess this up.
If you're reading this hoping to catch the next cool or big thing then here’s probably the best chance to do it. At the time of writing this Butch Kassidy are currently sitting on 861 monthly listeners on Spotify so if getting in early is important to you, then there ya go. They released their first single ‘Heath’ on the 22nd of Jan and it’s a 10 minute journey through a soundscape that will be pretty familiar to you if you’ve been following the likes of Black Country, New Road or Black Midi in the last couple of years. However rather than focusing on being really fresh or experimental, instead they’ve just released an incredibly solid Post-rock song, in a similar vein to Swans. If you make a 10 minute minute song that keeps me interested for the full 10 minutes then you’ve done something right and everything is here. The drums are free and frantic and give the song so much energy, the layers of the song come and go at just the right times and there’s not much to say other than you can’t make a song that long, that keeps my interest, by accident. There’s something going on here.
Dan Carey is steadily becoming one of the most relevant people in British music. Through his label Speedy Wunderground Carey has been shining a spotlight on some incredible UK talent over the last few years. Bands like Squid, Black Midi and Black Country, New Road all had a single produced by and released by the label and since then have gone on to pretty much define the uk underground over the last 3 years and beyond that have been acclaimed critically. Incredibly though, his influence doesn’t just end at his use of the label. The list of albums he has produced in the last few years include ‘Dogrel’ and ‘A heroes death’ by Fontaines DC, ‘Schlagenheim’ by Black Midi, ‘On all fours’ by Goat Girl. Further to this he has earned 4 Mercury Prize nominations since 2014. The man is capable of both finding great new interesting music and making great new interesting music and it seems like he’s only growing in influence as the months go on. Do yourself a favour and get caught up with Speedy Wunderground, but also keep an eye on anything this man touches because it’s probably only a matter of weeks before he’s involved in another another big deal for British guitar music
So thats the first edition of Lump on. In the future I’ll be including more new releases, more new artists, and I’ll be getting a bit deeper. Bye bye for now.
Music loving, opinion giving Barrovian