Out today from Speed of Light, ‘Kill the Vibe’ is our single of the week. This band are Santa Monica siblings, led by 13-year-old bassist and singer Riley – playing supertight, metal-tinged garage rock inspired by 70s punk, with 20s in-your-face energy. Watch this and try not to drop your jaw.
Review by Tony Rounce
You won’t need me to tell you that it’s been a tough year for all musicians, and it’s a miracle that any music has been created at all, given the circumstances. It must be particularly tough for those singers and bands who are waiting to debut new albums but who prefer to wait till they can tour them. Such is the case with LW favourites Nervous Twitch, who completed a new album nearly 10 months ago and who have been waiting patiently to unleash it ever since.
Now under the umbrella of Reckless Yes records, the affable Leeds-based trio have thrown caution to the wind and decided to drop their second new single of 2020 on Friday the 13th. After the slight surprise of employing synthesisers on the first one ‘Keeping Faith In Something’, the trio is back on more familiar ground with the guitar driven ‘Tongue Tied’. One of the first songs the band completed for what will now be their 2021 album on Reckless Yes, it has already been ‘road tested’ in the band’s past few gigs before lockdown to highly favourable response – so it’s fair to assume that they are onto a winner here.
‘Tongue Tied’ is indeed classic Twitch, its introspective verses married to a huge sing-along chorus to make perfect 21st century music that both looks over its shoulder at the trio’s musical influences, and forward to a time when we can all get out and jump around gleefully to our old and new favourite bands again. Full of personality in real life, singer/bassist Erin Van Rumble is cast in the song as a shrinking violet who “ always find(s) the music comes much easier than words’, her plaintive vocals pushed along as always by Jay Churchley’s unfussy guitar and Ashley Goodall’s rock solid drumming. A song you can and will sing along with, and a proper pop record from a proper pop group. Who could ask for more than that? Its two and a half minutes are over all too quickly, and you will want to play it again while you enjoy the fab graphic video…
The two songs that we’ve been granted access to so far suggest that the album is on course to be their best yet. Word from within Twitch HQ is that it will be out literally as soon as they are able to tour to support it. I, for one can’t wait for that to happen. And if they have to release a few more singles as good as this one in the meantime, you’ll get no complaints from me…
Our single of the week is a stonking newie from Brighton duo-to-watch ARXX. ‘Call Me Crazy’ is out today and it’s a sucker punch to the feels, gutsy pop anthem that so many of us familiar with mental health struggles will instantly relate to. More raw and vulnerable than we’re used to from this much beloved band, but rich with the familiar ARXX urgency and vitality.
Singer/guitarist/powerhouse Hanni explains:
“It’s a happy pop song about the trials and tribulations of living with depression. The chorus is an internal dialogue about getting stuck in your head and forgetting to enjoy life. It’s a very personal insight into my experiences with mental health.”
We are stoked that ARXX will be performing at our next LOUD WOMEN Fest on 20 March 2021 in London – they are a band making massive waves right now. Catch em while you can still see them in a medium-size venue!
Is it too soon to call the Anthem of the Pandemic? Nah, this is it. The awesome Claire Foxx & The Antisocial Justice Warriors just dropped ‘(I Don’t Want Your) Germs’ and we are literally living for this put-your-fucking-mask-on-and-stop-being-an-asshat punk anthem. In a world full of fear and hate and misinformation, Claire’s telling it how she sees it. In her own words:
“(I don’t want your) Germs” is a song inspired by scenes I saw three weeks ago in London’s Trafalgar Square and at last weekend’s “I do not consent” anti lockdown rallies in Hyde Park: tens of thousands of anti-maskers, antivaxxers, covid deniers mingled with the British Union Of Fascists, TERFs, 5G conspiracy theorists, David Ike believers and more — all making strange bedfellows.
The “Germs” here is wilful ignorance: the belief that rugged individualism and not collective action is what we need to defeat covid. That the pandemic is a hoax is a kind of madness I struggled to grapple with. It only took shape for me in writing this song. It’s the encapsulation of libertarianism, hijacked by right wingers, with everyone else coming along for the ride, stapling their own agendas to a loosely-constructed idea of how “the government is actively working against us” , which they are, but out of incompetence rather than the designs of the Lizard Men, or whatever. This is how authoritarian ideas take hold. This is how community ends.
I am particularly proud of this song as I got the amazing horn section to play free jazz-punk until they culminated in becoming a train crashing over a cliff — surely a metaphor for everything that is happening to us all right now?
Claire Foxx has been releasing a single per month during the pandemic, recording the majority of the instruments herself – all except those crashing horns on this one.
Photo: Rah Petherbridge
Our single of the week comes from Hollywood’s Frankie and the Studs. Out today, ‘(Not Your) Victim’ is some top drawer empowering feminist indierock, heavy on the rock for the guitar solo – and the Gen-Xers amongst us will be thrilled to learn that frontwoman Frankie is the daughter of Guns N’ Roses/Kathy Valentine/Slash’s Snakepit/MC5 guitarist, Gilby Clarke. She took her first steps on a tour bus and was playing in her first band at the age of 11 years old. Frankie says:
“’(Not Your) Victim’ is a song inspired by the inherent strength women possess. Through the challenges of living in a patriarchal society, we can never have enough reminders of our innate superpowers as women. Women supporting women is a powerful force to be reckoned with and this song reminds us to do just that.”
Our single of the week just dropped from our all-time absolute faves Downtown Boys – a glorious, rabble-rousing punk rendition of L’Internationale that warms our red hearts through and through.
Foule esclave, debout, debout!
The track comes from the soundtrack to upcoming film Miss Marx – a biopic of Eleanor Marx – to which the ‘Boys contributed “a bunch of music”. We are SO excited for all of this content. DEBOUT!
Our single of the week comes from ‘Shoegazey bedroom rock’ Exeter trio Soot Sprite. New single It’s Summer and I Don’t Feel Like Smiling’ is out today and it’s a case of ‘hard relate but we may as well dance’. Singer Elise Cook has an instantly likeable voice – we could listen to her sing all day. The jangly guitars have a tantalising whiff of summer festivals. Oh please let us hear this band playing somewhere sunny next Summer! Elise says:
“I wrote this song about a really bad bout of depression I had last summer, and it was like all the usual alienation that comes with depression doubled with the juxtaposition of everyone seemingly feeling more joyful than usual because of summertime. Going into this year the content felt very relevant again but as more of a collective struggle and an almost numbness to the endless stream of awful events.”
What we need right now is some positive pop.
Taren Kaur’s new single ‘A Little More Love’ delivers this in buckets: a message of peace and universal love for all. So many feels, this just had to be our single of the week. Taren says:
“This song came from a deep yearning for a better world. With what’s going on in the current global situation, I felt that it was important to realise that everyone should feel loved and accepted. A world where people can live without fear or prejudice. A world where differences are celebrated – not discriminated against. We must learn to get along and create a better world.”
Review by Tony Rounce
Last time I reviewed something for LOUD WOMEN, I commented on how pleasing it was to see singers and bands still putting out physical product at a time when outlets for selling their wares are minimal at best. To those I name-checked then [the lovely Bugeye – Ed] I would now also like to add Leicester’s Harri Bettsworth, who chooses to pursue a musical career as Hex Poseur, and the rather splendid vinyl 45 ‘Quiet’ that has just put itself into pole position for this week’s actual real-life single of the week.
Those of you who know your Bandcamp will know that ‘Quiet’ and its vinyl coupling ‘Overdrive’ were released digitally a few weeks back as “Keep It Quiet Vol. 1”, alongside a “Vol. 2” that remains download only at the moment (but not forever, one hopes).
‘Quiet’ is rightly the topside of the physical 45, its condemnation of archaic – but sadly not yet extinct – negative and, sadly, mostly male attitudes (“Look Pretty And Be Quiet”) being the central theme of its quietly presented verses, each of which builds in an increasingly angry manner towards a hulking great chainsaw guitar-powered, recurring chorus that rams the important message of the verses home in no small way, just in case you hadn’t gotten with the program by the time it arrives.
On the other side, ‘Overdrive’ is pure punk thrash of the highest order, and so punky in fact that you may wonder why Hex Poseur omitted an opening ‘1-2-3-4’ – angry, no-holds-barred, full throttle stuff that is so intense that Bettsworth and the other musicians have to take their collective foot of the gas pedal half way through to allow us (and them) to catch their breath. Easy listening it’s not – easy to listen to it is. The song’s message is slightly lost amid the barrage of sound, but there is no missing or overlooking the underlying rage in Bettsworth’s melodic ranting here.
The 45’s accompanying press release offers comparisons to Elastica and Slaves that are not misplaced. To those I would like to add the Cranberries and 4 Non-Blondes, not so much for the voices as for the execution of the repertoire.
All things considered Hex Poseur’s debut 45 is a very strong statement of musical intent, and one that bodes very well for what might be coming up next. I’ve added Bettsworth (and chums) to the ‘priority’ portion of my ever-lengthening list of musicians I want to investigate further, should any of us ever find ourselves in a position to see anybody live again. I have a feeling that the substantial appeal of ‘Quiet’ may inspire others among us to do likewise.
‘Quiet’ is out now physically on Punk Fox Records, and is available both to buy and/or download from Hex Poseur’s Bandcamp page.
‘Rape is Rape, Even if the Rapist is in a Band That You Like’ screams London DIY punk stalwarts Rabies Babies, and we couldn’t agree with them harder. We’re declaring this our single of 2020.
It seems like every day we’re hearing about another band, even within our own scene, who have members who have abused or even raped. And yet these abusers and rapists are still supported by their band, by the fans, and by the music press. This song is a crystal clear, in your face reminder for anyone who still needs it, that you can never separate the music from the assholes who created it. Here’s the band saying that better:
“Just because someone is in a band that you like doesn’t mean they are incapable of sexual assault. Too often when men in bands are accused of assault the victim is called a liar, blamed, and is ostracised. This song is not commenting on any particular person or incident. We believe that the problem is widespread – almost all of the women we know in the punk scene have experienced some levels of sexual assault or violence, it is time that the problem is taken seriously and we get rid of the culture that gives men in bands a free pass to act how they want with no consequences.”
The song is released ahead of their long-awaited (like 20+ years) debut album, out on Damaged Goods Records on 21 August – pre-order here.