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Wednesday, 9 September 2020

Mix CD #56 - I Only Fall In Love With Scientists



Hello folks, here's the fifty sixth blog, a couple of weeks belated again sorry! As usual with my no themed mixes, there's a right hodgepodge of stuff, from a wide range of countries. There's some bleepy Synthpop from Scotland, Psychedelic Jazz Rock from Italy and Stoner Rock from Iceland, not to mention a fair bit of Punk from a few places too. It's all, of course, exemplary.

 After almost six months I've found myself unfurloughed once more and back to work. Ironically, this means I'm gonna have more time to write these things so normal service should be resumed forthwith. If I go by my once a month thing then there are only two more blogs before its the AOTY special so I'm gonna try and squeeze another one in there to get back on track a little. It's been a funny old year so far, eh?

Cheers,
Luke
x

Tracklisting
The Bubble Project - I Only Fall In Love With Scientists
Worriers - Curious
Volcanova - I'm Off
ZOMBIESHARK!  - Synthetic City
Concept Car - I Miss The Mountains
Nø Handøuts - Surf's Up (808)
Android Superstation - All There Is
Jaded Eyes - Be Not Like Them
Penny Orchids - The Day The Circus Fell Down
Petrol Girls - Big Mouth
Death By Stereo - Free Gun With Purchase
The Anti-Queens - Not What It's Worth
The Winstons - Ghost Town
Tankengine - Banshee
Emily And The Blackouts - Slam Into Me
Dream Nails - DIY
Pizzatramp - Stop Being A Racist Cunt
Whirling Hall Of Knives - Laid To Rust
Murderbird - Shining Star
Something To Do - It's Not Funny
The Gits - Spear And Magic Helmet
Molly Tuttle - Olympia. WA

You can listen to the songs on Spotify HERE
You can download the MP3s HERE if you'd rather.

The Bubble Project - I Only Fall In Love With Scientists
Taken from the 2008 album The Technicolour Dream Machine
The Bubble Project were a peculiar band from Sunderland in the North East who took the demented '50s Sci-Fi themed, psychedelic Surf Punk of Man Or Astro-Man? and twisted into cheery Pop anthems. I Only Fall In Love With Scientists is the opening track from what I think was their only album and it's the perfect introduction to the band's good-natured shout-along nuttiness and memorable songs. Just give its rumbling guitars and swirling synths a couple of listens and be prepared to have the line "Nuclear Physics turns me on!" stuck in your head for a while.

Worriers - Curious
Taken from the 2020 album You Or Someone You Know
Based in Brooklyn, New York and around vocalist/guitarist/bandleader, Lauren Denitzio, Worriers are an intelligent blend of Indie Rock and Punk. You Or Someone You Know is their third album but the first I've heard and it really impressed me, Curious being one of the standout songs for me. It's a lively track that's possibly about subconsciously falling/being coerced into religion by society when you're struggling to get your head around life. I might be wrong about that, mind. 

Volcanova - I'm Off
Taken from the 2020 album Radical Waves
This Icelandic trio are a fairly recent discovery for me, as Radical Waves was only released a couple of weeks ago. It's an enjoyable slice of catchy Stoner Rock with a ton of satisfyingly heavy, headnodding riffs and grooves. All three members of the band contribute vocals and there's plenty of shoutalongable gang vocals to be found.
The first minute of I'm Off is sparse and gentle but eventually, the big riffs kick in and away we go. It's a simple ode to getting shitfaced with your mates. Or by yourself, whichever... There's a lot of excellent new Stoner bands around at the moment and Volcanova (see what they did?) can easily hold their heads up high among them, Radical Waves is an impressive debut album.

ZOMBIESHARK!  - Synthetic City
Taken from the 2020 album I Will Destroy You, Myself, And Everything I've Ever Loved.
As I always tend to be, I was drawn in by the ridiculous band name with no real expectation other than it probably wasn't going to be Ambient Folk. They describe themselves as Cyberdeath and it's a very electronic blend of Grind and Metalcore, they often remind me a lot of Fear Factory, particularly their remix album Remanufacture, as it's very much more the Electronic side of them rather than the Metal. It's brash, noisy and a whole lot of fun if you like shouty, bleepy crap. Which I do.
From what I can gather, rather than a full band, it's mostly a one-man project by a chap called Cory Swope from Philadelphia. He's cool, you should check out his stuff.

Concept Car - I Miss The Mountains
Taken from the 2020 EP Luxury Interior
Another one-man Electronic project now, though one with a very different approach. I Miss The Mountains is an uplifting, cheerful slice of whistleable Synthwave. Given that Fraser Stewart (the Scotsman behind Concept Car) appears to be a keen hillwalker, the carefree, wistful nature of a song about mountains makes a lot of sense. To be honest, I'm not generally much of a fan of this type of stuff but I really love I Miss The Mountains and the whole EP is a decent listen.

Nø Handøuts - Surf's Up (808)
Taken from the 2020 album EP Nervous Laughter
A few posts ago (Mix #52 to be precise) I featured a rough demo by this band and was all set to review their debut EP but a couple of setbacks occurred. Firstly the BLM protests and riots delayed the release of Nervous Laughter. Being a multiracial, politically motivated, American band they were understandably deeply affected by what's gone on and chose to hold off for a while. Unfortunately, during that period, the website I was reviewing for, Down The Front Media, decided to shut up shop. Again, understandably so but for reasons that it's not my place to talk about. 
Now Nervous Laughter is out, and Surf's Up is probably my favourite track from it, although all four songs are really good. It's a slower song than the others and there's an ominous venom to that bassline that runs through it. I love the way the song builds, through the shouted pre-chorus, into the main chorus and that mean riff that follows it. There's some cool drum fills towards the end of the   All four members are proficient at their craft and play well off each other.

Nø Handøuts are one of the most exciting, inventive and driven young Pop Punk bands I've heard in quite some time, and at the time of writing, they're donating all sales to the Black Visions Collective charity. If you want, you can buy the EP and read a bit about BVC on their Bandcamp.

Android Superstation - All There Is
Taken from the 2020 album This Side Of Nowhere
Android Superstation are a quartet from California and play an eclectic hybrid of Alternative Rock, old school and modern Prog. This Side Of Nowhere is their debut album and one that I've really enjoyed. It's a concept album (with an accompanying comic) about a boy in the distant future, either abandoned by his parents or orphaned, who joins a military academy run by some decidedly shifty folks with mysterious plans for him.

 All There Is is a song about hope and ambition in a rigid and mundane life and wanting more for yourself. I hear a lot that sounds like Muse in their music if not the vocals particularly, It's a grand, complex epic but still hooky and commercial sounding with a memorable chorus. If maybe you'd doubt their progginess then check out the lengthy, extravagant but ace piano solo from Heather slap bang in the middle of the song. Rick Wakeman would be proud.

Jaded Eyes - Be Not Like Them
Taken from the 2020 album Call Of The Void
Jaded Eyes are a bunch of seasoned Punk veterans from Leeds, UK who have lost none of their bite over the years. Call Of The Void is their furious third album and it combines elements of Punk and Hardcore, as well as the classic Dischord Post Hardcore sound here and there too. Steve's vocals are a harsh, rasping bark that reminds me a lot of Lou Koller's from Sick Of It All. While Jaded Eyes slam, there's also melody under the fury and, dare I say it, a vulnerability too.
Be Not Like Them tears along with Steve bellowing "The true terrorists among us wear five grand suits!" on the chorus and so far so Hardcore. However, there's occasionally a weird, jangly guitar melody that jars against the rage then, by the end, it takes over completely, the fury drops away and the song reaches it's stomping finale. It's an unexpected end to the song but a brilliant one all the same.

Penny Orchids - The Day The Circus Fell Down
Taken from the 2016 album No Maps
Like Jaded Eyes, Penny Orchids also hail from Leeds but approach their music in a much different way. They're a Dark Cabaret band and deal in telling stories and fables that, more often than not, involve tragedy, as evidenced in this haunting tale of circus-based death and sorrow. Guitarist Sam and Keyboardist Katie alternate lead vocals from verse to verse in a way that works well. That addition of Katie's vocals helps to stave off the inevitable Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds comparisons too because they're musically similar as are Sam's voice and delivery.
No Maps was the band's last album but a new song has appeared on Bandcamp, it's Name Your Price with all proceeds going to the Refuge charity. Hopefully, there'll be a new album too at some point.

Petrol Girls - Big Mouth
Taken from the 2019 album Cut & Stitch
Formally based in London but now living in Austria, Petrol Girls are a modern Punk band with strong political and feminist ideals, Cut & Stitch is their second album and expands on the raw aggression of their debut, Talk Of Violence, with a little more experimentation and spoken word sections, etc. Big Mouth deals with the fact that women, and other marginalised groups, are expected to just take whatever shit society or the Government throw their way and, if they have the audacity to complain or disagree, they're treated like dissidents. There's a nice little paraphrasing of Poly Styrene's "up yours!" quote midway through that highlights how things have still only partly improved even forty years later.

Death By Stereo - Free Gun With Purchase
Taken from the 2020 album We're All Dying Just In Time
Death By Stereo seems to have been knocking around for ages now, I had their CD Death For Life back when that came out, fifteen or so years ago but lost touch with them after that until I listened to that CD again and tracked down the rest of their stuff. We're All Dying Just In Time is their seventh proper album and first since 2012. In the past, their song titles have always been dark and morbid but this album seems to have lost the humour or previous albums and is much more serious. Whether that's been a natural thing or a result of the current political climate in America I couldn't say.

The music is still a fantastic blend of crushing, old school Hardcore and Skate Punk and Free Gun With Purchase deals with America's weird combination of gun worship and devout Christianity as well as it's skewed sense of moral values (love thy neighbour, unless he's dark-skinned, a woman, likes a willy in his bum or just dresses a bit funny) The furious breakneck verses contrast with a slower, almost Gothy, anthemic chorus that serves as a cry of defiance and solidarity. 

The Anti-Queens -  Not What It's Worth
Taken from the 2019 album Self-Titled
The Anti-Queens are Punk n' Roll band from Toronto who've been around for about a decade but this was their first full album. it's (as are the preceding EPs) full of some great songs. There's a ton of hooks and catchy choruses but Emily Bones' snarling vocals give them some bite too. What it's Worth seems to be about being in an abusive, domineering or toxic relationship and coming to realise that you're better than that, The main guitar line in it is pretty cool but really reminds me of something else, something I can't remember and it's driving me insane!
They've recently done an isolation cover of Nirvana's Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge On Seattle that's worth listening to if you're also missing the comfort in being sad. HERE it is.

The Winstons - Ghost Town
Taken from the 2019 album Smith
This Italian trio are a peculiar mix of Prog, Psychedelia, Jazz and Indie Rock, their third album, Smith, Is a mental, trippy and fun listen. I'm not entirely sure how or where I discovered them, I had their album in my iTunes with no clue as to how it got there, I can only assume I downloaded legally purchased it as some point and just forgot. Anyway, it's really good and this song that initially drew me to it when it popped up on shuffle. a calming intro leads into a cool, organ-led riff but it soon head off into flute filled psychedelia that either sounds ace or nightmarish when you're tripping off your tits.

Tankengine - Banshee
Taken from the 2020 EP Tankengine Tankengine
This Geordie trio feature a couple of formers members of a band some of you might remember called Yourcodenameis: Milo that were moderately successful ten-fifteen years ago and follow a fairly similar direction to YCIM's experimental Post-Hardcore but are edgier and harsher with a sound the band describe as Textural Sophisto-Rock. There are elements of Art Rock, Noise Rock and Drone all going on in there but with enough melody to offset the abrasiveness. Banshee is one of their more straightforwardly rocking songs but is still an entertainingly challenging listen with various bits and bobs going on. I hear a lot of Mclusky in there, particularly in that half shouted, half spoken dual vocal line. It's a cool song from a great new(ish) band.

Taken from the 2020 album Emily And The Blackouts
Emily And The Blackouts combine sleazy Hard Rock, Rock n' Roll and a bit of Horror Punk to create some good time, dirty music that's a lot of fun. Slam Into Me is longer and slower than the rest of the album but it's catchy with a nice little hummable riff. Lyrically, it's absolute filth. It's about raw, dirty, spontaneous sex with no emotional attachments. There's such touching romantic imagery in lines like "Clean me off and then get lost". Awww. 
Fun fact for fellow Ska nerds: Guitarist, Eddie Casillas and drummer Jerry O’Neill are former members of Ska veterans, Voodoo Glow Skulls.

Taken from the 2020 album Dream Nails
This entertaining little song take influence from the strong femininity of '90s Riot Grrrl but also the twee cheerfulness of older bands like Nikki & The Corvettes and Girls At Our Best! and it's a pure joy to listen to. DIY is a bright, lively song that made me snort with laughter at least a couple of times. It's essentially just a list of things women don't need a man to that, traditionally, they'd be expected to. While the song is just a bit of fun, it also has a strong feminist message and the closing line of  "You are good enough, you are strong enough, you are smart enough" is a really important and encouraging one.
There's a video for this song that's just as charming and hilarious as the song itself that you need to watch too.

Pizzatramp - Stop Being A Racist Cunt
Taken from the 2019 album Grand Relapse
Talking of important messages, here's one from these Welsh, lighthearted, Thrashy Skatepunkers that I really wish more people would take heed of. It's not even that hard! It's not like Veganism where there's no more bacon butties or Pepperami, you just have to not be a knobhead. Life's hard enough at the moment without being angry about stuff you don't need to be angry about. Lets all just calm down and have a nice cup of tea.

Whirling Hall Of Knives - Laid To Rust
Taken from the 2020 album Sabre
Though they take their name from a Butthole Surfers song, Whirling Hall Of Knives don't sound anything like them, creating harsh, often unsettling electronic soundscapes. Laid To Rust is the opening track from this Irish duo's current album, Sabre, and is probably the most listener friendly track on there. It's still an evil, creepy wall of noise that sounds like the soundtrack to a Post-apocalyptical wasteland haunted by malevolent spirits. It's one to play your 'Oh, I listen to all kinds of music' friends.
They don't seem to have a Facebook page so I've instead linked you to Cruel Nature Records' page. They're the really cool DIY label that's released Sabre and a few of their other albums. There's some info about WHOK on there as well as their other, equally niche acts. Check them out!

Murderbird - Shining Star
Taken from the 2019 album Pillars Of Creation
I discovered this Swedish band earlier in the year when I reviewed their song Inferno for Down The Front (RIP). I loved it, tracked down the album and loved that too. They're kind of Contemporary Metal given a Classic and Power Metal sheen. There's big chunky riffs and grooves plus massive hooks and anthemic choruses. Their, ahaha, shining star, however, is vocalist Tobias 'Toob' Ekholm who has a fantastic voice. It's powerful and soaring enough for the Power Metal wailing but never sounds over the top or histrionic and he has a unique tone that I love. So yes, gush, gush, gush etc.
Shining Star is a good example of what they do, with all of the above elements on show. It's about a man who gets life advice from a mysterious, scruffy old man that turns out to be *SPOILERS* himself from the future.

Something To Do - It's Not Funny
Taken from the 2018 album Design For Living
If you've been following these blogs for any amount of time, you'll likely have noticed that I've always had a soft spot for Ska Punk, I make no apologies. Over the last few years, it seems to have been having a resurgence with a lot of new, young bands cropping u as well as the older groups. As I say, I've always listed to it but over the last couple of weeks, I've been playing an absolute ton of it. I don't know if it's the sunny weather or just that life is so crushingly depressing at the moment but I don't seem to be able to get enough happy parpery lately. 
One of the new bands I've found that have particularly stood out are this bunch of Wisconsinites. They've got a few albums but this, their most recent, is the pick of the bunch. Every track is top quality and I struggled to single out a song from it for this mix. It's just great, memorable songwriting with a lot of entertaining, flowing vocal melodies and big hooks. This track is about putting down your partner to make yourself look funny and the harm it does The verses bounce along and there are some nice backing vocals in the chorus that are slightly unusual too.

The Gits - Spear And Magic Helmet
Taken from the 1992 album Frenching The Bully
The Gits are a band I've been aware of for a couple of decades now, as they're tied in with Grunge history, but not one I'd ever really listened to until earlier this year. They released two proper albums and a couple of odds n' sods collections and dissolved following Mia Zapata's horrific rape and murder in 1993.
Like several of those early Grunge bands, they were heavily influenced by Punk but mixed it up with sludgy Garage Rock, Mia's distinctive, aggressive vocals are right at the forefront and her rage is palpable as she spits her venom at the focus of this song. I originally picked this song because of the magic helmet thing but it's a great song and one that's weirdly prophetic as the focus of her hate in it is another rapist.

Molly Tuttle - Olympia. WA
Taken from the 2020 album ...But I'd Rather Be With You
I do love an unusual cover and Bluegrass star, Molly Tuttle's version of this Rancid song is definitely peculiar. For all the contrasting styles, it works and it works well. She plays it pretty straight and thankfully not as a slow, delicate ballad, That's not to say she plays it they way Rancid do, but it's one of her more upbeat songs. Her voice sounds fantastic and is bolstered with some nice backing vocals courtesy of Old Crow Medicine Show's Ketch Secor.  Olympia, WA is one of my favourite songs on what's one of the best and most important Punk albums of the '90s and I think she does it justice
I've been meaning to include a track by Molly on the blog for a while now and when her new covered album dropped and I saw this song on it, I knew what it was going to be.

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