Following up the release of our ‘Already Heard Recommends: Volume 2 compilation’, we’ve decided to resurrect ‘Something for the Weekend’ to provide info on the bands featured on the release. Guiding you through each band and speaking on behalf of the site is Assistant Editor Aaron Lohan.
If your label, band or company would like to become a guest writer for Something For The Weekend – contact Rosie Kerr to find out more information.
I first caught wind of Walleater when I saw them open a show at an underground jazz bar between a corner shop and a nightclub last November. A dodgy sound system caused hazy opinions from me, but the potential was there. The same could be said about their demo ‘A Masking Aura’. A creative spark was pretty much screaming out, though it was yet to be unearthed. By April this year, the band unveiled their first official self-titled record, produced by Bob Cooper; it’s an absorbing listen and one of the finest EPs of 2014. Walleater specialise in placing the warmth of shoegaze within an absorbing alt rock structure. This isn’t an uncommon thing in this age, yet
Walleater do it seamlessly by the flick of a switch. The EP isn’t the only thing to convince you, but also their live show, especially when the setting is perfect for them. I watched them swell the walls with fuzz last July in a small living room. Combined with the ecstatic crowd, it was a superbly orchestrated DIY show to behold. Last month they finished recording a new record, working with Bob Cooper again for the second time. Chances are this record will be brilliant.
This Nottingham quartet are still a fairly young band, nevertheless they’re onto a pure winner. Bluebird mould intricate math rock with delicate and endearing emo. Now I know what you’re thinking, a gazillion (if such a number exists) bands have done this style to the point where it’s died from overexposure. The fact is though Bluebird are quite brilliant at it; they know what it takes to make this style sound good, furthermore they might hold the key to revitalising it. Debut EP ‘Giraffidae’ (wrong animal guys!), released by Wolf Town DIY last year, was a solid start to their career, sowing the seeds for emo lovers’ new favourite band. You’re probably wondering why I’m so optimistic about this. Well, the emo punks clasped my attention as if they caught a butterfly with the song ‘Prey’. Taken from their recent 10” split with Sleepers, alongside ‘Predator’, it’s got all the qualities for a great song in this style, thus filling a Crash of Rhinos shaped hole in all our sad indie emo hearts.
About two months ago, after ManchFester 3, outside Satan’s Hollow in Manchester, I and Luke from Doctrines had a fairly drunk conversation with Woahnows frontman Tim Rowing-Parker. The former Crazy Arm bassist spoke fondly of his punk roots, but also expressed his desire for forming Woahnows in the first place; the desire to expand beyond the realm of punk through other musical outlets. For what it’s worth, this Plymouth trio have an incredible sound based on the two EPs they released thus far, ‘Foma’ in 2012 and last year’s ‘The Joy Disorder’. Woahnows engulf pop, noise and indie with a punk fire which is so addictively good that you’ll be relishing in the scorched earth created by their craft. For the past year, Woahnows have been busy working on their debut album, something which I have been personally anticipating all year. Our first tastes, ‘Life in Reverse’ and ‘Watching Accidents’ ensures Woahnows will be releasing a helter skelter LP next year. Mark my words.
London indie punks Doe have been a firm fixture in my consciousness since I saw them play a tight set over a year ago with Well Wisher (RIP), Great Cop, Doctrines and others. The intertwining guitar melodies and boy-girl harmonies are charming and familiarly wonderful; you’ll hardly notice the lack of bassline! Recently all of this trio’s EPs got neatly compiled on an LP put out by Specialist Subject Records; it acts as a look back at their continuing growth and a solid introduction to them as a band. Of course, the most important thing is the solid value of the songwriting itself. Doe are on the ball on how write anthems, like ‘Julia Survived’, a song shifting from quiet to loud in a sweetly fashion. What holds the harmonies from being too treacly is the underlying “umph” at heart; this ladies and gents is how you write great pop music.
One of my favourite moments in the DIY scene is when I come across a band who sound too impressive to be playing bars and basements. Noyo Mathis happens to fit such a description. This trio concoct math rock structure with melodious post hardcore/indie rock; this wasn’t perfected overnight however. Their 2012 demo and first EP ‘Tethers’ were nervously felt affairs yet the seeds could be identified under the musical microscope. Last year’s Animal Defence Records debut, the ‘Ages’ EP expanded these blue prints, showing a more confident band, even earning the trio a mention in our “Something for the Weekend” feature. ‘Ages’was full of calculating ambition and lean musicianship, containing a supernova bursting to explode. And explode it did, with latest EP ‘Endure’. I was thoroughly impressed with what Noyo Mathis accomplished on this release. This South Coast trio finally unfurled an unfathomable magic from the inside out. It features enticing riffs, bass and drums graciously moving from light to dark beaming with heart and soul, thanks to Toby Savill’s magnetic voice, giving Minus the Bear’s Jake Snider a run for his money. I, and I’m sure the rest of the team also, would be woeful if Mathis’ talents go unnoticed.
I was introduced to Axes through a friend, not an interesting way to discover a band, but it was the discovery itself which interested me. Last year’s debut mini-album featured crafty guitar sections and groovy basslines, colourful elements which dance in the most playful way. Whilst it was a fun record, the punk inspired lo-fi quality didn’t quite capture Axes’ talents, plus the ambition went a little overboard in parts. In contrast, their debut album
‘Glory’, released earlier this month, is a more accomplished effort. The stop and start mathematical core is still the beating heart, but now Axesexpand expansively on both mood and unknown territories on a much bigger scale. It’s tricky for instrumental music to convey emotion without language; however, Axes achieve this like the best in the business. The quieter parts feel reflective, whilst the heavier parts promote an earnest rage. In regards to the unknown continents they explore, the London quartet stray into hard hitting rock and experimental rhythmic time signatures. It’s a feast for the ears thus justifying their place as one of the best new British bands in the last couple of years.
Over the years, the likes of Kasa, Crocus, Ravachol, and more recently Vales, have established Cornwall as an unprecedented haven when it comes to birthing passionate screamo bands. Crows-An-Wra are the latest band to be added to this exceptional pantheon. Featuring former members of the aforementioned Crocus and Ravachol, Crows-An-Wra take screamo to a spacious new level. Following up a blueprinted debut EP, ‘Kalopsia’ is one of the freshest sounding debut albums I’ve heard all year. Socio-political themes are channelled along jangly melodic riffs, foreboding to turbulent atmospheres, and irrefutable futuristic intensity. All of which is neatly packaged by Lewis Johns’ production wizardry. I’ve yet to watch this band live, but as with their Barely Regal label mates Plaids, I’ve heard nothing but positive praise. Crows-An-Wra are one of those bands who make you feel grateful and giddy to be a music fan, so all I can suggest to you now is to submit to this post hardcore quartet’s progressive excellence.
In my opinion, Old Skin are the freshest sounding act in heavy music right now. This Manchester metallic hardcore band culminates crust, ambience, groove, and avant-garde into a unique experimental soundscape. Debut EP ‘Mære’, a favourite of mine last year, illustrated all these elements rather well, especially since it was produced by the ever growing Joe Clayton, who’s fast becoming a household name within the metal and hardcore community. Not only is the ferocity tasteful, but also the eclectic passion in innovating styles. Old Skin hasn’t done much over the past year, apart from the ‘:consume:’ EP, released for a limited time in the last week of May. A smart idea, especially when both songs were so damn good! One of those songs, ‘Snakeswallower’, is the track the band has contributed here. Perfect choice if I say so myself; sidewinding riffery and d-beat brutality is sure to unleash the beast inside you. So where do Old Skin go from here? Well, with former drummer Dan leaving to focus on other projects like Denim & Leather and Crywank, the band will now be joined by Derrick Flanagin from Florida hardcore group Centuries. Next, they shall begin recording their debut album next month. Based on the small yet strong output, I have a feeling we’ll all need new bodies as Old Skin seem ready to decimate us in the most interesting way.
The genres of post rock, stoner metal, crust and melodic hardcore have been amalgamated before, but never has it sounded as magnificent as this. Bristol quartet Svalbard are a band that I’ve been ranting and raving about for over the past year and a half. In 2013, their second EP ‘Gone Tomorrow’, plus the ‘Flightless Birds’ single, clearly roared out the potential this band had. My suspicions were confirmed once this year’s collaborative split with Pariso dropped. With help from esteemed producer Lewis Johns, Svalbard melted the ice caps holding their talent leading to a fantastic set of songs on their side of the split. The thing which makes me feel even giddier about how great a band they are is their live show. Never had I felt such power, passion and sheer talent emote in the warm, dark room of the Old Blue Last in London last July. It was cathartic; it was beautiful; and, sorry if I’ve used this word already, it was magnificent. Svalbard are only just beginning a grand legacy, this will elevate further beyond timelessness once their debut full length is released next year.
I’ve pretty much known each of these guys from 3 months to a year now. Furthermore, I’ve only been listening to their music for less than that! Plough Lines essentially take inspiration from the golden age of 90s indie/emo. Currently, the band features current and former members from Model Radio, Speedboat Salesman and FTWIHATHHTTS, as well as the recent addition of former Me vs Hero and current Doctrines drummer Ollie Bradley, who took over from Nai Harvest’s Ben Thompson earlier this year. The two EPs the band has released thus far are from the original incarnation. What you’ll find is moody, self-absorbed indie rock, lyrically looking within a social reflective sphere. There’s an ambition coming out from this Manchester quartet, potential yearning to be reached. New song ‘Lounge’ resonates those sentiments. It’ll be found on an upcoming split with London alt punks Nudes, who feature Saam from playlounge. If my calculations are correct, then they’re on the right track, so you, the listener, should be following them from this point onward.
Claw the Thin Ice
In 2009, Well Wisher guitarist Ian Breen began Claw the Thin Ice in 2009, as a means of putting out meandering drone filled ideas which didn’t fit in with his other band’s indie emo shenanigans. By 2011, after releasing several online records under the name, Breen decided to re-incarnate Claw as a full band / poptastic juggernaut. The line up to this day includes guitarist/backing vocalist John Simpson, bassist Toby Potter and former Beecher drummer Danny Jones. In 2013, the Manchester quartet released debut LP ‘Pony Walker’. Synth and drone still played a part, but they were moulded with other distinctive 90s sounds including Britpop, emo and a sprinkle of shoegaze. It was an accomplished result of contemporary pop songwriting, with an eclectic palette. However, it wasn’t quite there yet as there were a few tinks to be ironed out. Over a year later, with Well Wisher retiring back in February, the band is now gearing up to release their second album ‘Exercise’ for February 2015 via Barely Regal and Get into It Records. Claw’s contribution to this comp (‘Canada’) is an exclusive outtake from said album’s sessions. Basically, it’s a crackingly good B-side showcasing them as no one trick pony. If you’re hooked then check out the first single ‘Codeine’, which is a euphoric prog-pop gem; judging this, and the new material I’ve heard live, Claw the Thin Ice have no doubt bettered their last effort. They seem more focused, confident and self-assured as a band.
Over a year ago, I found Body Hound’s “progressive mix of math metal to be well honed” when I witnessed their first ever show. Despite finding gaps to be filled, I did believe there was further potential to be dug out of the mountain they spiralled. Such predictions were answered marvellously by the band’s first EP, the first release by Brain Wave, ‘Rhombus Now’. Of course, who could doubt the distinguished musical ability by current Antares and former Rolo Tomassi members? Drawing you in with post rock crescendos, which then shake your surprise all around with riffs sneaking into your head to spine joint, snapping it off and making it land with bass thuds. These mathematical tendencies are weighted by drums which ensure delivery isn’t a messy affair. This Yorkshire quartet are an instrumental cavalcade not to be reckoned with, so tread lightly when facing all future encounters.
The two piece band is a tricky code for all musicians to crack. The most obvious thing is a duo has to be good. Furthermore, if we want to go into semantics, the music has to lull you under a narcotic interesting spell. Although they’ve only released two songs, Manuals manage this rather well. I was first exposed to the band at the same house show where I last saw Walleater. Like their fellow Leeds peers, Manuals create a wall of distortion, but it is trapped with melody, whilst resting on percussive foundations. Watching, listening and indulging in this band makes you feel like you’re walking through a barren volcanic landscape. All the while, through the smoke and ash, you can just see sunlight breaking through the smog. Their first two-track release evokes such imagery I feel. It’s not much to go on, but this noise-emo style they play is a real treat. First song ‘In a Clean, Well-Lighted Place’ has got such dense layering to it you’d be a fool to think it lacks substance. ‘A Room of Our Own’ meanwhile begins with screams and static only to dissipate into twinkling crackled tranquility. Basically, I am certain Manuals will win over new fans with this winning formula.
The task of combining the grit with the poetic is not easy. This is where Plaids come in. Since 2012, this Nottingham quartet have been channelling their influences through the 80s DC revolution summer era. Near spoken rhetoric, fanatic punk tempos and raw passion; these are the ingredients for the band’s structure. They’ve produced solid splits with the likes of football, etc. and Xaxaxa, toured relentlessly across this island and the mainland, which leads us to now. Plaids’ self-titled debut full length is the best album of 2014 which the majority will never hear and that’s a damn shame. They take their previous influences and expand them with subtle space rock. It creates an energy that is both pedantic and soothing. The fact their songs are titled as numbers shows song titles are meaningless. The content is what counts and Plaids have the artistic DIY skills to produce great songs. Although, I haven’t seen them myself, a few of our writers confirm they are a special punk band to witness live. If you’re intrigued and made it this far, then I suggest you pick up a record and go catch them if they’re passing by your town.
Bonehouse are a band whose name I’ve known about for a while now, so I pretty much feel very silly for not getting into them sooner. When I heard ‘A God That It Points To’, the first cut from their debut LP ‘Tomorrow’s Worn Out Blues’, I whole heartedly knew that I stumbled on to something special. Here I am then sharing this special act with you. Bonehouseare a four-piece hailing from Dundee, they mine the most obscure yet earthly rich elements of emo, indie and post hardcore into a magnificent sound. The aforementioned album they just released flows seamlessly from near spoken rhetoric and intricate moments to escalating emotive cadences. On this record overall, Bonehouse sound masterfully professional in the most DIY way. Furthermore, I can imagine in the next decade many will attempt to replicate this phenomenal band; who could blame them? Bonehouse are sublime.
The Blue Period
From what I can gather, the Nottingham music scene is bursting with musical life right now. Aforementioned acts Plaids and Bluebird are proof of this, but if you need further proof then I urge you check out The Blue Period. Although still in their infancy, this indie quartet muster serene emotion in a sweetly lo-fi setting, making you swoon into submission. Their 2013 demo, co-released by Wolf Town DIY and strictly no capital letters, was a satisfactory start by the band. Melodically slowcore guitars, ample keys, touching harmonies and relaxing tones create the perfect mix in potentially great indie rock. However, this summer just gone, the band released‘300Hz’; this twee tune made my ears prick up and listen! It’s like riding along a tranquil carousel, so comforting and homely to the touch. Taken from their first official release, the 12” EP ‘And Suddenly the Days Draw Long Like Light-Years’, a lovely record which’ll grab your heart. Therefore I encourage you to let The Blue Period’s new record whisk you away.
Words by Aaron Lohan (@ooran_loohan)