ENDLESS UNSTOPPABLE TUNEZ IS BACK, BABY!!! I know it’s been hard. You’ve been lost, haven’t you? Without this venerable blog to make your tastes, where do you go? What do you do? Listen to your old records? Whatever, loser! You do that while the cool kids read our sweet recommendations blog and discover what music I didn’t know about that they already did.
Na, all jokes aside, apologies for being quiet on the auld bloggo the last few weeks. We said ENDLESS UNSTOPPABLE TUNEZ in particular was going to be a weekly do but, as so often happens, life gets in the way. Nevertheless, we’re back on the scene and keeping it keen with some hot stuff recommendations. As ever, this isn’t necessarily a new music blog, just a blog of music I hadn’t heard 7 days ago. That said, it’s been a few weeks so I’m bending the rules a bit this time and including stuff I heard up to 3 weeks ago like an absolute MADMAN. Let us begin…
Cold Water Swimmers – So Young
Anyone who knows us knows Cold Water Swimmers are great pals of ours. Anyone who knows us also knows there’s no room for nepotism on this blog! ‘So Young’ is the new single from Manchester’s male-fronted tune machine and it sees them further explore the breezy, glistening Guitar-Pop territory they first traversed last summer with the gorgeous ‘Be My Sunshine’. CWS do stuff like this gloriously well. There’s a real heartfelt tenderness running through the veins of ‘So Young’, with shimmering-yet-jerky acoustic guitar providing a glittering base to a soaring riff that sounds like a fresh breath of mountain air, all undercut with urgent, stripped-back drums. A call-and-response vocal provides an endearing element of sweetness, overall making for an insistent, affecting earworm of a number. It marks another fine milestone in the evolution of a band who keep throwing up surprises and stokes the flames of excitement for their forthcoming debut album. CWS are a band of many shades – deceptively complex, defiantly honest and constantly surprising. Listen to this and be warmed. It’s a real stunnah.
Facebook – @coldwaterswimmers
Instagram – @coldwaterswimmers
Twitter – @coldH20swimmers
FilthyDirty – Straight to Hell
For those unfamiliar (Bensplain alert), FilthyDirty is the sleazy, lascivious, irresistible frontman of Preston’s own masked bass monsters Evil Blizzard. Fans of ours will know just what an influence Evil Blizzard have been on our sound, particularly on our earliest releases like 97/91. With the news arriving of auld Filthy’s debut solo album anticipation on the Farm was rife. The album’s lead single offers a tantalising, sickening taste of the nightmare to come.
‘Straight to Hell’ pulses with menace. Malevolent, hypnotic bass and drums drive forward a track that builds slowly throughout, unfurling gradually to reveal a hellscape of ferocious, whirling guitars. It is a masterfully arranged track made all the more unsettling by Filthy’s vocal, which crackles with dark wit, sidling right up to your ear and straining to purr into your soul. Stoic in the face of the flames that surround it. Yeah, basically, I fucking love this track and can’t wait for the album. Offshoots of Evil Blizzard have generally been amazing (check out Singer/Drummer Side’s other project One Sided Horse) and FilthyDirty’s debut looks set to add to a grand canon.
Facebook – @evilblizzard
Instragram – @evil_blizzard
Twitter – @oneofevilblizz or @evilupdates
Wu-Lu feat. Lex Amor – South
This might genuinely be the track of the year so far. Dark, visceral and uncompromising, ‘South’ begins with a catatonic acoustic guitar riff looped over a gigantic, Chemical Brothers-esque beat that conjures a powerful intensity. The track simmers and seethes, with Wu-Lu’s vocal lingering with bad intentions, hovering like a kestrel waiting to attack. The arrangement builds and builds, turning up the tension to an unbearable degree. Once the attack happens, the song explodes in full colour with an absolute monster of a chorus – a primal, pained, outraged scream that rages in the face of the corrupt power structures that keep us subjugated and separated. This is a vital, magnificent piece of work. ‘South’ ends with a laconic verse from Lex Amor that provides a stunning contrast to the intensity of the rest of the track. A Staggering piece of work.
Benefits – Flag
Benefits are the most important band in the country right now and Flag is another example of why that is the case. A startling, raw, despairing fightback against the statue-shaggers, the poisoners, liars, killers, Brexit fetishists, destroyers and cowards in power. A devastatingly articulate dissection of performative patriotism and toxic nationalism that is the most succinct, righteous explicit address of the state of things I’ve heard – ‘this place stinks of old wars, subservience, semi-final defeats, god and flags’. This is a genuinely breath-taking song from a band who radiate power. Where other ‘political punk’ bands have failed resolutely to step up to the plate in the face of the carnage this country has wrought on itself, Benefits are as real as it gets. Flag marks a watershed moment for them, putting them alongside Sleaford Mods and Bob Vylan as the most perceptive, effective, vital documenters of the misery that is Britain’s slow slide into Fascism. Incredible.