Toothpaste bring sparkling dream pop for debut ‘TV Years’

After lending their trade to a variety of musical projects in London’s indie scene over the recent years, Toothpaste sees Amol Prabhu (Vocals, Guitar), Daisy Edwards (Bass), Poppy Waring (Keys) and Sami Parisis (Drums) promising “minty fresh pop bangers” and “okayish oral hygiene”.

With their debut TV Years, Toothpaste bring us a slice of sparkling dream pop. From the slinky guitars to the gorgeous and velvety synths, frontman Amol Prabhu’s idyllic vocals glide over the instrumentation exquisitely as he explores the detachment between people in the post-modern world in which we inhibit.

A dazzling, vivid and memorable listen, Toothpaste have not only released a brilliant debut track, but have also shared one of the best dream pop tracks of the year.

By Liam Egan

Photo by Max Phythian

FEWS Share New Single ‘Metal’

After the release of LaGuardia earlier this year, FEWS have shared another track titled Metal. Another descent into a sinister and twisted abyss, Metal is further indication that FEWS’ next project will be a much darker.

Both these tracks follow their incredible debut record Means, which was released last year.

FEWS are also set to tour with a string of live dates, two of which are with Pixies

27th July, Trades Club, Hebden Bridge. UK
29th July, Kendall Calling, Kendall. UK
7th August, Kelvingrove Bandstand, Glasgow. UK (w/ Pixies)
8th August, Kelvingrove Bandstand, Glasgow. UK (w/ Pixies)
16th September, HopPopHop Festival, Orleans. France

Liam Egan

5 Ways King Gizzard Beginners Can Prepare For The ‘Murder of the Universe’

Now approaching their 12th project since their fruition in 2011, getting familiar with King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard’s discography can be a daunting task. Whilst all their material is full of wonderfully brilliant and bonkers ideas, the sheer amount of content can be overwhelming for a beginner. This begs the question, where to begin?

With Murder of the Universe arriving on June 23rd, now is the perfect opportunity to grab onto King Gizzard’s psychedelic reigns and succumb to their mind-altering garage-rock.

1. Start with I’m In Your Mind Fuzz and Nonagon Infinity 

Murder of the Universe makes up the final piece to what many refer to as the Nonagon Trilogy. The other parts of said trilogy are King Gizzard’s 2014 release I’m In Your Mind Fuzz and last year’s Nonagon Infinity. Not only do the three LPs share album covers that depict the same place but at different points in time, IIYMF and NI also the two King Gizzard records that share the most sonic qualities with Murder of the Universe – with some songs even referenced note for note as King Gizzard deliver psychedelic pandemonium.

Thunderous, manic and flat out brilliant, I’m In Your Mind Fuzz and Nonagon Infinity are the perfect entry point for Murder of the Universe and it’s story. Which leads to…

2. Gizzverse

Much like Marvel’s Cinematic Universe, some fans theorise that King Gizzard have something similar called the Gizzverse. Believing that all of their albums exist narratively in the same universe, even King Gizzard themselves have confirmed that this is the case. An apocalyptic tale of destruction and malice, head over to the King Gizzard subreddit to truly blow your mind.

3. Try Eyes Like The Sky

One key motif of Murder of the Universe is that it features spoken word. However this isn’t the first time the Melbourne outfit have tried this, their 2013 record Eyes Like The Sky was their initial attempt. A short story that takes place in the Wild West, King Gizzard said this album was born from their love of Western films, bad guys, evil guitars and Red Dead Redemption.

4. Buy the record on vinyl 

Another staple of King Gizzard is the plethora of editions each vinyl release receives. For Murder of the Universe alone, there’s already an upward of 6 different vinyl pressings. These range from brilliantly named Vomit Coffin Edition to the Ashes Of The Universe press. So what are you waiting for? Empty your bank account and snap up every version!

5. Join the fans

In recent months, King Gizzard’s online community has grown exponentially. From the King Gizzard subreddit to the King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard Official Fan Page on Facebook, these communities are incredibly active. With content ranging from the latest news to King Gizz shitposting, this is the final way to become an certified Gizzhead.

Liam Egan

‘TOPS – Sugar at the Gate’ Album Review

After the success of 2014’s Picture You Staring, Montreal’s TOPS moved to LA to write their much-anticipated follow up. Described as a “teenage fantasy” by vocalist Jane Perry, Sugar at the Gate was recorded in a mini-mansion and former brothel in which the band were living in. But with this new setting and high expectations, has it affected TOPS’ psyche?

Arriving with the skeletal beat of Cloudy Skies, fluttering guitars transcend as Jane Perry’s celestial vocals glide into a sea of enveloping synths. Perry’s exquisite voice carries onto Further, which finds TOPS really pursuing the soft rock tag as luscious keys nestle next to velvety percussion. Seconds Erase, with its halcyon instrumentation, is utterly gorgeous and fits perfectly next to the flute embellished I Just Wanna Make You Real.

However, TOPS make sure to not compartmentalise themselves to this aesthetic across the record. The sensual Marigold & Gray is full of groove, whilst the lyrical delivery of Cutlass Cruiser has a low-key attitude running throughout. Dayglow Bimbo is full of lo-fi sounding guitars and Topless even has an almost trip-hop vibe to its beats and atmosphere.

As for the album’s bona fide centrepiece, that’s where Fleetwood Mac-esque Petals comes in. A sun-kissed journey down California’s west coast, this laid-back yet driving ride really captures the band’s relocation to LA.

With Sugar at the Gate, TOPS’ ability to craft such an eclectic bunch of tracks is a real testament to their existence. Setting them apart from the plethora of indie rock bands that have become far too comfortable with their sound, TOPS have refused to remain stagnant and have created a record that, not only thoroughly belongs alongside the rest of their discography, but also opens up numerous avenues in which they can explore in the future.

7/10

Liam Egan

The Horrors Share New Single ‘Machine’

Following 2014’s Luminous, The Horrors have finally shared the first bit of material off of the band’s presumed fifth album.

An industrial soiree into the heart of darkness, Machine gives an early sonic indication of where The Horrors are heading musically.

Alongside the release of Machine, The Horrors have also announced a small London show at Omeara for July 11th.

The rest of The Horrors live dates are below:

6th July, Parvis de l’Hôtel de Ville, Paris. France
11th July, Omeara, London. UK
13th July, Portamerica, Caldas de Reis. Spain
14th July, Henham Park, Southwold. UK
19th August, Hostess Club All Nighter 2017, Tokyo. Japan
26th August, Hellow Festival 2017, Monterrey. Mexico
30th August, Zona Dogana, Treviso. Italy
30th September, Victoria Warehouse, Manchester. UK

Liam Egan

‘Ulrika Spacek – Modern English Decoration’ Album Review

Every year there’s always a handful of albums that pop out of nowhere and end up being some of the year’s best. Hidden gems that rise through the ranks and give the world hope that we won’t be subjected to the plethora of banal indie landfill for the rest of our lives.

One album that fits this hidden gem bill is The Album Paranoia by London psych-rockers Ulrika Spacek. Released early last year, this wonderfully brilliant debut experimented heavily with krautrock and shoegaze. This has resulted in Ulrika Spacek quickly becoming one of the UK’s most intriguing bands and they have even had Slowdive singing their praises.

Now just over a year since the release of The Album Paranoia, Ulrika have returned with Modern English Decoration. Recorded, produced and mixed entirely in their shared house in East London, does this album live up to last year’s efforts and can it help propel Ulrika into the deserved spotlight?

From the off, Ulrika’s leanings to krautrock are ever present. Mimi Pretend is a steady and melodic krautrock jam that wouldn’t have gone amiss on TOY’s debut record, whilst Silvertonic ensnares you with its mesmerising outro. Elsewhere on the LP, the title track Modern English Decoration is incredibly woozy and feels like you’re tripping out after too much cough syrup. Full of Men is one of the album’s most interesting tracks, with its subtle build and satisfying pay-off.

Dead Museum arrives with a swaggering fuzz filled introduction and eventually transforms into a thick and sludgy colossus. Everything, All The Time is similar with its wicked and evil guitar lines. Resulting in a fuzz laden onslaught towards the track’s climax, Everything, All The Time is easily one of Ulrika’s best tracks to date.

Saw a Habit Forming‘s vocals warble like a track off of King Gizzard & The Lizard’s album Quarters, as they melt into a bed of guitar pedals and effects. Ending on stark and piecing metallic guitar strokes, Saw a Habit Forming bleeds into Victorian Acid. With a menacing bass and twisted vocals, Victorian Acid plays out like My Bloody Valentine thrown into a blender with a bunch of screws and bolts.

Unfortunately, there are moments where Ulrika fall short. The rather forgettable Ziggy gets lost amongst the rest of tracklisting and, by the time Protestant Work Slump rolls round, it already feels somewhat familiar.

Whilst not as immediate as their debut, Modern English Decoration is a brilliant next step for Ulrika. Though it may seem like they are covering tried and tested territory at times, Modern English Decoration is an intricate, sharp and utterly rewarding listen. Honing their sound and paying homage to their clear list of influences, Ulrika Spacek are on their way to greatness.

7/10

Liam Egan

Childhood Announce New Album ‘Universal High’, Also Share Single

Childhood have announced that their sophomore record Universal High will be released on July 21st via Marathon Artists. Releasing almost three years after their debut Lacuna, Universal High was written by frontman Ben Romans-Hopcraft and produced by Ben Allen (Gnarls Barley, Dirty Projectors and Animal Collective) in Atlanta.

The first track from the album, Californian Light, was also shared with the album announcement and can be found below – alongside the album’s tracklisting and pre-order.

 

Universal High

unspecified

  1. A.M.D.
  2. Californian Light
  3. Cameo
  4. Too Old for My Tears
  5. Melody Says
  6. Universal High
  7. Understanding
  8. Don’t Have Me Back
  9. Nothing Ever Seems Right
  10. Monitor

Pre-order: Physical, iTunes

Liam Egan