“Is it real? Is it real?” asks Luciel Brown throughout this potent follow up to the thrilling debut “Fictional Decision” by Leeds-based trio Drahla – PopLib’s essential song of 2016.
The song is due for release in April on the Too Pure label’s singles club. Coruscating bass sets a platform for a typically cool and mysterious sing-speak stream-of-consciousness artful wordiness.
The song builds through dense layers of sonic energy as guitars buzz and menace before pulling back, introducing saxophone – some of the best wild skronking saxophone since The Stooges “1970” from their “Funhouse” album in fact – and then re-calibrating the volume for climactic ending.
It all adds up to a powerful statement and the fulfilling experience of a song merging elements of post-punk with art pop and noise rock and leaving some mystery and intrigue in its trail of beautifully dissonant noise.
The only band I can think of who may have been within striking distance of what Drahla are doing right now was Sonic Youth at the absolute apex of their dark abrasive melodic cool, around the time of their 1987 album “Sister”.
Young Hellions songs appear like ghosts sporadically, when you least expect them, and most need them. Here’s the splendidly fuzzed up, woozy new “Fractures And Cacophony” for your listening pleasure.
It’s a fine distillation of the most compelling elements of heavy shoegaze, gothic synth-pop and melodic grunge, weaving melodic pop hooks – and another great song title/ chorus phrase – through the sonic mass of abrasive and swooping guitar interplay.
Young Hellions is Auckland musician Maeve Munro (Bengal Lights, Cat Venom) currently based in Leeds, UK. If you’ve missed the back-catalogue check the first single “Best Witchcraft is Geometry” and the self-titled 4 song EP it was subsequently included on.
According to Muzai Records “Fractures and Cacophony” was to be released on 22 July. I’ll update this post with a link to any purchase options once they appear. Hopefully it will also be available via Muzai Records’ bandcamp page.
Moonpup – photo by Michael Bull
More rip-snorting sonic mayhem from Christchurch. This time it’s a new band called Moonpup, who release their debut EP of garage-sludge surf-punk tonight (Friday 24 June 2016) with a release show at Christchurch venue Darkroom. Here’s “Wolfgirl” from the EP:
“Wolfgirl” sounds like frenzied Sonic Youth crossed with UK 90s crusty Punk-Goths Skeletal Family (an old favourite). In other words, it’s superb.
Moonpup are Sophia White (Vocals/Guitar), Erica Mackie (Bass), Nick Glen (Lead Guitar) and Cameron Hoy (Drums). The whole of their Moonpup EP is great, if you like that kind of noisy messy noisy melodic punkish rock thing. Of course you do. You should give it a listen.
The opening track Seagulls is another early favourite here, sometimes carrying a faint whiff of the kind of noise-choas created by the punk/ New Wave bands from Wellington’s 79/80 scene, like Life In The Fridge Exists.