Archives for posts with tag: The Fall

SachetIt’s been a while since we checked in on Sydney underground pop label Strange Pursuits. Turns out there’s a log jam of snappy punk-edged melodic garage-pop waiting for our ears. Here’s the thrilling staccato blast of Sachet with “Melted Wires”:

It says “First ‘single’ from debut LP ‘Portion Control’ by Sydney outfit Sachet. LP due August 2017 on Strange Pursuits.”  On the strength of “Melted Wires” that Sachet LP will be top of the PopLib shopping list come August.

Sachet are Lani Crooks and Sam Wilkinson of Day Ravies along with Nick Webb and Chris Anstis. “Melted Wires” continues in a similar vein to the compulsively melodic earworm guitar-pop template perfected by Day Ravies on their fabulous “Liminal Zones” album, but now stripped back to barking guitar, sparse keyboard, crunching drums and voices.

It’s cracking stuff – the guitar in the verses evokes the spirit of Dr Feelgood’s Wilko Johnson and the song charges along with the feral energy of an early Fall 7″ with Crooks delivering a crisp and threatening vocal.

Perfect as all that sounds, the chorus flips the song into lush melodic pop with layered vocal harmonies. Add in an instrumental bridge pulling post-punk shapes and angles, and you’ve got the kind of inventive bittersweet garage-pop genius which makes you hit ‘repeat’ again and again. Can’t wait to hear more from Sachet.

 

 

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drahlaI love the random acts of discovery that come via Bandcamp and people doing the simple act of sharing a link to something new. Sometimes what you hear invades your brain so quickly and completely that resistance is futile and you click ‘buy’and pay more than the asking price just because it is that good. Like Drahla and “Fictional Decision”:

It’s a simple idea. Bass, drums, voice and that quiet/loud dynamic we are familiar with from Pixies songs. Part spoken/ part sung/ part chanted words and phrases that are strange, mysterious, threatening (and also as artfully abstract as cut-up Broadcast song lyrics), are a familiar concept to minds perverted by years of the free-form imagination of Mark E Smith in The Fall.

But on this song by Leeds based trio Drahla these components – familiar concepts from post-punk and noise rock – are assembled and delivered in a way that allows them to take on new life and provide an an electric shock.

Maybe it’s the way that when the guitar comes in LOUD it’s just a blazing storm of dissonance and beautiful abstract fury. Maybe it’s the way that bassist/ guitarist and vocalist Luciel Brown maintains an air of indifference to the setting in which her incantations are delivered. Classic tension and release.

Either way, I’ve played this a dozen times tonight and all I can conclude is that I’ll be playing it another dozen times tomorrow… and after that as well.

Postscript: There’s a wonderful lo-fi synthpop/ artpop split release with Swords from a year ago which has two songs from Drahla. “Stereo Maze” gave me flashbacks to an old Amos & Sara cassette tape from a long time ago. The post-punk art-pop spirit is clearly strong in this band.

And then there is this enigmatic “teaser” for something I’d love to hear more from:

CrumbsCrumbs is a punk/ lo-fi/ post-punk band from Leeds UK, consisting of Ruth, Gem, Jamie and Stuart. That’s all there is to know. That’s all we need to know. “On Tiptoes” is the 2nd song on a 5 song release called simply “demos”

The five songs are all somewhat rudimentary constructions built around rumbling basslines and crunchy guitar, sounding like live practice room recordings, as you might expect with that “demos’ title.

Despite the superficial rough-around-the-edges nature of the songs each is satisfyingly different from the other and all pack an undeniable DIY pop-craft charm, with rattling-good post-punk structure and momentum.

“On Tiptoes” is built on a big pushy Steve Hanley-ish bassline but this isn’t The Fall. The song is reflective and melancholy, with Ruth or Gem singing “hope this message reaches you” – and instructing or admonishing “mind your manners, when it matters, always be kind, never ever undermine” in a voice that sounds more like its channeling deep regret and sadness – or perhaps cynicism – than anger.

It’s all very mysterious, and all the better for that. In a world of overcooked, glaringly obvious pop, a bit of mystery and anti-style no-shine grit is a wonderful thing to lose yourself in for a bit.

 

 

 

 

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“New Chemical Light” is a song from one of the finest albums you’ve never heard by a band with a name you won’t recognise although you will most likely be familiar with its leader.

The album the track is from is called “Enter Castle Perilous” – a raw, clattering, fractious and brilliant collection of songs. The band is called Factory Star. The album was released in 2011.

The songwriter, guitarist and vocalist in Factory Star is Martin Bramah. Bramah was was a founding member of The Fall in 1976, co-writing and playing on The Fall’s debut album “Live at The Witch Trails” before leaving the band in 1979 as a result of Mark E. Smith’s treatment of band members.

After The Fall Bramah went on to form the great cult UK post-punk psych-rock bands Blue Orchids, along with original keyboard player in The Fall, Una Baines. Blue Orchids released “The Greatest Hit (Money Mountain” on Rough Trade in 1982 along with several singles and EPs.

Bramah was the only former member of The Fall to be re-hired (in 1990 for the “Extricate” album and tour). And, predictably, sacked again.

“I got back to my hotel after our last date in Oz, to discover that the band had been moved to another hotel – and there was a letter waiting for me at the reception desk, from Mr Smith, telling me I was too good to be wasted in The Fall, and my services were no longer required.”

[Read the full interview in the Spinoff]

Blue Orchids became Nico’s backing band for a few years in the 1980s, broke up, reformed, continuing on and off through various line-up changes into the 1990s and 2000s, when their first album and compilations of the singles, EPs, and radio sessions were released.

“Enter Castle Perilous” could have been released as a Blue Orchids album. If it had, it would have been heard by many more people than it did being released under the Factory Star name.

“As for Factory Star – I wanted a fairly plain sounding name that I could make my own – something that would give me room to move, musically speaking.”

Read more about “Enter Castle Perilous” and a subsequent 10″ mini-album called “New Sacral” along with the background of Factory Star in this great interview at The Spinoff with Martin Bramah.

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