Here are some of my 'Forkast' picks for the website Pitchforkmedia.com in the month of September.
Birds Of Delay- “The Screaming Veil”
Luke Younger and Steven Warwick met at the front of a Royal Trux show in London longer ago than they care to mention. Soon realising that they shared a love for messy hardcore punk and power electronics they decided to put their strange ideas on to tape with whatever were the nearest instruments that they could find. With Vile and Whitehouse as primary influences it is hardly surprising that the music they created was in turns engrossing and horrifying.
They have toured the UK, Europe and the US with appearances in locations as diverse as rooftop anti-capitalist demos in Copenhagen to successive slots at the annual convention of all things abrasive: No Fun Fest. A slew of releases have been spat forth on tape, CDR and vinyl on labels like Troniks, Not Not Fun, Aryan Asshole, Hanson, American Tapes, Steve’s own Alcoholic Narcolepsy imprint and about a million others that not even they can probably remember. Having lived in each others pockets in London, Leeds and Nottingham Steve now calls Berlin home while Luke studies Sonic Art in London but they still have time to get together and drone out apocalyptic hymns attuned to the sound of a baby universe dying as a shuttle slowly rumbles away in the background like they have in this little track here.
Florence & The Machine- “I’m Going Down”
Young Florence has a voice. There are a lot of voices around. Reliable old guard voices like PJ and Cat as well as quirky new voices like Joanna and Marissa. Florence is perhaps closer to the smoky, confident intonation of a Scout Niblett than the cuckolded charm of Ms Newsom but it is in her voices unique ability to carve a little niche for itself that lays her power to captivate. It strikes notes, fails to waver in pitch and has an ability to catch a fleeting melody with a deftness that makes you want to whistle and jump.
Barely in her twenties and skipping out on a Fine Art degree at South London’s Camberwell College (where she used to make paper men trapped in jars accompanied by reasons why they were inside their glassy coffins) Florence’s ‘Machine’ consists of the band that makes the music behind her. On occasion she has performed solo and has a tendency to acappella along to her own self but as of late she has been accompanied by former Test Icicle and current Lightspeed Champion Dev Hynes although this particular track features sometime backing machine Mathew Alchin. Beware! A voice to captivate indeed…
Johnny Foreigner- “Our Bipolar Friend”
Johnny Foreigner are from Birmingham which is sort of like a big industrial blotch on the middle left hand bit of England. They recently played at an East London monthly to a bar full of Shoreditch hipsters who were probably too busy watching the waist size on their neighbours Cheap Monday’s to pay much attention to any music that was played on stage. The band came as a breath of fresh of air. Not only because they looked nothing like the people watching them (they sort of dress like they have gone back in time to the mid 90’s when dressing like the “Amazing” guy from the Fast Show was cool) but because their music stank so heavily influence.
The key was that this pong was of influences that 99% of young British guitar bands are not even aware of let alone have the ability to ape. No post-Gang of Four stop starts, no post-Libertines jangle, no post-Turner and Allen ‘social commentary’, no post-Klaxons keys and punk funk. Wow! Here was a band that had listened to ‘Emergency & I Plan’ and actually knew where We Are Scientists got their name from but with the added twist of anglicising these mathy, frenetic melodies and urgent rhythms into something refreshingly listenable. They should be received well on their upcoming support slots with Meneguar in the UK.