The awesome Various Cruelties have announced they are set to release their new single Chemicals on 3 October 2011. Following the success of their previous two singles Neon Truth and If It Wasn’t For You – which sold out after being sold online and through Rough Trade – the band follow up with this track.
A year in the making, Various Cruelties have supported Fixers, The Vaccines and Villagers already, and are set to play Bestival in September having made an impressive debut at Latitude and the Isle of Wight festival.
Good, honest music, we’re sure you’ll love this band.
New wave post-punk indie-poppers So What Robot are set to release their new single Girl Who Readson 22nd August.
Friends since childhood, the quartet hail from the north where they played in bands Odd Shaped Head (Rob and Paul) and Indigo Colony (Pip and Jamie) before coming together as So What Robot little over a year ago.
The band have been touring the UK in that space of time, establishing pockets of fans across the country. Now as we hurtle through the summer months, the group are set to release their debut single on 21st August (preorder here). Influenced by the likes of the Young Knives, Talking Heads, Adam and the Ants and the new wave/new romantic set of the late 1980s, So What Robot combine electronic synth pop with fresh drum beats and swinging vocal harmonies.There undertone of classic punk is not to be sniffed at either as these guys blend genres to produce a really fresh sounding and infectious number.
Falling under a similar umbrella as fellow northerners Mammal Club, Vinyl Jacket and Everything Everything, Girl Who Reads is a really great summer tune. Make sure you download it from 22 August online here.
Do you remember what real indie music sounds like? Before electro started creeping across the alternative charts, there was guitar music; snare drums;intelligable vocals.
You’d be forgiven for thinking those days were back if you’ve tuned into Dublin based band Funeral Suits recently. With their brand of rock music, they’re championing a return to the basics of indie music with their simple formulae of lifting guitar riffs, booming peddles and smashing snares. With their songs being described as the sound you’d get “if you left Chapel Club, Klaxons and Yeasayer in a room together, which, as odd as it sounds, kinda works.” That description’s not far off the mark, although I’d add Bloc Party in there for good measure with a heavy dose of Birmingham outfit The Editors.
Much as the likes of The National, Local Natives (who they’ve supported on tour) and the Macabees, Funeral Suits are answering the call to arms issued for simple, instrument driven music that doesn’t rely on over-production to conceal its flaws. Their sound is strong, and their credentials are likewise impressive.
Warehouse Republic are a four-piece blues-rock outfit from Epsom who’ve earned themselves comparisons to the likes of Oasis and the Beatles. Actress Rachel Hurd-Wood appears in the video for debut single ‘Revolver’ and follow-up ‘Not Today’ is out now. Before their acoustic performance at Camden’s Bar Solo, Creature stopped by for a chat over a couple of beers with Charlie, Alex, Ben, James to talk about their music, their name, and above all how they managed to get Rachel Hurd-Wood to star in their music video…
First of all, where did the name Warehouse Republic come from?
Charlie: It’s sort of like the spirit of freedom or rebellion from the old illegal warehouses. It’s about doing something against the tide.
So you guys see yourself as something different?
Alex: Well, we are different.
Charlie: We’re different from the mainstream, what the mainstream is.
You don’t want to follow what anyone else is doing?
Charlie: Not at the moment. It’s just generally a bit bland, you know? With all due respect to everyone, it’s more or less Topshop indie boys or electro or the X Factor.
Alex: There’s a kind of a magic when you step onstage and you’re not just stringing off songs that everyone’s heard on a CD. Too many artists do that nowadays.
Is that why you enjoy playing acoustically – it gives you a chance to re-work your material?
Charlie: Well, we literally just said we were going to improvise everything tonight! I think we’ll probably see how much we like it after we finish maybe. But I think the thing we’re really proud of is the fact we’re really good musicians; that seems to have been lost in a lot of modern music…
You only formed last year and already you’ve got a manager and a music video – what do you put such quick progression down to?
Ben: Hard work I think.
Charlie: I’ll paraphrase Gary Player, the old golf player: ‘the harder we work, the luckier we get’. We do work really fucking hard, you know? And we’re good, to be honest.
What were you doing before the band?
Alex: I wasn’t doing anything! I was on an extended gap year trying to find a band. Luckily this was the first band I applied to.
Charlie: I was a professional piano player for a bit, and I was in some bands. That’s about it to be honest.
How did you get Rachel Hurd-Wood to appear in your video?
Charlie: I had to sleep with her.
Andrei (their manager): To clarify, I used to have a photography studio and met Rachel through a photoshoot.
Charlie: That’s not true either! You got to know her through Alex.
Andrei: Oh yeah.
Warehouse Republic’s sound has been compared to that of some well-known bands, but who do you guys think you sound like? What are your influences?
Ben: Certainly bands like the Beatles obviously.
Alex: Led Zeppelin.
Charlie: Zeppelin. Zeppelin is probably the band’s band, if you know what I mean? Then the Beatles followed by the Stones.
Alex: We aspire to be as good as them.
Charlie: If you’re not aspiring to be them, you’re just doing it for the fucking beers or whatever.
You’ve been pretty unlucky with some accidents and injuries. How has that affected the band?
Charlie: We were so grateful to have each other anyway, if that makes sense? All that did was slow us down.
In particular Charlie, you had a near-death experience – has this influenced your songwriting? What’s your muse?
Charlie: Oh shit. Erm.
James: Most of the songs are about girls.
Charlie: No, not really. It’s deeper than that, a lot deeper than that. I like the kind of extremes in human nature. Most of its optimistic, the rest is spiritual – but not in a God way. There’s a new one called ‘Earth Calling Earth’ which is about looking-in on mankind from space. There’s also quite a bit of Aleister Crowley in there as well. He’s misunderstood.
You supported Dodgy recently. What other bands would you most like to support?
Charlie: Led Zeppelin if they reform. The Beatles – are they around still?
Alex: The Foo Fighters I guess.
What does the rest of 2011 hold for Warehouse Republic? What are you hoping for?
James: We’re releasing another single in October/ November time called ‘Turning Tricks’.
Charlie: We’re gonna do kind of a big gig to support that and we’re doing a really cool video. The girl who’s the central character gets her tarot cards read and then each band member will be what happens on the cards.
Any Hollywood celebrities lined up for it?
Ben: We can’t give you that information at the moment.
Charlie: Andrei genuinely is working on that on the moment.
Alex: Isn’t your cousin like Keira Knightley or something?
Sum up what Warehouse Republic is all about for us.
Charlie: Jimmy? I’m going to have to hurry you.
Charlie: I’m going to go with magic. We’re going with magic.
This week we have a guest-piece from one of our American Readers Joel Patterson from Mountaintop Records, New York who talks to us about why we should love his local blues act Holly & Evan. And he’s convincing…
Brutality, anyone?Holly and Evan have just finished playing one of her searing, original numbers, here in this crowded and hazy bar on a gritty backstreet down by the river. It’s titled ‘123’ and, like all of her tunes it’s built around a few simple words strung out over a few choice blues licks. “1,2,3, baby. It’s just that easy.” Stark and riveting, it sounds like some classic lamentation from the Delta.
The next one has a pounding, enraged rhythm. “Hurry up! Hurry yourself! I’m losing my mind!” Holly’s voice is effortless, a soft husky growl – her guitar playing struts and swaggers. Evan attacks his upright bass like he’s tussling with a schoolyard playmate, lurching to and fro, nearly strangling it, keeping up a steady slapping beat on the strings like a snare drum – he’s a whole one-man rhythm section. The two of them together create a slinky, irresistible, bobbing, swaying groove. But instead of stark rivets, the patrons here drone on oblivious, lost in their dreary Wednesday night.
If you’ve been paying attention, you’d realize these two have become a fixture on the local scene, but it seems like no one here has ever heard of them. (Such are the anomalies of local scenes – this thirty-something pair were described in one local paper recently as “that teenage folk-rock duo.”) There’s not even the smattering of applause that’s usually a reflex action. But the waitresses on their hurried missions toss them glances of heartfelt approval, and by the end of the evening a small crowd is dancing before the alcovish stage.
So this is Holly and Evan, 2011– finding their footing in a harsh, indifferent world- fragile, klutzy creatures obsessed with rootsy, lusty acoustic blues music. This is their story.
The pair met at an open mic night in 2009; Holly was looking for a way out of the pseudo-nightmare her life had settled into, supported by her second husband, with kids from a first marriage – a bitter detente that was nevertheless an improvement over the first marriage (betrayal, thievery, the whole soufflé.) She revived her guitar practice and started writing songs spiced with autobiographical lyrics. “I’d rather be dead/ by the side of the road/ than to spend one more minute of time/ with that man of mine.” A pivotal encounter with a video documentary of the 1930′s blues legend Robert Johnson opened up a whole world to her, with its charred landscapes of emotion and pain and without understanding much in the way of music theory, she taught herself to mimic the progressions and began to experiment.
Evan had been in various bands – as lead and sideman – since high school and was at the open mic with his bass guitar to accompany a friend. “This girl plays two songs, one of them’s good,” he remembers being told. Evan actually liked the other one, the one with a slick key change. He volunteered to play with her and even if that first performance was a disaster, they found an instant rapport, showing up at open mics as a team, texting constantly, each of them finding in the other a perfect cohort and partner and not to get too sappy about it, a friend.
Two years later, they are playing a steady gig-and-a-half a week. Evan’s Hyundai Accent gets packed like a game of Tetris with his bass, Holly’s guitar, and all their various and sundry PA and gear; a briefcase with “Holly & Evan” stencilled on it; the latest preamp/direct box Evan’s fashioned for Holly’s guitar; copies of their live CD, while Evan slaves over the studio debut, scheduled for the fall, using real tape and vintage gear he’s personally rebuilt.
Not every single gig has cash rewards, but well-attended and karmically blessed shows will net them $100 apiece on a good night. Their monthly gig as the house band at a New Orleans themed restaurant is less but includes dinner and gives them steady exposure. The intelligensia of the venues they play at have no trouble recognizing that something’s happening here, but by the same token, they don’t have a bunch of screaming buddies traipsing to their shows and riotously whirling around like dervishes, like the “cults” surrounding some of their contemporaries. Beyond these gigs, neither of them is technically “employed,” so the support of their families is the linchpin and accelerator pedal and automatic transmission of their career.
Evan’s mom has been tireless in seeking out opportunities and radio airplay and promoting them – relentless in a good way – unfazed by the often baffling inconsistency or downright craven bastardry of the people she has to deal with. There are bitter ironies involved in playing music for fun and profit – the joys and rewards of performing and the grim real-world bartering- -overlapping, in infinite shades of greyscale.
Why should you love Holly and Evan, British readers who’ve never seen them play? You should love them because they don’t really know what they’re doing. They pursue their goals not always objectively but always passionately, and they are fun to watch. The time is ripe for a stipped-down, back to basics approach to music. And this revolution will be televised.
Got a band that you love and think everyone else should too? Tell Creature about it!