Turn Up The Volume’s 20 BEST TRACKS – SEPTEMBER 2023

Best of the best of September 2023.



1. ‘Crystal Closet Queen’ by PIXIES (Boston, US)

(Photo by Turn Up The Volume)

To celebrate the late genial, eccentric-looking, allround musician Leon Russell,
a 10-track tribute album came out last week, titled A Song For Leon.

Boston’s noise icons Pixies also feature on the LP with their blustering version
of Russell‘s 1971 classic boogie woogie cracker Crystal Closet Queen, which
Black Francis and Co turned into a classic boogie woogie punk cracker.



2. ‘Dick In Thanks’ by MORLOCKS (Sweden)

2023 photo by Krichan Wihlbor

Dick in Tanks will feature on the band’s forthcoming
album Praise The Iconoclast, out 6 October via
Metropolis Records

It all starts with warning war sirens, marching soldiers chants.
90 seconds later, it’s all hens on deck when this industrial rock
missile erupts with a blitzkrieg fierceness.

Think Rammstein and NIN having a fight with riot guns. Menacing growls and howls suggest imminent danger and when the clamorous chorus crashes in, it’s time to
go to the battlefield. Midway, all need a breather in order to put fuel in the tank and continue the supersonic attacks will all burners on. War can be fun, in case Morlocks
lead the troops.

Jump in your own tank
and kick dicks’ asses.


3. ‘Eureka!’ by THE VANITY PROJECT (London)

This queer art-pop duo launch their debut longplayer named
Never Should Have Come Here, next week, on September 29.

Eureka! is the third shared piece from the album.

It combines the madcap vibrancy of Sparks‘ early days and some flipped-out
Queen bombast. The Vanity Project produce eccentric pop pleasure, sonically
and lyrically, without mainstream restrictions.

They sound kooky and look kooky, but make no mistake, this tantalizing tandem
know perfectly well how to fabricate and construct high-freak-quality entertainment.

Bring on the album.



4. ‘I Want More’ by XTR HUMAN (Germany)

XTR HUMAN is the solo project of German artist Johannes Stabel.
So far he recorded/released 3 albums. Check them out here.

Now he has a new single out, titled I Want More. An EBM brainbreaker that makes
your head spin uncontrollably. An electronic gloom and doom hammer blow to smash
capitalist pigs with.

The accompanying video, directed by German filmmaker
Matthias Landenberger, is an eye-catching spectacle.



5. ‘Better Than Life’ by GRRL GANG (Indonesia)

Last week this young, most exciting Indonesian trio unleashed their ablaze debut album, baptized Spunky! More about it in an upcoming interview with Turn Up The Volume.

One of the standout tracks is Better Than Life.

Angeeta Sentana (vocalist/songwriter): “Being diagnosed with any mental disorder is
not a nice thing to have. I’m still in the process of accepting it as a ‘normal’ part of my life,
but there are times when I would feel super down about it.”

Better Than Life races and rushes for 90 seconds with all engines on. Its razzle-dazzle tempo makes you dizzy, while angry guitars and scary screams in the back have the
force to kick evil demons into oblivion.



6. ‘Making Me Mad’ by JEEN (Canada)

Canadian rockin’ songstress Jeen‘s sassy single will feature on her new,
5th full length, titled Gold Control, coming our way in February 2024.

Making Me Mad is a mid-tempo burst going up and down, swinging your mood from left to right and back, while you ask yourself if the mind-crushing demons will still haunt you in the end. Human nature stuff, as we know it. I swear I can hear the young out-of-her-head Courtney Love in the back.

Press play.


7. ‘Danse Macabre’ by DURAN DURAN (UK)

Glam and glitter legends DURAN DURAN have no intention whatsoever to retire.
They canned album number 16, baptized DANCE MACABRE and they will share it
with the world on 27 October.

Danse Macabre is a funky/groovy earworm that combines Goth, psych-o-tic darkwave,
and some hip-rap-hop fragments. Ace. This year’s Halloween will be different, Duran Duran are different, it will be a horror-tastic party.

Here’s why.


8. ‘103’ by THE KILLS (US/UK)

(Photo by Turn Up The Volume)

It’s been 7 years since iconic blues-rock duo THE KILLSAlison Mosshart
and Jamie Hince – had their last longplayer out with the first-rate Ash & Ice.

Until a couple of weeks ago when the charismatic tandem announced
the launch of their 6th LP. It’s titled GOD GAMES and comes our
way on 27 October.

The tantalizing tandem already shared three cuts from the longplayer.

I’ll go with 103.


9. ‘Love And Misery’ by DEAD LEVEE (Canada)

These manic motherrockers are all about raw and rough, rip-roaring racket as they let your stereo experience once again with this mend-bending riff monster. Think Metallica covering Guns N’ Roses. Thundering drums, crazed wah-wah guitars, hell-raising vocals, and a slam-bang, scream-along chorus. All ingredients you need to get up, stand up and fight for your right to be a hedonist.

Let’s rock.


10. ‘Down’ by pMAD

The moniker of Irish musician Paul Dillon
featured here on TUTV several times before.

He just revealed his new turbulent 4-track EP Sword.
Stream/buy it here.

My favorite piece is Down.

The lyrics paint a vivid picture of the emotional turmoil that arises when personal safety and self-worth are threatened, reminding us that until we confront these issues, the cycle of suffering will persist. However, with the power of self-reflection and a realisation of life’s value, one can choose to break free from the cycle and reclaim their self-esteem and identity.

Down is an ardent bona fide punk-rock ripper going
full steam forward with all sonic cylinders on.

Listen up.


11. ‘Heartbreak Kid’ by THE VACCINES (UK)

(Press photo)

The celebrated British indie rockers prepare for the launch
of their 6th LP, titled ‘Pick-Up Full Of Pink Carnations’.

And here’s the lead single.

A vaccination that boosts your mood immediately.


12. ‘Fade Out The Fear’ by EWAN MaCFARLANE (Scotland)

As I read firstly that the song’s theme was about fighting mental illness
I could relate before I heard it, as I struggled with bipolar problems myself for
years. It’s a drag that messes up your life in a hard-to-explain way. Always good
to hear emboldening music that arouses hope for everybody out there who experienced/experience those burdensome feelings.

Ewan Macfarlane‘s mighty voice is the star on this wholehearted Springsteen-esque
rocker. Americana ardency the Scottish way delivered with dedication, fervor and arousing electricity and when the loud and clear chorus hits your speakers it feels as if he wants to eliminate the fear with sonic assertiveness and confidence. Superb stuff.

Here we go.


13. ‘Somewhere’ by JOHNNY MARR (Manchester, UK)

be launched on 3 November. Pre-order info here.

The compilation will also feature this new guitar pop gem,
titled Somewhere. A sickly sticky tune that made my day
on the spot.

It’s a sickly sticky tune that made my day on the spot, which
happened/happens so many times with Marr‘s killer instinct
for thrilling tunes.

Here comes the messenger.


14. ‘Don’t Do That’ by SHAW’S TRAILER PARK (Brighton, UK)

This Britsh alt.country/Paisley Underground-inspired collective
released their self-titled debut album last month. Stream it here.

The band’s roots are in the same North London rockabilly/country-noir
scene that gave us the likes of Gretschen Hofner, Gallon Drunk and
The Flaming Stars.

The standout album opener Don’t Do That is a riff-rotating roller
dominated by high-voltage guitar electricity with feverish vocals.

Let’s go.


15. ‘A Feather Of A Pigeon In The Cave Of The Wisdom Of God’ by LIGHT BY THE SEA (The Netherlands)

Back in 2019, the Dutch duo released their notable debut
full-length ‘Only Death Makes Iocns’. Discover it here.

With this new piece, they deliver another intriguing pop symphony.

Scintillating electronic bliss, beautifully orchestrated.

The accompanying video is a classy and subtly sexy visualization.



16. ‘Date Night’ by LOSSLINE (Manchester, UK)

Lossline is a Manchester-based singer/songwriter tandem who, as they state themselves, love to write sad songs. So far they filled two affecting albums with sad beauties. Check them out here.

To be honest I’m a sucker for heartfelt lullabies/ballads. And that’s a musical mood territory Lossline excell in, which they prove once more with Date Night. Although, sonically here they combine tranquil lullaby intimacy – mesmerising piano play and near-whispering vocals – with fully orchestrated passion, winning your heart over second by second.

Probably the best-ever Lossline piece. It should have been – no, I’m not joking – a bonus track on The National‘s new bewitching album First Two Pages Of Frankenstein. I’m sure you get the vibe at work here by now.

Pure pearl.


17. ‘Route 36’ by MORPHINE RIDGES (Berlin)

Morphine Ridges is a new liaison, based in Berlin, led by Andreas Miranda (Lucy Kruger
and the Lost Boys, Third Sound, Ex Camera) blends dark country riffs with lap steel
guitar sliding through the cracks of shadowy vocals.

Route 36 is a gloomy ballad for the twilight hours, when reality and fantasy
get together and your dusky thoughts float somewhere in the middle. It’s a murky
mind-wanderer, with vulnerable vocals and melancholic guitar lines, triggering
darksome images on your head’s inner screen.

But unexpectedly, near the end, you’re awakened from your hallucinatory
state of mind with a wall-of-flabbergasting-electrical disturbance leaving you
behind, totally puzzled. What a bone-chilling debut this is.


18. ‘Saccharine’ by TEEN IDLE (New Jersey, US)

Photo by Samantha Abdelbarry

Teen Idle is the musical project of New Jersey singer-songwriter,
producer, and multi-instrumentalist Sara Abdelbarry.

She shared her bittersweet debut album with the world today.

It’s named Nonfiction. Play it here.

For all lovers out there who realize that their relationship is over the LP’s opener Saccharine could serve as a comforting, mid-tempo synth-pop vibration that breathes hope for another future. After a smooth, Eastern-like-guitar-resonating intro a trippy bass riff and rhythmic drum touches take care of the song’s steady (heart)beat while Abdelbarry‘s crystal voice sounds sorrowful and reflective.

Somewhere in the middle, a heart-warming saxophone comes on (think of soul
diva Sade’s hits) and gives the song a matching melancholic feel that endears.



19. ‘One More Time’ by BLINK-182 (California)

Press photo

Californian veteran rockers BLINK-182 got
together with their classic line-up last year.

There’s no stopping them now. A new album is canned. It’s named
and will make the massive army of B-182 fans
go nuts on 20 October.

A candlelight ballad.

Melancholic, romantic and heartfelt. Millions of fans
around the globe will sing along with tears in their eyes.



20. ‘Excommunicated’ by NOBODY (Finland)

Photo by Mikke Strandberg

Nobody is a one-man dark acoustic prog folk
rock act fronted by Tuomas Kauppinen.

Two weeks ago his new album, called Hyperborean Ecstasy
came out. Listen here.

Opening musing Excommunicated an introspective ‘I don’t belong here‘ reverie.
Think Nick Drake and Elliott Smith. Intimate and heavy-hearted accentuated
by his moody acoustic guitar play.

It’s a shadowy contemplation for quiet
moments when melancholia hits you.


See/hear you next month, music junkies

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