TURN UP THE VOLUME’s 20 BEST TRACKS – MAY 2023
The best of the best of the month
TRACK BY TRACK
1. ‘Boys In The Band’ by LAMBRINI GIRLS (Brighton, UK)
These feminist girls in a band unleashed their A.W.E.S.O.M.E
6-track EP last week. Buy/stream here.
And opener Boys In A Band is a motherrockin’ standout. A ferocious punk sucker-punch
to crush male machos with. Vocalist/songwriter Phoebe Lunny has 4 lungs and uses them mercilessly and bassist Lilly Macieira-Boşgelmez plays her 4-string louder than war.
Holy Lambrini smoke.
BEST BAND IN THE WORLD!
2. ‘This Just Ain’t My Year‘ by 32 TENS (Warrington, England)
This vigorous trio of young gunslingers speed full tilt ahead from the get-go.
No brakes, no breaks, no mistakes and creeping under your skin faster than you
can say ripsnorter. A whirlwind of scorching guitars, pounding drumming, a revolving
bass line somewhere in the middle, go-getting vocals, and a dynamite chorus. This is gonna be the year for 32 TENS.
3. ‘Lose My Mind’ by THE MANIC BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB (Canada)
“It’s a liberating, drum-backed anthem that allows the band to
break free from any stress or obligations in pursuit of a good night.”
Good times or bad times, it’s always (in)sane to lose your marbles while diving
into a hot let’s have a ball night, now and then, and go berserk. This manic master
blaster doubles your adrenalin production an make you feel flying eight
miles high while you jump from bar to bar, from club to club.
Hit the night.
4. ‘Prophecy Of The Dragon’ by THE VOIDZ (US)
The Strokes‘ frontman Julian Casablancas and his hobby band are back with this flabbergasting metallic stunner. It goes forth and back, left and right, slow and fast as if Casablancas and his misfits put several snippets of several songs together and puzzled them into one stupendous stroke of a belter.
5. ‘Divide’ by DRELLA (Bradford, UK)
The UK wasn’t so divided as it is now following Brex-shit, charlatan Boris Johnson
and the ongoing suffocating acts of the Tories. Like so many (young) Brits Drella
hate what they have to endure every single day. And they let it hear loud and clear
on this new stiff-necked wallop.
This is Drella‘s generation.
6. ‘Bogus Operandi’ by THE HIVES (Sweden)
The Swedish punk clowns are finally back with new stuff.
Their new LP The Death Of Randy Fitzsimmons, their first
in 11 years, lands on 11 August.
The first single Bogus Operandi starts slowly with some drum hits and some distorted guitars. But after 45 seconds the wait is over. From there on it’s full steam ahead with frontman Pele howling as we know for a long time now.
7. ‘Chastity’ by PUSSY RIOT feat. Boys Noize and Alice Glass
Expect a techno speedball with the
ferocious force of a drilling hammer.
8. ‘Emotion Sickness’ by QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE (Los Angeles)
The Queens, orchestrated by by mastermind Josh Homme have canned
their 8th LP. It’s titled In Times New Roman… They’ll launch it on June 16.
First single Emotion Sickness is a hammering and riff-rolling corker.
QUOTSA by numbers, but I like their numbers.
9. ‘In Lieu Of Failure’ by THE SMASHING PUMKINGS (Chicago, US)
The pumpkins released their three-part rock opera Atum in Three Acts
a couple of weeks ago. A total of 36 songs. I picked the 12 best, deleted
the rest, and guess what? I have a splendid new SM album.
This is one of the 12 gems.
10. ‘Monster’ by LONELY LITTLE KITSH (Canada)
This two-piece alt-rock act – Kristen Goetz (vocals) and Nolan Jodes (guitar/bass/vocals)
took their name from David Bowie‘s 1974 track Diamond Dogs: “…just another future
song, lonely little kitsch.”
Monster is the duo’s 2nd single. A monstrous cannonball going everywhere fast.
A post-punk eruption that resonates like L.A.’s celebrated Amazons L7 on speed.
Fasten your seatbelt.
11. ‘Three Hours’ by JOHN PARISH & ALDOUS HARDING (UK/New Zealand)
A Nick Drake tribute album is coming up. Parish and Harding are part of it.
The duo picked Drake’s 1969 composition THREE HOURS from his Five Leaves
Their take is a Krautrock-like-spinning masterstroke. It moves and grooves along
a hypnotic bass riff and a steady drum beat with doomy synths working their way to
the front. Mesmerizing and intoxicating while duet vocals float all over it, alluring and affecting. Special, really special
12. ‘Depression Breakfast’ by JAPANESE JESUS (Ireland)
Depression Breakfast follows the first cranked-up single Tension and is the title
track from their upcoming 5-track EP which will see a digital and 12″ vinyl release
The tone is poignant and disturbing in an intriguing way. As we know, artists can do great things in case of a distressed state of mind. Despite the dark lyrical context Depression Breakfast‘s guitars cut like a Swiss knife just as troubled soul Lou Barlow (Sebadoh/Dinosaur Jr.) does with flaming force when he rocks out to expel his demons. Japanese Jesus can work cathartically too for all of us who haven’t a pink view on reality these days. As we know too, sad music can work deliberating.
Cry in your cereal”
13. ‘Spinning Plates’ by CHARLOTTE CARPENTER (UK)
Spinning Plates is a piece from this British songstress’ upcoming debut album.
Carpenter: “There’s a lot to unpack in this song. From societal pressures on the roles you are meant to fulfill as a woman, alongside the struggle of keeping up a relentless positivity to being a musician – and how impossible it is to ever get the balance between the two. Our anger is justified and our stories worth sharing. ”
It’s 2023 and still a lot of male machos and sexist pigs operate in the music
industry, and not only there. Horrible. Carpenter seems to try and fight these
awful demons with this emotive power-pop stroke gem. Spinning Plates is an
infectious guitar/drum-energized stomper with her room-filling voice standing
out upfront. At one point she slows down, only to restart the magnetic groove.
14. ‘Stand For Something’ by INFINITE SONIC (Columbia)
“Born in Bogotá. Built to be Global.”
When I heard this earworm for the first time, I could swear that this pop pearl
is a previously unreleased track from U2’s recording sessions for their 1987 masterpiece LP The Joshua Tree. Stand For Something has that majestic grandeur of the Irish heroes’ idiosyncratic sound with The Edge‘s magical guitar play lifting their hits to epic heights.
No, I’m not kidding. What Infinite Sonic does here is what rhapsodic pop is about. I just looked outside, it’s a beautiful day, and if you still haven’t found the tune you’re looking
for this might be the One.
15. ‘Won’t Let You’ by LOST IN JAPAN (Canada)
“A song about not accepting the harsh truths we all need to face sometimes.
Getting lost in some other distraction to ignore the hard task of acceptance.”
Following previous punchy single From The Start these Canadian Londoners nail it again with this new avid crackerjack that turns up the ardency every time when the catching chorus crashes in after the tension is built up in the verses. Firm guitars, a fired-up rhythm section, and fiery vocals. All ingredients you need to make your ears happy.
Today London, tomorrow the whole of Canada.
16. ‘Bricks’ by BY FAR (Belgium)
This Belgian unit was founded in 2017 by singer-songwriter Jacob Vermeire
who needed a way to express his feelings and found it in his music.
Bricks is their debut single.
It’s an emotive introspection wrapped in a glorious melody that strikes your ears
from the kick-off. An arousing gem that resonates like a vibrant Americana song of
veteran songsmith John Mellencamp and the poppy moments of Violent Femmes. Strumming guitars, infectious flow, impassioned vocals and an uplifting chorus.
A top-notch pop thrill that elevates restless minds, by far.
17. ‘Rango’ by SCARS FOR DAVID (Belgium)
Rango is the band’s debut single. A dashing slice of music. It combines a toe-tapping reggae groove with a bluesy chorus and somewhere along the way, an Eric Clapton-like guitar solo cranking up the vibe. Cool, right? Unquestionable. This is the kind of full of pep tunes that get you through the day while shaking your hips. The singer sings at one point “There’s No Space For Happines“. Don’t worry be happy, you scored a notable debut.
18. ‘The Lender’ by TRISTAN ARMSTRONG (Toronto, CA)
“The Lender‘ is a song about surviving in the city. And these days, as any urban
dweller will attest, there’s much to overcome. Armstrong‘s new song is a deceptively
joyful reflection on the struggles of living in a concrete jungle. Evocative of Springsteen’s chronicling of life on the fringes of society, “The Lender” is a track hiding hope in desperation.”
This is captivating Americana the Canadian way. Great voice, great melody, great musicality, and the vocal resonance and swagger of the late great Tom Petty. Amstrong strums his acoustic guitar the way the Eagles did it endlessly and The Lender‘s bluesy-country feel has both a melancholic and yearning sensitivity. These are tunes that stick instantly, the ones you play for a while.
19. ‘You Don’t Have A Choice’ by EASTER ISLAND (Athens, GA)
“You Don’t Have a Choice’ is an indie rock song that evokes an ethereal and moody atmosphere through its intricate instrumentation and emotive vocals. The introspective nature of the lyrics is matched perfectly with the melancholic and contemplative instrumentation, resulting in a dreamy and haunting soundscape that encapsulates the overall mood of the song.”
This a moony and radiant beauty, an amplified musing with crystal guitar sparks
reminding me of NYC darlings Interpol‘s 6-string galvanism. A gripping heart-and-soul touching reflection with mesmeric vocals for tranquilizing moments. Magic.
20. ‘I Thought I Understood’ by THE UNDERGROUND YOUTH (UK)
On 18th August these cult post-punks, led by Craig Dyer
launch release their new full length, called Nostalgia Class.
This is the first single. Pure UY. A moony meditation embedded in a gripping,
melancholic melody that rings in your yearning ears from the first spin. There’s
a sparkling rotating riff that invades your head and stays there. Magical melancholia
with, of course, frontman Dyer‘s shadowy vocals completing the darksome sonic
picture as we know it.