The English indie quintet Flashfires released their latest single on the 7th.
FlashFires do not try and complicate their music with anything extraneous. Manshark is a four and a half minutes track that brims with confidence and swagger.
Manshark is a track to enjoy either whilst nodding just head in time, or stepping around the room as the quintet provide a track that has some very smartly taken beat shifts, taking the number from off-beat to on-beat without missing a step. There is plenty of melody to keep the ears happy, whilst sufficient impetus to keep the body moving. Guitars are extended in well considered closing refrains, whilst the song opens with a drum that kicks the audience into activity. The vocal switches give the piece different tonality, which matches the progression of the music.
Manshark is a track to add to the good mood party playlist and marks the continued development of FlashFires who are deservedly gaining greater traction and appreciation.
This has been in my in-box since January – my apologies to the English angst-rock band White Ape, Sotones Records and you for the late delivery of a review of EP Pig’s Head which was released on the 4th.
Introduced back in 2014 as a Rock ‘n’ Roll outfit White Ape have gradually changed Brothel Creepers to 14 Hole DMs over the years with material of more scathing socio-democratic perspective culminating thus far in an EP which for those who follow the politics of the UK will immediately raise an arm in the air with the title ‘Pig’s Head’, or a scowl of indignation – depending on which side of the fence one brawls – for those less au-fait – bear with me and it will all become clearer.
Fucking A Dead Pig’s Head the opener to the EP has to be my pick of the release as it reflects of a story surrounding the current Prime Minister of the UK. More than that the track has a wonderful hip sway that will find you skipping around the dance-floor in joyful footstep as strung out guitar slings loops around the room.
The track which raises White Ape above previous material on Pig’s Head is One Of These Days You’re Going To Get Yourself Killed as they play around with variable tempos threading inside one another and discovers previously unearthed compositional abilities.
Next is the immediately provocative anti-State Religion stance of Barabbas with a pulverising percussion that stamps holes in the walls as the bass bustles supporting pillars and the chorus finds the guitar and vocal joining in and inviting the audience for more leverage to bring the architecture tumbling down. How could I not think you should spend more time to listen to the track than read my words.
Closing the four track EP with Believe in which White Ape bring back those footsteps of rock-a-billy which they play so well and the listener finds themselves in shoe-shuffle to a condensed percussion that thumps off the ceiling in cantankerous mood, a track that reminds me of I Just Can’t Be Happy Today by The Damned and therefore an absolute pleasure to hear.
White Ape have been able to deliver a release from which any track could be the pick of the release – to my mind this should be a quadruple A side single, then I would have had a rationale to share every track with you – I think by now you will spot – even if you are not a regular reader – I am quite fond of the music of White Ape.
The Greek indie-synth artist Σtella released the single Works For You on the 22nd.
Σtella – Photo by Peter Nikoltsos
With a more compact sound than previous material featured Works For You fairly skips out of the speakers like a spring lamb. Combinations of classical folk are jigged into coiled synths which gives the track a neo-traditional feel, with emphasis on higher registers and resulting in a number that freshens like lemon juice.
With emphasis away from the more melancholic deeper tones Works For You presents Σtella in a different light and whilst more commercially accessible, does not suffer from sugar-coating. Inevitably, I miss the more substantial sounds, but even given that, this is a song that I am more than happy to come back to more than once and add to the ‘evening with friends’ playlist.
The England based alt-rock trio Cable35 released a new single on the 17th – Uni Hangover.
Cable35 – Uni Hangover – artwork
Each time I return to Cable35, who sill retain strong links with Malta where they can often be seen playing, they have something new to bring to the table.
Uni Hangover has a much tighter sound than much of the material previously featured and although the pace and volume are less dramatic, Cable35 have lost none of their energy. The track launches from the speakers with an immediate hive of activity. The most notable change being the vocal, which blends inside the music far more than in the past, which is what gives the song its more unified feel.
Although Uni Hangover is not currently being released as a single to purchase it does appear that Cable35 spent some time in the recording studio towards the latter end of last year and I look forward to hearing what else there is in the cupboard.
The Sweden based gauze-gaze project Pokal was introduced last year.
The newest track to surface – Know Your Name.
Focused on very different energy to the initial introduction of Pokal, Know Your Name, initially glides across the room as though skating on freshly buffered ice with emphasis on the smoothly running blades of the synthetics.
There are the unanticipated stuttering steps which gives the output of Arne Barlindhaug Ellingsen its intrigue and out of nowhere pipes break the patterns of triangle and vocal giving the track an hypnotic bridge which stays in the mind. Thereafter Know Your Name girds its loins in a more compacted delivery with percussion become ever more persistent in a sound which grows more perpendicular as it progresses, before grabbing for hand-rail prior to recomposing and elegantly exit from the rink.