Pretty Ghouls

Asia Mock (Vocals), Sarah Stawski (Guitar) and T.J. Ghoul (Drums) from Detroit in the USA combine to form the garage-thrash trio Pretty Ghouls.

Pretty Ghouls - Thrash-garage from the USA

Pretty Ghouls

After a few reviews of quieter moments – time to turn the speakers as loud as they will go and then kick them to ensure you have all the traction possible and then hit play for the distorted sounds of Pretty Ghouls. There is nothing to do other than join in with the destruction and mayhem of the chaos which licks its way into the room.

‘Rock-a-billy meets its match’ may have been a more appropriate genre descriptor. Brevity is their watchword and unravelling the name of their one and only EP – the live recorded four track – Dead At The Dandy Teen Club (available on bandcamp) takes almost as long as the just over seven minutes it lasts.

Pretty Ghouls don’t attempt to be anything other than who they are, musicians who enjoy creating noise, of as much joy to the wider world, their carefree attitude is precisely the injection of energetic enthusiasm that the world of music needs and long they may continue to generate their concise perspicacity.

Long live rock and roll in the hands of the likes of Pretty Ghouls, I am off to find the blue suede brothel creepers that are an essential to accompany Outlaw Blues.

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KOALa? and the K-Holes

Rory Gillespie, from San Bernardino in the USA uses the alternative-acoustic vehicle KOALa? and the K-Holes to deliver his diary of whimsical thoughts.

KOALa? and the K-Holes - alternative-acoustic from the USA

KOALa? and the K-Holes

Contemplating daily issues KOALa? and the K-Holes has an extensive catalogue and the prolific out-put of random issues of consternation sees no slow-down in pace.

This is not music to listen to when you are looking for easy melodies, rather when feeling somewhat irritated and in KOALa? and the K-Holes you will find a companion in thought as the sketchy structures stomp around the room in sympathy and calm the flaring mood as the infectious self-deprecating joyfulness of railing lyrics rammed into spaces they don’t fit, set to arbitrary pace and volume changes, warm their way into the mind.

The world of music needs more of the likes of KOALa? and the K-Holes and although it will not be a sound that many feel has merit, to those who do, such as myself – there can never be enough material to listen to as it brings a sense of scale to frustrations of life.

I am reminded of Edward Lear where the abstruse creative process and delivery leaves imprint stretching far beyond the moment of consideration.

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The Bijous

The duo of Emma Boltz (Guitar / Vocals) and Reilly Shellito (Drums) from Akron in the USA form the dark-rock band The Bijous.

The Bijous - dark-rock from the USA

The Bijous

The open spaces of kick-bass, floor tom, snare, hi-hat and crash cymbals in combination with a low slung lead guitar and expansive vocal allow The Bijous to believe you are listening to far much more.

The duo are able to create shrouds of mystery as the upper string of the guitar is allowed to bow in deep resonance whilst bass drum drills across the ears, to which an intense vocal that reminds of Poly Styrene rings around the room. There is absolutely no doubt these are a couple of highly talented songwriters who are able to wring far more than is on hand from their stable, putting long standing multi-personnel bands to shame as The Bijous wrest from the audience an emotional tumult.

The conundrum for The Bijous is balancing live performance with studio time and it will be of interest to see how this fulcrum tips longer term as the material produced, to create its impact, needs some careful consideration on their part. There is an intensity of concentration I hope doesn’t implode as the world needs to hear more of the innate talent of The Bijous.

The one EP to surface thus far Bijoux (available on bandcamp) is an essential addition to the playlist.

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Kelly Barnes, Brian Cole, Chris Young, Chris Spencer and Michael Martinez from Austin in the USA form the dark-wave-rock band Darkbird.

Darkbird - dark-wave-rock from the USA


I don’t often lead with a comment on the vocal, but, it is sublime and needs a paragraph of its own as it spires Darkbird from ‘of interest’ to ‘must add to the playlist’. The emotional context of the out-put of the quintet is defined by the voice which spirits its way across octaves ebbing and flowing from melodic to spoken commentary. The pointed reference points drive their way to the stirrup prior to massaging the cochlea.

Aside from the vocal Darkbird deliver a delicious bass that melts like a dark chocolate over the steaming water of the synths accompanied by gilded guitar as the percussion deepens the resolution and the audience is left in becalmed wonderment.

Stretching into the second year of their existence, what was initially a duo has become a munificence of creativity with the additional players. A couple of releases behind them, a single and a five track EP – I Remember Feeling My Fingers Slip (available on bandcamp), which surfaced last month, sets up Darkbird for a memorable 2016 and I look forward to future material.


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From New Orleans in the USA come Kara StaffordJohn St. Cyr and Ian Paine-Jesam who form the fractal-rock band Woozy.

Woozy - fractal-rock from the USA


Akin to watching a snake sloughing their outer coat Woozy create music which peels layer after layer of composition each, like a Russian Doll, a perfect formation in itself. The trio are able to transition themselves through each bar to an alternative shape leaving the audience transfixed by the evolving clouds of sound.

Extensive use of flats and sharps enable Woozy to add a further dimension, that captivates the ears, as they collide with each other mid-stroke before becoming subsumed by a further fulcrum of unfurling composition. Whilst there is an air of experimentalism they do not push the envelope beyond the realms of anticipated musical construct allowing the listener to easily latch on to the activity as Woozy test concentration levels.

With a few EPs behind them dating back to 2012 it wasn’t until October of last year that their début LP, the ten track Blistered, surfaced and this will, with fortune, raise their profile as Woozy is best heard in long loping loops of delivery when the audience can hit play once and settle back to listen to the evolution of the creativity.

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Blistered – Woozy is available on iTunes.*

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