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Album review: NERGARD – Eternal White

Nergard-Eternal-White-1500x1500-400x400Pride & Joy Music [release date 21.04.21] Norwegian musician/songwriter/producer, Andreas Nergard creates symphonic experiences which enthrall audiences. The fact that he uses “Metal” as his chosen vehicle is almost incidental. You could add that the fact he uses voices is … Continue reading

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Lazy Queen: Get Home Or Die Trying – EP review

Lazy QueenLazy Queen: Get Home Or Die Trying

Vinyl | DL | Streaming

(Self-release)

Out now

After drip-feeding us with tracks over the last 6 months, Lazy Queen release their new EP, Get Home Or Die Trying.

Norway’s Lazy Queen first landed on our radar last October with the wonderful Last Call. It’s a song that crunches with great slacker power-pop vibes filtered through a grungey fuzz and is the standout track on their new EP, recalling bands like Idlewild in their early prime, tethered to the sounds of Pavement and Dinosaur Jr. in the same way the nearly-rans Seafood were on Surviving The Quiet.

Across the EP, there is a definite influence of American alt-rock. Opener, 13.06.18, starts off plaintive, a lone acoustic guitar under soft lyrics that immediately reference poet and LGBTQ+ activist Andrea Gibson. Pained cries release before the band launch into an aural assault, cranking the volume and powering into a freefalling angst-fuelled riot. It’s cacophonic, guitars and drums flying in from all sounds, on the edge of falling apart. But the band are by no means dwelling constantly in this and have a real ear for punk-pop driven hooks and melodies, which they pull right out as they fly into Gutted. Another song that thrives on contrast, driving full-pelt through spinning riffs, dropping into almost hardcore breaks that screech with intensity.

Bid Geal dispenses with the poppier hues, revving up into a grunge-soaked post-punk attack. Dark grooves through the verses crash into driving power chords in the choruses that break and hammer the nail deep. They’re back at it though as they close off the EP with the Weezer-like A Place (To Bury Strangers), finishing off a great set of tunes that provide a snapshot of their varied alt-rock influences.

Get Home Or Die Trying is available from the band’s website.

Follow Lazy Queen on Facebook and Instagram.

~

Words by Nathan Whittle. Find his Louder Than War archive here.

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Album review: ADAM DOUGLAS – Better Angels

AdamDouglas-BetterAngels-1440x1440Sonnet Music [release date 05.02.21] I first heard Adam Douglas about five or so years ago singing ‘A Change is Gonna Come’ a la Sam Cooke / Otis Redding on a TV game show. Now that’s some song to tackle, … Continue reading

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Death By Unga Bunga: Heavy Male Insecurity – album review

Unga BungaDEATH BY UNGA BUNGA

Heavy Male Insecurity

Jansen Records

LP | CD | DL

Out 12th February 2021

Louder Than War Bomb Rating 4

 

Norway’s power-punk-pop rockers Death By Unga Bunga return with their new album and pack a mean punch.
BUY HERE

Straight out of the block, Death By Unga Bunga, take off with their driving power-punk pop chugging guitars on the tongue-in-cheek sardonic Modern Man. Full of sarcastic observations that surmise the title of their new album, Heavy Male Insecurity. Like Fight Club dumbed down, chewed up, and spat out for a modern generation, they reel off what it means, perhaps, to be a so-called modern man. We’re caring, affectionate, not scared of our feelings, and, of course, enjoy baking. It may be done with a wink of the eye, but the message remains the same. It’s a theme that they continue, through their Cheap Trick via The Strokes Egocentric, a takedown of the selfish and insecure. It’s clear that the band are revelling in the jarring crash of bravado and tenderness.

There are definite radio-friendly vibes on songs like Not Like The Others, which recalls bands like White Reaper, but their tour de force comes out on songs like Live Until I Die, its Nick Valensi-like riffs and hooks wailing out and adding the necessary jab to the blows that rain down. Trouble finds them putting the distorted wall of sound guitars to one side to bring out a grooving filtered bassline over which the song rides, closer to Soundtrack Of Our Lives. It’s a respite from the aural power-punk assault, albeit brief. By the time they sign off with White Lies, pounding drums and rallying vocals, you realise that the album has flown by in a flash.

On their new album, Death By Unga Bunga continue to find that sweet spot that lies between punk and pop, with a dose of 80s new wave added to the mix. Not one for the punk purists, not one for the powerpop purists, but for those in need of the pure escapism of great rock ‘n’ roll.

Follow Death By Unga Bunga on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

~

Words by Nathan Whittle. Find his Louder Than War archive here.

The post Death By Unga Bunga: Heavy Male Insecurity – album review appeared first on Louder Than War.

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Lucky Malice: Magnetic – album review

Lucky Malice

Lucky Malice

Magnetic

Tonehjulet Kräftpest

DL/LP

Out Now

The fourth album from Norwegian riot grrrls Lucky Malice presents an upbeat and uplifting social revolution. It’s “smile while you’re rioting” music says Nathan Brown.

I first heard Lucky Malice a few years back on their split LP with Dangerman and was an instant convert.  When I finally got to see them live in February (their first trip to these shores) they stole the show at an all day gig with some serious competition. And, whilst blasting out some great tunes, it was clear they were having a REALLY good time. Magnetic manages to capture that energy and enthusiasm.

From the outset this album grabs you. Pounding drums, a chunky roving bass and overdriven guitar provide the upbeat momentum. Lucky Malice keep it simple – you get crisp guitar breaks that skip around the fretboard rather than bloated solos. The vocals that chop and change between members frequently converge into harmonies, which makes for an uplifting sound.  At times Lucky Malice verge on the sort of well crafted indie pop that hit the mainstream in the 90s.

The way Lucky Malice combine a fast hardcore punk sound with melodic basslines and switch between shouty singing and full on harmonised vocals puts them in the same field as US trio Harum Scarum. I only give that comparison as something to point you in the right direction. Lucky Malice have an instantly identifiable sound of their own.

There does seem to be a special tightness to three piece bands where the words are pulled into the music and vice versa. The words have to fit with the music or it makes it too damn difficult.

The album is a melodic riot grrrl journey about fighting nazis and the patriarchy, sexism and sexual violence, while celebrating unity, love and friendship.

The songs on Magnetic are a mix of personal and political but always poetic – some in English, some in Norwegian. With the combination of anger, purpose and melody, listening to Magnetic is akin to rioting on a sunny day with a huge smile on your face.

In Resistance “We’re still marching with fists held high, shouting out our discontent in anger.” For a song about fighting for rights, rhyming Resistance with sisters was a genius move. In Revolt they project the strength of solidarity “I’m standing with you pushing them down. Revolting. No nazi scum in our streets.”  The overall message is fairly well summed up in the song Time For Change “Time for change, now we need to stand closer. You don’t have to be alone in this eternal fight.” A great message from an uplifting, upbeat punk album.

Magnetic is released on Lucky Malice’s own label Tonehjulet Kräftpest in cooperation with the Spanish label H-Records. Currently available via bandcamp but 12″ vinyl is due soon.

Lucky Malice are on Facebook.

Download the album via bandcamp.

~

All words by Nathan Brown. You can read more from Nathan on his Louder Than War archive over here.

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Weekly Gems 135

milk. – I Hate the Way You’re Looking at Me (Lately)

milk.

Hot on the heels of The 1975 is Dublin-born alt-pop quartet, milk.. Their bright new offering, ‘I Hate the Way You’re Looking at Me (Lately)’ is full of looping synths, catchy riffs and lulling vocals that immediately lure you in for more.

Sounds like: The 1975, The Japanese House, No Rome

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Benji Lewis – Stay Around

Benji Lewis

Benji Lewis has been busy songwriting during 2020. Written with his new friend Tom Eggert and bonding over their love of home-made smoothies, ‘Stay Around’ is about the progression of love in every subsequent relationship.

Sounds like: The 1975, The Kite String Tangle, Antony Hegarty, Active Child, Gallant, Sam Smith, Solomon Grey, James Blake, Yazz, Jack Garratt, Disclosure, Lauv, Boy In Space, Zachary Knowles

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Asha Gold – Oscar

Asha Gold

UK R&B artist Asha Gold shares new single ‘Oscar’. It’s written about award-winning liars and cheats who deserve to be called out for their deception and good-for-nothing behaviour.

Sounds like: Nakala, Frank Ocean, Rosalia

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Solå – B Mine

Solå

Norwegian songwriter Solå strongly encourages us to value ourselves in new single ‘B Mine’. It’s a hazy piece of electro-pop that perfectly showcases her talent as both a intricate songwriter and performer.

Sounds like: Shura, Dagny, Chvrches, Empress Of, MUNA

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whatshisface – Magic Disaster

whatshisface

Intriguing newcomer whatshisface is on the precipice of jumping into our hearts. His new single ‘Magic Disaster’ is a gloriously melancholic invitation, brimming with dense and warming aesthetics, creating an altogether sweeping atmosphere.

Sounds like: James Blake, George Gretton, Billie Eilish

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Mungbean – Slow Motion

Mungbean

Introducing eclectic Ohio-based outfit Mungbean. Performed as only seasoned performers would, new single ‘Slow Motion’ has layered and heavy synths to accelerate the track’s dreamy and kaleidoscopic intention.

Sounds like: Snarls, The Naked And Famous

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Weekly Gems 134

Caspian Pool – Insider

Caspian Pool

French synth-dance duo Caspian Pool likes to keep us on our toes with their wide-ranging selection of electronic music. Cue the colour-fuelled visuals for the foot-thumping ‘Insider’.

Sounds like: Nimmo, The Chemical Brothers, Hercules & Love Affair, Goldfrapp, Joe Goddard, Chvrches, Digitalism, Holy Ghost!, Boys Noize, Little Dragon, Cut Copy, Icona Pop

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Psyence – Retrospect

Psyence by Mark Vyse

Psyence by Mark Vyse

Anthemic alt-rock band Psyence returns with psychedelic sensibilities in rousing new single ‘Retrospect’, reminding us that every bitter end has a new beginning.

Sounds like: Queens of the Stone Age, Kasabian, Psychedelic Porn Crumpets, The Blinders, Wolfmother

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Beharie – Me & My Lonely

Beharie

Distinctive Norwegian voice, Beharie shares his soulful, folk and ambient blend in the form of ‘Me and My Lonely’. Pastoral and beautiful, the track orbits a peaceful finger-picked acoustic riff.

Sounds like: Bon Iver, Fleet Foxes, Bombay Bicycle Club

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Flechettes – Chasing Youth

Flechettes

Wigan-based four-piece Flechettes share the radio-ready and uplifting ‘Chasing Youth’, with blazing indie-pop guitar riffs and catchy vocals, making for a seriously dynamic record.

Sounds like: Sea Girls, Red Rum Club, The Blinders, Stanleys, Garden Party

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Chillhum – Dancing (Alone)

Chillhum

22-year-old producer, songwriter and musician Ethan Bedell – aka Chillhum – shares ‘Dancing Alone’, a stripped back and melodic blissed-out track that celebrates the joys of being alone.

Sounds like: Gaspar Narby, Couro, Flume, Ed Sheeran, Flume, Louis The Child, Petit Biscuit, Troye Sivan, Robotaki

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Bre Kennedy – Where Did Summer Go

Bre Kennedy by Lindsey Patkos

Bre Kennedy by Lindsey Patkos

Songwriting heavyweight Bre Kennedy winds down for the cooler months with her acoustic track ‘Where Did Summer Go’, a nostalgic ballad that symbolises the passing and loss of time and dreams that never got to see the heat of summer.

Sounds like: Charli Adams, Taylor Swift, HAIM, First Aid Kit

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Izza – Lows

IZZA by Sam Rockman

IZZA by Sam Rockman

Dark-pop artist Izza chronicles the ups and downs of dealing with anxiety and depression in a world where people are obsessed with the perceived perfection of their online selves, in new single ‘Lows’.

Sounds like: Dua Lipa, Gracey, Call Me Loop, Mabel

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