Both sides of Tim Presley’s mind, one being White Fence and the other himself as a solo artist, marry together, bringing us I Have To Feed Larry’s Hawk, one of his strongest records yet. The result is an entirely new pathway for the songwriter, bringing together both of his projects where, “Tim Presley meets White Fence and together they move on”. The record was born from the home of Cate Le Bon, where Presley was staying at the time of writing, leaving a familiar level of eccentricity rubbing off on the record.
When reflecting on shows I’ve seen this year something always brings me back to seeing Hinds at Concorde 2. There’s a level of fondness that comes back to me everytime I think of it. The band exude positive energy and carefree fun and are slowly becoming something of a cult item in the UK. After seeing them for the first time, I completely get it. Their live show is energetic and generally a very wholesome experience. Their music is simple, fun and relatable and the band’s love of being in a band overflows into the audience. It was a show that brought smiles all round and it still does to this day.
The Blue Hour is every bit as cold and earthy as its name suggests. It’s an album filled with ideas of dead birds and decay. The sound of old stone filled with weeds and rusted fences. This is pretty familiar territory for Suede by this point. This is one of the few comebacks done without any sense of throwback and, more importantly, from a band with many more good ideas to get out. Where so many bands fall victim to going backwards on an everlasting victory lap, Suede showed no intention of retracing old ground again. They wanted to push themselves further forward.
Black Rainbow Sound is a band coming into their own. Menace Beach have released two great albums, Ratworld and Lemon Memory, over the past few years, however, for their third album they shift up a gear massively. Production-wise this is the best the band have sounded: well-rounded and sharp. Black Rainbow Sound above anything is exciting to listen to, the album that Menace Beach were always destined to make.
You don’t get many bands like The Lemon Twigs in a lifetime. They’re genuinely eccentric, seemingly wholesome and talented beyond belief. Go To School is the band pushing the limits of their compositional muscles and the product is unbelievable; it is an album of passion made by two brothers who were “literally raised on Broadway”. Pushing away from Do Hollywood, their brilliant debut from 2016, they didn’t want to give fans a straight up pop album and have pushed as far away from that as they could.
Oh Sees are their own creature entirely. With each album release it seems more as though a tear in our reality has appeared and they briefly seep through to our realm. They are a group that release music in a way that a manic science fiction writer releases book after book without a care for the audience it finds. Smote Reverser is a chapter which suggests the apocalypse is nigh, or at least it does by its cover. Something appropriately coincidental, perhaps.
I don’t know what to do with Joy. I can barely wrap my head around it. It’s a nonsensical tug of war between two artists that have their feet rooted firmly in chewing gum, the intrigue is strong. Joy feels like a lost record from the 60s made by two teens held up in a shack on psychedelics.
After taking the stage to the climax of the theme from Rocky, Eels’ set is something close to explosive from the off. They walk on, tearing into covers of ‘Out in the Street’ and ‘Raspberry Beret’. It’s striking how fun it must be to be in Eels.
The moment Giant Peach step on-stage you can tell there’s something new about them, a new air of confidence surrounds them. The band – who were formally playing as ISLA until last year – took almost a year out to gather themselves and focus on a sound and direction, emerging now as very much a different group entirely. Everything has been taken up a gear and not in terms of decibels. Tonight the band sound like pros; their music is focussed and considered, as well as being sharp, balanced and well rounded. They’ve taken their initial promise and quantified it, with Giant Peach being the result.
Criticising Call the Comet is upsetting because you don’t want to knock someone of such stature but Call the Comet is a firmly okay album. It stands in such firm middle ground with its sounds and songwriting that none of it really manages to rub off on you. Johnny Marr is known as an innovator of guitar music, he created a sound and changed how people thought about guitar playing. He was in one of the most influential indie bands of all time. Call the Comet is a baggy listen, a machine in need of a little oiling.