Low – St. George’s Church, Brighton – 31st January 2019

Within the confines of St. George’s Church, the American band Low, made up of Mormon couple Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker, along with bassist Steve Garrington, are attempting to bring to life their recent album Double Negative. Sparhawk, in an interview with Brightonsfinest recently, seemed somewhat taken aback by all the fuss accorded the album, especially here in Brighton, where it was made Album of the Year by Resident. For sure, there is a strong Marmite aspect to Low, and in particular this album. Many people just don’t get the fuss. However, there are plenty who can’t get enough of their atmospheric soundscapes, littered with guitar effects, entrancing vocals, and gently questioning lyrics.

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Girlpool – What Chaos Is Imaginary

Transformation, transition and evolution. Cleo Tucker and Harmony Tividad root their sound in the discomfort, woes and tribulations of their maturity; synchronised harmony in idiosyncratic disharmony with their world. A world to make you more alone – stale device, this is the world that forms their inception, to capture it musically is beautifully ironic. “The shrillness of a world so still”, this is where their truth really manifests, where they most tangibly resonate with listeners. They’ve added to their stripped-back aggravated riffs, for a fuller sound, often a fuzzy rebellion disguised as dream pop, that they’ve wrapped around themselves. A quilt of subtle punk; warm and inviting, disarming listeners, allowing them to fall in and intwine with their honest, gliding pros.

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Queen Zee – Queen Zee

In Brighton, we’ve come to know Queen Zee as an incredibly impressive live outfit. Whether at their own headline show at The Prince Albert (we described it as, “Exciting lyrically, captivating onstage and a remarkable amount of fun”), or supporting huge bands at Concorde 2 such as Dream Wife and Marmozets, they’ve become one of the most exciting, fiery and vibrant live bands in the country. When it comes to their debut album, then, the question was always: could they replicate that sense of urgency and thought-provoking art onto a record?

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Holy Bouncer – The Hope & Ruin, Brighton – 30th January 2019

Since catching a raucous opening set in their native Barcelona at Primavera Sound Festival, I’ve been relatively hooked on Holy Bouncer’s fusion of surf and garage rock. Since last summer, however, they’ve released their second album, the eponymous Holy Bouncer, and it’s sparked an evolution of the band. Gone are the sleazy guitar lines and strident rhythm section, instead something reminiscent of groovy psychedelia arose. Their headline showcase at Brighton’s The Hope & Ruin, which kicked off their five-date stretch across the UK, was an amalgamation of both sides of the band which proved to be a thrilling, exciting, and wholly impressive exhibition of one of Spain’s finest bands.

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The Faim – The Haunt, Brighton – 29th January 2019

Despite the cold weather and even signs of snowing befalling the evening that Australian pop-rock group The Faim were set to headline a show at The Haunt, that did not put fans off in the slightest. Pool Valley was full of exited and eager fans, as well as an abundance of photographers wanting to grab a piece of the action.

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The Dandy Warhols – Why You So Crazy

The latest instalment from the psychedelic alt-rock band The Dandy Warhols ramps up the odd factor to a whole new level. Known for hits such as ‘We Used To Be Friends’ and ‘Bohemian Like You’, The Dandy Warhols have presented us with their weird and wavy sound for 25 years now. Their tenth studio album, Why You So Crazy, really captures the essence of the band’s style.

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Kele Okereke – Leave To Remain

As well as the announcement of a Bloc Party UK tour that celebrates their classic debut record Silent Alarm, Okereke had also finished writing music for the stage performance he helped direct called Leave To Remain, which tells a story of the love between a gay couple in Brexit Britain. Accompanying this play, we were treated to a solo record from the Bloc Party frontman that shares the same name and essentially serves as the play’s soundtrack.

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Bring Me The Horizon – Amo

There’s fewer bands with the following and status of Bring Me The Horizon popping up in the charts these days and, whatever your feelings on their musical directions, you have to admire them for entering uncharted territories and making it work where others haven’t.

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