All The Fiends songs are for friends, freaks, girls, and geeks
In a world super producers, million pound studios, excessive overdubs and auto-tune it’s refreshing to hear bands that don’t really care about any of that. One of these bands is Indiana’s The Fiends. On their latest EP Animal Boys they’ve done away with the lot and what we’re left with is four tracks that are made for the hell of it, with no other purpose than to entertain themselves and hopefully their friends. It’s all pretty primitive and derivative, but that’s the point!
Stand out track Bathing opens with a wail of feedback and blistering drumming, thanks to Spencer Hartford. Then a distorted guitar comes in with a fairly decent ‘punk’ chord progression. At times it feels like everything is going to fall over and Alex Beckman is playing to his limits on guitar playing, but somehow, miraculously it doesn’t and what’s more it sounds pretty good. The rest of the EP is more laidback and melodic. Closing track Cliff is as monumental as the title suggests. Granite sounding guitar riffs throb through the speakers. Monotone vocals bounce off this and give everything a melancholic vibe. This is Much Better features The Fiends searching for answers, but like the rest of us, coming up with more questions each time.
If you are looking to the answers to life, the universe and everything this probably isn’t the EP for you. However if you want to hear four songs, in which three guys try and make sense of the seemingly random events in their lives that have lead them to this moment, whilst never making any clear or definite conclusions then this is for you!
Concept DIY Dropout Pop never sounded this vital and fun!
Last September a new label came to my attention. While this isn’t anything out of the ordinary, it feels like I’m stumbling upon new labels daily, this one stuck a chord, and since then I’ve been hooked on 80N7. Like a lot of fledgling labels, 80N7 started putting out mixtapes. The difference here is that they were ACTUALLY tapes. These compilations showcased some of the best DIY artists out there, and gave them a home. The first was simply titles 80N7. It was twenty quality tracks by Hooton Tennis Club, Spring King, Diveliner and thisyearinmusic’s favourite DIY-ers King TV. This was followed up by a Captain Samuari EP. Another slice of Dropout Pop heaven.
In January 80N7 released a fifteen track compilation featuring Ringo Deathstarr, Jake Rollins and Duke York, to name three. It was mind blowingly good. Then an EP from Gleemer. Now they have released a full album by Jake Rollins. Rollins entered my periphery due to his inclusion on the 80N7 compilations. Once I heard an album was in the offing I got excited. Unlike a lot of musical excitements, this one paid off, and Spend A Few, Make A Few has been on constant repeat for most of the day.
Spend A Few, Make A Few has all the markings of a classic DIY album. It’s only thirty four minutes long, the eleven tracks never outstay their welcome, it’s catchy as hell, there’s plenty of fuzz/distortion, it tells a story and once it finishes you want to hear it again. I’m trying not to over play it, but it’s getting harder not to give it another listen.
Rumour has it that Rollins, and 80N7 have more up their DIY sleeves, and 2015 is shaping up to be their year! If you’ll forgive me I need to go and re-start this album as it’s just finished and I’m getting twitchy without its Rattle and Hiss.