The Racist Magazine/The Radio is Fucked
Out now on Bandcamp
Batteries, aka Sci-fi Steve from Bis, are back and fully charged, with a double-A delivery of two new songs. The Racist Magazine and The Radio is Fucked are tight angular and shiny, in the metallic (not the metal) sense. This latest release is the polar opposite of some of the ‘easier’ pop ACSOM has been listening to recently.
Both songs come on like a demented mix of QOTSA and Kraftwerk with a little of the Specials thrown in. Lurching guitar lines mix with robotic beats and driven vocals to give us two damn fine tunes. This punchy 1-2 comes on like a sonic sorbet to cleanse the aural palate and is highly recommended.
Sweet Escape LP
Released on 12 June 2020
Nick Corbin was known in a former life as the driving force of the British Soul outfit New Street Adventure, a band which always bubbled under but never quite broke through. A couple of years on from the band splitting, main man Nick has returned to the fray with an album of 11 songs: 11 slices of funky, souly pop to let in the sunshine.
Nick wears his musical influences on his sleeve, which is no bad thing. The funky groove of the opening track, Sweetest Escape, grabs a hold of the listener and refuses to let go, as all good album openers should. Imagine Shuggie Otis or Curtis Mayfield being reinterpreted by Paul Weller and Mike Skinner and you are half way there. From here on in Nick provides the soundtrack for getting ready, going out, and chilling out the next day, with the odd break up and moments for reflection and regret along the way. In other words, a typical weekend!
Lead single Long Long Gone keeps the tempo up for that Saturday night feeling, while the likes of Sunshine In slows things down a little bit for those quieter bits of a Sunday morning. Don’t Break the Mould, is one of those moments of reflection and insight, with a little nod to HardFi along the way. The song builds to a fantastic piano-driven bridge and chorus, before cutting us off wanting more.
Nick closes the album with Can’t Say Goodbye, but finds the perfect way to do this with a slice of Mod Soul that will leave you drifting off to enjoy the rest of your Sunday.
Sweet Escape is a great slice of British Soul which you can turn to again and again for tunes to dance, drink and chill to. All being well, you can hear Nick perform these songs and more during his September tour, including a gig in Glasgow. You can also catch live performances from Nick on Instagram during Lockdown.
Ultra Mono LP
Released on 25 September 2020
On September 25th, IDLES will release their anticipated third album – Ultra Mono – via Partisan Records.
Frontman Joe Talbot says of Grounds: “We wanted to write a song that embodied self-belief, and gave us self-belief – a counter-punch to all the doubt we build up from all the noise we so easily let in. We wanted to make the sound of our own hearts’ marching band, armed with a jack hammer and a smile. We wanted to make the sound of our engine starting. So we did. Thank you.”
Ahead of release, IDLES will also host a series of three live performances from an iconic studio space (to be named later) on Aug 29 & 30, which will be professionally recorded, filmed, and live-streamed. Upon purchase of a ticket, attendees will receive a unique link to access the performance live. Tickets on sale now, more info and link to purchase HERE.
Recorded in Paris and produced by Nick Launay (Nick Cave, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Arcade Fire) and Adam ‘Atom’ Greenspan (Anna Calvi, Cut Copy), with Kenny Beats (FKA Twigs, DaBaby, Vince Staples) providing additional programming, Ultra Mono was sonically constructed to capture the feeling of a hip-hop record. Across all twelve brutally relevant tracks, the band double down on the vitriolic sneer and blunt social commentary of their past work, with themes of active presence, inclusivity, class, gender inequality, nationalism, community, and toxic masculinity remaining ever-present. Ultra Mono also features guest vocals from Jehnny Beth (Savages), and additional guest contributions from Warren Ellis (Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds), David Yow, and Jamie Cullum.
If their last record – 2018’s Joy As An Act Of Resistance – was meant to detail IDLES’ manifesto, then Ultra Mono is the sound of the band heading into battle, battering ram in hand, for those tenets. The phrase “momentary acceptance of the self” serves as spiritual guide and mantra throughout, as Talbot elaborates on further in an essay printed inside the album’s physical packaging (read that HERE).
Joy As An Act Of Resistance was one of the best reviewed rock records of 2018, debuting top 5 on the official UK album charts. Joy earned the band instantly legendary performances at Glastonbury, Jools Holland, NPR’s Tiny Desk, and sold-out tours across the world. They were profiled by the NY Times and PBS NewsHour as part of a group of new bands tearing down outdated perceptions of masculinity, won the coveted Ivor Novello Award for Best Album, and were nominated for the Mercury Prize and a Brit Award last year. All 10,000 tickets to the band’s Dec 2019 headline performance at London’s Alexandra Palace sold out in under 24 hours.