Here’s some breaking news: despite industry experts declaring it so on a yearly basis, noisy, scuzzy, guitar driven music isn’t dead, it’s thriving!
Perhaps it’s slipping underneath the mainstream radar but it’s definitely there alive and well, kicking, screaming and making a racket that’s every bit as exciting as it’s ever been! Anyone who witnessed Joanna Gruesome’s riotous three-day residency at Power Lunches last week bore witness to the enduring thrill of making a racket with guitars. A timely reminder that sometimes there’s nothing better than being in a tiny dark room, resplendent with dripping air-conditioning unit, and a big blast of scuzzy beautiful noise. Ears ringing, bass strings snapping, people getting a bit too carried away, all propelled by a dollop of wonderful guitar-driven noise!
Joanna Grusome not alone, there’s unquestionably a revival in the sort of scuzzy, noise-pop that characterised so much of the underground scene of the mid-90’s, bands like Menace Beach, Feature and Teardrop Factory are there playing the sort of shows those of us of a certain vintage remember with a dewy eyed nostalgia, and those who weren’t alive the first time around are lapping up the underrated thrill of being crammed into a very small room, with a number of like minded individuals.
Here’s to the noisy, scuzzy underbelly of the UK’s music industry, it’s not going anywhere!
Tyrannosaurus Dead consist of Billy Lowe, the bands male singer and guitarist, Eleanor Rudge on female vocals, the rhythmic gems Thomas Northam and Rupert Willows on bass & drums respectively and guitarist Martin Edwards.
Fuzzed out pop songs! They list influences from Greenday to Wild Nothing and REM to Bright Eyes, not that they really sound anything like any of them! More relevant are the likes of Japandroids and The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart with whom they share a love for both pop-tinged hooks, and delightfully hazy production!
They’re from Brighton the current home of the UK’s thriving noise-pop scene. Along with fellow scuzzy types Soft Walls, Teardrop Factory and Slum Of Legs, it’s currently one of the UKs most exciting cities for new noisy music!
They’ve been doing the rounds ever since the release of their self-titled EP in 2011. Singles followed on both Reeks Of Effort and Bleeding Gold, prior to the band finding what seems to be a permanent home on the ever reliable Odd Box Records. A 12” single Pure//Apart and a split 7” with the wonderful Joanna Gruesome followed at last by their debut album, Flying Ant Day.
Vocals that recall a less hyperactive Los Campesinos! or Darren Hayman before he started singing about witches and socialism (never change Darren!) harmonise beautifully over a series of songs that go from lo-fi Pavement slacker rock through to the best bits of pop-punk before it became all about 30 something millionaires talking about the girl from their Maths classes tits – we’re looking at you Blink 182! The single Local Bullies with its gorgeous Joy Division recalling bass line, lyrics about the RSPB and killer line “our parents can stay the fuck away, we’re not hungry we’re happy” is an instant classic whilst Post Holiday Dead Song features some of the best vocal interplay we’ve heard in a long while and Your Boyfriend is just a wonderful slab of nostalgic angst, sample lyric “our secrets are not cool, our secrets are lies.” Flying Ant Day is basically a thoroughly enjoyable, no nonsense, fuzzy good time!
The vocal is probably the classic love it or hate it polarisation. We fall firmly in the former camp, though it won’t be to everyone’s taste. Nothing new for Odd Box Records who are always willing to take a punt on a pot of marmite and they’re all the better for that!
Flying Ant Day is out now on Odd Box Records. Tyrannosaurus Dead play The Shacklewell Arms onon the 9th of March, as well as dates at the Leicester Indie Pop All Dayer & Wales Goes Pop in Cardiff.