Music and fashion have to our eyes always been natural, but often uneasy, bedfellows. You only need to look at Jon Bon Jovi’s hair, most bands from the 1980’s or Phil Collins to know that being in a band doesn’t necessarily make you a snappy dresser. However most important musical movements had some sort of accompanying fashion trend, it’s hard not to think of Punk, a movement where Vivian Westwood was as key a player as The Sex Pistols; but would The Factory have been the same if The Velvet Underground had wore tweed suits? Would The Strokes be famous in dungarees? Would Oasis have had the same fame if they’d worn awful parka jackets, ancient hair cuts and horrible sunglasses? Well there’s always an exception that proves the rule.
itoldyouiwouldeatyou are an indie-punk band who describes themselves as being from London and assorted places nearby. The band are set to release a new EP later this month and have so far shared the first track from it, Get Out Of Bed. Building around hypnotic, lightly mathsy-guitars, skittering drums, rich trumpet detailing and spectacular call and response vocals with a touch of those great early Biffy Clyro records before they got so mind-numbingly boring. Natural kin of the likes of Frightened Rabbit or Johnny Foreigner, itoldyouiwouldeatyou are a band who write clever, articulate music, but still know the value of a melodic chorus: a winning combination in our books.
The band’s singer Joey Ashworth is clearly a man of impeccable musical taste (even if he has included a Justin Bieber track, just give it a chance okay), and sartorial elegance, so we’re delighted he’s decided today to share with us a fabulous mixtape of all the songs that shaped his musical, and stylistic choices.
1. New Noise – Refused
THE TRACK: There’s really nothing for me to say about this that hasn’t already been said. It’s raw but fantastically produced, it’s abrasive but hooky, it’s angry but kind of cheeky too. I heard it when I was 14 and suddenly realised screaming wasn’t just noise and punk wasn’t just for Americans. Socialism wasn’t just something my parents talked about, and gigs in basements were often actually better than gigs in big proper venues. I started being proud of my pop punk band playing community centres. I mean, I shouldn’t have been because we were not very good, but the point stands.
THE GARMS: Leaving aside for a moment the fact that Refused took a hell of a lot of influence from Nation of Ulysses (more on them later) this video really made a statement about how punk musicans were supposed to look. There wasn’t a shaved head among them. They dyed their hair and painted their nails – seemingly not because they wanted to freak anyone out, but because they thought it looked pretty. And it totally did! It’s that ‘you got a job interview at 5 but a punk show at 9’ look. It’s also why I wore cardigans and black skinny jeans between the ages of 13-16 and (partly) why I paint my nails now. Also worth noting that they’re beautiful Swedish people, and isnt that what we’re all going for, really?
2. What The Fuck Right Now – Tyler, The Creator with A$AP Rocky
THE TRACK: This might be my favourite verse of the year, and it’s certainly my favourite ever Tyler verse. He just does not let up, going through rhythms none of which are over complex, but which are switched up fast enough to keep you guessing.
‘I ain’t do college, I said fuck them lessons
I ain’t join no gang, I said fuck them weapons
Grabbed the keyboard, Clancy crossed my path
Cashed my first check and said fuck depression’
This is sublime to me. Incidentally, Sublime are not a band that will feature in this article.
THE GARMS: Tyler took the NY skate look and fuckin ran with it, didn’t he? I mean sure, he goes full Supreme skater, and can get all 90s with his dungarees and that, but when he starts on the Lazy Oaf-style childlike pastel colours it just takes off. It’s the combination of all these things that makes him so influential. Just look at an upcoming brand like Whaffle Wear and you see just how important this combo is becoming. When I wear dungarees people ask if I like Mac Demarco. I don’t, but I really like Tyler.
3. Everyday Is Like Sunday – Morrissey
THE TRACK: Morrissey’s solo material is often maligned, but I suspect that this is because if you wanna sound clever talking about music, he’s a bit of an easy target for you to build your needlessly edgy unpopular opinion around. I mean you don’t wanna do something mad like say you don’t like David Bowie, people would disagree with you in public! Morrissey is alive and says things people don’t like sometimes. Morrissey is easy. This is just a fantastic pop song, quite removed from his other output in how instantly catchy it is. It describes, like so much of his material, a perhaps uniqely British experience – living in a lifeless littoral town, simultaneously crushingly dull and designed for tourists. Plus, what’s a Morrissey record without the suggestion that we drop a nuclear bomb on our own country? Safe.
THE GARMS: If you don’t watch this video and immediately want to go out and get your hair cut like the protagonist, and also lose about a stone and get straight leg jeans and a big ass leather coat, then you have not watched closely enough. I never had a full on Morrissey haircut, but I’ll be damned if every guy I ever fancied didn’t, and I’ll be a god damn fool if every woman i’ve ever fancied didn’t dress at least a bit like the protagonist in this video. It’s just a strong aesthetic, man.
4. Dead Kennedys – Nazi Punks Fuck Off (In Studio)
THE TRACK: You absolutely should not need me to tell you about this track but man I really want to anyway. In a genre best known for both not pulling its punches and making sweeping political statements this track reigns supreme. I hate nazis, I love punk – what else is there to say?
THE GARMS: Speaking of reigning Supreme, lets chat about that Supreme Dead Kennedys collaboration. Is it fantastic? Yes! Do I own any of it? No! Is it easy to come by? No, apparently! To be honest that collaboration was not particularly representative of the styles of the actual band members but that work jacket is fuckin heat. I’m rambling but when I saw this video I was so taken aback by how the guys dressed – Klaus Flouride looks like a fuckin geography teacher and he’s nailing it.
5. Piss On Your Grave – Travis Scott featuring Kanye West
THE TRACK: This is the best punk song released in 2016. Yep, even better than that (admittedly exemplary) Touche Amore single. It is literally abut hating someone so much that you want to piss on their grave. It’s about nothing else. Travis and Ye are very angry men on this track. And why not? It’s not easy to be a human in 2016 let alone an African-American. People need to give these men the respect they deserve for shouting about it on a record that was sold in HMV. Most punk bands never took that risk, or never had to. This is all quite apart from the fact that it is incredibly catchy and the beat is some next shit.
THE GARMS: It is an act of rebellion to spit in your oppressor’s face while making him wish he looked like you. This is Piss On Your Grave’s gift to us. It’s essentially a Yeezy Season lookbook. You might not like that style of dressing but I’ll be damned if it didn’t catch the fuck outta the zeitgeist. I personally rate the outfits hard but even if you didn’t you’ve got to respect any highly specific, fully realised aesthetic that is consistent with itself. No one has done that to quite the level of Yeezy Season in a very long time, so now everyone is playing catch up. Even if you don’t like how he raised the bar, he raised it all the same.
6. Today I Met The Girl I’m Gonna Marry – Nation of Ulysses
THE TRACK: Guys guys guys, NOU are so good it’s actually heartbreaking to me that they aren’t better known. How many 1990s DC hardcore tracks can you say are clearly both hilarious and a genuinely relatable love song? Few have tried to tread that line between funny, aggressive and touching and to be honest they shouldn’t, because Nation already nailed it.
THE GARMS: Nation pursued a modernised soviet look that in my opinion directly prefigured the dominance of western streetwear we see now in Russian brands like Sputnik 1985 and the work of Gosha Rubchinskiy. Equally inspired by hard left politics and French Absurdism, these guys did something that is common now but was just being thought of when they released this record in 1991 – they were both joking and not. Their art looked like a Stalinist propaganda piece but they were also clealy straight up DC punks. There does not exist a video for this track but i’ve included a live video of them from the year it came out as a way of explaining just how fuckin sick these guys looked and acted. They are missed in 2016.
7. Justin Bieber – I’ll Show You
THE TRACK: Did someone say 2016?! Well here he is – the guy you don’t like! Call me old fashioned, but I like my pop music with a dash of trappy hi hats and a warbly tropical synth hook. What’s that? That’s not old fashioned at all? Oh, then great, that works out fine cos now everyone in pop wants to sound like this and odds are someone else will nail it like this track does. It’s just a banger. Stop thinking about how he’s a dick – you probably like David Bowie right? Total dick! So just shut your brain off for five minutes and admit that this shares a lot of stylistic traits with some absolutely great bangers. Just turn up, for once in your goddam life.
THE GARMS: In this video he takes the Yeezy look we talked about in Piss on Your Grave and just, you know, tidies it up for the kids. It’s no secret that Beebz is now styled by Jerry Lorenzo of Fear Of God (he’s the reason punk and metal tees retail for $200 at Barney’s now hehehe) and it shouldn’t be a secret that FOG are pretty much nailing it at the moment. What’s wrong with taking Yeezy’s love of earth tones and layering and giving it a rough and ready quadruple denin look? Nothing, and if you think there is it’s because you suck.
Check the poster below for all upcoming itoldyouiwouldeatyou shows.