Sounds from London, Worthing and Oldham, Getintothis’ Sean Parker presents three new bands for your listening pleasure.
The millennial generation are sounding exasperated as a new sub-genre emanates from the Garden of England, and Weekend Recovery encapsulate this perfectly.
Lauren Forster and her London-Kent brethren are only two singles into their immediate millennial punk rock explorations, and their sound is already being talked about as a new movement: Brexit Punk. Theirs is not the 40 years old desperation of the rubbish and debt-strewn late seventies original guard; it’s more the austerity-riven, McJobs realisation that there is still no future, unless you’re happy to settle for an excruciatingly mundane and empty one.
The brilliantly named Weekend Recovery’s look and sound is far from deprived – it’s the steeped rock knowledge of Royal Blood dynamics with Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ attitude, Forster’s clear and able voice becoming increasingly, beautifully bitter, as the realities of broken promises and vacuous entitlement theories mount up like polystyrene burger cartons around her.
‘Stop looking at my pictures on social media’ she deadpans, the irony of being in the hottest band on tour at the moment presumably not being lost on the charismatic front-woman. Weekend Recovery batter ‘Don’t Try and Stop Me’s prime-Queen message ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ into bruised new Hands Off Gretel and pre-sell out Evanescence shapes, and fashion a new post-Brexit anthem from the pummelled wreckage.
The video looks like it was shot in a crypt, the band’s evident fondness for a romanticised proto-goth Siouxsie/Bauhaus glowering eerily through. With Farage’s work done, and May steadily pulling the shroud fully over the corpse of an open Britain, Weekend Recovery are enunciating how it feels to be the future of those deprived. A furious howl into an empty now.
Vibrant electro-indie panache is alive and well on the UK south coast. Worthing’s Bear Feathers’ ‘Hold Down The Feel’ is dynamic testament to this.
How did you feel when you first heard Tame Impala? Pastiche-laden antipodeans with good UK PR, or visionary sonic troubadours, boldly flying the flag for harmonious plaid-layered retro chic? Or possibly neither, that was just me. Anyway the ethos was clear: clean up a 67-70 caucasian rock sound, and sell it from the south Pacific back to San Fran and the English suburbs. But the tunes!
The tunes take everything past analysis, because you just have to hear ‘em. If you’d never heard Strawberry Fields Forever, it doesn’t matter how many times I say you should because of how it makes you feel, until you do. Worthing’s Bear Feathers however, having not little in common with both late-Beatles and Tame Impala (let alone superior countrymen Pond), have the TUNES leaking from their grizzly pores.
‘Kids Just Want To Fall In Love’ helpfully upends its near-namesake Cyndi Lauper original, casting into relief the faux-integrity of millennial deep emotion, and juxtaposing that with the existential fuck-tomorrow of Lauper’s hen night staple. It’s also prime-time catchy, if that’s your thing. ‘My Baby Too’ is an early Depeche Mode/Fad Gadget style casio-banger along traditional 50s love-triangle themes, elements best held altogether in its fantastically lo-fi Prodigy-esque video.
Aesthetic highlight of their new EP is the ‘Thing One’ compilation album highlight ‘In The Midnight Sun’ its genuine aquatic Flaming Lips/Future Islands spatiality perfectly condensed into a magical Teenies Valentine’s evening on Jupiter. Bear Feathers hold a sonic universe in their own solitary grain of sand, and aren’t afraid to wrap you up inside it. Somewhere along a Perth shore, watching the waves, Kevin Parker is taking notes.
Our final pick – V Transmission – are named after a line from a poem by William Gibson based on The Agrippa Files. This refers to how mankind is evolving to a state where we will only contact and speak to each other through virtual transmissions, due to all the computers, mobile phones etc, and is thus an insight into a bleak dystopian future.
V-T sticksman Mick Bedford – of Wedding Present and Chumbawumba fame – is the definitive powerhouse engine room for the band, seemingly taking his cues from prime-era Ministry as much as he does from Larry Mullen Jr. Visionary frontman Andrew Boucher focuses the four-piece on their heartfelt mission, brought all the more into impassioned relief by the fact that the band has been battling numerous internal issues over their twenty-odd year career.
The band’s bleak, industrial sound is borne of a certain Manchester reality, where pre-Oasis, Smiths, or Happy Mondays, there was on one side Joy Division or Warsaw, and the other side the Editors. V Transmission strip away protective, post-modern layers of irony to leave a raw, real core, best exemplified on “Silence The Guns.” The anti-war message is clear, and the video poignantly dwells on a fallen ancestor of Boucher’s, one again lending integrity to V-T’s post-millennial angst.
Elsewhere, echoes of The Chameleons, Bauhaus and Berlin-era Bowie resonate through tracks such as “No More Lights” or “Red Cherry Smiles.” V Transmission have had three top twenty entries into the Euro indie charts over the last 12 months, and are currently No. 15 with “Red Cherry Smiles.” Through grainy black and white hardship to the stars, there is nothing Virtual about this (super) group.