Tag Archives: Gnarwolves

Moose Blood – I’ll Keep You In Mind From Time To Time

oosemoA year and a half ago, I ranted and raved about a debut EP that, for me at least, evoked the spirit of a seminal record – Brand New’s Deja Entendu. At the same time, I was railing against my own apathy towards listening to artists of a similar vein. Well, 18 months and one Spotify Premium subscription later means I am now au fait with everything considered part of the ‘emo revival’, (although I still think emo is a bit of a gross term). For example, Into It. Over It.? All over it! Touché Amoré? Oui Oui! Modern Baseball? More of a rounders man, but you get the picture.

So it’s with some excitement that I’ve been following Moose Blood – responsible for the aforementioned debut EP – and the news that they got picked up by No Sleep Records for their debut album. The label is a U.S. indie, home to a whole raft of excellent bands, including two of the three named above in my best efforts to be pun-tastic. The band flew out to the U.S. to lay it down, and returned with I’ll Keep You In Mind From Time To Time, an album that showcases everything that made so many people excited about their initial output.

While both a theoretical and literally name-checked reference point may be Brand New – with their dark and morose slant on life and death – this is, for the most part, an aspirational record. It easily evokes memories of young love, of times when you would invite someone round to “watch American Beauty” (on ‘Gum’), and “make you watch High Fidelity, on a Sunday, maybe someday” (on ‘Bukowski’).

So they are strong thematically, but this record goes beyond just what’s happening lyrically. For example, ‘Kelly Kapowski’ is more than just a retro name check. It presents a twitchy, over-caffeinated call for something approaching an unrequited crush, while channelling pop-punks finest guitar riffs. Closer ‘I Hope You’re Miserable’ sounds super-heavy, channelling the likes of Gnarwolves with its yelped vocals blurring into grunge-lined anthemia. Over the course of the record, they easily switch gears, and previous single/E.P. tracks like ‘Boston’ and ‘Bukowski’ sound somewhat more urgent and more focused in their latest guises.

Above all else, what keeps me coming back is how much of an honest and stark record it is, yet  a record that leaves you with hope. Allow me one final Brand New reference, but let me use it to explain why these guys are different to them. Brand New typically stick their bleak, emo-slow jams at the end of the record (‘Soco Ameretto Lime’, ‘Play Crack The Sky’), and so leave you feeling a little, well, emo at the end of a listen. Moose Blood front-load ‘I’ll Keep You In Mind From Time To Time’ with ‘Cherry’. It’s a dark way to start, particularly with a line like: “She’s not mine and it fucking kills me, she won’t look at me that way.” Following this opening, the album grows with moments of excitement, love, and happiness. By the end we’re finishing on an upbeat note, well, ish: “I guess I’m feeling better,” even if we’re now chanting for another’s misery on ‘I Hope You’re Miserable’.

This is a band worth getting excited about. It’s a mature and beguiling debut album by a band that, surely with 10 years more of records behind them can lead some lazy blogger somewhere comparing them over and over (three times I’ve counted?) to some new up-and-comers. Truly, it’s something many of us should be hopeful for.

Somehow Brika’s track Mumbai only had 2.7k streams on Spotify?!?!

Yep, you heard right. Someone you haven’t heard of hasn’t got very many plays yet on Spotify. Woop-de-doo Basil, right? Well, wrong. To date, Brika has two tracks available on the aforementioned streaming site. ‘Mumbai’ was released all the way back in 2013 for Pete’s sake, and it’s yet to set the actual Internet on fire? Well shame on you internet.

This is a supernova of a star in the making. Judging by her bio, she’s not going to be your average popstar… “Her music can best be likened to a Pollock painting or a Rauschenberg collage…” Uh-huh. But let’s get away from PR guff and focus on what’s important.

On ‘Mumbai’, she sings of having “a limerance of my own.” I first heard that word from the beastly Gnarwolves, so there’s a fun counterpoint to start with. Thanks to the internet, I now know that limerance means either “an involuntary state of mind which results from a romantic attraction to another person combined with an overwhelming, obsessive need to have one’s feelings reciprocated”…..OR more recently has been associated with OCD. So is Brika just looking for love, or wanting to turn light switches on and off a certain number of times after leaving rooms? Well, I don’t know, but let’s go with the first one.

The reason that I want to pay such attention to her lyrics is down to the minimalism of the construction of ‘Mumbai’. It feels a lazy path to wander down, but hell, here goes. I listen to Brika and think of Lorde. It’s just dark, brooding, captivating, bringing together just a few small aspects to create this amazing track, just like our old pal Lorde.

So let’s promise to check in again in 6 months time and see how many 0’s have been added to that stream number. This can be a limerance of my own.

A year for Punk!

GnarTowards the end of the year it’s a bit of a tradition to get a bit listy. But this year, borne partly out of the fact that I’ve read a million year-end lists on music sites, and already contributed to other lists, I’ve decided the world doesn’t need another. But what I will do is post up a few highlights and Spotify playlists instead.

Ohio’s Cloud Nothings ‘Attack on Memory’ came early in 2012, and for me it was a beautifully unexpected smack in the face, but it set the tone for a great year for Punk. From the visceral fiercness of Metz to the pop-punk overtures of Gnarwolves, and plenty in between. Japandroids 2nd LP is easily one of my favourite records of the year; an anthemic ode to maximalist guitars and euphoric vocals.

And finally, hey! Blink 182 have a new EP out! And it’s good! When have Blink ever released an EP before? Part of me thinks (and is too lazy to research) that they haven’t, at least for a long long time, but it feels like a smart move.

So all this, and a little bit more, is in the Spotify playist below!

HPH October Spotify Playlist

Well here’s a little thing I’ve been meaning to do for a while. Here’s a little playlist of what this Horse has been listening to over the past month. This’ll become something of a regular feature, probably monthly, perhaps more often. It won’t neccesarily be all brand new stuff, but hey, this month, it pretty much is! Enjoy!

So this month we have the likes of Kendrick Lamar (the rapper with a whole lot of hype right now, and for good reason). Also featuring is a little bit of Divine Fits (side project of Brit Daniels from Spoon), one of the new Little Comets album tracks, and some gnarly old Gnarwolves.

HPH – October2012

So this month we have the likes of Kendrick Lamar (the rapper getting the most hype right now, and for good reason). Also featuring is a little bit of Divine Fits (side project of Brit Daniels from Spoon), one of the new Little Comets album tracks, and some gnarly old Gnarwolves.