You know the drill, it’s Pulse: New Music You Need, our reliably-irregular regular new music feature. In which I give you latest and greatest in new music that you absolutely, positively, one-hundred-percentively require in your life to keep you alive and kicking as much you need your pulse to keep on ticking. Such clever titling.
Last time around things got a little apocalyptic, for which I am sorry not sorry because the music included was amazing, and this time around will be no different. Other than the fact I won’t be contextualising all the bands with the end of the world. Step to it peoples, there’s new music you need afoot.
Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes
First things first, I hardly feel that Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes need much by way of an introduction on account of that first name there, but having just burst out the gate with their latest swaggering single ‘Juggernaut’, why not draw them a little attention for those they might’ve slipped by for.
As former frontman for Gallows, probably the UK’s most successful hardcore band, Frank Carter appears to be returning to his roots with the Rattlesnakes after a departure into far more melodic, optimistic, and traditionally rock territory with Pure Love. On the basis of the limited tracks released so far, the return seems to have benefitted him greatly, but not only that, it seems just as beneficial for us.
You know when you arrive at an awesome party so fashionably late and off your face that when your head starts to clear you realise that the party’s actually over and it’s just been you in an empty room throwing yourself around to blaring tunes for an indeterminate amount of time.
Well, no matter, just imagine that sense of realisation anyway, and that’s how I felt about Beard of Wolves, having stumbled upon them one day, finding myself listening to their EP, Wolf Skulls, on repeat and singing along instantaneously, only to discover as I excitedly composed myself to tell you ‘orrible lot about them that they were no more. I was hurt, and more than a little embarrassed.
No matter though, because whilst rolling around tearful in the ashes of that band, I found Blood Lips. A three piece hailing from North Wales and Manchester, featuring Adam Hughes from Beard of Wolves (and Silver/Back/Club) alongside Dave Thomas (Silver/Back/Club) and Tom Williams (Wolves), who bring dark grooves, brooding atmospherics, indie sensibilities, goth vibes, and garage rock guts. So consider this entry a bumper feature; check out Blood Lips, but then go back and check out the trio’s also awesome other/previous bands.
My lazy Googling defines vena cava as ‘a large vein carrying deoxygenated blood into the heart’, and goes onto explain how there are two in humans; one being the inferior (carrying blood from the lower body) and the superior (carrying blood from the upper body). It also states that it’s literal translation from Latin is ‘hollow vein’. Now doesn’t that sound cool (and also informative)? Yes.
However, what sounds significantly cooler again is the actual sound a hollow vein makes, specifically when said hollow vein is Bristol based three piece, and purveyors of ‘ritualistic pysch’, Vena Cava. Aside from ‘ritualistic psych’ the band also purportedly deliver ‘sludgegaze’, and you know what, it’s kind of hard to disagree with that as their songs swirl headily around in the intoxicated dreamy of haze of shoegaze but in doing so maintain the dense drudgery so commonly associated with sludge; allowing Vena Cava to veer between or simultaneously encapsulate melodious psychedelia and joyously gruelling post-metal.
LA-based four piece, Sextile, take their name from an astrological term relating to the angle that planets make with each other and the harmony with which two conflicting elements can find themselves expressing. Their soon to be released debut album, A Thousand Hands, takes its name from an experience that the band’s guitarist/keyboardist, Eddie Wuebben, had whilst experimenting with spirit channelling and open eye meditation one night, in which he felt thousands of hands reaching down to him.
Sextile are clearly a band using their heads, hearts, minds, and spirits to their fullest, or just a shedload of drugs – it’s hard to tell. However and whichever, the band make some damn fine music that blends together a little bit of goth rock, psych garage, surf punk, the early experiments of electronica, and wraps it all up in classic post-punk angles and punch.