I swear, once January is over, I will stop banging on about it being this year or about how last year was last year. Honestly, I will. However, whilst it’s still very much January I’m going to do both right now. How do you like them apples!?
You might not like them in principle right now, but you will like them in every way very soon. For you see, I’m going to reference last year in so much that earlier this month we caught up with your winners of Best New Band of 2015, Paves, for a good old natter about this and that. Well, what with that being dealt with and thoroughly enjoyed, it’s time to finally let go of last year, and get this one off to a right good start.
Yes, I know, the 27th day of the year is not its start, but shut up.
Regardless of that fact, we’re getting it started now at New Band of the Month because January was rightfully spent celebrating our big year winners. Which means, now with February drawing close, it’s time to get the bands out for the lads and ladies, so that you may vote your first New Band of the Month this year. So, without further ado, here are the bands, get reading, get listening, get voting.
How do you like them apples?
You might recognise one member of this trio, who aren’t as long in the tooth as their name may suggest. And yes, you’re right, that is the diminutive rock monster that is Jade from, firm Cultured Vultures favourites, DOLLS. The remaining two sets of teeth belong to Sam Asbury on vocals and guitar, and the magnificently named Alessandro Salzano on drums.
For those who were already familiar with the bluesy garage, shake, rattle ‘n’ roll of DOLLS, Long Teeth are an altogether different prospect. This triplet of gnashers instead kick out their jams in the dizzying and angular world of somewhat unhinged post-punk. It’s all spiralling spider guitar lines, a little splash of surf, trundling bass, danceable drum grooves, and manic vocals.
Self-described rock ‘n’ soul trio from London, Ballin’ Jacks shake up a variety of mixes Tom Cruise in Cocktail style, and they’re each as tasty as the last. I mean, the ingredients are often the same, but the measures change, and the mixes vary. The end result is a blues trio that manages considerable variety in their songs, instead of getting bogged down in standards and classicism.
Of course, there are those familiar touchstones, and you’ll hear elements of any number of influences through the music of Ballin’ Jacks, but the approach is very much that of a contemporary band with a youthful exuberance and enough of an experimental nature to shake things up a little bit. A smoky blues blend, likely to put the hairs on your chest and leave a rasp in your throat.
London’s Pistol Kings are a most interesting prospect. I say this because you could be listening to Pistol Kings thinking, ‘hmm, this is a catchy song, very smooth, easily digestible, I like it.’ Then you might notice a certain sinister quality to the chords, but nothing major (more likely a minor, am I right?), just a little flavouring; a bit of spice if you will.
Then again though, you may be thinking that and then the song may well veer off into riffs as muscular as they are angular, accompanying pained vocals, and pummelling percussion. Of course, the song might just sound like an indie band playing classic metal but making it sound like a funk song. This is why Pistol Kings are an interesting prospect, and even more so because they are able to maintain a cohesive style throughout. Somehow making multiple genres interlink or hint at one another in a way that sounds like a single genre.
Sometimes the blues just ain’t heavy enough, and that seems to have been the case for Trevor’s Head. At least when one compares the groovier, bluesier tones of their earlier tracks a couple of years back to where they are now. Back then, things often rocked, and they certainly rolled, sometimes with a punk spikiness, but the core was a bluesy, and groovy vibe.
However, since then the band have let those punk spikes come to the fore, and in the process those blues grooves have gotten angrier. Grungier. The band now play with a significantly more aggressive edge and a thicker, sludgier sound. This now finds the band thrashing out on both ends of the stoner rock spectrum, sometimes within a bong hit of each other. Low, slow, and heavy, or thick, fuzzy, and frantic. Whoever Trevor is, his head has long since gone.