Saving the fjords, 90210, and female bombing squadrons – it can only be another edition of Sammy Jones talking about stuff
Here I am again, shooting my gob off about this, that and the other – but particularly, in this column, I bang on about politically charged guitar music from the past month, so get into that below.
Destroy Boys - Grimester EP
This Sacramento garage rock trio’s new EP, Grimester, swings from bratty, spoken word-filled power pop on I Threw Glass At My Friends’ Eyes And Now I’m On Probation, to melancholy, lighters in the air power ballad on Goldilocks Spot and either way, it’s powerful: the classically Californian vocals sometimes spit and sometimes drawl, the fuzzy guitar is pleasingly heavy and the drums roll along with the action with more than enough personality of their own. The lyrics also touch on gross dudes, six-packs of beer, and nihilism – all in all, it’s a supremely fun listen.
White Lung - Below
First of all I have to mention that I freaked out when I first saw AnnaLynne McCord was starring in this video – has there ever been such a perfectly terrible teen series as 2008’s reboot of 90210? I’m a total sucker for the first couple of series, though I did kind of go off it after Jasper set fire to Liam’s boat. That was definitely a step too far. And Ivy always pissed me off.
Anyway, this is White Lung as we’ve never seen them – fist-pumping rather than head-banging, and all the more iconic for it. “This is my Stevie-Nicks-meets-Celine Dion ballad,” frontwoman Mish Barber-Way says of the song in a press release. “I needed to try to do a ballad about glamorous women. It’s based on a quote by Camille Paglia from an interview she did a few years ago in Toronto. ‘Beauty fades. Beauty is transient. That is why we value it,’ she said. ‘Feminism’s failure to acknowledge that beauty is a value in itself, that even if a woman manages to achieve it for a particular moment, she has contributed something to the culture.’ It’s a song about the preservation of glamour and beauty.” Fittingly, this is discordantly gorgeous.
Sløtface - Sponge State
It’s always cheering to see us young people doing politics, innit? We’re supposed to be Snapchatting, having unprotected sex and doing loads of drugs with dirty needles, but instead, we’re having mental breakdowns over our lack of an economic future, marvelling over Aldi bargains, and if you’re Sløtface, you’re being Norwegian and trying to save the your native fjords by playing to a bunch of activists on a hill.
Watch the video above, featuring mittens, bloody noses, and the inevitable po-po come to drag everyone away.
Nachthexen - Nachthexen 7"
Nachthexen serve up angsty synth-pop with a Sheffield accent and a total lack of fucks to give. As well as being named after the very punk rock ‘Night Witches’ – the female bombing squadrons that scanned the Russian skies during WWII – Nachthexen give catcalling, diets and the scary packs of drunk lads that roam the streets every weekend and match day a good bashing. I can only imagine seeing Drunk Lads live, with its football chant breakdown, would be fucking excellent.
This EP will be “pressed on piss yellow coloured vinyl” for physical release on 1 July.
Ellen and the Degenerates - Ellen and the Degenerates
Super-fuzzy, lo-fi Brooklyn punks Ellen and the Degenerates have delivered on so many levels here: band name, check, album artwork, check, accessibly political subject matter, double check. “Where’s my money mom and dad?” whines lead vocalist Ellen on the heated and heavy Trust Fund, and on diss track A.C.N.E., she begs, “my skin is killing me, nobody look at me.” Super relatable, tbh.