Each week Little Indie takes three guest reviewers and six new tracks, and after giving them a spin through the headphones, they then give their opinion on each.
This week's panel: Dan Connolly, guitarist with London band Sisteray; Little Indie contributor, Gavin Watson; music blogger, Ste Galloway.
FEET - BACKSEAT DRIVER
Out last Friday (May 11), the follow-up to last year's debut ‘Petty Thieving' (which was picked up by Felix White of The Maccabees' Yala!, Records) from Coventry five-piece. Infectious indie-pop with on point bass, drums and vocals. Catch live this week at The Great Escape.
Dan Connolly: Song starts nicely, has the vibe of ‘Velocity Girl’ by Primal Scream or ‘Molly Lip’s’ by The Vaselines. You kind of expect it to really explode in the middle but it doesn’t quite seem to get there. I really like the fuzzy guitar sounds that come in towards the end. His voice has a nice, gravelly tone to it. 3/5
Gavin Watson: Feet are the real deal live. Was feeling that this track didn’t quite capture their live energy levels, but then the breakdown comes and the track really kicks in in its last third. 3.5/5
Ste Galloway: What starts out as a feet on dashboard, indie pop gem rapidly builds to a much rockier crescendo. Whilst this isn't quite the statement of intent track I was hoping for, 'Backseat Driver' certainly give a glimpse of just what this band are capable of. I'll be watching their journey with more than a little excitement. 3/5
THE YADA YADA YADAS - SEVEN YEARS
Durham-based fuzzy pop threesome, already riding high on the back of previous releases ‘Oceans’ and ‘Woke Up Strange’, serve up their most radio friendly, alt-pop earworm of scratching guitars pitted against a feeling of longing, fuzzy nostalgia, to date on this latest single, out now via Silent Kid Records.
DC: Love the mad instrumental in the middle of the song a lot. Hits back to a lot of my youth, listening to a lot of American grunge bands. It’s not going to change the world or re-invent the wheel, but it’s a nice, heavy but easy to listen to track. 3/5
GW: Yuck, but good Yuck. Track meandered a bit, probably intentionally, with a good chorus and some nifty guitar work. Not to be confused with 'Seven Tears' by The Goombay Dance Band. 3/5.
SG: 'Way... No Way', their debut album, helped this band catch the attention of many - myself included. This new track hits the mark again perfectly with an almost Ash-like energy. From guitar riffs and solos that pull you in to vocals which keep you hooked, this band are most certainly one to watch. 4/5
Total score: 10/15
TULA - BULLET
Released last week, despite only having a handful of tracks released, the Berlin-based Swede made her herself known largely through a cover of Chris Isaak’s 'Wicked Game'. which put her on the map. This haunting, dark pop track comes from her forthcoming 'Skin' EP.
DC: I am approaching all these tracks with an open mind, but to be honest, I nodded off after listening for a few seconds and it was only the beat kicking in that woke me up again. More like a sponge than a bullet. What's she trying to say? Nice voice, OK production. Sisteray bass player Mike is a vegan/ animal lover and might have been concerned that no hawks were harmed in the making of this vid. 2/5
GW: Beautiful voice, which provides a nice contrast with the dark tone of the song. I could see me putting this on at 3am on a Sunday, nursing a whisky and pondering life to the lyric, “All you took away you gave to me, that is why you never hear from me.” 4/5
SG: Whilst undoubtedly talented, this sadly fails to showcase her true ability. A downbeat pop song of sorts, I struggled to get even mildly excited at any point during the tracks 4:20 duration. 2/5
Total score: 8/15
EYESORE & THE JINX - GATED COMMUNITY
The debut single from recently formed Liverpool three-piece, released last Friday via Eggy Records. Produced by the band with Matthew Freeman of Pure Joy, and recorded in a former slaughterhouse, it is a politically charged cacophony of Northern sleaze; a garage-punk outburst on arbitrary borders in the post-Brexit climate.
DC: This is right up by street. For one, the video is great. Trump with a basketball head… amazing. I love the guitar sounds, it has that loose-punk, Fat White Family feel to it (listen to ‘Is It Raining In Your Mouth). The themes are really current and this seems like a band that could connect with people. Would love to catch them live. 4.5/5
GW: Track Of The Week for me. Channelling Eddie Cochran and The Stray Cats with distorted vocal over an instantly accessible psycho-billy riff, it’s nevertheless a track for these times. Great video to boot. 5/5
SG: Despite being relative newcomers, it hasn't stopped Eyesore & The Jinx already carving out a niche market for themselves. Their distain for the current political climate is beautifully evident in this punk-esque offering. Punchy, edgy and definitely distinctive - this is certainly a must hear. 4/5
Total score: 13.5/15
PIP BLOM - PUSSYCAT
Amsterdam’s Pip Blom has shared the first track to be taken from her upcoming EP, 'Paycheck', out August 31. Opening with a collision of guitar from both Pip and brother/bandmate Tender, ‘Pussycat’ is a roaring, attitude-laden offering, and something of a cockier, older sibling to previous single ‘I Think I’m In Love’. Released May 11 on Nice Swan Records. Catch at The Great Escape festival this week.
DC: Nice, fuzzy guitar cutting through the tune. The song sounds like if Courtney Barnett was to play The Stooges and that’s a good thing in my book. 3.5/5
GW: This screams The Breeders but there’s nothing wrong with that. Destined to fill dance floors at indie club nights up and down the land. 4/5
SG: Pip Blom has, rightfully so, been getting a lot of positive press lately. With tracks like this, it's not hard to see why. If you're looking for more swagger than you can shake a stick at, in addition grinding guitars and vociferous vocals - then 'Pussycat' is simply purrfect for you. Ahem, sorry. 4/5
Total score: 11.5/15
YONAKA - F.W.T.B.
Following last year’s ‘Heavy’ EP, this new single, from the Brighton four-piece, came out on May 11 via Asylum Records. Titled ‘F.W.T.B.’, it stands for “fucking with the boss”: “The song is a big “f*ck you” to anyone who tries to get in your way and tell you no,” says frontwoman Theresa Jarvis. “It’s about taking back the power, standing up for yourself and being heard.”
DC: Saw these live at The Garage and was blown away; they were really tight live. They’ve perfectly blended pop with heavy guitar in this track. It’s very in your face and doesn’t hold back. Love it. 4.5/5
GW: Probably not destined for a lot of daytime radio play. It's a pretty fierce and fearsome FU of a song, over the sort of track US pop and hip hop producers would have died to have come up with. I even bopped (a bit) while listening. 4.5/5
SG: I've followed Yonaka for a while now and their music just keeps getting better. This latest offering continues that trend with aplomb and sticks a massive musical middle finger up to the established order. Cocky, confident and unashamedly steely. 5/5
Total score: 14/15