Sunday, 21 August 2016

Quality Not Quantity: Fatal Jamz - The Pressure Kids - Solid Effort

Fatal Jamz - Jean Paul Gaultier.

Background promo - LA powerpop songwriter Fatal Jamz will release his sophomore album 'Coverboy' on September 30 via Lolipop Records. Fatal Jamz' Marion Belle has long been one of LA’s most whispered about cult stars. Lauded by punk legends Steve Jones, Kim Fowley, Don Bolles and more, he has helped keep the frontman alive with a voice linked to the feral and lush past of rocknroll. His early aughties groups The Drugs, and later Bowery Beasts put him on the map as a flamboyant torch singer, but it was 2013’s underground anthems Rookie and One of the Girls that established him as a seminal pop auteur. Without a doubt the music behind his Johnny Thunders-esque image has cast a shadow on his generation, while he has fallen, uncategorizable, through the industry cracks for almost a decade. Until now.  

"Fatal Jamz was born out of a desperation to keep pursuing music at a time when almost all seemed lost for me," Belle says. “I was working with Autistic kids and had given up my day job. I was eventually living off of everyone around me, and felt pretty much rejected by the path I had chosen.” With a small budget he hooked up with bass savant Dan Horne (Beachwood Sparks, The Lily's) and recorded Fatal Jamz’ debut ‘Vol.1’  at Horne's Lone Palm studio in Echo Park. The album was later released on Portland's infamous Gnar label, as well as Burger Records, but despite critical acclaim the group was unable to tour. In 2014 the music found it's way to Cullen Omori of Smith Westerns who became an overnight devotee and asked the band to support their Western Sky Tour with Sky Ferreira. My girlfriend and I had a trip to Europe planned and that turned out to be a turning point for me. She found this book in the Roughtrade shop in London called Bowie in Berlin that I read on trains while we were traveling, all about the albums he made with Iggy and Eno, that fertile time, and I had the idea to make my own trilogy, but about L.A. and my journey there as a lead singer.” 

On February 8th 2016, Lolipop Records released Obsession, a limited edition EP, mixed by New Wave legend Gavin McKillop (Echo & the Bunnymen, Adam Ant, Heaven 17) which sold out overnight. In June, 17 & Hung, an EP produced with reclusive ingenue Evan Collins Conway (Holy Shit) was released on San Francisco weirdo label Death Records. With the upcoming release of 'Coverboy', a manifesto recorded over 3 years in a skid row penthouse, and the first taste of his Lead Singer Trilogy, Belle and cohorts open up the gates on a sunlit inferno where today’s starlets and ravishing poor boys play for glory.


'Jean Paul Gaultier' has all the vital power pop ingredients. Upbeat, melodic and distinct in sound, it also has that "little something" that L.A. seems to add to this type of song. With an album due late September, this track sets things up nicely.

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The Pressure Kids - Catherine in Moonlight.

Background in brief - Nashville-based indie rock favourites have just released “Catherine in Moonlight,” a sparkling anthem that’s the first single off their newest project, a forthcoming collection of songs that will have staggered release dates throughout the band members’ upcoming senior year of college.

The band met as college students after moving to Nashville, Tennessee, having arrived there from different parts of the USA.

Live Dates:
Aug 27 2016 - Exit/In Nashville, TN          
Sep 16 2016 - Concerts on the Dock Huntsville, AL.

Bright sounding guitars launch 'Catherine in Moonlight' and as the vocals and band fully kick in, the whole thing just shines. Melodic indie rock, with really pleasing vocals and harmonies, this is one very good song.

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Solid Effort - Too Far Gone.

Background - Solid Effort are five young men (Amaan, Harry, Nick, Patrick and Phanos) from Australia creating scrappy, high energy tunes that come with a laid back coastal sensibility. Taking time between Sydney and Wollongong (south coast New South Wales), Solid Effort have been working on their self-characterised genre of "leisure punk" since forming last year. "Too Far Gone" is their new single and first on Popfrenzy Records.

Solid Effort's 2015 debut EP, "Ballad of Bulli" was created, recorded and dedicated to guitarist, Patrick's garage secured them praise in press, radio play and a three show EP launch.

Fitting between the frantic pace of Minuteman and the soft, woozy synth of kraut hero's, Solid Effort's live performance makes for exciting viewing - with the band often going off script, repeating a well liked melody, or extending the never-ending finale of their barraging anthem "Automatic Wives". Over the last eighteen months, they've supported home-grown heroes, Hockey Dad, The Pinheads, Palms, Gooch Palms and The Goon Sax as well as international indie familiars, Fat White Family, Alvvays and The Courtneys. More recently, Solid Effort have once again taken to Patrick's garage and are working on their debut LP to be released in 2017.


There is something of a classic indie rock feel to 'Too Far Gone'. The vocals swagger with rock attitude over the rich guitar fronted soundtrack, that in itself swirls around, and before you know it, the songs over! Oh well play it again (and again)... 

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