Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Six Of The Best: Lowly Hounds - Pepperhead - Kate Fagan - Venus Demilo - Sam And The Womp - San Cisco

Lowly Hounds - What Fools Will Do.

Background promo - London-based rock trio Lowly Hounds have announced the release of debut single What Fools Will Do (produced by Mike Quinn of Supergrass) on October 31st. The debut single encapsulates energetic rock at its very best with pounding drums, melodic keys and a forward driving guitar section. Lead singer Nick's lively and nostalgic rock vocals oozes charisma and he even hits some falsetto notes to top it all off!

The trio are proud of their roots, a mix of Milton Keynes and Brazil! Which gives the band an interesting dynamic but they all share the same love of American blues, funk and soul, which in turn inspires their vintage edged music making together.

Lowly Hounds live show is an energetic and enrapturing experience that takes you on a journey through a massive dynamic spectrum. However the band can also strip it back too after being asked to play an intimate show for the prestigious Sofar Sounds (London).

With hard howling riffs, boundless energy and high octane songs the band conjure a sound akin to White Denim, Alabama Shakes and Catfish & The Bottlemen. 27th Oct - Single launch party @ The Bohemia, London. Website here.


My introduction to the band and 'What Fools Will Do' really does have some edge to it. Full on powerful riffs combat with simmering rock'n'roll vocals and enough underlying melody to make this one good song.

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Pepperhead - See Through You.

Background - Sydney based alternative rock band Pepperhead released their debut single ‘See Through You’ on October 7 2016. Pepperhead got together in 2015 quickly writing and recording their debut EP The Housefox Sessions and making their live debut in 2016, rocking the legendary Annandale Hotel.

‘See Through You’ is no-nonsense alternative modern rock at its finest. A pop, punk, grunge masterpiece, each listen highlights a new muse making it hard to pin to a specific genre or comparison ‘sounds like’. Close your eyes and you could imagine a Debbie Harry-fronted Ramones at CBGB’s in the 70s, at the same -me, the EP evokes a “Foo Fighters meets the Strokes” sound and style, making it modern, different yet familiar and instantly catchy.

Louisa Thomas (vocals) says, “‘See Through You’ is one of the first songs we wrote and therefore a straightforward choice for our debut single. Its also a pretty good benchmark for our live sound which we really wanted to capture in recording, and a massive thanks goes to Ryan at Housefox Studios for getting it down.” ‘See Through You’ and the upcoming EP were recorded at Housefox Studios on Sydney's Northern Beaches by Ryan Miller, mixed by Shane Edwards at Karma Sound Studios in Thailand and mastered by Rick O’Neil at Turtlerock in Sydney.

Pepperhead is Mark Trevena (drums), Dan Walker (bass), Kieron Haycock (guitar) and Louisa Thomas (vocals). Pepperhead’s The Housefox Sessions EP will be released 28th of October.Website here.


'See Through You 'is a driven alt rock song, with plenty of energy and attitude, and is a vibrant, hook laden rocker!

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Kate Fagan - I Don't Wanna Be Too Cool.

Background - Before she was opening shows for The Clash and The English Beat as the founder/ frontwoman of long-running Chicago ska trailblazers Heavy Manners, Kate Fagan released the cult new wave single I Don’t Wanna Be Too Cool on the tiny local imprint Disturbing Records.

Upon its early-1980 release the pogo-ready “Too Cool” single was immediately embraced by local club DJs and radio stations and tastemaking record stores like Chicago’s legendary Wax Trax, where it became the best-selling release by a local artist ever. The flipside, “Waiting for the Crisis,” also gained notice for its raw musical style and politically charged Reagan-era lyrics, which still resonate today.

Kate wrote the title track after moving to Chicago from New York in the late 70’s. “I pretty much came to visit Chicago and fell in love with the scene and never left,” remembers Fagan. “At the time I’d been working at New York magazine and was getting dismayed watching the CBGB scene give way to the whole Studio 54/velvet rope thing. So I spontaneously moved to Chicago, which was much more inclusive and everyone wasn’t standing around peering at each other from behind their shades. But eventually I saw that same kind of divisive hipster culture start to creep in. ‘Too Cool’ was my reaction to that.”

Fagan bought a cheap bass guitar and started writing songs intuitively, recording them at Chicago’s Acme Studios. There, she’d meet the fellow artists with whom she’d form the Disturbing Records label, which released the “I Don’t Wanna Be Too Cool” single as well as early singles by Heavy Manners.

Manufactured Recordings is excited to present this seminal U.S. new wave/post punk single, reissued here with two unreleased bonus tracks Kate recorded in the early 1980’s with members of My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult and Scarlet Architect. “I thought the reissue was a prank,” says Fagan. “I didn’t fully believe it until I flew to New York to meet them in person. It’s particularly gratifying because after the original single sold out in 1980, I did a second run of 1,000 copies out of my own pocket, and they were all lost in a house fire that destroyed literally everything that I owned at the time. So this is like unfinished business, and I think the songs are as relevant today as they were then.” Bandcamp here.


It's useful to remember that before all things Internet, songs like 'I Don't Wanna Be Too Cool' could garner considerable local success, however if the radio networks didn't pick up on them, that was so often, about as far as the music travelled. That a few decades on we all have the chance to discover these songs can't be bad, to say the least. Musically this has aged well, and remains a fresh and feisty piece.

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Venus Demilo - Bite My Tongue.

Background - Liverpool Indie four-piece Venus Demilo are back with their outstanding new single, ‘Bite My Tongue’.

Lead singer Tom Anderson states: “We’ve all been a little bit too honest after a few drinks and obsessed about it the next day. We like to write songs about real life situations that dig a bit deeper into what makes people tick”.  The instrumental perfectly compliments this sentiment with up-tempo guitar melodies and a frantic rhythm section. The track also introduces new member Fran Fitzpatrick.

The depth and feel of the band’s previous singles have drawn comparisons to Bombay Bicycle Club, Foals and Friendly Fires. However, with ‘Bite My Tongue’, Venus Demilo prove that their influences have expanded with synth experimentation inspired by ‘80s icons Michael Jackson and Prince. Venus Demi lo have built a reputation as an energetic live band from their performances at venues all around the country. The new single has captured this vitality but has kept the quirkiness of ‘Sinking Ships’, which has currently racked up over 180,000 plays on Spotify. Venus Demilo is made up Tom Anderson (vocals/guitar), Chrissy Connor (bass/vocals), Ryan Williams (drums) and new member Fran Fitzpatrick (keys/vocals). Website here.


The first thing that came to mind when I read the bands name was Televisions Venus on their Marquee Moon album, and that's where the similarity ends.  'Bite My Tongue' is a precious indie pop song, with bags of feeling, superb three part vocals, and a catchy fine feeling, running right through it.

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Sam And The Womp - East Meets West.

Background - London Ska/Balkan outfit, Sam And The Womp create their own unique style of uptempo, trumpet-driven tunes – appropriately dubbed ‘Brass and Bass’. With a desire to break away from the traditional genres of music, Sam And The Womp’s work has been used in a number of ad campaigns, including the Vodaphone UK advert this September.

The latest offering from this party-loving, energy-fuelled band is ‘East Meets West’, a track which perfectly sums up what Sam And The Womp are all about. Filled with upbeat ska rhythms, joyous brass melodies and a wonderfully vibrant energy, the song celebrates the band’s ethos of mixing up different genres and cultures, and simply creating music that’ll have you up and dancing in no time! The track was written and recorded with Joe Leech at the legendary Cowshed Studio in North London. Facebook here.


This is one lovable song and equally pleasing music video. 'East Meets West' is a clever ska based song and the Brass and Bass description is spot on. If you can't dance and party to this, you need a good long holiday!

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San Cisco - B Side.

Background - After a solid year of writing and recording, Australian band San Cisco were set to release a new single from their upcoming album later this month.  Turns out Jordi, Josh, Scarlett and Nick couldn’t wait until then, having JUST posted a video to their Facebook and YouTube pages with a short and sweet B Side, titled, wait for it… “B Side”.

The track is accompanied by am endearing video filmed by Jordi’s younger sister, Peppa and her boyfriend Matt whilst on holiday in Japan.  The A side to this “B Side”, “SloMo” will be available for your listening pleasure in the coming weeks. 

“B Side” and the first official single “SloMo” will be available on a limited edition 2 track 7 inch vinyl available to order later this year. “B Side” is available now globally on iTunes and Spotify.

Following up their 2015 hit album Gracetown, the band have been back in the studio with long time friend and collaborator Steve Schram. The yet to be titled 3rd studio album is planned for release in the first quarter of 2017
. Website here.

Until now my favourite San Cisco song has remained 'Wild Things' despite the darker theme within the song. 'B Side' is a very different affair. It's pop sensibilities and lively beat, mix with dual vocals and clever lyrics, and it's just so catchy. The third album can't come soon enough!

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