Avalanche Party - Ruby Cikada - Ratboys - Cool Ghouls - Surfer Blood

Avalanche Party - I’m So Wet.

Background - Avalanche Party frontman Jordan Bell says; “This is a song born from staring at the Irish Sea, in all its frothing, rolling, flirtatious glory, battered and broken by the gale and rock to which it is eternally bound. A tempting, trembling, perilous Vista which, direct to our brain, shouted ‘Yes! …I’m So Wet’. Add to that a few verses inspired by our tour manager’s Army background and we were ready to go. With water comes life - and we are alive indeed.”

Released via Leeds’ Clue Records (Allusondrugs, NARCS, Team Picture), ‘I’m So Wet’ follows the band’s previous R1 and 6Music supported single ‘Solid Gold’. Having previously toured with the likes of The Amazing Snakeheads, VANT and Public Enemy, Avalanche Party are currently on an extensive UK & EU run - taking in a set at this year’s Camden Rocks, June 3 (5pm at Be At One, Camden High St).

Avalanche Party’s sound and energy brings an intensity and immediacy reserved for only the most compelling of artists. Brimming with vigour, lyrics are spat through gritted teeth and notes are played through white knuckled fists – their raucous sound pendulums between the likes of The Stooges, Fat White Family and The Amazing Snakeheads. The reputation the band has earned in recent times has gained them main support slots with the likes of Public Enemy and VANT, praise from Huw Stephens, Steve Lamacq and Vic Galloway alongside a 6 Music session and slots at the Leeds and Reading Weekend. Facebook here.

A slower paced, yet thumping rhythm makes 'I’m So Wet' stand out pretty much straight away. The vocals are edgy and passionate, and collectively the song is both potent and pleasing.


Ruby Cikada - All You Pretty Girls.

Background - Formed in 2012, Ruby Cikada is a-five piece alternative/psyche-rock band based out of Toronto, ON. 

Suiting a range of tastes, the band has taken a 'variety' approach to live music in its 'psyche pop' oriented songwriting and progressive arrangements, harvested from a diverse range of stylistic traits and disparate genres that range from folk to funk and grunge to jazz.

Since their inception, Ruby Cikada have been performing almost exclusively within the Toronto underground, however consistently putting out albums which include Magicikada (2014), EP (2015), and finally, Ep II in June 2017.

The band released the album online yesterday June 1st, and this will be followed by a release show in Toronto at the Piston on June 8th. Facebook here, Bandcamp here.

The second of six songs on EPII 'All You Pretty Girls' gives just a glimpse of the whole. Ruby Cikada are a band that fit skillfully into a number of genres, and a keen sense for melody and arrangements is another clear strength, as their second EP comfortably demonstrates.


Ratboys - Westside.

Background - Chicago's Ratboys, led by singer/guitarist Julia Steiner and guitarist Dave Sagan, will release its sophomore album entitled "GN" on June 30th (Topshelf Records). Drawing influence from the down-to-earth sincerity and confessional confidence of Kim Deal and Jenny Lewis, the songs on "GN" (aka ‘goodnight’) “largely detail experiences of saying goodbye, finding your way home, and then figuring out what the hell to do once you’re back.” says Steiner.

Steiner and Sagan felt the impulse to make music together from the get-go – they first met as university students, quickly put out an EP together, and started performing as an acoustic two-piece in dorm rooms and backyards. During the next few years, the friends travelled separately, eventually reunited, and recorded what would become the first Ratboys record, AOID, which the folks at GoldFlakePaint describe as ‘a gleaming, joyous, raucous display of melodic indie-rock.’

After a year and a half of touring the US and Europe as a plugged-in full band (featuring the additions of drums, bass, and trumpet), the members of Ratboys returned to Chicago and holed up at Atlas Studios for two weeks to record with engineer Mikey Crotty (who had previously worked with the group on the songs 'Not Again' and 'Light Pollution'). ‘This time around, we were lucky enough to feature the talents of friends who play the pedal steel, accordion, cello and violin to give the songs an extra something,’ says Steiner. ‘Dave finally got to show off his ridiculous skills on the pocket piano, and the whole thing felt like one big loving experiment.’

Those good times and long days yielded the 10 songs that make up GN, which Evan Hall of Pinegrove calls "a delectable chapter in the Ratboys story." Bandcamp here, Facebook here.

Our second feature for Ratboys following 'Control' which we shared back in April. New song 'Westside' can be described as an alt rock song that features melodic hooks throughout, which was exactly what we said about the last track. So I thinks it's fair that we add consistently fine music, this time around.


Cool Ghouls - (If I Can't Be) The Man.

Background - San Francisco's Cool Ghouls have shared the video for their single "(If I Can't Be) The Man", which was featured on their 2016 album 'Animal Races'. 

Cool Ghouls is a rock'n'roll band from San Francisco on Empty Cellar Records. A band for playing rock'n'roll - that electric American folk art - without pretense. Think of rock'n'roll less as a genre and more as an action. A ritual performed with electric guitars and a drum kit to conjure a certain youthful spirit.

Inevitably, when listening to Cool Ghouls, you may recall performers of the past, other summoners of this same spirit, whose fingers were also channels through which rock'n'roll was made physical. But this band's purpose is not to reference, fetishize, or even celebrate these incarnations of rock'n'roll that came before them. Their intention is to animate their medium - bring to life the inanimate framework that is rock'n'roll. Get the kids dancing. Get the floor at the house party to cave in. Not to sound like a rock'n'roll band, but to do what a rock'n'roll band does. A band for playing rock'n'roll.

They have toured the world and released 3 full-length albums: Cool Ghouls, A Swirling Fire Burning Through The Rye, and Animal Races. Facebook here.

'(If I Can't Be) The Man' is now accompanied by a music video. Last years creepy clown epidemic has hopefully passed by, allowing Cool Ghouls to bring back a level of daftness, precisely where clowns belong. As a side point the song is absolutely fabulous.


Surfer Blood - Taking Care Of Eddy.

Background - Surfer Blood has released the video for their single "Taking Care Of Eddy".

When talking about the video co-director Niko Guardia said, "The main idea with the Taking Care of Eddy video was to match the intense energy in parts of the song, juxtaposed with the pretty and soothing melodies. 

We wanted the world within music video to be full of strange pretty lights and ominous settings, yet our main characters are not deterred from roaming and squashing the creatures known as 'Eddys'." 

US & Canada Tour Includes Dates With The Shins can be found on Beehive Candy's tour news page, Facebook here.

Manic guitars and a feisty rhythm, compete with melodic vocals, indeed, it's not clear which direction the song might take next. 'Taking Care Of Eddy' is full of hooks, the video adds too, rather than distract from the music, overall it's one blast of great music.