The Fireworks, “Dream About You” (Shelflife/Opposite Number)
London-based trio The Fireworks recently shared a new 7”, “Dream About You”, the first to feature the vocal stylings of new member Beth Arzy (formerly of Trembling Blue Stars and Aberdeen, amongst others).
The single’s three tracks breeze by in a bit more than 8 minutes but, like real pyrotechnics, need but a moment to make a lasting impression. Close your eyes and you can still hear the brilliant bass countermelody underpinning the title track’s delirious jangle; feel the drum wallop in the candy-colored psycho closer (see what we did there?), “We’ve Been Wasting Time”. For my money, middle child “Better Without You Now” is the gem, a droll kiss-off backlit by a shimmering, Murmur-era guitar hook. Fans of JAMC, early REM, Kinks, Shop Assistants, C86, Manhattan Love Suicides and/or well-constructed melodies, look no further.
The “Dream of You” 7” is available now courtesy of two fantastic labels – namely, Opposite Number (in the UK/EU) and Shelflife (everywhere else). Surveil The Fireworks on fbook the twitt and their site, and peruse their back catalogue on bandcamp. While you’re at it, have a look at the video for “Dream About You”, which premiered over at The Big Takeover.
Penelope Isles, “Cut Your Hair” (Art Is Hard)
Art Is Hard records’ 2017 singles club aims to provide listeners with a “monthly postcard” from the label’s artists. The first such missive comes from “Brighton via Cornwall”’s Penelope Isles, who share the beguiling “Cut Your Hair”. The track sets off on a confrontational tone – short/sharp/stabs of guitar, drum and bass strut, bob and weave, as lyrics describe a decision to settle into a corporate life (after, natch, the titular clip) – before slowly lifting the veil on a crushingly beautiful chorus of arpeggioed upper register and swelling vocals asking, “did you laugh?”.
“Cut Your Hair” is available now, from Art Is Hard. Discover more of Penelope Isles by queuing up (calmly) and following, on: fbook, the twitt, soundcloud and/or bandcamp. The band also have a few shows upcoming in the UK (dates below).
2/2 Woodlane Social Club, Falmouth
2/3 Unit 23, Totnes
2/4 The Green Door Store, Brighton
2/7 The Olde Blue Last, London
2/20 The Prince Albert, Brighton
[Ed. Note: this was meant to have posted back in November…oops. Quoth Homer Simpson: “It’s still good! It’s still good!”]
Death Stuff, “Surprise Ex” (Monofonus Press)
“Surprise Ex” is a new track from Atlanta three-piece, Death Stuff. Opening on a riff that threatens to go all ‘Earth AD” the song, instead, roils into propulsive, whirling dervish post-punk before a full-on art-thrash spasm is abruptly euthanized after 2:30 or so. It’s noisy. It’s a bit exhausting. It reminds us of Girl Band, Running and early Butthole Surfers. It’s great. Get on it.
“Surprise Ex” is up now on the Death Stuff Bandcamp page – as is a fantastic set of demos from February – and looks to be set for inclusion on a self-titled release due later this fall on auto-correct darlings, Monofonus Press. I don’t know much more about Death Stuff, except that their first fbook post looks to be from last December and they like to repeat the words ‘death stuff’ on their page – a lot. Looking forward to more, more, more.