Tag Archives: new band

New (To Me!) Band of the Day: Britain


First things first: I count myself a massive Cocteau Twins fan.  So much so that when I read/hear bands compared sonically or otherwise with them, it’s met with a healthy skepticism.  Few, either during the contemporaneous rise of dream pop and shoegaze or during their more recent revivals, seem to match the visceral thrill, the desolate euphoria, gleaned from the original.  While I grew to like many of these bands over time it was in spite of, rather than due to, their supposed level of “Cocteausiness”.

Which leads me to Britain, the duo of Joey Cobb and Katie Drew that I recently stumbled across (thanks to an email blast from the good folks over at Heavenly).  They come bearing Cocteau comparisons – and it’s easy enough to see why on first listen to the demo for track, “Day by Day”:  the glistening guitar cascades, crisp drum machine patter, even an ending that sounds as though the song’s been suddenly unplugged – it’s all there.  Yet, in spite of my decidedly caveat emptor approach to such things, I was immediately swept up and carried off by “Day by Day”.

Much of this is down to Drew’s vocal performance, which matches not only the wispy end of Elizabeth Fraser’s delivery but, more importantly, its soulfulness.  So, yes, it does sound like the Cocteaus – but “Day by Day” is no mere pastiche.  The light and dark in the track’s woozy melody gives a feel like the reveal of sun through a slowly lifting fog.  It’s also incredibly fully-formed for a ‘demo’ – so hopefully, if included on their forthcoming debut, it won’t be messed with.  A second track, “Tried to Call”, can be heard by watching their “Stay Fresh” session over at theskinny.  Building from a similar 4AD building block, “Tried to Call” ratchets up the psych in a way that reminds of Lost Souls-era Doves (a band Britain name check as an influence in the corresponding interview).

Per the bio on fbook and the twitt, Britain are currently working on their debut, which will be released on Heavenly.  Stay tuned, and catch them out on tour with Jane Weaver this autumn in the UK (dates here).

New (To Me!) Band of the Day: The Jack Bennies

New (to me) Artist of the Day – The Jack Bennies

Difficult to find a lot of info on this band, but here’s what we think we know about the band, after exhaustive* research:

– they may have six members (website lists Idle Edsel – Vocals, Bobby Conquer – Guitar, Paddy Bullocks – Guitar, Lance Brainstrong – Guitar, Johnny Davenport – Bass, and Jubal Fearing – Drums) or 9 (Facebook page has a different list of names, aside from repeat offender Fearing) – side note: 3 guitars!! suck that, .38 Special!;

– their name may actually be The Jacked Bennies (website is under this name, but not Facebook, and it also comes up on the google); not sure.

Here are the things we can say for sure about the band:

– they hail from the land of Gabe Kotter;

– members were previously in bands such as Saint Bastard and the Candy Snatchers;

– they kick butt.

Gloriously sloppy, sweaty, down and dirty rock and/or roll from NYC.  Not young, perhaps, but definitely loud and snotty.  Chancing upon a magical spike found lying, unassuming, in a trash-strewn alleyway in the Bowery, The Jack(ed) Bennies tapped the Dead Boys/Heartbreakers vein, throwing in some Stoogey proto-punk and Motör(head)boogie for good measure, vocalist Edsel/Diedrick snarling and yowling like the reincarnation of Stiv himself.  Boss tunes that never go out of style.

Debut full length, Chopping Down the Weeds, is out now on Human Head Records and can be purchased through Goner, Slovenly or Juno in the UK, among other places.  Go forth and like them on the usual social media blah blah and celebrate them live July 25 at Otto’s Shrunken Head, if you happen to live near New York City.  Shout out to the mighty Late Risers’ Club for the pro tip.

Check out: “Sweet Sally”, “Plastic Pat”, “What You Want”.

*Actual research may not have been overly exhausting.