With the imminent return of students to Brighton and the ever growing magnitude of creatives, bustling, barging and shouting about the city, what better time for us to put together our own A-Z of the city’s musical landscape? It’s vast, it’s intimidating, there are around 400 bands kicking about the city. We have chosen to omit letters X and Z, purely because after hours of searching, chin stroking and contemplating, we could not think of a single band we have seen locally from Brighton that begin with either. We by no means claim ourselves to be experts, after all who really is? This is merely a short sample of our favourites and maybe, just maybe with a little bit of luck, it’ll inspire some of those new to the city to grab their satchel and get upon that pony to go hunt down more. Take to the deserts, oceans and icy plains, trek around the city for your time here and find them, there are some real gems, hunt them down and love them like we do. For now though, here’s our sample, if anything it’ll just make you OCDs out there slightly more satisfied that even we can keep slightly organised. Slightly.
A – Animal House
Animal House are an Aussie-come-Brighton four piece who produce the most hip shattering, groovy garage rock’n’roll. Think Kings of Leon’s husk and growl, stick it with a bit of the sensibility of those early noughtie indie rock’n’roll NME boys – The Strokes, The Libertines et al and you have a brilliant combination. Bring your beers and tequila, you’ll have a screaming time.
B – Bad For Lazarus
Spawned from the scrambles of The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster, Bad For Lazarus play a frantic and ravaged garage rock. Energetic live, this set can really put on a vicious show. Watch yourself shake however, get stuck into ‘My Muddle’ below and practice them moves in the mirror.
C – CIRQUS
An electronic two-piece presenting dark pop with a pinch of dream in there, lurking and looming in the shadows. Influences draw from the likes of Kate Bush with a touch of shegaze, think MBV, Slowdive, Lush and you are about there. Seeing these live previously, reverberated tones lick the roof before pushing it through, this pair are really loud.
D – Daskinsey4
Brighton garage punk four piece, trembling and loose guitar parts rattle under vocals at a quick tempo. There are slurs of Parquet Courts, Cloud Nothings and The Men. Americana punk placed in the hands of it’s English cousins over here in Brighton.
E – Exploder Than You
A math-punk trio with a penchant for quick shifts in time, sound and groove. Fantastic local talent, they can really produce something unique with their sound and are bound to leave even the best musicians shivering.
F – Fallow Deer
An exceptional experience, this tense and fraught four piece are purveyors and experts in demonstrating an atmosphere, building it and crushing it around you. Relentless in their live performance, rocking, juddering and jittering, definitely catch this bunch at some point. Keep an eye out for their notorious residencies at Fitzherberts.
G – Gang
A real favourite with us. Sludge and doom with a fantastic knack for writing a catchy melody along with it. Do not be mistaken, these chaps can write a fantastic anthem that will echo around your numb skull for hours afterwards.
H – His & Hers
More math, more punk and more sass and swagger than a James Dean film. Listen to this bunch loud, voices squirm and pummel. A real must see for anyone into Single Mothers, The Bronx and Fucked Up.
I – ILL
This troupe are a noisy as sin three piece punk band that feature members of Gnarwolves and Dead Swans. Fast, tense and a certain to throw you round, toy with your hair then kick you to the otherside of the room in a disgruntled mess. I’m dead certain you will get back on your two legs and go at it over again though.
J – JOUIS
Pronounced “Jhew-ee”, these dudes are a five piece psych progressive-rock band. Lucid sounds and ethereal dimensions is the key to understanding what they are and what they can create. They create a lush intimacy live, something we witnessed at Marwood Cafe during The Alternative Escape festival, this is a feeling we long to go back to, hence they are the ultimate ‘J’.
K – KINSHIP
Alternative rock, indie, emo. They do all these things exceptionally well, flittering between Sebadoh influences and Brand New, spreading to everything between. Expect monumental choruses, a real racket but a touching vocal, stapled with angst, tension and haunt.
L – Luo
An electronic, experimental, downbeat four piece; these are something very, very unique and a real staple point of the Brighton music scene. The foundations of an exceptional atmospheric ambience, intriguing and captivating to the point where your grey matter becomes restless. Probably the best in the business when it comes to this genre. For fans of Amorphous Androgynous and The Orb.
M – Munez
Showcasing at our next event on the 30th of October, these are another fantastic group. Loud, raucous and abrasive, these punk slackers can really stick it when you catch them live. On record, they are just as vitriolic, their opening track on the split EP, ‘Tread Well’ probably uses more profanities than a chap in Wetherspoons after a few drinks with a rampant sex drive.
N – Nova State
Guitars sing, stumble and swagger. It’s Britpop done to it’s fantastic best. Nova State, in a similar fashion to the likes of Blur, Oasis, The Happy Mondays and Suede have a fantastic knack of building an anthemic chorus around a single word or phrase. Hallelujah, these chaps have done Britpop proud.
O – Object Object
These are a female fronted new wave band, think Blondie, Siouxsie & The Banshees and The Cure. Lingering shoegaze guitars racket around in the undertow laying platform for the marvellous spectacle above. These have been selected by the likes of DIY Magazine in the past and have a set of songs available to listen to produced by John Parish (Eels/PJ Harvey). Catch them soon before you’re paying £30 to see them at Brighton Centre.
P – Porshyne
A brutally heavy atmospheric rock five piece, masters of ambience and then even better at cutting it in two. This set have built an engaging understanding of the old ‘tense and release’ format, they can create a sound that would shatter the Colosseums of Rome and crumble the Trojans of Ancient Greece. These astounding musicians are a must see in Brighton.
Q – Quiet Lions
Previously being described as “the best of Brighton” and “utterly inspiring”, Quiet Lions have built quite the formidable reputation. As a group, they build a uniquely uplifting and optimistic rock/pop sound, certainly falling into a vein that warrants the likes of Everything Everything, this troupe can only go up and up.
R – Recluse Club
There is nothing simple about this five piece. They grow, they expand, they adapt and cultivate – describing their sound as ‘post-fastcore’, it is a sound that is bred from inspirations such as the intense skate punk sound, merged with the emotion of the new wave of post-hardcore. It is quick, it’s fast, if you blink you’ll miss the fucker, but if you dive in, you’ll ride it and never want to get off. Raucous and ferocious live, this cluster took me to new heights as far as live experiences go.
S – Super Lungs
These guys are pretty enigmatic and hidden on the scene right now, they are brand new though so you can catch them in the earliest of their years. We caught them at The Hope and Ruin supporting The Holydrug Couple last month, they fried our little brains hence they rightfully earn the spot as our favourite ’S’, despite not having much out there. They support Magic Castles next month at The Prince Albert so if you are into your heady psych, get on down, I know I will.
T – Thundernauts
Surfing, slacker, garage sounds with a touch of rousing psych. Taking influence from a wide birth, this two piece incorporate tinges of Captain Beefheart, Led Zep and The Byrds; they have recently been rising up the ranks of Brighton’s intense garage rock scene like steam from a pan and we just love seeing ‘em rise.
U – Us Baby Bear Bones
Dream pop with an underlying sinister darkness. Grumbling, rumbling and fuzzing away in the background, check out ‘Only One’; voices scatter and skirt over the top of synths and a programmed beat, tapping, crushing and blowing you in the back of your skull. This three piece are certainly worth your time.
V – Varjak
This four piece are an exceptional little unit, an indie-groove-rock machine. They bring us a sophisticated, incredibly hooking melody that tugs you along at a very merry speed. A fantastic voice holds comparisons to some of Kate Bush’s more conventional music.
W – Wax Machine
Probably the most impressive psychedelic act we have witnessed in a while. They scorched our minds last week leaving a dribble of well, you guessed it, hot wax coming down. For fans of all the things psychedelic music did so well before it became a bit cheap, this bunch stand out – parts Foxygen, parts The Doors, parts BJM. Get on these real, real quick.
Y – Yonaka
Probably the darkest of indie pop, voices loom like Sasquatch, guitars pummel before crashing into you in a relentless fashion. Exciting to say the least, this band hold onto brilliant vocal melodies that shake and shiver before colliding with guitars in a euphoric fashion. There’s only one place beyond here and that’s utopia and I really hope Yonaka keep on pushing forward.
Categories: Brighton’s Music Features