There’s too many gigs man.
Wooden Indian Burial Ground + Support at The Hope and Ruin.
Doors opened at 7:30pm, the show starts at 8:00pm and its 7:52pm. An unsure older man timidly enters the room and moves to the bar by default.
“Is it quiet tonight?”
“No, I think we’re expecting a good turnout” the barman replies.
This quiet serves as the calm before the storm, as the night was later filled with the thunderous sound of fiery adolescence and lo-fi attitude, which still rings in the ears of Brighton’s faithful musical followers.
A generous sized crowd gather for our openers Wizard Sleeve, as they prepare onstage, communally clad in pin stripe blazer/sport shorts/leg warmer/pork-pie hat/blanket. With full attention from the crowd, they break into ‘Strange’, a doom soaked slow-burner that sways under low, throaty vocals. Heavy grooves are amplified by the motions made onstage which individually shows confidence between the members as it’s evident a lot of time has went into practice for the performance of their songs. An impressive cover of the Zombies’ ‘She’s not there’ really lets Wizard Sleeve showcase their individual ability to aptly modulate between moods within their set, and with extra and original vocal layers added to this 60s top hit, they twist it into their own with style. They play as though it doesn’t matter if there was a crowd watching or not, the feel is carefree and cool and now the ‘get-up’ makes sense; having a look you can’t put your finger on is a smart move as they can’t be judged on it, only their material and performance keep you afloat and finally wash you up to the shores of judgement.
Upcoming dates for Wizard Sleeve’s live shows can be found on their Facebook.
Next, the Brighton two-piece Skinny Milk, set up onstage as a crowd slowly grows. The set opens with driving lines of lo-fi fuzz that fill the room and vocal lines; heavy with Ty Segall-isms, are heaved out over the top. Rapid drumming sits just behind the pulsating riffs and together, Skinny Milk create a straight flow of ballsy psych rock. However, comprising of a challenging pairing of only bass and drums, the duo take on the mammoth task of having to stay away from formulaic writing and sonic similarities between songs, as some songs within the set felt like skeletal ideas of previous songs. To see the duo further explore their potential musically, would be exciting for their growing fan base.
Get all the latest on Skinny Milk on their Facebook:
The Californian, surf rock, stylings of Virgin Kids instantly hit the room as they flew into one of their latest tracks, ‘Cracks in a Colour’. With soaring rhythm and sunny jangle, there is genuine warmth in this track, mixing many musical formulas from the speedy racing in B-52s vein, to the psych-fuzz guitar melodies of The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band. ‘My Alone’ is another track within their set that brings the revivalist sound into more modern light with catchy vocal hooks and a punk-like pace. Even as lead singer and guitarist; Asher Preston, bled out of his left hand due to a power tool incident earlier that day, the delivery of a full performance was not hazed. With a sound that gallops alongside their contemporaries found worldwide in the garage rock scene, and with Burger Records behind them, Virgin Kids just need to keep doing what they’re doing.
Check out Virgin Kids’ new video for ‘Cracks in a Colour’ here:
Our headliners are Wooden Indian Burial Ground, the Portland-based trio famous for serving out hot, melty, psych rock on top of unbroken, lo-fi drones and tonight, they’re showing the Brits how it’s done. There’s a loose feel once the set begins, dynamically growing swells of rolling drums and running bass thread neatly below the guitar’s schizophrenic interjections of pentatonic spits, there is no sign of slowing until order is found as they break into their opening song. Modernised and heavified ideas of Jonathan Richman and The Modern Lovers and Eddie Cochran breathe within each song, especially WIBG’s popular track ‘Burnout Beach’, which laboriously ambles between a good and bad trip on its way to the ocean with surfboard under arm. The winning formula of building each song from the ground up, takes the audience from point A to B perfectly, and with that parallel energy from the crowd, frontman Justin Fowler leaped off the stage as his fingers wailed through another lost-then-found solo. Unfortunatly, in the haste on getting back on stage, the guitar cut out and took around five minutes to fix.
“Do you guys wanna hear a rap song?” asked the drummer before cheers came from the crowd in affirmation.
A three verse acapella version of Biz Markie’s ‘Just a Friend’ was then performed by the drummer to fill the repair time and as it finished, the guitar was working and they were back on track.
A large man in striped tatters danced dangerously in front of the stage until his shirt fell off on the final song. WIBG dedicated the last song to him and they played it with such force, teeth were shaking inside the elated heads of Brighton’s psych rock fiends and now, we want more.
Get Wooden Indian Burial Ground’s full length latest release; ‘How’s your Favorite Dreamer?’ here:
Bazooka + Support at Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar
In a country of millions, it’s hard to be found,
To achieve success, you need make sound,
Your sound can be found with strings or drums,
So what you must do, is fuckin’ turn that muff up to eleven, dude.
Lumbering upon the stage to the angry choir of all six strings openly struck, backed by the waking boom of heavy floor toms, Fuoco drop into their first song of their set with devilish conviction. With a sound that will scrape the last plastic pop song you heard off your brain, the duo serve the crowd a reason to go out and see real bands play real music. Measured weaves of fuzz chorus and sweaty, semi-tonal schizoid punkalisms heavily peppered the set of obese riffs and raw vocal deliveries. The hard hitter, ‘My Girl’; hardwired into the set, serves as a brilliant, dynamically warped favourite, flavoured with Rapeman styled drive. Unsettled confusion sketches the face of frontman James, and he stares into the crowd whilst strumming fierce electric dread into their ears, while drummer; Antonio, sits tightly behind, acting as the reliable backbone to the swearing structures of fleshy, noise rock. The set ends with ‘Old Man’, a more melodic track that gives a cool contrast and showcases musical versatility, although, a classic Fuoco freakout did still ensue, leaving the audience with satisfied smiles.
This is Fuoco’s new video for ‘My Girl’. In case you haven’t been paying attention. Because the video premiered here. Jesus Christ.
The restless and no fuss punk of Pink Street Boys flooded the room with abrasive haste. Although looking coolly unenthused, each of the five members constantly fuelled the engine that drove the locomotive of feedback and ridged riffage right through your chest and the clatter of the crazy punk rock wheels, shook the straight rails and brain of every punter in sight. With style reminiscent of The Adolescents and Fat White Family, the Pink Street Boys are shooting straight to the pure, late 70s LA style punk and with creative, breakneck turns and vocal hook choruses, songs like ‘Fuck the Police’ and ‘Body Language’ stick out within a fiery set. Creating a noise that races with great simplicity and real punk feel, Iceland’s Pink Street Boys are growing, contemporary punk contenders.
Check out Pink Street Boys for yourself on here:
With the one trick of recklessly flailing in hostility to intimidate the paying public, Mister Lizard also give very little actual music for their audience to work with. With each song lasting a mean of 30 seconds and comprising of hashed-out hardcore instrumentation that clashes together in one inaudible heap, the crowd stands uneasy; akin to a crowd at a G.G Allin show. During the set and in the midst of the bassist trying to destroy his instrument, the drummer picks him up only to drop him on his head within the crowd, a mess that would be the wanted outcome of a great show maybe, which wasn’t there. There’s little to review with a band such as Mister Lizard, as they gave close to nothing in substance. Although, to come from another angle, Mister Lizard are memorable; much like the movie, ‘Freddy got Fingered’ or the death of family pet. They give people something to talk about, but is that worth sacrificing all creative and musical integrity?
Check out Mister Lizard on Facebook:
Our headliners are Bazooka, the prolific punk rock foursome from Greece that specialise in powerful guitar rock with punk approach. There’s a clear classic rock approach as hints of Steppenwolf are found and there’s intellectual punk feel too, particularly found between the twin guitars, that feed fantastically between each other with frustrated riffs and shared solos. A high calibre of musicianship lets Bazooka get comfortable and weird with songs within the set; sounds and moods stretch over stylistic spectrums as tracks like ‘Monkey Town’ to ‘Church’ build an exciting contrast. Expertly balancing dynamics within songs kept the bigs, big, something that is easily lost when playing with a more garage style of punk rock. With around half of the set sung in Greek, there is an instant exoticness that hits the ears of the English, as Bazooka importantly keep in touch with their Mediterranean roots, the often predicable punk lyricism now flows with originality, and also makes punks feel more cultured. The fan favourite ‘I Want to Fuck All the Girls in my School’, is a melty, gross-out ride of a song. With smart structural writing and cool rock n’ roll homage placed strategically within this weirdo piece, this track is an indicator to the potential that Bazooka possess to create more great and original punk rock.
For tour dates, videos and new music from Bazooka, check their Facebook.
words by Milo Dunn-Clarke
photography by Ollie Thomas