A guy who just loves good music – post punk, new wave, indie, synth, 80s, the odd mix, etc.
First in what (we hope) would be a series – February mix(tape) by BelfastHead! Even more guest mixes in our archives.
Ghum – Get Up (2019/The Coldest Fire EP/Everything Sucks Music)
Ghum are a post punk/ghost grunge band from London. This song moves along with deep and dark bass lines, fuzzy hooks hooks and plenty of energy to go together with the singers swirling but tough vocals. It’s a great vehicle for the band’s goth-tinged, sparkling majesty and bewitching charisma, proving this band to be deserving of every success they earn.
Further Reading: SonOfMarketing
Hester And The Heathens – Regenerate (2020/New Year, New Music Compilation/Bandcamp)
This song feels like the perfect antidote for the current Covid situation. It starts in a moderately calm manner, but don’t be misled. ‘Regenerate‘ is a fireball of arrogance and spirit. It’s persistent energetic drums and killer riffs make it an unforgettable, emphatic track.
Further Reading: Words for Music
Juju – James Dean (2017/Our Mother Was A Plant/Fuzz Club records)
JuJu is the creation of Sicilian multi-instrumentalist Gioele Valenti who oozes talent. As The Quietus put it: “Along comes an artist who resets the coordinates and makes the past seem startling new again”.
Further Reading: Backseat Mafia
Sweeping Promises – Atelier (2020/Hunger For A Way Out/Feel It Records)
This album is one of my favourite of 2020. I mean, the record only recommends itself even more with each and every listen. Quite lo-fi in its reassessment of post punk and new wave, taking Kleenex, The Germs, or The Slits to act as a blueprint for this. It’s an incredibly easy and accessible album from start to finish.
Further Reading: Melted
Pom Poko – Like A Lady (2020/Like A Lady/Bella Union)
I love Pom Poko. A sound like nothing else I’ve heard in a while. About this song, the band themselves say “The whole song started with a long, jam-like sort of noise-rock intro, but when it was time to record it our friend and engineer suggested more of a Breeders/grungy intro that we just went with on the fly.” The song is quite experimental, with lots of distortion, crazy melodies, and a cacophony of magnificent noise.
Further Reading: Joy of Violent Movement
Mush – Blunt Instruments (2020/Lines Redacted/Memphis Industries)
Another brilliant song. It has really excellent guitar hooks, which I love. As the track goes on, it gets even more hectic, before ending quite quickly, very fuzzily!
Further Reading: Circuit Sweet
Snapped Ankles – True Ecology (2017/Come Play The Trees/Leaf)
Snapped Ankles are a London based band who make far out punk music. Their music is a collision of art-punk and noise with raw analogue synthesizers and drum machines enhancing the standard guitars and drums. Really interesting band, but a superb result.
Further Reading: God is in TV
Imperial Wax – Art of Projection (2019/Gastwerk Saboteurs/Saustex Records)
I love the Fall and this band is the last line up of the Fall without the wonderful Mark E Smith (RIP). This song features some crunching noise rock with post-rock too, and their album, Gastwerk Saboteurs, wipes the floor with other, much younger and more hyped bands out there today.
Further Reading: Soundblab
The Murder Capital – Feeling Fades (2019/When I Have Fears/Human Season)
Excellent band from Dublin, I saw them supporting Slaves in Belfast and they immediately hooked me right in. This song is wonderful. The tone is set from the off, with James McGovern’s gruff, straight-faced vocals more than able to carry its intro on their own, before blackened, sharp post-punk of Protomartyr’s kind joining to back him up, before the song ends in amazing chaos. So good.
Further Reading: Indie is not a Genre
TV Priest – Press Gang (2021/Uppers/Sub Pop)
Another wonderful new song. It was based on the experiences of frontman Charlie Drinkwater’s grandfather who worked as a photo journalist on Fleet Street and it’s about the shifting role news plays in our lives. And it’s released on Sub Pop! So you know it’s good before you even hit play!
Further Reading: The Student Playlist
Bo Ningen (feat Bobby Gillespie) – Minimal (2020/Sudden Fictions/Alcopop! Records)
Bo Ningen are a London-based, Japanese alt-rock band nad this features Bobby Gillespie from Primal Scream. This song involves a Japanese/English vocal duet between Gillespie and Bo Ningen vocalist Taigen Kawabe.
Further Reading: Mystic Sons
bdrmm – Happy (2020/Bedroom/Sonic Cathedral Recordings)
Bdrmm’s album took me offguard when I first heard it. It’s an absolutely wonderful achievement from this band from Leeds. This song sounds colossal – kind of like a cross between ‘Just Like Heaven’ and the first DIIV album A song which I could happily have on repeat and not get bored of.
Further Reading: Silent Radio
Adulkt Life – Country Pride (2020/Book Of Curses/What’s Your Rupture?)
Yes, their name is not misspelt and it is pronounced just as “Adult”. This song recalls the fractured edges of C86 or even the more harmonious end of early 80s post-punk. Quite un-retro, but Adulkt Life have started to create an identity of their own.
Further Reading: Post-Trash
The Cool Greenhouse – The Sticks (2020/the Cool Greenhouse/Melodic)
They say themselves that “‘The Sticks’ is a six-minute two-chord off-kilter fake punk onslaught for the discerning country gentleman” The Cool greenhouse are an unrelenting five-piece, post punk band with plenty to say – and are fully equipped ear-catching way to say it!!
Further Reading: Post-Trash
USA Nails – Revolution Worker (2020/Character Stop/Hex Records)
This is from USA Nails’ 5th album and for me, “Character Stop” is the best album USA Nails have ever made by miles. It’s quite varied but feels more complete as an album. You can clearly hear the dynamic between the band on this one. And this song is immense. They’ve really upped the ante on this one.
Rats On Rafts – A Trail of Wind And Fire (2021/Excerpts From Chapter 3: The Mind Runs A Net Of Rabbit Paths/Fire Records)
A band from Holland, not sure I’ve heard one before, but this is great, full or wiry guitars. A lot of their music comes from live jams and his is where this song started too, which actually combines two songs they were working on. It is inspired by the likes of Neu! and Hawkwind.
Further Reading: Exhimusic
Goat Girl – Sad Cowboy (2021/On All Fours/Rough Trade)
A post punk band from London, this song starts out as synthy and glides and builds to something more rickety and off-kilter. A looping synth line and reverb-drenched guitar fall away into a funky, loose groove that drives the dreamy, dense soundtrack.
Further Reading: SLUG Magazine
DITZ – Total 90 (2020/5 Songs EP/Alcopop! Records)
A noise rock band from Brighton, I absolutely love these guys. Their sound is colossal. This tune mixes blunt minimalism with explosive bursts of noise. Their music is erratic yet melodic. Vast arrays of guitar effects infuse their punk sound with a more experimental approach. Simply brilliant.
Further Reading: VultureHound Magazine
Crack Cloud – Tunnel Vision (2020/Pain Olympics/Meat Machine)
Packed with tight wiry guitars and in-your-face vocals before overflowing into a glorious crescendo, it’s another majestic number from a band ticking all the right boxes at the moment when it comes to being a standout sound of 2020.
Further Reading: God is in TV
Ganser – Lucky (2020/Just Look At That Sky/Felte)
Great song merging thumping noise-punk with humorous, post-punk vocals and also includes art rock centered around rumbling low end, discordant blasts of angular guitar and booming drumming.
See also – Track-by-track for Just Look at That Sky
Lice – R.D.C. (2021/WASTELAND: What Ails Our People Is Clear/Settled Law)
From a concept album which Lice introduce a hand-built noise instrument, which is based on the Intonarumori of Luigi Russolo. The album have been described as “savage, liminal space populated by shape-shifters, time-travellers, talking genitalia and ectoplasmic spectres”. This song is a cacophonous being of diverse personalities. It’s pretty incredible.
Further Reading: Everything is Noise
Bacchae – Leave Town (2020/Pleasure Vision/Get Better Records)
Bacchae are a DC-based Post-punk/Riot grrrl, Pop Punk, and Synth Punk group and this is the breathless and fiery opening track from their album Pleasure Vision,with an forceful chant of “Tell you/ Get out/ Tell you/ Leave town,” leading up to a energetic breakdown. The album is one of my favourite from 2020.
Further Reading: Buzzy Band
Liiek – Crisis (2020/Liiek/Adagio830)
A punk/post punk band from Berlin, Germany. Another song from one of my favourite albums from 2020. Think of Gang Of Four meets Q And Not U and you’ve got Liiek.
Stuck – Dimed (2020/Change Is Bad/Born Yesterday Records)
Yet another of my favourite albums from 2020, this one is really great. The album, from start to finish, is solid as hell. It contains the kind of post-punk precision and detail begging for repeated listens. Nothing’s overthought, but it’s all thought out.
Further Reading: Slow Culture
Allein in der Badewanne – Das Licht (2021/Steriles Land/Self released)
Despite their name and tracklist, Allein In Der Badewanne is actually a French post-punk band. Steriles Land is their first full length album and is available on Bandcamp and it is a big sound and is really quite excellent.
Further Reading: White Light // White Heat