I try not to dwell on comparisons between bands but when one comes along and just reminds you of everything you’ve ever liked (ever), it’s hard to ignore that. HUNK! have that kind of sound. When I was originally shown their song “Laidbare”, I thought it was one of Rose Melberg (Tiger Trap, Go Sailor)’s new projects. Then on other material, they jump between Jale, Plumtree, Full Of Fancy, Cub, all effortlessly. That’s not to say that HUNK! are totally like any of the previously mentioned, rather they have bits and pieces that are blended into their own unique sound.
All of this out of a trio from Galway, Kerry and Cork in Ireland. I’m really looking forward to hearing more from them.
Not so long ago in 2011, a band called Shoppers released Silver Year, which was one of my favourite things to come out at the time. Unfortunately, not too long after that, they broke up.
Thankfully, it didn’t all end there. Former members of that band have now stepped out under a new moniker, with an even grander sound. There’s still reminders of what once was, mostly in regards to song titles. There’s a familiarity in the vocals, but it’s against a totally new backdrop. This isn’t Shoppers part 2. It’s a big step forward.
This is their first release, I Have Lost All Desire For Feeling.
London (Ontario, Canada!) rock and roll. This band have been playing together for a little while now, but this is their debut recording.
So Young is fronted by Paterson, who has been heavily involved in the city’s music scene for the better part of a decade. In fact, she used to put on concerts in her living room, hosting a number of established and soon-to-be well known names. In early days, she could be found in various venues with not much more than an acoustic guitar accompanying her unique vocals. She also played cello in Olenka & The Autumn Lovers. As someone who has always been associated with folkier roots, it’s a dramatic but welcome change to see her front this sort of outfit. It seems as if she has finally found the sound most suited to her. It’s like all of those years were like practice building up to this.
Considering this is the first release, it might be worth paying attention to this band. They could very well be on to something good here.
Not to be confused with similarly named NY band Very Okay, Very Happy are a pop punk outfit from Philadelphia. At their most positive, they are relatable to bands like Full Of Fancy. On the other end of the spectrum, such as on “Angry Swan”, they seem closer to Desaparecidos. The whole record is full of fun, catchy hooks fronted with passionate vocals. Even when the subject matter is about stray felines.
Fuzzy pop from a duo in Bermuda Dunes, SoCal. I am not the first person to say it, but I can’t avoid mentioning how much the vocals remind me of Jenny Lewis. Musically they’re not as similar, as the songs are typically limited to two minutes or less and seems to be closer to garage revival, or maybe shoegaze if it spent some more time in the sun.
Admittedly, when it came to choosing a song to post here, I am always going to be in favour of an Arrested Development reference. Four more years!
Sand Witches- A Stranger Broke My Finger, But You Broke My Heart
Punk trio from Bloomington, Indiana. While they may have a song about their adoration for the finer things in life (pizza) this track has a bit of a different turn. In fact, there’s something really melancholic about its sound. Punk rock is typically a lot of fun, but everybody gets down on themselves sometimes. It’s nice to hear about it outside of your more typically acoustic fare. This is still full of shouty, pissed off vocals, but it’s got a lot more guts to be this personal.
Taken from their cassette release, Take Me Too Your Pizza Leader.
On their other material, the band draws a lot of comparisons to the more classic names from their area, San Francisco. This release leans another way. It’s not exactly a new theme, but this is a much darker take on beach culture that has so heavily influenced punk bands from all over California. The sound on “Shark Beach” in particular feels like a tiny nod (unintentionally?) to L.A. legends The Dickies.
It’s not all just about the seaside, though. If you’re into any of the early 80’s Cali bands, this one’s for you. It’s not too modernized, but it’s not stale either. It’s just fun.
I only just posted about Dark Times recently, but in terms of music from the later part of this year, the Girl Hate EP rates the highest. It was only released a month ago and has quickly made its way on to heavy rotation for me. Not to mention, the title and subject matter is really important, and I especially see a lot of it between girls in bands. It’s awesome to see it addressed, even in a short punk song. Fingers crossed that 2013 will bring them to the UK for a tour.
FFAAVVEESS 2012: Hand Cream- Program (Silver Apples cover)
In terms of bands that I can associate with specific memories of 2012, Hand Cream will always remind me of my last trip to Canada. I hadn’t heard of them prior to that, but my friend convinced me to go see them on a night out in London, Ontario.
I remember when they started playing this and while I liked it a lot, I couldn’t figure out what it was. I just knew I had heard it before, and that I was enjoying this version a lot too. I used to listen to Silver Apples when I was younger but it had been a number of years, so I recognized the song instantly but couldn’t quite place it. I’m one of those people who gets pretty annoyed about that. It wasn’t until later in the night that I finally remembered, and I had a little victory dance.
Of course, the original material is glorious too. I just think that this cover reminds me the most of that night.
Anyway, as for the band themselves, they were an absolute pleasure to watch. They are definitely one of the best finds I’ve been privileged with in 2012. I think it’s pretty awesome that I got to see them live when I could. I still have my fingers crossed that they will eventually cross the pond for a few shows in the future.