New this week / Singles in review

Dope Body - Hired Gun

Dope Body are a four-piece rock bandbased in Baltimore, USA. “Hired Gun” is the first single from the group’s third full- length album, Lifer. Known for their heavy yet intricate sound and referencing of 90s hardcore-influenced riffs, the band pretty much cover a similar trajectory in this latest offering. Centred around a dissonant, high-octave guitar run, the song plays largely on the contrast of fist pumping, classic punk and guitar-noise atmospherics.

FKA Twigs - Pendulum

Tahliah Barnett returns with yet another single to her upcoming debut album LP1. Her first single, “Two Weeks,” was a beautifully epic ballad, bringing together traces of minimalist pop and soul. “Pendulum” takes on a similar approach but with more emphasis on the minimal.

The track is softly layered with subtle piano stabs and faint backing vocals. The percussion is nuanced and particular, often sputtering into fits, like tiny gunshots or gentle rain. This creates the perfect atmosphere for Barnett’s glistening vocals and soulful, tender delivery.

Joanna Gruesome - Jerome (Liar)

Joanna Gruesome are a five-piece group based in Cardiff, Wales. Their widely overlooked debut album Weird Sister was released just last year and brought together a much needed mixture of noise, punk and C86 pop.

“Jerome (Liar)” is the latest single from the band, and it sees Joanna Gruesome picking up right where they left off. The track is melodic, poppy and dabbles in spurts of angst every now and then. The chorus is a furious combination of flowery riffs and distant screaming, and works as a nice contrast following the song’s saccharine, sweet refrain.

Lil B - No Black Person is Ugly

The Based God returns. Lil B is an America Hip-Hop artist based in California, USA. Having dealt with his share of controversy, Lil B is always, at the very least, entertaining. His most popular songs are basically straight-up diss tracks. Which is kind of awesome. The Kevin Durant one is pretty spectacular.

“No Black Person Is Ugly” is the first track to drop from his new mixtape, Ultimate Bitch, centred around a smoothly played guitar sample. The track is mellow and reflective. The chorus is anthemic and just kind of beautiful – “sunshine, sunshine, looking for the sunshine.”

Cymbals Eat Guitars - Warning

Cymbals Eat Guitars are a four-piece alternative rock back from Staten Island, New York. Their sound is influenced by a range of guitar bands from the 90s, citing groups such as Pavement and Guided By Voices as major reference points.

It’s been three years since their sophomore album, Lenses Alien. “Warning” is the first single from their upcoming album, LOSE. The guitar work is beautiful, and the intro riff is like a 90s nostalgia trip. The track is definitely structured in a more straightforward way compared to any of the band’s previous material. Joseph D’Agostino’s vocals are emotive and tense, giving the track a wiry intensity. The chorus is infectious, and it’s all kind of glam rock.
This article first appeared in Issue 19, 2014.
Posted 9:16pm Sunday 10th August 2014 by Adrian Ng.