Zachary Cole Smith has overcome a multitude of problems to make this intensely powerful album
10 Tracks You Have To Hear This Week (02/07/12)
Milk Music, Cat Power, Madeon
Milk Music - 'Violence Now'
Corporate, bland, derivative, cocksucking, over-produced, over-hyped shite. This is everything Milk Music are not, and ‘Violence Now’ proves it. We knew they were bloody good even before they landed on UK soil a few weeks ago, and they cemented their reputation as true gutterpunk trailblazers with packed-out shows in east London basements and strange recording studios. Now – just before they embark on a US tour that’ll see them play with worthy bedfellows Iceage – comes this song, rescued from obscure flexi-disc hell and slung on SoundCloud for the first time. It’s certainly the most lo-fi thing we’ve ever put in On Repeat, sounding like the
tinniest Manics demo in existence and easily rough enough to make the most hardened punk jump for joy.
Here: it’s about the way everything skids to a halt every 30 seconds – save for the ear-piercing, bruised squall of rank feedback. There: it’s about the way they’re catapulted back into spittlepunk revolver-action by singer Alex Coxen’s Strummer-esque scream of “VIOLENCE!” – not once but EIGHT times during its far-too-short two minutes and 15 seconds. Everywhere: it’s because Milk Music are a proper, proper garage band, and perhaps the only one that still truly dares to exist in 2012. Repeat, repeat, repeat and be damned.
Cat Power - 'Cherokee'
“Never knew pain like this/Everything die, then die”. Ah. So the bright-eyed disposition of ‘Ruin’ won’t be riding roughshod, then: ‘Cherokee’ is all bittersweet love and loss boosted by choking, chugging piano – and a lovely reminder that nobody can mine their grief quite like Chan Marshall.
Gallows - 'Last June'
The Watford punks are preparing to unleash their first full-length effort without Frank Carter, and they’ve come out swinging. ‘Last June’ feels like a return to their early days, complete with sludgy guitars and the most menacing bassline you’ll hear all year. It sounds raw, hungry and engineered for sweaty basements. Bring on the album.
Madeon - 'Annie Mac Minimix'
Some DJs struggle to mix two tracks without it sounding like cats screwing. But not 18-year-old French electro producer Madeon, who’s sampled no less than 103 tracks in five minutes. It’s OTT, it’s silly, it mashes everything from Skrillex to Chic. But whatever. Pour yourself a Bacardi Breezer and get ravey.
Gatekeeper - 'Tree Drum'
This early cut from New York production duo Gatekeeper’s upcoming debut album ‘Exo’ reimagines the club dancefloor as a sweltering rainforest. Synths slither snake-like between your legs, beats judder like an approaching pygmy war party, and while your head is turned, a spider monkey swings over and steals your pint.
Eagulls - 'Moulting'
The lead – and best – song from Leeds’ new favourite progressive punks’ forthcoming five-track EP is a gigantic two-chord monster that’s as effervescent and instantly likeable as the slew of earlier releases that have been getting us all excited. Comes on transparent green 12-inch vinyl, too, which is always nice.
Thee Oh Sees - 'Lupine Dominus'
The first single from the prolific San Francisco garage outfit’s tastily named new record ‘Putrifiers II’ is a brain-frying mix of smashed-up guitars and grinding, swirling psych. Think Neu! meets My Bloody Valentine, with just a lick of ’60s girl-group sparkle from singer Brigid Dawson’s delirious harmonies.
Nas ft Rick Ross - 'Accident Murderers'
Another swaggering teaser from Mr Jones’ album sees him face off with a fellow big hitter of hip-hop. We’re not sure the track has fully grasped that an accidental murder is actually manslaughter. But this piano-drenched cut is formidable enough to shift the ‘Life Is Good’ conversation away from Kelis’ green wedding dress being on the cover, for five minutes, at least.
Daughter - 'Home'
“I was drunk again, causing accidents” sings Elena Tonra, frontlady of London-based trio Daughter, in her precious tones. But ‘Home’ is no drinking song, but a dramatic mini-epic that spends six minutes building up, then down, then up again, to a catastrophic Explosions In The Sky ending. Pretty, destructive.
Muse - 'Survival'
Cossack barbershop Blur. Finger-clicks. Jaunty pianos. Male choirs hoofing around. And Matt delivering the central Olympic-themed conceit: “Life’s a race/I’m gonna win/I’ll light the fuse/And I’ll never lose”. Pretty crude, but the self-belief on Muse’s sport-dedicated comeback soon goes beyond trying to gee up our team
to a bronze.
This article originally appeared in the July 7th issue of NME
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