VEXX, living in and playing out of Olympia, Washington, have been devastating the Pacific Northwest music hubs for the last three years now. Upset The Rhythm and M'lady's Records recently teamed up for the first time to release their debut record - a self-titled mini-album that's explosive, vital and many leagues deeper than it has any right to be in this wicked epoch. VEXX hit the ground running, blazing through songs with a fury rarely seen in the modern underground. "Clairvoyant" is equal parts jagged as inventive, twisting out of reach at all the right moments. The song captures the band perfectly, raging headlong with unmatched momentum.
VEXX also know how to write a powerful slow burner, as evidenced by "Strength" and the first half of "Ocean Shores". Maryjane's lyrics and vocals are a clarion call of intent; on fire with possibility, whilst wrestling with the power of everything. Meanwhile, Mike and Corey's guitar and drum fireworks have left almost all spectators breathless. Each song is a maelstrom, whipping band and audience alike into a whirlwind. Pushing forward, thinking harder, striking home. This is the final finale of their European tour, let's send them off in style!
MONOTONY are an evolving band of future humans making truly irregular primal punk, not quite comparable to anything else. 'Weird' is a meaningless platitude, and 'art punk' is a classifier that shouldn't be required. "Acquisitions, no ambition. Jumping off the balcony," they intone over the swaggering rhythm over their new song 'Luxury Flats'. They are a boldly brash band lodged with sloping riffs and hollered vocals. "Human Troll lives in the river, cement mattress making him shiver!". Monotony have some a split 7" with their sister band Sauna Youth available through Upset The Rhythm now, plus new records on Faux Discx and 80/81 Records too, busy, busy!
DOG CHOCOLATE are an elasticated, punk quartet based on the principles of self-propulsion and having too much fun. Jono plays a couple of drums, Matthew plays a guitar and a load of pedals, Rob plays another guitar and sings selected songs whilst Andrew sings most the songs and plays impressionistic blasts of keyboard when he's not. Having been active in a number of other bands including Yeborobo, Limn, Gasp! Cracking Eggs, Tea And Toast Band and Moulsecoomb Sword Gang, all four members are also frantic doodlers and illustrators.
This over-spill of creativity can be seen on their recent split LP on UTR, entitled 'Or', which sees the band sprint through ten tracks of barely-controlled chaotic glee. Never dwelling for long, Dog Chocolate treat us to songs about pregnancy, poisoned eyes, public transport and cakes. Their observational, often candid lyrics match their nonsensical attitude to their music too, which tumbles and chases pitchshifted guitars through thick forests of feedback and blasting drums.
NOT SORRY are a slick bunch of italo disco enthusiasts from London comprising members of Halo Halo, Ravioli Me Away and Joey Fourrr. They have to be seen to be believed - here's your chance!
HOLYSIX are an indomitable duo featuring Monika from Meddicine and Don't Argue alongside Ve Mac, AKA 'V'. Glammed-out dark minimal artpop. Check out their brand new split tape with Not Sorry now!
PEGA MONSTRO are sisters Júlia Reis (drums) and Maria Reis (guitar, keyboard), both sing! Born and raised in Lisbon, Portugal, Maria and Júlia have been playing music together since they were 15 and 17 respectively, in other groups first before resolving on becoming a duo. Back in 2010, both sisters started a record label, along with some of their musician friends, called Cafetra Records to document Portugal's garage punk scene. Cafetra represents a community of like-minded musicians who all help each other, making music that they'd want to hear, powered by enthusiasm. 2012 saw Pega Monstro release their self-titled debut album, making for a raucous record that met with critical national acclaim.
Now Pega Monstro have a new album ready for Upset The Rhythm entitled 'Alfarroba' and released this month. The name of this second album, it's title meaning 'carob', after the sweet tasting bean that grows in the wild trees that spontaneously spring up along the Mediterranean coast. Maria explains further, "In Portugal there are a lot of carob trees in the Algarve and our mother's side of the family is from there, we spent every summer there as children. The scent is unlike any other. So apart from the phonetic appeal of the word, 'Alfarroba' is also a homage to that heritage". The songs on 'Alfarroba' deal with many themes, some universal topics like love and growing up, others focusing on the nature of writing songs themselves, whilst some try to make sense of the world from a female perspective. Expect torrents of energy, snare rolls triggering flights of guitar, and fogs of cymbal shimmer forming steps for their vocals to climb.
SACRED PAWS are a fantastic, intuitive dream punk duo, comprising Eilidh of Golden Grrls and Skeleton Bob on drums, and Rachel from Trash Kit and Shopping on guitar. Raw Soweto high-life riffs and rolling Afrobeat grooves are filtered through post-punk sass and ramshackle K Records charm. It's an utterly joyous sound, the duo trading giddy melodies and righteous chants over febrile rhythms and chunky, infectious riffage. Rock Action released the band's debut EP earlier this Spring, go check it out!
ALISTAIR MCKAY from Melbourne, now living in London, plays guitar and sings in Australia's deep pop thinkers Dick Diver. Dick Diver's brand new album 'Melbourne, Florida' (Chapter Music / Trouble In Mind) pays tribute to Jim Morrison, Kylie, confused travellers, high school quiz nights and much more, all in the space of 12 very beautiful pop songs. For this show Al will performing a rare solo set on guitar and vocals.