Categories
Music Post Punk Synth Pop

Billy Nomates – No

I may not have verbalised it thus far, but the primary purpose & concern of Scruffy Theory is discovery and rediscovery. It’s about discovering new music, literature & art then attempting to share & spread my enthusiasm for those things as far & wide as possible. There may be some politics & respectful marking of certain anniversaries & holidays, but they’re not the primary focus.

So there are various ways that one can pick up new leads & ideas for new pathways to follow in the cause of discovery. This morning, for example, I was watching an interview on YouTube with Jason Williamson, vocalist with Sleaford Mods. One question he was asked was what new music was he currently enjoying. He answered with new English artist, Billy Nomates. He described Billy Nomates as like Sleaford Mods (but nost), Post-Punk, like early Madonna & ’80’s soul combined.

Rhythmically, No by Billy Nomates is quite similar to Sleaford Mods, with that driving beat & solid bass. Vocally there is an element of speak singing in the verses but the choruses definitely live up to Jason’s early Madonna comparison. It’s solid Post-Punk/Pop crossover music which will hopefully make an impact on the mainstream. & if it doesn’t, I’m sure the Indie scene will give Billy Nomates the love & respect they deserve.

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Categories
Music Post Punk Punk Song of the Day

Song of the Day (A-Z): Wire – Outdoor Miner

Wow, we’re already at day 15 (O). This is one of my favourite songs of all time & quite possibly one of the songs that started the whole Indie Rock ball rolling, Outdoor Miner by Post-Punk pioneers, Wire. Taken from their second LP, 1978’s Chairs Missing, Outdoor Miner bears striking similarities to much of the Indie Rock which came along in it’s wake.

Always eager to find new & interesting things to write about, the experimental lyrics to this song are based on bassist Graham Lewis’ fascination with the Serpentine leaf miner, a fly larva, & details it’s life cycle. The song is even mentioned on it’s wikipedia page.

No blind spots in the leopard’s eyes
Can only help to jeopardize
The lives of lambs, the shepherd cries 

An outdoor life for a silverfish
Eternal dust less ticklish
Than the clean room, a houseguest’s wish

He lies on his side, is he trying to hide?
In fact it’s the earth, which he’s known since birth

He lies on his side, is he trying to hide?
In fact it’s the earth, which he’s known since birth

Face worker, a serpentine miner
A roof falls, an under-liner
Of leaf structure, the egg timer

He lies on his side, is he trying to hide?
In fact it’s the earth, which he’s known since birth

He lies on his side, is he trying to hide? 
In fact it’s the earth, which he’s known since birth

He lies on his side, is he trying to hide? (he lies on his side)
In fact it’s the earth, which he’s known since birth (is he trying to hide?)

He lies on his side, is he trying to hide? (he lies on his side)
In fact it’s the earth, which he’s known since birth (is he trying to hide?)

He lies on his side, is he trying to hide? (he lies on his side)
In fact it’s the earth, which he’s known since birth (is he trying to hide?)

Outdoor Miner has been covered by many different Indie bands over the years. A personal favourite of mine is the version by Flying Saucer Attack, below.

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Categories
Industrial Music Post Punk

Einstürzende Neubauten – ALLES IN ALLEM

German Industrial Post-Punk pioneers Einstürzende Neubauten release new album, ALLES IN ALLEM.

I’ve never really listened to Einstürzende Neubauten as much as I should have but I’ve always enjoyed what I’ve heard. I particularly like their use of bizarre percussion, such as metal sheets, which gave their music that distinctly industrial sound. This industrial sound went on to influence the formation of the entire Post-Punk sub-genre we now call Industrial.

ALLES IN ALLEM is relatively downtempo from the get go. Opening track, Ten Grand Goldie, revels in electronic kick drums and bizarre metallic clangs. The melodies are incredibly simple and eerie. Dark. The vocals throughout the album have a haunting, chanted quality which fits well with the dolorous soundscapes.

As with the majority of their material, industrial percussion is embedded deep in the sonic texture. Möbliertes Lied seems to have grinding glass and/or bags of stones being played as instruments. There’s a high pitched sound, somewhere between a klaxon and a road drill, at the start of the following track, Zivilisatorisches Missgeschick. It soon breaks down into a minimal composition of delay-drenched xylophone-esque sounds and synth stabs. Occasional cracks & clangs of white noise based percussion cut through the gloom like an air raid.

This may be outside of some folks comfort zones, as it is incredibly dark & incredibly weird experimental. It’s an exercise in unusual sound design and dark vibes. Unfortunately, this writer cannot comment on the lyrics as he does not speak German but I can still feel the emotions in the melancholic vocal melodies.

ALLES IN ALLEM is out now on all the usual streaming services. Check out this excellent video for the title track and then head on over to Spotify (or wherever) & give the album a listen. You (hopefully) won’t regret it.

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Categories
Indie Rock Post Punk Punk

Wire – The Art of Persistence

I was surprised, pleasantly, by the release of a new Wire single today. A reworked version of The Art of Persistence from their forthcoming compilation of reworks and stray (I’m guessing they mean unreleased) tunes, 10:20.

10:20 was initially conceived as a Record Store Day exclusive but after the organisers pushed the event back due to the pandemic, Wire decided to release the album on 19th June, reading it today with The Art of Persistence. Originally intended as a vinyl only release, 10:20 will be released on all platforms in the absence of Record Store Day. 

The Art of Persistence is a hauntingly atmospheric slice of almost elegiac New Wave. The lyrics seem to detail failed attempts to communicate, saddened by the anxiety of failure. “Persistence, survival, a test of the wills”, sings Colin Newman, giving this Communicative impasse an almost competitive element which is helped along by the quick pace of the songs galloping rhythms. 

Wire previously released Small Black Reptile in March, which also appears on 10:20. Both singles are available now from digital outlets & streaming services.

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