Fear Of Men sound unabashedly in love with 80’s indie guitar bands, and I could rattle off half a dozen names of long forgottens like The Parachute Men and The Popguns, bands that weren’t trying to change the world, just wrap you in waves of guitar and tell you what was on their mind. With a growing list of impressive releases (and from the sounds of it, a forthcoming compilation to collect them all), we asked Fear Of Men to give us the inside scoop on what makes them tick.
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Heavy on atmosphere with a melodic depth that harnesses Banshees-like percussion against rippling guitar-work and bears more than a passing resemblance to the rhythmic whirl of Warpaint and the siren song of Esben and the Witch, the band known as Deaf Club (relax: it’s just a name) have become an intriguing proposition in the space of a handful of releases. On first listen you almost expect them to be card-carrying goths, but as revealed in our q+a (heck, just look at them, a cardigan short of a Sarah Records tea party) this is far from the case…
What to say about Sheffield’s Best Friends… The name of the band is self-explanatory. The a-side of their debut single “Surf Bitches” could either be about the kinds of girls they like or things they like to do, but with a comma missing between “Surf” and “Bitches”. You know, like a shopping list. Maybe they just wanna blitzkrieg bop their way all over the Beach Boys playbook? We all know Brian Wilson and the boys loved their surf and bitches, right? Get the dirt on the band, or maybe just nod along to their q+a in-jokes while watching the cool animated clip to “Surf Bitches”, out now on 7″ single as part of the Too Pure Singles Club.
This is a first for Webcuts, in the sense that between asking a band to appear in a future ‘Who The Hell Are…?’ and publishing said feature, the band broke up. Our recent hiatus, which was unfortunate but you know… whatever , allowed Naomi Hates Humans to pass into the great rehearsal room in the sky un-championed by us, especially after having given one of the best responses to our questionnaire ever. This just could not stand, so the feature has been appropriately re-titled and like naughty puppies, we are very remorseful about our ineptitude.
Folk bands are slowly going the way of the emo bands — cookie-cutter, predictable, uninspired, and inevitably becoming a parody of themselves because music is a business and the market dictates that consumers will always want more of what’s popular. The Beggar Folk fall nicely into the afore-mentioned folk music genre, however their music doesn’t seem to follow suit with the folk status quo. These are ballads and hymns, carved from trees and molded from soil. This music demands your attention and effortlessly passes any authenticity tests. It conjures up what real Americana and country music should conjure.
Could it be true that the end of a beloved and highly regarded band came down to a simple “a funny thing happened while putting together our career retrospective”? It’s something of a prerequisite to contribute to Webcuts that you have at one time been an R.E.M. fan. Actually that's not true, we'll take anybody, but it is no small coincidence that many people who's taste in music we respect happen to be so. When putting together this tribute, the Webcuts collective decided to take a look at each of their 15 albums and select a track that for us, showed why R.E.M. were one of the last truly great rock n’ roll bands of the 20th Century.
“Walk Unafraid” (1998) The retirement of drummer Bill Berry caused something of a mid-life crisis. Having always been a democracy, R.E.M. didn’t know how to proceed without one of the founding members. Up is, as a result, a timid, nervous album, rife with attempts at new sonic directions. “Walk Unafraid” is unabashedly tender, a messy [...]
“You Are The Everything” (1988) As much as Document was a major turning point in the public view of the band, Green embodied their own increasing personal and political views. “Wake up, stand up, believe in yourself” seemed to the mantra of the hour. Sandwiched between two prime examples of this, “Get Up” and “Stand”, [...]
When it comes to the mythical it-factor, New York’s The Rassle by their own admission are “just rock and roll”. They understand that thousands of people have been there, done that. They’re here to enjoy whatever the moment is right now, and it feels pretty damn great. Listen to The Rassle’s first single, “Wild Ones” and you’ll hear what they’re talking about. It’s a sound that’s been done before. A little synthy, a little danceable. But by the time that kick drum chorus comes bellowing forward, it doesn’t matter. You’re bobbing your head like this is the first time you’ve heard indie rock before. It’s fantastic.
With their debut album If It Carries On Like This We’re Moving to Morecombe, London post-rock quartet The Fierce & The Dead left an indelible impression at Webcuts HQ. It was an album that defied categorisation and challenged perceptions of the post-rock genre, not only from the exceptionally long-winded and unselfconscious title, but in the way it fused elements of post-rock with hardcore, ambient soundscapes and jazz/funk experimentation. It was as if The Fierce & The Dead wanted to sound like all bands, and none, which intrigued us enough to want to find out more.