Since forming in 2011, there can be few bands who have been quite as prolific as King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard. A seven piece based out of Melbourne, they have pumped out a series of singularly brilliant albums that play on the more eclectic edges of rock music – occasionally touching on surf, flirting with lo-fi and with strong undertones of the US garage scene, but mainly focusing on pushing the boundaries of psyche. At their peak, they released 4 albums in 12 months – and perhaps the most incredible thing is that with their quick turnover of material, they’ve not let the quality drop a jot.
The band’s works have variously been described as “literally everything you’ve ever dreamed of and more” (Purple Sneakers on 2011′s 12 Bar Bruise), “sublime pandemonium” (Joonbug on 2013′s Oddments) and “a bold… a showcase of tenacity and talent (Beat on 2013′s Eyes Like The Sky). Their latest LP, I’m In Your Mind Fuzz, saw the acclaim from their homeland finally reach foreign shores, with NME saying “King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard’s outrageous noise deserves attention” and awarding 9/10, something backed up by MOJO (“It rates amongst the best three or four post-millennial psychedelic rock records”, 8/10) and Exclaim (“a truly ambitious band who balance classic songwriting with wild experimentation”, 7/10). This May, the band release their 6th album since their formation, entitled Quarters.
Starting out as a lo-fi side project to distract singer Sadie Dupuis from her poetry masters (culminating in an early album, The Death of….), Speedy Ortiz has since transformed into something much grander. Working with the likes of producers Paul Q (Pixies, Hole) and Justin Pizzoferrato (Dinosaur Jr.), the band self-released the single Taylor Swift/Swim Fan in March 2012, before putting out the brilliantly experimental 10”, Sports EP, that June. The band (now consisting of Dupuis and friends Darl Ferm, Matt Robidoux and Mike Falcone) take the kind of hooks and melodies The Bangles used to put out and mix it with noise, fuzz and a whole host of out-there influences.
The band released Major Arcana in 2013 (their first LP as a full band), garnering the kind of recognition that had long since been earned on the underground scene in Boston where they honed their craft. Drowned in Sound (8/10) called it “a mournful treasure that asks to be celebrated”, the NME (9/10) claimed the album “addictive and fun”, while Under the Radar (8/10) were inspired to note “[Speedy Ortiz] take the most captivating musical elements of their forbears and push them to glorious new heights” – Pitchfork (8.4/10), The A.V. Club (91%) and CMJ (8/10) were among the many others to fall for the records charms.
Following up such an exalted record is no easy feat – but it is something that Speedy Ortiz seem to have taken in their stride. Due later this year, Foil Deer looks to expand the band’s cult following with craft and guile. Early reviews have been gushing, with Consequence of Sound noting “[Speedy Ortiz] walk along intersections effortlessly: now and then, power and fragility, intricate poetry and direct prose, pain and pleasure. Foil Deer does this as well as their excellent debut, but also takes some risks in its growth”, awarding 8.3/10 – something backed up by Uncut (“Foil Deer is catchy, exhilarating and smart”, 8/10) & Alternative Press (“a meticulous collection which deconstructs convention”, 8/10)
Ahead of playing The Deaf Institute for Now Wave, Natalie Prass appeared on Later… with Jools Holland last Tuesday (14th April). Playing tracks from her critically acclaimed eponymous LP (which earned, among others, a perfect score from the Guardian), you can watch her perform Bird of Prey below:
Two years after the release of their last record, Arc, Everything Everything have returned – with their third LP, Get to Heaven, due out in June. After a recent sell-out warm up show at Manchester Academy 2, Now Wave are proud to announce the band’s largest gig in recent times – headling . Speaking of the new record, singer Jonathan Higgs said “[people are] not going to know what the fuck to do [with the new album]… I think you’d have to be blind and deaf to have lived through 2014 and not shed a tear… If you put out a record this year and it’s all smiles, then I think you’re a liar, basically.”
The band have long been one of the most singular and exciting bands anywhere in the world – with their 2010 album, Man Alive, acting as their calling card upon their release. Nominated for that year’s Mercury Music Award, with the NME noting that “there are three dirty words in [music] right now: ambition, intellect and effort. Everything Everything don’t just fit those terms, they pole-vault over them”. This latest installment of their career looks to be going down the same path – pushing boundaries in ways that others are unwilling or unable to.
Ahead of their 24 April show at Band on the Wall, Stealing Sheep have unveiled another video for their track Not Real. Performed live, the clip was premiered over on Gorilla vs. Bear, who had this to say about it:
As enchanted as we were by the trippy, technicolor original video for the title track from Liverpool band Stealing Sheep‘s wonderful forthcoming Not Real LP, we might have easily dismissed a secondary “live video” as unnecessary, an inessential afterthought. We would have been mistaken; this one, though stark and simple, might somehow be even better. Shot by Ben Morgan at Vessel Studios in Liverpool. Not Real is out April 13.