Round-up Tracks: Wolf Alice, Gerard Way & More

DIY writers pick out their favourite new tracks from the last seven days

Today might have some superstitious value attached to it, but the risk hasn’t deterred the DIY writers one incy bit. On the contrary, they’ve braved the potential risk, dodging black cats, walking around ladders, and skipping over every crack in the pavement to bring you this stonking selection of music from the last seven days. With new music from Wolf Alice, Gerard Way, and far more to boot, Friday 13th just got lucky.

Wolf Alice - Untitled

“My hands are shaking,” admits Wolf Alice’s lead singer Ellie Rowsell quietly when she introduces a new, untitled song to cap off the band’s Maida Vale session on Zane Lowe’s Radio One show. The nerves seem to disappear like strawberry bon-bons from a snack bowl, though, because a mere moment later, Rowsell is yelping, screaming and angsting her way through an electrifying, drawn-out beastly prism; one that lures in Led Zepplin and Black Sabbath, breathes in a magical essence, and spits them out again as a giant hulking mass of rock. Wolf Alice are one of the main bands today proving that far from being dead, guitar music never even needed a health check. The progression this young band have shown since releasing ‘Blush’ last year is phenomenal. Do pardon my french, but if I had to suggest a name for this song, I’d go with ‘This Is The Shit’. (El Hunt)

(Skip to 11.22 to hear the new untitled Wolf Alice song)

Gerard Way - Action Cat

The realisation that a former front man is intending to go it alone isn’t universally good news. A band is rarely down to the magic of just one individual - the one with the microphone sometimes just shouts the loudest. Not here though. Gerard Way’s first solo taster is both familiar and excitingly new. Mixing the directness of My Chemical Romance with the sludgy brilliance of a hundred garage rock bands, it’s a step forwards, a swerve sideways and a theatrical bow all in one. Proof that where there’s a will, there’s a Way. (Stephen Ackroyd)

Death Grips - Billy Not Really

To say that Death Grips like to challenge their listeners is to state the obvious, but it’s becoming increasingly evident that they like challenging themselves too. ‘Billy Not Really’, one of the many highlights from the Sacramento trio’s latest release, builds itself on sounds mostly unfamiliar to Death Grips’ usual ethos. Built on lighter sounds, namely a fantastic use of a Björk sample, it’s the closest Death Grips have ever come to making something resembling beauty. The surprisingly pretty track calms Mc Ride down to a state where his lyrics are easier to hear, even if they’re just as difficult to decipher. Somehow they’re still managing to confuse the hell out of everyone, and somehow it’s still awesome. (Joe Price)

La Roux - Tropical Chancer

Lately we’ve been hearing a lot from La Roux. It’s not just because it’s World Cup season and the end of that Skream remix of ‘In For The Kill’ seems to be the default goal-montage soundtrack; Elly Jackson has been hard at work on a new album. ‘Tropical Chancer’ manages to be sassy and heartbroken at the same time; its lyrics precariously towing the line like Patsy from Ab Fab downing Pina Coladas and teetering on the edge of a rooftop swimming pool. There’s never been a stronger case for the widespread return of steel drums in pop music, either. (El Hunt)

Brontide - Bare My Bones

Some songs have an inherent ability to perfectly describe a journey; but Brontide’s brand new track, ‘Bare My Bones’, is something else. It’s a slow, deliberate, meandering ascent to a great height. Yet on the way up, they manage to craft a landscape of their signature layering of riffs-atop-riffs that expands for miles. Building to a whirling crescendo, until the carefully designed view is torn down in front of us, rhe journey takes a sudden trip straight into the abyss, with a tight ferocity synonymous with Brontide. Each new listen brings forward a new melody previously unheard, which is something this particular band is great at: the amount of detail in their music is highly addictive. ‘Bare My Bones’ is the latest sneak preview of the bands next album ‘Artery’, released 30th via Holy Roar. (Joe Dickinson)

Franz Ferdinand - ‘Stand On The Horizon’ (Tom Furse Extrapolation)

Considering The Horrors have already released one of the top albums of the year so far, it would be perfectly valid for them to take a breather, catch a few winks and put their feet up, wearing their ‘Been There. Done That. Got the T-shirt’ tees. Yet, luckily for us, bassist Tom Cowan (his solo moniker is Tom Furse) has stepped-up to the decks and given Franz Ferdinand’s ‘Stand On The Horizon’ a re-spin. In some ways, it’s rather similar to the original - the jagged guitar riffs and distinctive vocals take centre place – but the edges have been ironed-out and injected with a more glossy, synth-based backing. Plus, it’s rather brilliantly called an ‘Extrapolation’ - which sounds half-way between a classic Bushism and the catchphrase of a Dalek that’s had its innards pummelled with Red Bull - but is actually just a rather fancy word meaning something like ‘extension’. At nine minutes long it’s quite the banger of a mash-up; and has certainly whet appetites for more Horrors brilliance. Hopefully the time between ‘Luminous’ and their next album will be - errrr - de-extrapolated. (Kyle MacNeill)

JUNK - Car

Following up their brilliantly jangly lo-fi debut ‘All I Really Wanna Do (Is Baby Get Drunk With You)’, York-based trio JUNK have unveiled the lead track from their upcoming ‘Car’ EP. The aforementioned track was light-hearted bedroom-produced pop at its most loveable; fuzz-muffled guitars and boy-girl vocals which latched onto each other in a cheery, sing-song manner a bit like those fun, noise pop bands like Joanna Gruesome and Sisters. Title track of the EP ‘Car’ follows right on from where ‘All I Really Wanna Do’ left off, with Estella Adeyeri’s lofty, slacker pop croon riding on waves of breezy background guitar. Jumping in immediately with an infectiously sing-along-able refrain of “get your shit out of my caaaaar”, the trio sound a touch more refined on the production side, but ‘Car’ still has the same kind of DIY, rough round the edges traits which warrant it even more brilliant than their first release. (Laura Eley)

Sinkane - Hold Tight

Place this kind of song in any decade and given the right circumstances, it’d top charts and soundtrack steamy bedroom-bound sessions the world over. Ahmed Gallab’s found his mojo - the grubby sod - and he wants everyone to know about it. ‘Hold Tight’ is loved-up to the moon and back. It begs for mercy and asks for forgiveness in the most intimate way possible - a far cry from the strapping funk of his previous LP, this preview of new album ‘Mean Love’ couldn’t be any slicker. (Jamie Milton)

GEMS - Scars

Sparkling at the centre of last year’s blogosphere were GEMS, emitting wave after wave of galactic-sized and cosmic-sounding pop. They were able to mix massive-sounding star-spangled synths with the most delicate of vocals; resulting in sherbet-tasting anthems sweeter than a free stay at the Willy Wonka chocolate factory. Luckily, ‘Scars’ is just as gargantuan-sounding as usual. Everything swims in chocolate fountains of reverb, creating a shimmery hall-of-mirrors of ricocheting synths and echoing guitar lines.It’s pretty incredible that GEMS are able to craft pop tunes this absolutely off-the-scales mahoosive, and have such a unique sound following only one EP and not even a trace of a debut LP. All fingers, thumbs and other manipulative digits are crossed for album news soon; but for now, GEMS’ success looks nothing other than carved in (precious) stone. (Kyle MacNeill)

Tags: Gerard Way, Wolf Alice, Listen, Features

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