Jack Cooper is slowly becoming a name worth knowing. He runs Suffering Jukebox (a record label), and plays in one of the most inspired and interesting bands currently around; Mazes. Both Former Bullies and Milk Maid are signed to Suffering Jukebox, and the fact that the label focuses on regional Manchester bands is charming in a throwback kind of way. As a vocalist, Jack Cooper has a style that is kind of like if Steve Mariott and Roger McGuinn had a child. Their newest track, “Go-Betweens” starts out as an almost jangly garage-pop tune. The verse is really easy on the ears, and listening to it is an extremely pleasant experience. For some reason I can’t help but smile when I hear it. This is contrasted by the song’s second part, which is louder. While I personally don’t enjoy this part as much, it compliments the softer verse by highlighting how calming it is. Overall, “Go-Betweens” is like a good snack. It’s hard to explain why it’s so good, but once you are eating it, it’s hard to stop (Wheat Thins).
I’m turning into is an example of when simple, unassuming parts come together to become something noteworthy. “I’m going” a love song, but it isn’t convoluted in the slightest. The simplicity of the guitar tone accents the subtleties of the part. The energy in the pre-chorus builds to a fuller sounding chorus. The guitar solo is un-obnoxious and fits in the song perfectly and the vocals sit naturally on top the instrumentation. Their E.P, theep, is palatable all the way through, and the earnest nature of I’m turning into is refreshing and exciting.
Aquadora’s sound is nothing particularly new, but they manage to be something surprisingly original. Talking about them as a band without using the word “shoegaze” would be avoiding an important facet of their sound, but they manage to take a genre that is associated with being eerie and distant, and make it comforting and relatable. Follow the moon is a phenomenal track that has remarkable replay value. The song starts out with noise, and then a very simple guitar part comes in with a bass playing off of it. While the notion of instruments having a conversation is a ridiculous cliche, it’s hard to describe the dynamics between the guitar and the bass as anything but conversational. The throb of the drums fuel the pace of the song. The vocal melody is very similar to mid nineties groups like Sunny Day Real Estate and Mineral. Four minutes and twenty seconds into the song, the instrumentation becomes very dense and then immediately most of the parts drop out. The end of the follow the moon is oddly charming, and it’s hard not to listen to the song again.
SPLASHH are a British duo who are pretty rad at what they do. “All I Wanna Do” might have the most engaging first ten seconds of any song I’ve ever heard, and the promise it makes is delivered on. The only word I can comfortably use to describe the song is “charming”. Comparisons to groups like Ride are probably apt, but they’re a bit reductive. The song is so vibrant and succulently dynamic, it’s hard to describe exactly why it makes me so happy.