* Porridge Radio – Every Bad
Second albums can make or break bands and this case Porridge Radio has surpassed its debut. Veering between calm and excited, quiet and loud, its music where the listener is on edge as to where we will be taken. Dreamy soundscape pop drifts in and out, blown away by harsher indie rock then returning. Rather than being an album which can’t decide what it is, it’s a blend that delivers and awards repeated listens. Vocally, Dana Margolin at times sounds like Lou Reed, cool and aloof but with added millennial tension. The Eighties loom large as pastel-shaded pop dances with C86 indie. Listening once is awarding, listening twice is illuminating. Arguably the best indie album of 2020 to date.
Every Bad is released on all formats on Secretly Canadian: https://www.facebook.com/porridgeradio/
* Slum of Legs – Self Titled
I’ve been a long time admirer of Slum of Legs going back to its demo cassette release on Tuff Enuff back in 2013. The self-titled debut album has been in gestation for some time. Opener Benetint & Malevolence starts slowly but reveals its indie charms as time passes. The warmth of traditional instruments combines with synth and other sounds to make something familiar but wholly unique. Slum of Legs the song takes this old/new sound but adds a thumping drum sound to give you a song to dance to. I Dream of Valves Exploding alternates between a synth and string line before turning into a pulsating kosmischer monster then back again. RUTHE14ME could be a lost Kleenex track. In Yr Face is an alternate, what if Two Tone has turned slightly psych… Love’s Not Enough is punky folk. The Baader-Meinhof Always Look So Good In Photos is muscular and angular with added synth sounds. White Leather is paranoia made aural. Sasha Fierce is Riot Grrl meets New Wave with Riot Grrl just winning by a head. Album closer, The Last Time is a close cousin to early Broadcast in that soundscapes are created which are routed in a memory which is remembered but perhaps best forgotten as it’s painful and raw. Slum of Legs has taken their time and given to you a collection of music which has roots in psych, punk, indie and pop but distilled these disparate influences into ten tracks which cover despair, anger, rage and triumph and other more prosaic mundanities which make you think and at times dance. A victory for intelligence and perseverance in an age where the lowest common denominator often triumphs. Not here.
Slum of Legs ST is available from Bandcamp and other platforms: https://slumoflegs.bandcamp.com/album/slum-of-legs, along with Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SlumOfLegs
* Attestor – Demo
New band, familiar names to Brighton punk fans. Attestor is Darren Bourne of Tadpole Records and Steve Barry and Ant Cole from Watchcries. Six tracks, not quite ten minutes. Fast and furious D Beat is served hot and heavy. They’ve got society’s ills and those who profit from them in their sights and they should be bricking it. As their name suggests they are genuine and I can attest to punk fans needing to get themselves a fix of this. New punk dealing with old shit. What’s Justice? No son, just us!