The Best of 2020: Music Roundup Part One

The Best Of 2020 Music Roundup Part One Featured Image

2020 eh? Whilst gigs have been as rare as hen’s teeth let’s not forget there have been some fantastic music released by Brighton based bands this year. Check these bands and tracks out.

ARXX: Call Me Crazy

Confounding expectations can be tough.

Everyone has an opinion of what you should do or be.

ARXX is confounding expectations with their new release, Call Me Crazy. With their last two releases, 2019’s EP Wrong Girl Honey and the previous year’s Daughters of Daughters have made their reputation on a grungy rock sound.

The duo of Hanni Pidduck and Clara Townsend this time have dialled down the more muscular parts of their sound and embraced an alt-pop sound which is bouncy yet reflective. Lyrically, it deals with life’s challenges about living in the moment versus our human instinct to over analyse and live within ourselves.

Hanni explains what the track means to her. “It’s a happy pop song about the trials and tribulations of living with depression. The chorus is an internal dialogue about getting stuck in your head and forgetting to enjoy life. It’s a very personal insight into my experiences with mental health.”  Whilst different from most of their material to date, ARXX has given us a song which chimes well at this moment and shows their talents are equally strong in the pop camp as well in rockier areas.

Particularly in this time of change and uncertainty, ARXX has shown another side of themselves and we should embrace it. Call me crazy? If you like. Better yet, listen to it.

Call Me Crazy is out now on Spotify: click here.

FFO: Haim, Dream Wife, Sports Team, Marika Hackman

More ARXX on Plugged In Brighton

Ditz: 5 Songs, 1 New EP

5 Songs EP, a vinyl release covering Ditz output from 2018 to this year. Ditz, if they are new to you are the noise band you need in your life, even if you hate loud music. A serrated blade coated in sugar and salt. Pleasure meets pain.

Role Model: Alternative eighties guitars chime to start the track off with Cal’s low distorted vocals adding to the gloom. Then the quiet/loud/quiet begins. Dread is summoned forth from the band and is given vent. The music and vox merge to create a howling, wounded behemoth issuing waves of pain and white noise.

Fuck The Pain Away: After twenty seconds, the sound of a thousand vacuum cleaners feedbacking through a massive speaker stack kicks in and repeats over the duration of the song. Done and dusted in a lithe two minutes, twenty-eight seconds, this is a sweet treat. Originally available for a limited time, the Peaches cover is available digitally now as well as on the EP.

Total 90 is a primal scream to a society which is becoming less caring and angrier. Tension filled noise mirrors and compliments vocalist Cal’s matter of fact delivery which occasionally breaks into screams and shouts of frustration.

Gayboy starts off mid-paced with a nagging guitar riff. Then when the chorus kicks in the band, the band lets rip then switching back to a slower metallic riff groove.

Seeking Arrangement is short and sharp. Clocking in at under two minutes it’s a sneery, fuzzy post-punk bomb with a short fuse.

Ditz is the best noise band around today and the best band in the Brighton alternative music scene currently too. With two EPs under their belt and 5 Songs showing their songs now match their blistering sound, we can ask when an album is coming as you’ll be greedy for more after hearing 5 Songs. When, in the probably distant future, we can go to gigs again, make a Ditz show your priority. Social distancing might be difficult as you succumb to the pit and its unearthly delights summoned by the band’s banshee howling soundscapes leading you to.

5 Songs EP is out now on vinyl released on Alcopop! Records

Social Media

More Ditz on Plugged In Brighton

Releases

Live

The Family Faith – Elvis Presley/Henry is Out of Control

Post Punk! There, I’ve said it out loud.

As a shorthand it makes you think of jagged guitar lines, cold synthesized sounds and jittery drums and lyrical concerns of decay and dysfunction below the surfaces of our lives, a fetid ripple in the pool.

New band, The Family Faith has released digitally and on CD two tracks, Elvis Presley as the lead track plus Henry is Out of Control and their sound is loudly and proudly Post Punk.

Elvis Presley starts with a disco four to the floor beat with shimmery synths, panicked beats and funky guitar lines propelling it along. Post Punk which detours into Telex territory.

Stream of conscious lyrics referencing musical heroes from the dawn of Rock n Roll and the best advice bestowed by a Brighton band this year:

You should never kiss a tory
They will only break your heart

Henry is Out of Control resurrects Mark E Smith and the song turns into a North West 80s showdown between The Fall leader and the Shaun Ryder led Happy Mondays, pre hits with added metal clanging. A solipsistic groove where only you or what you think is you can exist. Who said that?

Brighton of late has become a hotbed for the best kind of Post Punk which takes the original sound as a basis for new music but isn’t too slavish to it. Whatever your views on the man from Memphis listen here. Dysfunctional delights.

Elvis Presley is available via Bandcamp and on limited edition CD from Resident Records: https://thefamilyfaith.bandcamp.com/releases and http://www.resident-music.com/search&keyword=the%20family%20faith

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