* Wife Swap USA – The Difficult Second Album
Wife Swap USA has topped and tailed my pandemic music experience to date. One of my last gig experiences for 2020 was the Ditz headliner show at The Albert which they opened and were jaw-droppingly good. Fast forward to October and as part of the Live Is Alive shows they were still dangerous and sexy and looked just right on the bigger stage of The Dome. Now we have a release to listen to. Their debut EP, the mischievously named The Difficult Second Album, has four reasons for you to listen to it. Opener Too Sad To Wank sets out their stall. Catchy yet cheeky singalong choruses, crunchy garage rock with surreal samples and musical left turns. Lipstick, Sniffin’ USA and Snowstorm follow and this all adds up to ten minutes of the best punkish sound in many a month. The band describes themselves as a ‘hot new band and organised crime syndicate’. They’ll rob you blind but the songs are brilliant. Hopefully, a first album is on the way to accompany this difficult second album. Get this now and pray for shows in 2021 without the need for social distancing!
The Difficult Second Album is available on Bandcamp: https://wifeswapusa.bandcamp.com/album/the-difficult-second-album
More Wife Swap USA on Plugged In Brighton
* The Hell Beings – the skallywag junk files
Joining the track skallywag which was released last month in the skallywag junk files is prison made a man of her. Grunge and Rock have a furtive alleyway dalliance and crawling out of the icky ooze is this. Headbanging riffs and the best rock vocals heard in a while. Powerful and soulful. We are firmly in The Hell Beings fan-club here at Plugged In Brighton having covered them in our zine days and seen them live prior to that. They are purveyors of the kind of rock that makes you want to start a fight then ride around on a chopper afterwards flicking the vee. This two-tracker is called junk files but the subtitle should be great rock yeah!
The skallywag junk files is available on Bandcamp: https://thehellbeings.bandcamp.com/
More The Hell Beings on Plugged In Brighton:
* Porridge Radio – Every Bad
Released in March this year, Every Bad has been the breakout release that Porridge Radio deserves. A Mercury Prize-nominated album and nearer to home placing second in Resident’s Albums Of The Year awards. Two new vinyl releases have been issued and are a good excuse as any to pick up a copy if you haven’t already done so. Here’s our original review from earlier in the year.
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. 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 rewarding, 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/