The Unit Ama make music that explodes outward: dense but soothing metronomic pulses morph into a wild fracturing of the traditional rock trio, taking the possibilities of what can be done with guitar, bass, drums and vocals into the stratosphere. Whereas others have sought to push the limits of rock music by intense complication and trickery, The Unit Ama's approach is natural, human, shamanic even. This is not anthemic, easy listening, but something far more challenging and ultimately, rewarding.
Post-Punk? Indie Rock? Post-Hardcore? The Van Pelt walked between all these worlds. Spoken/sung vocals, anthemic pop hooks, fiery guitars and a tightly wound rhythm section made them stand outs of the DIY basement scene they emerged from. The 1990's indie heroes have had a lasting power far greater than so many of the other once bigger bands of that era. The sort of interest that has neither waxed nor waned over the decades since they disbanded, yet just mysteriously continues on despite their discography being out of print since the end of the last millennium.
Hailing from Ireland, France and England The Wharves sport startling duel vocals, courtesy of Gemma Fleet (bass) and Dearbhla Minogue (guitar), which hang gracefully over their minimal rock format. They invoke the reverberated spook of 60′s girl groups, the mid-fi guitar crunch of Kim Deal’s The Amps, the vocal flavours of The Roches and the narrative and structural panache of 70's progressive folk. Marion Andrau’s thunderous drumming drives through these compositions, ensuring the wealth of disparate influences remain focused and celebratory.
Thick Syrup was formed in Leeds in 2013 by Guy, Paul and Tom out of a mutual love of 60s garage, 70s funk and early hard rock, with the intention of creating music outside of the stylistic ballpark of their other more straight up aggro bands Broken Arm, Mob Rules and Whipping Post. An adequate description of the group's particular blend of guitar band genres is not easy, but touchstones exist on a continuum somewhere between The Meters, Black Sabbath and Shocking Blue.
Imagine buying a Captain Beefheart record, playing it at 45 instead of 33, recording that, and then playing that at double speed really fucking loud with lots of screaming over the top. They're a massively enjoyable experience all the more so for the obvious delight they take in their aural assault. Simon the singer manages to wipe out half the drum kit after the first bar and they only slow it down once in the set to play a song that sounds like Black Sabbath trying to play something by Conflict and giving up halfway through to go doom. Steve the drummer has been doing this for years (in Heresy) and keeps the beat feeling good even when playing faster than you can see!