ep review ~ 'for the cult fat guy' ~ junk drawer

by 08:28

Junk Drawer ~ 'For The Cult Fat Guy'
For fans of: Froth, Sonic Youth, My Bloody Valentine

Why does a band like Junk Drawer make you smile? It's an odd question, and perhaps one without a definitive answer.

Their last official release prior to the single 'Song 3' (which opens '...Cult Fat Guy') was 'Their Self-Loathing Debut (Mostly)', a two track glimpse into their fuzzy and infatuating world. For all the cool of that Jonny Woods produced release, the undercurrent of sadness hinted at by the name offered a recognisable warmth that stays with you through each track. For all their American influence, that prelude to self-destruction feels distinctly Northern Irish, perhaps the only instance you'll see any hint of Belfast here. It's a sound not yet done before on these shores, so for this sophomore release Junk Drawer carried a lot of weight on their slouched shoulders.

'Song 3's explosive intro and sepia toned camcorder-cool is a great introduction. Swirling guitars and that suffocated vocal from Stevie Lennox, borderline My Bloody Valentine. 'Do You Ever Think About Existence Adrian' is a bass driven head-banger, moody and volatile, it's a track that doesn't so much as explode, but gradually erupt. Be it a conversation about the end of the world, or simply a running narrative, the apocalyptic terror felt in 'Do You Ever Think About Existence Adrian' is more welcome than most of the eternal dread I've felt in my life so far.

Junk Drawer's cataclysmic disco continues with 'Black Cat', another menacing song littered with feedback and angst. The guitar work here is unquestionable, as bassist/guitarist Brian Coney (possibly, it could literally be any of them) is given full reign to build towards a chorus which leaves you waiting for just long enough. The fear of the future that has percolated much of their work so far remains too, with the refrain;

"You're going nowhere fast"

Then we have the phenomenal 'Quandary', a nostalgia filled shoegaze song with a chorus picked straight out of a 'best of the 90's' compilation made by, well, a cult fat guy. Beautifully mixed by Caolan Austin, 'Quandary's melancholic melody and gentle swing is no less impactful for it's lighter verses when compared to the rest of the EP. In fact, it makes for a clever balance, bringing Jake Lennox's delicate, impassioned vocals to the fore. Once more Junk Drawer's ear for a haunting outro lifts this song and indeed the entire EP to the conclusion it deserves. Faking a fade out, before bouncing straight back in for what may well prove to be another new song in the future. Or not. This band will always keep you guessing these things.

So to bring it back to the opening line of this article. They just do. So there.

Taylor Johnson
'For The Cult Fat Guy' is being launched tonight in Voodoo, Belfast.

track of the week ~ 'dreams' ~ salad boyz

by 02:51

SALAD BOYZ ~ 'Dreams'
For fans of: Weezer, The Descendents

For those unfamiliar with Belfast punks SALAD BOYZ, let us offer a brief introduction. Formed in early 2015, these four best friends have forged a reputation as one of the most exhilarating live bands in the local scene today. Never seen without their matching home made t-shirts (depicting what can only be described as "bad ass vegetables") and known for tackling contemporary world issues within their lyrics (their song about the David Cameron fiasco of last year springs to mind...), SALAD BOYZ certainly do things their way and have been recognised because of it.

Though to paint this band with the novelty brush would be a huge injustice indeed. For every 18 second song about "getting kicked in the balls" (see fan favourite "Balls") there's a track like 'LoudCrowdWowed', a Weezer styled celebration of anonymity, or 'T-4-2' the Volume Control Records released love-song which sounds straight off an indie film soundtrack.

New release 'Dreams' has been a long time coming. Making it's debut around the same time as 'T-4-2', it's a full throttle indie-punk anthem about never quite falling out of love, no matter how much you try. Lyrically and musically, it's the most mature we've seen of SALAD BOYZ. Frontman Tommy Haghighi's on stage wit is matched by his lyrics here, all the while retaining a certain romantic tragedy we've not heard before from this band.

"I don't think that I'll ever see the light...but the darkness scares me"

When coupled with the aforementioned 'T-4-2', as is the case with their latest two track EP, we see these Boyz in a new light. The Descendents influenced, foot-to-the-floor punk hasn't been lost in their more emotional setting on this EP. It's more heartfelt than ever and rather crucially, we don't have any other bands doing it in Belfast right now.

Grab your ghetto-vegetable tee's while you can, forget about your worries and get down to a SALAD BOYZ show next chance you get. You might just feel something.

Taylor Johnson

The 'Dreams 4 Two' EP is released today ~ head over to soundcloud.com/SaladBoyzMusic

In their own words...

'It's definitely a break-up song, focusing on that feeling when you know it's over, you know you don't want it back, but you can't help still feeling sad, still missing that person. You're basically trying to get used to life without them, but they're still occasionally on your mind (or in your dreams) even if you wish they weren't. Frustrating, ey?

In regards to the 'Molly's Lips' cover at the end, we realised that the chords were almost the same and the lyrics were pretty suited to it, so we threw that in at the end with the original intention of just playing it live, but it stuck and there's no way of getting rid of it now!"

~  frontman Tommy Haghighi 
Salad-core in full flight

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