Noise Annoys: Careerist, Hot Snakes, Junk Drawer and Paper Tigers
Words on new music from Careerist, Junk Drawer and Paper Tigers, plus a reminder of an unmissable live engagement...
IT'S review time once again at Noise Annoys towers, this week featuring the debut single from Paper Tigers, Junk Drawer's latest, noticeably progressive sounding offering and the debut album from the artists formerly known as Hot Cops.
:: Careerist – Weird Hill (Pizza Pizza)
I WAS looking forward to this one – and happily it doesn't disappoint. Recorded by Robocobra Quartet man Chris Ryan, the Belfast indie rock trio's debut long-player finds Carl (vocals/guitars), Conor (drums) and Nathan (bass/vocals) treating listeners to nine fine songs in the space of just under half an hour, guaranteeing high 'repeat play' value for this delightfully presented album on pink and green marbled vinyl (or see-thru digital download) from Dundalk's tastiest/only alternative record label, Pizza Pizza.
Fans from their Hot Cops days will be pleased to note that the band's late-period banger Negative One has survived their name change to be granted opening number status on Weird Hill.
It's still a hugely effective attention getter, immediately sucking listeners in with its playfully groovy, skronky slacker rock charms based around a joyously dumb guitar riff perfectly offset/set off perfectly by Carl's pleasingly detached vocalisations.
Another older tune, Weight, has also made the cut: this one's a throwback jangle pop nugget fuelled by contemporary digital angst and featuring the sage observation that "the internet is levelling / the internet is everything".
Indeed, the frontman's winning way with strangely poetic words (handy, as he's the band's lyricist-in-chief) is on display throughout Weird Hill's compelling collection of melodic, musically dexterous tunes; Doors, a rousing loud/quiet/loud ode to frustration, finds Carl channelling the fuzzed-out yelp of Mellow Gold-era Beck and features the memorably evocative hook line "doors you can't open with the keys you were given"; the deceptively meandering lo-fi shoegazer Piran finds him musing about "unitary lizard saviours" as the band slip seamlessly into a splendidly noisy mid-song wig-out; I also love "art is blood and getting fed up / it's 'over and done'/ it's nowhere to run" from manic Sonic Youth-esque album stand-out Book II.
However, my absolute favourite line features in another of Weird Hill's top picks, side two opener Slasher – a delightfully skewed and schizophrenic Spaghetti Western-flavoured affair that mashes up Pavement with Morricone and Ben Folds – which begins with as brilliantly odd a cut 'n' paste couplet as I've ever heard: "Greyed out, left the shower on / I predicted tears at the marathon".
I mean, who hasn't been there?
The record finishes in strong style with a trio of tunes which find Careerist pushing the boundaries of their sound; Ring of Hands is another indie rock cowboy song, riding in on plonky acoustic guitars which swell and strum with tinny Farfisa accompaniment; the deceptively dreamy Idle has a palpable clenched jawed angst at its tightly wound core which gradually seeps out like rising damp around and over its quiet killer of a chorus, while mesmerising finale Party Up shape-shifts from ghostly desolation to noisy, concussive despair in a fine album-closing fashion.
In short, Weird Hill is an appealingly off-kilter, all killer, no filler debut that should be snapped up immediately by discerning indie rock fans at your friendly local record retailer or direct from the band at Careerist.bandcamp.com.
The band also have a couple of live dates coming up, at Kino in Cork City with Pizza Pizza buddies Just Mustard and Trick Mist on Saturday December 14, followed by a pre-Christmas Belfast show with New Pagans and Catalan! at Voodoo in Belfast on Sunday December 22.
:: Junk Drawer – Temporary Day (self-released)
THE Drawer's latest single from their forthcoming instant classic debut album Ready For The House finds the Belfast quartet shaking things up a tad from their by now well established guitars/bass/drums indie rock sound.
This time around the NI Music Prize best single winners (for previously released gem, Year of The Sofa) are in a spacey, droney psychedelic Krautrockin' kind of a mood, firing up their knock-off Moog for a pulsing, synth bass-powered and noisy guitar abuse peppered sonic exploration that sounds not unlike Thurston Moore fronting Stereolab.
Indeed, the band have suggested it's a tune for fans of Wooden Shjips, Spacemen 3 and White Hills – I certainly wouldn't disagree. See if you do by pointing your ears at Junkdrawerbelfast.bandcamp.com.
There's also a quality video up on You Tube right now to go with the song courtesy of Donegal man Robert Mulhern, in which the Drawer stick a satirical boot into the side of vlogger culture: viewers are cautioned that it contains disturbing footage of a ginger in short shorts, skateboard incineration and a gratuitous waste of milkshake.
By happy coincidence, Junk Drawer are in action this very night supporting local drone pop superstars Documenta at Belfast's premier rock dive, Voodoo. Doors are at 9pm and admission is, allegedly, £9.99.
:: Paper Tigers – Gucci Smiles (self-released)
FAST-rising Belfast rock combo Paper Tigers make a memorable recorded debut with this short sharp shock of a tune which captures the live energy that's already made them a big draw on the local circuit.
The Tigers exude confidence as they belt out Gucci Smiles, throughout which they deploy big riffs, thunderous percussion and a roaring rock chick vocal from frontwoman Hayley.
It's a straight in, no messing affair – suck it and see at Papertigersni.bandcamp.com.
GIG OF THE WEEK
:: Hot Snakes with Calling All Horses, Saturday December 7, The Black Box, Belfast
LONGTIME co-conspirators John 'Speedo from Rocket From The Crypt' Reis and Rick Froberg (Pitchfork, Drive Like Jehu) celebrate Hot Snakes' 20th anniversary by bringing the band back to Belfast for the first time in 14 years.
Expect to be blasted with tunes from last year's excellent Sub Pop-released record Jericho Sirens, plus favourites from their titanic progressive post-hardcore trilogy Automatic Midnight, Suicide Invoice and Audit In Progress.
With quality support from local post-punk electro ensemble Calling All Horses, this is pretty much the definition of an unmissable show for fans of loud, fast and beautiful music.
Tickets £15 via Ticketweb.ie.