Noise Annoys: New music from Gender Chores, Heliopause, Slomatics, Cherym and Neil Brogan...

Cherym's Taking Up Sports is a Women's World Cup anthem
Cherym's Taking Up Sports is a Women's World Cup anthem
Gender Chores
Gender Chores

Gender Chores - Dysphurious (single, self-released)

DEFTLY combining deliciously raw and fuzzy guitars, pleasing to the ear sing-songy vocals and witty/wry lyrics which cut to the core of some of the Big Issues facing 21st century younguns, Gender Chores describe themselves as "a Belfast punk band who sing songs about the bigotry and ignorance of the powers that be, and about the joys and frustrations of being queer".

An entertainingly spiky rumination on gender(ed) perceptions, the trio's new single Dysphurious certainly hits all those key points: it's also excellent for dancing to, as are some of the other top lo-fi/hi-quality favourites in their Riot Grrrrl-inspired - but not defined - ouvre.

The wonderful "aaah-aaah" vocals in Dysphurious give off a gloriously shoegazey, RIDE-y vibe, a perfect counterpoint to the song's overriding punk rock fuzziness, as does a quiet, slinky mid-section which calls to mind the slow, sultry simmer of Anna Calvi or someone (there's some of this in their superb jangle-ballad Giz a Smile, too).

I've seen Sam, Sophie and AJ playing live quite a few times over the past couple of years and they've been better on each occasion, both in terms of confidence and the sophistication of the songs being performed, while always retaining an inspiringly scrappy, 'let's just plug-in-and-play' vibe that makes them a tonic for all those poser bands out there.

Dysphurious now joins Toast Sandwich, Womansplain, STFU, Territory and Night In The Woods in the top drawer of the Gender Chores tune locker, all of which you can hear at genderchores.bandcamp.com.

There's also a cool video, which you can feast your eyes on below:

Heliopause – Runaway (single, self-released)

IT'S been an absolute age since Noise Annoys (or anyone else, for that matter) last heard any new music from Heliopause, aka Belfast/Brighton's maestro of gentle, electronically-enhanced indiepop magic, Richard Davis.

However, that all changed last week with the release of Runaway – a song which, after a break of three years between tunes, I think it's entirely fair to refer to as a 'comeback' single.

Sadly, it's not a re-interpretation of the Del Shannon classic: happily, all the 'classic' Heliopause hallmarks are present and correct in this all-new and original composition, from Richard's trademark heart-on-sleeve vocal (which, as ever, hits a sweet spot somewhere between Neil Young and Ben Gibbard) to the prevailing vibe of cathartic melancholia, while also expanding the project's sound in a more overtly electropop-based, keys-driven and (whisper it) dancefloor-friendly direction.

Yes, the slow-building Runaway is but one banging remix away from being an actual hands in the air 'choon'. Suck it and see at heliopause.bandcamp.com, where you will notice the song is tantalisingly described as "the first track from an upcoming album".

Richard elaborates: "Runaway will feature on an upcoming 10-track album self-titled Heliopause. The 10 songs have been written for several years, but I've yet to record them and therefore can't provide a release date just yet.

"For the first time, I've written the songs on piano instead of guitar, so it's been an interesting change and I hope this song gives you a little insight into what to possibly expect."

What we do know for certain is that Runaway will be available on all major streaming platforms from August 25. More on that album as it emerges.
Read more:
Slomatics are readying a new album
Slomatics are readying a new album

Slomatics – I, Neanderthal (single, Black Bow)

NEXT up, we travel well beyond the Heliopause to the outer limits of the universe where giant stars go supernova, collapsing under the crushing weight of their own gravity to form supermassive black holes.

Apparently, the full spectrum of sound generated by such stellar cataclysms is largely inaudible to the human ear, and what little of these cosmic death rattles we are actually capable of discerning – transmitted across the galaxy via vast interstellar fart clouds chuffed out by solar entities in the midst of a violent demise – sound disappointingly similar to the 'spooky' soundtrack of a low budget 1950s sci-fi flick.

These majestic ex-stars deserve to be generating something with a bit more sonic 'oomph' during their tumultuous final moments. Y'know, something a bit more Slomatics-y.

For my money, the Belfast trio have long specialised in crafting precisely the right kind of thunderous, lumbering, doom-laden din befitting a total and catastrophic inversion of gravity guaranteed to devour the very fabric of the universe.

However, those paying attention over the past couple of records will have observed how Slomatics have been finding new and interesting things to do with their bowel-quaking, crust-ensconced guitar tone, making music that's becoming increasingly evocative, atmospheric and downright filmic.

Their treacle-y voyage of self-discovery continues apace on new single, I, Neanderthal, which finds drummer/singer Marty pushing his portentous vocal bellow even further towards actual 'metal dude' singing as Dave and Chris harness the primordial de-tuned power of 'proper' grunge riffage/chug-age (Melvins, TAD, et al), sloughing a deep, trench-like groove that moves their signature synth-enhanced doom in a more melodic, progressive direction.

Well, it is a single, after all.

Slomatics, vibrating
Slomatics, vibrating

If you like the sound of that, you're gonna love the record proper. I think John Peel once described his long-time favourites The Fall as "always different, always the same", and that's not too far off the mark for each new Slomatics release these days.

Indeed, as the band say themselves: "This album feels like both a consolidation and a leap forward, with more melody, experimentation, and riffs than ever before."

Sounds good to me.

Strontium Fields is due out on September 8 and available to pre-order right now via slomatics.bandcamp.com. Slomatics have also booked themselves a launch show at The Limelight in Belfast on November 25, with support from Skypilot and 7.5 Tonnes of Beard – tickets are on sale now priced £10 via wegottickets.com.

Cherym's Taking Up Sports is a Women's World Cup anthem
Cherym's Taking Up Sports is a Women's World Cup anthem

Cherym – Taking Up Sports (single, Alcopop!)

HAVE you been enjoying the Women's World Cup? Although Ireland went out early, things are starting to get exciting even for the neutral, with the USA also crashing out at the group stage and England just about skite-ing through to the quarters.

Thus, there's no better time to remind you all of this recently released footy-themed three-chord nugget from Derry pop punks Cherym, which expertly pilfers the vintage Mexico '86 chant of "olé-olé-olé-olé" – a go-to exclamation of joy/expectation/impatience at Irish mass-gatherings ever since – to splendid effect, on a song about doing stuff you hate just to get next to someone who looks hot in short shorts (hey, we've all been there).

Cherym singer/guitarist/striker Hannah Richardson says: "Taking Up Sports is a love song about a time when I had a huge crush on the sporty girl who played football – even though I myself am not sporty or athletic in any way, shape, or form – and about hilariously attempting to join the football team just to get close to this person."

It's another effortlessly catchy banger from this trio, which also sports (sorry) a brilliant music video filmed at the Brandywell where Cherym FC tackle (tricky in Crocs) some actual Candystripers, plus a ringer in the form of Tramp singer Sianna Lafferty – the latter finding herself very closely marked by Hannah.

The band have just played at the Rebellion festival in Blackpool and have tour dates in Scotland and England lined up for September and October, though with any luck they'll have some local shows for us soon as well.

In the meantime, hit up linktr.ee/cherymofficial for all your Cherym needs.


Neil Brogan – Yrs Truly (self-released)

JANGLE-pop master Neil Brogan's latest record has just escaped from Bandcamp and limited-edition CD onto digital streaming services, which means everyone can now enjoy its melodic, melancholic (and, occasionally, sardonic) charms.

Yes, Yrs Truly is a pretty upbeat affair on the face of things, but there are definitely lyrical hints of troubled times throughout these 11 songs from the self-effacing ex-Sea Pinks leader, which breeze past your ears in a touch under 30 minutes.

Favourites include the fast-strumming power pop delights of single Chlorine Gardens, New Year and I'm a Recluse, simple/catchy sing-alongs An Amiable Song and Fun Exile, groovy 'why do you like me?' love song I'm Yours, New Friend's clipped, cool and croonsome ode to the giddy delights of a fledgling relationship and the stomping, sad surf fuzziness of christmas (with a small c).

Elsewhere, Best Part of The Day's celebration of domestic bliss might be the best love song released this year and there's lots of class/classy guitar solos throughout the record as well, which you should still buy directly from Neilbrogan.bandcamp.com.

Neil and band will also be supporting the mighty Telescopes at Ulster Sports Club on October 14, so you've plenty of time to learn all the words before then.

Tickets for that can be had via strangevictorypresents.com.