Noise Annoys: New music from Invaderband, Mob Wife, Cherym and Gemma Bradley, plus Malojian gig news...
:: Invaderband – Peter Gabriel (album, Tectona Grandis)
HAVING wowed pretty much everyone with their excellent eponymous debut LP in 2017, Manc-accented Derry-based Invaderband are back with their 'difficult second album' Peter Gabriel – which, needless to say, does not actually feature the reclusive ex-Genesis frontman, 80s pop star and world music champion, other than in portrait form on its cover.
This delightful hand-painted rendering of Gabriel in his be-caped 1970s splendour is provided by ex-Auteurs man Luke Haines, who actually does appear on the post-punky prog-garage popsters' new record. Well, not literally, but he's at least namechecked several times by Invaderband leader Adam Leonard on one of its highlights, Vanity Search, a brooding yet simultaneously playful mid-paced post-punk number that would make a fine single were it not for all the swearing – "Luke Haines is a f***ing genius / Luke Haines is f***ing tedious", etc etc. Anyone for a feckin' radio edit?
You'll have already heard Peter Gabriel's fine pair of previously released singles (no, not Solsbury Hill and Sledgehammer, you clot) in instantly catchy garage racket I Won't Remember You and urgent protest pop moment Handcuffed Man Shoots Himself. I'd wager that the chiming guitars and playfully snarky lyrics of Cheese Slices, on which Leonard cuts (slices?) an unnamed self-regarding pop star down to size – "You think you're iconic, I think you're moronic – you're as interesting as cheese", and so on – mark it out for a future standalone release.
Therapy? once advised us that "happy people have no stories", but Invaderband go one step further with People Who Are Happy Are Ill, another uber-catchy bit of pleasingly skewed alternative guitar pop which kicks into high-gear mid-way through and ends in a glorious din. File under 'another possible future single' and 'play extremely loudly'.
Opener The Carrion Herd is a muscular slab of prog punk, tipping its cap to the Stranglers, Membranes and maybe even Human League mk1 while also throwing in handclaps and "la-la-las" to fine effect, while the shape-shifting At Right Angles slips between laconic shuffle and chiming rockabilly swing to fine effect.
Elsewhere, the album's epic slow-building finale Psychomanteum is laden with swelling synths and noodling rock guitars, showcasing the wilder/wiggier side of Invaderband's oeuvre. Sure, it's over five minutes long, but what a ride – you'd buy a 12-inch single of this one for sure.
Peter Gabriel is another fine album from a band that just keep getting better and better. Long may their Invasion continue: I, for one, welcome our new prog-garage overlords.
Buy now via Invaderband.com.
STOP PRESS: Invaderband will launch Peter Gabriel with a special show at Bennigans in Derry on October 16, during which they will perform both their albums in full. Ticket details tbc.
:: Mob Wife – Brand New House (single, self-released)
ALSO out today is a newie from Belfast punks Mob Wife, whose discord-smeared dynamic punk rocking continues to evolve in new and interesting ways with the release of their latest contemplative noisefest, Brand New House, the second teaser from the trio's forthcoming debut LP.
"Brand New House was written in the dog days of mid-April 2020, looking back on previous years of early-20s youth through rose-tinted but broken glasses," explains Mob Wife shouter, guitarist and songsmith Chris Leckey.
"Fond memories clouded by moments of distress of a turbulent time but a yearning for simple days. A song detailing the nasty aspects of youth from the perspective of someone moving forward from it."
Ah, the wisdom of a man staring down the barrel of 30 and suddenly wondering if he had enough good, unclean fun before embracing a new era of respectability. From the sound of Brand New House, which reminds me of a shoutier, heavier version of the catchy mid-90s US alt-rock informed lamentations that Mob Wife's peers Careerist and Junk Drawer specialise in – this is A Good Thing – I think we can safely infer the answer is a resounding "aye".
Brand New House is out now on all your favourite streaming platforms, of which Mobwife.bandcamp.com is undoubtedly the best.
More news on that album as and when.
:: Cherym – Hey Tori EP (Alcopop! Records)
COMING at you next week is the new EP from Derry's Cherym, which features a trio of the trio's previously released catchy/crunchy gems in punk pop numbers Listening To My Head and Kisses on My Cards – which remain as excellent as they were when they were first reviewed here, if not even more so when lined-up back-to-back – plus We're Just Friends, which somehow slipped through the Noise Annoys review net when it came out as a single back in July.
Is it too late to also highly rate this sing-songy grunge pop ballad with its strategically deployed acapella breakdown? Promise you'll not call me a bandwagoner? Happy days – consider it 'rated' then.
The EP's penultimate track and first new offering, Gone Girl, is a more melancholy affair, a quiet/loud/quiet break-up tune which builds up a pleasingly stompy head of defiant steam as it rocks along, before She's Enough Going On takes us out moshing with a big and brash melody-laced anthem tailor-made for blowing roofs off venues on their imminent tour with Brand New Friend and beyond.
Pre-order Hey Tori on 'plays same both sides' pink vinyl (first time I've seen that) via ilovealcopop.co.uk now.
:: Gemma Bradley – Better (feat. David Lyttle & Jamel Franklin) (single, self-released)
ARE you in the mood for a 'laidback late summer jam'? Then musician, broadcaster, podcaster and presenter Gemma Bradley has a tune for you.
As you may already have suspected from its descriptive title, Better features the musical skills of Derry jazzer David Lyttle as well as guest vocal verses from Jamel Franklin, whom Gemma will be opening for in Belfast at Voodoo on October 6.
Written and recorded during lockdown, Better mixes pop, R'n'B, soul and smooth grooves into an uplifting yet chilled tune that's pleasingly easy on the ear.
"This song is essentially about searching for something better," explains Gemma of the new track, which was released earlier this week.
"We'll always meet people in our lives who think that they know what's best but only you can know for yourself what that is. And sometimes, you don't know until you find it and that's what this song is, it's that part in between knowing and finding what's better for us."
Can't argue with that. Better is out now on all streaming platforms.
:: Malojian's Month of Sundays at The American Bar
FINALLY for this week, Noise Annoys stalwart Malojian will be back at his favourite Belfast watering hole every Sunday afternoon from the start of next month to perform each of his five albums in their entirety.
Tickets are already flying out the door for these special 2pm matinee shows, so if you want to experience The Deers Cry (Oct 3), Southlands (Oct 7), This Is Nowhere (Oct 14), Let Your Weirdness Carry You Home (Oct 21) and/or Humm (Oct 28), then get yourself over to malojian.bandcamp.com tout suite: tickets cost £15 and include a download of the album in question.