Noise Annoys: Mudhoney, Boo Radleys, Buí, Girlfriend, Junk Drawer and Stratford Rise
:: Mudhoney announce new album Plastic Eternity
NEWS of a new Mudhoney release is always welcome around these parts, especially when it involves a full album of brand new music.
The Seattle survivors' follow-up to 2018's excellent Digital Garbage LP is coming out in April, and will be titled Plastic Eternity. It's being touted by those in the know (ie, their label Sub Pop) as "a heady run through all the proto-genres of guitar rock" with Mudhoney "taking aim at the absurdities of modern life with barbed humour and muck-encrusted riffs".
If that sounds as awesome to you as it does to me, you can and indeed should get your first taste of Plastic Eternity right now in the form of Almost Everything, a song which Mudhoney leader Mark Arm says "was originally known as Gopal," as in Sam Gopal, the one-and-done 1960s psych rockers fronted by a certain Ian Kilmister, AKA Lemmy.
"It had been sitting in the recording device at our practice space for years and we avoided erasing it because we always loved its swinging Escalator groove," Arm explains.
Waste not want not, I always say, and in this case Mudhoney definitely made the right call: Almost Everything does indeed swing and groove, in a gnarled, righteous, fuzzed-out 'garage rock with bongos' kind of a way, as you'll be able to hear at mudhoney.bandcamp.com and see/hear below (via subpop.com), where you'll find the trippy Arturo Baston-directed animated music video available for your viewing pleasure.
While it's instantly recognisable as Mudhoney, with hints of the same psychedelia-inspired leanings which informed their excellent 2002 'comeback' LP Since We've Become Translucent, this one definitely sounds distinct from anything the quartet have done before – no mean feat for a band which just celebrated its 35th birthday earlier this month.
"We like each other and we like being in a band together," reveals Arm in the press blurb which accompanied the album news, lest anyone wonder what else keeps Mudhoney going.
"Some people have poker night or whatever, and they have the excuse to get together with their friends. For us, this is that. This is what we do."
Long may they continue. Get your pre-orders in for Plastic Eternity right now at mudhoneyloser.bigcartel.com, where there were still some of the 500 limited edition translucent vinyl LPs left at time of press, plus CDs and funky blue cassettes for those who can't get enough Mudhoney branded plastic into their record collections.
Having seen the band live in Belgium just a few short months ago, I'm happy to report that they are currently on top form – hopefully we'll get some Irish tour dates later this year once they are done playing their April and May dates Down Under, where Aussie-born bassist Guy Maddison has (somewhat worryingly for the future of the US-based Mudhoney, you would think) recently retreated along with his family.
:: Boo Radleys announce Giant Steps 30th anniversary gigs
NEXT up, another exciting snippet of Old Man Music news: having reunited a couple of years ago minus guitarist and chief songwriter Martin Carr (who's still very much active as a solo artist), Wirral-bred indie rockers and Britpop party crashers The Boo Radleys are heading out on tour later in the year to celebrate the 30th birthday of their magnum opus Giant Steps.
This sprawling, musically eclectic record was one of the best of 1993 and one of the best released on Creation Records full-stop. It documented the 'the Boos' as they metamorphosised from shoegazey Dinosaur Jr wannabes into maestros of symphonic progressive indie rock, a transformation perfectly encapsulated by its key moment Lazarus: a dub-informed, horn-blasted epics guaranteed to start a mosh pit in any indie disco of the pre-Britpop era.
I only got to see the band once back in the late 90s, when they visited The Limelight in Belfast long after their brush with (Brit)pop stardom with the maddeningly inescapable Top 10 hit Wake Up Boo! and just prior to the release of their final LP, 1998's Kingsize, the only record of theirs that left me cold (and still does). Thankfully, they were then still playing lots of Giant Steps along with big chunks from their previous release, the defiantly raw and noisy 'let's kill Britpop' record C'Mon Kids, another indie rocking classic featuring top drawer tunes like the crunchy anthem of its title tune, the joyously chaotic What's In The Box? (See Whatcha Got) and Ride The Tiger's wonderfully woozy psychedelic ballad.
Currently comprised of 'classic line-up' members Sice, Tim and Rob, the band will be back at the Slimer this June performing Giant Steps in full plus other Boos favourites – I'll get my requests for The Finest Kiss, Kaleidoscope and Find The Answer Within in now, then – and probably some post-reunion tunes too, like 2021 comeback single A Full Syringe and Memories of You and current funk nugget Seeker, the latter being the first fruit from their forthcoming new record, Eight.
The date for your diaries is June 23, and hardcore fans will also want to catch them at Dublin's Grand Social the night before. Tickets can be had from ticketmaster.ie and you can find the Boos online at thebooradleys.com.
:: Bui and Girlfriend, February 4, The Duncairn, Belfast
ONWARDS to more contemporary musical matters of a local nature, namely the imminent show by Buí and Girlfriend which is happening next Saturday at the Duncairn in Belfast – indeed, it's literally a show by Buí since it's their promotional wing Sizeable Bear that's putting the whole shebang on for our entertainment pleasure.
Regular readers will already know how excellent Buí are, a shapeshifting indie rock combo with proud Belfast accents and serious songwriting 'chops' courtesy of mainman Josh Healy, but I've not mentioned Girlfriend too much thus far.
For that I can only apologise, as this Dublin quintet are class – provided you're into atmospheric effects-drenched alt-rock laced with the odd bit of cathartic shoutin'/screamin', which is certainly very much in the Noise Annoys wheelhouse.
Apparently, Girlfriend have a debut album done and ready to release, but for now you can hit up girlfriendmusic.bandcamp.com to enjoy hearing their sound evolve from the noisy lo-fi delights of their debut EP 3am Rituals to the lush, brooding dreampop of recent single Repent, which sounds not unlike like a glorious three-way pile up involving Slowdive, Swervedriver and Drop Nineteens.
Hopefully that should be enough to convince you to take a punt on next Saturday night's show. Sure tickets are only £7 via theduncairn.com, and it's a bring your own event. I'm told it's also the last ever Sizeable Bear show - a shame, but hopefully that means Josh and co will be fully focused on Buí from here on out.
Indeed, Buí are currently in the midst of crafting a record worthy of following their mighty debut LP Eugene, so hopefully we'll get a couple of new tunes off that along with established faves like Something Else To Talk About, People Don't Think and I Think We Can Do Better Too. Catch up on all that goodness at bui43.bandcamp.com.
:: Junk Drawer and Stratford Rise, February 3, The Deer's Head, Belfast
FINALLY, here's another top local bill for you to enjoy next week in the form of Noise Annoys faves Junk Drawer and a supporting turn from thunderous Bangorian experimental din-merchants Stratford Rise.
The Drawer are off to SXSW in Texas this year, but they will have a new single for us before then in the form of Nids Niteca (now there's an obscure Belfast reference to savour), which they may well play for you in person at this show.
As for the Rise, get cut by their jagged jib at stratfordrise.bandcamp.com – don't forget your earplugs on the night, eh?
Tickets on sale now via eventbrite.co.uk/e/474238850167.