YOUR NEW MUSIC FRIDAY: 24/02 – Gorillaz, shame, Gracie Abrams + The Church


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<<Your burning recap of the most sought-after releases from Friday gone.>>

Gorillaz: Cracker Island

Digging Deep to Find Your Diamonds..


Your favourite virtual inhabitants from a pre-digital world comes the bolstered eerie cultist ethos of Cracker Island; their eighth expansive studio album with an eye-wateringly exciting roster of collaborators including {but not limited to} Thundercat, Tame Impala, Beck and Bad Bunny.

On Cracker Island it was born/To the collective of the dawn/They were planting seeds at night/To grow a made-up paradise/Where the truth was auto-tuned (forever cult)…”

Highly satisfying and conventional at the highest compound, the cartoon misfits all remind us just exactly why we fell in love with the sound of Gorillaz some-20 years ago. Of course, Cracker Island draws up smooth comparisons with their 2010 triumph, Plastic Beach, as both conjure up thematic representations of desolate retreats to escape the fruitless lust of modern contemporary society – either through the decay of fame and money or even through the hideous morality of a “cracked screen world.” For the brainchild of Damon Albarn and artist Jamie Hewlett, it’s a cult classic as the 2-bit indie-funk inflections make up for a smooth ride of easy listenin.’ While Cracker Island peers up unnerving tempo with high-intensity techno synths and funky Thundercat licks, woozy swansong Oil is accompanied with Fleetwood’s Stevie Nicks; who is certainly no stranger to conjuring up idled dreams. The Tired Influencer draws close to the Plastic Beach shoreline no doubt, as it draws deep into cutthroat mentality of a damaged society lost. Some may argue that it’s a conversation piece that has long since had its time in the sun, especially in the industry – hell, 2-D and co have been doing it since Demon Days but if it ain’t broke, why fix it?

Fairy-like companions to the dark maths that catapult
Us into imagined worlds, seems a mockery remote

Oil, Stevie Nicks + 2-D

shame: Food For Worms

Welcome to the Underground.


After the vitriol-loaded Songs of Praise in the back-end of 2018 and gleaming psychosocial of Drunk Tank Pink in the Summer of 2021, you wouldn’t think the South London quintet would have much left in their own tank – with Alphabet covering the extent of their creativity catalogue – but think again. Food For Worms is a trademark post-punk album – raw, fragile and chaotic.

<< “When we started out, we went about it in a pretty teenage way.” >>

Now as an “ode to friendshipin the only way they know how, Food For Worms is a visceral chaotic-but concise feeling of true post-punk spirit. Messy collateral woven beautifully in a feeding frenzy of dynamic musicianship: “It’s weird, isn’t it? Popular music is always about love, heartbreak or yourself. There isn’t much about your mates.” And that’s exactly that. There’s a reassuring thought that it’s not just something that’s been cobbled together, but rather five people who have grown so close to one another. It’s no less frantic, than it is conventional. Their obtuse, and slightly awkward, chord patterns make up for it in enough tethered hooks in the melody lines to keep us occupied in their creative strides. Of course, shame have never been one to shy away from being the bold type in the scene. Their off-kilter discography is unnerving to many but that doesn’t shy away from the fact that the music is emotionally telling. Leader of the pack, Fingers of Steel harks back to tonal piano studs, staggered guitar frets but draws us in with a choral hook that makes it a triumphant gloss of pure energy.

Want to read on? You can read the full review of Food For Worms HERE.

Gracie Abrams: Good Riddance


Lush softly-softly dream-pop has always been floating in the clouds for female artistry. Be it with the darker tonalities of Phoebe Bridgers, the play-cool indie of Holly Humberstone, the passive-aggressive indie-rocks of Disney-dynamite Olivia Rodrigo, or even with the Queen herself with Billie Eilish, it’s been settling like expansive dust for years. But this time around, Gracie is setting on her own path. Backpack and all. When the lo-fi floaty I miss you, I’m sorry blew up online, it was only a matter of time before Gracie would follow suit with a compartmentalised album of her own. Her first, Good Riddance, features emotional break-off i know it won’t work, the fused-synth Where do we go now? and acoustic beautification Amelie, a song strengthened in storytelling that Munford and his Sons would be proud of.

A soundtrack befitting to heartbreak or heartswell for those rainy nights, Gracie Abrams is set to take over America soon in March on her own international tour.

The Church: The Hypnogogue

Few bands enter their fifth decade of making music with all the fierce creative energy of their early years. The Church are a testament to this statement. A bizarre anamoly in the ether of the post-punk era, they have constantly re-defined their sounds over 26 extraordinary sounds. Oddly enough, they have no indication of stopping. Are they crazy? It certainly looks like it’s too big a body of work to simply stop exploring it. The Church were the many bands to pioneer the many new wave movements that were a cuckhold in the ’80s. Now, they look to do the same to future post-punk buccaneers in the 21st Century.

A dark and gothic scripture similar to the same cave drawings strewn on from familiar faces, Joy Division and Bauhaus, 2023 sees the band venture into new territory of writing expansive post-punk music – in a post-modern world of change. Self-titled The Hypnogogue is a melting pot for both new and old, as you can hear the future icons and past legends brush shoulders through the walkways of alternative sounds. All the while, still keeping it firmly grounded to the new wave electronica of the ’80s. Keeping it real. Immediate stand-outs are murky No Other You, Flickering Lights and Second Bridge.


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