WITH EASTER just around the corner, Observer editor Rob George takes a look at the latest music releases.
LEEDS duo Liza Violet and Ryan Needham return as Menace Beach for the second album Lemon Memory.
Having received a rapturous reception to their racous 2015 debut Ratworld, Lemon Memory is part an effort to lift a citrus based curse Ryan and Liza believe was placed on their host.
Using the hex breaking power of music, the pair they will be ridded of the bad things happening at home from a giant rodent infestation to gangs breaking in and attacking their landlord.
Menace Beach left Leeds behind clutching a copy of Mysterious Cults, a book they picked up on tour and hotfooted it to Ibiza to start writing the follow up to Ratworld.
What followed in recording was Lemon Memory, a more stretched out affair than Ratworld, exploring Motornik nooks a psych crannies while never letting go of Menace Beach’s way with a wayward melody.
Culminating in the epic drone of Hex Breaker II, Lemon Memory may or may not be the key to breaking a lemon related curse.
What is without argument is the new album is unquestionably the sound of a band forging their own identity, edging closer to some sort of grimy truth.
The latest album from Bleeker, a up and coming Canadian group, remains loyal to their Rolling Stones style swagger sythned with psych tinged grooved.
While the name might have been tweaked and the line-up revamped, the sound remains the same and Erase You ensures Bleeker retain their part in the alt-rock spectrum.
What sets them apart is an ever-so-subtle current of loose cannon danger that courses through every riff, note and melody of Erase You.
Having clawed their way to the top in Canada, the Bleeker boys now want to sink their sonic hooks into both the ears and the hearts of the rest of the world.
Erase You marks the arrival of Bleeker with songs such as Highway with its handclaps and garage pop vibe and I’m Not Laughing Now, described by singer Taylor Perkins as the best song he had ever written.
Terrible Human Beings is the latest album from The Orwells and is full of ‘mutilated pop songs’ according to the band.
Singer Mario Cuomo said: “We wanted to make songs that at their core are catchy and pretty….then we slash them up.”
After a succession of tracks playlisted at Radio 1 and which have exceeded five million streams at Spotify, VANT have released their eagerly anticipated album Dumb Blood.
The fiery punk rock and visceral alt rock that pulsates through Dumb Blood is music which incites moshpit bedlam which lyrics that demand attention.
VANT think nothing of tackling subjects from Syria and environmentalism to racism and the all-out destruction of mankind.
Performing for VANT means making a stand and trying to change the world and it’s a stance emphaised throughout Dumb Blood.
Popular single Peace and Love bewails inequality and the off-hand dismissal of the 60s counterculture ideals in this Brexit age while other songs traverse the spectrum of social and policial issues.
The Answer is band member Mattie Vant’s brooding, forthright reaction to the chemical attacks and Western invasion of Syria.
Rising star Stormzy’s debut album Gang Signs and Prayer is accompanied by a huge 16 date UK tour.
His debut single Big For Your Boots is out now and is hot on the heels of his collaboration with British star Ed Sheeran on Shape of You.
Stormzy has already racked up more than one million single sales currently boasts in excess of 110 million hits on his official YouTube channel.