The global pandemic of 2020 knocked everyone and everything for six. People found themselves working from home and only meeting their friends virtually across a connected network of webcams. Businesses closed – both temporarily and permanently – and some places became ghost towns. Seaside tourist industries suffered; restaurants and pubs wondered if we’d truly reached the end times, and the entertainment industry ground to a halt with gigs being endlessly postponed. For James Robert Morrison, this seemingly endless landscape of bleakness became something of an inspiration. As man who’d always centred his work around social commentary, current affairs and the state of things in his immediate surroundings, the seemingly broken world and the online anger and self-entitlement surrounding it resulted in a huge burst of creativity.
Their name might not be the most familiar yet, but Orange County ska band Bite Me Bambi are about to become part of your summer soundtrack. They’ve been releasing digital singles since 2019, but their new release is one that’s sure to put them on the map.
It’s a great time to be a Yes fan. Barely a week after the band announced the release of a brand new album (‘The Quest’, due in October), guitarist Steve Howe has confirmed the release of a new volume of ‘Homebrew’, his ongoing series of archive releases.
‘Homebrew 7’ will be released via Cargo Records on July 30th, and will present fans with twenty one unreleased tracks which, as before, range from short instrumental sketches to complete songs. Often a fascinating look into Howe’s working practices, previous releases have given fans the early versions of GTR’s ‘Sketches In The Sun’ and the quirky ‘Bumpy Ride’, later to become an important part of the ‘Fly From Here’ suite. ‘Homebrew 7’ is said to not feature anything that has been issued in a different guise before, nor will it feature stuff that’ll be reworked in future, making it potentially the most vital ‘Homebrew’ to date.
A full press release and track listing can be explored below.
Like a lot of people, Pierce Frolic turned to music as an escape from the heavier aspects of life. It was something he truly needed, since he struggled through school and, in his own words, “crashed out of college”, survived an automobile accident, ended up hospitalised through other misadventures and found himself surrounded by death. With friends having committed suicide or having their lives cut short through accidents, a dark world got even darker. With all of that in mind, it’s no wonder his debut release ‘Zinnia’ is obsessed with mortality.
Although Matilda’s Scoundrel’s announced they’d be taking a hiatus from the end of 2019 – every hard working musician needs a rest eventually, unless they’re Frank Turner – a few previously unreleased tracks have slipped through the cracks since then. Their contribution to a Revenge of The Psychotronic Man tribute release (‘Rrose Selavy’) blended fuzzy post-punk guitar noises to a ska rhythm which, when topped with various mandolin style sounds, became a great four minute example of the band’s abilities to cross genres even when working with other peoples’ material, and a couple of left-overs from the sessions for their 2017 release ‘As The Tide Turns’ crept out on a 7” at the beginning of 2021.