Porridge Radio – Rice, Pasta and other fillers

Brighton Riot-Girl Punk-Rock Emo Scream-core  heroes hit with Pasta, Rice and other Fillers


Porridge Radio were already one of our favourite live bands. Georgina’s self-confessed bouncing and squawking distracting us from the impassioned vocals and punk rock guitar of front person and songwriter Dana in turn distracting us from one of the tightest rhythm sections in town in the form of Sam and Matilda. Seriously distracting.

And now after an array of demos and occasional ad hoc releases they’ve gone and produced one of the best albums you’re likely to hear all year. It’s all riot-girl and punk rock, but full of dynamic structural changes and an underpinning of brilliant lyricism.

Dana Margolin does young-person angst better than anyone we’ve heard for quite a while. In ‘Barks like a dog’ she takes a well-worn phrase, stretches it further and then puts the knife to the canvas of her emotions: “Beauty seeps in the cracks where the pain comes in,” she sings, before noting that “all the things that break me and really hurt me keep me sane and warm“. And she sounds sane and warm.

That song precedes a cover of Daniel Johnston’s Walking the Cow, which in turn is followed by the stunning ‘Can You Hear Me Now’ which typifies the prolonged scream at which the band seem to excel.

“My problems are meaningless so listen to someone else
I’m sick to death of me
Listen to yourself listen to someone else
I’m sick to death of me…”

 

‘Can You Hear Me Now’ is brilliant and it’s followed by the stunning ‘Sorry’. More emotion, more passion, more pain, more confusion, wrapped up in a musical whirlwind:

“Theres one hundred ways of dealing with this shit But I think I’ve only got the energy To cry”

The shorter track that follows, ‘Worms’, takes a simple metaphor of “this is the worm speaking to the maggot” to comment on modern culture and tears apart the veneer of celebrity and comparative privilege:

“It’s a beautiful day for an ugly girl to wake up feeling pretty,” she sings.

Those are probably our three favourite tracks and they encapsulate the themes that flow throughout the album. There are plenty more thrilling and memorable moments.

Now you have no excuse not to discover Porridge Radio for yourself and we think you’ll love them as much as we do. They regularly gig in Brighton so check out their facebook page for more details.

The album ‘Rice, Pasta & Other Fillers’ is available on limited edition cassette or as a free download from Memorials of Distinction on bandcamp

 

Review and photograph by Jon Southcoasting

 

 

 

 

 

The Self Help Group: the new Fleetwood Mac?

The Self Help Group launched their album ‘Not Waving, But Drowning’ at the Prince Albert pub last night, ably supported by Fiona Sally Miller.

Fiona Sally Miller 20130207 Prince Albert 02

Fiona Sally Miller hasn’t been seen out and about much over the last year which is a shame as she’s one of the most engaging singer-songwriters around town. Simple little riffs set the scene for her personal songs sung in a warm voice that engrosses you like a hug. If you see her on a support bill, make sure you get there early. At this gig she was accompanied on some songs by a cellist, and gave an outing to her old goldie ‘I’m Going to miss you smiling at me like that’.

Mark Bruce

Mark Bruce

The Self Help Group album launch was a bit of a party for family and friends friends, starting off with them getting the whole audience to turn around to watch their video Needles played on the back wall. The launch got even more shambolic, with the band talking as much between themselves as to the audience, losing the banjo on one song and limiting their nervous wit to a strange bit of banter about their song about Birds. Not women, the ones with wings. Odd thing to say to any audience, let alone a Brighton one.Self Help Group 20130207 Prince Albert 03 Mark Bruce, Ian Bliszczak and Sarah Wood

But we needn’t have worried. The thing about Self Help Group is the music, beautifully played, and Mark Bruce’s excellent songs, and the gorgeous twin vocals of sisters Sarah and Clara Wood. The thing is, this is just a truly great band and once they get going you forget about the fluff and hesitation and just get swallowed up by this wave of really wonderful fol rock Americana.

The album is very good indeed. Reviews refer to that Laurel Canyon soft-rock early-70s sensibility but if there’s one band they remind me most of it’s possibly Fleetwood Mac, with the charming female vocals, some sweet guitar and meaty rhythm section but mainly that wonderful mix of west coast Americana with English self-aware folk-blues.

Mark Bruce joked about the lack of happy songs last night – the album is full of songs about death and murder and stories of grim times – but the thing is they don’t sound depressing these songs, they are heart-warming and rich stories that bear repeating. And they have a song about murmuration. What’s not to love?

The final song Sand was a perfect ending, with its closing refrain of

  “You must take the steps towards what you want and make things better

sending us home with a lovely inner-glow.

Clara Wood-Keeley

Clara Wood-Keeley

You  can order the album via the Union Music Store here or any good record shop (it’s one of Resident’s picks of the week this week).

Oh, and our interview with lead Groupie Mark Bruce is here https://brightonmusicblog.co.uk/2013/01/28/interview-with-the-self-help-group

 

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Review and Photographs by Jon Southcoasting

Becky Becky vs 184

We don’t have much hip hop on this blog. Perhaps because there isn’t that much hip hop in Brighton. Or perhaps its for the same reason we don’t feature much indie pop or dance music, because so much of it just isn’t to our taste.

But there are exceptions and this is one. A fourfold set of remixes by Brighton boy Peter Mason, lead maestro of electro-pop outfit Becky Becky, whose single The Harder Stuff features the much-loved Woodpecker Wooliams and is a brilliant dose of sexy electro-punk.

Peter Mason is churning out a lot of top quality dance remixes at the moment, having produced an excellent remix of ‘Of course you exist’ for The Pictish Trail earlier this year (available as a free download from Fence Records). He has also produced a great remix of Woodpecker Wooliams ‘Sparrow’ single – out tomorrow, a week ahead of her much anticipated new album (see an earlier post on this blog)t

So, a man much in-demand and on the up. And if you take a listen to these reworkings of tracks from the 184-produced Where’s My Parade? you can hear why. The opening track Superman in particular is a powerful smash, giving full voice to a strong lyrical song.

Check it out on the player and then go over to bandcamp. The EP is available as a name-your-price download. Get this while it’s hot!

words and pictures by Southcoasting