Experimental post-punk power trio Alien Chicks released their addictively catchy third single “Woodlouse” on Friday. The Brixton-based band sold out their Windmill Brixton launch party and played to a packed venue on Friday night, causing a big scramble for spare tickets.
The launch was full of energy emanating from both the band and crowd, with a mosh pit throughout their set and more crowd surfers than we have ever witnessed at the Windmill. In matching three-piece costumes, Alien Chicks played a thrilling set, twisting and turning through elements of rap, ska, and jazz and touching on countless different time signatures, breaks and climaxes while maintaining a raw post-punk edge to their sound.
Supported by the mysterious ‘The Kings’ Arms’ (The Queens’ Head), Gag Salon, and Neuroplacid, they topped off the night with a session of Windmill karaoke – an after-gig ritual they have become known for. Fans went home (or to the afterparty) filled with excitement, energy, and beer, armed with homemade Alien Chicks CDs scrawled with rude messages in the band’s handwriting.
As for their single, “Woodlouse” has an addictive hook packed full of energy and oomph with a menacing and sophisticated edge to the sound and lyrics. The taunting melodies of the backing vocals are juxtaposed beautifully to the darker reflections of lead vocalist Joe: “Sitting nodding like they’re bobble heads,” “Actions governed by a few,” “Acclimatising to the prejudice…”
The band are teasing an exciting-looking music video to be released this week (which appears to feature the three of them wearing the matching costumes they wore at their single launch…). What’s next for Alien Chicks? October brings a series of buzzy support slots, with Peeping Drexels at the Lexington (7th), Headshrinkers at The Grace (13th), and The Rainbow Birmingham (22nd), and Pyjaen (28th). The band also signed with a booking agent and a publishing deal with Wipeout Publishing.
Glaswegian 5-piece band Humour is the latest and most rip-roaring addition to the instantly addictive lineup of bands on So Young records’ roster.
The boys, many of whom met at primary school or whilst studying in Glasgow, have poured their collective talents into their new EP, “PURE MISERY,” set for release on November 25th. The recent singles “yeah, mud!” and “alive and well” have teased a hard-hitting and unmissable six-track record later on this year.
Totally Wired Magazine spoke to two of the band’s founding members, guitarist Jack Lyall and frontman (plus visual artist) Andreas Christodoulidis.
Hi guys, what have you been up to?
Andreas: Just getting the artwork for the singles finalised and quite a few interviews too.
Jack: Oh yeah, a few of those.
Andreas: We’re getting a little bit better at it but still not great, as you’ll find out.
Well, you boys are one of the latest signings to the new SoYoung Records; how did that come about?
Jack: Our friend sent them one of our songs at the end of last year.
Andreas: He’s a photographer, so he knew them through work. But he didn’t actually tell us he was going to do it.
Jack: Yeah, and then they just had us down for a gig in London; we played with Folly Group, who were already on the label.
Have you guys always been in bands before Humour?
Jack: Well, we’ve all always played in bands together or separately for some years, but never properly, always as a sort of hobby, not trying too hard to be good at it.
Does it feel good then now to have a record deal and be breaking into that professional side of the industry?
Andreas: Oh yeah, definitely, we were quite scared of the prospect of releasing [the EP] ourselves, which we initially thought we might have to do. We had already written most of the tracks and thought we were happy enough with it that we’d want it out in the world, but we didn’t know how we were going to do it. We were just really hoping that there would be some interest from a label.
Jack: Yeah, we thought it was something we wanted to release properly instead of putting it up on Soundcloud. We wanted that physical copy element to the record too. So the fact that a label has done that for us is really cool.
When did the EP begin to take shape? Was it something you guys wrote during lockdown?
Andreas: Pretty much; it’s funny because some of the songs are now about two years old, ones which we wrote right at the beginning of lockdown. It’s nice because the EP has become quite varied as our writing process has changed over that time.
Jack: I think it was nice because if we weren’t in lockdown, we might have been tempted to release a song as soon as we wrote it, but with this EP, we had about 15-20 songs which we could choose from for the record. It was a nice position to be in, although we probably won’t get that chance again.
How does music taste differ between members of the band? Are your likes and dislikes all quite similar?
Andreas: Well, we’ve lived together for many years now. I think that when we met, we all had very different backgrounds, although our taste has become much more similar since living together.
Jack: I suppose when one of us finds something new and plays it to death, the others hear it so much that they either end up liking it or think that they do.
What would you say the music scene is like in Glasgow where you first formed the band?
Jack: It’s really good, certainly in Scotland it’s the best place you could be for music. Most of us grew up in Edinburgh, which feels slightly different from Glasgow. There are so many venues in Glasgow. There are small ones, and bigger ones, and you can keep climbing up the ladder. With anywhere else in Scotland, you’ve either got one really shit pub or a massive warehouse.
Being a more hardcore post-punk band than most, do you think the music scene in Scotland has been welcoming of your style? I think it’s only in recent years we have seen a more classic example of punk emerge back onto the scene.
Andreas: It’s hard to tell, although we’ve done just as many gigs in London now as we have in Scotland. I think the right scene in London has already been created for us, but there aren’t as many punk bands in Glasgow right now.
After this EP lands, are there any other bands you want to play with?
Andreas: Well, we’re lucky that we’ve already gotten to play with a bunch of bands we really like and in some ways tried to emulate, such as Folly Group and Do Nothing, who we listened to a lot when we were just starting out.
And what kind of people do you hope are drawn to the new EP and your music?
Jack: Well, we’re not even sure what to call our style anyway, a sort of hardcore/punk sound with some surreal and sometimes quite funny lyrics. So we hope that anyone who likes the sound of that will like the EP.
Andreas, I know that your own visual artwork plays a big role in the new singles and EP. Would you tell us a bit about that?
Andreas: For sure. I found it very easy to make the artwork in response to the music as there were a lot of overlapping themes and things to draw from. But we all have loved when bands have an animated lyric video or other sorts of graphics based on their album art. So I think the visual element was a really nice accompaniment to the music.
So what have you got leading up to November? Anything we should look forward to before the EP?
Jack: Well, we’re in London at the end of September, then in France for a few days. I’m not sure if that’s announced yet, but it is now. Then Rotterdam in October.
Humour’s next sold-out gig at the 100 club promises even more madness.
Their latest single and the title track of the band’s upcoming EP is out today.
Irish post-punk band The Murder Capital have announced their forthcoming second album Gigi’s Recovery, with a UK & EU tour to follow.
The announcement comes the morning after the release of their latest video for A Thousand Lives, the second track from the forthcoming album, paired with a striking video by Tommy Davies (Common People Films), a collaboration which has stirred our excitement for what’s still to come.
The band looks set for a hypnotic and expansive era of their music, flourishing dream-like guitar riffs and lyrics throughout the latest single.