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New indie music review with A Lethal Black Ooze and Dream Wife

Julia Mason is away this week but our weekly lowdown on the best new indie music reviews continue with A Lethal Black Ooze and Dream Wife.

Logo for Blowtorch Records blog series Cool Sounds From The Underground

Artist: A Lethal Black Ooze

Track: Something On Her Mind

London indie trio headboy
Photo Karolina Zlocka

A Lethal Black Ooze is the lofi project of Andy McGurk (formerly of Spies).

Andy terms it "a pandemic sanity project with collaboration at its core and a fondness for dirty, ‘keep it real’ recording methods, embodying the garage punk space with a howling mix of overdriven guitars, swirling effects and an affinity for the lower half of the fidelity spectrum."

A Lethal Black Ooze are delivering new music through 2023 and bang on Andy's manifesto is their new single, Something On Her Mind. It's the follow up to March’s Like to Feel Alright and the second of four singles from their upcoming self-titled EP arriving in November 2023. Sleazy and dirty, Something On Her Mind mashes up elements of The Hives, The Black Keys and early Jesus and Mary Chain into a very satisfying, fuzzy psych-sludge.

The track features production and bass from Jamie Hyland (as in Gilla Band’s Holding Hands with Jamie and feminist punk band M(h)aol collaborator); and on drums Iain Faulkner who plays bass in Tau & the Drones of Praise and works with Irish bands Gurriers & The Mary Wallopers.

For anyone wondering about the unusual drum sound, lyricist and guitarist Andy recalls: “We were in Sonic Studios in Stoneybatter for a day ... still waiting for that moment when you know you got it. Not sure how it happened exactly, but Iain forgot to turn his snares on (the ‘tuff’ sound a snare makes). The next take we realised pretty quickly what had happened when the snare made a ‘bonk’ sound but we loved it so that was the take. Happy mistake.”

We could all learn from that ethos. There's a lot of bands aiming for that Nuggets style garage sound currently and A Lethal Black Ooze authentically nail it because of that mindset. As Nietzsche said "One must still have chaos in oneself to give birth to a dancing star." We love this star and look forward to the EP which will also get a vinyl release.

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Artist: Dream Wife

Track: Who Do You Wanna Be?

London trio Dream Wife with new single Who Do You wanna be?
Still from video directed by Benjamin Leggett

Dream Wife are a London-based trio and their new album Social Lubrication is released on 9th June via Lucky Number. Prior to that here's their fourth single taken from it - Who Do You Wanna Be?

Rakel (frontperson), Bella (bass) and Alice (guitar) (ably assisted by Alex on drums) deliver politics wrapped in raucous, lusty punk pop songs.

The band comment: "The song is about running on the capitalist treadmill and falling face first on the pavement. Our current climate is awash with hollow slogans, actionless social media activism, leftist infighting, monetising feminism, greenwashing, girlbossing, soul crushing nonsense. Capitalism consumes everything. Letting go of perfectionism and moving from hyper individualised narratives toward collective action and collaborative systems of care is the way forward."

Imagine all that wrapped up in a Blondie song with a side order of attitude and you're starting to get an idea of Dream Wife.

Rather than easy sloganeering, the lyrics reflect the sheer effort required to keep fighting against the prevailing, unfair systems which permeate the world order.

"Exhausted by the pressure to feel somewhat empowered

It’s only 8am and I haven’t even showered

Guess perseverance is the boldest thing one can do."

The video was shot by production company Wendy Vision in the disused pool of St George's Leisure Centre in Shadwell, London. Abandoned at the start of 2020, the pool rotted until Shadwell Responds, a community led response group, managed to secure funding for a new leisure centre to be built on the same site. Collective action in operation.


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