Tag Archives: music

the kidney flowers

The Kidney Flowers

During the early years of Loud Horizon, while I was also writing for Artrocker Magazine, I was lucky enough to go to a couple of gigs a week. Normally I’d be seeking bands to write about – bands playing ‘downstairs’ in the bars and art spaces in Glasgow.

There were a host of smaller venues favoured by a committed group of local promoters who, contrary to the perceptions of some, were truly in the business for the music. I would know whose shows would be worth heading out for, because of the reputation they had for booking exciting and raucous bands.

Bands like southside Glasgow’s, The Kidney Flowers would have been exactly what I was looking for.

Though they’ve been recording since 2016, and presumably playing way before then, I’m surprised I never saw them ‘live.’ I sure wish I had.

Abigail, Grant (TOG) & Grant = THE KIDNEY FLOWERS

The three-piece (Grant – vocals; Abigail – drums; Grant aka TOG ‘the other Grant’ – bass) make one heck of a racket! Straight-up, in yer face, garage punk of the highest order. Their music is fast and frantic – riff heavy with thumping beats and pounding bass lines. Grant’s shouty / spoken vocal delivery is a perfect fit and reminds me a bit of Cuddly Shark who also based themselves in this parish around the mid-noughties. And a mighty fine band the were too.

The Kidney Flowers have just returned from a short (their first) UK tour. They covered venues around London, Guildford, Eastbourne, Bath and Manchester where they had enthusiastic and glowing reaction from the punters who rocked out with them.

They have also just released a ‘live’ six-track EP of this performance, recorded at Glasgow’s Bloc+ which can be purchased through their Bandcamp page – money well spent if you ask me. Check it out / buy it here.

I did!

One they made earlier!

froggy & the ringes

Artwork by Jams Domestic from The Domestics

All right, I confess I know ‘jack’ about this band other than they kick serious ass. This could be a pretty short feature!

I stumbled across Froggy & The Ringes on Bandcamp and instantly felt compelled to help spread the word. When their new full length release ‘Ringe Rock Pond Scum’ appeared on the player, little did I realise the artwork was more an actual portrait of the band.

Ringe Rock Pond Scum’ – album cover

Yes – it apears the band do perform like this – hence not very much info is readily available. Indeed, their Discogs listing makes mention of the fact that they are a ‘mysterious UK garage punk band with several releases in unbelievable small quantities. No one ever bothered to put them in the discogs database. Five labels were needed to convince the band to release their first “major” release (300 copies) in November 2020.’

The natural reaction for some, would be to instantly condemn them to ‘novelty’ status. And let’s be honest it would cost a small fortune to hire a defence lawyer and successfully argue against that assertion, given the circumstantial evidence.

But wait! Check out the sounds! This is hardcore garage punk of the highest order – yeah even if it is a sort of ‘concept’ album based on pond life!

Growled vocals, most un-frog-like, rage over the old school, late ’70s punk driving bass and pounding drums. There’s also room for some whining, Stranglers-esque organ squeezed in amongst the chaos. It’s all so frantic. And wonderful!

I dare you not to tap your foot . Or at least nod your head.

‘Growin’ Grapes‘ opens with a sort of USA evangelist rant; ‘Tadpoles’ starts with the sound of gurgling water /tadpoles ‘talking,’ and ‘Fuck You, Kermit!’ contains the fantastically image inducing line “Oi! Oi! Ribbit! Ribbit! Oi! Oi! Ribbit! Ribbit!”

It’s just so silly, especially set against the anger of the ten songs on the album. It made me laugh, anyway.

But the bottom line for me is the music and energy. And in my book, if you can successfully combine genuinely excellent punk rock with a touch of humour, then you’re onto a winner!

Methinks these guys have been hiding their talent under a pond lily way too long.

honk

Honk.

I’m usually a bit reluctant to go out on a limb and make what inevitably turn out rash and ill considered predictions:

… my team will definitely win the league this season;

… this ‘music streaming’ thing will never catch on;

… Boris Johnson is telling the truth this time.

And here I go again, but I’m absolutely confident this time I won’t be left with egg on my face. You’re going to love Manchester six-piece band HONK. In fact, given time, I reckon they’ll become the new darlings of indie-based radio stations. And festivals.

As a token of my faith, I’ve even pre-ordered their forthcoming debut EP, ‘Grand Opening‘ which is due for release on 4th August. And this on the strength of of the only track so far made available, ‘Let the Dog See The Rabbit.’

(You can listen to the track on Bandcamp, here.)

‘Grand Opening’ EP

Describing themselves as a ‘trash can country’ outfit they remind me in a way of a mix between Alabama 3, The Nude Party and Glasgow band, ‘Jacob Yates & The Pearly Gate Lockpickers.’ (Yeah, it is kinda difficult on the basis of only one song, I know.)

Honk recently played The Flying Duck venue here in Glasgow. This was one of my favourite ‘alternative’ bars, with much the same vibe as The Old Hairdressers, where some years ago an unknown band with a distinctive sound graced the stage – Fat White Family.

And they didn’t do too badly, did they?

I have a similar feeling in my water!

Honk.

(I struggled to find much info on the band at this point, but will post an update once the EP has been fully released.)

cothel

Cothel.

On occasion, though, some bands and artists stand out even above the ‘good’ music. It’s hard to define, but some just have that extra ‘something.’

Cothel: on stage

This Liverpool based, psychedelic rock band may have only released three tracks to date, but I’ll stick my neck out right now and predict you’ll hear a lot more of Cothel. With band members from United States, Mexico, Korea, Norway and England, there’s a lot of diverse influences being brought to bear in their music – and it seems to be working a treat.

Latest release, ‘And You Know’ is a slow burning, psych anthem with prog tendencies, moving through different moods and levels of intensity. This is not one to be judged from listening on your phone. It really should be belted out with the benefit of at least half decent speakers for the full effect. It’s also a ‘grower,’ so don’t be too quick to judge either. It has yet another different feel to the first two tracks released by the band last year, illustrating the band’s versatility.

https://cothel.bandcamp.com/track/and-you-know

When You’re Insanely High‘ was Cothel’s second release, in November 2021. It’s an eclectic mix of rock riffs and funky beats, delivered with spiky, punk attitude. Think along the lines of a heavier version of Adequate 7 from the early noughties, and you’ve got it.

https://cothel.bandcamp.com/track/when-youre-insanely-high

This though, contrasts with the sneering vocal delivery and more grunge feel of their first release, ‘That Feeling You Get.’ I say ‘grunge’ but there’s more – there’s also a manic sixties, psychedelic sound to this. It’s like a swirling nightmare … in a good way of course.

https://cothel.bandcamp.com/track/that-feeling-you-get

I believe an album is in the offing, though I have yet to see any confirmation of a release date.

For a band so early in their development, I believe they show great potential. Remember where you read it first – this an outfit you’ll be hearing a lot more of in the months to come.

COTHEL are:

Aaron Stafford (USA): Guitar / Vocals
Toria Terror (USA): Vocals
Emiliano Del Toro (Mexico): Lead Guitar
Lee Jaeyeuk (aka Jerry) (Korea): Bass
Gurkirat Singh (Norway): Drums
Rob King (England): Synths

Cothel.