Things We Didn’t Know A Month Ago: January 2022 Eel Men courtesy of @chiaragambuto

A new year begins and Keith Goldhanger keeps us up to date with a small selection of new acts and new music that has arrived since he was last seen in a pub singing Auld Lang Syne.

Maybe, just maybe by the time we get to the bottom of this page there’ll be some useful information about one or two of the new acts that have graced the (new) speakers during the first month of 2022. Just to prove that all the new stuff that comes this way doesn’t always arrive via the power of the PR companies that fill our in box at a daily rate, the reason for the (expected) lack of information falls into these categories:

  • Bands that turned up unexpectedly during shows held in the back rooms of pubs recently that we didn’t hang around to have a chat with
  • Bands that friends mentioned with simple names that can’t be googled yet unless you remember to type the word ‘band’ after the name
  • The IDLES fans’ Facebook page
  • Algorithms
  • Reasons I have no idea about any more that I maybe once knew but forgot, or bands with past radio plays one of us noted the name of on a scrap of paper at the time but can’t remember why (there are a lot of these bits of paper)

Most of you won’t worry about this it’s hoped. Surely it’s all about the music I hear you say. These bands seem to be so fresh out of the blocks they’ve probably not even considered writing their names next to their instruments on a bandcamp page yet. Either that or there’s just far too many bands out there to fit into every 24 hour day we’re crawling through.

So, in a year that saw Coldplay hand their notice in, and a frenzy around Yard Act and Wet Leg, who by the end of this year may both boast number two albums but will be last year’s thing, some of us have drifted even further away from the bands that are playing bigger rooms with deeper queues at the bar. It’s back to the small cosy rooms that have already gifted the world many favourites already, to hopefully catch up with whatever has been brewing whilst we’ve been sat on the sofa eating massive bags of crisps watching anything Ricky Gervais has been involved with on Netflix. Hello 2022 ….what could possibly go wrong this year eh?

EEL MEN (main pic top vid) have a single out that’s been available for a few months now. This four piece all met up during the bits of lockdown people were allowed to meet up in, jammed some tunes then shortened them enough for a set of fabulous Buzzcocks, Beatles-like, Garage Pop gems. An album is planned for this year and the band are hoping to fulfill their collective dream of gigs in ‘Scunthorpe Harlow and Atlanta’ according to a scrap of paper found in our top left pocket the following morning after seeing them. That tune up the top is a decent place to begin – have a listen.

WINGS OF DESIRE were rather ace for those of us arriving early enough for the fabulous Ttrruuces (surely the poshest band in the world right now?) gig this month. At no time during Wings Of Desire’s support slot (and for three days after) did their faces begin to look familiar. Suddenly the penny dropped and it became apparent that this band involves James and Chloe formerly of the fabulous Inheaven with slightly different haircuts. Choose a life (above) was the show’s highlight. More to come from these we expect. Great to see them on stage again even though at least one of us didn’t realise who they were at the time.

One of those pieces of music that fell into these set of ears recently is this ridiculously great tune by DEAD FREIGHTS. This came from the ‘No idea where it came from’ pile until we realised that Susan Sloan had brought it to us here.  Bat Man may be silly, daft, done before but different, but it’s also brilliant. Proof if it was ever needed that Louder Than War is the best place to come for new music. We all go there, you’re here now (I’m down the pub).

On the off chance that there are few of you out there (and I hope there are) wondering about the gap that Coldplay will leave behind, you might want to begin with Los Angeles band LO MOON. Loads of albums (there’s a list under the desk somewhere) and a new tune called Raincoats that sounds just as great as most of those fabulous William Doyle/East India Youth tunes still at the front of our playlists. Last year’s Dream Never Dies is a tune that those that like to stand in fields with loved ones whilst fireworks go off in the background will learn to love. They have a new album out this year, and one of us is already imagining how fab this could be either on the Glastonbury Park stage late one night or even at a half-full gig at The Jazz Servant Quarters in Dalston.  (The latter being the smallest room I have ever paid money to get inside and watch a band play a gig in.) Some of these bands that arrive by the bucketload on a monthly basis are already playing gigs in front of thousands of people, it’s often established. Trying to work out which ones these are and being wrong is often the most entertaining thing about bands like this. I’ve no idea about the size of fan base Lo Moon have. Two great songs but ……..anyway, two GREAT tunes (actually Loveless is also pretty great too), which is arguably more than many other bands in the world can boast.

Finally CHEMTRAILS, the band that IDLES would sound like if they were young teenagers instead of hairy old blokes and a band that a bloke told me about down the pub. This has been left until last to mention because I’ve dropped them a couple of messages recently but I’m still waiting for a response (I imagine they’re all instagram or whatever it is I’m probably missing out on – don’t get me started on TikTok). I’ve therefore had to utilise Google just to learn they’re a band from London who have recently moved to Manchester. Their album The Peculiar Smell Of The Inevitable is a few months old and it’s worth hearing. This is the opening track from it.

More at the end of February and maybe with a little more info on the people responsible or alternatively something made up to give you something to read whilst listening to these tunes at least one of us didn’t know about a month ago.

Here’s the complete January playlist.

Happy New Year everyone.

~

Words by Keith Goldhanger. More writing by Keith on Louder Than War can be found at his author’s archive. You can also find Keith on Facebook and Twitter (@HIDEOUSWHEELINV).

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Keith Goldhanger -- Spent the '90s as a frontman with London noise merchants HEADBUTT - spent the '80s in 'Peel favourites' BASTARD KESTREL. Spent a few years mashing up tunes and remixing bands as HIDEOUS WHEEL INVENTION. Is often out and about getting in the way of things and bumping his head on low ceilings - Will give your band the time of day but will dislike any band that balances full pints of alcohol on the top of guitar amps (Not keen on lead singers that wear hats either).

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