Bands Worth Watching

North American War

These folks are my favourite group in Glasgow. Their sound just kind of represents everything I tend to like about music. It’s trippy, hook-filled and makes me play air drums/guitar. Front lady Anna Schneider’s vocal melodies can variate perfectly from dreamy whispers to a cutting screech. They remind me subtly of some Sonic Youth moments as well as Polvo. Their “Geraniums On A Spit” 7″ release earlier this year is for sure in my top five releases this year. You should get one before they are gone.

Happy Particles

“Infinite Jet” from this band’s LP Under Sleeping Waves is my song of the year from any Glasgow band. It is absolutely beautiful. Walking around autumnal Glasgow with no pennies to my name, listening to this on headphones and gently kicking leaves out of my path in the cold, dry sun is an absolute beggar’s banquet. Singer Steven Kane’s gentle vocal melody sliding between notes, every one more perfectly chosen than the last, is a sheer joy to listen to. Accompanied by guitar/key work that evokes Jimmy Eat World’s Clarity album, this track/album is quite simply some of the best music that Glasgow has to offer.

Sean Armstrong

Sean Armstrong is a man who appears to be able to produce endless bodies of accomplished musical works out of thin air using the most basic and malfunctioning of tools. His debut album, Generation Scum, on Cath Records is a colourful pallet of lo-fi, eclectic pop brilliance and an introduction to Sean’s vast variety of sound stylings. If you enjoy that record, you’ll love his follow-up sophomore effort, Hippy Bullshit, on Electropapknit Records. Having just released his third album on Cath, the 75-track Effluvial Juggernaut (yup, 75 tracks), makes me feel sometimes like this guy is just warming up. Fans of Ivor Cutler and Daniel Johnston will fall in love with these records. They will also sit impatiently and excitedly for everything else he plans to release. Well, I do anyway…

No Island

Pretty much one of the only punk bands in Glasgow that I’ll get off my fucking arse to go and see. There are a lot of incredibly important and crushing punk bands in Glasgow, but these guys do it best for me. They are all my favourite parts of Minor Threat, Big Black and Black Sabbath being catapulted fist first into my face…with their own distinctive onslaught of an aura. “I like to drink. I like to fuck. I like to pick girls with self-esteem issues up.” Go see No Fucking Island when they ride the fuck through your town.

Secret Motorbikes

Photo via Secret Motorbikes’ Facebook

Secret Motorbikes released an EP this year that has been well and truly embedded into my skull. I Get Up is a small snapshot of three pop hits. It’s the first time in a few years that I’ve learned all the words to a local band’s song. “Memory Foam” is one of those songs that you want to blast the volume on, holding no regard for your neighbours at 3:30 a.m. when you and your friends come home fucked from the pub. An instant sing-along classic that I’d highly recommend for fans of people like the Strokes and Smith Westerns.

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