Frau – “Discipline”


Assuming this is the same Frau, from Brighton, who brought us the golden “Punk Is My Boyfriend” single, and the classic “Frau” self-titled demo tape (also pressed on vinyl on Deadbeat Records if you’re interested), then we can rejoice because 1) we have a new song from them 2) it is a stylistic departure from their usual style.

Yet, it is the middle ground between: 1) their hardcore aggressive style, and 2) their minimalist pop ambitions. Shall we forget, the guitarist was in the brief synth-pop underground number, Las Timidas, from Spain.

This song is part of a compilation by a label from Flagstaff, Arizona.

Get the compilation here.

Get more Frau here and here.


The Ghost Ease – “Qwi Mai Yab”


This comes from a POP mind to make a commercial PUNK burner. Yet, it will remain underground. It is too POP for POP. It is MTV during that window where MTV was on the cutting edge of teenage trends, and those trends were kinda dangerous. Grunge was scary for a while: young degenerates who might grow up to destroy all semblance of polite society, black sheep of media who could be behemoths and lay claim to teenage souls.

The Ghost Ease, aka The Ghosties (boo!), are a band from Portland, led by singer/guitarist Jem Marie, bass waves by Laurence Vidal, and skins by
Nsayi Matingou.

Their first full length was released in 2013, and is available here.

This song “Qwi Mai Yab” is from the “Quit Yer Job” single, available here.

Nots – “Virgin Mary” (2015)

I hear “Insect Eyes” 2.0, but even more manic. That eerie Oriental electric harp string pluck. If Kanye West does not play this song at 300 db in his penthouse loft, then he has lost all relevance. Nots is playing in the same POP category that Kanye threads on. They both make innovative, loud, chamber pop music. And they are both self-conscious about religious icons (Kanye’s “Yeezus” is the equivalent of Nots’ “Virgin Mary”).

The music here is completely eerie, like an alarm drill at an asylum. It starts with an instrumental for the first minute and an improvisation of eerie guitar sounds.

Nat of Nots, then proceeds to steal her own riff (from “Insect Eyes” on We Are Nots), and starts singing about the famous religious icon. Visions of crazy Mexican people overdosing on peyote come to mind, or even better Jodorowsky’s “The Holy Mountain”, which wouldn’t be surprising. Nots’ first record, We Are Nots, I proposed, was based on Philip K. Dick themes.

From a computational and technological point of view (Phil K. Dick) to gradually moving towards the esoteric (Jodorowsky). Could it be the influence of Alexandra Eastburn, on synth, whose visual art expresses a fascination with cards, and the tarot? Her drawings also draw allusions to ancient tribe magic, or Victorian spiritualism.

Jodorowsky’s esoteric cosmology in “The Holy Mountain”, was related to the rise of capitalism. He accused bankers of being sorcerers, and using esoteric knowledge to subjugate populations. In the same vein, Phil K. Dick’s dystopian visions of the future, offer a nihilist solipsism, that established a cynical ambiguity of being (are we not human?).

Which view is truth or false? It matters not in art. What counts is that these current of thoughts are brought together to create infinite levels of enjoyment. Nots’ sonic creations are evolving: they are denser, and darker and allow improvisation as a structural element.

They are touring with Quintron and Miss Pussycat on the West Coast and therefore exposing more crowds to their music and message, whatever it is. To me, it is the best kind of thing: an intense head-nodding mind boggle, a melodic aggression, a cathartic expression, subversive as fuck, and impactful.


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