Archive | December, 2012

Band of the Week: Los Cripis

24 Dec

The DIY-community, self-production-mindset has always had a home in London, from the punk era of The Clash and Pistols, to the modern-day psycho-rock movement.  So it’s really refreshing to come across a band with a DIY mindset, from Argentina.

Apparently, in Peru, ‘Los Cripis’ means marijuana. In Spanish, it means ‘The Creepies’.

Josi and Nico started jamming together back in 2009, before thinking they should start a band. Devoid of a drummer, they started recording anyway and in 2010 put out their first album, called ‘Our First Album’ (reminds me of the baby book my sister made when her kid was born). Their second album, ‘FAT’ followed in 2011. This also spelled the birth of their self-made record-label ‘Fariscal Records’. Two albums and a record-label in, they thought it might be good to start doing live gigs. But first they needed a drummer – enter Marta.

Let’s stop and pause for a moment. The standard process in the ‘handbook’ of ‘how-to-create-a-band (there is no such thing worth reading, but let’s stick with the idea) is that you find a few mates you like jamming with (and that you don’t feel like smashing their heads in with your guitar), whose sound fits. Then you start to play a few songs, do a few recordings and perhaps start thinking about gigs. Right? So two albums in and no drummer, Los Cripis were going commando musically-speaking.

Like many bands and artists, however, there is no magical formula for success, sometimes it just happens.Their second gig in Buenos Aires, the trio meet a guy called Bruno who invites them to play the upcoming 1234-Shoreditch Festival. Thus begins their European tour 2012.

‘Los Cripis’ don’t ‘do’ fancy studios apparently; in fact they have a self-made recording space they call ‘Momia Studio’. It’s a room with all that is needed to make music; one computer, a microphone, an amp, guitars, a fan and…a cassette player. DIY, self-creation to the max. In the past three years Fariscal Records has expanded to put out more punk and experimental music from Argentina; listen-worthy bands Botanophobia and Gizmo amongst them. Most of it is free, from the Fariscal website; another nod to the free-sharing nature of DIY-everything. The next album for ‘Los Cripis’ is due out in 2013.

Some notable songs: ‘Yapa Ride’, ‘Breakfast’, ‘Angry Country’ and ‘Not Enough’ (from ‘Our First Album’) and ‘Fondue de Jesus’, ‘My Face is Funny’, ‘Angry Man’, ‘Refrigerator’ and ‘Ghettoblaster’ (from FAT).

Apoyo a los:

Fariscal Records:

Los Cripis:


Band of the Week: A Black People

15 Dec

Like grunge? Like punk? Listen up. A Black People have already had a few posts amongst the music-blogger community, yet the band’s social media/web presence is near-nothing. Have a listen and then get a free download.

Review: Black Manila – Single Launch

15 Dec

Date: 7th December 2012.

Venue: The Macbeth, Hoxton, London.

Image credit: victoriamckinney

Image credit: victoriamckinney

For the past month, three-piece London band Black Manila – consisting of Conrad Armstrong (vocals, bass), Liam Ramsden (vocals, drums) and Gareth Hoskins (vocals, guitar) – have entertained a residency at the Macbeth pub in Hoxton. This was both their final show at the venue and coincided with their single launch of June ’95.

Despite the fact that they took an hour and a half to come onstage, they more than made up for, putting in an electrifying performance. There’s a certain je ne sais quoi about BM and I am not sure if it was Conrad’s Hawaiian shirt and long blonde locks, or Gareth’s Miles-Kane sideburns intertwined with husky, rock-sexy vocals. Musically, they are very good.

I am not much of a fan of the crowd usually. Most of the time, gigs are spoiled by a handful of annoying East-London types at the front who jump around aimlessly, with very little musical appreciation. Heads bopping-along nonsensically, I had the impression that if many there had no care for the band playing that night, they left with a feeling of being in the right place at the right time. That is certainly true for the woman at the front, who – halfway through the Wild Eyes’ set – started licking her boyfriends’ neck.

Plunging into ‘Fiasco’, a song with a guitar underlay so sexy that it actually makes me want to cry every time I listen to it, they were a little slow to get going. They followed with their most recent single ‘June ‘95’, as well as several new pieces that don’t feature on their social media pages.  They are natural performers. Conrad Armstrong, several times, pleaded with people to pick up some freebies. Two songs in and Conrad shouted ‘That’s on the tape. The CASSETTE tape. Old school.’

                                                                                                        “It’s a song that shares a similar feature with many of the band’s music; only half a dozen lines of lyrics and the rest just pure guitar”

What I love about this band is the versatility of their music. From deep guitar riffs to the softer tune ‘England’, the band show their ability to mix hard garage rock with indie. With only half a dozen lines of lyrics, it’s a song that shares a similar feature with many of the band’s music; only half a dozen lines of lyrics and the rest just pure guitar. Just as god intended.

The crowd went wild, begging for more songs when front-man Conrad announced their last song. At one point, he passed the microphone around the crowd. An unbelievable performance and well worth the standing around.

Have a listen to a (bad) recording of the gig here:


Band of the Week: Black Manila

4 Dec

With their residency at the Macbeth in London coming to a close this Friday, Black Manila  – made up of Conrad Armstrong, Liam Ramsden and Gareth Hoskins – are perhaps beginning to plan their next step. Their first single ”Reno Rush/Happiness” was released on 10″ vinyl in April 2011. Their second single – a free digital download only – ”Fiasco/England” followed suit in April 2012.

A gig at the Shacklewell Arms last month cemented the boys’ status amongst the East London music set. With music that’s full of dirty riffs, rock-sexiness, I am not surprised.

Their next sngle “June ’95/Tap Dance The Hangman” shall be released digitally via Fatal Justice Records on the 10th December 2012. The launch party is happening at the Macbeth pub in London on Friday 7th December 2012. (Click the link for the Facebook event)

Listen to their work here: