[sic] Magazine

2014 Tasting Notes

It’s only proper when you’re in the business of providing tips for the forthcoming year that you first evaluate the success of the previous year’s predictions. How else, dear reader, could you objectively trust us otherwise? All the same, we don’t just pin our colours on any Johnny-come-lately and certainly not onto those we deem too obvious to mention. Just to be safe though we used to start these articles off by doing just that, albeit in a somewhat roundabout manner.

Rhetorical beasts that we are therefore, said hot-tickets (which last year included HAIM , Palma Violets , and PINS ) all predictably enjoyed fame and fortune aplenty – some more than others in terms of actual sales though it must be said. Particular congratulations however must go to post-punkettes Savages on their Mercury-nominated LP Silence Yourself . Anyway, we’re so confident in this year’s tips however that we won’t be repeating this underhand trick and will instead be leaving other publications to promote those that are so odds-on that they don’t really need it.

So, by way of appraisal of those we formally did endorse late last year, FIDLAR most disappointed. It wasn’t that they disappeared from the radar – maybe it’d have been better if they did – it’s just that their signature brand of sloppy skate-punk lacked sufficient charm on LP to compensate for rather threadbare songwriting. On the other hand, the Deap Vally girls’ primitive crunch of a long-player went from strength to riffin’ strength. Aside though from a lovely single taken from his breakthrough 2012 EP all seems largely quiet on the Black Atlass front. Let’s assume we jumped the gun on this wunderkind and that 2014 will instead be his to own with variants on the speaker-blown soul, screwed R&B and lovelorn electronica that made him stand out last year – either that or he’ll been farmed out permanently for producer duty.

[sic] is very happy to report though that we called Gabriel Bruce just right. This former Loverman and all-round gravelly singer-songwriter undoubtedly has a predilection for the grandiose and the absurd and his album turned out to be a delight. It would seem however that this year has not afforded Easter – the Manchester band who with thrilled in 2012 with walls of angular guitar noise and outsider post-rock Americana – much in the way of studio time and so, sadly, there is little in the way of news to report from the boys’ Crumpsall camp.

In our “longer shots” category there was, perhaps inevitably, less consistency. Vancouver-based darkwave/electro-noise outfit MYTHS seem to have gone into total hibernation, although Quinne from the band has launched a new solo project called Ivory Towers , which from the one demo we can find seems to be almost immeasurably delicate yet doomed multi-layered folk of the highest order. Ones to watch then. Tech-step industrialist Dawn Hunger , one half of electro-noise terrorists Fuck Buttons , seems also to have taken a back-burner while his day-job band continues to improve in stature. Another focussing on his main project rather than our tip-for-the-top is Carson Cox, his 80s indie project Merchandise bringing the goods in the place of his seeming part-time work. Still, his suffocating shoegaze experience as Blonde God might come in handy at some point.

To their credit, London/Bulgarian wannabe 90s slackers Drop Out Venus did at least manage a release, but to call it a very middling EP would nevertheless be quite generous. Saving the best ‘til last though, sludgy Yorkshire stoners Wet Nuns did, hurrah, make it to a full LP and, despite then promptly calling the band quits, boo, their budget rock certainly lived up to their billing on this list – and of those that did make it to a release you’ll be able to see how they all fare in the inevitable [sic] end-of-year list in a couple of weeks’ time.

So, with those formalities out of the way, here goes this year’s, gulp, can’t-fail selection:


Emperor Zero : Stygian Salford lads going about post-punk in entirely the right manner, releasing their kickass second single on impeccable local label Sways earlier this year. The sure-to-follow LP ought to be a blinder – literally, if some of their sharp angles catch you any place other than the heart.

Honeyslide : Well, I’ll be damned if these London shoegaze specialists didn’t put out one of the most perfect dream-noise EPs ever earlier this year. It’d quite simply be a crime against music if they didn’t see it through to a similarly spectacular follow-up in the next twelve months.

Birdskulls : I freaking love this south-coast trio nearly as much as I do fellow noise-niks Sealings , which is to say a lot. Let’s hope some other people start doing so too, and why not when their every super lo-fi spazz-out hits like melody-driven grunge given a damn good power-sanding?

Got a tip of your own? Want to slag mine off? Know anything we don’t about those featured above? Let us know your thoughts using the comments below.

[sic] Tasting Notes 2013