[sic] Magazine

2013 Tasting Notes

To provide tips for the coming year one must first review the success or otherwise of the previous year’s predictions – it’s only fair. Lazy journalists that we aren’t we didn’t allow ourselves to fully back those obviously bound for glory. Nevertheless, we took the sneaky decision to name a few such cats anyhow, all of whom ultimately enjoyed a period in the limelight though some more than others it must be said. The same can be expected from this year’s crop-on-the-cusp.

We’ll therefore stay away from wholeheartedly endorsing the irresistible soul/folk of all-girl outfit HAIM , the energetic Vaccines/WU LYF hybrid anthems of Palma Violets and the marketing wet-dream that is PINS (what’s with all these capitals?). The surest bet of all that we’ll be steering clear of however is, of course, the all-girl much-touted post-punk juggernaut Savages .

Of those we firmly nailed our colours to late last year, Blouse snuck out a solid synthwave/dream-pop album even later in the year to svelte applause and moderate success. Dive underwent a legally obligated name change and struck jangly indie gold as DIIV. Aside from a few remixes, Keep Shelly In Athens only mustered a re-release of their first two (all be them very good) Balearic-tinged EPs, and 2:54 mustered an acceptable self-titled and shoegazing LP to their credit. Not being a fan of downloads nor expensive US imports, we have unfortunately not yet been unable to get our ears round Love And Regret – the LP from our final recommendation Cold Showers – though the many cuts we have enjoyed from it suggest niche, post-punk promise fulfilled.

In our “maybes” category we predictably enjoyed less consistency. Night Manager and their frazzled girl-group melodies sadly split after a likeable swansong EP. Total Babes on the other hand turned in a very credible lo-fi pop-punk long-player, but Wellington Downs’ ear-bleeding noise-rock didn’t quite ignite this listener’s heart in the same way a previous extract did. Guerre’s steady string of ravaged soul also fell a little foul when compared with earlier material, yet thankfully the outstanding Lyonnais album Want For Wish For Nowhere ends the category on a sublime noise-rock/drone high.

So, with those formalities out of the way, here goes this year’s tentative selection:


FIDLAR : Sloppy, dumb-but-fun garage-punk from these recent Wichita signees and LA skaters. And, if their latest calling card “Cheap Bear” is anything to go by, these guys could well be 2013’s party band of choice. Fuck It, Dog. Life may be A Risk, but FIDLAR are a certainty.


Deap Vally : Primitive crunchin’ and riffin’ blues-rock straight out of some Sabbath-sized White Stripes canon. This easy-on-the-eye, San Fernando Valley duo is as real a deal as it gets.

Deap Vally

Black Atlass : There’s no way this kid is going to stay in the shadows. Ranging from speaker-blown soul, chopped and screwed R&B, beat noise and lovelorn electronica, his latest self-titled EP is pure killer and you just know there’s more to come.

Black Atlass

Gabriel Bruce : This former Loverman has recently, and perhaps ironically, become a louche and gravelly singer-songwriter. He has a predilection for the grandiose and absurd too – his Gospel backing a touch of both. Ideas aplenty here. Watch this space.

Gabriel Bruce

Easter : After a very strong debut this year more must surely be heard from this Manchester band in 2013. Recommended to those that miss Idlewild, Innocence Man was all angular guitar noise with touches of windblown indie epic and outsider post-rock Americana. Expect more of the same.


Longer Shots:

MYTHS : Vancouver-based darkwave/electro-noise overlaid with screwed scream-rapping. It’s kinda redundant to call this sort of thing post-witch house. That tag was over before it begun.


Dawn Hunger : One half of Fuck Buttons now tackling weirdo tech-step and/or industrial rave – sounds like what HEALTH should be up to these days rather than computer game sound-tracking.

Dawn Hunger

Drop Out Venus : London/Bulgarian wannabe 90s slackers replete with dynamite Sub Pop/Sonic Youth-style scorchers. The “Elastic Teen Rent” NSFW video primes Iva Moskovich as a true star too.

Drop Out Venus

Blonde God : Suffocating DIY shoegaze noise from J&MC-loving and Merchandise frontman Carson Cox. Two-for-one tipping straight out of Florida. Good luck finding either online, mind.

Blonde God

Wet Nuns : Sheffield/Leeds-based sludgy stoner-rock and heavy blues rampage to tickle your fancy as only a budget Kyuss could. Fully functional eardrums optional.

Wet Nuns

Let the backlash begin.