Shakes Fear & The Skeleton Gang – Wormsmeat
There’s no real point in chasing trends. I mean, sure, you might get lucky and land yourself a hit, but it will most likely be a fading victory. Treat yourself to a video using 3D animation made during the 1980s and laugh yourself silly at the thought that the artists commissioning those spent fortunes on having the latest technology.
The best thing you can do is pick something that is so far removed from modern trends that interacting with it always feels like a treat. Swing revival and horror-punk were massively and shockingly successful during the 1990s precisely for that reason. They continue to have hordes of dedicated fans across the world.
Australian outfit Shakes Fear & The Skeleton Gang are among them. Here are people that want their horror outfits and zoot suits available all year long. Wormsmeat may be campy, but it is played with the conviction of a band headlining Wembley. It’s a lot of fun, and if you haven’t heard this style of music in a while, will feel like dipping into warm, welcoming waters.
Gone Gone Beyond – Canyons
There are two ways of looking at the Great Rock Canon. One way of viewing it is as the rightful ancestor of everything of any importance being made in modern music. The other way of seeing it is as an alphabet that everyone making music today is forced to use and a method to stop a new language from being written.
Whichever way you look at it, talented youngsters are still passionate about these sounds and the stories and philosophy that accompany them. The tales of the flower-children armed with their acoustic guitars taking over Laurel Canyon during the late 1960s and creating some of the best records of the time continues to influence many. There’s a cult that surrounds it like worshippers at a holy site.
Gone Gone Beyond sounds like they’ve lived so often with these tones and stories that they are fully prepared to become the living embodiment of the 60s folk dream on Canyons. It’s the culmination of a lifetime’s worth of preparation. The song’s vocal harmonies and gentle guitars are noteworthy, but it’s the light, barely-there feel of the song that makes it truly remarkable.