Fuzzkill presents Sweaty Palms (EP launch), BIN MEN, The Shithawks, Dune Witch Trails at 13th Note, 24/9/15

Tonight is yet another launch from ravechild favourites the super prolific Fuzzkill Records, and another outstanding bill choked with sunshine begging, fuzzed up lo-fi pop tunes with a little surprise in the middle and a slightly darker twist at the end.

Opening proceedings is the sparky melodies and charming pop energy of Dune Witch Trails, who offer plenty to bop along to from beneath layers of fuzz and meandering basslines.

The nonchalant vocals from Kieran Thomas crack with attitude, but succeed into lulling you into a false sense of security before the band unleash speedy pop waves that drag you onto a sun kissed beach, despite this being one of the coldest nights Glasgow’s had in a while.

DWT successfully switch between a fiery hardcore energy, strutting lo-fi pop and dreary yet addictively spangly alt rock that lifts you out of your seat ready for a sing-along; which indeed one of the BIN MEN does, joining the band onstage, before an unnerving intro brings in the brilliant ‘Goldenrod Cigar’.

It’s a short, but uplifting set from a band with one of the most impressive releases to come of Glasgow this year and as Thomas downs his guitar and struts the stage with a far away look in his eye you know there’s more to come.

Up next is, familiar faces to a Fuzzkill night, The Shithawks and the Dundee trio deliver a set of roaring fury, with screaming guitars and garage-y vocals that emit a pure rock’n’roll vibe more familiar to the dirty south of the States than Tayside.

It’s not all just raucous energy with these guys though, there’s plenty of groove embedded into their set that gets your feet tapping; an always welcome addition to these shows.

The somewhat spanner in the works to your usual bill from one of our favourite record labels are the BIN MEN, and the stoner rap duo’s rowdy stage manner, infectious energy and sheer hilarity goes down a treat, bringing the audience down to front as they spit throw away yet brilliant bravado filled lyrics over dirty hip-hop beats.

There’s a shout out to the Antique Pony album, which is released this evening, before the duo go on a full tirade against said band, most of whom I’m told are present, it’s all tongue to cheek stuff though as the BIN MEN set the octane high with aggressively delivered shout of “Antique Pony we’re gonna kill you”.

It’s a short, but immensely engrossing set from a duo whose aggressive stage manner is only topped by their ridiculous subject matter; tracks titles like ‘If You Sellin Tickets You A Bitch’, ‘KP Snacks’ and ‘I’m Never Going To Pay Back My Student Loan’ may well give you a idea of what these guys are about – make sure to see them at the next opportunity you get.

Sweaty Palms1

Then we’ve left with the headliners, tonight launching their Hollywood Wax EP, who has the unenviable task of following up the musical destruction left by the BIN MEN.

Thankfully the Glasgow four-piece are more than on their game and deliver a set that showcases their talent for creating a dark yet jaunty garage tinged sound that captures the basement’s attention with ease; that’s if it wasn’t already caught by bassist, Shaun Montgomery’s outlandish tartan trouser/waistcoat combo.

Sweaty Palms have been praised for drawing from a host of different styles, being labelled things like ‘garage goth’ and ‘sad surf’, both of which are apt at points this evening, and at times there’s even a fuzzy psychedelia about them.

Indeed Robbie Houston’s snarled vocals possess that unrelenting garage energy of Bobby Gillespie at his best and on occasion that sneery edge of a Yummy Fur era John McKeown, only with lyrics more fitting to 2015 than the 1990s (couldn’t resist).

They succeed easily in drowning the Note’s tiny basement in sound and have an eerie power that hypnotises the basement before unleashing it into a mini mospit; they occasionally touch a little heavier than a listen to their tape may suggest, still there’s enough joviality in the snarled lyrics and infectious energy that keep the set just about in the light and not the dergy darkness their jarring guitars are dragging you too.

It’s a compelling set from a band with a bright future, and yet another successful Fuzzkill launch.

Words: Iain Dawson
Photos: Elina Lin

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