MMR Band Chat: USA Nails

A band that MIMR has followed very closely over the last few years and despite the obvious changes which have been forced on us all this year they have a released a record up there as one of the most thrilling listens that MIMR has had the pleasure to be engrossed in.

We spoke to Gareth from London punk act USA Nails about ‘Character Stop’, 2021 plans and missing greggs at service stations


MIMR: Hey there, fantastic to have you on the blog, amongst all the negative crap that’s happened this year, how has your year been and has it changed anything about being a band?



Gareth: We were lucky enough to have Character Stop recorded at the back end of last year (i.e. pre lockdowns) so we’ve been able to focus on sorting the release for that, all the admin and videos and artwork and logisitics and stuff, so we’ve had plenty to get on with. In some ways it’s been quite useful as we’ve had more time to sort all that bollocks instead of playing gigs and all that boring stuff (some sarcasm for you there you’re welcome).


MIMR: Here at MIMR we can’t stop listening to the new record, tell us all about it’s production and was the release in anyway affected by the pandemic?



Gareth: We we had to cancel a US tour in April, and all gigs in general, so haven’t been able to launch it in the way we would have normally, but the stuff behind the scenes has all worked ok. The labels and dsitributors and such have been getting on with it. There was a bit of a delay at the European pressing plant but it was only a couple of weeks late, so could have been a lot worse. All the recording/mixing/mastering was sorted pre-lockdown so we didn’t have to worry to much about it in that respect.


MIMR: Now the omission of live music has been the obvious big change to everyday life for everyone in the music industry and the fans too. What’s the one thing you miss about playing live?



Gareth: We’ve chatted extensively as a band about this, the answer is – everything. The socialising, the travelling, the greggs at service stations, even sleeping on shit floors. Gigs are the essence of band life, they are a big positive that balance out all the hard work in between. Without them there’s a lot less to look forward to, and a lot less to enjoy about being in a band. Not to mention the fact that it reduces our income.



MIMR: With a vaccine on the horizon, fingers crossed 2021 will return to some sort of normality, do you guys have an idea of what the band will be up to next year?


Gareth: We have some shows tentatively booked for Spring next year, I’m guessing they’ll be allowed to go ahead but with limited attendance. I think I read something about indoor venues operating at 50% capacity? Most of the gigs we play are only half full anyway HAR HAR.



MIMR: During the lockdown period how have you passed the time away from any music business?



Gareth: I’ve been trying to teach myself a bit more about guitars, so I built a couple, and that’ll be useful for doing my own maintenance on the road in future. Steven and his wife had their first kid last Autumn so he’s been enjoying getting to spend more time being a dad, Tom got furloughed and is currently focussing on helping a local take away business in Haggerston stay afloat (The Duke Of Wellington), Dan worked in events so has been hit hard, but thankfully has found other bits of work along the way.




MIMR: What’s the one thing you wish for this xmas and do you have any new year resolutions?



Gareth: I wish for everyone to be healthy and happy this Christmas. My new year resolution is to stop saying “yes” to everything because I always have more on my to do list than I can cope with.



MIMR: Thanks for chatting to us at MIMR, loving the new record and all the best in 2021. 



Gareth: Thanks for having us/me and for the kind words. 




Check out recent single ‘I Don’t Own Anything’ taken from ‘Character Stop’ record here. Also follow link to their bandcamp too to purchase it, it’s one of the top records of 2020


https://youtu.be/qT1hMybsopw

https://usanails.bandcamp.com/album/character-stop

MIMR Review: The Battery Farm ‘Maggot Line’

Shouting from the rooftops and making themselves heard amongst the chaos of the world currently, Manchester viseral punk quartet The Battery Farm unveil their latest devasting and destructive track ‘Maggot Line’ today (Oct 23rd) and it’s a wild whirlwind, spiralling through your body.

Taken from their upcoming debut EP ‘ENDLESSLY UNSTOPPABLE PAIN’ out Nov 27th which we are very excited about on the blog, the track is another bruising and punishing example of their rip-rawing and heartfelt execution through gripping vocals, some explosive, frenetic riffs and a truly hard-hitting furious insight into their visions of the world, which has recently been turned upside down.

Photos credit: Trust a Fox

The Battery Farm were touted by many to have a big year and despite being halted by the virus, the 4 piece can still command to be up there at the top table of the Manchester scene, let’s hope their explosive live shows can return next year, MIMR will be in the pit down the front!

Check out the track here:

MIMR Review: Van Houten ‘You and Me’

MIMR welcomes back to the blog slacker-pop 5 piece Van Houten with their latest single ‘You and Me’ an intriging insight into their fruitful development of their already enriched sound which drew MIMR in last year.

The follow up to the their self titled record from 2019 is a breath of fresh air with their mature sound now reaching new and exciting heights. The track is taken from their upcoming EP ‘Home Alone’ (out Nov 13th) released via Clue Records and it reflects on the darker side of love and relationships, when they break down and your efforts to deal with the situation often making things worse.

The track glistens and shines throughout, piercing hooks, delicious shoegazing melodies and silky vocals that capture the rich soundscapes they achieve effortlessly.

Having already gained significant press attention the 5 piece from Leeds look set for even more deserved praise, this EP is going to be a bit special!

Here’s the track:

MIMR Review: People Soup ‘Rosemary’

2020, for all of it’s hardships and sacrifice, has still had a plethora of new music spilling out as many bands are having to adapt to a world where live performance has been deemed archaic for now. New bands are still emerging from the shadows though and one of these that MIMR has discovered are gritty, post-punk trio People Soup with their debut single ‘Rosemary’ (Sept 26th) flickering our interest instantly.

One of the many bands from Leeds to feature on the blog this year, the trio formed just shy of the pandemic arriving, finally stamping their arrival with this raw and raucous track, with haunting basslines, boisterous vocals and some vociferous beats that builds to a crusendo of noise which is delivered in a mesemerisingly, passionate way.

With the lockdown helping the band focus on getting a wealth of material on their backs and just itching to get that out to the masses, People Soup now can carry that determination in their future releases, of which MIMR is chomping at the bit to listen to.

Listen to the track here:

https://peoplesoup.bandcamp.com/releases

MIMR Review: Salt The Snail ‘Maaate’

Drained, exhausted and fed up of all this covid nonsense? Yeah me too but with music being one of the few delights in our lives that still exist, they’re are plenty of new music out there to excite. Prime example of this fact is the pounding new single by cheshire 4 piece and friends of the blog Salt The Snail.

‘Maaate’ has crunching riffs, pulverizing beats and a sizeable degree of menacing power enough to leave your head spinning vigourously.

The heavy punk-rock quartet illustrate their weird and wonderful life they live in with the entertaining video to the track which highlights the obsession with mobile phones that consumes the majority of people, them people that are constantly on them during gigs in particular can get in the bin!

Anyway Salt The Snail are magnetically on our radar and they should be on yours, alright Maaate!

Here’s the track:

MIMR Review: We Three Kings ‘Savoir Fair’

As soon as that crunching riff hits your ears you just know to be prepared for some fiery and electric rock n roll noise and Manchester 3 piece We Three Kings deliver with guns blazing with their latest offering ‘Savoir Fair’ released today (Oct 16th)

Escaping fron their covid-enforced hiatus, the trio embark on a frenetic crusade with the track making all your senses tremble with it’s rip-rawing, monstrous riffs and piercing vocals. Describing a dark and mysterious night, We Three Kings put all they have, blood, guts and sweat into the track and it’s a perfect example of how bluesy, fuzzed up rock music should be played: hard and heavy!!

We Three Kings have been silenced no longer, the monster has been awoken, just get this down your lugholes and enjoyment is guaranteed!

All hail the kings!

Here’s the track:

MIMR Review: Valetta ‘Irregular Low’


With one of the glowing tracks from this month or any month infact, Manchester indie-rock quartet Valetta release their debut single ‘Irregular Low’ (Oct 9th) and it ticks all the right boxes in a truly magical way.

The 4 piece have been honing their sound over recent times through their brilliant ‘The Swimming Pool’ sessions last year as well as their blistering past live shows in some of Manchester more intimate venues pre-covid of course and this single is just the perfect tonic to intise new followers into their brooding, pulsating tones.

Photo Credit: Becky Cleasby


Echoing the blissful sounds of Everything Everything amongst other notable influences Valetta channel their efforts through electronic-infused and thunderous psychedelic expression with fruitful melodies, shuddering beats and atomic riffs that make you wanting more.

Valetta really should be your new favourite band and when live music finally returns they should be one of the first bands you mark down in your diary, truly splendid!


Here’s the track:

https://open.spotify.com/track/13EP7qioUH3CIGy3TgmujT?si=KAt49GMQQlGOP_KsqFBo6A&utm_source=copy-link

MIMR Review: Blanketman ‘Beach Body’

After brewing away over the summer months, dealing, like many artists have had to, with the ill-timed lockdown, post-punk act Blanketman flourish once again with their rip-rawing new single ‘Beach Body’ released today.

The track is a swift and frenetic, grumbling along with sharp, cutting riffs and enduring, refreshing vocals and a uplifting sound that automatically has you bouncing around your living room.

The follow up to their brilliant debut single ‘Taking You With Me’ from earlier this year only serves as further proof that Blanketman can surf the hype wave and succeed, Radio 1, Huw Stephens and Blossoms etc agree too.

So rip that mask off, get your beach ball and bucket and spade and get yourself in beach mode, Blanketman are the king of the MIMR’s castle and we salute them!

Listen to the track here:

MIMR Review: Diving Station ‘Joanna’

Recent times have been hard on all musicians and the length of time that bands have had to endure without being able to showpiece their craft is a experience that many in industry never thought would happen but it’s a breath of fresh air to see so many bands on the manchester scene releasing new music to put a smile on everyone’s face.

One of these such bands are angelic, indie pop act Diving Station with their recent single ‘Joanna’ hitting the heights and only cementing their place as a much sought after act to follow.

Sweet, blissfull vocals, soft, delicate harp accompaniment and effervescent harmonies echo throughout, shooting waves down your spine and making your hairs stand on end.

The lead single from their upcoming EP ‘June Damp’ serves as a pleasing benchmark of which the rest of the record will surely replicate, something to finally look forward to before this wretched year is out.

MIMR Band Chat: Snooker Season

One of the acts that have grabbed our attention during these dark times are lo-fi post-punk act Snooker Season who’s new EP expresses their desires and hobbies in equal measure.

We spoke to the band about playing live, influences and going to Barbados.



MIMR: Thrilled to have you on the blog, how has 2020 been for the band so far and with everyone a bit up in the air at the moment, what can you plan for the future?



SS: Thanks for having us! Right now we’re getting our heads down, writing and recording tracks. Spontaneously improvising songs is always fun but it’s great to really nail stuff down. Normally it happens at the last rehearsal before a gig, with the terror of public approval hovering over us.   We’ve just released our new EP and work is already well under well for a full length album. Expect songs about ring road traffic, medical professionals and empty pubs very soon.


MIMR: What would you say is the best description of your sound and what are your main influences?


SS: A nice cheap mash up of all your post punk favourites. We’re not super determined to ape something obscure like the sound of early Kleenex demos or whatever. We‘re into Talking Heads, The Fall, Wire. Hip hop comes into the drums and basslines. We like a lo-fi, live sound to the recordings rather than ultra-crisp and polished.  Lyrically it’s much more diverse. Don’t tell anyone but I actually quite like Randy Newman.


MIMR: Tell us all about the new EP ‘The American Office’ how did it come about and were they’re any challenges faced in its production?


SS: The American Office and Airport are some of the earliest songs we wrote as a group and have been a jumping off point for what came later. There’s a hard edge to the music and humour to the lyrics. The main challenge was probably recording everything five feet from a death metal band, with only a paper thin wall between us. We originally recorded a version of the EP in a studio, but it wasn’t quite right for us, so we did it again ourselves in our rehearsal space. Learning to record and mix took a bit of effort but the results were much closer to what we want. You can’t buy the ambience of someone screaming about Satan under the sound of your drums. 



MIMR: One of the tracks on the record is called ‘Euromillions’ and we all would love to be the lucky one to win the jackpot one day. What would you be your 1st purchase if you got lucky?


SS: I feel like that moment is a real moral crossroads in your life. Is it gonna be straight to Barbados with all your friends and family beaming beside you? Or cocaine and sex workers in a five star hotel? The song is definitely about someone who takes the low road, and who can blame him.  In reality my actual first purchase would probably be four cold cans of Stella from the shop downstairs. The best a man can get.



MIMR: Like everyone at the moment, i’m itching to see live music again, what’s the one thing you miss about playing live and what venues are your favourite ones to play or to simply hangout in? 



SS: You never feel more like a gang than when you play live. Five men and three amps in a small car, its bliss. And it’s great to let your mates hear what you’ve been wasting all your time on. We love playing in the northern quarter. Aatma and Band on the Wall have probably been our best gigs. It would be great to venture further afield in future though. I love it when people play in weird or unexpected venues. The Fall in Manchester Cathedral has gotta be the gold standard for me.




MIMR: Thanks for dropping by for a chat, we wish you well for the rest of the year. How can people follow you on social media?



SS: Nice one.

You can find us on
Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/snookerseason) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/SnookerSeasonBand).


The EP is up on Bandcamp (https://snookerseason.bandcamp.com) and you can search for it on Spotify, Apple Music etc.

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