So it turns out that there are valid reasons for leaving the house. On January 17th I braved the frozen wilds of Harringay, North London; to check out a gig including psychedelic rockers, (and friends of the site), Horny Robots.
The second act on that night’s bill at The Finsbury were Northern Ireland’s Wynona Bleach. Given that Horny Robots haven’t released any material yet; it’s fortunate that this other great act have.
October 2018 saw them release their Sugar EP. Now first off, we have to clear something up. One criteria I’ve run with since joining this site has been to only review things released within a month prior to publication. It’s how I’ve attempted to remain on the cutting edge – in a way that only a broken down, middle aged man can.
However my list of awesome things I wish I’d known about when they were released has gotten longer and longer. Giving oxygen to great artists is what we’re all about here; so I’m nixing this restriction.
With this in mind – what do Wynona Bleach have to offer? Well exciting and exquisite alt-rock in the vein of Placebo and Smashing Pumpkins. It’s undeniable that Wynona Bleach are a superb live act (with singer Melyssa Shannon and lead guitarist Jonny Woods proving to be particularly captivating). So does this translate well to record?
The short answer is very, very well. As an opener, “Eyes Burning” is epic and invokes the spirit of what Wynona Bleach unleash live. Its refrain of ‘Yeah, this is what kids do’ feels like a rallying cry. One which contrasts nicely with the song’s sentiments of exhaustion and frustration (‘I’m so tired of hearing ‘bout your trouble…Your eyes wide open, you worked too hard to see this end.’)
“Say It Now” is where Wynona Bleach really kick over the tables. Lyrically it’s similar in tone to “Eyes Burning,” but what really amps it up is Jonny Woods’ vocal harmonies and potent fretwork. His strings soar and wail and gymnastically add so many glorious elements to the mix.
The title track sustains the momentum and allows bassist Carl Gilmore to provide some funkier lines. “Honestly I’m Fine” closes things by foregrounding Wynona Bleach’s dreamier side; though it does manage to give another satisfying flourish around the two minute mark.
So, to sum up: you should listen to the Sugar EP. You should follow Wynona Bleach and catch them live at your earliest opportunity. And most of all you should be excited about whatever they do next.