Whilst I’ve always been a massive fan of Patrick Kindlon’s projects, I’m one of those people that prefer Drug Church over Self Defence Family/End Of A Year. Fittingly, it was always work commitments whilst juggling University that made me miss their stints in the UK in 2015. This would have been a time in my life where I thought I wanted to be a news reporter for a major newspaper, but quickly ditched that idea once I graduated, and I’d be lying if I still told you what the hell I’m doing.

There’s this alienating mindset, particularly from people of older generations, that you shouldn’t complain about your job; that you shouldn’t be able to switch career paths, and now more than ever there’s an increased pressure to ‘pick something’ because it’s bad to not know what you want to do with your life.  Even when we might find entry-level jobs, there are mistakes made along the way and the narrative of ‘Weed Pin’ suggests, the halt of progress is blamed on our generation. It’s nice to have a slight sardonic relief from this with the ever-relatable mantra of “Hard to choose a career, when you’re bad at everything.”


When critics say that a band makes them fall asleep it’s almost always meant in a negative way. With Cigarettes After Sex, however, their slowcore format of dreamy guitars, delicate drums, and heavenly vocal hooks create such a tranquil atmosphere to doze off to. Whilst there are endless Spotify playlists for chilling out, studying, and intimacy etc, their debut self-titled album feels like a heavenly voyage, with each track almost at the same tempo, but in a way, you don’t want any deviation because you feel intoxicated by Greg Gonzalez’s and co.’s noir-pop soundscapes. It’s also worth noting that because practically every song is about romance, you can essentially lose yourself in the affectionate lyricism, or choose to zone it out and still gain the same sense of enjoyment from their material.

Dynamically, there’s little variation, but that’s what makes Cigarettes After Sex’s formula so perfect, and any drastic changes from that would taint the band’s lucid charm. The delicate vocal cadences lightly dust over the minimalistic instrumentation like you’re having a private audience with Gonzalez himself, with each line more endearing than the last. They’re also one of the very few bands that can be shared with a partner at the peak of a relationship, but also be used for emotional solidarity when it falls apart and you cry yourself to sleep over what went wrong.

Aged around 25 years to perfection, Converge were the first ‘serious’ metal band I ever got into, at the ripe age of 13. Whilst some may argue their most recent efforts lacked the bite that albums like ‘Jane Doe’ and ‘Petitioning The Sky’ embarked on, I feel at this point they can do no wrong. Their live presence is a cathartic sight to behold: to this day, my tooth is still slightly chipped after catching them at a non-barrier show in Manchester when I was 19; stage diving at end of ‘Fault and Fracture.’ Tony Wolski’s video for ‘I Can Tell You About The Pain’ is a mini Lynchian horror flick of its own, as a man in his home is torn away by the cosmic powers of Milk. Yes, milk. I really admire Converge’s experimentation with dark imagery, and of course, this blockbuster venture is no exception. Musically it’s a throwback to the band’s ‘You Fail Me’ era and despite clocking in at 2 minutes and 32 seconds, there’s plenty of unsettling rhythmic changes to keep you coming back for more.

The B-side to this single, ‘Eve’ takes a far sludgier route, expanding into their signature cacophony as a 7-minute journey. It made me thankful that I got to watch their Blood Moon set last year in London. It wasn’t to everyone’s taste of course, but experiencing the neofolk elements of ‘Coral Blue’ and the slow burning ugliness of ‘Minnesota’ help me appreciate ‘Eve’ even more. Time will tell if this follow-up album will live up to the high standards of 2012’s ‘All We Love We Leave Behind’, but with 16 tracks yet to be heard, I’m stoked for their future.