So here we have it, Compilation Volume 3, which marks 3 consecutive years of relentless monthly Massa Confusa Presents promotions. Vol 1 was digital/CD only, Vol 2 expanded into digital/CD and tape, and this form is digital with an accompanying limited edition zine. The reason for this? We've gone overboard again with a huge running time of songs and Matt's artwork is pretty.
Secret’ has become a live favourite of ours and thanks to Evolution Emerging 2015 it is probably our best known. Due to the stronger production and sound on our latest album ‘Two Man-Machine’ (and the fact that Casual Threats always asks us to play it), we decided to have a go at revamping it for this compilation and to feature them on vocals. Here is the result.
Keeping up with compilation tradition, I have added a track from my collaborative project Five Pence Game. ‘Toffee Hammer’ features Aran Glover from We Are Knuckle Dragger. It features on ‘Fuel’ EP which was released January 14th 2017 as part of a 3 part series which will be collated as an album and released June 17th 2017.
It took us a while to pin them down, but we finally got to put on indie-psych-rockers Kobadelta who put us on in May 2015 in support of their Open Visions EP launch at Think Tank. Singer Dom has been nicknamed the Geordie Nick Cave and his Peruvian flute riff on Hold Y’rself is catchy as hell. It features on their 2016 EP ‘The Metaphysical’.
Steve from Fret! actually booked Nasty Little Lonely for us. They are from Bristol and make industrial-post-punk with hints of Babes in Toyland. ‘Hard Luck Town’ is a collaboration between NLL and Martin Grech, written and recorded when he started guesting on drums in 2016. NLL describe this track as ‘a reflection on the hatred and blame culture generated during the Brexit campaign.’ It’s also available as a free download on their Bandcamp page.
I met The Infinite Three coincidentally. My friend Dave recommended a band called Leisurhive and said, "This is what Massa Confusa might sound like in the future." I contacted Leisurhive on a whim, and band leader Dan replied and said he had a new band (The Infinite Three). He asked if we wanted to do a gig swap. Unfortunately we haven't done our stint with them in London yet, but they did get us a gig at Boro's Westgarth Social Club in support of Mayalsian grind core band Tools Of The Trade. ‘Like Moss’ is from their 2016 album ‘Lucky Beast’.
We played with Damn Teeth thanks to Kapil who featured on Comp Vol 2. Aside from Big Fail, they were my favourite live band of MCP 2016. They remind me of the Locust meets Test Icicles. ‘MRA Soundsystem’ was engineered and mixed by Lewis Glass, mastered by Stewart McLachlan and features Kim Miller on backing vocals. It's previously been on a couple of charity compilations.
Velvoir actually asked us for a gig a few years back and we finally put them on in December last year. They played with The Golden Age Of Nothing and Cellar Door, and they were the only band this year that from huge applause meant we had to give them an encore. ‘The Hysterical Sweat’ was recorded live and can also be seen in video form by Nemix.
Grayce's rock/funk sound is driven by Lydia's powerful vox. I originally saw them supporting Ilser and was taken aback. We've tried to put them on a few times, but due to various circumstances it never happened. Finally, they were able to headline a show for us with O'Captain, My Captain who unfortunately didn't have a recording done in time for this compilation. ‘Sugah’ was released as a single in 2016.
We are touring with Casual Threats in support of this compilation to Sunderland, Sheffield, Liverpool, Bradford, and Leeds, and we also toured with them last year. ‘Suarez’ is an example of why I love Casual Threats, it is energetic, passionate, yet moody. It features on their 2016 debut album ‘Life From Below’.
Cellar door are from Teesside. They played our last show in December 2016 with Velvoir and The Golden Age Of Nothing. Their music is a mix of indie and post-punk, and I particularly like Liam’s vocal style, which reminds me of Shaun Stern (Youth Brigade). ‘It Follows’ is from the 2015 EP 'Gold & Gore’.
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaind make Fugazi-esque sounds that take me back to the early 2000s. I’ve known drummer Graham for a while now, and we met at Grafteoke 2014 when we performed as The Cure. He asked us for a show in which they were supposed to headline but unfortunately due to work commitments actually had to be the openers. ‘C House’ is exclusive to this compilation and was recorded by Chris McManus at Blank Studios 21/02/15.
Miss Danby And The What are a majorly underrated band. We actually got them to play acoustically, but as you can hear from ‘Across The Hall’ they are in fact driven by a delicate fuzz that compliments Bry’s vocals perfectly. ‘Across The Hall’ features on their ‘Greta Garbo’ EP.
The Golden Age Of Nothing asked us for a show and we were keen to put on another drum-machine backed band. Their sound is a blend of post-punk, goth and pop. ‘Sleepwalkers’ was released as a single in January. This version is exclusive to this compilation.
Flowermouth are shoegazey and fuzzy. They played our Stockton show with Mouses, who due to label ties unfortunately couldn’t contribute to this compilation. They were recommended last minute by Baz from Casual Threats as Cellar Door were originally meant to play, but I made a mistake by sending them the wrong date.. oops! ‘My Bruised Knees’ is from their 2015 EP ‘Sob Story’.
Asian Babes make short, early Yeah Yeah Yeahs style punk. They are from Carlisle and their choice of band name stems from the drummer’s DJ name when he was 14. Singer Kate also likes the fact that ‘it’s a murky business’ to type ‘Asian Babes’ into Google to find them as a band. ‘Frank Langella Ella Ella Ay Ay Ay’ is currently exclusive but will be released on their new EP later this year.
Year Of Birds are prolific and known for their DIY recording aesthetic. They were actually meant to be on Comp Vol 1 but were busy at the time of release and unfortunately never got round to donating the track. Singer Oli is known for Boro based label Ack! Ack! Ack! Records, Ivan The Tolerable, Detective Instinct and King Champion Sounds, the latter being with band mate Dani who also plays as Sequin Mountain and Witch Hands. ‘Brick By Brick’ features on their new album ‘White Death To Power Alan’ out now on Odd Box Records.
Cheap Lunch are surfy-doomy-shouty punk. I saw them at a gig organised by Cave Suns at Heaton's Meadowfield Social Club and at a Tough Tits show at Jumpin’ Jacks. I was hooked by their sound and knew they would sit well in a line-up with Asian Babes. ‘Weak Juice / God Of Chill’ was released as a double A-side in January.
Slurs are indie/punk and used to be backed by a drum-machine, the same drum-machine that was used for early Retriever but have since recruited Mike Smith from Bong on drums which strengthens their song massively. ‘Offshore’ is from the 2016 EP ‘Badmouth’.
We hosted and released Skull Puppies’ 3rd EP at a rammed Head Of Steam show in April with Good Friend and Nomihodai. ‘Weary Adventurers’ (Comp Volume 2) and ‘Press ‘A’ To Speak’ is another example of what they do best, catchy and deeply personal. Be sure to check out Jack’s most recent single as ‘Sleepwalk’, ‘Rise and Fall’ on the Clarty Cat Bandcamp page and his collaborations on my Five Pence Game project.
Syslak were supposed to play our Descension launch but had to pull out on the day. We did, however, get an awesome solo set from James who performs as Just Another Warning, which also features Matt of MC. ‘Skin’ features on their self-titled 2016 EP.
Queer pop-punkers Jesus And His Judgemental Father have one of my favourite band names ever and their songs about gender experience are not only super important but super catchy. Drummer Flo also plays for Fingers Crossed who featured on Comp Vol 2. ‘Guarda Guarda’ is a protest song written in Rossport, the protest camp against Shell's gas pipeline and refinery in Ireland. It is exclusive to this compilation and features Naomi Stephens (Martha, No ditching) and Ingi Hughes (Demitaves).
Good Friend are from Ireland but are based in Newcastle. They describe their sound as ‘lion hearted rock n roll’ which to me is reminiscent of bands like Hot Water Music and Off With Their Heads. They played with us at our launch of Skull Puppies’ 3rd EP. 'Overloading the Limiter' is off their debut album 'Ride the storm' which is courtesy of Red Scare Industries.
Nomihodai’s sound is reminiscent of the early 2000s Fat Wreck sound. We put on their first show in June 2015, and they also played with us when we hosted Skull Puppies EP launch and released Comp Vol 2. ‘FUCK30’ is a re-recording of a track that originally featured on their debut EP ‘All You Can Drink’.
In July we hosted our Descension single launch and it was one of those gigs where the line-up repeatedly falls apart. Thankfully noisy-emo trio ThreadBear stepped in to save the day. ‘Consolation Prize’ is from their 2016 debut EP ‘I’ve Been Dissapointed For The Best Part Of Nine Years’ recorded in April 2016 at Crystal Sound Studios.
Andrew Cream performs solo and is in a pop-punk band called Settle For Anything. He is based in Leeds and also promotes as Scene Better Days. You should check out his shows both as performer and promoter, SBD fest at Wharf Chambers was fantastic last summer. ‘Seen It All’ is from his 2016 album ‘Self Portrait’.
Jonny Gill travelled from York to play an acoustic set for our Comp Vol 2 launch despite the fact that his band On the Ropes had to pull out last minute. This version of ‘My Pillowcase’ is exclusive to this compilation.
Your Casket Or Mine? makes acoustic-punk rock about mental health, death and relationships. They played our MC acoustic show alongside Miss Danby And The What and Andrew Cream. Singer/guitarist Pablo says that '"Stains That Frame You There" is the tail end of a Stockholm-Syndrome-love-story gone bad. His besotted kidnapper becomes his deserter and planted DNA evidence to frame the poor detainee for something sordid which was nothing to do with him. Will the love for this cruel cult leader ever die?' It features on the EP ‘What Became Of His Backbone?’
Producer Preqwal has mixed every single MC and FPG release and I owe him a lot. Thanks bro! His infectious 80s-style dance tunes were hugely popular at the Empty Shop gig he performed at with Dressed In Wires and Casual Threats. Don’t forget to check out his other project Symmatik. ‘Slow Down’ is exclusive to this compilation.
Twist Helix are the most relentless and supportive local band I know. Not only do they play as many gigs as possible, both in and out of the city/country, they also go to as many gigs as possible. They stood in for Pale Kids at our album launch at Nemix in November and their infectious alt-pop sound went down fantastically with the crowd. ‘Pulse’ is their latest single.
Ambigyoumoose are a 3 piece lift/jazz/math rock band from Newcastle who are inspired by the likes of Three Trapped Tigers, Covet, Board Of Canada and This Town Needs Guns. They played with MC twice in 2015 but unfortunately had no recordings at the time to donate to Comp Vol 2. Guitarist Josh is also part of The Welcome Party. ‘Blazed For Days’ is one of their latest singles which also features on their YouTube and Soundcloud pages.
I originally saw Fret! at Endless Window when it was at The Globe and I knew of Rob from his drumming during his Tide Of Iron days. ‘Judson’ was recorded at The Soundroom in Gateshead on 28th February 2014, and was engineered and mixed by M. P. Wood. This version is exclusive to this compilation, but a later recorded version features on their latest album ‘Through The Wound The Light Comes In’, a title inspired by a poem by Persian poet called Rumi.
We played with Cave Suns in Oct 2014 at B and D studios when we launched our album Amblyopic. We stayed in touch and asked them to play at Nemix with Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaind and Kobadelta. They make psychedelic rock and are far too modest. ‘Black North Sea Coast’ is also available on their Soundcloud page.
Snakes Don’t Belong In Alaska features Chris ‘Jude’ Watson who I collaborate with for Against The Grain shows. It is also the other project of BCxDC who featured on Comp Vol 2. Their psych-rock sound is best experienced live. ‘Cosmic Freakout!’ was recorded at First Ave by Dave Curle for a live session with Blank Slate and is from their Rituals #2 EP.
Dressed In Wires creates glitchy beats and his tagline is 'Dressed In Wires ruined my birthday.' He was supposed to play the very first gig we organised at Empty shop way back in August 2013 with Inseminoid and Euan Lynn but was out of action for a while to work on a new set. At least, we got there in the end! ‘Asia Squawk Box’ is exclusive to this compilation.