• James Booton

BOOT WATCH - The Shantics, The Skinner Brothers & Bedside Manners


The Shantics

'Mind Pop', the title of their last single, probably couldn't be a better name to describe The Shantics' alternative twist on modern indie. The socially critical single comments on the effect of television on modern society. Having been released in January this year, it has already gathered them a snowballing fan-base. They layer the passion and potency of their grunge-spirited lyrics, on top of numerous backing vocals to give the feeling of a united chorus. This contrast of refinement against the rambling background is reflective of TV in the modern day, and is shown in their fantastic artwork above, highlighting the lack of mental clarity you can achieve in the 21st century with constant white noise from the media and TV. It sounds as if every member of the band, or even more, are blasting these socially aware lyrics out, and this is infectious. The chorus' words become magnetic to the mind and will be stuck with you for days as you simply can't listen to this song till the end and not be sucked in to its raucous microcosm.

This track is following on from their debut release 'Maybe I', which is a more testosterone-fueled tale of desire. They're tongue and cheek take on the matter, with lyrics such as "She's in that red dress I like, she said 'You can have it but it will be too tight", is a welcome break from the usual arbitrary songs of lust. The Shantics are all you could want from a young indie group, full of gritty energy and mosh-worthy chorus', that beg for a second listen. Check these guys out on their Facebook where you can keep up with all news about their upcoming video for 'Mind Pop', their debut EP and any live shows.

BOOT RATING: 8/10

The Skinner Brothers

Ever since Mike Skinner brought along a new breed of garage rap to the UK, in the form of The Streets, there has been a constant conveyor of artists carrying the torch forward. Just as one seems to be at their peak, we find another, waiting in the musical undergrowth, to fill their shoes. After the likes of Jamie T and now RATBOY, it has become the turn of The Skinner Brothers to bring their laid-back urban rhythms to the masses. They've had instant success with their first single, 'Watchu', receiving 40,000 streams in only a month. But it's no surprise. The debut track is based on "a night at the Dublin Castle in Camden that I used to put on. Eventually, it got too crazy and I got barred from even going into the venue...i'm still barred." , and this lively punk attitude comes across in the music. The song carries a certain level of bravado that is hard to come by, with simplistic bass hooks coupled with front-man, Charlie's punchy lyrical stylings, the band emit an infectious arrogance.

However, this wasn't simply a one hit wonder! Their second single, 'Moonlight Trippin', is out now, and it's equally as captivating. It captures less of the urban angst, and more of a hypnotic feel. Charlie explained that the lyrics came from "hanging out with this girl and we were both pissed, with her driving us around London, it was mad. I was thinking, me and this girl don't really click, but at the same time everything was so spontaneous. Mix in my fascination with this French girl i knew and her drug addictions, and you've got this song". It is the type of song that you just need to let wash over you, and indulge in its intricacies. They leave you somewhat peaceful, somewhat melancholy, but most of all, they leave you wanting to hear more from one of the best new artists we've encountered this year. Keep up with them via Facebook.

BOOT RATING: 9/10

Bedside Manners

The scouse outfit, Bedside Manners, take things a bit more back to basics, strutting the purest form of indie-rock, whilst calling on influences from the peak of the genre. These aren't the tracks that can wash over anyone! They grab you by the collar and shake some rock&roll sense into you, whether you like it or not! There single, 'Pace' is probably the best example of this, instantly memorable with it's distinctive hook. The anticipation before each chorus is captivating, creating this atmosphere seems so simplistic, and yet is makes such an impact on a song, and it is a trick they have mastered. Every element carries an inescapable punch and draws you in, hooked on the promise that something big is coming...and they don't disappoint! Building on their infectious hook with their echoed, anthemic vocals to create a stadium filling sound, comparable to the likes of Kasabian and The Shimmer Band.

Their upcoming single 'In My Head' delivers the same venom. With a few american punk influences, it takes on the sound of artists such as The Subways. The swagger that every member exudes makes it almost impossible not to want to join them in their youthful expression. The swelling vocals, with primal musical accompaniment are all topped off with yet another euphoric guitar solo! This band take everything you might expect from a young, upcoming rock band, and amplify it. Every element just carries a bit more ferocity than most artists can deliver and seems perfectly set up for a live performance. To keep posted on their upcoming single, check them out on Facebook.

BOOT RATING: 8/10

Listen to all this music and much more on our 'Current Favs' playlist - featuring the best upcoming Indie talent, alongside some classics.