The fourth song from our new album. This one started out at half the speed.
The fourth song from our new album. This one started out at half the speed.
This is our next gig. Excellent support, awesome poster.
A result of Kickstarter and fan-love, Repeat Play Torrent Rar (“an ironic nod toward music download culture”) is the debut album from Cardiff, Britain’s Totem Terrors. Ten tracks exude playfulness, ingenuity, and sardonic wit, served over tight beats, extreme disco, punk, & rock melodies, and imbued with boy-tank-girl harmonies. Order white vinyl from their bandcamp site.
I meant to say something about all of this a week or three ago. Crazy good times. Starting with our surprise inclusion at Wales Goes Pop (as much a surprise to us as to anyone else, particularly those who were expecting to see The Proctors), then our album launch (done on four days notice) and finally our instore appearance at Spillers records.
WGP was fun. We didn’t expect to play, but were asked to cover when The Proctors couldn’t make it. Great festival. What Liz and Kay couldn’t teach you about putting on a show isn’t worth knowing.
The bands alternated between the cafe / bar and main hall of The Gate venue in Cardiff (i.e. big-ass old church), which meant that if you bought a wristband you could feasibly see at least some of just about everybody. It’s the first mini-festival I’ve been to where that was the case, but then I don’t get out much. All the same, I’m fairly sure that’s rare (not to mention awesome).
Saying that, we spent the Friday night practicing for our Saturday evening show and I was working Saturday daytime so between us we didn’t see as much of anything as we might have liked. We did run into Allo Darlin’ backstage where the bass player - who is the Australian Mark Foley - regaled us with stories of alligator blood aids cures. It might have been crocodiles, I don’t remember.
We played fairly well, had a ton of fun doing it and narrowly missed the opportunity to record an impromptu session for The Waiting Room. I also received a free chimichanga - which was Muy Bien by anyone’s standards - from Sean of Fortuna Pop! fame. There’s a man who takes the starving artist seriously. Thanks, Sean. I am indebted to you still for a Mexican fancy.
Next was our album launch. Since we are in universities which are 200 miles apart, most of the TT action happens in short concentrated bursts, much like the gunfire in the beginning of Aliens, only with better results.
We didn’t set an album release date for two reasons. The first was that we weren’t sure when the album would arrive from the plant. The second is that rather than be cautious and set a date six weeks ahead of the latest estimate, we preferred to live by the seat of our super tight pants and just release it as soon as it arrived. It’s the immediacy of the age, y’know. All this protracted release stuff, it’s just prehistoric. Business practice from before the internet existed. Anyway, I digress.
So we did a launch party on four days notice and thankfully, it was a success. Obviously not as well attended as it might have been, and not in the unusual venue we originally wanted, but those are minor details. We got the record out whilst everything was still fresh, managed to play the songs properly, got fantastic support from Gindrinker, and bought the favour of an entire audience with a big cake that had our smiling ugly faces on it. It was so good I didn’t even cry when I got a parking ticket.
Also, most of our locally based kickstarter backers made it, which was awesome because they got to see the baby they helped make and collect their goodies in person. These are the people responsible for literally making our dreams come true. Thanks again, KS superpeople.
At some point during all this, we had another happy surprise when the National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales bought a copy of the album to add to their collection. I’m not sure we’ve ever been historicised before. Feels good.
A bit later the same week we did our Spillers Instore, which was great because we’re fans of non-standard venues.
Also, Ashli and Graf and Co. are the kind of people every city needs. Some independent record stores are independent in name only - it’s still all major label / major indie label releases and precious little emphasis on independent culture or small scale / local bands. Spillers is what I’d call a proper record shop. Where else can you buy a His Naked Torso t-shirt?
The performance itself was fun, although we nearly spent the entire time finding somewhere to park, not wanting to complete a recent hat-trick of tickets. Anyway, no matter. Good crowd (thank you!), bit of fun with a dodgy lead, and a big tick in one of the first boxes we ever drew up for ourselves. Cheers, Ashli and Spillers (go buy our album there, make us look good).
Ok, that was last month. Next month - this month. Maybe.
So the next gig we have lined up is a slot at the brand new Gwyl Pili Pala festival in Swansea.
The event takes place on May 17th and 18th (that’s a Friday and Saturday), and we’re playing on the Saturday, headlining the Underground stage.
There’s loads of really good bands - check out the bill - along with a good dose of lit and some workshops. If you manage to miss our show, you might catch us running up the hill in time for Threatmantics at The Garage. Here’s the schedule.
If you missed the chance to buy some vinyl from us in person so far, then we’ll have copies of our debut album Repeat Play Torrent Rar for sale too… or better yet, why not buy a copy now via the internet so you’ll know all the songs ready for the show?
Yeah. Check out that salesmanship.
From the off Cardiff/Brighton based ‘art rock’ duo Totem Terrors’ debut record impresses. ‘Repeat Play Torrent Rar’ starts as it means to continue with ‘Weather Controller’ combining quirky indie pop and Fall inspired post punk drumming, bass lines and attitude.
The band’s obvious love for Mark E. Smith and co peaks with the records second track, ironically named ‘Art Of Falling (Fall Song Rev. 6)’. However, Totem Terrors’ sound seem less like Smith’s snarled analogies and more like an efficient yet effervescent robot. This is most clear in the cries of “Woo hoo” and discordant guitar work of later track ‘Mr. Military’. For the record the band’s previous incarnation was appropriately named The Joy of Sex
This album’s tracks absolutely fly past. Songs like ‘Slovaks Dream’ end just as you realise you are hooked. This continues throughout the album (clocking in at just over 20 minutes) and urges you to, well, Repeat. For a band that seem to value style and a sense of fun over musical depth or substance this proves to be a wise decision.
But don’t be mistaken, Totem Terrors can do substance. ‘Words’ is all intricate guitar work before kicking into life and bringing to mind noise pop bands such as Male Bonding of Cardiff’s Joanna Gruesome.
The record reaches it’s peak at around the halfway mark with three songs that manage to convey every inch of there style succinctly. Single ‘Disco Tryst’ brings all the albums pop elements together providing a breezy and charming centrepiece.
This is Followed by the fantastic ‘I Am Hilary Page’ its lyrics are, out of context, confusing yet digestible in the best indie pop fashion: “Remember my name, I am sunshine biscuits”.
Totem Terrors’ updated take on the most sunny of moments The Fall give their style an enchanting kind of modern minimalism. As for the past itself, it seems that the band couldn’t care less, having a great time in the here and now. As a piano lullaby brings ‘Repeat…’ to an end it brings with it the impending sunshine and beckons you to follow its titles instructions and keep this one spinning all summer.
Original article here.
This is our next gig! It’s a week Thursday, at Cardiff’s premier owl-friendly bra-bar, with the brill Bleech and How I Faked The Moon Landing, which is the best named band this year so far. COME OR SUCK.
So we received this beautiful artefact the other day - it is the third “Don’t Drop It In The Dustbin” cassette compilation from Recycled Handmade Records, which is run by a guy called Blue Fred.
The cassettes are a strictly limited edition run of 50, of which you can see this is number 36, and the cassettes themselves are re-used tapes from the 80’s and 90’s.
Tasty! Thanks, Fred!
You should have heard from us by now about how to receive your rewards. If you haven’t, double check your inbox, check your spam, or better yet send us an email and we’ll sort you out.
(totemterrors at gmail dot com)