Posts Tagged ‘MJ’

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We weren’t sure we’d get another Hookworms record. The Leeds, England band wowed with their first two albums of roaring motorik drone rock, not to mention a transcendent, ferociously loud live show, but the band suffered some major setbacks in 2015. Their North American tour was cancelled due to visa issues at the 11th hour (a tough blow even for bands whose members don’t all have serious day jobs), and bandleader MJ’s riverside Suburban Home studio was destroyed in a flood. Following a crowdfunded rebuild of the studio, Hookworms set to work on their new album. Despite the title, it’s more than a microshift, sonically, from what came before.

If first single “Negative Space” is any indication, the new album is more than a Microshift, sporting a decidedly more pop direction, embracing dance music and MJ taking the occasional break from wailing to reveal an appealing singing voice. The record reflects the tough three years that preceded and the light at the other end. “All of our records are to an extent about mental health,” says MJ, “Largely this is an album about loss but also about maturing, accepting your flaws and the transience of intimacy.”

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Early this year Matthew Johnson otherwise known as MJ from the band Hookworms began sharing solo material, stating that there “will be a whole record as soon as I can get some studio time to finish it.” It seems that time has finally arrived. Writing under the name Family Scraps, the musician has shared his debut single proper in the form of “Mistakes”.

Echoing melodies and shimmers of distortion are as engaging as they are electric. Punchy rhythms power the song from its core, vocals uttering words of self-deprication with an astounding grace. There’s a certain beauty in the breakdown, a blazing guitar solo guiding the way to the chorus’ gentle harmonies. Giving doom and gloom a polished sheer, Another track following the recent release on Too Pure Singles Club ‘It Follows’, is the latest effort from the musical maestro MJ. The frontman from Hookworms and the man now behind the Family Scraps moniker.

The track was recorded during the Christmas floods which destroyed his studio by the river in Leeds. It has the tone of hope whilst still taking in the damage. It reeks of the artists mercurial stamp and bodes well for the promised upcoming LP. Both tracks will be out on Too Pure Singles Club in early 2017.


Both songs written by Matthew Johnson
A full length album will follow in 2017. No live dates are currently planned.