Top 5 ::: Junks

Top 5 is a new section we’ve added to TSOFD (The Sound of Fighting Dogs). We’ve gone that little bit further just to see what makes you tick. Here you’ll find the Top 5 musical influences on artists whose music we’ve reviewed. We’ll be getting our noses down in the dirt to see what really inspires them; old and new since time began. Today’s Top 5 comes from the Hangzhou-based dystopian synth pop band, Junks; with a brief insight as to what gets the hairs on their spines tingling –

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The Strokes, ‘Is This It’- This album gave me a new lease of life as a teenager struggling to find their own style. The tight, clean songs and scruffy New York City style of Julian and the gang refreshed indie rock in an era otherwise ruled by shit nu-metal and bloated Britpop has-beens and, crucially, the band showed me how to dress.

Daft Punk, ‘Homework’ – When this came out I was in full Britpop lad mode, and any music made without a guitar was met with suspicion. This record went some way towards changing that notion and rocked harder than most so-called rock records. I remember listening to it all summer with a mate in his rural attic, getting high, drinking beer and being blown away by the irresistible beats, massive, distorted synth sounds and future/retro vibes

Miami Nights 1984, ‘Turbulence’- This is the record that turned me on to the synthwave genre a few years ago and is rightly a touchstone of that genre. The 80s inspired, futuristic, nostalgic music really transports me somewhere that other genres can’t, and I find it really inspirational. The key track is probably ‘New Tomorrow’, as it sends me to some kind of Moroder/dry ice fantasy land every time I listen!

Kanye West, ‘Yeezus’ – Although Kanye is undoubtedly something of a prat, this album is killer. It’s aggressive, spooky, funny, mad, fresh, brutal and soulful all in one. It reminds me of a kind of musical, modern day take on Bret Easton Ellis’ ‘American Psycho’, as it seems to tackle the same themes of narcissism, excess and violence. Now hurry up with my damn croissants!

Rey Pila, ‘The Future Sugar’ – This is a band signed to Julian Casablancas’ label, Cult Records. They come from Mexico City and sound like a kind of 8-bit David Bowie. When they hit the sweet spot on tracks like Fire Away and Surveillance Camera they soar, and I love their energy, sonic palette and retro aesthetic.


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