Reckless Yes Records logo of two birds in silhouette wearing a top hat and crown surrounded by a Christmas wreath with the number 16 in the foreground

The Joyzine Advent Calendar – 24 Days of Free Music Downloads #16: Reckless Yes Records – Breakup Haircut, Nervous Twitch, Feral Five, Electric Pets + The Incomprehensible Static

On the Joyzine Advent Calendar we’re giving away free downloads of tracks by artists that we love (including plenty of exclusives and a fair few festive favourites) every day until Christmas Eve on what, as far as we’re aware (and we’re always happy to be corrected), is the longest running such calendar on the web.

As always, the tracks are completely free to download and there’s no need to sign up to any mailing lists to access the songs (though if you’d like to you can join ours here), but if you’re enjoying the tunes we’d love you to make a donation to the wonderful charity Child Poverty Action Group, who work on behalf of the more than one in four children currently growing up in poverty in the UK by providing support to families navigating the social security system, taking legal action to challenge unjust decisions and campaigning for change. You can make a donation on this link.

In our biggest Advent Calendar giveaway so far this year we’ve got FIVE tracks for you today from the peerless roster of Reckless Yes Records, a label whose ethics are as impeccable as their discography. Scroll on for pop punk thrills from Breakup Haircut, fuzzy new wave pop from Nervous Twitch, a remix of stomping electro glam punks Feral Five, a fresh take on a festive favourite from Electric Pets and retrofuturist sci-fi surf rock from The Incomprehensible Static.

Breakup Haircut (photo by Owen Clark)

What have you been up to in 2022?

A whole lot! We released an album, it’s called Punk Dancing for Self Defence (read our track by track guide here) – and our launch sold out the Lexington, which was completely humbling. We played a few out of town shows as well, which was truly lovely. 

In personal achievements, Ishani got married and everyone came, two of us got tattoos, and we also went to the seaside and mastered several arcade machines. 

What do you have planned for next year?

Mostly playing shows we think sound rad and taking a bit of a rest from the studio to do some writing. Mostly we hope to have fun in each other’s company. 

What can you tell us about today’s track?

It is a song we jammed up together, actually the first one we ever did! Normally when songs come to us they’re a bit more one member and then everyone else comes up with their bits but this one came together with everyone all at once. The bassline got so embellished during lockdown that it’s actually the hardest one for Ripley to play.

‘Life is Short’ is a song about shit jobs where you spend a lot of time doing nothing useful but you still have to be there because you’re paid to be. Maybe you relate, we hope not.

What makes the perfect Christmas song?

The word ‘Christmas’ repeated over and over again. Ripley thinks glam rock, but the rest of us disagree. 

Download ‘Life Is Short

Follow Breakup Haircut on Facebook

Nervous Twitch

What have you been up to in 2022?

2022 we celebrated the release of our 5th Album Some People Never Change (read our review here) on Reckless Yes. On the back of this we played an amazing tour, every gig was brilliant. Earlier in the year we even lived out a lockdown dream of hosting our own all-dayer called Part Time Punks!

What do you have planned for next year?

We are already making arrangements for Part Time Punks 2 …and Some People Never Change album tour 2! Hopefully we can manage to go further afield in 2023. Oh yeah, and of course we have plans for another release…

What can you tell us about today’s track?

‘Snowball’ is a track from our new album. We feel it is one of those accidental Christmas songs, if it was the 80’s we’d like to think it might have made the indie charts and maybe onto a Now That’s What I call Music Xmas comp! But we think it is a beautiful, empowering song; one of our faves from the new album.

What makes the perfect Christmas song?

Well, it would have probably needed to have been released in the 70s or 80s! Loads of chorus with either an euphoric, gang shouting, anthem; or an achingly passionate, love tragedy… just like all the best pop-songs! Just add bells!

Download ‘Snowball

Follow Nervous Twitch on Facebook

Feral Five

What have you been up to in 2022?

This year we’ve been mostly back in the studio out in the wilds (very Feral) working on our dazzling zinger of a new album for the amaze be praised awesome Reckless Yes – best label in the world. Playing guitar by the river. It’s been weird finalising the mixes under cover of studio darkness and then emerging into the sunlight. This links the production to our vision for the album – its thematic content urging that a new brighter future is possible. Getting the album mastered by the superbly talented Katie Tavini was a huge honour. Discussing album artwork with our genius artist and designer Malcolm Garrett was brilliant. Mostly this year was about family and making new friends, saying hello and waving goodbye.

What do you have planned for next year?

Next year we’ve got another single ahead of the album launch for Truth Is The New Gold. Then we plan to put our golden dancing shoes back on and do some more live dates.

What can you tell us about today’s track?

‘IWU (Big Money Mix)’ is a reminder that love – party – celebration, doesn’t need to be driven by commerce. Send FF’s ‘IWU’ to a loved one to let them know they’re more valuable to you than any kind of gold. Love is truth and truth is the new gold.

What makes the perfect Christmas song?

Mostly songs of hope not hate. Think ‘War Is Over’ – Lennon, ‘Stop The Cavalry’ – Jona Lewie, a rousing chorus from Roy Wood – aside from the crass commercialism why can’t we have the sentiments of love, people getting together, every day. “That Golden Rule” as we said in our last single. As it’s that time of year, why not chestnuts from Nat King Cole. Who could forget Kirsty and The Pogues or Chrissy Hynde ‘2000 Miles’ and here’s a big helping of ‘I Want U’ from Feral Five. It’s all about love and peace innit? Brings out the hippy electro punks in us all.

Download – ‘I Want U (Big Money Mix)

Find out more on Feral Five’s official website

Electric Pets

What have you been up to in 2022?

Well, where do we start? 2022 was year zero for us as we released our first songs on the world and played our first shows and it’s been a whirlwind ride. Over 50,000 streams across 3 singles – our first show was at Y-Not fesitval to a packed tent of hundreds and it’s just gone from strength to strength for us. After a string of festivals over the summer and autumn we played our first headline London show last month – it was also our first headline show ever – it was sold out! We haven’t even played in our home town of Derby yet either! We’ve had two ‘Track of the Week’s from BBC Introducing and John Kennedy on Radio X has also got behind everything we’ve released and we only started putting stuff out in June. It’s been incredible.

What do you have planned for next year?

Well we’re beavering away writing songs for a full length album, we’ve got another single ready to go at the end of January and we’re going in the studio in February to record a bunch of new tracks that we’ve been working on. We’ve been absolutely loving playing live and the feedback has been so good that we’re desperate to get out and play more shows. At the moment we have one booked for the end of January – another festival! We play Beat The Streets on Sunday the 29th of January in Nottingham. We don’t know which venue yet – it’s one of those venue based festivals that take place across the city – but as soon as we know, we’ll be letting you all know too.

What can you tell us about today’s track?

When asked to submit a song, our gut feel was that it just had to be a Christmas song, for obvious reasons and “Underneath the Tree” is our guitarist Phil’s favourite Christmas Song currently (and has been for a while). It made sense to take a run at it therefore. “Underneath the Tree” fits the criteria mentioned below in our opinion, it’s just a cracking well written pop gem, but it also features the ‘wall of sound’ elements of a great 1960’s Dream Pop song, very Spector in feel – which is firmly in our wheelhouse. Also, we thought (you can be the judge if we were successful or not!) that by slowing it down a notch, and dropping the key a little, vs the original – that we would be able to really bring out the melancholy and longing of the melody and chords. Keep the joy of the original but really emphasise the happy / sad balance. Hope you like it, we very much enjoyed knocking it together for you. Happy Christmas.

What makes the perfect Christmas song?

It has to actually be a good song, of course. Far too many releases rely on the genre / style / sound to make it work, (this doesn’t just go for Christmas Songs of course). But the core idea, melody, chord structure, lyrics, feel etc have to actually be strong in the first place. It has to have that “spark”. All our favourite Christmas Songs are just good songs full stop, they just happen to have some sleigh bells or tubular bells on them – but the song would work just as well without them. Additionally, for us though, the best Christmas songs (the one’s you pop on repeat and keep going back to) have that perfect balance of happy / sad. An upbeat celebration, yes of course, but also a melancholy or longing that connects on a baser human level emotionally. That melancholy is in the melody and the chosen chord structure. The perfect major / minor combo, a few minor 7ths thrown in also never hurt.

Download ‘Underneath The Tree

Follow Electric Pets on Facebook

What have you been up to in 2022?

Well, The Incomprehensible Static is kind of a virtual band or supergroup, made up of myself (Pete Darrington) and guest musicians from other Reckless Yes bands – it was started during the pandemic because none of us could play live or get in a studio, so we put out a record last year in 2021, called ‘Transmitting Live From The Future’ (read Pete’s track by track guide here) but this year everyone has been busy getting their own bands back on the road – me included (I play in Electric Pets) so we haven’t done an album or any new tracks, apart from the one I’m submitting today, which I recorded entirely myself especially for this.

What do you have planned for next year?

I’ve been writing and recording demos for a new album this year – I’ve got about 5 or 6 tracks on the go, so I’ll be asking some RY friends to contribute to the record soon enough I expect.

What can you tell us about today’s track?

It’s a cover of the instrumental guitar classic ‘Apache’ – If you’re unfamiliar with The Incomprehensible Static – it’s an instrumental project, doing basically punky surf rock, similar to “Man Or Astro-Man?” I’ve always loved surf and twangy guitar instrumental groups old and new. To me ‘Apache’ is the track that started my obsession with that genre and it also feels like a Christmas song! Why? Because when I was a kid who first wanted to learn to play guitar, I asked my folks for an electric guitar for Christmas. I got a Squier Strat and a Burt Weedon ‘learn to play’ book, just like everyone did when they start playing guitar. At first I was a bit disappointed with the book – I wanted to play punk rock, not stuff from the 50s and 60s! Anyway I was flicking through it, trying to pick a song to learn and my dad says ‘Apache! That’s a great tune, you should learn that!’ and he played me the Shadows’ version – though they weren’t the first to record it (I think Bert Weedon was) their version was by far the coolest. So I spent the whole of the Christmas Holidays learning to play that tune. The chords, the melodies, the whole lot. So it always reminds me of Christmas, even though it was in the charts here in the summer of 1960!

What makes the perfect Christmas song?

I think it’s about a vibe as well as being a great tune – mostly uplifting with a positive message. Though in Slade’s case, the message is just have a massive party with your family! My favourite Christmas song is The Waitresses – ‘Christmas Wrapping’ which basically says ‘you can shove Christmas where the snow don’t fall!’ but in a tongue in cheek way. I guess it’s message is Christmas should be about being with people you love rather than running about shopping like a headless chicken, so I guess it does have a positive message, even though it’s quite cynical.

Download ‘Apache

Follow The Incomprehensible Static on Twitter

If you enjoy the tracks, we’d love you to consider making a donation to Child Poverty Action Group

Check back every day until Christmas Eve for more free music – if you’ve missed a day, you’ll find all of this year’s tracks so far on the links below. Merry Christmas everyone!

Day One: Piney Gir – Do Good For Goodness Sake
Day Two: Lost Map Records present Firestations – Swim Under The Winter
Day Three: LOUD WOMEN present Killdren – Expect a Crimewave
Day Four: Scratchy Records present The Rocks, Jonny Cola & The A-Grades, Bromide + Coach Hop
Day Five: Deux Furieuses – Bring Down The Government Home Demo
Day Six: Extradition Order – Bold
Day Seven: Blang Records present Thomas Truax + Faux Fibbers
Day Eight: Alcopop! Records present Dream Nails + Helen Love
Day Nine: MiKey & The SkEletons – On and On
Day Ten: Ben Fox Smith – Human Rights
Day Eleven: Nini Bong + The Fades
Day Twelve: The May + Xqui
Day Thirteen: Hey You Guys! – Onward Christian Soldiers (live)
Day Fourteen: Chemtrails – Gee Whizz Billy Base
Day Fifteen: Hot Sauce Pony – Just Like Christmas

Keep up to date with all new content on Joyzine via our
Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Mailing List

Leave a Comment