REVIEW | Megalomatic – Cathouse (21.07.18)


July 2013 – a young, hungry group of guys would come together and form a band named Megalomatic. After half a decade of multiple changes and forging a mature sound, they have transformed from a humble troupe not many cared about into one of Glasgow’s most noteworthy progressive rock acts.

To celebrate a hardy 5 years on the scene, the trio would host a headliner at the famous Cathouse Rock Club, in association with DF Concerts, but they wouldn’t be coming alone.

The Sunny Devils were set to kick things off. The guys had a positive reputation preceding them, so I was keen to finally check them out, and I wasn’t disappointed.

Things were lukewarm to begin with, however they did find their traction and would go on to impress with a quality line-up of tunes, including their latest single No More Surprises and the catchy as hell Believe Me, all of which featured dynamic rhythms, a pretty rowdy energy and sharp harmonies courtesy of Steven.

The crowd were visibly into them, and more were drawn in as they entered the room. Overall, a damn fine way to start the show.

Gypsy Circus were completely new to myself, so I wasn’t sure what to expect, but they certainly struck a chord. Leading man Aaron was quick to establish his presence on stage front and centre, packing quite a sturdy voice, whilst bassist Shaun was peppy and bounced around merrily for a majority of the performance.

There were flurries of tight riffs throughout from Michael, and Calum’s drumming was consistently strong. Their most recent single Obstacles, the really bluesy Black Widow Woman and the stimulating Jungle ranked as just some of the highlights on offer.

Also halfway through saw 3 women emerge from the shadows to dance in the middle of the room, only for them to disappear mere minutes later…not the most common sight at the rock gig, I must admit.

On the whole, Gypsy Circus gave us all an enjoyable set that made a good impression and deservedly earned them some new fans on this night.

A batch of colourful, fluorescent balloons scattered about as Megalomatic entered and got the place in an uproar with the wild pair of new tracks, Civility Smiles and Coil.

They took it old school with JLU: The Destroyer, which got longtime fans in a buzz, especially with its smashing chorus. Naturally, a pit formed from this – the first of several – and there was a line of synchronised headbanging on the go.

They continued their trip down memory lane with the monster combo of Progress I, Johnny Doesn’t Drink and Progress II, which sounded sick; Megalomatic seriously need to consider more complex, bridging material like this for future releases.

Somehow after that endurance, they dived straight into A Yellow Car, A Golden Chariot, before capping off with Knees Crushed By An Electric Chorus, which drove the people into a frenzy again.

As they left the stage, instead of being greeted by the standard request for an encore, everybody sang Happy Birthday, and were ultimately rewarded with the fierce Cesspit and the high-octane Stan Darsh to properly wrap up what was end-to-end a sensational set.

There were two major takeaways from this. Firstly, it is so satisfying to see how much Craig, Ben and Jamie have improved and tightened up as a cohesive unit. Following years of shows hurt by regular miscues and technical issues, they’ve managed to overcome these problems and make themselves a force to behold.

Secondly, they’ve established this ability to control the crowd as they pleased and get the exact response that they desired; in fact, they tend to get more than what they bargained for. Clearly, they’ve established a connection with many rock fans in the local scene, and if you’re not getting that as a music act, then what’s the point?

Many happy returns and a big congratulations to Megalomatic for all their successes, a journey which I’ve been proud to have been part of on several occasions. The boys are getting better by the day, and surely there must come a time where their efforts will pay off, but we shall see…

REVIEW | Hypnosister – Hypnosister

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Over a year ago, Damian Hughes stepped down as guitarist of one of Leeds’ finest acts, Allusondrugs, and would go on to form a brand new solo project titled Hypnosister, under the self-proclaimed banner of space pop.

It didn’t take him long for him to gain traction. Following the release of only a few tracks, he earned himself plenty of praise, and after spending loads of time in the studio, he would come out with an eponymous debut EP, one that boasts some seriously positive results.

He launches from 0 to 60 instantly as he kicks off with his strongest piece, Poorly Boy, which is packing a hell of an energy, and features easily the most poignant and upfront writing of the lot, throwing shade towards the country’s health system that let his good friend down and ultimately cost him his life.

Although he delivers his best first, this doesn’t mean the rest of the record falls flat; on the contrary, actually. Next up is his debut single Bother, which is a little more simple and cooler in pace, but it does have an engaging chorus. He takes it lower still for Breath, which runs on a silky smooth, transcendent melody that allows for Damian to take centre stage with warm harmonies and good lyrics on offer.

He kicks it back up again for Ghost, another track that is straightforward at it’s core, but goddamn is it catchy, with a hook that is just oh so sweet, while I’m Going To Die has a bouncy rhythm, with some flashes of cool riffs spread out.

Finally, Scribbles perfectly captures the essence of Damian’s described space pop, being really odd and abstract, and for sure otherworldly, and it only gets weirder as it goes on, on the whole making for a superb way to close out the EP.

A year on from leaving the nest and aiming to carve his own path, Damian’s debut under Hypnosister is nothing short of excellent, with a selection of tracks that are defined by an intriguing sound, including a few in particular that really stand out and make a permanent mark. Damian clearly has all the tools to become one of the UK’s next breakout solo artists, and I’m excited to see what he’ll bring us next down the line.


REVIEW | Stolen Wings – All Roads Lead Here


Stolen Wings is the brainchild of Scottish musician Mark Fraser, who has been involved in a number of endeavours over the years, most notably as frontman of False Hopes, but after a long time of deliberation and plucking up the courage, he’s decided to go solo and give us an EP titled All Roads Lead Here.

Shallow Heart is a welcoming starter, being quick to show off some very fine writing; even more so with In Our Youth, where the distorted riffs add an extra layer and fit well with the tone of the song.

End Of You may just be the highlight, as Mark exhibits such sheer powerful emotion through his vocals, and all those elements are forged and displayed in the last number Infinite Regress.

I’m thoroughly impressed with Mark’s work here. All Roads Lead Here is a fiercely engaging EP that just has you hooked from beginning to end with it’s candid sincerity. Mark has proven he can do it on it’s own, and I think he’s capable of even more.

REVIEW | The Carloways – The Carloways


Scotland is home to an assortment of excellent Americana acts, and Perthshire group The Carloways are no different, proven by their self-titled debut EP.

Crawlin’ Back is a very nice way to start, as it sticks in the head, not to mention the added harmonicas are fantastic. One More Night has plenty of energy in the verses, while bringing it down for a milder chorus.

Hold Me Up has a warm, acoustic-driven first half, but gradually the band ease into an enticing and catchier second half, before going all out for No Sympathy, loaded with staggering pianos and exhilarating guitars.

A really fun record with enough variety between the tunes to keep it spicy and warrant multiple listens.

REVIEW | Glanville – First Blood


A band that took over a year to get off the ground with the right people for the job, German rockers Glanville are finally ready to break through with their debut EP – First Blood – and what a debut it is.

They get the ball rolling with the bloody amazing God Is Dead. From a wild rhythm, to a blow-away chorus, to the phenomenal vocals, this is easily one of the best opening tracks of 2018.

Once finished, they dive straight into Dancing On Fire, and although not as insane, it’s still a pretty catchy number, but Durga The Great kicks the pace right back up, while the guys throw out some rollicking riffs.

This remains a constant in Demons, and the writing is not too shabby either, and lastly Time To Go makes for a great climax, and the addition of flutes of all things surprisingly help make it all the more epic.

First Blood is a seriously impressive first effort that is minimal in flaws, being consistently action-packed all the way through and leaving listeners dying for more.

REVIEW | Tailblock – Think Or Be


Kent hardcore trio Tailblock have been on the go for a couple of years now, and already have some recognition to their name thanks to a successful EP in the form of Burn Your Bridges. Now they seek to take it to the next level with their upcoming follow-up – Think Or Be.

The title track kicks it off immensely well, being very dynamic and sporting a hell of a strong chorus. They retain that momentum progressing into Heavy Arms, which runs off a rigid rhythm. The riffs are tight and the vocals forcible in Rockets, and they blaze through the short but heavy Blisters.

They take occasional breaks over the course of Listen, giving time for the solid writing to sink in, and they eventually go in a more stripped down direction for closing song 100, with a more lyrical focus on show.

The guys have done it again, giving us all a cracking record that has a palpable energy to it and can be easily be relished by any fan of rock.

REVIEW | Inkfields – The Great Basin


I got my first taste of Edinburgh musician Samuel James-Griffiths, aka Inkfields, when he released his debut full length album Beneath The Waves not too long ago, and it was a very nice piece of work. Now he’s back to boost his already bustling discography with yet another EP – The Great Basin.

Take Me Down is utterly sleek, with a fluid yet catchy beat accentuated by the riffs and electronics. Samuel’s harmonies are a key element in Fire In My Heart, and the song as a whole has such a stunning, other worldly sound to it.

Dust Bowl is calm and enthralling, plus the harmonicas are a neat bonus, and finally Petrichor draws with it’s captivating rhythm, hooking lyrics and polished guitar work.

There’s no doubt about it, The Great Basin is the finest Inkfields record yet, with every song hitting the mark in one way or another and perfectly demonstrating the talents of a very proficient, and underrated, artist.