I’ve been well acquainted with Fort William rock band Bloodlines for over a year, and have been really impressed with their music; the little there was. But finally, after the longest wait, they at last put out their highly anticipated debut EP, Love The Taste.
The title track serves as an energetic opener that hooks in the listener from the get go, followed up by Stop Me, which features a great chorus, and Polarbear, an exciting, fast tempo track. The band’s inaugural single We Are Anonymous is up next, a simple yet effective tune with very memorable lyrics and a captivating, addictive beat.
Wrapping up things is Cathedral, which kicks off with a slow building intro accompanied by a neat bass line, before suddenly launching into what is an exciting, explosive track with a ridiculously catchy rhythm and a complex sound to it thanks to fantastic riffs and drumming, as well as passionate vocal work.
A superb debut where every track hits its mark and which clearly has a lot of love and hard work behind it. All the time, money, blood, sweat and tears spent building this EP together have paid off big time.
The brainchild of musician Andrew Nicol, I only discovered Black And White Boy recently when I was introduced to them through their debut album Fragile – which was quite an satisfying record – and the timing couldn’t have been more perfect, as their next release, The Avenue, was on the way very soon.
Well, it’s now here and it has truly succeeded delivering on the goods, providing an album which is a rare case of being one that is consistently strong from start to finish, so trying to pick out the highlights is quite the difficult task. Captivated gets things rolling as a really enjoyable, chilled intro track with stand out lyrics, followed by A Beautiful Revolution afterwards which features a fun beat, great acoustic guitar work and brilliant trumpets that are pleasing to the ears.
Other tunes that stick out as memorable include the likes of It’s About Time, Shifting Sands and Come Back Home, but it doesn’t get any better than Miss Complication, an undeniable case of saving the best for last, being an amazing number with top notch guitar work, quality backing pianos and an unbelievably catchy chorus that is almost certain to get glued in your head for a fair while afterwards.
The Avenue does what a second record should: improve upon everything from the first release, and that has been done to a very high standard. A strong album that will rank as one of the best in the folk category that Scotland has to offer in 2015.
This has been a year heavy on experimentation, as I’ve begun to explore a wide range of genres that I never dived into before. One of those genres I’ve really been getting into more is dream pop, a division that Malka all the way from New York fit nicely into, with their debut EP, The Constant State, proving to be something pretty special.
The record opens with A Flock Of Crows, an amazing psychedelic tune with neat vocals, fantastic riffs and overall a very catchy rhythm. For Now We Live starts quiet and soothing, soon building into a louder, more resonant second half. Mientras Se Respira is a warm song that is quite unique, as it is completely in Spanish (if my awfully vague knowledge of the language stands true), an aspect revisited in later track Corazon Sin Sangre.
Wolves And Sheep is a laid-back number with a riveting, riffy climax, and Diamond Girl is highlighted by some really good drum work. In time, we come to Swoon, a fantastic final tune with a sound very similar to the opening number; perfectly treating them like bookends to what is on the whole a marvelous record with some of the best dream pop in the underground scene today.
Let’s hope sooner than later their talents are uncovered and given some exposure. Their music can’t afford to be missed by aspiring listeners.
Manchester rock band Mohawk Radio have achieved quite the success since their formation, with accolades ranging from winning the Rock The House music competition, to playing in New Orleans representing the country of Bermuda; no small feat. But the question is are these distinctions warranted? Judging by their most recent record, Halfway To Heaven, the evidence appears to be more than clear.
Lifetime Sunshine is a gentle rhythmical opener with a blend of rock and pop, and even a subtle touch of country, that soon leads into Drive You Down which is bouncier and featuring a distinctly electronic sound. Oblivion gets more rockier as it lays heavy on the riffs, with Curious Morality then taking the tempo down again for a more prominently acoustic anthem.
Capping off with Seen It All Before, this EP does more than enough to justify the hype behind this band, as they present a record which features a wide, constantly changing variety in their sound, allowing for each song to stand out on their own and keeping the EP as a whole fresh and interesting as it progresses.
Having only spawned mere months ago, Glasgow pop rock outfit Able Faces look to make an immediate impact with their debut EP, Freedom.
Fine By Me is a fun, upbeat number which starts things off nicely; sounding like it came right from a seaside holiday advert by the last minute. The City That Never Sleeps features a catchy chorus and some stand out drumming, In My Head is a slower tune with notably sweet piano and glockenspiel, in addition to having memorable lyrics, with the title track afterwards providing another catchy song with great riffs.
In no time at all, the bass heavy You Want It All comes around to cap off a really solid debut EP that provides a collection of pretty enjoyable, chipper pop tunes. A most welcome addition to Glasgow’s always thriving music scene.
In the same vain as Malka, Lights That Change from Wales are another group that fit into the dream pop category, and also as one that is very underrated, with no better proof of that than their single Voices.
An absolutely mesmirising number with a hypnotic sound that can be summed up as a trance in audio form, captivating the listener with graceful vocal harmonies, gentle riffs and a narcotic beat. A highly overlooked track from a band that deserve way more attention drawn to them.
With the vigorous crashing of cymbals from the immediately off set, In My Head – the latest single by Dundee rock four-piece Vladimir – makes for a highly entertaining listening experience, being a catchy rock tune with a very memorable chorus, great vocal work, high standard guitars, bass and drumming across the board and an all around enticing rhythm.
The Caves from Dundoon are another great band that will appeal nicely to all those who desire their share of mighty fine psychedelic rock, with no better evidence of that than their latest pair of songs.
On Your Mind is a riveting track with rugged riffs, slick bass lines and smashing drumming which all combine to create a really cool, kaleidoscopic rock tune which has a very classic Sabbath-esque sound to it; an aspect that carries over into Comatose, an even catchier, fast-paced number with very stylish guitar work.