REVIEW | Armstrong (Self-Titled EP)

There have been a lot of rumblings about Glasgow indie-rock band Armstrong, very positive ones in fact. And after having been given the opportunity to experience their self-titled debut EP, I can see why.

Thursday Night Club serves as an incredible opening track that has no difficulty whatsoever hooking in the listener with exceptional vocals, rocking riffs and a thrilling chorus; following up with Just Cause, a rhythmic tune with an enticing melody and memorable writing from start to finish.

They take it down a touch for Bend. Buckle. Break, before wrapping up with You’re Not Alone, a great number that slowly builds towards a blistering finale.

Armstrong have made one hell of a first impression with the archetype of a debut record done right. This is an excellent showcase for a group of obviously talented musicians who each bring their own qualities to every track; Thursday Night Club in particular will certainly rank among the best Scottish tracks of the year.

There is very little doubt that these guys have a big future ahead of them, as they are set to become one of the hottest new bands in the Scottish scene.

The self-titled record will be released on Monday 28th September 2015.

REVIEW | Zurich: Small Wars

Recently, I was introduced to Oxford rock band Zurich, who are set to release their debut EP, Small Wars, later on this month. And after giving it a spin, I was glad to have been made aware of these guys.

They get the ball rolling with Chemical, a fantastic tune with a strong chorus; soon shifting focus over to the lead single Alone which features a catchy drum beat, sweet bass lines and terrific vocals, in addition to memorable lyrics.

They follow up with the spectacular title track that is accentuated by a powerful combination of acoustics, pianos and strings. In the same vain, Invisible Man is a really warm, heavily ambient number where the guitar work and electronics really shine through.

Delivering an entertaining finale in the form of Menace, this is an outstanding record from start to finish that truly brings to light a talented trio with a tight chemistry and incredible musicianship.

If this EP is any indication, Zurich can easily go on to become a major fixture in the UK music scene in the years to come.

Small Wars is released on Monday 21st September, and is available to pre-order on iTunes and Bandcamp now.

REVIEW | Begin Again: Everything Is Changing

Californian pop punk trio Begin Again made a fantastic first impression this past June with their debut single, and since then we have been left waiting in anticipation for the Everything Is Changing EP. The band had apparently put their heart and soul into this record, and judging by the final result, that aspect is very clear.

I Was Nvr Yr Grlfrn is an exciting opener with excellent vocals, great riffs and a very catchy melody. Pop Punk’s Dead You’re Next cranks up the dial in style, being a really energetic, pumped up number that is accentuated by hard hitting drum work, before finishing up with Cali’s Worst Dancers Pt 2, a really good acoustic tune with potent lyrics.

Expectations were high for this EP, and the group have delivered something special with their inaugural record, and we can not be any happier about that fact. Expect them to make a big impact on the pop punk scene in the following months to come.

REVIEW | Century Thirteen: Too Heavy For Harrison Ford

Century Thirteen have been making plenty of waves in the Glaswegian pop punk scene since their debut not too long ago. They made quite the first impression with their inaugural EP, Sunshine, last year. Recently they brought out a new one entitled Too Heavy For Harrison Ford, and they’ve certainly topped themselves with this one.

Ambition is a quick-paced opener with solid vocals and a really memorable chorus; the latter trait noticeably continuing as a trend throughout the rest of the tracks, including Eat Your Own Words which features enjoyable riffs, and the fast and furious Fake. Soon the record wraps up with Too Much, highlighted by a relentless rhythm and rapid drumming.

On the whole, it is pop punk that is simple yet effective and highly entertaining, and clocking in at 10 minutes it’s short and to the point, but it sticks around long enough to make a notable impact.

REVIEW | Twin Heart: Ghosts

Since rising from the ashes of Mechanical Smile late last year, Kilmarnock alternative band Twin Heart have been quick to make their mark. Their debut single Failure Of Another provided quite the first impression, and recently they followed up with a new single by the name of Ghosts, and it’s safe to say this is among their strongest work to date.

A really catchy tune with an intoxicating melody and a tight combination of fantastic guitar work, sleek bass lines and strong drumming. Dawn’s vocals are excellent and crisp, backed up by equally great screams from Owen and Murray. And yet through the energetic rhythm, they are able to retain a somber tone through the unforgettable lyrical work; perfectly demonstrating their blend of rock and emo.

With all these qualities, there’s very little doubt that this ranks as one of the best Scottish tracks of the year, one that cements that Twin Heart are hear to stay, and if it’s to produce music to this standard, then we are more than grateful for that.

REVIEW | The Poetry Book: Young Martyrs

All the way from Madrid, Spain hails shoegaze duo The Poetry Book, who have presented us with an EP entitled Young Martyrs, and it’s happens to be really, really good.

Decay gets the listener settled in nicely, being a warm, riveting number with an enjoyable rhythm and faint distorted vocals which really add to the atmosphere. The title track follows and sticks out with a catchy drum beat.

Love Letter is undoubtedly the highlight of the EP, being a more bombastic and energised tune while still retaining the ambience; a theme that continues into A Last Ritual which features fantastic electronic work, before finishing with The Promise, a song personified by an eerie, haunting melody.

Mainland Europe has proved to be home to some of the best shoegaze music in all of the world today, and having produced a high quality record such as this, it’s clear The Poetry Book deserve more recognition for their talents.