REVIEW | Megalomatic: Hunt For The Midnight Sasquatch

There are few young bands in the Glasgow music scene as promising as Megalomatic. From a solid debut EP, to their thrilling live sets, to their overall professional attitude, they’ve done much to impress us from the beginning.

The guys are now set to release their first full-length record by the (wonderful) name of Hunt For The Midnight Sasquatch. And damn, were we taken aback at what we heard.

They fire out of the gates with Knees Crushed By An Electric Circus; opening with a kooky carnival theme before launching into a tune with a fittingly insane rhythm and memorable writing. They follow up with the lead single What An Uncomfortable Sentence, which makes an impact with the force of an erupting volcano.

Screeching tones mark the arrival of T-Rex’s Are In The Operating Room, a tune that delivers deliciously raunchy bass lines and resonates with an explosive, kinetic energy. Out of the blue, they take it down for the acoustic Progress I.

Within a few minutes, they make the transition into Johnny Doesn’t Drink (bonus points to the band if that is a Room reference), which builds and builds before the rigorous guitars make their presence felt, and it all only escalates with Progress II, the third and final chapter of this mini-marathon, where the melody grows more chaotic whilst showcasing the strong vocals and smash-mouth drumming.

There is a brief moment of refrain to give the listener a chance to breathe, before finishing off with imposing riffs. Finally they bring the pandemonium to a close with JLU: The Destroyer, which serves as a frenzied finale.

As a display of mighty fine progressive music, mixed with elements of old-school rock and sludge metal, this is a mind-blowing album that has quite frankly exceeded even our high expectations for it. Considering how still young and fresh these guys are, they are sure to only get better and develop further towards a certainly bright future ahead of them.

REVIEW | Christina Rotondo: Holy

From fronting the now-disbanded Searching Alaska, to gaining notable attention online for her variety of superb covers, Christina Rotondo has certainly made a name for herself.

After spending the past year or so pursuing various projects, she is now set to release her debut single, Holy. It’s safe to say we have been anxiously waiting for this for some time now, and luckily she has delivered on the goods.

What she brings us is something incredible. The track begins really calm, with the little instrumental that is present creating a chilling atmosphere. Christina’s vocals are really strong and demanding, crisp clear and pitch perfect, and she uses this power to her advantage; drawing in the listening audience and having them hooked onto every solitary lyric of a tune that features potent writing, telling the emotional story of a life that is crumbling apart, and all of this combined builds and escalates towards a thrilling climax.

An impressive debut from one of the best solo talents the UK has to offer at the moment. Here’s hoping this is just the beginning of many good things to come for her.

REVIEW | The Static Union: The City We Once Knew

It’s not often that we have the opportunity to discover a group of young musicians that showcase talent beyond their years. Case in point: The Static Union from Glasgow, and their new single The City We Once Knew.

The track starts quiet, creating a strong sense of ambience, soon lending the way to warm harmonies and gentle chords. Just short of the halfway point, the guitars make their presence further felt by delivering great riffs, backed by a simple yet catchy drum beat. The song only builds and builds before unleashing into a full-blown, energetic indie tune.

Simply put, it’s quite a smashing number that has made a fine first impression. This band had our curiosity, but now they have our attention…

REVIEW | Press To Meco: Good Intent

What can be said about London rock band Press To Meco that hasn’t already been said? Over their tenure, the trio have grown into one of the finest rock acts in all of the UK.

From their debut record Affinity – one of our all-time favourite EPs, by the way – to playing many major shows across the country, they’ve built quite the repertoire of successes.

And now, they prepare for the next chapter of their story as they are set to release their first ever full-length album: Good Intent. Considering the sheer quality of their previous EP, we were wondering how the hell could they top it? Well as a matter of fact, they did, and then some.

They kick off the record with Family Ties, an explosive track with insanely catchy lyrics; quickly firing into Diffusion of Responsiblity afterwards, which is a high-adrenaline piece personified by a frantic, in-your-face rhythm.

The main single Means To An End brings us some tasty riffs, soon leading into Autopsy which starts gentle before launching into an impassioned chorus.

The band excel in the guitar and drumming department with Manipulate, showcase the best of their writing in Apprehension and deliver a fast-paced, bass-driven tune in the form of Ghost.

In among all the new material, the guys treat us to some new mixes of old classics; namely Tired Bones, the Breaking Bad-influenced Honestly and the mighty Affinity.

In time, they take it down for their final number, Sacred Ground, eventually building their way up to a spectacular climax that brings the record to the close.

A truly outstanding album in every sense of the word that has truly cemented Press To Meco as one of the definitive acts in all of British rock.

REVIEW | Return To The Sun: ElevenFiftySeven

On this blog, we’ve went on and on about Edinburgh rock band Return To The Sun many a time, but can you blame us? They’ve remained one of the most consistent acts in all of Scotland since their debut; releasing a great EP titled Eskimo Bones and a variety of singles such as 501Freakshow and Haze.

And soon, they are set to mark the next step of their evolution with a brand new, loose concept EP called ElevenFiftySeven, and it’s safe to say this is one that will be absolutely worth everybody’s time and money.

Static serves as a thunderous, high-velocity opener that is sure to get anyone pumped up in an instant. Waiting To Arrive starts off calm and relaxed before kicking off into an energetic, catchy chorus.

Electrical Bugs is, fittingly enough, an electric number with a jumping rhythm and memorable lyrics; followed up by Velvet Sky which is highlighted by fantastic writing, in addition to smashing riffs and bass lines.

They soon conclude with Until I Fall Asleep, a soft, mostly acoustic tune that is simply incredible, bringing an end to what is undoubtedly among the best records to come out of Scotland this year.

It’s amazing how these guys have an ability to develop and only get better and better with time. These guys haven’t been signed to a major record label yet, how exactly?

REVIEW | Calming River: The Ones That We Left Behind

A lot of folk artists have been featured on this blog, but few have stuck out as much as Denmark-based British singer-songwriter Joshua Brain, better known by his stage name Calming River, who has a new EP on the way titled The Ones That We Left Behind.

The 4 tracks on this record feature a haunting, goosebump-inducing atmosphere, and each have a gripping story to tell. Joshua’s ability to suck in the listener through his words is fascinating, it’s a hypnotic quality you don’t often find in folk music, and it’s only furthered accentuated by his strong vocals and polished finger-picking on the acoustic guitar.

For certain, a mesmerizing EP that is one of the most striking works of the genre to be produced this year.

REVIEW | United Fruit @ St Lukes | 19th September 2015

On 19th September 2015, I made the trip into Glasgow for the launch of St Lukes – a former church renovated into a multi-purpose venue and bar –  an occasion marked with a free entry gig featuring a line-up consisting of 3 of the city’s finest rock bands, 2 of them being among my favourites in Scotland so there was no way I was going to pass up this show.

First things first, I gotta say the building itself was incredible. It was very reminiscent of Oran Mor and, of course originally being a church, it had such a grand, ethereal feel to it. Although I have to admit, I felt really out of place, as for whatever reason more than half of the attendees were suited up and dressed formally, and then there was me in a black hoodie and jeans…

Carnivores were first up. It had been nearly a year since I had last seen them live, when they tore the 13th Note a new one. And yeah, it was pretty much the same case here, just in a considerably richer environment. They fired out the gates with Insecurior, to which everyone flocked to the stage like dogs who had just heard a loud whistle.

They took the crowd on a thrilling ride, playing the likes of Let’s Get Metaphysical, This Sinking Ship and Scottish Football; the latter consisting of Kenny making his way around and to the front of the barrier. Clapping signaled the beginning of the end, as the band closed out with Lion Tamer in the most dynamic, off the wall manner possible.

Everyone was left buzzing as Grant bowed and bid farewell from the podium and the set was over. A trademark Carnivores performance, one that never gets old.

By this point, the venue was packed – there was even a dog in attendance – as Cherri Fosphate were up next. Prior to the show, I had never listened to these guys so this was my first opportunity to hear them, and they impressed with a cracking set of upbeat rock tunes with energetic melodies that hit their optimum at the choruses.

A good first impression well made here. I may just have to buy these chaps’ upcoming album once it’s out…

Now it was time for the mighty United Fruit to take to the stage, and boy was it an experience. As they made their way on, everyone within the echoed halls of St Lukes immediately migrated towards the barrier.

A catchy as hell opener got everyone pumped up, and from there they delivered a hell of a performance with a mix of newer numbers and vintage classics, with all the favourites accounted for: Ghost Inside Your Head, Open Your Eyes, How Long, Go Away Don’t Leave Me Alone, among others, each of them highlighted by slick riffs, pitch perfect dual vocals and bombastic rhythms.

Everyone in the venue was hooked, whether bopping their heads to the beat, singing back the lyrics or, in the case of one particularly drunk gentleman behind me, dancing along passionately. There was a disruptive tech issue early on, but nothing that couldn’t be solved with the magic of gaffer tape.

Soon they wrapped up with the thunderous Red Letter, which capped off with frontman Xander surfing majestically above the crowd. And with that, they brought an end to what was an electrifying set that further validated United Fruit as the next big thing in Scottish rock.

Here’s to a long and prosperous future for Glasgow’s newest venue. I’m looking forward to coming back down for many more gigs sooner than later.