2 years ago, a certain hardcore band hailing from Birmingham by the name of Lock & Key were very swift to take both the UK – and even mainland Europe – by storm as they gained a following in no time flat, and based on their talents, it should come as no surprise.
Their initial EP, The Divide, gave us only a taste of what the mighty quintet had to offer, but it was not until the recent release of their debut full-length album, Peaceless, that they truly cemented themselves as one of the best the British underground metal scene has to offer.
Vocalist Rich Lardner is quick to signal the start of Hostile, which serves as a formidable opening track and just like that, they are off to the races.
Hand-picking highlights from this tight compilation proves to be quite a challenge, with only some of the focal points including The Legacy, Unclear State Of Mind and the seriously catchy No Acceptance which features a memorable chorus.
The poignant writing is among the strongest we have heard lately, notable in the likes of Burning Bridges, Vultures and No Justice; the latter where Sean Midson’s much welcomed guest appearance makes a hell of an impact.
The aforementioned writing is delivered to us courtesy of not only Rich’s intense, deeply fervent performance, but also his demanding presence. The galloping drum work packs a punch and the melodic guitar riffs only add a whole other level of vigor to the record.
If this album does not convince you that Lock & Key will grow into one of the UK’s premier hardcore acts within the next few years, then frankly nothing will.
It has been so long since we have seen a band burst onto the scene and be so quick to make their mark, but that is exactly the case with Leeds metal band, who have turned many heads in just a mere couple of months.
Wasting little time, they have treated us to an EP titled All We’ve Ever Known, and trust us when we say, it is incredible stuff.
One key attribute of the record is leading lady Christina Rotondo – formerly of Searching Alaska and a notable face on YouTube as of late – who confirms our belief that she ranks among the elite of British underground vocalists, as she showcases magnificent harmonies throughout, whilst being perfectly matched by Jake Noakes who brings to the table some fierce scream work.
This first becomes abundantly clear with the opener Buried. Afterwards, the immense lead single Drowning delivers a colossal chorus, as well as some outstanding lyrics.
Weathered Bones entertains with impressive riffs, and the two closing tracks – Call Me Home and Voices – blow out the ear drums with vast, pulsating rhythms.
No bones about it, this is simply a stellar debut. These guys are already making good progress in their climb up the ladder to success, and this EP will only skyrocket them even further, and deservedly so.
Summer City – Reprobates | 22.4.16
Following an upbeat intro we have Signals which is a fiercely catchy tune that hooks in the listener right out of the gates. I’m A Wreck is highlighted by an addictve melody steered courtesy of bulky bass chords, in which afterwards they crank up the dial with the highly energetic, swift paced There’s Only Chemistry Here.
Burn It Down delivers blazing work on the synths, and the title track is headed up by a passionate chorus. Soon they close with what is a strong, low-key number driven by emotion, Sound Of The Crowd.
Hershel’s Head – Degenerate Art | 27.5.16
From beginning to end throughout this EP, it is clear the trio have come well-equipped with all the essential ingredients needed to produce the ideal rock album – a throng of mammoth riffs, catchy choruses, adrenaline-amplifying rhythms, dynamic drumming and intense vocals; the stand out highlights being the hair-raising Deathclock and the demanding Rosenberg.
With such a cracking concoction, it is obvious that Hershel’s Head are more than capable of growing into one of Scotland’s most prominent alternative acts in the years to come.
This sizzling EP succeeds in blending together the likes of grimy hip hop, reggae and ska, among others, and as we kick off with A Jar To A Butterfly, we can clearly see that lead man Jay Supa’s lightning fast vocals are the driving force of the music, accompanied by the graceful harmonies of Sarah Knowles.
Euphoric bass lines are the highlight of Funk’s The Only Time, the polished brass section make their presence felt in Blindside, and Fallin’ Into Positive brings us earthy guitars and a catchy drum beat.
Afterlife progresses rather calmly before suddenly picking up for an exciting ending, and to finish, Dance In The Rain serves as a bouncing and rather snappy final track.
Errant Boy – A Wayward Mirror | 22.4.16
There is a new indie pop band on the horizon. Their name is Errant Boy, they hail from Edinburgh, and their upcoming debut album A Wayward Mirror is a must buy.
Among this great compilation of stirring songs, a few immediately jump out at us. The primary single Hey Columbus is a highly memorable and catchy low-key track which we could listen to for days on end.
Lustrous guitars and entertaining writing are components that are regularly present throughout, as demonstrated in Black Dress Black Cab, Monochrome and Burning Chair, whilst the likes of Doubts and Imaginary Song are distinct with chipper melodies.
James Holt – Sanguine On The Rocks | 29.4.16
Our attention is immediately devoted courtesy of the bombastic The Mirror, and it only gets better from there, with examples including the eponymous number which continues to display James’ tremendously eloquent vocal capabilities, and the catchy and sleek Tears Aren’t Enough where underlying elements of psych rock are showcased.
Meanwhile, Contemplations features cracking guitar work, and the melancholy And Then I Awoke enamors with potent writing.
James has done more than enough to prove that he is talented, as he provides us with one of the most outstanding solo efforts we have had the pleasure of listening to in recent memory.
Last year, we discovered Italian-Icelandic trio My Cruel Goro, and they earned themselves an International Record Of The Year nomination with a superb self-titled debut EP. And guess what? They are back with their sophomore release – Stuff.
From the get go with It’s Fake, they deliver their brand of deliciously grimy alternative punk that would have been right at home back in the 90’s, and it continues into Lost E, a high tempo, foot-tapping track chock full of gritty riffs.
Great lyrics are the defining factor of Black Trash Dog; likewise with Loverdose, where the guitars continue to shine in slick style. And soon, they cap off with an exciting bass-driven climax in the form of I’m Not From This World.