Small Music Reviews: Issue #2 – Guilty

SERTRALINE – GUILTY

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It has been a few, painfully long months of anticipation, but after surviving a period of such impatience, the time has come – Stoke melodic metal band Sertraline are here with their brand new EP – Guilty.

They immediately blast the eardrums with the immense title track, flaunting booming tones and utterly thundering drumming; Snakes following suit with an energetic melody.

The lead single Change Of Heart is thoroughly exciting and highlighted by an awesome chorus. With Nyeevise, there is sweet bass work on display, in addition to assertive riffs and firm writing, where after they propel to a staggering climax with I Admit The Blame.

The icing on the cake is the marriage of insanely combustible vocals and emphatic screams which drive all the songs effortlessly.

The wait was very much worth it. Guilty is a phenomenal record that gives the listener an astounding rush of adrenaline while providing plenty of substance along the way. This will more than likely make our best of 2017 list at year’s end, and for good reason.


CORE OF iO – GANYMEDE

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From the south coast of England, tech metal quartet Core Of iO first made their mark on us with their EP – Part IV: Callisto – and now they’re back to top themselves with another moon-inspired offering in the form of Part III: Ganymede.

They start off nicely with Plurals, treating us to mighty fine bass lines and constantly swift drum fills. Then without warning, the intensity is punched up with Surrounded, where the riffs are sharp and the rhythm almost chaotic, plus the vocals are just superb here.

Risk is admittedly a little off in spots, but regardless it is still a fun track with tonnes of energy and a cracking chorus.

Fans of the band will feel right at home here, which is for sure another quality product from Core Of iO.


ANCHOR LANE – NEW BEGINNING

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The triad known as Anchor Lane have been making the rounds for a little while now, and we have heard nothing but positive things said about them. With that kept in mind, we had a shot with their recent EP – New Beginning.

They promptly demonstrate a lot of verve with the opener Finished For Twelve, courtesy of a catchy chorus and an engrossing rhythm. This remains the case with Annie, where there is plenty of power behind the ensemble vocals, not to mention the guitars and drumming are awfully slick. The intro alone of Cog In The Water is blooming good, and the same can be said for the rest of the bouncy tune.

They then save the best for last. Aside from being dynamic, the incredible writing of Twenty Sixteen pays tribute to all the legends we lost last year, whilst bringing up the interesting question of whether anyone in this generation or the next are worthy of reaching the same heights as these fallen icons.

New Beginning proves to be a top-notch listen, with all tracks making their mark in one way or another. Having given us one of the finest Scottish records of 2017 so far, we think it is obvious why this threesome have their fair share of fans.


WASTED YEARS – MOVING MOUNTAINS

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8 years Wasted Years have been about for now, and they have seen an array of changes among other things, yet in that time, the Glasgow alternative rock quintet have never truly showcased their full potential. On stage, perhaps to an extent, but musically not so much, so they had a lot to prove with their new EP – Moving Mountains.

They do not dwindle, delivering from the off set with the phenomenal Voices, defined by an immense chorus that is exceedingly catchy. The lyrics are consistently pretty good from end to end, and there are plenty of solid hooks throughout that are driven by sterling riffs and high-tempo pulsating beats.

In general, there is a lot of fury and fervor behind the music, particularly in the vocal department. Dennis Coles leads the charge, and he exhibits an abundance of emotion that adds to the scope of every tune, being at his best in the low-key Forever.

Overall, a great record that has allowed Wasted Years to properly expose their talents and give them a real sense of credibility.


BENNY MONTEUX/RICHY NEILL – ACOUSTIC SPLIT EP

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Two of Edinburgh’s finest artists – Benny Monteux and Richy Neill – recently banded together to produce an acoustic split EP, and a good one at that.

First at the helm is Benny, who we are more than familiar with, with the brand new Teeth & Claws, a buoyant track with a good beat to it. The accompany horns add an extra element, and the cracking hook towards the end is perfect for any live situation. He also gives us Hold Tight, the title number from his 2012 EP, featuring crisp guitar work and a bouncy melody.

Richy is then up to bat, and the contrast in their styles becomes apparent. While Benny is generally more upbeat, Richy is more low-key and solemn. Father’s Words is just stunning, with the incredible austere writing being the definitive factor. His already established song Skin & Bones is a chilling 5 minute piece that sucks in the listener with ease.

A pair of excellent singer-songwriters that are similar, yet in many respects different, and we can’t recommend the both of them enough.


IONA FYFE – EAST

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Originally hailing from Huntly, Iona Fyfe has been slowly but surely making quite a name for herself in the last few years, with her career highlight so far being a finalist in BBC Radio Scotland’s Young Traditional Musician Of The Year competition.

If you want the most definitive proof of her talents, then look to her 2nd EP – East, a collection of 6 delightful tracks, all with a very rooted Celtic quality.

The highlights include Sleepytoon for its infectious melody and dainty fiddles, the stunning Queen Amang The Heather, notable for having a gentle ambience and gripping writing, and Cairn O’Mount which is an enchanting acapella piece.

Iona herself is sensational, due to her graceful composure and beguiling harmonies, not to mention her accompanying band get the job done very well too.

If you found yourself captivated by this EP, then you will be happy to know that Iona is in the midst of funding for her debut album, currently set for release in 2018, and you can contribute here.


RHINOPLAST – PLEASE SIR, I WANT SOME GORE

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Probably one of the most compelling acts going around at the moment, self-proclaimed “maverickindie” quartet Rhinoplast gave us an introduction to themselves late last year via their beautifully titled debut EP – Please Sir, I Want Some Gore.

The opening tune Alone At The Strippers gives us the perfect first taste of the band, with stand out qualities including an addictive chorus, oddball lyrics and an amply distinct voice that has an Alan Rickman essence about it. They follow up with the nifty Placid Disco, with polished bass chords on show.

They pick up the pace with the fun and vivacious Knocking Over Sandcastles, before finishing off stylishly with the catchy Polyster Man, garnished with nice guitars and a sweet hook.

Fuzzy, bizarre and unorthodox. We like it very much.


BACKSTAGE PARADISE – CONSEQUENCES

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Since 2014, Backstage Paradise have been working their way up in the Glaswegian scene, and they kicked off 2017 nicely with their new EP – Consequences.

A smooth bass-driven intro leads into the very bombastic Free Spirit, while the more nonchalant Broken Record displays some solid writing.

Cutting It Close excites with a quick pace and funky beat, and they eventually wrap up with the appropriately titled This Is The End, which is highlighted by some excellent riffs.

Backstage Paradise have impressed once again, as they continue to showcase their progress and development as a band.


KING SIGH – ONE MIGHT WONDER

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With nothing much else than their own individual abilities at their disposal, Belgian instrumental duo King Sigh have composed some quality material in their time together, with that not being more apparent than with their latest compilation, One Might Wonder.

A great album from top to bottom with plenty of focal points. The infectious electronics and faint harmonics of Fibres help to create a soothing atmosphere. Meanwhile, crisp bass and really nice synths serve as the highlights of Under The Radar.

Sleek guitars are a recurring element in the likes of Gloria, Nord Raft and Vitamyn, and there are a selection of quicker-paced tracks that elevate the excitement factor, including Her Majesty and Vulture Buffet.

If this is the type of music that tinkles your fancy, then King Sigh are a must-hear.


SHAMBOLICS – LOVE COLLIDES

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Shambolics from Fife have only been about since late 2015, but have already established themselves as one of the most noteworthy acts to have emerged from the area as of late, playing a plethora of shows, producing a class library of material and maintaining an ever-growing fanbase. All the best things about this band are spotlighted in their latest single – Love Collides.

A contagious melody formed from the combination of a lacy bass line and sweeping cymbal fills, mixed with the inclusion of excellent riffs, stellar harmonies and an upbeat chorus.

The accompanying music video (WARNING – STROBE EFFECTS) fits flawlessly, with the base track giving it that ideal psychedelic feel to it.


GHOSTS OF SOCIAL NETWORKS – NO GOING BACK

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The brainchild of Nathan Till, Ghosts From Social Networks from Manchester have been making the rounds for the past year and have quickly earned an array of praise and successes in that short space of time, and they continue that trend with No Going Back.

This is a remarkable number that not only has a catchy melody and an enthralling indie-pop sound, but it sticks out with some infatuating writing that sucks in the listener, emitting feelings of both good and bad, leaving them with a bittersweet sensation. A truly memorable auditory experience.


THE GOOD WATER – MANSAID

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Birmingham duo The Good Water are another act that have been quick to catch the ears for any nearby listeners since their debut, especially those in the music press, and we personally got our first taste courtesy of their new single, Mansaid.

A superb tune with a simple yet awfully addicting hook and lyrics that are easy to pick up on. The kaleidoscopic tones have a real drawing power, the fuzzy riffs are exquisite, and it has a cool beat in general.

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