SMALL MUSIC SCENE: ISSUE #2 | Television / Sweet




Holy Esque have made a name for themselves as one of Glasgow’s most promising bands, and that sentiment is ever more justified with their brand new album that just hit the shelves – Televison / Sweet.

They fire out the blocks with the magnificent Image Of Man, which drives at a blood-pumping pace. A palatial sound is established and continues to be exercised in I Am The TruthHouse Of Hounds gives us an excellent chorus, and Give Me Your Stillness just revels in its gripping atmosphere; likewise with Belly Full Of Dread, dotted with some cool synth drum shots.

Modern Tones is massive in size, He, Special Electra is very catchy and the captivating harmonies and stunning tones are the highlighting factors of Anxiety. The soft and superlative To The Cage You Go is utterly consuming, Filth Or Passion has a great beat and has more empathetic electronics on display, and they send us off with the stylish title number.

Absolutely amazing. Holy Esque’s latest record is truly something to behold that is more or less flawless in execution and never lacking whatsoever, blowing away their previous efforts out the water with ease.

It’s a breathtaking experience that astounds on the first listen, and the second, and the third, and so on. A serious contender for Scottish album of the year, if not best album of the year period.




In 2016, Jack Bennett – aka Grumble Bee – caught the attention of many, including myself, with his debut EP, Disconnect, and since then, he has put everybody on notice and continued to emerge as one of the UK’s most prosperous artists. His biggest test to date comes in the form of his highly anticipated sophomore record – Everything Between.

The opening track Red is bloody immense. From Jack’s pitch-perfect vocal performance, to the utterly massive chorus, to the energy it expels, this is nothing short of phenomenal. But it doesn’t stop there, for Heron provides a strong melody and magnetic writing.

Bravest Soul tows with an infectiously hooking rhythm, which is mainly attributed to the slick riffs and forceful drums, and last but not certainly least, Luna Blue excels with emotional harmonies and a gripping beat.

Jack has delivered beyond expectations here with a quartet of songs that are engrossing and astonishing on all fronts. It’s pretty much perfect, and that’s only HALF of the product, for we are also treated to acoustic renditions of Soft Filter, Black And White Picture and Bravest Soul, as well as stripped back piano versions of Francium and Heron, all of which are smashing too.

Jack is a special talent, and it’s about time he gets the mainstream recognition that he has truly earned.




It’s pretty obvious by this point that Canada has produced a range of cracking metal acts, and the latest to come into the radar is The Slyde from Toronto, veterans of the game for nearly a decade who are fresh off releasing their biggest album yet – Awakening.

Following a short intro, they get going with Walk With Me, structurally simple enough but really energetic, topped off by a thrilling solo. In Silence is led by passionate vocals throughout, the writing really shines in the thoroughly engaging These Wars and Awakening itself packs a sizable punch.

So Blind is an essential headbanger with its fast and frenzied pace, and Fading delves in a similar fashion with unreal riffs as a bonus. Join The Parade features a very memorable chorus, in addition to nice flashes of bass work.

Divide returns to a more elementary style, but oh man is it catchy, and the ensemble harmonies work so well, and eventually Back Again finishes off the record nicely.

Awakening is a hell of a wild ride, one that never gets tiring. Definitely one of the most exciting metal albums I’ve come across this year, which has me questioning why in the blue hell are these four not at a bigger stage by this point?

Maypine Bend Break Artwork_preview



Hailing from the music-rich city of Brighton, Maypine are looking to start afresh with a new sound and rockier direction, with the key to that being their upcoming EP – Bend / Break.

The chief single Give opens the record in great fashion, thanks to a notable chorus and hooking lyrics on show. They kick it to a higher gear with Kodokushi, which sports a faster pace.

The writing returns to the forefront in Weather, portrayed well through Jase’s capable vocal performance, and finally Together Alone makes for a forceful finish.

Maypine’s hard work and labouring has resulted in what is an engaging EP. There is clearly a tonne of untapped of potential that this quintet are harbouring, and if realised, then this group will be due a lot of success, but only time will tell…




It was just over 3 years ago that Glasgow pop rock quintet New Horizons had formed, and were quick to make their mark. But after a string of silence following a few successful singles, they’ve decided to call it a day.

But there is one silver lining, in that they have left us with a parting gift – an EP titled Grief; naturally all 5 songs featured covering different stages.

Denial starts off gentle, with Emjay’s stunning harmonies becoming more prominent as it goes, and in time they unleash into an impassioned chorus. Emotions continues to pour through in Anger, with gripping writing also being showcased here.

Bargaining has a perfect blend of acoustics in the verses and punchy riffs as the song hits its peak, the catchy Despair has an arduous power behind it, and lastly Acceptance brings us some more energy and great lyrics to wrap up the record well.

It’s really gutting to see New Horizons call it a day, for they had a tonne of potential which could not have been made any more obvious here. A superb EP, and I wish all the best to the band on their (hopefully music-based) future endeavours.




In the space of 4 years, indie trio Breaky Boxes have been making waves in their home country of France, with their latest of multiple achievements being crowned the winners of the Sziget Festival. But do they actually live up to all the established hype? Their most recent EP – From The Shelter – says yes.

Land Of Brothers makes for a superb opener; the chorus is memorable, especially with the combined guitars, and it does a lot to promote positivity and fervor. Million Brave Heroes is another grand number loaded with fine harmonies and pulling the listeners with great writing.

I Feel Good goes in a somewhat bluesy direction, with this owed to sweet chords and a catchy rhythm, while Come Back Home is certainly more folk-oriented in its sound. They unwind for the more Down’s Up, before wrapping up with the highly emotional climatic track, Farewell.

A stunning effort that undisputably justifies Breaky Boxes’ success. Mature, gripping and varied, From The Shelter is a wonderful record through and through.




It’s always a joyous feeling coming across a band you have never heard of before and instantly being made a fan. The most recent case of this – Sacramento dream pop band Soft Science, whose new album Maps has been gaining some attention, and deservedly so.

Undone is an excellent way to start, as we get the first showing of Katie’s eloquent voice. Breaking is a catchy piece, especially with its dashing electronic melody, and the bass lines are utterly lush in Diverging.

The guitars prove to be sweet in both There and Apart, the chorus stands out in Sooner, and Know is carried by a toe-tapping drum beat. Still is really upbeat, Enough is nothing short of enchanting and they close out with the awfully nice Slip.

Maps is one of the most enthralling, well compiled dream pop records to come out as of late; a worthwhile product from a worthwhile discovery.




Formerly achieving success as part of The 21st State, Craig-Russell Horne has taken a new path as an electronic artist, culminating in the release of his debut EP – Robotz & Machinez.

It kicks off with Isn’t Love Important, where the bass-studded verses are pretty neat, and the track as a whole is packing a fair amount of energy. In a short time frame, Control provides a bouncy ride, and the catchy lead single Us features an outstanding, large-scale chorus.

What Are We Doing Here is a decent piece, although not on the same level as the previous numbers, but the emotions do pierce through in the lyrically sound Sick, and he finishes finely with the ambient Hold On.

Robotz & Machinez is a very good first effort. While the second half lacks the same punch as the first, I would still happily recommend this EP. Craig-Russell Horne is one of the most promising newcomers to the Scottish electronic scene, and I’m curious to see what else he has in store.




Nuclear Club are a Glasgow act that have regularly cropped up in my sights. I dabbled in their first EP a number of times, and I did get the chance to see them live supporting Halflives at Bloc last year. This past month, they release their debut full-length album – Pop Psych – and with previous experiences of them being positive, it was worth the gander.

Among the grab-bag of songs, a number definitely stand out from the pack. Rapture/Ready is highlighted by a straightforward yet entertaining rhythm, Who Goes There dons a cool drum beat and certainly rocks more of an energy. The warm sound of Constant Sleep is perfectly fitting, and they ramp up the excitement in the seriously fun and bustling Blood Oath.

Closer To Mine shines through lyrically, Rhinoceros is catchy like nothing else, especially in the middle section, and the pairing of One If By Land, Two If By Sea and Longest Moment Yet make for an engaging duo of tracks to cap off with.

As debut album goes, this one ain’t half-bad, littered with an ensemble of enticing songs that can be easily be revisited and enjoyed again and again. The record’s main flaw is that it’s a little on the long side, usually dragging when the material isn’t up to scratch. A trimming of fat would have been ideal here, but as is, it still warrants at least one listen.




Glasgow quartet Cutty’s Gym have been making some noise around the scene lately, hot off the heels of releasing their debut EP – Zante.

They kick off with the loud and brash Can I Eat, where the lyrics hit the mark in no time. They go full-frontal with the volatile Dance Stance, and Batboy has some solid bass and more good writing. Anfanger starts off fine but gradually escalates into a vigorous second half, before they culminate with the thunderous Cix, with the assertive vocals reaching their peak here.

A hard-hitting first try from these guys. Admittedly, a couple of tracks can somewhat drag in parts, but otherwise this gets the seal of approval from this chump, yours truly.




Well, it sure took them a while, but alas, Boston math rockers Yikes! are back in the spotlight with their latest release, Yia Mas.

Woodstock is a really smooth starter for ten with a nice, casual pace to it, and the guitars are in fine shape. They take it up a notch with Composure, which is seriously infectious, courtesy of a catchy rhythm, and finally Boots And Cats wraps it up in solid fashion, with great riffs and bass lines topping it off.

A wait well more than worth it. Yia Mas is a cracking trio of songs with plenty of replayability to them, so while unfortunately short, we still get good value for money here.




Need even more high quality British pop punk to chew down on in 2018? Well look no further, because here’s another act worth checking out – Bedfordshire quintet Between The Lines, who are set to release their mini EP, To The Wind, in a couple of weeks time.

The titular track rides off a perky pace and wild melody heightened by gutsy vocals and hard-hitting drum beats. Anywhere But Here plays similarly, being another catchy banger with a good display of riffs and bass.

An impressive pair of tunes that are fun, packing an abundance of energy and just begging to be played again and again.




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