REVIEW | Black King Cobra – Law Of Attraction



Until a couple of months ago, I was never aware of Glasgow groove rock quartet Black King Cobra. It wasn’t until I witnessed them supporting the mighty Mason Hill at King Tuts that I came to realise that I had been missing out on some seriously talented folk. The insane reaction from the sold out crowd that night was enough to convince me that this lot were something special.

While they continue to ride quite the wave of momentum, they are in the process of getting ready to prove what they are made of with the release of their new record – Law Of Attraction.

Harvest Moon is a sound opener, defined by a cool chorus, crisp vocals and some nice riffs, which they go all out with towards the end. Afterwards, the solid Shiver moves at more of a smooth, laid-back pace and has a decent rhythm to it. Ball And Chain isn’t too different in that regard, but it’s certainly catchier, with some deep bass lines and even better writing added to it.

They suddenly flip the dial for Quake, which is packing a fiercely infectious energy that was honestly lacking beforehand, and this is accentuated by the mixture of fast and furious guitars, tight harmonies and an intensity that only builds and builds as they charge towards a wild conclusion to cap off the EP on a damn satisfying high.

Black King Cobra’s latest effort is a good one. The tracks are a tonne of fun, and when they step it up to another level, it’s real exciting stuff. Although not always clicking in a few spots, this is nonetheless a snippet of the huge potential that these guys are capable of.

Law Of Attraction is worth indulging in, and if they continue to improve upon their already proficient talents, then Black King Cobra are in for a hell of a future, and all the better for rock fans out there who deserve some quality material from acts of this nature.


REVIEW | Northern Nightlights – In This For The Long Haul


Nearly half a decade old and still going strong, Glasgow pop-punk quintet Northern Nightlights have been getting consistently better with age, and that’s no more apparent than with their upcoming third EP – In This For The Long Haul.

Colours Fade makes for a great opener, as it’s got a fast pace to it, especially in the verses which have a real pulse. In addition, Paul wastes little time in delivering some firm vocals. Sorry Gifts is pretty solid, and is highlighted by a rousing, catchy chorus.

Sup is hands down the stand out track, going full-frontal with a heavy, boisterous rhythm that is intoxicating, further amplified by the hearty dual-harmonies on display. They keep that heat rolling into the closing title number, which is again very raucous and stocked with fiery riffs from start to finish.

Northern Nightlights had a bit of a tough act to follow with their previous release, but they’ve been successful here. In This For The Long Haul is a jam-packed bundle of tracks with an avid energy that make for undeniably fun listening.


REVIEW | URNE – The Mountain Of Gold



In late 2016, successful metal outfit Hang The Bastard called it a day, to the despair of many. Although the group was no more, members Joe and Angus were far from done, and were hungry to get back out there and reclaim that vindication.

Fast forward to 2018, and with the addition of Richard on drums, URNE was born, and they are getting ready to make waves with their debut EP – The Mountain Of Gold.

The lead single Dust Atlas introduces us in the best way possible, being a very meaty track that is just crammed with resounding riffs courtesy of Angus, with a tempo that regularly switches between slow and assertive, and fast and vigorous. The Lady & The Devil has a similarly aggressive, in your face tone. The booming bass lines are utterly satisfying and they’ve got some sweet guitar solos scattered in there.

Joe’s vocals to this point were already great, but he properly steps it up and gives a hell of an authoritative performance in Mountain Of God, not to mention the last half or so of the track cranks up the intensity. Lastly, The March Towards The Sun encompasses all the qualities from the previous songs and meshes them into what is a sturdy, loaded finale to close out with.

URNE have clearly showcased their experience here. The Mountain Of Gold is just an astounding debut record that is driven by a sheer, massive power that never simmers whatsoever and is sure to keep any listener firmly latched over its run-time.

For those with a craving for the “heavy” in heavy metal, this one is a keeper.


REVIEW | Hell’s Gazelles – Take Your Medicine



Over 2 years ago, Oxford hard rock quartet Hell’s Gazelles burst onto the scene and were swift to make an impact, garnering plenty of attention with their self-titled debut release back in 2016.

Since then, the guys have went on to support quite the decent line-up of bands, such as The Treatment and Black Moth, and played some major shows that includes the likes of Bloodstock and the Hard Rock Hell roadtrip.

So now that they have set themselves a standard, the band are getting ready to make that important step up to the next level with a brand new record entitled Take Your Medicine.

Before we go into the music itself, I have to give a special shout to Luke at Very Metal Art for the cover, hands down one of the coolest, most striking album artworks I have seen all year that plain kicks ass.

The guys get the ball rolling with Give Me Something, and this is what you call an opener. It has such a charged energy and the chorus is really hooking, especially with the ensemble of “woah’s” thrown in, not to mention the lyrics are great, being very blunt and profane as they tackle the subject of dissatisfaction in the mundane reality we are forced to live in.

They keep that same power going in Stone Cold, a song all about cutting loose ties. Cole’s voice packs a hefty punch and Nath’s riffs are mighty good. Out Of Time is driven by a solid, hard-hitting rhythm, with the focal point of the track coming as they fire up the tempo at the halfway point.

They focus on mental health in the title number, which might just be the best of the lot; really fast-paced, really wild and really catchy, plus the guitars get another chance to shine through and stimulate the senses. Finally, they cap off with the more simple yet still entertaining and anti-romantic She Devil.

Now this is what I’m talking about. Take Your Medicine is a quintessential rock record, for it’s fun, enjoyable and such a mad rush that any old rocker can get joy from headbanging along to.

But it’s more than that. There is actually a fair amount of substance behind it, with plenty of mature and varied writing showcased between the five tracks that help to give each their own qualities that’ll make you remember them.

Hell’s Gazelles came highly recommended to myself, and there’s no surprise as to why, and in turn, I highly recommend grabbing a copy of this EP when it drops.


Megalomatic – Cathouse (21.07.18) | SMALL MUSIC SCENE


July 2013 – a young, hungry group of guys would come together and form a band named Megalomatic. After half a decade of multiple changes and forging a mature sound, they have transformed from a humble troupe not many cared about into one of Glasgow’s most noteworthy progressive rock acts.

To celebrate a hardy 5 years on the scene, the trio would host a headliner at the famous Cathouse Rock Club, in association with DF Concerts, but they wouldn’t be coming alone.

The Sunny Devils were set to kick things off. The guys had a positive reputation preceding them, so I was keen to finally check them out, and I wasn’t disappointed.

Things were lukewarm to begin with, however they did find their traction and would go on to impress with a quality line-up of tunes, including their latest single No More Surprises and the catchy as hell Believe Me, all of which featured dynamic rhythms, a pretty rowdy energy and sharp harmonies courtesy of Steven.

The crowd were visibly into them, and more were drawn in as they entered the room. Overall, a damn fine way to start the show.

Gypsy Circus were completely new to myself, so I wasn’t sure what to expect, but they certainly struck a chord. Leading man Aaron was quick to establish his presence on stage front and centre, packing quite a sturdy voice, whilst bassist Shaun was peppy and bounced around merrily for a majority of the performance.

There were flurries of tight riffs throughout from Michael, and Calum’s drumming was consistently strong. Their most recent single Obstacles, the really bluesy Black Widow Woman and the stimulating Jungle ranked as just some of the highlights on offer.

Also halfway through saw 3 women emerge from the shadows to dance in the middle of the room, only for them to disappear mere minutes later…not the most common sight at the rock gig, I must admit.

On the whole, Gypsy Circus gave us all an enjoyable set that made a good impression and deservedly earned them some new fans on this night.

A batch of colourful, fluorescent balloons scattered about as Megalomatic entered and got the place in an uproar with the wild pair of new tracks, Civility Smiles and Coil.

They took it old school with JLU: The Destroyer, which got longtime fans in a buzz, especially with its smashing chorus. Naturally, a pit formed from this – the first of several – and there was a line of synchronised headbanging on the go.

They continued their trip down memory lane with the monster combo of Progress I, Johnny Doesn’t Drink and Progress II, which sounded sick; Megalomatic seriously need to consider more complex, bridging material like this for future releases.

Somehow after that endurance, they dived straight into A Yellow Car, A Golden Chariot, before capping off with Knees Crushed By An Electric Chorus, which drove the people into a frenzy again.

As they left the stage, instead of being greeted by the standard request for an encore, everybody sang Happy Birthday, and were ultimately rewarded with the fierce Cesspit and the high-octane Stan Darsh to properly wrap up what was end-to-end a sensational set.

There were two major takeaways from this. Firstly, it is so satisfying to see how much Craig, Ben and Jamie have improved and tightened up as a cohesive unit. Following years of shows hurt by regular miscues and technical issues, they’ve managed to overcome these problems and make themselves a force to behold.

Secondly, they’ve established this ability to control the crowd as they pleased and get the exact response that they desired; in fact, they tend to get more than what they bargained for. Clearly, they’ve established a connection with many rock fans in the local scene, and if you’re not getting that as a music act, then what’s the point?

Many happy returns and a big congratulations to Megalomatic for all their successes, a journey which I’ve been proud to have been part of on several occasions. The boys are getting better by the day, and surely there must come a time where their efforts will pay off, but we shall see…

REVIEW | Hypnosister – Hypnosister

hypnosister ep front small

Over a year ago, Damian Hughes stepped down as guitarist of one of Leeds’ finest acts, Allusondrugs, and would go on to form a brand new solo project titled Hypnosister, under the self-proclaimed banner of space pop.

It didn’t take him long for him to gain traction. Following the release of only a few tracks, he earned himself plenty of praise, and after spending loads of time in the studio, he would come out with an eponymous debut EP, one that boasts some seriously positive results.

He launches from 0 to 60 instantly as he kicks off with his strongest piece, Poorly Boy, which is packing a hell of an energy, and features easily the most poignant and upfront writing of the lot, throwing shade towards the country’s health system that let his good friend down and ultimately cost him his life.

Although he delivers his best first, this doesn’t mean the rest of the record falls flat; on the contrary, actually. Next up is his debut single Bother, which is a little more simple and cooler in pace, but it does have an engaging chorus. He takes it lower still for Breath, which runs on a silky smooth, transcendent melody that allows for Damian to take centre stage with warm harmonies and good lyrics on offer.

He kicks it back up again for Ghost, another track that is straightforward at it’s core, but goddamn is it catchy, with a hook that is just oh so sweet, while I’m Going To Die has a bouncy rhythm, with some flashes of cool riffs spread out.

Finally, Scribbles perfectly captures the essence of Damian’s described space pop, being really odd and abstract, and for sure otherworldly, and it only gets weirder as it goes on, on the whole making for a superb way to close out the EP.

A year on from leaving the nest and aiming to carve his own path, Damian’s debut under Hypnosister is nothing short of excellent, with a selection of tracks that are defined by an intriguing sound, including a few in particular that really stand out and make a permanent mark. Damian clearly has all the tools to become one of the UK’s next breakout solo artists, and I’m excited to see what he’ll bring us next down the line.


REVIEW | Stolen Wings – All Roads Lead Here


Stolen Wings is the brainchild of Scottish musician Mark Fraser, who has been involved in a number of endeavours over the years, most notably as frontman of False Hopes, but after a long time of deliberation and plucking up the courage, he’s decided to go solo and give us an EP titled All Roads Lead Here.

Shallow Heart is a welcoming starter, being quick to show off some very fine writing; even more so with In Our Youth, where the distorted riffs add an extra layer and fit well with the tone of the song.

End Of You may just be the highlight, as Mark exhibits such sheer powerful emotion through his vocals, and all those elements are forged and displayed in the last number Infinite Regress.

I’m thoroughly impressed with Mark’s work here. All Roads Lead Here is a fiercely engaging EP that just has you hooked from beginning to end with it’s candid sincerity. Mark has proven he can do it on it’s own, and I think he’s capable of even more.