Scotland is home to an assortment of excellent Americana acts, and Perthshire group The Carloways are no different, proven by their self-titled debut EP.
Crawlin’ Back is a very nice way to start, as it sticks in the head, not to mention the added harmonicas are fantastic. One More Night has plenty of energy in the verses, while bringing it down for a milder chorus.
Hold Me Up has a warm, acoustic-driven first half, but gradually the band ease into an enticing and catchier second half, before going all out for No Sympathy, loaded with staggering pianos and exhilarating guitars.
A really fun record with enough variety between the tunes to keep it spicy and warrant multiple listens.
A band that took over a year to get off the ground with the right people for the job, German rockers Glanville are finally ready to break through with their debut EP – First Blood – and what a debut it is.
They get the ball rolling with the bloody amazing God Is Dead. From a wild rhythm, to a blow-away chorus, to the phenomenal vocals, this is easily one of the best opening tracks of 2018.
Once finished, they dive straight into Dancing On Fire, and although not as insane, it’s still a pretty catchy number, but Durga The Great kicks the pace right back up, while the guys throw out some rollicking riffs.
This remains a constant in Demons, and the writing is not too shabby either, and lastly Time To Go makes for a great climax, and the addition of flutes of all things surprisingly help make it all the more epic.
First Blood is a seriously impressive first effort that is minimal in flaws, being consistently action-packed all the way through and leaving listeners dying for more.
Kent hardcore trio Tailblock have been on the go for a couple of years now, and already have some recognition to their name thanks to a successful EP in the form of Burn Your Bridges. Now they seek to take it to the next level with their upcoming follow-up – Think Or Be.
The title track kicks it off immensely well, being very dynamic and sporting a hell of a strong chorus. They retain that momentum progressing into Heavy Arms, which runs off a rigid rhythm. The riffs are tight and the vocals forcible in Rockets, and they blaze through the short but heavy Blisters.
They take occasional breaks over the course of Listen, giving time for the solid writing to sink in, and they eventually go in a more stripped down direction for closing song 100, with a more lyrical focus on show.
The guys have done it again, giving us all a cracking record that has a palpable energy to it and can be easily be relished by any fan of rock.
I got my first taste of Edinburgh musician Samuel James-Griffiths, aka Inkfields, when he released his debut full length album Beneath The Waves not too long ago, and it was a very nice piece of work. Now he’s back to boost his already bustling discography with yet another EP – The Great Basin.
Take Me Down is utterly sleek, with a fluid yet catchy beat accentuated by the riffs and electronics. Samuel’s harmonies are a key element in Fire In My Heart, and the song as a whole has such a stunning, other worldly sound to it.
Dust Bowl is calm and enthralling, plus the harmonicas are a neat bonus, and finally Petrichor draws with it’s captivating rhythm, hooking lyrics and polished guitar work.
There’s no doubt about it, The Great Basin is the finest Inkfields record yet, with every song hitting the mark in one way or another and perfectly demonstrating the talents of a very proficient, and underrated, artist.
We turn attention to Edinburgh for a group who have been gaining attention as of late – Goodbye Blue Monday, who are fresh off releasing their new EP, Misery-Punk Ruined My Life.
The title track runs off a bloody good rhythm, plus the collective vocals and chorus are great. Worst In The Mornings is rocking that same energy, with memorable lyrics to boot.
Love Is A Noose For Two cranks the tempo even further upwards, as the guys throw out a mix of nice riffs and bass lines. Add the fact it’s catchy as all hell, and you have yourself a superb finale.
While regrettably short, this sweet trio of tunes is worth the change.
Hailing from Edmonton, No Problem have emerged as an essential act in Canada’s underground hardcore scene over the better part of the last decade, and their latest offering – Let God Sort Em Out – perfectly sums up the status of this quintet.
The titular intro gets the moody juices flowing, before the pairing of Get The Feeling Back and Isolation get the record properly going in energetic fashion. Circling The Drains rides off an insane pace and a wave of screeching guitars, and No Justice No Peace is a major focal point with poignant writing, maybe the best of the entire album.
The tracks continue to get better, with catchy rhythms and aggressive vocals in My Only Escape and especially Say Goodbye. Eyes Of A Killer is a potent number with more stand out lyrics, and it’s just a constant stream of manic ferocity with the trio of Warpaint, Life and Straight Line.
Patriots Of Jesus Christ is another key highlight that unfortunately ends way too soon, just as it begins to hit a real groove, but the riffs are off the wall in VX Gas and they finish off decently with the twosome of Let It Bleed Part II and Next To Die.
Let God Sort Em Out is a hell of a rush, one that is consistently tight over it’s half hour plus duration. Damn good stuff.
Glasgow rockers Avante are a band that crop up in my radar now and again, although not doing anything particularly significant. That is until recently, when they released their debut album – Divergence.
Glory Hounds kicks it off in jubilant fashion, setting the bar high pretty early; maintained with the avid You Are Off, topped off by a blend of passionate harmonies. The guitars are in full motion in the massive True Colours, while Clocks is a solid piece with a cool drum-happy finish.
Crux has a very smooth rhythm at it’s core, and Raptures starts quietly before breaking out into a fun and catchy number. Following the decent The Others, the energy is elevated with Spaces, featuring strong riffs and hardy beats.
Running is packing a large, memorable chorus that is tailor made for audience participation at gigs, and Islands serves as a hell of a finale, going at a medium pace to begin, taking it down a notch, and finally bringing it up for a rip-roaring finish.
From out of nowhere, Avante have delivered one of the biggest sleeper hits of the year so far. A cracking compilation with a tight production quality to match the standard of the material on show.