SMALL RECORD REVIEWS | #2 | Closure

aeu

AS EVERYTHING UNFOLDSCLOSURE

Without a doubt, one of the most budding British metal acts of 2018 have been High Wycombe post-hardcore band As Everything Unfolds. True, they’ve been on the grind for some time, but this year is where they have really come into their own, and that fact has only been cemented by their sophomore EP – Closure.

As the group have stated, this record reflects the current changes that they have been going through as of late in their lives, and their desire to put their past behind them and look ahead towards the future – hence the title of the EP. This theme is naturally detailed through the writing, which is magnetic and leaves an imprint, and this is a factor that remains thoroughly strong across the board.

Driving each of the tracks is a colossal sound that rides off a wave of pure adrenaline. The riffs from Adam and Owen are aggressive, George and Liam bring a real weight with their bass tones and drum beats, Jon ups the ante with blistering snyths, and Charlie seals the deal with formidable vocals.

We had such high hopes for this EP, and our expectations have been surpassed. Closure is a damn near perfect package with a range of awesome tunes that blow the mind, thanks to tight performances and significant subjects. As Everything Unfolds are ready for the next level, no ifs or buts.

***HIGHLIGHTS***

17:10, You Will Be, Centuries

OUT NOW!


SMOKINGM

SMOKING MARTHAIN DEEP

There’s a lot of noise brewing from the land down under. It comes courtesy of alternative rockers Smoking Martha, who are gearing up to release their debut album – In Deep – here in the UK and around Europe.

The group blaze through a plethora of quick tracks, with the majority of them driven by exciting rhythms, delightfully catchy choruses, and an energy that is simply contagious, although we do get a few quieter pieces that put more focus on great, emotional writing.

Tasha is an accomplished vocalist, especially shining in highlights such as Baby Let Me Go, where her abilities are put on full display and clear for all to hear. The guitar work is enjoyable, particularly during the brisk solos, and the combined bass and drumming add that extra weight to every number.

A little on the straightforward side quite often admittedly, but despite that, In Deep is a wonderful rock record with more than enough quality material to grab the attention of any listeners within earshot. It’s not hard to see why Smoking Martha are making waves in both their home country and across international waters.

***HIGHLIGHTS***

Ebb Of The Tide, Baby Let Me Go, Stranger Things, Say You’re Mine, What’s Her Name

AVAILABLE IN THE UK/EU ON FRIDAY 9TH NOVEMBER!


supa

SUPA & DA KRYPTONITESKRYPTOMANIAC

Supa & Da Kryptonites have clearly established themselves as one of Edinburgh’s most exciting acts, dazzling the masses with their infectious sound that is a hodgepodge of multiple genres such as ska, reggae, funk and hip-hop.

The ensemble made an impact with their debut EP back in 2016, and just recently they surprised us all with a brand new one out of the blue, titled Kryptomaniac.

From start to finish, the entire record is an insane blast. Jay brings the fire, while Sarah provides stunning harmonies, and together they make for an awesome vocal duo to lead the charge.

The guitar work is sweet, the rhythm sections are ridiculously catchy, especially during the unforgettable choruses, and the loud and large brass section elevate the size of each track.

Completed by fun and hilarious writing, and a crazy energy that is so irresistible, Kryptomaniac is hands down one of the most entertainingly berserk Scottish records of the year. Now how’s about a full-length album from this lot?

***HIGHLIGHTS***

Never Gonna Bring Me Down, Arguin’ Wid The Devil, Jivealism

OUT NOW!


NOVACROW

NOVACROWCRIMINAL MASTERMIND

First emerging from the deepest, darkest reaches of Liverpool half a decade ago, Liverpool hard rock quartet Novacrow truly made an impression with their debut release, Black Syrup. Two years later, and with a growing audience and added experience to their names, the troupe are set to kick it up a notch with the sequel – Criminal Mastermind.

The demented fairy tale-esque opening sets the standard for what is to come. The four fire out with enjoyably sinister vocals, cool riffs, deeply grungy bass chords and whacking drum beats.

The immersive lyrics are a joy, and when they nudge up the dial and go full-frontal with the energy, it’s a hell of a rush, most prominent in the catchy titular lead single.

Are You Happy? may also be their most mature track to date from a writing standpoint, plus the kooky sound brings a smile to the face.

Absolutely flowing with personality, Criminal Mastermind serves as a cracking follow-up; being a delightfully dark record from a bunch of folk who are sick and twisted in the best way possible.

***HIGHLIGHTS***

Criminal Mastermind, Are You Happy, Laughing Gas

AVAILABLE ON FRIDAY 16TH NOVEMBER!


DELAY

DELAYED DEPARTUREYOUR COLOURS

It has been quite the journey for Farnborough alternative rockers Delayed Departure since their formation in 2011, with their biggest success being found a couple of years ago thanks to their Crafted EP.

Now with a larger fanbase at their side, they seek to recreate that sense of triumph with their highly anticipated third record – Your Colours.

Mike gives it his all with emphatic vocal performances that are just oozing with emotion and passion. Meanwhile, the rest of the troupe put together some huge-scale tracks with dynamic guitars and outstanding rhythms, not to mention some awesome choruses.

Yet another highlight comes in the form of the band’s greatest strength – the writing – with every song being a lyrical showcase touching upon the attributes of people and how we define them.

Delayed Departure’s mission was to deliver their greatest work yet, and Your Colours comfortably stands as that, being an exhilarating rush featuring the boys at their very best, with interesting and identifiable themes to boot.

***HIGHLIGHTS***

Neon Lights, Who Are You, Too Close

OUT NOW!


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LEONOV – WAKE

Within a sea of incredible rock and metal acts to emerge from Norway, Leonov stand out among the crowd. They had their share of success with their self-titled debut album back in 2014, and now they are finally returning with the follow-up – Wake.

The central theme of the record is that of life, and the unfortunate truth of how grim it truly is. Even with that spark of positive light hanging, it will ultimately be a negative experience. The band perfectly capture that sentiment through both the lyrics and the sound that they create.

The tracks on offer are gloomy and droning, but also really magnetic and grand in size; built from a blend of atmospheric synths, sweeping chords, beefy bass lines and pounding drum beats. Taran also contributes to that as the vocalist, with her rich harmonies boosting the ambience and possessing a pulling power that is simply seducing.

Leonov has triumphed again here with yet another incredible album that makes for a cosmic and enveloping listening experience.

***HIGHLIGHTS***

I Am Lion I Am Yours, Sem, Oceanode

AVAILABLE ON FRIDAY 26TH OCTOBER!


Whispering

WHISPERING SONSIMAGE

For those that have a love for post-punk and new wave, we have just the act for you – Whispering Sons from Belgium, who are fresh off releasing their debut album, Image.

The group produce a sound that is infectiously vibrant, also donning a slight 80’s tinge which only makes it all the more appealing.

The lucid rhythms are lively, catchy and bring a real energy to the table, formed from sublime guitar work, neat bass chords and vivid drumming, plus the harmonies are smooth and strong throughout.

An investing ride all the way through, Image is an awesome product half a decade in the making that proves just how much potential that Whispering Sons have in their back pocket.

***HIGHLIGHTS***

Got A Light, Waste, Dense, Alone, Hollow

OUT NOW!


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PIRATE COPY – SWASHBUCKLE & SWAGGER 

You know what? Pirates are cool. You know what else? Punk rock is also cool. A fan of both? Cornish rockers Pirate Copy have you covered, and they have a new album on the horizon – Swashbuckle & Swagger.

The quintet goes all in with a fair amount of insanity as they churn out track after frenzied track, highlighted by high-speed tempos, rocking guitars, bouncing choruses and hearty vocals. They are pretty wild, although there are a couple of moments here and there where the band slip a little out of time.

Is there much point talking about the writing? The titles alone say everything about what you are in for, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing at all. It has to be said though, we do get some memorable lyrics that stick just after one listen. And let’s be real – “I ate my mate, I ate my mate, I know it was wrong, but he tasted great” – is that not the line of the year?

Safe to say, this won’t be to everybody’s taste, but if this is your particular cup of tea/bottle of rum, then you are in for a hell of a manic party that is a sheer delight all the way through.

***HIGHLIGHTS***

I Ate My Mate, Outlaw Pirates, Water Water Everywhere, Kicked Out The Pub, Somalian Pirates Suck, The Crew

AVAILABLE ON FRIDAY 26TH OCTOBER!


Kyp Harness [2018] Cover

KYP HARNESS – KYP HARNESS

Hailing from Canada, Kyp Harness has to got to be one of the country’s most prolific artists, having amassed 13 albums to this name, and now he’s back for yet another run with his latest self-titled record.

Kyp presents us with a collection of tunes that are carried by nice, buoyant melodies and highlighted by excellent writing that has the listener pulled in for the entire ride.

There is a lot of conviction in what he sings through his crisp vocals, plus he’s clearly able with the guitar in tow, and his fellow group members do more than enough of their fair share to boost the songs with mighty fine performances of their own.

A high quality album that serves as the quintessential introduction to Mr Harness and his talents.

***HIGHLIGHTS***

Jungle Out There, Hard Life, Talking To Myself, Angel Mine, Crying Shame

OUT NOW!


BBII

BENJAMIN BLUEII

Scottish indie pop quartet Benjamin Blue have been quiet on the sidelines for a while now, but lately they have re-emerged and are back with a brand new EP, simply titled II.

The trio of melodic tunes each have a contagious pep to them, the writing stands out, and the choruses are made memorable by fixating hooks that are just so good.

The songs have their own individual qualities that help them to stand out from each other, but consistent between them is the ensemble vocals that blend together impeccably smooth guitars and a great bass-drum combo.

This record is the very definition of short but sweet, and even after multiple listens, it never gets old. In fact, it only gets better.

***HIGHLIGHTS***

Goldmine, Ethiopia

OUT NOW!


Cover art ws

WATERSHAPEPERCEPTIONS

Based in Vicenza, Italian progressive metal outfit Watershape was formed by a group of musicians who had their share of experience as part of other acts previously, and this is clear as day judging by their debut record – Perceptions.

What we get is a collection of insanely good numbers that are complex and really sizable. The riffs are cool, the bass lines and drumming are really robust, and the keys provide catchy hooks in areas, and a magnetic ambience in others.

At the centre of it all is frontman Nicolo, who has quite an impressive vocal range that is pitch-perfect through and through. The writing is also stimulating, and the tracks reach a high point during the memorable choruses.

Fans of prog and good music in general should not let these quintet fly under the radar, because it is quite obvious that they are talented, and this album is strong evidence of that fact.

 ***HIGHLIGHTS***

Beyond The Line Of Being, Cyber Life, Fanciful Wonder, The Puppets Gathering, Cosmic Box #9

OUT NOW!


kingk

KING KOBALTTHE FAITHFUL

The quintet of King Kobalt have been gathering some steam as of late, emerging as one of the most talked about metal acts from the Highlands, and they have surely only gathered more momentum with their recently released sophomore EP – The Faithful.

Each of the four swift-tempo tracks are packing a lot of energy behind them. The riffs are constantly vivid and intense, the beats are forceful, and the bellowing vocals are pretty sturdy; all elements reaching their optimum during the huge choruses.

The only real flaw the record has is that the band need to work on tightening up the rhythms, with a few distracting mistimings littered about.

Putting that aside, The Faithful is a heavy dose of insanity that stays enjoyable all the way through, proving that King Kobalt could make something of themselves down the line.

***HIGHLIGHTS***

Fight Me, Heart Of A Hurricane

OUT NOW!


FullSizeRender 6

SLESTERCHEAPER THAN THERAPY

There’s a new addition to the Scottish hip hop scene looking to make a statement. They are Slester, and they have come out of nowhere to bring us their debut album – Cheaper Than Therapy.

The candid vocals are consistently solid, with plenty of ferocity and snappy fire through the intense verses, and the electronics help to add a depth and power, as well as create an ambience of sorts in the more mellow tracks.

The writing for the most part is on form; not as up to scratch in a couple of spots, but when it’s good, it’s damn good, covering a number of subject matters quite nicely.

While it has flaws, Cheaper Than Therapy is a worthwhile first effort from Slester, an act showcasing stacks of promise.

***HIGHLIGHTS***

I Hate Music, Friends, Step Out, Dead, Solid Gold

OUT NOW!


PMM

PAPER MACHINE MUSIC – GLIMPSE

Formerly a member of Viva Stereo, Rob McInklay from Fort William has decided to fly solo with his new project, Paper Machine Music, and he just recently put out his first album under the banner – Glimpse.

Whether short and simple, or longer and more in-depth, the many tracks featured on this record are showered with engaging lyrics that cover a range of relatable topics and will have the listeners tuned in for the near-hour that it lasts.

Rob is a great performer both vocally and instrumentally, and he enlists the help of other fellow musicians, where they add an extra layer to whatever song they take part on.

Finalised by a quality production, Rob shows his experience with an intriguing, personal album that is both raw and effective.

***HIGHLIGHTS***

The Iron Heel, As Serious As Your Face, Incubation, Buffalo 66, Slacker’s Eye View

OUT NOW!

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