#29 | Be Charlotte – The Attic (16.05.19)

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EMIAH was a name completely new to ourselves, so there were no expectations to have from her beforehand, although a place on this particularly bill was a good sign.

Plenty of highlights stuck out from her set; Lovin’ Me shining with vibes of positivity, More Love had such a sweet pulse to it, and Adios Amigo honestly wouldn’t be out of place as a dance anthem heard in any club, featuring a chorus so damn catchy it still lingered in our heads the next morning…we’re not joking.

Emiah herself was kind and appreciative to those attending and, on stage she showcased a great voice and nice style, although we feel she was holding back a touch and not fully loosening herself, but that may be owed to nerves; nothing major that hurt her performance anyway.

Stuart served as the ideal wingman, with a smooth showing on the keys and giving us some excellently produced pieces with infectious beats to them.

A satisfying way to start off the night, and we believe Emiah is only going to grow and improve over time because she definitely has something to offer.


Megan D was next, another act we can admit to not having listened to prior, but we did know folk who were well aware of her, and based on their opinions, she came highly recommended.

There was a change in tone here with Megan being acoustic based, separating from her fellow, more traditional pop musicians, and in an instant, the noise in the venue died down as she began her first song.

A chillingly palpable atmosphere was sparked, as virtually everyone in the now teeming room stood in total hushed silence and listened real intently. A clear connection had been made that was never lost throughout.

As for Megan, she was all smiles and displayed a heartwarming, down to earth personality as she gave us stunning, emotionally ripe harmonies and played fluently on the guitar, while we – like the rest of the people – were rooted to the spot, unable to take our eyes off her and falling so hard in love with the writing which had us fiercely consumed.

This was simply flawless. We do try our hardest to be objective and make note of any negative issues, but the fact of the matter is that we struggle to properly think of any; we were just enamoured by it all and this would have easily stolen the show elsewhere.

On a night centred around a certain Dundee lass, Megan made an astounding impact in her own right, and there’s no mistake that she warrants far more widespread recognition for her outstanding abilities.


A prime buzz was hanging in the air as we painfully waited a while for Be Charlotte to emerge, but eventually she made her entrance to a wave of cheers as she got the ball rolling with Hype.

Donning an utterly snazzy attire, she illuminated this unreal confidence and joyous spirit that had us gripped, asserting this vibrant, larger than life presence perfectly suited for the grander stages of arenas and major festivals.

Her voice was superb and on sturdy form from end to end, plus she was an insanely good dancer, particularly the robotic stuff; we weren’t aware that was a skill that she had mastered.

She already proved to be talented alone, but it was her band that truly elevated it to another degree; the team of Dan mixing in bright synths and top notch riffs, Kieran with tight bass lines, and Davie rattling out some awesome, walloping drumming; all the while, clicking with each other without any hassle.

As for the tunes themselves, Dreamers, Lights Off and especially Ego Wash were electric ballads with juicy melodies and bouncy rhythms highlighted by memorable choruses which had people happily moving and dancing about.

Fake Up and Never Gonna Grow were impressive on the lyrical front, the new single Brighter Without You was great, and of course the place went nuts and reacted in a rousing way for Do Not Disturb. Folk were also led on a singing session as they chimed along to the decent acoustic tune, Burning.

Overall, it was an entertaining, empathetic display from Charlotte, who only betters herself as the days go by, developing into a tremendous – and more importantly, legitimate – artist who, if it wasn’t clear by her successes as of late, is destined for bigger things.

It would be unfair otherwise, because she is slaying every opportunity being presented to her, and it would be a safe bet that in a few years from now, those in attendance will be looking back on this night and bragging “I was there, I got to see her before she was famous”.

Be Charlotte is the future of Scottish music, and it’ll be any day now that she finally breaks into the national charts and rises to a level she belongs at.

#28 | Iona Fyfe – Star Folk Club (14.05.19)

We’re widely known for covering a diverse range of genres on this site, but truthfully speaking, folk is one we don’t delve in enough, which we find shocking given the prestigious history of that kind of music in Scotland.

We’ve been fortunate enough to have been exposed to a number of great talents under the category, but none have shined brighter than Iona Fyfe from Huntly. Since being introduced to her in 2017, she’s treated us to a pair of EPs and a full length album, the latter of which made a major impression on us and we’ll say without a hint of sarcasm that it is our favourite folk record.

So if it wasn’t abundantly clear, we’re big fans of Iona, but in all this time, we’ve never had the opportunity to see her live on stage. However, and thankfully so, the team at the Star Folk Club booked her to come on down to play The Admiral Bar in Glasgow, so as you’d expect, we marked the date on our calendar, and fast forward to the day, we arrived at the venue for the show.

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But beforehand, we would be first treated to the duo of Jason Smith & John McNamara. John’s vocals were in really fine form, and he also contributed nicely with a variety of instruments such as a shaker, bongos, and most notably a snare drum intertwined with brush sticks, and in doing so creating catchy beats that had us tapping our toes, and in our peripheral vision, we could see we were not alone on that front.

We couldn’t have asked for a more ideal partner than Jason, who proved himself to be a very proficient guitarist, especially impressing in the sections more focused towards him, incorporating a fluent control and being able to switch chords in a flash with such ease.

They gave us a handful of covers, our favourites being those with a blues essence to them, but undoubtedly the highlight of the set was with Stay Young, where a chorus of singing gradually formed from the audience.

Capping off with an original composition, we had enjoyed the two of them, being a much welcome bonus to simultaneously warm us up and add more value to the money we spent for the night.


To start off the second half , Steve Wilson from down south stepped onto the stage and belted out a couple of unassisted pieces, possessing a tremendous baritone voice that was loud and large like nothing else, resoundingly ringing throughout the venue.

Brief, but what an impression made. Quite a shame we didn’t get any more, as we would have happily listened to him for at least another half hour or so.


And now for the star of the show – Iona Fyfe herself. The place came alive very quickly as she got the ball rolling with Guise Of Tough, where the majority of those in the room chimed along with the chief hook, and this was not the only instance, for anytime Iona signalled as such, everybody would join in as a unified troop.

In fact, participation was thoroughly encouraged in the dazzling Swing and Turn, and her request was answered in earnest, displaying just how strong of a grasp she held on the paying public. We loved both of her acapellas, the first of which was both charming and genuinely funny, achieving plenty of hearty laughs, while the latter was hauntingly eerie, and we found ourselves glued on the spot, totally fixated.

We can confirm that her voice is just as brilliant as it is on tape. It was something astonishing to behold, and she cracked every single solitary note with very little hassle, spanning a far wide pitch and being sung with a blend of sincere emotion and graceful passion that personally had us locked onto the lyrics and engrossed by the stories being told. It was also beneficial that she was expressive and spirited, doing wonders to further heighten our interest.

She did a good job picking a talented pair to accompany her. Charlie on the fiddle was concentrated and in the zone, and the degree-qualified Aidan was capable with the guitar in tow, whilst having a clear spring in his step, and together they provided pleasant harmonies in their own rights.

Over the course of two halves, Iona delivered an impeccably beautiful performance, chock full to the brim with amazing harmonies, sweet ditties and an irresistible personality, and we walked out completely satisfied and then some. It was blatantly evident that she has a loving dedication to her craft, and that definitely rubbed off on us.

Across the space of three record reviews, we’ve went into detail about how wonderful it is to listen to Iona and her material, but we must emphasise that after tonight, and trust us on this, it became obvious that until you witness her in her full glory live and in person, you haven’t experienced anything yet. A one-of-a-kind bonnie lass who is pure and gifted in every sense, and we will proudly continue to advocate her until the day she can’t go no more.

#27 | Love Couple – The 13th Note (13.05.19)

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The first act of the night were one that we weren’t meant to see for another month or so – Lemon Drink – but no harm in getting acquainted before Flying Moon 2019, and boy did we get something special.

Unfazed by the chattier, less respectful members of the crowd, they indulged us with a line of sublime indie pop numbers of all shapes and sizes, with a variety so broad that there was literally not one piece that sounded alike.

A Song For You, Ghosts and Mercury were gentler in tone, while Manic and Paper Heart booted up the tempo to an exciting level, and Pull Your House Down fell somewhere in the middle.

Leading ladies Sophie and Kirstie were naturally talented, showcasing tender riffs and delightful vocals, and they were accompanied by the tightest of supreme rhythm sections who were equally giving it 110%.

We were thoroughly impressed by the group, who just clicked with us in an instant and kept us hooked. For those who are attending Flying Moon but are unaware of what this lot have to offer, then you’re in for a treat.


Up next was one of the most talked about young acts around the local scene at the moment, Claire Doc, who we got the best of introductions to as a featured act at the King Tuts Sunday Song Club, where she completely caught us off guard, and seeing her again a few months on, not much was different. Nah, you know what, she was even better here. A hundred times better.

Her voice is something on another level. Her cords are clearly fueled by chemicals not of this world, because her harmonies blew everybody, whether friends or strangers, away with a massive volume and insane range that battered out of the speakers and rang through our ears.

Were there any nerves? Absolutely no idea. She radiated such an unreal confidence, even going as far as to berate the audience for being boring; in jest obviously…we think. In the same vein, she flaunted this very vivid, glamourous style heavily inspired by her legendary heroes, and utilised her guitar as the ultimate weapon, strumming the strings with all her strength and thumping it like a drum to the point of her hand bleeding.

This was immense. At only 16 years old, Claire is already at the forefront of the next generation in Scottish music, with all the tools to make her a rock and roll superstar with that cynical punk edge, blending raw talent and a ravishing character to such a scale that would have Simon Cowell chomping at the bit to sign her, but anyone with common sense will ensure that he is nowhere near her vicinity.


Truth be told, we didn’t listen to Love Couple prior to the show, but a mixture of faith and instinct suggested that they would be good, plus the hype from trusted sources helped in that.

It didn’t take long for the quartet to get us sucked in. Their material shone with this alluring radiance that was almost atmospheric in spots, and the melodies were for the most part pleasantly lucid and easygoing, but then they could suddenly switch it into something peppier and rocking a lot of energy to the point of getting us subtly shaking our hips, and sometimes they were even able to combine both stylings.

Each of the members brought something to the table, and together they worked as a solid, well-matched unit. The singer was in her own, mysterious other world as she displayed her lovely vocal talents, and she only came more out of her shell as they progressed. The drummer not only led the charge rhythm-wise with explosively catchy beats, but was just as capable on the mic, and their sound was finished off by good synths and neat basslines.

They didn’t mess about much, jumping from one song to another to keep the pace constantly flowing, although they did take a brief moment to acknowledge their hostel pals. Admittedly, there were stretches where we were starting to lose interest, but they would keep pulling us back in, and eventually they managed to win over and cement us as fans with the final pair of mental, off the wall tunes.

While not always perfect, the Dutch team did plenty to give us our money’s worth, and we honestly wouldn’t mind having them back here in Glasgow again.

#26 | Tenements – The Ice Box (11.05.19)

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Before getting to the headliners and main support who we were both familiar with, we would be treated to a batch of acts we had never heard of beforehand.

First to take the stage were relative newcomers Slow Renewal from Perth, making their live debut here at The Ice Box, who wanted to keep it short and, in their own words, cut the sh*te, opting to stick to just 3 originals plus a cover. Their post-hardcore material had a nice progressive style with constantly changing tempos highlighted by some pretty sweet, forcible choruses.

The nerves were clear to see – totally understandable as to why – and it did sneak up on them causing a couple of minor slips and their eyes shifting about anxiously,  but when able to maintain focused on their performing, the vocals were great, the dual guitars were on fine form and the rhythm section solid.

As far as debuts go, the quartet did well in making an impression and satisfying the already loaded crowd who responded warmly. They’ll need to work to break out of their shells, but we’re confident that will come as a given to them. Overall, a decent start to the night.


The trio of Lazer Eye were up next and quick to ceremoniously flip the dial. The majority of their tracks were catchy and rode off an energy that was real infectious, spurring us and many others to bobs our heads along, and they kept mixing up their style to keep it fresh.

For one song, they took it down for something slower, almost psychedelic like, and effectively so, plus we got a stoner rock rendition of Lullaby by The Scissor Sisters, and it was just plain awesome.

The frontman Ryan, cold ridden and all, showed quite a peachy personality before they even played a note, and he busted out some fast, tasty riffs while being backed up by the chilled out Chris and his groovy basslines, as well as Jordan’s high-octane drumming.

The audience enjoyed them, as did we. A really fun, cracking set from an underrated band who we’ll be keeping a close eye on from here on out, because there is clear potential lurking there…


We were hyped moving into the last of the newbies to us, Gulls, who kept the momentum of the night rolling in glorious fashion.

Upping the heaviness, they delivered some hard hitting numbers, where the vocals packed an avid punch, we got delightfully grungy bass tones and the riffs were efficiently dispatched.

The most notable takeaway from their set was that they had definitive control of those who crammed the room, and just to prove how much of a grip they had on the crowd, a significant chunk happily moved to the front at their request without the slightest hesitation, which is a rarer sight than you would think at a local gig.

It was impressive stuff from another worthwhile discovery for us.


Our bodies were ripe and ready for Ikari, fresh off releasing their Shapes & Sound record, and they lived up to their usual promise.

A botched intro cut the buzz for a moment, but they laughed it off and properly got going in style, and despite the fact they had a long drive earlier in the day, they didn’t come across as knackered in the slightest.

In fact, the four shined with this hardy enthusiasm and put in an obvious effort between them, while being united by a chemistry that elevated their performances.

It helped that their songs were driven by tight, energetic rhythms and boosted by top notch choruses, and as a result of this and the other aforementioned elements, both we and the dedicated audience members were engaged and liking the ride.

A job well done by a quartet who had an established wherewithal to meet expectations by this point, and it could be best described in one word: “yeaaaaaaaaaah!”


For the third time in just a few months, we were in the presence of post-hardcore quintet Tenements, and if their sensational sellout back in January indicated anything, it’s that these boys have what it takes to deliver something mighty nice.

They kicked off with new single I Felt Invincible, the band’s strongest tune to date from a lyrical standpoint, before suddenly cranking up the ante with the ruthless The Fear. From there, they banged out a stream of more favourites such as Silhouettes, Permanent and Standing On The Backs Of Angels, plus another couple of fresh tracks that were superb.

Darren spilled all his passionate guts into his vocals and worked hard to get all within the venue involved. Chris guzzled lager, got in among the folk, and belted out chords on his guitar as he stood dominantly atop the pool table. Jamie pulled a monster of a shift at the kit, while Callum and Liam quietly manned the rear of the ship, aptly holding their end of the bargain with their great riffs and basslines respectively.

The crowd were in plentiful in number and visibly invested, with the loving loyalists in particular singing loud, clapping, and dancing about like rabid maniacs. One fella even pulled a Harris and happily surfed high above the masses.

Appreciative of the attendees and the rich local music community that they were proud to be a part of, it was yet another resounding, well-earned success for the outfit who continuously up their game and have proven they have little bother shining under pressure when the spotlight is firmly on them.

 

Desensitised – Sister Psychosis | SMALL RECORD REVIEWS

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Doing what we do, we naturally have to listen to a multitude of records on a weekly basis; a lot that are good, a lot on the weaker side and a few great ones.

But we’re always longing for those that come by and make an everlasting impact on us, and we’ve been blessed (for lack of a better, less-hyperbole term) to have been introduced to a fine example of this – Sister Psychosis, the debut full-length effort of Nottingham trio, Desensitised.

The album is front-loaded with a selection of immense, bombastic tracks that are formed courtesy of the three efficient performers. Charlotte, on top of handling bass duties, takes centre stage with some superb vocal work that is raw, broad-ranged and packing genuinely boundless emotion behind the singing that has you listening intently.

Libby is on fire with the guitar in her grasp, as she busts out these vigorous streaks of riff progressions that add to the excitement levels tenfold, while Claire helps to forcefully drive the thumping, high-octane rhythms with her potent drumming.

Not only is there a bountiful supply of awesome, hooking choruses on hand – the highlights in that area being Wasted and I See Red – but the writing is fantastic, and we find it impossible to not pay attention to the sharp content, with the likes of Emily and All Eyes On Her grabbing us with an unyielding grip.

And just as it feels like they might be going through the motions sound-wise and perhaps beginning to slip in terms of variety, they quickly turn that around before it becomes an issue with the final two songs – the phenomenal ballad-esque Burn The Witch and the low-tempo, lyrically strong He Loves Me Not – to close things out on an astonishing high.

We have to say a big kudos to the team on the production side of things, who helped elevate this record even further with a supreme standard of quality in the recording, mixing, mastering, basically everything. The folk in the background don’t often get enough credit for assisting in bringing people’s visions to life, especially to this degree, so we wanted to make sure that they know that their graft was so, so worth it.

Is there anything else that we can say that hasn’t already? Sister Psychosis is, to put it nice and tidily, a f***ing masterpiece that is near enough flawlessly executed, and for our money, Desensitised have what it takes to be the next big thing in British rock music.

***AVAILABLE ON SATURDAY 18TH APRIL***

SMS #4 | Between The Earth And The Trees

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MERRICK’S TUSKBetween The Earth And The Trees

The British underground is ripe with a scene that encompasses a range of genres, and post-hardcore is a key example. Naturally, so many quality bands across the nation fall under the category but very few have pulled off a fresh take on the sound, and the Elephant Man-inspired guys in Merrick’s Tusk have succeeded in doing just that.

After finalising the finest possible line-up and boasting a pair of celebrated EPs to their name already, the Nottingham quartet have gone all in to produce a master work with their highly awaited debut full-length album – Between The Earth And The Trees.

They make an immediate impact within the opening moments of the forceful Reform, and from there, they ride that red-hot wave with the foot kept firmly on the gas right through to the finish line, with little in the way of negative elements.

We get a variety of tasty, high-octane tracks to get listeners riled up and in a buzz with a stimulating energy ignited by cracking riffs and thumping rhythms bolstered by sturdy bass threads and emphatic drum shots; top highlights in that regard including Blueprint, At Your Best, and the expertly positioned back-to-back pairing of Turn Out The Lights and Hold The Wave.

But not only do we get that alongside some memorable, fervent choruses, but we are also treated to some excellent writing that is both creative and compelling, leaving a powerhouse impression in its wake when delivered through the intensely poignant vocals, with only just some of the noteworthy choices being the likes of The Ache, Persist and Never Enough.

Resolutely grabbing our attention on the first listen and cementing our appreciation on the second, Between The Earth And The Trees is a simply incredible record, and the more we experience it, the more we continue to pick out the little details which add to a whole, tightly-produced package with a tonne of effort behind it all that confirms Merrick’s Tusk are in fact the real deal.

***OUT NOW***


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SKAUSSWhoami

Little is known about the electronic artist named Skauss. We do know this, though: he’s holed up somewhere in London, he dons a fancy mask, and he recently put out his debut album – Whoami – which in turn has led to the fact that he’s damn good at what he does.

From bell to bell, he offers us a line of tracks with such a diversity between them, with two or more rarely sounding alike, although they tend to utilise similar qualities which help define each of them.

For example, Father, Free At Last and the title number take advantage of some fine harmonies to help accentuate the ambience and breathe added life to them. The likes of Lie, Rule The Skies and Worning have a smooth, chilled out looseness to them that make for pleasant lo-fi listening, whereas Forever Young and Alive are pretty catchy, enjoyable bangers.

Killer Crow is probably the most addictive of the lot, rocking a pumping beat and a featuring a brief, blistering furry, but the stand out piece has to be Sad Disco, which combines all the aforementioned aspects to make for the record’s essential anthem that ticks every box to an outstanding degree.

If it wasn’t obvious enough already, the variety is ripe here, with songs for all kinds of moods and all kinds of scenarios, but regardless of the situation, they all share a common high standard that is conspicuous throughout.

Whoami is a must-have album for electronic enthusiasts, who will not find it hard at all to get hooked by Skauss’ supreme-level work here.

***OUT NOW***


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JO MANGO & FRIENDSSystem Hold

Music is such a broad form of art that can be applied to a sheer variety of media, but it has to be said, being utilised as a soundtrack for a criminologist’s book is an intriguing first for us.

But that’s exactly what happened when the distinguished Professor Fergus McNeil asked that of Glasgow musician Jo Mango for his latest work, so teaming up with her band of fellow musicians, the final outcome of that is the System Hold EP.

Kicking it off is Depth, which is defined by a delicately haunting atmosphere, and at the forefront is Jo’s enchanting voice, who uses it well to pull in the listener and envelop them within the subject matters that the lyrics touch upon. On that note, the writing is quite interesting, as it focuses on the effects of supervision within the justice system, and through these tunes, those of us uninformed on the topic can get an education of sorts on such situations.

Next up is the chief single Weight, which is more vibrant and melodic in style, mainly during the chorus, but still takes time to immerse in softer sequences. Tightness returns to a low-key format which begins on a gentle note and gradually grows into something even more hypnotic and almost incomprehensive, but in a good way, and following suit to finish it off is Suspension, trickled with glitchy electronic bites that form a simple yet divine beat.

Created on the heels of a compelling basis, this is a splendid little record from Jo Mango and company with a cool experimental essence to it that makes it just as absorbing as it is informative.

***OUT NOW***


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YUCCA KINGPopcorn, But Also House Fire

When in the midst of a scene as bloated and extensive as that of New York’s, it goes without saying that striving to stand out from the crowd is a tough challenge, but Yucca King have done so for us, as demonstrated in their sophomore record – Popcorn, But Also House Fire.

They succeed on two fronts. The first is in the general sound itself, which is mightily infectious. The riffs are quite stylish, the work on the bass guitar is particularly juicy with funky tones belted out, left right and centre, and that is complimented nicely by the tight drumming.

Greg is remarkable on the mic, as he has this quirkiness in his demeanour, yet is still able to air the seriousness of the themes that the group delve into, which is the other area that is tackled very well. The writing is simply outstanding, easily among the best we’ve encountered in recent memory, covering a range of topics that will hit close to home for many, from mental health to current social matters.

Given our own personal events that we’ve endured, we can vouch that the opener Panic Attack #2 is proficiently handled in putting you into the shoes of somebody suffering such an ordeal, Don’t Wanna Be Alone is a great reflection of what it’s like to be stuck under the weight of depression, and the politically-charged World Keep Turning rages with an intensely passionate vehemence behind it.

The songs keep you locked in this unsettled mood where you are forced to confront the concerns that they shine the spotlight on, and the closing title number makes for an insecure ending that finishes things off on a fittingly ambiguous note.

Yucca King’s second album has taken us aback, coming equipped with a batch of tracks that are not only entertainingly catchy on the surface, but are incredibly striking from a lyrical standpoint, in the process making a staggering impact that won’t have us forgetting this anytime soon.

***OUT NOW***


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THE GOATBOYLong Live The Goatboy

Last year, we came across the humble Perth grunge rock quartet The Goatboy and their debut EP – It’s Not Regret, It’s Worse Than That. We found it to be awfully good, and now they are back for seconds with the follow-up – Long Live The Goatboy.

Spread out between the numbers is this stirring intensity that is constantly in-your-face and keeping a hold of your attention, only getting better as they move along; Julie Anne and The Drumchapel Turnaround especially packing a stiff punch with their punky undercurrents.

The vocals are in fine raw form, the dual guitars and stamping rhythm sections create a dynamic energy, and the choruses are often top notch.

The four accomplish here exactly what we expect from a sequel: outdo their previous effort. Long Live The Goatboy is a great record featuring a cracking set of tracks that never get old, no matter how many times we indulge in them, and also prove that these guys might have even better potential than we originally thought.

***OUT NOW***

 

SMS | Leader

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FRANKY’S EVIL PARTYLeader

Of all the cracking discoveries in 2019 so year, we’re struggling to think of any that we could put in the same league as Dumfries outfit Franky’s Evil Party. The troupe made a massive statement when we saw them live at King Tuts back in January, and they’ve only proven to be something greater than anticipated with their debut record – Leader.

Yabba sets an ominous mood, continually looming and looming until the carnage finally breaks out and the real presence of the band’s sound is brought to light; becoming fully realised in the main single Paradise, which runs with the delicacy of a demented rave as the sharp lyrics are transmitted through the blunt, tactless vocals, the grainy riffs add a dynamic edge and the energy ramps up towards a turbulent climax.

After a small window to catch breath, the group go for a second round with the similarly unhinged Big Push, running full steam with screeching electronics, intense bass chords and blitzing drum beats galore, before Dmz makes for a satisfyingly crazed finale.

Leader is a bloody brilliant EP that makes for a relentless, no holds barred expedition that is hellishly addictive; their music just leeches feeds into the brain and refuses to leave, and we personally wouldn’t have it any other way.

Franky’s Evil Party are unmatched by anybody else that we’ve came across in recent memory, standing as their own unique entity within a jam-packed scene, and that distinction is surely going to take them to a higher ground.

***OUT NOW***


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AIDEN HATFIELDChapter One

It occurs to us that being so caught up with supporting his amazing, charitable clothing brand, In Music We Trust, has made us forget just how we were introduced to Aiden Hatfield in the first place: his own musical talents. But that fact returned to light with the release of his new solo EP – Chapter One.

First and foremost, Aiden shines with a voice that is not only great, but just gushing with this passion that has you believing every word. On that note, the writing is a definitive quality, with the lyrics being easy to latch on to.

Every track is jam-packed with this enjoyably spirited energy, which is taken up a notch over the seriously infectious, memorable choruses that alone has us returning to this record time and time again, and additional elements such as the sweet guitar work and the nice basslines only hike them up all the more.

While not exactly breaking ground in any capacity, this EP still makes a significant impact, and that is owed to the man behind the music putting forth a tonne of devotion to help bring this to a sensationally appealing life.

***OUT NOW***


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POLLYANNAThe World Is…

From our experiences, there are few music scenes on the east coast of the USA that are as bountiful as that of New Jersey, and Pollyanna, the indie pop rock duo of Jill Beckett and Dan McCool, are becoming a pivotal part of it, and after a 6 year tenure developing their craft over teenagehood, their debut EP – The World Is – has finally arrived.

Not So Bad starts off in a calm manner, carried forth by gentle chords before they rise up into the real meat of the song, where Jill showcases a mature vocal capacity beyond her years that is riled up with heaps of passion, and the writing is beautifully uplifting. In contrast, Between You And I is a lot rockier in comparison and cranks up the energy in a great track highlighted by a damn good chorus.

Ghost follows that same trend, with an enticing melody, faded harmonies and Dan going in totally forceful with a full-frontal performance from behind the kit, whilst guest Alex Fabio provides his own contributions to the singing, and lastly they take the tempo down for the milder-paced Way Past, ripe with plentiful emotions to cap off the record in gratifying fashion.

Pollyanna have excelled in their first proper effort here and shown quite a fair amount of promise, and given how young they are, it’s a safe bet that they’re only going to grow into something even more special down the road, creating music that will traverse beyond their hometown to not only the rest of the country, but across the pond and even further so.

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NEVERLANDEDFluffy Unicorns United

So we got word that there was a hot grunge trio from London that had recently put out their debut release. They are Neverlanded, with an EP titled Fluffy Unicorns United, and with a name like that, how could we resist?

In all seriousness though, the three tick all the necessary boxes for us, entertaining with great crude harmonies, cool scuzzy riffs, awfully fine bass lines and sweet drumming that appeases with hard-hitting snare shots and ringing cymbal crashes.

The writing’s pretty solid too, and they work in a variety of styles and tempos, either steering at a medium pace, going slow and steady, or kicking it up an extra step to turn up the excitement levels in the process.

A delicious doozy of a record, although it’s unfortunately on the short side and left us craving for more, but isn’t that the best compliment you could give any music act?

We can confidently say that folk who dig this sort of stuff should be able to get hooked on with ease, and if given the chance, this group could reach grander heights and perhaps conquer their goal of changing the landscape of the genre.

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BURNING BRIGHT – Beats, Rhymes & Cuts

On either side of the British border, there is a fruitful hip hop community chock full of talents that more often than not do a better job of impressing than their mainstream peers, and to get just a small taste of what’s available, you can check out the collaborative pairing of Tickle and salemAnders, known together as Burning Bright, and their new release – Beats, Rhymes & Cuts.

As the title suggests, all three elements come into play, and effectively so. Riddled is a cracker of a tune where all rappers involved, including special guests Ciaran Mac and the award-winning Solareye, give us some top-notch lyrical content delivered earnestly, and we get more of the same in The Beat, with Futurology making their presence felt in an forcefully explicit manner, while being accompanied by some seriously sweet brass and a simple yet infectious hook.

From there, we’re treated to a trio of nice, smooth instrumental pieces, and with that, they wrap up a brief but engaging record that helps to expose just what the underground hip hop scene has to offer.

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