SMS | Leader



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.

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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.

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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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