I’ve been intently following Reading rocking quartet Veridian since rising from the ashes of We Caught The Castle, and they’ve consistently delivered across their existence, but their fresh new Novella EP has proven them to be an entirely different beast altogether.
Halo is exactly how an opener should be, a high calibre track that gets you hooked instantly, and in this case that is owed to a sweeping energy, a dynamic sense of scale and a blistering, catchy chorus.
As they settle into a smooth groove with Easier, it’s here we truly get to see Simon’s vocal talents in ripe form, not only technically strong but able to carry forth the emotions of the great writing.
Curtains amps up the power game to a ridiculous degree through Rob’s excellent riffs and the forceful rhythms courtesy of Zak and Jonny, plus the tight-knit blended harmonies and James’ zesty keys again help give the song an extra depth and more extensive size.
Friends is considerably sharper and has a more strident weight to it, also hitting out with memorable hooks, and finally is Pavement, an expertly constructed conclusion that starts off at a lower pace than before; the boys taking their time in building it up and up until hitting a breaking point and firing into a rush while once more impressing with top notch lyrics.
Veridian have well and truly smashed it out the park here with an insanely stellar EP that has taken them to a new level and set them en route for a healthy 2020 in the best way imaginable.
If you’re even a tiny bit involved within Scotland’s music scene, you’ve at the very least probably seen the name Mark Sharp & The Bicycle Thieves floating around, and for good reason: they’re killing it right now, and that statement was only verified with the release of the MS&TBT EP last month.
Tippy Toes gets rolling on a light note; quite gentle to begin with and warming in the listener at an easy pace, before unleashing into a blinding chorus highlighted by Mark’s firm harmonies and seriously exuberant synths.
Now we get to something properly juicy with latest single Moonshine, a damn near perfect track with a tidy bass line and tribal drums producing the catchiest of beats, as well as conspicuous lyrics and a wonderful hook that anybody and everybody should be latched in by.
We get quite the tone switch with Liquid Gold, opting to present a more emotional piece, and delivering really well, the sleek guitars and awfully nice keys on hand to create a sweet melody which still keeps that bubbly life from earlier alive and healthy.
The finale Amorous starts off in a stripped back fashion, driven primarily by great piano work and Mark’s continuously fantastic vocals, the heartfelt writing prominently displayed as it goes, all leading up to a pleasing, fuzzy finish.
Mark Sharp’s sophomore release is exactly what I wanted from the man and his company: a tightly produced collection of sublime, dazzling tunes each sporting their own elements that individually give them a worthy identity, but when put together such as the case here, you get one hell of a special product.
The group have been really hitting a stride as of late and are only growing in popularity, and it shouldn’t be too long before they go from that cool band who supported Lewis Capaldi to becoming one of Scottish music’s principal acts.
Prior to 2020, I had absolutely no knowledge of Belgium hardcore unit Titans, but it didn’t take much for me to get invested after being given their sophomore record Transparent to have a looksie at.
The guys set a nice, furious pace from the offset with The Stoic, and the intensity is bumped up formidably through In Recognition, the main contributing factors here being the thumping drum shots and rowdy vocals, plus the regular drops throughout are rather tasty.
They remain on a similar course with the belting None For All; the cracking guitar and bass given more of an opportunity to shine through, and everything ties together in Forbearance, an immensely tight package that clicks in every imaginable way, from the lyrics to the performances.
We get a decent interlude loaded with crunchy bass tones, then next is the title track, which starts off surprisingly light, but in no time flat, they return to the status quo and charge full steam ahead at a crazy tempo; maintaining that power riding into the great climatic tune In Pulses.
As far as first impressions go, this is a superb one. From bell to bell, Transparent is a heavy, turbulent listen choc-a-bloc with a mad energy that couldn’t possibly not get you fired up.