The producer of the project, Eagles Of Death Metal contributor Dave Catching, welcomes the audience essentially hyping everyone up, ensuring that they be prepared for the apparently awesome experience that lies ahead…and he is sure as hell not lying.
The band enter and make their presence felt in supreme fashion as they churn out You Got Nothin’, which batters through your skull with these stout, blinding riffs courtesy of Sean while the Hell Kitten herself Kayley displays her fantastic vocal knacks. They flip the dial and take it down at one point, keeping it low and building anticipation for a solid amount of time, before launching back up in explosive waves.
The established energy only grows more prodigious in Lost In Shock, characterised by this sensationally dynamic rhythm herded by wieldy bass rumbles and driving drum shifts from Russell and Max respectively.
Punk Song is where they start to dive into the more ambitious material, in this case efficiently straying through a multitude of different signatures and patterns but maintaining a fresh buzz the whole way right up until the blow-away climax, while treating us to cracking solos and good lyrics.
It Won’t Stop is an interesting one, combining an old-fashioned blues style with this dark, foreboding tone, the final result being groovy as well as menacing, and the uniqueness makes this a prime highlight.
Skull & Pistons is more straight forward, but that isn’t a downfall whatsoever, because it’s fast, furious and flat out intoxicating. She Is So isn’t too dissimilar in that regard, being another rousing banger linked by a memorable chorus.
With Blue Desert, the group have another go at producing an elaborate, progressive track, and the outcome is an eleven minute symphony that is broad and divergent, composed from a mixture of everything imaginable; chords, beats, singing, pianos, strings, peculiar synths and whatever other bits and pieces they can get their hands on; and it’s quite the magnificent spectacle.
And as more or less a special encore, they make their exit with the catchy, immense, and exhilarating Electric Church, and you might need a wee trip to the doctor if you’re not sent home smiling by this beast of a song.
It shouldn’t really come as a surprise given the standard that Sky Valley Mistress have developed over the years, but Faithless Rituals is an absolutely outstanding album, nailing it with bullseye after bullseye, not a single track undeserving of being here, it comes as close to perfect as it gets.
These four have been around the block for ages, and with talent of this calibre, it’s a heinous crime that they are still floating about at their current level. They are so long overdue a breakthrough, and this record may very well just be the ticket. Seriously, how much more evidence do you need at this point?
*AVAILABLE ON FRIDAY 20TH MARCH*
IN ASSOCIATION WITH FOR THE LOST
Glasgow’s favourite dreadlocked busker puts his usual catalogue of covers to the side for one moment to deliver his first original single in a while, and the result is something super special.
Ben’s rich voice carries so much emotion and weight that not only does he have barely any bother whatsoever encapsulating the listener swiftly, but his stunning writing makes a strong impact with plenty of ease.
Throw in some fresh, elegant piano work and bewitching strings, and you have yourself a tremendous song that deserves widespread public attention. It’d be fair to say that the mainstream charts at the moment is in dire need of high quality material such as this.
Zicky and company get things off to the most awesome of starts with the blinding 0 Love, loaded to the lid with an overwhelming energy, and the chorus is a thing of beauty. The singing is really stark and gruff in Someone Else, and the pretty good writing does well in holding your attention, while the firm drumming and subtly added acoustics broaden out the sound nicely in the melodic Insufferable, also shining in the vocal department.
The writing is especially magnetic in The Quiet War, which is driven by a roaring power and definitely has a visible passion riding behind it. Equally, if not exceeding it, On The Line is another dynamic heavy hitter that irresistibly fires you up and wanting to join in on the jaunt, and that zestful, emotional intensity is carried through to the end of the supreme finale, Comaxtose.
Outlandish Zicky Dice, or Nick Zoppo to be boringly accurate, may have put aside his music to pursue his other dream in the form of wrestling, but even years later, he has proven to have not missed a step, because Heartbreaker is from bell to bell (no pun intended) a fervent, tightly produced blast that never fails to entertain regardless of how many times you decide to give it a spin.
IN ASSOCIATION WITH EARSHOT MEDIA
She Always Comes Up Smiling bobs along to an appealing drum beat, and there’s a generally chirpy energy in the air which fully comes to life in the engaging chorus. Next up is The Letter A, which is buzzing with a lot more force behind it, particular due to the gruffier riffs and rigid bass chords, and the vocals elicit droves of emotion.
The pace keeps rolling at a zealous flare throughout the catchy Stop The Days, and racked up even further in the utterly wild and exhilarating The Karma Party, with awesome synths to boot, and the lyrics of Nothing Stays The Same hit you in the right spots.
They then pause for a moment to present us with a brief acoustic number titled You Can’t Know Everything, I Don’t Know Anything, which has you fully enraptured, and they leave us by delivering one more showcase of excellent writing in the riveting final track Plastic Flowers.
Brand New Friend, if they’re not be considered as such already, are well on their way to becoming one of Northern Ireland’s finest underground music acts across the board, consistently pushing out material that is just as giddy and amusing to the senses as it is provoking to the feelings.
2019 was a fulfilling year for the Scouser rock group, mainly thanks to the release of what is an outstanding debut album, Loaded Gun, and their first follow-up single is a doozy in it’s own right.
They don’t even give you a second to settle down, they blast off from the starting line and jump straight into what is a bloody mental, dynamic track.
The tempo is at an uncontrollable pace, the energy throughout is contagious and off the chain, the guitars are blinding, the rhythm section keep on tight form, and the singing has a hell of a fire riding behind it.
IN ASSOCIATION WITH SAINT IN THE CITY
LEMON DRINK – Better Run
Lauren welcomes us in to Pull Your House Down with a set of rigid, resonant bass notes, after which Sophie enters and hits out with the lyrics via her rich, sublime pair of vocal cords, and in conjunction with KC, they build it further with nice guitars, and Harry forms a beat through his solid drumming.
They suddenly crank up the dial for Manic, which is so bubbly and energetic, the rhythm firm and flying through at a snappy pace and invoking a desire to get your dancing shoes on and go wild, staying true to the title in that regard, I suppose.
A Song For You is a very well written piece, the lyrics telling a strong story that unfortunately many girls could relate to, and the singing is effective in getting the point across. A memorable chorus and a battering stroke are valuable bonuses too.
They ease it down at first for the final number Gomez, but they eventually restore the stride and treat the listening audience to an intoxicating melody and sleek riffs.
For the last year, the Glaswegian indie pop troupe have only gotten better and better, and in my mind, the Better Run EP is the icing in the cake, the finest possible showcase of what this amazingly promising outfit have to offer.
*AVAILABLE ON FRIDAY 13TH MARCH*
IN ASSOCIATION WITH LAST NIGHT FROM GLASGOW
Somni startles your curiosity with these juicy chords and establishes a stunningly dark tone, from which they add to the meat with fabulous, unorthodox vocals, deep bass timbres and steady drumming through the verses, exploding into a grand, catchy chorus highlighted by these gritty, in-your-face riffs.
Deathbed is a perfect blend of being melodic while also being frenzied, leaning fluently back and forth between the two styles. The singing remains on healthy form, and the guitars are seriously great.
Book Klub are fast becoming one of Scotland’s most promising post punk prospects, and for damn good reason. They’re very much capable at what they do, and this pairing of fantastic songs prove that.
PAINTING ROCKETS – Room To Breathe
The Edinburgh alternative pop duo have been making definitive waves since revamping their sound a couple of years back, and they continue their steady rise with another great track here.
Stephen does well in the instrumental area, forming a sublime, shrouded melody with dots of ambience lingering.
Keli is candid and to the point in her vocal deliveries, forcing your attention to the hard, even uncomfortable lyrics diving into the strain of a dominant one-sided relationship and the stinging after effects even when broken free.
*AVAILABLE ON FRIDAY 28TH FEBRUARY*
The second chapter of the Glasgow outfit’s forthcoming EP starts off very nice and peaceful, with the eponymous frontwoman blessing us with these sweet, pleasant vocals and delicate acoustics.
The pieces start to fall together as a country-pop influenced sound becomes distinct, with other elements such as subtly rich guitar chords and a fluid rhythm adding to the fray, and the lyrics are simply captivating, perhaps some of the best we’ve seen to date from the group.
Laura’s new single is definitely one of the most different pop tracks I’ve heard lately, the reason for that being her vocal style.
It feels less that she’s simply singing and following the routine formula, instead it’s more that she’s spilling her guts from the heart without any sign of holding back, and with that spontaneous essence about it, it seems all the more genuine.
Making up the rest of the song are emotional lyrics, a sweet piano-based melody and a stellar production where the subtle harmonic sounds in the background help create a stunning aura.
The Welsh scene is chock full of amazing hidden gems, and this Cardiff electronic psych-pop duo are among the most unique.
Their sound is a tough one to narrow down, but is quite intriguing and stunning, combining fuzzy chords and lovely keys, driving with a solid beat and being led forth by ravishing singing, with hard guitar riffs being added to the mix in one instance.
Top it off with interesting writing concerning not wanting to follow the traditional, so-called “normal” lifestyle and opting to be alternative, and you have yourself a wonderful, original package.
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Glasgow’s most beautiful punk lads are back at it again with another glorious track, which is noticeably upfront a lot more polished and tightened up compared to their previous works, so that’s one immediate positive.
This is a raw rocker with a meaty, banging rhythm to it, where Eddy spurts out stinging bass tones and Nathan batters out these fine drum beats, while Nick hits out with superb riffs and biting vocals, all leading up to a gratifyingly insane climax.
LIV MASSIVE & HESSIAN RENEGADE – Locker
A violist’s master degrees project producing cinematic music with a Glaswegian alternative hip-hop duo sounds quite out there as an unhealthy clash of styles, but once you get the chance to hear it, you’ll quickly be on board with it thanks to how effectively it’s actually pulled off.
The first single from the Erocean collaboration has such a divine, almost ethereal sound that is fused from delicate, very subtle harmony chimes and a fiercely atmospheric blend of voila and electronics, and later on we get Conor Moore stepping in with a solid rap performance and good lyrics.
*AVAILABLE ON FRIDAY 21st FEBRUARY*
They get a pretty solid, forcible energy running early on with the titular opener, with a persistent, grumbling beat prevalent from start to finish, and it gets a lot more involved as they progress with the addition of drilling chords and the like, and they keep that impulse pumping quite well flawlessly transitioning into the now fully instrumental Beyond The Karman Line, at one point hitting a thrilling apex.
The boys get ambitious with Falling Satellite, which spans a whole eleven and a half minutes, and although they could have easily snipped it down a little, it’s nice, brooding stuff nonetheless
Interstellar is a throwaway that doesn’t add up to much, but the next cut is certainly worthwhile, Ablaze, where the vocals finally return to the fray and are on great form. The rhythm is particularly crunchier than before, defined by chunky bass rumbles and clobbering drum punches, and the buzz escalates to an exciting level.
They remain strong and sturdy moving into Out Of Reach, with tasty riffs aplenty, before hailing it as a wrap with the simple yet good Call Of The Void.
Although it can’t be denied there are a few notably weaker spots, The Great Expanse is an overall sweet and impressive effort from the Glaswegian stoner/doom trio, perhaps one of the better acts of the genre that the city has to offer.
Am I hearing that correctly? An ensemble of several Reckless Yes roster members under one banner? Count me in, please.
GodNo!’s short but sweet debut outing has an engaging rhythm and a lovingly oft kilter ring to it, especially coming through the solid multiple, varying harmonies. The distorted riffs are real cool, and the chorus is pretty fun too.
*AVAILABLE ON FRIDAY 21ST FEBRUARY*
IN ASSOCIATION WITH RECKLESS YES
A genuinely hilarious intro starts this off before Elijah properly kicks off the record with the single, Rendezvous. The main hook is quite smooth and catchy, and the rapping is pretty slick and vindictive through the verses.
There’s more humour in the opening lines of the solid Dos-E-Doe, but the pulse is lit up a few notches through Living, where there’s a real energy brimming, and John Givez’s cameo is a welcome addition.
Then we come to what is by far the highlight, Petty Bop, which is insanely addictive thanks to spot on performances from all three involved – Locked Messiah, Taylar Bee, and Elijah himself – a cool beat, a persistent juicy bass tone and probably the most flawless hip hop chorus I’ve heard in a seriously long time, and it leads well into the chilled, relatively atmospheric Dolo.
Homicide is the other noteworthy focal point of the batch, where Elijah breaks out with stabbing, unyielding race-focused writing, and he absolutely kills it in the delivery to a point where you couldn’t possibly not hang on to his forceful words.
P Word is a decent, sharp cut, SugaHoneyIcet has a fire to it, especially with Mvtha Cala serving as an ideal guest, and Elijah soon caps off with an encore reprise of Rendezvous, this go around CK Da Legend helping out and triumphing in that regard.
The Florida rapper’s debut mixtape is a damn sweet effort all around, and more fans of the genre should be getting this stuck in their ears, because the dude has something special going for him here.
While the raw distortedness is distractingly rough, Monuments is a hearty, rocking opener which the band blast through at a brisk pace, and the singing is just wired with passion. The energy remains abundant in Purgatory, complete with sweet riffs, super slick drum work and a catchy chorus.
They calm things down a touch for the solid E Is For Extinction, which boasts some decent writing and has quite a fine melody to it, but the excitement returns full force with Gauntlet, where the guitars are especially frantic and the vocal deliveries once again supremely enthusiastic, and led in by a neat bass intro, No Navigator makes for a dashing finish to the lot.
It’s hard to say whether the Queens outfit bring much new to the table, but this debut EP is nonetheless a fun collection of lively bangers that everybody should have a shot at.