SMS | Sumeru – Blood Ordinance

SUMERUBlood Ordinance

The Sydney metal quintet have emerged as a celebrated act and a force to be reckoned with in the Australian underground metal community, and if, like me, you’ve been unfortunately oblivious to what the guys have to offer, then their forthcoming Blood Ordinance EP makes for a quick yet insanely effective introduction.

Within mere seconds into Cold Chamber, controlled chaos unfolds and the intensity is roped up to a high level quickly thanks to a barrage of deathly riffs, a bulky incensed rhythm charging at full throttles, and mightily vigorous screams, before moving into a sludge-influenced latter half that is equally radical and gut-punching.

After a prolonged period of unsettling silence, they kick it back up multiple gears for the bloody awesome Foundry Of Dread, which is a no holds barred, frantic volley with a mental pace and the performances doubling in effort, making for a psychopathic track that is beyond words.


SMS | Slow Loris – Sounds Hoof


As the guys get going with the steadily-paced Hammer, they don’t take long to show off features of technical math/post-rock in their music, with an array of cracking guitar licks and refined drumming aplenty. Conspicuously dense bass chords enter the fray in Loose Handler, where they also begin to tune up the tempo and form a tense, jittery mood of sorts that makes it all the more enticing.

As per its namesake, Spooky House has a series of strange sound bites chucked in, and the energy now really starts to be amplified, especially with the sharp riffs and the faint yet harsh waves in the background. The title track is calmer at first but builds power over time, and the closing Borm isn’t too different in that regard, patiently growing into an overall sweet number to end things on.

The 2nd EP from the Leeds troupe is a great collection of cool progressive pieces constantly putting on admirable displays of flair that only get groovier and more laudable with every listen.


SMS | Jay Nivana – Sunset Wyoming

JAY NIVANASunset Wyoming

Flame gets you engaged pretty quick with its fresh production and luscious beat, plus the key hook is a catchy one, and Jay’s first display of rapping is for the most quite promising, and he sticks to a solid form for the transcendent Virtual, while Blueboy Laz isn’t half bad in his guest slot.

Jay’s smoother verses fit well with the vibe and the lyrics of the likeably lucid Enchantress, and lastly, Fury Road Pt 2 makes for a more or less decent closer to the record.

If there were one considerable nag, it’s that the autotune could have been dialled back, but otherwise, this is a good showing from the upcoming Philly rapper that demonstrates he can certainly get the job done.


SMS | Orwells ’84 – Truth Is The First Victim

ORWELLS ’84Truth Is The First Victim

You Took The Night has a gracefully jumping melody to it, with the guitars and strings meshing strongly and the vocals displaying a lot of gusto straight off the bat. The good times roll ahead with On The Road, suited with easily enthralling lyrics, and the writing only steps up in She Is So Sweet with it’s pleasingly loving themes, plus the instrumental performances are at their best yet across the board, especially in the flute and piano, and these help infuse a Celtic feel to the whole thing.

There’s an overwhelming change in the air moving into Cailin, which starts off reeled back and gradually builds up as it goes with a bit of a cloudier edge than before, soon leading into a boisterous second half, and the singing throughout is top notch, and a similar feeling is retained in the absolutely enchanting The Ballad Of Frank Owens, the best of the lot that makes for a worthy climax.

This is an impressively outstanding EP from top to bottom, and as a result, Orwells ’84 easily rank as one of my all-time favourite Irish discoveries courtesy of this stellar product.


SMS | Dilip & Otxhello – Late Year


When you get 2 platinum-certified producers together on the same project, you’re most likely going to get shining results, and that’s exactly the case here with Dilip and Otxhello’s collaboration EP.

The intro of Play serves as an awesomely majestic entrance to the record before digging into a cool sound merging R&B influences with drum ‘n’ bass elements, becoming more sweetly ambient in Sinking, with the brief A True Story continuing that trend with its light piano work.

Freeze is an addictive, silky sleek synth-wave bop, and Make It Count has an oh-so-pleasurable groove to it. They then kick it up a significant gear with the freakishly catchy A-1, before easing out nice and finely with BE U.

So naturally, Late Year is insanely great and should be a priority listen for any electronic music fan. Another notch in the belts for two ridiculous successful guys who are still so young and guaranteed to bring us even better stuff in the future.


SMS | Kate Kyle – Without Warning

KATE KYLE Without Warning

Dumfries native Kate Kyle has regularly popped up in my radar over the last few years, whether that’d be at a variety of local gigs or deservedly gaining attention for her growing talents since first emerging at a young age, and naturally she’s only proven to get better with her newest EP.

When The Devil Comes Close is an easy-paced soothing piece with a country/pop mix where Kate displays her delightful and proficient vocal chops that catch your attention with a particularly fluttering quality.

Gone strips the instruments right down to the bare bones, making for a song that is so delicate and hauntingly rich in atmosphere, as well as lyrically captivating, and the last of the bunch, Confetti, is similarly gentle and serene in tone.

Simple in style but wholly engaging and gleaming with a comforting warmth, Without Warning is endearingly pleasant, and Kate continues to impress with every subsequent release.


SMS | Burden Men & OTHRS – Grievance


The Grievance split EP brings us a short yet mighty dose of heavy rewards from a pair of superb Australian underground metal acts.

Sydney trio Burden Man are up first with a duo of hard-hitters; Hours Of Emptiness is a formidably dank, morbid track that grips you in an uncompromising manner, rocking your senses while pounding away at your brain with perpetually battering beats until it settles towards the end, smoothly transitioning into the initially muted and ambient Desire For Silence which features some great low-pitch harmonies, but naturally the previous power is gradually restored and we get another belter with delish riffs and super-thick bass tones.

Afterwards, it’s OTHRS’ turn, and while he only presents one original number, Concrete Graveyard, the Brisbane artist makes the absolute most of the duration, plastering it with these strong, harsh and fearsome screams that fit seamlessly with the hellish auditory environment forged from an endlessly noisy wave of aggressive guitars as well as deep bass chords, furiously rampant drum shots and sharp synth sounds. But it doesn’t stop here, as he offers a smashing rendition of Horseback’s Invisible Mountain as a cheeky bonus.

As a rookie listener to these two, I’m bloody impressed to say the least. One of the best splits I’ve heard in the longest time across the board, and both Burden Men and OTHRS deserve more recognition in the Australian scene for sure.


SMS | Damaged Goodz & Butterscotch – Brothers From Another Planet

DAMAGED GOODZ & BUTTERSCOTCH – Brothers From Another Planet

Now I may be new to Damaged Goodz, but it’s clear that he’s been around the block for some time now, becoming a featured hip hop mainstay of the Highlands scene, and damn, you couldn’t get a better introduction than through his latest project, which sees him collaborating with fellow veteran Butterscotch, and in bloody impressive fashion too.

Both of the men’s performances are on top form, each bringing a distinct style in their turns but also matching up perfectly all the same. The verses are consistently slick and magnetic, the rhymes have a firm punch, and the quick-witted writing is great, particularly when digging into the recurring theme of how the world around them has changed as they get older but they’re still strong in their games, plus they batter out a series of fiercely contagious hooks throughout that have you fondly remembering the tracks long after.

Also a tonne of credit has to go to DJ Zeeny who handles the production side of things and he is fantastic, not holding back in creating pieces that are incredibly intoxicating and catchy as all hell, helping in not only elevate the pulse but accentuating the rapping and especially the lyrics to another level with an added weight.


SMS | High/Low – Cyclops


The decade-long fuzzy grunge veterans from Essex continue their journey with the latest addition to their catalog: a loaded album consisting of 16 stonking tracks, but don’t be alarmed if you think you’re in for a marathon, because this is a fast and furious sprint that dishes out swift, short and to-the-point belters within a matter of 35 minutes.

The songs are kitted out with various strong elements such as grooving guitar sequences, sturdy bass tones and clattering drum rattles, all of which are teamed up efficiently to ignite a blusterous energy that is consistently present and keeping the thrill levels quite high.

Despite the hefty volume of tunes upfront, the guys do enough to mix up the styles so that the overall listen is fresh and, in conjunction with the aforementioned buzz, ultimately fun right up until the end, with top picks including Still Apart, Let It Fade, Glasgow and the mental instrumental cut Surf Cops Theme.

Additional thumbs up for the good vocals and the more-often-than-not nice writing, and you have yourself a nifty, tight package.


SMS | Nelson Savage – Cracked Beyond Repair

NELSON SAVAGECracked Beyond Repair

The heavily underrated Edinburgh outfit have been capable hands since arriving on the scene, over the last few years providing audiences with a nice and sharp bunch of records, and we’ve got more of that same quality calibre material in their latest EP.

Tangibly soulful lyrics are without a doubt the band’s strongest element. and this might just feature their best work to date in that area, as they really do feel personal and put you in the hotseat of the themes and scenarios detailed; Bricks and Glasgow Coma Scale make a proper impact for this reason.

The great alt-punk melodies are herded by the cracking riff work while the rhythms have a tight recurrent drive to them that swaps between being easy-going and laidback, and more pumped up and energetic when the situation calls for it, and in the case of tunes such as Kings Of The Inbetween and especially Auctioneering, there’s also some pretty entertaining choruses squeezed in too.