The Difficult Number 2 – SMALL MUSIC SCENE

COLONEL MUSTARD & THE DIJON 5The Difficult Number 2

It’s been 7 long years, but the leaders of The Yellow Movement finally return to the fray with a brand new full-length album, and the final verdict? It’s blooming great, that’s how it is.

The majority of the package is comprised of catchy, utterly exhilarating bangers that encourage you to get up and dance and indulge in all the positive vibes being unleashed, although there are also a few chilled out moments as well that have a nice casual tide to them.

A mix-up of genres are at play, ranging from pop, to reggae, to dance, and even a cheeky dose of dubstep, sparked from blissful blasts of brass, cool guitar riffs, stimulating rhythms, chic electronics and excellent ensembles of vocals, including the inviting and charismatic colonel himself John McMustard guiding the charge.

The endearingly creative writing as usual is a major component, plus we get a series of special guests to help out the band, including Ant Thomaz, Becca Starr, the Castlemilk Youth Complex Chair, and even Troy The Gardener himself, Gavin Mitchell.

Coming out of a hellacious, stressful and uncertain year, this is exactly the kind of record we need as we make that slow but steady transition back into a world of normality. A total delight.

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BABY STRANGELand Of Nothing

After churning out an endless array of singles in recent years, the Scotch-punk titans are finally treating us to a new record.

A voracious wild energy is sparked from the frenzied rhythms that batter through at an insane pace, complete with rapid drum streams, crunching bass lines and feisty riffs galore.

The vocals as per have that blunt potency to them that demand your attention, and the writing is among their most entertaining and impressionable to date, with every verse sinking into your brain and making a mark.

A bloody right old manic craze, this is, one that’ll have fans at this point choking to boogie along to the belting tunes inside the Priory Bar sooner than later.

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PRETTY PREACHERS CLUBRomance & Adolescence

Mere months after their previous record, Glasgow’s most wholesome bedroom pop duo return with another truly heart-warming EP.

At the forefront are the beautiful harmonies which glimmer so hard with a feeling of comfort. In conjunction with those, the mood is so relaxed and beyond dreamy, which only makes the inevitable smile on your face all the bigger, with the application of luminous synths, easy drums, and sleek, spine-chilling chords accentuating that.

The lovely lyrics Aare conveyed in a soft delicate and manner, defined by all-too-real themes, most notably being open about yourself and not letting hardships and other negative elements be bottled up and wreck you from the inside.

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STANLEY ODDStay Odd

For any newcomers, Stanley Odd is a collective of just some of the finest hip hop artists within the Scottish scene who, in this case, all prove to be incredibly beneficial, each delivering equally top-notch performances tied by the tightest of chemistries that further raise the bar of what turns out to be a hell of a high quality record.

Banging, vibrant beats and immensely fresh electronic sounds are initiated through the production that, at least with the bouncer cuts, infuse you with an urge to boogie along. The majority of the choruses are memorable belters, often equipped with sweet hooks.

The writing across the board is bloody good and not at any moment running short on frankness and creativity, consistently grabbing your attention, keeping you sucked in and garnering the desired reactions.

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PAERISHFixed It All

One of France’s finest underground acts are back and better than ever before, releasing what is above and beyond one of the most exhilarating and phenomenal albums of the year.

It’s defined by this huge, infectious sound with a vivid scope and power to it worthy of filling an entire arena. The record churns out a ballot of staggering anthems, featuring thrilling rhythms, strong harmonies and awesome choruses, where the energy is off the charts, making it impossible to not get you in an enthusiastic rouse.

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RYLAHRunning In The Dark

The former Neon Seas have re-christened themselves with a new identity, but one thing certainly hasn’t changed: the quality of their output.

This record is chock full of everything imaginable: pitch-perfect vocals, nice lyrics, insanely addictive choruses, absolutely lush synths, a great rhythmic mixture of guitars and drums, and a vivid breath-taking scale courtesy of the phenomenal production work.

It may be only 3 songs long, but holy moly, is it a marvellous trio of tracks; in fact, I could go as far to say that this EP is damn near flawless. At this rate, RYLAH are well en route to becoming one of Scotland’s top-tier pop outfits.

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DEFEATISTClosure

The sound created by the Cardiff outfit is a well-executed crossroads of alt-rock and post-hardcore with a totsy hint of emo shoved in for added depth.

The vocals are a key highlight, comprising of back-and-forth great harmonies and passionate screams; either way, fuelled by believable emotions.

There’s an overall charged up moxie to all the performances that drive the songs along and get you invested, plus the choruses stand out well with some memorable hooks.

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MAIRI CAMPBELLStorm

The established Scottish folk artist lives up to her talents with a simply remarkable record, where she showcases her vividly lush vocal capacity and draws us in with engaging lyrics.

As for the songs themselves, they are herded by fantastic melodies via the very nice instrumentals, and there’s a sensational grand sense of atmosphere that totally encapsulates and immerses the listener into the music, especially with ambient soundscapes being perfectly implemented.

It’s beautifully mystical stuff all around and is just begging to be experienced.

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RUBY BONESLaser Tooth Tiger

I’ve listened to a multitude of thrilling records across 2021 alone, but this might just take the cake.

Most, if not all, of the songs on this package are of the high-octane variety, being blazed through at a fast pace with such mental, dynamic melodies that never let up and are able to get anybody in a flurried buzz.

Everything; from the vocals, to the guitars, to the rhythms; they all scream with this explicit sense of spirit that is indescribably infectious.

From bell to bell, a memorably zealous blast courtesy of the highly promising New Jersey group guaranteed to deliver a good time.

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ANE BJERKANVago

The music often has a mystical essence which loosens the senses and has you drifting dreamily as you listen, and Ane’s engaging voice is a major factor in that, not to mention the equally enticing lyrics to go along with that.

In addition, the delightful instrumentals are constantly mixing up bits and pieces of pop, folk and jazz to help create the nice, flowing melodies.

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MULINIJust Beyond

The sophomore EP by the English R&B producer is a tremendously absorbing and emotionally pulling work.

Instrumentally, it’s very nice, with good beats, juicy synths and subtle ambient rumbles present throughout, and the choruses are as prime as they come.

The writing is excellent and has a true self-awareness, mainly diving into the array of mental faults sadly needed to be fought every day, and the pure vocal performances only enforce the legitimacy of the lyrics.

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FLU FLUMi Mundo Interior

The latest EP from the Seville shoegaze project is the epitome of short but sweet indeed.

Wholesome low-key harmonies, neat guitars, easy-toned basslines and awfully nice beats all mesh to forge a sublime ambience.

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