Stalybridge Tavern, Manchester, UK
7th July 2017
Tonight’s show brings the unlikely duo of Hands Off Gretel and The Loved And Lost to the Stalybridge Tavern, a venue located on the Eastern outskirts of Greater Manchester that offers the enticement of free music and good beer to bring in the punters, the chance to see a band as impressive as Hands Off Gretel is one that would have seen me attending regardless, but when you add free entrance in a venue that is developing a reputation as being the grass roots home of punk and alternative music on this side of town, then you have an invitation that is too good to turn down, so we travel across Greater Manchester to another grass roots venue that is located on the ragged edge of the county.
The Stalybridge Tavern lies near an abandoned nightclub on the outskirts of Greater Manchester, its an intimate venue that hosts a constant stream of grass roots shows courtesy of Indigo Bravo Promotions, who are the determined flag wavers for the alternative and punk scenes on this side of town. But before we get to see Hands Off Gretel there is Worcester’s The Loved And Lost who are opening tonight’s show. The Loved And Lost bring a distinctly different element to the evening as they are closer to the gothic rock of Evanescence than the predicted punk or alternative support that is usually a feature of an Indigo Bravo promoted show, but I’ve never had an issue with a mix of genres in a show and a diversity of styles always keeps things interesting.
The Loved And Lost start their set off with some dark anthemic alt rock that swiftly gives way to the more full blooded rock of Light Me Up, throughout their set their sound continues to veer across the rock spectrum, all the while maintaining the kind of stadium feel that the best bands of this nature possess. Whilst this isn’t really my kind of thing you can’t help but get the feeling that we’ll be hearing a lot more of The Loved And Lost in the future, throughout their set they engage the crowd and seem to win over much of the audience awaiting Hands Off Gretel and they deliver an accomplished set of atmospheric and melodic rock.
Hands Off Gretel‘s website and online shop is located here
The Punk Site review of Burn The Beauty Queen can be read here
The Loved And Lost‘s website is located here
Indigo Bravo Promotions Facebook page is here
Live photography is by Dean Unsworth, his Instagram account is located here
You can click on any of Dean’s photos to view a slide show of the images
California’s Decent Criminal have signed with Dodgeball Records, the newly founded label started by Showoff frontman Chris Messer, his wife Dani and Mike Felumlee of the Smoking Popes. Decent Criminal will release their debut album, Bloom, on October 13th, with pre-orders, including vinyl, launching on September 29th via Dodgeball Records.
You can stream Deviant, that is taken from their forthcoming album, here
Dodgeball Records Website is here
Manchester’s False Advertising
, have announced the I Would Be So Much Happier…
UK Tour with extensive headline dates running throughout September and October. The band have also revealed a new EP, I Would Be So Much Happier If I Just Stopped Caring,
which will be available exclusively at their forthcoming live dates on ltd edition cassette. The new EP is a collection of the standalone releases from 2017 and includes the track It’s Been A While (So Sick)
, whose lyrics were contributed by anonymous young people as part of Three Minute Heroes
The Three Minute Heroes
compilation can be downloaded for free here
You can view the video for Honest, and False Advertising‘s tour dates, below
Under The Mask
Boston’s Energy will be releasing the Under The Mask EP on the 21st July ahead of their headlining UK tour that kicks of in Manchester on the 29th July, their latest release follows on from last years Apparition Sound album and their new material proves that even after over a decade together they are still moving forwards. The new record features five tracks of signature Energy punk rock that intertwines the sombre melancholy melodies, introspective lyrics and infectiously poppy hooks, creating a record that will demand, and deserves, repeat listens.
Under The Mask begins in ominous style with the creepy introduction to the lead single from the EP, The Witching Hour, before it launches into the finest slab of horror punk you’ll hear this year, the superb opening track is followed by the comparatively downbeat title track that keeps the eerie mood going, The Shape Retreats forms a brief atmospheric bridge before Under The Mask kicks straight back into life with A Prayer For Rain that brings a more straight up melodic punk element into the mix. I Killed Your Boyfriend veers into Masked Intruder‘s criminal territory, so much so that we now have another suspect for that band’s identity, and finally Leave Me Alone ends what has been a near perfect EP in fine style.
The Under The Mask EP represents a perfect blend of the styles of The Misfits, Masked Intruder and AFI that’s delivered in an accessible and perfect five track package that is amongst the very best releases I’ve encountered in 2017, the mix of pop and horror punk is perfectly pitched, settling in neither camp yet embracing both, and delivered in Energy‘s own unique style. Based on the Under The Mask EP, and their debut UK appearance on the Creeper tour that I encountered earlier this year, I can’t wait to catch Energy live again, happily I don’t have long to wait and a live review of their forthcoming UK tour will follow on The Punk Site shortly.
Energy‘s website is located here and their Bandcamp is here
Rise Records / New Damage Records
Silverstein have now been with us for 17 years, despite the passing of the years this is a band that always retained their commitment to the spirit of their punk and hardcore roots, and now they have released their eighth full length, Dead Reflection, which came out on the 14th July via Rise Records and New Damage Records. Their latest release follows on from 2015’s I Am Alive In Everything I Touch and Dead Reflection is an album that indicates that Silverstein still have plenty of life left in them, despite approaching the end of their second decade together.
Last Looks kicks things off in full blooded post hardcore rush that continues throughout Dead Reflection, but this isn’t just an relentless assault, the album contains melody that is perfectly balanced against the intense and brooding soundtrack. Tracks such as the heartfelt Mirror Box, Secret’s Safe and the tortured closer Wake Up bring the pace down, whilst The Afterglow take things closer to their roots, but for the most part Dead Reflection is an authentic album of modern post hardcore that demonstrates that Silverstein aren’t content to carry on recreating the past and are determined to continue pressing forward.
Dead Reflection is an album that’s informed by personal loss and it carries a very real sense of darkness and isolation, but having said that it is not an album that allows itself to wallow in self pity and self doubt, Silverstein‘s latest album comes across as a redemptive and cathartic release that is written from a deeply personal perspective, and despite the dark subject matter it feels like this an album that has given the band a new lease of life. For those who already love Silverstein this will be an essential release, and for me Dead Reflection seems to be a positive and logical step forward for the band.
You can order Dead Reflection via Rise Records (US) here and New Damage Records (CAN) here
Brooklyn’s Washer have announced that their new record, All Aboard, is set to be released on September 15th via Exploding In Sound Reords and the band is now streaming a new song, Your Guess Is As Bad As Mine. All Aboard is an album filled with fuzz, aggression, off-kilter rhythmic structures and mangled pop hooks, throughout the record Washer filter complex musical ideas into minimalist garage rock, creating a brilliant and bright sampling of DIY punk.
You can stream Your Guess Is As Bad As Mine here
You can pre-order All Aboard via Exploding In Sound Records here
Everything is falling into place for Milk Teeth ahead of the July 28th release of their new EP and Roadrunner Records debut, Be Nice. Now Milk Teeth further build anticipation for the EP by sharing the video for the track Prism that combines unsettling and colourful imagery with an energised performance, the video neatly complements the track’s punchy mix of attitude, melody and aggression.
The Be Nice EP can be pre-ordered here
The video for Prism, and Milk Teeth‘s UK tour dates, can be viewed below Read More…
SONS fuse face melting noise and relentless attitude, with influences spanning from Slaves, Blood Red Shoes and No Age to Death From Above 1979 and Lighting Bolt, the Brighton duo take the timeless power duo dynamic and throw away the rulebook, adding an amount of sheer velocity, energy and volume to an already towering sound. The hard hitting Brighton two piece have now unveiled the video for their new single, Zealot, that is due for release on the 25th August via Till Deaf Do Us Party Records with the single available now via Spotify.
The Zealot bundle can be pre-ordered here and the single can be streamed via Spotify here
The video for Zealot, and Sons UK tour dates, can be viewed below Read More…
Few bands in alternative rock can claim to be as adventurous as Circa Survive, now the Pennsylvania band are back to explore brand new territory with their sixth full-length, The Amulet, that is due out on September 22nd via Hopeless Records. To celebrate the announcement Circa Survive have released an imaginative new music video for the album’s first single, Lustration.
You pre-order The Amulet here and stream Lustration via Spotify here
You can view the vide for Lustration, and Circa Survive‘s tour dates, below
Chambers have revealed they will release a brand new single Down The Rabbit Hole on 4th August 2017 via I’m Not From London Records, the band have also announced they will be appearing at several UK festivals over the summer, with a select handful of European tour dates later this year. Down The Rabbit Hole is a dark, spiralling, punk rock jack-hammer of a track that shows yet another side to Chambers‘ inventive approach to the alternative music spectrum. Chambers will be heading into the studio later this year to record a full EP.
You can stream Down The Rabbit Hole here and view Chambers tour dates below Read More…
As the July 28th release of their first Roadrunner Records EP, Be Nice, Milk Teeth present a change of pace with an acoustic performance of the EP’s closing track, Hibernate. The video captures an acoustic performance that is stripped of the band’s usual visceral rush of distortion and demonstrates the compelling songwriting that underpins Milk Teeth’s material.
You can pre-order the Be Nice EP here
You can view the video for Hibernate, and Milk Teeth‘s tour dates, below Read More…
Ahead of their performances at 2000 Trees
festivals this weekend, Vukovi
have shared an album making-of film, offering a behind the scenes look into the studio as the band track their breakthrough self-titled debut album, that is out now via LAB Records
have toured constantly since the triumphant release of their debut album, fresh from wowing audiences as at Slam Dunk Festival
their touring schedule continues across the festival circuit throughout July and August.
The Punk Site
Review of Vukovi
‘s debut LP is here
and you can order the album here
You can view the making of film, and Vukovi‘s summer tour dates, below
Alternative new wave grunge band Hands Off Gretel from South Yorkshire, will support US band Skating Polly on six dates of their headline UK tour this July. The two bands, both heavily influenced by riot grrrl bands of the 90’s, first met when Lauren Tate from Hands off Gretel watched Skating Polly supporting Babes in Toyland in 2015 in Manchester. Following an exchange of CD’s at this gig, Hands off Gretel were invited to support Skating Polly in London in 2016 and played a sold out gig at the Lock Tavern. Skating Polly return to the UK in July, to support Kate Nash on her European tour, inbetween these dates they will play a series of headline dates and have asked Hands Off Gretel to join them as special guest on their headline UK tour.
You can view the tour dates for the Skating Polly and Hand Off Gretel tour below Read More…
Poetic post hardcore band VVomen have released their debut music video for the new single, Cadence and Carousel, that is taken from the Sacramento quartet’s EP, Moving On, which will be released independently on July 21st. Cadence and Carousel is a lumbering punk song about a couple’s first dance at their wedding, visually, the band conceptualized an alternate Stranger Things-esque world and the need to rescue someone that is trapped there, they also incorporated giant handmade papier mache heads and a grim reaper antagonist.
Moving On can pre-ordered via Bandcamp here
You can view the video for Cadence And Carousel below Read More…
It’s been a magnificent year for Creeper, their debut album, Eternity, In Your Arms, crashed into the Top 20, they sold out their biggest headline tour to date and made their main stage debut at Download. Creeper have now shared a video for the new single version of the pivotal album track, Misery, which collates footage from recent shows, from intimate club gigs to the Download main stage. This summer will see Creeper play all dates on this summer’s North American leg of the Vans Warped Tour, which they’ll follow with their debut Canadian tour in November with Silverstein, before they then return to the UK in December to embark upon their Theatre of Fear headline tour, that will feature an ambitious new stage production which will elevate the band’s renowned theatrical presentation to a whole new level.
You can view the video for Misery, and Creeper‘s UK tour dates below Read More…
Prey And Obey
Raymond Watts origins lie way back in the history, he was present at the birth of the alternative and industrial scene, first appearing as a member of KMFDM before emerging with PIG in 1988. Since then he has continued his involvement, not just in the aforementioned outfits but also behind the mixing desk and as a songwriter, and after more than thirty years making the kind of music that influenced a generation you might think that PIG would have mellowed with age, well the Prey And Obey EP makes it clear that he hasn’t.
The title track from the Prey And Obey EP carries the kind of hard edged guitar riff and strident drum beat that lies at the heart of the best stampy industrial dance floor fillers, and title track stands up against the material Raymond Watts has previously released. The tracks that follow, The Revelation and Cult Of Chaos, provide variations along the style of the title track but don’t quite have the same immediate impact, but they complete a fine trio of original songs that make up the core of the Prey And Obey EP, sadly after this we get a slew of remixes, two versions of Prey And Obey and one revision of The Revelation.
Half of the Prey And Obey EP is made up of remixes and for me it’s rare that a remix improves on the original recording, and those contained on this EP don’t do anything to change my opinion on this front. Despite the remixes occupying the latter half of PIG‘s latest release the three original tracks make up a fine EP, they carry the feel of the industrial tracks that were the soundtrack to many dancefloors in the late eighties, but they achieves this without sounding like an anachronism. After more than three decades one of the originators in the industrial and alternative scenes has produced an EP that is a more than worthy addition to his legacy.
Prey And Obey is now available via Metropolis Records here
The Madding Crowd have released a short film titled The 78th: Near The Dirt Fields Where The Boys Started Fires, after a line from the poem that The 78th Bridge On The Rochdale Canal EP took it’s title from, the film is a companion documentary that explores the themes of the EP. The Madding Crowd have also announced they will be playing a live session on their Facebook page on the 27th June from 8pm until whenever the band feel like finishing.
The 78th Bridge on the Rochdale Canal can be ordered here (physical) and here (digital)
The 78th: Near The Dirt Fields Where The Boys Started Fires can be viewed below Read More…
Hundredth released their third album, Rare, earlier this month, it follows on from their sophomore album, Free, but on this release Hundredth have shifted away from their hardcore roots and into radically different territory. After the release of their last album Hundredth felt like they’d taken hardcore as far as it could go and they were left with a stark choice, either reinvent themselves and take the risk of heading out into uncharted territory, or call it quits and end the band, thankfully they picked the former option. They haven’t abandoned the heavy side of their nature, but they have incorporated shoegaze, post punk and even dream pop into their sound to create something unexpected and new.
Vertigo and Neurotic kick things off with an energetic and atmospheric wall of sound that makes you think you’ve got a handle on their new direction, when along comes White Squall, a track that channels Mancunian post punk and indie influences such as The Chameleons and The Stone Roses. The breakdowns and channelled rage are now a thing of the past, instead they have adopted the lush soundscapes of indie and shoegaze, but for all the changes they have made a punk attitude still underpins the album and there are still moments for their old school fans. Disarray in particular brings a heavier punk element back into the mix and shows that they haven’t forgotten their roots, but for the most part this is an adrenalized interpretation of the aforementioned influences and bands.
Many punk bands over the years have adapted, mutated or just downright changed their sound to embrace new influences and ideas, personally I always like to hear a band experimenting with new ideas, their are noble exceptions to this rule who have a sound of their own, but let’s face it, they are few and far between. There will be those who will feel that Hundredth have turned their back on their roots, but I can imagine that a greater number will be coming into the fold as a result of this album. Hundredth have proved that change isn’t always a bad thing and have produced an impressive and brave album that makes me hope that they keep changing
Rare can be ordered here via Hopeless Records here
Manchester duo The Hyena Kill have announced they will release a brand new single, Red, on the 7th July 2017 ahead of an appearance at this year’s 2000 Trees Festival. Red builds on the abrasive, dense sound the pair have meticulously crafted by striking out on their own very definite path after finding themselves falling between the cracks of Manchester’s burgeoning metal and indie scenes, Red sees them crank things up another notch in terms of volume, ferocity and sheer attack.
You can stream Red here and their debut album, Atomised, is available via iTunes here and Spotify here
The Hyena Kill‘s UK tour dates can be viewed below Read More…
The Duke Spirit have announced that their new album, Sky Is Mine, is set for release on August 18th and will be available on white vinyl, CD and digital formats, there will also be exclusive signed vinyl and CD’s as well as some limited edition album vinyl test pressings available to pre-order, all pre-orders will also receive an immediate free download of their new single Magenta. North American fans will need to wait just a little longer for pre-order’s but the band promise there will be news on that very soon. The Duke Spirit have also announced two UK shows in Manchester and London in August to celebrate the release of the album, the pre-sale for tickets commences of the 19th June.
Sky Is Mine can be pre-ordered here and tickets for their live shows can be purchased here
Having just made their triumphant main stage debut at Download Festival this year, Creeper are looking to build on the success of their Top 20 debut album, Eternity, In Your Arms, with the announcement of their biggest UK headline tour to date. The tour features an ambitious new stage production which will elevate the band’s renowned theatrical presentation to a whole new level, the Theatre of Fear tour includes their biggest London show to date at the O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire and concludes with a homecoming show at Southampton’s Guildhall. Creeper have also been confirmed to play all 41 dates of this summer’s North American leg of the Vans Warped Tour. Creeper will also be releasing their new single, Misery, on the 7th July.
You can stream Misery via Spotify here
The Theatre Of Fear tour dates can be viewed below Read More…
The Beautiful Stories
Dine Alone Records
Sweden’s INVSN have released their new album, The Beautiful Stories, today, it was originally released earlier this year in their homeland on Woah Dad! Records, but today marks the first release of the album outside of their native Scandinavia and it is now available via their new international home, Dine Alone Records. INVSN are a band born of the Swedish punk and alternative scenes, their line up features members of Masshysteri, Tiger Forest Cat, Deportees, DS-13, Refused and The (International) Noise Conspiracy, The Beautiful Stories is their sophomore album and it follows on from their critically acclaimed self titled debut that was released in 2013.
Immer Zu opens with a distinctly post punk feel, it’s a track that recalls Joy Division, The Cure and Siouxsie And The Banshees and it veers between sparse verses and intense momens and rises to an irresistible chorus. This is a style that carries across the entirety of The Beautiful Stories, it’s an album that is informed by the intense angular post punk influences that populate all seven tracks with a moody and atmospheric feel. Over recent years I’ve found many post punk releases to be somewhat formulaic, with many bands merely adopting the style and attempt to recreate it, whilst INVSN are undoubtedly influenced by the same bands this is no pale imitation, INVSN bring the post punk influences right up to date and as a result they have brought something new to the genre.
The Beautiful Stories is a dark and atmospheric album that is born of post punk, but it’s combined with the collective members of INVSN‘s experience to bring new life to a scene that all to often wallows in the past. The Beautiful Stories is an accomplished and original album, yes of course you can hear the obvious influences, in particular there’s an obvious comparison to Siouxsie Sioux in some of the vocal deliveries, but this is an original dark hypnotic release that grows on you with every listen, and it is one that deserves to be heard beyond the confines of the Scandinavian borders.
You can purchase The Beautiful Stories via Dine Alone Records on CD, vinyl and digital formats here
(the) International Noise Conspiracy
, Dine Alone Records
, Tiger Forest Cat
, Woah Dad! Records
(The) Medicine Theory will release the Rain Follows The Plow EP on the 16th June 2017. The EP is the band’s fifth studio recording and it continues the raw stripped down heavy post-punk approach to songwriting that they are known for, with a visceral focus on storytelling. (The) Medicine Theory formed in 2007 with the writing duo of Jeff Irvine and Tyson Schroeder, whilst the band has had many incarnations they have always stayed true to their initial mission, to create music that they enjoy, now in a Punk Site exclusive they have unveiled the hard hitting track Choke that is taken from the forthcoming EP.
You can stream the track Choke here
(The) Medicine Theory’s Facebook page is here and their Bandcamp is here
Philadelphia’s Caracara have just released the music video for their single, Glacier, which is taken from their forthcoming full length record, that will be released later this year. Their debut album promises a shifting of styles and symbols, alternating from shimmering indie to whispers of neo-folk before relishing in the cathartic push of post-rock. This fluidity introduces a band with no point of origin, built from the mysterious clamour of noise as much as they are inspired by it.
Glacier can be streamed and purchased here
you can view the video for Glacier below Read More…
Last week She Makes War released an uplifting and heartwarming slogan video for their new single, I Want My Country Back, now they have released a second video as She Makes War and a slew of excellent people voice their displeasure at the current world order as various musicians join the band, including Bristol’s hotly tipped post rock band, Thought Forms.
I Want My Country Back is available as a free download until the end of Thursday 8th June.
You can download I Want My Country Back here and view the video below Read More…
Randy’s Got A Playdough Face have released a new name your price LP, My Father Used To Build Sand Sculptures, which is available via Bandcamp and on ltd edition cassette via Family Vacation Records. The projects 2015 debut EP, Fairy, received acclaim among niche indie and alt rock crowds upon its release, and earned them a cult following that has been waiting on new music for over two years. My Father Used to Build Sand Sculptures is reminiscent of early 2000s indie rock with influences drawing from Death Cab For Cutie, Wilco, and R.E.M.
My Father Used To Build Sand Sculptures is available via Bandcamp here
Tunic are set to release their latest EP, Boss, on July 21st, a corrosive and volatile record that takes the best moments of Metz and The Jesus Lizard and works them into their own artistic brilliance. Loud, aggressive, and often punishing, Tunic thrive on chaos, feedback, and manic bursts of slurred shouting, the lead single, Eye Contact, is a welcome intro, a big grooving blast of gloriously disgusting noise and punk energy.
The Boss EP can be pre-ordered here
The video for Eye Contact, and Tunic‘s North American tour dates, can be viewed below Read More…