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Empty Lungs Release Video And Confirm UK Tour Dates

Empty Lungs Dont Get ItFresh off the back of their successful recent string of dates, and the release of their incredible Don’t Get It EP via Hidden Pony Records, Belfast based indie punks, Empty Lungs, have shared the new video for the track Losing It. Finding It and have announced further tour dates for this Spring. Don’t Get It was released on the 10th March on vinyl and download and is available via the usual retailers

The Punk Site Review of the Don’t Get It EP can be found here

The video For Losing It. Finding It, and the Empty Lungs tour dates, can be viewed below Read More…

Jess Kemp Vondelpark Launch

Jess Kemp - Vondelpark Single Launch Party

Sacred Trinity Church, Salford, UK

10th March 2017
By

Rating: 3.5/5

 
 

 

 

Jess Kemp 10th March - David GormanI always feels a bit strange watching a gig in a church as these are not places I’ve made a habit of attending, but religion seems to be on the decline and they have to keep the lights on somehow, so the result is there’s a bar and a healthy turn out for the sold out concert to mark the release of Jess Kemp‘s Vondelpark single at this small historical church that lies on the boundary between Salford and Manchester. David Gorman opens proceedings with a delicate acoustic set, his fine picked guitar work is accompanied by a mournful cello, whilst this isn’t the hyperactive start I’m used to at concerts he manages to get some early evening audience participation, and his thought provoking alt folk marks the start to a genre spanning evening.

Jess Kemp 10th March - Sound Of ThievesJess Kemp introduces Sound Of Thieves who are a band that offer a distinct contrast to the opening act. They are a duo that offer a set of bass augmented technology, I’m unsure how these things work but live loops and some fine vocals that are accompanied by a dub heavy bass is something I haven’t encountered before. I have no idea where to start trying to describe this duo, the sound they make is one that’s unique and they are also unique amongst the live acts I’ve encountered. The combination of the technical alchemy, ethereal vocals and dub bass is unlike anything else out there, the best description I can come up with is dub infused gothic electronica.

Jess Kemp 10th March 1The Sacred Trinity Church has drawn a much bigger turn out than I suspect it’s regular Sunday gatherings attract, and the two foot thick stone walls ensure that the venue is approaching boiling point by the time Jess Kemp takes to the stage. Some mellow acoustic strains mark the start of her set, before the lights flare and the launch party for the Vondelpark single kicks off in earnest. Her emotional vocal growl adds a unique element to her material, and it’s just one of the components that makes the impressive, and deeply personal, material stand out in Manchester’s crowded indie scene.

Jess Kemp 10th March 2Throughout her set Jess Kemp blends power pop with other influences that are all delivered with a trademark style, and it’s style that marks Jess Kemp out as one of Manchester’s up and coming singer songwriters, and it’s one that has attracted an enthusiastic and vocal audience for tonight’s sold out show that celebrates the launch of the Vondelpark single. Her music is a soulful mix of rock, power pop and indie with touches of heartland rock, and even hints of country and rock ‘n roll are thrown into the mix, and the whole package is all delivered with her own personal and powerful touch.

Jess Kemp 10th March 3Of course new material is revealed tonight, including the anthemic No Shouting, that for me is the kind of song that Jess Kemp does best, a driving power pop number informed by personal experiences. Finally we get the moment that tonight has building up to as she gives the freshly released Vondelpark single it’s debut live airing. This is another upbeat indie fuelled floor filler, it’s a song that catalogues the bands joyous experiences in the fine city of Amsterdam, a city that has a reputation for making a positive impact on anyone who visits it, and on the basis of the new single it would appear that Jess Kemp is no exception to this tradition.

Jess Kemp 10th March 4The rowdy vocal crowd demand an encore and they are duly rewarded, in some ways the final song from tonight’s show is the antithesis of the previous track, whereas Vondelpark is a celebration of the positive impact of a city, the title track from her debut Camden EP is definitely not a love letter to that renound part of London, and it marks a fine end to what has been a triumphant showcase for Jess Kemp. Tonight has seen an eclectic mix of acts topped by an impressive headline set, on the basis of my experience this evening maybe I should go to church more often, providing its not too early on a Sunday, and there are bands and a bar.

Jess Kemp 10th March Sacred TrinityJess Kemp‘s Facebook page can be found here

The Camden EP and Vondelpark single are available via Spotify and iTunes

The Sound Of Thieves Facebook page is located here

David Gorman‘s Facebook presence can be found here

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

Andy J Gallagher Boy Racer

Andy J. Gallagher

Boy Racer / I Don't Wanna Be Like You

JAC64 Records
By

Rating: 4/5

 
 

 

 

Following in the wake of the first single, Sheena’s Big Night Out, from the eagerly anticipated album, Ego, Andy J. Gallagher  has now released another double a-side single featuring the tracks Boy Racer and I Don’t Wanna Be Like You, the single has been released on JAC64 Records today, the 20th March 2017. Ego will be Andy J. Gallagher‘s sophomore album, it follows on from 2009’s Helicopter, Dolphin, Submarine, an album that is now available as a free download via Andy J. Gallagher‘s website.

Boy Racer occupies the a-side, it’s a track that channels the spirit of The Libertines with a spirited chunk of power pop fuelled indie rock, and it marks a damn fine start to the single, however for me the star of the show is the flip side. I Don’t Wanna Be Like You is a darker composition, that whilst still carrying Andy J. Gallagher‘s pop sensibility, has an element of menace and discord that possesses more of a punk rock spirit than the a-side, or the previous single.

Once more Andy J. Gallagher has teamed up with former member of The Damned and The Phantom Chords, and more recently solo artist, Roman Jugg, and their partnership is one that seems to almost effortlessly produce a heady mix of punk and power pop that maintains a sparkling pop sensibility. For me Boy Racer, and especially it’s flip side I Don’t Wanna Be Like You, is a step forward from the first impressive single, Sheena’s Big Night Out, from his forthcoming album, and it’s a one that makes Ego an even more eagerly anticipated release.

Helicopter, Dolphin, Submarine can be downloaded for free here

Boy Racer is available on limited edition CD here

obsessives-artwork

The Obsessives

The Obsessives

Lame-O Records
By

Rating: 3/5

 
 

 

 

The Obsessives latest self titled album is released today, the 17th March 2017, and it follows on from their debut full length, 2015’s Heck No, Nancy. The Obsessives sophomore album will be released via Lame-O Records in the US, Dog Knights Productions in the UK and Europe and Cooking Vinyl in Australia. The Obsessives will also be undertaking an extensive North American tour this spring with Modern Baseball, Kevin Devine And His Goddamn Band and Sorority Noise

The Obsessives self titled sophomore album starts with a mournful country influenced introduction, this is short lived as it swiftly segues into the noisier discordant indie number, You’re My God. There’s an obvious Pixies reference with the track Surfer Rosa, and it must be said that there is a fair influence from that quartet on this release, this is exemplified by songs such as Violent, that are reminiscent of their bass led unconventional style. The album continues to veer unpredictably between styles, but all the while it embraces a solid core of influences from the more idiosyncratic elements of the indie scene.

For me The Obsessives self titled album is one that treads a path through territory that has already been covered by numerous well known trailblazers, there are obvious influences from acts such as Violent Femmes and Dinosaur Jnr, as well as the aforementioned Pixies, on this release. But, and this is an important but, having said that, if your tastes lean towards the unconventional and noisier side of the indie scene, or if you have a love for modern emo influenced bands such as Modern Baseball and Sorority Noise, then The Obsessives latest album, and their forthcoming tour, really should be on your radar.

The Obsessives self titled album can be streamed and purchased here

The vinyl issue of The Obsessives sophomore album, including coloured vinyl variants, can be purchased here

The Obsessives tour dates can be found here and their Facebook page is here

Empty Lungs Dont Get It

Empty Lungs

Don't Get It

Hidden Pony Records
By

Rating: 5/5

 
 

 

 

Empty Lungs released the Don’t Get It EP yesterday, the 10th of March 2017, via the Canadian imprint, Hidden Pony Records. Empty Lungs are a band that captures the angst and protest spirit of punk rock, and blend it with the hooks and melody born of the indie rock and powerpop of the nineties. They were originally formed in late 2011, since that time there has been a string of self released EP’s and singles, as well as tours across Europe and America, including playing THE FEST in Florida for the last three years, that’s deservedly earned them an international fanbase.

The opening title track smacks you squarely between the eyes with a heavyweight infectious hooky riff, and follows this up with a chorus that instantly embeds itself in your frontal lobes and refuses to be evicted, Losing It. Finding It picks up exactly where the opening number left off, it boasts a perfect pounding riff that is accompanied by urgent vocals. The closing track, Fragile, makes this a perfect trio of songs, it brings the tempo down very slightly, but it retains all the urgency and vibrancy that were the hallmarks of the first two tracks. To say this is an impressive EP would be an understatement, Don’t Get It is that rare beast of a perfect release, there is not a single thing about this EP that I would change.

Don’t Get It contains equal measures of the spirit of Husker Du, Ramones, The Wildhearts and Therapy?, it has the same kind of urgency, energy and melody, but whilst you can hear the influences, Empty Lungs have very much stamped their own personality onto this release. The insistent infectious title track is the best new song I’ve heard this year, a track that’s been playing on repeat since I first heard it, you can see exactly why the Canadian based Hidden Pony Records made them their first European signing. Empty Lungs are a fine addition to Belfast’s proud musical heritage, and are a band that you need to introduce yourself to as Don’t Get It is a perfect three track EP.

Don’t Get It was released on the 10th March on vinyl and download and is available via the usual retailers

The Hidden Pony Records website can be found here

Empty Lungs Facebook page can be found here

Vukovi

Vukovi

Vukovi

LAB Records
By

Rating: 4.5/5

 
 

 

 

Vukovi have been with us for a few years, they’ve been leaving a sporadic trail of EP’s and singles in their wake since 2011, but now the Glaswegian quartet have finally released their debut full length today, the 10th March 2017, via LAB Records. Vukovi‘s self titled album seems to have created the definitive snapshot of their technicolour wonder to date, earlier recordings and singles are included on here, but re-recorded and amped up to create a riotous and eclectic debut. Make no mistake, this is a band that demand your attention, both musically and visually, from the outset it’s clear that Vukovi have produced a debut that’s as strong and individual as anything I’ve heard this year.

La Di Da opens the self titled album with a hectic crash of guitars and an forceful emotive vocal delivery that blows away any cobwebs, it’s a fine blast of furious punk energy that lies somewhere between Daisy Chainsaw and Hands Off Gretel, and that’s about as high as praise gets in my book. And He Lost His Mind continues the unique crunching assault on your senses, but this isn’t just a constant punk onslaught, tracks such as Weirdo, Wander and Prey bring a more melodic sensibility to the album, but still maintain the discordant edge that this album carries, whilst the staccato assault of Target Practice brings another dimension to Vukovi‘s impressive arsenal. Amongst the dark subject matter and personal themes the album carries you’ll also find numbers such as Bouncy Castle, Animal and I’m Wired that are guaranteed dancefloor fillers, as the album approaches it finale the full on assault returns on the glorious Boy George, whilst the deceptive introduction of He Wants Me Not precedes another infectious hard edged riff kicking in. Vukovi‘s self titled debut bows out on the comparatively mellow Colour Me In, a song that grows with every single listen and will touch anyone that’s ever lost a loved one.

The twelve songs contained on Vukovi‘s self titled debut take in themes of individuality, drug abuse, depression and suicide, but this is no introspective dour album by any means, these themes sit alongside personal influences and straight up floor fillers to produce an idiosyncratic album that embraces punk, indie and all manner of alternative music to create a unique hybrid of styles, and it’s one that marks Vukovi out as a band to watch in 2017. Vukovi are a welcome noisy splash of colour that is the perfect antidote to the current turbulent political climate, the world needs bands like Vukovi, and they seem to have arrived in the nick of time, this impressive debut bring a heady dose of technicolour energy that celebrates individuality and reflects the good and bad in human nature, and delivers it all in a whirlwind of styles and influences that are irresistible.

You can order Vukovi‘s self titled debut via the band’s webstore here

Vukovi‘s upcoming UK tour dates can be found here

Laser Background Announce New Album ‘Dark Nuclear Bogs’

Laser Background Dark Nuclear bogsLaser Background are set to release Dark Nuclear Bogs, their latest full length album on April 28th via Endless Daze / Mutual Crush Records. Laser Background‘s latest release picks up where last year’s Correct left off, floating through cosmic realms of warped psych pop and kaleidoscopic indie experimentation. The record is full of sugary hooks, dynamic production and tripped out splendour, It’s a weird, wonderful and hazy look into a subconscious world.

Dark Nuclear Bogs can be pre-ordered here

You can view the video for the track Hymnals, and Laser Background‘s tour dates, below Read More…

UV-TV to Release Debut Album ‘Glass’ Via Deranged Records

UVTVSomewhere in the middle of Florida is UV-TV, they write melancholy pop songs with jagged, abrasive edges that combine strong hooks with chainsaw guitars, a sound that has drawn comparisons to Black TambourineThe Jesus And Mary Chain and The Shop Assistants, in short it is shoegaze stripped of its fat and its fluff. Glass was self-recorded over two days in a retired Gainesville train station and will be released via Deranged Records on the 10th March, this is UV-TV, listen loud.
 
Two tracks are available for streaming, Only Matters When here and Hear here
 
You can pre-order Glass via Deranged Records here and UV-TV‘s website is here
 

Sensless Things To Release Their First New Material In 22 Years

KMBTC284-20170302105942The Senseless Things are celebrating their first show since 1995 with the release of a new single Lost Honey, which features artwork by Jamie Hewlett. Since the breakup of the Senseless Things their members have gone onto to play in various other guises and outfits, including Gorillaz, Muse and The Libertines. Having sold out their warm-up show at The New Adelphi Club in Hull on 19th March, there are a limited number of tickets still available for what will be a very special night at Shepherds Bush Empire on 25th March where the limited edition single of Lost Honey will be available

Tickets for The Shepherds Bush Empire show can be purchased here

You can stream Lost Honey here

No Thank You Jump Ship

No Thank You

Jump Ship

Lame-O Records
By

Rating: 3.5/5

 
 

 

 

No Thank You‘s Kaytee Della Monica has been involved in the Philadelphia music scene since she was 16, originally a founding members of Airports, she subsequently went on to pursue a visual arts degree, something that still resonates deeply within her musical endeavours. Last year she teamed up with Nick Holdorf, from In The Pines, and The Superweaks’ Evan Bernard to form a new project, one that became No Thank You, with the aim of making collected her ideas come to life. Jump Ship is their debut full length, that follows on from the 2016 EP, A Nu Start, and was released on the 24th Februray 2017 and is available via Lame-O Records.

Eyeballs opens Jump Ship with some mellow ethereal indie, that to my ears is reminiscent of The Cocteau Twins, that serves as a prelude before Cold kicks in with a slow deliberate fuzzy riff that kicks into a more playful element before exiting on a return to the fuzz. Old News starts with more strings and ethereal vocals that slowly build to a more strident riff before fading away, it isn’t until Serenity Song that Jump Ship gets properly into gear, this track boasts a gloriously overdriven riff that’s overlaid with keyboards and the ever present ethereal vocal style of Kaytee Della Monica. At the midway point the album returns to the mellow indie stylings that opened Jump Ship, before the lead single from the album, Juicy J, kicks in with the albums finest 90 seconds, a gloriously insistent drumbeat overlaid with a frantic guitar hook that makes you want to bounce round the room, Teeter and The Unbearable Purposelessness of Being end the album in fine style, keeping up the energy levels and building Jump Ship to a fine finale.

I can’t decide whether Jump Ship is a throwback to earlier times, or an album that’s ahead of the game, there’s a fair nod to their influences, quirky keyboards playfully sit amongst some fine intense guitar riffs, that in turn sit alongside moments of tenderness and subtlety. This is certainly one of the most idiosyncratic releases I’ve heard this year, you can pick up the influence of numerous bands from the 80’s on this album, but this is no anachronistic tribute to the indie scene from days gone by. Whilst the influences are many and varied No Thank You have carved out a unique debut album, that despite my initial misconceptions has slowly won me over, and as I play it once more I have the feeling I won’t be the only person that this trio have that effect upon.

You can order the ltd edition vinyl, available on black and splatter variants, of Jump Ship here

Jump Ship is available for download and streaming here

The Winter Passing To Release ‘Double Exposure’ EP

PrintIrish indie-punk quartet, The Winter Passing, have announced their upcoming new EP, Double Exposure, will be released on April 21st, via Big Scary Monsters in Europe and 6131 Records in the rest of the world. The band has also released a stream of the first single from the EP, Significance, and have announced a run of Spring UK tour dates to coincide with the release of the EP

Pre-orders for Double Exposure are available here (Europe) and here (everywhere else)

You can stream the new single, Significance, here and you can view the tour dates below Read More…

Pillow Talk Stream ‘Sorry In My Mind’ From Forthcoming LP

Pillow Talk TIAPMemphis, TN’s Pillow Talk are streaming a new song titled Sorry In My Mind, the track appears on their upcoming LP, This Is All Pretend, which was produced by Matt Talbot of Hum, and will be released on March 10 via Animal Style Records.

You can stream Sorry In My Mind via CLRVYNT here

You can pre-order This Is All Pretend on vinyl here

courage-my-love

Courage My Love

Synesthesia

InVogue Records
By

Rating: 2.5/5

 
 

 

 

InVogue Records recording artists Courage My Love have released their eagerly anticipated sophomore album, Synesthesia, the fourteen track album was released last Friday, the 3rd February 2017 and is now available on all formats. The Ontario based trio have spent the past eight years building a loyal following through steady touring across the USA and Europe, including joining the Vans Warped Tour in 2016, and through a series of critically acclaimed EP’s and their 2015 debut, Becoming, that preceded the release of their latest full length. The album’s title refers to a term where senses overlap and the stimulation of one sense leads to an automatic, involuntary reaction in another, which is a lofty ambition for any album to achieve.

Synthesthesia is an album that is a very slick blend of alternative and indie influences that are delivered with a poppy sensibility, the precise beats are overlaid with sparkling keyboards and steady driving bass lines that are topped off with soaring vocals and anthemic choruses. Almost every track on Synthesthesia follows their precise formula, the album only takes a brief detour from it’s formulaic approach on the brief instrumental intermissions, Sight Sound and Taste Touch, that tie in with the albums title that refers to blurring of the senses, but aside from this Courage My Love have released an album that lies very much in their comfort zone, and at the poppier end of the alternative spectrum.

Courage My Love‘s debut album washes over you in waves, whilst everything about this album is impressive, it never quite grabs you and demands your attention, Synthesthesia is an album that marks a logical progression from their earlier material, but, and this an important but, with the rough edges removed, for me it was these elements that gave their earlier material more drive. Their latest release is one that should appeal to their established fans as they’ve maintained elements of their early recordings, but their transition to a poppier approach is one that I can see bringing them mainstream appeal and success, whilst this is not an album that appeals to me, it’s one that I can see taking them to a wider audience.

You can order Synesthesia via InVogue Records here

I’m Fine Release Debut LP ‘Never Knowing Best’

Im Fine Release NKBI’m Fine‘s new album, Never Knowing Best, is now on general release through Wiretap Records. It can be streamed via Spotify and Apple Music, and is available for download via iTunes and Bandcamp.

You can order Never Knowing Best digitally here and on limited edition cassette here

The Punk Site review of Never Knowing Best can be found here

I’m Fine‘s Facebook page is located here

Patrons Release ‘The Art Of Conversation’ Single

Patrons TAOCPatrons have now released their new single, The Art Of Conversation, that is taken from the bands debut album, As Above, So Below, which is set for release on Friday 31st March through Rose Coloured Records, pre-orders for the album will be announced shortly. Patrons will also be playing a lone UK date in Southampton before heading over to France for a six date tour.

The Art Of Conversation is now available via digital retailers and streaming platforms.

The video for The Art Of Conversation, and the band’s tour dates, can be viewed below Read More…

Im Fine NKB

I'm Fine

Never Knowing Best

Wiretap Records
By

Rating: 3.5/5

 
 

 

 

New Orleans, Louisiana’s I’m Fine will release their debut full length album, Never Knowing Best tomorrow, February 3rd 2017, the album was recorded in the band’s hometown of New Orleans by James Whitten with help from Brian Pretus of Pears. I’m Fine combine elements of punk and indie that sit happily alongside post hardcore and emo influences. Whilst this is the band’s first full length I’m Fine have been around since 2011, they released an initial burst of EP’s between 20111 and 2012 and then, at least as far as I can tell, there has been silence, apparently this was due to band members running into personal issues and problems that derailed their initial impetus, but they stayed together regardless of what life threw at them and now it seems they’re back on track with the release of Never Knowing Best.

The album jump starts into life with the lo-fi explosion of Merit Badge, the lead single that was streamed in advance of the release, it carries a raw discordant quality throughout that is reminiscent of an angry hyperactive Dinosaur Jnr, without giving you chance to draw breath the album launches into Dead Eyes, this kicks the pace up a notch and it is swiftly followed by Nabors, this track builds the intensity and incorporates a few math rock flourishes into their sonic assault. Legends In Corners brings a more thoughtful element into the mix that segues into the defiant strains of Cursive before Late Night Talks About Nothing brings an anguished moment to the album. For me Grow With Us and Burma bring the albums finest moments, with fine upbeat and insistent rhythms that are married to their raw discordant style, just as you think I’m Fine are building to a upbeat finale Never Knowing Best has a final twist, it closes with two complex disquieting numbers, Evil Bubbly and Trash Eyes, that brings what has been a wildly fluctuating dissonant debut to a close.

I’m Fine are a band that wear their influences proudly on their collective sleeves, their sound has a resemblances to bands such as Latterman, Gnarwolves, Cursive and At The Drive In, but that isn’t the end of the story, they incorporate different elements and styles into every track making Never Knowing Best an unpredictable beast of an album. It captures the rage of post hardcore, and this is the style that is at their core, but they straddle so many genres you just can’t pin them down, hints of math rock complexity are incorporated, indie and emo sensibilities pervade and it’s all delivered with a punk DIY ethos, with a running time of just over twenty minutes you could argue that Never Knowing Best is somewhat on the short side, but it’s a brief satisfying blast from a band who might not know best, but they certainly know their own minds.

You can pre-order Never Knowing Best digitally here and order the limited edition cassette here

jake clarke spur split 17

Jake Clarke / Spur

Split

Disposition Collective
By

Rating: 3.5/5

 
 

 

 

As with almost every split EP and album I’ve encountered this is a story of two very distinct halves, the first half dozen tracks feature the debut solo release by Philadelphia’s Jake Clarke, who is best known for the two albums that were recorded with Superheaven, whilst the flip side features fellow Pennsylvannians Spur, who bring their impressive shoegaze influenced dream punk sound to the split. This album will be released via the Disposition Collective on the 3rd February 2017, the vinyl edition, that will be issued on black and swirl variants, is now available for pre-order, and the digital version of the album will be available from the release date.

Jake Clarke‘s first solo effort continues where Superheaven left off, Get It Together kicks off Jake Clarke‘s half of the split, this track is the closest to his work with his former outfit as it’s a subdued grunge influenced number, after this things a mellower turn, and in the case of Part 2, a spacier more experimental approach is evident. This is Jake Clarke‘s first solo release and he has delivered a stripped down version of Superheaven‘s trademark sound, this is a much more sensitive recording than his fans will be used to, but it’s one that carries the same sensibilities as his former outfit.

Spur bring their indie influenced dream punk and they bring this release to life, there’s a clear influence from a broad range of styles, including shoegaze, emo, post hardcore and the indie scene of the late eighties on their side of the split, and it’s one certainly carries more energy than the subdued half dozen songs from their counterpart on this split. The stand out track on the album comes in the form of the much darker and heavier number, Freeze, along with this you get three breezy energetic indie influenced numbers and they close their side with the dark and dramatic piano led number, Moon.

With any split release you are going to find yourself falling for one half of the EP, for me Spur‘s contribution was one that had more of an appeal, but that’s not to dismiss Jake Clarke‘s contribution, as the two artists featured on this album do compliment each other nicely. Jake Clarke‘s debut solo release gives you an indication of the direction he’ll be headed in when his debut full length is released, and Superheaven fans will not be disappointed by the road he’s headed down. Spur have marked themselves as a band I’m going to be watching closely, the variation across their five tracks indicates they are no one trick indie pony, the contrast between the light energetic upbeat compositions and their darker fuzzier alter ego has certainly piqued my interest.

The Jake Clarke / Spur Split Album is available for pre-order here

The Knitts To Release Debut Album ‘Retreat’

Knitts RetreatIn a gritty industrial area of Van Nuys, California, behind a powder-coating plant, lie a dozen neatly stacked repurposed shipping containers. One of these is home to The Knitts, a band with a surprisingly long history and a short fuse, ready to explode onto the music scene with the release of their upcoming debut full-length album Retreat. The Knitts are not on the grid, don’t play to click tracks, don’t know how to work a sampler or program a drum machine, they don’t growl or scream, they sing, they’re not choreographed, they move. They don’t pose, they just smile and laugh. Retreat will be available on digital and streaming formats March 3rd via Knitting Factory Records. 

You can stream the track Sonny from their debut album courtesy of Glide Magazine here

Atom Driver - Slackjaw

Atom Driver

Slackjaw

Powerbunny 4x4
By

Rating: 4/5

 
 

 

 

Atom Driver have released their debut EP, Slackjaw, via the superbly named Powerbunny 4×4 Records, they are a post-hardcore trio hailing from central New Jersey that are something of a local supergroup. The members of Atom Driver are culled from the wreckage of local bands such as Buzzkill, Boss Jim Gettys and Good Clean Fun. Each member has a distinguished pedigree, associated with many different successful local indie rock, punk, and hardcore outfits. Together, this trio has bundled their deep roots and experience in making music to present a sound both new and simultaneously reminiscent of seminal bands from Barkmarket and Bastro to Fugazi and Drive Like Jehu.

Hate Me Now kicks off the Slackjaw EP in fine urgent style, the refrain of “you may hate me now but wait until I nail you to ground” is a driven cathartic battle cry, the EP’s title track manages to carry an even more frenetic pace and delivers another fist pumping chorus. At the mid way point of the Slackjaw EP Knives Out brings the pace down a tad, but it carries such a punishing riff it keeps the intensity and urgency of the EP flowing nicely before Cowboy takes us into an adrenaline charged technical delivery, one that to my ears is reminiscent of Primus on amphetamines, that breaks down into a pummelling chorus. Finally Best Defense closes the impressive debut, and carries on from where the previous quartet of tracks left off, combining all the elements from their previous outfits and influences into a glorious defiant hardcore inspired slice of alt rock.

This is an EP that blends their influences together and delivers them with a hardcore intensity, to say Slackjaw is an impressive debut is an understatement, the opening two tracks, Hate Me Now and Slackjaw, are as good as anything I’ve heard so far this year, and if this five track EP is an initial statement of intent then their debut full length is going to be something to look forward to. Based on this EP Atom Driver are another band to watch closely in 2017, this is a collection of five flawless tracks that hit the spot every time, anyone who has any love of alternative music, from alt rock to hardcore, should investigate the Slackjaw EP as this is a near perfect contemporary hybrid that’s informed by their collective influences and past experiences.

Slackjaw can be streamed and purchased here
 

I Heart Sharks To Release New Single ‘Lost Forever’

I Heart Sharks HideawayI Heart Sharks will be releasing their latest single, Lost Forever, on the 3rd February 2017. Last year saw I Heart Sharks release the Hey Kid EP in January, accompanied by a sold-out spring tour, and in November they released their third full LP, Hideaway, via AdP Records. The new single is taken from their latest album, Hideaway is a sun-drenched, synth-soaked collection of guitar tracks, somewhere between surf-pop and gritty electronica, between California and Berlin, between nostalgia and daydreams.

I Heart Sharks website, where you can order the Hideaway LP, can be located here

The video for Lost Forever, and their upcoming tour dates, can be viewed below Read More…

Pinegrove Release Live LP In Aid Of Southern Poverty Law Center

Pinegrove ElsewhereOn Inauguration Day, indie/alt country band Pinegrove released a live EP, titled Elsewhere via Bandcamp, with all sales to be donated to the Southern Poverty Law Center.  The Montclair, NJ band are currently riding high on the success of their latest LP, Cardinal, which is out now on Run For Cover Records.

Pinegrove have detailed how they plan to use their music to resist Trump’s agenda over the next four years in an interview with mic.com here

Elsewhere can be streamed and purchased here

Spartan Records Issue Ltd Pressing Of Mae’s ‘The Everglow’

Mae EverglowA new limited vinyl pressing of Mae‘s beloved album The Everglow is now available via Spartan Records. The initial 2500 copies sold out, so when the this brand new variant, that is limited to 300 copies, sells out, they will no longer be available. The new pressing features two albums, on teal blue marble and rust orange marble, and a 28 page foil stamped storybook with an epilogue by the band, this pressing is destined to be as classic as the album itself.

You can order the new pressing of The Everglow here

 

Peter Doherty Announces New Single And European Tour Dates

peter-doherty-hamburg-demosPeter Doherty has released his new single, Kolly Kibber, that is taken from his sophomore album, Hamburg Demonstrations, the track was inspired by the newspaper man who meets a sticky end at the beginning of Graham Greene‘s 1930’s noir masterpiece, Brighton Rock. Peter Doherty and his new band, The Puta Madres, toured Europe at the end of 2016, including a memorably moving evening at the reopening of the Bataclan in Paris, the band will be embarking on further European dates over the next few months.
 
You can view the video for Kolly Kibber, and the tour dates, below

Read More…

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Iris Jupiter

Iris Jupiter

Open Door Records
By

Rating: 4/5

 
 

 

 

Reviewing an album is always going to be a subjective exercise, but sometimes an album can be exactly what you need to hear and can reflect your mood, and there are few things better than finding a band that unexpectedly manages to match your state of mind. With that in mind this Southern Californian trio’s self titled debut landed in my inbox at exactly the right moment, it’s a downbeat, yet energetic, fuzzed out soundscape that is a hybrid of punk, hardcore, post punk and shoegaze that brings something unique and very welcome to 2017. Iris Jupiter‘s seven track offering follows on from 2016’s Zero Cool EP, that was released on Pacific Nature Records, it represents a logical progression from their initial lo-fi offering, everything sounds tighter and more refined, but crucially without losing the spirit of their debut release.

The opening track, Carly Beth, opens with a driven bass line that breaks down into a chorus that reflects pain and anguish, all the while this is accompanied by a twisted fuzzed out guitar line that encompasses punk and shoegaze, along with pulses of intense hardcore. Life Pile lets the bass line take the lead, with more than a hint that there’s a debt owed to Peter Hook‘s low slung influential bass style, before it explodes into heartfelt rage, a style that carries over into Mizar. Eat The Sap takes things into a darker place with a brief ode to isolation before we hit the glorious Ween (V4008), this track carries a hypnotic bass line and a piledriving guitar riff that abruptly segues into Science Is A Liar (Sometimes), this brings the pace of the album down with a melodic riff that builds to a climax with it’s anguished refrain of “feel the weight that’s pressing me down”. Solar Denial wraps things up with the heaviest riff on this impressive debut album, and it brings what has been an all too brief septet of slabs of heady dark fuzz to a close with a satisfying squall of feedback.

There’s a hefty influence from the likes of Joy Division, Smashing Punpkins and Placebo in their sound, but this is married to elements from punk, indie, shoegaze and emo that stops Iris Jupiter from being derivative of the bands that came before them. This impressive self titled album is delivered with a dark disturbed feel, and a genuine yearning rage and pain in the vocal delivery, that delivers something that is very much a product of 2017. Iris Jupiter have delivered the perfect soundtrack to those moments of doubt and introspection, but crucially I found that rather than encouraging you to wallow in dark places Iris Jupiter lift your mood. Their restrained rage is matched against an ominous distorted soundtrack, the end result is that this is a debut full length that is something to be treasured.

Iris Jupiter‘s self titled EP was released on the 13th January 2017 and can be ordered here

Iris Jupiter‘s web presence can be found here

Iris Jupiter Release Stream of Debut Album

iris-jupiterOpen Door Records will be releasing the self titled debut album from Southern California’s Iris Jupiter, the debut full length delivers a collision of down tuned power pop riffs and noisy shoegaze, that is shored up by steady beating pulses of hardcore. Iris Jupiter will be playing an album release show at VLHA, Pomona, CA on the 14th January with I’m Glad It’s You and The Total Bettys.

Iris Jupiter‘s self titled debut album can be pre-ordered here and streamed here

Iris Jupiter‘s website can be found here

Iris Jupiter To Release Debut Album Via Open Door Records

iris-jupiterOpen Door Records have confirmed that they will be releasing the self titled debut album from Southern Californian trio Iris Jupiter, the debut full length promises to deliver a collision of down tuned power pop riffs and noisy shoegaze, that is shored up by steady beating pulses of hardcore. Iris Jupiter will be playing an album release show at VLHA, Pomona, CA on the 14th January with I’m Glad It’s You and The Total Bettys.

Iris Jupiter‘s self titled debut album can be pre-ordered here

Iris Jupiter‘s website can be found here

The Gospel Youth Sign With Rise/Velocity Records

gospel-youthThe Gospel Youth has signed with Rise/Velocity Records and will be going into the studio with producer Romesh Dodangoda (Motorhead, Bring Me The Horizon, Twin Atlantic) in the coming months with plans to release a new album later this year. The Gospel Youth will also be touring the UK with Seaway and WSTR starting later this month.

You can view the video for The Miles We Are Apart, and their tour dates, below Read More…

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The Johnnie Squizzercrow Experiment

Bootleg 3 EP

Self Released
By

Rating: 3.5/5

 
 

 

 

There is something of a convoluted back story as to how The Johnnie Squizzercrow Experiment came to release the Bootleg 3 EP, sadly it is one I have only tugged at a few strands of, but I have enough to share the basics of the EP’s origins. The band were disappointed with the direction that their, now disowned, album was headed in, so The Johnnie Squizzercrow Experiment decided to take matters into their own hands. They remixed the raw recordings for the ill fated album, stripping them back down into their raw live state and releasing the alternative mixes as the limited edition Bootleg 3 EP.

The Johnnie Squizzercrow Experiment deliver authentic and unpredictable punk rock in the style of the first wave of UK punk bands, with a hefty influence from the likes of The Slits and X-Ray Spex. The opening number, Baliff, carries dub tones in the bass that is married to a distorted post punk guitar style, both this track and Consumer carry razor sharp social observations that are all delivered with a northern sensibility, this is especially prevalent on the dead pan vocal delivery on the short but sweet Fuck OffThe Bootleg 3 EP concludes with TV Dinner, another track containing wry observations that carries dub stylings, but on this track it is juxtaposed against a gentle melodic guitar riff.

The Bootleg 3 EP delivers something unique amongst the releases I’ve heard this year, the quartet of songs contained on the EP blend reggae, post punk, indie and punk together and the result is unlike anything else I’ve heard this year, it manages to capture the original attitude of punk and harbours obvious influences in it’s DNA, but crucially they manage this without actually sounding like anyone else. The Johnnie Squizzercrow Experiment have produced something unique and, as their name indicates, experimental, the Bootleg 3 EP is a limited edition physical release that was originally intended to be solely for gig goers, but whilst stocks last this unique EP is available via their Bandcamp.

The Johnnie Squizzercrow Experiment‘s website is here

The Bootleg 3 EP can be ordered here

Mac McCaughan Releases Free Track To Mark The End Of 2016

mac-mccaughan-hnySuperchunk vocalist Mac McCaughan has released the track Happy New Year (Prince Can’t Die Again) as a pay what you want download via his Bandcamp.

The track was written and recorded on December 24, 2016 and released two days later, Happy New Year (Prince Can’t Die Again) was written in a moment of trying to look at any possible bright side of the coming new year after the disaster that was 2016.

You can download Happy New Year (Prince Can’t Die Again) here

fuzzbox-tour

The Wonder Stuff / Bentley Rhythm Ace / Fuzzbox

Manchester, UK, The Ritz

21st December 2016
By

Rating: 4/5

 
 

 

 

lottery-winners-ritz-211216-2This looks like being my final gig, and final live review, of 2016, what better way to see out what’s been, at least musically, a damn fine year than at the Ritz, one of the longest standing live venues left in Manchester, to see a quartet of bands that should bring a bit of festive cheer to anyone’s heart. Tonight’s bill is one that is diverse with something for pretty much everyone, three of the bands originate from the Black Country, The Wonder Stuff, Bentley Rhythm Ace and Fuzzbox all emerged from that musical hotbed in the mid to late eighties, with the addition of a local newcomer to tonight’s bill in the form of The Lottery Winners.

lottery-winners-ritz-211216-1The Lottery Winners are opening tonight, despite the ridiculously early start time for tonight’s show they have drawn a healthy crowd and have the difficult task of opening for three bands who all have established fan bases, impressively this doesn’t seem to deter them in the slightest. The Lottery Winners play anthemic indie rock that, despite the earliness of their set, encourages a strong vocal contribution from the enthusiastic crowd, they enjoy a seemingly effortless repartee with their audience and underneath their indie charms there is a deceptive amount of muscle underlying their sweet melodies.

fuzzbox-ritz-dec-211216-1After The Lottery Winners set some inevitable Christmas tunes add to the festive atmosphere that is building in The Ritz, these give way to some fine vintage indie tunes that hark back to the era when the rest of tonight’s line up was first around. The venue is filling up nicely and the bar is becoming increasingly busy, indicating that more than a few of the crowd for this mid week show have finally finished work for Xmas and are making the most of it, and as a result the noise levels are building. Whilst this is taking place the stage has transformed and the line of feather boa clad microphone stands that are on display indicates that the arrival of Fuzzbox is imminent.

fuzzbox-ritz-dec-211216-2The quintet that make up Fuzzbox are touring in support of their first new material since 2010, the glorious new fan funded single, Let’s Go Supernova, this single is one of my favourite releases of 2016, and whilst a lot poppier than the majority of the music I’ve enjoyed this year, there is something irresistible and joyous about it, a quality that can equally be applied to seeing Fuzzbox live. Tonight’ set is sadly going to be a lot shorter than the one I witnessed earlier this year at Manchester’s Ruby Lounge, but it is no less exuberant and effervescent, and we get treated to a set of their best known songs that are delivered with style and zeal.

fuzzbox-ritz-dec-211216-3Fuzzbox kick their set off with International Rescue, the infectious tones of one of their biggest hits hitches the atmosphere up a notch. From this point on it’s a headlong rush through songs that anyone around at the time would have had fond memories of, including their debut, Rules And Regulations, that brings some punk energy to the evening. The three new members of Fuzzbox fit into the band perfectly, bassist Sarit Black exudes rock ‘n roll cool, guitarist Meghan Burke is a blur of glitter and sequins and Hannah Layhe provides the driving and thunderous drumbeats, along with original members Maggie Dunne and Vix who maintain the spirit of the original line up.

fuzzbox-ritz-dec-211216-4During She the three latest recruits all take to the drums to create a perfect thunderstorm before they launch back into the more familiar material, their early singles, such as Love Is The Slug, manage to sound better than ever to my ears. I always find that Fuzzbox are one of those rare bands that can’t help but put a smile on your face, the mix of energy, joy and enthusiasm that they bring to a stage would be hard to resist on it’s own, but marry that with their mix of punk and pop, not pop punk, this is something very different to that genre, and you have an irresistible combination, tonight’s show is a reminder why Fuzzbox have been one of my favourite live acts of 2016.

fuzzbox-ritz-dec-211216-5Fuzzbox‘s all too brief appearance continues with a riotous run though of some of the better known singles, each of which has it’s own distinct character, but all the while maintaining that infectious and effervescent edge that is Fuzzbox‘s hallmark. The new single, Let’s Go Supernova, sounds even better live and its glam pop punk stomp fits perfectly alongside their established material. Tonight’s set has been bookended by their two biggest hits as they close with the bouncy upbeat charm of Pink Sunshine, hopefully Fuzzbox will be back on the road in 2017, and if you get the chance to then I’d seriously recommend catching the riot of colour and fun that is Fuzzbox live

bra-ritz-211216After another bout of eighties indie tunes, played by resident DJ, and compere for the night, Steve Lamacq of BBC Radio 6, things head off into a completely different musical direction. Bentley Rhythm Ace are the self styled purveyors of  “car boot disco techno”, the whole acid house and rave scenes passed me by, whilst it was going on I spent much of my time in a punk club a stones throw from the epicentre of that scene, Manchester’s legendary Hacienda venue, but having said that Bentley Rhythm Ace fit perfectly into tonight’s line up and they provide an eccentric and original take on that sound, and it’s one that successfully builds on the heady party atmosphere that is now almost tangible.

wonderstuff-ritz-211216-2It’s been a long time since I last saw The Wonder Stuff, my last encounter with them was at the Cities In The Park festival that took place a few miles up the road in Manchester’s Heaton Park a quarter of a century ago. Their faithful following has turned up en masse for tonight’s headlining slot, the Ritz is at capacity, the bar is five deep and the Christmas celebrations appear to have reached their peak prior to The Wonder Stuff taking the stage. The perennial seasonal classic, Merry Christmas Everybody by Slade, gets an airing, and of course get’s a suitably rousing singalong from the increasingly festive crowd, prior to an incendiary introduction by Steve Lamacq.

wonderstuff-ritz-211216-3The current incarnation of The Wonder Stuff now only features vocalist Miles Hunt from the original line up that produced their classic debut album, Eight Legged Groove Machine. It’s not long into the set before it seems that three decades have slipped away for the majority of those who’ve attended The Ritz tonight as The Wonder Stuff play with an energy and commitment that belies their years. Their set spans from their early classic singles through to the latest material, it’s a testament to the band that if you were unfamiliar with them that you’d have a hard time separating the two, and you can’t really ask for much more from a band that has this kind of longevity.

wonderstuff-ritz-211216-1The Wonder Stuff are regularly drowned out by their fans raucous singing throughout the set and an enthusiastic, and slightly drunken, moshpit has formed which responds as you’d expect to tracks such as Unbearable, Radio Asskiss and Give Give Give Me More More More, Miles Hunt clearly hasn’t mellowed with age, when he speaks between songs it’s as profanity littered as ever. The Wonder Stuff include a rendition of The Jam‘s That’s Entertainment, which is testament to the punk influence on the indie scene of the mid to late eighties, prior to an inevitably crowd pleasing finale to their set before the sweaty crowd spill out into the chilly Manchester night

wonderstuff-ritz-211216-4What came across at this show was that every band appeared to be loving the tour, the energy and enthusiasm that these bands displayed three decades ago is still present, and this was confirmed with snatched conversations with various band members and people involved with the tour, who all mixed happily with the crowd. Tonight’s show was a near perfect way to mark the end of this years live shows, and my first year of writing for The Punk Site, so I’d like to say a big thank you to all the bands, promotors and venues that have made my 2016 so memorable, and hopefully I’ll be back down the front in 2017.

Happy Christmas from The Punk Site

fuzzbox-ritz-dec-211216-6The Lottery Winners website can be found here

Let’s Go Supernova is available via iTunes and the Fuzzbox Pledge Music campaign is here

The Fuzzbox Official Facebook page can be located here

Bentley Rhythm Ace‘s Facebook page can be found here

The Wonder Stuff‘s official website can be found here

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

The New Up Stream ‘Falling From The Sky’ From Forthcoming LP

new-up-tiny-mirrorsSan Francisco’s The New Up are preparing to release their new album, Tiny Mirrors, in early 2017, and in anticipation, today they dropped their new track, Falling From The Sky. Highlighted by a driving base line and growling guitars, the track is about finding strength during difficult times, it’s intensely introspective, raw in emotion, and cinematic in scope. The New Up have stayed true to their DIY approach. Tiny Mirrors will explore the notion of overcoming disconnection with its buzzing synths and serpentine riffs, indelible melodies and sprawling arrangements.
 
You Can Stream Falling From The Sky here