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Silk Of Stars Enemies of Art

Just Everywhere

Silk Of Stars

Ramber Records
By

Rating: 2.5/5

 
 

 

 

Just Everywhere is the work of just one man, Paul Baird, and Silk Of Stars is his debut release under the name, the album was released via Ramber Records earlier this month and is now available on limited edition cassette, although you’ll be lucky if there are any left by the time you read this, and digital formats. Silk Of Stars is an incredibly diverse collection of experimental shoegaze and indie with dreamy middles, corrupted dream pop and ambient moments that sit alongside noisy peaks and heavily distorted guitar riffs to create an album that defies description.

Silk Of Stars is an unpredictable fifteen track opus, it opens with a noisy distorted feedback laced track, This Is What We Do With The Horses, that recalls Psychocandy era Jesus And Mary Chain, but from here on in it’s a rollercoaster that veers between atmospheric shoegaze influenced indie, poignant piano led instrumentals and melancholy moments before it kicks back into a moment of scuzzy distorted rock ‘n roll with If You Do This, You Will Be Dead To Me, and then we’re off again into an unpredictable patchwork of styles and influences that defies categorisation.

Just Everywhere have released an album that contains a diverse and almost haphazard mix of styles, there will be no surprises that I prefer the noisier moments on the album, the two aforementioned tracks and the wonderfully titled You Will Live On A Beach And Smoke Pot are the stand out moments for me, but when you consider that Silk Of Stars is now available for streaming, or for purchase for the price of half a pint, you really have nothing to lose by giving Just Everywhere a spin. Whilst I doubt there’s anyone who will love all of Silk Of Stars I’m confident that there will be something on this unique album for pretty much everyone.

Silk Of Stars can be purchased and streamed via Bandcamp here

Vukovi Confirm Headline UK Tour And Festival Appearances

Vukovi May Tour + FestivalsFollowing the release of their stunning breakthrough self titled debut album and a packed out headline tour across the UK, Vukovi are now heading out on another UK headline tour with dates beginning tomorrow, May 24th, which will be followed by a series of summer festival appearances, including Reading, Leeds, 2000 Trees and the Y Not Festivals.

The Punk Site review of Vukovi‘s debut album can be read here and a live review is here

You can view the video for the track Weirdo, and Vukovi‘s tour dates, below Read More…

Born Without Bones Young At The Bend

Born Without Bones

Young At The Bend

Devil You Know Records
By

Rating: 3.5/5

 
 

 

 

Massachusetts trio Born Without Bones released their third full length to date, Young At The Bend, a few days ago via Devil You Know Records. Their latest album has a much more personal and heartfelt approach than their previous releases, and lyrically this seems to be a much darker album as Young At The Bend was informed by a personal loss that vocalist and guitarist Scott Ayotte suffered shortly before the recording of the album. This event has fuelled the songwriting and makes Young At The Bend feel like a personal act of catharthis.

Musically Born Without Bones have always had their roots in DIY punk scene, but they’ve adopted other influences over the years, in particular the hooks of 90s alternative rock and the blue collar soul of heartland rock are present in the mix along with a distinctly pop sensibility. After a brief initial blast of white noise Young At The Bend starts in earnest with the charged opener, Takes Time, and across the whole of Young At The Bend the album remains a cathartic heartfelt blast the veers through gentler indie and emo elements that are delivered with a punk attitude, and the whole package is carried on a back bone of 90’s alt rock, this combination certainly makes Young At The Bend an unpredictable listen if nothing else.

The only time I felt That Born Without Bones truly bared their fangs on Young At The Bend was on I Am A Ruin, a track that takes the lead from the punk roots, but for the most part this is an album that has a distinct sheen of polished 90’s alternative rock influences. Born Without Bones have delivered a deeply personal album that exposes the emotional scars of personal loss, but it does this without being maudlin or self indulgent, the end product is a emotionally charged and diverse album that has managed to channel personal loss into the creation of a something positive.

Young At The Bend can be purchased on coloured vinyl and download formats here

Brick + Mortar Release ‘Dropped Again’ EP

Brick And Mortar Dropped AgainNew Jersey’s Brick + Mortar have released their new EP, Dropped Again, and it is now available on iTunes and SpotifyDropped Again is a re-release of the band’s 2015 EP Dropped, including two new tracks and a remix of the track Move To The Ocean. The band is also premiering the final new song from the record, Great Escape.

You can purchase Dropped Again via iTunes here and stream the EP via Spotify here

The Great Escape can be streamed here

Brick And Mortar Dropped Again

Brick + Mortar

Dropped Again

Self Released
By

Rating: 3/5

 
 

 

 

In celebration of acquiring ownership of the masters, Brick + Mortar will be self releasing a fully re-mastered version of their Dropped EP, that was originally released back in 2015, tomorrow, May 19th 2017. The release has been retitled Dropped Again and has been fleshed out to full album length with the addition of two new singles, One Little Pill and Great Escape, and a remix of the song Move To The Ocean. In addition to the release of Dropped Again the band have a current Pledge Music campaign for the debut full length, Dead Moon.

Opening number Train is a gentle introduction with it’s staccato hand clap rhythms and across the whole of Dropped Again Brick + Mortar veer across influences, incorporating electronic elements and skittering beats. For the most part this is a shining upbeat affair but Move To The Ocean and Dark Skies takes the album in a darker direction whilst Brighter Than The Sun brings a strident guitar led element to bear. The new additions to Dropped Again indicate the band have moved forward in the last few years with both One Little Pill and Great Escape bringing a more rounded keyboard led style that hints at what to expect from the band on their forthcoming album, Dead Moon. The final track is the Bauer Remix of Move To The Ocean, I always feel a remix is something of an throwaway option for filling out expanded releases that rarely improve on the original, and this one hasn’t changed my mind on this.

Having not heard the original Dropped EP it’s difficult to assess the impact of the re-mastering process but it does sound like it’s been given a bit of spit and polish. Dropped Again is an album that takes it’s cues from the idiosyncratic side of the Indie and electronic scenes, Brick + Mortar deliver a somewhat unique mix of drum ‘n bass, electronica and indie influences that have a slight punk influence. This isn’t a release that will be to everyone’s tastes but what Dropped Again does showcase is the New Jersey duo’s fluid influences that have led to them sharing stages with a varied array of bands, and as a result they have garnered a widespread and diverse fanbase that reflects the range of influences contained on their recordings.

Brick + Mortar‘s website where you can order the EP and stream One Little Pill is here

You can pre-order Brick + Mortar‘s new album, Dead Moon, via Pledge Music here

Proletariat Jimmys May 17

Proletariat (UK) / Arcades / Shadow Palace

Jimmy's, Manchester, UK

5th May 2017
By

Rating: 4.5/5

 
 

 

 

Proleriat Jimmys May 17 1This Feeling is developing a well earned reputation for running some of the UK’s best rock ‘n roll nights and promoting the best upcoming bands, and tonight the party has come to one of Manchester’s latest venues. Jimmy’s is tucked away on the edge of the Northern Quarter and tonight promises to be something special as Manchester’s Proletariat are launching their debut EP, Always The Same, with a sold out show at this intimate venue with support from Shadow Palace and Arcades. An eclectic mix of tunes precedes the first act, everything from ’77 punkers to psych and proto punk classics is played in the steadily filling basement of Jimmy’s to warm the crowd up nicely.

Proleriat Jimmys May 17 2 Shadow PalaceFirst up are local act Shadow Palace, they channel a distinctly mancunian take on a garage and indie influenced set that eases us into the evening, this is a band that couldn’t have come from any other city, their mancunian swagger is an ever present in their hedonistic mix of influences. Elements of their set hint at a darker element in their DNA before they end their brief opening set with an upbeat indie fuelled number that is followed by their new single, Speak My Mind, that returns to their psyche influences and boasts an anthemic chorus. By the end of their set Jimmy’s is approaching capacity, the temperature is rising and it’s a struggle to get to the bar.

Proleriat Jimmys May 17 3 ArcadesBy the end of shadow Palace‘s set whatever I’m drinking is being sweated straight back out again, Leicester’s Arcades are up next and are making their debut appearances in Manchester, their home turf is another part of the UK that seems to have a production line for talented young bands. Arcades sound like their origins lie somewhere between early Rolling Stones and Smashing Pumpkins and this impressive quintet deliver an impeccable set that straddles every genre since the mid sixties and its delivered with confidence and an effortless swagger and indie bounce, coupled with a touch of rock n roll excess, and I’m left wanting to hear more by Arcades, hopefully it won’t be too long before they return.

Proleriat Jimmys May 17 4Jimmy’s continues to fill up, word has clearly spread about Manchester’s Proletariat in their brief existence, as Jimmy’s is packed to capacity tonight and Proletariat kick things up a gear with their mancunian influenced punk rock. From the first chords you can see why the venue is stuffed to the gills, as good as they were a few months ago when I first encountered them they now seem sharper and more focused than the fledgling show I caught them at. There’s an obvious comparison to The Fall in the vocal delivery, but that doesn’t mean to say they are in anyway a copy of that esteemed band, but they are coming at things from a similar direction with the dirty garage riffs effortlessly combined with a punk attitude.

Proleriat Jimmys May 17 5The twisted riffs and the mancunian bark of the vocals are backed by a pounding razor sharp rhythm section that keeps the set hammering along at full tilt. Two new songs are debuted tonight that indicates that despite their debut release coming out today they aren’t going to rest on their laurels, the first, Kiss Of Death, sounds heavier and carries more menace than their early material whilst Nervous Energy edges towards a twisted incarnation of alt rock. Delirium from their early days sounds reborn and by popular demand they revisit The Stooges classic I Wanna Be You Dog, whilst often covered this was as good a version as you’re likely to hear outside of an Iggy Pop show.

Proleriat Jimmys May 17 7The Proletariat‘s set is sadly cut short due to time limits, upon getting the indication that they have one song left they ease into their version of Bang Bang before they finish in style as they segue the twisted version of the sixties classic into Mr Brown, the lead single from their new EP, which brings things to a suitably frantic end. On the strength of tonight’s show Manchester’s Proletariat are heading places, as judging by the crowds reaction, and the strength of the new material on display, Manchester may have just have found its very own saviours for the next generation of punk rock.

Proleriat Jimmys May 17 6Proletariat‘s Facebook page can be found here

The Always The Same EP can be streamed via Spotify here

Arcades Facebook presence is located here

Shadow Palace‘s Facebook page can be found here

Jimmy’s website can be found here

This Feeling‘s website is 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

We Are Scientists To Live Stream Intimate Acoustic Show

We Are Scientists Acoustic StreamThe Bushmills Irish Whiskey Tour continues this week, showcasing established bands and rising talent in a series of gigs in iconic independent music venues. We Are Scientists have revealed they will be live streaming a special invite only 60 capacity acoustic show at Strong Rooms live on the Bushmills UK Facebook page at 1.30pm GMT on Tuesday 9th May, ahead of a special sold out greatest hits set at Bush Hall, London later that night. The Bushmills Tour is part of the #AnswerTheCall campaign that aims to showcase creators, artists, entrepreneurs from the music industry and beyond to showcase their talents.

You will be able to stream the intimate acoustic show at 1.30pm on the 9th May here

The Creature Comfort Announce Live Showcase Of New Material

Creature Comfort Gullivers 3rd JuneManchester’s longest-standing outsider psych-rock band The Creature Comfort are set to unveil the new songs that will follow their debut album on Saturday June 3rd at Gullivers in Manchester’s Northern Quarter. The Creature Comfort will emerge from their recording studio in deepest Wales for a live unveiling of the new songs that will form the follow up to their critically acclaimed 2013 debut album, their last appearance at this venue was a raucous and sold-out affair so expect more of the same, special guest support is provided by The Goa Express and Dreamherbs.

The Creature Comfort have released a free download of their classic single Sauce here

Tickets for the  show at Gullivers can be purchased here

Peaness - Are You Sure

Peaness

Are You Sure?

Alcopop Records
By

Rating: 3.5/5

 
 

 

 

Peaness are following up their recent succession of left-field, anthemic singles with this latest bundle of joy, Are You Sure? is a solid collection of lo-fi, infectious, sugar coated indie pop from the up and coming Cheshire trio. Their new EP Are You Sure? was released yesterday, the 5th May 2017, via Alcopop! Records on a ‘Mellow Yellow’ vinyl, that is limited to just 500 copies, that is packaged with their 2015 debut EP, No Fun, and an additional bonus track.

The Are You Sure? EP is a timely release as spring is upon us and this is a distinctly summery blast of indie pop, from the uptempo opening track, Oh George, to the oddly titled closing track, Ugly Veg, this is an EP that is the perfect soundtrack to lost afternoons. The superb Seafoam Islands, for me the stand out track from the EP, brings a slightly more downbeat element to the EP and carries a very slight post punk influence, but for the main part this is summery indie pop that is delivered exactly as it oughta be, the tracks Same Place and Skin Surfing carry the hallmarks of the best of the indie scene and the whole EP is delivered in a stripped down style that is strangely hypnotic.

Their name might be a somewhat childish play on words but Are You Sure? is an accomplished five track EP that recalls the heyday of the UK indie scene, the Chester based trio have produced an EP of jangly guitar anthems that are accompanied by lush vocal harmonies. Peaness will be playing a host of festivals over the summer months, including Handmade Festival, FestEvol Gardens and Truck Festival and I can’t think of a better band to be the soundtrack to the inevitably hazy afternoons that the festival season generates.

The Peaness Facebook page is here and Alcopop! Records website is here

Regarde Release ‘Last Summer’ Single

Regarde LS SingleItaly’s Regarde have signed to Wiretap Records and the band have now released a brand new music video for their new single, Last Summer, that is taken from their forthcoming debut album, that is due out this Fall via Wiretap Records (USA) V4V Records (Italy) and Epidemic Records (Italy).

Last Summer is available via iTunes here and Spotify here

You can view the video for Last Summer below Read More…

Bodyheat Release New Single And Video

Bodyheat AwakeEssex based indie and emo influenced band Bodyheat have released their new single, Awake, today, the 28th April. Bodyheat draw influence from bands like Turnover and Pity Sex whilst tipping their hats to Built To Spill and more popular leanings like Tears For Fears. The new single is now available digitally and the band have also released a video to accompany their new single.

Awake is now available on digital formats via Close To Home Records

You can view the video for Awake below Read More…

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Vukovi Release Music Video For ‘Weirdo’

VukoviFollowing the release of their stunning breakthrough self titled debut album and a packed out headline tour across the UK, Vukovi have revealed a thought provoking new video for their single, Weirdo, and confirmed UK headline tour dates beginning in May that incudes a series of summer festival appearances.

The Punk Site review of Vukovi‘s debut album can be read here and a live review is here

You can view the video for Weirdo, and Vukovi‘s tour dates, below Read More…

Those Who Knew: Track By Track Of ‘New Perspective’ EP

Those Who Knew NPThose Who Knew formed two short years ago, since that time they have been industriously playing the local circuits and building up an ever growing fanbase, now the Nottingham based alternative quintet are looking to spread their wings beyond their local scene as they are set to self release their debut EP, New Perspective, on Friday 28th April. Prior to the EP’s launch the lead single from EP, Losing Touch, has already racked up airplay on BBC Radio as well as becoming a fan favourite at their live shows. New Perspective can be pre-ordered via all the main digital streaming services and retailers. Those Who Knew have now provided The Punk Site with an exclusive track by track breakdown of their new EP

Those Who Knew‘s website can be found here and the track by track breakdown is below Read More…

Peaness Release Video For ‘Same Place’

Peaness - Are You SureIndie trio Peaness have released a video for their latest single, Same Place, the video comes alongside news of a special London show with Happy Accidents on 7th May at Thousand Island, for which tickets will be priced at £4 for one week only. Pre-orders are also now live for their forthcoming EP, Are You Sure?, that is set for release on 5th May via Alcopop! Records, including a limited edition Mellow Yellow 12″ vinyl.

Are You Sure? can be pre-ordered via Alcopop! Records here

The video for Same Place, and Peaness‘s tour dates, can be viewed below Read More…

Loose Tooth Big Day

Loose Tooth

Big Day

Lame-O Records / Father Daughter Records
By

Rating: 2.5/5

 
 

 

 

Pennsylvanian quartet Loose Tooth have released their sophomore album Big Day today, April the 7th 2017, via Father/Daughter Records and Lame-O RecordsBig Day is the follow up to their 2015 debut album that was released via Fleeting Youth Records, Easy Easy East, and Big Day will be available on a multitude of formats including the more pedestrian CD and download options, up to the ‘black and baby pink’ and ‘aqua blue’ vinyl variants.

Sleep With The State Concept opens Big Day in fine upbeat indie style, or so you think as at the half way mark it lapses into a laid back jazz and blues jam, this sets the tone for the album, you never really know quite where any track is going to take you, there is a noisy indie base to Loose Tooth‘s sound but the experimentalism takes this sound off into new and uncharted directions. From one track to the next you don’t know what’s coming, I’ll avoid the obvious Forrest Gump quote, but i can confirm that this is an idiosyncratic and unpredictable album that’s unlike anything else I’ve heard this year.

Big Day is an album that sits proudly on it’s own, yes you can hear and identify a few influences such as Pixies, Velvet Underground, Pavement and even, at least to my ears, Captain Beefheart in their sound, but the overall effect is one that is definitely their own. There is no commercial intent with this album, there is nothing in sight that anyone would call radio friendly or destined to be a hit single, Big Day is a unique slice of the more avant-garde side of the indie scene, whilst this isn’t exactly to my tastes you can’t help but admire the spirit of independence and originality that inspired it.

Big Day can be pre-ordered via Father/Daughter Records here and Lame-O Records here

The album can be downloaded and streamed via Bandcamp here

Rays Self titled

Rays

Rays

Trouble In Mind Records
By

Rating: 2.5/5

 
 

 

 

Rays are a band that is comprised of four Bay area music veterans whose current and past musical projects include local bands of note such as The World, Life Stinks, Violent Change, and Dadfag, that means Rays are something of an underground supergroup that was born of the golden states dark recesses. The band’s self titled debut album was released at the end of last month and is now available on CD and good old fashioned black vinyl via Trouble In Mind Records

The opening plodding discordant chords of Attic bring to mind the more experimental side of the UK’s post punk scene and the fledgling indie scene that followed in it’s wake, Rays have released an album that has come distinctly out of leftfield, there is nothing predictable and the album takes you on a rambling discordant journey across it’s brief run time of a shade under twenty five minutes. Tracks such as Gambler and Theatre Of Lunacy provide the album’s most coherent moments, but for the main part this is a album that channels the more idiosyncratic elements from punk, post punk and the early indie scene.

Rays self titled debut comes across as the troubled offspring of post punk bands such as The Fall and Wire, along with a fair influence from the UK indie scene of early eighties, the whole album has a loose shambolic feel to it and you have to admire an album that seems to give no fucks whatsoever about commercial intent, this is the album Rays wanted to make and there is clearly no compromise. This is not an album that sits easily in your head, there are too many dark and discordant twists and turns for this to be a regular on your playlist, but when the moment is right you’ll be glad this is sitting and lurking in the corner of your collection.

You can stream Rays debut album here and it can be purchased here

Peter Doherty Releases Video For New Single ‘Kolly Kibber’

peter-doherty-hamburg-demosPeter Doherty & The Puta Madres have released a new live video of the song Kolly Kibber, the video was filmed and recorded live by Roger Sargent in Berlin at Huxley’s Neue Welt on the 25th February. There will also be a Limited number of 7″ vinyl singles released on April 28th, featuring the studio version of Kolly Kibber and Weed Smoker’s Dream, an exclusive unreleased cover of the Harlem Hamfats 1936 song.

The Kolly Kibber 7″ vinyl can be pre-ordered here

The video for Kolly Kibber, and Peter Doherty‘s tour dates, can be viewed below Read More…

Vukovi March 17 Tour

Vukovi

Sound Control, Manchester, UK

13th March 2017
By

Rating: 5/5

 
 

 

 

It seems that getting to gigs on time anywhere in central Manchester is becoming impossible, tonight’s surprise was that Oxford Rd, the main road through this side of town, is closed, meaning a hefty stroll through the roadworks is required to get to the venue, this was followed by a few problems on the door before we finally got into Sound Control. These delays meant that we only arrive in time to catch the tail end of Jekyll‘s set, the one song I do hear sounds promising and has me cursing the local council even more than usual. The sole number I’ve heard, and I accept this isn’t really a fair way to judge a band, reminds me of early Muse, before the self indulgence kicked in, I’m hopeful Jekyll will return to Manchester soon and I’ll be able to catch a full set.

Vukovi March 17 CriticsNext up on the bill are Critics, this up and coming indie act have bought their twisted alt pop up north from London, there are elements of pretty much everything in their sound, the guitar hooks are huge, sinister keyboards underpin their sound and bring a distinct garagey undercurrent on the early stages of their set, an influence that sits happily alongside the dominant indie sensibilities. The material from the recent Spilt Milk EP sounds vibrant and lively, however, at the midway point their set develops a funkier feel that is a distinct shift away from the material that shone so brightly at the start, thankfully they return to more energetic indie fuelled finale for the close of their set. 

Vukovi March 17 1Despite the fact the venue has run out of decent draught beer and it seems that everything is shut or awkward in Manchester tonight, things are looking up as tonight’s show has been moved to the main venue in Sound Control, a better experience than the cramped stage downstairs in the bar area, and one that is better suited to Vukovi‘s energy levels. Lets make no mistake why we’re here, Vukovi have just released what is guaranteed to be one of my favourite albums of the year, and the chance of seeing them play on my home turf early on in a tour that’s in support of their stunning debut full length is a temptation that means we have dragged our weary feet to our third gig in four days

Vukovi March 17 2Some bass heavy hip hop precedes Vukovi taking the stage, they arrive without fanfare and promptly launch into the lead single from their debut album, La Di Da, live they are even heavier and more urgent than they are on their debut album, something that I didn’t think would be possible. On stage their vocalist ,Janine Shilstone, is a captivating centerpoint, whether she’s applying snake hipped moves around the stage, bouncing like she’s possessed or taking the phones from people that are inevitably filming the show, something that will provide a few fans with some truly unique live footage. She is backed up by three powerhouses that provide a crunching high energy soundtrack for tonight’s show.

Vukovi March 17 3Tonight’s show was originally scheduled for the smaller venue, but a blown PA has seen them move into the larger venue, for me the venue where they rightfully belong, and I suspect they will soon be packing out larger venues than this. Vukovi provide a unique balance between Rage Against The Machine and the fuzzy punk soundtrack, even from ten feet back the  intense bass riffs are vibrating my ribs and doing strange things to my internal organs. Make no mistake, they are a captivating blast of energy live, if they are coming to a venue anywhere near you then I’d recommend catching them live as they are the best live band I’ve seen so far this year, everything about their set was perfect and it has made the road closures and even the lack of decent beer distant memories.

Vukovi March 17 4I’ve never seen a singer embrace mobile phone technology like Janine Shilstone, from encouraging the crowd to light the stage via their phones, to taking them from unresisting members of the crowd and making unique fan footage, this is a band born of the modern age and embracing technology instead of moaning about it, something I’m all too guilty of myself. They leave the stage in a squall of feedback, of course the delirious crowd demand more and Vukovi duly return for two triumphant encores, ending with the frantic Boy George. This has been an unforgettable night, bands that are this good live don’t come along very often and Vukovi are a band you need to see live if you get the opportunity.

Vukovi March 17 5The Punk Site review of Vukovi‘s debut album can be found here and it can be ordered here

Vukovi‘s website can be found here and their Facebook page is here

The Critics website can be found here

Jekyll‘s Facebook page is 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

 

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