Midwich Cuckoos Release ‘Oh Rats’ From Forthcoming Debut LP

Midwich Cuckoos Dec 17The explosive international punk collective Midwich Cuckoos are set to release their debut full length, We Are Everywhere, on the 23rd February 2018 via Onslaught Music. As a taster of what’s to come on the rest of their debut album Midwich Cuckoos have released a full stream of the lead single from the record, Oh Rats.

The Midwich Cuckoos website can be found here and you can stream Oh Rats here

You can read more about Midwich Cuckoos below Read More…

Prong Rebellion July 17

Prong / Spoil Engine

Rebellion, Manchester, UK

21st July 2017

Rating: 4/5



It’s been a long time since I’ve been to crossover show, back in the heyday of the UK’s hardcore scene when punk and thrash bands traded ideas and influences I was a regular at gigs that appealed equally across genres and encouraged a mixed crowd. Tonight’s show indicates that the movement is still alive and well as their are an equal number of punk and metal fans freely mixing in Rebellion for Prong‘s long awaited return to Manchester. Sadly by the time I’ve negotiated Manchester’s increasingly eccentric one way system I’ve arrived at Rebellion too late to catch local band Nomad, but on the plus side I’m just in time to catch Belgian metal act Spoil Engine.
From the off Spoil Engine deliver a pummelling set with by the quintet led by vocalist Iris Goessens who is backed up by a brutal quartet who look like they’re straight off the set of Sons Of Anarchy. Their set veers between melodic and thrash metal with the three guitar backline indulging in old school synchronised headbanging, something that is rarely a fixture of the shows I usually attend. Spoil Engine are a metal band at heart, but one that’s stripped down of excess, their driving bass lines, hammering drums and vicious twin guitar attack is topped off by a singer who’s vocal range can go from the pits to hell to a delivery than can border on angelic, and their combined impact live is something to behold.
Spoil Engine are a million miles away from the kind of bands I usually go to see, and tonight’s show indicates that maybe I’m missing out, they deliver a set that’s born of the hardcore and grindcore scenes and I’m reminded why I used to enjoy shows like this so much. Spoil Engine are an intense and energetic band that incorporates elements from the extreme end of the metal and hardcore punk worlds, for me they have the same kind of impact as many hardcore bands live and whilst it’s unlikely that you’d find me listening to a record by them I’d certainly catch them live again if they return to Manchester, on a side note it must be noted that it’s rare to encounter a band that can swear so fluently in a second language.
Rebellion is absolutely hammered tonight, the fans reflect the music with t shirts representing old school hardcore and even older school thrash metal in abundance amongst the crowd. Prong enter in a cloud of dry ice amidst some ominous intro music indicating that rock and metal’s penchant for theatricality just can’t help itself sometimes, but as their first number comes straight from their first album, 1989’s Force Fed, It’s clear Prong as not just here to support their latest album, Zero Days, this is a celebration of their intense and noisy back catalogue. Prong have the packed crowd eating put of their hands from the first chords and the intense riffs and thundering bass lines just don’t quit, there’s nothing subtle about what Prong are delivering tonight.
Tracks such as Unconditional hint back to the punkier influences, but let’s make no mistake, this is a rock show at its dark heart, it’s just one that’s thankfully shorn of the drum and guitar solos and other self indulgent excesses that so many rock and metal bands employ. They build to a climax with a few obvious crowd pleasers and you might think that would be it, but they finish the set with Divide and Conquer, an impressive new track from their forthcoming album Zero Days, and judging by the crowd reaction to what is a new and unreleased song this is about as stronger statement as you’re going to get that Prong are still going strong and aren’t trading on their back catalogue.
Of course Prong return for encore with “it’s Friday night you fucks” and launch into Revenge Best Served Cold and For Dear Life that brings Rebellion to the point of meltdown, the hollering from the crowd brings Prong back for a second and final encore and then it’s all over. Prong are clearly doing something right as much of tonight’s crowd have clearly stuck with the band throughout their three decades, but amongst the die hard fans their are an equal number of young fans, and that is the sign that Prong have carried their original attitude but kept it current rather than embedding themselves in the past.
Tonight’s triumphant show by Prong was a perfect example of what happens when the two parallel worlds of metal and punk collide, and tonight was reminder of just how good rock and metal shows can be when they’re delivered with a no frills stripped down approach that is the hallmark of some of the best punk and hardcore shows. As I make my way back to the overpriced car park in Manchester’s summer rain my ears are ringing despite the pro ear plugs I’ve been forced to employ to try and preserve my hearing, and my initial reservations about attending tonight’s show have been well and truly blown away by a commanding performance by Prong in one of Manchester’s best alternative venues.
Prong‘s website can be found here
You can order Prong‘s new album, Zero Days, on all formats here
Spoil Engine‘s Facebook presence is located here
Nomad‘s Facebook page is here
Rebellion‘s website here




Rating: 3/5




Inire have established themselves on the alternative and metal scenes in their native Canada with their blend of northern groove, stoner metal and hardcore energy, Cauchmar is the bands sophomore album and it follows up on their 2007 self-titled EP and their 2009 debut full length, Born The Wicked, The Fallen, The Damned. The album is produced by drummer Chris Bonavia and features thirteen hard edged tracks that will build on the band’s reputation of delivering the kind of energetic anthems that have earned them a loyal following, and led to them relentlessly touring across Canada and performing at one of Canada’s biggest outdoor festivals, Amnesia Rockfest, and headlining Fete Nationale.

This is a blend of heavy contemporary metal blended with hardcore and a touch of thrash, Cauchemar eases you in gently with opening instrumental, Avidya, which builds up the expectation before Wide Awake does exactly what a song with that title should do. The album varies between a faster hard hitting style, where the heavier influences come to the fore, and more traditional metallic compositions. Cauchemar carries on in the vein until you get into the final third of the album, when the heaviness is punctuated with a somewhat baffling orchestral segment. Burn restarts the album with a great distorted chugging riff before the album’s flow is interrupted once more by Into The Labyrinth, a folk sounding instrumental with sinister whispers, before the album builds to a rock finale with the title track and Just A Halo Away.

Cauchemar is distinctly more towards the metal side of it’s roots, but the hardcore influence has generally supressed the self indulgent urges that metal frequently harbours. The guitars, vocal harmonies and double bass drumming are all elements in Inire‘s sound that belongs almost exclusively in the worlds of rock and metal, almost, there is an undercurrent of attitude that gives Cauchemar an edge over many contemporary rock albums. Personally I’d have a preferred a slightly greater influence from the heavier elements as this underpins the albums best tracks, but aside from my personal preference for the faster noisier compositions this is a fine hybrid of rock, metal and punk, albeit one that leans much further into rock than the majority of crossover albums I encounter.

Cauchemar can be ordered here

Osmium Guillotine Tickturds Split

Osmium Guillotine / The Tickturds

Osmium Guillotine vs The Tickturds

Self Released

Rating: 1.5/5




Heavy metal and punk rock go head to head on this split EP from two bands from the county of Essex in the UK, The Tickturds and Osmium Guillotine.The split EP was released at the tail end of last month and it features five tracks, including a brand new song Imitators, co-written and co-performed by all members from both The Tickturds and Osmium Guillotine. Also on this Split EP are two tracks from each band, a couple of original songs, Wasteland Warriors 2099 by Osmium Guillotine, and Pointless by The Tickturds, and a cover of each other band’s songs, one punked up metal song, City of Chaos and one metalled up punk song, Mr Angry.

The closest thing I can compare Osmium Guillotine to is the spoof rock band Bad News, that was essentially a British version of the legendary Spinal Tap, the track featuring both bands even ends with excerpts from the riffs of two well known rock songs to add to the parody feel of the song. The other two contributions from Osmium Guillotine continue the feeling that they don’t take themselves too seriously, and the Bad News comparisons continue with the spoken introduction to Wasteland Warriors. The Tickturds are a back to basics punk band featuring fuzzy hard edged riffs, to me they sound like the kind of generic punk band that surfaced in the early eighties, there’s nothing particularly wrong with that but it’s now 2016, and to me recreating the past just seems to be a tad pointless.

I will always try and encourage the grass roots scenes of alternative music, but sometimes it’s difficult as neither band on this EP is one that appeals to me. Osmium Guillotine are rooted in heavy metal of the early eighties and The Tickturds seem to be based in the same era’s punk scene, as much as I enjoy a flashback from time to time this isn’t an EP that I can find any positives in. Their cause isn’t helped by the production on the EP, everything sounds like a recording of a rehearsal session and I’m just left wondering what the point was.

Osmium Guillotine vs The Tickturds is available on CD in comic book packaging, or as a download, from either here or here
September Mourning V2

September Mourning

Volume II

Sumerian Records

Rating: 2.5/5




September Mourning released their Sumerian Records debut Volume II at the end of last month. September Mourning is the brainchild of Emily Lazar, and acclaimed American comic book artist and publisher Marc Silvestri. Volume II somewhat unsurprisingly picks up where 2015’s self-released EP Volume I left off. Like it’s predecessor, Volume II will be accompanied by the second issue of September Mourning‘s comic book series.

The opening track of the album, The Collection, opens with grandiose vocals backed by keyboards, powerful metal guitars and heavy drums before it breaks into… well more of the same. This is an album that sounds like a very calculated and meticulously planned project, every note and riff sounds like a month was spent in the studio getting it absolutely perfect. Anyone who has read previous reviews of mine will know that overproduction is not one of the things I look for in an album, and this is easily the most overproduced album I’ve reviewed this year. Whilst the vocals are bewitching, and Emily Lazar certainly has an impressive set of pipes, but this is an album that very much comes across as the lovechild of the likes of Evanesence and Nightwish. Having said that I would bet that this sells by the bucketload to fans of the more commercial side of alt rock, and to those with a fondness for symphonic and power metal bands.

Volume II isn’t a bad album by any means, and I am partial to a bit of metal and rock, but I can’t help wishing it sounded a bit more organic. This is an album that is produced to within an inch of it’s life, with a few changes this could have been something that could well have had a greater appeal for me. All the elements are there, the songwriting, the originality of the concept, the multi media release and the undoubted level of talent that is behind Volume II, but I just can’t get past the sterile laboratory approach to the mix of the album.

Volume II is available on iTunes and September Mourning‘s website can be found here

You can make up your own mind about whether this is your cup of tea by watching the video for Eye Of The Storm below

Osmium Guillotine and The Tickturds Release Split EP

Osmium Guillotine Tickturds SplitHeavy metal and punk rock go head to head on this split EP from two of Essex’s loudest bands, The Tickturds and Osmium Guillotine, which was released on August 26th. The EP features five tracks, including a brand new song Imitators, co-written and co-performed by all members from both bands and the result is a metal/punk crossover, featuring four vocalists, three lead guitarists, two bass player and one drummer. Also on the record are two tracks from each band, a couple of original songs, Wasteland Warriors 2099 by Osmium Guillotine, and Pointless by The Tickturds, and a cover of each other band’s songs, one punked up metal song, City of Chaos and one metalled up punk song, Mr Angry.

The Split EP is available on CD in ‘comic book’ style packaging and as a digital download, from either here or here

Fire From The Gods Release ‘Excuse Me’ Video

Fire From The Gods NAustin, TX quintet Fire From The Gods will release Narrative, their Rise Records debut, on August 26. Narrative is based in heavy metal power, hip-hop consciousness, and even a little reggae spirit, the Austin, TX quintet urge for change via an album that’s both personal and universal.

To coincide with the launch of pre-orders, a music video is premiering for the track Excuse Me which can be viewed below

Narrative is available for pre-order here Read More…

Fire From The Gods To Release Debut Album ‘Narrative’

Fire From The Gods NAustin, TX quintet Fire From The Gods will release Narrative, their Rise Records debut, on August 26. Speaking from a platform cast in heavy metal power, hip-hop consciousness, and even a little reggae spirit, the Austin, TX quintet urge for change by conveying a story that’s both personal and universal. That story stems directly from vocalist AJ Channer‘s life. Born in the Bronx to a single mother of Jamaican descent, he spent his childhood moving between London, New York City, Los Angeles, Norfolk, and even Ghana where he attended middle school. Drawing from this diverse experience, he speaks with unmitigated honesty about the state of the world, this story is backed by their brutal blend of hardcore, hip-hop  and rock.

Read More…

Riot Agents – 2 Albums

That Riot Agents live for the energy of punk rock and the speed of thrash metal could be no more apparent than with their latest album Who Cares!.  The album features nine tracks of gruff melodic speed drawing upon everything from The Ramones, Iron Maiden and The Misfits, to Judas Priest, Kiss, Ozzy, and The Adicts.  Plenty of loud times to be had.  They’re quite opinionated and extreme, so don’t say I didn’t warn you! Oh, and their first effort, Too Hard To Fall, ain’t too shabby either.

Riot AgentsWho Cares! (2011)

Download The Album From Jamendo

Riot AgentsToo Hard To Fall (2010)

Download The Album From Jamendo

Various Artists – Facedown Fest 2011 Sampler

Facedown Records hosts a bunch of notable bands like My Epic, Messengers, War Of Ages, Overcome, and Take It Back to name a few.  The label has also teamed up with Strike First Records to bring you what they’re calling Facedown Fest 2011, and are celebrating with a brand new compilation CD.  It’s not necessarily my scene, but if you like really heavy, gut churning hardcore and metal, then this is an event worth checking out.  The sampler is free, but sadly only to those in the US.

Various ArtistsFacedown Fest 2011

Download the Album From


Predator – Let’s Invade USA

I can’t really find much about this band other than being based out of Sweden, but this album is well worth posting anyway.  The sound seems to fit somewhere between hardcore and punk, with a bit of a scratchy streetpunk overtone to it.  It’s pretty easy to get into, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have much bite.  It sounds a little rooted in the 80’s, and has some of those great background solos to keep things moving, and a hit of metal in spirit.

Predator Let’s Invade USA

Download the Album From Jamendo

Samuel Caldwell’s Revenge/In Bad Taste – The Power To Consume Ourselves Split (Limited Time)

Here’s one I really enjoy.  The boys from Samuel Caldwell’s Revenge are graciously offering up their Wyld Stallyns Split EP for the season’s Free Music Month.  Two songs are from SCR, with the other two coming from In Bad Taste.  The EP runs a quick sixteen minutes, but offers up a great argument for tuning in to both of the punk/metal hybrids.  For those already familiar with SCR, the EP serves as a pleasant little surprise for those looking for something to tide them over until the eventual full length.

Samuel Caldwell’s Revenge The Power To Consume Ourselves

Download The Album From The Band

Darko – Self Titled EP

Darko is an fresh new punk metal band out of the UK some some serious technical know how.  They’re a little shoutier than A Wilhelm Scream, but certainly no less able.  As far as I can tell, the band came out of nowhere earlier this year, and with the year winding down, has probably earned the title of most promising new melodic technical punk group.  For my full impressions, check out my full review.

DarkoSelf Titled EP

Download the Album From The Band’s Bandcamp

Bellicose Whores – Fight!

Metal edged punk with hardcore overtones has exploded over the past several years. The Bellicose Whores have all the edge that has made the genre so dominant over the years. Fans of lighter Trustkill Records offerings or harder Fat Wreck Chords releases should take note.

Bellicose Whores – Fight!

Download the Album from Jamendo

Red Tape Parade – Demo

Here’s a rather good little dose of punk fueled hardcore.  The group is from Germany and fits right in with the scene over there.

Red Tape ParadeDemo

Download the Album From Death To False Hope Records