Great Thieves Escape Split

Walk The Plank / No Fun / Such Gold / Harker

The Great Thieves Escape II

Flix Records / No Panic! Records

Rating: 4/5




 The Great Thieves Escape II is a multinational four way split single brought to you by Flix Records and No Panic! Records. It is comprised of four bands from the USA, Germany and the UK. I always view split EP’s as healthy competition between the bands involved, so let’s introduce the contenders.

First up is America’s Walk The Plank, they are a hardcore heavyweight who open with the excellent Dying On The Vine. It starts with an old school punk riff that suddenly breaks into brutal hardcore for the chorus, this is short, sharp and ferocious and is an impressive opening, and an early favourite. Germany’s No Fun are next on the bill and in a surprise move they bring us Cheesecake. This is a much poppier affair with a killer guitar riff and a great female lead vocal, this is a song that should have anyone with a pulse bouncing around the room. We’re back across the Atlantic again for New York’s Such Gold, who deliver a solid burst of melodic hardcore with the excellent Choosing Cages. Finally we come to last entrant in this four way fracas, the UK’s Harker deliver some hard edged melodic punk rock that will delight fans of the Alkaline Trio.

We’ve had two American heavyweights, a feisty Brit but in the end it is Germany’s No Fun who take this competition with a sucker punch, the judge denies that he was swayed by the promise of all the Cheesecake. As I’ve noted previously when reviewing split singles, they can be hit and miss affairs, that is certainly not the case on The Great Thieves Escape II. All four bands are excellent, but you’ll always end up with a favourite and who doesn’t love Cheesecake

The Great Thieves Escape II is available on a rainbow of limited edition coloured vinyl here.

Standing Tall Announce Charity Concert

Standing TallNorwich, UK Emo band Standing Tall has announced plans to play a fundraising show with mental health charity, Mind.  Blake Marchesi comments: 

“I’m really excited to play our first show of the year at Gringo’s it should be an awesome night. We are also taking donations on behalf of Mind, they’re an amazing mental health charity and its an honour to support them at the show…. It’s important that we ensure mental health isn’t a taboo subject anymore, and we can show people that there is a strong, supportive community within the scene.”

The band’s self titled EP is currently available via No Panic! Records.  Details are below.

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The Lamplighters


No Panic! Records

Rating: 3.5/5




German punk rock band The Lamplighters follows in the footsteps of political punk acts like those before them.  Full of meaty, anthemic melodies in the vein of Anti-Flag and Banner Pilot, the band’s latest full length presents a burgeoning sound that should perk ears.  Views frames the band’s gruff persona with catchy riffs and a convincing chorus lines that feels most in line with North American Fat Wreck Chords fare.  

Spanning sharp punk rock, playful pop-punk and thumping drums that land with enough force to instigate a marching beat, Views immediately feels well-rounded.  Opening with the title track, The Lamplighters lead the charge with the most anthemic of openers.  Compelling handclaps, bolstered gang vocals and hearty riffs bring to mind modern Anti-Flag singles like “Brandenburg Gate.”  The bulk of the tunes that follow succeed on the sloppy, throat-torn, dual vocals of Mickilampi and Melzilampi as the two compliment one another’s gruff tone.  Other songs like “Basement” and “I Don’t Like You” showcase the band’s clear appreciation for the Ramones lineage, whereas those like “Fairytale” find allegiance in fast paced tempos with catchy, sing along choruses.  

A few notable highlights present The Lamplighters as more than a “me too” punk act.  For instance, “All We Need” showcases a sense of thematic resilience to the world’s dark landscape and personally destructive moments.  Meanwhile, tracks like “Burden” thrive on swelling guitar work that counters itself with introspective mid-song bridge, in which both vocalists tone down their voices and embracing their cleaner element.  “Wish” hits all the right notes for very different reasons.  With a sloppy, slurred vocal delivery that would fit well alongside Rancid, the band plays out the song’s pseudo-street punk delivery, managing an easy and familiar appeal.  Cumulatively, these exciting moments allow Views to overcome the syle’s somewhat “familiar” feel, and help listeners get the most of their audio encounter.

The Lamplighters might not break any new ground, but they certainly take full advantage of the ground they stand on.  Views establishes the German four-piece as an anthemic force to be reckoned with and showcases the confidence to draw upon multiple punk-leaning influences.  No surprises, no frills or gimmicks, just really solid punk rock.

Video: The Young Hearts – Lions

The Young HeartsThe Young Hearts has premiered a new music video.  The video features the song “Lions” from their upcoming EP, Everything We Left Behind, due out December 18, 2015 on No Panic Records.  Guitarist Craig Lawrence commented on the upcoming disc:

“Releasing this record is like having a weight lifted from our shoulders'” says vocalist and . “They are songs that we’ve put a huge part of ourselves into, and there were times where we never thought they’d see the light of day”.

Watch the video below.

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Video: The Lamplighters – Basement

lamplightersGerman melodic punk rock act The Lamplighters is sharing a new music video.  The video features the song
“Basement” which will appear on their upcoming new album Views, which is due out on the December 18, 2015 through No Panic Records.

Watch the video below.

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Ducking Punches Sign Publishing Deal With Bomber Music

Ducking PunchesDucking Punches has announced that they have signed a publishing deal with Bomber Music.  The band is currently in the midst of recording their next full length, Fizzy Bain, due out later this year on No Panic Records.  Head honcho of Bomber Music, Donagh O’Leary, comments:

“We’re really happy to have signed Ducking Punches. As a band they really represent the ethics of what punk is all about. They are a talented bunch and a pleasure to work with. The new album is going to be brilliant, we’re looking forward to hearing the final result!”

The new record is available to pre-order on Pledge Music and will feature guest vocals by Frank Turner.  

Video: Standing Tall – ‘Are You Really There?’

Standing TallNorwich, UK Emo band Standing Tall have posted a video for their track Are You Really There?. The band recently signed on with European punk and hardcore label No Panic! Records, and their first release for them will be a self titled EP, due for release in August.

The song is available as a free download through their bandcamp page, and you can check out the video below.

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Standing Tall – Release Video and Announce New EP

Standing Tall released their brand new video  ‘are you really there?’

You can watch the video through YOUTUBE & BLANK TV

unnamed-3Standing Tall are an alternative / Emo 4 piece from Norwich UK.

Drawing influence from bands currently making waves (Pianos Become The Teeth, Citizen, More Than Life, Basement) and bands of the past (Thrice, Brand New).

Standing Tall have molded their own sound making an identity for themselves with each release. In 2014 the band self released ‘Still Breathing’ a five track EP releasing the tracks “Still Breathing” and “Introspection” as digital singles.

In late 2014, Standing Tall locked themselves away to write and record their new self-titled EP. Working with Neil Kennedy and Daley George from The Ranch Production House (Last Witness, More than life & Milk Teeth) the band produced something much different than their last EP.


Download ‘are you really there?’ FREE here



The band have now been signed by No Panic Records and will be releasing their self-titled EP in the spring of 2015. The self-titled EP will be available on 12″ in three different vinyl colors, CD and digital. You can pre-order your copy now. Estimated record released date for CD & digital is August 21, 2015. Vinyl will be released on August 26, 2015.



Ducking Punches – Announce 2015 European Tour

Ducking Punches announce they are heading out to Europe this spring in support of their new full band record Dance Before You Sleep available now via No Panic! Records.


Connect with Ducking Punches: Facebook / Bandcamp / No Panic Records

Tour: Harker / Casually Dressed (Europe)

Harker Tour PosterBrighton, UK punk band Harker are embarking on a series of European tour dates alongside German emo/post hardcore band Casually Dressed. Harker’s latest release is the 7″ single Gasping For Air, released via No Panic! Records back in November last year.

Check out the full list of dates below.

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Video: Ducking Punches – It’s Been A Few Bad Weeks

Ducking PunchesNorwich, UK folk punk outfit Ducking Punches has premiered a new music video. The video features the song “It’s Been A Few Bad Weeks,” from their latest full length, Dance Before You Sleep, which was released last year via No Panic! Records.

Check out the video below.

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Darwin & The Dinosaur

A Thousand Ships

No Panic! Records

Rating: 4/5




Norwich, England natives Darwin & The Dinosaur have returned with the spring thaw to deliver A Thousand Ships on No Panic! Records. For fans of The Menzingers, At The Drive-In, or The Get-Up Kids; Alan Hiom leads his merry musical misfits into the high tide of hi-fi. D&TD will take to Europe for tour dates at the end of March and through April.

Churning out music since 2008, A Thousand Ships explores the emotions of breakups and the stitching of broken hearts on the high seas. Everybody sounds like The Menzingers these days, but these lads take the emotion of those Philly fanatics and put it behind melodic and dream-like guitars.

Life at Sea is a great instrumental interlude that breaks up the first part of the album. Make Believe has the best chorus of the album: Satellites in flight/bid you all goodnight/and empty skies/There’s nothing there/There never was/between the ground and the gods/ just make believe. Hand in Hand is like chamomile tea on a rainy day, soothing and relaxing among the tumult of modern life. The album’s closer Change of Heart brings it all together nicely.

This ain’t your typical pleasure cruise, but it is a pleasure.

Standing Tall Sign With No Panic! Records

Standing TallNorwich, UK emo/indie-punk outfit Standing Tall have joined the No Panic! Records family. The first release for their new label will be a self titled EP, the follow up to last year’s self released Still Breathing EP, which is due to drop in ‘spring 2015’.

Ahead of the release the band are streaming the first single, Make It Through The Night via their bandcamp. 

Tour: Darwin And The Dinosaur (UK & Europe)

D&TD Tour PosterNorwich, UK post punk band Darwin And The Dinosaur have announced a series of tour dates across Europe and the UK kicking off in March. The quartet will be out in support of their upcoming full length, A Thousand Ships, due out on March 9th via No Panic! Records. 

Pre orders for A Thousand Ships are available here and you can check out the full list of tour dates below.

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Stay Gone Join No Panic! Records

Stay GoneFrench pop punk outfit Stay Gone have signed on with No Panic! Records. The Lille based band are working on their as-yet-unnamed follow up to 2014’s Eyes Get Dimmer EP, expected to be released by their new label in the spring. 

In the meantime, check out their video for Down Home, below.

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Tour: Ducking Punches (UK + Europe)

Ducking PunchesNorwich, UK folk punk outfit Ducking Punches have announced a series of tour dates across the UK and Europe. Fresh from supporting Frank Turner last year, these are full band headlining shows in support of their upcoming full length, Dance Before You Sleep, which will be released via No Panic! Records. 

Scottish folk artist Mark McCabe will provide support, and you can  check out the full list of tour dates below.

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Darwin & The Dinosaur Detail New Record

DaTDNorwich, UK post punks have announced that their new album, A Thousand Ships, is due to drop on March 19th via No Panic! Records. Pre orders will launch on February 16th and Uk fans who purchase via their bandcamp or Big Cartel store will get an exclusive track ahead of the release date.

Check the track list and cover art for A Thousand Ships below.

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Ducking Punches - Dance Before You Sleep

Ducking Punches

Dance Before You Sleep

No Panic! Records

Rating: 4/5




Norwich, UK folk punk act Ducking Punches has come a long way in a short time.  Rising from their humble beginnings of what started out as a mostly stripped down acoustic project – vocalist Dan Allen with minor guitar accompaniment – has evolved into a diversified full band entourage complete with various strings and compositional knowhow.  Their sophomore full length, Dance Before You Sleep, reflects such a strong jump in musicianship that comparisons to countrymen Frank Turner and Mumford & Sons are both inevitable and deserving.  

But the quintet does more than just piggyback on current folk trends.  The group makes waves on their own merit, offering up thought provoking melodies just begging for a mindful ear.  Allen’s knack for descriptive imagery builds a series of engaging narratives and thematic expositions realized by the passionate and fluctuating merger of violins, distant female vocals, and sharp medley of layered guitars.  Opener “It’s Been A Bad Few Weeks” flys out the gate with an audible sense of urgency in the leading lyric “He heard it loud and clear, the silence deafened him,” as the tale of being thrust into independence unravels thereafter.  The sense of conviction remains strong throughout the record, but nowhere does it become higher than in “Big Brown Pills From Lynn.”  As the vivid descriptions of self destructive behaviors and fighting through rock bottom take hold, the song’s look-to-the-sky grandeur captures a sense of resistance – the message of digging in your heels and staying the course taking hold.  

Slowly, Dance Before You Sleep builds hope, rebounding from the album’s initial emotive lows.  “Feels Just Like Home” marks the transformation with upbeat choruses and forceful but optimistic guitars, a sentiment echoed in “The Art of Falling Short’s” underlying determination and horn blasts.  Even the regretful “Why Can’t We Hold It Together” is told through a reflectful, albeit regretful, lens.  The final apology lands strong as “Six Years,” scaling back to a guitar and piano score that allow Allen’s ripped and torn vocals to bleed naked.  Concluding with such simplicity heightens the core theme of taking ownership over one’s past, and coming to peace with one’s demons.

Ducking Punches delivers a good many knockout blows throughout Dance Before You Sleep’s nine track run.  Like any good fight, the album moves and reacts to each hit, knowing when to chain together a few good hits and when to step back, evaluate the playing field and calculate their next move.  That Allen’s strong vocal performance comes matched with an equally dynamic backing set really pushes Dance Before You Sleep into that special territory worthy of repeat listens.  For newcomers, Ducking Punches might be the unlikely underdog, but with Dance Before You Sleep marking one of the year’s best folk punk surprises, that reputation will be quick to change.

Tours: Ducking Punches / Gypsy Rabble / The Cravingz

Ducking PUnchesNorwich folk-punk outfit Ducking Punches has announced that they will be touring Ireland in late September.  The four date tour will find the band sharing the stage with Gypsy Rebel Rabble on the first three dates and with The Cravingz for the final show. The band continues to support their latest full length, Dance Before You Sleep, released earlier this year on NO PANIC! Records.

Tour dates can be found below.

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