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Oh See Demons Release Debut Album ‘Personal Issues’

Oh See Demons PINorwegian punk rock band the Oh See Demons have self released their DIY debut album, Personal Issues, today, the 23rd February 2018, on vinyl and digital formats. The band is influenced and inspired by the melodic punk rock of the 90’s, and they deliver all the pulsating punk rock rhythms, nostalgic melodies and honest lyrics that you’d expect.

Oh See Demons Facebook page is here and Personal Issues can be streamed via Spotify here

Personal Issues can streamed and purchased via Bandcamp here

Abraskadabra Welcome

Abraskadabra

Welcome

Self Released
By

Rating: 4/5

 
 

 

 

Abraskadabra are a seven piece ska punk band from Brazil, the ensemble’s new record Welcome is released today, February 20th 2018, and it delivers their own vision of the essence of ska punk. The album was written as a whole band, they searched for a raw punchy sound while exploring the full capacity of melody, instead of recording in a traditional studio environment, the group crammed themselves into an old house and captured everyone’s feelings and motivations in the moment. It isn’t just the fifteen years on the road that settle the power and unity of Abraskadabra, but also the energy and passion they put into the music they create.

Abraskadabra have toured all around Brazil and the US, sharing the stage with legends like Bad Religion, Rise Against, Goldfinger and Less Than Jake, whose drummer has publicly endorsed the band, and from the opening track, Nothing New, you can see exactly why, this is vintage ska punk that pays it dues to the bands they toured with and who influenced them. Welcome contains elements of pop punk, punk, ska punk and ska in varying ratios and, with the sole exception of the closing reggae number Empty Room, this album doesn’t deviate from the well established ska punk template laid down over the years, but crucially this doesn’t feel second hand, it feels as fresh and lively as Less Thank Jake‘s Borders And Boundaries or Goldfinger’s Stomping Ground did almost two decades ago.

If you’ve been paying attention it should come as no surprise that Welcome is an album that is just waiting to be discovered by fans of the likes of Goldfinger, Less Than Jake, Mad Caddies and Reel Big Fish, there is nothing on Welcome that is groundbreaking or that  brings anything new to the genre, but when it’s done this well does it really matter? Welcome is a blast from the past that reminds you exactly why you fell in love with ska punk in the first place, it’s an album that recaptures the energy and spirit of the original scene, and from my perspective that isn’t a bad thing.

Abraskadabra‘s Bandcamp can be found here and their website is here

Who Killed Nancy Johnson FET

Who Killed Nancy Johnson?

Flat Earth Theory

Self Released
By

Rating: 4/5

 
 

 

 
Post punk rockers Who Killed Nancy Johnson? have released their new EP, Flat Earth Theory, today, the 16th February 2018, and the EP is now available worldwide on all download and streaming sites. The Flat Earth Theory EP follows on from last years Cops And Robbers EP, that marked their return from a lengthy hiatus with a new vocalist, and for me it’s a release that indicates that Who Killed Nancy Johnson? are a band whose time is coming, as for me the Flat Earth Theory EP marks their finest release to date.
 
Strip kicks off the Flat Earth Theory EP with an energetic guitar hook that encompasses a driving punk dynamic, but it’s also a track that also possesses a raw and ragged garage feel, this is followed up with the dark post punk of Alien that brings another element into play. Mouth And Trousers carries on with the post punk feel, with a track that practically spits venom at it’s target, until finally you get the EP’s lead single, Dark Horse, that for me is the EP’s finest moment, and I would say my favourite song by Who Killed Nancy Johnson? to date, that carries twisted spiky riffs that compliments the band’s dark punk energy
 
The Flat Earth Theory EP feels more like a true representation of what Who Killed Nancy Johnson? are about than it’s predecessor, the EP has a distinctly live feel to it that gives it a more immediate impact and draws you in and makes the Flat Earth Theory seem like a very appealing prospect, but like all good conspiracy theories you should never believe what you read and I’d recommend you investigate Flat Earth Theory and draw your own conclusions, the truth is out there.
 
The Flat Earth Theory EP can be streamed and purchased here
 
The Who Killed Nancy Johnson? official website can be found here
 

Oh See Demons To Release Debut Album ‘Personal Issues’

Oh See Demons PINorwegian punk rock band the Oh See Demons will self release their DIY debut album, Personal Issues, on the 23rd February 2018 on vinyl and digital formats. The band is influenced and inspired by the melodic punk rock of the 90’s, and they deliver all the pulsating punk rock rhythms, nostalgic melodies and honest lyrics that you’d expect.

Oh See Demons Facebook page can be found here

The Oh See Demons Bandcamp can be found here

Bad Larrys Hodads

The Bad Larry's

Hodads

Self Released
By

Rating: 3.5/5

 
 

 

 

The Bad Larrys are a five piece proto punk and psych surf outfit outta Philadelphia, PA, the quintet’s sound combines a love of classic surf rock and storytelling with the raw power of pre-punk rock and roll. Leveraging the talented hands and vintage equipment of Drowning Fish Studios and the Grammy award-winning mastering of Pete Lyman’s Infrasonic Sound. The Bad Larrys first full length album, Hodads, is due for a digital release today, the 2nd February 2018, and Hodads will be manifesting itself on vinyl in the near future.

From opening track, the album’s lead single Deep Space Radio, it’s clear this is an unashamedly retro trip back to the days when snarling garage bands populated almost every town and city in the USA. The spirit of the likes of The Shadows Of Knight, The Chocolate Watch Band and Gonn haunts every groove in Hodads, although It’s not all snotty garage, there are demented surftones thrown into the mix that sit alongside moments that are rooted in rock ‘n roll. However for me it’s when the fuzz and fury erupts that The Bad Larry’s are at their best, the likes of the charged garage rocker Fired In The Morning and the grinding psyche of Rama, Mammon, Abraxas And Ahriman are when The Bad Larry’s truly shine.

If you’re a fan of the original garage bands that populated the legendary Pebbles and Rubble compilations, or of established purveyors of demented surf and garage such as The Fuzztones, Messer Chups, The Nomads or The 99 Degree then The Bad Larry’s will be a welcome addition to your playlist. Hodads is a throwback to an era of primitive garage bands, and there’s nothing wrong with that when it captures the original sound and attitude of an era, and believe me The Bad Larry’s have certainly done that on their debut full length.

Hodads can be downloaded via The Bad Larry’s Bandcamp here

The Bad Larry’s Facebook page can be found here

13 sor

Thirteen

Spirit Of Resistance

DIY
By

Rating: 4/5

 
 

 

 
Thirteen are a trio from Falkirk, Scotland who play punk ‘n roll, which of course means fast raw songs with a foundation in ’77 era punk rock, which are played with a large dose of eightie’s American sleaze and socio-political lyrics thrown in for good measure. The trio, who have a hefty pedigree between them with over twenty years on the scene, formed Thirteen in 2014 and released the Spirit Of Resistance EP at the tail end of last year, it’s an EP that bridges the gap nicely as they are currently working on their as yet untitled sophomore album that will follow up on their self financed 2016 debut, A Line Of The Dead On Deadline Day.
 
We Will Overcome opens the EP with a distorted bass rattle before everything kicks into overdrive on this DIY anthem for political dissidence, after this we get a full tilt blast of punk rock in the short sharp form of I Am You that manages to cram everything you could ever want from a punk song into less than two minutes. The stunning Marching With The Pigs hits you with a dark thundering numbering that sounds like it’s been recorded whilst the law were hammering at the studio door, the intensity carries over into the EP’s title track and vintage punk rock of Tattered Sleeve. The Day The Killing Stops brings the Spirit Of Resistance to a close returns to the brooding angry defiant punk rock that has characterised my favourite moments from the Spirit Of Resistance.
 
Whilst we were a bit late to the party with the Spirit Of Resistance EP I’m glad we got here, as Thirteen carry the same kind of genuine political motivation as the likes of DOA, Anti-Flag and the Angelic Upstarts. Thirteen have captured the essence of the spirit of the original punk rock and have sharpened it into a six track EP of political defiance, in short this is exactly how DIY political punk rock should be done and it marks them out as a band I hope to catch when they head south into England later this year.
 
The Spirit Of Resistance EP can be streamed and downloaded via Bandcamp here
 
Thirteen‘s Facebook page can be found here
 
QWAM FM

QWAM

Feed Me EP

Self Released
By

Rating: 4/5

 
 

 

 

Brooklyn band QWAM  will release the Feed Me EP on January 19th 2018, their latest release follows on from their Queen With A Megaphone EP that was self released at the tail end of 2016, the band’s latest EP is a collection of five fiercely independent punk infused tracks that were written during 3am subway rides and perfected in sweaty Brooklyn basements. The Feed Me EP takes it’s cue from the likes of Hole, Babes In Toyland, L7, The Lunachicks and Exene Cervenka, and parallels the rise of UK acts like Hands Off Gretel and Vukovi, and the result is five impressive lo-fi cuts of angst fuelled punk rock that hit the spot on every track.

QWAM kick things off with the EP’s intense title track that blends the discordance of early grunge and the ragged edge of alt rock with a punk attitude, whereas the following track, Glitter Paint,  just delivers one hundred seconds of pure stripped down punk rock fury. Crazier Than Me brings another dimension to the Feed Me EP, it’s a love song for the outsider that slowly builds the intensity before easing you back out, albeit into the skittering punk rock of Doggie Door. Feed Me is brought to a close with Dirty Feet, a track that embraces elements of power pop and combines it with their own overdriven style to create a fitting finale to what has been an impressive sophomore EP from QWAM.

If you want to hear an EP that captures the spirit of DIY punk rock perfectly then QWAM‘s latest release would be a good place to start, it embraces the best elements of punk rock and delivers it with the creativity that comes of being borne of the DIY scene. Feed Me is an EP that marks a promising start to 2018, and if you’re in New York then I’d make a point of heading over to the Knitting Factory on the 24th January for the EP’s release party.

The Feed Me EP can be pre-ordered via Bandcamp here

QWAM‘s Facebook page can be found here

Toy cars PB

Toy Cars

Paint Brain

Self Released
By

Rating: 3.5/5

 
 

 

 
Following New Jersey’s Toy Cars moving away from being a side project for vocalist and guitarist Matt Debenedetti and the band developing a stable line up, consisting of Mike Linardi on drums, Matt Caponegro on guitar and Chris Beninato on bass, Toy Cars have been constantly moving forward. Last years Sleeping Patterns EP hinted at the promise they had, and now they are set to release their debut full length, Paint Brain, on the 12th January.
 
Paint Brain contains Toy Cars patented mix of Americana, emo and indie, but when compared to their debut EP, Sleeping Patterns, everything just sounds more confident and up front, the album’s title track that kicks things off carries all the swagger of Gaslight Anthem at their best, this is followed by the lead single, Cold, that carries an anthemic quality with a chorus that positively bursts into life. After just two tracks in you get the feeling that Toy Cars have made exactly the record they wanted to make, and it can’t be coincidence that that on this release they’ve gone down the DIY route and self released and self funded Paint Brain.
 
Every track on Paint Brain carries the earnestness and honesty of emo, but this is matched with the bravado and confidence of Americana, the creativity of the indie scene and even brief moments of punk fury creep into the mix. Toy Cars never allow the album to slip into any kind of comfortable rut, from the acoustic and laid back style of Leaving A/B, to the straight up brash indie of Iron Me Out and Track 7, through to the more atmospheric moments of Erie and Swim and finally the tortured closing track, Sarah 1908. The end result is that Paint Brain is twelve tracks of mixed textures and styles that have been skilfully woven together to create an impressive debut album.
 
Paint Brain can be pre-ordered via Bandcamp here
 
False Flag ST

False Flag

False Flag EP

Self Released
By

Rating: 3.5/5

 
 

 

 

India’s False Flag only formed in June 2015 in the aftermath of witnessing grindcore legends Napalm Death live at Bangalore Open Air Festival, due to their uncompromising DIY ethic and intense soundtrack they started to make waves in their local scene with their early recordings and shows receiving a positive response from the South Asian Punk scene. False Flag‘s debut self titled EP features a dark and heavy mix that brings to mind contemporary chaotic hardcore acts from Europe, along with the origins of the UK grindcore scene.

Spectrum Disorder kicks in with kind of dissonant menace that you’d hope for, before the band launch into some aggressive fast hardcore that contains a hefty influence from grindcore scene in the vocal delivery, and in the pulverising breakdowns that pepper their opening salvo. The second track, Sisyphus Lament, despite having a title that would sound more at home on an early Pink Floyd album, continues the relentless hardcore assault, on each track on False Flag‘s debut EP the songs have progressively increased in length and the epic, by hardcore standards, Unbroken brings things to a suitably intense and chaotic finale.

False Flag‘s debut release is an impressive and remorseless attack that encompasses the extreme ends of the punk and hardcore scenes to impressive effect, if you are a fan of the harder edged side of hardcore punk, or of the early grindcore releases then this will be a band you’ll want to experience. False Flag look set to become a band that push the boundaries of punk, they have fused grindcore and hardcore with an existential outlook and a progressive political stance against all forms of bigotry, from casteism to misogyny, and however you look at it that’s a pretty impressive statement of intent.

False Flag‘s debut EP is released today and can be streamed and downloaded via Bandcamp here

False Flag‘s Facebook page can be found here

Creature Comfort WWWPCL

The Creature Comfort

What We Want (Power, Corruption & Lies)

Self Released
By

Rating: 4.5/5

 
 

 

 

The Creature Comfort have been outsiders on the Manchester scene for almost three decades, in the middle of that time there was a long break where the band was on hiatus prior to their triumphant return in 2013, a return that saw a reenergised incarnation of the band release a critically acclaimed self titled debut full length that came with an infectious lead single, Sauce. The new single is the first taste of what’s to come from the band, and for those who have been following the band the release of What We Want (Power, Corruption And Lies) will be a more than welcome early Christmas present.

What We Want (Power, Corruption And Lies) is exactly what you would expect from The Creature Comfort, but only in the way that that they have taken influences from across the spectrum and created something that is entirely their own. The single takes the groove of soul, but on the chorus their punk sensibility kicks into gear and lifts the song before it settles back into it’s rhythm. The whole package is overlaid with a ragged garage mentality and psyche flair, and when you add all these ingredients together the result is a memorable release from a band that deserve greater recognition than they’ve received, and this just might be the single to change that.

The single I was sent contains a radio edit of What We Want (Power, Corruption And Lies), but as is typical with these things it strips some essential elements away from the song, the full version that is contained on the single is the one that you’ll want to add to your playlist. The Creature Comfort are a band that will always do their own thing regardless of passing trends, and for me this it was makes them such a hidden gem in Manchester’s musical heritage, and their latest release indicates that it’s high time that their flawed charms were exposed. What We Want (Power, Corruption And Lies) is released tomorrow, December 15th, and will be available via all major digital services.

The Creature Comfort‘s website can be found here

Mid Reflection OC

Mid Reflection

Outcast

Self Released
By

Rating: 2.5/5

 
 

 

 
Mid Reflection will announce their arrival on the UK alternative scene with their debut EP, Outcast, that is due to be released on Friday 24th November. Mid Reflection are a London based quartet who have embraced disparate elements of punk, rap, indie, rock and ska and brought them together to produce a unique hybrid, one that fuses the delivery of rap and grime and combines it with the darker elements of indie and punk, and it’s also a release that reflects their influences, that span from Linkin Park and Sublime to Gorillaz and House of Pain.
 
The EP’s title track comes across as a laid back Rage Against The Machine, albeit in a parallel world where that band emerged from the estates of London, this is followed by Illusions that displays a more upbeat feel and positively bursts into life on the chorus. Legalise It is my personal highlight from the Outcast EP, as it boasts an abrasive punk riff that is overlaid with an intense grime delivery. The final track, Foes, brings things to a close with a more laid back delivery and a melodic touch that is married to the kind of autobiographical lyrical style that Eminem displayed on his earlier material.
 
Lyrically Mid Reflection are a band that reflect real life struggles, their lyrical content covers subjects such as bullying, depression and betrayed friendship, that their vocalist, 2T’z, has battled with throughout his life. Whilst the end result isn’t exactly to my taste, this is a modern hybrid of styles with a delivery that has the authentic feel of a band that were born into the modern day urban sprawl of the UK’s capital. The Outcast EP is a release that will appeal to fans of the likes of Sleaford Mods and The Streets and demonstrates the continued blurring of styles that keeps that keeps the UK’s music scene vibrant and original.
 
Mid Reflection‘s website can be found here
 
Undertipper

Under Tipper

Y'ALL

Self Released
By

Rating: 3.5/5

 
 

 

 

Cincinnati, Ohio’s UnderTipper may be going a label-less route at this point, but in a perfect world they’d join the cumulative ranks of No Idea Records or It’s Alive Records.  Playing a rustic brand of gruff voiced pop-punk in the vein of The Copyrights, Plow United, The Manix and many more, the the band subscribes to an upbeat, fun-loving brand of pop-punk that packs some sonic muscle.  UnderTipper’s sophomore full length, Y’All, continues this trajectory, flexing with plenty of full bodied choruses, punchy riffs, and aggressive harmonies.  

Opener “Stayed Up Too Late” kicks things off with a fist pumping anthem for partying on the work week.  “Stayed up too late, got up too early” belts the band in catchy chorus that’s equal parts pop-punk and gruff crowd pleaser.  A gritty delivery with a high level of DIY production seems to be the name of UnderTipper’s game, and they really hit the nail on the head.  By and large, Y’All keeps up this momentum while highlighting each band member.  For instance, “Contact” slows things down just enough to have Jeff Forton’s rumbling bass and Drew Bogner’s thumping drum beats raise their profile, while Travis Disgraceful’s guitar work in “Nothin’s Ever Good Enough” takes a darker, more menacing turn reflected in the track’s crunching riffs.  

The band also demonstrates some solid humour.  “Bicycle” stands out in particular, with its hardcore endorsement of two wheel pedal bikes ripping around town and trails.  You’d be hard pressed to find another venue in which bicycles are portrayed as such a stylish hard hitting lifestyle statement.  Meanwhile, “Taco Meat” is essentially Travis and Jeff breaking the fourth wall by questioning Drew’s preference for just having “beans and cheese” on his tacos, and passionately reinforcing that “we want taco meat.”

Overall, UnderTipper provides a fun and energetic take on a gritty pop-punk formula.  Y’All comes packed with a healthy dose of catchy anthemic tunes in 16 tracks that while familiar in style, are distinctly their own.  The band joke’s that they only had 21 Spotify followers at the time of release, but with Y’All’s easy pop-punk allure and a little media push, the band stands to grow from that base exponentially.

Liza Colby Sound

Liza Colby Sound

Draw

Self Released
By

Rating: 4/5

 
 

 

 

The Liza Colby Sound hail from New York City and are set to release their new EP, Draw, on the 17th November. Draw contains four songs that give you a fleeting glimpse into everything the Liza Colby Sound is about, the soulful vocals of Liza Colby herself are combined with a soundtrack that embodies dirty, hard hitting rock ‘n roll by a trio who have performed with the likes of Ozzy Osbourne, The Jim Carroll Band, The Del Fuegos and Joey Ramone, amongst other well-known names, to create a mesmerising hybrid of styles.

The opening track on the Draw EP, My World, is a glorious dirty slab of rock ‘n roll that channels The Stooges and Led Zeppelin, the rock ‘n roll soundtrack is topped with the sultry soulful vocal delivery by Liza Colby, one that raises the hairs on the back of your neck. I Love You brings the pace down, and delivers a soulful and heartfelt moment on the EP, White Light channels the blues before finally Cryin’ brings things to a close, with a track that encompasses their rock, soul and blues influences.

The only comparable act to the Liza Colby Sound is The Bellrays, and If you love them then you will adore the Draw EP, the Liza Colby Sound mix soul, garage and proto rock to create a stunning hybrid of styles. The result is that I love every moment on this EP, from it’s charged garage fuelled opener, through it’s tender soulful moments and blues heartbeat to the closing track that blends every element together, this is an introduction to a band that seamlessly blend the energy of the garage bands and the swagger of best rock acts with the heart of true soul music. 

The Liza Colby Sound‘s website can be found here and their Bandcamp is located here

Ghost Atlas AIISATNLTSA

Ghost Atlas

All Is In Sync And There's Nothing Left To Sing About

Self Release
By

Rating: 3/5

 
 

 

 

Ghost Atlas is the solo project of Jesse Cash, best known for his role in the Sumarian Records metal band ERRA, with Ghost Atlas he explores the melodic alt rock side to his writing, Jesse Cash began releasing music under the Ghost Atlas moniker in 2014 with the Gold Soul Coma EP and he followed this up with the 2015’s Immortal Youth EP. Being the sole member of Ghost Atlas the project is a very much a personal reflection of Cash’s emotions, life experience and work, All Is In Sync And There’s Nothing Left To Sing About is Ghost Atlas‘s debut full length and it is set to be released independently on November 17th.

All Is In Sync And There’s Nothing Left To Sing About offers a distinct contrast to the full on metalcore grunt of ERRA, this is an album of alt rock that embraces a much more melodic approach than his primary outfit. Having said that, with the exception of Night Drive, Scout’s Honour, the mellowest moment on this release, and the title track this is an album of slick driven emotional and passionate alt rock that will appeal greatly to fans of the likes of the Deftones and Circa Survive. All Is In Sync And There’s Nothing Left To Sing About is an album that will appeal to his core following, but his latest release should also broaden his appeal beyond the confines of his metalcore roots.

Make no mistake there are still elements of the progressive metal of ERRA present in Ghost Atlas, and it would seem that whilst you can take the man of the metal band but you can’t completely take the metal band out of the man, but it all seems more channelled and focussed than his work with ERRA. With this self funded and self released album Jesse Cash has released a distinctly more restrained album than you would expect to hear if you are aware of his pedigree, and it’s a credit to him that he’s willing to branch out in a different direction and create his own personal vision and style on a album that is a move away from his established style.

All Is In Sync And There’s Nothing Left To Sing About can be pre-ordered here

Cope Tooth And Nail

Cope

Tooth And Nail

Self Released
By

Rating: 3.5/5

 
 

 

 

Hardcore punk outfit Cope have dropped their latest EP, Tooth And Nail, that was self released on October 13th, Cope‘s latest release is as fiercely political, positive, inspired and angry as ever, making the London based quartet a band fitting of today’s uncertain political climate. Tooth And Nail follows on from last years Challenge Oppression / Pursue Equality EP, and their latest release sees their sound become even heavier, but importantly they maintain their commitment to political activism, and the EP carries the same defiant and unifying message.

Stray Bullets comes straight out of the traps with a full tilt blast of heavy duty punk rock that is borne of hardcore, but one that is brought bang up to date. Tooth And Nail is a remorseless EP, the title track continues the full on the brutal assault before Neo Nasty well and truly nails their colours to the mast. Many Faces, the lead single from Tooth And Nail, carries the fight as does the closing duo of Populism and the impressive closing track, The Great Divide. The message on the Tooth And Nail EP is one that is loud and clear, as the refrain from the EP’s title track states ‘refuse, resist, don’t give into fear’

Cope deliver an angry politically motivated blast of heavy duty punk rock, but it’s one that strikes the right balance between optimism that things can change for the better, and justifiable and focused anger at the current state of world politics. Tooth And Nail is the perfect soundtrack to defiance in the face of the hate and ignorance that has sadly become of feature of modern politics, and it’s one that is delivered with a heavyweight blend of furious hardcore and punk rock that is tinged with elements of metalcore.

You can stream and purchase Tooth & Nail here

By Gods Move On

The By Gods

Move On

Self Released
By

Rating: 4.5/5

 
 

 

 
Nashville’s The By Gods were born from a potent blend of musings on small town religion, depression, terrorist attacks, celebrity deaths, global politics and the social media reaction to all those events, Move On is the sound of a band trying to come to terms with their own ever-changing and strange reality, the album was written during the last presedential election which acted as a backdrop for Move On. The disturbing political events of last year that inform the album are paired with an impressive hybrid soundtrack that encompasses grunge, alt rock and the noisier side of the indie spectrum, with a faint touch of The Velvet Underground in the album’s low key finale.
 
The post grunge influences are evident from the first chords of the album’ title track, the rumbling bass line gives way to a crunching overdriven guitar riff, every track on Move On recalls the sonic assault that characterised the best bands from the grunge and alternative scenes of the late eighties and early nineties. The By Gods are a band whose influences are worn proudly on their sleeves, the haunting elements that characterised some of the Pixies finest recordings are present along with dissonance and energy of Nirvana and the hooks of the Foo Fighters early recordings, but whilst the album’s inspiration is obvious The By Gods have taken this soundtrack and produced something that is very much their own.
 
It could be argued that Move On is something of a throwback, but when an album is this accomplished I don’t care in the slightest, I haven’t encountered a band that delivers this kind of energising high energy slacker soundtrack in a long long time. With their third album The By Gods have undoubtedly produced their finest release to date, with Move On they seem to have perfected the sound that they have been developing over their first two albums. Dark and tumultuous political times are often said to inspire some of the best music, The By Gods are living proof of this as Move On is an album that sits amongst the best releases I’ve heard this year.
 
Move On is set for release on the 20th October and can be pre-ordered here
 
Autonomics Debt Sounds

Autonomics

Debt Sounds

Self Released
By

Rating: 3.5/5

 
 

 

 

Portland’s Autonomics self released their debut full length Debt Sounds last month and , like their home town brethren The Thermals,  they deliver a relentless stripped down fuzzy poppy garage punk soundtrack, but whereas The Thermals channel an undercurrent of punk rock, Autonomics debut full length has the feel of an album that is informed by the bands that were born of the garage, this is blended with a melodic poppy sensibility that the likes of Weezer deliver so effortlessly,

The album’s title, the reference to Nada Surf on one track and the fact the brief opening track, Spirit Blues, that reminds me of the mellower moments of dark psychedelia by the likes of The 13th Floor Elevators, gives you an idea that this will be an album of retro garagebut from the point the second track, Bad Blood, kicks in that’s where the mellowness ends.  Autonomics have released a gloriously dirty lo-fi mix of garage, power pop and punk rock, despite the frantic fuzzed up nature of the album it must be said that Debt Sounds carries a distinctly melodic quality, one that carries throughout the album’s eleven tracks.

Autonomics are a band that possesses the true spirit of DIY, the album is entirely self funded by working day jobs in between shows and as a result there’s a relentless energy to Debt Sounds, maybe this comes from the fact the album is made to a budget and the band were on limited time in which to record it, but whatever the reason Debt Sounds comes across with a reckless live feel that the lo-fi recording just can’t restrain. The slightly muddy mix on Debt Sounds is one that will horrify audiophiles, but for me an album of this nature wouldn’t sound right any other way and the fuzzy wall of sound on Debt Sounds is just one of the album’s many charms.

Debt Sounds can be streamed and purchased via Bandcamp here

Spill Your Guts HC

Spill Your Guts

Hungry Crows

Self Released
By

Rating: 3/5

 
 

 

 

Over the years Shanghai’s Spill Your Guts have had to deal with stringent government regulations and a fluid line up due to members moving in and out of the country, with the current line up, that is formed from a disparate collection of expatriates from three far flung continents, only having been in place since 2016. The band has been in existence since 2012 and ever since their inception they’ve been building up to the release of their debut album with a steady series of EP releases, now Spill Your Guts have finally released their first full length album, Hungry Crows. 

Riotica opens Hungry Crows with a full blooded hardcore roar, the opening salvo is followed by Praise The Fire, that somehow manages to up the intensity and introduces an element of crossover into the mix. Hungry Crows is an album that constantly switches between the styles over the ten tracks, but for me it’s when they head back into the tracks that carry a heavier influence from straight up hardcore that Spill Your Guts are at their best, with the stunning Altitude being my personal highlight from Hungry Crows.

Hungry Crows is a contemporary take on hardcore, it captures the same relentless spirit and blends it with elements taken from the extreme end of the metal world. This is the first time I’ve received an album from China, and Spill Your Guts are a band that indicate that the punk and hardcore scenes are alive and well on every continent. Hungry Crows is an album that carries the original spirit of hardcore, but blends it with contemporary metal influences to create an album that is as brutal and intense as anything I’ve heard this year.

Spill Your Guts Facebook page can be found here

Hungry Crows is available as a name your price download via Bandcamp here

Lee Resistant YC

Lee Resistant

Your Country

Self Released
By

Rating: 3.5/5

 
 

 

 
Originally hailing from London, England, but now resident across the Atlantic in Ontario, Canada, Lee Resistant has a punk rock heart and a poet’s soul, and it all comes pouring out in his heartfelt songs of loss and hope, failure and redemption, bad times and worse luck. Lee Resistant has previously fronted UK punk band Fletcher and has left a trail of solo albums and singles in his wake over the last fifteen years. He self released the Your Country EP at the end of August 2017 and it is now available on CD, cassette and digital formats. 
 
Check The Faders immediately gives you an idea of what you’re in for on the Your Country EP, this is stripped down acoustic punk rock, but tracks such as I Belong To England, Just Live and the haunting Do Not Resuscitate bring the pace down and demonstrate an impressive depth to Lee Resistant‘s songwriting. The EP’s title track brings a heartfelt element into the mix before the upbeat track Not Me brings the Your Country EP to a close, with this latest release Lee Resistant has produced an arresting six track EP of songs that capture a raw emotional honesty, one that’s combined with the spirit of punk rock.
 
If you’re a fan of the likes of TV Smith, Billy Bragg and Michale Graves more recent albums, then Lee Resistant should be on your radar, embedded in each track there are subtle elements that stop the Your Country EP from being an EP of one dimensional folk punk, in particular the haunting guitar lines on Do Not Resuscitate. Your Country is a solid EP from a songwriter who is doing things on his own terms, and despite that lack of decibels that’ about as punk rock as it gets.
 
Lee Resistant‘s Facebook page can be found here
 
You can stream and purchase the Your Country EP here
 
Sweet Little Machine Monsters

Sweet Little Machine

Monsters

Self Released
By

Rating: 4/5

 
 

 

 
Sheffield’s Sweet Little Machine were recently crowned Fireball’s Hottest Band 2017, an achievement that has catapulted them from playing intimate local venues to touring the UK with the likes of Don Broco, Me First And The Gimme Gimmes, Patent Pending and Wheatus, as well as a prestigious slot on the upcoming Fireball – Fuelling The Fire UK Tour with Anti-Flag, Mad Caddies, Reel Big Fish and The Skints, and now Sweet Little Machine are set to self release the Monsters EP ahead of their forthcoming appearances on the Fireball – Fuelling The Fire Tour.
 
By anyone’s standards Kill The Hero is an impressive opening number, all gruff punk swagger and drive with a glorious pop punk sheen. Hurricanes continues the bouncy punk rock assault before the the gloriously titled D!ckwad brings a frantic burst of energy that is guaranteed to send the mosh pits into delirium. The EP’s title track brings a bouncy and radio friendly element that recalls Green Day‘s anthemic style and Miracles continues the energised adrenaline feel of the EP, before finally A Day Too Soon lets you down gently with a heartfelt melancholy finale.
 
For those lucky enough to be attending the Fireball – Fuelling The Fire UK Tour next month the Monsters EP is all the reason you need to make sure you’re out early as Sweet Little Machine have delivered a gloriously infectious EP. Monsters demonstrates exactly why Sweet Little Machine beat all comers and were crowned Fireball’s Hottest Band 2017, this is an impressive release that fans of the likes of Green Day, Fall Out Boy, You Me At Six and A Day To Remember will adore, and you can guarantee that after hearing the Monsters EP I’ll be down the front for the opening night of the Fireball – Fuelling The Fire UK Tour.
 
Monsters is set for release on 6th October 2017 and can be pre-ordered here
 
Tickets for the Fireball Fuelling The Fire UK Tour can be purchased here
 

Spill Your Guts Release Debut Album ‘Hungry Crows’

Spill Your Guts HCFormed in 2012, Shanghai‘s Spill Your Guts are a hardcore punk band that blend their own unique style of fast and aggressive music. With several EP releases under their belt over the course of five years, Spill Your Guts have now released their first full length album, Hungry Crows. Spill Your Guts are now set to embark on a 5000km cross Russia tour which kicks off on 28th September.

Spill Your Guts Facebook page can be found here

Hungry Crows is available as a name your price download via Bandcamp here

Lee Resistant Releases ‘Your Country’ EP

Lee Resistant YCOriginally hailing from London, England, Lee Resistant has a punk rock heart and a poet’s soul, and it all comes pouring out in his heartfelt songs of loss and hope, failure and redemption, bad times and worse luck. Lee Resistant has now self released his latest EP, Your Country, that is available on CD, cassette and digital formats.

Lee Resistant‘s Facebook page can be found here

You can stream and purchase the Your Country EP here

Buffalo Go Cave In

Buffalo Go!

Cave In

Self Released
By

Rating: 4/5

 
 

 

 

Up and coming UK pop punkers Buffalo Go! released their new EP, Cave In, earlier this month, their latest release follows on from their debut single Fifty/Fifty that was released back in 2015 and the style of their debut single is carried through to their latest EP, but everything feels more focused and refined than on their initial release. The end product is an EP that is another example of a band that is moving away from the pop punk template and bringing something fresh to a genre that was in danger of becoming stale and predictable.

Lead single Caught Up launches the Cave In EP with a bruising delivery, that was whilst pop punk at it’s heart has a lot more muscle than bands from the genre usually possess, Mantis confirms that the opening number was not a one off, as this is another intense dose of pop punk. Light Patrol sees the intensity upped with an almost crossover feel to the delivery, but the best is saved almost for last in the form of the impressive track Fight Milk that combines everything the EP has thrown at us in three near perfect minutes, finally Just Call Me Circuit Breaker brings the Cave In EP full circle with another muscular dose of pop punk.

The Cave In EP is an emotional heavyweight that is a unique EP in pop punk terms, the song structures are unmistakably born of the genre’s heyday, but the way they are delivered is a distinct shift away from the more predictable styles that many adopt. The EP contains heavyweight drum beats and crunching guitar riffs that are combined with melodic vocals to deliver an EP that is an original and welcome addition to the ongoing renaissance that pop punk seems to be enjoying this year.

The Cave In EP can be streamed and purchased, on CD and digital formats, here

Zebedy STP

Zebedy

Set The Pace

Self Released
By

Rating: 3/5

 
 

 

 

North Wales based angular alt rock quartet Zebedy have self released their new EP, Set The Pace, today, the 15th September 2017. Zebedy‘s roots go back almost a decade when an embryonic version of the band first emerged as a live jamming trio, over the years they have steadily refined their sound and incorporated new members and influences, all the while building their fanbase with a commitment to live shows. Their latest four track EP follows on from their sophomore album, 2013’s Marionette, and showcases their latest material that has shifted into a more slightly more aggressive style away from their straight up rock roots. 

The tile track possesses the energy and attack of Rage Against The Machine, but it is blended with a slicker rock approach that incorporates technical elements that are transplanted from the metal and rock influences. After the impressive blast of the opening track we get Of Revelations, this heads off into a more straightforward metal direction before the brief instrumental, In, bridges the gap to the EP’s closing number, Bloom, that blends the rage of the opening track with every other element in the band DNA, and as a result it veers wildly across the alt rock spectrum.

Zebedy incorporate the rage of metalcore and distil this with melodic influences from the parallel world’s of rock and metal, but they largely, but not completely, avoid the self indulgent excesses of those genres to keep the energy flowing throughout the Set The Pace EP. The title track is easily the outstanding track from this release, it set the bar high for the rest of the EP so it’s not really a surprise that the tracks that followed don’t quite hit the same heights, having said that if your tastes lie more toward rock than alt rock you won’t be disappointed by Set The Pace.

Set The Pace is now available via digital platforms including Zebedy‘s Bandcamp which can be found here

Ramonas FWP

The Ramonas

First World Problems

Self Released
By

Rating: 4/5

 
 

 

 

First World Problems is the follow up to The Ramonas critically acclaimed 2016 debut EP of original material, You Asked for It, and their debut album is released today, September 10th 2017. First World Problems is now available on CD and download as well as on a limited edition run of vinyl that will be available later this year. The Ramonas are best known as the world’s most popular tribute to iconic punk pioneers The Ramones, however the release of First World Problems sees them move away from being a tribute act and into releasing their own material on their impressive debut full length.

2.0.1.6. (Fuck This) opens First World Problems and replaces the 1234 chant with the title, and launches an adrenaline charged opener that is everything you’d hope for from a band inspired by the most important band in punk history. The Ramonas have not delivered a bunch of recycled riffs, they’ve bought their own character to the album what maintaining the spirit of da brudders, tracks such as Roadkill and Zombie Crawl bring a more frantic element, whilst I Can’t Cope delivers a darker moment into the album. When you couple these elements with the straight up punk of Tearaway, Sue Me, Quarter Life Crisis and Poser, the radio edit of which is added as a bonus track, then you have a band that have very much forged their own identity. Of course The Ramones are an ever present influence, Ramonas Go To Freiburg and V.O.I.D. are tracks where they wear their influences on their sleeves, but it’s on Cotton Wool Kids and the album’s title track where The Ramonas have truly captured the spirit of The Ramones, but for me the album’s finest moment is The Daily Fail, a true original classic dedicated to most hateful tabloid newspaper in the UK.

First World Problems sees The Ramonas blending the trademark raw dirty punk riffs that are borne of the band that inspired their formation , but they combine this with their own melodic vocal and guitar lines that sit alongside punk screams and a good helping of gang vocals. The Ramonas have delivered an album that is a more then worthy successor to last years You Asked For It EP where they first unleashed their own compositions, of course their live sets will still be peppered with the classic Ramones songs that we all know and love, but with First World Problems they have proved that there is so much more to them than being a tribute band, when you combine the tracks contained on First World Problems with the punk classics they are best known for then you will have a irresistible combination.

The Ramonas website is here and First World Problems can be ordered here

Mr Happy Chainsaw INMB

Mr Happy Chainsaw

It's Not My Ball

Self Released
By

Rating: 3.5/5

 
 

 

 
Mr Happy Chainsaw reformed last year after a seven year hiatus and they have picked up exactly where they left off by re-establishing themselves on their local scene, with new material, a new line up and new attitude towards performing. Before their long hiatus Mr Happy Chainsaw were a band that took toured across the UK with the likes of The Vibrators, UK Subs and Madness and you can see why when you listen to It’s Not My Ball, as this is the kind of EP that has a distinctly cross genre appeal.
 

The It’s Not My Ball EP brings three freshly penned tracks and two regenerated classics from their first incarnation. Standing There kicks things off with an upbeat poppy punk riff, this is followed by Out Of Time and Leaving Town, two tracks that have the feel of the finest vintage power pop, whilst Charlie and Your Best Friend bring a touch of old school punk rock, the latter of which will definitely appeal to fans of Dirt Box Disco. It’s Not My Ball is an impressive EP that marks the return of Mr Happy Chainsaw to recording, eight long years after they released their debut EP, We Appear To Be On Fire.

Although Mr Happy Chainsaw describe themselves as poppy punk rock they manage to avoid the pop punk clichés that have been rife in the recent renaissance of the genre, it might be poppy but it’s not pop punk, this is punk rock with a poppy veneer. Underneath the cartoonish name and covert art there lies an accomplished combination of punk rock and power pop that is not what I expected from a band who describe themselves as a cocktail of Blink 182, Green Day and Alkaline Trio, with a splash of Foo Fighters and a hint of Barry Manilow and Elton John.

The It’s Not My Ball EP can be ordered via Bandcamp here and My Happy Chainsaw‘s website is here

Spider EP

Spider

Spider

Self Released
By

Rating: 3/5

 
 

 

 

Californian punks Spider released a limited edition EP earlier this year that promises to deliver six blistering anthems from their out of print album, Youth Insurance, that was released in 2016. The self titled EP essentially acts a best of from the debut full length and gives you a chance to catch up with Spider if you missed out the first time round. The self titled EP offers a pretension free blast of classic punk with a hardcore edge that captures the essence of Spider as a visceral band firing on all cylinders.

The Spider EP kicks off with snarling opener PCE, this is followed up with New Junk II that kicks things up into a UK82 inspired blast of old school hardcore that takes no prisoners. There are no brakes on Spider‘s EP, Barcode Baby continues the aural assault, but even when things are taken down a notch with the epic, at least by Spider‘s standards, Shooting Stars they still carry the intensity in a darker but no less intense feel that segues into the faster counterpart of Get Caught. The closing duo of Can’t Control and Pleasure Fold bring things full circle as they return to the hardcore inspired punk rock that opened the EP.

Spider have released an EP that will appeal to fans of the early American hardcore and the UK82 scenes, think of Black Flag colliding head on with GBH and you’ll have a good idea of what Spider are all about. If you were going to be critical then it could be argued that there’s nothing that you won’t have heard before on the Spider EP, but if you want that authentic blast that the early days of hardcore offered then this is an EP that delivers six tracks straight from the old school.

Spider‘s self titled EP can be purchased here

Ledges Homecoming

Ledges

Homecoming

Self Released
By

Rating: 2.5/5

 
 

 

 

Ohio indie rock trio Ledges have just released their debut album, Homecoming, the full length builds on the sound the band cultivated on their 2014 debut EP, The Indian Summer, and the album follows a singular character on a journey through doubt, love, loss, and redemption. The Homecoming album was originally intended to be an EP, but as the band began recording demos they realized that an EP wasn’t sufficient to tell the story, and it needed to be told in the form of a full length album.

A gentle introduction, that wouldn’t sound out of place on an eighties movie soundtrack, eases you into Homecoming, the majority of the album offers the kind of laid back indie feel that never really grabs you, rather it has a sound that surrounds and embraces you. There are moments on the album, such as the lead single Teenage Daydream that also carries an eighties sheen of synth, that offer more upbeat moments, but for the most part this is a distinctly languid experience. Homecoming is an album with a tale to tell, if you enjoy this kind of reflective indie experience then you may well find that Ledges have made an album that you will happily lose yourself in.

Homecoming is an album that sounds as if it’s been made to be listened to as a whole, there are no stand out singles or mesmerising moments, but it does work as a complete and coherent work. This is the kind of release that just drifts over you, whilst I personally prefer an album that grabs you and causes a rush of adrenaline there are moments when that isn’t what you need, and for those moments Ledges have produced an album that offers an enveloping and reflective experience. For me Homecoming is an album that won’t appear regularly on my playlist, but I know that when the moment is right I’ll be glad that Homecoming is resting gently in my collection.

Homecoming is available on Spotify, iTunes, Google Play, Apple Music and all other major digital outlets.

Ledges Facebook page can be found here

Electric Century FTNTC

Electric Century

For The Night To Control

Self Released
By

Rating: 3.5/5

 
 

 

 

Synth rock duo Electric Century is a curious project to say the least.  For fans of My Chemical Romance, it will be known as bassist Mikey Way’s highly anticipated post-MCR project, and from the much smaller pool of New London Fire fans, it will be known as front man David Debiak’s project with the bassist from My Chemical Romance.  Either way, the resulting synth-driven rock is unlike anything fans from either camp will be anticipating.  The duo’s debut full length, For The Night To Control, comes across like AFI side project Blaqk Audio, but with more 80’s synth and less flashy electronica.  

While Debiak’s vocals are more typically associated with a country or folk influence, they fit well at Electric Century’s fore.  When it comes to 80’s treadmill pop, the band doesn’t shy away from some fairly buoyant intros.  “You Got It All Wrong” opens like a slice of Depeche Mode, while “Right There” opens feels like more of an 8-bit throwback.  Debiak’s natural semblance to gravitate towards dark themes projects a faint gothic influence circa White Lies.  The weight of such expression forms the verses of songs like “I Lied,” which swell steadily into the chorus with gritty emotionalism.  “For You” follows with a wave of sweeping pulses that feel somewhat more benign, but make for an easy listen.  From here on out the tracks tend to scale back the focus on retro sounds, delivering a far more contemporary feel that arguably shares some distant likenesses with Debiak’s prior time in Sleep Station.  “Hey Lacey” in particular offers an insight into what direction Electric Century may have taken had they ditched the 80’s influence.  When the synth returns for “Let You Get Away” the song takes on more of a pulsing, indie presentation, complete with atmospheric twinkles.

Interestingly, on the latter half of the album the duo opt to cover a couple of early New London Fire tracks.  The first, “Until the Light Goes Out On Me,” is lifted from their The Blood, The Dirt, The Faith album, an album defining NFL’s grittiest and most vulnerable moments.  Electric Century’s revision fleshes out the song’s formerly barren landscape by covering the track in a subtle electronic layer of steady soundboard chirping.  The song relies heavily upon the original for structure, but slowly builds its own identity while sustaining the album’s dark energy.  “Someone Like You” features a similar approach to electrifying New London Fire’s rural atmosphere, this time invoking an accompanying layer of female vocals.  The tactic compliments the song’s dual lyrical tone, and outshines the original version in tact alone.  Electric Century’s self-cover songs fit so well amidst the primary track listing that newcomers stand to hardly notice the fact that these tracks are indeed covers.

But perhaps the most immediately striking moment comes in the form of “Hail The Saints”, which explores concepts of faith through dark rhythms, a ghostly tempo, and the eerie collective voices of a children’s choir.  The children’s voices exude a haunting quality as they chant “hail the saints in a godless world” against an assortment of percussive and electronic elements.  It’s like a gothic dance style beat meets a zealous preacher’s sermon.  I’m not certain of the duo’s religious affiliation, but the message seems to be one that straddles the line between belief and a more critical eye.

Overall, Electric Century make For The Night to Control a clear their manifesto for dark, catchy, synth driven electro-rock.  But while the album starts off flashy, it doesn’t take as many stylistic risks over its full runtime as might be implied early on.  That being said, the band exhibits care in their craft, and handles their covers of New London Fire with attention to detail and finesse.  The 80’s influence tends to taper by album end, but what remains is equally as enjoyable and full of substance.  Here’s to hoping that Electric Century stay the course and continue to explore their dark electronic ways for round two.

Puppet Kings VCAG

Puppet Kings

Very Cool And Groovy

Self Released
By

Rating: 3/5

 
 

 

 

Puppet Kings are the latest band to emerge from the UK coastal town of Brighton, and once more I find myself wondering is there anyone in Brighton who isn’t in a band. Puppet Kings have now been around for five years, touring relentlessly across the UK pausing only to release sporadic studio recordings, including their 2012 self titled debut full length. Their latest release, Very Cool And Groovy, follows on from their 2015 Timebomb EP and was preceded by the lead single, Rich And White, earlier this year.

Wanderlust is a fine if not somewhat familiar slab of heavyweight alt rock and the subsequent number Taurus carries the same mix of traditional rock that’s infused with a touch of energy from their alternative influences that is the sole defining line between something being traditional rock and alt rock, but it’s when you get to Rich And White that Puppet Kings get into their stride. The track opens with a sample from Donald Trump before launching into a satirical tirade against Trump and his ilk, this track carries more venom and attitude than those that preceded it and this lifts the EP, the closing track Other Side also possesses more energy and leaves me with the distinct impression that Very Cool And Groovy is an EP of two distinct halves.

Puppet Kings carry all of the the amped up rock credentials and influences that inform the Very Cool And Groovy EP , there are more traces from the traditional rock dinosaurs that lumbered across the 70’s and 80’s in their DNA than I usually care for, but when you realise they are capable of baring their fangs and snapping at events and individuals they find disagreeable then that’s something that makes you sit up and take notice, the mantra of my enemies enemy is my friend is one that seems apt for this Brighton trio’s latest release.

Very Cool And Groovy is now available on all major digital platforms and Puppet Kings website is here

High Down Moving On

High Down

Moving On

Self Released
By

Rating: 3/5

 
 

 

 
Portsmouth pop punkers High Down arrived on the music scene last year and they will be self releasing their new EP, Moving On, on the 1st September via all major digital platforms. High Down have been steadily amassing new fans and gathering firm momentum with their highly contagious brand of hard hitting pop punk which unsurprisingly has a sound that is reminiscent of Blink-182, State Champs and New Found Glory, they deliver all the expected hooks, riffs and anthemic choruses that are the hallmark of pop punk, and maybe that’s the reason I felt I was experiencing deja vu when listening to the EP.
 
Against The Tide kicks things off with a heavier take on the pop punk sound, the recognisable bounce and spirit of the genre is most definitely there, but the riffs and beats are delivered with more crunch and conviction than the majority of pop punkers, and for me it’s all the better for it. All Of You and Life Lessons continue in the same muscular vein until we get to the highlight of the Moving On EP, Making History, which boasts an uplifting chorus and veers slightly away from the pop punk on steroids template of the initial trio of tracks, and of course no self respecting pop punk band could be without the slower acoustic number that builds to an anthemic ending, and this is duly delivered with Rescue Me.
 
High Down have produced an EP that is worthy addition to the pop punk stable, and whilst they have added a heavier element into the mix it largely adheres to the format of the those that came before them, and I find myself longing for a pop punk band that will take the genre somewhere new. Don’t get me wrong I enjoy a bit of pop punk, providing the punk element hasn’t been buried under the pop, but the genre’s defining albums were released almost twenty years ago. Unless someone starts to produce something that veers away from the style and delivery of those albums then the genre is going to start to become very stale very soon.
 
High Down‘s Facebook page can be found here and their Big Cartel store is here