2 years after the release of their debut record All Roads Lead Home, London-residing Exeter rock quintet TALMA are back and ready to impress again with their second EP – Out To Sea.
We are greeted with an increasing drum beat before the guys get going with In Circles, which moves at a stable tempo and features a solid chorus. Lifeline certainly has more a pep, with competent vocals, neat riffs and smooth bass tones showcased over its course.
Starless Skies is very pleasant and has a real warmth to it, particularly in regards to the harmonies and cordial riffs. In our opinion, this is a highlight, and they follow in corresponding fashion with the closing title track, which builds upon the atmosphere and adds more and more layers of energy, leading up to an exciting finish.
This is another well done effort from the band that, while doing nothing revolutionary by any means, still brings plenty of variety to the table and succeeds in entertaining through each of the tunes in one way or another.
For our money’s worth, we enjoyed Out To Sea, and we think that any other sensible rock fan should too.
“OUT TO SEA” IS AVAILABLE FROM FRIDAY 23RD FEBRUARY
Between a premiere on Kerrang, earning a slot on tour with Feed The Rhino and fair amounts of praise in general, Kent hardcore outfit Cove have been making themselves the talk of the town, and they are seeking to make a serious imprint with their forthcoming sophomore EP – A Conscious Motion.
They ease in with tapping drumsticks while basslines gradually kick in and develop before dropping into lead single Coincide:Collide, an emphatic track with a forcible rhythm where Ben Shorten takes control with his formidable vocal work.
They fire up the intensity with Solis, driving at a sweeping pace and flaunting an immense, in-your face resonance. It’s really damn good, and they sure as hell don’t let up with All I Believe, where they continue to propel that sheer, weighty energy.
After taking a pause with Host, they break out for one last rush with Reflect:Resolve, churning out rabid riffs left, right and centre.
With growing hype surrounding them, Cove have excelled with A Conscious Motion, delivering one of the tightest, most sizable records to emerge from the British metal scene in quite some time.
Those who have only gotten a small taste of what this quintet have to offer have not heard anything yet. This EP is going to make a substantial statement, mark our words.
“A CONSCIOUS MOTION” IS AVAILABLE ON FRIDAY 23RD MARCH
As far as heralded artists in the Scottish scene go, Anna Sweeney ranks high in that regard. Hailing from Ayr, she has had a fair amount of promotion behind her and received plenty of notice far and wide, all building towards the upcoming release of her debut album – Game Face.
The record starts off in stylish fashion with Jealous, which is bright and fixating as it rides off an irresistible beat. Seventeen tells the story of a not-so-tight romance, with the writing being the fundamental element here.
Anna’s harmonies are particularly gracious in You Knew It. Meanwhile, Wind And Fire is a sleek number; likewise with the lyrically great Encore. After that is Caught In The Rain, another track with a hooking melody.
She recaptures the energy of the opener with Heartbreaker’s Daughter, where the intertwining piano-based verses power into dazzling choruses, before wrapping up with the excellent and elating Fix.
Anna Sweeney does well to shine in her first full-length release, which starts off amazingly and ends on a similar high. It doesn’t always gel in parts throughout the middle, but there’s still enough positives to be had.
Overall, this is a worthy effort, and we are keen to hear more sooner than later.
“GAME FACE” IS AVAILABLE ON SATURDAY 3RD MARCH
ANNA WILL HEADLINE AN ALBUM LAUNCH SHOW AT STEREO ON THE DAY OF RELEASE, WITH SUPPORT FROM LILURA + MANDULU & HEPHZIBAH
In the midst of new discoveries, London artist Simon Baum has stuck out in our radar. One of the city’s busiest independent musicians, the man came to our attention courtesy of his most recent release – Better.
First up is the warm and welcoming Bridges, where the lyrics are excellent and Simon draws us in through his civil vocals. The title number has inspired themes behind it, and from gentle beginnings, it builds in size over its duration.
Firelight is a decent piece, and soon he finishes on It’s All For You, a low-key song that immerses the listener in an ambience mixing pianos, subtle synths, glockenspiels and a choir-esque sound.
If you’re in the mood to discover somebody new, Simon Baum has our blessing as a result of what is ultimately a fine EP; one that is just a small part of a bigger library worth checking out.
There’s little doubt that Funeral Shakes have made themselves a hot topic in the underground scene as of late, being highly touted by Kerrang and the like.
A meeting of members from The Smoking Hearts, Nervus and Gallows – a supergroup of sorts, to paraphrase the folk over at Musicology – the quartet have come together to make some material. The result – a self-titled album.
Debut single Over You kicks it off in a belligerent manner, being an insanely catchy number running off a full-frontal ferocity; an archetype established for the rest of the record, as demonstrated in the similarly sharp Motions. In the same vain, second single Lightning excels with a whopping chorus and the resonating battering of drums. In the writing area, Lovebirds is the pinnacle with its cynical, anti-romantic tones.
Circles is another key highlight – if not THE highlight – where the riffs are laced with an extra dose of aggression, the pace is swift and the lyrics make such a quick mark that you’ll be likely singing along before the end of your first listen. In our mind, this would be an ideal choice for their next single, assuming they haven’t considered that already.
After Gold Teeth, in which the guitars continue to shine, they take a break to provide us with sweet instrumental piece Gin Palace, and following the solid Howl, they reclaim the energy with Bon Voyage; sustained in the equally enthralled Soap. Safari satisfies with the basslines at the forefront, before sending us off nicely with You’re So Bad.
While granted, we shouldn’t be surprised considering the validated talent at the reins, but Funeral Shakes’ first endeavour is a very strong result that consistently delivers from top to bottom and justifies the hype behind them. Here’s hoping this leads to a long-term future and isn’t just a one-and-done deal.
We have the privilege of discovering countless bands and musicians on a weekly basis that showcase plenty of talent, but it’s not often that we come across an act who instantly makes such an impact and exhibits legitimate potential to break it big.
Enter Kadija Kamara from London. The self-proclaimed Alt-Soul artist has been building quite the reputation for herself with several accolades, and with all that experience at her disposal, she has curated an EP titled Nothing Left To Lose, and the results are something to be admired.
It starts off with the eponymous chief single, where the ravishing, Southern-style guitars and sweet, subtle basslines help to create a scintillating bluesy number. Kadija’s feverish vocals are just dazzling, draping with tonnes of feeling and elation, and she goes all out towards the end.
The track alone is enough to cement her as a proper force, but she’s only just getting warmed up, for next is Running In The Name Of The Game, a marvelous get-your-dancing-shoes-on tune featuring a catchy, bouncy beat.
Eyes On You throws a more electronic-based essence into the fray that is highly addictive, before she finishes on Like You, a tremendous pop ballad that is warm and gracious – espcially with the strings and accompanying chair at hand – and displays lots of emotion and spirit from Kadija one last time.
Over the course of these 4 songs, Kadija Kamara shows off her expertise in sensational style, with her performances leaving the listening audience stunned, and her aptness to transverse mulitple genres effortlessly is a testament to her ability.
A real star-maker of a record if we ever saw one.
Since forming in 2015, Manchester-based scousers Counterpoint have been gradually working their way up the ladder, all building to the recent release of their first EP – If Not Now, When?
The fast and furious opener Leave It All Behind swiftly sets the tone in the space of 2 minutes, but we get to the real meat of the record with Honestly; catchy and action-packed with battering drums and lyrics that snag on quick.
Between You And Me is another hard-hitting banger with beefy vocals from Dominic and the guitars packing a serious punch, and the momentum only escalates from there when the undisputed highlight DownDownDown electrifies with a hell of a charging, heart-stopping chorus. The guys give the briefest of chances for a reprieve before pushing into the solid One Sided Conversations to wrap things up.
Woah nelly, this is a blinder of a record that is a constant blitz of blood-rushing energy which never lets up at any moment.
This is nothing short of staggering, and will easily go down as one of 2018’s most successful debuts that signified the arrival of a no-nonsense rock group that deserve to be taken seriously.