Ruling Class Crooks | Local Music Scene: Issue #5

Rory Indiana – Ruling Class Crooks | OUT NOW

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Here is a record we have been highly anticipating for a while now. As touched on before, we discovered Brighton alternative rockers Rory Indiana not too long ago, but they were swift to make an impact and turn us into outright fanboys.

And now, after much impatient waiting, their sophomore EP – Ruling Class Crooks – has arrived, and we could not have asked for a better product.

Mere seconds in, we are hooked courtesy of a dynamic opener featuring intoxicating riffs, strong vocals and a breathtaking rhythm; qualities that remain consistent in the ferociously addictive Leave Me, which is hands down our favourite rock track of 2016 thus far.

The band’s writing abilities are showcased in full bloom with the forceful Burnout Behaviour, in which afterwards they wind up with the emotion-fuelled Self Sabotage.

This is about as flawless as it gets, quite frankly. Rory Indiana have absolutely nailed it in every aspect, from the instrumentation, to the lyrics, to the passionate performances.

These guys have all the tools available to break it big and become one of the front-runners of British rock in the following years to come.

 


Banshee – Say My Name | OUT NOW

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Earlier this year, Greenock’s finest music act Life On Standby made the transition to Banshee and vowed to take their craft to grand new heights. It is now time to put that testimony to the test with the first record under this new chapter titled Say My Name.

The quartet surpassed our already lofty expectations for this and blew us away with exhilarating electronic rock numbers that captivated with a massive, out-of-this-world sound and a pulsating velocity that generates goosebumps every time without fail; aspects that blatantly come to light with the likes of the astonishing eponymous lead single and the invigorating Secret.

Front and centre throughout all this is Erin Donnachie who, in our humble opinion, is the best vocalist in all of Scotland’s underground scene right now. The sheer, blistering power of her harmonies are truly something to behold, and they only add to the supreme gravity of each number dished out.

With this EP, Banshee have truly cemented their talents and proved they are ready to take their game to another level.

 


Servant Sun – Hundred Waves | 15.4.16

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When introduced to Servant Sun back in 2014, we were quite impressed with their talents – as evident by their self-titled debut EP – and believed there was plenty of potential lurking underneath.

Fast forward 2 years later, and the Glasgow metal quintet have proved us right and realised their potential with a new record – Hundred Waves.

The title track gets things started nicely with sweet riffs to be had and frontman Andrew’s vocals that are favourably comparable to those of Myles Kennedy on full display. Afterwards we have Misgiver which is driven by a vivid, progressive rhythm.

They drop down the tempo for Taste Of Silver, building and further accelerating before escalating to a furious, full-frontal gallop. But it does not end there, as they charge into a rocking finale with Cold House Collapse, loaded with booming bass tones, blazing guitar work and great lyrics.

If they continue to deliver material of this standard, there is no reason why Servant Sun cannot go on to grow into one of Scotland’s top metal acts further down the road.

 


Create To Inspire – Home Is Where My Heart Dies | OUT NOW

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Truth be told, we have underestimated Essex melodic hardcore band for so long, but with the release of their new EP – Home Is Where My Heart Dies – we are kicking ourselves for not jumping on the bandwagon much sooner.

It goes without saying, but this is a mighty heavy record with a lot of animosity and fury emitting from the provoking writing and an immense performance from frontman Sean; facets most glaring in the bombastic Counting Days.

Add some meteoric drumming and intense guitar-driven sequences to the mix, and we have ourselves a short but tasty record from one of the best acts to emerge from the East of England.

 


Animal Noise – Sink Or Swim | 15.4.16

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Since their debut several years ago, Colchester indie rock trio have seen a swift rise in popularity and been awarded with a wide array of opportunities, and after listening to their latest offering – Sink Or Swim – it is abundantly clear why that is the case.

Starting quiet from the offset, they suddenly pick up for what is an immensely catchy opening number. Following that, tremendous, impeccable acoustic chords and an addictive drum beat carry forth the melody of How Can You Love Me.

They proceed through Alright at a smooth rate, soon building towards an explosive finale, before eventually capping off with the thrilling Bag Of Bones, and if you somehow resist the dire urge to tap your foot to this bouncy ditty, you have unnaturally tenacious restraint.

Make no bones about it, this is a damn near perfect EP we have on our hands here that will most definitely go down as of 2016’s best.

 

 


Seasons (Self-Titled EP) | OUT NOW

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This year has already seen quite the inflation of talented new acts that are just fresh on the scene but already showing lots of long-term promise, and here we have yet another – Bedfordshire rock group Seasons with what is a superb debut record.

In this EP, they deliver a batch of exciting, high-tempo anthems that provide a snappy rush of energy, solid lyrics and spirited performances across the board.

With a first impression as great as this one, expect the name Seasons to be a notable one in British music sooner than later.

 


The Holy Smokes – No Romance | OUT NOW

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Looking for some sweet indie music this side of the border? Look no further, as Edinburgh duo have you covered with an entertaining EP by the name of No Romance.

Disenchanted and Deceived are personified by chipper, toe-tapping rhythms and snazzy riffs. The engaging 3 Words stands out as the highlight with a smooth and somewhat eerie sound, which leads into what is a smashing final track with Liar.

 


Left Ahead – Dancing In Hell | OUT NOW

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Hailing from Hull, Left Ahead are one of the UK’s most dynamic punk rocks act going right now, and we can thoroughly recommend their new EP – Dancing In Hell.

First up, the rugged title track is driven by gritty bass lines and provocative writing – a theme that is very apparent throughout, including with GOO which is essentially a short and to the point middle finger in musical form to a certain chancellor.

They keep the frantic pace going and leave us breathless with Stand And Speak, before bringing it all to an end with the pounding Kicking The Walls In.

Impasse | Local Music Scene: Issue #4

Blackwork – Impasse | 25.3.15

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Scotland is brimming with a wide multitude of great metal bands, but in our honest opinion, the ones who show real potential are only few and far between. This is where Blackwork from Glasgow enter the frame.

These young guns have impressed us time and time again in the last 12 months or so, and they have definitely shown they have what it takes to go far. Case in point – their upcoming debut release, Impasse.

Each number is carried forth by highly energetic, aggressive rhythms that reach their optimum over the course of thrilling choruses. In addition, frontman Josh proves to be a beast on the mic and there are a plethora of sick riffs to be had throughout.

The title track certainly stands out as a highlight, as the band display more complexities than before and continue to exhibit their constant development that will help them go far.

If any metal fans are looking for a good record to buy on pay day, then we can happily say it would be more than worthwhile spending your hard-earned cash on this one.

 


Speaking In Italics – Painted Sky | OUT NOW

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After 5 years of hard work, Speaking In Italics have established themselves as one of Leicester’s definitive rock acts, and they continue to live up to that reputation with their third EP to hit the shelves – Painted Sky.

We are presented with a bundle of enjoyable and memorable tracks such as More Than Fiction and Vultures which feature solid riffs, polished harmonies and top notch writing to boot, that all come to a head with the emotionally-fueled Sidelined.

The band’s latest offering is, as expected, a satisfying one, and it is about time the quartet started getting some proper attention for their efforts.

 


Chasing Dragons – Faction Prologue | 29.3.15

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Leeds hard rock band Chasing Dragons are finally back in business, and to herald the occasion, they have treated us to a new EP titled Faction Prologue.

The high adrenaline kicks in from the get-go with the very catchy Devil In Her Eyes; continuing on into The Mutiny where blistering riffs and spirited vocals are present, as well as some fantastic and addicting lyrics.

And just when there appears to be time to catch your breath as they ease into Whitehorse, they suddenly shift gears for one last kinetic track.

A short but spicy record that proves Chasing Dragons are only better than ever and set to reach new heights in the British underground scene.

Limited physical editions of Faction Prologue are available to pre-order now via the band’s Big Cartel page.


Chisel Beeches – In A Week On A Whim | 1.4.16

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We love us some good old British rock, and we are more than happy to welcome a new addition to our ever growing collection – Chisel Beeches, who are set to release their debut EP, In A Week On A Whim.

From start to finish, we get quite the loaded display of killer riffs, real vigor behind the rhythms driven by smashing drum beats, fervent vocal work and strong writing, with the focal point being You Are Your Friend, a captivating and very memorable number highlighted by some groovy bass lines.


Painting Rockets – Happiness In Measures | OUT NOW

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Just recently, Edinburgh alternative rock band Painting Rockets were brought to our attention. After spending many months in the shadows due to several issues, they are now looking to get back in the game with a new EP – Happiness In Measures.

With an atmospheric intro in the form of Aeris, our ears were fixated immediately and our curiosity grew. It all then gets going with the title track, where their talents truly come to light as they deliver some stunning singing, driving bass chords and a frenzied chorus.

After a quick break, they move onto If Hate Wasn’t A Word, where the guitars really shine through, before easing off for a smooth finish with You’ll Never Know.

Well, colour us impressed. We were expecting something good but they have definitely proven to be something much more. We sense a lot of promise from this trio.


Phil Cooper – Things I’ll Never Say | OUT NOW

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An artist by the name of Phil Cooper popped up on our news feed the other day. Intrigued and keen to discover something new, as per usual, we took the time to check out his new album, Things I’ll Never Say.

Time (and money) well spent, it proved to be, as over its course the record establishes Phil as a great singer, awfully adept with the guitar and able to produce an array of songs with not only a little bit of everything thrown in – such as pop, folk and blues – but also splendid writing.

The broad range of highlights include the likes of the very catchy Let It Fall, the waltzing Cold Day In Hell and the brass-heavy Old Wounds.

An entertaining listening affair from a charming and clearly talented fellow.


Ask For Joy – New Private Window | OUT NOW

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It has been quite some time since we indulged in shoegaze, but luckily someone came under our radar and put an end to the drought. That particular someone is Arron Rossetto, better known as Ask For Joy, who has just added another record to his flourishing repertoire – New Private Window.

This LP can be best described as a heck of a euphoric experience that mesmirises with warm vocals and an appeasing, goosebump-induce ambience that is spine-tingling and never extinguished at any moment throughout the half hour duration.

Slow Kiss features some transcendent guitar work, lead single Pinprick Eyes is unforgettable, Cherry Popsicle fascinates with some imaginative writing and When Your Heart Stops Beating serves as a catchy finish.

It really is astonishing how an artist can completely reignite our interest in a whole genre, but that is exactly the case here with Aaron and our love for shoegaze.

This guy is insanely talented, and it boggles our mind as to why he has yet to receive any proper major recognition.


Bullet Height – Bastion | OUT NOW

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Hailing from Berlin, electronic rock duo Bullet Height have been swift to make their first impact with their debut single Bastion.

What they deliver is a high-octane, exhilarating tune with the most heart-stopping of rhythms and an immense chorus, not to mention a thrilling lead performance from vocalist Sammi.

With an album to come later this year, it will not be long before the pair take Europe, and more than likely the rest of the world, by storm.

Inhale, Exhale | Local Music Scene: Issue #3

Donnie Willow – Inhale, Exhale

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For over a year now, we have been big fans of Glasgow trio Donnie Willow – in fact, becoming one of our favourite acts in all of Scotland. They first caught our attention with what was an unforgettable debut EP consisting of 4 spectacular tracks.

Naturally, when they announced they were working on a new mini-album entitled Inhale, Exhale, we got excited, but after all this wait, could they actually top themselves with this one?

They kick things off nice and slow with Inhale, picking up as it goes before launching into lead single Jagged Teeth, a catchy as hell, riff-jammed rock anthem that only gets better with each consecutive listen; I Eat Flies producing a similar effect.

As the record progresses, the tunes become not only longer but also feature more complex rhythms and more mature writing – very evident with the emotional Little Brother, as well as Fairytale. Soon, they wrap up in their standard, rip-roaring fashion with the dynamic Exhale.

The lads had quite the tough act to follow with their previous release, but they did just that, providing us with one of the most entertaining Scottish records of the year so far, while also showcasing their constant evolution and growing capabilities as a band.

 


 

 

We Came From Wolves – Ruiner

Last year, 2015 SAMA best rock act We Came From Wolves blew us away with what was an incredible debut full-length album – in fact, so good, we nominated it for Scottish Record Of The Year.

One of the highlights of said album is a track by the name of Ruinerand as per usual, we get a vehement tune with very strong writing to boot, in addition to sensational riffs and slick bass lines that truly shine through in the latter half.

Recently, the band released a music video for it. Directed by Connor Strachan of Wavvy Productions, it perfectly brings the tragic story of the song to life.


 

The Maddigans – No Place Like Here

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Four long years it has been in the making, but finally we are excited to see the much anticipated release of The Maddigans’ new record – No Place Like Here.

Just as predicted, it is a great collection of bubbly, rambunctious tunes with the most exuberant melodies, but in particular there are two of them which stand out.

First off is 42 Days, an impassioned and sentimental acoustic number which really struck a chord with us in a way we cannot explain; we would certainly love to see the group do more stripped material like this because they prove to be really talented at it.

The other is closing track A Little Bit Of Distance which also has an emotional edge and left stuck in our head afterwards.

Another excellent product from Canada’s premiere pop punk act.

 


Small Pond Big Fish – Close My Eyes

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As of recent, we discovered London band Small Pond Big Fish and were very quick to jump on the bandwagon after being hooked onto their latest release – Close My Eyes.

Each number brings a much welcomed heavier element to the traditional pop punk genre; a huge sound which is just bursting through our headphones. On top of that, the energy levels are absolutely off the charts and they leave us breathless by the end of the adrenaline rush.

One minor nitpick is that half of the record consists of interludes, which unfortunately makes for a constant pace-breaker that cuts down the momentum somewhat.

But again, it is only a minimal aspect that does little to take away from what is ultimately a breathtaking, exhilarating EP.

 


Ko_Plune – Auditory Atlas

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A good band is one who are able to show a lot of potential with their very first record. Ko_Plune from Southampton match that category to a tee with their debut EP – Auditory Atlas.

What the quartet deliver is a unique sound that beautifully blends a concoction of several genres, most notably jazz and progressive dance. At times, the tracks stride at a smooth, delicate pace, while at other occasions bouncing along to lively, toe-tapping rhythms.

Stand out qualities include graceful harmonies, fiercely funky bass work and utterly addictive drum beats; aspects most prominent in the likes of Rare Error, Panda and especially the rousing closing number Machiatto.

We implore you all to check out this band now, because Auditory Atlas is absolutely pleasing to the ears. Here’s hoping they live up to their promise and go very far.


Ghost Writer – Outskirts Vol. 1

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Falkirk newcomers Ghost Writer are looking to make a good first impression, and indeed they do just that with a solid debut EP that brings us indie pop with the subtlest hint of country for good measure.

For Hire is a catchy number with such infectious guitar work on display, whilst Not Forgotten entertains with a captivating melody.

They follow up with the warm and pleasant Stranger To Me Now, before finishing in a serene manner with Way I’m Wired.


Van Halst – World Of Make Believe

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Ontario’s latest metal offering comes in the form of the relatively new Van Halst, who have just churned out their debut album – World Of Make Believe – and let’s just say, it is quite the belter.

This is a tremendous record from start to finish. Of course, you have your tasty selection of catchy headbangers such as The EndMonster and the thunderous title track.

But there are also an assortment of tunes that feature some incredibly vexing lyrics; in particular, Questions is a very strong piece that narrates an uncomfortably distressing story, which is brought to life so well through frontman Kami’s gripping, passionate performance.

Other numbers where the aforementioned qualities also shine through include the likes of Denying Eyes and Put Them Down.

World Of Make Believe on the whole is a phenomenal first album, courtesy of a group who can easily rise to become one of the central advocates of Canadian metal.

 


Penny Was Right – We Were Kids

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Our first ever look into France’s music scene has led us to discover Penny Was Right and their latest EP – We Were Kids.

This is, simply put, an immensely fun and energetic record, with each track featuring invigorating, bass-driven melodies, striking lyrics and catchy choruses; Your Ex Is A D*ck and Crash Down At Sunlight standing at the cream of the crop.

A seriously addicting 20 minutes that we are happy to leave on repeat for hours on end.