Small Top 100 Favourite Records – Part 4 (40-21)

#40 | Exist Immortal – Darkness Of An Age

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HIGHLIGHTS: The Participant, Desolace, Edge Of Infinity, Legions, Liberator

 

#39 | Sworn To Oath – Pillars

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HIGHLIGHTS: Let The Rain Pour, Outcast, All My Time, Forever Hurting, Free Me

 

#38 | Adam Stafford – Taser Revelations

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HIGHLIGHTS: Railway Trespassers, Atheist Money, Phantom Billions, Let A Little Love Inside, Taser Revelations

 

#37 | KLOE – Teenage Craze

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HIGHLIGHTS: Teenage Craze, Grip, Feel

 

#36 | Allusondrugs – Allusondrugs

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HIGHLIGHTS: Cherry Pie, Nervous, Ted What’s The Porn Like In Heaven?

 

#35 | Servers – Leave With Us

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HIGHLIGHTS: Universes & Supernovas, Claustrophobia, Save Me From Myself, Do Gooders, Run With The Foxes

 

#34 | Follow You Home – If It Kills Me

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HIGHLIGHTS: Playing With Fire, What’s To Say You’re Not Alone, Long Way, Eyes Wide Open, Low

 

#33 | Bec Sandridge – In The Fog

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HIGHLIGHTS: You’re A F***ing Joke, High Tide, In The Fog In The Flame

 

#32 | Altered Sky – Without Wonderland

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HIGHLIGHTS: Songbird, Live For It, Stupid In The Dark, Waves, Apple Tree

 

#31 | Devil Sold His Soul – Belong =/= Betray

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HIGHLIGHTS: Time, Devastator, Unveiled

 

#30 | Vasa – Colours

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HIGHLIGHTS: As Long As It Doesn’t Explode, Not A Cop, Ergonomic Keyboard, The Angry Dome

 

#29 | Fizzy Blood – Feast

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HIGHLIGHTS: January Sun, Black Sheep, Queen Of Hearts

 

#28 | Our Lucid Reality – Hy Brasil

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HIGHLIGHTS: Hy Brasil, Microcosmic Thrones

 

#27 | Mutiny On The Bounty – Trials

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HIGHLIGHTS: North Korea, Artifacts, Myanmar, Modern Day Robbery, Mapping The Universe

 

#26 | The Vegan Leather – This House

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HIGHLIGHTS: This House, Days Go By, The Bottom Of The Ocean

 

#25 | Courtesans – Better Safe Than Sober

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HIGHLIGHTS: Knowhere, Mesmerise, Feel The Same

 

#24 | When We Were Wolves – Heartless

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HIGHLIGHTS: Heartless, Dying On The Inside, The Devil You Know

 

#23 | The Van T’s – Laguna Babe

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HIGHLIGHTS: Laguna Babe, Growler, Feel Touch Feel

 

#22 | White Clouds & Gunfire – For All The Non Believers

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HIGHLIGHTS: You Can’t Bring Me Down, Poison, Since You Were Gone, Pebbles

 

#21 | Max Raptor – Mother’s Ruin

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HIGHLIGHTS: England Breathes, Back Of A Barrel Wave, Evangeline, Taming Of The Shrewd, Grace And Favours

 

 

REVIEW | The Courtesans – Better Safe Than Sober

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How do you best describe The Courtesans? Fact of the matter is, it is pretty tricky, as they seem to mix in facets of several genres, including alternative rock, pop and doom metal – just to name a few – but that only helps differentiate these femme fatales from the rest of the pack in the blooming British underground scene.

Recently, they embarked on a Pledge campaign and achieved overwhelming success, resulting in the release of a new EP titled Better Safe Than Sober.

A hammering drum beat signals the beginning of Knowhere, which soon unleashes into a phenomenal, grandiose chorus which is insanely catchy, and the hypnotic multi-layer harmonies leave the hairs standing on end; likewise with Feel The Same, which is also notable for subtly slick guitar work throughout, as well as some excellent spoken word from frontwoman Sinead during the verses that has a sheer magnetic quality.

After two extravagant openers, they bring it down for a more subdued and solemn yet still enthralling number in the form of John Doe, but the levels slowly rise again for Mesmirise, a tune that does exactly what it says on the tin, as it builds up to a fiery, passionate vocal performance which sends chills down the spine, and eventually The Tide concludes the record in exciting style.

It is really obvious it was more than worth the time to contribute money toward the production of this EP.

Hands down, this is the greatest thing the group have ever done, an outstanding listening experience like no other that has sent a clear, emphatic statement – The Courtesans deserve the spotlight, and are ready to make one hell of an impact when given the opportunity.

 

 

REVIEW | Mt Doubt – King Tuts New Year’s Revolution 2017

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Into the home stretch of the 2017 King Tuts New Year’s Revolution fesitval now, and topping the bill of the 13th show we have Mt Doubt from Edinburgh – the brainchild of Leo Bargery – an act who have constantly been named ones to watch over the past couple of years; full proof of that in their two albums – My Past Is A Quiet Beast and In Awe Of Nothing.

Although big fans, we had never before got to see them on stage, and this proved to be the perfect opportunity to break that affliction.


First up was the only band completely unknown to us – Sea Captain – who congratulated all in attendance for getting down early to see them.

While opening lukewarm, they gradually got better as they progressed, displaying some neat chords, decent bass lines and vocals which really shined in parts, plus frontman Joe offered some little quirky quips in between songs. Overall, a good solid showing to start the night off.

*

Taking the helm next were SKJOR (pronounced “sure”, for your information), who we were looking forward to after liking the little taste we got of their material online.

The fact they had quite the crowd lined up for them was a hopeful sign, and they simply captivated us.

The dual guitars were excellent, being fluid and precise from Callum whilst more delicate from leading lady Louise, who strummed by the fingertips with such subtlety, and she furthering impressed with her crisp harmonies. Completing the package, we had very fluent bass and drum work from the pairing of Jack and Toni respectively.

From the mellow Without Hope to the dynamic Self Controlit was an outstanding showcase of talent, and we are so eager to see what the future holds for this quartet. It cannot be anything other than positive in our minds.

*

Aside from the headliners, we were most excited for Crow’s Feet, who we have championed ever since their debut; emerging as one of the most promising newcomers of last year, with Hornets Nest being nominated for our 2016 Scottish Record Of The Year prize, so obviously our expectations were high.

Surge // Swell eased us in and set the mood nicely, escalating as it elapsed before transitioning into the title track of their aforementioned album, which sounded great despite the mic going dead for half a minute.

The new number was stunning, and Alarm Clark Bones sent chills down our spine, so much so that even the irritating people behind us did little to hamper our love for it. Eventually, they would wrap up in bombastic fashion with their latest single Hesitator.

Huge credit has to be given to vocalist Calum here. We forgot just how incredible he was, not only because of his wide range and his knack for hitting the high notes, but because of just how into it he gets, and we become more invested as a result.

Add on some atmosphere-boosting synths and tight drumming for measure, and you have a recipe for something truly special.

*

After that, we were really feeling the buzz for Mt Doubt, and from the word go, we were hooked.

Leo was very apt both in his playing and in the vocal department, complimented perfectly by his entourage in each of their particular fields; all working together as a cohesive unit.

Focal points included Sheer And Utter which was bursting with energy, the more subdued Hotel Key, the equally engaging Soak and Afterglow, both driven by memorable melodies, and finally the zealous Soft Wrists which brought the set to a sensational conclusion.

It was a long wait to see Leo and crew, but very much worth it. Undeniably, a successful outing for them at the prestigious venue.

 

REVIEW | The Dead Settlers – King Tuts New Year’s Revolution 2017

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On the heels of an unforgettable sell out with The Van T’s the night before were indie-blues rock quartet The Dead Settlers, a bunch we had grown fond of lately, who were ready to take their turn in the headline position at King Tuts’ New Year’s Revolution festival.


Up first were Lional, who flurried through a medley of high quality tracks such as Easy Love and Season Of Salt, all of which were notable for articulate riffs and incredibly tight bass-drum combos.

All in all, an enjoyable start to the night courtesy of a worthwhile discovery for us.

*

Retro Video Club then stepped up and kicked it into high gear. Utterly captivating stuff, with tonnes of energy radiating off the stage; especially from frontman Liam who displayed an abundance of vitality to a point where he was sweating like mad halfway through.

The herd of family members at the barricade were going bananas, while the rest of the crowd were seemingly invested throughout, with some bobbing and bouncing along with the beats; something we caught ourselves doing a few times.

Highlights ranged from the spirited Heart Brigade and pleasing Recovery, to a track serving as a tribute to all those who suffer in the world of retail and/or hate their boss titled Can I?

We thought they sounded entertaining on record, but they proved to be even more so live. We can only hope that the DF Concerts booking team took notice and will be smart enough to bring them back for a future festival as a headliner, because they deserve to be in that spot.

*

The Ranzas from Ayrshire were second to last, and what stood out to us most was the vocalist Lyle, who had an off-kilter charisma and quite a fascinating presence; swaying about without much of a care, and whenever he signaled for the audience to clap, jump or cheer, they would do just that without fail in every instance.

With plenty of slick songs donning decent melodies and choruses, they had made a fine first impression.

*

It was now time for The Dead Settlers, and for the most part they did very well, with a mix of strong vocals, solid guitar work and engaging rhythms that had a majority of the crowd hooked; a certain few deafening us with chants for Jonny.

They burst out the gates in fiery fashion, although admittedly the pace did wane a little around the middle, but it was not long before they recovered and built up marvelously to a brilliant climax featuring Burn With Me and Sophia – both from their recent EP – and after an emphatic demand, they got the place going one more time with a riveting encore.

While not without flaws, their performance still done enough to leave a lasting impact and send us home satisfied.

Small Top 100 Favourite Records – Part 3 (60-41)

#60 | The Hiding Place – So This Is Home

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HIGHLIGHTS: Barfly, Guts, Long Winters

 

#59 | Kamikaze Girls – SAD

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HIGHLIGHTS: Black Coffee, Stitches, Hexes

 

#58 | Crash Club – CC.101

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HIGHLIGHTS: Chemicals, Pennydrop

 

#57 | Felix Champion – This Lateral Life

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HIGHLIGHTS: Ropes, Canyons, These Four Walls, French Wine, Animals, Breathe In Breathe Out

 

#56 | Erin Bennett – ReFlowered

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HIGHLIGHTS: Ready To Play, You Will Not Escape This, Never Give Up The Fight, Power Back, Elevate, Every Time I Breathe

 

#55 | Painting Rockets – From The Debris

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HIGHLIGHTS: Empathy, Method In The Madness, I’ll Be Fine

 

#54 | Divides – Anywhere & Nowhere

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HIGHLIGHTS: Falsehood, Spiders

 

#53 | A Plastic Rose – Flickering Light Of An Inner War

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HIGHLIGHTS: Autumn Eases You Into The Dark, Move Islands, Boxes, Happiness And Joy, This Side Of Winter, Someone’s Daughter, Be A Phoenix

 

#52 | Colt 45 – The Tide Is Turning

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HIGHLIGHTS: Salt Water, I Thought I Knew Best, Ok, I Remember When The Rain Came Down, The Simple Things Are Working

 

#51 | The Ciazarn Affair – Le Cirque D’un

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HIGHLIGHTS: You Can’t Call Me A Freak, Hey Rube, Just Like The Mona Lisa

 

#50 | Mechanical Smile – Say Goodbye

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HIGHLIGHTS: Close Your Eyes, Say Goodbye, Wolf, Take Me To The Otherside

 

#49 | Chirper Horsket – Domino Mindfield

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HIGHLIGHTS: Homeless Devil, Yesterday Aliens Came Around To My Door

 

#48 | Fathoms – Cold Youth

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HIGHLIGHTS: XIV, Old Bones

 

#47 | Dream State – Consequences

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HIGHLIGHTS: Rebuild Recreate, Burn Them Down, Burden

 

#46 | Huxtable – It’s A Trap

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HIGHLIGHTS: Regimental, Shut Up

 

#45 | Baby Strange – Want It Need It

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HIGHLIGHTS: Human, Pure Evil, Pleasure City, VVV, Nude

 

#44 | From Sorrow To Serenity – Antithesis

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HIGHLIGHTS: i9, Antithesis

 

#43 | Shields – Guilt

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HIGHLIGHTS: But This Feels Worse, Guilt, Jordan

 

#42 | Enemies Of The State – Awakening

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HIGHLIGHTS: No Tomorrow, Sand Wood Or Stone, Open Your Eyes, No Time For Tears, Awakening

 

#41 | Donnie Willow – Inhale, Exhale

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HIGHLIGHTS: I Eat Flies, Little Brother, Exhale, Jagged Teeth

 

REVIEW | The Van T’s – King Tuts New Year’s Revolution 2017

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So far, the 2017 King Tuts New Year’s Revolution had been quite the ride, creating everlasting memories and giving a wide variety of under-the-radar acts a platform to showcase their talents and potential, but now it was time for debatably the most anticipated for them all.

Indie grunge band The Van T’s are for sure one of the country’s most promising up-and-comers, and we could not recall a bigger buzz for a show on this festival lineup as much as this one.

One dramatic bus ride featuring a car crash later and we were in Glasgow, raring to go.


With the place already heaving, Sahara from Dundee were up. The opening track was so-so and never clicked with us, and we became worried that the rest from here would be the same, but they completely turned it around with the next one which had a lot more moxie, and from there they impressed us with other numbers driven by such catchy melodies, where they demonstrated precise drum work and very good vocals.

It flew in so fast that we were genuinely gutted that it was over so soon. A flat start admittedly, but they swiftly caught on like wildfire.

*

As Rascalton got ready, there was a packed ocean of people which left us with so little room to breathe that we decided to perch ourselves on the bench in front of the sound desk, which gave us the best view in the house for the imminent commotion set to go down in the next half hour.

The first few songs had audience members dotted around bopping up and down to the rhythms, but at the midway point is where it truly kicked off, with an assortment of folk clapping, passionate singing, “Rascalton” chants, a young lady perched on shoulders for a brief moment and a group of at least ten strong bouncing in unison, arm in arm.

Pure insanity unfolded in front of our eyes, whilst the quartet delivered a really tight, energetic performance on stage which obviously rubbed off so well. Exceedingly electrifying, to say the least.

*

Just how could LUCIA follow that? Well, having listened to her a number of times prior, there was little doubt she would do fine, and fortunately that was the case.

Emanating in what appeared to be a Kill Bill-inspired outfit, she displayed a real confident demeanor up there and lots of poise through her playing and enticing vocals, and she was in great company of a band who had excellent chemistry alongside her.

The audience were not exactly anarchic like before, that was to be expected, but she certainly entranced them with stellar tracks such as Melted Ice CreamLose My Mind and Saturday’s Dead; the latter in particular a high-octane, captivating anthem.

Lucia looked a star and sounded a star, and we think a bright future for her is not too far-fetched.

*

The wait for The Van T’s felt like the longest 15 minutes of our life. There was such an aura of incitement stirring, and the intrigue only grew as the stage was decorated with streamers and lines of lights.

The group kicked off with No Man’s Money, and from there it was a fast and furious set where they fired out one thrilling tune after another, stimulating us with the likes of the dashing 35mm, the classic Growler and the supremely breathtaking Laguna BabeThey even presented us with a brand new track entitled Bittersweet which we fell in love with.

Performance-wise, it was as about as flawless as you could get. The twins Chloe and Hannah were sublime in their harmonies and riffs, Joanne was awfully stylish on bass and Shaun was impeccable behind the kit. They were all also very active, with an assemblage of photographers fighting for space, trying to capture the perfect moment.

Just as much as we were taken back at what was transpiring in front of us, standing at the barricade directly opposite them, the girls were equally as stunned at the sight of hundreds of people, all there to see them do what they did best. You could easily tell from the joyful shakiness in their voices how overwhelmed they were.

As they brought the night to an end with Fun Garcon, we were left in awe. For the band to establish such high expectations from everyone, then to live up to them by going and selling out the show and delivering on one of the city’s most prestigious stages, it was a good feeling. Also to see so many familiar representatives from the local scene make it down to support them was inspiring to see.

In our minds, The Van T’s have fully proved their worth and cemented themselves as one of Scotland’s finest emerging acts, now being closer than ever to smashing through the glass ceiling and moving onto greater success.

 

REVIEW | Megalomatic – King Tuts New Year’s Revolution 2017

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Since forming in the summer of 2013, Glasgow trio Megalomatic have gradually transformed from just another band on the scene, to one of the city’s most promising rock prospects, and for their first gig of 2017, they were given the opportunity to headline King Tuts as part of the New Year’s Revolution festival.

Undoubtedly playing the biggest show of their lives, would they deliver on the prestigious stage?


Opening up were Heavy Smoke, who we last saw way back in late 2014 when they played the Distort event. We had vague memories of them being good, and you know what, they were exactly that and more.

They worked hard to kick off the gig on a high note, and were – for lack of a better term – quite heavy. Leading man Stevie displayed an abundance of wild energy, in fact he got so into it that his voice broke during the penultimate song.

Adding to that were blazing riffs, crunching bass chords and hard hitting drumming. JunkatronDIY Rock N Roll and their eponymous number were all great in particular, and got plenty of people headbanging, as well as two girls in front of us dancing with much incitement.

Despite being a little iffy towards the end, they got the proceedings heated up rather nicely and set a bar to be topped.

*

Artie Ziff headed up next and just killed it. An outstanding performance from the self-proclaimed “rage indie” 3-piece on all fronts, from the dual harmonies, to thrilling choruses, to intoxicating rhythms.

It was a truly tight, excellent set that thoroughly impressed us and got the now packed room in a pure buzz; in return, they gave the band a deservedly enthusiastic response.

*

Animals To Creators had a pair of tough acts to follow. Starting off at a lesser pace than from what we had seen before proved to be a hindrance, with us not getting into it at first.

But in due time, they gained our interest as their tunes got better and better, with Redemption being awfully catchy, Hallow featuring some neat drum beats, and Wolfbeat booting up the tempo and being by far the best of the lot.

While their placement on the bill was probably not the most ideal, it was still solid stuff nonetheless.

*

Afterwards, he crowd drifted over to the front of the stage, all raring for Megalomatic. The lights dimmed and with a burst of thick smoke, the guys walked on to the sound of HWFG chants.

What An Uncomfortable Sentence sent everybody into a ballistic frenzy, culminating with an intense pit in the centre of the room that split the audience into pieces; the chaos further escalating with Stan Darsh.

They took it down a notch for Johnny Doesn’t Drink, slowly but surely building to an immense climax, and engaged fans passionately shouted back the lyrics of JLU: The Destroyer.

Between the familiar favourites, all the newer material was smashing, and the final song came to a head when Harris of HD Music lived up to his character and got his surf game on, much to the dismay of the security.

Their encore performance of Knees Crushed By An Electric Circus got all in the venue going bananas one last time to wrap up the set in sensational fashion.

The guys had played their hearts out – whilst seemingly avoiding their regular curse of nagging tech issues – and were eternally grateful for the reception, but there was no doubt that they had earned it.

Following them since their infancy, we are so proud that they have reached this level and were able to showcase their potential in the best way possible. Above and beyond the best set we had witnessed of the 2017 New Year’s Revolution festival so far.