SMALL MUSIC NETWORK: ISSUE #3 – Embers

GIGS


EMPIRE

EMPIRE – NICE N SLEAZY | 21st NOVEMBER 2017

We arrived just in the nick of time and entered into a jammed room for Karin from Dumfries. These guys had some hype behind them leading up to this, and we were told multiple times that we were going to love them, and damn where they right.

The trio delivered a fiercely tight set that engaged and incited everybody all the way through. Their dynamic energy and ability to swing between opposing tempos in a snap was great, and on the subject, when they did reach full speed it was quite a sight; in particular, the drumming was a fluent blur.

An awesome opener, and we cannot remember the last time we became fans of a band so quick.

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Here’s a quartet that we were familiar with – Visceral Noise Department – whom we fell in love with when they supported Allusondrugs at this very venue back in the summer, and it was nice to see them again in action with a rocking grungy performance of delightful proportions.

Some of the slower material didn’t click as well, but when they kicked up to a speedy groove, they were a blast. Brenden bobbled around the place like a madman, as is his wont, and we feel Jenny doesn’t get enough appreciation for her drumming abilities.

A couple of the focal points included an ode to Joe Bone via a cover of The Promise by The Coffins, and the catchy Olympic Gold In Mental Gymnastics. On a whole, freaking sweet.

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Now here’s a group we haven’t seen live in a long time – self-proclaimed “prog w*nkers Atlas Empire, fresh off their Canadian tour.

They didn’t seem stilted by nippy gear issues prior to beginning, impressing with the likes of new single Diminishing Returns and It’s All In The Reflexes. When low, they built atmospheric moods, and when they picked it up, they wowed the audience with intricate riffs and explosive rhythms.

It was fantastic stuff, as we’ve come to expect from these guys, and we look forward to their upcoming album.

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Empire themselves took to the stage, commencing with the spirited Sparrows. In addition to the customary songs we’ve all grown to love, they also gave us a plethora of banging newer tunes throughout.

There was a great display of resonant vocals and forceful drumming in Sights, before the immense Future, Past And Present got the crowd into a storm.

The fervent Patchwork And Bone kept the ball rolling, with special guest Dave McPherson appearing out of the blue and joining Joe in the proceedings, and they would electrify one last time with the always classic Black Hearts.

The first half was solid, but they improved upon it for a fun as hell latter half, and for the fourth time seeing them now, they were still more than worth our money.


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COURAGE MY LOVE – THE ATTIC | 22nd NOVEMBER 2017

Due to a late bus journey, we entered halfway to pop punk band Wasted Summers, and from what we saw, it was mainly solid stuff, although the group were a little still on stage (but to be fair, Steph had a legitimate excuse).

Tomorrow stood out as a neat tune with a catchiness to it. Overall, it was fine for what we got, and we even nabbed a demo, in addition to countless free stickers.

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We had seen Remind Me Of Home two weeks prior supporting Junior at this venue, and while they didn’t fully impress us then, it was a different story here.

For one thing, we felt that vocalist Craig was more upfront and in the zone, and his voice even packed more of a punch, and for that matter, the rest of the band sounded pretty sturdy too. They dished out numbers from their Bloodless EP, including StockholmEnigma and the title track, and there was a big crowd on hand.

It was not flawless by any means, with the couple of miscues here and there, and the mic cable disconnecting is never a fun time, but a real step up nonetheless, and they can now call us fans.

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For the second time, we would be witnessing Chapter And Verse from London at a gig, and they were even better on this term. Their latest single Magazines was great live, while newer tunes Eleven Hours and Ink hooked us in with magnetic writingThe New Breed was massive as usual, and they finished with a resounding bang courtesy of Slave.

Josh’s vocals were just astonishing, and the rhythms were brash and truly rocking. Our only compliant was that our eyes were nearly sizzled by the bloody bright lights, but otherwise, a damn fine steal-shower of a set.

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We were questioning whether Courage My Love were going to be able to follow up on that. They begun smoothly with Animal Heart, and Love Hurts came off well with its rich lyrical content. In the same vein were Two Headed Monster and Not Gonna Change, where Mercedes shined with a passionate performance.

Need Someone had a lovely message, and it was clear that it meant a lot to Mercedes in particular. The trio gave us the melodic and highly catchy Stereo, before ending on a couple of encores, including the bouncy Walls.

It took a while for them to get into a swing, but they steadily got there and at the end of the day, their debut outing in Glasgow was a triumph that resonated with the audience.


100 fables

100 FABLES – O2 ABC2 | 24th NOVEMBER 2017

After a miserable wait out in the subzero cold due to delayed doors, it would be the job of Dancing On Tables to get us simultaneously warmed and cheered up, both of which were accomplished.

There were plenty of focal points among the setlist. Colour Me Good was a great and lively track, Missing had quite the bounce to it and featured a cool bassline, and Waiting On Saturday brought a real energetic pulse. Throughout were well-rounded dual harmonies, sublime guitars that battled through broken strings, and smashing drum fills.

Closing out with their simple but effective new single Oh, the night was off to a promising, noteworthy start.

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Land Of Rubber Men were visibly popular with the crowd, and there were some notable highlights.

Watch It Burn was slow and gripping, and frontman Angus was really into it. Meanwhile, Carpets had nice riffs and the sax added an extra dose of depth, Just Run was scattered with a couple of dazzling chords, and Book You In was a jumping conclusion which was evidently ideal for drunken dancing.

They were a little inconsistent at moments, and it wasn’t always the most interesting to watch, but when they delivered, they did so with style, and we may just check out their album once that comes around.

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The room was in an absolutely buzz and jam-packed with folk, all of whom were ready to be graced by 100 Fables.

They burst out the gates wildly with The Pressure, and Lyndsey was quick to exhibit her sheer charisma through articulate expressions and movements, on top of her excellent vocals. She worked so well with guitarist Erin, as demonstrated in Electric Girls And Boys, where the latter’s low harmonies in the chorus suited perfectly.

The exciting Lost Generation had the audience clapping and dancing, before they toned it down for the magnetic Forgotten. Afterwards, Neon Nightmare had a hammering drum beat, ripe bass work and fast riffs, and all five members were really active on stage towards the end.

Lyndsey again drew us in with an infectious performance in Joy, and she took the time to perch herself on top of the amp during the groovy Complications. Following the scintillating Untold, they blew us away with the explosive Wake Up.

But they were not done yet, as the crowd demanded an encore, and they got their wish when the band returned and sensationally stunned one final time with the classic Metropolis.

A simply incredible set from 100 Fables, and if this wasn’t a star-making show that should earn them a record deal, we don’t know what is. A wonderful night that we won’t be forgetting in a hurry.


RECORDS


EMBERS

DIVIDE – EMBERS

Divide are a band that we have followed from the very beginning, ever since we worked with them at their Oran Mor debut gig back in 2014, and they have continued to evolve since then.

The last year, safe to say, has been a turbulent and testing one with constant line-up changes and the like, but nevertheless they have worked tirelessly at their craft, and they are ready to really show what they are made of with their much anticipated sophomore EP – Embers.

Before I Go serves as a fiery start that excels in the riff department, and just past the halfway point, they accelerate to a faster, more furious tempo. It is a similar case with Last Words, which runs off a snappy, fleeting pace, bolstered by high-impact drumming.

Lead single Catalyst is a song that has been garnering them much attention recently, and for good reason. This is an awesome, big-scale tune that just emanates adrenaline and features a catchy, hooking chorus and immense vocals.

Sink This City is equally as beefy, with the lyrics being the definitive factor here, and Embers itself is substantial in size with an emphatic rhythm and a fiercely direct performance from Nicole.

A tremendous follow-up record from one of Glasgow’s prominent rock acts that will surely kick-start their climb to grander success.


Fathoms Cover Art

FATHOMS – COUNTER CULTURE

For as long as six years now, we have been fans of Fathoms from Brighton and their brand of “hategroove”. In that span, they have put out several records; the most recent being the full-length Lives Lived which, while good, we felt never reached its full potential and did not have the lasting impact it should have. Counter Culture, however, is a different story.

The catchy Hate Preach unifies all listeners, and frontman Max is back at his A-game here with an authoritative, incensing voice. The title number is a loud, bombastic one with a strong chorus, although the screeching electronics admittedly do get a little grating.

The writing is notable in B.E.L.I.E.V.E, while I’ve Been Trying To Leave is littered with shredding chords, plus Sam gets a chance to shine at vocals; likewise with Slip Away which has a good hook in the middle.

The band are comfortably at home in the tracks that are pushed by brisk, weighty rhythms, as demonstrated in the likes of FatedThe Spaces In Between and No Compromise, and they eventually wrap up like bats out of hell with the kinetic You Ain’t On What We On.

The guys have trumped their previous effort with Counter Culture, going above and beyond to bring us a formidable album that should certainly re-establish them as one of the top dogs in the British underground metal scene.


DUNTS

THE DUNTS – NOT WORKING IS CLASS

Yet another young and upcoming act to emerge from Glasgow that have been fast to make a name for themselves, punk rock quartet The Dunts justify their preceding hype with their debut EP – Not Working Is Class.

They launch with the zippy Tommy, setting a high level of excitement straight off the bat courtesy of a hectic rhythm, and they keep the pace going with Coalition Of Chaos, which has a sweet, memorable chorus and prime writing on display.

They screech to a sudden halt before moving onto Hampden Cabs, where the fuzzy riffs are a joy, and they exhilarate one final time with the bass-steered Dimitri.

In under 10 minutes, they provide a rush so sharp and intense that you will probably need a cigarette afterwards. If this record is anything to go by, we seriously can’t wait to catch them at New Year’s Revolution in January.


JR GREEN

JR GREEN – FLORA

Hailing from up in Strontian, the duo of JR Green – comprised of brothers Jacob and Rory – have somehow avoided our radar for so long, but better late than never. Our introduction to these two came via their latest EP – Flora.

The accordions provide an appealing rhythm in Tiger Lily, and the heartfelt harmonies are a delight. First Blood features good acoustics and has quite the enticing energy to it.

These trends run over into the thoroughly engaging For The Wild, where the lyrics are in the spotlight, and they save the best for last with Technicolour Native, which commences so gently, and is carried by an utterly captivating, tender performance that is easy to get sucked into.

This is one of the most charming and endearing records that we have had the pleasure of listening to this year, and is a must-have for those that like their share of folk and pop.


thumbnail_Rayne Complex By Design Artwork

RAYNE – COMPLEX BY DESIGN

Having formed over two decades ago, Sunderland rock trio Rayne have a fair amount of experience behind them, so it would be natural to assume that their talents would be refined by this stage and that their material would be of a high quality. Well, that just happens to be the case with their Complex By Design LP.

A thumping beat welcomes us to the electrifying Subject A, and the buzz rolls on into Dolorous, donning a tenacious chorus and memorable writing. Chemicals establishes a grand, immersive sound, with the background pianos adding an extra layer.

They keep the momentum wheeling with the hooking, guitar-driven Great Burden and the passionate lead single Opportunity For Progress. Ben gets his true shining moment in Love, Live, Learn, before they chill the tempo down for Human Imitation, a magnetic finale with a gripping melody.

We were promised something great with this record, and great it is. A profoundly enthralling product across the board.


The Starling Radicals Cover Artwork

THE STARLING RADICALS – PROMISELAND, VOL 1

Okay, so it’s one thing that Cardiff rockers The Starling Radicals chased James Dean Bradfield through a park once upon a time and had their beefs with the outspoken Morrissey, but is there actually anything of substance to these guys beyond those facts? The short answer – yes. The evidence – Promiseland, Vol 1.

Wasting little breath, they deliver rip-roaring riffs in the full frontal and dynamic I’m With Her. Following that is You Make A Mess Of Me with hooking lyrics and again superb guitar work. Afterwards, they fire straight into the wild and rampant Scottish Play, before capping off with the very strong and spirited Heart Of This City.

An excellent EP from start to finish where at no point the pace is killed, for it is consistently entertaining and well worth listening to again and again.


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INAIR – A DIFFERENT LIGHT

InAir from Reading have been generating a reasonable amount of buzz with their new EP, A Different Light, but does it live up to expectations?

Rise Again gets it off to a solid start with a pretty satisfying chorus and catchy drum beat, but it’s not until Tonight Is Our Night where they boot it up to another degree and exhume a real, exciting energy.

Bound To Break has a nice flowing melody, and finally Insomnia is a well paced track with good vocals on display and likable lyrics at hand.

While not always tip-top, A Different Light is still a sufficing record that has enough positive qualities in there to warrant repeated listens, with each one being better than the last.


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AUSTIN MILLER – SOME DEGREE OF COMFORT

Austin Miller first came to our attention when he saw him supporting Marc Halls back in July, and he certainly made a statement on that night. Now he has an EP out, titled Some Degree Of Comfort, and it’s here where we get to see him make the most of his talents.

Coping Methods fades in with quiet piano keys, gradually gaining volume and turning into a solid opener, after which is Sparkler, a pleasant tune with a chorus that sticks out.

Quiet Tragedy grows in strength as it progresses towards the end, before leading into Bodyguard, an absolutely cracker that is catchy as heck and where the guitar work is mighty sweet, and last but not least, there are some fine lyrics and reams of emotion shown off in the closing number Give An Inch And Take A Mile.

A stunning record that has turned out better than we could have hoped, with a continuous rise in quality as it advances from the beginning to the end.


SINGLES


 

GREG

GREGOR COLEMAN – TOO GOOD TO ME

Gregor Coleman is a fella that we have always seemed to cross paths with over the years in the scene, whether it would be as part of Supanova, busking on the streets of Glasgow, or even serving us drinks at Audio once or twice. As many as you are probably aware, he appeared on The X Factor, and while he didn’t get too far, it was certainly a big break of sorts for him.

Fresh off his new boost in publicity and popularity, he’s released his debut single – Too Good To Mea verily infectious number with a clinching melody that reaches its height in the catchy chorus. Greg’s vocals are very natural and refined, and the lyrics, while simple enough, are quite memorable.

A worthwhile song that we are sure is going to a smash, assuming it hasn’t already.

 


TB

TIJUANA BIBLES – CATACOMB

Tijuana Bibles are back with one of their best tunes to date – Catacomb. For starters, the quick bass chords are nifty, and the screeching riffs are intense. The song slowly but surely builds through the verses, before firing into a blitzing, invigorating chorus.

Add in some top-rate writing, and you have yourself a beauty here to listen to on endless repeat.

 

 

 

 


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HUNTER & THE BEAR – SKIN TIGHT

2017 has been a roaring success for Hunter & The Bear, with most of it being attributed to their Paper Heart album, and they’re following up on it with new single Skin Tight.

This is a track with a hefty scope, etched by a list of premium elements, such as a whopping chorus, addictive rhythm, banging beat and firm vocals.


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RACHELLE RHIENNE – CANDLE

One of Glasgow’s most stunning pop performers Rachelle Rhienne is back with another fine song by the name of Candles.

She nails it in the vocal field as usual, with her pitch on point, the straightforward is melody is awfully upbeat and addictive – the acoustics playing a big factor in that – and the chorus is just irresistible. Overall, a remarkable tune that wouldn’t be out of place in the official charts.

 

 

 


HUSK

EQUALS – HUSK

Hailing from London, the pairing of James Low in the role of producer and songwriter, and Ade Omotayo as vocalist – collectively better known as Equals – have been making waves with their single, Husk.

This is a sublime track with a really stimulating feel. Ade’s harmony is smooth and excellent, and he matches up so well with guest singer Awks’ bold and bright voice.

The lyrics easily connect and the high quality arrangement, from the piano keys to the trumpets, is quite appealing.


nrvs

NRVS – EVERYONE KNOWS, NOBODY TALKS ABOUT IT

NRVS have just put out their second single, Everyone Knows, Nobody Talks About It, which tackles the subject matter of change quite well.

This really enjoyable track is backed by torrents of energy, a tight combo of interchanging vocals and screams, and a solid breakdown thrown into the mix for good measure.

 

 

 

 

 


oceancode

OCEANCODE – ACROSS THE ROOM

Recently spawning from Edinburgh, folk pop quartet Oceancode have made a satisfactory first impression with Across The Room.

The melody is elegant, emphasised by Ruth’s lovely voice, and is tagged with a sincere bass line, nice acoustics and binding lyrics.

 

 


harlitones

HARLITONES – SWIRL

Harlitones are, in our opinion, one of Aberdeen’s most underrated acts, and you can get a taste of what they have to offer with their most recent single, the sensational Swirl.

They give us a fiercely potent rhythm, fervent vocals, catchy riffs, swift drumming, and a consistent heart-stopping energy in general that makes us want to get up from our seats and dance around like madmen.

SMALL MUSIC NETWORK: ISSUE #2 – Go Away

IN MEMORY OF MALCOLM YOUNG (1953-2017)


RECORDS


MilkTeeth

MILK TEETH – GO AWAY

What a year it has been for Stroud punk rockers Milk Teeth. From gracing the front cover of Kerrang, to signing with Roadrunner, to their successful Be Nice EP, and they’re not done yet, as the quartet have cranked out yet another record titled Go Away.

Without the slightest hesitation, they immediately bust out the goods with I Stabbed You First, setting the bar with high-octane energy levels to get the blood pumping, further highlighted by brilliant writing. They make the most of every second with the concise Lillian, where the volatile drumming is joyful and helps to boost the already established intensity.

Nearby Catfight has a frantic rhythm, solid chorus and some more noteworthy writing, and soon they cool the pace down for the harmonious Big Sky, in which Becky prospers at the forefront and the guitars give a slick showing.

And just like that, with another smashing EP, Milk Teeth continue to authenticate themselves as one of the greatest British factions on the go right now.


SPINNINGCOIN

SPINNING COIN – PERMO

Less than a week ago, we listened in to Vic Galloway’s show on BBC Radio Scotland, and it was then we were exposed to one of Glasgow’s brightest shining quintets – Spinning Coin – hot off releasing their debut album, Permo!

Commencing it is Raining On Hope Street, encompassing serene vocals from Rachel and tender riffs that suck us in very quickly, before we get a change of tone with Tin, which flaunts a lot more energy, and adds an extra dose of power to the guitars and drums. The lead single Money For Breakfast is a draw with its fine writing; an aspect that further improves in the following track Money Is A Drug.

After the mellow paced Metronome River is our personal highlight – Magdalene – featuring a swinging blues feel that is thoroughly rousing, and then out of nowhere, they skyrocket to a breakneck onslaught of madness that almost leaves you breathless. In contrast is the charming Floating With You, where they bring it back to a smooth demeanor.

They continue to entertain over the course of the second half, which is admittedly not as strong yet still engages with songs including SidesStarry Eyes and I Feel The Need To Be An Actor.

Permo is an incredible assortment of short, to the point tunes with frequently altering sounds that keep the record fresh and encourage multiple listens, a fact that rings true to ourselves already at this point.


100f

100 FABLES – WE ARE ELECTRIC GIRLS AND BOYS

Well, it’s about darn time! Glasgow’s prime synthpop group 100 Fables are here with their debut EP – We Are Electric Girls And Boys – and it is a doozy.

An 8-bit intro gives way to The Pressure, an infectious tune with a simple yet fixating hook. Lyndsey is sensational as ever in her role as vocalist, with a fluent, dilated pitch range and wonderful inflections.

Excellent lyrics are the main ingredient of Joy, certainly one of the band’s more serious numbers. The eponymous track is another magnetic one that is a surefire throwback to the 80’s in terms of sound and structure, and they wrap up with the stunning and polished Untold.

We have been dying to hear this for ages, and 100 Fables have delivered on all fronts here.


lilac

LILAC KINGS – WHAT BRINGS US BACK

Hailing from Tulsa, Oklahoma, Lilac Kings were recently signed to We Are Triumphant and their debut EP, What Brings Us Back, has been widely promoted. Naturally, there is a fair amount of hype here – the six figure listening count on Spotify alone makes that obvious – and thankfully for us, it is justified.

Their sound is compelling, with their material mainly made up of post-hardcore tracks that each have a subdubed ambient touch to them, with the go-to pieces being Answer MeFor When You’re Dreaming and Shiver. We admire it, and we believe it will help them establish an identity in the long run.

Garnish all that with a regular showcase of hooking lyrics and sturdy vocals which stretch to an insanely high pitch, and you have a damn good first effort here.


The Sourheads front cover

THE SOURHEADS – CARE PLAN FOR THE SOUL

When you present us with a band that are described as having a sound which cannot be exactly pinpointed, it certainly builds intrigue, and if such a claim is validated, it can leave us glad to discover said band.

This was the case for Wakefield locals The Sourheads, who are fresh off releasing their debut full-length album – Care Plan For The Soul.

Their general sound is immediately established in the memorable, well-constructed opener Demons, being one of good old-fashioned rock and roll with an updated modern touch. The guys have plenty of roaring solos on deck in the likes of Morally High and Don’t Get Caught.

The smooth and easygoing Power Of Addiction is the focal point in terms of writing, while the rugged vocals are an ideal fit for the stark Rag And Bone Man. Elsewhere, My Rock And Roll gives us a taste of some glorious bass work, and Mad Dog serves as quite the fervent climax.

A top-notch record from a cracking act who are sure to catch the eyes and ears of more soon-to-be fans over time. They already have the attention of Labour Party deputy leader Tom Watson, so they are obviously doing something right.

TOM WATSON


SAPIENN

SAPIENN – A BLACK SARCASM

With all the immensely talented musicians currently in Glasgow, it’s a real shame that Scott Simpson – more widely known as Sapienn – isn’t getting enough attention. He first impressed us with his Hours Of Despair EP last year, and now he has further validated himself with A Black Sarcasm.

Throughout the tracks, especially in stand outs like Everything Is Spiders, Cognitive Bias and Chase You Down, it becomes clear that the key strength of Scott is in his writing, which engages with its frank sincerity. Not only that, but his vocals are consistently crisp and he is pretty competent with the acoustic guitar in tow.

Are there moments where it gets repetitive? Absolutely, but the aforementioned aspects bind this album together so well, that this minor downfall can be forgiven, and we thoroughly recommend it as a whole.


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MID REFLECTION – OUTCAST

At a glance, a mixture of punk, rap and ska seems a little curious, to say the least, but London four-piece Mid Reflection manage to pull it off, as indicated by their upcoming Outcast EP.

The title number recounts the experience and lasting effects of bullying, conveyed well by vocalist Matthew Bishop. Very strong writing at play here, despite not being the most engaging track from a musical standpoint.

Up next, the assertive Illusions provides a good hook with the background ensemble, plus the guitars stick out and the closing section is just rocking. Matthew is back front and centre in the really catchy Legalise It, as he blares out verses at a superb breakneck speed, and to wind up, we’ve got the hard-hitting Foes that is oozing with animosity.


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EVERYDAY PHARAOHS – CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR SMILE

As is with the scene, there is a wide variety of fledgling bands across Glasgow at the moment, with a few falling into our radar lately, one such being Everyday Pharaohs, who are back with their sophomore EP – Congratulations On Your Smile.

A Dart Room For Dave is a fair start, with the lyrics sticking out as the strongest quality, covering domestic issues and doing that well; a feature recurrent in Allison, which has some spots of cool bass work here and there.

Bed Sores is where the record really gets going, as they charge at a rapid tempo and the drumming provides quite the bounce. Similarly, Rainbows has a catchy beat and is dotted with sweet riffs all over.

If we did have one jarring criticism that is a constant throughout, it’s that the mixing is too quiet. We really shouldn’t be needing to turn the volume all the way up to max just to hear the music properly. Other than that, we were satisfied by this.


toxic radios

TOXIC RADIOS – FACE THE TIDE

And now for another group falling in that same category; indie-rock quartet Toxic Radioswho just put out their first EP – Face The Tide.

I Can’t Turn It Around Tonight is a pretty upbeat number to start off with, driven by a cool, bass-backed melody. They boot up the tempo for the very catchy Lone Wolf, comprising of some really good riffs and an ace chorus, and we get more of the same for the fun finishing song, These Wires.

While relatively straightforward in nature, there are enough elements in there to make for an entertaining listen equaling a thumbs-up from us.


BIS

BIS – YOU WRECKED MY CHRISTMAS

Anybody up for some Christmas tunes in the middle of November? No? Well tough, because we’re bringing you Bis and their new holiday-themed A-side.

You Wrecked My Christmas is positively addicting, with a melody that is nothing short of loud, cheery and frolicking. Manda’s high harmonies are contagious and the lyrics are cosigned to be glued in the brain. The steadier and leisurely I Was Born On Christmas Day does not quite have the same memorable effect, but with multiple listens it becomes more appreciated and we grow to like it.

So if you can’t contain the yuletide joy building inside your body, unleash it with this pair of perky anthems.


SINGLES


OCEVNS-Promo-2017

OCEVNS – OPEN ARMS

One of Glasgow’s top rock bands Ocevns return with new single Open Armswhere Kris once again proves himself to be one of the city’s most capable frontmen, for there are few people we know of with such strong chords and an ability to display loads of spirit as he does.

Great writing, a supreme sound and outstanding production make this a cracker of a tune worth putting your ears to.


asf

AS SIRENS FALL – IN MY MIND

As Sirens Fall have proved to be one of Yorkshire’s fundamental acts since their formation. They got to show what they were made of with their acclaimed Hospital Party record last year, and now they are gearing up for the sequel set for the spring of 2018.

This past Friday, we and the rest of the world were given a first taste of it via In My Mind, which runs off a thriving moxie sure to thrill listeners. The chorus packs a punch, Mikey leads the chase with his bold vocals and the powerhouse drums hit with some resounding force. They even acquired the services of Skindred’s Benji Webbe to add extra brawn to the track, and holy moly, is he on fire here.

A staggering single that has commenced months of anticipation for us to impatiently sit through to get to their next EP.


HYPNO

HYPNOSISTER – POORLY BOY

Formerly associated with Allusondrugs, Damian Hughes has been enjoying success with his new project Hypnosister. He got the ball rolling with debut single Brother, and now he has taken it up a notch with the followup – Poorly Boy – a boldly personal song tackling Damian’s real life experience of losing a friend who suffered unjustly at the hands of poor healthcare.

The writing is among the best we’ve come across all year. In addition, the tune is a very addicting one with its hooking chorus and a sound that blends raw, trippy pop with heavier, antipathetic rock. The accompanying lyric video is also a vivid foray of psychotropic colours and imagery.


sway

SWAY – TO BE A MAN

We’ve honestly lost count of how many Scottish acts have burst onto the scene and made a real impact this year, and here’s another – Sway, from Paisley, who are capping off 2017 stylishly with To Be A Man.

Distinctly sublime guitar skills at play, a fluent flowing rhythm which is easy on the ears and an interesting subject matter make for a terrific tune with a primarily indie rock sound, although there is noticeably other influences sneaking in there.

These guys have a bright future as far as we can tell, and we can’t wait to finally see them in action at King Tuts in January.


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FABRIC BEAR – ROGUE WAVE

As one of Edinburgh’s most promising rock prospects, Fabric Bear continue to make an impression with Rogue Wave.

The track is defined by varying tempos and timbres, where one moment everything is quiet and minimal, before exploding into an array of fuzz and the riffs come bursting out to life, and they go all out in a no holds barred frenzy as they push towards a resonant end that ultimately simmers down and leaves the listener craving more.


TET

THE ELEPHANT TREES – OPEN UP

One of our favourite discoveries to come out of Manchester in a while, The Elephant Trees caught our attention with their new single Open Up, which focuses on being able to take a stand and just go for it, with the message being conveyed through a relationship.

It’s got an inspiring message, and the song itself is buoyant with a spirited, exuberant melody that is sure to leave a smile on the face.


lilura

LILURA – DARKEST DESIRE

Not long ago, we fell in love with Scottish electronic pop artist Lilura‘s No Control EP – which we still have on regular repeat, by the way – so when her next single Darkest Desire was announced, we naturally got a buzz, and rightly so.

Jemma stuns again with this one, as the verses do a great job generating an ever-growing aura, leading to a letting off of steam in an addictive and unforgettable chorus.


ali

ALI ROBERTSON – SLOW DOWN

It has been nearly a year since we were introduced to Ali Robertson, who wowed us at King Tuts’ New Year Revolution event. He’s been keeping himself busy since then, and his latest single Slow Down has certainly peaked our interest.

This is a stunning track that forges a fiercely chilling atmosphere, accentuated by low humming, finger clicks and subtle hits of a bass drum. On top of that, the lyrics shine and Ali’s voice is astounding. Guaranteed goosebumps here.


VIGIL

THE VIGIL – FIND A WAY

Off their mighty Save Our Souls album from last year, Find A Way is the latest single from Bristol rock quartet The Vigil.

Tonnes of influences are visible in this, especially from 90’s acts. This is a satisfying number where the vocals are cool, the riffs are allowed to run wild and the dynamic rhythm is optimal for bopping your head to.


TAKE TODAY

TAKE TODAY – WASTING TIME

It’s been a little while since Take Today from Glasgow released their great debut album, Choices, but now they’ve resurfaced with a new song set for release at the start of next month – Wasting Time.

Churning, quaking bass tones match up with the crunchy riffs in this dense, progressive track. These elements, mixed in with smashing drum claps and a noteworthy chorus, make this one worthwhile.


ink

INKFIELDS – SNARE YOURSELF

Inkfields is the brainchild of Sam James-Griffiths, and we got a delightful introduction to the Edinburgh citizen’s music courtesy of Snare Yourself.

The song has a sincere melody, with the really smooth guitar work contributing to that well, alongside Sam’s warm harmony. A very fine tune indeed, and the music video ain’t half bad either.


BELTUR

BELTUR – FINISHING LINE

One year in the making due to line-up changes and personal lives taking priority, Glasgow rockers Beltur have returned to the fray with Finishing Line.

It is a great piece highlighted by an enjoyable rhythm and a fine solo present in the final third. Edith Casey is back to provide vocals alongside frontman Joe, and the duo as usual have a real chemistry. This is a song deserving of a listen or two.


GIGS


CARLY

CARLY CONNOR – KING TUTS | 18th NOVEMBER 2017

With a packed crowd from the offset, Julie Ann and her ensemble took to the stage for her debut appearance in Glasgow, which just happened to be at King Tuts of all places.

Among the range of highlights, there was Money which featured an enjoyable chorus, Tough Love had an elegant melody and guitars that added an extra layer, and the Hogmanay- themed When The Bells Go was really charming. We felt it was a very pleasant performance and that Julie Ann had achieved success in her first outing here in the city.

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So the mood was set and we were off to the races. Loud chants preceded Billy Mitchell as he waltzed onto the stage. Lazy Like Me quickly got the people going, and just like that, the energy in the room was instantly kicked up a notch.

Chances was really damn catchy, and the likes of Losing ControlPsycho and especially the closing tune All You’ve Got had umpteen folk clapping and singing back the words in a frenzy; we could feel the ground shaking at our feet with all the bouncing about.

Billy displayed true showmanship, there were smashing riffs and hardy drumming throughout, and the minimal small talk kept the pace rolling to a point where it just flew in and it was all over before we knew it. Undoubtedly brilliant stuff here.

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With the venue heaving and us caught right at the front with virtually no breathing space – but the best view in the house – Carly Connor walked on to quite a buzz, dressed in real classy attire. With a marvelous charisma and a heck of a voice, she looked like a legitimate star up there, and that fact was only elevated by the sellout crowd and countless cameras focused in her direction.

Real Good Looker was notable for its infectious swinging rhythm, while Living Easy had a bluesy edge to it. The warm To Be Loved was utterly magnetic, with the same to be said for the highly emotional Suffocating Love, and Woman stood out with fiercely blunt lyrics.

Carly’s name rang deafeningly throughout the place right before she blew us all away with new single Who’s Gonna Love You, following which she capped off in astounding fashion with Shadows and the rip-roaring encore Creepin’ On.

Being our first time seeing her live in action, she honestly took our breath away with a damn near perfect, memorable display. After a long journey of hardships to get to where she was, she absolutely owned this night.


PROMOS


in music

IN MUSIC WE TRUST

For this week’s issue, we would like to take the opportunity to help promote a good clothing brand, and as a heads up, this is NOT sponsored in any way. We just wanted to advocate a company that shared our views and had similar ambitions.

In Music We Trust believe in the power of music as a medicine, and they help to bring awareness to depression, a very serious that is unfortunately rampant in this industry especially.

We relate to this very much, as we suffered from it for the first time earlier this year, and it affected us badly. This is a cause that both we and this group are committed to, and for every item of merch you buy, they donate half their profits to the Mind charity, who are dedicated to helping those battling the illness.

We recommend In Music We Trust thoroughly. Aiden Hatfield and the rest of the team work their butts off on this project, and the tees themselves are awfully lovely, plus you get a free sticker which is a cracking bonus!

2017-11-18 11.27.51

For more information, check out inmusicwetrust.co.uk, and remember – if you feel like you are suffering, never be afraid to talk to someone, because you are far more important than you give yourself credit for, and it can save your life.




WRITTEN/EDITED by JASON SMALL

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SMALL MUSIC NETWORK: ISSUE #1 – Are You Dreaming?

IN MEMORY OF CHUCK MOSLEY (1959-2017)


RECORDS


anavae

ANAVAE – ARE YOU DREAMING?

It feels like eons since Anavae put out their last full record, Dimensions, but after 4 long years and much anticipation, they are finally back with a new EP named Are You Dreaming?

They crash out the gates with All Or Nothing, instantly grabbing the listener with a huge chorus and electric melody. Forever Dancing seizes with stunning vocals from Becca, sweet guitar work and utterly contagious writing.

The momentum strives with the fantastic chief single Are We Alone, backed by a effective rhythmic beat, and the lyrics are again a notable facet in Stay. The perpetual surge at last settles as they kick off the gripping climatic song Lose Your Love, which generates a ravishing, synth-based ambience.

We can say without the tiniest hint of doubt that the wait has paid off, as Anavae deliver one of the most incredible EPs in all of 2017. Now here’s hoping we don’t need to wait another 4 years for the next one…


Harboursharks

HARBOUR SHARKS – A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE

One of the brightest prospects in the UK’s hardcore scene in recent memory undoubtedly have to be Harbour Sharks. The Kingston trio, who we were previously familiar with from Amberline, went all in with this new project, resulting in their debut album A History Of Violence, which has blown the minds of people left, right and centre; ourselves included.

Where do we even start with this one? The weighty opener False Flags has a wild, pulsing chorus, we’ve got a frantic lead single in the form of The Killer Inside Me, there’s the catchy It’s Not Working Out, a blend of strong riffs and drumming in Swing Away Merill, and the anti-political Burn Down London is a groovy banger.

But the highlight has to be the title track, in which the writing is overflowing with emotion and tonnes of resentment, and the vocals from Jack are insanely red-hot.

A combination of combustible elements contribute to what is from top to bottom a tight record that thrills and inspires mutliple times over the course of half an hour.


lifetight

LIFETIGHT – SELF-TIGHTLED

Another relatively new band with oodles of hype behind them featuring familiar faces, Lifetight have been quick to make an impact with their cheesily named, chart-climbing Self-Tightled EP.

We get a selection of heavy-duty tracks loaded with drops and a constant eruptive force that blast the ear drums, with the amazingly furious Energy being the stand out.

Leading man Thomas excels with tenacious, in your face vocal performances, and the writing is very good throughout. In short, a bloody brilliant record.


mt doubt

MT DOUBT – MOON LANDINGS

My, my, haven’t we been spoiled this year? Not one, but two EPs this year from Mt Doubt (make that three if you count their Scottish Fiction split with Foreignfox). Following on from The Loneliness Of The TV Watchers a few months ago, Leo and gang are back with Moon Landings.

We get composed harmonies and a nifty, underlying sound carrying through Teeming, and Conduits is etched by charming, cordial tenor. Mouthwash picks up the pace to provide an upbeat number, likewise with the equally peppy Shy Distance, before they tone it down again for the celestial title number which gradually grows in size before unleashing into a burst of power.

With a few listens already under our belt, this is a really solid effort that is a much welcome addition to Mt Doubt’s continuously flourishing library.


ANNIE

ANNIE BOOTH – AN UNFORGIVING LIGHT

And while on the subject of Mt Doubt, Leo’s fellow bandmate Annie Booth just recently put out her debut album An Unforgiving Light, and wow, this is something else.

The opening number Demons is one that just builds and builds, with passion ever-growing along the way. The likes of Little LiesChasm and especially Over My have such profoundly addictive melodies, but there is also a fair share of infatuating slower pieces including Post GoodbyesSolitude and Never Go To Church; the latter is particularly intriguing in its exploration of faith.

Topped off with a delightful voice, splendid acoustics and a high quality production throughout, this has surpassed our expectations and left us thoroughly impressed. One of the year’s most satisfying solo efforts which hasn’t got nearly enough attention as it should.


rosie

ROSIE BANS – IDENTIFY YOURSELF

Another Scottish artist with a success story to boost as of late. Rosie Bans‘ campaign to fund her first full-length record was a triumph, smashing the target twofold and then some. Still warm off the press, Identify Yourself is evidently worth every patron’s penny.

The first pair of tracks Instincts and No Apologies are defined by hip rhythms with fabulous bass lines and neat guitars. Rosie is adept at the helm of the keyboard as always and her harmonies are on slick form. There is some enjoyable writing present in the awfully nice Home and Kindess, whilst the low-key Loneliness Or Love is gripping.

Bloodline is a notable highlight with its interesting basis and a striking use of instruments involved here. London, No Danger and It’s Been Nice have top notch melodies and torrents of energy thrown in that take the breath away, and the compilation finishes off nicely with the inspiring Doing It For The Love.

The charismatic redhead initially hooked us in as fans 2 years ago with her Process EP, and we are so proud of what she has accomplished since then, especially this album, which is a simply terrific product.


saltlake

SALTLAKE – MEDICATE ME

From down south, we have alternative rock trio Saltlake who have made a hell of a first impression on us with their latest EP, Medicate Me.

Every song on this record is an unadulterated rush with a massive, staggering velocity driving them. We also have fervid harmonies which potently hit all notes to a pitch-perfect tee and rhythms producing thrilling, infectious grooves.

The definition of short but sweet, this record is insanely awesome, and the mere thought of it leaves us gushing and wanting more.


pure grief

PURE GRIEF – GOSSAMER / GET IT? GOT IT. GOOD.

Thurso’s finest trio Pure Grief are back with another double A-side, and as expected, it is cracking stuff.

First is Gossamer, a high-octane track with forceful guitars in the limelight, deep bass tones and an intense chorus. With a moment to catch your breath, they then dive into Get It? Got It. Good, an equally primal headbanger.

Another staunch offering from the SAMA nominees, and we can’t wait to see them in action alongside Donnie Willow next month.


SINGLES


SHREDD

SHREDD – FLIGHT OF STAIRS

Has any band in Scotland had a better rookie year in 2017 than Shredd? The trio were quick to make an impact upon their debut, and since then have put out a cracking EP, headlined sell-out shows and nabbed the SAMA Best Newcomer award.

Now the gravy train plows on with their new single Flight Of Stairs, which is pretty much what we’ve come to expect from the lads at this point. It has a snappy tempo, grungy riffs, tasty bass chords and husky drumming. The final minute is so good, as they ramp up the speed, then unexpectedly cut off before restarting and wrapping up stylishly.


declan

DECLAN WELSH & THE DECADENT WEST – NAZI BOYS

Fresh off the announcement that he has been granted funding from Creative Scotland to produce his debut album, East Kilbride native Declan Welsh launched his new single Nazi Boys.

Riding on a cool beat, the song is blunt, candid and holds nothing back, exposing those of the supposed “alt-right” for what they truly are. A select few may have had their jimmies rustled.


thevant

THE VAN T’s – BITTERSWEET

One of Glasgow’s hottest commodities The Van T’s shine again with BittersweetA bracing, bouncy melody, a fun chorus and an upward swell to a thrilling finale make this yet another worthwhile inclusion to their resume.


atlas e

ATLAS : EMPIRE – DIMINISHING RETURNS

Built on the foundations of a kinetic, thrumming sound, Atlas Empire‘s latest single Diminishing Returns details one person’s struggle to cope with their monotonous day to day life and how much it takes a toll on them; perfectly reflected in the accompanying video directed by Shootback Productions.


ASBOC

A SUDDEN BURST OF COLOUR – I AM THE STORM

I Am The Storm is a vibrant and vivid instrumental tune with some proficient guitars on display, and is hands down the finest thing that Motherwell quartet A Sudden Burst Of Colour have done to date.


edits

EDITS – DON’T SPEAK

One of the UK’s most underappreciated duos, Edits from Manchester are back with Don’t Speak and it is just sublime.

Attractive writing, a divine melodic atmosphere, Liv’s elegent voice and Chris’ cool, well-mixed chords…remind us why these two haven’t been given more attention? People are seriously missing out here.


RAJ

RACHEL ALICE JOHNSON – COMING DOWN SLOW

Coming Down Slow is a smooth, handily constructed tune exploring an old relationship, overthinking and dwelling on those small moments that would never normally be given a second thought in the heat of the moment.

The first half is quiet and still, before bounding into a contrasting latter half that is fiery and boisterous. A special composition that, in conjuction with the music video, attentively highlights the artistic talents of Rachel Alice Johnson.


til

TOMORROW IS LOST – INSANE

Tomorrow Is Lost illustrate how to make a proper debut here with Insane. The dual guitars are on point, the rocking rhythm is intoxicating; reaching an optimum during the smashing chorus; and Cass exhibits scintillating showmanship.

Safe to say, we are already excited for their album next year.


horizons

HORIZONS – PATHFINDER

Horizons‘ latest single Pathfinder is one that has been making the rounds all over our social media recently.

At its core, it is relative straightforward – you could even argue a little repetitive – but a convincing delivery via punchy vocals and a booming cadence make this worthwhile.


forg sons

FORGOTTEN SONS – LEAVE THE LIGHT ON

Musical talent is ripe across all of Scotland, and that includes the Shetland islands in the far north. Case in point – Forgotten Sons.

Their new number Leave The Light On is a briskly-paced one with plenty of horsepower behind it, memorable lyrics and a toe-tapping quality to it.


GIGS


seafoal

SEAFOAL – NICE N SLEAZY | 8th NOVEMBER 2017

Tour support Apollo (aka Nick) was first up, and essentially a one man electronic band. He produced a large sound with a mixture of overdubbing violins, synth drums and backing tracks, in addition to his warm harmony.

With a setlist including Kill Me Now, Oceans II and a cover of Wuthering Heights, he generated a nice atmosphere and more or less held the attention of the crowd despite a couple of minor setbacks. While probably not to everybody’s taste due to the experimental nature of it, we felt it was interesting overall.

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Secondly was Glasgow’s own Scarlett Randle, who was in the midst of gearing up for the release of her single Berlin later in the week, and she drew quite the ensemble of people for the night.

She brought such a sheer warmth and elegance, and entertained with a heck of a personality that was easy for everyone to feed off, especially with songs at her disposal like HerJust Right, the aforementioned Berlin and a mesmerising rendition of The Police’s Every Breath You Take.

We had never listened to her beforehand, but within half an hour, we were newly made fans, and we look forward to her forthcoming EP.

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Leading in with intro track SubmergedSeafoal properly got going with the dark and ambient Fiends, before following suit with You’ll Be Sorry.

Zander’s performance was raw and organic, and the material sounded good live. However, the set was a little disjointed, with the middle section being fully acoustic which, despite a great version of Linkin Park’s Numb thrown in, was jarring and admittedly a pace breaker.

Regardless of that, the content itself as we said was satisfying and it was all in all really solid. Even with flaws, we were still glad to see Seafoal in the flesh and we can tick that off our bucket list.


junior

JUNIOR – THE ATTIC | 9th NOVEMBER 2017

Too Much Too Soon‘s first impression on us was a good one, as the Edinburgh quintet brought plenty of enthusiasm to the table and had a hold on the crowd’s attention.

A little off in the early goings, but they gradually got into a flow and ultimately they done their job as a warm-up act well.

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Remind Me Of Home, while not as energetic as their predecessors, played a range of enjoyable songs that had some fine melodies to them, not to mention there was some organic audience involvement which saw them clapping along on a few occasions.

However, we did feel that frontman Craig was holding back a little bit and was somewhat shaky on stage, and we think for the future he needs to loosen up more. A perfectly serviceable set overall, but certainly room for improvement in there.

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We were now getting the opportunity to finally check out Miami Monroe in person, supposed copycats of Green Day according to one spitefully biased reviewer. We couldn’t see it, but anyway, the guys were cracking and gave us exactly what we expected from a pop punk gig.

They blitzed through at a charged pace, the dual harmonies were strong and there was loads of movement from all members on stage. They had us hooked all the way, with the highlights being Lost And Found, Nothing and Things Only Get Worsebefore they capped off with a sweet cover of Sum 41’s Fat Lip.

They were just great and lived up to all the promise; definitely worth our time and money.

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And then we had Junior, and god damn, did they put on an immense performance. The best moments were too many to count, such as A House That’s Not Quite Home which made an instant connection and got those in attendance pridefully singing back the lyrics, there was the dynamic and bloody catchy Veronica, and Fall To Pieces sent the room into a ballistic frenzy.

We also bore witness to the band’s trademark limbo competition, and if there was one thing we learnt from it, it’s that Scottish people sure are flexible. One of the greatest cases of crowd participation ever.

The trio transformed the venue into a daft party house, and we were glad to be a part of what was one of the most memorable live experiences for us in all of 2017.


sertraline

SERTRALINE – THE 13th NOTE | 10th NOVEMBER 2017

Fresh and new to us, the young trio of Headwitch did a solid job kicking off the evening with tracks characterised by extended instrumental sequences full of fairly stylish guitar work and bass-drum combos vibrating through the speakers.

The vocals, while fine, were so irregular that they seemed a tad pointless. Our advice for the guys would be to drop them entirely and completely focus on developing the one area to which they are more suited.

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All the way from Dumfries – and narrowly avoiding having their gear stolen by a Glaswegian junkie earlier in the day – we were pretty familiar with Turbyne, as we last saw them open for Our Hollow, Our Home back in March. They impressed us then, and they impressed us even more now.

They brought a whole newfound buzz to the room that was sorely lacking beforehand, with plenty of aspects making that so, such as very tight singing from the pairing of Keith and Gary, keys and riffs that bounced off each other efficiently, and swift, pumped up rhythms. Their new tune Towers was especially phenomenal, and despite the cramped space, they still managed to be quite active.

It was a brilliant, jam-packed set that had one chap lose half his beer from too much headbanging, Police Scotland making a cameo (no, seriously) and left Sertraline in awe of them…

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…and speaking of which, it was Sertraline‘s time to step up. They cranked out tracks from both their EPs and it was an electric, off-the-charts rush from end to end.

Liz was sensational with the mic in hand and the rest of the band complimented her splendidly. The crowd response was a very positive one, as they clapped and sang along where required and there was not a single dull moment. They even earned themselves an encore request.

A simply fantastic and convincing debut in Glasgow for the group. It was such a pleasure to see them do what they do, and we can only hope they return sooner than later.




WRITTEN/EDITED by JASON SMALL

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#9 | PRETTY LITTLE ENEMY – Second Load

SECOND LOAD


Hailing from Somerset, Pretty Little Enemy have been quick to establish themselves as one of the brightest prospects to emerge from the south west of the country, and they’re ready to validate their status with a brand new EP – Second Load – the follow-up to their 2016 release B*tch Please!

They waste little time and go all in with Get A Grip, a frantic and pumped up opener with a sweet chorus donning some memorable lyrics. We get more of the same in their upcoming single Collide, which stands out with a brisk beat and stirring vocals.

The guitar work is the most eminent factor in Play By The Rules, with crunchy riffs littered throughout and they even make space for a concise but ripping solo in the middle for good measure. The momentum carried from the very beginning remains stable as they finish off in fiery fashion with It’s All Just A Show.

A short, to the point record that makes the most of its brief duration. Nothing complex by any means, but a wild ride nonetheless that is tonnes of fun and worth repeated listens.


The quartet have recently announced that they will be embarking on an UK tour to promote their new EP, and you can catch them at the following dates:

  • Sat 9th Sep | BRIDGWATER – Cobblestones
  • Fri 15th Sep | WREXHAM – Percy’s Bar
  • Sat 16th Sep | LITTLEHAMPTON – The Crown
  • Sat 23rd Sep | SALTASH – Livewire Event
  • Sat 7th Oct | CORNWALL – Charlie’s Bar
  • Sat 14th Oct | PLYMOUTH – Turbulence Festival
  • Fri 20th Oct | SALISBURY – Winchester Gate

 

#8 | DISCOLOR BLIND – Long Vivid Dream

DISCOLOR BLIND


Discolor Blind is the brainchild of Iranian native Askhan Malayeri, who has spent all his life grinding away and constantly improving himself as a credible musician. Travelling all across the world, from his home country to England and eventually settling in Montreal, Canada, the last few years have been dedicated to the creation of his first proper record by the name of Long Vivid Dream.

Teaming up with a number of talented folk, most prominently singer Alexis Nadeau, the EP has finally been completed and is all ready to hit the shelves. We were given the opportunity to examine Long Vivid Dream ahead of its release, and it left us enthused.

It opens up with the instrumental Migraine which generates a sheer atmosphere that is quite mystical and even has some hints of extraterrestrial notes in there. The established sound continues into The Life Of Lily, where Alexis’ harmonies are just excellent, but the most notable aspect is a sudden, out of nowhere change in tone where it turns heavy halfway in and intense riffs enter the fray. Just one example of the unpredictable nature of this record.

Neat synths and a cool trumpet are welcome additions to What Pain Brings, highlighted by a bouncy melody and a tremendous chorus with a subtly haunting touch. Delicate vocals raise the hairs for Black And Grey, a fitting title for the melancholy lead single which starts off slow and chilling, gradually building as it progresses. Last but not least, Poor Receipts moves at a steady pace with a few spots of escalation which makes for a decent climax.

There is such a broad blend of multiple styles and various genres that it leaves it difficult to narrow down a proper description for the music, it just does not fit into one particular tier, and that is exactly what makes this EP a fantastic one. Askhan and Alexis should be proud of what they have accomplished here, and we would be happy to see more sooner than later.

 

 

#7 | JOE BONE & THE DARK VIBES – Goo Goo Shoom

goo goo shoom


Glasgow is absolutely abundant with bands, and all the better for it. Unfortunately, it poses a problem in that it proves to be quite difficult to stand out from the rest of the pack, but there is one such act who do not suffer from this – the oddities known as Joe Bone & The Dark Vibes.

We have been aware of this bunch for a while now and we had the utmost pleasure of witnessing them live at The Grand Ole Opry, and they were undoubtedly the most memorable of the night. Between then and now, they put out a full-length record titled Goo Goo Shoom, and it is certainly an interesting experience.

What we get to start is an utterly chilling intro in the form of a procession, amplified by the mix of piano keys and organ plus an aged recording sound that would not make it seem out of place in a silent horror film from several decades ago.

Don’t Talk To Me gives us our first showcase of frontman Joe’s harmonic stylings, where his outlandish charisma shines through the speakers. Lose It All is driven by a good bass line, after which we have Benny Lynch, a loving tribute to the Scottish boxing legend that is topped by a catchy beat and steadily builds to a grand finish.

The writing is the highlight of the maligning DWPComplications has quite the groove, and Voodoo Blood and I’m Falling have some pleasing synths and guitar chords respectively; the latter unexpectedly taking off for a rampant ending.

The kooky lyrics of The Bible According To Joe Bone may not sit well with those of a religious and/or easily offended nature, but come on – “Jesus was born from a leprechaun” – how could you not love a line like that? Following that, they close out with the low-key Never Have I Been.

On the whole, an entertaining mishmash of songs. If there was one negative, it would be that the production and general mixing could have done with a little cleanup, but then again, The Dark Vibes are a group who are all about being raw and organic, so take that as you may, and at the end of the day, this is an album that assuredly improves in quality with each subsequent listen and leaves an impact.

 

 

#6 | TAPED LIVE – Seven Sounds

taped live


Way back in January, as we exited from a show at King Tuts as part of their New Years Revolution festival, a band were jamming in the downstairs bar. Said band were the local pairing of Leo and Sal, better known as Taped Live.

While we only caught them briefly, they did enough to grab our attention, and they flew into our radar again lately with the release of their debut EP – Seven Sounds.

Thin Ice proves to be an okay start, but not much to write home about, although it does properly going when they pick up the pace with the jumpy Blind As A Bat, topped off with echoing snares.

They bring a very cool Southern rock vibe with Telephone, plus the chorus ain’t half bad, and Fit For Purpose is a catchy number in its own right.

Following the decent Pocket Full Of Sorrow we have the title track which stands as the definitive highlight of the record – courtesy of an infectious rhythm touched up with an essence of blues and led by a mixture of damn fine riffs and great drumming – after which, they bring everything to a close with the smooth and stylish What’s A Boy To Do?

While not always consistent, and perhaps asking for a shine up in production quality, the boys still do more than plenty to make Seven Sounds our money’s worth. A solid EP from a promising young duo, for sure.