Psycho Comedy are set to release their debut album ‘Performance Space Number One’ on the 14th February 2020 and it is a thrashing storm of guitars that begs to be played at maximum volume.
Performance Space Number One kicks off with Psycho Comedy’ with its wailing guitars and driving drums this sets out the bands stall from the first and shows exactly what this band is about, thrashing punk sounds that need to be played loud. Amongst the standout tracks on this album the newest single ‘Standin’ is perhaps the best. This is a track full of storming guitars hammering drums and a driving bass line which is a signature sound of Psycho Comedy.
Performance Space Number One is an album that starts at 100 miles per hour and ends in exactly the same fashion with ‘One’. This again is a track full of shredding guitars and pounding drums and is fitting end to an album that throughout begs to be played at full volume.
The album is due for release on the 14th February 2020 and is certainly one for all the punk fans out there. Also, if you enjoy your music turned up to eleven then this is an album for you.
1. Psycho Comedy
2. First Cousin Once Removed
3. We Adore You
8. Pick Me Up
9. The Hangman
10. The Theatre Came Crashing Down
11. Performance Space Number One
12. I Am the Silver Screen
Ian Roland & the Subtown Set released their debut album ‘Double Rainbow’ on the 28th Feb 2020, and it is a great album full of charming folk style melodies, which when combined with the haunting vocal style create beautiful tracks that stick with you long after the album ends.
The Brighton based trio consisting of Ian Roland on guitar and vocals, Simon Yapp on fiddle and vocals and Brione Jackson on cello and vocals open the album with the ‘The Valley’ which with its rhythmic guitar and fiddles creating beautiful harmonies with the vocals on the tracks starts the album in style, and it goes from strength to strength from this point forward.
Perhaps the track that stands out the most on this album is the single ‘In The Darkness’. It encapsulates everything that is good about this band.
With a soaring folk style melody, beautiful violins creating fantastic harmonies and interesting lyrics that tell a fascinating story this track has a feeling of pure optimism. There are of course other tracks that do stand out with ‘Searchlight’ being a personal favourite.
This delivers a message of personal reflection with the same fantastic melodies and harmonies typical of this album.
‘Double Rainbow’ is out now, and if you haven’t checked this out yet you definitely should.
It has a fantastic folk feel and takes you on a journey that will stay with you long after the album finishes and is a great debut album from a band that show real promise.
In the Darkness
Colour Me In
Day Became You
Review - John McEvoy
Love him or loathe him, the one thing you can’t do is ignore Morrissey. Front man of one the most influential bands of a generation, now doing very nicely as a solo artist, and with a residency coming up in Las Vegas (Yes really!).
This week sees the release of his 13th solo album since The Smiths decided to call it a day, and it sees him in fine form, with witty and acerbic lyrics, and a rich baritone voice that appears to be actually getting stronger the older he gets.
‘I Am Not A Dog On A Chain’ is an 11 track outing which quite frankly is one of his best albums to date, but will not be an album for the easily offended, and let’s face it, everyone seems to be offended by virtually everything these days.
Album opener ‘Jim Falls’ for example is an 80’s style electro dance track about suicide, basically saying if you’re going to do it then do it and get on with it!! Needless to say, the tabloid press will have a field day with that one.
His recent single ‘Bobby, Don’t You Think They Know’ is frankly as good as anything he’s written over the last few years, and features the powerhouse vocals of Thelma Houston from the Motown stable. Hammond organs abound, along with a pounding drum back beat, and it’s easy to see why this was released as the first single from the album.
Lovers of The Smiths, (myself included) won’t be disappointed either, ‘What Kind Of People’ I swear has Johnny Marr playing distinctive guitar, and the country style slide guitars perfectly match his wry lyrics and even Rough Trade gets a mention as well!
Title track ‘I Am Not A Dog On A Chain’ sees Morrissey attacking newspapers as ‘They Are Troublemakers’, which is a fair point, and he’s clearly aware of the impact his public utterance’s have when he suggests ‘He may be skinned alive by Canada Goose because of my views!’
‘Once I Saw The River Clean’ sees him venture back into an 80’s electro style, and sounds reminiscent of early Pet Shop Boys and recalls trips out with his Grandmother to buy smokes and a copy of T Rex’ ‘Metal Guru.
‘The Secret of Music’ is a departure from his usual style and is an epic almost 8 minutes track, which seems to be a mishmash of tunes thrown together, fuzz guitars abound, and an insistent drum beat drives the whole thing forward with what appears to non sensical lyrics thrown over the top.
To be fair, I wasn’t too sure about this, first time around, but further listening’s made it well worth effort.
With closing track ‘My Hurling Days Are Over’ he says that ‘Time is no friend of mine’ and closes with Morrissey in fine form along with a choir in the background and showcases just how good his voice still is these days.
I know that a lot of people won’t go anywhere near this album because of his public comments, but if you can get past them, then I have to say that in my opinion this is one of his strongest solo albums to date and is well worth checking out.
No doubt the tabloid press will go to town on this, and it’ll be interesting to see if the album is played on UK radio. Having recently witnessed his last UK tour, he’s adamant that he’s now become persona non grata in that area.
We shall see I suppose!
· Jim Jim Falls
· Love Is On Its Way Out
· Bobby, Don’t You Think They Know
· I Am Not A Dog On A Chain
· What Kind Of People Live In These Houses
· Knockabout World
· Darling, I Hug A Pillow
· Once I Saw The River Clean
· The Truth About Ruth
· The Secret Of Music
· My Hurling Days Are Done
Review - Liam McEvoy
Twisted Wheel are back!...
After splitting in 2013 Twisted Wheel have returned and 2020 sees the release of their much anticipated third album ‘Satisfying the Ritual’ and this is an album that really is flying the rock and roll flag high.
Album opener ‘Nomad Hat’ features driving guitars and thumping drums starts the album in great fashion, and really sets the tone with the album continuing at an electric pace and only slowing with the final track of the record.
One of the standout tracks is newest single ‘Black and Blue’ Having already reviewed this single when it was released back in 2019, this track encapsulates everything that is good about this album. With its thrashing guitars and pounding drums this track shows twisted wheel at their rocking best.
‘Wrong Side of the Road’ is another of the standout tracks on this album. This has an anthemic feeling track and sounds fantastic on the album, and I’m sure would sound even better when played live.
As mentioned previously the final track ‘Show Me’ winds things down and ends the album in a much slower fashion than it started. The band swapped their electric guitars and drums for a piano and acoustic guitar bringing the album to an end in a beautifully haunting style.
It has been eight years since the release of Twisted Wheel’s last album, however the long wait is finally over with ‘Satisfying the Ritual’ set for release for on the 20th March 2020 and for any fans of rock and roll this is a must for you.
1. Nomad Hat
2. I am Immune
3. Black and Blue
5. Ghost Man
6. Wheels of Love
7. Wrong Side of The Road
8. 2020 Vision
9. Rebel (Album Edit)
10. Satisfying the Ritual
11. Show Me
Review by Levi Tubman
Johnny Lloyd isn’t messing around with the title, self-recorded off-the-cuff and in one-take to a BOSS 8-track recorder, this is as raw and Lo-fi as it comes! These self-recorded tracks span 5 years, you can hear as his tastes and flavours of the month have changed, handful of tracks, it almost trips you up as an electronic track with the kick drum so crushed and distorted its almost unrecognisable leads into another that’s delicately picked acoustic guitar, it doesn’t let your ears rest.
The order of an album is an important and personal choice, and on first listen I wasn’t sure that running wild was the right opening track for the album, there are other stronger contenders but yet I kept coming back to it over and over, it gets your attention, and tells you all you need to know about the album, it lets you know what you’re in for.
His voice is very prominent throughout but you really start to hear it on quieter tracks, such as the acoustic crash site and come awake, a unique tone with a wide range its almost a shame to have any music, it could easily stand alone with a few acapella numbers.
When those tracks are compared to something like Hang the Hangman its like 2 different artists are singing on the album, his voice switches between soft and delicate to strained screams as easily as his music.
The production quality is an acquired taste and I worry it’s going to put a few people off, especially when they hear just how Low Fidelity it gets early on, but the ones who listen through that will be rewarded.
There doesn’t feel to be any filler here, the writing is superb throughout, coupled with his voice these 20 home recorded demos show his raw talent that deserves a wider audience.
Try it you won’t be disappointed I admit I didn’t know what to make of it after the first track but its simply superb! Standout tracks would have to be (2) Playing the clown, (11) Hang the Hangman and (13) Living a lie.
01-Running Wild (Demo)
02-Playing The Clown (Demo)
03-Could You Love Another (Demo)
04-Picture Of A Century (Demo)
05-Crash Site (Demo)
06-Circus Master / Time Traveller (Demo)
07-Beautiful People (Demo)
08-Day Glow (Demo)
09-Come Awake (Demo)
10-Down In An Aeroplane (Demo)
11-Hang The Hangman (Demo))
12-How Much Is Too Much (Demo)
13-Living A Lie (Demo)
14-The Drum (Demo)
16-Living In The City (Demo)
17-People Got To Know (Demo)
18-Perfect World (Demo)
19-Through The Eyes Of A Child (Demo)
20-We Got All The Time In The World (Demo)
Review by Levi Tubman
This is the fourth album from the Manchester quartet, despite forming 17 years ago, a number of line-up changes seem to have slowed their releases, but with this being their second album in 2 years they’ve hopefully hit their pace.
Personally, I’ve been looking forwards to this album, the British indie rock scene still goes from strength to strength, while great for the fans, makes it harder for bands to be heard above the crowd, certainly not an issue for these guys.
They’ve been compared to bands like the Artic Monkeys, but if you ask me, they are exactly what you’d get if The Killers had been formed in the 80’s. The opening track, All I Hear, is a prime example, lead by a solid driving drum beat, slight high pitch guitar riffs, bereft of solid hard barre chords, this doesn’t give a thin or empty sound though, the Bass guitar is used as an instrument in its own right and not just to filling out the low end, a rarity these days, the odd run or fill here carries the music through a change while the guitars might have a sustained note or an open ringing chord.
The production is spot on for their style, nothing is hidden or overpowered, with the snare drum front and centre of the drums with the kick drum a lot lower in the mix freeing up the low end for the bass giving a full unclouded sound.
The vocals have a lot more effects than you’d typically find on indie rock, a lot more reverb on not just vocals but guitars themselves, its not to cover or hide imperfections, it’s a production choice that compliments the instruments nicely and really lends to a slight 80’s feel
Half way through track 4, Jericho, I found The Communards - You Are My World, just slipped into my head, if you lowered Jimmy Somerville (Communards) vocals the track would fit nicely in this album, its not quite as fragile as their sound but id be surprised if they didn’t have a hand in influencing this Manchester group.
The songs are full of energy but not fast paced, vocals often have a sombre tone, along the lines of Joy Division’s Ian Curtis, another band you can hear in in this album, especially with the drums in style and sound.
Each track is catchy, you find yourself tapping your feet and head along throughout, its an infectious record that deserves to beat its predecessors 18th position in the charts, an album that sounds great in the garden, it fits with BBQ’s and summer weather, and wherever you play it someone will sure they recognise the song from somewhere.
A fantastic album that should do wonders for this band, on the back of their last album, Build A Tower, they sold out Manchesters Apollo, no mean feat, so this album should sell out their next tour!
It was hard to pick just but I'd say the standout tracks have to be (1)All I Hear, (4) Jericho, (8) All the idiots
1) All I Hear
2) Something Missing
3) Problem Child
5) No Surprise
7) Killing Me
8) All The Idols
9) Every Word
10) The Zero Hour
11) The Wait
Review - Liam McEvoy
The Imbeciles release their self-titled debut album on the 27th March 2020. This album is a hardcore punk album and it has everything you would expect from an album of this kind and if you are a punk fan this is definitely one for you.
The Imbeciles show that punk is most certainly not dead with their debut album. Opening track ‘Panic’ sets the tone from the start. It’s a chaotic maelstrom of thrashing guitars monotonous driving bass and crashing drums, which is exactly what you would want and expect from a hardcore punk band.
The message and tone of The Imbeciles debut album is an angry one, which again is exactly what you would expect. The lyrics paint a very negative picture as can be heard on ‘Depending on’.
This track has an overwhelming sense of betrayal and abandonment with lyrics such as ‘you say you love me, but then you leave me’ and ‘I don’t want you here’. Coupling these lyrics with heavy monotonous guitars this really does create the feelings of betrayal and abandonment.
The track ‘Blind’ gives a feeling of deception through lyrics such as ‘should have known why you would ask me here, should have known that it was not sincere’ and ‘Back Brain/’ gives the feeling that everything is not as it seems.
The opening lyrics ‘you’re a liar’ clearly demonstrating this however the echoing nature of the vocals on the track and the fact that when listening on headphones the vocals move from one ear to the other getting louder and quieter really gives the sense that reality is in question.
This album is classic hardcore punk, and The Imbeciles do a fantastic job of showing that punk is not dead. With thrashing guitars driving bass and pounding drums throughout coupled with the angry lyrics this is a must listen for all punk fans.
3. Stalking Boy
4. Ice Cream
5. He’s a Writer
6. One Hand Tommy
7. Oh My Rod, Pt2
11. Depending on
14. Back Brain/
Reviewer John McEvoy
London based Mystery Jets are back with the 7th album in the shape of ‘A Billion Hearts’, originally scheduled for release back in Sept 2019, it was subsequently delayed until the 3rd April 2020 due to health issue with front man Blaine Harrison.
I’m pleased to say that he and the rest of the band are now in the rudest of health and this new outing finds them in fine form.
Opening track ‘Screwdriver’ is a battering ram of a tune with shades of The Stereophonics and Muse thrown in for good measure, and this is quickly followed up by ‘Pretty Drone’ and Blaine Harrisons distinctive voice neatly overlays an insistent punky vibe with rock chords thrown in for good measure.
‘Hospital Radio’ at just over 6 minutes is the longest track on the album and is a real standout for me with a full-on alt rock assault with soaring guitars and anthemic vocals.
Many people have compared this band to The Foals and it’s easy to see why, but in fairness to The Mystery Jets, I think they have sufficient originality in what is a well-worn musical style to carve out a niche of their own.
The slower ‘Cenotaph’ is an example of a band with real versatility again the vocals are especially outstanding.
Blaine Harrison has said, this album was written based on his observations of the many protests that took place in London in 2017 and it’s about ‘being a mirror for what’s going on, reflecting back the way people are feeling’.
I personally don’t get the feeling that this is an album that directly speaks about these issues, but that is not to say that this detracts from it in any way.
This 10-track outing is strong enough to be taken at face value, and whilst it is musically familiar territory that a lot of bands inhabit, these tracks allow this album to be regarded a quality outing from a band who have things to say.
For obvious reasons their UK tour has now been rescheduled till later in the year, and we will be there to bring you a review and shots from one of their shows.
Full tour details below the track list:
· Petty Drone
· History Has Its Eyes On You
· A Billion Heartbeats
· Endless City
· Hospital Radio
· Campfire Song
· Watching Yourself Disappear
· Wrong Side Of The Tracks
UK Tour dates and venues:
16-Nov-20 Newcastle The Riverside
18-Nov-20 Edinburgh The Caves
19-Nov-20 Glasgow Oran Mor
20-Nov-20 Leeds The Wardrobe
21-Nov-20 Hull The Welly
24-Nov-20 Manchester Academy 2
25-Nov-20 Leicester O2 Academy 2
26-Nov-20 Birmingham The Mill
29-Nov-20 Norwich Waterfront
1-Dec-20 London O2 Shepherds Bush Empire
2-Dec-20 Bristol Trinity
3-Dec-20 Brighton Concorde 2
5-Dec-20 Kendal Brewery Arts Centre
6-Dec-20 Oxford O2 Academy
7-Dec-20 Cambridge Junction
Reviewer Liam McEvoy
Milk Teeth released their much anticipated self-titled second album on the 27th March 2020. The follow up to their 2016 debut album Vile Child sees the band now consisting of Becky Blomfield as lead vocalist and bassist, Em Foster on guitar and Jack Kenny on drums at their rocking best. Delivering a fast and furious album full of shredding tracks from start to finish.
The album opens with ‘Given Up’, and its shredding guitars, pounding drums and driving bass this starts the album in frantic fashion and sets the tone perfectly for the rest of the album. Given that this is a record that goes at 100 miles per hour from start to finish there are a number of standout tracks.
‘Better’ is one of these stand out tracks. Set to storming guitars and thundering bass the lyrics to this track tell a story of broken relationship, and the realisation that in this situation you deserve better ‘a celebration of two peoples broken trust’ and ‘I deserve better’ clearly showing this.
Another stand out tracks is ‘Smoke’. In the context of this record, this is a slightly softer track but still has all the guitars and thumping drums you would expect. The message of this track is also slightly softer and seems to be one of patience and acceptance in a new relationship seen through the lyrics ‘you’re a girl I’m taking my time trying to learn’ and ‘I need you here my human vitamin’.
The final track on the record ‘Wanna Be’ closes this album in much the same way it began with a chorus of wailing guitars and pounding drums. Milk Teeth have followed up their 2016 debut album in fantastic fashion and for any rock fan this is an album you should definitely listen to.
1. Given Up
11. Wanna Be
20-year-old newcomer ANDREW CUSHIN today shares his debut single ‘It’s Gonna Get Better’. It’s a striking introduction for the Geordie singer-songwriter, whose burgeoning reputation has already seen him sell-out a headline show at The Cluny.
‘It’s Gonna Get Better’ immediately positions Andrew as a musician who is destined for bigger things in the year ahead. His first calling card is the sheer strength of his vocal. It’s a voice which has the power to demand your attention, yet also with the soul, nuance and character that brings his emotive words to life. Lyrically it’s an unguarded outpouring of emotion, rich with regret, romance and yearning. The overwhelming feeling, however, is one of optimism and redemption.
The accompanying video depicts Andrew’s life in and around his home city. Sometimes they’re iconic - matchday at Newcastle United alongside statues of local heroes Alan Shearer and Bobby Robson, and crossing the famous Tyne Bridge. At other times they’re more day-to-day - darts, pool and a pint at his local bar The Turbinia, strolling the city’s backstreets, and performing in Stockton.
‘It’s Gonna Get Better’ is released as part of the two-track ‘Waiting For The Rain’ EP. Both songs were written by Andrew and produced by Sean Genocky whose credits include The Who, Richard Ashcroft, Tom McRae, Roger Daltrey and more. For the recording of ‘It’s Gonna Get Better’, Andrew borrowed Sean’s Gibson J-45 - a guitar that was previously owned by Keith Richards.
Although he’s now making waves in music, Andrew Cushin’s first passion was football. He used to play as a goalkeeper for the non-league side Newcastle Benfield’s youth team, which inadvertently changed the course of his life.
When his coach asked him to help train the younger players, the pair bonded over a shared interest in artists such as Oasis, The Beatles, Paul Weller, Pete Doherty, Richard Ashcroft, Foals and Damien Rice. With a background in music, the coach soon discovered that Andrew had a real flair for songwriting and became his manager - the start of a rise which looks set to continue deep into the future.
WATCH THE VIDEO HERE