Archive for January 2020

Girl Afraid – ‘Dutch Courage’   Leave a comment

Hailing from Hull, Indie rock band Girl Afraid introduce their latest track, ‘Dutch Courage’, released on 7th Feb 2020.

Inspired by QOTSA and Fountains D.C., they’re already crafting a signature style.

A powerful, rhythmic track, incorporating sleek riffs and wondrous vocals, ‘DC’ is strong and assuredly catchy.

Dutch Courage – Kicking off with an instantly catchy drum roll, unusually alternative vocals, reminiscent of The Clash. Quite punky, in its way, throwing in plenty of melody. Delivered with skill and confidence. A definite assuredness to it, ending quite abruptly, but leaving an imprint. An easy listen, with a slight old school feel, balanced with modern indie.

6/10 ******

For fans of The Clash, The Only Ones, Buzzcocks, Iggy Pop.

Posted January 31, 2020 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Dead Happy, Featuring Electric Six – ‘My Sex Appeal’   Leave a comment

Known far and wide for the hit single, ‘Gay Bar’, Electric Six now present their new single collaboration, with freak disco rockers Dead Happy, ‘My Sex Appeal’. Categorised as similar to Daft Punk and funk.

Founded in early 2014, DH blitzed through the UK scene, appearing at Bearded Theory and Boomtown Fair Fests. Their live gigs have so far featured fire, aliens and robots. This new release, mixed by Steve Whitfield (The Cure, The Mission, Terrorvision), was quite a feat of achievement, planned and produced entirely via email, from opposite sides of the world. Its main themes are self-confidence and self-expression, as it’s portrayed to the world.

Completely DIY, DH include some bizarre features in their videos, though whereas the debut video was professionally produced, the ‘MSA’ video, lacking the resources for that, was created on a simple basis, at their local pub. Despite their best efforts to involve ES’s Dick Valentine, on this occasion, it ended instead with him attempting to sell them erotic novels!

‘MSA’ is now available via all digital platforms. Other DH material is also accessible on YouTube.

My Sex Appeal – Very much electronic, in sound, but with a strong R&B-esque beat. A lot of synth and keyboard involvement, a big poppy vibe and it’s upbeat and simplistic, including a combo of male and female vocals. Ending on another keyboard section, it’s hard to place this in a rock category. Enthused, but essentially over poppy and devoid of substance. Commercial music, lacking the sex appeal contained in the title.

3/10 ***

For fans of 80’s synth pop.

Posted January 28, 2020 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Camp Marshy – ‘Baby Are You Ready For Some Fun’   Leave a comment

Swedish punk rockers Camp Marshy are prepping to release their 2nd EP, ‘Baby Are You Ready For Some Fun’, scheduled for spring 2020, from which, the title track and single is taken. It follows their March 2019 debut. Comprising ex-members of PAKK, Souldivider and Infernal Gates, CM have played alongside Askvader, ( Highride, etc. Their sound’s all about groove, upbeat rhythms and catchy, memorable melodies.

Baby Are You Ready For Some Fun – Good punchy intro! That’s got the driving rhythm, straight away. Catchy drum beats, a clear rocky groove and enthused, infectious lyrics. Quite old school, in its way, melodic all the way, with underlying bluesy zing. Lots of hooks in here. Classy production, consistently impressive audio values and full of bounce. Capable and assured, it’d make good party rock.

9/10 *********

For fans of Uriah Heep, The Cult, Free, Boston, Thin Lizzy, Rush, Lynyrd Skynyrd.!CampMarshyl?ref=bookmarks

‘Lullaby’ –
‘Inside Of Me’ –
‘The Smoker’ –
‘President’ –

Posted January 24, 2020 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Alloy – ‘Through Hell, Prison Of The Mind, Free Spirit’.   Leave a comment

Alloy formed in Uppsala, Sweden, during the latter half of 2018. Each member bringing their own musical backgrounds to the band, the 5 piece were founded as a result of a Facebook group post by Joel (guitar/bass), about wanting to start a band. The rest of Alloy are Suvi (vocals), Gael (drums), Nils (guitar/bass) and Victor (guitar). Influenced by a mixture of heavy thrash and gentle alt/indie, their sound is consequently, unique.

Signed to CRS Records, their singles so far include: ‘Through Hell’, ‘Prison Of The Mind’ and ‘Free Spirit’. ‘Through Hell’ can be accessed on YouTube.

Through Hell – Good creeping steady intro. Very capable, Blondie-esque feminine vocals. This production’s a little low in volume, but it’s got all the right ingredients. Well handled riffs, decently spaced out drum hits, allowing the song to breathe and the melody’s catchy and upbeat enough to be memorable and warrant further listens. Ending on some carefully plucked riffs. A good sound and an enjoyable, laid-back feel, with a clear rocky essence.

7/10 *******

Prison Of The Mind – Great bluesy intro. Very classy feel to the vocals. A strong old school blues rock sound, with a psychedelic edge. Quite compelling riffs, with a lot of stop-start action. Staying on the same route, throughout, it’s a focused track, with room for contemplation. All in all, a pleasant, relaxed listen.

6/10 ******

Free Spirit – Opening with a warm, inviting riff and bass line, like a slowed down, chilled out AC/DC. Speeding up, this holds the same psychedelic tinge as the previous tracks. Good harmonies. Well paced. A lot of consistency in those vocals and something of an airy edge to them, whilst still retaining the deft handling. Again, there’s a breath in the track and a strategically positioned blues uplift, giving it that extra twist. The male backing vocals come in at just the right point and there’s a noticeable twang to the riffs. Another good listen.

7/10 *******

Overall – As separate singles, these are fairly impressive, with a decent grasp of listenability and a good blues streak within each. Together, they’re slightly stronger, with a psychedelic feel in common, creating a nostalgia of their own. The audio values do need increasing slightly, but generally, the melodies work and the energy’s upbeat, with potential hooks.

7/10 *******

For fans of Blondie, Purson, Pentangle, Arapacis, Blue Oyster Cult.

‘Free Spirit’ will be released on 31st January 2020.
‘Prison Of The Mind’ is scheduled for release on 18th February 2020.

‘Through Hell’ video:

Posted January 22, 2020 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Torpedo – ‘Mechanic Tyrants’   Leave a comment

A 6 track re-issue of Germany’s Torpedo’s debut demo, ‘Mechanic Tyrants’ now comes complete with brand-new cover art. Entirely independently produced, from scratch, in a basement, after its initial release in June 2019, the first copies sold out immediately, hence the re-issue.

The energetic speed metallers only formed in November 2018, as a side project, intended mainly as a tribute band, throwing in some originals. Their band name came from guitarist Alex Starbreaker’s original band, years before, which didn’t prove destined to succeed, so the name was used for this band instead. It was decided on as the best bet, as it’s simple, memorable, metallic and explosive.

‘Mechanic Tyrants’ was influenced by Arnold Schwarzenegger’s ‘Terminator’ films. Specifically, to symbolise the man v machine theme. Tank and Raven are also strong inspirations. The music on ‘MT’ is mostly improvised, during recording, contributing to the sincerity of the sound, combining old school speed and NWOBHM.

Already, new material is in production.

Maniac – Straight into a classic speed riff! Attention-grabbing, from the start. This is raw, edgy and passionate, with all the glorious roughness of the self-production it is). Right away, the old school feel’s audible, with an original twist and it’s enlivening and hugely enthused, throughout! Great closing power scream. Truly catchy and impossibly addictive.

Mechanic Tyrants – Contagious riff intro, with that rough around the edges feel, adding to the upbeat atmosphere. Once more, that trad influence is there, with hookey riffs, forever familiar, with their own unique spins. Climbing up the scales, emitting crackling explosions of enthused power screams. Very Metallica-esque, carrying ‘Kill ‘Em All’ echoes of ‘Motorbreath’, especially.

Victim Of Desire – Punchy drum intro, setting the scene for thrashy speed riffs and screams to match. A little more gravelly, in a Lemmy-esque way. Built to last, this holds a great balance of old school and new wave, with all the catch and rhythm to complete it. Constructed around a simple riff, ending with a ‘Master Of Puppets’-esque evil laugh, it’s something approaching a resurrected Motorhead, for the modern age.

Sons Of Evil – Now it heats up, with a powerful drum intro, bashing out the rhythm, accompanied by equally heavy riffs. Really sexy hard-edged stuff in here! Another catchy pace and melody to lose yourself in. Delightfully metallic and plausibly steel. Combining derivations of ‘Ride The Lightning’ era Metallica and classic ‘Aces’ era Motorhead, with a signature flourish, growing into itself, with an ever-increasing confidence. Loving those riffs and the generally sexy atmosphere). Perfectly placed drum beats and a hugely cohesive sound, closing on another elegantly executed power scream.

Wrath Of God – Speeding it up again, this returns to the ‘Kill ‘Em All’ Metallica era, with a complimentary Diamond Head-esque flavour. Some brilliant twiddly para-diddles in here and it’s just so engaging. A few more of those ace screams and a final ‘Black Betty’ type Ram Jam flourish, adding the perfect finishing touch.

Idiocracy – Opening on a more reflective riff, gradually building it up, into a beautiful, serene melody and a steadily emerging, heavier rhythm, with pure precision. Picking up the pace, to a faster rattle. Still something slightly sombre about the melody, in parts, but for the most part, it’s driven, rapid and uplifting. Easing into the flow and topping it off, with crazed riffs, gritty vocals and a huge helping of fun. It’s a riff finale that steers, sexily, into the skid.

Overall – If ever there was a stark reminder of how to do metal, from the ground up, it’s ‘Mechanic Tyrants’. Yes, it may be derivative, but it’s a pure joy to hear and it has all the right elements nailed. In need of some care-free, exhilarating speed metal, to rip away all the cares of the day and remind you where the fun lies? Give this a spin.

9/10 *********

For fans of Metallica, Diamond Head, Motorhead, Iron Maiden, Whitesnake, Ram Jam, Focus.

Cover art by Flo Flait – Vocals
Alex Starbreaker – Guitar
Danny Kek – Bass
Phil Stresey – Drums

‘Mechanic Tyrants’ can be pre-ordered on LP – black vinyl, insert, as part of a limited edition 400 run, or on CD, as one of a limited run of 500. Pre-order on:

Posted January 21, 2020 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Tommy Stewart’s Dyerwulf – ‘Sordid Songs For A Cold Grey Sun’   Leave a comment

‘Sordid Songs For A Cold Grey Sun’, new release from Tommy Stewart’s Dyerwulf follows his previous launches, ‘Clef Doom’ (2015), the self titled ‘Tommy Stewart’s Dyerwulf (2017), on Soman Records and ‘Shadow In The Well/Lilith Crimson Deep’, on Black Doomba Records, who have now launched ‘SSFACGS’.

Eric Vogt was subsequently replaced by Dennis Reid (Bludy Gyres, Negative Wall), following numerous mini-tours of West and mid-North America.

Also known from Hallows Eve (Metal Blade Records), Tommy produces at Blue Ogre Noise Lab and TSD frequently plays live doom perspectives of Hallows Eve.

This 3rd EP, ‘SSFACGS’ launched on 6th December 2019 and the next scheduled release, a full double album, will arrive this year.

Wheels Of Confusion – Brilliant whooshing sound intro’s, onto a sci-fi-esque, doom backdrop. Low vocals, down-tuned bass and slow pace further entrenches the dark doom flavour. Gentle cymbal touches and fading background drums add an aura of mystery. As the pace picks, the sound folds in on itself, like a spiral coil maze. Experimenting with pace and tempo alternations, becoming increasingly percussive, eventually fading out, slowly, it’s a rumbling track, with meditative, mesmeric qualities.

Thy Graveless Soul – Deep, rumbling bass riff opens. Sharper vocals this time and an easier, looser flow. A popping sensation accompanies the melody, evocative of bubbles bursting, in a dark, dank cave. This doesn’t veer much from the rhythm or pace and delivers like a vortex, slowly sucking you in.

Hollow Heart – Now a new, intriguing angle intro’s, very bass led, with an ominous sense creeping forward. Keep all the lights on for this. A touch of feedback creates more atmosphere and the pure instrumental nature leaves much to the imagination. The sameness and stillness just exudes darkness.

Sad Stormy Sunday – Opening on a low-key riff, vocals peaking, joined by backing vocals. Getting into its stride, with a steady rhythm and a clearer melody. It’s a little jivier than the rest, climbing up to a higher pitch, with more involved accompaniments, but the doomy depths are still stark. The vocals dip and fade out, at the end.

Overall – Still as doomy as ever, but this is darker and lacking variation, in contrast to previous releases. It can certainly be said to have retained the cautious delivery and the vocal timbre’s a tad more experimental, with perhaps more focus on the lighter end of the scale. However, this production’s just a little too samey, dark and slow-paced, with very few tonal changes and needs more melody injected into it, to bring the mood up, slightly.

8/10 ********

For fans of Bludy Gyres, Mourning Glory, Motherslug, Bong Cauldron, Terrible Old Man, Gravehuffer.


Posted January 20, 2020 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Blissful Stream – ‘When The Wolves Start To Circle’   Leave a comment

Blissful Stream now present their long-awaited album, ‘When The Wolves Start To Circle’. Eight tracks of soulful crossover metal, blended with black, punk, death and gothic rock, inspired by dark folk legends.

For those who struggle through the darkness of life’s realities and need the anchor such powerful metal provides, this album returns to the essence of early metal and rock, with all the catchy simplicity inherent. In contrast to Martin Sallstrom’s 2016 debut EP, ‘Ascending Demons’ and his previous black metal project, Pest, BS swings to the opposite, more contemplative style.

Following on from 2017’s ‘Devils Night To All Souls’ split EP, with Sweden’s Lightsabres and 2018’s ‘Dead Religious’, both successful, in their own right, ‘WTWSTC’ moves into altogether different, more enrapturing territory. It’s due for release on Valentine’s Day 2020, digitally and on limited-edition audio cassette and CD.

Music and layout by M.S.
Recorded and mixed at Studio Sinnesfrid.
Mastered at Audiosiege, by Brad Boatright.
Logo designed by Magnus Ohrn, at 6hirts 6f 6atan.

We See The Light – Straight in there, with a very Motorhead-esque intro! That’s got the catch and the rock, from the start. Definitely more shouty than vocally melodic, but the accompaniments compensate. Short, but very hooky and very engaging.

When The Wolves Start To Circle – Great zesty riffage opens. Getting right into a catchy chorus, with a mystical quality. Intriguing echoed lyrics. Blending well with the accompaniments. A clear soulful edge, with bluesy flavour. That’s one infectious riff. Expertly delivered. Very much centred around that riff, it just works.

Sow The Seeds Of Discontent – Bass line opening, along a perfected continuum. A slower, looser rhythm, with a trad melody and a sinister aura. Steadily taking its time to grind the message out, it’s a dark track, with a basic back beat. Well structured, retaining its mystery, throughout, it’s consistent and ominous.

Covenant Of Decay – Good sharp riff intro, slightly faster, but similar, in construction. Not in any rush, it glides, smoothly along. Again, very dark, trapping the blackened atmosphere within its structure. Carefully executed, there’s a steel within it and a deadened tone, edging towards Nick Cave arenas. Gravehuffer fans’ll get off on this. Very visual material, evoking graveyard imagery, ending on more thoughtfully plucked notes.

Once Alive – Heating things back up again now, this takes it back to Motorhead-esque realms, if slightly darker. More bounce and freedom to the riffs, even amongst those creepy lyrics. Strongly atmospheric, it’s a track that transports you to the scene of the crime, as it were. Sliding into the outro.

Old Wounds – Another bass intro, deep, long and sensual. Once more, that Nick Cave sense returns to the vocals. This is one to relax with, in a darkened room. An ambient thread almost edges it towards relaxation music, if not for the black themes. Not going anywhere fast, that steady tempo stays, inviting you into its lair.

War Of The Righteous – Higher vibe to that opening riff, echoing through the darkness. Here, the light’s in a constant battle, to shine through the darkness. It’s equal parts light and dark, with some good slide melodies, growing stronger, as it continues.

City Of Dead Souls – Faster paced intro, with a little cymbal action and a slightly stronger drum presence, but still very much riff and vocal led. Plucky spin on the riffs, from the second bar and some sexy fret-bending going on. Towards the end, the accompaniments just take a very slight step back, as the vocals come forward, a bit, before returning to form. Something of a stoner essence, but generally, staying true to form. Baleful Creed fans of ‘The Killing’ may relate to the echoes of ‘Forgiven’.

Overall – A very competently, skilfully handled album, with consistent rhythms, featuring various twists and turns and a presiding blues-edged smoothness, etched into the inherent darkness. Well worth a spin.

9/10 *********

For fans of Gravehuffer, Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds, Baleful Creed, Motorhead.

Posted January 19, 2020 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Frederik Cornelius – ‘This Ain’t Love’   Leave a comment

‘This Ain’t Love’ is the latest offering from Frederik Cornelius, from Denmark. Independent, award-winning singer-songwriter, playing indie folk, his influences include Paul McCartney, Father John Misty and Lukas Graham. FC is a very real artist, with a wide fan base, having played alongside some renowned Denmark bands. Characteristic of Frederik’s energised, uplifting style, ‘TAL’ is a simply produced, but notably powerful, hook laden track, destined to catch you, with its direct message and memorability.

This Ain’t Love – Opening with a straightforward, loosely strummed chord, revealing itself, as a laid-back old-fashioned melody, with a strong R&B tinge and a hint of reggae rock in its sound, incorporating a light brass section. Sweetly honest lyrics, with a basic message and a relaxed drawl to the delivery. Pleasant, if tame listen. One for gentle moods.

5/10 *****

For fans of Jon Tessier, James Blunt, Bob Marley And The Wailers, Aswad.

Posted January 19, 2020 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Marco ‘Markbag’ Laudata – ‘This Love’   Leave a comment

Introducing Marco ‘Markbag’ Laudata’s video tribute of Pantera’s ‘This Love’, in memorial of the late great Dimebag Darrel and Vinnie Paul. The cover is a testament to Marco’s determination to overcome his own disability, through music and in respect of the positive effects of Pantera’s music, in encouraging him, in this aim.

Supported by Alberto Castano, lead singer of Spanish Pantera tribute band Display Of Power. Represented by Alpha Omega Records and Management.

This Love – Introing with such precision, it’s actually hard to believe this is a tribute. All the quiescence, gradually emerging into the well timed explosions of power inherent in the original. The same can be said for the vocals, beginning the same way and eventually evolving into the crackle of pointed anger so plausibly performed by Pantera. Great chemistry going on between vocals and guitar. Both working off each other, comfortably, throughout. Simultaneously gentle, fragile and aggressive. Nothing to fault and everything to praise. Does true justice to the original.

9/10 *********

For fans of Pantera.

Posted January 14, 2020 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Ian Blurton – Future Now – ‘Signals Through The Flames’   Leave a comment

Released 3rd January 2020, through Seeing Red Records and Pajama Party (original release by the latter, June 7th, 2019), ‘Signals Through The Flames’ is a 12 track album, from Ian Blurton’s Future Now project, now available on 12″ black virgin vinyl and as a limited edition CD, featuring 3 bonus tracks, previously only accessible on 7″.

Eye Of The Needle – Gradually emerging intro, quiescent, with an ambient flavour, initially, segueing into something of a Vai-esque riff, before then exploding into a crashingly heavy segment. Still, it’s a little more ‘out there’ and alternative than expected and just sits slightly flat, in a melodic sense. A bit of an unspecified direction, but capably delivered.

Seven Bells – Much more metallic, with a slight Stone Temple Pilots-esque intro, moving into a heavier territory. Stronger vocals, clearer instrumental direction and a faint grunge emphasis, in the midst of a metal atmosphere. Fading out pleasantly, on a single riff.

Days Will Remain – Powerful drum hit and riff intro. Very classic feel. Colourful, vivacious and atmospheric. Some thought-provoking lyrics. Very rhythmic. Imagine a Queen/Magnum combo and you’re close. Ending on a strong vocal and definitive riff.

The March Of Mars – A fairly obscure intro, carrying sci-fi hints and a touch of feedback. Still, it returns to that alt stoner vibe, with The Smashing Pumpkins/Stone Temple Pilots echoes. The grunge emphasis here is even stronger. Those mid-paced rhythms are well suited to the style of the track. There’s a slight catch to this, reflecting Soundgarden and Faith No More, in places. It may seem a bit samey, but it’s actually quite mesmeric.

Nothing Left To Lose – Vibrant intro, hard-hitting drums and riffs, picking up the pace. An early rock, Beatles-esque sense permeates this and it’s also quite psychedelic, at times. The sound builds throughout, with climbing tension. Definitely more chorus led and possibly a tad repetitive, but again, a competent performance.

ICQ – Great powerful chord opening! Straight away, a stronger, more confident, coherent structure emanates. This has stepped it up a gear. Clear catchy hooks in here and far greater melodic emphasis. That’s a brief, but voluminous burst of vivid, solid rock!

Kick Out The Lights – Straight into a southern rock sound, with bluesy riffs. Again, it’s gone up a notch. However, it needs more work on the verses, to clarify and bring them up to speed with the chorus. Still, a decent, comfortable pace. The tones are just a tad downbeat, though, which does lower the mood, somewhat.

Night Of The Black Goat – Ecstatic drum intro. New, faster direction, even with that same fading sense to the vocals. More of an upbeat feel to this. Palpable power within it. Once more, it returns to the grungy flavour, stoner edged atmosphere. Slight Jane’s Addiction thread throughout this one. Needs more work on the fade-out, which is a tad underwhelming.

Into Dust – Spot the AC/DC intro! Admittedly, it assists the track in edging towards more memorable territory. Lots of wah wah sounds and it’s a more cohesive chorus, with a clear stoner grunge path. Higher melodies and a generally, more noticeable energy, though it does carry a heavy bass, with a darkly down tuned key, growing stronger, towards the end and the whole thing becomes a bit Portishead-esque.

Race With The Devil – Shinier intro, fulsome riffs and drum hits taking it into far more fun-filled rock territory. Ricocheting between 90’s bubblegum and Brit-rock and classic early blues rock arenas, this definitely holds a special flavour and frankly, it’s far too short! Rhythms and melodies like that would have benefited the rest of the album.

Upon Yesterday – Another slightly lesser, but audible AC/DC-esque intro, though it segues into another bluesy area. It’s strong and grows in stature, throughout. It’s a very listenable sound. Consistently powerful and fully cohesive, mood-enhancingly accessible and altogether higher vibes.

Space Is Forever – Freestyle drumming intro’s, with a light filled melody. An openness characterises this, with a laid-back sense to the whole track. Simple riffs interlace with more intricate ones and it fades out gradually, into an echo chamber.

Overall – Obscure seems to sum this up well. Though ‘Signals Through The Flames’ is undoubtedly well produced and performed, it lacks direction, fails to grab you and is largely underwhelming. In its favour, the best points are the 3 bonus tracks, which, if applied to the rest of the album, the power and catch invested in those would have rescued the rest. In summary, more work on the clarity, cohesion and mood of the verses and aligning the structure of the main tracks more closely with the bonus material would improve ‘STTF’, no end.

6/10 ****** (Tracks 1-9). 7/10 ******* Bonus Tracks (10-12).

For fans of The Smashing Pumpkins, Stone Temple Pilots, The Virginmary’s, The Beatles, Jane’s Addiction, Magnum.

Posted January 12, 2020 by jennytate in Uncategorized