Thursday, 20 February 2014

40 Bands To Keep An Eye On

Last years 40 bands to keep and ear on went down a bit of a storm so after much toiling, I've come up with this years 40 bands to keep and eye on (i hope the pun is lost on no-one) There's shit loads more but you have to stop somewhere.


Filthy dirty northern monkeys they may be, but Eagulls have been slogging away for a good few years now and their jagged post-punk has come on leaps and bounds since the Wipers infused debut Council Flat Blues 7", debut album is due any day now and after hearing new single 'Nerve Endings' it can't come soon enough.
For fans of: Wipers, Joy Division, Killing Joke

Youth Man

Punkrock brummies Youth Man have been going for around 2 years now and already have a couple of EP's to their name, raucous, full of angst and energy, and one of the most intense female vocalists i've heard since Katie Jane Garside.
For fans of: Queen Adreena, early-Yeah Yeah Yeahs, general punk rock


Another great punk band, Radkey's Cat & Mouse was one of the best EP's i heard in 2013, new tune 'Feed My Brain' takes a step towards the darker post-punk style, while still keeping the huge chorus' they've been known for.
For fans of: Ramones, Misfits


Okay so they haven't even released anything yet, however they have just hit the studio and 'Apocalyptic Kiss' is already all over youtube, and the band features Jonny Firth so it's guaranteed to be good.
For fans of: The Raconteurs, Jonnythefirth!/weareknuckle

The Witch Hunt

I saw The Witch Hunt Valentines Day, i believe 2 years ago, or maybe one year at the Oporto and loved the few songs they played, a year or so later and I'm still loving the chill Louisa's voice sends down my spine, New EP 'Little Book Of Hate' sees their gothic dream pop reaching new levels.
For fans of: PJ Harvey, Portishead, great music

We Are Knuckle Dragger

Vicious as fuck metal/punk, We Are Kunckle Dragger used to be good, on new album 'The Drone' they've taken it up a notch or dozen to create something evil and filthy that gets under your skin.
For fans of: Hardcore Punk/Sludge/Rock

Wolves Like Us

Norway band plying their trade in emotional post-hardcore, their last album was pretty good, something tells me their next 'Black Soul Choir' will see them breakthrough to bigger and better things.
For fans of: The Afghan Whigs, Hot Water Music!/wolveslikeusss


I caught Giants supporting H2O last year and was suitably impressed with their 90's style posi-punk with a harder edge, New EP 'Misguided' took their song-writing up a notch, hopefully 2014 will see a full-length.
For fans of: Pennywise, H2O, Descendents

The Orwells

Another band i stumbled upon, their Head LP is full of garage rock as is their last album 'Remember When' i can't recommend them enough, new EP 'Who Needs You' has already seen their profile raised to the point of sell-out tours and with a new album due in the summer things are looking bright.
For Fans of: The Strokes, The Star Spangles, Living Things

Black Moth

Huge Riffs, Massive female vocals, best stonerish band I've heard in ages and the second album is on it's way, it seriously can't be anything but amazing, this is Black Sabbath fronted by a much better singer.
For fans of: Black Sabbath, Jefferson Airplane, Queens Of The Stone Age


One track has already got me hooked and giddy as fuck for the XIII EP, Huge melodies mixed with vicious occasional vocals and a truly inventive unique style, GOING TO BE HUGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!
For fans of: Letlive, Glassjaw, Deftones

Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings

Best band/vocalist I've heard EVER, Sharon sounds like Tina Turner doing Gloria Jones doing the best soul in the world, this is already a contender for 2014 album of the year, INSANELY GOOD!!!
For fans of: Tina Turner, Northern Soul, Otis Redding

The Amazing Snakeheads

The Snakeheads come at you with a vicious punk fuelled howl kind of evil sounding like an evangelist preacher in full swing put to rock n roll. With only two singles to their name the hype machine is maybe running a little on the heavy side but it's looking like they deserve it.
For fans of: The Birthday Party


Leeds lads who i decided to give a chance based on the album cover and the description Jumbo records gave them so thank Jumbo for being on this list lads, mixing Monkeysesque lyrics with a grating punkesque racket, they've pooled it all into a sound of their own, and what a sound it is.
For fans of: Arctic Monkeys, The Cribs, My Red Cell

Single Mothers

Single Mothers have been quiet for too long now, 2011's EP which was crammed with caustic vocals over a backbeat of punkrock melody, seems like an age ago now. Hopefully new material will surface this year, however with their attitude they're just as likely to not release anything just because people want to hear it.
For fans of: At The Drive.In

The Greenery

There's only one band close to these guys when it comes to viciousness and that was 'Breathe In' they disappeared some time ago and The Greenery are carrying the angriest band in the world flame with pride. New album 'It's Looking Grim' was an audio treat laced with strychnine.
For fans of: Breathe In

Diamond Youth

What do you get when members of hardcore bands like Trapped Under Ice and Down To Nothing team up for a side-project, you get something fuck all like their hardcore day jobs and instead two mini-albums chock full of catchy rock.
For fans of: Weezer, Foo Fighters, Queens Of The Stone Age

Catfish & The Bottlemen

Looking like a cross between the Ramones and BRMC, Catfish actually trade in a much more melodic side with massive chorus' full of soaring melodies and explosive bursts of energy, their few singles so far are extremely promising.
For fans of: The Strokes, early-Razorlight, The Strypes


Arrrhhh, remember when the The Strokes used to play good old fashioned rock 'n roll without all the arty shit, that's what Drowners sound like, no frills catchy as fuck rock 'n roll, check out the debut album out now.
For fans of: early-Strokes, The Killers melodies

Gun Club Cemetery

A lot of people may remember Hurricane #1, from the 90's one of the most underrated britpop era bands there was, most people remember them for featuring Andy Bell of Ride etc... not me, the best bit about them was vocalist Alex Lowe who has been releasing awesome solo albums since and a one-off single as The Garage Flowers, finally he's back in a band again and Gun Club Cemetery fulfil all the promise he's shown over the years with big gravel-throated old-school rock songs.
For fans of: Alex Lowe, Rolling Stones, Faces

Royal Blood

Often i try listening to new bands and you get a mixture generally of the fucking awful and the half decent, Royal Blood managed to stand out from the pack quite easily with debut single 'Out Of The Black' simply because it rocks like a motherfucker and it's catchy toboot, more of the same please.
For fans of: Helmet, heavier-White Stripes stuff

Low Fat Getting High

They have an EP out called 'Bad Yoga' It Rules, couldn't have put it better myself, their slacker rock brings to mind early fuzzed-up Nirvana, rough as chuff and full of melody, i can see these guys getting even better.
For fans of: early-Nirvana, Mudhoney

No Sinner

A Surprise hit from last year, No Sinner belt out track after track of old school rock 'n roll with elements of blues and soul and bring to mind all the old classics, vocalist Colleen Rennision brings it all together with her powerhouse of a voice, hammering every track home.
For fans of: Detroit Cobras, Rolling Stones, Northern Soul


Over the last 4 years Polar have been honing their hardcore/metal hybrid sound releasing records on the always impressive Wolf At Your Door records, and now stepping up to the always amazing In At The Deep End records, and in turn with the jump in labels the quality of songwriting has picked up a notch, new album 'Shadowed By Vultures' is their best yet, and for a this hard-working band should bring everything they deserve.
For fans of: Bring Me The Horizon, Architects, Feed The Rhino

Post War Glamour Girls

Swirling walls of noise with male/female duo vocals and elements forged together from pretty much every amazing indie band for the last 30 years all melding together to create one of the most unique debut albums this side of Psychocandy.
For fans of: Jesus & Mary Chain, Ride, iLiKETRAiNS

Tiger Bell

Sweden churns out more great bands than almost any other country and Tiger Bell are one of the latest garage punkrock bands to be making impressive sounds from that way, taking up from where The Donnas left off when they dropped the ball after 02's 'Spend The Night' Tiger Bell have unleashed an album chock full of bouncy anthems.
For fans of: The Donnas, The Runaways, Danko Jones, Hellcaopters

Dolomite Minor

More fuzz drenched blues and once again from a two piece, there's hope for fans of the now defunct Wet Nuns with these guys around, with only two admittedly awesome released songs to their name they should be honing their craft by playing pretty much every UK festival there is this year.
For fans of: Wet Nuns, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Black Sabbath

Glass Caves

Shimmering dream-pop is probably the best description of the music Glass Caves create with soaring melodies over the top of jangly almost shoegaze guitars, whatever you want to label them, they have the songs to back up the hype they've been getting.
For fans of: Embrace, Sunshine Underground

Black Dogs

Depending on the mood, i can sometimes fancy a bit of soul, a bit of blues, even occasionally some decent country music, but sometimes i just fancy having my face melted off by aggressive as fuck metal, Black Dogs provide just the soundtrack for those times with their groove infused metal and their northern as fuck stance, i mean they sold t-shirts that had 'Slags, Chips, Gravy' printed on them for christsakes.
For fans of: While She Sleeps, Eyehategod


While glam-rock in general is well known for the occasional homoerotic artwork, Italy's Giuda take it to the point of top notch campness, however this isn't your sleazy glam ala New York Dolls, this is more rooted in the Slade, Wizzard etc... style with a nice hint of punk, 2nd album 'Let's Do it Again' reeks of 70's excellence.
For fans of: Slade Wizzard et al, i already said

Neck Deep
There's been a bit of a 90's skater-punk revival in the UK as of late, but standing head and shoulders above them all are Neck Deep, the difference? Tunes! Massive chant-along tunes, and with an already rabid fanbase from non-stop gigging and releasing new music over the last two years they're ready to takeover their influences.
For fans of: Pennywise, NOFX

Sex Cross

New Jersey has a long history of producing great music and Sex Cross are no different with their darkwave post-punk their first two singles have already surpassed contemporaries albums, and with news of an LP being in the works there's much more to come.
For fans of: Joy Division, Echo & The Bunnymen


Brother/sister duo's are quite rare and often like in the case of Same Difference abysmally shite, luckily Southern are bucking that trend, their debut EP is a blues drenched backbeat rock 'n roll treat which is bound to pick them up tons of new followers, good genes.
For fans of: The Strypes,


When Josh Scogin announced the end of The Chariot a lot of people were bummed out, luckily he wasted no time starting a new project '68, and it's everything you would expect it be, which is noisy as fuck with angular twists and shout along anthems. the debut 7" Midnight packs quite the punch.
For fans of: The Chariot

Viva Viva

Showing more promise than any other band I've heard in a long time, Viva Viva have been steadily getting better over the last 7 or 8 years, 2010's self-titled album was a pop-rock juggernaut jammed full of singalong nuggets, 2012's 'What's The Kim Deal?' mini-album showed a maturity to their song-writing which was fully realised with last years 'Dead In Yr Tracks' EP a masterpiece with some of the most original sounds I've heard in forever.
For fans of: Original Rock

Weathered Hands

When a band release an EP called 'Of All the People That I've Left, Each One Has Died of Loneliness' you already have my attention, when that release is put out by In At The Deep End records I'm actively interested in hearing it, and when the EP is full of emotional hardcore anthems I'm loving it.
For fans of: Defeater


Reminiscent of Sheffield's Long Blondes, Rexine deal in a bit heavier and darker territory while maintaining the melody and rhythm of the previous outfit, two singles in and they already show huge promise, 2014 should be their year,
For fans of: Long Blondes, post-punk


While bands like Peace are spearheading a 90's baggy revival, Sulk are releasing a much better version, hell their picture even looks like an early Charlatans shot, and the music follows suit, the difference between these and the pretenders is this sounds like it was actually released in the early 90's
For fans of: The Charlatans, The Stone Roses

Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs

Aka The Seven Swines, i literally can't tell you anything about this band, other than the fact that they've only released one 22 minute opus called 'The Wizard and The Seven Swines' which is a psychedelic rockbeast of a track and they play the occasional gig, looking forward to more in the future.
For fans of: The Heads


Being the brother of the The Horrors singer you'd think Tarik Badwan would be standing in quite the large shadow, however his own 90's re-incarnated band looms it's own shadow (see what i did there), so far they've been dealing exclusively in limited vinyl and cassettes and enlightened covers tunes while occasionally throwing their own even better songs in.
For fans of: Nirvana, 90's Alt Rock

As before if you can't find something here you like, you should stop reading this blog and probably stop listening to music in general, if you like any of the bands make sure you try and buy stuff where you can and remember there's other ways to support new music. Go to more gigs, bands on this list are likely to charge less than a takeaway or a packet of cigs for a ticket and it's much healthier.

Top 50 of 2013: No.41: Dropkick Murphys - Signed And Sealed In Blood (Born and Bread)

Continuing a fine tradition, this is the 4th Dropkick Murphys album in a row that has made top 50 in its retrospective year; you can always rely on these boys to produce an amazing album. So we get 12 massive tracks of Celtic punk, which no other band other than The Pogues could ever come close to, you’ve got massive sing-alongs like ‘Rose Tattoo’ alongside raise a drink anthems such as ‘Jimmy Collins’ Wake’ and one the greatest Christmas songs ever recorded ‘The Season’s Upon Us’. Now the murphy’s will never win any awards for experimenting with their sound, and thank fuck for that, some more bands should just be churning out good solid albums like this, you listening Green Day? So while they keep churning out albums as great as this I’ll raise a Samuel Adams to them and crank it loud.


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Top 50 of 2013: No.42: Earthtone9 - IV (Self-Released)

Pretty much nothing can stop the juggernaut that is Earthtone9, a nine year absence just seems to have fuelled their fire which culminated in 2011’s fan funded ‘For Cause & Consequence’ EP, and not breaking from that formula they did the same in 2013 for new album, imaginatively titled ‘IV’. And for a band that released a metal classic in ‘arc’tan’gent’ expectations for me anyway were extremely high, so when ‘March of the Yeti’ literally storms out of the opening gates, I breathe a sigh of relief. Throughout the album Karl Middleton’s vocals veer from huge melodies to bellowing shouts over the top of grooving progressive riffs, how these guys never got bigger back in the day is a mystery, however their cult status is confirmed enough that they have a festival named after the previously mentioned classic. ‘Our Last Sunrise’ takes things down to a calmer level before the band let rip again on pre-album single ‘Horizons End’ welcome back lads, it’s been too long.


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Top 50 of 2013: No.43: Evile - Skull (Earache)

Remember when Metallica were thrash?, back in the 80’s when thrash was thrash, when Slayer were releasing ‘Reign In Blood’ and ‘Master Of Puppets’ was slaying every album in it’s path, in an ideal world that’s when this album would have been released and it would today be considered one of the classics with the aforementioned albums. Which basically means Evile’s latest album ‘Skull’ is a destined to be a metal classic, so while people are going on about when any of the Big 4 will get off their arses and record something new and worthy of their legacy, Evile have decided to do it for them. Opener ‘Underworld’ kicks off with prime-hetfieldesque vocals over fast as fuck riffing and some of the most insane solo’s ever heard and from that point on there’s no let up, pile on top of this the clean vocals and massive chantalong anthemic songs and you have one of the best metal albums of not just last year but the last decade, oh and they're from Yorkshire which makes them better than other bands in general.


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Top 50 of 2013: No.44: Future Of The Left - How To Stop Your Brain In An Accident (Prescriptions)

Purveyors of nonsense lyrics and angular rhythms, Future Of The Left have been Wales best kept secret for too long now, languishing in cult status while prolifically releasing a string of genius manifesto’s chock full of twisted pop-rock. Their latest crowd-funded effort is no exception, whether you want straight up acidic rock like ‘The Male Gaze’ or absolute gibberish babbled over chainsaw bass on ‘Singing of The Bonesaws’ which frankly just creeped me out, but in a good way. ‘French Lessons’ shows a mature softer side to the band that you wouldn’t usually associate, launching straight back into the vicious ‘How To Spot A Record Company’ and that’s where the genius lies, keeping you excited about what turn they’ll make next while still holding it all together in a cohesive structure, it’s a tightrope Future Of The Left have become experts at walking. If closing track 'Why Aren't I Going To Hell?' doesn't send chills down your spine then nothing well, sick evil stuff!!!


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Top 50 of 2013: No.45: Jetplane Landing - Don't Try (Smalltown America)

Welcome back Jetplane Landing, 6 years is too long to go without their cocky tongue in cheek brand of rock ‘n roll, and boy are they back. ‘Don’t Try’ is easily their most accomplished yet, creating a unique sound that manages to mix the intensity of At the Drive.In with the wackiness of Les Savy Fav driven home with melodies that would make Dave Grohl jealous, yet sounding absolutely nothing like those bands. Opening with the intense ‘Cheapskate Tricks for Worn Down People’ and only slowing down briefly during the anthem in waiting ‘My Radio Heart’, ‘Walls Of Derry’ follows recalling Kerbdog at their heaviest, if any other above bands appeal to you or you just like huge melodies mixed with heavy riffs, then you need to check out Jetplane, one of the most underrated bands and albums I’ve heard in quite some time, and as they themselves state, they were writing shit like this years ago.


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Top 50 of 2013: No.46: Stray From The Path - Anonymous (Sumerian)

Sometimes when you hear a band this good and you find out it’s their 7th album you wonder how the hell you’ve managed to never hear them before, Stray From The Path have managed to evade me for too long and based on this album I’ll be checking out their back catalogue. Kicking off with the punch to the face of ‘False Flag’ and not slowing down for nearly 40 minutes of RATM politically infused metal mixed with hardcore, the intensity on display here rivals bands like Snapcase and Downset and takes it up a further notch and adding Jason Aalon Butler of letlive to ‘Scissor Hands’ is a touch of genius as it gives the album one of it’s highlights, as is previous single ‘Landmines’, seriously I have no idea how I’ve not managed to hear these guys before but my ears are happy I have now.


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Top 50 of 2013: No.47: Red City Radio - Titles (Paper + Plastik)

If doing this blog has done one thing it’s made me listen to more bands than ever before, and I was already listening to a lot, and the great thing about that is occasionally you come across some absolute gems. Red City Radio’s new album ‘Titles’ is one such gem, as soon as the chorus to opener ‘Two Notes Shy of an Octave’ hits, you know you’re on to a good thing, gruff barking vocals that would give Chuck Ragan a run for his money, however Red City Radio are no mere Hot Water copyists like so many bands seem to be trying to be these days, first off they actually have amazing songs which is what the copyists always lack, along with melodic sections and a whole heap of fun and energy. Every song on this album is crammed with either huge sing-along melodies or chant along anthems, it’s so rare to hear a new band where you love every song on the album, but Red City Radio have managed it, stand-out track ‘Don’t Be A Hero, Find a Friend’ shows everything that makes this band a crucial listen. I’ve also just found out their playing Santiago’s in Leeds on 16th May with Texan’s Perdition, get yourself down!!!!!


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Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Top 50 of 2013: No.48: Satyricon - Satyricon (Roadrunner)

Kicking off with a hypnotic riff that could charm a snake Satyricon’s 8th album instantly worms its way through you and makes the 5 year wait worth every minute, as usual the Norwegian black metal band have polarised opinion which they have done throughout their career, because horror of horrors they dare stray from the original blueprint that they themselves were as much a part of creating. So if you are expecting them to return to a sound they pioneered 20 years ago, you’re shit out of luck, if you're expecting one of the best black metal crossover bands to evolve yet still produce excellent metal then this is the album for you. Satyricon have been producing excellent albums since 1994 and this latest is no exception, while not as brutally heavy as my favourite album ‘Now, Diabolical’ the song structures as usual are simple yet effective. While in my opinion having clean vocals courtesy of Sivert Høyem on the melodic ‘Phoenix’ doesn’t do much for the album, I do agree with them at least trying something different and it’s not so much an awful song, it just doesn’t really fit, album highlight is ‘The Infinity of Time and Space’ which is an epic masterpiece in itself. Let’s hope the next one doesn’t take quite as long.


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Thursday, 13 February 2014

Top 50 of 2013: No.49: Middleman - Counterstep (Self-Release)

It’s always nice when I get sent a link to an album I’ve wanted to check out anyway, even better when that album is good enough to make me re-evaluate my top 50 of the year to sneak them in. Middleman are another local band I was lucky enough to see at last years and by the looks of things final Crooked Ways festival, if you remember I said I wanted to hear more from them back then, took half a year but due to them being nice chaps and sending me a link to the album I finally got there. Kicking off with the massive sing-along of ‘Helpless’ you can’t help being impressed, especially when I can say I was singing the chorus to myself days later after one listen, Middleman take all the good elements of bands like Enter Shikari, Hadouken!, and to an extent The Music, and create something of their own with bigger hooks than Abu Hamza. Hearing a song like ‘When I Close My Eyes’ it sounds so familiar that you’d swear you’ve heard it countless times, which is impossible because I don’t listen to the radio ever, this feeling is prevalent throughout this album, and whether you like the more urban aspects of the band or prefer the huge choruses, or the crunching heavy guitars, or just like to buzz your tits off to the dance beats, this album has something for everyone. From a band that released their first single 7 years ago, it seems that their time is finally due, and if they don’t move on to bigger and better things there really is no justice. Awesome artwork also.


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