Every now and again there will be that one song that shouts higher and louder than the thousands that rush through the promo doors. Something that genuinely hooks, that strives to innovate, that is actively seeking to destroy all trace of complacency and repetition; enter ‘Alternative Facts’ from the wizards at Mangoseed.
In just three and a half minutes the band not only serves up a fantastic first tease to ‘Dreamers’, the record from which it originates, but also makes a great case for the novelty of combining elements of ska, rock, punk and jungle into an eclectic smorgasbord worthy of lauding. This comes packed with reggae style hooks to keep the heads bobbing but also serves up a bitter political undertone when the lines are read between which is well complimented by the generous helping of bass lines and electronic glitching and screeches.
But for some it will be the poignancy that accompanies the sharp political undertones that do the track’s heavy lifting. Frontman Nicholai La Barrie has no issue with blending his hypnotically smooth deliveries with piercing blows against the social zeitgeist; he does not mince words and nor should he do so.
This is a concept that stretches out beyond the three and a half minute boundaries that the song finds itself between and into the greater picture of Dreamers’ 11 tracks. Nicholai explains: “Most of our lives are governed by some kind of political decision that we had nothing to do with. It’s really important to say that out loud and ask questions so we feel with and for people and bring them together. There is healing power in music. You can find bliss in everybody jumping, singing, and dancing together.”
An indelible message from an unequally unforgettable band. ‘Alternative Facts’ deserves to be played loud and proud by all; so grab your speakers and turn the to 11.
Teeming with classic “in your face” rock energy, psychedelia, and folklore, Big Smile Revival’s new EP The Universal Veil is essential listening for any rock fan. The three members, including lead vocalist Steve Hymas, drummer Matt Rowcliffe, and bassist Edvard G. Till, have a passion for everything from legends and tales of the past to modern issues like environmentalism and mental health, and that comes through in their music. In addition to the storytelling and themes of their music, Edvard has synesthesia, which helps the band write songs that not only reflect a certain sound, but a colour and taste.
The four track EP (out July 2nd) stands as a fascinating and unique slice of rock, combining influences of 60’s rock and grunge to create an otherworldly body of work. In particular, their newest single “The Helm” (out June 25th), a song with immaculate guitar work and unpredictable, transfixing melodies. The song’s last two minutes, in particular, feature a climatic, soaring instrumental break to finish off the track with a sense of release.
The band said in a statement that they “write from experience and truly want to share our stories and melodies with audiences everywhere”, and it’s hard not to get caught up in these stories and melodies. “The Helm” and The Universal Veil are must listens.
Cyber Rock band Punk Guns are back and as daring as ever. The band’s founding members, bassist and lead vocalist Marek Bero and guitarist Giampaolo Guarnieri, are joined by two new members, drummer Dan Western and guitarist, producer, and “synth maestro” Jiri Novotny, for these new releases. The band ties together a vast array of influences, from the classical, baroque, Balkan and Slavic music from their travels to directors Argento, Godard, Vadim and Bava to the world of sports (as Giampaolo was a world travelling extreme skier in a past life).
The first taste of their next album, due later this year, is the wild, engrossing new single Nemesis, featuring everything from classic guitar riffs to electronic beats under Sophie Bokor-Ingram’s narration. The song is entirely unique, and wholly Punk Guns to its core. It’s off-kilter and unique blend of sounds and genres is something that does not leave your mind after the song ends.
The band had this to say about the song:
“The main riff and harmonies of the verse came after a coaching session Giampaolo had with Jean-Marc Belkadi during which they worked on Ashkenazi and Russian chords and harmonies. Giampaolo translated such ideas from a standard tuning guitar to his baritone guitar. He played the tune to Jean-Marc who said that it was a “dark & unpredictable” vibe that reminded him of UK gangster style movies. This led Giampaolo to use part of the quote by Alan Ford defining Nemesis in the movie Snatch and use a voice-over actress, Sophie, to narrate it. Jiri started to create hooky electronic elements to the initial draft and Dan recorded drums for the chorus. Marek then laid down a huge bass line and a sick, slapping bass solo together with magical hooky lyrics that worked as a quasi-dialogue with Sophie’s narration. This track offers the “rock pedigree approach” of the band and then climbs to an electronic world reminiscent of the likes of Justice, Goose or Aaron”.
Ukraine based power trio In Signs are taking the rock world by storm. Fusing complex melodies and key changes into their elevating sound, ‘Knock Knock‘ is the latest adventure from this powerful outfit. Their first single of the year sets the bar higher for their music and gives fans an insight into what’s set to be a great year ahead for In Signs.
“It’s so important to be true with people who listen to your music and this is our main goal. There are a lot of artists nowadays but not all of them are doing art. We want to prove that music is not about money, it’s about the passion of your life. I’m a closed person and making music and writing lyrics is a perfect way for me to communicate with people...
…I became a songwriter by chance. I didn’t want to be a musician, it just came up after my first tattoo which is Metallica’s song title ‘Nothing Else Matters’. It such a great pleasure to play live some songs which I created from the very beginning. There are a lot of ways to create music but all our songs start from an acoustic guitar and vocals.” – Arsen, frontman of In Signs.
Jam packed with energy, ‘Knock Knock’ comes knocking on your door demanding to be let into your life, and it’s a track you will never get enough of.
One good thing out of lockdown is that musicians all across the globe have turned their creative juices into something positive. Four Crooks did exactly that too. Gathering their thoughts and talents together in a remote farmhouse to write and produce their new EP ‘Black Magic‘, the 3 track EP is a refreshing release that captures a youthful band destined for stardom.
Situated somewhere in between the attitude of The Black Keys and early Arctic Monkeys, the record takes centre stage and showcases a band that use their music as a sort of escapism.
‘Black Magic‘ is led by the first track of the same name, and describes feelings of addiction. A warning and a celebration of everything that can take hold of all your senses, the first single is an elevating tune that captures Four Crook’s youth.
‘Feel Alright‘ talks about walking out of a difficult relationship with your head held high, while EP-closer ‘Paranoia‘ is a hard-hitting number that describes how it feels to be trapped with anxiety and doubt.
Four Crooks are stating that rock and roll is far from over, it just has a refreshing new face.
Silent Scream is a game changer , it is a classic and more importantly it has a message we should all embrace and if that’s not enough and you want something else a little lighter to enjoy, watch a really , really brilliant band performing in the great outdoors…do you remember those days…but seriously Millie’s on a mission and you need to join her.
Released ahead of the hugely anticipated album, Telling Truths, Breaking Ties, Silent Screams is the song Millie Manders & The Shutup have always seemed destined to release. A delirious mix of punk, ska, pop and dagger-sharp lyrics, it sees Millie Mandersand the Shutup as one of the UK’s most exciting acts. At a time when fear and the unknown seems rife in the world, Silent Screams is a message to those feeling at their lowest that there is always hope.
Although it features many of the hooks, riffs and sheer power that fans have come to expect from Millie Manders & the Shutup, it is Silent Screams’ lyrical contact which really hits home hard. Dealing with suicidal thoughts and the feeling of being trapped, Silent Screams is typical of a band whose commitment to social justice is as ingrained in them as their love of music. With both Millie and George in the band constantly battling against mental health issues, there’s a truth and poignancy to the track which magnifies the song’s power immensely. Silent Screams feels destined to become an anthem for those feeling imprisoned by their own thoughts.
Limited Edition Silent Scream Merchandise is now available – £5 from each sale will go to both Mind and Papyrus , charities dedicated to helping people of all ages with mental health difficulties.
And if this isn’t enough apparently Millie can play a Ukulele as well! But seriously get out there and wave your flags check out the other links and get hold of Silent Screams out NOW!
Listen to the Album Telling Truths, Breaking Ties here (For Review Purposes ONLY)
You can’t get a better name for a rock goddess than Charmian Devi, she sounds mean and you don’t mess with her that’s what we feel , but actually when you get donw to it Charmian’s style is beautifully poetic and actually pretty gentle, have a look at the video for her new track and see what you think –
You dig, yes? Well we do dig it indeed and we dig Charmian and even better her music is all ready for you to enjoy and stream:
What else do you need to know ? Try this for size, and you will now have the full story including what the legends within her band and the grammy producer think , then if you are not hooked, well there’s no pleasing you , but we know you will be hooked and you will just be shouting out your isolating window ‘ WE LOVE CHARMIAN!’
Based in Canada, after her father emigrated from London to Montreal, Charmian Devi has spent her life as a musician, from melodic garage bands through to lead singer and songwriter for 90s punk band, Wretched Ethyl who became one of Canada’s most talked-about bands, opening for the likes of Seattle grunge legends, 7 Year Bitch and punk icons, Nomeansno. Their demise after four fraught years sadly coincided with the tragic death of her husband – it was from the burning embers of this dark and harrowing time that Charmian Devi relocated to London for two years to rebuild her life. Still haunted by her turbulent past, she returned to Canada and a new Charmian emerged, a songwriter and musician who was truly able to crystallise her experiences and express them through her music.
“I really enjoyed recording with Charmian Devi…her songs remind me of bands like the Velvet Underground, raw intuitive and in-tune with the times”Bassist, Tony Garnier
Dedicated to a life in music and resolutely opposed to authoritarian regimes and dogma, Charmian is the embodiment of everything rock n roll stands for: truth; revolution and unyielding artistry. Her latest single, Radio of None is available on 8th April.
“I’ve really enjoyed producing Charmian because there are fewer and fewerartists today that play inspired & raw folk/rock music and are not trying to polish everything to sound more commercial. Her music speaks the truth and she puts all of herself into her songs. That’s also why I wanted to use musicians that are comfortable in an environment of spontaneous music that’s rough around the edges but carries a meaning and an attitude. Patti Smith, Bob Dylan and Sonic Youth are all raw and unapologetic and make great rock and/or folk music with powerful lyrics and meanings, so choosing Lenny, Tony and Steve was an obvious choice because that is exactly what Charmian does too!”Three-times Grammy Award-winning producer, Marc Urselli
From the raw sounds of the acoustic guitar and pipes to the delicate melodies of the fiddle and Celtic harp, the traditional components of Scottish music transports us to the rolling hills and picturesque villages of Scotland. Whether they involve the classic upbeat acoustics of traditional Scottish music, or simply draw from the beautiful landscape and rich Scottish culture, these 5 acts each offer something modern and unique to fuel your Burn’s Night supper.
If there’s one stereotype of the Scottish that we can get on board with musically, it’s anger. Scottish rock band formed in Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire Biffy Clyro create music with big, powerful riffs and lyrical hooks that have a real underlying anger that you can really rock out to. This is best shown in their song There’s No Such Thing As A Jazzy Snake’ however if it’s a more mellow anthem you are looking for with your beverage then look no further than their latest album MTV Unplugged: Live at Roundhouse, London. With real folky instrumentals like the harmonica and acoustic guitar in tracks like Drop It and Folding Stars, the Scottish trio offer all atmospheres for your Burn’s Night supper.
Even though Elyssa is not originally from Scotland, now residing in Edinburgh the Italian singer songwriter soaks up all cultural elements of the Celtic folk traditions of Scotland. Her latest album release Holding On, Letting Go is meditative yet motivational, with not only a classic singer-songwriter style but elements of neo-folk. With the acoustic guitar and upbeat folk melodies being the spine of the album, Elyssa offers a take on traditional Scottish sounds whilst also mixing them with elements of indie-pop and Americana. With lead tracks like Front Line and Charlene, the album gives a perfect modern take for your Scottish themed evening.
Having previously performed at the Big Burn’s Supper View event in Dumfries, Scotland 2015, Nina Nesbitt offers a fun acoustic contribution to Burns Night. Born in Livingston, the Scottish folk pop artist has produced tracks like Not What Your Dad Wants to Know and Some You Win which are composed of delicate folk vocals, upbeat acoustic guitar riffs and small elements of country music that fills you with contentment and makes you want to jump up and jig. Set to release her second album ‘The Sun Will Come Up, The Seasons Will Change’ on Feb 1st, Nina‘s album Peroxide stands as the most fitting for a Burns Night fueled with acoustic folk goodness.
The Mojo Cams
Following a different angle for your Burns Night experience, The Mojo Cams offer a more theatrical alternative with his multimedia project – a concept album that tells a story of an outsider set in the traditional Scottish landscapes and the tightly-knit communities. The Mojo Cams create a story through folk-like tracks in latest album Nebular Tuesday, whereby the songs are sung by separate characters, building a story to follow throughout – a fun Scottish-themed addition to Burn’s Night.
Yip Man of Scotland
To finish off our list, Yip Man of Scotland brings something unique to our Burns Night playlist. Being the alter-ego of Scottish songwriter Al Nero, the former frontman of blissful guitar slingers Le Reno Amps and the co-founder of Glasgow’s Armellodie Records brings us his first single Aye Peckin’ from his forthcoming second album, Pure Zen, Ken?, due to be released in Autumn 2019. Taking its name from a doric saying that you may hear from time to time should you ever visit the North of Scotland ”Foos yer doos?’ …aye peckin”, the song is about ploughing on, laced with a keen sense of fun and an irresistible marriage of riff and melody. This innovative and amusing single provides one light hearted anthem to your night that is inherently Scottish.
So sit back, grab a tumbler of Scottish Whiskey and breathe in Scottish culture at your Burns Night supper!
With recent trends towards wheeling the big acts from yesteryear out to perform on the biggest headline stages year after year, perhaps it’s of little surprise that a resurgence of classic meets contemporary has been on the cards for some time. With a sound that’s buried so far deep in the 1970’s, to reach in would be to have one hand on the holy grail of the heyday, Glasgow-based Richard Terris – the musical force behind Wailing Recluse, and his self-titled album, appears to have been revelling in his dormancy until the time was just right to unleash his sound upon the world.
For lead track – ‘Fallen Angel‘, you’re led down a trail of stop start rhythms, cleanly picked arpeggios and heavily rhythmic vocals, all the while accentuated by a sumptuous bass stride that almost seems grounded in early prog. Okay, so the immediate comparisons are self evident. Cream, Sabbath, Led Zep all roll of the tongue in a reflection of the excitement, energy and unbridled entertainment they offered, but it’s a deeper sense of an evocative hands-on songwriting style that allows the record to step out of the large-cast shadows of their forefathers.
Stemming from a musing of ‘if Sgt. Pepper was a goth band..’, Terris had to overcome some initial line-up changes in order to hone the cutting edge to the particular sound he was after. By taking ownership of the creative process, his single mindedness knew exactly what he wanted to achieve. With what began as an exercise of adding the flair to the blueprint – utilising the experience of session musicians to enhance what he’s achieved so far, it so happened that the current formation of Wailing Recluse came into fruition. The project is a fundamental return to form for music as a cathartic force, rooted in personal experience, serving as a form of escapism and a return to less complicated, groovier times.
In the spirit of time-honoured favourites, best unveil a handy Trooper before the dust begins to settle…
Its a rare thing indeed that an aural appreciation for a moment in time captures the romanticism of a state of mind so well. Leading track ‘Let it Rain’ of forthcoming Americana release for Rich Webb, which was recorded in France, takes on much in the way of its native surrounding. The album’s title ‘Le Rayon Vert’, is taken from a concept from Jules Verne’s novel of the same name which transcribes meaning behind ‘The Green Ray’, a naturally occurring phenomenon that occurs as the last rays of sunlight flash upon the horizon – said in this case to grant heightened perception to those who view it as a kind of conductor of true feeling.
The concept behind the band’s fourth release was derived from the 1986 Éric Rohmer film (released as ‘Summer’) in which a beautiful young Parisian girl frantically searches to appease her restless soul. This very much comes across in themes which explore openness, discovery and peer into dark, disquieted areas of a fractured mind. As soon as the track fires up, you can feel momentum gather as the wheels start turning. As the stop start chops of the medley take root, suddenly the swelling surge of a convoy comes into clear view.
As if lifted straight from a soundtrack, it carries it’s almost cinematic quality along for the ride. The overall essence is one of grounded desert county garage-rock, proudly proclaiming a certain swagger but with an understated tenderness that parallels the love story it’s loosely based upon. While working alongside acclaimed sound recordist Howard Bargoff – known for his BAFTA winning and Emmy-nominated work on TV and film – the exotic and rich level of live experience they have under their below has been brought to the fore in the energy and punch that the single forces home.
The overall feeling panders towards something in terms of an elegant charge, invigorating the rain soaked masses into movement as the crowds bustle and swell. Its journey saturates belief as it all comes together in a kind of circular completion, a taste of risen dust on the lips heightening a togetherness and yearning to wash away social division.
Don’t let yourself get caught behind the wheel supping your sandblasted lager-drink.