LIV SIN – Inverted EP

For thirteen years, Liv Sin was the frontwoman with Swedish hard rock/metal band Sister Sin. Armed with various old school riffs and a hard vocal style, the band shared stages with King Diamond and Slayer and drew comparisons with Children of Bodom and Skew Siskin. All things come to an end and after Sister Sin decided to call it a day, Liv embarked upon a solo career. Continuing to plough a classic Euro metal furrow, her first solo outing ‘Follow Me’ (released in 2017) was produced by Accept’s Stefan Kaufmann and featured guest performances from members of 69 Eyes and Destruction. With plenty of high octane riffery and a footing in a late 80s sound, the album had plenty of appeal for those who like Benedictum, Accept and even Sabaton.

As its title suggests, her 2018 EP ‘Inverted’ EP represents a much more low-key, moody artist. In her own words, the original plan “was to do a stripped down acoustic EP”, but the process took the band “somewhere else”. That somewhere else is quite removed from the bombast of ‘Follow Me’, but it’s a recording that long-time fans might find interesting.

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Sixteen Records: A new electronica based label launches with new compilation

Lotte Van Den Berg, an artist and producer specialising in electronica is launching a new label, Sixteen Records. Not only the label founder, Lotte will also be taking on production, as well as the mastering and mixing for the majority of Sixteen Records’ planned releases.

Her main aim with the new label is to bring together disparate styles of alternative electronic music and its first release does exactly that. ‘Sixteen Records Vol. 1’ brings together twelve acts from right across the electronic music spectrum, so there’s a good chance that even the merely curious will find something to enjoy.

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REAL GONE GOES OUT: The Bluetones – Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London 19/5/2018

During the first half of 2018, it has felt as if Real Gone has been a semi-permanent resident at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire. We’ve seen fantastic gigs by The Wonder Stuff and Carter USM’s Jim Bob; an enjoyable and nostalgic performance from Skid Row; a solid offering from Ned’s Atomic Dustbin and a woeful car-crash from 80s melodic rock legends Night Ranger. Tonight, it’s the turn of The Bluetones – a fantastic band with strong ties to the days of Britpop.

First, though, we’re at The Defector’s Weld for a pre-gig drink with other fans. The pub’s wooden floor and fishy aroma gives the place a more traditional feel than the more popular nearby Brewdog (a venue with overpriced beer, an inconvenient lack of tables and an offensively smelly barman). It’s the perfect place for a gathering and a wonderful hour is spent. A new friendship is formed and other acquaintances made; so good to put faces to familiar Twitter handles.

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Hear ‘Cobalt’, the current single from Kovax

Kovax are an alternative metal band from Leeds who aren’t shy of a massive riff.

Following last year’s ‘If There Was Any Doubt’, the band unleashed a new single ‘Cobalt’ on May 7th.

In keeping with previous works, the new track is a loud, angular affair – a brash artistic statement that really pushes the juggernaut of sound that drives the band. For fans of Deftones, Helmet and the more direct elements of the Melvins, ‘Cobalt’ could find itself on a playlist of favourites.

Take a listen via the YouTube link below. Visit the band’s Bandcamp page for downloads and streaming here.

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J EASTMAN AND THE DRUNK UNCLES – Pleasing Some Of The People None Of The Time

In 2016, J Eastman and the Drunk Uncles – a bar band from Minneapolis with an Uncle Tupelo obsession – released ‘No Capo Required’, a rough and ready EP that was as much a gutsy homage to their musical heroes as a no-frills love letter to musical fun. Not all good music has to be perfect and the Uncles seemed keen to champion that message. Two years on, the follow up ‘Pleasing Some of The People…’ keeps a firm hold on their slightly sloppy but incredibly gung ho style, but trades in some of the more rootsy elements for a tough but not always entirely tuneful power pop edge. Put it this way: with mid-period Replacements as part of the blueprint, you can’t help but hear more than a trace of the best music that sprang from their geographical roots on parts of this release.

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