The stage name of New Zealand born singer-songwriter Hannah Curwood, Hannah In The Wars is a vehicle for soft, dark and occasionally bleak soundscapes – a mix of the piano balladry of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, The Last Town Chorus and a touch of Mazzy Star. This, her third release, is rarely anything shy of being a gloom-laden masterpiece.
With her live act, The Chanel Samson Circus, Ms Samson blends music and burlesque visuals, juggling, glitter and a whole other bunch of stuff besides. On record, you can’t experience most of her act, obviously, so anything that may be winning over her audiences is largely lost on this EP. So, without the bells and whistles, what do we have? A bunch of pop-rock songs with retro elements that are (mostly) well arranged…with fabulous horns and occasional chunky guitars creating a relatively big sound.
Kevel are a Greek quartet specialising in a style of metal that crosses several subgenres to create a huge slab of sound. On this debut release, there are moments of progressive metal complexity fighting to be heard against huge blocks of instrumental post-metal and sludge. While there isn’t a vocal acting as a central element from everything to pivot, the tunes are huge and often demanding on the listener; each one exploring different intense musical terrains.
Glenn Robinson’s 2013 full length ‘Modern Mistakes’ was a great release. Packed with punky riffs, hooky choruses and a touch of new-wave sassiness, its ten songs zipped past in an “all killer no filler” fashion, representing the very best the style has to offer. This three track EP – issued as a stop-gap release before his next long player – presents three previously unreleased tracks of a similarly high quality.
A lo-fi alt-rock trio from Brooklyn, The Rizzos will already be familiar to some DIY music aficionados due to their inclusion on the second King Pizza Records sampler issued in November 2014. Their track ‘Do Anything I Want You To’ celebrated the sounds of early 60s girl groups with its post-doo wop sounds, taking Phil Spector’s dream and running it through several fuzz pedals en route, ending up sounding like a restrained Kat Bjelland playing The Crystals. In just under three minutes, The Rizzos proved they had some reasonable chops, paving the way for their then upcoming release.