Today sees the release of the Descendents big “comeback” ‘Hypercaffium Spazzinate’. Due to an unfortunate and very offensive choice of title, the album has been met with some controversy in the UK. Whether the band meant offence or not, as soon as the word spasm becomes sp*z (by any variant or spelling), it’s automatically becomes a slur against disabled people – specifically those with Cerebral Palsy.
In the summer of 2013, Skeletons In The Piano released their second full length album, ‘Please Don’t Die‘, a collection of very retro rock tunes that culled great influences from The Doors, Screaming Trees and a world of darkest psychedelia. Following some great press and live shows, the band split. So much goodness to be heard, but all good things must come to an end. Two years on, vocalist Elijah Hargrave resurrected the bands bones with a new line-up. Meanwhile, ex members Jeff Ayers (violin, keys) and Dustin Alexander (bass) decided the time was right for a musical sidestep and Angels On The Fourth was born.
Belgian alt-rock/shoegaze band Newmoon have just released a new video for their single ‘Head of Stone’. The slowed down, black and white imagery really compliments their jangling and droning sound. In many ways, the four and a half minutes encapsulates everything the genre is about, whether the material dates from 1989 or 2016. Check it out below!
Not to be confused with European symphonic metal outfit Epica, Epic are a multi-national hard rock band comprising members from the US, Canada and The Lebanon. Their debut album, ‘Like a Phoenix’ released on Escape Music – home of Saracen, Impera, Chris Ousey (often the label’s only true saving grace) and many more – is a somewhat patchy affair, but three melodic belters make it worth hearing. In many ways, the inspirations behind those songs and the styles are very well worn, but looking chiefly at their target audience – a bunch of middle-aged, stuck in a rut men who’ll blindly purchase everything the label puts out – Epic work hard at giving those listeners exactly what they want. Early comparisons to Heart and Saraya might just be a bit of a stretch, though. It’s a brave or hugely optimistic person who even thinks comparing frontwoman Tanya Rizkala to the almost peerless Ann Wilson is a sensible idea. Tanya has a big voice, it’s true enough, but in terms of range, it is a far cry from Wilson’s impressive style.
For British hard rock and metal fans over a certain age, the late 70s and early 80s will always come with a certain rose-tinted viewpoint. Between 1979-82, as part of a scene dubbed as the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, there were a whole slew of superb bands that made their breakthrough. Iron Maiden, Def Leppard, Saxon and Diamond Head are unquestionably the most successful from that time, but other bands like Angelwitch, Praying Mantis and Gaskin scored some well deserved success.