Tommy Stewart ended 2018 in style by giving the world an enormous piece of doom when his band Bludy Gyres contributed a near-impenetrable seventeen minute slab of riffery to a split release with fellow doomsters Dayglo Mourning. After such epic scale sludge, some musicians would take a moment to step back and admire their work…but not Tommy. He’s chosen to go head first into 2019 in similarly grand scale, as his other band Negative Wall present just four lengthy and doomy pieces of intensity on their debut full length release. Stretching to almost a full half hour, ‘Gammagelu’ is not an EP, but a near album length, fuzzed up, doomed out musical ride that’s almost as aggressive as Bludy Gyres. This time around, Stewart takes his gift for a riff and applies it to a world of whacked-out sci-fi tales…
A firm favourite with most Zappa fans, 1978’s double live LP ‘Zappa In New York’ will be released as a lavish and hugely expanded 5CD set for its 40th anniversary in March 2019.
France isn’t necessarily the first location that comes to mind for pop punk exports, but a few great bands have emerged over the past few years including Connies and the truly excellent Shapers.
Here’s another new band from France – South Berkley, a four piece outfit that should appeal to lovers of post-‘Take Off Your Pants…’ era blink-182. Their second single ‘Glass N Sparks’ provides a decent teaser for their debut LP (‘Too Slow’), which is due this summer.
A maker of often undervalued and eclectic solo works, Bluetones frontman man Mark Morriss has a big cult following away from his “main career”. Over the past few years, he’s provided soundtracks for various David Walliams projects and released a brilliant covers album, ‘The Taste of Mark Morriss’, on which he puts his own stamp on artists as stylistically diverse as Madonna, Scott Walker and The Sisters of Mercy. [Watch Mark covering Sisters of Mercy in his living room here.]
Metal has gone through various different fashions over the decades. No longer just typified by the big vocals and studs ‘n’ leather of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, it has taken in different influences and spawned several subgenres, with each giving a very different listening experience. Very little of this seems to have been noticed by Canada’s Gatekeeper, whose debut album ‘East of Sun’ relied heavily on some very 80s riffs and the lyrical themes of an old Helloween LP.
Offering a couple of new recordings alongside an acoustic re-working of an old favourite and an obscure cover tune, their 2019 EP ‘Grey Maiden’ is similarly rooted within the 80s and although incredibly old fashioned in style, this four tracker is actually great at what it does. For those whom enjoyed the previous LP, it’ll be a more than welcome stop-gap.