Looking back, it’s easy to see that 1983 was a massive year. It represents the point where a few of its stars were making huge steps to being the decade’s megastars. Five years into his career, Prince had finally succeeded in gaining worldwide success with his ‘1999’ album (a double platter of much filthiness); with their ‘War’ album, U2 made the leap from successful rock band to being an act with much bigger potential and Madonna showed early signs of being more exciting than your average pop performer.
UK post-rock band The Fierce And The Dead have made some fine recordings over the past few years, but as the fans know, it’s in the live setting they really start making their most impressive noises. Two live recordings sourced from festivals are available already (2017’s ‘Field Recordings’ and 2019’s fantastic ‘Live USA 17’), but on 1st May 2020, the band will complete a live trilogy with a download only release, ‘Show Me Devon: Live At Kozfest’.
Guitarist Matt Stevens calls the recording a record of “…a very special gig.”
BlackLab’s 2018 album ‘Under Strawberry Moons’ really pushed the limits of how much noise a duo could make. Their long-awaited follow up, ‘Abyss’ (due for release digitally on 8th April) presents the band in an even noisier frame of mind, if anything, sharing heavy riffs that are so distorted that you might even believe your speakers have blown.
The last time most people heard from The 1957 Tail-Fin Fiasco was in the summer of 2018 when they released a stand-alone video single ’39 Grams’. An odd tune, it side-stepped their usual sunny sounds and Steely Dan obsessions in favour of something with bigger beats and musical quirks. Understandably, the response was mixed.
The band actually sneaked out a new track, ‘Cold Cuts’ – a semi-acoustic number that was a little more traditional – at the beginning of 2020. They’ve followed ‘Cold Cuts’ with another off-piste affair ‘Dream Pharma’ which is as quirky as it is catchy.
In February 2020, Ken Fox & Knock Yourself Out released their debut EP and the sometime Fleshtones man treated fans to a brilliant but short collection of tunes that celebrated many of his power pop and garage rock influences.
Among the self-penned material was a great cover of The Pink Fairies’ cult classic ‘Do It’ (a track also recorded by The Rollins Band and others). As far as covers go, it fit among the unfamiliar material seamlessly, while also showing the band’s slightly angrier chops.