London-based indie rock conglomerate Scandinavia are an odd bunch. When they liken themselves to both The Replacements and Hall & Oates and then confront you with music that sounds like neither, well, it’s an interesting proposition to say the leasy. Maybe their own self-chosen comparisons aren’t meant to be direct references, but rather more to assure you that their musical boundaries are wide open – which they very much are: their fourth studio album, ‘World Power’ is nothing if not eclectic.
In June 2016 the UK had a referendum on their position within the European Union. The campaign attracted the attention of many people with narrow right wing views, from aggressive groups of thugs, to pensioners with very myopic and rose tinted remembrances of the past. More people in the UK voted on the referendum than the previous general election, so it’s almost impossible to see how the “leave the EU” outcome wasn’t racist in some way. More people seemed to have an opinion on whom they’d want living and working in the country than whom they’d like to see running it.
With Swervedriver’s Graham Bonner handling production duties and the band booked into The Kinks’ Konk Studios, the debut EP from London’s self-proclaimed grit-rockers The Swagger already got off to a more than reasonable start. Here is a band rich in influences – not only taking cues from the mod pop of Ocean Colour Scene, to the more raucous elements of The Who and a few heavier and psyched bands, but also taking cues from few UK punk bands along the way. This all results in a chunky sound that sometimes rocks, but more often than not, swaggers, thus dishing back each of the influences in a very cock-sure manner.
Formed at the beginning of 2015, London alt-metal band Massacres came a long way in a very short time. Their sound, an uncompromising blend of metalcore and hardcore punk intensities, quickly found an awaiting audience. For work on their debut EP, they also secured the talents of Jason Wilson, a producer of some renown whose studios had seen the likes of Cities, You Me At Six, Don Broco and Bellowhead working within. With a killer approach to making fairly uncompromising noise and a decent producer to help give things the ultimate send off, there was every chance that debut release could be a monster.
In 2014, the London-based DIY blues-rock outfit The Healing released their debut EP ‘Childhood Home’. A year later, three quarters of the band resurfaced under the name House Above The Sun, seemingly having had a musical rethink. While still recognisable as the core of the same band, House Above The Sun favour a much rootsier sound, placing vocalist Jim Moreton’s voice over music that’s arguably more thoughtful than before.