K7s – Take 1

What would happen if you took a member of the Bullet Proof Lovers, a member of Spanish punkers Los Reactivos and a member of the Spanish band Airbag and set them to work in the recording studio? You’d end up with K7s, one of the finest pop punk outfits to release an album since the genre’s glory days of the 1990s. Yes, the K7s’ debut is that good…and in in almost every way. It’s hugely indebted to days gone by when pop punk meant pop punk and not whiny music with an overdriven guitar riff, but that’s every reason why it’s great. Continue reading

J. EASTMAN AND THE DRUNK UNCLES – No Capo Required

This Minneapolis based garage rock band is entirely unpretentious. At no point do these musicians stretch too far beyond their garage-ish musical limits – limits that are occasionally just a little too obvious – nor do they display any kind of ego. By their own admission, J. Eastman & The Drunk Uncles are rather shambolic. Still, a fairly loose and carefree attitude has got them so far and this third release works very much on a maxim of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. Or in the case of the Uncles, it might even be “if it sounds a bit broke, let’s swill some booze and knock things about until they sound better.

True to their word, bits of ‘No Capo Required’ do indeed sound sloppy. That said, you’ll have heard sloppier…and sometimes from bands who actually genuinely believe they’re the very acme of musical perfection.

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HIGHRIDER – Roll For Initiative

Highrider’s 2016 EP really meant business. Within twenty minutes, the Swedish In Flames obsessives growled, thrashed and pounded their way through four almost faultless tunes that owed so much to the past, especially with a root in classic thrash – and yet still sounded contemporary for the time of release. An unlikely soundtrack for the summer, that short look into a world that blended thrash with melodic hardcore and 70s hard rock organs promised so much for the inevitable full length debut. A year on, ‘Roll For Initiative’ expands on those musical themes and results in a more mixed album. Within the eight featured tracks, you’ll hear more of the things that made Highrider an instant success, but also a few experiments that aren’t quite as immediate.

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Led Zeppelin: 50th Anniversary Releases – What, Exactly, Does Jimmy Page Have Planned?

In January 2018, it was announced that Led Zeppelin’s posthumous live release ‘How The West Was Won’ was to be given a reissue to coincide with the band’s 50th anniversary. Recorded at two US shows in 1972 and then spliced together to give the feeling of experiencing a complete show, it has rarely been cited as a fan favourite. Nevertheless, that’s not stopped it being re-issued on CD and also given a blu-ray and (prohibitively expensive) vinyl release for the first time.

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Philip Whitehead explores wintertime blues on new single

Philip Whitehead is a singer-songwriter from London whom over the past year or so has been releasing download independent singles.  His last offering, ‘Paper Man’s Blues’ – released in November 2017 – was his best track to date, being an acoustic track that harked back to the personal nature of Bob Dylan’s classic ‘Girl From The North Country’ [streaming here]

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