SHOT DOWN TWICE – Shot Down Twice EP

On this follow up to their 2020 EP ‘Got Up Once’, Canadian rockers Shot Down Twice absolutely exude confidence. With a punchier production and a couple of songs that are unafraid to be a little more complex than anything the band have recorded before, ‘Shot Down Twice’ is the kind of release that deserves to take these musicians to the next level.

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KRUPOVIESA – Default EP

There are two kinds of music fan in the world: those who get The Fall, and those who don’t. Love them or hate them, you can’t deny that their sharp edged sounds, lyrical barbs and willingness to challenge didn’t change the punk/post-punk scene. The influence they had on other alternative bands – particularly in the 90s, with the slacker movement spearheaded by Pavement – is often glaringly obvious but, occasionally, there comes a band willing to take The Fall’s influence and use it to create something a bit different. This short tribute from Argentinian band Krupoviesa is a curious affair. They’ve taken four 90s era Fall compositions and reworked them in their own punchy image, repackaged them in a homage to The Fall’s ‘Slates’ – a seminal 80s work – and shared the spoils for free.

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CITY MOUSE – Magnitude EP

Although they’ve kept up a seemingly relentless touring schedule over the years, City Mouse have never been the most prolific band when it comes to studio work. An enjoyable self-released digital EP in appeared in 2004, but it would be seven more years before they returned to the studio. An excellent four track EP in 2011 was swiftly followed by split releases with The Homewreckers and Weekend Dads, but obviously, these only gave fans brief glimpses of a great band at work.

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VARIOUS ARTISTS – Home Fires Burning: A Holiday Compilation From Red On Red Records

There are two kinds of people in the world: those who love Christmas music, and those who don’t. For the former, December can be a brilliantly nostalgic time, with various staples – Nat ‘King’ Cole’s ‘The Christmas Song’, Mike Oldfield’s ‘In Dulce Jubilo’ and the contents of Phil Spector’s ‘A Christmas Gift For You’ – helping to reawaken thoughts of yesteryear. For the festive music fan, there’s always time to discover something new, of course, and Justine Couvault’s Red On Red label brings something extra to the yuletide table with ‘Home Fires Burning’. In mixing the traditional with the unexpected, it manages to be quite broad in appeal and cover a lot of ground, despite only featuring five tracks.

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HALF PAST TWO – Holidays EP

2021 was a busy year for US ska/punk/rock band Half Past Two. They not only released their self-titled full length – their first new work for a couple of years – and a well received video lamenting the perils of a ‘Scratched CD’, but they also returned to live work after a long spell away from the spotlight. In addition, they also found time to record a covers EP, based around a “holiday” theme.

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