Essex band Found Missing? released their debut EP in the summer of 2019. While the band were a relatively new arrival on the UK rock scene at that point, their members had been working the live circuit for some time as members of Cosmic Joker, Twelvepointhead and La Muerte.
La Muerte were fantastic. They left the world too prematurely with one EP that fused elements of punk, hardcore and a debt to early Killing Joke. If you’re approaching this band expecting more of the same you’re surely going to be disappointed, but what Found Missing? do, they often do very well. Opting for something very retro, the band takes a huge hard rock swagger, injects it with a love of funk and then dirties it up a little, ending up sounding like an early 90s funk metal band covering tracks from Bush’s US million seller ‘Sixteen Stone’. Obviously, at the time of release, it sounds rather…out of time, but for fans of that sort of thing, it very much fills a musical hole.
2020 has barely begun, but January is shaping up to be a very busy month for indie legends Ash as they embark on the promotion of their new anthology album.
Although a singles compilation celebrating the first decade of the band only appeared last year, 2020 sees a second compilation ‘Teenage Wildlife: 25 Years of Ash’ digging even deeper into their extensive catalogue. As well as featuring the more obvious tracks, a three disc version of the anthology includes a disc of career-spanning rarities.
If you’ve followed the US power pop and pop-punk scenes over the past five years, you’ll know that Justine and The Unclean have released two incredibly catchy albums.
In June 2020, Justine Covault and her band of Boston musicians will release their third long player ‘Every Bone That Breaks’. Almost six months in advance, the band have just issued a two track digital single. Not only will this keep fans entertained until the album appears, but it also teases with a much tougher musical direction.
With press materials that advertise the band members as fans lots of post-punk artists and whom make music that has “the soaring arpeggios of U2 to 90s distortion”, Young Harbor aren’t hedging their bets. That could cover quite a wide spectrum of rock-oriented music. They go on to claim their sound applies a “unique” approach to vocals (predictably, it doesn’t). On paper, they are a band that seems too keen to impress. [They also claim to be big fans of The Smiths, so perhaps not … At the time of this EP’s release, it might’ve been better to keep such things quiet.]
Moving on from their own hype, thankfully, the actual music on their 2019 EP is very strong all round. Right from the off, their love of angular post-punk is in place. During the lead track ‘The City Has A Charm’, the band channel little bits of Wire and Gang of Four into a more melodic structure, weaving a punchy bassline in and out of a chopping rhythm guitar, while a heavily treated vocal adds extra retro cool. Of course, by making such things more commercial, the core sound often sounds so much more like Franz Ferdinand than anything truly post-punk, but with a massive hook at play, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. A brief guitar solo adds a high pitched soaring sound, almost as if inspired by U2’s The Edge circa 1983 but instead of using this as a huge feature, it’s more of an interlude; the band clearly understands the main melody and chorus hook are more important than any over-indulgence.
Tom Baker is somewhat of a legend on the Boston music scene. As frontman for his own band The Snakes and as a member of The Dirty Truckers, he’s known for delivering swaggering rock music with a retro charm. 2019’s ‘Dirty Snakes’ presents itself as Baker’s first official solo release, but as its title more than suggests, it still retains a very strong link with his previous works as the six tracks find him backed by members of both bands.