CATHEDRAL BELLS – Cathedral Bells EP

A dreampop and shoegaze influenced project helmed by Matt Messore (previously of Dear Tracks), Cathedral Bells’ debut EP isn’t exactly shy about recycling musical influences. With strong elements of the more commercial Jesus & Mary Chain, the synthier and more cinematic aspects taken from The Cure and more than a trace of Pale Saints, its six tracks play like the greatest EP not to be released by 4AD Records in 1990. When influences and moods are recycled as well as they are here, originality is more than welcome to take a back seat as Cathedral Bells join Norway’s Spielbergs in heading up a full-on 90s revival.

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Romania mightn’t be the first place you’d go looking for surf rock sounds, but Grave For Sale are a band deeply immersed in the retro style. Their musical universe draws influence from greats like The Ventures, but also applies sounds that could be found at the heart of horror rock, often resulting in tunes that sound like a blend of fine garage based melodies and a deep cut from a Tarantino soundtrack.

Their second EP, 2019’s ‘Garajo’ is seriously great. It has an old spirit, but a really beefy sound and its five tracks cover a lot of ground, yet at the same time, sound like tunes that belong together. In short, it’s a superb twenty minute showcase for a band whom deserve a larger fan-base.

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SIGNAL – Signal EP

Not to be confused with the American AOR band fronted by Marcie Free in the late 80s, this twenty first century Signal play very ragged hardcore punk. The band’s rhythm section once comprised two thirds of the lo-fi garage punk combo The Meltaways and if you were ever a fan of that band, then Signal’s brash stance should very much appeal.

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DISKOPUNK – Diskopunk EP

Diskopunk have been slowly releasing tracks across digital platforms since 2016. It was looking increasingly like they were going to tease the world with bits and pieces forever, but the beginning of 2019 brought a self titled EP and, with that, finally something more substantial for those who’ve enjoyed the previous digital singles.

In terms of their very European electronica, the bulk of this self-titled release is very assured in the way it throws catchy hooks into melodic beats. It also isn’t afraid to feel like throwaway fun at times either, but what comes across most is that old Scandinavian gift for a strong melody – something that’s often obvious throughout, even if you’re not really that big on dance oriented stuff.

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Tommy Stewart ended 2018 in style by giving the world an enormous piece of doom when his band Bludy Gyres contributed a near-impenetrable seventeen minute slab of riffery to a split release with fellow doomsters Dayglo Mourning. After such epic scale sludge, some musicians would take a moment to step back and admire their work…but not Tommy. He’s chosen to go head first into 2019 in similarly grand scale, as his other band Negative Wall present just four lengthy and doomy pieces of intensity on their debut full length release. Stretching to almost a full half hour, ‘Gammagelu’ is not an EP, but a near album length, fuzzed up, doomed out musical ride that’s almost as aggressive as Bludy Gyres. This time around, Stewart takes his gift for a riff and applies it to a world of whacked-out sci-fi tales…

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