THE WHITE SWAN – Touch Taste Destroy EP

Between the doom metal riffs and darkwave synths, The White Swan gave the world two potential classics with their respective 2016 and 2017 EPs, ‘Anubis’ and ‘The White’. Lovers of heavy riffs were given plenty to mull over with the band’s self-penned material while the heaviest ever version of Wings’ ‘Jet’ proved the Ontario-based doomers also had a sense of fun. Their eagerly awaited 2018 release ‘Touch Taste Destroy’ doesn’t necessarily think much further outside of the box – but then, it doesn’t need to; The White Swan’s gift of riffs combined with an ultimate heaviness sees the three numbers off in particularly great style.

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Mixing 90s power pop with a touch of Americana and the kind of rock ‘n’ roll swagger you’d find from Boston’s Tom Baker & The Snakes, Braddock Station Garrison have a great crossover sound. Their fourth album, 2019’s ‘American Radio’ takes a well-established style, but thanks to some solid musicianship and a few fantastic chorus hooks, its ten songs sound anything but stale.

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THE RIVEN – The Riven

On their debut EP ‘Blackbird’, The Riven showed a lot of promise. With a fusion of hard rock and blues, the EP presented five songs with an old fashioned spirit and some great vocals, but was rather let down by its recording budget. Sadly, tunes that deserved a huge crunch were all too often left feeling a little muddy.

A lot happened over the next couple of years. The band relocated from London to Sweden, played live shows, gained a recording deal with The Sign Records [home to Wheel In The Sky, Highrider and Grande Royale] and then decamped to Spain to record a full length album.

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Formed in 1993, Larsen are an experimental band from Italy. Their members have managed to keep a fairly low profile over the decades, but that didn’t stop their 2002 LP ‘River’ achieving critical acclaim in both Europe and the States. In 2008, the band were joined by Ann O’Connor (aka Little Annie, aka Annie Anxiety Bandez). Little Annie, a New York performance artist – formerly of Asexuals and known for collaborations with Current 93, Nurse With Wound and Kid Congo Powers – gave the band an extra dimension when adding spoken passages to their disjointed sounds.

Eagerly awaited by fans, their 2019 EP ‘Tiles’ ends a three year recording silence. Its four tracks teeter between darkly gothic and just plain difficult, but it’s often it’s more than possible to understand where this avant-garde/art rock collective are headed.

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At the end of 2014, Tokyo punks The Nerdy Jugheads released their first recordings on an intense EP that took the core sounds of Screeching Weasel and transplanted them via Japan, creating music that blended fine Ramonescore with the nerdy oriental quirks of Hi-Standard. The result was an all-thrashing, all-bouncing five tracker that no pop punk fan should be without. The band returned in the summer of 2016 with three new tracks, issued as one half of a great split release with New Yorkers The Young Rochelles. It’s East meets West in this spit EP face off…who will win this global punk battle of the bands?!

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