HOLLY BETH VINCENT – Hey Boy / Smash

This two track 7” by Holly Beth Vincent is an unexpected treat. Released a decade on from her ‘Minnesota-California’ album (a record that appears to have never made it past self-released CD-r status), these Travis Ramin produced tunes – first released via Ramo Records in 2012 – capture the one-time Holly & The Italians vocalist in a really sharp mood. Ramin’s studio techniques obviously have a hand in creating a pleasingly punchy sound and there are occasional parallels with his own recordings with Beebe Gallini and The Short Fuses, but that might amount to nothing if Holly weren’t in such interesting vocal shape.

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DUST PROPHET – One Last Look Upon The Sky

Dust Prophet’s debut release ‘One Last Look Upon The Sky’ presents some immediately classic stoner metal, doom and desert rock sounds. Taking cues from Black Sabbath, Orange Goblin and Kyuss, the band instinctively knows how to make very familiar riffs immediately effective, and the sprawling nature of their material conjures a love for stoner rock’s forefathers almost as brilliantly as Black Elephant, Acid Mammoth, and Devil Electric before them.

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WEST WICKHAMS – Magenta EP

In May 2022, alternative rock duo West Wickhams released ‘She Will Have Her Way’, an excellent EP driven by very retro goth, dreampop and synthpop sounds. Their ‘Magenta’ EP (released in November the same year) finds the band recycling a lot of the same moods, yet at the same time, the material conveys a feeling of moving forward. It’s safe to say that those who enjoyed the previous release will glean a similar amount of enjoyment from this timely follow up.

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LITTLE BABY TENDENCIES – Bad Things

A collaboration between drummer Tyler Harrington (The Wirms/Off Peak Arson) and guitarist/vocalist Haley Ivey, Little Baby Tendencies are a fantastically angry duo. Their sound blends garage punk and noise rock in a way that seems pretty vital, and although their songs rely very heavily on a core of shouting and crashing drums, they also bring a brilliantly dirty edge to an otherwise typical world of distortion.

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THE BEATERSBAND – Vol. Tre

Italian punk ‘n’ roll outfit Beatersband began cranking out good time sounds in 2018. Although they spent a couple of their early years hampered by a pandemic lockdown in terms of reaching live audiences, they more than made up for that with a prolific output. By the end of 2022, their comprises three albums, several singles and a brilliant cassette (‘Un Tuffo Nel Passatto’) which supplies the ultimate crash course in their work to date.

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