Best known as the singer with melodic hard rockers XYZ, Terry Ilous is blessed with a fantastic set of vocal pipes. His recorded output mightn’t be as extensive as many of his peers, but you can usually rely on him for a great album. The Bridger release from 2012 is the only possible exception to this rule, and even then, that was no fault of Terry’s; he often did his best with the largely unremarkable material, even if he sometimes sounded understated compared to his former self.
Over the years, the market has been flooded with Hawkwind compilations, reissues and retrospectives. From the comprehensive and brilliant (‘This Is Your Captain’, a huge set pulling together the United Artists albums), to the interesting (box sets of Flicknife and Emergency Broadcast era albums aimed more at the completist), to the perfunctory (various cheap “best of” type sets, thrown together by budget labels with no thought), it seems as if no stone has been left unturned in terms of anthologies celebrating the legendary space lords.
Manchester rockers SINKR make no secret of their love of 80s and 90s alternative rock. Those who broke into the mainstream are obvious touchstones for the band’s core sound, but listeners who immersed themselves more deeply into the indie rock scenes of the era will certainly hear a couple more melodic influences cutting through their debut recording – intentional or otherwise.
Mixing gothic melodies, deep beats and dark grooves, the upcoming album from Nepthisis is a cross genre treat. It isn’t always easy listening, but in terms of invention and complex textures, it’s the kind of release that’ll uncover something new with each play. Between the heavy grinding edges of ‘Go Inside’, the semi-acoustic moods of ‘Hazel Pebbles’ and the haunting sparseness of ‘My Darkness’, it has a restless heart, but also a strong desire to take the gothic into new territory.
The name Spiritu was never stoner rock’s most famous, but the New Mexico band left behind a brief legacy which included a Jack Endino produced album and live experiences shared with Clutch and the mighty Spiritual Beggars. For those who missed the band at the time, it would be fair to suggest that their Kyuss derived sound would be broadly appealing to most fans of that style. Six years on from Spiritu’s second and final recording, ‘Human Failures’, half of the band have emerged from hibernation, making up the core of Blue Heron. Despite being a new name on the stoner scene for 2021, the sounds they make are of a timeless appeal, and ahead of an already completed debut album, this two song 7” gives a fantastic taste of a band about to gain some huge traction with the desert rock diehards.