FRED ABONG – Yellowthroat

Released towards the end of a troubled 2020, at a time when the Coronovirus global pandemic appeared to be at its height, Fred Abong’s first full length album ‘Our Mother of Perpetual Help’ was a suitably moody affair. Comprised of songs largely played from an oddly tuned acoustic guitar and featuring lyrics that captured a genuine emotional fragility, its lo-fi charms felt like a step up from his earlier, hastily recorded EPs.

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GOODBYE BLUE MONDAY – Self-Indulgent One-Take Woefuls EP

Goodbye Blue Monday’s third release, the ‘Misery Punk Ruined My Life’ EP, was one of 2018’s strongest DIY punk releases. Between a barrage of massive riffs and some thoughtful lyrics dealing with mental health issues, the Glaswegian band marked themselves out as one of the UK scene’s most intelligent acts.

Despite sterling support from Make That A Take Records and some very positive online press, things seemed to go quiet in the GBM camp a short time after. It wasn’t until 2020 any new material materialised, but a pair of digital singles (‘Love In The Time of Corona’ and ‘Exile’) made good on the promise of earlier recordings by way of musical crunch and more social commentary. A world grinding to a halt and a lack of social interaction enforced by a global pandemic also meant that fans would have to wait even longer for a brand new EP or album, but the band closed the first half of 2020 with a surprise acoustic EP to tide everyone over.

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Devin Townsend announces “Devolution Series”; begins with acoustic live album

The ever prolific Devin Townsend has announced a series of new releases that he says will be “interesting” but not necessarily something he’d want to present as “a major release”.   The Devolution Series will give fans access to various live materials and more and begins with with an acoustic live set from 2019.

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BLACK TARPOON – The Thad EP

First impressions can be deceiving. Just one look at Black TarPoon and you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d be about to experience an intensive stoner rock band, or maybe a massive riff-based juggernaut not too dissimilar to The Workhorse Movement. Nothing could be further from the truth. On their 2021 release ‘The Thad EP’ these Texan musicians go deep into a roots based sound where drawling vocals mesh with a country-blues groove. Their choice of band name – an anti-heroin reference – lends a certain sense of unease and Their cutting lyrics lend a further edge, but otherwise, their acoustic based sounds are surprisingly accessible. …And very retro in a 90s style.

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The Pineapple Thief to release 4CD box set of acoustic recordings in April

The last few years have seen continued critical acclaim for Bruce Soord. The last couple of Pineapple Thief albums were largely well received by fans and critics alike, and his Wisdom of Crowds side project with Jonas Renkse cemented his popularity.

The Covid pandemic put an end to live performances, but Soord kept himself busy by performing acoustic sets from home during lockdown. Fans will finally get the opportunity to own all of these recordings in April when KScope Records issues The Pineapple Thief’s ‘The Soord Sessions, Vol 1-4’. Full details on the new box set can be found below.

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