Falling Stacks’ 2015 EP ‘No Wives’ has been referred to as “critically lauded, but non-selling”, an approach that very much shows a humour when trying to promote music that definitely isn’t going to appeal to anyone within the mainstream. Their 2019 EP ‘Sarcastic Clap’ is by turns angular and oddly funky; noisy yet arty…but always disarming.
When Banshee released their ‘Say My Name’ EP in 2016, the online press were incredibly enthusiastic. The then still-young band even found a champion in the legendary Joe Elliott, despite their music being half a world away from his own or that of his own Def Leppard or beloved Mott The Hoople. That EP set out the Scottish quartet’s musical interests very clearly – and its combination of alt-rock guitars, poppy hooks and enthusiastic vocals very much carried the spirit of bands like Tonight Alive and ‘Riot!’ era Paramore. Three years on, their ‘Bubble’ EP offers much more of the same, but if anything the guitars are slightly more subdued in places. To make up for that, though, its four songs have choruses that could really stick.
On their second EP ‘Six Pack’, self-confessed “slacker rock” Parisians Normcore are here to remind you of the Reading Festival mud-bath of 1992 and the long, hot summer of 1995. On a spirited homage to various distorted indie rock heroes from decades past, its six songs recycle the best bits of early Weezer, Dinosaur Jr., Superchunk and Pavement with a loving charm, but a heavy French accent throughout gives this distortion-loving quartet a slightly different slant on an overly familiar sound.
When Kristin Hersh and Fred Abong visited Ramsgate in 2018 it almost felt like being in the presence of visiting musical royalty. The very intimate Music Hall was packed to the rafters for two nights; the attendant crowds was mostly made up of people who’d followed Kristin and Fred since the 90s – whether as members of Throwing Muses, Belly or solo artists – making those gigs truly ones to remember. It seemed unlikely that the Kent provinces would host these great musicians in such intimate settings again, but they both made a return visit – this time to the slightly larger Quarterhouse in Folkestone – almost exactly nine months on from those hot Ramsgate nights.
On their debut EP, HeyRocco weren’t exactly shy about flaunting their influences. Huge slabs of Nirvana-esque riffery collided with early Weezer songcraft and waves of distortion, creating something truly retro.