NORMCORE – Six Pack EP

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.

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REAL GONE GOES OUT: KRISTIN HERSH TRIO feat. FRED ABONG – Quarterhouse, Folkestone, Kent 31/3/2019

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.

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A PLACE TO BURY STRANGERS – Fuzz Club Session

Once claimed to be “the loudest band in New York”, noise rockers A Place To Bury Strangers have carved out a true cult following since forming in 2002. By creating a sound that fused heavy distortion with gothic and shoegaze tendencies, their first two albums laid down some wantonly dense retro sounds, while their later releases somehow managed to feel a little more accessible without losing too many of the band’s most confrontational elements.

Their 2019 release ‘The Fuzz Club Session’ was recorded in a single day when APTBS visited Love Buzz Studios in South London at the end of a tour. According to frontman Oliver Ackermann, there are times where it’s possible for a band to feel tired of their own material after being on the road, so a little re-invention is needed to keep things interesting. That’s very much where this release comes in.

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SPIELBERGS – This Is Not The End

In 2018, Norway’s Spielbergs made a grand entrance into the music world with their debut EP, ‘Distant Star’. With an epic fusion of 90s indie, shoegaze and a touch of dark synth pop, it’s five tracks took the listener on a retro journey that managed to feel very nostalgic but still sound great in the present. The signs were all there for a band whom were going to release a fantastic full-length the following year.

Two of the EP’s key numbers have been recycled for their full-length debut giving a strong feeling of continuity. The EP’s masterpiece, the sprawling eight minute epic ‘Ghost Boy’ has been left behind (giving listeners the ultimate reason to backtrack and check out the previous release if they’ve not already done so), but ‘Distant Star’ and debut single ‘We Are All Going To Die’ sound superb nestled amongst the newer material – and it’s a genuine thrill to discover these aren’t even the album’s best tracks!

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