Casting their net far across Europe to bring you a selection of Yuletide jollies, this EP from Laketown Records presents four previously unreleased tracks from two cult ska bands. For this festive split, French ska punks Skarface go head to head with Russia’s relative newcomers Suspense Heroes Syndicate in a high octane musical bout – a musical face off in which only one band can be the victor.
Billy Sherwood is no stranger to an all star compilation. Over the years, he’s helped mastermind tributes to all manner of artists, often with mixed results. His 2019 project ‘A Prog Rock Christmas’ can seem as scattershot as many of those previous all star affairs, but by bringing together various prog legends to put their own stamp on a few familiar yuletide ditties, there are a several things to enjoy along the way, ranging from the traditional to the bespoke.
Charlotte Carpenter is no stranger to Christmas songs – in 2018, she recorded a gloriously downbeat version of Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’. Nor is she a stranger to reflective, semi-autobiographical works, as evidenced in her own ‘Burn’ and ‘Shelter’.
With her digital single ‘Another Year’, both elements collide as Charlotte reflects upon her place in the world in the build up to Christmas 2019. Continue reading
In the US, Christmas music is big business. You can find a festive album to suit pretty much every one of your holiday moods. There are countless Christmas albums from country artists; you can play it traditionally with the easy listening approach with She & Him’s retro pop or Lowen & Navarro’s world of log fires and woolly jumpers. You can opt for retro rock ‘n’ roll and a swingin’ yuletide with the brilliant Brian Setzer, or even funky festivities with James Brown. In a world where even Bad Religion – a punk band fronted by one of the world’s most outspoken athiest academics – have a Christmas album, the gloves are off. We live in a post-irony world.
In December 2019, L.A. Guns’ ‘Another Xmas In Hell’ appeared on streaming services with little to no fanfare. A five track release, it finds the US hard rockers putting their own slant on a couple of very familiar festive favourites and a couple of lesser known gems.
It’s been a long journey for Big Big Train. From early gigs and their first proper album ‘Goodbye To The Age of Steam’, the elusive ‘Bard’, work with vocalist Sean Filkins and beyond, their first decade or so was about constant growth and change. While often recording great material, it seemed the band just couldn’t settle. With the release of ‘The Underfall Yard’ and the addition of vocalist David Longdon to their ranks, the band’s fortunes changed.