BROCKLEY FOREST – Castaway EP

When Brockley Forest released their ‘Die Has Been Cast’ EP in 2015, it felt as if the band had reached a turning point. While the raw garage blues of their previous releases still provided the heart of their music, the EPs songs showed a leaner, meaner Forest – slightly more commercial without selling out; by providing bigger hooks on bigger songs, they really stretched their musical talents.  Following a long gap between releases, Brockley Forest’s welcome return with 2018’s ‘Castaway’ is a step forward yet again. The production values on these three songs are terrific. Far removed from a garage based labour of love, the material has as much punch as that Royal Blood LP you all love – even though there are better exponents of that style – and the choruses are more than sizable.

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BROCKLEY FOREST – The Die Has Been Cast EP

brockley forest epThey’ve been friends forever; they’ve toured America; they’ve supported Honeyblood and released a couple of excellent EPs – a self-titled disc in 2013 and 2014’s ‘Second Nature’ – and yet after years of sweating it out, Bristol’s Brockley Forest are still very much an underground act.  Their third EP, 2015’s ‘The Die Has Been Cast’ not only marks a welcome return, but also showcases a much broader musical spectrum than anything the duo has committed to tape previously.

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THE END MEN – Terms & Conditions

a4225037619_10Reappearing at the beginning of 2013 after a brief hiatus, Brooklyn’s End Men made a big statement with their second LP ‘Play With Your Toys’. From that point on, there seemed to be no stopping the blues/garage rock duo, with live shows aplenty following – including a recorded appearance at CXCW – and a quickly released compilation of odds and ends filling the gap until their next studio bookings.  Released seemingly weeks after their last recordings, ‘Terms & Conditions’ picks up exactly where you’d expect, with the gravel-voiced Matthew Hendershot weaving tales of woe and drunken forboding while percussionist Livia Ranalli plays by the seat of her pants.   With such a quick turnaround of material, are The End Men in danger of burning themselves out?  On the basis of their 2015 release, it’s a case of anything but…

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