DAS KAPITANS – Debut

For those who were paying attention to the UK indie rock/punk underground during those periods of pandemic lockdown during 2020 and ’21, the name Das Kapitans will be a familiar one. As the world slowly ground to a halt, the band went into recording overdrive by releasing twelve albums’ worth of material at a rate that would’ve made Guided By Voices man Robert Pollard seem lazy.

Their 2022 release ‘Debut’, then, isn’t a debut in the true sense; nor does it mean that the band consider their dozen lo-fi Bandcamp releases in anyway unofficial or unimportant. The title comes from the fact that it’s actually the first Das Kapitans disc to be recorded “properly”, with far more care – and with all of the band members present at all times. This gives the album an extra level of professionalism, but those who’ve already taken the time to explore the band’s rapidly assembled catalogue and fallen for its ragged and noisy charms needn’t worry about this being too polished. Yes, in many ways, the material sounds better, but it never really loses any of the band’s rough and ready spirit, and the expected big riffs are still at the forefront of the best material.

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THE CHASE – Not The F*cking Game Show EP

Indie rockers The Chase began issuing digital singles in 2018. Over the course of the next three years – and amid a global pandemic – they kept up an online presence by drip feeding their audience new material sporadically, one track at a time. Each new tune seemed to suggest bigger and better things, leading to high hopes for a full release somewhere down the track. With gigs back on the table for many bands by the beginning of 2022, things started to fall into place, and The Chase eventually released their debut EP, ‘Not The F*cking Game Show’ in May.

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WEST WICKHAMS – Consider Her Way EP

Following the release of Dead Wolf Club’s excellent ‘Healer’ EP in 2013, the band’s vocalist Jon Othello launched a more goth and new wave inspired side project, West Wickhams. Before the year was out, the new band shared a demo online, but then seemed to disappear. Jon resumed duties with his DWC bandmates the following year, and they seemed to tour relentlessly before calling it a day prematurely in 2015. Their demise left a massive hole in the world of noisy indie rock. For a time, they seemed to have a hugely reliable presence as a support act, and ‘Healer’ had very much promised bigger things to come.

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THE SILVER LINES – Sleaze EP

London based rock band The Silver Lines sometimes convey a very retro sound, but unlike some, they’re keen to take a few key influences and at least try to twist them into something new. On their debut EP, you’ll find swathes of retro indie jangle, even a heavy dose of funk, and yet the band never sound as if they’re settled within either camp. Their sound can seem a little busy, yet remains focused; their song writing is hooky, but never anthemic. You might say that The Silver Lines sound absolutely natural – and that would certainly be true of frontman Dan Ravenscroft’s unmistakably British vocal delivery – but whichever way you approach their music, there’s something interesting lurking beneath the surface.

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