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.
Returning from a three year hiatus, Scottish pop punkers Uniforms present quality over quantity on their comeback release ‘Reasons To Breathe’. Its three songs tap into a tough retro punk style, but beneath a gruff and wobbly vocal, you’ll find decent tunes that somehow occupy a space between Swingin’ Utters, Rancid and The Skids, resulting in a sound that has a tight, ringing guitar at almost every turn.
Hannah Fisher will be known to some folk music fans as a member of Roddy Woomble’s live band and for her collaborations with another Scottish folkie, guitarist Sorren Maclean. Her 2014 solo release ‘Watching Time’ shows her to be someone who’s more than just a musical accomplice. Taking elements of Celtic folk and semi-acoustic singer-songwriter’s sounds, this EP’s five songs – three instrumental cuts, two vocal pieces – borrow from tradition, but also feel entirely contemporary and its material comes across with influences from Pentangle, Bert Jansch and a few nods to John McCusker and Eliza Carthy. All these elements, right from first listen, single out Fisher as an artist possessing a natural talent and a strong understanding of folk roots.
Released as a stop gap between demo recordings and entering the studio to record something properly, this EP from Edinburgh based singer-songwriter Faith Eliott was recorded live to tape in one afternoon at The Happiness Hotel in Leith. Although Faith recorded these tracks quickly and out of necessity (in her own words, “to archive songs that have been disappearing from setlists”), the organic nature of the recordings really brings out the best in her songs. For here are four tracks that are hugely professional and yet still retain a little of that spirit that lots of great acoustic music needs if it is to remain true to its roots. Various studio overdubs could have made these songs fuller, but not necessarily better.
Taking the jazzy mathrock complexities of Wot Gorilla? and fusing their complexities with a barrage of post-rock noise worthy of MaybeSheWill, on their debut EP, Glasgow’s Dialects instantly prove themselves to be fantastic players, ready to make an impact on the alternative scene with a real love of (largely) instrumental mathrock and post-rock sounds.