Listen: Looking Glass War present a new track ‘See You In Hell, Liberty Bell’

Looking Glass War released the enjoyable ‘Where Neon Meets The Rain’ EP in 2023, introducing people to their blend of gothic rock, alternative sounds and dark pop-ish vibes. ‘See You In Hell, Liberty Bell’ marks a welcome return for the Boston band, and on this track, they sound more inspired than ever.

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GURT – Satan, etc.

The arrival of ‘Satan etc.’ marks the end of a five year silence from Gurt. Within a few bars of the album’s opening track ‘The Most Dying Way To Die’, however, it’s as if the UK based riff monsters have never really been away. The perfect re-introduction to the band’s self-proclaimed “party doom” sound, the number presents the heaviness of your average Orange Goblin tune and dresses it up in spangly glam rock platform soles. By delivering a stomper of a riff that sounds like the guts of Black Sabbath playing something from the ChinnyChap universe, they’ve automatically secured their audience’s attention – and they know it, too – before the track progresses with a hugely confident air that allows a sludgy riff punctuated by great stops, and even a Rob Zombie-esque groove to derail the almost danceable moods. It doesn’t seem to matter what twists the music takes, either; every time the main glam stomp returns, it feels like the musical equivalent of the ultimate b-movie bad-ass, coming back stronger after being slapped down by the hero of the piece. The buzzing guitars are relentless with their fat melodies; the drums lock down a ferocious groove, and even a retching vocal can’t kill the feel good vibes. Gurt haven’t just returned – they’ve returned in style.

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BROKEN LUNGS – Love Is Temporary And So Are We

On this follow up to ‘The Price of Decadence’, Broken Lungs aren’t thinking small. Their ‘Love Is Temporary And So Are We’ EP kicks off with a devastatingly heavy chord, followed by another, underscored by a fierce bass rattle courtesy of Alex Dewhurst. It’s a relatively simple musical device that’s guaranteed to jolt the listener, but whether you’re already a fan or approaching these Brummie hardcore merchants for the first time, they immediately have your attention.

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DRUIDESS – Hermits & Mandrakes EP

With an opening track titled ‘Witches’ Sabbath’, this EP from British rock band Druidess makes no secret of its chief influences and interests. However, in a world that can feel overpopulated by doom and stoner metal bands, these guys really stand out. Their occult themed material and huge riffs fill the void left by Witch Charmer and Black Moth, and throughout the material on this debut, Shonagh Brown’s melodic vocals provide a superbly clear counterpoint to the band’s otherwise heavy sound.

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LEON FREAR – Wild Rice

A singer songwriter with a very old soul, Leon Frear channels various moods on his debut album ‘Wild Rice’. In his own words, his work is more concerned with “strong lyrics [than] sticking to one type of music”, but his singularity of voice and depth of mood throughout the ten songs actually results in a listen that’s surprisingly consistent. His distinctive vocal presence gives the material a sense of unity, but more than that, the themes of loss and of feeling lost create a strong narrative thread.

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