FLESH CREEP – Bullets / King Of The Hill

Hardcore punks Flesh Creep made their mark on the first quarter of 2022 with ‘Distributed Lethality’, a brilliant EP that delivered four pieces of unrelenting noise that mixed the classic anger of bands like Discharge, Government Issue and early Black Flag with the more contemporary sounds of UK bands Pizzatramp and Incisions. The fact that the release came packed with speed driven riffs and incendiary vocals would have been enough for it to make an impression, but the fact that Cult of The Fly Records were happy to release the material with a really unforgiving, heavily distorted production job gave the material even more of an edge.

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RUBY THE HATCHET – Fear Is A Cruel Master

Ruby The Hatchet made their first inroads into a recording career with the self-released ‘Ouroboros’ in 2012. Aside from the occasional one line hook, the DIY recording captured the raw talents of a brilliant stoner rock/deep psych band. With riffs heavily indebted to Kyuss’ majorly influential bottom end noise and Black Sabbath’s doomy origins, the band immediately had a strong musical root, but in vocalist Jillian Taylor it was clear they had something very special. Taylor’s clear and strong delivery always gave the music a melodic edge that other doomy bands didn’t always have. Even at such an early stage, her clean, crying style often lent the material a brilliantly haunting feel that would be hard to beat.

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SWEATPANTS PARTY – Sweatpants Party

A new band for 2022, the terribly named Sweatpants Party marks a long overdue return for the almost legendary Kevin Aper. Marketed as sounding “just like The Apers”, fans are automatically given a heads up as to what they can expect, and indeed, the new band’s core sound recycles many elements of Kevin’s past works brilliantly. Although working from a solid pop punk stock, there’s a little more to the Sweatpants, though, since this musical vehicle – teaming Kev with members of Jagger Holly and Stockkampf – takes in bubblegum punk and a little power pop along the way. The focus is on unashamed pop punk and trashy lyrics, of course, and that’s enough to win over The Apers’ entire fan base in a heartbeat.

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THE PICTURES – I Can’t Hold It Back / Ground Control (4 Track Demo)

The name Davey Lane might not mean much to a huge amount of people in the UK, but the Aussie musician has been more than prolific over the years. In the 90s, he was a key member of rock band The Pictures before joining You Am I in 1999. In more recent times, he’s carved out a solo career, played on albums by Jimmy Barnes, The Saints’ Chris Bailey, and also appeared on recordings by Robyn Hitchcock. He’s worked with the legendary Todd Rundgren, and even toured with Crowded House. He’s the archetypal go-to guy; a face you don’t necessarily know, but one that has always been there.

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SUNNYDALES – The Puppet Show EP

For a band that essentially formed themselves around a novelty idea – to perform punk songs based on plot points from Buffy The Vampire Slayer – Sunnydales have a surprising amount of staying power. On this fourth EP, the Fresno punks sound better than ever. Granted, their lyrical schtick ploughs a similar furrow to before, and they display their love for Ramones’ past works so proudly, the influence isn’t ever subtle, but all of its predictability, ‘The Puppet Show’ EP shows them in a more confident way than ever before.

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