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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BANG BANG FIRECRACKER – Hear Evil EP

In a world where attention spans are shorter, and streaming has meant listeners have a whole universe of new music waiting at the push of a button, British rock band Bang Bang Firecracker hit upon the idea of splitting their second album into three EP releases, giving fans a succession of bite-sized material that would present the songs a short and punchy fashion, but never sell fans short on massive sounds. The first EP, ‘See Evil’ did, indeed, deliver very highly in the riff stakes, placing BBF somewhere between The Almighty and Black Label Society. For some fans, those riffs were enough alone to make an impression – and, granted, they were often bloody excellent – but a fondness for old school macho, expletive-driven lyrics occasionally let the side down.

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THE RUMJACKS / FLATFOOT 56 – Split EP

Split EPs are often a good way to discover a couple of new bands, and with six songs presented in a no-frills manner, this shared release between Celtic punks The Rumjacks and Flatfoot 96 is no exception. Both bands take a relatively straight, no nonsense approach to their subgenre, and that means that – in the main – most people will either love or hate them.

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THE HALLINGTONS – Hop Til’ You Drop

Between 2013 and 2019, The Hallingtons released a string of EPs that slowly found them perfecting their own homage to Ramones. Hundreds of bands had recorded in a similar style before, but few had managed to capture the early sounds from Joey and Johnny quite as perfectly as The Hallingtons’ ‘Hexed’, proving the world was more than ready for the Norwegian punks to deliver a full length musical assault.

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BILLY YFANTIS – The Nebula Voyager

Following several releases of ambient and light electronic music, experimental composer Billy Yfantis reached peak minimalism with his 2021 album ‘Noises From The Outer Space’. It was so paired down it made even Tangerine Dream’s most ambient sounds seem busy, and so wantonly empty in places that it couldn’t actually be called music in the traditional sense. …And yet, somehow, the blankets of electronic sound – often no more than white noise, taking Eno’s idea of “room colourant” to extremes – managed to conjure various mental images and create something surprisingly effective.

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