Black Wine – Summer of Indifference (LP)

From the first abrasive and buzzing chords and snarling female vocals of ‘Spit to See the Shame’ you know you’re on to something that’s at least a little bit special. And okay, sure, I’m tempted to make predictable references to Joan Jett’s songwriting attitude or the indie-rock riot grrl stylings of Sleater-Kinney – obvious, yes, but […]

Broadcaster – Joyride (EP)

Apparently Long Island’s Broadcaster formed in 2010 as “a ‘less business, more fun’ side-project devoted to playing a handful of 90s covers at local shows”, but found themselves taking off from there thanks to a broadly positive reception. It’s not hard to see why; their mid-pace melodic songwriting, liberally peppered with fat and throaty bass, jangly […]

Direct Hit! – Domesplitter (album)

After my ambivalence toward the slick melodic sounds of Half-Hearted Hero, it’s refreshing to be able to write about something with which I can whole-heartedly engage. Ladies and gentlemen, Direct Hit! They’re a band I’ve written about a few times before, namely in the form of their splits with the adorable Mixtapes and the something-or-other […]

Half-Hearted Hero – Running Water (12″ EP)

New Bedford, Massachusset’s Half-Hearted Hero are described as influenced by A New Found Glory, Small Brown Bike, The Starting Line, NOFX, Living With Lions, Punchline and The Fullblast. Some of that I can see more than others; they’re somewhere between the bro-happy speed and whimsy of ANFG and the po-faced mid-pace melodic mastery of Small Brown Bike, […]

Banquets / Mayflower – Split cassette

Folks, I do love a good split. And I’ll skip the usual preamble and tell you that this is a good split. You should listen to it. You should even consider buying it. (That is the thing where you do not find music via Blogspot, you terrible freeloader.) It’s maybe a bit redundant to go […]

Event Horses – Dance With the Devil (EP)

Mmm, things are starting out pretty well here for Ballycastle’s Event Horses. Buckets of throaty vocals and fat, rocking riffs, all wrapped up in a thick and meaty sound. Plus the first thing you see when you pick up this record is some seriously slick artwork and design, with more character to it than a […]

Knuckle Up! – Motivation From Misery (album)

First impressions aren’t always the best basis for judgement. Take the artwork to the right there. It’s going for a pretty stylised thing, and I’m not too sure what that thing actually is. Why not just use a photo? Why does it look like it’s from an amateurishly-inked comic, or possibly one of those bad […]

Heights – Dead End (album)

Heights come to us courtesy of the county of Hertfordshire, famous mostly for containing a variety of Home County-esque landmarks alongside an alarming quantity of my family. None of those, however, play their own brand of metal and hardcore with epic overtones, as a press release assures me Heights do. Look, let’s get one thing […]

Pips – Floppy God (album)

Leeds-based outfit Pips are a leftfield band; I’m not entirely sure how to describe them. Avant-garge? Autistic? In my notes I’ve written “cheeky chirpy weirdo thingrock”, which goes to show 1.) how useless my notes tend to be and 2.) that Pips are pretty good at dodging attempts to categorise them. I’ll make another attempt: […]

Handguns – Don’t Bite Your Tongue (EP)

Everyone has at least a few bands that they just don’t get along with. For me, one such band is The Ataris – whether it’s fair or not I have a long-standing perception of the band as being far too wishy-washy for my tastes, and far too stuck in a rut of only writing songs about […]