Gray Young – Staysail

You remember those teeny, tiny little reviews you tend to find in big glossy music mags and dense zines? The 50-or-so word reviews that are all that can be crammed into the space available: dozens of records covered per page. An entire record compressed into less than a square inch. I’ve never really gotten on […]

Cain Marko – At Sea

Huh. It turns out that Cain Marko is the real name of The X-Men’s Juggernaught. You know, the big dude who is pretty much unstoppable and was unconvincingly played by Vinnie Jones a few years back. It’s not exactly the reference I was expecting from the name of a band trading in big, buzzy anthemic […]

Mala In Se – self-titled

Although extrapolating from anecdotal, personally-experienced trends is pretty much a big no-no, I have to say that of all of the punk and hardcore records I’ve been sent for review so far this year, very few have been lyrically concerned with the world around them except as metaphor. They’ve mostly been introspective rather than outward-looking. […]

Tin Horn Prayer – Get Busy Dying

Has the patch of ground on which country and punk hybrids grow always been this fertile? Perhaps it’s just a side effect of getting deeper into the music reviewing gig, and being sent records by US PRs that I wouldn’t otherwise come across, but it sure seems like there are a lot more of them […]

Wagers – New Guilt

Hailing from Brooklyn, Wagers play upbeat melodic punk rock – poppy and rich with simple hooks, but not blandly slick. New Guilt is, as far as I can see, their first record, and it’s a pretty solid release. The production strikes a good balance between polish and allowing the band’s faintly 70s fuzz enough room […]

United Sons of Toil – When The Revolution Comes, Everything Will Be Beautiful

Madison’s The United Sons of Toil contacted me with news of their latest record at what felt like a pivotal time in left politics in the US: the widespread strikes in the band’s home state of Wisconsin by public sector workers seeking to fight a bill that shamelessly stripped them of their livelihoods. To my […]

Run With The Hunted – self-titled (album)

Start as you mean to go on: on their eponymous first album, Run With The Hunted do just that. It also helps if a precedent has been set: you’ll have heard a lot of hardcore records do what ‘Introspective’, the first track, accomplishes here. Fading in with simple lead and some faintly glitchy effects alongside […]

Carpenter – Sea to Sky (album)

Carpenter are from Vancouver and their line-up includes alumni of All State Champion, By a Thread and Daggermouth. I only know of the latter myself, mainly from seeing them mentioned on PunkNews and wondering if their name was a Family Guy reference. Funny story huh? But then I guess making jokes about The Carpenters is way more […]

Lights At Sea – Palace Walls (album)

Lights At Sea are based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, a town which also plays host to instrumental duo Charles the Osprey (reviewed last year) and Ghost Heart (reviewed a few weeks ago). I guess they dig their post-rock and ambient music there because Lights At Sea play – you guessed it – ambient post-rock in […]

Man The Change – Weather the Storm (album)

I first heard about Brooklyn’s Man The Change via a PunkNews announcement about the band organising a Kickstarter project. If they got enough sponsors before March 13th they were going to use this to bankroll the pressing of the record on vinyl and send it out to their sponsors – along side other cool items. […]