Banquets – This Is Our Concern, Dude (7″)

Apparently Banquets are named for a brand of beer, so I was going to open with a predictable joke about pissweak American lager. However, it turns out that the parent company of Coors (who make Coors Original, aka. “the Banquet Beer”) are also responsible for mid-range beers like Grolsch here in the UK. They’re also […]

Everyone Everywhere – self-titled 12″

Yet another rad US band ploughing a furrow of ambient, emotive music, Everyone Everywhere stand apart from the crowd thanks to a real knack for dynamic songwriting and an evocative warmth that emerges from their musical compositions and lyrical subject matter. Leisurely is another term that applies well to this LP; whilst hardly sedate the […]

Junior Battles – self-titled 7″

Junior Battles are another recent discovery and another I’m really pleased to have been introduced to. Hailing from Toronto – home of Cancer Bats, Broken Social Scene, Holy Fuck and the unstoppable Fucked Up among others – Junior Battles play irrepressible and infectious pop-punk that’s kinda 90s throwback in sound but doesn’t simply mimic what’s come […]

Off With Their Heads – In Desolation

I think one of the things I love most about Minneapolis’s Off With Their Heads is how clear, accessible and honest their darkness is. Let me explain: there are a lot of ways in which an artist can submit themselves to painful self-examination, and no matter what approach you take it’s likely that the result […]

Campaign – It Likes To Party

In a post-Hot Water Music world it’s good to know there are bands keeping the dream of blood, sweat and beer alive. Hailing from Atlanta, Campaign play punchy, gruff melodic post-hardcore ala. “the Gainesville sound” that descended from, er, Sunderland’s Leatherface. The Hot Water Music comparison is probably one that’s been made in almost every review […]

The Static Age – i/o

It’s not a fair comparison nor even a particularly accurate one, but the first artist that popped into my head when I first listened to i/o, the new EP from Vermont’s The Static Age, is Chris Rea. Yes, him of ‘The Road to Hell’ fame, the Middlesborough singer-songwriter who’s been churning out banal pop tunes […]

Dirty Tactics – It Is What It is

A moment of serendipity: a couple of weeks ago I swung by a show to catch Welsh punk trio Bangers and also endded up seeing Philadelphia’s Dirty Tactics. Their intense, hard and melodic hardcore punk rock and varied songwriting impressed me and I bought their new album and split 7″ with Bangers. Two days later […]

Stegosaur – Adventure 7″

The excellently-named Stegosaur hail from San Antonio, Texas, and play tremulous indie power-pop with delicate sensitivity and walloping distorted choruses. The Adventure 7″ boasts three such tracks. Opener ‘A Headache’ opens with simple palm-mutes and a tamborine underpinning the lines “Strike a balance between mean and pop sensibility hoping the tracks that we chose keep the interest […]

Grown Ups – Songs EP

When I first started writing this review I wrote a few lines about how some music sounds like a warm hug feels; or like sitting in the sun with your friends, like laughing and drinking or dancing and singing. Like the good times, basically. I ended up deleting these lines (and then restoring them by obliquely […]

Bull See Red – A Girl Called Murder

Hailing from Exeter, Bull See Red are a personable and energetic punk band who’ve apparently only been together for about a year and a half. ‘A Girl Called Murder’ is their debut mini album; it was originally released late last year on Lockjaw Records and it’s 8 tracks are an impressive collection of tunes. Musically […]