Hound – We Will Never Sleep (EP)

I was contacted a few month’s ago by South Korean label Realize Records, who described themselves as covering punk, metal, rock, grunge, hardcore and more. If that sounds like a lot for one label to cover, it’s because the region doesn’t have the largest subcultural music scenes, so those bands that there are tend to […]

The American Scene – By Way of Introduction (album)

Although I’m still a long way from really understanding the way that psychology and geography are often linked in terms of the creative output of certain areas of the US, I still like to think I have a decent ability to guess where US bands playing certain styles of music hail from. In the case […]

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 […]