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Frakard – Slate: Play It Loud, See It Live


Cardiff’s loudest and tightest alt-rock trio Frakard went into frenetic overdrive with their latest single, Slate. With their respective influences counting Architects, Soundgarden and Steely Dan, Slate is a melting pot of familiarity fed through stylistic raucous swagger.

Sonic appeal aside, Slate truly comes into its own through its witty questioning of our relationship with nostalgia, the nihilism that comes with age and the ever-pervasive climate change fear. If you’re anything like me and you’re sick of lyricists that scrape the bottom of the IQ barrel when penning their lyrical hooks, you will be a Frakard fanatic by the time this anthemic juggernaut of a release that comes with an arsenal of razor-sharp lyrical lines hits the outro.

Slate will officially release on November 11th. Check it out on Spotify and scope out Frakard on their official website.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

The transatlantic duo Post Suitcase unpack heartbreak in their debut single, Under This Hood

The debut single, Under This Hood, from the British/American indie-rockers Post Suitcase, euphonically bridges the transatlantic sonic gap. With blisters of Britpop bursting between the American overtones in the post-breakup track, it’s impossible not to get entwined in the narrative, which explores the tendency of others to put the token effort in when it comes to consoling and checking in on the recently heartbroken.

We’ve all been there, although notably, we’re not all capable of forging lyrical gold, “I’ll walk where the grass still grows, where my friends still smile but they really don’t know that, under this hood, is a lot of dead wood.” With the momentum ebbing and crescendoing through the release, which comes with the meditatively artful ease of the trumpet glossing over the angular indie guitars, Under This Hood is as cathartic as it is heartbreaking.

Debut releases don’t get much more promising than this. We’re hoping that Post Suitcase has more emotional intimacy and intellect to unpack in future releases.

Under This Hood will officially release on September 30th; catch it on SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Whatever the question, the affable indie-rocker, Sam Scherdel, has ‘The Answer’

As stunning as The Manics’ Gold Against the Soul album, as cinematic as the Hollywood sign, the latest single from the Britpop-inspired UK singer-songwriter, Sam Scherdel, is a slice of celestial sonic bliss.

‘The Answer’ is a humbling admission of human nature, the inability to know everything, carry intellect on every subject and find absolutes at every turn. With weary yet romantically honeyed vocals atop the orchestrally decorated indie-rock score that grips with the same gravitas as Ben Folds, I think I felt every emotion on the human spectrum on the first listen (and the 5th; it just keeps giving. I might be addicted).

With exactly the same vein of magnetism as Billy Idol’s Baby Put Your Clothes Back On, hitting play on The Answer is a surefire way of giving Scherdel permanent space in your psyche. It’s beyond an earworm; it’s an ear unicorn.

The Answer will officially release on June 17th, check it out for yourselves via Spotify. 

Check out Sam Scherdel on Facebook and Instagram.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

The Novatones bravely tackle the issues of modern day society with eager gusto on ‘Puppets’

With a fiery disposition that takes your whole mind into the savage issues of the world that need to be fixed before a blood-bath ensues all over the globe, The Novatones soar out of their comfort zone with a scintillating display of epic dimensions with, ‘Puppets‘.

The Novatones is a 4-piece Southampton, UK-based indie punk/Britpop band who makes that anthem rocking music that sends your whole body into natural delirium.

Following rave reviews from live performances, we were offered a slot on the Hard Rock stage at the prestigious Isle of Wight Festival. Such was our impact that we have subsequently been invited back and asked to play the Big Top seven thousand capacity arena.” ~ The Novatones

Resonating with so much frustrated souls who are completely fed up with the way humanity is headed, The Novatones crank up the volume and power lift through the crowds as they urge us to unite in our goal to never give up the fight to save the world.

Support slots for The Sex Pissed Dolls, Bruce Foxton (From the Jam) and The Spitfires followed as well as further festival invitations from Common People, Victorious and a headline slot at Sound of the Cotswolds.” ~ The Novatones

Puppets‘ from 4-piece Southampton, UK-based indie punk/Britpop band The Novatones is a rasping performance that is such a wake up call to us all. Sick of the blatant lies, the unnecessary pollution, the wretched hate and evil money-hungry decisions that have possibly decided the fate of humankind, this is a seriously high quality track that bats away the full toss that the whole globe is dealing with.

Sung with such a potent delivery that slams into the stumps of the selfish decision makers, this is a track that shows us that music really can make a difference.

See this hair-raising new single on YouTube and find out more on IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Seattle converges with Manchester in BLUEBOO’s latest smorgasbord of alt 90s aesthetic, Cherry Woman

With a touch of Oasis to the choral vocals to anchor the anthem in its melodicism, the alt-90s Seattle sound doesn’t asphyxiate any originality out of the revivalist nature of BLUEBOO’s latest single, Cherry Woman. It teases just the right amount of nostalgia for Screaming Trees, Soundgarden and Pearl Jam as your synapses fire to the tune of the Chicago-based artist’s off-kilter hook-filled sonic signature.

Notably, we aren’t the only ones finding addictive propensities in the effortlessly original sound of BLUEBOO. They’ve garnered acclaim from across the globe, especially on their strikingly ethereal seminal single, You Win Abigail, which has amassed over 260k streams on Spotify alone.

Cherry Woman is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

The Prods struck a satrical pose in their punk-meets-Britpop hit, Catalogue Model

White-hot frenetic punk guitars meet Sleaford Mods-Esque satirical animosity in The Prods’ latest single, Catalogue Model. With a bite of Blur in the Britpop nuances, Catalogue Model throws texture from all across the alt-spectrum to originally outscore every playfully scathing hit to precede it.

I just wish I could have been in the room while the concept of a track around the swagger of a 1980s catalogue model was born. The London-hailing outfit is clearly a cut above the rest when creating ridiculously immersive pop-hooked punk hits.

Catalogue Model officially released on May 20th; you can check it out for yourselves by heading over to SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

90s Britpop Gets a Lick of Cali Sun in Port Streets’ Love Story Lament, Dream Girl, Decide

Butter wouldn’t melt on the bitter-sweet melancholy in the latest 90s Britpop-rooted single from the independent Orange County, CA-residing artist, Port Streets.

Dream Girl, Decide is a surreally imaginative lament over a mentally hospitalised loved one. I mean, is there any more definitive sign of the times than that? We’re all losing our marbles in dating pools scattered with them, but cute sentiments still stand over the lush organ lines and blissfully pure vocal harmonies.

The Blur influence finds just the right level of nuance, avoiding assimilation from the strength of the rays on the blissfully constructed indie rock hit that uses Grandaddy-Esque synths and hooky guitar lines to seal this track’s place in your synapses.

Dream Girl, Decide is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Her Burden melded Britpop with pop-punk in their melodiously pensive latest release, Figure It Out

With their first release of 2022, the UK alt-indie rock outfit, Her Burden sent us swaggering right back to the bliss of the 90s Britpop era. Figure it Out veers from the tried, tested and endlessly repeated Britpop sound by binging a punch of raw pop-punk to the type of melody that would make any self-respecting Oasis fan swoon.

Her Burden brought just as much to the table lyrically with their narrative of the perpetual optimist that keeps going round in failed circles as they did sonically with their intimate emotional firestorm that proves they have a heady stock of nuance in their arsenal. After the various pandemics impeded their bid for pop rock domination, something tells us there’s no stopping Her Burden now.

Figure It Out is officially released on March 25th; you can check it out via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Tim Nova turns plight into passion in his anthemic indie power-pop single, Far Away

The North West, UK-hailing indie power-pop pioneer, Tim Nova, is fresh from the release of his single, Far Away, which proves that there are few things in life more romantic than long-distance affection. It’s a beautiful testament to the fact that love perseveres despite peripheries; it’s a refreshing change to be confronted with the more positive aspects of the human experience instead of the negative.

Far Away merges Nova’s love for massive guitars and stridently balladlike vocals that make no bones about dialling the evocative potential up to 11. Anyone feeling a little love/person/homesick, couldn’t ask for a better track to seek solace in. Damn, it’s almost enough to make you embark on an international affair to truly appreciate this 80s-rock inspired earworm.

Far Away is due for official release on February 21st. It is now available to stream on SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

See You There: South London’s Martin Wapshott takes us honestly through the road he currently seems himself on with ‘Inside My Mind’

After the success of his recent single ‘When You Close Your Eyes‘, Martin Wapshott eloquently returns with more quality that is so easy to be spellbound by on his latest single called ‘Inside My Mind‘.

Martin Wapshott is a South London, UK-based indie Britpop solo singer-songwriter who sings with the inspiration of his heroes Oasis, The Jam, Paul Weller and Bruce Springsteen.

It’s so easy to get lost in his calming edge as his outstanding music shines through – to graciously grant us a real treasure here – during a period that most of us truly understand. The doors have been shut and the locks tight on the core of the world, as many of us, have been biding our time and waiting to meet someone special.

You sense that he has been rather frustrated recently, as these have been such tough times for us all. He pitches his voice to effortless appeal and there is much to like about these smartly-penned lyrics, that have clearly been made from the bottom of his heart.

Inside My Mind‘ from the South London, UK-based indie Britpop singer-songwriter Martin Wapshott, is that I-need-to-fly-right-now track – that is filled with an insightful glance – from a man who has felt rather isolated lately in this rather cold world. Sung with his trademark gritty vocals and with riveting guitar riffs to have your hairs standing up to full awareness, this is another immense effort from a fast-rising musician who is only just getting started.

Hear this exciting new track on Spotify and see more news on his IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen