Browsing Tag


IST IST dominated the Manchester post-punk pantheon with their latest single, Repercussions


Look at Manchester as a landscape and you’ll be confused by the claim that we do things differently here; the proverb only materialises through the mettle of sonic architects in the same trailblazing vein as IST IST.

Since their debut single, IST IST has been an unreckonable authentic force that has easily earned its place in the post-punk pantheon. With their latest single, Repercussions, taken from their fourth LP, Light a Bigger Fire, they emerge once again as an unextinguishable paragon of eminence.

From the first angular note that leads you into a neon-lit hedonic tour de force, you’re hooked into an exhilarant earworm that delivers scintillation and kinetic rhythmic propulsion by the smorgasbord.

By extrapolating the brooding vocal presence of Sisters of Mercy, the cerebral intensity of Magazine, the coruscating synths of Arcade Fire, and the menacingly pulse-pounding beats of Depeche Mode, and synthesising them into a cocktail that could only be stirred by their own hand, IST IST delivered a broodingly expansive testament to their cultivated fortitude.

Producer Joe Cross (Courteeners, Hurts) ensured that the single, which unravels as an exposition of how insidious thoughts can spill from the psyche into reality, becomes an invitation to liberate yourself from your introspective vexation – if only for the duration of the emancipating hit that surpasses ear candy and becomes an elixir for oppressive reflections.

Stream Repercussions on all major platforms, including Spotify, from June 6th.

Follow the band on Facebook, X, and Instagram.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Steps From the Cliff modernised Magazine with their darkwave cover of The Light Pours Out of Me

In one of their most daring releases to date, Steps From the Cliff modernised Magazine’s 1978 single, The Light Pours Out of Me, bringing the seminal release in line with the trends in the darkwave synthpop domain while amplifying the broodingly dark energy of the post-punk staple.

It was a bold move to rework the original, given all of the scintillation that pours from the atmospherically ensnaring production, but the Santa Cruz-hailing outfit, fronted by Tim Knapp, succeeded in putting their own mark on the single. The sombre reflections within the harbingering downtempo lament become all the more affecting through the contrast of the shimmer of the crystalline melodies carved by the glassy synths and the whispered snarls which carry the lyricism with maximum conviction.

The Light Pours Out of Me features on Steps From the Cliff’s most recent EP, Knowhere Fast, which reached the airwaves on January 26.

Stream The Light Pours Out of Me on all major platforms via this link.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Sugar Crease – Lemon Cake: A Histrionically Vortexical Indie Neo-Pop Odyssey

Lemon Cake by Sugar Crease, extracted from their sophomore LP, Lemon Warhead, is a neo-pop odyssey that redefines the boundaries of indie with its baroque-esque indulgence and kaleidoscopic layers, which transform the mundane into a fever dream of sonic extravagance.

The way the vortexical instrumentals weave through the track is reminiscent of a grand ‘let them eat cake’ gesture, opulent and unapologetically bold. At the heart of this auditory vortex lies the crooning indie vocals, serving as a gravitational pull amidst the whirlwind of sound. As a cohesive whole, the track is so compelling that it could make even Mike Patton’s work seem pedestrian by comparison.

Despite the histrionic effects, Lemon Cake possesses a deep, compelling quality. It’s a sugar fix of an indie single that appeals to a wide range of listeners, from fans of the Walkmen to devotees of Magazine. The track is a testament to Sugar Crease’s ability to blend the whimsical with the profound, creating music that resonates on multiple levels.

Sugar Crease, originally a musical therapy group, has evolved into an indie powerhouse. With their recent decision to push their music and prepare for live performances, they have added a new dimension to their artistry. The addition of guitarist Mark Finch, instrumentalist Andrew Preston, and drummer Richie Gradwell has completed their lineup, leading to sold-out gigs and a growing fanbase. We can’t wait to hear where they go from here.

Stream Lemon Cake on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Robert Stone croons through the cosmic veil in this funked-up alt-rock rendezvous, Kissing Glass

Navigating through the cosmic corridors of sound, Robert Stone’s latest single, ‘Kissing Glass’, is a celestial journey, taken via the route of a harmonious blend of spacey funk and alternative rock, laced with a synth-infused new wave vibe that boldly steps beyond the shadows of Bowie-esque influences, showcasing Stone’s unique musical identity.

Stone, known for his early start in the music scene with Oblivion Grin and his intriguing hiatus, has returned not just to the studio but to the very essence of musical innovation. ‘Kissing Glass’ is a testament to this voyage, a fusion of his seasoned artistry with a fresh, modern sensibility. The track resonates with echoes of the interstellar bliss found in Inspiral Carpets’ ‘Saturn 5’ and the dark, experimental tones of Magazine’s ‘Real Life’, yet it stands firmly on its own artistic ground.

The song’s structure is a labyrinth of auditory pleasure, where each turn reveals a new layer of musical gravitas as Robert Stone’s crooning vocal performance is a revelation in itself. The charm and dedication to being a conduit of space pop-soul is an alchemic pairing which won’t fail to endear you to his experimentalism. We can’t wait to hear what follows.

Stream Kissing Glass on SoundCloud now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Post-punk meets jazz blues in The Illucid’s defiantly protestive single, Stone Cold Soldier

Taken from their debut EP, Somebody Else, The Illucid’s jazzy post-punk standout single, Stone Cold Soldier, couldn’t have fallen onto our radar at a more sobering time. The catchy rock hooks from the British Indie band almost feel like an act of defiance in today’s chilling geopolitical climate.

On the basis of the frantic bluesy piano keys, the theatrical vocal lines and their ability to squeeze euphoria from darkness, The Illucid almost becomes the thinking man’s Nekrogoblikon while they deliver their Magazine-style enigmatic energy in the single that shames the cold inhumanity behind the eyes of stone-cold soldiers.

Not many bands can convince me that they’re worthy of seeing live with just one single, but the Illucid are easily one of the best outfits to come around since Melt Yourself Down. Get them on your radar.

Stone Cold Soldier is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

DR SATSO – Sour Milk: Sonically Frenetic Psych Post Punk

‘Sour Milk’ is just one of the riotously dark and psychedelic tracks to feature on DR SATSO’s debut album ‘A Sour Milk Experience’.

For the non-discerning fans of Psych who stay in the safe confines of the overhyped works of the Beatles and Pink Floyd, the soundscape may be as pleasant as ingesting sour milk, but those with an affinity for truly mind-warping, rhythmically disturbing alternative music will definitely want to delve into this monolithic feat of Psych, Post Punk, Garage Rock and Punk.

As the bouncing frenetic guitars emit enticing similarities to the Oh Sees, the rest of the instrumentals coalesce to bring a cold cutting energy to the galvanizingly pioneering soundscape while the vocals will be a hit with any fans of Poison Ivy, Magazine and SERVO.

While Sour Milk hasn’t done my need to witness fuzzy and frenetically insurgent music live any favours, it did affirm that DR SATSO is undoubtedly one of the most viciously revolutionary artists to hit the airwaves in 2020.

You can check out Sour Milk along with the rest of DR SATSO’s sonically visceral album via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

The Ruby Tears launch their first ‘Satellite’ and are about to hit orbit

Formed at the start of the first Covid 19 lockdown in March by Manchester musician and former frontman of John Peel punk-pop picks The Bloody Marys John Goodfellow and Jeff Skellon (former bassist with 80’s Liverpool favourites Lalabambam), ‘The Empty Heart EP’ – the third (yes count ‘em) release from The Ruby Tears – shows just what can be achieved by ‘remote working’, Goodfellow and Skellon not (yet) actually having met in the flesh.

Working instead from their respective home studios during the pandemic, with ‘Satellite’ the pair have crafted a piece of classic, seventies-styled-yet-updated New Wave pop-rock in the vein of The Attractions, The Stanglers, or Magazine.

There’s some stellar guitar work from Skellon, all percussive muted strumming and mellow, ‘woman-tone’ lead, Goodfellow’s vocal laid-back and gruff in the way that all good rock music should be, the ‘with the words you never said’ refrain sticking around long after the final notes of Skellon’s guitar have died away. ‘Classic’ is an overused word these days, but ‘Satellite’ is a slice of classic New Wave in the best possible way; climb on board with The Ruby Tears, because there’s every chance this is going to go stellar.

The ‘Empty Heart EP’ drops across streaming platforms on the 4th December. You can listen to ‘Satellite’ on Bandcamp, and follow The Ruby Tears on Facebook.

Review by Alex Holmes

Yellow Nymphos give us A Handful Of Something Sticky

Yellow Nymphos is Makain Wiginton (guitar, synths, vocals) and Calvin Brown (Bass, Vocals, Synths) from New Orleans – plus drums from ‘The Machine’, of course.

‘A Handful of Something Sticky’ is three minutes of dark, moody alt-rock from their ‘Crooked Inhale of The Bung Donkey’ album, all meandering bassline, deep-spoken vocals, and a ripped-speaker-cones-distortion of a guitar-part for the finale.

Released, appropriately, on Halloween, and coming on like tarmac jelly or jellybean-flavoured crisps, this is disturbing, unsettling indie for people who like their music just a little more left-field than the acres of generic, pseudo-alternative sanitization that passes for the majority of modern rock n’ roll.

‘A Handful Of Something Sticky’ might just possibly be the aural equivalent of waking up post-party to find one of your eyebrows has been shaved whilst you slept, but since when has that EVER been the sign of a bad thing?

Check out Yellow Nymphos on Bandcamp and Facebook.

Review by Alex Holmes