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rock

Music

Retain 2021 optimism with Kerrin Connolly’s release ‘New Year (I’m Counting on You)’

New Year (I’m Counting on You) is a euphoric slice of Indie Pop Rock from up and coming artist Kerrin Connolly. The energy, soul and resilience contained in the anthemic hit may be the antidote to 2020 apathy which we’ve all been looking for.

The grounded optimism contained in New Year is potent enough to transfer into your own hopes for the new year. With the year we’ve all had in 2020, I don’t really need to tell you how invaluable this track is to the airwaves. The nuanced lyrics don’t serve salty reminders of the year just left behind, instead, they invite you to see the opportunity for reinvention and to cut the ties which bound us before the clock struck 12.

Kerrin Connolly’s latest single is available to stream via SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Joe Astley and The Wallgate Band – Television Fantasy

If you’re going to pose for your website promo photos sporting a Pelham Blue Gibson 335 and record your early demos at the legendary Sun Studios in Memphis, then you’d better have some serious rock n’ roll chops to back up your chutzpah. Thankfully for Wigan’s Joe Astley, he’s got them in spades. And then some.

Astley’s debut solo single, ‘Revolution Postponed’, draw Dylan and Billy Joel comparisons, and the follow-up ‘Anthem For The North’ made #1 on the Indie Countdown of 2020, garnering praise from luminaries such as John McClure, Clint Boon, and Robert Carlyle along the way. Now back with the debut for his newly-formed ten-piece rock’n’roll backers ‘The Wallgate Band’, Astley’s new track ‘Television Fantasy’ has a lot to live up to. And it does, admirably.

Opening with some deep, twanging Bigsby-driven guitar shimmers and Astley’s easy, charismatic vocals, underscored by some thunderous rolling bass, ‘Television Fantasy’ teases with sensual little horn stabs on the lift before suddenly kicking in with one of the catchiest, poppiest indie-rock choruses you’re going to hear all 2021, all thumping snare drum, jangly guitar, and singalong hook – complete with a bunch of ‘woah oh oh’s that are guaranteed to stick in your head for several hours after the final dextrous little guitar solo has faded out.

Make no mistake, this is a proper little mash-up of rock, indie, and old-school rock ‘n’ roll, part Reverend and the Makers, part Cramps, part Eddie Cochrane, with a side helping of Bryan Adams and the pop sensibilities of Robbie Williams thrown in for good measure. As a first glimpse of the forthcoming debut EP, it’s an absolute triumph.

You can hear ‘Television Fantasy’ on Spotify now. Follow Joe Astley and the Wallgate Band and pre-order a copy of the forthcoming EP here.

Review by Alex Holmes

Music

TWOFEW – Dreamin’: The Soaring Alt Rock Soundtrack to Your Escapism

‘Dreamin’ is the sophomore single from US-based newcomers TWOFEW which would definitely be worth burning your thumb for when sparking a lighter at a festival. Ahh, remember those? It wouldn’t be much of a surprise if TWOFEW were headlining them by the time they’re a thing again.

Even if you don’t venture further than the kitchen today, hitting play on Dreamin’ will give you a sanity-saving dose of escapism. The track instils a sense of optimism which reminds you that your current circumstances aren’t forever and escapism is always a possibility; the journey starts in your mind.

With an infectious chorus which could rival Bryan Adams’ ‘When You’re Gone’ and an almost overwhelming offering of whiskey-soaked soul, we’re stoked to have TWOFEW on our radar. We have no doubt that TWOFEW will continue releasing tracks which make life feel infinitely more endurable.

You can check out Dreamin’ for yourselves by heading over to SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

All Who Wander – Daylight: A Rip-Roaring Fest of Alt Rock Culture

Indie, Post Hardcore, Synth Rock, Pop Punk and Classic Anthemic Rock all resound in the debut EP ‘Daylight’ from New Hampshire, US-based freshly formed powerhouse All Who Wander. As you can imagine, the EP is a rip-roaring fest of Alternative culture.

Not many bands can establish themselves as the perfect festival band with their debut, but All Who Wander discernibly succeeded with their infectious choruses, vocals which viscerally fight against pessimism, inventive breakdowns and absorbingly virtuosic guitar riffs.

If you could imagine what it would sound like if Enter Shikari, the 1975, Slash and At the Drive In collaborated, you’ll get an idea of what is waiting for you when you hit play.

You can check out All Who Wander’s EP for yourselves by heading over to Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Delve into the darker side of blues rock with The Bad Egg’s latest single ‘Set Me on Fire’

Switzerland-hailing solo blues-rock artist, The Bad Egg, has stayed true to their moniker and delivered an ominously enticing exhibition of their experimentalism, versatility and pure ingenuity with their latest release, ‘Set Me on Fire’.

By taking classic rock tones and swamping them with bendy, bluesy mesmerism, this Rock ballad unfolds like no other. Set Me on Fire may be on the darker side of blues-rock, but instead of using dark imagery to feed nihilism, The Bad Egg uses it to deliver an imaginatively romantic and vulnerable track which stays with you long after it has faded out.

I would label Set Me on Fire as an Alt-Rock earworm, but the track will implant something far more insidious and infectious in your ear. Head over to Spotify and become host the serpentine aural treat for yourselves.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Captain Klas & Secret Circus give us a taste of freedom with their dark, menacing new single.

Deep, dark, menacing, with an infernal groove and sounding like the devil’s own rock band, Captain Klas and Secret Circus deliver a stunning, brilliant ode to – dare we say – psylocibin mushrooms and the power of hallucinogens in general with this absolute stormer of a lockdown track.

Opening with a threatening telephone call sample, ‘Once You Taste Freedom’ is part psychedelic electro-pop banger, part minacious alt-rock grind, all ominous synth bass, dotted delay, grindy guitar parts and a mildly distorted drum sound, all hemmed dangerously behind the oh-too-easily-breached cage bars of Captain Klas’ gruff, gravelly low-down vocals.

In keeping with the avant garde experimental nature of Secret Circus, there’s not just one video for ‘Once You Taste Freedom’, but six (count ‘em), all then composited together into one YouTube vid. This can’t be stressed enough, ‘Once You Taste Freedom’ truly is the real thing, an absolute gem of a track amongst the humdrum daily monotone of 2020 Lockdowns. Freedom’s one thing, for sure, but more pertinently – once you taste Secret Circus you definitely won’t go back.

See the video for ‘Once You Taste Freedom’ on YouTube, and follow Secret Circus on Facebook and Instagram.

Review by Alex Holmes

Music

Lewis Shepperd’s ‘This Blood Is Yours’ – modern yet retro emo-tinged rock single takes us to the dark side.

There’s a distinct ‘Police’ feel to Lewis Shepperd’s bass-heavy driving new single ‘This Blood Is Yours’, a modern-yet-retro pop-rock style delivered courtesy of Regatta De Blanc or Outlandos d’Amour-style guitar and syncopated, off-beat bass work.

Luke Shepperd’s vocal is reminiscent of Sting on ‘Message In A Bottle’ or ‘Roxanne’, mixed in with some serious emo-cred through the track’s vampirism stylings, and with maybe a contemporary Ed Sheeran or Jamie T vibe thrown in for good measure. It’s mature but not jaded, classy without being elitist, the mastering genius of Pete Maher (The Killers, Liam Gallagher, The Rolling Stones) clearly adding a smattering of indie-rock sparkle to the track.

Shepperd’s debut single, ‘Me’, has already received over 25,000 views on YouTube, and was featured in Music Week Presents as well as being the ‘Tip of the Week’ on BBC Solent radio upon its release. On the basis of this, there’s every likelihood ‘This Blood Is Yours’ will outdo it.

See the video for ‘This Blood Is Yours’ on YouTube. Follow Lewis Shepperd on Instagram and Facebook.

Music

Vantablak’s ‘Anxiety Now!!!’ is a hard and heavy fuzzed up slice of angry indie rock.

Coming in like Bleach-era Nirvana rides the new single from LA’s Vantablak. When you know that Vantablak was formally known as That Infernal Machine, that gives a little insight to what’s on offer here – that Nirvana Bleach or Sliver sound, a dash of Superfuzz Bigmuff-ish Mudhoney, with lashings of Layne Staley and Chris Cornell thrown into the vocals for good measure. ‘Anxiety Now!!!’ is unashamedly hard and heavy, all angry fuzzed-up guitars and Grohl-style drum stabs, rumbling bass and reverb-soaked, alternately growled and screamed vocals.

It’s unapologetic, unreserved, and unrefined in an entirely good way, all millennial angst and snotty anger over a very well put-together track, polished in a Jack Endino/Steve Albini kind of way, and all the better for it. Vantablak are comfortable to wear their influences on their sleeves, and that’s no bad thing; alongside the obvious Sub Pop grunge references, there’s a definite Alice In Chains or Stone Temple Pilots vibe at times, alongside a mash of Zeppelin, Velvet Revolver, Royal Blood, and some fairly forthright early Foo Fighters. It’s a track which is flagrantly greater than the sum of its parts and makes you want to reach for the oversized hole-riddled sweater, offset-bodied guitar, and as many fuzz pedals as you can get your hands on.

Listen to ‘Anxiety Now!!!’ on Spotify, and check out Vantablak on Facebook or Instagram now.

Review by Alex Holmes

Music

THIRD LUNG take us on an Alt Rock expedition of self-discovery with ‘Falling Stone’

Kicking off with a beautifully delayed, ethereal guitar line before drums, overdriven sweeping guitar chords, and Tom Farrelly’s deep, sonorous vocals join in, THIRD LUNG’s ‘Falling Stone’ is a well-written, mature piece of stadium-style rock, reminiscent of U2 or maybe Simple Minds, the Foo Fighters, or perhaps a little Coldplay. There’s everything here; delicate verses, a huge, singalong chorus, and a proper, lighters-aloft, show-ending crescendo of a middle eight. It’s a proper, grown-up rock song, well performed, well produced, and with an absolute cracker of a YouTube video to accompany it.

‘Falling Stone’ is an exploration of self-discovery, about being afraid to make changes and to look for things which, intrinsically, we need to find. On the basis of this, a lot more people will be finding THIRD LUNG in 2021.

Check out the video for ‘Falling Stone’ on Youtube. Follow Third Lung on Facebook and Instagram.

Review by Alex Holmes

Music

Major Fantasy deliver a driving Vintage Rock hit with ‘Car Stereo’

‘Car Stereo’ is just one of the instant classic hits found on Major Fantasy’s self-titled debut album. The Vancouver based newcomers may have used the same formula as Rock icons such as Zeppelin and Whitesnake, but there’s no denying that the artist’s signature zeal was infused.

Major Fantasy formed in 2016, but they’re already amassing plenty of hype with their ability to cook up psych-tinged vintage Rock earworms. Setting aside the usual sleaze, aggrandised pretence and ego, Major Fantasy opted for a more self-assured soulful sound which you can’t help but get gripped by as you feel the soaring guitar hooks pulling you in deeper.

You can check out Car Stereo for yourselves by heading over to Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast