Browsing Tag

UK Punk

FLEAS became agitated alt-punk icons in the making with the visceral rancour in their post-rock hit, Nightmare

Slip into the visceral disquietude of the latest single, Nightmare, from the Suffolk-based alt-punk five-piece FLEAS.

Starting with a raw spoken-word verse over sludgy post-rock guitars, the candid rancour slowly builds until you’re palpitating at the same pace of the frenetic arrangement that conceptually ties together to replicate the sensation of being torn from a dark trip curated by your subconscious mind.

FLEAS banded together while studying at West Suffolk College, which saw them put their own spin on an iconic track by Slaves and finding the inspiration to orchestrate their signature aggressively versatile sound. Since forming, FLEAS have been lauded by BBC Introducing, won the NMG award for the best rock act and supported major acts, including Fightmilk and Dingus Khan.

The reissue of Nightmare will officially release on February 17th. Hear it on SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Honeybadger is out for blood in their biting alt-punk hit, Cold Wind

After hearing the ferocity of the grungy punk riffs in Honeybadger’s latest single, Cold Wind, there is no room to question how the Brighton-based sonic juggernauts came about their moniker.

With a tonal palette that makes Oh Sees sound sedate, Cold Wind is a high-octane psychedelically off-kilter whirlwind through the breakthrough act’s ingenuity and technical ability. Lyrically, Cold Wind spits venom at the type of frauds destined to trip over their contradictions after falsifying the truth to fit their insidious agenda.

Everyone has met one such protagonist, and Cold Wind is the ultimate vindicating middle finger with the boisterous rolling punches. Playing chaotically is one thing; orchestrating tightly disordered anthemics is quite another, and that is exactly where Honeybadger, who had a riotous 2022, excel.

Since forming in 2014, Honeybadger has stormed stages across the UK and featured on BBC Introducing, BBC Live Lounge and Wyatt Wendel’s Planet Rock show. Though we are sure the best is yet to come.

Cold Wind was officially released on January 28th. Hear it on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Hybridic indie punks Junior Bill painted an anthemic picture of injustice with ‘Boys from Jungle’

With socially conscious lyrics as hard-hitting as the ones penned by Bob Vylan, Kid Kapichi, Meryl Streek, Junior Bill are way ahead of the trend of cuttingly observational and compassionate lyricism in their latest single, Boys from Jungle. Punk boomers who bemoan the wokeness of contemporary punk may want to save their blood pressure spiking by looking away from the hit that advocates the rights of asylum seekers and paints a stark picture of the injustice that greets them when they arrive on our blighted shores.

Rather than skating by on their lyrical wit alone, Junior Bill concocts awakeningly volatile alt-indie instrumental ensembles that are lightyears away from the usually brashy swagger of UK indie rock. With off-kilter guitars that wouldn’t be out of place in the alt-90s no-wave movement and the post-punk nuances tearing through the rhythm section, getting wrapped up in the hybridic punk aesthetic is non-optional.

Boys from the Jungle is the first single from their forthcoming debut album, Youth Club!, which more than has the potential to become the UK alternative album of the year.

Boys from Jungle officially released on January 27th. It is now available to stream on all major platforms via this link.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Skitz Wizards sharpened their knives in ‘Anger as a Weapon’

The title single from Skitz Wizards’ 2023 EP, Anger as a Weapon, is a vitriolic hardcore punk cut above the rest. There’s enough cathartic venom to make the reprehensible actions of our disaster capitalist overlords momentarily bearable.

With ample distortion in their arsenal, the Nottingham-based outfit, which says true to the virtue of early anarcho-punk, is abrasive enough to put Napalm Death in the same league as Ed Sheeran.

Founded in 2021, the duo set out to extend sonic escapism to the downtrodden. Given the socio-politically agitated environment we are all suffocating in as poverty becomes more prolific, it should come as no surprise that plenty of the increasingly disenfranchised populous is tuning into the raw distorted bass and breakdowns that can effortlessly match our own mental turmoil.

Anger as a Weapon is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Buzzcocks made it a little less grim up north with their single, Manchester Rain

‘When it rains, it pours’ seems to be the perfect adage to capture the deluge of dissatisfaction drizzling over the entirety of the UK. But Buzzcocks siphoned euphonic punk rock dynamism from the dismal atmosphere in their single, Manchester Rain, taken from their upcoming studio album, Sonics in the Soul.

Inspired by the relentless motivation of grassroots artists to keep the scene thriving in Manchester, Manchester Rain is a smorgasbord of riotous optimism. One that will stir even the most ennui-soaked souls through the blasts galvanic garagey guitars and assertively upbeat vocals that create hooks sharp enough to hang your leather jacket on.

In the tragic wake of Pete Shelley, co-founder and co-singer-songwriter Steve Diggle has kept the buzz reverberating through their iconic-since-the-70s-sound. Shelley would undoubtedly be proud of Buzzcocks continuing to stand at the vanguard of punk-rock euphoria.

Sonics in the Soul will release on CD, Vinyl and across streaming platforms on September 23rd. Until then, weather the precipitation in Manchester Rain on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

British Quintessentialism meets riotous pop-punk and post-hardcore in DEFS’ latest single, No Worries If Not

DEFS is a one-man mission to create groove-saturated raucous pop bangers; based on the Sheffield, UK-based songwriter and producer’s latest riotously off-kilter single, No Worries If Not, his endeavour is a resounding success. If you could imagine how Liam Lynch’s United States of Whatever would have unfolded if he was quintessentially British, you’ll get an idea of the animated exuberance.

With his influences ranging from punk rock to nu-metal to 90s indie, DEFS constructed a genre-fluid rancorous mockery of our awkward over-polite tendencies. Through catchy pop-punk choruses, hammering post-hardcore breakdowns (literally and metaphorically), schizophrenic vocal transitions and psychedelically anthemic mayhem, No Worries If Not became the ultimate alt-indie playlist staple. Half-Man Half-Biscuit has nothing on DEFS.

No Worries If Not is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast


The Virginmarys is on scathing form in their tenaciously tempestuous latest release, The Meds

The endlessly accoladed prodigal sons of UK punk, The Virginmarys, are back on tempestuous form with their latest single, The Meds.

The vehemently filthy guitars reflect the disjointed dispositions that we’ve all adopted recently, while the tenacity of the lyricism and the sheer maniacal conviction in the vocals is all the evidence you need that The Meds unequivocally stemmed from the same frustration that we all try to escape from in one way or another.

Hype and talent don’t always fit hand in glove, but The Virginmarys are notably the riotously prodigal exception. Their commitment to taking one of the saddest facets of this existence, our need for numbness, and transforming it into a bruisingly euphonic sludged up punk hit is nothing less than stunning. Late-stage capitalism should be shaking in its boots.

You can pick up your meds via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast


Tune into Wave of Sheep’s punch-drunk-hardcore-punk single, TV Static

If your playlists are falling short of angsty punch-drunk-hardcore-punk, tune into TV Static, the latest single released by the Birmingham-based fourpiece, Wave of Sheep.

Their scuzzy track is 2:11-minutes of full-frontal aggression that channels the same anger that has eaten us away at us in isolation, but when it is spiralling out of frenetic tracks like TV Static, it’s a unifying cathartic experience that affirms that your anger is a sign of sanity rather than the flipside.

With nods to 70s punk in the production and hints of snarling post-punk to the vocals, you can’t help getting swept up in the track that attacks modern problems with vintage style.

TV Static is now available to stream along with the rest of Wave of Sheep’s EP, Lights Gone Out, via SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Get Your Double-Dose of Spiky Sleaze Punk with The City Kids and The Suicide Notes EP ‘RATS!’

The City Kids

After the Suicide Notes staggered onto our radar with their punch-drunk Stonesy Rock n’ Roll Punk debut EP, ‘Pleasures of Despair’, we were always going to stay tuned to see what scuzzy insurgent treats would follow.

2020 may have quashed the Suicide Notes’ touring plans just as they were amassing acclaim for their audaciously electric live sets, but discernibly, the chaos and still-life monotony added more fuel to their fervent fire, evidenced by Billy Tee’s (vocals) and Alex Holmes’ (guitar) contribution to The City Kids’ EP ‘RATS’ which is due for official release on December 24th.

As the UK lamented over empty venues, The City Kids and the Suicide Notes cooked up exactly the full-frontal disorder that you’d want to find if you ambled to the front at a Sleaze show. You probably wouldn’t want to get too close though; unless you were feeling exceptionally brave. With the signature-punk tinged guitar style of Dennis Post, JJ Watt, and Alex Holmes’ coalescing, each track is practically an orgy of ill-disposed virtuosic talent.

Bringing even more rancorous charm to the release are the dual vocals from JJ & Billy Tee, with Billy Tee, once more, proving to be the ultimate agitator with his rough inimitable vocal venom.

The dynamic 9-track release features original tracks both from The City Kids and The Suicide Notes along with some masterful takes on classics from the likes of Dogs D’Amour, Alice Cooper and Social Distortion. The riotous touches on the cover tracks may have proven that The City Kids and The Suicide Notes’ talent easily parallels that of the revered artists whose tracks underwent an anarchically salacious revival for the EP, but the original material demonstrated hit the spot in a far more cathartically intimate way. ‘Rats’, ‘Round and (A) Round’, ‘The Right Way’, ‘Inside of You’, and ‘Smoke It Like a Cigarette’ bring modernity to sleazy Punk while never diminishing the sticky roots.

The release is the aural equivalent Giallo slasher; violent, masterful and perverse in perfect measure. The highlight was ‘The Right Way’, a sticky sentimental curveball from the preceding singles which allows the caustic furore of Billy Tee’s larynx to rub up against the remorseful uninhibited vocals from JJ. The hostility dials back just enough for you to be hit in the feels through a transitory offering of raw dejected emotion which won’t fail to resonate.

If you’re sick of the taste of your own contempt, The RATS! EP is the ultimate taste-breaker.

You can grab your copy of the RATS! EP here.

Follow the City Kids and the Suicide Notes on Facebook.

Track List:

Round and Around
The Right Way
Inside of You
Smoke It Like A Cigarette (The Suicide Notes)
Drunk Like Me (Dogs D’amour)
Bad Luck (Social Distortion)
Bathroom Wall (Faster Pussycat)
Department of Youth (Alice Cooper)

Review by Amelia Vandergast