Wednesday, 21 June 2017

CHARLY BLISS – SINGLE REVIEW

Charly Bliss – Westermarck 
Charly Bliss - Westermarck

Release Date: Out Now

I love this song. Straight up, infatuation on the train, love at first sight, love this song. Partly, it’s because New Yorkers Charly Bliss remind me of that period in the 90s when bands with female singers or all female bands were prominent and writing great tunes. ‘Westermarck’ is, by the band’s own admissions, bubblegum grunge but it’s also a slice of riot-girl garage with a razor blade smile and it’s damn infectious. From frontwoman Eva’s squeaky voice which is pure Tanya Donnelly to the perky drums and scuzzy guitars this is pure gorgeousness that reminds me why I loved Belly, Veruca  Salt and Lush so much back in the day. Consider the kick ass chorus and grunge-tastic pop-fuelled video and you’ve got yourself a song to fall in love to and with. Oh, and they’re heading to the UK for their first ever British dates too so that’s a bonus!


Live Dates:

23rd June – Garcias, Portchester
8th September – The Van Buren, Phoenix w/Deathcab For Cutie
9th September – High & Low Fest, San Bernadino
12th September – Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff
13th September – The Old Blue Last, London
14th September – The Garage, London w/Chastity Belt
15th September – Studio 2, Liverpool
16th September – Headrow House, Leeds
17th September – Hug & Pint, Glasgow
19th September – The Eagle Inn, Manchester
20th September – The Sunflower Lounge, Birmingham
28th September – MHOW, Brooklyn

Watch The Video:

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

NORA ROTHMAN – SINGLE REVIEW

Nora Rothman – Truth Or Dare
Nora Rothman - Truth Or Dare

Release Date: Out Now

Without reading any of her press release I could have told you that Nora Rothman had a link to New York (she’s a native Los Angelean but living in the Big Apple) just because of her uber cool style and simplicity on new single ‘Truth Or Dare’. With the steady strum of a highly strung guitar and the vocal ability of Regina Spektor, Rothman creates the kind of subdued but cool indie song that is more often heard coming from awkward guys in beards and glasses. Throw in that voice though (‘that voice’) and you start to hear this song grow in confidence and passion in to something altogether more powerful and proud. After a few listens you still hear new things each time, like the soft male backing vocals that creep in almost apologetically and then staccato vocal that is totally Spektor but fits so well in to a song that really should be played over the closing scene of the next Woody Allen movie.


Live Dates:

19th July – EP Release Show @ The Hotel CafĂ©, Los Angeles

Watch the Video: 

FERRIS & SYLVESTER – SINGLE REVIEW

Ferris & Sylvester – Berlin 
Ferris & Sylvester - Berlin


Release Date: Out Now

Were it not for the very ‘now’ video featuring some expressive dance and a lot of fairy lights, you could be forgiven for thinking that this tune came from the folk scene of the 60s and 70s. Ferris & Sylvester have a wonderful ability to weave their male/female vocals together to create something that is not only beautiful but also incredibly strong – like a multicoloured silk rope with which to hold on to your dreams. Musically, the acoustic guitar and Cello are nudged along by the steady beat but it’s the build and sweep of the strings that give this song it’s climactic moment that’s utterly wondrous. I don’t think there’s much you could do to improve on this tune or the tight melodies these two string together so just enjoy this taste of perfection on a summer’s eve. You won’t regret it.


Live Dates:

12th July – The Half Moon, Putney


Watch the Video: 

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BOWLING FOR SOUP – SINGLE REVIEW

Bowling for Soup – Don’t Be A Dick 
Bowling For Soup - Don't Be A Dick


Release Date: Out Now

Ah, Bowling For Soup. The kooky ones from the early 00s skate-punk scene who did a kid’s cartoon theme tune that, for some reason, I know off by heart. Well, this isn’t a comeback because I don’t think they ever went away for those that paid attention but this new single is so incredibly pertinent and to the point that it’s worth pausing to pay attention to – largely because it will get less radio play than that ‘Liar Liar’ song about how shit Theresa May is as a person. ‘Don’t Be A Dick’ is the new single and it’s basically skate-punk 101 with a sing-a-long chorus and a message that really couldn’t be any clearer – be nice, stop hating on strangers for the sake of it and just get the fuck on with your life with a smile on your face. There’s not much more to it than that to be honest so if you feel a little angry and fancy a bit of a pogo round your lounge while you sing Tenacious D level lyrics about people being dicks then you’ve found your soundtrack to that particular niche.


Live Dates:

27th June – Vans Warped Tour @ Tennessee State Fair, Nashville
29th June – Vans Warped Tour @ Lakewood Amphiteatre, Atlanta
30th June – Vans Warped Tour @ Tiner Field, Orlando
1st July – Vans Warped Tour @ Vinoy Waterfront Park, Saint Petersburg
2nd July – Vans Warped Tour @ Perfect Vodka Amphitheatre, WestPalm Beach
26th July – Vans Warped Tour @ Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre, Maryland Heights
28th July – Vans Warped Tour @ Starplex Pavilion, Dallas
29th July – Vans Warped Tour @ AT&T Center, San Antonio
30th July – Vans Warped Tour @ NRG Park, Houston

Watch the Video: 

GUTS – SINGLE REVIEW

Guts – Pick Me Up
Guts - Pick Me Up

Release Date: Out Now

OK folks, right now here in the UK we’re in the middle of the hottest June in my lifetime (official) so we need some super cool jams to stop our British selves from freaking out and doing stupid things on supermarket lager, you follow?  Praise the lord of hellfire then that Guts is back with a laid back slice of funk infused soul with a hint of afro beat and a little disco thrown in for good measure. That’s right, ‘Pick Me Up’ is the perfect tune to transition from lazing in your back garden because it’s too hot to do anything to starting to think about making the most of that warm evening air. Funky horn stabs, a nicely bobbing beat and the guest talents of Beat Assailant, Mary May and Wolfgang give this tune a real party vibe. So, grab a cold one (you’ve earned it), raise your hands up and let this one give you that involuntary hip sway you’ve been waiting all day to break out. Super cool.


Watch the Video: 

Monday, 19 June 2017

DRONNINGEN – EP REVIEW

Dronningen – Sugarbox EP 
Dronningen - Sugarbox EP


Release Date: Out Now

Two Italians, a French woman and a guy from Hong Kong walk in to a bar and, well, they rock it. This is Dronningen, the London based quartet with a beautifully international flavour thanks to their personnel and they are back with their second EP, ‘Sugarbox’. Things kick off, in every sense, with ‘Taxi Driver’ – a song that combines the snarl of Gossip with the rock’n’roll of Band Of Skulls and cranks it up to 11 as they take a road trip with Travis Bickle. The buzz-saw guitars continue on ‘White Saliva’ as the relentless drums drive things home and frontwoman Beatrice Bonnano wails through the storm like someone screaming in to a jet engine. On ‘She’s Gone Insane’ the beat and riff pace is breathless as the punk meets garage vibe makes me want to start a tight little circle pit with anyone in the room (currently my cat so, y’know, not gonna happen).

At the end of this EP we come across title track ‘Sugarbox’ which maintains the pace but throws a circular, psyched-out organ riff in for good measure, not to mention the insane(ly good) solo that defies all logic. Frankly, it’s been a long time since I’ve heard an EP so unapologetic about what it is, what it’s saying and where it wants to go which makes this a very strong contender for EP of the year already. Heavy, frenetic and abrasive but oh so melodic and hooky as well. Last year this blog went gaga for new London band Berries but I think Dronningen have come along to play their arch-nemesis role so I think we should just sit back and let battle commence (just to be clear, I don’t know if the bands even now each other but I have a very fertile imagination and I make no apology for that).


Thursday, 15 June 2017

BLOGTOBERFEST 2017 – LISTEN WITH MONGER PRESENTS…

Live at the Finsbury, London – 22nd October 2017


That’s right, it’s official, Listen With Monger is returning to the English capital to be part of Blogtober for a second year running and boy have we got a treat for you. In 2016 we brought you Berries, Seaker, Pattern Pusher, Jamie Yost and Rosa Belle who have all gone on to great things in 2017 from playing at Camden Rocks Festival to being approached by international DJs for guest vocal work. So, what have we got in store for you this year and who is going to have an impact in the next year? Well keep reading and you’ll get a hint but I can’t recommend coming down to the night enough, it’s free after all. 

Paul Armer
PAUL ARMER 



Hailing from Saltash in Cornwall and opening affairs will be Paul Armer who follows in the footsteps of the likes of Billy Bragg and Frank Turner as wrings tunes from his guitar and passionate, blues-punk songs from his rasping throat. Armer has toured Europe with his songs and has carved himself a notch on the Devon/Cornwall musical bedpost but it’s time for the rest of the world to hear more of this man. 




ACT 2 - TBA

ACT 3 - TBA

ACT 4 - TBA

ACT 5 - TBA



LION BABE – SINGLE REVIEW

Lion Babe – Hit The Ceiling
Lion Babe - Hit The Ceiling

Release Date: Out Now

New Yorkers Lion Babe with a new song and video which are both triumphs of style and soulful gorgeousness. ‘Hit The Ceiling’ is slung loosely around a woozy melody and Sunday morning rhythm which gives vocalist Jillian Hervey space to let her luxurious Beyonce meets Kelis vocal roll out like the most velvet carpeted of welcomes. This has all the style and sophistication of the Weeknd in terms of melody and production but with the added class and sophistication that you might expect from someone like Alicia Keys or Corinne Bailey-Rae. The really intriguing thing about this duo (apart from Hervey’s frankly incredible hair) is that they are just that, a duo. Fully self-sufficient and not reliant on a studio to put words in to Hervey’s mouth, Lion Babe are as impressive vocally as they are musically which speaks volumes for the talents of Lucas Goodman. Get involved in this pair now, you won’t regret it.


Watch the video: 

MY – SINGLE REVIEW

MY – W.I.L.D. (Relentless Records) 
MY - W.I.L.D.


Release Date: Out Now

When I first heard this tune I made two assumptions. Firstly, I assumed that this was a polished and finished US Pop product and secondly that this was a duet. Wrong on both counts. Sweden’s latest musical prodigy (seriously, what are they feeding them over there?) is MY and she is probably one of the most important Swedish exports for years – musically speaking, she can’t compete with IKEA. The single, ‘W.I.L.D.’ opens with a wonky, Indian beat and sketchy samples before a slick Katy Perry meets Paramore vocal kicks in with defiant vocals and the sense of more to come. And then more comes. The chorus builds with innocent anticipation before MY sings “welcome to the wild” in a dirty, M.I.A.-esque vocal snarl and that beast of a melody drops. Stick a great video on this and play it on an hourly basis at every festival this summer and you’ve got yourself a nailed on banger that will stand shoulder to shoulder with the likes of Lordes, Katy Perry’s new material, Rihanna and Angie. Love it.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/OHHEYMY/ 

BILLY BIBBY & THE WRY SMILES – SINGLE REVIEW

Billy Bibby & The Wry Smiles – Hamburg 
Billy Bibby & The Wry Smiles - Hamburg


Release Date: 23rd June 2017

So, Billy Bibby. William Bibby. The fella has a penchant for odd band names. You see, for seven years he was part of Catfish & the Bottlemen but now he’s touring the land with a bunch of ne’er-do-wells calling themselves the Wry Smiles. Whatever next? Anyway, the point is, Bibby went to Hamburg and wanted to write a song about it so here we are, listening to ‘Hamburg’. And it’s reet good. Sure, it’s not going to top any John Peel charts for original or ground breaking material but if you want something to sing along to on a road trip or at a festival then look no further. Reverend and the Makers style story telling atop Stereophonics melodies with a US twang for that added road trip with the top down vibe. That’s what Billy & Co. are offering and I for one am happy to lap it up with a pint in my hand and a smile on my face. They sing “sunshine, that’s what we hoped but in Hamburg it was worse than home but forget it, it cost forty quid and I won’t lose a week” and basically encapsulate that very British trait of making the best of a holiday because, well, it’s our holiday and we’ve waited months for this so let’s just have a good time regardless. Just in time for festival season too, well played Billy.


Live Dates:

7th July – Charles Bradlaugh, Northampton
14th July – Club 147, Llandudno
21st-23rd July – Tramlines 2017, Sheffield

26th-27th July – Kendal Calling, Loather Castle & Gardens

GLASSMAPS – SINGLE REVIEW

Glassmaps – Summer Rain 
Glassmaps - Summer Rain


Release Date: Out Now

Well this is a bluesy swamp stomp and no mistake, you up for that? Good. Howling Bells guitarist Joel Stein has broken off on his own for a bit to explore new territories and avenues and Glassmaps is the results of that wanderlust. ‘Summer Rain’ is the first harvest of fruit from that labour and it’s a gloriously shambolic in its bluesy, stumbling stomp. The drums awkwardly lope like an afternoon drinker trying to make his way home along country lines while the guitars keep a Hozier-esque vibe going as though the throb of a heartbeat is coursing round your head. Stein’s vocals is smooth and woozy if it weren’t for the swamp rock attitude of this song it could be a contemporary of the Kinks or the Faces which is no bad thing. Side projects or solo efforts can go one or another but, like that wobbly drunk at a fork in a road; Glassmaps chose the right path and brought this on home for a snooze in the garden.


ALEX J – SINGLE REVIEW

Alex J – You Say 
Alex J - You Say


Release Date: Out Now

Plymouth artist Alex Jennings has been honing his craft for a while now and this offering, ‘You Say’, is an interesting blend of Pop and Motown that takes a couple of listens to uncover fully. You see, at less than three minutes you could be forgiven for thinking this is a throw away Pop tune but when you get to the very end of the song you’re just left with the bass and drums for a few seconds and you realise this has been a Motown song along. Vocally and melodically, this is more in the vein of something like Badly Drawn Boy or the Feeling in that it’s that very English indie-pop sensibility with notes placed perfectly. The Pop and Motown combination sort of works but my brain is split in half with the Pop side wanting the rhythm section to calm down and the Motown side wanting the vocals and guitars to let rip and get wild on my ass. I can’t work out whether this is a clever blend or a weird crossbreed of a genre but I’m going to call it Potown and have a lie down. Music that makes you think, though, and that’s never a bad thing. Not ever.


TRASH – SINGLE REVIEW

Trash – Migraines (Clue Records) 
Trash - Migraines


Release Date: Out Now

There is something of a twisted music box vibe about the opening of this latest offering Leeds’ finest indie-poppers Trash. Another release from the ever-reliable Clue Records stable, ‘Migraine’ is way more energetic and perky than my migraine suffering pals would have me believe having a migraine actually is but everyone’s different I suppose. The melodic guitars chime out and the drums bounce around with the energy of an excitable 8 year old. The slightly haunting lyric of “pills won’t do and neither will you” precedes the kind of chorus that should have indie discos pogoing with the best of them – a juxtaposition I can get on board with. Heady, care free and energetic indie-pop with a super-sour centre and a twinkle in the eye, I’ll take that.


Live Dates:

23rd July – Tramlines Festival, Sheffield
30th July – Y Not Festival, Derbyshire
5th October – The Lock Tavern, Derbyshire
7th October – Neighbourhood Festival, Manchester
20th October – Ku Bar, Stockton
21st October – The Leadmill, Sheffield

26th October – The Venue, Derby 

CROOKED TEETH – SINGLE REVIEW

Crooked Teeth – Mirrors 
Crooked Teeth - Mirrors


Release Date: 16th June 2017

A childhood of listening to my Walkman/mini-disc/portable CD player in various locations means I often hear songs and see music videos rolling out before me but the debut slice from Londoners Crooked Teeth is a prime example of this ‘condition’. ‘Mirrors’ opens with a bubbling synth thrum that is the sound of a city coming to life as a sped-up sunrise appears through the gaps in the office blocks. The constant, unrelenting energy of this tune is all about the hustle and bustle of a city going through its day-to-day lifespan, the stop and go of traffic marked out by the processed beats and the weave of people given some level of beauty by the chiming guitars. The deadpan vocal is like early Depeche Mode and adds a loneliness to the song, a loneliness that can often be a feature of city living despite being surrounded by people and rats at every turn. Despite the sometimes bleak and often industrial vibe, there is soul and hope here that you’re used to hearing from the likes of New Order or Everything Everything. The repeated refrain of “You’ll be like no-one else” is the very embodiment of breaking free from the shackles of that urban conveyor belt and choosing something different.


Wednesday, 14 June 2017

BLENDA – SINGLE REVIEW

Blenda – Mama Mojo’s Club (Dick Pic Song) 
Blenda - Mama Mojo's Club (Dick Pic Song)


Release Date: Out Now

Blenda (aka Mama Mojo) is making a stand. A stand against aggressive, arrogant and assumptive men and their dick pics. Indeed, her anthem ‘Mama Mojo’s Club (Dick Pic Song)’ is a place for women to party and feel comfortable but still have a great time without needing to see a man’s junk. “Let’s take a moment to feel fucking perfect, we don’t need no high heels to reach the sky, let’s take a short break from all those dick pics cos we’re getting new ones tomorrow” sings Blenda as her Conogolese roots come through on rhythms while the European pop vibe is strong in the synths. But it’s Blenda’s vocal that really shines here as she switches from sweet and melodic on the middle eight to Kelis meets Macy Gray fierce on the chorus. This is a feminist party anthem and it couldn’t be more uplifting so come let your hair down and leave your sexual aggression at the door.


Live Dates:


27th July – Hudik Kalaset 2017, Hudik Kalaset

SMILER – SINGLE REVIEW

Smiler – Death Certificate 
Smiler - Death Certificate


Release Date: Out now

It can often frustrate when bands don’t have a thorough online presence but then there’s the other side of the coin where you just want bands to focus on making great music and not worry about raising their Twitter profile or getting more likes. Devon punks Smiler fall in to the latter category and new single ‘Death Certificate’ is a tight little number with punk at its core but Slash-esque guitars snarling throughout like a reluctantly caged beast. The drums are furious and relentless and there’s a real US Punk vibe flowing through this with the likes of the Ataris, the Wrens and early Offspring flowing through the choppy guitars and breathless vocals. Don’t worry about online lads, just keep rocking out but maybe add a couple of gigs, yeah?



ALIEN TANGO – SINGLE REVIEW

Alien Tango – Sexy Time
Alien Tango - Sexy Time

Release Date: Out Now

I’m always on the lookout for original and fresh things to listen to, that’s one of the main drivers of the blog in case you hadn’t noticed. So, when Madrid nut-jobs Alien Tango zig-zagged in to my inbox I had to pay attention. Also, if you get the chance to listen to a song from Spain called ‘Sexy Time’ then you know you’re in for a good time, right? This opens like Mika fronting a new alt-pop band sponsored by some new energy drink with synths bubbling away and musical style drums splashing all over the place. It’s definitely different and almost avante-garde in its complete disregard for standard structures or melodies but it works when you listen to it along with the, frankly, bonkers video. In essence, though, this is Frank Zappa for the Millenial generation singing a song that tries to capture that feeling when you know you’ve got a nailed on shag coming your way before the sun goes down. You don’t get that from Olly Murs now do you?


Live Dates:

28th June – Buenas tardes Pulitzer, Barcelona
29th June – Vida Festival, Vilanova I la Geltru
1st July – Festival SoundEat!, Barcelona
14th July – FIB Benicassim Festival, Benicassim
12th August – Festival Noroeste Estrealla Galicia, A Coruna
15th-16th September – Zaragoza Psych Fest, Zaragoza

Watch The Video: 

KANADIA – SINGLE REVIEW

Kanadia – Ocean Blue 
Kanadia - Ocean Blue


Release Date: Out Now

There’s a whip of a storm brewing around this Oxford four piece that has peaked my interest. Kanadia’s new single, ‘Ocean Blue’, opens with a pensive, Maccabees-esque guitar line atop some shuffling beats before breaking out in to full indie swirl and a baggy, atmospheric swirl. The melodies and vocals are a bit pop-star does rock for me, like when Robbie Williams had a go at pleasing the Gallaghers, but there’s something pleasingly prog about the structure that it’s hard not to enjoy. Elements of Madchester, hints of Shoegaze and a whole lot of indulgent jamming but they keep things just the right side of the getting wanky. So, promising stuff but not quite justifying the buzz for me on this evidence.


Live Dates:


20th July – The Horn, St Albans w/Sacred Shapes + Kid Luna  

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

DAN RAZA – SINGLE REVIEW

Dan Raza – Pay Day 
Dan Raza - Pay Day


Release Date: Out Now

He might be based in London in 2017 but Dan Raza comes from an altogether place and time, musically speaking of course. The Anglo-Indian singer-songwriter already has the backing of Neil Young as well as the spirit and sound of the likes of Dylan, Guthrie and Elliot Smith. New single ‘Pay Day’ is a lively road-trip of a tune that should only be played with the top down, your foot down and the volume waaaaay up. The guitars and fiddles bounce off each other like a mid-West hoedown and there are tones in the background that speak of Indian melodic structures. This is a startlingly finished and polished product and you can see why people are getting so excited about Raza – this has got Later with Jools Holland and Hyde Park Calling written all over it, mark my words. Go on, mark them I say!


DELTA HOWL – SINGLE REVIEW

Delta Howl – Mary
Delta Howl - Mary

Release Date: Out Now

Black Country boys Delta Howl are back with another single in the form of ‘Mary’ and it’s a sad number full of pathos and regret. There’s more than a touch of the Paul Simons about the guitars and percussion mixed in with some Passenger-esque yelps and Kings of Leon croaky edged vocals. The song grows in terms of spirit but also musically as the guitars and percussion layer up in ripples and surges as the duo show off their blues-tinged indie folk that lasts just two and a half minutes. No fat, nothing wasted and a real sense of leaving the audience wanting more which is a key skill to learn so early in their career.


Watch The Video: 

Monday, 12 June 2017

TOMER YOSEF – SINGLE REVIEW

Tomer Yosef – Holy Water (Ape Records)
Tomer Yosef - Holy Water

Release Date: Out Now

It’s not often I get new music from Israel, or old music for that matter, but Tomer Yosef is an artist worth pausing to pay attention to, for a number of reasons. Firstly, it’s because his new single, ‘Holy Water’, is coming out on the increasingly impressive Ape Records which should be high on your watch list. Secondly, this track is a dirty, grimy slice of dark rap meets hip-hop which sees Yosef rhyming over the top of distant beats and scattered melodies which jump around so much it’s almost disorientating. This is Tricky in his dark prime meets East Coast Hip-Hop which is a disturbing but delicious treat. Finally, there’s a fantastic video that is evil and brooding in mood whilst being 
extremely cleverly shot. So, yeah, the full package from Tomer Yosef then.


Watch The Video: 

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

AMANDA DELARA – SINGLE REVIEW

Amanda Delara – New Generation (GR:OW Records)
Amanda Delara - New Generation

Release Date: Out Now

Amanda Delara exists in a sliver of a niche that is Norwegian/Iranian pop but they always say if you want to succeed then you need to find your niche and make it work for you so all power to her. This single, ‘New Generation’ is undeniably pop but with an edge of defiance and socio-political awareness that is not so much creeping in to pop but marching in with a banner and a purpose. Ibiza inspired synth stabs give this a party vibe but the opening lyrics leave you in no doubt that this is a song borne out of anger and injustice - “My momma would hear bombs drop two blocks away from her rooftop waiting for the day to change, She didn’t get a lot to say, oh they took her voice away, Motherfuckers”. There’s a sway and a swagger to this that is full of street attitude as the beats kicks in hard and those melodies put this up alongside pop heavyweights like Rihanna and Rita Ora. It’s a crying shame that the world is full of injustice that needs to be fought back against but it’s a comfort that there are artists of every genre ready to stand up and fight with word, music and ideas. More please.


Live Dates:

9th June – Mablis, Stavanger
11th June – Minioya, Oslo
13th June – Kulturfest Toyen, Oslo
24th June – Piknik I Parken, Oslo
8th July – Traenafestivalen, Mo I Rana
15th July – Slottsfjell, Tonsberg

Watch The Video: 

ITALIA 90 – SINGLE REVIEW

Italia 90 – Competition 
Italia 90 - Competition


Release Date: Out Now

First things first, Italia 90 is a great name for a band. It was the World Cup that got me in to football and it spawned the greatest football song of all time so I’m chuffed that there is a band named after this iconic tournament. This single from the London quartet starts with an unholy slab of feedback and a military rhythm (I say military in the sense of Viking army) and at around the minute mark some sort of beat breaks out from the haze and then the kind of vocal that Ian Dury made a living from. This is intense stuff and some would call it art rock or post punk but to me this is just powerful honesty and a passion to say something. This near spoken word mantra “freedom to choose, freedom to lose” is repeated and the guitars spiral in to a never-ending landscape of concrete bleakness straight out of an 80s HIV public warning advert. Essentially, if you want to hear what Theresa May’s Britain will look like in a few years then listen to this. All seven minutes of it.


MADE IN GIBRALTAR – SINGLE REVIEW

Made In Gibraltar – Climbing Up The Walls
Made In Gibraltar - Climbing Up The Walls

Release Date: Out Now

So, just to get this straight, here we have a duo named after a place famous for a rock and some monkeys but they’re actually from Madrid, currently based in London doing a cover of a Radiohead song. Still with me? Good. ‘Climbing Up The Walls’ was a classic of ‘OK Computer’ with it’s atmospheric, dystopian build up and Made In Gibraltar have captured that vibe perfectly with sparse instrumentation and some Portishead-esque vocals. This is one of those tunes that, if heard live, would absolutely entrance an audience and have them hanging off every click, pick and groan. Made In Gibraltar describe themselves as a small fish in a big pond having just arrived in London but with this approach to music they will surely be growing in to their new surroundings soon enough. At the very least, a guest spot on a future episode of Twin Peaks surely beckons.


Watch The Video: 

PLACEBO – SINGLE REVIEW

Placebo – Life’s What You Make It
Placebo - Life's What You Make It

Release Date: Out Now

Ah Placebo, angsty and whiny but with massive tunes and a penchant for picking out quirky covers. This latest release, a cover of Talk Talk’s epic 1986 hit ‘Life’s What You Make It’ is just wonderful on its own – full of squelchy bass, tight as fuck drums and Brian Molko’s marvellously androgynous vocal. There’s no denying that the treatment of this tune is on point and should garner the band some airplay ahead of their autumn UK tour. However, the real triumph here is the video which is incredibly well shot and shows the bleak and desperate working conditions of Agbogbloshie in Ghana but also the power of their human spirit to find the energy and will to seek out some nuggets of joy in a life that has, frankly, let them down. Then again, life IS what YOU make it I suppose. Kudos to Placebo and to director Sasha Rainbow for the excellent video/film – well worth watching to the end.



Live Dates:

7th Octobrer – Usher Hall, Edinburgh
8th October – Caird Hall, Dundee
10th October – Dome, Doncaster
11th October – Empress Ballroom, Blackpool
13th October – Rivermead, Reading
14th October – Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff
16th October – Guildhall, Portsmouth
17th October – Oasis, Swindon
20th October – Pavilions, Plymouth
21st October – Civic Hall, Wolverhampton

23rd October – O2 Brixton Academy, London

Monday, 5 June 2017

DEUX FURIEUSES – SINGLE REVIEW

Deux Furieuses – Silenced By The Roar
Deux Furieuses - Silenced By the Roar

Release Date: 9th June 2017

Well it’s about time these two rocked up, just in time for the General Election party. Deux Furieuses (aka Ros and Vas) are two of the angriest and most politically charged musicians treading the boards in the UK at the moment so it seemed a little strange that the world was going to hell in a hand basket and they were just sitting idly by with nothing to say. Far from it, mon frere (ou ma soeur), far from it. New single ‘Silenced By The Roar’ opens with the line “If you dance with the devil, gonna get burned” and the kind of atmospheric guitar and drum work that makes the hairs on your neck stand up. The build and anticipation is overwhelming, almost suffocating, as Ros sings “Give me some hope” and you realise your listening to the aural equivalent of the feeling many of us suffer of drowning in a quagmire of 24 hour news, unasked for opinions and post-truth whilst trying to grab on to a hand rail of integrity. This song is all about asking yourself questions, important questions, and preparing for the fight that is yet to come but a fight that is coming and that needs you on the front line. Listen up people, it’s time to get ready and get angry.


Live Dates:

13th June – Single Launch @ The Islington, London w/ Locks

Listen Here: 

REVEREND & THE MAKERS – SINGLE REVIEW

Reverend & The Makers – Too Tough To Die (Cooking Vinyl)
Reverend & The Makers - Too Tough To Die

Release Date: Out Now

Unlikely Sheffield heroes Reverend & The Makers are back and boy do they sound good. New single ‘Too Tough To Die’ is a rock beast of a tune that was forged in the 70s and owes as much to the American good time bands of the time as it does to Motorhead and Black Sabbath. The distorted preaching of the Reverend (John McClure to his mum) is breathless and desperate, like a man with something to say. The guitar riff has a groove so deep you’d expect to see a glacier at the end of it and the drums, well, it’s that loose 70s vibe again and its glorious. This is the sound of a band having a great time and that’s reflected in the travelogue video. All in all, this is a great comeback track but let’s not call it a comeback, I’ve a feeling these guys are just getting loosened up for the big fight.


Live Dates:

29th September – Looe Music Festival, Cornwall
14th October – The Garage, Glasgow
25th October – Electric Ballroom, London
27th October – O2 Academy, Sheffield
4th November – Academy, Manchester

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Sunday, 4 June 2017

DYLYN – SINGLE REVIEW

Dylyn – American Nightmare 
Dylyn - American Nightmare


Release Date: Out Now

It took me exactly five seconds to fall in love with this song. Five seconds. Pretty impressive. LA alt-pop trouble maker Dylyn is pissed (in the American sense) and she wants you to know about it. ‘American Nightmare’ (great title by the way, seriously, really great) is Katy Perry and Ladyhawke getting some production treatment from Deadmau5 which is a great place to start. “I don’t believe what’s on the TV”, she sings over buzzing, popping guitars and a beat that knows its place. “If being me is the American dream then I want the American nightmare” goes the chorus before a droned voice snarls “fuck that 50s housewife shit”. Like I said, Dylyn is pissed and if you’ve got pop music turning against you then you’re pretty screwed. Politics aside, this is a fantastic tune that I’ll be adding to my playlists immediately.


LOUIS BRENNAN – SINGLE REVIEW

Louise Brennan – The Culture of Resistance 
Louis Brennan - The Culture of Resistance

Release Date: Out Now

Dublin’s Louis Brennan, currently hanging out in London town, is the latest emerging artist to have penned a song about the current state of the world and, particularly, the nightmarish quagmire that is British politics at the moment. Terrorist nutjobs aside, there’s a political battle going on at the moment and Brennan sums it up beautifully ‘The Culture of Resistance’ in his equally beautiful baritone country drawl. Over a soft, gentle acoustic ripple, Brennan sings slowly and purposefully “I want to believe, to be swept along when the feeling is strong but I just pretend to care, hungover in my underwear”. This is Johnny Cash singing a Divine Comedy song as the bombs fall and all that’s left is a village in the far reaches of Scotland and the Scotch won’t last much longer. There is something glorious and tragic about this song which is matched by the montage video which shows Western consumerism in direct contrast with the nothingness felt elsewhere in this messed up world. Humbling.


Live Dates:

29th June – The Islington, London
22nd July – The Harrison, London

Watch The Video: 

Friday, 2 June 2017

CHERRYADE – SINGLE REVIEW

Cherryade – Theresa May (Bullshit)
Cherryade - Theresa May (Bullshit)

Release Date: Out Now

Pop is supposed to be fun, irreverent and throw away, right? Well, no. Not anymore. You see, things have got to such a stage where wannabe bedroom pop stars are writing angry, stroppy, mardy songs that you can dance to but also call out corrupt politicians and Daily Fail reading sheep. London duo Cherryade are taking on the system face first with their superbly titled politi-pop romp ‘Theresa May (Bullshit)’ and you just know that it will have passive bigots dancing along in blissful ignorance every time that “Bullshit” chorus drops on top of those Ballearic beats and hyper synths. “Did my TV Licence pay for this? Did my VAT let them bomb the kids? Will they drop the nukes? Oh God forbid, it all went downhill with UKIP” – not the kind of lyrics you’d expect to feature in the kind of song you’d normally hear blasting out of a pimped up and tinted Honda Civic. The combination of Shampoo’s attitude, ‘Parklife’ era Blur’s social commentary and the energetic melodies of the Ting Tings makes this irresistible, throw away, bubblegum pop but keep the wrapper because there’s a nugget of wisdom in there that you might want to share with your mates on Instagram later.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/cherryademusic/

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PROPHETS OF RAGE – SINGLE REVIEW

Prophets of Rage – Unfuck The World 
Prophets of Rage - Unfuck the World

Release Date: Out Now

It’s at times like these, crazy, messed up times like these that the world needs a voice. An angry voice. A voice that speaks honestly and passionately and without compromise. In the past, that voice has had many accents but that voice belonged to Rage Against The Machine for a while. Now, in the void left by those behemoths of political rock, we find a new voice – Prophets of Rage. Sure, I’ve covered them before and, yes, they’ve been pissed off before but new single ‘Unfuck the World’ is not just a protest song, this is a rallying cry. The opening air-raid siren over the top of classically stabbing drums and guitars warns of impending doom and the bass fuelled build that follows is all about saying “fuck this shit, I’m not standing for this anymore, it’s time to make a stand”. Soon enough that Morello guitar funk kicks in alongside the razor sharp lyrics of the combined forces of Cyrpess Hill and Public Enemy come at you full force. Fists in the air and heads down like rock’n’roll versions of John Carlos, this supergroup to beat all supergroups closes this song with some ominous notes and the Michael Moore directed video (well worth a watch) just lingers on some white words hovering over a black background – “The world is not going to change itself. That’s up to you”. So yeah, get angry, get funky, have a mosh for a bit but then go back and listen to those lyrics one more time and act on them. Do something. Hate less. Love a little more. Call someone out when they’re spreading hate instead of just turning away. The bad times are here but we can get back to the good days if we want to. I do, do you?



Live Dates:

3rd June – Rock Im Park, Nurnberg
4th June – Rock Am Ring, Mendig
5th June – Pinkpop 2017, Landgraaf
7th June – Zitadelle, Berlin
9th June – Download Festival, Derby
11th June – Download Festival, Paris
13th June – O2 Academy, Brixton
15th June – Festi’Neuch, Neuchatel
16th June – Nova Rock Festival, Nickelsdorf
18th June – Hellfest Open Air Festival, Clisson
20th June – Rockhal, Esch Sur Alzette
22nd June – Copenhell, Copenhagen
24th June – Download Festival, Madrid
25th June – Firenze Rocks, Florence
26th June – Zagreb Rockfest, Zagreb
29th June – Rock Werchter, Werchter
30th June – Open’er Festival, Gdynia
1st July – Bravalla Festival, Norrkoping
15th September – Riot Fest @ Douglas Park, Chicago
1st October – Louder Than Life Festival, Louisville

Thursday, 1 June 2017

AUCTION FOR THE PROMISE CLUB – ALBUM REVIEW

Auction For The Promise Club – Silence (Easy Action/Zen Ten) 
Auction for the Promise Club - Silence


Release Date: 9th June 2017

For the first two and a bit minutes of this album we are witness to nothing more or less than the approaching sound of the apocalypse. Sure, it starts off with an innocent synth melody twisting in the wind but as the dust clouds roar in to view and the animals start circling you know something big is coming. Ladies and gentlemen, this is ‘Silence’ and it is bloody enormous. The desperate drums and guitars clash in a flurry of cymbals a sense of “now or never” courses through your veins as your instincts hit fever pitch and then…. peace. The softly powerful voice of Zoe White Chambers is the eye of the storm but don’t think for one second that this is over – this is just the first tune of an album hell bent on dragging you kicking and screaming in to a new world.

St Agnes trio Auction for the Promise Club have been on a number of radars for a while now but they have been resolutely going about their business and the result of that business is one of the most stunning debut albums I have heard in a very long time. Recent single ‘See Through’ is up next in all its twisting, snarling garage pomp as you throw a bag of belongings in the back of your track and head for the hills while your house crumbles in the rear-view mirror. As realisation sinks in, the tough-love of ‘This May Hurt’ strides in with its razor-sharp guitars and rumbling drums made slightly easier to swallow by the bubble-gum sweet chorus and that voice, oh that voice. There is some respite on ‘Dancer’ where the likes of Duran Duran and Shihad are channelled to keep the tempo up and the alt-pop as slick and sophisticated as you could reasonably hope for.

AFTPC - Wet Feet
‘Time To Breathe’ is more angular and puts me in mind of some glorious mash up that never happened between Garbage and the Cardigans with a chorus that should have festival crowds singing along in euphoria. The half way point of the album is ‘Ghosts’ and for the first time there is a let up in pace as the trio explore their more prog-rock side and the drumming of Toby White Chambers is given to explore those Stuart Copeland influences in full. There is a dystopian, Muse-esque feel to ‘City’ to begin with before it settles in a straight-up indie-pop romp that is perfect for night driving through neon lit landscapes. Some 90s Grunge guitar sounds from the most Cornish sounding axe-wielder Perran Tremewan on ‘Isn’t It Enough?’ are matched by White Chambers’ desperate vocal while former single ‘Moonlight’ is as urgent, immediate and breathless as ever it was.

That bubble-gum garage bounce is back on the glorious ‘Cut So Close’ as they grab the mic with both hands and chat up the entire front row with a wink and a lip curl. ‘Instincts’ has a slightly reminiscing vibe to it but the frantic click of the drums are all about moving forwards and leaving the dead behind you, where they belong. Final track ‘Mexico’ brings that Armageddon vibe as the realisation settles in that to survive the nuclear winter there’s only one place to go – ironically protected from the worst of the blast by Trump’s ridiculous wall. As the dreamy vocals and ethereal guitar notes slide off over the horizon it’s hard not to puff your cheeks out and look around, full of a new found respect for the world we have for the time being. Still, if you’re going to go out of this world you might as well do it with a bang and an awesome soundtrack courtesy of Cornwall’s hottest trio. I bet they have their own bunker too.


Live Dates:

9th June – Royal Cornwall Show, Wadebridge
9th June – Album Launch @ Driftwood Spars, Saint Agnes w/ Wolf Note + Waxx
10th June – Album Launch @ Mono, Falmouth w/Wolf Note

30th June – St Mary’s Hall, Appledore

MOSES – SINGLE REVIEW

Moses – King Size (Propaganda Records) 
Moses - King Size


Release Date: Out Now

I normally give tunes a bit of a mull when they come my way but such is the delicious urgency of this new single from London wannabes Moses that I not only had to binge listen to it on a loop but I also had get my initial reaction down in black and white. ‘King Size’ opens with fizzing electric guitars in the vein of the Subways, early Catfish & the Bottlemen and the Strokes before the clear but angry vocals join in followed by a classic bass drum thud. By the time the verse has built to the chorus, you can fully imagine small indie venues up and down the UK going ape shit for this night after night after night. The urgency of early Arctic Monkeys is in there along with the gang mentality of the Libertines and the pop melodies of the Killers or the Jam. Without a hint of condescension I can say that this is one of the most immediate, engaging and infectious songs I have heard for a long time as a Royal Blood riff creeps in from the side door and adds a whole new rock layer to what was already a storming indie disco future classic. I am pinning my colours to the mast and calling this a strong contender for single of the year as well as giving Moses the LWM seal of approval. Vital stuff.


Live Dates:

3rd June – Camden Rocks, London
9th June – Download Festival, Donington
9th June – O2 Academy, Birmingham
17th June – The Fleece, Bristol
23rd June – Liquid Rom, Edinburgh
30th June – The Waterfront, Norwich
1st July – Electric Ballroom, London
8th July – 2000 Trees, Cheltenham
29th July – Kendall Calling, Kendall
12st August – Lakefest Festival, Gloucestershire
25th August – Reading & Leeds Festivals