Sometimes a band comes along and within seconds of your first listen you know that said band is going to massive. Dream State were one of those bands when they first broke through and they were well on the way to fulfilling their promise. Sadly, often things just don’t work out for those much hyped bands and it all falls apart. Again, this appeared to be the route that Dream State found themselves going down.
What is rare is for such a band to get another chance, a second coming if you will! Well, that’s exactly what is happening right now for Dream State. A major line-up reshuffle sees new vocalist Jessie Powell stepping into some tough shoes to fill. ‘Untethered’ is our first real look at what’s to come from the rejuvenated group and spoiler alert – it’s good!
Yes, that bright future may well have been rescued by the groups driving force, guitarist Aled Evans. Powell fills those intimidating shoes with relative ease as the band expand on their existing sound with hints of where they might go all over the three track sample.
All three tracks, ‘Comfort In Chaos’, ‘Taunt Me’ and ‘Chain Reactions’, stand strongly on their own but also sit nicely together on this short collection. Everything that brought the band to the fore is here with a grandiose sonic epicness underpinning the bands sound.
Dream State need to come out swinging and make a statement with this EP, and thankfully they’ve done just that!
Wollaton Park in Nottingham will once again host Splendour Festival this July. The festival this year will be headlined by Madness and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds. Also playing will be the likes of The Kooks.
The fantastic Cambridge Folk Festival has also revealed their names this week with The Proclaimers, Rufus Wainwright, Imelda May, Grace Petrie, Kiefer Sutherland, The Longest Johns and Stornoway all set for Cherry Hinton Hall.
We move our News Report over now to the best tour announcements from the past week. First of all is the above mix of dates from The Who.
The iconic group will be accompanied by an orchestra and support on most dates will come from UB40.
Performing with The Who and an orchestra had been a long-held ambition for singer Roger Daltrey “Having not toured the UK for six years, it’s great that at this time of our careers we have the chance to go to places that are not on the usual touring map Edinburgh Castle and Derby, as well as the other cities across the country that we haven’t been to for decades, will make this very special for me. This opportunity will give our UK Who fans the chance to hear our current show, which, with the addition of an orchestra, takes our music to new heights.”
Pete Townshend “Roger initially christened this tour with an orchestra Moving On! I love it. It is what both of us want to do. Move on, with new music, classic Who music, all performed in new and exciting ways. Taking risks, nothing to lose. I’m really looking forward to bringing this show to the UK.”
Another musical icon, Gary Numan, will be playing three very special shows at the Electric Ballroom in Camden this April.
Revealing the dates, Numan said “In my career I have played, so far, 997 Gary Numan shows. To celebrate reaching the 1,000 milestone I’ll be playing three shows, 998, 999, and 1,000, at the Electric Ballroom in London on April 13th, 14th and 15th. These will obviously be special nights for me, but made all the more so as my daughter Raven will be the support. Raven has finished writing her first album which is currently being recorded with, and produced by, Ade Fenton. For me to be able to celebrate these three momentous shows with the fans who have made it all possible, and for those same nights to be Raven’s first ever three shows playing her new music, is almost more than my tiny heart can stand. I hope to see you there.”
Jamie Lenman had a big news week with details of a Spring Tour accompanied by the news that a new EP, ‘Iknowyouknowiknow’, is set for release on May 5th.
That news has included the debut of new single, ‘Words of Love’, which you can check out below.
Commenting on the new track, Lenman says: “‘Words Of Love’ is a very old song that I’ve been trying to get on a record since some time between the second and third Reuben albums, but it never fit anywhere until now. Even so, I still had to shave off a few of the post-hardcore edges to make it fit with this project, so if you think you can hear a little mid-noughties vibe in there, that’s why. For a long time this was on rough track listings for the album, but in the end we decided it would be nice to give it a starring role on the EP instead—otherwise it would have been fighting for attention.”
“Thematically it’s about somebody’s reaction to a past infidelity, their inability to get over it or even recognise their own culpability. In that way it’s very much the flip side of ‘Let’s Stop Hanging Out’, where the person is reacting to the same situation in a much more accepting way. In fact, I wrote the middle eight section at the same time I wrote LSHO, when I was in college. So they share some of the same DNA.”
The new single comes with a new video, once again directed and filmed by Lenman live band guitarist and visual collaborator Jen Hingley.
“The video came out of nowhere, because we’d had the tour and then Lenmania and then Christmas to deal with,” explains Lenman of the concept. “Suddenly it was the first week of January and we needed it the next week. I said to Jen on the Sunday night: ‘We’re gonna drive up to Manchester on Tuesday morning and drive back home the same day—we’ll have about six hours in between, so let’s just book a room, fill it full of lights and instruments and see what happens!'”
Pre-orders, tickets and all things Lenman are here.
The final tour announcement in our News Report this week comes from the unstoppable October Drift! As the band continue to celebrate the release of their sophomore album, ‘I Don’t Belong Anywhere’, the group have revealed a fun of dates in April/May.
The band said, “Over the moon to announce our Spring headline UK tour dates and our first ever headline shows in Ireland and Northern Ireland. This is going to be our biggest an best tour yet”.
Hundred Reasons will imminently release their first new album in 15 years as ‘Glorious Sunset’ arrives on February 24th.
This week the band shared the final pre-release single, ‘So So Soon’, which you can check out above.
Frontman Colin Doran who had the following to say about the sentiments behind their latest song:
“My 7-year-old son has Cerebral Palsy and goes to a mainstream school. The school he attended at the time of writing this (he’s at another school now) was pretty bad and hid information, lied, and generally did a terrible job of looking after my son and his needs. They always gave the impression that things were fine but effectively were just making sure they were OK by covering up issues. My son is the light of my life and beyond incredible every single day and I wanted to draw light on how people with disabilities are still treated terribly in society by people who should just be better educated, more understanding, thoughtful, and kind.”
Next up in our News Report is ‘kill[h]er’, the brand new track from Stand Atlantic, and of course you can listen above!
“Self sabotage is a bitch,” states Bonnie Fraser. “Self doubt kills and denying good and genuine parts of yourself because you’ve been conditioned to think they’re not good enough is a form of murder. it’s a reminder to myself not to give in to that shit. personal growth is important but don’t deny who you are. sometimes i find myself thinking back to who i used to be and missing that person.”
Ahead of their upcoming UK Tour, Dub War have shared the video for their track, ‘Celtic Cross’, which you can check out above. Their latest album, ‘Westgate Under Fire’, is out now!
The band comment:
“”Celtic Cross” sends out a message of defiance and hope, and features the amazing drummer Tanner Wayne, who many of you will recognise from the Swedish heavy metal band In Flames. From 1st March, we will be touring England and we’ll be hitting some great intimate venues – come and see what we got to say!”
Continuing the slew of great new releases in our News Report this week is ‘Nightmare’, the latest single from From Ashes To New, which you can check out above.
The track comes from their as-yet-titled fourth album due out this summer.
“Betrayal by someone we trust happens to the best of us,” says Danny Case. “We befriend someone, let them in, build a connection and then all of a sudden they turn into someone unrecognizable. Someone you once trusted and cared for so deeply is now a backstabbing enemy. In a heartbeat, the person you once thought you knew is now gone. There aren’t many things in life that cut quite as deep as betrayal. Erasing that person from your life and moving forward is the only way to wake up from the nightmare.”
Slow Readers Club share new single ‘Lay Your Troubles On Me’
There was also new music on offer this week from Slow Readers Club as they shared their latest single, ‘Lay Your Troubles On Me’, which you can check out above.
The band commented, “‘Lay Your Troubles On Me’ was born out of a jamming session in our rehearsal room. We were jamming around the verse idea at rehearsals and then went for a brew break. When we came back we started on another idea but soon realised it was the same notes but with a completely different groove and feel. We didn’t want to lose either version and we loved the idea of the tune getting progressively louder and intense so we combined them. Working on this one in pre-production Joe helped us make the crescendo work well with a cool synth sound.
Lyrically it’s a song about recognising someone going through difficulties, reaching out and offering support. The vocal melody mostly came in the practice room but the high melody ‘hold on for dear life the ones you love’ over the crescendo came in the studio.”
The track features on upcoming album, ‘Knowledge Freedom Power’, which is out February 24th.
Hamish Hawk will release new album, ‘Angel Numbers’ on 24th February and this week saw Hawk share new single ‘Rest & Veneers’ with Samantha Crain.
Hamish had the following to say about the themes behind the song:
“Rest & Veneers is a love song, in the softer, quieter sense of the phrase. It doesn’t deal in high romance, in grand gestures, or the movements of celestial bodies. It’s about the everyday kind of love and affection that shows itself in those small kindnesses, those spared thoughts and graces between friends. It’s new territory for me lyrically, and it takes me to a really good place when I listen to it, plus I’m in awe of Samantha Crain. The song is a relaxed moment on the record, and I’m so pleased its getting its own time to shine.”
Samantha Crain also commented on their collaboration:
“When Hamish sent me this song, I was absolutely floored. This is the kind of song I would have wanted to write. Such a simple subject matter but it really explores the complexity within that seemingly simple emotion. It’s my favorite song I’ve ever gotten to collaborate on a recording of.”
Closing out this section of our News Report this week is ‘Be Yourself’, the latest single from Stay Free, which you can listen to above.
The track is described as “an anthem about avoiding the all of the pressure the world and the media put on you to be a certain way and to just follow your own heart and be true to your authentic self.”.
Chappaqua Wrestling have announced their debut album, ‘Plus Ultra’, will be out April 14th and shared new single ‘Wide Asleep’.
The bands says, “Wide Asleep is a complaint to ourselves for being consumed by the echo chamber of social media. Our mobile phones are the portal which lead us to misread and miscommunicate stories and topics, often leaving us more confused than we were in the first place. Wading through muddled points of view, mistargeted ads, senseless airtime of the Royal family, weddings of friends you’d rather forget, addictively numbing reels, leaving us blinded by a little hand-sized screen. It makes us detached and unmoved by anything, all whilst being asleep to the world around us. Hopefully, our preaching will teach us something ourselves as we try to focus on the present.”
Continuing about the album they say: “Plus Ultra documents the journey through our friendship, from school to where we now find ourselves commenting on what is around us. Roughly translating to ‘Nothing Lies Beyond’, a Latin naval term adopted by those exploring uncharted waters, we present a collection of our best works to date, each lyrically distinct but venturing into new territories that life presents; mass media, Tory austerity, mental health, homelessness, the deprived NHS and the release that music gives you from it all. Come with us to make sense of what lies beyond in this world through questions, power and statements that we stand by.”
Gold Fever – ‘DB Cooper’
Gold Fever have shared their second single, ‘DB Cooper’.
Fronman Oscar JD Sault says – “DB Cooper is written from the perspective of someone who believes they’re destined for significance but misuses the present through hedonism. I wanted the track to feel precarious, like a train about to come away from the tracks. As if to mirror how one can wander too far from discipline towards indulgence.”
Bitter Kisses – ‘Pr*y’
Bristol’s Bitter Kisses have shared their debut single, ‘Pr*y’.
Reflecting on the inspiration behind the single the band state, “Pr*y was partially inspired by a fever dream in which Lady Gaga collaborated with Queens of the Stone Age to produce a new Earth Wind And Fire song.
When writing Pr*y we wanted to create a track which could ambiguously explore the difference in meanings of the words ‘prey’ and ‘pray’, and how they each apply to dangerous or unhealthy relationships. One person could worship another, while at the same time being preyed upon by the subject of their love. The meaning of the lyrics can change depending on which version prey/pray you want to hear whenever they’re used in the song.”
As Independent Venue Week continues we head to one of the country’s finest, the wonderful Colchester Arts Centre. Seriously though, those toilets will have you feeling like royalty – toilet-circuit indeed!
In town tonight are Holding Absence who are towards the end of a tour of the UK’s off the beaten track venues and the locals are clearly excited with the show a sell out.
Most of the audience are in the venue early to catch the support (always a wise move!) and up first the crowd are treated to the ferocious Your Misery. Controlling the stage as if they were seasoned veterans, the band are able to not just warm up the crowd but fully win them over. Certainly one to keep an eye on, Your Misery couldn’t have done any more tonight to make a statement.
Our second act, Australians Void of Vision, most definitely feel like a band that know how to make a statement of their own. The group burst onto stage and fill the venue with their huge sound. It’s an audio onslaught for the next forty-five minutes as the likes of ‘DOMINATRIX’, ‘THE LONELY PEOPLE’ and ‘INTO THE DARK’ leave the crowd desperate for more.
There may not be any more Void of Vision tonight, but you can expect to hear much more in the future. With a new EP coming soon, this could be a breakthrough year for the band.
Our headliners, Holding Absence, have felt like they are breaking out for a few years now. Certainly not ones to rest on their laurels; their touring schedule has been intense. The majority of those shows though have been support slots, so it’s refreshing to catch them at a headline show finally.
The core fanbase of the band appear very committed and there is anticipation in the air in this old church tonight. That anticipation boils over as the band arrive on stage and quickly run through ‘Monochrome’, ‘Beyond Belief’ and ‘Like A Shadow’ much to the delight of those fans.
The setlist tonight is a real mix of the bands releases with highlights including ‘Gravity’, ‘In Circles’ and new song ‘Aching Longing’. You’d perhaps expect a little more from a headline show, but I guess the old adage is to leave the audience wanting more.
After a finale of ‘Afterlife’ and ‘Wilt’, Holding Absence most definitely do just that. With so many sing-a-long anthems or bangers as the kids would say, and an engaging stage presence you’d hope that the band will live up to their early promise.
Three bands at different stages of their budding careers tonight all make a valuable impression. It’s worth remembering that nights like this are happening up and down the country, night in night out. It’s tough out there and venues and bands need your support, so perhaps think twice on spending hundreds of pounds on those Beyonce tickets and pop down to your local independent venue instead!
BLACK STONE CHERRY & THE DARKNESS – BIRMINGHAM – LIVE REVIEW
One fateful night many years ago in the depths of the forests of Thetford a relatively spontaneous pairing occurred as Black Stone Cherry jumped in to support The Darkness after an infamous festival cancellation.
I was there that momentous evening to witness the magic that transpired. I was rather pleased then when the two bands announced a co-headline arena tour a decade or so later. So, tonight I head to the Resorts World Arena in Birmingham to relive that fine evening.
Opening on this tour is Danko Jones, who always delivers the goods. You know that you are in for a good rocking with Jones and tonight is no different. When your time onstage is short, you need to make the most of it and that’s exactly what Jones does with a fast paced rock n roll romp.
The first of our two headliners to take to the stage are The Darkness and as their set progresses I find myself reminiscing of that night in 2012. I remember that the band were fresh into their return and finding their feet again as a live act. The Darkness have always been considered a fantastic live act, but tonight I realise just how much further they’ve come.
Consistently good new material over the past decade has helped, but the band has really fine tuned themselves with drummer Rufus Taylor having a large role in that. The Showmanship of Justin Hawkins, the flamboyance of Frankie Poullain and the flair of Dan Hawkins now have a harnessing force that makes them incredibly slick.
When you then throw in plenty of pyrotechnics, you have a recipe for a stunning show and that’s exactly what The Darkness deliver tonight. From opening number ‘Growing on Me’ through to theatrical set closer ‘Love on the Rocks With No Ice’, The Darkness not only reassert themselves as one of the best live acts around but demonstrate the progress that they’ve made in the last decade.
WATCH ‘OUT OF POCKET’ ON YOUTUBE
Progress is a key word also when considering Black Stone Cherry who close the night this time around. They’ve come a long way in the last ten years and are now a regular arena filling act in the UK.
Tonight their time onstage is perhaps slightly shorter than usual, but they still manage to pack a career spanning setlist into that time. Less theatrical then The Darkness, Black Stone Cherry have always been happy to let the music do the talking and the crowd tonight are more than content with that.
Newer material like ‘Burnin’’, ‘Again’ and their latest single, ‘Out of Pocket’ feel at home in the set and evidence the great work produced by the band since 2012. Of course though tracks from that time like ‘White Trash Millionaire’ and ‘Blame It On The Boom Boom’ elicit huge response from the audience.
These are three different performances tonight from three different bands all bound by the love of rock. I knew walking into the arena that I’d be catching three of the most consistently good live acts on the circuit, so the quality of the evening isn’t a surprise tonight. Walking out of the venue however, I’m most impressed by the growth and evolution shown since that memorable evening in the woods!
It’s once again Independent Venue Week and it’s a fantastic time to celebrate the integral network of grassroots venues that play such a pivotal role in the music ecosystem. It bears repeating – no local venues, no opportunities for new talent and ultimately no superstars.
Tonight we head out to one such venue, the fantastic Voodoo Daddy’s. Pizza, beer and live music are a great mix and that’s exactly what you’ll find tucked down a vibrant Norwich alley.
You’ll also find some brilliant entertainment! Up first tonight are Ecto Peach who cross the border from Ipswich. There’s no football rivalry here though and the already packed venue gives the group a warm welcome.
That welcome is returned tenfold with a superb performance from the tight and energetic four-piece. A short set of catchy rockers, the band are evidence of why it’s ever so important to get to shows early!
The mood changes next as songwriter (the best in the world some would say!) Ben Brown graces the intimate stage surrounded by fairy lights. He proceeds to serenade the audience with delicate melodies and comical stage banter.
A change of pace indeed but one which the audience takes in their stride and welcomes with open arms. Brown will certainly leave with more fans than when he arrived after a delightful little show.
Finally though it’s time for those fans filling the venue with Pet Needs t-shirts to enjoy the band of the moment! Pet Needs are one of the brightest prospects in the country right now; after all they did win our ‘Discover’ New Artist of the Year Award for 2022!
Yes, crowds are getting larger, venues are getting bigger and t-shirt sales are booming. The reason? Well, perhaps you should pop along to a show and see for yourselves, but given that it’s our job to tell you we’ll keep it simple! If you could bottle the energy of the band to sell, you’d be a Billionaire overnight.
It takes more than energy to be a great band though and two albums in, the band already have belters for days. Both of their albums have produced multiple live staples which exemplify the quality of song writing within the band. These songs are catchy as hell with sing-a-longs infectiously mandated at Pet Needs shows.
The setlist tonight is well structured and represents a good mix of their albums. The pace never relents and the audience laps up tracks such as ‘Pavlovian’, ‘Spirals’, ‘Punk Isn’t Dead; It’s Just Up For Sale’ and ‘Toothpaste’.
The highlight tonight though is new track, ‘Yeah!’, which whets the appetite for what’s to come next. The future is clearly very bright for Pet Needs, and tonight has been a great night for those making the effort.
There are great nights like this happening all across the country every night of the week. So this Independent Venue Week, please remember folks that an independent venue isn’t just for Independent Venue Week – it’s for life!
Welcome everyone to another edition of our weekly music News Report!
We start this week by running through the best festival announcements made over the past week and up first we have Kendal Calling.
Topping the bill this year will be Kasabian, Royal Blood, Blossoms and Nile Rodgers & Chic! They are joined by the likes of Kaiser Chiefs, Frank Turner, Circa Waves, The Enemy, KT Tunstall and The Amazons.
Also across the weekend will be The Hunna, The Murder Capital, Vistas, We Are Scientists, Lottery Winners, Black Honey, Newton Faulkner, October Drift, Jack Valero and many more!
Glasgow’s TRNSMT has added some fifty new acts to the bill for this year’s festival. The events features headliners Pulp, Sam Fender, The 1975, George Ezra, Kasabian and Royal Blood.
They are joined by Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbott, The View, The Kooks, Pale Waves, Hot Milk, Hamish Hawk, The Wombats, Nothing But Thieves, The Enemy, The Amazons, Bob Vylan, Dream Wife, Lauran Hibberd and many more.
Wales is also able to attract rocks finest with Steelhouse Festival leading the way. This week the festival announced that Black Stone Cherry will be topping the bill alongside already announced Saturday headliners Airbourne.
They are joined over the weekend by the likes of The Answer, Blues Pills, Kris Barras Band, Florence Black, When Rivers Meet, The Cruel Knives and Dead Man’s Whiskey!
Another rock event getting bigger this week was Slam Dunk Festival who have added more bands to an already packed bill. Probably a good thing then that they’ve also broken down the stage splits.
Added to the event were PVRIS, Sueco, Millie Manders and many more. They join the likes of Enter Shikari, The Offspring, Billy Talent, Bowling For Soup, Yellowcard,Creeper and far too many others to mention!
Live At Leeds: In The Park has added The Hives, DMA’s, gengahr and more to an already packed line up headlined by Two Door Cinema Club.
They join amongst others, The Big Moon, Black Honey, The Beths, Skinny Living, Deadletter, Ellur, Low Hummer and Opus Kink.
Speaking about their appearance at Live At Leeds: In The Park 2023, The Hives’ frontman Pelle Almqvist said: “Some festival names just have a ring to them don’t they? Live At Leeds. It sounds like some upper echelon rock shit and if this year’s edition wasn’t before, now it is. The Hives are very proud and happy to join this upper echelon. They are coming for your money and dignity and in exchange they will deliver however long a show you will let them of life-affirming record-breaking rock ’ ‘ roll music. If you have never seen them before. imagine a rock show but to the 3rd power. Too much of everything. If you have seen them before, you know you will have to again.”
Skinny Living said: “Live At Leeds is one of our favourite festivals in the UK! The line up is always top class, so to be able to play the main stage as a local band this year is a proper moment for us and our people.”
Looking ahead, Festival Promoter Joe Hubbard said: “It may be chilly outside, but we’re already incredibly excited about returning to Temple Newsam for an unforgettable summer festival celebration – with even more favourites and new faces joining the party at Live At Leeds: In The Park this year.
DMA’s and The Hives may just be some of the best festival bands going right now, and having phenomena like Cavetown and Crawlers join the party is truly special. At Live At Leeds, we always look to bring unmissable live titans together with fans’ next favourite bands – and this year’s In The Park is the perfect example of that. All coming together on one day at Temple Newsam, there’s nothing quite like it – and we can’t wait to see everyone this May!”
Next in our News Report is the latest single from Willie J Healey featuring Jamie T. Listen to ‘Thank You’ above now.
The track comes from forthcoming album, ‘Bunny’, which is out August 25th.
Willie comments on the new single: “I was tired and flat and didn’t know what to make & then my friend Jamie said ay willie I’ve got this drum machine it might inspire you.. I picked it up and wrote ‘Thank You’ the next day, it was my way of thanking Jamie for being a good friend. I dedicate it to anyone trying to do their own thing.”
Mimi Barks concludes this portion of our News Report with the new video for her track, ‘SAW’, which you can watch above!
The track features on their recently released mixtape, ‘DEADGIRL’.
Barks had the following to say, “SAW, the third song on the DEADGIRL Mixtape, marks the resistance, rage, and anger I experienced while seeking my identity and self-worth on an emotional, spiritual, physical, and mental level.”
She continues to mention – “Working independently on set with a micro team—just me, and my videographer, and his camera—it takes me back to my roots. No crew, no lights, and no screenplay. It’s raw, industrial and dirty – with the walls of the derelict buildings captured in the music video reflecting the wrath and backlash of my internal war.”
Blondshell will release her self-titled debut album arrives April 7th and is preceded by new single, ‘Joiner’.
Describing the new single, Blondshell explains, “I was listening to a lot of Britpop when I wrote this song. A lot of those bands like The Verve, Pulp, Suede, and Blur channelled dark subject matter, drugs, and all this dirty stuff, but with a fun acoustic guitar under it. I was listening to The Replacements, too. That’s what this song was inspired by sonically. I wanted it to feel like you’re watching HBO, where even though it’s heavy, it’s still a good time.”
BLACKGOLD – ‘Boogeyman’
Masked Misfits BLACKGOLD are back at it again with new single ‘Boogeyman’!
The band comment, “‘Boogeyman’ is about that person that haunts your dreams. They have full control over you within your subconscious and it feels like you can’t escape.”
Riyah – ‘Perfect’
Riyah is ready to unleash her first single ‘Perfect’, showcasing what is to come from her hands and lungs.
She comments, “I’m excited to see this new chapter roll out with this new EP. I’ve spent almost two years figuring out which way to go, and these songs might feel like baby steps to some, but for me it’s gigantic leap into my passion”
With the release of every single, Lincolnshire’s MOSKITO have built anticipation that something special has been brewing in that neck of the woods, and now the band are unleashing their potent debut Mixtape, ‘BAD LOVE’!
Bursting out the traps with ‘Gone With The Girl Next Door’, ‘Miss Me’ and ‘Sweet Fruit’, your instantly stuck by the delicate mix of ferocity, passion, energy and swagger. Like a Frank Carter fronted Arctic Monkeys, the record packs a punch with spiky guitars and razor-sharp vocals.
It really does feel like there is something special here and ‘Bloodshot’, ‘517’ and ‘Don’t Touch My Baby’ all further evidence this over the second half of the EP. The tender ‘painkiller’ closes out the record in parallel to the intensity of what comes before and is another early glimpse of what’s on offer from this group.
For a band threatening to breakout, you couldn’t really wish for a better opening gambit. Expect to hear the name MOSKITO a lot in the future!
Welcome everyone to another edition of our weekly music News Report!
We start this week with the best new releases from the past week, including metal titans Metallica, who are up first.
As the band continue to prepare for the release of their new album, ’72 Seasons’, on April 14th, they’ve this week shared new single, ‘Screaming Suicide’. You can check out the track above.
“‘Screaming Suicide’ addresses the taboo word of suicide. The intention is to communicate about the darkness we feel inside. It’s ridiculous to think we should deny that we have these thoughts. At one point or another, I believe most people have thought about it. To face it is to speak the unspoken. If it’s a human experience, we should be able to talk about it. You are not alone.” – James Hetfield
Fall Out Boy return with ‘Love From The Other Side’
It was also a big news week for Fall Out Boy as the group announced that they will release their latest album, ‘So Much (For) Stardust’, on March 24th.
Revealing the news the band shared the following with fans:
“‘Time is luck.’
Finish another tour. You reflect but not like a gem in the sun – more like a year long stare into yourself in another airplane bathroom
Sometimes you gotta blow everything you were and put the pieces back together in a new shape. The same but different – the foundation dynamited and the dust used to create the concrete pour. I have a tendency to get a little sad whenever I think about anything…but I also feel pure joy when I think that I exist at the same time as whales or that read happens to rise at a certain temperature. And that we happen to be spinning on this little blue rock at the exact same time together.
So much (for) stardust.”
Accompanying the news, was new single, ‘Love From The Other Side’, which you can check out above!
Metal icons Saxon also have a new album on its way with ‘More Inspirations’ set for March 24th. The album explores the bands influences and new single, ‘The Faith Healer’, debuted this week. You can check the single out above.
Frontman Biff Byford comments “We used to see The Sensational Alex Harvey band play this back in the day, they started the set with it, such a fantastic song and fantastic band… big influence!”
Ian Hunter has announced the release of his new album, ‘Defiance Part 1′, arriving on April 21st.
Among the most star-studded original albums ever recorded, the record sees Hunter joined by the late, great Jeff Beck, Johnny Depp, Joe Elliott (Def Leppard), Billy F Gibbons (ZZ Top), Taylor Hawkins (Foo Fighters), Duff McKagan (Guns N’ Roses), Todd Rundgren, Slash (Guns N’ Roses), Jeff Tweedy (Wilco), Robert Trujillo (Metallica), Waddy Wachtel (Stevie Nicks, Keith Richards), Brad Whitford(Aerosmith), Dane Clark (John Mellencamp), Billy Bob Thornton & J.D. Andrew (The Boxmasters) and Dean DeLeo, Robert De Leo & Eric Kretz (Stone Temple Pilots).
You can check out the first single, ‘Bed Of Roses’, above featuring guitarist Mike Campbell (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Fleetwood Mac) and drums by Ringo Starr.
“It was a fluke,” Ian Hunter says. “This was not planned. Really, I’m serious. I really couldn’t believe some of them. I mean, it’s amazing what’s happened. It’s been such a buzz.”
“Everybody’s sitting around,” says Hunter. “It’s Covid. Nobody’s going anywhere. We started sending them out. Slash started doing something. Robert Trujillo from Metallica. Ringo Starr, Mike Campbell. Joe Elliott is on a few tracks. Johnny Depp said ‘Jeff Beck’s with me and we’d like to do a couple of songs.’ I know Todd Rundgren, I toured with Todd way back, he’s done an amazing job. Billy Gibbons. Billy Bob Thornton and JD Andrew from The Boxmasters. It’s never ending. I mean, every day we’d get a phone call, this guy wants to do it, that guy wants to do it. It was like, I can’t believe this.”
“There are a lot of reasons for calling this album ‘Defiance” says Hunter. “It’s like, people my age shouldn’t be making records, blah, blah, blah. But we’ve still got a bit left.”
Our News Report continues with the latest track from DMA’s, ‘Fading Like A Picture’, which you can check out above. The single comes from upcoming new album, ‘How Many Dreams?’, which is out 31st March.
Guitarist Johnny Took comments, “Our palette for this album was a lot broader because we’ve learned so much since our debut and we’ve listened to so much more music between then and now, which has shaped us. It felt like a first outing all over again. The excitement was the same.”
Took continues: “Tommy wrote the majority of this song to an obscure demo I made during lockdown. When we all came together to demo it, Mason added one of my favourite guitar riffs on the new album, and we used the middle-eight from another demo as the chorus. A true DMA’S collaboration.”
Sløtface this week shared their latest single, ‘Nose’, which you can check out above.
The track comes ahead of new EP, ‘Awake / Asleep’, which is due for release on February 24th.
Haley Shea had the following to say about the new single and February’s EP:
“‘Nose’ is what I would call a pretty general “Sløtface anxiety” song, a recurring theme I always come back to. Nose is a conversation between me and a loved one where I’m trying to use imagery to describe what anxiety feels like to someone who doesn’t experience it, how even the smallest things can trigger it and send me into a thought spiral that feels impossible to stop. The choruses are then the replies of someone I love reminding me to breathe, a tactic which usually helps me calm my thoughts, when done in the right way, by my partner, family and loved ones.
’Nose’ started when I visited Odd Martin at his studio in Bergen in March of 2022 to write some songs. It ended up being a super-productive couple of days where we wrote about 7 different demos on the first day alone, and then chose a couple to flesh out on the second day. “Nose” was the last song we tried out at the end of that second day.
The mix of the heavier, rhythmic, bass-focused verses and the big, layered, poppier choruses, all combined with saxophonist Aksel Rønning adding some extra spice, grit and depth to the whole track makes it one of our absolute favorites on the EP.”
This week also saw the latest new music coming from The Pearl Harts as they shared their track ‘Wild Me’.
The band shared, “Wild Me is a song about frustration within the sexes from the viewpoint of a woman – in this instance a hetero cis relationships and how patriarchal ideology can damage and shame a woman and her natural instincts.
Why do women get called crazy, wild and out of control when their behaviour only mirrors that of men? Rarely is the same label put on them. “Where do I stand if I can’t be the man?” Wild me strives to call out these behaviours by crying out “Wild me, Why me” with force and discontentment. It forces you to understand that being wild is awe-inspiring and nothing to be ashamed of.”
Canadian sibling duo Softcult share their latest single, ‘Dress’. The track comes from new EP, ‘see you in the dark’, out March 24th.
“This song is about consent; it’s about saying ‘no’ and having it happen to you anyway,” Mercedes explains. “It’s about being followed while walking alone at night or being cornered in a bar when we’re just trying to have a night out with our friends. It’s about the lingering fear and trauma that haunts us long after these experiences have happened. It’s about how these experiences make us feel powerless and change the way we see ourselves.”
Shadow Smile – ‘Signed in Blood’
Sheffield rising star Shadow Smile, share their track, ‘Signed in Blood’ which is the title-track of their debut album.
Lead vocalist Connor McGovern comments – ‘We wanted this song to be a modern take on songs like ‘Sympathy For The Devil’ by the Rolling Stones where the listener is being told why they should forget their morals and join the dark side. Those songs have always been a lot of fun and fit perfectly with the dark Shadow Smile imagery’.
Real Terms – ‘Veil is Thinner’
‘Veil is Thinner’ presents an advance look at Real Terms‘ debut album, ‘Vantage’, which is out February 24th.
“I think there’s also something about the different musical ‘perspectives’ we all bring together that makes our sound,” says guitarist Christopher ‘Lynny’ Lynn, “the way our parts interweave and interlink and the perspective the listener can bring to it. There’s not always ‘a centre’ in our songs so I always love it when people comment on how catchy the songs are when they see us live. I find that combination of songs being complex and catchy at the same time really compelling.”
We’re fully embedded in the new year now, so it must be time for music fans to get back into the UK’s fine music venues. In fact we are close to the ever important, Independent Venue Week, so it’s great to start the year at one such venue – Epic Studios in Norwich.
The versatile venue can host events of all sorts but on this bitterly cold January evening, it hosts lots of denim and leather rockers as British Lion come to town!
The final night of a full UK Tour, the band led by the legendary Steve Harris of Iron Maiden, attract a very healthy crowd tonight. Those in attendance are treated to not one but two accomplished support acts with the first of those, Airforce, in full effect as most attendees enter the venue.
Musically very suitable to supporting a member of Maiden, Airforce make the most of their short time on stage with a succinct and vociferous performance which no doubt wins over any uninitiated in the audience.
Next up is Voodoo Six, a band that Maiden/Lion fans will be very familiar with. The band stepped in on short notice to fill the void left by Canadian group Coney Hatch being unable to fulfil the tour.
Disappointing for some, for others like myself, this was actually an upgrade. Voodoo Six have consistently put out quality music and put on great shows for two decades now. Numerous line-up changes haven’t prevented the band putting out six albums and playing shows all over the world.
Tonight, they are on top form once again with an assured performance, mixing tracks old and new, to the delight of the crowd. Perennially tipped for bigger things, perhaps that ship has sailed but the constant of quality music and great shows doesn’t appear to be going anywhere as Voodoo Six once again show themselves to be criminally underrated.
Finally the time arrives for British Lion to take to the stage and they naturally receive a hero’s welcome. It’s the last show of the tour but also a (close to) hometown show for a number of the members, so the atmosphere is relaxed and the band let the music do the bulk of the talking.
The group have two albums in the bank at this point and the set list is a good mix of the two. Harris and co are able to give a good account of themselves, with singer Richard Taylor even acknowledging the apparent identity crisis that the band often have thrust upon them by others.
Long since dispelled as a mere solo project for Harris, since their inception in 2012 the group has evolved and that’s evident tonight with the stage presence of Taylor as exhibit A. This is a package now and not a vessel for Harris alone.
That makes the spectacle greater as far as the live show goes and places more emphasis on the music as opposed to the “oh look there’s Steve Harris” feeling for their early shows. It’s great to see and will hopefully lead to greater longevity from the project.
As this tour draws to a close with ‘Eyes of the Young’, British Lion may take a step back to Iron Maiden once again, but with performances like tonight you know it won’t be long before the band are reunited onstage again.
THE MURDER CAPITAL – GIGI’s recovery – ALBUM REVIEW
With their debut album, 2019’s ‘When I Have Fears’, The Murder Capital fully thrust themselves in the burgeoning post-punk scene and gained themselves a dedicated fanbase in the process. A lot has happened in the intervening years but now the group are back with their all so important sophomore album, ‘Gigi’s Recovery’!
This second record certainly sees the band stretching their legs and testing the boundaries of their art. Expansive and explorative this is a delicate yet decisive collection of songs which brims with belief.
WATCH ‘The stars will leave their stage’ on youtube
This is undoubtedly a brave sonic adventure undertaken by a band confident in their ability to conjure magic and assured by the acceptance of their audience. The album slowly leads us on the journey that the band has creatively been on over the past few years.
It’s methodical yet loose, meticulous but elegant, and therefore has no real standout moments. The album as a whole is the standout moment as The Murder Capital evolve into something very special indeed.
Already identified as a great hope, now it’s clear to all that The Murder Capital are not to be slept on as they endear themselves with their triumphant second album!