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Blackout Problems

RIOT

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BLACKOUT PROBLEMS – RIOT – ALBUM REVIEW

German rockers Blackout Problems have been slowly building their reputation over the past decade and have been threatening to breakout for at least half of that time. Impressive recent support slots and memorable festival performances have perhaps created the highest level of anticipation yet for a new album.

Well, that album has now arrived in the shape of ‘RIOT’. The record is their fourth studio release and is an anagram of trio, signifying their first release as a three-piece. Line-up changes and heightened expectations may surround the album but it’s the band’s continued ambition which shines through.

Originally writing music for a potential solo project, singer and guitarist Mario Radetzky is on record as saying that these songs “sounded like Blackout Problems” and attention soon turned to creating the next chapter of the Blackout Problems story.

Sonically these songs do share the essence of the band’s sound but they feel more expansive and have a greater sense of purpose. Whilst there are many personal themes running through the lyrics on this album, the overarching spectre of something bigger looms large.

WATCH THE VIDEO FOR ‘GLOFS’
Blackout Problems – ‘GLOFS’

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The chaos of the current world landscape is explored in cohesion with Radetzky’s own personal discovery and the band shows that they aren’t afraid to get political when needed. It’s perhaps fitting then that current tourmate Rou Reynolds of Enter Shikari features on one of the standout tracks, ‘GLOFS’.

There are a number of tracks which push the album forwards and ‘PUZZLE’ and ‘WHALES’ are both also good introductions for new listeners wanting to test the waters. Ultimately though, ‘RIOT’ has been crafted to take you on a journey of sorts, so it’s worth taking the time to enjoy the full album in all of its majesty.

Whether or not this is the release to take the band to the next level or not, only time will tell but ‘RIOT’ is certainly a solid album which further establishes them as a band worth taking a punt on!

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The Snuts

Millennials

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THE SNUTS – MILLENNIALS – ALBUM REVIEW

‘Millennials’ marks the third studio album from The Snuts in as many years – quite the exceptional work rate for any band these days. Work ethic isn’t something that this group have ever lacked though and their grind has seen those first two records reach number one and three respectively upon release.

You’d instantly think then that there is a level of pressure for ‘Milliennials’ to emulate that success? Well, that pressure intensifies when you consider that ahead of this release, dissatisfied with their major label, the band branched out on their own setting up their own independent label Happy Artist Records!

That decision would be enormous for any band but in this day and age it’s an incredibly brave decision. The Snuts are clearly happy to bet on themselves though; and why not? Those first two albums produced an endless stream of indie rock anthems and lead single, ‘Gloria’, instantly demonstrated that their knack for creating festival ready sing-a-longs remains very much intact.

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The Snuts – ‘Gloria’

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With ‘Millennials’, the mould is unbroken and fans will feel safe in the familiar sound that the band have perfected in the past five years. There isn’t much in the way of evolution here, which is the smart play by a band taking giant leaps on the business side of things. ‘Milliennials’ may be The Snuts playing it safe, but that’s exactly what they needed to do with this album.

The record is short, sharp and on point. With ten tracks and a run-time of almost exactly thirty minutes, ‘Millennials’ feels like it is something of a statement from the band. They may have moved house but they have decorated their new house in the same sonic colours.

This is fantastic news for lovers of sun-soaked indie anthems and this album produces more sure-fire live favourites like ‘Millionaires’ and ‘Dreams’. The rise of The Snuts continues and they will continue to climb those festival bills and play bigger shows until they are recognised as one of the biggest indie bands on the circuit. After all they have already created a strong community around them and as per the lyrics of ‘Millionaires’“if love was money, we’d be millionaires”!

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Album Reviews

Gen and the Degenerates

ANTI-FUN PROPAGANDA

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GEN AND THE DEGENERATES – ANTI-FUN PROPAGANDA – ALBUM REVIEW

Gen and the Degenerates have been infecting music lovers with their striking live shows in recent years. The band have appeared on many a festival bill, winning over fans instantaneously and garnering a fair amount of hype.

Now it’s time for the band to show just what they can do on record as they share their debut album, ‘ANTI-FUN PROPAGANDA’. The tone was set with the record’s lead single, ‘BIG HIT SINGLE’ and tongues are firmly planted in cheeks throughout much of the album.

It’s not all laughs though as the socially conscience group tackle some big topics with the overarching theme that being a human in 2024 is tough. Their response to that darkness though is to introduce light. The concept that fun is the best medicine for the toxicity of modern life isn’t necessarily new (after all we’ve just reviewed an album from a band who popularised joy as an act of resistance), but the way that Gen and the Degenerates deliver that fun is refreshingly uplifting.

WATCH THE VIDEO FOR ‘KIDS WANNA DANCE’
Gen and the Degenerates – ‘Kids Wanna Dance’

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These songs are incredibly contagious and the likes of ‘Kids Wanna Dance’ and ‘Famous’ will have you bopping away all night long. This new bubblegum-punk sound is ferociously catchy and these songs will excel in the live environment.

On the penultimate track ‘Post-Cool’ singer Genevieve Glynn-Reeves proclaims that “cool is dead – this is post-cool”, and that term is a perfect description of how Gen and the Degenerates fit in the punk landscape. At a time when it’s cool to be punk, Gen and co take the brooding out of the scene and inject it with a heavy dose of fun!

Gen and her degenerates have made a truly fantastic debut album, and by the time that the band show off their musical dexterity with the six and a half minute slow burning album closer ‘Jude’s Song’, you are left wanting to do one thing and one thing only – hit play again!

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‘Discover’ New Music Podcast – Episode 63 – Gen and the Degenerates
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Magazine

Full Pelt Magazine

Vol. 24

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The latest issue of the Full Pelt Magazine is here, and you can download your copy for free below!

Volume 24 features our cover stars IDLES as they celebrate the release of new album, ‘TANGK’, which we review inside. We also review ‘Intermittent Fast Living’ – the new album from PET NEEDS. On the live side of things we catch Enter Shikari in London, IDLES in London and Noah and the Loners in Norwich!

Our News Report has all the latest music news including live announcements from AC/DC, Pearl Jam, Gary Numan, Gaffa Tape Sandy, Boston Manor and Willie J Healey!

Plus all the best new releases including Pearl Jam, REWS, High On Fire, While She Sleeps, Boston Manor, Gaffa Tape Sandy, Bears In Trees, Seasick Steve, The Dandy Warhols, Mad Caddies, Stand Atlantic, Greywind, Gun, Blackout Problems and The Longest Johns!

Finally, we round up the latest additions to our ‘Discover’ New Music Playlist including Cosmic Ninja, Exploring Birdsong and paradise fell.!

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Live Reviews

Noah and the Loners

Voodoo Daddy’s, Norwich

Thursday 15th February 2024

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📸 (c) Denis Gorbatov / Full Pelt Music

NOAH AND THE LONERS – NORWICH – LIVE REVIEW

No matter where you look these days the world is a mess. The political landscape is bewildering, the news is horrifying, the economy is a disaster and communities are being divided for the benefit of those creating the mess in the first place.

It’s at times like these that communities need to stay resolute and, to steal from a popular post-punk band, use joy as an act of resistance. Punk has always led the way on this front and there are thankfully some great young bands out there building that sense of community back.

BROKEN PROMISES

It’s in venues like Voodoo Daddy’s in Norwich where this war is being waged, and that’s where we head tonight to witness the emerging force that is Noah and the Loners!

On first this evening are young sibling duo Broken Promises who embody the DIY punk ethos perfectly. Their career may be in the embryonic stages but their rough around the edges ruckus shows its own promise and gets a good response from the early attendees.

SETTLEMENTS

The main support slot is taken by local alt-rockers Settlements who represent a cleaner, more technical prospect compared to the rest of the bill. Their sound encompasses a number of influences but they give off real early-QOTSA vibes.

Yes, whilst they may appear and sound more straight-edge then our headliners, they still have an enchanting quirk that reminisces of Biffy Clyro at their ludicrous best. Their time on stage flies by, which is always a good sign and it will be interesting to see where the group can take their talents.

NOAH AND THE LONERS

There seems to be a consensus forming on where our headline act are going, with little doubt remaining that Noah and the Loners have everything needed to truly breakthrough. With their debut EP coming imminently, and a fanbase growing with every show, this has the potential to be one of those “I was there” moments!

The band only have four tracks available on Spotify but they already have a healthy crowd in a decent sized grassroots venue many of which are adorned in Noah and the Loners t-shirts. When you speak of good signs, this is absolutely one of the most trustworthy ones.

It doesn’t take long for the band to justify the hype as they blitz through their opening few songs with a youthful energy that will get even the most battle-tested old punk up and down the front.

And many do! The crowd clearly have their finger on the pulse and are up for a fun night of genuinely rallying punk rock stories of finding the way through the challenges faced by young people.

The closing run of ‘Hell of a Day’, ‘Crash Landing’ and ‘Protest Anger’ is as good as it gets and provides a glimmer of hope that for as long as communities such as this remain defiant, then there is still hope for the future.

Noah and the Loners will soon release that debut EP and those switched on enough to be here tonight will soon be able to proclaim “I was there” at the very beginning!

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Album Reviews

IDLES

TANGK

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IDLES – TANGK – ALBUM REVIEW

IDLES have made an indelible mark on the UK music scene with their ferocious, foot stomping, punk frenzy. They’ve led a wave of acts into the mainstream consciousness and they’ve been praised and shot at in equal measure.

One regular criticism is a perceived lack of evolution both sonically and thematically. Well, welcome one and all to a giant middle finger of growth in the shape of their ostentatious fifth album, ‘TANGK’. We recommend that you leave all preconceptions and reticence at the door, and strap yourself in for one hell of a ride!

To lay it out bluntly, ‘TANGK’ is quite unlike anything you’ve experienced from IDLES over the past decade. The essence of the band is very much intact, it isn’t a complete reinvention, but it’s undoubtedly the biggest leap that the group have taken between releases thus far.

There is a powerful message of love sewn throughout the record as the band fully embrace their ‘All Is Love’ motto. Announcing the album, singer Joe Talbot eloquently proclaimed, “I needed love. So I made it”, and there is certainly a different listening experience present; one of positivity and yes, of love!

WATCH THE VIDEO FOR ‘DANCER’
IDLES – ‘Dancer’

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If you need to release some anger, then you’re perhaps best served by their earlier work, because as this album evolves all you’ll want to do is dance! That’s by design of course and the likes of ‘Dancer’ are naturally going to get crowds moving when the band play these songs live.

Changing their methods up, ‘TANGK’ has been produced by Nigel Godrich and Kenny Beats alongside the bands own Mark Bowen, and the trio have unified to create something uniquely special. Managing to both harness the focussed passion and energy that gained the band their following whilst simultaneously embracing a broader and more ambitious sound, the trio guide ‘TANGK’ towards being the fullest IDLES experience yet.

What is for sure though amongst the feeling of change present on the record itself, is that these songs will sound just as massive live as all your favourite IDLES tracks. And there within lies the mastery of what the band have achieved on ‘TANGK’!

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Album Reviews

PET NEEDS

Intermittent Fast Living

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PET NEEDS – INTERMITTENT FAST LIVING – ALBUM REVIEW

‘Intermittent Fast Living’ begins with singer Johnny Marriott gently asking, “alright? how are you?” as he welcomes us into the chaotic world of PET NEEDS. The band have been living a full throttle life since signing with Xtra Mile Recordings, with this being their third album in as many years.

What this album represents however is the balance between life on the road as a touring, recording artist and the quiet family life that separates the chaos. Whilst the subject matter is autobiographic, the themes are purposefully relatable and as Marriott asks us how we are, we are instantly engaged into a conversation of sorts.

The album bursts to life with lead single, ‘Separation Anxiety’ which digs into the juxtaposition of two distinct realities further. The enriching experience of touring is paralleled with the angst of leaving loved ones, whilst there are jabs at bands preaching one thing whilst practicing something quite different with Marriott observing, “I’ve been trying to love myself, because I’ve been told to love myself by every single self-destructive indie band”.

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PET NEEDS – ‘Separation Anxiety’

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Each track develops on the overarching themes whilst clearly establishing the bands appreciation of their current situation and their gratitude for the community that surrounds them. There are plenty of tongue-in-cheek easter eggs in amongst the lyrics and the fans will revel in dissecting each gem.

Sonically the album follows the path laid by ‘Fractured Party Music’ and ‘Primetime Entertainment’, whilst offering an expansion on their uniquely catchy punk sound. The band somehow manages to once again create a mighty noise whilst harnessing some truly pop sensibilities.

‘Fingernails’, ‘Sleep When I’m Dead’ and ‘The Optimist’ will be live favourites for years to come, but the real magic comes from the more off-piste moments such as the superb album closer ‘Buried Together’ which ends the album on a note of acceptance and love.

Over the course of the eleven tracks, PET NEEDS are able to connect with the listener and share the struggles and joys of modern life. ‘Intermittent Fast Living’ continues the group’s insatiable momentum and is undoubtedly their most well-rounded collection yet.

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The Full Pelt Music Podcast – Episode 44 – PET NEEDS
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Full Pelt Magazine

Vol. 23

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The latest issue of the Full Pelt Magazine is here, and you can download your copy for free below!

Volume 23 is features our cover star Laurence Jones as he showcases the future of Blues. Plus we catch You Me At Six as they begin their farewell tour and we review ‘Dopamine’ from Normandie.

Our News Report has all the latest music news including live announcements from Isle of Wight Festival, Ceremony Festival, Collision Festival, Steelhouse Festival, Sleep Token, Therapy?, Robert Jon & The Wreck, Crash Test Dummies and Chelsea Wolfe!

Plus all the best new releases including Emily Barker, Royal Republic, Skindred, The Struts, Marisa and the Moths, Accept, Feeder, Collateral, BLACKGOLD, Robert Jon & The Wreck, Infected Rain, Like Moths To Flames, Mimi Barks, The Lemon Twigs and BIG SPECIAL!

Finally, we round up the latest additions to our ‘Discover’ New Music Playlist including El MoonoWhere Oceans Burn and Battlesnake!

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Normandie

Dopamine

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NORMANDIE – DOPAMINE – ALBUM REVIEW

Normandie have been drip-feeding their prescribed sonic doorway into a dystopian future in the shape of their monthly single releases in the lead up to this album. Indeed, seven of the eleven tracks are already out there but now their full vision is upon us.

‘Dopamine’ is the follow up to 2021’s ‘Dark & Beautiful Secrets’ which saw the band entrenching themselves into the consciousness of modern rock fans. This release seemingly picks up that mantle once again as the band look to establish themselves as a vital artist in the ever growing landscape of the music world.

Thematically, ‘Dopamine’ is the opposite of its predecessor which explored frontman Philip Stand’s past. This new collection sees the band examine what a future would look like where humanity has burnt themselves out and rely on dopamine fixes much like our existing vices. It’s an interesting concept and one which might even feel all too real.

While we continue to push ourselves harder and further, you have to ponder what we lose along the way; be it relationships, aspirations or something more tangible. Life these days is relentless and it’s in our nature to do whatever is necessary to push on through the struggle, so the themes on ‘Dopamine’ may feel all too relatable!

WATCH THE VIDEO FOR ‘SORRY’
Normandie – ‘Sorry’

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Musically the album does follow nicely on from ‘Dark & Beautiful Secrets’ as the melodies soar higher and the riffs hit harder. The ambition is clear and Normandie have again created something instantly accessible and capable to capturing the hearts of all strains of rock fan.

There are harder hitting highlights such as the Dani Winter-Bates featuring ‘Hourglass’ interspersed with softer moments such as the very next track, ‘Sorry’. The juxtaposition demonstrated is sublime and the album as a whole flows superbly. The band really does seem to have an incredible talent for catchy hooks and the amount of sing-a-long inducing choruses on this album should be illegal under laws against monopolies!

You certainly have to feel sorry for their competition, because it hardly seems fair that Normandie can create such elegance with such apparent ease. ‘Dopamine’ is just the latest example of their ability to deliver something special.

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Live Reviews

Laurence Jones

The Apex, Bury St. Edmunds

Sunday 4th February 2024

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📸 (c) Denis Gorbatov / Full Pelt Music

LAURENCE JONES – BURY ST.EDMUNDS – LIVE REVIEW

The British Blues scene is booming and it’s young acts like Laurence Jones that are leading the charge. Tonight finds Jones taking over The Apex in Bury St. Edmunds, a beautiful venue which with its stylish look and unique ability to mix a predominantly seated audience with a handful of standing spaces make it an ideal venue for this style of music.

SWEET CRISIS

The venue whilst intimate gives a grand feeling to the show and makes it a more elegant evening than a standard dark and packed-in venue would. Something which opening act Sweet Crisis use to their advantage as they fill the room with their iridescent blues rock sound.

The Cambridge five-piece have the audience in the palm of their collective hands as they serenade them with graceful guitar licks and stylish songs such as ‘Ain’t Got Soul’ and ‘Misty Haze’ from their debut album, ‘Tricks On My Mind’. Their set is mesmerizingly good and flashes by in an instant. Indeed by the time they finish with the title track of that album they’ve etched themselves into the consciousness of the attentive audience.

LAURENCE JONES

A short turnaround soon finds our headliner Laurence Jones and his band arriving onstage to an anticipant applause. The group jump straight in with last year’s rocking single ‘You’re Not Alone’ which instantly showcases the controlled intensity that will define the evening.

A true power trio, Jones and co are able to bring his songs to life and add even greater depth to the likes of ‘Gone Away’ and ‘In Too Deep’. The threesome give off enormous Jimi Hendrix Experience vibes throughout which materialises with a stunning cover of ‘Voodoo Child (Slight Return)’ towards the back end of the ninety minute performance.

The bulk of the set tonight is made up of recent album, ‘Bad Luck & The Blues’ which sees Jones’ virtuosic guitar work at the fore. The album is a real modern meshing of blues and rock and the songs work incredibly well live. So much so that a good old fashioned standing ovation entices Jones to deliver an encore finale of Lead Belly favourite ‘Good Morning Blues’.

As fans file out of the venue they are left to reminisce about a superb evening of the blues with two acts waving the flag of British blues music. The scene really is flourishing and it will be interesting to see where the likes of Laurence Jones take it next.

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