Album Reviews

Papa Roach

Ego Trip

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Papa Roach have done a truly marvellous job over the years at staying relevant and not fading into nostalgic obscurity. Their sound always was adaptive and they have moved with the times over the thirty years since their initial inception. Wow now I feel old…

…But that’s actually the point here. As we listen to their latest (and eleventh!!) studio album, they don’t sound or feel “old”. You don’t simply sit and drift your mind back to those hedonistic days of Nu-Metal, although there is a plenty of that energy here.

As the album progresses you get big rock anthems, modern pop rock hits, rap metal and elements of all sorts of genres. It really is a smorgasbord of all the things that has fed into the Papa Roach machine over the years.

Papa Roach – ‘Stand Up’

Realistically the band could rest on their laurels and milk their early albums for all they are worth. In the age of streaming figures the likes of ‘Last Resort’ and a handful of others are more than capable sustaining the band on the circuit.

It’s admirable then that the band has always pushed ahead, pushed boundaries and pushed themselves to further their legacy. ‘Ego Trip’ continues to do just that. Whereas some bands from the early 2000’s from all genres are doing themselves a disservice with their new outputs, this album only adds to what Papa Roach have achieved.

The album is easily as good as any of their albums from the past decade. The likes of singles ‘Kill The Noise’, ‘Swerve’, ‘Dying To Believe’ and ‘Cut The Line’ help to set a very high standard for an album that doesn’t have a bad track on it.

Listen to ‘Cut The Line’ on our ‘Hard & Heavy’ Playlist

This really is a band at the top of their game still, despite being nearly thirty years down the line. Relevance may be a debatable point, but the quality is there for all to see on ‘Ego Trip’.

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Live Reviews

October Drift

Waterfront Studio, Norwich

Monday 4th April 2022

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All 📸 (c) Denis Gorbatov / Full Pelt Music

Let’s talk about discovery. It’s always a great feeling when you discover something new that you enjoy, and that is particularly true when it comes to music. Discovering a new song, a new album or a new band to enjoy is one of life’s great pleasures for music lovers.

That is why we created our ‘Discover’ New Music Playlist on Spotify! To help music fans find that new song or artist to really sink their teeth into. Now, October Drift was a familiar name to us from featuring on many a festival poster or recommendation over the years. For some reason however they always seemed to get placed on that ‘to do list’ of acts.

That was until recently when we added their recent single, ‘Airborne Panic Attack’, to our Playlist and a deep dive ensued. So, now it’s the long overdue time to catch the band live!

Listen to ‘Airborne Panic Attack’ on our ‘Discover’ New Music Playlist


With that said we arrive at The Waterfront Studio in Norwich and are greeted by opening act, The High Points. Slightly off-piste from our headline act, the locals add a little funk to proceedings as they get the early attendees warmed up. Finishing their set with two broken strings, the band display great endurance to go with their obvious musical talent.


Our main support act, China Bears, then demonstrate just why it’s important in our journey of discovery to arrive early and watch the supports. The five-piece deliver a sublime set that continues to gain traction until the finale, ‘Sunday’, literally leaves the crowd asking for more.


Not long thereafter though it’s time for our headliners, October Drift, to hit the stage and reinforce just why we felt that excitement when first listening to them. The band absolutely own the stage tonight and their energy levels are infectious as band and crowd bounce in unison.

There is a good mix of older material and new tracks in the setlist tonight and the bands time on stage flies by. That age old adage of time flying when having fun certainly springs to mind, and fun is probably an apt word for this evening; both band and audience seemingly having plenty.

‘Cherry Red’, ‘Oh the Silence’ and ‘Come and Find Me’ are all fantastic tonight, but new track ‘Insects’ in particular sounds huge. The delightful finale of ‘Like the Snow we Fall’ being performed from within the crowd is just the sort of epiphany inducing moment that hammers home our point.

Discovery is a wonderful thing. So, head to shows early, check out the smaller stages at festivals and of course listen to our ‘Discover’ New Music Playlist. As for October Drift, on tonight’s showing and with their second album on the horizon, the future certainly looks bright.

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Live Reviews


Waterfront, Norwich

Saturday 2nd April 2022

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The pandemic certainly has played a number on Anniversary Tours with Therapy?’s ‘So Much for the 30 Year Plan’ Tour becoming a 31 Year Plan and now eventually a 32 Year Plan!

None of that really matters though to the fans packed into the Waterfront in Norwich on a Saturday night. All that really matters to those fans is getting to catch their cult heroes Therapy? in action and having a good time.

Spirits are therefore high as our support act James and the Cold Gun enter the stage to the Kate Bush song of the same name. The band led by James’s Joseph and Biss instantly harness that excitement to create a great atmosphere for their opening set.

Listen to ‘Plug Me In’ from James and the Cold Gun on our ‘Discover’ New Music Playlist

The band will soon be releasing their debut EP, ‘False Start’, and tonight fans are treated to those tracks and more by a band quickly establishing themselves on the scene. With performances like this, expect to hear much more from the band in the future.

But next we look to the past as Therapy? celebrate their 30+ year career with a carefully curated setlist. It doesn’t take long for the audience to reciprocate the energy of the band, as early numbers ‘Nausea’, ‘Stories’ and ‘Die Laughing’ set the tone for the rest of the night.

Therapy? – ‘Die Laughing’

After all this time consistently touring it should be no surprise that Andy Cairns, Michael McKeegan and Neil Cooper work so well together. A run of ‘Turn’, ‘Callow’, ‘Trigger Inside’ and ‘Church of Noise’ demonstrating just why on record and live the band have been able to endure longer than most of their contemporaries.

Another reason for their longevity is their ability to still create interesting new music, and next the band treat the crowd to a new track. ‘Joy’ looks set to feature on their next album, which if this track is anything to go by will be another belter.

After ‘Diane’ and ‘Teethgrinder’ close out the main set, the band return for an encore of ‘Knives’, ‘Potato Junkie’, ‘Nowhere’ and ‘Screamager’ much to the delight of the crowd. The band promise tonight to keep going for another thirty years if they can; and with showings like this you wouldn’t put it past them.

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Live Reviews

The Mysterines

Electric Ballroom, London

Friday 1st April 2022

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Having recently reviewed, ‘Reeling’, the debut album from The Mysterines and deeming it “…an early contender for album of the year…” , we felt it necessary to catch the band in the live setting. So we headed out on a wintery Friday to the Electric Ballroom in Camden.

Read our review of ‘Reeling’ from The Mysterines

Many bands have played this venue on route to much bigger things, and with tonight sold out you sense that this is another act on that upwards trajectory!

Opening the evening are two fantastic support acts, with both Fräulein and Coach Party putting in well received performances to get the party started.

Soon enough the lights go out and you can feel the electricity in the air, the excitement of a crowd hoping to witness one of those shows they’ll be talking about in years to come. You know the sort – “Yeah mate, I saw them before they were famous”.

That sense of witnessing something spectacular is immediately amplified as the band lure the audience in with opening number ‘The Bad Thing’, before blasting out the incredible ‘In My Head’.

The Mysterines – ‘In My Head’

As ‘Reeling’, ‘Old Friends Die Hard’ and ‘On The Run’ quickly follow it is evidently clear to all in attendance that The Mysterines are something special. It’s often said by music writers, that a bands sound is destined for arenas or stadiums. Only time will tell how far this band goes, but tonight their sound definitely is bursting out of this modestly sized venue.

‘Dangerous’, ‘Means To Bleed’ and ‘Life’s A Bitch (But I Like It So Much)’ sound absolutely massive and the crowd reciprocate that energy as the main set comes towards a close.

The venue is again shrouded in darkness as the band perform the stunning ‘The Confession Song’, showing their dexterity and uniqueness. Both the album and the show tonight demonstrate that The Mysterines are no one trick pony, and that makes their future even more exciting.

For an encore we are treated to singer Lia Metcalfe serenading a captivated audience with an acoustic rendition of ‘Still Call You Home’, before being joined by Joni from Fräulein for a very special performance of The Ronettes classic ‘Be My Baby’.

Sending the packed crowd back out into the cold Camden night with their ears ringing, the rest of the band return to fire out the huge ‘Hung Up’. Hopping back on the Northern Line, you can’t help but to look forward to gloating about this show in years to come!

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Album Reviews

Red Hot Chili Peppers

Unlimited Love

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Whilst many members have graced the Red Hot Chili Peppers over the past 40 years, there is no doubting the iconic line-up is Kiedis, Flea, Smith and Frusciante. So, the news that Frusciante was returning to the fold in 2019 was greeted with music excitement from their fanbase.

Sadly a pandemic related lack of touring and new music stifled some of that initial joy. There is no real wave of momentum now as the classic line-up release their first album together in 16 years.

Realistically the writing and release of ‘Unlimited Love’ is a thankless task for the band. Try to recapture their glory days and they are simply rehashing old ground, but try something different and rile fans excited by this reunion!

Listen to ‘Black Summer’ on our Spotify Hot List!

Pre-release singles ‘Black Summer’ and ‘Poster Child’ particularly showed that perhaps the band had shot for some middle ground in an attempt to please everybody. The obvious problem being that you can’t ever please everybody.

Red Hot Chili Peppers – ‘Poster Child’

Clearly their creative juices have flown again with word of some 50 tracks being recorded during these sessions. 17 have made it on to this album, which makes for a runtime of nearly an hour and fifteen minutes.

Of course the band, and this line-up in particular have history of lengthy releases, but I can’t help but feel a shorter punchier release may have done them more favours; especially in todays age of short attention spans.

This kind of brings us back to the point of who the band are trying to please on ‘Unlimited Love’. Realistically and perhaps rightly it’s not a new audience, nor really any lapsed early fans! The answer instead may lie internally, as this feels like four old friends reconnecting and testing the waters.

As we stated at the start, this release would always be a thankless task, so perhaps it’s only right the band get to take the time to feel each other out again. Let’s face it for a group on the level of Red Hot Chili Peppers, anything they release will be a commercial success.

Artistically they’ve not rested on any laurels, or simply played it safe, but for a band famous for their experimentation, you have to hope they will stretch their legs a little further on their next release!

Still, ‘Unlimited Love’ likely does what it needs to do. It doesn’t recapture past glories, but it may well lay the groundwork for the band to do so.

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Live Reviews

Royal Blood

O2 Arena, London

Wednesday 30th March 2022

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As Mike Kerr reminisces multiple times on stage tonight, it has been 10 years since he joined forces with Ben Thatcher to form Royal Blood. As he surveys a packed to the brim O2 Arena, it’s clear that this is a landmark moment for the duo.

To use a tired cliché, their rise has been meteoric (well, by today’s industry standards anyway!), and this evenings show is truly a celebration of what the band has achieved so far.

Over those years the band have proven themselves dab hands at choosing support acts, and this tour has been no different with candescent indie rockers The Amazons opening proceedings.

Soon to release their third album, they are a band already making a mark in their own right, and nights like tonight will only assist in affirming an already growing reputation. Their slot disappears in an instant as they grasp the audience with both hands and shake them with a good old fashioned rocking.

Early favourites ‘In My Mind’ and ‘Black Magic’ sandwich a set showcasing what has come and what is on the way with new single, ‘Bloodrush’ another highlight. The way the band own the stage tonight it’s not unimaginable that they will one day return to headline this venue themselves.

Listen to ‘Bloodrush’ on our Spotify Hot List!

Stage ownership is also something our headliners have never struggled with. From their early beginnings on smaller stages to now playing on the largest stages in the world, Royal Blood have always planted their flag.

With a simplistic yet visually stunning stage show behind them, Kerr and Thatcher set out once again to demonstrate just how much noise two individuals can make.

Royal Blood – ‘Honeybrains’

With their third album, ‘Typhoons’ arriving in the pandemic era this tour is a chance to take this newer material to the masses and the title track and fan favourite ‘Boilermaker’ instantly kick the door in (I’ll avoid any blowing the roof off puns!).

Older material such as ‘Lights Out’ and ‘Come On Over’ naturally send the crowd into a frenzy, but it is very telling that the newer songs such as ‘Trouble’s Coming’ and ‘Limbo’ elicit equal reaction; even brand new single, ‘Honeybrains’ already appears to be a bona fide crowd pleaser.

It really has been a pleasure following the ascent of Royal Blood from their early days until now. It’s extremely difficult for rock acts to break the mainstream these days; and it’s beautiful yet heart wrenching that the band still recognise those that have supported along the way with a tribute to the late great Taylor Hawkins during a traditionally thunderous Thatcher drum solo.

By the time old favourites ‘Ten Tonne Skeleton’ and ‘Out Of The Black’ ring out the band have proven themselves as belonging on this level. It’s one thing to get there, but another thing to stay there and on this evidence Royal Blood are here to stay.

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Album Reviews


Normal Fears

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There are some bands that just capture you entirely when you first hear them. Fatherson were able to accomplish that with me in 2014 when I first saw them as a support act. Some 8 years and 3 albums later, the band has since established themselves in the alternative rock world, and now they are set to release their fourth album, ‘Normal Fears’.

Preceding the album have been a whopping five tracks. With the album comprising thirteen songs, I already had a good idea of what to expect from the album. That was something new and different, yet something extremely familiar.

Listen to ‘End Of The World’ on our Spotify Hot List!

From the opening salvo of ‘End Of The World’, ‘Love For Air’ and ‘Normal People’ the bands new expansive sound is clear for all to hear. Their evolution towards a poppier direction then continues to be documented with ‘Everything’, ‘Do It For Yourself’ and ‘Honest To God’.

Fatherson – ‘Dive’

Singer Ross Leighton’s distinctive vocals still take centre stage, whether during tender moments such as ‘All The Time’ or more vibrant moments like ‘Dive’. Musically this album is a slight change of pace but it’s not a sprint to the finish. The band has done well to stay true to their sound whilst also embracing new ideas and reaching for new heights.

Fans both old and new will find pleasure with ‘Normal Fears’ capturing the sound of a band unshackled and just letting go. It has been a tough few years, with the world breaking more every day. We need music to keep us sane, and with ‘Normal Fears’ being thematically relatable and sonically aspiring, there is perhaps no better album to do that right now.

It’s always great to find a new act, but it’s even better to watch them grow.

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Album Reviews


Never Let Me Go

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It’s been over eight long years since the last Placebo album, but they are finally back with their eighth studio album, ‘Never Let Me Go’. The band has always been a law upon themselves and operated on their own terms, and that’s a right that they’ve well and truly earned. But after such a long break, can ‘Never Let Me Go’ do their legacy justice?

Pre-release singles such as ‘Beautiful James’ and ‘Surrounded By Spies’ were promising, and as the album starts with ‘Forever Chemicals’ you already sense that this is definitely the Placebo that we know and love.

Placebo – ‘Surrounded By Spies’

We aren’t that far from then bands 30th anniversary, and over that lengthy career they’ve mastered their own iconic sound. Able to effortlessly switch from melancholy to inspiring, from mellow to rampant, Placebo have become an influence to many that followed in their footsteps.

The first thing to note is that ‘Never Let Me Go’ is that sound at its truest. Close your eyes, listen, and you’re back in time to when you first fell in love with the band. For me that’s the hedonistic days of high school, which then makes me feel rather old!

Secondly, it’s clear that during their time away, Placebo have lost none of their quality. Whilst it’s somewhat easy for a band to rinse and repeat their sound, ‘Never Let Me Go’ is that classic sound in the modern era. As the album progresses there are many highlights that emphasise these points such as ‘Hugz’, ‘Try Better Next Time’ and ‘Sad White Reggae’.

Listen to ‘Try Better Next Time’ on our Spotify Hot List!

After such a long period away, the transition to a duo and just the general mystique around the band, there was a worry that this album could fail to live up to expectations. Thankfully those worries were completely misguided and Placebo in 2022 remain an extremely prosperous proposition.

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Album Reviews


Delusions of Grandeur

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If there is a rule book for the music industry to follow then THUMPER took one look and threw it out the window! The band has slowly been gaining traction over the past couple of years with a string of complex yet catchy singles and chaotic live shows.

Ironically titled debut album ‘Delusions of Grandeur’ arrives as a statement of intent from a band determined to do things their way. The norms of simple three minute radio friendly songs is brazenly ignored, the idea that one drummer is enough is laughed at and any road map for success is torn up. Yet, the outcome is a stunning record that should propel the band to much bigger things.

Another industry standard these days is a genre. Everything needs to have a label on it. Well, good luck choosing what you want to plug THUMPER as. There are touches and glimpses of everything here from punk to psych to pop and so much more.

THUMPER – ‘Fear of Art’

Opening with latest single ‘Fear of Art’, and early release ‘Ad Nauseuem’ the album is hypnotising from the very start. You’ll find yourself getting lost in the sound of a band stretching their musical legs, and then lose your inhibitions completely as they hit their stride with the likes of ‘The Loser’ and ‘Topher Grace’.

Listen to ‘The Loser’ on our ‘Discover’ New Music Playlist

Perhaps the most ambitious moment however comes at the end of the album with a trilogy of tracks written and recorded as one long piece. ‘Overbite’, ‘The Ghost’ and ‘Down in Heaven’ provide a stunning finale to a masterpiece of a debut album.

Yes, it’s worth remembering that this is the first album from THUMPER. There is no playing it safe, no parking the bus; this is a remarkable magnum opus which leaves you wondering where the band will go next!

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Album Reviews



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Feeder are a band who have experienced most of what the music industry has to offer; the highest highs and the lowest lows. Their endurance has to be admired and here they are with their eleventh studio album, ‘Torpedo’!

Part of their staying power has been fuelled by a proficiency of stability. They’ve never really attempted to break the mould or reinvent the wheel. But, and it’s an important but, they’ve also shown enough evolution to avoid becoming stale.

So, they’ve never put out a dance album and they’ve avoided a paint by numbers formula! What does that mean for ‘Torpedo’? Well, you guessed it more of the same!

Feeder – ‘Torpedo’

Yes, ‘Torpedo’ is instantly recognisable as a Feeder album, but this time around there are darker, murkier undertones both thematically and sonically. The band have proven their ability to play heavier styles in the past and this record certainly leans in that direction frequently.

The title track together with ‘Magpie’ and ‘Decompress’ exude this whilst there are more standard Feeder offerings in ‘When It All Breaks Down’ and ‘Hide and Seek’. There are ambitious moments such as album opener ‘The Healing’, and there are classic single compositions like ‘Wall of Silence’.

Listen to ‘Wall of Silence’ on our Spotify Hot List!

If you are already a fan of the band, then this album is a fantastic addition to your collection. If you are somebody just discovering the band then ‘Torpedo’ is a nice little sampler, but you’ll need to further explore for the bands highest moments.

At the point in their career, ‘Torpedo’, does exactly what Feeder needs it to do and it will ensure that their endurance levels are well maintained.

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