Patchwork Natives – ‘N . F . L . S’

Patchwork Natives - N . F . L . S

On their debut EP, N . F . L . S, Patchwork Natives present one of the most diverse instrumental records we’ve heard in a long while. Since forming in early 2013, Brighton three-piece Patchwork Natives have dedicated themselves to the art of music and songwriting. Living and breathing the project – Liam, James and Tommy have spent the better part of 3 years building and perfecting their eclectic instrumental sound. And with N . F . L . S, their hard work has finally paid off. N . F . L . S (Newtons Flaming Laser Sword) is the name of Patchwork Natives’ debut EP. It’s a short but brilliantly diverse release that showcases just how incredible and exciting instrumental music can be. At its heart, N . F… Read More →

Album Review | Delta Sleep – ‘Twin Galaxies’

Delta Sleep Twin Galaxies

Delta Sleep’s debut album is hands down, one of the best releases of 2015 so far. The last three weeks have been an absolute dream. Getting to know Delta Sleep’s first full length has been a pleasure – a rich experience full of endless ups and down. And I genuinely don’t remember the last time a record made me feel like that. It’s been a long wait though. Over 2 years have passed since Management, and in the meantime Delta Sleep have been through a lot. But through line-up changes and periods of hibernation the band have finally released their debut album, Twin Galaxies – a record which sets the bar for math rock and alternative music in the UK. A complex, yet beautiful… Read More →

Album Review | Alright The Captain – ‘Contact Fix’

Alright The Captain Contact Fix

It’s ambitious, complex, convoluted, confusing and ridiculous, but Alright The Captain‘s new release Contact Fix offers a refreshing take on instrumental music in 2015. Derby’s Alright The Captain are old. I mean, they’re not old, old – but they’ve definitely been around the block a few times. But that’s a good thing. Over the past five or so years, the trio have gigged, toured, recorded, promoted, marketed, crowdfunded, PR’d, networked, designed and distributed. They’ve worked as hard as a band possibly can in this day and age. And thankfully, they’re still around to see the benefits. First off, for whatever reason, instrumental music isn’t weird anymore – at least not like it used to be anyway. Bands without vocalists used to freak… Read More →

Live Review | Gnarwolves @ Fleece, Bristol

Gnarwolves

Gnarwolves are always on tour. And that’s a good thing. With no disrespect to their excellent trio of EPs and debut long-player, it’s the band’s relentless touring that has brought them to where they stand at the end of 2014. Where they stand is main stage at Reading Festival, support slots with Blink 182 and a largely sold out UK and European tour of the biggest venues they’ve headlined. For this extensive UK/EU run, the band have brought along one of Topshelf Records’ standout acts, Prawn. Fresh from releasing their second full-length Kingfisher in August, this current tour is their second run in Europe, after a 2012 tour with Ape Up! to showcase their then-new EP Ships. In those two… Read More →

Album Review | Shambles In A Husk – ‘Die Device Die’

Shambles In A Husk

It’s difficult to listen to Shambles In A Husk without thinking of a certain band whose name pays homage to the conclusion of Homers ‘Illiad’. However, it is in their similarities to another (unarguably) lesser known Equal Vision artist from days of yore, Hot Cross (strictly Risk Revival era mind), that warms me to their twiddly shoutiness. I’ve always admired Hot Cross’ ability to fuse rough, hardcore passion and delicious guitar licks bordering on math, with an emphasis on emotive melody over self indulgence. And it’s a tactic Shambles In A Husk use to great effect in opening track of their EP Die Device Die.  ‘Cowboy Doom’ utilises its tight harmonious lead riffs to steer the melody, leaving the heavier chords free… Read More →

Live Review | Joyce Manor @ The Exchange, Bristol

Joyce Manor Live Review UK Tour 2

A lot of people have been waiting a long time for Joyce Manor’s return to these shores. The last time the Californians were here in 2012, their second full length Of All Things I Will Soon Grow Tired had just taken off, having been released in the UK by Big Scary Monsters. Since then, the band have signed to Epitaph and released their lauded third Never Hungover Again. Their show at Bristol’s Exchange came at the tail end of their EU/UK tour with Cheap Girls and Great Cynics to promote the album. The first two bands created a minor stir, but in a tour that promoted Michigan’s Cheap Girls as a major support, and almost co-headliner, their set fell a… Read More →

Album Review | Axes – ‘Glory’

Axes Glory

It’s hard to believe that it’s been two years since Axes burst on the scene as the newest members of the Big Scary Monsters alumni. Label: Big Scary Monsters Release: 3rd November 2014 FFO: This Town Needs Guns, Tangled Hair, Foo Fighters (read on…) Glory is, in theory, regarded as Axes’ debut LP. Not that you’d know it from the supreme confidence that flows through each of its ten tracks, though. Opener ‘The One’ is blisteringly huge, with an outro that signals a move away from the twiddly and towards the chunky; sounding like the bloody Foo Fighters. Album number two (or one, I still haven’t figured this out) proves a much more calculated effort from Axes. Where their self-titled mini-album sometimes let… Read More →

Live Review | The Antlers @ Trinity, Bristol

The Antlers Review

Familiars is taken to impossible heights in the live arena. Brooklyn’s The Antlers are a wildly different outfit to that which released Hospice in 2009, widely regarded as one of the most affecting albums of the decade. It’s been followed by 2011’s sombre but hopeful Burst Apart, the ethereal between-album EP Undersea and latest cut, Familiars. The setlist chosen for the current tour, promoting the latter release, is almost entirely made up of tracks from said album, showing a supreme confidence in the band’s most recent work, especially with such an esteemed list of older tracks to choose from. Sadly, there are still those who will yell “play something from Hospice!” two songs into the set, and the sighs meeting… Read More →

Album Review | Grand Beach – Self-Titled

Grand Beach Album Cover Review

Grand Beach – a small, and almost unheard of band from Winnipeg, Canada – have triumphed in making one the most exciting records of 2014. This record is – in my eyes – flawless. But, for some reason it feels like I’m the only person listening to it. And I have no idea why. Why aren’t you listening to this fucking record? Here we have a seemingly unknown band from Canada – its members known primarily for their involvement in other bands (most prominent being Alex Litinsky’s A.M. Overcast) – and an album with almost no prior promotion or label support, and yet, it’s one of the most well-formed and unbelievable debuts of 2014. How the fuck did this happen? Yeah, ok –… Read More →

Live Review | Axes & Delta Sleep @ The Underground, Plymouth

Axes Live Plymouth Musical Mathematics

Just when you thought a joint headline tour between 2 of the UK scene’s finest live bands couldn’t get any better, Plymouth gets treated to possibly the finest Sunday night lineup it has ever seen. The Axes / Delta Sleep roadshow rolls into town courtesy of a booking by local multi-instrumentalist Steve Strong, well known for his penchant for all things musically experimental. I must admit to being unfortunate enough to miss the majority of Steve’s own band Remnants Of due to train issues (cheers, Crosscountry!), but one glimpse of their high-energy closer suggests those in attendance were rewarded for making it down early. Up next were Italian 3-piece Tapso II, who weave effects-laden violin into their raw, Shellac-like post-rock… Read More →