Spotlight | &U&I return with brand new track ‘The Stamp’

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“If people dig the new EP and people are still wanting to hear the music we make, then who are we to deny them.” &U&I are an institution. They’ve played with some of the UK’s finest, produced some of the best new-age post-hardcore there is and climbed on some the best speaker racks the festival circuit has to offer. But, it’s been over 3 years since they released a record. Which left many of us wondering… “when the fuck are they going to write some new music?” But despite our needy and often overbearing expectations as fans; for bands and artists to produce endless music, regardless of monetary and time constraints – &U&I have recorded a new EP. And it’s really good. So shut… Read More →

Spotlight | Listen to Fearless Leader’s New EP ‘Fiercely Loyal’

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Frantic, hard-hitting and chaotic; Fearless Leader‘s newest release Fiercely Loyal is a brilliant piece of technical post-hardcore that’s more than worth your time. Knowing practically nothing about Seattle’s Fearless Leader, and their notable musical exploits, when their new record Fiercely Loyal presented itself to us earlier this month, we found it hard to ignore. Awash with masterful guitars, big ideas and guttural vocals, Fiercely Loyal is an ever-evolving series of modern-rock songs that combine only the best elements of math, post-hardcore, metal and prog rock. Literally and figuratively screaming to be heard, Fearless Leader’s newest release isn’t for the faint-hearted. It’s full of intense passages of disorientating rock, and presents a point of view, lyrically, which isn’t easily forgotten. But it’s these uncertainties and sharp points which make Fiercely Loyal a… Read More →

Spotlight | Fox Capture Plan

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Jazz has seen many changes since its inception over a century ago. Some would argue that it parallels modernism and our insatiable need to innovate and move forward. While that’s entirely subjective, I think its a good point to keep in mind with Fox Capture Plan, as they are completely jazz without entire improvisation sections. On the surface the band could be seen as a traditional jazz trio, consisting of piano, upright bass and drums. What is not apparent though is that there is pop sensibility within their melodic hooks. There are also moments where the bass player runs his upright through distortion, or the drummer creates a pocket with a more rock-feeling groove. The inherent qualities of jazz lie… Read More →

Spotlight | 65daysofstatic

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It’s crazy to me that 65daysofstatic are now one one of the UK’s better established and longer-running bands… …with a crop of imitators,multiple world tours, festival headline sets, four full-lengths, one soundtrack album, a live album, three EPs, three rarities collections, and a handful of singles under their belts and now, in their twelfth year as a band, are preparing to release their fifth full length album. It’s mind-blowing, and I feel quite lucky to have had the privilege of watching these guys grow as a band over eight of those twelve years. I first saw them play to about thirty people not too long after The Fall Of Math came out, the fresh-faced newbies to the then-booming post-rock scene,… Read More →

2000 Trees Spotlight: Tanaou

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So 2000 Trees is soon upon us. This weekend, in fact! And the weather could be half as good and still beat the absolute fucking downpour and mud-swamp that was last year. Trees has firmly established itself as one of the best small festivals on offer, specialising in UK bands only, and generally picking out an absolutely killer crop of bands to play. This year sees Adebisi Shank, the most batshit crazy math rock on six legs in a red mask to ever come crawling out of Ireland, kicking and screaming in a robotic monotone, This Town Needs Guns stepping up and taking on a festival main stage, Musical Mathematics favourites Crash of Rhinos, BATS, Axes, Wot Gorilla, Gnarwolves, and about a… Read More →

Spotlight | CHON

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First things first lets clear something up for any Irish readers, it’s CHON and not choon (pronounced tune with a thick Dublin accent for anyone who’s not familiar with this colloquialism). No sir, what we do have however is a colossally short 18 minutes of instrumental insanity that is challenging and funny in equal measures. Here’s the deal in imaginary land; Ghost and Vodka have decided to get back together but they’ve also decided that what was missing the first time around was some insane shredding so they’ve enlisted Paul Gilbert to provide licks, runs and musical jokes. If you grew up listening to virtuoso guitarists before realizing the majority couldn’t write a song to save their lives, and then… Read More →

Spotlight | Zorch

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There is a lot to be said for a live show that involves audience participation, visuals and a band that seem to think fun is an integral part of their music… I mean it’s hard not to get noticed when part of your performance is a mid set game of dodgeball, never you mind your unconventional light shows. First picked up by the mainstream press around their SXSW performance in 2011 Zorch have taken their time, and are about to release their debut album having continued to build a buzz through these stellar live performances, a solitary EP and a particularly badass demo. And from what we’ve heard of their upcoming album, their time spent perfecting looks like it’s going… Read More →

Spotlight | Bloody Mammals

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London’s Bloody Mammals are making big noises across the UK post-punk and hardcore scenes and for good reasons, as their latest mini album adds yet another quality release to a roster of bands like Crusades and Polio who are really getting me excited about the future of hardcore in the UK… Indeed I feel like almost every month something noteworthy pops up and this month Bloody Mammals have been bleeping on my radar as they released Eventually Your House Will Burn Down on May 6th. Building steam from their debut EP, How Could I Hate You…I Made You, their latest effort is a raucous post-hardcore jaunt that announces Bloody Mammals’ mission to thrill you through riff based over stimulation- and they… Read More →

Label Spotlight | Destroy All Records

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Vast and eclectic; Leeds’ music scene is an unrelenting beast that twists and turns through the progressions of genre and taste. So, starting a record label, although not the most outlandish idea, is in no way a straight walk in the park… But take one seemingly laid back chat with Marcus Clarke and Dave Jackson from Destroy All Records, and you’ll soon realise that there’s always room for more new faces in the scene, especially when they’re both responsible for some of the best home-grown alternative records we’ve heard in ages. Natives to Leeds, i recently met with the duo to discuss Destroy All Records, Leeds and the Bands they love. And in a dark room above the Packhorse is where it took place. Met with torn… Read More →

Spotlight | Oshwa

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I always get giddy when I hear a band that’s doing something with their sound that nobody else has tried yet. That feeling really comes through for me when I listen to Oshwa… So maybe the most obvious aspect of Oshwa’s sound that sets them apart from other acts is the intense, throaty vocals of Alicia Walter. And on the group’s EP Transmissions from the Midwest: A Real-America Tribute, her soul piercing lyrical work really shines through. Walter’s voice is looped over itself on the beginning of the EP’s middle track ‘Grar’—a song that brings a smile to my face every time it comes on—creating this vessel of vibes that help you transcend into a life in the clouds. However,… Read More →