Sunday, 19 February 2017

#622: Sundara Karma - Youth is Only Ever Fun in Retrospect

Already daubed rockstars in waiting, Reading’s Sundara Karma are a band destined to be huge. Forming way in back 2010 – though only becoming their current iteration in 2015 – the Berkshire-based four-piece have been turning heads since their inception, and now, signed to Sony’s RCA label, show little sign in slowing their ascent to the top.

#621: Dave Hause & The Mermaid - Bury Me In Philly

No stranger to the American punk scene, Philly-based troubadour Dave Hause earned his credentials playing in myriad bands throughout the 00s, most notably in both Paint It Black and The Loved Ones. And while said scene is still thriving, those that populate it are a far cry from the grizzled images the word punk connotes.

#620: Kevin Devine & The Goddamn Band, The Deaf Institute, Manchester

From my view perched on the Deaf Institute’s miniscule balcony, the one thing that’s immediately obvious before the lights dim and Kevin Devine and the Goddamn Band take to the stage, is how equally split tonight’s attendance is. Once the realm of mainly beards and plaid both on and off the stage, line-ups such as tonight’s have always attracted a specific sort of crowd, so to see such diversity is a pleasant surprise.

#619: Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes - Modern Ruin

Renowned for his incendiary live shows, it comes as somewhat of a surprise that Frank Carter’s second record with his band The Rattlesnakes feels almost tame in comparison to last year’s ‘Blossom’.

Monday, 6 February 2017

#618: AFI - The Blood Album

Three and a half years have passed since the California punks released their last album ‘Burial’, and for long-term fans of AFI, new material is long overdue.

This review was originally written for Clash Magazine (Print). Click here to read in full.

#617: Japandroids - Near to the Wild Heart of Life

Last August, when Japandroids announced a run of shows slated for the tail end of 2016, it broke the silence on a three-year hiatus that followed a mammoth run of dates in support of their second album. A second announcement not long after confirmed what many people had spent two months speculating — a follow-up to 2012’s ‘Celebration Rock’.

#616: The Menzingers - After the Party

Pop-punk has always been a genre with youth at its heart. Forget the grizzled, cider-stained politics of its parent, for many growing up, its lyrics and upbeat melodies were a direct form of catharsis, providing the soundtrack to an adolescence populated by underage drinking and make-ups and break-ups, all while managing to articulate the heightened teenage emotions felt by its fans. But what happens when those fans — and indeed those bands — succumb to the inevitable and start to get older?

#615: Cloud Nothings - Life Without Sound

Cloud Nothings have always been a band to relish in their DIY credentials. Third album ‘Here and Nowhere Else’ was a clattering, abrasive affair, drenched in lo-fi fuzz, and recorded whenever their heavy touring schedule allowed. It’s for that reason its follow-up comes as somewhat of a surprise.