EP REVIEW: SNAYX – Better Days

UK Punk has had a bit of a resurgence in the past few years, with acts like Bob Vylan and Kid Kapichi bringing the likes of grime into the sound. The result has been massive for the scene on an even larger scale with Idles having sold out numerous dates instantly.

It is a good time to be a proud fan of the UK Punk scene. Continue reading

REVIEWS ROUND-UP: ft. Church of Misery, Witchskull, Altar of Oblivion, Wytch Hazel, Yawning Man, and Tigercub


Nearly thirty years of diving headfirst into the void, and Church of Misery are back with Tatsu Mikami once more giving worship to the Blackest of Sabbath’s, acolyte to ‘The Riff’ and servant to the retro groove once more on Born Under A Mad Sign (Rise Above). Joined once again after a twenty-five-year absence by original vocalist Kazuhiro Asaeda, there is a fine sense of anticipation about the Japanese doom merchants seventh full-length. 

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Blur – The Magic Whip

Blur-  The Magic Whip

When Blur reactivated in 2008 with founding member Graham Coxon, it was a cause for great celebration among fans and the music press. Coxon was really the author of the sound of the band at their pinnacle, along with front man Damon Albarn’s chameleon voice, that put the band on the map during the Brit-Pop explosion of the 90s. But twelve years between albums can be a killer prospect for many artists, especially these days. The band found inspiration to churn out a new album after a chance extended stay in Hong Kong after a canceled tour. That experience is all over the finished result of The Magic Whip (Parlophone) and it’s brilliant.

While every band and other mother is jumping on some sort of revival bandwagon, Blur is not tripping on their own toes. They have turned in a thoughtful and passionate album that furthers stretches out their legacy, rather than repeats it. From the introspective opener ‘Lonsome Street’, and the sleepy ‘New World Towers’, to the electro-folk pondering of ‘Ice Cream Man’, Coxon and Albarn still have a knack for slick songcraft. ‘Go Out’ rocks with a twangy chord progression right out of the work of Carl Perkins. There is more terrific guitar work here as well as the ultra catchy sing-a-long ear-worm part under the chorus. ‘Thought I Was A Spaceman’ might be the album’s centerpiece, philosophical, patient and rewarding. With deft dynamic elements and post-trip hop beats, this track just burrows into your chest and holds your heart.

And it still rocks in spots too. ‘I Broadcast’ and ‘My Terracotta Heart’ don’t rage with the vitriol, but are driving tracks that demand your attention. Other ones such as there ‘Are Too Many of Us’ and ‘Ghost Ship’ sounds as if the late 70s Rolling Stones met up with New Order in 1988 to write some jams. The balladry of closing song ‘Mirroball’ is not a dirge, nor a celebration, but a memory made to last in you, long after the final guitar lines reverberate and dissolve.

Blur is back ladies and gentlemen, and showing us all how a band makes a comeback album without trying too hard at all.