ALBUM REVIEW: Marcus King – Mood Swings

Having teamed up with Black Keys frontman Dan Auberbach for the last two albums, on his new one Mood Swings (American Recordings/Republic Records/Snakefarm Records) Marcus King is helped out by producer extraordinaire Rick Rubin. Gone is the seventies, bluesy Rock N’ Roll of the previous record Young Blood, in its place is R&B, Soul, Jazz, Pop and Classic Rock influences with King’s smokey, bluesman vocals taking centre stage. Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Blanket – Ceremonia

A genre-striding quartet from Blackpool, Blanket are back with their latest album, Ceremonia (Church Road Records). It is their third record and sees them continue their emotive brand of Post-Rock and Shoegaze, with the metal influences from their previous album Modern Escapism replaced with nineties Alternative Rock. Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: New Years Day – Half Black Heart

New Year’s Day helped pave the path for today’s female-fronted nu-metal bands who balance hard rock aggression with pop hooks. Having emerged from the days of Myspace, they have refined the weighty grooves of that era to transcend the bandwagon of their peers. This is largely due to frontwoman Ash Costello. On Half Black Heart (Century Media Records) Costello’s voice finds more piercing power. She knows how to pack a punch without resorting to screaming. This helps their songs avoid the modern rock formula that is wearing thin. Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Jack J Hutchinson – Battles

Having initially fancied himself as an abstract artist, Jack J Hutchinson picked up a guitar and the rest, as they say, is history. Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Slope – Freak Dreams

You would not expect a band from Germany to have become as stricken by a plague that makes their booty move as Slope has on their new album “Freak Dreams” (Century Media Records). The slapped bass and in-your-face energy might make more sense if it were being delivered by skater punks from Southern California in the summer of 1989. Slope wastes no time laying out their own uplifting mofo party plan. This unique approach sounds like it could catch on much, in the same manner, Turnstile proved audiences are ready for more grooves and tired of the same old same old. “It’s Tickin” proves that the band is not just living off of the nostalgia for 90s funk rock, though it does have doses of that as well. Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Plain White T’s – Plain White T’s


Whenever The Plain White T’s come up in conversation, it is seemingly impossible to get in more than a few words before their magnum opus “Hey There Delilah” is mentioned.

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ALBUM REVIEW: The Gaslight Anthem – History Books


Almost a decade has passed since The Gaslight Anthem sadly went on their indefinite hiatus as a band with Brian Fallon discovering a new side to his music under his solo project. Finally though, after all this time, the band are finally reunited with a brand new set of music to bring into what looks like a very busy 2024 for the act. For so many bands reuniting over the years, fanbases have become apprehensive on whether to expect a quick cash-grab or if the bands are back for real.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Duff McKagan – Lighthouse


Duff McKagan is an interesting character. Having released his first solo album in 1993, a big gap followed till 2019’s Tenderness, with Lighthouse (BFD Records /Orchard/Sony) his third. This of course is but a fraction of McKagan’s musical story. Consistently coming across as the most likeable out of the classic Guns N’ Roses lineup (in which he played bass and for his part was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame), such a rock pedigree is already more than most mere mortals would ever get a sniff at.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Twin Temple – God Is Dead


Aesthetic contradictions within the metal scene are not an uncommon sight these days. Bands whose image says one thing while their music does something entirely different vex and confuse people on a daily basis. But then there’s Twin Temple. A band favoured by a certain core of fans, whose image is a perfect representation of their sound but has nothing to do with heavy metal in the slightest.

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ALBUM REVIEW: New Model Army – Sinfonia

A live album by New Model Army was not expected, but I’ll take it. They have pushed the boundaries of punk since 1980, and this album is another example of how they outgrew the punk label. How many punk bands bring an orchestra with them? New Model Army was never just a three-chord band bashing things out with youthful recklessness; thoughtful songwriting and darker dynamics have always been a part of who they are. This album makes perfect sense given the breadth of their work, as it’s not the first time strings have played a role in their songs.

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