- Gloop – I Am – Crayon Sun
- Lesotho – Altar Fire – Summer Wars
- Sons of Alpha Centauri – Get The Guns – Push
- Kingston Express – Equal Rights (ft. Ranking Joe) – City Lock EP
- The Hawks – Big Store – Obviously 5 Believers
- Cinema Cinema – Trigger – CCXMDII
- Harry Stafford and Marco Butcher – Hide The Knives – Bone Architecture
- Infidels – Bad Apples – Single
- Four Candles – Loose Lips – Alternative Golf
- The Burner Band – Company Man – Signs & Wonders
- Tropical Fuck Storm – New Romeo Agent – Deep States
- The Persian Leaps – When This Gets Out (Radio Edit) – Single
- Kim Salmon – Self Replicator – Self Replicator/Everybody’s Out Of Town
- Blacktop Mojo – Wicked Woman – Blacktop Mojo
Gloop – Crayon Sun – Grimoire Records – 20th August 2021
The new full-length from Baltimore, Maryland-based weirdo noise rock trio GLOOP.
GLOOP was formed in 2016, in a basement in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, uniting vocalist/guitarist Dominic Gianninoto (Rhin), drummer Max Detrich (Big Weird), and bassist Blake Douglas (The Dead Monks). In 2017, GLOOP released their debut album The Tourist through Grimoire Records, who also released their second album, Smiling Lines, in 2019, the latter in collaboration with Buzzhowl Records in the UK.
Through their recordings and shows, GLOOP has continued to evolve their style while having a signature sound—angular, agitated guitars, driving drums, and wry, slightly askew lyrics. This is proven on the band’s incoming third album, Crayon Sun. The album finds the band diving into open tunings and a darker tone than previous albums, cranking out a dozen new songs in just over thirty minutes.
Crayon Sun was recorded, mixed, and mastered by Noel Mueller in the early months of 2021, with additional engineering by Blake Douglas, and the cover artwork handled by Max Detrich. .
The prolific band is also already currently in the process of writing more songs for a fourth album.
Lesotho – Summer Wars – Self Released – 20th August 2021
Boston, Massachusetts-based post-rock/post-metal trio LESOTHO presents their debut studio EP, Summer Wars.
LESOTHO is a three-piece instrumental metal outfit formed in 2020 by guitarist Kyle Loffredo, drummer Zach Ganshirt, and bassist Cliff Cazeau. Formed during a time when many would feel isolated and separated, the members found connection and community through a mutual love for heavy and emphatic instrumental music. Loffredo and Cazeau would often collaborate on other projects, frequently running into Ganshirt, who was working at his father’s shop in the same building as their rehearsal space.
Not to be defined by the fallible nature of mankind and its words, LESOTHO follows the cardinal rule of metal – that there are no rules. For them, writing a massive song fueled by the raw emotion of the instruments, without a traditional verse/chorus trade-off feels natural, and their structure flows however it pleases. In the world of LESOTHO, artists as varied as Caspian, Isis, Cave In, and Black Sheep Wall swirl inside their heads, and seep into their musical ether.
Recorded by Alex Allinson at The Bridge Sound & Stage in Cambridge, Massachusetts and mastered by Magnus Lindberg of Cult Of Luna at VRTKL Audio/Magnus Lindberg Productions, LESOTHO’s Summer Wars EP is a largely heavy and precisely orchestrated body of work, driven by clean, emotive guitar melodies juxtaposed by thundering bass and drum work. The record was completed with artwork by Manol Chitadze and Benjamin Bardou. LESOTHO may elude all characterization, fitting in all boxes while also fitting in none at all, but one thing is for certain, the genuine artistry behind Summer Wars is undeniable. Each moment stands together, holding the listener and demanding their attention with every note.
The band writes, “Our mutual love for music brought us together. We strive to challenge ourselves and push to make the best music we possibly can. Our philosophy behind writing music is that we want our sound to be well-rooted in the post-rock/post-metal genre, while also freely exploring light, melodic passages, and also darker, heavier themes. We want our music to allow the listeners to act as individuals and to take away something different while listening to our songs. Whether it is emotion, inspiration, creativity, nostalgia, and so on; we try to give them the freedom to paint their own picture.”
Sons of Alpha Centauri – Push – Exile On Mainstream – 27 August 2021
Their third album – a milestone release for the UK-based collective and a radical departure from their instrumental sound. Push marks their first collaboration with musicians from two of the biggest and most respected bands in the Sacramento music community; Jonah Matranga (Far, Gratitude) and Mitch Wheeler (Will Haven).
Push is a powerhouse of searing post hardcore, alternative metal and progressive dreamy riff rock, with an ideology rooted in the 90s hardcore scene. The record has evolved a fresh take on alternative post hardcore and emotive metal. The hypnotic pulsing riffs and the soaring emotional power of Jonah’s wrought and raw vocals provide his first heavy performance since the critically acclaimed Far reunion album At Night We Live!
SOAC follow on from Continuum exploring their heavier side and pursuing a truly avant grade blend of progressive ambient metal and post hardcore. Jonah uses his return to post hardcore, and his subtle, almost subliminal delivery to challenge some of the core topics with a reignited fire of passion and emotional persuasion.
Founding member and bass player Nick Hannon said ‘SOAC has a split personality – this is most certainly our darker and heavier side – we grew up on 90s alternative rock and to harness our vision with the purveyors of the Sacramento post hardcore sound will make this a true landmark release and we have taken it to the extreme collaborating with Mitch and Jonah!’”
On embracing the spirit of collaboration Nick continues, “We’ve always been interested in working in a collaborative manner so despite the epidemic we’ve continued building and expanding our spectrum of musical genres that we want to experiment with. This is an exciting phase for us, and integrating the guys from Sacramento and their heritage is phenomenal. We have worked to sculpt the instrumental rock dexterity of SOAC and provided a hardcore backbone by integrating Mitch and Jonah that has breathed a whole new spirit into the vessel. It still has an element of mysticism but comes with a more direct connection to the audience.”
Kingston Express – City Lock EP – Kingston Expres -2021
Following the critically acclaimed 2020 album ‘The Foot of The Mountain’, Kingston Express are back with the brand new ‘City Lock EP’. Written and produced by Joe Simpson in Moseley, Birmingham UK, the ‘City Lock EP’ features six brand new roots reggae tracks with vocals from Horace Andy, Macka B, Ranking Joe, Earl 16, YT, Cheshire Cat and Longfingah.
The ‘City Lock EP’ was co-written with Kingston Express keys player Mat Kedracki based in his studio in Poland, it was mastered by Ed Rome based in his studio in Spain and features the horn section from fellow Birmingham band Kioko. Drums were provided by the late great Style Scott (Roots Radics) and the mighty London based percussionist and regular Kingston Express vocalist Horseman.
The Hawks – Obviously 5 Believers – Seventeen Records – 27th August 2021
History tells us that every once in a while a group of people can come together with one dream and do beautiful things with it, burning brightly but too briefly before sputtering out. But just because history throws up a cloud of white noise, that dream doesn’t necessarily have to die.
We know that Stephen Duffy had been a founder of Duran Duran, one of a number of bands to emerge on Birmingham’s fertile, exciting and often confusing post-punk scene. When TV Eye, the Second City’s Stooges-inspired garage punk band split, Daves Twist (drums) and Kusworth (guitar) and Paul Adams (guitar) approached Duffy (vocals) and Simon Colley (bass) from that first Duran line-up to join their new project. So began Obviously Five Believers, who in turn became The Subterranean Hawks, before settling, without much enthusiasm on The Hawks. “If we’d stuck to Obviously Five Believers we may have stood a chance,” says Duffy. “It’s how I still think of us. I think we only changed it because Bob Lamb couldn’t fit the name on the cassette boxes.”.
Adored by most who saw them, they recorded one highly collectable single, ‘Words Of Hope’. They lasted from ’79 until Christmas ’81. “When we didn’t get signed by Rough Trade we didn’t really have any other ideas… or a Svengali ”
Proto slackers in a city that never developed the support networks, the label entrepreneurs, of a Glasgow, Liverpool or Sheffield, The Hawks undoubtedly had most of the signifiers already in place for the ‘Scene In Between’ that would emerge just a few years later.
Years passed with the various members each finding degrees of success: Duffy solo, and with the Lilac Time; Kusworth with Nikki Sudden and numerous other bands, often alongside current Black Bomber Twist.
In 2019, when Duffy and Kusworth last met, he asked Duffy, as custodian of The Hawks ‘cassette archive,’ to agree to release an album. Sadly this was literally the last thing Kusworth said to him as David tragically passed away suddenly in September last year. Duffy has remained as good as his word, however, in bringing these ten songs to release, in honour of his friend. Having languished on deteriorating cassettes for 40 years, they’re now set free, sounding almost understandable, thanks to the sorcerous mastering of Grammy-winning engineer John Paterno.
Dedicated to Kusworth’s memory, Obviously 5 Believers is the sound of five nineteen-year-olds from Birmingham setting out to change the world. ‘Twas ever thus.
Cinema Cinema – CCXMDII – Nefarious Industries – 20th August 2021
CINEMA CINEMA was established in 2008 by Brooklyn-born cousins, vocalist/guitarist Ev Gold and drummer Paul Claro. They’ve been described as “experi-metal punks” by the Village Voice, a “jolt of adrenaline” by BrooklynVegan, and “feral and unrelenting” by Big Takeover.
Touring extensively through the past decade, the duo has performed over four hundred fifty shows across eleven countries. CINEMA CINEMA has toured numerous times alongside SST Records founder Greg Ginn, including a fifty-plus-date 2014 North American tour opening for Black Flag, select dates supporting Black Flag in 2013, and shared dates in 2010, 2011, and 2012 with Ginn’s other outfits The Royal We and The Taylor Texas Corrugators. In addition, the band has half a dozen European tours to their credit, including a 2013 stint in support of Martin Bisi Band and a run of Summer festivals in 2016.
CINEMA CINEMA appears in and has contributed music to the critically acclaimed 2014 documentary Sound And Chaos: The Story Of BC Studio. The band was also included on BC35, a celebration of the 35th anniversary of BC Studio – alongside members of Swans, Sonic Youth and other studio alumni; released via Bronson Recordings in 2018.
In 2019, the duo joined with Nefarious Industries to release their fifth album, CCXMD. Taking a stylistic left turn from any previously recorded output, they found themselves delving into ambient and atmospheric free-jazz territories. CINEMA CINEMA invited reed aficionado Matt Darriau – best known for his work with Grammy award-winning world-music ensemble The Klezmatics – to join the group for the collaborative, entirely improvised affair. Darriau had been a guest on the band’s 2017 LP Man Bites Dog, providing saxophone on a handful of tracks.
CINEMA CINEMA now presents their sixth full-length, CCXMDII, which serves as companion and conclusion to 2019’s CCXMD. Woodwind expert Matt Darriau returns, bringing along more tools from his repertoire as the trio submerge themselves in the strange beauty of chaotic sound, found together in the moment. This collection of material is the conclusion to sessions that yielded 2019’s CCXMD, an album described as “no-holds-barred punk-jazz” by Brooklyn Rail and “as intelligent as it is unintelligible” by Invisible Oranges.
CCXMDII was engineered, mixed, and mastered by Vin Cin at Electric Plant Studios in Brooklyn, New York, with artwork, design, and layout by Lauren A. Kelley.
Harry Stafford and Marco Butcher – Bone Architecture – Black Lagoon Records – 3rd September 2021
Despite the distance between them Stafford and Butcher are punk soul brothers from the same muddy musical pond. Connecting during a year of ‘lockdown hell’ inadvertently led to their collaboration.
‘Bone Architecture’ is a superb collection of songs that is raw and, at times, an unforgiving forage into urban punk blues with fuzzed up jazz and garage trash rock. Here, Harry and Marco’s styles have clashed magnificently into a powerful record that crosses a multitude of genres but with a dirty blues makeover. The LP includes reworked older material, brand-new compositions and even a dirty blues version of the Pink Floyd classic ‘Arnold Layne’.
Best known as founder, guitarist and vocalist of Manchester post-punk gothic rockers Inca Babies, Harry’s two most recent solo albums (‘Guitar Shaped Hammers’ and ‘Gothic Urban Blues’) reflect a cooler, less frenetic vibe, leaning on piano, trumpets and blues guitar. All this made him the perfect collaborator to set words and lyrics to Marco’s sonic backdrop.
From Sao Paulo, Marco Butcher now lives in Winston Salem, North Carolina. A prolific artist, his acts include The Jam Messengers, Chicken Snake, and The Jesus and The Groupies. Professing the American underground of blues, jazz, rockabilly and screaming punk blues, he has collaborated with Hugo Race and members of Tex and the Horseheads, Pussy Galore, Gumball, The Gories, Gibson Brothers, Jerry Teel, The Oblivians and The Workdogs.
“There’s something about collaborating that is pure magic to me, cause you’re not sharing ideas at the same time and you’re in the moment. There’s something about the not knowing what the other will bring . . the surprise factor. The fact that music is very elastic and not always the way ya listen to it in your mind but something else, something cooler, greater,” says Marco Butcher.
Marco’s tracks were recorded at his Boombox Studio. Harry laid down vocals, piano and other instruments at Black Lagoon Records. London-based trumpet supremo Kevin Davy added jazz tones into the mix. After engineering, agonising, production and debates, they were finally mastered by Marco.
Infidels – Bad Apples
Hailing from the booze-soaked bordellos of Hull, Infidels provide the soundtrack to a film in your head; a shimmering cinematic score that provokes and soothes in equal measure. Both timely and timeless, the band’s influences are as wide-reaching and as disparate as Infidels themselves, with nods to the likes of JJ Cale and Burt Bacharach merging with their deep-seated grooves and effortless, easy-going flair.
Previous tracks such as the brooding atmospheric ‘See Red’ and euphoric recent single ‘How About You’ move the body and lodge themselves firmly in the mind, glittering bright and hard. West Coast craft meets East Coast soul; let this beautiful noise become your spirit guide through the mess of these modern days and beyond.
The band’s latest single, ‘Black Apple’, fits neatly into Infidels’ established canon, well pushing them forward. Described by previous singer Andy Towse as being “Firstly…gibberish but when the melody came I had an image of Princes Ave on a rainy day. I filled in the words with why I’d be out there on a day like that. And it was a vision of storming out of a house after an argument. And reading a ‘novel’ somebody text you afterward, on your black apple iPhone. Then finding someone new on your black apple iPhone.”
“I sang what I felt and because it was with these gents the melody came easy and comfortable.”
Though its narrative might be semi-hinged on technology, the track itself, like those it comes after, could come from any era, and indeed, any location, such is its universal appeal.
Four Candles – Alternative Golf – German Shepherd Records – 3rd September 2021
Originally released in June 2020 on September 3rd a reissue of the final EP from the first line-up of Four Candles.
Comprising four eclectic tracks we find the group at the height of their powers with two epic progressive slow ones and two manic shorter punky pieces. Epic opener “Doughnuts” brings in bassoon, trumpet, piano, and cello to broaden the sound in a piece of melodic magic, a totally new direction for the band. The middle two are more typical of the punk roots of the group, intense bass, huge swathes of guitar, manic drumming and an exercise in vocal excess typical of Mr Moss aka Ian Fourcandles. Closer “Requiem” slows things down for a slow build piece lasting nearly eight minutes – a gentle opening underlies a harrowing narrative of children dying in care homes. The song slowly builds to an intense and ferocious climax. Memorable stuff.
The EP was recorded at 6dB studios in Salford under the watchful eye and steady hand of Simon “Ding” Archer.
Other than the single “Death In Paradise” this is the last release by the group with Jon Rowlinson on bass, his place taken by John Bardsley of the Ombudsmen.
The Burner Band – Signs & Wonders – Shed Load Records – 1st September 2021
The Burner Band bridge the gap between bluegrass, rock’n’roll and punk to create their own sound. After two solo albums, Lewis (vocals/guitar) collaborated with Ian (vocals/double bass) to forge a collection of songs which range in subject matter from mental health and murder to Liverpool’s campaign to rid the city of The Sun.
As a solo artist, Lewis Burner has supported the likes of Bob Log III, The Coal Porters and The Legendary Shack Shakers. He has also appeared at Broadstairs Folk Week, Orwell bluegrass festival and Strummer Camp. Previous albums have received rave reviews in The Morning Star, fRoots magazine and FATEA magazine.
Live they are accompanied by Mark Pugh (Lewis’ dad) playing virtuoso 5-string banjo and Lewis Beresford on snare drum to create a timeless sound with all the right ingredients.
Tropical Fuck Storm – Deep States – Joyful Noise – 20th August 2021
The third album from art rock Aussie noise terrorists finds them at their inventive best.
The Persian Leaps – When This Gets Out – Land Ski Records – 19th August 2021
The Persian Leaps are back with their new single ‘When This Gets Out’, which was born of frustration during the Trump presidency. This track is a welcome taster of their new album ‘Drone Etiquette’, a 6-track offering to be released in autumn via Land Ski Records.
Kim Salmon – Self Replicator/Everybody’s Out Of Town – Bandcamp – 20th August 2021
A new single from the Godfather of Grunge
Blacktop Mojo – Blacktop Mojo – Self Released – 13th August 2021
a rock band from Palestine, Texas. The band consists of vocalist Matt James, drummer Nathan Gillis, guitarists Ryan Kiefer and Chuck Wepfer, and bassist Matt Curtis. Their fourth album.