While it appears most of the north-western world is rocking out to My Chemical Romance in Warrington tonight, we few in the know are being treated to a stellar evening of Punk Rock meets wrestling gimmicks and theatrics. The guys at Future Yard, Society of Losers Records and TNT Extreme Wrestling have come together to provide this extremely special spectacle of transforming the venue into a wrestling arena. Complete with a ring, an announcer, a commentator’s booth and worked over the top entrances.

First up on the bill we have the throbbing self styled Grunge of Mr Ted. Collectively looking like a roadside group of prisoners completing general highway housekeeping. The only crime the lads have committed tonight is not playing longer. Combining all the best bits of the dirtier sides of alternative rock, the band are far more formidable in the flesh than on record. I’ll certainly be checking them out live again in the future. 

And ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, here we have the main event. The reigning world’s champion, of Widnes. Salt the Snail! This show certainly does have it all. Not only are we being treated to an intense Punk Rock show in a squared circle, but we are given gimmick after gimmick which really pops the crowd. Ever seen the front man go out and crowd surf on a giant inflatable pizza slice lilo? Me neither, and I’ve never seen Jello Biafra do it either. Just saying. And if that’s not enough for brazenly mocking mortality, the crowd is constantly ‘serenaded’ from atop of step ladder. As you do. Then the audience is generously given some covid safe, free pizza to help keep the energy up. Marvellous. 

The show had it all tonight. Slips, trips and falls, but also extreme highs. A great Friday in anybodys book. Keep your eyes peeled for more Snail antics. Maybe next time they’ll break out the thumbtacks. 

Author: Dan Kasm

SLYDER SMITH & THE OBLIVION KIDS, have announced the release of their debut album ‘Charm Offensive‘, to be out on 19th August 2022 through Ray Records on 12” black vinyl, digipak CD and digital, distributed worldwide via Cargo Records. Pre-order the album here

“This album has been a real labour of love for me, I’ve really put my heart & soul into it. Over the last year or so I’ve been working very hard developing my guitar playing, music & lyric writing pulling myself in all sorts of directions, really stretching myself. I feel I have accomplished what I set out to do, create songs from the heart in no specific genre & perform them to the best of my ability on the record. I guess for years I have been a frustrated lead singer so I have relished the opportunity to showcase what I can do vocally too.” – Slyder Smith –

Slyder Smith first swaggered onto the stage as lead guitarist with glam-tinged power popsters, Last Great Dreamers. After releasing four studio albums and one live album on Ray Records, & having toured extensively throughout the UK & Europe with LGD, Slyder now takes centre stage leading new power trio, Slyder Smith & The Oblivion Kids (Tim Emery, Bass and Rik Pratt, Drums) in an honest outpouring of grit, glamour and emotion.

Stepping out of the shadows and into the spotlight, the self-confessed ‘frustrated lead singer’ has been forced to delve deep into his own psyche, to carefully craft lyrics and melodies that speak from the heart. Slyder’s emotive vocals are powerful, yet melancholic, the perfect balance of light and shade sitting effortlessly within the sonic landscape of his varied rhythm guitar sounds and highly melodic & anthemic lead lines.

Stage left, Slyder is joined by Tim Emery, a towering enigma, whose stylish bass lines are the only thing to outshine his impeccable apparel and at the back sits the Oblivion Kids’ powerhouse and beat master, Welshman, Rik Pratt. A man of few words but whose presence is palpable in this rock steady rhythm section.

But this is no ordinary guitar-based rock album; together with producer Pete Brown (George Harrison, Siouxsie & the Banshees, Marc Almond, The Smiths and Sam Brown), Slyder has allowed the songs to dictate the direction they have gone in; discovering melodies and hook lines along the way. Making use of Hammond organ and piano with the help of Neil Scully (Richard Davies & the Dissidents), a 1950s Phillicord organ, lap steel guitar & even a bit of banjo.

A chocolate box of sonic sensations offering up a little something for everyone – from heavy riffage with walloping drums akin to the brothers Young to the anticipated sleaze rock shades of Hanoi Rocks. However, this band is not afraid to step away from their rock roots, instead, with nods to the likes of The Doors, Velvet Underground, The Stranglers and The Kinks from the past and the alternative rock sound of Manic Street Preachers, The Oblivion Kids have reimagined an 80s synth-pop classic and mastered singalong pop, gothic, dark Americana, and dare I say it, funk-rock?! There are a few firsts for Slyder on here too in the form of an instrumental track with a western feel to a duet featuring the ethereal vocals of Nina Courson (Healthy Junkies). The result is an idiosyncratic 14-track album of outstanding versatility.  A Charming debut, I’m sure you’ll agree.

On the strength of the new recordings, Slyder has also just signed a publishing deal with Cherry Red Songs… “I’m really hopeful that with Cherry Red’s help we will find plenty of opportunity for my new music to be used commercially.”

On May 2nd Slyder Smith & The Oblivion Kids played their live debut on the main stage at HRH Ibiza Road Trip and went down a storm in front of a packed house to opening the 5-day rock festival!

The band plan a string of single & video releases throughout the summer & will perform their UK debut show In London at Pump It Up Festival on Sat July 2nd.  followed by a demanding schedule of live dates including a 9 date UK tour as special guests to Swedish groove-rockers, The Electric Boys in Aug/Sept to coincide with the release of the debut album. Further headline & festival live dates are planned for the rest of the year in UK & Europe.


Look at that cover art, now there’s a dude who understands the fine art of being a rock star! Raised in the woods of West Virginia on a diet of 60’s & 70’s rock and a whole host of world music, you could say Gyasi (pronounced Jah-See) had an isolated upbringing. But his time with just his parents record collection and Charlie Chaplin/Buster Keaton movies was all the inspiration he would need to create a theatrical, rock n’ roll persona.

After joining his first band at 15, Gyasi eventually relocated to Nashville to search for the rock n’ roll dream. Now it seems, the newest dandy from the underground is vying to claim the crown of the long-gone rock stars and the bands that are well past their prime.

‘Pronounced Jah-See’ is the first long player on vinyl for this artist. This album collects a bunch of previous singles and new material together on glorious purple wax (other inferior formats are available) and it just begs to be placed on a turntable, the needle to be dropped and the volume to be cranked!

From the opening falsetto vocals and fuzzy guitars of ‘Burn It Down’ to the epic closer ‘Godhead’, Gyasi takes the listener on a pre-digital age tour-de-force of retro rock n’ roll. While the aforementioned opener comes on like Foxy Shazam meets The Darkness, and surely gets my attention, the sublime power pop makes way for the swampy, blues stomp of ‘Tongue Tied’. With a killer guitar harmonizer and some harmonica, it walks the same muddy, southern blues paths that the likes of The Back Keys and The White Stripes have frequented.

You can’t review this album without mentioning the Bowie/Bolan influences, and it doesn’t stop at Gyasi’s fashion sense either. (Yes, Gyasi could be the only man to pull off leopard skin flares and red stack-heeled boots in 2022). ‘Androgyne’ is Ziggy Stardust with countrified slide guitar and well-placed handclaps. ‘Fast Love’ channels T-Rextasy to the max, and ‘Kiss Kiss’ adds some New York Dolls swagger to the mix with honkytonk keys, sexy sax and Johnny Thunders guitar licks. Every song is a banger, hands down, and there’s enough diversity to keep the interest, even for the modern playlist generation.

The thing is that Gyasi is wearing his influences just as well as he wears his threads, man! But he also throws in modern day twists and turns to keep it contemporary. There are hints of Brit Pop going on and he always manages to create killer hooks and choruses that will stick like glue. Take ‘Feed Your Face’, it’s everything glam rock wannabees for the last 40 years have failed to master. Take a pilfered Bowie riff, add a killer chorus and a bunch of handclaps and bobs your uncle, you’ve got a potential hit single!

Then, just when the naysayers will have him nailed as a Bowie rip off artist, he goes and takes the listener on a sentimental trip to Haight-Ashbury. ‘Walk On’ is as Summer Of Love as you can get without putting on a Mamas and The Papas record. A live feel is created with its acoustic intro, it reeks of the San Francisco sun, reefer and doe-eyed hippy chicks with flowers in their hair. Or is it just a Kula Shaker song? I don’t care, all I know is, that it’s the coolest trip my ears have heard in ages and I love it!

Elsewhere, the acoustic ‘Little Tramp’ delivers Led Zep 3 vibes and was probably written around a campfire in the company of faeries, wolves and other such mystical beings. I think I even heard a flute on it! And then to round things off he somehow manages to channel the influences of both Pink Floyd and The Beatles in the epic ‘Godhead’.

Gyasi takes the rock n’ roll swagger of Zeppelin, the bad boy boogie of T Rex and combines the theatre of Queen & David Bowie with the campness of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, all rounded off with catchy hooks and killer choruses that are all of his own making.

While you may argue there is nothing original in rock n’ roll these days, I feel that this album is the most exciting and complete record I have heard this year, hands down. But ‘Pronounced Jah-See’ is more than just a throwback to rock n’ roll’s golden years, it’s a statement of intent that Gyasi is here to take on the world and be the poster boy for the next generation, and that’s just the attitude we want from our rock stars, isn’t it? Music lovers, you ask where the future festival headliners are…I present you Gyasi, give him your stages!

Buy Here

Author: Ben Hughes


Everybody Rains On My Parade’ takes the listener on a rough and tumble journey that feels both timeless and immediate. It’s an album full of honest passion for the joyful rebellion of Rock ‘n’ Roll.

Jo Dog and Paul Black are both well known figures in rock circles, playing with a veritable “who’s who” of top shelf musical talent. Jo was first thrust onto the international stage when his band, The Dogs D’Amour, burst out of London with their album ‘In The Dynamite Jet Saloon’ spawning two UK Top 40 hits co-written by Jo. 
After The Dogs disbanded, Jo relocated to California and played with Shooting Gallery, Hanoi Rocks’ Andy McCoy’s band, who toured with KISS.  He then worked with Guns N’ Roses guitarist Gilby Clarke – performing on his gold-selling debut album ‘Pawnshop Guitars’.
As well as Sonic Boom, Jo is also working on the debut album from Jo Dog & The Desperados – a trio featuring Jo and his former Dogs D’Amour hounds Steve James and Bam.

Paul is a veteran of the Hollywood rock scene, notably a founding member and the original singer and songwriter for L.A. Guns. His songs ‘Sex Action’, ‘Never Enough’ and ‘No Mercy’ launched the first two L.A. Guns albums to Gold record sales status. In addition, Paul began his career with the legendary underground L.A. punk band, The Mau Maus, whose first album was produced by The Doors’ Robby Kreiger.
With Sonic Boom, the duo have locked into a songwriting groove that effortlessly blends their diverse backgrounds into a cohesive whole.
The 12-track album displays a deep affection for the British rockers who reinterpreted American Blues for stadiums full of young rock ’n’ roll fans. The Rolling Stones and the Faces loom large as spiritual godfathers, with the grit and authenticity of the Delta Blues masters at the foundation. The songs roll by, distilling the essence of various aspects of these influences into a concise love letter to the rock ‘n’ roll world… as if the great double albums of all time have been compressed into a lean, single disc. Pieces of ‘Exile On Main Street’ are grafted onto bits of Dyan’s ‘Blonde On Blonde’, while the ambition Of ‘The White Album’ collides with the perfectly restrained power of The Allman Brothers ‘Live At Fillmore East’. The title track, ‘Everybody Rains On My Parade’ is an instant classic with lyrics that casually dismiss critics and naysayers with an undeniable pop flourish. The rest of the track list sparkles with gems like the uplifting ‘Tree For Shade’, and the infectious ‘Up For The Late Show’. Elsewhere the epic ‘Blue Like the Morning’ creates a vivid mood that is almost cinematic in scope while ‘Jesus Drives A School Bus’ is a classic blues rocker.
Produced by Gabe Lowry at Fox Force Studios, in Hollywood, California, the album boasts an irresistible muscular swagger balanced with the laid back hip-swing of the coolest records in your collection. Gabe shares additional recording credit on the album with Muddy Stardust. In addition to his work on the production side of the album, Muddy (Burning Tree, Chris Robinson Band) also joins Jo and Paul on bass, keyboards & vocals with Dennis Morehouse (Gilby Clarke) on drums, Tony Snow (Dramarama) on percussion and backing vocals, Chris Joyner (Soul Asylum, Wallflowers) on keyboards, and bassist Tony Babylon (Izzy Stradlin Band, Sylvain Sylvain) rounding out the band.
‘Everybody Rains On My Parade’ is out now on CD, 180gm vinyl and via all digital / streaming sites.

Photocredit Anjeanette Stairs

Turn up the stereo! Quazimofo are on the player and they’re bringing the noise – pure unadulterated punk n fuckin roll. the baton has been handed down from the likes of EF, Gluecifer, and The Dragons. The cats out of the bag and Quazimofo are carrying the blazing torch forward with their no-bullshit, amps to 11 Rock n Fuckin’ Roll.

Orange County, California’s the base for these punk rockers. It’s ten tracks of zero fucks given Punk n Roll played from low-slung guitars with the required amount of spit and sweat that bands who do this shit properly need. From the opening chords of ‘Five Times A Day’.

The songs rock and the tempo is generally high octane. Some strong melodies throughout and there are some stand out tracks. ‘It’s Broken’ has a cool meandering intro that breaks out into a juggernaut of a swashbuckling guitar lick where the vocals soar and the rhythm is kept solid as a rock towards the chorus of sorts like prime Velvet Revolver (if I might be so bold) they then turn up the pace for ‘It’s For The Best’ that just thrashes about rebounding of a cool vocal not a million miles from Bad Religion or some Bob Mould with brutal guitars over a cool subtle melody.

The title track ups the tempo and pours petrol on the fire that’s been smouldering in the engine room again a subtle vocal with some well-placed backing vocals. This is an album that didn’t register when I first started playing it – sure, some tunes were instantly gratifying but as a whole it was definitely a slow burner but when it clicked it has been the album that keeps giving something extra on each play.

‘Leave Me Alone’ eases into the verse with some cool gang vocals and a rollicking riffs. This band isn’t fucking about as ‘Pay It Back’ demonstrates – no fucks given on any level. be it an all-out punk rocker like ‘Pour One More’ or the harder rock songs it’s a no brainer that this record benefits from being played loudly. ‘Suffer’ and the quite brilliant ‘Why Do I Care’ are real highlights of this album.

If you’re looking for a new band who rocks like fuck then Quazimofo might just hit the spot. Riff after Motherfuckin Riff all the way baby! Buy it!


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Author: Dom Daley

I loves a last-minute gig, so I does. And after banging on about Sweden’s finest exponents of post punk the Viagra Boys for the last 12 months, it would be a travesty if I didn’t put my money where my mouth is and actually catch them live wouldn’t it? My gigging buddy and I toyed with the idea of going to London, we ummed and aahed about going to Manchester, and of course the old adage of ‘you snooze, you lose’ happened yet again and those gigs came and went.

Then the text message came: “Viagra Boys playing Sheffield tomorrow”. A swift reply of “Shall we?” was all that was needed and we found ourselves off to Sheffield on a sunny Saturday evening for the last date of the UK tour.

After 3 attempts to find the right venue (it’s not The Forum and there is more than one Foundry in Sheffield!) we finally make it to The Foundry, a venue that is part of Sheffield Uni. A decent size venue that holds 500-600 maybe, it has a great vibe and is filling up quickly as we enter.

The Viagra Boys are back with a new album called ‘Cave World’ on July 8th and the first single ‘Aint No Thief’ is a banger of a tune. A hardcore dance mash-up that sits somewhere between The Beastie Boys and The Prodigy, and to me it makes Viagra Boys the most exciting proposition since Alabama 3 in their prime. I will put money on this tune being a highlight of tonight’s gig.

They open with ‘Research Chemicals’ and the place erupts, the whole dance floor bouncing as one. Singer Sebastian Murphy is the center of attention, and for good reason. He brings the punk rock attitude to a band that are the tightest live unit I have seen in a long time. Within a minute of the opening song, he has removed his white wifebeater to reveal his heavily tattooed torso. He swings from the mic stand like Iggy Pop meets Shane MacGowan as ‘Ain’t Nice’ takes the room to another level. A killer hook and a massive groove. Viagra Boys sure bring the party and the energy levels rarely dip below high octane all night.

New single ‘Troglodyte’ is sounding better with every listen, hell it’s only been out 3 days! Heading in a more dance-orientated direction than previous material seems to be a good move. This tune sounds like Devo, its killer and live it sounds fantastic. It may be surprising to some but a Viagra Boys show is a high energy dance show. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a punk rock attitude, but this is a live dance band, tight as fuck and designed to pop a pill and lose yourself in the moment. And it seems many around are doing just that. A good crowd, a mix of alternative students and the sort of seasoned, middle-aged gig goers we usually see at Alabama 3 and Primal Scream gigs.

It’s a packed room, everyone is into it and its not one of those ‘stand there with your arms folded’ gigs, those who venture near the front had better prepare to get a flailing limb in the face, as the crowd surfing is up to metal band proportions tonight. I’m loving this!

It’s all about the drums, the bass and the groove they create. The keyboards, electronica and bursts of sax give an edgy, alternative feel to the live sound and the tight band work well, while the singer brings the onstage destruction. He disappears from view on many occasions, lying on the stage floor singing his lines in a sweaty, fucked up mess.

There’s a couple of highlights tonight. As expected, ‘Ain’t No Thief’ is insane live. That bassline sounds awesome live and takes the Foundry crowd to yet another high. ‘Sports’ has become their signature tune and gets probably the biggest reception of the night. Many songs are extended and jammed out to control the ebb and flow of the crowd, just highlighting what a great live band they are.

With a charismatic frontman, a tight as fuck band and a catalogue of pure bangers, you have to ask yourself what the fuck do they put in the water in Helsinki? Viagra Boys are on the verge of greatness, make the most of seeing them in small venues while you can.

Author: Ben Hughes

ASH announce newly re-mastered splatter edition vinyl re-issues of ‘1977′ and ‘Free All Angels’ .

Band to celebrate 21st anniversary of ‘Free All Angels’ by playing the album in full with Charlotte Hatherley

 Photo credit: Sophie Howarth 

ASH are today announcing the upcoming re-issue on newly re-mastered splatter vinyl of two of their beloved albums, 1977 and Free All Angels.

1977, the band’s spectacular debut album, was a defining record for 90s guitar music, reaching No.1 in the Official UK Albums Chart, and going to achieve platinum status. Its singles ‘Girl From Mars’, ‘Kung Fu’, ‘Goldfinger’, ‘Angel Interceptor’ and ‘Oh Yeah’ remain staples of the band’s live show, as they still ring out at sold-out shows and in festival headline slots. This will be the first time the album has been re-issued since its 1996 release.

Free All Angels was the third smash hit album from Ash, and their second with guitarist Charlotte Hatherley. The album again reached No.1 in the UK and has since become a platinum record. It birthed the Ivor Novello-winning smash hit single ‘Shining Light’, the NME Single of The Year ‘Burn Baby Burn’, ‘Sometimes’, ‘There’s A Star’, ‘Candy’ and Walking Barefoot’.

1977 will be released on July 1st. Pre-order here.

Free All Angels will be released on Sept 16th. Pre-order 

In addition to this exciting release news, Ash are also announcing a run of very special UK live dates to celebrate Free All Angels’ 21st anniversary, for which they will reunite with guitarist Charlotte Hatherley to perform the album in full. Drummer Rick McMurray had the following to say: “We’re delighted to announce that we will be commemorating the 21st anniversary of the release of our 2001 classic, Free All Angels. Not least because we will be joined by the fourth member of Ash, guitarist extraordinaire, all-round Shining Light, the one and only, Charlotte Hatherley. Can. Not. Wait.”

Live dates are below. Tickets will be on O2 pre-sale from Wednesday, May 25th at 10 am, and on general sale from Friday, May 27th at 10 am.

Thur 15 Sept – O2 Ritz, Manchester, UK – Tickets available here
Sat 17 Sept – O2 Institute, Birmingham, UK – Tickets available here
Sun 18 Sept – O2 Forum, Kentish Town, UK – Tickets available here

Ash: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

Greg Norton, once the bassist for one of the most influential bands to come out of the American alternative punk scene, Hüsker Dü, alongside Finny McConnell, a name you’ll recognise from thirty years as the frontman of the Canadian Irish folk punks The Mahones. Holding it together in the engine room is one of the finest drummers and most in-demand sticksmiths the UK has thrown up in the last few decades is the drumming powerhouse that is Jamie Oliver.

There you go I’ve got your attention now and I’ll say this, leave any preconceived ideas of what you are about to listen to and drop the needle or press play with a clean pallet and ‘Time To Burn’ will reward you 100 times over. Take on board that this platter was written and recorded in just four day! Yup four fuckin’ days! Wow.

The title track gets things underway with Oliver revving up his Bass drum before the song breaks out into a widescreen slice of ultracool power pop like the sounds a Buffalo Tom used to play with the guitars turned up a little and a great melody from Finny McConnell. It’s got a great tempo and a real blast of energy a fantastic opener that’ll make you sit up and pay attention. It is indeed Time To Burn.

The band then heads down a route with a barroom riff that’s windmilling throwing it out there creating a sidestep from the opener with more menace and showing that this beast has teeth. ‘Star’ has single written all over it like a cross between the opener and early Goo Goo Dolls and American college radio running through its veins I might be wrong but Husker Du comes to the fore.

Now we’re getting warmed up as the sprightly ‘I Can Make It’ rolls into view. With some exceptional drumming throwing this one in all directions like a blender of their histories and this comes out. some great vocals (again) and one of the songs that I’ve kept going back to. Oh, and turn it up baby it sounds even better.

The album flip flops through tempos with ‘Feels’ veering into Dinosaur Jr territory with some loud guitars twisting and turning all over the track. Don’t be lulled into a false sense with the dreamy intro on ‘Stickman vs Hangman’ – hold in there it’s like a rocket getting launched as it peaks it burns most brightly. You also have some Rock with ‘Faded Way’ where the collaboration works really well from the groove they hit to the melodies and backing vocals – we all know these guys can play and the solo on this is exceptional with drama and tension being used to great effect.

As the album steams toward its conclusion there are no weak tracks at all and the chemistry the three clearly have is a gift that keeps giving, ‘Super Hero Shit’ is a stone-cold banger, plain and simple it rocks like fuck, and is simple in its construction but it just works. The penultimate offering is ‘Like The Wind’ with its calmer more measured tempo and delivery in the intro before being counted out and turbocharging towards the finale.

That’s ten tracks of the highest caliber and one that will make many friends and if there’s any justice will do extremely well for the trio. One of the finest albums I’ve heard all year and for a debut, it’s exceptionally good. I would however temper my enthusiasm with the cover of the Dead Boys classic ‘Sonic Reducer’. Although there’s nothing wrong with this interpretation of it, some songs are sacred and should be left well alone, and if I’m being picky it’s because I’d have preferred to hear another original tune rather than a decent cover. It’s a magical song that can’t be improved upon but as a tip of the hat, I get that, maybe a B side? but I’m not going to let one (very good version I might add) song take anything away from what should be in your top ten come the end of the year. Banger! Make no mistake about that. Absolutely buy it!

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Author: Dom Daley

Sprung from Germany’s Punk Rock capital Berlin, Awkward Reunion reminds you of the early days, the bruises and the broken voices after you’ve downed a few too many with your friends at the show. Known for their strong harmonies and perfectly raw guitar melodies, the band’s members carry the torch from their previous endeavours in The Uprising, Berlin Blackouts, Versus You and many others. After releasing a tape on the DIY label Tape or Die in 2018, the four joined Mercy Union on tour through Germany and supported many other bands such as Not Scientists, Pears and Off With Their Heads.  

The band is set to finally release their long awaited debut album ‘Idiot’ on SBÄM Records. Recorded in their own studio in Berlin and mixed by Pete Steinkopf (The Bouncing Souls), the band has created the summer punk rock soundtrack of the year to raise your fist and scream along too. In cooperation with SBÄM Records and Felix from Flix Agency, Awkward Reunion is ready to take to the stages again in 2022.

The Black Skies

Bad Dog Records are thrilled to announce the release of the debut single from York based duo The Black Skies on all digital platforms from this weekend. The Black Skies are a British rock/soul band who describe their sound as a mix of melancholy rock and soul with metal influences, skill-wise.

The two school buddies James Handley and Luke Falkingham began jamming during lockdown, the magic happened and soon they amassed a body of work. They soon caught the attention of British indie label Bad Dog and taken under the wing of producer Paul Gorry, they entered Reel Production studios in York and recorded their debut single ‘Unchained’.

Mixed by George Shilling (Oasis, Primal Scream, Blur,) and featuring the backing vocal talents of Debbralee Wells (The Future Shape Of Sound), ‘Unchained’ is a glorious trip through the mind of disenchanted youth. Themes of mental health issues, small town angst and broken love flow freely through the lyrics of The Black Skies, and ‘Unchained’ is the perfect entry point for the unacquainted.

A contemporary sound that showcases stunning vocals and mature songwriting is backed up by a promo video recorded in a warehouse, in the industrial wastelands somewhere in Immingham, offering a dark and foreboding background that offers hope in times of hardship.

Website: https://theblackskies.com/ 

Sergeant Thunderhoof (great name!) hail from the lovely city of Bath. The band formed in 2013 and have released three previous albums. Their latest effort – This Sceptred Veil is by far their most accomplished work. If you’re a fan of Black Sabbath, Kyuss, Corrosion of Conformity, Monster Magnet, Soundgarden, Hawkwind, and Green Lung you will absolutely love Sergeant Thunderhoof. Big down tuned riffs, melodic vocals, swinging drums and thundering bass are the order of the day.

The album kicks off with You’ve Stolen the Words which has a riff bigger than Godzilla, it reminds me a little of Albatross by COC (no bad thing!) When the band all kick in together it really is a sonic assault. Daniel Flitcroft has a fantastic voice that soars over the music, and he really has a knack for memorable harmonies. Devil’s Daughter is a barnstormer of a song with another great guitar riff and some superb minimalistic drumming from Darren Ashman, he really knows how to play for the song. Absolute Blue has an air of early Tool about it, almost hypnotic. Foreigner is a more up-tempo track with an earworm of a chorus. Woman Call has another massive riff, the band just seems to be able to churn them out at will! Fantastic.

King Beyond the Gates reminds me a little of early Paradise Lost with its harmonic lead guitar work from guitarist Mark Sayer. Show Don’t Tell moves into a more direct approach with a crunchy riff and yet another catchy chorus. The album finale of Avon & Avalon Parts 1 & 2 really showcases what Sergeant Thunderhoof are capable of. Plenty of light and shade, combined with a real depth of songwriting, and subject matter around the magical Isle of Avalon make for incredibly interesting listening.

As I sit writing this review, I have pre-ordered the album from Bandcamp. You should absolutely do the same. I salute you Sergeant.

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Author: Kenny Kendrick