November is almost done and we can all get on the eggnog but before that there is time to squeeze in a right mixed bag of new singles and videos. From Kenny’s write-up of the brand new Valhalla Awaits track through some classic punk and pub rock to some balladeering and pop songs for you to get your heads around, Go check them out. But hold on Those cheeky chaps The Sensible Gray Cells begin the Crimbo madness before we unleash December’s festive tunes…Enjoy…
Valhalla Awaits – Is There Anybody Out There? (VA Records) The long-awaited new single from Welsh wonders Valhalla Awaits is finally unleashed and it’s been worth the wait. The band have been busy in the studio adding the finishing touches to their latest EP which will be released soon. The guys have had a busy summer with various festival performances, following on from their support slot with fellow Welshmen Those Damn Crows on their UK tour earlier in the year.
This taster from the EP has all the VA trademarks: A fantastic vocal performance, melody, riffs, tasteful guitar solos, powerhouse drumming and crystal-clear production values. A mid paced track full of atmospheric guitar melodies courtesy of Rhys Carter and Chris Green, a rock-solid performance from drummer Snoz Lawrence leaves bass player Sam Kilby to hold it all down on the bass front. The track builds beautifully and climaxes with some stunning guitar work.
Yet again, vocalist Andrew Hunt plays an absolute blinder. His velvet tones soar over the music with ease while giving us an ear worm of a chorus that has been in my head ever since my first listen to the track. The band just go from strength to strength, and I can’t wait to hear the EP and catch the lads in a live setting soon. Bravo guys!!
The track is available to stream/download now wherever you listen to your music. Author: Kenny Kendrick
The Sensible Gray Cells – ‘A Stupid Xmas’ (Damaged Goods Records) I couldn’t think of a better person to release the first christmas single than the good Captain and his Sensible Gray Cells. Join with them in celebrating all things that are daft and frustrating about the festive season. The band’s Xmas ditty ‘A Stupid Xmas’ captures everything you love to hate about this special time of year. It also has the catchiest chorus since Slade and Wizzard ruled the charts! The B side is classic Sensible a gentile romp with soe neat guitar work ably backed by Paul Gray and Marty Love.
***VINYL FANS TAKE NOTE*** A certain number of records will have a deliberate mistake hidden.. well, somewhere or other – a jolly wheeze inspired by some of those old Stiff Records ‘instant collector’s item’ mispressings. We won’t say anymore!
Christmas / Mrs. Anthrope – Split 7 (Self Release) Christmas drop their 19th release with this split 7″. The band are full of snot and anger on their side ‘Armageddon’ whilst the lyrics might be apocolyptical the music shows a way more melodic and softer side of Christmas and it really works for the band with a most excellent record. I certainly wasn’t expecting such a melodic gang vocal on the chorus. Also from St Wendel Mrs. Anthrope is a new band with their first song right here. ‘Squeezy Brains’ is a fast banger that just makes you wanna dance! oh and break stuff. Its punk rock baby and it rocks! Can’t wait to hear more from these guys as its always great to have new music from new bands. Great single!
FRANK CARTER & THE RATTLESNAKES – ‘Brambles’ (International Death Cult / AWAL) second song to be taken from their forthcoming album ‘Dark Rainbow’. With a palpable sense of foreboding and menace, and arrives as something of a plea for a perfect love With the first half of the song being some dark ballad like song it then enters a darker twist before some lush strings and hushed vocals. A melodic pop song from Carter moving in a different direction than I was expecting keeping fans on their toes.
Faz Waltz – ‘Rave A Comin’ (Spaghetty Town Records) Oh baby its coming on like the bastard children of Little Richard and Jerry Lee with its boogie woogie piano leading the way on Rave a Comin. Its full tilt get your party pants on and lets go. The B Side isn’t far behind with a trad bop n roll with plenty of swing. Pure Rock n Roll nothing more nothign less. Expect a new album in the early part of 2024 and on this evidence expect a whole bunch of Rock n Roll kids. Great stuff. Horns a honkin and ivorys tinkling get these cats on tour with Jim Jones Allstars or would that be Rock n Roll overload?
Jim Bob – ‘This Is My Mix Tape’ (Cherry Red Records) Hot on the heels of his most excellent long player released earlier this year Jim Bob has knocked together a 10″ EP of four classic covers from ‘Are Friends Electric’ to ‘Pretty In Pink’ but he also entertains a Squeeze cover and Dexys ‘Gino’. Of course, its quality its Jim Bob and he’s been in a rich vein of form as of late and this only adds to his quality catalogue and will have fans old and new beaming with his take on some pretty classic tunes. This might be his first mixtape but I hope it won’t be his last. I can think of a follow-up bunch of tunes right off the bat Go Jim Bob.
Greg Kuehn – ‘Medicine Man’ (DC-Jam Records) Greg Kuehn, (TSOL keyboardist and prolific composer) is releasing “Medicine Man” the first single off his upcoming EP on DC-Jam Records. ‘Medicine Man’ is a song about recovery and mental illness, a subject close to Greg’s heart. He has been in recovery for nearly 30 years. TSOL fans tak e a breath because this is a dark ballad from Greg but its dark and soulful and sincere. but most of all its damn good.
Bob Vylan – ‘Hes A Man’ (Ghost Theatre) Taken from the upcoming album ‘Humble As The Sun’ which is out in April of 2024. With just one vocalist (Bobby) and one drummer (Bobbie) they have created a unique and ever evolving sound, one that crosses styles and genres, doing away with the traditional and embracing new and uncharted sonic dimensions. They incorporate these styles within their music in an attempt to bridge and blend genres and subcultures together. It is this very unique style and sound that has found them embraced by rock, rap, punk, dance and alternative crowds alike.
Golem Dance Cult – ‘Ghost of Las Vegas‘ Taken from the bands latest album ‘Legend of the Bleeding Heart’. The idea was related to how we can feel alone even (especially) when surrounded by other people, like ghosts roaming in a casino…. in Las Vegas. The duo take chances and aren’t afraid to mix it up on their records but its sharp, captivating and interesting concepts. Besides if you don’t like a bit of Goth then getoutofhere. Here at HQ we love a bit of sparse bbuzzsaw guitar and low range vocals. Check it out.
Penny Rich ‘PC’ (self Release) Cardiff-based noise punks release a studio take and live version of ‘PC’ and it’s angry as fuck and comes out of the speakers swinging so get your dukes up and protect yourself. With a throbbing growling bass rumble, psychotic vocals, and that Grungy Punk riffage that served the likes of Nirvana really well. One to look out for for sure and hopefully I can catch them live soon and see how this brawler comes across – gumshields at the ready.
Johnny Moped – ‘Lockdown Boy’ (Damaged Goods Records) the loveable Lodon boys knock out a tuneful ragged slice of pub rock and they do it so well. Before you’ve heard it through once you’ll be spilling beer and singing along in your mates face with your arm tight around his neck moments before you either get turfed out of the boozer or you stumble and fall. Cheers guys its a belter and leaves me feelign warm and nourished. ‘The Other Side’ no the other side is like they left the tape running when they’re having a chat before the band kicks in with a short sharp burst of energy before fading away – strang? Yup but its Johnny Moped go check it out