Sugarthief

The Staffordshire four piece are made up of Jordi James (Lead vocals & Guitar), Jack James (Guitar), Reece Downton (Drums) and Luke Owen (Bass). With the heart and soul of Peace and Magic Gang and the showmanship of Foals, they look set to fulfill many of 2019's guitar needs.

The biggest criticism you can level at them is, they sound like the bands who initially inspired them. The conscious of Peace, the gentle sun kissed sway of Swim Deep and the credible pop hooks of Magic Gang run through their veins.

There is of course, always a need for bands of this ilk. However, in 'Where Did It All Go Wrong' and especially on recent single 'Good Luck I Hope You Make It', a glimpse of something more emerges.

'Where Did It All Go Wrong', angry and funked up riffs set to a tale wayward romance, it's a standard musical affair. However, with lyrical nuggets like “help me away from my emotion” and “can't stand to face society's rejection”, a brutal honesty and credibility materialise.

Fast forward 12 months to their last release 'Good Luck I Hope You Make It', my how they have honed their skills. Lyrically, they've taken their distinct world view to a more personal level. In an age “it's no use in breaking people / As one day you'll find its a lonely scene ”. Despite a clear message to someone, its universal appeal is undeniable as Owen Jones is abused by morons on a peaceful protest.

With the striking bassline and laid back guitar riffs, they've funnelled warmth of Richard Hawley's Coles Corner through a summer vibe. Couple this with the story of letting go, it's impossible not to visualise this sound tracking a coming of age movie.

Jellyskin

Fresh from supporting Brian Jones Town Massacre and The Moonlandingz, Leeds duo Zi and Will have taken their experimental electronica to the next level with recent single ‘Mountain’.

In a world which is tearing itself apart, their vast, unfathomable mountain landscape is the perfect imagery to ponder its complexities. Then, up pops a hint of Django Django's pop classic 'Default' and the faint hope of the synths lifts the mood. A horizon emerges, one where Nigel Lawson is not interviewed on climate change, Nigel Farrage is known as the worst kind of metropolitan elite and Tommy Robinson is simply known as, the cunt!

As The Horrors expanded horizons on their 4th and 5th albums ‘Luminous’ and ‘V’, there was always a nagging sense they hadn’t quite hit the home run. Now we know what it is. Jellyskin’s mix of pop hooks and unique synths have created a new landscape for which we should all be grateful.

*Image courtesy of Francesca Tirpak

Family Jools

Some bands, like The Libertines have a volatile and short moment in the sun. Bristol’s Family Jools however, like The Mamas and Papas or The Band, no less dramatic but with a fuller of body work.

There's a richness and a quality to their craft which is way beyond their fledgling years. From debut single 'Twisted Side' to 2018's 'Sister' to their last release 'Don't Know', there is a clear lineage through the classics of The Beatles, The Band and electric Dylan.

There work to date, all has moments you long to hear again, the blistering guitars of 'Twisted Side' or the soul music of ‘Don’t Know’ for example. However, everything feels like a great album track and frankly, this band are to talented not to possess an array of classic singles.

Cafe Spice

The three piece from Manchester are Georgia Gage, Niamh Feeney, Eleanor Lang. We'd come up with more words for an introduction but, their own is superior to anything we can conjure:

“Café Spice was born over a love of singing in harmony, beautiful songs, plain naan and sausage rolls on a wet and windy night in a curry house in Glasgow called Café Spice.”

To date, they've published just one song online, 'Lauren', a sumptuous piece of harmonising. The folk boom of the late 2000s and early 2010s may have long dissipated, but, with vocals this beautiful and in such high quality, a renaissance cannot be far away.

Be Sure to check their Manchester gig at the legendary Jimmys out February 6th.

Bexatron

Bexatron are a four piece from London. They are hell bent on reawakening the golden ages of glam, punk and post-punk with their volatile and heady spirit.


Lets check some tracks out:

Dirty Disco

Combining early 70s glam-rock with early 80s post-punk sounds bloody iffy on paper, in reality, Bexatron have funnelled these two stylised eras into a sound that screams “come and watch us live”.


Out of My Tree

Unsurprisingly, this is a boozy rock number. So many bands die on their arse professing hedonistic tendencies. Bexatron though, walk that tight rope of “real deal” just right. Self-destruction is rife and guitar solos this good are impossible to ignore!

*Image courtesy of https://www.quitegreat.co.uk


INDIGOs

Between 1990 and 1992, the pendulum of rock music was swinging from the British shoegaze of MBV and Ride to the American grunge of Sonic Youth and Nirvana. In 2019, Bristol duo INDIGOs have decided to set the pendulum in the middle.

Let’s check out what Jack Croft and Sophia Barnes have been up to:

Rebirth

At the heart of this alternate reality is a great pop song. Croft and Barnes have an angelic vocal touch, even amidst the distortion. Breakdowns are hazy and guitar solos are dirty and infectious, various generations of BBC6 are set to be enthralled.

Breathe In

Leaning towards their love of grunge, the enthusiasm of the big riffs is inescapable. Not content to put out a solid rock number, they twist and turn it through their shoegaze prism and deliver Mercury Award level underdog.

*Image courtesy of Gilbert Pillbrow

The Cosmics

The Cosmics are a three piece hailing from Ireland who, despite such little output, have already played Glasto, Isle of Wight, Kendal Calling and Reading festival.

Our friends/inspiration over at https://www.thezineuk.co.uk/ are hosting their Christmas party at Camden’s Monarch Tuesday 4th December so, to whet the appetite, lets check some tunes out:

 

Johnny

On this tale of the bad boy and his undeniable allure, The Cosmics have taken their love of Sonic Youth and condensed it into a Ramones via Iggy Pop romp.



Inishfree

It’s inevitable that this year’s single would surpass 2017’s work but, the caution to the wind approach was not. To pull this off at such a fledgling stage is quite something.

The riff, a nod to Oasis’ ‘Listen Up’ is distorted through a MBV prism whirs throughout, the perfect platform for the mayhem that ensues. Singer, Erin Grace, adopts the style of Wolf Alice’s Ellie Rowsell. The co-opting of poetry and angst ridden punk combusts perfectly alongside the explosion of Sonic Youth guitars.


Waste of Time

What an opening line!

“I only liked you for your 90s vibes”

Setting the sardonic and cutting tone from the start on this ex bashing banger!

*Image courtesy of Psychedelic Eye 

Lacuna Bloome

Hailing from Brighton, Lacuna Bloome are a four piece made up of Niall Logue (vocals, guitar), Sam Leaver (guitar), Molly Walker (bass) and Noah Haines (drums).

With airplay from John Kennedy and b-listed on Amazing Radio, their stock is rising fast. They have now been added to This Feeling’s #Alive tour this autumn. So, let’s see what all the fuss is about:

I Am

A hazy indie rock n roll number with summer tinged nods to the Roses, C86, Ride and the baggy period of Blur.

There is no denying that we live in fractious times. However, when a single, this effortless and free flowing emerges, it's as though peace and utopia have been achieved.

 

Alright

 On ‘Alright’, they combine their lyrical romanticism with the driving guitars of Teenage Fanclub on this swirling pop-pysche number.  The spirit of Douglas Copland's 'Generation X' is evoked as they conjure their own world and rail against the tomorrow their being denied. It’s one thing to go against the grain in a band, to do it sounding this joyous is another thing altogether.

Getrz

Getrz are a four piece from Swindon. Recently, they have supported the mighty Sisteray and played Truck Festival to glowing reviews.

Lets see what they have been releasing in 2018:

P.S.A

Another product of the growing dissident punkadelic movement. They straddle the heavy hitting riffs of Breed and the warped psyche of The Blinders. P.S.A is the next line in dystopian rock n roll for this generation to unite behind.

Striking out against all those who ignore them, Getrz are righteous, Getrz are furious and Getrz are your clarion call:

“You're running the country / But you've got no money”

We are the 99%, we are the upper class!

Old Town

With nods to The Libertines' vocal delivery of 'Barbarians' and The Strokes' riffs on 'Soma', Getrz have found their alternative soul. It is one full of desperation and degradation, they showcase all the hallmarks of the next aggressive yet fragile sounding icons.

Insomnichord

We always aim to make support slots, you never know when something will blow you away. Insomnichord were ones we walked in late on (thanks TFL) at Water Rats last month. What we walked into was mesmeric!

A cacophony of spiralling psychedelia and otherworldliness just kept pouring out of them like machine gun fire. Let’s take a look at their debut single:

Oh Henry! Oh Man!

The hallucinogenic mind set of Syd Barrett’s Pink Floyd oozes through Rollo Ellison's soft vocal. The need to dare like King Crimson is immediate as well.

The manner they fire the guitar solo just seconds from the start is, in spirit not sound, the genius of Peter Green. It’s the ability to take a an aged genre, in this case psyche, stick to its principles but get right in your face with them like Green did with the Blues that’s so impressive

With The Horrors returning later this year, a support slot beckons!

Image Source: Jacob Coleman

485c

485c are signed to the legendary Fierce Panda label and its not hard to see why:

Kapow

If 'Kapow' were to create a guitar sound venn diagram, it would have The Strokes one side, Dutch Uncles the other. The immediacy and power of the New Yorkers is channeled through the Stockport art rocker pioneers. As so many peers are cutting loose, 485c have taken a really interested side route to glory here.

Better The Man

An infectious indie guitar gem which illuminates the darkest of moods. Move over Belle & Sebastien, infectious indie rock has a new king.

Strange Medicine

When all the great mid 00s bands went off to record new material or on to side projects, the mainstream vultures swooned in Scouting for Girls and The Hooisers and killed the scene stone dead.

Strange Medicine is the perfect tonic to that injustice. It resets the clock to The Strokes’ ‘Is This It’ and has lovable rawness to it like The Cribs classic ‘Martell’. Guitars are pop, pop are guitars!

Image Source: Domante Kaminskaite  http://www.dkaminskaite.com/

RedFaces

Quite how Sheffield keeps producing exciting rock n roll bands is beyond this Essex outsider. However, in RedFaces, they have an act with perhaps more pop instincts than anyone in the past five years. Here's why:

Take It or Leave It

The trippy bass line, the warped synths and the defiant rock n roll message, Kasabian’s legacy begins here. It’s not got the hallmark quality of the Kasabian debut, but it does have that free flowing youthfulness which will carry it a long way.

Wise Up

The poppy riff will bring ELO to mind and, as this rock n roll standard develops, the traits of Britpop and The View begin to emerge. There is a sense of urgency that can omly emerge from young outsiders looking to make their mark. This is a real return to garage pop music, long may it continue.

Avalanche Party

Hailing from Castleton in North Yorkshire, Avalanche Party are a five piece who are hell bent on taking garage rock n roll to the stadium masses. Lets find out why:

I'm so wet

This marches to the spirit of The Doors via a darker and more dangerous landscape. The swirling guitars and psyche keys project and a rage that keeps appearing the best new bands of late (Cabbage, The Blinders, Dead Pretties). However, there appears to be a level of old school musicianship and pop sensibilities lurking behind the fury, this, more than anything, will carry this band far!

Solid Gold

FINALLY! Someone has taken the quality of Ty Segall and Thee Oh Sees and channelled it through death defying rock n roll. The aforementioned are great, but, the extrovert death defying spirit of AP could just take that sound to the masses.

Revolution

Another example of AP taking injecting classic genres with a new lease of life. The glam-psyche of Tame Impala's classic 'Lonerism' and has been cross bred with the immediacy of early BRMC via the vastness of Soundtracks Of Our Lives. Besides the fact it sounds great, it’s the ambition of it all that listeners will latch on to in these bleak times.

Dead Pretties

Dead Pretties are a London a three piece made up of Jacob Slater, Oscar Browne and Ben Firth. 

Social Experiment

There haven’t been many better debut singles in recent times. It’s a wry English take on Nirvana and The Strokes, and Jacob Slater’s vocals are outstanding. Despite the big riffs, it is Slater’s vocal hook on the chorus “all the girls and the boys / went to parties in disguise” is so contagious you’ll need an ambulance.

Water

This tale of self-destruction is pure unadulterated rock music. It screams uncompromising! Better still, it has enough melody and snarl to unite rock n rollers and punks.

Confidence

Sick of media outlets employing people to be obnoxious and vile to garner reaction and not further debate, Dead Pretties have drawn a battle line, it’s obvious what side to be on.

Slater’s vocals star again! They flit between Craig Nicholls (The Vines) and Johnny Cooke (Dogs) and deliver a powerhouse of smoky disdain. Coupled with the psyche wig out and you have a bonafide anthem.

Queen Zee and The Sasstones

The Liverpool five piece have been causing quite the stir with their blistering and unruly live shows. We delve into their catalogue to find out more:

Idle Crown

Their last single meshes the angular guitar work of Wire, Television and Johnny Marr’s solo albums with Cabbage-esque vocals during the exciting verses. However, it’s the euphoric closing stages that this song comes to life. With a heavy dose of Therapy?’s banger ‘Screamager’ on show, ‘Idle Crown’ becomes an outsider anthem for all alternative dancefloors!

Boy

If Buzzcocks and Cabbage were to form a supergroup, this would be the results. Sarcasm and wit enthuse the lyrics whilst musically, a savage melody envelops. Whilst sonically worlds apart, the pop nous combining with a ferocious underground sound does conjure images of Nirvana at their best.

I Hate Your New Boyfriend

The relentless but tuneful power in the first half of this track brings the mighty Jim Jones Revue to mind. Then, 2mins into the chaos, something remarkable happens. All the power of Slowdive and My Bloody Valentine pours out of the guitars and cascading drums. The Mark E Smith vocal delivery over the top brings a new fire to the genre and takes an aged story of ex-partner envy into the incredible interesting territories.

Yassassin

The London five piece have recently wowed crowds supporting Sleeper on their comeback tour. Now its time for Yassassin to build their own legend.

Social Politics

Their debut single is a catalogue of post punk guitar styles. Ranging from The Breeders to the godlike PJ Harvey, they have produced a solid rebel anthem.

Cheery Pie

An almost slacker rock approach to this number. The slow vocal drawl allows this song to casually build until its glorious Sleater Kinney inspired climax.

Seasoned Like A Chicken

A straight up punk record. Full of attitude and spite, Yassassin get right in people’s faces on this one. The Graham Coxon guitars allow for enough melody to creep in and make this that rare breed of intelligent pop music.

Is Bliss

Hailing from Portsmouth, Is Bliss are a three piece comprised of Jamie Stuart, Dean Edwards and Sam Speakman. They are part of the brilliant AC30 record label setup and will be headlining The Shackwell Arms in Shoreditch Friday 12th January.

Into A Dream

Many bands will talk about what they want to sound like. Few can deliver it within a minute of a song. The opening contains Syd Barret pop-psyche and the stormy shoegaze of Ride's 'Leave Them All Behind' and 'Unfamiliar'.

Amid the turbulence, lies sitar playing reminiscent of Elephant Stone. Not only does it cut through the heavier guitars, it showcases a band with real vision and ability to back it up.

Ocean Blue

Trippy and expansive, 'Ocean Blue' brings to mind the vast ambition of The Verve's 'Gravity Grave' and 'Star Sail'. It has an infectiousness and immediacy to it which begs to open sets a big venues.

Goat Girl

What a fantastic story this band are. Reigniting the DIY scene in South London, they have been forging their own path through a burgeoning community of like-minded souls. Imagine that, people helping each other out! It makes being in a band mean something more than Youtube hits.

Romance aside, this band have some serious musical chops. ‘Cracker Drool’ makes pop music a weird and wonderful thing again. It takes the classic 60s girl group sound and funnels it through The Horrors classic ‘Primary Colours’. Whereas ‘Crow Cries’, sounds like the Savages on acid trip and ‘Country Sleaze’ is a guttural dirge guitar anthem.

Then there is ‘Scum’, this joyous piss take of modern day Great Britain. Musically, it’s a cross between The Coral and Cabbage. It’s pop music at its dialectical best. It’s sardonic yet huggable, it’s cutting but accepting, it’s shambolic but fully formed. It’s fucking great!

Be sure to check them out on their tour in April:

http://goatgirl.co.uk/live/

The Shimmer Band

Ambition isn’t everything, but, if more bands had it, then perhaps they could assault the top 40 a terrify parents and grandparents once more. The Shimmer Band, a five piece from Bristol, have it in abundance and are hell bent on headlining anything they can get their hands on. DO they have the tunes to back it up?

What Is Mine?

It's clear to see why they are the natural successors to Kasabian on this offing. Their approach to synths is one of boozy hedonism that reaches for the stars.

The bass hooks keep everything from spilling over to ‘Be Here Now’ indulgence and, thus allows front man Tom Newman become an swaggering psychedelic overlord.

Jacknife and the Death Call

Another slice of synth fuelled rock n roll. A dangerous game to play, so many get it wrong. Too many are fucking Keane! For now, The Shimmers walk this tight rope to perfection on this fist pumping pop song.

If they were to have a mission statement, its perfectly contained in the chorus:

“We’re never gonna die”

This isn’t a throwaway cliché for the band. Their sound is clearly striving to deliver something big and demanding to be consider rock n roll greats. With all the dialectical tripe of Brexit, their forthright sense of freedom is wholly refreshing.

Sunkick

Every band needs that one hit to reel the masses in, this is theirs. Newman’s angelic vocal is unapologetically pop music nirvana. As the melody soars around him, memories of the utmost personal happiness will race to the foreground of your minds.

The Mercury Music Award will never touch this, but, for the soon to be millions cherishing this to their hearts and singing aloud at gigs, no one will ever care!

Blackwaters

Blackwaters are a four piece from Surrey consisting of Maximlian Tanner (vox), David Carpenter (guitars), Ollie Franklin (bass) and James Watkins (drums).

They are about to head out with Shimmer Band and Bang Bang Romeo as part of This Feeling’s biggest ever tour. Lets check them out:

Let The Good Times Roll

Musically combining the more visceral moments of the Pistols with furious piano smashing RnB of The Faces and Jim Jones Revue, this isn’t for the faint hearted.

Frontman Maximilian has a chameleon quality, blending elements of Rod, Jamie T, Tom Clarke and Strummer but always sounding distinctly fresh. As long as the song writing doesn’t dry up, its hard not to envisage a long career.

Fuck Yeah

This brash angst ridden track pays homage to the punk-rock fire of Slaves and Sleaford Mods with its venomous verses and Oi style chorus. Festivals were ablaze with mosh pits as this decadent stormer bull dozed its way into hearts and minds.

Down

If Sid Vicious' look had a sound, this was it. The filth and the fury courses through the veins of this Undertones pop behemoth.

When The Enemy burst onto the scene with 'Had Enough' and 'Away From Here', there was an almost instant outpouring of adoration. It’s hard to envisage how this doesn’t go one step further. It takes the melodic ferocity of the Coventry outfit and adds the infectious wit of Jamie T.