Category: CD Reviews

NASA Assassin – ‘Glitterbalder’ (Self-Released)

If rock ‘n’ roll stuck to the same format and framework, then it would quickly become very boring, and we’d all be listening to Nickel-freakin’-back all the feckin’ time. No, it’s all about living on the edge – be it the edge of the universe or that of a three-legged stool while you try to extricate yourself from the ennui of ‘normal’ life… rock ‘n’ roll is supposed to be abnormal, and that’s a concept that NASA Assassin fully embrace on this, their second album. The band, known for their, quite frankly, in-fucking-sane live shows, describe their music as pronk.  WTF is that we hear you ask… Well, it is an eclectic mix of space rock, punk, prog and classic metal (and even grunge!) – all washed down with healthy doses of gin and Buckfast (although they, like we, probably wouldn’t recommend indulging in both of these last two ingredients at the same time!).

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Marisa And The Moths – ‘Marisa And The Moths’ (Self-Released)

The debut album by Marisa And The Moths is like digging up a time capsule from the early Nineties. Opening with a laidback bass riff and some effortlessly cool vocals, it’s a major throwback to the days when Nirvana ruled the airwaves and homeless Seattle drug addicts became major stars. It’s an album that’ll make you want to throw on a flannel shirt, take a trip to the Space Needle and discuss the latest Richard Linklater movie – and it’s come from the world’s epicentre of grunge… Reading, Berkshire.

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Cutting Teeth – ‘Fracture/Decompose’ (Self-Released)

It is common for up-and-coming bands to increase recognition of themselves through performing as support acts at concerts – or word of mouth, which usually takes place on social media platforms. Cutting Teeth are a great example of this, the Yorkshire quartet are stomping a name for themselves, with already having performed alongside well-established bands, such as Bleed From Within and Lotus Eater. These guys are rapidly gaining a reputation for their frantic, and passionate live shows, characteristics which are prominent in their latest EP – ‘Fracture/Decompose’. The style of this record reminds our Jolee very much of Counterparts and Cancer Bats, taking metalcore to newfound heights.

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Lionheart – ‘Valley Of Death’ (Arising Empire)

Not to be confused with the British AORsters of the same name, Lionheart arguably have been the kings of the Bay Area hardcore scene since they first assaulted it with their storming debut album, ‘The Will To Survive’, back in 2007. Releasing albums on an almost bi-annual basis, relentless touring has built them a reputation as one of the tightest bands on the hardcore punk scene – a reputation that is well and truly cemented with this, their seventh album.

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Molly Hatchet – ‘Battleground’ (Steamhammer/SPV)

When it comes to the history of good ol’ suvern rock ‘n’ roll, there are a number of bands who have flown the Southern Cross, some with pride, some with an arrogance that can be viewed as insulting to those who do not necessarily adhere to the outdated beliefs the pole carriers expound. The likes of the Allman Brothers and Lynyrd Skynyrd broke ground in their own rights, the former through the sheer quality of their musicianship, the latter through their sheer no prisoners taken, never say die attitude… and then you have bands like Molly Hatchet…

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Fjords – ‘Onirica’ (Self-Released)

It would be easy to dismiss Nottingham quintet Fjords as just another progressive metal band – after all, it is a description they themselves employ – and cast them aside with all the preconceptions that this particular subgenre brings with it – i.e. zillion mile an hour solos with as many notes crammed into every millisecond as it is possible for the sound engineer to overdub. However, this debut album shows that there is so much more to this Midlands combo than many of their contemporaries and counterparts have to offer, touching as much on the most melancholic of doom vibes as it does on the speed and fury of the most extreme death metal extrapolations.

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Simple Creatures – ‘Everything Opposite’ (Self-Released)

‘Everything Opposite’, the second EP in an experimental collection for two well-known artists, Mark Hoppus of Blink 182 and Alex Gaskarth of All Time Low, bring us a bit of a jump from the first EP ‘Strange Love’. The first seemed like a test, a bit of an experiment for the two. Mark is no stranger to off shooting his talents in other bands such as +44 with fellow Blink member Travis Barker and Alex’s band sits in a genre that was heavily influenced by the punk sounds of Blink 182.

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The Hydden – ‘Vagabond Songs’ (Metalville)

Every time Monk listens to a band with only two members, it always never ceases to amaze him how just a pair of people can make such a BIG noise. Walls of sound that actually make proper brick walls vibrate with their power and punch, belying the fact that there are just two people – the smallest working unit possible (outside of a solo artist, of course) – responsible for the vibrations and massive sounds. The latest name you can add to the ever-growing list of duos responsible for such feats are Swiss two-man army The Hydden, who have just dropped this, their second album, like a huge slab of reinforced concrete being bounced off your big toe.

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Adrian Benegas – ‘The Revenant’ (Pride & Joy)

According to John B, ‘The Revenant’ is hard to pin down exactly what genre it should be classified with. He would say it is a modernized power metal that still holds on to the old school roots while also having a fair bit of symphonic mixed in and maybe a hint blackened. Actually, this reminded him of Kamelot. It is not quite as dark but there is a very similar style both in the vocals and the music. Especially later in the album. However, our man reckons that, while there are many similarities, Adrian Benegas does a great job to make sure the sound is still very much his own…

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Tuskar – ‘The Monolith Sessions’ (Riff Rock Records)

Last year, 2018, marked a landmark one for sulphurous nuclear sludge duo, Tuskar, marking as it did the release of their EP, ‘The Tide, Beneath, The Wall’, which was described by UR’s Tim Bolitho-Jones as “20 minutes of nightmarish hell music, dragged from the deepest, darkest charnel pit and vomited unpleasantly into life… a snapshot of screaming, Lynchian madness and about as pleasant as crawling naked through a room full of used needles while dragging the corpse of a beloved family pet behind you”.

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