Category: Recently Added

VIDEO OF THE WEEK – BROKEN LINKS

Well, it looks like the rays of light at the end of the dark tunnel that has been the past 13 months of isolation and generally being shit upon from great heights may be growing brighter day by day, with the vaccination programme being rolled out with increasing pace and BoJo’s much-vaunted roadmap seeming to actually present some form of direction and pathway back to at least a semblance of the normality we enjoyed before the pandemic wrecked chaos on our collective and individual lives.

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The Wildhearts – ‘By Request’ (Live Stream) – 17 April 2021

Even with a roadmap out of the COVID crisis now seemingly nailed to the table, at least in some parts of the Über Kingdom – here in our home territory of Northern Ireland all dates remain “indicative” and even when bars are eventually allowed to re-open they won’t be able to host live music until our so-called political leaders deign otherwise – we think it is safe to assert that streaming shows are set to remain part of our regular “gigging” routine for the foreseeable future. The latest act to throw their hats into the vagaries of the lives stream virtual arena this past weekend were those erstwhile rock ‘n’ roll reprobates by the names of Ginger, CJ, Danny and Ritch (or is it Mark, Twitterati), collectively known as The Wildhearts, emerging from the dustiness of the studio and into the spotlight of the live arena…

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Blind Monarch – ‘What Is Imposed Must Be Endured’ (Dry Cough/Heavenly Vault)

Sometimes an album will come out that just doesn’t get the attention it deserves. For whatever reason, there are always some that manage to launch themselves into obscurity from day one to potentially never be seen again. Fortunately, there are labels out there who keep doing the good work of scooping up these little gems and polishing them up to be released on nice shiny vinyl to give them the chance they deserve to win over the masses. The latest band to get this treatment is Sheffield’s own Blind Monarch who have had their 2019 debut ‘What Is Imposed Must Be Endured’ picked up by Dry Cough Records and Heavenly Vault to be pressed to give it the attention they feel it deserves. Considering Jonny B missed out on this one the first time round, he couldn’t help himself but to dive in and see what all the fuss is about…

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Duncan Reid And The Big Heads – ‘Live At Akkurat’ (Self-Released)

If you don’t know the name Duncan Reid then you do indeed have only yourself to blame, either for living in isolation for a lot longer than the rest of us or failing to read your favourite website for the past decade. After all, we are talking about a former member of one of the most respected power pop bands in the entire damn Überverse – that’s The Boys, in case you’re wondering – and subsequently the producer of four increasingly fine solo albums… well, in conjunction with his Big Heads, a group of musicians whom we’re reliably informed don’t live up to their names, as they’re a rather modest bunch, at least outside of their ability to consistently produce wonderfully crafted rock ‘n’ roll songs (oh, and their frontman’s assertion that they are “the world’s best-looking power pop band!)… In fact, the only question you should be asking yourself is “where the feck is Akkurat?”

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Frozen Crown – ‘Winterbane’ (Scarlet Records)

In the interest of full disclosure, John B loves Frozen Crown. They are one of his top modern power metal bands. So, the minute he heard they might be releasing a new album he immediately requested it. It can be a little nerve-racking when a band you love changes up their lineup, especially three all at once. JB had to check it out to see if they would still live up to what he loved before and he was not disappointed at all. Sure, there is a definite change in the overall feel of the album -that is a given with that much of a change in creative talent – but he still loves what they have created…

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Motorjesus – ‘Hellbreaker’ (AFM Records)

This is another of those sort of albums that Monk just loves – one that does exactly what it says in the title, which sets out its proponents’ intention clearly and simply: and that is to create the sort of dirt-encrusted heavy-ass, pedal-to-the-metal rock ‘n’f’n’ roll that comes roaring out of the depths of hell like Vin Diesel with a tank full of napalm under his hood and straight into the darkest recesses of your soul…

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Giotopia – ‘Trinity Of Evil’ (Self-Released)

John B loves when an album tells him a story. He probably mentions it at some point in every review. Few things win more points with JB than when music feels like it is taking him somewhere. He expects it at a track level but when it is at an album level it is sure to get his attention. This is true with the music itself as well as the lyrics. He believes this shows a deeper pride in one’s work. It also can be difficult to pull off well. As with any storytelling, it can be hard to keep the audience’s attention but when you nail it you end up with an awesome album. The question is how does our man feel about ‘Trinity Of Evil’? Do Giotopia nail it?

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Monarch – ‘Future Shock’ (Self-Released)

There are a few different bands named Monarch. The French version are doomsters, while Monarch from LA play ‘indie electro-pop’.  The album reviewed here is courtesy of four hairy blokes from San Diego who distinguish themselves online with the tagline MonarchThrash. Thank you, Lord, (or whoever). This Monarch, whose sound is influenced by the likes of Slayer and Iron Maiden, formed in 2007, released an EP in 2011 and their first album, with the apt name of ‘Go Forth…. Slaughter’, in 2017. Entirely self-produced they recorded much of the debut in one take, playing as they would live.

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Neil Merryweather & the Space Rangers – ‘Space Rangers’ (Regain Records)

Every now and then an obscure nugget from rock’s rich history will pop up on reissue that will pique your interest and curiosity, regardless of whether you know much, or anything, about the artist. Such is the case with ‘Space Rangers’, a 1974 album from Canadian maverick Neil Merryweather, a cult classic given a long overdue reissue this week. So, strap yourself in and prepare to explore Neil Merryweather & the Space Rangers’ weird and wonderful world of glam space prog…

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