With Spring fast approaching and festival season starting soon, March sees a whole load of noteworthy releases. We take a look at five of the must hear releases this month.
Having only just formed last summer, Leeds punks Brawlers have quickly made a name for themselves for their insane live show. Now the quartet have unleashed their utterly brilliant debut EP 'I Am A Worthless Piece of Shit', an infectious collection of fun punk rock numbers. We talked to vocalist Harry George Johns to find out why the longtime friends formed
Brawlers and what 'I Am Worthless...' is all about.
After delivering one of the early contenders for album of the year, we catch up Modern Baseball to discuss ‘You’re Gonna Miss It All’, their forthcoming debut UK tour and miming
at the World Series.
In the second part of our "Studio Report" feature with Colt 45, the Cumbria punks finish their debut LP producer Romesh Dodangoda by recording vocals and more guitars. Take a look.
In the first of our new fortnightly feature where we highlight some of the most promising
bands in the pop-punk world, we talk to New York's Firestarter.
In the latest instalment of our "Tour Tales" feature, we join Wakefield quartet Morain on their recent tour supporting Durham four-piece Alexander.
With lead vocalist Matt Pryor having recently completed a solo UK tour, we highlight two albums from The Get Up Kids for the latest edition of "Versus". Already Heard writer Tom
Knott explains why 'Something To Write Home About' is "pure gold". Whilst Senior Editor
Sean Reid shows us why 'Guilt Show' shouldn't be dismissed.
Ambition and technical proficiency, 22 display a considerable amount of both. On their debut album 'Flux', the Norwegian foursome unleash some of the most rapid-fire, untamed, rock you’re likely to hear this year. The band’s signature lies in a combination of complex progressive elements and an effortless pop sensibility, with a taste for finely-tuned hooks of gargantuan proportions.
Any sceptics regarding the band’s ability to mold what is, at times, downright math rock into exciting pop gems need not wait long to be proven wrong. 'Plastik' mischievously starts in a measured ethereal manner, a peaceful introduction that is brutally brought to an end by a barrage of off-kilter riffs. Twisting and turning, 22’s instrumentals often border on elusiveness.
However, the delicate balance the band strike isn’t always entirely successful. ‘Chrysalis’, for example, gets lost in the effects and, because of the song’s more straight-forward approach, suffers from comparison with 'Flux's other tracks. On the other hand, a couple of tracks here share a distinctive sound, exciting musicianship and a Matt Bellamy-esque knack for stretching vocals that propel them into excellency territory. 'Kneel Estate' is a stand-out track, from a groovy spine of bass 22 intertwines whispers and a terrific chorus.
The instrumentals in title track 'Flux' are nothing short of amazing as the band swerve between time signatures with the mechanical proficiency of a Rolex. It’s not everyday that we hear of Norway’s rock scene, but if the scene is anything like 22 then we might as well retire our ears. Technically impressive, uncompromisingly math, conjured by unending pits of energy, 22 is math pop like you’ve (most probably) never heard it. So hear it.
'Flux' by 22 is available now on Best Before Records.
Words by James Berclaz-Lewis (@swissbearclaw)