Feature: Farewell Walnut Tree Records - Already Heard
Next week Philadelphia indie punks The Menzingers release, 'Rented World,' one of the
highly anticipated records of 2014 so far. In parts, it picks up where 2012's 'On The
Impossible Past' left off but it also shows the bands growth as songwriters and musicians. We recently spoke to Greg Barnett to discuss the album, the pressure of following up 'On The Impossible Past', their forthcoming London show and the Grozerock Festival.
Despite only forming last year, Essex rockers New City Kings have already gathered plenty of attention from their debut EP - 'Change.' Their radio-friendly rock sound that has seen them compared to a range of bands; Foo Fighters, Deaf Havana, and The Gaslight Anthem.
Already Heard spoke to Mark Kovic to find out more about New City Kings.

With their return to the UK imminent, the latest edition of "Versus" sees us putting the
focus on Alkaline Trio. Self-confessed Trio MEGA fan Jay Sullivan tells us why 'From
Here to Infirmary' is the band’s finest work. Whilst Alex Phelan explains how 'Maybe
I'll Catch Fire' is a superb example of musical catharsis.
12 months from releasing their debut EP, we speak to Blackpool pop-punk/emo
quintet Boston Manor to discuss their influences, achievements so far and thoughts on their contemporaries.
With their latest EP 'Change Nothing, Regret Everything.', Woking five-piece Employed
To Serve have produced 12 minutes of frantic, unrelenting hardcore that finds the band somewhere between The Dillinger Escape Plan and The Chariot. We spoke to Justine from the band to find out how the band has transitioned from a duo to a quintet and she discussed
being part of the Holy Roar! roster, they chaotic yet contained live shows and more.
In the latest edition of our "Tour Tales" feature, Irish doom-punk band Hornets talk us
through their recent UK tour where they played 8 shows in 7 days.
Leeds-based four-piece Walleater are set to digitally release their debut self titled EP next Monday (14th April) through Close To Home Records. We've got the exclusive first play
right here on Already Heard.
As festival season fast approaches, a wealth of notable album releases are happening
in the coming months. We take a look at five must hear releases for April.
This edition of SFTW includes a heavily hyped Canadian punk band, a Philadelphian
lo-fi emo band and a brand new punk rock trio from the States who have recently released their first song.
In the first edition of our new "Industry Insight" feature, we talk to producer Lewis Johns
to find out his beginnings, his recent work with Funeral For A Friend, and Southampton's
Ranch Production House.

Feature: Farewell Walnut Tree Records

Later this month Walnut Tree Records will be closing it’s doors and be heading into the sunset yet it’ll be going with a bang at The Old Blue Last in London, as the label Punktastic.com and some of the labels alumni will be bidding farewell on October 10th.

For some readers you’re probably thinking "who’s Walnut Tree Records?" Sure during it’s five years of activity WTR never reached cult-like status that other independent labels have done. Yet those who know of Walnut Tree, will tell you two things, the first being WTR is a one-man ship and that man is Tom Beck. The second is that since 2007, like many indie labels, Tom has poured his heart and soul into each and every release the label has put out.

Whilst Tom and WTR hasn’t produced household names, he clearly had an eye (and ear) for talent and spotting up and coming bands. Burn The Fleet, Gunning For Tamar and Tiger Please (now known as The People The Poet) are just some of the bands Tom has worked with in the past, and it’s bands like them that helped WTR gain a solid, appreciative reputation.

From a personal perspective, I’ve had the privilege to work with Tom on a variety of occasions throughout the past four years. As a web-based music writer/journalist/”blogger” (or whatever you want to class me), I’ve always appreciated Tom’s willingness to make good use of online sites like Already Heard and along with his work ethic, Tom has (nearly) single-handedly established Walnut Tree Records as a trust-worthy, well-respected independent label. And on a side note I’d like to personally thank Tom for giving me a chance to work with him when I started in this crazy world of writing.

Unfortunately for fans of the label, Tom has called time of the label citing changes in his personal life and having “nothing left to prove” as the reason for the labels closure. 

As we give a fond farewell to Walnut Tree Records, we thought it’d be an ideal time to highlight 5 key releases from it’s discography.

Portman - From Here To Your Eyes And Ears

One of the labels earlier releases, the Stamford, Peterborough six-piece provided a well-crafted record in the form of 'From Here To Your Eyes and Ears.' Throughout it delivered soaring melodies, pleasing harmonies and combined with compelling musicianship that made the album even more appealing. In addition a mixture of loud and quiet numbers showed the bands ability to vary their sound and approach.  An all-round superb record that never got the attention it deserved.

Bayonets - Wishes & Wishes

The young Hereford quartet’s début release offered a lot of promise and thrived of their youthful, raw energy. Tracks like ‘The Battle of Head and Heart’ have a distinct Brand New influence yet Bayonets’ mature song-writing made them appreciative. Whilst ‘Ten More Sleeps ‘till A Good Nights Sleep’ offered a more complex side to the band. For a début record, it was and still is a fantastic and energetic release but like Portman, Bayonets are no more.

Tiger Please -  They Don’t Change Under Moonlight

Before they became The People The Poet, the Pontypridd, Wales group were known as Tiger Please and this début mini-album was the first stepping stone. With strong, passionate vocals from Leon Stanford and the bands mesmerizing indie-rock sound, ‘They Don’t Change Under Moonlight’ was a fantastic release that received all the praise it deserved and opened doors for the band and WTR. Musically it offered depth, mature song-writing and overall stunning songs that had plenty of longevity. 

Rob Lynch - Rob Lynch EP

After ditching the Lost on Campus moniker, Rob Lynch “restarted” with this delightful EP last year. For those who know of Lynch’s music, you will know he consistently produces harmonious, sincere acoustic pop numbers and this EP did exactly that. From the sweet ballad ‘Plans’ to the rousing 'My Friends and I,' Lynch’s stripped-back, simple approach leaves you with a bright, warm feeling. Rob is currently working on a full-length.

The Republic of Wolves - Varuna

Ok this isn’t exactly a Walnut Tree release, but it was distributed through them here in the UK. With a combination of thunderous indie-rock and dark urgency, The Republic of Wolves’ 'Varuna' more or less leaves you stunned from start to finish. Tracks like 'Sea Smoke' and 'You Missed The Point' leave you immersed in the band both musically and lyrically, whereas 'Pitch And Resin' and ‘The Attic’ showcased the bands lighter, softer side. 

Walnut Tree Records links: Facebook

Details of Punktastic.com’s Walnut Tree Records Farewell Show can be found here.

Words by Sean Reid (@seanreid86

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