Happy New Year! Did you have a good Christmas? Recovered from a heavy New Year’s Eve? Ready to hear about 50 bands you need to know over the coming 12 months? Well we’ve got you covered!
Every year Already Heard highlights 50 must-hear acts that we think you’ll be hearing a lot of over the next year. In past years the likes of Moose Blood, Pvris, Hop Along, Deafheaven, Milk Teeth, Modern Baseball, and Boston Manor have been just some of the names included in years gone by. So we guess you could say we have a proven track record.
Like last years edition, our 50 Bands to Watch in 2016 list contains a smattering of bands you may already know, but there is plenty of emphasis on bands you’ve yet to be acquainted with. Already Heard takes great pride in introducing its readers to new, exciting music, and we believe this feature demonstrates that.
So read on and discover 50 acts that you’ll be hearing plenty more of in 2016.
It is no doubt that Brighton rockers Black Peaks are on the crest of something special. Having spent 2015 touring relentlessly with numerous festival appearances under their belt, the quartet have proven to be a tour-de-force live, winning over many fans and critics all over the place. And all this has happened before their debut album, ‘Statues’ has dropped.
Although ‘Statues’ has been pushed back until the Spring (remember good things come to those who wait), we’ll still be hearing plenty from the four-piece in the coming months. Their first (but not their last) headline UK run takes place in February while three songs from the record are set to unleashed soon. If you’ve yet to Will Gardner’s superb vocal range brilliantly clash with the bands brand of progressive post-hardcore, be prepared to be stunned. (SR)
These Liverpudlian pop-punks have seemingly appeared out of nowhere in the past 12 months. Nevertheless having delivered one of the most infectious EP’s of 2015 with ‘SKRWD’, it seems they’re only just getting started. With tours alongside Neck Deep, Creeper and Speak Low If You Speak Love already penciled in, WSTR are rumoured to be working on their first full-length.
Having sent the benchmark high with a set of energetic, fast-temped, melodic pop punk songs that have plenty of replay value, we have a feeling that WSTR will push themselves and even surprise fans with new material later this year. (SR)
With emo making its big resurgence as of late, and Britrock maintaining the same rapid inertia as ever, it was only a matter of time before a band came along that fused the best of both worlds. Enter Dearist, the band doing just that. Their debut full-length ‘This House Has No Windows combined huge choruses with atmospheric guitars swathes in what was one of the most succinct genre-fusions seen in some time, and with neither of their two reference points showing any sign of slowing down, 2016 is essentially Dearist’s for the taking. (LN)
Whereas this-that-and-whatever-core clogs up the majority of the 21st Century’s alternative landscape, Atlanta’s Biters are clearly more occupied with plugging in and rocking out than fitting into any particular scene. Their album ‘Electric Blood’ throbbed with Sunset Strip sleaze and swagger, with tracks like ‘Restless Hearts’ and ‘Low Lives In Hi Definition’ having all the glam of the ’80s finest hard rock. They’re opening for Sum 41 on their UK tour in February, so get down early to see one of 2016’s unlikeliest success stories in full flow. (LN)
With the UK pop punk scene thriving right now, Nottingham’s Catch Fire look set to make their mark in 2016. The quintet have abandoned their Layby moniker to start a new, exciting chapter. Having joined up with Rude Records (Zebrahead, Patent Pending, Like Torches, Blood Youth), their debut will arrive on February 5th in the form of ‘The Distance I Am From You’.
The four-song set is a boisterous and exhilarating statement of intent illustrating a band who are revitalized. With Miles Kent’s impassioned vocals, driving, playful guitars and Ash Wain’s domineering drum work, Catch Fire have all the ingredients to become one of the UK’s next break through pop punk bands. (SR)
Croydon four piece Bellevue Days won over a lot of admirers with last summers ‘The Sun Came Up When We Were Young’. They quickly got to work on it’s follow-up and treated us to a preview of it with a track called ‘Ripped Jeans’ in November. It looks like they will be carrying forward the momentum gained from the past 12 months into 2016.
With that aforementioned second EP expected to drop sooner rather than later, the quartet’s sound is a concoction of urgent intimacy, melody-driven choruses, and gritty, reflective lyrics. The end result is a startling band with bucket loads of potential. You can also expect to see them out on the road at some point this year. We’ll see you down the front. (SR)
These sentimental Kingston pop punks have been honing their sound since forming in 2012 and now they are ready to step things up a notch with their debut album. ‘Fear Of Missing Out’ is unleashed later this month and is a collection of guitar-driven, harmonious emo-infused pop punk gems.
With a sound that is subtly rooted in the DIY scene of their Kingston base, songs like ‘People In Glass Houses Sink Ships’ and ‘Never Told You’ thrive with the bands punk energy and jangly guitars. Whereas ‘Meet Me In Agloe’ and closing track ‘I Wrote Off My Tape Deck’ are poignant, emphasising the bands depth.
The release of ‘Fear Of Missing Out’ will coincide with a UK tour alongside the always brilliant Irish indie punks The Winter Passing. Losing Sleep have plenty of momentum going for themselves as they head into 2016. If you’re a fan of bands like Moose Blood, this Kingston quartet might not leave your stereo for awhile. (SR)
Having emerged out of pretty much nowhere last Autumn, Swindon four-piece Rain have quickly been gathering followers with their brand of reverb-drenched shoegaze rock. Debut track ‘Slur’ is awashed in a sea of hazy 90s nostalgia and grunge-pop fuzziness.
The quartet are set to drop their debut EP, ‘Symphony Pains’, in February (Close To Home Records) and having worked with the ever proficient Neil Kennedy (Milk Teeth, Creeper, Bad Sign, Trash Boat) on the EP, Rain have all the ingredients to deliver something unique. ‘Symphony Pains’ promises to deliver an accomplished and well-crafted of hazy grunge rock. It sounds dreary yet completely beautiful to us. Count us in. (SR)
Their first time round the block might’ve produced nothing more memorable than a cover of John Farnham’s ‘You’re The Voice’ and an appearance from frontman Renny Carroll on ITV’s tragic dating show Take Me Out, but 2016 sees Forever Never gunning for something a bit more viable. They’re certainly going in the right direction with new single ‘One Life’, a bouncy, groovy slice of melodic metal goodness that’ll suit any fans of Skindred, Bullet For My Valentine and the like. There’s meant to be a new album coming fairly soon, hopefully sparking the rebirth of Forever Never for the better. (LN)
2015 was a pretty exciting year for this Canterbury indie pop duo. Their ‘Stenography’ EP last May proved to a short and sharp collection of tongue-in-cheek, alt-rock songs. Since then they’ve been busy working on a debut album. With Bob Cooper on producing duties and Vince Ratti (The Wonder Years/Title Fight/Tigers Jaw) handling the mixing, Holy Pinto promise to deliver a fuller, more rounded sound on LP#1.
If you’re a fan of The Front Bottoms and Modern Baseball, Holy Pinto’s knack for producing fun, jangly indie rock could well turn out to be your soundtrack to 2016. You’ve been warned. (SR)
With female-fronted rock bands still inundated with lazy Paramore comparisons, Beautiful Bodies are looking to set the record straight. The Kansas electro-rock trio gave their debut full-length ‘Battles’ a proper release in November, an album that fizzes with sass, neon exuberance and, crucially, a jolt of originality that the Warped Tour scene has been crying out for since God knows when. With plenty of dancefloor-ready anthems already under their belts, a captivating frontwoman in Alicia Solombrino and a massive tour with Mayday Parade penned in for the start of the year, don’t expect 2016 to go by without Beautiful Bodies getting some sort of recognition. (LN)
From the ashes of Rise To Remain…er, rise As Lions, seeing Austin Dickinson and co. more or less picking up where they left off. They may have only released one song as of now in the form of ‘The Fall’, a soaring slice of melodic metalcore, but they’ve already made serious waves – they’ve already signed to acclaimed metal label Eleven Seven, supported Five Finger Death Punch at their massive Wembley Arena show and recorded their debut album with David Bendeth, who has previously worked with the likes of Paramore and Bring Me The Horizon.
It all bodes well for what comes next, namely their debut, to be released later in 2016. So while Rise To Remain may have tailed off towards their end, As Lions look to do nothing but fly. (LN)
Theses Norwich folk punks have been building a strong following for the best part of five years, and it looks like their hard work is finally paying off. They inked a deal with Xtra Mile (Frank Turner, Rob Lynch, Will Varley) in November and will release their label debut, ‘Fizzy Brain’, in March.
Having previewed the album with ‘Greedy Bones’, you can expect Dan Allen and company to showcase a range of upbeat, catchy songs countered with raw, delicate numbers that tackle subjects such as suicide and anxiety. You won’t find a band as honest and organic as Ducking Punches. Emotion-soaked punk rock at its best. (SR)
The name Anna’s Anchor cropped up quite on these pages throughout 2015 and with good reason. The project is the brainchild of Limerick, Ireland native Marty Ryan and has proved his worth with a range of honest and delicate emo/indie songs. Having spent last summer venturing to the Coastal islands of Ireland, Ryan has recently been writing and will be recording a debut full-length with Bob Cooper (Hindsights, Walleater, The Winter Passing) this month.
Marty has hinted at a more developed sound with the record, abandoning his solo acoustic approach in favour of a fuller delivery. Nevertheless we’re sure his skill for writing emotionally-driven, honest songs will remain intact. It’s no doubt that Anna’s Anchor is one of the most promising alternative singer-songwriters to emerge in recent years. (SR)
We’re huge fans of Brightr, AKA Laurie Cottingham, and the South Coast’s answer to Owen or Into it. Over It is determined to follow up a stellar 2015 with an even more spectacular 2016.
A long-awaited debut is on the cards, pulling together all the live favourites into what promises to be one of the most exciting releases of the year for those who like their emo stripped back and raw, but with plenty of hooks and melody.
Also, for a man who seems to spend his life on the road, expect much more in the way of live shows; indeed, one of his first of the year will see him opening up for Greg and Bobby Barnett (The Menzingers and Captain We’re Sinking respectively). It’s a bill he’ll be right at home on. (RM)
A Will Away
Connecticut’s A Will Away won over a lot of new fans upon the re-release of their ‘Bliss’ EP this past October, and it is easy to see why. With a sound rooted in the favourable emo-rock of yesteryear (think The Early November meets Transit), offerings such as ‘My Sitter’ and ‘Cheap Wine’ are delivered with warmth and driving, energetic choruses. It is safe to say we’ve got high hopes for a likely debut full-length in 2016.
If you’re like us, you’ll want to see the quartet on these shores but it looks like we’ll have to head to Texas for the So What?! Festival for now. (SR)
Safe To Say
Toronto rockers Safe To Say won many people over with their ‘Hiding Games’ EP this past Autumn, however it seems they’re ready to challenge new fans with their forthcoming record. ‘Hiding Games’ subtly showed the quartet’s willingness to break out of the confines of genre boundaries. The breezy ‘Lull (Heaven Knows)’ and the raucous ‘Bracelets’ hinted at their versatility, whilst a recent delicate reworking of ‘Zoey’ sees Safe To Say thrive in intimacy.
It’s clear the Ontario group have the confidence and ability to evolve into something truly special and develop their own identity along the way. In a scene full of imitators, we believe Safe To Say have all the makings to break out. (SR)
Why does everything have to be fuelled by gimmicks these days? Whatever happened to just writing and playing good music and getting the attention you deserve off just that? Step up Microwave, who have all but mastered the fine art of writing alternative music that appeals to everyone.
Moulding together shirt tugging melodies with deep-set subject matters and heart broken feeling, the band will be looking to follow up their ’14 debut ‘Stovall’ with a serious and scene dominating boom in 2016. (JR)
Like Pacific like to keep it simple and deliver pop punk as it should be; fast, loud, passionate and proud.
Toying with a familiar sound but moulding it into something wholeheartedly personal and unforgettable rousing, the band will be looking to build on acclaim already generated from the handful of honest bangers already to their name off the back of last year’s self titled EP with their debut album ‘Worthless Case’ penciled in for release on February 19th.
Easily one of the gleaming jewels in the future of pop punk. Watch this space yeah? (JR)
Sometimes, you just want to sit back and listen to some bloody good, mindless and insanely catchy punk rock, and exhibiting a similar sound and style to Pears and Red City Radio (combined with a splash of The Queers or The Nobodys’ thrashy, splattergun, punk) Seattle’s Dead Bars look set to fit the bill in 2016.
The quintet – formed by two drummers, John Maiello and CJ Frederick, who were both from New Jersey but who met in Seattle – have already put out a handful of killer EPs, and will finally unleash their debut full-length in 2016 through the ever-dependable No Idea!, as well as a UK single.
Promising unpolished and scratchy punk rock gems that come armed to the teeth with sing-alongs and a sweaty, pit-friendly swagger, expect to have unrivalled levels of fun when their debut finally hits. (RM)
If you thought the pop punk bandwagon was going to slow down in 2016, then you’re wrong. Alongside the aforementioned WSTR and Catch Fire, Lille, France’s Stay Gone will be making themselves known in the coming months. By the time you’re reading this, the quintet would have released their ‘Charades’ EP.
The Ian Sadler (Roam, Homebound, Lacey, Anavae) produced effort has all the makings of a fine pop punk EP; big choruses, thriving drum work and bold guitars. Songs like ‘Bad News’, ‘Suitcase Cellar’ and ‘Wasted’ cut off the fat and are wall-to-wall pop punk bangers. Stay Gone show there is more to the French pop punk scene then Chunk! No, Captain Chunk! (SR)
Prolific, yet travelling under the radar would be the best way to describe Rozwell Kid’s steady ascent to the alt-rock summit. But, after signing to SideOneDummy ahead of the release of their third full-length, as well as an appearance at this year’s Groezrock to look forward to, 2016 looks set to be a banner year for the oddball riff monsters.
Embodying the irreverent alt-pop feel of Weezer and combining it with some killer riffs to create decidedly off-kilter punk rock songs, Rozwell Kid are probably one of the most interesting – and exciting – bands out there at the moment.
Best of all – they’re fun; whether they’re referencing The Crow or The Simpsons or the forgotten teen ‘comedy’ Angus, Rozwell Kid sound like they’re having the time of their lives. (RM)
The return of this Brighton trio is long overdue. Nevertheless the wait is nearly over. Having re-emerged this past Autumn with ‘We Are Liars’, In Dynamics quickly reminded us of their ridiculous potential with a bold, anthemic slice of powerful rock. Add to that elements of math-rock and pop, and you’re left with a subtly ambitious band who are competent enough of delivering on their potential.
Work on their full-length is complete and you can expect the trio to deliver an arsenal of punchy, cinematic-sized alt-rock all over the UK in 2016. Be prepared. (SR)
2015 turned out to be a transitional year for Exeter three-piece Black Foxxes. Having signed with Search and Destroy and Spinefarm Records (While She Sleeps, Mallory Knox) in the summer followed by spots at Reading and Leeds and the Vans Warpred Tour UK, they ended 2015 working on their debut album.
With a blend beauty and intensity, 2014’s ‘Pines’ captured the bands in their infancy, delivering a raw, emotional-driven style. However vocalist/guitarist Mark Holley has hinted at a somewhat different Black Foxxes on their forthcoming debut effort. A more “natural” sound he told us when we spoke to him at Leeds Festival. Nevertheless we look forward to them delivering a set of smart, infectious and loud rock later this year. You can also catch them at Download in June, one of probably many festival appearances in 2016. (SR)
Claustrophobically abrasive. Addictively melodic. Infinitely expansive. These are all very big words to describe an absolute monolith of a band. Only forming in February last year, Rugby’s wars have already let their intentions be known loud and clear.
Releasing debut EP ‘And So The Sea Will Claim Us All’ in the summer of last year which demonstrated the band’s knack for sprawling story telling and gut busting riffing, 2016 will more than likely see the quintet reach even headier heights and state their claim as one of the UKs most exciting new additions to the world of post hardcore. (JR)
What’s not to like about an emo band that’s not taking things to seriously? From the name – a knowing nod to Taylor Swift – to an EP titled ‘Ultimate Worrier’ (one for you wrestling fans), there’s a fun charm about this pun-loving London three-piece that belies the quality of their songwriting.
In fact, for a band that has only a single three-track EP to their name, and has still only played a handful of shows in and around the capital and south coast, there’s already a buzz and anticipation around their 2016 debut that marks them out as ones to watch.
They’ll also be putting on their own one-day festival in April. The name? DeprestleMania. (RM)
The beauty of the perfect EP is that it always leaves you wanting more. New York’s Wild Pink did exactly that – and some – when they released ‘Good Life’ last Spring. Arguably one of the finest EPs of 2015, it had power to sound instantly familiar and yet unlike anything else you could’ve heard.
Containing five songs, lasting a little over 10 minutes, and filled with countless hooks and melodies, it’s a mature take on indie-pop that never plays to the choir. Instead, there’s a sense of pathos and gravity to their output that ensures an impending full-length should be one of the highlights of 2016.
In fact, remember the buzz about Beach Slang? We’re that excited… (RM)
With last years self-titled effort, this Norwich emo rock quartet delivered a highly underappreciated EP. Nevertheless Standing Tall are soldiering on into 2016. Late next month they will head out on their first European tour with the promise of UK shows set to take place down the line.
The four-piece are also said to be constantly writing new material. The aforementioned self-titled release contained a fine range of atmospheric and raw songs that has seen Standing Tall be compared to Brand New, Thrice, Basement and Pianos Become The Teeth. Certainly a band that doesn’t deserve to be ignored. (SR)
For Cheshire’s Simmer, 2015 proved to be a year of tranisition and progression. With their ‘Yellow Streak’ 7" collecting positive release upon its release in the Spring. They spent the remainder of the year writing their full-length, being reduced to a trio along the way. With work on ‘Paper Prisms’ complete, Simmer gave us a preview of the record with ‘Faze’ in late November. Whilst the shoegaze elements subtly remain in tact, ‘Faze’ sees the three-piece heading in a bolder, more direct and reverb-soaked direction.
‘Paper Prisms’ is set to be released on February 29th through the excellent Dog Knights Productions (Playlounge, Bloody Knees, Nai Harvest). (SR)
Throughout 2015, Manchester alt pop-rockers Landmarks raised their profile with shows in the UK and Europe. Whilst their ‘Fighting Gravity’ EP was well-received showcasing the quartet’s knack for writing solid, sincere and upbeat songs. Add to that a handful of favourable harmonies and hooks and you’ve left with a band with plenty of potential.
Although ‘Fighting Gravity’ has earned Landmarks plenty of admirers, they’re not settling down just yet and are currently recording its follow up. ‘Fighting Gravity’ saw a band finding its feet, so EP#3 has all the makings of a band full of confidence and ready to grow stylistically. It’s expected to be released in the Spring. (SR)
Hailing from the West Country suburbs of Bristol, Montroze are as straight talking, no shit taking and brilliant as they come. Pushing together the more abrasive elements of pop punk with the balls to the wall attitude of rock and holding it all together with a soaring display of melodious vocals, the band will be looking to build on the success that came in 2015 off the back of the quality found on their sophomore EP ‘Monster Under Your Bed’.
No doubt they will continue melting hearts and inciting push pits all the way through to 2017. (JR)
Emerging from Nottingham’s thriving DIY scene comes Little Bribes. Formed just under a year ago, the post-hardcore quartet will be hitting the studio later this month to record their debut EP. Whilst last years ‘Reboot’ single hinted at a more emo/alt-rock sound, vocalist/guitarist George Gadd has promised a more varied and layered approach for the EP.
With a plethora of influences such as Gallows, Brand New, Manchester Orchestra, American Football, Little Bribes are an exciting prospect as they plan on showing their mix of riff-driven rock and slow-burning, melancholic charm. You can expect the EP to drop early on in the year with shows to follow. Whilst Gadd will be taking his solo project throughout the UK and Europe. (SR)
Since emerging with their ‘Patterns’ EP early last year, Southampton five-piece Faux have been honing their sound with recent single ‘Swimmingly’ showing a more dynamic, confident sound. With it’s twisting riffs and subtle pop sensibilities, it has set the standard high for the alt pop quintet.
Having completed work on their second EP with producer Neil Kennedy (Creeper, Boston Manor, Don Broco), Faux promise to deliver effective hooks with compelling math-rock elements with a hint of emo at its core. If 2015 was the year Faux found their feet, then 2016 could be the year they learn to run. Don’t be surprised when they’re popping up at venues and festivals up and down the country. (SR)
What’s the saddest you have ever been? When your ex dumped you by carrier pigeon? The time that seagull nicked your dog at the seaside? None of that compares to the shit that Teen Suicide are seemingly going through.
Cloaked in a tapestry of lo fi guitars, ear popping feedback and complete and utter indifference, the bands speak of shattered hearts and uncomfortable situations shrouded heavily in the all consuming stench of depression. Not a band looking for critical acclaim but here’s to seeing 2016 being the year that everybody feels just as emotional as this Baltimore anomaly. (JR)
2016 is a big year for Yorkshire’s alternative rockers Of Allies, who are currently holed up writing their debut album. After two high quality EPs, ‘Tempers’ from 2014 and last year’s ‘Fragments’; showcasing the epic sound of their heavyweight riffs and hook filled choruses, the band has begun serious work on its first full length outing. The first quarter of the year will be dedicated to the writing process, which, according to vocalist Rich, is sounding “really, really good”.
From April the band will be playing a succession of shows all over the UK, giving some of the new material a run, before going into the studio in August with Matt Ellis, anticipating a late 2016 release. Rich also said “we’ll have a few treats for fans along the way”; looks like a busy year. (EL)
Watch out for An Elegy in 2016; with a UK headline tour already booked for February and work having started on new music, the midlands metalcore outfit look set to pick up where they left off and continue taking the UK scene by storm.
2015’s ‘Embrace The Rain’ was a highly accomplished EP of heavy as hell metalcore that showed off a mature well refined sound with some interesting twists and turns, setting them apart from the crowd. Their songs are well structured, the vocals sufficiently varied and there’s plenty of atmosphere; basically, these guys are young, hungry and pretty damn good. Now, with a European tour under their belts, they’ve done the smart thing and started work on their second EP while still hot from the road; expect bigger things. (EL)
I Love Your Lifestyle
Sweden has traditionally had a strong emo scene, with bands such as Starmarket and Last Days of April carrying the flag in the late 90s and early 00s, releasing excellent albums on the influential Deep Elm label.
Hailing from Gothenburg and Malmo, five-piece indie-rock outfit I Love Your Lifestyle are the latest to break out from the fervent Scandinavian scene, combining the perky, effervescent fun of US luminaries Tiny Moving Parts and Modern Baseball with the traditional delicate Scandinavian sound of their forefathers.
The group already have a couple of excellent EPs under their belt since forming in 2013, but with a debut set to appear on the ever dependable Dog Knights Productions, 2016 promises to be the year when you fall in love with I Love Your Lifestyle. (RM)
Having made the jump from being a solo act to a full band in 2015, Brighton’s Harker are set to have a busy 2016. Their ‘A Lifetime Apart’ EP arrived in late November and with it bought a short yet impressive set of solid and youthful punk rock songs. Frontman Mark Boniface carries plenty of heart and emotion throughout, and we’re sure to hear the same again when their full-length arrives later this year.
With a sound that is reminscent of The Get Up Kids, Harker have a lot of going for them. Not only is there the possibility of a full-length in 2016, US fans can expect ‘A Lifetime Apart’ to be released Stateside via Paper + Plastick. On top of that you can look out for them on motorways in the UK and Europe in the coming months. (SR)
Having released a devasting good EP with ‘The Momentary Effects of Sadness’ last March, Plymouth’s Patrons have been writing its full-length follow up. Recent “throwaway” single ‘Seven’ saw the quartet head in a more plukcy, intense direction.
They are planning on heading to Middle Farm Studios this month to finish off the record. The quartet have promised an eclectic delivery; soft and loud elements joined by a combination of raw, angular songs and big, polished straight forward numbers.
Althouhgh the record is due out later in the year, Patrons will be playing shows wherever possible in the lead up to its release. (SR)
Described as gritty and immediate – a depiction that is apt and bang on the money – Connecticut’s Loner Chic play punk rock/power pop that’s perfect for tiny sweaty venues when intimacy makes sweat drip from the walls.
Yet incredibly, for all this rough-edged charm, the group only has one release to their name – 2014’s encouraging ‘Pretty Void’ EP. Even then, however, there was enough about it to grab the attention of Broken World Media (Old Gray, Island of Misfit Toys).
Now the group are gearing up to release their debut full-length in February. Titled ‘Year Of The Goth’, if the cover art is anything to go by, it should be a riot… (RM)
Hailing from Cardiff, Masts blend elements of At the Drive-In and Fugazi with Hot Water Music-inspired melodies to deliver a brand of bold and contagious post-punk that borrows from emo and post-hardcore along the way. Sounds pretty exciting right?
Debut album, ‘Adversaries’, is scheduled to be released on February 19th with recent single ‘Monaghan’ receiving repeated plays at Already Heard HQ. The snappy, soaring slice of post-punk perfection is balanced out by a more mature and focused level of songwriting that is sure to gain Masts plenty of new admiriers in the coming months. (SR)
Recreational Drugs may be a new name, but the duo is made up with a couple of familiar faces – Their/They’re/There’s guitarist Matthew Franks and Into It. Over It.’s Josh Sparks.
Yet if you’re expecting some sweet emo or engaging math-rock, prepare for a surprise, for Recreational Drugs are an entirely instrumental post-rock act, specialising in minimal, delicate soundscapes which will make you swoon.
Having teamed up with Count Your Lucky Stars to release an oh-so-short three-track EP prior to Christmas, expect to hear much more from them as the year progresses. (RM)
Tiny Engines – those chaps with impeccable taste who brought us The Hotelier – know a thing or two about intelligent indie-rock, so it’s no surprise to learn Sinai Vessel will be delivering their long-awaited second album and follow-up to 2013’s stellar ‘Profanity’ EP on the label.
Early signs are promising too; the group delivered an outstanding song, ‘I Quit The Choir’, as part of the Count Your Lucky Stars four-way split series last year, and if that’s anything to go by, fans of Manchester Orchestra, The Hotelier and Brand New should begin to get very excited… (RM)
This group of rock ‘n’ roll punks hit the road hard in 2015 leaving their mark all over Europe. With their lively, through and through raucous brand of hardcore punk, the Netherlands five-piece certainly showed how to deliver a show. Whilst their third LP, ‘The Great News’, was equally rowdy with ‘Broke Neck’ and ‘Relief’ showing the bands intent with party-fuelled riffs and soaring choruses.
Although we are unsure if we can expect a follow up to ‘The Great News’ in 2016 but we’re confident you’ll see John Coffey back on these shores as their live shows have become a thrilling and genuine rock ‘n’ roll experience. They’re also pretty good at grabbing a beer or two. (SR)
From the land of all things Biffy Clyro and Twin Atlantic comes Donnie Willow. This Glasgow trio have been together since 2009 but with their forthcoming ‘Inhale. Exhale’ mini-album they’re now set to step things up a notch.
With Bruce Rintoul (Twin Atlantic, Fatherson) producing, Donnie Willow’s sound is dizzying, jagged and bold as heard on tracks like ‘Jagged Teeth’. Their self-proclaimed “awkward rock” is thoroughly energetic and raucous whilst recent single ‘I Eat Flies’ hints at a more vivid and refined sound.
‘Inhale. Exhale’ is set to drop on March 4th with extensive touring in the works. (SR)
The four tracks of this Brighton outfit’s debut offering ‘Emperisism’ brought razor sharp crunching riffs, slick virtuouso vocal runs and attention grabbing stomping choruses by the shedload. All suitably shot through with cocksure swagger and plenty of scuzzy abrasive radio ready rock. We caught them live late last year and can testify that the lads can certainly smash out an electric live show that packs both vocal prowess and impossible to ignore energy levels. We expect to see Rory Indiana bagging tour supports left and right throughout 2016, and you’d be mad not to check them out when they next hit a venue near you. (DW)
Sammy Battle truly is one of the North-West folk punk scenes emerging gems. Having already shared stages with the likes of Rob Lynch, Allison Weiss and The Ataris’ Kris Roe to name but a few, he’s quickly establishing a sterling live reputation to match his beautifully expressive and delightfully eloquent writing. That just leaves a distinctly north-west take on a gravelly Brian Fallon-Esque vocal to provide the icing on this particularly potent cake. The quality of tracks like ‘The Seafarer’ and ‘Pedal Down’ speak for themselves, and with Battle starting 2016 by recording his debut full length at Southsea Sound Studios, this is set to be the year that he deservedly brings the fight to be heard far beyond his native Manchester. (DW)
The Echo and The Always
The Echo and The Always made one of the most intriguing records of the second semester of 2015 in ’…and After That the Dark’, so its fairly reasonable to assume they will be touring hard on the back of it through 2016. There are plans afoot for the indie rockers to take their unique blend of textured instrumentation and emotion filled lyrics on a number of dates around the UK and beyond, with hopes of a few gigs in Canada. Also, don’t be surprised to see them cropping up at the occasional festival come the summer, such is the quality of their material.
The Cardiff five piece is also well known for locking themselves away in a cottage in order to write at least once a year, as well as refining songs during practice sessions, so we may even see something new before the year is out. (EL)
Words by Sean Reid (SR), Rob Mair (RM), Jack Rogers (JR), Edward Layland (EL) and Dane Wright (DW).