Friday is here, which means the weekend is but a few hours away. Praise the Lord! And what better way to while away your last few hours at work than by listening to the finest new music from across all spectrums and corners of the rock’n’roll world. We’ve got a stellar week of lots of new music – mainly because I was on holiday last Friday so we combined two weeks’ worth!
This week we have a new album from Britain’s finest sludge connoisseurs and a new single from another, a new single from a couple of British rock bands we haven’t spoken about in a while, an unbelievably good metalcore album from Vietnam, some new punk tracks via Liverpool and Norway, and close out with one of the finest cover songs you’re likely to see from Brooklyn’s finest. Enjoy!
Battalions – Forever Marching Backwards (Album)
If you still haven’t woken up properly yet this morning then WAKE UP! And if that still hasn’t worked, then this will. Hull’s bearded sludge behemoths Battalions are huge, and their latest album sees
The EP opens up with its title track, which dives straight into a bouncy riff that is so good it’ll immediately have you dribbling in lust and, from personal experience, you’ll be growling around the office for hours. Frontman Phil Wilkinson’s huge vocals make their introduction with a filthy scream then intense screamed vocals that are soon answered by the return of the beastly riff. Turn the volume up, and hit play on the video below.
And the big riffs just keep on coming in a fantastic album packed with sludgy goodness. Second track Cities of Ruin opens up with a cool lone riff that’s eventually joined by drums and bass and a higher pitched version of the riff. Phil’s huge screams jump in over the top as the riff ploughs on, then drops into a second repeating riff
The album is littered with Phil’s trademark booming vocals that add raw emotion to the crushing heaviness as the band exorcise a wide array of sorrow and raw human emotion. Tyskie Vampire summarises the Battalions ethos, it’s a song about being on tour with labelmates Pist, dropping cans of strong Polish lager on the floor and having to suck them dry when they split open. Beautiful, and so very Battalions.
Brick Hole may be another personal favourite, with a cool darting riff under some particularly savage vocals then a fun more lively riff provides filler until the savagery returns. While the album goes out in style with the excellent Devil’s Footsteps, with a cool riff under increasingly intense vocals.
This is a great new album from Battalions, which was described to us as “Like a weasel being boiled alive over the top of a bear fight going on in the background,” so go listen to it!
Last Hounds – Handmade (Single)
The Midlands rockers return with their first new music in over a year, and it’s a banger that’s well worth the wait. Handmade opens up with guitar chords under booming drums, then a lively opening verse that dives into a shoutalong chorus “We’re so forgetting, When we let go, When we let go, And I don’t feel ready to make myself again.” The guitars drop out leaving rapped vocals then dives into another chorus, then a big blast of guitars feeds into a final smash of the chorus. It’s high energy and super catchy, give it a listen below.
Windrunner – Mai (Album)
If you’re going to pick one album to stick on repeat this Friday, we firmly recommend it be this one. The debut album from Vietnam’s Windrunner, who we introduced you to last month, is absolutely massive, combining the impressive vocals of Duong Bui with booming riffs and moments of beautiful melody.
Oleander is essentially a precursor for what’s to come through the rest of the album, opening up with chugging riffs under a cool keyboard instrument, jumping into savage vocals from Duong over equally huge Djenty guitars, then big low-tuned diving guitars before dropping into melodic, high-pitched vocals in a deliciously atmospheric chorus.
The Eastern influences of Windrunner’s music come out in more obvious ways in some tracks, one of which is the delicious Marigold and another is the savage Cedar (you’ll notice a flower theme developing here).
Windrunner have offered up an intriguing, refreshing mix of tracks that jump between savage heaviness and delicious melodies. As guitarist Trung told us: “To be honest, we’re not even sure how to describe our sound because we’ve tried to make all our songs sound different.”
And nowhere does that ring truer than the simply wonderful Orchid, which I’ve previously run out of superlatives for and will do so again here. It opens up with cool techy guitar blitzes that are answered by low-tuned chords then huge screams from Duong before launching into an almighty smash of drums and wild guitars under Duong’s huge screams.
But the big heavy sections are answered superbly by delicious ambient melodies, with Duong’s clean vocals “Are you waking up at night, When you’re all alone and cold, The shining bright sky is the only anchor to keep my heart alive, Are you waking up at night, When all you see is the darkness in your eyes, The shining bright sky is the only anchor to keep my heart alive.” Those vocals plough away over all manner of techy guitars and huge drums, which later continue into a big guitar solo.
Mai reaches its savage peak with the intense penultimate track Narcissus, with more of the Eastern influences coming through amid a cocktail of huge riffs, flurries of fast-paced guitar licks and booming low-tuned blitzes over pounding drums and eerie synth then huge screamed vocals.
Crapsons – Deaths and Spelling Mistakes (EP)
Introducing you to the Liverpool duo, we described them as “two guys who spend their time acting like fools and getting drunk together then, during one of those boozy conversations listening to one of their favourite bands, decide to make music together.” And that comes across in spades on the band’s debut EP Deaths and Spelling Mistakes.
It opens with the enjoyable, but totally random, Kings of the Council Estate. The opening verse ends with the line His sister is still in Year 11 and she got pregnant and she is due in May” then leading into the chorus line “Well I can’t imagine them on Christmas morning, And I can’t imagine birthdays being great, Yeah they’re the best-dressed people in Withenshaw, They’re the kings of the council estate.” Then throw a little Jingle Bells imitation into the mix, then ending on the line “Aye-aye yippy me’ mum’s gone the chippy to buy me a steak and kidney pie” and yeah, pretty random! Check it out in the video below.
Scallies follows, with big low-tuned fuzzy guitars under almost spoken vocals and a shouty chorus “Help they’re gonna eat me.” While the verse “And now they’re hanging by my local store, And one’s stopped me from walking through the door, What if this arsehole has got a knife, I called him a cunt, I ran for my life” epitomises the fun nature of the EP.
As do the opening vocals on Jee Wizz: “”You won’t feel the benefits when you go outside, Take your coat off, When you come inside, You won’t feel the benefits when you outside”and repeat, then cries of “Jee wizz.” It’s silly, fun, punky and we love it.
Farebrother – I’d Be The Worst (Single)
A delicious new track from the Bath indie rockers, which has a little bit of a Milburn-esque feeling to it. Opening up with a repeating riff that drops into a laid-back, jaunty opening verse that builds up with a nice little guitar lick, then stabbing guitars see a pre-chorus build up to a really catchy chorus. The pace, and the Milburn feeling, picks up with a little guitar solo then a bit of a rock out and lone vocals that bring the track to an end.
Fick As Fieves – Hello (Single)
Sticking with the indie rock brings us to a similarly delicious new track from Suffolk’s Fick As Fieves. Opening up with guitar chords under a distant synth noise driving drums push us into a lively opening verse of edgy vocals then a fast-paced chorus, of which a second is followed by funky “Na na na na” vocals as the guitars and drums build up to a last blast of the chorus.
Area 11 – Everybody Gets A Piece (Single)
A fairly outspoken track from the Bristol crew, who have just gone fully independent and begun releasing their music via Patreon first going forward. And this track may offer a ‘subtle’ indication as to their thoughts on the music industry.
For example, the chorus lyrics “Don’t waste your time in the studio, I’ve been told to beg, steal and borrow and “Nobody listens to the radio.” That’s later followed by repeats of “Don’t ask, you’ll never get, You never asked so you never got nothing, Did you get all you wanted from me? Can’t lose when you’re playing for free” as the rockiness increases, then drops into a remix of the shitty “Radio 1” jingle, then a big smash of heavier guitars.
Tirades – Hyena (Double Single)
The Norwegian hardcore punks return with a two-track single, the first of which I Keep Sucking (The Morning Glory) is a fast-paced romp opening with cool descending guitars over a big chunky bass then shouty vocals. The intensity increases as the guitars become more wild, then they drop out leaving a lone bassline and rolling drums before a last blast of the chorus. The B-side Coast To Coast is a wild one-minute blitz of punky anger. Check both out below.
Brass Against – Show Me How To Live (Single)
A brass ensemble against rocky guitars and the delicious yet powerful vocals of US The Voice contestant Amanda Brown covering Audioslave’s Show Me How To Live? We don’t mind if we do. Check this beauty out below – it’s pretty special.