Tigers Jaw: Spin

Tigers Jaw have been going for 12 years. Half the band left a couple of years ago, leaving guitarist Ben Walsh and keyboard player Brianna Collins (both singers). For 2014’s Charmer, the musicians who had left the previous year came back, even though the band was officially a duo. Spin (technically lower case, spin, but […]

Gogol Bordello: Seekers and Finders

Gypsy punks Gogol Bordello emerged from the depths of the Balkans (ok so it was Lower East Side of Manhattan but that doesn’t sound so romantic) a good few years ago. We’ve never taken to their raucous brand of punk: it’s good fun and brilliant at a festival, but not something you’d sit and listen […]

Chris T-T: Best Of

We had this a couple of weeks before playing it. A bloke we’ve never heard of issuing a best-of package as he jacks it in after 20 years of limited success? What’s going to be good about that? A lot, it transpires. The man’s a genius at what he does, with an unlimited supply of […]

The Undercover: Hippy Truth and Fiction

The Undercover Hippy — his mum calls him Billy — is one mixed up dude: he sounds like he should have long hair but doesn’t; on record he sounds a bit of a crusty but he’s a smart young man (his mum must be proud); he raps like Eminem but to reggae. He’s certainly different. […]

The Jesus And Mary Chain: Damage and Joy

We were never ones to worship bands; we never raved about The Jesus and Mary Chain — they’re just a band, all said and done — so this new album, the first new one in 19 years, seems pretty good. Maybe diehard fans will feel differently. The main problem for the band’s Reid brothers is […]

Creeper: Eternity, In Your Arms

For some reason, were we expecting swampy goth rock from this but it’s mostly punk, in some parts the rapid snare/kick drum punk of bands like NOFX (though there is no band like NOFX, of course), as well as that shouted call/more melodic response thing that punks do. Elsewhere it’s somewhere between AFI/Alkaline Trio/Blink 182, […]

Bleeker: Erase You

Bleeker are a Canadian trio and this album is as polite and well-behaved as the national clichés have it. Opener Highway is somewhat of an imposter and kicks things off in misleading fashion. It’s a sleazy glam stomper, with scuzzy if polished riffs and a throbbing bass. It was, the internet reports, played at the […]

Vant: Dumb Blood

We like this because they sound like a band at all times; some of the songs may not be the best but they always work because the band works as a unit. Opener The Answer is a great first track, with feedback, swirling guitar and throbbing bass held together by a tight drum pattern; if […]

Frank Carter and The Rattlesnakes: Modern Ruin

A friend in music radio once told us that some pretty decent bands fail because their members are so unpleasant — be mean to venues, music journalists and sound engineers and your career will be short lived. By the same token, Frank Carter must be the nicest man in music. Despite a decade-long career that’s […]

Beans on Toast: A Spanner in the Works

Beans On Toast is the stage name of folk singer Jay McAllister from Essex. He’s a mate of Frank Turner, and thus gets to play Wembley supporting Frank and then considerably smaller venues on his own account. (He just played Manchester Gorilla). A Spanner in the Works opens with an angry rant about 2016. If […]