'3rd album from Manc indie-rockers is a twin-guitared lockdown diary tunefest'
Produced by Simon ‘Ding’ Archer (PJ Harvey, The Pixies, The Fall) at 6db studios in Salford, the album title seems to refer to the lockdown period in one sense, a document of that time, but as frontman Tom Long elaborates: “It also harks back to pre-lockdown, when there was actually a possibility of some change on offer. Unfortunatelywe’re forbidden from talking about that. There were solutions to many of the problems we face now, but that dream was crushed, never to be spoken of again”. Manchester indie-rockers Easter have built a reputation as one of the city’s best-kept secrets. Spurred along by singer/songwriter/guitarist Tom Long with a rotating cast of Manc-underground shredders, they’re a formidable live act who’ve toured the UK repeatedly and provided support for post-rock behemoths Mono, avant-rockers Ranga and Mugstar but also poppier acts such as Canadian shoe-gazers Tallies.
However, for all of Manchester’s illustrious musical history, it’s hard to bring to mind a local act that they compare or aspire to. Instead Easter’s binoculars are fixed on the fuzzy indie-rock of Dinosaur Jr , Guided By Voices and Teenage Fanclub with added twin-guitar weaving recalling the articulate jams of Television, Chris Forsyth and even Wishbone Ash. Only in Tom’s vocals are there occasional hints of their surroundings with echoes of the Mozza and a few junctions away across the M62, Dave Gedge.
They’ve found admirers in Huw Stephens and Tom Ravenscroft at 6Music and garnered praise from Uncut, Record Collector and NYC’s The Big Takeover while building a loyal fanbase across the UK.
“A welcome throwback to the wry, self-lacerating alt.rock of the early 90s” Uncut
“Astonishing” Record Collector
“Lovely bit of noise” Tom Ravenscroft BBC 6 Music
“It devilishly combines a banged acoustic with spiky electric, like Bevis Frond covering A Catholic Education by Teenage Fanclub. If this is “Hell,” give us more!” Big Takeover
Easter are - Tom Long - Vocals/Guitar Gavin Clarke – Guitar Paul Flieshman - Drums/Backing Vocals Graham Blyth – Bass live
‘And Also The Trees’ compelling new album, ‘Mother-of-Pearl Moon’, was born from a series of extraordinary electric guitar improvisations created by guitarist Justin Jones in the pre- and postdawn hours during a month of solitude in 2020.
Each piece then developed in its own way - the guitar, often left in its raw, unaltered form, is accompanied by the voice of his brother Simon, bringing imagery and narrative, Colin Ozanne’s clarinet and piano adding poise, colour and harmony, Paul Hill’s percussion creating depth… on occasion an autoharp, a Moog… all leading the listener from the depths of the English countryside far out in all directions of the compass.
The music is often filmic, reminiscent of various film genres from the ‘50s to the ‘70s. This is most apparent in ‘This path through the meadow’, a song that explores the intertwining of human nature and nature in its animal and botanic form, and in its video where the band appear to be performing to an imaginary screening.
Elsewhere, the album title track transports the listener across the oceans to the Far East...and to its exotic gardens, still waters and the ‘Mother-of-pearl moon’.
And Also The Trees (AATT) formed during the original post-punk era in rural Worcestershire, an environment that has provided a constant inspiration to a group whose music has often explored the dark underbelly as well as the beauty of the British countryside.
They are renowned for their captivating live performances, a unique style of mandolin-like electric guitar, evocative lyrics and dark jazz rhythms - not to mention a creative independence fiercely preserved for over four decades.
Founded by singer Simon Jones and his guitarist brother Justin, AATT have maintained a continuous presence on the post-punk, alternative rock and Gothic scenes worldwide. They have released fifteen studio albums.
Tracklisting: 1. Intro 2. The Whaler 3. Town Square 4. Mother-of-Pearl Moon 5. This Path Through The Meadow 6. Valdrada 7. No Mountains, No Horizon 8. Visions of a Stray 9. Field After Field 10. Ypsilon 11. Away From Me
"To Bare the Weight of Death," the upcoming release from the UK black metal band ANDRACCA, is a deep and introspective album that delves into themes of grief, despair, and the acceptance of mortality.
Across six tracks, the album recounts a journey from the depths of sorrow to a reconciliation with death, both in its physical and metaphysical forms. The album is characterized by its honest and emotive expression, capturing the varying stages of grief, from intense despair to the eventual life-affirming acceptance of death. Each track reflects on the band's personal experiences and struggles with loss, offering listeners an immersive and cathartic journey.
Described as a unification of life and death, the album is a triumph of resilience and will, inviting listeners to embrace their own lives with renewed vigor. ANDRACCA's "To Bare the Weight of Death" resonates with fans of 2nd wave black metal, showcasing their dedication to the genre while exploring profound existential themes.
Tracklisting: 1. To Bear the Weight of Death 2. Rise, or be Forever Fall'n 3. Oceans of Fire 4. Antithesis of Hope 5. Lamentation of Divinity 6. Hollow Altars
“But into my miserable brain, always concerned with looking for noon at two o’clock" - Charles Baudelaire (1869)
The Foreign Department is the second album by Astrel K, the solo project helmed by Stockholm-based British ex-pat, Rhys Edwards. Those already familiar with Edwards’ work will likely know him for fronting the cultishly great Ulrika Spacek, and given he operates as the principal songwriter in both projects, much of the same hallmarks of his cathartic, elliptical songwriting are present in Astrel K. Nonetheless, The Foreign Department feels like a rubicon moment of sorts, and the album that Edwards has unconsciously been working towards his entire creative life.
As a title, The Foreign Department offers an instructive guide for the listener, framing a life-in-transition/artist-in-exile document that maps two impromptu moves in twelve months for its songwriter: the first from London in pursuit of a relationship, the second between homes in Stockholm as that decade long relationship then suddenly dissolved.
Indeed, diffusion, dissolution and reconstitution feel like appropriate touchstones for its recurring themes. Written amidst the flux of two states, at once isolated from home and then any established emotional anchor, the resulting eleven tracks came to represent a precognitive search for shifting identity and with it forming an unwittingly biographical record. It's commendable and somewhat telling that during this shake up, Edwards somehow landed upon his most realised and original work.
With a former life stripped away, there emerged an opportunity to reinvent a sense of self through art, now not just as a writer, but a composer also. Developing the confidence to arrange songs in ways he'd previously considered off-limits, while also taking cues from the opulent string and brass arrangements of records like Mercury Rev's Deserters' Songs and Death of A Ladies Man by Leonard Cohen, Edwards enlisted a range of performers to bring to life the mini-symphonies forming in his head. Perhaps it's inevitable that an album written while facing the consequences of being alone would eventually ossify around the process of bringing people together.
For all its troubled origins, The Foreign Department is a remarkably warm sounding collection. Edwards' lyrics are typically knotty and neurotic, dancing around the poetry of quarter-life anxiety, but the music itself is often joyous and even uplifting, the combination expressing that neat duality of melancholic euphoria.
Edwards sings variously of crises, "torrid pieces of art", of "houses on fire" and not "having the guts for it", yet these troubling sentiments are framed by seemingly incongruous swelling strings, chirping horns or motorik percussion, creating that sense of pushing forward or floating above, of wrapping your troubles in dreams, a salve for the moments when you get a bit too much for yourself.
Lead single, 'Darkness At Noon', likely captures this all best. Named for the French idiom "midi a quatorze heures", the maddening idea of attempting the impossible for the sake of some greater possibly pointless cause, it directly grapples with the opposing notions of wanting and not wanting, of being here and being there at the same time. The conflicting and impossible self. It’s something Edwards addresses in the song at perhaps his most open, opining, “I know I want to be seen, but I hate most of what comes out of me”. And yet here is, putting it all out in the open and on the line, the dialectics of his enlightenment up on show.
Tracklisting: 1. Heavy Is the Head 2. Darkness At Noon 3. By Depol 4. Brighter Spells 5. Firma 6. Birds In Vacant Lots 7. The Foreign Department 8. C Ya! 9. A Rudderless Ship 10. Daffodil 11. R U A Literal Child?
British four-piece rock band Collateral are set to release their highly anticipated sophomore album Should’ve Known Better on May 24, 2024. The album is distributed worldwide by Cargo. The album will be released on CD, red vinyl, picture disc, limited edition cassette, and digital. Friday February 9th will see the release of the lead single “Glass Sky.”.
The new single “Glass Sky” and the forthcoming album Should’ve Known Better is produced by Dan Weller (Those Damn Crows, Enter Shikari, Monster Truck, Kris Barras, Holding Absence, Bury Tomorrow).
"I love massive riffs, massive hooks and feel-good guitar music,” says Weller. “When Collateral sent me their demos, I jumped at chance to produce their new record. I’m proud of what we managed to create. It’s Collateral mk2 - ambitious, daring and refined. I can’t wait for people to hear it."
Since the band released their debut album (Top 5 UK Rock Album Chart) at the start of 2020 Collateral have spent no time standing still. Covid came only weeks after the debut album was released and forced the band to cancel their highly successful tour with Phil X (Bon Jovi) halfway through. This made the band hungry to keep the momentum. With innovative ways to produce top quality live streams, the band became special guests supporting the likes of Skid Row, H.E.A.T and Reckless Love.
The exciting and flamboyant Kent-based rock and roll band are comprised of Angelo Tristan (lead vocals, guitar), Louis Malagodi (guitar), Jack Bentley-Smith (bass) and Ben Atkinson (drums).
On October 21, 2022, Collateral independently released a re-mixed and re-mastered version of their debut album “Re-Wired” which featured Jeff Scott Soto, Phil X, Kee Marcello, Rudy Sarzo, Danny Vaughn, and Joel Hoekstra. The re-release saw the band in the Official UK Rock Charts at #12.
After the gruelling back-to-back tours with Skid Row, H.E.A.T and Reckless Love, the band ignited a spark and strengthened their already loyal fanbase leading them to win the opening slot at 2023s Stonedead Festival, leading the band to perform their biggest show.
Collateral’s hotly tipped sophomore album looks like it will take them to the next level. A lot of people don’t know what to expect from the new album, as the band have been tight-lipped about the new songs. Collateral have created a state-of-the-art rock album that will immerse listeners in their rock music universe, enabling fans to feel the blood, sweat and glory that went into the recording of every song.
“We felt that our debut album was lacking the production,” reflects Collateral’s frontman, Angelo Tristan. “For the sophomore album, I wanted to make sure that this time we left no room for error and so got one of the hottest producers in the music industry, Dan Weller, to help lift these songs into a new dimension. With Dan’s pioneering studio expertise, this album has massive production quality that enables you to get lost in each character-filled track. Dan really brought out the emotions we were trying to portray and has achieved it with his own unique style.”
“We wanted this album to express where we were in our own lives since the release of our first. So much has happened since then, I mean the world shut down for what felt like a lifetime! And it was obvious that people were going to need some sort of optimism. I hope ‘Glass Sky’ is one of those songs that gives people the belief to find themselves again.”
“Whereas, the feel-good ‘Just One Of Those Days’ is trying to find the good side of a bad day. Me being me, couldn’t help but to write a big power ballad, ‘The Long Road’, that I wrote from a very hard and deep place, in hope that it could maybe bring some peace and comfort to people who need it. I think there’s all aspects of life running though this album and what it means to us will remain in our hearts forever.”
“Should’ve Known Better” is an album that goes beyond specific music genres,” says Angelo. “It’s almost like a soundtrack to a beating heart. It’s an album that will remain timeless in years to come.”
Tracklisting: 1. Glass Sky 2. Original Criminal 3. One Of Those Days 4. Teenage Dreams 5. Elysium 6. On The Long Road 7. No Place For Love 8. Game Changer 9. Final Stand