Bovine are a 4 piece from Birmingham making scuzzy, grungy, up-tempo rock. The band present their debut album The Sun Never Sets on the British Empire and it’s a mental blend of Off Kilter-era earthtone9, later Eighties Matchbox material, Bolton’s To the Bones and fellow Birmingham grungers God Damn.
Having to use so many bands for reference should give you an indication that Bovine are a pretty unique little outfit. The Sun Never Sets… begins with the ambient Barium before kicking down the door and blowing your face off with the raucous Ghost Chair. This song brilliantly sums up what sort of beating you’re going to get over the next half an hour.
The songs are all built on a wild, crashing rhythm section that bolsters the songs while the duel vocal and guitar attack of Marcus Vvulfgang and Thomas Peckett croon and yell over everything. Both men do a rather spectacular job of creating memorable riffs punctuated with some wonderfully atmospheric leads that turn into random chaos when they feel like it. Bovine’s music might sound boisterous but it’s structured flawlessly, flows magnificently and not a single moment feels jarring to listen to.
No other song manages to encompass Bovine’s dynamic quite like Heroes are What? The song starts with a dissonant, acoustic intro before launching into the album’s best riff. The song is completed with a brilliant vocal melody that develops into harsher moments when it needs it. Heroes are What? is pure rock perfection.
Bovine’s The Sun Never Sets on the British Empire is an exciting, brash and surprisingly interesting record that manages to balance its’ visceral elements with excellent melodies. The whole record flows naturally from one song to the next and offers one of the most solid listening experiences a rock fan could ask for. Bovine have put together a stunning debut which sets the bar for the rest of their career extremely high. No pressure or anything lads.
Bovine’s The Sun Never Sets on the British Empire is available to buy on CD and vinyl from the band now.
Reaper in Sicily are a 5 piece post hardcore band from South Wales who follow in a similar path to Funeral for a Friend and Rise Against. The band deliver huge, riff-lead songs with strong, infectious melodies and their debut album Islands packs a serious punch.
Islands is a seriously accomplished effort. A band this young have no business sounding so tight at this time in their career. The brilliant production work allows you to appreciate how great Reaper in Sicily’s song writing is in wonderful clarity. Thankfully, serious attention has been paid in making Islands sound raw and the production has the right amount of grit in it to give songs like 50 the impact they’re going for.
There is very little down time on Islands. Every song bursts through the doors without a care in the world and then continues to beat you with massive, punky riffs and furious drumming. Reaper in Sicily might not deviate from this path too often, but they don’t really need to when the songs are so energetic and enjoyable to listen to.
One particular part of Reaper in Sicily will make and break this album for certain listeners and that comes in vocalist Rhys Bernardo’s delivery. Nobody can deny that Bernardo isn’t giving it his all during his performance on Islands, but his raspy, nasal delivery can become irritating after extended periods of time. Bernardo’s vocal style is certainly recognisable and helps form a part of Reaper in Sicily’s unique sound, but whether that’s a good thing or not is entirely up to the listener.
If you can learn to love Bernardo’s singing you will find Reaper in Sicily’s Islands a fantastic listen. The band are wonderfully accomplished song writers and Islands makes for a brilliantly entertaining listen from start to finish. Post hardcore fans will have a lot to like here and it won’t be too long before Reaper in Sicily become a household name in this scene.
Reaper in Sicily’s Islands is released independently on the 10th of June.
Last Transmission are a 4 piece emo rock band that focus on big hooks and catchy melodies. The band’s sound triumphs in its’ simplicity and their All the Time in the World EP is full of memorable chorus’ and big, stompy pop-rock riffage.
Fans of Young Guns and We Are The Ocean will find a lot to like here. Stand out tracks include Anything to Anyone with its’ huge, driving riff and massive sing-a-long chorus. Last Transmission certainly don’t sound like a band releasing their first EP; this is superbly accomplished stuff.
So All the Time in the World is definitely a catchy record, but what do Last Transmission offer above the many, many emo rock bands that already exist? Sadly, not a lot. This is the major issue with this EP; you’ve heard it all before. There is nothing here you haven’t already experienced on a Youmeatsix or a Lower Than Atlantis album and it’s a damn shame. Last Transmission clearly have great song writing talent in their midst because there isn’t a chorus on the EP that won’t worm its’ way into your skull, but there just isn’t a lot here that makes Last Transmission stand out on their own.
This isn’t helped by the fact that vocalist/guitarist Michael Blackwell doesn’t sound like he’s really pushing his capacity as a vocalist. Blackwell can certainly sing and his melodies and perfectly acceptable, but his performance is average. If Blackwell made more of an effort to belt his lyrics out and convince the listener they actually mean something to him then his vocals would have a far more engaging effect. As mentioned, Blackwell isn’t a bad vocalist by any means but his offerings on songs like 24 is functional and nothing more. This is a shame as 24 is one of the hardest hitting songs on the whole release and has a fantastic guitar solo to boot.
Last Transmission’s All the Time in the World is a functional release. Every member of the band gets to showcase exactly how good their musical ability is and they create some brilliantly memorable songs in the process. What hurts the release is that the band haven’t found that special something that will make them stand out amongst their peers.
Last Transmission’s All the Time in the World is available now. Buy it digitally from the usual suspects or physically direct from the band.
Palm Reader’s amazing debut album Bad Weather is out now through Small Town Records. We liked it a lot and said “Bad Weather is an album of two sides; unrelenting heaviness and beautiful, haunting melodies. The fact it works so well together is a testament to how much Palm Reader have grown as song-writers.”
To celebrate the release of the album, Palm Reader are playing a free show at The Old Blue Last in Shoreditch tonight. Doors open at 8pm and support comes from The Orchard, Let’s Talk Daggers and Black Shapes.
Here’s a good reason why you should go:
We like Milestone. We like Milestone’s Medicate the Night EP. We reviewed it and said “Milestone clearly have bundles of talent and hooks to spare and the fantastic riffs and melodies are massive, lasting affairs that will refuse to leave your head.”
So why not go and buy a copy? The EP is available now directly from the band’s BigCartel on limited edition CD and digitally via the band’s BandCamp.
You can even stream the entire thing below before you make your purchase. What thoughtful fellows Milestone are:
After the band’s triumphant return last year, The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster have split up yet again. The Brighton psychobilly mob reformed with their original line-up for a series of come-back shows last October and were writing new material.
The band have said:
“We are sorry to announce that The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster have disbanded. It seems the band did not have the strength to continue. Despite new material being written, a shared musical common ground could not be found.
We apologise for any disappointment caused by our cancelling our upcoming shows. Thank you to all those who bought tickets – refunds for the O2 Shepherds Bush Empire show are available from the point of purchase.”
The band have announced that all existing members will continue to make music in some form but have not revealed any of the projects at this time.
UK Scumscene wishes all the members of The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster the best for the future.
The Dropper’s Neck are a bratty, punky, rock ‘n’ roll beast from Essex who sound like Queens of the Stone Age and The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster got freaky. The band’s debut album Second Coming is a 9 track, 34 minute blast of hard rocking fun and focusses all its’ energy in being a lairy and enjoyable experience.
The big draw comes with vocalist Lloyd Matthews who manages to channel Guy McKnight’s deep, rockabilly funk and partner it with Josh Homme’s rock ‘n’ roll slickness to create a wonderfully unique and memorable vocal style. Matthews is a brilliant front man that always sounds like he’s having fun and even manages to muster an awesome rock scream that punctuates some of the album’s best moments like the chorus to Abrasive (which also describes the sound of the song perfectly).
The music is also top notch throughout and is loaded with catchy riffs. Some great contrast is included with a few moments of bizarre, angular guitar work like the introduction to I Am The Law. These moments call to mind some of the more experimental songs on Eighties Matchbox’s The Royal Society and bring the listener out of their comfort zone before they bludgeon you with another brilliant riff.
There are a few downsides to the record though. The most obvious one is that halfway through the album the comparisons to Eighties Matchbox get a little too close to comfort and certain chorus’ sound like they’re plucked from Eighties Matchbox’s back catalogue. The Dropper’s Neck thankfully add enough punk to their sound to not be a complete Eighties Matchbox clone, but sometimes they do get a bit close for comfort.
The other minor issue is that the drums are a little low in the mix. Some of the chorus’ could’ve really benefited from a louder and more raucous beat to punctuate the often brilliant melodies. But as mentioned, this is a pretty minor issue in the grand scheme of things.
Second Coming by The Dropper’s Neck doesn’t suffer from forgettable songs or bad production values. The album is a brilliant rock record loaded with fantastic riffs and chorus’ that will stick with you for ages. The Dropper’s Neck certainly succeed in making an enjoyable and memorable rock record, but sometimes their influences shine through a little too brightly. If the band can add an original element to their next release like focussing on the punkier side of their music then they’ll be onto a seriously engaging formula that will make them stand out a lot more. For now, the band should sit comfortably knowing they made a great rock record despite similarities to Eighties Matchbox.
Watch The Dropper’s Neck performing My Lime Tree live:
Second Coming by The Dropper’s Neck is independently released on July 29th, physically through the band and digitally via Amazon, iTunes and Spotify.