ScreamLite’s New Hero Sounds for NHS Charities Together

Perhaps one of the biggest surprises in music reviews for me this year was Typhoidmary’s Death Trans back in October. Genre-wise, everything about it suggested it wasn’t going to be my cup of tea, but realigning myself, I delved deeper into its emotive and distressing ambiance, and found fondness in its exquisitely dark portrayals, as it progressed thrash metal, gave it a newfound edge of sentiment.

It was released by Gloucester-based unprejudiced universal rock, metal, punk and folk label ScreamLite Records. And now they’ve sent us news of a colossal compilation album which will drop on their Bandcamp page as soon as Big Ben hits midnight on New Year’s Eve, likely making it the first new release of 2021. Better say a few words about it now, then. Constructing words into comprehendible sentences is tricky enough for me at the best of times, let alone New Year’s Eve.

While it’s going to be one long runaway review to critique it track by track, being it’s a mahoosive 65 tracks strong, it’s worth mentioning some key facts about New Hero Sounds. Most importantly this album will be a varied range of the genres and styles on offer at Scream Lite, and their friends, being as it’s 50% made up of artists signed to the label, and the other half independently contributed from upcoming artists under parallel genres. Thus, making it the perfect sampler to open you up to the world of contemporary punk, nu-metal and folk-punk. Though, there’s much more on offer here and certainly too much to pigeonhole.

PLUS, as well as introducing you to a truckload of upcoming talent, there’s a worthy cause it fundraises for. ScreamLite Records’ Director Chris Bowen said, “we’ve all had a tough year, and we decided we should give something back to the frontline NHS staff that have been tirelessly working this year to keep us safe and well.” New Hero Sounds is a charity album in aid of the NHS Charities Together, and all artists have contributed freely.

Broadminded with one eye focused on variability is what you’re going to need to take this one on, even my eclectic self was bowed by the assortment on offer here. MadaMercy gets as trip hoppy as Morcheeba, yet is a rare genre on offer. In addition to an aforementioned Typhoidmary track, ScreamLite’s roster offers nu-metal and punk, such as Stolen Dead Music, or Burning Memories, which can be in your face at times, but at others smoother, like the Clay Gods and Foxpalmer, both of which I enjoyed. Taking the rough with the smooth there’s something for everyone with a taste for indie; which is nice.

Giving credit to upfront festival boom of Venture, the flamenco folk style of Cut Throat Francis, acoustic rockabilly of Joshua Kinghorn, and the delicate angelic vocals of Forgotten Garden. There’s eighties electronica indie with Conal Kelly, post-punk with Jack Lois Cooper, and Gypsy Pistoleros are described as “flameco sleaze glam” revealing multi-genre in just one tune. But, there’s too much to sum this compilation up easily; a Now That’s What I Call Music for misfits, but for a good cause too.

Here’s the track listing with links, then, so you can make up your own mind and follow the ones you like…..once you’ve sampled them from this crazy and full compilation, which is coming on New Year’s Even, here, remember?!

https://screamliterecords.bandcamp.com/album/various-artists-new-hero-sounds

1. Jonah Matranga: Everyday Angels (OG Home Demo)

Written, Performed & Recorded at home by Jonah Matranga

http://www.jonahmatranga.com https://jonahmatranga.bandcamp.com/

2. Spice & The Readies: Sway A Little Closer

Written & Performed by Tom Spice, Becky Doyle, Tomasz Williams & Jack Quance

Recorded at University Of Gloucestershire

https://www.facebook.com/tomspicemusic

3. Clayton Blizzard: Sad Music Is Uplifting

Written & Performed by Clayton Blizzard

Taken from One, Two, Three, Home

https://claytonblizzard.bandcamp.com/

4. Chris Webb: Blind

Written by Chris Webb

Performed by Chris Webb & Jack Cookson

Taken from Bungalow

http://www.chriswebbmusic.co.uk http://www.chriswebb.bandcamp.com

5. Venture: This One’s For You

Written & Performed by Lucy Burrows, Miles Burrows, Thom Mutch, Josh Fairhurst & Mike

Hargreaves

Recorded at Jaraf House Studios & Released by ScreamLite Records SCLRRCDS003

Taken from This One’s For You

https://www.facebook.com/VentureMusicOfficial

https://screamliterecords.bandcamp.com/track/venture-this-ones-for-you

6. 1 In Five: Evolve

Written & Performed by 1 In Five

Taken from Evolve

https://www.1infive.com/ https://1infive.bandcamp.com/

7. Grandmother Corn: Brighton Mule Blues EXCLUSIVE

Written & Performed by Grandmother Corn

Recorded at Haukivuori, Finland

https://www.facebook.com/grandmothercorn/ https://grandmothercorn.bandcamp.com/

8. Alien Stash Tin: The Man In The Tin Foil Hat

Written & Performed by Jon Wisbey, Jon Gould, AJ Pearse & Bruce Morgan

Taken from Bonfire Of The Sanities EP

Recorded at Attic Attack Studios, Bristol

https://www.facebook.com/alienstashtin https://alienstashtin1.bandcamp.com/

9. Anhfren: Nefoedd Un Uffern Lall

Written & Performed by Anhfren

Published by Rhys Mwyn Publishing

Released on Anhfren Records, 1985

10. Stolen Dead Music: Raison D’Etre

Written & Performed by Jimi Trimmer, Issak Patterson, Lewis Patterson & Keith Halpenny

Recorded at Heart Studios, Gateshead & Released by ScreamLite Records SCLRRCDS011

Taken from Raison D’Etre

https://www.facebook.com/realStolenDeadMusic

https://screamliterecords.bandcamp.com/album/stolen-dead-music-raison-detre

11. GagReflex: Facedown

Written & Performed by Stuart Hawkins & Seb Goffe

Taken from What We Owe To Each Other

https://www.facebook.com/gagreflexmusic https://gagreflex.bandcamp.com/

12. Grief Ritual: Dysphoria

Written & Performed by Grief Ritual

Taken from Moments Of Suffering

https://www.facebook.com/griefritual https://griefritualmusic.bandcamp.com/

13. Panic Switch: Lethal Intent

Written & Performed by Panic Switch

Taken from Lethal Intent

https://panicswitchofficial.com/ https://www.facebook.com/officialpanicswitch

14. Alkanes: Death Or Glory

Written & Performed by Alkanes

Taken from Death Or Glory

https://www.facebook.com/Alkanesband

15. Lemonade Kid: Deep Velvet Red EXCLUSIVE

Written by Dom Lack, Performed by Dom Lack & Jarrod Jones

Recorded in Shrewsbury & Rushden

https://www.facebook.com/LemonadeKidMusic https://lemonadekid.bandcamp.com/

16. Timid Deer: The Shallows

Written by Naomi Henstridge & Tim Milne, Performed by Naomi Henstridge, Tim Milne, Tom Laws,

Matt Jackson & Jason Allen

Taken from Melodies Of The Nocturnal Pt. 1

https://www.facebook.com/TimidDeerBand https://timiddeer.bandcamp.com/

17. Forgotten Garden: Broken Pieces (Natural Mix) EXCLUSIVE

Written & Performed by Danny Elliot & Ines Dias Rebelo

Recorded at Braeriach Studios, Grantown On Spey

https://www.facebook.com/ForgottenGardenBand

https://screamliterecords.bandcamp.com/album/forgotten-garden-broken-pieces

18. Jack Louis Cooper: Bite Too Big

Written & Performed by Jack Louis Cooper

Taken from A Slow But Sure Corner

https://www.facebook.com/jacklouiscoopermusic

19. Roger Gomez: I Will Call Heaven Home

Written & Performed by Roger Gomez

Taken from Behind Cloud Nine

Recorded at Soundfield Studios, Perth, Australia

https://www.facebook.com/rogergomezmusic

20. The Twitchers: Nothing In Particular

Written & Recorded by The Twitchers

Recorded at White Beart Studios, Manchester

https://www.facebook.com/TheTwitchers

21. Mr. Bewlay: Her Name Is Juniper

Written & Performed by Mr. Bewlay

Taken from Her Name Is Juniper

https://www.facebook.com/mrbewlay

22. MadaMercy: Animosity

Written & Performed by MadaMercy

23. Down Not Out: Wild

Written & Performed by Jo Oliver, Char Lewis, James Maxwell & Ryan Stewart

Recorded at Sound Shack Studios, Cheltenham & Release by ScreamLite Records SCLRPEP006

Taken from Worse For Wear

https://downnotout.co.uk/ https://screamliterecords.bandcamp.com/album/down-not-out-worsefor-wear

24. Lightblue: Far Gone

Written & Performed by Lightblue

Recorded at The Ranch Production House, Southampton

Taken from Paradise Lost

https://www.facebook.com/lightbluecru

25. Curse You Damn Kids: Breadline

Written & Performed by Chris Bowen, Annie Kelleher, Hallam Crafer, Jenny Ollerenshaw & Ross

Ollerenshaw

Recorded at Dockside Studios, Bristol & Released by ScreamLite Records SCLRPEP001

Taken from Sorta Like An Epiphany

https://screamliterecords.bandcamp.com/album/curse-you-damn-kids-sorta-like-an-epiphany

26. Blacklist: The Replacer

Written & Performed by Saul Blease, Elliott Tottle & Joe Webb

Recorded at Factory Studios, Bristol

Taken from

https://www.facebook.com/blacklistukband

27. Homer Junior: Short Term, No Anchor

Written & Performed by Jack Higgins, Thomas Muddle & Sam Roberts

Taken from Short Term, No Anchor

https://www.facebook.com/homerjrband https://homerjrband.bandcamp.com/

28. Franklin Mint: Greta’s Sweater

Written & Performed by Franklin Mint

Taken from Bristle

https://www.facebook.com/franklinmintband https://franklinmint.bandcamp.com/

29. Me & Munich: Toxic Wings

Written & Performed by Jan Petersen, Marco Bøgehøj & John Nicholas Marx O’Sullivan

Recorded at Output Lydstudie, Denmark & Released by ScreamLite Records SCLRREP005

Taken from Knives Of The Sun EP

https://www.facebook.com/meandmunichband

https://screamliterecords.bandcamp.com/album/me-munich-knives-of-the-sun

30. Midnight In England: Two Hands

Written & Performed by James Chuster, Sam Caswell-Midwinter, Daniel Lowen-Grey & Sam Morgan

Taken from Real Cinema

https://www.facebook.com/MidnightinEngland

31. Borrowed Body & Abstract Man: Smokescreen EXCLUSIVE

Written by Niall Hill & Tom Johnstone, Performed by Niall Hill, Tom Johnstone & Phil Howell

https://screamliterecords.bandcamp.com/album/borrowed-body-the-rising-sea

32. Lightleaver: Close To You

Written & Performed by Emma Saxon

Taken from Close To You

33. Tom Spice: Life’s Breath EXCLUSIVE

Written & Performed by Tom Spice

https://www.facebook.com/tomspicemusic

34. Marie Virginie Pierre: I Will Try Again (This Christmas)

Written & Performed by Marie Virginie Pierre

35. Joe Buckingham: James’ Song EXCLUSIVE

Written by Joe Buckingham & James Holliday, Performed by Joe Buckingham

36. Howlin’ Anton Bleak: His Mistress’s Voice

Written by Howlin’ Anton Bleak, Performed by Howlin’ Anton Bleak, AP Clarke & “Belter” Jim Lacey

Released ScreamLite Records SCLRRA004

Taken from Stranger Country

https://www.facebook.com/howlinanton

https://screamliterecords.bandcamp.com/album/howlin-anton-bleak-stranger-country

37. The Slow Pianos: In The Right Place (Featuring Petravita)

Written & Performed by Oliver Weikert & Brandon Landis

Taken from In The Right Place

https://slowpianos.bandcamp.com/ https://www.facebook.com/PetravitaMusic

https://petravita.bandcamp.com/

38. Greengage: I Wanna Be Near Trees

Written & Performed by David-Gwyn Jones

Taken from I Wanna Be Near Trees

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39. Grownuplife: Don’t Look Back In Manga

Written & Performed by Charlie Baxter

https://www.facebook.com/charliebaxtermusic https://grownuplife.bandcamp.com/

40. Cut Throat Francis: I’m Not Ready

Written & Performed by Cut Throat Francis

Recorded at Stage 2 Studios, Bath & Released by ScreamLite Records SCLRFEP002

Taken from Ghosts (Extended Edition)

https://www.facebook.com/cutthroatfrancis

https://screamliterecords.bandcamp.com/album/cut-throat-francis-ghosts-extended-edition

41. Longcoats: October

Written by Ollie C Shape & Performed by Ollie C Shape, Arthur Foulstone, Norton Robey & Kane

Pollastrone

Recorded at Riverbank Studios, Chippenham & Released by Wise Monkey Music

Taken from October

https://www.facebook.com/longcoatsband https://longcoatsband.bandcamp.com/

42. The More You Know: Bridging The Gap (Featuring Sakura Mei-Sasaki Spice) EXCLUSIVE

Written & Performed by Chris Bowen, Claire Mitchell-Brown, Julio Da Mata, Jo Oliver & David

Richards. Additional Piano written & performed by Sakura Mei-Sasaki Spice

Recorded at University Of Gloucestershire Studios, Engineered, Mixed & Mastered by Tom Spice

https://www.facebook.com/tmykband

43. Around7: Breakthrough

Written & Performed by Around7

Produced at Strait Up Studios, Dundee

Taken from Breakthrough

https://www.facebook.com/Around7UK

44. Burning Memories: Ignition

Written by Annie Kelleher, Performed by Annie Kelleher, Hallam Crafer & Nick Holder

Recorded at Stage 2 Studios, Bath & Released by ScreamLite Records SCLRRCDS001

Taken from Ignition

https://screamliterecords.bandcamp.com/album/burning-memories-ignition

45. Typhoidmary: bobbi EXCLUSIVE

Written & Performed by Mary Lovatt

https://www.facebook.com/typhoidmaryuk https://typhoidmary.bandcamp.com/

46. Slow Down World: Promised Land

Written & Performed by June Stevenson, James Dishart, Twig Mayhew, Olly Peters & Woody

Woodson

Recorded at PMC, Plymouth

Taken from Promised Land

https://www.facebook.com/SlowDownWorld https://slowdownworld.bandcamp.com/

47. Zobb: Scrapheap Generation

Written & Performed by Jon Wisbey, Nick Hurley & Brice Herve

Recorded at L’Abri D’Argen, Bristol

Taken from Scrapheap Generation

https://www.facebook.com/zobb.punk

48. Clay Gods: Cabin Fever

Written by Gavin Jones, Performed by Gavin Jones, Tom Saunders, Charles Paxford & Max

Ganderton

Recorded at 340 Studios, Cheltenham & Released by ScreamLite Records SCLRRCDS004

Taken from Cabin Fever/Looking For Jerusalem

https://screamliterecords.bandcamp.com/album/clay-gods-cabin-fever-looking-for-jerusalem

49. All To No Avail: The Call

Written & Performed by All To No Avail

Taken from The Call

https://www.facebook.com/AllToNoAvailOfficial/

50. Bleak: Ebb & Flow

Written & Performed by Howlin’ Anton Bleak, Rachel Woodworth & Yvonne Okoduwa

Released by ScreamLite Records SCLRRA002

Taken from Dig Two Graves

https://www.facebook.com/BleakBlues https://screamliterecords.bandcamp.com/album/bleakdig-two-graves

51. George Royale & The Snowflake Band: That’s When The Tears Start Rolling Down

Written & Performed by George Royale & The Snowflake Band

52. Holding Tides: Paraffin

Written & Performed by Chris Bowen, Annie Kelleher, Hallam Crafer, Ben Dalton & Rob Blake

Recorded at Dockside Studios, Bristol & Released by ScreamLite Records SCLRREP001

Taken from Last Of The Small Town Heroes

https://screamliterecords.bandcamp.com/album/holding-tides-last-of-the-small-town-hereos

53. Das Speculoos: Crowdsurfer (grimALKin Mix)

Written & Performed by Das Speculoos

Taken from Crowdsurfer

https://dasspeculoos.bandcamp.com/

54. NFU: In The Details

Written & Performed by Jeremy Pitcoff, Dan De Filippo, Rob Masterson & Frank D’Agostino

Recorded at Suffolk Recording Studio, New York & Released by ScreamLite Records SCLRREP003

Taken from Treason

https://www.facebook.com/NYNFU https://screamliterecords.bandcamp.com/album/nfu-treason

55. Foxpalmer: Forever EXCLUSIVE

Written by Fern McNulty, Performed by Fern McNulty, Mat Dal Pos, Andy Payne & Pauline

https://www.facebook.com/foxpalmer.band

https://screamliterecords.bandcamp.com/album/foxpalmer-locked-in-memory

56. Darklight Horizon: Oxide EXCLUSIVE

Written & Performed by V. Celso, R.C. Paxford, J. Waterman & J. Twinning

https://www.facebook.com/DarklightHorizon

57. William Mawer: Take Me To A Time

Written by William Mawer, Performed by William Mawer, Jazzy Lily Heath, Ryan Nicklin, Ed

Livingstone & Dominic Watton

Recorded at University Of Gloucestershire Studios

Taken from Take Me To A Time

https://willmawer.bandcamp.com/

58. Joshua Kinghorn: Party Queen

Written & Performed by Joshua Kinghorn

Recorded at University Of Gloucestershire Studios & Released by ScreamLite Records SCLRFEP003

Taken from Bits & Pieces

https://screamliterecords.bandcamp.com/album/joshua-kinghorn-bits-pieces

59. Gypsy Pistoleros: Soho Daze, Just Another Friday Night

Written & Performed by Gypsy Pistoleros

Taken from The Mescalito Vampires

http://www.gypsypistoleros.com/ https://www.facebook.com/GPistoleros

60. Connor Begley: Comedown

Written & Performed by Connor Begley

Recorded at University Of Gloucestershire Studios

61. EllJay Goldstone: Putting On That Smile

Written & Performed by EllJay Goldstone

Recorded at University Of Gloucestershire Studios & Released by ScreamLite Records SCLRFEP001

Taken from Long Time Coming

https://screamliterecords.bandcamp.com/album/elljay-goldstone-long-time-coming

62. Chameleon: It’s Not Quite Me Now

Written & Performed by Chameleon

Recorded at Platform Studios, Reading

Taken from What Are We Waiting For?

https://www.facebook.com/bandchameleon https://bandchameleon.bandcamp.com/

63. Conal Kelly: In My Head

Written & Performed by Conal Kelly

Taken from In My Head

https://www.facebook.com/conalkellymusic

64. Spoons & Saucepans: Sing With Thanks

Written by Ceinwen E. Cariad Haydon & David Gwyn-Jones, Performed by Spoons & Saucepans

Taken from Sing With Thanks

65. Afterlite: Below The Lights (Reprise)

Written & Performed by Luke Beesley

Recorded at Ruby Studios, Bristol & Released by ScreamLite Records SCLRMA001

Taken from Eden Abandon

https://screamliterecords.bandcamp.com/album/afterlite-eden-ab

You’ve Been Mangoed; With Mango Thomas!

Vast developments in the later days of breakbeat house saw a split in the blossoming rave scene. Techno-heads being directed away from the newfound UK sound found solace in a subgenre dubbed “happy hardcore,” whereas the trialling occurred in the dawn of drum and bass, or “jungle” as it was known at the time. Yet it was still underground and reserved for the party. No one considered a concept album, myself included, until I heard A Guy Called Gerald’s Black Secret Technology. I bought it on a memory tip-off, I loved the late eighties acid house anthem Voodoo Ray. It was like splinters of drum n bass over an ambient soundscape, and wasn’t for everyone, but while I was still gulping about it, Goldie released Timeless and the rest is history.

Creative outpourings too radical or experimental for the time are commonplace, and perhaps our necessity to pigeonhole excludes Manchester’s Mango Thomas. He emailed with a list of rejections from specific music blogs and radio shows, being if one part did, the rest of his new EP “Goes De,” out today (22nd Nov) didn’t fit their restrictive agenda. There’s part of me which says I don’t blame them, this is a hard pill to swallow, juxtaposed randomly at breakneck speed, it’s a roller-coaster alright; you have no control where it’ll take you.

Mango Thomas throws every conceivable psychedelic genre of yore into a breakcore melting pot, and pours you a jug; if you take a sip you might as well down the whole thing, for it works fast, it’s a trip and you’re in it for the duration. You have to be, if only to wonder what’s coming next. And in that, it has to be one the most interesting things I’ll review here for a while. Yeah, it uses contemporary breakcore, but at times nods back to drum n bass of yore, but it funks too, it rocks, unexpectedly, and if you thought you could be shocked no more, it even mellowly bhangras at the finale, as if Ravi Shankar wandered in.

There are so many elements to contemplate in this hedonistic frenzy of chaos, yet with crashing hi-hats, stripped down rhythms, sonic belters, echoes and reverbs, it primarily relies on dub techniques absorbing industrial metal and hardcore. Imagine an alternative universe where the Mad Professor is remixing Bootsy Collins, but in this realm Bootsy actually fronts a thrash metal band, and Frank Zappa peers over the mixing board putting his tuppence in; something like that, but more bonkers.

Picking it apart, at times you’ll contemplate Mango Thomas’ location and hear shards of the Madchester scene, other points will wobble you over to the Butthole Surfers, for if it is industrial hardcore skater, it’s done tongue-in-cheek. But it doesn’t come over dejected, as such a genre archetypically does, rather showy and egotistical like a funkmaster general. The man himself explains the effect will leave you “mangoed,” I’ve a tendency to agree.

It’s four major tracks with reprises and clippits between, often Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band fashioned, bizarre, amusing or deliberately belligerent to the mainstream, in true counter culture fashion. Do I like it, though, that’s what you want to know, isn’t it? Damn you and your demands, fuck, I don’t know. It’s always going to be something you have to be in the mood for, certainly not drifting Sunday afternoon music to take a snooze to after a roastie. A younger me would lap it up, as it twists so unexpectedly. Any psychedelia gone before doesn’t touch it for cross-genre experimentation, and for that, in my artier moods, I give it full points. A sensible somebody as I’d prefer to strive for might suggest it’s too far out there. But it entertained me for sure, so it has its place.

Can I suggest you throw caution to the wind, listen and see how long you can bear to hold out for? If you like Tim Burton, Zappa or Lee Scratch Perry you’ll be partly prepared. Try though, as the finale is something quite astounding and as an erratic mishmash it mirrors A Guy Called Gerald’s Black Secret Technology for pushing new boundaries, but it mirrors Sgt Peppers, the Doughnut in Granny’s Greenhouse and Bitches Brew too.


A Thrashing Surprise, with Typhoidmary’s Death Trans

See, I like an ordinary cuppa like the next Englishman, but there’s lots of varieties of tea, some I’m impartial about, others I outright don’t like. To say it “isn’t my cup of tea” doesn’t mean it definitely tastes like shit, to others it might be the best thing they’ve drunk.

It’s far harder to review something “not my cup of tea,” then something which is. If you think my reviews have been flattery recently, you’ve strayed from the ethos; there’s been lots of timelessly brilliant music released, most agrees with me. Yet, what if it doesn’t?

The evaluation is simple; on my opinion anyone producing original music outside the safety-zone of the commercial industry deserves a medal of bravery, I make a point not to outright slag something off, rather not review it at all and provide constructive criticism directly to the creator.

First impression of the newly released debut album independent Cheltenham-based record label, Screamlite kindly sent, Typhoidmary’s “Death Trans,” was borderline. Pragmatic about the name choice; throughout her life, Mary Mallon fiercely denied she was the cause of infection, and consequently hated her nickname. Who, in their right mind, would deliberately label themselves Typhoid Mary? Perhaps that’s the point, there’s an unparalleled clandestinely dark, clinically insane tenet to this album.

This, coupled with my initial revulsion to the substantial thrashing guitars and accomplished but screeching yells which explodes within six seconds on this album, I predicted drafting a reply explaining why I wouldn’t review it. The fact I didn’t, and the review is here, means something changed my mind.

To confine my eclectic tastes to particular genres, see, gets kicked in the teeth when something defined under my few detested pigeonholes impresses me. Metal and grunge are a couple of my off-putting genres, yet when Motörhead blast the Ace Of Spades, or I catch Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit I understand their worth, and while I might draw the line at stagediving a mosh pit, I rock the fuck out! If it does what it says on the tin, points are bestowed.

Given director Chris Bowen stated, “it’s one of the best albums I’ve heard this year,” I decided to throw caution to the wind; it deserves a really closer listen. For its production is quality, with eminence in the delivery. What I discovered was an emotive outpouring of tension and anguish like no other, the very reason why I’m reviewing it after all.

It drifts between ambiance to these thrashing guitar executions of temper, expelling strains of interrogative quandaries, discharging a bruised wreck of an authentic character, angry and confused at their sexuality and orientation, and the relationships which develop, or fail to, from it.

While gothic outcries of depression and anxiety are not my thing, this is accomplished in a manner fiercer and more emotional than anything I could contemplate to compare it to. Be it the post-punk of Siouxsie And The Banshees, commercialised gothic of Fields of Nephilim or Bauhaus, the battering metal of Slayer of thrashing hardcore skater sound of The Dead Kennedys and Black Flag, they all pale in compassion to the appetite and antagonism displayed by Typhoidmary, and Death Trans takes anguish to a whole other level. It spat in my tea, then smashed my cup; spilt boiling fucking tea on my lap! And for that alone, I award it full credit.

With distant soundscapes separating these ten tracks of haunting annotations, resonating desperate pleas and cynical cries over driven, hard-edged gothic-come-thrash metal riffs, Death Trans is not for the fainthearted. It’s a musical equivalent of Nabokov’s Lolita or Spielberg’s Schindler’s List, in so much as it takes you to a place you’d rather not be, but intrigue suspends you there.

Typhoidmary has released this spellbinding album for streaming and on her Bandcamp page, Screamlite aims to distribute it to all major digital stores on 16th of October. Fans of such goth and grunge will be bowled over with its exquisitely dark portrayals, yet if, like me, you’re a window shopper of such shadowy and adversative genres, this might be the album which drags you inside with your purse open.

Myself, I confess, I pretended to like Robert Smith in order to get off with pale, sorrow-filled rich chicks with black hair-dye and a chip on their shoulder, which, I might add, rarely paid off! Perhaps then, the younger me is the archetypal predator this album wedges a knife into, but it drove even me on an emotional roller-coaster ride, caused me to regret, and changed my preconceived ideas about the genre. Sod it, I’m off to get my nose pierced!


Don’t, Ryan!

Okay I confess, in my last article I did, didn’t I, state there was a trend of indie music taming to mass appeal? And yeah, I suggested this is no bad thing. There will, however be exceptions to the rule, and rock will, and should always retain its hard edge; we have room for all here. Swindon’s Ryan Webb, for instance, who’s just dropped a new single, “Don’t,” takes no prisoners.

ryanwebb

This is militantly metal, with spikes. It rocks with edge, it doesn’t hang around with an ambient intro, stop for a melodic break, the bridge is reached in seconds, the rolling guitar riff perpetually quivering your bones. A one-man red-hot chilli pepper, Ryan wrote, produced, sang, wailed his guitar, recorded and mixed the track in his studio. The only collaborator being Dave Collins, the mastering engineer for Metallica’s last album, who mastered this too.

It must be said, this not the template of Ryan Webb, who quotes influences ranging from Pink Floyd, Joe Satriani, and Zeppellin, to Coldplay, Muse, and Kings of Leon. He has the range encompassing any rock avenue, and projects all with comfort and competence.

“Don’t” though, whoa there Ryan, I’m inclined to put my frayed denim jacket over my AC-DC t-shirt and head-bang my way to the highway from hell, and I’m not usually one for all that; haven’t even got an army surplus bag with badly grafted pictures of Eddie the Head and Megadeath logos!

So yeah, if I like it, you iron maidens will love it! What is more, the track is “a plea to anyone contemplating suicide to take a step back and see that they have a lot going on for them in the world. Even when times are really bad, it’s important to talk to those around you.”

Ryan has chosen All Call Signs as the beneficiary for any sales from the single. All Call Signs is a UK organisation set up by two veteran soldiers, Dan Arnold and SJ James, in order to help other vets/serving military personnel who may be finding life difficult. They have also created an app which helps locate those reported missing and in need of urgent support.


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Cosmic Rays are Hard to Destroy

Introducing Shrewsbury’s five-piece rock band, Cosmic Rays. With a new album proving they’re Hard to Destroy….

As my daughter shoves her phone to my ear with her home-made eighties’ music quiz playlist, memories she will never know of blissfully return. “If I could be like Doc Emmett Brown and whizz you back to my era,” I think aloud, but maybe not such a good idea, she’d never survive; no Wi-Fi. What is apparent with the classic pop from my time she has picked is that it spans genres unconditionally, because she hasn’t lived it to confine her to one viewpoint, to guide through that era, where the categorical conflict for top of the pops changed overnight; what side did you fight for?

Pigeonholing divided the early-to-mid-eighties into alienated youth cultures, unique from one another and only alike for being experimental and innovative. While there may be nothing particularly ground-breaking about Shrewsbury’s five-piece rock band Cosmic Rays, what they do have is a dexterous ability to weave these genres back together in an original and affable way. I have their March released album Hard to Destroy to snoop upon, and I like it; pass my black hair dye and metallic leather high boots.

Initial reaction was thus, partially gothic with nu-metal wailing guitar and archetypical dejected romance as a running theme, and while it’s not my cuppa, it’s produced lo-fi and agreeably subtle. So elusive indeed you don’t pre-empt the changes, though may yearn for it. Post-punk and new romantic are lobbed into the melting pot by the second tune, tickling my personal taste buds better.

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With the sensation of jaggedly Velvet Underground, in parts, its retrospective nods soon confine to aforementioned eighties genres. I’m now left contemplating everything from The Cult to Depeche Mode, and The Dammed to Blancmange. For which they are, just nods, as the all-encompassing sound is something original and exclusive, in so much as the combination of influences fuse so unexpectedly well. Perhaps no more adroitly composed than a central track called Lost Paradise, as while it mirrors synth-pop electronica, it also explodes midway with a wailing guitar solo akin to Slash’s contribution to Jackson’s Beat It.

The Bandcamp blurb explains new guitarist Rob McFall is a major factor to this album being a whole new direction, though while I ponder what the old direction was being I’m new to the band, I have to tip my hat to the guitar sections, but like I say, it’s the placement of them too, unpredictably located. That, I think, makes it more exciting than a band simply replicating a particular sound from a bygone era.

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Just when I’m expecting it to rest there, a tune called Me & Jimmy bursts out upbeat joyful vibes. Unquestionably the most pop-tastic track on the album, it smiles House Martins or even the Fine Young Cannibals at me. Though the last two tunes finish by reminding you this is indie, Seeing Green with a winding goth ease and Walk on Water, where a sombre electronica beat rises again. If you’ve heard such a fusion tried before, you’ll be forgiven for thinking this could be encumbered and muddled, yet I feel you need to listen, for the juxtaposition works on all levels, making Cosmic Rays interesting and defiantly one to watch. By the way, my daughter’s eighties pop quiz, I nail it every time!

Hard to Destroy by Cosmic Rays is available to sample and buy from BandCamp here.


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