Junk Food Death – ‘Too Late’
Something stirs amongst the genteel alleyways and cobbled streets of Cambridge; you can feel it as you walk past the gently flowing Cam or through the archways into the many perfectly manicured lawns of the University quads. Junk Food Death have arrived and it’s time to run for your life before their utterly addictive heavy indie rock grabs you and drags you down to its lair, never to let you go. Equal parts The Who, Nirvana and Pearl Jam, this their first single since forming a very scant few months ago, will have you hooked, its mix of sixties pop rock sensibilities and grunge being the perfect brew to keep you singing and dancing like a thing possessed.
Powderhead – ‘Smash My Face’ / ‘Live Powder’
There’s definitely something in the water as Cambridgeshire seem to be producing more than their fair share of great rock and metal bands recently. Powderhead make their mark on the scene as they release this double whammy with the ‘Smash My Face’ single and ‘Live Powder’ EP, showing their fire in the recording studio with the more layered track and the straight into the desk four numbers direct from the floor. The single builds slowly, it’s spiraling guitarwork ramping up the atmosphere before singer Hels brings a rough-edged toughness and the big chorus kicks in. It’s a real juggernaut and the live in the studio ep shows their punkier side, echoing the energy of the first two Iron Maiden albums. Hard rock that motors along and a hugely entertaining live band, Powderhead are seriously good and well worth checking out.
Bastette – ‘Sunglasses’
A little gentler than their usual fare, Bastette have decided to show their more thoughtful side with this release and it’s a cracker. Pastoral guitars and multi-layered vocal interplay bring a rich soundscape that rises to the chorus and then dips again, the track weaving and sighing as it ramps up the passion. Prepare to be swept away.
Derange – ‘Zero’
With its brutal accompanying video, Derange continue to claim their stake as one of the most exciting bands on the circuit with this new single. Artfully mixing screaming heaviness and soaring melodies (the chorus is absolutely incandescent) singer Cat Pereira leads the band into another twisted tale that must be heard loud. Guitars hack and slice whilst the vocals easily flip between guttural and angelic as we are dragged, helpless but willingly, along. Few bands capture the fury and heart wrenching tenderness as well. Their finest yet.
Koburg – ‘We Could Be Angels’
The lead single from the magnificent ‘Positions of Power’ album, knocks things out of the ballpark. With its dramatic and sinister piano, lush vocals and prowling guitars, this should be blasting out the mainstage of Download. A masterclass in symphonic rock, this will capture you and never let you go.
Karobela – ‘Skin & Bone’
A total sugar rush of hard indie rock, this is an irresistible head-long charge into a perfect antidote to the long Winter nights. With its driving melody and outright earworm inducing fever, this will make your pulse race and synapses go wild as you leap around uncontrollably when you hear it. Your new favourite band.
Planet Rock Allstars – ‘You’re The Voice’
Whilst it’s been out since before Christmas, this absolutely stonking version of the John Farnham classic is the greatest hard rock and metal collaboration since ‘Stars’ by Hear ‘n’ Aid. With all profits going to a fantastic cause it would be worth getting anyway, but the fact that this star studded single absolutely rips the roof off makes it an essential purchase. Part of the fun is spotting the various performers who appear (they’re listed on the sleeve of the cd) and the song itself is the defiant, uniting anthem that captures the zeitgeist in an age where we need to stand up and be heard. Buy it, sing yourself hoarse, punch the air and feel a few feet taller.
Reviews by Paul Monkhouse for MPM