Classic Rock’s New (Self) Releases Round-Up
Just for a change, let’s take a look at some of the interesting self releases currently doing the rounds. While you may not know any of these bands right now, within 12 months they could have transformed your lives – or, at least got higher profiles.
Words: Malcolm Dome
Livin In A Valvestate are an English band, with connections in Manchester, Torquay and Exeter. Their five-tracker Smile is actually quite mature. While they’ve elements of trash and glam, what comes through is an aspiring melodic rock five-piece who have the art, elegance and sense of tunefulness to make an impact in 2011. A name to watch.
Sanguine Hum is a British band with roots in Kill II This and Xentrix. So, given what those bands sounded like we should expect an industrial-lite, sub-Metallica approach? No way. On Diving Bell (with eight tracks), they sound like a neo-progressive band mixing up metal with the more esoteric approach of The Mars Volta or Jurojin.
On first listen Neuronspoiler seem to be a band trying to come to terms with the modern demands of thrash. But this multi-cultural quintet, based in London, have one thing going for them on the five-track CD No One’s Safe: they can really play. While at times they lose their way, and the vocals are at best Spartan, there are so truly rich passages of guitar interplay. This alone gives the band a cachet.
Undercover Slut are based in Paris, and mix goth with industrial and a hint of trash. Amerikkka Macht Frei is a full album that might be patchy at times, but keeps the interest alive throughout. They also have a striking image.
Croydon’s Godsized are starting get noticed by movers and shakers. About time. New EP The Phoney Tough & The Crazy Brave is full of the sort of fiery riff-led songs which nod at Black Label Society, only from a British angle. No surprise that Godsized will be supporting BLS on their upcoming European/UK tour. That sort of exposure can only do them a power of good.
Finally, young Brits Awake By Design seem to be approach the prog genre from the melancholic doom perspective. It’s rather like While Heaven Wept aspiring towards Porcupine Tree, and it works well on Sentiment.
Tags: Awake By Design, Black label Society, Godsized, Jurojin, Kill II This, Livin In A Valvestate, Metallica, Neuronspoiler, Porcupine Tree, Sanguine Hum, The Mars volta, undercover slut, While Heaven Wept, Xentrix