Review: Bristol's heavy post-punk groups Idles present their first full length album after a slew of records dating back to 2012. Brutalism collects the best of the bands antics, from vocals that shift from wailing snarls and smokey mob calls to punkish drawls, or the more spoken word and poetic emotional ballad that is album closer "Slow Savage". Guitars can thrash away or chill out melodically in the background, with the character of this album's songs striking up a familiar feeling of late-'90s punk to mid-2000s indie. Album highlights for us include "Mother", a song championing one woman's die hard working week, to the screeching, distorted anthem "Stendhal Syndrome".
Review: As Birmingham band Rainbow Grave attest, they represent what's been called "low rent caveman hate music". Fronted by founding member of Napalm Death and Scorn, Nicholas Bullen, alongside Doom and Sore Throat's John Pickering, the four piece deliver an LP that reaches for the depths and "blank despair of negative punk." It fathoms deep with any ray of hope extinguished by the band's thematic, however you can find a little light in the shaded irony of the songwriting at least; "Ten Millions Tons of Shit" probably the best example. With layers of distorted guitars and freeform pedal abuse running wild in a heavy display of psychedelic metal, Rainbow Grave take it to the very end and will no doubt go down swinging.
Review: Re-issue of this underground classic for those that know! Originally released in 1983, Lifetones comprised of duo Charles Bullen and Julius Cornelius Samuel. Bullen was previously in short lived but seminal art rock outfit This Heat and drummer Samuel was also known in some circles as Dub Judah. Hailed by many as an influential and innovative project, the band fuses dub, krautrock, middle eastern and post punk aesthetics interestingly on this Zeitgeist/soundtrack for early 80's Thatcherite Britain and the struggles of youth in Brixton in the face of economic adversity.