Lydia Bayliss Mirrors

This reminds me a little of Goldfrapp or Blonde Redhead with Lydia's slightly understated and soft edged vocals. It has that kind of brooding cool groove that the aforementioned share and almost has just the right amount of darkness to it but the overt pop sensibilities of the chorus stop it from being uber cool.

Isolated Atoms Sex War

Sex War kicks off with the kind of riff that sounds like it's walked straight out of Kasabian's workshop. A catchy little number from this Black Country band that blends indie rock with classic gritty rock vocals but it never really takes off like you feel it could. At just under two and a half minutes you're left feeling slightly cheated, like they forgot to add the other minute of the song on where everything went suitably epic!

Bear VS Rhino GDMF Panda Bear

Almost discordant guitar, vocals with a heavy dose of growl and a big fat chunky bass riff give GDMF Panda Bear the sound of Captain Beefheart colliding with the Butthole Surfers! This of course is a good thing. You can probably work out what the GDMF stands for so clearly it cries out for an intense, quirky and menacing video to go with it. It doesn't get one. Check it out here.

Aspiga/Among Giants Split 7"

Featuring two songs each from Aspiga and Among Giants on vinyl (bonus points already!). Aspiga are up first and they deliver an urgent slab of melodic sing a long US punk that falls somewhere between Amen and The Bronx. Feels like it needs to be faster though to really deliver a knockout punch.
Among Giants have a bit more of an indie punk vibe going on. It's simplistic but big and full and righteous with their second track I Care About Everyone I meet is like a welcome timewarp back to the 80s.

Pelican Deny The Absolute

Deny The Absolute is a thick meaty instrumental slab of rock/metal, which is exactly what you'd expect from Pelican! Despite clocking in at five and a half minutes it never strays anywhere remotely near boredom territory. The big production on this really helps to drive it along and it's full of big riffs and delicious dynamics. They've been doing it for years but it's still refreshing to be able to hear everything that's going on without the hindrance of vocals. Good stuff.

Exit Calm When They Rise

This comes on transparent orange vinyl as indeed should every 7"! Exit Calm have that almost undefinable quality that makes them very cool without having to try. Musically they sound a bit like early Cooper Temple Clause and the production is great. It feels like a huge lush soundscape that you can just get lost in. This kind of thing wouldn't normally be my cup of tea but Exit Calm do it so well it's near impossible not to be impressed.

Arcane Roots Belief

Another slice of well produced indie rock from Arcane Roots. The vocals really make this band, they really push it to the edge and give it that urgency and vibrancy that a lot of bands lack. Belief builds slowly and ends in a fairly glorious crescendo taking in a couple of huge choruses on the way. Easy to see why Muse hand picked them for some European dates this year.

Hellbent & Hammered All Consuming

Hellbent & Hammered's own press release decribes them as 'a sound that can only be described as the illegitimate love-child of Pantera and Lamb of God' and that sums it up rather nicely. Unashamed and in your face metal but not of the breakneck speed variety; they hold it back and that makes it feel all the more powerful with a repressed intensity. Not particularly original perhaps but it's done very well and by all accounts their live shows are pretty brutal affairs. Well worth checking out for those of a metal persuasion.

King Cool Rocket Roll

Blatant garage rock and roll that sounds like the bastard son of The Cramps and The John Spencer Blues Explosion. As you'd expect that makes it pretty cool and groovy in a whisky soaked, smoky backroom bar kind of way. It does sound like something you've heard before but it's something good! Angsty and driven they make a big noise for a duo and if we tell you that they just supported Black Rebel Motorcycle Club then you'll get where they are coming from.