English Teacher – ‘R&B’

Last year London label Nice Swan began the ‘Nice Swan Introduces’ series facilitating releases from a whole raft of new and exciting talent including Jelly Cleaver, Courting, Sprints, Hallan, Malady, Mandrake Handshake & Anorak Patch, and English Teacher’s ‘R&B’ is latest entry in the series.

Leeds quartet English Teacher trade in meaty and razor-sharp sprawling post-punk alchemy and waste no time in setting the wheels in motion on ‘R&B. Part of an inaugural compilation that is penned for release in August, ‘R&B’ is built upon a speedy bassline and Lily Fontaine’s deadpan vocals before exploding with a searing riffs, soaring guitars and crunching drums, all bathed in a wall of fuzz and distortion. A huge, epic and absolutely magnificent crunching anthem – turn it up loud.

Listen to ‘R&B’ and keep an eye out for the compilation come August:

’59 – ‘The Forbidden Zone’

’59 is led by Ryan Ehresman, a synth-obsessed writer and producer based out of San Francisco who create exhilarating, manic and kaleidoscopic psych-splashed post-punk/krautrock sounds.

’59’s latest is called ‘The Forbidden Zone’ and it is an absolute beast. Fuelled by a relentless electronic beat, pulsing synth, repetitive guitarlines, buzzsaw riffs and sharp rhythm section, ‘The Forbidden Zone’ makes for a taut, furious and intoxicating whirlwind of somewhat frenzied sounds – with moments of melodic respite and relative calm strewn throughout. ‘The Forbidden Zone’ feels organic in its composition and exudes exhilarating energy and is brilliantly manic and unique. One of the finest tracks of 2021, ‘The Forbidden Zone’ more than hints that keeping tabs on ’59 is going to be exciting.

Listen to ‘The Forbidden Zone’ below now:

Spirit Award – ‘Shout (Kill the Rich)’

Shout (Kill the Rich) is the latest sprawling single from Seattle-based psych-rock outfit Spirit Award.

Taken from their third album, Lunatic House, Shout (Kill the Rich) showcases a fearlessness to explore psychedelic rovings and embrace chaos and jarring jerky aggression; and striking a perfect balance between these two facets is the cornerstone to which everything else is built. ‘Shout (Kill the Rich)’ is a living, breathing and ever-changing kaleidescopic explosion, it opens with a grimy, chaotic and caustic energy as they explore a sound on the margin with taut drums, jerky riffs and swirls of distortion as it stares dead-eyed, with an ominous, vacant air of menace amid a sense of the otherworldly and rising tide of claustrophobia before reseeding to calmer climes. The gritty makes way for shimmering guitars, warm layers of lush synths and melodic sweetness to offer a sense of comfort and positivity. A magnificent and sprawling exploration – simply stunning!

Listen to ‘Shout (Kill the Rich)’ below:

Sprints – ‘Swimming’

Sprints are Dublin-based post-punk foursome – of Karla Chubb (vocals/guitar), Colm O’Reilly (guitar), Sam McCann (bass) and Jack Callan (drums) – who together, create a raw, raucous and potent post-punk sound – one bursting with a ferocious blend snarling vocals, driving rhythms, meaty riffs, swagger and noise.

Sprints have already left an indelible mark with 2020 singles ‘Manifesto’ & ‘The Cheek’, and are back with ‘Swimming’, the third and final track lifted from their four-track debut EP Manifesto (produced by Daniel Fox from Girlband). ‘Swimming’ is a powerful force of nature, exploding to life with a raucous energy Chubb’s raspy vocal ricochets off the intense locked in rhythmic power below. It is a thunderous ride atop driving bass groove, choppy guitar tone, meaty riffs and pounding drums. Like previous singles, ‘Swimming’ is a huge, explosive, taut and confident anthem – a simply stunning tune.

Listen to ‘Swimming’ below and Sprints’ Manifesto EP is out on March 26.


Beige Banquet – ‘Cold Yoghurt’

Beige Banquet is the solo project of East London-based Tom Brierley who creates drum-machine-driven and self-produced outsider/weirdo/art punk.

Beginning life in early 2020, the project yielded a treasure trove of tracks written and produced in a dank East-London bedroom during the first part of last year in circumstances familiar to many musicians, Brierley switched focus from performing to recording, and the fruit from that labour is debut album BETA.

Brierley offered a taste of what to expect with ‘Wired/Weird’ in December and second single from the album, ‘Cold Yoghurt’ is similarly spikey, agitated and drum-machine-driven post-punk. It is a frenzied jam fueled by metronomic, capping electro beat the underpins the repetitive guitar lines, jerky riffs and sharp rhythm section. This somewhat frenzied sound is perfectly complemented by the stream-of-consciousness lyrics and manic delivery, that seems to have tunnel vision and mirroring the coalescing of the sharp, angular noise that comes together slowly, fusing into a formidable intoxicating jam.

Listen to ‘Cold Yoghurt’ below – and I implore you to check out the new album BETA, 32 minutes of brilliant drum-machine-driven, frenzied guitar wielding mayhem. Stream it here, and it is out now on Just Step Sideways Records

Beige Banquet – ‘Wired/Weird’

Formed earlier in 2020, East London-based Beige Banquet (aka Tom Brierley) play drum-machine-driven and self-produced outsider/weirdo/art punk.

‘Wired/Weird’ is the first in a collection of tracks written and produced in a dank East-London bedroom during the first part of 2020 in circumstances familiar to many musicians, Brierley switched focus from performing to recording, and this is the first fruit from that labour. The aptly titled ‘Wired/Weird’ is spikey, agitated and drum-machine-driven post-punk. Fuelled by metronomic beat, repetitive guitar lines, jerky riffs and sharp rhythm section, making for an angular, intoxicating and off-kilter jam. This somewhat frenzied sounds perfectly complement the stream-of-consciousness lyrics and manic delivery – it is unique and brilliant with more promised in 2021.

Listen to ‘Wired/Weird’ below – it is out now on Just Step Sideways Records 

NANCY – ‘7 Foot Tall Post-Suicidal Feel Good Blues’

Based in the North East of England, NANCY have demonstrated an enigmatic talent with a propensity for audacious sonic adventures that are anything but conventional, and hot on the heels of the ‘Happy Oddities EP’ comes news of a brand new mini album ‘7 Foot Tall Post-Suicidal Feel Good Blues’, and we’ve been afforded the title track as a taste of things to come.

Inspired by all the bullshit he had to deal with getting picked on growing up, ‘7 Foot Tall Post-Suicidal Feel Good Blues’ is as wonderfully warped as anything NANCY has done to date. It’s dark, it’s stark and super catchy as it swaggers through a haze of fuzz with a super seductive glam rock era groove and stomping riff, and vocals unfurl with a drawn out warped drawl. Sounding like a warped record played on a dodgy turntable, this is a sleazy, stomping and groove ridden reminder of NANCY’s enigmatic talent and flair for the unconventional – perfect imperfection if you will.

With the 10 track mini album set for release on January 15, check out the title track below.

Sprints – ‘Manifesto’

Sprints are Dublin-based post-punk foursome – of Karla Chubb (vocals/guitar), Colm O’Reilly (guitar), Sam McCann (bass) and Jack Callan (drums) – who together, create a raw, raucous and potent post-punk sound – one bursting with a ferocious blend snarling vocals, driving rhythms, meaty riffs, swagger and noise.

These aforementioned attributes are offered in spades on their aptly titled latest single ‘Manifesto’, a tenacious statement of intent. An early taste of their forthcoming debut EP of the same name, due in the new year, it comes exploding out of the blocks. A powerful stomping beat underpinning an assertive and meaty bassline rumble as raspy, fierce and fiery vocals come to the for before soaring high above the explosion of buzzing guitar, scintillating riffs and crashing drums. It is a huge, explosive and supremely confident anthem. Previous single ‘The Cheek’ was great but ‘Manifesto’ sees them kick it up to another level entirely – a simply stunning tune.

Don’t just take my word for it, listen to ‘Manifesto’ below:

Swine Tax – ‘Relax’

Newcastle-upon-Tyne outfit Swine Tax have proven their credentials for fiery, jagged and infectious post-punk with a slew of singles that are best described as a bit indie, a bit alternative rock, a bit rough-around-the-edges and a whole lot melodic.

The Newcastle quartet return with a thrilling new single ‘Relax’. Quite possibly their best work to date, it is produced by Barry Hyde of The Futureheads, who approached the band about producing their music following an intense live show in Sunderland last year, and ‘Relax’ is the first fruit to emerge from these sessions. The single itself is a spikey, agitated and hook-driven jam propelled by a throbbing bass groove and a heavy punk stomp as jerky riffs and power-pop chorus duke it out for an intoxicating, off-kilter dance. Yet another rousing, boisterous and brilliant blast of guitar hijinks from Swine Tax.

Listen to ‘Relax’ below:

Fax Machine – ‘Motorbike’


Fax Machine is the musical moniker of Newcastle Upon Tyne (UK) based songwriter David Turnbull who has a propensity for unconventional, off-kilter and colourful confections of sound as evidenced by 2019 debut Soup.

Turnbull is back with plans for a new album Ouch!, expected on Dec 11, it is preceded by the magical lead single ‘Motorbike’ – a giddy and playful slice of jerky post-punk, art-rock and indie-pop. It buzzes with excitement and exuberance as razor sharp riffs and hyper-active bursts of guitar jerky to-and-fro as a series of earworm hooks and playful melodies swirl around the colourful sound-palette akin to Futureheads meets The Beta Band. ‘Motorbike’ is a wonderfully manic, spikey and infectious jam coated in a fine veneer of power-pop – word of warning, this is a tune that will be stuck in your head for days and days but will leave you all the better for it. 

Listen to ‘Motorbike’ below – and keep an eye out for the new album next month.