Hover Bored – ‘Safe Side’

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Formed in Wakefield, but now based in Manchester, Hover Bored are a quartet with a flair for fuzzy concoctions of grunge and scuzzy power-pop.

They play fast, energetic and loud, something abundantly clear upon hearing their scorching new single ‘Safe Side’. Musically, it’s a whirlwind of crunchy guitars, searing riffs, rolling bass, crashing drums and bratty vocals. These coalesce amid a sea of fuzz into a fiercely infectious two-minutes plus some. Calling to mind the likes of Dinosaur Pile-Up, Fidlar, Honey Lung and King Nun, they deliver a meaty, undeniably infectious cut of grungey wizardry. This is a foursome who do a rather redoubtable trade in the seriously potent scuzzy grungey/power-pop stakes.

‘Safe Side’ is out now, tune in below:

The Echo Bombs – ‘Pistachio Pudding’

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Phoenix, Arizona trio The Echo Bombs – aka Eddie Horn, Daniel Endicott & Michael Regan – do a rather redoubtable trade in the seriously potent garage rock stakes.

They play fast, energetic and loud, something abundantly clear upon hearing ‘Pistachio Pudding’ – first single off the forthcoming second album, Pleb, penned for released in April. Musically, it’s a whirlwind of crunchy guitars, searing riffs, pounding drums and raspy vocals (decrying a seething revulsion at growing older), all clamouring for air above a sea of fuzz. There are shades of Weezer meets Fidlar, in a confection of punky, surfy, power-pop that across two-and-a-half minutes, delivers an undeniably infectious catchy and anthemic cut of garage-rock.

You can listen to ‘Pistachio Pudding’ below – as yet, there is not confirmed date for The Echo Bombs new record but watch this space.

Astro B – ‘Welcome to the Astro-B’

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Astro-B have been a mainstay on the Tokyo gig circuit since the late ’90s and have been cranking out high-energy electro-punk for quite sometime now.

Astro-B – Judo Man (guitar) Kiyomi Ebisawa (lead vocals), Jesus Horie San (drums), Professor Sam (keyboards), Ninja Hide (SFX) and Lama (percussion and backing vocals) – have unleashed a spectacular new single called ‘Welcome to the Astro-B’. It’s a furious fireball mix of power-pop, powerful vocals, thumping techno beats, screeching guitar riffs, computer game SFX and an insane amount of unrelenting energy – unconventional yes, but that just makes it all the more memorable and downright ace! Now, Astro-B have been doing this sort of thing since ’99 and they’ve even brought their unconventional manga style live sets to the UK in 2001 and 2005 yet this is our first encounter. Better late than never and I for one, am better for it.

Do yourself a favour and behold eccentric brilliance of ‘Welcome to the Astro-B’ below:

Penguin – ‘Fiction’

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Penguin are protopunk-influenced alt-rock newcomers from Newcastle-upon-Tyne, who made their musical introduction with debit single ‘Not A Problem’ back in May.

On that occasion the Geordie outfit delivered a cut of anthemic, indie-rock brilliance; and they are at it again with latest single. ‘Fiction’ is an irresistible three-minutes of relentless, fast-paced alt-pop fizzing with a lively electricity. Propelled onward by clattering percussion, driven guitars, meaty riffs and playful rhythms, ‘Fiction’ is as infectiously sing-a-long as Futureheads at their very best. And if that comparision where not enough, the wonderfully exuberant breakdown finale brings to mind the late, great Beta Band. An utterly marvellous fun and riff-filled adventure to a place of sheer joy! If this doesn’t warm your heart and plaster a delirious grin across your face, nothing will.

‘Fiction’ is out now, listen to it below.

The Courtneys New Album Out Next Month; Share ‘Tour’

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Vancouver indie trio The Courtneys already teased their aptly titled second album, The Courtneys II with ‘Silver Velvet’ toward the end of last year.

And with the follow up to their marvellous self-titled debut set to arrive on February 17, through Flying Nun, the trio have provided another sneak peak in the form of ‘Tour’. As for the new single, it is catchy-as-they-come. Pitting together driving bass, pounding drums, fuzzed-up, dreamy guitar and sweet vocals; we are invited along an excursion to a fuzzy world of power-pop meets ’90s indie. ‘Tour’ is yet a another promising indication that The Courtneys II is an album to look out for.

‘Tour’ comes with the perfectly timed news that the band will be hitting the road in the next months, for a North American tour. All the dates are here. Meanwhile, soak up the new single below:

Honey Lung – ‘End of Time’

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Honey Lung are London trio – Jamie Batten (guitar/vocals), Charlie Gardner (Bass) & Omri Covo Drums – with a fondness for electrifying, fuzz-fuelled adventures in gritty grunge.

Setting out this flair for ’90s inspired lo-fi, grungey fuzz is ‘End of Time’; the lead track from Honey Lung’s brand new, 5-track EP Kind of Alone (produced by Michael Smith (Wolf Alice, Kid Wave, Anteros). Weaving nineties grunge and shoegaze with more contemporary tones of Yuck and War on Drugs, ‘End of Time’ is four-and-a-half-minutes of clattering, reverb-laden guitar heroics, with some added dizzyingly explosive punch and rampaging riffs. Amid the fuzz, stop-start crunchy guitar licks, slinky bass and a chorus that’s dripping in hooks, work in tandem to reveal a power-pop loving side packed with punch. It is this combination that makes ‘End of Time’s infectiousness hard to shake. A triumphant, confident and pretty damn irresistible introduction.

Honey Lung’s Kind of Alone EP is out soon. You can listen/watch ‘End of Time’ below.

Introducing: The Immediate

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There’s a bit or a role reversal with this one, all will become abundantly clear below….

The Immediate are a three-piece power pop band from Mold in north Wales. Originally active in the ’90s, they split in 1997 due to frustration, an argument over a mouth organ and the success of Stereophonics – all valid reasons, no?

Earlier this year however, the trio of of Duncan Farmer, Richard Harrison & Adam Walton reunited – the latter’s BBC Radio Wales show is one of my favourites and a fine source of superb new Welsh tunes (role reversal explained) – not for one last crack at fame but for the love of making music. This love and that of music from The Jam, Small Faces, Ride, Badfinger & Teenage Fanclub among others, shines through brightly. Crafting songs about hope and love in the face of the moribund, daily grind, playing to please only themselves, with no thoughts of success or acclaim and having fun along the way. Taken from their debut EP Shadows and Ghosts, ‘Yoko’ is a case in point. Succinctly summing up The Immediate’s raison d’etre in a scintillating three-minutes, ‘Yoko’ is a guitar heavy, riff-filled indie rocker bursting with melody and vitality; and in Walton’s own words, it’s ace! Sometimes that is quite enough.

There is an album in the offing for the new year but for now, why not give ‘Yoko’ a spin below. You can get their debut EP, Shadows and Ghosts as a free download via Bandcamp.