Review: Crazy Arm go West

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PUNK band Crazy Arm, in previous efforts, had a bit of a folky twang to their sound – but on new LP The Southern Wild they’ve gone so country and western you wouldn’t bet against them wearing spurs when they recorded it.
Actually, as they’re all animal rights campaigners, they probably didn’t, but I bet they had those string things that cowboys wear instead of ties or something.
And they do do this sound very well – singer VIctoria Butterfield’s well-suited vocals in particular dripping with a soulful edge on Oh Hell/Death To Pay, the finger-picking good Fossils, or the wild stomping Roasting River showing a variety to their new sound too.
But for a Devon-based band, what would have set this collection far enough away from pastiche would have been just a hint more of the West Country on this Wild West soundscape.

From the archives: Animal magnetism from Bear Vs Shark

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AS WELL as inevitably leading onto the “who’s the hardest animal” debate, disbanded band Bear Vs Shark penned a true champion in the form of their 2003 debut Right Now You’re In The Best Of Hands.
The Michigan-based punk metal band’s first LP, fully titled Right Now You’re In The Best Of Hands. And If Something Isn’t Quite Right, Your Doctor Will Know In A Hurry, was a raucous, shouty slice of joyous post-hardcore, with tracks such as Campfire and Buses/No Buses making up for what they lacked in production with sheer exuberance.
For the record, my money’s on the bear.

From the archives: Kvelertak on track

IT IS generally thought that the British Midlands is the spiritual home of heavy metal – but bands like Kvelertak prove it probably holidays in Scandinavia.
I checked out the self-titled album by Norwegians Kvelertak on the strength of the cover art, and as the last time I did that I discovered the amazing Six Gallery’s Breakthroughs In Modern Art I should probably chance it a bit more.
Because Kvelertak is simply amazing – led by chugging guitars and Norwegian vocals, the LP is undoubtedly very metal.
However their sound encompasses all manner of influences, from Mastodon-like prog metal to Backyard Babies-style glam to throat-shredding Gallows punk, and they’re not afraid to break out the acoustic guitars when needed.

Review: Britain’s maggot talent! It’s Humanfly

FOR their latest LP, Leeds’s Humanfly have undergone a metamorphosis.
The group had initially found fame with an ISIS-esque sound, full of 10-minute-plus tracks and slow-burning epic metal – but now the group have climbed out of the sludge and are hoping to create a buzz having transformed into a fully-fledged punk band.
And despite this departure, judged on its merits, Awesome Science is an experiment that works.
Hard-hitting, political, raw and aggressive, in completely opposition to the proggy sounds of before, the sound isn’t big any more but it is clever, hitting the listener with slogans as well as muscular, fast-paced riffs.
Perhaps any fans the new direction may alienate could just pretend that the whole album is just one big track…

News: Cheers to Conformity of Corrosion

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PUNK-metal legends Corrosion Of Conformity have been honoured with a new beer.
The Burnt Hickory microbrewery in Georgia is creating the unique Imperial Porter ale.
A spokesman said: “The beer will be named for Corrosion of Conformity.
“The beer will be brewed this week and be sent into a wonderfully sublime exile for a few months.”
And to complete the process, whilst resting in a rum barrel the brew will be played the band’s Technocracy EP on a constant loop.

News: Punk covers album for cancer cause

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VERSECHORUSVERSE, AKA Tony Wright, has released a punk covers album in aid of cancer charities.
The album from the former …And So I Watch You From Afar member tackles tracks by Sonic Youth, Fugazi, Nirvana, Stiff Little Fingers, The Clash and the Undertones and costs as little as 50p.
He said: “Punk rock. Alternative music, or whatever else you want to call it has long been my refuge.
“I decided to take some of the songs that had help shape me musically, and re-imagine them into a manner in which the production was stripped to some guitars, vocals, harmonica, handclaps and, most importantly, the sentiment.”
Listen and buy a copy from