James offers his favourite singles submissions from this past week. Please check out the bands, and let us know what you think via our Social Media channels!

99% Cobra – Foreskin Piss Balloon

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For a band still in their infancy, having already released four singles alongside an array of equally ludicrous music videos ensures any doubts over 99% Cobra‘s levels of commitment is quashed in a heartbeat.  ‘Foreskin Piss Balloon’ is a two minute offering of schizophrenic guitar work, some preposterous blast beats and the musical landscape of a fucking bin full of glass being thrown down a flight of stairs. If chaotic hardcore is up your street, then you’re welcome, 99% Cobra are your new favourite underground band. And for the love of god please check out their other music videos…

Steel Trees – Deaf In One Eye

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On the opposite end of the spectrum entirely we have rocker’s Steel Trees and latest single ‘Deaf In One Eye’, summarising exactly what I feel contemporary rock should sound like in 2018. If the thought of modern rock bands stripping any inkling of fuzz and distortion from their sound in favour of accessibility literally depresses you to the point where it has you banging your head against the wall, then Steel Trees might just well be the remedy you’re looking for. Enough low end for fans of Motorhead, massive vocal hooks and a catchy chorus for the mainstream kids, and some really scuzzy space elements that ensures ‘Deaf In One Eye’ has enough edge to stand out from its peers, wonderful stuff.

New Methods – Endless Aggression 

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Back to the heavier stuff now, and the name is in the song title with New Methods. There’s not much to say here, other than ‘Endless Aggression’ encapsulates everything I’ve ever loved about hardcore music in a nutshell and manages to do it all within two minutes. Mix up old school Throwdown vibes, add a contemporary spin and even thrown in a thrash metal guitar solo for good measure. Despite the name, New Methods aren’t exactly reinventing the wheel here, but simplicity is sometimes the perfect soundtrack to twat your mates in the face to.

Blind Girls – Exertion

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For the unaware, there’s a band in America doing magical things in the world of punk called The Armed. Their latest record, Only Love, embellishes chaotic hardcore at it’s finest, flitting between a male/female vocal dynamic and ensuring my brain gets completely flustered each time I listen. The reason why I mention this, is because Australia has just equally responded with Blind Girls and latest single ‘Exertion’. Clocking in at a sharp 98 seconds, ‘Exertion’ yelps into a flourish, throwing me into a tar-pit of noise before I’d even had chance to draw breath. I’ve also just read that Blind Girls have just released a new record called Residue, I’m off to go listen to it now…

SMUG – Earworm

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If you’re still with us and not put off by all the scattershot noise I’ve just banged on about, then SMUG might just be the pallet cleanser you need to clear your head. I love a good vocal hook and catchy chorus just as much as the next person, but what I hate about modern day Pop-Punk is that the bands sacrifice every element of crunch, crust and distortion in an attempt to appeal to the mainstream. Thankfully, SMUG tick just about every single box as to what a Pop-Punk band should sound like in 2018. There’s at least three massive hooks packed into less than two impressive minutes, but at no point does ‘Earworm’ give away its grit or integrity, and that’s what kept drawing me in. The US has bands like SMUG, the UK has bands like Gnarwolves, keep it real.

Self-Evident – The Cutter

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It was the music video that sucked me in, and the song itself that kept me coming back for more. How do I pinpoint this? With influences swirling around ‘The Cutter’, initially the track reminded me of R.E.M, then everything went briefly Alexisonfire, and by the end was left with an experimental rock meets Fugazi style. What a headfuck, but the most special thing about doing these reviews is every now and again, I discover a band that I can truly, honestly call unique. Self-Evident sound unique, and that just might be the best way to describe them. Check out their video below!

Old News – Tangled Up 

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Last but certainly not least we have yet another band bordering on so experimental that I’m struggling to pinpoint just where Old News sit. I’ll try my best to describe this on paper: when Indie meets Math Rock, but with an early day Emo-Rock vocal approach, and a main riff that half feels like a breakdown, half feels like you can dance to it? I’m struggling here, but the best part of ‘Tangled Up’ is the stadium sized chorus that establishes the entire backbone of the track, ensuring repeated listens are an absolute must. Another band happily playing with their own dynamic and working out what fits bests for them, how can you not respect that?!

That’s this weeks singles reviews, please feel free to check out the tracks above on the usual formats, or alternatively you can access them on our embedded Spotify playlists below. Thanks for reading!

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