James is back to offer his favourite singles from the festive period, and looks onward to see what lies ahead in 2019. Please check out the bands, and let us know what you think via our Social Media channels!

BASTIAN – Losing Touch

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First and one of the heaviest of this week’s picks is Canada’s BASTIAN, and while ‘Losing Touch’ does somewhat feel (to me) a little long in the tooth, the sticking point with this is outstanding cohesion, which a lot of other bands in a similar ilk often fail to possess. Meddling with the best of both worlds between painful vulnerability and all out chaos, ‘Losing Touch’ has more than enough to sink your teeth into if the ambient, melodic hardcore edge of More Than Life meeting the harder metalcore swing of The Ghost Inside sounds right up your street. A really intriguing mix, and well worth a listen.

Isolation – Mindstate 

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A few years back, my entire local scene was swarming with hardcore bands whose sole currency was beatdown riffs, and providing a soundtrack to kicking the shit out of your mates to. Aussie’s Isolation brought back warm, fuzzy feelings of those days with a style that I’ve barely kept tabs on for a good few years. ‘Mindstate’ at the two minute mark is for spilled pints and spin kicks at your local dive. There’s no nonsense here, it’s dark, grimacing hardcore for people who’d enjoy a faster paced Brutality Will Prevail.

 War On Tv – Elecampane 

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‘Elecampane’ instantly reminded me of a much funkier, less hardcore take on latter day At The Drive In, it’s hard to grasp that something less visceral is still bursting at the seams with raw, unkempt energy. The basswork is the standout to War On TV‘s sound, every time their sound takes a full lean towards straight Post-Hardcore, it’s the bass that’s the first thing that drags the funk back into their sound. You can headbang to this, you can dance to this, ‘Elecampane’ is wicked.

Atomic Kavemen – Walking Away

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Atomic Kavemen have been a band on the radar of Mind Noise Network for quite a few months now, with a raw stripped back PunkNRoll vibe that nods towards the low end rumble of Motörhead, mixed with the distinct vocal delivery of Glenn Danzig. My advice to them going back a few months was to improve on their production significantly, and while they’ve certainly beefed up their clarity, there’s still oozes of scuzz to their sound that I simply don’t ever want to lose. Atomic Kavemen are really starting to find their form, and with plenty of catchy ‘whoahs’ in ‘Walking Away’, I’m edging my bets on them hitting our radar a lot more in future.

Music From A Birdcage – I Already Know That

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Arguably the most unique track on this week’s list, the entirely instrumental track from the one man music project Music From A Birdcage is a beautifully ambient offering of airy, light math rock. I often find it hard to pinpoint tracks lacking in any vocals to truly emit any feeling to them, but ‘I Already Know That’ really filled me with a sense of warm comfort, something that I can’t quite describe but keep going back to. A simple track to get your ears around, but a credit to unique, independent artistry.

Frontside Backsides – Liar 

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The hint’s in the name, bands that usually write songs about skateboarding are ones that are spawned from the greatest genre to have ever existed in musical history: simple dirgy punk for kickflips and smoking cigs. However, Frontside Backsides really surprised me with just how warm and clean their guitar tone feels, there’s almost no distortion going through their sound at all, but it still emits an unbelievably dirty vibe (in the most complementary way of course). ‘Liar’ is for fans of scuzz garage rock meets the modern punk of Gender Roles. Wicked stuff, and I’m excited to hear much more in the future.

The Wilkof Project – Pocket Full Of Pride

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I’ll make it clear now, The Wilkof Project, while still in their infancy, are absolutely built for topping the charts of US rock radio for years to come. I don’t say that lightly, but the soaring style of ‘Pocket Full Of Pride’ screams to me of festival main stages and mainstream rock stardom. This band would go down a storm at our native Download Festival, and with still less than 10K likes on Facebook, they might just be one of rock music’s best kept secrets. Get on them now while they’re still underground, and give ‘Pocket Full A Pride’ an immediate listen below.

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 2019 Spotify playlist below. There’s also plenty more tracks to be uploaded to Spotify soon, and a wonderful mix of our best picks week in week out, be sure to subscribe!

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