No life stories. No pointless babbles. No Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber or One Direction. Just pure alternative, indie and rock.

Album Review - Thirty Two by Reverend And The Makers

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Sandwiched between their #32housegigs stint and an 18-date UK tour, it is safe to say that Reverend And The Makers’ fourth album, Thirty Two, evidently has far too many numbers attached to it. Putting aside the obvious, saying that the album has high expectations would be an understatement. Thirty Two not only has the mammoth task of living up to its predecessors but also must prove to be worthy of its meritable promotion devices and fervent Rev Army. This should be interesting.

The first 20 seconds of opening track, ‘Detonator’, brings out the poet in McClure emphasising his past endeavours. Jon’s rhyming practice transforms the lyrics into the ultimate form of cheesy yet it’s actually pretty damn catchy because, well, cheesiness is catchy. This is not comparable to the cringe-worthiness of The 1975. The sophisticated electro-pop twinned with The Rev’s distinctive Yorkshire accent result in character - something the lads have never felt compelled to hide.

Tracks such as ‘Nostalgia’ and ‘Different Trains’ do not notably deviate from the sound established through 2012’s @Reverend_Makers with their boundless hooks and big fat beats guaranteed to get crowds bouncing. Both ‘Happy Song’ and ‘Play Me’ remove the tough-guy veil and show the Sheffield quintet’s sensitive side with a chill-out aura and a string section on the latter. Aww.

This album is a strange one. There isn’t a single track that’s particularly in-your-face or even one that just stands out a little from the rest yet, at the same time, it’s not a bad effort. 

If you’re looking for something new and “cool” then this isn’t for you. If you want an album with a seamless play-through which is difficult to fault then introduce your ears to Reverend And The Makers’ latest project. While you’re at it, introduce yourself too. Who knows? They seem to be quite big on the house gigs.

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Written by Abigail Suter

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Sunderland indie-rockers Frankie & The Heartstrings took things a step further than the majority of other bands last year. On June 1, 2012 they opened their own hometown record shop, Pop Recs Ltd, with the help of a coffee machine, man power and some records of course.

Whilst only 300 record stores remain in the UK (compared to 2200 in the 80’s), the five-piece are battling the dire climate and very much succeeding. 

We caught up with the drummer, Dave Harper, to find out more about their seemingly chaotic lives and the survival of Pop Recs Ltd.

Interview performed by Abigail Suter

Written by Abigail Suter

Photographs by Abigail Suter (live shots by friends of Pop Recs Ltd)

Audio edited by Dominic Rogers

Track is ‘Use Me For What You Want’ by Frankie & The Heartstrings

^ That’s a lot of credit!

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Single Review - Love Natural by Crystal Fighters

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Back in the 90’s, dance music was cool. It was perfectly acceptable to prance around in excessive amounts of denim sipping on a bottle of Hooch. Fast-forward two decades and Crystal Fighters are busy re-trendyfying dance music. Minus the shitty alcopops and dreaded double denim.

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Unsigned

We made a new blog! Unsigned will cover purely unsigned musicians so hop on over there and click follow. This is part of a university project yet it is hoped that it will be ongoing.

Single Review - Of The Night by Bastille

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Whether you love them or hate them, there’s no doubt that Bastille will continue to churn out singles faster than you can even attempt to evade them. Luckily, ‘Of The Night’ does not invoke the need for those highly-skilled ninja techniques which we clearly all possess.

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Single Review - Mess Around by Indiana

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Sex sells. And whilst the likes of Azealia Banks and Iggy Azalea are prancing around in barely-there swimwear in an attempt to be seductive, Nottingham’s Indiana is taking a considerably more classy approach to sex appeal and using, you know, that revolutionary thing called a voice.

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Single Review - Torrent by Ásgeir

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According to Ásgeir, the man behind Iceland’s all-time best-selling debut album, “it just happened”. That clearly explains the indie-folk singer’s overnight success, considerable bragging rights and ownership of numerous awards. Obviously.

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With the Dr Martens #STANDFORSOMETHING tour well under way, the time has never been more fitting to give Young Guns a mention. Alongside the likes of Lower Than Atlantis and Spector, the London rockers bagged a place on the intimate tour. 

The quintet played The Louisiana in Bristol just over a week ago and a pro-shot of 2012’s Bones has been released as a taster of the event. Just 100 of their most dedicated fans made the show. Phew! At least the many of us who didn’t make it don’t have to miss out entirely.

Written by Abigail Suter

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Single Review - Crying by Boardwalk

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Every so often I’ll come across a track that is completely and utterly bizarre. ‘Crying’ by Boardwalk is the latest to fit into this category and, not only is it bizarre, it’s beautifully bizarre.

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Single Review - Seaside by Pale Grey

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Winter is here in the UK and whilst we’re all wrapping up in our woolies, Belgium’s Pale Grey are making glorious music about a warmer climate. The irony is certainly present when a track named ‘Seaside’ is released at this time of year yet at the same time nostalgia can be a good thing, right?

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Festival Review - Leeds Festival at Bramham Park - 23/08/13 to 25/08/13

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The worthiness of this year’s line-up at Leeds was debatable to say the least. 2013 saw headlining sets from Eminem and Skrillex on two of the major stages whilst the addition of the BBC 1Xtra stage brought many similar acts. One thing, however, was pretty certain – the weather was shit. In between the Silent Disco tent collapsing and many stages being flooded, bands battled to defy the British summer and attract (very muddy) fans.

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Single Review - Horizon by Bloodflower

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With the festival season upon us, a global battle of the bands commences as waves of albums, singles and EP’s are all released in time to impress fields of drunken fans. As we all sit behind our computers deciding where on earth to make a start with all of the mind-blowing releases, musicians do everything they can to be one of the lucky ones who get noticed. In the midst of this chaotic scene, Wales’ Bloodflower drop their second single ‘Horizon’.

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Album Review - Bosnian Rainbows (Self-titled)

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Bosnian Rainbows, or in other words the psychedelic answer to the 80’s post punk movement, are the brand new band comprised of Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, Teri Gender Bender, Deantoni Parks and Nicci Kasper. Despite representing the strong creative forces behind their own respective bands, The Mars Volta and Le Butcherettes to name but two, what makes Bosnian Rainbows special is that it forms a creative democracy between all four members. Regarding his former band, The Mars Volta, Omar Rodriguez-Lopez has previously referred to himself as somewhat of a tyrant regarding the control of the band but here he represents only one member in an alliance of three fantastic musicians.

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Album Review - Dive and Slide into the Blue by Low Duo

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With a couple of EPs in the bag, Sheffield’s Low Duo step back into the scene for something more serious with their debut album. The two brothers strip their music down to the very basics and leave themselves vulnerable with just a guitar and a voice; this is something most musicians would never even dare to try. Three years on from their formation, it’s proving to be a success as they remain true to their roots with their brand new album ‘Dive and Slide into the Blue’.

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