June 2018 | Top 5 Albums of the Month

Matt Maltese and Boy Azooga burst into the Top 5 for the Month of June!

5) Boy Azooga – ‘1, 2 Kung Fu’

Boy Azooga 1 2 Kung FuThis is another debut album to make the top 5 and it comes from Cardiff band Boy Azooga, who have been gaining some heavy recognition from this release. As soon as the album opens up with ‘Breakfast Epiphany’ you’re thrown into the Azooga universe and you find it very hard to leave. The stoner/Tame Impala sounds that the album inhibits brings a fresh type sound to the indie scene that they’ve been lumped into, but they are very much a stand out act in that category.

Top 3 Tracks : ‘Breakfast Epiphany’ , ‘Taxi In Your Head’ and ‘Hangover Square’

4) Florence and the Machine – ‘High As Hope

Florence and the Machine High as HopeFlorence has an innate ability of churning out consistently good albums, and this one doesn’t break the streak as it’s another gem. Her albums always have serious depth to them lyrically and melodically, just hearing ‘South London Forever’ can send shivers down your spine. Instrumentally Florence stays well within her wheelhouse as she once again opts for the floaty and atmospheric tones which blend so well with her vocal style. Thoroughly enjoyed this album, and can see a lot of Florence fans falling head over heels for it. Of course it doesn’t hit the heights of her earlier work in ‘Lungs’ but it definitely hold its own.

Top 3 Tracks : ‘South London Forever’ , ‘Grace’ and ‘Sky Full of Song’

3) Ben Howard – ‘Noonday Dream

Ben Howard - Noonday Dream 1Since Ben landed onto the music scene he’s drawn attention from people who listen to all types of music, really opening the door for everyone to enjoy his music, especially with his debut ‘Every Kingdom’. However since then he’s stepped further and further away from his debut, and really created some new and inventive material. ‘Noonday Daydream’ is the album which showcases this best as Ben immerses himself in the weird and wonderful, crafting some beautiful lengthy tracks which proves Howard’s genius. Read Full review here.

Top 3 Tracks : ‘Nica Libres At Dusk’ , ‘The Defeat’ and ‘There’s Your Man’

2) Matt Maltese – ‘Bad Contestant’

Matt Maltese.jpgThis is the debut for Matt Maltese however you wouldn’t have guessed it from listening to this album as he sounds like a seasoned veteran. The lyrical depth in this album is something to behold, as each songs paints a wondrous picture direct from Matt’s mind. His sarcastic and quirky lyrics provide the brightest moments on the album, which play off so well to the sound of his piano-’Nightclub Love’ being the perfect example. Although this is only the beginning of Matt’s career it seems that he’s already has a firm grasp on songwriting, which means we’re in for something special moving forward.

Top 3 Tracks : ‘Greatest Comedian’ , ‘Nightclub Love’ and ‘Mortals’

1) Father John Misty – ‘God’s Favourite Customer

FMJ - Gods Favourite CustomerAfter a short year since he dropped ‘Pure Comedy’, FJM delivered his follow up album ‘God’s Favourite Customer’ at the start of the Month. The album was a short and snappy ride with plenty of highlights as he reflects on his life while delivering some of his most cutting edge lyrics. This was a complete contrast to his lengthy last album, but it was a welcome change. This album lit up the start of Month and there’s a strong chance it will be in the memory come the end of the year. Read full review here.

Top 3 Tracks : ‘Please Don’t Die’, ‘God’s Favourite Customer’ and ‘Mr.Tillman’

January 2018 | Top 5 Albums of the Month

So January is finally coming to a close, and it’s been a superb month for music with so many good albums being released! Here are our top 5 Albums / EP’s of the Month! Would love to hear your thoughts on the list!

5. Peach Club – ‘Cherry Baby’

Cherry Baby‘ was the debut EP from Peach Club, and after hearing it’s consistently been calling back to me. The EP is packed with attitude from the first song to the last, and each of the of the vocal performances are impeccable. The title track ‘Cherry Baby‘ is the stand out track on the album, mixin story with melody perfectly. With a plethora or riot grrrl bands started to make moves now, Peach Club have definitely put themselves on the radar as ones to look out for. 

4.Dream Wife – ‘Dream Wife’

After hearing Dream Wife for the first time, I was immediately looking forward to their debut album. The record has a real riot grrrl edge to it, but at the heart of it’s just stunningly good guitar music with some very poignant riffs. It has a unique sound to it, especially with the vocals and the pleasant Icelandic twang that hangs off every word. The whole album is very tight and follows a very punchy theme, and it’s clear that these songs would play out well in front of a live audience.

3.Dead! – ‘The Golden Age of Not Even Trying’

This album was late to the party, as it was released towards the end of January and was very nearly not listened to. However, it’s a relief that it found its way into my ears. The album is just filled with pent up anger along with aggressive drum work, and some talented guitar parts. With songs like ‘Enough, Enough, Enough’ and ‘Any Port’ providing a perfect soundtrack for complete madness at any live event! The fast paced album is a complete whirlwind and flies by too quick, forcing on several more listens.

2. Jeff Rosenstock – ‘Post-‘

Jeff released his third solo album ‘Post-‘ on New Years Day, which caught a lot of people off-guard as they weren’t ready for this new record. However a New Years Day hangover couldn’t keep me away from this. The album has everything you’d want from a Jeff Rosenstock album, still keeping with his post-punk roots and erratic style. The final track ‘Let Them Win’  is a great song, as it goes on it’s as if Jeff slowly giving up and losing the fight, much like the title of the song.

1. Shame – ‘Songs of Praise’

After some time plotting their debut album, Shame have burst onto the scene with their debut record ‘Songs of Praise’. It has garnered strong reviews all round from several publications, and are being dubbed the best act to come out the UK this year. Although the praise is deserved, it’s important to give the band time to grow and not get to ahead of ourselves. That being said, the album is a monster of its own. With these big heavy guitars combined with know-it-all lyrics, each song follows the same swagger, which is something similar to what SLAVES have done. This album deservedly gets album of the month, and hopefully we can look forward to more great stuff from the South-London band.

Top 5 Acts at Reading Festival 2014



1) Catfish and the Bottlemen

They definitely weren’t the biggest act at the festival as they played the Festival Republic stage, however I think this festival meant the world to them, and the crowd got that. Throughout the set Van Mcann was thanking the crowd and at times looked in disbelief at entire crowd singing their songs, and that brought out some of this raw passion. Hearing the songs on the internet are great, but listening to them live are even better ‘Kathleens’ catchy chorus along with ‘Rango’s’ excellent lyrics just make the songs much more important.

Also the gig was my type of gig as it was relatively small, very intimate, and I was close to the front which makes it all the more better, Catfish and the Bottlemen have forced a place in my mind and I will forever be a fan.



2) Chvrches

This choice may be somewhat biased due to my recent obsession with them, however their set was a spectacle and also made me a fan for life. Their sound just filled the room with ease, and Lauren Mayberry’s vocals were second to none in the entire World let alone the festival.

The only doubt I had was that due to them only having one album under their belt, making me think it may have go stale but hearing it live gave it a fresh feel but simultaneously sounding exactly like it did on the record. It’s hard to pick out a favoured song as they were all performed to a tea, however If my arm was twister it would have to be ‘Under the Tide’.



3) Arctic Monkeys

These may have been higher on the list if the sound was spot on, however due to inconsistent sound they fell down the pecking order slightly. No doubt the people in the thick of it had a great time, but for the people further back a lot of the performance was lost to the poor sound.

However the Monkeys pulled it back with mouth-watering set list and have a very slick frontman. The set was like a highlight reel for the entire festival as they performed at their highest ability, but then again you would if you’d been playing the songs all year round.

Some may think that Arctic Monkey’s was a boring choice for a list, but as I was formulating list I had to put them in because they still mean a lot to that 17 year old inside me.

162944_486257361282_4948268_n4) Bombay Bicycle Club

The anticipation for this band played a big part in them making this list, because I was bursting at the seams to this band. However, regardless to how much pain I was in because of my liver the determination to stay at the front to see Bombay prevailed, and I was in a prime spot to see on of the best bands at the festival.

Playing songs from all of their albums was a smart move as it gave variety to their set list, and a chance for even the most novice of fans to learn what the band are all about.  Their high tempo and high energy set is key for them, and they didn’t disappoint in terms of that side as they had everyone jumping around and urging everyone to give all they could.





2013Peace_AW0240801135) Peace

This was the toughest decision of all because they were a few acts that could’ve have taken this place, those being Drenge, The Orwells and Royal Blood. However, Peace pipped them all. Maybe it’s because of their B-Town roots of how cool they all looked, but those don’t matter because their set list was exquisite.

From the high tempo songs like ‘Bloodshake’ and ‘Wraith’ to their slow paced ‘Float Forever’, the band were all over it, as they set out to make the crowd fall in love with them, which they did.  Peace just seem to be going from strength to strength since they released their Delicious EP, and this festival performance is another impressive stat to add to their CV.


Words by Alex Wise @al4563

Top 5 Elements which make a good album great


We all have favourite albums that are stocked up in cupboards, racks and for the people who are poor, on the floor. But what are the key elements that make these albums so good, well here are five that are integral for any album (I think).

Of course these aren’t the criteria’s that everyone looks to; however these are the ones that are most common in my favourite albums. Not all of the albums contain all five, but they have all have a good four or three.

1) Lyrical Integrity

First up is the lyrics, they must have some substance to them. There’s not much worse than unthoughtful, clumsy lyrics that make no sense or carry barely any meaning. I’m not suggesting that every word that rolls of the tongue must be profound or thought provoking, but it must have some substance, else it looks lazy and unimaginative. Prime example would be Liam Gallagher’s songs, as they seem to be similar words in a different order – boring.

2) Catchy Songs

I’m not suggesting that each song has to be catchy, but they must have some.  However without them the album can easily be forgotten as most of the songs can’t be remembered as they have failed to etch a place in your brain (Which most catchy songs do). It doesn’t have to be a catchy hook, it can be a riff, a style, a sound, a lyric…be imaginative.

3) Unique

It’s awful when you’re listening to an album and for each of the songs you can easily name where it’s been ripped from. There’s nothing wrong with taking something and developing it with your own ideas, but blatant rips have no place in the music world. Unless it’s a cover. So it has to have a bands print on it before it can even be considered as a good album.

4) At least 10 songs

This is a very picky one, which probably wouldn’t make it on anyone’s list. But when you purchase an album for full price, you should expect at least 10 songs, else it seems like the band have no other ideas for songs. It is not the most important element, but it’s one that stands out when you’re expecting to hear another song, and it goes back to track one.

5) The ONE memorable song that sticks out

Every good album has one of these, try it now, think of your favourite album, and think pick up that song. ‘Cosmic Dancer’ (T-Rex – Electric Warrior) ,‘Elephant’ (Tame Impala – Lonerism), ‘Time For Heroes’ (The Libertines – Up the Bracket), I could go on. So, that one memorable song should really be there, so it can stand the test of time and be remembered by all.

There’s the five which I have curated, however they are not carved in stone so I would love some feedback to see what everybody thinks, and if there is an element I have perhaps missed!

Words by Alex Wise @AJWise

5 Bands/Artists that could (should) headline Reading and Leeds BUT HAVEN’T


david_bowieDavid Bowie

He’s headlined Glastonbury a few times, however he has never taken up the role at Reading and Leeds. This may be due to the crowd that the festival brings in, as they tend to younger and desire relevant guitar music, however they are susceptible to the odd legends. Bowie should be one of those legends to take main stage and headline the festival. We know he has the material and that special glow that these stars have, so there is no real reason why he shouldn’t, also I think that’s the only real icon that Reading and Leeds are missing on their list.

120524theCribsHIW_6216769The Cribs

The Cribs are one of those bands that are overlooked by most people, due to them refusing go mainstream and create music that is commercially viable. However their gigs are without doubt some of the craziest ones I have been too, due to Ryan jumping in crowds, the band kicking everything around the stage and crowd-surfing a constant feature. With five albums, there is no doubt that they could fill their setlist full of crowd stomping songs.

download (2)Bombay Bicycle Club

With their fourth album ‘So Long, See You Tomorrow’ being such a hit this year, I think they have finally earned the right to be considered for this huge role. Although some of their songs wouldn’t suit the criteria of a headlining act, they have a lot of material that does, the majority coming from ‘I had the blues but I shook them loose’ and their latest album. Some of the names that get switched round for headlining need to be shaken up, and BBC should be one of those bands.

The LibertinesThe Libertines

Yes they have played Reading and Leeds, but they never headlined, as Arcade Fire deservedly took that role. However, the set at Reading and Leeds in 2010 showed that their die-hard fans (including me) are aching for them to come back full-time. Of course it won’t be soon with the Pete and Carl concentrating on separate projects; however, there is a place for them due to the legacy and endless Libertine tattoos they left behind.

downloadThe Smiths

Of course this is the most far out one, due to the fact that they haven’t played with each other for over 25 years, however that cannot stop Smithdom from dreaming. The Smiths have a catalogue of songs that bands could only dream of, along with a number of B-Sides that could easily have been singles themselves, so regarding the set list that wouldn’t have problem. Also Morrissey has played festivals solo, and seems to make crowd pleasing ridiculously easy, with his passion and the unique twist his puts on each song.

WORDS BY Alex Wise @al4563