Fallow Deer – Nostalgia


Band: Fallow Deer

Hometown: Brighton


Fallow deer, a species native to countries across Europe and Asia but also the name of this Brighton based indie/rock group. Fallow deer (the band that is) could be said to portray similarities with the animal, upon listening to the two tracks they have on offer. Their songwriting, with essences of a Brit-pop era some 15 years ago, compares to a young fawn not quite grown into a fearless Buck or developed its stylistic antlers if you will.

First track Nostalgia, decorated with a nice crunchy distortion and a bass line which really gives the song its direction and provides a lot of the punch, which drives the song throughout. Despite these elements, which we place firmly in the genre, it’s very simple ABAB etc. form doesn’t really give much to the listener. The same could be said for the vocals, which again is embellished with a brilliantly ambient reverb, a sound akin to the feeling of “nostalgia” but both lyric and melody are a tad repetitive.

Second track Year or two, shares much of the same characteristics as the previous track. Again a staggered chord intro and very reverbed vocals, but the similarities end there and the song develops into a much more palatable track with a lot of positives. A much more exciting structure with developing and changing vocal melodies, providing a great flavour to the track. This is a song I would love to hear live, it has a vocal great to sing along to and a driving sound perfect to jump and move about to.

Words By Simon Piaia






Sisteray – Happy Ending


The Band: Sisteray

Hometown: The Big LDN

Sounds Like/Influences: Arctic Monkeys, The Beatles, The Who

Reviewed these lads a few times, and have a become a bit of a fan of theirs, and this song has just cemented that slightly more. The jumpy and happy introduction to the song sets the tempo rather nicely as the rest of the song aims to carry this out throughout the song. The laid back vocals of Niall Rowan could easily be badly received because they’re an acquired taste, but I’m one that seems to enjoy the simple talking vocals, perhaps because it makes it easier for me to sing along too.

The song has every component to be an indie song, the riff, the miniature solo and foremost the lyrics that consistently talk about smoking, going out and a girl.  The lads pull it off nicely, making an easy listening tune that kills a couple of minutes, however Sisterays earlier material still proves to be the most strongest as the guitars are blaring and the tracks are much more in your face.





Words by Alex Wise


Baywaves – To The North


Band: Baywaves

Hometown: Unknown

Sounds like: DIIV

I often wonder whether a song injected to the brim with clear influences is a bad thing, for Baywaves it certainly isn’t. ‘To The North’ basically gives the listener it’s influence on a plate, and despite it being derivative, it provides a refreshing image of a warm breezy summer evening. What’s most endearing is the clean, simplest drum beat going which completely garnishes the song.

The effects used on the guitar act as ‘To The North’s’ back bone, with leads as juicy as Mac Demarco’s, sadly they’re sparse on this track. Despite the vocals being slightly overpowered by the other instruments, they give a DIIV-esque atmosphere to the track. Production wise, ‘To The North’ is great, the reverb isn’t too much, but even if it would be, it’d only add to the subliminal, hazy mood this single has. Chilled, dark, and mellow. In fact I bet someone’s blowing smoke rings to this one, right now.





Words By Saagar Kaushik


Lewis Mckale – The Bigger Picture EP


Lewis Mckale is an actor and part-time singer-songwriter, his recent EP The Bigger Picture is in fact only a side project of his. Mckale presents us with a rather unique sound; the folky toe-tapping EP is filled with quivering vocals, interesting pronunciations and sweet poppy melodies, even if the lyrics are slightly nauseating at times.

The Bigger Picture is the first track on the EP, introducing soft gentle acoustics coupled with mystifying vocals. His simplistic approach really exposes the break and vibrato in his voice, with his tendency to slip in and out of tune echoing the sound of Bright Eyes‘ Conor Oberst. The piano is most welcome towards the end of the song as eerie harmonies and chimes are introduced, the latter part of this track definitely out-ways the start.

Next we have Those Were The Days, that ‘country-folk’ vibe, harmonica and feel good melody is an instant hit… Despite Mckale’s distinctive voice and apparent way with melody, the lyrics really do let the song down. The message has every good intention, but I guess it’s just a little too obvious, that ‘let’s all live for the moment’ talk has all been done before. It’s such a shame because there are several beautiful moments in his voice, albeit alongside several flat notes too.

Prove You Wrong is the third track on the EP. That country taste in the riff and surprisingly powerful vocal make this my favourite track of the four. The vibrato in his voice makes you shiver as we get to hear a lot more of his range, I must say it was pleasantly surprising after the first two tracks. That huskier fast paced sound definitely suits him a lot better.

Finally there’s (Don’t) Forget Who You Are. This relaxed acoustic number yet again commences peacefully with a slow catchy pop beat. The lower register of his voice is far better than the top during this final track, it seems like Mckale is really forcing those top notes, unfortunately this strain diverts attention from the actual song.

There’s definitely potential within this EP. Mckale has a distinctive and unusual voice, he is obviously a talented musician and is heading in the right direction, it’s just a case of really finding ‘that sound’ and not being too obvious.

Words by Amy Morrison 






Sultanov – Break Free


Artist: Sultanov

Hometown: Russia

Influenced by: John Lennon

Stepping out into the wilderness today with my sword and shield in hand, as ‘Break Free’ is more of a pop song, than our usual well known territory of indie/punk/rock/everything else. Bands and artists always struggle to walk that tight rope of guitar pop music, as they often fall into the cheesy pit which is full of quavers and wotsits. However Sultanov surprisingly manages to pull it off and escaping with minimal damage, perhaps just a slight graze on the knee.

The attractive acoustic guitar riff is catchy to say the least, as it manages to be the forefront of the song along with the most important element of pop music, which is a tasty hook line. Sultanov persists in singing “All I wanna do is break free” and it forces it’s way in to your mind without even notifying you, which is effortlessly annoying when songs do that.  Writing a pop song is more difficult than it sounds, which means credit should be given to Sultanov as he makes it look as effortless as putting on a sock.

Although the song isn’t heavy with guitars or have screeching vocals embedded in it which is the more familiar sound that fills the air, but the song managed to catch my attention and entertain me. Although the song won’t be changing your life, it’s a safe bet that it will have you dancing for an allotted time.

by Alex Wise






Dog on a Swing – On Love EP


Band: Dog on a Swing

Hometown: Edinburgh

Influences By: Aereogramme, Jeff Buckley, and the Dismemberment Plan


Acoustic love songs have the tendency to be as cheesy as a bag of wotsits, with melted red lester over the top and served on plate made out of cheese. However when it’s done correctly and effectively, with a certain amount of depth to it, the songs can be special and pleasant to listen to. Dog on a Swing manage to do this down to tea.

Their EP ‘On Love’ showcases 4 songs and each one of them manage to be thought provoking and catchy, without wondering into cheesy territory.  ‘The romance of Love’ sets the EP off, I was pleasantly surprised as the well written song was serious and yet witty in a Morrissey-esque way at times. All songs are blessed with the soft vocals, cushioning the acoustic guitars, which just add to the songs, as they’re already impressive without these outstanding elements. The second song ‘Astronaut and Diplomat’ has sing a long around the campfire qualities, with its catchy melody and easy to whistle tune.

‘I can feel my feet bleed’ offers a much softer and more developed tone, much like the new on the scene Tom Odell is capable of doing,  proving once again that Dog on a Swing are more than capable of writing a well thought out song.  ‘In the Morning’ rounds it all off, and proved to be as addictive as digestives (they’re addictive, honest). It’s honest and soulful sound mixed with quite rubiks cube like guitar parts makes for a good listen as the songs fetching characteristics glow out.

For a debut EP, Dog on a Swing should be quite pleased with themselves as it proves to be a good listen with catchy lines and choruses scattered around. One criticism would be that some of the songs have a tendency to sound similar, not completely similar but just slightly. Regardless of me being picky, a strong EP.







The Sea The Sea – Winter Parade

the sea


Band: The Sea The Sea

Hometown: Oxford, Britain

Sounds Like: Wild Beasts, The Antlers

There’s not many better feelings when a new indie/rock/punk band pops up on our twitter feed that we like, partly because we haven’t had  a lot to do to fine them, but mainly because we’ve got more good music to listen to. The Sea The Sea’s slightly magical indie tone coruscates throughout their song ‘Winter Parade’.  So much so, you will need to wear a pair of sunglasses when listening to it because of the gleam you receive from it.

The repetitive but memorable melody seems to roll on for a while, but it somehow manages to keep your attention, similar to the TV when I’m attempting to fall asleep. Some sections of the song hint at how the XX would sound if they became faster paced and energetic, with the bursting reverb that is ever present. Without warning the song seems to drifts off from the tight grapple it had you in, and before you know it you’re pressing play again. This is a perfect example of how indie pop can work, a lot of artists/bands attempt, but it comes of weak and limp, however The Sea The Sea has done the genre proud and have just gained themselves another fan.





Boris Carloff – Falling (Single)


Artist: Boris Carloff

Hometown: Prague

Sounds Like: No One

I’m not scared of the strange, I’m just curious of how people actually come to it and create what they create. Being quite use to the strange and wonderful after listening to Ummagma I always feel prepared for the slightly different pieces of music, however Boris Carloff’s new song ‘Falling’, took me back slightly. This definitely falls into the genre of Art-Pop as you can see in his music and also his video, because it’s not the normal musician walking around singing to himself. Both the video and the song is very well throughout, as they complement each other perfectly as there just both as strange, but thought provoking, with clever lyrics lying all over the place and the imagery alone is something to think about.

Accompanying the strange, you have the eerie side, which keeps appearing here and there, especially through the chorus as he sings ‘Falling’. Although it’s not the usual guitar thrashing music that I’m used to listening to, I found a happy home with this song as I keep revisiting to see if there’s anything more I can obtain from the song. So while it’s not the easiest listens, and you won’t be humming it to work, it still remains a good  piece of music because of how well thought out all the elements were in the song.





Shoot The Rabbit – Scribble EP


Band: Shoot The Rabbit


Boys in the band: David Bullough – Lead Guitar & Vocals , Rhodri Davies – Drums, Matt Norton – Bass, Adam Taylor – Rhythm Guitar

Sounds Like: Arctic Monkeys, The Maccabees

‘Scribble’ EP

Shoot the Rabbits intentions are clear throughout the EP, which is to create enticing, catchy and beautiful good old fashioned indie music, and they demonstrate this perfectly in the EP. Some bands now class themselves as indie, and when you’re listening to you feel led astray because it’s not really indie, it’s just some alternative nonsense, this won’t happen with STR as they deliver what they said they would.


From start to finish we’re gifted with fun and intrinsic riffs, which sound like something you’d hear off an early Maccabee’s album or perhaps an early Arctic Monkeys album. The first track ‘Scribble’ is what is described as indie music, pacey, catchy, seductive vocals and marginally lo-fi. The substance of the track lies with the lyrics as they prove to be clever and witty, something that Mr.Turner himself would perhaps write. It’s a bright and lively opening to the EP, which runs into the next song ‘No bugs or flies around me’.

Once again this features a toe-tapping riff that could linger around your head for days, this isn’t helped either by how jumpy it is in parts. This track easily paints a picture of how it would be received live, with people jumping from wall to wall as they try to keep up with the singing and the pace of the song, which is something that rarely ends well. It’s somewhat reminiscent of the first Arctic Monkeys album, because the song could’ve snuck itself onto the track list without anyone realising. The final track ‘Best Keep Quiet’ take as slight turn down to XX avenue, with the intro and the riff inherently reminding me of their distinct style. Although they seem to take a different root for this song, they seem to pull it off. However, the breakdown part is a bit scrappy and runs on for a bit too long, but we are rewarded after that long breakdown with a huge ending that would go down so well live.

To get the full brash effect of this EP, your speakers need to be relatively loud so you can appreciate every element in there. After listening to the EP, I will be keeping my eyes wide open, looking out for a pair of STR tickets round my area.






Shatter Effect – Cold

Shatter Effect

Band: Shatter Effect

Hometown: West Midlands

In The Band: Rebecca Davies  ,Robin Davies, Ricky Hill ,Tom Karakas, Edd Duffell

Sounds Like: Depeche Mode, Coldplay (Bar Vocals)

Shatter Effects attempt at introducing the most hard-core indie/rock fans to the slightly more dance side of music is probably one of the best attempts I’ve ever heard as it’s swung me over. Whether it was intentional or not, Shatter Effect as new sort of indie dance music, with a slightly more uplifting feel surrounding it accompanied by some angelic vocals.

As they slowly introduce some subtle dance conventions, for example the atmospheric sounds and the slight change of the drum beat, the song starts become catchy. The riff is perhaps the main reason for this, as it continues to float throughout the whole piece it brings a mellow side to the song because not as overpowering as what I usually find myself listening too. Finally the track is immaculately produced, as there are no flaws in it at all, with no rough edges. After hearing this track by Shatter Effect, I will be more than likely following them to see if they release any new material, it’s something about their sound that just sits well with me.