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Korn

With the loss of a founding member after more than a decade together, many bands would have struggled to maintain the same passion and enthusiasm that has driven them to such a lengthy and successful career in the first place. Bakersfield rock icons Ko├čn, however, are not one of them. With a new line-up, new label and new album; things are once again firmly on the up. The first single from their forthcoming album ‘See You On The Other Side‘, ‘Twisted Transistor’ is the sound of a band very much still at the top of their game. A perfect blend of pop sensibility and haunting hard rock melodies, it’s a song to silence all cynics, and further proof that this is a band very much “here to stay”.

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Regulations

When old school punk rock US style hits the speakers here, it takes us back to the good old days of Minor Threat, 7 Seconds, Adolescents and JFA which can only be described as the golden days especially as the word punk rock is so over used thesedays in the pop world. So it was refreshing to slam this CD into the wookie box here and find a gem explode through the speakers.

Regulations are a 4-piece from Sweden featuring ex-members (and some current members) of E.T.A., Dead Ones, and The Vectors and bring snotty, charging, old school hardcore that will leave you wanting to smash the place up and go skating after one listen. Stand out tracks span all across the record but one i particularly find myself singing more than often is “Police Siren” that you camn hear on this page, but you can’t go wrong with any of these 12 tracks as they all individually creep into one another to create an album full of the sort of punk you wanna hear every day. End It Now has Minor Threat written all over it, Fashion Girl has the Dead Boys, I Don’t Need has to go on a skate video or else, I Feel Sick has the same attitude as the Circle Jerks, 1945 is on the same tip and so on….you get the message.

If you like hardcore, you know that this shit gets you up in the morning, it also can save your arse if you are on a down about somehting or other, so think yourself lucky that people still make this stuff…right, i’m off to slash up a curb…go buy one today!

Zac

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Good Shoes

South London’s Morden has never had it so good because the end of the Northern Line has produced a 4 piece band that should go on to electrify the country with their own version of heartfelt indie pop. Fronted by the eccentric singer Rhys Jones, the band play pop music associated with Tom Verlaine’s Television crossed with the vocal sneer of Richard Hell all mixed up with the faintest of fuzz through the guitar strings in the same stricken vien as The Wedding Present and Belle and Sebastian. Small Town Girl is the first single to be released through Young and Lost Club and brings a fresh sound and approach to the indie scene that will catch on around the country without a doubt. Skaters on this site would remember them from the Southbank Comp video where one of their tunes In The City was used in the edit. Keep your eyes out for this lot as you will be hearing a lot more of them in the future. This ltd single is out now.

Live date:

Nov 12 Angular Records club night, London

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The Black Dahlia Murder

“You know, every other band playing today has been yapping on about how awesome it is to be sharing a bill with Metallica. Well we fucking HATE Metallica!” In one statement, Detroit death metal quintet The Black Dahlia Murder had transformed the Barfly Stage of 2004’s Download Festival into a mixing bowl of boos, cheers, laughter; and sheer disbelief. As I stood among the crowd with what can only be described as a shit eating grin spread across my face, one thing became blatantly obvious. This is a band that takes absolutely no prisoners. New album ‘Miasma’ sees the group stating this conclusion sonically as well as verbally, hoisting modern day metal further up the ladder in the process. A devastating mix of traditional death metal savagery and thrash metal technicality, it’s the type of album that comes along once in a blue moon; blurring the lines and smashing all boundaries of the contemporary scene.

Boasting gut-wrenching roars, screaming guitars and thundering drums – ‘I’m Charming’ is the type of balls-out metal anthem that separates the strong from the weak. ‘Miasma’ is out now through Metal Blade Records.

Ryan Bird

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Ween

Ween are one of the best bands in the world, its that simple. Over the years they have produced and written some of the best alternative records ever released and year by year they come back with another slice of the Ween pie for your listening pleasure. The beautiful fact about Ween s that they can play any genre, twist it and make it sound cool. Shinola Volume 1 is the first album to be released of tracks that have been left around the studio floor waiting to get out for ages. Well now, Ween fans everywhere will be delighted to see that an entire album of previously unreleased material is now on the shelf via Schnitzel Records with enough different tracks on there for you to melt over. For real fans of this band you know what we mean when we say that you will not be disappointed as this is yet another great slice of Ween to add to the collection in the same vein as the classic “Chocolate and Cheese” album that put the duo firmly on the map.

It’s as unpredictable as ever and a must have in your collection but I will hand you over to Dean Ween for his view on it: “The album contains killer new mixes of a lot of songs that have been floating around. I don’t mind telling you that it’s a really great record. The record was produced and mixed by Andrew Weiss and Ween and it’s an ugly one. You really wanna pick this up, I’m not shitting you.” Mickey Melchiondo (aka Dean Ween)

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Test Icicles

A 3 piece punk rock band with a difference is just about to enter your world. This is no ordinary trio, these kids are making some of the best new rocking tracks out there right now and this brand new single just adds more belief that this will travel further than the their raucous Boa vs Python EP in the summertime this year. The Icicles seem have a different slant on the word chaos and this is pop proof they can mix a tune into such anarchy.

Circle Square Triangle takes the chaotic influences from bands like At The Drive In, Brainiac and Billy Talent and adds a disco beat that creeps into your system like speed at a best friends wedding. The album that is coming out soon will be a must have, but get this first and get your fix before everyone knows about them. Out on October 24th on Domino Records.

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Diamond Nights

Diamond Nights are a 4 piece from NYC, they have tunes style in common with Thin Lizzy and take rock and roll a few steps forward in the chain to the indie world. This album grows on you from the start and features an array of very catchy tracks that ooze rock and roll cool. Tracks like the wonderful 7″ single “Destination Diamonds” that was released in the summer, the sneaky “Drip Drip”, and the blatant charge of “It’s a Shocka” are just 3 classic tracks on this album. But then you have the Led Zep influenced “Red Hex” and Billy Idol styled “The Girls Attractive”, “City of Love” and also the mellow side of the band with tracks like the wonderful “Snakey” Ruth” and “Ordinary Life”.

This band are destined for big things, especially if they have the nerve to release the track “Dirty Thief” as a bone fide single as this track could clean up on any drive time radio show and would be destined for the charts aross the planet. This album is highly recommended if you like catchy rock music with a twist. Out now on Kemado Records and highyl recommended.

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Morning Runner

Remember their amazing track in the summer Gone Up In Flames? Well, this single is the second single from the ever impressive Morning Runner who are on course to start giving Coldplay a run for their money. The similarities are only found in the way that some tracks are piano led and they each carry emotional songs that you will not forget in a hurry. The indie scene is becoming a hot bed for impressive songwriters right now and different production techniques allow these bands to rise to the very top. Morning Runner sem to be already there but we look forward to the album dropping in January as we are sure there’s plenty more to come….

Watch the video on this page and stream the single that was released on October 24th.

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Atmosphere

“They’ve arrived! With the excitement of a new born, came to join the main event and fight against the luke warm” proclaims Slug, marking his return after 2 years out since his group’s last release and even after the first 30 seconds of this opening track, it is clear that they aren’t just in the main event, they are the clear champions.

Ant’s beats on this record show a vast array of diversity as the canvas on which Slug’s lyrical paint floods the headphones with his usual self-depreciation and fantastic story-telling ability. The opening few tracks kick the speakers down as the heavy bass and head-nod inducing drums bump along to Slug’s oratory with samples thrown in, taken from all manner of tracks mentioning the word “atmosphere” in “The Arrival”, the beauty industry in “Panic Attack” and a bumbling humming in “Watch Out”.

Following the brutal boom bap of the opening trio of songs, comes the Scenester-dissing “Musical Chairs” which centres around a high pitched humming and smooth beat which flows around Slug’s descriptions of people that are followed simply because they look good and aren’t viewed beyond their surface traits. Slug then moves into familiar territory when he maligns his “Lucy”, the bane of his existence of broken relationships and personal trauma when he raps on “Say Hey There” over a joint piano and organ led sample and gospel style singing. The piano samples continue with a more laid back number “Hockey Hair” which Slug claims in the linear notes is a song about how he “fucking loves rap”.

Ant then brings in his interpretation of punk into hip hop with “Bam” which features a prominent bass line and a brief sample of “Flesh” from their 3rd album “God Loves Ugly”. This track is short and sharp and shows Slug’s ability to rock the mic hard forcing you to get off your seat and put a fist in the air to rock the bass with the duo from Minnesota.

As hard a beat as “Bam” knocks out, it is the following number, “Pour Me Another” which shows Atmosphere at their most prominent. Another piano sample brings in a softer beat as Slug soulfully describes how problems can often be thrown back with a few shots until you’re left numb and blissfully forgetful of how your life has taken a turn for the worse. With a feel good vibe and twanging guitar pushing things along on “Smart Went Crazy”, Slug flows about loving his home town, being on the road too long before switching it up with a much more late night tempo on “Angelface” which describes waking up in any random place and meeting the people that you come across, thus giving us the pros and cons of travelling and touring with his music.

“Get Fly” is another booty shaker which wouldn’t be out of place at a funky disco with a beat reminiscent of the Jackson 5 though it is the two songs that sandwich it which bring out the most poignant and heartfelt sides of Mr Daley. “That Night” details what happened at a show in Albuquerque in 2003, when a girl was raped and killed at one of their shows by a man with a history of sexual assaults, and whilst the bluesy intro makes you think you’re in for another good time, Slug’s sombre and almost spoken delivery lets you into the dark world that powers his work. He finishes the track by telling the guilty man that “If you ever find God, better pray to her and ask that we never cross paths”.

The album finishes off with “Little Man”, a song split into three letters, one to Slug’s 11 year old son Jacob, one to his father and one to himself. He tells his son that he wishes he was able to be around more but that he is proud that his little man has grown up to be strong and even teach Slug how to deal with his estranged partner. He tells his dad that he loves him because he learnt from his mistakes whilst regretting not patching up the cracks sooner, and he finishes the album by telling himself that he’s too old, that he’s losing his touch and that he wishes himself luck. However, on the evidence of the 13 tracks just heard, he’s neither lost his touch, nor needs luck. I can believe how much fun he’s having, because I’ve just spent the best 51 minutes of my life having fun myself.

People call Atmosphere “Emo-Hop”, people call Atmosphere sell outs, people compare Atmosphere to miserable guitar bands just to be able to place them into a sphere the reviewer understands himself. You can call Atmosphere whatever you want, you can compare them to whoever you want, but do yourself a favour, buy this album. Once you’ve heard this, you’ll never give a damn about whether Emo-Hop exists or not, because you’ll be too busy having a good time. And just in case you forgot, I’ll let the emcee remind you: “Who they blame when the game’s in a tight spot? Slug, you can find me in the A’s on your ipod”.

Sam Hesketh

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Beastie Boys

Ah, the Beasties are back but this time with a full 15 track compilation of all the best tunes across the 24 years that they have been in business recording tracks. This is the comp you have been waiting for, even the record company got the track listing correct as every track you would have had in your own playlists are featured on this CD and ltd edition DVD set.

You name it, it’s on here: Intergalactic, Shake Your Rump, Check Your Head, No Sleep ‘Til Brooklyn, Fight For Your Right, So What’cha Want, Brass Monkey, Sabotage, Ch-Check It Out, An Open Letter To NYC Triple Trouble and much more. The band are NOT breaking up so don’t worry that this is the last record they will be releasing as they are currently working on new material for 2006, but this beauty should be one for your xmas stockings this year, get it on ‘cos this winter could be a cold one and should be the record to warm the cockles of your heart…

Check out the video for Brass Monkey on this page and look back at a 24 year career that any band would be seriously proud of. Nice one Beasties, you rock!