Tag Archives: Polarnecks

EPs of 2017 (30-21)

Albums 30-21 – 20-11 – 10-1 EPs 30-2120-1110-1

30. Polarneck/Grand Pricks – Polarpricks [GoldMold]

Grand Pricks’ offer tracks that seem to always be building, replacing toe-tapping with jumping around wanting more, raucous anti-establishment punk which manages to deliver both the simple hook and feel of 80s skater punk, coupled with eloquent, carefully considered lyrics. Polarnecks hit you with thumping drums and catchy hooks, which mask the somewhat melancholy lyrics. Elements of garage surfer rock, but with a darker undertone, yet still full of swagger, coupled with self-deprecating lyrics, something that a lot of people will be able to identify with. It’s impossible to pick a side on the split, as both bands have a clear, defined style but still manage to create one record which is very difficult to put down, mostly because you will be constantly flipping it over trying to decide which side deserves to go first.

29. Forehead – Bedrooms Tapes [GoldMold]

Sean Garrett’s forehead is an extremely complex and nuanced thing, his solo act Forehead is even more so. Garrett has a number of tricks up his sleeve, not least Bedroom Tapes, the debut EP from Forehead. With catchy musical hooks – ranging in temperance – and soft, emotional and well delivered vocals, all wrapped up in quirky, sporadic, experimental production, there’s not much not to love about Forehead.

28. Radiophonic Tuckshop – Running Commentary [Last Night From Glasgow]

Crammed with distorted, powerpop riffs, dreamy harmonies, Beach Boys-inspired jams, delicious wonky pop and an anthemic footstomper of a closer with a grandiosity akin to Sparks in ‘As Hard As I Feel’, Running Commentary is unashamedly powered by a modern take on retro rock and roll which wears its influences on its sleeve.

27. Wendell Borton – Crawl [Fitlike]

Wendell Borton convey their sense of joviality and lightness quickly, kicking things off with the titular track ‘Crawl’. With some subtle, washed out production, some weird vocal harmonies and some unmistakably fun musical elements, this is a very endearing song, which opens a very endearing EP. A massive point to Wendell Borton’s credit is that their choice of musical lines is quite subversive; they would likely be decried as another group of pop-punk plonkers were it not for their habit of taking a lot of musical back roads.

24. The New Fabian Society – Choke

Choke found The New Fabian Society not wasting a second, gone are the days of 10-minute post punk epics, instead we’re hit with a more focused approach, which allows arguably a higher and more varied output from the band, who’ve been going nigh on five years. With influences that lean less on the psychedelic side here the band really take a punk focus and run with it, with drums soundings like they’re from an industrial rock album at times, bass switching from synth like to simply balls to the wall distortion and a layered production that lets the guitars shine through with more clarity than before.

25. American Clay – Sky Hooks [LP]

Sky Hooks shakes the loose skin off your face with its fuzz induced perfection, providing intelligent verses and humble choruses, forcing you to keep this record on constant repeat. American Clay’s debut EP is highly inventive with a distinctive, solid-stated sound; a ridiculously enjoyable record that gives off a playful, yet subtle maturity.

24. Lanark Artefax – Whities 011

Not one we’ve been hugely familiar with but Glaswegian producer Calum MacRae, a.k.a. Lanark Artefax, has been getting mighty praise all over for his alien techno tracks. Whities 011 fizzes with perplexing sonic complexities and crowd pleasing maximalism that fellow Glasgow boys Hudson Mohawke and Rustie have mastered, while also showing an ear from powerful emotive ambient tracks.

23. Laps – Who Me? [MIC]

LAPS returned after a three-year break and withWho Me? let everyone know that this isn’t some mere side project, cemented further by Cassie Ezeji’s other act Golden Tecaher seemingly calling it a day. It’s an EP that oozes an ultra cool vibe as the duo, who also features Organs of Love’s Alicia Matthews, woo us with an anarchic groove centred record that dips its toes into no-wave soul, mimial industirial dark rnb and dubbed-out house, with an entrancing variety of vocal deliveries.

22. Marble Gods – Songs [Marry Me]

Marbles Gods’ Songs was a wee pop gem for 2017, it’s the perfect wee fuzzy C86 channelled indie pop tape that instills bags of upbeat fun with a tongue-in-cheek humour. Here’s hoping that we get more like this in the near future.

21. Wojtek the Bear – Second Nature

Wojtek the Bear returned with Second Nature, an EP that takes the listener on a journey through changing opinions and lifestyle changes in a typically Scottish manner. The EP takes you on a journey from a band looking for answers and end with the acceptance that what will be will be, through reflective driving drums and melodic guitar. It’s rewarding listen that takes a look at some of the darker sides of Scottish culture through a relatable and almost cheery mirror.

Polarnecks/Grand Pricks – Polarpricks [GoldMold]

Split records seem to have sadly become a thing of the past, but when one does come along, it is a welcome throwback to a time when bands seemed to share a sense of community and it felt as though they actually got on.

With this in mind, the collaboration from two excellent Glasgow trios, Polarnecks and Grand Pricks makes for excellent listening.

We’ll start with Grand Pricks (as this is the side of the vinyl that ended up on top as I flipped it), their first offering ‘En Flique’ opens slowly with guitar and heartfelt lyrics tinged with reverb before being joined by driving bass and drums.

This track seems to always be building and by the time we reach a musical interlude before singer Liam launches back in with the lyrics “you don’t need another follower” the toe-tapping will have been replaced by jumping around wanting more.

On their second track ‘Don’t Vote’, Grand Pricks deliver what they promised at the end track one; this is two-and-a-half-minutes of raucous anti-establishment punk which manages to deliver both the simple hook and feel of 80s skater punk, coupled with eloquent, carefully considered lyrics; “maybe you won’t get what you want in May,” which seem to capture current political attitudes of disdain and apathy.

The first side of this split left me excited for what was coming as I turned it over and Polarnecks do not disappoint.

Their first track ‘Pretty’ charges forward with thumping drums and catchy hooks, which mask the somewhat melancholy lyrics.

This is a very well constructed track that has elements of garage surfer rock, but with a darker undertone.

This is a song full of swaggering music, coupled with self-deprecating lyrics, something that a lot of people will be able to identify with.

Second and final track ‘Dogs’ carries on this frenetic pace as it speeds along like a greyhound chasing a rabbit, full of twists and turns as you wonder what is going to come next as guitarist Lukas kicks his fender up and down the record.

As with both of the Polarnecks contributions to this record, the musicality and passion is very apparent.

The biggest compliment I can pay the two bands on this split is that I found it impossible to pick a side, as both bands have a clear, defined style but still manage to create one record which is very difficult to put down, mostly because you will be constantly flipping it over trying to decide which side deserves to go first.

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Words: Steven Aitken

GoldMold presents The Sinking Feeling, Polarnecks, FRAUEN, Grand Pricks at Bloc, 12/1/17

Every month, Glasgow based label and steadily growing titan of Scottish music GoldMold put on a gig at Bloc, these gigs are as free and they are good – extremely.

I love Bloc and it is a perfect venue for these gigs, but with groups being turned away at the door because it is so busy, a gig with as stellar and intense a line up as this may require a bigger dance hall.

The dance-floor is packed from the very first band, Grand Pricks – an elusive band that is better every time I see them.

Grand Pricks are good fun, their on-stage chemistry is enjoyable and they are no strangers to going bananas.

Their set tightens progressively as the show progresses – following a rocky start as described by drummer, Chris Smith.

By the end – in the full throes of their new songs – the music is fast, punctual and powerful; with each song’s difficult vocals being delivered with flawless consistency by vocalist Liam Allan.

Bassist Ben Mckay polishes off their set by fronting a weird and wonderful track, indicative of a whole other ballgame the band can play.

Second up is FRAUEN, whose first album is en route, and they capitalise well on the energy, FRAUEN take things from jolly frivolity to hard despair.

They are by no means an overly heavy or emotional band, but their punk-rock vibe is delivered with such nightmarish intensity, but at times the emotionally laden undercurrents of the music shine through.

Another band whose set grows ever tighter and more enjoyable as goes on, but they are done before you know it.

Polarnecks are a grungier outfit that are in studio with Grand Pricks at the moment recording a split EP on GoldMold with Lewis Glass.

Polarnecks present arguably the softest vocals despite some well placed screaming from frontman Lukas Clasen.

They have a distinctly more gazey approach with slightly sparser music; combined these qualities work well for them and gives them a distinctive sound.

The older tracks have a distinct hook, their new tracks, from the upcoming split, are somewhat more dynamic and less formulaic, perhaps indicative of a new direction or tone.

I doubt that by the end of their set there are many patrons whose appetites for this new EP are not whetted.

Last, The Sinking Feeling – the hardest-core of the night’s acts – and despite some initial clashing amongst the vocals, the full dance-floor is subjected to a very strong performance from some extremely passionate, well-attuned and technically gifted musicians.

The Sinking Feeling seems to involve three similarly minded individuals, the connection between whom comes across in their work.

After the set co-frontman Kenni Campbell reveals that he isn’t especially pleased with how the set went, since his hands were all but mush after playing with FRAUEN.

Any impediments caused by this mangling of hands is not apparent to me.

Two things that each of this gigs acts have in common is that they all finish stronger than they start, and they all make three musicians sound like five.

Each band has one guitar, one bass guitar and one set of drums and – between them – they push the dynamics of these instruments nice and far.

The night itself is better than each of the individual bands sets; excitement, community and friendliness prevail.

The greatest thing about it is that each of the acts is as excited to see the other bands as they are to play, and they are right to be so.

As Innes Nolan – drummer for Polarnecks and GoldMold mainstay Lovely Ladies – puts it, “rock and roll won”.

There is a palpable sense of community at these gigs; it is easy to make good friends here; you should come next time.

Feebruary 15th will see a joint birthday bash for the head honcho’s of GoldMold and the distinctly weirder and more electronic Crater Cove, headed by Lovely Ladies guitarist Cameron Orr.

Although the line up hasn’t been announced yet, I’m certain you could do considerably worse for free on a Thursday night; I will Hopefully see you there!

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Words: Paul Aitken

Doune the Rabbit Hole, 19-21/8/16

Doune the Rabbit Hole is now been pretty high our list of summer events, the family friendly vibe, typically diverse and entertaining line up and an array of delightful food, plus the influx of dogs make it one of the most delightful festivals of the summer.

Sadly my experience this year is smattered with illness and severely cuts short my festival experience, illness coupled with the rain drenched conditions weren’t the best pairing, but that’s no disrespect to the festival just an unfortunate scenario.

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My weekend begins on relatively well footing at the Jabberwocky Stage with Glasgow favourites Babe, after a long and painful, but completely necessary set up, get people moving from the off with glitchy synths that twinkle above the soggy field.

Still it’s rewarding stuff as Gerard Black, kitted out in green trackies and umbro training top, lets his soft yet high-pitched tones drift and sooth, never failing to put a smile on your face.

The band is joined later on by the delightful Rozi Plain who brings an extra touch of charm to set simply oozes it.

Hoping for a bit more glitchy brilliance we head over to the Parabola Stage to catch a bit of HQFU, sadly the stage suffers from a host of sound difficulties and the set’s low volume becomes somewhat lost in rain and chatter.

It’s a shame as Sarah J Stanley’s performance at its peak is an infectious experience, sadly this isn’t quite the ideal setting and the tunes simply meld into the surroundings.

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12-piece Scots-Irish folk super group, Treacherous Orchestra fill up the Jabberwocky Stage as they treat the crowd to an engaging, high-energy musical showcase which encompasses bagpipes, guitars, whistles, fiddles, double bass, banjo and drums alongside many others.

Their cabaret style set-up complete with outfits that could stand up to the likes of My Chemical Romance creates a truly entertaining performance, which encourages not only foot tapping from the crowd, but also some full on ceilidh dancing.

Both Treacherous Orchestra’s style and sound is the perfect fit for the eccentric Doune The Rabbit Hole and just what is needed to get you in the mood to dance the night away.

We’re in high-sprits as we make our way back to the Parabola to catch personal favourites Bossy Love.

At first I’m worried Bossy Love’s huge sound will suffer the fate as HQFU did earlier in by appearing on this smaller wooden stage, however Amandah Wilkinson’s sweet, thick vocals and catchy chants power through showcasing her true talent.

Per usual Wilkinson holds an enormous presence on the stage encouraging the audience to dance their hearts out as she leaps off the stage to join the in the crowd.

Bossy Love possess everything you could possibly want from a RnB/pop duo as both Wilkinson and her partner John Baillie Jnr.’s immense energy, catchy melodies and defining facial expressions create a highly entertaining performance.

By the time Blanck Mass takes to the Baino Stage it’s getting a bit late, but such is Benjamin John Power’s mastery of this drone-y experimental dance sound that it’s something that keeps you dancing to entrancing end.

Every part of the set seems to fall into the right place without ever needing to hint a big drop; it’s expressive, glowing and immersive stuff and the perfect end to an evening before things take a downward turn that sees me spending most of Saturday in the medical tent.

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Leaving Iain behind to get some much-needed rest I head to the arena in time to catch some of Admiral Fallow‘s uplifting set.

The Scottish folk ensemble treats the crowd to tracks both old and new as their soaring guitars, tender harmonies and atmospheric melodies feel perfectly at home.

The highlight of their set comes in the form of personal favourite ‘Guest of the Government’ as even those not familiar to the band can not help but move to its catchy beats.

With a temporary change in lineup Polarnecks are the next on tonight’s list, providing a darker emotive sound than tonight’s previous performances, the trio act as a refreshing change to the festival’s scene.

Combining gloomy melodies, thundering guitars and echoing vocals with a touch of unnerving distortion Polarnecks live show truly showcases their strong musicianship, which, alongside thought-provoking lyrics, create an overall a distinctive sound.

Having only recently arrived back in the country after some months away in Thailand I am excited to see the effects travelling have had on December ’91‘s sound.

Playing solo tonight doesn’t hush frontman Craig Ferrie’s booming vocals as he gives a truly heartfelt and powerful performance.

Ferrie’s onstage presence is as endearing as always, as he continually cracks jokes with his intimate audience.

Even though smaller than most crowds this weekend, its size works in Ferrie’s favour allowing him to deliver a set more than capable of sending shivers down your spine.

By the time I make it to along to Whistleblower Stage for Shopping‘s set the night is beginning to become quite blurry, however the trio still manage to make quite a memorable impact as they bounce around the stage and encourage the crowd to do the same.

Combining lo-fi guitars, angular riffs and yelping vocals Shopping treat their audience to a variety of catchy upbeat tunes from a mix of their albums, which truly showcase both their showmanship and musical skill; a wonderful end to an excellent evening of live music.

Sadly the aforementioned illness means we only make it along to one of Sunday’s performances, however we have saved the best to last as the incredible TeenCanteen serve as the highlight of the weekend.

Covered in glitter and dressed like they’ve just come from a fairy themed-fancy dress party, TeenCanteen’s aesthetics perfectly match their sound as they deliver a set packed full of catchy beats, heartfelt lyrics and elegant harmonies from the band’s three frontwoman.

Their sickly-sweet indie-pop melodies are the perfect soundtrack to this afternoon’s sunshine, and being able to sit on the grass by the Jackerwocky Stage brings back good memories of last year’s better health and weather.

More Photos

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Words: Iain Dawson / Jess Lavin
Photos: Leif Nicholi Alexander Langvand

Video Premiere: Polarnecks – Peace of Mind

Over the last year or so Polarnecks’ dark, emotive sound has evolved into something mature and captivating.

Their latest release, ‘Peace of Mind’ taken from this year’s Scary Things EP, sees the band at possibly their most upbeat and it’s our pleasure to premiere the new video, which reflects this vibe has a video.

The video, produced by Paul Wilkie, sees a couple of pals (one with no eyes) enjoying life with a trip down the park with some magic cans, and features plenty of cheekily humourous effects to keep you more than entertained.

The track also features on GoldMold Records’ upcoming Spring Sampler 2016, which features 25 tracks from an array of talents artists associated with the label.

The Sampler, which gives a taste of what’s to come from the exciting DIY label, is release and launched on June 2nd at Broadcast with performances from Polarnecks, Lovely Ladies and Grand Picks, advance tickets are available for a bargain £3.

Polarnecks – Scary Things [Gold Mold]

Scary Things is the latest EP from Glasgow-based trio Polarnecks; a record which maintains the band’s dark, emotive sound while displaying a new maturity in their output.

‘Miles Away’ kicks off with a menacing intro to an ominous rock and roll tune; there are hints of Placebo at times, strong 80s influences at others and a sombre atmosphere underpins the track throughout.
Soon, it is the stylish riffs and echoing vocals of ‘Lungs’, a more modern sounding take on the band’s troubled aura; roaring guitars bring an impressive track to a sudden end which leads into unnerving distortion.

‘Basketball’, where the echoing vocals remain, flows forbiddingly with occasional darkened nods to the grunge scene before a thundering conclusion.
‘Peace of Mind’, a slightly more upbeat (or at least less gloomy!) track with an addictive melody, suggests some Idlewild influences during another intense song.

The penultimate track is ‘Empty’, in which a fast-paced intro never dissipates, giving the song momentum, and the vocals boasting a punk edge; with impressive riffs and stylish drum loops throughout, the angst-riddled chorus features occasional wailing vocals and the concluding cries of “what is the point?” sum up the emotions behind the song.

Closer ‘Skeleton Boy’ endows a captivating bassline from the off, taking a slow melodic journey through slick interludes and harrowing vocals; the song’s power grows as the track progresses to the EP’s end.

Overall, it’s pretty clear that the harrowing vocals and dreary sound are what Polarnecks are about and it is music the band purvey very well indeed; rather than simply being dark for the sake of it, this is a band who seem able to produce music from the troubled inner reaches of the human psyche.

If that sounds like your bag, definitely give Scary Things a bash.

Words: Jay Henderson

Gold Mold Records 2015 Spring Sampler [Gold Mold]

Glasgow micro-label Gold Mold records have to date brought a few physical releases into the world, and their first attempt at a compilation highlights some of the best alternative music from Glasgow and beyond right now.

It begins with a bang with the aptly named ‘Awake’ by Polarnecks, which is then followed by the band with the best name on this release, grunge outfit Grand Prix (who have previously released a split 7” on Gold Mold, under the name KINGSARMS).

A highlight of this compilation is the melancholic ‘Est-Ce La Fin’ by Gourock songwriter I Am David Laing, Ryan Drever of PAWS fame’s side project Dearness provides another two tracks later with ‘It’s Ok, You’re Fine’

A piece of stellar instrumental math-rock from Albert Shakespeare proves to be the penultimate track on this release before the sombre sounding ‘Shame’ by Dec’ 91, played solo on a guitar concludes a release which is a very good example of the goings on in the Glasgow D.I.Y scene at the moment, and is hopefully a sign of things to come from this label, who on this compilation ease you in to what Gold Mold Records is all about.

Words: Neil Hayton

PAWS, Polarnecks at The Poetry Club

Fresh from being nominated for the Scottish Album of the Year Award, Glasgow based trio PAWS play a sold out show in The Poetry Club.

Support for the evening comes from Polarnecks; it’s a very lively set from the Glasgow based alt/punk rock band, with emotive lyrics, rasping guitars and a drummer that makes you dizzy just watching him, they really set the tone for the rest of the evening.

Suitably warmed up, PAWS take to stage; their first show in Glasgow this year and they return back with a bang!

Bursting into a heavy new song, ‘Complete Contempt’, then straight into crowd favourite ‘Tongues’.

A timid crowd to begin with but PAWS are veterans in working a crowd and the whole room is dancing and singing in no time.

Highlights include ‘Bloodline’, crowd sing-along ‘Catherine 1956’ and ‘Miss American Bookworm’, which, according to bassist Ryan Drever, is only the fourth time the band have played it live ever.

Also, we were treated to some new songs from the forthcoming third album

The night finishes, “quickly, before we get kicked out!”, with frontman, Philip Taylor joining us in the crowd to play last single, ‘Owls Talons Clenching My Heart’, inviting the crowd to sing with him.

The sheer talent and musicianship shines through the closing song as they stop and start in between sections flawlessly despite not being able to see one another.

The band finished the hour-long set looking exhausted, but extremely proud of the performance they had just put on.

PAWS are rapidly growing a great fan-base not only in the UK but also overseas in the US.

Recently touring with We Are Scientists, their new best pals, it has also just been announced that new friend Mark Hoppus will be helping them in recording their upcoming album.

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Words/Photos: Nathan Matheson

EPs of 2014

Daniel Mutch – Remedy & Therapy18 Daniel Mutch – Remedy & Therapy

With Remedy & Therapy, Mutch has managed to present us with five remarkable tracks well worth spilling out of any speaker or set of headphones over the winter period and we’d be fools not to oblige.

[review]

So Many Animal Calls – Burden18 So Many Animal Calls – Burden [Bloc+]

So Many Animal Calls are most definitely back, and they state their intent from the off on Burden, with huge sounding guitars and some well thought out, melodic bridge sections. This is a coming of age of So Many Animal Calls, who’s first EP since 2011’s Eulogy is a fine showing of the unique brand of Scottish indie they’re trying to create.

[review]

Foreign Skies – This Human Error18 Foreign Skies – This Human Error

This Human Error is a fierce and talented post-rock torrent that will not leave anyone indifferent. Foreign Skies is one of the best new bands that could be added to this already massive musical Scottish layer’s cake.

[review]

The Great Albatross – Roots14 The Great Albatross – Roots [Count Your Lucky Stars]

Originally from the USA, Wesley Chung of The Great Albatross has been seen bringing his fantastic acoustic music round Glasgow over the last year or so. His debut EP is something that not enough people are talking about; featuring some the of the most fantastic acoustic tracks, with great songwriting and a great voice, The Great Albatross is really something to check out. (Iain Gillon)

Happy Meals – Apero14 Happy Meals – Apero [Night School]

Where Happy Meals’ debut release Apéro differs from their kid targeting meal namesake by providing all the fun and colour without any nastiness. From first listen the organic natural vibe stands out, distinguishing Happy Meals from a majority of lo-fi electronic acts, whose identities often feel too contrived to have any soul.

[review]

Bellow Below – BIG WHOOP14 Bellow Below – Big Whoop[Good Grief]

Following a brief absence, Bellow Below return with a second serving of atmospheric math-rock, in the guise of Big Whoop. Continuing the themes of previous EP, Hooks, in less immediate terms, the band expertly weaves intricate rhythms and melodies with floating vocals throughout. (Kyle McCormick)

[review]

The Monty Hall Problem – Holy14 The Monty Hall Problem – Holy

Holy continued the Glasgow four-piece’s reverberated rock n’ roll momentum, while a couple of high profile support slots will have done their popularity no harm at all.

 

Machines In Heaven – Hindu Milk10 Machines In Heaven – Hindu Milk [Hotgem]

Hindu Milk is a clutter of weird bleeps and bloops tidied into the shape of an awesome electronic EP. While label mates Atom Tree took a more commercial route for their own latest release, Machines in Heaven went in the opposite direction and created something that sounds like a particularly melodic and rhythm-heavy 90’s Gameboy game dipped in production knowledge and a songwriter’s imagination; strange and joyous. (Greg Murray)

[review]

Skinny Dipper – Masks10 Skinny Dipper – Masks [Olive Grove]

Skinny Dipper are “Almost a girl band” because eight of their nine members are female, including their incredible vocalists who supply harmonies in abundance on this EP. In terms of composition you could draw similarities with the traditional aspect of Fat-Suit, this being owed to the jubilant and emotional sounding strings which contribute to an EP that is everything you could want from a Scottish indie-folk-almost-girl-band; really, really beautiful. (Greg Murray)

[review]

Cara Mitchell – Afraid of the Dark10 Cara Mitchell – Afraid of the Dark [AGP]

Folk tales that occupy a sparse and beautiful landscape; Mitchell’s hushed vocals and expressive lyrics combine to enchanting effect. (Brendan Sloan)

[review]

Hector Bizerk – The Fish That Never Swam10 Hector Bizerk – The Fish That Never Swam

From supporting Public Enemy to putting on their own club night, Hector Bizerk have always blazed a trail for Scottish hip hop and now with added bass and horns they might just be the soundtrack to its Saturday night out.

[review]

Polarnecks – Never Heard of Sports9 Polarnecks – Never Heard of Sports

I feel like the title might be a play on words/reference to Modern Baseball, although I can’t be sure; if it is, then it works. They do share a sound, although Polarnecks are heavier and less whiney. Polarnecks sound like everyone’s first favourite band; it’ll be interesting to see how they progress next year. (Alisa Wylie)

[review]

Poor Frisco – Poor Frisco8 Poor Frisco – Poor Frisco

On their eponymous EP, Poor Frisco find themselves channeling classic era Guided By Voices, commendable indeed; a tight and melodious band set firmly in the classic indie rock mold. (Brendan Sloan)

[review]

Nieves – Nieves7 Nieves – Nieves

Nieves first self-titled EP offers listeners a beautifully simple and stripped back record with mature honest lyrics sung in a warm authentic Scottish accent alongside an enchanting piano and softly plucked guitar. The simplicity of this record is what makes it so captivating allowing Brendan Dafters beautiful vocals and heartfelt lyrics get the attention they deserve. (Jess Lavin)

[review]

SHARPTOOTH – Come Cut Me Open4 SHARPTOOTH – Come Cut Me Open [NUMBER4DOOR]

Come Cut Me Open has most of the things I love about music in it: slow guitars, haunting vocals and a hell of an atmosphere. The pace of the album is also a big selling point, if most bands were to write songs like these they’d probably try to speed them up, the fact SHARPTOOTH haven’t done this adds to the EP and makes them stand out from the crowd a bit. (Phil Allen)

[review]

Atom Tree – Clouds4 Atom Tree – Clouds [Hotgem]

A classy and assured young act, producing sounds that are both intimate and expansive. (Brendan Sloan)

[review]

Great Cop – Stay Human4 Great Cop – Stay Human [Struggletown]

I had heard about these guys for a while and I’d always meant to check them out; listening to Stay Human makes me wish I’d done so sooner. It’s a great introduction to the band and pulls you in right away. Though there are only three songs, it’s rammed full of big riffs and staunch vocals; cathartic, obviously Scottish, grimey – but not dirty – punk; also fucking great. (Alisa Wylie)

[review]

Cutty’s Gym – Sick Glass3 Cutty’s Gym – Sick Glass [Bloc+]

Without uttering a word, Cutty’s Gym portrays an unavoidable air of immediacy and anger in their debut EP. Building a following from a string of sweaty live shows, these four tracks present the band as a more exciting, yet wordless, Royal Blood, set to blister into the instrumental big leagues. (Kyle McCormick)

[review]

Tuff Love – Junk2 Tuff Love – Junk [Lost Map]

Junk is a masterpiece of pop and sublime vocal harmonies; the tracks are sparse but everything about every track is memorable. Everything holds together so well and Tuff Love have crafted one of the finest EPs to come from Scotland this year, let’s hope the follow up is just as good. (Phil Allen)

[review]

Pronto Mama – Niche Market1 Pronto Mama – Niche Market [Instinctive Racoon]

Pronto Mama is a band capable of leaving great mood. Niche Market is packed full of charming harmonies, hearty melodies and cheerful brass sure to warm your heart and leave with a smile on your face. (Jess Lavin)

[review]

Dec ’91, Polarnecks, Jason Riddell at Bloc, 21/10/14

First up, Jason Riddell starts his set without his bassist making the crowd laugh, as they appear halfway through the first song.

Riddell’s voice is soulful and passionate, echoing through the already busy venue, the atmosphere is warm and welcoming, the crowd relaxed, as they tap their feet along.

Riddell’s style is reminiscent of a Scottish City & Colour offering lyrics just as heartfelt and meaningful, ‘Get Off On The Big Wave’ exposes both Riddell’s song writing skills and vocal range, a highlight of tonight’s set.

Towards the end of his set Riddell switches to an electric guitar and welcomes Polarnecks’ drummer Innes Nolan to the stage before stating that they’ve “never done this before” leaving the crowd anxious to hear the new collaboration.

The final songs are much heavier, but provide a refreshing change waking the crowd up for the rest of tonight’s show.

The sound of crashing guitars fills the venue as Polarnecks begin their set, making the now very crowded room shake.

Polarnecks style is loud, fast and gritty, it’s the kind of music that makes the floor pound beneath your feet, grabbing your attention and not letting go.

Three songs in, they slow it down a bit, leading the crowd into a false sense of security before jumping back in with some incredible harmonies as they clearly enjoy tonight’s show.

Tonight’s headliner takes to the stage greeted by loud cheers, Dec ’91 does not hold back, filling the room with a powerful sound.

The next few songs are more stripped back, showcasing Dec ’91’s truly unique sound, perfect for tonight’s intimate show, things speed up with personal favourite ‘I Know You’re Sad’, which is greeted by a positive reaction from the crowd.

Dec ’91 gives it his all during the final song and new single ‘Fuck You’ in a pleasing close to tonight’s set.

On my departure I can’t help but think that tonight’s show is really something special, showing that you don’t need a large venue or lots of effects to put on a good show, just some good friends who share the same passion for music as you.

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Words: Jess Lavin