Gengahr – A Ladder

Hackney based London indie chaps Gengahr are dipping their toes in the water again, after a two year break, with new single ‘A Ladder’. A perky, upbeat tune with a sun-drenched slant, the playful track is backed by sliding bass and effervescent instrumentation, alongside what the band themselves refer to as “cartoon-like imagery”.

Photo Credit: David J East

We’ve come to expect intrepid experimentation and some startlingly original sounds on your average Gengahr track,three albums and nine years into their career they’ve never been ones to rehash the same noises but, much like Foals decision to go all-out party mode on ‘Life Is Yours’, Gengahr appear to have thrown their lot totally into feel-good, loved up bliss in this next era and we’re fully into it.

We think it’s safe to say a new album will be announced shortly, but for the time being you can view the outstanding video for ‘A Ladder’ which sees the band mock-scientifically examine the song’s lyrics, decked out in lab coats, grasping microscopes, with the aid of some nifty old school graphics and a telescope. Bit of a 1980’s Open University/Look Around You vibe. See for yourself below:

The View – Feels Like

Dundee’s most famous musical sons, The View, are back after an eight year break with punchy new single ‘Feels Like’. If you were only paying attention at the start of the Scottish scamps career you may be expecting an unruly Libertines-esque affair of clattering guitars and sozzled harmonica but The View have come some way since ‘Same Jeans’ and ‘Superstar Tradesman’, classic singles though obviously they were.

‘Feels Like’ sees the reenergised and refocussed trio tackle an anthemic melody the like of which fellow Scots Teenage Fanclub would have delivered in their mightiest of heydays. The guitars are janglier than before, with a chorus as cocksure and peppy as anything they’ve put their name to, singer Kyle Falconer’s rasp remaining perfectly inimitable.

‘Feels Like’ is the first single from The View’s forthcoming LP ‘Exorcism Of Youth’ due out on 9th June 2023. It’s available to pre-order now on loads of formats, including a nifty white vinyl. The tracklist is below:

1. ‘Exorcism of Youth’
2. ‘Feels Like’
3. ‘The Wonder of It All’
4. ‘Arctic Sun’
5. ‘Shovel In His Hands’
6. ‘Allergic To Mornings’
7. ‘Black Mirror’
8. ‘Neon Nights’
9. ‘Dixie’
10. ‘Woman of the Year’
11. ‘Footprints in the Sand’
12. ‘Tangled’

You can listen to ‘Feels Like’ on YouTube below:

Basic State – Far Too Soon

Cardiff lads Basic State have come out with a solid new single packed to bursting with effortless rock’n’roll thrills. Clearly taking inspiration from grunge and indie greats like The Strokes, Nirvana and Fontaines D.C, if the South Wales quintet set out to write a tune that would get their loyal crowds of gig-goers pogoing with the same gusto they would give those aforementioned heroes, they’ve succeeded.

With all the high confidence of a group who know they’ve created a serious banger, ‘Far Too Soon’ is welcomed in with a rapping of drumsticks before the gale force 11 guitar blast takes over and frontman Harvey Sivell gives it his all with a vocal about bumping into an ex-lover before you’re ready, a sheet of lyrics and some lightning riffs that Noel Gallagher himself would be satisfied with.

‘Far Too Soon’ was released back on 6th January 2023. If you want to catch the group live they’re playing Clwb Ifor Bach in Cardiff on 6th May 2023. You can hear ‘Far Too Soon’ on Spotify

SHLUG – Baby Teef

If we were to analyse it, we tend to throw the word punk around quite free and easily when bands shout their lyrics and play spiky guitar bits with a limited number of chords. SHLUG, however, are PUNK, not just with a capital P but with a capital every letter. ‘Baby Teef’ is hardcore. You can almost smell and feel the flecks of sweat flying off the trio’s flailing scalps and limbs as their buzzsaw riffs get executed. A welcome, empowering assault to the senses, SHLUG use their smelting anger as a unifying power against youthful feelings of embarrassment and feeling excluded, declaring the empathetic call: “Born a leech. Just like me” to all appreciative experiencers of their tempestuous mission.

As much of Cardiff’s best music is right now, the record is produced by Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard’s emergent genius of a frontman Tom Rees, yet it’s hard to imagine the noise-rockers’ sound being further away from their Clwb Music labelmate’s (unless they sounded like Little Mix maybe). Weighing in at a hefty 6 minutes, even though there’s literal blood dripping out of our throbbing ears when it’s all over, we’re still sat here gagging for more.

‘Baby Teef’ was released on 25th January 2023 on Cardiff label Clwb Music and if you like what you read and hear you can catch the lads playing The Golden Lion in Bristol on 2nd March 2023, and as part of the massive Midnight Mass bank holiday line up on 9th April 2023 at Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff. You can watch the record’s rambunctious video below:

Death Of The High Street – Not Fair

We love it every time this moment comes around, when Derby’s Death Of The High Street get together another incendiary new single release for our aural gratification, particularly so this time around as latest single ‘Not Fair’ is extra-special, with electric, industrial, post-punk guitar lines and complicated affection being the order of the day.

A slight departure from the group’s previous material, ‘Not Fair’ revolves more explicitly about a staunch melody, as opposed to DOTHS usual outright ragingly passionate proclivity, encouraging frontman and lyricist Scott Baxter to sing a few bars (I mean, blink and you’ll miss it still) rather than go flat out with their regular spoken-word type delivery. The track’s personal subject matter may be reason for this change of tack, deliberating the messy, emotionally tangled tug-of-war of long-term relationships and leaving alone the urge to spit and splutter at society for a bit.

‘Not Fair’ is Death Of The High Street’s sixth single release and a solid addition to the band’s astounding canon of the punk rock political and the human. It’s out to listen to and enjoy right now. And if you can hold onto your seats for a while longer, a brand new video for the track is due out on the 16th February 2023. You can hear the track on Spotify at the link below:

Swim School – delirious

Scottish three piece Swim School have steadily been releasing very remarkable indie rock song after very remarkable indie rock song for the past two years but on latest single ‘delirious’ the group have decided to say a massive “fuck it”, turned their amps up to earbleeding levels, harnessed every bit of distortion and feedback they could generate and made a snarling, jeering, punk rock blowout of a single.

Digging into the difficult to decipher lyrics, the song is all about the rife sexism and misogyny throughout the music industry, singer Alice Johnson’s vocals are twisted into appropriately unyielding sounds to match the accompanying jagged guitar squalls and psychotic drumming, creating a mood that hits somewhere between magnificently aggressive and deliciously unhinged.

Swim School are heading out on tour shortly supporting the excellent Softcult and tickets are still available now. The group are also supporting the mighty Pixies on 17th March in Birmingham but tickets for that gig are very much no longer available and sold out.

Find the lyric video for ‘delirious’ below on YouTube:

Dolores Forever – When I Say So

Dropping anchor somewhere between the calculated cool of Wet Leg and the ascendant emotion of Mitski, up and coming indie dreampop duo Dolores Forever follow up their string of 2022 EPs with mesmeric new single ‘When I Say So’, a track built around an icily sparse drumbeat, sonorous bassline and a massive, synth adorned chorus.

Hailing from Yorkshire and Copenhagen, Hannah Wilson and Julia Fabrin describe their blistering new record as being “about reluctantly growing up. There’s the moment when you’re suddenly not the ingénue in the room anymore and everything around you is changing”, drawing on influences from Haim to Fleetwood Mac to tell their heedfully infectious tale of queasily becoming a grown up and choosing when to draw the line.

Dolores Forever play a gig at London’s Omeara on 15th February 2023 and there’s still time to grab a ticket.

You can listen to ‘When I Say So’ on YouTube below:

Trampolene, The Gulps & Ratoon – Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff – 03/02/2023


Wales has had a severe vacancy for too many years. Since the Manics and Stereophonics got comfortable filling arenas and Super Furry Animals split, Wales has badly needed an exciting, young, new band of national treasures. The latest contenders for the title have rocked up to Clwb Ifor Bach tonight for one in a string of Independent Venue Week shows and, unlike the other applicants who’ve sidled up and disappeared over the years, we think they may end up walking away with the accolade.


Local valleys boys Ratoon get the night off to a rowdy start with a promising set of solid rock’n’roll tunes, boundlessly energetic frontman Jack Garret throwing poses with an extraordinarily red sparkly Fender held aloft, rolling down off the stage and into the crowd as the group bash out future single ‘Not So Pretty Anymore’. Even more impressive is how confident they sound performing with a stand-in guitarist while their permanent lead stringsmith Sam Davies is ill and out of action.

The Gulps

Invited all the way over from Camden Town, The Gulps represent the spirit of London, Spain, Italy and the myriad other places of the world they hail from in the welsh capital tonight. Their singles to date are all delivered with effortless flare in leather jackets and jeans, rhythm guitarist Francesco Buffone remaining the image of cool the entire evening as his shades never leave his face next to vocalist Javier Sola’s menacing sneer. When The Gulps took a larger stage supporting nineties masters Cast last year at The Tramshed, their sound took on an almost disco-rock sheen, the glitter ball flamboyance of recent single ‘Candy’ striking the fore, but amid the spit and sawdust downstairs at the Welsh Club the punk animus of ‘Stuck In The City’, ‘Mirror Mirror’ and April’s forthcoming release ‘Forever Young’ rule the night and win over a rabble of ferocious welsh music fanatics.


But this evening belongs to Trampolene and, to the tones of the Welsh national anthem, Dragon flag emblazoned with band member surnames ‘Jones, Thomas and Williams’ and the obligatory Cardiffian taunts of “You Jack Bastard” (Jack being a Swansea nickname and the name of their lead singer, for our non-Cymry readership), the boys take the stage for a wild tour of their ever-growing catalogue of cult classics. Highlight of 2021 album ‘Love No Less Than A Queen’ – ‘Gotta Do More Gotta Be More’s hypnotic pulse whips up the cheers and a riotous energy from the get-go. Recent single ‘Sort Me Out’ is proof, if by this point it was even still in doubt, that the Swansea lads can put together a massive, sing-along single, but it’s during ‘You Do Nothing For Me’ when things get properly turbulent, a circle pit opening up and then, in full command of his crowd, singer Jack Jones beckons everyone to floor, before they pop up again like a room full of Jack-In-The-Boxes (sure there could be some kind of pun there if we tried harder) when the track’s filthy blues riffage strikes up.


The spoken word continues to run deep with Trampolene as special-K glorifying poem ‘Ketamine’ has everyone screaming out the name of the gutter-drug horse tranquilliser and ‘Money’ nearly gets the room dancing instead of bashing each other up for a moment. After a rendition of new song ‘Together’, recently touted by frontman Jones as a potential future Welsh national football song it occurs to the group that, getting carried away on a celebratory wave of national identity, they’ve ended up running over time with still a chunk of undiscardable tracks to squeeze in. Their other spoken word budget-masterpiece ‘Poundland’ gets dispensed at triple speed, the angelic ‘Beautiful Pain’ is spliced into a medley with stirring classic Welsh folk song ‘Yma O Hyd’ that the band admit they’ve spent ages perfecting, finally descending into the rollick raising curtain closer ‘Alcohol Kiss’ and the group leave the stage to a local-ish heroes departure.


Considering the national devotion the Swansea three-piece inspire, could we possibly see Trampolene play Cardiff Castle in another 10 years? This reviewer can only hope. If Wales wants a new band of local boys to believe in, they better start looking at Trampolene.

Still haven’t heard anything by these three fine specimens of musicianship? Check out a track each from Ratooon, The Gulps and Trampolene below on Spotify:

Red Telephone – Waiting For Your Good Days

Timeless and expansive psychedelic rock records don’t come along casually just every day, but that’s exactly what we have on our hands in Red Telephone’s single ‘Waiting For Your Good Days’. Diving into some of the most sacred corners of nineties college rock for inspiration, the Cardiff alt-rockers come back up for air grasping bits of Mercury Rev, Smashing Pumpkins at their haunting mellowest and JJ72, then manage to impressively pack it all into their finest single yet.

‘Waiting For Your Good Days’ sleeve

A sublimely empyrean chorus, singer Declan Andrews’ visceral vibrato vocals and a psych-flourish of synth and guitar that wouldn’t be out of place in the dream-pop realm of Tame Impala or MGMT add up to the sum total of a remarkable indie rock release and a masterful first single choice to launch Red Telephone’s debut LP ‘Hollowing Out’, due out on 31st March 2023.

If you happen to be mooching around Cardiff on Friday 31st March 2023 you can catch Red Telephone play ‘Hollowing Out’s album launch at Clwb Ifor Bach. Get on the last few tickets now.

Listen to ‘Waiting For The Good Days’ on Spotify below:

When Tigers Used To Smoke – There I Almost Am EP

If you were paying attention and kept following When Tigers Used To Smoke after our June review of their ‘It All Just Seems Pretend’ EP, you’d know the Birmingham group had recently dropped the summery surf pop gem ‘Gull Rocks’, a warm-hearted bop inspired by what sounds like a cracking holiday in Cornwall. With ‘Gull Rocks’ being the lead single from ‘There I Almost Am’ you may reasonably predict that surf pop is the order of the day then, but you’d be wrong, as When Tigers Used To Smoke are anything but predictable.

The Birmingham band’s third EP goes on a sojourn from the surreal to the sentimental, throughout the wide indie genre, taking in dream-pop, small little bits of funk, echoey, jangly guitar, uplifting synth, with traditional britpop songwriting, all kept in line by singer Declan Boyd’s distinctively deadpan vocals. Taking in the surging, aggrandizing melody of ‘Hesitate’, ‘What A Way’, a song The Maccabees would have loved to have penned if they were still knocking about today – replete with a lyric about the kettle being on, with the choruses remaining ginormous from the first track to the last. Striding amongst a hubbub of original sounds, that’s precisely where When Tigers Used To Smoke almost are.

‘There I Almost Am’ was released on 30th December 2022 and has been available to listen to ever since on all of the streaming services. We’ve included a link to the entire EP below: