A Venus Fly Trap

A Venus Fly Trap from Skopje in Macedonia is the synth-indie trio of Aleksandar Savovski (Guitar / Vocal), Petar Panevski (Bass) and Goran Stojcevski (Keyboards / Vocal / Rhythm Machine).

A Venus Fly Trap - Synth Indie from Macedonia

A Venus Fly Trap

Casting a critical eye at the suburban well tended lawns, A Venus Fly Trap add a social commentary where reality and gloss stand at odds with each other. Smartly run melodies buffer the antithesis of the context of the music giving it greater impact.

The trio use electronics extensively to add the atmosphere to the tracks, which are underlain by a throbbing bass-line, whilst percussion scatters around the room like a trapped fly, giving a sense of panic. Vocal and guitar combine to add the finishing touches to what are undoubtedly well conceived compositions.

A Venus Fly Trap is a band to take for a run-out at pretty well any-time when there are a few minutes to spare as the textures of sounds offer plenty to consider and need to be focused on to allow the material to fully appreciate the music.

Well established in the local environment, their latest nine track LP – Невреме (Storming), which came out in March and is available from bandcamp, gives hopes of a broader international audience, which is richly deserved.

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The Tommy Drums

The Tommy Drums an alt-indie rock band from Cheltenham in England is Sam Jones (Vocals / Rhythm Guitar), Jamie Cairney (Lead Guitar), Fraser Hopkins (Bass) and Jack Quance (Drums).

The Tommy Drums - alt-indie from England

The Tommy Drums

A delightful sound emanates around the room, permeating every nook and cranny as The Tommy Drums deliver their angst riven material. What I particularly enjoy about the quartet is the way they control the delivery speed, which must have been tempting to hurtle like the hare passing the starting gates at a greyhound night of racing.

By controlling the pace The Tommy Drums provide space for the well composed songs to gain traction, leaving the listener captured both in the melodies and moment. That isn’t to say they can’t harry along the music, where appropriate, and the audience is left in no doubt this is a band with much potential to travel far.

Whilst deploying the two guitars to give the tracks more solidity The Tommy Drums do not ignore the bass / percussion spine of the sound that are equally given room to be heard over which rings a well suited vocal.

I was looking forward to spending a few more hours listening to the music, but sadly so far the repertoire doesn’t extend that long, I look forward to when it does.

So, having commented how I particularly like the tempered measure, here is one of The Tommy Drums faster songs….

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The OK Social Club

The OK Social Club from Edinburgh in Scotland is the alt-indie quartet of Raff Eragona ( Vocals / Guitar), Chris Finn (Guitar), Gordy Burn (Bass) and Jordan Harvey (Drums).

The OK Social Club - alt-indie from Scotland

The OK Social Club

Skittering around the room like indoor fireworks The OK Social Club have a freshness and zest which feeds into the listener giving the brain a lift. It isn’t possible to listen to the music without being infected by their enthusiasm and it the likes of this band that life as a reviewer is so rewarding.

Although the music is easy on the ears, The OK Social Club demonstrate considerable musical prowess in their compositions which flash past at lightning speed, containing intricate interplay and timing between the players. The dual guitar combinations permit the band to inject textures into the music, which, whilst being driven onward by bass and percussion, is finely balanced by the combinations. The vocal, with more than a hint of Scottish accent, gives the material an earthy realism which engages the audience.

Having been around since 2011 and with an LP – Nothing In Common – behind them The OK Social Club have served their apprenticeship and I look forward to hearing much more of the band in a broader context. A new single Threads coming out on the 14th March is to be followed by another album later in the year. The newer material finds the band in a more tempered mode and it will be interesting to hear what the new LP has to offer.


Threads – Single – The OK Social Club is available on iTunes*

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The endgame

The Endgame from Durham in England is the independent rock band of Sarah Tyler (Lead vocals / Guitar / Percussion), Dave Hay (Guitar), Guy Millen (Bass) and Chris Johnson (Drums / Backing vocals).

The Endgame - alt rock from England

The Endgame

Reminding of Chrissie Hind as Sarah sings, how could I not be engaged? What more should I say? Oh Ok – you insist… When you are as engaged in the voice it easy to forget the backdrop, but The endgame offer something in to which wrap the ears.

The quartet define their sounds in an equilibrium of despair and hope as the music resonates around the room in a calming sense of gloom. Delightful caresses of bass kiss the cheeks as from above pierces the guitars which sway rhythmically and in the ether lays a sympathetic percussion. It is the backward compositions which raise The endgame above the parapet to the minds eye.

Effortlessly the band marks a differentiation as the music offers to the listener a sound that clocks naturally, whilst they forgo simplistic connectivity in the weaving sounds that engage the audience.

I have had the pleasure of taking a listen to the eleven track debut LP Shifting Circles and already this hits my – must get back to this – playlist.


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No Man’s Valley

No Man’s Valley from Horst in The Netherlands is the alt-rock quintet of Jasper (Vocals), Christian (Guitar / Backing Vocals), Rob (Bass / Backing Vocals), Ruud (Organ / Philicordia / Piano / Backing Vocals) and Ruud (Drums).

No Man's Valley - alt-rock from The Netherlands

No Man’s Valley

There is an easy confidence to the music produced by No Man’s Valley, which is steeped in influences of decades ago, but they manage to give it a relevance to the 21st Century. Somewhat psychedelic blues textures billow around the room, but for me, what marks the sound as being of captivating interest is the contribution by (lets call him – Ruud 1) with the keys, that enable the quintet to flex considerable soaring flows to the core sound.

Tracks are given time to naturally develop without heading off on too obscure angles as No Man’s Valley allow themselves to explore the nuances of the compositions in openly spaced playing. Not a band to play when you are pushing up against the clock, but certainly worth unfolding when you have time at your disposal.

A somewhat appropriately named five track release …. And Four Other Songs is set to be launched in the 23rd March as a follow up to their 2012 release Mirror Image. In addition to the March release is a forthcoming new single – The Wolves Are Coming.


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