State Villains

State Villains from London in England is the rock quartet of Nik (Vocal / Rhythm Guitar), Tyson Schenker (Lead Guitar), Pat Casey (Drums) and Lee Downs (Bass).

State Villains - Eponymous EP -  artwork

State Villains – Eponymous EP – artwork

Doing exactly what it says on the tin State Villains deliver classic Heavy British Blues Rock without seeking to re-create the wheel. As this is a packed genre, it is difficult for a band to raise above the throng, yet this is a quartet who have managed to just that.

The songs are tightly held together whilst hurtling around the room at a fair old lick. State Villains have added a sense of urgency to the tracks and by raising the tempo offer music which leaps headlong into the ears, giving the quartet tracks of force and interest. Though having sped up the pace they have not sacrificed the essential elements of big chord progressions and the listener is left with sharply defined pieces to hear.

The percussion barely ceases in its frenzy of activity, whilst the bass adds to the freneticism, giving the out-put its intensity. What marks State Villains out is the way they have been able to combine this zippy backbone whilst finding time for the two guitars to embellish the room with expansive commentary to which the vocal smartly rounds out the elements of the band, with pitch and pace that is of ideal match.

About eighteen months old State Villain have worked hard on the two key elements of getting better known – one being live performance, where they are establishing their name with an ever expanding list of their own and supporting gigs in larger venues and alongside they have managed to put out an EP.


E.P. – State Villains is available on iTunes*.

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The Amplifires

The Amplifires from Matlock in England is the rock quartet of Sharon Clancy (Vocals), Steve Rawlinson (Guitar), David Brunt (Bass) and Sandy Mitchell (Drums).

The Amplifires - rock from England

The Amplifires

Effortlessly floating between barren landscapes to urban confines The Amplifires deliver sounds which captivate the listener, enveloping them in the moods of the moment.

A percussion lays down the path of travel, tightly framing the tracks as the bass colours the framework with a surprisingly evocative timbre. The guitar builds the architecture with a filigree of finely played moves around the fret-board, this formulation allows the vocal tremendous room for manoeuvre and doesn’t disappoint, adding well balanced emotive context to round out the sound.

Having been around a few years, time has seen the band develop both confidence and greater awareness of their ability to stride their own path. Whilst equally at ease with well tempered emotional ballads as with more forceful driving rock it is when The Amplifires scruff it all up a bit, as they take on a smokers rasp, the quartet are able to deliver at their best.

The combinations of  Southern US Blues influences with British heavy rock and a smattering of ’80s New Wave gives The Amplifires a welcome earthiness that adds considerably to the ’10s.

A new LP which comes out on the 22nd, Life’s A Gamble through Coffee Jingle Records, is most certainly one to add to the collection.

Life’s a Gamble – The Amplifires is available on iTunes.*


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Hey Vanity

Hey Vanity from Chelmsford in England is the rock quartet of Marc HallsWill PhillipsonAsh Clarke and Dave Ruffle.

Hey Vanity - rock from England

Hey Vanity

There is a confident mellowed rock that drifts across the room as Hey Vanity combine ’90s Brit-Pop with ’70s rock, whilst adding their own soft brushes to give the resulting output a calming serenity that is underscored by a vibrant rumble.

Hey Vanity exude a self-belief that allows the audience to entrust them with well handled techniques that the quartet to do not over-play and the resulting music finds the ears drawn to melodious guitar refrains, whilst a tightly harnessed percussion / bass combination gives the compositions a liveliness that captivates and completing the landscape is voice that is steeped in emotional turmoil.

Avoiding the potential awkwardness of a band that is neither rumbustious nor contemplative Hey Vanity is able to hold the attention of the listener through the quality of the musicianship, resulting in a style which is best taken out of the music box in moments of late evening sojourns and at these times they will add considerably to the atmosphere.

Hey Vanity have the opportunity to add much value to the world of music and are a testament to dexterity and thoughtfulness. It will be interesting to see how things develop for them in 2015 and if they can carve out space and attention for themselves to audiences more used to chatting than listening.

I wish them well though it won’t be easy but, to my ears, Hey Vanity are well worth the time for listeners who are able to zip-shut the mouth and open the lug-holes.


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The Brighton in England rock band Collisions comprises Olly SimmonsAndy TrewinSpud and Will Chapman.

Collisions - rock from England

Collisions – rock from England

The combinations of synthetics, howling guitars, driving percussion and a forceful vocal gives Collisions a fascinating space to deliver their music. Well received in live performance, their mix of mosh-pit, melody and dance-floor gives everyone something to grapple with, they equally transfer this fusion to recorded material.

There is a natural feel to the music which belies the blends of styles and one which can’t but capture attention and the longer the play, the greater the breadth and skilled delivery becomes evident.  Theory suggests that dub ‘n’ bass and metal just shouldn’t work, but like all good theories the exception proves the rule and Collisions are most definitely the exception as they deliver a sound that you just want to stay with for extended periods of play.

A few years behind them Collisions have stood their ground and it is paying off for them as higher profile gigs are coming their way and I for one look forward to hearing much more of their superbly crafted compositions.


We Know the Enemy – Single – COLLISIONS is available on iTunes*

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The Koniac Net

The Koniac Net from Mumbai in India is the rock quintet of David Abraham (Lead Vocals / Guitar), Jason D’Souza (Guitar / Vocals), Aaron Dmello (Guitar), Adil Kurwa (Bass) and Karun Kannampilly (Drums).

The Koniac Net - rock from India

The Koniac Net

A kaleidoscope of colours reflect across the walls as The Koniac Net deliver measured and retrospective mellowing moods of sound. Whilst gently steeped, the compositions are not tepid, as the quintet invest numerous layers within the tracks that engage the audience in the flowing aural delights.

Bass and percussion form a solid spine to the music, around which, the guitars are given the space and time to inveigle the ears with glistening distractions, whilst, the vocal guides the pieces along distinguishable paths. Although very easy on the audience, there is plenty of activity to warrant replays of tracks to explore further the spread of ideas.

The Koniac Net have mastered the art of delivering music which has a gentle timbre, while simultaneously adding sufficient seasoning to serve up an intriguing blend of sounds to keep the listener engaged and wanting to come back for a second helping.

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Abiogenesis – EP – The Koniac Net is available on iTunes*

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