Latest Posts

Album Reviews

Codename Colin – Escape From Everything

Running away from everything, with a soundtrack you can skank to...

I’ll be honest, the first time I heard Codename Colin was when they submitted a track to the terribly-titled Warrington Ska Punk compilation (get yours for just £4 in our store!). But please ignore my ignorance: storming out of Hertfordshire (which, in my defence, is about half the country away from Warrington), Codename Colin are an energetic 6-piece, playing quality ska-punk.

They’ve got a familiar horn heavy sound, immediately bringing to mind some of their current fellows in the UK ska stable, especially rising stars Call Me Malcolm (read our CMM album review here), with vocals leaning a little more heavily in the [Spunge] direction. I definitely haven’t called them Call Me Colin about 5 times. Nope.

Album Reviews

Dude Trips – Through Love & Death

Scottish emo with lots of added misery.

So a couple of months ago, my mate Dean from Side Mission Records was dropping off a Pizza Tramp LP at mine, and he had a cheeky look in his eye. “How do you like the sound of SMR001, then?” My ears perked up, and I asked what they had cooking. He just grinned and said “It’s really really F-ing emo”. I have it now, clenched in my pale clammy hands, that first release from Side Mission Records and I can confirm that Dean was correct: Its really really emo.

Now I’m not talking that new wave of nonsense that called itself emo: this is not Panic at the Disco or My Chemical Romance. I’m talking old school: early Brand New or Jimmy Eat World, stuff like Sunny Day Real Estate, Jawbreaker, Dashboard Confessional. Proper plaintive, vocal heavy, tells-a-story emo. And, let me tell you, Dude Trips have given us a bucketload of plaintive here.

Live Reviews

The Beths at Band on the Wall

Touring Auckland Band play fuzzy fun pop and make me feel nice!

I’ve been excited about seeing the Beths for about 6 months now, ever since listening to them on a whim on bandcamp and getting hooked. Having missed them earlier this year, it was with a bubbling joy I dragged my lovely wife off to see them at Manchester’s Band on the Wall. We had some Jamaican chocolate dumplings first in Pull Up Cafe, obviously, then headed into the venue… The Beths

Well. Did they live up to the hype in my quite easily-hyped brain? Yes. The Beths were fantastic.

Live Reviews

The JB Conspiracy Burn Down Manchester

...I thought it was just meant to be a "warm up"?

Manchester Punk Festival is a vast, enthralling beast. With over 130 bands, over three days, its a thing of majesty, to the point of being potentially a bit overwhelming. Plus I was too scared to ask my wife for permission to go – I’ve been out a lot recently! So sadly, this year, I can’t make it.

However, when I heard there was a cheeky little warm up gig, starring none other than my-possibly-favourite-band JB Conspiracy, I got all excited like.

Album Reviews

The Fabulous New Sounds Of King Prawn

Although maybe a little bit less fabulous than I was hoping for...

I pretty much missed King Prawn, first time around. I reckon I saw the tail end of their sets a few times in London. I remember thinking “woah, they are a bit too heavy for my tastes”. Looking back, that was blatantly dodgy venue levels, cos I’ve listened to their back catalogue a fair amount recently, and, well, it’s not exactly Pig Destroyer is it? But if you did prefer your ska-punk on the gentler end of the spectrum? That is definitely what you are getting with this album.

In fact, I’m not sure it’s really punk at all, more a ska-reggae-indie-hiphop-punk hybrid. Which is fine: ain’t nothing wrong with being eclectic. There’s a consistent almost “Arabian Nights” theme to the brass parts: songs like “No Harmony” and “Black Beads” would totally work wafting through the cold night of a desert. Some epic synth parts here and there too really add some atmospheric layers.

Editorials

Record Store Day 2019… Part 2

Sifting through the releases and deciding what to buy this year.

This article is part two of three. The first talks about why I don’t love Record Store Day. This one talks about the best of the Official RSD 2019 releases. And the final one bigs up some cool independent ska and punk releases you can also get this month Not much UK Ska Punk…

As I mentioned in my previous article, there’s a bit of a gap in the releases available for Record Store Day 2019, at least for lovers of UK Ska & Punk.

Editorials

Record Store Day 2019… Part 1

How to deal with the awkward commercial reality and support your local store

This article is part one of three. This one talks about why I don’t love Record Store Day. The next one talks about the best of the official 2019 releases. And the final one bigs up some cool independent ska and punk releases you can also get this month “Well genius, what do I do then?”

Firstly, support your local Record Store… the other 364 days of the year. Go in in early February, in the quiet shift, and dump some well deserved cash. RSD is a great time for the shops, but they need to pay wages all year, not just one weekend in April.

Interview

Skaciety is dead! Long live The Long Game!

A quick chat with The Long Game about the fact you can actually pronounce their name now...

I had a chat yesterday with The Long Game. You’ve probably not heard of them before, but you will have heard of Skaciety. That particular well known Bad Granola act announced yesterday that they are officially changing name to The Long Game. So… it seemed like a good time to get in touch.

Hi, I’m Aiden. I’m the bassist/singer in The Long Game – formerly known as Skaciety.