What’s that peeking out from the clouds? Is that sunshine? Are we in spring? How are we already in March? Are we playing twenty questions?
There’s a mild sense of optimism in the air. We’ve been given a vague timeline of when things should be better, and while some festivals are rightly being cancelled, some are being moved to later in the year. And you know what, we cannot wait to see you all in a pit, all sweaty and beer-soaked. But before we count our eggs, here’s another edition of our collaboration playlist.
With recommendations from our Patrons, as well as a few staff ones thrown in, we’ve built our playlist with love and care, to bring a selection of tracks that we recommend, with highlights below. So why don’t you take a listen to the compilation whilst browsing over the Self Care Club. You’re only a few short clicks from joining, so get involved and join the fun.
Nicholas Cage Fighter – ‘Devil’s Head’
Nicholas Cage Fighter – “Devil’s Head” – Discovered this Aussie four piece’s debut EP thanks to the PT New Music Friday playlist a few weeks ago (get ya ears on it!). Metallic hardcore that hits all the sweet spots if that’s your thing, with the 5 track EP slapping harder than a right hook from Gail Platt. All of this before even mentioning how rad their name is!
Mogwai – ‘Ritchie Sacramento’
‘Ritchie Sacramento’ is absolutely faultless, and devastatingly beautiful. Nice to hear vocals on a Mogwai track, which always feels like bonus content. If anyone hasn’t seen it, I would recommend checking out the video, made in Unreal Engine. tt manages elevates the beauty in the track in my opinion.
The Royal They – ‘Full Metal Black’
The Brooklyn trio make one hell of a racket. The drumfill in the intro is mindbending, leading into a verse full of wailing, distortion and subtle melodies. Possibly the most noticeable part is the way the vocals change pitch as they head into the chorus. Legitimately impressive, it’s a stunning way to change key into the chorus. There’s an essence of Bikini Kill thrown in here, bordering on a grungy sound with saccharin vocals that can switch in an instant. As with much of The Royal They’s material, it’s the drumming that stands out though, with an almost Dave Grohl ‘on the verge of fucking it up’ style that’s rapid as hell. Don’t let that sound like a bad thing though. The balance is superb. FFO Dinosaur Pileup.
HEADACHE – ‘mike’s back’
Since the disbanding of Lower Than Atlantis, Mike Duce has thrown some pretty left field stuff at us under his solo venture, HEADACHE. Although there’s not a single guitar to be found, Duce combines his rock band experience with new influences to experiment on something totally new. And it’s wicked. This track in particular sees him attempting to rap, which could be considered cringe but in actuality, it works pretty well. ‘mike’s back’ will tie your tongue in knots but you’ll have a whole lot of fun learning the words and be hit with a wave of satisfaction once you finally nail it.
Hotel Books – ‘Run Wild, Young Beauty’
Stick with me on this one. Spoken word poetry seems a little off brand for Punktastic, but it shouldn’t be, particularly when it’s as cleverly written and, dare I say it, poetic as this. The pictures painted by Cam Smith are vivid and vast, with metaphors aplenty. Within ‘Run Wild, Young Beauty’, Cam explains that he can change into whatever is needed in a partner, mailable enough to bend but not break, so as he won’t be lost or left alone. The backing instrumentation is delicate, with gentle, melodic riffs peppering the ears that doesn’t overpower the importance of they lyrics, but adds a level of power and prowess to it’s meaning. If La Dispute leaned more into emo than post-hardcore, you would have Hotel Books. It’s cripplingly affecting. So yeah, spoken word poetry. It might be pretentious, but it’s far less pretentious than this write up. FFO: Listener, La Dispute, Levi The Poet,
Spidergawd – ‘Is This Love?’
A band that are one of many underrated gems of the Norwegian Scandirock scene. This stupendous song is from their fourth album released in 2017 and it’s scandalous that a rock song this good and catchy is pretty unknown, so consider this me giving it a signal boost of sorts. The Foo Fighters wish they could have released a song this good in the last ten years (Sorry Dave).
Pale Waves – ‘Easy’
I love a song that reminds me of the deepest and most enduring pain in my life, and no track is doing that more at the moment than ‘Easy’. For those still going through heartbreak, it’ll remind you of the good times, and for those in an outrageously happy relationship, you’ll find yourself wanting to text your partner just to tell them you love them. This Avril Lavigne influence has worked so well for Pale Waves but if you haven’t embraced it yet, this should be your starting point.
Iron Maiden – ‘The Clansman’
I’ve gone down a bit of a rabbit hole with Iron Maiden recently, embracing a heavy dose of nostalgia. Yeah, The Number Of The Beast is a hell of a record, but lets throw a bit of credit at Blaze Bayley. Can’t have been easy to step into Bruce Dickinson’s shoes, but he does so pretty well. Case in point, The Clansman – a song about the Scots fighting the oppression of the bastard English – it might not be the most technical song, the riffs might not be as memorable as Fear Of The Dark or be as thunderously quick as The Trooper, but tell me the chorus of ‘Freedom!’ doesn’t make you want to stand up and shout along. Even Mel Gibson’s speech in Braveheart doesn’t rouse the spirits as much as this song does. Up The Irons
The Dirty Nil – ‘Hello Jealousy’
On my third listen of “Fuck Art”, the moment the chorus of this track kicked in was when the quality of this album truly clicked with me. The sort of rock’n’roll that has me missing sweaty overcrowded gig venues for the umpteenth time since the world shut down.
Lonely The Brave – ‘Keeper’
They may have brought on a new front man, but Lonely the Brave are bigger than ever with their new album ‘The Hope List’, and never more so than with ‘Keeper’. A track fuelled by love and appreciation, it’s also produced perfectly to reflect the arena-sized nature of this band. With Jack on board, there’s now no ceiling to this band’s success and although the album is newly released, I still can’t wait to see what’s coming next.