Thursday 31 May 2018

Age Of Taurus - The Colony Slain

Labels: Rise Above Records
Formats: Vinyl/CD/Digital
Release Date: 16 May 2018


1. From The Hills To The Halls
2. Taken To The Tower
3. The Trial Of Blackwynn Chaise
4. In Dreams We Die
5. The Lost Garrison
6. Beyond The Wayward Path
7. For Treason We Rise
8. The Walls Have Ears
9. To Seal A Mountain
10. As Ice Into Blood
11. The Colony Slain

We're racing towards the end of another month and while our lives seem to be moving at an ever increasing pace, it's sometimes nice to be able to slow it down and take a moment to reflect. If there's one sub-genre of metal that helps you do that it's doom metal, but more importantly it's British doom metal. Age Of Taurus recently released their second full-length "The Colony Slain" via the much lauded Rise Above Records. This band is one steeped in UK trad/heavy metal with members that have played in some of the country's most seminal doom bands, so this record should not disappoint.

“The Colony Swain” begins with the rousing guitar-work of From The Hills To The Halls, which sets out to only increase the excitement as Age of Taurus progresses into the groove-laden Taken To The Tower. That guitar-work is a massive feature on this album and the vocals tell tales of fantasy, while sounding gloriously theatrical and classically British. This is an album where each song follows the last, creating a story. The spoken word passage that ends Taken To The Tower flows into The Trial Of Blackwynn Chaise, which relies more upon the band’s ability to write solid heavy metal songs. It has progression and drama in equal measure. The female vocals add a great sense of operatic majesty to proceedings as well

There’s subtle thrash flowing through In Dreams We Die and the bass crunch at the beginning fills the record with warmth. The vocal delivery and melodies turn it into something really catchy, with an equally inspiring solo towards the end. Age Of Taurus heads back down the doom path on The Lost Garrison. This particular path isn’t gloomy and self-deprecating though as the band does their utmost to keep the music punchy and engaging. Their tones on Beyond The Westward Path have more in common with their Swedish cousins such as Grand Magus. They are more mesmeric here but they never lose their hard rocking sensibilities. Talking of hard rocking, the riffs at the beginning of For Treason We Rise are just that and they carry a lot of momentum throughout the song, even when Age Of Taurus slow things down. This is the record’s longest song and it definitely feels like a journey, but in a good way. 

I’d probably be doing this album a disservice by talking about it as a concept album, but it has that feel to it as The Walls Have Ears plays. it stems once again from the storytelling that’s employed throughout by the lyrics and clever continuation that Age Of Taurus weaves into it. At this point it’s impossible to ignore the sheer quality of this record, as To Seal A Mountain slowly marches forward with a bass-heavy stomp. There’s time for a penultimate instrumental in the form of As Ice Into Blood before it’s left to the title-track to close “The Colony Slain” in style, which lovely vocals melodies and more free-flowing guitars. Age Of Taurus has done a great job with this record and when you’re craving something that’s heavy but not harsh, featuring real musicality and British charm, you’ll reach for “The Colony Slain”.

Physical cd and LP copies (including die-hard variants) can be purchased from Rise Above Records here:-

Tuesday 29 May 2018

Hell Night/Sweat Shoppe - Split 7"

Labels: Encapsulated Records
Formats: Vinyl/Digital
Release Date: 26 Jun 2018


1. Hell Night - Unincorporated
2. Hell Night - Overburden
3. Sweat Shoppe - Lost And Mean
4. Sweat Shoppe - Circumstance
5. Sweat Shoppe - Clawing Brain 

Here's a new split 7" that's got me both excited and nostalgic, for various reasons. Both Hell Night and Sweat Shoppe are bands that are fairly new to me; however, I think I've been sent some music by either one or both of them previously and will be digging into my review reserves after this. Hell Night is essentially a proto/trad metal and thrash band that formed in 2014. Sweat Shoppe formed a year later and plays punk rock. They're both from the US as well, if that matters.

Hell Night feature a familiar voice on vocals, though I’ll leave it to you to work out who. On their opening track Unincorporated, they take no prisoners. It’s ridiculously heavy and up-tempo, with plenty of thrash and hardcore throughout, unsurprisingly. Overburden takes from a number of sub-genres while still staying true to their love of real metal. Hell Night’s side of this split is catchy and expertly executed. As the shadows fall on their two songs, you’re left wanting more.

Sweat Shoppe are true to their punk-rock roots on opener Lost And Mean. Old-school is the order of the day here and the pace is unrelenting. The instrumentation is tight and the vocals are full of attitude. The brooding intro section to Circumstance makes you think that they’re moving in a darker direction but it’s not long before the pace is upped again. It’s great! Sweat Shoppe winds up the split with Clawing Brain, which is loud and fun from the opening note to the last. 

This small slab of wax is over way too quickly. Both bands compliment each other really well with the same love of up-tempo music and while they come at it from different ends of the heavy spectrum at first, it seems like they’re both singing from the hymn sheet at the end, proving that metal and punk belong side-by-side

This split is not yet up for streaming but you can keep up to date with release news via the band/label pages below:-

Friday 25 May 2018

Väki - Kirous

Labels: Self-Released/Redefining Darkness Records
Formats: Digital/CD/Tape
Release Date: 13 Oct 2017


1. Kuoleman Säkeet
2. Kirous

'Kirous" is the first demo to come from a band that sprung from the Finnish underground in the latter half of 2017. Väki, who formed in 2016, self-released their debut demo on cd and via digital means in October of last year before coming to the attention of rising label Redefining Darkness Records, who were so impressed that they released a limited tape run for the band. Not only that but Väki's strain of black metal has seen them share the stage with Taake recently in Finland's capital Helsinki.

Finland’s recent black metal explosion has been well documented and Väki carry that explosion on with their debut demo. Kuoleman Säkeet is both hateful yet engaging and melodic (thanks to the guitars anyway!). The production and mastering brings out the band’s quality and their song-writing is both technical and passionate.They have room to add some native/folk-elements into their music towards the end too. It adds to what is already a blistering introduction. 

The title-track plays more on Väki’s metallic edge and contains more of a menacing atmosphere as well. Hints of post-metal can be heard through the gloom but that is quickly erased by the band’s off-kilter black metal. The pummelling drums, punctuated by crashing cymbals increase the noise-levels as the demo winds up towards a rapturous end. It’s insane to think that this is Väki’s debut release but the two songs present on “Kirous” give you mere taste of wha’s surely to come from the band. Excellent!

You can stream "Kirous" below, where it's also available to purchase on all formats mentioned above :-

US residents can by "Kirous" via Redefining Darkness Records here -

Redefining Darkness Records -

Wednesday 23 May 2018

Combust - Demo 7"

Labels: Straight & Alert Records
Formats: Vinyl/Digital
Release Date: 04 Jan 2018


1. Intro
2. Combust
3. Another Fool
4. Drowning
5. My Fire
6. Dissed And Dismissed (Breakdown cover) - Digital Bonus Track

When I first started collecting vinyl and getting into DIY music, hardcore was my chosen genre. At first I was getting into UK bands like Hang The Bastard and xCurraheex. Both at different ends of hardcore spectrum at the time, but they both still mean a lot to me today. French label Straight & Alert has been consistently putting out great hardcore for as long as I can remember and this is one of their early 2018 releases. Combust is from NYC and takes influence from bands like Killing Time and Cro-Mags. I think this is their debut release (correct me if I'm wrong!).

Combust reminds me of why I loved (and still love) hardcore so much. Their Intro grabs you by the throat with some incredible riffs and rhythms. Combust is the first hardcore song proper. It’s solid with loads of groove and New York attitude. I think it’s that attitude that make NYHC one of the toughest strains of hardcore period. Another Fool is breakneck, with plenty of thrash and hard-style influence. it’s a quick-fire beast as well. Everything about Combust is awesome, from the drums and bass work, to the guitar and vox. 

Drowning illustrates their commitment to keeping hardcore alive with no let-up whatsoever. The lead-work points towards the forefathers of crossover and adds some extra flair. My Fire is properly mosh-worthy and the speed at which it’s delivered reasserts how seriously Combust takes their craft. The digital version of the 7” includes a bonus song, in the form of a cover of Dissed And Dismissed by NYHC veterans Breakdown. They put their own stamp on the song with plenty of urgency and bite. Combust are another band that proves that hardcore is more than relevant. Forget your “popular” bands (you know who I mean), Combust is where it’s at.

You can stream Combust's "Demo" and purchase it digitally below:-

Physical 7" copies can be ordered from Straight & Alert Records here -

Tuesday 22 May 2018

Dystopian Future Movies - Time (Mikey Ortega)

Label: Self-Released/Glasshouse Records/Oak Island Records/Kozmik Artifactz
Format: CD/LP/Tape/Digital
Release: Date: 02 Jun 2017


1. Wasteland
2. Dulled Gilt
3. Pieces
4. Inertia
5. Dissonant Aggressors
6. Fortunate Ones
7. Fugitive Mind

I'm beginning to think today's UK music scene is the European equivalent of the Pacific Northwest. Of course both places share the same type of weather, which I'm beginning to wonder if that's the recipe for making those gloomy heavy riffs sound so bliss. One of those bands that caught my fancy is Dystopian Future Movies. And their recent album, "Time", is a sweet mix of 90's alternative with a doomy post-rock atmosphere.

Wasteland is a perfect opener, as it displays Caroline Cawley's talent and beautiful voice. It's a nice mellow track that reminds me of the singer-songwriters growing up.  Pieces is a song I enjoy because it has a great build up. For some reason, it feels like a song about someone who committed the ultimate sin, and they are now fucked, and now has to live with that burden. When I mentioned 90's alternative and doomy post-rock, Dissonant Aggressors was the song that made me think that. Just hearing that clean guitar blending with some guitar noise (provided by Rafe Dunn), feels like Chelsea Wolfe and Mono got together and jammed in the middle of a ghost town. Then the drums come in and just create a very cinematic feel. Then we got Fortunate Ones, which was my introduction to Dystopian Future Movies. When I heard this song, I knew there was something very special about this band. The opening got my interest. Then when Caroline sings "We're the fortunate ones. Then the future, it runs right through you", it just got me hooked. It's something I know the teenager in me would get behind.  

On the Dystopian Future Movies Facebook page, the band describes their sound as heavy melodic/haunting post-doom, which fits perfect. When I first heard them, I would have thought they were from Portland or the Bay Area. Mainly because I associate that doomy shoegaze sound with the Pacific Northwest.  But when listening to the whole album, you start hearing other musical elements, like folk and a little bit of noise rock. The rhythm section is killer. The bass that Oisin O'Doherty provides gives the band a very crushing sound, which contrast Caroline's guitar melodies very well and Bill Fisher keeps the machine rolling with his skin beating.  Definitely dig those post-metal beats on Dissonant Aggressors. These two dudes really accompany Caroline's guitar work, which I really love.  The melodies that Caroline Cawley provides goes very well with the lyrics. But her guitar work also feels it has a story of its own, which makes me admire Caroline's songwriting work and she knows when to get heavy when there's a part that fits. With the bands work ethic, I'm pretty sure people will start making noise about Dystopian Future Movies, here in the States. There are definitely bands I can see them doing shows with. Hopefully this becomes a reality. "Time" is a really rocking album that fans of Chelsea Wolfe, Marissa Nadler, Slowdive, and Swans can dig. Its dark, haunting, crushing, and melodic. The perfect soundtrack when driving to the Palm Desert/Joshua Tree area.

You can listen to "Time" below:-

"Time" can be purchased directly from Dystopian Future Movies about on cd, vinyl and digitally. Tape copies can be purchased here -

Friday 18 May 2018

Amarok - Devoured

Labels: Translation Loss Records
Formats: Vinyl/CD/Digital
Release Date: 22 Jun 2018


1. VI - Sorceress
2. VII - Rat Tower
3. VIII - Skeleton
4. IX - Devoured

It's been just over five years since the last new music from Californian sludge/doom band Amarok. That last release came in the form of a split tape/LP with Oregon's Hell. They're now safely in the  Translation Loss Records fold, a label with an enviable track record when it comes to slow and heavy music. "Devoured" is the band's first full-length and features four songs, that continue their use of Roman Numerals, spread over nearly seventy-minutes. That artwork has captivated me ever since I laid eyes on it!

I’ve not been listening to nearly enough heavy music over the last week, even though I’ve felt the pull of so much, which is why it’s a relief to be sitting here now. I’ve been wanting to write about this album ever since I caught a glimpse of it’s stunning cover art and album opener VI - Sorceress doesn’t disappoint. The acoustic guitar introduction, which draws in layers of noise and feedback, breeds a sense of great anticipation as the band increases in volume. The instrumentation remains restrained as the pained screams take their place on top. Amarok’s sludge and doom has been evolving since the turn of the decade and they seem to be at peak heaviness here, albeit with plenty of atmospheric progression too. The changing of dynamic near the mid-way point in the song, with more metallic (but still slow) riffs and deeper growls taking over, the quartet breeds a gloomier outlook that’s catching.

From that harrowing opener you’re greeted with melancholy and a strange but reassuring calmness as VII - Rat Tower begins. Be warned though, that calmness only lasts so long! While the heaviness of the band breaks through again, Amarok certainly knows how to interweave moments of abject beauty into their music. There are moments of drone and feedback-ridden noise that transports you to a different place at times. This is so much more than just straightforward sludge/doom. From the darkest moments the brightest lights shine.

There’s no big build up on VIII - Skeleton, as Amarok flails headlong into a shorter but no less intense piece. You’ll notice that throughout “Devoured” there’s a lot of continuation within the melodies created by the guitars. It’s continuation that works well, as if the songs on here were once one long song, before being split into separate movements. The bass tones throughout leave a rumbling imprint on both your brain and your body, making it the doomiest, most bone-shattering song on the album. There’s plenty of groove present in the it too though, especially towards it’s conclusion.

“Devoured” ends with IX - Devoured and it’s glorious guitar, which at times sounds like a siren. It’s a crafted expanse of melody, layered together to relax you before one final stark and despondent stretch of sludge. I guess that stark and despondent aren’t terribly good descriptors, as they paint an image of something that’s hard to listen to and depressive, which this album is not. It’s incredibly immersive from start to finish, which an album should be. It’s meant to be listened to in one sitting and not in short bursts. This album is another example of what is great about sludge/doom in 2018. 

You can stream VIII - Skeleton and pre-order "Devoured" on all available formats below:-

Tuesday 15 May 2018

Elessar - Is This All We Are EP

Labels: Self-Released
Formats: CD/Digital
Release Date: 27 Apr 2018


1. Half Love
2. Stay
3. In All Honesty
4. Careless
5. Saudade

I'm going for something a little easier tonight. Elessar is a four-piece emo/alt-rock band from Gloucester, England. They released their debut EP "Reflections" back in 2016 and have recently released this, their newest EP on cd and on digital platforms. They recently went out on a short tour in support of "Is This All We Are" with fellow Brit up-and-comers Halfway Hope and EDM/Rock band Hyde Project, taking them to London, Leeds & Manchester amongst other UK cities. 

Elessar kick things off in a heavier fashion than I was expecting on EP opener Half Love. Driving guitars give way to clean vocals and instrumentation that’s reminiscent of bands like Hidden In Plain View and Drive-Thru era bands of old. It’s catchy and while the sound is very polished, it’s got enough heft as well. There are moments throughout where Elessar chooses slightly off-kilter song-structures in place of the more standard 4/4 time signatures. It shows through on Stay and proves that they’ve grown up with many of the UK’s more intelligent alt-rock/post-hardcore bands. It’s great stuff so far. 

The gentler verses of In All Honesty and the impressive percussion/guitar work propels “Is This All We Are” further into memorable territory with all of the true emotion and sensitivity that many bands struggle to find, even with more years of experience behind them. I’ve sort of eluded to it above but it’s like going back in time a decade or more, when the sub-genre wasn’t so washed out and thrived on variation. The punk-laden uptempo approach of Careless gives off a ton of energy, in the same way that Cave In did on “Antenna”, while the atmosphere that swirls through EP closer Saudade is very much tempered with restraint and relief. it paints a picture of loss and pain but does so in a euphoric way. 

My comparisons may be at odds with those of others, but they reflect the feelings that Elessar provoked in me. The UK has a rich history and present day when it comes to alt-rock and melodic bands. Elessar will be a huge part of the scene in years to come, hopefully and right now they’re are a band that we can rightly be proud of.

Elessar have "Is This All We Are" available for streaming and digital download from the usual outlets and you can here Half Love below:-

CD digipack versions and merch can be picked up via their bigcartel page here -

Monday 14 May 2018

Blissful Stream - Dead Religious EP

Labels: Self-Released/Medusa Crush Recordings
Formats: Tape/Digital
Release Date: 03 Mar 2018


1. Downfall
2. Into The Abyss
3. Dead Religious
4. Black Ships

Doom metal has always dragged itself up from the darkest of places. While it has been long considered that doom metal originated here in the UK thanks to Black Sabbath, it's DNA has been gathered up and spliced via many countries from around the world since. One-man doom band Blissful Stream is from Hägersten in Sweden and "Dead Religious" is the band's third release, following the "Ascending Demons" EP from 2016 and the split with Lightsabres that followed latest year. "Dead Religious" was originally self-released but will be getting a limited tape release via Medusa Crush Recordings.

I’ve been allowing myself a bit more social/me time of late and have been a quieter on the blog front, which is why reviews haven’t been flowing as frequently. Sometimes that little break is good though as it allows me time to refresh and for the excitement to build again. Like the excitement I feel when pressing play on “Dead Religious”. It feels very much like Blissful Stream is a doom band from the old-school end of things. No lengthy 10+ minute songs but still enough gloom and groove to remind you of the band’s persuasion. Opener Downfall is certainly a fine example of this. It’s instrumental for the most part but unlike a lot of solo recordings, it doesn’t sound like it’s lacking put it that way. Into The Abyss is an up-tempo slab of doom that features more than just a hint of traditional metal and thrash. Martin Sällström’s vocals more than match the urgency of the song, reminding me of a few of the Swedish greats along the way. 

The title-track’s opening guitar riffs remind me of classic Westerns. The song itself again is groovy and loud. The traditional metal/hard rock influence is more evident here too and it’s sounds like Martin was there at the time that the sub-genres started and isn’t just aping them to sound relevant. EP closer Black Ships is slightly more stripped back and the fact that the lyrics are audible make it all slightly more approachable for those that maybe haven’t ventured into the true underground depths yet. That’s not doing it a disservice though, as it’s a cracking song and it rounds out an EP that ticks all the boxes. There no pretence here, it’s just pure heavy metal worship and that’s fine with me. Definitely give Blissful Stream your attention.

You can stream and purchase "Dead Religious" digitally from Blissful Stream below:-

Keep an eye out on Blissful Stream's page above or Medusa Crush's page below for news on that tape release.

Friday 11 May 2018

The Infested - Raw Ensemble

Labels: EHC Records
 Formats: Vinyl/CD/Digital
Release Date: 21 May 2018


1. Believe
2. Hoax
3. Shackles
4. Shackles (Part 2)
5. Fight Or Flight
6. Dopamine
7. Monsters
8. SSRI Or Die?
9. Buy To Survive
10. Another Life
11. Outro
12. Turn The Page (Demo/Bonus)

It's safe to say (and it has been said many time) that Leeds (West Yorkshire, England) has one of the best music scenes of anywhere in the UK. From the most extreme metal right down to the artiest punk, Leeds has so much to offer musically. It makes sense then for the city that gave birth to Slam Dunk festival to be producing punk rock and ska bands that could rival any band that appeared on that festival's stage in it's early days. The Infested have been building their brand of "Punk Rock Ska-Core" since 2003 and are due to release their third full-length "Raw Ensemble" in a couple of weeks. The album title bares a cheeky little nod to Slayer (War Ensemble anyone?), but the music could not be further removed.

My frame of reference when it comes to punk rock bands employing Ska is the likes of Mad Caddies and Less Than Jake, but I’m probably a bit out of touch with such bands in the UK. Believe proves that The Infested are all about fun, while having a serious message within their lyrics. The music is solid but the vocals take a bit of getting used to, even for someone who likes hardcore and noisy punk. On Hoax, the melody from the guitars and the grittiness of the band as whole is great. In fact they could be the UK’s answer to Zebrahead, but with more bite. In true punk fashion they don’t hang around at any point on this record. Shackles exhibits their instrumental song-writing, which is super good. Shackles (Part 2) is a ridiculously fast number that makes use of a lot of hardcore influence but retains the band’s infectious punk as well. 

By the time The Infested reaches Fight Or Flight, they seem to have definitely found their song-writing chops. The longer running time and the added melody in the vocals seem to thrust the record to another level (in my opinion!). They stick to a briefer formula with Dopamine and the up-tempo urgency really stands out. It drags you kicking and screaming into the album’s second-half with raging drums and old-school punk flair. Thrash metal riffs and dual-guitar harmonies greet you on Monsters and that should give a clue as to how heavy this song is. That said, The Infested does still throw down plenty of skilfully played ska during it’s latter passages, creating a song of two distinct halves. They dial things back slightly on SSRI Or Die? but the ska is still alive and present, in a song that’s probably the angst-ridden anthem of “Raw Ensemble”. Absolutely brilliant! The further you get into this album, the better it becomes and the better in makes you feel. 

On Buy To Survive, The Infested play their longest song. Once again the longer playing time suits their music just as much as the fast stuff does. They’re even classy enough to throw an acoustic song into the mix. Another Life gives you more restrained musicianship but with the same intense vocal delivery. The Outro, which is actually the penultimate song of the album is an orchestral song complete with the usual pomp and drama. it’s really cool though in a slightly cheesy way! There’s a demo/bone song stacked on the end of the record called Turn The Page and it’s the closest song The Infested has to something nearing pop-punk. Overall this is a great record with bucket loads of energy. The harsh vocals may be a bit abrasive for some but this is punk rock and it was always meant to go against the grain. Nice job!

You can stream album opener Believe via EHC Records below:-

It's currently available to pre-order via the bandcamp page above on all formats.

Wednesday 9 May 2018

10 Questions: Scum

This interview was going to form part of a larger article; however, I've decided to post it up this evening so that I'm not keeping Scum waiting any longer. Scum are a London based hardcore band with links to links to Harrogate, where I reside. Those links have seen them release a split cd/digital EP with local hardcore band Ericbana (who I'll be featuring in the coming weeks). They came up here recently to play and EP release show alongside Ericbana, Leeds punks Strong Boys and fellow Harrogate band The 7ups. Thanks to Scum for taking the time to answer my questions. 

Who is in Scum and where are you from?

Scum is a four piece from Harrogate and London, Ross Lilley is our vocalist, Ash Merritt on guitar, Jamie Lyons on drums and Alin Lordache on bass. We're essentially nasty fellows who play something resembling metal/hardcore with a bit of thrash and grind thrown in for good measure. 

What is the history of the band? When and how did you form?

Scum was started by me (Ash) and Lyons around 2014 as a way to let off steam and exercise our musical muscles outside of the more straight ahead punk bands we were playing in around the time the band started. It didn't take us long to come to the realisation that we way preferred the musical freedom and heaviness of playing in a band like Scum, it quickly became both of our main gig! It took us a little bit to find Ross and Alin, two years in actual fact, we're still trying to get rid of them. Initially we started off a little more techy but as the band progressed, the groove became king, more extreme elements of punk seeped which takes us up to where we are right now. 

Have any of you played in previous bands and are you in any other bands currently?

Lyons and I (Ash) have played in a bunch of bands together over the years, we've done everything from hardcore to twinkly emo music but currently Scum is our main and only. Ross has played in supremely heavy bands namely Blind Mentality around the Pompey (Portsmouth) area which is where he's from. Alin played in a Birmingham based tech metal band called Rise Of My Empire for a good few years before joining us. 

Who write’s the lyrics/music? Is it collective?

The process tends to be that I (Ash) write the rough outline for a tune, then Lyons and I will properly get together in the practice space and structure it out and make it sound like us. Alin will then re-write the bass parts (always for the better). Lyric wise Ross is a loner so we solely rely on him to come up with shit. He's good at it so we basically leave him to it! 

What subjects do you cover in your lyrics?

It tends to be all quite serious and po faced! The folly of humanity, war, mental struggle, financial struggle, the political and social state of the world at large all are topics Ross has covered. 

Are there any bands that have influenced you?

A fuck tonne, the Dillinger Escape Plan are a massive one for me (Ash), mainly from the perspective of our approach, i.e. fuck the conventional path, make your own. Early Trash Talk and early Hatebreed for the groovy hardcore side of things. We personally grew up on a steady diet of Metallica, Pantera and Sepultura which all have a huge bearing on the riff style. That being said, we really try to not borrow too much from any one band in particular, we're incredibly conscious of when things do and don't sound like 'us' and we fully intend to keep it that way. 

What are your favourite albums/EPs at the moment?

...From the Ground by this band called Scum, duh. Seriously though, recently we all really dug the new Code Orange, we've also been on a massive Jamie Lenman hit recently, Devolver is fucking dope as are Reuben who amazingly i've only just discovered. I also recently discovered Bark Market who are incredible for that lo-fi rock and roll southern fried sound. The most recent Car Bomb album kills, and on that heavy side of things, the most recent releases from all Pigs Must Die and Nails, Employed to Serve, Knocked Loose, Fit For An Autopsy, Carpenter Brut are nuts. We're also heavy into various other genres from Horace Silver to Jamiroquai to MF Doom. 

What is your favourite gig/tour story? 

Every gig tends to be rife with alcohol fuelled shenanigans, it's the mental people that you meet gigging that stick in my mind. We played the Devonshire Arms in Camden a little while back, spent the whole day getting rather messy with strange old punks. The sound engineer turned out to be one of the said old punks, he went by the name of Diesel and bought a pitbull (who was much nicer than he was). He was a quick to temper old gentleman who did not take kindly to me calling him son in true Yorkshire fashion in a urinal encounter. People like that make gigging hilarious! 

What is your local heavy/punk scene like and who should we check out (band-wise)? 

Scum had two main phases of existence, for the first few years we were in London and unfortunately there wasn't much of a scene but in the North there’s Leeds with it’s famously sick hardcore scene, bands like Broken Teeth (Manc) and Higher Power (Leeds) are sick as well as more underground bands like Hex (Leeds). We're basically down with most of the bands that play places like Temple of Boom and Chunk. We aren't too aware of of whats going down in York but we're playing there at The Spread Eagle on the 13th of April (plug) so I guess we'll see! 

What is your favourite tipple?

The band drink is basically rum and coke, a drink we can consume to a shameful degree. Lyons is an alcohol bin and will drink basically anything. Alin occasionally brings us back home made Romanian moonshine from his trips to the motherland which tastes like petrol and could knock out a small army. Great for a cold, because it will kill you. 

You can listen to their split with Ericbana, as well as thier earlier EP below:-

Both are available as name-your-price downloads too.

Once again, cheers to Ash and Scum for taking part in this interview. I'll be posting up a review of the split soon too.