We've listed singles/EPs/demos in order of star rating. Best first.
Reviews by Joe Geesin, Jason Ritchie, Pete Whalley, David Wilson
INSTILL The Hooligan Factor (Fudgeworks)
Instill were formed in the deep south, well Bournemouth, back in 2008. This is
the band's second EP release and it is one of best packaged CD's I have seen,
they have put a lot of time and effort into the sleeve design which includes a
full comic strip on the inside cover, impressive stuff. Question is though are
they all show and no go?
It turns out that the band pay the same amount of attention to the musical
content as to the artwork and the 5 tracks on offer are excellent.
Opener 'Guestlist' sets the scene well, the band's sound is like a cross between
Black Stone Cherry and Nickelback in parts, but with an original stamp put on it
and lyrics to make you smile.
The band describe themselves as 'comedy metal' and they certainly live up to
that billing lyrically.
The 5 tracks follow the cover comic strip featuring the adventures of 'Captain
Pedalo', but when it comes to the music the band are deadly serious.
There are some cracking riffs and cleverly constructed melodies through the
disc, I especially like the way the band have included bits of the Sailor's
Hornpipe into the riff for the track 'Captain Pedalo', clever stuff.
This is a cracking EP in all respects and Instill deserve a lot of success on
the back of it. I would recommend you give it a go. *****
Review by David Wilson
GRACE Stealing Kisses
Another fresh faced young band looking for success and this four piece Grace
may just edge a very crowded musical field. This lead track of their EP has a
Status Quo approved guitar riff running through it and wait until you hear the
harmonies on the chorus – divine and then some. Like any good single it gets
better on each listen and certainly leaves you wanting to hear more by the band.
Review by Jason Ritchie
STILLMAN Eton Mess EP
A tricky one, this 4 track ep from London based songwriter / producer Stillman -
a short progressive concept piece about the state of our nation in 2012. The PR
Blurb would have us believe it combines 'floor shaking riffage, serpentine
basslines, loping funk rhythms and soaring melodies'. And to be fair, that's not
very wide of the mark.
Difficult to pigeon hole, the set has a late sixties underground experimental
feel wearing Rush and Floyd influences (amongst many) proudly across the four
tracks on offer. It's vintage, but contemporary and demonstrates succinctly that
prog ain't dead, dying or on this showing, even seriously injured.
Give Stillman a decent production budget and a fair wind and there's tender
shoots of life here that could blossom into something much grander. ***½
Review by Pete Whalley
THE LIGHTS Days Don't Get Me Far Enough Away
The Lights have found favourable reviews at GRTR! with their steady flow of
single releases, although somehow we seem to have been overlooked when their
debut album 'Teenager Of The Century' was released last year.
'Days Don't Get Me Far Enough Away' is their first release since signing to
Birdman Records and finds the band in rude health with a bright and breezy folk
/ pop number.
Liz Shiels takes the vocal spotlight on this one, subtly underpinned by the
harmony vocals of co-front man Shaun Kelly. It should only enhance their growing
reputation. A cross between The Beautiful South and The Coral. ***
Review by Pete Whalley
HIEROSONIC The Media Taught You That (Soundmine Musicworks /Membran)
New single, from the band's new album, this is underground rock at the
mainstream /trendy end. Indi guitar rock/pop meets alternative with punchy
vocals and a slight jangly touch. Plenty of attitude, but not enough melody to
warrant three versions, least of all an instrumental version.
This is more NME or Q rocking out than quality GRTR material. **½
Review by Joe Geesin