Signals – ‘Paraesthesia’ [Review]

Signals Lungs Apart Sleep Talk Facial Furniture EP Album Paraesthesia Single Review Band UK

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What can I write about Signals that I haven’t before?

This Southampton-based self-proclaimed math-pop quartet makes music that seems to demand a hell of a lot of hyphens in order to explain it properly. With Paraesthesia, Signals have levelled up afuckinggain, taking a soulful, jazzy tack and dropping a freaky Tim Burton-esque video accompaniment, viewable below. Paraesthesia takes math-rock’s trademark sense of playful joy and keeps dead-brain numbness at bay by amplifying Signals’ trademark quirks, showcasing a band hitting the next peak of their powers.

Long may Signals’ ascent continue. When these guys hit debut-album territory, it’s going to be Read more…

Posted on 17 May 2016

Camden Rocks Festival 2016 [Festival Preview]

Camden Rocks Festival 2016 2015 2014 Preview SikTh Sonic Boom Six Press To MECO Blood Youth Dorje The Hyena Kill Grumble Bee The Algorithm InMe Zebrahead 2015 2014 2013 London Rock Metal Punk Alt Alternative Ska Punk Dub Reggae The Hell Comedy Instrumental Prog Progressive Young Guns The Cribs

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If you’re a UK-based rock, metal, and/or punk fan, you need to be at Camden Rocks Festival this year. The lineup is fucking ear-watering, totalling 200 bands performing live and in your face over the course of one single day and multiple London venues.

At the time of writing, 80 bands still have yet to be announced – but of those we do know about, here are seven of my personal favourites:


Sikth Live Crowd Shot Camden Rocks Festival 2016 Opacities

As any self-respecting tech-metal fan knows, SikTh are absolutely sick. Returning to shatter minds after an extended split via a series of rapturously received reunion shows and last December’s awe-inspiring Opacities, SikTh are continuing to Read more…

Posted on 09 April 2016

Six Underground Bands To Watch In 2016 [Feature]

6 Underground Bands To Watch In 2016

With the music world gradually gearing up for a brand new year, here are six underground bands to watch in 2016:

1) Dorje.


I’ve ranted and raved about these guys for years – and frankly, they fucking deserve it. Dorje are an industry unto themselves, topping album charts across the Internet with their latest Catalyst EP, racking up some 800,000 YouTube views for their signature song Aeromancy, and nailing one of Indiegogo’s top crowdfunding campaigns while handling everything in-house with zero label backing.

Respect is due here – and this year will see a second EP alongside much touring. By the time Dorje are done, their peers will be craning their necks to catch a glimpse of them.

2) Black Peaks.

Black Peaks

If you just can’t cram enough mind-ruining math rock into your day, Black Peaks’ latest single Saviour is a must-listen. A massively improved version of an already epic track from early EP Closer To The Sun, and a mouth-watering taste of what to expect from Black Peaks’ upcoming album StatuesSaviour will blow you away. Play loud.

3) Signals.


As with Dorje and Black Peaks, I’ve written many an evangelical word about Signals over the years. Breaking fresh ground with every note, this Southampton-based math-pop quartet are genuinely unique. Hard-earned technical skills, thoughtful musicianship, never-less-than-perfect production, and an instantly recognisable sound topped off with Ellie Price’s consistently passionate vocals all add up to an act capable of cutting the mustard like a legendary ninja.

4) Toska.


When they’re not inducing jawbreaking gurns in Dorje, guitarist Rabea Massaad, drummer Ben Minal, and bassist Dave Hollingworth can be found frying facial features as Toska. Instrumental progressive metal is the name of the game here, departing from the standard Periphery-aping clone formula employed by many of their peers in favour of a genuinely new vibe. Toska’s debut EP Ode To The Author does contain hints of Karnivool, Porcupine Tree, Tesseract, and even Incubus – but more than that, it represents the birth of a meditatively immersive New Sound.

More to come on this one – but for now, just trust me. This will be frickin’ special.

5) Hatton Manor.

Hatton Manor

Hatton Manor – aka Matt and Hannah – are in the earliest of early days right now. But they are still one of the most flat-out superior acoustic guitar-and-vocal duos I’ve ever heard. Dipping their toes into the live and festival circuits during 2015, as well as releasing their debut EP Eden, Hatton Manor are moving into a new phase full of experimentation. By turns graceful, gritty, joyful and dark, Hatton Manor know how to strap you into an emotional rollercoaster from note one. Awesome.

6) Princess Slayer.

Thoughtful EDM might seem like an oxymoron – but Princess Slayer make it work through a creative approach that blends hedonistic playfulness with ruminative sincerity. Drummer and producer Vince Welch digs up gut-rumbling grooves, cute melodies, and carefully constructed sonic strata while vocalist Casey Lim thinks out loud through an intimate and vulnerable yet confident vocal. With many collaborations and their Living EP behind them, a Princess Slayer album is rumoured to be on the way. With any luck, 2016 will be the year it surfaces – and when it does, expect something exceptional and exceptionally cool.

If you enjoyed this feature, follow TMMP via Twitter and my brand new Facebook page for more from the world of world-class music!

Posted on 11 January 2016

TMMP’s Top EPs & Songs Of 2015 [Feature]

Songs Of 2015

As we saw yesterday via TMMP’s Top Albums Of 2015 feature, the last year has seen some absolutely amazing music released into the world. In case the 50 albums on yesterday’s list weren’t enough, here’s the cream of 2015’s shorter-form releases. TMMP’s Top EPs & Songs Of 2015 is a little less hefty, but no less inspiring.

Considering the meteoric rise of Catalyst, Dorje’s none-more-hench slab of riff-rocking audiojoy – not to mention the fact that it’s been my wakeup music since the day I downloaded it – it ultimately had to come out on top. But that fact does nothing to detract from the awesomeness of the bands, artists, songs, and EPs who’ve all been given second place since you’d need to nitpick to an insane degree if you were to try to rank them in some kind of chart-style order.

Every moment of music this list contains is top-notch. For further explanation, click the relevant links for more words and music – and follow TMMP via Twitter and my brand new Facebook page for more from the world of world-class music in 2016!

1) Dorje – Catalyst EP


2) Arcane Roots – Heaven & Earth EP

2) Black Peaks – Glass Built Castles Crooks Saviour

2) Maxi Curnow – If We Make It

2) Grumble Bee – Disconnect

2) Hatton Manor – Eden

2) The Hyena Kill – Blisters Still Sick

2) In Dynamics – We Are Liars

2) Lu’Ami – Better

2) Plini – The End Of Everything

2) Princess Slayer – Living

2) Project RnL – Twisted Truth

2) Signals – Lungs Apart

2) Sonic Boom Six – No Man No Right

2) Tusks – Ink EP

Posted on 06 December 2015

Signals / Me And The Moon / China Bears [Live Review – The Star, Guildford, 23/10/2015]


Here’s a list of things that could stop me from seeing Signals when they’re in town:

1) Death.

That’s about it.

Since on a Friday night most punters tend to show up for the headliners and ignore the supports, said supports tend to be…shall we say…not very good. However, China Bears (75%) managed to buck that trend with a very nice, low-key, poppy indie-folk acoustic set that went over well despite falling victim to some standard-for-acoustic-sets-everywhere crowd chatter.

Me And The Moon (70%), meanwhile, were at an awkward point for any band, performing for the first time with an entirely new rhythm section who still need time to settle in. Here, they were a band of two halves – a frontwoman and guitarist working hard and successfully on their onstage confidence, meeting the gaze of every last person in the room, and a drummer and bassist who with time and experience will no doubt be doing the same sooner rather than later. Songwriting-wise, these guys were great – a work in progress with plenty of potential.

Signals (96%) have always been an immense band, in possession of a style brimming with cool subtleties. Complex but accessible, technical but still soulful, Signals’ self-label, “math-pop”, fits  Read more…

Posted on 24 October 2015

Signals – ‘Lungs Apart’ [Review]

Signals Lungs Apart Sleep Talk Facial Furniture EP Album Paraesthesia Single Review Band UK

Take two parts Imogen Heap’s pre-solo-work project Frou Frou, and three parts Signals’ unique math-pop stylings, and you have this absolutely amazing little single.

Every time these guys come out with something new, I’m all over it for many a good reason. Signals’ ability to pen deeply complex yet accessible songs; their stellar musicianship and otherworldly chops; the Read more…

Posted on 15 October 2015

Grumble Bee – ‘Disconnect’ [Review]

11025350_10203910477067134_927652912_oNine Inch Nails. Tesseract. You Me At Six. Strange stylistic bedfellows maybe, but Grumble Bee (aka ex-PaperPlane man Jack Bennett) has succeeded in welding them all together and creating something you absolutely have to hear immediately.

Two of my favourite TMMP genre categories are “Genre Terrorism” and “Complete Batshit Insanity” – and few acts fit those labels quite as snugly as Read more…

Posted on 28 February 2015

TMMP’s EPs & Tracks Of 2014

I have a very strong emotional attachment to many of the releases listed below. Choosing this list was exceptionally tough; I’ve been fortunate to discover some incredible bands and artists over the past year, and it’s safe to say that outside this list lie a great many immense tunes that can be found via a quick browse through TMMP’s archives when you’re done with this lot. However, the following choices are the cream of the crop. Read more…

Posted on 27 December 2014

Swim Good – ‘Little Victories EP’ [Review]

swim good little victoriesSwim Good consistently rock good – and this fresh threesome continues the winning streak so far upheld by previous release Yeah Yeah Great Yeah and a pair of storming live setsLittle Victories contrasts undeniable catchiness and jaunty guitars with vicious, go-for-the-throat lyrics; Love Don’t Tempt Me shines through live demo-level production that lends a surprisingly invigorating rawness to proceedings; and the closing cover of Ella Eyre’s Comeback is slinky, shiny, and entertaining. Read more…

Posted on 07 December 2014

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