Monthly Archives: September 2021

Traitrs – Poison Mouths (Freakwave Records, 17 September)

Toronto post-punk / darkwave duo TRAITRS release beautifully caustic ‘Mouth Poisons’ single

Canadian post-punk rising stars TRAITRS present their new single ‘Mouth Poisons’,  the new taster of their forthcoming long-player ‘Horses In The Abattoir’, to be released in mid-November via Freakwave, a Berlin-based label that is part of the Schubert Music Europe group, with distribution by The Orchard. Not long ago, the duo released the single ‘Oh, Ballerina’. with a short moody art-house horror film meets 80’s new wave music video, directed and edited by Shawn Tucker.

Recorded by and produced with Josh Korody (F*cked Up, Japandroids, Dilly Dally, Beliefs, Nailbiter) at Candle Recording Studio, the new output was mastered by Pete Maher (U2, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Depeche Mode, Nine Inch Nails, Prince, Linkin Park, Katy Perry).

Based in Toronto, TRAITRS was formed in 2015 by Sean-Patrick Nolan and Shawn Tucker. With a cinematic blend of post-punk, goth, alternative and post-rock, their emotive melodies, propulsive rhythms, angular guitars and dark cinematic electronics quickly led to the duo becoming one of the dark music scene’s fastest rising independent artists.

“The core sketch of this song was written late at night at a very good friend’s place in Frankfurt, Germany. ‘Mouth Poisons’ is an extremely personal song and lyrically I set myself up as the main target. It carries an air of ‘come see what’s going inside of me that wants to burn down everything in sight’. Definitely my favourite single we have ever released to date,” says Shawn Tucker.

“‘Mouth Poisons’ was initially supposed to be a fast, angular punk track and it remained in this form for several months until Shawn wrote the bass guitar part and completely changed the way I heard the song. His melodic bass line brought out a sadness and vulnerability in the track that I didn’t know was there. All of a sudden this frantic punk song sounded more like The Smiths or New Order, so I completely rewrote my synth part to tease out those elements even more. The break before the outro is one of my favourite parts on the album,” says Sean-Patrick Nolan.

Early demos, recorded with Josh Korody, led to TRAITRS’ 2016 debut cassette ‘Rites And Ritual’ with Pleasence Records. After gaining traction in Europe and North America, TRAITRS released their critically acclaimed ‘Butcher’s Coin’ LP via Pleasence Records / Manic Depression Records / Alchera Visions in 2018. Bolstered by lead single ‘Thin Flesh’, the duo embarked on several lengthy tours overseas, performing in over a dozen countries with showcases at Wave Gothik Treffen, Castle Party, Extramuralhas, Nocturnal Culture Night, Wavefest, Canadian Music Week and Pop! Montreal.

Their relentless touring schedule and work ethic caught the attention of Thomas Thyssen and Eric Burton of Schubert Music Publishing and, in October 2020, they announced TRAITRS as the first signing to their brand-new record label Freakwave Records.

With the preceding limited 10’’ vinyl ‘The Sick, Tired And Ill’, which practically sold-out before its actual release, TRAITRS were able to triple their Spotify monthly listeners to >33k. In addition, lead single ‘Magdalene spent 5 consecutive weeks at #1 on the German Alternative Charts (DAC).

As of September 17, ‘Mouth Poisons’ will be available digitally everywhere, including Spotify and Apple Music. On November 19, the full-length ‘Horses In The Abattoir’ LP will be released on vinyl, CD and digitally. It can be ordered at

Written and performed by TRAiTRS
Shawn Tucker – Vocals, guitar, bass guitar and lyrics
Sean-Patrick Nolan – Synths, piano, sequencing and programming
Additional percussion by Josh Korody
Recorded at Candle Recording Studio in Toronto
Produced and mixed by Josh Korody and TRAITRS
Mastered by Pete Maher
Album cover design by Shawn Tucker, based on ‘Anna Pavlova In The Fokine/Saint-Saëns The Dying Swan. St. Petersburg – 1905’.
Video scenario and production by TRAITRS
Video directed and edited by Shawn Tucker

Keep up with TRAITRS
Bandcamp | Facebook | Instagram | Soundcloud | Twitter | YouTube | Spotify | Apple Music | Press contact

Keep up with Freakwave Records
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Posted by on September 24, 2021 in Uncategorized


Party Day – Sorted! (Optic Nerve CD/LP, 24 September 2021)

Reissued for the first time and first time ever on CD

Formed in 1981 in Barnsley, Party Day, with their bass-led rhythms and sharp, powerful drums, gigged extensively and released their debut single ‘Row The Boat Ashore’ in 1983. Their brand of Post-Punk Indie Rock with Gothic overtones soon got the attention of DJ John Peel and sold out almost immediately. The follow-up single ‘Spider’ from 1984 again received extensive airplay from John Peel and received rave reviews from the national music press.

Their self-released debut album Glasshouse was released in 1985 to glowing reviews and has gained popularity over the years. Now very collectable, it exchanges hands for big money on the secondhand market. The Glasshouse EP followed later in ‘85 heralding a more commercial approach and widening appeal. Their second album Simplicity was released in 1986.

A remastered 31 track double-CD of all of their vinyl releases plus unreleased recordings, Sorted! includes their critically acclaimed and highly sought-after debut album Glasshouse from 1985 and the 1986 follow-up Simplicity, singles & EPs. The 20-page booklet is adorned with the artwork from the Glasshouse EP, which features in the Prints & Drawings collection at the Victoria & Albert Museum.

Double-vinyl follows at the beginning of next year – includes the Glasshouse (purple vinyl) and Simplicity (gold vinyl) LPs, presented in a gatefold sleeve with printed inner sleeves and a download code for all 31 tracks on the double CD.

“Mouthy pellets of malevolence” NME      “Excellent punk junk howl” Sounds

“Proving that they’ve grasped more than an inspirational nettle, the recurrent throb finds their trousers igniting during the quite punctilious rawk of the title track, the urgent prodding of ‘Career’, which reminded me uncomfortably of early Killing Joke and the attractive, though slightly over-wrought black sheep, ‘Glorious Days’, which could have brought a lump to Mario Lanza’s trousers.” Mick Mercer, Melody Maker

CD1 1.Rabbit Pie 2.Firehorse 3.Carousel 4.Athena 5.Party Day 6.Glasshouse 1982 7.Opium Gathering 8.Tin Sky 9. Row The Boat Ashore 10.Poison 11.The Spider 12.Flies 13.Boredom 14.Grace 15.Atoms

CD2 1.Borderline 2.Glasshouse 1985 3.My Heroine 4.Let Us Shine 5.Smile 6.Sovereign 7.She May Be Blind 8.Stay In My Heart 9.Laughter 10.Simplicity 11.The Other Side 12.Precious One 13.Career 14.A Passing Pain 15.Glorious Days 16.Surge

To keep up with Party Day

Optic Nerve Recordings

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Posted by on September 23, 2021 in Uncategorized


The Brothers Steve – Dose (15 October, Big Stir Records)

Big Stir Records is thrilled to announce the October 15 release of DOSE, the new album from THE BROTHERS STEVE, on CD and all digital platforms.

Featuring the new single and focus track “Next Aquarius”, the record is up for pre-order everywhere including and now. The keenly awaited follow up to the LA quintet’s acclaimed 2019 debut #1, DOSE ofers up 10 new songs which take the band’s invigorating punk-pop sound in exciting new directions, folding in elements of psychedelia, glam rock, and even fourishes of chamber pop while retaining all of the energy and charisma that made THE BROTHERS STEVE such an instant favorite on the global pop scene.

Bristling with the trippy energy its title suggests, the new set was written and recorded by frontmen and singer-guitarists OS TYLER and JEFF WHALEN and is fueled by the chemistry of the live band: drummer COULTER (aka author S.W. Lauden) and bassist JEFF SOLOMON (Whalen’s longtime bandmates from the beloved LA pop-rock combo TSAR) and guitarist DYLAN CHAMPION. Tracked and mixed at a secret LA recording studio, DOSE simultaneously captures the band’s irresistible live energy while pushing their gleeful aesthetic into fascinating new territory.

It’s an album of twists and turns and surprises, delights and deception: lead track “Get On Up” opens with an almost lullaby-like acapella harmony passage before exploding into a boisterous, supercharged call to arms for creatures of the night. The closing “Better Get Ready To Go” is cut from the same glam-anthemic cloth, taking unbridled joy in exhorting the listener to “get it on, squeaky Kong,” and “Just put Geppetto to the meadow and let’s get out of here,” it’s emblematic of a record that revels unironically in the fundamental absurdity of rock and roll. “We’re saying things that may seem to make no sense at all, but we’re sincerely convinced of them!” enthuses Whalen.

Playful surrealism and quirky character sketches give the record its shape. Take the Zombies-infected “Mrs. Rosenbaum” (she’s defnitely dead, and maybe a witch), the bubblegum sweetness of “Sugarfoot” (nominally inspired by the frontman of The Ohio Players, of all bands), and the exhilarating boogie “Wizard of Love” (he makes you feel like you’re the passionate one). “It’s heady like a bolt from above” goes one line, and so is much of DOSE, including the driving, post-punky celebration of “Electro-Love” and the ridiculously catchy single “Next Aquarius”: it’s equal parts psychedelic shimmer, punk-rock sneer and pure pop perfection.

There’s mystery in the grooves, too, and that’s where the new record adds texture to the winning formula of #1. The urgent “Grifth Observatory” has all the charge of the best tracks on the debut, overlaid with a layer of old Hollywood intrigue (it’s inspired by the Barbara Streisand A Star Is Born among other infuences, Whalen discloses). There’s the fascinating “She Will Wait,” wherein Tyler and Whalen tell two sides of the tale at the same time, with tender interlocking counterpart harmonies; the “she” of the title may or may not be time itself.

Perhaps most evocative of all is the soaring “Love Of Kings” with its impassioned fairy tale imagery… although Tyler specifes that the narrative takes place 122 years in the future. “There’s a collective mythology here, maybe a sort of future-retro-neo-noir thing” says Tyler, “but it’s fundamentally about sonic delight, a luxurious soundscape.”

Whalen adds that the songs “evoke like an MF… like a T-Rex song, the imagery might mean diferent things to diferent people, but you can tell how excited we are about making the listener feel it along with us.”

Ultimately it’s the hooks, harmonies and instrumental interplay that make DOSE such an intoxicating experience. There’s a leap forward in sophistication and nuance, but the album is just as much of a giddy ride as #1 and just as likely to top year-end “Best Album” lists and indie radio charts worldwide. DOSE is in fact just what the doctor ordered for a world awash in pandemic-era bedroom recordings: a real band fring at the height of their considerable powers, charting new ground and having palpable fun doing it.

THE BROTHERS STEVE made a promise with their debut: “We Got The Hits.” Here are ten more of them.

Keep up with The Brothers Steve


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Posted by on September 23, 2021 in Uncategorized


Permafrost – Restore Us (Fear of Music, 3 September 2021)

Norwegian-UK post-punk outfit Permafrost presents timely single ‘Restore Us’

Norwegian-UK outfit Permafrost has announced their new single ‘Restore Us’, which includes the original version and two remixes. This will be available as of September 3 via the Fear of Music label with distribution by Secretly Noord.

We’ve become numb to endless conflicts and mountebanks posing as leaders. A figurative plague has divided us for most of the modern era. It took a literal one to bring us together, albeit in the darkest of ways.

One would be forgiven for feeling a little nostalgic for better times about now, and we’re long overdue for a hard reset. With ‘Restore Us’, Permafrost has just released what could be the theme song for the post-lockdown era.

Permafrost was formed in 1982 in Molde, Norway by Frode Heggdal Larsen and Kåre Steinsbu during the first post punk era, taking their name from a Magazine track. They released the ‘Godtment’ EP a year later. Robert HeggdalTrond Tornes and eventually Daryl Bamonte, who had worked with bands like Depeche Mode and The Cure, rounded out the group.

In 2019, they released the ‘Permafrost’ EP to high praise. The well-received singles ‘Closed Eyes’and ‘Femme Fatale’, both of which reached #1 on the Indie Disko Top40 and top 5 in the Deutsche Alternative Chart and the Native25 chart, were released earlier this year, spending several weeks at the top of many indie charts.

As industry veterans, their long arc provides some crucial perspective as we enter uncharted waters. In fact, ideas for the song have been germinating for three years, with it ultimately coming into focus over the past year. Both foreboding and optimistic, ‘Restore Us’ is less the battle hymn that is usually the stock in trade of the post punks, and more of a face-the-facts statement that it’s time.

The accompanying video’s footage was shot in 1987 by keyboardist Daryl Bamonte, during Depeche Mode’s Music For The Masses tour, while he was working with the band. It shows the energy and enthusiasm of a group on the ascent, in a country concurrently starting its slow decline into the new consumerism era, reaching its logical conclusion when a failed salesman would become president three decades later. A man forged in that epoch, with a commitment to a laissez-faire modus operandi and putting profits over people, became the glaring symbol of our ultimate undoing.

The film takes us back to a time when bands were embracing a “get in the van” lifestyle, while naively passing through the intestinal tract of the beast, getting their kicks on Route 666, during the unraveling of an American Dream that probably never was. As the song concludes, shifting from its dark minor key to one that is more sanguine, we also see oddly foreboding, shaky footage of an airliner.

The emergence from dark times presents opportunities if we take them. Restoration doesn’t have to mean going back to the time portrayed in the video. Were the “good times” really that good, or were we being fooled all along, ignorantly living in our bubbles? As we get back on the road, perhaps we should reconsider the route this time around. The recent reminder that the world is indeed very small and connected can also be an instruction to restore our humanity.

As of September 3, ‘Restore Us’ will be available everywhere online, including Spotify, Apple Music and Bandcamp, where their other music can also be found. It can be pre-saved on Spotify at 

1. Restore Us
2. Restore Us (Pyxis Remix)
3. Restore Us (MAPS Remix)

Written by Permafrost
Produced and engineered by Permafrost
Mixed and Mastered by Paul Corkett
Press release by Alex Maiolo
Video by Mimi Supernova
Film footage by Daryl Bamonte

Keep up with Permafrost
Facebook Bandcamp | Instagram | YouTube | Spotify | Apple Music | Press contact

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Posted by on September 10, 2021 in Uncategorized


The Speed of Sound – The Museum of Tomorrow (Big Stir Records, Release: 17 September 2021)

Manchester power pop outfit The Speed of Sound announces ‘Museum of Tomorrow’ LP, previews lead track ‘Tomorrow’s World’

British underground music veterans The Speed Of Sound have announced the autumn release of their fifth studio album ‘Museum of Tomorrow’, to be issued on CD and Deluxe LP via California’s Big Stir Records, 32 years to the day the band released their debut EP back in 1989.

Ahead of this, the band reveal the lead track ‘Tomorrow’s World’ as a sweet taster of what’s in store for listeners, along with an animated video. The entire 21st century seems to have been mis-sold. This song is a cry of anguish and a re-statement of what should have been. Twelve multilayered synthesizer tracks recreate a flying saucer landing at the end and the ultra-depth in the sound is from bowed bass on the verse-ends and pre-chorus.

From the opening line “We were offered Star Trek, but they fed us Soylent Green” – which is etched into the vinyl – science fiction abounds within the music, positioning The Now simultaneously in the Future and in the Past. We all exist on the edge of forever.

Conceived as two seamless sides, the vinyl edition of this record was mastered as two complete extended pieces: Gallery One and Gallery Two. Korg synthesiser lines, reminiscent of classic Science Fiction incidental music and sound-collages, link the gapless songs.

To date, The Speed of Sound has released eight singles via Big Stir, but ‘Museum of Tomorrow’ is an all-new experience. While each of these 13 new songs could have been a single, they are gathered in an organically homogeneous collection, showcased within the ‘Museum Of Tomorrow’. This is an album made manifest by and for people who like albums.

This is future retro modern music, rooted in a definite 60’s influence but with an 80’s twist. Influenced by The Byrds, Small Faces, The Chords, Siouxsie & The Banshees and XTC, with female and male vocals, The Speed Of Sound merges the power of punk with the floating harmonies of The Byrds. Their sound and alphabetical order places them between Sonic Youth and Dusty Springfield.

The Speed Of Sound formed in Manchester in 1989 with a pre-history dating directly back to the day Andy Warhol died in 1987. Dwelling deep below the ‘music industry radar’ has allowed for the evolution of their own distinct sound, their live act often described totally differently with comparisons from The Stranglers and Television to Jefferson Airplane and The Who.

The Speed Of Sound has continuously produced music that is optimistic and with lyrical bite, a punk-inspired DIY ethos and lust for experimentation rooted in psychedelia. While players have come and gone, the current lineup has largely been the same for four years, including father and son John Armstrong (guitars and vocals) and Henry Armstrong (keyboards), Ann-Marie Crowley (vocals and guitar), Kevin Roache (bass guitar) and John Broadhurst (drums).

‘Tomorrow’s World’ is out on August 13 and will be available via Apple Music and Spotify. On September 17, the ‘Museum of Tomorrow’ LP will be released digitally, on CD and limited-edition 170g heavy weight vinyl with a choice between black and glorious colour. Vinyl orders include a 16-page full-colour A5 printed Exhibition Guide containing lyrics, full-colour inner sleeve, a separate picture insert, a sticker, a pair of badges/buttons and a bookmark. The album can already be pre-ordered in all formats from Big Stir Records’ site.

Written by John Armstrong
John Armstrong – guitars and vocals
Ann-Marie Crowley – vocals and guitars
Kevin Roache – bass guitar
John Broadhurst – drums
Henry Armstrong – keyboards
Recorded at Vibratone Sound Studio, Manchester
Engineered by Adam Crossley and Chris Guest
Mixed By Adam Crossley, Chris Guest and The Speed Of Sound
Mastered by Adam Crossley and Chris Guest at Vibratone Sound Studio
Sleeve front / Artwork by Local Hotel Parking

Keep up with The Speed of Sound
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Soundcloud | YouTube | Apple Music | Spotify | Press contact

Keep up with Big Stir Records
Website | Bandcamp | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Mixcloud | YouTube

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Posted by on September 9, 2021 in Uncategorized