This week our three guest reviewers take on another five new tracks and give them a spin through the headphones before they then air their opinion on each.
This week's panel: Nick Connett, Creative Manager at Rebel Rebel Artists/Wham Head Records; George Holmes, promoter/founder at GeHo Events; Little Indie assistant editor Ellie Ward.
SHOW BOY - YOUNG GUN
Debut from the London-based ex-Goldsmiths students formerly known as Jovis & the Bedwetters. Fusing falsetto vocals and funk synths for a power pop outing that frontman Jovis Lane describes as about, "believing that you are young, despite increasing evidence to the contrary. It originated the moment I looked down at my first ever tax return and panicked. I knew I had to go and write an angsty pop-punk song to make me feel young again."
Nick Connett: The moment that bass kicks in it got my interest. Really enjoy the chorus, but the vocals just aren't for me, I'm afraid. 3/5
George Holmes: Starts off extremely funky and builds to a stadium sized chorus. If this is their debut, I can't wait to hear what else they've got to offer 3/5
Ellie Ward: I disagree with Nick here: the vocals are great - I really like Jovis going high, high, high! I could listen to him all day. 4/5
Total score: 10/15
NICOTINE NERVES - SKIN TIGHT SHOES
From the self-titled debut EP released May 5 on Swiss label Middle Ear Recordings by Danish duo Nicotine Nerves. The Aarhus pair - singer and guitarist Rasmus Rankenberg Madsen and drummer Frederik Nielsen - deliver a restless, hard rocking hurricane of grunge, garage and punk.
NC: Now this is good! Duo you say...? WOW! Really digging this! 4.5/5
GH: WALLOP! this hits you like a train. Raucous garage-punk of the highest order. 3/5
EW: This has been very popular at Little Indie since it came to us. The yelps hit the spot that any beats might miss. They sound massive. 4.5/5
Total score: 12/15
THE BOXING - ONE BY ONE
The Leeds-based trio The Boxing - who we interviewed here recently - follow ‘Annabelle’ and ‘Violet Sun’ with another dark and drifting psych excursion with this latest just released single. Frontman Harrison Warke: "‘One by One’ is about depression and the culture of silence around it. We wanted to elaborate musically on the first couple of singles, it’s the first tune we’ve recorded in a proper studio and that gave us freedom to experiment and flesh out the arrangement a bit more."
NC: Instrumentation is good, but it's lacking a hook to really pull me in. 3/5
GH: Such a chilled vibe to start with, that leads down a psych path to a heavy finish. Lovely stuff. 3/5
EW: Leads off well and gets really into a psych groove, but lost me for more than a few plays. 3.5/5
Total score: 9.5/15
SEAZOO - ROY'S WORLD
Released last week (May 12), the first single from the debut album out this summer from the Welsh outfit. A three-minute scuzzed nugget of guitars, organ and Terry (the 36-year-old Korg synth) that fuses their eclectic sound to perfection. Recorded between a mountain-side studio in Radnorshire and a decommissioned nuclear bunker in Wrexham.
NC: I like the guitar work. Vocals are cool. I wasn't amazed by the melody though. 3.5/5
GH: Three minutes and eleven seconds of perfect guitar pop that will see you right for the summer months. 3/5
EW: If Terry's the Korg, who's Roy? Rather a 70s feel here. Nice catchy beat. 3/5
Total score: 9.5/15
MATT MALTESE - NO ONE WON THE WAR
20-year-old South Londoner Matt Maltese released this second track of 2017 - produced by The Maccabees' Hugo White - on May 12 via Café Bleu Recordings / Atlantic Records. A bruising and introspective ballad in which Matt ruminates on the world being gripped by constant and cyclical discord. The Coral’s Bill Ryder-Jones also plays guitar and organ on the track.
NC: Really enjoyed this track. Vocals and production are great, but for me personally I felt it needed more of a lift in places, something to really jump out and grab me. 4/5
GH: Matt Maltese is certainly a name to look out for and with this offering something special is brewing. 4/5
EW: Matt has a phenomenal voice and at such an age has a lot of promise. This song, however, while expertly produced and delivered, is too sombre for me. 3/5
Total score: 11/15