The Zen Arcade are a four piece made up of three members of The Strypes - and they have released their new EP ‘High Fidelity’. Since forming in 2019, the band have launched their own label, podcast and ‘zine - and have now released three great tracks that make up the EP. The title track is killer - an indie-pop masterpiece. ‘Don’t Say A Word’ is riff heavy, fast affair that defies you not to nod your head along with the beat. The EP rounds off with ‘Higher Fidelity’ which is the band’s podcast - an episode that talks about the title track and serves as a fascinating behind the scenes discussion. Original and trendsetting, the ‘High Fidelity’ EP is our erm Single Of The Week.
Sheffield’s Lostboy have released their ‘Bad News’ EP, a selection of five songs which includes previous singles ‘Kid’ and ‘Bad News’. ‘Kid’ is a cracking tune. Bright indie-pop with a slightly dark undertone to it. The EP is an open discussion on men’s mental health and ‘Kid’ has a pretty heavy message. ‘Bad News’ launches with a sublime sounding lead guitar riff - vocalist Max Clutterbuck is on point on these songs, with a voice; lyrics that are assured. ‘Charlie’ is more synth lead and draws upon the sound that The Killers made so popular. The chorus here is pure pop. ‘Fix’ is perhaps a little run of the mill while final track ‘Self(ish)’ is the slow one - brooding, intense. A fine debut EP...Coventry lads Idle Noise have an energetic new single called ‘Death To Modern Life’. Immediately anthemic, the song opens with a rousing sing-a-long section and quickly launches into a perfect indie-pop song complete with handclaps. Heavily layered, ‘Death To Modern Life’ is a great release..’Underclass Heart’ is Gaz Price’s follow up to his spot on previous single ‘The Muskerz Are Coming’. This new one is wonderfully produced; the whole sound is incredible. I do think that Price takes the Green Day influence a little too far vocally - the tone is grating in places and makes what should be an incredible song difficult to listen to at times as a result. As a fan of Gaz Price’s previous releases I recommend having a listen and making up your own mind on this one...George Rowlands new single is called ‘Golden’ - a wonderfully tender track. With shades of Liam Gallagher (well George is ‘Liam’ in two Oasis tribute bands) but not to excess. ‘Golden’ is a perfectly crafted stripped back tune...The third single from Chris Conroy is called ‘Wolves’. The singer first came to our attention last year with the fabulous ‘Sink Or Swim’, which made our Top Fifty Singles of 2020. ‘Wolves’ is Conroy’s first release of the year and a fine one at that. This is a week for great acoustic music, with this release perhaps the best of the lot thanks to the tremendous vocals. Heart Wrenching, sorrowful and authentic, Chris Conroy is underrated as a singer, well not by us, but his work deserves to be more widely known…’The Man Who Knows What He Knows Is Nowt’ is the snappily titled new release by Tom Bright. A bright acoustic lead song, the phrasing that Bright uses here really brings the song to life, his accent bringing character to the vocal...Politically and socially aware singer songwriter Jamie Holmes’s new track is called ‘Clock On A Steeple’, an indie-folk song with a politically charged message. Describing a protest within its lyrics, ‘Clock On A Steeple’ is a poignant release with a message...and finally we have Steven Faulkner with ‘Time After Time’. This single is pretty great; a pop-rock anthem that wears its heart on its sleeve. That stutter strummed acoustic guitar that is in the mix adds a punchy edge to the rousing track. ‘Time After Time’ is a strong release and a perfect way to round off this week's reviews.