Festival season approaches and the release schedule has slowed somewhat, but there’s still a lot to talk about.
For one, Eschar’s self-released album Nova (http://tinyurl.com/eschar-nova), which was bolstered by support from the team behind ArcTanGent Festival. It may not be the most original release, strongly echoing Mogwai and This Will Destroy You, but it’s played with conviction and passion, which distinguishes it from a crowded scene.
On the way from Liverpool’s F.O.E.S. is new EP Antecedence (Crooked Noise), but don’t let single Rival Thrones fool you – it’s the Oceansize-like closing track No Sleepers Verse that’s the highlight, an orchestral work of astounding beauty and emotional power.
Luxembourg’s Mutiny On The Bounty are well known for their frenetic, uptempo post-rock and extensive live light show. New album Digital Tropics (Small Pond) jams in more electronics and a broader timbral range, opening up new avenues of exploration for fans. Check out single MKL JKSN (http://tinyurl.com/mtb-mkl-jksn).
Opening for them at their excellent Manchester date were Leeds math-punks Bearfoot Beware, whose debut self‑released album World Owes You Nowt (http://tinyurl.com/bft-bwr) is out now. A blend of Fugazi-like experimental punk with mathy riffs and some post-rock tendencies, it’s well worth a look if you like the spiky end of left-field guitar music.
Glasgow’s Vasa have released a new track as a teaser for their upcoming record. Clamps picks up from excellent last single Not A Cop and promises further upbeat instrumental post-rock goodness to follow.
Also from the banks of the Clyde, fellow Glaswegians Dialects self-released their first EP, Let These Kids Light These Lanterns (http://tinyurl.com/dl-ltkltl) to a warm reception. Taking cues from many of the most exhilarating moments on And So I Watch You From Afar’s first album and mashing in some atmospheric guitar not a million miles away from early Verve, it’s a tremendous first effort.
Meanwhile, even further from home, Japanese math-punks Tricot have a new album, AND (Bakuretsu). It’s fantastic, but there’s a special, related EP that’s even better. Having lost their drummer prior to recording, they tracked it with five different skinsmen, and the AND Live Session is a selection of tracks with all five of them – at the same time. Mad, but brilliant.
Finally, for some good, honest riffing and powerful, shouted vocals, check out Cal Banda, whose new self‑released EP, Another Minute Made Fiasco (http://tinyurl.com/calb-ammf) will blow out those post-rock cobwebs with tight licks and pounding rhythms. Ace.