Sep 282020
 

 

I finished my hike through a grand forest yesterday, more than three miles. My wife and her friend didn’t even have to drag me to the finish, though the fact that we had an hour break for lunch is the only reason I made it. I slept like a dead man last night and, to use an old idiom, was all “stove up” (google it) when I staggered out of bed this morning.

Confronting a massive list of new songs that could have been fodder for this post, I decided to make it easy on myself and just use a quartet that Andy Synn recommended to me late last week. This was a bit of a shot in the dark, since I hadn’t yet listened to any of them, but not completely in the dark since Andy has decent taste. On the other hand he’s not completely disinterested, because he performs with one of these bands. But that’s where I come in, to bring some objectivity to bear (through the waves of muscle and joint pain).

APATHY NOIR (Sweden/UK)

Wonderful cover art on this one, credited to the band’s sole instrumental performer on this release, Viktor Jonas, based on the original artwork “Grappling for the Lost Cable” (ca. 1866) by Robert Charles Dudley. It’s for a single called The Shipbreaker’s Song, with a B-side track named “The Sunken Place“. And yes, our own Andy Synn wrote the lyrics and performed the vocals on these two songs. Continue reading »

Apr 182018
 

 

(Andy Synn has compiled reviews of six new releases in this mid-week post.)

 

Despite our best efforts to the contrary, there still remains a certain cadre of people convinced that there’s some sort of nefarious motive or hidden agenda behind the work we do here at NCS.

So, in the interests of clarity and transparency I’d like to begin this piece by restating a few things.

For one, you should be aware that we don’t host any ads here at the site, take in any money from bands/labels, and don’t receive any kicks for clicks. This place is entirely independent and self-funded, and it’s going to stay that way.

Similarly we’re not beholden to record labels for access or coverage, nor do we favour “big” releases over less well-known ones. We’ll write about them, sure, if we feel like we want to, but the general ethos of this site has always been to focus on less well-known and less widely-covered, bands.

And while we have built up a good relationship with certain labels/agents over the years, this has largely been based upon a reputation for scrupulous honesty. We won’t host a premiere, conduct an interview, or write a review, unless we actually like the band/artist in question, and while we always try to accentuate the positive, we’re not afraid to provide (constructive) criticism when it’s warranted.

As a matter of fact we’ve actually been blacklisted or downgraded by certain agents/agencies in the past simply because we weren’t nice enough about their bands…

Anyway, all of this preamble is really just a long-winded way of saying that the following collection of reviews hasn’t been paid for or solicited in any way. It’s just a bunch of albums I’ve stumbled across in the last few weeks/months that I felt like writing about and recommending to you all. Continue reading »