TRCH

5 Albums to Listen to This Christmas Holiday

20 December 18 words: LeftLion

All the good stuff for your tabs from some cracking Notts musicians...

LeChuck
Burn Down the Internet (EP)
In spite of what Coldplay’s success has taught us, predictability is the enemy of good rock music. Just because you’re lining up as a classic-rock four-piece, it doesn’t mean you have to toss out insipid songs about puzzles missing pieces. No, what you want to be doing instead is naming yourself after an undead pirate captain and conjuring up a joyous alchemy of jerky time signatures, spiky riffs and interlocking vocals. The lyrics here are often opaque, but it’s surely better to hint at hidden depths than to spell everything out and reveal how shallow you really are. Haunted Gauss features a lyrical echo of Rage Against the Machine’s Know Your Enemy. It’s hardly a criticism to say that LeChuck don’t quite manage to match the peerless ferocity of Rage – that’s a pretty high bar – but it’s impossible not to love the attempt. Compromise! Conformity! Assimilation! Submission! Ignorance! Hypocrisy! Brutality! The elite! All of which are American dreams. Ah, you had me at hello boys. Tim Sorrell

Vincent Bella
The Dark Side Pulling at Us (Album)
Vincent Bella’s debut album has pulled work from artists across the globe, including Ukranian pianist Lubomyr Melnyk. The tracks range from real toe-tappers, to slowed-down, soulful ballads. I Collect Female Hearts is a standout track that mixes Bella’s incredible voice and rustic acoustic chords with the expert piano work of Melnyk. They make an astounding duo, each artist complementing the other’s unique sound. As a whole, the album spans a range of genres, from jazz to blues, venturing in to the area of pop-rock for songs like The Pollen of War. Now based in Berlin, Bella is flying the Nottingham flag proudly to a hoard of German fans. Alexandra Chrysotomou

Vertical Noise
It’s Not What You Think (EP)
Vertical Noise’s latest EP mixes punk, indie and grunge to make a massive, in-your-face sound that both hardcore and more traditional rock fans can appreciate. If you’re a fan of Muse or Bloc Party then this impressive twist on the alt-rock genre is well worth a listen. Five tracks constitute a well-layered record that left me headbanging to heavy metal one minute, and concentrating on slower-paced, more subdued verses the next. It’s Not What You Think sounds as polished as every good alt-rock record should, but still has its own distinctive raw sound. It’s a confident and versatile EP, with punky lyrics and powerful choruses that’ll have you singing along with your fist in the air. Ellis Maddison

Star Botherers
Happy Angry (Album)
Star Botherers have returned with Happy Angry: a comical folk album made up of fourteen tracks. Despite tackling some of life’s deeper subjects, the boys don't take themselves too seriously, openly mocking death, money and politics. You'll find yourself chuckling like a little kid at some of their lyrics. My personal favourites are Star Wars Bride and When Dave’s Dead. From start to finish, the carefree band will have you laughing at the relatable lyrics about everyday problems, and the witty one-liners that don’t let up. Plus, they actually make some good points among all the tomfoolery. Unique, funny and creative, Star Botherers have made an album that’s sure to have your feet tapping. Ryan Muress

Molars
Tight, But Not Groundbreaking (EP)
Molars are comfortably pop-punk. This five-track EP offers upbeat riffs, catchy lyrics and tracks that’ll stick, but the band’s promise is overshadowed by the songs’ similarities and overworked melancholy lyrics. In short, the EP title saved us a job and summarised the songs: the track list is promisingly tight, but is by no means groundbreaking. The album’s highlight falls to the guest vocals of Pure Noise Records’ Lizzy Farrell on No Words, and opening song White Walls. After the opening two songs, everything else feels lost in-between. That said, Molars are definitely showing potential. Give the band a couple years and they’ll no doubt be the new faces of pop-punk. Zoya Raza-Sheikh

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