Thursday, 5 March 2015

Album Review: Manchester Punk Festival Volume 2

The organisers of the Manchester Punk Festival have just released the second of a series of compilations showcasing some of the amazing bands that are playing the festival this year on April 17th and 18th. I take a look and give my verdict.

The first song on the compilation is by Swedish heavyweights Atlas Losing Grip. These guys expertly combine metal and melodic punk rock to create a sound all of their own. The song Nemesis features on the 2015 album Currents. I’d imagine that Atlas Losing Grip’s set at the festival will have some of the biggest mosh pits. Manchester’s Leagues Apart are one of the bands that I’m most looking forward to seeing at the festival. I’ve not seen them live since they played Anti-Fest at Hatfield University back in 2012, which are far too long ago. They play raspy voiced sing along punk rock similar in style to Hot Water Music and The Lawrence Arms. Last year’s debut album Brief Interviews With Hideous Men made it into my top ten of the year list, their set is not to be missed. They will also be playing a Rancid cover set at the after show party at Retro Bar on the Saturday night. Pacer guitarist Dave House brings his brand of indie, pop and punk to the acoustic stage. The song Follow Me has an uplifting feel to its despite its downbeat lyrics. The song has a quality about it that you know will have a live audience captivated by every word. Hardcore punks Throwing Stuff will no doubt have of the most entertaining sets of the festival. Having seen them support Masked Intruder last year I don’t think I’ve ever seen a band put more energy into a performance.

Pop punk act Hindsights are a band that are on a lot of peoples “bands to look out for in 2015” lists. Playing on the Friday night just before the awesome Creeper they are sure to appeal to a lot of the younger members of the festivals audience. The X Ray Cat of The X Ray Cat Trio will be playing the acoustic stage. From Leeds, he combines surf, rockabilly, punk rock and psychobilly for what could be one of the most interesting and unique sets of the festival. The word unique can also be used for Beat The Red Light (my favourite band name in punk rock). Combing one of the best horn sections in the business with elements of ska, hardcore, thrash and metal there isn’t another band quite like Beat The Red Light. Headlining the aftershow party at Joshua Brooks, these guys from High Wycombe will pull out every last bit of energy you have for one final dance/skank/slam. Hampshire’s Almeida are another band who use elements of metal music in the sound. Some of the guitar work is as technical as I’ve ever heard from a punk band. Lead vocalist Tom West brilliantly carries the melody with is soaring delivery and will get you singing songs back at his at the top of your voice. Check out their debut album Fantastic Massacre, released on Lockjaw Records.

The Domestics, from Suffolk are somewhat of a throwback to legendary 80’s hardcore bands such as Black Flag, Circle Jerks, Poison Idea and Chaos UK. This is fast and furious punk rock at its finest and will go down very well with older members of the festival as well as introducing younger fans to a classic era of punk music. Liberation member Joe Yorke brings his brand of acoustic folk, punk, ska and reggae to Manchester. Like a lot of the bands at the festival Joe is fully steeped in the DIY ideology rooted in punk rock and many of his songs are about politics and solidarity. Chesire’s Simmer are a band who describe themselves as ambient punk and are another band who the youngsters will adore. The music is a great mix of punk rock and indie and the vocals are far more relaxed and laid back than what you would usually expect from a punk band. The vocals remind me of a band who I cannot remember the name of, check back later to see if I actually remembered the band. Completing this compilation is Tim Loud of Bootscraper with the song The Other Guy. Another of this county’s seemingly endless supply of immensely talented acoustic folk/punk types, Tim Loud will play a very entertaining set. The Other Guy reminds me of the Mad Caddies, if the Mad Caddies played acoustic folk music. The sound is fun and jovial and certain to put smiles on faces and get toes a tapping. 

Buy tickets, see all the bands playing the festival and find out more here:

Now listening to Rampant Horse Is Rampant by Leagues Apart