Record reviews 2013

Record Reviews 2013

This page is about reviews of recorded music including Albums, EPs, Singles and tracks.

Page last edited: 25th June 2014.

Scroll down down to read about: Satellite Empire, Flying Kangaroo Alliance, Axis Mundi, Siobhan Mazzie, Nuala,  Ferris, Jonezy and Alexandru, Son of Glenn, Moccasin Mile, Final Coil, The Concept, Black Page Turns, Carlos Stein, Smokin The Profit and more.

Demons of Ruby Mae

Leicester band Demons of Ruby Mae are about to release a new single on 11th November.

Demons of Ruby Mae
Demons of Ruby Mae

Demons of Ruby Mae are set to release their new single ‘Beneath The Surface’ on November 11th through SiZe Records UK and this will go hand in hand with two shows, one at Leicester’s Y-Theatre and the other at Manchester Academy.

The single will be an insight into the future of the band and will be a teaser for the follow-up EP – set for release in early 2014.

Demons of Ruby Mae’s members are Jonny Gavin (Leicester) and Adam Rowley (Manchester). Jonny Gavin said “We are collaborative duo paired together through musical influences and the desire to have their input into the shaping of modern music. “

Since forming in 2012, they have understood the importance of creating a unique sound and product. Not interested in playing shows for the first 12-months of existence, the pair went into hiding and created what they believe to be a style which will capture those who have the pleasure to listen.

Jonny Gavin said: “Demons of Ruby Mae is a product of emotion, musical satisfaction and visual clarity.” ‘Heliacal’ was the first EP released by the pair in March 2013 and received critical acclaim from BBC Introducing and Whispering Bob Harris.

After a performance on Dean Jackson’s BBC Introducing show, the buzz around the pair started to hit fever pitch with nearly 100,000 views of the performance on YouTube alone.

Follow Demons on Ruby Mae on Facebook.

Satellite Empire –  Fake It All

Satellite Empire
Satellite Empire

Satellite Empire has a single/video release coming up on October 25th. Band member Olly Stabler told us: “‘Interesting’ facts about the song: it is the first song that we wrote, it’s about people that lie/deceive you, it’s our last single that will be released from Masterplan as we have begun writing for our next EP.”

Satellite Empire is a brand new pop/rock band based in Leicester. The band was formed in early 2012 by Liv and Olly through performances at Open Mic Nights. It soon became apparent that the songs they had written would be much more suited to an electric sound and so set about finding a bassist and drummer. Ben, friend to both Liv and Olly, swiftly offered to take the position of the drummer and Liv chose to learn the bass guitar so that the band could function as a 3 piece. The band then progressed on to playing numerous shows over Leicester, each of which being met with critical acclaim and positive reactions.

Satellite Empire’s sound is instantly recognisable as a fusion of both pop and rock through the combination of Olly’s punchy, memorable riffs, Ben’s technical beats and Liv’s melodic and catchy vocals. The band plays both their own original songs and covers but chooses to focus on their own compositions due to Liv and Olly’s talents as songwriters.

In the band are: Liv Armon: Vocals, Bass; Olly stabler: Guitar; Ben Parker: Drums

We will be reviewing the new song after it has been released.

Flying Kangaroo Alliance

Flying Kangaroo Alliance
FKA – Soundhouse
Photo Keith Jobey

Pete Coombs writes

Flying Kangaroo Alliance rarely fail to impress when seen in their natural live setting, and now with the release of their first single ‘Hit The Wall’, they have successfully managed to capture all of their on stage attitude in a finely packaged, artistically created vinyl record….that’s right.…vinyl!

Their heavy, grungy, defiant sound makes for great listening, with rolling bass and chunking guitar; by Keeley Knight and Meri Everett respectively, laden with experimental, ear catching guitar from Ali Findley; all making for an exceptional backline, paving the way for Meri to overlay cleverly written, passionate lyrics, sang with great talent and vigour, nicely completed with well utilised backing vocals.

The fact this package comes with a vinyl is a real treat; a piece of real music from a real band on a real format. The only negative with the whole package is that the CD mastering could have been done with a little more detail; I found that when listening with the volume loud the vocals have too much treble, resulting in the powerful notes becoming a little harsh on the ear. BUT, who really cares? The vinyl is there for a reason, and if you can’t listen on vinyl, the CD is still perfectly listenable to and clearly examples the bands aptitude.

Hit the wall is reinforced with b-side – Wasted; two songs that work perfectly together, both emphasising Flying Kangaroo’s writing talent. Personally I prefer Wasted; the vocal melodies and use of textures really make for an outstanding, very sellable composition.

This is in no doubt the start of something truly exciting – do yourself a favour; buy this record and climb on the Flying Kangaroo Alliance bandwagon; I guarantee you will not be disappointed.

Axis Mundi

xis Mundi's cover for their album Sci-Curious
Axis Mundi’s cover for their album Sci-Curious

Hinckley band Axis Mundi‘s new album Sci-Curious is one of the best musical listens this year.  It’s an impressive piece of work. The album’s eye-catching artwork opens up to reveal a pocket with sleeve notes containing the lyrics. It’s a very professional production. The music is thrilling.  The 11 tracks are immense. A collection of smackin’ tracks that blast rocket-fulled sounds at your ears.  This is one hugely good musical offering. E-Bomb is an amazing piece of work. It sums up what the Axis Mundi experience is all about:  beltin’ electronic sounds, melodies that hark back to System of a Down and Alien Ant Farm, gripping vocal lines; it’s got the lot. It’s an epic album from a band that  has a high wow-factor stage performance.

Hear tracks from the Album | Axis Mundi tracks on Spotify

Follow Axis Mundi on Facebook

Siobhan Mazzie – Waiting Awake

You will not be surprised to hear me say that Siobhan Mazzie is one of Leicester’s outstanding singer-songwriters. Given the praise I have heaped on Siobhan’s live performances in the past, you would expect me to be delighted with her debut album.

You will not be disappointed.  Having heard most of the songs on the album, particularly when I went to the album launch concert, I knew what to expect. The ten songs that are on the album are remarkably good, both as original songs and as examples of Siobhan’s singing.

Siobhan Mazzie’s work defines the upper levels of Leicester’s solo acoustic scene;  her work sets the bar both as a song writer and as a performance artist. No matter how many times I have heard Siobhan singing, I have never tired of the experience and every time, I want to hear her again.

This album therefore is an absolute must for any serious follower of Leicester’s solo and acoustic canon.  In 2012 I wrote, of Siobhan’s performance at Summer sundae:

A singer of superlative qualities, she uses her massively impressive voice and acute song-writing skills to delight audiences where ever she goes. Her sparkling singing, engaging stage presence and her passionate music, have placed her high up in the ever-expanded landscape of our local music scene. She makes impressive use of her guitar, tapping on it’s soundboard to add a percussive element. Accompanied today by Dale on hand drums, Siobhan’s voice filled the marquee with luscious songs. Arts in Leicester magazine.

At her album launch on 19th May this year, Siobhan delighted her fans with a marvelous performance and I wrote:

Siobhan’s set was in every way exhilarating, a tour de force of musical ingenuity. Siobhan modestly but genuinely thanked her audience by saying “I am completely overwhelmed by everyone here.” She left the stage to a standing ovation from her delighted fans and admirers. Arts in Leicester magazine.

So, you see, this album is not just important – it is also a seriously good listen.

Follow Siobhan Mazzie on Facebook | Listen on Soundcloud


Leicester’s acoustic scene is blessed with a number of very fine female singers and Nuala Bennett-Wilford is one of them. As a vocalist and as a writer of original songs, Nuala stands out and her five track CD release is an admirable demonstration of this. It’s all about the voice and this where she excels; Nuala has one of those voices that astonishes everyone. It’s a voice that she uses with power, subtlety and impact.

This CD represents Nuala’s considerable achievement as a singer and writer of songs. It stands comparison with some of the great blues and folk-rock singers of times past and of the present day.  Shemekia Copeland, Paula Harris, Adele, Alanis Morissette … a number of artists come to mind when listening to Nuala.  As a singer Nuala has her own distinctive style, compared to those who emulate other artists, she has a recognisable sounds of her own.

Follow Nuala on Facebook | On Soundcloud

Jonny Precious – To the Carnival

Four tracks written and produced by Jonny Precious, featuring artists such as J Jnr Kenna, Mikey Shine, Carl Dawson, C J Pandit, Lee Spreadbury (who wrote the original music) and several others – with a remix from the Almighty Powerful Dub producer I-mitri – , so with that line-up you would be expecting something quite exceptional … which indeed this CD is. An EP inspired by the music of Morocco (Gnawa) and fused together with Dub and Funk giving you a little taster of the Album which is set to be released in 2014, it says on the promo. There are seriously funky, Afro-beat rhythms and beguiling beats. It’s got roots appeal. Captivating and pulsing with ear-licking sounds. Echoes of the Afro-Celtic sound system in there. Wonderful.

Get it from Bandcamp.

Ferris release music video

Leicester band Ferris
Leicester band Ferris

Leicester band Ferris has released a music video on YouTube; Do You Mean It is one of the songs from the latest Ferris album, Pathfinder,  which has 11 tracks:

1. Pathfinder
2. Alone Again
3. Easy
4. Do You Mean It
5. The Morning Star
6. My Love Is You
7. Car Crash
8. Spark
9. Something Between Us
10. Over Now
11. Under The Tall Trees

Read more about this on our Bands News page.

Hall of Fame by Jonezy and Alexandru

jonezy and Alexandru
Jonezy (UK) and Alexandru (Norway)

Leicester’s rap artist Jonezy recorded this music video with Alexandru.  Recorded in Norway, earlier this year, this is a remarkably enjoyable version of this well known song. The song was originally recorded by The Script, ft Will-I-Am.  The video was produced by Otto Dehli. You can see Jonezy and Alexandru performing this song on Saturday 19th October when they will be on the main stage at the Leicester Oxjam Takeover festival.

Watch it on Youtube

Son of Glenn

son of glenn band
Son of Glenn at the Soundhouse

I really like Son of Glenn; I think they have come a long way since they started and their latest CD shows just how much this band can achieve. Josh Oakley’s vocals are full of character and style and with backing from Jack Stowell – Bass/Vocals and Sam Lowe – Guitar/Vocals, the songs are very agreeable.

I like the instrumentals and the melodies, the dynamics of the songs and it all comes together in a set of impressively good musical tracks.  There is real resonance in their songs:

Say you dont’ want to believe

Glenn the thief

both of  which like I liked equally. This is a good CD and if you can get a copy from them you should.

Son of Glenn on Facebook

Watch Son of Glenn doing a set live on Takeover Radio

Moccasin Mile

After making their mark at the OBS, Moccasin Mile have some really good music tracks up; listen now onSoundCloud.

The band has released a two track single called The Shine through Obskeen records. ‘Moccasin Mile stood out, musically, from the other acts in tonight’s line-up. The trio’s offering of melodies, funky tunes and compelling rhythms grabbed the audience, including those who had not seen them before and ramped up the party atmosphere of the night.’

Read about Moccasin Mile at the OBS on Arts in Leicester

Final Coil

EP from Final Coil

Leicester band Final Coil has released a second  EP and is  now offering it for free download via bandcamp.

The Concept – Turning Back

The Concept is a five piece melodic pop rock band from the West Midlands that formed in 2011.

The band has performed at gigs in Leicester;  in 2012 they performed at the official Noel Gallagher and the High Flying Birds aftershow party for the Birmingham date of their UK tour, Glastonbudget Festival and have got to the International Finals of Surface Unsigned Competition where they played The Indigo2 London (O2 Arena) and the sftershow party this time for the one and only Vaccines.

The band’s track Turning Back is a vibrant, upbeat song with clear, crisp vocals and an engaging sense of rhythm.   As David Norris of Music First Promotions said of this band  “Such a clean sound from a band that’s been together for such a short time certainly shows a lot of promise for the future!” and if David thinks that, I think it too.

If you get the chance to see The Concept in Leicester make sure do you. They will be well worth it.

Follow The Concept on Facebook

Meri Everitt – the Album

Leicester singer Meri Everitt dropped me a copy of her album.  Even though it dates back to 2007 I thought it would be worth mentioning as she has been busy lately at a variety of shows and broadcasts. The definitely one for my collection of Leicester recordings.

Meri Everitt on Facebook

Black Page Turns

12 in 2012

Things That Make Us Hate is heavy with guitar-laden, swaggering rock numbers. For Black Page Turns 2012 was a milestone year. In this album they present 12 songs, having released one song per month.  BPT is one of Leicester’s great bands: a  long-surviving musical legend, the band has created a back catalogue of songs that makes them stand out. Recorded by Adam Ellis at Deadline studios,  this is a must have item for anyone collecting the music legacy of Leicester’s rock talent.  The 12 songs on this Album offer raw-edged punk-metal alongside expressively sampled acoustic tracks and lyrical anthems.

BPT formed when singer and songwriter Mike Sales returned from the USA to start a new band with guitarist Jon Tridgell, Dave New and Wil Tonkiss. The band toured the UK in 2010 to 2011 pulling in slots at the Love and Peace festival and Glastonbudget. As far as Leicester is concerned,  this is a seriously important band that has made a considerable contribution to the musical vitality of this city.

Black Page Turns on Facebook | Leicester band Black Page Turns new album now on iTunes

Carlos Stein

Carlos Stein is Leicester’s champion of alternative music, an artist who is unique, and his CD No Good with, No Good Without flies the flag for music that is out of the box.  This six track CD included the widely liked Big Fat Bankers – a song has has won him many admirers.

Harp at the Moon is a selection of harmonica tracks from Carlos Stein and songs such as Bugger It Up and Fast Food, in which he demonstrates his skills at devising witty and catchy songs, laced with bass and mouth-organ.

Carlos Stein on Facebook | The Alternative Music Collective

Smokin’ The Profit

The Hand Out EP 2013 is a free CD that the band gives out at its live shows.  Recorded and mixed at Yellow Bean Studios, the four tracks provide a good sample of this awesomely good band is about this year.

Smokin’ the Profit on Facebook

John Fryer

‘If that’s alright with you …’ contains several songs from Leicester singer John Fryer.  Contained in a professionally produced open out pack, the CD is a collection of songs featuring John on vocals and other musicians on guitar, bass, percussion and keyboard. John is a frequent performer at open-mic nights.

John Fryer on Facebook

My Legacy

Leicester metalcore, deathcore band My Legacy has five tracks on its CD.  The metal quintet formed in 2011 and play at The Shed and O2 Academy.  Its influences are anything from Lamb of God, Unearth and Bleeding Through to Parkway Drive and Black Dahlia Murder. A credit to the Leicester metal scene.

My Legacy on Facebook

Leaving Party

Leaving Party’s Abbey Park demos CD includes four tracks The Lake, Merciful, Daze and Alabama. Leaving Party won the Original Bands showcase in 2013 and have appeared at almost every local festival this year.  They head up the new wave of indie, pop in Leicester, a genre that attracts a large following among younger music fans but which appeals to an all-ages audience. Think The Cribs, The Strokes, Two Door Cinema Club, The Libertines, Foals, Cajun Dance Party, Last Dinosaurs, PEACE, Palma Violets, Bombay Bicycle Club and you will see where they are coming from. Lead singer Jacob Benfield has come on in leaps and bounds since they launched and now they have perched themselves on the top of the local bands tree.

Leaving Party on Facebook

Drowning Grace

Leicester’s live music scene caters for every musical taste and when it comes to hardcore one band stands head and shoulders above the crowd. Drowning Grace is in the vanguard of metalcore, hardcore music and when it comes to immense live shows, they are the best.

“Just when you thought ‘it can’t get any better …’, on came Drowning Grace. The Leicester/Nottingham metalcore magnificos put on a storming set. The quintet of hardcore hammerers worked their way through a set that was exhilarating, pumping out enough high octane fuel to power a flight to mars. They really went for it and delivered a totally awesome performance which was nothing short of iconic.”
Artsin Leicester

The band’s debut EP is out now. It includes tracks that are monumentally superb.

Drowning Grace on Facebook | Listen to Drowning Grace on Bandcamp

Terrace – Propaganda

Leicester band Terrace has released a four track debut EP of their own indie/rock songs. The band consists of: Daniel Ansell – Vocals, Luke Ross – Guitar, Will Robinson – Bass, Rhys Bennett – Drums and you can follow Terrace on Facebook.  Terrace began in October 2012 and they say: Terrace aims to create songs with catchy chorus, energetic bass lines and songs that spark an emotion in people. Stylish and distinctive, the tracks offer interesting listening and vibrancy.

You can hear Propaganda on Bandcamp

Beneath The Lights – Moving On/Problem Solved

New single by Beneath The Lights, pop-punk band from Leicester.  Infectious beats, clear vocals and foot-tapping tunes.

Hear it on Bandcamp

See also:

Latest music videos

Reviews of the 2013 series Singers of Distinction

Gig Reviews

New tracks

Resin’s album

Resin at the Firebug