Panic Room singer Anne-Marie Helder shares live solo EP

Anne Marie Helder

Panic Room singer Anne-Marie Helder has made her solo live EP available to stream.

The acoustic set, Solo Live, was recorded during Helder’s slot at the sold-out Portsmouth Guildhall show when she supported Ultravox on their Return To Eden Tour in 2009.

Says Helder: “This is a live recording, but it sounds so warm, intimate and full of atmosphere – despite the fact I was playing in a massive hall, to a fun house of 2500 people.

“This recording feels like a little ‘lost diamond’ that has been found in a cave, but we’ve polished it and rediscovered its original beauty. It’s a lovely piece of history.”

You can stream the EP via the widget below:


Panic Room recently announced that they will be filming their London Islington Assembly show on the 18th of June for a future DVD release.

Tickets for the show are available now via the Panic Room website.

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Album Review: This Year’s Ghost, ‘Yesterday Becomes Tomorrow Today’

This-Years-Ghost-Yesterday-Becomes-Tomorrow-TodayArtist: This Year’s Ghost
Album: Yesterday Becomes Tomorrow Today
Our Verdict: 7/10
Release date: Out now
Find it at: iTunes
Review by: Graeme Blackwell

A substantial and auspicious debut from the UK-based alt-rock trio

The release of This Year’s Ghost’s new EP, Yesterday Becomes Tomorrow Today, is a moment to behold. Here is a debut that buries its roots deep in the fertile ground of rock, laying a sure-footed and auspicious foundation for what we’re hoping will be a long and fruitful career.

Led by the considerable lungs of frontman and guitarist Paul McKenzie and grounded by the weapons grade bass of Joe Kusionowicz and precision engineered drums of Jake Tellinghusen, the trio make a sound that draws upon hard rock, grunge and metal to deliver a collection of songs that sound akin to the electrifying mongrel offspring of a love affair between Alter Bridge and Muse.

Lead track “Death Of A Gift” is all taught post-grunge groove with metallic tinges and a fierce riff in the song’s coda that will have you breaking out in goosebumps. “December Sun” is more intensely metal, with its filigreed guitar bolted on to an anthemic chorus and a performance from McKenzie that hints at an astonishing vocal range the likes of which we haven’t heard since Chris Cornell first made his presence felt.

“Carry Us In Blue” and “Silver Tongue” then allow Tellinghusen and Kusionowicz to foreground their own respective talents, the former showcasing Tellinghusen’s progressive drumming prowess across some mind-melting staccato rhythms, the latter bringing Kusionowicz’s elastic bass front and centre to drive the piece forward in a rumbling, fuzzy wall of sound. “Black Dogs” rounds out proceedings with a scabrous, swinging riff and some fiery verses dripping in punk attitude.

The candles on this already substantial cake are guest vocals from Stitch D of UK industrial outfit The Defiled on the aforementioned “December Sun”, and some impressive production and engineering delivered by Matt Hyde (Slipknot/Machine Head/Funeral For A Friend/Gallows) and Meyrick de la Fuente (Exist Immortal) respectively.

Polished but still full of personality, Yesterday Becomes Tomorrow Today simply sounds immense.

Connect with This Year’s Ghost at:
Web: thisyearsghost.com
Facebook: facebook.com/ThisYearsGhost
Twitter: twitter.com/thisyearsghost

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Mieke shares stunning new single ‘Sleeping Alone’ ahead of new EP release

Mieke 7

Ontario native Elissa Mielke – performing as Mieke – has shared beguiling new song “Sleeping Alone.”

The mesmeric track is taken from the Canadian artist’s new self-titled EP, Mieke, scheduled for release on the 28th of August.

The singer and songwriter says of the new collection of songs: “I’ve been in problematic situations with producers and major labels over the last few years; either people tried to take the project in direction that felt artificial, or I had to sign on for a career without creative involvement. I needed to make something honest and raw. Something strange and vulnerable. Something thoughtful and free. Something that was authentic to where I’m at.

“For this EP I worked with Don Kerr and Howie Beck (Feist, Hayden, Bahamas), people I trust,” Mieke continues. “Don records out of his house so we did the vocals in his dining room and the instruments in his basement. That let me fully connect with the feeling I had wherever I wrote the songs – in Toronto, in Tokyo, in my small town high school, or in London – and to go back to that moment.”

Check out “Sleeping Alone” via the stream below:


The full track list for the Mieke EP is:

Mieke EP cover01. “Magnolia”
02. “Move On”
03. “Sleeping Alone”
04. “Vulture”

The Mieke EP lands on the 28th of August and will be supported by a video and a series of US and Canadian tour dates.

Connect with Mieke at:
Facebook: facebook.com/miekemakesmusic
Twitter: twitter.com/elissamielke
Instagram: instagram.com/elissamielke
Soundcloud: soundcloud.com/miekemusic

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The Fierce And The Dead announce new EP and stream new track ‘Magnet In Your Face’

The Fierce And The Dead promo shot

The Fierce And The Dead have announced that they are to release a new EP.

Magnet is due out on the 14th of August and is set to feature five tracks, including three new songs, a live rehearsal recording and a new version of “Flint”, a track from their debut album. A bonus track of a live rehearsal song is due to appear on the CD version of the collection.

TFATD guitarist Matt Stevens says: “This EP represents a different sound for us. It’s important to keep moving forward. It’s more joyous and intense, with bigger riffs and more of an electronic feel.”

Adds bassist Keavin Feazy: “We’re back to sounding like the bands we grew up with. Every record we’ve put out has its own character and story, with a different reality for each.”

You can check out the new EP’s lead track, “Magnet In Your Face”, via the stream below. Pre-ordering for Magnet is available now via tfatd.bandcamp.com


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Album Review: Neanderthal, ‘Rock Formation’ EP

Rock Formation EP coverArtist: Neanderthal
Album: Rock Formation EP
Our Verdict: 8/10
Release date: 17th July
Find it at: FREE via Bandcamp
Review by: Graeme Blackwell

“An EP of free-flowing, balls-to-the-wall instrumental rock and metal, made with a single-minded passion.”

“The main influence on Rock Formation was a desire to not hold back at all and do the record that represents exactly what I want to do, rules and genres be damned.” So says highly accomplished guitarist, bassist, drummer and producer Mick Murphy in recent interview with Skin Back Alley. And just like Yul Brynner says in Cecil B. DeMille’s 1956 movie The Ten Commandments: “So it shall be written. So it shall be done.”

For a number of years now Murphy has been recording and releasing albums and EPs under his Neanderthal moniker, the project providing him with a creative outlet all his own, beholden to nothing and no-one other than the multi-instrumentalist’s own intense passion for the music that he loves. From 2006’s Start A Fire With A Rock, through follow-up album Take The Ride and on to the EPs Grandes Canciones and Hangtime, Murphy has delivered an ever-evolving barrage of highly skilled and intensely thrilling instrumental rock music.

From first note to last, Rock Formation continues that tradition, proving to be a propulsive, free-flowing, balls-to-the-wall collection that can only help to galvanise Murphy’s position in the rock firmament. After all, there’s a reason the man placed 3rd in OC Weekly’s list of the 10 Best Metal Guitarists.

The spine-tingling, heavily-phased opening riff and mind-melting fret-board runs that feature throughout the brief running-time of opening track “Magnetizer” are the kind of jaw-dropping, ideas-led guitar music that you simply don’t come across very often in rock music today; accessible enough to move the heart and cerebral enough to fire the mind.

Following track “Now Hear This” demands the listener’s attention in both title and musical temperament. Murphy has never made a secret of the fact that he likes to explore more sophisticated rhythms and time changes, and one listen to the stuttering syncopation on offer here demonstrates how adept he is at doing so. The piece continues to build, bringing in some more of that gnarly phase and the sort of fluid soloing that will have six-string connoisseurs chomping at the bit. It’s even more mind-blowing when you stop to consider that Murphy has – like every other track here – played every instrument and produced, engineered, mixed and mastered the whole thing himself.

“Devilry” feels like more of a straightforward rock stomp, but soon takes a turn for the outer-limits with some unexpected tonal shifts and grin-inducing, hair-raising melodic leaps and bounds. Short and bitingly sweet, “Rat Race” is a nifty piece of sonic chicanery that sets up the next track beautifully. The longest piece here, “The Healer” occupies more doom-laden territory for its first minute or so, the likes of which Murphy has explored to such pulverising effect with perhaps his most well known outfit, My Ruin. However, the track ramps up the tempo over the following minutes and is, before long, in a heart-pounding, vein-busting full-on sprint for the finish line.

Fortunately the EP is not yet done, though, with both “Retrofit” and “Galactic Thrillride” yet to make their mark. Both are chock-full and brimming with passion, intensity, joy and the kind of bone-crunching, boundary-breaking genius that Murphy is known for deploying across the length and breadth of his musical output. With such a consistent ability to write and record at the highest possible levels of skill and musicianship, it is frankly mind-boggling that Murphy isn’t more widely heralded. But hell, those in the know will continue to bask in the glory of the man and his music.

Speaking to Skin Back Alley with the calm and rarefied air of surefire knowledge (rather than the kind of blinding ego too often seen in today’s music business), Mick Murphy perhaps sums up Rock Formation best himself: “[The EP] …has an adventurous spirit like the music I made in my youth. It’s the most musically dynamic and it has the best sound quality of any Neanderthal album so far. It’s a strong batch of unique songs and I’m really stoked about it.”

We’d be seriously hard-pressed to disagree.

Check out Neanderthal’s new video for Rock Formation track “Now Hear This” below, the clip paying homage to the old-school Southern California skateboard scene!

You can DOWNLOAD ROCK FORMATION and the rest of Neadnerthal’s catalogue for FREE now via www.neanderthal.bandcamp.com

Connect with Neanderthal and Mick Murphy at:
Neanderthal on Facebook: facebook.com/neanderthalrocks
Mick Murphy on Facebook: facebook.com/mickmurphy71
Mick Murphy on Instagram: instagram.com/mickmurphy71
Mick Murphy at GJ2 Guitars: gj2guitars.com/gj2-artists/mick-murphy
Micky Murphy at Laney Amps: laney.co.uk/artists/mick_murphy

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