Without A Song: Slothrust, “Like A Child Hiding Behind Your Tombstone”

slothrust-2016

Without a song throws a spotlight on bands, albums and tracks beloved of Skin Back Alley. Old, new, classic or cutting edge, our aim is to share good music that has touched us through the years.

Don’t you just love it when a song blindsides you, heading off at an acute angle and completely different direction to that which you were expecting?

Defy expectations, people! Which is exactly what Slothrust do with their sublime blast of swaggering noise-pop, “Like A Child Hiding Behind Your Tombstone.”

“Ah yes, it’s a knowing and literate indie-jangle!” said my brain during the song’s opening bars, just before that guitar tsunami took my legs out from under me about 30 seconds in. From there it’s a literary, anthemic, metaphor-mixing roller-coaster ride all the way to the finish line.

Get the song in your ears via the stream below.


“People have always had trouble comparing us to other bands, but someone recently described us as Nirvana meets Wynton Marsalis, and I loved that,” says Slothrust vocalist Leah Wellbaum. “We all studied jazz and blues, so I often use chords and voicings that aren’t quite as conventional for contemporary rock,” she continues. “Certain harmonic movement can get stale, so I try to incorporate colorful notes to give it more depth.”

“Like A Child Hiding Behind Your Tombstone” appears on Slothrust’s new album, Everyone Else, due out on the 28th of October via Dangerbird and available to pre-order now on vinyl and via iTunes.

Check out Slothrust’s latest video for their track “Horseshoe Crab” below.

slothrust-everyone-else-cover01. “Surf Goth”
02. “Like A Child Hiding Behind Your Tombstone”
03. “Rotten Pumpkin”
04. “Horseshoe Crab”
05. “Pseudo Culture”
06. “The Last Time I Saw My Horse”
07. “Mud”
08. “Trial & Error”
09. “Sleep Eater”
10. “Pigpen”

Connect with Slothrust at:
Facebook: facebook.com/Slothrust
Twitter: twitter.com/SLOTHRUST
Web: www.slothrust.com

Album Reviews | Live Reviews | News | SBA Lists | The Playlist | Under The Skin | Without A Song | Live From Los Angeles – Tairrie B. Photography

Dark Mean release serene new single ‘Settle Down’

dark-mean-2016

Hamilton, Ontario collective Dark Mean have released a new single, “Settle Down.”

The paired back, serene new song belies what the band describe as the struggle of their working method:

“Years of struggle and extended hiatuses are nothing new for us,” say Dark Mean. “That’s how we’ve always operated. Incessant file sharing and e-mails, frustrating Skype calls, relentless attention to detail, and the odd show amidst chaotic life schedules, are just a few ways we’ve not only hung together, but they’ve made it possible for us to keep releasing music. A focus on the music that could only come from a group of guys with no time for dilly-dallying.”

Less is more seems to be the ethos at the heart of “Settle Down”, it’s sparse arrangement creating a poised and tranquil space in which to transport an attentive audience. Take the journey via the stream below.


“Settle Down” is available now.

Connect with Dark Mean at:
Facebook: facebook.com/darkmeanband
Twitter: twitter.com/darkmeanband
Web: www.darkmean.com

Album Reviews | Live Reviews | News | SBA Lists | The Playlist | Under The Skin | Without A Song | Live From Los Angeles – Tairrie B. Photography

Listen to Darling Cora’s new single ‘Yearn’

Darling Cora 2016 002

Darling Cora, the nom-de-plume of Toronto based singer and songwriter Darlene Cuevas, has released her new single, “Yearn.”

Described by Cuevas as “one of the simplest tunes” on Darling Cora’s forthcoming full-length album, “Yearn” glides through its 4 minute running time with grace and beauty, showcasing the soulful elasticity in Cuevas’ voice.

“[Yearn] is about being in love with someone who you so strongly believe is your destiny and future, to the point where you have such faith that they will return to you when the time is right,” says the artist of the song.

“Is this a song about true love? Maybe, maybe not. But it certainly is about as honest and sincere a longing for it (true love) as there can be, whether grounded in reality or not.”


Darling Cora’s album is yet to be given a formal release date, but Cuevas says of the new music: “I’ve looked to blend and bend genres to create evocative, well-crafted songs that please both head and heart. It is a time capsule into my years as a young woman figuring out matters of the heart, especially to do with love.”

Connect with Darling Cora at:
Facebook: facebook.com/darlingcora
Twitter: twitter.com/darling_cora
Bandcamp: darlingcora.bandcamp.com/releases
Web: www.darlingcora.com

Album Reviews | Live Reviews | News | SBA Lists | The Playlist | Under The Skin | Without A Song | Live From Los Angeles – Tairrie B. Photography

Mark Edgar Stuart releases sardonic new single ‘Don’t Blame Jesus’

Mark Edgar Stuart

Memphis singer and songwriter Mark Edgar Stuart has released his politically charged new single, “Don’t Blame Jesus.”

Billed as the artist’s first foray into political commentary, the song is nevertheless quite personal.

Recalls Stuart: ““I was watching the news one day, and I don’t really watch the news. I just found myself having this vision of Jesus up there on his cloud, just looking down at the world he created, saying, ‘What in heaven’s name have y’all done? I created this wonderful place for you, and you done screwed it all up. I ain’t coming back. Y’all can have it.’”

Like much of Stuart’s work, “Don’t Blame Jesus” offers a smart, cutting view of the world. It takes something old – the idea of the second coming – and makes it new again, juxtaposing the ancient imagery of traditional Christianity with the very real, gut-wrenching realities of 2016.

“If Christ was here, he’d have a bat / You can’t blame him for not coming back,” sings Stuart in his wry southern tones. Take a listen to the full track below. It’s a sardonic observational gem.


“Don’t Blame Jesus” is out now via all good digital retailers. A 7″ single version featuring the vinyl-only B-side “Jihadi John” will be available at Stuart’s live shows.

Read our review of Mark Edgar Stuart’s most recent album, Trinity My Dear, here.

Connect with Mark Edgar Stuart at:
Facebook: facebook.com/MarkEdgarStuart
Web: www.markedgarstuart.com

Album Reviews | Live Reviews | News | SBA Lists | The Playlist | Under The Skin | Without A Song | Live From Los Angeles – Tairrie B. Photography

MassMatiks share video for new single ‘4AM’, announce support slots for Allusondrugs

MassMatiks promo 2016

UK four piece MassMatiks have released a video for their second single, “4AM.”

With frontman George Peploe’s fierce vocal performance front and centre, the track soon puts its gentle opening lament to rest, evolving into a driving, riff-led melodic chorus.

Inspired by a past breakup, Peploe comments on the video for “4AM” saying: “We wanted to connect the story of the song with the video, so we came up with the idea of setting up TVs and playing what was going through my head at the time.

“As the song goes on, so does the narrative in the video. Trashing the TVs felt like the natural thing to do to reflect the emotions I felt during the breakup – not gonna lie, it was fun too…”

You can check out the clip below.

Following their headline show at London’s Old Blue Last on the 13th July, MassMatiks will make their next live appearance at this year’s Y Not Festival in Matlock on the 21st of July.

They will then head out on the road in August, supporting UK psych-pop-grunge outfit Allusondrugs.

Jul 21st: Y Not Festival, Matlock
Aug 03rd: London, Black Heart
Aug 04th: Guildford, Boileroom
Aug 05th: Cantebury, Lady Luck
Aug 07th: Southampton, Joiners
Aug 08th: Plymouth, Underground
Aug 09th: Bridgewater, Cobblestones
Aug 10th: Leicester, Firebug

MassMatiks 4AM single

Album Reviews | Live Reviews | News | SBA Lists | The Playlist | Under The Skin | Without A Song | Live From Los Angeles – Tairrie B. Photography