(As part of their promotion of WonkFest, Wonk Unit’s Alex Johnson is our POV guest editor for the week.)

A total inspiration. Pizzatramp are one of those bands you see then you go home and have a go at copying them. Then you realise there’s no point cuz you’ll never be as good as them at what they do.

They made we want to write a thrash album. The funniest bastards. Jimbo is a total showman and will crack you up. Players man!! Just killer musicians, killer riffs, killer fun! I gotta have a word with them soon to slow down.

As soon as we manage to breath from their latest offering they write another one. Monsters, they record live. They knock whole albums out in a day – I’m serious. That record you are listening to is live instruments, not overdubs! Total sickness tight!

(As part of their promotion of WonkFest, Wonk Unit’s Alex Johnson is our POV guest editor for the week.)

I met Greig (the same time we met Fraser from the Murderburgers) at the Spirit Bar in Glasgow, in the first year of our Wonk. Man, could the boy roar!! Pitch perfect chainsaw vocals, the BEST songs. Songs you wish you’d written yourself. There is no better pop punk band on this planet than these bastards!

The Steaks were my fav MySpace discovery that kinda went into hiding the same time MySpace collapsed. Then a couple of years back they came back with an absolute pop punk classic: ‘To live and die in West Central Scotland’. A perfect band. My fav Steak combo is Greig, Tam and secret beard drummer Ross. They will destroy you.

(As part of their promotion of WonkFest, Wonk Unit’s Alex Johnson is our POV guest editor for the week.)

I met these guys on the Slaves tour last year. Super nice folk. Couldn’t work out what they were doing on a punk bill until night three, when suddenly ALL of their songs clicked into place.

They remind me of a mellow punk rock Proclaimers/Beach boys. There’s this sad nostalgia vibe that comes from Tarek, a heart-on-your-sleeve vibe. And he plays with the most knackered cymbals too. Bad man drummer/songwriter! We’ll still be listening to this one and “Demons” in twenty years time.

(As part of their promotion of WonkFest, Wonk Unit’s Alex Johnson is our POV guest editor for the week.)

Jamie is a pain in the ass who eventually wore me down with his incessant pestering for supports. Ha! He certainly ain’t afraid to ask. Then I heard ‘Roach’ – their debut album – after they played at The Fest last year. Jamie’s songwriting is what makes the Salad. It’s as good as it gets.

Its innocence, its teenage age, its angst. It’s honest and raw and geeky just like the band. They are young and dumb and beautiful just as you should be at their tender ages. We’re aiming to get Roach released in time for Wonkfest on PLASTERER.

(As part of their promotion of WonkFest, Wonk Unit’s Alex Johnson is our POV guest editor for the week.)

I’ve known Fraser since the start of the Burgers. His drive, his enthusiasm for music, his good nature, his weathering of constant line up changes, he’s just a hero. He’s the friendly, smiling champion of Scottish punk rock. But don’t cross him, cuz he’s hard and scraps like a terrier. He’s bad ass. “How to Ruin your life” was the album that made me sit up and take note.

Devastatingly sad, beautiful songs. ‘Unemployment here we come’ and ‘It’s over already’ just kill me. When I play drums I just put their album on shuffle. Well good for one’s stamina, don’tcha know!

Written in the wake of a number of deaths and suicides of close friends, Sorority Noise’s second record is both a sad and graphic reflection of an extremely testing and painful time for the Connecticut band. The verses of ‘No Halo’, the brutally honest opening track of second album ‘You’re Not As _______ As You Think’, are deceiving in the way they evoke the steady vibes of an Interpol or National song, but with a chorus that bursts with vital urgency it soon explodes into something far more stirring and ferocious.

Weightily melodic and lyrically challenging, ‘No Halo’s strength somehow owes to both its directness and its ability to deceive. A song that doesn’t so much lead the way into the album as much as it smashes open the door to a complex, artfully somber collection of sincere tracks written with explicit emotion.

German melodic hardcore band Burning Down Alaska took their sound to a new level in 2016 by bringing clean vocalist Kassim Auale into the mix. Auale’s soulful, R&B style not only gave the band differentiation, but also helped to grow their fanbase. So much so, that when the band cryptically posted “2017-2017” on their Facebook page, it left plenty of followers feeling devastated as they feared the worst.

Happily, the band are back with ‘Empty Throne’ under the name of Alazka, having revealed that due to the changes within the band, they could no longer identify with the old moniker. ‘Empty Throne’ picks up where the band left off, Auale’s vocals giving a striking edge to a driving, heartfelt piece of melodic-hardcore. Tobias Rische’s screamed vocals do a fine job of grounding the track in its core genre, supplying the aggression that fits so well with the ambient guitars and offsets the melody of Auale’s voice.

I’m not the only one impressed by Alazka’s reinvention: Sharptone Records have joined the appreciation club, adding the band to their impressive, growing roster. Keep an eye out for more new music from this band later in the year.

A flash flood of primary colours, lightning bolts and cartoon lettering, the video for ‘Hard Times’ is a dreamy spectacle. The first release from Paramore since 2013 has seen them head in an entirely new, but not totally unexpected direction.

We’ve seen hints of an experimental pop aesthetic with the candy-coated ‘Still Into You’ and gospel-infused ‘Ain’t It Fun’. Now throwing caution to the wind, the previous pop punkers have morphed into a cool, ‘80s-inspired pop group and half of us want to be Hayley Williams all over again.

The positivity of the upbeat melody contrasts with the lyrics, “Hard times gonna make you wonder why you even try / Hard times gonna take you down and laugh when you cry”. That said, the song seems to wave goodbye to the backlash of the self-titled album and the surrounding dramas.

With a tour in some of the UK’s most majestic venues on the cards for this summer and the newly announced album ‘After Laughter’ on the way, Paramore are set to be one of the most exciting bands of 2017. That’s no mean feat after 13 years of existence and more line-up changes than the most and if this new track is anything to go by, we can’t wait to see what’s in store.

All together now: We. Are. PARAMORE.

Mixing together the ambient tones of melodic hardcore with spoken-word has served Being as an Ocean well in the past and adding more of a full-band feel to the latest Hotel Books album seemed to bring it alive more so than on previous records. September Stories continue this trend, resting somewhere in between the two, to show a massive amount of potential with ‘Home’.

To make this genre work, it’s essential for the vocal delivery to burst with emotion and front-man Andrew Baughman is certainly not lacking here. With lyrics based on the memories of a broken home, Baughman tells his story well, concluding that “what we call home isn’t where we’re born or any situation we’re thrown in to. But it’s where we’re able to cope with these memories we’ve long outgrew.”

In addition to the impressively narrated spoken-word, Baughman provides uplifting passages of melodic singing, which provides a welcome contrast and merges brilliantly with the instrumentals that simmer underneath with ambient atmosphere. ‘Home’ is a rousing introduction to September Stories’ upcoming album ‘This House Was Never a Home’, due for release on April 28th.