Having spent the best part of twenty years immersed in a rich and complex sci-fi concept, a break was long overdue, and 2015’s ‘The Colour Before The Sun’ was a refreshing opportunity to hear Coheed and Cambria let loose on something different. That said, in the same way that Star Wars fans get an overwhelming sense of emotion when a new film hits and that iconic yellow text starts to scroll up the screen, the moment Claudio Sanchez’s guitar kicks into ‘The Dark Sentencer’ and a narrator proclaims “It begins with them, but ends with me. Their son, Vaxus”, I can’t help but get excited for another space-epic.

I haven’t been this impressed with a new single since ‘Welcome Home’, and in fact, this riff-led, epic, prog rock procession wouldn’t feel out of place on the band’s superb third album ‘Good Apollo, I’m Burning Star IV’. The groove of the central riff, to the way the vocal melodies drive the song onwards, mirrors the style of their older material, but with a layer of sophistication shaped by the band’s experimentation on more recent material.

Coheed and Cambria have been perfecting their craft for twenty years now and ‘The Dark Sentencer’ is the perfect way to celebrate the sound that’s gifted them their lengthy career, while still generating excitement for what they’ve got left to show.

When Night Verses announced they’d split with singer Douglas Robinson back in September 2017 and intended to carry on as an instrumental act, my interest level in the band suddenly piqued. The band have always been bursting with musical talent, but the vocals never really did it got me, so the prospect of hearing the unrestrained talents of the remaining – and unbelievably talented – members, had me excited. When the trio gave us a sneak peek of material with 3-track teaser EP ‘Copper Wasp’ earlier in the year, the idea of a full-length became a mouth-watering proposition.

With latest track ‘Phoenix IV: Levitation’ managing to somehow sound even more epic, my salivation levels are now flood-worthy. Atmospheric, heavy, ambient, clever, inventive – so many adjectives come to mind as the track progresses and warps into a sprawling, captivating journey that defies genre boundaries. Despite being ten minutes in length and having no vocals to anchor to, there’s not a single moment that feels too long or unfocused, each section feeling like an essential part of this wonderfully crafted composition. Here, three hugely talented musicians have been given the freedom to mine the depths of their creativity and the result is spectacular. ‘From the Gallery of Sleep’ is out on June 29 through Equal Vision Records.

Preceding their upcoming second EP ‘Paycheck’, ‘Pussycat’ is a raucous departure from Dutch songwriter Pip Blom’s previous acoustic indie rock. Two guitars duel whilst Pip purrs and unsympathetically growls quintessential garage-rock that explodes throughout the track from the very first riff. The girl-next-door has dropped her acoustic guitar and is smashing down your door, flailing with possessed fury.

21-year-old, converse-adorning Blom sneers a feisty nature that refuses to be contained, using youthful frustration as a loaded gun of lyrical spite that is as enigmatic as it is angry. She projects the erratic, raw energy of early Blur, straying into more furious Sonic Youth territory that similar bands in the indie rock genre, such as Black Honey or Goat Girl, may be too cautious to dip into. Blom has a musical maturity that I’ve rarely seen from bands this early in their career. She knows how to form the hook of a garage-rock song; captures the bitter frustration that today’s youth face. ‘Pussycat’ is a revealing turn into the shadows of garage-rock from a talented and promising siren of indie.

If you haven’t heard of The Faim yet, don’t worry – you’re about to. Not least because I haven’t shut up about them recently (absolutely not sorry) and I’m on a micro mission to spread the joy everywhere. Like cholera, but fun. Despite the band having released only two tracks until now, word seems to be spreading rapidly with or without my enthusiastic assistance – and for good reason.

“Burned lips when the wind blows / black tint on the windows” come Josh Raven’s clipped tones as the irrepressibly poppy and addictive ‘Summer is a Curse’ kicks into a glorious groove. It’s hard not to compare his vocals to Panic! At The Disco’s Brendon Urie, with the same versatility and incredible tone, yet they are still very much his own. Managing to be both upbeat and incredibly chilled, all staccato keys and seductive drum beats; ‘Summer is a Curse’ is an easy-listening stonker of a pop tune.

The band will be playing festivals like Slam Dunk, Camden Rocks and Download, supporting PVMNTS from 21 May and headlining shows across the country. Their live show is electric and it’s unlikely you’ll be able pay less than £10 to see them for long, so catch them if you can. The only thing I’m cursed with right now is listening to this on repeat for the next month. And that’s not so bad. This is a band to get seriously excited about.

Nine Inch Nails unveiled the brooding menace that will surround their upcoming ninth LP ‘Bad Witch’ with  dizzying new track ‘God Break Down the Door’. Over wailing saxophone that hasn’t been present since the band’s earlier work, lead-singer Trent Reznor incubates moaning jazz vocals that channels Bowie’s ‘Blackstar’; a disarray of primal drums and dizzying synth mixing with waves of distortion to kick a nauseating dance beat.

The song features possible acknowledgments of Reznor’s past drug addiction, warning of the downward spiral that comes with trying to solve one’s issues through inebriant misuse: “You won’t find the answers here – not the ones you’re looking for”

A track enigmatic enough to cause a polarising reaction from their fanbase, Nine Inch Nails have created more questions than answers with this experimental addition to their ever-changing discography. Love it or hate it, it’s toxically different; quintessentially Nine Inch Nails.

As It Is have a habit of teasing fans. Prior to the release of ‘okay.’ they posted glitching photos and mystery dates and recently the band have been sending yet more cryptic messages, stating “the crash is coming” and sending letters to fans in the form of a newspaper. Well now we know what it all means. The release of ‘The Wounded World’ unveils a new era for As It Is, including a new look for front man Patty Walters.

When I first heard this track I was a little shocked; it’s not the pop-punk we have come to know and love, however, the further into the track I got, the more I started to love it. The more mature sound certainly suits the band and with their appearance at Slam Dunk Festival and a special acoustic tour coming up, this song will be making quite the impact at live shows.

Since the release of ‘okay.’ As It Is have not been afraid to address serious issues in their music and this track is no different. If this is the direction As It Is are heading for their third album, then I think we’re all in for a treat.

With the sun looking like it’s here to stay for longer than a short few days, it’s about time to dust off that summer playlist, pull on some shorts and fire up that barbecue. A staple of my summer playlist, aptly named ‘Suns Out, Puns Out’, is the latest single from Alchopop! trio Husky Loops, ‘When I Come Home’. I’m such a fan, I recently bought a ‘Jingle For Your Pet’ as part of their crowdfunding campaign so now my cat has her own theme song.

A far step from the thrashing industrial resonance laced through their first two EPs, ‘When I Come Home’ comes with a Mediterranean, dreamy chord progression. It’s delightfully juxtaposed with lyrics about anxiety and self-confidence and pre-emptive thoughts of conversations that you can’t spit out when the time comes. It’s a track that could be blasted through the speakers of a convertible, cruising through the streets of Europe or played through headphones, sat in the corner contemplatively. Because who says summer has to be a positive time? I prefer winter.

Nothing But Thieves takes us back to a time when we lost our minds, with ‘Crazy, a cover of Gnarls Barkley’s 2006 song of the same name. The song’s narrative depicts a man confronting his ex-lover about their unreasonable madness and inability to own up to their mistakes – a tale similar to the lyrics of Nothing But Thieves’ own two albums. Be prepared for a rare treat of familiarity that somehow feels entirely fresh.

Released for Record Store Day 2018, the single is a grieving slow-build with a bitter twist, transforming the high-beat lyrics of the original track and distorting them into a woeful ballad, reminding us of the haunting melancholy that put the Southend-on-Sea band on our radars back in 2015 with their debut album.

The distorted instrumentals instil an anxiety that explodes into quintessential alternative rock, spiralling with lead-singer Conor Mason’s bewildering, pained vocals; easily cemented as one of rock’s most promising vocalists. ‘Crazy’ is a perfect choice of cover that shows the comfort Nothing But Thieves have with their own sound, proving that they’re much more than their name suggests. Or does that make me crazy?

After a three year wait, Toronto’s The Penske File are back with a new LP, ‘Salvation.’ Right from the start the album hits hard with the jangly anthem to living in the moment, ‘Kamikaze Kids.’ “So let’s live while we can / And we’ll die when we do,” declares the chorus. The track is a departure from The Penske File’s usual style and is probably the poppiest song they’ve ever written. It’s loaded with great hooks and tons of positive energy.  ‘Kamikaze Kids’ also reminds us that happiness doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. “So let me dance like the fly, around the porch light / The 40-watt thrill, it is ours tonight.” Happiness is something that we create from within. This track is the perfect way to open this killer album, and is sure to end up as one of my favourite songs of the year.