Have you ever had a band you are so overwhelmed by, it frankly offends you that they aren’t more well-known yet? The band with seemingly boundless talent and an electrifying live show to go with it? Well, in case you’re yet to have the pleasure – let me introduce you to Normandie. Hailing from Sweden – the home of All Good Music – the four piece are gearing up to release the follow up to their 2016 album ‘Inguz’, and have now unleashed the first single of their new era.

‘Ecstasy’ is, in a word, huge. A heartbeat rhythm, drizzled with electronic elements, gradually intertwines with harmonies and keys in the build up to the most anthemic alt rock chorus you’re likely to hear in 2018. And that’s saying something. With a post-hardcore style breakdown that will give you chills and crashing drums like waves on a stormy day, Normandie have taken what they do best and gone one (or ten) better; uplifting, pop-infused rock with a gut punch of heavy right when you most crave it. A band with a sound this refreshing can’t – and won’t – stay under the radar for long.

For the best part of three years there has been a lingering sense of doubt, manifesting in a sensation akin to an itch you just can’t quite scratch, as to the future of Alkaline Trio. Would Matt Skiba taking up the reins in Tom DeLonge-less Blink 182 spell the end for Chicago’s favourite Satanic sons?

The release of ‘Blackbird’ – a precursor to their to ninth studio album ‘Is This Thing Cursed?’ – has removed the boot from the neck of doubt. This is vintage Alkaline Trio and we’re more than happy to drink up the Kool Aid that messrs Skiba, Andriano and Grant are serving up. ‘Blackbird’ has all the hallmarks of mid-2000s Trio with jangling, haunting, staccato riffs, a tale of a dark force bringing death from above wrapped in the guise of a female protagonist and a chilling, instant-classic chorus.

It is a portrait of the world and the future we face that only Alkaline Trio could paint. Even a heavy involvement with Blink 182 could not dull the cynicism and twisted poetry that could only flow from the pen of Matt Skiba. What it also does, is lay down the foundations for an album that teases an Alkaline Trio returning to their absolute best. It is good to have them back.

It’s a year to the week that Gaffa Tape Sandy played Glastonbury and as a celebration of the anniversary, they’ve kindly gifted new single ‘Meat Head’. Played extensively at their recent shows, including a slot at The Great Escape in their adopted home of Brighton, it’s a stomping track that addresses the assumption some people have over other peoples’ bodies. It’s a pointed finger at rape culture that, disappointingly, seems common parlance given alleged reports throughout Hollywood, music and society in general.

With bassist Catherine Lindley-Neilson carrying the vocals, peppered with guitarist Kim Jarvis screams and harmonies, it bounds between gentle, melodic verses and coarse, aggressive choruses. Robin Francis’s drumming ties the whole song together, matching the vocals; subtle during the verses, rousing in the breaks. With artwork as confrontational as the song itself, it can’t help but grab your attention.

It’s a track that I personally have been waiting for with baited breath, both as a big fan of the band but more as a guy fed up with a percentage of my gender assuming their power over women or any other person. It’s not right and it’s not okay. For that reason, it’s an incredibly important, noteworthy song.

Oh, Australia. How do you do it? Is there something in the terrifying crawly creatures lurking in every corner, or the obscene temperatures at all times of the year? Maybe not, but something is helping generate a seemingly endless stream of new music from our Antipodean friends these days, and it is glorious.

After a rough end to 2017 that saw cancelled tour dates and a member ejected from the band, it’s onwards and upwards for With Confidence and the first single from their upcoming album ‘Love and Loathing’ is a perfect fresh start. With an opening cough that’s reminiscent of a certain early All Time Low song, ‘That Something’ continues where debut album ‘Better Weather’ left off. Super poppy, full of positivity, and over a steady riff, enchanting harmonies that beg to be sung along with. Jayden Seeley’s voice is as irresistible as ever, as is the Four Year Strong-esque gang vocal buried at the start of the chorus. Why don’t all songs have this? If ‘That Something’ is anything to go by, we’re in for a treat when the full album is released in August.

There’s no question that With Confidence are among the sugary sweetest of their genre, but we all need a rush sometimes. This is the best possible way to deliver it.

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.