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Top Sounds - #

#1 DEFENDER - The Diary Truthful EP {Engineer} Shit, 5 tracks in excess of 31 minutes didn’t appeal to me at all. But this 5-piece from the South-East of England pulled it off with an impressive array of dynamics, genuine song composition, studio invention (samples and backwards segments) and an ample supply of confidence. Take a big portion of TEXAS IS THE REASON structures, SAMIAM intensity and KIDS NEAR WATER power and you’ll be close to the sounds here. It’s a bit too delicate at times, but that’s few and far between because the guitars soon crash in with a crushing, overwhelming density. The vocalist can actually sing also, instead of the plethora of vocalists who attempt this kind of well-pitched and passionate yet forceful and slightly embittered style and fail dismally. Highlights have to be the opening pulsating bite of ‘I, Ashley B’ and the epic closer ‘Remember How To Fly’ which twists, turns, swells and literally implodes in a vortex of its own making. Good stuff and probably one of the Top 3 releases ever from this label.

4ft FINGERS - A Cause For Concern {Golf} The third, 12-track opus from this 4-piece outta Cheltenham, UK. As with the band’s previous albums, it’s all a bit too nondescript to leave any lasting impression upon me. It is a much more mature, cohesive and adventurous set of tunes, having more depth than most of the tracks on the previous albums - a result no doubt of the voluminous live work the band has done between records. ‘Back On The Wagon… Again’ saunters along in a stylish manner while ‘Unite Or Fall’ is a faster slab of Punk showing the influence of SkatePunk upon the band. There’s a big market for this deft, tight, structured and inoffensive STRUNG OUT/ LAGWAGONish Punk and these fellas do it with a verve many never attain. Album highlight ‘Irish Eyes’ brings a bit of politics and a change of tempo into the sound with album closer ‘A Life We Choose to Live’ and its SHADES APART style density running it a close second.