Hello and welcome to Independent Shorts, the best place on the internet to discover new music. And no I can’t back up that claim, but if you’re expecting honest assessments and balanced nuanced arguments then are you sure the internet is the place for you? Anyway, it’s a bumper edition this week, in fact, it’s so long we might have to rename it Independent Trousers. (You don’t know how long I’ve been waiting to use that gag...) So, without further ado lets get to the music, shall we?

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THE GREG COULSON BAND - Girls: We start off with what might be a first for Independent Shorts; a horn section. This is a jazzy little blues number, with a nice line in blue-eyed soul vocals. A cross between Eli ‘Paperboy’ Reed and Van Morrison’s ‘Moondance’ period. It’s got a big band swing and a sunny disposition, what more could you want?

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OMEN MACHINE - Crown of Thorns:  A bit of heaviness now, after a foreboding intro this launches into a metal/hardcore verse where the words are spat at you with an impressive anger that’s reminiscent of Pulkas (one for the 90s obscurists there...) and then into a big, bold - and just a touch vulnerable - chorus, while guitars and drums swirl and pound around it. 

Omen Machine are:

Matt Nathan - Vocals
Fred Bettis - Drums
Ross Walters - Bass
Oliver Nelson - Guitar
Callum Parkin – Guitar

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GYPSY JACK - Heartbreaker: If you want some straight-ahead hard rock then GYPSY JACK have got you sorted, there are meaty riffs, sneered vocals and a decent line in fretboard frolics too. It kicks down your door, blasts your eardrums out and then it leaves, dripping attitude all over your nice new carpet. Lovely.

Gypsy Jack are:

Marty Rose - Lead Vocals
Nick Jones - Lead Guitar
Jonah Paul - Bass
Chris O' Toole - Drums

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SHADOW SMILE - Digital God: Some more hard rock here from Sheffield newbies SHADOW SMILE. But this comes with a distinctly metallic edge, blending a modern sound with a love of classic rock in a way that’s not a million miles from Avenged Sevenfold’s more melodic numbers. It’s definitely a sound set up for the bigger venues. 

Shadow Smile are:

Connor McGovern - Vocals
Ciaran Frost - Guitar 
Joe Fletcher – Drums

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BLAME THE SACRED - Edge of Tomorrow: There’s nothing quite like an air raid siren to announce a song. You can’t kick off with that and then launch into a tender ballad, can you? Thankfully BLAME THE SACRED know the score and instead serve up a frenetic, epic, big-bollocked rocker for your listening pleasure. It’s the type of track that will fit in perfectly with the current wave of British hard rock bands (I’m claiming the acronym CWOBHR, by the way. Come join my Facebook group...) this sounds like it would go down a storm live. Also if you’re a fan of that bass drum sound that makes it feel like your gut are about to prolapse then BLAME THE SACRED have got you covered there too.

Blame the Sacred are:

Danny Porter - Vocals
Andy Wordsworth - Guitar/Vocals
Scott Emery - Drums
Kriss Rayner - Guitar/Vocals
Wez Gill - Bass/Vocals

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BLACK RIVER RANSOM - Mars: Some songs you just know you’re going to love from the very first note, and ‘Mars’ is one of them. Opening up with the sort of slide guitar that gets you turning your head towards the saloon doors waiting for some badass cowboy dressed in black to mosey on in before kicking into a dirty, scuzzy riff that drives the whole song, this is lowdown and filthy blues-rock and one of those tunes that you feel as much as hear.

Black River Ransom are:

Lou Menzies - Bass Guitar
Benny Patterson - Drums
Scott James - Guitar, Vocals

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BLACK LIMOUSINE - Dress In Black: As soon as you think you’ve got this little cracker from Manchester-based BLACK LIMOUSINE pinned down it warps and changes beneath you. They describe themselves as taking their cues from the likes of Rollins Band and Filter, but then there are the gothic vocals in the verses and the surprisingly delicate guitar touches that appear out of nowhere, all driven by thumping drums and hyperactive bass. There’s a little hint of Queens of the Stone Age and even a little dark pop edge. Can something be sludgy and delicate at the same time? If so these guys have nailed it.

Black Limousine are:

Mark Taylor – Guitar/Vocals

John Pew – Bass

Damien Hughes - Drums

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CROOKED LITTLE SONS - Snake: As I write this Tool have just dropped their new album, and while hour-long songs and complex structures are all well and good, sometimes you just want a track with a maximum of three chords, that’ll make you pogo until your knees drop off and a chorus you can cathartically shout along to amongst a seething mass of sweaty humans slamming into you from every angle. ‘Snake’ is that song. Fuck Tool.

Crooked Little Sons are:

Josh Bessant - Vocals/Guitar
Marcus Osborne - Guitar / Vocals
Larry Collinson Brown - Bass/Vocals
Lee Lane - Drums

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DEAD AT 27 - Riding The Wave: Somehow after all that awesomeness we’ve still managed to save the best ‘til last. We kicked off with a horn section and finish with one of the most glorious piano refrains you’ll ever hear in a rock song. It then blasts into a noir-ish and macabre tale, wrapped up in chainsaw guitars and crashing drums. And that chorus...mwah! There’s hints of Alkaline Trio in its dark accessibility, and also The Cure. In fact, I’m calling it, this is Lovecats for Generation Z. Song of the year? Very possibly. The best thing you’ll hear this week? Definitely.

Dead at 27 are:

Nathan Gratton-Smith - Vocals/Guitar
Mitch Casey - Vocals/Bass
Chris Lerwell - Drums/Percussion
Dave Griffiths – Guitar

So, there we have it a whole load of horn sectioning, 90s obscurist pleasing, fretboard frolicking, saloon door swinging, Tool fucking, Generation Z inspiring tunes that are all ribbed for your pleasure. Thanks as always for indulging my idiocy, this has been Independent Trousers 1. Join us next time for Independent Comfy Slacks...