Petrol Girls – Some Thing

Female-fronted punk bands are quite rare nowadays, so it’s a pleasure to see that there are still some kickass ladies in the scene. “Some Thing” has a nice Tsunami Bomb-ish touch, yet I really missed the softer, more melodic vocals. Girls, you don’t have to sound like The Restarts, even though it’s hardcore punk! In general, ‘punk’ is not the best word to describe this album, because it sounds somehow dramatic. I remember punk tunes as stuff that gives you a boost of energy and inspires you to go against the flow rather than lock yourself up in your room and cry. I’m really missing that feeling on this album.

– Dana Maslykhina

Muncie Girls – From Caplan To Belsize

Three-piece punk rock band Muncie Girls from Exeter, England, has released their brand new debut album “From Caplan To Belsize”. Kicking off the album is the first track “Learn In School”, and it is clear to hear from vocalist Lande’s voice that the band’s English. She hasn’t changed her voice to fit in with the usual pop punk act. It really stands out, and gives the band a unique sound. The whole album addresses the issues of modern living as a self-aware young adult, describing everything from interpersonal relationships to politics. The fourth track on the album “Balloon” is a reflective and hopeful song, indicating a past break-up. It has a different feel then the rest of the tracks. “Social side” is a reflective song about family and loneliness, and how Lande got influenced into music from her brother. The guitar is really powerful throughout and halfway through the song, it really picks up. The best thing about the album is that there are no breaks in between each song, they just carry on playing. “Gas Mark 4” is an upbeat track with powerful riffs and a loud drum beat. Lande’s voice is strong and she sings with such passion that your ears could listen to her singing all day long. Muncie Girls are in for a very good year, especially now as they are playing this year’s Download Festival!

– Holly Reijs

Face To Face – Protection

Face To Face turns 25 so what better way to get into a midlife crisis by taking it back to the basics. “Protection” is the new long-awaited album by our favourite Californians and features melodic skate punk like it was the nineties. To bring it full circle Trevor and co even signed up with Fat Wreck Chords for the release of “Protection”. Eleven songs are all they need to convince you that this band helped define its own genre back in the days. Still remaining relevant today and touching base with hot topics in their lyrics such as stardom and fundamentalist thinking in tracks as “14:59” and “Bent But Not Broken”. Face To Face is back and here to stay, their Groezrock performance is one I'm looking forward too. Dance like It's 1994!

– David Marote

Across All Oceans – Homegrown

Five-piece emo/pop punk band from Middlesbrough, the North of England, Across All Oceans, have released a brand new six-track EP for all you pop punk fans! Having only formed in 2012, they released their debut EP back in 2014, and are releasing their brand new EP, “Homegrown” on 22nd February. The first track “Everywhere But Home”, is very energetic. Vocalist, Andrew Thomson has a very aggressive vocal style. This made me think the next tracks were going to be outstanding. “Permanence”, the second track on the EP, shows the band’s pop punk in a nutshell. The very first second of the song sounds so pop punk, you know it is going to be a standout track. Andrew’s vocals are so raspy, your ears get attracted to the sound, making you want to carry on listening to the rest of the EP. The third track “Monophobia” has some great sing-along moments. It starts off slowly with just guitars and vocals but then the band picks up the tempo slightly from an emo sound to make it a blend into a sincere punk sounded balled that can’t be avoided. Title track “Homegrown” jumps back to a more typical emo sounding sound where Andrew’s vocals are a lot less destructive. The song is about questioning where you are in your life, or where you should be in your timeline. They’re an incredible band and I can see them going far in the pop punk scene!

– Holly Reijs

Toothgrinder – Nocturnal Masquerade

A blend between total onslaught and beautiful melody, Toothgrinder exceeded expectations on their debut release, “Nocturnal Masquerade”. The New Jersey natives had previously released an EP in 2014, titled “Schizophrenic Jubilee”. It was a solid release, yet never something I listened to much. Although three songs from the EP also appear on the full-length album, the musical complexity, concept, and progressive flow make “Nocturnal Masquerade” an essential record for the heavy metal masses. The album begins with “The House (That Fear Built)”. Toothgrinder wastes no time establishing the main facets of their sound including heavy whispered vocals, aggressive screamed vocals, powerful drums, and heavily distorted guitar. Justin Matthew’s spitfire vocals reminds me of Corey Taylor at his most vicious. Although I generally do not endearingly compare bands to Slipknot, Justin manages to maintain enunciation with speed, while still remaining overwhelmingly brutal. These vocals overlaid on the frantic drumming and guitar riffs was also quick to remind me of The Dillinger Escape Plan. A great record that deserves to be heard.

– David Gilmore

Ray Rocket – Do You Wanna Go To Tijuana

Ray Rocket, it sounds slick and smooth like a greased up rockabilly in a lube pit adjusting his engine. Ray Rocket is the new moniker for Ray Carlisle from Teenage Bottle Rocket to fame his solo project. Acoustic guitar in one hand, heartfelt lyrics in the other, bringing it back to the bare essentials. From title track “Do You Wanna Go To Tijuana”, the listener gets treated to the melodic talent of Ray, transposing his pop punk to six strings and vocal chords, but not steering away from adventure the 11 tracks on this album incorporate sounds from handclaps to ukulele. And the perfect treat for a well-rounded album always is a cover, in this particular case it's “Pet Sematary” by The Ramones. Ray Rocket has surely blasted off.

– David Marote

Drowning Pool – Hellelujah

To be honest, I had never really listened to Drowning Pool after their first album and lead singer Dave Williams’ tragic death. Since then the line-up has changed quite a few times, but whatever their history, whatever their struggles may have been, one thing needs to be said: Hellelujah is a freaking kickass collection of songs! With smashing drums, formidable riffs and raw melodies, this album is everything a good hard-rock/metal album should be. The only downside to it may be that it’s not a very innovative album. None of the songs are really eccentric or different. But in the end, does that really matter when all you want to do is rock? All in all, I can’t really say Drowning Pool has gained a fan, but they definitely have regained one.    

– Renske Gommer

Years Young – Hiraeth

The alternative rock quartet from North Lincolnshire has finally released their debut EP. The 4-piece band has already earned the title ‘One of the most anticipated bands of 2015.’ If you like bands like Don Broco, Biffy Clyro and Mallory Knox, you need to listen to this album! The six-track EP has a lot of depth to it. Strong vocals, awesome chord progressions and assertive lyrics are just a few things what the EP is all about. “Hiraeth” means ‘A homesickness for a home you cannot return to, or that never was’. Opening track “Miracles” starts off pretty mellow after the first thirteen seconds, but then it fulfils your ears making you want to hear more. The lyrics: ‘Home is where the heart is while you’re running away,’ expresses that the band want their fans to think about their lives from the past, present and future. “The Sign” is a song about rebuilding. The beat throughout the whole track is powerful and memorable. With this song the band expresses how important it is to know who you are and where your life is leading to. The band has really thought of their fans and new listeners, this song is a song you can listen to and really revaluate your life. The EP is full of catchy choruses and haunting hooks, and it shows that Years Young is more than ready to take on the rock world.

– Holly Reijs

Light Years – I’ll See You When I see You

Light Years have released their brand new second full-length album, “I’ll See You When I See You” and it is an absolute banger! The pop punk four piece from Cleveland has finally released the 13-track album and it is sure to bring a lot of pop punk to your ears. It shows the band moving on from teen angst and maturing into adults. Opening track “Are You Sure” is an upbeat tune with an energetic pop punk feel. The electric guitar riffs and big drums make the track unique so that you want to continue to listen to the other 12 tracks. Throughout the album, there is a deeper, emotional side to it, like the track “Let You Down”. A similar deeper song called “Funeral”, which is only over 1-minute-long really brings a downer towards the end of the album. Light Years wants to bring a little bit of everything to the album: happiness and sadness crammed into one. So everyone can relate to the album. It is a mixed opinion, standard pop punk album, although a lot of the tracks sound very similar to one another. It will be interesting to see what Light Years produce in the coming years.

– Holly Reijs

Jon Creeden & The Flying Hellfish – Demo

Canada, home to maple syrup, ice hockey and Jon Creeden. I'm moving over asap. Jon Creeden is an Ottawa, Ontario native that is blessed with a golden voice and a dedicated heart. Be it at just voice and guitar on his acoustic material or the more rocking material with his friends acting as guest band The Flying Hellfish, Jon will strum that axe to pieces and persuade you of his passion by voice.

His 2015 demo has been digitally released at the end of last year but will now get a limited edition 100 pieces cassette tape-approach by the ne folks at Bearded Punk Records in Belgium. Opener “Nailbiter” will get you jumping to the edge of your seat by the rst verse. Rough vocals and sweet melodies are the glue to this demo tape. Six tracks will keep you on that edge of the chair dangling for more. From “Nail- biter” to “Sensible Underpants”, this trip to the other coast is worth the miles and Jon Creeden is touring Europe as we speak, so go catch him live.