Ryan's Gig Guide

Ryan's Gig Guide

Supporting live Music in Birmingham & The West Midlands since 1995

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The Verdict

Nick J. Townsend

Nick J. Townsend

Greetings humans. This month we have an exquisite amount of albums for you to download and enjoy. Some wonderful music representing the Midlands music scene and do buy a physical copy if you can as these bands have put a lot of effort into their releases. That is all. Hail Townsend.

Nick J. Townsend

Album Of The Month

The Humdrum Express: Ultracrepidarian Soup


Definitely the strongest commercial release by Kidderminster songwriter The Humdrum Express. Twelve songs crammed with his signature lyrical wit and musically he steamrolls through to the finish line. ‘Ultracrepidarian Soup’ features two impressive reworked versions of past The Humdrum Express songs, first the more swing and saxophone heavy ‘Fading Stars On Social Media’ which nicely salutes the alternate version from the 2017 ‘Lookalike Bond’ EP and the second is one of his earliest, and in my opinion, strongest tunes ‘Message Board Hooligan’ with a revamped modernised sound. It’s smart decision to release this now to a fresh audience. Highlights are anti-spam ‘E-Petition!’, ‘The Curse Of The Modern Musician’ with it’s spot on observations and ‘Motivational Wall Art’ which is highly recommended for fans of Madness. My overall favourite is ‘Pop Culture Musings’; sheer class.


Artist Of The Month

Mat Partridge: Destroying Is Easy


The follow up album ‘Destroying Is Easy’ by much respected Midlands solo artist Mat Partridge is a remarkable piece of deep soul rock that I believe surpasses previous work and recommended for fans of Simply Red, Terence Trent Darby and Chris Cornell. ‘Copies’ is a fantastic inspiring message which highlights a lot about modern society in a truly clever and loving way without being aggressive. The self reflective arguably anti-scaremongering ‘Always On The Fence’ is also I think a secret singing lesson, you wanna be an incredible frontman? Well, sing as naturally and powerful as this and you’re doing something right. Album closer ‘The Fleetings Of Time’ is the best end to a perfect release; a timeless beautiful touching passionate and delicate performance with a guitar solo that could quite easily carry on for twice the songs length and I’ll be surprised if this song doesn’t effect you on an emotional level. A solid musical achievement that should be heard by you immediately.


Hardcore Of The Month

Opium Lord: Vore


No one can deny the sheer strong musicianship of Birmingham metal act Opium Lord and ‘Vore’ is certainly a more experimental sound from the band. Always offering a range of top doom and sludge heaviness; tracks like ‘WWCD’ and ‘Suture’ really nail it with a case closed argument for strength. Opium Lord deliver great heavy dynamics and break downs throughout in what can be described as a storytelling low tuned extreme metal soundtrack, everyone here is playing at the top of their game in a genre which can easily become boring if not performed and written with intelligent design and thoughtfulness in mind. The riffs are massive, the vocals are exactly what is needed and that’s complimenting the wall of sound which isn’t an easy task to pull off but it’s done with style. My favourite on here would have to be ‘Sherword Is Connector’ for it’s complete universe of crazy sounds and power. It’s a short album with only seven songs but it makes up for it in the sheer dark song writing. A must for fans of truly blackened hardcore metal.


Metal Artist Of The Month

LongFallBoots: For The Journey


Warwickshire based four-piece Longfallboots return with their tank of fuzz filled groovy stoner doom and it’s a large noise indeed. If you adore bands like The Melvins then this is the right album for you. A major highlight for me was ‘No Rest’ which is a millennial Sepultura meets Deftones delight of strong stomping riffs all executed with precision. The first half of the album is a no holds barred full on approach but then halfway we get some real curveballs thrown in; ‘Devolver’ for example acts as a Metallica-esque ballad but done with a stamp of their Longfallboots style, arguably a strong commercial song, as is the following tune ‘Take It Back’ which again changes into a sort of Helmet mega mix. There are so many brilliant moments on ‘For The Journey’ and it’s a welcome late 90’s nostalgia trip with something fresh and new added to the fire. My personal other song recommendations on here are ‘Megabear’, ‘Start’ and ‘The Old Tongue’. Longfallboots is an incredibly diverse band and this is one of the strongest metal artists from the Midlands for sure because the variety here makes every single one of the fourteen tracks worth your time. There’s no baggage and it’s a non stop ride of good metal.


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Ryan's Gig Guide contains FREE gig listings, previews, music reviews and informative articles aimed at the local music community.
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