1913: Atlantis. Manchester pair TV presenter and journalist John Robb and producer Johnny Jay have captured that paradox of melancholy and euphoria in this rumbling, dark-hearted offering that takes the despair and spirit of Joy Division and gives it a sense of longing and yearning that even reaches the dizzy heights of optimism. It could just be the start of something special.
FOREVER THE SICKEST KIDS: She Likes (Bittersweet Love).Rock, pop and punk hybrid that’s got pogo on the mind in a frenzied teen kind of a way. The equivalent to a sugary high energy drink.
VOLCANOES: Sugar and Snarls EP.The band based in Leeds and Sheffield unleash an EP to showcase their grungy glamfreakbeat sound. In short, they’re in their own world and loving every musical minute of it as they rush along in a crazy headlong daze. And their name could not be more topical.
PLASTISCINES: Another Kiss.And another dose of spiky, punky yet essentially poppy strut stuff from the French upstart starlets.
WHITE BELT YELLOW TAG: Methods.If this trio don’t make a sizeable mark by the end of the year you can’t but help think all sense of natural justice has been shot to pieces. They met in a studio in Newcastle last year and feature former Yourcodenameis:milo guitarist Justin Lockey with ex The Cooper Temple Clause’s Tom Bellamy on drums. And the name? It was the furthest Lockey got in taekwondo when he was seven. Influences veer from Echo And The Bunnymen to Doves as the dozen tracks range from slow grind and tumbling rumbles to icy grandeur and soaring, widescreen soundscapes.
DOVES: The Best Of Doves: The Places Between.Few bands have such a distinctive yet wide-ranging sound as Doves. One moment they’re marching to melodic euphoria with Black And White Town – surely one of the best songs from the last decade – and the next they’ve gone into strangely 50s and 60s throwback mode with the likes of The Man Who Told Everything, Words and Kingdom Of Rust. And then they leap off into an entirely different direction with the sonic rock of Jetstream before calming down with the eerie and ethereal The Cedar Room.