German Psychedelic Blues act Sound of Smoke have released their first full-length LP, titled Tales via Tonzonen Records. The seven-track release is a follow up to debut EP Eleutherumania. The band, hailing from Freiburg, Germany, consist of lead vocalist Isabell Bapte, guitarist Jens Stover, bassist Florian Kiefer and drummer Johannes Braunstein.

The album blends blues, 70's psychedelia and soulful vocals to create a fresh retro sound. The LP begins with the Billie Holiday cover "Strange Fruits", Bapte does the song justice with a sultry and tender timbre over distorted guitar breaks that reverberate like a songbird on a summer's morning. Next up is "Witch Boogie" with a riff like Norman Greenbaum's 'Spirit in The Sky". Bapte's deep vocals soothe over thunderous drums and bassline that roll along like Bapte's vocals on this track.

Isabell Bapte reminds me of a young Grace Slick full of emotion and feeling. The guitar work is equally impressive with a hypnotic edge with crunchy riffs and solos that are structured.

The music is like a throwback to the 1970's feel with psychedelic charms and mid-tempo- guitar breaks that build to a rapturous climax. "Dreamin" is such a track with blues-soaked grooves and misty instrumentals. Other highlights include the foot-stomping 'Devil's Voice' and the final track "Human Salvation", a wondrous ending to this cosmic journey that includes a spoken word intro and a mesmerising jam outro between Braunstein and Stover.

Overall, Sound of Smoke deliver an album of a whole new feeling to the summer of love with a reminiscent trip to an era of soul, blues with a rocky edge.


Song of The Day- Cowboy Diplomacy- Dark Days


Austin Rockers Cowboy Diplomacy is set to release new single 'Dark Days' this Friday, Feb 18th.
The song was inspired like so many, by the Covid-19 Lockdown. The track focuses on finding brightness and light during dark times. The follow up to 'Easier When I'm Stoned follows similar struggles of finding hope during challenging times.

Cowboy Diplomacy is a southern rock and blues band, hailing from Austin, TX. They have quickly established themselves as 'One to Watch' with several award nominees and features in local magazines in their hometown. They released their debut album, Burn Down the Road' in 2019 to much acclaim, including an appearance on KUTX'S Jack Anderson show.

'Dark Day's is a southern roots track with a positive message to us all. Frontman Ian Cochran's deep vocals open the song and a piano intro. Cochran's vocals are warm and rich with hope and optimism, as he breaks into the chorus. The steel guitar and piano supplement this message, as the song finishes with a solo that is smooth and doesn't outstay its welcome. Cochran reminds me of Lynyrd Skynyrd's late frontman Ronnie Van Zandt with his powerful vocals reflecting an affable individual behind the music.

'Dark Days' will be available on all streaming platforms this Friday 18th February. 
Words by Anselm Anderson

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Thursday, February 17 – Harvelle’s, Los Angeles, CA

Friday, February 18 - The Merrow, San Diego, CA


FB: CowboyDiplomacy

IG: @cowboydiplomacymusic


Click here to listen to latest single ' Easier When I'm Stoned'




Folk singer-songwriter Barry Tierney has released the first single from his anticipated second album. The song, ‘Colours on Canvas’, is now available on all streaming services 

“I was signed to Universal Music Berlin in 2015,” explains Tierney. The Irish release of his much-loved 2015 album Hotel Alamar, which reached No.1 in the Irish iTunes overall charts, saw him gain a deal with Universal and Gale Force Promotions. “I moved to Germany. I toured very successfully. We played some of the most prestigious venues in Germany, from Potsdam to Berlin. And then… the world went crazy. I moved back to Ireland, for the first time in seven years. This album, these songs, are my first release since 2014.”

 ‘Colours on Canvas’ investigates Irish culture, history, art and sport. Tierney guides the reader through traditional Irish folk music with his distinctive charm and affable vocals. 'Colour on Canvas' is a pleasant history lesson for fans of folk music.

Words transcribed by Anselm Anderson.

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Connect with Barry Tierney on: Facebook // Twitter // YouTube // Instagram // Spotify


Song of The Day: Vangogo-Watch It Burn


Alt-rockers Van Go Go have recently released a new single and video for "Watch It Burn" . The track's guitar-driven rock is punchy and energetic with a strong message about moving on from a toxic situation. The catchy pop choruses and huge riffs are as catchy as the video, inspired by Marvel Comic's Ghost Rider.

Lead singer Nathan MacKinder says of the inspiration behind the track. "With "Watch It Burn", we really wanted to put together a straight-ahead rock song with power guitars and booming drums, the type of rock song we all grew up with that a kid can learn to play in his basement and blast at maximum volume.” He continues, "Outwardly "Watch It Burn" may sound like it's about giving up, but it's more about moving on from a toxic situation. Some people are so bullheaded that they will let their whole world burn down around them before they admit that they made a mistake. I initially wrote the song about the current political divide in the U.S., but it can easily translate to a failing relationship, a dead-end job or struggle with addiction. There is something sinister about the tone of the song and that the character is willing to let someone fail as a sort of lesson. It's not necessarily the type of person I would want to be, but it's certainly a genuine emotional response that I’ve experienced when completely exhausted and frustrated from a disagreement going nowhere."

"Watch It Burn" was produced by Super-Producer/Engineer Chuck Alkazian
(Pop Evil, Soundgarden, Tantric) at legendary Pearl Sound Studios (Asking Alexandria, Eminem, Filter).

Words Transcribed by Anselm Anderson

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Van Go Go is 
Nathan Mackinder (vocals), 
Jason Schaller (guitar), 
Paxton Olney (bass) 
Jonah Brockman (drums).

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Uk Alt- Rockers' FOXHAUNT have released their latest EP, Mindset, this past Friday. The quartet hail from York, England and consists of lead vocalist Ollie Swift, guitarist Thom Clayton, bassist Nick Dawson, and drummer Jamie Scott. The band count Linkin Park and Alexisonfire as many influences on their brand of pop, punk, and rock music with electronic elements.

The band have gained considerable support over the years with coverage in Planet Rock and BBC Introducing. 'Mindset' harks back to the days of rock bands singing huge pop choruses and massive riffs.

The opener "Enemy" covers the topic of a person losing control of their own perspective and looking for someone to blame. The dazzling keys in the intro soon follow with large, thunderous guitars and soothing vocal melodies that concludes with pounding drums and a dreamlike instrumental.

Next up is "Parallels", which is more of a commercial pop track. Vocalist Swift's tender voice blends with wailing guitars that reflect the true emotions behind the stories of the songs.
"Ronin" is a blazing output of anger and frustration with an up-tempo riff and soft and melancholic pop choruses. The EP can sometimes feel like each track blends into one another. However. one of the lead singles 'Monster' is the heaviest of the five tracks. The aggressive and frenetic guitar sound is brash and fast, as Swift sings over electronic keys. 

And finally, "Make Me Feel Alive" completes things with a dark, electronic sound and pop choruses that reflect how the band have a lot of anguish and discontentment to express through rich, and heart-warming melodies and fiery riffs.

Words by Anselm Anderson

'Mindset' is available now via all major streaming platforms

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'Make Me Feel Alive'



Album of The Week: Once Human- Scar Weaver

 LA- Based quintet Once Human return with their third studio effort, Scar Weaver, due out next Friday (Feb 11) via EarMusic Records.

The modern metal outfit was formed in 2014 by ex-Machine Head guitarist Logan Mader and vocalist Lauren Hart. Bassist Damien Rainaud, drummer Dillon Trollope and newest recruit, second guitarist/songwriter Max Karon complete the line-up. Karon has brought a new creative force to the band's brutal and resilient style of metal with dynamic guitar breaks and lyrics based on pain, trauma, and darkness. 

One of the key components of this is the versatility of Lauren Hart's vocals that blend emotive clean vocals with hallowed harsh vocals.

The opener "Eidolon" is a testament to this. Hart snarls through all the rage and vitriol of a caged beast over sonic grooves and earth-shattering drums to send this album into full gear.

Next up is "Deadlock", a track that features Mader's ex-colleague in the guise of Machine Head vocalist Robb Flynn rapping over dense-guitar riffs, interchanged with Hart's guttural screams. Hart has stated her improvement was down to a tour with Kamelot. This shows because each vocal performance relay the true emotions she places behind the lyrics.

Another observation this writer can say is the immense guitar play Mader and Karon produces on each song. Each riff and solos are structured around the vocal performances and the seismic drumming by Trollope. An example of this is in the catchy "Where the Bone Lies", a track steeped full of anguish and suffering. The jagged guitar style bounces in tandem with Rainaud's bass, Trollope's explosive double blasts and Hart's powerful vocals.

There are tracks on this record that highlight Hart's cleaner vocals such as " Deserted", "Cold Arrival" and "Erasure", whilst the band explore assorted styles of metal such as the progressive elements of "Bottom Feeder" and final track "Cold in Arrival", a dark and gothic track.

Overall, Once Human have redefined themselves as a modern metal band with an edge. The tracks are well-written, and Lauren Hart has reached new levels for a contemporary female metal singer.

Words by Anselm Anderson

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Click below to watch the videos for 'Deadlock', 'Cold Arrival', and 'Erasure', plus all the band's socials to follow.



'Cold Arrival'

Logan Mader
Lauren Hart
Damien Rainaud
Dillon Trollope
Max Karon


Website: https://oncehumanofficial.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/oncehuman
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/oncehuman