17 03 2015

So,issue 900 of Hot Press is out (yes,nine fucking hundred) and this fortnight I interviewed Ripper Street’s Charlene McKenna and hotly tipped singer Natalie Prass,waved a fond farewell to American Horror Story: Freak Show in‪#‎MyTVFortnight‬ and reviewed records by Swervedriver, the Answer and Cry Monster Cry. My ‪#‎TracksOfTheFortnight‬ include offerings from Therapy?, Race The Flux,More Than Conquerors, Paranoid Visions, Joanna Gruesome and more. Here’s to issue 1000.



27 09 2013

Here’s a review of the stunning debut from More Than Conquerors that ran in Hot Press a couple of issues ago.


Everything I’ve Learnt (Smalltown America)


Key Track: ‘Bring Me To The Bloodbank’

Release Date: Sep 27



Nearly two years in the making, Everything I’ve Learnt is the debut LP by much lauded NI natives More Than Conquerors and it’s a record that effortlessly side-steps any first album jitters by being consistently killer from start to finish. Featuring 11 tracks that hinge on the central theme of faith in its many forms (as well as the absence of faith) the opus is like a Doctor Marten boot-clad octopus, as it will leave no ass un-kicked.


Sonically, More Than Conquerors take their cues from bands like Hot Water Music, Idlewild and Kerbdog and by stitching together different elements of American, British and Irish alternative rock they have created a new monster all of their very own in the process. Tracks like ‘All That We Can’ and ‘Jaw’ are an absolute joy to listen to and they’re packed full of sledge-hammer riffs, punchy rhythms and unforgettable harmonies. It’s singer (and guitarist) Kris Platt’s vocal performances throughout that really set More Than Conquerors apart from the herd though, and his (relatively) high-pitched tones infuse the material with melody and warmth.


For all of its ear-gasm inducing blood and thunder, its actually the tenderest moment on Everything I’ve Learnt which steals the show for this reviewer. Slightly reminiscent of XO era Elliott Smith, ‘Bring Me To The Bloodbank’ is a world-beating number thanks to an intoxicating combination of interwoven vocals, Spartan keys and acoustic guitars and it, alongside the anthemic ‘Pits Of Old,’ point towards a very bright future for the four-piece.


Church Of Noise 3

19 05 2010

Here’s more Church of Noise action, reprinted from the Big List.

Church of Noise

Local music news

If you’re the kind of reader who is sitting there and currently thinking to themselves, “Banbridge, what a place,” well then be prepared to get even more tingly feelings about the town as this month they’ve revealed they’re hosting their own music festival called (wait for it) Take It To The Bridge. Boasting a line-up consisting of And So I Watch You From Afar, Panama Kings, A Plastic Rose and the Complete Stone Roses (yeah, me neither….) the bash takes place at Corbet Lake on July 3. Tickets for the festival are a tasty £25 and with more acts to be announced they’re a bargain. Keep your peepers peeled on for more details. We don’t know about you, but we’re already pumped about potentially getting a chicken burger out of Friar Tuck’s after the show.

 As you probably know by now, this April 23 we’ve got the ear-gasm inducing Beat Poets headlining the Big Gig at the Spring and Airbrake. Why are we telling you this again we hear you cry. Well, the four-piece are also releasing their new single ‘One By One’ on April 19 via all major download sites. The Poets are currently swanning around Texas at South by South West as this writer types this month’s missive (not that I’m jealous or anything…) and have plenty of plans coming up in the pipeline which should secure their future as one of NI’s brightest bands. Last month we got a sneaky listen to ‘One by One’ and it has a chorus to die for, so make sure you (virtually) pick up a copy.

 Duke Special and General Fiasco are teaming up on March 29 for a very special gig called Unwind Your Mind and it takes place down at the Oh Yeah centre. Currated by Across the Line (yes, those dudes on the back page of the Big List who also host a mighty fine programme on Radio Ulster) the show is aiming to raise awareness about mental well being and Wonder Villains, Panama Kings, Kowalski, Ed Zealous More than Conquerors, Axis Of and Aaron Shanley also play on the night. It’s good news for all you cheap skates too as tickets are completely free. All you have to do is visit and apply for them. Good luck.

Finally, if you’ve found yourself still reeling from the shock announcement of Jedward getting dropped by their record label (y’know, we really didn’t see it coming) then you can find some consolation in the news that LaFaro release their long awaited debut slab of wax on May 10 via Smalltown America and play a gig in the Menagerie in Belfast on April 26 too. Now unfortunately tickets have sold out within about three nano-seconds of going on sale, but knowing the LaFaro boys it won’t take them too long to announce more shows around the rest of the country. Of course, we’d love to be able to tell you that their self titled debut is the veritable fairy on top of the Christmas tree, but as no-one has sent us our copy yet, we haven’t a clue what to expect (apart from sledgehammer riffs and killer hooks that is) and that, my friends, is what they refer to in the business as a subtle hint…

 See y’all next month folks. Up the Irons.