TURN UP THE VOLUME’s 30 BEST TRACKS OF 2022

ALL TOGETHER on Spotify…

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TRACK BY TRACK

1. ‘Twitchin’ in The Kitchen’ by WARMDUSCHER (London)

This punky-funky disco corker is the perfect pick-me-up tune for all the wacky
weirdos who are always in the kitchen at parties waiting for free drinks and waiting
for Warmduscher to come in and kick their lazy asses. Big stroke, big chorus, big fun!

From the gang’s rad 4th LP At The Hotspot.

Twitch as much as you want.

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2. ‘I Saw’ by YOUNG FATHERS (Scotland)

The Scottish dance-funk-punk trio YOUNG FATHERS launch
their 5th LP called HEAVY HEAVY on 3 February.

Ahead of hit came this ridiculously sticky stunner I SAW.
A master blaster that makes your blood stream faster
through your veins. The addition of a choir in the back
works on the spot.

Touchdown!

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3. ‘Slowly Separate by CROWS (London)

This London post-punk team unleashed their 2nd scorching album
Beware Believers, last April. One of TUTV’s best full-lengths of 2022.

Slowly Separate is a schizo sonic serpent generating a mind-blowing backwash
while chainsaw guitars turn up the decibels to an illegal peak, and vox-in-the-middle
James Fox rages and blazes through his teeth.

Fucktastic!

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4. I’ll Make You See God’ by THE AFGHAN WHIGS

The by now legendary passion rockers from Cincinnati, Ohio with mastermind Greg Dulli leading the troops. Their new 10th LP How Do You Burn? was voted Best Album Of 2022 on Turn Up The Volume.

I’ll Make You See God was the lead single. A sturdy steamroller, a red-hot-heated juggernaut, an unstoppable cannonball going everywhere fast. Manic blitzkrieg
guitars, ruthless drum/bass attacks, Greg Dulli‘s rush of blood vocality, and a brutal
finish. Flabbergasting.

Dulli: “That’s one of the hardest rock songs we’ve ever done.
It was written and performed on sheer adrenalin.”

Hear God here.

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5. ‘I Am Kate Moss’ by DITZ (Brighton, UK)

This frenetic Brit force hit big time with their dazzling
debut album The Great Regression last March.

Single I Am Kate Moss is a cast-iron brainbreaker. It’s a poignant, biting, and
anxious uppercut. I’m pretty sure Moss would love this hit-and-run drone when
it would hit her ears. She is, after all, the Femme Punk Fatale of fashion.

I cut a striking figure
And it cuts me back

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6. ‘The Prophet by THE CHRONICLES OF MANIMAL AND SAMARA (London)

The Prophet progresses like a vicious viper sliding to its prey until a horrific explosion strikes you in the face. Next is a titanic bass riff that keeps the roller coaster turning with scary speed. This flabbergasting monster is part of their 2nd notable longplayer Trust No Leaders.

Helter Skelter!

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7. ‘Frankenstein’ by TRAMP (Northern Ireland)

About: “As a story or metaphor, we are all ‘Frankenstein’s monster’ – made up of
other people’s opinions and parts that don’t belong to us. That we were born
perfect but people, in their own conditioning, come along and can make us feel
undesirable/inadequate/the monster. But we can choose to be real instead.”

This is without a shadow the best debut single of 2022.

A towering tune going low, high and back. A sickly sticky pop gem wrapped in
a big-boisterous wall-of-sound. And up front, Sianna Lafferty‘s phenomenal voice
causes goosebumps when she reaches for the sky on the chorus. The ardency of
Porridge Radio comes to mind.

“I am not what you want me to be
Uncle Sam won’t even point at me
Even the eyes of the Virgin Mary wall
hanging won’t even stare at me.”

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8. ‘Kill Me Again’ by THE WAEVE (UK)

British duo THE WAEVEGraham Coxon (Blur) and songstress
Rose Elinor Dougall – uncage their first collaborative, self-titled
album on 3 February. Pre-order info here.

Kill Me Again, one of three pieces shared so far, is an infectious groove
propelled by a pounding synth/bass riff, spiced with Coxon on saxophone
and mesmerizing (duet) vocals. Splendid stuff. Bring on the LP.

Play the killer here.

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9. ‘Chaise Lounge’ by WET LEG

This power pop sensation impressed big time with their self-titled debut album. The outstanding dingle Chaise Longue – catchy, funny and witty caused choirs of thousands of sing-along people at festivals this past summer as I experienced myself, not at Glastonbury (below), but in Belgium at Hear!Hear! fest.

Fabulous!

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10. ‘Live To Love’ by ILA

After releasing her sterling debut LP last year, songstress Ilayda Cicek and her band
came back this year for a series of riveting concerts (I saw 5 of them) and this sublime single. Her passion, her vivaciousness and vocal fervency push this electrifying pearl
way up to the stars.

Top emo-stroke.

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10. ‘Power’ by WHERE WE SLEEP (London, UK)

Where We Sleep is the alter ego of Beth Rettig,
former front force of electro-rock band Blindness

On this boiling groover Rethig rants non-stop with anger and frustration.
A nasty bass riff is the backbone here, while layers of menacing guitar
electricity augment this ripper’s rowdy roll.

A crystal clear statement, a menacing projectile.

They Don’t Want The Truth / They Just Want The Power

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11.’Backwash’ by GILLA BAND (Gilla band)

The raw Irish post-punk bulldozer bombarded our ears
last October with their third LP, titled Most Normal.

One of the singles was this straightforward stonker.

YEAH!.

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12. ‘Nothing Good Comes Easy’ by DEAD LEVEE (Canada)

What a wowzer! This uplifting motherrocker boosts your state of mind with
fired-up dynamism from the get-go. Rapid-fire rawk and roll riffs switch on
a fervent feel of euphoria. It did it in the past, it does it in the present and
it will do it in the future.

Despite all the BS we have to endure (pandemic, Ukraine, natural disasters,
and other threats) it’s never too late to get back on track and why not start
with 4 and a half minutes of heart-warming guitar-fueled boogie-woogie
that triggers hope and assurance.

Let’s roll.

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13. ‘Frenzy’ by IGGY POP (Detroit)

Stoogefather IGGY POP still wants to be your dog.
He has his new – 19th – LP, named Every Loser
lands out next week, on 6 January.

Lead-single was the perfect harbinger. A motherfucker of a punk bomb
featuring an all-star band including Watt, Guns N’ Roses‘ Duff McKagan
and Red Hot Chili Peppers‘ Chad Smith.

I’m in a frenzy
Fucking prick
I’m in a frenzy
Goddamn dick

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14. ‘Something Good’ by CASUAL DRAG (Scotland)

It’s been two years since these Scottish hound dogs made
my speakers tremble with their furious Johnny single.

But on their steamy comeback stomper they still have the same barnstorming
groove and move drive. Something Good is a nasty rip-roaring-riff jackhammer,
annex agitated vocals, rotating in your head in an ear-blink. Think NYC’s darlings
Interpol playing The Fall. Something good? Way better, something ace!

Play it loud.


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15. ‘Welcome To Hell’ by BLACK MIDI (London)

Geordie Greep (vocalist, guitar): “Almost everything I write is from a true thing, something
I experienced and exaggerated and wrote down. I don’t believe in Hell, but all that old world folly is great for songs, I’ve always loved movies and anything else with a depiction of Hell.”

A screwy zig-zagging haymaker it is.
From their head-spinning 3rd LP
Hellfire.

Burn here…

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16. ‘Dumb’ by BURN THE LOUVRE (Canada)

The musical project of singer/songwriter Jordan Speare
assisted by guitarist/bassist and friend Andrew Billone

They just have their debut album, titled Silhouettes out after
releasing its 11 songs the past 12 months, one per month. Dumb
is my absolute favorite.

An instant earworm. Pop perfection. I lost track of the number
of times I had this gem on my headphones. Say no more.

Press play.

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17. ‘Mañana’ by JAMES DOMESTIC (Essex/Suffolk, UK)

“A paean to taking your foot off the gas and letting things slide, or a warning of the perils of procrastination, perhaps? It’s hard to tell whether ‘Mañana’ is meant to serve as a confessional regarding Domestic’s own perceived lack of willpower, or a celebration of idleness. It could be either of these things; and that’s one of its many joys.”.

A sirens intro, David Bowie‘s saxophone, and steel drums straight from Trinidad. Sounds like an exotic swing and shake ditty is coming up. No folks, it’s a lazy rap-sody you can play the morning after a booze marathon to get up and sober up, slowly.

Soul voice Clare Gillet takes care of the chirpy chorus.

Subscribe!

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18. ‘The Hurt Within’ by HOLY COVES (Wales)

These Welshmen released their new excellent album Druids and Bards
displaying mastermind Scott Marsden high-quality songwriting.

This impassioned hard-luck story is my fav cut. It grows slowly but surely into a soul-stirring and mesmerising heartbreaker with an epic finale. Glowing guitars, a steady drumbeat, and mixed-emotions vocals all come together for a poignant performance.
‘Love Is Cruel / The Hurt Within’
. You can feel it.

Enjoy.

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19. The Speed’ by ULTRA SUNN (Brussels)

This wholly charismatic and fast up-and-coming darkwave duo mixes Gothic Depeche Mode beats, with sonic Human League echoes, bass-synth-riffs à la German legends D.A.F. and spice it all up with spooky vocals. And it looks like 2023 will even be bigger than 2022.

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20. ‘Leader’ by MEMES (Scotland)

After their eponymous bonkers debut EP (2020) followed by some staggering singles,
the high-decibels tandem nail it with another sucker punch. Leader is a funk-punk riff ripsnorter that kicks forth and back before a freakish guitar outbreak slashes and
trashes its way to the end.

Watch out for the pigman,
he looks like a meme in disguise.

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21. ‘Demolition Row’ by METZ (Toronto, CA)

“It’s a warning, an unflinching assessment of the vastness and insignificance of this
life, is precisely counterbalanced by their lesson, which models the resilience that this understanding demands. ‘Demolition Row’ is persistent, concise, and alarmingly physical.”

This blustery belter is vintage Metz. Full blast ahead. The track
featured on a split 7” with London-based group Adult Life.

From Dylan’s Desolation Row
to Metz’s Demolition Row


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22. ‘Digging’ by NOTHINGHEADS (London)

Once I learned that this startling belter is about the horrible exploitation of human
beings by ferocious money sharks this jagged jackhammer blew my mind even harder than I heard it the first time before knowing about the band’s inspiration for this slam.

Expect rabid guitars, doom-and-gloom vocals, and frantic
twists and turns until the chaotic finale. Post-punk at
its razorblade best.

Dynamite.


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23. ‘Chemical Emotion’ by JEEN (Canada)

Jeen: “It’s about letting yourself drift in the flow of everything and hanging on as hard as you can to what makes the shitty parts more tolerable…I was thinking of that Hunter S. Thompson quote, “buy the ticket, take the ride.” It was written in April 2021, which was a rough part of last year for me. I needed to write something that reminded me to tread lightly, to forget about the heaviness of everything.

After only one spin, my ears told me that Chemical Emotion is an bewitching pop doozy. Jeen‘s emotive voice bewitches right away, the mid-tempo cadence emphasizes the meditative reflection perfectly, the compelling chorus brings Alanis Morissette to mind, and overall the orchestral sonority and the layered harmonies lead to a thrilling triumph.

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24. ‘Edie’ by STEPH SWEET (UK)

This is the spellbinding title track of this enigmatic songstress’ newest album

The dark garage guitar swagger of this nightmarish cracker is irresistibly
magnetic. Think trash-and-slash duo Royal Trux. Both eerie and haunted.

Top!

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25. ‘We Are Ukraian’ by OSCAR MIC (London)

Oscar Mic wrote this song after witnessing the horrific violence of
psycho Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine on the news. All proceeds of
the song weent to Save The Children’s Ukraine Appeal.

We Are Ukrainian is a vivid hp-rap-pop anthem featuring steel drums
and timpani balancing somewhere between Roots Manuva and Mr. Scruff.

“Fleeing people running scared, so tell me Where’s the justice? Our leaders say they care,
tell me can you trust this? Urban warfare, your home’s done and dusted, Aiming at the
public, they wouldn’t? They just did,”

Fuck Putin.


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26. ‘Zick Zack’ by RAMMSTEIN
27. ‘Forever In Sunset’ by EZRA FURMAN (Chicago)
28. ‘Troglodyte’ by Viagra Boys (Sweden)
29. ’15 Again’ by SUEDE (UK)
30. 30. ‘The Dripping Tap’ by KING GIZZARD AND THE LIZARD WIZARD

Druids And Bards And Passionate Welsh Indie Rockers HOLY COVES… An INTERVIEW

Let’s talk

23 November 2022

HOLY COVES are a must-hear-and-know Welsh indie rock trio fronted by passionate singer-songwriter Scott Marsden. They released their new, third longplayer Druids
and Bards
last month. A striking work of top-notch tunes that get under your skin
slowly but surely until you see/hear the whole picture and realize that this is one of
the most gripping albums of 2022, definitely in my book.

Spiritually, the record is inspired by Welsh ancient history and will have two sequels in
the future. Musically it’s pure indie guitar pop/rock delivered with panache, determination and love with the songs author’s voice as the zealous force in the middle and taking time now to have a chat with Turn Up The Volume.

As usual, we start an interview with a piece of music. Open your ears and eyes for
one of the Druids and Bards album’s standout tracks. Here comes Desert Storm

When and how did HOLY COVES start their musical journey?

“I started making music with my band The Lizzies back in 2005. It wasn’t until 2009
I decided to form Holy Coves. I had been working with Welsh producer David Wrench
with The Lizzies so we decided to carry on working together with Holy Coves. It just
clicked from the start. We made two records together in 2009 and 2012.

Myself and Holy Coves bass player & guitarist Jason Hughes continued the projects
with David. That’s how it all began, we both learned so much from David. It was such
an amazing experience. We were lucky enough to get to make both records at former recording studio Bryn Derwen in Bethesda, Snowdonia.

It was a magical place which I’ll never forget. It was run by my good friend Laurie
Gane
who now runs Penhesgyn Hall Studio in Menai Bridge, Isle of Anglesey.

Who came up with the band’s name and what’s the story behind it?

“Myself and Jason came up with the name while recording our debut album in the studio. We’re both from Holy Island which is an Island of the Isle of Anglesey. We wanted to find something that fit the word Holy that explained where the music was from. We always had a problem with the thought of Holyhead being known as a Holy Island! At the time we felt very disconnected to the Island.

We didn’t think it was Holy at all. The coves were from an old Cockney slang book We had with us. Coves is slang for geezers or criminals so we liked the irony of having the Holy before that word. Coves was the perfect word because of all the beautiful beaches and
the hidden double meaning. As soon as we found it, it all made sense. Holy Coves was
born that day.”

You’re an indie DIY trio. What does that really mean in reality?

“We’re much more that that! We’re a trio live but in the studio we’re more
like a five. Myself (Vocals, Guitar) Jason Hughes (Bass, Guitar, Synths, Vocals)
and Jonathan De Marco (Drums) handle everything live and in the studio too.

But when we record we also work with our co-producers John Lawrence & Owain
Ginsberg
. They have become a part of Holy Coves too and will be making the second
and third part of the ‘Druids and Bards’ trilogy with us.

Part 2 ‘Hiraeth’ will be recorded early next year. Part 3 ‘Gogs‘ will be recorded
the year after. We’re a team, we’ve all become very good friends. They’re all
a pleasure to work with.”

Which of your songs would you pick to introduce
HOLY COVES to people who never heard of you?

“It’s a tough question. I’d say Grey but if I could I’d pick a few more too!”


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New excellent album DRUIDS AND BARDS came out a month ago?
Where does the title comes from and is there a big picture to the
record or stand all songs on their own?

“Thank you, that’s very kind. The title comes from the Welsh side of my family.
My great, great Grandfather was William Richard Roberts, (Gwilym Dona, which
is his bardic name) he was a Bard and Welsh poet who won a chair at the Eisteddfod.
I grew up with fable tales of Welsh witches, Druids and Bards when I was younger.

Like I said before, Druids and Bards is a trilogy. It’s a big story which
I could only really tell properly over three records. There’s definitely
a big picture to it all.”

Did you listen to records of other artists to inspire
you during the writing process and recording?

“Every single band/artist I’ve ever listened to
my whole life has influenced this record.”

Who created the LP’s artwork and does it say something about the album itself?

Jon Safari made it. The picture of the house was from the so called ‘Haunted House‘!! ( Craig y Môr ) in Trearddur Bay, Holy Island, where I live. Its very important to the ‘Druids and Bards’ story. It’s the beginning of the story.”

The first of the three singles THE HURT WITHIN
is my favorite? What is the song about?

“It’s about the scars of a heavy breakup. Its a dark love song.
I was hurting for a long time before writing this. I’m over
it now, life has moved on for us all.”

Suppose your album was a movie,
which one would it be?

“My favourite movie of all time is Goodfellas.
I love the soundtrack on that.”

What’s a HOLY COVES gig like?

“You will be able to see this for yourself next year. Trust me when
I say we’re taking it to a whole new level. I can’t wait to get back out
there next year.”

Slowly but surely 2022 is nearing its end. What’s the best
track and album you heard so far?

The Heavy North album is brilliant. Dictator are a band which
excite me with each release, their EP is fun and brilliant.

Fellow Anglesey singer- songwriter Megan Wyn has phenomenal talent for her age
and her latest single is brilliant. Hatzmat from Wrexham & The Pastimes from Rhyl
have both released fantastic music this year.

Maybe ask me this again at the end of the year. I’ve heard a lot of great music
this year. I’ll be listening right up until the very end of the year and then I’ll decide. ”

Name 3 things you really want to happen in 2023

“I want to record part two in February/ March, play live shows too.
We will be very busy next year creating and playing gigs across the
United Kingdom. The third thing I’m going to keep private.”

Thank you very much, Scott for this interview.
Have a great Xmas and New Year’s Eve.
May the road rise with Holy Coves.

Stream/buy
DRUIDS AND BARDS
here via Bandcamp


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All songs written by: Scott Marsden
Lyrics by: Scott Marsden
Produced by: Scott Marsden & John Lawrence
Engineered by: John Lawrence
Mixed and Mastered by: Erik Wofford (Bill Callaghan / The Black Angels)
Art Work & Album Cover by : Jon Safari
Band photos by Dai Eastwood

HOLY COVES: Facebook – Instagram – Spotify

Ukrainian Animator Visualises Notable Single ‘THE HURT WITHIN’ By Welsh Indie Trio HOLY COVES

Eye-catching video clips

3 April 2022

Welsh indie trio HOLY COVES led by singer-songwriter Scott Marsden released their notable new single THE HURT WITHIN last month through Yr Wyddfa Records (one
of Turn Up the Volume‘s 20 best Knockouts of March 2022).

Turn Up The Volume wrote: “This impassioned hard-luck story grows slowly but surely
into a soul-stirring and mesmerising heartbreaker with an epic finale. Glowing guitars, a
steady drumbeat, and mixed emotions vocals all come together for a poignant performance. ‘Love Is Cruel / The Hurt Within’. You can feel it.”

To visualise the song Holy Coves engaged acclaimed Ukrainian animator and filmmaker Taras Merenkov. He really pulled off an animated tour de force. A visual masterstroke.

Eye-boggling…

HOLY COVES: Facebook

Welsh Trio HOLY COVES Mesmerise With New Heartfelt Single ‘THE HURT WITHIN IN’

Daily electricity to load your batteries

4 March 2022

Band: HOLY COVES
Who: Welsh indie trio led by
singer-songwriter Scott Marsden

New single: THE HURT WITHIN
Out now via Yr Wyddfa Records

Turn Up The Volume: This impassioned hard-luck story grows slowly but surely into a soul-stirring and mesmerising heartbreaker with an epic finale. Glowing guitars, a steady drumbeat, and mixed emotions vocals all come together for a poignant performance. ‘Love Is Cruel / The Hurt Within’. You can feel it.

Right here…


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HOLY COVES: Twitter

Photo Credits: Dai Eastwood
Art: John Reynalds
Design: Beth Morris BAM Create
All songs written: Scott Marsden
Lyrics: Scott Marsden
Produced: Scott Marsden & John Lawrence
Engineered: John Lawrence
Mixed and Mastered: Erik Wofford (Bill Callaghan / The Black Angels)