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There are only two rules of pirate metal: 1) pirate metal exists, and 2) shitty costumes. The third rule (of two) is that you must always – ALWAYS – cover a seafaring shanty from a popular children’s TV show. US pirate thrash band Swashbuckle pioneered the art way back in 2008 with their cover of […]

The press release for Wake up to the Waves – the first full-length album from Dublin electronic two-piece Last Days of 1984 – says the duo “are influenced by afro-beat, chill out music and tropical electronica.” To me, this seems like a rather long-winded and contrived way of saying “Animal Collective” but, hey, you know […]

Hi, my name’s Dave. (Hi Dave!) You may remember me from such adventures as: the last few years and generally stealthing around like a motherfucker while letting Jom take all the blame for the real shit that went down. Last year, I counted in Christmas with 12 days of excellent (and some not so excellent, […]

Belfast punk trio Empty Lungs have been knocking around for about a year now and ‘Identity Lost’ is their first formal release, a three-track single produced by Rocky O’Reilly (of the late, great Oppenheimer). The band cite Jawbreaker and Hot Water Music among their major influences, but the one that springs immediately to mind is […]

Anybody who’s known me for more than five minutes knows that I have a bit of a hard on for Irish music (I run a blog exclusively devoted to the stuff here) and those who’ve known me a little longer know that I have a special place in my heart for Irish hip hop, which is nothing like the oxymoron that it initially appears.

Ireland has been producing underappreciated rap for years, going back to the innovative trip hop of Marxman through Scary Eire and modern acts like Messiah J & the Expert, the Infomatics and Melodica Deathship. Unfortunately, the general view of Irish rap is dominated by half-baked acts like House of Pain (though some of Everlast’s solo output is legit) and… well I don’t even know what the fuck this is but it needs to be fucking put down immediately.

Exhibit A: Exhibit B: Actually Exhibit B is kind of cool but that picture is unforgivable. And I don’t remember Kevin Costner bullying a troll with a fish. Dude was just minding his own business under a tree. Fuck’s sake lads, get it together. ‘Robin Hood’ appears on Edguy’s new album, Age of the Joker, […]

Green Day performed a new song entitled ‘Amy,’ presumably written in tribute to Amy Winehouse, at the Tiki Bar in Costa Mesa, California last week. The band performed 15 new tracks in total at the gig in aid of cystic fibrosis. The band also posted the lyrics for ‘Amy’ on their website: Amy Is your […]

This one’s a bit unexpected: London rapper Sway freestyling over Ed Sheeran’s ‘You Need Me, I Don’t Need You.’ Sheeran’s original is easily described as a sort of an English take on Jason Mraz (I’m more a fan of his cousin Laura), but Sway’s mix takes in a busy grime beat and a tongue-twisting lyric […]

Here at Sputnik Towers, we get sent some pretty bad press releases. Most of them are harmless enough – just things that nobody but the band and their immediate families would be interested in. A lot I’ll delete without reading. Some I’ll quietly seethe over for a while first. Hard rock bands tend to be […]

TV on the Radio covered one of the greatest songs of all time, ‘Waiting Room’ by Fugazi, at the Pitchfork Festival over the weekend. Here’s a good-quality video of the performance, though it cuts out about halfway through. It sounds more than a touch lightweight to me. Then again, my favourite part of the original […]

I rarely refer to press releases when writing about music: it’s bad practice and they rarely contain much information that’s useful to me anyway. Occasionally though, I’ll read a line that instantly hooks me, like this one: †HYMNS† is a 2 piece atheist rock band comprising of Samuel Manville and Peter Reisner. The phrase “atheist rock […]

Apropos of yesterday’s finger-wagging blog, I should point it’s almost two years to the day since Thrice’s last album Beggars leaked almost three months before its scheduled release. Follow-up Major/Minor is penciled in for a September 20 release and has yet to leak – it’s almost as if leaks are bad for business!! But no […]

I know a lot of people around don’t believe me when I occasionally argue that leaks – and the culture whereby people think they’re entitled to all the free music they want – are bad for musicians so don’t take my word for it. Take the word of the head of a independent label that […]

The greatest put-down… of all time. via @owenpallett

“I not only offer great sex but best spots in parking lots / I’m handy and got swag so you know this ‘tard is hot.” Look, argue all you want but you can’t argue with facts. Vagina ain’t handicapped.

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