9-Volt Velvet – Angelic Upstarts – How To Dress Well – Martin Bisi – Meanwhile Project Ltd – Darko – album reviews

This time we have the ‘indie dreamgaze’ of 9-Volt Velvet. The re-issue of debut album from street punk legends Angelic Upstarts. The ‘joy in unexpected connection’ of How To Dress Well. Martin Bisi’s exploration of the ‘interplay between urban environments and human experience.’The musical prog journey of Meanwhile Project Ltd and Darko’s ‘reimagining melodic hardcore’ Read what we thought below.

9-Volt Velvet – Nude Beaches

Shore Dive Records

This is a great big indie shoegaze fuzzy record, think masses of guitars like Ride and a cool whispery vocal as the drums and bass hold it all down. It’s nothing very new but sometimes that’s what you want and need, if fuzzy guitars and masses of noise layered onto each other is what you like, this will fit nicely in.

Angelic Upstarts – Teenage Warning

Captain Oi!

This came out in 1979, I remember skinheads in Coventry with Angelic Upstarts on the back of their Harrington jackets. This was and remains a slab of Geordie fury and might. It’s one for the lost and frustrated, it’s a white hot blowtorch of a debut album all teenage rage and pent up aggression bursting out at the police, war, the government and everything that thought they were better than the teenage punk forgotten working class. Nothing has changed and it’s still sadly and infuriatingly relevant.

How To Dress Well – I Am Toward You

Sargent House

This sounds like it’s underwater. It’s synths shimmer and spark like bubbles rising up from the deep. The vocals are lost in the liquid and when they come into focus they are lost and alone. The music is beautiful and the vocal has a desperation that draws you into the sound. Mesmerising.

Martin Bisi – Your Ultimate Urban Fantasy

Black Freighter Records

A sweary beat poetry collection railing against the unfairness of the world, it’s antagonistic and tempered by the soft music. The sound goes from soft rock to electronic robotics and low electrical jazz. It’s just a bit flat, there’s an audience for this stuff but it’s not for me.

Meanwhile Project Ltd – Sir Mandrill

Kapitan Platte

This is lovely prog rock with a lovely bunch of musicians and a lovely vocal. It’s not my thing, in fact it’s so not my thing I can’t bear it any more. Sorry, not for me.

Darko – Greyscale

Lockjaw Records

Nice hardcore punk mass, this is proper nasty, short and excessive just like it should be. It verges into an emo edge, but then wasn’t the best emo in the world Fugazi? Emotional is good. This is protest music, loud and aggressive and with the last tracks epic feel it’s an excellent EP.

9-Volt Velvet are on Bandcamp, Facebook, Instagram and X as @9voltvelvet

Angelic Upstarts website is angelicupstartsofficial.co.uk they are on Facebook and Instagram

How To Dress Well’s website is howtodresswell.com, they are also on Instagram, Bandcamp and X as @HowToDressWell

Martin Bisi’s website is martinbisi.com, he is on Facebook, Instagram and X as @MartinBisi.

Meanwhile Project Ltd are on Facebook, Bandcamp and Instagram.

Darko are on Facebook and Instagram.

All words by Adrian Bloxham.

Adrian Bloxham

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