Category Archives: Features

The Top Albums of 2023!

The most wonderful and not at all stressful time of the year is upon us yet again. And yes, if you look at the first number on the list, I’ve gone utterly insane. My top 100 albums of the year, in what I believe to be chronological order. Now, of course, this is full of disclaimers.

1) This is solely my opinion. If you disagree, that’s perfectly alright. Please let me know on our socials (NICELY) what you think it should be instead!

2) there have been 468 albums covered by us this year. An album not being on the list does by no means mean it wasn’t good. There were so many albums I wished made this list, but I couldn’t quite make it happen.

3) Yes, I know there are still albums to come out this year. I’m sure the likes of Beans on Toast and Bad Touch would make it on this list given the chance. However, I don’t have time to wait until the middle of December. So, from now on, this list will run November – November!

So, with all the formalities out the way, let’s get on with it shall we?

100: Crypta – Shades of Sorrow

These first few (30 odd) are going to pain me to put in this position. This is a damn solid death metal album from the Brazilian ladies. The band’s second album is crushingly brutal at times, lightening quick at others, yet still has enough melody to hook in a new listener. Fernanda Lira’s growls and screams are even better than on the band’s debut, and new addition Jéssica di Falchi on lead guitar fits in perfectly and is a real highlight of the album at times.

We gave this album a very respectable 8/10 in our review. When some bands slump on a sophomore album, Crypta run, and show that they are very much the future of heavy music if this release is anything to go by!

Listen to: Poisonous Apathy, The Other Side of Anger and Lord of Ruins

99: Alana Springsteen – TWENTY SOMETHING

Talk about whiplash, and we’re only two entries in! The first of a number of country albums on this list comes curtesy of Alana’s debut full-length. I first discovered her when she got announced for The Long Road festival this year (review of the event here) and since then she has exploded with the release of more singles and this album. It’s easy to see why, too. It’s well written country-pop, and Alana has a fantastic voice.

There are two reasons as to why she is a little low down on this list. The first, which is a recurring issue with a lot of country this year, including on this list, is that it’s too long. There are plenty of great tracks on this album, but it does feel rather front-loaded and by 8/9 tracks in I felt like I’d practically heard all the album had to offer. The second is that it’s definitely on the more pop than country side. Still, we gave this an 8.5 and it fully deserves that score. It’s a damn good album!

P.S. having Chris Stapleton on a track and NOT having him sing is a silly idea, regardless of how good the song is.

Listen to: you don’t deserve a country song, hypocrite and ghost in my guitar

98: KK’s Priest – The Sinner Rides Again

Onto some old-school NWOBHM now from the Judas Priest alumni. Anyone who is familiar with the band, Priest or the genre they came from knows exactly what to expect from this album. Because of that, it’s honestly quite hard to talk much about the album. I think we did pretty good in our review here. 9/10 is definitely what this album is worth. Everyone fires on all cylinders throughout, playing their asses off, and KK’s one of the best songwriters in the genre today. If you’re a fan of 70s metal, this one is definitely for you!

Listen to: Sons of the Sentinel, One More Shot at Glory, Wash Away Your Sins

97: King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard – PetroDragonic Apocalypse…

Y’all know I ain’t typing that whole title, we’ll be here all day if I do. The Australian multi-genre band put out two albums this year, but this one was the highlight by far. It’s a stoner/grunge metal album, and a fucking great one at that. Don’t get me wrong, The Silver Chord is a good album too, but completely different and not really my sort of thing. Meanwhile, this is peak Gizzard, and a sound I wish they’d explore far more regularly.

The band constantly explore with styles and sounds, more so than practically any other, and while their more easy-listening, funky stuff is generally more popular (and I love that too), there is something about this level of energy and passion missing from a lot of their other music. It’s been a few years at this point since they’ve explored the heavier side of their sound, but given how well it’s gone down, they’ll surely do this more often as a result! A very deserved 8.5 from us!

Listen to: Motor Spirit, Witchcraft and Dragon

96: Morgan Wallen – One Thing at a Time

A controversial one now, and this early too.

What can I say about this album that hasn’t already been said? The biggest breakout star of the year, and one of the biggest names in the music world this year, country or otherwise. He’s on the highest grossing tour in country of 2023, and sold out the O2 in London in no time at all. So, after all of that, you may be thinking, why is it so low down? Well, dear reader, it’s 36 tracks long. nearly TWO FUCKING HOURS. There is only so much similar, slow-ish country I can take before getting bored, and it’s a hell of a lot less than 36 songs.

However, at the same time, it’s the album that’s given us tracks like ‘Tennessee Fan’, the awesome ‘Man Made a Bar’ with megastar Eric Church, and of course arguably the biggest song of the year, ‘Last Night’. There are a lot of amazing songs on the album, but also a lot of filler. And it’s a bit of a slog to get through too, the album spreads out the killer between a lot of slower stuff. Still, I was a little harsh when I reviewed it, and would probably give it a 7.5 now!

Listen to: Last Night, Man Made a Bar and One Thing At a Time

95: TesseracT – War Of Being

I have to admit, when I first listened to this I loved it, and it started a lot higher up on the list. However, when I checked it out again to write it, I found myself slightly disappointed. It’s still a cracking prog-metal album, don’t get me wrong, but it didn’t go quite as hard a lot of the time as I thought it did. However, there were plenty of times, during the opener, ‘The Grey’ and title track specifically, where I did love it still and completely get it.

It’s very much an album to listen to as a whole than individual tracks. And, in that sense, it’s phenomenal. And from a instrumental and writing standpoint, they are practically unmatched in their genre. A spoiler for those looking, this album is on the list but Periphery isn’t. That’s how good these guys are. And, as you can see below, the videos are incredible. we gave it an 8.5 and honestly, after multiple listens, I stand by that and it’s making it onto this list!

Listen to: Natural Disaster, War of Being, Echos

94: Marty Stuart – Altitude

The country legend himself has no right still making music this good. It’s a lot more chilled out than most country on this list, but is also a traditional sound in the genre that is pulled off to perfection. ‘Country Star’ is up there with any of his extensive back catalogue, in my opinion. It’s just a damn fun listen, and if anyone reading this is into country, it’s a must listen. Sure, it isn’t as high as a fair bit of the other country on this list, but that doesn’t take away from it’s quality at all. This is an awesome old-school album, and is only higher because it doesn’t bring anything new to the table. It got 8 from us but I’d happily add another .5 to that!

Listen to: Country Star, A Friend of Mine and Time to Dance

93: Otherwise – Gawdzillionare

Heading way back towards the start of the year now with the Vegas radio-rockers. My feelings on the album haven’t really changed since I did my review back in March, though. A great sound and some amazing tracks, but also some filler and a lot of similar stuff. The highs are ridiculously high, like the opener and title track. And the addition of pop and hip-hop elements into the early 2000s rock is really interesting. It’s a very good album, but does start to wear a tad thin by the end. Still, the tracks mentioned previously alone score it a place on this list!

Listen to: Full Disclosure, Gawdzillionaire, Excorsism

92: Alice Cooper – Road

After a questionable release in 2021, the godfather of shock-rock returned with maybe the most Alice Cooper album in decades. It’s dark classic rock, and a hell of a lot of fun. Much like KK earlier, if you know the style and sound, this is exactly what you’d expect, and it’s awesome. Between catchy as anything vocals, awesome playing and some truly interesting arrangements including horns, it’s just great. Also, it features one of Tom Morello’s best guest features on ‘White Line Frankenstein’, so what’s not to love?

It pains me to put Alice this low, but this year has been one hell of a year. Still, he got a 9/10 from us, and still makes the list!

Listen to: I’m Alice, All Over the World and The Big Goodbye

91: Staind – Confessions of the Fallen

I’m sure some of you may laugh at this band being here, but the truth is that their return album is fucking good. The first album from the band in over a decade brings back the heaviness of their early work, while at the same time producing catchy-ass radio-rock and the odd great ballad they are known for! Aaron sounds just as good as ever and proves that he’s still great at writing early 2000s, moody radio-rock. I’ve been a fan of the band since I was a kid and this made me very happy, both from nostalgia and being genuinely good. If you are one of those who dismissed this comeback before hearing it, I’d definitely recommend checking it out. It’s a fun, heavy radio rock album! 8.5/10 is very fitting for it!

Listen to: Cycle of Hurting, Confessions of the Fallen and Here and Now

90: Metallica – 72 Seasons

Another potentially controversial one as I know there are many out there that are big into this album. And they have reason to be, it’s not a bad album by any stretch. However, when compared to their last couple of albums, it feels like they’re stuck in neutral, or even took a step back. There is some great thrash on this record, but it also kinda felt mostly forgettable for me. Outside of a couple of amazing tracks, it all felt very run of the mull post-St Anger Metallica. None of it feels like it holds a candle to ‘Moth Into the Flame’, ‘Halo on Fire’ or even ‘All Nightmare Long’.

The band have absolutely nothing to prove, to me or anyone else. And again, it’s still a damn good metal album, hence it’s spot on this list. But considering they are still one of my favourite bands 15 years after me first getting into them, I feel like they could do a little better than this, hence why it’s only at 90. A solid 8.5 from us still, though!

Listen to: Lux Aeterna, 72 Seasons and You Must Burn!

89: Overkill – Scorched

More thrash now, and it was released on the same day as Metallica. So, this is probably yet another controversial placement. However, this is exceptionally good thrash metal from a band that have been doing it for over 40 years solid and have really honed their craft. The riffs are awesome, the drumming incredible, and the production is top notch. If you’re into thrash, there’s not much better in 2023 than this album (apart from a couple later). It’s a foot-stomping, head-banging awesome fucking album, and you should all check it out immediately. It rightfully got a 9 from us!

Listen to: Scorched, Harder They Fall and Twist of the Wick

88: Before the Dawn – Stormbringers

The return album of Tuomas Saukkonen’s solo melodeath project hasn’t quite held up on a second listen from me. It’s a great album for sure, combining elements of gothic and power metal into the death, but it wasn’t quite as good as I remember it being. Having said that, I still agree with the 9/10 we gave it in our review. It’s objectively a great album, just sadly not quite as good as I remember. Still, there is a HELL of a lot to love with this release, and my only real complaint is that it’s over after just eight full tracks. Tuomas’s screams are incredible, his cleans are powerful, and the whole band play their asses off throughout. If you’re into the genre, you’re bound to love this!

Listen to: Reveries, Downhearted and Chaos Star

87: Phil Campbell & the Bastard Sons – Kings of the Asylum

I really, really wanted this to be higher. I am a huge fan of this band and their last two albums have been up towards the top spots in their respective years. And I know a lot of their fans love this album and were pissed at my review as it is. And, after three months of sitting on it, I think I understand the reason why, for both points.

It’s very Motorhead. Now, I love Lemmy’s baby as much as the next guy, but I was really enjoying Phil infusing the punky rock style with more of his blues and hard rock influences. Stuff like ‘Dark Days’ and ‘Born to Roam’ are some of my favourite tracks from the band and are on the slower side. They help break up the album a bit, too. This album is full to the brim of fast paced, punk inspired rock ‘n roll. That’s awesome, and there are definitely a lot of great tracks on it. But it’s just less of an album for me than the others.

Now that I’ve covered my back for the 7.5/10 score, I do still think it’s a great album and worth being higher than some other albums that got 8+. The scores are as much about my personal opinion as anything else, and this album is objectively great, even if it’s not as much what I wanted as a couple of the previous ones. There’s plenty of highlights and greatness from the NWOCR mainstays, though!

Listen to: Hammer And Dance, Kings of the Asylum and The Hunt

86: Frail – Stand by Me in the Storm

This is another album that’s been up and down this list like a yoyo. The alt/atmospheric rock band’s latest offering is damn enjoyable, that’s for sure. As an album as a whole, it’s got a great sound and energy to it and I’ve listened to it in its entirety multiple times since its release. If you’re into the dark, moody, brooding side of European rock, you’ll love this a lot. And it has a great heaviness to it too, with some awesome screams spread throughout.

So, why is it not higher? It’s a mixture of there being so many insanely good albums having been released this year, and that there wasn’t one or two tracks individually that stood out to me. As good as they all are, I haven’t really listened to the tracks on their own without the rest of the album too. It still got a massively deserving 9/10 from us, and I still can’t wait to hear more from them!

Listen to: Mirror, Children of Depravity and Come Back to Me

85: Urne – A Feast on Sorrow

This albums was a lot like the Phil Campbell one earlier in the list, for me. I absolutely adored this band’s debut album a couple of years back, yet this one didn’t quite grip me in the same way. And again, it is an objectively fantastic album from a heavy music perspective, and I know there are a LOT of fans of it. I think for me it took a step away from the Gojira sound and more into a more hardcore direction. I love that the band are taking a step towards their own sound, it’s just not quite to my taste.

Still, their musicianship is still off the charts good, as is their composition and songwriting skill. They are one of the most talented bands in the scene today, and have crafted some incredible tracks for this offering. If you’re into the heavy stuff I’d still very highly recommend checking this out! I enjoyed it more on my first listen, but I’d say it still deserves the 9/10 we gave it!

Listen to: Becoming The Ocean, The Burden and Peace

84: Paramore – This is Why

This lands on this list largely from a nostalgia reason than anything else. I wasn’t even the biggest fan of Paramore in my youth, but tracks like ‘This is Why’ and ‘The News’ reminded me a lot of sitting around at a friends house at like 13, not having a care in the world, and just made me happy. And, from what I understand, it wasn’t just me who thought this album (or at least half of it) was a welcome return to rock music from the band. It’s been popping off since it’s release and has even been nominated for a Grammy. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t go that far, but it is a damn good album. Even the slower, more soft pop-rock stuff in the latter half is a great listen. It feels like an amalgamation of everything Paramore have done up until this point, and got a very deserving 8.5 from us!

Listen to : This is Why, The News and C’est Comme Ca

83: Nouveau Arcade – Dead Hearts

A bit of a wildcard entry, this one, as it’s not particularly rock music, for the most part. However, what it is is a damn good new wave/synth/industrial pop album. It’s a truly interesting listen that even at over an hour never once gets boring or drags. There are so many different styles blended together that it’s a real testament to how good the songwriting is. There are plenty of highlights throughout, as shown in our review! If anyone here is a fan of 70s and 80s pop music or the new synthwave revolution, check this out immediately! Another solid 9/10

Listen to: Run Boy Run, Die on me Now and Only Happy When it Rains

82: From Ashes to New – Blackout

This album kinda came out of nowhere for me. I was familiar with the name of the band but that was about it, so for me to love this album so much is awesome. I pretty much covered all my feelings about the album in my review but to summarise: I love the rappy, Papa Roach-inspired nu metal sound that the band have going on, and they have written numerous bangers across the album. If this had come out in the early 2000s or late 90s, they’d be one of the biggest bands on the planet currently.

My only slight negative that pushed it down the list a little is that it’s a little cringy, isn’t it? It’s rather angsty and edge, and I think with me now being closer to 30, it doesn’t resonate with me as much as it would a decade ago. Still, I’ve listened to this a lot since it came out in July, and I probably won’t stop any time soon! Another solid 8.5/10

Listen to: Nightmare, Until we Break and Heartache

81: White Rose Motor Oil – The Gift of Poison

This is a REALLY interesting entry into this list. Very much a DIY band, it’s honestly criminal that this band aren’t bigger. It’s an album packed full of incredibly catchy, massively underrated country/folk music with a tinge of rock. It is packed full of highlight tracks, catchy vocal lines and some awesome instrumentation. It’s the perfect album to throw on and chill out to! It got one of the easiest 9/10‘s I’ve given out all year when I reviewed it. No matter what sort of music you’re into, check this out! They deserve it!

Listen to: Red Light, Ain’t No Saint and Meet Me at the Bottom

The New Roses: ‘We played everywhere and every festival. It was so cool!’

We had the pleasure of heading down to the Craufurd Arms in Milton Keynes last week to see ever-awesome The New Roses. Because of that, we felt like we just had to check in with frontman Timmy, a year after our last interview!

Last time we spoke was this time last year. How’s the last year been?

Nice question! So we released the record, it’s been out for a year now. It’s been going great. We’ve been touring all of Germany and Europe. We’ve been to Spain and France and now we’re here in the UK so we’ve travelled a lot. It was the busiest festival season ever in our career. We played everywhere and every festival. It was so cool!

The record was received very well. Especially songs like ‘The Usual Suspects’ and ‘Warpaint’. It’s been great. Love songs were received very well. So we can’t complain!

And how’s the UK tour been?

We’re finally on it! We had the luck that last year in Switzerland we played a festival and we met Massive Wagons. They played I think two slots before us, and I watched their show and I was amazed. They’re really good! So much energy and a really nice vibe. A real friendly energy. So I called him [Barry] up on stage to jam with us. We kinda really connected and we stayed in contact, and this is how this tour came together. That’s why we can present ourselves to their audience now and it’s a good match! We’re really recruiting a lot of fans on this tour and it kinda paves the way for bigger stuff in the future!

Check out another interview with Timmy here.

Obviously you’re headlining tonight [Craufurd Arms]. How’s it like to be playing as a headliner?

It’s great! A little smaller venues. But we can really see the results already. The people that saw us with Massive Wagons are coming again like four nights later to see us. And ticket sales went up on this venue as well because people said ‘I only saw them for 45 minutes, I want to see them for 90’.

Have you got much more after this?

We’re here for another week. Next Tuesday we’re back in Germany and then we have two days off. Then we play the last four or five days in Germany and then it’s time for Holidays. I’m flying to Florida and you can all kiss my ass!

What’s it like to have Norman Bites back in the band?

It’s crazy! It’s been a back and forth kinda thing. Dizzy formed the band with us back in 2012. Then he left, we got Norman in. Then Norman left and we got Dizzy in. Now Norman wanted to come back and of course we didn’t want to kick Dizzy back out so there was only one option; that I stop playing guitar and we keep both. It’s crazy. For me, I started off as a singer, like 20 years ago, but all my time in New Roses I’ve played guitar. So for me it’s like… in a way it’s like someone’s taken away the crutch. It’s still weird for me.

Just yesterday somebody sent me a video from two years ago or something and I saw and heard myself playing guitar and it was weird! You see just how fast you adapt to the present situation!

Check out our review of their latest album here!

Have you got much scheduled for next year?

We’re still working on it. We’re trying to work on the new record of course. We’ll see how that goes and if we’re ready in time we’ll release it next year! Then everything starts up all over again!

Almost Honest: ‘We blend all of the things that we like together. We didn’t want to just stick to genres tropes!’

Fuzzy doomy newcomers Almost Honest are set to release their debut album, The Hex of Penns Wood, next week. We’ve had the chance to chat to Shayne from the band about it, as well as their sound and future plans. Check it out below!

How did the band come together?

We formed in freshman year of High School although we had all been playing music prior to this.

How would you describe your sound?

Groovy Sexy Viking Funk Doom Rock. We blend all of the things that we like together. We didn’t want to just stick to genres tropes. 

What’s the writing process like for you guys?

We do not have a set way for writing but most of the time it starts with myself (Shayne) bringing a riff or a full song idea. Then the rest come together and figure out what works, what’s the best part for each section, and if something needs to be cut or added. Usually the lyrics are written separately from the songs. The lyrics will then be chosen based on the feel of the song and if it fits. 

Check out more doom here!

In terms of the album, does it tell a story through it?

It is individual ideas per track however it has an overall theme of Pennsylvania Dutch Folklore and Culture. 

What’s it like getting to work with the legend that is Gene Freeman, even from a mastering perspective?

That was huge for us given his wealth of knowledge. Our producer had a contact and he reached out to him and he said yes. We only communicated via email but even just that we learned a lot. Hopefully in the future we can do something more together but I am very happy working with Dynamo Audio. Gary did a fantastic job on this record. 

How did the collaboration with Brandon Yeagley come about?

It was actually just as simple as me reaching out. I never expected a response let alone to work very closely with him. I was a fan of Crobot when I first saw them live in 2014. They showed me what a live show could and should be like. He was extremely nice. 

Do you have a busy start of next year planned once the album is out?

We do! No shows are officially announced yet but we will have an album release show soon. Then we hit the ground running with touring in March and April. 

Do you have a dream tour lineup you’d like to be a part of? Weather it’s supporting a huge band or playing with your mates. 

This is one of the toughest questions I have ever had to answer haha. It honestly depends on mood and what fits. I am going to give you two answers. One including our band and another just for my enjoyment. Dream tour with Almost Honest included would be Mutoid Man, Crobot and Red Fang. I think we would fit in well and that would be extremely fun. Now a tour that I would love to see would be Clutch, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Truckfighters and Man Man. I could pick a thousand more bands.

Amongst Liars: ‘It’s been a nice trajectory we’ve been going on!’

We had the absolute pleasure to head down to KK’s Steelmill last weekend to have a chat with the awesome Amongst Liars while they were on tour with Theory of the Deadman. Check out the interview below!

How’s the tour been?

Insane! Second to last night. It’s been great, touring with Theory of a Deadman. Lovely guys. The crew’s great. Very professional. It’s all sort of very next level for us. It’s been fun to get out there and experience this week. And yeah, hopefully more of the same!

I imagine it’s the biggest tour you’ve been on?

Yeah, definitely. We did the Ayron Jones tour last year which was good. That was last November and off the back of that we’ve got onto this one this year, It’s been a nice trajectory we’ve been going on!

You put out your latest single in August, I assume that’s the start of the new album cycle?

End of August, yeah. We obviously had that one, and then we did this tour. We’re back in the studio in the next two/three weeks, as we have a couple of tracks we need to finish off. Then we have a single coming out in early November. The something coming out in early December, then something mid-late Jan. Then the album obviously coming out on the 1st of March!

We’ve got seven/eight tracks done and we’ve just got two more to do. Then that’s it! Got the artwork done, that’s all sorted. So it should be fine!

Check out our review of the gig here!

How would you describe your sound?

It’s nice to not be pigeonholed. It can be detrimental for support stuff. It seems to fit this tour pretty well! And Ayron Jones is a bit different to Theory so in a way it’s been good as we can then match on with other people. It’s not just sticking to one genre. It can be more modern and have some more interesting sounds, and we can figure out how to get onto other stuff.

I think there’s a lot in it: punk, grunge, modern rock. Sometimes heavy, sometimes chilled… sometimes medium. Sometimes theatrical. It covers a few rock genres really. We generally just do our own thing, we don’t want to be pigeonholed.

I think we’re just heavy alternative rock. If someone says it I’d go through all the things we just talked about and then I’d go ‘basically heavy alternative rock’!

It’s good to hear that, although there are definitely good communities out there, it’s good to not be stuck in just one!

There’s like a vicious cycle with that sort of thing. It’s all the sae bands doing the same festivals and the same things. It’s really cool, but it feels like that’s all they do. Which is great, they’re obviously selling places out, but we don’t really want to be part of that kinda thing. We want to be a part of everything! Dip into little genres and shows here and there.

I think it’s good from an audience perspective as well. On this tour it’s been really mixed age ranges. Everything from kids to up to 50s/60s. We’re reaching lots of people, it’s great! We were thinking maybe the rock scene was falling down but it’s alive with teenagers and early 20s people. It’s doing great!

Have you got anything planned for the end of the year/start of next year?

Playing Leo’s Red Lion in Gravesend for Wardy’s birthday. We did a show for him a couple of years ago and loved us. November 11th I think. We’re gonna be getting a big Briton show in February, that’ll be our next thing that we put all of our shit into. A big headline show. Not sure where yet, maybe Green Door Store. We just want to have another big show before we go out on another tour.

The plan is to try and do a tour around the album then, basically. But one big show before that would be cool. We’ve got so many releases coming up, we want to get people to know the tracks. We’re playing three album tracks today, two of which people have never heard. They’ve been going down really well!

Tim Hicks: ‘It took me 30 years to figure out where I belonged as an artist’

We had the pleasure to sit down with the legendary Tim Hicks at The Long Road festival a few weeks back. Check out what we talked about below!

What got a guy from Canada to pursue that genre?

Well it didn’t come naturally, that’s for sure. I kinda fought it, to be honest. I didn’t grow up on a ranch or a farm, there was no country radio growing up. But, I had a love of acoustic guitar and every time I wrote a song on it, from the time I was 13/14, people would say ‘that’s a great country song!’. I was like ‘eww, but it’s not!’. And then somewhere along the way things change. Aldean started to make a stir and all of a sudden you had country bands on CMT with mohawks and chains and ripped jeans. I was looking at that going ‘that’s what my band looks like!’.

And of course with my last name being Hicks, which is my real last name… It was shortly after that that Eric Church blew up, Brad Paisley was rocking, so it was guitars. And I have three guitars in my band. We were doing cover songs as a living and playing everything from Rolling Stones to ‘Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy)’, to keep the lights on. But there came a point where I realised this country thing, I loved it. And I had way more in common with those guys musically with like Coldplay or Dallas Green. I couldn’t identify with that kind of music any more.

So I said to my band one night, ‘we’re doing country full time’. They were like ‘you are crazy’. We were the house band at an Irish bar in downtown Toronto. ‘We’re in the biggest city in Canada at an Irish bar, and you want to wear your boots and sing country?’ and I said yes. It wasn’t long after that that we had lineups of kids around the block. And it wasn’t long after that that I got the call to go to Nashville. So it made a lot of sense. It took me 30 years to figure out where I belonged as an artist.

The Canadian scene seems to be great too!

It’s thriving! We’ve got our own thing going on up there. For me, that’s why it’s so special to be here. I never thought I’d have a career outside of Canada. I was okay with that. It was a conscious decision for me to not break America. I just didn’t want to do it. I was too old at the time. When my career took off I was 33 with a baby. We have a few groups over in Canada who are uniquely Canadian, and they were my model of success. When things like C2C and The Long Road started coming up, I thought it was really interesting. I never thought I’d get to play in another country as Tim Hicks, the artist, you know. I’m really pleased to be here!

Have you done much in the UK before?

I’ve done C2C a couple of times now. That brought us to places like Berlin and Amsterdam and the O2. For me the whole goal is to try and stir up enough ducks that they’ll give me the budget to bring my band over. Do what we do. I really believe that if I can get my guys over here doing what we do in Canada, we could turn some heads in the UK.

Check out our review of Tim’s set here!

Is the scene a different feel here to in Canada?

Yeah, you definitely get the sense that it’s a growing genre right now, which is really exciting to be at the speartip of that. It’s super interesting to see another culture embrace country music. And I know there are some uniquely UK bands and acts that are a part of this. I look forward to seeing what they’ve got going on and how we’re similar. Canada and the UK, we’re very connected!

You recently put out Vol. II of Campfire Troubadour. What drives the creative process with that sort of release?

What drove that was Covid. I couldn’t do anything in Covid; I couldn’t tour, I couldn’t go to Nashville. But I could write songs in my studio, and I had lots of songs kicking around. One of our hacks during Covid to try and preserve our sanity was to light fires in the back yard and have a couple of neighbours over with some beers and we could be distant and it was safe. And of course the guitars would come out. We always knew I would do an acoustic thing at some point. I’ve always done acoustic gigs. In Canada, if you want to survive as a musician, you’ve got to do everything. Tuesday Wednesday Thursday for the first 18 years of my career I was playing in pubs by myself taking requests. But by the weekend I was picking up the band.

But when the campfire thing was happening I called up my producer in Nashville and said ‘dude, I think it’s time to do the acoustic record, and I think it should be a campfire album’. He loved it. I said I can record my stuff here, and send it to him on the internet and he can add his stuff and mix it. That was why we did it, because that was the only thing we could do at the time. And then we got a Juno nomination for it! It was mindboggling that this little EP that I recorded in my basement suddenly gets this spotlight shone on it. So my team came to me and asked me if I had enough songs for a second volume. Of course we wrote some but the pleasure of it is that I can find homes for songs that I wouldn’t normally get to cut.

I imagine you have a few more you can bust out if you want to?

Yeah! We can do it, we don’t need a budget for it, I can just record songs and send them to my buddy. As long as people are digging it we’ll keep putting these things out on the side. it’s kind of a side gig.

There’s at least two songs from Troubadour in the set that I have right now. But I kinda keep it loose. I like to vibe out the audience and see what people are digging, change it in the moment. But I get to play harmonica on those songs so it’s kinda a novelty for me!

And you recently put out your new single, is it the start of a new larger release?

It’s sort of the tail end of Talk to Time. We’re talking about ‘Ye to the Haw’, which is a ridiculous song. I’m known for these ridiculous, tongue -in-cheek songs so it makes sense. It’s a good party number. It will be a part of the deluxe version of Talk to Time. I probably had half a dozen songs that didn’t make the initial cut, but people are digging the record so much I thought why not put these out. They’re great songs, they maybe just didn’t fit the first round.

And do you have much planned for the rest of the year?

Yes! We’ve got 32 dates on the books from the end of October, starting in Western Canada and working our way East, and touring Campfire Troubadour. We didn’t get to tour it during the pandemic. So three of the six band members are going to go on the road with a very small crew and tell the stories behind the songs and sing them campfire style.

Gasoline & Matches: ‘Moving on into the new year, we are hopefully finally putting out an album!’

We sat down with the amazing, local country band Gasoline & Matches at The Long Road the other week. Check out as we chat about the UK scene and their plans for the future!

What’s it like playing country music in the UK?

I mean, we started writing and performing as a band probably six or seven years ago now, and we feel quite privileged to be riding the crest of the wave of the UK bands that are doing a lot of the same festivals up and down the country. The genre’s really building. We feel really proud to be on that wave.

I also think musically, yes it’s a conscious decision when you’re categorising yourself in a genre, but we’re just writing the music that we’ve always listened to and loved. We really do try and keep what we do British. But, at the same time, so many of our favourite artists are American, it’s been a really amazing thing seeing so many of them finally coming over to the UK.

You guys have done a few shows in the US, right?

Yeah, we’ve done a lot of showcase gigs, some support slots as well. Small tours, things like that. But whenever we’re out there we definitely try and research the local open mic and just spread the word about the band.

We’ve worked with quite a lot of different brands in terms of music companies and things. Steve works with Blackstar and we’ve been fortunate enough to be endorsed by Auden guitars and G7 Capos. We’ve met a lot of these companies and there’s opportunities when we’ve been over for things like the NAMM show. We’ve performed on shows there, showcasing what their gear is. And alongside some amazing artists like members of the E Street Band, Lindsey Ell, Sadler Vaden. Really really cool!

Check out our review of the band’s set at the festival here.

Is there much difference from the scene there to here?

Yeah, yeah. It’s a very homegrown thing in the States. They’ve definitely got their own thing going on. The umbrella for country music is huge, lots of different styles. We tend to enjoy real instruments as opposed to synthetics for what we do, so our roots are in blues and rock music. We don’t try to imitate because there would be no point. We try and carry on that thought process of Atlantic tennis where someone from the States will come out who’s influential and Britain has given a lot of influential stuff too.

In a lot ways we’re at an advantage that we play Country/Americana music here in the UK vs in the States because there are so many artists over there and it’s still quite a new thing here. I feel that we do get to share lineups with much bigger artists from being here. Even from an audience perspective, we get to see artists that may be playing stadium shows in the States in much smaller venues. I think it’s a really great experience.

Recently we were over in America and we’re friends with some of Lainey Wilson’s band and we were lucky enough to go to the Gillet stadium in Massachusetts to see her supporting Luke Combs. It was quite a different experience seeing her there and seeing how the fans are. We’ve been in the audience at festivals like The Long Road or C2C watching some of these same artists and it feels like a much different experience. Definitely over here it’s a listening audience. In the States there’s a lot of conversation!

It must be cool to see the rise of the country scene over here?

Yeah! We started going to C2C many years ago and it’s just growing bigger every year. And The Long Road of course, an amazing festival that the guys put on for bands. We’re so happy to be performing this year.

You’ve put out a few singles, is it building towards a longer release?

The plan has been in the works for a very long time now to have our debut album out. The tracks that we’ve released recently, ‘Afraid to Fall’ and ‘Patient Wolves’; we have another single that will be out this year. Then, moving on into the new year, we are hopefully finally putting out an album. We’ve got another host of tracks we’ve been in the studio recording with Gavin Monohan. So we’re at the stage we’re just getting final mixes and mastering. So 2024 will be a big year for Gasoline & Matches!

Have you got much planned for the rest of the year?

We’ve never really done a cluster of a few days, which you would deem as a tour. We’ve never headlined a tour, but we’ve never headlined one, so we are in the process of looking at when the right time is. It might be more into the new year.

We’ve got a few other shows. We host a regular songwriter round in Birmingham at the Symphony Hall, Nashville Sounds in the Round. We have international artists and UK artists performing at that every couple of months. We still have a few more of those happening. We’re also starting a new night in the Midlands called Wish You Were Beer. It’s in a venue called the Roadhouse in Sutton Coalfield. It’s a super cool bar with lots of movie memorabilia. We’re starting that from the 29th of September. We’re hoping to have some other country music guests come join us.

So that’s our plan, a few more shows just to play us out. Then to rehearse up the set as the album, I guess, and do a string of dates in the new year. We need to get back up to Scotland!

With last year finally being completely okay with the world, it must be nice to get back on the road!

It’s fantastic being able to do shows in real life!

And then tell us the story of The Crooked House

So there was an iconic pub in the Midlands called the Crooked House. We had been booked to play there but the gig got cancelled about a month or so before we were due to play. Then, the night that we were meant to be playing, it burnt down. It got picked up online, someone Tweeted the poster because with a name like Gasoline & Matches, when the pub burns down it seemed like a weird internet hoax. On Twitter it got around 250k views on the post, and we were contacted by so many different journalists about it. We spoke to the Times, Daily Mail, BBC Radio 4, even LADBible and ITV National news. The story made it to the New York Times. So, for our press… it did good in the worst way!

It was a very loved and famous pub in the area so we’re sensitive to the knowledge that a lot of people were upset that it happened. We’ve already pledged and said if there’s anything happening towards rebuilding it or in some way making an exhibit, we said we’d absolutely give a gig away to help fundraise.

Tenille Arts: ‘Hopefully next year will be so busy I won’t even have time to breathe!’

We had the chance to chat to the amazing Tenille Arts back at The Long Road festival a couple of weeks back. Check out as we talk about the scene, her plans for the future, and the origins of her debut single!

Firstly, what got you into the country scene?

I mean, growing up, that was what we listened to on the radio. I’m original from Canada and a lot of the music was country. And my family were farmers, so a lot of it resonated with us. And the storytelling and all that, I just thought it was so cool. I was about 15 years old when Taylor Swift came out and she was writing her own songs and all of that so that’s when I got into guitar. I think it sparked a thing. I’d always been writing songs but I’d never actually been able to play them before so that really sparked it all for me!

And you got scouted out quite young, right?

I did! At 15. I’d just learnt guitar and somebody from Nashville asked me to come down and start working with them and start writing real music, going in with actual songwriters. Learning the ropes. So yeah, I got involved very early!

So your first single was a charity one, how did that come about?

So, growing up I was a dancer. I worked for this dance company and this girl, I think she was four at the time, and I was assistant dance teaching, just working with the kids. Helping wrangle them mostly! And one of the parents of this girl came up to me and said ‘we heard you’re a singer, would you like to perform at our charity event?’. And I said sure, what’s it for. They said Cystic Fibrosis and that was something I’d never heard of before, I had no idea what it was. And I did my research and came back and said I absolutely want to be involved in this.

Later on throughout playing at their shows for a while, I was connected with a lot of the CF community in Canada and over here actually, too. The song that I recorded was by Matt Scales. He unfortunately passed away due to Cystic Fibrosis but he was an artist and he wrote this song. I recorded it and put it out with all the proceeds going to CF research and all of that. That was the first thing that I ever got to do and it was incredible. And it’s still out there if people want to donate or be a part of that.

Check out our review of the festival here.

And you’re on tour over here at the minute, right?

Yes, this is actually my last show! Caylee Hammock and I were doing a co-headline tour in the UK. So we did three dates together and then I’m playing today and she’s playing tomorrow. So yeah, it’s been really fun. It’s been a little bit of a whirlwind. This is probably one of my quickest tours over here. We arrived at like 9am the one morning and had a show that night so it’s got a little wild. But we’re good!

And can you make any comparisons between the scene over here to the North American scene?

I love it over here. I love playing small clubs and things like that, especially over here. I will compare the UK to Canada; it’s a very respectful audience. They learn your songs and all of that. Some of the time you’re not even sure if they like you and then they give you a standing ovation! They’re so respectful vs the US where they have so many people playing all of the time, I feel like it’s kind of brushed off sometimes. They get a lot of music all the time. Once in a while there’s obviously some amazing shows over there, and amazing fans and superfans, but here it’s different. And I love it!

You put out a single at the start of the year, is that a standalone release or part of something bigger to come?

So I put out a song called ‘Jealous of Myself’. Then I added LiAnn Rimes to the record, which is really cool! Then I put out a song called ‘Summer Don’t Go’, and we have another one coming out before Christmas. Then, hopefully a full album by January/February. I’ve already written and recorded everything, everything’s ready to go. I’m excited, but it’s all of the extra work that comes with it after that now. It takes a long time. Working on visuals and stuff like that now.

And the rest of the year looks pretty busy for you?

Lots of shows, lots of fun things and obviously trying to fit in finalising the record so I might be away from shows for a little while. Just making sure it’s everything I want it to be. Then I’ll go back to Canada for Christmas and then hopefully next year will be so busy I won’t even have time to breathe!

First Time Flyers: ‘We’re just getting started really!’

We had the pleasure of sitting down with the awesome First Time Flyers at The Long Road festival last weekend. Check it out as we talk about their sound, the scene and their plans for the future!

You guys were in individual projects for a while, what made you want to get together to form this project?

Jake: Money.

Poppy: Simon Cowell!

Tim: As you say, all solo, but just through the nature of our work, we’ve all written together, performed together, I’ve produced stuff for the ladies and a track or so for Jake. We’ve also played in Jake’s band. So between all of that we’ve known each other and of each other for so many years. It was actually Jake who suggested it to me. That we should do it as a four.

Jake: He was reluctant, not gonna lie!

Tim: He just wanted to share fuel costs! But I said what could go wrong starting a band?

Vicki: And then we got involved!

Jake: I think when the idea came about we always wanted it to be very harmony-heavy. There’s something about two guys and two girls that’s so rich when you get that vocal blend together.

Vicki: And now we are a four and we are no longer individuals!

And just how did four people from the UK come together to form a country-inspired band?

Vicki: I think country is a guilty pleasure of a lot of people. They just don’t want to admit it.

Jake: I also just don’t think they know that they’re listening to country!

Poppy: Country is storytelling and instruments and great singing. I think we’ve all loved country music as individuals and now we’re doing this. I wouldn’t say we’re strictly country, we write what feels good and sing what feels good. But we’re hugely influenced by it.

Tim: It’s always the harmonies that make it come back round to that.

Poppy: And the stories in the songs. We always pull that from personal experience and that’s such a country-heavy thing as well.

Check out another interview from the festival here.

A couple of you have worked in the US before; are there any comparisons you can make between the scene there and over here?

Jake: I did a lot of writing in Nashville. It was great fun. You learn so much because they’re just so quick! You can’t hang about when you’re writing with the Americans!

Tim: For me, the stuff I did in America was really bucket list stuff. I was very fortunate at the time to do a couple of shows at the Oprey and the Ryman. It’s mad. It almost feels like a past life it’s so surreal.

But the performing side of stuff doesn’t feel any different. I think there’s just a special feeling when an American audience embrace you. They can be quite territorial about country music.

Poppy: It’s so embedded in their culture to like country music so in a way it’s like, you have so many people who love it, are they gonna get into it.

Tim: I think we’d have fun out there! We will have fun out there.

Poppy: We should and we would!

What’s it like to be a part of this boom of country music in the UK?

Vicki: Yeah, it’s wonderful! I’ll play any festival.

Poppy: You [Vicki] have always said a lovely thing in that you think there’s not many fans here and then you watch someone like Lady A.

Vicki: Yeah, basically, like we were saying earlier that country is taking off but people are scared to admit it. Then you go to these festivals and you’re like ‘where have you been hiding?! Where do you live the other times of the year?’. You just don’t hear of these people. And when you do headline gigs or whatever, we’re very fortunate that we have people who come out and support us and will follow us round, but then there’s all these other people who will go to C2C and the Long Road and there’s SO many more people into it.

Tim: How do we make them regulars!

Poppy: And that’s the cool thing about being in the scene. I think a lot of people think there’s a ceiling in the UK scene but it’s constantly bigger and bigger and bigger.

And obviously you’ve put out a handful of singles now, is it building towards a larger release?

Poppy: We have so many goals! With us, it’s always building to something!

Tim: Honestly, I think we’re quite flexible with what we’re doing, because we’re not tied to a label or anything. Because we worked together really hard before we actually launched in January, we have such a backlog of songs we can put out in any order depending on what we’re aiming for. It’s nice to have that freedom to do stuff. We’re happy to go with anything.

Poppy: And we’re just getting started really!

Is the plan to stay as an independent artist for now?

Tim: I think the beauty of what we do is… it’s this, it’s the live stuff. We love playing in front of people. We love collaborative stuff that isn’t just us sat in a bedroom recording. Yes, you have to do that sometimes, for monetary reasons usually, but because we are so flexible we are open to meeting people. I think those sorts of things happen when you aren’t looking for them. It’ll happen when you least expect it. If the right thing comes along absolutely, we’re ready for it.

And you guys are on tour this month, is this the first time you’ve toured together as a band?

Jake: As a band, yeah.

Poppy: Yeah, well this is our eighth gig as a band! And we have five more. We’re hitting big number 10 this weekend, and then that tour will rack us up to gig 16.

Vicki: That’s actually ridiculous when you say it out loud!

Poppy: This feels like a mini-tour though as we’re together all weekend. We’re so excited.

Tim: We also have a tendency to go away on week trips to write, so they always feel like mini-tours too. We know we vaguely get alone.

And what was it like playing Hyde Park?

Vicki: Mental!

Jake: Unreal.

Tim: We found out pretty late on, as well. It wasn’t much. They do historically leave it quite late sometimes! But we’re glad it was us, for sure. That was a special day!

Do you have an goals you want to hit in the next say five years?

Tim: Talk him through the box, girls.

Vicki: You tell him about your box Poppy!

Poppy: I ordered us a box saying ‘The Adventures of First Time Flyers’ and I got us loads of bits of card and we wrote down what we wanted, and a little reward inside it, and we filmed it. Actually, the first one we opened was BST. And that was a nice little video that went out, it felt like a real moment for us.

We have so many goals. Sell out this tour would be the immediate one. Collaborate with artists, play big festivals, play a support tour would all be absolutely awesome.

Tim: There’s a nice one of playing ‘that’ gig. Where we feel like it’s the pinnacle kinda thing. And that could be today. We don’t know.

Poppy: We have so many big goals, and I think that’s why we’ve had such an exciting year so far. And why it’s not going to slow down.

Jake: We are four very driven people. I think that sort of eggs us on a bit. It’s so much fun. I didn’t have to spend eight hours in a car going to a festival last weekend by myself! It was awesome!

HARDBALL: ‘We’ve finally learned some of the newer songs, now that we’ve had to play them daily!’

BC’s own Hardball released their debut, self-titled album a few weeks ago (check out the review here). We had a quick chat with them about it, which you can find below!

Firstly, how has the tour been so far?

It’s been great! We’ve finally learned some of the newer songs, now that we’ve had to play them daily.

How would you describe your sound?

Loud, boneheaded, thrashy. Lately, I just say “grunge” for brevity- I don’t think it fits perfectly, but it’s a decent approximation of our sound.

What’s it like playing a gungy-style of music in this day and age? 

I’m into it. The shows are bumpin’.

What would you say the scene is like over in Canada? 

It’s pretty broad, and every locality is a bit different than the other so- varied I guess?

How has the response been to your album?

Our friends love it!

What is your writing process like? 

Depends on the situation, but as it pertains to Hardball- Scott comes up with the crux of the song, and we develop it into an arrangement together.

Do you have much planned for the rest of the year?

Ah the usual, slugging it out, more gigs around BC. I’ll be recording some solo stuff, and maybe we’ll get to crushing a second Ball LP.

What would your dream tour be?

One that we didn’t have to organize or handle any logistics of ourselves, where we just show up at the gig, throw down, and then take it easy for the rest of the evening.

Top 10 Most Anticipated Albums of 2023

Now that we are somehow in 2023 already, we have a brand new 12 months of music ahead of us to be checking out. Plenty of artists have announced or been teasing albums for the upcoming months, and we thought we’d yet again highlight a few of our most anticipated for you. Now, this is by no means all of them, and there are again too many honourable mentions to name. These are just some of the ones us here at Overtone are most looking forward to!

Metallica: 72 Seasons – 14th April

Let’s get the obvious one out of the way first. Metallica announced they’ll be releasing their 11th studio album in April of this year. Need I say more? Announced at the back end of November alongside the release of it’s lead single, ‘Lux Æterna’, it sent the internet into a frenzy. The track itself harkens back to their debut album in terms of sound and composition, and if they keep that up throughout the album, they’ll definitely have a LOT of happy fans.

While Metallica definitely get their fair share of (mostly unwarranted) hate and detractors, there’s no denying that good or bad, this will be one of the most talked about albums of the year. Speaking as a nearly life-long Metallica fan myself, it is definitely one of my most anticipated albums of the year.

Avatar: Dance Devil Dance – 17th February

A slightly more left field one now, but Avatar have been quietly bubbling away since the pandemic, putting out some cracking music. I have to admit I lost track of their singles recently, with them putting out five stand-alone tracks before starting to put out singles for their upcoming ninth album. However, sitting here listening to the three singles from the February as I write this article, they are all fantastic and have me hugely hyped. It sounds like they have drawn together the sound of their last few albums into something truly special. Heck, I remember reviewing their last album very highly upon its release and still listen to it through occasionally to this day. So yes, this is definitely a very anticipated album, at least here at Overtone!

Måneskin: Rush! – 20th January

Now, yes, we here at Overtone have been rather critical of the Eurovision winners over the last year or two. I personally don’t get the hype. Musically they are nothing special by any stretch, and are only getting big due to their punk aesthetic and attitude. That’s not a bad thing, and they definitely have at least a slight anti-establishment message, but it’d be nice if the music backed it up too. Having said all of that, they are the biggest upcoming band in the world currently, so they had to make this list.

The singles are fine. They’re inoffensive pop-rock tracks. It doesn’t sound much different from their big tracks, aside for the Maroon 5-esque ‘THE LONLIEST’ (which is good), so if you like ‘ZITTI E BUONI’ you’ll probably love it. They all have bits I really like though and I definitely wouldn’t turn any of them off if they came on. Who knows, maybe they’ll win us round with this album. That alone puts it on this list for us!

Pierce the Veil: The Jaws of Life – 10th February

Confession time… Max specifically requested this to be on the list, I wasn’t too fussed. The two singles so far have been pretty polarising for me. ‘Emergency Contact’ was very Feeder, which meh, while ‘Pass the Nirvana’ channelled some Dinosaur Pile-Up vibes which was awesome. Either way, I honestly thought the band were heavier than this. Going back to their older stuff, the stuff that I’m at least semi-familiar with, I was right. Collide with the Sky is more of ADTR meets MCR, and I remembered I actually quite liked this band. Is morbid curiosity to hear what the rest of the album sounds like enough to be one of the most anticipated albums? I mean, considering how big they are, yes, yes it is. Love that chorus for ‘…Nirvana’ though.

Babymetal: The Other One – 24th March

Another of the biggest bands of the last few years and a band that have felt like they’ve been ‘upcoming’ for ages now (c’mon guys, lets pull the trigger, we all know everyone loves them), Babymetal are releasing their fourth album this year.

This is another band I didn’t get at first, but I’ve become a big fan in recent years, in large part to their stageshow. Having said that, the two singles the band have put out so far for this album have been excellent. The heaviness is there, the amazing talent of the backing band is there, and the impressive and hugely catchy vocals are maybe better than ever. The band seem to have returned from their hiatus with a renewed passion and drive. This could be one of the biggest rock albums of 2023, so is definitely one of the most anticipated!

Avenged Sevenfold: Untitled

The only one to carry over from last year’s list, the wait from 2016’s The Stage is getting unbearable. For one of the biggest bands of this century, seven years is a long wait between albums. Especially when The Stage was so good. I’ve heard very little about the progress of this album over the last 12 months, so I’ve just got to live in hope that it is finally released soon! For now, check out one of the best tracks off the last album while we wait.

Ward XVI: Untitled

Continuing on with as-yet-unannounced albums that are sure to come in the next 12 months, one of the UK’s best underground bands are heading back into the studio early this year to record part three of their album trilogy. I’ve grown to know their music pretty well since I first saw them live just over a month ago, and cannot wait to see where the story and sound goes, following on from Metamorphosis. While they are certainly not the biggest band on this list, they have the potential to release the best, most interesting album out of all the artists on here.

Mercyful Fate: Untitled

You knew this had to show up on our list. Though not officially announced yet, with no title or release date known, the band performed their first new material (and first show) since 1999 back last summer, so we can’t have to wait much longer! Back in 2020, guitarist Hank Shermann stated that he’d already written ‘six or seven songs’ for a new album, and it seems that said songs are finally getting close to being ready for release. Seeing the live footage of ‘The Jackal of Salzberg’ has me excited too, it sounds great. It’s been a long 24 years, but we may finally have new Mercyful Fate by the end of the year!

Blink 182: Unannounced

Onto maybe just hopeful guesswork now. However, Tom DeLonge re-joining the pop punk titans, them announcing an extensive tour over the next two years AND putting out a new single a couple of months ago, surely there must be some more releases in the works soon? As I said, the touring is extensive, but there are a few healthy gaps in there, like the entirety of April and August. I’m sure it’s mainly to spend time with their families, but they can squeeze some recording in there too, right? It might be wishful thinking, but it’s still a very anticipated album, if it ever happens.

Cody Jinks: Unannounced

Another one from the rumour mill, but at least this has some merit to it. Cody was in the studio in 2022. Now, whether that’s for his solo country stuff or another release from his metal band Caned By Nod, either way it’s darn exciting. The man has my favourite voice of all time when it comes to country, and it translates surprisingly well over to rock too. Hopefully not only does this mean he’ll put out new music in some capacity this year, but that he’ll finally come to the UK soon. I’m dying to see him, and an album is the perfect excuse for a world tour, right?

And there we have it folks. What are your most anticipated albums of this year? Let us know on our Facebook here.