The Wynntown Marshals Announce New Album – ‘Big Ideas’

‘Big Ideas’, the fourth full-length studio album by Edinburgh-based The Wynntown Marshals, will sound immediately familiar to those who know the band, and serves as the ideal introduction for those who are less familiar with their output. Four years in the making, the album features ten tracks covering jangling, forthright, radio-ready power pop, rugged, rootsy rockers, moody guitar workouts and stately ballads – all underpinned by the heartfelt, poetic wordplay for which the band are well- known.

The Wynntown Marshals were proclaimed ‘Europe’s best Americana band’ following the release of their debut full-length album ‘Westerner’ in 2010 and, in the years following its release, the band garnered significant praise and support from the likes of Bob Harris (whose BBC Radio 2 show was one of three BBC sessions the band have performed). The band’s second album ‘The Long Haul’ was featured in the Glasgow Herald’s ‘Top 10 Scottish Albums of 2013’ and Uncut magazine awarded it an 8/10 review, a feat they repeated with the follow-up ‘The End of The Golden Age’ in 2015 – with Uncut describing the band as ‘colonising the shadowlands between Tom Petty and Teenage Fanclub’.

Work on ‘Big Ideas’ originally started in 2018. The intervening years saw a line-up change and the confines of the global pandemic inevitably slowed progress, but the resulting album is arguably the highlight of the band’s 15-year career. Engineered and recorded with long-time collaborator Andrew Taylor of Dropkick, mixed by Garry Boyle at Slate Room Studios and mastered by Stuart Hamilton at Castlesound, the record is sonically a step above previous releases, and the mix allows the lush, vibrant instrumentation to take centre stage, providing the ideal backdrop to the recurring lyrical themes of nostalgia, love and loss.

Once again, the lyrics often seek to explore disparate, atypical themes for the genre. Album opener ‘New Millennium’ – a euphoric tale of youthful abandon set against the backdrop of a strident, chest- pounding heartland rocker – sets the scene for the rest of the album, bringing proceedings vividly to life. The title track highlights the pitfalls of society’s relationship with social media, while ‘The Pocket’ is a heart-breaking story song inspired by the historic battle for Stalingrad. The seemingly whimsical lyrics of the pensive track ‘Keys Found In Snow’ unfurl into a tale of a relationship in freefall, and the downbeat album closer ‘Full Moon, Fallow Heart’ is still unrelentingly positive in its widescreen outlook. Nothing in our world is ever perfect.

The Marshals have, like the rest of the planet, been through some significant challenges in recent times – and some of the album’s lyrical content is inevitably shaped by the events of the past two years (the title track and ‘Disappointment’ in particular), but – like the protagonists in the middle eight of the bittersweet track ‘Tourist In My Hometown’ – the band have ‘emerged unbroken, smarting from the pain’.

You can pre-order the album from bandcamp now:

Big Ideas | The Wynntown Marshals (bandcamp.com)

Glass Hammer Announces New Album For October

Glass Hammer Completes The Skallagrim Trilogy with ‘AT THE GATE’

‘At The Gate’, the third album of the Skallagrim trilogy, is set for release on October 7th. The new album follows ‘Dreaming City’ (2020) and ‘Skallagrim – Into The Breach’ (2021), bringing the story of the ‘thief with the screaming sword’  to its conclusion.

Vocalist Hannah Pyror is back to front the group and is joined by bandleader Steve Babb, keyboardist Fred Schendel, and drummer Aaron Raulston. In addition, vocalists Jon Davison (Yes) and John Beagley (Life In Digital) will contribute as well as guitarist Reese Boyd.   

Babb says to expect another 70’s metal-influenced project but also promises a return to the symphonic-prog sound the band is best known for.

“An album can be both things,” he claims. “Since the inception of the trilogy in 2020, it’s been my intention to tell this sword and sorcery-inspired tale with appropriate music. And to do that, I needed the sound to evolve toward something grand by the end of the third album. Skallagrim’s story is one of lost joy, of grief, and longing, and ultimately of a worn-down swordsman’s coming to grips with what the world can and cannot offer him. It’s probably the most important story we’ve ever told through music, so important to me that it led me to retell it in novels.” Babb’s book, “Skallagrim – In The Vales Of Pagarna,” was released in March of this year.

Babb adds, “So, for those who love our newer, edgier sound, they won’t be disappointed. But I’ve brought back the pipe organ, the choirs, and the sweeping ballads for those who miss the sounds of our earlier albums. I think it works, but the fans will be the ones to decide!”

Watch a short teaser video for the album here:

Review – VLMV – Sing With Abandon

“Music expresses feeling and thought, without language; it was below and before speech, and it is above and beyond all words.”Robert G. Ingersoll

Music is infinite, there are notes to come that have not been heard by any human ear yet, music is the one constant that everyone can cling on to and, with all that has happened in the world recently, music is more prominent in our lives than ever before.

VLMV have returned with their third album ‘Sing With Abandon’. The follow up to the acclaimed ‘Stranded, Not Lost’this new album is the result of years of collaboration, experimentation and crafting the music and sounds that make up VLMV.

Joined live by long time collaborator and fellow Code In The Clouder Ciaran Morahan, VLMV deploy loop stations, multiple delay pedals, piano and strings to create a slow-moving, high-flying soundscape of luscious gravitas. 

An ambitious yet concise album, ‘Sing With Abandon’ was born as songwriter and producer Pete Lambrou explored navigating life in the pandemic, multiple lockdowns and a country deciding to break up with its loved ones. Lyrically focused on feelings of isolation and separation, from our shared collective human experience to the deeply personal and everything in between, ‘Sing With Abandon’ touches on the isolation found within the communal experience of a country locked down and in crisis. 

Dreamlike in its beauty and whimsical and wistful in its delivery, this new record is utterly captivating throughout. There are moments of stunning, ethereal brilliance like the plaintive wonder of opening track There Are Mountains Underneath Us, a strikingly elegant piece of music that left me welling up with emotion and the gloriously refined The Navigator with its plaintive piano and sultry, hushed vocals from Anja Madhvani.

Honestly, there is wonder and amazement in every note and every word throughout the criminally short thirty-six minutes running time, the instrumental tracks, If I Could See Your Life Reverse with its edgier, slightly psychedelic feel and Steady Thyself (the first single released from the album) exquisitely sublime in its execution, the piano and strings so achingly beautiful, are moments of pure wonder and calm.

There’s no way to pick any highlights from this album as it flows best if you listen to it in one complete sitting. For Empire bleeds a melancholy emotion throughout, the haunting vocals a particular highlight, the imaginatively titled We Were Landed, We Were Landing Gently We Landed is another graceful instrumental, title track Sing With Abandon has a darker aura to it and Solus Ipse the feel of a babbling brook as its gentle notes and subtle vocal meander their way across your mind.

DearFearHere is impish and almost celestial in the way the ghostly, almost intangible vocals brush your mind while the rarefied, supernal musical notes dance along in unison. The album closes with the luxurious refinement of Our Corners (Reprise), a track that leads you by the hand to a place of calm solitude and reflection.

There are times when you hear a piece of music that leaves you open mouthed in appreciation and, when I first heard ‘Sing With Abandon’ I was utterly stunned. Albums like this are more than mere music, they pervade your very soul, take over your life and almost bring you to tears at their beauty. VLMV have created something so good that it almost becomes a state of mind and I thank Pete Lambrou from the bottom of my heart for doing so.

Released 19th August, 2022

Pre-order from bandcamp here:

Sing With Abandon | VLMV (bandcamp.com)

King’s X launch ‘Give It Up’; second single from the bands forthcoming album ‘Three Sides of One’

The legendary King’s X, comprised of dUg Pinnick, Ty Tabor & Jerry Gaskill, recently announced the release of their 13th studio album ‘Three Sides of One’ on the 2nd September 2022, representing their first new music in 14 years. 

Today sees the release of the second track taken from the album, and you can listen to ‘Give It Up’ here: 

dUg comments: “After I turned 71, death was on my mind every day, Chris Cornell killed himself, and I was thinking of that. Lyrically, it’s about not giving up until you naturally die. I want to ride it out until it’s over. I’m laughing about how I haven’t gotten a will yet, but I should have one. Musically, I wanted it to be really simple, so you can dance to it.” 

Listen to the bands previous single ‘Let It Rain’ here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWUrrCB_Ulo 

‘Three Sides of One’ will be available as Limited CD Digipak, Gatefold 180g 2LP+CD+LP-booklet & as Digital Album. There will also be a Limited Deluxe 180g Orange/Red Marble 2LP+CD+LP-booklet that also includes a poster and a hand-numbered print, as well as an exclusive variant of the front cover artwork. Pre-order now here: https://kingsx.lnk.to/ThreeSidesOfOne 

During 2019, the members congregated at Black Sound Studio in Pasadena, CA with Emmy Award-winning producer Michael Parnin to bring ‘Three Sides of One’ to life. Despite consistent touring, they hadn’t cut a new LP since 2008. Nevertheless, the guys picked up where they left off. Creative confidant and collaborator Wally Farkas rolled through, and they channelled their incredible chemistry on tape.

Of the new album, dUg Pinnick comments:

“When I think of it, King’s X feels like a couple of old best friends coming together, shooting the shit, and having a good time, it’s instinctual. When I would listen to demo tapes of Jerry and Ty for the record, it gave me a great perspective on how blessed I am to be in King’s X. What they did on Three Sides of One sounded so good. For as familiar as it is, it’s like I’m in a new band.” 

Ty adds:

“This time, we sat around, listened to each other’s ideas, and would collectively say, ‘Let’s work on that’. It was the most enjoyable album I’ve personally ever recorded in my entire life, period.” 

Jerry continues: “I’ll cherish what we did in my heart forever. Everything lined up perfectly.”

The full track-listing is as follows:

1.         Let It Rain 04:28

2.         Flood Pt. 1 03:03

3.         Nothing But The Truth 06:03

4.         Give It Up 02:59

5.         All God’s Children 05:32

6.         Take The Time 03:45

7.         Festival 03:30

8.         Swipe Up 03:46

9.         Holidays 03:22

10.       Watcher 03:43

11.       She Called Me Home 03:57

12.       Every Everywhere 02:40 

King’s X background:

Along the way, they architected a catalog of seminal releases. KERRANG! famously scored their 1988 full-length debut, Out of the Silent Planet, with a rare “5-out-of-5-stars.” On its heels, the landmark Gretchen Goes To Nebraska continues to inspire think pieces with Ultimate Classic Rock going as far to proclaim, “no one else has crafted anything remotely like it.” They notably appeared on the soundtrack to Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey, and Guitar World christened the self-titled King’s X one of “The 30 Greatest Rock Guitar Albums of 1992” (a year notably highlighted by Pantera’s Vulgar Display of Power, Alice In Chains’ Dirt, Megadeth’s Countdown To Extinction, Dream Theater’s Images and Words, and many more). Following Dogman, the group graced the stage of Woodstock 1994 and toured with everyone from Pearl Jam and AC/DC to Mötley Crüe and Iron Maiden. They also attracted one of the most diehard fanbases in music with Ear Candy [1996], Tape Head [1998], Please Come Home… Mr. Bulbous [2000], Manic Moonlight [2001], Black Like Sunday [2003], Ogre Tones [2005], and XV [2008].

Their first full-length studio offering in 14 years, Three Sides of One, represents the culmination of this trip and of a bond forged way back in 1979.

Review – starfish64 – Scattered Pieces Of Blue

starfish64 was established in 2006 by German singer-songwriter Dieter Hoffmann. Originally intended to be a vehicle for his solo-work, starfish64 began recording and publishing in the singer-songwriter genre at first. Over the years, however, sound and compositions shifted more and more towards progressive and new art rock.

‘Scattered Pieces Of Blue’ is the latest album and has been described by the band as ‘Somewhere between prog, pop, rock and outer space. And all in blue…’. To be fair, it is quite a fitting description as starfish64 have their own unique sound that does have touch of sc-fi soundtrack to it in places. The deliberate, almost monotone vocals work perfectly with the spaced out feel of the tracks and then the sublime guitar playing arrives to add that real touch of rock to the music.

This new album has been the band’s most successful yet, which is testimony to the strong songwriting and seamless flow between the often disparate styles of music. These musicians are masters of the segue in a way, which, on other albums by different artists, just doesn’t work. Here it becomes the signature of a band supremely happy with their musical style.

There’s the dreamlike contemplation of album opener Blue Piece Of Something In The Air, the sharp suited brilliance of Birdsong (I really like this track!) with its rather fine sprawling guitar solo at the end and the more upbeat Sunrise Over The Weathered Roofs Of Platania, a song that should be the musical definition of ‘sunny disposition’, three tracks that open the album in fine style.

Forget Me Not brings authority and seriousness, a stylish song that brings to mind a more laid back Kraftwerk to me, the plethora of synths and keyboards is wonder to behold. The short and sweet Blue Piece (Reprise) is like a rather appealing palate cleanser before an elegant piano opens the wistful and thoughtful Happiness, the dreamlike quality of this song is utterly charming.

Perhaps the most interesting and thought-provoking piece on the album, Time’s Up Utopia has a calming and engaging extended instrumental opening that lifts the anticipation perfectly. Tangerine Dream soundscapes wash around you, interspersed by the more direct vocals, a perfectly judged combination. This song is possibly the best that the band have ever written, in my humble opinion, it ebbs and flows in an utterly compelling manner and leaves you completely satisfied, the guitar solo is a piece of genius too! Intersection One sounds like a sci-fi soundtrack in composition and name and contains a cavernous dynamism, Number Forty-Five has a powerful edge to it, harder than most of the other songs, the echoing guitar imbues it with a forceful, potent, energy. The album closes with the surreal countenance of Space Junk, a nostalgic, almost mournful feeling piece of music with an honest and determined outlook and the best guitar solo on the album, all fire and brimstone. It’s an impressive way to close out what has been a rather brilliant album.

starfish64 have been around for a pretty long time and definitely know how to make music but, with ‘Scattered Pieces Of Blue’, they have raised their already considerable level to a new high. Often thoughtful and contemplative but also at times vivid and intense, it is an album that they should be truly proud of and contains their very essence as musicians, I highly recommend it.

Released 5th June, 2022.

Order from bandcamp here:

Scattered Pieces Of Blue | starfish64 (bandcamp.com)

Review – Ms Amy Birks – In Our Souls

Ms Amy Birks returns with ‘In Our Souls’, the follow up to her debut solo album ‘All That I Am & All That I Was’.

‘In Our Souls’ represents Amy’s second time around as a producer and mixing engineer. She recalls the process as being “a time of solitude, of many a late night, exploring ideas and losing myself in the books and poetry of the Bronte’s and my own personal journey over the past few years, developing my ears, skills and confidence as a composer. My first record, ‘All That I Am & All That I Was’, was very much about deeply personal experiences but with this album I wanted to extract more strength and feeling from the musical palate and have more fun with it, which has enabled me to step back a little from the lyrics and put more faith in my ability to write not only songs but pieces of music.”

Amy, lead singer and lyricist of Beatrix Players, is joined on the album by Helena Dove and Tom Manning , two co-writers from the original line-up of that award-winning band. Manning also composed and played all the guitar parts on the album. Amy is once again accompanied by flautist John Hackett while introducing violinist Frank Van Essen and cellist Clare O’Connell to what is a virtuosic line-up.

For ‘In Our Souls’, out of the twelve tracks on the album, Birks, a long-standing fan of the Bronte sisters, sets the words of three Bronte poems to music. Birks furthered her knowledge of the sisters and their personal musical leanings through several trips to Haworth and the Bronte’s parsonage prior to selecting poems that would provide inspiration for the album.

Ms Amy Birks takes the beautiful sound that she developed on her first album, that, in itself, an extension of the Beatrix Players’ amazing combination of chamber orchestra and popular music, and elevates it to an even higher level of brilliance. The whole album is just under fifty minutes of sheer musical wonderment where Amy’s stunning vocals blend perfectly with the consummate musicianship of her amazing group of players.

There are no highlights really but only because every song is an exquisitely crafted gem of ethereal grace and wonder. The opening, title track, In Our Souls, commandeers the words of Charlotte Bronte’s poem, ‘Evening Solace’ and creates a song that just oozes sublime calm, Hold On is a song about a transformation, at soul level, which is what Amy thinks nature can do for a person, if they are open to it and has more urgency engendered by the vocal and a superbly improvised violin from Frank van Essen. There’s a powerful dynamism to Elsa, a song Amy wrote when at university about a woman who is aware of her desires and her attraction and of the wife she knows exists but cares little for, the music creating an aura of drama and tension.

Brothers is without-doubt the most personal track on the album, Amy explains; “I have two estranged brothers and those tumultuous relationships have been the subject, or at least the undercurrent of many a song. For whatever reason, we have never seen eye to eye, hence the opening words of ‘I don’t understand why. Do you? Do you know why?’ and the build-up of aggression through the instrumentation. This, I suppose, is my therapy.” It makes for truly thought provoking piece of music, full of tension and emotion. There’s a delicate, if melancholic, refinement to The One That Got Away, a sad sort of love song about a relationship that almost was something more than friendship but was more of an awakening and a red flag. Wistful and rueful, its artistry belies the plaintive undertone that the track’s subject engenders. A Death Scene takes the words from the wonderful Emily Bronte poem with the same name to create a contemplative and slightly dark piece of music with a thoughtful edge and features some spellbinding guitar playing from Tom Manning and the remarkable flute of John Hackett.

The Woman In White, a song where Amy looks back at herself as a young bride and not really recognising who that person was anymore, is possibly the darkest track on the album from a lyrical point of view and this lends a brooding quality to the piece. With the layers of driving strings and guitar, this is Amy enjoying herself. It’s a highly visual piece that takes her back to an earlier time. The third Bronte poem on the album, The Dream, is from the greatly underappreciated (in Amy’s opinion) Anne Bronte and has a lighter, more frivolous and sweeter feel though, in keeping with the woman who wrote The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, the mid-section has a power and authority all of its own. Goodnight For Now is another song that Amy wrote while at university. A gentle, graceful, acoustic piece that, once again, showcases Amy’s amazing voice, it’s about a woman gently letting down a man for she is out of bounds and shows that Amy has always had her head in the romance of Austin and the Bronte’s.

There’s a heart wrenching feel to the wonderfully dramatic Living In Sin, a song about transformation and having the strength to be who you really are. The sombre tone of the music and Amy’s downplayed vocal give real sentiment and fervour to the track. Amy wrote Cannot Contain about greed and how we can all get sucked in by wealth and ‘success’ if we’re not paying attention. It is quite a curt track with an edgy tension underpinning the whole song and the almost irascible tone to Amy’s vocal brooks no argument! The album comes to a rather satisfying close with the wondrous, almost elemental, joy of an instrumental version of the title track.

Well, what can I say, Amy is a rather prodigiously talented songwriter with a quite remarkable voice and when that is put together with musicianship of such stellar talent as is shown here, you are well on the way to musical perfection. ‘In Our Souls’ is a collection of wonderful songs that will delight, enchant and enrapture musical connoisseurs for a long time to come, it truly is that good!

Released 8th April, 2022.

Order the CD from bandcamp here:

In Our Souls | Ms Amy Birks (bandcamp.com)

Virgil & Steve Howe – announce release of new album “Lunar Mist”, launch title track 

Steve Howe, legendary guitarist with Yes, is pleased to announce the release of ‘Lunar Mist’ – the second collaboration with his late son Virgil Howe who tragically passed away in 2017. Continuing his journey that is fueled by the love and energies he draws from his wife Jan and their family, a passion for the guitar, and of course, the never-ending drive to create and perform music, ‘Lunar Mist’ will be launched on the 23rd September 2022. Watch the video for the album’s title track here: 

Crafted using Virgil’s unreleased material that had a connection in spirit to their debut collaboration ‘Nexus’, Steve compiled everything together in January 2021 to start work. Stemming from an unreleased bonus track, titled ‘Lunar Mist’, from their debut album, Steve worked at expanding on Virgil’s musical ideas. As Steve explains: “I started by writing chord charts for all the other tunes, before adding guitars and bass guitars to embellish them and bring them to completion. In the most part I kept them as he’d written them but sometimes I expanded them with further ideas and improvisation.”

The result is an album that is unique in both musicians body of work. “Virgil shows some different musical characteristics here that were such a joy to play on. There’s more of his great drumming and a broader inventiveness in his compositions” says Steve.

The album will be available on Limited CD Digipak, 180g Black LP + CD & Digitally, all adorned with a front cover painting by Virgil’s daughter Zuni. Pre-order the album here: https://vshowe.lnk.to/LunarMist 

1.         Lunar Mist 03:52

2.         More Than You Know 03:05

3.         Plexus 04:09

4.         Mariah’s Theme 03:16

5.         A Month In The Sun 04:39

6.         As If Between 02:43

7.         Never Less 02:55

8.         Lothian’s Way 03:06

9.         Free Spirit 02:45

10.       Eternal 03:09

11.       Dirama 02:38

12.       Pinnacle 02:02

13.       Pagoda 02:19

14.       Martian Mood 03:59

Music has been a constant in Steve Howe’s life. In the sixties, he made a name for himself as guitarist of psychedelic pioneers Tomorrow. Joining Yes in the seventies, he helped propel that band to progressive rock superstardom. The eighties found Steve at the top the charts once again as a founding member of supergroup Asia, and later, GTR. Concurrently, Steve developed a brilliant solo career, performing and honing his skills as a producer, releasing more than twenty albums. Together with wife Jan, he’s raised a family, and steered side projects with son Dylan in The Steve Howe Trio.

Steve Howe’s creative passion has put him on a lifelong journey on pathways, ranging from jazz, blues and classical, to folk, bluegrass and rock. His prolific solo career defies easy categorization, making each new album a venture into genre-bending territory that always bears his inimitable imprimatur. Always pushing forward with studio craft and virtuosity, each of his albums reflects the insights he has gathered along the way.

The Fierce & The Dead – Golden Thread released on 22nd July via Spencer Park Music

The Fierce And The Dead release Golden Thread, the 2nd single from their upcoming 4th album ‘News From The Invisible World’, once again featuring vocals from bassist Kevin Feazey, described as psychedelic metal with a shoegaze feel.

Recent Press:

“A fresh psych-fuzz freakout from one of the UK’s trickiest-to-pin-down instrumental rockers – except their first new music in four years isn’t actually instrumental, featuring vocal contributions from Kevin Feazey for the first time. (A) peak grunge- channeling chorus riff, which takes equal billing with the verse’s shoegaze-worthy washed-out chords.”

Guitar World (Essential tracks of the week)
“The work of a truly original band pushing forth and genuinely progressing”

Real Gone

“Be prepared to have that phrase – annoy and irritate your friends with it floating around your brain for days. Surely the sort of hook that makes a good single?”
At The Barrier

“Modulates between being a dark, fuzzed-out ripper and an exploratory post- rock/jazz fusion. It’s an exciting track that shows off TFATD’s mastery of post-rock songwriting and excellent mix/master engineering. Highly recommended.” Independent Clauses

Biography:

The Fierce And The Dead are releasing singles ahead of their first album in 4 years with (for the first time) vocals from bassist Kevin Feazey. Their music has been championed by Kevin Cole of KEXP, Stuart Maconie on BBC 6 Music and Steve Davis on his Interesting Alternative Show.

The Fierce And The Dead formed in London in 2010, with all 4 members originally from Rushden, Northants, they mix in elements from psychedelic rock, old metal records, post-rock, prog, broken analogue synths and shoegaze.

They released their breakthrough 3rd album ‘The Euphoric’ in 2018, via BEM records, which was Classic Rock Magazine’s Prog Album Of The Year and 8th in Prog Magazine’s critics choice. Prog magazine included them in their 100 Prog Icons and they have appeared ranked highly in the magazine’s Readers Poll for multiple years and categories, although the band never considered themselves to be deliberately prog. Pre-COVID headline shows in Manchester and London sold out months in advance. 


They have toured with Hawkwind, Big Business, Dave Lombardo, Crippled Black Phoenix, Evil Blizzard and Monkey 3 and at festivals in the USA, Europe, and the UK including Freak Valley, Prognosis, Arctangent, HRH, Kozfest, Ramblin Man and Rosfest and will support Kings X in Italy in September 2022. They have released 3 studio albums alongside 4 EPs and 3 live albums.

The Fierce And The Dead are:

Kevin Feazey Vocals/Bass/Keys

Matt Stevens Guitar/Keys

Steve Cleaton Guitar/Vocals

Stuart Marshall Drums

Order the single from bandcamp:

Music | The Fierce And The Dead (bandcamp.com)

Threshold announce new album ‘Dividing Lines’+reveal first single & music video for ‘Silenced’

THRESHOLD return with their 12th full length album ‘Dividing Lines’, which is set to be released on 18th November via Nuclear Blast Records.

‘Dividing Lines’ marks the second album since the return of former vocalist Glynn Morgan, who reunited with the band on their previous effort ‘Legends Of The Shires’ (2017)darker album than ‘Legends Of The Shires’, the band have described it as Legends’ darker, moodier older brother”.

Get your first taste of the album with the single ‘Silenced’, which comes with a stunning new video.

Stream ‘Silenced’ on all platforms here: https://bfan.link/silenced

Richard West comments on the song: Silenced is about how we seem to be heading towards less voices, less artists, less venues, less platforms where everyone can be heard. People seem so scared to speak out or debate anything anymore. I know I sound old but I miss the good old days! When freedom of speech goes then society is lost.”

The video was filmed by Sitcom Soldiers in the UK who also filmed the band’s last video ‘Small Dark Lines’. The video portrays a boy coming up against a threatening foe, only defeating them by summoning a mighty scream (unsilenced).

Pre-order Dividing Lines here: https://bfan.link/dividing-lines
See below for available formats: 

FORMATS:
CD Digi
2 LP Gatefold – Black
2 LP Gatefold Gold
2 LP Gatefold Crystal Clear Orange Black Splatter
2 LP Gatefold Orange Black Marbled
2 LP Gatefold Transparent Red Black Splatter

THRESHOLD line up:
Glynn Morgan | vocals

Karl Groom | guitars

Richard West | keyboards

Steve Anderson | bass

Johanne James | drums

John Wenlock-Smith Interviews Steve Hackett

Steve Hackett is certainly a very busy man of late, on the day we talk, he has just returned from time in Borneo and a few club dates in Japan, amidst a wider Australian and New Zealand tour. Even so, he continues to be his usual self-effacing and courteous host,  he is such a gracious interviewee and always has interesting things to say and learn from.

This interview is in advance of his upcoming season of shows entitled ‘Foxtrot At Fifty’, which will  see him delivering a complete set consisting of that entire album. The tour will see Steve and his band playing the album along with various other classic Genesis material and some of his own solo material from the ‘Surrender of Silence’ album from last year. It is looking to be a busy few months again for Steve.

John Wenlock-Smith: Good Morning Steve, so how are you sir?

Steve HackettI am all right, fine, it has been a busy time, how about yourself?

JWS: We have had Covid actually.

SH: Ooh, that is nasty!

JWS: With Sue having asthma, she had it worse than me but we are both on the back end of it now so, hopefully, will be back to normal soon.

SH: Well, next week we go to Germany and Italy as we are doing some outdoor shows, which should be good, I like festival shows, they are genuine fun.

JWS: Then, when you come back, you have ‘Foxtrot at 50’ starting?

SH: Yes, that is right, in the autumn. I am looking forward to it, it is an album that is worthy of a revisit, some of it I have not played in 50 years!

JWS: You have also got the ‘Seconds Out Live’ album coming out in September?

SH: Yes, it is the best live album I have ever done. It sounds good, much better than the original album, which was not a good production sadly, whereas this one really does sound good. The drum sounds are better plus we took the key down for Squonk.

I think Genesis did that as well because a lot of those songs were written by non-singers and they forget that voices change as people get older and they can’t reach the high notes as easily as they used to, I know Phil cannot do it now. This latest version is exceptionally fine indeed, I guess time will tell though?

JWS: Yes indeed, I was listening to a friend of yours last week, Nick Fletcher?

SH: Yes, he is great, an extraordinarily accomplished and amazing player, the best jazz rock player in Britain today.

JWS: I was also going back and listening to some early Fleetwood Mac with Peter Green.

SH: Well I saw Peter Green many times over the years, he was always a fabulous player.

JWS: I also heard an album by Ryo Okumoto that you play on as well, a track called Maximum Velocity.

SH: Yes, a friend of mine is also on that album, Michael Whiteman, who sings and plays bass on the album. He is part of a band called I Am The Manic Whale, he is particularly good too, it is interesting that he is also on the album.

I have not heard the finished album though, so I do not know if I even made the cut or if I am one of several guitarists on there but enjoy it anyway.

JWS: There are some great keyboard players out there now like Ryo and, of course, your own Roger King, about time he did a solo album.

SH: I keep telling him he should but he thinks anything he did would not sell so he is reluctant to try.

JWS: Well, maybe he ought to cover songs he likes himself or something?

SH: I will tell him, but he is happy just playing on my stuff, although he will tell me if it is not any good, he can be vocal about it too. But they are all talented players and play like demons at times.

JWS: So what is next for you?

SH: We have been so wrapped up in touring that I have not been able to record much. I have got three songs ready but not had a chance to record them so, hopefully, that will happen before long and then we will be touring ‘Foxtrot’ around the world too, so busy days ahead.    

JWS: Right then Steve, I had best let you get on but thank you once again for your time. Stay safe and well and we will hopefully see you in Buxton in September.

SH: Thanks John, take care of yourself and keep well.