Tag Archives: scottish rock


My new favourite band – Fatherson


I like my Scottish rock.  Be it Biffy, Idlewild, Twin Atlantic, The Xcerts, Frightened Rabbit, Lightguides, So Many Animal Calls, The King Hats, Marvel Heights, Carnivores, Make Sparks….just shut the fuck up and take my money.

There’s been a new band on the horizon for a couple of years that started to maybe, possibly blow everyone of these out of the water.  Chances are if you live in the South West of England, you might not have heard Fatherson before…..well if that’s the case, get your ears around this little lot.

You’re welcome!

You can get a free download of their last single ‘Mine For Me’ Here

Their self financed début album ‘I Am An Island’ is out on the 7th of April.  There will be a review forthcoming in the next few weeks, but if you like what you hear, you can buy a compilation of all their EP’s right now by heading here:  https://fathersonuk.bandcamp.com/album/fatherson-ep-bundle

So Many Animal Calls- She Was Speaking From The Bottom Of The Sea cover artwork

New Single: So Many Animal Calls – She Was Speaking From The Bottom Of The Sea

One of our sure-fire tips for greatness in 2013 and beyond; So Many Animal Calls look set to finish the year how they began, with the release of another brilliant single.

With less hooks and more melody than the previous release ‘Traps’ the new single ‘She Was Speaking From The Bottom Of The Sea’ which is released on the 3/12 via Overlook Records shows another side to the band and one that highlights that this is a band with a full arsenal of styles and influences ready to mix it with the very best of Scottish rock.

The single is also the lead track from the bands forthcoming EP ‘Almost Something Is Better Than Nothing’ due out in March 2013.

Their début single sold out on physical format really quickly and this one will be no different so get in early when it’s released.

Here’s the video for the track

Make-Sparks-Band photo

Interview: Make Sparks

Ahead of their appearance at Leopallooza, we caught up with Scottish rockers Make Sparks to fire a few questions at them.

Clean Slate Music: Hi guys, thanks for taking the time to have a chat.  We’re all stoked to see you on the bill for Leopallooza, for those going that might not be familiar with you could you give a brief introduction as to who you are and what you do?

Craig Make Sparks: No worries thanks for getting in touch! We’re looking forward to the trip down. I’m Craig and I sing and play the guitar in Make Sparks

CSM: You’ve got a busy summer coming up; it’s great to see you so far from your home in Dundee.  Have you ever played as far south as Cornwall before?

MS: Ok, (flips over to google maps) as it turns out this will be the farthest (furthest?) south we’ve ever ventured. Deepest, darkest Cornwall. Whats the time difference? 

CSM: What can we expect from a ‘Make Sparks’ set?

MS: Nothing less than the contractually obligated amount of time!

CSM: It’ll have been just over a year since you released ‘Rewound’ are there many new tunes kicking about now?

MS: Yes, well actually Rewound was more of a compilation of our first two EP’s so its been a couple of years since we first released those songs. We’ve done a couple of double A-side singles and another EP since then and also have been working on a few new tracks that may worm their way into the set for this summer.

CSM: I discovered you as part of the Lightguides/Make Sparks double single.  Any chance of smuggling those boys over the border with you when you come down?

MS: Ha! Unfortunately Mark has been smuggled away to Israel apparently for the whole summer. I think they just have a couple of gigs left and he’s off to seek spiritual enlightenment. We’ll try to squeeze the drummist and guitar 2 (as we affectionately call them) into the van but I make no guarantees.

CSM: With such a long trip down are you planning on making a weekend of it?

MS: We’ll definitely be there for a bit of a party. Its cash upfront right?

CSM: How does ‘Make Sparks’ prepare for a festival?  Any essentials you have to bring with you (apart from instruments…duh!)

MS: Our roadie Shep always insists that we bring him along. So then Bobby (Bass) always insists that Shep brings some air freshener. Murray our manager usually brings a square sausage for Barbequeing. He gets homesick easily. I’ll travel with my usual Harem of willing young ladies and Adam our drummer literally doesn’t leave the house without his The Winter Tradition Tshirt and fanclub badge. 

CSM: Thanks very much we look forward to partying with you down the front at Leopallooza in July.

The King Hats - First Light EP cover

EP Review: The King Hats – First Light (Mantelpiece Recordings)

I came across The King Hats while searching associated artists of bands like Twin Atlantic, Lightguides etc.  I’m rather glad I did.  While most bands in Scotland seem to (quite rightly) taking their cue from bands like Biffy Clyro, these boys are producing raw indie rock that’s more reminiscent of Idlewild when they first burst onto the scene with Captain and Hope Is Important.

Recorded in the band’s flat, that low-fi sound really rings though and suits the style of music they are trying to create down to a tee.  A combination of sharp lyrics, killer hooks and driving rhythms fuel the majority of tracks with the relentless pace only dropping occasionally.

‘Victoria’s Secret’, the first track on the EP is absolutely HUGE, it cleverly draws the listener in to a false sense of security with its relatively softly paced opening intro and first verse before it all kicks off.  The track is a beautiful mix of this suppressed melodic verse and full on indie punk during the mantra like choruses.  It’ll only take a few listens before you’re screaming out “YOU MEAN THE WORLD TO ME”.

The pace is kept up with ‘I Smell A Rat’, again a great contrast with the frantic guitars and Lead Singer Alan Power’s almost lackadaisical vocals which get more energetic as the track evolves.

‘Happy New Year’ relates an incident that happened to Power the night before New Year, when he was found naked on the bathroom floor by his (then) girlfriend after passing out from over indulgence.  The song is an homage to her for saving his life.

‘It Feels Like I’m Falling’ has a wonderful pace to it, and starts off with a brief respite from the previous songs onslaught….it doesn’t last long though before we’re off again.  As with the first track it’s a great mixed bag of subdued bubbling under verse to stomp on the overdrive pedal and hang your balls out loud chorus.

Slightly more downbeat than the previous tracks on the EP but with no less vitriol.  Full of angst, crashing drums and slamming guitars this is how to close your debut EP.

And that’s it……oh wait, not it’s not.  If you buy the CD version of the EP you will be treated to 2 more tracks.  ‘Brand New’ and ‘Time in Japan’.  I’m going to keep my thoughts on these a secret, to hopefully encourage you to go and buy it :)

Rating: 9/10
Best Track: It Feels Like I’m Falling
For Fans of: Idlewild, Reuben, The Xcerts, (early) Green Day


1. Victoria’s Secret
2. I Smell A Rat
3. Happy New Year
4. It Feels Like I’m Falling
5. 6/8
6. Brand New*
7. Time In Japan*
(*CD only bonus tracks)

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/thekinghats

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/thekinghats

Soundcloud: http://soundcloud.com/thekinghats

Buy the EP on CD: http://www.facebook.com/thekinghats?sk=app_150178545006427

Buy the EP Digitally: http://thekinghats.bandcamp.com/album/first-light

Marvel Heights - Band pic 1

Interview: Marvel Heights

We sent over a bunch of questions for Marvel Heights to answer, to coincide with their release of their debut EP ‘Make No Waves’ (http://cleanslatemusic.org/2012/01/25/ep-review-marvel-heights-make-no-waves/).  Singer Sarah Dyer kindly sent them back just in time for it all to be published on Burns Night.

Clean Slate Music: For those who won’t be familiar with you yet, please introduce yourselves and what Marvel Heights is all about?

Marvel Heights: We started writing our own music while still in school, but since we’ve had a few member changes and really evolved – the five of us have grown up a lot too. We think we bring a lot of honest but powerful energy to our shows, and we differentiate ourselves from other local bands with our differing influences within the band. These go from The Strokes to Sigor Ros to Taking Back Sunday.

CSM:It’s an interesting band name is there a story behind the name?

MH: We really wish there was! It really just came from having to choose a name in about say, ten minutes to enter a talent show, and our singer Sarah suggested Marvel, relating to the comics. We’ve never really looked back since, it stuck, as it was pretty different to other names we had heard. It would feel strange to be called something else, it’s got so much history as we came up with it when we were so young.

CSM: Make No Waves is your debut EP, which is a real cracker, is it everything you hoped it would be?

MH: We’re really very happy with the E.P, as we got to work with producer Chris Gordon, who just understood exactly what we wanted to say. The songs all relate to us coming together as a band, and the territory that comes with. That’s when it all gels, when the vibes are all right, the songs make sense musically and lyrically for us.

CSM: The Scottish music scene is amazing at the moment with bands like Biffy, Twin Atlantic and The Xcerts leading the way, how big an inspiration is this to you guys?

MH: People really underestimate Scottish bands, but with such bands as the ones you’ve named, the scene has never been stronger, which is great for bands trying to make their mark. It’s just the beginning, which is a great inspiration for us.

CSM: Any plans to tour south of the border?

MH: For sure. The plan is to play as many Scottish shows as we can, hopefully this will give us more confidence playing down south, where the competition really heats up.

CSM: You seem to be in a nice little group of bands coming through with others like So Many Animal Calls, Lightguides, Make Sparks, The King Hats and Part Wind Part Wolf to name but a few.  Is there a good camaraderie between bands?

MH: There’s definitely an energy shared yes! They all have that in common, it’s a real show, and I think everyone relates to that. We recently played with Carnivores at King Tut’s along with So Many Animal Calls, and Kenny had some interesting vocal warm ups that we joined in on…guy has a set of lungs!

CSM: Do you have plans to record a full album soon?

MH: Eventually we’d love to, right now it’s about just playing as many shows as we can, it’s what we love doing most.

CSM: Finally hopes for 2012?

MH: As long as folks keep coming to the gigs, we’re pretty happy! We hope everyone loves it as much as we love doing it.

Thanks to the band for taking the time to answer the questions.  I can feel a trip up to Scotland soon to take in a show.