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New music review with Skaters and Pigeon Wigs

Our weekly fix of the best new music as Julia Mason brings us her reviews of new singles from Skaters and Pigeon Wigs

Logo for Blowtorch Records blog series Cool Sounds From The Underground


Track: Girls Like You

New York band Skaters with new release Girls Like you

New York’s SKATERS formed in Manhattan's Lower East Side ten years ago. They had a tumultuous rise being signed to Warner Brothers Records after releasing their debut EP. SKATERS toured the world, had global critical acclaim from NME to the New York Times and two years later released their debut album Manhattan (2014). The band were then dropped by their label, self-released their second album Rock and Roll Bye Bye (2017) independently, and disappeared … until now.

SKATERS announce their return with the release of a new track entitled Girls Like You, their first new material since Rock and Roll Bye Bye. It's is a track full of swagger and energy. The confident vocal seems to be delivered with an effortless ease. Combined with tight guitars and drums this is a track which sees SKATERS dip their toe back into the waters of music, and they quite rightly sound very happy to be back.

Lead singer and songwriter Michael Ian Cummings shares the following on the track: "This is a lost single from our Rock and Roll Bye Bye LP, our accidental last record. Could this be the start of a new chapter for SKATERS? All we can do is try. But for now, it’s more of a hello again than bye bye.”

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Artist: Pigeon Wigs

Track: Radiation Blues

Cardiff band Pigeon Wigs release Radiation Blues
Photo Elijah Thomas

Cardiff’s Pigeon Wigs are back with new single Radiation Blues, the latest to be taken from their new mini-album Rock By Numbers which is set for release on 7 July via Clwb Music. The single is inspired by the events of the Chernobyl disaster that shook the world in 1986.

Vocalist Harry Franklin-Williams expands on the unusual subject matter behind Radiation Blues:

“Lyrically the song is a play-by-play of the Chernobyl disaster. I read accounts of people involved and used that as a way of retelling the story of this awful event through a more easily digestible medium. Hopefully I’ve done the event justice and been respectful to those involved. It’s such a massively intense subject so I think the harder, more classic bluesy rock approach was a good framing device.”

The five-piece alt-rock band have produced a track suitably wild and untethered to reflect on one of the most significant man-made disasters in recent times. It’s raw with electric guitar riffs which are at times unpolished and rough, as is befitting the subject matter. Add in the howling vocal and you have a track which is absolutely the blues but with added fury. And yet the mid-track section takes a breather, as if in respect for those impacted before the passionate outrage explodes again.

Radiation Blues is the second track to be taken from Pigeon Wigs’ upcoming mini-album Rock By Numbers, following Hold Up! Recorded before the band had played a single gig, guitarist Louis Jugessur and lead-singer Harry Franklin-Williams wrote the mini-album in the latter’s living room over the course of a few weeks. He jokes: “We wanted to be able to arrive on the scene fully formed like a baby with a moustache or furniture not from IKEA.”

Pigeon Wigs have gained glowing reviews from a range of alt-rock contemporaries such as Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard as well as Panic Shack who enthused: “all of Jagger’s love-children couldn’t write a better banger than this.”


JUNE 24/06/23 - Southampton Heartbreakers (For Breakfast) 28/06/23 - London, The Lexington (CVC) JULY 22/07/23 - Cardiff, Clwb Ifor Bach - ‘Rock By Numbers’ Launch Show 26/07/23 - Bristol, Crofters Rights 29/07/23 - Kendal Calling Festival


05/08/23 - Newport, Le Pub headline

17/08/23 - Green Man Festival

25/08/23 - Shambala Festival


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