Black Rose Burning

Black Rose Burning
The Wheel
PV Recording Company

Stop whatever you are doing and listen to this album. The opening 30 seconds of the opening track, An Anthem for the Strange, should be enough to convince you that this album should be heard from start to finish.

I’m not going to give you a rundown of every track; there are twelve of them that run this album up to 48 minutes of excellent music. I will tell you that this album was appealing because I heard elements of new wave and the whole late ’70s and 80’s sensibilities. There are plenty of examples of what I am talking about. I am not going to list them; that would be a long and tedious treatise on my taste in music. Suffice to say that this album is strong in every sense of that word. The musicianship is sharp, and the lyrics and singing are consistently good. I can’t find a chink in the armour in the album. Listen for yourself; I don’t think I exaggerate when I call this a contender for standout albums of 2021.

Black Rose Burning was formed in 2018 by instrumentalist, producer and engineer George Grant, whose soulful vocal delivery, instantly recognizable voice, unique grooves and solid instrumentation are standout features of this music.

George Grant’s influences are multi-generational while maintaining an overall succinct flow and feel, spanning multiple music styles. Roughly 40 years of songwriting across many genres has helped George embellish on clever hooks, drive and the gothic-pop sensibilities of The Cult’s early years.

“This release was a labour of love after the success of my first record. I was working through and adjusting to the post covid landscape and took solace in having the time to make another proper record,” says George Grant

“Over the past four years or so, quite a few relationships that I valued were destroyed in an instant – over politics or just basic unacceptable differences. Then came Covid, and I lost a few more for reasons beyond their control. There was a lot of anger in my first record. This one is more melancholic than angry. I write about outer space a lot on both records. I find it inspirational. It’s vastness. It’s the place I’d most like to go to. Maybe the place I’d most like to escape to might be a better definition.”

The Wheel‘ was recorded in George Grant’s own studio, PV Recording Company, which has over the years hosted such artists as Emelio Zeff China (Peter Murphy), Knox Chandler (Siouxsie And The Banshees), Chibi (The Birthday Party Massacre), Nellie McKay, Julia Marcel, Paul Bakija (Reagan Youth), Ego Likeness and Voltaire (with whom Grant also played bass for ten years).

Grant has also assembled for live performances, including guitarist Frank Morin (World Inferno Friendship Society) and drummer Luis Infantas (Monster Zero).

Available on CD and digitally across the internet, including Spotify and Apple Music. The Wheel can also be ordered directly from the band via Bandcamp.

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‘Anthem’ teaser 

‘Automatic Man’ teaser 

‘No Love Lost’ teaser 

‘Solar Angels’ teaser 

‘Black Sun Saturday’ teaser 


Apple Music

Ambiguous Poems About Death

I listened to this excellent album and found that I could offer little more than this, which I borrowed heavily from the press release. I liked what I heard, it is immensely catchy music, and the lyrics are witty, funny and acerbic at times. I endorse Ambiguous Poems About Death. I also nominate it for the album title of the year award.

Ahead of releasing their new album ‘Ambiguous Poems About Death’ via Manchester’s Analogue Trash label on November 26, British synthpop electro duo Spray present ‘Blurred In The Background,’ a clever and catchy taster of this 12-track collection, following up two ever-danceable witty singles – ‘Hammered In An Airport’ and ‘Félicette (Space Cat).’

Spray is music-addict siblings Jenny McLaren (vocals, guitars) and Ricardo Autobahn (synths). They have managed to build an enviable following of devotees to Spray’s brand of danceable and subversive indie disco pop since their 2002 debut ‘Living In Neon’ LP. They are also responsible for a smashing cover of Lisa Lougheed’s ‘Run With Us’ (also ‘The Raccoons’ theme song). Their unique brand of oblique synthpop is catchy as hell, both lyrically and musically, bringing them mainstream pop success in an alternate universe.

Spray’s musical DNA traces back to The Cuban Boys, who recorded one of the best Peel Sessions ever and went head-to-head with Sir Cliff Richard in a Christmas Chart Battle. Their hit single ‘Cognoscenti Vs Intelligentsia’ (a.k.a. The Hamster Dance Song) sold a million copies, reached number 4 in the UK single charts and landed them on Top of the Pops. In the words of John Peel, it was “the most requested song I’ve had since God Save The Queen.” They topped the John Peel Festive 50 Charts twice.

Spray was the secret weapon behind the UK’s 2006 Eurovision hit ‘Teenage Life,’ written and produced with Daz Sampson. Their treated vocals were used on the track. Ricardo Autobahn and Sampson’s dance version of ‘Rhinestone Cowboy’ (as Rikki and Daz) with the legendary Glen Campbell went Top-10. Spray recorded music with anarchic BBC star Hacker T. Dog. Ricardo also plays keyboards with Welsh punk-pop icons Helen Love.

Spray is again ready to entertain us with their new long-player – they’re second with Analogue Trash, following 2019’s ‘Failure Is Inevitable.’ Jenny and Ricardo have used the intervening time wisely. They have been writing, terrorizing social media, and working with puppets. They have also done several live shows, including August’s first post lockdown live offering in Liverpool.

“In early 2020, we bought a Behringer TD-3, one of the company’s excellent Roland TB-303 knockoffs. We had an idea of putting out a quick acid house-style album in the summer, something short, spiky and electropunk. This did not come to fruition as, like many, Spray found themselves locked down in separate locations, in their case on either side of Lancashire,” says Ricardo Autobahn.

“This album evolved into something a lot more elaborate as the pandemic went on. We tried not to write songs about the global situation because we figured everybody would be doing that. Still, the outside world couldn’t help seeping in.”

Undeterred by distance, recording and production duties were split between Spray Studio 1 (decaying, seen better days) and Spray Studio 2 (shiny, newly refurbished, sweet-smelling) and the album took shape with the TD-3 employed in all the songs, somewhere.

Packed full of acerbic wit with tongue firmly in cheek when needed for maximum effect, ‘Ambiguous Poems About Death‘ will delight fans new and old from the first listen. The long-player will be released on November 26 digitally and on CD, the latter format featuring separate blue cover artwork). It can be pre-ordered at

‘Blurred In The Background’

‘Hammered In An Airport’


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Félicette (Space Cat)’ 


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Mockingbird Love

Legendary Scottish music-sculptor Robin Guthrie has released a beautiful new 4-track EP, called ‘Mockingbird Love’, via Soleil Après Minuit with distribution in North America
via Darla and Europe covered by Cargo.

The first in a series of releases that Guthrie will be releasing this year, ‘Mockingbird Love’ is the first new music from Guthrie since the ‘Another Flower’ album with the late Harold Budd, released just days before Budd’s passing in December 2020. Brooklyn Vegan says that this music is “typically gorgeous instrumental, drenched in Guthrie’s signature shimmery layers”.

“Of late I’ve been very focused on my instrumental music, which is increasingly an intense endeavour, all the more so as I don’t really share it with anyone. So here I am, finally, with some words about my next releases. ‘Mockingbird Love’, a four track EP, is the first small collection of music that I have felt comfortable to release for a while. This is my October,” says Robin Guthrie.

“‘Mockingbird Love’ is concise, to the point, with a big sound and baritone guitars. But it’s just an appetizer as my November release and subsequent December releases will show. I have everything in production now and, hmmm, what could go wrong?”

39 years on from Cocteau Twins‘ debut release ‘Garlands’, Robin Guthrie has certainly been the most prolific member and remains the grand master of soundscapes, offering a steady and stellar stream of material over the years. Having formed Violet Indiana with Siobhan de Maré (formerly of Mono) following Cocteau Twins’ dissolution, he has since strongly focused on creating instrumental music, while also releasing collaborative albums with Harold Budd, John Foxx (Ultravox) and Mark Gardener (Ride).

Apart from the film scores for Gregg Araki’s ‘Mysterious Skin’ and ‘White Bird In a Blizzard’, which were co-written with Harold Budd, Guthrie has also scored the film ‘3:19’Kaboom and the TV series ‘Now Apocalypse’

More recently, Robin produced and mixed the new Heligoland album ‘This Quiet Fire’, as well as creating remixes for artists such as HatchieFawns of
ResplandorUmmagmaUlrich Schnauss and Tamaryn at his studio in France.

‘Mockingbird Love’ is out now on CD, as well as digitally, on all major platforms. it can be obtained directly from the artist via Bandcamp.

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Anthony OKs

There’s nothing worth reading on this page except the links to this amazing new recording:

Anthony OKS – In The Garden (EP)

I lost count of how many times I listened to this. I can’t write anything to describe it with grace and accuracy, you just have to hear it for yourself. I am going to sip on a coffee and listen to it again while you do the same, hopefully.

Anthony OKS – In The Garden (EP)

Anthony Oh-Kay-Ess
INSTAGRAM: @anthonyoks
TWITTER: @AnthonyOKSmusic
FACEBOOK: @AnthonyOKSMusic
Trevor Murphy |

Anthony OKS – In The Garden (EP)

D I S C O V E R:

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Creux Lies

Post-punk outfit Creux Lies have announced that they will release their second full-length album, ‘Goodbye Divine,’ via Freakwave, a Berlin-based label part of the Schubert Music Europe group. Nearly a year in the making, fans can expect both arrivals and departures from what they may be expecting, as the band offers a complete range of emotions throughout this collection. The previously released the monster single Misunderstanding to glowing reviews.

Hailing from Sacramento, California, Creux Lies has many parts. Ean Clevenger is on vocal duty and programming. Barry Crider plays guitars as well and contributes his vocal talent. Pounding out the bass lines, we have Kyle Vorst. Last but not least, David Wright conjures magic on synth and drum programming.

Know far and wide for their reverb to the max guitar work, inventive synth constructs, and layers of high-octane vocals, Creux Lies have paid their respects to the dark power-pop/punk of the 80s and 90s and have emerged with a sound that pays its respects to the past while charging into the future.

“Misunderstanding emerged from part of this strange writing session/coping moment during the world shut down, awakened with this “whoa-oh, oh-oh” in my head from a dream and went to the computer just after dawn. As with many tracks on this latest album, my tentative register was landing a bit lower from trying to sing it out in the early morning hours. So, the profound moody thing resonated, and the song unfolded around my fingers on the synths,” says Ean Clevenger.

The Creux added some great additions during production and elevated this song to what it is today. Ironically, the lyrics and message behind the track illuminate a moment of clarity when the misunderstanding of a perspective actually reveals itself as absolute authenticity.”



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