By Spencer Scott

The Edwards Shop has undergone a little bit of a makeover. We shut our doors for a week, and we’ve come back new and improved. Make sure you pop in and see what we’ve done with the place – we’re looking better than ever. Even though we were closed for a little bit, the local music hasn’t stopped at all!

Rort Menace, image by Rod Manning Photography

Rort Menace, image by Rod Manning Photography

Rort Menace have dropped off their debut album Reid’s Mistake. The Swansea three-piece have been playing together since they were in high school. The band is based around the shared vocals of brother/sister combo Will and Maddie Mitchell. Both get their chance to shine on this album, filled with 80s hardcore-influenced punk tracks. This album was recorded and produced by Jay Whalley from Frenzal Rhomb – and that’s definitely an influence here, along with bands like Minor Threat and L7.

Staying on the subject of all things heavy, Newcastle hardcore label Last Ride Records have dropped a few different releases off at the shop of late. A fair amount of these releases are on cassette. The cassette tape is rising as a format for local releases; its low production cost and sturdy structure make it a viable option for bands looking to get their foot in the door. New on cassette for Last Ride Records is the demo from The Hard Word, and a two-track EP teaser from Primitive Blast. Newcastle has always had a vibrant hardcore scene, so make sure you check it out.

Wavevom have released their debut album Eternal Summer and dropped some CDs into the shop. The two-piece cut their teeth in the no-fi scene, and are one of the bands spearheading the garage rock revival that is sweeping Newcastle. There’s a nice surf influence running through the songs, like the opener ‘Endless Blue’. It’s a release that feels like the culmination of years of hard work from this band, there’s a river of joy that flows through this album.

Finally, local singer/songwriter Nicholas Connors has brought his new five-track CD into the shop – it comes in a charming handmade CD case, hand-numbered for the collectors out there! His baritone vocals truly boom out of the speakers, engaging you in his take on blues and soul. There’s a Nick Cave vibe to be picked up in this too.