About Me

Music journalist in Birmingham, with a primary interest in hardcore and post-punk.  

Current: Distorted Sound Magazine.

Previously; Gigwise, The Rodeo, Pictor Mag, Rock Sins. 

Contact: jackmcgill999@gmail.com

Recent Work.

ALBUM REVIEW: Freak Frequency — Stuck

Post-punk quickly became a genre that suffered from over saturation in the UK. Every band under the genre trying to beat out the next only encouraged new bands to spawn and have all of the same influences, each a product of the same IDLES loving, FONTAINES D.C. praising, SPORTS TEAM suckling machine to create awful music – a sham of thin noise that covers the genre in a nice little safety blanket that has a THE FALL album cover on the front of it. Fortunately enough, some bands are informed enou

ALBUM REVIEW: Hoo Ha! - Bad//Dreems

Being lied to when you’re in school only leads to a student asking more questions, building a whole backlog of horrible emotions for being lied to, getting older, becoming jaded and bitter. But, there’s an opportunity for clarity amongst all of the negativity if you can channel it correctly; look at BAD//DREEMS for example, they made the critical choice to question, pay attention and observe what happened in the present and past in Australia. Now with their all new, all-questioning album Hoo Ha!

EP REVIEW: Iknowyouknowiknow — Jamie Lenman

JAMIE LENMAN is a prime example of reinventing yourself as a musician when going at it solo. The former REUBEN frontman has been a solo artist for some time now, releasing five albums including his fifth and most recent effort The Atheist which came out just last year. Moving further away from anything suggestively rock orientated, Lenman has learnt to lean on folk tendencies in his new EP Iknowyouknowiknow. Other than it being a pain to type out or read, it’s a damn pleasure to listen to.


ALBUM REVIEW: What's Bad Enough? - Comfort

Glasgow’s COMFORT have released one of the most inspiring albums so far this year, What’s Bad Enough?. Full of unflinching confidence in being different sonically and culturally, it’s a thoroughly exciting listen from start to finish. There’s not much quite like this within punk right now, of this quality – the duo are rare in every sense of the word. Above all though, everything about it represents a queer effort to create.

Merging drums and the most extra synths creates an intense industrial

Weathers: Indulging Love and Mental Health

WEATHERS saw success quickly from the time of 2016, rapidly gaining a dedicated and loving fanbase. Before the three-piece knew it, they were undertaking the responsibility of raising the flag for mental health, fans resonated with their music so much that the idea was thrust upon WEATHERS. Now, two albums down the line they’re preparing to release their third LP, Are We Having Fun?, tackling love for the very first time and figuring out how to approach nostalgia within our lives.

“You know, it

ALBUM REVIEW: Plagueboys - Grave Pleasures

When you look at certain objects, they have certain images and sounds, feelings and emotions associated with them. Take a knife for example, you pick it up nonchalantly to chop vegetables or fillet meat, but there’s also a violence to knives — it’s weaponised and vicious if chosen to be. GRAVE PLEASURES find the same violence in the nihilism scattered throughout their new album Plagueboys. In this gothic and bleak post-punk record the Finnish five-piece dissect some of the most curious of topics

EP REVIEW: Handcuff - Handcuff

South London’s newest punk export HANDCUFF‘s self-titled debut EP is full of tracks self-described as “short songs for bored people”. It couldn’t be more accurate; the EP only spans just over five minutes, the musical equivalent of an in and out jewel heist. The four-piece all hail from different musical tastes, making this a melting pot of fast indie rock and punk with a side of hardcore in there for good measure. Releasing on Church Road Records, it seems to be nothing but a recipe for success

ALBUM REVIEW: The Price Of Progress - The Hold Steady

Sometimes listening needs to be easy going, breathable or let itself be totally absorbed. This is what THE HOLD STEADY have produced, with over 20 years of experience, in their ninth album The Price Of Progress. A rock ‘n’ roll album merged with spoken word lyrics that narrate the human condition and simpler navigation than what is dealt with today. Most records feel like a collection of short stories, but the stories woven throughout this album could make for the read of a lifetime. Shining lig

LIVE REVIEW: Sleeping With Sirens @ O2 Institute, Birmingham

Welcoming SLEEPING WITH SIRENS back to the UK on their second night was an absolute treat for fans in Birmingham on March 14th, with the queue willingly stretching two streets down well before the doors to O2 Institute opened. With STATIC DRESS and CHARMING LIARS supporting, the lineup only enticed fans more.

The night opened up with the American-English hybrid CHARMING LIARS, far more eager than the crowd were at this point they stepped onto the stage with an ominous hum welcoming them to thei

ALBUM REVIEW: More Than This - The Luka State

If you look somewhere between the cities of Manchester and Liverpool you might stumble upon THE LUKA STATE, who’re preaching working-class frustrations from the small town of Winsford. With their debut album Fall In Fall Out already under their belt, they’ve quickly returned in just two years with their rawest work so far; More Than This. The title itself distils the message behind the album, to unforgivingly want more and allow yourself to desire. Their underdog attitude, fuelled by their homet

ALBUM REVIEW: Manic Ride (reissue) - BL'AST!

If you’ve any notion that history in music is essential to inform our own future, then well done, you’re correct. Seeing as that’s the case then you most likely get excited when you find out about musical artefacts being unearthed like something on an archaeological dig in Egypt. Alas, a new artefact has been discovered; BL’AST!’s previously scrapped Take The Manic Ride has now been restored to a whole new glory. Now Manic Ride is due for reissue this Friday March 10th, meticulously remastered b

ALBUM REVIEW: Eternal Life Now - Bad Pelicans

BAD PELICANS emerged from Paris’ punk scene in early 2020; they rode that wave with their previous record and stuck with what they knew but since then have decided to depart from it. They approach with their new album Eternal Life Now, boasting distorted art-rock served with a side of grunge. This Parisian trio have evolved into a being of earthy distortion after the discovery of their new found avant-garde energy.

Eternal Life Now is packed full of gems, plenty of which do what they say on the


Dublin’s The Murder Capital unleash their brand-new single ‘Return My Head’

The past few months have seen Dublin’s The Murder Capital, slowly teasing fans with snippets of their forthcoming album ‘Gigi’s Recovery’. From embracing gorgeous melodies on single ‘Only Good Things’, to having candid conversations of desire in ‘Ethel’, the quintet confirm their departure of the former macabre aesthetic in their newest offering ‘Return My Head’.

The new single is an act of humility, amongst a cacophon

Skullcrusher makes the room a bit too quiet

It’s hard to distinguish where songs start and end throughout Skullcrusher’s debut album. The vocals are thin and refuse to give way for noticeable emotion. Quiet The Room is difficult and despite the overall welcoming sound it doesn’t let you in. Making things too hard to decipher has made this album a solitude that new fans will struggle to breach.

Quiet The Room is puzzling throughout, not with riddles or misdirection but in an attempt to sound intangible, like fog. The problem is that it’s

Curse & Curses talks new EP, writing and London

For the first time ever Cures and Curses AKA Aaron Akpojaro has a new outlook on his musical career. It has structure and plans to it. A timeline that he can see ahead of himself is on display to help him navigate a daunting journey and intimidating industry. He sits in a dark corner of his family home in an attempt to avoid the upstairs noise, coincidentally, so am I.

We begin with his brand new EP Liberate Me which for such a fresh artist feels wonderfully complete, like a nicely wrapped pres

Katy J Pearson on the sound of the morning

The incredibly humble Katy J Pearson has seen a rise over the past two years since the release of her debut album, Return. Now, she has opened the floodgates with her follow-up, Sound Of The Morning. Her voice remains as sweet as ever as she tackles things that have attempted to sour her: despite having such a dreamy feel, she is firmly in touch with her reality.

“I’m very happy with how [Sound Of The Morning] has been received,” she points out, sitting in her parents’ frontroom. “It’s been ama

Talking Change with Porij

Over the past few years many of us have seen Porij rise tremendously. It was an exciting time to speak with a band that creates such a wonderful sound. What’s more, it turns out that they’re bloody lovely!

The festival season has only amplified what success Poij were already seeing. For those of you lucky enough to have been dancing in a field to hit single, ‘Figure Skating’, you’ll understand why people are taking notice.

Despite it being swelteringly hot on the day of our interview, Porij se

LIVE REVIEW: SeeYouSpaceCowboy @ The Flapper, Birmingham

SEEYOUSPACECOWBOY brought The Flapper alive and had complete control over fans in Birmingham on June 18th – they were the puppet masters for the night. The Flapper is, to put it plainly, a sweat box – under normal circumstances there would be even less space, if not for the mound of people being squashed at the barrier in front of frontwoman Connie Sgarbossa.

Kicking off the night was UPRAISED, unfortunately because of a dreadful parking situation in Birmingham, we missed the Wolverhampton hard

EP REVIEW: Roger Podacter - Laces Out

Marching out of Orange County, New York, LACES OUT have presented their first venture of 2022 with their Roger Podacter EP. Full of moments to lash out to, euphoric choruses and riffs that could cut through an enemy like a battle axe, this second EP is an amalgamation of over 20 years of experience between the three band members.

The EP opens with lead track Steady, a post-punk whirlwind that has dominating battlecry vocals and writhing riffs. Its verses are fast and breathless, meanwhile the c

Sinead O’Brien talks growth, the past and her mind run wild

Sinead O’Brien and her music are shrouded in mystery, enigmatic scrawlings from her mind. Described as a ‘post-punk poet’, which is pretty fitting, she fills tracks with gabby lyrics that make you feel quite at home but are still complex enough to intertwine multiple meanings into them.

Upon greeting and shaking away that horrible awkwardness that accompanies Zoom interviews, Sinead appeared modest when speaking and very humbled by her recent Glastonbury performances. “The first thing we did wh
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