Now Hear This: Alex Baker on the best new doom-punk, hardcore and classic rock

Kerrang! Radio host Alex Baker brings you the best new bands to check out now, including Witch Fever, Last Hounds and Florence Black…

Now Hear This: Alex Baker on the best new doom-punk, hardcore and classic rock
Alex Baker
Witch Fever pic:
Debbie Ellis

I found myself walking down Marylebone high street in London the other day, for the first time in nearly a year and a half. Being back out in the world feels like a new and strange experience, so I turned to one of the world’s true constants to help me make sense of it: Architects. As I stomped down the road listening to Death Is Not Defeat, Memento Mori, Discourse Is Dead and about an hour's worth of other classics old and new, their music – as it always does – had an almost physical impact on me.

Brilliant music, truly godlike music, knits itself into the tapestry of your soul. It’s quite astonishing when you think about how powerful that is. Even though I didn’t write a single note of their music, when you listen to them, you understand a part of me. Does that make any sense?

Anyway… I was writing about Architects and playing them on my radio shows back when we were all kids and they hadn’t even released Nightmares yet. So, in that same spirit, here’s some brand-spanking-new bands that you need to get your ears around, who could well be the superstars of tomorrow…

Hell Can Wait

Diving straight in with a band who are, fittingly, from Architects’ Brighton hometown, Hell Can Wait deliver dense, dramatic, expressive hardcore. It's music that grabs you by the heart, pulls you close and whispers into your ear, 'Life is so hard, but everything will be okay.' I mean, they don’t literally say that, but high levels of catharsis are experienced with every listen, believe me. Or, better yet, try it for yourself below.

Shai Skye

I’m often asked what the 'secret sauce' is for artists' success. Let me tell you: there are a lot of factors, but one thing that is nearly always a constant is utter commitment. If you want to make it, there can be no plan B – you have to be all-in. Simple.

That commitment can take many forms, and although my advice will always be 'stay in school', Shai Skye broke away from the traditional route at just 16 and moved from her hometown amidst the snowy mountains of Alaska to the brutal realities of Hollywood, to pursue her passion for music. With influences ranging from No Doubt to Fleetwood Mac, the breadth and potential for Shai Skye is limitless.

Last Hounds

With swaggery, Gallows-inspired riffs, old-school hip-hop influences and gang vocals that will ignite crowds anywhere, Last Hounds deliver tune after tune. They've also piqued the interest of one of the UK’s coolest record labels, Venn. Their debut album, Burden, drops in October, and is set to excite fans of thundering hardcore, as well as punk fans who want to hear a socially conscious message. Their tune Bleed is a great example of this, a 'fuck you, to our so-called leaders' from frontman Mike Sketcher.

Witch Fever

From Manchester come a band who have something to say, a band expressing themes of female empowerment and female anger, a band who are pouring that energy into creating deeply powerful music, and a band who want to help create a safe space for women and LGBTQ+ people. Witch Fever create a sound that blends the darkness of Sabbath with the punk vibes of IDLES and Savages. It’s doom-punk, it’s as dark as the night, and their debut album Reincarnate is set to set the scene alight. Join them.

Florence Black

I don’t know what it is about Wales. The beautiful scenery? The fresher-than-fresh air? The coast? Snowdonia? Who knows. But something about that beautiful country inspires bands to make bloody excellent music. From Merthyr Tydfil – also home to Love Island’s Liam – come Florence Black, rock superstars of tomorrow.

One of the hardest things to do in contemporary music is find a fresh take on a classic sound, and this three-piece have carved out a sonic identity that will encourage classic rock fans to nod sagely in appreciation while also appealing to the next generation. Check out their latest riff-laden offering below!

Hear Alex Baker present the Fresh Blood Show on Kerrang! Radio, Wednesday nights from 10pm.

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