Possessor Sign To APF Records: Exclusive Interview

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APF Records is delighted to welcome bloodthirsty stoner thrash trio POSSESSOR to the family. We will be releasing their new album during the Spring of 2019. High-octane. Super-fast. Horror-infused heavy metal dirt. From South London. Oh yes.

In advance of that, we caught up with vocalist / guitarist Graham Bywater to talk about all things Possessor.

APF: Welcome to the APF family. What attracted to you to the label, and which of your 16 label mates are you a fan of?

GB: Hi. Well firstly thanks for having us! It’s an honour to be a part of it. APF has always caught my attention when scrolling through social media as it seems from the very outset to be, as you say, like a little family. The enthusiasm and camaraderie surrounding APF comes across first and foremost and you can tell you have a great time with what you do! And obviously that’s the most important thing. 

I’d have to say that Trevor’s Head and Under are probably my favourites so far on the label but the all-out filth award has to go to those bruisers in Tronald. You can almost taste that band when you hear them. Haha. 

APF: For those new to Possessor, give us a potted history of the band….. and tell people where in your back catalogue they should visit first if they haven’t heard any of your material yet.

GB: Well. As with most bands I’d probably say check out latest album, “The Ripper”, but it’s predecessor “Dead By Dawn” is possibly my personal favourite as it actually feels like an old eighties horror flick on VHS. Something we strive to recreate in our sound. If “Dead by Dawn” is The Evil Dead then “The Ripper” is like Wolf Creek, American Mary or something bigger budget and glossier. By our standards anyhow. We see most things as links to cinema just as much as to music. 

The band started in 2014 with the grubby “Electric Hell” album which, along with the following years “Stay Dead” EP, I played everything on. I wasn’t even considering it as a live band as I’ve always found the writing and recording side of things much less stressful but that quickly changed as the band spread its wings to a three piece and started gigging quite prolifically. 

When “Dead by Dawn” came out in 2016 (on the then newly founded Graven Earth Records from Colorado), we were asked to head over to Portugal to play Sonic Blast festival with big names such as Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats and Truckfighters etc…(sadly Eyehategod cancelled at the very last minute). Anyhow…that was probably the first time I started taking it a little more seriously. Or less, depending on how much beer I’d had. That was a reasonably reckless party for two days and I don’t ever want to be stuck in an airport, hungover, alone and with all my gear for eleven hours in just a t shirt and jeans ever again. 

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APF: Critics call you “prolific”, as you’ve released a fair amount of material in a short time. Has there been a creative urge behind releasing five albums, EPs and singles over four years – or do you just have a short attention span? 

GB: Well we haven’t really released that much. Three albums, an EP and an online single. All the other releases on our Bandcamp page are crummy live bootlegs. I do find it hard to not write music though. If I wasn’t making riffs of my own I’d just be playing Metallica or Kiss songs anyway so I may as well create. I guess life is moving fast so it’s wise to not waste time. 

APF: Fitting Possessor into a genre is near on impossible – and this is a good thing (you’re sound is unique). Tell us about the music that has inspired the three of you, and which bits have ended up in your sonic melange.

GB: Categories can be a bit lazy. We just play what we like and I feel like that does us the world of good! 

At the moment all I’m listening to is Swedish Death Metal stuff like Dismember, and Carbonized. Ellie loves Primus and Eyehategod, Bean is consistently crazy for Judas Priest and Dio…so why not combine the vibes.

I love the ethic of bands like Darkthrone. They totally do it for themselves and shun genre tags as they only seem to hold them back. I totally understand why though, when a popular style becomes more of a trend it benefits a band to jump on a bandwagon, otherwise you can get totally overlooked.

I like the more diverse gig bills though. I mean, who wants to go see four bands in a row that sound exactly the same? I want Possessor to stand out at a gig, even if we are total shit. 

To me it doesn’t make any sense that bands these days are so eager to pigeonhole their music. If it’s good it’s good. Look at Nirvana, L7  and those nineties dudes. They aren’t any one single genre. Nirvana were punk, pop, metal, indie, new wave, experimental…and that is why they were so bloody successful! 

But I guess when this band started I wanted to sound a bit like Kyuss playing Slayer. So there’s that.

APF: You’ve not played many gigs outside of London and the South East of England. Any reason behind that, and do you plan to play further afield? For those of us who haven’t seen you live yet, what can we expect from a Possessor show?

GB: We probably should look into more shows further afield. We’ve done a few but to be honest, we haven’t played live a great deal this last year. I would love to play more shows up North as it would be special playing to a totally different crowd and seeing how we go down. Manchester, Nottingham, Birmingham, all place we need to crush. 

We don’t over rehearse our music. We keep things raw and at times things can be unpredictable. You’ll have to just come and see us to find out more.

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APF: Your first release on APF Records is due out in 2019. Can you tell us anything about it yet? Who will be recording it?

GB: The upcoming album is a little different but very much a Possessor record. It’s gonna have less songs as the running time of some of the new tracks seems to have sky rocketed. There just may be a prog opus! Kinda like our version of the “Hemispheres” album by our hero’s Rush. Haha. 

There’s also more of a vicious punk feel to some of the material. Discharge, Germs, Accused etc..four to the floor. Motörhead meets Gamma Ray. Unsane meets Church of Misery. Endless John Coltrane worship. It’s all going in the pot/pit. 

Expect something unruly that’ll keep you up at night and a naturally gnarly progression.

We hope you like it. 

APF: What’s the best gig you’ve ever played, and why? 

GB: Actually the recent Birthdays show was a real blinder. There was a special energy in the air. I don’t think it was just me that felt that magic.

I also really enjoyed our live gig stream from The Crobar in London back in 2017. That was a blast! As was our show at the 12 Bar (RIP) and of course our infamous pool party show in Moledo. I don’t really remember many others at this moment. 

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APF: What do you want to achieve with Possessor which you haven’t already?

GB: We just want to spread the unholy gospel and make sure everyone has heard Possessor. 

Whenever we sell merch overseas it baffles me that there are so many people around the world who seem to love what we do enough to stick our name on their chests. It’s great. And we really appreciate it. 

I’d like us to be remembered in a similar way The Misfits or The Melvins are…weirdos who watched one too many horror films as teenagers. 

 

Possessor’ new album will be out on APF Records next year. In the meantime you can listen to and buy their back catalogue at:

https://possessor.bandcamp.com/

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Barbarian Hermit – Solitude And Savagery

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BARBARIAN HERMIT new album available to pre-order from:

https://apfrecords.bigcartel.com

Hailing from Manchester, UK, BARBARIAN HERMIT are scheduled to release their album  Solitude and Savagery on November 16th via APF Records. The quintet play a heady mix of downtuned, fuzz-laden guitars kicking out some of the raunchiest riffs in rock over elephantine grooves to create a sound that is as irresistibly catchy as it is crushingly heavy.

Working with the legendary Chris Fielding at Skyhammer Studios, the producer behind such mammoth sounds as Electric Wizard, Conan, Primordial, Witchsorrow, Winterfylleth and mastered by James Plotkin (Khanate, OLD)BARBARIAN HERMIT’s Solitude and Savagery bares seven bruising tracks of pummelling groove metal that smoulders with swampy rawness and feral energy.

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Comments guitarist Adam Robertshaw: “At its essence, Solitude and Savagery represents an evolution of Barbarian Hermit in more ways than one. The year before the majority of it was written the band went through a weird period where we lost three members for various reasons within about six months. Thankfully Ed, Gareth and Rob stepped in and stepped things up a notch in a big way. Working with Chris Fielding at Skyhammer studio was a dream come true for us. The man is a genius and such a pleasure to work with. His ear is incredible and once he got to know us and what we are about he really got on board, suggesting harmonies or adaptations here and there, which really gave the songs a boost. With anyone else we’d have recorded a good album. With him made a great one. We hope people have as much fun listening to it as we did making it.

Solitude and Savagery is the follow up to the band’s 2016 self titled EP and is bristling with swagger, soul and groove, but the band have ventured further into heavier territory, exploring the darker side to their sound whilst making a conscious effort to experiment more with dynamics and texture. Lead single ‘Reawaken’ for example, takes as much inspiration from Hans Zimmer as it does Sepultura.  And while it’s not exactly a concept album, there are themes and recurring motifs that vocalist Ed Campbell has woven through the album’s lyrical tapestry, such as the struggle between dark and light, the exploration of one’s inner self and the search for truth.

About Barbarian Hermit

Barbarian Hermit are a five piece doom/sludge/Stoner act, based in Manchester, England. Formed in 2013 from former members of disbanded Manchester bands (Bisonhammer, Arke, Severed Fate, Random Act of Violence, Mountains Became Machines and That Sunless Tide) and the disbanded South Korean band FatalFear.

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The band have been gigging heavily around the UK for the last few years. Recently, playing at big events like HRH festival, Bloodstock Festival and supporting big names like Raging Speedhorn, Dopelord and Crowbar. Their debut self-titled EP came out in early 2016 and received rave reviews from the press and will follow this up with their debut album Solitude and Savagery which is set for release from APF Records in November 2018.

LEAD TRACK: Reawaken

FOR FANS OF:  Crowbar, Corrosion of Conformity, Raging Speedhorn, Acid Bath

BARBARIAN HERMIT ARE:
Gareth Manning-Drums
Ed Campbell-Vocals
Mike Regan-Guitars
Adam Robertshaw-Guitars
Rob Sutcliffe-Bass

TRACKLISTING:
1. Enter the Hermitage
2. Black Mass
3. No Sleep
4. Beyond the Wall
5. Lifebreather
6. Reawaken
7. Laniakea

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TOUR/GIG INFO:  
2018
September 8th – Sanctuary Rock Bar, Burnley
November 10th – Cvltfest, Café Independent, Scunthorpe
November 16th – Album Lunch, Kosmopolitan, Manchester
November 17th – Ale Fest, Northern Monk Brewery, Leeds
December 22nd – Rebellion Christmas Party, Rebellion, Manchester

2019
Feb 2nd – APF Showcase II, The Bread Shed, Manchester
March 2nd – Lizard Fest, Bradford
March 30th – Riffolution, Rebellion, Manchester

FOLLOW THE BAND
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/barbarianhermit/
TWITTER: 
https://twitter.com/barbarianhermit
BANDCAMP: 
https://barbarianhermit.bandcamp.com/
INSTAGRAM: 
https://www.instagram.com/barbarianhermit/
SPOTIFYhttps://open.spotify.com/artist/5l3TCGNbFvd6uJOoV6Z6Qo

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Battalions – Forever Marching Backwards

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BATTALIONS

“Forever Marching Backwards”
For fans of Iron Monkey, Eyehategod, Weedeater, Black Sabbath, Clutch, Scissorfight
BATTALIONS, belligerent champions of the UK DIY underground scene, revered by fans worldwide, lauded by the press and hairier than a bucket of black bears. The band are back with a meaty, confrontational-as-fuck new album entitled Forever Marching Backwards which is released by APF Records on November 30th.

Recorded and mixed by Chris Fielding at Skyhammer Studios in the UK, the resulting album is a danger-fuelled 30 minutes of Battalions own brand of bleak, swaggering, riff-infused groove metal-meets-harsh-punk sound. To quote the band, this is ‘pure Humber sludge’.

Comments vocalist Phillip Wilkinson: “Since beginning writing, pretty much straight after the recording of our 2017 album Moonburn, the new slimmed-down lineup has enabled us to let Pete’s riffs shine through and has given us the chance to grow as a band to make what we believe is by far the most accomplished album of our career. If you’ve followed Battalions for the last few albums you can expect a tighter production, bigger riffs, more of a focus on structure and song writing along with the usual self-depreciating humour peppered throughout. The album itself is based around lead single Forever Marching Backwards from which the album takes its name, essentially an allegory about how society seems to be hardwired to follow blindly without the majority questioning motives. The blind leading the blind.“

Watch the video for Forever Marching Backwards here: 

https://youtu.be/G65bVLXtzns

Forever Marching Backwards is the follow up to the band’s 2017 release Moonburn and brings to the table a tighter, punchier, dirtier sound with bigger riffs and extra swagger. The whole album is littered with Phil Wilkinson’s trademark bile-encrusted vocals which envelope the absolutely crushing, corroding heaviness of the music. Across eight tracks the band exorcise a wide array of sorrow and raw human emotions. But then there’s also a song (Tyskie Vampire) about being on tour with their label mates Pist, dropping cans of strong Polish lager on the floor and having to suck them dry when they split open. So it’s swings and roundabouts – heavy human emotions versus songs about touring and sucking your beer off the floor. Typically BATTALIONS.

This is their third album in three years and they show no sign of slowing down, with each album becoming a little more ‘BATTALIONS’ in style and flavour but more than that, showing a band working on a formidable musical output. Forever Marching Backwards is certainly an excellent sign for the future, it’ll leave you wanting more, possibly with the urge to grow a beard, definitely with the need to catch them in a live setting. It’s their most hook-packed collection of fury and hirsuteness yet.  We are truly living in an age of wonder.

“Forever Marching Backwards” is now available to pre-order on limited edition (of 100) transparent blue vinyl, black vinyl, digipak CD and T-Shirt & CD bundle. The vinyl will include a digital download code, with a guarantee that you will own it at least a week before it is available in HMV, on Amazon and in other record shops.

Track listing:

A1: Forever Marching Backwards
A2: Cities Of Ruin
A3: Goat Feeder
A4: Vaseline (G)Love

B1: Tyskie Vampire
B2: Infinite Void
B3; Brick Hole
B4: Devil’s Footsteps

Battalions is:

Phil Wilkinson – vocals
Peter Cross – guitar
Matthew Dennett – bass
Matt Walker – drums

Recorded, Mixed and Mastered by Chris Fielding at Skyhammer Studio
Artwork by Blair Shaw at Daggersforteeth
Photo by JWA Photography

 

PRE-ORDER YOUR COPY OF BATTALIONS “Forever Marching Backwards” NOW:

https://apfrecords.bigcartel.com/



 

Mastiff – New Album Coming in 2019

Group Shot July 2017

Words by Andrew Field

On Saturday 30th June Mastiff went into the studio to commence work on the follow up to 2017’s “BORK” EP. I’d been given glimpses of the new material by the band in the form of phone recordings sent to me via WhatsApp, so already knew I was likely to be handed something fairly nasty to release once recording was done. There had also been talk about maybe taking a bit longer over this one. I was led to believe that the end-of-June weekend was just the start.

Mastiff entered the studios around 9.45am on that 30th June day. At 4.11pm I got a message from Jim Hodge saying “80% done boss man”. At 4.17pm Phil Johnson messaged saying “tracks pretty much overdubbed”.

On Monday 2nd July at 6.57am they sent me the fully mixed and mastered album. It sounded absolutely fucking incredible.

That’s Mastiff right there. A fully formed, prepped, focused, disciplined machine.

So how does it sound? Frankly, like the end of the world. Eight tracks of pure nihilistic rage. Everything is amplified (sic): the slower bits are gnarlier, the faster bits grind harder, Michael Shepherd’s blast beats hurt your bowels more, Dan Dolby’s bass is right there in your face, and Jim Hodge’s vocals go to another world – somewhere primal, beyond feral, way past animalistic. And as for the twin guitar attack of Jam Lee and Phil Johnson…… well, rarely have I heard amps and cabs punished quite so brutally. They make Eyehategod sound like A-ha.

There is a track on the album called Until I Weep No More. It is going to be the heaviest thing I have released on APF so far. It is skull-crushing.

The current plan is to drop this bombshell on you in early 2019. Trust me when I tell you, it will be worth the wait.

Mastiff forever.

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Summer 2018 Update

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So we’ve been at this for just over a year now. Since APF Records first release – Under’s “Slick” album – hit the shelves on 31st May 2017 we’ve put out music by Diesel King, Blind Haze, Mastiff, Tronald, RedEye Revival, BongCauldron, Ba’al, The Wizards Of Delight, Desert Storm, The Hyena Kill, Pist, Trevor’s Head and Nomad. Not bad for 52 weeks eh?

For the first time in over 12 months we have a nice little pause before the release schedule cranks up again in the autumn. A time to recharge the batteries, reflect on that first year, and get the forthcoming new stuff manufactured and ready to batter your eardrums later in the year.

Next up from APF is a new Under album. Likely to hit the streets in late September it’s a 10 track beast which shows the Stockport trio taking a giant creative leap forward from “Slick”.

Under

The riff which opens the album is jaw dropping. Simon Mayo’s guitar work throughout is some next level shit: alternating between filthy, strings-hanging-off-the-fret-board nastiness to moments of sublime and beautiful melancholy (and all points in between). Matt Franklin’s bass is guttural, and his howl even more frightening than before. Andy Preece’s drumming is immense. And when all three blend their voices into that signature Under harmony, its pure goosebumps.

What is clear with Under is this: the ‘First Attempt’ EP and ‘Slick’ were just these boys warming up. The new one isn’t just in a different league, its a whole different sport. Prepare to be amazed.

Barbarian Hermit

Also this autumn we’ll be releasing the debut album by Barbarian Hermit. Recorded in May at Skyhammer Studio by Chris Fielding, its a great big fat widescreen monolith. I had the pleasure of visiting the studio when work was in progress, and on the last evening of recording got to hear rough mixes. All the things you loved about Hermit on their February 2016 EP ’01’ are there – groove, swagger, riffs that could frighten a herd of angry bulls. But there is so much that is new, and it’s all good – from Ed Campbell’s gravel-inflected vocals to Spadge Fafner’s thrills of bass fancy to Gaz Manning’s sheer brutal power. The way the songs ebb and flow is different and thrilling, but they still contain the majestic Robertshaw / Regan six string mindfucking riffs you’d expect and want. The closing track is the very definition of the word “epic”. It’s a massive sounding record. You’re gonna dig it.

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Before the end of the year APF will release a new Battalions album, their third after 2016’s “Nothing To Lose” and last year’s “Moonburn”. Over the last 12 months the Hullensian quartet have delivered some immense shows (including a UK tour with label mates Pist – which by some miracle they survived), whilst honing material for the new record.

One of the joys of owning a record label is getting WhatsApp messages from members of your bands ripping through the new songs in their rehearsal rooms. I’ve had several from Dennett and Mott of Battalions over the last few months so have watched the songs on the new record gestating. Fans will be pleased to know that Pete Cross continues to have a seemingly bottomless supply of swampy riffs which he can summon at ease – for The Fumb and Walker to pummel into submission. And Phil Wilkinson continues to be the only frontman who can look so cute yet make small children cry with his vocals. It’s all sounding ace. No babies have been thrown out with the bathwater. Its pure Battalions and it will make your arse move.

Several of our other bands are beavering away on new material. Pist have an album’s worth of songs written, and keep writing more. Their next release is gonna be a bit special. BongCauldron are recording something shortly – but I’m not saying what, or why yet (all will be revealed soon).

No one’s heard from Diesel King in a while. But that’s pretty usual.

This is just the beginning. Loads more coming from APF. Wish I had the time to tell you about it all. It’s all exciting.

See you at a show.

FIELDY

APF Records

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Trevor’s Head Sign to APF Records

 

“Trevor’s Head present chunky stoner riffage from the deepest darkest recesses of Redhill, Surrey. Every song has plenty of powerful grit and the pace picks up with punky, driving aggression, all wrapped up in warm desert-fuzz tone. ” – DESERTFEST

“The perfect mix of Stoner, Blues, Grunge, Desert Rock and Hard Rock with soulful vocals to match” – OUTLAWS OF THE SUN

“As their track record suggests, (Trevor’s Head) seem locked in a state of perpetual evolution and experimentation, and for that, they have to be lauded.” – THE SLUDGELORD

 “A band unwilling to stay confined within the boundaries of a specific genre or sound and who in making this stance have created their own genre…. Get inside Trevor’s Head – it’s a great place to be!” – PSYCHLIST

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A warm welcome to our latest signing, Redhill rockers Trevor’s Head. APF Records will be releasing their new album “Soma Holiday” on 30th April 2018, just in time for their performance at this year’s Desertfest London. “Soma Holiday” contains 13 genre defying (and genre defining) songs which, whilst rooted in stoner rock, take the listener on a journey through moments of grunge, punk, indie rock, hardcore, early Neil Young, ska, country, prog and much more besides. We caught up with drummer Matt Ainsworth before the campaign begins.

Welcome to the APF family. How you feeling?

Pretty damn good! We’re only two months into the year and some really cool stuff is happening for us as a band.

For those not in the know, tell us how Trevor’s Head got together and what you’ve achieved so far?

Trevor’s Head started up as a bunch of mates who met in college about 10 years ago, we’ve had a couple of lineup changes over time, but it settled nicely into the trio that it is now in 2014. So far, we’ve self released two albums, two EPs, played over four hundred gigs and grown as songwriters and performers. Now we’re on APF.

What’s the best gig you’ve ever played and what made it special?

The launch party we had for the release of our last album, “Tricolossus”, was something pretty special. The place was rammed, there was toilet paper flying everywhere, there were stage invasions, crates of beer were being passed around, Roger ended up inside the ceiling after removing part of it… it was just a greasy, mental gig. The audience was awesome and so were the support bands, who are all good mates of ours… Cavalli, Junkyard Choir, and Danny Dangerously. Check ‘em all out!

Trevs

Tell us about the recording of Soma Holiday. Any tales from the sessions?

The recording itself was quite intensive. Foel Studio is in an extremely remote area in Wales, so there aren’t very many distractions! We laid down the basic tracks live, then overdubbed the vocals, some of the lead guitar parts and all the extra stuff like synths and fire extinguishers. We binged pretty hard one night and ended up doing our own take on country music till past dawn, but that hasn’t gotten on the record…

Which of the new songs are you most proud of, and why?

There’s a track called “Sleepstate” which is one of the most ambitious things we’ve done so far, there’s a lot of different layers in there, particularly the middle parts. “Ghost” is another one. Heavy, spacey and punky. We’re proud of the record as a whole, though.

You’re booked to play this year’s Desertfest London, which is quite a coup! Nervous? Which other bands on the lineup are you looking forward to seeing?

Nervous? Us? Haha, maybe a little! The reality’s kind of only just dawned on us! It’s going to be a right blast. Really looking forward to catching Black Moth, Church Of Misery, Zeke, Casual Nun, Graveyard, Tuskar, Pist, Morass Of Molasses, Hawkwind… Could just reel off the whole lineup, couldn’t we?

Reveal something about Trevor’s Head you’ve never talked about in public before?

 Nothing to say that hasn’t already been said, really. Apart from Aaron’s crippling dependency on fried chicken. But that’s pretty dark, man. You don’t want to hear about that.

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What’s your aspirations with this band? Where would you like to be in 5 years time?

Still gigging our arses off and having a great time of it! We’d also like to have made a few more records that we’re really proud of, too. The continuing development of us as a band as well as a bunch of mates is really rewarding.

What’s your favourite venue to play? And any places you’ve not gigged in but would like to?

The Bird’s Nest in Deptford seems to have become our spiritual home over the last couple of years, we’ve been putting on monthly stoner/doom/sludge/psych nights there and it’s always an awesome time. Great bar staff, sound man and audience. Totally run for the music. We’d like to get more shows up north… Sheffield, Leeds and Nottingham are some places we haven’t been to yet.

You’ve joined a label which now has 16 bands on the roster. Which is your favourite of the bands on APF Records and why?

Probably have to go with Under or Desert Storm. They’re both fucking class bands and really good guys to boot. We’re looking forward to being part of the family!

Finally, anything to declare?

We fucking love your label, mate.

Soma Holiday

BongCauldron Vinyl Update – 20.12.17

Sorry, no easy way to break this news: it’s been delayed again. Was due with us yesterday or today (19th or 20th). Just received the following email from our vinyl supplier:
“I have been trying to track the BongCauldron delivery all morning and I have been advised that the last truck to the UK from Czech Republic has been delayed and is not shipping until 3rd January. I am extremely sorry, I was assured the stock was shipping this week but due to issues with the courier service there are no trucks leaving for the UK. I have expressed my disappointment to the plant and am very sorry that you will not receive the stock until the new year”.
Gutted. Sorry everyone. Frankly I don’t believe what I’m being told, so am away to get right up a few people’s noses. 😡
Merry fucking Christmas
Fieldy