• Josh Hughes


Every other Friday, we'll be doing a deep dive into the world of new music, reviewing the cream of the crop of fresh songs for you to check out. March is so stacked with releases, that you'll be getting a second part next week, you lucky buggers. In this first half, get ready to be graced with noise rock from Liverpool, indie pop from Manchester, and emo punk from Pennsylvania. Let's get into this!

Wanna bang these on whilst you read? There's a Spotify playlist for that here!

Wanna support an artist? We've linked all Bandcamp pages on the cover arts!

If you have an upcoming release and want it featured, email thecactusparadox@gmail.com or submit through the website at the bottom of our home page!


Bleach Sweets "Nice Guys"

released on 10/03/21

Society Of Losers

Unapologetically abrasive and fun "Nice Guys" is a tremendous slice of noise punk from Liverpool duo Bleach Sweets. Originally released on their Get Into This EP at the end of 2019, it's been slightly updated and re-released through famed DIY label Society Of Losers with a hilarious music video to boot. It's a simple anthem about the minority of male muppets in a modern society who egregiously vie for the attention of women without substance nor actual emotion. Bleach Sweets have crafted this subject into such a nonchalant pitch-perfect tune that even the aforementioned "nice guys" will be singing along unironically at future gigs. Let's hope the move to such a great label leads to some more releases from the fellas.

FFO: Salt The Snail, Sticky Mistake, Ween

Ben Domville "Anxious"

released on 09/03/21

Ben Domville

A blissful track from a cracking debut album, Ben Domville lays everything out on "Anxious", a tune that started life in 2018 and was built up over three years to this monumental number. It's heartwrenching, documenting the singer-songwriter's dark battles with mental health, and Domville gives it his all with an incredibly emotive vocal performance, almost sounding like a cathartic experience for the Liverpudlian. The instrumentation is brilliantly balanced; upbeat with a tinge of melancholy and a ray of light coming through, mixing electric piano with gospel organ to give the track some more depth and a sense of playfulness. It's delightfully beautiful, and makes Domville one to watch in the future.

FFO: Ben Folds, The Shins, Albert Hammond Jr.

Dude Safari "Bug Hunter"

released on 05/03/21

Dude Safari

Surrey's Dude Safari are a breath of fresh air, punching straight of the gate with debut single "Bug Hunter". Almost like an ode to Dinosaur Pile-Up's deep cut "Beach Bug", it blends the recent swagger of DPU's Celebrity Mansions with the bruising sound of Reuben. The grunge trio have been sitting on both the name and idea of the band since 2013 but found the 2020 lockdown to be the opportune moment to set everything in motion, and it's definitely been worth the wait; "Bug Hunter" is a tasty first effort from a devilishly good new band, with plenty more hopefully just around the corner for the newcomers.

FFO: Dinosaur Pile-Up, Reuben, Weezer

Moodbay "Psycho"

released on 25/02/21


Moodbay's list of achievements is heavily impressive for a group only a few years into their career, having already played to a crowd of 10,000 in 2019, being A-listed by BBC Radio Wales multiple times, and racking up hundreds of thousands of streams to boot. So if you needed any more reason to check them out, "Psycho" is proof that this electro-pop duo are destined for stardom. Taken from their self-titled album, the song blends light piano with clever electronic aspects from producer Alfie Cattell and stunning melodies from singer Anna Stephens. It's a song about a love-hate situation, a tug-of-war between two people, and the dreamy atmosphere the duo have crafted mirrors this perfectly, layered with synths and feeling warm to the touch without being overbearing on the senses during its tonal shifts. Moodbay continue to impress the masses, and it's only a short while before they enter the higher echelon the music world with their master craftsmanship for unstoppable dream-pop.

FFO: Chvrches, The Weeknd, Purity Ring

Bandit "Peppermints Don't Hide Everything"

released on 24/02/21

SAM Records

Cor, this one is a screamer. Liverpool indie lads Bandit have slowly been making waves since their inception in 2019, but "Peppermints Don't Hide Everything" is the mark of a new era for the band. Under new label SAM Records, the quartet seem to have a newfound sense of confidence and musical prowess under their belts with "Peppermints", a tune that borrows the best bits of Arctic Monkeys, The Wombats and The Courteeners and sprints out the door like a perfect indie rock Frankenstien's monster. Everyone is on point here, but credit goes to singer Nat Waters, who carries the song with enough laddish charm and snark to make even Alex Turner blush. It's simply a remarkable slab of golden-age indie rock that bites and spits in all the best ways.

FFO: Arctic Monkeys, The Wombats, The Fratellis

VALA "It's Alright When You're Falling"

released on 12/03/21

Rain Club Records

The latest offering from our favourite Mancunian guitar-pop outfit, "It's Alright When You're Falling" is a sweet little ditty about locating the point where everything went wrong through your social media memories. Laced with a lo-fi sensibility akin to The Strokes and the laidback approach of Lana Del Rey, the self-produced track is yet another stunner from VALA, superbly chilled out from start to finish, and thus is a glorious indie-pop jam.

FFO: The Strokes, The Magic Gang, The Last Shadow Puppets

Wes King "Living Strange"

released on 26/02/21

Wes King

Upon my first listen, I was not expecting such an incredible voice to come out of Wes King, but lo and behold, his debut single has got me hooked already. His vocals have got that Gallagher feel to them without the grating qualities of the Oasis brothers, coming out with a smoother powerful delivery that feels laced with passion with each passing line. It's a well-layered tune instrumentally too, building up piece by piece as the runtime ticks by. King has taken a leap of faith here after stepping down from his previous outfit Tres Kings, a relatively successful project, but "Living Strange" is phenomenal, a worthy fresh start for such a talented musician.

FFO: Noel Gallagher, Semisonic, The Libertines

Them Bloody Kids "The Demon"

released on 05/03/21

Them Bloody Kids

Pulsating and hellishly good, London's Them Bloody Kids deliver a slice of doomy, raw stoner metal with some solid rhythm work and a killer arena-worthy chorus on "The Demon". A cut from their upcoming politically charged debut album Radical Animals, the alternative-metal trio are on top form here, growling away as if they recorded this song in the depths of hell itself. It's heavy, it's relentless, and it's definitely got us excited for the upcoming LP.

FFO: Scars On Broadway, Queens Of The Stone Age, System Of A Down

Tigers Jaw "Can't Wait Forever"

released on 05/03/21

Hopeless Records

Scranton punks Tigers Jaw have had an illustrious career, with consistently grand releases throughout their career, and it's no different on new LP I Won't Care How You Remember Me. "Can't Wait Forever" is just one of many solid cuts from the record that blends their signature scrappy punk sound with an easier American indie-rock vibe, a lively laidback jam scored with a great solo and fantastic melodies.

FFO: Joyce Manor, Martha, Paramore

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