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This week's round-up: New music from The Native Howl, FM and Scene Queen

This week includes thrash grass metal, classic 80s AOR and Bimbocore!

The Native Howl 'Mercy'

Genre-bending thrash grass metallers THE NATIVE HOWL have released their brand new gritty single and music video for 'Mercy', which features guest vocals from Halestorm's Lzzy Hale. With foreboding, foot-stomping rhythm, and the band's raw intensity paired with Lzzy's inimitable vocals, 'Mercy' is bound to rattle listeners down to the bone. Streaming now via Sumerian Records.

On the release of the new single and video, the band comment:

“‘Mercy’ was written as our original thrash grass anthem, and to have our vocal hero Lzzy Hale singing on it is nothing short of a dream come true! ‘Mercy’ subtly tells the story of infamous Boston gangster Whitey Bulger, and the dichotomy of dark and light between him and his disgraced politician brother William. While pulling from additional themes of organised religion and corruption, the music bed's growth in intensity throughout attempts to paint the process of all evil and wrong-doing slowly being brought to light."

THE NATIVE HOWL - 'Mercy (Ft. Lzzy Hale)'

The band previously released 'Can't Sleep' and 'Sons of Destruction' after winning Season 1 of the hit TV series No Cover and signing with Sumerian Records.


THE NATIVE HOWL are a genre-defying quartet hailing from Leonard, Michigan, USA. Their fast-tempo music they’ve coined as “Thrash Grass” combines the aggression and intensity of thrash metal with the precision and melodicism of bluegrass. The band was born from a musical experiment that defied all expectations by blending elements of folk, bluegrass, rock, and metal, resulting in a sound entirely their own. With a dash of outlaw spirit and a touch of the wilderness, their music transports listeners to a sonic landscape where the traditional meets the contemporary. From foot-stomping bluegrass jams to lightning-fast metal-esque banjo picking, their tracks are a musical thrill ride that keeps the listener guessing with each note. Their lyrics often explore the dark sides of the human condition, nature, and the trials of life, creating a deep and personal connection with their audience.

THE NATIVE HOWL - 'Mercy (Ft. Lzzy Hale)'

Single Artwork - Hi-res version here

Band Members:

Alex Holycross - vocals / guitars / bouzouki

Zach Bolling - drums

Mark 'Chan' Chandler - bass

Jake Sawicki - banjo / guitars / backing vocals

FM 'Out of the Blue'

Old Habits Die Hard is the fourteenth studio album from the legendary British AOR rock band, FM. The album is released by Frontiers Records on Friday May 3, 2024, and available to pre-order from

The first single “Out of The Blue” is released Wednesday March 6th and is available on all streaming platforms from

Released to coincide with the band's 40th Anniversary (1984 – 2024), vocalist, guitarist and founding member Steve Overland says, “the new album encompasses the best melodic elements of the band’s illustrious 40-year spanning career.

‘We really looked at what made the most popular FM albums great and tried to focus on that,” says Steve about the new album Old Habits Die Hard.

FM are known by many for their big choruses, twin lead guitars and Steve Overland’s intimate, yet powerful vocals, and clean guitar sound. Following 2022’s Thirteen album, Old Habits Die Hard was delayed slightly by keyboard player Jem Davis’ cancer diagnosis (thankfully he’s now received the all-clear) and then by the sudden passing of FM’s founding guitarist Chris Overland (Steve’s brother), which hit the band hard.

“Chris’s passing came out of the blue and it was devastating,” says Steve. To add insult to injury, close friend of the band and long-time collaborator of Jim Kirkpatrick, guitarist Bernie Marsden passed away just two days after Chris.”

The tragedies that plagued the band through the recording process only reinforced FM’s resolve and desire to make the best album that they could to represent their 40 years in the business. The new album is also a fitting tribute to Chris Overland.

Over the past 12 months, during their extensive touring schedule, FM produced the album themselves and recorded the bulk of it at their own Dale View and Electric Pepperland recording studios.

Opening track and first single “Out of The Blue” was a song that originated from keyboard player Jem Davis. Says Jem, “the band love the music of Toto and Foreigner and so I tried to put those influences into one track. ‘Once Steve got involved and started singing it, I knew that we were onto something special.”

“Out Of the Blue is a song that old school FM fans will really latch on to,” says Steve. “So far, the reaction to the track has been amazing.”

The album continues with the rocker “Don’t Need Another Heartache” an AC/DC meets Foreigner anthem with an infectious chorus. ‘This song will probably be in the live set for the 40th anniversary tour as it’s one of our favourites from the album,” explains drummer and founder FM member, Pete Jupp.

“Whatever It Takes” and “No Easy Way Out” are typical FM melodic tracks and could fit seamlessly on to one of the bands earlier classic albums. Bass player and founder member Merv Goldsworthy explains, “No Easy way Out has the big typical FM chorus. It’s a massive hook. The kind of thing that we’ve become known for. It’s one of my favourites on the album.”

The heavier side of the album is represented by “Lost,” “Another Day in My World,” and “Leap of Faith.” Whilst more hard hitting, these songs embody the catchy melodic choruses that FM are known for.

“Cut Me Loose,” “California,” and “Blue Sky Mind” are poppier, more feelgood tracks. “Blue Sky Mind” was conceived again by keyboard player Jem Davis who originally wrote the song about his experience with his cancer diagnosis. ‘That song really was therapy for me. It was important that I got it out of my system and into music,” says Jem.

“Black Water” is a brooding, bluesy track that grows and grows. ‘This is a real favourite of mine,” says FM guitarist, Jim Kirkpatrick. “I could hear Brian May playing the guitar solo, so I pulled out my Brian May signature guitar and tried to do my best impersonation of him. Hopefully I got somewhere close.”

Scene Queen 'Finger'

The Queen is back. Metal/Bimbocore starlet SCENE QUEEN is continuing to paint the world pink with a sassy, sexually empowering new single. 'Finger' has a catchy, memorable, and downright shell-shocking chorus that'll be stuck in your head for days. The track is taken from SCENE QUEEN's highly-anticipated debut album, Hot Singles In Your Area, which fans can look forward to in late 2024.

On the new single, SCENE QUEEN shares:

"I wrote the song about my queer awakening. I also wanted to flip the script on songs written to sexualise women in a way that was for a man’s pleasure. I wrote this song about two women experiencing things equally. So the song is vulgar like any sexual song but with a woman driving the narrative about her own body and taking control of her own pleasure with step by step instructions. Additionally, the song's music video features a dance made to be accessible to anyone both sitting or standing. I wanted to feature that in the video because, as someone who struggles with POTS, I was at one point completely unable to dance like I do standing in the video. So I wanted something to make everyone feel included because sexuality and pleasure is something everyone can and should be able to relate to."


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