"They make windswept, open-ended pathos-pop, that moves between the dubby warmth of ambient popsters like Another Fine Day, and a darker shoegazing paranoia (with bits of The Dark Side Of The Moon laying about in between). [...[ One of the sets of the [Truck festival] weekend, bursting with ideas. The best moments feature Chris Beard's fragile, melismatic vocal lines floating liturgically over hissing keyboards and fizzing guitar" Nightshift. "Flights of Helios take their name from a graceful, single-wing high-altitude aircraft designed by NASA. And on tonight's performance, the name works – their music, like their solar-powered namesake, soaring effortlessly into the atmosphere – taking us on a brief, yet precious, journey away from our cold and soggy city and into the bright and infinite beyond." The Oxford Mail.
"Despite a near namesake, The Mighty Redox is NOT a relaxing bath – In case you don't know, these half punk/half hippy staples of Oxford music play psych blues workouts of pure energy" – Nightshift. "We then witness some wonderful weirdness in the shape of The Mighty Redox with rock and rolling beats that have people dancing around in front of the stage with their Hawkwind style spacey fantasies of a warped dystopia and menacing masks." Lyric Lounge. "The storming phased guitar howls, the psychedelic projections, the skintight drumming and the sense of barely controlled chaos inspire thoughts of what Warhol's Exploding Plastic Inevitable would have been like if it were invented in a barn in Wantage." BBC Oxford.
"Masiro is the two-man follow-up project that came out of Dr Slaggleberry and treads a similarly obstinate funked-up, fucked- up instrumental mathcore path. Stripped down to guitar and drums there's no excess weight being carried, just lean, abrupt instrumental duelling that takes influences from the likes of Mr Bungle, the harder ends of the Chili Peppers and Primus". Nightshift. "Whilst they might be intricate math-rockers, they never forget how great it sounds when rock bands make a noise like machine guns. No matter how complex their writing gets, they always bring the music back to the sound of heavy field artillery, which is fine by us. There are odd melancholic guitar moments, that aren't too far from Metheny territory, but soon pummel any poncy thoughts of false harmonics or modal declensions out of your mind with jackhammer intensity. This may be math rock, but it's likely to beat you round the face with Fermat's last theorem and stick an abacus up your rectum". Nightshift.
We do have, with some justification, a reputation for being a bit on the mean side to acoustic singer-songwriter types, particularly ones with a barely disguised hippy side, but only because most of them are magnificently hopeless self-pitying arse sacks who should have been shot with a bolt gun the moment they bought their first Bob Dylan album. But then there are the ones like Lewis Newcombe here who, despite being utterly in thrall to all things 60s and mellow and folky, manages to conjure an almost magical ambience in his songs [...] His twinkling, almost circling plucked guitar style owes a little to Bert Jansch and the mood remains steadfastly wistful and starry-eyed, which draws heavily on Nick Drake's gorgeous starlit sense of romance, but more than either of these, Lewis reminds us of a young Ralph McTell." Nightfhift (Demo Of The Month).
"A monstrous rolling thundercloud of psychedelic blues that marr[y] Hendrix with Blue Cheer, all fronted by the towering vocal talents of Matt Greenham" – Nightshift. "The muscular energy in the music [...] makes their sound an instant crowd pleaser" Oxford Music Scene. "Everything about this record is bold, hearty and ruggerish, whether it is the sweaty, satisfyingly thumpy rhythm section, the testosterone-charged Paul Rodgers-fights-John Fogerty vocals or the joyously uncool guitar riffing." Music In Oxford.
"A pirate-obsessed gang of Smithsloving indie-pop brigands, the band deal in broad brushstrokes and heroic gestures, led by the inveterate Captain Cliff Adams, a man who truly seems to see himself as the bastard offspring of Blackbeard and Morrissey." Nightshift. "They play classic indie welded onto rugged, shanty-style basslines that justify the band's name: think The Wedding Present with arrangements by Guybrush Threepwood." Music In Oxford. "The Pirates' sound is a mixture of Johnny Marr jangle-pop with dashes of rockabilly and classic rock (Their excellent ‘Bring Out Your Dead' sounds initially like a hidden gem from Bob Dylan's ‘Bringing it All Back Home' album and ‘High Seas Love Affair' could have been the product of Long John Silver fronting The Stooges)." Music In Oxford.
Grant is 1/3 of smutfunk titans, Toupe, currently sadly on hiatus: "Toupé have always had the ability to mix serious topic (religion, faith and racism) with relative trivialities (haircuts and fat people/big tits), yet just when you think it's all getting a little too deep, up pops a one-liner to lighten the mood. Then the funny stuff is delivered with such passion and fervour that you know these guys are serious about their humour. Their 'targets' are hit with precision accuracy – belly laughs abound." Bhone. "Led by stand up comedian Grant Sharkey, they use drums and two basses to create propulsive and surprisingly varied smut funk, coming off like a cross between Frank Zappa and The Grumbleweeds, like a pier-end Primus. Oxymoronically, they survive because they don't take their silliness too seriously, and goof off more to amuse themselves than to create an air of calculated wackiness – and beneath it all the music is actually superb, with magnificent drumming from Jay Havelock. One of the best bands you'll see all year" Nightshift.
"A kind of sexy, intense PJ Harvey thing going on" One Note Forever. "There's something almost gospel about Bethany Weimers' Harpsichord Row. As it swells and grows with each track, she mixes perfect pronunciation with tribal drum beats, and at times heavy piano accompaniments not dissimilar to Tori Amos." Nightshift. "Ethereal and enchanting, [Harpsichord Row] heralds the arrival of a gorgeous debut album from an exciting new talent." Music In Oxford. "Live, her vocal strength and delivery of carefully crafted songs possessed all the quiet intensity that courses through Harpsichord Row in abundance" Oxfordshire Music Scene. "Think Florence without the Machine or Kate Bush in a cathedral." Tom Robinson.