Staff Picks: Laura ‘Riot Goth’ Johnson

I’ve survived another year! In the process I’ve gained a few pounds and new friends, lost my voice after screeching along at numerous gigs and a shedload of money by spending way more than I should on fantastic records and merch.

It may be a sombre subject, but I didn’t feel I could reflect on the year without commenting on how I’ve been inspired by the strength of the victims who have stood up against their abusers within the music industry, and elsewhere, throughout this year, and many more prior. It is heartbreaking that we cannot go a day on Twitter without another instance surfacing, but I am glad that the true extent of the problem is finally beginning to be seen and challenged.

That being said, I refuse to let those awful humans detract from what has been an otherwise great year for new music. Check out what caused my ears to prick and heart to swell, Grinch-like, below.


Alex Lahey – ‘I Love You Like A Brother’

Beth Ditto – ‘Fake Sugar’

Bully – ‘Losing’

Diet Cig – ‘I Swear I’m Good At This’

Downtown Boys – ‘Cost Of Living’

Idles – ‘Brutalism’

Japandroids – ‘Near To The Wild Heart Of Life’

Kamikaze Girls – ‘Seafoam’

Sacred Paws – ‘Strike A Match’

Weaves – ‘Wide Open’

Worriers – ‘Survival Pop’


Beach Slang – The Exchange, Bristol – January 20

Petrol Girls – Le Pub, Newport – March 16

Idles – Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff – April 5

Meat Wave – Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff – April 24 (pictured at the top of the page)

Japandroids – O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London – May 6

Kamikaze Girls (supporting Gnarwolves) – Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff – May 17

HCBP (debut headline show) – The Moon, Cardiff – June 1

Sad13 – The Big Top, Cardiff – June 25

Ho99o9 (ArcTanGent Set) – Fernhill Farm, Compton Martin – August 18

HCBP (ArcTanGent Set) – Fernhill Farm, Compton Martin – August 19

Asphalt (Japan) – Le Public Space, Newport – August 28

Dead Arms/Twisted Ankle/ Eva Bartok/ Salt Bath – The Moon, Cardiff – September 15

Sacred Paws – Transport Club, Cardiff – September 22

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Bournemouth International Centre – September 24

Baby In Vain – The Moon, Cardiff – October 13

Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes – O2 Academy Bristol – December 1

Marilyn Manson – Newport Centre, Newport (Wales) – December 8

DIY Cardiff’s Third Birthday feat Apologies, I Have None/Kamikaze Girls/The Doublecross/Masts/Esuna- Cathays Community Centre, Cardiff – December 16


Yes Lad

Elephant Stone

Evil Triplet

Mr Irish Bastard

Bum Freak In Egypt

Exactly Violent Style

Rat In  A Bucket

Spunk Volcano and the Eruptors

Hello Moth

The Buttery Trio



Cocaine Piss

Mexican Chili Funeral Party

Drug Honky

Prosthetic Cunt

Corpsefucking Art


Henry Metal

Soul Enema

Terror Pigeon

Glory Hole Guillotine

Spiritual Bat

Teen Mortgage

Dildo’s Panda Fight

Bed Wettin Bad Boys


Torso Murder

Septic Flesh

Pile Of Priests

Cyanide Sundae

Infected Syren



Foetal Juice




SONG: First Aid Kit – You Are The Problem Here

TV: Big Mouth

PODCAST: My Brother, My Brother And Me – I don’t listen to nearly enough podcasts so feel free to send me recommendations!

MERCH: Kamikaze Girls’ ‘Nervous Millennials’ t-shirt and ‘I’m not your fucking sweetheart mate’ tote bag.

FOOD: Red’s Devil Wing BBQ Sauce

DRINK: Almond Butter Crunch Shake from Anna Loka in Cardiff

COMEBACK: Me: “Dad, when you die if we cremate you we can put your ashes into a vinyl record of your favourite song if you want? A band called Idles did it recently!”

Dad: “Are you joking? I don’t want to be going around in circles forever!”

**You can find Laura on Twitter and Instagram

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This Week’s New Releases: The Cribs, Kesha And Downtown Boys

There is definitely a variety of new records hitting shelves this week. The Cribs are releasing ’24-7 Rock Star Shit’, which they recorded in five days with Steve Albini, Kesha is putting out her first new release since 2013, which boasts appearances by Eagles Of Death Metal and Dolly Parton and production by Ben Folds, Ricky Reed and Ryan Lewis, and Downtown Boys are offering up LP #3, which was produced by Fugazi’s Guy Picciotto.

If, unbelievably, that’s not enough for you, there’s plenty more to check out below, including the debut LP from Butch Vig’s new project, 5 Billion In Diamonds.

5 Billion In Diamonds – ‘5 Billion In Diamonds’ (100% Records)

Billie Eilish – ‘don’t smile at me’ (EP) (Polydor)

Chip – ‘League of My Own II’ (Cash Motto)

The Cribs – ’24-7 Rock Star Shit’ (Sonic Blew/House Arrest)

David Rawlings – ‘Poor David’s Almanack’ (Acony Records)

Downtown Boys – ‘Cost Of Living’ (Sub Pop)

Frankie Rose – ‘Cage Tropical’ (Slumberland/Grey Market)

Jen Cloher – ‘Jen Cloher’ (Milk! Records/Marathon Artists)

Kesha – ‘Rainbow’ (Kemosabe Records/RCA Records)

Mark Bryan – ‘Songs Of The Fortnight’ (Chucktown Music Group)

Oneohtrix Point Never – ‘The Good Time’ [OST] (Warp)

Paul Kelly – ‘Life Is Fine’ (Cooking Vinyl)

The Preatures – ‘Girlhood’ (Virgin EMI)

Rat Boy – ‘Scum’ (Parlophone)

Skinny Living – ‘VI’ (EP) (RCA)

So Much Light – ‘Oh, Yuck’ (Anti/Epitaph)

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