Southampton based label Angry Badger was set-up by radio presenter and music journalist Xan Phillips, and his partner Jules, to promote unsigned bands from the local south coast music scene.Here is a review of their first ever showcase album.

Angry Badger Showcase LP
Angry Badger Showcase LP


Angry Badger Records – New UK south coast label.


Southampton based unsigned bands champion Xan Phillips and his mysteriously only Christian named music partner Jules, have set up a new label Angry Badger to help promote local groups in the area.

Now the only badgers I know of usually come with the words TB and baiting; or there is the famous doyen of Wind In The Willow’s, whose sole aim is beat weasels about and put Toad on the straight and narrow; all I know is that in itself it’s a rather odd name for a label but we can cast that a side for now.

With there hearts in the right place, the label aims to release a multitude of different musical style groups and artists to a wider audience. They’ll also be staging various gigs and hope to offer a guiding step up from the local scene to the top – well that’s the general idea.

The first release is a 16-track compilation entitled ‘Showcase Sett’ which attempts to break cover some of those unknown acts that haven’t quite broke out of the back room pubs or bedroom circuit yet. To be honest not much on offer appealed to me except for two bands that really leapt out at me.

Compilation opening act Jazica come on all Ladytron, but with a twist of Massive Attack and Britpop era StudioLab. Lead singer Frankie has an interesting voice, which just about saves them from being too sound alike as they straddle both Little Boots style electro and angular style indie.   Their track ‘Illusions’ really shows off their true talent and flair for a commercial sound and dare I say it a hit, which should really propel them beyond their backyard of Southampton. I hope Xan and Jules can dig up more gems like this.

The unusual mix of influences on Sine Star Project’s track ‘Temptress’, make for a rather strange experience as they mix Muse, Bowie’s rockier leanings, Soundgarden (eek!) and even King Crimson to produce a sound that I imagine Kerrang and Q magazine would love. So I found it strange that it actually grew on me dear reader, and though usually when anyone mentions Queen as an influence it sends me instantly off in the opposite direction I actually quite liked it! They even appealed to me after I checked out their Myspace and found a thinly veiled nod to Jeff Buckley’s ‘Grace’, which seemed to have been cut to pieces and assembled to make their own version but at least they picked a great tune to pay homage to. It seems that Sine Star Project have had some success with supporting mainline acts and been given some pretty rave reviews, they have also been signed to One Little Indian record label but obviously haven’t managed to break through which is a coup for Angry Badger, as it adds quite a lot of weight and kudos to their enterprise – which is great, as Xan is a genuine local music scene hero who goes out of his way to promote new music with his digital radio show and regular feature in the Southampton Echo.

Keep an eye out for the label and CD, below are some links so you can find out more with constant updates and gig listings.

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