Hello again, and welcome to the column which strives to provide your weekly fix of new music. In fact, new music is what the next four days are all about for me, as I'm fitting a brace of gigs around Record Store Day - and just mentioning those three words gives my wallet a panic attack. It's the first one in which I'll be directly involved - usually I would have to take a 4=four-hour train to get within touching distance of a decent record store, and since I've heard people will start queueing at 6am (!), I'll be sure to get my skates on tomorrow morning. I also have an interview on Saturday; it's a face-to-face one, which works for me now that I have my hands on some decent, non-malfunctioning recording equipment (my phone). Before all that, though, I have my usual baker's dozen of new tracks to serve up. Enjoy!

The Machine Room - 'Sweden' Track of the Week

I have more time for Scottish bands than most people - mainly because the amount of great music they churn out every year is quite impressive - but even by normal standards, they're enjoying quite a fertile year so far. The Machine Room captured my attention last year with their atmospheric sound and the excellent Love From a Distance EP, and from the sounds of new single 'Sweden', this year is going to be even better for them. The song's due for release on May 13th via Club Fandango, and its wide scope and musical ambition show that the band have moved on considerably from their first EP. The quintet's new material balances melodic finesse with a knack for a sky-scraping chorus, and the exploration of different moods makes their sound difficult to pin down. I don't know if further new material is planned, but I already can't wait to hear more.

Forest - 'John'

Another of my highlights this week occupies similar space to the TMR track above, but is coming from an entirely different place, both musically and geographically. From Edinburgh, we move to Cambridge, which is where Forest reside in. They have a new, self-produced EP due out via Tip Top Recordings on May 13th (FAO collectors: it's on sea blue 7" vinyl!), and I've been lucky enough to hear the full thing. I had a tough time choosing which of the four tracks to choose, but I eventually went with 'John', a song on which the quintet of talented teenagers show off their love of shoegaze and scuzzy noise-rock, the song straddling both genres, featuring big drums and an even bigger hook. Their unpolished sound suits them wonderfully, and I can see them doing big things this year.

Red Aces - 'The End'

Do we really need another baritone-voiced post-punk band? That question is irrelevant in the case of Melbourne's Red Aces, who are the best band of this ilk I've heard in quite a while. There are quite a few like them who have enjoyed mainstream success in recent years - it's not called a 'post-punk revival' for nothing - but the Australians certainly deserve to join them, their sense of melody and passion backed up by dark lyrics and a sense of theatrics that suits the band well; the 'end' hinted at in the title stands for death, but band leader Sam Richardson tackles the subject head on, eschewing clumsy metaphors in favour of a hard-hitting tale of grief and loss, and the effects it has on a person's psyche. Whether autobiographical or not, it's hard to tell, but his lyric-writing is the cornerstone of a compelling sound. 'The End' is taken from the Time Breathes, which should be sought out immediately by anyone who enjoys its lead track.

This week also features tracks from Moustad, Cherry, Terror Bird, Lord RAJA, Justin Walter, The Dead Heads, Medicine Hat, Dolphyn Rydyr, Knxwledge and The Dream Scene.