Album Review: ‘Dirt Mall’ – Aerial Salad

Perhaps Manchester punk trio Aerial Salad didn’t have the greatest start to their career with what the band refer to as ‘the worst festival set of all time’ at the legendary punk staple The FEST in Gainesville, Florida but they didn’t let that stop them. In the years following their traumatic ‘what more could possibly go wrong’ set that could have potentially split any other band up, Aerial Salad have just gotten more resilient, after all, isn’t that what punk is all about?

‘Dirt Mall’ is the band’s second record, nine songs of anthemic, driving punk rock that roars with joyful disgust at the world around them. Frontman and guitarist Jamie Munro admits, “It captures everything I’ve seen working as a temp in offices and generally being in my twenties trying to work myself and the world out. With some pop songs thrown in for fun.” 

The record opens with anthemic ‘Virtue’, a common theme of the album is catchy gang-like vocal choruses, making it hard not to imagine a sweaty dive bar packed full with fans singing along. First single ‘Romance?’ follows, simple but effective punk, the band don’t overthink or overproduce, especially because there is no need to. 

Personal favourite, ‘Fever Dream’ is an old-school Green Day fan’s dream, and maybe the more you think about that, the more you’ll hear Munro’s voice morph into Armstrong’s, and the more you’ll wish Green Day were taking notes from Aerial Salad. ‘State O’Yer’ is another stand out song on the record, with lyrics like “give it up son, we don’t need you anymore” that just beg to be screamed back.

Title track ‘Dirt Mall’ is the quintessential Aerial Salad song, does exactly what is says on the tin. Loud and catchy, not even three minutes worth of pure punk rock goodness, leaving you wishing it would never come to an end. The album closes with ‘Stressed’, leaving the listener eagerly wanting more.

‘Dirt Mall’ is the soundtrack for the young adults finding their way in the world, for locking your bedroom door after a bad day at the 9-5 you hate, for late night drives with your friends, head-banging Wayne’s World style.

The album is available for pre-order here:

Aerial Salad were due to play some of these new tunes live on tour in the UK this April with Californian punks Decent Criminal, however due to COVID-19, the dates have been rescheduled, for updates on the tour follow the band’s Facebook page.

Concert Review: Waterparks | SWG3 | 26/01/2020

After announcing they would be returning to the UK and Europe for a run of big shows, Texans Waterparks confirmed they would be bringing friend and fellow American musician De’Wayne Jackson to open the shows for them, much to the joy of many fans. Although many people didn’t appear to know his music particularly well, the energy was infectious. It’s a rare treat to see a support act grab the attention of such a big room so effectively. Jackson spoke openly about current social issues such as police brutality in the United States and was met with massive cheers in support of change and solidarity.

Opening the show with two quintessential Waterparks anthems, ‘Watch What Happens Next’ and ‘Blonde’ injected sugary sweet energy to every fan in the room. SWG3, the venue for the evening, plastered strict “no crowdsurfing” and mosh pit safety signs around the room but they were quickly disregarded by frontman Awsten Knight as he encouraged fans to open up pits and launch themselves up in the air.

Playing mostly songs from their latest release ‘FANDOM’ and their 2018 album ‘Entertainment’, the band broke the set up by playing a mash-up of what you could call “older songs”, touching on their debut album ‘Double Dare’. Interrupted by a rowdy crowd with playful heckles directed at the band members, it is clear the band know their fan base incredibly well, and the onstage banter is launched straight back with no hesitation. Before slowing down for some acoustic goodness, Knight encourages the crowd to “boo Mark Zuckerberg” and of course, without any hesitation, everyone in the room, happily boos Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg.

Returning to the city after almost two years, there is a very obvious maturity in the band and an honesty with their music that came with releasing ‘FANDOM‘ last year; closing the show with the first single from that record, ‘Turbulent‘. To summarise an explosive night with one of the best bands in the alternative music scene in only a few words would be an insult.

Waterparks are currently on tour across the UK and Mainland Europe, here’s where to catch them:

27 – BIRMINGHAM Institute
29 – MANCHESTER Academy 2
30 – MANCHESTER Academy 2


01 – LONDON Electric Ballroom
02 – LONDON Electric Ballroom
04 – KÖLN Luxor
05 – MUNICH Feierwerk
07 – AMSTERDAM Melkweg
08 – HAMBURG Logo
09 – COPENHAGEN Pumpehuset
11 – OSLO Parkteateret
12 – STOCKHOLM Klubben

Concert Review: Wage War – G2, Glasgow – 12/01/2020

Following the release of their third studio album ‘Pressure’ just months ago, it was expected Wage War would soon take a trip across to the UK and mainland Europe, and they did not disappoint.

Eager fans finally got to hear new songs live, opening with “Who I Am” was met with an incredibly positive reaction, and possibly some of the biggest mosh pits that G2 has ever seen. Mixing classics such as “The River” with their most recent singles “Grave” and “Low” created the perfect set list for older and newer fans.

Vocalist and frontman Briton Bond exclaimed that not only was Glasgow the best date of their European run so far but one of the best shows the band have played since they formed in 2010.

Wage War are still on tour in Europe until the end of the month, check the band’s official site for tickets to a show near you.