There is a deep rumble coming from the north of the kingdom which is looking like it could become the sound of 2015. Scotland has been past masters at producing alternative rock bands with the likes of Jesus and Mary Chain, Franz Ferdinand and Teenage Fanclub having their day in the sun with their takes on the genre but it seems that a cohesive charge for playlist domination is being assembled.
It is going to be a stellar couple of months for alt-rock releases from the north of the border and whilst the likes of Mogwai may dominate the music press column inches, it could be Halo Tora that make the most waves.
It is twenty years since Mogwai introduced us to their atmospheric guitar led music that has garnered critical acclaim for each release, leaving them on the verge of toppling in to the pool of national treasures. They will be celebrating their anniversary with a couple of their most poignant shows at Barrowlands in Glasgow and the Roundhouse, London during June.
Whilst they may be enjoying a resurgence in popularity that is crossing over into commercial success, Mogwai are also paving the way for bands that are at the beginning of their journey, hoping to follow the path to the streets of gold that greet those who make it.
One such band is Halo Tora who will be releasing their new single 'Age of Terror' on 20th March and have an album planned for later in the year. If you are going to announce yourself to the world then you might as well start big with a look at the role individuals can play on the greater world stage.
So is thinking big and not being afraid to release such a haunting single as their calling card to the nation an indication of the confidence in how Scottish alt-rock will be received? Half of Halo Tora's dual vocalist attack, Chris Alexander, thinks so.
"Absolutely, I think that people are wise to the generic sub standard music available these days and have instead decided to seek out other types of music. Mogwai is a great example as they are far from standard radio kings and their music is more of a journey, which in turn offers the listener more long term value. Our intentions have always been to create music that is as enjoyable now as it will be in 30 years time and now that people are sitting up and listening it puts us in a great position."
The news that Biffy Clyro will be pitching in with an exclusive Record Store Day release of 'Puzzle' on vinyl will help to enhance this point. This will be the first time that their classic album will be available on vinyl and will be a reminder of the set of songs that took the band to number two in the UK charts and gave them the breakthrough that sent them on the road to filling stadiums. Biffy Clyro have also confirmed that their new album is eighty percent finished, which means that the arrival of Halo Tora could not be better timed.
It has been a relatively short journey for Halo Tora to reach this point but their members had already cut their teeth in various bands that had extensive live experience. Chris Alexander continues the story, " It all started when myself and Chris McKeown (Drums) finished off our previous band and decided to take our music in a different direction. Most of the guys in the band had played in bands that we knew so it was easy enough to find the right guys."
With the group formed it has been all eyes on the prize of releasing a debut album. "We try to approach every song differently", explains Alexander , "sometimes it grows from jamming a guitar riff or piano part in the studio and other times myself or Ian will have complete songs ready to go. I write a lot at home as I have set up a mini studio to demo ideas."
Lead single Age of Terror though was an opportunity to get straight to the point lyrically. "It's about asking questions and taking responsibility for our actions as nations," reveals Alexander, "usually I try to be a little more cryptic with the lyrics and most of the upcoming album is more cryptic, however, I felt that being more direct suited the style of Age Of Terror."
It looks like we will be hearing a lot more of this over the coming weeks and with an exciting year in prospect, is there an ultimate destination? Bigger shows or critical acclaim? Of course this would be fantastic but Alexander has a more cinematic route for Halo Tora.
"I am a huge John Carpenter fan and would love it if we could work on a movie with him someday." This isn't pie in the sky either as if there is a genre of music that would suit the atmospherics of one of Carpenter's creations it is Scottish alt-rock and Halo Tora may have arrived at just the right time to capitalise on this.