Michael Enger

2023 In Review

I go to a lot of concerts. I moved to London specifically because I wanted to be a part of a bigger music scene than the one that exists in Oslo. So while I'm here I want to make use of the city as much as I can. Back in 2022, once it felt safe enough to venture outside, I started keeping track of all of the bands I saw in a playlist. This was mostly because I constantly forgot who I had or hadn't seen, but also I was curious. I ended up seeing 62 different artists, which isn't bad for the course of a year. I kept this up in 2023 and in the course of that year I saw 146 different artists, mostly smaller independent acts playing on small stages to an even smaller audience.

I noticed that I had gotten into a habit of seeing as much as possible, so as much as I'm successfully taking advantage of London I decided that I'd dial it back a bit in 2024. So as a way to celebrate last year's obsession I'm going to showcase some of the best new artists I've discovered this year. Note that I enjoy fast and aggressive music, so these will probably all trend towards that.

Grade 2

There is a promoter in London called Till The Wheels who puts on a lot of punk and hardcore shows. I had been to many that were quite good so I got into the habit of just going to whatever show they had on when I had time. One of the shows was for Grade 2 and I absolutely loved it! They have the kind of eponymous British punk rock sound, at least to me, and their live show was fast and fun and got pretty crazy.

Grade 2 - Pubwatch


This band was a completely random discovery, which is always fun. I was at a show to see a friend of mine and happened to catch J.O.B who blew me away. Melodic rock music with a bit of a psychedelic vibe played by incredibly skilled musicians. These guys are young and just starting out, but I'm hoping they get discovered by a label or someone who can propel them further out.

J.O.B - The Powers On High


This wasn't as much of a discovery I personally made, but Moskito are a band who was managed by the former manager of one of my bands. They play tight and aggressive rock music and their songs are a good mix of catchy and quirky. They also have a very cool aesthetic in their music videos and album art.

MOSKITO - Killing Joke

First Time Dead

Another discovery via Till The Wheels. These guys sound a lot like Propagandhi, which is a band I very much like but have yet to see live. It's kind of traditional punk rock with a lot of nice lead guitar melodies. I saw an ad of theirs where they were looking for a new vocalist which I considered for a minute, but the vocal style isn't one I'm very good at so I never applied.

First Time Dead - Mediterranean Tears

No Trigger

Yet another band I discovered via Till The Wheels. It's almost surprising that I wasn't aware of these guys as they have been going for a few years and are somewhat more established than the artists I usually see. They play unapologetic pop-punk and I've gotten somewhat obsessed with their new release.

No Trigger - Antifantasy

Chaos Reigns

I was doing research for where to record some hardcore songs for an upcoming project and I ended up at the website for Monolith Studios, who claim to be "London's heaviest recording studio". Checking out their references I found a bunch of bands I enjoyed the sound of, of which Chaos Reigns was one. Coincidentally they were playing a show a few weeks later so I decided to stop by and check them out properly. The show was absolutely amazing and I got to know some of the members in the band, so now I try to see them whenever they play. Their style is very technical hardcore/metal songs that are somewhat reminiscent of Every Time I Die or Protest The Hero.

Chaos Reigns - Big Beat Manifesto

Soul Glo

I went to see Coheed and Cambria, one of my favourite bands, for the 7th time and Soul Glo opened for them. They play really chaotic and screamy hardcore and I felt it was a bit of a strange combination with Coheed's style of music. I remember mentioning to a guy I had met at that show that I would love to see them play a smaller venue... which is exactly what they did about 3 weeks later. So I went to see them at the smaller venue and it was an absolutely wild show; exactly what I wanted.

Soul Glo - Gold Chain Punk (whogonbeatmyass?)


I was at a day festival a friend of mine was playing at and it was clear that I was at the wrong show. Most of the music wasn't interesting at all and I was not having the best time... until Buds. played their set. Live their music has a more melodic hardcore feel to it, but I can imagine someone listening to their studio recordings and calling it "aggressive indie rock" or something. They're lovely people and I've seen them 3 times now.

Buds. - Medicinal Cathedral

The Callous Daoboys

When I went to see Coheed and Cambria (the same show I discovered Soul Glo at) I met a guy in the queue who I ended up hanging out with. He recommended that I check out The Callous Daoboys, a mathcore band from the US who he was currently obsessed with. It's clear that we share music taste because I gave them a listen and they were amazing. He and I ended up meeting up again when they came to London later in the year.

The Callous Daoboys - Waco Jesus

The End

Those were my highlights for 2023. It was an intense year with a lot of travelling to and from venues, so the plan is to slow things down this year. Even though I have tickets to a festival next week, and am going back to Norway for a show the week after, I am not going to keep track of the artists I see anymore. I got a little too focused on seeing as many shows as possible to get the number up and I need to focus on my own music. I did end up recording at Monolith Studios and I have four songs which will be released at some point in 2024.