Now Hear This: Sophie K on the best new metal, punk and hardcore

Kerrang! Radio host Sophie K brings you the artists you need to check out right now, including Vexed, 99% Cobra and Izzy Gazelle…

Now Hear This: Sophie K on the best new metal, punk and hardcore
Sophie K

Happy Gojira day! Man, I remember buying The Way Of All Flesh after hearing bits of From Mars To Sirius on MySpace. I’ll never forget listening to Vacuity for the first time and not knowing whether to shout with joy, cry or poop myself. Luckily I didn’t choose the latter and have followed them ever since. Seeing them live was like a religious experience.

There is something so special about following a band for years and growing and evolving with them, and that’s why I love bringing you this list of new music so much. Who knows who could be your very own Gojira…


I have long been a fan of Em Foster ever since I met her in Milk Teeth. Her baseball bat political style is what I loved most, she is extremely articulate and does not mince her words. I feel that when music comes from a place of knowledge, of fight, of wanting to challenge the world without doing it for social media likes, that is the sweet spot where the magic happens. Nervus recently dropped a new record called Sunday, Someday, and it's a collaboration project with like-minded musicians from the UK and America. The record was created to fund top surgery and aftercare for a member of the group while raising awareness for QTPOC communities. Their track Love Thy Neighbour feels like a lighthearted summer track with grunge elements and beautifully catchy riffs. Check it out, buy a copy on vinyl, show love and support to an upcoming alt-punk band with a lot to say.


This next band are really something special. From the UK, Vexed are one to add to the playlists. As soon as I hear that anyone has worked with CJ McMahon my ears prick up, as Thy Art Is Murder are one of my favourite bands. Most people assume I am all about the poppy crossovers, but this is where I'm at home: a blend of guttural and clean vocals, with melt-your-face-off chuggy deathcore breakdowns. I hate to pigeonhole bands, but it’s the easiest way to describe them as you can hear that Vexed take influence from across metal. Culling Culture – their debut full-length album – is out on May 21 via Napalm Records. People keep asking, "What’s next in metal?" Could the answer be this band?

Video Nasties

I was given the heads-up on this band and had no idea what to expect but I was not disappointed. Video Nasties came to our attention with their debut album Dominion last year and dropped this absolute killer track Draw The Shades a few weeks back. The band recorded the track themselves to make sure they were capturing the early '90s metal sound, and I will be honest, listening to it makes me want to see them support Cannibal Corpse on tour. It made me want to go to a real metal gig where everyone in the street is staring at the weird greebos smoking outside the venue. But inside, there is a sense of camaraderie as you are all packed in, a large crowd formed around the sweaty merch table between sets, all the while some unknown liquid keeps dripping from the ceiling from the sheer heat of all the bodies. I know it's weird, but I can almost smell this band's live set, and it makes me miss gigs so much.

99% Cobra

99% Cobra are the kind of band I love to listen to when I'm having an anxiety attack, because it's so frantic it matches my mood and reminds me to breathe. You can hear a blend of influences, and the one that instantly stands out to me is The Dillinger Escape Plan. Apparently their live show matches their musical energy as you can expect eccentric outfits and a lot of climbing and maybe some vomit.

Izzy Gazelle

Izzy Gazelle got in touch with me and I was instantly impressed. Her music is angry classic rock drenched in sexy, fuzzy guitars. It's very early days for Izzy but I feel like she has huge potential. A lot of new artists have promise and skill, but the thing that sets people apart is determination to rise to the top, and you can see that at this stage, Izzy is ready. She is a DIY artist and I love that she writes, arranges and produces everything, and the thing I love about her music is that her voice fits well for classic rock, but I can imagine her singing on a doom track, too. That versatility is exciting as it shows raw talent. With years and experience under her belt, she could become a really big deal.

Hear Sophie K present the Breakfast Show on Kerrang! Radio, weekdays from 7am.

Check out more:

Now read these

The best of Kerrang! delivered straight to your inbox three times a week. What are you waiting for?