Fiona Stephens

Odd Palace stream new single & video

Danish prog-rock group Odd Palace have streamed their new single and video Liar’s Attire ahead of their debut album release, Things To Place On The Moon, due for release on 1st June via Prime Collective. The single is the second to be released from the album, the first being Chemical Solution.

Odd Palace will also be performing their first ever London show at Thousand Island on 22nd June. A full UK and European tour will be announced later this year.

Sick N’ Beautiful announce UK tour ‘We C*m In Peace’

Space themed group Sick N’ Beautiful have announced a UK tour starting tomorrow, alongside the release of their new album Element Of Sex.

May dates
22nd – Birmingham – Castle & Falcon
23rd – Southampton – The 1865
24th – Bristol – The Tunnels
25th – Wakefield – Black Mass
27th – Glasgow – Ivory Blacks
28th – Nottingham – The Maze
[Cancelled] 29th – Oxford – The Bullingdon
30th – Cambridge – The Portland Arms
31st – Stoke On Trent -The Underground
June dates
1st – Newcastle – Think Tank
2nd – Manchester – Aatma
3rd – London – Camden Assembly

 

Show and ticket details can be found on the group’s Facebook page.

The Beach Boys announce new album

The Beach Boys have announced a new album, The Beach Boys With The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, due for release on 8th June via Universal/UMC.

The album pairs The Beach Boys’ original vocal performances with new symphonic arrangements, newly recorded by The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the iconic Abbey Road Studios in London. The track listing is as follows:

  1. California Suite
  2. California Girls
  3. Wouldn’t It Be Nice
  4. Fun, Fun, Fun
  5. Don’t Worry Baby
  6. God Only Knows
  7. Sloop John B
  8. Heroes And Villains
  9. Disney Girls
  10. Here Today
  11. In My Room
  12. Kokomo
  13. The Warmth Of The Sun
  14. Darlin’
  15. Help Me, Rhonda
  16. You Still Believe In Me
  17. Good Vibrations

The Beach Boys will also be performing at Hampton Court Palace Festival on 15th and 16th June, which are the band’s only UK concerts on their summer tour this year. Tickets are on sale now here.

The Human Project announce album and release video

Political quartest The Human Project have announced the release of their next album, Clarion Call, due for release on 6th July. Latest single That One Percent is taken from this, and the video can be seen below:

The everyday, on-the-ground results of the austerity regime are this kind of bland injustice, laughably obvious in the way it is targeted, and, in the way it is backed up and spread by people with vested interests in the media, but unfortunately inescapable for most ordinary people – vocalist/guitarist, Luke Yates about That One Percent. 

10 Years reveal new video for ‘Burnout’

Tennessee rockers 10 Years are thrilled to reveal the video for Burnout, from the group’s latest album (how to live) AS GHOSTS, released last October.

10 Years are embarking on tours across the US this summer, supporting the likes of Breaking Benjamin and Seether

5/11         Sioux Falls, SD – The District
5/13         Somerset, WI – Somerset Amphitheater – Northern Invasion
5/15         Joliet, IL – The Forge
5/16         Clive, IA – 7 Flags Event Center
5/17         Peoria, IL – Peoria RiverFront
5/18         Columbus, OH – Rock on the Range @ Mapfre Stadium
5/24         Knoxville, TN – The International
5/26         Dallas, TX – Starplex Pavillion
5/27         Pryor, OK – Rocklahoma
5/30         Detroit, MI – St. Andrew’s Hall
5/31         Sturgis, SD – Nikki’s
6/01         Sauget, IL – Pop’s Nightclub
6/02         Kansas City, KS – Rockfest – The Grounds At Kansas Speedway
6/03         Champaign, IL – The City Center
6/30         Inwood, WV – Shiley Acres
7/12         Louisville, KY – Bourbon Hall
7/14         Oshkosh, WI – Ford Festival Park
7/15         Belvedere, IL – The Apollo Theater
7/16         Kansas City, MO – Uptown Theater
7/17         Wichita, KS – The Cotillion
7/18         Oklahoma City, OK – Diamond Ballroom
7/20         Uncasville, CT – Mohegan Sun Casino – Wolf Den
7/22         Houston, TX – House of Blues
7/24         Dallas, TX – The Bomb Factory
7/26         Denver, CO – Ogden Theatre
7/27         Salt Lake City, UT – The Complex
7/28         Las Vegas, NV – House of Blues
7/30         Boise, ID – Knitting Factory Boise
7/31         Seattle, WA – Showbox SODO
8/01         Spokane, WA – Knitting Factory Spokane
8/04         Sturgis, SD – Iron Horse Saloon
8/07         Council Bluffs, IA – Westfair Amphitheater
8/09         Dubuque, IA – Q Casino
8/10         Flint, MI – Dort Federal Credit Union Event Center
8/11         Sault Sainte Marie, MI – Kewadin Casino

TrueHeights – Days We Found [EP]

Signed to We Are Triumphant, UK alt rockers TrueHeights are due to release their next EP on Friday 6th April, following their mini album TH15 which was released in 2015. Unusually, TrueHeights have released music videos for three of the five tracks on Days We Found.

First track Catalyst opens with a twinkly piano line, which can be heard sitting nicely over the top of the distorted guitars throughout the rest of the track, showing the careful thought that has gone into mixing and mastering Days We FoundCatalyst sounds similar to old style 30 Seconds To Mars, the key difference being the vocals. Although a very different opening track, it’s not an unwelcome change for the listener, as it will grab their attention. It holds the promise of anthems for the listener, wh0 wants to see if TrueHeights will deliver.

Lead single Exit Route is different again, combining the sounds of Fall Out Boy and again 30STM. A heavier track, but still melodic in the vocals and the lead guitar part, without the chugging guitars and aggressive palm mute that can sometimes make alt rock sound very samey. The lyrics describe relatable content for listeners; ‘I just wanna breathe/Say it like you mean it/I don’t wanna believe’. There is also a rhythm change in the bridge section which develops from a beat to a riff over the course of the section. In some places the drum beat makes the track sound rushed, however so far the five track EP is living up to its anthemic promise.

Middle track Maybe starts with a straight 4/4 beat, relying on dynamic changes to provide the movement of the track. There is even an underlying synth with the vocals at the beginning of the second verse. The guitar line changes here too, to provide a counterpoint to the vocal line. It’s little things like this that provide a nice change for listeners, and set the group apart from the rest of the UK alt rock scene.

No Tomorrow starts off with a very punk pop Yellowcard vibe, with the ringing guitar and the soft vocals. This track will resonate with the listener, particularly the theme of growing up. The lyrics ‘We’re not kids anymore/And I’m screaming at the top of my lungs/Can you hear me?’ open the chorus, and solidify this theme. The track is nostalgic and wistful for a simpler time.

Final track Still Moving Colour opens with a slow guitar melody and drum beat, echoing the theme of opening track Catalyst. Being the last track, TrueHeights pulled out all the stops at making this song an epic anthem. The vocal swells particularly show off lead vocalist Zakk Poland‘s impressive range. The listener can imagine moody blue lighting to accompany this song live. It ends on a cliffhanger, leaving the listener wanting more.

Record label We Are Triumphant promised an EP full of anthems, and TrueHeights delivered exactly that with Days We Found. A promising career is ahead of the group, with festival appearances yet to be announced by the record label.

At Face Value – Ivy & Echo [EP]

Tomorrow marks the release of Baltimore born At Face Value‘s new EP, Ivy & Echo. This follows their 2016 debut EP release Thick As Thieves.

First track Know It All follows the standard pop punk formula of overdrive guitars, crooning vocals, double speed drums and a bass line that follows the root notes of the guitar chords. It’s a tried and tested formula, and for fans of other similar bands such as All Time Low and We The Kings, it might be enjoyable. For someone looking for a little more depth and expansion of their usual music taste, this is perhaps not the track to introduce that.

Lead single Cinderella is much the same, the drums are hammering away under a decent guitar riff, but the rhythm guitar overpowers the riff too much, and the lower vocals are lost in the mix of the song. The chorus is upbeat and cheerful, however a lot of the vocal harmonies are drowed out by too much going on.

The EP starts to pick up at 24, Still Not Liked. The theme of the song is something a lot of young adults will relate to, particularly if they are pop punk fans. It’s one of the strongest songs on the EP, each instrument has its own place and musically the track sounds different to the previous two.

The listener can expect a change at Overcast (Acoustic), however is immediately confused when the main guitar line is performed by a clean electric guitar. There is an acoustic line too, and together they sound nice. The vocal harmonies sound great and fit the song really well. There is a random line at the end of the second verse where there is a lot of reverb applied to the vocals to make it sound like it’s sung in a church, but it’s not clear why. The overall song is the best on Ivy & Echo, however there are parts of it which aren’t as strong. It’s also not clear why this is the only ‘acoustic’ track, given that the assumed full band original isn’t on any of the group’s previous releases.

The best full band song on this EP is LOTR. The introduction is cheerful and there is a clear lead guitar line and a clear rhythm guitar part. The drums are also less busy and have a better effect on the overall sound. LOTR is followed by another strong track, Return The Slab, which is the final track on the EP. The drums rely too much on the cymbals in the first half of the song, but the vocals are balanced out better and stand out from the guitars much more. The soft harmonies really bring out the best qualities in the vocalist’s voice. There is also a nice piano melody in the outtro, an instrument which hasn’t been obviously used in any of the other tracks.

In trying to do too much, At Face Value have lost a lot of the sense of the music in Ivy & Echo. They are each talented musicians, however they don’t seem to be working together fully to really create something special. The latter half of the EP is much more carefully written, performed and produced than the first two tracks, which are disappointing enough to put new potential fans off from listening to the rest of Ivy & Echo.

I Just Don’t Deserve To Be Loved – Luke Rainsford [EP]

I Just Don’t Deserve To Be Loved is the latest EP from acoustic superstar Luke Rainsford, following the release of his second album I Feel At Home With You early last year, and is the second record to be released since signing with Scylla Records. The EP is due for release on 6th April.

The first track, Looking For Your Ghost, explores differences in dynamic, both in the instruments and the vocals. Rainsford provides soft singing, angry shouting and deadpan speaking all in one track. Second track I Can’t Keep My Promises is a short one, opening with a beautiful acoustic melody and using the lyrics “I’m looking for your ghost”, tying the previous track in. The listener just gets into the track, enjoying the long pause before An Open Letter suddenly begins with the words “Fuck this I wanna go home”. This track uses different guitar techniques not often seen on acoustic performances, such as palm mutes. The vocal harmonies in the bridge are very rarely used by other similar artists, setting Rainsford apart from the crowd.

Sweet Briar is, or so the listener thinks, the token cheerful track on the EP, and the lead single, and is available to listen to now via Spotify. It’s reminiscent of early Yellowcard if they were acoustic, talking about teenage years, and using phrases such as “I never needed a father figure” and “I spent the best part of my late teens/in all the places where I thought I’d be free”

The reverb kicks into higher gear in What I Can’t Believe, making the track sound as though it was recorded in an old church hall. This fits well for the theme of the song, which talks about struggling with feelings of letting people you care about down, which most people with probably empathise with. This theme follows into the final track, What I Hide Beneath, although this is much more upbeat and the reverb effects have been dialed down to normal levels.

Although Rainsford is an acoustic artist, he makes full use of his guitar, creating multiple lines and filling out the sound with drums, as well as perfectly harmonising his vocals to really enhance the natural talent he has. As usual he’s produced a high quality record that will leave a lasting impact on the listener, especially if they aren’t already a fan of his work.

The Pearl Harts – Glitter & Spit

Glitter & Spit is the debut album from female duo The Pearl Harts. Opening with Black Blood, immediately obvious are influences from the likes of Royal Blood and The Dead Weather in the constantly moving bassline and complicated timing and pauses, and The Pretty Reckless and Joan Jett for the type of gritty energy and talent the duo project.

The underground grunge sound continues from Black Blood all the way through Go Hard. The grooves in this track are much simpler than the previous, however complicated twiddles aren’t needed for this type of music. The track starts building up from the bridge and then just cuts out, leaving the listener wanting more. This would also invoke the same reaction in a live setting.

The Rush is very different to the previous two tracks. It has a constant guitar, bass and drum line, where Black Blood and Go Hard were very chopped and cut. It would be a good choice for a single, as The Pearl Harts really begin to show their dynamic vocal capabilities here. This is carried on into Lara.

The stripped back style comes back again in Bonfires, strongly reminding the listener again of a grungier Royal BloodNirvana influences come into play at Lost In Time, with a kick of 90s female fronted groups such as The Cranberries and The Corrs present in the vocal harmonies. One might not think these groups would mix, but The Pearl Harts found a way, and mix it well. Other similar tracks are Bless Y ou, heavily influence by Whole Lotta Love by Led Zeppelin, and Living’s Done.

As the album moves along, the music changes from hard grunge rock to more alternative/psychadelic rock, and back again. Hit The Bottle is the most energetic and bouncy track, and will draw in fans of most types of rock.

The Pearl Harts put a fresh spin on an old classic style of rock, and in doing so, smash any gender expectations that audiences still have even now in the 21st century. They have made an album that has been honed to perfection and produced to the highest quality.