James Leese

The Family – Welcome To The Family EP – REVIEW

Sheffield based The Family are made up of members from the disbanded Dead Harts. This subsequent band are soon to be releasing their debut EP Welcome To The Family on the 19th of May, which promises to be this venture in grunge rock with their influences sprouting from the likes of Nirvana and Metz. But without further ado let’s break down The Family’s debut EP Welcome To The Family.

Ain’t Gonna Happen Like That kicks this 4-track EP off. At first the instrumentation feels like it could be the lead in to a great indie track, but soon the loud and powerful guitars cut through and take the music down this more rock centric route the band take on this EP. As this track presses on the drums continue to drive the song, sticking to this very controlled and upbeat tempo that the guitars easily sit on top of. As Mathew Baxendale’s vocals come in to the forefront there is this sense of grunge coming through, which adds to the overall tone of the track and allows this song to show just what is in store for the rest of this EP. Despite the vocal performance being strong on this track there are times where the instrumentation and vocals seem to clash but for whatever reason this does work.

Coming next off this EP is My Kinda Scum a song which yet again comes powering through with this very tight and well constructed instrumentation. Unlike the opening track of this EP the vocals on My Kinda Scum seem to not clash as they had done only a song earlier which allows for a far more cohesive experience. Alongside this the far more grunge rock sound comes in to fruition on this track, with the fuzzy and dirty riffs, which allows The Family to fully display their musical abilities as the song powers through its 4 minute run time.

After reaching the half way point on this EP The Family present the song Nightmares and Daydreams which unfortunately is the weakest cut off of this EP. Despite there being moments of interesting instrumentation and well thought out song structure, the overall feel and presentation of the track feels, for lack of a better term, ‘samey’. Which is a shame as Nightmares and Daydreams is a very fun and upbeat track that has an instinctive bop to it.

Ending this short EP is Radio Headphones, which is the strongest cut off the record.  This track that The Family present is one that not only is extremely strong instrumentally but also vocally, as it is on Radio Headphones that the band showcase their ability to not only bring forward a track full of these musical highlights but also their capabilities in writing what is a very cohesive number. Overall this track is a great closer which not only gets its chorus stuck in your head but leaves you wanting more.

This 4 track EP by The Family is short lived, which is a shame as the EP presents the band in a great light and shows the band has and leaves you in the end wanting more. Despite a few brief moments where the instrumentation does feel samey and is almost on the verge of being bland the band are able to rectify it by having this catchy hook shortly after. Welcome To The Family as a whole is a greet introduction for the band and is definitely worth checking out not only because of the tight instrumentation present on the release but also because of the tight and well orchestrated vocal performances [7/10]

Mutation Announce New Album and Tour

The UK Noise band Mutation, fronted by Ginger Wildheart are coming off the back of two albums which were recieved with positive reviews and great fan reaction. Now the trio are coming back with their new record Mutation III: Dark Black, an album which is going to be tackling different issues that the band are  processing personally. Ginger Wildheart has spoken about the upcoming release and has said that album features ‘Anger, disgust in people, frustration at the collapse of human conscience and hatred of the gullible element that makes up society’. 

Alongside the announcement of this new record the band are set to venture out on a UK and Japan.  Check out the tour poster below.

CKY Release New Single and Video

CKY have been pretty quiet since 2009. However, following their 8 year hiatus the band are coming back with their new record The Phoenix on the 16th of June. The album promises to be a huge release for the band and following the release of their new single and video Days of Self Destruction, which features vocals from Brent Hinds, it is clear just how much potential this new album has for CKY. Alongside the release of this new single CKY are just about to head out on their UK Tour, with many of the dates being close to sold out. Check out CKY’s Days Of Self Destruction below.

The Magpie Salute Release New Single

The Magpie Salute are set to release their self-titled debut album in June this year, the band fronted by Rich Robinson have over the past few days released the album’s first single Omission, which not only is the fist insight in to what this band will sound like, bar their two 10″ releases on Record Store Day but is also the only original The Magpie Salute material on the album.

Listen to Omission below.

If you like what you hear, there is a chance to catch The Magpie Salute live on tour soon, you can get tickets HERE. But also look out for their debut record coming out this June

Meatloaf’s Bat Out Of Hell is being Re-Released

2017 marks the 40th anniversary for one of the most successful albums of all time Bat Out Of Hell. The Meatloaf album which was released in 1977 was recently turned in to a musical and has been playing in Manchester since February this year, however to co-inside with the release of this 40th Anniversary Edition the Musical is moving down to London.

On June 9th this year the 40th Anniversary Edition of Bat Out Of Hell will release, as a Collectors edition, with an exclusive cover and 3 live tracks.

Album Tracklist:

  1. Bat Out Of Hell
  2. You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth (Hot Summer Night)
  3. Heaven Can Wait
  4. All Revved Up With No Place To Go
  5. Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad
  6. Paradise By The Dashboard Light
  7. For Crying Out Loud

Bonus

  1. Bolero (Live Intro)
  2. Bat Out O Hell (Live)
  3. Dead Ringer For Love (with Cher)

 

Young Hearts – In The Middle You’ll Find Balance – REVIEW

After releasing their first EP in 2015, Young Hearts have slowly been gaining a following in Europe. Being known for the energetic live shows and what was an energetic initial release, this debut album by Young Hearts promises to be a great release. Alongside the release of this record, on the 11th of March,  Young Hearts are also playing Grozerock this year. But without further ado let’s break down this debut record by Young Hearts.

Opening up this debut album by Young Hearts is Roll In The Hay which brings this album in, in a spectacular way. Being solely instrumental it is not something that is normally done, but Young Hearts definitely make themselves heard with this well orchestrated opening that shows off not only this ability to create an interesting track but also show off their tight instrumentation. With blasting drums mixed in the well toned guitars, the track come together for a powerful opening that leaves the floor open for anything to come due to its lack of vocals

Coming next on this album is Animals, the lead single off of In The Middle You’ll Find Balance, this track which is the first indication of what this band will sound like with vocals, is an impressive track. After the songs beginning which feels like it has been ripped from the mid-2000’s,which brings a nostalgia kick, the track slows up a little for Tom Schrey’s vocals to come over and help power the track along up until the instrumentation comes back in full force. Animals truly brings this sense of Young Hearts’ ability to not only create a cohesive track but also showcase their ability to  not only impress instrumentally but also vocally, whilst at the same time sounding like they have been placed on a Tony Hawk soundtrack

Following on from Animals is a duo of tracks, the first of which is Shakes, which opens up with this brief moment of spoken word/sampling. As the track starts to rear its head, soon the band come in to full swing with a track which has a great bass riff running along the bottom of the track which truly adds something else to it and it’s makeup, especially during the moments in the track when the instrumentation simply is bass and drums running underneath the well orchestrated vocals and subtle harmonies. GFY! is the second half of this duo and as an overall track it feels completely different to the songs which come before it, whilst still running with this more Punk Rock structure and composition, it still feels like it could be a completely different band. This far more guitar centric track allows the vocals to be more rough around the edges which although is a subtle change not everyone will be in to, does bring an extra layer to this riff heavy, fun track.

Coming off the tail end of GFY! comes a trio a tracks which begins with Today, which is by far the weakest track on the release, despite still being strong instrumentally, the track suffers from this wall of guitars which seem to crash together creating a somewhat difficult listen. Despite the vocals and drums on this track managing to carry this song on the album in comparison to the rest of the songs on here it feels much weaker than most of this albums tracklisting. Coming next in this trio is Start Over and is the first time there is any noticeable dynamic change as it is in the opening of this track the song begins with this soft and slow piano intro which introduces a new layer and element to the track as it feels very juxtaposing in comparison not only to the rest of the album but also to the rest of this track as soon the track comes back in to full swing with this fast paced punk rock sound the rest of the album  entails.

The final part of this trio is Bullet, and following a brief sample the track kicks in to full swing with a wall of sound that feels more Punk in its orchestration. The far more aggressive instrumentation and vocals adds to the overall feeling of the track. As this song progresses, the instrumentation continues to impress and truly showcases Young Hearts ability to create a fast paced, high octane track which encompasses almost a different side of the band, however, with such a short time this moment feels short lived.

Following on from this trio of tracks is The Voice. A cut from this album which although isn’t breaking the wheel or adding any new dimension to the album is a very well written and orchestrated track, with a snappy chorus and decent amount of tight instrumentation, it is a decent track that not only reaffirms Young Hearts’ ability to create a cohesive track but also allow themselves to show off a little more instrumentally, with a solo slotted in part way through the song.

Coming off the tail end of The Voice is another trio of tracks starting with the simply titled  Awesome the band jump in to a track which feels again very reminiscent of this late 90’s Punk Rock, it is evident through this and many other tracks that Young Hearts on this record are replicating a sound which hasn’t been heard in quite a while. Alongside this, Awesome brings along some of the best harmonies on the entire record, with the simplistic yet powerful harmonies bringing an extra punch to the vocals and lyrics. Awesome is one of the strongest cuts off of this record and with this tight orchestration it will leave you playing it over and over.

Guess Again follows quickly after and although the drums on this track are exceptional there is something missing to make this track as strong as others that have followed it, however the introduction of slightly heavier instrumentation and screamed vocals allow for a different texture to this record and make an exceptional addition to what is a strong album. The final part of this second trio of tracks is Low Tidal Wave, which yet again brings a vast dynamic change to what comes before it, with the slower and darker instrumentation coupled with the sample/spoken word running underneath the song has an extremely different feel to it. Almost as if this isn’t the same band, however, at the same time the break from the upbeat Punk Rock the main chunk of this album features is interesting.

With Low Tidal Wave starting to bring this album to a close Young Hearts then come crashing back in with Balance. With the longest run time on the record, it is in Balance that the band seem to give themselves a little more time to experiment as during this track, the most interesting and clever moments of instrumentation come in to play. With changes in tempo and volume the band showcase many different musical abilities. With a Punk Rock opening, an Easycore center and what feels slightly indie ending this track showcases the band in many different lights and does truly make an interesting listen. Overall Balance does make the perfect closer, filled with beautifully constructed vocal melodies and tight instrumentation the band close In The Middle You’ll Find Balance well.

Overall this Young Hearts debut album In The Middle You’ll Find Balance is a well constructed and well executed project that showcases a sound that many maybe missing. With the nostalgia kick of Late 90’s to Mid-2000’s Punk Rock mixed well with a few moments of genre blending the band create a record that never seems to lull apart from a few moments here and there. With Tom Schrey’s well choreographed vocal melodies this album allows for each member to show of their musical prowess in a different way. If you are in need of a new album that brings nostalgia with it or just a strong album to listen to then look no further as Young Hearts are providing it.

Already Heard Release Compilation Album in Aid of MIND

Already Heard’s 5th Birthday is coming up this month and in honor of that they are releasing a compilation album to celebrate. The album Already Heard Recommends: Volume 4 is being released through their bandcamp and features tracks from the likes of Casey, Kamikaze Girls, Luke Rainsford and Tigercub.

This compilation album is pay what you want, however, 100% of the profit will be going toward the charity a MIND. MIND are a charity which offers information and advice to those who suffer with mental health illnesses and lobbies with Local Authorities and the Government on behalf of these people. MIND are also raising awareness and helping others understand the issues regarding mental health.

Support Already Heard and MIND by picking up the album today : HERE

Also find out more about the great work the people at MIND are doing at mind.org.uk

Coast To Coast – Birmingham – LIVE REVIEW 18/04/2017

Coast To Coast earlier this year released their new EP The Length Of A Smile which was received with a lot of success from critics and fans alike. Following on from this release the band have headed out on tour with label buddies Better Than Never and Pine. This tour promised to be a big hit due to the success of the EP and from past experiences with Coast To Coast’s live shows.

Opening up the night was Pine a band whom had released their own EP just before heading out on the road with Coast To Coast, for many in the room it was the first time seeing Pine live and was a great chance for them to impress people who may have never heard of them before. The band managed to get the evening off to a great start despite their overly short set time. With very strong instrumentation and vocals to match Pine did showcase why they have gained a following thus far.

Part way through their set Pine dropped a cover, one which made the room come alive with even more energy then it already had been during the main chunk of their set, as they powered through Teenage Dirtbag there weren’t many people who weren’t shouting the words back at them, and it was in this moment that the first crowd surfer of the night surfaced. Overall Pine opened up this night well, with a very cohesive performance which was strong instrumentally and vocally throughout, with songs like Barricade and Empty Head truly showcasing their ability in not only creating a cohesive track but also keeping their live performance close to their recorded sound. Pine truly show why they will be a band to watch in the near future. [6/10]

Following on from Pine was Luke Rainsford. During this tour Luke had been filling in on drums for Coast To Coast and during the Birmingham show got his chance to play full band once again. Starting off with Home Safe it was apparent that many people were excited for Luke’s set as the room seemed to have tripled in attendance between Pine and himself, and without a single voice being left out of the crowd it was clear how well Luke’s set was landing with the Birmingham crowd.

Throughout Luke’s set the band made up of members of Fullshore and Zak Taylor from Coast To Coast showed their tight instrumentation and flawlessness in replicating what was on Luke’s latest record I Feel At Home With You. It was in these moments in which the band were perfectly orchestrated and well rehearsed that it was evident that there is no difference between Luke playing solo or as a full ensemble as the emotional delivery of the lyrics truly hone in on the messages that are being portrayed through tracks such as I am Melodramatic (A Song About Death). As this set powered on through it was evident that not only did the amount of people shouting back his lyrics mean so much to Luke but the words meant a lot to the members of the audience as by the end of the set there weren’t many dry eyes in the house.

As Luke Rainsford brought his set to a close with Frame, he took a moment to address the issue of mental health with the audience in which he spoke as honestly as I Feel At Home With You does. The words spoken at this moment hit home and accompanied by the messages in Frame it truly made Luke’s set stay in the forefront of the mind for a long time after the band had departed from the stage, and with his tremendously honest vocal delivery and the band’s tight and well orchestrated instrumentation this set felt perfect. [9/10]

Following on from Luke Rainsford was Oxford’s Better Than Never, whom wasted no time in showing just how much energy they would be injecting in to the evening. With an explosive opener in the form of 126, Better Than Never showed just how tight they are instrumentally and how quickly they can get an audience moving. Alongside the tight instrumentation it was in this moment that James Harris and Will Keating showed their coordination and ability to accompany each others vocal melodies well track after track.

Credit: Nick Neuenhaus

As Better Than Never moved on through their set, the amount of energy continued to build coming to a climax during set highlights Fourty Eight and their rendition of Sugar We’re Going Down. These tracks showed a mass amount of audience participation, with a hardcore style space being created by a few audience members and mic grabs galore during the Fall Out Boy number. Despite what seemed a few minor mistakes the band managed to continue creating a strong performance which showcased their ability in recreating their recorded tracks almost beat for beat as they are on their latest EP.

Credit: Nick Neuenhaus

As Better Than Never brought their set to a close with the first single off of Head Under Water, Learning To Swim their set truly came in to fruition, the best parts of their set in terms of tight instrumentation, strong vocal performances and mass amounts of crowd energy came together to end their set strongly. Despite a few slip ups here and there Better Than Never did produce a very entertaining set. [8/10]

Following a 15 minute change over Keiran Hyland of Coast To Coast uttered a slightly different line many people from Birmingham have heard before ‘We are Coast To Coast everyone come down’. Without a second thought the entirety of the audience moved forward for the first track in Coast To Coast’s set Geranium. This track which not only beautifully opened up their set also showcased their clear instrumental ability, as Keiran Hyland effortlessly sang note for note as it is on The Length Of  A Smile. As the band continued on through their set they played hits of off of their first EP Bloom and Cornerstone, which were met with a chorus of voices shouting back every word.

During this set Coast To Coast continually showed their strong instrumentation but also their ablity to control an audience, getting them moving and singing back words from track to track. As the band plowed through AjaxHeredity and set highlight Stale the band continued to put on a performance that was almost flawless, apart from a few slip ups, and showcased just why Coast To Coast may be one of the next big bands in the UK.

As Coast To Coast started to bring their set to close everyone in the room was fully involved with the band even taking time to bring guitarist Josh Taylor in to a crowd surf, it was during these moments that the set truly came in to fruition with the entire band playing cohesively, as they have done for the majority of their set. After finishing on Post Graduation the chant of ‘one more song’ began, before Coast To Coast began Bunkbeds to a chorus of people shouting back words as the set came to a close, not only rounding off a near perfect set, but also perfectly ending a show full of emotion and energy [9/10]

Halflives – Empty Rooms – REVIEW

Italian based quintet Halflives are soon to be heading out on the road with Courage My Love on their EU/UK Tour. However, more recently the band dropped their debut full length Empty Rooms, and album which not only is the result of 18 months work but also shows their already increasing fan base, due to the fact that Empty Rooms found its birth from Crowd Funding. The album which was released on the 14th of April promises to be a big step forward for the band, however let’s breakdown Halflives debut full length Empty Rooms.

Opening up this 8 track debut is Lone Wolf, which moves in gently with a mix of well toned guitars and accompanying drums. Soon though Halflives’ Linda Battilani comes in with full force bringing the attention to her and her vocals, for the most part in this track she feels to dominate the track but also allows the rest of the band to showcase their ability and the well orchestrated instrumentation the band has pieced together. Overall Lone Wolf opens this debut well, with a well constructed tone and at times interesting instrumentation it shows the potential this album has and sets a good precedent for what else lies on this album.

Coming next are the tracks Mayday and Burn the two main singles from this release. Mayday features first and with it’s almost Against The Current sound it is a track which truly shows why there was a lot of excitement surrounding this record, from the extremely well constructed vocal melodies to the well presented instrumentation that carries the track along at a brisk pace. Following on is Burn, which plays a little more on Linda Battilani’s vocals and gives you the sense that it could be a cut from a summer blockbuster. Burn also happens to be the strongest cut off of this album with the very minimal instrumentation, which at first can seem like an issue does in fact add to the overall feel of the song. Alongside this Burn feels almost anthemic in its structure.

Following on is a trio of tracks the first which is Echo, a track which yet again shows the potential this band has, with this very palatable sound. Highlives also drags this anthem sounding construction from Burn in to Echo allowing for a clear indication in their capability of writing tracks which are consistent and cohesive. Next in this trio of tracks is The Sickness, which is the first time that Halflives drop the ball as it is in this moment that the tracks instrumental composition starts to get repetitive and the overall execution of the track feels lack luster. However, that isn’t to say that the dynamic shifts aren’t interesting as the occasional shift does add something to the track.

Half Alive is the final track in this trio and after what is a somewhat dull moment on the album, Halflives manage to get the ball rolling with a track which comes with it’s own instinctive bop and a great cohesive merging of electronic instrumentation and a full band sound. Half Alive also comes with a catchy chorus similarly to many tracks on this debut record, alongside a great use of dynamic changes which bring a new element and layer to the instrumentation which is present on this track.

Acting as the title track to this debut full length Empty Room follows as the album starts to come to its close. It is in this track where the thematic structure of the album truly comes in to play and allows for the vocals to carry a lot of weight and make an impact through the lyricism and vocal presentation that effortlessly mixes with the instrumentation. However, similarly to how it had on The Sickness it is in this that the tracks length still feels a little labouring for what is actually in this track, even despite the massive impact the lyricism makes.

Ending this debut record is Collide. Collide is the most interesting track on this release simply because of the high usage of electronic instrumentation, however when the band do finally mix in the electronic instrumentation with their well orchestrated guitars and drums the track comes together for a well rounded ending that brings this debut album to a close well. Alongside this it seems that in this track Halflives are yet again making an impact with the lyricism that is present in the track and allows for a haunting feeling long after the album has finished.

Overall, through Empty Rooms Halflives have created an album which wonderfully showcases their abilities and their potential to go on further with this sound that they and many other bands are using today. With the occasional anthemy sounding cut off of this album and their well orchestrated instrumentation there are many positives on this record. However, when the tracks do feel labouring to get through, which does happen once or twice on this record it does drag away from what could have been an excellent album. [6.5/10]

New Tour and Video for Paramore


Well renowned Tennessee band Paramore have been quiet since their 2013 Self-Titled record. However after recent posts about recording, Paramore have today announced a new album, dropped a new track and video, as well as announcing a string of UK tour dates for June this year.

Paramore‘s new record titled After Laughter promises to be a great releases and based off this brand new single Hard Times it seems that this new record will be as successful as their last. Alongside this new single Hard Times, the band have announced a short string of UK shows this June, the tickets for which will go on sale on the 28th of April.

Tour Dates

15th June, Dublin, Olympia

15th June, Belfast, Waterfront

18th June, Manchester, O2 Apollo

19th June, London, Royal Albert Hall

21st June, Bristol, Colston Hall

22nd June, Edinburgh, Usher Hall

 

Pre-Order Paramore’s After Laughter HERE.

Tracklisting

1. Hard Times

2. Rose-Colored Boy

3. Told You So

4. Forgiveness

5. Fake Happy

6. 26

7. Pool

8. Grudges

9. Caught In The Middle

10. Idle Worship

11. No Friend

12. Tell Me How