James Leese

William Control – The Black EP – REVIEW

William Control had announced his four part album in the later half of last year and after dropping the first part in October of 2016, many were looking forward to what the rest of Revelations may offer. Following this on the 17th of February William Control dropped the second part of this album The Black EP. After having The Pale EP top the Billboard Dance and Electronic charts there is a lot of hope for this next installment. Without further a do let’s break down The Black EP.

Opening up William Control’s latest installment to Revelations is Analog Flesh in A Digital World. As openers go it is a strong start to the second installment of what will eventually be a feature length album. As the track starts the first clear thing is the strength of the instrumentation and the electronic backdrop that powers the track along. Soon after the vocals of William Control come in to play the song shows the potential this EP has especially with the cohesiveness that both parts of this song have. One of the only downsides of this track is that it’s musical instrumentation becomes a little repetitive towards the tail end of the track, and although having an instinctive bop does become a little stale. But all in all is an a powerful opener.

Following on from this opener is All I Need which yet again shows this clever and well orchestrated instrumentation that lasts throughout the majority of the EP. Yet again William’s vocals are a highlight on the track, however the main thing that stays vividly in the mind post this tracks run time is the samples drum patterns that help carry the song along. However this song does feel lackluster in comparison to that which comes before it. Yet that doesn’t mean the track doesn’t carry some power on it’s own.

After hitting the half way point on this EP we find Knife Play. This song is unfortunately the weakest on the release however that isn’t exactly a negative thing as it is in this track that the influences of Depeche Mode truly come in fruition and William Control sort of hit a stride which is a shame considering there is only one track left on this EP. Despite this being where the influence truly come in to view and where some form of stride is hit, the track feels like it is missing some vital parts the would warrant more than two listens.

Finally rounding off The Black EP is Velvet Rose, and this is truly an interesting closer as it is a huge change pace in comparison to the rest of the EP. One of the first things that is noticeable on this track is the instrumentation and the soft piano that runs throughout, it in this that the track finds it’s subtlety but also it’s beauty as it needs no more and no less. This undoubtedly is the best track on this release and is a perfect closer.

Overall, Wlliam Control’s new release The Black EP wouldn’t feel out of place again on the Billboard’s Electronic and Dance top ten, however at the same time it is easy to see why for at least some this EP may not hit all the right spots. However, with the well constructed vocal melodies and interesting instrumental arrangements this album does have many highlights even though it is only four tracks long. [7/10]

Coast To Coast Release New Track ‘Heredity’

Birmingham based Coast to Coast are set to release their next EP The Length of A Smile on March 24th. After releasing the EP’s first single Post Graduation earlier this year the band have today released the second track of the highly anticipated upcoming EP, Heredity. Heredity, yet again shows not only how much potential this upcoming release has but also why Coast to Coast are making such a splash in the UK. Check out the track below, and if you like what you hear make sure to catch them on their upcoming April Tour.

UK Tour Dates
16/04 – Liverpool – Maguire’s Pizza Bar
17/04 – Manchester – Sound Control
18/04 –  Birmingham – Asylum
19/04 – Bristol – Stag & Hounds
20/04 – London – Fiddler’s Elbow
21/04 – Oxford – O2 Academy 2
Get Tickets HERE.

Pre-Order the new album HERE.

All Time Low Sign To Fueled By Ramen

Fan favorites All Time Low have recently moved over to a label which hosts names such as Fall Out Boy, Paramore and Twentyone Pilots. The giants are celebrating the move to Fueled By Ramen with a huge International tour which hosts a string of UK dates, which you can find below. However, alongside this All Time Low have released a new single Dirty Laundry, the single has a companion video on Fueled By Ramen’s YouTube page which you can also check out below. So if you like what you hear remember to get your tickets to All Time Low’s tour and check out the band’s single Dirty Laundry.

10th  – LONDON Eventim Apollo
11th – CARDIFF University Great Hall
13th – SOUTHAMPTON O2 Guildhall
14th – CAMBRIDGE Corn Exchange
15th – LEEDS O2 Academy Leeds
16th – BIRMINGHAM O2 Academy Birmingham
18th – LIVERPOOL Guild of Students
19th – BELFAST Ulster Hall
20th – DUBLIN Olympia
22nd – BRISTOL O2 Academy Bristol
23rd – MANCHESTER O2 Apollo
24th – SHEFFIELD O2 Academy Sheffield
25th – NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE O2 Academy Newcastle
27th – EDINBURGH Corn Exchange
28th – GLASGOW O2 Academy Glasgow
31st – LONDON O2 Academy Brixton

Sorority Noise Release New Track

Sorority Noise are pipped to release their next album Your Not As ____ As You Think in March this year. After releasing the first single off the record No Halo in January the band are back yet again with a new track. A Better Sun shows the band in a new light with a slightly slower composition than No Halo, however with the powerful lyricism the song still strikes hard and generates only more excitement for their upcoming record. Check out Sorority Noise’s new track  A Better Sun and it’s lyric video below.

Remember to support Sorority Noise and pre-order the new album

US- http://www.sororitynoise.com/products/584822-sorority-noise-youre-not-as-_____-as-you-think#
UK- http://www.bsmrocks.com/products/585384-sorority-noise-youre-not-as-_____-as-you-think-lp-cd-tape-preorder
Aus- http://artistfirst.com.au/collections/cooking-vinyl/products/you-re-not-as-____-as-you-think-lp

Fueled Hate – March Of The Pigs – Review

Based in Corby Fueled Hate found their beginnings in 2012 and after going under a few personnel changes the band have now settled upon on their final line up. Now Fueled Hate are set to release their next record March Of The Pigs on February 27th. For an album which is pipped to be the next generation of rap metal it is a record that hold a lot of potential. But without further ado let’s break down March Of The Pigs.

Opening this album is Random Thoughts. The track starts out with some powerful instrumentation which is welcomed as the record starts and shows the potential this record has even in the small amount of time that has passed. This continues until we get the first taste of Raymond Lindsay’s vocals which cut through clearly but feel a little all over the place up until he finds his flow almost when things start to come together more cohesively in this opener. However the juxtaposing vocal styles i.e. the shouts/screams and rap seem to clash with the instrumentation in comparison to when Lindsay simply scream atop the track.

Coming next on this record are the songs Over Again and Hide and Seek. The former of these tracks has a great introduction but soon is cut through almost abruptly by more of these rapped screams/shouts which seem to completely clash with the instrumentation which is actually quite strong. However, with a track which is only just over 3 minutes it isn’t a great sign when the instrumentation feels repetitive so when there is an instrumental change it is welcomed, as it allows the band to show off more of their ability instrumentally. Following is the latter of these tracks Hide and Seek which at this point in the album is the most interesting instrumentally and truly shows the ability of all the members in the band, as the track goes on it is the well orchestrated instrumentation that not only carries this track but the majority of the album.

A trio of tracks follow on from this. Starting with This Life (RADIO), which is by far the best track on this release, with a great instinctive bop that goes in to the instrumentation, this is the first time that the rapped shouts/screams perfectly combine with the instrumentation to make a completely cohesive track. Overall this is one of a handful of highlights of this album as it does give a lot of hope for the latter half of this album. Soon however the ball is dropped as the record moves swiftly in to Bomb which is truly the weakest track and that fact is only exacerbated by it being situated after This Life (RADIO). This track is a truly hard listen not only through a deafening wall of guitars but also bland drums which attempt to carry the track through to it’s near 5 minute run time.

The final number in this trio is Dogs, which starts off with this strong instrumentation yet again is interesting during the first spin, accompanying this is a set of clean vocals which are a little surprising and are little odd during the first spin yet again. However, soon enough the shouted/screamed rap comes back in to the forefront and allow for another track which shows the potential this band has through not only the instrumentation but the cohesiveness this track has.

As the album starts to then draw towards it’s close the tracks Plagued and Calling come in to frame. Plagued starts off with this gritty riff which brings the track in with a lot of power and after a great introductory scream the track kicks in to full swing and you can’t help but move a little as you listen, the strength in this track is something that is missing on a lot of this record however, it is definitely present in this track. Alongside this, the end of the track brings something new in to play and that is the infectious bop that is present in the instrumentation as it had been in The Life (RADIO). Following on is Calling which unfortunately sees Fueled Hate dropping the ball again, despite some amazingly well composed instrumentation and some brilliant vocal flourishes it lacks something present in the stronger tracks on the album. One moment in particular in this number that truly sticks out is around the 1:56 mark in which the drumming truly progresses the track and creates a great end to the song.

Closing off this album is the track Begging Me is a somewhat good closer, with some of the most interesting vocal melodies being present in this track, with some overlaying vocals that during the first listen can seem cluttered truly bring something else to the track and allow for a great and strong ending to an album which hasn’t been strong on all fronts. But with more strong instrumentation in the backing of this track it does allow the record to finish on a somewhat high note.

Overall this album by Fueled Hate is a shambles, the cluttering of influences make it a difficult listen as there doesn’t feel to be one apparent direction the band are aiming to go in. Despite there being moments in to which the instrumentation is interesting and truly shows some potential for this record, the ball is soon dropped again and isn’t the next generation of rap metal as once promised. One thing is evident through March Of The Pigs and that is the band despite having potential and a clear understanding of the basis of each genre they are implementing, they not only need some work but also need a clear direction in which they aim to take their music.

Talisman – Don’t Play With Fyah – Review

Reggae outfit Talisman have been playing and recording music for the better half of four decades and are set to release yet another Studio Album on the 17th of March. This new album, by Talisman, Don’t Play with Fyah is set to be yet another full length release since the bands reformation in 2011 and through the single Relijan which dropped at the start of 2017 it seems like this album does have a lot of promise, not only through the main mixes but the dub versions that also sit on this album. But without further ado lets break down Don’t Play with Fyah.

Opening up this album is the lead single Relijan which not only starts up the album with promise but also gives a clear insight in to how well this band are continuing to grow despite the length of time they have been playing. The first thing that clearly jumps out during this track is the simple yet effective reggae stylings that are overtly evident in not only this track but the entirety of the album. With a tight composition the vocals of Dehvan Othieno, Dennison Joseph and Pete Fletcher are able to effortlessly lay on top of the track that carries itself along at a steady pace. Both aspects, vocals and instrumentation is what makes Relijan a great opener.

Coming next on this album are Talkin’ Revolution and She Look Like Reggae. The first of these two tracks Talkin’ Revolution is an interesting track, however is let down by it’s repetitiveness and almost excessive run time. Despite the track being well composed both in terms of instrumentation which although isn’t ground breaking or different fro the opener is still effective, and it’s well constructed vocal melody it still feels lack luster in comparison to the albums opener. Following this is She Look Like Reggae which is another song on this album that is well composed, and with a shorter run time feels more consistent and doesn’t let itself down with any form of repetitiveness that can become quite laboring to listen to.  Overall this track is a great listen simply down to it’s vocal performance as the slow yet powerful vocals truly add an extra layer to this track.

This is then followed up by the albums title track Don’t Play With Fyah, which is simply just a fun track and is possibly the strongest track on the entire release. When this track first starts you can’t help but bop along to the strong instrumentation that is different in it’s make up to the track that proceed it and truly being the mid point of this album truly gives a lot of promise for what is on the latter half of this record. Again like in many of the tracks on Don’t Play With Fyah the harmonies that come from the vocalists in Talisman is something special with a very simplistic harmony set that works perfectly.

This brings the album past it’s midpoint as we hit another set of two tracks which come in the form of Hear No Evil and Racism Never Sleep. The former of these two track Hear No Evil is unfortunately the weakest track on this release and that fact is only exaggerated coming after Don’t Play With Fyah, as it is in this the vocals on the track are the weakest they are on the entire album. However the instrumentation on Hear No Evil is actually quite well orchestrated still in terms of how it is put together and how well the different parts of the album come together. The latter of these two tracks, Racism Never Sleep is simple yet effective, with some great lyricism on a hard hitting issue the song almost has a life of it’s own in that context and this together with the simplistic instrumental makeup makes it a track which can in a sense pack a punch.

Directly after this comes the album’s final song Wheel and Come Again, before we hit the dubs of each track, knowing this it does mean the album unfortunately feels short lived, despite there being 7 more song which are effectively slight reworkings of what has come prior. This track is a great final of the initial seven songs that lay on this record, as not only through the faster beat that powers this track along there is this well orchestrated instrumentation the song possesses similarly to Don’t Play With Fyah which is inherently fun to listen to. This alongside the vocal performance that sits on this track make it an excellent closer.

Finally we reach the dubs of the 7 tracks which make up Talisman’s upcoming record. After a few changes in name to add the word ‘dub’ to each title the tracks soon show their apparent changes. With the loss of vocals on some track and changes to mixing and the occasional extra instrument the tracks do become a great listen for a few spins but after that they all seem to blend together and it is only if you specifically select one of the tracks that the merit of it is clear. Overall these tracks are interesting to listen to but aren’t necessarily anything special and don’t necessarily add anything new to the tracks that the original tracks already had. Apart from the fact that certain tracks that appeared lack luster or weaker during the main albums track listing are given a second life in these dub mixes and add an extra level of enjoyment to them.

Overall this new Talisman album is a great listen for any fans of reggae and through some well crafted instrumentation and beautifully crafted vocal performances it is an album that has many highlights however, there is one draw back to this album that weakens it as a whole and that is the run time of some of the tracks, after a short while the tracks seem to become repetitive in themselves and in a sense become stale. Yet that still doesn’t draw away from the fact that Don’t Play With Fyah does have highlights all over it in both terms of instrumentation and vocals and is definitely worth checking out when it drops in March.

The Dollyrots Are Set To Release New Album

Los Angeles based The Dollyrots over the past few years have been pumping out music and shows since 2014’s Barefoot and Pregnant, but the band are now set to release their sixth studio album Whiplash Splash. The album is pinned for release on March 24th and is set to be a great addition to the bands catalog and with a US tour already announced, there are opes for a UK tour also. The album is available for pre-order through their PledgeMusic campaign.

Proud Ember – I Died In My Bedroom (EP) – Review

Proud Ember is a new kid on the block in the Birmingham scene, and is making waves after recently supporting Hotel Books on their Birmingham show at the end of January. After releasing a split with Miltone Keynes based Crater Face in the latter half of this year many have been looking forward to Proud Ember’s next release. Proud Ember is made up of Alex Hyland, a young lad who is truly showing his potential not only through live shows but also through his recordings. With out further ado let’s break down his debut EP I Died In My Bedroom.

if i was a bird id fly in to the ceiling fan part 1 starts this EP, and not only does it set the tone for this debut by Proud Ember but it also gives a clear insight in to the amount of brutal honesty Alex Hyland is clearly going to present to on this very heartfelt EP. With the tracks simplistic yet powerful instrumentation it allows Alex’s vocals, all be them stronger in shouts, to carry the song and truly hone in on the message the track is wishing to portray. Overall this opener does what it needs to do, for those who know of Proud Ember and for those who don’t, it is a strong opener that truly shows the potential this EP has with everything else that lays on it’s track listing.

This is followed by a re-recording of milhouse, although being the weakest track is by no means a bad thing. milhouse can be found on the split with Crater Face, however with subtle changes and additions this track becomes something else on this EP. One thing is evident through this track, and that is the fact that Proud Ember is far more open with his instrumentation than simply just focusing on chords like a lot of solo musicians do. However, when the track does boil back down to the chords in which he shouts so powerfully on top of, there is this clear sense that all together these separate parts work cohesively. It is at this moment the track does something new that wasn’t evident on that split, and that is the brief moment of spoken word which is truly a nice addition to the track before it closes down with more powerful and heart wrenching lyrics. Which are soon accompanied by the samples of Milhouse from The Simpsons that help drive this track home.

Coming through next on I Died In My Bedroom is [smoke] which is the strongest track on this entire EP. [smoke] starts with this brutally honest spoken word opening which talks about being not good enough among other honest wordings. It is in this moment that we not only witness some brutal realizations which are very reminiscent with Hotel Books, but also the way in which Alex orchestrates his lyrics and instrumentation to create a track full of meaning and powerful delivery. After this spoken word the track quickly jumps back in to these shouts which leave a lasting and haunting impression whether it is live or on recording and help solidify this track as the strongest on the EP.

Following on from this is I Died, which acts as the title track to this EP and is truly haunting not only in terms of the instrumentation which is very simplistic but works for all the right reasons alongside the very well-constructed vocal parts and lyricism which doesn’t only paint a vivid image in the head but also leave a lasting impression well after the song has finished. However one thing does in a sense let the track down, and that is Alex’s cleans which aren’t always the strongest. But with it being his first EP, these clean vocals will be something that will improve with time and will match the rawness and honesty in his shouts.

Ending this is EP is if i was a bird id fly in the ceiling fan part 2 which not only ties the EP together as a whole but also closes it in a great way.  With yet more of this well crafted shout and clean mix Proud Ember perfectly ties together this EP with part 2. Overall instrumentally it is as interesting as the opener with this simple riff that is now repeated but in a calmer sense up until Proud Ember starts to close off this track when his shouts become more raw and truly leave goosebumps as this track plays out.

Overall this five track EP shows a lot of promise for Coventry born Proud Ember through not only the power and emotion that are evident through the tracks but also through the simplistic yet impactful lyricism which is accompanied by this well orchestrated riffs and chords which help the tracks move along at the steady pace. However Proud Ember does have room to grow, both vocally and instrumentally, but with him only being 19 this debut EP is the perfect start of that growth.

The Hotelier – Manchester – 23/01/2017

The Hotelier this year have come round on their Goodness tour, which is supporting their latest album. The Hotelier have come over to the UK with support Crying for a string of shows which have been filled to the brim with words being shouted back and some Gameboy samples.

Kicking off the night in Manchester was a local act called Grotbags, the quartet seemed to not fit in with the night when they first took the stage as a few words were shared between members, but in reality the band truly brought an air of levity to the evening. After a few passing jokes which got a good laugh from those who understood and related to what they four were saying they quickly jumped in to what they labelled as their theme song Grotbags Theme it was very evident that not only did these guys know how to play but the crowd were in for a treat. Following on from this the band powered through tracks such as Cute, Muscle Touch and Fried Egg which all were interesting to say the least mixing some interesting and at times intricate riffs together with fun lyrics and a good on stage presence.

After a brief break to crack some jokes the band yet again powered through more of their original material such as Alarm Clock, which was a true highlight of Grotbags set, Yabba Dabba Boo and Trigger Warning which  were filled with yet more intricate riffs which allowed them to provide the crowd present to see what this band are capable and will be capable of in the near future, if they ever get the chance to catch them again. Unfortunately despite playing well there was still something about this band that didn’t truly make them feel like the perfect choice for the night that lay ahead. However, at the same time when the band said they only had two songs left, it felt like their set was short lived.Yet this brought the band to Kisses which yet again was filled with interesting riffs and well orchestrated vocal melodies and backing beats. Ending Grotbags set was Dinner Men a song which after a small request was filled with strobe lights and gold lighting and was a moment that many wouldn’t forget too soon. [6/10]

Next on during the evening was Crying and after a brief introduction the band kicked in with Premonitory Dream, it was clear from the off that this band were coming in strong and wished to make an impression on the Manchester crowd during this first trip to the UK. Following swiftly on from Premonitory Dream was Wool In The Wash, which not only got the room moving with Elaiza Santos’ flawless vocal delivery but also Ryan Galloway’s impressive technical skills on guitar which blended beautifully with the tours stand in drummer but also the electronic undertones that many fans of Crying know all too well.

Following was Patriot, another track off the bands latest album Through The Fleeting Gales from which a majority of the bands set came from. Yet again the band were impressive with some beautifully crafted technique and instrumentation, through out most of the set and particularly in this moment the band showed how well they play together. Coming next was a track from Second Wind, the first of three track tracks from their older EP’s, which brought along the heavy and well crafted chiptune that the band became so well known for in 2014, it was in this moment the band truly showed how well they play live getting the entire room bobbing along with the tight instrumentation and electronic backing that laced this track.

After a quick rally that featured Through The Fleeting Gales highlights Revive and Well and Spring the band found themselves at one of their greatest songs that came from the bands first EP Get Olde, ES. With the intricate samples and simple instrumentation there was something special about hearing this track being played in person, not only due to the well orchestrated performance from the band on stage but also through the tight presentation of all the parts that come together for that track. After a near perfect rendition of Easy Flight which yet again helped leave an impression on everyone in the room the band quickly jumped in to their track A Sudden Gust, a song which provided a great insight in to Santos’ beautifully crafted lyrics and the entire bands amazingly tight composition. Following on from this the band move on in to There Was A Door which ended their set, but this where one issue lied, this set felt short, in a sense too short. However they still provided the crowd in Manchester with a near flawless set from start to finish not only in terms of Santos’ vocal performance but also in terms of their well orchestrated instrumentation. [8/10]

After a short few minutes the lights went down and The Hotelier took to the stage with an explosive opening which fitted well with the track An Introduction To The Album, and just like last time the band took to UK stages they didn’t disappoint with the entire crowd yelling back words and getting involved with every second of the bands strong opening. Following quickly on from this the band moved in to The Scope of All This Rebuilding which yet again showed the bands musical prowess and tight instrumentation as Christian Holden’s vocals echoed through the venue. After a brief instrumental the band then jumped in to two tracks of their latest album Goodness with Two Deliverances and Piano Player. It was in this moment the band made a minor mistake but soon continued as if it never occurred which not only showed their ability to recover quickly but also continue despite these minor slip ups that may stumble a band with less experience.

Following on from this the band swiftly moved in to Among The Wildflowers, which yet again went down a storm with not a single voice being left out from the crowd as everyone sang back words to the quartet. The Hotelier’s musical prowess was clear through not only how the held themselves upon the stage but through the tight instrumentation presented through this track and the entirety of the bands set. After Life in Drag, Soft Animal and Sun the band seemed to be powering through their set but soon after a few passing words to the crowd the band landed firmly at the start of Your Deep Rest. A song which truly was the highlight of their set not only due to this being the best song of the entire night but also through the emotion which was conveyed through Christian’s vocals and the voices of the crowd alike.  Following on from this The Hotelier moved swiftly through Weathered and You In This Light which yet again passed by in the blink of an eye but truly cemented the fact that this show was not going to be soon forgotten by the crowd. However, this is where The Hotelier hit a snag with a broken bass string there was alot of fumbling on stage and swapping of instruments for the band preparing to play what was meant to be the final song Goodness PT.2 but after being what Christian Holden labelled as patient the band decided to play a few more tracks.

During Goodness Pt.2 there was no bass evident which truly was a shame considering the mass role it plays in the songs composition. But soon the band came in to full swing, after a re-string, in to Dendron which was beautifully executed as the band began the wind down toward the end of their set. During Dendron it was clear that The Hotelier were yet again wishing to show off their skill in terms of their instrumentation and vocal delivery. This brought The Hotelier to the end of their set with a heart felt rendition of Opening Mail For My Grandmother which echoed through the entire room and left a lasting impression on many people in the room long after the show was over. Through this track alone it was evident of how important all of the songs they had played during the night meant to the band but also in a sense to the rest of the room. Overall The Hotelier truly provided the crowd in Manchester with a brilliant performance and yet again with very minimal mistakes played almost flawlessly from start to finish [9/10]

Modern Baseball’s Brendan Won’t Be On Tour

Modern Baseball’s upcoming EU and UK tour labelled Touroupe will not be featuring singer and guitarist Brendan Lukens. Today Brendan posted a heartfelt message apologizing for his absence on the tour. His statement said as follows:

“Hello fam – Bren here,
I have some unexpected news. I will not be joining Modern Baseball on the upcoming Europe / UK tour. I am okay — but I need this time at home to focus on my mental and physical health. The band will continue on with the tour thanks to help from mega friends Thins Lips, Superweaks and all the MOBO crew.”

All of us here at Musicology and fans alike wish Brendan well whilst he stays at home on this upcoming tour.