Following on from two explosive tours at the tail end of 2016, Coast of Coast are set to take to the road again for another string of dates with Oxford based Better Than Never and Pine. Alongside this tour Coast To Coast have teased the first single off of their highly anticipated new EP, the single is set to drop this Wednesday and is guaranteed to be something to keep an eye out for. Check out the tour poster below.
The Imaginary Family are a duo from Cheltenham and are very muss branching under this Experimental branch of Rock whilst dragging influences from Math and Jazz. This being said their debut EP Puppet Karaoke which was released on the 4th of January this year. But without further ado let’s break down this debut EP.
Opening up Puppet Karaoke is the track El Classico which is great introduction not only to this EP but also the band as a whole. With the very Jazz influenced instrumentation the song starts off strong and travels along at a steady pace. This is when the vocals of James Chuter cut through and add an extra element to the already interesting track. With both parts now complimenting each other nicely the track shows more of this Math Rock influence as the timings, although appearing off show the bands knowledge and ability to construct a track so cleverly. As El Classico starts to move towards it ending the duo display even more of the heavy Jazz influences that are so prevalent in this EP alomng with a bit more of this more simplistic Math Rock bridging over the top the track soon hits its end and flows in to the second song on this debut EP.
Following on from El Classico is the Counting Fingers which yet again shows the duo in a very positive light only from a vocal stand point but also from an instrumental stance also as the overtly Jazz and undertones flow through this track also but then are cleverly juxtaposed by the off timing vocal introductions which although can be disorientating show the understanding of both Genres that influence The Imaginary Family. Just after the main body of the song we get this moment of calm where the track slows down before being picked back up again and moving the track briskly to its conclusion.
Ending off this three tack debut is The Future, Again and it starts off very differently to the different tracks feeling almost like an uptempo pop track but quickly flips that image and becomes a far more slow track with these interesting and simplistic riffs as James Chuter sings and harmonises on top. However it is long until the track moves back in to this opening riff and then drops in to a more Math Rock influenced section, which not only shows the duos versatility but ability to move from one musical motif to the next. Now although this feels like the weakest track on this debut that by no means is bad as this is still a great track to listen to not only for the instrumentation present but also the vocal performance.
Overall The Imaginary Family have not only started off the year strong with Puppet Karaoke but also started off the year strong musically, especially against all the other EP’s and albums that have dropped already. Despite them needing a little bit of work there is a lot of potential and enjoyment that can be found in this EP not only through the well constructed songs but also through the interesting vocal melodies that are present on the top of each track, and if you are a fan of Jazz and Math Rock then there is definitely something in this for you.
Middle Of The Road is the new album by legendary guitarist Eric Gales. The guitarist’s new album is set for release in February of next year and is said to resemble Gales at his most expressive and connects with him on a deeply personal note.
Eric Gales has spoken about the album saying “It’s about being fully focused and centered in the middle of the road. If you’re on the wrong side and in the gravel you’re not too good and if you’re on the median strip that’s not too good either, so being in the middle of the road is the best place to be.”
Alongside the announcement of this album Eric Gales has released the first track to come off of the record Carry Yourself. Check out the track below.
Founded in 1968 Rock and Roll group YES are set to in inducted in to the legendary Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2017. The group who have been responsible for tracks like Closer To The Edge, Roundabout and Starship Trooper are another name in a long line of influential bands to be graced with this honor.
Guitarist Steve Howe spoke about the induction saying “Whatan honor this is for us and all involved with the history of this band, We thank all the Yes fans who have been so passionate over the decades, and helped us to keep the flag flying. It is the fans who have constantly demanded our inclusion. They have been heard.”
The debut album by LostAlone frontman Steven Battelle has been out for a little while now since it’s release on the 2nd of December, and coming off of a band like LostAlone who were praised not only by critics but fans alike there is a lot riding on this to prove that Steven Battelle can make it on his own. But without a moments hesitation let’s break down this debut album Exit Brain Left.
Kicking off this debut is the track Powers Of Denial and is a great opener to this debut and truly strikes and impressive note leaving not only a lasting impression but also setting the bar very high for what is remaining on this album. However focusing solely on this track not only through the very simple instrumental construction but also powerful vocal performance there are many positives to this tune. Throughout the run time of this track one thing does become apparent and that is the fact that the ending vocal part does truly exemplify the range that may continually be used throughout this record, and it is something that instantly impresses about this debut solo venture.
Moving on from this are the songs The Jump and the track named after himself Steven Battelle which allow him to show something that does run throughout this entire record and that is the sense that there isn’t one definitive style. Although sometimes that works, especially when flowing between these two tracks; with the Orchestral undertones of The Jump and far more pop based and electronic influenced Steven Battelle, it isn’t something that always sticks on this album as there are times where this experimentation feels forced. But in terms of these two tracks the fact that this orchestral undertone is here truly brings an extra level to the track and by comparison around the 3:08 mark in his self-titled track the instrumental break not only shows the musical prowess of Battelle but also how well constructed these songs are.
A quick rally of three songs follows and they truly do move by quickly and depending on where you are in these three is either a good thing or a bad thing. As during the first of these three A Christmas Cartel, there are many high points from the very blatant change to straight electronica to the subtle holiday themed additions like the sleigh bells during the start of the song. However as the track drags on with it’s very powerful vocal performance the instrumentation becomes somewhat of a mess and it is hard to pick out which part is causing the issue, as individually there are most likely amazing highlights of each part.
Then with Last Night On Earth the heavier instrumentation truly bring s a new dynamic to the album and is something that could have continued on past the tracks very short run time, short being comparative to the other lengths that sit on this album. And then we get The Ocean Chorus, a track which feels like it could slip easily in to a David Bowie album, yet possibly a budget version. As although there are massive highlights to the track not only through the vocal melodies and again simple instrumentation there is also through the lyricism that truly make this track one which should have been replicated more on this debut album.
Police and Thank You then graces the album, which is possibly the strongest track on the album, with an amazing sample of Marv from Home Alone gracing the track there is quite a bit of charm to the track which not only pleases instrumentally with a strong construction which sings grandeur, which although is a consistent idea is perfectly implemented here. Alongside an almost flawless vocal performance there is not much if anything wrong with this track, and truly does show how far Steven Battelle could go on his own due to the fact that his musicianship shows that he knows what he is doing. Alongside this fact, the underlying factor that he is polarizing the usual first solo venture of a man or woman with a guitar Battelle is showing he has the potential to go very far.
Two more tracks move in to the foreground which although are solid and have their individual highlights are nothing special as Nine Miles of Light and Silent Movie Scream simply just sit in the ether with not much about them. However there is something that does truly stick in the mind from both of these tracks and that is the fact that one amazing track could have been made from the two, with the instrumentation from one and the vocal presentation from the other there is so much power that goes in to these two tracks but together they would make a one perfect track, but sadly this ins’t the case.
But then we reach Absent Magic Part II, one of the most beautiful moments on this album. As Battelle sings about the passing of Bowie. Overall this track is one of great instrumentation and possibly the best vocal performance on the album with the introduction of the choir that perfectly compliments the instrumental of the track as Battelle’s voice soars on top and truly creates a moment which could be played time and again by any perspn who is simply listening to this for the first time or someone who is revisiting it for the hundredth time
Coming off the end of a track which is packed with emotion is a tune which really misses the mark in comparison to the rest of what is sitting on this debut as it is weak. Violent Voices truly does bring this album down as although there are points where this track could be amazing it never hits that next level and ends up being a lack luster display on this debut album, even with its individual highlights.
This brings the album then to a close with I’m Still Finding Out What I’m Going To Be, which does bring this debut of highs and lows to a tight and concise ending despite the ending of the track feeling like quite a mess as it doesn’t have an apparent reason for some of the samples that sit on the tracks tail end. However that isn’t to say the track is bad, as with it’s beautiful instrumentation and perfectly constructed vocal melody the track does hit with quite a lot of power and prove the fact that Steven Battelle has a lot to offer in the future as a solo artist.
Overall, this album is interesting, despite it being a solid debut album which will allow Steven Battelle to solidify himself as a good solo artist there is nothing that truly makes this album stand out. Although you has great tracks like Absent Magic Part II and Police and Thank You it almost feels as Batelle is like a budget Bowie and after having an album by the sadly departed great at the start of this year, it seems to pale in comparison. However if Steven Battelle continues to work on the ideas, instrumentation and vocal performances that are present on Exit Brain Left then there is a chance for him to truly make it big on his own.
This year has already been a huge success for Wolverhampton local Luke Rainsford with the release of his first solo album Nothing Like My Dad Turned Out To Be and the year has only gotten bigger with his signing to Scylla Records and having been in the studio already for his second album. Today Luke Rainsford has officially announced this second album and its release through Scylla Records on the 17th of February next year. This soppomore album, I Feel At Home With You, is now up for pre-order with two varianrts of tape and a CD. Along with pre-ordering you get two tracks from Luke one of which is the first single. Before you do anything else today definitely check this kid out.
Support Luke Rainsford and pre-order the album HERE
A night of high-octane energy and powerful instrumentation organised by Counterparts was ready to unfold in front of the crowd that was sat waiting in Sound Control and after a few murmurs from the audience and some very juxtaposing music to what everyone was about to see, the lights went down so the night could begin.
First on during this packed evening was Ohio-based Knocked Loose, and not only did their set pack a punch but it started the evening off strong which truly left an impact on the near-sold-out room. Starting off with Oblivion’s Peak, the band kicked everything into gear explosively with massive amounts of energy getting the crowd fully engaged with their tight instrumentation and stellar vocal performance. After a very brief introduction, Knocked Loose dropped in to All My Friends which yet again not only showed the prowess this band has in terms of their instrumentation, but also in their ability to get a crowd moving within a matter of seconds. One unfortunate aspect of Knocked Loose‘s set was how short lived it all felt, though next came a blistering rally of tracks starting with Billy No Mates – one of the major highlights of this set – and ending up at Small Victories.
Coming in next for the Ohio band was No Thanks which was possibly the only song in their set which seemed to land less successfully than the rest which was a true shame especially as Counting Worms came through the PA with a massive surge of energy from band and crowd alike. As Knocked Loose‘s set came to a close, two more tracks flew by in the shape of The Rain and Deadringer. The latter truly solidified why this band’s following is so strong in not only the UK but Europe and US alike. Even though this was Knocked Loose‘s first ever string of UK shows (on this Counterparts tour), it certainly didn’t feel like it. With the band’s pure amount of energy and the fact that there was never a moment without at least a good handful of the audience moving, it seemed as if this band have been here many times before. With a set as strong as this in not only energy but instrumentation alike, they showed themselves to be a tough act to follow. [8/10]
Landscapes took the stage next and unfortunately was a somewhat underwhelming performance. Coming off the end of Knocked Loose‘s energetic and almost flawless set it mean they needed to bring their A game which instrumentally they did, but one thing that was evident was their lack of crowd interaction that Knocked Loose had. Starting their set with Aurora, the band very quickly showed that they new not only how to construct a song but how to portray their musical ability through their tight and well calculated instrumentation. Moving on through their set, Landscapes powered through their tunes with very minimal talking to the crowd through the majority of their time on stage; but songs like Radiance, Embrace and Death After Life spoke volumes for them. One noticeable thing between these first two bands was the amount in which the crowd felt the energy and were generating, and for whatever reason it wasn’t as powerful or as energetic as it has been with Landscapes‘ past performances.
Coming next in this set was a track which did partially rectify that issue as Neighbourhood managed to get many in the crowd moving and yelling back words. It was this moment and many like it in this second half of Landscapes‘ set during songs like No Love and Heaven Ascended that helped truly reflect what this band is actually like in terms of energy. Closing off their set was Escapist – yet again a track which shows Landscapes‘ musical knowledge and flawless instrumental ability. Overall, Landscapes did give a very entertaining set full of strong vocal performances and tight instrumentation, but after following such an energetic set it almost felt a little lack lustre in execution with not many people getting as involved as there were for openers Knocked Loose. [7/10]
Last up before headliners Counterparts was Expire, who despite nearing their final days brought their usual energy to Manchester. This may have been the last time many people in the room would get to see them but Expire brought everything they had. Kicking off their set with Bark, Expire were quickly displaying the right musicianship and high-octane energy many in the room were accustomed to. From the offset, the crowd were moving along with front man Joshua Kelting making it a night to remember not only for Expire but for the audience too.
As Expire powered through songs like Regret, Pretty Low and Just Fine, there was a clear indication at how much this meant to them as they spoke about how Manchester is almost like a “second home”. However, there was an issue that was evident as with Knocked Loose – as they powered through their set things seemed to almost pass by as tracks like Reputation, Forgettable, Old Habits and Fighting The Slip started blending into one.
As Expire continued to exhibit the level of hardcore that they have been putting out since their humble beginnings in 2009, and after plowing through Spit Out, Focus, Sleep Lost and 3:65 the band were now drawing to the end of what was an explosive and well-planned set. With Abyss, Expire‘s set was nearly done to make way for Counterparts and it was hard for many people in the room, especially with it being Expire‘s final Manchester date. However, it was a set to remember not only for how well Expire played in every aspect of their set, but also how the crowd got behind them like they have many times before for a mosh full of energy. [9/10]
Closing off this night of emotional and energetic highs were Counterparts, the band who many in the room push to the front for. As the band took the stage, it was clear that the audience were ready with many moving around and shouting before they had even struck their first note. Kicking off with Compass, the band proved themselves early on and started off strong – not only in terms of their instrumentation but also in terms of the energy they were displaying.
After a few quick interactions with the audience, Counterparts were soon, similarly to every band on this show, crashing through numbers old and new all the while keeping the audience engaged and moving – either by shouting words or moshing. After blasting through Wither, Outlier, Slave and Stranger, the band were truly bringing there all in to the show especially when the band brought out members of Knocked Loose, Landscapes and Expire to help them out on a few tracks at this point and later in the set.
Coming next in their set were songs like Witness, The Constant, (You Think You’re) John Fucking Locke and Choke. These just continued to portray the amount of skill and energy Counterparts were putting out during this set. This is something that continued not only through the rest of the set but as something that was consistent throughout the entirety of the night. As the night closed with Burn, it brought Counterparts‘ set to a well-deserved and almost perfect conclusion. Overall, a set of old and new songs which showed not only superb musicianship but also fantastic energy and interaction that made an electric atmosphere. [9/10]
Following up last years smash hit, earlier this year another Elvis Presley album was released. This year saw the release of The Wonder Of You: Elvis Presley With The Philharmonic Orchestra, an album which similarly to last year portrayed Elvis in a new light. Coming straight off this release is the album’s title track in the form of a video staring Supermodel Kate Moss. Check out the video below.
The US giants Bowling For Soup only released Drunk Dynasty earlier this year but already the band are set to release their second album of the year Acoustic In A Freakin’ English Church. The album which will be released alongside the live DVD is boasting a great track listing which the band have announced now a week before its release date. Check out the track list below.
1. Me With No You
5. Since We Broke Up
6. The Bitch Song
7. Last Call Casualty
8. Ohio (Come Back To Texas)
10. Two Seater
11. A Friendly Goodbye
13. Goodbye Friend
14. All Figured Out
15. Punk Rock 101
16. A Really Cool Dance Song
17. If You Come Back To Me
Alternative/Indie band Young Legionnaire and its members have been leaving their mark on the British music market for years with some hailing from bands such as Bloc Party and yourcodenameis:milo. After forming in 2010 the band quickly proved themselves to be a force to be reckoned with, especially during their debut album Crisis Works and now 5 years later the band have released their Sophomore record Zero Worship. Now without further ado let’s break down Young Legionnaire‘s new album, Zero Worship.
Kicking off this Sophomore album is the track Year Zero, which is a clever introduction to this album, there is no explosive entrance as there is almost a sense of calm as the band move through a track which not only showcases some tight instrumentation but also some very well constructed vocal melodies. As the track reaches it’s mid point the introduction you almost expect to come from this album moves in to the spotlight with the explosive drums of Dean Pearson and powerful bass and guitars of Gordon Moakes and Paul Mullen. The track quickly moves its way through its full run time, and shows itself to be not only a great starting track but also a promising look at what else this album has in store.
Following this energetic opener are the tracks Heart Attack and Hail, Hail which although different in execution still produce this explosive entrance that Year Zero provided. Through both tracks there is a sense that over the past five years Young Legionnaire have been preparing for this moment; waiting to come back not only sounding tighter than ever through the first three tracks but to prove themselves yet again, and with Paul Mullen’s soaring voice dancing atop the tracks there is never a moment through either of them where they don’t land almost perfectly.
Coming off the end of Hail, Hail is a trio of tracks each more different than the last. Starting off with Simone there is a slow almost Alt-Rock feel to the track with the cleverly toned guitar and backing vocals that creates a very ambient atmosphere even when the track starts to pick up towards the end and is truly a piece of music which could be played a hundred times through with each time there being something new to notice. Candidate however flips everything we had in Simone with it’s far heavier makeup, with not just the blistering guitars but also the occasional screams. The track powers to the foreground as Young Legionnaire in parts seem to tackle some quite complex rhythmic sections.
The last of these three tracks is Balaclava and as a whole it truly lives up to the notion that the band do draw from some indie influences as it feels far different to everything that else that has featured on this sophomore album so far. Despite it being a strong track, constructed beautifully and packing a punch, it’s far lighter than what we’ve heard already.
Sawn-Off Shotgun continues this Sophomore album and is unfortunately the weakest track you can find on this release due to the odd effects on the voice and it makes the track almost feel very out of place in Zero Worship as in comparison to everything else we have heard it is very inconsistent. But that isn’t to say the track doesn’t have it’s highlights with the very obscure timing and structure so there are times where the track feel to have its own identity, but sadly it doesn’t really fit with the album thus far.
You and Me counters this however, being the strongest track on Young Legionnaire‘s newest release. As this track starts to play it feels very reminiscent of the earlier Simone whilst also drawing from the more indie styling of Balaclava and truly makes for an exciting listen as the track plays through. Throughout You and Me there is a clear indication at how strong this trio are instrumentally but also vocally as the melodies on this track truly do stick in the mind well after the albums end.
As the album starts to draw to a close we get the complex rhythms of Hospital Corners and Disappear, these two tracks that on occasion even sound a little mathy in composition, truly add to the albums already strong rally of tracks, yet also start to draw the album towards a perfect close. With their musical prowess truly shining through, it is good to see how Young Legionnaire are proving themselves to be a force to be reckoned with.
Closing off this new Young Legionnaire album is There Will Be An Escape Hatch and being a mirror image of what we heard on this albums opener there is a great sense of a perfect circle being drawn, not only through the tracks but through the album as a whole. As with the track’s, even slower, beginning it feels almost picturesque similarly again to Simone, yet with it’s inventive pattern and enjoyable listen it feels as if the band took all the best bits and accumulated it in to this one song which not only ends the album well but also gives a great sense as to what this band will produce in the future.
Overall this album is a very interesting listen and is something any fan of Bloc Party or even yourcodenameis:milo should check out if they haven’t heard the band before. With it’s complex instrumentation and soaring vocals the album never seems to miss a beat however, that doesn’t mean to say the album doesn’t come with issues, as there are times where it feels lack lustre and doesn’t feel as strong as it possibly could have been. Yet Zero Worship is still a great must listen from a year which has been jam packed with great music.