White Noise Radio – Cosmos – REVIEW

Following their debut EP Bristol based White Noise Radio have been making quite a name for themselves. Now with their new EP, Cosmos, which dropped on the 1st of July promises to be a EP full of ‘rollercoaster riffs and huge choruses’. Now without further ado let’s break down White Noise Radio’s Cosmos.

The opening track on this EP is Siren. A track which perfectly encapsulates the powerful instrumentation and well organized vocals that White Noise Radio (WNR) are capable of producing. The well-orchestrated instrumentation found on this track allows the band to display their heavier composition, accompanying this are these understated, soft yet rough vocals which are coupled by harmonies which compliment the main vocal line well. Despite Siren being a really strong EP opener, which not only sets up what may lay on the rest of this EP but also displays the musical ability of WNR, the excessively long run time drags the song down weakening the musical performances that lie on the track.

Following directly on from this is Gone Inside which is possibly the weakest cut off of this EP. Despite the band yet again showcasing their ability to write a cohesive track with well-orchestrated instrumentation. WNR fail to bring anything new to the table and Alt-Rock band has done before, and in some cases better. The overall makeup of this track is strong and during the second half of the song the band seemingly get the ball rolling again, but in comparison to the opener and what comes after this track Gone Inside feels lack luster. The strongest cut on Cosmos follows in the form of Dawning a track which presents this overall softer sound. This change in dynamic is welcomed and the accompanying vocals match the far more delicate instrumentation allowing Dawning elevate to a new height. Alongside this, the subtle additions of electronic instrumentation only add to the songs overall feel and helps the song move along to the end of its run time.

Closing WNR’s EP is Wires. A song which encompasses the band’s ability in both the heavier and softer instrumentation. However, similarly to the EP’s opener the track does eventually drag on which again drops the strength of this track quite dramatically. Despite these moments of beautiful and well-orchestrated instrumentation, the songs length makes these sections feel repetitive which is a shame considering the strengths of these musical moments. During Wires the vocal textures which are explored are the saving grace for the track as they add this depth and emotion to the track.

Overal White Noise Radio on this record are showing their musical ability and showcasing their ability in creating a cohesive set of tracks which are loaded with highlights both instrumentally and vocally. However, due to the excessiveness of some of the tracks on this EP the band seem to almost lose steam in places which really harshens the experience of this EP, but this EP is definitely worth checking out if you are an Alt-Rock fan. [5.5/10]

Fangclub – Self-Titled – REVIEW

Following a year in to which Fangclub released two well received EP’s the band are now back this year with their debut full-length record. The Dublin based trio, have continued to make a name for themselves and are here to impress again with this Self-Titled full-length, which released on the 4th of August. Fangclub are yet again promising to provide more of what made their earlier EP’s so great and gave them such critical acclaim. Without further ado let’s break down this Fangclub self-titled debut

Bullett Head opens up this Fangclub album, similarly to how it had done on the band’s debut EP. This track showcases Fangclub’s innate ability to create what is a fun and entertaining track, which is littered with musical highlights. The powerful instrumentation that exists on this track set a great precedent for what else may lay on this album. Alongside this the strength of this song hasn’t dropped since its original arrival on the band’s first EP and continues to show the band in a positive way, opening up this album well and with alot of hope for what else is to come.

Following on from this powerful and strong opening track, a duo of songs take center stage. Starting off with Role Models the band are proving us with more of this heavy instrumentation. Whilst, showcasing the band taking a backseat musically to allow for these well toned and orchestrated vocals to flow over the top of ths track, helping this song push along. The vocal performance throughout Role Models is suberp with subtle harmonies dotted throughout which not only amplify the vocals but also the lyrical meaning of the song. The second half of this duo is Lightining, an upbeat cut off of this record. An infectious track that wouldn’t feel out of place at all if it was sat in a classic teen movie like American PieThis track shows the band popping out an overall fun track which yet again impresses both vocally and instrumentally.

Dreamcatcher, another track from the bad’s first two EP’s follows, This track, similarly to how it had,  the riff heavy instrumentation the band have now displayed through the entirety of their first EP’s. From the tight instrumentation and strong vocals the band continues to show their musical prowess and display their ability in creating cohesive tracks, however having already had one track from their earlier EP’s on this record it would have been nice to see them change it up and not feature another track from their earlier releases all beit a nice addition.

A trio of tracks is what is next in store for this self-titled record. The first of which is Bad Words its a great track which uses the great vocal harmonies to fill out the verses and slightly more minimal chorus. The band yet again on this song show how well they are constructing their songs lyrically. Bad Words is rounded off well with an instantly catchy hook which is only amplified by the catchy riffs that run throughout the track.

The second track in this trio is Best Fake Friends which, unfortunately, is the weakest cut off of this record. Which is a shame, because, despite it being a strong track it feels quite lack luster in comparison to everything else that lays on this album. Instrumentally Best Fake Friends is bland and the vocals don’t match up to the song which comes before it. The final part of this trio Common Ground doesn’t pick up the ball really from the previous track as it again doesn’t impress as much as what has laid before it. However, the track, is still powerful instrumentally and has this air of early Green Day to it whilst mixing in the distinct Fangclub sound, which is a nice addition to the track.

Loner is possibly the strongest city off of this S/T record with this really simple yet effective vocal line which is accompanied by this almost mirroring guitar lick. The track opts for a slower tempo which helps drive the track home. Alongside this, the song similarly to a few others on this album thus far feel almost ripped out of a teen or coming of age movie which with that mental image truly adds depth to this song. Fangclub on this track showcase their ability to work with different music dynamics which shows their potential for the future.

Better To Forget starts to bring this album to a close with its overly strong instrumentation. Alongside this Better To Forget has possibly the strongest vocal performance on the entire record, even though tracks before it have been presenting strong and well orchestrated vocal melodies. However, on this track, in particular, there is almost this anthemic quality to it, like all of the memorable songs from the 2000’s had. Fangclub yet again on this album are impressing on all fronts

Closing off this debut album is Animal Skin a song which yet again swaps out the heavier instrumentation for this softer approach, at least for the beginning of the track. Similarly to both of their EP’s the band are able to go out on a high note with this well-choreographed instrumentation.  Although this song isn’t as impressive as other ending tracks the band has produced, the nice use of different dynamics and clever instrumentation makes this just as strong as a closer as the rest.

Overall, this debut album from Fangclub is a great listen. Being jam packed full of great vocal and instrumental performances there are little to no bad points on this record. Having said that, the band do still have room to grow and this debut album is a great starting point for them to do that. This album is a great listen with many highlights, so if you need an album to check out this summer or before School and Universities open their doors again make it this one. [8.5/10]

 

Reckless Intentions Lights

Reckless Intentions – Lights [EP]

Opening up Reckless Intentions‘ Lights is Ghost Town which explodes with pop punk energy. Octave chords and a strong bassline make this track what it is, but the vocal style would have benefitted from taking a leaf from The Story So Far or Boston Manor and adding a load more grit into the vocals which would have fronted the energy of the band much better from the very start of the release. The more emo feel to the vocals leaves the punchy and fairly aggressive instrumentation to fall a bit flat, especially in the most whiny parts. Following this comes single Stitches which feels a lot more like an alt-rock song than the previous attempt on the release. The whiny lack of power in the forced-accent vocals actually works well here, and added harmonies through certain lines adds some depth that remains promising.

L I G H T S is the third track which is an instrumental. It is the best of the first half from its inherent control over the instrumentation which is honestly very good. This is let down a bit again in fourth track Outcast where the forced accent on the vocals is just not working out well, and the tuning has some issues too. Contrasting this fully is the final track Home which is an all-round brilliant song. Instrumentation and vocals gel incredibly well, and the opening demonstrates the true ability of frontman Matty Halliwell’s voice.

The overarching feeling across the tracks is a lack of inspiration really. The obvious exception is Home, where Reckless Intentions come into their own and this is the main area that has legs to go forward into the next release. Not a bad release, but 4 of 5 tracks are fairly generic and could do with something to set them apart whereas Home has a newfound power and emotion that is lacking elsewhere in the EP.

ten tombs

Ten Tombs – Hiding From Sunlight [EP]

Opening track Into The Heart opens with a big sound of sliding bass and hard drumbeat combined with high lead lines, which continue through the verse into the chorus. The dual-vocal of octaves work well, and the added delay between them fill a fair amount of the space in the sound. Second track Saccharine begins with a drumbeat that keeps regular time and provides a good introduction to the song following. The rest of the intro is dominated by a high and often vibrato lead that establishes the key and feel of the song. The chorus here isn’t as big as elsewhere in the release but Ten Tombs manage to keep the funky beat going throughout which perhaps suits them better than the all-guns-blazing sense of the other tracks.

The opening of third track Death in Cali is smooth with a bare guitar intro leading into an overdriven second part and a bass-dominated verse. This comes before a very You Me At Six-esque chorus breaks out, which has the classic harmonised vocals at the end of the prechorus leading into the big sound in the body and dropping back out to the verse afterwards. The main inspiring moment of the 4 tracks is in this though, with a delay-riddled lead over the heaviest part of the EP. The song fades out into fourth track Hole In The Water which starts on a very Moose Blood-esque intro piece. This then ends for a fuzzy bass and vocal verse which progresses into a chorus with lots of “ooo” backing vocals that blend in well for a rounded vocal sound.

Overall, an improvement for Ten Tombs from their last EP but there is still a lot to work on. One issue is the fact all of the songs sound very similar which, while not a bad thing, is likely to see them grow more slowly than having some different flavours scattered throughout. A solid effort though.

Lower Than Atlantis safe in sound

Lower Than Atlantis – Safe In Sound

Opening track Had Enough establishes Lower Than Atlantis‘ dominance over their even-more-polished sound with the giant chorus with riffs absolutely destined to be hitting the walls of arenas across the country. The outro holds building vocals to blast out the end with power. Then comes second single Dumb which again has the arena rock sound. Mike Duce’s vocals are layered thickly throughout and the bass creates a real groove from start to finish for the track.

The first unexpected track on the album is Boomerang, which opens with a giant harmony on top of a synthesiser sound to create a very hooky feel. The pad drum beat through the song lets the pop style continue, while a descending heavily-edited vocal sample is played regularly on a keyboard to fill space in the choruses. This is then directly contrasted by the thumping instrumental riff at the beginning of first single Work For It. The following few minutes are filled with pop hooks in the vocals and punching drums that underpin the fuzzy riffs on the guitars and bass.

The standout track has to be the slow song I Don’t Want To Be Here Anymore which talks about depression to the point of being suicidal. The track contains frontman Mike Duce apologising to his mum for feeling how he feels, with the lines “And if all you need to know is that I’m fine / Maybe I’ll lie to save some time” showing the true nature of how supressed depression so often is. “This feeling won’t leave me” rings out at the start of the chorus and what ensues is absolutely heartbreaking truth that will seem far too relatable for far too many people. The track builds with guitars, bass, drums and a colossal string part to a final chorus that is set to have lighters flaring and tears flowing at tour dates in future.

A notable mention has to go to I Would , with its quickly-moving beat and lyrics to show absolute dedication to someone. The intro riffs playing power chords in 16ths gives good backing to the opening vocal verse, and the solo going into the second verse just oozes style. The chorus saying Duce would “swallow broken glass” and “kill a man” to get close to someone may sound a bit nuts, but in a strange way it sounds extremely endearing within the song.

Overall, some fantastic songs that make the album solid effort despite some filler material. The more polished sound suits the band well, though they seem to be halfway to the desired sound from the immaculate self-titled in 2014 and hopefully they will hit that sound on the next album. Credit where it’s due though – the album looks set to become Lower Than Atlantis‘ first top 10 album in their ten years of existing so congratulations to them!

As Lions – Selfish Age

On January 20th, As Lions released their debut album Selfish Age, following their debut EP Aftermath, released via Better Noise Records.

Selfish Age opens with Aftermath, launching straight into a catchy riff that will immediately get the listener hooked. The track is heavy, with keyboards filling out the sound and taking some of the edge off so it’s not too heavy. Aftermath is immediately followed by The Suffering, another heavy riff based track. The two tracks are very different; Aftermath sounds more like Lostprophets whereas The Suffering sounds more like Foo Fighters, however As Lions have their own unique brand that makes these tracks fill a gap in the rock scene that the listener didn’t even know existed.

In contrast, Bury My Dead begins with just piano and vocals, however the build up throughout the first verse and release of the full band at the chorus makes for an addictive song that the listener will surely return to time and time again. Bury My Dead stops unexpectedly, but seamlessly blends into Deathless.

The title track, Selfish Age, comes around halfway through. The listener can imagine As Lions playing this live, with a great live show and an intense mosh pit, suddenly slowing down at the bridge and the crowd flicking their lighters, before going crazy again.

The latter half of the album, particularly World On Fire, starts to introduce influences from classic rock, although the solo in World On Fire is reminiscent of Evanescence‘s debut album Fallen. There are also aspects of pop-punk in there, such as One By One and The Fall, which sound like A Day To Remember but with different vocals.

As Lions have more of a Lostprophets quality to them, which is alt rock with a Kill Hannah feel. Since Lostprophets disbanded, there has been a gap in the market, which the remaining members of Lostprophets tried to fill with No Devotion, but they seem to have been quiet for a while. As Lions could easily fill this gap in the market. Selfish Age as an album is polished, well performed and catchy. Each track is musically different in its own way which provides the listener with variety and stops them getting bored. Listeners will also be tempted to see As Lions live, just based on the first half of the album alone.

[9/10]

Pixies Release New Video

Veteran Alt-kings Pixies have released a video for the track Classic Masher. The track comes from this years Head Carrier album and is as bizzare as you would expect from the Boston band. Check it out below.

The band head over to the UK  shortly on the below dates.

NOVEMBER
28 LONDON Brixton Academy
29 LONDON Brixton Academy
30 LEEDS Academy

DECEMBER
02 GLASGOW Barrowlands
03 NEWCASTLE Academy
04 MANCHESTER Apollo
06 LONDON Brixton Academy
07 CARDIFF Motorpoint Arena
08 BIRMINGHAM Academy

 

Black Peaks Announce UK Tour

UK Prog dudes Black Peaks have announced a UK tour for 2017. It’s a tour that runs from the tail end of January right through to the start of February. The band had the following to say about this exciting line up of shows.

“We have had an absolutely amazing year after putting out our debut record ‘Statues’ and figured it was about time we came back to see all your lovely faces. We are going to be bringing with us some of the UK’s most exciting bands so stay tuned for that!. See you soon!”

The band hit up The Concorde in Brighton at the start of December for a taster of the tour and tickets are available right now!

December
10 BRIGHTON Concorde 2

January
24 OXFORD The Bullingdon
25 BOURNEMOUTH Sound Circus
26 LONDON The Dome
28 BELFAST Limelight
29 DUBLIN The Workmans Club
30 GLASGOW King Tut’s
31 NEWCASTLE The Cluny

February
01 MANCHESTER Ruby Lounge
02 NOTTINGHAM Rock City Basement
03 BATH Moles
04 LEICESTER Firebug
05 BIRMINGHAM O2 Academy 3

Adam Kills Eve Drop New Single ‘Autenti(city)’

Italian Rockers Adam Kills Eve have announced the release of latest single Autenti(city). The single comes from upcoming EP Of Time which the band will premier later this month. In regards to concepts surrounding their upcoming release, the band had the following to say :

“(It) delves deep into the contradictions of time perception and the non linearity of its own flow: from the teenage naivety homesickness to the need to not put to much hope in a future that is always too late to come. The truth stays is the middle, into the present.”

The video for the single is available below and the band also plan to tour Italy and Europe in the coming months.

Of Time is out on October 19th.