Ghost Key – If I Don’t Make It [REVIEW]

Having now signed to InVogue Records and are looking to push their music harder than ever, Illinois based Ghost Key are back with a new album that is surely going to be in many people’s lists of AOTY if you are a big fan of melodic hardcore and strong punches. ‘If I Don’t Make It’ is looking to be their most emotionally draining release and now its time to see how it fairs in its genre’s pool.

With ‘Death In The Family’ kicking off with a build up of sound before the vocals kick in ferociously and the whole band following suit, you can immediately tell what kind of journey you’re going to be taken on. Having that Counterparts vibe with its writing with a big more aggression in its delivery, the band make such a strong presence with every single member with the melodies being crunchy and minimalist as to not drown out the rest of the instrumentation. As it goes into ‘Indecision’, the guitar riffs add a small element of bounce and swing within its walls, but when it comes down to the bare knuckle brawl of the breakdown, it unleashes a massive wave of low tuned and low toned sound that just takes your breath away and adds another positive tick on the checklist.

Don’t think that the band comes into the record always guns blazing, because they still have a strong presence in their melodies even if they will be mainly overshadowed by the more combative guitar work. A perfect example of this is with the introduction and verses of ‘Dead Man’ which have this crisp and beautiful guitar lead come through strong and add a nice element of depth into the recording. It helps bring up the moments of anthem-like quality to a high point before everything comes crashing down with the palm muted anguish that is their outro. Another track that has a strong melody working in its favour is ‘Dying To Live’, combined with the vocals gives the album that much more of an emotional side point that you might not have expected from the record.

This band have covered all the bases of their labelled genre as well as pushed things a lot harder to make this record have a long lasting impression on the listener and it does just that. With the modern era wave of hardcore of many kinds, this band are slowing become the forefront of the upcoming melodic hardcore band scene.

 

[9/10]

LEAV/E/ARTH sign to InVogue Records, release new song ‘The Other Side’

It’s a new day for a new band as LEAV/E/ARTH have announced their signing to InVogue Records. Bringing a strong mixture of alternative rock with a dash of post hardcore elements about it, the band are looking to make 2017 their year and they might be able to do that!

They’ve released a new single titled ‘The Other Side‘ which will feature on their upcoming album out April 6th. You can check out this new song below.

Ghost Key announce new album ‘If I Don’t Make It’

If you enjoy your heavier side of hardcore, then this band should definitely be on your list for albums for next year! With their latest signing to InVogue Records, Illinois based group Ghost Key have a lot going for them already with this new album announcement and a upcoming tour with Silent Planet.

The album is set for release on February 17th, you can check out the tour dates + new song titled ‘Indecision‘ below!

TOUR DATES
2/9: Sacramento, CA at Goldfield Trading Post
2/10: Portland, OR at Analogue Lounge
2/11: Seattle, WA at The Vera Project
2/12: Spokane, WA at The Pin
2/14: Salt Lake City, UT at The Loading Dock
2/15: Denver, CO at The Marquis
2/16: Lawrence, KS at The Bottleneck‪
2/17: Indianapolis, IN at Hoosier Dome‪
2/18: Detroit, MI at The Shelter
2/19: Cleveland, OH at The Foundry Concert Club
2/20: Toronto, ON at Hard Luck Ba
‪2/21: Rochester, NY at California Brew Haus
2/22: New York, NY at The Studio at Webster Hall
2/23: Worcester, MA at The Palladium
2/24: Lynchburg, VA at Glass House
2/25: Nashville, TN at Rocketown
2/26: Chapel Hill, NC at Local 506
2/28: Atlanta, GA at Masquerade
3/1: Orlando, FL at Backbooth
3/3: Houston, TX at The Secret Group
3/4: Dallas, TX at Dirty 30
3/5: San Antonio, TX at Jack’s Bar
3/7: Albuquerque, NM at Launchpad
3/8: Scottsdale, AZ at Pub Rock
3/9: San Diego, CA at SOMA
3/10: Anaheim, CA at Chain Reaction

AN INTERVIEW WITH: Parker Armstrong – Conspire

We got to talk to the lovely Parker Armstrong of the upcoming band Conspire about their latest album ‘The Scenic Route‘, the doubts that come with music and getting that fateful message from InVogue Records.


So you have just released your new album ‘The Scenic Route’. Are you finally excited that the album is out there?

Absolutely. We recorded these songs almost two years ago so it feels great to be able to share them with others. I had listened to them enough times to grow sick of them. Receiving feedback has definitely given a bit new life to these songs and has made me eager to continue performing them live.

What song off that record would you say encapsulates the message of what Conspire is all about?

That’s a tough one, there are a few that I’d like to choose from. Personally, I believe “Row” and “Congruency” give the listener a solid idea of what we’re about. Throughout the album there are a number of ideologies being tossed around. Amidst the unrest it’s possible to completely miss a resolve, or the need for one. Songs like “Row” are there to remind us that any hope of redemption starts with mending relationships regardless of opposition.

Your first music video was for the track ‘1971’. What is the song about and who came up with the style for the video?

That video was a lot of fun. We actually shot it at a brewery in Florida called 81Bay. A friend of mine, Sebastian Coolidge, had created the artwork on the walls behind us. I felt it was a very fitting setting for the track. David Borges filmed and edited it all himself, somehow. We didn’t give him much to work with. We had a small window of time to film, we’re not experienced in front of the camera, and also had a couple of equipment issues that made filming a bit more complicated. But somehow David was able to make something beautiful out of next to nothing. Very stoked on how it turned out, as we were hoping for this to be more of a simple play through to introduce Conspire. Next one will certainly be more along a storyline.

When or where you were born never justifies the carrying on of hate for the sake of traditional values. ‘1971’ suggest that we learn from the mistakes of our past and put to rest a cycle of bigotry. The title itself is the year in which Liberty University was founded. All throughout the song you’ll hear reference to my experience attending this institution.

What was it like getting the call/message from InVogue Records saying that they wanted you to be a part of their label?

I was thrilled to hear that InVogue had expressed interest in us. I recall eating Thai food when I received word via text from our manager, Daniel DeFonce. That night we met as a band to discuss our options. After spending an hour or two on the phone with Nick Moore (IVR Owner), I knew this was the proper fit for ‘The Scenic Route’ to be released.

You recently toured with Everyone Dies In Utah, what was that whole experience like?

It meant a lot for EDIU to give a new band a shot on their CD release tour. Overall that was a really fun tour that provided an opportunity for us to get our feet wet a bit. However, meeting up with the tour was quite the ordeal. A hurricane was rolling through at the time, so our hometown tour kick-off show in Tampa, along with Orlando got cancelled last minute. On top of that I contracted a rare viral disease that was passing around Florida. In case you’re unaware, a lot of strange things happen in Florida. Due to the illness being highly contagious we had to miss the first half of the tour. But we definitely made the most of it and hit the road as soon as possible!

What was the most enjoyable part of that tour for you?

Oh man, I don’t know. I really enjoyed getting to know the other bands on a personal level. Each  from a different part of the country, with a unique sound that sets them apart. Convictions, and Glass Houses were the other bands. They’ve both got so much energy live, being a part of that each night was something special. We capped off the tour with a visit to Dallas, TX at So What?! Music Festival. I’ll never forget playing the Tree’s stage as we opened up for Citizen. A whole lot of people were there, it was awesome getting to make a lot of new friends and run around catching sets from an outrageous line-up.

So what got you into music and made you want to be in a band?

I’ve always had a slight interest about being in a band. I believe that got stirred in my brain as I was captivated by Elvis Presley and his chilling stage presence. I don’t emulate an ounce of that, but still admire from afar. Aside from playing (I wouldn’t call it playing, as I was god awful) clarinet in the middle school band, I had owned an acoustic guitar and knew a few chords. But I had nothing worthwhile to sing about, though I’d pretend to know a thing or two about love and write some embarrassing material. It wasn’t until I was 22 years of age that I realized I wanted to pursue music as I felt I had somewhat of a story to tell. I was in college at that point where I had recently met our guitarist, Ryan. One night we drove a few hours to see For Today, Impending Doom, Hundredth and a couple of other acts at a show the next state over. That night allowed me to rediscover my appreciation for heavy music, and years later led to the start of Conspire, as Ryan and I moved  back to our hometown and began writing music with friends.

Have you ever had any doubts about continuing with the project and if so, what made you overcome?

As I stated earlier, we’d been sitting on this record for quite some time. There were some hiccups on the recording side of things as some personnel we worked with turned out to be less than reliable in the end. We thought we’d never see the end of it. But the whole time our phenomenal producer Ricky Armellino assured us that things would get situated and we’d have an album that we were happy with. He was right. And the unanticipated time it took turned out to be a blessing for me as I was able to focus on my health. Sitting around drinking and waiting for the album, I had gained a stupid amount of weight. I didn’t have much confidence to push on with the project. But instead of calling it quits, I decided to see things through to it’s full potential. Got back in shape, physically and mentally and didn’t look back.

What advice would you give to fans who are in a band and are going through those same doubts?

I’m not the most experienced guy to give that sort of advice. But from our own trials as a band, all I can say is that patience is a friend. In an industry that’s heavily reliant on constant use of social media, I imagine it’s easy to get discouraged if you’re sitting idle for a bit. But as long as that time is used crafting quality music, or making sure everyone’s personal life is in check, it’s worth it.

What are the plans for Conspire in 2017?

We’re currently figuring that out. Definitely another U.S. tour and Music Video in the Spring. I don’t have any reservation with where Conspire goes. As long as we’re playing shows and building a compassionate community, I’m happy. Just along for the ride, hopefully a stop in the UK is included 🙂 

Any final words to your fans?

Thanks for taking a chance on new music. I really appreciate you taking the time to listen, and read if you’ve gotten to this point in the interview. My final words are interwoven somewhere in the lyrics. But to summarize, as individuals we’ve got a whole lot of power. We can’t control everything in this world, but we can control how we perceive it. May we not lose sight of reconciliation. Erase fear and make exploitation a way of the past. Let’s build something beautiful!

InVogue Records – Happy Holidays, I Miss You [REVIEW]

Break out the stockings, get those presents under your tree and get the tissues as well because a few tears might need to be shed. InVogue Records are bringing something full of emotion for your holidays with an album featuring many of your favourite post hardcore/melodic hardcore acts to give you a nice dose of an emotional and angry december celebration!

Kicking off the record was In Her Own Words, starting things off a very pop punk atmosphere. The blend of happy guitar chords blended with piano and the jingle of bells is almost somewhat of a cheery experience until the lyrical content steers that away a bit with the chorus going ‘Don’t come home for Christmas / You’re the last thing I wanna see underneath the tree’, showing some sort of disdain towards a different party. Following that is Chase Huglin who brings the tone down a bit with a more softer and slower track. The acoustic guitar somewhat rings true and gives the whole soft a solid set pace to keep structure for alongside Chase’s voice hitting its powerful peak during the choruses.

Next up comes the spoken word soliloquy from Hotel Books who provides probably the first tearjerker of the record with a strong speech over ‘Silent Night’ which is played very elegantly on the piano. Speaking some home truths people might have about Christmas as well as his personal life about himself and his music seeping through and leaving you with one final shaky breath. This leaves you time for JT Woodruff to, step by step, bring you back into the fold. Whilst the tone is still somewhat dark, talking about his mothers passing and how he just wants his Christmas to be back with his family once more. The emotional turmoil definitely carries through from song to song and it surely gives that gripping factor for people to relate and hold on to, as some of us do take our Christmas’s for granted whilst others suffer with lost loved ones and lack of funds.

Up comes Woven In Hiatus, throwing a xylophone sound as part of the main lead melody whilst the acoustic guitar is the structural integrity of the song. The soft and delicate way the vocals are laid into the track are added nicely with a bit of reverb, making the words sound more poignant than others. Mark Rose is the only artist that most people will probably be going into blind, but this track probably sounds most like the christmas tracks you heard when you were younger. The swing beat, the somewhat jaunty vocal pattern mixed with the chord progression and it has a way from bringing the record through a different, nostalgic feeling that you might not have been expecting from this compilation.

Saying this song is the heaviest song on the record is a bit of a weird statement. Whilst Convictions are mostly known for bringing the aggression, this track definitely brings more of a melodic side, being reminiscent of Silent Planet in its instrumentation and the cleans feeling more raw than anything coming on this track. It’s the shining star on the top of this albums winter branches. Mirror Eyes provide you with the longest album title as well as the first female vocals on the record. The alternative rock band bring something on the same vein of Tonight Alive’s newer material and gives the record that much needed bounce again that wasn’t felt since the first track played. The guitar melodies work really nicely whilst you have the drums not overcooking it and making the whole track sound very well rounded.

Bringing the boogie to the holiday dancefloor is Punchline with such a dance-fuelled alternative pop rock jam that feels that wouldn’t just be for christmas (even though December is in the title). A definite mood-brightener if you had to pick that for any track, but to bring you down to the more existential feeling for any track is September Stories and their bare-bones feature. With it providing something strong as well as something simple, the penultimate track is such an enjoyable ‘slow-dance’ track, leading you into the Wham! cover that Courage My Love have provided is a well-placed set up. CML have given the song that alternative rock swagger that will give you a feel of what direction they might be going for the new record, with a more electronic/synth laden 3 minutes, it was a sure-fire way to end the album on a track most people would know.

This record is a definite purchase for many different reasons. If you like the artists, you should pick this up. If you want to hear something new and exciting from the mentioned artists, then its a must listen. With the BandCamp fees through till new years going towards http://www.jaycwsfund.org, its another reason to pick up this festival feeling fest!

InVogue Records announce Christmas album

It’s time to get ready for a very emotional christmas! InVogue Records are bringing some of your favourite artists into a Christmas compilation, featuring such acts as PunchlineHotel BooksChase Huglin and September Stories. The album will be released on November 25th via a free/pay-what-you-want BandCamp, with the proceeds (up to new years day) going to http://www.jaycwsfund.org in honour of In Her Own Words vocalists’ brother. There are also 100 CD’s you can purchase HERE.You can check out the artwork and tracklist below!

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1. In Her Own Words – Yule Shoot your eye out
2. Chase Huglin – Christmas Eve / Pierceton Queen
3. Hotel Books – Christmas Eve Until I Leave
4. JT Woodruff – Down Patton Hill (Christmas ’85)
5. Woven In Hiatus – Joy
6. Mark Rose – It Won’t Be Long Now
7. Convictions – Memories In The Attic
8. Mirror Eyes – Of All The Charlie Browns In The World, I’m The Charlie Browniest
9. Punchline – I Always See You In December
10. September Stories – Christmas ’12
11. Courage My Love – Last Christmas