Okay. As It Is

As It Is – Okay.

Okay. opens with the second track released from the era in the shape of Pretty Little Distance. Its video set out the first filmed interpretation of the style with swing dancers dressed in 50s outfits and the song somehow holds some of that swing within its pop punk beats. The solo towards the end sounds like it is taken straight from a rock & roll track in the period. Fast, tom-heavy drum verse parts fuel the emotive lyrics throughout and the layering of vocals allows for a fuller, more whole sound.

This is followed up with lead single Okay. which gave fans the first taste of the era pre-release. The song features a soaring chorus with a slightly more punchy verse that gives a fuller flavour of the album that contrasts nicely with Pretty Little Distance. The lyrics here are deeper than the previous track as Patty admits how he’s “felt a year’s worth of hurt and sadness catching up” and clearly felt brutally low while turning this track from words on a page to a stage-filler as it has turned out.

One of the standout songs is Hey Rachel, which is written as an apology to one of the sisters of the members of the band (presumably with a name change). The piece has one of the best choruses and emotive lyrics apologising for not being there when she needed someone, admitting faults of being “selfish and stubborn” and “a terrible brother”. The whole song feels like it is in some kind of desperation to close a guilt and move forward in the relationship.

The album closes on a strong sentiment with penultimate track The Coast Is Where Home Is provides a sentimental look back at the roots of As It Is on the UK’s south coast which has provided so many new bands with a shot at the big leagues in recent months and years. This being followed by Still Remembering creates closure for the album. It acts as the slowest-tempo song on the record which asks whether it is “remembering, still remembering or forgetting” in terms of happy memories.

Overall, a step up from anything As It Is have released before. If anything, a whole album viewing of Okay. seems like the natural progression from the EPs before Never Happy, Ever After in the styling of a more centre-spectrum rather than the debut’s more pop-end style. A very good release that sees the band hit their stride more confidently than ever.

Preorder the album here or here on iTunes.

as it is pretty little distance

As It Is debut ‘Pretty Little Distance’, start preorders

Brighton’s finest As It Is have released another track along with the first video from the okay. era, titled Pretty Little Distance.

okay. comes as the band’s second full-length album following 2015’s Never Happy Ever After and will be released on 20th January via Fearless.

Preorders went live today too, with iTunes available here and physicals here for purchase.

See the video below:

upside down set it off

Set It Off – Upside Down

Set It Off are preparing for the release of their new album Upside Down, out this Friday (October 7th) on Rude Records, which acts as the third full-length in their collection following 2014’s Duality. The record was produced in Los Angeles, CA with Brandon Paddock (Panic! At The Disco, Avril Lavigne), Erik Ron (Saosin, Panic! At The Disco) and Mike Green (5 Seconds of Summer, All Time Low). The band set out for this effort to “break down the genre walls” and this is most definitely something they’ve managed to do: the record is absolutely impossible to pigeonhole to one singular style.

Upside Down opens with the latest pre-release track Something New, which is a pop-fuelled piece filled with a drum/bass groove co-written by All Time Low‘s Alex Gaskarth. The song features massive layered gang vocals that create a big sound. Cody Carson’s voice shines through and sets the tone for the whole album from the outset, with almost a Patrick Stump tone to it at times.

The rest of the album however lacks a lot of conviction in terms of songwriting, with tracks such as Life Afraid resorting to Carson singing a line and shouting for “ladies” first then “fellas” to sing it back to him as if playing live, which makes it feel like it is missing something.

Highly characteristic of this album are the echoing, digitalised guitars, backed up with electronic horns and massively layered vocals to create a funky feel to the songs, which unfortunately makes the album sound very similar for a large portion of the record. The stacked vocals are a positive in many places though, to make the musically lacking tracks have some sort of complexity and depth, and it is undeniable that the harmonies are extremely well put-together.

The best track on the album is Uncontainable, which sounds like it could have come straight off a new Fall Out Boy record. The guitar riff is very samey but keeps the rest of the track in check, the drums are partially digitalised to give a more pop vibe and there are traces of horns amongst the shouts and melodies of the layered backing vocals. The best part of the song has to be Carson’s voice again which has a very solid pop feel to keep the track growing. Another notable mention is the title track, with a keyboard intro and verse that keeps the track listenable throughout and a far more thorough touch to the writing.

Overall, it seems this record was made to just be played with the backing of a jazz band on stage where the crowd will be there to sing the gang vocals in place of the recorded voices to give some kind of connection but on the record it is missing any real emotion or effect. As an instalment in their catalogue Upside Down is rather a disappointing one, but in terms of a live performance this record could well mark a new height for them.

 

against the current

LIVE: Against The Current – Shepherd’s Bush Empire 30/9/16

Opening up the bill for Against The Current‘s In Our Bones date were Beach Weather, a band who formed last year under the guidance of The Maine by ex-A Rocket To The Moon frontman Nick Santino. Their indie/shabby-chic styling got them huge cheers as they arrived onstage – not to mention a couple of wolf whistles – and they proceeded to play material both from their first EP and upcoming EP Chit Chat, which is set for a 14th October release. Their tunes are incredibly funky and soon came the crowd interaction, despite not many knowing the words to the songs. Nick at one point even instructed the crowd to become acquainted with the people surrounding them to then “sexy dance” to their last track. All in all, a good show and proof that Beach Weather could be one of the up-and-coming bands of the moment. [6/10]

beach weather against the current
Frontman Nick Santino

Next up were Brighton’s finest As It Is, fresh from a video shoot earlier in the day. The band opened with Cheap Shots & Setbacks which set the tone fantastically for the rest of the set, but only after a recorded intro that set out the concept for their new record and referenced it directly. They had the usual energy onstage, yet seemed to be revitalised by this new era coming up and finally being revealed to the fans waiting and this new era got a run out with Okay making its London live debut for the Empire crowd. Needless to say, the band were shocked at the sheer volume of the lyrics coming bouncing back at them. The single had only been released for 8 days yet the crowd were fully into the vibe and getting to grips with how it was being played live, to their benefit. The crowd interaction throughout was creating an electric atmosphere for Against The Current, but overall it was just a pretty usual set for them with little change, though undeniably good quality as always. [8/10]

as it is against the current
As It Is showing off their new 50s aesthetic

Against The Current came out to the biggest cheer of the night to that point, and swiftly burst into a rendition of Runaway that was almost record-perfect which is no mean feat on any tour, let alone one so extensive and draining as In Our Bones has been so far. It soon became apparent however that Chrissy Costanza was not having much fun with her voice being overly painful as she belted out the lyrics, and at one point even admitted to the crowd she was sorry for her tone and performance. In spite of this, the band ripped through hits from not only In Our Bones but early material as well, including a rendition of Infinity in the little acoustic mini-set alongside the tour title track.

A beautiful moment of dedicating Roses to a friend that has recently passed away got the crowd fully on the band’s side whether they were or not already, and Blood Like Gasoline and Running With The Wild Things got some of the best reception of the night. However, it’s fair to say that the biggest singalong of the night (perhaps with the exception of Chasing Ghosts where the band brought a minimal sound to allow for the most crowd interaction) was with their recent My Chemical Romance cover of Teenagers. Everyone in the room was completely belting it out at the top of their lungs including parents who had accompanied their children to the show, and the result was something astonishing.

against the current
Guitarist Dan Gow

Sadly, the Against The Current set had to be cut short, with the removal of Brighter and Another You (Another Way) from the setlist due to Chrissy’s condition but the crowd seemed to only be more and more appreciative for what they had just witnessed before they came back on for an encore of Gravity to round off a triumphant set.

A special mention has to go to drummer Will Ferri for his sheer volume of percussion on display in the set and his absolute mastery of all of it. From his massive kit on the pedestal centre stage to his microphoned acoustic kick box, he worked it all with absolute class as brother Mike (drummer of We Are The In Crowd) watched on from the stands.

The night was best described in a tweet by Chrissy herself, with photos of the crowds at their first London show to last night (see below) and it is clear to see just how much headway Against The Current have made. Their pop rock anthems have made their way onto the airwaves and charts, and it doesn’t look like they’ll be stopping any time soon. [8/10]

Rob Lynch Streams New Single ‘Prove It!’

Rock soloist Rob Lynch has released his new single from his upcoming album Baby I’m A Runaway, titled Prove It!

The track “is a call to arms to not rely too heavily on other people and to not get bogged down in the things that stop you from enjoying yourself and from pursuing the things you love,” says Lynch.

Hear the track here:

 

Rob is also on a European tour this July so check out the dates below:
7th – 2000 Trees Festival
19th – Wiesbaden (DE) – Schlachthof
20th – Hamburg (DE) – Uebel & Gefährlich Dachgarten
21st – Berlin (DE) – Sommerloft
22nd – Halle (DE) – Objekt 5
23rd – Hannover (DE) – Lux
24th – Cologne (DE) – Blue Shell