Watford’s finest Lower Than Atlantis have released another track from their upcoming album Safe In Sound, which is titled Had Enough. The song premiered on BBC Radio 1 tonight with Annie Mac and marks the third track to be released from the album so far ahead of its February release.
Frontman Mike Duce said “Had Enough was the first song written for Safe in Sound and felt like it perfectly picked up from where we left off with the self-titled, but also took things some place new. We feel that it’s one of the best Lower Than Atlantis songs ever so we can’t wait to share it with the world! The album feels like a much truer representation of our band than the last record and the success of that album meant we had to challenge ourselves to write bigger and better songs this time around. The song is about exactly what the title suggests! Everyone has one of ‘those’ days and this song is the soundtrack.”
See the video below:
In addition, Lower Than Atlantis have announced the support for their upcoming 2017 UK tour will be Young Guns, Hands Like Houses and ROAM. See the poster below:
At very short notice following the breakdown of the Of Mice & MenCold World tour, Hands Like Houses announced two shows playing latest album Dissonants in full for the first time: London and Southampton. Fizzy Blood jumped at the chance to support at the London show and travelled down from Leeds to do so, bringing with them their usual energetic show.
With their blend of moderate alternative rock and indie punk, many of the crowd were taken slightly by surprise. Fizzy Blood are very different from Hands Like Houses, but in a way the pairing really worked; the two bands both blend many influences to create a fusion of genres within their own sound while remaining pretty heavy in parts. While not many of the audience members knew the tracks produced by the band, there was a lot of interaction and Fizzy Blood left the stage satisfied with their set. [8/10]
When Hands Like Houses emerged, the intimate venue had an atmosphere almost tangibly electric. Trenton made a point of telling everyone that this was the first time they had ever played Dissonants in full, and kicked straight off with I Am to get the momentum going. The band shredded through Perspectives and Colourblind with little time to stop for a breather much to the instrumentalists’ torment, but the joy on the faces was clear for all to see.
Towards the end of the set, the speeches became more common as Trent realised those around him needed to breathe for a while with the intensity of the show. These came in the form of explaining where Dissonants came from in terms of concepts, as well as there the individual tracks came from in the heads of the members. Following these though came plays of some of the conceptually biggest tracks of the album, namely Momentary, Motion Sickness and Grey Havens.
The biggest interaction however came from Degrees of Separation which is the most pop-style track on Dissonants. The crowd without exception were moving to the beat and the majority were singing along, and many felt that this made up for the lack of the track’s inclusion on the Cold World tour setlist when it hit local venue the Forum three weeks ago.
After the final notes of Bloodlines rang out, Trenton thanked everyone for coming in the usual style, and Hands Like Houses left the stage, yet the audience wanted more. Chants of “one more song” came ringing out, and with a good half hour to go before the curfew the band knew they couldn’t just leave them wanting more. A few minutes passed as they scrambled together a plan for what to do next, and with a dashing of crew members about the venue they returned to the stage.
Trenton announced “we were here to play Dissonants in full and we’ve done that…” and asked “what do you want from us?”, leading to fans screaming various songs both from their catalogue and others’. He made reference to the fact he couldn’t hear anyone and said they were going to “just play something and hope”, breaking into No Parallels from the 2013 Unimagine album before finishing up on usual set-closer Introduced Species.
Overall, the night may well prove to be the “coming of age” night for Hands Like Houses. They’ve recently completed hundreds of miles on the Of Mice & Men tour and have played one of the most energetic and fuelled events Boston Music Room could have ever seen. Even playing some songs for the first time couldn’t knock the band from their stride – they are in the form of their lives.
First support for Of Mice & Men‘s Cold World tour were Australian outfit Hands Like Houses who, along with their latest album Dissonants, have been making waves lately. The band hit the stage with confidence and energy as they opened with the album’s first track I Am and within seconds the crowd were bouncing along. Many did not know the band, but there were murmurs of pleasant surprise and downright fascination throughout the entire track. Then came more tracks from the album including the anthem New Romantics which really blew everyone in hearing distance away, and sadly the band were gone as soon as they had come but not before a crushing rendition of Introduced Species. At this rate, it could be sooner than you think that Hands Like Houses could be headlining venues of Forum’s size because they have the quality live, well-written tracks and just need the fanbase to back it up. Do NOT sleep on this band, they’re going places.
As the second band Crown The Empire were preparing to come on, they knew they had a lot to live up to. Without co-frontman and rhythm guitarist David Escamilla this tour due to “personal reasons”, the stage looked rather empty for the performance. Andy Leo made up for the loss of vocals however, as he powered through tracks from all three albums and taking the pick of the vocals with a strong stage presence. The inconsistency and compartmentalised structures of the tracks with breakdowns one second and slower pop choruses the next restricted crowd interaction as many had no idea what to be doing in time with the music, which made some of the tracks mid-set fall slightly flat. The closing track Machines and even those who had scarcely heard of the band were familiar with it, and it got the best reception of the set by a long, long way with a mass singalong. Not a bad set by any means, but the band were clearly not fully on form (though it’s clear why!)
Headliners Of Mice & Men came out to a crowd who had been suitably warmed up, and greeted them with vicious new track Pain which caused mass hysteria within seconds. This lessened off through The Lie, Feels Like Forever and Would You Still Be There and the crowd were almost completely inactive during Real. It was apparent the new tracks weren’t going to pick up much of a reaction through the rest of the night.
This sadly was true through the mid-set tracks, as +, Away and Relentless received some of the smallest reactions of any Of Mice & Mentracks on any UK tour so far. Luckily (or strategically, who knows), the band had tagged on the three other The Flood bonus tracks from the reissue to make the complete four: The Calm, The Storm, The Flood added their setlist staple The Depths. This decision got them some of the fans encouraged by the US support slot on the Slipknot tour earlier in the summer, and even some of the old-school fans (those who hadn’t left) started getting back into it.
They came back on for a charged rendition of You’re Not Alone and finished up with a fantastic version of fan favourite Second & Sebring from the 2010 self-titled debut record. These – in addition to the four Flood tracks and Pain to open – saved an otherwise lacklustre set that seemed to be lacking a lot of energy and conviction, with a stop-start feel due to a lot of pausing between tracks. Perhaps without having Hands Like Houses and Crown The Empire as supports they may have seemed a little more on form…
Australian rockers Hands Like Houses have been touring the globe and hitting new heights since the release of their third album Dissonants earlier in the year, so we caught up with Trenton Woodley (vocals) and Alex Pearson (guitar) before their Cold World set in London last night.
What’s the band philosophy about mixing genres? You guys seem to do it effortlessly.
Trenton: I think it’s case by case, honestly. We’ve all got different tastes and different influences. I’ll listen to a lot more heavy stuff whereas Al is probably in between, Coops [lead guitar] listens to a lot more folk and indie stuff, Matty P [drums] listens to anything from pop punk through to Adele and pop. It either works or it doesn’t really, when we write there could be the start of a melody that references one thing so we bring in that vibe but then we cross it. It just is down to seeing what works.
Would you say your influences are very varied then?
Trenton: Well, yes. Like I said, we all have very different tastes individually and I think by us just writing music together we make it different. Even if we’re all trying to write the same type of thing, just coming at it from various directions means it sounds like a collaboration of various influences. That’s what creates our overall vibe.
What’s the reaction to your music been like here as opposed to at home?
Alex: Australia’s really picked up this album cycle and it’s becoming one of our strongest markets. Fortunately we’ve been able to come back twice [to the UK], we did a headliner not that long ago and now we’re back again. It’s nice to play to a totally different crowd on this tour so I think once we come back again then we’ll really start seeing a jump from where we’ve been on our own headliner to growing with Of Mice & Men‘s fans too.
Trenton: I think it’s always a balance between support and headliners. Supports are how you win new fans on the road but a headline tour is financially the better option. Headline sets you get to play more songs, old favourites, some of the more obscure tracks off the new album that aren’t necessarily going to grab new fans straight away. We’ll probably do a couple of supports then a headline and repeat.
Did you have any specific goals in recording Dissonants?
Trenton: Just finish the album [laughs].
Alex: Yeah, there were a few hurdles. I think obviously we just wanted to have a sick album, but a lot of the frustrations shone through.
Trenton: From the outset, we aimed for a more heavy, aggressive-sounding album to play live. Some of the frustrations from the process influenced it. It was an incredible amount of pressure both self-imposed and external with a time pressure that really forced us into the situation of making the best of it. It’s not that we weren’t prepared at all, we had just prepared for something other than what it was becoming. The aggression kind of came out of that, with ourselves and the situation, and that projected itself into what it became. In terms of a goal then, it was just to get a great live album that was aggressive yet had the emotional depth with it.
Were there any songs before you started recording you knew were particularly special?
Alex: We had the break in the middle of recording for Warped and we had recorded about half the album either side of it. We took one of the songs, New Romantics, that we hadn’t released yet and played it on Warped and I think that was a sort of guide for us to see directionally how people would be reacting to the material. It just created a really good vibe and the crowd seemed to dig it so I think that encouraged us a bit throughout.
How important is the Hands Like Houses sound to the writing process nowadays?
Trenton: I think we know it’s going to sound like us no matter what we do so it’s just a case of writing something and if it is sounding a little bit too outlandish it’s like ‘well how do we bring this in line with what we do?’ It’s usually more of a comparison than a direction. Our common instruments, our common styles – whether that’s Matty’s style of drumming, how Al writes riffs, the lyrical and melody ideas I have, Joel’s bass licks and Coops’ leads – makes us sound like us. Everyone has their own sound and own style so at least to us those subtleties mean that no matter what we play it sounds like us. However we write, whether it be upbeat, downbeat, slow or fast it will sound like us.
How have Rise Records been through the years and have you adapted your dynamic to fit with them?
Alex: They don’t really have a lot of input to us creatively at all, not that that’s necessarily a good or bad thing, it’s just how they were. That was fine for us because we weren’t really trying to take on board a load of advice and ‘you should write this’. We just kind of wanted to do what we liked. In that sense, it was nice nobody was pressuring us like that. To be honest though, labels are just like a bank: they give you money to help you out and you invest that in growth.
Trenton: Yeah, a label is always an important part of the team, especially as you’re starting out. The industry is always changing so the role of the label kind of changes with it. For us, Dissonants was our third album on Rise, and there are some really great people there. We’re just figuring out where to go in terms of this now, a lot of discussions to be had within the band and it’s pretty exciting to have so much in front of us.
Have you got any idea which direction you’ll be heading in for the next writing sessions?
Trenton: We’ve got a few inklings but at the same time we need to look at Dissonants: we set out to do one thing and it kind of shifted the plan a little bit. I think the big challenge is that we could easily write another Dissonants record but I think that we want to challenge ourselves in progressing what we did on it. I think the next one will be a very live-sounding album, bouncy, aggressive and energetic. We’re still figuring out exactly what direction we’ll take that. We’re starting to put together a few little demos here and there, but we’re not in a rush.
Alex: We’re not trying to hurry anything, more consistently working on it all. We just want to be a little bit more prepared.
Trenton: We’ve finished the contract with Rise and we want to have some songs properly written before we have a chat to labels, whether that’s talking to Rise or other labels around the place. We’ve got a lot of decisions to make, a lot of conversations to have which is really exciting for us but at the same time a big step. There are just so many ways we can shape our career and our music from here and it’s all just about decisions now really.
Throwing it back in time a little way now, what’s the story behind the Punk Goes cover you did?
Trenton: We were offered a space on the Punk Goes 90s compilation so we thought ‘okay, 90s…’ and had a look at top 40 hits of the time, especially things we remembered. Our first choice was Say My Name by Destiny’s Child but I think that just missed out on 90s by a few weeks or something but also didn’t really fit with what the organisers wanted. They wanted more grunge rock sort of vibes.
Alex: There was a Seal song we were looking at but then Trent suggested the Natalie Imbruglia song, and we said ‘that song kicks arse so yeah, let’s do it’.
Trenton: It was already a great rock ballad and we just needed to play through it and put our own kind of spin on it all. It just came together really easily.
If you could tour with one or a group of artists from history or now, who would they be?
Trenton: Either Queen or Linkin Park for both of us I think.
Alex: I also really like The Police so it would be cool to tour with them.
Birmingham native Luke Rainsford is infamous in the underground pop punk market for playing in or with practically every band around. A permanent member of Layover doing vocals and guitar in Fullshore, and having played drums for Coast To Coast, he has a wide variety of skills. He’s even played shows with Trash Boat‘s most recent support Weatherstate, so this lad gets around. On this record however, he throws away everything and everyone he holds dear to put out I’m Nothing Like My Dad Turned Out To Be, his debut solo release.
The record is a singer/songwriter project with elements of This Wild Life, the sense of humour of Lucy Spraggan and the self-deprecation of Charlie McDonnell, yet he manages to keep the style very much his own.
Vocally, Luke stays to his pop punk roots with an Anglicised accent verging on northern English that steers away from the generic American sickly-sweetness shown by so many artists in the modern market. The vocals are solid for most of the record with little pushing his range or going out of the comfort zone, yet somehow are fantastically effective and remain interesting for the whole album. The delivery draws clear and focused attention to the intelligently written lyrics, which leave a lasting impression.
In terms of lyrics then, the record is focused very much on Luke‘s teenage problems with women, a lack of confidence and alcohol. Luke is brutally honest with all three themes. With lines including “I treated her like shit, I’m not fucking proud of it” (Coffee) and “I guess that’s the end of being straight edge” (A Song About Alcohol), he definitely outlines the matters in a serious and almost concerning way, but can be hugely self-deprecating with his outlook too, as shown in I Am Pathetic with “I might not be poetic but oh god I am pathetic, I guess that’s close enough when it comes to writing lyrics” which always brings a smile.
The standout track of the record is Lucid Dreams, which features Maddy Chaney, a friend of Luke’s. The guitar is very much a jazzy style and the vocal part could have been taken straight out of 60s swing album with its delicate yet confident sharps and flats scattered all over the place. Maddy’s voice brings fantastic warmth and adds to the feel as they sing about a long distance relationship. The song is reminiscent of the class of many of the acoustic artists in the chart these days, and shows just how far this young man can go.
Indie/alt-pop band Me Like Bees have released a new lyric video for the title track of their latest EP There Will Be Time. The record, produced by John Feldmann (Black Veil Brides, All Time Low) produced effort has been pressed on 10″ white vinyl and is available here.
Vocalist Luke Sheafer said: “It’s always been a dream of mine to release a record on vinyl. Being able to toss your creation on a record player is a way different feeling than pulling it up on your iPhone. I know everyone says it, but it really does sound better.“
See the video below:
The band are also going out on a tour of the US with Christofer Drew & the NeverShoutNever crew now:
Aussie rockers Hands Like Houses have released the next video in their catalogue, for Degrees Of Separation from their new record Dissonants.
The song was written by Versa‘s Blake Harnage (who also acts as an engineer on the whole record) and PVRIS‘ Lynn Gunn, which reflects in the electronic-influenced pop-rock sound which is very much reminiscent of a PVRIS song, only with vocals from Trenton.
All in all, the video is pretty imaginative and one of the best they have come out with so give it a watch!
Dissonants was released worldwide on February 26th 2016 through Rise Records.