Four Year Strong – Some Of You Will Like This // Some Of You Won’t – REVIEW

Hailing from New England the Punk Rockers Four Year Strong are set to release their new record on the 8th of September. The record which is titled Some Of You Will Like This // Some Of You Won’t is set to be a great release with the band playing some of their old songs in new compositions or unplugged and also dropping a few new cuts at the same time. But without further ado let’s break down this new Four Year Strong release.

It Must Really Suck To Be Four Year Strong Right Now kick starts this new record. It is a song everyone knows and is possibly FYS’ most recognizable song, but on this record and with its reimagination the song finds a new lease of life with a very beautiful and haunting musical composition that adds a new dimension to the track. Alongside this, the re-work just shows what is in-store for the rest of this record, from the beautiful vocal performances to the well-orchestrated instrumentation it is clear that FYS on this record, are setting out to please with this unplugged rarities album. All together this opening track is a beautiful redesign which opens up the album in a clear and strong way.

following on from this album opener is a duo of tracks which is fronted by Heroes Get Remembered, Legends Never Die. The simple acoustic rendition of this song allows for the vocal performances to come to the foreground and display the ability that Alan Day and Dan O’Connor have. Although the instrumentation is far simpler than the songs original makeup there doesn’t seem to be any loss of quality in between the two very different versions of this song, with each word being just as powerful as they once had been and the new instrumentation allowing for some further internal meaning.

The second half of this duo is Go Down In History; A song which shows FYS taking a different approach to this notion of re-imagining a track, as in this the band find themselves adding in these brief moments of electronic instrumentation. Alongside this, the band switch out from the acoustic to add in this fuller and well toned electric which exists for the most part of the track. Again, as with the first two tracks and any other cuts off of this record the vocal performances are the main thing to keep an eye out for on this song, as with Four Year Strong taking a far more relaxed approach to the vocals they are able to showcase some beautifully crafted vocal melodies whilst also being able to fall back into the rougher vocal performances that they are known for

Following on from this duo is the a trio of tracks which starts with We All Float Down Here. A track which exists as far more than just a simple reimagining of the track that first came on their S/T (Self-Titled) from 2015, as the rendition of the track on this record feels like it is almost a step up from the bands original composition, especially when the band take a step away from the breakdown to focus more on to a country influenced solo.

The second part of this trio is Nice To Know which is not only the first full band song but is also the first new track on the record. The track moves along at a very steady pace with well-orchestrated instrumentation and well-toned guitars which are almost the center piece of the track. At the same time, the band start to mix in some electronic drums and instrumentation. This track is a great addition to the record as the overall composition of the song flows well with the album and what has come before it, but also shows the bands ability to create a cohesive track in and amongst some of their best cuts. The final part of this cut is Who Cares? which is a great unplugged rendition of a song of their 2015 s/t record whose tempo is slightly slower than thre original but also allows for more clarity vocally than what many may be used to from the full band version that sat upon the bands last album.

Let Me Down is another new track that is situated upon Some Of You May Like This…. Musically this track is interesting as it yet again explores more dynamics that the band has shown that they are able to do before. Specifically in this, however, FYS are almost exploring some Alt-Rock ideas whilst sticking to their iconic sound vocally. Overall this song is possibly the best of the new songs that exist on this record as even though the instrumentation feels simple at times none of it is wasted. Everything has a specific purpose.

Following on from the second original track is Stuck In The Middle and so happens to be one of the closest fully unplugged songs that exists on the record. However, even then the change to acoustic forces the band to alter things up, still showing some form of country exploration, which although at first feels odd completely compliments the track and showcases the bands musical ability as the song powers through to the end. Accompanying this is Abandon Ship, which is not only a stripped back version of the title of the song, but also of the song itself. Boiling it down to this very simple and beautifully constructed acoustic track which in a way almost takes on a ballad feeling. Having said that this is unfortunately the weakest track on the record. Even though this by no means is a bad track, as the band explore even more of these country ideas with this waning guitar that occassionaly features in the track as FYS’ vocalists croon on top.

Your Ego Is Writing Checks Your Body Can’t Cash is a song which has existed since the bands EP titled Demo 2006 and despite some slightly higher production the track hasn’t changed all that much. Having said that the instrumentation on this song is beautifully orchestrated which again allows for these chilling vocal melodies to take a hold of the song.  This Summer Session is a similar track which finds its beginnings in the early part of FYS’ discography.

For Our Father’s rounds off what is a spectacular journey through Four Year Strong reimagining tracks and displaying new songs such as this one. For Our Father’s is a powerful and beautifully crafted closer to this record. This song is a haunting cut which sends chills down the spine from the vocal performances which stick in the mind long after this record finishes.

Overall, Some Of You Will Like This // Some Of You Won’t from Four Year Strong has little to no flaws, with them looking back at some of their best songs and them producing three new cuts which are second to none. Four Year Strong do not once drop the ball on this record displaying their ability to create songs out of their normal area of expertise but doing so with finesse. This record is definetly one to check out if you still are or have ever been a fan of the band as there is little to not be loved, from the beautiful vocal performances to the tight and well written instrumentation this album is a joy. [8.5/10]

Slaughter Beach, Dog Announce New Album

Last year, Jake Ewald from Modern Baseball released a debut album for his new project Slaughter Beach, DogWelcome was a great album which showcased Jake’s song writing style and effortless vocals which weaved together a loose narrative about a group of motley crew characters. This year Slaughter Beach, Dog are back with their new record Birdie, an album which promises to be just as well crafted as their EP’s and this debut record, whilst also showcasing some growth on the part of the Jake Ewald. This album is available for pre-order through Lame-O records site HERE for US orders and from Big Scary Monsters HERE for the UK. Check out Slaughter Beach, Dog’s new single Gold and Green below.

Sleeping With Sirens Announce New Album

Sleeping With Sirens have released some details regarding their upcoming fifth studio album; Gossip. Due out on the 22nd September via Warner Bros. Records and produced by David Bendeth, the 11 track album is available to pre-order now, digital at usual sites and physicals at this link. Check out their newest single Legends below, which is also the official song of Team USA for Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018.

“We finally captured the live experience with Bendeth, we have the production, but there’s a rawness that comes through. Musically, I feel like it’s the first Sirens record that sounds specifically like us. We took chances, experimented, and continued to do what we do best: create art. It’s something new. It has an authentic sound that we’ve been working towards all this time.” – Kellin Quinn, vocals

Gossip Tracklisting
Gossip
Empire To Ashes
Legends
Trouble
One Man Army
Cheers
Closer
Hole In My Heart
I Need To Know
The Chase
War

Bad Sign – Live and Learn – REVIEW

Hailing from Croydon the three piece Bad Signs have been making waves ever since their 2014 release Destroy, and this time the band are only planning on building to their good name. This debut record Live & Learn promises to be a stacked release filled to the brim with dreamy melodies and angular dynamics, and following on from the release of singles Intermission and Square One it definitely seemed that the record was shaping up that way. But without further ado let’s break down this debut record from Bad Signs.

Opening up this debut record is Liars & Lovers a track which opens up with this strong and powerful instrumentation. There is little to no messing around as this track begins with the band coming into full swing with this well-orchestrated composition. Soon enough the vocals of Joe Appleford come into view and present this extra layer to the bands music, despite it being so early into the album from this complete sound that the Bad Sign present during Liars & Lovers shows not only how much potential the rest of this record has but also just how tight this band are, and how strong they all are instrumentally as the well-orchestrated guitar riff from Johnathan Harris mixes well with the driving beat presented by Kevin Miller. 

Coming directly after this strong opener is a duo of tracks which starts with Covenant. This first track yet again showcases the band in a very positive light. The tight and well-orchestrated instrumentation comes powering through from the offset of this track. During Covenant, the band explores a few different dynamics which not only shows the band exploring some softer moments of instrumentation but also towards the tail end of the track flip the tables into vocal melodies and musical moments which are also heavier. The second part of this duo is Square One  which brings the band back to a similar sound that had been present on the album’s opener. However, in this track, the drums by Miller are truly the driving force and the part of the band’s instrumentation that sticks out and is particularly memorable during this track.

After this duo of songs, Bad Sign then present a set of four tracks which start with the instrumental cut XX, this instrumental cut is short but does act as a direct follow-on to the first full track in this set of four Intermission, this track is very impressive vocally, with Appleford’s vocals gliding gently atop this track which shows off not only his ability in a concise vocal range but also show how well the band construct their tracks which allow for this what does feel soft but powerful vocal melodies.

The second full track in this set of songs is Closure which is, unfortunately, the band feel a little lackluster in terms of their instrumentation, by no means is this song weak, as its overall makeup is still overly strong, there is just something that during this track makes it fall a little flat and winds it up being the weakest cut off of this record. Following directly on from this is XI the second short instrumental moment that Bad Sign present on this debut record, this one is vastly different to XX being that this is solely synth based and it is a nice break from the full throttle music that has existed up to this point on this record.

Moving on from XI is October, which uses the track before as a short intro before the full track kicks in. October is a far different track than everything that sits before it on the album, as it is in this song that the band flip their dynamic entirely and stay down with this far more relaxed and softer instrumentation. Towards the end of this track there is gentle but eventual build which allows for this big and well-orchestrated ending where the band drops back off for the last few seconds. October is the strongest cut off of Live & Learn in a number of ways, from the tight and well-orchestrated instrumentation to the well choreographed vocal melodies Bad Sign on this track showcase all of their ability in what is a well thought out track.

Following on from this is a trio of tracks which starts off with the song Attrition. This track sees the band continue with this powerful and well-planned instrumentation which showcases not only their innate ability to write cohesive numbers but also to present a song which houses different dynamics and an instinctive bop. The following track Certitude allows the band to experiment more with this heavier instrumentation they had teased in the opening half of this record. The final track in this trio is Immutable which unfortunately at this point is bringing nothing new to the table and despite there being great moments scattered across this track, there is nothing really new to sink the teeth into.

Ending this record Paramnesia, this track is the closest contender for being the strongest cut off of this record, as not only are the vocal performances from Appleford on this track spectacular but also the instrumentation on this cut are second to none with amazing moments from start to finish. During this track, the band present different dynamics and well thought out musical textures which add to the overall feel and power of this track. Overall this track is the perfect closer to this album and ends everything on such a high note, even when the music seems to have this odd drop off to end the album on this short and sweet acoustic moment.

Overall this debut album from Bad Signs is impressive, with little to no dull moments this record is an enjoyable listen start to finish. With great vocal performances and well-orchestrated instrumentation from the beginning to the end of this album, there is something for everyone. This band are definitely one to keep and eye out for at their upcoming shows and this album is one to definitely check out when it drops this month. [8/10]

Gogol Bordello Announce New Album and Release a New Single

Gogol Bordello have recently announced not only a string of European Tour dates but they have also announced their new full-length album Seekers and Finders which is pipped for release on August 25th. This album is the ninth album by the multi-cultural band, yet again it will look into the frenzied punk and rock styles Gogol Bordello are known for with a party of accordions, trumpet, marimba, guitars, drum and bass. However, alongside both of these announcements the band have released the first single off of this upcoming release. Saboteur Blues is the first look in to this album and shows the potential that this record has. Check out Gogol Bordello’s Sabotuer Blues below.

Gogol Bordello European Tour Poster

Shaman’s Harvest Release New Single

Following on from the announcement of their newest studio album Red Hands Black DeedsShaman’s Harvest have released the first single off of this upcoming record. This new single The Come Up implements this well orchestrated and juxtaposing instrumentation that houses a Motown backbeat and this classic rock and roll swagger. This single sets a great precedent for everything which is to follow on Shaman’s Harvest’s new record. Check out The Come Up below.

The Movielife Release New Track

The Movielife haven’t released anything since their 2003 record Forty Hour Train Back To Penn. Post this record the band had parted ways and their comeback has always been highly anticipated. This year The Movielife are giving fans exactly what they want with an album which is set for release for September this year. This new record, Cities In Search Of A Heart, is not only somewhat of a rebirth for the band instead of a comeback record but it is also a release which shows the growth in the band over the past 14 years. Leading this new record from The Movielife is the new single Mercy Is Asleep At The Wheel, a song which is said to be ‘the album’s hard-charging, thought-provoking centerpiece’ which brings the band back in top form.

Check out The Movielife’s single Mercy Is Asleep At The Wheel below.

Cities In Search Of A Heart tracklist:

01. Ski Mask

02. Mercy Is Asleep At The Wheel

03. Ghosts In The Photographs

04. Sister Saint Monica

05. Pour Two Glasses

06. Lake Superior

07. Laugh Ourselves To Death

08. Blood Moon

09. You’re The Cure

10. Hearts

CKY – The Phoenix – Review

CKY this year are making their return after an 8-year hiatus. The band’s newest release has been highly anticipated since the confirmation that the band would press forward as a trio in May of last year. Since then the band have recorded their newest record The Phoenix and have headlined a highly successful UK tour, with nearly all dates being upgraded. This album is set to be a powerful release and a highly anticipated comeback. So without further ado let’s break down CKY’s new album The Phoenix. 

Opening up CKY’s fifth studio album is Replaceable. This track starts with this rock-centric riff that in the mix feels quite spaced out. Eventually, the track kicks into full swing, with the powerful and well-toned guitar mixing well with the bass and drums that drive the song. As this song continues it is clear to see that CKY haven’t lost their touch and with the groovy bass line that exists throughout the most of the track it is setting a great precedent for what is left to come on this come-back album. Overall Replaceable is a brilliant opener to this album, showcasing beautiful vocal moments from Chad Ginsburg and well-constructed instrumentation.

Following on from this album’s opener is a duo of tracks, the first of which is Days Of Self Destruction. This track is far grittier than the album’s opener, showcasing this powerful instrumentation that is fronted by this muddy riff that helps power the track along. As this song continues the vocals, similarly to the opener are interesting and well orchestrated. Days of Self Destruction then continues to power on through to this strong and well-designed solo that showcases Ginsburg’s playing ability in great fashion.

The second half of this duo is Unknown Enemy, which is not only the strongest cut off of this record but is also a catchy song, from the opening riff to the final few notes this song is a great listen. It has its own instinctive bop and is not only a well-constructed track but is also one that sticks in the mind all the way til the end of the album’s run time

Coming next on The Phoenix is a trio of songs. The first of which is Head For A Breakdown, a song which at first glance feels like it may be exploring a new dynamic with the acoustic guitar, however soon the rest of the band come in to create this fuller sound. This cut is in its simplest form a fun track but it is a lot more than that. As in this track, CKY explores a slightly different musical dynamic which allows for a well-orchestrated track. Head For A Breakdown is a close contender but just misses the mark, which made Unknown Enemy such a strong cut.

The second part of this trio is The Other Ones, a track which picks up the pace again and shows CKY yet again exploring more ideas, with the electronic additions this song the band are allowing for clear exploration with their music which is a nice touch. As this song continues, the band yet again showcase this groovy bass riff that powers the song along. The final part of this trio is Wiping Off The Dead which is heavier than most of what is on this album, even if that comes mainly from the slight excessiveness of the distortion rather than the actual composed riff. Wiping Off The Dead is the weakest cut off of this record due to the fact that there is far less about this track than it first appears.

As the album now starts to draw to a close, the final duo of tracks come into view. The first of which is Lies From You a track that sticks in the vocally, it is an interesting listen as it feels, despite the instrumentation being interesting and the song presenting a powerful and well-constructed riff, that the music takes a bit of a back seat so Ginsburg’s vocal abilities can take centre stage and show just how interesting and powerful his vocals can be.

The second part of this duo is the album’s closer Better Than Get Even. This track is a great closer albeit a little a the long side. However, as it goes this song does present not only some very well constructed riffs but also this groovy bass and drum lines that have existed throughout the majority of this album courtesy of Matt Deis and Jess Margera. 

Overall what CKY present here is a great album and is definetly not one to miss if you were either a fan before or even if you are new to the band. Across this album, there are stand out moments from each member of this band, whether it be in terms of vocals or instrumentation there is a lot to like on this album. However, that doesn’t mean there are downsides, as at times things do feel to run a little longer than they should but having said that the album’s biggest flaw is its length, and this is only because it leaves you wanting more [7.5/10]