The Pearl Harts – Glitter & Spit

Glitter & Spit is the debut album from female duo The Pearl Harts. Opening with Black Blood, immediately obvious are influences from the likes of Royal Blood and The Dead Weather in the constantly moving bassline and complicated timing and pauses, and The Pretty Reckless and Joan Jett for the type of gritty energy and talent the duo project.

The underground grunge sound continues from Black Blood all the way through Go Hard. The grooves in this track are much simpler than the previous, however complicated twiddles aren’t needed for this type of music. The track starts building up from the bridge and then just cuts out, leaving the listener wanting more. This would also invoke the same reaction in a live setting.

The Rush is very different to the previous two tracks. It has a constant guitar, bass and drum line, where Black Blood and Go Hard were very chopped and cut. It would be a good choice for a single, as The Pearl Harts really begin to show their dynamic vocal capabilities here. This is carried on into Lara.

The stripped back style comes back again in Bonfires, strongly reminding the listener again of a grungier Royal BloodNirvana influences come into play at Lost In Time, with a kick of 90s female fronted groups such as The Cranberries and The Corrs present in the vocal harmonies. One might not think these groups would mix, but The Pearl Harts found a way, and mix it well. Other similar tracks are Bless Y ou, heavily influence by Whole Lotta Love by Led Zeppelin, and Living’s Done.

As the album moves along, the music changes from hard grunge rock to more alternative/psychadelic rock, and back again. Hit The Bottle is the most energetic and bouncy track, and will draw in fans of most types of rock.

The Pearl Harts put a fresh spin on an old classic style of rock, and in doing so, smash any gender expectations that audiences still have even now in the 21st century. They have made an album that has been honed to perfection and produced to the highest quality.

Simple Plan at Download: A Simple Plan

Which song do you love performing live the most?

Jeff: Um, I’d Do Anything is pretty kick ass, it just gets the crowd going. We’ve been opening the show with that song and it actually really works, it’s one of those – you hear the first notes and you say ‘that’s Simple Plan right there’. It’s a great song, and it’s the song that probably got people’s attention first, Mark Hoppus [Blink 182] sang on it, so it’s a really important song for us.

What influenced you to write music and perform in the first place?

Jeff: The truth is always you want to express yourself and you want to be artistic, but at the same time for us, we just wanted to do all the bands that we loved and saw on the TV and heard on the radio. I remember seeing bands like Metallica playing Monsters of Rock and I was just like ‘maybe someday that’ll be us’, that was the goal. It’s always been about getting out there, touring, playing shows and I think as a musician you want to express yourself and do all that stuff but you also dream about being on those stages as well, and that was it.

What’s been the best part of playing Download?

Jeff: You know what, I’ve never played it, my bandmates have, I haven’t. I was having my second kid at the time so someone replaced me on that particular gig. I never played it but as I said it’s very symbolic for me because as I said, on TV I’ve seen bands that I really love and that I grew up with playing this festival or past versions of it, so it’s important for me because there’s amazing bands today and on the whole weekend, and it’s a celebration of music. I think now more so than ever it’s important that people are going to shows because of everything that’s going on. The kids are courageous, and the parents are even more couragous for letting their kids go to festivals, because there is a threat, you know, and I think what you’re saying by going and seeing your favourite bands is ‘fuck that, I’m not gonna bend over to that regime of fear, I’m gonna go out there and be with people with similar taste as me and I’m gonna celebrate life and celebrate music’. It sounds maybe like overly dramatic but I just saw Rock AM Ring being evacuated while we were playing a set and to be honest it got really real for me. I really felt like ‘oh shit, this is not something on the news anymore, it’s right next to me’. I think it’s serious. But yeah, it’s about music. It’s about loving music, it’s about great bands and it’s also a political statement nowadays.

Do you feel that you still relate to your music in the same way as when you wrote it, being older now?

Jeff: Being old? [Laugh]

Old-er! 

Jeff: I don’t feel old so that probably has something to do with the fact that I’m still playing in a band and I’m still staying very active but um… nothing will beat the feeling that I had when I first heard the greatest bands, when I heard Nirvana for the first time, when I heard Pearl Jam for the first time, I can’t even describe those feelings. These bands said exactly what the fuck I was living, it seems so important my identity was everything I cared about, and I see it in kid’s eyes now, it’s the same for them now. I haven’t felt a connection to a band as strongly as I had in those years, I have to be very honest about it, but I have been blown away by certain bands over the years. I work out to Mastodon, it’s a very very strong exit and escape and I love that band. Biffy Clyro, you have to understand that for us in America, we had no fucking clue that these guys were so huge. They’re just an alternative band in America and they were kind of the band that I discovered and was like ‘I know this band and nobody knows about them and they’re fucking awesome!’ I feel like the first time that I heard Nirvana like I had their CD and I was like ‘shit, this is gold!’ and Biffy Clyro is the same. If anything, that was probably the band that made the biggest impression on me in the last ten years.

Was there a simple plan for Simple Plan?

Jeff: You know that name is probably the shittiest band name ever since Metallica, you know, but when you name a band… well in that particular case we were hoping to change the name. We had a show the next week and were like, ‘oh fuck it, we saw a movie called A Simple Plan, let’s call it Simple Plan‘ and then we’ll change the posters, and it just stuck, and now there’s an afterthought wanting to explain it but the reality of it is it’s just a name. But the afterthought is just to get out there, play shows, travel the world and make records. It sounds all very simple, but for some fucking reason it’s a lot harder than it seems!

[Laugh] So, do you have any particular career highlights?

Jeff, Oh, many! So many, the first time I landed in Japan and I felt like I was in the Backstreet Boys and all the kids were waiting for us, and that around  2003 so I was just a kid. The first time I played New Years Eve in Times Square when the ball dropped down and we were playing right in the middle of Times Square, Mark Hoppus singing on one of our songs, he’s one of our idols. Playing really big shows in Europe, like huge festivals, like Rock AM Park, Rock AM Ring, Prague, we were fucking huge in Praque and I don’t even know how! And playing your hometown arena, that’s pretty sick. Playing with Metallica, having James Hetfield sit at my table while I was drinking wine and just chatting with us like it was fucking normal. I’m like ‘dude, I learned how to play guitar with you’, it’s fucked up. The weirdest thing is when I see kids do that to me, and I’m like, I understand but it’s so fucking weird!

What’s next for Simple Plan?

Jeff: We’re gonna finish touring, we have this 15 year anniversary of No Pads [No Helmets… Just Balls], so we’re still playing shows around that, it was meant to be a couple of shows around it, the release date was 19th March and we’re getting into July and we’re still playing shows! We’re gonna do that probably until September, after that we’re gonna start making a record. We have some material but we feel that we have to keep writing a little bit and recording so, that’ll take us too long again, but we’re Simple Plan and that’s what we do, we nitpick and take too long in the studio.

That’s not a bad thing though! 

Jeff: Well you know, when you’re searching for something you’ve gotta do it properly.

So what have you been listening to lately? 

Jeff: As I mentioned, Mastodon and their new record.

Did you catch them yesterday?

Jeff: No, I wasn’t here, we were playing London.

Oh, they were good! 

Jeff: Yeah I’m sure, they’re fucking awesome! I listen to a lot of Ryan AdamsButch Walker, old blues, fuck a lot of things, I even listen to classical! Newer bands I would say that… what did I get recently? I got a bunch of CDs that I haven’t listened to yet, so that’s pretty much it!

You’ve done a lot of collaborations in Simple Plan, which one has been your favourite and why? Or who was your favourite artist? They’re kind of different questions I guess!

Jeff: We recorded a song with Butch Walker, he’s one of my favourite solo artists, he’s got sort of a cult following, he’s pretty big actually, he’s more known for working as a producer for Avril Lavigne. But oddly enough he’s got his own alternative career, we did a song for a Scooby Doo soundtrack and it was a fucking cool experience working with a guy that I respected so much. Mark Hoppus is a kick ass dude. Sean Paul was pretty cool too, shooting a video with him in Barbados and him just kind of being so chill about it, it just reminded me that it should be fun, it’s not always stressful to do something, he just sits in and does it like he’s the fucking king of the world, and really he is, the king of his world. It was very cool and he’s very humble too.

 

Keep your eyes peeled on Musicology for news about the upcoming record!

 

PÆRISH Will Release Their Debut Album “Semi Finalists” on December 2nd

PÆRISH will release their debut album Semi Finalists on December 2nd via their own label 14 Bowels of Cereal. The 4-piece Parisian band which combines The Pixies with pre-grunge such as Dinosaur Jr, shoegaze such as My Bloody Valentine and math-rock such as Biffy Clyro unleashed big with their new single Undone already amassing 3.3 million plays on Spotify and their second single Party’s Over Biff landing on 16 New Music Radio playlists around the world. Their debut single also received debut airplay on KNDD/Seattle a radio station known for breaking acts such as Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden.

The band have lyrical themes on the new album of; family and friends, sadness and acceptance, wanting to fit in and trying to find your place in the world.  PÆRISH have also received spots supporting some huge bands from the scene including; No Devotion, The Fall Of Troy and We Were Promised Jetpacks. 

Make sure to catch the band this November when they tour the UK with Silversun PickUps tour dates are below:

Oct 25 La Maroquinerie – Paris, France
Oct 26 Het Depot – Leuven, Belgium
Oct 29 Jovel – Münster, Germany
Oct 31 Pumpehuset – Copenhagen, Denmark
Nov 01 Columbiatheatre – Berlin, Germany
Nov 03 Flex – Vienna, Austria
Nov 04 Theatrefabrik – Munich, Germany
Nov 06 Wardrobe – Leeds, United Kingdom
Nov 07 Institute 2 – Digbeth, United Kingdom
Nov 08 Club Academy – Manchester, United Kingdom
Nov 09 Electric Ballroom – London, United Kingdom
Nov 10 Thekla – Bristol, United Kingdom

The band have also announced they will come to the UK some point in 2017 as part of their own headlining tour. Dates for this TBA.

 

A Sense Of Gravity – Atrament [REVIEW]

When you think of the Seattle music scene, your mind immediately goes towards the grunge scene with bands like Nirvana and the like. Very rarely do you think of the prog and technical rock side of the group, but this band aim to change your mind on such things. A Sense Of Gravity are here to give you sixty two minutes of something heavy, something gripping and almost something on the theatrical side of things!

You can already feel the more anthem side of the band immediately with the first track ‘Drowning In The Ink’ which, whilst it brings something fresh and really exciting, for an album opener it has a misleading quality to it. It sounds like something out of a Broadway musical with the orchestral and piano parts with C.J. Jenkins providing very touching melodies with his voice during the softer parts, making it a more stand out element of the track. Don’t worry for those who like their guitars, the next track brings that in spades with their latest single ‘Reclusive Peace’ which breaks out the technicality from the get go and shows off what the rest of the band can bring to the table. Ferocious drums, a whole array of guitar tones and a lethal low scream that makes the record sound more extreme metal than anything. It feels like the band is coming more into their own as it progresses further and further.

Like with a lot of progressive and technical showing of these style of bands, they give themselves a lot of minutes in each song to flow through many intricacies. The longest track on the record does that, with ‘Manic Void’ kicking off like it was the start of a boss fight in a Final Fantasy game. As the track progresses you feel you can pan out what magic attacks you’d use to attack the creatures with the synth taking control of the lead parts. The longer tracks tend to go on a more heavier route with this track incorporating some elements of deathcore into it. Other tracks such as ‘Guise Of Complacency’ do follow a more tech metal route with once again the cleans making a nice touch to the ever flowing guitars. All three guitarists know what they are making themselves capable of with each member either heightening each other or working with each other to create a beautiful set of harmonies amongst one another.

The drums provide a nice and sharp punch from start to finish with songs like ‘The Divide’ going one way with a more softer approach to what you might be used to hearing on the record up to tracks such as ‘The Projectionist’ which goes fuller into faster drum patterns reminiscent of thrash metal. The production and mix throughout the record has a great well-rounded sound to it all with nothing sounding drowned out or overwhelming which always amounts to a great album. The only think that seems to be lacking is that the album tends to cater to two different audiences and with that you will get a few tracks that people might not enjoy. For the casual listener of all things metal, a song like ‘I, Recreant’ will be a great listen for you. For the more advanced technological person who has a knack for the genre this song might not please all of the senses, but there will be tracks that will get their earbuds salivating, such is that of ‘Promised None’ which goes on that Animals As Leaders vibe in terms of keeping in time and being more show off with its skill and technical detail.

Overall, this record definitely brings it in many attributes and leaves very few blemishes for people to pick at. Whilst it might not be gripping for everyone from front to back, there will always be those hidden gems they wont be able to stop listening to.

 

Allusondrugs release music video for ‘Good People’ + winter tour dates

Bringing out a strong grunge revival are Yorkshire five-piece Allusondrugs who bring some of the strongest 90’s rock/grunge sound into the modern age. Check out their latest music video, entirely made from fan footage, for ‘Good People‘ below!

They have also released a bunch of UK winter tour dates which you can check out below!

13.10.2016 – London, The Macbeth
15.10.2016 – Manchester, Carefully Planned Festival
28.10.2016 – Leicester, Jumpin’ Jacks
29.10.2016 – Huddersfield, Parish
02.11.2016 – St Albans, The Horn
03.11.2016 – Milton Keynes, Craufurd Arms
04.11.2016 – Connah’s Quay, Cricket Club
05.11.2016 – Stafford, Cellar Bar
10.11.2016 – Pontefract, Tap & Barrel
11.11.2016 – Middlesbrough, Spensleys Emporium
12.11.2016 – Hull, Adelphi
13.11.2016 – Matlock, Twenty Ten
17.11.2016 – Sheffield, 02 Academy
18.11.2016 – Newquay, No.52
19.11.2016 – Bridgwater, Cobblestones
20.11.2016 – Basingstoke, Sanctuary Live
25.11.2016 – Preston, The Ferret
26.11.2016 – Barnsley, The Underground
02.12.2016 – Leeds, The Key Club
03.12.2016 – Whitby, Captain Cook
04.12.2016 – York, Fulford Arms
07.12.2016 – Aberdeen, Tunnels
08.12.2016 – Glasgow, Audio
09.12.2016 – Blackburn, The Sir Charles Napier
10.12.2016 – Newcastle, Head of Steam
11.12.2016 – Derby, The Sitwell Tavern
15.12.2016 – Hertford, Dog & Whistle
16.12.2016 – Corby, The Hut
17.12.2016 – Bristol, Stag & Hounds
18.12.2016 – Birmingham, Asylum

JEFF The Brotherhood – Zone

Since their formation fifteen years ago whilst in high school in Nashville, Tennessee, JEFF The Brotherhood have been redefining the US underground. Consistently dishing out gem after gem of psychedelic rock and fuzzed-up, power-pop brilliance, these super-productive, auditory exploratory artists have been recording and releasing records with an overwhelming momentum and have announced their eleventh studio album, Zone, which is due for release on September 30th via Dine Alone Records.

Zone follows hot on the heels of two 2015 album releases; Wasted On The Dream, which featured members of Best Coast, The Raconteurs and Jethro Tull (Ian Anderson guested on flute), and Global Chakra Rhythms, a wildly psychedelic affair fashioned from hours of improvisations and experiments. However Zone transcends its chronological restrictions, and arrives as the third instalment in a “spiritual trilogy” of albums that began with Heavy Days (2009) and We Are The Champions (2011).

The album opens with the title track, Zone, which features vocals and a drumbeat, and a very simple guitar part, which is very reminiscent of Nirvana.

The second track, Energy, opens with an energetic instrumental, before launching into an extremely calm verse. The chorus contains the same energy as the introduction, with added vocals. The drums and guitar parts don’t sound overly complicated but all the parts mesh well together. Energy sounds like Radiohead‘s Creep but heavier.

The third track is Punishment, one of the tracks released as a single from the album. It’s Smashing Pumpkins meets Brand New but trying to be Nirvana.

Roachin’ features vocals by Alicia from Bully, which suit the song far better than the band’s singer would, and provide some much needed variety to the album.

Idiot sounds like a cross between early Green Day and Nirvana at first, but the chorus is catchy and sounds more like Fountain’s of Wayne‘s song Stacey’s Mom until the mini guitar solo of one note which repeats after each chorus.

The album is very repetitive and typical of the underground genre; three or four chords per song, verse chorus structure and heavy on the overdrive and very deadpan vocals. Most of the songs sound extremely similar, and this album does not contain any exploration of the genre.

Zone was recorded and co-produced by Collin Dupuis (The Black Keys, Lana Del Ray, Dr. John, Tomahawk etc.) over two weeks in a converted warehouse called Club Roar in Texas.

You, the penultimate track, is finally where the listener hears some variation in genre. It is mostly an instrumental track but with some vocals. However by the end of the track, the listener has heard the same two bars on repeat for at least two minutes.

The album ends on a chilled out song called Portugal, which sounds like an album ending song. Compared to the rest of the album, the final two tracks show quite a bit of variation both in genre and style. The solo is reminiscent of Showbiz-era Muse.

High points: Roachin’, Juice, the guitar solo in Bad, the first two minutes of You, Portugal

Low points: Ox, the constant repetition in all the songs.

A History Of Metal – Alternative Metal

Alternative Metal is a brief term that encompasses a number of sub genre’s within Metal. This is a genre which takes the core ideals of Heavy Metal and mixes it with Alt Rock, various genre’s to sprout from this includes; Rap Metal, Nu Metal and Funk Metal. For the purpose of this article however, the genre will be looked at as a whole and will be seen mainly as the main encapsulating genre people generally treat as Alternative Metal. Alternative Metal is often characterised by heavy guitar riffs, mainly melodic vocals (but can also use harsh vocals), and a sense of unconventional sounds in the song structure and experimental approaches to heavy music. This often includes borrowing elements from other genres for example; Hip-Hop, Groove Metal, Grunge or Industrial Metal.

The first wave of Alternative Metal didn’t have a distinct direction or location, instead all the bands sounded completely different. These initial groups however are now more recognised as being their own sub-genres instead but during the mid-1980’s to early 1990’s they were all considered Alternative Metal.  These include Hardcore Punk (Bad Brains, Life Of Agony), Noise Rock (Helmet, White Zombie), Grunge (Alice In Chain, Soundgarden), Stoner Rock (Clutch, Kyuss), Sludge Metal (Fudge Tunnel, Melvins), Gothic Metal (Type O Negative), Art Rock (Refused) and Industrial (Ministry, Godflesh).

It wasn’t until the 1990’s that Alternative Metal had it’s own sense of identity. Bands like; Fishbone, Primus, Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Faith No More are all credited with pushing the movement with the direction of Funk to their music. Other artists such as Soundgarden and The Melvins pioneered what was to become Grunge in which point Alternative Metal became more popular and much more mainstream. No band was as famous for doing this as Nirvana however with the release of Bleach (1989) the group showed that Alternative Metal was here to stay, and that Grunge as a powerhouse was taking over the world of Rock and Metal. This album proved that Rock was in the mainstream and with it a group of bands from Jane’s Addiction, to Soundgarden were reaping the benefits that Grunge had set out for them.

Unfortunately during this period several bands felt dissociated with Metal. These include Helmet’s drummer John Stanier who stated “We fell into the whole metal thing by accident, we always hated it when people mentioned metal in conjunction with us.”. Whilst this was happening several other events were taking place within the rock and roll landscape including the creation of Rock Festival, Lollapalooza. Which inspired new bands to gain wider rock popularity from this movement, including brand new band; Tool.

Tool released their debut album Undertow (1993) to massive success. This led for a new Progressive Metal approach to take the realm from a lot of the Grunge during this period. This unfortunately also came with the slowing down and eventual end of Grunge during the 90’s with front-man Kurt Cobain’s unfortunate suicide in 1994. Various bands however grew exposure from the ending of Grunge including; Rage Against The Machine, Primus and Nine Inch Nails. All of which arguably gave Metal huge progression and created a whole new strand within the Metal Evolution.

During this period a lot of 1980’s Thrash Metal acts were becoming disassociated with the genre including; Anthrax (Sound Of White Noise (1993)), Stomp 442 (1995)), Volume 8: The Threat Is Real (1998)) and Metallica (Load (1996)), Reload (1997), St. Anger (2003)). Even Slayer who many fans thought wouldn’t “sell out to Alternative Metal” drastically changed their sound on Undisputed Attitude (1996) and Diabolus In Musica (1998). Proving that even the classic bands weren’t going to miss out on the rise of Alternative Metal. What many missed however was the speed and ferocity that they were known for which grew to retain scepticism from both Journalists and fans. Thrash Metal had bowed to the mainstream during this period and for many people it was quite a confusing time to be a fan of the genre.

From this the cries of fans for a heavier sub-genre of Alternative Metal were heard crying through, this brought about the birth of Nu Metal. The genre would rely on elements of what made Thrash Metal great, combining it with Groove Metal and Hip Hop influences. This again would change the style of what was Alternative Metal into something now commonly known as Nu Metal. This is believed to have been spearheaded by groups such as Rage Against The Machine and picked up by (what many consider the first Nu Metal band) KoRn (S/T ((1994))). Other bands would pick up the style of music that KoRn were playing including Disturbed, Slipknot, Machine Head and Mushroomhead. Sadly by around 2003 the genre had ended and in it’s wake Metalcore was born.

Though it is believed that the Alternative Metal movement ended during this period, several bands from this genre are still headlining festivals up and around the country including; Slipknot, System Of A Down, Rammstein and Deftones. If you take any Download Festival bill it will be covered with bands within this style and that is the most impressive and lasting impact Alternative Metal has left to the general landscape of Metal.

 

In The Spotlight: Love Buzz

Basic Info

Tom, 19 (vocals/guitar), Tim, 17 (drums), Alex, 17 (guitar and occasional vocals), Luke, 16 (bass), Lloyd, 17 (guitar)

Find them on Facebook, YouTube, Bandcamp and Tom on Soundcloud

Alex: “I’d say our main image influences at the moment are Milk Teeth, Allusondrugs, and we love all the projects Frank Carter has done through his time so the whole hardcore unpredictability thing is something we play on a lot. Musically though, we take Citizen and Basement as our main inspirations and it’s a nice blend with our grunge feel

Tom: “We pretty much cover anything we like on stage, normally we don’t even know until about two minutes beforehand what we’ll be playing [laughs]. Recently we’ve played Nirvana, Frank Carter and Gallows covers which were our best but we’ve had a couple of s*** ones too [all laugh]”

Alex: “The name actually comes from Nirvana’s first single of the same name, and it’s one of our favourite songs as a band. It was the start of something huge and we were hoping we would go the same way, though hopefully not with the way things ended but who knows [laughs].”

 

The Past

Alex: “Tim, Lloyd and I were in another band before this but we pretty much knew it was falling apart at the seams, so we asked Tom to come and join us for a new project and we needed a bassist, and Tom’s last band was melting down too so he brought Luke with him and here we are.

Luke: “Our first show was a bit crazy really. We didn’t have much of a plan because we hadn’t been together long so we went into the loo to learn the set and Alex had a minor meltdown [laughs]. We’d written a couple of our own songs before the show but we more or less rewrote them as we played them onstage and they evolved into what they are now.

Tom: “We’ve played six shows in total: four at The Swan in Berkhamsted including our single release show for Sallowed, one at The Horn in St Albans and one at the Pioneer Youth Club in St Albans too.

 

AlexSofaBW
Alex standing on a sofa in The Swan, Berkhamsted, screaming Gallows’ In The Belly Of A Shark

 

The Present

Alex: “Our debut EP is coming out at some point, we don’t even have a name for it yet. It’s five songs long and the first single Sallowed came out on Friday [27th May] so the next steps are to decide a title for it and get it out. [Interviewer James suggests calling the EP Self-Titled] Yes, I like that! Kind of a joke about the way every band runs out of ideas so makes a self-titled album.

Tom: “The EP was actually recorded at the studio in the XC centre in Hemel Hempstead and was produced by yours truly [laughs]. I was actually taught to do production and stuff by Steph Carter from Gallows so I’m pretty happy doing it in general. It comes with a slowing of the process for vocals and my guitar though but I’ll be redoing vocals soon, and then the mixing needs doing before we get it out then it’ll be hitting the web around late June/July time.

Tim: “For the moment though, we’re just looking for more shows because we haven’t actually been paid for one yet so we need to start doing that as soon as we can!

 

The Future

Tom: “Obviously we’ll be playing shows if we can actually get some booked but we haven’t got any specific plans except more slots in The Swan that they’ve offered us for the future. Then recording-wise, we’re looking at a full album late this year or early next year for sure [the rest of the band look at him shocked]. Well, we have to make plans at some point so now is as good a time as any!

 

If your band/solo project would be interested in an In The Spotlight feature on Musicology, chuck an email over to our editor Lauren at lauren@musicology.uk.com for all the details!