Being birthed from the ashes of what was Lock and Key, Lifetight are set to make a name for themselves with their new EP Self-Tightled an EP which was released on November 3rd is set to produce some “posi” vibes as the band draw from their experiences with mental health and the military to create some positivity. This EP is set to be a great release so without further ado let’s breakdown this EP
Opening up this 4-track self-titled EP is Energy. The track overall is a powerful and great opener for the band, showcasing their ability in creating a well-composed track which easily shows their Hardcore and Punk influences. Alongside this the track lives up to its name providing a mass amount of energy from start to finish on this first cut, from the tight instrumentation to well presented vocal performance the track cracks open this EP well for what else will follow.
Misguided is the second track on the whistlestop tour of what is Lifetight‘s self-titled EP, this track is far heavier in its instrumentation than the track which sat before it. The more aggressive and up-tempo instrumentation powers this track along at a far brisker pace, which allows for more experimentation in terms of the vocal delivery that comes along with this track. This cut is possibly the strongest on this short release in all aspects. Following directly from this is Big Boy House a great cut off of this record that was close to being the strongest on the EP. With a somewhat more Punk orientated makeup, the track does seem to lack something that was present on Misguided which made it as strong as it is.
Closing off this EP from Lifetight is Dreams a track which appears to be the perfect blend of the two genres the band are influenced by the mix of Hardcore and Punk allow for a great overall sound that make this track such a powerful closer for the band, however this track also brings along the main downside of this EP and that is it’s length, the track like the others on this EP, seems to fly by and leaves you wanting more from the band. However, despite this the band yet again showcase their musical prowess on this track from the strong instrumentation and great vocal power that exists in this track.
Overall Lifetight have presented here a great EP which showcases not only their musical ability but also the “posi” vibes that they said it would. From the powerful vocals that speak so clearly to the positive messages that the band wished to portray to the great instrumentation that allowed this EP to, unfortunately, blast through its runtime a little too quickly. This EP as a whole is a great listen that showcases something for nearly all hardcore fans. [6.5/10]
A huge show filled with amazing punk and ska bands awaits the 02 Academy in Leeds on this cool October Sunday evening.
First up we have local competition winners Eat Defeat, although their set was quite early and not too long after doors the room was reasonably full with more people still coming in due to the extensive searches upon entry. Their unique blend of ska and pop punk sounds resonated with the audience quite well. Being a relatively small unknown band didn’t stop them from interacting with the crowd throughout their set. They even managed to get a singalong of their lyric “I think we’ll be ok” during their final song.
Following on from Eat Defeat we have Sheffield based band Sweet Little Machine whom were recently voted Fireballs Hottest band for 2017. Their 90s pop punkesque sound had a large portion of the crowd singing along and egged the crowd on to do a “Yorkshire” chant. The whole performance was very crowd orientated with frontman Alex discussing with the crowd how everyone hates someone and asked an audience member for the person they hate. Which turned out to be his ex-wife Melanie, this was then used as a lyric in the next song to the amusement of everyone in attendance. Ending their performance with Alex jumping off stage and running around the venue with his guitar getting everyone pumped was an amazing way to end an incredible performance.
Ska legends Mad Caddies were next up to take the stage. With very minimal effort these guys had the whole crowd in the palm of their hand. With sing-along’s all the way through the set from the new songs to tracks that were 20 years old such as Monkeys. The First pit of the night even broke out to Monkeys.
Next up we had punk legends Anti-Flag bringing their angry anti-establishment, anti-hatred sound to Leeds. Their huge energy performance filled with jumping guitarists and bassists got the crowd extremely pumped. The band even managing to get a circle pit opening up to almost the whole width of the room. To add to this outstanding performance they even brought out the brass section for Reel Big Fish for a quick guest spot during a song. Bassist Chris also decided to jump into the crowd for one song to the excitement of the devoted fans at the front row.
Now time for the headline act, Reel Big fish enter the stage to the roar of the eager fans of this almost sold out event. The crowd were clearly pumped (the free fireball whiskey shots may have helped) and the band matched them all the way through. The whole set was ridiculously fun for not only the band but for the audience too, with fireball beach balls flying around the venue throughout the whole set. On top of their outstanding back catalogue the band threw in a mash up of covers including Nirvana, Weetus and Journey among others. Their set ended on their infamous cover of Take On Me.
Dutch three-piece Paceshifters were first up on the bill with their energetic alt-rock anthems being belted out at the ever-filling venue. Despite being first up, the band has been going longer than any of the other projects by a considerable margin but that hasn’t made them look tired; brothers Paul and Seb Dokman co-fronting the show brings a warm connection with not only each other but with the audience, and a portion of the audience fell in love with the fraternity all three members seemed to have onstage. Drummer Jesper Albers is by no means the odd-one-out alongside the siblings either – his hard-hitting drumbeats and phenomenal energy showed off he was the best drummer of the night’s bill. Finishing off with a guest appearance from The Patience guitarist Evan Nestor to play a Nirvana cover A punchy and momentum-building tour for them, no doubt. [8/10]
Next up, bringing his stripped-down stage show to the UK stage was Derek Zanetti (better known as The Homeless GospelChoir) who possesses unique stage presence which just makes every member of the audience feel at ease with his style and grace. Very much the US Frank Turner in terms of song-style, his recorded music varies from acoustic to full-band but his stage show is an incredibly vulnerable, heart-on-his-sleeve affair with breaks mid-song to talk to the crowd. The stop-start nature is anything but a disappointment though, and it felt like he became a friend to every audience member watching on in his time onstage performing songs largely from his latest album The Homeless Gospel Choir Presents: Normal. A fantastic talent with some very poignant opinions and stories to share, someone to never miss if he’s touring. [9/10]
Punk frontman Dave Hause may have only been with The Mermaid as a band since February, but the last show on the tour before he departed was his 111th of the year with them – not bad going for a new band. The diversity in his catalogue was evident throughout with some songs having hints of Bryan Adams in them and others being far more middle-of-the-road rock and roll styling, but Hause‘s frontman capabilities are completely evident throughout every single song. His display of Rickenbacker, Gibson and Nash guitars showed his experience and commitment to the road after all these years, and storming through songs from each of his solo albums proved his songwriting prowess. Dedicating fan-favourite Dirty Fucker to Donald Trump proved popular, but not as popular as him giving out free shirts throughout the song because he didn’t want to take them back home to the US. A cover of Tom Petty seemed a fitting tribute as members of The Patience came out to make a giant supergroup of the two bands. A classy set from a band that will definitely make their name on the road with ease if they choose to stick together as The Mermaid. [9/10]
Now infamous in his own right after 2 stellar albums and fresh of the back of his first EP, Frank Iero and his band The Patience came out to a lot of excited fans and immediately broke into World Destroyer to kick off one of the best punk rock sets Nottingham has seen in recent years. The no-holds-barred, sing-scream-shout blend of Frank’s vocals brings the level of excitement through the roof and the backing of long-time guitarist Evan Nestor brings a stage chemistry to rival many of the biggest bands in the world right now. A The Replacements cover with Dave Hause and a rendition of The Beatles‘ Helter Skelter threw some proof of their cultured influences (as if they needed the proof anyway), and the emotional performance of Best Friends Forever proved a set highlight – a song cowritten with his daughters back in 2014. Between songs, the chats with the crowd and accepting beers from the crowd just demonstrates Frank is one of the last true punk rockers onstage in 2017 – a sad reality but he is keeping the breed alive. Fantastic set from a fantastic band, The Patience are one of the most exciting touring bands right now. [9/10]
Frank Iero has always dreamed of working with Steve Albini, and when he finally got the chance he put together a combination of a recent single, an old rarity track, an unreleased song and a cover to give the producer a platform to produce his magic with the band. The EP comes less than a year after The Patience‘s second album Parachutes (which we rated a solid 9) ahead of their European tour over the next few months.
Opening the EP is Parachutes track I’m A Mess which is already a fan favourite before this release, but the Albini-influenced version has the raw feel of a live track with what sounds like a natural reverb underlying the dry recording. That aside, there isn’t much difference between the regular studio recording but a good performance of the song which is made almost more gritty with the odd error here and there as could be expected live. Following up is a piece that Frank released back in 2014 as a solo song which featured his twin daughters Lily and Cherry, titled BFF. This version is far more upbeat as a band version tends to be, giving a sense of gravity to Iero’s pained lyric “things just don’t feel right when you’re not by my side” among others.
The most hardcore-influenced of the four songs on the EP comes under the title No Fun Club third on the tracklist. The signature Frank far away/distorted screaming sound fills any empty space left by the heavy distortion on all the guitar and bass sounds throughout to produce a fast, punky feel for the minute and a half it takes up. Closing up the EP with a classic Johnny Cash cover, Iero has the fuzz-filled guitar tone for which he has become infamous since his My Chemical Romance days. Resting on a lilting tempo, the version has been performed live a fair number of times but the capturing of the emotion in the frontman’s voice ensnares the essential essence of The Patience and everything they do: messy, rough yet perfectly imperfect in the best way.
As their fifth self-titled album under the The Bronx branch of their music, fans are expecting the latest album by the LA punks to be refined and high quality – two features which come in abundance in just about every track.
Opening track Night Drop at the Glue Factory is raw and overdriven from the start, before introducing distorted vocals that bring the sound almost to a hardcore-influenced Foo Fighters vibe which is executed fantastically. Fuzz-fuelled solos and hard-hit pacey drum parts. The seamless transition into Stranger Danger is the first but most certainly not the last, as the five-piece glide seamlessly between sub-genres with every track.
The album demonstrates something for everyone: hardcore elements in Sore Throat, a power-blues feel in Broken Arrow, some softer (almost indie) rock aspects in Side Effects that would fit immaculately into any time of day on Radio X among others, and tracks including Two Birds and Channel Islands have tones almost resembling classic 80’s crunch rock sounds to bring the album a retro side with wah ripping up and down through the frequency bands to provide a depth to the riff sounds throughout all of the guitar fill work present on the song.
It is often easy to pick some standout pieces from albums to separate the wheat from the chaff ahead of listeners’ first experience, but every song on BRVNX is just as strong as each other – the deciding factor on a favourite for fans is likely to be which subgenres of rock they prefer most and how they like the band’s execution of said style!
Vocally, the album is just as diverse as the instrumental styles. Frontman Matt Caughthran manages to pitch his vocal frequencies to cut through the mix through every style of rock The Bronx display so well, showing his diversity when contrasting more hardcore tracks like Sore Throat which features fairly heavily distorted sounds the whole way through with Side Effects which provides far more melodic and dry vocal work.
In terms of production, the band have gelled amazingly with Rob Schnapf (Beck, FIDLAR) to create a collection that showcases the various points of talent they hold in a style where they seem incredibly comfortable. Seamless transitions between elements in every song illustrate the songwriting capabilities they have been honing over the past fifteen years and it feels like that side of The Bronx has come into fruition now more than ever in this cycle.
Overall, the confidence and songwriting prowess of all involved have made this album a force to be reckoned with – a certain contender for a lot of ‘album of the year’ lists!
Portsmouth’s Pop Punkers High Down have recently released their newest single; Life Lessons from their EP Moving On. Having gained some serious momentum since their appearance on the pop punk circuit last year, the band have played shows at the likes of Butserfest, Fat Lip Fest and Teddy Rocks Fest and show no sign of slowing down with this track. Check out Life Lessons below:
That’s right, Frank Iero and the Patience will be releasing brand new material less than a year after their 2016 debut album (since the name change), Parachutes.
The new songs will collectively be known as the Keep The Coffins Coming EP which will hit the shelves on 22nd September this year via Hassle Records who released Parachutes last year. The collection also features artwork designed by Krokodil guitarist and BBC Radio 1 Rock Show’s Daniel P Carter.
Frank said: “When we were done touring .stomachaches., I talked to my manager Paul about what we should do. I had my bucket list and one of the things on there was to work with Steve Albini. Paul asked how long I’d wanted to work with Steve and I was like, ‘Since I was, like, eleven!’ I wanted to make a Steve Albini record. Paul said he’d call him and I was like, ‘You can’t do that… that would be weird. Don’t do it.’ And he was like, ‘That’s my job!’ He called him, Steve said he could do it and he had three days. Next phone call I made was U-Haul; I fuckin’ packed the U-Haul up and drove the band to Chicago. I got to record an EP with my friends and one of my heroes in this giant firehouse building in Chicago. The EP is this missing link between .stomachaches. and Parachutes. It’s everything I wanted it to be. It’s fuckin’ awesome!”
Rhode Island’s own pop punkers MAKEOUT have signed to Rise Records, having already toured with the likes of Blink-182 and Goldfinger, they are set to release their debut EP The Good Life, due out 29th September. Check out their brand new track Crazy below, balloon anyone?
“The record sounds like a party, there are so many different influences touching it… That’s the kind of party we like!” – Sam Boxold, vocals
The Good Life Track Listing:
4. Ride it Out
5. Open Minded
6. You Can’t Blame Me
8. Till We’re Gone
9. Salt Lake City
11. Where’s My Charger
12. Blast Off
Brighton-based chaotic punk band Rain Men have released their new single Crows, taken from their upcoming debut album. The band consists of frontman Jed Downey (vocals, guitar), Dan Pearse (bass), Reuben Harman-Mitchell (guitar) and Alex Tana (drums). Primarily drawing influence from bands like Gallows, Mr Bungle, Don Caballero and Fugazi, RainMen like doing what they want and spreading their angry vibes through odd time signatures, aggressive bass and drums, rambling vocals and a lot of fuzz.
Crows is the first single released from their yet to be announced debut album coming out in October 2017. It was live recorded in one take during an hour session at Metway Studios, Brighton, back in late April and is currently being mixed and mastered by Andrew Cheeseman who joined the band briefly for supporting Murmur’s Single Launch show at Brighton Electric. Crows itself was written in January by RainMen alongside their last drummer Zak Page, inspired by the events of the US election.