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.

 

Bastille drop Single from their new Album

Bastille release Send Them Off!, the second single to be taken from their hugely anticipated forthcoming new album Wild World. Opening with a bombastic, hip-hop-inspired horns intro, it’s narrative details irrational relationship jealousy as frontman Dan Smith uses imagery from “The Exorcist” and “Othello” alongside quotes from the 70s Italian sci-fi film ‘Cosmos: War of the Planets’. Boundary-defying, thought-provoking and supremely catchy, it’s typical of the London four-piece’s magpie approach to composition.

Single Good Grief kick started the band’s return in phenomenal fashion back in June. The deceptively upbeat and infectious song, which deals with the loss of someone you love, notched up the biggest ever week-one streams for an alternative band in the UK. Already certified Silver with over 250,000 sales, the track hasn’t left the top 30 since its release 10 weeks ago. The single preceded the slow-burning, R&B-infused Fake It, which was accompanied by a video depicting the spin and facade of modern media and politics, a poignant commentary on the current state of affairs.

Wild World, released on 9th September, follows the four million-selling, multi-platinum debut ‘Bad Blood’. It maintains Bastille‘s DNA of vivid, cinematic songwriting at its core, but strives to progress and push their sound forward. It’s an ambitious album, both musically and lyrically, incorporating new influences and themes into the band’s distinctive world.

Frontman Dan says “If our first album was about growing up and the anxieties surrounding it, our second is about trying to make sense of the world around you. We wanted the album to be a bit disorientating – at times extroverted and introverted, light and dark.”

Bastille have been previewing the record at many festivals all over the world this summer, including Glastonbury, V Festival, Lollapalooza, Sziget, T in The Park and more, with shows still to come at Bestival and Festival No. 6. Later this year, they will embark on their biggest headline tour to date playing 12 UK Arenas, the run of shows is currently the most successfully selling tour by any British act this year. It includes two dates at London’s O2 Arena after tickets for the first show sold out within hours.

If you want to hear the song, just click here

Dates as below:
2 Sept           Festival No. 6, Portmeirion
11 Sept          Bestival, Isle Of Wight
28 Oct          BIC, Bournemouth SOLD OUT
Sat 29 Oct    Plymouth – Pavilions SOLD OUT
31 Oct          Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff
1 Nov            The O2, London – SOLD OUT
2 Nov           The O2, London – ADDITIONAL DATE
4 Nov            First Direct Arena, Leeds
5 Nov            Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham
6 Nov            Arena, Manchester
8 Nov            Barclaycard Arena, Birmingham
9 Nov            SSE, Belfast
10 Nov         3Arena, Dublin
12 Nov         The SSE Hydro, Glasgow
13 Nov         Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle

ICYMI: Descendents release Hypercaffium Spazzinate

Punk legends Descendents released their long-awaited new album Hypercaffium Spazzinate yesterday via Epitaph Records. It comes as the first release of theirs in twelve years, and their first on the label since 1996.

The band wrote the album by sending tracks back and forth between the now-spread members, all in all spanning a distance of most of the US. The writing therefore took a longer time than ever before. However, it makes for some of the most thorough and comprehensive musical compositions in modern punk history.

Ordering

Order the album here for physicals, at iTunes here, Google Play here and Amazon here.

Hypercaffium Spazzinate

This Wild Life just announced a UK/EU tour

California’s finest acoustic pop punk duo This Wild Life are back to hit UK and European shores again in October/November this year.

The pair, consisting of ex-drummers Kevin Jordan and Anthony Del Grosso came over to the UK back in March with Sleeping With Sirens on the Madness UK tour, but will be returning as headliners come late this year.

The tour is in support of upcoming second full-length Low Tides, which is due for release on September 9th.

See the full list of dates below:

This Wild Life tour

Safe Side unveil second EP ‘Blossom’

Following up from the pre-feature run yesterday, Essex pop punk band Safe Side have released their second EP, titled Blossom.

Released today, the EP features material which bassist Danny Gaisford says they would listen to themselves: “There would be no point writing the songs if we didn’t believe in them. There’s loads of underground bands in the scene at the moment, and I hope that we have set ourselves apart; we’re certainly very proud of our new songs and feel that there’s something different about them.”

These new songs on Safe Side’s second EP are a collection of highly infectious tunes which successfully blend the band’s pop punk roots with elements of alternative rock, and vocalist Frank Yates’ distinctly home-grown delivery. “Frank’s voice sets us apart,” states Danny, “Pop punk is known for American pronunciation, no matter where you are from. So having a particularly British voice in our sound is a good thing; the genre is bursting at the seams at the moment, which is great of course, but I think it’s always good to look outside of the box sometimes and push yourself to try something different. And for us that is layering a distinct kind of vocal over our instrumentation.”

To match their creative step up, Safe Side – completed by guitarists Jordan Tuffen and Chris Smart, and drummer Callum Tuffen – moved from the home studio environment of their debut EP to tracking the songs of Blossom at Southampton’s The Ranch (Milk Teeth, Creeper, Boston Manor). Discussing their sound now, compared to that of their former, Gaisford comments: “They are fresh and have a slightly different vibe to them. It’s like they’re grown up in some sense. I guess it’s like seeing a visible change from your Son or Daughter going from a teenager to an adult.” He continues, “We spent more time on this EP than the last, to make sure we got it how we wanted it. Only a couple of us had ever been to a studio before, and we really wanted to collectively experience that learning curve. And as a result we think Blossom feels more like a real record.”

Listen to it on Bandcamp or buy it on iTunes.

Good Charlotte – Youth Authority

Since the first teases of #WelcomeBackGC, there has been a distinct excitement for the return of arguably the greatest pop punk band of all time. Good Charlotte broke up for a hiatus in 2010 following the disappointment of studio album Cardiology where even hardcore fans of the band needed them to reconsider. It almost seemed they had totally lost the excitement and energy from the days of The Young & The HopelessYouth Authority however is a different story.

Vocally, Joel Madden keeps pretty much the same style as ever. The musical nature of the band may have changed, but the vocals are solidly in pop punk realms. He has a blend of punky attitude and diction, yet a tuneful pop melody behind to complete the blend as ever before.

Another large factor of the vocals in this record is the guests. The band have clearly made some good connections in the last six years as previously the band have only released one track with guest performers in the case of 2007’s The River, featuring M Shadows and Syn Gates of Avenged Sevenfold. The addition in the new record gives extra depth. Kellin Quinn of Sleeping With Sirens fame features on Keep Swingin’ which adds that high range and whiny tone to contrast Joel’s more gritty tone and bring out the vibrance in the track. The other is Reason To Stay featuring Biffy Clyro frontman Simon Neil. The start of track actually sounds like it could have come straight off Biffy’s new album Ellipsis, holding the delicate qualities and working perfectly with Neil’s voice. Frankly, the introduction of Joel and the band is somewhat disappointing; the track would have benefitted from staying as a small alt-rock piece rather than taking the intro and magnifying it to Good Charlotte-size pop punk.

In terms of lyrics, many of the tracks focus on the history of the brothers or the band itself. 40oz. Dream and Life Can’t Get Much Better are clearly of this group, but others including Keep Swingin’ (feat. Kellin Quinn) and Cars Full Of People have a very clear image of how things used to be once upon a time in the twins’ childhood. The whole record lyrically is packed with cliches of new beginnings and pangs of nostalgia but that only adds to the fun and completeness of the record’s writing extent.

The guitars are the highlight of the whole record, with the delicacies of Life Can’t Get Much Better and the intro of Reason To Stay (feat. Simon Neil), yet the massive pop punk drops in Life Changes and Makeshift Love give a huge contrast. The tones they have developed for the record sound like they have developed from the roots of The Young & The Hopeless crossed with Good Morning Revival which gives it real depth, especially in the powerful parts. The octave power chords throughout the distorted sections give a nice dual quality to the sound, and the mixing complements this well.

Overall, a superb return for the pop punk forefathers, and one that will be remembered for a long time as some of the better songs they’ve written to date.

Emarosa have announced UK dates

Emarosa have announced a five date UK tour for September 2016. The tour in support of the band’s forthcoming Hopeless Records album, ‘131’, which will be released next Friday (July 8th) so preorder here.

Vocalist Bradley Walden said: “I’m so proud of this. It’s my favourite thing I’ve ever done. This is the record we wanted to make.”

The dates, which can be seen below, will go on sale this Friday, July 1.

SEPTEMBER
25 LONDON  Camden Borderline
26 CARDIFF Clwb Ifor Bach
27 MANCHESTER Sound Control
28 GLASGOW G2
29 BIRMINGHAM O2 Institute2

Emarosa also recently released a new track and music video for their song Miracle which can be watched below:

Of Mice & Men debut ‘Pain’

The long-awaited return of metalcore gods Of Mice & Men has officially come, currently in the form of new single Pain.

The track is a shift towards a more roots metal sound from the very distinctive melodic direction they developed with bassist/vocalist Aaron Pauley‘s arrival back in 2012. It is presumably taken from their yet-to-be detailed follow up to 2014’s Restoring Force which was recorded after frontman Austin Carlile‘s recovery from his surgery for Marfan’s Syndrome last year.

Watch the video below (warning: it’s stupendously heavy…):

The Color Morale announce new album

Post-hardcore outfit The Color Morale have announced the details for their new album.

The new album is titled Desolate Divine and is due to be out on August 19th on Fearless, and physical and digital pre-order options are available at TheColorMorale.net.

The announcement comes with the release of first track Walls which gives a clear outline of the step up the band has taken coming into this record. Listen below:

 

The Color Morale are also on the Vans Warped Tour this summer, so check out the dates:

Jun 24 – Dallas, TX @ Gexa Energy Pavilion
Jun 25 – San Antonio, TX @ AT&T Center
Jun 26 – Houston, TX @ NRG Park-Main Street Lot
Jun 27 – New Orleans, LA @ Mardi Gras World
Jun 29 – Nashville, TN @ The Fairgrounds Nashville
Jun 30 – Atlanta, GA @ Lakewood Amphitheater
Jul 1 – St Petersburg, FL @ Vinoy Park
Jul 2 – Orlando, FL @ Tinker Field
Jul 3 – West Palm Beach, FL @ Perfect Vodka Amphitheater at South Florida Fairgrounds
Jul 5 – Charlotte, NC @ PNC Music Pavilion
Jul 6 – Virginia Beach, VA @ Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater at Virginia Beach
Jul 7 – Syracuse, NY @ Lakeview Amphitheater
Jul 8 – Camden, NJ @ BB&T Pavilion
Jul 9 – Wantagh, NY @ Nikon at Jones Beach Amphitheater
Jul 10 – Hartford, CT @ The XFINITY Theatre
Jul 11 – Scranton, PA @ The Pavilion at Montage Mountain
Jul 13 – Mansfield, MA @ Xfinity Center
Jul 14 – Darien Center, NY @ Darien Lake Performing Arts Center
Jul 15 – Burgettstown, PA @ First Niagara Pavilion
Jul 16 – Columbia, MD @ Merriweather Post Pavilion
Jul 17 – Holmdel, NJ @ P.N.C Bank Arts Center
Jul 19 – Noblesville, IN @ Klipsch Music Center
Jul 20 – Cuyahoga Fallas, OH @ Blossom Music Center
Jul 21 – Cincinnati, OH @ Riverbend Music Center
Jul 22 – Auburn Hills, MI @ The Palace of Auburn Hills
Jul 23 – Tinley Park, IL @ Hollywood Casino Amphitheater
Jul 24 – Shakopee, MN @ Canterbury Park
Jul 26 – Milwaukee, WI @ Marcus Amphitheater
Jul 27 – Maryland Heights, MO @ Hollywood Casino Amphitheater
Jul 28 – Bonner Springs, KS @ Providence Medical Center Amphitheater
Jul 30 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Utah State Fairpark
Jul 31 – Denver, CO @ Pepsi Center Arena Lot
Aug 1 – Albuquerque, NM @ Balloon Fiesta Park
Aug 2 – Phoenix, AZ @ Phoenix Event Complex
Aug 5 – San Diego, CA @ Qualcomm Stadium at Jack Murphy Field
Aug 6 – Mountain View, CA @ Shoreline Amphitheater
Aug 7 – Pomona, CA @ Pomona Fairplex
Aug 9 – Las Vegas, NV @ Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
Aug 11 – Nampa, ID @ Ford Amphitheater
Aug 12 – Auburn, WA @ White River Amphitheater
Aug 13 – Portland, OR @ Portland Expo Center

Aaron Gillespie Announces New Solo Acoustic Album

Underoath have just got back together after a five year break that saw drummer Aaron Gillespie drum on tour for Paramore, but he clearly likes to keep himself busy having just announced his debut solo acoustic album.

The record will be titled Out of the Badlands and will be released on Tooth & Nail and will be available on 19th August this year. It will feature original material as well as covers from the likes of  U2 and Bonnie Rait, and will be 10 tracks in length.

See the track listing and album art below:

Out of the Badlands Tracklisting
1. A Boy Brushed Red Living In Black and White
2. Can’t Make You Love Me
3. No I Don’t
4. Raspberry Layer Cake
5. Reinventing Your Exit
6. Say This Sooner
7. Southern Weather
8. Where the Streets Have No Name
9. The Fox
10. You Don’t Love Me Anymore