The Family – Welcome To The Family EP – REVIEW

Sheffield based The Family are made up of members from the disbanded Dead Harts. This subsequent band are soon to be releasing their debut EP Welcome To The Family on the 19th of May, which promises to be this venture in grunge rock with their influences sprouting from the likes of Nirvana and Metz. But without further ado let’s break down The Family’s debut EP Welcome To The Family.

Ain’t Gonna Happen Like That kicks this 4-track EP off. At first the instrumentation feels like it could be the lead in to a great indie track, but soon the loud and powerful guitars cut through and take the music down this more rock centric route the band take on this EP. As this track presses on the drums continue to drive the song, sticking to this very controlled and upbeat tempo that the guitars easily sit on top of. As Mathew Baxendale’s vocals come in to the forefront there is this sense of grunge coming through, which adds to the overall tone of the track and allows this song to show just what is in store for the rest of this EP. Despite the vocal performance being strong on this track there are times where the instrumentation and vocals seem to clash but for whatever reason this does work.

Coming next off this EP is My Kinda Scum a song which yet again comes powering through with this very tight and well constructed instrumentation. Unlike the opening track of this EP the vocals on My Kinda Scum seem to not clash as they had done only a song earlier which allows for a far more cohesive experience. Alongside this the far more grunge rock sound comes in to fruition on this track, with the fuzzy and dirty riffs, which allows The Family to fully display their musical abilities as the song powers through its 4 minute run time.

After reaching the half way point on this EP The Family present the song Nightmares and Daydreams which unfortunately is the weakest cut off of this EP. Despite there being moments of interesting instrumentation and well thought out song structure, the overall feel and presentation of the track feels, for lack of a better term, ‘samey’. Which is a shame as Nightmares and Daydreams is a very fun and upbeat track that has an instinctive bop to it.

Ending this short EP is Radio Headphones, which is the strongest cut off the record.  This track that The Family present is one that not only is extremely strong instrumentally but also vocally, as it is on Radio Headphones that the band showcase their ability to not only bring forward a track full of these musical highlights but also their capabilities in writing what is a very cohesive number. Overall this track is a great closer which not only gets its chorus stuck in your head but leaves you wanting more.

This 4 track EP by The Family is short lived, which is a shame as the EP presents the band in a great light and shows the band has and leaves you in the end wanting more. Despite a few brief moments where the instrumentation does feel samey and is almost on the verge of being bland the band are able to rectify it by having this catchy hook shortly after. Welcome To The Family as a whole is a greet introduction for the band and is definitely worth checking out not only because of the tight instrumentation present on the release but also because of the tight and well orchestrated vocal performances [7/10]

LOVE BUZZ – Crutches [EP]

Opening the EP is the rawest-sounding grunge instrumental track of 2017, titled Maureen. The guitar tones from the very start are crunchy and the development of a glazey tone on the lead smooths over the crashing cymbals to make the track settle into the fabric of the EP. Co-frontman Lloyd Carter-Crosby’s vocals on Home come as a good accompaniment to the instrumentation behind him. The grit in his voice brings added depth to the track, and at the 2 minute mark the harsh tones of Alex Went are added to provide a grounding to the lifting melodies. The song also features a guest lead solo from bassist Sam Durham which demonstrates the versatility of the LOVE BUZZ members. Following this is Take Love which begins in a delayed instrumental before the bite begins with Tim Charlwood’s hard-hit drums. The verses are slightly understated before Lloyd’s vocals shine straight through to make a fantastically beefy sound that will be pit-inducing in the live arena.

Fourth track Feed The Sun is a fast-paced track and remains the weakest on the EP, which is definitely saying something. The octave-chord bridge shows off the instrumental prowess of the four-piece in true emo style before breaking into the final track Babygirl which has one of the most fantastic intro riffs and grooves of any track in the genre in the last 20 years. This is clearly shown every time they play it live with the amount of dancing and bouncing about that ensues without fail. Finishing up strong with Alex’s howls as backing, this song is set to be the head on their arrow to success.

Being named after Nirvana‘s first single shows you’re not mucking about and you know your stuff as well as the clear pedigree of influences, and having your debut EP produced by an ex-member of a platinum-selling hardcore punk band backs that up but LOVE BUZZ have come out with a somewhat unpredictably good EP. They sound like they’ve been throwing out tracks into academies for a decade, and this EP could get them seriously noticed on the touring and festival circuits around the UK.

Love Buzz

Blood Youth release show beyond repair

Interview: Blood Youth – Beyond Repair Release Show 10/4/17

On their trip down to the capital to celebrate the release of their debut album Beyond Repair, we caught up with Blood Youth frontman Kaya Tarsus (and briefly the other two) to talk recording the album, touring with While She Sleeps and dislocated knees…

How are you doing?
Kaya: Cool actually thanks, a little tired. Yesterday was really intense because the show got called off… We had three songs left of the set – the three bangers left – and all of a sudden we finish playing a song and there’s just this hysteria at this absolutely ram-packed show. It was nuts. Everyone was looking really worried and crazy, and it turns out that some guy had dislocated his knee which we didn’t know at the time. Everyone was just signalling that he’d broken his leg or something. Our tech came onstage and said to us “let’s just go into the dressing room and let them sort it out” so they put all the house lights on, and [the injured fan] was just getting seen to so we just decided to call it there. It didn’t make sense to say “we’ll play after this is done” – we had to let the paramedics have as much time as they wanted. There was an announcement that the show was over and everyone was really cool about it, they got it. [The injured] was actually in really good spirits about it all, and I gave him a hug getting into the ambulance and apologised. I felt so bad but he was really cool about everything too. I saw him tweet today [Monday] that he’s off to Parkway Drive later so he’s obviously okay now [laughs].

Back in September you mentioned having parts of the album sorted but it seemed to come together quickly. How did that come about?
Kaya: Straight after that tour, we thought we definitely had to finish recording the album in 2016. We had the While She Sleeps tour following Closure tour, but we got in the studio pretty much straight away when we got back. Chris (Pritchard, guitars) and Sam (Hallett, drums) went into the studio and recorded all the music then about two weeks later I recorded all the vocal stuff. I recorded it all with our sound guy Robin who is one of my best mates so it was really cool but pretty intense. Chris was going through some pretty tough times personally and the fact you can hear that emotion, all those sounds we left in there, was really intense for him. Beyond Repair speaks to all of us but for him especially it is a real marker of how he was going through some seriously bad stuff. It was really easy though, really smooth and we just got on with it, then it was released Friday.

How was it doing European dates with While She Sleeps?
Kaya: Well, we’ve done some with Architects before, but I think it was our first time out there apart from that.
Sam: Yeah, it was our first trip out there. We didn’t do any “one-offs” because we did [German festival] Destruction Derby around that time.
Kaya: It was. The Sleeps tour was great though, we knew they were going to be great guys because they live really close to us. The first show was in Paris and we went direct there, and they hugged us meeting us for the first time. I used to listen to them literally all the time when I was going to school, on the bus and everything. Loz [Taylor, WSS frontman] asked me to do Crows with him which I did nearly every night, and doing that was just mad. We would just talk and sit with them, it was always that moment where I thought “I really really listened to you guys, I was such a huge fan”. Obviously I didn’t say that but… [laughs]. It was kinda weird in a way. The best show on that tour was in Madrid which was a sold-out show on my birthday. It was the loudest, rowdiest crowd we’d ever played to. We were playing places like Serbia too, and Romania, there were people there that knew the words to our songs. Playing in Serbia, people were singing Closure back to us. We were all looking at each other like “what is this…?”. It was honestly amazing to experience.

How do you think the band has grown then?
Kaya: That’s a tough one. I still consider us a baby band even though we’ve been going two years. People are still finding us, plus the album, touring with people like [While SheSleeps and everything like that. I feel like we get more pro every tour, every single show. We know how to act onstage now, how to talk to people. Every show is a learning process and that means we’re still growing every show.

What was the rationale behind the three release shows as opposed to a Beyond Repair tour?
Kaya: We just wanted it to be a bit special. We only did our last UK tour in September so we decided to do three exclusive shows coming down the country. We’ve never been a band who’s toured for the sake of touring, we’ve turned down plenty of tours because our question is “would that help us at this stage?” and any doubts mean we don’t go. Everything is really carefully planned out.

What would you say is the show you’re most looking forward to in 2017?
Kaya: Of the ones that are announced, probably Download. It’s quite a “big boy” stage, plus it’s nearly exactly two years on from when we did Download for the first time. We had no songs out then but now we have the three releases with Beyond Repair, so it’ll be good to see what the turnout and reaction will be like. We’re the type of band that don’t bank on anyone turning up and just assume nobody cares!

What’s your album of the year so far?
Kaya: I’ve been listening to the new Mastodon one [Emperor of Sand] so maybe that. The Code Orange one is cool as well and honestly Stormzy‘s new album is good. Really, really good. Erm… Yeah, I’ll stick with those three. I can never ever choose just one when people ask me. I really like the new Emmure album as well. Oh, and Beyond Repair.

Have you had any discoveries of other bands or artists to listen to or tour with?
Kaya: I’m really really into LANY at the moment. I’ve fallen in love with blink-182 recently, been listening to them a lot. I watched a documentary Tom DeLonge did speaking about how he wrote certain songs driving around California saying “I did this here and this there” and started listening to them thinking “oh these songs are so good”. Nobody really new exactly, just a lot of LANY. Kinda sunshine happy stuff.

Last question: what would be in a Blood Youth cocktail?
Kaya: For me, has to be whiskey. Really like whiskey… Diet Coke too, but Chris would have to put Jager in it.
Chris: I want to get on that Black Tooth Grin vibe, the Pantera one. Crown Royal whiskey, Seagrams 7 and Coke.
Kaya: Yeah, that…
Sam: I’d probably go with some gin-based thing. Little dash of Sprite maybe.
Kaya: Basically the grossest drink you will ever have. It would get you pumped up and make you feel pretty good though.
Sam: Ready to make some waves…
Kaya: Yeah it would be called Making Waves.

As always, huge thanks to Blood Youth for taking time out to talk to us yet again. The debut album Beyond Repair is out now on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify and physical media.

falling in reverse coming home

Falling In Reverse – Coming Home

2013’s Fashionably Late introduced a mass of electronic sounds to Falling In Reverse‘s style which proved to divide the fanbase which turned into more industrial sounds on 2015’s Just Like You. It is evident to see from the title track opening the album that this continues through to Coming Home.

The contrast between overly obnoxious F*** You And All Your Friends and I Hate Everyone is fantastic; the large band sound gives way to an acoustic verse that lets Radke’s voice come to the forefront of the piece once and for all – love it or hate it, this works on the track. The acoustic sound then expands into a whole band piece to become what the previous track was trying to be, and while the effect could have been achieved by just placing the one track on the album it sounds instead like a demo and a final version of the song. Come the halfway point of the sing, out comes a giant solo with a fantastic blues overdrive tone that makes the song work on a level above from the tracks surrounding it. Unsurprisingly, the lyrics leave something to be desired as will always come with a Ronnie Radke album but the irritation he causes only adds to the huge atmosphere being shaped in the album which works incredibly well.

 

As per usual, this album will be controversial by the fact it has come from the minds of Falling In Reverse but this should be far less polarising than 2015’s Just Like You due to the fact it is far more tastefully self-aware. The cheesiness of Coming Home is also toned down with fewer lines like “sexy girl I just fell in love” and “I am aware that I am an asshole” from Just Like You, instead replacing them with “I feel like a loser” and “everybody thinks you’re a f***ing fool” among others.

Not having Jacky Vincent on lead guitar was also a concern for a lot of people for this album with his unbeatable flair and finesse in his solos and fills, but the addition of Christian Thompson has brought a lot more restraint; where Vincent seemed to absolutely nail solos at any opportunity, Thompson adds them where necessary and leaves space where it is effective. This allows the album’s contrast to play neatly to the style of the songs and work out as a whole.

Overall then, a good album that shows a certain maturity has grown into Falling In Reverse that many believed would never have been gained. Having said this though, the album still features Ronnie Radke’s lyrics which keep the album totally class-less and it will provide a good laugh at points. Halfway between a quality album and a so-bad-it’s-good album, Coming Home is one not to miss this year.

malevolence self supremacy

Interview: Malevolence (Re: Self Supremacy)

UK hardcore/metal crossover kings Malevolence announced the details of their new album Self Supremacy which is due out on the 19th May,  a couple of weeks ago. Since then there’s been a new video, a sell out on pre-orders and an insane amount of anticipation for the album to drop – we had the chance to sit down and talk with drummer Charlie about all of this.

The video for Slave to Satisfaction has been shared loads since you released it, how has it been?
“Exciting and a little bit scary to finally release some music after three years or so with a new twist and see what people have to say about it. We were banking on the internet booting off and expected much more hate and negativity to be honest but everyone just seemed to love it. I saw the odd comment saying they hoped the album wasn’t all in that particular style but that’s it”.

What’s your favourite track from Self Supremacy? And what song are you most excited for people to hear?
“I like Outnumbered the best personally, but that’s definitely not anyone else’s. Self Supremacy the title track is a game changer however”.

The pre-orders for Self Supremacy went live on BDHW and the most limited variant sold out within half an hour, how does that feel?
“It feels great that people still fuck with us. You can never know how it’s going to go after leaving the amount of time that we did without releasing anything but after such anticipation I’d have been disappointed with anything less. We see it as ‘only 100 copies’ but it’s a start. I would have liked to keep one of those to frame for my wall though!”

It’s been three and a half years since Reign of Suffering was released, how excited are you to finally get a new album out and show people how much Malevolence have developed musically?
“I don’t know, it’s been so long it’s hard to comprehend now. I spent the first 2 years absolutely gassed for it and now it’s just surreal. The annoying thing is we developed musically ages ago… wrote the whole thing ages ago and then by the time it’s actually recorded and dusted, we’ve all personally moved on and the record is old in our minds”

What can we expect from the new album?
“Take all your favourite bits of the last album and multiply it by 3, with more hooks than a curtain rail”.

In Slave to Satisfaction, we see Konan (lead guitarist) has taken on a lot of the vocal duties, is this consistent throughout the album?
“There’s more of Konan, but it’s another diverse album. Each song is different”.

What made you go with the guest vocalists that you’ve got on Self Supremacy?
“We got Kevin from the Merciless Concept because he has one of the hardest voices we’ve ever heard, his band are absolutely sick and also surprisingly unheard of, therefore our unique guest! (Check them out ASAP) He kindly put us up when we played near his town in the USA and he is one hilarious dude.

Andrew from Comeback Kid’s voice is also outstanding but it gives a great contrast to that of Alex’s, Kon’s and Kevin’s. Those guys took us on our first ‘legit’ euro tour in 2013. They’re one of the kindest, most supportive and fun bands we’ve ever befriended so we are honoured he agreed to feature. We knew he’d come through with something sick but exceeded all expectations”.

Talking about guest vocalists, do you think that some hardcore/beatdown bands have too many on their releases? There’s been a couple of EP’s in the last six months where 4 out of 5 songs have had some featuring on it – do you think it stops the band being able to show their full potential, especially when it’s bigger names featuring?

“No, the more guest vocalists the better! Although that is pretty funny and I know what you’re talking about. If you’re serious about your band, you may not want to fully take the focus away from your actual singer, unless he’s dogshit”.

What would you say has the best guest feature on any album ever?
“The old school Nasty albums have some ridiculously hard ones from 6 ft Ditch for example. That time the Oceano singer did MVP live with Despised Icon back in the day is the winner for me though”.

In the past you’ve said that Crowbar have been a massive influence for the band’s sound, who else would you say influences you?
“Each member has their own personal ones. I suppose the core influences comes from Hatebreed, Lamb of God, Crowbar and Chimaira but I could just go on forever, then add in every other thing we’ve been into at some point and you have our sound.”

Talking about your sound, do you mix multiple genres into your music on purpose, or does it just happen?
“We just make metal that we like then try to make it flow despite throwing in a fucked up mix of genre. So it ‘just happens’ really. John writes a riff and I come up with a beat, then we try and get to the next riff in the sickest way possible. But these days we take a step back and actually look at the structure whereas previously we used to veer off on mindless tangents. Lyrics come second in the process but not in terms of importance”.

Going onto shows and touring, how was the USA tour with Jesus Piece and Kublai Khan last year and what was the craziest thing that happened on it? Mustangs and guns seemed to play a big part.

“Absolutely sick! Very interesting and eye opening to experience things over there as it was also the first time for some members. Quite rough in a way too as the open armed hospitality that the Europeans bombard you with just doesn’t happen over there (bar Texas) – they go hard as fuck in the pit but at the end of the day you’re just some lads in a van to them. The UK is similar in that sense..

Yeah, guns and Mustangs for sure! And maybe the first show in Orlando which was a new level of violence we’d not experienced”.

Last time we spoke with you, the band said their favourite place to play was Sheffield, is this still the same or has it changed?
“I suppose it is because it’s still where we draw the biggest crowd somehow, our families come out and we know everyone”.

If you could arrange a tour and have any 4 bands, active or not – who would you pick?
“If I had to personally spectate then: Lamb of God, Despised Icon, Dying Fetus, Cold Hard Truth.”

Thanks to Charlie for taking the time out to talk to us, grateful as always!

Malevolence embark on a month-long tour supporting Self Supremacy starting on the 26th May in Glasgow. They’re taking along No Zodiac and Revulsion as support, full dates on the poster below.

You can pick up pre-orders for Self Supremacy on vinyl, CD and with merch packages over at BDHW Records.

malevolence tour self supremacy

blood youth beyond repair

Blood Youth – Beyond Repair

Opening the album is Making Waves, which Blood Youth had written before the Closure EP to bulk out the set (see here for the story). The lyrics on the topic of being “a rascal on a night out” allow for the song to have a cheeky flair, while the undertone of hating quite how rebellious the acts are gives the emotive connection from the very start. The song makes sure Beyond Repair kicks off with a very heavy touch: the breakdown after the second chorus demonstrates the contrast between soaring melodic choruses and the heavy passages remains from the EP era, and in the same style the slinky, loud, treble-rich bass is noticeable even when the guitars are playing through which is a nice touch.

Cited by the band as the “heaviest riff [they] have ever written”, I Remember marks the halfway point of the album. Filled with the pure fury that fuels Blood Youth‘s fire combined with the melodic choruses that characterise the band, the song marks the end of the first side on vinyl. As the closing of the first chapter of the two part play, it lets everyone know that the trio have no intention of letting anything whatsoever get in the way of their cataclysmic rise to fame.

The heaviest song from the outset has to be Parasite, the other song from the album that made an appearance on September’s Closure tour. The song began as a Chris-led piece and this is evident throughout – his influences of Every Time I Die and Slipknot are evident in how heavy his writing is and this gives another angle to the established heaviness in the album beforehand. The track also includes subtle air raid siren sounds playing over the outro riff just make the space that much more full, to great effect.

Overall, a sensational effort from Blood Youth who have topped a couple of classy melodic hardcore EPs in true style. With Tarsus’ gritty realism yet positive outlook on life flooding the lyrics of the release like never before being backed up by Pritchard’s earth-shatteringly heavy riffs and Hallett’s , Blood Youth‘s debut album is one to behold and lays down a challenge to all other bands around. It is everything the fanbase was expecting and so much more – Beyond Repair goes beyond emotion and into the very soul of the three members.

Usually, Musicology reviews feature a “standout track” when a song is set apart from others by its sheer quality, but this is categorically not possible for Beyond Repair. Every single track has parts that make even the tamest want to batter everything within reach as well as parts that will provide mass singalongs as every show gets bigger. This album is set to define a monumental career, and we’re going to be with them all the way.