this be the verse

This Be The Verse – Self Titled

The album opens with no messing about – a fuzzy lead guitar riff and crashing cymbal/snare beats bring the tone of the whole record to the fore with following melodic vocals. These quickly beak out into screams in the end of the first verse and into the chorus though, showing the raw anger flowing throughout Stubborn Youth.

The drums take over on the third track Consequences as a quick punk beat repeating by itself leads into a fast-paced and punchy rock track. A similar story is true on the following track Adieu with a bassline to match the slower beat, but breaks down to give a layered vocal chorus. First single Unveil also contains a huge drumbeat to open up: a recurring theme, it seems.

The first flavour of the album released was the single Unveil, which was used well and sums up the self-titled debut as a whole. Groovy bass and shimmering cymbals with layered gang vocals for the chorus shouting “raise your fist and let us rebel” show off the anger pent up in the group whether screaming and thrashing or playing through a quieter section. A very good track to start with to get you feeling the vibe of the release, maybe even before starting from the beginning.

Vocally, Cyrus King has a very unique sound however he projects his voice: his screams are high-pitched in a kind of hardcore style crossed with Austin Carlile to form a very throaty and fury-filled sound, his clean vocals are crisp and precise with a rock arrangement and the backing vocals are all tuned, however gang-sounding. The lyrics he uses throughout are well-written and meaningful throughout which is impressive considering the anger displayed within

Slightly bizarrely, How Can You Sleep At Night throws everything up to this part into question as electronics come out with a funky beat and whispered vocals through the verse that sound almost Rammstein-esque to create a huge-sounding industrial rock track. The pre-chorus has a funk riff with tuned vocals and the chorus breaks out into a  before the outro brings in a crunchy rhythm guitar to keep the track weighted and it vanishes with no warning. This opens the way for Ungrateful Me to hold the same kind of blend though this time sounding more like a more modern Enter Shikari track. Alone has an all-out trip feel to it, with recurring electronic beats and spoken vocals.

The last track I Am Charlie is by far the standout on the record however, as the anger and hatred of the world displayed in attacks in the Charlie Hebdo offices last year are clearly a motive. The first three minutes of the track play out in a heartfelt acoustic piece renouncing all religion before it turns into a bouncy, screamed piece as Cyrus screams “f*** religion” over and over to bring home his point. The contrast between the two styles show how diverse This Be The Verse truly are, and while there is by no means a mastery of all the styles there is undoubtedly a firm grip.

Overall then, not a bad record but inevitably too wacky in parts and diverse as it is clear to see the record doesn’t fit together. As individual tracks there will be something for everyone, though as a collection there will be tracks people will inevitably skip.

burning at both ends

Burning At Both Ends – Self Titled

While not being a band you may be aware of, Guernsey’s Burning At Both Ends really are quite good. They claim to be influenced by A Day To Remember, Four Year Strong and State Champs amongst others and they bring a flavour of the sound of each of these to their debut self-titled album.

Opener Priorities Suck gets the album off to a fantastic start as it introduced the punchy basslines and solid drumbeats of the whole record from the very beginning. The track follows a very typical pop punk structure but adds the spin of the group’s abilities: Peter Mitchell’s clean and seemingly effortless vocals coupled with lead guitars and a solid drum/bass rhythm lead to a catchy piece which packs a serious punch.

Particular mention has to go to drummer Andy Nicholson however, who holds the entire record together with the underpinning beat beneath all the tracks and shines particularly in First Plane Home and This Ain’t No Happy Ending where he shows the versatility of quick punk beats, slowed breakdowns and mid-tempo rock grooves to help perfect an all-round good song.

burning at both ends tracklist
Full tracklist and personnel of the record

Lyrically, the album holds great emotional weight, not in the stereotypical “I’m angry at my dad” or “my girlfriend left me” ways as many pop punk bands today do, but more in a sense of “look, this has happened and these are my feelings” and using metaphor instead of explicitly stating the obvious all the time. Lines like “cold cup of coffee staring at the wall, sat there for days alone in the hall” are obviously personifying the emotions of the lyricist, but it’s a bit more interesting than the bland old state the obvious job many bands resort to in the modern day.

The standout track has to be Making A Statement which sounds almost like 2008 You Me At Six collided with Mayday Parade-style layers of vocals, which by anyone’s standards can only mean big things are to come from this band. The opening riff sounds like it means business and the rest of the track follows to deliver with vocals that hold Franceschi-like agression and conviction.

A notable mention goes to This Ain’t No Happy Ending which is reminiscent of many pop punk bands of today with its leads over a huge sounding rhythmic beat and semi-tuned vocals that deliver an inherent angst and realism that they have throughout the album before this track.

Overall then, Burning At Both Ends have managed to put together a pretty remarkable debut that showcases their talents with ease. Clashing good songwriting with excellent musical ability, the band have managed to put together one of the best debut releases of the year of any unsigned band and there is no doubt they will be going somewhere soon…

Metallica release track, announce album

After what seems like an eternity of teasing and studio diaries, metal gods Metallica have announced the follow-up to 2008’s Death Magnetic and released the first track.

The album is set to be titled Hardwired… To Self-Destruct and will be released on November 18th worldwide on their own label Blackened Recordings.

The track released alongside the album is called Hardwired, and you can hear it below:

Unveil

This Be The Verse release ‘Unveil’, announce album

After the track was played on Daniel P Carter’s Radio 1 Rock Show on Sunday, This Be The Verse have officially released Unveil, on top of detailing their new debut album.

The album will be self-titled and will be released on October 7th.

Watch the video for Unveil below:

The band are also going out on tour in September, see the dates below:

6th Bristol, Fleece
7th London, Boston Music Room
15th Cardiff, Clwb Ifor Bach
16th Swansea, Sin City
17th Exeter, Cavern
18th Southampton, Talking Heads

Chelsea Grin debut new song from upcoming album

Salt Lake City metal megaband Chelsea Grin have released new track Broken Bonds off forthcoming album Self Inflicted out 1st July via Rise Records.

The release is set to be incredibly heavy if the first few tracks are anything to go by, and the huge ideals put forward in them are going to set the scene alight.

Broken Bonds crushes with organic and almost uncomfortable intensity that is matched by the equally brutal visual.  See the video below below:

Yellowcard Have A New Record

Pop punk legends Yellowcard have announced they will be releasing the latest instalment to their catalogue this year.

The album will be self-titled and will be released 30th September.

The tracklist looks a little something like this:

1. Rest In Peace
2. What Appears
3. Got Yours
4. A Place We Set Afire
5. Leave A Light On
6. The Hurt Is Gone
7. Empty Street
8. I’m A Wrecking Ball
9. Savior’s Robes
10. Fields & Fences

And the artwork like this:

Yellowcard S-T

 

The band performed at Slam Dunk festival this year and will be hitting the whole Warped Tour through the US this summer, so see the dates and full line-up below:

Warped 2016 Line-up

warped-tour-dates-2016

 

Turncoat – Self Titled EP

Right from the off, Turncoat clearly mean business; the band are fresh off a tour with Grim State and it is clear to see their confidence growing with this release. It makes its mark incredibly quickly as a huge mess of brutal punk rock comes blaring out of opening track Own Up and it only grows from there. The vocals are a solid punk speak/shout as with traditional punk styles but obviously using more coarse language since radio play has become far less relevant and necessary for bands in the modern market.

Second track Growing Up is quickly paced with a more Zac de la Rocha-esque vocal and huge breakdowns that will blow up live like few other bands around in today’s touring circuit. The bass is stronger in third track The Friends You Need and it provides the intro but stays thumping along in a more pronounced manner than the tracks previously, and the guitars sound messy and rough around the edges which makes for a good listen through the track, topped off with vocals ripping through lyrics with ease and venom.

The band clearly hold traditional punk far-left-wing values to heart with fourth track American Dream as they shout ironically “what more could we need” and cut down the ideals of American individualism in the capitalist society, giving perhaps the most punchy and raw tracks on the record. Fifth track Pushing Through was the first single to be released on Bandcamp, and sums up the EP pretty well: unpolished guitars, quick drums and sound vocals, proving it is going to be a real winner. Final track Blindfolded isn’t in any way a slowing down to finish for the 6-track, it’s actually just as brutal as the rest yet the bass in this is the best in all the songs on this release. Fantastic piece of aggressive and punchy punk rock, shame the bass isn’t a bit more pronounced throughout though!

 

The EP will be released this Friday (10th June) via Eulogy Recordings

Chelsea Grin Have An Announcement

Utah deathcore legends Chelsea Grin have released their new song Clickbait today, following their performance at this week’s Impericon Festival run.

The song comes with the even bigger announcement that their 4th album Self Inflicted will hit stores on July 1st, the first of their records to be released on Rise Records and they have promised that it will be their “most extreme” record to date.

The band also take on the Vans Warped Tour this summer through the US on the Monster Energy South stage so go check them out if you’re over there!

MAX RAPTOR – Self-Titled

Burton-upon-Trent punks Max Raptor are back in the limelight and frankly for good reason with this third full-length record.

Max Raptor comes as a follow-up to 2015 EP Damage Appreciation and features the title track from it as track 9/12, and was produced by Dan Weller [Enter Shikari, Young Guns, SikTh], so was in expert hands from the very start of the writing and recording process.

The record comes as a cross between hardcore, roots punk and good old rock n’ roll (as have their other releases), but this one gives another level the band have not reached on previous releases.

The vocal style throughout is excellent, keeping a very old-school technique while having a refreshing new crunch when combined with the excellently mixed instrumental, but particular credit has to go to drummer Pete Reisner, who keeps the beat going with ease and suits the punk vibe to a T. While the guitars aren’t particularly technical (which is to be expected of a good punk band), the mix leaves them gritty and messy which creates a definite mood to provide the backing for Wil to do his thing.

The influences of early punk bands are evident, especially in tracks like Day Release and When I Was A Gentleman which hold those really solid, huge “woah oh” gang vocals that create that finishing touch to the roughness to make it feel that next step up, but there are also elements that have clearly been brought about from touring with Press To Meco and a couple of moments (namely the styles of some song endings) sound reminiscent of them.

Standout tracks are the aforementioned When I Was A Gentleman and the far more bluesy Last Words which display how excellent this band is with a variety of styles, while keeping their fingerprint very much on the style.

Usually, weaker tracks get discussed to give a fair and balanced viewpoint but it can genuinely be said this record is made of 12 fantastic tracks for any occasion that will be the making of this band.

The technical highlight has to be the bass-mimicking of the guitar on several tracks but most evident on Day Release, where throughout the whole verse the bass plays the riff with the guitars to create a fully immersive instrumental that packs a massive punch like very few bands can deliver in the modern market.

This band are so underrated and deserve so much more exposure, and this release just goes to show they are at the very top of the modern hardcore game, which is hardly surprising considering their support slots with the likes of The Stranglers [2010 tour].

Max Raptor was released April 22nd on Hassle Records, listen to it on Spotify, Google Play and iTunes.