The Vigil – Save Our Souls

The Vigil are a band which are suited for fans of groups such as Bush, Stone Temple Pilots and Silverchair. Sadly this is a group which is yet to make its own identity, from the context of this album and this makes the group lacking in 2016.

This isn’t to say that the band isn’t technical brilliant with sleazy intros on tracks such as Hell To Play by guitarist Olly Smith the nature of what is trying to be accomplished is there, especially on the impressive solo on the track. Though points he reverts back to simple chords leaving the group often at a position of being unchallenged, and for the true nature of Grunge this is something that needs to be key.

As the vocalist as well as rhythm guitarist Olly Smith is the member that dominates throughout the majority of the album. Imagine Billy Corgan pushed forward to 2016 and that’s pretty much what is being done throughout the majority of the tracks. This is with the exception of Do You Feel Alive and Turn The Tide where the singer goes into a quieter and direct manner. The lyrics however throughout the majority of this record are ones of a quite cringey nature. An example can be found on the track Nothing Sacred with the lines: “nothing sacred … now you’re hated”.

Bassist Dom Mehigan stands out amazingly as a unique entity on this record however, as with the choppy nature of a track like Liar’s Chair, the strong backbeat to the music is something that is needed. This makes the group feel more in line with a Stoner Rock band such as Kyuss as much as anything that was happening within the Grunge scene.

Lead guitarist Robbie Schuk also compliments the musicianship on the album especially on single Find A Way which clearly sounds big from his involvement. This is one of the strongest points of the album as it finds a different and more arena friendly avenue to give its rock and roll message. This track shows that even with the negativity that can be spouted from the band, there is still potential for the group to go on and do bigger and better things.

The drummer Jamie Davenport plays quite an impressive style of drumming throughout but his stand out moment has to be on the track No One Wins which feels like a Grunge anthem. For some reason in the first songs the band seem to rely on him much more and let him stand alone but towards the end the group seems to standout more so with the drummer.

The Vigil’s new album is really an album of two parts, the simplistic nature of the first part and the more chaotic rock and roll nature of the second. If they could focus on the elements that make the front part of the album as interesting as the latter they could become the next arena rock band. If they focus on the more standardised tracks, the group only face the problem of being lost in the shuffle.

Missed-icology: Songs/Videos You May Have Missed!

Here at Musicology, we know that there’s always music popping up everywhere that you might not have even had time for the smaller artists to pop up into your news feed. Fear not, because we are able to provide you a list of songs, as well as music videos, that may have slipped under your radar, so let us dive in!


MANSELL – A LOVE IMMODEST

Mansell are based in Arizona and use their roots in the alternative/indie scene to help create something expressive and artistic for everyone to enjoy!

Genre: Indie Rock / Alternative
FFO:
Bastille / Of Monsters & Men
Album/Release Date:
N/A (N/A)
Label:
Independent


BETTER THAN NEVER – LEARNING TO SWIM

Bringing some strong pop punk vibes from the UK, this Oxford six-piece will definitely be bring the stage dives with this single!

Genre: Pop Punk
FFO: 
Neck Deep / WSTR
Album/Release Date: 
Head Under Water EP (2nd Dec 2016)
Label: 
Fox Records


FROM INDIAN LAKES – BLANK TAPES

It’s atmospheric, its soft, its beautiful and above all, its an amazing track! Another indie track but going a more emotional route to keep you engaged.

Genre: Indie Pop
FFO: 
Portugal. The Man / Foxing
Album/Release Date: 
Everything Feels Better Now (OUT NOW)
Label: 
Triple Crown Records


SLOWCOACHES – DRAG

It’s time for some more distorted punk rock to get you off your feet! This London three piece bring something full of summertime madness and quick paced!

Genre: Punk Rock
FFO: 
Sham 69 / Gnarwolves
Album/Release Date: 
Nothing Gives (2nd Dec 2016)
Label: 
Leisure & District


ERIC JOHNSON – ONCE UPON A TIME IN TEXAS

The instrumental acoustic is alive and well in this track. Featuring the same guy who brought you ‘Cliffs Of Dover‘ brings you his first acoustic/piano record with this tasty morsel.

Genre: Acoustic / Instrumental
FFO: 
Steve Vai / Paul Gilbert
Album/Release Date: 
ej (OUT NOW)
Label: 
Many labels.


THE DIRTY NIL – FRIENDS IN THE SKY

Bringing something alternative to the punk element with a very stylised music video, this Canadian trio aren’t showing any signs of slowing down!

Genre: Punk Rock / Rock And Roll
FFO: 
Modern Baseball / Joyce Manor
Album/Release Date:
Higher Power (OUT NOW)
Label: 
Dine Alone Records


LAZLO – MAN UP

Bringing the bro side of things, Northern UK based alternative rock band have something following the somewhat drunken life of a man with a boisterous track behind him.

Genre: Alternative Rock / Punk Rock
FFO: 
Don Broco / Mallory Knox
Album/Release Date: 
N/A (N/A)
Label: 
Spoken Records UK


NEWMOON – HELIUM

Throwing you back into something trippy, The alternative from Antwerp aren’t shy of experimenting and showing theyre not a small fish in a big pond.

Genre: Alternative Rock / Experimental Rock
FFO: Hotel Books / Modest Mouse
Album/Release Date: 
Space (OUT NOW)
Label: 
PIAS Recordings


BEWARE OF DARKNESS – MUTHAFUCKA!

Closing this list is a slow placed hard rock/stoner rock feeling track with a powerful main riff behind it and some of the most distinct vocals you’ll ever hear!

Genre: Hard Rock / Stoner Rock
FFO: The Shrine / Black Spiders
Album/Release Date: 
Are You Real? (OUT NOW)
Label: 
Bright Antenna Records


We hope you enjoyed this list as there is plenty more to come over the next few weeks, including tours that may have passed you by and albums/EP’s that you need to check out!

The Shrine release new music video for ‘Acid Drop’

Throw yourself back into something that sounds like it’s full of seventies/eighties rock and roll with The Shrine! They have delved into their album release party and mashed up some of their footage to create a high octane, pedal to the medal style music video to go with the track ‘Acid Drop‘. You can check it out below!

They will be touring with H09909 later this year, to which you can see the dates below!

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Red Fang – Only Ghosts

Over the past two decades, Relapse Records have brought us some of the most seminal albums in metal history. They hold a catalog of releases, that between 1990 and the present day, boasts titles such as Neurosis’ ground-breaking Through Silver In Blood, the first three Dillinger Escape Plan albums and Mastodon’s goliath sophomore effort Leviathan. It’s a feat only matched by fellow metal titans Roadrunner Records, who have adopted a slightly more mainstream focus as of late. So kudos to Relapse for gathering a diverse, if no less heavy roster, and further credit to them for upcoming release Only Ghosts from Portland’s Red Fang, which echoes the spirit of Relapse’s past, all the while dragging it kicking and screaming into 2016.

Only Ghosts begins with a thudding kick drum and southern-fried guitars before kicking into a surge of guttural yells from guitarist Bryan Giles. It leads to an eerily memorable vocal refrain by bassist Aaron Beam in which he confesses “You know that I can’t sleep, I’ve been awake for weeks, and someone’s dying”. Flies is everything you could want from an opening track, rampaging out of the speakers with gusto and ending with a veritable smorgasbord of savage leads. Cut it Short continues the riff-a-thon. All swaggering guitars and desert vibes, it proves to be one of the most accessible songs in the bands catalog, while the Queens Of The Stone Age meets Mastodon grooves of No Air packs enough punch to topple buildings.

Unlike the slightly muddier sounds of previous releases, Only Ghosts finds the band sounding absolutely vast in comparison . The drums of John Sherman in particular, pushed right up front, every tom roll sounding seismic, every snare hit driving the record forward. This helps the all-out rock of Not For You to sound as polished as more mainstream acts, but doesn’t take away from the raw grime of tracks like album centerpiece The Smell Of Sound which mirrors the brutal, sluggish pace of bands like Crowbar and EyeHateGod.

A comparison could be made to ex-label mates Mastodon, with towering screams and murky clean vocals over a punishing metal backdrop. Truth be told, they do share a similar sound, but what Red Fang may lack in true pioneering spirit, they make up for in sheer, forceful rock n’ roll power. The likes of I Am A Ghost, which comes across like a Lemmy-fronted doom band and the mid-section shred of Shadows, sound truly feral.

Red Fang have worked intensely hard to get to Only Ghosts. Previous releases such as 2013’s Whales and Leeches showed the band helm their influences into a mixing pot of dark, technical malice, but a heavy touring schedule and acquired studio savvy have helped Red Fang truly master their craft here. On this, their third album, the band sound bigger, grimier and even catchier but lose none of their fire in the process. Whether it be at a snail-pace grind or a foot-on-the-accelerator pummel, Only Ghosts is a filthy, bruising riot from start to finish and a sure-fire contender for album of the year.