Patent Pending – Other People’s Greatest Hits [TRACK BY TRACK]

For those who just can’t wait to get their hands on some fancy new covers from the lovable Patent Pending, the band’s vocalist Joe hse gone through their album track by track to show you why they picked each song they did! You can read all about it below and pick up the album on May 26th!

Wasted/Wake Me Up – originally by Tiesto / Avicii: After hearing the original version of Wasted by Tiesto I had it stuck in my head for weeks. The chorus is such a great sing along with an incredible melody. Wake Me Up has been one of my all time favourite songs since the day that I heard it. We thought it would be fun to mash up songs done by DJs. It was a weird idea when we first thought of it, but we love the result. The two songs just complement each other really well. It’s very common and very easy for people to overlook EDM music. We wanted to make these two songs rock so people who would much prefer rock to EDM could hear these tremendous melodies and catchy sing along parts it in a more familiar way.

Spice Up Your Life – originally by Spice Girls: As soon as we decided to do this project we knew wanted to do a Spice Girls song. We all grew up loving them. We actually had a copy of the movie in our old tour bus that we used to watch on repeat at one point. Other than our love for The Spice Girls we also wanted to do one of their songs because they truly represent girl power. In times like these where women are being treated terribly and there is turmoil both with our new government here in the USA and many other places around the world, I think we could all use a little more Girl Power. While listening to The Spice Girls catalogue to decide on a song to do we noticed that Spice Up Your Life is a really heavy song musically! Kind of reminded us of a My Chemical Romance vibe. It turns out that if you switch the synths for guitars and make the song a little angrier you get the gnarliest and probably heaviest Patent Pending recording of all time. This song was one of my favourite recording sessions of my entire life.

Can’t Take My Eyes Off You – originally by The Four Seasons: This has always been one of my favourite songs! I grew up listening to The Four Seasons and I’m also a huge fan of the movie “10 Things I Hate About You,” along with the classic scene where Heath Ledger serenades Julia Styles! The original version of this song has a real punk rock spirit to it because the structure is bizarre and doesn’t make any sense – such a weird song in and of its self. Patent Pending has always been an oddball band and I think our version of this song really speaks to our overall character as musicians.

Never Gonna Give You Up – originally by Rick Astley: RICK ASTLEY! This is one of the first songs that I ever knew all of the words to. My parents were obsessed with it so it was just always on. Fast forward 15 years and you’ll know that it’s one of the songs that we would do for our “Same Song 100 Times In A Row Challenge” on long rides in our van to shows. We also used to prank phone call people and sing this song as a group when we were bored on the road. We must have heard and sang this song as a group over 1000 times at this point. This cover was inevitably going to happen at one point or another. Also, RICK ASTLEY! He’s amazing! My dream is to take our version and do a shot for shot remake of his original music video. If you haven’t seen it, I highly suggest you do. It’s the perfect microcosm of what 80’s pop music was all about.

Shout Out To My Ex – originally by Little Mix: Confession: Before we started this cover album project none of us had ever heard of the group Little Mix. Needless to say we have since heard of them, fallen in love and covered one of their hits for our album. We were having trouble with the last song selection when I was on the phone with our friends in the UK rock band “Boy Jumps Ship” talking about our upcoming tour. We started talking about the album and how we were having trouble picking a final song when all four of them shouted “SHOUT OUT TO MY EX” in unison. I had no idea what they were talking about. We listened to the song and by the end of the first chorus we were in love with it. The melodies are awesome and the attitude is reminiscent of early 2000’s pop-punk to me. They did something fun and ambitious and perfected the art of telling an ex to fuck-off. This song is a belter for sure.

Livin’ La Vida Loca – originally by Ricky Martin: This song is awesome. Plain and simple. It has always reminded me of a ska-punk song with less distortion. It just moves and the minor tone gives it a cool feel. We were excited to cover this song. Ricky Martin is a badass dude!

All Time Low – originally by Jon Bellion: Of all the songs we chose for this cover album, this one has to be the oddest choice. The original performer, Jon Bellion, is the only artist in the bunch that isn’t an internationally known act (yet) and it’s the only song that has yet to be a massive international hit by the original performer. This song is near and dear to my heart and a choice that I fought for due to a couple of different reasons. One: It’s an incredible song! I became obsessed with the original version the first time I heard it! It’s a fresh and innovative take on modern pop music and I was floored by the melodies and production choices. Two: He’s a hometown hero! He grew up and went to high school no more than 10 minutes away from our home base on Long Island, New York and it makes us so proud to see our hometown musicians innovating the way music is being made on a major label scale. Three: I got a chance to see him perform for the first time just as this project started to take shape for us and no joke, he’s one of the top 5 best performers I’ve ever seen in my life. This cover is definitely a tribute to Jon Bellion’s genius and inspiring musical abilities.

Mr Brightside – originally by The Killers: This song has always been a favourite of all of ours. The Killers are one of the last true rock bands out nowadays. No nonsense, just catchy and gritty indie-rock music. It’s almost impossible to hear the original version of this song and not have it stuck in your head for the rest of the day. We put a slightly heavier spin on it and it was a blast to record.

Shape Of You – originally by Ed Sheeran: Say what you will about Ed Sheeran, but I’ve been a huge fan of his music since 2011. We thought it would be cool to put a bit of a rock spin on this pop jam that is breaking records on radio and streaming sites every single day.  Huge fan of his song writing process and the approach that he takes to touring and releasing music. This was a fun one to record for sure.

See You Again – originally by Miley Cyrus: MILEY CYRUS, DAMN IT! This song was our jam in our tour van back in 2007. It always sounded like a pop-punk song to us. Reminiscent of Good Charlotte circa the Good Morning Revival era, this song has always had a “Fuck Yeah” vibe to it.

Seasonal – Track By Track Feature of ‘Bloom’

With an EP coming out in the middle of May, pop punk/alternative rock band Seasonal have ‘Bloom‘ ready and raring to go. With that, the band have released a track by track feature for the upcoming release which you can check out below!

‘Certainty’ is essentially a very simple song. Structurally and musically we worked on a basis of ‘less is more’ to give the vocals some space and dynamic.  The song was built around the original idea of just one guitar and vocals, as heard in the stripped back section of the middle eight. The chorus was originally written with the 2&4 beat that you hear in the final chorus, but as vocal ideas developed we decided to half time it to flow and compliment the vocals more, while saving something extra to build to at the end. This was one of few changes that happened when writing this song as it came about very organically, so we hadn’t over thought things.

Lyrically the song tackles the situation of being unsure of your future in a relationship. I wrote this from a very personal perspective but it is obviously an issue that a lot of people can relate to. It is a very open and honest song so the lyrics don’t really need much explanation. The line from which the song takes its title was actually the last lyric written. The breakdown vocal changed a lot in the writing process as it is so exposed in the mix it had to be just right. The simplicity and dynamic in this song makes it great fun to play live. It’s always nice to play a song that gives you the freedom to focus on delivering a strong performance. Having a big instrumental middle 8 gives us all a chance to break away from the mic stands for a bit and really give it some.

In the studio we focused heavily on guitar tones throughout. Making sure the tone used on each section not only complimented the drum sounds we had already achieved but didn’t overpower the vocals or other guitars. We found that adding subtle over dubs of an acoustic guitar really added texture and definition to the heavier strumming patterns, and went on to use this technique in certain sections of other tracks on the EP.

‘Headphones’ is a really upbeat, happy pop rock song. I think that you can hear that it was written in the summer months. Musically the basis of the song came together very quickly, but the finer details like finding the most fitting lead guitar lines for choruses took a few turns. The upbeat feel of the music really set the tone for the vocals and lyrics.

The song is all about reminiscing about being younger and having no real responsibilities in life. The idea stemmed from hearing a certain song that immediately reminded me of those times and I was struck by how strong of a connection music has with your memory. The song really just reminisces on what we used to get up to and pays homage to the songs that will always remind us of those “simpler days”. Being so upbeat makes this song super fun to play live for us. It’s hard not to move to and adding that 4 to the floor final chorus makes that impossible. It’s one that we especially look forward to playing to a home town crowd as it’s all about growing up around Guildford, so we expect a good reaction.

When recording the track we worked very similarly to the other tracks, selecting different guitar tones and sounds to suit each section and at times using multiple guitars and amps over the space of the song to give each guitar line its own definition. Oz (production, mix and master) was very encouraging of this from the start, and we all agreed from the outset that it was all about making it sound as good as possible so why limit yourself to just one guitar and amp per song. It’s done in a very subtle way but we think comparatively it makes a massive difference to the overall sound and feel to each track.

‘These Games’ was the first song we wrote together that features on the record. We went down to Hidden Track Studios with the intention of just recording the one track and using it to get some shows and show friends. By the end of that weekend we already knew that we would be back down to do a full EP imminently. The song is one of the more technical songs on the EP both structurally and musically. It is a faster paced track and has more sections to it. It definitely leans more towards pop punk side of our sound.

Lyrically the song is about a fallout that one band member had. The whole thing was drawn out for a long time and it started over a pretty ridiculous situation, so the song really just points to how stupid it all was in the grand scheme of things. It’s really just about putting petty things behind you and putting aside egos when your friends are involved.

From a live perspective it is now great to fun play live as one of the heavier tracks we have. It has taken some time though. With so many rhythm changes and harmonies it was one of the more challenging songs to get sounding as tight as on record but we have it locked in now. It has really come back around as one of our favourites to play.

‘Ranger’ is another track which leans more towards the pop punk side of things. With higher tempo and 16th high hats beats it’s a really energetic song. This song went through a lot of stages in the writing process. We went back over this song time and time again to get it sounding how we wanted, focusing a lot of time getting lead lines and accents between sections nailed. Alex got really technical with the drumming on this song. The chorus beat is totally different each time it comes back and he basically just goes off on one for the whole middle section of the song which sounds great.

The lyrics for the song came from wanting to reach out to friend. It’s always hard to see someone struggle with fears and see how they can hold someone back. Rather than get too personal the song looks at it from a wider perspective and really just says that there is nothing to be ashamed of. We all have fears and if you talk about them and express yourself it normally helps. It’s meant from a very positive perspective, as you see more and more people feeling they can’t reach out to even a friend nowadays, which is sad. At the moment we have been closing the live set with this song. We like to end with a song full of energy so this song was an obvious choice. It’s full of call and response vocals and big drum fills and a climactic build up so it’s a great one to catch live.

The main difference between Ranger and the other tracks from a recording process would be the drum work. A lot of time went into choosing the right fills and accents and really letting the drums flare out adding excitement to the track. Again, we use a mixture of guitars and amps to get the right tones, flipping between the Marshall and the Friedman to find what worked best for each guitar line. By taking 3 DI’S of the bass tracks (dry, compressed & filthy), we could blend in a bit more crunch or dirt where it needed it which was great option to have when it came to mixing. We are really looking forward to people hearing this song because it shows the other spectrum of our sound to ‘Certainty’.

‘Homeward’ is a song that means a lot to me personally. It is a slow and soft song to begin with, layering simple guitars and melody instrumentally. It is really more about the point that is being made than flexing any technical muscle. As soon as Max played the opening guitar line idea I knew this was the chance to write a song that I had wanted to for a while. Being almost exactly 2 years since the passing of a close childhood friend, I felt it was time to say goodbye properly. Having not seen each other much in the time before the death and a long complicated wait for the funeral it felt like it had taken a long time to process, but I still wanted to say something. The lyrics basically speak for themselves. It was written from my personal situation, but I am sure there are a lot of people out there that can appreciate and relate to the message.

It’s always hard playing a song this personal live, particularly from a vocal perspective. But given the positive/celebratory tone behind the meaning I find it relieving to play live. It’s nice to just throw your head back and sing it like you mean it and I think that comes across well for the audience.

Recording ‘Homeward’ we used a very stripped back approach. We added some over dubbed acoustic strings and glok for texture and atmosphere but other than that very much left it alone and let the song speak for itself. It was a step out of our collective comfort zone to record a song like this. Despite always listening to bands that played this style of a heartfelt softer ballad, none of us had ever been in a band to record one. Luckily Oz knew where we were coming from and understood the point of the song so he was a big help throughout the process and we really couldn’t be happier with the end result.

Rosen Bridge – Track By Track Feature of ‘Dreamcatcher’

With only a few more weeks before Rosen Bridge drop their anticipated EP ‘Dreamcatcher‘, the band are here to give you an idea of the story behind each track. You can check out the song meanings, written by vocalist Antony Jones, below!

Dreamcatcher: It’s about feeling trapped in somewhere you don’t want to be and hitting that point where you’re ready to lean into big decisions in life, the change and the opportunity.  It’s about that moment when you take responsibility for your own destiny and start fuelling yourself on determination. This is echoed in the instrumentation as well, the riffs in the song have a fast tempo and we wanted this to evoke a motivated feeling for the listener, for them to want to cut out the bad shit in their life and focus on what makes them thrive. As cheesy as it sounds, the song’s generally about making that change, for the better, with the music adding some colour to the canvas. A 9/8 breakdown in the middle section with a straight throw-back rockbeat over the top is an opportunity for us to let loose and really show the passion in the song, which is something we want the live crowds to feed into as well. A half-time groove for the chorus section in the track also adds some relief from the relentless pace of the riffs and gives some space for the big vocal hook to take centre stage.

Hold On: This is essentially our first radio friendly track where we wanted to reveal some of our more punky influences.  We keep the momentum going from the opening track but with a slightly bouncier vibe. The first clean sections of the EP make an appearance and show a lighter side to the band, without compromising any of the power of the heavier sections. Lyrically speaking, the song is an extension of Dreamcatcher, but further along on that journey. It’s about the realisation of your power to change and embrace your newly found confidence, about feeling great and pulling others up with you. The instrumentation of the song takes it a few minutes to form a backdrop for the catchy vocal hooks and melodies in the track; the chorus and middle 8 sections in particular, are vocally driven to emphasise message and vibe of song.

Never Grow: The premise of this song was born from dark place a few years back, when I looked at the world differently. Without trying to emphasise the melodrama, ‘Never Grow’ is all about a when you hit a wall and become frustrated by always making the same mistakes.  The mood of the music matches the vocal content and follows a dark and moody path which builds up to a big heavy crescendo, with a haunting vocal over the top of a huge half-time breakdown. This section has crowd chants written all over it… “Never – Grow”, which is what we want to hear when we’re throwing it down live. Essentially though, the lyrics in the song are an ode to the friends around you, who support you, despite your differences and how thankful you are when this happens.

Brand New: Arranging this track was great for the band; the challenge of blending the big, heavy sections with the lighter sounding melodies was difficult, but we enjoyed the A-tonal elements of this too much not to include on the EP. Following on from ‘Never Grow’, ‘Brand New’ hits you hard with a blast beat to get you started. This track is the heaviest on the EP and we’ve loved performing it live so far in our set. The stripped back vocal sections in verses reflect on the darker feel of Never grow before developing alongside the instrumentation. The vocals start to take on a new tone, mirroring on the overall positive feel of the EP, pointing towards your friends and family as the source of your strength. We decided on ending the song with a bang and threw in a huge 8-string section, tuned to A sharp (one octave below) and we absolutely love seeing people lose their minds when they hear this live. Brand New pulls together all of the themes from the earlier tracks and intensifies them, matched by the music, which is why saved this one for last.           

Fragile Things – Broken Sun EP [TRACK BY TRACK]

UK Rock ‘n’ Rollers Fragile Things deliver their new EP ‘Broken Sun’ on 17th February. However, before then we have the lowdown on the stories and meanings behind the record:

Enemy is I

The first track on our new EP is “Enemy is I”, which is all about the war we wage inside ourselves each and every day, recognising that our own worst enemy sometimes is ourselves.

Open Cage

This is a rare song for us to write as it is a political song.  It was written around the time of the last election and at a time when we were angry about the lack of choice that was out there and by the lack of enthusiasm people seemed to have for what happened to their country.  I felt like evil was winning because the good did nothing and so this song was almost like a rallying song to make people rebel.

Broken Sun

Broken sun is pretty much what it says on the tin.  It’s about the breakdown of a relationship between a father and son.  But I like to try and write things in a bit more of a metaphorical way so the play on words of ‘Son’ and ‘sun’ is there so that people can relate it to any relationship breakdown.

So Cold

This track is all about picking yourself up after being defeated.  It’s about getting your shit together and recognising that the thing you loved or love was actually holding you down and despite how much it hurts, you have to get on with life.

Renegade Twelve

Renegade Twelve: Track By Track for the upcoming debut album!

We’ve teamed up with the incredible Renegade Twelve from Suffolk in the UK for an exclusive track-by-track of their debut album which releases in just two days! Renegade Twelve’s self-titled debut seeks to establish their brand of melodic metal they’ve been refining since they began in 2014. This quintet pull from many sensational bands such as Iron MaidenAvenged SevenfoldKillswitch Engage and more – they’ve read the book on metal and they’re ready to punch back.

Having toured extensively through 2016, the band will release Renegade Twelve, their debut album on the 27th of January. Here’s what they had to say about the ten tracks on the album.

Mad Max is a furious and intricate piece of music that details the horror and strain that an apocalyptic wasteland has on the normal man.

Vanity is upbeat, angry and quick-fire, this song goes out to the long and strenuous nights tiring away in the nightclub trying to fit in, when really all you have to do is be yourself.

Heroes Of Mine is our first single. It’s an uplifting and catchy track that’s very vocal and touches on the typical and not so typical heroes of modern day society.

Bipolar has a moody and dark vibe, this is a story of when friendship and respect have been sacrificed for the allure of possible fame and fortune.

This Town is the perfect blend of groove metal and strong impact lyrics describing the harrowing ordeal an innocent man needs to go through in order to prove his innocence in a court trial involving police incompetence and corruption beyond belief.

War Plane is metaphorical and World War 2 inspired. This dynamic track provides the story of the skies blending haunting guitar and piano parts with a powerful vocal.

Somme jumps straight into the trenches of World War 1. A fictitious piece that depicts a vicious and blood thirsty battle. Do you survive or are you simply an army of ghosts by the last chorus?

Yeah boi is an absolute fun fest! Ridiculously drop tuned guitars, massive pinch harmonics and head jolting grooves. No lyrics needed in this song!

MFC is a little more quirky. This track nine song abbreviation stands for ‘M*ther F*cking Champion’ and describes the cloud 9 feeling that everyone goes through when things are playing out just the way you wanted them too.

Bill & Chief is the epic story of a generals drunken cowardice and Wild Bill’s bravery, death, resurrection, and reform thanks to an Indian Chief. No punches pulled for this 9 minute demonstration of musical song writing ability and instrumental technique from Renegade Twelve.

This album certainly promises to be a huge collection of tracks from Renegade Twelve preparing to launch them into the upper echelons of metal society. Don’t miss out on it! The album releases this Friday, 27th January and can be pre-ordered here.

Indigo Bones’ Self Titled EP Exclusive Track By Track

Indigo Bones are about to release their debut self titled EP, for which they are very excited and were keen to give an inside word on each track. Musicology rated the four song EP at 10/10.

1. Vertical Sleep
Vertical Sleep is the opening track on the EP. It’s a lamentation about being overworked and unsatisfied with your job. It was one of the first songs the group had properly experimented with using both Chris and Mark’s vocals in a song, and it was an important song for defining their unique sound.

2. Silver Nosebleeds
The next song on the record is Silver Nosebleeds, which is a somewhat abstract song, about those times when you just want to shut yourself away from the world. It’s probably one of their darker songs, and quite different from the other tracks on the EP.

3. Elastic Patient
Elastic Patient is next up and it’s about living life recklessly, the kind of self-destructive lifestyles people can fall into. Indigo Bones’ inspiration for writing is rarely autobiographical, and their origins of inspiration for a song is usually from a variety of sources and observations.

4. On Delicate
On Delicate closes the EP and Indigo Bones are really happy with this track. They broadly experimented with dynamics in the song, playing with the juxtaposition of heavy parts and soft, delicate parts within the same track. The song is about the various ways people handle their fears about dying.

Indigo Bones is not an EP to miss, and it is due for release on 16th December. The group are set to tour in early 2017.

Diamond Days – Track By Track of The Death Of Us [EP]

Diamond Days have just released their latest EP, The Death Of Us, on 5th November. They asked us at Musicology to do a track by track feature.

The Death Of Us

The Death Of Us is about toxic people. When you find yourself in a poisonous relationship, or even friendship, it can slowly eat away at your sense of identity and it can often result in turning you into someone just as toxic.

Not Every Song With A Long Name (written By Fall Out Boy)

Diamond Days wrote this track about trying to find love whilst suffering with depression or any other mental illness(es). Sometimes life will be going well, you’ll be having a good day and everything will feel great, but a bad day can completely change the dynamic. This track is also testimony to Fall Out Boy‘s long song titles. Perhaps Panic! At The Disco should have been credited too.

Kings and Queens

This is a life statement about giving someone all you have, even if it’s not much. Very few people enter relationships and friendships with the mindset of actually working through issues but this track is about sticking with the other person no matter what.

We Are Young

This is song is about the perceived notion of unconditional love, and how it often isn’t actually unconditional. Often people can find they are pushed so far and feel estranged and separated from the people who profess to always support you. This track is a reminder that those people don’t define a single person.

Better Than Never – Head Under Water [TRACK BY TRACK]

With only a few more months until the upcoming Better Than Never release, Their vocalist James Harris has released information regarding each track on the EP. You want to know the meanings behind each track? Read on below and delve into the mind of an up and coming group!

126: 126 is named after the house where we tracked our pre-production demos. The place means a lot to us, it’s member’s Will & Jim’s flat so we spend pretty much half our time there. With this song we wanted to create something that really reflected the rest of EP, and featured a bit of what we’ve got to give throughout. It was so good being able to work with Ian (Sadler at Emeline Studios, Producer) on this track as he helped us really perfect it; it was the first track we recorded with him so it got us in really high spirits for the rest of the EP.

Learning To Swim: Sometimes we write together and sometimes we write alone. “Learning To Swim” was a song James wrote and the concept of it lyrically is all about how struggling with mental health issues can almost feel like you’re being held with your head under water. James said a lot of lyrics came from endless nights of just sitting on his own, with nothing but his thoughts and how they can really tear you up, and you just have to try and reassure yourself. We we’re really pleased with how this track came out, every track Ian did just seemed to have this magic touch to it, that makes us feel really proud of the final mix.

Dreamland Ain’t All It’s Cracked Up To Be: Dreamland is a reworking of our song we used to play a few years prior, which was called “Cold Endeavour”. We were never really happy with the original, so Will spent some time reworking it, taking the best parts of the original song and fixing up the bits that didn’t seem to work. It’s gone from being one we didn’t like to one of our favourites to play live, we open a good 90% of the our sets with it because it’s just one of those songs that gets us all jumping about and it’s easy to sing along with.

Forty Eight: Even though we’ve changed the sound a lot since, when the band formed in 2013, we’d originally been inspired by a lot of the heavier pop punk bands, like Four Year Strong, A Day To Remember and Chunk? No, Captain Chunk! With Forty Eight we wanted to make something that was a bit of a throwback to some of the heavier songs those bands had released, and as such Forty Eight was born. This one is such fun live, lyrically it covers the recent results of the EU referendum and the divide it has caused between a lot of people, the more aggressive vocal parts are a great way to just relieve any pent up anger.

Lowhill Lane: Lowhill Lane deals with how past happenings can shape your future. Up until the early 2000’s James’ dad worked at the Rover/MG plant in Longbridge, situated on Lowhill Lane. When the factory got bought over, his family had to move away from Birmingham to Oxford. At the time it was quite a big thing, during that time in your life, most your classmates are your friends, and moving away meant starting afresh. As a result it covers how it can be tough trying to integrate into an entirely new world, different from what you are used too; yet at the same time, you want to do your best to hide from your family how much of an impact such a change has made, especially as no doubt they are all feeling it too. It’s one we’ve been playing live for a while as well, and it’s always a good one as James and Will share a lot of the vocal responsibilities in this song.

The bands EP ‘Head Under Water‘ sees a December 2nd release via Fox Records.