It’s no doubt it has been an incredible summer of music, and it’s not over yet as the legendary Reading and Leeds Festival takes place this weekend. With dozens of acts playing across 8 stages over 3 days, there is lot to choose from. As always the Already Heard team has got together to pick out what we think are the 20 must-see acts at Reading and Leeds 2014.
Bloody Knees are the latest band to emerge from the UK lo-fi punk scene. On August 25th the quartet release their new EP, 'Stitches' which promises to be a catchy and raw in equal measures. We spoke to vocalist Bradley Griffiths to discuss the new EP, joining Dog Knights Productions, being part of the UK emo and lo-fi resurgence and more.
If metalcore is your thing then say hello to From Her Eyes. The Welsh quartet are exclusively streaming their debut EP 'Demons' right here on Already Heard.
So Empire! Empire! (I Was A Lonely Estate) are by and large considered one of the—now many—bands who have helped spark up a renewed love for those heartfelt, low-fi sounds of nineties indie. You know, the one that seemingly permeates virtually every emo album nowadays. Even at mid-level cynicism, I struggle to believe this sort of nostalgia is always as earnest as it claims to be. Here’s an idea: maybe you’re clutching at proven cult stylings because you feel it will give your music the veneer of recognition it perhaps wouldn’t otherwise deserve (or perhaps wouldn’t earn, despite your qualities). Empire! Empire! (I Was A Lonely Estate), I’m happy to report, sound like there could have been no other way to play these songs. Newest album 'You Will Eventually Be Forgotten' is a composite of fragile emotionality, the fuzzy warmth of lo-fi production, along with the “in the garage” intimacy it entails.
I can’t claim to have had any knowledge of this husband-and-wife duo prior to being receiving this album to review, and my initial thought looked something like this: a mix between a rougher (in terms of production value) The Weakerthans, Billy Corgan-esque vocals and that sweet, sweet emo juice. The resulting mix stripped back and made as minimalistic as it could go. The genuine recipe probably requires a little more Death Cab, certainly more than the “punkier” emo bands they cite as influences (though those slightly heavier leanings do express themselves on occasion, namely ’Foxfire’ and ’We Are People Here, We Are Not Numbers’.
Bloody Knees are the latest band to emerge from the UK lo-fi punk scene following the likes of Nai Harvest and playlounge. On August 25th the quartet release their new EP, 'Stitches' which promises to be a catchy and raw in equal measures. The recently released title track and lead off single 'Daydream' suggests 'Stitches' will be a combination of sludgy garage-punk, lo-fi guitars and somber lyrics yet delivered in bitter, energetic tone.
The EP release will be preceded by an appearance at the Reading and Leeds Festival this weekend, but before then we spoke to vocalist Bradley Griffiths. The singer discussed the new EP, joining Dog Knights Productions, being part of the UK emo and lo-fi resurgence and more.
Already Heard: Hi can you introduce yourself and your role in Bloody Knees?
Bradley: I’m Bradley, I am the singer and guitarist in Bloody Knees.
AH: Let’s kick off with an easy one. What’s the backstory behind Bloody Knees formation?
Bradley: Bloody Knees started as a one man project in my university house in Southsea where I was just writing songs and recording them into my laptop and programming shitty drums and stuff. I came home from uni for a bit and saw all the boys (Sam, Chris and Tom) and everyone seemed dead keen on making it a ‘real band’. We booked a practice room, learned the songs, then played Southsea Fest as our first show that September.
AH: Later this month you’re releasing an EP called 'Stitches'. What can new listeners expect from the EP in terms of sound/style?
Bradley: New listeners can expect some fun, melodic, aggressive grunge/garage punk. New listeners should also definitely make the effort to come and see us at a show because that’s where it’s most fun.
Recorded live as part of ARC’s Live Session Series, the brand new 7 inch from stateside punks Pale Angels showcases some of the band’s newer material along with a cover of The Feelies’ 'Crazy Rhythms'. Right down to the artwork, it’s about as raw an offering as you can imagine.
There’s certainly a crowd that will appreciate the DIY ethic of the release. The all encompassing lo-fi hiss perfected by Jesus & Mary Chain and more recently Eagulls is prominent throughout. 'Just Faces' and 'Romantic Depression' are a wash of disorientating punk jams and manic, rambling vocal work that will satisfy the aforementioned clique but very few beyond.
It is difficult to believe that Create to Inspire’s new EP ‘Halfway Home’ is a debut. With its clean and careful production, this EP is certain to gain the band a loyal following.
The ‘Halfway Home’ EP opens abruptly with the fast-paced and often chaotic track, ‘In Light’. It quickly becomes apparent that the verses are constructed as dark and heavy elements of the song, whereas the choruses offer some relief as they are cleaner and more melodic, displaying the versatility and talent of this band. The contrast of the heaviness of the verse and the melodic sound of the chorus gives weight and meaning to the lyrics of the verses, particularly as Sean Midson’s raw vocals soon break through to the forefront of the mix. Thereafter, ‘In Light’ seems to become more personal, though the dark, frustrated tone of the first verse is sustained. While precise, carefully-considered layering is pleasing throughout, this is a track bursting with contrasts; further into ‘In Light’, Create to Inspire craft an impressive contrast between raw, background vocals and the cleaner sounds of the front man Midson. Though the first track of the EP began suddenly and powerfully, ‘In Light’ fades out without a noticeable conclusion, giving the whole piece a coherent and continuous feel.
Calling All Cars is an Australian band that have gained so much respect since their inception in 2005. They tour relentlessly and sprinkle their music like confetti. The act have recorded a new album called 'Raise The People', which is engineered with an annoying strain of uninspiring songs. Finding any monumental contributions is like trying to fight a roaring lion with no arms.
Delving into this bubblegum music, trying to dissect it for some wholesome goodness is complex. The electronic sound is mashed up with the same beat over and over again. The band attempt to drag out their feelings and showcase them through their unhinged music, but it just doesn’t work. The music is manic and is a disservice to the genre that they loosely commit to. The album offers a sweetness that the kids of today might bite into. It might be a record that you might play at a party when heavily under the influence.
For the masses of people who still pine desperately for the grunge heyday of the early nineties, dress in plaid and decry the lack of quality by new bands representing the genre, you need to check out London trio The Kut right now. Go on, off you go, I’ll wait. See, a bit special aren’t they?
Unfortunately being all of the Lady persuasion, the band seem doomed to be endlessly compared to Hole, however this does them a huge disservice as there is enough depth and composure on show on debut EP ‘Make Up’ to make them worthy of more thought and consideration then such a lazy comparison.
That said, for those who do need a comparison to have an idea of if they’ll like a band, try a gloriously scuzzy middle-ground between Nirvana, Placebo and The Distillers, and you won’t be too far off.
After a woeful at best showing at this summer’s World Cup by the host nation, the people of Brazil were a fairly angsty frustrated bunch, a perfect time then for the country to be exporting a punk band. Yes you read that correctly, the sun-soaked South American nation famed for Samba, beach football, the Rio carnival and women with massive derrieres has a punk scene. Now skate punks End Of Pipe, from Brazil’s Santa Caterina region have built enough momentum in their homeland to be releasing their second EP ‘Keep Running’ internationally.
Unfortunately, the most striking thing about ‘Keep Running’ is how generic and predictable it is. The band widely acknowledge their love of late nineties melodic punk and have opted to stick rigidly to it as a blueprint. The bluntest way of summing this up is that you could throw any one of the six tracks on offer onto the soundtrack of one of the early Tony Hawks games and loose it.
Right from the start of 'Parerga', it becomes eminently clear that Brightonians Ragweed are somewhat of an anachronism, and revel in it. Spurning the sounds of modernity, the trio combine the sludgier end of grunge typified by bands like Mudhoney and the less melodious moments of Nirvana and the incisive rhythms of early post-hardcore akin to Fugazi and Helmet. Their second release, Ragweed's bruising, punishing sounds may be discomforting for some, but for those who enjoy a rather uneasy ride, this might be right up your alley.
One can tell what sort of experience one is in for at the very start, with Joe Dann’s growling bassline kicking off 'Black and Scally', featuringthe riotous, filthy riffs and the howls of frontman Tom Adamson, and Nick Spooner punishing skins in a manner suggestive of John Stanier, formerly of the aforementioned Helmet. This opener gives way to 'Dermal Dispenser', tempered with a little more groove than its forebear, albeit a lurching groove that puts one in the mind of the kind of buzzsaw riffs favoured by Northern Ireland metallers Therapy?. 'Nip The Bud' completes an excellent opening trio; with a sound that brings Stateside luminaries to mind, it’d be an easy copout for Adamson to adopt a faux Seattle drawl, but he retains natural Britishness in his vocal, much to his credit.
Former My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way has announced a Reading and Leeds Festival warm-up show at Portsmouth’s Wedgewood Rooms this Wednesday (August 20th).
Newcastle Upon Tyne rockers My Extraordinary have premiered their new video for 'The Good Old Days'.
The clip can be viewed after the jump, and the track is lifted from the bands forthcoming 'The World We Live In' mini-album which is released September 1st.
24 Ivory Blacks, Glasgow
25 Think Tank, Newcastle
26 Fac251, Manchester
27 Garage 2, London
28 The Flapper, Birmingham (16+)
Rob Lynch has been announced as support for This Wild Life's Autumn UK tour.
A clutch of Lynch’s previously announced headline dates will be rescheduled but some of these, including the free entry album release show at the Monarch in London on 22nd September, will be going ahead as planned.
25th Talking Heads, Southampton
26th Tiki Bar & Diner, Plymouth
27th The Exchange, Bristol
28th The Cricketers, Kingston
29th Asylum, Birmingham
30th Academy 2, Sheffield
1st Sound Control, Manchester
2nd Think Tank, Newcastle
3rd Cockpit, Leeds
4th Scholar, Leicester
5th Sugarmill, Stoke
6th Underworld, London
‘All These Nights In Bars Will Somehow Save My Soul’ by Rob Lynch will be released on 22nd September through Xtra Mile Recordings.
Dundee hardcore trio Kaddish are streaming their brand new second album 'Thick Letters to Friends' on Idioteq.
The album’s vinyl release will be shipped out on the 29th August via Make-That-A-Take, Black Lake and The Ghost Is Clear Records. You can pre-order the record here.
You can listen to the album on Idioteq or by clicking read more.
The Blackout have announced a November UK tour that will include support from Chiodos and When We Were Wolves.
Sun 2nd Waterfront, Norwich
Mon 3rd Cockpit, Leeds
Tues 4th Sound Control, Manchester
Weds 5th King Tuts, Glasgow
Thurs 6th Corporation, Sheffield
Sat 8th Slade Rooms, Wolverhampton
Sun 9th Fleece, Bristol
Mon 10th Rescue Rooms, Nottingham
Tues 11th Solus, Cardiff
Weds 12th 1865, Southampton
Thurs 13rd Nov Scala, London
The Blackout will self-release a new EP entitled 'Wolves' on October 27th.
Canadian punks Single Mothers have released the first track from their upcoming debut album 'Negative Qualities', entitled 'Marbles'.
'Negative Qualities' is due for release on the 7th October on Dine Alone Records. You can pre-order the album here.
You can listen to 'Marbles' by clicking read more.
Manchester emo punks Headroom have released the full stream of their new EP 'Carry Me Away' on their Bandcamp.
Produced by Bob Cooper (Walleater, Hindsights), the 7” vinyl release of the EP is being handled by Dog Knights Productions. Pre-orders for this can be ordered here.
You can listen to the EP by clicking read more.