Next month emerging Albany, NY pop-punk band Firestarter release their new record
'Forget the Past'. To give you a sneak preview of what to expect from the release,
we’ve teamed up with the band to exclusively premier a new song titled 'If You Ain't First,
As the second stage of this years Red Bull Studios London Download Festival competition
gets underway, Already Heard highlights 5 of the top 100 bands in the first part of our
new "Red Bull Rated And Recommended" series.
Earlier this month rising UK rockers I Divide released their much anticipated debut album
'Last One Standing'. It is a record that exceeds expectations by combining the bands youthful approach with an ambitious melodic alt-rock sound. Before they kicked off their current
UK tour supporting Blitz Kids alongside Fort Hope, guitarist Josh Wreford took the
opportunity to talk us through 'Last One Standing'.
For Northern quintet Bentley Park it has been a long two years. Since forming 2011, the post-hardcore have been refining their sound and preparing for the release of their debut EP, 'Innocence', which finally sees the light of day this week. The EP takes the pop-punk sensibilities of their former band, and combines them with an edgy rock sound. We recently spoke to vocalist James Shaw to find out more.
Next week Philadelphia indie punks The Menzingers release, 'Rented World,' one of the
highly anticipated records of 2014 so far. In parts, it picks up where 2012's 'On The
Impossible Past' left off but it also shows the bands growth as songwriters and musicians. We recently spoke to Greg Barnett to discuss the album, the pressure of following up 'On The Impossible Past', their forthcoming London show and the Grozerock Festival.
Despite only forming last year, Essex rockers New City Kings have already gathered plenty of attention from their debut EP - 'Change.' Their radio-friendly rock sound that has seen them compared to a range of bands; Foo Fighters, Deaf Havana, and The Gaslight Anthem.
Already Heard spoke to Mark Kovic to find out more about New City Kings.
With their return to the UK imminent, the latest edition of "Versus" sees us putting the
focus on Alkaline Trio. Self-confessed Trio MEGA fan Jay Sullivan tells us why 'From
Here to Infirmary' is the band’s finest work. Whilst Alex Phelan explains how 'Maybe
I'll Catch Fire' is a superb example of musical catharsis.
12 months from releasing their debut EP, we speak to Blackpool pop-punk/emo
quintet Boston Manor to discuss their influences, achievements so far and thoughts on their contemporaries.
In the latest edition of our "Tour Tales" feature, Irish doom-punk band Hornets talk us
through their recent UK tour where they played 8 shows in 7 days.
‘Black Years I’ is, fittingly enough, the first release from Chester based four-piece Black Years. This hardcore meets punk-rock outfit make music that could only soundtrack the most debauched parties, with four tracks of mischief for our delectation on this EP.
Opener ‘Black Years’ bounds along with limitless energy, as Rich O’Brien’s screams of “black fucking years” string the song along. This is disparate but furious hardcore and it is fucking good.
‘Girl Talk’ is next, thundering into life with a sleazy guitar riff and crashing drums. With hints of thrash guitar that make you want to kick stuff over, Black Years demonstrate a brutal and wholly enjoyable sound here. More intelligent musically than a lot of hardcore, the EP rises above the everyday and creates something that is genuinely fun to listen to.
‘Jonestown’ is next and delivers yet another party-inciting three minutes of chaos, with screeching guitars, vocals spat with venom and a sound not unlike early Gallows. By now, there is a sense that Black Years are more than a run of the mill hardcore/punk rock band and that this EP should be taken notice of.
Closer ‘Widows’ opens with the desperate “we can’t save rock ‘n’ roll, we can’t even save ourselves” and bursts into life from there. Halfway through, the chaos ceases for a moment to allow a spoken gang vocal. In what proves to be the calm before the storm, the EP finishes in characteristically rabid fashion. This is undoubtedly the strongest track on the EP and shows a band with a lot of potential starting to emerge.
This is a pleasing enough hardcore rabble that characterises itself as pure rock ‘n’ roll, party music but ends up delivering a lot more than that. There is a charm to Black Years that puts them above many other bands. Clever and vibrant lyrics and a sound that veers just the right side of anarchic DIY make an EP that is worth getting in to.
'Black Years I' by Black Years is out now.
Words by Tom White (@whiteywitters)