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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.
Anyone who knows me well will tell you I am a big fan of Pop Punk, and over the last few years the genre has made somewhat of a renaissance with a whole crop of new bands becoming popular. Whilst many labels have benefited from this, including California’s Pure Noise Records, which has made a reputation for itself by consistently releasing really good Pop Punk and Hardcore releases; The Story So Far, The American Scene, and Forever Came Calling. However despite this high standard, I have to admit I was left disappointed from the labels latest offering - State Champs.
'Overslept' is a quick blast of standard Pop Punk that more than often fails to live up to expectations. Admittedly coming it at just the 11 minute mark and with only four songs; the first ('Tonsil Hockey') being a 40 second instrumental intro, State Champs don’t give themselves enough time to make a solid impression. Nevertheless the Albany, New York group hit all the right marks with 'Critical' and 'We Are the Brave' showing the bands energetic, bouncy sound yet it doesn’t quite grab you and sounds very unoriginal.
One saving grace from 'Overslept' is vocalist Derek Discanio has the potential to define the bands future sound with a powerful set of lungs that soar in the right places and bite during the bands more aggressive, up-tempo moments ('Remedy.')
Ultimately State Champs' début release doesn't quite have that same zest that other bands within the genre have thrived off in recent times. Because of this 'Overslept' has the tendency to leave you into easily comparing them to everyone from All Time Low to The Wonder Years. Whilst the foundations are subtly there to do great things; their style is straight to the point and fans of massive hooks will fall for this, yet you can’t help but think State Champs are one band that may fall into obscurity in a genre that is becoming clustered.
'Overslept' EP by State Champs is available now on Pure Noise Records.
Words by Sean Reid (@SeanReid86)