As the festival season rolls on, this weekend the Hit The Deck Festival returns for its fourth outing. As always with over 40 bands playing across 6 stages, the Already Heard team has picked out 10 must-see bands to see at this weekend’s festival.
This Saturday the 2014 edition of Record Store Day takes place. With wealth of rare
releases to buy, Already Heard and Jon Tolley of Banquet Records have picked out 5 must by RSD 2014 releases.
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.
With their latest EP 'Change Nothing, Regret Everything.', Woking five-piece Employed
To Serve have produced 12 minutes of frantic, unrelenting hardcore that finds the band somewhere between The Dillinger Escape Plan and The Chariot. We spoke to Justine from the band to find out how the band has transitioned from a duo to a quintet and she discussed
being part of the Holy Roar! roster, they chaotic yet contained live shows and more.
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.
Leeds-based four-piece Walleater are set to digitally release their debut self titled EP next Monday (14th April) through Close To Home Records. We've got the exclusive first play
right here on Already Heard.
Everyone born in the late 80’s or the early 90’s remembers Less Than Jake. Memories of parties in backgardens bubbling with adolescent fervour against the energetic backdrop of ‘History Of A Boring Town’ or ‘Johnny Quest Thinks We’re Sellouts’ no doubt the subject of nostalgic daydreams. Some might argue that the band’s very existence in the year 2012 is the proof of the audience’s willingness to give in to nostalgia. It is certainly true that the Gainesville band’s sound (a blend of ska and punk of which they were once pioneers) reached its peak around the release of ‘Losing Streak’/’Hello Rockview’ between 1996 and 1998, at which point bouncing basses, soaring horns, staccato-guitars, reggae sections and bratty vocals were all the rage. And then came the poor ‘Borders & Boundaries’, the hit-packed ‘Anthem’ and the risk-less ‘In The Out Crowd’, a progression that suggested little chance of a critical comeback.
Yet, out of nowhere, Less Than Jake landed ‘GVA FLA’ in 2008. A re-emergence album that pays homage to their hometown and brought them back to something akin to their earlier leanings. Less polish, better arrangements, sharper lyrics and a somewhat dark undertone, ‘GVA FLA’ finally gave the band some new credibility. Consequently, until 2012, Less Than Jake’s eventful eventful and uneven career was bookended by an album that restored faith in some purists, felt like the eternal teenagers were flirting with maturity, and introduced a bittersweet edge to their songwriting. It was not to last.
Indeed, with ‘Greetings And Salutations’, Less Than Jake continue their career-spanning tendency towards inconsistency. The qualities and faults of their latest offering are largely predictable, having remained the same for the last three quarters of their career: catchy, up-tempo, polished yet uninspiring and tame. Somewhat paradoxically, the best moments on the album come from two polar opposites. ‘Goodbye Mr. Personality’ revels in its mid-tempo, the meaty bass lines of groove, the palm-muted half-riff and the sassy vocals while, on the other hand, ‘I Can’t Yell Any Louder’ is a fast-paced romp executed with youthful resolution. Yet these are merely good tracks amidst an ocean of averageness.
Unfortunately, too much of ‘Greetings And Salutations’ is derivative and ultimately a disappointment in comparison to the step in the right direction ‘GVA FLA’ represented. There is little enjoyment in seeing the band try to emulate past successes and be satisfied with middle-of-the-road composition. Also, you can only get away with repeating the chorus of ‘Done And Dusted’ a couple dozens of times before it gets from “fairly enjoyable” to insatiable irritation. Fans of the band might find consolation in some of its highs but amateurs surely won’t be fooled.
'Greeting And Salutations' byLess Than Jake is released on October 16th via Rude Records/Sleep It Off Records.
Words by James ‘Bearclaw’ Lewis (@swissbearclaw)