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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.
I never got the hype around The Acacia Strain, as I result I never bothered with them up until I was sent their new album 'Death is the Only Mortal'. Now I am going to pre-warn anyone who is a fan of this band, I am definitely not a fan and if you can imagine what I am going to say, don’t bother reading the rest of this review.
As a genre I thought death-core was dead, I realise that fans of the genre, cannot admit to it being defined as this, but it is the formation of death metal and hardcore. Anyway I never got the whole guttural pig squeal vocal style (listen to the end of 'Brain Death' for a perfect example of this), the monotonous and frankly boring chugging guitar which is followed by a breakdown and then, you guessed it, a chugging guitar slotted in to round off this formulaic style of writing. It bores me, call me a prude but I like my music to be interesting and with some substance.
The Acacia Strain just don’t seem to have that substance I look for in a band; as a result I find them lifeless. Honestly, I approached this review with a clear perspective but trying to find good in this album is something I am finding impossible to do. They obviously have a fan base and with a career spanning 11 years they are doing something right but this band are just not for me.
Maybe it was just this album and their previous releases were different; after listening to their previous efforts I came to the conclusion that in fact no this is their definitive sound. Tracks like 'Victim of the Cave' apply simple rhyming couplets (“There is no end, there is only pretend”) sounds too simplistic and thrown together just because it will fit, it is seemingly a very sloppy and lazy approach to lyric writing.
The only track worth mentioning is the aforementioned 'Brain Death'; with a superb chorus and guitar solo which personally makes it the stand out track on ‘Death is the Only Mortal’. Unfortunately the ending however is disappointing, as previously mentioned it digresses back to the formula this band seems to base it’s song writing around.
I tried with this release but there is nothing interesting about this band, album or genre for me.
'Death is the Only Mortal' by The Acacia Strain is available now on Rise Records.
Words by Robert Maddison (@BertMaddison)