With Queens of the Stone Age in the middle of a UK arena tour, we’ve decided to highlight
five of the bands best tracks for this edition of "Fives".
We've got the new EP from Yorkshire riff merchants NOSE right here! Take a listen to 'Sick
Continuing our Reuben theme from last week’s Fives and in celebration of frontman Jamie Lenman’s new double solo album, we take a look at two of the albums for "Versus". Its
‘Racecar Is Racecar Backwards' against 'In Nothing We Trust'.
Calgary's debut EP 'Fight Fire With Fire' is a bright, warming collection of indie pop songs.
With comparisons to Hellogoodbye and John Mayer, the four tracks showcase a band with pop sensibilities and plenty of potential to breakthrough. We caught up with the band to find out more.
Returning with their first album in six years, 'Balancing' sees Hertfordshire’s The October Game showcase dynamic growth and versatility with a brooding undertone throughout. Already Heard recently spoke to Luke Williams and Nick Kozuch to discuss the album in
more detail; the writing process, its various packages, and working with Scylla Records.
Having never heard of these guys, I decided to do some research about them before listening to the album. With the genre described as ‘Punk/Ska’, I got the album on straight away and gave it a good listen.
The first thing I thought was that there really isn’t much of a ska vibe to the music - sure, there’s a trumpet - but I wasn’t hearing the ‘ska’. I’m not saying I was disappointed, because they genuinely are a really great band, I was just hearing something different to what I was expecting. Although it is pretty evident of the ska influence, I would class them more of a heavier pop-punk band, but pulling it off more effectively than the hordes of bands trying to break through in the genre.
The album starts off with ‘Dust On The Hourglass’, a song with pop-punk at its core, hints of Four Year Strong and A Day to Remember, but without the screaming. A great song; you will definitely find yourself singing along. The trumpets come in and you can hear the ska influence, but you’ll find yourself wondering whether it’s still an element strong enough to call it ska, although it definitely gives the music a great edge. Chanted vocal breaks - you can’t go wrong when it’s done right - and this song has it down.
The end of 'Dust On The Hourglass' has an audio clip, almost an introduction to the next track, which I can’t help but think would work great as an introduction to the album, with ‘I Want You To Hit Me As Hard As You Can 1’ as the opening track; it has the definite ska vibe to it. These are evidently talented musicians – the drummer’s prowess is at the forefront throughout most of the music – and with the guitar work and singing all working great together, it’s no wonder this album has been on repeat, these guys have something good, and they’re doing everything right.
'Live Like Mitch' is a great track too, with ska shining through. Whoever this ‘Mitch’ guy is, he sounds like a cool dude. As the album continues the ska influence is more and more evident. As in all ska music, you can’t help but enjoy listening to it, it sounds too happy. I would love to see this band live; I have no doubt they’d be bloody good.
'Hellbound And Helpless'- a track with a chorus that will have you singing along to, an anthem that would be a great crowd pleaser. It’s also another track that shows the true potential of the drummer, still hearing that break through to the forefront of the tracks. It’s refreshing to be impressed by a member of a band who doesn’t shove their talent in your face. If this band weren’t so great I’d definitely wonder why he wasn’t doing something else to show off his skills. You could say the same for the guitarist too.
'If I Can't Smoke Or Swear, I'm Fucked' has a blistering guitar solo that blows my ears away every time I hear it. I’m a guitarist myself, so whenever I listen to music guitarists’ styles and techniques are what I listen for, and from the start it was pretty evident this guy could play some great riffs, but this solo… just WOW. It seems a little self indulgent, but in respect to the track - the fast paced essence of it- the solo fits perfectly and doesn’t take anything away from the song at all, quite the opposite in fact.
'Dead End' is another track with a great hook, catchy chorus style outtro, written to get the chorus sang back to them. Mission accomplished. And once again, in 'Do What You Love…'. These guys can write great hooks.
Straight into the next track, ‘…And Fuck The Rest’, an intro to 'Delta. Oscar. Whiskey. November.', are heavily ska sounding. I take back my first assumptions - They’ve got the ska, they’ve got the pop-punk, and they’ve fused them together perfectly.
And finally onto the last track of this album, ‘The Ghost That Haunted Me’. I am honestly sad there are no more songs. It’s a short track in respect to the others, but a great way to end the album.
To summarise, my first apprehensions of the lack of ska influence were quickly quashed. The fusion of harder pop-punk and ska works really well, and has a refreshing approach to an over-crowded scene. I’ll be sure to keep an eye on these guys, and will definitely look out for dates of them touring here.
'You Can't Hide The Sun' by We Are The Union is out now on Paper And Plastick.
Words by Callum McPhee.