Combined by an admiration for early 2000’s emo bands, Brighton’s As It Is are the latest emerging pop-punk band to be making waves in the UK. Next week sees the release of the bands second EP, 'This Mind Of Mine' which sees them grow as a cohesive unit to produce four songs of honest pop-punk. Having received an overwhelming response from a
Kickstarter campaign and with vocalist Patty Walters’ dedicated YouTube following, As It Is
are a band on the rise. We caught up with Ben to find out more.
After receiving a five star review last month, next Monday sees the UK release of Twin Forks' self-titled debut album. However we're giving away three copies of the album. Find out how you can win one of thee copies here.
With Spring fast approaching and festival season starting soon, March sees a whole load of noteworthy releases. We take a look at five of the must hear releases this month.
Having only just formed last summer, Leeds punks Brawlers have quickly made a name for themselves for their insane live show. Now the quartet have unleashed their utterly brilliant debut EP 'I Am A Worthless Piece of Shit', an infectious collection of fun punk rock numbers. We talked to vocalist Harry George Johns to find out why the longtime friends formed
Brawlers and what 'I Am Worthless...' is all about.
After delivering one of the early contenders for album of the year, we catch up Modern Baseball to discuss ‘You’re Gonna Miss It All’, their forthcoming debut UK tour and miming
at the World Series.
In the second part of our "Studio Report" feature with Colt 45, the Cumbria punks finish their debut LP producer Romesh Dodangoda by recording vocals and more guitars. Take a look.
In the first of our new fortnightly feature where we highlight some of the most promising
bands in the pop-punk world, we talk to New York's Firestarter.
In the latest instalment of our "Tour Tales" feature, we join Wakefield quartet Morain on their recent tour supporting Durham four-piece Alexander.
With lead vocalist Matt Pryor having recently completed a solo UK tour, we highlight two albums from The Get Up Kids for the latest edition of "Versus". Already Heard writer Tom
Knott explains why 'Something To Write Home About' is "pure gold". Whilst Senior Editor
Sean Reid shows us why 'Guilt Show' shouldn't be dismissed.
"This must be absolutely smashing live!" are the handful of words that, almost necessarily, come to mind when one’s ears are confronted to the noise-rock sonorities of Die! Die! Die! Adequately equipped with the traditional garage-rock set-up, the Dunedin-hailing lads provide angular, abrasive, shoegaze-tinged, alternative rock that isn’t averse to tasteful endeavours into melodic territory. Considering ‘Harmony’ is the New Zealand outfit’s fourth album, it should come to no surprise that their sound and songwriting have now reached such perfectly-honed levels, arguably placing the threesome on a podium of contemporary masters of the genre (fitting somewhere alongside the Raveonettes and The Jesus And Mary Chain).
‘Oblivious Oblivion’ opens to the sort of wavering noise that consistently finds itself the warm background of a large portion of their musical output. Driven by its bass, the energetic (yet measured) track introduces a lean, garage-style, approach that is considerably less effect-laden than the rest of the album, an experiment they complete with a simple Pixies-esque chorus. ‘Harmony’, on the other hand, is unrelentingly noisy and packed with enough effects to shame the Transformer movies. Effortlessly working transitions between the deceptively abrasive verse and poppy choruses, the track is a shining example of Die! Die! Die!’s ability to meld sweet melodies with the somewhat uninviting surface of noise-rock to great effect. It is joined, to similar success, by ‘Trinity’, and downright superb closer ‘Get Back’, which successively provides all of the album’s most visceral wall-of-noise moments.
However, lovers of the rougher end of noise rock FEAR NOT! The band do provide a couple of fine moments of caustic rock, as is the case on ‘Erase Waves’, its guitar scratching and screeching to the beat of tribalistic drums. ‘No One Owns A View’s energy thrives on angles and leaping vocals, as well as the unconditional support of an emphatically dirty bass. The real, yet not unwelcome surprise, comes courtesy of ballad of sorts ‘Seasons Revenge’. Indeed, amidst the controlled cacophony, Die! Die! Die! tone up the melody in order to accommodate the unusually touching character of the lyrics, without falling into pathos.
‘Harmony’ (the album), is another step forward away from the narrower hardcore approach of their beginnings toward an alt-rock experience that encompasses everything from gravelly noise to engrossing melodies, and all the space in between. Comfortable with experience, Die! Die! Die! appear to have nothing left to learn, yet their sonic exploration suggests a healthy curiosity, resulting in the admirable variety on display. Noise/shoegaze/punk/rock/whatever concoctions don’t really fit in the most accessible end of the musical spectrum, but this New Zealand lot are putting in a huge shift toward making it a more attractive affair.
'Harmony' by Die! Die! Die! is released on 1st April on Smalltown America.
Words by James Berclaz-Lewis (@swissbearclaw)