Having finally released début album ‘Blood And Chemistry,’ we met up with vocalist/guitarist Andrew Groves to discuss the new album, being compared to Biffy Clyro and more.
Currently on tour with The Summer Set and a new EP set to be released soon, we caught
up with New Forest's Natives to talk about the new EP and album, the UK rock scene, the transition from being Not Advised to becoming Natives and much more.
This week Lansdale, Pennsylvania’s The Wonder Years released their fourth album - ‘The Greatest Generation,’ a record that sees the pop punk quintet reach their creative peak in a number of ways. With a wealth of material in their discography, Already Heard's Sean Reid and Tom Knott took on the tricky task of picking out the five best songs from The Wonder Years. Find out what we picked and let us know if you agree or disagree?
Following the release of their superb 'Signals' album, Mallory Knox have certainly become ones to watch in recent months. We caught up with the band to discuss joining Search & Destroy Records, how vital the festival season and touring are, what it feels like to be a part
of the expanding British rock scene and much more.
Over The Ocean have crafted a compelling, brooding record with their latest effort ‘Be Given To The Soil.’ With intense specific precision and delicate accuracy that echoes the likes of Explosions In The Sky and Sigur Ros. Jesse Hill from the band to discusses how the
album came together, the importance of precision, being compared to post-rock pioneers and more.
After a top ten UK album and an outstanding UK tour with festival dates on both sides of the Atlantic to follow, Bring Me The Horizon are having a fantastic 2013 and are now featured in the latest edition of "Versus." It's ‘There is a Hell, Believe Me I’ve Seen It. There is a Heaven, Let’s Keep it a Secret’ vs the bands latest release, 'Sempiternal.'
Their name just seems to be everywhere and for some reason I’ve never listened to them. I now have their EP, ‘Inspire Create Destroy’ - an exclusive release to Drop Dead Clothing customers and I can’t understand why it has taken me this long to listen to these guys; I now see what the fuss is all about.
Sounding very similar to the intro to ‘Dreamboy’ by Don Broco, ‘Inspire’ breaks away from that similarity and displays energy and adrenaline immediately. Sounding unlike most other hardcore style bands, Polar have the perfect mix of heavy guitars and drums whilst keeping it interesting with melodic guitar parts. This is what most hardcore music is missing; melody in the music.
London-based musician Luke Godwin reveals his many talents as a singer and songwriter through his new album ‘Brand New Lands’. The lad clearly has a large love for music, and it’s wonderful to listen to something that one musician has created all by himself. Luke sings, writes, plays and records all his own songs which is quite simply refreshing.
‘Brand New Lands’ is a delightfully developed album, starring soft soulful acoustic hits and gearing up to the more fiery alternative tracks. Luke has a wonderful voice that manages to mould to the emotions of the hits, moving from delicately sweet to raw and powerful.
After last year’s ‘Poets Were My Heroes’, New York punk band Morning Glory see the release of new winter themed 7” ‘Born To December’.
‘Born To December’ isn’t particularly a “fall in love at first listen” type of track and although the added elements of piano and strings create a more interesting sound, the vocals aren’t particularly suited to it. It’s only after two minutes when the track really kicks in; that your attention is truly grabbed.
It’s strange how much an album can grow on you after several listens; this was certainly the case with Erlen Meyer’s debut full length. This French quintet has constructed a dark, foreboding soundscape, drenched with loss. Days before this album’s recording, the band lost their drummer and friend Romain Djoudi to a motorcycle accident. Such a tragedy only cements this self-titled record as a personal and emotionally driven tribute. The results of which are very well honed and mastered.
Musically, Erlen Meyer bleeds out a post metal river filled with sombre melodies and a sludgy dissonance. This contrast twists and turns beautifully; take ‘Nuit’ for instance, it’s as if dwindling life signs are fading into a metallic blackened chasm. The band has that ability to lay out the atmosphere and put you under an uncomfortable ease that is chilling and eerie. There are small moments as well that keep your eyes fixed on the unseen notes and imagery. The rolling drums that dominate the landscape following the slow build up on ‘Sans Fleur ni Couronne’ takes one off guard, whilst ‘Temple du Cri’ lumps out with a tapping bassline halfway through. A thrilling highlight is the voiceless reflective interlude entitled ‘Les Caprices de Remington’ featuring a dripping atmosphere and deepening piano tone.
A name inspired by eternal man-childs and pop-as-hell-punk legends Blink-182, a sound greatly indebted to Lifetime and Midtown, a slogan-born initiative to bring kids together to ‘defend pop punk’, it’s easy to see how Man Overboard have managed to dig their way into the hearts of pop-punk fans. Prolific, generously catchy, animated by youthful angst and relentlessly energetic, the New Jersey lot project an identity that perfectly fits the fan-craving mold as they seduce with their ability to walk a blurry line between street-credibility and childishness. A pop-punk fan’s wet dream, in other words.
Yet gazillionth release ‘Heart Attack’ might prove an alienating move for hordes of loyal fans of Man Overboard are confronted with a release that contains several tracks over 3’30’’ (LOUD GASPS, MUFFLED CRYING, YOUTUBE RANTS, NEWSLETTER UNSUBSCRIBES). In fact, apart from a handful of tracks in the first quarter of the album (namely ‘Secret Pain’, ‘Boy Without Batteries’ and ‘Where I Left You’), the band’s signature commitment to breakneck pace has been largely discarded, emphasizing the album’s sonic shift in the direction of a less urgent brand of pop-rock. Nowhere is it more obvious than on the baffling ‘How To Hide Your Feelings’ which shares a rather suspicious number of similarities with All-American Rejects’ ‘Give You Hell’. Some will make their own mind as to how that comparison might serve as a potent critique in its own right.
Instrumentation has never been the forte of folk bard Ben Marwood, who prefers the austerity of recording alone in a room with an 8-track. In fact, despite the simplistic quality of his songs, a lot of debut album ‘Outside There’s A Curse’’s charm came from the grainy, lo-fi quality of its sound. However, converted critics were largely convinced by the cynical troubadour’s distinctive brand of angsty and observational brand of lyrical work. Marwood made a name for himself for his effortless ability to jump back and forth between themes of personal turmoil (largely fuelled by self-hate, it appeared) and scornful examinations of “extra-personal” subjects.
The application of a more polished, studio-formed, sound is the biggest change on sophomore album ‘Back Down’, as Marwood does away with the more forgiving “Bon Iver” aesthetic. A brave move from the thirty-something minstrel, whose somewhat monochrome voice consequently suffers from sounding, on occasion, a little off. However, not only is Ben Marwood’s bitter lyricism left unscathed from the transformation but it is also applied on a greater variety of soundscapes (though not to the extent that Frank Turner has on recent albums). Note for example this diverse handful of tracks: the sweet minimalism and touching wordings of short opener ‘For the Skin and the Bones’, the tastefully country-tinged ode to aging ‘We Are No Longer Twenty-Five’, and the rockier full-band foundations of ‘I Promise That It’ll Be Okay’.
Press To Meco certainly have an innovative unique style and sound. Their instrumental talent is infallible with their catchy sweeping melodies and influential heavy beats. ‘Affinity’ is a hard-hitting rock EP that certainly packs a punch or two.
The band has two vocalists, Luke Caley and Adam Roffey, the two overlap and entwine with one another throughout the tracks to create an upbeat angelic sound. However, I have to admit I am slightly uncertain if this technique works, by using backing vocals it just makes it plain cheesey. The vocals just don’t compliment or work in harmony with the heavy instrumental rock vibe.
The EP begins with the title track ‘Affinity’, which has a fantastic profound fast-paced beat with electrifying riffs. The tune is captivating and creative, with powerful strings and drums. Next is ‘Wasting Time’ which has a slower-pace, but still using those inventive thrilling riffs and extensive melodies. The chorus is fantastically catchy; however we have more angelic vocals that simply clash against their heavy rock sound.
As It Is are a pop-punk band (yes, another one) hailing from Brighton, England although judging by their sound and their penchant for John Hughes films they probably wish they had grown up in a suburban neighbourhood in America. ‘Blenheim Place’ is their new EP and follows up the early demos the band recorded after forming in May 2012 (Happy Birthday, by the way).
The EP opens with ‘Every Year Gets Better’, a pop-punk track that veers across the spectrum. There is a hint of The Story So Far in the pace and delivery of the lyrics of the song, but with a more refined style.
It has to be said, it’s hard to question or fault the talent that is coming out of Britain at the moment; with bands such as Young Guns and You Me At Six starting to leave marks over in the States, it’s so clear to see how much big rock talent we’re producing on such a small island. Alexander should be no exception to this; ‘Say Hello’ delivers a fresh sounding, perfectly styled indie rock album with a pop edge that should be a hard one to miss this year. ‘Say Hello’ is the ultimate summer album; ‘You Lost Yourself’ is a dancey indie pop track with a completely Foals-esque chorus that is completely addictive whilst ‘A Sweet Song’, showcases their more mellow side with a sweet acoustic number. It’s not hard to imagine listening to some of these tracks in your garden, kicking back in the sun. Moreover, the combination of its soft indie rock with upbeat pop melodies means it’s an appealing album to most people and is also ideal radio material.
‘Maimed For The Masses’ is a taster EP for Night Birds’ forthcoming full length, ‘Born To Die in Suburbia’, and unfortunately the New York based quartet haven’t inspired me to rush out and grab a copy just yet.
The title track is an up-tempo but routine three minute punk-rock effort that is crying out for a vocal melody or a high point which just never materialises. It’s perfectly listenable but not once do you get that desire to hit repeat and run at it again (unless, of course, you’re reviewing it and feel like five listens is a suitable judge). ‘Barred Out’ and ‘Last Gasp’ both follow a similar suit. We’re promised passion and guts on the press release yet I just don’t hear anything that’s fresh or new here. The closer, ‘Boat Trash’, is just a few yelps away from a fairly exciting and adventurous instrumental two minutes but again it’s hardly breaking the mould.
Montreal’s Trigger Effect are a well-oiled machine of musical output, constantly producing short, sharp releases. Since their debut was released in 2007, the band have toured constantly, finding the time to spit out a 7”, a 10”, EP and an album, creating the last two in a single one-shot recording session. Their latest effort ‘What’s Left to Eliminate?’ was created in their usual fashion; written, recorded and rehearsed in the stolen moments between their hectic touring schedule. The band’s first ever release in the UK will arrive exactly a week before they hit our shores to tear it up for the first time, and if this effort is anything to go by, it’ll be the first of many visits.
Produced by Ian Blurton who’s worked with The Weakerthans and Cursed, their second full-length is similar to previous effort ‘Dare to Ride the Heliocraft,’ yet manages to pack in songs which are doubly as tense, yet half the length.
Koji brings us his debut full length ‘Crooked In My Mind’, an acoustic based album supported by the Lauryn Hill band, La Dispute, Title Fight, and Balance & Composure. The man behind Koji, Andrew Koji Shiraki, is an advocate for many groups, like Invisible Children, and often involves storytelling, visual art, and media into his live shows to bring the focus to empowering youth with positivity. This motive shines through in his lyrics, and you are left feeling that every note and every word is deliberate.
An acoustic-based album can be difficult to pull off, but Koji has no trouble crafting a dynamic album that avoids monotony and is instead full of interesting and unique lyrics, melodies, and rhythms. ‘Distance/Divide’ is sultry, with melancholy lyrics that give a touch of dramatic emotion while keeping it mysterious. Vintage sounding guitars give it a throwback vibe that sets it apart. ‘Creeping’ highlights Shiraki’s clear, powerful voice and meaningful lyrics whilst incorporating strong instrumental melodies.
For a band that has been together ten years, a debut album seems a little overdue. Just reading a few tales of Still Bust’s illustrious career tells me these guys have something about them that sets them apart, all this by stories that have nothing to do with the music. I’ve never really listened to much of this genre before, but I can see why it gets the attention it does, and Still Bust contain the angst ridden energy I’d expect from any band of this genre.
Looking at the song titles shows that there’s either been a lot of thought gone into naming these songs, or not much at all. Some of the most ambitious titles I’ve seen for a band, especially for a hardcore punk band with some songs not even breaking the minute mark. ‘If You Don’t Like Video Games (You Probably Have Other Interests)’ suggests that while it took ten years for this album to come about, Still Bust obviously have the talent necessary. If you’re a fan of these guys, I doubt this is a disappointing release, no Chinese Democracy I’m assuming. All the adrenaline I’d expect for a debut that seems long overdue. The riffs hold substance and are what stand out to me most, especially in the interestingly titled ‘Tastes Like Asbestos (From Little Richard Came)’.
Punk rockers Golden Tanks don’t do things in half measures. Their short and sweet EP ‘R.D.H.B.’ is a blinder, really encapsulating the band’s genre and producing an energy fuelled, ballsy set of tracks.
From opener introduction ‘859’ the commotion arises, with punchy riffs, aggressive screams and hard-hitting percussion coming together to create a fierce riot, already confirming that Golden Tanks know exactly what they’re doing. This could be said for the whole of the EP, including stand-out title track ‘R.D.H.B’ which takes on a rock ‘n’ roll vibe with an infectious rhythm that repeats in sections throughout; a perfect head banger. Closing track ‘Fangs’ is just as captivating in its own right, reiterating the ferocious side of the band with dark, elongated roars in amongst the trademark vocal structures. The continued energy fuelled rhythms round up into an abrupt ending, leaving a very memorable and admirable mark on the punk rock radar.
Old Gray are finally getting a UK release of their debut full length record ‘An Autobiography’ on Dog Knights Productions on the 20th May and it’s been well worth the wait. Recorded with Will Killingsworth (Orchid, Ampere) at Dead Air Studio – it’s an album that is instantly emotionally attractive to listeners, much like the original records of their influences.
Old Gray had been receiving a lot of praise for this record before I got the chance to sit down and listen to it. I didn’t hold my breath, for fear of this being another fad band that’d come and pass, much like they tend to do, especially in a screamo capacity. When I finally listened to this record however, I was completely blown away. Not only did I become instantly emotionally invested in this band – I believe it’s one of the most well constructed screamo records I’ve heard in a long long time and off this alone, Old Gray are here to stay.