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.
Earlier this month rising UK rockers I Divide released their much anticipated debut album 'Last One Standing'. It is a record that exceeds expectations by combining the bands youthful approach with an ambitious melodic alt-rock sound.
Having entered the UK rock album chart this past Sunday, things are certainly looking up for the Exeter five-piece.
Before they kicked off their current UK tour supporting Blitz Kids alongside Fort Hope, guitarist Josh Wreford took the opportunity to talk us through 'Last One Standing'
If your band would like to set up a ‘Track Guide’ feature for Already Heard, please email Sean Reid.
‘Follow Me’ is a tale of grasping hope after being knocked down. It’s actually the first song we wrote for the new album, and also the track we’ve been playing live the longest. We first debuted the track live in May 2012 at Slam Dunk festival, and it has actually been a strong part of our set since. It’s great to finally get it out as part of an album.
Tell Me Something
‘Tell Me Something’ is another upbeat rock song through and through. The song takes the stress of being in a band and never knowing what’s wrong the corner, and translates it into a fictitious relationship. I really love the power we managed to get in the build up section before the last chorus. I think it perfectly resembles keeping emotions locked down until you just can’t hide them anymore; “You take what you want with no care at all, you push me around leave me feeling small.”
For Northern quintet Bentley Park it has been a long two years. Since forming 2011, the post-hardcore have been refining their sound and preparing for the release of their debut EP, 'Innocence', which finally sees the light of day on 21st April.
Tracks like 'All The Fists In The World Won't Save You Now' takes the pop-punk sensibilities of their former band, and combining them with an edgy rock sound that has been likened to emerging US heavyweights Pierce The Veil and Sleeping With Sirens. The end result is a well-balanced mix of hooks and riffs that overall is a promising debut.
Shortly before the bands recent tour with As It Is, we spoke to vocalist James Shaw to discuss the bands transition from pop-punk to post-hardcore, why it has taken so long to release 'Innocence', the importance of receiving airplay on TV music channels and more.
Already Heard: For the record can you introduce yourself and tell us your role in Bentley Park?
James: I’m James and I sing and scream.
AH: Let’s begin with how you came together. You formed from the ashes of a former pop-punk band right?
James: Yeah that’s right. There wasn’t much of a scene for pop punk in York at that time, mainly heavy metal, folk or indie, so we thought we’d do something a little different. As we grew up, playing it became a little stale and we wanted to flex our musical creativity. After multiple name and genre changes, including acoustic and elcetro-rock, we finally settled on something a little heavier, but still tried to retain the catchiness of pop punk when writing melodies.
AH: From hearing 'Innocence', it definitely seems like you’ve moved from being a pop-punk band to a more post-hardcore/alt-rock band. What was the motive behind the change?
James: We all enjoy listening to heavy music. I for one listen to a lot of stuff that is much heavier than what we’re playing. I think that’s why we find it more natural to write the songs we’re writing at the moment.
I also think, as I have grown up, the content of my writing has become more aggressive and cynical. If we were still playing happy pop punk songs these themes would sound ridiculous!
As the festival season rolls on, this weekend the Hit The Deck Festival returns for its fourth outing. The duel-city, multi-venue event will once again be split between Bristol and Nottingham, and once again it promises to be another memorable Easter weekend with a overwhelming line-up.
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.
You have to admit the organisers behind Hit The Deck Festival have outdone themselves in terms of main stage headliners this year by bagging Brand New. Although there’s still no sign of new material, it’s certain that the Long Island, New York band will produce a career-spanning set that will leave festival-goers overwhelmed and more than satisfied. (SR)
Where & When: 20:30 at O2 Academy 1 (Bristol)/ 21:30 at Rock City - Main Hall (Nottingham)
Next week Philadelphia indie punks The Menzingers release one of the highly anticipated records of 2014 so far. 2012’s 'On The Impossible Past' received widespread acclaim from critics, something which the band didn’t expect.
Nevertheless two years on, The Menzingers are back with 'Rented World'. In parts, it picks up where 'On The Impossible Past' left off but it also shows the bands growth as songwriters and musicians. The bands tales of personal relationships and introspective lyrics are still in place, but this time they are delivered in a more refined manner.
With the release of 'Rented World' fast approaching, 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.
Already Heard: For starters can you introduce yourself and tell us what you do in The Menzingers?
Greg: Hi I’m Greg and I play guitar and sing in the band.
AH: The release of album number 4 'Rented World' is getting closer by the day. How does it feel to be releasing the album at last?
Greg: It feels pretty great obviously. The lead up for an album being released is like this weird calm before the storm. We’ve been working on all this stuff for a while now so its definitely exciting.
AH: Your last LP, 'On The Impossible Past' received plenty of praise and topped our very own Record of the Year list in 2012. Did you feel any pressure when writing this record because of what you achieved with the last one?
Greg: Well thank you for that! There was some initial pressure when we started the writing process but that quickly went away. We try to not get caught up in all that stuff and just do what we enjoy doing. I think ‘OTIP’ became something bigger than a record for a lot of people, including us. That being said, the pressure wasn’t necessarily “topping” that one or anything, just making sure every song felt important and had a purpose within the record. I’m pretty confident we nailed that.
Upon A Burning Body strike a very dapper presence when they take to the stage, dressed in black trousers, grey shirts and black waistcoats emblazoned with their logo on the lapel, before they unleash their live show on you. They are a frantic live band, with a relentless touring schedule. We caught up with bassist Reuben Alvarez just before they went on stage in London to support Five Finger Death Punch and talked about their own cocktail, favourite place they have visited, the next album and Slipknot. Here’s that interview.
Already Heard: This looks set to be an epic year on the road for yourselves. You have already played Soundwave, are currently on tour with Five Finger Death Punch, you have Skate & Surf Fest coming up as well as a short US headline tour in May and a support slot across Canada with Emmure coming up. Does the rest of 2014 look set to go the same way?
Ruben: Absolutely it’s all down to our booking agent, so it’s like every other month and every other day is up for grabs and so he’ll book it off. If he can he’ll book up every single day.
AH: Even your off day on the tour you did an extra headline show in Bristol.
Ruben: Yeah, as much as they can they’ll book it. To stay busy and to stay relevant y’know.
AH: And it’s been a good tour so far?
Ruben: Amazing, amazing opportunity. It’s a huge opportunity for a band like us to be on this tour and everybody notices we’re the odd-ball. We’re a bit heavier and crazy. It’s awesome.
AH: Glad it’s going well for you. What song do you most like to play live and what is the story behind that song?
Ruben: For me, let’s see there’s a couple I like to play, mine is ‘Mimic’. I think the reason I like ‘Mimic’ so much is that it has a lot more of the pretty sounding melody guitar melodies and I love the way it switches from really intense to great pretty, almost like Maiden high lead. Musically it’s my favourite and the words too, it has great lyrics for the crowd to sing along, so yeah.
Later this month rising Bristol quartet Oh Captive release their debut EP - 'Advance Creature'. With their mix of alt-rock and post-punk, Oh Captive have been compared to the likes of Coheed & Cambria, Biffy Clyro and Twin Atlantic.
'Advance Creature' offers four slices of refined and stirring alt-rock that puts them on the list of “ones to watch” in the coming months.
To give you a preview of what to expect from 'Advance Creature, vocalist Tim Kelly from the band has provided Already Heard with this detailed track-by-track guide to 'Advance Creature.
If your band would like to set up a ‘Track Guide’ feature for Already Heard, please email Sean Reid.
Beds of Many Ghosts
'Beds' is my personal favourite track from the EP. The speed at which the track came together made us realise that we were all on the same page musically, so the writing process was quite exciting for us. The song has a lot of energy which makes it great for us to play live too. The EP itself focuses a lot on my experiences and 'Beds' is about one person in particular. I won’t name them, I’ll just let everyone I know get paranoid instead.
Despite only forming last year, Essex rockers New City Kings have already gathered plenty of attention with a sold out London headline show under their belt along with an appearance at last year’s Bestival event.
Now having released their debut EP 'Change', the four-piece made up of brothers Mark (lead vocals/guitar) and Ben Kovic (lead guitar/vocals), Charlie Roberts on bass and drummer Ben Nyari, are ready to continue their rise.
'Change' showcases the bands radio-friendly rock sound that has seen them compared to a range of bands and artists; Foo Fighters, Deaf Havana, The Gaslight Anthem and John Mayer. It also sees them working with acclaimed producer Romesh Dodangoda.
With new material already in the works along with summer shows, Already Heard spoke to Mark Kovic to find out more about New City Kings. The vocalist discussed the bands beginnings, the importance of playing live, and more.
Already Heard: First off can you introduce yourselves and your role in New City Kings?
Mark: I’m Mark Kovic and I’m the singer and guitarist in New City Kings.
AH: The band only formed last year. Can you bring us up to speed on events of the past few months?
Mark: We’ve basically locked ourselves in the studio working on new material, aside from that we’ve been allowed out of the darkness to play a few festivals and shows, we’ve also just rounded up our first UK support tour.
AH: How did New City Kings come together?
Mark: Me and my brother wrote and produced a song to enter into a radio station to win a slot at a festival. We won the thing but didn’t have a band, so 15 minutes on Gumtree and the first two guys who walked through the door were in the band - and we never looked back. They’re our brothers now.
This edition of "Pop-Punk Approved & Recommended" focuses on Blackpool pop-punk/emo quintet Boston Manor. The band released debut EP 'Here/Now' a year ago (almost to the day) and in doing so showcased an introspective and considered blend of thoughtful alternative rock, spiralling melodies and pop-punk riffs. Since then the band has also put out a split with hardcore/punk quartet Throwing Stuff. Already Heard had a chat with Henry Cox about the band’s influences, achievements so far and thoughts on their contemporaries.
AH: Did the environment you grew up in help or hinder/encourage or discourage you pursuing a career in music?
Henry: In a sense, both. There’s no scene whatsoever in Blackpool so we rarely got to go to, or play any local shows. But there have been some really great bands that we knew that came from our area, Me Vs Hero and Outl4w to name a few; I suppose that showed me that it was possible. At the same time, there really is very little going on where we’re from, so forming a band was just something to do that got us out of the area. How terribly clique.
AH: What is your proudest achievement as a musician?
Henry: I don’t think there’s been one definitive moment. We’ve had the opportunity to play with some of our favourite bands, that’s been really cool. I’m a big fan of Citizen, so when I found out we were supporting them that was definitely a proud moment. I think when we finished our first proper UK tour as a band, and were still intact. That was the moment when we realised we were a proper band, not just a bunch of mates dicking around playing random shows. That was quite a proud moment.
With their return to the UK imminent, the latest edition of "Versus" sees us putting the focus on Alkaline Trio.
Since forming in 1996, the Chicago band have released 9 albums under their belt. Add to that several EP’s, and forming a handful of side-projects, and you’re left with a dense discography with plenty to pick from.
With the band’s roots firmly in the punk/hardcore Chicago scene, the partnership of guitarist/vocalist Matt Skiba and bassist/vocalist Dan Andriano has been the core ingredient to the band’s punk rock sound.
Alkaline Trio are one of the most influential punk rock bands in recent years, and for this installment of "Versus", two members of the Already Heard team have picked out a classic Trio album each with the belief that there chosen album is the band’s best. To begin with 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.
From Here to Infirmary (by Jay Sullivan)
Alkaline Trio are my favourite band, I’m a full-on logo tattooed, card carrying Blood Pact member so I could have argued for any Alkaline Trio album as their best (except maybe the unspeakable 'This Addiction'). However, for me ‘From Here to Infirmary’ stands out as their finest, displaying the right balance between the band’s more punk-orientated older tracks and their poppier latter material.
In the latest edition of our "Tour Tales" feature, Irish doom-punk band Hornets talk us through their recent UK tour.
The quartet were over in the UK in support of their recent 'No Faith' EP. It’s a riff-filled release that is drenched in darkness and despair.
Whilst they were in the UK, Hornets played 8 gigs in 7 days covering a total of 1350 miles. Here’s what the band got up to…
If you would like Already Heard to promote and sponsor your tour/show or set up a “Tour Tales” feature, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Sunday 23rd March – Sheffield
First date of the tour, we played in a really cool DIY punk venue called the Lug Hole. The venue is run by a collective of people who are big into the punk scene within Sheffield. Its great to see people getting together like this and taking the initiative to promote and run their own shows. It was a pleasure to be part of their DIY ethos and share a stage with like-minded individuals.
Max, the promoter, and his girlfriend Judy were kind enough to offer us a bed for the evening. When we got back to theirs after the show they had cooked us up some seriously tasty potato soup and dumplings!
Monday 24th March – Milton Keynes
Day 2 of tour and we found ourselves in Wolverton, Milton Keynes. The venue was called the Craufurd Arms, a rock/metal bar owned and run by another dude called Max. We had plenty of time to kill after arriving as the drive from Sheffield was pretty short, we found a skate park and did our best to lay down some hammers before the park was invaded by the army of local scooter fucks.
After the show that night we had time to unwind and chill in the bar after hours with owner Max and the bar staff. After a few beers and games of pool, one thing led to another and before we knew it we were all straw-pedoing bottles of Smirnoff ice haha. Rock and Roll baby.
Today marks Already Heard's 2nd Anniversary.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has supported the site over the last two years. We would also like to thank all the bands, labels and everyone we’ve had the privilege of working with in the past 2 years.
We hope you all continue to support and spread the word about Already Heard in the coming months and years.
Next month Already Heard is teaming up with Dead Press! to host the UK headline tour from Berkshire metal quintet Atlases.
To give you a preview of the tour, we’re pleased to be streaming the bands recent 'Upbringing' EP in full. Filled with immaculate riffs and breakdowns, Atlases brand of metalcore is firmly in the mould of Architects and Bring Me The Horizon.
For Fans Of: Parkway Drive, Of Mice & Men, Architects, Bring Me The Horizon
Atlases' Already Heard-sponsored tour kicks off on Friday May 23rd, and they will be joined by emerging metalcore act Prolong The Agony.
Fri 23rd Meze Lounge, Newport
Sat 24th Killie Festival, Kilmarnock
Sun 25th Pivo Pivo, Glasgow
Tue 27th Static, Swansea
Wed 28th The Shed, Leicester
Thu 29th The Sanctuary, Basingstoke
Fri 30th Birdcage, Portsmout
Sat 31st Snooker Club, Newbury
'Upbringing' by Atlases is out now.
If you would like Already Heard to promote your tour/show or set up an exclusive strew, send an e-mail to email@example.com for more information.
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.
Originally formed as two-piece bedroom project between vocalist Justine Jones and guitarist Sammy Urwin, Employed To Serve have been gathering momentum with a couple of EP releases through Grindcore Karaoke, and recently joined Holy Roar Records, a label that has a reputation for releasing some of the best UK hardcore releases in recent years.
Having now become a five-piece with drummer Robbie Back, bassist Jamie Venning and more recently James Jackson joining as the second guitarist, Employed To Serve will be hitting the road relentless in the coming months as they look to following up 'Change Nothing, Regret Everything.' with their debut full-length.
In the mean time 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.
Already Heard: Can you introduce yourself and your role in the band?
Justine: I’m Justine the vocalist!
AH: Let’s begin with a standard question. Talk us through how the band came together. I hear you were originally a two-piece bedroom project?
Justine: Me and Sammy the guitarist had been dating for a few years and decided to start a recording project for fun. After some interest from different people we decided to take it to the stage and have some fun touring.
AH: Since Jamie and James have joined the band, how has your sound developed?
Justine: We’ve certainly developed our sound a lot more by having more than one musician in the band, the writing process is now more of a collaboration instead of Sammy writing everything by himself.
AH: The new EP, 'Change Nothing, Regret Everything.' is your first as a quartet. For new listeners, how would you describe the overall vibe of the EP?
Justine: It’s very angry and raw, we also wanted to give it a live feel so it was predominantly recorded live instead of to a click track.
Already Heard is looking to add to its writing team.We are looking to add experienced writers who are committed and dedicated to contributing reviews, interviews and features as well as developing new ideas.
Applicants are required to have the following criteria:
- A good understanding of English grammar and spelling.
- Available to write at least one album/EP review per week and must be available contribute to other site features at short notice.
- Be able to keep to tight deadlines.
- Must show previous experience of writing for an online publication.
- A strong knowledge of the various genres of music Already Heard covers on a regular basis.
- A valid interest in writing.
- A passionate and committed individual who is willing to help Already Heard continue to grow.
We can offer ‘trial’ periods to applicants if preferred.
Please Note: The role is unpaid.
If you are interested in joining our team, please contact Sean Reid for further details.
Leeds-based four-piece Walleater are set to digitally release their debut self titled EP next Monday (14th April) through Close To Home Records.
'Walleater' is one of our must hear releases for April and we’re pleased to be exclusively premiering the whole EP.
The physical EP will be released across two 7“‘s with 'Give In To Me / Just A Boy’ serving as part one and will be released on 21st April. The second 7” ('Glow / What Do You Know?’) is set to be released later in the year.
Ultimately, the band’s mix of shoegaze, emo and alt-rock is a fantastic combination that is thoroughly effective, and will certainly get noticed in the coming months.
'Walleater' by Walleater is released on 14th April through Close To Home Records (pre-order).
Want to stream new music or a video or offer a free download exclusively through Already Heard? Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.