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.'
It’s a cliché start to any written piece featuring Bring Me The Horizon, but they do seem to be either loved or hated. There’s no denying the facts though; they are massive. Latest release ‘Sempiternal’ is their fourth full length and has seen them join a major label whilst over in Belgium they’ve played a very reputable spot on major punk festival Groezrock before returning to the UK for a short but successful run of shows.
There will always be a select number who will dislike what they do, but there’s a part of me that thinks it’s those critics that keep BMTH pushing further than they ever have previously. At Already Heard we even had a discussion if the band were big enough or had been around long enough for them to be included in ‘Versus’ and we quickly decided that they do.
It’s without further ado then that I present to you our two contenders, Jenny Gagas and Callum McPhee. Our American sweetheart Jenny is fighting for what it is about ‘There Is A Hell…’ that really hits home for her, whilst Callum will be defending the band’s newest release ‘Sempiternal’ in his first “Versus” piece. Who wins? You decide. Let us know on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
‘There is a Hell, Believe Me I’ve Seen It. There is a Heaven, Let’s Keep it a Secret’ (by Jenny Gagas)
I used to be scared of music that had screaming. I shouldn’t say scared… more like horrified. It was all noise, all bark and no bite. But somehow, I think through friends playing hardcore in the background of university study sessions; I began to get a taste for it and soon I couldn’t get enough. Eventually I couldn’t listen to a song without screaming and worked my way up to Bring Me The Horizon. Someone gave me their copy of ‘There is a Hell, Believe Me I’ve Seen It. There is a Heaven, Let’s Keep it a Secret’ and that album is what, surprisingly, got me through all those long nights of reading Shakespeare and Chaucer.
Since 1986, Canadian punk band Propagandhi have gone from strength to strength, building on their brand of thrash influenced melodic skate punk. Forward thinking and politically active, the band are about to return to the UK for a string of dates with Comeback Kid, Shai Hulud and War on Women in support of their latest album ‘Failed States’.
We caught up with vocalist and guitarist Chris Hannah discussing their upcoming UK tour, the importance of supporting younger bands, the band’s musical consistency and growth, and the band’s admirable stance on not sacrificing their integrity.
Already Heard: Hello, who am I speaking to and can you please tell us your role(s) in the band?
Chris : You are speaking to the person inside of Reagan. my name is Chris. I am the resident idiot clown and guitarist/vocalist.
AH: You are about to head on tour for the majority of the April month in Europe and the UK. Having toured this side of the Atlantic a number of times do you know what to expect in regards to the atmosphere at shows here or does an essence of the unexpected occur on each visit?
Chris: It’s different from night to night, but not really from hemisphere to hemisphere. We always expect unbridled wildness but will accept polite, detached applause in a pinch.
AH: As well as playing with Shai Hulud and fellow Canadians Comeback Kid on the UK dates, you are taking Baltimore punks War on Women. It certainly is admirable when an older and established band such as yourselves take on younger bands especially in the punk and hardcore genres. How vital would you say it is to pass on the torch to the next generation?
Chris: I think it’s good to show people that art/ music can more than a distraction or a passtime. War on Women, specifically, are a band that not only rocks hard, but directly challenges the tired, old male-dominated schtick of a typical heavy rock show. I think they are an exciting band and am eager to see what the Old World makes of them.
Three years on ‘This Addiction’ and following an acoustic record (2011’s ‘Damnesia’) and one or two side projects, Alkaline Trio have returned with ‘My Shame Is True’ and on the surface it’s business as usual; a tight collection of melodic punk rock with a subtle dark twist. However vocalist Matt Skiba’s songwriting steps up a notch by taking a more direct, personal approach with the end result being some of the bands best work in recent years.
Following the Ramones-influenced opener ‘She Lied To The FBI,’ the catchy ‘I Wanna Be A Warhol’ kick starts the record with that familiar Alkaline Trio melodic drive. While ‘Kiss You To Death’ is a brooding, heartfelt love song that is perfectly executed with an energetic pay off.
Bad Religion will be playing two UK dates in August in support of recent album, ‘True North’ which is available now on Epitaph.
19 Manchester Ritz
20 London KoKo
Next week Illinois punk rock band Alkaline Trio release their eighth album ‘My Shame Is True.’ With such a dense back catalogue, Already Heard’s Sean Reid and Tom White faced a touch challenge for the latest edition of “Fives” as the pair picked out the five best Alkaline Trio songs.
Having formed in the Chicago punk scene in 1996, Alkaline Trio have gone to have a respectable career; toured on both sides of the Atlantic relentlessly, recorded eight albums, several EP’s, and formed a handful of side-projects. By thriving of the basis that is the partnership between guitarist/vocalist Matt Skiba and bassist/vocalist Dan Andriano, Alkaline Trio are one of the most influential punk bands of recent times.
Head on over to our Facebook page to tell us what you think to our choices and what your favourite Alkaline Trio songs are!
‘Armageddon’ is a real Alkaline Trio anthem; it sits beside ‘Mercy Me’ and ‘Radio’ as one of their strongest pieces of song writing ever. The chorus is instantly familiar with the iconic line “before we say goodbye, give us something to believe in.” It is a song which undoubtedly gives you that something to believe in and this is why it makes my personal favourites. (TW)
Off With Their Heads are stalwarts of the punk scene; three full length studio albums as well as countless 7” and split releases and a relentless touring schedule lead us here, to ‘Home’; this release sees the band produce their most musically proficient album to date whilst still retaining their roots in the punk scene that birthed them.
From the screeching feedback on opening track ‘Start Walking’, it is clear the band are attempting to capture their magical live aesthetic on record; the most impressive thing about this being that they capture the magic and chaos of an Off With Their Heads live show without compromising on album sound quality. This may well be the tightest sounding and best produced album the band have ever made, evident in ‘Shirts’ which punches out with a burly riff, tight and rumbling bass line, and gutsy vocals to create, quite frankly, a force of nature. Incidentally, the album was produced by legendary Descendents drummer Bill Stevenson.
It goes without saying Bad Religion are one of the most influential punk bands of all time. With a career stretching 16 albums over 30 years, the California band have played a major way in shaping the way punk is today; not to mention guitarist Brett Gurewitz’s Epitaph record label has become one of the most reliable independent labels around.
So on to album number sixteen - ‘True North’ an album which is punk rock as you can be in 2013. Despite their age, Bad Religion still blast their way through relentlessly, yet do not offer much in variety; this isn’t expected by a band like Bad Religion.
Propagandhi have revealed details of their forthcoming headline UK tour, which will take place across four dates in April 2013.
Support comes from Comeback Kid, Shai Hulud and War On Women.
15 Rock City, Nottingham
17 The Electric Ballroom, London
18 Garage, Glasgow
19 Corporation, Sheffield
Propagandhi’s latest album, ‘Failed States’ is out now on Epitaph Records.
Australia’s metalcore quintet Parkway Drive returns with their eagerly anticipated fourth record ‘Atlas.’ Waiting two years since their third full-length ‘Deep Blue,’ fans have finally been given the chance to get their hands on the band’s latest offering. The new release coincides with a UK/Europe tour that takes place next month with support from Emmure, The Word Alive & Structures.
‘Sparks’ opens the record on a calm note, creating an ambience with soft guitar and bringing in spoken vocals. Emotions rise further with the introduction of Winston McCall’s dark roars and Ben Gordon’s destructive drums. This calmer ambience is soon waved goodbye to with ‘Old Ghost / New Regrets,’ a track that surges with greater energy by introducing heavier riffs and rapid drums.
The underground heavyweights throwing hardcore, metal and southern rock into a cage and seeing who might just get out alive. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Every Time I Die; heroes and legends in every right and not capable of releasing a bad record (fact).
And of course, that leads us to our very own ‘Versus’ feature and that one question everybody wants to ask the great one in the sky. No, not the meaning of life question… the question about which albums is best (The meaning of life is to listen to Every Time I Die of course). So, Aaron Lohan and Mikey Brown bring ‘New Junk Aesthetic’ and ‘Ex Lives’ respectively to the cage. Be prepared for blood…
‘New Junk Aesthetic’ (by Aaron Lohan)
If you were to ask me “what is the best album by southern metal infused hardcore heroes Every Time I Die?”, then you would basically find the little man powering the wheels of my brain to become crushed and overwhelmed by the huge cogs that keep my mind in motion. Every Time I Die is one of a small minority of bands who have the desirable talent of making a record that is superior to the records that precede it. It is an abomination to deny that the band’s latest effort ‘Ex Lives’ continues the ever increasing sky dizzying epitome that they have made with every ounce of blood and sweat. However, whilst on one hand you could say that ‘Ex Lives’ is their definitive based on my aforementioned summary of it, after much calculation and cosmic soul searching, I believe that the band’s best effort lies in the musical and lyrical cellular structure of their fifth full length ‘New Junk Aesthetic’.
After a 3 year gap since their last release Canadian punks Propagandhi are back to blow your mind in the way they always do. With this, their sixth studio album in the form of ‘Failed States’ it’s a safe bet to call the Propagandhi gentlemen veterans.
The album showcases the slower but hard hitting pace of the band as well as double time and thrash moments in others. Give a listen to the first two tracks to hear this juxtaposition in full force, opening with the calm then being taken and completely overwhelmed by the storm. The thrash moments are accompanied throughout the album with melodies the constant outbursts or crash and ride cymbals.
Oh metalcore. The fusion genre might not have its foundations rooted in experimentation or variety but, having most certainly reached the peak of its commercial success a few years back, its critical appreciation has also gradually faded through the sheer erosion of metalcore’s constant onslaught. In its divisive universe, even the subgenre of punk’s (or sometimes metal, the border is often shady at this point) toughest critic can sometimes appreciate what a band are doing right. In the case of metalcore, doing things right involves following a short set of rules: play hard, scream loud and BREAKDOWNS.
Enter Canadians Mr. Erian (formerly of Despised Icon), Mr. Lepage (formerly of Blind Witness), Mr. Campbell, Mr. Wood and Mr. Morotti. Together, this congregation of men form Obey The Brave and they release a debut called ‘Young Blood’. The quintet make it fairly clear from opener ‘Lifestyle’ where they fit on the sonic spectrum: mid-tempo groove-laden riffs, low-pitched growl vocals sometimes accompanied by enthusiastic friends and as much heaviness as the sound space will allow. To be as clear as possible, the band’s style wavers very little over the course of the album, some might consider it tiresome after a while, some will relish its comfortable repetitiveness.
“We’ll stand up for what we believe in” is the kind of predictable mid teen lyric that you’ll expect to find on this album, with the ever so original song structures, breaks of electronic drums and high pass filtered vocals that you’ll find on ‘Age Of Ignorance’ by Our Last Night. If what you’re wanting is merely ok songs that range only between 3 and 4 minutes long then welcome to the gold mine.
Actually, as I’ve been writing this review, I’m now on the fifth track ‘Liberate Me’ which shows some passion and aggression which is good to see! Everybody loves originality and personality, but with a now very typical breakdown exactly where I expected it I’m losing hope again. The first four tracks that were delivered to my brain were just under 16 minutes of nothing exciting at all. I find myself wanting to say predictable and I don’t want to over do the word, but predictable predictable predictable.
Every Time I Die are heroes. It’s probably the 11th commandment or something. They’ve been consistently good with every release but latest release ‘Ex Lives’ certainly shook the foundations of everything that’s holy in the world. It’s intense, it’s fast and it’s everything that Every Time I Die should be.
So, what next? The band are slowly taking over the world in one way or another and it’s only a matter of time until the whole world realises how good these gentleman are. We already know this so, so we jumped at the chance to interview them at Slam Dunk Festival.
We spoke to Keith and Jordan Buckley about ‘Ex Lives’ itself, touring in Russia and what makes a good Halloween costume…
AH: What’s the general theme for new album ‘Ex Lives’? I remember reading a while ago that the idea was to have a horror theme behind it.
Keith (vocals): I don’t think that was a theme, no. I think if anything we just wanted to make it heavier and faster than our old stuff. There’s no really like, motive. Other than to just be fun again.
The new album from Motion City Soundtrack ‘Go’ can be streamed in full below.
‘Go’ is released on June 11th through Epitaph/Boombox Generation.