Already Heard
INTERVIEW: NECK DEEP
Without a doubt Neck Deep are one of this years breakout bands. After kicking off the year
with the release of their debut LP, 'Wishful Thinking', the Wrexham pop-punk five piece
haven’t stopped touring since. From festival appearances throughout the UK and Europe to 2 months in North America as part of the Vans Warped Tour. We caught up with vocalist Ben Barlow and bassist Fil Thorpe-Evans at the Leeds Festival. They discussed their past festival experiences, supporting Blink-182, their up and coming UK headline tour and being
“leaders” of the UK pop-punk movement.
FIVES: MUST HEAR SEPTEMBER 2014 RELEASES
With the festival season more or less over for another year, it’s time for a whole load of
exciting releases to see the light of day. September sees a plethora of exciting releases, so much so that the Already Heard team were spoilt for choices when it came to picking this months must hear releases. Nevertheless they've completed the tricky task and picked out their five must-hear releases for the coming month.
INTERVIEW: LONELY THE BRAVE
Packing stadium sized rock anthems with an incredibly striking emotional punch, and graced with one of the most staggeringly unique vocal talents to have graced the UK Rock scene in a long time, Cambridge’s Lonely The Brave have become one of the single most talked about new bands to emerge in recent years. With their debut album ‘The Day’s War’ finally released this week, Already Heard caught up with lead guitarist Mark Trotter and Bassist
Andrew Bushen at last weekend’s Leeds Festival.
INTERVIEW: NECK DEEP
Without a doubt Neck Deep are one of this years breakout bands. After kicking off the year
with the release of their debut LP, 'Wishful Thinking', the Wrexham pop-punk five piece
haven’t stopped touring since. From festival appearances throughout the UK and Europe to 2 months in North America as part of the Vans Warped Tour. We caught up with vocalist Ben Barlow and bassist Fil Thorpe-Evans at the Leeds Festival. They discussed their past festival experiences, supporting Blink-182, their up and coming UK headline tour and being
“leaders” of the UK pop-punk movement.
FESTIVAL PREVIEW: READING AND LEEDS FESTIVAL 2014 - 20 MUST-SEE ACTS
It’s no doubt it has been an incredible summer of music, and it’s not over yet as the legendary Reading and Leeds Festival takes place this weekend. With dozens of acts playing across 8 stages over 3 days, there is lot to choose from. As always the Already Heard team has got together to pick out what we think are the 20 must-see acts at Reading and Leeds 2014.
HEVY FEST 2014
Check out our full coverage from this years Hevy Fest right here!


Young Guns, Issues and Sleepwave to Support Bring Me the Horizon at Wembley Arena

Young Guns, Issues and Sleepwave have all been announced to support Bring Me the Horizon at the Wembley Arena in London on the 5th December.

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The Lawrence Arms Announce Sam Russo and Bangers as UK Tour Supports

imageSam Russo and Bangers have been announced as the supports for The Lawrence Arms on their UK tour this October.

You can catch all three artists at the following dates:

October
7th O2 Academy 2, Sheffield
8th O2 Academy 2, Newcastle
9th O2 ABC 2, Glasgow
10th O2 Academy 2, Birmingham
11th Thekla, Bristol
12th Rescue Rooms, Nottingham
13th O2 Academy 2, Liverpool
14th The Ruby Lounge, Manchester
15th Islington Academy, London
16th The Cellar, Southampton

The Lawrence Arms Announce UK Dates

Chicago punks The Lawrence Arms have announced a short run of UK dates in October.

You can catch the band at the following shows:

October
7th O2 Academy 2, Sheffield
8th O2 Academy 2, Newcastle
9th O2 ABC 2, Glasgow
10th O2 Academy 2, Birmingham
13th O2 Academy 2, Liverpool
14th The Ruby Lounge, Manchester
15th Islington Academy, London

This Wild Life Announce UK Tour

Acoustic duo This Wild Life have announced a UK headline tour in September and October.

The tour is in support of their recent debut full length release, 'Clouded', out now on Epitaph Records.

September
25th Talking Heads, Southampton
26th Tiki Bar & Diner, Plymouth
27th The Exchange, Bristol
28th The Cricketers, Kingston
29th Asylum, Birmingham
30th Academy 2, Sheffield
October
1st Sound Control, Manchester
2nd Think Tank, Newcastle
3rd Cockpit, Leeds
4th Scholar, Leicester
5th Sugarmill, Stoke
6th Underworld, London

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Joyce Manor Announce November UK Dates with Cheap Girls and Great Cynics

Joyce Manor will be touring the UK in support of their new album, 'Never Hungover Again', which is out this week on Epitaph Records.

Support comes from Cheap Girls and Great Cynics.

November
Tue 11 Leeds Cockpit 2 
Wed 12 Glasgow 13th Note
Thu 13 Manchester Star & Garter
Fri 14 London The Dome Tufnell Park
Sat 15 Southampton Joiners
Sun 16 Kingston Fighting Cocks
Mon 17 Bristol The Exchange

Album Review: Joyce Manor - Never Hungover Again

Returning to your roots, like most things, can be either good or bad, depending upon how it is handled. On their last release, Torrance, California indie punks Joyce Manor took a bizarre, near experimental pop sensibility on ‘Of All Things I Will Soon Grow Tired’. Now, on their Epitaph debut and third LP, the band slightly treads back to where they started, with the style which hooked their fans in the first place. ‘Never Hungover Again’ is the spiritual follow up to their self-titled first album; it is Joyce Manor at their most mature sounding, without losing their trademark catchy bite.

Opening with ‘Christmas Card’, you can tell this is classic Joyce Manor, yet they sound slicker. All the rough edges have been smoothed out, without losing any grit. Follow up song ‘Falling in Love Again’ dazzles with pop infused alt punk, which blossoms with a synth and a sincere finish. Whilst this song and ‘End of the Summer’ are mid tempo sweethearts, the likes of ‘Victoria’ ups the tempo adding a weighted element to the delightful punk tone. The most beefy number, however, comes from the minute long ‘Catalina Fight Song’ (the video of which sees the quartet in a hilarious predicament involving martial arts). It chugs away in a tough to chew, easy to digest fashion. ‘In the Army’ is another song with bite, though it comes with rapid fire guitar melodies amongst rolling drums, sealing a fine partnership of contrast.

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Album Review: Pennywise - Yesterdays

US punk quartet Pennywise have now released in total eleven studio albums in total. Rather than pushing even further for newer sounds, Pennywise have returned to their popular early sound with their latest release ‘Yesterdays’. Who can blame them? Don’t fix it if it isn’t broken? However, don’t be fooled as ‘Yesterdays’ is not simply copying the old sound, as Pennywise has kept the sound fresh and attractive.

With the return of Jim Lindberg, Pennywise has regained its original vocalist. This brings a lot more familiarity compared to the 2012 release ‘All Or Nothing’ with vocalist Zoli Téglás. Not only have they retained those original vocals but several of the tracks were the original writings of deceased bass player Jason Thirsk from the late 80’s before his death in 1996. Lindberg had always intended to record these tracks that they had stored away until they felt more “life-affirming”. This rings true with the album touching on emotional subjects at the time such as ‘I Can Remember’, reflecting on the death of Thirsk, differing from the typical political stance of their lyrics.

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Album Review: Every Time I Die - From Parts Unknown

imageSeven albums in might see a band slowing things down, getting tired at their ‘older’ age and mellowing down a bit. Of course, this isn’t the case. Of course it isn’t; this is Every Time I Die. And, If anything, they’ve changed gears and brought more carnage and ferocity to their already distinct and honed sound on 'From Parts Unknown'.

The opening number of 'The Great Secret' might just be the band laying out the blueprints to the rest of the album. Strummed chords ease in before everything is let out all at once, ripping into blast beats and then into the infamous riffery of a victorious and formulated past. Riffs over double time drums, regular time and half time are all in favour on this album and the extra double time usage has increased; following on nicely from ‘Ex Lives’ and the introduction of Ryan “Legs” Leger into the foray on ETID fans all over.

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FIVES: Must Hear July 2014 Releases

July is here and summer is in full swing. Even though we’re in deep into the festival season, doesn’t mean awesome new music isn’t being released. July sees a whole bunch of exciting releases with the likes of Four Year Strong, Pennywise, and Rise Against unleashing highly anticipated releases.

Nevertheless the Already Heard has opted to pick some other major releases that we think are essential listening for the coming month.

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Aaron West and the Roaring Twenties - We Don’t Have Each Other
Let’s admit it, the whole “pop-punk band singer goes acoustic” spiel has been done countless times, yet when you have The Wonder Years’ Dan “Soupy” Campbell at the helm, you know this isn’t going to be another forgettable side-project.

Aaron West and the Roaring Twenties sees Campbell taking on the character of Aaron West, and 'We Don’t Have Each Other' explores the story of Aaron West; where he comes from, his parents, his close relationships and so on.

'We Don’t Have Each Other' promises to be a highly detailed and emotionally driven record, that sees Campbell working with Ace Enders of The Early November. Together they’ve created a record that requires repeated playbacks. It’s coated in sombre, folky Americana that allows Campbell to tell the story of Aaron West in a calm and beautiful manner. (SR)

'We Don’t Have Each Other' by Aaron West and the Roaring Twenties is released on 8th July on Hopeless Records.

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Album Review: This Wild Life - Clouded

Stirring, emotionally charged and delicately vulnerable folk-pop may not be the sort of release you would immediately associate with legendary punk label Epitaph. But this is exactly what you get in the form of ‘Clouded’, the debut offering from duo Kevin Jordan and Anthony Del Grosso, better known as This Wild Life.

Between them the duo creates a sound which is effortlessly moving and sonically beautiful. The melodies on offer here are nothing short of flawless, and although simple in their construction, will occupy the listener’s thoughts and consciousness for days on end. Add in vocal harmonies between which are nothing short of hauntingly flawless and you can probably tell that the results are something pretty memorable indeed.

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Versus: Weezer - ‘Pinkerton’ vs ‘Weezer (The Blue Album)’

Forming in 1992, L.A. alternative rock band, Weezer, took the world by storm with their first 1993 self titled album (also know as 'The Blue Album' to fans), released through Geffen Records. After the touring cycle of their initially negatively received, but cult favourite 1996 second LP, 'Pinkerton', the quartet went on a hiatus due to life’s pressures and commitments, from 1998 to 2000. 

They would eventually return at the dawn of the new millennium, releasing 'Weezer (The Green Album)' in 2001, 'Maladroit' in 2002, and 'Make Believe' in 2005. The band would eventually switch over to Interscope Records in 2008 to release their third self titled album (aka 'The Red Album'), and 'Raditude' the following year. After an estimated two decades of being on major labels, they would sign to renowned indie label Epitaph Records and release their eighth studio album, entitled 'Hurley'.

Besides releasing a multitude of albums, the band have had various incarnations in their line up; the only consistent members have been lead vocalist/guitarist Rivers Cuomo and drummer Patrick Wilson. In terms of style, Weezer are known for their catchy pop alt rock style, funny music videos and personal, awkward but charming lyrics. Their influence is found throughout all forms of alternative, punk and emo styles.

The band are currently in the studio, recording their ninth studio album, with Ric Ocasek, who previously worked on the 'Blue' and 'Green' albums. Speaking of which, this Saturday marks the twentieth anniversary of the aforementioned debut “blue” coloured album. To celebrate, we at Already Heard have decided to answer that controversial question: what is Weezer's best album? To answer this, two individuals have battled it out in typical "Versus" style. In one corner, our own Alex Phelan returns for another round by stating a case for second album ‘Pinkerton’. On the opposite side meanwhile, Jack Brown of alt rockers Pretend Happy has decided to argue for that Twenty year old blue coloured debut LP.

What do you consider to be Weezer’s best album and why? Let us know on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Pinkerton (by Alex Phelan)
'Pinkerton'was never meant to achieve greatness. Weezer’s follow up to the hugely celebrated ‘Blue Album’ was a flop, mustering terrible sales figures and receiving heavy criticism from the media. It took the world a little while to realise the ugly duckling would soon turn into a beautiful swan for those who could spare the time and attention.

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Album Review: The Menzingers - Rented World

It can never be easy for a band to follow-up a record as acclaimed and admired as 'On the Impossible Past', but that’s the position The Menzingers find themselves in with 'Rented World'. It’s unreasonable to set such high expectations but unfortunately for the PA quartet, that’s what fans were left with when 'Rented World' was announced.

So with so much expectation, how does 'Rented World' shape up? Well for starters it’s not as immediate as its predecessor. I’ll even go as far as labelling it as underwhelming on the first handful of listens. However, the band’s brand of down to earth punk is something that gives the record longevity. 'I Don't Wanna Be An Asshole Anymore' is a welcoming opener that will please longtime fans; a vibrant, boisterous number that captures just what The Menzingers are all about.

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Album Review: Plague Vendor - Free To Eat

imageWith 10 songs coming in just under the 20 minute mark, California’s Plague Vendor clearly have no time for substance with this debut effort. On 'Free To Eat', the recent Epitaph signees’ LP is a brash, frantic record but leaves a good impression.

The opening bars 'Black Sap Scriptures', the band’s garage punk influence is very much in tact with rowdy vocals courtesy of Brandon Blaine and razor-sharp guitar lines from Jay Rogers. It’s unrelentless tempo is something that grabs hold of you early on and doesn’t let go for the next 20 minutes.

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Interview: The Menzingers

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.

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Versus: Alkaline Trio - ‘From Here to Infirmary’ vs. ‘Maybe I’ll Catch Fire’

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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.

What do you consider to be Alkaline Trio’s best album and why? Let us know on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

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.

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