Influenced by the likes of Jimmy Eat World, Saves The Day and The Get Up Kids, Sheffield quartet O Captain have bucket loads of potential of their debut EP is anything to go from. Entitled 'Ghetto Hikes', the bands lyrical sentiment mixed with a stirring indie-pop sensibility quickly won us over. We spoke to bassist Ryan Smith to find out more about the band, their influences, what Sheffield bands we should be listening to and more.
Ww've got reviews and a whole load of live photos from UK Tech Fest 2014.
Having reached over the half way mark, July is a good time to reflect upon the smorgasbord
of great albums that have come out so far this year. Read on to find out what the Already Heard team picked as their favourite releases of the year so far.
After 2 years away, Sonisphere makes it return to the UK. Check out our full coverage of the festival.
Here at Already Heard, we normally share our festival previews in the days leading up to a festival. However we’re taking a different approach with Hevy Fest simply because we’re too excited for it!
After taking a break last year, the hardcore, punk and metal festival is back for 2014 and even though it’s downsized from 3 days to 2, there still loads of awesome bands on offer. From established North American acts such as Finch, Silverstein, Reel Big Fish and Anti-Flag to some of the biggest and best bands these shores have to offer; Moose Blood, The Safety Fire, Me Vs Hero, Maybeshewill and much more.
Hevy Fest 2014 promises to be once again a memorable weekend. But with 40 bands playing over the 2 days, there’s bound to be some clashes. This is where Already Heard comes in, as we’re here to give you 10 must-see bands to see at Hevy Fest next month.
If you’ve been into any punk or rock club within the last ten years then the chances are you already know The Vandals infamous hit 'My Girlfriend’s Dead', but The Vandals are more than just a one hit wonder. Now playing their first show in the UK in over ten years, this is the chance to see one of the best of the early 90’s punk bands and hear choice cuts from a career spanning ten albums. Plus they’ll almost definitely play their Christmas song, 'Oi to the World' and who doesn’t want Christmas in August? (JS)
When: Friday 15th August
Apologies, I Have None
In the wake of singer and guitarist Dan leaving last year, Apologies, I Have None have completely reinvented themselves. Their new EP ‘Black Everything’ turns its back on their pop-punk roots for a more experimental sound, showcasing some of their best lyrics yet. While they’ll certainly be putting their new material through its paces, for those not yet converted, their older fan favourites haven’t been entirely purged from their set. Currently one of the strongest UK bands on the scene, if their Groezrock performance is anything to go by Apologies, I Have None will be worth getting to the main stage first thing on Friday for. (JS)
When: Friday 15th August.
Formed through drunken nights in shitty “rock clubs” and influenced by the likes of Jimmy Eat World, Saves The Day and The Get Up Kids, Sheffield quartet O Captain have bucket loads of potential of their debut EP is anything to go from. Entitled 'Ghetto Hikes', the bands lyrical sentiment mixed with a stirring indie-pop sensibility quickly won us over.
Although it is still early days for the four-piece, they’re still gaining plenty attention especially in the local area; they’re set to play 3 slots at this weekends Tramlines Festival in Sheffield. In addition as bassist Ryan Smith tells us, new material is in the works and if 'Ghetto Hikes' is just the beginning, we expect future O Captain releases be more versatile yet as compelling.
To find out more about O Captain, Ryan took some time out from preparing for Tramlines to tell us how the band came together, their influences, what Sheffield bands we should be listening to and more.
Already Heard: For starters can you tell us who you are and your role in O Captain?
Ryan: O Captain is Thomas Bower on lead vocals and guitar, Michael Watson on drums and vocals, Paul Bamforth on guitar and I’m Ryan Smith and I play bass and also sing.
AH: Can you tell us a bit about the bands background?
Ryan: Back in early 2013 none of us were performing music. So we just decided to get together in a practice room and see what happened. With the exception of Mike, we’ve all known each other for years through drunken nights at shitty “rock clubs” in Northern England. After our original drummer departed to work in China, we recruited Mike who’d recorded our first demo in his bedroom. Since then we’ve had a lot of fun, performing and writing music we love.
AH: So you’ve recently released your debut EP called 'Ghetto Hikes'. For those haven’t heard it yet, how would you describe it to them?
Ryan: For fans of sad songs and sad songs disguised as happy songs.
AH: From hearing the 3-track release, I hear a strong early-2000’s indie/emo influence, am I right?
Ryan: For sure, that was our musical education. We were in college throughout this period and really just learning how to play our instruments, so you can’t help but have this influences ingrained in you for life. Bands like Jimmy Eat World, Saves The Day and The Get Up Kids are bands we’ve always loved and still do. Emo is enjoying a bit of a resurgence at the moment with all the twinkly influenced bands around. And while I don’t think we really sound like them, I think we still fit into that pigeon hole. But there are a whole lot of other influences from the indie rock world too, which I think bleeds over.
Next week Luxembourg punk quartet Versus You release their new album, 'Moving On' in the UK through Bomber Music, and not only that they’re coming for a whole bunch of headline dates.
'Moving On' combines power pop elements with a punk rock edge that sees the four-piece sticking to their roots. Tracks like 'When It All Goes Down' and 'A Way With Words' have a sense of nostalgia, whereaas lead single 'Be Better Than Me' and the concluding 'You Are My Friend' are filled with sentiment.
To give us a better insight into what 'Moving On' is all about, vocalist/guitarist Eric Rosenfeld has provided Already Heard with a track-by-track account into the album.
When It All Goes Down
The lyrics are no big mystery. It’s about best friends and hanging out when I’m not on tour. It’s also about how we’re not only band mates but also best friends. We’ve known each other for years.
This song was written in about five minutes. I recorded the demo acoustically in one take, showed it to the band and everybody liked it instantly.
If The Camels Die, We Die
I wrote this about life on the road, hours and hours of driving to play in front of twenty people. It never really mattered to us to how many people we play though as long as we’re having fun and believe in what we do. It’s also about past mistakes we made as a band and learning from them and move on.
This is a pretty old one so I can’t really remember much about writing it except that I didn’t sit down to write it, it just kind of happened. I hardly ever sit down and try to write a song.
Well, what a year it has been in the world of music in 2014 so far! Having reached over the half way mark, July is a good time to reflect upon the smorgasbord of great albums that have come out so far this year.
Here at Already Heard, some of our writers go over the spoils by telling us what their favourite albums are thus far in this magical year of music.
The Hotelier - Home, Like Noplace Is There (Sean Reid - Editor)
If you were to ask me how the musical landscape of 2014 was shaping up to be, I would answer with “so far, so good.” I would probably go a step further by saying that picking out a favourite album of the year so far has been tough.
On both sides of the Atlantic, there has been several releases that have dominated my earbuds over the past 6 months. From the UK we’ve had releases from Architects, Bury Tomorrow and Decade making an impression. Whilst the States has provided us with stellar releases from The Menzingers, Seahaven, and Somos.
Nevertheless it’s The Hotelier's sophomore effort, 'Home, Like Noplace Is There' that has received repeated airplays since it’s release earlier in the year.
It’s 9 songs of emo/punk rock that wears it’s heart on its sleeve. It contains a certain energy and urgency that makes it such an instantly favourable record. I’m sure some of the other writers have picked out this record as well, and they’ll be able to put it into better words. In the meantime go and seek out this record, because you’re missing out.
2. Bury Tomorrow - Runes
3. The Menzingers - Rented World
4. Somos - Temple of Plenty
5. Seahaven - Reverie Lagoon: Music for Escapism Only
After being postponed for the past 2 years, Sonisphere makes it return to the UK this weekend, and it promises to be one of the best weekends of the festival calendar.
With a line-up stacked of awesome bands, it’s safe to say organisers have made up for lost time. From festival-playing veterans to emerging UK talent, Sonisphere has plenty to offer. Oh and there’s also comedians, karaoke, silent disco and even late night pro wrestling. What more do you want?
With so much on offer, you probably don’t know where to start and who to see. Well thankfully Already Heard is here to the rescue, as we have picked out 15 acts you definitely need to see this weekend.
METALLLLLLICCCAAAAAAA!!! Fresh off appearing at Glastonbury where they turned everyone into a metalhead for the day, the metal legends return to Sonisphere for the third time. This time round they’re bringing their 'By Request' show where, as you might as guessed, sees the band playing songs voted by fans online.
At the time of writing, it looks like James, Lars, Kirk and Robert are set to play a set full of fan favourites and more. Expect epic, soaring guitar solos from Kirk, cocky drum fills from Lars, and James to say “Yeah" a 1000 times. YEEEEAAAAHHHHHH!!! (SR)
Where & When: Apollo Stage - Sunday - 20:15
Hailing from Slough, emo three-piece Southpaw formed in early 2013 and after a slight line-up change, they’re now releasing their first full EP.
Entitled 'Better Days', the four-song release is thoroughly emo to the core with bands such as Mineral and The Get Up Kids being a distinctive influence. Yet there’s a hint of punk throughout songs like 'Skin and Bone' and 'Quiet Weekend', which makes Southpaw one of the most exciting young bands we’ve heard in quite some time.
To find out more about Southpaw, we grabbed a quick word with vocalist/guitarist Perry to discuss their influences, the so-called “emo revival”, the non-existent Slough music scene and the time Frank Turner crowd surfed at one of their house shows.
Already Heard: To start with, can you tell us who you and your role in the band?
Perry: I’m Perry and I sing and play guitar
AH: I understand you’ve all played in bands previously and came together after those bands ended. Can you tell us a bit more about how Southpaw came to be?
Perry: Well really me and Jake (Bass) have been playing in bands together since we were like 15/16 but we never really got further than a few home recorded demo’s and never managed to hold anything together. We really first formed Southpaw early last year with our mate Trevor on drums and we started writing some songs and booking a couple of shows here and there, but for us I guess it didn’t properly start until late summer last year when we needed a drummer at the last minute to fill in for a show. We met TJ through my girlfriend and he said he’d do the show with us, from the first rehearsal it seemed to come together almost instantly and we all just clicked together, so with Trev moving to uni at the end of the summer we asked TJ to join as our permanent drummer so we could take a proper stab at being a band and here we are today.
AH: One thing that enticed Already Heard to check you out was your 90’s emo-influenced sound. What bands do you consider as influential?
Perry: Well to me personally I was always hugely influenced by bands like Mineral, Texas Is The Reason, The Get Up Kids and Knapsack.
I always lent towards the more straight forward stuff than the twinkly complex bands. It just felt more real and passionate to me and that’s what really struck me the most. How much I connected with the songs those guys were putting out and that, like punk, it made being in a band like that seem reachable without having to spend 8 hours a day working on getting good enough at guitar!
Burlington, MA’s Grandview are gearing up for the release of their debut album, 'Everything Between Paint and a Wall' on July 8th through FITA Records and Six Pine Records.. The album sees quintet take elements of pop-punk, emo and punk rock and ball them up into a bold, favourable of catchy indie rock.
With comparisons to Transit, Into It Over It and Pentimento, Grandview are definitely one to keep an eye on, as they’re one of the brightest upstarts to appear on our radar in quite some time.
To give you a better inside into what Grandview are about, they’ve provided us with an "Already Heard Track Guide" to 'Everything Between Paint and a Wall'. Read on to find out what the record is all about and don’t forget to pick the record up next week.
Paint Came from a few lines that Lucas had. I kind of think of this as a prologue in the sense that it sets the whole arc of the album in motion.
Seeking Out Gold One time I went to Target with my mom, and when we went to check out, the cashier lady started telling us about all these coupons she had. She couldn’t hold in how excited she was about collecting them. Just totally buck wild over coupons. So when we wrote this song, a lot of the lyrics came from being bummed that some people can find comfort in little things like that, and others can be totally apathetic about aspects of their life that should mean a lot.
The Only Constant After going through the same routine for so long, I think it’s easy to get freaked the hell out when circumstances change. I feel like I didn’t really know how to adapt and go with the flow as well as other people did.
Next month emerging Nuneaton alt rockers Speaking In Shadows release their new EP - 'The Lies We Lead'. Filled with soaring melodies and adrenaline-filled riffs, the quintet have all the ingredients to be one of the UK’s most promising melodic rock bands.
As part of our "Studio Report" series, Speaking In Shadows recently documented their time at Regal House Studios in Cambridgeshire especially for Already Heard. Read on as vocalist Adam Smith tell us how 'The Lies We Lead' came together.
Today marked the start of our ten-day stay in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, to record our new EP: 'The Lies We Lead'. After an early morning and couple of hours in the Friday-morning rush hour traffic, we arrived at Regal House Studios, ready to make some noise.
A quick tour of the premises confirmed our choice in facilities: this was exactly the standard of studio we’d hoped for. From the quality of equipment to the comfort of the settees – which, we can assure you, really is as vital as the mixing desk – we immediately felt confident in our decision to make our record here.
First up, we needed to lay down the drum tracks. Grant, a blur of bashing and banging, blazed his way through all six tracks, setting a good pace for the rest of us over the rest of our time here. Already, even with just grizzly guide-guitar track to complement the cacophony of crashes and snares, the songs were sounding sizeable; just the quality of recording we had hoped to hear.
With day one behind us, we checked into our B&B: a quaint, serene series of apartments ten minutes from the studio. Feeling well-and-truly content, we unpacked and prepared ourselves for the week ahead. And what a week it was shaping up to be already.
Having been voted as 1 of the 6 bands to play the Red Bull Studio Stage at Download Festival 2014, They Say Fall have kindly provided Already Heard with a detailed account of their weekend for this edition of "Already Heard Tour Tales".
Hailing from Lincolnshire, the post-hardcore five-piece decided to make the most of the experience by taking on the full festival experience. From turning up a day early to drinking way into the night to meeting some musical heroes, They Say Fall certainly had an eventful and memorable weekend. Read on to find out what they got up to.
Wednesday 11th June
We decided pretty early on that even though we were not playing until to Friday, we wanted to head down from Wednesday to get the full ‘Download’ experience. We met up first thing in the morning with a bunch of friends, loaded up on McDonald’s, and set of on the journey to Donington.
"Fully loaded with enough beer to sink every man into oblivion"
As it was a very first time we’ve ever had the opportunity to play Download, we were incredibly excited to arrive, as you can imagine, we were pretty clueless as to how they operate. We actually ended up turning up a full day in advance of when the bands were meant to turn up! Fortunately though, even though we arrived before anyone was expecting us, Mandy the Artist Liaison was fantastic and made the extra arrangements for us to get in.
The rest of the day was spent setting up our base of operations, we decided to camp inside the general camping area, rather than the artist/press camping area. This decision would come back to haunt us after partying/roughing it in the pandemonium that camping with our fellow manics in Red Camp would bring.
If you read Already Heard quite often then it’s no surprise So Many Animal Calls have found their way on to our "Recommends" feature.
Their latest EP, 'Burden' is four slices of perfectly crafted and refreshingly good indie pop, that leans towards early post-millennium US emo yet keeps a strong, sincere Scottish tongue throughout. It’s certainly one of our favourite EP’s of the year so far (see here).
Since releasing their debut EP in 2010, So Many Animal Calls have been gathering momentum with a few single and EP releases, festival appearances and tons of shows, perfecting their harmonious and melodic sound.
Before we gave 'Burden' it’s 100th spin on the AH stereo, we caught up with bassist Ross Coll to find out more about So Many Animal Calls; their history, their influences, the new EP and more.
Already Heard: For starters, can you introduce yourself and your role in So Many Animal Calls?
Ross: My name is Ross Coll and I play bass in So Many Animal Calls.
AH: To bring readers up to speed, can you give us a brief history about So Many Animal Calls?
Ross: SMAC released their first EP in July 2010, a 3 track home demos EP titled ‘Your House Is A Hospice” I wasn’t part of the band this point, SMAC were a 3 piece with Sean McKenna, Ross Stewart and Martin Johnston. In 2011 they won the chem 19 creative Scotland award and recorded 3/5 tracks from the ‘Eulogy’ EP at Chem 19 studios. I joined the band whilst ‘Eulogy’ was being recorded and we finished off the final two tracks of the EP at North Road Studios. We released a single titled ‘Traps’ in early 2012 via local rock label Overlook Records. The same year we were hand picked to play on the main stage of Rockness, our first festival performance. We spent time in between releases playing as many shows as possible and writing the follow up to ‘Eulogy’, ‘Burden’, and Martin departed on drums and Sam Leighton took his place.
AH: So you’ve recently released a new EP titled 'Burden'. This is your first EP release since 2011’s 'Eulogy.' How has the band grown over the last few years?
Ross: I think when we were writing ‘Burden’ we wanted to show that we had made a progression musically. 3 years between EP’s is a long time and we were conscious of that. We wanted to show people we were taking our time and agonising over every detail possible of the songs until we were happy. Burden has a much more mature sound than ‘Eulogy’ in my opinion. It’s a clear progression in terms of music, lyrics and the way we conduct ourselves as a band I feel.
Next week emerging Nottingham-based pop-punks Layby release their debut EP. Entitled 'Bombsite', the three track release sees the five-piece mixing their influences (Blink-182, Green Day, The Story So Far, Neck Deep) and combining it with a raw edge and energetic, hooky choruses.
Although the band are set to release the EP next Friday (June 27th), Already Heard has teamed up with the quintet to exclusively stream the EP ahead of its release.
'Bombsite' EP by Layby is released on 27th June and will be available through iTunes, Bandcamp and other digital platforms.
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.
This week Already Heard sat down with Mike Hayden, frontman of Philadephia pop-punkers Count To Four. The quartet integrates elements of early 2000’s pop-punk with a contemporary and splendidly hook-heavy streak. The band is still riding the crest of the wave following the success of last year’s 'Between Two Cities' which peaked at no.3 in the Bandcamp Album Charts. This becomes all the more impressive when you take into account that the independent release was their first since 2010’s debut EP 'Where You Come From'. An energy and chemistry far surpassing many of their contemporaries, Count To Four found themselves singled out by Alex Gaskarth (All Time Low) last year, who hand selected the band to support All Time Low on dates of their North American College Tour.
AH: Did the environment you grew up in help or hinder/encourage or discourage you pursuing a career in music?
Hayden: Growing up in South Jersey was actually extremely beneficial to our musical development. First of all, we grew up right next to Philadelphia; a city with its own incredible musical history with an extremely DIY attitude. There was always a great music scene in South Jersey as well. You came to all of your friends’ shows and all of your friends came to all of your shows. Everybody loved to support one another. Each one of us at one point in time has played our friend’s backyard, a club, a church, a restaurant, or the Barrington Harvest Fest where we would play on the back of a flatbed truck. The whole attitude of the area was just to play music no matter what, no matter where. This definitely had a huge impact on both our decision and our approach to pursuing a career in music.
This week Northern Ireland rockers Making Monsters unleash their new EP - 'Attention', a riff-filled collection of gritty, hard rock numbers, that makes the quartet stand out from the dozens of female-fronted bands doing the rounds in recent years.
Since forming 2 years ago, Making Monsters have gone from strength to strength playing shows with the likes of Young Guns, Max Raptor, and Fort Hope along the way. Now 'Attention' is getting the band just that. Tracks such as 'Nosebleed' and 'Limits' shows the bands versatility by combining heavy riffs with a soft, melodic side.
Before Making Monsters make their way over to the UK for a run of shows, we caught up with leading lady Emma to discuss the bands formation, the new EP, the importance of radio airplay, and more.
Already Heard: To begin with can you tell us who you are and what you do in Making Monsters?
Emma: My name is Emma, and I sing in the band!
AH: Let’s get started with the basic. What’s the story behind Making Monsters coming together?
Emma: Each of us did our time playing in local bands, but things didn’t work out. Paul (guitar) and Brian (drums) had been working on an instrumental project under the name of ‘MakingMonsters’ for a couple of months, and naturally got the urge to take it to a live audience. They bumped into me competing in a local battle of the bands, got chatting, the next week we jammed, and 3 weeks later we had our first show! Things clicked, we kept our heads down, worked hard, and haven’t looked back.
AH: Excellent. So for new listeners how would you sum up the bands sound?
Emma: I always find this a tough one to answer! We try not to be one specific sub genre of rock, with a mix of real heavy stuff, and sometimes easier listening, so there’s something in there for everyone, but its generally riff orientated, sometimes brutal, and sometimes melodic vocals.
For this edition of "Something For The Weekend", Already Heard's Rosie Kerr has decided to put the focus on Jade Tree Records. Formed in Wilmington, Delaware in August 1991 by Darren Walters and Tim Owen, Jade Tree went on to incorporate post-hardcore, noise rock, emo, punk, and experimental music. It’s roster included some of the most influential bands of the last 20 years.
Earlier this week, the label put its whole discography on Bandcamp, and Rosie thought it’d be a good time to recommend three vital releases for your weekend listening pleasure.
Jade Tree is one of my all time favourite record labels, and recently, they put their entire back catalog on Bandcamp to stream and download for $5. I could have chosen so many incredible records, Avail, Paint It Black, Cap’n Jazz, Jets To Brazil, and so so many more. However, I chose my big 3, and they’re all must haves. Listen to as many of their records as you possibly can, you won’t be disappointed.
The Promise Ring - Very Emergency
Although the generally preferred album is ‘Nothing Feels Good’, ‘Very Emergency’ has always been my absolute favourite Promise Ring record. It’s entirely flawless from start to finish, not a filler track in sight from 'Happiness Is All The Rage' right down to ‘All Of My Everythings’. I genuinely cannot praise this record enough, and if you’ve bypassed it because of, well, ANYTHING, then please overlook it no longer. As with all the other records, it’s only $5 for download on bandcamp - perfect summer indulgence.
Last month we rewarded Glaswegian quartet So Many Animal Calls with a 5 out of 5 review for their new EP - 'Burden'.
It’s a collection of refreshing and vibrant songs that are catchy and melodic. Or if want to be more direct - it’s bloody brilliant!
We love it so much we poked and prodded Sean McKenna from the band to give us an insight into 'Burden'. Thankfully he gave in and provided us with this "Track Guide" feature.
From The Sick Bed
This was the first song we wrote for the EP. It came together very quickly musically which in retrospect is odd given its structure - none of us realised at the time how odd it is in that sense.
The lyrics relate to a few family members I had who were sick at the time – how you would give anything to relieve them of what they were going through (“If I take this off you, and put it on myself I would”). It was also about how upsetting it was to see them almost give up at times, to have to depend on us after them taking care of us all through our childhood. My great aunt used to keep all these newspaper clippings from when I was mentioned or my picture was printed for playing gigs or for school shows and she’d even keep things like interviews by Franz Ferdinand (she would refer to them as “that group that you like”) for me to read later. (“There were clips from all the local papers scattered all around with pictures of me from my youth, when you would care for me instead of me caring for you”).