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.
Now this one here’s a bit special. Rather than two of our own writers pitting their wits and writing their rights to their favourite albums of certain bands, we’ve got two guest writers! Intrigued? You should be.
It’s been a while since we’ve let some outsiders dive straight into ‘Versus’, but a mighty fine job they’ve done. Normally we’d give a brief bio of said band, but one of these lovely gentleman has nailed that on the head as well!
So, without further hesitation, this week’s “Versus” is all about Hot Snakes and our two guest writers are vocalist Dave Verellen of Narrows, delivering his colloquial accounts of the 90’s and ‘Automatic Midnight’ whilst in the other corner is guitarist Ryan Patterson of Coliseum giving you the absolute factual lowdown on Hot Snakes and ‘Suicide Invoice’ right until this very day. Read on.
‘Automatic Midnight’ (by Dave Verellen of Narrows)
The 90’s are over and kids all over the oceanic rim of the United States are freaking out. Who can they turn to? Who will provide them with the angular rock and rhythmic thrust they desire?
It’s not enough to listen to your favorites time and time again. For most of us we are looking out onto an endless ocean we perceive to be flat and barren and sailing to the edge. The famed and seemingly indestructible Drive Like Jehu dead and gone. Then like a motherfucking implanted alien life form the Goddamn motherfucking Hot Snakes rocket from it’s quivering corpse. Teeth gnashed and fucking guts all over its face… or whatever.
April 1st has always been a tricky one, and for a much loved band such as Modern Life Is War to announce their comeback could only be some sick joke twisted in the depths of hell and unleashed on the one day when no news could be taken seriously. Wait, they were serious? Well isn’t that something! So yeah, Modern Life Is War are back.
Within the underground hardcore scene the band were gaining much critical aclaim in their initial short run as a band, first releasing their self titled EP and their last album in 2007 ‘Midnight In America’. Let’s not forget the upcoming new album later this year either!
However, there’s two more albums that two of our writers think are Modern Life Is War’s best albums. Do you back Ryan Clayton with ‘My Love. My Way.’ or ‘Witness’ which has Rosie Kerr defending its honour? As always, let us know on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
‘My Love. My Way.’ (by Ryan Clayton)
When I think about hardcore, very few bands seem to do much for me any more. One band that still manage to excite me in the way they did when i first heard them, is Modern Life Is War. Whilst each record tends to build on the previous attempts strengths, I find myself going back to the bands debut ‘My Love, My Way’ when I need a fix of Modern Life Is War.
With the amount of member rotation similar to that of a college sex party, The Dillinger Escape Plan have managed to achieve the same level of consistency throughout each of their releases since the band first formed, with Ben Weinman being the only constant and thus pimp at said sex party.
With 4 full lengths under their belt, the band have progressed from the mathcore/jazz fusion days of ‘Calculating Infinity’ before Greg Puciato took a reign on the vocals as ‘Miss Machine’ found vocally singable choruses and actual song structures that you could repeat back to yourself. A dip into the electronic production in ‘Ire Works’ led the band into 2010s ‘Option Paralysis’ which was a culmination of all of the bands efforts thus far. The band’s next offering ‘One Of Us Is The Killer’ is set to be released by Sumerian Records on the 14th May and will be performed live with new guitarist James Love after Jeff Tuttle’s departure! Will those boys ever learn? (Maybe the secret to success is to constantly change members?) Anyway, new song ‘Prancer’ can be heard here, but make sure you’ve got a spare pair of socks at the ready.
Both Ollie Connors and Mikey Brown are big fans of the band and argue respectively that ‘Miss Machine’ and ‘Option Paraysis’ are the band’s best work. What do you think? Let us know on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
Miss Machine (by Ollie Connors)
How do you even begin to describe the music of The Dillinger Escape Plan? The NJ quintet encompass such a miasma of styles, from the flat-track brutality of mathcore to the enigmatic world of jazz fusion, this band can go from accumulating intensity, speed and momentum like X-Men’s Juggernaut (bitch!) to blindsiding us with a progressive and experimental side many have emulated but never bettered. 1999 saw the release of ‘Calculating Infinity’, a dazzling display of technicality, which provided the framework for what would become their magnum opus, 2004’s ‘Miss Machine’. In the time span between these full-length releases, the band lost original vocalist Dmitri Minakakis, record ‘Irony Is A Dead Scene’ with icon Mike Patton, and finally land on permanent (to this day) vocalist Greg Puciato. It was the addition of Puciato that allowed the band to push on and create an album like this; his vocal talents are utterly sublime throughout this record, and the way in which he can switch between a guttural, wounded buffalo roar, shrill screams and, something completely unexpected of this band to this point, a fantastic singing voice.
Versus: Funeral For A Friend - ‘Casually Dressed & Deep In Conversation’ VS ‘Welcome Home Armageddon’
With Funeral For A Friend, ‘Juneau’ and ‘She Drove Me To Daytime Television’ usually crop up and this tips to early noughties nostalgia.
It’s no surprise really when we look back and remember the impact that the band’s first album ‘Casually Dressed & Deep In Conversation’ had. Many have claimed that it highly influenced many post hardcore bands who followed and even those who have broken through in more recent years. 6 albums later and the Bridgend band’s sound has traversed back to that of their earlier work on their later albums ‘Welcome Home Armageddon’ and this years ‘Conduit’.
This week we have something a little different. It’s our usual “Versus” feature, but Ollie Connors discusses why he thinks we need to let go of ‘Casually Dressed & Deep In Conversation’ whilst James Berclaz-Lewis promotes the sound of ‘Welcome Home Armageddon.’
Casually Dressed & Deep In Conversation (by Ollie Connors)
In the economic situation we find ourselves in, with bands getting hit harder and harder by recession and plummeting sales, nostalgia, it seems, is now a valued commodity. Left, right and centre, bands of our youth are announcing reunion tours or classic album tours, for those in their mid-20s with available disposable income to relive simpler times - heck, they might even take their little brother/sister and have a brand new fan to buy their records. Just in the past year we’ve had Jimmy Eat World do Clarity/Bleed American back to back, The Starting Line doing Say Like You Mean It, Hundred Reasons doing Ideas Above Our Station, and Finch headlining Brixton Academy on the strength of What It Is To Burn is not far along the horizon. Even Bridgend’s finest Funeral For A Friend have put their ha’penneth worth in, performing the very album I am about to put under the microscope in full in 2010.
There’s a very strong possibility that if you’re into rock/metal you’ll be into Deftones as well. An absolutely astounding set of musicians with albums more satisfying than, well, lots of things! I’m listening to ‘Poltergeist’ now and they’re leaving me at a loss for words.
Formed in 1988 in the city of Sacramento, California, the band originally consisted of vocalist Chino Moreno, guitarist Stephen Carpenter, drummer Abe Cunningham and bassist Chi Cheng. Their name comprises of the hip hop slang word “def” meaning good and the suffix “-tones”; according to Carpenter, this vague name was used to intentionally reflect the band’s tendency to not sticking to one style of music. Such a name applied perfectly due to the band’s diversifying sound that has grown and continues to grow taking influence from the likes of hardcore punk, art rock, shoegaze, rap metal, and dream pop.
After much success with their first two records, the band permanently added DJ Frank Delgado to their line up.
During the recording of what was meant to be the follow up to ‘Saturday Night Wrist’ entitled ‘Eros,’ bassist Chi Cheng went into a coma after being seriously injured in a car accident on 4th November 2008. From this the band shelved Eros until Cheng recovered and continued on with help of former Quicksand bassist and friend Sergio Vega leading on to the release of albums six and seven, ‘Diamond Eyes’ and ‘Koi No Yokan,’ and constant touring. Since then they have continued to be a relevant and inspirational spectacle in the music scene.
Both writers for this weeks ‘Versus’ were at the Manchester show just gone so you can understand that we have two solid fans here; Aaron Lohan has ‘White Pony’ whilst Mikey Brown has ‘Diamond Eyes’.
White Pony (by Aaron Lohan)
Whilst I can agree that ‘Diamond Eyes’ is a great record and a return to form after a couple of inconsistent and imbalanced releases, across the other side of a bridge and a decade apart, it doesn’t measure to the incredible heights and hair raising power of the definitive Deftones record, ‘White Pony’. Moulding influences of trip hop, new wave, shoegaze, and dream pop into their established alternative metal sound, what we have here is a masterpiece. It would be criminal of me if I gave a brief summary of this record, so I am going delve and dissect it track by track, piece by piece.
Opening track ‘Feiticeira’ wields the strong yet fragile tenor voice of Chino Moreno amongst a slick guitar, bass and drums surrounded by a swirling tension. The song looks into the feelings and experience of a captive individual trapped against their will; the edginess of this slits through the paper walls with the sinister hopeful words of “Soon I let you go”.
From ‘Digital Bath’ an eerie overflow forms a bubble around Moreno’s smooth wording which is coupled by a steady trip hop style drum beat. Heavy guitars burst this liquid layer into an explosive high noted chorus; the remains of the bubble can be heard trickling down via Frank Delgado’s sampling, which is symbolic of the murderous image displayed in the lyrics.
As you read these words Underoath are no more. Having announced their demise during 2012, the band played their last shows during January of this year. Gone, just like that. IT SUCKS DOESN’T IT. But we shall not forget them. There’s plenty of bands that have been influenced by Underoath and we should definitely give their back catalogue a bit of a seeing to every so often.
Mikey Brown is all for ‘Define The Great Line’ whilst Aaron Wilson shall be defending ‘Lost In The Sound Of Separation’. Let the battle commence and let’s hope neither writer will be ‘Returning Empty Handed’.
‘Define The Great Line’ (by Mikey Brown)
‘In Regards To Myself’ caught me off guard. I don’t think I was ever going to be prepared for the first time I heard this album. The anger and chaos that unfurled after that sample played through, interrupting my thinking and probably my breathing momentarily. At the young age of 15 ‘Define The Great Line’ by Underoath was exactly the kind of emotionally fuelled noise that I needed to bring my ear drums ever closer to destruction.
A major punk band dealing in political and religious based songs, Bad Religion have been around for over 30 years and it’s no surprise that their discography is an absolutely extensive collection, with latest release ‘True North’ showing that the band are still alive and well. Being around for as long as they have means they’ve influenced plenty of modern bands who have over 25 years to go until they can match the longevity of Bad Religion. So, who better to join in this weeks ‘Versus’ than some of those influenced by the band!
With such a deep back catalogue, we couldn’t make this your typical one on one, so we’ve made it a three way with our very own Aaron Lohan writing for ‘Suffer’ as Richie Cooper of Dead Beat gets nostalgic over ‘Stranger Than Fiction’ and Ryan Syrett of Tonight We Ride will be defending ‘No Control’.
Take it away gentlemen.
‘Suffer’ (by Aaron Lohan)
I’ve always found it important to trace back the roots of bands that I love; how they came to be and who gave them the ingredients to become perfect in the first place. Such interest and curiousity has led me to discover many great bands, Bad Religion being one of them. It wasn’t that long ago when I opened the doors and passageways to this band, at the time I was a huge fan (and still am) of Alkaline Trio and Rise Against; every so often the name ‘Bad Religion’ would crop up when I was reading about some of my favourite punk bands or watching punk documentaries. After taking this as a sign, I plugged in and tuned myself out from the world into the urgency of the band’s seminal landmark record, ‘Suffer’; according to Fat Mike from NOFX, this was “the record that changed everything.” This was certainly the case when I switched the first track on.
Oh man, punk. How awesome, right? Sticking it to the man with a middle finger salute, skating, drinking; the works. And of course, all that energy fuelled into fast paced songs to rip your balls off whilst sticking it the man with a middle finger salute/skating/drinking. Who better to lead the carnage than Fat Mike and those other polite gentleman in NOFX.
After a break in our schedule we’re back this week to give to you the latest instalment of Versus and yeah, it’s all about NOFX. Colin Henderson had no doubt that ‘Pump Up The Valuum’ would be his weapon of choice whereas Richard Heaven just about managed to decide on ‘The War On Errorism’. Let the games begin!
‘Pump Up The Valuum’ (by Colin Henderson)
If someone asked me where to start with NOFX I’d straight up tell them to listen to their best album; 2000’s ‘Pump Up The Valuum’. If I’m being honest I don’t really have any particular reasons as to why it’s their best album but in my opinion it is.
For Vinnie Caruna before he formed Brooklyn Post-Hardcore group I Am The Avalanche, he was part of the now legendary Long Island Hardcore pop punk band that was The Movielife.
Over the space of six years (1997–2003) Caruna, Brandon Reilly (Nightmare of You) and company released an array of now classic EP’s and albums that have gone on to influence and inspire of variety of modern bands, for example Transit, Fireworks and Hostage Calm.
The Movielife have become so influential that Pacific Ridge Records has just released a compilation album paying tribute to the NYC band. And it’s no better time than the present to highlight The Movielife as part of our “Versus” series.
For this weeks edition we have two guest writers. From Nevada pop rockers Wayward is guitarist Aaron Lewis explaining why ’Forty Hour Train Back to Penn’ is The Movelife’s best effort, whilst Mark Dongivin from Florida’s The Lion Faced Boy takes on Lewis by telling us why ‘…Has Gambling Problem’ is superior.
Not only do we have two guest writers for this weeks edition of ‘Versus’, we’re also very proud to be streaming both Wayward’s and The Lion Faced Boy’s tracks from Pacific Ridge Records’ new ‘A Tribute to The Movielife’ compilation. Wayward cover ‘Takin’ It Out and Choppin’ It Up’, whilst The Lion Faced Boy put their own spin on ‘Spanaway’.
‘Forty Hour Train Back to Penn’ (by Allen Lewis - Wayward)
‘Forty Hour Train Back to Penn’ would have to be my favourite Movielife album. I believe I can speak on behalf of my band when I say that the album is still an influence on us almost a decade after its release.
I think this week has been emotional for all of us. Alexisonfire have played their final two shows and people from all across the UK travelled down in their masses to Brixton to say their goodbyes and enjoy the only band ever for the final time.
All the talk about Alexisonfire lead us here at Already Heard to realise just how much, as a team, we love Alexisonfire. Bearing that in mind you can understand how much some people wanted to write this feature. However, we’ve upped our game. We’ve gone for a cheeky 3 way. There’s too many emotions, memories and opinions to just stand by 2 albums. You have ahead of you 3 pieces packed with the aforementioned. Colin Henderson, Mikey Brown and Bert Maddison will all explain why they’ve chosen the album they’ve chosen, be it musically or personal.
Thank you Alexisonfire; we hope you enjoy this tribute to the only band ever.
‘Watch Out!’ (by Colin Henderson)
As soon as the opportunity to write a piece on Alexisonfire came up for Already Heard’s ‘Versus’ feature I knew what album I’d be backing; ‘Watch Out!’ However at the same time I wasn’t quite sure how I could do my favourite album justice.
For me, Alexisonfire is a band I’ve loved for such a long time. I remember being in high school and a friend giving me their self-titled album because “it’s just a load of noise.” I took that album and listened and listened and fell in love right away. However something wasn’t right, the album was rawer than anything I’d ever heard and it sounded all over the place (something I’ve since grown to appreciate). It was just a taster of what was to come.
Here at Already Heard we discuss a lot of stuff, and there’s a lot of stuff that we probably shouldn’t mention here. However, we do also discuss stuff related to the site, otherwise we wouldn’t get anywhere! We chat about ‘Versus’ a lot, with who to cover and who’s going to take part. It seems so inevitable now that a piece on Converge would happen. From then on though it was tricky. With pretty much every album being consistently brilliant it was a tough case for two of our writers to delve into this head first and deliver their best cases.
Ollie Connors in defense of ‘Jane Doe’ and Robert Maddison in defense of ‘You Fail Me’ was the end result and the end result of Converge’s current UK tour will be a path of brutality and destruction; I can’t wait.
‘Jane Doe’ (by Ollie Connors)
As soon as Converge came up in this ‘Versus’ series, I knew that I had to write a paean to their 2001 record ‘Jane Doe’, one of my absolute favourite records of all time. The problem I face, as I sit letting 45 minutes of brutal, beautiful perfection course through my neurones, on the day I go to see the Massachusetts four-piece at London’s KOKO, is “How can you even begin to impart how incredible ‘Jane Doe’ is?”.
Versus: My Chemical Romance - ‘I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love’ Vs ‘Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge’
Talk about mutli-talented. Directing, writing comics and being a front man? Gerard Way certainly does a lot and being the music site that we are we’re going to be looking at My Chemical Romance. Of course you’ve heard of them. If you’ve been around for the past 10 years then you probably would’ve heard about them, be it in a good or bad light. But it’s all about the opinions isn’t it, and that’s where we come in!
As usual with every Wednesday we’re using ‘Versus’ to settle a little bit of a debate. ‘I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love’ is defended by Richard Heaven whereas Tom ‘The Machine’ White is all over the concept based ‘Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge’. Prepare for nostalgic noughties emo tinged glory.
I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love (by Richard Heaven)
I could see this becoming one of the more controversial ‘Versus’ pieces; This week I’ll be arguing for My Chemical Romance’s debut album ‘I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love’. Recorded over ten days and released into the world on July 23rd, 2002, Bullets was to be (arguably) destined to be My Chemical Romance’s rawest and most intimate album.
I don’t know if you knew, but New Found Glory played the UK last week. Well, you may have known. Actually, you probably did considering how big NFG are. You probably knew then as well that they played ‘Sticks And Stones’ in full. WOW. Dream come true, right?
Well, WELL, you see… some of our site don’t agree that this is their best album! I mean, it’s widely regarded as being ruddy darn good across the team, but someone had to fight the opposite corner for this ‘Versus’ to work, right? Right. So, welcome new competitor Tom Knott defending ‘Sticks And Stones’ “because it was awesome when I saw it last week!” and Sean ‘Top Dog’ Reid who’s backing ‘Catalyst’ in all its glory.
Let’s see who wins! I guess this could be HIT OR MISS! Sorry, I really felt a typical journo pun was needed.
‘Stick And Stones’ (by Tom Knott)
It’s asking the almost impossible for me to say outright that I thought any New Found Glory record was the band’s absolute best. Still flying high after an incredible fifteen-year career New Found Glory have produced seven of my favourite albums but there’s something about ‘Sticks and Stones’ that always draws me back. Coupled with the fact that over the last week the band performed the album in its entirety, giving it the full treatment of their superbly energized live show, I’d happily go to the wall in its defence.
That day a few weeks back when the world found out Finch would reform for some shows was an absolute dream come true to some of the population of this world. A 10 year anniversary show celebrating the release of ‘What It Is To Burn’ with said album being played in full! Pinch me now, right?
Well, maybe not right. One of our writers Ollie Connors is pretty convinced that ‘Say Hello To Sunshine’ is Finch’s best album. So, Sean Reid steps up to defend ‘What It Is To Burn’. This one could get nasty…
‘What It Is To Burn’ (by Sean Reid)
Let’s get this straight, Finch’s début album ‘What It Is To Burn’ is simply brilliant. It thrives on the bands youthful hunger and benefits from Mark Trombino production; although some may say it hinders the album by making it to polished in places.
Nevertheless it’s packed full of great, great songs that have made ‘WIITB’ a “cult classic” ten years later. Tracks like ‘New Beginnings’ and ‘Grey Matter’ have a post-hardcore edge that supplements the more accessible songs like ‘Letters To You’ and ‘Stay With Me’ that take on a more chorus-driven approach yet the album throughout is carried by Finch’s high-energy.