We are incredibly pleased to stream 'Ugly', the new EP by The Sinking Feeling. Straight out
of Glasgow, the band combine 90s emo with hints of grunge and dual male/female vocals
for a tastier treat on the ears. It’s a huge wave of 90s nostalgia from this Scottish 3 piece.
After taking a break last year, Hevy Fest is back for 2014 and even though it’s downsized
from 3 days to 2, there still loads of awesome bands on offer. With over 40 bands playing
over the 2 days, there’s bound to be some clashes. Already Heard is here to give you 10
must-see bands to see at Hevy Fest next month.
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.
For the risers of the fourth and final day of UK Tech Fest 2014, they’re welcomed by the overly abrasive Doomed From Day One; perhaps one of the most death metal band names we’ve heard in quite some time. Nonetheless the Guildford band draw a strong, mostly hungover crowd which take in DFDO's dominating mix of scaling riffs, pummelling drums and deathly screams. Add to that some funky groove-centric guitar moments along with some brutal breakdowns, and DFDO provide a frantic opening to the day. (3/5)
Next up is Shields from London who bring a rip-roaring set filled with subtle ambient elements and soaring guitars. The duel vocals of screamer Joe Edwards and clean vocalist Sam Kubrick isn’t as effective at first but that soon changes whilst guitarist Jamie-Lee Underwood supply a mix of powerful riffs and soothing lines. Whereas drummer Alex Rayner dominates at time with beastly pounding and patterns. However, we left with the impression that Shields aren’t entirely original and their set is quickly forgotten about (2.5/5)
Norweigan metallers Kodeks give a strong showing. Led by moustachioed Aleksander Emilsen, the four-piece give a dense set with spiralling riffs yet Emilsen’s vocals struggle at time and Jonas Magerøy’s drum work is messy. With the majority of the Tech Fest elsewhere and those in attendance mostly uninterested, Kodeks go through the motions with little to no effect. (2/5)
Now in its fifth year, Alcopopalooza may not spring to mind when cataloguing the many delights of British festival season, but whilst thousands descend upon Knebworth, the annual event at this little venue in the South East of London never fails to bring a smile to the face and more than a few beers to the mouth to the dedicated followers of Already Heard favourites Alcopop! Records.
Things were already well underway once yours truly arrived on the scene, including an impromptu reunion of much-missed Alcopop! legends Stagecoach, who performed 'We Got Tazers!', but I arrived in time to catch the majority of The Lion And The Wolf's set. TLATW is the performing moniker of the handsome and hirsute Tom George, who performs in front of a lucky few (well, those who could resist the appeal of watching Argentina vs Belgium) gathered underneath the Windmill’s canopy. He peppers his set of Dallas Green-cum-Bon Iver influenced melancholic (but not morose) tunes with a couple of well-received covers, including one of the theme tune to kids TV show The Raccoons. Apparently not big in Germany, much to Tom’s chagrin. (4/5)
Being a native of the historic market town of Newark-on-Trent and with the rock hub of Nottingham being a mere 30 minutes away, not much happens in the Newark music “scene”. So for that reason alone I was curious to see what would happen when the UK Tech Fest came to the town’s Showground. The other reason being that when some of the biggest and most impressive names from the underground tech metal scene does come to town, you just have to go.
Having missed the first 2 days of the 4 day festival, we jumped in at the halfway point. And even though we missed the likes of Vildhjarta, Devil Sold His Soul, Chimp Spanner, Martyr Defiled and Carcer City, UK Tech Fest still had a lot to offer.
The layout to the festival is close knit; the campsite is a stonethrows away, the 2 stages are separated by a bar/merch area and all of it is spread along 4 airplane hangers. The downside to this is the soaring heat makes it somewhat unbearable to watch some of the earlier bands.
Nevertheless, Orion provide a strong start to the day with their brand of melodic ambient metal. Sure they sound like dozens of other intimaters, yet today they sound crisp and tight to the point that I had to make sure they weren’t literally phoning it in. Thankfully with superb vocalist Phil Owen at the helm, and guitarists Ryan Robb and Alex Huzar providing a stellar backup, Orion are a early highlight that got pulled in a small yet appreciative crowd. (4/5)
After a 2 year absence, one of the UK’s premier metal and rock festival made its grand return as once again Sonisphere took over the legendary Knebworth House to celebrate 40 years of rock at the country house. And to make things even better, the sun decided to pay a visit for a majority of the weekend. With 3 days full of music and plenty to see, Sonisphere had a lot to offer.
Friday July 4th
Our weekend starts off in the intimate Satellite Stage where Pontypridd, Wales rockers Straight Lines provide a favourable set that just about woke up weary heads with their hook-filled brand of rock. With a selection of cuts from their recent 'Reflections' EP and 'Freaks Like Us', frontman Tom Jenkins’ vocals soar throughout the set yet the crowd’s unfamiliarity with Straight Lines in general leads to the band’s set to come off as ineffective at times. (2.5/5)
Over at the Bohemia stage, Canterbury draw a small yet dedicated crowd as they played a short set highlighting the best parts from their latest full-length 'Dark Days'. Although Canterbury are perhaps one of the more lighter bands of the weekend, their mix of alt-rock, pop sensibilities and atmospheric elements manage to win the crowd over. (3.5/5)
Back outside in the blistering sun, US political punks Anti-Flag produce a energetic set that picks out favourable highlights from their 20 year career. Songs such as 'Fuck Police Brutality', 'Die for the Government' and 'Power to the Peaceful' demand plenty of crowd involvement, and thankfully the mass crowd responded with the end result being one of the best sets of the day. Whilst the band’s posi-politcal talk can come off as too repetitive at times, Anti-Flag's punk rock core is enough to keep you interested from start to finish (3.5/5)
Waiting is a concept that we all have to endure, in various ways, places and times. This results in a consistent theme of anticipation. When coupled with patience, the results become completely worth it and paid for as the curtain of surprise drops. It has certainly been a very long time since Cornwall melodic hardcore band Vales have played home shores, almost two years in fact! By the end of this evening however, in this legendary London music venue, the phrase “worth it” rings true.
Beginning this free show are Bristol grungers Milk Teeth. This lot have been slowly but surely attracting ears to their filthily glorious 90s style sound. Tracks such as ‘Grease’ and ‘Forty Six’ prove this in a striking anthemic approach, pulling hooks from flesh and tearing them asunder. New single ‘Vitamins’ displays a perfect contrast of melodic pop and punk fuelled grit, a skill the band are bettering themselves at with every new release they churn out. The co-operation between the serene vocals of Becky Blomfield and the throated snarls by Josh Bannister lead this balance to great effect. If I’m not mistaken, I firmly believe that Milk Teeth, along with a handful of new British bands are doing the 90s style justice, more than their contemporaries in the U.S. are. Don’t believe me? Well, Bannister’s smashed up guitar seems to agree, in a metaphorical manner of speaking. (4/5)
Live Review: We Came Out Like Tigers, Doctrines and Patty Hearst - Travelling Man, Manchester – 21/06/2014
After a glorious day of warm weather (a rare occasion for the “rainy city” of Manchester), many retreat inside as the evening draws closer. For most, it’s either home or clubbing, for the few it could be ‘nerdy’ retreats like comics and underground live music. That would certainly be the case at the Travelling Man, one of a few comic book stores in the northern quarter. A free live show is being put on here (unusual I know), and it all kicks off with indie punks Patty Hearst. Featuring former members of Well Wisher, New Hips and With That Knife, this quartet play intricately brash indie rock. Despite having no recorded material yet, this new band shows plenty of promise in their delivery. Their current setlist contains songs named after famous Michaels and they all tick the right boxes of interest. The last song is the strongest highlight here however. Notes are gently plucked, combining with a warm bass and steady drum beat. Along with the vocals, they all delve into an angular loud to quiet fashion. Pretty promising stuff to sink your teeth into, Patty Hearst is a band to keep an eye on. (3.5/5)
Apparently the weather failed to get the memo that its basically the law that Slam Dunk Saturday is supposed to be bathed in glorious sunshine, instead lashing it down with rain for the entire time the expectant masses waited patiently in line. Despite the decidedly soggy nature of pretty much everyone on the Leeds Uni site by the time they got inside little had been done to dampen the enthusiasm for Slam Dunk North. Also known as the original and best day, despite what you Southern and Midland types may say.
Proceedings got underway in earnest with the appropriately named The First, whose performance on The Cheer Up Clothing Stage had attracted a more then respectable crowd for so early in the day. Between the rather cosy nature of the room and the Cambridgeshire lads determined attack getting everyone moving, warmth and dryness was quickly restored and the band’s take on melodic rock with heavier edges was quick to win over a visibly appreciative crowd. (3/5)
Live Review: I Am the Avalanche, Turnover, Major League and Moose Blood - Rock City Basement, Nottingham - 25/04/2014
I Am The Avalanche have arrived in the UK on an all-time high. They just released ‘Wolverines’, their superb new full-length named after a beast which is fully symbolic of their characters: fighters who are determined to succeed whatever the odds might be. They’re also playing a host of great shows this year, following an appearance at Groezrock with a European tour, and having also recently been added to the incredible Riot Fest roster in the US.
But for tonight they were doing what they love. Playing an intimate club show in Rock City Basement to a small section of their hugely devoted fanbase, who seem to hold the band at something approaching a cult status similar to that afforded to Vinnie Caruana’s previous outfit, The Movielife.
Opening act Moose Blood were hand-picked by Vinnie after he requested a UK band joined the tour, and was given a selection of five by his manager. The young group from Canterbury have just finished recording their debut over in the US where they are signed to the prestigious No Sleep Records.
Live Review: Real Friends, Modern Baseball, You Blew It! and Nai Harvest - The Star & Garter, Manchester - 14/05/2014
It’s hard to talk about modern, alternative music these days without the four names on last Wednesdays bill. I mean, Nai Harvest, You Blew It!, Modern Baseball and Real Friends, do you really need an introduction?
Nai Harvest were first up, and being the second time in the space of about a month I’ve seen them grace this stage, I was only further impressed. They made their way through some classic hits from previous releases and even threw in a couple of new tracks to wet fans’ appetite for their forthcoming album. Nai Harvest aren’t ever quite perfect live but their trashy delivery is exactly what fans have come to expect, and seeing so many people singing lyrics with arms in the air whilst only one band deep is testament to their importance. A headline slot would be what I want to see next. (4/5)
There was time when (unless you thought being featured on the pages of NME was the definition of ‘cool’ and quality music) that the Live At Leeds Festival probably wasn’t for you. However, thanks to its increasing popularity, and presumably an increased budget to match, the festival has developed into one of the most diverse and best value for money of the urban located festivals. A passing glance at the 2014 line-up suggested that fans of almost any genre of music (ok admittedly not hardcore, death metal or the like) could fairly effortlessly fill the full day watching great bands to meet their tastes.
By all accounts, an early improvement to previous events was the experience of even getting access. The delays and chaos of wristband exchange being solved by using Leeds’ shiny new arena as an exchange point. In fact, the festival had basically taken over the city, with every possible venue being put to use in a vibrant and all inclusive celebration of live music. The only minor drawback of this being that due to the long distances between many of the venues, meticulous planning was needed to allow time to see as many bands as possible.
Farewell tour after farewell tour, hiatus after hiatus. We live in a disposable age where everything we love happens in an apocalyptic burst and if you’re not there the first time round you can always catch it on the reunion tour a few years later. But that’s all been said before so, I can’t be bothered to type it up again. Just type “Your Demise farewell tour” into google and you’ll find every side of the argument, but for tonight, it’s Pure Love’s turn to say goodbye to their fans.
The sole support for this evening were canadian born, PUP. Fresh of the back of a headline slot at Live at Leeds and an impressive booking at Groezrock, they were well into their road cycle and it showed tonight in their set. They took very little time in talking to the crowd except to drop the C (not Canada) bomb a few times and drive the band’s name into everyone’s head, which they need not have done as the music itself was enough to do so. The set itself was driven by the band’s (fairly) recent self titled release that took an altogether different shape in the live format. The record is well produced and recorded in itself, but live the band really seemed to really come into their own, the gang vocals seemed all the more present and the music seemed more aggressive somehow. For it to really make sense you have to have heard the record and seen them live, both of which I recommend you do. PUP are definitely ones to watch; their aforementioned impressive bookings and a solid album and live show to back it up mean they won’t be support slots for farewell tours for much longer. (4/5)
The tough part of being in a successful band like Alkaline Trio is that after 8 albums and 15 years of touring, your fan base is severely divided. How do you cater to fans who’ve been there since the start, those who were into the goth-punk operatic of ‘Crimson’, and newer fans who’ve only heard the latest album? Of course it’s not possible, but Alkaline Trio tries their hardest, even carefully choosing a mix of support bands to reflect this.
First up are Love Zombies, an average slice of female-fronted power-pop with hints of Gwen Stefani about them. Those who are familiar with the Horrorpops will find a lot of similarities here, however Love Zombies differentiate themselves slightly with a more London edge and blissfully keep their lyrics free of blood and gore references. The Love Zombies play a perfectly inoffensive set, which unfortunately fails to drum up any interest within the crowd. (2/5)
Now in its fourth year, the Hit The Deck Festival is back for another round in Nottingham, and once again, the organisers have set the layout for the festival in a suitable manner. With the festival being spread across various venues, Already Heard had three writers taking in the festival throughout the day.
Over at The Forum, the day doesn’t get off to a good start. Openers Lacey were delayed, which led them to playing a shorter than expected set. Nevertheless the local quartet still leave a strong impression with their tight-knit brand of hooky pop-rock. By showcasing tracks from last year’s 'Outlaws' EP and new material from their forthcoming debut full-length, Lacey put on a good showing especially for those seeing them for the first time. 3.5/5 (SR)
Whilst sitting in the Rescue Rooms bar making plans for the day, Alex Hel’s excellent and endearing set is caught somewhat by accident. Seeming to have similarly caught a notable section of his small audience by surprise, this local lad manages to capture their attention early on. He’s sweet, talented, and self-deprecating. Openly singing songs about girls, talking about dinosaurs and offering a free album to the first person to get a particular reference and pester him afterwards. It was Half-Life and I certainly would have liked a CD but the end of Hel’s set matches the beginning of Battle Lines in the next room. (4/5) (TK)
Walking into the O2 in Leeds, and finding a huge crowd pay attention to the sweet whimsy of The Front Bottoms, is simply quite heart warming. The New Jersey quartet boldly takes on the challenge in playing to a huge crowd, and they succeed quite well. Their dancey, catchy indie punk acoustics in hits like ‘Au Revoir (Adios)’ and ‘Maps’ spark a smile here and there, even if it’s not perfect. Yet, it’s a solid set, especially during the latter song when words are bounced back from the audience to the band. (3.5/5)
Live Review: Marmozets, The Colour Line and Trapped in Autumn - The Deaf Institute, Manchester - 02/04/2014
In what is a bit of a confusing choice of support, Trapped In Autumn open up, and honestly, it’s not great. The band do attempt at some crowd interaction to the handful that are there for early doors, but the band’s pop rock-esque music isn’t exactly fitting for the night ahead (spoiler alert; it’s ridiculously chaotic) and so don’t really get any kind of hype from the crowd. The whole set feels quite amateur, on their own and in comparison to the following acts, and just, well, not fitting really. (2/5)
However, everything is previously forgotten once The Colour Line take to the stage. Having witnessed the band before I actually giggled like a school girl when I knew what was coming; chaos. I absolutely love chaos and these 5 lads from sunny Hull know exactly how to bring it. A few in the crowd were supporting The Dillinger Escape Plan tees and it’s clear to see the influence in the band’s material, with the insane rhythms and the slower, jazzy interludes that only quickly come to light. However, the band take TDEP’s live set to a whole new level. It’s much easier when playing smaller venues, but I still don’t think I’ve ever seen the majority of a set take place in the audience, with other members on the bar and on another level of the venue itself. Vocalist Sam Rudderforth is constantly flailing over the floor and directing every shout and yell to anyone in the circle around him. The whole set is chaos and I can only imagine what it’ll be like when this band have a bigger following with those who know every last word. I’m worried, but also I can’t wait. You might not understand them musically but boy, do they put on a show. (4.5/5)