As part of our "Tour Tales" feature, the female-fronted rockers documented their time on the road as their geared up towards the release of 'Beauty&Grace'.
Check out our stream of Jacksonville, Florida pop punk band We Still Dream's take on
The Get Up Kids' 'Valentine'.
With Queens of the Stone Age in the middle of a UK arena tour, we’ve decided to highlight
five of the bands best tracks for this edition of "Fives".
We've got the new EP from Yorkshire riff merchants NOSE right here! Take a listen to 'Sick
Continuing our Reuben theme from last week’s Fives and in celebration of frontman Jamie Lenman’s new double solo album, we take a look at two of the albums for "Versus". Its
‘Racecar Is Racecar Backwards' against 'In Nothing We Trust'.
Calgary's debut EP 'Fight Fire With Fire' is a bright, warming collection of indie pop songs.
With comparisons to Hellogoodbye and John Mayer, the four tracks showcase a band with pop sensibilities and plenty of potential to breakthrough. We caught up with the band to find out more.
USA Nails have the unenvious task of warming up the sparse early crowd this evening, and they take to the stage and it seems obvious they’re overwhelmed a bit in this space, with the guitars being massively lost amongst the roar of the speakers. Angry assault from the rhythm section makes up for the slightly less audible guitars. The banter is sparse but straight to the point. There’s angry vitriol and railing against the inanities of life. It’s enjoyable raucous, and i think worth seeing in a more intimate setting. (3/5)
A coven of inexplicably young lads takes to the stage. Mixing surf-pop 60s guitar sounds with 90s grungey riffs up against a near sheer walls of white noise, The Wytches have already attracted a crowd at the bottom of the stage. It’s understandable where the buzz surrounding them comes from: they’re young, energetic and they can cut a good riff. They look pretty much at home on the stage. There’s a lot of appreciative nodding from the audience, and the room feels noticeably swollen by the end of their set. (3/5)
After an almost interminable wait, half tempted to try and navigate the now heaving space between the stage and the bar, lights dim. Silhouettes of Future of the Left take to the stage and break into the now de-facto opener ‘Arming Eritrea’. That and the bounce-inducing 'Small Bones, Small Bodies', get a fired up crowd moving around and reacting in the usual manner of a hyped up crowd. The bass and drums knocks a punch right to the gut, while Falco’s screeching vocals cut right through the noise.
Live Review & Photos: Vans Warped Tour Europe 2013 - Alexandra Palace, London - Saturday (16/11/2013)
Despite a disorganised queuing system that made entering Alexandra Palace a challenge in itself, I arrived in time to catch Atilla open up the Main Stage. Though why Kevin Lyman gave them the time of day is beyond me, as their offensive, racist and sexist slurs failed to impress. I can’t imagine anyone over 13 would appreciate watching someone endlessly repeat the phrase “suck my fuck” and use lyrics which gratuitously drop words like, “cocaine” and “nigga”. Tacky and dated, even Hollywood Undead would think they were crass. (0/5)
Over on the Jaegermeister Stage things weren’t looking much better, as the UK’s shittest The Story So Far tribute Neck Deep were ham-fistedly groping their way through their set. Considering I quite liked their first EP, when watching them live it quickly transpired that vocalist Ben Barlow can’t actually sing, making me wonder if ‘Rain in July’’s sound was purely the result of auto tune. At points I can’t even tell what song they’re supposed to be playing, as everything sounds like a garbled mumbling mess. (1/5)
The Underworld is located in the heart of Camden and is renowned for being a venue with an impressive roster of gigs and diversity. For this particular gig it was the excellent setting with its claustrophobic capacity and dingy interior.
Hang the Bastard starts off this heavy as hell setting with their psychedelic mix of sludge and hardcore infused metal. Crushing riffs, strung out bass, thumping drums, wrecked shrieks and groove spilling out every orifice from this bands arsenal; the perfect start. (4.5/5)
Next up is Blind to Faith who had a more chaotic punk streak but combine this with thick doom riffs for a satisfying mix. Going from fast beats with buzzing guitars to massively drawn out riffs a doom album would be proud of, Blind to Faith surprise in all the right ways. (4/5)
Live Review: Milk Teeth, The Sinking Feeling, Fade and Walleater - Indigo Bar, Manchester - 10/11/2013
Placed between a One Stop convenience shop and a fancy bar is a narrow entrance. This leads into a small underground bar, perfectly catered and nourished for music events. Tonight, four up and coming bands show off what they have been concocting, considering the circumstances of course. Originally, Welsh emo punks Pipedream were scheduled to play here as part of a UK tour, with Glaswegians The Sinking Feeling. Unfortunate circumstances involving drummer Harry have prevented this; as a website our thoughts go out to him and his loved ones. Instead, The Sinking Feeling have decided to continue by only doing two dates of the tour, this and Glasgow, and what a show it is.
First act, Walleater from Leeds, face the hurdle of a dodgy sound system. Their moody alt rock style sounds murky and slow, but all the more relaxing, in a reflective kind of way. The quartet manages to secure the room at ease. Unfortunately the mixing levels, out of the band’s control, prevent them from grasping the cliff’s edge of remembrance. Regardless, the potential is there, so keep an eye out for them. (3/5)
With members coming from Birmingham, Sheffield and Huddersfield, Alt rockers Fade have been causing a trippy wave of excitement with their first demo. The promising quality is delivered just as remarkably well in a live setting. They blend heaviness and psychedelic melody in the same galaxy as Quicksand and The Smashing Pumpkins. Considering the fact they are a new band and they sound this glorious, fuck knows what level of genius future records and songs will sound like in due time. This lot are ones to watch in 2014, mark this reviewer’s words. (4.5/5)
Live Review & Photos: Heart of a Coward, The Charm The Fury, Malevolence & Death Remains - Camden Barfly, London - 14/11/2013
Tonight was a sell-out gig at Camden Barfly, which is no mean feat in this city of plenty, but for Heart of a Coward the hard graft is finally paying off and deservedly so. The support bands tonight were each different in their own right, but worked well together to fulfil their purpose.
First up was Death Remains, they were an enema to the room, starting the night as they intended it to continue. Barry O’Connor now fronts the band (he was the drummer in their former incarnation After Death) and does a good job of rousing up the audience. From where I was stood at the very front (trying to be a reviewer and photographer simultaneously) it was a bit hard to hear the vocals, but they had a fair few of their own fans amongst the audience tonight bellowing along to every word. The melodic guitar playing from fellow founding member Marc Yacas creates a delicate overtone to what is otherwise a full throttle assault on our ears. Their set included both singles 'Blood Brothers' and 'Work. Sleep. Repeat.' from their just released debut album 'Stand. Fight. Believe.' which has been very well received in the music press and bodes a decent future for the band. Rounding off with 'The Northern Line Massacre' Death Remains played a damn fine show that was nothing short of a tribute to the musical drive and determination of great friends lost[ (3.5/5)
Shows, gigs, live events…whatever you want to call them, always stir varying emotions in the individuals who attend them. For instance, tonight at the start of this event, there’s the usual wariness from a crowd who stand a gap away from the stage. But with a kind and gentle hand, Andrew Koji Shiraki manages to bring his audience forward. The humility in Koji’s performance brings a twinkle of admiration in everyone’s eyes. Strumming away on his acoustic guitar with memorable strum patterns, he sets the room at ease. Not only is he a gifted songwriter/performer, Koji also has a golden tongue with words; speaking his mind and experiences gives a sweet humanity to his position on stage. (4/5)
Pennsylvanian indie punk duo Slingshot Dakota put in the same amount of feels but in a sweetly charming and loud delivery. Both individuals are totally in synch with their respective instruments; Carly Comando chimes delicately with each note on her keyboard, whilst Tom Patterson provides the crashing of cylinders all around him on drums. The harmonious vocals, the delightfully smooth determination and honesty; it is a truly wonderful set to watch. (4/5)
Live Review: The Dillinger Escape Plan, Three Trapped Tigers and Maybeshewill - Club Academy, Manchester - 06/11/2013
Despite the venue change from the originally advertised Academy 2, Club Academy provides the opportunity for a more intimate and destructive setting. Leicester instrumentalists Maybeshewill open up the show with such grace and fury. Imaginations as to what the songs mean are up to the beholder as they well one up in all manner of emotions. The roaring guitars on ‘Seraphim & Cherubim’ sound deliciously temperamental, whilst ‘To the Skies from a Hillside’ whirls in melody and harmonic keys. A new song from the band crops up, which shows off their evolution into more grandiose territories. There are nagging points when the recorded voices kind of weigh on the songs a little, plus the audience seem patient but borderline restless. Regardless, it’s a solid set from a band that still has big things to come. (3.5/5)
Follow up act Three Trapped Tigers bring all the craziness in their wild brand of instrumentals. Combining noisy synths and squealing math rock riffs, the band are a sight to behold. This all embedded by a grounded bed of unusual tech-percussion and drums, which only adds to the intrigue of the band. It’s a captivating watch and one becomes high on colour and noise. The London trio are a satisfyingly recommended overdose for the ears. (4/5)
Flashing images of horror/sci-fi signal the beginning of chaos amongst an eager fury loving crowd. The Dillinger Escape Plan kicks the door down with pummelling hardcore ferocity via ‘Prancer’.
Their fans answer in a wolf cry to Greg Puciato’s razor sharp screams which pierce through the walls making them crash down to reveal a riotous mosh pit in the centre. After a triple bazooka whammy with ‘Farewell, Mona Lisa’, ‘Milk Lizard’, and ‘Panasonic Youth’, both audience and band become reacquainted with one another in bruises and cuts. DEP wildly throw themselves across the stage and into the embrace of not just their fans, but the equipment as well; guitarist Ben Weiman is quite the acrobat whilst shredding riff after riff.
Live Review: Sonic Boom Six, Rat Attack, Fallow Fields and Supernothing @ Hatfield Rock - The Forum, Hertfordshire - 10/10/2013
Living in Hatfield for just over a year now, it has become a little obvious that the rock and alternative scenes are two that aren’t brilliantly represented in terms of live events. The likes of Arcane Roots, Silent Descent and the Blackout have graced the University town, though despite their visits and the occasional (and sparse) club nights, Hatfield’s heavy side has arguably been somewhat muffled. That hasn’t stunted the growth of a number of the area’s emerging acts, and the likes of Enter Shikari, Scholars and The Subways have all found a beginning in the near vicinity. While the present representation is a solid one, it’s the future that the introduction of a monthly Hatfield Rocks gig night aims to capture, and Sonic Boom Six would headline the inaugural date of a fixture aiming to fix the balance in profiling Hertfordshire’s musical spectrum.
The premise of the night would have two larger acts – on this occasion Sonic Boom Six and Rat Attack – share a bill with two local emerging bands, Fallow Fields and Supernothing. The reception to this night would hint a lot to the future of Hatfield Rocks, so to say that the bands had a bit of pressure on them wouldn’t be entirely false. Each act would play to the occasion well, however, delivering a strong few hours of noise to fill an evening.
Opening act Supernothing are perhaps their own harshest critics, and while a band in their amateur stages gain nothing from downplaying their own abilities between songs, it sets them up as somewhat of an underdog story that goes down quite well when they actually pull off a solid set. There’s a Dingus Khan-esque style of disorganised focus, making it clear that the night’s first band are there fully in the name of fun. In that sense, mission accomplished. (3/5
There’s always a special air that hangs over the closing night of a tour. And for a tour that had quickly been pegged as one of October’s best for this year, the air around the Electric Ballroom would be no less full of anticipation, as the final hurrah of an incendiary run of dates for Letlive and Night Verses quickly approached. Night Verses have been gathering a whole heap of attention thanks to their mammoth debut ‘Lift Your Existence’, and 2013 has been just as massive for Letlive, whose third album ‘The Blackest Beautiful’ has seemingly kicked the quintet into a whole new gear. In a night that would redefine “ending with a bang”, the stars would align and a true gig of the year contender would emerge.
Night Verses would take to the stage earlier than planned, due to the cancellation of opening act The American Scene. Opening the night themselves proves to be no challenge, however, and you have to give credit where it’s due to the technicians behind the band’s lights and sound setup that makes them look and feel massive. Far too often it feels like support acts have something of a diminished presence but not tonight, and Night Verses are given free rein to tear into Camden’s heart. ‘Introducing: The Rot Under the Sun’ opens their set in a similar, visceral fashion to the way in which it opens the band’s debut album, and it’s clear from the word go that the Letlive crowd is not going to stand by and remain static in the face of such an irresistible force. The track’s chorus is the first of many “holy shit” moments that the night would end up delivering, and another would follow in the form of ‘Rage’ roaring into life. Vocalist Douglas Robinson has on on-stage presence akin to the one guy who always gets a little over-enthusiastic in the pit, but it’s his lungs where the real fire is starting. The likes of ‘Antidepressants’ and ‘Whatever Makes You Hate Me’ follow, filling out a set that may see Night Verses go down as producing one of the best support band sets of the entire year. On a personal level, only Baby Godzilla in the exact same venue only six days before comes close, and on any other evening, Night Verses would have been more than a match for most bands that could have followed them. (5/5)
It’s an abysmal night in Manchester; rain just pours in inconsistent patterns and making the hapless people in the queue outside Sound Control look like drenched puppies. Regardless of this miserable beginning, this reviewer has come to learn that the evening ahead is wonderfully rewarding.
Featuring former P.S. Eliot drummer Allison Crutchfield (who is also Katie Crutchfield of Waxahatchee’s sister), Brooklyn quartet Swearin’ inject life into the room after a patient hour.
With a sound recalling Jawbreaker and the Pixies, Swearin’ play indie punk with a lot of heart. The vocal interplay between Crutchfield and Kyle Gilbride compliments well with the pair’s raw hooky guitar playing. Along with a steady bass and fine drumming, the band certainly has won over the audience before them. (4/5)
As the lights go down, so does the mood and the feel of the room. Backed with a full band, Katie Crutchfield a.k.a. Waxahatchee delivers a fine balance between energy and reservedness. Beginning with slow number ‘Bathtub’ this lulls the atmosphere into a sweet daze. Crutchfield’s tales are of the personal and reflective sort, about the relationships with partners and relatives. It provides a down to earth relatability which many can connect with.
Live Review: The Rival Mob, Mind Eraser, Bang Bros, Violent Reaction, Obstruct & Blind Authority - Broomhall Centre, Sheffield - 12/10/2013
It’s the second day of a short Euro tour weekender for tonight’s headlining band; it takes place right here in the midst of a residential area in Sheffield. Here, in this community centre, six hardcore bands are primed and ready to unleash loud noises that are sure to wake the neighbours up.
Up first is young South England upstarts Blind Authority. Their style and formula is pretty straight forward at this point; brash, heavy hardcore. The band certainly gets the warmest reception as the crowd kicks off from side to side. Blind Authority has the blueprints but it’ll be a while till the creases have been ironed out with growth. For now they’re on the right track. (3/5)
Following with a faster hardcore punk approach to the senses, Huddersfield straight edge crew Obstruct provide the right wake-up call. This band is firm, angry and spiteful. Now this is what this reviewer calls potent rage to get the floor moving. (3.5/5)
I can’t imagine that the majority of people seeing His Infernal Majesty tonight are recent fans. From the crowd present, it seems to be made up mostly of people who were around to see their beginnings in 1991 and those who were teenage Goths roughly a decade ago, returning to pay tribute to their teenage obsession. I, and the majority of my friends, were Love Metal obsessed at one point in our lives, and aside from a brief drunken look at their Download 2010 set, have never actually managed to catch HIM live.
Held the day after Halloween, (and having played the night before) with a stage set-up plastered with their Heartagram logo, tonight promises to be a good night for nostalgia.
Openers Caspian are a strange choice, a purely instrumental band who play melodic goth music which sounds similar to Nightwish. It’s pleasant enough, but seems to blend into the background. Hardly the music needed to help get the audience geared up for the main event, though fortunately there’s enthusiasm abound already. (1/5).
Live Review: The Story So Far, Seahaven, No///se and Save Your Breath - McClusky’s, Kingston - 09/10/2013
Due to ridiculously early door times, I only managed to catch the last two songs of up-and-comers Save Your Breath. Luckily I got to hear them showcase a new song from their latest album ‘There Used to Be a Place for Us’ and fan favourite ‘Nothing Worth Having Comes Easy’. They were on form, and I was impressed with what I saw. (4/5)
Next up were No///se who despite a ridiculous name, defied preconceptions and delivered an impressive set of garage-punk bangers. Making up for being reallocated to the tiny second stage by playing in the centre of the floor, they succeeded in creating a more intimate vibe, giving them an edge over other supports. No///se brought a Dead Kennedy’s retro vibe to the proceedings, and were great fun – definitely a band to watch. (4/5)
Live Review: The Front Bottoms, Allison Weiss and Calls Landing - Brudenell Social Club, Leeds - 17/09/2013
The Brudenell is literally just a social club but it’s a surprisingly good venue. Seats are based around the stage and so it’s also a test to see how good bands are at enticing the audience off their bum cheeks and up to the stage. No barrier either, of course. I mean, it’s literally a social club.
First up are local lads, previous “Recommends” and upcoming Already Heard compilation band (phew!) Calls Landing. A summer in various countries means this is the band’s first show in about 4 months. Luckily they don’t seem too rusty and rocket through their set, but not until they’ve enlisted local fans/friends to get up and support them at the front. The band’s set is built up of American pop punk influenced songs from their 2 current EPs and split with fellow Leeds band Make Your Mark. A faster song (I forget the name, apologies!) picks up the pace in the room which was a smart move, even though the band themselves said that they didn’t “feel it would fit in with this show”. Three part harmonies towards the end showcase some brilliant potential that should definitely be utilised more often, even if it’s just in live situations for previously recorded songs. The band will get back into the swing of things soon enough, but for now they’re not quite at the same level as our two touring acts. (3/5)
Live Review: Well Wisher, Doe, Great Cop, Doctrines and The Hipshakes - Fallow Café, Manchester - 23/08/2013
Tonight’s show is delayed by an hour; pretty straight forward explanation really. As soon as the clock strikes 8.30pm, the show is brought into fruition by Bakewell’s The Hipshakes. The garage punk four-piece have been going for just over a decade now, and this reviewer can’t make heads or tails of them. They are charmingly brash in their raw pop delivery, but the disjointed melodies go over your head. It’s a conundrum to decide whether you think they’re good or not. Regardless, for an opening band they help to open the doors for the forthcoming proceedings. (3/5)
Offering a more consistent blow to the senses, Doctrines are on tip top form this evening. Channelling the spirit of D.C. legends Rites of Spring with a sprinkling of 90s emo, the band are vocally raw and wonderfully woven in tone. Judging from the reactions at the front, the band has planted their seeds well, especially on the back of their recent album ‘ANX’. This post hardcore quartet is solid in their performance and songwriting, so it’d be a good idea to keep an eye out for them. (4/5)