On first listen we fell in love Noyo Mathis and knew that 'Endure' needed to be heard. It's post hardcore meets emo meets indie meets math rock. Take a listen to the full EP right here.
Without a doubt Neck Deep are one of this years breakout bands. After kicking off the year
with the release of their debut LP, 'Wishful Thinking', the Wrexham pop-punk five piece haven’t stopped touring since. From festival appearances throughout the UK and Europe to 2 months in North America as part of the Vans Warped Tour. We caught up with vocalist Ben Barlow and bassist Fil Thorpe-Evans at the Leeds Festival. They discussed their past festival experiences, supporting Blink-182, their up and coming UK headline tour and being
“leaders” of the UK pop-punk movement.
With the festival season more or less over for another year, it’s time for a whole load of
exciting releases to see the light of day. September sees a plethora of exciting releases, so much so that the Already Heard team were spoilt for choices when it came to picking this months must hear releases. Nevertheless they've completed the tricky task and picked out their five must-hear releases for the coming month.
With their combination of refreshingly introspective lyrics, crisp riffs and bouncy choruses, Homebound tick all the right boxes when it comes to promising UK pop-punk bands. Their debut EP, 'Coming of Age' sees the young band make a confident first mark on the ladder to greater things. We spoke to the band to discuss the importance of a debut release, and the comeback of pop-punk.
Packing stadium sized rock anthems with an incredibly striking emotional punch, and graced with one of the most staggeringly unique vocal talents to have graced the UK Rock scene in a long time, Cambridge’s Lonely The Brave have become one of the single most talked about new bands to emerge in recent years. With their debut album ‘The Day’s War’ finally released this week, Already Heard caught up with lead guitarist Mark Trotter and Bassist
Andrew Bushen at last weekend’s Leeds Festival.
We've got a full review, live photos and interviews from one of the highlights of the summer - Leeds Festival.
If you thought festival season was over, think again as Nottingham’s Macmillan Fest was the setting for the climax of our summer.
Admittedly it’s not the biggest or most well-known festival, but it’s all for a good cause. With a majority of the proceeds going towards the Macmillan Cancer charity today, it’s certainly a festival with a big heart.
Our day started at the acoustic stage where early acts Kaizen (3/5) and A City Alight (2.5/5) eased us in with their soothing female-led numbers. Whilst Garden State produced a promising showing with their gentle, emotionally charged set that more than often tugged at the heartstrings. (3.5/5)
Samoans kick off Saturday morning, but their Deftones-aping post-hardcore fails to stoke the fires in the same manner that AMTP managed to the day before, sounding a tad mediocre in comparison to both the aforementioned and most others on the lineup. A real shame, as their earlier material showed great promise. (3/5)
However, a festival such as this is a great opportunity for some cameo appearances from acts one may not be so familiar with - Adding Machine and No Spill Blood providing some interesting excursions to new sounds; the former sounding like a meeting between CHVRCHES, Björk and Crystal Castles, and the latter putting an interesting and pacy take on the math rock fayre rolled out many times over the course of the weekend. (both 3.5/5)
Like And So I Watch You From Afar on Thursday night, Mutiny On The Bounty have a set consisting of slightly different variations on the same riff, but it’s not often one can say they’ve witnessed a Luxembourgian band, is it? (3.5/5)
Those up early enough (and if you were camped within a mile radius, you were woken up nonetheless) were treated to the sounds of Liverpudlians Alpha Male Tea Party at the brutally early set time of 11am. Luckily the trio bear their slot manfully, as their vibes reminiscent of bands like Fang Island and Adebisi Shank ensure necks are well elasticated for the day ahead. The chaps even ensure we’ve eaten heartily by chucking out mini boxes of cereal - what absolute gentlemen. (4/5)
Olympians are not quite at their best over on the Bixler stage (yes, this festival has a stage named after the diminuitive At The Drive-In/The Mars Volta frontman, what of it?), their normally airtight melodies sounding out of sync. However, frontman Daniel Harvey’s onstage repartée is priceless, renaming the festival for acronym lovers to Arcy T’s. Can’t see that one catching on, Dan. (3/5)
It seems that in a crowded market, festivals are having to carve out exceedingly niche, esoteric audiences in order to get themselves noticed. Few are more niche than ArcTanGent Festival, now in its second year, a festival that goes under the banner of “art-rock”, but predominately plucks its lineup from the realms of math & post rock. A sister festival of sorts to indie rock festival 2000Trees, itself set up as a cheaper alternative to the staid lineups of certain Berkshire-based giants, ATG came up against horrendous late August weather to build on its successful first year, and came out top trumps. Here’s how it all went down, through the eyes of Ollie Connors.
For those who decided to plunge their hard earned cash into an extra night in a tent, early entry ticket buyers are treated to a “best-of” last year’s lineup, providing a tasty morsel of what’s to come over the following days. My weekend began with Bristolian locals The St. Pierre Snake Invasion; in a week when a special one-off “Mclusky” show has been announced, it’s apt to catch this bunch, as they couldn’t sound any more like the Welshmen or Falco’s current charges, Future Of The Left. Boasting lyrical turns such as "If your favourite band is Razorlight, your favourite band is shit" and "If the only way is Essex, you can kill me now", this early afternoon crowd leave fired up raring for more riffs to arrive at their faces throughout the weekend. (3.5/5)
On paper today, the main stage line-up isn’t too impressive and for the most part, we knew we’d be going back and forth between the NME/Radio 1 stage and The Pit tent. However, the prospect of seeing skate punk favourites Gnarwolves wasn’t something we were going to miss. Admittedly the mass size of the main stage overwhelms both the band and crowd, and although the trio blasted their way through old and new cuts, the lack of intimacy effected the band’s set. Added to that, the band’s early set led to a somewhat smaller crowd than anticipated. Nevertheless for a grass roots UK band like Gnarwolves to make it to the main stage in such a short space of time has to be applauded. (2.5/5) (SR)
To those in the know, Lonely The Brave are the next breakout rock act in waiting; largely due to the genuinely awe inspiring vocal talents of singer David Jakes. Finally within a few days of the release of their debut long player, ‘The Day’s War’, the five-piece drew a respectable, if not massive, crowd for so early on the event’s final day. The band have a unique stage presence with guitarist Mark Trotter forming their live focal point while vocalist Jakes prefers to share the limelight equally with his band mates by being positioned off to one side. Live Jakes’ voice is something that really must be heard to be believed, comparisons to being a younger, more raw Eddie Vedder are definitely Valid. Add into that, the sheer scale and expansiveness of Lonely The Brave’s sound and how effectively melodic they are and you have the makings of a very special arena rock act in the future. (4/5) (DW)
Whether it was a case of the draw of star power, idle curiosity or a likely mix of the two, but former My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way attracted a remarkably large crowd for the time of day as he got proceedings underway for day two on the Radio One Stage. Despite being painfully aware that nobody in the sea of faces in front of him knew the songs he was playing, Way and his new backing band put in a solid if unfamiliar set. Gone are the gimmicks and theatrical emo rock, in its place Way, decked out in a rather natty blue suit and red tie combo, broke out his own unique, spruced and edged up take on Brit-pop style indie. Although the unfamiliarity of the material prevented the crowd from connecting with Way as strongly as both they and he may be used to, the quality of the fare on offer and the enthusiasm of the response it received markedly improved song by song. Anthemic mid-tempo power-pop number ‘Drugstore Perfume’ and the more frenetic ‘Get The Gang Together’ and ‘No Shows’, the latter of which showed the more fiery side of Way to which we’ve all become accustomed, were the most memorable of the songs taken from the singer’s forthcoming debut solo release. (3/5) (DW)
On paper having La Dispute on the NME/Radio 1 stage is a slightly odd choice, especially when good pals Touché Amoré are appearing on the Lock Up stage later today. Nevertheless the post-hardcore group still impress. The quartet are a tight knit unit with vocalist Jordan Dreyer dominating for the most part. However, a few too many weary heads in the crowd fail to provide a spark, leading to the band’s set to be quickly forgotten, even with this strong showing. (3/5) (SR)
After months of build up and anticipation, the momentous Leeds Festival kicked off with bags full of potential. From major rock acts to some of the best in punk and hardcore, day one of Leeds 2014 hit all the right marks. Here’s a roundup of what we saw.
Few things could of soothed the stress and frustration of the debacle that was team Already Heard’s efforts to find our way into the Leeds Fest site quite as quickly as the sight of Tonight Alive front woman Jenna MacDougall prowling the vast space of the Main Stage in predatory fashion. This weekend’s Reading and Leeds appearances were by far two of the biggest of the five-piece from Sydney’s careers to date, not that it showed. TA looked completely at ease and self-assured, performing a slick confident set like they had been born to play stages and festivals of this magnitude. Although clearly delightedly in awe at her surroundings, and the size and response of the crowd held firmly in her sway, MacDougall’s performance never fell anything short of spellbinding or vocally on point. Much of the set was taken from last year’s brilliant ‘The Other Side’ with ‘The Ocean’ and ‘Don’t Wish’ going down particularly well with the Bramham crowd, as did ‘What Are You So Scared Of’ and a bittersweet set closing rendition of ‘Lonely Girl’. (4/5) (DW)
This weekend marked Young Guns’ big return to performing live after a protracted period out of the spotlight working on album number three. The band have been one of the tightest, most high-octane live acts around for the last few years, and hadn’t missed a step in their time away. Gus Wood effortlessly owned the stage, looking James Dean cool and, as always, every inch the prototype total package front man with a commanding poise and presence and a near faultlessly powerful vocal showing. A performance of current single ‘I Want Out’ and another new track both bode very well for the forthcoming new record, featuring catchy as hell synth lines added into the band’s usual heavy yet expansive and accessible sound and strong 80’s undertones. A strong rendition of ‘Weight Of The World’ flew the flag for Young Guns’ earlier material, while the euphorically received ‘Bones’ earned a gargantuan singalong in one of the coolest moment’s of the opening day. (4/5) (DW)
After a mixed opening day, the second day of Hevy Fest 2014 looked more promising, especially with Scottish punk trio The Murderburgers kicking off the day on a slight high. With their through and through punk sound, the 3 piece powered their way through cuts from their 'These Are Only Problems' LP whilst witty stage talk from frontman Fraser entertained the relaxed crowd in-between songs. Despite their fast-paced, energetic set, the lack of crowd response meant that unfortunately The Murderburgers' set was quickly forgotten about, even though they showed musical promise. (3.5/5)
Thankfully things picked up for emerging UK emo stalwarts Moose Blood. With their debut album ('I'll Keep You In Mind, From Time To Time') set for release in October, the band teased us with a mix of old and new songs. Whilst they suffered from an early hiccup, they soon got things back on track with 'Anyway', 'Moving Home' and 'Boston' receiving strong responses. (4/5)
After a problematic 2013, Hevy Fest made its return last weekend at Port Lympne in Kent. Whilst it was certainly a scaled down affair, Hevy still offered its fair share of emerging and established names to get people talking.
Heavily hyped London quartet The One Hundred had the tricky task of drawing in the sparse crowd as openers of the festival. Tucked away in the intimate second stage tent, the four piece played a pleasing set that showcased their brand of energetic electro-infused metal. With recent singles 'Breed', 'Kingsmen' and forthcoming newbie 'Downfall' all receiving a strong response, The One Hundred show once again whilst they are ones to watch. (3.5/5)
If The One Hundred had a tough task of opening the festival itself, Apologies, I Have None had the even trickier job of opening up the outdoor main stage. Having drawn in a thin crowd, the London trio played on with 30 minutes of down to earth punk with tracks from their recent 'Black Everything' EP and the superb 'London' LP. Yet the lack of atmosphere led to a disappointing set, even 'Sat In Vicky Park' couldn’t stir up a mass singalong it deserves. (2.5/5)
A trio of bands all touring the UK for the first time, and the positive summer vibes which always bodes well for the pleasantries within the human race, makes for a rather particular show. Particular? I meant special of course.
First on the list is Headroom, who have turned plenty of heads with their debut self titled EP released earlier this year. New EP 'Carry Me Away' is soon to be released and so the set comprises of material from both. The band are it’s own band and take influences from 90s emo and post hardcore circa 2009 Title Fight. Despite Headroom being a side project of bands such as Nai Harvest and Survival, it still has time to take influences from these two very contrasting bands.
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)