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.'
We catch up with Newcastle Indie Rock quartet Alexander to find out more about their debut album 'Say Hello' for a “Already Heard Track Guide” feature.
Having briefly returned to the UK for the Hit The Deck Festival before starting a European
tour, we caught up with vocalist/bassist Ned Russin to discuss the bands progression in sound, differences between UK and US festivals, their recent split with Touché Amoré,
having friends on tour and more.
Live Review: Dance Gavin Dance, Closure In Moscow, Affiance and Violet - NQ Live, Manchester - 14/05/2013
Oh hey NQ Live, you’re looking mighty fine! It’s been a while since I’ve stepped in but someone’s invested money and done up the place so it does look pretty damn sexy. It feels like a venue rather than a dingy basement and with plenty of tours stopping off it’s good that it’s being recognised.
Violet are first up and unfortunately I’m able to conjure up an idea of their sound based on the fact that there are two frontmen; clean and screamed vocals. There was more energy from the screamer, initially inviting the sparse crowd forward and the uptempo rhythm of some of the songs really pushed him to give off more movement. The clean singer was incredibly melismatic in a very, dare I say it, Jonny Craig fashion. It’s clear the band are influenced by Dance Gavin Dance and this type of American metalcore/screamo etc, further proven by the bassist wearing an A Lot Like Birds tee. The piano samples come through and do make a welcome change what I expected, reminding more so of Chiodos. I can’t feel much of a connection and it all does feel very similar and they don’t seem to be on the same level as the other bands on the bill. Still, this is the exact tour they need to be on to find the fans they’re after; their new release should see them come back a lot stronger. (2.5/5)
It had been one hell of a trip but we finally made it Southampton Uni, easily parked up and headed to get our wristbands. It quickly became apparent that the whole set up and feel of Takedown Festival was much like that of Slam Dunk, but on a much smaller scale.
We kicked of Takedown festival with Bristol based band A Tale of Two Cities at the Small Town Records stage. These guys had a huge sound and were giving it everything they had especially the bass player who constantly drove the energy with his bouncing as he passionately sang along to every word; there were a few cheers from the audience, which gradually got bigger throughout ATOTC set, but unfortunately a “whirlwind of pure, flawless energy” didn’t lift the roof like Already Heard had expected. This may have been due to the daylight flooding into the venue that may have taken the edge off the “gig” vibe. Highlight of the set was latest single ‘I Plead Guilty’, instantly hitting the audience with an infectious guitar hook, with a chorus of interwoven vocal harmonies on a bed of hypnotic guitar riffs powered by the relentless rhythm section; this was the track that showed the potential of ATOTC. (3/5) (HM)
Live Review & Photos: The Story So Far, The American Scene, Gnarwolves and Neck Deep - NQ Live, Manchester - 07/05/2013
The warmest day of the year thus far in Manchester is perfect for the line-up of tonight’s show. Skate weather, skirt weather, fun weather. The sun makes everyone ten times more cheerful and as I descend into the depths of NQ Live, the exuberance from outside travels down into the venue.
Neck Deep are the opening band of tonight’s show and I find the fact that they’re on this bill at all entirely shocking. Essentially, Neck Deep are the British The Story So Far (with added Americanised vocals too – despite hailing from Wrexham) I don’t see why we’d need the same band twice. I feel like maybe I’m too old, or too cynical for this band – or maybe they just really are as terrible as I believe them to be. The younger people in the crowd this evening definitely seem to be “getting” something I’m not but that’s entirely fine with me. If I wanted to listen to this music, I’d just listen to TSSF and be done with it. There’s no need for this band to exist. The only thing it proves to me is that the force of social media can be terrifying. Try writing music that isn’t rehashed rubbish, play some shows and earn your dues, the coat tails of your current hype will soon die down and I, for one, will forget about this band as immediately as I was made aware of them. (1/5)
Gnarwolves are easily band of the evening for me. From the first chord the crowd is entirely involved. ‘History Is Bunk’ sends everyone into a frenzy of stage dives, fists in the air, and screaming along at the top of their lungs. Gnarwolves are a hard-working band that deserve every bit of praise that they get and tonight is no different. Playing the new tracks ‘Limerence’ in particular is already my favourite song of theirs, with its 90’s emo guitar opening and shout along “woah woah money or not, I got my head held high and somewhere to go”. I had it stuck in my head for the entire evening following this. Essentially, Gnarwolves, if you aren’t already aware, are a band you need to get into now as it’s the perfect time before they take the leap into the big time and you miss your opportunity to see them play in a smaller venue like today. (5/5)
For a band that has played bigger venues in Manchester before, tonight’s gig at Manchester Academy 2 is a surprising one and in high demand. With tickets selling out in a matter of hours after being put on sale it’s a full packed venue tonight. Even before any bands come on stage, the venue is hot and sweaty, and will no doubt get even hotter.
With issues getting into the gig and the massive queues I unfortunately didn’t get to see the first support band Empress, but from what I heard from other fans they played an impressive set.
Up next are Japan’s latest electro-metal export Crossfaith who come out fast and certainly heavy. ‘Monolith’ starts the set off with some heavy riffs and fast drums, and as the electro flourishes come through, it sets the place off. Playing through songs off of their ‘Zion’ EP, the band brings some fast electro metal and cause numerous circle pits and walls of death. The crowd go extra crazy when a cover of Prodigy’s ‘Omen’ is played and properly warm the crowd up for the arrival of BMTH. (3.5/5)
Tonight in Leeds is pretty much the halfway point for Arcane Roots’ headlining tour to support the release of their debut album ‘Blood & Chemistry’. This is surely going to be the end of the band playing smaller rooms such as Room 3 of The Cockpit, but more on that later.
There’s only a crowd of 20 to 30 but it’s clear that quite a few have arrived early to catch Baby Godzilla. The band have been on and off this tour due to work commitments (boo, work!) but have made it here tonight and this is a first for me; what on earth is this?! I said to the guys after and I’ll say it again, “How are you guys still alive?” Truly living up to their namesake in causing rampage. I don’t think they know what the stage is for either. Microphones and vocalists/guitarists battle each other in who can be furthest away from this “stage” and who can do the most nail biting postures over stairwells. They didn’t sound like the tightest band, but when playing such an enthralling visual experience of chaotic, flailing limbs, I don’t think they’re too fussed. A storming start, bravo. (3.5/5)
Live Review & Photos: Trapped Under Ice, Backtrack, Broken Teeth and The River Card - NQ Live, Manchester - 02/05/2013
With Climates pulling out at such short notice, it’s a great job that locals The River Card step in to kick start tonight’s proceedings. Blistering in full force, this mob has a short fuse ready to blow the entire venue up. For an opening band, The River Card injects the vital drug needed to get the crowd prepped up and ready for tonight’s headliners. Fast, urgent raucous guitars and snappy vicious vocals are the key components here, and they make an excellent starter. (3.5/5)
Another local band but the official openers to this tour, Broken Teeth come all guns and hellfire blazing on to the stage. Having settled with a finely tuned but distorted heavy crossover thrash hardcore sound, in the same vein as Cro-Mags, this band provide the perfect soundtrack to a testosterone fuelled orgy. Lead vocalist Dale Graham’s burning anger is absorbed by the audience who spit back the lyrics in the band’s face. By the end of their set, it’s safe to say they’ve done their home town scene proud. (3.5/5)
Due to various circumstances - this evening’s ridiculous doors opening/closing times (6-10pm to make way for “Club De Fromage” - London’s “premier pop night”, apparently), Tottenham Hotspur’s game overrunning due to a late kickoff, and me turning up at the wrong venue (yep, I am that guy - I went to the Highbury Garage instead), I completely missed Demoraliser’s set, for which I apologise profusely. A quick visit to their Bandcamp page reveals that they hail from fishing town Grimsby, are fond subscribers to the way of “Chug Life”, and sound a bit like ‘Horizons’-era Parkway Drive, which can only possibly be a good thing.
I also only catch the tail-end of Black Dogs’ set. but what I see is a decent showing from the Northerners. It’s a cool move from tonight’s headliners to take two up-and-coming UK bands on tour with them, and from the evidence I witnessed, Black Dogs have seized this opportunity with both hands with an impressive display. While their music may not quite be reinventing the wheel, Black Dogs certainly have a fire and passion that translates to tonight’s sold-out crowd, who respond to the grooves of tracks like ‘Savages’ with plenty of neck-elasticating practice for the bill-toppers. (3.5/5)
Just to get it out the way - I miss Botch. In an era of almost constant reunions, part of me wishes the creators of one of the most influential hardcore records of all time, ‘We Are The Romans’, would give it one last go. Having witnessed former Botch guitarist Dave Knudson’s outfit Minus The Bear last week, tonight was the turn of singer Dave Verellen’s Narrows, who take the stage on a glorious May evening in a darkened Shoreditch basement.
However, first up are Londoners Pariso, who boast ex-Cutting Pink With Knives guitarist and Holy Roar Records founder Alex Fitzpatrick among their number. Following last year’s full-length ‘Nothing Beyond Everything After’, and the return of vocalist Mazz Gambardella, Pariso played a string of astonishing live sets, including a stunning turn at Kerouac’s sign-off at the Old Blue Last. However, this momentum seems to have been lost and Pariso are stunningly underwhelming tonight. Sure, poor sound quality and a lukewarm reception from a sparse early crowd do not aid them, but their normally ferocious material seems tame and sloppy this evening. ‘Nothing Beyond Everything After’was a fantastic piece of work, blending a miasma of styles and drawing in influence from the darkest recesses of anything “-core”, but the new songs they showcase tonight are characterless and generic - they may improve after honing, but require serious work to reach the standards they’ve previously set themselves. A disappointing showing from a band that I’ve come to expect much better from. (1.5/5)
Live Review: Iron Chic, Down & Outs, The Dauntless Elite & Bear Trade - The Brudenell Social Club, Leeds - 01/05/2013
A quick trip to Pitza Cano, sitting outside in the sun with a beer and a burger, and then we delve into the dark depths of The Brudenell Social Club to catch the first band of the evening, Bear Trade.
This evening, one of the members of Bear Trade is playing through the pain of an abscess on his face, which I have to highly commend before I even begin. Despite this, Bear Trade are a solid choice for kicking off this evening’s festivities. They’re not the most ground-breaking band, but they do what they do and they do it well with a positive attitude! Bear Trade are an amalgamation of all the UK punk bands that have come and gone. To name a few you may recognise, we have previous members here of; Former Cell Mates, The Mercury League and The Mingers. So they know exactly what they’re doing, playing a set charged with gruff vocal work and resonant guitars. If you’re a fan of bands like Hot Water Music and The Lawrence Arms then I see no reason why Bear Trade wouldn’t interest you. (3/5)
As the sun rises and the second day of Groezrock 2013 begins, many make their way with the early morning hangover to the Etnies stage. Being the first band of the day, indie acoustic dance punks The Front Bottoms have a lot to prove to get this crowd into the festival mood for another day. And they prove this wonderfully, with their catchy vibes and witty songwriting. It is clear why this band have caused such a commotion in the punk community; once their fourth full length ‘Talon of the Hawk’ drops in June, this commotion can only go one way upwards. (3.5/5)
No festival in the morning is without the early morning clash, as San Franciscan punks Nothington take to the stage. Whiskey soaked vocals and massive choruses allow the band to be well suited on the Monster stage for a band of their size. Based on the cues of approval from the crowd, Nothington are pulling it off profoundly. It wouldn’t be surprising if the band were to become headliners on future Groezrocks to come as they have the songs for it and the gravitational power to pull many heart strings. (4/5)
When the big hand of the clock face hits 11, many walk briskly to the front of the Impericon stage to witness one of the most underrated bands UK hardcore punk has birthed. Welsh quartet Bastions are as eerie as they are cathartic which allows for a chilling and curious set from the band. Wearing pure honesty on their sleeves, Bastions successfully keep their audience in orbit as they plough through tales of demons, in the body and out. The quality of this set is measured once frontman Jamie Burne leaves the stage, calls the loyal fans to the barrier and composes a unified shout filled rendition of fan favourite ‘Augury’. Overall, a rare accomplished feat for such a small British band. (4/5)
For over the past 20 years, at the end of April, in the small village of Meerhout, Belgium, punks and hardcore kids of different nationalities gather for a festival specifically catered for them. From it’s small beginnings as a pop and rock festival, Groezrock has grown into one of the most well renowned punk and hardcore festivals in the world. Now in its 21st year, we at Already Heard venture to Belgium, to marvel at the bands, sights, and sounds.
The first band to kick start off this adventure for Already Heard at Groezrock 2013 is the rock ‘n roll punk stylings of Texan lot The Riverboat Gamblers. Ecstatic and full of energy, the band provides the perfect dose of warming entertainment for this afternoon’s crowd. Every member of the band delivers a tightly wound performance, breathing life into every note they wield, and not willing to commit to anything less. Tracks like ‘Hey! Hey! Hey!’ and ‘On Again Off Again’ are brimming with catchiness, and this is all sealed by the bounding stature of frontman Mike Wiebe. (3.5/5)
Having recently announced an indefinite hiatus, Streetlight Manifesto play one of their last European shows to an eager ska-loving crowd. The concept of fun is the running theme across their entire set, as the band brilliantly provides chorus led chants and boisterous skank-mosh activity. The switching moods and rhythms that the band can maintain in songs like ‘We Will Fall Together’ and ‘Everything Goes Numb’ deliver something that is exciting and grandly assumes their position as a festival band. (4/5)
The moment the first few bass laden notes of ‘The King Is Dead’ are played, a sudden rush escalates amongst the crowd who widen a largely prepared mosh pit for A Wilhelm Scream. A high octane performance is delivered like an adrenaline shot to the heart as circle pits and scrambling increase. The band continues to tease with new material for an upcoming album via a couple of songs, but the album can wait as it’s the here and now that matters. Finishing on fan favourite ‘Famous Friends And Fashion Drunks’ the band once again proves to be a phenomenal live machine. (3.5/5)
Tonight is a true metal show. It is more metal than a piece of metal dipped in liquid metal and then spray painted metallic grey. It’s like someone knew this crowd loved metal so much they put some more metal on the bill so you can metal whilst you metal (or something like that.)
Opening up the show tonight are Revoker, who play to a remarkably full room. Their brand of melodic metal is tightly performed and well-received by those who have got down early. Existing fans are also treated to a new song ‘Hands Of Justice’ which is one of the highlights of the set to these ears, once unblemished but now converted to the sound of Revoker. (3/5)
The anticipation for the arrival of Fozzy is palpable and they are met with rapturous applause as they take to the stage tonight to the suitably metal strains of AC/DC. The rock star presence of Chris Jericho is felt immediately; he exudes confidence and knows how to work a crowd (this is Y2J, after all.) Their set leads with tracks from latest album as the band open with ‘Spider In My Mouth’ and ‘Sandpaper’ (minus the vocals of M shadows tonight) but the band delve into their back catalogue as the set goes on with penultimate song ‘Martyr No More’ getting a massive crowd reaction and leaves the crowd satisfied by their Fozzy fix.
The Academy is little more than half-full tonight which is a real shame given the strength of British talent that make up this touring trio. Perhaps because of this, both support acts struggle in a room conducive to dulling the live atmosphere. Morain fare okay, predominantly because they have the tunes to capture the room’s attention if not sweep them off their feet. They’re not your typical ‘warm-up’ act in that they never really get the blood pumping but songs like ‘Animals’ and ‘The World We Live In’ do at least ensure that most of tonight’s attendees will be googling their name when they get home. (3/5)
Attention Thieves on the other hand, are fighting a losing battle from the start. A late replacement for LostAlone on this tour, they mix punk rock and screamo to varying degrees of success and appear to almost overwhelm the young crowd. Frontman Alex Green tries his best to get the crowd on side but his efforts feel a little contrived as he has neither the natural swagger nor the laid-back panache that aid his contemporaries. Another crowd will receive Attention Thieves a whole lot better but tonight is not their night. (2/5)
One band who have certainly gained a massive amount of new fans since the release of their highly rated first full length album ‘Signals’ would be Mallory Knox. Tonight the band have brought along two other UK bands to play to a sold out Manchester Academy 3 crowd.
First up tonight are the Banbury all girl band Evarose, who come on stage to what is an already packed out room. Playing their way through songs like ‘Best Left Alone,’ ‘Change’ and ‘Cough It Up’ all showcase the catchy guitar hooks and sweet vocals of front woman Dannika Webber. The band really settles into their set, singing the wrong verse on one song, playing through an older one, and getting the crowd to sing along all make the set unique and enjoyable. Tonight they have showcased some great catchy tracks and have no doubt picked up many more fans and with a headline tour to come later this year there are bigger things to come for the girls. (4/5)
Quite astonishingly, after a 10-year+ career and several visits to our shores, tonight marks the first ever time Minus The Bear play a show in Kingston-Upon-Thames, making a pit-stop at Banquet Records’ indie clubnight New Slang on their UK tour celebrating the recent release of their fifth full-length, ‘Infinity Overhead.’
Before their headline slot, London-based Axes warm us up with their obfuscating and complex brand of math rock. Just like MTB, Axes are a recent signing to the prestigious Big Scary Monsters label, and their sound fits somewhere between labelmates, the widescreen vision of Talons meeting the stop-start dynamics and fretboard dexterousness of Adebisi Shank. Axes boast a mighty USP setting them apart from their peers, in the phenomenal talents of bassist Stacey. Her four-string thrumming, in the style of Rush’s Geddy Lee, forms a strong rhythmic foundation for the two guitarists’ technical talent to stand upon, and the vocal-less outfit keep attention rapt for the entirety of their set, as they showcase tracks from their recent self-titled full-length. (4/5)