FIVES: Must Hear August 2015 Releases

With the festival season reaching its climax with Hevy, Arctangent and the beast that is Reading and Leeds taking place in the coming weeks, we were spoilt for choice when it came to picking five releases to recommend for your listening pleasure this month. The likes of Frank Turner, Neck Deep, Bullet For My Valentine, Stray From The Path and Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes somehow all missed out on this edition of “Fives” but for a valid reason as we’ve picked out five stellar that we thoroughly endorse.

Don Broco – Automatic
Don Broco’s debut album ‘Priorities’ saw them take their unique ‘lad pop-rock’ sound and mentality and swagger unstoppably into being one of the most in demand bands in Britain. But with such a strong influence from the worlds of pop and R’n’B, Broco were never going to stick at being an out and out rock band for long.

With new album ‘Automatic’ the band emerge from their 18 month metamorphosis with a record that looks set to explode them as a gloriously bright, multi-coloured, multi-faceted pop behemoth. One oozing class, sophistication, the well established Broco charm and a shit ton of eighties vibes. Prepare for Rob Damiani and the boys to take over the mainstream thanks to a lusciously arrayed pop soundscape thats packed with too many influences to list. Never fear though Broco are still the masters of pop-rock done “lad” style. The balance may now be heavily in favour of the former, but you’ll still want to check out what will surely be the summer’s coolest most vibrant release. (DW)

‘Automatic’ by Don Broco is released on 7th August on Epic Records.

Don Broco links: Website|Facebook|Twitter

Titus Andronicus – The Most Lamentable Tragedy
Most bands don’t really take creative risks any more. But then most bands aren’t New Jersey’s Titus Andronicus. Having pushed the envelope with 2010’s outstanding ‘The Monitor’ – an album themed around the American Civil War and named after a famous ironclad warship – Patrick Stickles and his ragtag bunch of miscreants and noiseniks are back with another album that should challenge and excite in equal measure.

A metaphor for manic depression, ‘The Most Lamentable Tragedy’ is a sprawling 90+ minute rock opera set over 5 acts. It deserves and warrants your time and investment through sheer force of character, making it one of the most interesting albums of the year.

Like The Replacements playing ‘Bat out of Hell’ or The Decemberists’ if they made ‘The Hazards of Love’ with a bomb underneath them and the threat of violence lying heavily in the air, it’s unlike any indie/punk album you’ll hear all year. So set aside some time, settle in comfortably and prepare to be amazed, shocked, excited, horrified and so much more… (RM)

‘The Most Lamentable Tragedy’ by Titus Andronicus is released on August 7th on Merge Records.

Titus Andronicus links: Website|Twitter|Facebook

Donovan Wolfington – How To Treat The Ones You Love
Donovan Wolfington have been consistently wonderful in their outputs, and ‘HTTTOYL’ is absolutely no different. Having lost 2 members on their journey with this record, you would almost expect some inconsistency. However, that never happens and this album is absolutely their strongest to date. From start to finish it’s a journey, and I know that’s a cliché, but it honestly is. They move seamlessly from one genre to the next, without skipping a single beat. They throw in some curve-balls in the form of the dark offering ‘Locust’, but remain in touch with their original sound in songs like ‘Ollie North’ and ‘Mosquito’, and I love that.

Offering something different is progression, and if you’ve ever read anything by me before on this site then you know how much I appreciate progression with music. No one wants the same sounding record again and again, and that is 100% something you will NOT get here. Donovan Wolfington exceed my expectations with every single output. It’s not often you come across a band so comfortable in themselves and their music, so when you do, it’s something special. This record is just great, like, really great. (RK)

‘How to Treat the Ones You Love’ by Donovan Wolfington is released on 21st August on Topshelf Records.

Donovan Wolfington links: Facebook|Twitter

Agent Fresco – Destrier
If you’ve had your finger on the pulse in the world of proggressive rock over the past while, chances are you’ll have come across Icelandic quartet Agent Fresco. Their debut album, ‘A Long Time Listening’ was only released here last year, four years after being issued domestically, but thankfully, its follow-up is due soon. Titled ‘Destrier’, the record is set to bring their music to a much wider audience. It’s definitely progressive in nature, but thankfully avoids succumbing to prog-rock clichés, packing 14 songs into 51 minutes with ease.

As evinced by flagship single ‘Deep Water’, ‘Destrier’ draws from a number of different genres – rock, pop, experimental, even classical – and the results are impressive. The album is built around exploring the theme of violence in different contexts – physical, emotional and personal – and was inspired by an incident in which lead singer Arnór Dan was assaulted and left with a concussion and a fractured eye socket. The band feed off visceral and intense emotions to create their music, but these feelings aren’t just negative; there’s some astoundingly beautiful moments on the record, and it’s the constant struggle between musical brightness and lyrical darkness that makes ‘Destrier’ especially compelling. (GO)

‘Destrier’ by Agent Fresco is released on 7th August on Long Branch Records/SPV.

Agent Fresco links: Website|Facebook|Twitter

Standing Tall – Standing Tall EP
Although it’s one of the more low key releases this month, we’ve been fans of Standing Tall for quite a few months having premiered two tracks from the Norwich emo rock quartet. Now this juggarnaut of an EP is set to be unleashed on the masses. With an impassioned lyrical core, Standing Tall take you on a short but effective journey of emo rock goodness. From the stringant guitars on ‘Do You Feel Low?’ to the thrilling ‘Are You Really There?’ to the pulsating ‘Letting Go’ to the conquering ‘Make It Through The Night’, ‘Standing Tall’ have a lot to offer.

With a captivating sound that lends itself from the likes of Balance and Composure, Thrice and Brand New, there is no reason why Standing Tall should be ignored. Get on the band wagon before there is no space left to jump on board. (SR)

‘Standing Tall’ EP by Standing Tall is set to be released digitally on 21st August with the vinyl release coming on 26th August through No Panic Records. Pre-orders can be made here.

Standing Tall links: Facebook|Twitter

Words by Dane Wright (DW), Rob Mair (RM), Rosie Kerr (RK), Sean Reid (SR) and Gareth O’Malley (GO)


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