ThePunkSite.com

Slaves move forward with new single ‘I’d Rather See Your Star Explode’

Slaves have returned with new single “I’d Rather See Your Star Explode”. In April 2016 the band announced they were calling it a day, but not ready to give up, vocalist Jonny Craig, bassist Colin Vieira and guitarist Weston Richmond have pieced the band back together to work on new music.

The trio are currently working on their new record with producer Erik Ron. Check out the new video below:

   
As It Is

As It Is

okay.

Fearless Records
By

Rating: 3.5/5

 
 

 

 

Off the back of a successful debut album in 2015, Brighton’s As It Is are back doing what they do best: writing solid, catchy songs to brighten up your day. The pop-punk theme of Never Happy Ever After has been moved aside side in favour of straight-up pop-rock on okay., with the only real tie to pop-punk being Patty Walters’ nasally American vocals which usually go hand in hand with the genre. Vocals aside though, okay. is more aligned to the likes of All Time Low, and it really succeeds.

You would be forgiven for thinking opener “Pretty Little Distance” was an All Time Low track, given its similarities in style and vocal approach. That’s certainly no bad thing; As It Is are proven songwriters and at this more moderate pace, their penchant for writing excellent melodies shines through like never before. “Hey Rachel” and “Austen” are two stand-out tracks thanks to their fantastic choruses and relentless energy and demonstrate the band’s ability to craft memorable moments that make you come back for more.

“No Way Out” is the biggest tie to the band’s debut album with its fast drum beat that shows they’ve still got the ability to write an effective pop-punk song. Elsewhere though, the focus is on solid structures and melodies and it’s a style they take to naturally. “Soap” is as far from the band’s previous sound as the record gets and it results in a more mature offering that appeals to a wider audience.

okay. is ready made for the live arena and fans will no doubt thrive in singing these songs back at the top of their lungs. “Curtains Close”, with its slower pace and heartfelt delivery, could easily become a set-list favourite as the change in pace keeps things fresh and emphasises the quality of Walters’ melody writing.

As It Is have produced another solid slab of catchy rock songs that proves their proficiency at creating memorable anthems. okay. spreads the band into the pop-rock arena and in doing so, should see them attracting an influx of new followers who maybe didn’t appreciate their less mature pop-punk sound the first time round.

   
Deaf Havana

Deaf Havana

All These Worthless Nights

SO Recordings / Silva Screen Records
By

Rating: 3.5/5

 
 

 

 

Deaf Havana’s career to date has been like watching a person come of age. Their debut album Meet Me Halfway At Least represented the angsty, rebellious phase that’s typical of a person still trying to find themselves, before Fools and Worthless Liars saw them step into adulthood with a more mature, sophisticated phase. Previous album Old Souls was Deaf Havana’s gap year; they explored new territory, tried new experiences and did some soul searching to find out who they wanted to be. We’ve all waited patiently for them to return, but is this the same band we knew before with some interesting new stories to tell, or has the gap year changed them forever?  

If you’re wanting the former, then “Ashes, Ashes” and “Trigger” should provide huge relief, as you’re greeted with the old familiar style we used to know. James Veck-Gilodi’s signature vocals soar over stomping alt-rock guitars and swaying rhythms, announcing All These Countless Nights as a welcome return to form. “Sing” provides the volume and attitude that’s been missing for a while and as the band settle back into creating huge anthems and sing-a-long choruses, you can hear the swagger creeping back into their performances.

If you still need convincing that the band you grew to love are still in there, “Pretty Low” and “England” should put those doubts to rest. You don’t get more classic Deaf Havana than hearing Veck-Gilodi wrestling with his inner demons, professing his hatred for himself and wishing he was somewhere, or someone, else.

Old Souls may have been a decisive record, but there was plenty to admire on that journey as well. “Happiness” and “Seattle” puts the experience to good use, bringing a folk flavour to the band’s alt-rock foundation and with big choruses and strong songwriting, both songs fit perfectly in the context of the record.

All These Countless Nights sees Deaf Havana back to their lovable best. It allows us to celebrate the characteristics we’ve come to love on “Sing” and “Trigger”, as well as appreciate the additional perspectives brought over from their exploratory Old Souls record. The merging together of all of their experiences to date makes this record their most varied, yet cohesive offering to date, broadening their personality even further. It’s great to have the band back on top form and we look forward to the next chapter of Deaf Havana’s life, to see where it takes us next.

   

Vasudeva to release second album ‘No Clearance’ via Skeletal Lightning

Instrumental three-piece Vasudeva will release their second full-length on March 31 through Skeletal Lightning. ‘No Clearance’ will be the band’s first release since debut album ‘Life in Cycles’ in 2013 and to mark the occasion they’ll be joining Dance Gavin Dance, CHON and Eidola on a US tour.

Check out Vasudeva’s live set, courtesy of AudioTree live, below: Read More…

   
Normandie

Normandie

InVogue Records
By on August 5th, 2016 at Nuneaton, UK

 

 

Since making the change from metalcore to alternative-rock in 2015, Swedish four-piece Normandie have been enjoying a wealth of new experiences. Back in March this year the band released Inguz, their first full-length album with their new sound and recently, in support of the album, the band landed in the UK to play their first ever headlining tour on the island. We had a chat with the band at their show in Nuneaton to find out more about their change in style, the reaction to the new record and the band’s future plans.

Read More…

Casey

Casey

Corporation, Sheffield, UK

23rd September, 2016
By

Rating: 4.5/5

 
 

 

 

This particular show is significant for melodic hardcore quintet Casey as it coincides with the release of their debut album Love is Not Enough. The band are due to head out on tour in support of Being as an Ocean in November but for these headlining shows the stage is all theirs and they’re definitely worthy of the spotlight. Love is Not Enough is filled with ambient, atmospheric instrumentals behind impassioned vocals, underpinned by emotionally charged lyrics and in a live environment, the raw energy of Casey’s music is emphasised by the unique atmosphere that a live show brings.

What gives Casey such appeal is the honesty and raw emotion of their music, particularly the vocals. With lyrics that focus on lost relationships and the inevitable struggles that follow, Casey’s front-man wears this emotion on his sleeve and his reserved, almost awkward, on-stage persona adds to the authenticity of the subject matter. This connection with the audience allows you to live those experiences through him, making the live performance even more compelling than the record.

Musically Casey are extremely tight and it’s refreshing to see the band simply walk on stage, plug in and play their hearts out. There’s an ever growing trend of bands over complicating their live performances with backing tracks and samples and while this allows them to replicate their studio albums entirely, it detracts from the natural energy and rawness of a live show. Luckily they keep it simple and when music is this passionate, no other type of presentation would be appropriate.

Throughout the set each song flows seamlessly to the next with an ever present guitar melody filling the gaps, providing a perfect segue to the next song. By sustaining the performance throughout, the band retains the crowd’s attention rather than building up an atmosphere only to let it dissipate while a guitar is tuned. It’s a level of refinement usually reserved for seasoned, experienced acts, so being at this level having only just released their debut album, is a huge achievement. On this evidence we’d fully expect Casey to establish themselves as a major live act in the scene and as they head out in support of Being as an Ocean, they’ll have the opportunity to prove what they can do to a wider audience. We’re confident that they’ll be leaving that tour with a legion of new followers.

Baba Naga Announce Second Self-Released EP

Psychedelic trio Baba Naga have announced the second part of their self-released EP trilogy. Produced by Ross Orton (Arctic Monkeys/Drenge/God Damn), Plná Krvy/DeificYen will be released on Nov 4 and features artwork by Detroit illustrative artist David Medel.

The band have released “Plná Krvy” as the first track from the EP and describe the song as “a stentorian hymn, laying praise to the chimerical paradise of an eternal existence; a battle of sacrifice and realisation of humanistic fear.”

Check out the song below.

Read More…

   

The Dear Hunter Release Short Film for Single ‘Gloria’

The Dear HunterThe Dear Hunter have released a video for their latest single “Gloria”, presented as a short film. The song is taken from the recently released Act V: Hymns With the Devil in Confessional, the fifth instalment of the band’s long-running concept series and sees characters from the story brought to life in this video. The film was created by the band’s front-man Casey Crescenzo in collaboration with Silent Flight Productions and director Erez Bader.

Check out the video below and pick up a copy of ‘Act V’ here.

Read More…

Alabama Deathwalk Release ‘Freaky’ First Single From Upcoming Album

Alabama Deathwalk have released “Freaky”, the first single from their upcoming debut album. The band is fronted by emo/indie songwriter Eric Reed who has spent the best part of a decade honing his craft and recruiting band members to contribute to the project. Steep Hills is the result of their collective efforts and will be released on October 21st.

Check out “Freaky” below and pre-order the album through Bandcamp.

 

SikTh

SikTh


By on 31st July, 2016 at Y Not Festival, Derbyshire, UK

 

 

SikTh released their iconic debut album The Trees are Dead and Dried Out, Wait for Something Wild in 2003 to an audience that wasn’t quite ready for what it heard. Combining mesmerisingly complex and technical musicianship with a double whammy of vocal powerhouses, SikTh helped contribute to the birth of a tech-metal uprising in the UK alternative scene. The band’s second album Death of a Dead Day was equally impressive, turning up the heaviness while maintaining the complex arrangements, but it wasn’t enough to hold the six-piece together and in 2007, SikTh pressed pause on the band.

In 2014, the band reunited to play a show at the UK’s Download Festival and having rekindled the creative flame, soon announced a reunion, followed by the released of new EP Opacities – the band’s first piece of new music since 2006. Prior to the band’s headlining slot at Y Not Festival, we caught up with vocalist Mikee Goodman, bass player James Leach and drummer Dan Fjoord to discuss the circumstances leading up to the reunion and the future of the band.

Read More…

    ,

SikTh to Release 10th Anniversary Edition of ‘Death of a Dead Day’

Peaceville Records will release a 10th year anniversary edition of SikTh’s second full-length album Death of a Dead Day on September 30th. The UK tech-metal pioneers will add three bonus tracks to this new edition, consisting of demo versions of “Flogging the Horses”, “Part of the Friction” and “Where Do We Fall?”

Read More…

Y Not

Y Not 2016

Festival (29/07/16 - 31/07/16)

Derbyshire, UK
By

Rating: 4/5

 
 

 

 

Derbyshire’s Y Not Festival celebrated its tenth anniversary last year and now in its second decade, 2016 became the event’s largest offering yet. Headlining acts such as Madness, Fun Loving Criminals, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds and The Hives, provided no shortage of mainstream appeal and crowds gathered in record numbers to give the three-day weekend a vibrant atmosphere.

One of Y Not Festival’s finest traits is its uniquely diverse itinerary, offering plenty of options for those not swayed by the event’s mainstream artists. With on-site activities like face painting, giant board games, hula hoops and vintage arcade games, you could mistake this for a giant country fate, were it not for the various music stages, acoustic performances, hookah bars and dance music tents.

For those that like their music a little heavier, The Giant Squid is the place to check out some of the best emerging talent in the UK’s alternative scene. Heck have built a reputation as one of the most entertaining live acts around, well known for going beyond the boundaries of the stage and paying little regard for their equipment (or safety) in the process. This performance was partially subdued thanks to vocalist/guitarist Matt Reynolds breaking his foot during the band’s performance at 2000 Trees, but the set was no less impressive, proving that the band’s frantically pulsating songs are just as memorable as their traditional onstage antics. For Black Peaks, holding back is an unknown concept and their astonishing run of superb performances continued in The Giant Squid. Vocalist Will Gardner maintains his position as one of the most refreshing vocalists on the scene, managing to switch from silky smooth croons to elongated, guttural screams at the drop of a knee.

Welsh newcomers The Decoy may have a difficult sound to describe, but they’re certainly not hard to admire. Described as a blend of Biffy Clyro, Incubus and The Police, the three-piece announced themselves with a fantastic collection of songs from their recent debut Avalon, which were every bit as engaging as their banter between songs. Throughout 2016, Arcane Roots have been going from strength to strength, somehow improving their already awe-inspiring live performances with each passing visit to the stage. It helps that the three-piece have a catalogue full of anthemic songs designed to sound huge in a live setting and having performed so regularly throughout the festival season, they perform as a watertight unit that’s unwaveringly professional and accomplished in every aspect. The band will be releasing a new album soon and we couldn’t be more excited to hear what they have in store.

Since ending their seven year hiatus, UK tech-metal pioneers SikTh have been gathering steam, powered by the inevitable sense of hype building up around them. On the eve of their first ever tour in the US, the band provided a fitting end to a weekend of excellent British  bands on The Giant Squid. As the band rifle through tracks from their debut The Trees Are Dead and Dried Out, Wait for Something Wild and follow-up Death of a Dead Day with their signature blend of mesmerising, technical musicianship and infectious grooves, you’d never know that some of these songs were written 13 years ago. SikTh may have been away for seven years, but this performance proves that they’re still the undisputed kings of the tech-metal scene and with the promise of a new album next year, they’re well and truly back on the throne.

With another impressive musical line-up and a family-friendly atmosphere, Y Not Festival once again provided an unrivalled sense of relaxation and fun amidst the UK festival season. It’s no wonder that the festival has grown to be so successful and having begun its second decade in fine form and we’ll be hoping that this unique character and atmosphere is still being celebrated well into its third.

Casey Reveal ‘Haze’ from Upcoming Debut Album

Welsh melodic hardcore act Casey have released “Haze” from their upcoming debut album Love is Not Enough. The record is set for release on September 23rd through Hassle Records and pre-order options, which include limited-quantity vinyl colours, are available now. Vocalist Tom Weaver describes “Haze”as a “reflective piece surveying a failing relationship as the rose-tinted lens of hindsight fades”, and can be heard below.

Read More…

Normandie

Normandie

Nuneaton, UK

22nd July, 2016
By

Rating: 3/5

 
 

 

 

It’s been a year of firsts for Swedish four-piece Normandie. In the lead up to their first full length record the band also experienced a loss of band members and a change in style. Now, in support of their anthemic alt-rock debut Inguz, Normandie arrive to play their first shows in the UK.

Never Hill opened the night with a surprisingly accomplished set. Vocalist Adam Ross owns the performance with his soulful voice that’s reminiscent of Emarosa’s Bradley Walden, but sadly the band’s songs don’t quite match the quality of his voice just yet. However, Never Hill show a lot of potential and are certainly ones to watch as they continue to grow and improve. Breathe in the Silence have the songs and the stage presence to get the crowd nicely warmed up. Their heavy alt-rock is well matched to this tour and with excellent vocals and interesting instrumentals to back it up, the five-piece are an impressive live act.

Normandie’s set was marred by a series of unfortunate events, making the performance not entirely representative of the band’s abilities. A broken van contributed to a late arrival and after a swift change over and no sound check, the first half of the set was a fight against a poor mix. The backing track was far too prominent over the live instruments, leading to a strange mix of volumes and too much reliance on pre-recorded effects. Inguz’s only flaw is being overproduced and having such a prominent backing track playing during the set doesn’t help the conveyance of raw emotion and power that live performances thrive on.

Lacking the time for a thorough warm up, vocalist Philip Strand struggled to hit the right notes early on, but overcame this as the set went on. It’s amazing how quickly a performance can change once a band feels comfortable and by the mid-way point the creases were ironed out and the band got into full flow. The infectious “Something New” emerged as one of the stand-out songs of a revived set, Strand bounding around the stage and getting the crowd involved. Sadly, just as the performance got going it had to be cut short due to the venue’s curfew.

When the balance is right Normandie are a fantastic live act, set closer “Collide” proving the point with its huge chorus and stomping beats. Without the technical problems there’s no doubt that the performance would’ve been markedly different, such is the talent and potential of the band, making them a must see next time around when hopefully everything goes according to plan.

2000trees

2000 Trees

Festival (07/07/16 - 09/07/16)

Cheltenham, UK
By

Rating: 4.5/5

 
 

 

 

This year was the 10th anniversary of 2000 Trees, a festival set in the south west of England that focuses on promoting new and underground bands from the rock and indie world. At a capacity of just 5,000 it has a uniquely intimate and friendly atmosphere and with such a pristine level of organisation, it’s clear to see how the festival has achieved a full decade of success.

The Main Stage is reserved for days two and three, leaving the smaller stages to host the opening day’s bands. The tented covering of The Cave stage was only just sturdy enough to contain the massive power of Black Peaks, who continue to dominate every stage they throw themselves onto. Rifling through songs from their superb debut album Statues with power, precision and captivating stage presence, it won’t be long before the band are headlining these events. The place to be for the remainder of the day is The Forest, a dedicated acoustic stage whose woodland setting, surrounded by lantern lights, hay bales and hammocks, provides a fantastic atmosphere as well as a great place to sit down, chill out and sing along to some striped-back favourites from the festival’s line-up. Black Peaks’ acoustic renditions are far removed from their ferocious on-stage antics but matched in quality nonetheless, as is multi-instrumentalist songwriter Grumble Bee, who got the crowd singing along to raw reimaginings of his Disconnect EP.

Day two brings the Main Stage into play but technical issues cloud the first few acts of the day, particularly Crooks, whose usually excellent live set is marred by mix problems for the first half of the performance. It’s disappointing to see a band miss the opportunity to show a crowd what they can really do and by the time the band and the sound engineers get into full swing, it’s time for the set to close. Over at The Axiom stage Press to Meco have no such troubles, immaculately voicing their fantastic three-part harmonies to the delight of the crowd. Despite all three members also providing the technically challenging, angular riffs and rhythms, their vocals are flawless throughout and one of the stand out bands of the weekend.

Actor Jamie Campbell Bower (known for Sweeney Todd and Harry Potter among others) proves that his gritty alt-rock band Counterfeit are more than just a fleeting side-project with a rousing set that sees the crowd frantically nodding along. Bower holds the crowd’s attention well, using his stage experience to establish himself as a captivating frontman and with throaty vocals and gutsy rock anthems to back up his swagger, the band sound right at home on a big stage. Basement are in fine form since coming out of hiatus, making their 50 minute set feel more like 10 in The Cave. Rattling through songs from their latest album Promise Everything as well as the best of their back catalogue, Basement were one of the highlights of an impressive day.

Having endured two days of festival life, the crowd may have wanted a slow start to the final day, but Heck had other plans. The band’s frantic noise-rock is somehow less intense than the antics of frontmen Matt Reynolds and Jonny Hall, who spend more time in the crowd than on stage. Heck must be a sound engineer’s worst nightmare as mic stands go flying and leads are stretched to their limits, but for all the high-energy antics, there’s a core of quality, tight music running alongside, filled with complex rhythms and angular riffs. For all the punishment given to their instruments, Reynolds took the most damage, managing to break his foot in his own circle pit toward the end of the set. Arcane Roots are more subdued, but no less impressive. The trio’s slow, drawn out keyboard-driven opener doesn’t make for the best introduction to the set or their new material, but it soon picks up with the remainder of the performance and based on the strength of their catalogue to date, there’s no reason to doubt the upcoming album will be any less convincing.

It’s easy to see how 2000 Trees has stretched to its 10th anniversary, with such a wonderfully relaxed atmosphere and excellent line-up of bands. It’s great to see band members freely enjoying the acts wih the regular punters, further emphasising the community spirit and laid back atmosphere that makes the festival so unique. The organisers struck gold by adding hardcore legends Refused to the bill and there could’ve been no better way to see out the 10th anniversary party. Refused stole the entire weekend, the power of their set engulfing everything before it, making the other bands seem minor in comparison. It’s great to have them back following a lengthy hiatus and tracks from latest album Freedom sound huge on the Main Stage. Frontman Derek Lyxzen’s heart-warming thanks to the crowd for sticking with the band and coming back to see them no doubt resonated with the collective masses at 2000 Trees who, after another incredible weekend, will certainly be looking forward to sticking with this festival as it begins its second decade next year.

Video: Sianvar – Psychosis Succumbing

Post-hardcore supergroup Sianvar have released “Psychosis Succumbing”, the latest single from their upcoming debut full-length Stay Lost. The record, performed by genre heavyweights Will Swan (Dance Gavin Dance), Donovan Melero (Hail the Sun), Sergio Medina (Stolas), and Joe Arrington and Michael Franzino (A Lot Like Birds), will be released through Will Swan’s own label Blue Swan Records on August 5th.

You can check out the video below and pre-order the album through MerchNow. If you missed the first single “Omniphobia”, catch up with that here.

Read More…

Video: Breathe in the Silence – Hold My Heart

Welsh post-hardcore act Breathe in the Silence have released a video for “Hold My Heart”, the title track from their upcoming EP. The record will be released on September 2nd through Crooked Noise Records.

Check out the video below:

Read More…

Video: Fallen to Flux – Drifting

London-based alt-rock quartet Fallen to Flux have released a lyric video for “Drifting”. The song is lifted from the band’s excellent upcoming debut Transitions which is due for release on August 5th.

Check out the video below:

Read More…

Exclusive: Cold Wrecks Unveil “Letters” from Upcoming Full-Length

Cold Wrecks  Photo by Kaitlyn Laurel McGannHaving released three records under the name Eli Whitney & The Sound Machine, the band have re-branded as Cold Wrecks and are building up to their first release on July 11th. Guitarist/vocalist Mike Vizzi explains that after the band “started working on new songs together, we knew we were a completely different band, and didn’t feel comfortable using the old band’s moniker and songs. The four of us made the decision to start fresh.”

We’re excited to reveal “Letters”, the second track to be uncovered from the upcoming full-length Breaking. You can check out the song below and pre-order the album at Bandcamp. Read More…

Saosin

Saosin

Along the Shadow

Epitaph Records
By

Rating: 3.5/5

 
 

 

 

When Saosin announced a reunion with original vocalist Anthony Green in 2014, it sent the post-hardcore scene into a frenzy. Green’s last (and only) appearance on a Saosin studio record was back in 2003 on the band’s debut EP Translating the Name and, despite its age, it remains a memorable and iconic record that helped define a genre. If you’re expecting Along the Shadow to continue the energetic tempos, memorable riffs and signature vocals of the debut EP then you’ll need time to adjust; a lot can change in 13 years, particularly since Green has spent the majority of his time fronting the more ambient Circa Survive.

Along the Shadow is not the Saosin we remember from all those years ago, resting somewhere between Translating the Name, Saosin’s debut album and early Circa Survive. Translating the Name didn’t allow much empty space, the drums being ferocious and relentless, squeezing in fills and cymbals wherever possible, among ever-dominant vocals. Here, the songs have much more room to breathe, opener “The Silver String” being an ideal demonstration. The drums are effective but reserved, allowing Green’s well chosen melodies to ring out and take hold against Beau Burchell’s clever riffs.

“Ideology as Theft” is perhaps the most prominent tribute to the band’s older sound. It’s refreshing to hear Green’s revived scream and this harsher side to his voice is an excellent contrast against his soothing singing voice. “Second Guesses” slows the mood with a poppy, ballad of a song that sounds more like a Circa Survive song but with Rodriguez’s distinctive drum grooves it works well and gives the record a change of pace.

The middle of the album settles into a mid-tempo rhythm and it’s here that the record could do with more dynamic shifts. While the songs are still effective, this consistent pace over the central section makes the album a little bogged down. “The Secret Meaning of Freedom” thankfully picks the pace back up towards the back of the album to give the record an injection of pace to end on.

Part of me wanted to be transported back to 2003 to relive the excitement of Anthony Green-era Saosin all over again, but that temporary hit of nostalgia would’ve made this record a novelty, or worse a memorial. The pace of the album is understandably slower but the band have crafted a series of excellent songs that benefit from not treading the same worn path. What Along the Shadow lacks in the youthful energy and raw emotion of the band’s first EP is more than made up for in mature songwriting. With this reunion hurdle negotiated and the creative process still very much alive, we’ll be hoping for more from the band in the future.

Slam Dunk - Grumble Bee

Slam Dunk Festival 2016

FESTIVAL (28/05/16)

Leeds, UK
By

Rating: 4/5

 
 

 

 

This year marks the tenth anniversary of Slam Dunk Festival and some old friends of the punk and alternative scene came out to help celebrate the occasion. With such veterans as The King Blues, New Found Glory, Yellowcard, Panic! at the Disco and [spunge] mixing with the fresh talents of Creeper, Issues and Moose Blood, this year’s line-up boasted a wide range of diversity and with such a wide-reaching appeal, it’s no wonder that the festival’s three dates sold out.

Australian four-piece With Confidence opened the Fresh Blood Stage with an assured and confident set of upbeat pop-punk songs, taken mainly from the band’s upcoming album Better Weather. Lead single “Keeper” gets the crowd warmed up with its infectious chorus and the full-spirited audience participation gives enough assurance that we’ll be seeing more from this band in the future. They’d do well to study the rise of Roam, who took their refined brand of pop-punk to the larger surroundings of the Key Club Stage this year, having occupied a smaller stage and crowd last year. Roam played the best of their most recent release Headrush and the live environment gives the songs more life and character than the slightly stagnated studio recordings. It’s a thoroughly enjoyable set filled with the band’s characteristic level of energy and leaves me wanting to give Headrush another try.

Another of the day’s Australian acts, Northlane threatened to crack the road that lay beneath the Atlas Stage with one of the heaviest sets of the day. Most recent album Node divided fans with its melodic, ambient direction compared to the band’s hardcore roots, but to prove they haven’t gone soft, the band threw their heaviest material at the crowd. Vocalist Marcus Bridge more than holds his own with brutal screams that are every bit as impressive as the technical instrumentation behind him. The Atlas Stage also played host to Issues, who tested their latest nu-metal/post-hardcore/R&B infused anthems on the crowd. New record Headspace is refined and accomplished and the crowd react well to the funk-infused bass lines, heavy guitar riffs and Tyler Carter’s ever impressive, note-perfect delivery.

Grumble Bee provided an opportunity for a break from the heavy acts of the day with a series of acoustic songs, although the superb delivery was no less intense than any of the full band performances. Jack Bennett, the multi-instrumentalist behind Grumble Bee, showcased stripped-down songs from his Disconnect EP and as an expressive and emotive performer, the environment suited him perfectly. The atmosphere couldn’t have been any different for Everytime I Die, who closed the Impericon Stage with the kind of ferocious, energetic and brutal performance that they’ve become renowned for. Every festival needs a closing act like Everytime I Die as theirs is the type of performance that you don’t forget in a hurry.

Unfortunately some acts had to be struck off the itinerary through the day as queues to enter the indoor venues became unmanageable. Crowd management is a vital part of festival safety and that should never be compromised, but it’s still disappointing to miss bands due to capacities being reached. It’s worth noting for future years that it may not always be possible to see every band you’re planning to, particularly if you’re heading to the indoor stages. This year, more so than others, the area inside the Leeds city centre site felt cramped and claustrophobic, particularly outside the Key Club Stage, where the exiting crowds had no choice but to merge with the spectators of the Atlas Stage, creating a mass of people unable to move, or unaware of how to avoid the problem.

The swelling crowds are testament to the success and reputation of the festival over the past ten years and despite the pockets of cramped conditions, this year was another success. With such a varied and impressive line-up there was plenty to enjoy and the packed line-up certainly delivered on their side of the deal.

Photo credit: Paris de la Moitié

 

The Great Escape

The Great Escape

Festival (19/05/16 - 21/05/16)

Brighton, UK
By

Rating: 5/5

 
 

 

 

The Great Escape is one of Europe’s largest festivals, boasting over 450 acts across 35 venues in three days. Despite the titanic scale of the operation, it retains an intimate, close-knit atmosphere that focuses on promoting up-and-coming and international artists, rather than simply filling the itinerary with star names. The Great Escape is a journey of discovery and with a line-up covering folk, electronica, pop, grime, alt-rock and everything in between, there’s truly something for everyone. Alumni such as Adele, Mumford & Sons, Royal Blood and Haim, prove that the ‘next big thing’ is there to be found and over the course of the festival’s three day itinerary the hunt for such acts is a tantalising prospect.

Host city Brighton, on the south coast of the UK, plays an instrumental part in the festival’s unique appeal. The city’s quaint market streets, beautiful coastal vistas and thriving music scene create a perfect setting, helped by the sheer number of adaptable venues that play host to hundreds of acts. Now in its second decade, the festival continues to grow and 2016 added even more attractions to the list. As well convention sessions, which offer festival goers the opportunity to hear from music industry insiders on hot topics affecting the industry, this year saw the launch of late night DJ sets, street performances and movie screenings in partnership with Raindance film festival.

The core attraction of the festival though is music and Jacko Hooper provided the ideal opening to a weekend of exhilarating live acts with a set full of emotionally charged acoustic tunes, set in a quaint pub near the sea-front. Hooper informed the crowd he was suffering from an illness, but his note-perfect voice and smokey tone were completely unaffected, adding depth to his series of well-written acoustic songs. Norwegian pop artist Anna of the North transformed a bar at the end of Brighton’s pier into a wonderful haven of electronic pop, her soothing, ambient vocals creating an intense atmosphere that left the crowd slack-jawed in admiration. Grumble Bee, the stage name of multi-instrumentalist Jack Bennett, brought day one to a close in emphatic style, adding a welcome a dose of heavy guitars and pounding drum beats to an otherwise laid-back day of music. Playing through the majority of his latest EP Disconnect, Bennett traversed a series of technical difficulties to justify why the alternative scene is starting to take notice and those fortunate enough to catch his set left day one knowing they’ll be seeing much more of Grumble Bee in the future.

Generator Northern Ireland kicked off day two with a fantastic showcase of rising Irish talent, Bry and Ciaran Lavery being particular highlights. Set inside Spiegeltent, one of the festival’s most unique venues with a theme that feels like a carousel inside a circus tent, both acts produced an inviting atmosphere that matched the ambience of their surroundings. Bry’s upbeat pop songs warmed the crowd with feel-good vibes and catchy choruses before Ciaran Lavery’s gentle folk songs, complete with piano and violin accompaniments, harmonised the room with a united sense of admiration. Little Hours completed a day dominated by excellent Irish acts, the County Donegal duo layering beautiful vocal harmonies over a foundation of piano and acoustic guitar. It’s always a joy to hear the merging of two such compatible and uplifting voices, particularly over impressively written songs.

Noisy Pots emerged as the first stand-out performance of the final day. The three-piece from Prague filled the stage with synths, samplers, a vibraphone and laptops, in addition to a percussion section made up of pots, buckets and cans. Their performance though is certainly not a gimmick, each makeshift instrument being used to create unusual but effective tones, all helped along by pulsating electronics. Colm Mac Con Iomaire’s performance was much less erratic, but equally astonishing. From within the comforts of the Unitarian Church, the Irish fiddler stunned onlookers with his breathtaking arrangements, making his set one of the most cherished memories of the whole weekend. South Korean pop-rock group Danpyunsun and the Sailors provided the perfect conclusion to a weekend of vast musical diversity, the eclectic mix of Western and Eastern musical styles embodying the spirit of The Great Escape perfectly.

Now in its eleventh year, The Great Escape continues to grow from strength to strength. The opportunity to witness music from a range of countries, ethnicities and genres in one place is an experience unlike any other. For a festival of this size and diversity, the organisation is unrivalled and adds a professional sheen over an exciting experience, making it a must for any music fans in search of their next musical fix. Roll on 2017!

Video: A Work of Fiction – Falling to the Rhythm

A Work Of FictionCleveland-based punk band A Work of Fiction have released a live in-studio performance of their latest single “Falling to the Rhythm”. The track will be released as part of the band’s upcoming EP Write Your Own Story, which does not yet have a release date. The live version of the track is available for purchase at Bandcamp.

Check out the video below:

Read More…

Video: Halfnoise – Know the Feeling

HalfnoiseFormer Paramore drummer Zac Farro is set to release his latest album under the Halfnoise project this Autumn through Congrats! ‘Know the Feeling’ is the first single from the as-yet unnamed album and can be purchased now through all the usual digital music providers.

Check out the video below:

Read More…

Heirsound Announce Debut EP Merge

HeirsoundAlternative pop duo Heirsound will release their debut EP Merge on August 5th. Heirsound consists of Alexa San Román and Dane Petersen, formerly of the band Love, Robot, and to date have released two self-directed videos for “Do It Over” and “My Own”. Of the EP, the duo state:

“This EP represents to us both the collaboration of two artists from different hometowns, as well as a metaphorical bridge from both of our older bands’ previous sounds to what HEIRSOUND is now. As our old bands were more heavily rock-influenced, this EP has both elements of that as well as more electronic sounds letting long-time fans ease into this new sound.”

Check out the two singles below:

Read More…

Video: Fallen to Flux – Sane

London-based alt-rock quartet Fallen to Flux have released a video for their latest single “Sane”. The track is taken from band’s upcoming debut album Transitions which is due for release on August 5th.

You can watch the video below.

Read More…

When Our Time Comes

When Our Time Comes

When Our Time Comes

Lifeforce Records
By

Rating: 3/5

 
 

 

 

If you like your bands heavy, but don’t appreciate being screamed at by the one holding the microphone, London-based five-piece When Our Time Comes have got you covered. Their blend of tech-metal and alternative rock packs a solid punch, with downtuned guitars and heavy riffs, but throughout their debut self-titled album, the vocals remain clean and melodic, catering for an area of the market that appreciates a pure singing voice.

From the moment Joe Carter-Hawkins’ excellent vocal tone breaches the electronically-tinged opening sequence of “Home Truths”, it’s obvious that melody is a core focus of the band. Hawkins demonstrates an admirable amount of skill through the opening tracks of the album, creating hook-laden choruses with his smooth tone and confident delivery. Beneath the melodic vocals, the instrumentals provide an interesting contrast through downtuned guitars, djent-style riffs and driving, groove-oriented rhythms. This layer of aggression adds character to the band’s sound, providing a welcome injection of energy against the soothing vocals.

The instrumentals are impressive throughout the record, “Breathe Again” and “Impending” being shining examples where experimental time signatures, dynamic tempos and chunky riffs add variation at important moments. As the album progresses, the variation and intrigue provided by the instrumentals is sadly unmatched by the vocals. Despite an impressive opening, Hawkins’ delivery remains static for much of the album and as pleasant as the vocals are in tone, the melodies become recycled and predictable, lessening the effect of his otherwise impressive voice.

While screamed vocals can be polarising to certain audiences, harsh singing often brings an injection of aggression and passion to a record. When Our Times Comes is full of melody and hooks, but the vocals lack this emotional connection, instead feeling too pedestrian and neutral. Hawkins’ vocals are so safe and comfortable throughout the record that by the half-way point, a few bars of screaming would be a welcome change to break up the predictable singing patterns. It would be good to hear Hawkins move through the gears and push himself to offer more variation and passion, rather than staying within his comfort zone.

When Our Time Comes is an intriguing debut album that while not without its flaws, certainly sets the band up as an act to pay close attention to in the future. Mixing the heavy elements of tech-metal alongside the more melodic aspects of alternative rock has huge potential and from this they’ve created a compelling sound. If the band can add more variation to their songwriting and find a way to squeeze more emotion from the vocals, this could be a winning formula.

Greaver

Greaver

The Faun

Cardigan Records
By

Rating: 4/5

 
 

 

 

Concept records are tricky to get right. Allowing the story to overwhelm the songs comes off as self indulgent, but balancing the music and narrative just right creates an emotional attachment and lasting bond with an audience. When “Last Breath” introduces The Faun’s concept through the medium of voicemail messages, there’s a fear that the former will unravel, but the way in which this quirky presentation resonates with the music beneath it, helps place this debut record firmly in the latter.

Fans of Being As An Ocean will be familiar with using narrative to embellish melodic hardcore and Greaver’s sound is not too dissimilar, also drawing parallels to As Cities Burn’s iconic debut Son I Loved You At Your Darkest. Like these acts, the guitars aren’t overly distorted, allowing the clarity to emphasise the intricacy of the guitars, and the vibrant drums keep each song sounding fresh and varied by mixing up tempos and structures. Unlike their aforementioned peers, who utilise clean vocalists to add melody, Greaver opt for fully screamed vocals throughout. The tapping patterns and ambient lead lines of the guitars replace the melody otherwise provided by a clean vocalist, paving the way for vocalists Michael Rozier and Michael Townsel to fully commit to their impassioned screaming, which gives the record a raw and honest level of emotion.

Records with entirely screamed vocals can become monotonous but The Faun offers plenty of musical variation and interest to prevent any such issue. Instrumental tracks dispersed through the record help to break up the flow, and the voicemail messages that are woven into these musical passages not only provide a contrasting break from the aggression of the other tracks, but also tie you into the theme of the album. The messages are voiced by the grieving girlfriend central to the record’s theme, who starts to lose her sanity following the death of her lover, a man whose perspective is told on “A Poisoned Well”. The emotionally charged energy behind every chord and rhythm change makes these instrumental tracks some of the album’s stand out moments and this refreshing and effective method of presentation promotes a connection to the characters in the story.

Greaver’s melancholy instrumentals paint a chilling backdrop to a story filled with grief and suffering. Completed by the emotive screams of the two vocalists, The Faun makes for an emotionally challenging, yet highly engaging record that invites you back to keep digging into its concept. For an accomplished band this would be an excellent achievement, but for a debut album it’s a breathtaking introduction to what this five-piece is capable of.

   

Dikembe Announce New Flexi Disc Single and Upcoming Album

DikembeFlorida punk band Dikembe have announced a new flexi disc single, which can be found on the band’s Bandcamp page. On July 12th Dikembe will release new album Hail Something, to be released in the US on their own label Death Protector. Pre-orders are being taken here

Check out the new single below.
Read More…

    ,

Culture Abuse Are This Week’s Punks in Vegas Session Band

culture abuse by steven matview (9)6131 Records band Culture Abuse feature on this week’s Punks in Vegas  Stripped Down Session, performing three songs from their recently released album Peach. From May 20th to 22nd Culture Abuse will be performing live at The Growlery in San Francisco to officially launch the record. The band will then head on tour with Nothing

Check out the video, and full tour dates, below.

Read More…

   

letlive. Stream Reluctantly Dead From Upcoming New Album

letlive. have unveiled a second track from their upcoming album If I’m the Devil…, due out on June 10th through Epitaph Records. “Reluctantly Dead” follows the previously released “Good Mourning America” and showcases the band’s more melodic side. Pre-orders for the record are available now.

Check out the track below.

Read More…