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Fights And Fires To Release ‘Live Life Like A Tourist’ LP

Fights And Fires LLLATWorcester based punk-rock quartet, Fights And Fires, are heading in to the Summer with a new album, Live Life Like A Tourist, set for release on July 14th through Lockjaw Records. The new album features eight tracks of melodic hardcore infused punk-rock, inspired by the members of the band finding happiness in their personal lives, rekindling a love for life and a passion for their music. As such, an underlying message of positivity runs throughout all eight tracks on the record.

You can stream the track Blanquettes Avenue here

Live Life Like A Tourist can be pre-ordered on vinyl here

Setbacks Oceans Apart

Setbacks

Oceans Apart

Morning Wood Records
By

Rating: 3.5/5

 
 

 

 

Setbacks started out just a few short years ago and their latest release, Oceans Apart, follows on from their debut EP, The New Frontier, that was released in 2015. Their initial release was to test whether it was feasible to form and maintain a band that is comprised of five musicians from four different continents. The EP proved to be a success and as a result Oceans Apart, the bands first full length album, slowly and steadily came together and the album is now available on CD and digital formats via Morning Wood Records.

It seems obvious that the album title and the bands chosen moniker are more than appropriate given the circumstances, from personal experience I know it’s bad enough trying to organise a group of people to be ready to record or rehearse when they live in the same area, let alone scattered across four continents. Zenith doesn’t exactly kick things off, it gently noodles about in a worrying way before the strident punk tones kick in at about the one minute mark, things start in earnest from Too Much Time, from this point in you’re in for fourteen tracks of melodic hardcore that will be a blast for fans of Bad Religion, Pennywise and Millencolin.

Setbacks have managed to bring together their decades of melodic hardcore punk experience from their previous ventures and combine it to create something that recreates the hardcore sound they all grew up on and love. Such is the influence from the melodic hardcore bands that informed their sound it can seem that Oceans Apart comes across as something of a throwback, but if you like your intense punk rock delivered in an old school style then Setbacks may well be your new favourite band. This is an album that takes it’s cues directly from the bands that influenced it, Oceans Apart might not be the most original album you’ll hear this year but it’s a more than welcome blast from the past.

Oceans Apart can be streamed and purchased via Morning Wood Records here

Vacant Home To Release ‘Reflect, Respond’ EP

Vacant Home RR PromoAustralian melodic hardcore quintet Vacant Home have signed with Mutant League Records and will release their new EP, Reflect, Respond, worldwide on June 16th. Their brand of west coast melodic hardcore attracted a worldwide audience with the emotional and heartfelt debut single, Shiver, gaining over 350k views on Youtube within 6 months, now with an Australian tour with Eat Your Heart Out in their sights, a debut EP on the horizon and a growing worldwide fan base demanding more, Vacant Home are showing no sign of slowing down in 2017.

You can view the video for the track Shiver, and Vacant Home‘s Australian tour dates, below Read More…

Setbacks Release ‘Oceans Apart’ Album

Setbacks Oceans ApartSetbacks started up in 2015 having recorded and pressed a limited edition EP, The New Frontier, this was the prototype to test the waters and see the feasibility of having a band which consisted of five musicians from four different continents. The EP proved a success and the bands first full length album, Oceans Apart, slowly and steadily came together. With Aaron Gouldings unique vocal tone, something Pridebowl fans have too long been without, Setbacks have managed to bring together their decades of melodic hardcore punk experience from their previous ventures and combine it to create something oozing that 80’s and 90’s sound they all grew up on and love.

Oceans Apart can be streamed and purchased via Morning Wood Records here

Despero Somewhere Near The Bottom

Despero

Somewhere Near The Bottom

La Escalera Records
By

Rating: 4/5

 
 

 

 

Texan punk quartet Despero, that features former members of The Anchor, The Capitalist Kids, Air Tight Alibi, and Town Hall Devils, are gearing up to release their album Somewhere Near The Bottom tomorrow, the 24th of March, through La Escalera Records, the album will be available on CD and digital formats. Somewhere Near The Bottom is the band’s debut full length release, it originally appeared in a slightly shorter format via their Bandcamp last year, now the album is getting a full release via the esteemed La Escalera Records imprint.

The Bullets kicks off the album with a fine hardcore tinged blast of punk rock, this is followed by the darker themed Tiny Victories that has more of an anthemic quality and an insistent right hook of a riff. Somewhere Near The Bottom switches almost schizophrenically between their hard edged brutal side, and a more melodic counterpart, for me the latter part of their personality has the greater appeal, but both are delivered with equal passion and commitment across the album’s short sharp shock of nine tracks, that are delivered in a shade under twenty five minutes.

Despero are a band that refuse to be pigeonholed, whilst they are a full blooded punk band their delivery varies from straight up punk rock, through melodic hardcore and into full blooded hardcore. If you have any love for the likes of Strung Out, Good Riddance and Avail then this is a band you will want to investigate, as Somewhere Near The Bottom is a full blooded album of bare knuckle punk rock that will we be a welcome addition to your playlist.

Despero will be appearing at La Escalera Fest 6 in April 2017 in San Diego, California and Tijuana, Mexico alongside thirty other bands from the La Escalera Records stable. You can buy tickets, and get more information about La Escalera Fest 6 here

Somewhere Near The Bottom can be pre-ordered on CD here and digitally here

Despero‘s Facebook presence can be found here

Casey Release New Music Video For ‘Little Bird’

Casey Love Is Not EnoughSouth Wales’ melodic hardcore upstarts Casey recently celebrated the North American release of their debut full length, Love Is Not Enough, that is now available via Hassle Records. Now the band has released a brand new music video for Little Bird, one of the many explosive tracks from the album.

You can order Love Is Not Enough on physical formats here and digitally via iTunes

You can view the video for Little Bird below Read More…

One_Hidden_Frame_-_Harmful_Content

One Hidden Frame

Harmful Content

Bird Attack Records
By

Rating: 3/5

 
 

 

 

One Hidden Frame were formed in 2002 right next to the Russian border in Lappeenranta, Finland, the band has now been around for over a decade and has undergone numerous line up changes over the years, the current incarnation of One Hidden Frame are now more active than ever and they have developed a heavier more aggressive sound for their latest album. Harmful Content was released a few days ago, on the 17th March 2017, via Bird Attack Records and the album is now available for download, and also on extremely limited edition vinyl.

One Hidden Frame have made a few forays into Europe, including an appearance at Punk Rock Holiday, and now it appears that they are intent on making an impact outside their home turf with the release of Harmful Content. The opening What I’d Rather Say Is… verges on post hardcore before the album kicks into the full on melodic hardcore of From Maidan To Tahrir, from this point on the album veers between the various incarnations that hardcore has spawned over the years in an intense and emotional, if not somewhat familiar, manner.

One Hidden Frame delivers a mix of melancholic 90s skate punk and melodic hardcore, it’s a mix that will definately appeal to fans of the likes of Propagandhi and Pennywise. This is a solid nine tracks of emotive hard edged punk rock that will hit the spot the for fans of the more intense side of post hardcore, and obviously established fans of melodic hardcore. For me there is nothing on Harmful Content that I haven’t heard before, but having said that this is an album that is well delivered and faultlessly produced, and it’s one that should earn them new devotees outside of their native Finland.

Harmful Content can be purchased and streamed here

One Hidden Frame‘s Facebook presence can be found here

One Hidden Frame Release ‘Harmful Content’

One_Hidden_Frame_-_Harmful_ContentFinnish shredders One Hidden Frame have released their fifth full-length album, titled Harmful Content, through, the album features nine tracks of riff infused melodic punk and if you love Propagandhi, you’ll definitely want to check this album out. One Hidden Frame were formed in 2002 right next to the Russian border in Lappeenranta, Finland, the band delivers a mix of melancholic 90s skate punk and melodic hardcore without fear of adding emotion to their music.

One Hidden Frame‘s Facebook page can be found here

You can purchase and stream Harmful Content via Bandcamp here

One Hidden Frame Release Video For ‘Exploding Head Syndrome’

One_Hidden_Frame_-_Harmful_ContentOne Hidden Frame have released a music video for their song Exploding Head Syndrome, the track is taken from the band’s fifth full length album, Harmful Content, which is scheduled to be released on March 17 2017 through Bird Attack Records.

You can pre order Harmful Content here

One Hidden Frame‘s Facebook page can be found here

You can view the video for Exploding Head Syndrome below Read More…

One Hidden Frame To Release ‘Harmful Content’

One_Hidden_Frame_-_Harmful_ContentFormed in 2002 right next to the Russian border in Lappeenranta, Finland, One Hidden Frame deliver a mix of melancholic 90s skate punk and melodic hardcore, having been around over a decade, as well as having gone through some line up changes in recent years, One Hidden Frame are more active than ever as they develop a heavier, more aggressive sound that will resonate with fans of Propagandhi. The band will be releasing their fifth album, Harmful Content, on March 17th through Bird Attack Records, the album can now be pre-ordered through Bandcamp, where you can also stream the first single, Exploding Head Syndrome.

Harmful Content can be pre-ordered here

Grail Release Stream Of ‘Severed Ties’ From Debut EP

Grail Severed TiesMelodic hardcore band Grail, that features members of Driver Side Impact and Dear Whoever, are debuting a new song, Severed Ties, off their forthcoming debut EP, Still Alive, that is due out on March 21st. Frontman Stason Bobo had this to say 

‘Severed Ties’ depicts a story of betrayal and forgiveness, ultimately coming to a conclusion to call it quits with a relationship. Willing to wipe the slate of all the wrong doings within one’s lover’s conundrums, only to find that there will always be secrets in hiding to be uncovered.

Grail‘s Facebook presence can be found here  Severed Ties can be streamed here

Casey Release Full Stream Of Debut Full Length

Casey Love Is Not EnoughSouth Wales’ melodic hardcore upstarts, Casey, are releasing their debut album, Love Is Not Enough, in North America on February 24th via Hassle Records, to celebrate they have released an early full stream of the album. Casey have also announced a lengthy run of spring tour dates, which include appearances at Download Festival and Destruction Derby Festival.

Love Is Not Enough can be streamed in full here and can be pre-ordered via iTunes

Casey‘s Spring tour dates can be viewed below Read More…

FOD Harvest

F.O.D.

Harvest

Bird Attack Records / Effervescence Records / Funtime Records / Bells On Records
By

Rating: 4/5

 
 

 

 

Belguim’s F.O.D. are a four piece punk rock band that are now well established on the punk scene on their home turf, now the release of their latest full length, Harvest, via Bird Attack Records, Effervescence Records, Funtime Records and Bells On Records, depending on your choice of format and location, will hopefully serve to further spread their name beyond the borders of their home country. F.O.D. have built a steady live reputation with their catchy melodies and vocal harmonies, and Harvest is a seventeen track album that delivers those qualities in abundance. Harvest was released on the 7th February and is available on CD and vinyl, on clear and black variants, as well as digitally.

F.O.D. kick things off in fine manic style with 41, an ode to those of who are getting a bit older but are refusing to grow old gracefully, from this point on the album powers it’s way though seventeen tracks of accomplished melodic punk rock. The album rarely takes it’s foot off the gas, although tracks such as There’s A Place (Where We Can Go To) and High Street Gloria do provide some breathing space, but first and foremost this is an album of full tilt melodic punk rock that wears it’s influences firmly on it’s sleeves. When compared to their previous albums Harvest comes across as a slightly darker more aggressive album, but this isn’t at the expense of their trademark style, the melodies and catchy as hell choruses are still an ever present feature.

Harvest is an album that carries a hefty influence from the likes of Green Day, Descendents, Lagwagon and Bad Religion, but that’s not to say this is any way a reproduction of those bands, F.O.D. have very much added their own character into the mix to produce a heady mix of their influences, that is delivered with a distinctly European twist. Whilst there isn’t anything on Harvest that will surprise you, there is certainly more than enough to delight F.O.D.‘s established fanbase, and any fan of the aforementioned bands.

Harvest can be purchased and streamed here

F.O.D.‘s website can be located here

Straightline VV

Straightline

Vanishing Values

Bird Attack Records
By

Rating: 4/5

 
 

 

 

German melodic skate punkers Straightline will be releasing their latest album, Vanishing Values, worldwide tomorrow, February 10th 2017, through Bird Attack Records. The quartet, who reside in Munich, Germany, have previously released three albums, and an identical number of EPs, all of which are filled with fiery metal riffs built on a solid punk rock backbone. Their latest album, Vanishing Values, brings together the best elements of their past releases in a twelve song package, one that demonstrates why Straightline have built a loyal following that brings metalheads and punks into the fold in equal measure.

Vanishing Lives opens with Generation Lost, a furious hybrid of punk rock that incorporates the less self indulgent elements of thrash metal, including breakdowns and, thankfully brief, technical guitar solos. The album continues to vary the balance, Pleonexia leans towards a stronger influence from melodic hardcore with the metal elements on the back burner, whilst Not Afraid takes things back into the thrash realm, The album continues to veer wildly, combining their influences to produce a unique fusion of thrash metal, punk rock and melodic hardcore, and even touches of dub and folk punk, that you can’t help but be impressed by.

Straightline have produced an album that will please fans from both camps, Vanishing Lives is an album that has managed to balance the competing influences perfectly, it’s wouldn’t take a genius to guess that I prefer the tracks that have a stronger punk influence, but I didn’t encounter anything on the thrashier tracks that had me reaching to skip to the next track. You can detect a hefty influence from the likes of Propaghandi, Strung Out, Good Riddance and Lagwagon in their sound, these are married perfectly to the influences from the parallel universe that metal and thrash inhabit to produce an impressive crossover album, this is not any easy trick to pull off, but it’s one that Straightline have managed to make sound effortless.

The Bird Attack Records Bandcamp can be found here and their website is here

Straghtline‘s Facebook page can be found here and their Bandcamp is here

Our Darkest Days Release Video For ‘The Burden Of My Sins’

our-darkest-days-acaOur Darkest Days have released a music video for their song The Burden Of My Sins, that features Michael Garcia from Forus. The track is taken from their latest album,  A Common Agony, that is available now on CD and Digital formats via Bird Attack Records.

The Punk Site review of A Common Agony can be found here

A Common Agony can be purchased here
 
The video For The Burden Of My Sins can be viewed below

Read More…

Darko Bonsai Mammoth

Darko

Bonsai Mammoth

Bird Attack Records
By

Rating: 3.5/5

 
 

 

 

Guildford, UK based melodic hardcore quintet Darko have unleashed their latest release, Bonsai Mammoth, via Bird Attack Records (US),Lockjaw Records (UK), Torch of Hope Records (JP) and Giljotina Records (SI). Despite Darko‘s longevity this is their debut full length and it follows on from the steady stream of EP’s and singles that have littered their history. The album was released yesterday, the 3rd February 2017, and is now available to purchase on vinyl and CD, and Bonsai Mammoth can also be streamed and ordered digitally.

Bonsai Mammoth starts with some light, almost jazz, chords, this worrying start is thankfully short lived, at the 25 second mark the album jump starts with the frantic hardcore infused skate punk of the opening track, Life Forms. Bonsai Mammoth continues in this vein, with the exception of the brief mellow strains of The Chernobyl Effect, a track that acts as a brief mid point intermission to the relentless punk assault. The pace and intensity contained on Bonsai Mammoth is unrelenting, but the style in which it is delivered remains varied, encompassing hardcore, melodic hardcore and skate punk, along with a few technical math rock flourishes that add a technical element to their delivery.

This is the sound of a band that is experiencing something of a renaissance in their sound, Darko have been with us for a while now, their debut EP was released back in 2010, and Bonsai Mammoth sounds tighter and more focused and intense than anything Darko have previously released. This is a somewhat relentless release, with the sole exception of the brief instrumental that acts as a mid distance marker, that is a full on hardcore assault from start to end, one that sits at the extreme end of the melodic hardcore spectrum. As Darko approach the milestone of a decade together Bonsai Mammoth is an indicator that this is a band that clearly has a lot more to offer.

Darko‘s Facebook presence can be found here, their Bandcamp is here and their website is here

Bonsai Mammoth can be streamed and purchased via Bird Attack Records here

Darko Announce Tour Dates And Stream of New Song

Darko Bonsai MammothDarko have announced the first batch of 2017 tour dates in support of the new album, Bonsai Mammoth, which will be released on on February 3rd via Bird Attack Records (US), Lockjaw Records (UK) and Torch Of Hope (JP). The tour dates include a hometown release show in Guildford, a European release show and an appearance at EXIT Festival in Serbia.

You can stream the new track Set In Our Ways here,

Bonsai Mammoth can be pre-ordered here (US) and here (UK)

Darko‘s tour dates can be viewed below Read More…

Casey Announce US Release of Debut LP ‘Love Is Not Enough’

Casey Love Is Not EnoughSouth Wales’ melodic hardcore upstarts, Casey, have announced the North American release of their boundary pushing debut full length, Love Is Not Enough, due out February 24th from Hassle Records. To mark the announcement, the UK band have released the intense music video for Darling, one of the album’s stand out tracks. 

The North American release of Love Is Not Enough is available for pre-order via iTunes here

The video for Darling can be viewed below Read More…

Ambleside Confirm Australian Tour And Release ‘Shape Me’ EP

ambleside-trophy-eyes-tour-jan-17Ambleside are a band that are leading the charge in the Australian melodic hardcore scene. Since releasing their self produced debut EP, New Tide, the band has toured tirelessly, notching up six Australian east coast tours within the last two years, supporting an array of well known international and local acts. Ambleside have confirmed they will join Trophy Eyes, Columbus and Our Past Days on a February Australian tour in support of their latest EP, Shape Me, which is out in the US on Mutant League Records. Several of the shows on the tour are already sold out.

The Shape Me EP can be purchased from Mutant League Records here

You can stream the Shape Me EP here and you can view the video for the track Dear Mother below Read More…

Darko Release Music Video For Their New Single, “Hiraeth”

Darko Bonsai MammothDarko have shared their new single, Hiraeth, and it’s accompanying video, the track is taken from the new album, Bonsai Mammoth, which will be released on all formats on February 3, 2017 through Bird Attack Records (US), Lockjaw Records (UK) and Torch Of Hope (JP). With musical salutes to riff-thrashers like Protest The Hero, straight-up skate punk legends Strung Out and the melodic hardcore of Comeback Kid, Bonsai Mammoth delivers wholeheartedly and shows a real progression to the band’s sound, a continuation of a journey this band of DIY brothers are only just beginning.

You can view the video for Hiraeth below Read More…

Ambleside Confirm Australian Tour With Trophy Eyes

ambleside-trophy-eyes-tour-jan-17Ambleside are a band that are leading the charge in the Australian melodic hardcore scene. Since releasing their self produced debut EP, New Tide, the band has toured tirelessly, notching up six Australian east coast tours within the last two years, supporting an array of well known international and local acts.

Ambleside have confirmed they will join Trophy Eyes, Columbus and Our Past Days on a February Australian tour in support of their latest EP, Shape Me, which is out in the US on Mutant League Records. Several of the shows on the tour are already sold out.

You can view the video for the track Wash Away, and the tour dates, below Read More…

aim-higher-homemade-ep

Aim Higher

Homemade EP

Rise Records
By

Rating: 4/5

 
 

 

 

Kevin Seconds really doesn’t need any introduction, he formed the legendary punk band 7 Seconds at the tail end of the late 1970’s, and although they have always remained a going concern he has always taken on new projects, whether that is solo releases, collaborations or new bands, all of which are always accompanied by a relentless touring schedule. Now he has launched his latest outfit, Aim Higher, this is his home recording DIY hardcore project and they released their debut single, the four song Homemade EP, on Rise Records in mid December.

Stain On Your Generation opens the Homemade EP, this is a straight up blast of melodic hardcore that has a distinctly DIY authenticity, a quality that is maintained across all four tracks, about it, For A Reason keeps the tempo up but with a stronger nod to the melodic element of his songwriting. The title track of the Homemade EP is another short hardcore blast that hits the spot before you get to the EP’s final track, Mouth Of A Stranger. This track is the highlight of the EP, it encompasses everything that we’ve loved about the best releases Kevin Seconds has put out over the last four decades, it is a perfect amalgamation of punk and hardcore and proves that Kevin Seconds has lost none of his fire. This track alone would make this release an essential purchase, but combine it with the three tracks that preceded it and this should make the Homemade EP your first purchase of 2017.

The Homemade EP is a lo-fi take on melodic hardcore, it is a little on the short side as all four tracks are done and dusted in under five minutes, but this is Kevin Seconds doing what he does best, and doing it with the punk DIY ethos that is the hallmark of some of the best records I heard in 2016. This is an authentic EP that combines punk, hardcore and melodic hardcore in the space of less than five minutes and as you’d expect it’s done with integrity and embodies the original punk attitude. The Homemade EP is available for download via iTunes, and there is also as a limited edition monochrome splatter vinyl version, that is limited to only 500 copies.

The download of the Homemade EP can be ordered here

You can stream the Homemade EP, and order the limited edition vinyl, here

Our Darkest Days Release ‘Ceaseless’ Music Video

our-darkest-days-acaOur Darkest Days have released a music video for the song Ceaseless, the video takes you on the road with Our Darkest Days on the overnight drives from city to city whilst on tour. Ceaseless is taken from their latest album, A Common Agony, that is available now on CD and digital formats via Bird Attack Records.

A Common Agony can be streamed and purchased here

You can watch the video for Ceaseless below Read More…

our-darkest-days-aca

Our Darkest Days

A Common Agony

Bird Attack Records
By

Rating: 3.5/5

 
 

 

 
Our Darkest Days are a Canadian quintet who deliver melodic punk rock, the band formed only four short years ago, in that time the membership of the band seems to have been in constant turmoil, but they now seem to have a steady line up, and this newfound stability preceded the recording of their debut full length, A Common Agony, that has been released via Bird Attack Records. The album features guest appearance by Denis Buckley, from 88 Fingers Louie, and Michel Garcia, from FORUS, to add to the already muscular sound that Our Darkest Days produce.
 
A Common Agony opens with an ominous roll of thunder prior to the opening power chords that signifies what you’re in for, from this point in you get a relentless assault of punk rock, but one that has elements of melodic hardcore hardwired into it’s DNA. There is no place to hide once you’ve put A Common Agony through your speakers, this is thirteen shots that are fired from the same gun in quick succession. Our Darkest Days have produced an album that owes a hefty debt to 90’s punk rock, I can especially hear an influence from Strung Out, but I also detected a hint of metal in the guitar style, alongside the punk and hardcore influences, and it’s this blend of styles that stops A Common Agony being just a straight recreation of the bands that informed their sound.
 
If I had to criticise the album, and that’s kinda what I do here, it’s that A Common Agony is relentlessly played in the same style, there is very little variation across the thirteen cuts. Whilst what they are damn fine at what they do, I always feel that you need some variety in a release, whether that means upping the pace, or bringing it down, just something that would highlight the fine dual guitar attack that is their hallmark, rather than this being the norm throughout the album. A Common Agony is a razor sharp slab of melodic punk rock that is only a few tweaks away from hitting the mark, this is a fine first foray by Our Darkest Days and this is a band that will be worth keeping an eye on.
 
A Common Agony can be purchased here
 
conspire-tsr

Conspire

The Scenic Route

InVogue Records
By

Rating: 3/5

 
 

 

 

Conspire have unleashed their debut album, The Scenic Route, it was released in mid November via InVogue Records, and it’s a notably dark and stormy journey into melodic post hardcore. The Floridian quintet have marked their first entry into the overcrowded post hardcore genre with an impressive and consistent ten track debut, to add muscle to their initial recording the album also features guest appearances from Silent Planet‘s Garrett Russell and Rocky Armelino from This Or The Apocalypse.

The opening track, 1971, features a disquieting melodic quality before the military drumbeat kicks in which signifies the song building up to the chorus, all the way through this track ebbs and flows between unsettling melodic sections with spoken vocals, and growled sections where everything just kicks in. The Secenic Route features a dark and down tuned vibe that moves away from the typical elements that have featured on many of the post hardcore albums I’ve heard this year. Conspire‘s debut release flows nicely, and whilst it displays a consistent quality across it’s ten tracks, it manages to avoid falling into the trap of becoming repetitive. This is nowhere more in evidence than on By The Sword, and the final track Enola. These two tracks move away from the troubled nature of the abum by introducing a thoughtful and haunting instrumental element to this release. Unlike many albums I’ve encountered that include an instrumental interlude to break things up, these two numbers fit in with the feel of the album and don’t sound like an incongruous afterthought.

The Scenic Route is a dark and claustrophobic album, but this isn’t just another noisy post hardcore release that follows the blueprint of alternating loud and quiet sections, there’s a lot more to The Scenic Route than that. This an album that varies the intensity and style and proves that they aren’t just another angry voice in the crowd, if you’re tastes lie to the darker and more emotive side of the genre then this is an album you’ll want to investigate.

The Scenic Route can be purchased here

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.

arms-aloft-wattbba

Arms Aloft

What A Time To Be Barely Alive

Red Scare Industries
By

Rating: 4.5/5

 
 

 

 

Arms Aloft are a quartet from Wisconsin who play dedicated Midwestern punk rock with vocals that sound like they’ve been scraped raw by late night bourbon and smoke. What A Time To Be Barely Alive is their sophomore album, it follows on from their acclaimed 2012 debut, Sawdust City, that album was an almost perfect outburst of punk anger against the state, and their latest album has continued in that same vein, but it seems to be one that is more focused and dare I say slightly, only slightly mind, more refined.

We Have Nothing To Lose But Our Chains is the opening assault of melodic hardcore, it sets their stall out nicely, this is socially conscious punk rock, this approach is evident on excellent tracks like Three Altars For Rats and A Psalm For Our Jobs And Apartments, but they aren’t the whole story. There are low key minimalistic numbers, such as Hollowlujah and West Grand Avenue Maria, that are more akin to the work of Billy Bragg, but have no less impact for their subtler approach. Despite the number of fine tracks that populate A Time To Be Barely Alive, it seems that the album has saved it’s best moment for last, the closing track, And A World To Win, is quite simply as finer politically sussed slice of punk rock as you’ll hear all year.

The influence of bands like Propagandhi, Dillinger Four and Anti-Flag can be heard on this release, along with other left wing punk bands, as this is a band that carries a message, not just in their lyrical content but from the roots up, even their album cover, which features a herd of swine escaping a pen, gives you an idea where their political leanings lie. It might not be the most subtle political message but in a age when dangerous imbeciles are gaining credibility the time for subtlety is over, bands like Arms Aloft are needed more than ever and this album is one of the best of it’s type you’ll hear this year.

You can order What A Time To Be Barely Alive from Red Scare Industries here

Praise Release New Video And Announce European And US Tour

praise-liabBaltimore melodic hardcore torchbearers, Praise, have just announced a globetrotting run of winter tour dates to support their recently released collection of blistering tuneful hardcore, the Leave It All Behind EP, which is available now from REACT! Records. To celebrate the band has released their new music video for the track Makes No Sense.

Praise‘s world tour will see them playing show in The USA, The UK and Europe, the band will be joined by Fury and Insist for most of their upcoming shows.

Leave It All Behind can be ordered from REACT! Records here

The video For Makes No Sense and the tour dates can be viewed below Read More…

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…

Union Stockyards Release Two Things At Once

Union Stockyards 2 things at onceUnion Stockyards are a melodic hardcore band that are as catchy as Lifetime and as fast and hard as Paint it Black. Hidden Home Records have announced there will be a limited edition cassette re-release of the bands two EPs, Self Titled and Tracks, that were originally released between May 2014 and November 2015. The resemblance to the Descendents Two Things At Once is no coincidence as they are a major influence on Union Stockyards. Two Things At Once will be released on the 30th September.

You can pre-order the limited edition cassette of Two Things At Once here

You can check out the Hidden Home Records announcement of Two Things At Once below Read More…

Antillectual Engage

Antillectual

Engage!

Bird Attack Records / Redfield Records / Waterslide Records / Fusa Records
By

Rating: 3.5/5

 
 

 

 

Antillectual, who are from Nijmegen in the Netherlands, are a trio that play a socially conscious and energetic blend of punk music, they are a band that wear their influences proudly on their collective sleeves. By creating their own unique blend of stolen riffs and borrowed song titles, Antillectual have created an album that is a hybrid of the finer elements of the last few decades of punk rock. The opening number, Priest Without A Religion, starts with an 80s rock feel, gentle guitars and swirling keyboards abound, but thankfully this is a red herring as at about the minute mark the punk assault kicks in, and from that point forward this is a unrelenting blast of punk energy and melodic hardcore.

What’s clear before you’ve even played a single track is that there is a keen sense of humour present alongside the politically sussed lyrics, titles such as, Europe, This Is Your Final Countown, Appetite For Construction and Obsessive Cosmetic Disorder show an awareness of the past that Antillectual have recycled for the own aims. This is also applicable to their music as well, as their are distinct similarities to the punk bands that came before them. Vocally they are channelling Bad Religion, musically there are two many influences to number, but this is an amalgamation that definately evokes the spirits of previous punk rock glories. That’s not to say that this album is in anyway copying other bands, it is heavy influenced by American punk bands but it has a character all of it’s of its own

Antillectual are carrying the torch for European punk rock far beyond the borders and boundaries of their own country. They aren’t shy about acknowledging their influences, whilst this doesn’t quite hit the heights of the bands that informed their sound, it is a damn fine slab of American style punk rock that is played with a European twist. In addition to their obvious influences they’ve even recruited a few members of some of those bands to make an appearance on Engage! Strike Anywhere‘s Thomas Barnett and BoySetsFire‘s Nathan Gray both make welcome guest appearances on this album. If you have a love of the likes of Bad Religion, Against Me! and Anti-Flag then you will want to investigate Engage!

Engage! is being released worldwide on July 29th through Bird Attack Records (US), Redfield Records (Europe), Waterslide Records (Asia) and Fusa Records (South America).

You can order Engage! direct from Antillectual here