Swing With Your Eyes Closed
Chin Up, Kid have been with us since 2013, since their formation they have built a steady following through relentless touring on the local circuit, including playing the Vans Warped Tour in 2015, now Chin Up, Kid have released their debut full length, Swing With Your Eyes Closed, the album follows on from a series of self released EP’s, including 2016’s The Way You Live Is Common. Swing With Your Eyes Closed is released today, April the 28th 2017, via Standby Records and will be followed by a headlining tour with Victorian Halls.
Sometimes you get an album where you know exactly what you’re in for, from the band’s optimistic moniker and album title, to the cartoon artwork on the cover, this is an album that just screams pop punk at you and before you’ve even dropped the needle you have a good idea of what you’re in for. Sometimes expectations can be confounded, but that is not the case here as Swing With Your Eyes Closed is an unapologetically pop punk album from start to finish. Chin Up, Kid channel pop punk’s halcyon days, everything from the opening chords of Overview onwards feels like something of a throwback, and as a result the whole affair feels strangely familiar.
If you love the likes of Blink-182, Good Charlotte and New Found Glory, especially their releases from when pop punk was at the peak of it’s popularity, then Chin Up, Kid will be a band you need to acquaint yourself with. For me Swing With Your Eyes Closed seems to lack a touch of the exuberance, enthusiasm and sense of fun that was a calling card of the best of the pop punk bands, but having said that Chin Up, Kid are a solid, if not somewhat unsurprising, addition to the pop punk stable.
Swing With Your Eyes Closed can be ordered here via Standby Records
Chin Up, Kid‘s Facebook presence can be found here
Buffalo, NY alternative rockers Younger Then have signed with Standby Records and have announced they will release their self-titled debut EP on April 21, the band has also released a video of the lead single, Ghost, ahead of the EP’s release. You can pre-order Younger Then‘s debut EP digitally via iTunes and on physical formats here
You can view the video for Ghost below Read More…
Florida acoustic pop punk band Southview have releaseda new music video for the title track off their new EP, Sunny Places For Shady People, that was released on Standby Records on the March 17th 2017.
Sunny Places For Shady People is available here and via Spotify and iTunes.
You can view the video for Sunny Places For Shady People, and Southview‘s tour dates, below Read More…
Southview are a four piece pop punk band originating from Florida, they have previously toured the Eastern United States with their self-released debut EP, Whatever It Takes, now the band is setting forth on their first full tour of United States, and they have announced the release of their sophomore EP, Sunny Places For Shady People, via Standby Records on the 17th March 2017.
You can pre-order Sunny Places For Shady People here
Southview‘s tour dates can be found here
Voyages And Vantage Points
I Fight Fail are a four piece alternative band from Ohio, they formed in 2013 out of the ashes of Where Are You Houston? The Voyages And Vantage Points EP follows on from their debut release, Move Me, in 2014. I hadn’t encountered I Fight Fail prior to writing this review, the name somewhat mislead me as I was expecting something fast, short and angry, what I wasn’t expecting was a mature spacey mix of emo, indie and electronica.
Voyages And Vantage Points is an accomplished and atmospheric six track EP that builds from the brief title track, a sample led spacey instrumental, to the anthemic final track Out Of Oblivion. It’s hard to fault this EP, but I get the feeling they’d never quite got out of second gear and I found myself itching to flip the album over and play next six tracks, Voyages and Vantage Points feels like the first half of an album, some indefinable quality is missing from this EP and I just get the impression they didn’t quite get to where they were heading.
There is a distinct feel of the likes of Thirty Seconds To Mars, Angels And Airwaves and the later pre-reformation recordings of Blink-182. I found this EP falls slightly short as it it contains about twenty minutes of spacey anthemic emo tinged rock, at no point does it step up the pace to inject some adrenaline into proceedings. The majority of the spacier bands I’ve encountered over the years usually had something in their armoury to bring the audience up, and this is what I feel is missing from this EP. Having said this is an impressive indication of the bands potential and I’ll look forward to their debut album.
Voyages And Vantage Points is released today and can be ordered here
I Fight Fail is a space rock band from Canton, Ohio, delivering a patented combination of alternative guitar textures, electronica and rock, reminiscent of Thirty Seconds to Mars, Angels and Airwaves, Incubus and Blink 182. I Fight Fail were formed in 2013 from the ashes of their previous band, Where Are You Houston. With an airy, hypnotic vibe, their sound is imminently danceable and trancey, their musical chemistry immediately evident as soon as they hit the stage. A review of Voyages and Vantage Points will be published on The Punk Site in early October.
Voyages And Vantage Points can be ordered on vinyl here and digitally via iTunes
The video for Are You OK can be viewed below Read More…
Dallas quintet Light the Fire have now been around for five years and will be releasing their sophomore album, Ascension, today via Standby Records. Ascension is the follow up to their 2015 debut album, Lost At Sea, and it sounds like a logical progression from their first album. The opening instrumental track eases you into album before it seamlessly switches into the track Strong Mind Fragile Heart, ethereal keyboards sit behind walls of drums and heavy brutalising guitar riffs. Whilst the band define themselves as ‘electro post hardcore’ this is an album that has the hallmarks of modern metal, relentless pounding drums, crunching guitar riffs and vocals that alternate between barked growls and a clear emo tinged delivery. Behind the more predictable polished metal elements lie occasional techno style keyboards and the more traditional synthetic swirling orchestral backing.
Ascension sounds rather predictable, this bombastic hybrid is something that doesn’t do it for me, as with many releases of this genre, the overproduction just kills it stone dead. I’m not sure if this just a personal bugbear of mine, or maybe it’s just that this isn’t an album for me, but I find that polishing the sound of an album until all character has been removed from the process just seems self defeating. For me this is an overly commercialised version of metal that for all it’s efforts just comes across as being rather soulless.
There are bands who make these crossbred hybrids of metal and do it well, but Light The Fire don’t sound like one of them. Having said all that, fans of this genre will lap this up and I’d bet a mortgage payment they will be wildly successful. Ascension will probably sell incredibly well as that’s exactly what it sounds like it was designed to do.
Ascension can be ordered via Standby Records here
Light The Fire‘s web presence can be found here
Californian five piece alternative rock band Demon In Me will be releasing their debut LP Here’s Your Way Out on September 2nd via Standby Records.
Demon In Me will be on tour from Sep 2nd – 22nd with The Body Rampant.
Here’s Your Way Out can now be pre ordered on iTunes
A video for the track Enough’s Enough can be viewed below Read More…
Jesse Smith & The Holy Ghost
This is West Virginian Jesse Smith‘s latest project, he has now been in the music business for over two decades, in bands such as Zao and Gods. Jesse Smith & The Holy Ghost originally formed as a live collective with a constantly changing line up, but over the years the line up has been refined, and they have now assembled an impressive roster of musicians, alongside the eponymous frontman are drummer Brandon Joy, bassist Ralph Moyers, and guitarists Breyer White and Dakota Walker. Together they have established a formidable reputation as a live act, now they have bought us their self titled debut album.
This is alt rock as it should be played, it carries the beat and attitude of traditional rock but it’s imbued with a fierce independent streak that carries influences from the best bands that have defied description and been lumped in with the alt rock tag, think of Nick Oliveri era Queens Of The Stone Age, Muse‘s less indulgent songs or The Cult at full tilt, all played with a hard edge and hunger that comes from having lived life on the rollercoaster of the music industry for over two decades. Mystic River opens the album with mellow guitars that steadily build up to the brutal pounding riff of 826, following this is my personal highlight, the speed fuelled Son Of Nomad. This is an album that switches effortlessly between brutal alt rock, blues influenced rockers and amphetamine fast numbers, this is a very impressive debut that never take it’s foot off the gas until the brief Outro eases you out of the album with its hypnotic chant.
Album’s like this are part of the joy of being a reviewer, occasionally you get to discover an album that might well otherwise have passed you by, this is one of those albums, and hopefully I’ll be successful in trying to ensure that a few people don’t make that mistake. This is a brutal, yet melodic, album of alt rock that I would recommend to anyone who likes their music on the dark side. It is the result of the years spent honing their live act, finding the right combination of members and getting signed to a label, in the recently re-launched Standby Records, that allows you to record the album you wanted to make. The only problem that Jesse Smith And The Holy Ghost will have will be surpassing this release when they come to record the sophomore album.
Jesse Smith And The Holy Ghost‘s self titled album can be purchased from Standby Records here
Hailing from the small town of Parkersburg, West Virginia, Jesse Smith has lived the all too familiar ups and downs of the music business for the last 20 years. His current band Jesse Smith & The Holy Ghost have released a video for the song Killing Me Someone. The track is taken from the band’s recent self titled release, to promote their new album they will be joining Islander on the last leg of the Power Under Control Tour, alongside Funeral Portrait and XXI.
The tour dates, and the video for Killing Me Someone, can be seen below
Time Slips Away
Time Slips Away is the lastest release from upcoming Texas trio Pseudo Future, they recently signed up with the newly re-launched Standby Records and will release their debut EP for the label on July 29th. Pseudo Future play a smooth groove filled sound that combines and blends elements of traditional rock and alternative indie rock with a slick pop sheen.
Time Slips Away opens with the title track, and it’s clear from the outset that this is a very polished version of indie rock. The production is very orchestrated and brings a sense of grandeur to the opening number before it eases into the handclaps that open the bouncier number, Ode To Madness, that possesses an effortless pop sensibility. From this point on the seven track EP veers between heartfelt and earnest numbers and upbeat and poppy indie rock, but I can’t shake the feeling that I’ve heard it all before.Time Slips Away is a powerful and dramatic release, but it’s a little too polished, at times it veers dangerously close to being a pop record, a bit too close for my liking on several occasions.
There are many bands who play this kind of commercial indie rock, and Pseudo Future are certainly as good as any I’ve heard, but with no rough edges or bite it just doesn’t grab you, well it didn’t grab me. But having said that this isn’t an unpleasant record in any way, it’s very radio friendly and I can see them going places on the strength of this release. Whilst Time Slips Away isn’t an original album it is one that should ensure they are launched into the consciousness of the considerable indie rock fanbase.
Time Slips Away can be ordered from the usual outlets or direct from Standby Records here
Waking Up The Neighbours
I can remember a time when I would have latched onto bands like Essex pop-punk act Such Strange Arts. They were a simpler time when I was just finishing up high school and I thought the world was out to get me. Listening to bands I thought were punk rock like Simple Plan, I gravitated towards lyrics about going unnoticed, girls looking past me, and the type of first world problems that plagued a kid looking for identity in mass consumerism (remember when you used to think lyrics like “I’m just a kid, and life is a nightmare,” were insightful?). Nowadays, bands like 5 Seconds Of Summer and All Time Low appeal to the adolescent woes of the modern generation. Such Strange Arts falls in line with this simplistic brand of bubblegum, heartthrob pop-punk, and will likely land on the playlists of teens that will later regretfully admit their prior fandom when they have long since moved on.
As such, Such Strange Arts play it safe in their songwriting, ensuring that each of the five songs on their latest EP, Waking The Neighbours, is simple and self-contained. Opener “Criminal” kicks off with the type of easygoing chords that lend themselves the themes of a night of youthful exploits. Nothing hits with much urgency, and they deliver the message through a mostly harmless combination of sing-song vocals and predictable mid tempo chords. “Tonight it’s you and me, forget the world and live in magazines,” sings frontman Jake in a schoolboy-esque manner, detailing visions of laying under the night stars after house party hook-ups. The rest of the album follows suit, painting a picture of life in the juvenile lane. “Figure It Out” and the title track hop along jovially with pitchy vocals in an appeal to all the kids trying to find their identity in heartbreak. The most interesting song of the bunch, “Sextual Relations,” incorporates a number of iPhone messenger sounds along with a vague story of text-based relationships, breakups, and how the kids these days hide behind technology to avoid making big decisions in person. An easy appeal to the social media generation.
That isn’t to say the EP is all bad. At the very least, Such Strange Arts avoid the pitfalls of autotune and excessive electronics. Their simplistic formula relies on straight-forward albeit well-intended musicianship. Are they trying too hard? As heard with the lone album closing piano ballad, “Stay,” the answer is a painfully obvious yes. Waking The Neighbours will appeal to a certain audience, but as that audience grows and matures, they likely won’t stick around for more than an album or two. Much like All Time Low, Such Strange Arts banks on the principle that there will always be an up and coming generation of angsty, disenfranchised teens waiting for someone to speak their feelings as they experience them for the first time. The rest of us can happily pass on by knowing that we moved on many years ago.
Essex County, England pop-punk band Such Strange Arts is streaming their Standby Records debut. The EP is titled Waking the Neighbours and dropped last week.
Listen to the full disc below.
Essex County, England pop-punk band Such Strange Arts has premiered a new song from their Standby Records debut. The band will release an EP titled Waking the Neighbours January 29, 2016.
Listen tot he new track here courtesy New Noise Magazine.
Tulsa post hardcore band Outline in Color have been announced as one of three support acts on Slaves’ upcoming shows this spring, which are being billed as the Us Against The World Tour. The band’s follow up to 2014’s full length MASKS is due on March 11th via Standby Records.
Check out the details of the tour below.
Essex County, England pop-punk band Such Strange Arts has signed on with Standby Records. The band comments on the signing:
“We are very excited to join the Standby Records family! It is great to have the support of such a strong US label, especially as we come from the UK. We can’t wait to release the ‘Waking the Neighbours’ EP and see what the future holds!”
The band will release an EP titled Waking the Neighbours in the new year on January 29th.
Charlotte, NC’s Bruised But Not Broken have premiered a video for Self Evaluation. The song is the title track from their upcoming sophomore LP, just released via Standby Records.
Check out the video for Self Evaluation below.
Charlotte, NC’s Bruised But Not Broken have premiered a video for Relevant Letters. The song is the title track from their upcoming sophomore LP, due for release on October 30th via Standby Records. The band have said this about the record:
“It’s very exciting to finally be able to release what we’ve been working on for the last year. Relevant Letters in it’s entirety is a story – following a character through events of spiritual warfare, anxiety, trial, triumph and redemption. Each song represents it’s own piece of the story, the character, and each person listening.”
Check out the video for Relevant Letters below.
Hampshire, UK based alt rock band Fake The Attack have signed on with Standby Records and announced that their debut full length LP, Stranger Times, is due to drop on September 25th. Ahead of the record’s street date, the quartet have posted a lyric video for the track Foreign words, and the band had this to say about joining up with Standby Records:
We’re so excited to be part of the Standby Records family. This is a big step for our band and can’t wait to see what the future holds and where this will take us. Hard work pays off.”
Check out the lyric video for Foreign Words and the cover art and track list for Stranger Times below.
LA based grunge punks Astorian Stigmata have signed on with Standby Records, and announced that the first release for their new label will be Bones and Memories, the band’s third full length, due to drop on July 25th. Frontman Dennis Condusta has said this about the tone of the new record’s title track:
“The song “Bones and Memories” is where our grungy punk rock influences collide with our dark atmospheric side. It was the first song we wrote the record and it set the vibe for all the songs that followed. Unlike most of our previous material, this song has a hopefulness to it. An honest hopefulness that also knows the dark side of life.”
Check out a lyric video for the LP’s title track, and the album’s cover art and track list below.
Dallas, TX metal band Light the Fire has signed on with Standby Records. The band has announced that they will be releasing a new LP entitled Lost At Sea on May 26, 2015. The album was recorded with producer Jeremy Stimpert (Black Veil Brides, Modern Day Escape) at Studio D Productions in Cleveland, OH.
Track listing is below.
Tulsa post hardcore band Outline in Color have released a stream of their latest single Fever Frenzy. This is the band’s first new material since Masks, their full length from last year, released via Standby Records. The band are hitting the road next month with The Plot in You and Gift Giver, before finishing the trek with a series of headline dates.
Check out the stream of Fever Frenzy and the full list of dates below.
San Antonio hardcore/metal crossover act Silence The Messenger are hitting the road with Years Since The Storm later this month for a series of dates being billed The Mindfucked and Furious tour. The band are out supporting their debut full length Achilles which dropped last October via Standby Records.
Full dates available below:
Akron, OH post-hardcore band Set To Reflect has unveiled release details for their newest LP. The disc is titled Artificial Sun and is set for a January 14, 2014 release via Standby Records.
The album is now available for pre-order.
Female fronted rock band The Nearly Deads has debuted a brand new lyric video for the song “Brave.” The track is set to appear on their upcoming new album, Zombie Survival Guide EP, due out August 20, 2013 on Standby Records.
Watch the video below.
Hopes Die Last has premiered a brand new music video. The video features the song “Never Trust the Hazel Eyed,” set to appear on their upcoming album Trust No One, due out February 14, 2012 via Standby Records. The video serves as the second chapter to corresponding “Unleash Hell.”
Watch the full video below courtesy Blank TV.