Monday, 20 October 2014

Review of "Tex-Mexiconomy (EP)" by We Are Carnivores Released 10th November 2014

We Are Carnivores are a Post-Hardcore band from Hull consisting of Harry Christopher (Vocals, Guitar), James Pickersgill (Guitar, Vocals), Beu Smith (Drums) and Alex Gower (Bass, Vocals). This is a review of their quirky titled EP Tex-Mexiconomy. The band is currently touring and played The Underground, Plymouth on Sunday 19th.

The EP kicks off with "Checkout Girl" with its sneering vocals, indie meets punk flavoured guitars. "Quick Questions Can't Stay Long" show the band are not afraid of dissonant chords to create a  jarring feeling in the intro. The album has its own energy which keeps the listener guessing what will come next.

The highlight of the album is the catchy "T.O.W.I.C.S" with its straightforward pop punk vibe with lyrics referencing selfies, Made in Chelsea, hashtag and Jordie Shore. Lead singer Harry spits his lyrics with rapid fire venom and distaste for the subject matter combined by the relentless pace of the track mean this is sure to be a live favourite.

"Iron Me" is a heartfelt disconcerting acoustic which explodes into a wall of guitar noise and feedback at the climax. The EP ends on politically charged "Are We Allowed To Just Live?" which which uses contrasting melodic phrases with discordant nirvana-esque breaks to great effect.

The EP is veritable banquet of politically charged lyrics, quirky humour,half sung / spoken / shouted vocals, quick fire riffs, big hooks, punk attitude and a keen sense of melody. For fans of Don Broco, The JCQ, Reuben, Mallory Knox and Lower Than Atlantis.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Review of "The Hunter, The Gatherer" by Arizona Released 20th October 2014

Arizona are a metalcore band from Essex formed in 2011 consisting of Jacob Scroggs-Parris (Vocals), George Southernwood (Drums), Brad Laurence (Guitar), Benjamin Wyckes(Guitar) and Jordan Swan (Bass). The band release "The Hunter, The Gatherer" on 20th October 2014.

It is clear from the very second of "Black Hart" that it is going to be a heavy affair, with downtuned chugging riffage, rapid drums and lead singers Jacob's vocals reminiscent of the lead singer of Spineshank.  "The Hunted" and the notch heavier "The Gathering" are structurally and sonically similar; clearly the two tracks are meant to be companion pieces, reflective of each other.

The EP ends on the strongest track "Preacher" which starts with a slow creepy halloween-esque intro before stabbing guitar riffs and a catchy repeating lead riff kick in, topped off with Jacob spitting his lyrics like his life depends on it. If this track does not get your head banging you are possibly dead.

The Hunted is a take no prisoners romp through a riff strewn landscape, complete with machine gun drumming, thumping bass and half screamed/ half shouted vocals. The EP would appeal to fans of Bury Tomorrow, early Spineshank, Hatebreed and Chimaira.

Monday, 29 September 2014

Review of "Faultlines" by Road To Horizon Released 20th October 2014

Road To Horizon are a five piece post hardcore band hailing from the depths of Yorkshire consisting of Ben Flockton(Vocal), Chris McIntosh (Guitar/Vocals), Benji Wilson (Guitars), Oli Parkinson (Bass) and Sie Gordon(Drums).

The album artwork for "Faultlines" has a passing resemblance to Bury Tomorrow's latest album "Runes" and from the start of the title track the similarities continue; the band play a similar post hardcore blend of crunchy guitars, blastbeat drumming with mix of unclean and clean vocals. What sets the band apart from the more metalcore Bury Tomorrow is their keen sense of melody which runs through their songs.

Up next is "Tonight Is Our Night" which has a Yashin feel to the track, Ben's vocals leaning further towards melodic singing and a catchy soaring guitar lead;"Victimised" is as heavy as sledgehammer from start to finish, reminiscent of ADTR's heavier efforts with dual attack vocals.

Faultlines ends on the track "Sirens" which keeps up the frantic pace of the EP having a sense of urgency that pulls the listener through.The track features a more Godsmack-esque riff and lyrics that you will be singing long after the songs ends.

This EP is full of vibrant songs packed with big riffs, memorable hooks and strong vocals to keep even the most jaded post hardcore / metalcore fan happy. Recommended for fans of Yashin, Funeral For A Friend, A Day To Remember and Bury Tomorrow.

The is release on the 20th October 2014 and is available here

Monday, 15 September 2014

Review of "Confessions" by Ocasan Released 22nd September 2014

Ocasan have been together for over a decade relentlessly touring spreading their own brand of pop rock. The band consists of Nick Burns (vocals), Luke Mcdonnell (Drums) and Nathan Naidoo (Bass). "Confessions" marks the end of a trilogy of EPs forming an album titled "Elixir".

The EP kicks off with title track "Confessions" which lyrically is told from the point of view of a wealthy woman has been seduced by the caretaker of her home (bit weird); Musically its Mallory Knox-esque pop rock with chugging riffs, melodic vocals with driving drums and a big bass-line.

The second tracks is "Dark Cloud" a multi-layered track with heavier riffing in verses which relents for a soaring chorus. Nick's vocals shine through the dense mix making this track the standout track on the EP. "Invincible" builds on the formula of the album but packs in more riffs, more drums and a tighter bass line.

The EP ends on "Parasite" with its You Me At Six rock stomp and cabaret style backing vocals. The hooky guitar work adds to the fun of the track and Nick's vocals take on an almost punky edge.

This short but sweet EP is packed full of big hooks, catchy quirky songs, which may appeal to fans of Mallory Knox, Fall Out Boy and Panic! At the Disco.

"Confessions" is released on 21st September 2014 and will be available here where you can also buy the bands two previous EPs

Monday, 18 August 2014

Embers of Eden - The Hub , Plymouth 17th August 2014

Embers of Eden are a Plymouth based female fronted hard rock band formed by two ex-members of Carnival of Crows:- Alex Dumbiotis (Vocals ,Guitar) and Oli White (Guitar); they are joined by Matt Avery (bass) and Chris Harding(drums).

The set kicked off with "Let Us Burn", lead singer, Alex's voice sounding stronger than ever with Oli's intricate guitar work served over a beefy bass line provide by Matt. The band have a unique style which borrows from bands such as Sevendust, Halestorm, Bullet for My Valentine and Avenged Sevenfold to create a sound of their own.

For the second song of the set "Pull Me Under", Alex had picked up her guitar providing a bed of heavy chugging riffs to counterpoint Oli's complex guitar parts.The song featured the catchiest chorus of the set; "If my time runs out don't you be the one to pull me under." which is guaranteed to go round your head for days.

The award for most complex guitar work goes to "Bleed" with Oli's crazy mesmerising fret hopping antics leading to an epic breakdown before settling in to a groove with all band members locked in together. Special mention goes to drummer Chris for some quick fire machine gun drumming propelling the song.

The set ended on "Decay" starting with a slow atmospheric introduction before seguing into a full on aural assault, the band bludgeoning the listener with pounding drums and massive riffs right to the end. The shouts of "one more song" rang out, only to be denied by a less than rock and roll punctuality obsessed sound man. Embers of Eden came, played and conquered the Hub.

Monday, 23 June 2014

Review of "Trial Period" by 5/5.8 (single)

5/5.8 are a hard rock band from Eastbourne / London and Trial Period (8.5/10) is the first single off a forthcoming EP (and hopefully album). Having heard the band live we singled out “Trial Period “ as a highlight of their short set and here it is in studio recorded form (well almost - released on the 26th June 2014).

The track kicks off with a wall of metalcore-esque riffing before being joined by lead singers, Luke’s melodic grunge tinged vocals making for a heavy but accessible listen. The song has everything crunchy metallic guitars, insistent drumming, gang backing vocals, catchy lyrics (yeah this one is going to be stuck in your head for a while) and even a short breakdown. 

It is clear that a lot of work has gone in to this track and it feature superb production.This single is a very good omen for a forthcoming release and if the young band can keep the same quality for 4/5 tracks this upcoming release will strong contender for debut EP of the year.  

(now guys make a video so this can be on permanent repeat on Scuzz/Kerrang TV)

Trial Period is released for FREE on 26th June 2014 from  5/5.8's Facebook page 

Friday, 6 June 2014

Natives w/ support from Cousin Buzz and Last One Out - White Rabbit, Plymouth - 3rd June 2014

Liskeard based Cousin Buzz(7/10) launched straight in to a Red Hot Chili Pepper inspired number "Travan-core Cochin" which featured interesting guitar work, Kiedis-esque vocals and funky slap bass. As the set progressed the sound of the band morphed in to more grunge inspired songs but retained the funky basslines. The majority of the songs played were off their new EP which is released on the 12th June 2014. The band ended on the curiously named "Nigel Playton" with the song threatening to descend in to chaos before being reined in to original groove. Definitely an interesting and entertaining band to catch live.

Up next were Plymouth locals, Last One Out (7/10) who had taken the support slot the very same day. The band play post hardcore rock similar to Funeral For A Friend circa 2005 with chugging guitars, clean sung vocals and some technical guitar work. They played mainly songs from their new EP "Ten Years Too Late" which was actually recorded in the White Rabbit. The highlight of the set was "There's Always One" with a memorable melodic verse, gang vocals, shredding guitars and tight drumming.The set was enjoyable but sometimes the vocals got lost in a wall of guitars noise, but that was not the bands fault. The band had a great sense of humour suggesting that the audience could purchase their album even if was just to burn it. The set ended on the new EP's title track showcasing the bands solid song wirting skills and technical profficiency. Overall if you long for fresh new music in a similar vein as Story Of The Year or Funeral For A Friend then pick up their EP "Ten Years Too Late"or see them live.

Even before the band started playing the first thing that was noticeable about Natives (9/10) was they did not use any physical amps as their instruments were directly inputted to the PA system and the band used in-ear monitors leading to the quietest sound check. 

The band kick off their set with "Big Plans" and it was clear the band had the sound balance perfect with the crowd being able clearly hear every instrument and Jim Thomas' outstanding vocals. The band play indie rock /punk pop tunes with bright shiny guitar work, bouncy funk infused bass lines, interesting percussion and silky smooth vocals. The second song of the evening was the stand out single "Can't Say No" which had a Paramore feel to it with a dance-able beat, repeated string bending lead riff and another epic chorus

The highlight of the set was a rousing rendition of "Stand For Something" which incidentally was the only song not off their current album. The song's chorus of "I'm gonna let the light in, I wanna stand for something, it feels good, when you know why you're alive." is one of the most catchy and uplifting choruses ever committed to records.

The band consistently shined with songs like the soaring "Going In Alone"; the echo laden "Let Go" and the highly polished "The Island" showing the band can write consistent big hooks and huge choruses.The final song of the set was "For Everything" which is also last song on their album featuring heavier guitar work and lyrically more reflective themes. The band ended on an drum session with most band members taking to percussion. 

In a live setting the bands perfectly blended indie / punk pop was heavier than on record which hopefully will find it way on to later albums. This is a band that you need to see live before everyone catches on how good they are. Pop punk, indie and rock fans of Plymouth you missed an amazing young band who played and sang flawlessly.

Natives album "Indoor War" is availiable now from Itunes

Last One Out's EP "Ten Years Too Late is availiable here -

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Preview - Natives - UK Tour incl White Rabbit, Plymouth 3rd June 2014

Natives are a rock band from the New Forest Hampshire who are are currently on tour now and appearing at the White Rabbit on the 3rd June 2014 and The Cavern, Exeter on the 5th June 2014.

The band are touring in support of their 2014 release 'Indoor War' which is recommended for fans of Jimmy Eat Word, Mallory Knox and Blitz Kids.

Check Out their insanely catch track "Can't Say No" :-

The tour dates are as follows:-