A brand new club night at the White Rabbit, Bretonside playing Alternative and Indie hits from the likes of :- Cooper Temple Clause, Oasis, Palma Violets, Cold War Kids, Stone Roses and anything in between.
I Divide is a five piece band consisting of Tom Kavanagh(Vocals) Henry Selley (Lead Guitar) Josh Wreford (Rhythm Guitar and Backing Vocals) Kristen Hughes(Bass) from Exeter, England and Dave Mooney (Drums), who is from Torquay, England.
This is a review of the EP Fight Fire With Fire (7.5) by a new
band Calgary which is released on the 2nd December.
The album kicks off with “Fight Fire With Fire” a breezy sun drenched guitar pop
song with a catchy chorus, which will get stuck in your head for days. Lead
singer, Jakob has a voice which is silky smooth, complimenting the bouncy
guitar work. The song is sure to
feature on many TV programmes and film in due course.
Next up is “In My Arms” which starts off as a straightforward
love song. Around the 2 minute mark the songs changes building layers of
guitars and haunting backing vocals, giving a sense this song may be about a
love lost. This is a very powerful emotive song, which shows another side to
the band and is by far the best track on the EP.
“Run, Run” is in a similar mould to title track but is a
very listenable track, which again features a ridiculously catchy chorus. The
guitar work shows flourishes keeping the listener interested.
The EP ends on the track “Shine”, lead singer, Jakob adopts
a rhyming vocal style for the verses and a sung chorus showing his high vocal
range. The guitar work is intricate and again the whole track is lyrically
would be nice to see more diversity on future releases, which is hinted at with
the standout track “In My Arms”.The EP
is a collection of perfectly crafted pop /rock song, which are upbeat and
The White Rabbit was at full capacity and the majority of
the audience had assembled by the time Blitz Kids(7) had hit the stage. The
lead singer, Joe James, surveyed the crowd in amazement before launching into a
high octane opening number. They blistered their way through their songs,
making the most of their short support slot. The crowd were responding to the
band with energetic bouncing and the usual clapping. From the evidence here their new album is definitiely worth a listen.
The crowd were restless during the interval with levels of
excitement brewing and the odd chant of “we want Knox”.
The lights dimmed and Mallory Knox(9) took to the stage launching
in to their latest single “Hello”. The first thing that was noticeable is that
they played incredibly tight and their live sound is a fraction heavier than
on record. Up next was “Wake Up” a bouncy number with a simple chanted chorus
and accompany “whooa” which feature heavily in their music. The band had hit
its stride and the crowd were lapping up every note.
They played back to back, two songs from their Pilot EP, the
incredible “Oceans” and catching “Resuscitate” with sing-along chorus of “Stop bleeding,
The whole evening slowed down for “1949” a beautiful ballad
with Mikey encouraging the crowd to grab their loved ones or any random stranger
they fancy. The band unleashed a new song “A Secret” on to the audience a mid-paced
rocker, which did not have immediacy of some of their big hitters.
The highlight of the set was “Death Rattle" a blistering song
with superb shouted vocals from Mikey backed up by bassists Sam’s softer vocals and
pounding bass line. In parts the song is as heavy as a brick to a window, showing the
band are capable of taking it up a notch. The guitarists fed off each other
playing with speed and dexterity. Towards the end of the song the band paused, before
they delivered by far their best riff, which some harder rock bands would be jealous
of. The band left the stage and after a well-deserved break. The first song of the encore was “Creeper” with its soaring chorus of “we are all broken”.
The band were very good at getting the audience involved with call &
response parts, circle pits and bouncing.
The band ended on “Lighthouse” which according to the band
was written about our lighthouse in Plymouth, which is where they shot the video. The song is very melodic and tailor made for epic sig-alongs. Mikey commanded that the crowd get out lighters, cameras and phones and wave them in the air. The
song elicited an even bigger response from the crowd who sang every word as if
their life counted on it. Mikey showed how it was done with an epic stage dive
into the crowd before being wrenched back on stage by the overzealous security.
The crowd expected so much from the
young band and they delivered on all fronts,leaving everyone wondering when Mallory Knox will return.
Forever Can Wait are a Female Fronted Hard Rock / Post Hardcore band from
Southampton who burst on the hard rock scene in October 2009. This is a review
of their new Ep, Beauty & Grace(8).
The first thing noticeable on the opening track,
"Beauty & Grace" is the depth of the guitars before lead singer,
Tash’s vocals cut perfectly through the mix. The sound is heavy but not
overwhelming; complimenting her higher vocal range. The guitars chug away with
crashing drums creating a surreal, dream-like soundscape.
The next track, “P & Q” has a more up-tempo feel; with a
humongous driving riff and catchy chorus."Rest" showcases a beast of a bass line, with alternating male shouted
vocals and female sung vocals providing light and dark to the track.
The whole EP slows down for a minute long piano-based
interlude, before returning for the soaring melodies of “Excuses” a track which
slowly builds. The EP ends on “Hope & Dreams” a straight-forward hard rock
song with addictive funky guitar work, leaving the listener wanting more.
Forever Can Wait have proven with this EP that they can
write catchy hooks and memorable riffs, and that they are an exciting new
talent.They are a must listen for any
fans of Tonight Alive, Paramore, Anavae and Evarose.
The JCQ (8) are a Quintet (six touring members) from Eastbourne who
play mathcore / post hardcore.
The JCQ took the Halloween theme and ran with it, the lead
singer dressed as Snow White, and the band as Dwarves. From the outset it was
clear this band has a sense of humour which is sometimes lacking in post hardcore
The band are unpredictable, which
adds a hint of danger to an exhilarating live proposition. Playing
mainly songs off their new album, Mechanical Young, which should be on most
peoples Xmas list this year.
Even dressed in what can only be described as a yellow wedding
dress, lead singer, Jack swaggered around the stage singing and screaming. Their
sound lies somewhere between letlive, Blood Brothers and At The Drive In, so pretty
damn good then. Apparently the band headlined The White Rabbit and no one came
but from what we have seen, they missed one hell of a show.
Max Raptor (8) are a four piece from Burton on Trent, who
play punk with a metallic edge in similar vein to Billy Talent. When asked about their curious name their guitarist simply did not know where it came from!
the stage sharply dressed and when their bassist warmed up with a few RATM
riffs, the audience knew they meant business.
They have razor sharp riffs and complex bass lines and a
lead singer who alternates between melodic singing and shouting. They put on a
rip-roaring set engaging the crowd and lead singer, (possibly called Wil), had great fun spitting
fiery lyrics at the baying crowd. The subject of the lyrics was very much punk inspired political
rhetoric. The set closed on “The King is Dead” but the punk spirit is clearly
alive and well in Max Raptor. This is a band who you have to see live. Hopefully they will return to the White Rabbit.
By no fault of their own the time was nearing 11:30 when
Crowley’s Tears (8) hit the stage at the SU Bar. The band consists of Ramon
providing lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Adam on lead guitar, powerhouse Averil on drums
and new boy Steve on bass. They play an intoxicating mix of grunge, funk and
The band kicked off their set with new song “Hearts” which
was a rocky affair followed by the older “ 4 Letters” with its lush guitar intro and
chilled vocals. The highlight of their set was the brilliant “Wonder” a song
which features a complex funky guitar riff, which is guaranteed to get lodged in
your mind for days. All their songs have solid guitar work from both Ramon and Adam who obviously played together for many years.
They closed with a passionate version of their song “My Heroine”
which shows the diversity of the talented band. Because of previous bands over
running and poor scheduling , Crowley’s Tears were cut off just as they were
reaching their stride.
Crowley’s Tears will be performing at Level 2 above Roundabout
LGM One(9) are a Plymouth based who we previously saw playing
at the White Rabbit and Level 2 above Roundabout. They take elements of punk
and mix it with funky keyboard lines and bass.
They kicked off their set with a new number “Record Store”
which laments the demise of writer’s favourite record store. The song had an
indie flavour and marked a departure from their usual sound.
The band has expanded since last time we saw them, adding a
full time bassist leaving Geoff Heap to play guitar. The new Bassist, Ben
Diffey was pretty handy with his bass, playing as if he had been with the band
for many years, rather than a few sessions.
The band hit their stride around “Re-awake”, the established
songs benefitting from the expanded sound. They then powered through “Inferno”
and new song “Tattoo”, barely stopping for a breath between. This is the sound
of a band maturing and finding their unique sound.
The set ended on “Destroying Onions” which had a pounding
drum beat and catchy vocals. Freed from playing guitar and keyboard, lead singer
Dave Wells was able to concentrate on delivering catchy keyboard lines which
set LGM One apart from other similar bands. Judging by the gathered crowd’s reaction, they
gained some more supporters for their funky punk cause.
After much technical difficulties, Shoot The Moon (7)
eventually hit the stage playing a mix of ska and punk. The band originates
from Bristol and the South West.
Their original songs are fun and definitely worth a listen if
ska or punk is your thing, although they could use a few more memorable hooks. They mix
funky bass lines, brass flourishes and solid guitar playing to deliver exciting songs.
As part of their set
they played a very good ska cover of Cypress Hill’s “How I Could Just Kill a Man” and “Jump
Around” which was later changed to ‘sit around’ due to lack of participation. It
would have been nice to see a cover of Sublime thrown in to the mix.
The band closed on their strongest cover “Ska Wars” by
Capdown which brought everyone alive. Unfortunately the wait before the
band played did not endear the band to the SU Bar crowd but they still played
their hearts out.
The first band we saw were Ten Zero One (8) a young band (all
members 15 years old) from various parts of Devon. The band having played at
the O2 in London, Plymouth SU bar probably seemed rather small.
The band kicked
off their set with an amazing cover of “Slither”, a song originally performed by Velvet
Revolver which was clearly meant as a statement of intent. Despite their junior
years their proficiently with their instruments and lead singer/ bassist Max’s
vocals were of a very high standard.
The remainder of their set consisted of self-penned songs, although
not all hit the mark square on, they were all enjoyable. Highlights “Pigs of
War”, “Look at Me” and “Crazy Jane”. The two guitarists were very talented seamlessly
playing complex solos and hard rocking riffs. Max was a good frontman despite
his slight stature trading banter with the band and the audience.
This was the sound of a tight unit who were confident playing
together. Their set ended on their most effective song “On the Edge” with its staccato
feel and repeated chorus building up layers of the song. This is a band to go
watch now and to expect big things from in the future.
Evilyn(7.5) had everything the crowd wanted and proved to be great choice of support acts, with soaring vocals, synthy backing track, heavy guitars, pounding drums and fat bass lines. The riffs were more metal than AshestoAngels punk reference points.
The band kicked off their set with their latest song "The Fire" which is reminiscent in song structure to a 30 Seconds to Mars song, but with added heaviness. Ryders vocals shone through, despite the amazingly poor sound from the White Rabbit desk, which buried them deep in the mix ,behind the wall of guitars.Their set ended on the politically charged "The War Is Now" which was an explosive end to a great set.
Tonight Plymouth welcomed Evilyn, as if they were a local band and they will surely return. They are definitely a band to check out if you get a chance.
AshestoAngels (9.5) hit the stage launching into "Dolls Dolls Dolls" with the crowd chanting "we are, we Are" before following it up with the amazing "Dorian" and "Ugly Club" in quick succession. By this time the crowd were bouncing up and down enjoying every word. The band played as a tight unit with Nico's bass lines perfectly in sync with Jim on drums.
The highlight of the set was the brilliant "Elsinore" with its gang backing vocals and amazing soaring chorus "its only pain you must remember"
Crilly was on top form, swinging on railings, crowd surfing with little regard for his own safety, much to the delight of the eager fans. As on every occasion we have seen them, Falkor's playing was sublime showing such dexterity and skill.
Falkor - AshestoAngels
By the time the familiar synth introduction to "Wintervention" came on the band were joined by members of the audience for a sing-along. If the national grid could tap the energy from AshestoAngels, they could surely power the whole South West.The set ended on "Ghost Frequency" off their latest release "With Tape and Needles" which is a slower more chugging song showcasing Crilly amazing vocals, before the band exited the stage.
The crowd chanted "one more song, one more songs" until AshestoAngels returned to the stage presumably after drinking copious amounts of water.The encore included lively versions of "Hanging Tree" and "The Gartland Theory", off their first album. These older songs were given a more punk feel, when played live, with frantic playing from Nico and Falkor.
AshestoAngels came, played and conquered the White Rabbit, not just pleasing their die-hard fans but introducing new fans to their brand of synthy gothic inspired punk . Not only can the band play with such enthusiasm and skill, they give so much of themselves to their fans.
Our apologies to Occulus and Silly Band who we did not manage to catch on this occasion.
Tonight Alive are a female fronted punk pop band from Australia fronted by the charismatic Jenna Mcdougal. Their first album was a fun collection of catchy pop punk songs, but lacked the attitude which was bubbling under the surface.
With this latest release, The Other Side (8.5), they have added more crunch to their sound with tracks like "The Ocean", "Lonely Girl" and "The Fire". The riffage adds a welcome dimension to their brilliant sound. Occasionally Jenna sounds like Hayley from Paramore; and sometimes Amy from Evanescence.
The only disappointment is that the album does not contain the single "Breakdown", recorded with Benji Madden of Good Charlotte, maybe due to contractual difficulties.
However, when they do explore their gentler side on the sublime titular track , "Bathwater" and "You Don't Owe Me Anything", the guitars are solidly chugging away, which stops it being too sweet.
This is a solid release and explores a harder edged sound without alienating fans of their earlier releases. The band are poised to take the scene by storm. Expect to hear alot more.
Shoot the moon
Ten Zero One
Roundabout Level 2:
Last One Out
Walking with Spiders
Say It Like It Is
tiki bar (acoustic venue):
Haunt the Woods
From the Oxjam Official Website
"Oxjam Music Festival is a nation-wide festival that celebrates local talent, provides great entertainment and donates all it’s funds directly to Oxfam. In October 2013, hundreds of musicians will perform in towns and cities throughout the UK to raise awareness and donations towards this amazing charity. What makes this music festival completely original and unforgettable is not only that it is organised entirely by volunteers, but that it unites entire communities through an appreciation of their own home-grown talent. A great amount of dedication, time and training is put in by the Oxjam teams and gig-makers to achieve a festival that is bigger and better than the years before, and, as the festival grows, the larger the positive impact becomes that Oxfam can make across the globe. For more information, please visit the Oxfam website!"
AshesToAngels are a 4 piece synthy punk band hailing from
Bristol, led by the effervescent Crilly. This is their second, self-released
full length album, cryptically titled "With Tape and Needles" (9.5). The album is
produced by William Frances under his solo name William Control.
The album kicks off with the "Highest Choir" which
serves as a thirty eight second introduction to the album, with an electronics
backdrop Nine Inch Nails would be proud of, gang vocals and Crilly singing
"Ashes to Angels". Dolls Dolls Dolls has a thudding beat, pounding bass and
call & response chorus of "We are , We are" which is custom made
for audience participation at gigs. The unmistakeable piano introduction of “Dorian” gives way
to Falco's frantic riffing signalling the beginning of catchiest of tunes penned
by AshesToAngels. Crilly vocals reminiscent of Davey Havok from AFI. The chorus of
"Goodbye Dorian, The Gray sky mourning, You’ll
be free" is sure to be lodged in your head for days. The whole album slows down for “Lumi” with Crilly plaintive
singing to a more relaxed soundscape than the high octane initial songs. “Wintervention” is a bit of theme tune for AshesToAngels,
which begins with Crilly singing in front of an electronic intro before the
band burst in to life. Crilly then alternates between chanting, singing and screaming
along, with an intense mixtures of crunchy guitars, thudding bass/ drums and
Another live favourite is “Elsinore”, with its spikey down
picked riffs, machine gun drums and The Cure inspired vocals. The album never outstays its welcome and through the 9
tracks mixes tempos, grooves to keep the listener interested and wanting more. The song has a very catchy eletronic outro, showing the bands clever programming skills.
The album ends on the chugging “Ghost Frequency” with Crilly
sounding like early days, Brian Molko fronting a goth punk
band. Again the band combines call and response vocals with half sung / half
This is a must for anyone who likes Fearless Vampire Killers
or AFI. AshesToAngels have managed to create an album that captures a
lot of the live magic that makes their live shows unforgettable. To quote the
band themselves “we put ourselves into every note”.
The night kicked off with South West based band Propeller(7.5) who only formed in April 2013. If these guys were nervous, it did not show, they owned the stage playing to high standard with a lot of passion. The band's sound is indie with a harder edge. They played mainly original compositions including "Mister, Mister", "Heartbreaker" and "HGD". They also played an impressive cover of the Arctic Monkeys track "Fake Tales of San Francisco". Their set ended on their catchiest song to date "Shine a Light" which they should record as a single immediately. They are a young enthusiastic band, who were most effective at their heaviest. This is definitely a band to catch live. You can see them next at The White Rabbit, Plymouth on Saturday 14th September performing as Biffy Clyro for the "Stars In Their Eyes".
Up next was Hill Valley High (8) who played with huge amounts of enthusiasm despite a couple of their members being down with illness. Their brand of catchy punk rock was just what the evening needed to get the crowd ready for the main act. If anyone could bottle Phil Marsh’s swagger then they would be a millionaire. They played mainly songs off their new self-titled 6 song Mini Album including "Call The Shots", "All Fall Down" and “Sweet Talking Melody". The band were not only a very tight unit but friendly and approachable offering hugs at one point. The highlight of their set was "We Learn" with its catchy chorus and crunchy guitars which is surely a hit single in the making. Their set ended on the "Move Closer" with its chanted chorus and many new converts to the Hill Valley High.
Harry Radford (9) strolled on to the stage with his carefully assembled touring band, this was definitely his night. From the very first song "Cherry Lips" it was clear that Harry's songs benefit from the extra fire power of two live guitarists and a bassist. Next up was "Black and Blue" with its catchy lyrics of "twenty two still black and blue from all the times I thought of you". In addition to the live instruments each song was seamlessly accompanied by an electronic backing track. The first of two new songs was "I Need a Fix" had a pumped up dance vibe and audience participation.
The whole night slowed down for sing-along favourite "Gallery" with spot on haunting vocals from Harry; definitely a lighters in the air moment.
"Hide and Speak" is awesome on record but with guest vocal from Hill Valley High, lead singer Phil Marsh it took a new more intense form. Harry beforehand stated that this was the music he wanted to make, it is the music we want to hear.
The set closed with an amped up version of "Bite the Bullet" which had the whole audience moving and singing the chorus. Hopefully we will see a full album from Harry Radford incorporating the spirit and guitars of his live performance. Everyone left the Cavern excited but satisfied.
Harry Radford is one sixth of the Post Hardcore band Yashin,
he provides the clean vocal counterpoint to Kevin Miles unclean vocals. This is
his first solo EP.
The album kicks off with “Black and Blue”
and the first thing that is noticeable is that there is very little in the way
of guitars, this is a more synth and beat affair. “Cherry Lips” adds a more
pronounced synth riff and some chugging guitars into the dense mix. The songs
are catchy upbeat tunes to get up and dance to. Harry Radford’s vocals are
stand out showing he can hold a whole track together.
The whole thing slows down for “Gallery” a slinky piano led
ballad with Harry plaintively singing against a backdrop of strings. The EP
hits it high point with the insanely catchy “Bite the Bullet” which is a well-crafted modern rock single. The songs
start off with Harry singing to a synth beat before exploding with guitars and
a chorus that will get lodged in your head for days.
The tempo is upped on “Hide and Speak” which mixes up element
from the previous songs and delivers much more. This is not a pop album but a
perfect slice of synthy alt-rock. Hopefully live Harry will introduce a
bit more crunch in the way of heavier guitars.
Harry Radford is currently touring the UK and appearing at
The Cavern, Exeter tonight!!
The night started proper with Say it Like It Is who are a all female four piece from Plymouth who had dressed up in the Heroes theme of the night. They played mainly covers including "Song 2" - Blur, "Hate Say I Told You So" - The Hives, "Buck Rogers" - Feeder and "Steady As She Goes" - The Raconteurs. Their set was playful, skilfully played and the band traded good banter with the crowd.
They played an original composition "Decisions" a bluesy number which was performed with seductive swagger. The set was rounded off by a humorous amped up cover of "Milkshake" by Kelis. Overall a great start to the night.
Haunt The Woods(6.5)
Haunt The Woods is fronted by Jonathan Stafford a very talented vocalist and rhythm guitar player who was accompanied by flutist and electric guitarist. His vocals were very reminiscent of Damien Rice mixed with Neil Young, he sang song of love lost and found. The highlight of his set was an original song called "Safe and Sound". The band could do with a bit more low end in the form of a bassist. If you are looking for a laid back evening go see them.
Crowley's Tears (8)
We last saw Crowley's Tears on the 16th May 2013 at the White Rabbit. The band is formed of powerhouse Averil Garnett on Drums, Oli Bird on Bass, Adrian Carter on Guitar and Ramon Welsh on Vocals and Rhythm Guitar. The band are a tightly knit unit which played very professionally. Their sound is part grunge, part metal and part indie. Adrian played with mesmerising dexterity and was in the zone for the whole performance, he had an effects pedal for every occasions which he seamless changed between. Adding the low end thump Oli played amazing bass lines which were perfectly in time with Averil.
Highlights of their set was the compelling "Number 5" and the funky "Wonder" which had a funky riff the Red Hot Chili Peppers would be proud of. Ramon was on top form today showing amazing vocal range which was noticeable on the intense "Save Me" with half screamed, half sung vocals ending a great set. Would recommend to anyone .
LGM One (8)
This was LGM One's night, literally the night was organised by their bassist Geoff Heap who did a great job of finding talented bands to join them this evening. Slightly delayed when they hit the stage playing their brand of synth punk with such vigour that everyone was captivated. Dave Wells is their lead singer who splits himself between vocals, guitar and keyboard, he puts his all in to which ever instrument he is playing.
Their sound is driven by drummer Darrel Worral and the already mentioned Geoff on Bass. Highlights of their set were the cryptically titled "Destroying Onions" with its pounding drum beat, the catchy "System" with its very cool laid back groove, immense guitar work and the epic "Inferno". Although he was in the shadows tonight guitarist Jon Barrabell had lightening quick hands and riffs which gelled the band together. They played a brand new song called "Vampires" which was possibly inspired by Ashes To Angels/ Fearless Vampire Killers.
Completely out the left field they played a cracking cover of "Shipping Up To Boston" with gang vocals, and cool keyboard riff. The night was rounded off with their anthem "Modern Superhero". This is definitively a band worth seeing if they come to a venue near you.
20.00: Say it like it is
21.00: The Jonathan Stafford Band
22.00: Crowleys Tears
23.00: LGM One
18.00: Nathaniel Truscott
19.00: Lane End
20.00: Disposable Lovers
21.00: A New Hope
23.00: Walking With Spiders
Plymouth Rock Scene caught LGM One supporting FVK, check out the review here
A helpful map showing where the event will be held, courtesy of Google
Details from their website :-
"August Bank Holiday and not going to Reading? Come along to Level 2 (top floor of The Roundabout) which will be hosting a whole weekend of bands which can be enjoyed no matter the weather! There will be food and drink deals throughout the weekend and it's Heroes and Villains themed which means that if you dress up you will get even cheaper entrance!
First on stage were LGM One (7) a self-styled synth punk rock band
who were enthusiastic. They were enjoyable to watch and the guitarists played
with a skill and dexterity. What separated them from other punk bands is that
they were able to get in a groove and explore it. Hopefully they will play some more Plymouth shows.
Ashes To Angels
Next to hit the stage was Ashes to Angels(8) who were
certainly making the most of their support band slot playing the crowd
favourites, "Hanging Tree", "Elsinore" and "Ugly Club". Ashes To Angels play a heady mix of
punk rock, synths and passion. They now feel at home at the White Rabbit and it
is certainly their time to shine. The highlights of the night were the flawless
versions of "Wintervention" and "Dorian" which were sublime. Crilly was his usual
self, bouncing round the stage hanging off fixtures, jumping in to the crowd to
much delight of all involved. Special mention goes to Falkor for his amazing
guitar playing and showmanship skills. Although this was always Crilly's show
with charm and charisma. If you hear Ashes to Angels on record they are 10
times heavier live which is very good. They were so good the crowd did not want
them to stop playing,
Ashes To Angels are playing the White Rabbit on Saturday 5th October 2013. Get your tickets here LostAlone
Next up was Steven Battelle and his powerhouse Lost Alone
(8), a band that had a 5 K live review in Kerrang and we can see why. Hailing from Derbyshire, the band
play a mix of meaty punk rock with metal riffs which played any louder could
topple houses. Although only a three piece, this worked to their advantage with the
intricate riffs given space to breathe and be enjoyed. They played mainly songs
from their album I'm a UFO in this City including "Vesuvius" and
the unbelievably good "Creatures". They also played some new material which shows that
another blistering record is coming are way. If this band come to a town near you, go see them.
Fearless Vampire Killers
When Fearless Vampire Killer(9) hit the stage the crowd was
hungry for more and that is what FVK delivered. Giving the crowd singalong choruses, riffs, showmanship and
humour. They burst straight in to a song off their new EP called "The
Pilot: P-Train" or the Motherfucking P Train it should be rechristened.
FVK have two massive talents in both Kier and Laurence sharing lead and backing
vocal duties. The band play theatrically themed alternative rock in a similar
vein to My Chemical Romance with a harder edge. The band played crowd favourites “Necromania”,
“At War With The Thirst” and “Bow Ties on Dead Guys” all off their Militia of
the Lost Album. The highlight of the night goes to "Could We Burn,
Darling?" which blew the roof off the White Rabbit. Special mention goes
to the sublime bassist, Drew, who provided excellent backing vocals to the songs
and amazing bass playing. The set ended with everyone of stage playing a cover of Billy Joel's
"I'm Still Standing". Everyone went home with smiles on their faces.
Carnival of Crows (previously known as Six Shooter) are a five piece from Plymouth who play blues infused hard rock. The band play with two lead guitarist which gives an impressive depth to their sound with both guitarist weaving riffs around each other.
The band played at The Phoenix, Plymouth as part of a 'battle of the bands' type audition. Their set consisted mainly of covers including :- "Are You Gonna Go My Way" by Lenny Kravitz, "Whole Lotta Love" by Led Zeppelin,"Baba O' Riley" by The Who and "Paradise City" by Guns N Roses. The lead singer, Alex's vocals added something special to songs, which have been relentless played over the years giving them a more modern interpretation.
The two original songs , "Moment To Decide" and new song "One & Only" were very powerful and showed a band defining their own sound after the many line-up changes. The band showed not only can they handle covers but can compose and write original music.The band were very professional playing each song in the set flawlessly, each member in union with each other.
Unfortunately they were only playing a sub 30 minute set but we can expect full set on 3rd August 2013 at Freedom Fields, Plymouth. If you are going to see one local band this Summer make sure you go see Carnival of Crows.
Fight or Flight is a band created by Disturbed guitarist, Dan Donegan, featuring Disturbed drummer, Mike Wengren. Lets get this out the way first this Album does not sound like a Disturbed album. The album is more hard rock in the vein of Non Point and Stone Sour. The lead Singer, Dan Chandler is from a band called Evans Blue and has a grunge tone to his voice which fits in with the music.
A Life By Design? kicks off with the song "First of the Last" which is pretty good statement of intent with a mixture of hooks and some heavier vocals. There is a lot of good guitar work on this album including chugging and solos to keep the listener interested.
Highlights include "Leaving" with its acoustic strum show casing Dan Chandler's singing before exploding with electric guitars whilst "A Void" mixes up the formula with electronics and guitar work which not be out of place on a Disturbed album. The album drives forward incorporating different rhythms to keep things moving.
If a single was to be picked it would have to be "Shine” with it bouncy acoustic guitar, electric guitar fills and call & response chorus.
The album finishes on "Tragedy" which fades in gently with its pulsing bass line and crunchy guitars before the catchy chorus hooks the listener in. The album does not feel over produced like some modern metal albums which is refreshing. The band have a good chemistry which is sometimes missing with side projects and makes this feel like a work of band who have been playing togettheir lot longer.
This is a solid hard rock album that will stay glued in to many fans stereos, if you like Stone Sour, Nonpoint, Disturbed or even Device you will really like this.
Ashes to Angels(8) are a band from Bristol who play gothic infused punk in a similar fashion to AFI and Fearless Vampire Killers. The band consists of Crilly (Vocals), Nico (Bass Guitar), Falkor (Guitar), Davey (Guitars) and Jim (Drums).
They kicked of their performance with "Dorian", unfortunately plagued with microphone issues which is a shame as it is their most accomplished catchy song to date (Breed 77 had similar problems during their performance at the White Rabbit). By the next song Crilly had spliced together a lead and they were up to full power. Which is good as they gave a rousing performance of "Gartland Theory" and an audience participation version of "Dolls". By the time they were playing "Ugly Club" they had won the whole crowd over and had everyone was bouncing around getting involved.The band are much heavier in a live setting than on record featuring crunchier metal guitar tones.
Crilly imparted to crowd that he was off colour and he wanted them to use their voices and lungs to help him which they obliged. The guitars were loud and drove each song with good interplay between the guitarists, most songs had a synthy electronic backing track which seamless blended in to the live sound. This was very apparent in their performance of the song "Elsinore" which was given added punch.
By far the highlight of the night was their single "Wintervention" with its epic electronic and vocals introduction and sing-along chorus. The band were very friendly and had lots of time for their hardcore fans and the new fans alike signing autographs and posing for photos.
Despite the initial technical problems and Crilly's health issues, this was a passionate performance from a technically brilliant band with more live energy in one song than some bands can manage in a whole set. They are returning to White Rabbit in August with Fearless Vampire Killers, go see at any cost.
After releasing the highly polished Vulnerable (II) in 2013, The Used are back with "The Ocean of the Sky" a 5 track EP which has appeared out of nowhere.
Things get off to a good start with "Iddy Biddy" which has The Used's trademark singalong chorus and crunchy guitars."Quixotica" is a beast of a song with it's feedback drenched swagger, pounding drums and unhinged vocals.
The record slows pace for the plodding "Thought Criminal" before launching into the title track which has a fuzzed out guitar tone reminiscent of the Black Keys.
The EP is rounded off with the 20 minutes (yes 20 minutes) ambient instrumental "Tethys" with its electronics, loops and ethereal noises which does not really fit in with the rest of the EP.
Gone is the glossy production of Vulnerable replaced by a gritty almost live sound with the exception of "Tethys" which feels like a whole different EP in itself.
This is the sound of a band having fun and experimenting to great effect, whether some of the elements will make it through to their next records will depends on the fans reaction.
Hawthorne Heights have never had it easy, first off with the tragic death of their singer Casey Calvert and secondly their problems with their record label Victory Records. After releasing two EP’s which showcased their raw punk spirit they are back with a new guitarist in tow.
Zero is apparently a concept album about a dystopian universe and in our view a perfect slice of post hardcore leaning towards the punk pop spectrum. The lyrics are like most other Hawthorne Heights records quite dark but the production is upbeat which stops the album being depressing. From the moment JT Woodruff vocals on "Memories of Misery" kick off the album proper, he is sounding confident and forceful leading each track. JT Woodruff has always had a unique voice in the upper range which he uses to good effect. “Darkside”, “Spark” and “Zero”, all deserve to be singles with their shiny, bright guitar riffs and sing-along choruses.
The real deviations from this formula are "Hollow Hearts Unite" an acoustic guitar led ballad and "Coalition of Alternative Living Method" which is a spoken word interlude.
The album carries its energy throughout ending with two storming tracks "Lost in the Calm" and "Taken By the Dark". The guitarist show amazing skills combining riffing and the odd solo to provide the perfect backdrop to Woodruff’s vocals.
This could be Hawthorne Heights break out record and is enjoyable from start to finish. This band gets better and better with time and is clearly a solid unit.
Heaven's Basement w. Skarlett Riot and Buffalo Summer
The night started early with Skarlett Riot (8) hitting the stage at 8.00 . Skarlett Riot are a female fronted four piece who play the same rock and roll infused metal as Halestorm. They absolutely nailed the support band role whipping the crowd in to a frenzy. Their songs were very catchy and involved some call and response crowd participation. They could easily have kept the crowd entertained for a full set.
Next up were Buffalo Summer (7) from South Wales who play a similar type of rock to Heaven's Basement. Again they further pumped the crowd up with exciting thrashing and solos. They are definitely an up and coming band.
Heaven's Basement (9) have appeared from nowhere. Their debut album, Filthy Empire, released on Red Bull Records is a must for any rock fan's collection. After perfecting their live show at Download Festival they come to Clwb Ifor Bach with full swagger.
The songs were high adrenaline crowd pleasers which had the crowd bouncing from start to finish. In the middle they played a slower number where frontman, Aaron Buchanan showed genuine emotion , he was not just singing about it but living through it.
They played mostly material from their debut including the crowd favourites, Fire Fire and Nothing Left To Lose. Aaron risked life and limb crowd surfing and hanging from the ceiling rafters. They worked hard and were rewarded with same enthusiasm as local heroes. If there is one band you see this year go see Heaven's Basement.
Boy Sets Fire w. support from Apologies, I Have None and Bane
Apologies, I have None (8) burst on the stage with their twin vocal attack showing the right amount of passion and heart in their performances to recruit more fans. They sound like what Anti-Flag would be like if they were born and raised in London. Their songs are catchy and there is good interplay between the vocalists. Definitiely one to watch if they come to a club near you.
Bane(6) win the award for most brutal sounding set, both vocalist battering the audience into submission. What they lacked in memorable songs they make up for in exuberance. The lead singer pogoing like he was deranged and the lead guitarist doing high kicked jumps.
Tonight was Boy Sets Fire(9)'s night after coming back from their 7 year hiatus they had a stellar reputation for putting on an awesome live show and they don't disappoint. The set explodes with "after the eulogy" with the crowd shouting "where's your anger, where's your fucking rage." The band took it down half a notch for the sing-along rendition of "requiem" before unleashing "release the dogs" on a already pumped up White Rabbit crowd.
Their sound is a mixture of hardcore and melodic passages with lead singer, Nathan Grey bellowing one minute crooning the next. Highlights from their new album include the softer "closure" with it's catchy chorus "I walk away and you can live a lie" and absolutely brutal "until nothing remains".
The band played with passion and humour which is sometimes lacking in a politically charged band. The band interacted with the audience to make one the most compelling live performances.
On a positive note for the White Rabbit the band sounded really good through the venues speakers.
By the time the emotionally charged "handful of redemption" and crowd favourite "rookie" rounded off an exemplary set the audience were begging for more.
Harry Radford is one sixth of the Post Hardcore band Yashin, he provides the clean vocal counterpoint to Kevin Miles unclean vocals. PRS have been lucky to hear Yashin live twice and meet Mr Radford in person. Harry is one the hardest working singers and not content to be entertaining night after night with Yashin he has recorded a Solo EP which he will be touring later this year.
The song starts off with a synth violin riff and Harry singing with a dance beat. Around the 35 second mark it explodes with big guitars backed by electronics. The song is reminiscent of The Used combining the best elements of post hardcore and electronic rock. Harry has always had a knack of singing catchy choruses and this one is no exception especially the line “we will run away, we will find away, this is where we save ourselves from being saved.”.
If you are a fan of alternative rock such as Yashin, Story of the Year, D.R.U.G.S, The Used you will love this single. Buy this single, buy it now.
Natives are a rock band from the New Forest Hampshire who are about embark on a UK tour later this year. The title track from their EP Stand For Something is a tour de force of strong passionate vocals, electronics, bright shiny guitars and an insanely catchy chorus. This is the sound of summer, fresh vibrant and feel good.
Hate.Fix.Hope is a vocal and piano led piece which halfway through explodes in to life with guitars and harmonised backing vocals.
I have never heard the source material for "Pumped Up Kicks" but what I can tell you is, this acoustic track showcases Jim Thomas's voice proving that not only can deliver amazing vocals on record but in a live setting and err whistling ability. (edit - no idea whether Jim Thomas provided whistling).
The last track is a rearranged "Stand for Something" which unfortunately lacks the kick of the original.
This is one of those bands that are going to big, beg, borrow and steal your way to a concert if necessary.
Boy Sets Fire are back and one thing that is apparent after seven years without a record they are still angry, trust me this is a good thing.
After a brief spoken word intro "until nothing remains" kicks off proceedings with a trademark shouted versus and sung choruses leading to the inevitable break down. The lyrics are still littered with the intelligent political rhetoric such as in "Head Will Roll" with its shout of "Fuck your prophets, fuck your holy wars."
The band has still retained their ability to write songs with catchy sing-along hooks and melody which is sometimes overlooked in hardcore. This is accentuated by Nathan Grey’s bolder much improved clean vocals.
If you were a fan of Boy Sets Fire on their last release you still will this is a band at the top their game.The album is tied together with sample of spoken word which I am reliably informed are from a piece called "The Dictator" by Charlie Chaplin, though instead of grating on the listener these piece provide a level of cohesion.
The heaviness has been noticeably notched up a couple of notches which is most evident in "Wolves of Babylon" and "Everything Went Black" which pummels the listener with metal guitars and screeches which would not be out of place of a straight metal album. The inventive guitar work puts their peers to shame and the band manages to keep up with Nathan Grey even at his most fervent.
The album closer 'prey' wraps everything up with Nathan Grey plaintive singing with softer guitars, this is Boy Sets Fire at their softest most beautiful and is a perfect ending to an exemplary record.
Seven years is a long time , many bands have come, many have gone but what Boy Sets Fire have managed to do is keep their fire burning and build on it to make one of the most truly passionate and technically brilliant records you will hear this year.
Zico Chain formed in 2002 in London when Chris Glithero moved there from Manchester. The current line up is Chris Glithero (vocals, bass), Paul Frost (guitars) and Oli Middleton (drums).
They have toured hard and are on their second album released in April 2012 called The Devil in Your Heart.
What do they say about their record?
“As soon as I screamed those lyrics, I knew right then that I had the album title,” says Chris Glithero. “It encompassed every feeling I’d had during the making of this record”.
“ The title sounds like a negative” adds Oli Middleton “but this album is about wisdom, and it’s relentlessly optimistic”.
THE DEVIL IN YOUR HEART is a self produced labor of love. Having given up everything to pursue the unknown, the band bedded down in various derelict buildings around the UK and began recording.
“We never went near a studio. We were sat in an empty house in winter, with ants everywhere and no heating, but our amps were still buzzing and we were talking about how we could find a way to record an orchestra” adds Chris
What do they sound like?
They have diverse influences from Queens of a Stone Age, Motorhead and System of Down. We would describe their sound as old school grunge with a hard rock edge. Their lead singer has a unique powerful voice.
Where can I see them?
White Rabbit , Bretonside, Plymouth, 28th September 2013