Monday 29 July 2013

Carnival of Crows Review, The Phoenix, Plymouth 28th July 2013

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.

Check out our other live reviews:-

Heaven's Basement -
BoySetsFire -
AshesToAngels -

Thursday 25 July 2013

White Rabbit - Bretonside - Plymouth Listings July/August

26th July 2012 - Heights, Polar

31st July 2013 - Electric Six

1st August 2013 - Lemuria, Bangers, Woahnows

4th August 2013 - EyeHateGod

 9th August 2013 - Fearless Vampire Killer , LostAlone , AshestoAngels

12th August 2013 - When We Were Wolves, Our Hollow Our Home, Now We Burn

16th August 2013 - Krow, Human Cull, Cretinous Breed, Condemned

Check out our White Rabbit Gig Reviews

Anavae , A World Defined, Crowley's Tear

BoySetsFire, Bane, Apologies, I Have None

Ashes To Angels

Wednesday 24 July 2013

Fight or Flight - A Life By Design? Album Review

Fight or Flight - A Life By Design? (8)

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.

Wednesday 17 July 2013

Ashes To Angels Review, White Rabbit Plymouth 16th July 2013

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.

Monday 15 July 2013

The Used - The Ocean of the Sky Review

The Used - The Ocean of the Sky (8)

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.

Wednesday 10 July 2013

Hawthorne Heights - Zero Review

Hawthorne Heights - Zero (9)

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.

Other recent reviews:-
Boysetsfire - While A Nations Sleep

Monday 8 July 2013

Heaven's Basement Review w. Skarlett Riot and Buffalo Summer - Clwb Ifor Bach 4th July 2013

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.

Thursday 4 July 2013

Boy Sets Fire - White Rabbit, Plymouth - 3rd July 2013 Review

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.