Tuesday, 24 September 2013

AshesToAngels - With Tape and Needles Review

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, Youll 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 synths.

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 screamed vocals.

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”.

Ashes to Angels will be performing at the White Rabbit, Plymouth on Saturday 5th October 2013 for tickets visit http://ashestoangels.bigcartel.com/product/wintervention-tour-september-20th-29th-tickets-vip-passes

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