Thursday 30 January 2014

Villains - Self Titled - Album review

Villains are an up and coming Alternative band from Chelmsford who have previously toured with hard rock bands Soil and Fozzy. They were previously known as “Never Means Maybe” until they changed their name in 2012.

Their album Villains(9/10) kicks off with “The Way I Tell Them” starting with a wall of glorious guitar noise then lead singer, Renz’s vocals kick in complimenting the higher pitched lead guitar tone.  The backbone of the track is the chugging guitars, and a bass line reminiscent of Rise Against.
The lead single “The Fall” is combination of chunky riffs, multi tracked vocals and a chorus that will get stuck in your head for days. “Bleed” has a grunge feel to it with amazing passionate vocals and pounding drums. The whole album slows down for “The Light Outshines The Star” a beautiful ballad showcasing Renz’s amazing vocals with a marching drum beat, lush guitars and a soaring chorus.

The vocal interplay between Renz’s lead and the rest of bands backing vocals is reminiscent of Taking Back Sunday's earlier work. This is most evident on “Come Out and Play” an upbeat number with a frenetic pace, catchy chorus leaving the listener breathless. The track somehow combines post hardcore aesthetics, hard rock riffs and indie atmospherics to make an exciting listen.  “Visions” was made for live performances, where I can envisage the band getting the crowd chanting the catchy “theres no coming back” refrain.

What sets Villains from many of their peers is Renz’s vocals which an impressive range from silky smooth croon to full tilt shout, aided by the rest of band providing backing harmonies.

The album ends on “The Hardest Part” which starts with just guitar and vocals and slowly builds up layers of guitars and vocal harmonies before ending on a single guitar phrase. Because of the meticulously crafted layers of guitars, percussion and vocals every listen yields more and more detail.
This album will stay with the listener long after the album has finished.  This is an album for fans of Mallory Knox, Thrice, Jimmy Eat World and Taking Back Sunday. The album is the work of band who have  strived hard and created a truly amazing record.

Villains will be released on the 24th February 2014

Pre-order now you know you need this record:-

Check out our Review of VIllains support slot at Barfly, London
Check out our interview with the band :-

Tuesday 28 January 2014

Gig Listings - White Rabbit, Tiki Bar and Plymouth Pavillions

Astroid Boys ,White Rabbit, Plymouth  Fri, 31 Jan 2014 at 7:30 PM

Every Time I Die w/support from PatronsWhite Rabbit, Plymouth  Thu, 13 Feb 2014 at 8:00 PM

Plymouth Death Feast 2014 (Desecration) White Rabbit, Plymouth  Sun, 23 Feb 2014 at 5:30 PM

When We Were Wolves Tiki Bar & Diner, Plymouth  Fri, 28 Feb 2014 at 7:00 PM

Svart Crown White Rabbit, Plymouth Sat, 01 Mar 2014 at 7:00 PM

Bastille Plymouth Pavilions, Plymouth  Mon, 03 Mar 2014 at 7:00 PM

The Answer White Rabbit, Plymouth  Thu, 13 Mar 2014 at 7:30 PM

Ashestoangels White Rabbit, Plymouth Fri, 14 Mar 2014 at 7:00 PM 

LGM ONE / Crowley's Tears / Western Approach The Junction  Saturday, 15 Mar 2014

Scream Blue Murder White Rabbit, Plymouth  Fri, 21 Mar 2014 at 7:00 PM

You Me At Six Plymouth Pavilions, Plymouth Wed, 02 Apr 2014 at 7:00 PM

Friday 24 January 2014

Review of Blitz Kids, Live Album Launch 20th January 2014, Barfly, London

This was the second day of Blitz Kids(10) album release tour promoting “The Good Youth” and the Barfly was bursting at the seams.  The band were set to play the whole of the new album in order which was an exciting prospect.

After the brief musical interlude that serves as the introduction to the album, the band hit the stage with “All I Want is Everything”. The band played with enthusiasm, lead singer, Joey looking like he was born to be fronting a rock band, enthralling, charismatic and crazy. They ripped through the catchy “Run For Cover” and “On My Own” which had everyone joining in with the “No No No” refrain.  

The crowd were in their element when lead single “Sometimes” started with guitarist, Jono supplying a complex guitar riff and Joey adding smooth as cream vocals. The band combines pop punk sensibilities with post hardcore riffs which leads to insanely catchy songs.

The highlight of the night was the electro stomp of “Sold My Soul” with it heavily distorted guitar riffs which could crush houses if played louder.  The fuzzed out bass line of the song travelling like a wave through the venue. Joey was possessed as he sang “Don’t try to save me, I have already sold my soul”. The room was thoroughly bouncing for “Perfect” which is a slice of pop punk, the venue floor flexing under the combined weight.

Joey declared that it was time to get sexy which signaled “Pinnacle” the marmite of tracks on the album. The song was transformed live with the heavier guitars and omission of the heavily “treated” vocal parts.

The album ended on “Lost Generation” which gave people time to reflect on the tour de force which was the set so far. The band proved that not only can they deliver the good on the records; they are even better in a live setting. 

To cap of the night the band played two of their older songs, “Warrior” which sound like it should be a TV theme tune and “Never Die” which had the crowd back up to full bounce.

As the band exited the stage they met with the crowd, shaking hands, signing albums and posing for photos. If you get a chance to see Blitz Kids this year take it and you won't regret it.

Check out our review of support band Villains who supported Blitz Kids on their album release night

Check out our review of Blitz Kids - The Good Youth

Pick up a copy of the Blitz Kids - The Good Youth  

Thursday 23 January 2014

Review of Villains - 20th January 2014 Barfly, London

Villains are an up and coming Alternative band from Chelmsford who have previously toured with hard rock bands Soil and Fozzy. They were previously known as “Never Means Maybe” until they changed their name.

The Barfly was just filling up as Villains (8) hit the stage, lead singer Renz strutting around the stage trading banter with the audience and the rest of the band.  Their sound is a mixture of metal , post hardcore and punk influences all blended together. You can tell the band has been playing together for quite awhile as they are one solid unit.

The two songs which stood out were the single “The Fall” with its bright shiny guitar work, soaring chorus of “I will rise again”, and the frenetic fast paced “Come Out and Play” with its catchy chorus. Renz's voice has a melodic edge to it which compliments the chugging guitars. The band also contribute backing vocals creating great harmonies.

The band played of a slower paced heavier song "The Visions" which topped off a great set. Their sound is edgy enough to appeal to rock fans, but has a keen sense of melody, which should lead to airplay. The band left the audience in no doubt that they will hear much more from the band in the future.

Villains are set to release their debut album on 24th February 2014.

Check out our interview with the band here:-

Villains have a new single out called “The Fall” which is available here :-

And their new video is available here:-

Wednesday 22 January 2014

Interview with Villains 20th January 2014 Barfly, London

We caught up with Matt and Drew from Villains 4 an upcoming rock band from Chelmsford,on the 20th January 2014 before their live show supporting Blitz Kids at the Barfly, London. The band were previous known as Never Means Maybe before renaming to Villains in 2012.

PRS: We saw you briefly at the White Rabbit, Plymouth with American hard rock bands Fozzy and Soil in December 2012;

Can you remember what it was like at the White Rabbit?

Matt: Very Cramped! That was the show where we were sound checking, I was still wearing my coat and the sound man was like “yep you are on”.

Drew: He said we had five minutes, I double checked, he said “No, you are on, turn the lights down” and he was still sitting there in his coat. It was a great tour for us because we got to play to lots of people.

Matt: We got to play at established venues.

Drew: It was our first tour under the name Villains.

PRS: What was behind the change of name?

Drew: We had done Never Means Maybe for 7 years, did some amazing things and we had interest here and there, but nothing ever major, no record deals to sign or anything like that.

When we started the writing process of the album, we are now releasing, we were Never Means Maybe. 

We thought to ourselves, it had run its course and the album that we were writing sounded like nothing we had done before, it did not sound like Never Means Maybe. We thought “let’s give it one more shot, re-brand, and release this album as a new band”.

Matt: I love our album, it sounds like a band, and there are different things on there because you don’t want to do the same thing over and over.

PRS: When is the album going to be released?

Drew: 24 February 2014, a big day for us and a long time coming!

PRS: Any record label lined up for the album or will it be self-released?

Matt: At the moment it is self-released, I would love to be involved with record labels and all that kinda thing, but I would not want that to stop us putting music out. I am happy to put it out there and it is on our terms.

PRS: What do you think of the new renewed interest in British rock with bands like You Me At Six and Bring Me The Horizon forging the way?

Matt: I think it’s brilliant.

Drew: I think its brilliant, a lot of British bands out there making steps into rock music in general. 

Matt There has always been that audience there, people have wanted a big British rock scene, and it has not been there till now. You have so many great bands (in the UK) of different genres. Bands like Bullet For My Valentine, selling out arenas, I saw them supporting 36 Crazyfists in front of 200 people in Portsmouth and now they are at the arena stage, they are multinational and massive.

PRS: What are you influences?

Drew:As I say in every interview we do, All five of us listen to varied types of music, there are only a few bands we can all really really like, but I think that works in our favour, we take influences from all of them.

Matt: The best way to describe our sound it is what we would want to listen to, as it incorporates all our influences, it sounds like us and a band in one place.

PRS: How do you start the writing process?

Drew: The guitar are what we do first, they come with ideas and potentially songs.

Matt: Quite often it is whole song that one of us would bring to the table and we will pick it part at band practice and everyone has their input. I would not want it to be one person writing and others as session musicians, that’s not how it works, we are a collective and the reason we sound like we do is because everyone has that input.

PRS: What was your inspiration for the video for your new single "The Fall"?

Drew:  We met with the Directors and they brought some ideas to the table and this is the one we had our input in.

Matt: The songs called “The Fall” and the basis of the video is about taking “a fall”, an underground fighter taking money to lose a fight, although the song has nothing to do with that.

PRS: Will you be touring in the South West ?

Matt: Hopefully as I like playing down there, I was out tech-ing for Mallory Knox a few weeks ago they were doing Plymouth and Exeter and that lot. I would like to go to Exeter just for Ruby Burger (Restaurant). We are up for anything.

Drew: Finger crossed we will be touring in the next few month and we definitely playing in the South West.

Thanks to Matt and Drew for giving their time to do an interview with us and we will announce any local tour dates as soon as possible.

Villains have a new single out called “The Fall” which is available here

And their new video is available here

Friday 10 January 2014

Blitz Kids - The Good Youth Album Review

Blitz Kids are an Alternative Rock band from Nantwich, Cheshire (and Exeter, Devon) formed in 2006 who have been slowly working their way in to the rock public consciousness. They were last seen supporting Mallory Knox on their last tour of the UK.

The Good Youth (9) kicks off with "All I Want Is Everything" with gang vocal introduction before launching into straightforward pop punk with bright shiny guitars and a chorus consisting of the song title.

Highlights of the album include "Run For Cover" which has an electro beat and vocals reminiscent of Don Broco; "On My Own" which sounds like the Get Up Kids which is no bad thing ; "Sometimes" with its indie reference points and "Sold My Soul" which would not sound out of place on a The Used record. All of which could be singles in their own right with an abundance of catchy choruses and chugging guitar riffs.

The only deviation from the indie/ pop punk template is "Pinnacle" an electro pop song, with autotune treated vocals which sort of works, but doesn't at the same time, a guilty pleasure song.

Lyrically the album is quite dark with references to death and suicide, but this is balanced by the positive message that life is worth living and it is musically upbeat.

The album ends on the plodding "Lost Generation" which is saved by a soaring chorus leaving the listening wanting to listen to the album again.

It is no surprise that this album is produced by John Feldmann who has worked with The Used, D.R.U.G.S, Story of The Year and Panic At Disco .The album has his trademark flourishes including synths, orchestral strings and layered vocals, giving the album that familiar quality.

The album is a highly enjoyable pop punk record with great vocals, impeccable productions and solid workmanship. It is not going to win awards for originality, but the added layers keep the listener coming back for more. This album will appeal to a wide range of people including fans of Mallory Knox, Don Broco,Young Guns, The Used and Panic At the Disco.

 The new album to be released on 20th January 2014


 19           Kingston, Fighting Cocks

 20           London, Barfly

 25           Carlisle, Brickyard

 26           Manchester, Sound Control

 28           Leeds, Cockpit