Tag Archives: grunge

James of She Burns Red: ‘A bit all over the place, in a good way!’

We had the chance to sit down with James of the amazing She Burns Red after their set at Winter Rocks Festival a couple of weeks ago (read our review of the festival here). Check it out as we talk about the set and what they have planned for the next year!

So, how was the gig?

Really good, I really enjoyed it! Really fun! Always love playing Sheffield, we’ve done it a few times now. We did HRH Sleaze and then we played here last year on the Saturday. It was just good fun, I just love playing music!

And how would you describe your sound?

So we’re a wee bit punky and a wee bit grungy and a wee bit heavy… I don’t know man! A bit Wildhearts and Therapy and a bit all over the place, in a good way!

What’s it like being a part of this scene at the minute? It seems like the NWOCR genre is encapsulating a bit of everything nowadays!

Yeah, I mean because the New Wave of Classic Rock is a fanpage on Facebook, if they like a band then you’ll be included in it, it doesn’t matter what you sound like. ‘Oh, you should check out this band, they’re great’ and suddenly you’re part of that scene. Whether you like it or not, and I don’t mean that in a bad way! It’s almost like this creation of this scene out of nowhere. It’s really good though because people are coming to gigs, and after Covid especially which we were all a bit worried about. But no, it’s been an amazing thing to be part of.

I mean you think about the grunge scene; there were load of bands that sounded fuck all like each other. Like The Gets and Pearl Jam and all these bands, nothing like each other. But they all kinda worked together. And it’s the same here. It means that we can play with bands like South of Salem or Twister or Ward XVI or Massive Wagons, all these that sound different but all fit together.

You’ve released a couple of singles this year, right?

Yes, our next single is also due I think the start of next year. We’re actually in the studio from Monday to record the next part of the album. Finishing that around January/February time. Releasing it hopefully May or June.

So I assume it’ll be touring for the rest of the year after that?

I really fuckin’ hope so! The stage we’re at at the minute is we’re doing a lot of support tours, because there’s less financial risk involved. However, if things start to spike by the summer, fingers crossed.

Any surprises from the new music? Anything a departure from what you’ve put out so far?

Not really. As we said earlier, there’s a few songs that are a bit punky, a few that are more grungy, some melodic stuff in there too. So nothing out of the ordinary. If you’re familiar with our stuff you’ll know what to expect.

We’ve kinda got our sound harnessed. And that’s what’s really good, is that we did our EP and that kinda took us one direction, but then we managed to harness our sound and go in a different one. We’ve got everything going at the minute and it’s working really well.

And do you have a dream tour line-up you’d love to be a part of?

Fuck man, I’d love to support Danko Jones, they’re one of my favourite bands. That’d be amazing! They just get on with it on stage, play three songs and then ‘hey, we’re Danko Jones’ and then bam, loads more music. I love them. To the extent that this year on Spotify, 4/5 top tracks were Danko Jones.

We also love the South of Salem guys, it’s so great to be playing with them. I’m sure some people would say like Aerosmith or Metallica or something, but for me it’s Danko Jones and South of Salem, that’s who I’d want!

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Black Mirrors: ‘If we continue to behave like we are doing now we might disappear!’

We had the wonderful opportunity to sit down with rising leaders of the new grunge movement, Black Mirrors. Having already reviewed their most recent album (which you can find here) we were excited to talk to them about it! Check it out below!

Firstly, how would you describe your sound?

I would say it’s a mixture of a lot of different things. Like we love music from the 90s but in the 90s a lot of different genres just appeared. Look at bands like Nirvana, Radiohead, Soundgarden. Even bands from the stoner sound like Queens of the Stone Age. Rage Against the Machine as well! A lot of great bands just appeared at that time, and I’d say our style is influenced by all of these bands. Bands from the early 90s which we really really love.

And the album just came out, it seems to be going down well?

Yeah, we’re having some very positive feedback on it, it’s really cool to hear!

And what was the writing/recording process like? Did you get caught out in Covid?

Yeah. It was pretty special for us because we did everything remotely with our producer, since he wasn’t allowed to come to Europe, and we couldn’t go to the US. So we did everything remotely through Zoom and stream. And yeah, we actually wrote the songs during the lockdown because… we didn’t do anything else! So we thought yeah, let’s be creative. The best things we can do is music, you know. So we started to write songs. I started to write songs as well which is pretty different to the first record because most of the ideas came from Pierre.

So basically for this one I added some ideas, we worked on it with Pierre and we started to work on the songs with our producer with a dual acoustic/lead guitar and vocals. Then with the whole band and then in the studio together.

And is there a theme running through the album? Or is it more a story per track?

We didn’t think about it as like, let’s do a project like The Wall, like a rock opera. But the thing is it’s true that after a while it was kind of obvious that the album was about how we just change and destroy the earth. How we’re leaving this planet and how humans are just destroying everything. That’s why we chose this title. It has different levels of meanings. The first one is very obvious, like at some point we’ll all be dead, so let’s do something nice between now and that time.

But you could also think about it like all the human beings; if we continue to behave like we are doing now we might disappear.

And the last way is that looking at not just human beings but all the living things on the planet, we are just one. One big thing. And it’s something that we should start to understand as people, to be like we share the same thing and the same energy, and we should fight for all the living beings, not just ourselves.

I imagine it’s quite cathartic to work through some of these issues through song?

Yeah, it’s something that you want to do as an artist, I guess. It’s our own reflection, our own vision on how it is now. A song like ‘Ode to my Unborn Child’ is really really deep for me and personal. It’s the most personal song I’ve ever wrote. It was like, we are now at an age where we’re thinking if we want kids or not. The whole thing was like, do we want kids on this world? It’s a world that I’m angry at, and I’m angry at myself too to be part of this world and this system. It’s a bit difficult and I’m struggling to live with that, daily. So it’s like, do I want any kids to feel the same thing that I do. So this song was almost a mourning process for me.

I imagine you’re doing a tour off the back of the album?

Yeah! Nothing is announced yet because we’re waiting for a good opportunity. The thing is this post-Covid situation is kind of tricky, it’s not that easy, especially compared to three years before. But yeah, we have something on the way and we’ll announce it in the next few weeks.

Have you had an issues setting up the tour?

Well, we can definitely feel that it’s different than before lockdown. Especially with ticket sales; now people are waiting till the last minute to buy the ticket. Or you have to pick between a lot of shows that you want to go to.

Also, the price of gas. It’s really expensive now. If you tour with a van or a bus it’s a big, big difference. Multiplied by two even, now. It definitely effects bands like us!

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Tomorrow Will be Without Us: Are Black Mirrors Leading the Charge for the Next Grunge Revolution?

Something different from both Napalm Records and Belgium for us today. It’s not typically grunge/radio rock you first think of when you think of music from either, but Black Mirrors seem set to change that with their second full-length release. I’m definitely curious to hear it, so let’s dive right into it!

Their most recent single, ‘Snake Oil’, starts the album off with a bang, a fast-paced, simple riff running through it all. It drops back a little for the verses, Marcella Di Troia’s distorted vocals coming in perfectly over the top. It builds up into a huge chorus where her vocals clean up and a very catchy melody comes in. It’s grunge, but it’s also definitely dark and a little heavier. It’s giving me Twin Temple vibes just as much as Alice in Chains. Also, the outro building up more and more for a solid minute plus is fucking fantastic. It’s one hell of a way to finish an opening track and is a very satisfying crescendo. Playlisted!

Check out a similar band here.

Another single from the album, ‘Lost in Desert’, feels a little lighter and more radio-friendly. It almost has a bit of a British indie vibe to it, or even a US alt-rock style. It’s giving off massive ‘Bohemian Like You’ by Dandy Warhols vibes. The chorus is another massive, catchy one, and almost feels uplifting despite the subject matter. We get a pretty decent solo to close out the track too. I’m loving these extended outros the band are doing, hopefully we get them throughout. This was another awesome track, and one I can see being play everywhere if given the chance. It’s the perfect single to introduce new fans who otherwise lean more towards the pop side, and it’s definitely a wise decision by the band to have a track like this. Hopefully it catapults them to the top where they belong!

The album’s title track is closer to a straight-up rock track, giving off big Soundgarden feels with the riffs and arrangement. The ‘oh’s and ‘ah’s over it still give off that same American alt vibe, though, it blending together well. The chorus is massively catchy, thanks in part to the awesome backing vocals. It’s another great radio-rock track, this time also giving off vibes of Halestorm and Dorothy in Marcella’s vocals. It’s maybe my favourite performance of hers on the whole album. Great stuff.

The final and lead single off the album, ‘Hateful Hate I’ll Kill You’, reminds me a lot of the opening tracks. It’s somehow a perfect mashup of the first two songs on the album, dark and heavier while still keeping that poppy, radio-friendly edge. It is a fun track, again despite the serious, deep lyrics, and one I’d love to see live as it seems they give a high-energy performance. It’s another easily added to the playlist.

‘Ode to my Unborn Child’ is, understandably given the name, the slower ballad of the album. It starts off low and acoustic-y and builds into a pretty folky track. It’s completely different to the rest of the tracks in all the best ways. The sound fits the sombre tale perfectly and is honestly a beautiful track. It’s a dark folk-rock track, a genre that is getting very popular at the minute, and it handles the shift perfectly. This is another playlisted track. Damn, it’s good.

‘Through the Eyes of a Giant’ somehow opens on a similar folky sound, but builds so seamlessly back into their previous sound throughout. The whole track feels like one big buldup, and I can’t help but love it. It almost had some Tool vibes in the middle part with the guitars. Y’all know how much I gush about Tool, so of course I loved this whole track. Just another track to make our playlist!

After a couple of epic folk-rock tracks, it felt slightly jarring heading into the most grunge track I’ve heard in years. The track is Alice in Chains as fuck, from the riffing to the double, harmonised vocals. I assume the lower harmony, the Jerry Cantrell of the track, is guest vocalist Alain Johann. He does an amazing job and adds so much to this track. It’s the first one so far I’d class as full-on grunge, and I love it. Another fantastic song!

‘Anthropocene’ is another more alt-rock track, going back to the first few songs in terms of sound. It’s not bad at all, but it does feel a little like I’ve heard this now. The final two tracks, however, do feel different. Both are a bit slower than ‘Anthro…’ and have a similar epic feel to the folk tracks. ‘Tears to Share’ is especially fantastic, building to a huge chorus that again reminds me of Dorothy. Meanwhile ‘Say it Again’ is a suitably heavy, fun way to close the album.

Overall: this was amazing. It’s rare to find a band so effortlessly hop between different sub-genres while all the while maintaining their own sound and style, but Black Mirrors do it perfectly. Be it grunge, radio-alt-rock or folk, everything they did was great. There isn’t a bad track on the album and they did a phenomenal job at keeping me interested and entertained throughout. There are going to be plenty of tracks that I’m listening to for long into the future. These guys are going right to the top of the music industry, just you watch!

The Score: 9/10