Tag Archives: pop rock

New Music Mondays: Brantley Gilbert, Chelsea Grin and More!

Not a huge week, not that we’ll get many now as we head towards the holiday season, but there’s still plenty of new music to sink our teeth into. From rock to metal to country, let’s get into it!

Brantley Gilbert: So Help Me God

This was unfortunately quite a slow country album. I’m a big fan of Gilbert’s sludgy brand of country rock, but I found it hard to get into this. It was all rather slow and acoustic, which is fine, I love a good country ballad, but it’s not what I got into Brantley because of. Heck, in some turn of über double-irony, ‘The Worst Country Song of All Time’ is one of the most enjoyable tracks on the album, despite the lyrics. ‘Son of the Dirty South’ was an awesome song and finally what I was expecting, but I shouldn’t start to enjoy an album over halfway through it. However, afterwards it very quickly gets back to the slow tracks again. Again, I’m not opposed to slower country tracks, but when it’s a whole album of them nearly, it does tend to get boring. When Brantley is cutting back and having fun, it’s the most fun I have listening to the whole album. Definitely his worst album for me. 4.5/10

Chelsea Grin: Suffer in Hell

No prizes for guessing this album is heavy as balls. The first part of their afterlife-inspired double album is filled with crushing riffs and some of the most brutal screams in the industry today. However, it will be now impossible to not compare this band with Darko US. And, I have to admit, I prefer the Darko album. It’s nothing at all against Grin, their talent for playing and songwriting is off the charts on this album. It’s simply that it’s straight-up deathcore, like they’ve always done, while Darko brings a new, interesting edge to the sound. When the band go a bit more sinister and dark on tracks like ‘Deathbed Companion’, it definitely holds my interest more. However, when bands like Whitechapel, Lorna Shore and even Darko themselves have put out some of the best deathcore albums ever these last few years, it’s a high standard to live up to, and I’m not sure this one does.

I still really enjoyed the album and I do think it’ll continue to grow on me through the next month or so. However, for now I’m going to give it a 7.5/10

P.S. sorry P67, ‘Crystal Casket’ gets my bleh of the year. That one at the end is filthy, as is the riff and breakdown in the song. A real highlight track of the album!

He is Legend: ENDLESS HALLWAY

The illegitimate lovechild of Cane Hill and Alice in Chains. Somehow, that means the album sits in an odd void between the modern nu metal revival and the mid-naughties radio rock of Shinedown, Rev Theory and Burn Halo. I love every band and genre I’ve just named so, of course, I fucking love this.

I was not familiar with this hand at all before now and this album has immediately made me a fan and want to check out more of their back catalogue. The riffing is so heavy and chuggy, it wouldn’t sound out of place on a Gojira album, but the clean, low vocals give it a fantastic radio edge. Tracks like ‘LIFELESS LEMONADE’, ‘HONEY FROM THE HIVE’ and the utterly amazing ‘CIRCUS CIRCUS’ (yes, they are another band that shout at you) are massive highlights on an album chocked to the brim of them. There’re even elements of Mike Patton or Mushroomhead on the latter track, alongside the usual Korn and Tetrarch.

If you haven’t checked this band or, more importantly, this album out yet, do it right now. There honestly isn’t a bad track on it. 9.5/10 holy crap, a new obsession of mine.

Epica: The Alchemy Project

Symphonic metal always works well with guests, and Epica may very well be at the top of the symphonic scene in recent years. After last year’s FANTASTIC Omega, the band return with an experimental side album featuring a guest on every track, hence the album title.

Safe to say it’s pretty amazing. Most of the guests are a little heavier than the band, such as Fleshgod Apocalypse, Bjorn ‘Speed’ Strid and God Dethroned. However, every single vocalist played off Simone Simons’ beautiful vocals perfectly. Simone’s soaring, operatic tones always mesh well with the heavy, chuggy instrumentation and Mark Jansen’s powerful lows and growls. However, when adding in even heavier artists and vocals on top, it somehow makes everything even more epic and enjoyable. It all combines together to form something truly enjoyable and special, and I hope this isn’t the last time we get one of these Alchemy Projects. Highlights include ‘Wake the World’ and ‘The Final Lullaby’ but honestly, any track off the album could have made that selection. 9/10

Enuff Z’nuff: Finer than Sin

Glam/Sleaze’s answer to Oasis are back with their first album in just a year. Having seen them a couple of times over the last few years, I really enjoy them live. However, I’ve never managed to get into them on track, and this album didn’t change that. It’s pretty much all at the same steady, subdued pace throughout that doesn’t appeal to me too much. It’s so massively produced and polished, drawing comparisons to Def Leppard’s Hysteria, that when talking about drug abuse and other dark topics it’s a very odd contrast. It all reminds me of Terrorvision but just less fun.

‘Lost and Out of Control’ or ‘Hurricane’ were probably highlights. It’s not a bad album by any means, I just found myself getting distracted and bored though it, outside of these two tracks. 6/10

Randy Houser: Note to Self

The first guy I discovered when I finally started to dip into country by myself. I do feel slightly hypocritical now, as this is on the slower end of country. However, this was so well written and there were some truly awesome tracks on it. From ‘Workin’ Man’ to ‘Out and Down’ to ‘Country Round Here Tonight’, there is plenty to love with this album. I’m struggling to even say much, if you like country music, no matter the style, you’ll love this. Heck, I’d recommend anyone listening to this to check it out, as I love this. 8.5/10, this was awesome.

Warkings: Morgana

The most power metal band to ever power metal, now. Warkings seem to be the butt of a lot of jokes in the dub-genre’s community, but honestly I really enjoyed this. However, that may have been more because of Morgana Le Fay’s impressive harsher vocals every few tracks, as they were definitely my favourite songs on the album. ‘Monsters’ is my favourite track on the album, but ‘Immortal’ and even ‘The Rite’ are close followers. While the latter doesn’t include Morgana, I do still think they should try and find a harsh vocalist going forward, because the contrast between the vocals added a new layer of fun and awesomeness to the tracks. You know exactly what to expect with Warkings, straight up power metal, ‘no nonsense’ or anything outside of that, and for that this album is definitely good. 7.5/10

Cassyette: Sad Girl Mixtape

2022’s answer to Avril Lavigne while also adding a bit of Billy Eillish to the rock scene… I do love Casseyette. This album blends the two previously named artists perfectly while adding an edge seen in Dorothy’s music. While generally the album gets a little boring by the midpoint for me, I can fully understand and appreciate the importance of her music. She is the perfect gateway for young people, especially women, to get into rock music. I’m personally curious to see the generation in a few years time having come up on this and see what it gets them into.

Plus, while most of it is rather pop and punkish, she still hits us with the likes of ‘Die Hate Cry’ out of nowhere, brutal, heavy and full of harsh vocals. It definitely caught me by surprise after the first few stellar pop-punk opening tracks. If you’re into pop-rock, or even metal given the last few tracks on the album, check this out, you won’t be disappointed. 8/10

REMINA: STRATA

We’ve already covered this awesome album. Check out the review and score here.

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New Music Mondays: Lamb of God, The Cult and Much More!

You know the drill by now. A dozen amazing bands releasing new music, and we’re here to check it all out! See what we think below!

Lamb of God: Omens

Lamb of God releasing their ninth studio album makes me feel old. But that’s exactly what they did this last week. I’ve been a fan of the band for over half my life at this point, getting into them from Sacrament. I’ve seen the bands ups and downs and they really seem to be having a bit of a career resurgence recently after some slightly more questionable output in the 2010s. Their previous, self-titled album was fantastic and, honestly, this may one up it to an even higher level.

It takes everything new it seemed to build up well on the previous album, the spoken work/sung stuff and the dynamics with up and downs and tempos, and rolls with it all to new heights. The fact that in 2022 we have a Lamb of God album open with a track that has mostly clean verses is insane, especially when it’s one of the best tracks on the album. If anything it just makes Randy’s screams have even greater impact. And of course, from an instrumental perspective they’re still a metal guitarist and drummers dream band. The talent on display is unbelievable. The riffs are insane and Art Cruz again kills it on the drums.

The singles are of course great, and other tracks like ‘To The Grave’ and ‘September Song’ are also awesome. The whole album is a highlight, however, and hopefully will be the one to finally push LoG through that glass ceiling they seem to hit a while back. 8.5/10

The Cult: Under the Midnight Sun

I’ve never been much of a fan of The Cult. I get and respect the impact they’ve had on modern rock music, but they never did anything for me. This album didn’t change my mind. There wasn’t even a riff like ‘Rise’ or even ‘She Sells Sanctuary’ to keep me interested. There’s very little to this, and as someone who’s not that into Ian Astbury’s vocals, this was a tough listen. Sorry to anyone who I offend with this, but… 3/10

Bush: The Art of Survival

This was heavier than I expected it to be! I haven’t heard much recent Bush stuff, pretty much reserving myself to the phenomenal Sixteen Stone, so this took me a little off guard. In a good way, though!

Of course the vocals are still the melodic, radio-rock style Gavin is known for. However, the riffs are HUGE. Like, de-tuned, ch0nky and almost metal, huge. And on top of that, there’s some genuinely catchy, stadium-filling choruses and melodies on here. ‘Slow Me’ is my favourite track on the album and maybe my favourite track the band has ever put out. Tracks like ‘More Than Machines’ and ‘Human Sand’ are also amazing. They’ve almost added a progg element to their sound, sounding a little like Karnivool and Chevelle.

My only slight issue is that it all sounds just a bit similar. Most of the tracks follow the same sort of formula; slower, stripped-back verses and then the big riff that opened the track comes back for the chorus. At least it made ‘Creatures of the Fire’ feel different and unique, as the it the main exception to the rule. Still though, I’d LOVE to hear this stuff live, I feel like it would be one hell of a show. I need to check out more Bush now! 8/10

Queensrÿche: Digital Noise Alliance

I’m not all too familiar with the band outside of Mindcrime and Empire. However, I have heard that Geoff Tate’s replacement has done wonders for the band, so I’m curious to hear how this sounds!

Sadly, the opening track and biggest single didn’t actually grab my attention. However, the opposite could be said for ‘Chapters’. It’s an incredible catchy track, straddling the line between AOR and even some modern Iron Maiden. I do have to say though, the mixing on the vocals was a bit odd. It felt distant, quieter than it maybe should have been. Tracks like ‘Sicdeth’, ‘Nocturnal Light’ and prog epic ‘Tormentum’ are also highlights of the album.

And I would like to add that it is a good album. I wanted to stress that before I went on to say… it’s a little overdone at this point. I know Queensryche are very much one of the originators of the sound, but there is so much amazing AOR music these days, that I feel like it’s just already been done. I love this sort of music, but bands like Eclipse and Tygers of Pan Tang are just as good, and I am more familiar with their work. So it is definitely a good album full of good tracks, but I didn’t enjoy it as much as their older stuff, or as much as I could have done. Hence why I shall give it a 7/10

Wednesday 13: Horrifier

We had the chance to review this before it’s release. Spoilers, it’s awesome. To find out just how awesome, check out our full review here.

Everette: Kings of the Dairy Queen Parking Lot – Side B

Another album we’ve had the pleasure of reviewing, and another amazing one. Find the review here.

Goatwhore: Angels Hung from the Arches of Heaven

The extreme metal titans returned with their eighth album this last Friday. If you’re a fan of the genre, like I am turning out to be, you’ll love this. Don’t get me wrong, It got a bit much and repetitive by around the halfway mark, but then I also loved the epic, plodding closing tracked. It’s everything you could want from an extreme metal album and certainly had me wanting to mosh! I shan’t pretend to be an expert on these things, but I enjoyed it, so will give it a 6.5/10

Counterparts: A Eulogy for Those Still Here

This feels very much like a Max album. Unfortunately, his uni has kept him too busy to help out this week. Depressing lyrics, heavy, Djenty riffing, solid drums and hardcore, bordering on extreme harsh vocals. I have to say, it’s not for me. I couldn’t really get anything memorable to come away with out of it, I just know the general sound and that it wasn’t for me. While I can appreciate they are all talented players, nothing about this prompted my will for a second listen. Sorry for anyone who is a fan, and I know that they are a pretty big band, but I’mma have too give this a 3.5/10

Barrett Davis: The Ballad of Aesop Fin

The North Carolinan country singer songwriter put out his debut album last week after months of putting out some great singles. It has a real old-school feel to it all and shows off some real talent as far as playing and songwriting is concerned. ‘Carolina Still’ is a personal highlight of the album, showing off Barrett’s impressive vocal range and some great guitar and piano. It almost boarders on easy listening, at times. It’s a good, relaxing album that I’ll definitely be chilling out to a lot in the coming weeks and months. 7/10

Acid Witch: Rot Among Us

This was a whole lot of fun. I don’t know what I was expecting, but it wasn’t this. I was ready for the stoner/doom metal riffing, but the almost Nightmare Before Christmas level of theatrical, extreme vocals over the top I was not. Honestly the duelling vocals and more stage-show style feel always does it for me in tracks, it’s why I love Ice Nine Kills so much.

‘Gather Each Witch’ and ‘Rot Among Us’ are the perfect tracks to open the album on, giving me a complete, great feel for what the band is about. The horror themes, big riffs and fun dynamics are all clear staples of the album. While not all tracks have the play-off style vocals, we still have some on ‘5508 Martin St.’ and ‘Evil Dad’. The later gives me ever so slight ‘Three Little Pigs‘ vibes with the higher vocals. Both tracks are amazing. However, saying that, there isn’t a bad track on this album.

I came into this not expecting to come away with one of my most enjoyable listens of the year, but there we go. It came out at the perfect time of the year but, honestly, I’m going to be listening to this way past Halloween. Great stuff, 9/10

VUKOVI: NULA

The Scottish rockers are back with maybe their most ambitious release to date. Just listening to opener ‘DEPARTURE’ sets up the epic feel they are going for. ‘TAINTED’ does a great job of continuing that feel and is a fantastic radio-rock track. ‘LASSO’ is another good track, the rapping being an interesting, fun addition. It has elements of Linkin Park and modern BMTH, while being a little lighter and indie/punky than both.

However, while I did enjoy the rest of the album, it only took me 4/5 songs to realise that it’s all going to be rather similar. Tracks like ‘I EXIST’ and ‘KILL IT’ are good and more highlights, but the album suffers from a similar issue and structure to Bush’s. It’s good, but I found myself getting distracted from the exact same formula in every song by the midpoint. It will most likely be more of a solo track album for me as opposed to listening through it front to back again. Because of that I can’t give it tippy top marks, but it still gets a very impressive 8.5/10

Borealis: Illusions

This is some of the most epic shit I’ve ever heard. Not many bands could have an epic intro track and then have a mega intro to the first proper song on top of it. And musically it’s like if Dream Theater did power metal. It’s definitely got that epic power/symphonic side to it, but the riffs wouldn’t sound out of place on a Djent album. I love it. The first three tracks are perfect. From a slow, epic intro to a radio track to the first epic prog track across 13 minutes, it’s fantastic. Then you have tracks like ‘Burning Tears’ and ‘Abandon All Hope’ and this is a damn good album. They deserve to be huge, and hopefully this album is the one to do it! 8.5/10

Here are Your Words: Is Burridge the New Wave of Pop Rock?

The Singer/Songwriter/Anarchist/Rascal (as she puts it so perfectly) Burridge is back with her first EP in three years. I’ve been a fan for a while now after being sent over some of her latest singles, and I’m super excited to hear the rest of the release. She straddles the lines between pop, rock, indie and punk with ease and puts out something genuinely unique. Let’s get into it!

‘Modern Day Love Affair’ starts off heavier than I was expecting, and certainly heavier than the two tracks I reacted to. The Great riff heads into more punk territory once the vocals kick in, with her singing in between the guitars for the first part. It almost has a J-rock edge to it all, or at very least reminds me of Joanovarc’s ‘Say Sayonara’. I think it’s the multi-tracked vocals that’s doing it, but it makes it sound huge and very impactful. The chorus is just as big and catchy as the rest of it, and I’m sure it’ll be a fan favourite live. Overall it’s a great straight-up rock song, and a fantastic way to open an EP!

Soon-to-be single ‘Breathe’ is up next. It opens straight into her awesome, slightly distorted vocals, backed only by the solid bass drum. The fuzzy bass comes in behind to add even more attitude to it all before it builds into a huge pre. It’s spacious and catchy in its own right.

Then, the track leans heavily into AM territory with the riff and chorus. The guitar tone is very Arctic Monkeys while her vocals even remind me a bit of Alex Turner’s at times throughout, from the accent to melody to pronunciation. The chorus is great though, another catchy, arena-filling vocal hook with huge guitars behind it. The half-time in the second chorus is also fantastic. Everything culminating together in the final chorus was great too, and finished off an amazing song. Playlisted, easily.

You can check out my reaction and thoughts on ‘Cigarette Smoke’ (as well as ‘Panic’ a little later) down below. But I’ll still give a few brief words now for those who don’t have the time to watch.

Check out more pop rock here.

The fuzzy bass and simple drums fit well behind Burridge ‘s voice, making it all feel pretty punk. It all builds into a great pre and HUGE chorus that has been stuck in my head on and off since I first heard it a few months ago. It’s a fantastic track that I cannot heap enough praise onto. It fits perfectly into the current pop-rock resurgence, while still sounding different and having a punky edge. It’s already on the playlist!

The final new track, ‘Done Wrong’, channels massive pop-punk energy. From the riff to the melody to the gang vocals, it’s all very Paramore and other modern bands on the edge of punk. It’s good fun and very catchy, just like the rest of the tracks. It’s another great song!

Closing track ‘Panic’ is another one I have loved for months now. It opens straight into Burridge ‘s powerful vocals and a great punk rock riff. Also, it’s another hugely catchy chorus and one that will be on a loop around my head for the rest of the day. I especially love the stripped-back version of it that closes out the track. It’s one of my favourite outros of the year, I think! Great stuff, and another for the playlist!

Overall: This was fantastic. It’s great to hear the youth infusing rock into the more pop sound, and it’s becoming a rather big, mainstream thing again these days. Every track is great and is definitely worth checking out, and I’ll be listening to it a lot in the coming weeks and months. Hopefully we get the chance to hear it live soon!

The Score: 8/10

With Regards From Home: The Debut Album to Send FES to the Stratosphere?

Guitar-pop/pop-rock/math-rock band FES have been around a few years now. They’ve been putting in a hell of a lot of hours into touring and plugging away and EPs. However the band are finally releasing their debut album tomorrow, and I could not be more stoked. We saw these guys in Notts last year (link to the review here) and loved them, so to have the chance to get a sneak peak at this is an honour. Without further ado, here is our thoughts on With Regards From Home.

Starting off as on FES could, ‘Chew’ opens on some fantastic guitar playing and a huge chord before it drops down a bit for the vocals. It’s pop-punk math-rock blended perfectly together and is massively catchy. The dynamics are fun, it dropping down and building up multiple times throughout. There’s also a fantastic harmony on the vocal coming through the build-up around 2-minutes in, adding even more punch and epicness to the sound. I lost track a little of the structure a little but it doesn’t matter at all, this was phenomenal. The lyrics resonated pretty strongly with me too, as they would probably anyone at one time or another. This was awesome and easily makes the playlist!

‘Clarinet’ opens on another fantastically technical guitar riff, built on perfectly by the bass and drums. The vocals are again massively catchy, having a real old-Hayley-Williams twang to them. It’s hard not to constantly gush over the instrumentation, though. This band is three people at the very top of their craft and they are AMAZING songwriters. They manage to fit all their weirdness and craziness together somehow perfectly. This may sound insane, but I’d put the front-woman up there with the likes of Tosin Abasi and Santana in terms of technical guitar ability, she really is that good. More great stuff!

‘Sun Visor’ launches straight into the verse, vocals and a quirky riff ringing through. It somehow sounds even better when the bass takes over for the riff. The guitar holds a huge chord, letting it ring and distort and add another huge layer to the track. Then it suddenly shifts gears heading into the chorus, turning almost uplifting. It fits in with the mood of the trach though and was a smooth transition. The track is another awesome one, catchy and bouncy and a lot of fun!

I am coming to realise that I maybe cannot review this album in the same way as I review most others. Otherwise it’ll just be me repeatedly saying ‘the instrumentation is incredible’ and ‘the vocals are great’ and ‘I love the lyrics’. While with some bands I would complain that this would make the album too boring and repetitive, I could listen to this style all day. FES manage to constantly keep it interesting and keep me on my toes. So instead, I feel like I just need to bring to attention the highlights and bits that I loved, as well as anything I feel less positive towards.

‘So So’ has some of the best lyrics I have heard in a very long time. The melancholy, stripped back instrumentation for it fits the theme perfectly, too. The drop-outs and dynamics in ‘Bruises’ were a lot of fun and had me genuinely questioning if my laptop was still working at times. Also, slower track ‘Black Eye’ was a nice change of pace at first after a rather upbeat first half of an album. And the proggy, slower outro was awesome.

‘Seethrough’ is a massive highlight of the album for me. The guitaring reminds me of early Newton Faulkner. The whole track just being that and vocals, alongside some ambient sounds to accompany, was really beautiful. I’m so glad it didn’t drop into the rest of the band. I was hoping for something much different to the rest of the album and this was exactly that. The lyrics are impactful and fantastic and it all pieces together perfectly. Playlisted!

My only very minor gripe with this album is that after the aforementioned track it does go back to the similar formula again. I know I had mentioned before that I could listen to this style all day and I most certainly can. But that isn’t to say it will hold my full attention forever. This is a fantastic album that I would recommend to absolutely anyone, but it was a hard one to sit down and review. I get distracted easily and no matter how fantastic an album is, if it is a lot of similarly great songs over and over, I find my mind wandering.

And yes, I know how hard it is to create different sounds with just three people in a sub-genre like this, so I don’t even have a solution. I guess I’m basically just saying ‘goddamn you guys for being so good at what you do!’. Maybe it’s just jealousy. Either way, the final three tracks are also stellar and ‘Washout’ is a fantastic way to close an album!

Overall: what more can I say that I haven’t already? It is an absolute masterclass in how to play the core rock instruments (including vocals). Also, the band have the incredible ability to portray such emotion, not just through the deeply person lyrics but through their delivery and the playing as well. It feels like this band could do absolutely any genre they wanted, they simply play this style as they enjoy it. One of the strongest debut albums I’ve heard in decades. And, before my professional jealousy creeps back in, I’m going to give this…

The Score: 9/10

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Dohny Jep: ‘we’re heavy pop music with riffs!

Dohny Jep are a self pop-rock band who have recently hit the UK underground scene with force. Having released a whopping 4 EPs throughout this year, the band have been working hard. (We reviewed their latest one, by the way, which you can check out here). From the sounds of things they will continue to work hard next year too! We got the chance to sit down with them after their final EP for a quick interview. Check it out below!

So obviously your latest EP has just come out, how’s that gone down?

Yeah, it’s gone very well. We’re very happy with peoples responses to it! Much like the previous three we’ve put out this year we’ve slowly built a following and they seem to really dig most of the stuff we’ve put out. This one’s a little heavier than the last ones we’ve done. A lot of people have commented on that in a nice way. They’ve seen the progression throughout the year of how we’ve developed. And we did that deliberately, we chose for this one to be heavier than the other three. Sort of ease people into it.

With all four EPs coming out in one year, did you guys write it all beforehand?

We wrote a chunk all at the same time really. It was probably late last year.

It was sort of ongoing over a long period of time.

Yeah, late last year I reckon is when I remember we’d demoed an absolute bunch.

And then we kinda played around with orders and stuff. We were still re-writing stuff. So like the first EP was coming out and while we had the fourth EP technically written we were tweaking it as we were going. The main chunk of it was already done, we were just doing the details as we went along. Working to deadlines and stuff. The last one – we weren’t anywhere close to missing the deadline, but we had definitely done a lot more tweaks to some songs. ‘Floor Like Lava’ is two songs that we stuck together so we were still working all the details out.

I assume you planned it all out release-wise before it all, then?

Sort of. We had a kind of idea. I think we were originally put out a bunch of singles. Then the idea became to do them as EPs instead of standalone singles. Then the whole kinda floral thing that tied into each other and then our album, which is out on January 29th, has all four of those flowers in the same vase and we have all the 16 tracks as one collective release. That sort of idea kinda came in halfway through the year, something like that. But yeah, at the beginning of the year we were thinking let’s just release a shit load of singles and be in people’s faces the entire time so they get sick of us or love us, maybe both! But yeah, the full EP thing was decided just before we kicked it off really.

Also, it wasn’t not our decision but it was someone else’s suggestion to us. We’ve been getting advise from a bunch people and he’s sort of unofficially managing us at this point. Not that we don’t have anything to manage but we’re doing everything ourselves so far so he’s more of an advisory roll. He was like ‘well if you’re going to put out 12 singles at one a month, you could put it out as four EPs throughout the year and make a big deal out of it’. I think it was us who decided to jump it up from 12 to 16 because we had so many songs.

Yeah, we just couldn’t really decide which ones we wanted to put out. We’re a big fan of our own stuff! Which is probably a good thing, to love your material instead of thinking ‘eh, it’s alright’. So you kinda need to be your biggest fan! So we thought fuck it, let’s up 16 out and make it as unrealistic as possible to achieve!

So would you consider the same format of EPs leading up to an album again?

We don’t really know yet. It’s been a very expensive year!

Yeah, the next one definitely won’t be like that!

We’re still in talks about exactly how we’re going to do next year, but I think the main plan for us is just to tour a lot on this years material. Because we weren’t able to tour from the get go we’ve lost out on a lot of things like festivals and whatnot. I think once the album is out in January it’ll just be gig gig gig and just get in peoples faces physically rather than digitally this time.

Have you guys got much of a tour booked?

The only thing we’ve got is our release show in January. We’re looking at the moment to lock down a booking agent and then… . Again the advice we got was to look to tour just before summer. Then, avoid summer because it’s the festival season. Unfortunately, because most of the festivals at the minute are re-bookings from the previous two years it’s unlikely that we’ll get a slot on those. Then, after the festival season, get out and do some more stuff.

But it’s all a bit up in the air at the minute. We’re just driving towards this album show and then we’re going to work out what we’re going to do once we’ve got that under our belt.

Generally, how would you describe your sound?

Every time I’m asked this I never really know what to say! I usually go for alt-rock or pop-rock, but more recently I’ve ben saying it’s ‘heavy pop music with riffs’. It’s guitar driven rock music, obviously, but vocally it’s quite hooky with catchy parts.

It’s sort of like a bit of everything for everyone. Especially with our earlier material. It’s got a lot of lighter elements and then this new EP is heavier so it sort of touches on a bit of everything.

Each EP has its own sound, really. You can still tell it’s us, from the first to the fourth EP, but there is a variation in influences. ‘Fade’ for example, which was on Shallow Is the Water. It’s a sort of similar sound to The 1975, which is obviously pretty light and poppy. But then you’ve got other tracks like ‘Control’ that are like early Don Broco. So it’s yeah, variations of influences throughout really.

Will you stick with the wide range of sound going forward?

I think some of the newer stuff we’ve been working on and getting produced has gone a little bit lighter than the last EP. We’ve kinda gone heavy, then we’re going to go light again for a bit, but we’re still in the writing process for that. We’ve got one song produced for the next thing but with no sight of when that is out we’re just being proactive and writing so we have something.

Get ahead of the game!

Exactly! So I might watch this back in six months and we’ve written a really heavy song and then this doesn’t make sense. But at the minute it’s gone a bit lighter, a little funky in places but ultimately it’s still pop-rock with riffs!

Even though you haven’t gigged too much, what would you say the state of the music industry is like right now?

I think digitally, because that’s the best way we can really talk about stuff, it’s skyrocketed. It’s done great things for music. Things like TikTok for example, which we are still very new to but are trying to understand and be one with the young people who know how to use these fucking apps. I think it’s been a great thing for music. For example Papa Roach, who are a super old-school nu-metal band, have been brought back into the modern people’s sights from going viral on there with a very old single of theirs. There’s probably loads of other artists that have either been discovered or rediscovered from TikTok.

So as far as social platforms and things it’s been amazing. I know there’ll be a lot of people out there saying that ‘that’s rubbish’ and ‘you still need to be able to buy CDs’ and people miss going to miss going to buy physical copies of stuff but the reality is that that time has gone and you have to go along with what is happening or you will get left behind.

So yeah, the music’s been great from a digital standpoint. As far as the live stuff, when we’ve played stuff it’s been busy and it’s been great and everyone’s been enjoying themselves, but we just need to do more of them!

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Lyoness: The Silence

Lyoness is a band that has been around for a few years now but really broke out as soon as they released their first tracks in 2019, earning themselves a fantastic slot supporting the awesome Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes. The band has so far only put out singles, but that is all set to change with their upcoming EP. The first song of said EP, ‘The Silence’, was released today, so we thought we’d check it out and see what it’s like!

The track opens on a drumbeat that had a pretty strange yet interesting effect on it, it sitting far back in the mix and sounding muddy. We then get the guitar and bass coming in with a brief, low riff before Gillian’s low, indie/punk vocals come in over the top. It’s dripping in attitude and swagger, especially with the minimal instrumentation behind it. The second half the verses are cool too, the guitars coming in with an interesting riff that, if it was any less palm-muted, would be pretty damn heavy, but it works pretty well in this sort of setting too.

It all builds into a huge, pretty heavy chorus. The drums go cymbal heavy, opening out the track loads, and the guitars hit some huge chords. Meanwhile, the vocals get a little higher and harder, with Gillian coming up with a pretty damn catchy vocal line that repeats throughout. It then heads into an awesome little bridge part after the second chorus, with another heavy, awesome riff from the instruments while the vocals hum and ‘woh’ perfectly over the top. It reminds me a lot of Dorothy and that sort of American level of pop-rock heaviness, catchy and great. It also then swings into a final chorus to end things with a bang.

Overall: it was an awesome track, and one hell of a good choice to make as the first single for their EP. It was simple yet perfectly catchy and heavy for the band’s sound, as well as for wide-reaching radio play. You cannot ask for anything else really, and I cannot wait to hear what the rest of the EP has in store! 

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Dead Writers: Among Spirits

Dead Writers are a UK old-school pop-rock band. Their hotly anticipated self-titled debut EP is set for release in December, and they put out their first single from it, Among Spirits, a week or so ago. Their vintage sound got us intrigued enough as it is that we had to review it, which you can read down below! Safe to say we were not disappointed!

The track opens on a beautiful clean guitar riff, sounding equal parts uplifting but also sinister, a hard line to walk but done well! The low vocals come in over the top and instantly transport me back to the 80s. The singer reminds me a lot of someone and it pissed me off for a long while, but I think I have it narrowed down to a combination of Jarvis Cocker and Ville Valo. It sounds fantastic over the top of the steady instrumentation and builds up even more into a catchy, fuller chorus. The guitars and drums pick up a bit for it and the vocals start to sore through a very catchy, 80s-style melody. I love it.

We get a great bridge part after the second chorus where the vocalist moves onto the piano to add some awesome and frankly epic-sounding depth behind a wah-led lead guitar line. It reminds me a fair bit of some of Bowie’s rockier stuff, especially with how long they let the part breathe, think ‘Moonage Daydream’. It’s a really beautiful part of the song and highlights the talent of each band member fantastically. We then get a brief final verse before a massive final chorus takes us home in style.

Overall: This was awesome. Considering I hadn’t heard anything of this band really before now, they definitely have a new fan in me! The 80s vibe was fantastic, but they modernised it well and put their own spin on it. I cannot wait for the full EP!

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