Tag Archives: rock music

Dig Lazarus: ‘I’m always amazed when someone knows the words!’

Another of our Call of the Wild festival interviews, this time with the amazing Dig Lazarus. Check it out as we talk about their last year or two and their future plans!

How was the gig? Sounded good from our end!

Fantastic! That sounded good?! It looked good from our end. It’s pretty daunting playing a Sunday morning after a Thursday, Friday and Saturday. But it was great, plenty of people showed up!

How’s the festival season going so far?

Heretic was wicked. It kicked off the festival season. It’s good to finally be at an outdoor festival, especially with the weather like this. The clouds parted for us so we took the jeans off immediately and put the shorts on!

What’s it like being a part of this underground rock/NWOCR scene?

It’s amazing man, it’s great to be in the circles we’re in. We have great management in RPM Management, but even outside that every thing we do like this it kind of crosses over and we know people and can hang out with people… it’s fantastic. I think the British rock scene is so good, that these festivals happen and that we’re a part of it. There are so many line-ups that we’re honoured to be a part of. All the HRH stuff as well. The bands and the fans are all really into it. It’s great to be a part of it.

You can meet someone who’ll say ‘oh yeah, we met you at such and such festival like three or four years ago’.

And how would you say the scene is looking these days?

We’re getting there. When the first lockdown happened we were midway through a tour so everything got took away from us that we had planned. As it did for every band. You’ve just gotta try and rise above it and come back stronger, right? The first tour back we did after lockdown was supporting The Virginmarys. It was so good to be back out. Fans wanted to come back out and see live music again, they were begging for it. And we can provide that!

Check out our previous interview here.

You guys put out an album last year, it seems to have gone down pretty well?

Yeah definitely, we’re stoked! I’m always amazed when someone knows the words. We had a good tour with Virginmarys in support of that album and it’s just kinda snowballed from there. Like to come out to these places and people say they’ve been listening to the album non-stop in the car, that’s amazing to hear.

And are you guys writing again already?

Absolutely. We never stop writing. We’re going back into the studio to finish album two, half of it’s done. But we’re also toying with the idea of doing this heavier EP. Just four song EP just to get it out of our system. We don’t want album two to be so far away from album one but we have these songs that we like that are a bit heavier. I turn up to practice and I can hear it through the walls, playing something filthy. But it sounds awesome.

I think that’s a good thing for bands to do. It opens us up to being able to support other bands. We don’t want to just be a part of the NWOCR scene. It’s great to be a part of, but we can then step away from that and do a stoner gig. That’s the dream!

Speaking of, have you got a dream tour?

I mean dream tours can go big… Kiss! Queens of the Stone Age! We were influenced by a lot of bands and in that sort of circle I think Eagles of Death Metal would be doable. I think we could do that, we know Jesse, he’s on the album.

But bands like Scruffy Bear, I love that band. I’d love to go on tour with them. We like nice people. There’s no rockstar persona or ego, leave your ego in the van, just go on stage and play. Like Ryder’s Creed, we’ve known them for years so it’d be good to get out on tour with them.

Massive, Ghosts of Men and Dig Lazarus at Ye Olde Sal!

Pardon my French, but what a great putain gig! Three hugely impressive sets from some of the best hard rock bands in the underground rock scene right now. Massive, Ghosts of Men and Dig Lazarus. A big thanks to our good friends at Dig Lazarus sneaking us into the sold out Ye Olde Salutation Inn in Nottingham for the gig! We were able to experience it first hand, and just had to let you know how great it was!

Opening the night were the ever awesome Dig Lazarus. For a band that I had not really heard of before Call of the Wild Festival back in May, I have become a huge fan since then. The band were on top form here as well. Their sludgy, heavy blues sound translates perfectly live, especially in a smaller, indoor setting. However, my favourite thing about them is still the backing/duelling vocals. It adds so much to the catchiness of tracks like ‘Never Change’ and ‘Tell Me Why’ and begs audience interaction. These guys are going to be huge sooner rather than later if they keep putting out great music like this and putting on shows to match!

Next up were a new band to me but ones that definitely won me over fast, Ghosts of Men! When just two people took to the stage, I was wearily curious. However, they filled out the sound and the stage masterfully. The frontman oozed charisma and had a voice sounding like a combination of Zakk Wylde and Neil Fallon. Meanwhile between his fantastic guitar playing and the drummer’s awesomeness, they both played a great set of QOTSA-sounding grunge/desert rock.

The band don’t take themselves too seriously, joking around and having fun on stage. It is refreshing to see these days and means when they do get serious with track ‘Wolfpack’, it hits even harder. The band have a new fan in me from their amazing set. I’ll definitely be listening to them a lot moving forward!

Check out our last live review here.

Finally, we reached the headliner and the band that the vast majority of the crowd were there for, Massive. Frontman Brad Marr spoke about how long it had been since their last show in the city and how much the tour had been postponed. You could see and feel his passion throughout the gig, clearly missing being up on stage playing his music. Unfortunately due to injuries and visa issues the band had a few last minute lineup changes for the tour. But, all four of them played their hearts out for the rabid, packed house.

Tracks like ‘Hollywood’ and ‘Dancefloor’ sound just as good now as they did 10 years ago, and went down a storm, just like the most recent tracks. And Brad is one of the best frontmen in the business right now, having the crowd in the palm of his hand through the whole set. I’ve been a fan of the band since Full Throttle and have seen them a few times but never this good. They were on top form and I cannot wait to see where they go from here!

And there we have it. One of the best gigs we’ve been to this year thanks to three incredible bands, an amazing venue and a packed house full of hungry rock fans. Be sure to support each of the bands as much as you can and definitely go and see them if they are playing locally to you. I can’t wait to see them again already!

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New Music Mondays: Amon Amarth, Soulfly and More!

You know what’s happening by now. Lots of new music from ten awesome bands. Lets check them out together down below!

Amon Amarth: The Great Heathen Army

Scandinavian Viking metallers return with their 12th studio album, and once again it’s awesome. However, the first thing I noticed was that the fantastic single ‘Put Your Back into the Oar’ that was released earlier this year did not make the album. An unfortunate omission as it’s a great track, but so are the others that made the album’s cut. It’s a concise nine tracks of great death metal. The opener sets the scene perfectly while the title track is simply awesome. However, tracks like ‘Heidrun’ and ‘Find a Way or Make One’ are definite highlights of the album. And of course, the collab between them and Saxon, aptly titled ‘Saxons and Vikings’, is as amazing as you’d expect it to be. While I do have to admit I did prefer the bands last two albums over this one, it’s still a great album I’ll be listening to a lot going forward!7.5/10

Soulfly: Totem

A band that I really should listen to more given how much I like Sepultura, Soulfly have now released a whopping 12 albums for me to catch up on. The groove/death metal band go hard right from the opening track, ‘Superstition’, and to little surprise also go hard through all ten tracks. It shares similar characteristics to the previous album in that both are a similar genre and draw on their culture for inspiration (though Max doesn’t do it as much here as he used to). However, I do think Amon Amarth did it slightly better. Soulfly definitely have the more aggressive edge to their sound, but I found the catchier element of AA funner and ultimately more enjoyable. I know I shouldn’t compare the two bands, and tracks like ‘Souring the Vile’ and ‘Ancestors’ are great, but it’s hard not to when both come out on the same day. Maybe it would translate better live for me! 6.5/10

The Interrupters: In the Wild

We don’t have enough ska on this site, or in the music scene in general any more, so I am so glad The Interrupters are flying the flag for the fourth wave of ska. The Distillers-inspired band have put out three of the best punk albums of the last decade in their short career, and look to continue their streak with this one. Starting out punky it soon goes full ska with the awesome ‘As We Live’ (anything with Tim Armstrong is awesome). The rather silly ‘Raised by Wolves’ gives way to the fantastic lead single, ‘In the Mirror’, and the album is off to a fantastic start.

My only issue with this album is how bloated it is. I love the band and genre as much as the next guy, but 14 tracks is a lot for a ska album. However, having said that, each song is amazing, so I don’t know how they’d have cut any as I wouldn’t be able to choose which to get rid of. The tracks are short enough too, the album is still less than 45-minutes long. I guess it’s just my easily distracted brain wanting slightly ore variety when listening to so many tracks at once. Still, every track on the album is awesome, especially ‘Love Never Dies’ featuring the criminally underrated Skints. Check this out, as it really is a fantastic album, and definitely continues their winning streak! 9/10

Dub War: Westgate Under Fire

Skindred mastermind Benji Webbe’s original band have been on and off active for the last eight years now, but their first new music release in 24 years is a pretty massive deal. The reggae punk-rock works just as well with the political subject matter that ‘Blackkk Man’ explores as it does the slightly lighter subject matter of Skindred’s lyrics. For anyone who isn’t as familiar with the band, it’s more closely related to Public Enemy, Suicidal Tendencies and even Wildhearts than the heavier riffs that Mikey Demus brings to Skindred. However, tracks like ‘Vibes in the Place’, ‘Mary Shelley’ and ‘Fun Done’ are all awesome. A good album and a great return from a band that should have gotten further the first time round! 7.5/10

Psycroptic: Divine Council

The death metal Aussies put out one hell of an eighth studio album last Friday. I cannot get over how fucking incredible the riffs are throughout the entire album, and just the guitars in general. Joe Haley is another criminally underrated guitarist, creating a dream album for those into the rhythm side of the instrument. Just check out ‘A Fool’s Errand’ to hear what I’m talking about. The rest of the band are fantastic too, the drummer working overtime throughout and all the different screams fitting the genre perfectly and being amazing. This is the sort of death metal that I love and holy crap, what an album. At just nine tracks and under f40 minutes, it’s also compact and concise awesomeness. Check this out, you won’t be disappointed! 8/.5/10

The Flatliners: New Ruin

The punk/almost post-hardcore band released their first album in half a decade last week. I wasn’t familiar with the band before writing this review and, honestly, I’m not sure how to feel about the album even after listening to it all. It wasn’t bad at all, it just felt like nothing really stood out to me. It reminds me of this year’s Static Dress album in that it’s a genre that I should LOVE, but for some reason it just doesn’t resonate with me the way I thought it would. However, the more indie-like chorus for ‘Rat King’ did have me singing along pretty quick and is definitely a highlight o the album. 6/10

Abbadon Incarnate: The Wretched Sermon

This at least wins the award for best album artwork of the week. It’s fuckin’ awesome. As for the music, it’s impressively fast death metal. Like, if thrash and death had a baby and then gave it speed. It’s a lot of fun. However, I did find myself loosing track of which song was wihich rather quickly, they all blended into one. Outside of the more up and down, longer ‘Isolation and Decay’ it was all rather samey. It was still a good listen and worth it for anyone who’s into the heavy stuff, but it’s exactly what you’d expect it to be. 6.5/10

StormbounD: December

Check out our full review of this awesome album, alongside it’s score, here.

Grave Bathers: Rock’n’Roll Fetish

The stoner/doom rock band’s debut gives us more riffs than 99.99% of other albums combined, so it feels. The band seem like the second coming of The Sword, something that the industry has needed ever since said band released High Country. ‘Ghost ‘Em All’ pens the album in spectacular fashion and perfectly encapsulates what the band is about and going for It’s amazing. The rest of the album is just as spectacular, too. Again though, and I feel like a broken record at this point, it’s a damn long album. 12 tracks spanning 81-minutes is a lot, even if given the genre it’s a little more forgivable than others. However, the sheer talent of the bands playing and songwriting on display means that even at the insane length of the tracks, it is still one hell of a great listen. No highlights again here, all the tracks are great. 9/10

Devil’s Paradise: Post Mortem

17 tracks for 80-minutes of music. What is it about this week and really long albums? It feels like the bands are cottoning on to how many albums I listen to to review a week and are taking the piss a bit now!

In all seriousness though, this was fantastic. Another great debut album (even if some of these tracks have been out nearly a decade already), making a whopping three in the same day! They remind me a lot of one of my favourite newer bands this year, South of Salem. I really hope this combo of Misfits style goth-punk and modern-day sleaze sticks around and continues to get bigger, because it’s a fantastic sub-genre. This does have a little more of a US radio rock edge to it too (think Burn Halo, Soil etc), especially on the slower tracks like ‘Ghost’. There’s also a handful of slower tracks that sound like Avenged Sevenfold when they they to sound like GNR. I love all of it, these ballads or the heavier, faster goth-sleaze tracks.

There are plenty of highlights from the album, a handful of which made our playlist. This is DEFINITELY worth checking out, these guys are gonna be huge. 9/10

And there we have it, an absolutely fantastic week for new music, a lot of it coming from the youngest bands on the list. Rock music is in an incredibly strong place right now with the next generation coming up, and I cannot wait to see where they all go from here!

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December: The start of the New Wave of Symphonic Metal?

StormbounD are a symphonic metal band all the way from Israel. Their debut album, December, is released tomorrow. We got our hands on it a little early and just had to check it out and let you know what it was like! Join us in checking it out!

Opening on some strings, operatic vocals and synth, the album and ‘Desert’s Roar’ opens beautifully. It heads into an EPIC guitar riff, aided perfectly by the vocals and strings again over the top of the start of each bar. Yael Horwitz’s amazing vocals come in for the verse, some great instrumental stabs behind her. Ofer Friedman sings the rest of the verse, building up perfectly into the huge, incredibly catchy, duel-vocalled chorus. Man, when symphonic metal is done right like this I LOVE it.

The bridge reminds me of Evanescence Yael’s vocals soaring over the top of some great lead guitaring. We then get some awesome, heavy riffing and even a key change before inevitably heading back to the chorus. It was dropped down for the first reprisal, always a fun technique, especially when done in a live setting. What an incredible way to open an album. I loved this song and it’s easily made the playlist!

‘Alter of Innocence’ builds up strings over the top of an interesting spoken word sample. the melody and rhythm to it is a little swingy and gives off heavy Halloween vibes. A mixture between Nightmare Before Christmas and A Little Piece of Heaven. It all sets the tone perfectly. The rest of the track is full of fast guitar riffs, typically soaring vocals and plenty of catchiness in both the vocal and guitars melody. There were even some harsh vocals from Ofer, a nice touch to break things up. The band are so far two for two with awesome songs on the album!

‘Sacred Lies’ dives in with an almost thrash/extreme metal riff, another great change of pace. We get another excellent riff afterwards, them being another huge highlight of the album alongside the vocals and symphonic elements. After three mega riffs we head into some more harsh vocals from Ofer. We don’t get Yael’s vocals (or clean ones in general) outside of the choruses, and even then they feel like they have a more rocky, aggressive edge to them than before. We also get an incredible guitar solo to break up the choruses, fill of technical ability and emotion. This was another awesome track and another to make our playlist!

A beautiful piano melody opens ‘Away From Here’ and runs through the opening verse and chorus. Yael’s voice fits so well over the top, it all sounding beautiful and full of emotion. Heck, even Ofer’s clean vocals sound great too for it. The heaviness picks up for the second verse with the drums, guitars and synths. It’s fun, but almost feels a little too full on for me immediately for some reason. A fun guitar solo breaks up the traditional song structure, it taking to 2:30 minutes before we get a second verse. There was even a fun, albeit brief, keyboard solo in here, again mixing things up and keeping me on my toes! I loved the opening of this track and the chaotic nature, but I have to admit I preferred the previous tracks over it.

The album’s title track is an epic, 10+ minute prog song. Now that you’re prepared, let’s get into it. After a beautiful intro and some more awesome riffs, we get a clean verse after over 1:30. We don’t reach the first chorus until nearly three minutes into the song but it’s definitely worth it, catchy and brilliantly written. Some more awesome riffage leads to a longer keyboard solo, a real lost art in this day an age done well here.

Check out another Symphonic review here!

I cannot get over how talented the instrumentalists are in this band. They get to show it off so much in this track and it’s amazing. Ofer’s screams come back at around the six minute mark, adding some aggression to the track. We then get an INSANELY good guitar solo for nearly a solid minute, which was awesome. It drops back down to keyboard and synths afterwards, Yael’s beautiful vocals coming in over the top. It then builds up into the most epic closing couple of minutes of a track since GnR’s ‘Coma’. The emotion expressed in the vocals gave me goosebumps and everything behind them worked perfectly and added so much. AMAZING stuff. CHECK THIS OUT.

The most recent single, ‘Shadows’, opens slower again with strings and an acoustic guitar. It’s very much the ballad of the album, staying at a similar pace and level throughout. It is amazingly beautiful and emotional, Yael being the highlight though everything else is also amazing. I don’t even know what else to say, it’s a perfect slow track. Check this out too no matter what genre of music you’re into, I promise you will love it as much as I do! Playlisted!

‘Flying High’ picks up the pace again, the opening riff sounding right out of Iron Maiden’s discography before a more folky feel took over. A thrash riff came in soon after, leading to a heavier verse. There’s some cool mathy drums and guitar through it too at times. Ofer’s vocals in the pre reminded me of David Draiman, leading perfectly into another catchy chorus. It’s the closest thing to a straight-up rock track on the album, and it’s a lot of fun.

‘Fragments’ is another good, fun song, but at this stage in the album doesn’t give us anything we haven’t heard already. The main riff does remind me of old-school BFMV though, which is fun! Then we reach the closing track and another single, ‘Child’s Play’. It’s another long track, clocking in at nine minutes. It opens on some more horror vibes with a creepy child’s voice, building up slowly into a great riff after a minute or so of lead guitar and strings. Both the verse and chorus have catchy vocals, call and response between the singers through the verse while they harmonies the choruses.

We get plenty of great instrumentation, lead or rhythm, for the middle portion of the track, and it doesn’t slow down once. It’s another showcase of their incredible talent and skill, not at all making me jealous… What a way to close an album. While not quite as epic-feeling as ‘December’, it’s still huge and a fitting way to finish such a monumental album. Great stuff.

Overall: Move aside Nightwish. Move aside Within Temptation. There’s a new symphonic metal titan in town. In all seriousness, this was fantastic. I have a very up and down relationship with the sub-genre but this was a ridiculous high for me. Everyone is insanely skilled and very good songwriters, and created a well put together album as a result. I cannot wait to hear more and hopefully see them live soon!

The Score: 8.5/10

New Music Mondays: Whiskey Myres, Dance Gavin Dance and More!

You should know the dealio by now. New music from nine awesome bands. Let’s get straight to it!

Whiskey Myres: Tornillo

The southern rockers returned with their sixth album this last week. I was a HUGE fan of their last couple of albums so this one had a lot to live up to. I think Tornillo does just that. Tracks like ‘John Wayne’ and ‘Feet’s’ perfectly encapsulate what the band are about in terms of sound and style, and are hugely catchy and fun to boot. But, fun quick country or ballad, the band are such good songwriters that it’s all incredible and arena-filling without it being the modern day country cheese. This band deserve to be massive, and I really hope they start getting the love and praise they should over here now country is starting to take off big. A damn hard album to beat in this genre this year! 9/10

Beddy Rays: Self-Titled

The Aussie rockers put out a damn fun indie-drenched album on Friday. For a debut album too, it’s fantastic. The band have been putting out music for five years already, but putting out a full length release so consistent first time is always impressive. Tracks like ‘Week on Repeat’, ‘Sort it Out’ and ‘Sobercoaster’ are all excellent highlights. However, honestly if you are into the more indie side of rock, you’ll enjoy every track on the album. Good stuff! 8/10

Dance Gavin Dance: Jackpot Juicer

Controversy aside, this band has always been a collection of insanely talented musicians, and that is on full display again with this album. It’s an hour of post-Tool math post hardcore craziness, and I found myself loving it. Will Swan is a criminally underrated Guitarist and both Jon Mess and Tilian Pearson handle the duel vocals perfectly. The album also acts as a fitting tribute to longtime bassist Tim Feerick, who sadly passed away earlier this year. Tracks like ‘For the Jeers’ and ‘Cream of the Crop’ are fantastic, but yet again this whole album is great. 8.5/10

Check out more (kinda) math rock here.

Krisiun: Mortem Solis

Time for some Brazilian death metal. The band’s 12th studio album opens going hard and doesn’t let up once. It’s a brutal assault to the ears in the best way. If you are a fan of the heavy side of metal you’ll definitely get enjoyment out of this. Tracks like ‘Serpent Messiah’ and ‘Temple of the Abattoir’ are awe3some. The guitaring is a real highlight, Moyses Kolesne being another underrated player. However, the only negative I had was that nothing really stood out. It was all solid, but it just sounded like your typical straight-up death metal. That’s completely fine, but I’d love a bit of variety in it at times! 6.5/10

Funeral Chic: Roman Candle

The old-school biker sludge/hardcore metallers returned with their third studio album last week. Opening on the interesting, slower, great ‘Made in America’, the pace soon picks up with ‘Spit and Crawl’. The pace flits between the two styles throughout, sounding like anything from Metallica to Rob Zombie to Misfits. The whole album is awesome, every track being just as good as the last. I also love it when the band lean more and more into the sludgy edge the have, there being some great riffs and breakdowns here. My only ever so slight criticism is that the vocals could have been slightly higher in the mix. 7.5/10

Stick to Your Guns: Spectre

Hardcore punk and metalcore often go hand-in-hand, but I’ve not heard it done quite as masterfully was I have here. From the opening track you get a clear indication of the bands impressive signwriting skill, blending together anger and aggression with huge, anthemic choruses. They remind me of a heavier A Day to Remember, inspired by metal instead of pop punk. Everything from the clean and harsh vocals to the quick drums and guitars to the insane breakdowns, all of it was fantastic. It’s a modern heavy-lover’s dream while still having arena-filling earworms to get them plenty of new fans from the more mainstream audiences. I honestly can’t pick highlights from this, a lot of it made it onto the playlist. An album I’ll be listening to a lot over the coming weeks and months. 9/10

Bastions: Majestic Desolation

The first album released by the band in 11 years, The band make the most of showcasing their talent after so much time off. The band go HARD on this album, combining elements of black metal and hardcore together well. It’s not really my thing, and the tracks did all blend together a little when I listened to them, but I can definitely appreciate the talent and songwriting skill of the band. I’ll give it a 5/10, though I’m sure bigger fans of the genre would give it much higher!

Belphegor: The Devils

It’s blackened death metal. If you like the genre, like I am starting to, you’ll love this. It takes all the good parts from black metal but adds fun stuff too like riffs and good production. And this is a band very clearly near the top of the genre where songwriting is concerned. Tracks like ‘Damnation’ and ‘Kingdom of Cold Flesh’ are awesome and definite highlights! 6.5/10

Cats in Space: Kickstart the Sun

The AOR/power Prog rock space lovers are back with their fifth album. It’s pretty great if you like this sort of thing. Fantastic instrumentation, amazing vocals and harmonies and some good lyrics. I again cannot help but compare them to the awesome Night Ranger, and that is definitely a compliment. My only slight issue is that it does all seem a little similar. I was much more than happy to listen to the album all the way through, but the tracks blended together a little and I’d struggle to name them if it weren’t written in front of me. A different sound, feeling or timing would have been nice somewhere! Still, there is plenty to love from start to finish! 7.5/10

And there we have it, another surprisingly awesome week! As always keep up to date on all of our content from our Instagram here.

What The Hell Have I got Myself Into?: Another Fantastic EP From Emily Lockett!

Country rock/pop artist Emily Lockett recently did a crowdfund for her latest EP as part of her university course. Being a massive fan, I had to donate to help out and get a copy sent over. While it isn’t yet available on streaming platforms, we got the physical copy today and I’ve already been spinning it none stop. It’s also available at her gigs, I do believe! Without further ado, let’s get into it!

Fading into an immediately anthemic, stadium filling intro riff with ‘Girl Out of Nowhere’, Emily’s vocals soon come in over the top and straight away make me smile. I am an unashamed early Taylor Swift fan, and Emily Lockett has always worn that inspiration firmly on her sleeve. It’s great, as we definitely need more of this kind of music in the world, especially the UK! A steady verse leads to a huge, stadium-filling chorus that is catchy as anything. The bridge and solo after the second chorus were nice too, showing off Emily’s great skill as a musician and songwriter. I was expecting a reprisal of the chorus again afterwards but instead we get another quick verse to fade us out with. A fantastic song and one hell of a way to open an EP!

‘Never Be You’ opens on just Emily singing over her acoustic guitar, some subtle vocal harmonies and a second guitar building in perfectly after a few bars. It heads into a chorus that actually reminded me a fair bit of Alanis Morrissette with the vocal melody, which again isn’t an issue at all. It’s another infectiously catchy chorus in a style that is both nostalgic and very Emily Lockett in equal measure. It’s slow and emotional but still fun and bouncy, much like the whole track.

Check out another country review here.

We somehow get a solo and bridge combined between the choruses, Emily’s voice fitting perfectly over the top of the lead guitar, bolstering both parts. The stripped-back return to the chorus was of course awesome, and it built back into the full band perfectly. What a track. This will easily make the playlist once it’s up on streaming sites, one of my favourites Emily’s done.

Next up is a beautiful, emotional piano ballad. ‘If Only I’ is fantastic, just Emily spilling her heart over the top of some simple, perfect piano chords. There’s some subtle strings in here and some sporadic vocal harmonies too, but not much at all. Sometimes a track doesn’t need to have crazy amounts of dynamics and change-ups to be good. This is a simple, straight forward track that tells one hell of story that I’m sure most listeners can relate to, while also providing a great backdrop for it instrumentally. Amazing stuff.

‘I Said Hi’ opens on a fun, almost Newton Faulkner-style riff. In fact, the guitar throughout reminds me a lot of Newton’s work. The vocals of course are catchy over the top, once again filled with emotion and heartache. The rest of the band do a fun job with this, with the drums and extra guitar adding a lot to the track. I can’t say anything negative about any of Emily Lockett ‘s music, it’s all fantastic.

The EP closes on a slightly higher tempo track, and the most stadium-country track I have heard Emily do. The opening riff is fun and bouncy and that feeling continues through the verse even though the lyrics are the complete opposite. The chorus is anthemic and huge, another stadium-filler. The drop out to just the beat and vocals for the final chorus was nice, as was the fantastic key change. I cannot get over just how good the chorus is, too. This is another track that will make it straight onto the playlist once it’s released on streaming!

Overall: This was great. I had no doubt it would be, but Emily still always pulls it out of the bag. Another collection of five awesome tracks that I will be listening to for the rest of the year. Emily deserves to be massive, and this EP is a huge step in that direction, I believe!

The Score: 8.5/10

The Bastard Sons: ‘We’ve basically finished writing and recording all of the music for an album!’

The next Call of the Wild interview had us talking with the rhythm section of Phil Campbell and the bastard Sons , Tyla and Dane! Check out as we talk about the bands future release and touring plans and if they had any advice they could give to smaller bands!

So firstly, what’s it like touring with Phil?

Well he sleeps a lot. You’ve just got to wake him up when he needs to be woken up. Lots of toilet breaks. Not a lot else, it’s not that exciting really!

You know he’s our dad, right?! Just in case.

He enjoys a pasty from a service station. Or a tin of macaroni cheese as I found out last night. Which he doesn’t cook!

And you guys have just finished a Motorhead tour, right?

Yeah, it was cool! We’ve been talking about it for a while. We kinda knew it would go down well, there’s definitely a thirst for that music even though we’ve always played around half and half. It was a different vibe. Physically more challenging for me, being a drummer, too! But yeah, it’s been amazing. Every gig has been incredible.

It’s been a couple of years since the last album, are you writing again?

We are. We’ve basically finished writing and recording all of the music for an album. Joel (vocals) has done maybe half of it and then we had to start touring. Damn touring is interrupting our touring process! But hopefully after today we can get into it a little but this is the start of our festival season now.

It’s the busiest summer we’ve ever had. Three years worth of festivals crammed into one. So we’ll have to try and squeeze in some vocal sessions during the summer. We don’t want to rush it so it will probably be out early next year. Because of Covid the demand for vinyl production is nine months delayed.

What’s it like, comparatively, preparing for your own gigs to a big festival or supporting the likes of Guns’n’Roses?

Well, you have a shorter set when you support! The Guns’n’Roses show we’re on at like 5pm for 30 minutes, so we can drink more alcohol afterwards. Festivals logistically are more difficult. Sometimes you’ve gotta fly from one play to another at stupid’o’clock in the morning because it’s the only option, and then you’re really tired for the rest of the day then. You’ve gotta make it happen somehow.

Have you got any advice for bands that are just starting out?

Yes! Lots of advice!

We’ve all come from small bands. Prior to this we’ve all done the toilet circuit; supporting, touring, playing to nobody, we’ve done all that. And we learnt a lot from being able to do that. The way I see it is even if you’re playing a gig in front of no one, it’s still a free band practice. It’s more practice getting used to playing in a live environment.

Obvious tips for if you land like a local support slot for a band like us or someone else. Be prepared to use your entire backline. Bring all of your gear, or as much as you can. Load in when someone says you can and start setting up your drumkit straight away, off the stage of course. Try not to make noise, the headline band are probably sound-checking.

And a really important thing: your most important task is to play your set, don’t overrun your time, like if you’re told to finish at eight, aim to finish at one minute to eight, and then your own priority is to get your stuff off the stage as quickly as possible. People might want photos or whatever, do that later. Get your stuff off the stage and then the headline band and their crew will think you’re great. They’d be more inclined to get you back again.

Spilling drinks on stage? no. If you do, wipe it up. Don’t expect other people to do it for you. You’d like to think that’s obvious but apparently not. Even going on a couple of minutes early just to allow time if you have a technical issue or break a string or something. Just so you don’t have to cut any songs and can still finish on time!

Things like that are just little things we’ve learnt over time. It’s really important to conduct yourself well in a gig situation. Even if it’s just the promoter that gets good feedback, they’re going to ask you back. It obviously helps if you can bring a few people who are wearing your shirts and stuff as it’s like ‘oh okay, they’ve sold a few tickets’.

Did you enjoy the interview? Check out more of them from our YouTube channel here.

New Music Mondays: Jack White, Oceans of Slumber and More!

Welcome back to New Music Mondays, where we take you through all of the new releases in the rock and metal world once a week. This week is pretty heavy, so strap yourselves in and enjoy the ride!

Jack White: Entering Heaven Alive

The former White Stripes frontman’s second album of 2022, on first listen I have to say I preferred the previous one. It’s not a bad album by any stretch, but Fear of the Dawn was much more of a rock album, which I prefer over the folk pop-rock of this album. It felt to me like where the Beatles would have gone later in their careers, than what I was hoping for. There are definitely some highlights and epic moments. ‘All Along the Way’ is incredible and I think getting just a bit bigger or having a grander payoff may have put it up there with one of my favourite tracks of the year. Outside of that though, it all felt pretty steady and a little boring. 6/10

Oceans of Slumber: Starlight and Ash

All info I found online about this band called them a prog metal band. I heard very little metal here. This was a rock album. Don’t get me wrong though, it’s still a very good album. The opening track is somehow both chaotic and methodical and builds up beautifully for the ending crescendo. ‘The Lighthouse’ has a country/americana feel to it, but still being dark and heavy enough to fit in with the band. You’ll find both on our 2022 highlights Spotify playlist here.

However, after five or six tracks the same plodding pace does get a little old for me. I very much get that it’s their style and it’s very good, but some variety would have been nice. Each track individually is awesome, but the album as a whole dragged for me a little. If you like it awesome, and I really wish I could, but I can’t give it any higher than a 7/10

Witchery: Nightside

The extreme Swedes are back with their eighth album. It’s everything you can expect an extreme metal album to be, fast, aggressive and full of dark, insane lyrics. It’s great. ‘Don’t Burn the Witch’ had some fun dynamics in with the emphasis on the bass. And a track called ‘Popecrusher’ should really speak for itself. The lyrics are so exretreme that it almost gets a little comical. I mean ‘A Forest of Burning Coffins’ is hard to take seriously. A lot of fun if you’re into the heavier side of music. 7/10

Karl Sanders: Saurian Apocalypse

An interesting one up now. Usually playing tech-death with Nile, Karl’s solo stuff is more on the folk side of the Egyptian/ambient style. It being his first album in 13 years and only third overall makes this an intriguing release. It was definitely intriguing, to put it lightly. I don’t often listen to this style and it wouldn’t really fall into the rock category, but it’s somehow still heavy. It’s not exactly something I would listen to often, but man can I appreciate the art and time it would have taken to write it. It really did take me on a journey, and I loved every second of it. Plus, the guitaring is INSANE. If you have the time, find this and check it out! 8/10

Palisades: Reaching Hypercritical

The alt-metal band are bringing back a lot of early-to-mid 2000s nostalgia for me, so if that is your scene stop what you are doing right now and check this out. Between Three Days Grace, Skillet, Linkin Park and Drowning Pool, it draws together a lot of sounds that I love. From the very first track to the last, this was all incredible. The singles have made it onto our playlist but honestly that doesn’t do enough justice to this album. Each track, album or single, is fantastic. I have nothing more to say, every track is a highlight, Check this out! 9/10

Ashenspire: Hostile Architecture

And now for some prog-doom. And I’m not going to lie, it went almost completely over my head. This was like a mess of a whole lot of sounds and vocals and strings with rather meh punk vocals over the top. Old Gwar is about the closest thing I can think of to compare it too, and I didn’t get that either. Don’t get me wrong though, I like the sentiment behind the concept of the album. It just doesn’t really sound good to me. I’m really sorry guys. Though I will admit the vocals sounded a little better when they were just spoken instead of shouted, I felt like I connected with the emotion more. but still, 3/10

Patient Sixty-Seven: Wishful Thinking

A fantastic album that I’ve already reviewed! Check it out here.

Hatriot: The Vale of Shadows

Zetro’s (the best Exodus frontman, fight me) between bands project, we have since had the last now two albums without him and instead have bassist Cody Souza on vocals too. While not quite as good, you can tell he’s trying to emulate the same style and does a decent enough job. The album itself is pretty base level thrash, being quick, awesome riffs, fast drumming and crazy solos. Thankfully the vocals don’t take as much of a backseat as some other thrash bands. All you have to do is check out the different screams in ‘The Hate Inside’ to hear some truly awesome vocals. This album had some awesome moments, with ‘Verminous and Vile’ and the title track both also being highlights. 7.5/10

Nicolas Cage Fighter: The Bones That Grew From Pain

The metallic hardcore band released their much anticipated debut album this past Friday. It’s another that goes to 10 immediately and stays there throughout. Opener ‘Grey Eye’ shows you exactly what the band are about and what you are in for, and it’s great. It’s definitely an album for the heavy fans again, like much of this week is. But if you are into that late 90s early 2000s heavy vibe, you’ll definitely love this. Ten tracks filled with aggression and anger that’ll definitely get your head banging! 7.5/10

Imperial Triumphant: Spirit of Ecstasy

A band that I never really ‘got’. I remember seeing the picture of them in the Sons of the Harpy masks everywhere a few years ago and ended up checking them out. It just sounded like heavy noise to me. I get that some people crave that originality and so the weirdness is appreciated, but I will happily hold up my hands and say give me a radio-rock chorus any day of the week. I like the brooding atmosphere created with some of the quieter moments, but otherwise it’s a little too heavy for me. 3.5/10

Wishful Thinking: Are Patient Sixty-Seven the Future of Metalcore?

Patient Sixty-Seven are a metalcore outfit from Perth. Their debut EP, Home Truths, immediately put the band on the map, and their debut album looks to continue that same momentum. I found this band through social media a few months ago and have been eagerly anticipating this release. Without further ado, let’s get into this!

Opening on part two of ‘Stay Paranoid’, the first part being on their previous release, was a fantastic way of maintaining a fun narrative and continuity. A quick, distant build launches into a HUGE metalcore riff, the screams fittingly heavy over the top. It builds in some clean vocals around the growls for the chorus, adding a catchy element to it all. Outside of these momentary reprieve though this is a damn heavy track. It’s a fantastic way to set the pace at the start of an album.

This leads into one of the main singles of the album, ‘Scattered’. It opens on a great, slightly slower guitar riff, setting a mid-tempo pace. Dropping down a little for the verse; the more hardcore-style scream is awesome, especially with the odd clean gang vocal in between. It reminds me a lot of old-school metalcore, a heavy verse and pre building to a massive clean chorus. It only makes the chorus feel catcher and even bigger, enough to easily fill an arena. I was hoping for some sort of breakdown between the second and third choruses but instead we got a short bridge and stripped back chorus part. It was good, but felt a little basic in this day and age. Heck, this was a single though, and it’s definitely more of a radio-friendly structure! Playlisted!

Check out another metalcore review here.

‘Fatebringer’ picks up the heaviness and pace again immediately with an amazing riff between the guitar and bass, the drums working overtime to keep up. The harsh vocals sound great over the top of it, giving off almost death metal vibes. Even despite the heaviness, it still heads into one of the catchiest choruses on the album by the second time round. I LOVE all the different vocal styles on this album, it all fits the situation perfectly and all sound so good. But saying that, everyone involved is massively talented. Another awesome, playlisted track.

‘Try Hard’ plays around with the structure a little. It opens on the catchy, clean chorus vocals before heading into most of the screaming and djent-ish riffs after. I’m not sure why, but the cleans here remind me quite a lot of Gerrard Way’s style. Maybe it’s the melody? As a big MCR fan, I love it. Plus, when it gets heavy, it gets HEAVY. The low screams in this were incredible, especially when they were surrounded by more extreme style ones. The synth was also a nice touch to this, adding so much to the sound and atmosphere. Patient Sixty-Seven have managed to draw together each different phase and sound metalcore has gone through over the years and moulded it all together beautifully.

Time for the ballad, ‘Feel Alive’. Opening straight into clean vocals and a clean guitar chord progression, it’s already a huge change of pace to the rest of the album so far. We get a scream or two when it gets bigger around the choruses, but it still fits perfectly. The chorus itself is another arena-filler too, huge and distorted guitars providing a fantastic backdrop for the catchy clean vocals.

Guest vocalist Kellin Quinn fits in well in the second verse, too. His voice, while I wouldn’t have recognised it without reading it was him, is so beautifully clean that it worked well with the balladier track. The dynamics are fun in this track too, dropping down and exploding back up at the perfect moments. We even get a guitar solo to close, and a great one at that. This is how you write a metalcore ballad, and I can’t get enough of it. Playlisted.

I’ve heard lead single ‘Wayfair’ a few times now, heck, it was the track that drew me to the band in the first place, and I still find myself loving it more and more with each listen. From the heavy opening riff to the multiple different, brutal screams through to the catchy clean chorus, this is everything I want from a metalcore track. The breakdown is awesome, the riff being both technical and heavy. And we get another good guitar solo behind the final chorus. I have nothing negative to say here, this is another awesome track. Playlisted.

VRSTY’s own Joey Varela lends his vocals to this interesting, very good track. It is simply vocals, a basic electric drumbeat and some synths. Nothing more. However, the vocals are so full of emotions that it drew me in immediately. For what it is, a two-and-a-half minute essentially interlude track, it’s a masterpiece. Amazing stuff from Patient Sixty-Seven who seem to keep surprising me.

‘Damage Plan’ again heavy’s things up with an almost nu-metal riff running through it. There’s also a fantastic vocal highlight early on in the first verse with a simple laugh through them, adding so much more feeling and emotion to the words. It drew me in instantly to their meaning. Another amazing clean chorus breaks up the heaviness, the lyrics here being my favourite of the album. A great breakdown separates the choruses, it being so simple yet so effective. Another excellent song!

‘Fault Lines’ is a slow but heavy track, again almost bordering on deathcore with its heaviness. But, again, the chorus vocal melody gives off My Chemical Romance vibes, evening out the heaviness somewhat. The background stuff in this was awesome too, between the nice little guitar lead line, the synths and even some strings I think I heard at times. All of it give the track so much depth and intrigue, holding my attention in the palm of their hands. There is also the most perfect ‘bleh’ as it builds up into the final chorus, something I thought I’d hear a lot more of in this album.

Final track ‘Colours’ is another slower track, giving off similar energy to ‘Feel Alive’. Now, any long-time readers of Overtone know that I’m not the biggest fan of closing out with a slower track. However, the album has been so full on and heavy almost all the way through that it sits fine with me. That and the fact that it’s still fairly heavy in terms of music (and metal in general actually) that it works well. It has an epic finale feel to it and works well to close out the album. A good song to close a great album.

Overall: This was awesome. For a genre that is so up and down for a lot of people recently, this was it at its very best. Patent Sixty-Seven have all of the talent and songwriting ability to be the leading lights in metalcore for years to come, and they very much demonstrated it with this release. Fun and heavy while dripping with emotion, this album has a bit of it all. I cannot wait to hear where they go from here, and can only hope they venture out to the UK soon!

The Score: 8.5/10

Anchor Lane: ‘New music is coming!’

Another interview from Call of the Wild Festival, this time with the amazing Anchor Lane. Check it out as we talk about the bands new sound and where they want to go with it in the future!

How was the gig?

It was good fun! We enjoyed it. It was nice to play outdoors again. We did a couple outdoors last year, we did the Rock & Blues Custom Show in Derby and we did a secret festival which was a bit ominous at the time!

So, what happened to your bassist?

Up in Glasgow! Back home!

So we had a bassist and we’re still great pals. We were right in the midst of writing a new album and going on tour and so we gave him to option of if he was in or not. It’s totally fine but then was the time to say.

So now we run with the SPD and backing tracks, which are great. The sound engineer loved it, he said it’s so nice to have a band that’s not got that muddy bass on stage. It’s definitely been an adjustment!

Your name seems to be everywhere at the minute, is it nice to start getting that buzz?

Yeah it’s good! I think the thing is is that we’ve had a really good last six months or so going out with Wayward Sons and with Ricky Warwick and both were quite long tours. Like 10 dates each. So quite a lot of dates to actually go out and start getting a bit of a fanbase across the UK. We’ve had chance to do it in small bursts but now to get those opportunities for a band that are still starting out to get on with a proven touring band, it gets us in the conversation of bands that tour so it’s easier to get the next one!

You’re on a pretty gruelling schedule with your tour at the minute, right?

Yeah! It’s been a really really busy few months. There’s obviously a bunch of stuff that we can’t talk about. And fitting all the touring in between that has been a real slog. But this is what we want to do. I think that’s when you find if it is for you or not. It’s gruelling but it’s awesome. This is what we love doing, in a van travelling around and playing music, it’s great!

Check out our last interview, with Reckless Love, here.

Do you have any advice you could give for a band just starting out?

Learn to drive. Get your drivers licence as soon as possible. The amount of bands where none of them can drive and it’s like ‘what the fuck, how do you get your stuff there?!’ Some of them just get taxis which is insane, they’re not going to be making any money. It’s bad enough hiring vans! It’s one less obstacle, in which there are a lot in this industry.

Obviously you guys are (have at the time of writing), playing Download, what’s that like?

It’s terrific! Personally it’s a big dream of mine, it’s an iconic thing. I feel like technology has aged so quickly I remember I would get a copy of Kerrang! which had the announcement. Maybe I was just behind the times but yeah, then to have your own bands name on there is kinda crazy!

Obviously you’ve got Biffy Clyro and Iron Maiden and Kiss and all these other bands and their logos and then it’s like right at the bottom it’s Anchor Lane, fucking yeah!!

And you guys just did a live(ish) album, how did that come about?

We’ve got a friend who does amazing sound production, he actually did the bands first EP way back when. We wanted to do some live stuff so we thought why not put something together that keeps the ball rolling and shows that also Casino and is still relatively fresh we sound a wee bit different. We’ve got a different drummer, we’re playing some different tunes, we have different haircuts which makes it sound different so we just thought lets put something out. It’s one of my favourite things that we’ve done actually, it’s aesthetically pleasing, it’s very well lit of all things.

It caught a moment in time as well because it was the four of us and it was the last recorded thing we did with Mathew. I think he’d left about three weeks prior to its release. It was quite nice that we released it as the last sort of thing he contributed to.

And it’s also just hearing the album in a different way. It was fun to do, as well. Just to go in the room and play the songs.

And are you guys writing again?

New music is coming. That’s about it! That’s kinda the thing for us is we’ve got this new sound we’ve been developing and we’ve got a live show thought out and we’re very excited for it. We want to move forward with that so it’s coming soon. Hopefully we’ll have more to talk about at the end of this tour!

They’ve been going down really well, gone down a storm. Lots of people are enjoying them. It’s not like you need people’s approval, we wouldn’t put something out if we didn’t believe in it, but it’s always nice to see other people enjoying it too!