Thursday, 30 March 2017

EP REVIEW: Cavalier Kings - Faint Signals

When you think of Shropshire, you think of very rural areas and being near Wales. It’s not traditionally a breeding ground for rock and metal acts to come out of, but Cavalier Kings are a young quartet looking to try and break out of a scene which is generally overlooked in the wider UK alternative movement. In October, they released their first EP, entitled Faint Signals.

EP REVIEW: Limbs - Mankind

Don’t let the name fool you, Limbs aren’t out to tear you apart. Their off-kilter brand of experimental rock claims influence from other oddballs such as Tom Waits and The Divine Comedy, and the latest example of this quirkiness is in their new EP Mankind.

ALBUM REVIEW: Drowned Ten - Stand

A few years ago, Chris Turpin was at death’s door. Having suffered a heart attack, he looked inside and decided he wasn’t ready yet, but he took influence from what he saw and decided to use his new lease of life to start a new metal project. Roping in several friends from his hometown in Edinburgh, It took less than a year for Drowned Ten to release their first album, Stand.

ALBUM REVIEW: Freakangel - How the Ghost Became

Although originally born as a side project for D. Darling’s full time work in Suicidal Romance, Estonian industrial outfit Freakangel has taken on a life of its own recently. Originally following a similar form of EBM to Suicidal Romance’s trademark sound, over time Freakangel have shifted focus more and more onto the guitars and metamorphosed into a veritable industrial metal machine. Their latest effort, How the Ghost Became, is the latest step in their evolution.

SINGLE REVIEW: Stuart Woolfenden - I've Seen It All

Stuart Woolfenden – a name you might not be familiar with right now, but definitely a rising star in mainstream rock circles, making a name for himself with a combination indie rock and good old fashioned pub rock. Throw in an upbeat poppy flavour, and he’s already earned himself a spot supporting Ed Sheeran later this Spring, along with a number of festival appearances over the summer. Not only that, but he has now been noticed by the BBC after the release of EP Are You Vulnerable Or Just Insane? threw him onto the radar for BBC Introducing last year.

EP REVIEW: NEVERWHERE - Нигде и никогда (Nowhere and Never)

Despite all the controversies within the country in terms of politics, Russia has a booming metal scene. One of the latest to seek to break out internationally is NeverWhere, named after the acclaimed Neil Gaiman book. Attempting to mix styles from pop punk to post-hardcore and adding plenty of alternative metal influence, their new 2 track EP Нигде и никогда (Nigde i nikogda, lit. “Nowhere and Never”) was released in February. As it’s only two tracks, this will be a short review, but something worth writing.

ALBUM REVIEW: Cove - We Were Once Lost

My hometown has has a small alternative scene for a while but nothing much has really broken out of it. Last year, Orpington’s metallic hardcore mob Cove unleashed their first mini-album We Were Once Lost. Since then, they’ve been growing in stature and continue to make a name for themselves in the UK hardcore scene.

EP REVIEW: Seas of Conflict - Vestige

*This was originally posted to Tumblr on 24 March 2017.

New Zealand’s metal scene is never really given much of a chance to show what it’s capable of. While Australia has had a lot of success with exports such as I Killed The Prom Queen and Ocean Grove, the closest that New Zealand have really had has been early 2000s nu metallers Blindspott. One band hoping to change all that now, however, is Seas of Conflict with their new EP Vestige.

EP REVIEW: Flat-Liner - Burlesque Show

*This was originally posted to Tumblr on 23 March 2017.

Flat-Liner is a five-piece Australian industrial rock band that’s been releasing a number of singles on Bandcamp for the past year or so. Now they’ve released their first EP, Burlesque Show, to the world.

Anti-Trump Singles Rundown

*This was originally posted to Tumblr on 26 Jan 2017

Only going to cover three of them for now but will look at doing another one of these later down the line. All 3 are pretty different from each other but all have something noteworthy about them and I’ll be writing a short paragraph about each in order to give a general feel for them. The rest is up to you guys.

Eurovision: Why Are We Even Trying?

*This was originally posted to Tumblr on Jan 23 2017

SO it’s that time of year again. Eurovision is rearing its ugly head and once again the United Kingdom has decided not to bother this year. Only some people didn’t get the memo.

How on earth did the committee think that 6 piano ballads sung by 6 X Factor rejects would possibly stand a chance in Europe? If this is the state of popular music in the country now then I think we may as well all throw in the towel now. British music is far better than this, rather than shitting out 6 shades of beige every year why not acknowledge we have no change and go in all guns blazing? Something different and extravagant. After all, that’s what Eurovision is all about isn’t it? Everything done over the top in a grand spectacle.

In all I think that the current crop of candidates to represent the UK in Eurovision just about sums up the general British attitude to Europe. We have no desire to put any effort into what we give them, but we’re all too ready to complain and cry conspiracy when things don’t go our way. It’s a shame really, because it really portrays British music in a negative light.

If you can stay awake long enough to, listen to the British shortlist here.

EP REVIEW: Plague Called Humanity - Disconnection

*This review was originally posted on Tumblr on 23 Jan 2017

Plague Called Humanity are a cyberpunk/digital hardcore band out of the Czech Republic. Their first EP Disconnection is a decent effort at combining raw hardcore aggression with catchy electronic beats and is something of a diamond in the rough.


*This review was originally posted on Tumblr on 13 Jan 2017

With BAND-MAID set to release their debut full-length Just Bring It worldwide next month (out now in Japan), I’ve decided to review their 4-track maxi single for "YOLO". The J-rock quintet have made waves in Europe throughout 2016 with their first shows on the continent, starting with an appearance at May's London Comic-Con, and a well received JPU Records debut with mini-album Brand New MAID. Their relentless schedule means that their first full length comes just over 6 months since the mini-album's release.