Singles Roundup No.5
Welcome all to With Guitars latest Singles Roundup No.5; as usual, this is the first ten reviews, more will be added in the next few days as I look at a small pole od CD singles complete with press release, just begging to be reviewed, so, without further ado…
Released 24th October
Available for free from www.showbizheroes.com
Essex boy’s Showbizheroes arrive with probably the worst PR sheet I’ve ever read. They also have a flair for excruciating record titles, the EP is entitled ‘The Periodic Table Does Not Recognise The Element Of Surprise’ and the artwork is naff to say the least. So with little hope I put the CD on and… Thankfully their music speaks for it’s self.
Sinner is a catchy slice of indie rock that proves the lads are great songwriters, this is hook heavy, a sort of Queens Of The Stone Age lite, with a great vocal. If you go to the bands website you can grab a free download of the EP, that’s exactly what I’m about to do and I fully recommend you do too. 8/10
Since Oasis killed the actual concept of indie back in the 90’s, it’s become a by-word for styles of hair and tight jeans, even musically inept desperate careerists like Johnny Borrel have been described as indie, the only reason being that there is a guitarist in his crappy band.
New Leeds band This Many Boyfriends hark back to the days of indie being on y’know..independant labels, the jagged onslaught of guitars and furious drums coat what is a great indie pop track in the style of over enthusiastic indie bands in the mid 80’s such as The Wedding Present and early Pop Will Eat itself.
Hopefully these guys will render American bands trying to do indie pop from 25 years ago such as The Drums as redundant, if they have more of the same up their sleeves these scruffbags could be onto something really special. 8/10
Peterborough has an estimated population of 164,000 and its obvious that five of this population like making music that can only be described as techchore (technical hardcore). They have all the aspects of a possible cliché hardcore band but with a lot more brains than the dozens of hardcore bands who constantly appear and then quickly disappear on the UK circuit.
The screaming is reminiscent of early We Are The Ocean (before they became sh*t) where as the musician ship shows a technical ability that a lot of “metal” musicians are sometimes afraid to show. In Archives seem to understand that it isn’t all about blasting the distortion up, blasting out a handful of chords in time with an up tempo drum beat whilst screaming over the top of this ruckus.
Stand out track on this EP that consists of four tracks and one intro is the brutal *Lost At Sea”, which encapsulates all this band can do in just over three and a half minutes. The entire EP has an infectious groove to it but this is the definite winner out of all four tracks.
If you like bands such with the musical ability of Dilliner Escape Plan but with the vicious vocals of Alexisonfire and Coverge then In Archives are a must have for your record collection. After only forming just over a year ago from the left over pieces of bands in their home town these guys could be set for the big leagues if they keep producing material such as the gems that are on ‘Traitors’.8/10
PS – Facebook search word : In Archives
‘Get the Get’ (featuring Rokhsan)
Big Dada Records
Roots has been around long enough now to have his name pre-fixed with the words ‘the legendary’. Now on his fifth album, the forthcoming ‘4everevolution’, he serves up an electro tinged first release from the album. Possibly influenced by the hip-house of Wiley and other grime acts, Roots won’t make the huge crossover Tini, Tinchy, Dizzee have, but that’s mainly because of his career long refusal to sell out, an act which alone makes him stand out from the rest. 7/10
Who are The Dirty Youth? No they aren’t a group of underage charvs drinking lambrini and cider on your local street corner but a hard hitting female rock band from South Wales. The Welsh Valleys brought us bands such as Lost Prophets, Bullet For My Valentine and Funeral For A Friend and once again they’ve brought us another gem.
Although these guys are female fronted this isn’t your standard drab Paramore wannabe band. The fast paced guitar riffs as well as the powerful vocals are reminiscent of In This Moment where as the up beat rhythm section glues the musical ability of the band as a whole perfectly.
The only let down on this three track CD would have to be the last track “This Is For You”. This as it stands is not a bad track but I was hoping for one more in your face rock number, to finish thing’s off, but it is refreshing to see a band who are able to go from powerful in your face rock music and then strip it down to a mellow song that challenges any ballad currently in the Charts. 7.5/10
For Fans of In This Moment, Skunk Anansie, McQueen.
‘Green Eye Boy’ is the first single to be taken from Cardinal Jack’s debut long player entitled ‘We Shall Start The Dance’ release on INFUSE, which is a division of University Of Hertfordshire’s own record label, UH Recordings.
Now, down to brass tacks, while at University, the principle members of Cardinal Jack were in rival bands, Cardinal Jack were formed after a "post-night out jam". Paul Eaton, Tom Willamson and Mark Kempson make up the London trio. But it is in their collective music influences that first drew my attention, bands like The smiths, Mars Volta, The Police and it seems now, once again, compulsory to mention The Beatles, in virtually every band influences list. So with all boxes ticked, present and correct, time to get a move on.
As for the bands sound they are not to far from some of the bands they have cited. I can imagine the song ‘Green Eyed Boy ‘evolved in student digs and late night rehearsals. The production is bright and immediate. Cardinal Jack make some neat, up-mid-tempo indie-rock, it’s 2011, so please understand, my intention is not to make them a product of any decade. The band are definitely of now as is ‘Green Eyed Boy’ 21st Century song. A solid first introduction to Cardinal Jack, comfortable guitar and bass attack, just add suitable spikey vocals and a solid beat , enhance with some effective production and a few handy over-lays and you have a more than a reasonable debut. Put another way as direct as their narrative; it’s all good. 7/10
The Safety Fire are a progressive metal band who have only recently signed to Inside Out Music. After being sent a link to their most recent single entitled “Huge Hammers” I didn’t know what to expect because in honesty I had not heard of these guys before. I am now hanging my head in shame for not discovering these guys sooner.
After watching the lyrical video for Huge Hammers several times on YouTube it is plain to see that this is the definition of progressive metal. It is obvious that The Safety Fire having been homing their craft since their formation in 2006 and that it’s paying off for them as they set off on tour with Rise To Remain this month.
With the music being progressive it is all the harder to pigeon hole and compare with other bands which is obviously what the band are aiming towards but never the less it makes it rather difficult for us poor writers. With an exciting mix of screaming that sounds as if front man Sean McWeeney has been suckling on an exhaust pipe alongside an infectious clean vocal make for an exciting listen.
Along with this vocal attack comes music that is anything but simple through out the entirety of the track. Consistently going from fast paced metal to a mellow down beat groove shows that The Safety Fire are more than capable of exploring metal music in all its different genres and showing the theory that lies behind it.
All in all this track is a must listen, even if you aren’t into metal or rock you can’t discard the talent that these guys possess. 8/10
Belgian nu-disco duo Vito De Luca and Stephen Fasano AKA Aeroplane landed in 2007 with what seemed like an endless stream of funky remixes for artists as varied as Shortwave Set, Robbie Williams and their mix of ‘Paris’ by Friendly Fires dripped with hazy ambient cool.
All looked well until just prior to their debut long player, Fasano left to pursue other projects. Just as well as the album Aeroplane released, 2010’s ‘We can’t fly’ was underwhelming to say the least. After impressing with a furiously uplifting piano led mix of Lykki Li’s ‘I follow rivers’ earlier this year, his debut release under The Magician guise shows that when leaving Aeroplane, he took the good tunes.
Featuring Danish vocalist Jeppe Laursen, ‘I just don’t know what to do’ is Camp italo disco straight out of 1983, uplifting and just the right side of cheese with one of those choruses so catchy just one refrain away from being annoying, it can be filed right next to the finest Aeroplane tracks without any noticeable decrease in quality.
Amongst the remixes the Fabian mix looks towards Friendly Fire’s ‘Pala’ album while the Plastic Plates mix is a prime cut of disco ball tinged house music for the more discerning dance floor out there. 7/10
Saint In the City Records
Released October 31st
Daniel Pearson is one to watch judging by this, his debut release. The Leeds based singer/songwriter has influences ranging from Nirvana and Ryan Adams to Bob Dylan and it’s this injection of US alternative rock that makes him stand out from the usual bedsit troubadour confines.
‘Wishing Well’ from the upcoming album ‘Satellites’ is at once melodic and anthemic, an uplifting ballad similar in style to The National, that soars along with Pearson’s vulnerable/confident vocal appealing for us to "get busy living". It’s a catchy first single that has an epic sound, and should pave the way to success. I for one cannot wait to hear more from Daniel Pearson. 8/10
Fall Against Fate are from Hertfordshire and by the sounds of it they are very angry about something. Could it possibly be being from Hertfordshire that they’re angry about? Either way they need to keep it up.
It’s great to see bands like Fall Against Fate waving the flag for British hardcore music with EP’s such as this beauty. This is not straight forward hardcore where you imagining the band head banging in unison live, they have a much deeper vibe. Beware though these guys are not for the faint hearted.
I hate to label these guys in the same category as bands such as Bring Me The Horizon but they do have a similar to BMTH during their Suicide Silence album period with a slice of Sikth and Dillinger Escape Plan thrown in for good measure. The EP consists of 6 amazingly written tracks that feature all the break downs as well as dramatic choruses you could ask for as well as a perfectly timed introduction that creates a blank canvass for Fall Against Fate to paint anything they desire.
Recently featured in Front and Rock Sound magazine these guys are set for much bigger things than playing in local bars such as “The Flap and Foreskin”. Give this bun another year or so in the oven and they will be constantly on channels such as Kerrang and Scuzz. 7.5/10
Stand out tracks : ‘So Real’ and I ‘Hate Godzilla, He Destroys Cities’.
Play It Again Sam Records
A taster from Liz Green’s debut album ‘O, Devotion’. ‘Hey Joe’ serves as the opening track to the record which is released on Play It Again Sam Records.
What strikes the listener is the strength of Liz Green’s vocal throughout the song. The Liverpool singer’s voice fits perfectly with the off-kilter yet totally familiar brass backing when it arrives mid-song; Imagine the slightly under-cooked backing of a latter day Tom Waits (both with Epitaph and without) or Jordan Reyes might accompany. It is pop, I guess but with a wonderful small slice of quirky, alternative production.
Hard to ignore, my hope that the album,’O Devotion is of the same standard, resists the bright eyed, bouncy brain dead pop of what, I hope is yester year. More than happy with a landscape were Liz Green wanders; it would be a good place. 8/10