Album Review: Without Andrew – ‘With Great Power Comes Great Irresponsibility’

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Without Andrew are a three-piece Manchester punk band who already have five years of experience in the music industry (with various line-up changes) despite their young ages. Their first full album Let’s Boo Boo was released around two years ago and they’ve since played a sold-out home show and supported bands such as Ashestoangels, William Control and The Dead XIII. Never feeling the need to stick to convention, their live shows and lyrics can be relied upon to be entertaining.

New album With Great Power Comes Great Irresponsibility has been a DIY production due to financial issues, but the band say they are immensely proud to have accomplished this. It comes after a tough two years in which the band nearly broke up. Commenting on this, drummer and backing vocalist Mat states:

“Our new album… is what we are referring to as a bit of a ‘comeback’ album, if you will. We’ve had a rough two years in which the band almost split up due to drama and tension within the band, which made this album somehow very special. The problems sparked songs and the songs sparked an urge to put out the best damn thing we could; we have touched on topics we never dreamed we would and have opened ourselves up in ways we didn’t think we would. This album has turned into something we are all super proud of. It takes a slightly different tone in comparison to our first album; it’s darker, heavier and not as whimsical, although, as you can tell by the art, we haven’t lost our fun side!”

The album certainly has the punk feel we’ve been promised; occasionally straying a little too far into Green-Day-mode but with more than enough originality to get away with it. They’ve certainly matured their sound since the last record, without having compromised on personality or the interesting song titles (see Who Hurt Lionel Richie.) Right from the start Wheel and Neverwinter throw catchy hooks at us by the bucketload, the type that get you singing along before you even realise you’ve picked up the lyrics. There’s instantly a strangely classic-yet-modern sound about it, how one would imagine the original punk bands to have sounded if they’d begun to make music today. Braindead adds an interesting pinch of harsher vocal style and more pop-punk guitars, all accompanied by lyrics about “fucked up braindead youth” which one can imagine being enthusiastically screamed back at them at a live show. No Escape also has the feel of something which could easily catch on, its fast pace ensuring a lively response. Dirty Rotten Liar produces a more relaxed tempo, but this doesn’t stop the powerful chorus rousing your emotions. The most forlorn track of the record is unquestionably Time Turner, but rather than being merely the token “sad song” of the record it has a sincerity to the lyrics which isn’t difficult to identify. The vocals prove increasingly versatile as the record goes on, and one notices how good the whole thing sounds for a self-produced album. There’s certainly a lot more to come from Without Andrew.

Score: 8 / 10

Listen to: Braindead

 

Harbour Sharks Release Ferocious New Video ‘The Killer Inside Me’

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The Killer Inside Me is the first track released from Kingston alt-metal band Harbour Sharks’ upcoming debut album. The band have spent two years touring and perfecting their sound since forming in 2015, producing the grizzly, rhythmic riffs and powerful vocals present in this track. They should appeal to fans of Beartooth, A Day To Remember and Stone Sour.

When asked about the themes behind the song, the band explain:

The Killer Inside Me is about the thought process of a serial killer with a split personality who feels hard done by and struggles to act on their instincts. The killer eventually reasons that as humans we are insignificant, yet vows to never feel this way as he doesn’t feel he fits in with human normality. Although we don’t condone the acts of serial killers, we feel that this is a song for anyone who has ever felt outcast or humiliated in social norms that they can relate to.”

The video further encapsulates this theme with its portrayal of a man who is clearly such an outcast and its depiction of his disturbed mental state. It is an excellent overall piece and we highly recommend checking it out.

EP Review: Seasonal – ‘Bloom’

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‘Bloom’ is the five-track debut EP from Guildford quartet Seasonal. It is intended as an exploration of the trials and tribulations involved in growing up in the UK, based on the personal experiences of the band. Their pop-rock sound should appeal to fans of You Me At Six, Kids In Glass Houses and Five Seconds Of Summer.

The record has a reminiscent tone; opening up a vivid window to past experiences most of us can relate to. Their style isn’t something that instantly smacks of being totally unique, but has the ability to infiltrate the senses and make limbs start bouncing along. Latest single Headphones has a distinct singalong quality, its upbeat tune wrapping you in a warm blanket of nostalgia. The catchy riffs of These Games give it a little more of a rock aura, whilst Certainty opens with much gentler guitars merging into a lively song which retains a laidback beat. Ranger‘s added emotion is especially perceptible through its repeated lyrics assuring listeners “you’re not alone”, emphasised by the strong, building beat. Final track Homeward has a calmer, dejected tune which grows ultimately towards an impassioned chorus and a sense of closure. An appropriate ending.

The record feels like it would have fairly wide appeal, especially to a younger crowd. Check out ‘Headphones’ – the latest single from the EP – below.

Score: 7/10

Listen to: Ranger

October Ends Release Music Video For ‘Faith In Me’

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Four-piece Newcastle metalcore band October Ends have released a new music video for latest single ‘Faith In Me’. The song is taken from their upcoming EP ‘A New Path’ to be released on 26th June. According to the band, the song is about battling with mental illness and asking loved ones for help and trust.

“We’ve either all been there or we’re still going through it, but all it takes is to make the first move and ask for help. We hope that ‘Faith In Me’ will connect with people who are struggling with situations like this, because no matter what happens behind closed doors, you’re never alone.”

The single features ferocious roars alongside breakdowns galore. Its big sound creates a stirring feel, whilst the additional vocal styles and theatrical chimes sprinkled throughout add a sense of suspense. We hope this is a sign of things to come from the rest of the EP.

Check it out below and see what you think.

Light It Up Release Alt-Rock Cover of Halsey’s ‘Eyes Closed’

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New England alternative-rock band Light It Up have just released a transfigurative cover of Halsey’s ‘Eyes Closed’. The five-piece female fronted band have only been together since September 2016, yet they have already supported the likes of We The Kings, Hawthorne Heights, Metro Station and Cute Is What We Aim For and have been stylistically compared to Bring Me The Horizon and PVRIS.

The cover track manages to seamlessly blend the emotional feel of the original with a newly charged spirit. The melodic intro has an absorbing, almost-ethereal sound, before the hefty drums and solid guitars of the chorus bring us crashing down to the musical fires below.  It brings a fierceness to the lyrics, managing to remain firmly within the pop-rock genre whilst still pushing boundaries. Light It Up will gain fans at a rapid pace if they continue to produce such a sound.

Check out the track below and let us know what you think!

Album Review: ANEWRAGE – ‘Life-Related Symptoms’

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‘Life-Related Symptoms’ is the second studio album from alternative metal quartet ANEWRAGE. The band have been working hard in recent years to make a name for themselves in their native Italy, touring with multiple bands. With this album they say they have tried to avoid sticking to one narrow genre, instead encompassing a variety of influences.

Strong opener Upside Down has a catchy hook which distinctly grabs the listener’s attention and focuses it on the animated beat of the chorus. This tune subsequently remains on repeat like some undying melodic poltergeist in one’s head for some substantial time afterwards. Dancefloor produces a similarly dominating chorus, this time because of the raw, soulful feel of the vocals coupled with the stirring repetition of lines. Vocal ability is also showcased within Floating Man, seamlessly shifting from wistful, gentle verses to powerful, rapturous choruses. The explosion of drum power and guitar riffs emphasises this change. Insight and Wolves and Sirens more clearly display the variation in the band’s influences, both leaning towards hard rock rather than just metal. This is not where ANEWRAGE draw the line, however. The haunting Life Is You precedes grunge-tinted Outside, the latter having distortions and a harmony of melodic voices which form a particularly melancholic effect. There’s even a theatrical twist near the end; Clockwork Therapy with its electronic, dark intro and menacing ticking sound mix with the slow beat for an ominous aura. It produces hints of industrial as well as even orchestral music to create a song which certainly stands out from the rest.

This is an album which shows extensively varied influences, put together in a way which pleases the senses. A few of the remaining songs could do with better hooks to make it a truly great album, but as it stands it is certainly impressive.

Score: 8/10

Listen to: Upside Down and Clockwork Therapy

EP Review: Nineteen Fifty Eight – ‘Dark Blue’

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Dark Blue is the new release from Swansea alt-rockers Nineteen Fifty Eight. Inspired by the South Wales music scene as well as the theatricality of young bands such as Lower Than Atlantis and PVRIS, the quintet have a lot to live up to. They explain that the EP’s six tracks reflect the real-life anxieties of early adulthood, but it is ultimately intended as an affirmation that everything will always turn out okay in the end.

The whole record feels like an emotional journey. Ceryn’s almost-serene lead vocals mix with the strong hooks of Dark Blue to create a sort of impassioned sadness. Under My Skin goes further, producing a hypnotic chorus with constant ripples of sound immersing the listener. The tense guitar track behind this, alongside the driving drum beat make for a sense of emotional overwhelmment. This anxiety comes to the fore in the distressed riffs of Optimistic and God Forbid, though a sense of resilience and defiance also fights its way through. Temporary Feelings is in itself a build-up of passion, opening with a timid, soft aura but ending on full, resounding notes; a sort of mental release from fear. The final instalment Watch Me Burn is a satisfying end to the record, mixing the passion and tranquil vocals of the previous songs, but this time without the underlying tension. It certainly feels like the band have put a lot of thought into the production of the EP. The overall effect is of a particularly therapeutic 20-minute listen, especially for any young adult experiencing the same feelings.

Score: 7.5/10

Listen to: Temporary Feelings