#9 | PRETTY LITTLE ENEMY – Second Load

SECOND LOAD


Hailing from Somerset, Pretty Little Enemy have been quick to establish themselves as one of the brightest prospects to emerge from the south west of the country, and they’re ready to validate their status with a brand new EP – Second Load – the follow-up to their 2016 release B*tch Please!

They waste little time and go all in with Get A Grip, a frantic and pumped up opener with a sweet chorus donning some memorable lyrics. We get more of the same in their upcoming single Collide, which stands out with a brisk beat and stirring vocals.

The guitar work is the most eminent factor in Play By The Rules, with crunchy riffs littered throughout and they even make space for a concise but ripping solo in the middle for good measure. The momentum carried from the very beginning remains stable as they finish off in fiery fashion with It’s All Just A Show.

A short, to the point record that makes the most of its brief duration. Nothing complex by any means, but a wild ride nonetheless that is tonnes of fun and worth repeated listens.


The quartet have recently announced that they will be embarking on an UK tour to promote their new EP, and you can catch them at the following dates:

  • Sat 9th Sep | BRIDGWATER – Cobblestones
  • Fri 15th Sep | WREXHAM – Percy’s Bar
  • Sat 16th Sep | LITTLEHAMPTON – The Crown
  • Sat 23rd Sep | SALTASH – Livewire Event
  • Sat 7th Oct | CORNWALL – Charlie’s Bar
  • Sat 14th Oct | PLYMOUTH – Turbulence Festival
  • Fri 20th Oct | SALISBURY – Winchester Gate

 

#8 | DISCOLOR BLIND – Long Vivid Dream

DISCOLOR BLIND


Discolor Blind is the brainchild of Iranian native Askhan Malayeri, who has spent all his life grinding away and constantly improving himself as a credible musician. Travelling all across the world, from his home country to England and eventually settling in Montreal, Canada, the last few years have been dedicated to the creation of his first proper record by the name of Long Vivid Dream.

Teaming up with a number of talented folk, most prominently singer Alexis Nadeau, the EP has finally been completed and is all ready to hit the shelves. We were given the opportunity to examine Long Vivid Dream ahead of its release, and it left us enthused.

It opens up with the instrumental Migraine which generates a sheer atmosphere that is quite mystical and even has some hints of extraterrestrial notes in there. The established sound continues into The Life Of Lily, where Alexis’ harmonies are just excellent, but the most notable aspect is a sudden, out of nowhere change in tone where it turns heavy halfway in and intense riffs enter the fray. Just one example of the unpredictable nature of this record.

Neat synths and a cool trumpet are welcome additions to What Pain Brings, highlighted by a bouncy melody and a tremendous chorus with a subtly haunting touch. Delicate vocals raise the hairs for Black And Grey, a fitting title for the melancholy lead single which starts off slow and chilling, gradually building as it progresses. Last but not least, Poor Receipts moves at a steady pace with a few spots of escalation which makes for a decent climax.

There is such a broad blend of multiple styles and various genres that it leaves it difficult to narrow down a proper description for the music, it just does not fit into one particular tier, and that is exactly what makes this EP a fantastic one. Askhan and Alexis should be proud of what they have accomplished here, and we would be happy to see more sooner than later.

 

 

#7 | JOE BONE & THE DARK VIBES – Goo Goo Shoom

goo goo shoom


Glasgow is absolutely abundant with bands, and all the better for it. Unfortunately, it poses a problem in that it proves to be quite difficult to stand out from the rest of the pack, but there is one such act who do not suffer from this – the oddities known as Joe Bone & The Dark Vibes.

We have been aware of this bunch for a while now and we had the utmost pleasure of witnessing them live at The Grand Ole Opry, and they were undoubtedly the most memorable of the night. Between then and now, they put out a full-length record titled Goo Goo Shoom, and it is certainly an interesting experience.

What we get to start is an utterly chilling intro in the form of a procession, amplified by the mix of piano keys and organ plus an aged recording sound that would not make it seem out of place in a silent horror film from several decades ago.

Don’t Talk To Me gives us our first showcase of frontman Joe’s harmonic stylings, where his outlandish charisma shines through the speakers. Lose It All is driven by a good bass line, after which we have Benny Lynch, a loving tribute to the Scottish boxing legend that is topped by a catchy beat and steadily builds to a grand finish.

The writing is the highlight of the maligning DWPComplications has quite the groove, and Voodoo Blood and I’m Falling have some pleasing synths and guitar chords respectively; the latter unexpectedly taking off for a rampant ending.

The kooky lyrics of The Bible According To Joe Bone may not sit well with those of a religious and/or easily offended nature, but come on – “Jesus was born from a leprechaun” – how could you not love a line like that? Following that, they close out with the low-key Never Have I Been.

On the whole, an entertaining mishmash of songs. If there was one negative, it would be that the production and general mixing could have done with a little cleanup, but then again, The Dark Vibes are a group who are all about being raw and organic, so take that as you may, and at the end of the day, this is an album that assuredly improves in quality with each subsequent listen and leaves an impact.

 

 

#6 | TAPED LIVE – Seven Sounds

taped live


Way back in January, as we exited from a show at King Tuts as part of their New Years Revolution festival, a band were jamming in the downstairs bar. Said band were the local pairing of Leo and Sal, better known as Taped Live.

While we only caught them briefly, they did enough to grab our attention, and they flew into our radar again lately with the release of their debut EP – Seven Sounds.

Thin Ice proves to be an okay start, but not much to write home about, although it does properly going when they pick up the pace with the jumpy Blind As A Bat, topped off with echoing snares.

They bring a very cool Southern rock vibe with Telephone, plus the chorus ain’t half bad, and Fit For Purpose is a catchy number in its own right.

Following the decent Pocket Full Of Sorrow we have the title track which stands as the definitive highlight of the record – courtesy of an infectious rhythm touched up with an essence of blues and led by a mixture of damn fine riffs and great drumming – after which, they bring everything to a close with the smooth and stylish What’s A Boy To Do?

While not always consistent, and perhaps asking for a shine up in production quality, the boys still do more than plenty to make Seven Sounds our money’s worth. A solid EP from a promising young duo, for sure.

REVIEW | Marc Halls – The Hug & Pint (17.07.17)

marchalls1


Hailing from Essex, former Hey Vanity frontman and established artist Marc Halls recently journeyed on a tour across the UK, joined by fellow friend and musician Jakob Oelofse, better known as We Are All Fossils, with their latest stop being The Hug And Pint in Glasgow.


The duo of Gemma Matthews and Ciaran Boyle – collectively known as The Gracious Attempt – were first. There was a blend of crisp harmonies, particular from Gemma, and the keys and acoustic chords, while straightforward in nature, were able to produce quite the ambience.

There were some noticeable miscues in the penultimate number, but otherwise a very warm and enjoyable set which we would be more than happy to see more of in the future.


Judging by the ticket sales, Austin Miller appeared to be pretty popular, and it was easy to understand the appeal of him.

He looked confident and sounded fairly passionate, and the rest of his entourage added to the music nicely. Admittedly, it was a little hazy early on, with some instances of the group being a touch out of time, but they tightened up as they went along, dishing out a batch of fun, large-sounding tunes that drew in and held the attention of the audience before capping off in extravagant fashion.

Very good stuff, we must say, and the potential is plain to see in this fellow.


And now for something more low-key – We Are All Fossils, accompanied by Marc Halls.

Whether giving us material that was upbeat or gentler and atmospheric, his voice was pure and his playing was damn near perfect, plus we got a showcase of great lyrics and he certainly earned some respectful applause for his work.

A superb artist with an undeniable charm to him.


The man of the hour, Marc Halls himself, stepped up to close out the night, and in a role reversal was Jakob now backing him up, and they proved to be a dynamic pairing.

He looked nothing short of a legitimate star on that stage, and was very proficient on the guitar, keyboard and even the harmonica. A major strength was in his writing, as demonstrated in the likes of Bittersweet Memories, We’ll Be Ok and Open Ended Stories.

Erised had a cool beat and infectious chorus, and The Grey featured a sweet moment in which the crowd members joined in clicking their fingers without being even asked too.

A tremendously satisfying performance that we would happily pay to watch again and again.

REVIEW | Allusondrugs – Nice N Sleazy (14.07.17)

AUODposter

As far as the best rising rock acts in the UK go, Allusondrugs from Leeds are among the elite in that category, having drawn in fans from all over with their dazzling music and reaping acclaim from the press.

The latest chapter in their journey success involved the guys heading up to Scotland for a weekend tour, in which they were joined by Bloodlines from Fort William, and it would all begin at Nice N Sleazy in Glasgow.


Opening the night was Visceral Noise Department, a quartet that had a sound blending grunge and psychedelic rock, with an added modern touch. The guitars were beautifully dirty, the slower numbers were gripping, and they were frantic and energetic when the tempo was kicked up.

Our favourite moment was when the hairy Brenden – donning pyjamas and odd socks – leaped onto the floor and went totally bananas. A wonderful scene, it all was.


And now for something completely different – The Eagertongue. Graham came in with an elaborate desk setup chock full of pedals, wires, a drill and other bits and bobs, and he produced droning electronic sounds with all the tools at his disposal, throwing in some spoken word and yells in the midst of it all.

There was an interesting magnetic quality about it. Sure, it had a pretty repetitious nature in places, but we could not keep our eyes off him all the same. Likewise, a big chunk of the audience stood and respectfully gave their attention.

It is difficult to properly describe, so it would be worth seeing it for yourself, but credit must be given to Graham for what was undoubtedly a fresh and intriguing experience.


There was much anticipation as Bloodlines stepped up, and they burst out with the superb Love The Taste. Their line of newer material was top notch, showcasing their evolving heavier sound.

Mother’s Misery was immensely catchy and had a heck of a hook, while Cathedral was defined by calmer verses which would give way for sweeping choruses. They cranked up the intensity one last time as they capped off with the utterly berserk Skeletons

Throughout, the riffs were vehement and the dual vocals were strong. A brilliantly tight set that was just another win for one of the country’s finest up and coming ensembles.


A mass sea of folk gathered and perched themselves at the stage for Allusondrugs, who got the room buzzing in a hurry and it was not long before the room became a dense sweat box. The highlights are tricky to narrow down, for there are too many to count.

The fast and furious Magic College had a bouncy melody, and classic throwback I’m Your Man was received wall. People passionately sung back the words to Sunset Yellow, although Jason amended the lyrics to “made 2013 come my chest”…well, we will not be able to listen to that track the same way again.

There was unified headbanging afoot for the much loved new tune, and I Should Have Gone To Uni earned a fervent reaction. In the latter part of the set, a couple directly in front of us were getting awfully frisky. Who knew that Allusondrugs brought out the romantic side of people?

A surf-filled frenzy was sparked as the boys wrapped up the night with the pairing of Cherry Pie and Handicapped, concluding one of the most emphatic, jam-packed performances we have witnessed in all of 2017.

 

 

REVIEW | Rainfalls – The Attic (13.07.17)

HOLD AB


Life can be cruel sometimes. All was ready to go for one of the UK’s fastest rising acts – Holding Absence – to hit Scotland for their first ever headline tour in the country. Unfortunately, due to their van breaking down, they were not able to make it to Glasgow, and everybody was left gutted.

But all was not lost, as their tour buddies Rainfalls decided to push on and keep the gig going without them, and being advocates for supporting the local scene, we decided to stick around for the ride.


Never Meant come on in front of their excitable circle of friends. Unfortunately, their set was mild at best, with some spots of decent beats and melodies here and there yet lacking a spark in general. In fact, the highlights came in the form of chants for bassist Tony and girls being speared to the floor on more than one occasion (not as violent of a situation as it sounds, just to clarify).

The trio have a long way to go yet, with it being a case of them needing to fine-tune their live performance and add an element to make them stand out more and draw the interest of outsiders.


Alternative pop-rockers In Stations were up next, and quickly caught our ears with their opening pair of tracks which, considering they had only been written a couple of days prior, sounded pretty good.

Not Anymore featured a rocking chorus, Oceans was a wildly energetic marvel with crunchy as hell bass chords, and Summer had a quick pace and smashing fills. They had a clear confidence on stage that never overflowed into cockiness, and they undoubtedly brought more of a sense of fun to the night.

Talk about making a first impression; these guys were seriously great. Thoroughly recommended.


Impromptu headliners Rainfalls were last up for us to witness them for what was the third time now, and we think they were at their very best here.

The main driving force of the group was frontman Gary. Aside from his fierce vocals, he had this unique, imposing presence that is difficult to describe, where he just enters a completely different mind-frame, which was even more evident by his sharp gazes into the eyes of select audience members.

In addition to that, the rest of the band were firing on all cylinders, with them jumping about like mad as they pitched out intense riffs and yielded rampant rhythms. Each song, whether fast or slow in tempo, had the people hooked and they only had them more hooked in as time elapsed.

It would come to a head with Gary screaming through the fabric of his T-shirt that was draped right over his head before toppling back-first onto the hard floor. An entertaining half hour of forcible proportions that soothed the pain of missing out on Holding Absence and made the night all worthwhile.