REVIEW | OVER – Bloc | 28th April 2015

After a month long absence from gigs, I was dying to experience some quality live music again. Luckily, I got my chance when Italian alternative rock band OVER journeyed to Glasgow to play the city’s finest drinking establishment, Bloc, as part of their first ever UK tour to promote their newly released debut album. Having listened to them before and being well aware of their talents, I was excited to see them and naturally went in with high expectations.

But first up to kick off the festivities was Stirling punk outfit Science Made Us Robots, who I had only discovered a week prior, and they delivered a fast and furious set, churning out tight tune after tight tune, including some familiar numbers from their album Rats & Swans. With a combination of rapid drumming, swift bass lines and quick riffs, it was very difficult to resist banging your head to every note. Safe to say, they did not disappoint.

Now it was time for OVER to take the stage, and they put on an absolutely stunning performance from start to finish. Linda took lead on vocals, and in addition to her obvious talents, she was also passionate and highly charismatic. The rest of the band backed her up, chock full of energy and giving it their all on stage as they bounced around to the rhythm, while maintaining their solid chemistry as a musical unit.

As expected, they performed material from their new record Is This Growing Up and all the tunes sounded terrific, with the highlights including Brand New Day, Like Ashes Underground and The Fight, the latter being a ridiculously catchy number. They got members of the crowd singing along to Runaway, and even attracted a most likely intoxicated couple who came up to bust their best moves.

Wrapping up with The Promise, the Italians made a hell of a good first impression in the city of Glasgow, and with a little luck, we’ll be seeing them again sooner than later.

REVIEW | Erin Bennett: ReFlowered

Originally hailing from all the way over in Texas, Edinburgh-based musician Erin Bennett has been making a name for herself recently, catching the attention of many with her captivating music. And it’s safe to say her talents are clearly evident in her debut album – ReFlowered.

From the get go, Power Back hooks the listener in, being a highly memorable opening track which gives us our first taste of Erin’s dazzling vocal capabilities and gripping writing, further reinforced by great backing vocals and top notch drumming and electronics. Her writing abilities continue to shine through in You Will Not Escape This, which features provoking lyrics as well as superb guitar work. Never Give Up The Fight also stands out as an excellent and highly mesmerizing tune.

Over the course of the record, we are treated to a variety of more catchy numbers such as Elevate, thanks to it’s addictive bass lines and cracking chorus, and Ready To Play which has a really cool sound that is hard to resist tapping your foot to. We also have a selection of delightful, slower songs including Every Time I Breathe and What You Do To Me.

Capping off with Dying In My Love, this is an outstanding album from start to finish which undoubtedly cements Erin as a gifted singer, songwriter and guitarist. Also a lot of credit has to be given to the backing band, who all in one way or another bring something to the table and further add to the music.

Given the right exposure, she will certainly go far. It’s about time the world knows of the name Erin Bennett, for we have something real special on our hands right here.

REVIEW | Soul Remover: Just Buried

NHC Music. Not only hard working advocates supporting the local scene, but they have led me to discover an array of quality bands from across the country, with the most recent being Glasgow rock and roll band Soul Remover. Having never taken the time to listen to them, I took a little look at their debut EP, Just Buried, to get myself acquainted with them. And did I ever.

It kicks off with Poison Eye which, straight off the bat, delivers cracking riffs and tight drum work that gets the listener hooked in no time at all, with the best part being a building slow section which soon unleashes into a really neat guitar solo. Next is One Night Only which is a very catchy, thunderous tune that is pretty difficult to resist banging your head to.

Undoubtedly the highlight of the EP is Snake Oil, a slower but seriously cool number with such a unique, old west sound to it and memorable lyrics, not to mention an ensemble of clapping, whistling and backing vocals which just add to the atmosphere wonderfully.

Finally we have So Fine, a short but swift, bass-heavy tune that caps off a record which is simply brilliant, and should appeal to anybody searching for some kickass rock music.

REVIEW | Life Model: Lilt

Dream pop was something I was never aware of until recently, when Glasgow band Life Model provided an introduction for me to the genre via their latest single Lilt, and boy is it something special.

It is a hypnotising, heavily atmospheric tune that captivates the listener and takes them on a mellow, soothing ride. The vocals are stunning, the riffs are so simple yet effective and the drum beat is catchy, not to mention the writing is also quite memorable and highly enjoyable.

As an introduction to both the band and the genre, I absolutely love it and it has offered something new and fresh compared to the usual material I listen to. These guys have all the unlimited potential in the world, it’s just a case of gaining the right exposure which would be great to see happen sooner rather than later.

REVIEW | The Summer War: Keep Up, We’re Moving On

The Summer War are a 3-piece rock band hailing from Manchester, and an excellent one at that, judging by their EP – Keep Up, We’re Moving On.

You Will Find Us In The Dark serves as a very catchy opener bursting at the seams with heaps of energy, really good vocals and memorable lyrics that are perfect for a crowd to sing along to any given live situation. Lost In Transit carries the momentum further as it delivers plenty of terrific riffs.

After a little interlude comes Recovery which is highlighted by a smashing chorus and some cracking drum work, before following up with Had It All which combines all the qualities of the previous tracks and squeezes them into a tight package that provides a rocking climax to the record.

All in all, a neat little EP we have here that clearly demonstrates the band’s talents which will almost certainly earn these guys a name for themselves.

REVIEW | Return To The Sun: Haze

Over the last 2 years, Edinburgh rock band Return To The Sun have been on an absolute roll. After a successful debut EP, they followed up with a pair of singles, 501 and Freakshow, which were both incredible; the latter being among the best Scottish tracks of the year so far.

And as expected, they continue to deliver with their latest single, Haze. Instantly making its mark with the funkiest of bass intros, it is a very energetic tune highlighted by enjoyable riffs and drum work, passionate vocals, memorable lyrics and a catchy as hell chorus.

Another cracking addition to the band’s continually growing library of quality music that further proves that they have the talent to go very far.

REVIEW | Thirty Three Connection: Heart In The Clouds/Time And Time Again

Edinburgh is a city I have found to be brimming with a variety of high quality bands, and the latest to fall under my radar is indie duo Thirty Three Connection. After making me aware of their presence, I made a quick beeline to their most recent work, a 2-side, to give them a listen and I was thoroughly impressed by what I heard.

Kicking off with a neat little intro, Heart In The Clouds is a fantastic tune with some very catchy piano work, highly enjoyable drumming and great vocals. The background glockenspiels adds further to the sound and overall there is a clear passion behind the performance, which in turns makes for a more enjoyable listening experience.

Time And Time Again takes it down a step to provide a slower, more relaxed number which features similar qualities to the previous track, with the addition of highly memorable lyrics to boot.

The pair have certainly made a superb first impression and their talents deserve to be exposed to a wider audience.