|Posted on March 21, 2015 at 12:40 AM||comments (151)|
After my gushing for Turbowolf over the last two months, it’s about time I sat down and properly listened to their new record Two Hands. Second albums always leave me sceptical, I mean, so much work goes into a debut and then a couple of years later the follow up comes out and you’re, more often than not, left with a bitter taste in the mouth. However, Turbowolf have left a considerable amount of time between records, their last album was in 2011, and the line-up has changed since then. With all their creativity they must have come up with something original, shouldn’t they? Well let’s have a look see.
Straight from the get go, they start with a slow builder that sets atmosphere, much like the first but this album wastes very little time getting in to the nit and gritty with songs like Invisible Hand and Rabbits Foot dictating the pace. If you’re familiar with the band you might have heard a fair portion of this record already, with five tracks being played live and on the radio but this album is packed with so much more creativity and intensity.
My favourite tune on the album has to be, American Mirrors for it really fun interesting riff and catchy chorus. Also, Good Hand is a decent little tune and with a cool beat, that’s fun to bop to. The production is really nice and fits the band well, I think they have found their sound by now and it works for them, in fact, I know of very few bands that could pull it off. The riffs are absolutely excellent and the bass lines complement them nicely. Andy’s guitar work ranges from badass to just fun and bouncy.
The synth is nicely executed to, but in my opinion there’s a little too much on certain tracks like Rich Gift, it’s a good song but it took me several attempts to reach the end. Also, I think the writing isn’t as tight this time around, I don’t know, maybe a lot of these songs are growers, but here and now, it’s just difficult to listen to from start to finish. Not much else negative to say really.
There’s a lot on this record, it’s quite a long album, but I can’t say I was ever bored at any time, and I don’t think there is anything that doesn’t work. It’s a fun and intriguing...
Read the rest of the review on our new website here - http://manchester.rocks/?p=416
|Posted on March 20, 2015 at 8:50 PM||comments (40)|
British metal band Soldierfield today release the official video for The Only War, the single is taken from the highly acclaimed 2014 album Catharsis.
Vocalist Leigh Oates comments: “We’re really happy with the track, it’s everything Soldierfield is about; we hope you like the vid, the Wasp Video guys did a great job in keeping us looking cool”.
Since its release in November 2014, Catharsis has garnered great reviews across the board, inspiring many fantastic reviews including: “Soldierfield have delivered an album vying for the title of best UK Metal album of the year” and “a strong contender for essential albums to own”.
"The thing that stands out about this record is how well produced and well thought out the songs are. Complex structures made to sound simple is not an easy task to pull off and shows the attention to detail that fills this record. If Soldierfield can perform the songs with this same attention to detail then nothing will stop them."
Read our review of Catharsis here.
|Posted on March 20, 2015 at 8:20 PM||comments (0)|
Swamp monsters from the Somerset Levels return to eat you alive
The West Country’s power trio Henry Blacker return with a piece of fuzz guitar soaked mayhem to turn your brain into sludge. The band consists of two members of the awesome Hey Colossus. The current line up is made up of bassist Joe Thomson, Tim Farthing on guitars and Roo Farthing on drums, piano and organ. Summer
Summer Tombs is their second slab of awesome sludge/stoner rock following Hungry Dogs Will Eat Dirty Pudding in 2014. Summer Tombs was recorded during September last year by Westminster Brown at the Drop Out Studios in South London and mastered and mixed by Roo. This has cumulated in the band delivering an awesome album for our pleasure.
First track Cold Laking kicks off this album with fuzz guitar the Kyuss boys would be proud off. The monster is now released! Understated deep meaningful vocals hover over the track like a bird of prey looking for its next meal on The Levels. The vibe here produces a sonic induced sound so deep and powerful that you wonder what these guys can achieve as this album progresses. No worry there. Next up one of my favourites, Million Acre Fire - boogie sludge heaven this one. Get that head banging. Shift Magus and The Grain are another two grinding stoner sludge journeys with clever lyrics and sang again with restrained power. At times the vocal power is released and you take note, boom!
Landlubber is a head battering feast of muddy power. I heard a little Henry Rollins in there from the Weight era. Nice. A Plague is a fuzz dripping sludge monster of a track with a little ditti at the end. Now to the final track, are you still with me, you need to be. Summer Tombs is a seven minute long masterpiece. It’s the nearest to a heavy shit ballad on here. The track starts with a relaxing heavy vibe, smooth vocals (Henry Rollins again?). The fuzz guitar lead’s the way for a growl vocal to be released which then leads to them releasing the Levels demon. It feels like the Demon is being summoned to do it’s bidding. Then it is released, a driving sludge boogie builds up to a swamp stampede taking you down the dirt track to oblivion. Everyone is slaughtered. Loved it!
This album totally grabbed me and sucked me into their world. I listened to this at times drinking Scrumpy, I was on the Levels with the monsters. Might have drank too much of the stuff thinking about it. If you are expecting Morris dancing tunes stay well away but if you like stoner, sludge, loads of fuzz etc then this album is for you.
An English power trio doing the business, proud I am and you should be. Buy the vinyl edition when it’s released on Record Store Day the 18th April. Get your ass’s down to your local independent record shop and purchase, I will be. Also catch the boys live supporting the mighty Torche at the end of May. On a final note I would like to say a big thank you to Andy at Riot Season Records for all his hard work in releasing albums like this for us. Cheers!
Words: Brian 'Baldie' Mclean
|Posted on March 20, 2015 at 8:00 PM||comments (86)|
There’s a strong powerful presence as Hang The Bastard take to the stage, then, and with a powerful blast of guitars and drums the band begin their set. I have to admit, I have always been curious about these guys, one for their weird cross of stoner/sludge metal and hardcore but also for the fun as anything set. Their riffs were great and the basslines shook the floor of the place, and it must have won over the audience as the cheers could be heard from all around the room. I enjoyed it myself, I have a great appreciation for the stoner/doom metal genre and always enjoy hearing new bands. Hang The Bastard’s presence was simply awesome, they had this intense feel and great stage awareness. Whilst in song they just moshed all around the stage but between tracks singer, Tom Hubbard, just stared down the audience and never said a word. This would usually put me off but I have a feeling they just wanted to look intense and heavy, and I actually liked it from them. There’s only so many band I’ll enjoy who do this, I always prefer a little stage banter. Overall this was an immensely awesome set and I really enjoyed myself.
|Posted on March 19, 2015 at 10:15 AM||comments (0)|
|Posted on March 19, 2015 at 9:45 AM||comments (46)|
Black Star Riders
The Black Star Riders are riding high at the moment with a new album, Killer Instinct, smashing into the charts, packed full of great songs. It is a huge complement to the previous album, continuing to prove that they are a great band in great form.
BSR hit the stage with Bound For Glory showing Ricky Warwick's voice was in fine fettle and less like Phil Lynott’s than some would say. They were then straight into the first Thin Lizzy cover, Jailbreak, where the band gave it a more modern feel and sound.
Kingdom Of The Lost had a great Irish feel but the backing vocals were disjointed and flat, someone couldn't sing and it certainly wasn't Warwick. There was no time to lose in this short set so it was straight into Charlie I Gotta Go presenting a more commercial edge to their sound.
Considering there was a lot of competition for rock fans this evening, with both HRH AOR and Hammerfest taking place this weekend, it was a surprise that the gig was as full as it was. And the fans were not to be disappointed, songs like Hoodoo Voodoo with its classic Lizzy twin guitar sound hitting the spot.
For Soldierstown Warwick taught the audience some Gaelic so they could sing along with the song, which again was full of Irishness and Lizzyness. This resulted in parts of the crowd getting involved in silly Irish country jigging which was great fun to be involved in. Next there was a complete change of mood and back on Lizzy ground with Are You Ready To Rock which was performed with a renewed intensity from the band.
Warwick then thanked the crowd for buying the album as it had landed in the UK national charts at number 13, the band then launched into Bloodshot and The Boys Are Back In Town. During the latter I briefly closed my eyes and it was like listening to Lynott again. Even the bar staff were dancing around, the song getting the biggest response from the audience.
Through The Motions had a funkier edge and judging by their onstage performance they certainly didn't look as if they were going through the motions. Scott Gorham's playing was excellent although he was fairly static compared to the rest of the band, even during All Hell Breaks Loose. Back to Lizzy again and it was another twin guitar solo assault during Emerald.
Warwick told us that when he was growing up he would regularly listen to Radio One and never dreamed he would be on Radio Two, let alone be single of the week on that radio station - but he would take it. And it is understandable that it was single of the week because Finest Hour is a great song, expanding their popularity. Back to Lizzy again, well technically a Bob Seger song, and it's Rosalie played at full force with the crowd fully joining in. "This is Manchester" Warwick shouted, he certainly got his geography O-level, and everyone sang the song louder still.
"Everyone is plain crazy these days but you have to live with the Killer Instinct" was Warwick's introduction to the title track of the album. This was well-known and well received by all present due to having been played regularly on local rock radio. This led us into the final song, the Lizzy classic Whiskey In The Jar which was interesting because none of the band played on the original but nobody in the audience minded.
There was no encore due to the lack of time but it had been a full onslaught of songs from the band. Considering the name change and that they have now put out two solid albums of their own it was a surprise that they were still playing six Thin Lizzy songs in the set. Is the Lizzy material a flag of convenience considering the strength of their own songs? Answers on a postcard, please.
After a break Europe hit the stage to a thinned out crowd launching into new song War of Kings, a brave move starting in this way but in comparison to Black Star Riders who were raw and edgy, these guys were slick and professional, and sadly predictable and boring.
Joey Tempest bounced around the stage with loads of energy throughout the set but still came across like a Jon Bon Jovi imitator. Big dramatic sounds in Last Look At Eden along with dramatic lighting was failing to get the crowd going. One thing in their favour though was that the material was coming from a whole range of albums, Girl From Lebanon being taken from the Prisoners album.
They are a very different band to Black Star Riders and equally different to the band who had hit singles in the mid to late 80’s, they are now striving to become a credible rock band. Sadly they are coming across as clichéd, almost like they are going through the motions. Superstitious sounded like a poor man's Deep Purple.
Even playing The Second Day, a favourite of the band, they were dull and uninspired, not the band I saw three years ago. And the crowd seemed to be agreeing as well as there were less and less people to watch them.
Another new song, Praise You, was greeted by silence. Had no-one bought the new album? It started to become apparent what everyone wanted but the band was going to make us wait. Sign Of The Times managed to get significant audience involvement from those left, although Riches To Rags and Firebox again came across flat. Joey Tempest then took on a David Coverdale persona with the way he threw his mic stand around.
Finally, on more appealing ground was Rock The Night from the Final Countdown album, again with more mic stand twirling followed by another new song Days Of Rock'n'Roll which left the audience unimpressed. The last song finally put us out of our misery with the opening synth notes which could only mean Final Countdown itself. Again no encore due to time constraints and no “Carrie” either, but I was happy it ended because to be perfectly honest I was bored.
And the final words are not mine, they are those of a friend, Jo…
"Europe - this shit could have been written and performed by anyone, they were just going through the motions!”
Words: Anthony Firmin
|Posted on March 19, 2015 at 9:25 AM||comments (0)|
How many of us can say we recorded an EP, won band competitions and played at European festivals while we were students? Not me. But Jake Tilley, Josh Pearl, Alex Young and Chris Oldfield, better known as Tirade, are doing just that.
Tirade is a four piece, made up of music students based in Crewe and Leeds who are, it seems, really working the Manchester music scene. They recently won the MMU Battle of the Bands, which means they get to play over in Belgium at the Burnout Festival in May. It’s worth mentioning that the beautiful original artwork for their upcoming EP If I Told You I’d Have To Kill You was done by the incredible Manchester artist and fellow musician Helen Hebenton (check out her page Uncanny Designs).
Tirade are making the most of what they’ve got and really enjoying it, which gives the band a likeability factor and an endearing sense of fun.
According to the band their new single Waste Your Time is about the struggle to make it in a creative industry and the pressure to get a “proper” job – a typically “misunderstood youth” kind of topic for this genre, but it’s a sincere sentiment, and a defiant message from the band that they intend to prove themselves.
Waste Your Time is unashamedly pop-punk. Its sound harks back to the heyday of the genre; it’s fast and furious, with the nasal boyish vocals synonymous with pop-punk stalwarts like Billie Joe of Green Day and Jordan Pundik of New Found Glory. However, it manages to avoid being as one-dimensional as some of the more recent...
Read the rest of the review on our new website here - http://manchester.rocks/?p=609
|Posted on March 19, 2015 at 1:40 AM||comments (0)|
|Posted on March 18, 2015 at 10:15 AM||comments (47)|
“It would be a bit of a cop out to recommend them to Tool and/or A Perfect Circle fans, but I do think that the fanbases converge a lot of the time. I’d suggest them to fans of rhythmic intrigue, percussive force and a pervasive melodic sense; someone who’s into clean vocals with a good ear for lyrics, too. They only have a handful of records but they never re-tread old ground, so I guess if you’re looking for the next Slayer then you should go elsewhere! Karnivool are great, go listen to them. Start with the early stuff if you’re looking for something more straightforward, then move on from there.”
Support on this tour comes from Monuments. The London five piece marry progressive and technical metal with the odd bit of saxophone and all round craziness. If you like bands such as Periphery and Devin Townsend then these guys will be an absolute treat to your ears.
To be in with a chance of winning a pair of tickets to the Manchester show, Tuesday 24th March, send an email to [email protected] with the Subject ‘Karnivool.’ Tell us your full name in the body of the email and we’ll pick a lucky winner on Saturday, 21st whose name will be on the guest list.
For tickets and more info head to - www.karnivool.com.au
|Posted on March 18, 2015 at 2:50 AM||comments (0)|
Lead track Electric Funeral, one of the Bayley/Squire numbers, opens with grand drumrolls and fanfares and a distinctly metallic bass sound before launching into an organ fuelled frolic, driven along by no frills drum and unmistakeably distinctive harmonies/vocals – all doo-wop-shoo-wop and clearly the sort of sound which was so characteristic of early and classic Yesmusic. You can even visualise a promo video, in monochrome of course, with all sorts of groovy guys and gals swinging away with an air of abandon and slight self-consciousness.
With Get Yourself Together containing the line “Let’s go back to where we started” (along with something about engine drivers), the journey into the hip and with-it sixties sound begins and sets out the stall of what the album is out to deliver. The double hit of the reworked pair of Yes tracks offers up an eastern flavour in Beyond And Before which makes itself known as a theme, resurfacing at various points throughout the record. Meanwhile of the rest of the album, the title track brings to mind The Beatles And Your Bird Can Sing and the seven minute mainly instrumental Oceans offers up something more experimental, not least of which are the strangely impromptu vocal noises.
There may well be fans who will find the re-emergence of Mabel Greer’s Toyshop ever so slightly confusing. Not to begrudge the guys another day in the sun after being out of the picture for some time, the album does rely on the appeal of the early Yes material alongside new compositions in a mix which aims to appeal to the broadest common factor of fandom. It may well appeal as a bit of a curio to die hard Yes fans – probably the ones who will lap up the forthcoming ‘seven show from seventy two’ box set rather than those who go for the basic two disc compilation. However, it’s no more of a curio than the Trevor Rabin inspired AOR version Yes which returned in the in the mid eighties after their sad implosion into the other curio in the short lived Buggles led version of Yes in 1979/80.
It turned out to be a surprisingly enjoyable listen as sharing Billy Sherwood’s thoughts, it was easy to be sceptical and initial expectation wasn’t particularly high. All goes to show that there’s nothing wrong in looking back.
Words: Mike Ainscoe