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Rush ‘Clockwork Angels’ Review

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Rush ‘Clockwork Angels’ Review

Posted on 11 July 2012 by Chris Knight

Rush return with their latest epic album and the first in 5 years through Roadrunner records.  “Clockwork angels” is an intergalctic car crash hurtling large rocks of sound and beautifully crafted chaos towards our own immortal ears.  The production is beautiful and in Rush’s own unique style the songs are interwoven with delicious melodies, crushing riffs and soaring highs.  Rush - Clockwork Angels

The album seen by some as a concept album but denied by Guitarist Alex Lifeson has been championed by novelist Kevin J. Anderson who intends to write a sci fi novelization about “a young man’s quest to follow his dreams, he is caught between the grandiose forces of order and chaos. He travels across a lavish and colorful world of steampunk and alchemy, with lost cities, pirates, anarchists, exotic carnivals, and a rigid Watchmaker who imposes precision on every aspect of daily life”

Concept or not and frankly who cares this album has a heartbeat.  Rush have a special way of knocking your ears off orbit; with precision time changes and trio interplay.  Tracks like ‘Halo Effect’ demonstrate some beautiful vocals and sublime string arrangements while tracks like ‘BU2B’ drag you into a vortex of immense power that remind you Rush cant be pinned down into a single genre because this track is heavy, doomy and sinister and one to look out for live.  The ‘Anarchist’ provides flashes of Geddy Lees famous vocal style often unmatched on this offering but still non the less superb and the bass line drives the song throughout.

This album is simply an old friend and one that you feel you have known for ages.  38 years after their conception, this trio pushing 60 are still the masters of their art and perhaps the time lords of Canada can make ‘time stand still’.

Enter Shikari – Review

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Enter Shikari – Review

Posted on 04 May 2012 by Mizzle

When I arrived at the Wolverhampton Civic, the first support band ‘Tek One’ had already begun their set. The whole crowd was encouraged to get very lively from the first note played. The three piece group which included a rapper, drummer and the third member on decks; played some incredible remix’s of some big hits, giving these songs some deep dirty bass. A song that definitely stood out for me personally was ‘Bring Me The Horizon’s’ and ‘Sleep With One Eye Open’ this remix contained the screaming vocals of ‘BMTH’. ‘Tek One’ mixed this song to a dubstep genre with some unbelievable drops which blew me and the whole crowd away.

Sadly ‘Tek One’ could not play forever. Next up were the relatively well known ‘Young Guns’, they gave quite a solid performance despite me not being a massive fan. The crowd was still bouncing and very full of life. However, I had familiarised myself with this band when they played the song ‘Bones’. This all went down very well with the crowd. Towards the end of their set, Gustav (lead vocals) asked the whole crowd to kneel down although I didn’t actually understand the reasoning, I felt rude not too.

The time between bands was fairly amusing. The roadies were sound checking the microphones and instruments which encouraged the excited crowd to ‘call and response’ to what the displeased roadies were saying into the mic. Now was the time that we had all been waiting for … ‘Enter Shikari’! They opened with ‘System’ off their latest album ‘A Flash Flood of Colour’ which then led into ‘Meltdown’. The atmosphere was insane with crowd surfers flying over constantly and Mosher’s doing what they do best with the pits ever growing. I came out of all the action for a couple of songs to just enjoy the whole experience. However, this didn’t last long as I heard the opening synth of ‘Mothership’. Instantly I started to move back into the crowd, pushing through much of the audience to enjoy one of my favourites right at the front. ‘Enter Shikari’ were full of energy through out the whole set with Rou (lead vocals) moving around the whole stage and Rory (lead guitarist) jumping into the crowd several times. ‘Enter Shikari’ were fantastic and have been every time I have seen them, and I would happily see them again.

Joe Farley

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Thin Lizzy Review – Wolverhampton Civic Hall

Posted on 29 April 2012 by Chris Knight

Are you ready? We get asked as the curtain falls and ‘boom’ the boys are back in town…..well, relatively speaking and of course minus Phil Lynott.  This current incarnation pay testament to Lynotts music writing. Dual guitars and with classic members Scott Gorham, Brian Downey and Darren Wharton you know it’s going to be a good show!

There are no comparisons to draw between ex almighty front man Ricky Warwick and Phil Lynott perhaps other than there love for Rock and Roll, and that’s pretty refreshing! All too often bands look to drag themselves out of the grave, reform and stick a sound-alike on the end of the black spongy thing – this is not what these guys are here to do!

From the opener ‘Are You Ready’ to the beautifully delivered ‘Still In Love With You’ there was a rollercoaster of power and craft in the Wolverhampton Civic Hall that night.  It’s the sort of gig that even if you so much as place one toe outside of the auditorium to get a beer you will be sucked back in by a ‘Killer On The Loose’, beaten over the head by some ‘Whiskey In The Jar’ before witnessing a ‘Massacre’……. But that’s just my opinion.. .’don’t believe a word’?!!

Thin Lizzy Setlist

Are You Ready
Jailbreak
Bad Reputation
Don’t Believe A Word
Killer On The Loose
Dancing In The Moonlight
Massacre
Angel Of Death
Still In Love With You
Whiskey In The Jar
Sha La La
Suicide
Waiting For An Alibi
Cowboy Song
Boys Are Back In Town
Emerald
Rosalie
Black Rose

God bless Killing Joke and god bless punk rock!

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God bless Killing Joke and god bless punk rock!

Posted on 29 April 2012 by Chris Knight

30 years on and back with the original line up, Killing Joke appear as cutting edge and just as important as they ever were. Sometimes music is just about a trend or an accessory to the latest fashion but Killing Joke stand for a lot more than just a fad. It’s no coincidence that a large contingent of the Wulfrun Hall are punk rockers, a misunderstood generation of what the dictionary deems to be followers of “loud, insistent music and abusive or violent protest lyrics, and whose performers and followers are distinguished by extremes of dress and socially defiant behavior.”

Way back when this band first emerged from the dying embers of the late 70s, some critics such as Stephen Thomas Erlewine and John Dougan described there sound as “quasi-metal … dancing to a tune of doom and gloom”. One thing they weren’t doing was dancing but rather delivering a message which is as important then as it is today. Music is their parliament and their music sales are their vote! This is an institution and unlike an endless stream of dithering politicians these guys can adapt and cross over to endless generations and genres.

But let’s not play totally into the hands of these misinformed critics because Killing Joke are pioneers of their trade. Leaders not followers and a huge musical influence too many of today’s bands.

The set opens up with ‘European Super State’ from the album ‘Absolute Dissent’ and there’s a good sprinkle from the new album ‘MMXII’, including the infectious ‘Rapture’ which is lapped up from the large following contingent. It’s a battering ram of joy, where else can you get ‘chinned’ by a 6 foot punk and still be able to get up, hug and shake hands. ‘The Wait’, ‘Pssyche’ and ‘Requiem’ bring about a shuddering roar of approval and a ground shuddering stomp. The pale faced, boiler suit wearing Jaz Coleman, stomping around the stage like a delusional nutter, menacing, grimacing and totally mesmerizing. Then the encores ‘Love Like Blood’ & ‘Wardance’, yes that right as mentioned earlier delivered by a front man ‘distinguished by extreme dress’ a dressing gown!!!!

God bless Killing Joke and god bless punk rock!

Rachel Sermanni & band

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Rachel Sermanni & band

Posted on 31 January 2012 by Mizzle

Rachel Sermanni and her extensive band played the Mitchell Library on January 22nd in Glasgow as part of the ongoing Celtic Connections music festival. Sermanni, only 19, was accompanied by her seven piece band, the stage was full of young and encapsulating talent. The 3 fiddler players doubled up as backing vocalists and the percussionists took turns swapping over the various instruments for different songs. The whole performance was modestly confident and the interludes were intercepted with Rachel’s unknowing humour. The songs had a modern folk vibe with quirky lyrics and fantastic arrangements. The combination of Sermanni’s vocals, the string instruments and the backing singers ooh’s and ah’s formulated a hauntingly beautiful sound.

I would highly recommend seeing her especially if you want those memories of being at a festival in the sun to come flooding back or if you want to get excited about the summer already! They played an hour set with ‘The Fog’ being the track they’ve already “unleashed to the world”. The EP ‘Black Currents’ is out now and there are still tickets available for upcoming gigs, but be warned – she sells out fast. Defiantly one to watch out for!

Beat Sekas ‘Like to be’ Review

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Beat Sekas ‘Like to be’ Review

Posted on 24 October 2011 by Mizzle

The ‘Like to be’ track incorporates Producer Seeker DJ and the vocalist Erin Simpson. The remixes of this track are all about the energetic, electro, vibrant, and emotional sounds you feel throughout the beats.

Seeker has produced numerous other big, euphoric house and trance tracks. He began with progressive and melodic house, which then led to other strong influences from Electro and Swedish house. Over the past two years, Seeker has developed his music into a fresh and exciting sound.

With ‘Like to be’ he started from a vocal idea and then found the ‘beat’ at the end, this made the name Beat Sekas rather appropriate. Both extended version and radio edit contain the complete vocals of Erin, whereas the others only have snippets.

After listening to all the mixes I felt different emotions, from wanting to jump around with glow sticks, to relaxing and listening to the beats. Initially when I first started listening to them, I felt like these would be great to work out to, but then when listening through all the tracks again different emotions come out.

I found that the pitch and sound of Erin’s voice goes great with the beats and gives more of an emotional feel throughout. Out of the five mixes, The Original (Radio Edit) has to be my favourite. It starts straight away without the repetition of the beat at the beginning which I prefer as I felt the other versions were a little slow. It has a great amount of vocals to make you feel all the emotions.

After listening to all the versions they really made me think and relate to two quite random films, ‘Kevin and Perry go large’ and ‘White Chicks’. The massive clubs scenes in places like Ibiza are where I can really picture these tracks thriving.

Overall I think these mixes are really uplifting, energetic, emotional and inspiring, definitely something you should keep your ears open for in the clubs.

Danielle Salt

Kraak en Smaak Live at The Big Chill Festival

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Kraak en Smaak Live at The Big Chill Festival

Posted on 31 August 2011 by Glenn Tucker

Having interviewed ‘Kraak en Smaak’ only a short while ago I was delighted to see they were on the line up for The Big Chill. My initial addiction to the Netherlands based band was introduced through their latest album, ‘Electric Hustle’. I immediately fell in love with the Jazz funk style and had previously asked them a couple of questions about their preferred performance style (live or DJ set?)
With the only competition on at the same time being Kanye West I found this the perfect opportunity to see for myself just how funky Kraak en Smaak could be and I wasn’t disappointed.

For some strange reason they started their set with “Turrell’s Lament” which is quite an easy going, wind down track taken from Electric Hustle that fits well on the end of the album but seemed bizarre at the beginning of the live gig, however as the song gained momentum it was the perfect precursor to the rest of the show.

As they had mentioned to me before they have a full range of instruments on stage including drums, bass, keys and female and male vocalists and this really came together as they got further and further into their gig.

The highlight had to be the live version of “Call Up To Heaven” and “Dynamite”. Both of these tracks had a completely different sound to them when performed live and the tent, which was quiet at first, soon filled up.

It was strange to hear such a difference from an album sound and a live set and the only people I can compare them too are Groove Armada. The usual chilled and relaxed sounds on an album really come to life on stage and you end up with this energetic infusion of funky and upbeat.

If you get the chance I would highly recommend seeing Kraak en Smaak perform live but if you miss the chance you should still get involved with their latest album.

Glenn Tucker

Aliases – Safer Than Reality (Basick Records)

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Aliases – Safer Than Reality (Basick Records)

Posted on 11 August 2011 by Mizzle

Review by Ali Harris

Aliases arrive in a torrent of thudding double-kick drum, rattling bass and guitars so fiddly, fast and fat it’s like a swarm of wasps streaming out the speakers and enveloping your head.
‘What’s Left For Us?’ asks the opening track of debut Safer Than Reality, a question guitarist Graham ‘Pin’ Pinney probably asked himself when his superb band, Sikth, split after just two albums.
As short-lived as they were, Sikth’s unique brand of meticulous, mad metal was enough to ensure they scrawled their name in the dusty book of UK rock legends: shoving themselves, spitting and screaming, somewhere near Skunk Anansie and Slade.

But there’s been a void in the UK’s burgeoning tech-metal scene since Sikth’s sad departure – one which, on this evidence, Aliases will more than capably fill.

It’s instantly clear that Aliases is a different beast to Sikth –more focussed, more direct, more metal, and even more memorable.
Safer Than Reality is a delicious statement of intent: a jolty, jerky, metal-up-your-carsie mini-album packed with beguiling riffs, anthemic choruses and brain-boggling rhythms.
“They control you!” screams Jay Berast, a vocalist as versatile as he is vicious, as aforementioned opener What’s Left For Us? bounces into the first of many big, catchy choruses on this album.
Drummer Darren Pugh hits his kit like he just found out it slept with his missus. Leah Woodward is a refreshingly talented female guitarist – her frantic fingers will make many male metal axemen blush with shame – and bassist Joe Heaton has more funky slap in his hands than a dodgy make-up salesman.
If the layered vocals on the opening track are a tad reminiscent of Sikth’s schizophrenic dual singing combo, Mikey and Justin, by the time the song crashes into the awesome Reality of Beliefs, Aliases’ personality is stamped into your forehead.
Berast’s vocals flit between coy and colossal: hollering harmonies on We Never Should Have Met; screaming with the force of a jet engine on All That Glitters Is Gold; and summoning dark demons for climactic closer Sirens.
The best bit comes during Whilst I Drown: the song splits down the middle to reveal a monstrous riff so head-noddingly huge it’ll give you whiplash, tear your head off, then stomp away with it down the street, shaking cars, walls and lamp-posts like a B-movie beast.
There’s no hiding the fact that Safer Than Reality is a challenge to listen to, especially if you’re used to straight-up 4/4 stadium clap-along rock.
The band tear through time-signatures and genres, prying you from Sikth purgatory with switchblade-quick prog and punk, punctuated perfectly with pop.
And you’ll be richly rewarded for repeat listens. Safer Than Reality is a clinically-executed exercise in technique, melody and groove: the ultimate in guitar geekdom and a musical masterclass.
5/5

http://www.facebook.com/aliasesband

Laura tells all about Deeds of the Nameless – ‘Exit Wound’

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Laura tells all about Deeds of the Nameless – ‘Exit Wound’

Posted on 25 July 2011 by Mizzle

Comprising of brothers Ben and Richard Bueno, both on guitar and vocals, and the identical Kennedy twins, Steve on bass guitar and Dan on drums, Deeds of the Nameless are a British quartet from London, set to rock your socks off!

With fans such as Biffy Clyro, Ian Brown and Mystery Jets (to name but a few) I was interested to hear what Deeds of the Nameless had to offer,  and the answer to this is quite a lot so it seems and their music shows variation across the genres.

They have been described as “Black Sabbath playing The Beatles” and their single Exit Wound shows no exception.  The opening guitar riff is reminiscent of Coheed and Cambria, with the haunting vocals of Simon and Garfunkel; a strange juxta-position that harmonises perfectly together and managing to nod a salute to the long ago days of classic rock, whilst seamlessly incorporating a contemporary edge.

The track is both haunting and edgy and as someone who likes to visualise what I am listening to, this track would work perfectly in a film soundtrack.

The remix of Exit Wound, featuring Dabbla, Jim Baxter, Dubbledge and Stig of the Dump gives the track a complete makeover, with both a hip-hop and Nu-Metal vibe, bringing to mind thoughts of The King Blues and Linkin Park.

Whilst Exit Wound is a song that slowly engulfs you, Deeds of the Nameless smack you right in the face with their other single Run This Town and you soon find yourself bopping along to this track, as it sweeps you up in its raw rock riffs and vocals.

I instantly liked this song  and Deeds of the Nameless get a big thumbs up from me, with the feeling that they would blow you away at live performances and prove that we Brits can rock with the best of them!  Definitely a band I will be keeping me eyes and ears on…

The Supermen Lovers – ‘Foundation Disco EP’

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The Supermen Lovers – ‘Foundation Disco EP’

Posted on 23 July 2011 by Glenn Tucker

Supermen Lovers? You mean the one who did Starlight? Yeah awesome tune, good memories, really catchy. Me and a friend of mine used to imitate the video when the rat and the potato (or whatever it was) realised that they could collaborate their musical magic and held up the cables as an open invitation to get together and go music mad, and yes it was a sad moment when only the rat got taken away by the aliens.

Ten years later I feel bad for not feeling the same about “Keep the Funk Alive” but there was no moonshine nor starlight here for me. The melody and beat was slow and funky, which isn’t a bad thing, its comfortable, like when you walk on those furry carpets and you don’t want to get off but would rather lie down and curl up for a few hours. Safe and sound.

If I was on that carpet now and I listened to this, nothing would make me want to move. Its easy listening and I might bob my head about in time to the steady beat but I wouldn’t feel prompted to get up and dance, the tune seems to lack progression. It has similar references to Kraak en Smaaks recent album which represents a similar funky genre, but “Keep the Funk Alive” doesn’t seem to reach the depth or height that I found in Kraak en Smaak. Bring on the crescendo, pick up the tempo…. please, I think there are fleas in this carpet and I want to get off.

Final in about the third quarter it seems to pick up a bit as the lyrics come back in but the momentum soon drops off again and puts me back on my flea infested carpet.

The second track on the EP; Eagle Shadow followed a similar trend, except now i’m playing on a Sega mega drive and listening to a more interesting early 90s computer game soundtrack. Again, it seems the track is slightly lacking depth and doesn’t seem to get me going or provide anything catchy for me to pick up and get excited about.

Although this all seems very negative I did mention it was ten years ago when Starlight got me moving and grooving (yes I tried to groove) and how I long for those days when it all seemed so exciting but nowadays I’m kind of enjoying lying around on my comfy carpet (it’s not really flea infested), and not getting too excited or staying out too late. An easy groove and funky beat fits perfectly in the background as me and my friends chill out on the balcony on another summer evening and it actually all works out well.