DREAM STATE – RECOVERY – REVIEW

The second EP from Dream State, ‘Recovery’, has hit our platforms, bringing with it a hype across the rock scene as to just who the Welsh 5-piece actually are. Quickly building up a hype and audience and being placed onto festivals and shows across the country has great connotations, but do the 5-piece really have something to show?

‘White Lies’ ultimately showed the biggest developmental change from their debut ‘Consequences’ back in 2015. Helping the 5-piece find their sound and audience the track, while not being the most outstanding creation in the scene, does hold creativity and potential Dream State have. Pushing forward on this track, the rest of the EP is developed thoroughly and well, with massive choruses and build-ups to truly form not just a sound, but an atmosphere. Similarly, ‘Solace’ also reinforces the EP’s massive atmospheric rocking choruses. Even though vocalist CJ’s vocals are the main standout of all the tracks, ‘Solace’ finds a way to stick in your head with the catchy backing infused so well into the chorus and bridge.

‘In This Hell’ once again sells the bands hard work and style development while ‘Help Myself’ brings forward the heaviest post-hardcore tinged rock style track Dream State encapsulate so well. Yes, CJ’s powerful vocals do form a central focus of the EP, yet this doesn’t bring down any of the other parts of the Ep’s creation either. Both Aled and Rhys guitar work carefully fits to help emphasise the slower, emotional moments and truly help power the faster heavier elements.

However, ‘New Waves’ is ultimately the most different of the three singles, let alone the whole EP. Instead of taking a more generic approach with a large pounding track to end on, Dream State instead have created the softer track of the EP. Not saying this track is a completely different genre to the rest, but ‘New Waves’ does pull itself apart from the rock/post-hardcore style of the EP ever so slightly to stand out alone.

One thing that is questionable though is the tracklist of the EP itself. Being formed of three already released singles over the last year and two new tracks, there just wasn’t as much to expect compared to if the EP was formed of newer tracks.

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Dream State will become huge. This EP proves it and if the band keeps up this great performance and production streak, they can easily launch themselves further, perhaps even to an international scene sooner than expected.

Rating: 8/10

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TRACK OF THE WEEK 20/05/18 – TRASH BOAT – SHADE

Coming back with a new single ‘Shade’ ahead of the release of anticipated album ‘Crown Shyness’, Trash Boat have our track of the week!

Being released on July 20th, the follow-up release of ‘Nothing I Write You Can Change What You’ve Been Through’ is set to be pretty big from this single alone. Make sure to check it out below!

AS IT IS ARE BRINGING BACK THE GREAT DEPRESSION

Well, not quite. As It Is have announced the release of their third studio album, titled ‘The Great Depression’.

Moving from the 50’s era style of ‘Okay’, the pop-punk group have now switched up their look to become much darker, bringing more conversation to the stigma of mental health.

‘we’ve approached this subject with the tremendous respect and sensitivity it warrants.’ Says As It Is frontman Patty Walters, ‘Mental health awareness and prioritisation has always been immensely important to us, and we want to use this platform for good and to challenge problematic behaviours and stigmas.  More so than ever before, we’ll be working alongside incredible non-profits, donating proceeds to worthy causes, and using our music in hopes of creating a positive change.”

‘The Great Depression’ will drop on August 10th 2018 through Fearless Records and brings a slightly more unconventional approach to its tracklisting. Coming in four distinct sections, the album has 12 tracks all falling under a category.

Stage I: Denial

01. The Great Depression

02. The Wounded World

03. The Fire, The Dark

Stage II: Anger

04. The Stigma (Boys Don’t Cry)

05. The Handwritten Letter

06. The Question, The Answer

Stage III: Bargaining

07. The Reaper (ft. Aaron Gillespie)

08. The Two Tongues (Screaming Salvation)

09. The Truth I’ll Never Tell

Stage IV: Acceptance

10. The Haunting

11. The Hurt, The Hope

12. The End.

As It Is are now bringing you Stage 1, with their new single ‘The Wounded World’.

ASHFIELDS – WE DON’T TALK – REVIEW

‘The most hard-working band to brace Nottingham’. This is how rising unsigned band ASHFIELDS have been described since their formation in late 2015. Following the release of their debut EP ‘New Skin’ last April, ASHFIELDS are now ready to release their newest single ‘We Don’t Talk’

The track has a good opening, something that differs from your generic indie-rock release, instead bringing a more simplistic approach. Yet, it’s simplicity of the opening that truly helps bring the powerful chorus to life. With the intense vocals standing out against the instrumentals of the track, it can appear that parts of the track are left behind, but this is no issue whatsoever. Following the more simplistic approach to the backing, this helps bring out the vocals even more, amplifying the message further. However, it’s at the bridge of a track where a song can easily fall down, but as predicted this is definitely not the case for Ashfields. If anything, the bridge gives ‘We Don’t Talk’ that extra push forward to stand out amongst the rest in the indie genre.

Ashfields have put a lot of work into their new single. With its release, so soon after their debut, this band are very determined to get their music heard and so it should be. Ashfields have good potential behind them and they’re ready to prove it.

Rating : 8/10

MAYDAY PARADE ANNOUNCE ONE OFF UK SHOW

Mayday parade have announced a one off UK show later this year!

The show is set for June 8th at Newcastle’s Riverside, becoming the first date the band have returned to the UK for their new album release.

Mayday Parade’s new album ‘Sunnyland’ is set for release on June 15th 2018!

BEHIND THE SCENES OF YOU KNOW THE DRILL – ‘SNAKE EYES’

Birmingham pop-punk band You Know The Drill recently announced their sophomore EP ‘Selfhood’ with the release of new single ‘Snake Eyes’. ‘Selfhood is a word which describes the quality that makes up a person and just being aware and proud of who you are, which really resonated with us as we wrote this EP. Explains vocalist Benji Yapp. ‘We tried not let ourselves be limited by the “pop-punk” label and write without worrying what people were going to think, which definitely ended up benefitting the record.’ Make sure to familiarise yourself with the video below and read just what the guys had to say about it!

From the moment we hit record on this E.P, we knew Snake Eyes had to be the first single. It’s very different to any other song we’ve done before, it has a very raw edge with rather dark connotations. We originally had this super intense plot in mind for the narrative of the video, but we scrapped that when we realised we wanted the video to not take away from the song. Once we had Joey from IHOW on the track, we knew we wanted to include him somehow in the video. So I came up with the idea of having the set decorated with loads of different TVs, which would play these creepy, unsettling images throughout the video, before turning to static to reveal Joey on all the screens for his section.

 

The video was shot at a dance studio somewhere in Hoddesdon with Lifeisart Visuals, whom we were previously a big fan of. They’ve done some amazing videos in the past for bands like As It Is and Trash Boat, so getting to work with them was amazing. Prep for the shoot took weeks as we had to try and track down as many unwanted TVs as possible to  stick with green fabric to create the green screen effect!

 

The video shoot very nearly didn’t happen as our van consistently broke down on the motor way. We were convinced we’d have to cancel and lose all our money on the shoot, but luckily in small doses we managed to get there! Oddly enough we managed to drive back just fine without any problem whatsoever! All of the b-roll footage broadcast across the screens was actually shot ourselves on our phone cameras. The snake seen on the TVs is actually owned by Damo and his name is Dave, it’s his first acting job and we couldn’t be more impressed with his performance!

 

During the shoot Luke (Guitar) got a little too rock and roll and managed to kick a dent in his guitar cab whilst attempting a cool spin, so if you look closely in the video you might be able to spot the damaged speaker cabinet!”

Selfhood is set to be released on Scylla Records on June 22nd!

INTERVIEW – SUE – THE HELLFREAKS

Can you please introduce yourself, your role in the band and your favourite album to this date?

Hello there, here is Sue – singer & only former band member of The Hellfreaks. Music and especially underground punk, hardcore, psycho – scene life has always been big part of my life, so it’s hard to pick out one album. So my choice might surprise you even more as I pick a hardrock band & hardrock is by far not my favorite genre – but this piece just packed me in so unexpectedly.  I guess the album that I have listened to more than anything else is Going To Hell from The Pretty Reckless. Despite that I could mention any Distillers album.

The new generation of The Hellfreaks came to life in 2015 after the band split in 2014. What was the decision behind the comeback?

I moved away from my hometown Budapest to Germany, Berlin at that time of the split up, and was struggling really hard with accepting my new situation without music, with building up a new life without having a band. It was more or less like a very heavy break up, that dragged me shockingly deep down.  It was a heavy period for me and right when I started to accept the situation we got the invitation to the Ink ‘n’ Iron Festival, a legendary festival in Long Beach, California. It literally brought the band back to life: but we had to leave the old weights behind. That’s why we came back with new members, a new spirit and new energy – I think this email changed my life more than any other lines so far. This invitation meant the rebirth of The Hellfreaks. When we saw this invitation, me & our old drummer Rico knew that we just have to figure out a way to make it back with The Hellfreaks on stage, as it is really rare to face this possibility as a group from Hungary.

Your latest album Astoria was released at the beginning of 2016. Are there any plans for a new album?

Plans are not enough to write a new longplayer!
We are already working on it. Honestly, we have been working on it for a pretty long time now; we’ve been in the songwriting process for quite a year. It takes us much longer than ever before, but not because of lack of inspiration, way more because we’ve changed the whole concept of our songwriting. The new songs are not born in the rehearsal room anymore.
It had been a long way till we were able to manage possibilities at home to work and record on demos – so now we’re going much more into details, concepts and selecting with an ice cold heart to put the right pieces, ideas and songs together for the upcoming album.
Our fans are used to getting a different sound with each album, and we’re still far from the end, but it is out of question that this album will for sure be the next step in the right direction for us. Or at least “right” in our point of view, but we are happy to see the development of our work. Everyone who liked Astoria, will for sure LOVE the upcoming one.

You’ve also had the chance to tour across parts of Europe and America, do you prefer to tour in the US or Europe?

There are no preferences. US & Europe are two totally different worlds for us, however, they have the same feeling on the stage. Of course there are pros and cons on both sides. We’ve toured way more in Europe, so there are clubs all across the continent we play regularly at, and where we feel like home after all these years. Compared to the US, it’s small, so the distances are manageable.
US is still a new world for us. It gave us way much more stories to tell and there is so much we still haven’t seen. So we really hope that we will make it back soon. But there are also other places on our bucket lists, like Japan or Australia, that we really want to, but couldn’t make it so far.

What was one of your favourite shows and why?

After hundreds and hundreds of shows its impossible to answer.
There are some special shows that left some bigger footprints in my mind. For example our gig at the Wave Gothik Treffen, where we played in front of a couple of thousands of people for the first time. Or our gig at Force Attack, where the organizer of the festival just left with all the money in his pocket, and literally left anarchy behind. I’d never seen a festival so much out of control, but we didn’t hesitate to do the concert anyway. Or the gig at Ink’n Iron – maybe not because it was as special a gig, but it was a special feeling. A feeling of “I’m back again.”.

You describe your genre as modern punk-rock- riot, what influences your genre style?

We started as a psychobilly influenced band, which is a very strict genre. Music & lyrics-wise it has its magical world, but is also has its boundaries. So after the rebirth of The Hellfreaks, the biggest issue was to leave all these boundaries behind. But there wasn’t really a fixed concept. We all come from different  genres – all kids of rock music, but I guess I don’t have to describe how wide this genre still is. So it was much more like that: we put all together what we had and just let ourselves be surprised by the outcome.
Our very first song of the new line up was “Back To My Planet” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qr7CvojaliA) Personally, I think that this is the only new generation song where you can still hear some of the old rock’n roll feeling. After that we dared to make the second step of finding our own new sound and that was the flow how Astoria came alive.
We learned a lot during the recording process – we learned the strengths and weaknesses of each other and based on that, we are just trying to do and create everything in a way where each of us can shine with their best side.

What is next on the list for The Hellfreaks?

Writing and recording the best album ever in our history. We already have a videorecording planned for this summer and of course we’re having a couple a of clubshows and also some major festivals around Europe this summer. Come and join us!
05.05 – Hungary, Székesfehér at Nyolcas Műhely
01.06 – Romania, Revolution Festival 13.07 – Serbia, EXIT Festival 16.08 – Czech Republic, Pod Parou Festival 03.10 – Germany, München at Bürgerhaus Glockenbachwerkstatt04.10 – Germany, Ludwigsburg at Rocknrollbar Ludwigsburg05.10 – Switzerland, Meyrin at Undertown06.10 – Italy, Treviso at Nasty Boys01.11 – Germany, Hannover at SubKultur 02.11 – Germany, Erfurt at Ilvers Musikbar03.11 – Germany, Berlin at Wild At Heart16.11 – Hungary, Budapest at Robot

Which of your tracks describes The Hellfreaks the best?

“I’m Away” is pretty much the best to summarize The Hellfreaks.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=guaEK62mxno