Tag: new

AS IT IS – THE GREAT DEPRESSION – REVIEW

Inkling desires for a change in style have pushed As It is to a much grittier approach, one that borders the post-hardcore genre. Falling away from the jukebox happy 50’s style release ‘Okay’, As It Is are taking us back further in time, to a time of ‘The Great Depression’.

Interestingly, the 12-track album is split into four sections, ‘Denial’, ‘Anger’, ‘Bargaining’ and ‘Acceptance’. While not apparent at first, the tracks do relate to their corresponding sections, despite not entirely adding any extra flair to the album. ‘The Two Tongues (Screaming Salvation)’ not only creates a deeply eerie opening, but also strikes the conflict of two sides, Wife or Death, good vs bad. Not only does the track incorporate vocals from lead guitarist Ben Langford-Biss, but also conceptualises the idea of the albums protagonist ‘The Poet’s’ struggle. On the other hand, ‘The Stigma (Boys Don’t Cry)’ is a full honest approach to the stigma of male mental health. The sarcastically styled satire of the track approaches anger in a different view, one that mocks the stigma that ‘Boys Don’t Cry’. This is where the bands previoua pop-punk approach comes in, bringing a catchy chorus keeping the satirical message cyclical in attempts send a message.

However, the lack of Langford-Biss’ gritty vocal input does give a very personalised theme to the tracks and with the outspoken nuance of speak out, but never be listened to being cycled so constantly, it’s the incredibly impacting lyricism presented that adds the final kick. ‘The Haunting’ causes a forcefully impacting image. If the echoing chorus lyric ‘You dream to die’ isn’t forceful enough, the saddening expression of your sister staring at your grave truly forces the listener to first hand to the message, something also expressed in the closing track of the album. ‘The End’ was written according to Langford-Biss ‘In the case of Chester [Bennington] who was so open in both his lyrics and away from music, often people aren’t really listening’. Yet, it is perhaps the powerful spoken word ending that leaves the biggest impact. The creation of the image of ‘crimson arms’ and a ‘broken neck’ to ‘tell me you made this choice’ is paired with the intensive painful emotion heard through Walters vocals, something that doesn’t always come through in music, but try shows a vulnerability willing to be exposed to send a message.

Yet, through the gritty raw kicks As It Is bring to the album, the band do know how to bring a softer sensitive side to their music. Through the inherently powerful messages of how mental health awareness shouldn’t be stigmatised, ‘The Truth I’ll Never Tell’ instead shows a more sensitive personal view, that behind such an inherent desire comes the true feelings behind it. It is here that lyrically, this track has more underlying than what would appear at a surface level listen. That’s the beauty and severity of the lyricism of almost the tracks on this album, the depth lies when you truly wish to listen. Musically, ‘The Fire, The Dark’ brings a personalised sensitivity through its simplistically styled backing and heavy bassline courtesy of Ali Testo, incorporating high melodic notes, similar to that of a lullaby, as a contrast to the deeper verses.

Simplicity however, doesn’t always help portray a message, this is where ‘The Question, The Answer’ perhaps falls. At first the acoustically styled opening portrays a questioning topic in lyricism, presented in a simplistic, yet, less interesting way. The issue occurs from the chorus, becoming overlayered and overcomplex with backing vocals, strings, melodic undertones and other unnecessary additions thrown in that don’t necessarily strengthen the track, especially towards its end. On the other hand, it is a lack of interesting additions that bring down the tracks. ‘The Handwritten Letter’, while probably having the most pop-punk style of the album, doesn’t bring anything to push it out among other tracks. Not to say these tracks aren’t good, but it is hard to stop them slipping into line of fillers ammount a hierarchy of strong singles and other tracks.

‘The Great Depression’ theme in itself is a microcosm for the huge issue of mental health and As It Is have a very strong album on their hands with a very strong message. If this is the new approach the band are taking, we could be in for a real diversion away from their original sound.

Rating: 8.5/10

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INTERVIEW – DIE SO FLUID

Read below as Die So Fluid attempt our A-Z interview…

A Song Which Made You Want To Make Music:

Adam and the Ants singles Ant Music, Stand and Deliver and Prince Charming definitely

triggered something.

Best Experience While On Tour:

Besides the great experience of playing live shows it’s really cool when crazy stuff happens like chatting to Gene Simmons in the entrance to Hooters, visiting Graceland on a day off in Memphis, voodoo houses in New Orleans, having Bernie Shaw from Uriah Heep come to your show, exploring and hanging out with friends we’ve made around the world in their home towns…

Cover you would really like to do?

Manic Depression rocks hard and is full of soulful yearning.

Deepest Lyrics One Of Your Songs Features:

Drew and I worked together on the lyrics to the title track of our album:

“How many versions of the truth

demand faith without proof

and murder unity

before it bears its fruit.”

Easiest Song You Wrote:

Some songs kind of write themselves, Happy Halloween did that.

Favourite album/single/EP you have released:

One Bullet From Paradise. https://diesofluid.bandcamp.com/music I like the single Bittersweet cus it’s so fun and sassy.

Greatest Show/Festival You Have Played:

One time we played Hard Rock Hell and we were having a tough time touring in heavy snow, but we made it, played a phenomenal set, and a fan who became a great friend brought all his ingredients with him and made us curry in his cabin that night. It’s a great memory of a fun night, great festival, great friends, great times.

Happiest Moment You’ve Experienced In The Band:

My happiest band moments are always when I’m lost in the music and I’m deeply connected to everything and everyone.

Interesting Fact About One Of Your Members:

I’m a certified yoga instructor and reiki practitioner.

Jokes You Have In The Band:

We have a lot of stoopid in- jokes that would make no sense unless you were there at their birth. We shared a bunch of silly music references especially Al who would throw in comedy backing vocals and song lyrics. It’s one of the things I miss most about him, he was a very funny man. I should add that he tragically passed away when we were about to record our latest album. Our friend Justin from Skinny Puppy stepped in and played on some tracks and mixed some too.

Kicking Off Your Set Is Best With Which Song:

Bitterness by Discipline

Longest Distance You’ve Travelled To Play A Show:

I guess 6000 miles to play the US starting in AZ, but I live in LA now so it’s all relative.

Movie That Best Represents The Band:

Lost Boys? Vampire films have the best symbolism and hey we’re a gang that will live forever in our music.

New Band You’d Recommend:

Ultraphonix- George Lynch’s new thing with Corey from Living Color.

Opening For This Band Would Be Ideal:

Deftones

Place You’d Most Like To Tour:

Australia and Japan.

Quote That You’d Like To Pass On To Readers:

Remember, true strength is not found in the stone, but in the water that shapes the stone”

Reason For The Title Of Your Recent/Forthcoming Release:

The album is called ‘One Bullet From Paradise’ and the title questions the dogma that has been warped into a tool to embolden soldiers. It was inspired by an essay from a journalist embedded in the wars in Daesh.

See Us Live At:

The Lexington, London UK, November 11.

The First Song You Ever Played Together As A Band:

Something off the first album – we really only play originals.

Unusual Merchandise:

We have a cool baseball shirt available at https://diesofluid.bandcamp.com/merch featuring the unusually brilliant artwork of Dan Schaffer, creator of Dogwitch.

Variations You’d Like To Do On Any Of Your Songs:

A lounge version of Kiss The Floor. We heard something in the background of an old Bettie Page burlesque dvd that sounded just like it!

Worst Experience On Tour:

Take you pick between getting electrocuted by a mic with ungrounded wiring, sleeping in a rat infested backstage bunker or on the floor of an airport with delayed flights…it’s all part of the rich tapestry of tour life.

X -rays Or Any Other Treatments For Band Related Injuries:.

I had to have a hip X-ray after falling down a 6 ft hole at the back of the stage in the dark. It was the end of the set in Leeds, I managed to clamber out to play the encore with tears in my eyes. Adrenalin is an amazing thing.

Your Favourite Show You’ve Ever Played:

Sold out hometown London show at Dingwalls. Amazing energy and atmosphere.

Zoo Animal That Best Describes The Band:

Rhino! They’re built so fierce but beautiful and unique. Please check out my friend’s cause, there’s some awesome photos there too. http://www.pedalingagainstpoaching.com

TRACK OF THE WEEK 05/08/18 – AS IT IS – THE FIRE, THE DARK

With a new album set to come out in 5 days, As It Is’ new single ‘The Fire, The Dark’ is our track of the week!

Speaking of the track, singer Patty Walters says, “The Fire, The Dark’ is about self-destruction. Weighed down by his regrets and resentments, The Poet turns to habits of self-destruction as a coping mechanism, isolated and completely withdrawn from the world, neurotic and unstable, consequently jeopardising his relationship with his wife. 

This song in particular is one of the boldest musical departures from the As It Is many have come to know. It was a pleasure and a privilege writing this song alongside Larry Hibbitt of Hundred Reasons, a band whose sound directly influenced ‘The Great Depression’s darker direction.”

As an introduction to ‘The Great Depression’, Walters also comments that The Great Depression’ is about the societal romanticisation of depression, the disrepair of present-day human connection, told through the story of a man who finds himself face-to-face with Death. This album is about asking questions rather than offering answers, exploring the lines where consolation and glorification collide, and asking if art is too subjective to offer a universal solution. 

We’ve approached this subject with the tremendous respect and sensitivity it warrants. 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.”

GIG REVIEW – EMPLOYED TO SERVE – WOLVERHAMPTON 24/07/18

24 degrees and a sweaty metal show may turn some people away, but with a lineup as strong as tonight with Dead Hands, Leeched, Rough Hands and Employed To Serve, this was not one to miss

Being a local support can bring a range of reaction possibilities. If anything, Dead Hands (8/10) actually brought a very good performance and created a great reaction, despite a smaller crowd size. Aside from the slight awkward talks between tracks, the stage presence was very high and technicality in their music was replicated almost perfectly with very little faults. Dead Hands were a very good pick for a support and hopefully gained more supporters through the night.

Leeched (5/10) being the first of the full tour supports would give them some hope to be entertaining, yet there wasn’t much to them. There wasn’t too much of a structure to their tracks, not bringing as much of a reaction. Musically the three-piece were average and didn’t show much versatility or energy on stage. Whether this was a bad night for them or not, they just need to give a bit more energy into their show.

Rough Hands (7/10) put on a pretty good show. For a relatively unheard of band, they gave a pretty good performance as a whole. With impressive vocal talent and on beat backings, they kicked off to a good start. The problem is, without a strong stream of energy throughout, things will start to head downhill and sadly this hit Rough Hands towards the end of their set. No doubt they can put on a show, it was just a little unfortunate that their energy blew out before the end.

It’s easy to see why Employed To Serve (9/10) are riding as one of the hottest new metal bands of 2018. Not only did they raise the heat of The Slade Rooms but they also completely raised the bar in terms of musical performance and versaitity. Playing their critical success ‘The Warmth Of A Dying Sun’.

Bringing an extremely polished opening with ‘Void Ambition’ the show set off to a great start, evoking incredibly enthusiastic reactions from their audience. While it is expected that their most popular tracks/singles such as ‘I Spend My Days’ and ‘Good For Nothing’, even tracks between such as ‘Never Falls Far’ still brought an extremely polished set. In terms of the show as a whole, a few technical issues were apparent. While these never held up the show too much, there still will be a slightly awkward pause, one that is often unavoidable. While this was unavoidable at points, after the few guitar tech issues, the show picked up again within seconds.

Yet, Frontwoman Justine truly helped lead the show, showing extreme versatility with almost perfect vocal talent and instrumental ability through ‘Apple Tree’. It is clear that Employed To Serve have the potential and talent to put together a strong show, one that not only evokes a good reaction, but sounds polished and clean throughout. For a show themed around WOADS, stage presence and setting was not something left behind. Small stages could have compromised this, yet the matching ETS jackets, amp banners and backline banner made it 100% clear Employed To Serve were here to leave an impression.

Employed To Serve have an incredible tour ahead of them, ready to prove themselves to the UK scene. With the brilliant chemistry between each of the members and their ability to play to such a high level gives them a step ahead of everyone else. Make sure to catch them while you can.

INTERVIEW – CRYPITUS

Check out CRYPITUS as they take on the A-Z interview below…

A Song Which Made You Want To Make Music:

Pete: When I was a really young kid I loved doo-wop music so probably Rockin’ Robin.

Zach: Metallica’s master of puppies and Pantera’s Cowboys from Hell.

Joe: Frayed ends of Sanity by Metallica.

Doug: 99 Ways to Die – Megadeth

Best Experience While On Tour:

Pete: Crowd surfing at the Psychostick show we played.

Zach: Our airbnb in Baltimore. I felt really pampered

Joe: Canada is cool.

Doug: We had some amazing beach time in Quincy on this last tour!

Cover you would really like to do?

Pete: Good Mourning/Black Friday by Megadeth

Zach: Toto – Africa

Joe: I don’t like covers that much.

Doug: The Ultra-Violence – Death Angel

Deepest Lyrics One Of Your Songs Features:

Pete: “Now we all live in a world with danger”

Zach: Check out Symphony #1

Doug: “In the dark of the world where they all lay, broken matter, dreams are shatters such disarray.”

Easiest Song You Wrote:

Pete: Symphony #1 because Doug already had it written.

Zach: No such thing

Joe: Doug writes most stuff. Breakdown is easy though.

Doug: Seriously, what are easy songs to write.

Favourite album/single/EP you have released:

Pete: Our demo still kicks some ass.

Zach: Our full length… Not released yet

Joe:  We have a demo and a single that are cool.

Doug: Danger is the best yet!

Greatest Show/Festival You Have Played:

Pete: The Psychostick show

Zach: The first time we went to Lewiston Maine. It was fucking nuts.

Joe: I don’t know about greatest but sammys patio in revere beach is cool.

Doug: Im gunna second Zach on this one.

Happiest Moment You’ve Experienced In The Band:

Pete: Getting to make music with my best friends.

Zach: The moment we realized Joe Minard II was in it for the long haul

Joe: Just hanging with friends makes me happy.

Doug: First successful tour!

Interesting Fact About One Of Your Members:

Pete: I was born in Texas.

Zach: Dougles Friends pronounced dug-els friend, and it’s really his real name.

Joe: Zach has lots of puppies

Doug: Zach is the master of most reality.

Jokes You Have In The Band:

Pete: Our song Out of Line is really called Apple Pie

Zach: The cumming of the whale snake… Cumming soon

Doug: Our members hahahah

Kicking Off Your Set Is Best With Which Song:

Pete: Breakdown or Danger

Zach: Danger

Joe: Danger

Doug: Ash

Longest Distance You’ve Travelled To Play A Show:

Pete: 5+ hours to Maine or Connecticut

Zach: Richmond VA. It’s a few hours away

Joe: I can’t remember 5+ hours to a few places.

Doug: Richmond was ten hour hours from home atleast.

Movie That Best Represents The Band:

Pete: Fear and Loathing

Zach: Don’t mess with the Zohan

Doug: Bill and Ted

New Band You’d Recommend:

Pete: Epicenter

Zach: Obtusum

Joe: An Unction in Braille

Doug: Xenophile.

Opening For This Band Would Be Ideal:

Pete: Exmortus or Between the Buried and me

Zach: Blotted science

Doug: Vovoid

Place You’d Most Like To Tour:

Pete: Australia

Zach: Singapore…. Hong Kong…. Seoul Sydney

Doug: Scandinavia

Quote That You’d Like To Pass On To Readers:

Pete: “Never half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing.”

Zach: Always keep a jar of marbles. Don’t lose them

Doug: Be the creator of your own fate.

Reason For The Title Of Your Recent/Forthcoming Release:

Pete: Our latest single was just the song name “Danger”

Zach: I have no idea

Doug: Our forthcoming is nameless at the moment.

See Us Live At:

Florence Ma 7-19

Wallingford Ct 7-20

Mechanicville Ny 7-21

Auburn Me 7-22

Revere Me 8-24

Rutland Vt 8-25

Richmond Me 9-1

Wallingford Ct 9-7

Burlington Vt 9-29

The First Song You Ever Played Together As A Band:

Pete: Breakdown, I think

Zach: No idea. It was 1 of 5

Joe: I think when I joined we played breakdown first.

Doug: It was one of the songs off the demo.

Unusual Merchandise:

Pete: We have T-shirts, patches, and stickers. Not that unusual.

Variations You’d Like To Do On Any Of Your Songs:

Pete: We’re always making changes or variations to our songs.

Doug: I’m always down for autobles

Worst Experience On Tour:

Pete: Doug being really hungover.

Zach: Having the owner tell us to leave before the shooting.

Doug: This fucking parking garage in Montreal that were being super shitty to me and ended like taking 30 CAD from me and I never even got a parking spot.

X-rays Or Any Other Treatments For Band Related Injuries:.

Pete: I broke my knee in a mosh pit with Doug and had to get it x-rayed, CT scanned, and drained of 100 ccs of blood. Still played our set that night too.

Doug: I broke Pete’s knee.

Your Favourite Show You’ve Ever Played:

Pete: Psychostick.

Zach: Psychostick.

Joe: Too many to name.

Doug: We had a basement show for my 21st Birthday that was pretty wild.

Zoo Animal That Best Describes The Band:

Pete: Chimpanzee

Zach: The duck billed platypus. We’re really unique and we have venomous spurs on our heels

Joe: giraffe.

Doug: Monkeys; better keep an eye out for all the shit we are throwing your way!

LIFELUST – SOCIOCIDE – REVIEW

Is our society falling into a state of self-destruction? This is the question alternative metal Band Lifelust are asking in their latest release ‘Sociocide’.

The track itself has a deeper context, far from that of something simplistic and plain, instead delving into something much more serious. The tracks focal point is its title ‘Sociocide’, the “the self-destruction of a society” and in the track, falling into oblivion. From a deeper insight, lyrically this track as previously stated knocks down into something more serious, a factor that can sometimes be lost within the complexity of the tracks rhythm and breakdowns. However, Lifelust hit the mark with ‘Sociocide’, spreading their internal message across very cleverly. In terms of its post-hardcore balance, the tracks smooth transition from screams to cleans is well achieved, leaving no gaps and saturating the outer presence of the song. Whole the track is mainly atmospherically dark and heavy, the opening clean vocal segment at the beginning of the track is perhaps the one part that doesn’t fit quite as well. By no means does it not work, because it has a place, but at the same time seems a little odd, and is quickly shadowed compared to the rest of the track.

Overall, Lifelust have come out with a track that pushes the importance of meaning in a track and just how it can push a track forward. Lifelust have given ‘Sociocide’ a purpose, something fulfilling that they can spread, that they should be proud of.

Rating: 8/10