SINGLE REVIEW. BlackWaters – ‘Jarr’ed up Generation’

Release Date: 22nd June 2016

Genre: Indie-punk

Rating:★★★★

 

We first saw this South-England quartet at the Camden Rocks Festival earlier this month. Not only did they quickly stand out from the other up-and-coming acts playing throughout Camden on that day, but there was an almost instantaneous feeling of excitement with BlackWaters, that these guys were already on their  way to making their own mark on the scene as they played their explosive set at the Hawley Arms. Now, less than a month later, the boys have delivered in the form of another immersive, energetic single, ‘Jarr’ed up Generation‘.

The track opens with an old-school indie guitar riff courtesy of David Carpenter that is soon warmed up by the irresistibly catchy vocal ‘ooh’s. It is soon clear that this single is built around the distinct booming voice of Max Tanner. The carefully crafted lyrics tell a comical story of youthful angst, destructive boredom, and self-deprecation that is – as we all know – endlessly relatable. The chorus has the perfect rowdy-shout-along hooks and words, the kind that were met with great energy and vibes at Camden, and will surely go onto do the same in the BlackFutures gigs to come (the cover artwork featuring lead guitar David shows that alone!). Overall this track is a great rerelease to demonstrate the band’s professional development, and uncompromising punk identity.

 

 


Make sure you check out the new BlackWaters single here
You can also connect with the boys on facebook and twitter

 

 

Baker out.

INTRODUCING INTERVIEW – Heavy Static

 

Well this band may be heavy but they are nowhere near being static. With the pop-punk style vocals and heavy rock guitar lines courtesy of front man, Christian Patrick, Heavy Static are undoubtedly an energetic band who are on a mission. You can hear the band’s varying 70s influences in their most recent track ‘Andromeda’ (link below). This track has one purpose, to serve as all you need to understand what Heavy Static are about, and to make up your mind, – whether it be the choice of love or hate.

 

We got the chance to be introduced to the Toronto boys, to hear their opinions on the current music industry in which they operate, and their obscure passions, most notably their love of 80s horror films. “To me, [they] are so pure in their campy-ness. I’ve always loved how they unintentionally captured something that most movies today try so hard to do on purpose” This inadvertent encompassment of concept and feelings is something that Heavy Static also find themselves doing in their music. “I think we have a sound that captures something many get wrong nowadays”.

 

So are this band the coolest on the block? Perhaps, perhaps not. “Nothing done on purpose is cool. Cool is a side effect of honesty and I think that we’re a very honest band. Take yourself too seriously and you open yourself up to being laughed at. We have a very serious exterior in terms of our artwork and videos etc., but underneath that veneer is just three guys having fun.” It must, at least at times, be challenging and off-putting to operate in a new world of music where image, coolness and reputation is just as, if not more important than an artist’s music. Is this is a progressive move forward? Or a step in the wrong direction? Heavy Static go with the latter, complaining that “there’s a lack of honesty and everything is overly intentional”. Front man, Patrick goes onto say it’s resulted in “something being missing from today’s music and a big reason why I barely listen to anything new now – It’s bullshit and boring”.

 

Give Heavy Static a listen and make your own mind up here:

 

Don’t forget to also connect with them on facebook

 

EP REVIEW. Newborn’s new self-titled release

 

Release Date: June 14th

Genre: Alternative Rock

Rating:★★★★

Apprehensions are running high ahead of New York’s fresh alternative-rock quartet, Newborn’s debut EP release (Out June 14th). After interviewing the band (check it out here) and knowing how excited they are for this release, you can hear straight away that these boys are trying hard, and it just might have worked.

The opening track, ‘Runaround’ is characterised by the funk bass line running throughout the song reminiscent of early Red Hot Chilli Peppers, which makes for a somewhat mocking-style of front-man Allen’s romanticised criticisms of the youth of today. The heavy guitar sounds that peak at the choruses is where Newborn put their individual mark onto this track; it is steadily becoming their trademark.

The track ‘Gravity’ is the EP’s dark angel. With lyrics such as “drift away on liquid dreams, will you find out what they mean?” Newborn have made their next passionate endeavour into a troubled-love song since the first single ‘Beautiful Disguise’, with their own heavy twist. With Allen’s delicate vocal range during the reassuring “you won’t fall with me, I’ll be your gravity” Newborn here expose their vulnerable side, a very honest quality.

The subsequent hit, ‘Innocent Guilt’ continues to showcase the guitar style that Newborn are currently mastering, although it could be seen as slightly monotonous, it is more than overcompensated for by the alluring first single released by the band ‘Beautiful Disguise’. It is evident from not only Allen’s vocals but also Blake’s (drums) purposeful pacing of the song that this is an important release for the band – their first beauty. The rerelease of this track results in us listening to it from a different, even more appreciative perspective.

We are left with the lighter, more delicate track, ‘Old Soul’ to close this EP. With a soulful, bouncing guitar melody, and the amorous, you could almost be forgiven for thinking this band have a romantic side.

This self-titled release is sure to result in big progressions for New York’s Newborn, with an increasingly varying repertoire of talent and potential, the live performances are sure to be interesting, as well as the world is sure to start noticing these guys.

 

Newborn‘ is to be release June 14th on Soundcloud. 

Listen to the single, ‘Beautiful Disguise‘ here:

 

Also be sure to give’em a follow on facebook and twitter

Baker out.

 

CAMDEN ROCKS FEST REVIEW – The Cribs

Date: 4th June 2016 (Camden Rocks Festival)

Venue: The Electric Ballroom, Camden.

Genre: Indie/Garage-rock

Rating: ★★★★

 

So after a long day, of varying bands and tightly-packed venues, it was finally time for the naughties indie-rock legends to grace The Electric Ballroom and headline Camden rocks. Everyone was there to see it: committed fans, the convinced-at-the-last-minute and other bands who had played gigs today. Apprehension grew fast and relentless chants of “Wakefield” were getting louder and louder – but they were eventually met with a delivery of the good stuff. As the infamous Yorkshire Jarman brothers walk onto the stage and nonchalantly start playing their guitars, there is (as predicted) instant moshing, of the drunken, rowdy kind. 

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It’s only when seeing twins Gary and Ryan Jarman strum out their aging hits and scream down the mics, that you realise something about bands like The Cribs. They are a lucky by-product of musical crowd mentality. Their indie tales of shitty towns, young love and apethy are far from unique, bands had been doing it long before them (the likes of The Strokes and The Libertines to name a few) and bands were doing a remarkabley similar act since them (almost every up-and-coming indie-rock artist), and yet with their relatable image and knack for getting people riled up, they have transformed, and maintained their status of being one of the biggest cult bands in the UK. This is not to take anything away from The Cribs as an act, as you could not deny the incredible atmosphere that was instantly achieved at the Elecrtic Ballroom tonight, the crowd was a blurring swarm of chanting, shoving and jumping – the perfect rowdy mess that you would hope for at a gig like this. It is something that can only be achieved with a level of authenticity from bands such as The Cribs, however it is clear when watching them from a certain perspective that they are not doing anything overly different from the myriad of bands that showcased their talent and hunger across Camden Rocks today – and yet it is just working for them.

Notorious hits such as ‘Mirror Kisses‘ and ‘Men’s Needs‘ created a adoring crowd reaction unmatched by other attempts. People were simply manic, in the best possible way and this is what tonight was all about at Camden Rocks. The Cribs’s moment in the limelight represented everything that the bands who played today (regardless of genre) want to get to, and the kind of endless, and seemingly effortless success that The Cribs aren’t going to get sick of any time soon. This ‘you-had-to-be-there’ sort of cult atmosphere tonight just proves how important band identity and following is, to the point that it often surpasses the importance of the music quality (especially with indie music).

 

 

The Cribs’s are on twitter and facebook, check ’em out.

 

(All images: Steph Baker)

 

 

Baker out.

 

CAMDEN ROCKS FEST REVIEW – Tellison

Date: 4th June 2016 (Camden Rocks Festival)

Venue: The Forge, Camden.

Genre: Sad indie-rock

Rating:★★★★

Indie-rock favourites, Tellison have been relatively quiet since the release of ‘Hope Fading Nightly‘ (2015), so it was good to see them do their thing again and play this great festival, this sentiment was also be shared by obvious fans who almosted filled The Forge for the London lads tonight.

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The band started their set with ‘Helix and Ferman‘, with the audience echoing the chants of “Drink red wine, say you’re fine” along side Peter Phillips (guitarist) and Andrew Tickell (bass) while our front man sung troubled tales of struggle in love, the set started as it meant to go on. Tonight showcased the greatest, almost tangible connections that can be made between a great band and it’s endowed audience. I’m not sure whether this was more due to Stephen Davidson’s emotional, matter-of-fact voice or the genuinely humble audience interactions that frequented the time inbetween songs (“Look you’re here watching us while all the famoud bands play down the road, so thank you”) – but despite having some time-wasting technical difficulties, and a venue that did not entirely suit the band, Tellison managed to touch a lot of people tonight.

Tunes such as ‘Boy‘ and ‘Tact Is Dead‘ were strung out full of detailed guitar riffs and energetic drums, demonstrating how timeless, ageless and seamless Tellison‘s troubled indie-rock music really is. They even experiemented at times throughout the set, with some songs incorporating warm, delicate harmonies, and others having some heavier guitar lines and more relentless drums by Henry Danowski, these were met with positive crowd reactions. This is a personal band, who sing personally significant lyrics and enjoy playing intimate sets (regardless of the size of the venue room), and as the words and beats are seemingly pouring out of the musicians, the crowd stand in wonder and bliss.

 

 


What the crowd thought…

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“A fantastic, unique band that have invigorated my evening!”

 

Listen to Tellison’s tunes below:

You can also follow them on facebook and twitter

 

(All images: Steph Baker)

 

Baker out.

CAMDEN ROCKS FEST REVIEW – The Carnabys

Date: 4th June 2016 (Camden Rocks Festival)

Venue: The Forge, Camden.

Genre: Alternative-rock/Brit-pop

Rating: ★★★1/2

This Camden rocks gig was hosted by the Forge, one of the more lager venues of this festival that allowed for more open-air circulation of sound and room to move about. The Carnabys of Twikenham opened their set with ‘So Much Better On My Own’, an upbeat tune that showcased the great synergy between the energetic drumming and funky bass lines, and also gave front man Jack Mercer the chance to warm up the crowd.

Tracks such as ‘It’s Not My Party’ had Jack jumping around the stage, and filled the Forge with optimistic, brit-pop vibes. This band brought something different to Camden Rocks tonight, with their entertaining performances and choruses full of funloving hooks, they are a great example of a more tight and mature alternative rock band.

 

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The crowd steadily became more condensed, with committed fans fleeing to the front to chant the chorus lines back to the band. The Carnabys’ energy is not only carried but pushed out onto the audience by the strong-standing Jack and his powerful resounding vocals with the band’s music and upbeat vibes being carried and pounded out by the impressive drumming skills of James Morgan.

Despite covers usually being the lul of a band’s set, a moment where it is clear they have ran out of unique tracks and settle for something people will (hopefully) know, The Carnabys’ cover of David Bowie’s ‘Jene Genie’ was arguably the highlight due to the perfect suiting of this band with this song. Jack’s voice boomed out the lyrics, which hit him right back in the face as the crowd reciprocated them, and the music was seemingly in the musicians’ fun-loving comfort zone. This classic, British sound was continued through the rest of the set, and althought it would have been good to see their more adventurous side musically, the Twikenham boys gave Camden rocks authentic, brit-pop summer vibes.


What the crowd thought…

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“Great indie-pop vibes and good energy!”


 

Check out The Carnabys now below:

Also give them a follow facebook and twitter

 

(All images: Steph Baker)

 

Baker out.

CAMDEN ROCKS FEST REVIEW – Blackwaters

Date: 4th June 2016 (Camden Rocks Festival 2016)

Venue: The Hawley Arms, Camden.

Genre: Indie-Punk

Rating:★★★★

This was the young quartet’s first time playing Camden Rocks Fest, and boy, did they hit up a storm.

With an explosive opening number ‘Moon On A Stick‘ which has formed their most recent single (out now, link below), every member took the chance to show what they were all about, and why they deserved to be here today. The lead guitar excecuted energetic punk riffs which were carried by the strong drum beats that pounded throughout. Meanwhile, our front man encouraged “Come on, Camden!“, before screaming their lyrical hooks and leading the indie punk charge.

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The set continued with the more up-beat track ‘Blury Day‘, a highly dancable track that show-cased the diversity of this band. They dictated the vibes of the Hawley Arms track by track. As the room got more crowded, you got the impression that you were lucky enough to get a front row seat to a huge gig, not that you were seeing this band in the upstairs of a classic Camden pub – and this was all down to Blackwaters‘ consistent energy and power.

Blackwaters‘ set followed onto shake up the early-day crowd, with rough and wild track such as ‘Fiction‘ and ‘Pull Up Your Socks‘. The front man sung tales of heartbreak with angst and indie hooks dotting through the tunes, while the other band members were (at times quite literally) bouncing off eachother effortlessly, showing their strong connection and confidence in their music. The lead guitar even nearly had his head off while trying to balance on the stage’s high-up kick-drum.

Today’s set was pure indie punk magic, with the right hooks, guitar riffs and manic drumming from both genres that we all find irresistable. This band are so exciting and full of potential, their energy is relentless while their rough-around-the-edges sound gives them so much charm.


What the crowd thought…

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“Bloody brilliant”


Listen to Blackwaters‘ new single ‘Moon On A Stick‘ below:

Also don’t forget to follow them on facebook and twitter

(All images: Steph Baker)

 

Baker out

ONES TO WATCH. Carnivals with new single ‘Shadows’

Rating:★★★★☆
London quartet, Carnivals, are starting to make a name for themselves on the scene, with their psych-rock riffs and alluring leading voice of Cal Green blaring out all over town. Making their way around London after releasing debut single ‘Shadows‘, this is the sort of band that are going straight for the real deal, and skipping the inexperienced, half-hearted stage that you often have to endure with fresh alternative bands. This is why they are ones to watch.
 The musical influences that Carnivals thrive off are clearly wide-spread, with touches of the likes of The Temples,The Doors and The Growlers creeping through at various points in their material and image. Cal Green reveals his wealth of life-experience and wisdom in his voice, as can be heard in the debut single ‘Shadows‘, meanwhile fellow band members occasionally chime in with 70s-esk harmonies behind Cal.

The potential for some on-stage heavy energy is shown in the opening bars of this track as well as in Harry Wood’s drumming throughout. However, for now, Carnivals are focusing on showcasing their lyrical expertise, with warning words and melancholy tones. These are carried perfectly with Joe Hannen’s intriguing psych-pop riffs that are reminiscent of early Temples material.

Check out what Carnivals are made of below:

 

 

Carnivals have also announced that they will be gracing the Jack Rocks This Feeling stage at Isle of Wight Festival this month.

 

Check out Carnivals’ music now on soundcloud and youtube whilst giving them a like on facebook

 

 

Baker out

LIVE REVIEW – Sophie & The Giants, Machiavellis and HYLA at The Boileroom.

Date: 30 May 2016

Venue: Boileroom, Guildford

Tonight’s gig, hosted and promoted by The Boileroom and fello blog pals thnksfrthrvw was all about showcasing female-fronted bands from a variety of musical influences and genres. With a great selection of talent, a supportive crowd and good vibes all round, tonight’s gig did exactly what it set out to do.

 

First Support – HYLA

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Image: HYLA facebook

Rating: ★★★★★

HYLA are a self-proclaimed aggro-grunge quartet who have been “smashing shit up on stage since 2015” and they are not wrong. Seconds after sneaking onto the stage, the almost silent Boileroom exploded as Libby plummeted the bass drum, with Aaron (lead guitar) and Yani (bass) accompanying with heavy grunge riffs. And then lead vocalist Vicky Holburt began to sing, everything changed. It seems this band have mastered hardcore grunge in its basic, and sometimes predictable form from day 1, and have gone onto bring something entirely new to the table in the form of impassioned lyrics and vocals. Vicky’s voice is a perfect powerhouse of darkness. She lures you in with soft but cut-throat tales of betrayal and heartbreak being glided along by Aaron’s detailed riffs before reaching whole new heights of zealous screams surrounded by energetic drum beats and resounding basslines. 

Not only do this female-fronted band play with such synergy that it is surprising they have only being going for a year, but they perform on stage as if they are playing to the sell-out crowd they deserve. As the set got more daring track-by-track, the crowd’s reaction became increasingly positive. The group (with the encouragement of guitarist Aaron) tried a hardcore rap tune that went down an absolute treat. It was the perfect demonstration of how versatile the group’s talents are, but also how stunning Vicky’s voice is, no matter what you put it to.

Check out and connect with HYLA at their official website and facebook now.

Also check out their live talents below:

 

 

Main Support – Machiavellis

Rating:★★★★☆

 

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Image: thnksfrthrvw

 

Canterbury group, The Machiavellis are another example of how much a band can progress and impress within less than a year since. The group sauntered onto the Boileroom stage and gladly showcased their distinct musicianship with a bit of instrumental jamming to warm them up before embarking on their set. The Machiavellis’ sound is led by the almost-overwhelming talents of lead guitarist, Ruben, who throughout the set continued to embrace his daring creativity and showmanship. This is an alternative-rock/grunge band that excel in instrumental abilities as well as the knack of writing 90s hooks.

This female-fronted group are intriguing to say the least, with a clear amalgamation of musical influences including the likes of Peal Jam and Patti Smith, it is the sense of adventure and experimentation that flows through their hits that makes the band one to remember. Front-woman Megg shows off a delicate, yet impassioned voice that tell relatable tales of young love and angst, this is emphasised even more in selected tracks by the use of a duel-tone pedal which separates her voice into two distinct spheres intertwining beautifully together.

This is a band worth seeing live, even if only to see how their sound is broken down into individual inputs of the members. Up-beat drums carry the melancholic tracks, while lead guitar stammers through with intricate solos. Meanwhile, rhythm guitar and bass dictate the tone of each song, from 90s grunge to more recent indie-rock. A collection of musicians have come together to form The Machiavellis who are only going to get better and better.

Give this band a like and a follow on facebook and twitter

 

 

 

Headliners – Sophie and The Giants

Rating: ★★★★☆

 

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Image: Boileroom instagram

This is a band that are so comfortable in their own skin and with each other that half of them played tonight’s gig barefoot, while the other half were sauntering around the stage as if they were casually jamming together at home. Te first noticeable aspect of this band, (similarly to the support bands) is how can such an impassioned, ardent voice boom out of something so petit? This local group are amply named, as front-woman, Sophie did in fact seem to be surrounded by giants in regards to the size comparisons on stage, but this is more then compensated for with her huge, Florence-esk soulful vocals.

 

This indie-rock quartet have mastered their distinct sound, with each member playing their part to create a tightly polished collection of future hits. Set highlights included ‘Raspberry‘ and ‘All Along Nothing‘, we even got the delight of hearing a live rendition of their latest single, Lord Knows‘ (out now) which was met with positive acclaim from the growing crowd. As the set continued, the band grew more confident and energetic; part-way through, 3/4 of the band actually exited the stage, leaving us alone with Sophie’s voice to bounce off the walls. This solo track is beautifully written, with sinister lyrics “We are all human here, does that make us twisted?” that demonstrated her independent power is only emphasised by the accompaniment of screeching guitar-riffs and powerful drum beats. As their live experience develops, this band are only going to go on the up – a perfect female-fronted indie rock gem.

Like the band on facebook, give ’em a follow on twitter

And buy their new single ‘Lord Knows‘ out now on iTunes and Apple Music

 

Baker out

 

EP REVIEW. The Strokes – ‘Future Present Past’ a sign of their times?

This EP is the band’s first musical release in three long years. And the title of it is no mistake, so first let’s assess the Stroke’s interesting history before envouring the contents.

 

 The Past

The Strokes made such an iconic name for themselves in the indie underworld of New York, with ‘Is This It‘ (2001) commanding people to stop what the they were doing and reassess their current tastes and groupings. They have been running from it eversince (devistatingly for long-time fans).

 

The Present

Littered with mediocre solo albums, (Julian Casablancas, Phrazes for the Young and Albert Hammond,  Jr, ¿Cómo Te Llama?) and arguably half-hearted reunion appearences after the glow of ‘Comedown Machine’ calmed. guitarist Hammond, Jr hinted at new Strokes material while simultaniously sounding tentative and almost apathetic when discussing the various solo projects being endevoured by other leading members.

 

The Future

After the release of this daring collection of expressive hits in the form of this EP, are they…could they…should they go onto do a new album? Are this band going to settle into their corner of nostalgia over their hey-day after this small peak of excitement? Are they going to go too far and ruin our adoration for their ability to impact everything from underneath? Or are they going to go on to get it just right?

 

 

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Image + Feature image: cultrecords

 

The title of this release may be a reference to the struggles this band face in regards to time and their evergrowing repitour of indie-rock seronaders, but each track here takes the time to answer some of our questions. 

Drag Queen‘ opens up the EP with electronic Joy Division vibes that The Strokes dabble in sometimes when feeling adventerous and Casablancas explored in more depth in his solo work. With dense layering of sounds, falcetto vocals and the muffled guitar lines we are so lustful over with The Strokes, this track represents what their plan of attatck is, and it is looking to be a good one. ‘OBLIVIUS‘ is a more light-hearted tune, if only in guitar riffs. However it is brought right back down to Casablancas‘s level with his iconic drowningly pessimistic vocals. The chorus of this song it huge, with all members coming together to step up the energy levels. Casablancas said to Annie Mac (BBC Radio 1) on her show that a full album could be happening “if the collective will could be summoned and caroused” but I predict that this is already on its way to happening by the sounds of the lyrical hook “Watch out” in this retro-progressive hit. ‘Threat of Joy‘ sees Casablancas saying “Okay, I see how it is now, you don’t have time to play with me anymore…fuck the rest” before going onto sing about the romantisised dangers of enjoyment. Is this a sign of acknowledgement of the past? Or a warning of the adventerous to come in the future? Either way, the EP commands us to remember, and listen up.

Strokes’fans reaction to new release after hearing three tracks were summed up perfectly on twitter as one fan wrote “The Strokes are back, everything is right.“, other reactions included relieved praises such as “I remember why I love the Strokes so much“. Hopefully this is a teaser for what is to come, rather than a brief moment of giving into our relentless demands for a nostalgic Strokes throwback.

 

Rating -★★★★☆

Past Present Future‘ is availible to stream now on spotify and will be physically released 3 June 2016 via Cult Records.

Pre-order the EP here

 

Baker out