LIVE REVIEW. Otherkin at The Boileroom

Date: 23 May 2017
Venue: 
The Boileroom, Guildford
Genre: Grunge pop
Words: Steph Baker
Photography: Aaron Crawford

 

Tonight’s gig reminded me of why independent venues such as The Boileroom are so important to local communities and the music industry. Seeing live music, and having unique, memorable experiences at places like these, filled with welcoming and creative people is what it’s all about, right?

Bad Nerves

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The main support for Otherkin came on stage to a warm and building crowd. The first thing that made this East-London four-piece currently touring with Otherkin was the front-man’s pounding vocals. His voice travels up, down and all around, diversifying the band’s indie-rock tunes and bringing each one to life.

The crowd were engaged, and our night was kicked off with a frenzy of heavy riffs and catchy hooks, especially within the most recent single ‘Dreaming‘. This was one of the band’s final gigs with Otherkin, an yet you would never have known it with the amount of manic energy the guys brought to the room, the set was actually exhausting to keep up with, and that’s exactly how music like this is meant to be.

 

 

 

Otherkin

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Otherkin are a grunge-pop frenzy from Dublin who are… quite the experience. The four-man group came onstage looking rather un-disruptive but managed to turn a politely-bobbing-your-head-along kinda Tuesday night into a sweaty, bloody mess within their first track, ‘It’s Alright‘. The crowd were pulled to the front and brought up to the same level as the band while thrashing around to the infectious ‘Why Did You Treat Me So Bad‘. In today’s music scene, over-saturated with Libertines-wannabes and inauthentic boy bands, Otherkin proudly stand out by managing to genuinely connect with the audience and bring about an uproar with their ferocious hooks, passionate lyrics and attitude filled grunge riffs.

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As the country tries to digest and contemplate the truly horrific attack on a gig in Manchester, tonight’s gig is a bittersweet event. Otherkin stopped their set to express their thoughts and pay their respects, saying “Music should be a safe space for everyone” before everyone in the room took part in a minute of silence. After this emotional moment came to an end, the group summoned up all the energy they had in them with the next tune of the night, ‘Come On Hello’, something fun and positive to get everyone dancing again. Further along the night, the London boys invited everyone onto the stage, this was a moment of pure joy and madness for everyone at the Boileroom tonight, exactly what we needed. Hook-filled, manic pop tunes full of attitude and truthful tales. Otherkin are a truly class act, and a band that will inevitably continue to shake up venues across Europe this summer.

 


Listen to Otherkin’s latest Single ‘Bad Advicehere

The East-London boys are on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

 

Baker Out

EP REVIEW. The Coathangers – Parasite

Release Date: 30 June 2017 (Digital out now)
Genre: Garage Punk
Rating: ★★★★
Words by: Steph Baker

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The Coathangers are not new faces on the scene, with their first entrance being over a decade ago. However, the Atlanta trio are starting to attract the ears of new listeners, with their latest offering ‘Parasite’, and from the opening riffs of the title track, it is clear why. Often bands and their fans alike get stuck in a rut of familiarity and routine when it comes to new releases, but surely we should embrace a change in songwriting and musical styles, as it reflects the journey that the band continues on every day. Humans change with experience, time and moments of reflection, and so too should creative endeavours, guitarist Julia Kugel even states “I’d like to think the PE takes you on a journey through the band’s existence“.

The opening track, ‘Parasite‘, seems to be a much-needed rant to get built up aggression of The Coathangers’ chest, “I don’t want parasite, keeping me up all night… I don’t want parasite, eating me from the inside out!” The raw and rowdy song is just over a minute long, and does not mess around in getting things straight before the girls continue with the EP in peace. Interestingly, the vocals seem somewhat softer in the following song ‘Wipe Out‘ (still unbridled and not to be fucked with, don’t worry), perhaps expressing a more content time within the band’s development.

17904105_1308631595840779_9156523798918359088_n.jpgThe third track, ‘Captain’s Dead‘ is full of wise words coming from someone who is clearly over your bullshit. The lyrics “Easy come and easy go, what you reap is what you sow” are sang over punk guitar lines that send you into a daze that will spin away all of your previous cares. Grimy bass-lines are carried onto into the next track, along with an empowering punk chorus that is reminiscent of the crooked hooks that made us fall in love with the Coathangers in the first place.

This five-track offering ends on quite a somber and melancholy tone. ‘Drifter‘ has dark melodies and a simple electric strumming, and is still as incessantly catchy as the rest of the tracks. Julia, Meredith and Stephanie have grown up together and have developed their art together, this EP perfectly showcases that journey. From moments of (partial) content and maybe a hint of love? to screaming and pent-up rowdiness that we all need to expel – In either case, it’s exactly what you need.


Listen to Parasite here

Make sure to give The Coathangers a follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

The Atlanta Punk trio are also touring the Europe, check out dates below:

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SINGLE REVIEW. Blackwaters – So Far Out

Release date: 11th November 2016

Genre: indie-punk

Rating: ★★★★

Guildford lads Blackwaters first caught our attention whilst reeling people in and making a right ol’ noisy mess at Camden Rocks Fest in the summer, playing early hits such as ‘Fiction‘ and ‘Moon On A Stick‘. Since then, these four boys have really gone up in the world, as their following increases and their name is starting to appear on big announcements such as Live At Leeds 2017, Blackwaters are now able to get more creative and ambitious with their music – and this shows in their most recent release, So Far Out.

This is the band’s most fast-paced track yet, at the end of it you are left exhausted – but I think this is the intended effect. After a perfectly chant-able opening hook, front man, Max Tanner comes in with comical tales of drunken nights, like a young, rowdier Jamie T. The chorus hits and this is where the punk vibes shine through. With guitarist David Carpenter blasting out a strong re-verb heavy lead backed by James Watkins‘s brain-crushing drums. You instantly get the very fuzzy visualisation of your messiest ever night, and the shamelessness of it all. Blackwaters have finally managed to convey the turbulent, roughhouse action of their live performances into a recorded track, a massive accomplishment for the rising band.

The music video features the band members rushing through the streets of their hometown, Guildford with mates and various hits of madness. Check it out below.

 


Give Blackwaters some love on FacebookTwitter and Instagram

 

Baker out.

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.

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