Published on AlreadyHeard.com on 25th March 2014.
Whilst bands splitting up and reforming is nothing abnormal these days, the news of My Chemical Romance breaking up last year was something many didn’t see coming, and for fans, they didn’t want to believe it. Nevertheless the inevitable ‘best of’ collection sees the light of day this week, and much like the band’s discography, 'May Death Never Stop You' is a mix bag of hits and misses.
'Fake Your Death', the only previously unreleased track on here, opens the album off with a sense of sentiment as ballad-like piano keys compliment Gerard Way’s sorrowing vocals gradually building towards the emphasised chorus line of “just look at all that pain”. Whilst it’s not the band’s best track, it’s a fitting conclusion to their creative output.
Published on AlreadyHeard.com on 25th March 2014.
Since forming in 2008, Carolina-based indie record label Tiny Engines has gradually built a reputation for releasing music from some of the best up and coming underground US bands; Tigers Jaw, The Hotelier, Direct Effect, Save Ends and State Lines. Now you can add Boston, MA’s Somos to that growing list as their debut LP, 'Temple of Plenty', is a consistent and comfortable collection that is simply satisfying.
The band’s mixture of summery indie rock and post-2000 emotionally-driven pop-punk enables Somos to carry themselves over 28 minutes. 'Familiar Theme' sets the standard early on with playful guitar melodies complimenting Michael Fiorentino’s smooth vocals.
Published on AlreadyHeard.com on 31st March 2014.
Love them or hate them, Fearless Records' 'Punk Goes…' compilation series is always bound to get plenty of interest. The fourteenth installment of the series sees the label taking on a 90s theme for a second time.
As always a range of bands from the Vans Warped Tour scene are on here; even if they’re not “punk”. Nevertheless Asking Alexandria, Memphis May Fire, and Chunk! No, Captain Chunk! are on hand to give us beefed up versions of tracks by Stone Temple Pilots ('Interstate Love Song'), Nine Inch Nails ('Closer') and Smash Mouth ('All Star') respectively. All of which are passable.
Published on AlreadyHeard.com on 8th April 2014.
For some, 'Devil' could be considered Chiodos' “comeback album”, especially with the return of vocalist Craig Owens and drummer Derrick Frost. It's also the band's first LP in four years, and in the current music world that can be a long time. Nonetheless, 'Devil' picks up the momentum from where Chiodos left it.
Personally I’ve hardly spent much time listening to Chiodos yet I’ve always admired the band’s grandiose approach as well as Owens’ vocal prowess. So it’s a good thing these are both very much in tact from the start. 'We’re Talking About Practice' will please old time fans with its infectious chorus, hectic guitar work and subtle theatrical tone.
Afterwards, the band hit their stride as 'Ole Fishlips Is Dead No' and 'Why The Munsters Matter' offer a double slice of adrenaline-filled post-hardcore, with Owens’ harmonious vocals as the centrepiece.
Published on AlreadyHeard.com on 14th April 2014.
For anyone who knows the story behind I Divide, will know this debut full-length has been a long time coming. Two years removed from winning the nationwide Red Bull Bedroom Jam competition, the Exeter quintet have toured relentlessly along with appearing at a range of major festivals; Reading and Leeds Festival, Download, and Slam Dunk.
Now I Divide are set to unleash 'Last One Standing', a record that has to potential the open new doors for them. From the start you’re welcomed by the band’s brand of anthemic alt-rock that easily puts them in the same category of the likes of Mallory Knox and Young Guns. 'Follow Me' is a bold, grandiose number that captures just what I Divide are about; massive hooks with the lyrics that wear their heart on their sleeves.
Published on AlreadyHeard.com on 19th April 2014.
With 10 songs coming in just under the 20 minute mark, California’s Plague Vendor clearly have no time for substance with this debut effort. On 'Free To Eat', the recent Epitaph signees’ LP is a brash, frantic record but leaves a good impression.
The opening bars 'Black Sap Scriptures', the band’s garage punk influence is very much in tact with rowdy vocals courtesy of Brandon Blaine and razor-sharp guitar lines from Jay Rogers. It’s unrelentless tempo is something that grabs hold of you early on and doesn’t let go for the next 20 minutes.
Published on AlreadyHeard.com on 1st May 2014.
Chelmsford quartet Hey Vanity are one of many UK rock acts that have been trying to make a name for themselves over the past 18 months. Having played shows with the likes of Don Broco, Mallory Knox, and more recently, Straight Lines, Hey Vanity have built a small but strong following, and with this new mini-album, 'Blindfolds' are certain to expand that following.
Kicking off with 'Before I'm Old', the four-piece showcase a bright, upbeat style that instantly has you hooked, whilst Marc Halls’ subtly raspy vocals give the bands sound a raw edge. As 'Blindfolds' drives on, tracks like 'What Have We Done' and 'Some May Say' prove to be energetic, whilst 'Broken Artist' momentarily holds back before producing an onslaught of crunching riffs and soaring vocals.
Published on AlreadyHeard.com on 6th May 2014.
It can never be easy for a band to follow-up a record as acclaimed and admired as 'On the Impossible Past', but that’s the position The Menzingers find themselves in with 'Rented World'. It’s unreasonable to set such high expectations but unfortunately for the PA quartet, that’s what fans were left with when 'Rented World' was announced.
So with so much expectation, how does 'Rented World' shape up? Well for starters it’s not as immediate as its predecessor. I’ll even go as far as labelling it as underwhelming on the first handful of listens. However, the band’s brand of down to earth punk is something that gives the record longevity. 'I Don't Wanna Be An Asshole Anymore' is a welcoming opener that will please longtime fans; a vibrant, boisterous number that captures just what The Menzingers are all about.
Published on AlreadyHeard.com on 9th May 2014.
Being a US pop-punk band on the illustrious Pure Noise label may lead some to think to South Carolina’s Brigades are just the latest in a line of similar bands the label has produced in recent years, but you’d be wrong. 'Crocodile Tears' is 6 slices of heavy, bombastic pop-punk that doesn’t exactly fit into the stereotypical norm.
Opening with 'Whipstaff Manor', the quintet quickly set the pace with a mix of chugging riffs, group vocals, and a hooky chorus. The band’s pounding yet swinging tempo has weight to their sound, yet the pop-punk sound is still at it’s core. 'The Writing On the Wall' also shows just this, and the finish product leaves you with a strong instant impression.
Published on AlreadyHeard.com on 26th May 2014.
It seems like the third album from Bury Tomorrow has been a longtime coming. Announced in January, 'Runes' finally sees the light of day this week, and it’s safe to say it has certainly been worth the wait.
From the opening moments of ‘Man on Fire’, you’ll instantly realise that Bury Tomorrow have stepped up their game. With pulsating drums, meaty riffs and pitch perfect vocals, BT have found a fitting formula.