Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Random Conflict- Escapism (Glasstone records)

"Are You Watching closely?"

Random Conflict formed in 2006 and within 2 years are ready to set the British metal scene alight with their debut album 'Escapism'.
Not since the release of Avenged Sevenfold's 'Sounding the Seventh trumpet album' have I enjoyed a band's debut album as much as I have 'Escapism'.

With 100's of small metal bands in Birmingham and the black country it was only a matter of time before one of them left the likes of the Barfly, JB's and the rock cafe
and set about moving onto bigger and better venues and im sure Random Conflict will be that band.

The debut album 'Escapism' is everything any metal fan dreams of creating it's fast, fluid and absolutley brutal. From the carnival intro in 'the pledge' to the carnival outro
in 'Escapism' it's pure metal brilliance. The sort of album that you will never get sick of hearing, listening time and time again. Straight from the second track 'My devil danced
with his demon'. You'll feel the need to throw yourself in a pit and get your head kicked in. That's the feeling you'll get in your stomach from begging to the end of this album. It's
the feeling that every metal fan wants and that's what they get.

So many metal bands have appeared and disappeared over the past 5 years. However 'Random Conflict' are deffinatly here to stay. So many bands concentrate on one aspect of
their music, where as 'Random conflict' have crafted each piece of their music into a piece of art. Using only one guitarist and two vocalists it becomes easier to pick a part the different sections
of music compared to so many other metal bands where the music just becomes noise. The use of this makes each part become clearer forming an artistic sound. A sound that gives the listener a
sense of actually hearing them live.

So this is where i find the faults and criticise sections. I just can't do it, there's nothing on this album that can be criticised it's every metal fans dream album. Great guitar riffs, amazing druming and
two amazing vocalists that work unbelievebly well togeather. So the only depressing thing is that they will never be able to break into the British charts where they belong, because as long as Simon
Cowell keeps creating his little pop idols. Real artists like 'Random Conflict' will never get the full credit they deserve. But don't worry the boys from Birmingham are deffinatly here to stay if this is what
they can create after only being formed two years ago (Axl take note), things can only go from strength to strength over the next few years.

Verdict: One of the best albums of the past 8 years. In the words of Random conflict "Lovely stuff"

Tracks to listen to:
My Devil danced with his demon- A full on metal anthem that you just want to mosh to until you can't stand up anymore.
Obsession is a young man's grace- An amazing heartfelt musical interlude, proving it's not all about full on metal riffs.
Escapism-The guitar and drum sections will put a smile on any guitarist's/drummer's face.

For fans of: Cradle of filth, 3 Inches of blood, Shadows Fall, Lamb of God, Children of bodom, and (early) Avenged Sevenfold
You won't like this if: Your a pop idol wannabe

Release Date 24th Nov (Glasstone records) A must buy for any metal fan.

Review by Joe Ellis

The Beat Poets- Staring Stars Down/G. I

With the possible exception of Snow Patrol, Northern Ireland does not always produce big hitting bands on regular bases like Wales and Scotland does. However, The Beat Poets are a mission to put this country on the map.
Both tracks are guitar driven gems, which burst with energy and panache. Opener Staring Stars Down with its story of love is laden with wonderful imagery built around a great vocal. In contrast, G. I displays a more rock and roll edge to the band. From a slow beginning, the song rackets its way up the gears and ends with a pulsation rhythm, which draws the listener in.
Look out Snow Patrol; the Beat Poets are after your crown as Northern Ireland’s number one musical export. A great edition to the indie-rock frat pack.

Review by George McSorley

Silver - Through The Storm

Does exactly what it says on the tin-Razeone are looking to exploit the gap in the uk hip-hop Market and Silver truly does have a commercial appeal about him-there is no doubt that this track would not be out of place in a club.
However, is there anything exceptionally different about this “uk version of hip-hop” and the mass imports we get from the US giants like 50 cent, ludacris, kanye west, Nas? - In the long term I can’t see Silver surviving clashes with goliaths such as the above even as good a producer ‘sermstyle’ seems to be-evidently shown from the dramatic, emotive, operatic like entrance merging with the shuddering beats in the background-I can’t help comparing this with the mammoth hit from Justin Timberlake featuring T.I. - “My Love”-produced by the commercial master-Timbaland. The difference between T.I. and Silver is the way in which the lines are delivered as T.I. comes across as a cheeky chappy he knows his lyrics aren’t raw and meaningful like Tupac or biggie-whereas silver glosses over a tough aspect of the music industry with no apparent grittiness or feeling in the lyrics admittedly there is a slight sadness emanating from the voice but I think the music carries the record.
This problem comes from silver’s background-he seems to be doing okay owns a coupla record companies and has been born into a prosperous family-“silver comes from “silver spoon”-he is one of the best drum n bass DJs in the world but i think his Bedford roots come through on this single-the most credible rapstars especially UK ones tend to have the husky harsh voice to evoke empathy but on top of that justify their record with lyrics from a real place-e.g. its hard to maintain a tough image when your using verses like:
“Wrote some dumb rhymes”
“Touch their love inside”
“I wanna be the man my mother would approve of”
I would have to say silver is nothing more than a pretender-making up a shammy rough background for himself to fit in, unfortunately he doesn’t haven’t a tag on the London grime artists who are not only lyrically blessed but have proved they can be commercial at the same time. Silver would get eaten alive by Chipmunk, shredded to bits by Kano and swept aside by Skepta.
Its reasons like this why I don’t understand what silver’s trying to do with this track-are you gonna be hip-hop/r n b and use cheesy lyrics or are you gonna rap from a real place.
Having said all this though-for what it is, it’s allright and would last a few weeks in the charts.

Review by Subhaan khan

Monday, 24 November 2008

Razmataz Lorry Excitement - The Worst Is Yet To Come

Razmataz Lorry Excitement. The name itself gets me excited! And it precisely reflects how exciting this one man party is. The Worst Is Yet To Come is his second single of 2008 and here’s the best bit...he’s from Newcastle (Way-aye!). There are two versions of this track; the ‘Play by Day’ mix has a springy, energetic feel which makes it physically impossible not to bounce along. The ‘Play by Night’ mix has a slightly dirtier, cheekier vibe equally as good but completely different. Love it.

Review by Marzena Dabrowska

Clinic – Tomorrow

Released to help promote their upcoming ‘Planetarium of the Soul’ tour, “Tomorrow” shows everything that’s made Clinic such a unique act, and kept them that way even a decade after their formation. Jittery, pastoral acoustic guitars subside to the psychedelic pulse that drives so many Clinic songs, while Ade Blackburn’s distinctively muffled voice vibrates with barely contained violence. It’s yet another fine song from one of Britain’s most consistent bands – and as per usual for Clinic, you can expect it to vanish without a trace commercially. Sad, really…

Review by Mark Corcoran-Lettice

Nick Harrison - Something Special

Nick Harrison clearly hasn’t been outside much lately. If it wasn’t for the minor fact that we’re currently in the middle of a dark, cold November rather than a sun-drenched August, he would undoubtedly be set to release the anthem of the summer. Packed with ska influences and brilliantly unique vocals, new single ‘Something Special’ is uplifting pop perfection. Even Sarah Palin at a Barack Obama election party would struggle not to dance to this one.

Review by Daniel Whyley

Friday, 21 November 2008

Revere- The Escape Artists

It was with the expectation I would fully hate Revere, an eight piece hailing from London and styled as the next Sigur Rós, that I reluctantly agreed to review their new single The Escape Artist.
Having smacked the CD into the player I sat eagerly ready to pick apart the musical aspirations of these young upstarts who had the audacity to compare themselves to the mighty Arcade Fire (or at least their management did).
The first two minutes of the song only increased my smugness, the slow plodding pace of the piano combined with a rather dull voice certainly lacking the desperation of Win Butler (Arcade Fire) or the fragile quality of Jónsi Birgisson (Sigur Rós) that it seemed to want to imitate. Yes, I was in my element.
However my arrogance was all at once shattered as the music suddenly changed direction, it became faster, braver, more confident and what followed can only be described as a ‘Muse style epic.’ The lyrics got sillier, the amount of instruments increased tenfold and it all went on for far too long (the album version is a full 7 minutes. Yet for all that I found my head nodding and eyes widening. I was being drawn into the song and there was nothing I could do to stop it and as the violins got louder and the choir started I had to admit to being well and truly beaten and to add insult to injury I had loved every minute of it.

Review by Katherine Greenfield

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Society Of Imaginary Friends- The Moors EP

As a bridge before the re-release of their LP Sadness Is A Bridge To Love, the Moors EP acts as a gentle reminder of what’s on offer from SOIF. What’s on offer are bundles of atmosphere and a voice so powerful that it probably could break glass. The opener The Moors is strangely moving piece built around soaring violins and a desolate landscape- a girl yearning to be part of the world. Louise Kleboe’s voice reminds the listener of Kate Bush at her Withering Heights best. The Lovely Rain continues the theme of desolate imagery- yet it is in no way a sad song. Again Kleboe’s voice shines through the gloom as an eternal beak of hope. The closer Windows is a curved ball. What starts as a voice painting an image turns into a gigantic piece of operatic music created around a crunching guitar riff and Aflie Thomas deep voice. What the band has fashioned is music so vivid you feel part of it. It would perfect music to any stunning African backdrop despite is bleakness. The Society Of Imaginary Friends might not have many imaginary friends for much longer.

Review by George McSorley

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Howling Bells - Into the Chaos

From someone who adored the first Howling Bells record, it saddens me to say that numerous plays of this taster from their new long player (arriving next February) leaves me feeling nothing but complete ambivalence. Once the aural equivalent of David Lynch’s Twin Peaks (eerie, sophisticated, sexy), they now more accurately resemble a later episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer (slick , sanitized, a bit directionless). New levels of artistic redundancy are plumbed with the inclusion of possibly the most bewildering lyric ever; (There’s something happening/it’s in outside).
Of course, it’s not all horrendous (hence my apathetic response as oppose to a violently negative one) Juanita’s voice is still as delicious as ever, and an atmospheric, Mazzy Star-esque chorus almost redeems the song from its state of complete inauspiciousness. However, even this seems a bit self-parodic , with the band having used this formula much more effectively on earlier songs such as Setting Sun. Not bad, then, but to be honest, I’d rather they completely jumped the shark than wallow in a puddle of mediocrity.

Review by Ben Lowes-Smith

Monday, 17 November 2008

White Denim - Shake, Shake, Shake

Raucous and chaotic, White Denim seem to be trying to soundtrack drunken nights and fist fights. The fact that any trace of vocals are kept to an absolute minimum is almost incidental, with a heavy drum beat and guitar lines that are at times mind-bending and at others just plain foot-tapping catchy. And when vocals do kick in, and I hesitate to call it singing, it is almost like a bunch of friends chanting the words of their favourite song to each other, but it sounds ideal over the frenetic music. Sound-tracking your whisky fuelled evening, and it works perfectly.

Review by Rob Sellars

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Young Rival - Young Rival EP

As Canada seems to be the now official home of indie, its unsurprising that Young Rival should hail from the land of the Maple Leaf. And with a hint of the Tokyo Police Club wave under their belts, they now come to Britain to prove their mettle. At first glance, Young Rival fit snugly into their indie cubby-hole: achingly short songs, swift riffage and swooning geek-chic vocals. Yet delve deeper and these boys show they have hair on their chests though their pencil-ties and crisp shirts. Another Nobody sneers with Black Lips debauchery, and Poisonous Moves is as gruff as the Vines’ Craig Nicholls wading through his alcohol collection. In short, Young Rival have venom, so hold on tight to your skinny jeans, you’re in for a ride.

Review by Gordon Bruce

The Late Review - Diving in Deep

Reviewing The Late Review was no hard effort. Described as "cheeky" , the poppy, bouncy tune is perfect for an indie cindy disco. The lead singer has a lovely voice, which is layered with another equally pleasant sounding voice intermittently. Nice and inoffensive Diving in too deep is playful, especially with a rather manic chorus which I felt came from no where yet it managed to settle into the overall tune with success. However, in a time where British bands full of boys with polo shirts, singing in their home town accents are in abundance it is hard to see how The Late Review will achieve massive acknowledgement, and their longevity in this trend of "indie" joviality may be short lived as nothing amazingly novel is presented. So, in the short term The Late Review are delightful but in the long term I feel the world won't be changed by them.

Review by Aimee Bradshaw

Monday, 10 November 2008

General Fiasco - Rebel Get By

General Fiasco have achieved what very few bands do; they have managed to take their youthful passion and raw power, and have mixed it with a competence and ability far beyond their tender years. Rebel Get By thunders into life - no drawn out intros for these boys - and it rarely slows down from then on. Catchy riffs play perfectly over a powerful drum beat, all fitting nicely with lead singer Owen's vocals, a voice which sounds like it has lived through punk even while in primary school. This song will sound perfect on the airwaves and dance-floors alike, and you should expect to be hearing much more from General Fiasco.

Review by Robert Sellars

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Jeremy Warmsley – "Dancing With The Enemy

After a relentless summer of collaborating with the Mystery Jets and appearing at numerous festivals, Jeremy Warmsley returns with Dancing With The Enemy, the second single from his new album How We Became. Packed with clever lyrics, adventurous vocals and an array of highly infectious instruments and rhythm changes, Dancing With The Enemy looks set to win Warmsley a host of new fans, without damaging the originality and innovation that have earned him such a devout following over the past few years.

Review by Daniel Whyley

Monday, 3 November 2008

San Andreas - Man or Monster

I reckon if I had more music knowledge-i.e. of record development and how its put together I could criticise this album with more confidence-i think when you have to review outside your genre things get a bit more difficult-anyways:
I’d label this as screamo, I think the album gets better as you listen to it-the middle tracks are the best and then it levels out. I wouldn’t say these guys are wholly original as there are definite sounds in there that seem American but I think that being as experienced as these guys are, they’ve picked up a few tricks along the way.
Enter Shikari springs to mind when listening to these guys, however, whereas shikari tend to have that indie kid sort of appeal this is lost on San Andreas-which I don’t think is a bad thing as they seem to take their music seriously and if you can get past all the screaming the thrashing guitar and the lyrics are pretty easy to rock out to.
There are few moments where they throw you a real curve ball-like the barbershop quartet style interjection on Leave Teddy.
Overall it’s a pretty wholesome album and I’m sure they pack a punch at gigs but i just can’t seem to get away from the fact that every song seems to be sung in the same pitch and tone-which does link them all together but at the same time makes the album slightly tiresome and flat a bit like Bloc Party’s first 2 albums.

Review by Subhaan khan

Red Light Company – Sheme Eugene

Sometimes you are lucky enough to come across musical gems that instantly grab your attention and then in no time at all you’re completely smitten, playing them on repeat until you think it’s becoming a little unhealthy and have to make a conscious effort to move onto something new before people start to notice. Looming dangerously close to perfection Scheme Eugene has everything a great song needs; interesting lyrics, an immaculate musical composition and a chorus you can sing/shout along to after an alcoholic beverage or two. So don’t leave it to luck, find it, listen to it, play it on repeat and sing along to it. This song is amazing.

Review by Hannah Ransome