Oxfordshire all-female rock quartet Evarose release their five-track EP Elements this year, and a listener can’t help but feel a little bit sorry for them. They’re brilliant, extremely talented, excellent songwriters and fantastic musicians, and yet they’re still going to be compared to Hayley Williams as soon as Elements hits the shelves. That’s the curse of the female fronted band, brought about by the unstoppable Paramore-machine, and it’s a curse that Evarose cannot avoid. That’s not stopped them, though, and Elements is set to be released in the UK later this year.
When it comes to the music itself, Elements is energetic, uplifting and very talented. It’s mixed fantastically; all the parts of the music are clearly audible, and they’re all brilliant. Evarose can write a heck of a catchy tune, a perfect example being There’s No Such Thing as Something for Nothing. One of the best comparisons for them is actually a much heavier version of We Are the In Crowd, as they have a similar amount of punk type energy, but with a much heavier sound on their guitars. Possibly American rockersVersaEmerge might make a better comparison.
Therefore, the only issues with Elements are those that Evarose cannot control. Being ‘tarred with the same brush’ as Paramore is an occupational hazard of female fronted bands, and it’s fantastic to see that the Oxfordshire quartet aren’t phased by this at all. Instead they’ve made a great sounding EP, the way that they wanted to make it, without worrying about it, and that’s great to see.
So it’s fair to say that Evarose are on to something, something big. If they carry on this way, they’ll be bigger than Paramore in a few years. All they have to do is ignore the comparisons, carry on the way they’re going and keep making insanely catchy and great music. Fantastic.
Standout Track: There’s No Such Thing as Something for Nothing
For Fans Of: VersaEmerge, We Are the In Crowd, Paramore
Read the original article here: http://www.bringthenoiseuk.com/201208/music/reviews/ep-review-evarose-elements
20 Second Century, a punk-rock four piece hailing from Co. Down, are playing a dangerous game. Punk rock isn’t exactly on the rise, it could be argued that it’s a tired and overused genre, and should be consigned to the depths of history along with so many other past genres. That’s not stopped them releasing this, their latest EP, which is a definite attempt to revive the style and create something new out of it.
It’s an emotive sounding release, which gives it a slight edge over other punk music. It’s more heartfelt, with a definite passionate twinge lingering throughout the vocals, which are nicely placed in among the music (not too prominent, but not too lost in the sound either). Musically, it has a great sounding distorted, punky sort of crunch sound on the guitars, which complement half-sang-half-chanted vocals, a style made famous by punk bands such as Sum 41 (Still Waiting) and Blink 182 (Feeling This). The differences come in the pleasant lack of an over-accentuated American accent, which, whilst unavoidable, does become tedious in the aforementioned older punk style. The other pleasant and slightly different aspect is the ‘bassy’ quality the music has. That makes it slightly different, giving it an almost ‘electronic’ vibe, alongside the punk style. It’s a specific area to focus on when praising this album, especially when it has so much to offer, but it’s something that really stuck out all the way through that this reviewer kept noticing.
Areas to improve – the EP could be slightly longer, four tracks, whilst usually long enough for an EP, especially a debut one, isn’t long enough to showcase music of this style properly. It just doesn’t have the time to show off the vast amount of talent that 20 Second Century obviously possess. It’s just enough to whet the appetite of the listener, enough to make them think “wow, I really like this”, and then it’s over. The vocals could be placed slightly more prominently over the music as well. They sit well as they are, as mentioned before, but it might be good to have them slightly more in the foreground, to give the impression of the importance of them. There’s no point having that amount of emotion and passion within the vocals, and then not making them stand out.
So, it’s very clear to see from 20 Second Century’s EP that the energetic, jumpy sounds of punk aren’t quite dead yet, despite the eras of New Found Glory, Sum 41, Blink 182 and others arguably fading into the distant past. This reviewer thinks that a revival is perfect. The tired old style still has some gusto left in it, and 20 Second Century have put a twist on it that refreshes it and makes it interesting again. – Wonderful stuff.
Read the original review here: http://chordblossom.com/musicreviews-20secondcentury-selftitled
Emily Barker and the Red Clay Halo ft. Frank Turner – Fields of June Single Review (Never Enough Notes Review)
A sure-fire way of getting noticed as a just-starting-out artist or musician is to collaborate with an already well known musician. Depending on who that artist is can, in a strange way, sometimes determine how successful the song released actually is. In this case, folk artists Emily Barker and the Red Clay Halo chose to collaborate with successful punk/folk artist Frank Turner on this, their newest single, entitled ‘Fields of June’. In fact, there aren’t many better ways to get a career in music off the ground than to collaborate with someone so both a) successful and b) influential.
But, it’s more about the music than who wrote it, or who sang on it to promote it, though. To sum ‘Fields of June’ up succinctly as a song, before going into specific details, it’s a lovely, relaxing song, with a warm folky feel to it, and a great beat.
It’s smooth, with a satisfyingly ‘pure’ sounding vocal line that makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. Barker’s voice is gorgeous, very clear and clean-cut sound and it works really well with the gruff, deeper male vocal line. It’s an exquisite sounding song, vocally.
Musically, the folk edge is very obviously there, with the use of walking basslines and strings, in conjunction with both the vocals and the lyrics themselves gives it that punk/folk edge that Turner is so famous for, but with a different, softer and purer twist. It’s actually great, extraordinarily relaxing, really quite catchy and just that little bit different that makes it special.
Negative points – few. It’s a little bit specific to the genre, which means it’s a little bit specific to the fanbase it’s going to attract. That’s not the point though, and despite that fact, it’s such a pleasant experience to listen to ‘Fields of June’ that even people who aren’t particular fans of folk music will find something here to love.
So overall it’s a great song, where the collaboration effectively helps the song both musically, and to make it heard by the masses. But it importantly doesn’t overtake or overshadow the original artist at all. Excellently written, performed and produced. Wonderful.
Read the original article here: http://www.neverenoughnotes.co.uk/2012/08/emily-barker-and-the-red-clay-halo-ft-frank-turner-fields-of-june-13-08-12-xtra-mile/
Fusing two different music genres can, at the best of times, either go really well, or really, really badly. Therefore, it’s always a bit of a gamble for bands to try it as the backbone of their sound. Most bands, therefore, stick to the standard ones, pop-punk, punk-rock, etc. Whilst Jim Lockey and the Solemn Sun is probably one of the most obscure names for a band to have been come up with in recent times, their music isn’t to be sniffed at. This, their latest single, entitled England’s Dead, is plenty evidence of that. It’s emotive, well written and really something quite special.
Musically, the first impression is that it’s acoustic based funk, pure and simple. And this impression continues until well over the one-minute mark of the song. In fact it’s at 1:15 (oh, spoiler alert) that the instruments really kick in and the true colours of this song are revealed. Alongside the soft, acoustic vocal sounds are a hard hitting, distorted, crunchy electric guitar sounds that sounds more like punk-rock than folk. It’s a good fusion, actually, giving it an emotive and unique feel, yet with some degree of familiarity at the same time.
Vocally, Jim Lockey and the Solemn Sun sound a lot like what one might call a ‘British Billie-Joe Armstrong’ (Green Day, just in case you were wondering). This does even more to ram home idea of the punk-edge to this song, alongside the hefty distortion (very hefty for folk, anyway) and well-placed marching snare. In fact, a folky-sounding, British Green Day is a pretty good way to describe the sound that Jim Lockey and the Solemn Sun go for on this track.
One single isn’t long enough to point out anything wrong with this song, it wouldn’t be fair. The only thing to improve is to make more of it. Hopefully, an album or at the very least an EP should happen soon, because this band really have the capacity to go far. That’s really the only advice this reviewer can offer.
So overall, England’s Dead is a great fusion of folk-punk, which sounds like the musical equivalent of putting peanut butter on a digestive. It sounds gross, but it really works, and it’s really, really good. Try it, (the music, not the biscuit), because you might just be pleasantly surprised.
Check out Jim Lockey and the Solemn Sun in more detail at http://www.myspace.com/jimlockey.
Read the original article here: http://www.neverenoughnotes.co.uk/2012/08/jim-lockey-and-the-solemn-sun-englands-dead-out-now-xtra-mile-recordings/
And they say early noughties punk-rock (Blink 182, Sum 41, Green Day…) is dead. Not so. The Fades, punk-rock band formed sometime in the year 2000, took a long and arduous route to their first full length, self titled album, released a monumental seven years later in ’07. Happily, the wait between that album and their newest one, entitled ‘Ragnarok’, due to be released on September 17th 2012, is not so long.
Ahead of the album’s release, The Fades have given us a taster; a single entitled ‘Foot In Your Mouth’ (released July 4th), to whet listeners appetites.
‘Foot In Your Mouth’ is definitely a throwback to their early noughties roots. The style and the structure of ‘Foot In Your Mouth’ really reminds of some angry, anti-establishment punk music of the early 2000s, when music began to shape into a style that wasn’t quite nineties (thankfully) but yet hadn’t really established itself as a new style yet.
Ironically, that now makes it a whole style of its own – early noughties. This song specifically has the ability to remind a listener of very early System of a Down (albeit without the shrieking and heavy guitars) in terms of the style, it’s a disconcerting, quick-paced and fast-changing song, which chops and changes, starts and stops and generally gives a sense of never really getting going, but also the sense of it being a good song at the same time.
Musically, the choppiness of the sounds cuts through the listener like a bit of a musical knife. Not that this is a bad thing, the sharp guitars and almost chanted vocals give off an impression of anger, an impression that suits the genre perfectly. Lyrically, it’s quite tough to follow, but still enjoyable to listen to once a listener is past that.
Overall, a good song, and a great taster to what should be a good follow up album for The Fades. This reviewer is just glad that the wait for it wasn’t as long this time.
Read the original review here: http://www.neverenoughnotes.co.uk/2012/07/the-fades-foot-in-your-mouth-single-out-now-genepool-records/
If one was to ask the question, “Where is the strangest place a socio-political, opinionated and musically charged punk rock star can come from?” the first answer might be strange and unexpected, but it probably won’t be anything as obscure as “their own personal zoo/farmyard, located just outside Budapest, Hungary.” But, that is exactly where European punk rocker Lazlo hails from, in fact not just a farmyard, but his own personal zoo, where he writes his complex, socially-aware music for his rapidly growing fanbase.
His latest offering, the debut UK EP entitled Venus, is a complicated and eccentric sounding mixture of noise, ultimately designed to ensnare the senses with what could almost be described as auditory mayhem, an ode to political punk rock and social observations. Lazlo has himself styled the release as a commentary on the social and political issues that surround our modern society, designed to provoke both a reaction to the music and a thoughtful response, and presumably debate on the issues it tackles.
To be completely honest from the off, it initially comes across as a little bit intimidating. Lazlo is dealing with complex social issues in his music in a very blunt and in-your-face manner. Not that this is a bad thing, in fact it could even be a good thing that Lazlo is so frank about it, because the issues he tackles in his music are issues that need to be discussed. The issues of homophobia, consumerist culture and greed are all addressed here. It’s just a bit startling, considering that they’re being tackled by a musician who lives on a farm in central Hungary.
Again, this is most certainly not inherently a bad thing, it’s just very different and obscure! Once the listener is past the initial intimidation factor and gets over the surprise of what it sounds like, it’s a lot easier to start listening to Venus properly.
Musically, it’s eccentric, again initially slightly intimidating and full of what could be described as almost post-modern sounds. Imagine a strange hybrid of the Sex Pistols and Kraftwerk, and you’re halfway there. It’s actually very cleverly done, well written and extremely bold and different. Upon first listen, expect to be surprised, and a listener should expect to realise after a minute or two their jaw has dropped and there’s an expression of complete and utter cluelessness on their face.
The obvious limitations to the music don’t really need to be explained in masses of detail, however, it’s clear to see that this kind of music will not appeal to everyone. That is, anyone who doesn’t have an open mind and a sense of acceptance of the more eccentric styles of music will almost definitely not enjoy this album. It’s a record that’s designed to be listened to with a screwed-up face and a thoughtful ‘hmmm’ on the listener’s lips, it’s meant to instil discussion, thought and debate, and this is what makes the album good. It isn’t meant to be bog-standard, average music that strives for popularity and hit after hit, it does exactly what it’s meant to do. The only problem is that what it is meant to do might not be what people want to hear.
In the end, then, it’s a completely original, completely eccentric and completely crazy socio-political punk gold-dust. It’s not particularly appealing to a popular market, which limits it slightly, but that isn’t what it has set out to do. It’s the sort of music that one will start off thinking “this is nuts” and then in the end find themselves enjoying it a lot. For this reviewer, then, 6/10.
Read the original article here: http://www.poppedculture.co.uk/music-reviews/music-reviews/ep-reviews/item/226-lazlo-venus
Energetic Bristol-based 4-piece Fighting Fiction return in July 2012 with their full length, self titled debut studio album, revitalising their trademark “ska-punk rock” genre and packing it full of socially aware lyrics and almost angry, punchy guitar sounds.
It’s crunchy, fast and furious sounding punk-rock, but it also has a good mix of soft, more acoustic moments and passionately sung, heartfelt vocals that keeps the listener on their toes and interested. It’s not exactly predictable, it’s mostly catchy and on the whole it’s good. But, it’s been done before, quite a lot. It has elements that remind of Frank Turner or even The Clash, but in this case it works for Fighting Fiction quite well.
Although Fighting Fiction claim to have created a sort of “ska-tinted punk rock”, with this full length album, there seems to be less of the ska and more of the punk rock. There’s more tinges of ska on their older releases, but there aren’t actually very many moments of it on this one, maybe one or two throughout the whole release, but not enough on the whole. It’s more pure punk, with a very British twist to it, vocally – The West-Country accents make sure of that.
This doesn’t make it any worse, but slightly disappointing when it’s expected. It’s still an enjoyable listen, it deals with some big issues and does it in an eloquent, musical and well-written way. It’s very well done.
But, one of the biggest issues with this album is that, again, it’s all music that’s been done before. There’s nothing particularly special about it, it doesn’t stand out from what could be described as a saturated scene. This doesn’t make it any less good, in fact, what is the point in changing anything if it works? It just means that some might be impatient with it, claiming that they’ve “heard it all before” and dismissing it without giving it a chance to impress.
Overall, then, a good, old fashioned ode to British-born punk rock. Nothing distinctly special about it, but nothing particularly bad about it either. It’s well written, performed and presented and it sounds very good, but it just needs that little extra spark to make it stand out from the rest, to make it more distinct and individual. An average 5/10.
Read the original article here: http://www.contactmusic.com/album-review/fighting-fiction-fighting-fiction
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- Alexisonfire – Death Letter EP Review (Bring the Noise Review)
- Lewis Watson – Another Four Sad Songs EP Review (Never Enough Notes Review)
- Parkway Drive – Atlas Album Review (Bring the Noise Review)
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