‘Darker Side Of Your Mind‘ is the fourth and final single to be lifted from The Whiskey Syndicate’s debut studio release, ‘Right Side of Crazy‘, and right from the opening you know that it’s building up to something big. With a driving guitar riff throughout the opening couple of minutes, the band change it up a bit around the 2:25 mark as they lurch through an incredibly impressive guitar section, then it’s back to the powerful guitar presence of the opening at about the 3:20 point for the remaining minute of the track. It’s a powerful piece of rock music, a track that absolutely begs to be heard by all fans of rock music around the world; you can definitely picture the band playing this in front of a packed arena one day, and it’d be nothing less than the band truly deserves.
Not only are lead vocalist Ant Wright’s vocals absolutely brilliant throughout the entirety of the track, but instrumentally the sound is incredibly tight, too. As I mentioned before, throughout much of the track there is the same chugging guitar riff, but the whole time this riff is repeating you know that the band is ready to launch into something a little more expansive any second, and when The Whiskey Syndicate do finally hit you with it, it’s most definitely a very pleasing moment. The bassline slots beautifully into the sound; chunky, heavy, and at all times a delight to listen to. Everything about the track just really seems to fit, and for any fan of rock music, ‘Darker Side Of Your Mind‘ would surely be a huge treat to listen to.
The Whiskey Syndicate’s debut album has had a lot of positive press, and the general consensus seems to be that this is a band that is going to go far. There’s certainly a lot to rave about with this final single from their Right Side of Crazy‘ studio album, and The Whiskey Syndicate is most definitely a band well worth checking out sooner rather than later. This is a band that will surely be huge before long, so give this track a listen, give their debut album a spin, and I also strongly advise seeing this band live at the first opportunity you get as it’s bound to be a rock show that you’ll remember for life, and for all the right reasons, too.
‘Save Rock and Roll‘ is the fifth Fall Out Boy studio album to date, once again demonstrating the band’s ability to progress and mature with each and every studio release. After a four year hiatus, Fall Out Boy is back, and the band has clearly been listening to a lot of different music these last few years as there are so many different styles showcased on this album that it’s difficult to really pigeonhole the album into a specific genre; from dubstep to folk, and also with a good helping of the pop-punk that the band is known for, ‘Save Rock and Roll‘ is a studio album that absolutely has it all, and the fact that it is so difficult to categorise due to the band’s genre defying approach really is a key strength of the album.
Beginning with ‘The Phoenix‘, the brilliance of this release instantly hits you as the band launches through one of its catchiest singles to date. Patrick Stump’s vocals sound better than ever on this album, and this is one of the first things that you notice here, right from the first track. ‘The Phoenix‘ has a huge chorus and is perhaps one of the band’s very best; the string section in the intro has a hint of Plan B’s ‘Ill Manors‘, the track as a whole is unmistakably Fall Out Boy however, with Patrick Stump absolutely stealing the show with his absolutely breathtaking vocal tone. As the band continues into second track ‘My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light Em Up)‘, the album continues to impress massively as the vocals of Patrick Stump maintain the incredibly high standard that is set with the first track. Pete Wentz provides an incredible driving bassline with ‘My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light Em Up)‘ which certainly contributes to the track’s success, it’s the voice of Patrick Stump that really grabs you though, and the chorus in particular is just absolutely sensational.
After another impressive track in the form of ‘Alone Together‘, Fall Out Boy provides what is perhaps the most addictive song from the album in ‘Where Did The Party Go‘, a track that has every bit as much pop appeal as ‘Dance, Dance‘ had, and every possibility of being another top 10 smash for the band. It’s one of those tracks where right from the first time you listen to it you know you’re hearing something rather special, and it just seems to get better with each and every listen. I can absolutely picture a sold out room of Fall Out Boy fans dancing along to ‘Where Did The Party Go‘ on an evening, singing along to each and every word that Patrick Stump belts out, and doing so with a great big smile on their faces. ‘Where Did The Party Go‘ is sure to be a huge crowd pleaser, and I can absolutely see this track being released as a single at some point in the not too distant future.
As ‘Just One Yesterday‘ begins, it’s hard not to draw comparisons to Adele’s hugely successful ‘Rolling in the Deep‘ single; there are definite similarities between the two tracks, particularly in the way in which they build in their respective introductions, at around 37 seconds into the track as Patrick Stump hits the key change however, ‘Just One Yesterday‘ begins to burst into life as its own piece of music, impressive in its own way, and definitely very distinguishably different from its ‘Rolling in the Deep‘ style intro. The way that Foxes’ voice combines with Patrick Stump’s is absolutely incredible here, the two voices really do work well alongside each other, and the track progresses extremely impressively.
For me, the sixth track on the album, ‘The Mighty Fall‘, has a bit of a Travis Barker vibe about it; the drumming style of Andy Hurley is definitely reminiscent of the Blink-182 drummer’s style here, and the decision to collaborate with Big Sean on the track therefore makes ‘The Mighty Fall‘ feel a lot like something that might appear on a Travis Barker solo release. ‘Miss Missing You‘ provides something different again with a fantastic keyboard presence in the track, and once more here Fall Out Boy demonstrates its ability as a band to provide a great variety of different sounds, with each and every track on this album coming across as brilliant in its own individual way.
‘Death Valley‘ is a particularly interesting track from the album, and is a song that just seems to have it all. The chorus to the track is absolutely phenomenal, Andy Hurley’s drumming is once again absolutely brilliant, and the track even comes complete with an unexpected dubstep breakdown. The dubstep section of the track is definitely something that takes you by surprise; after a supreme bit of vocal ability from Patrick Stump, the dubstep bass wobble and drumbeat kicks in, and for about 10 seconds here we’re treated to Fall Out Boy’s take on dubstep. The vocal melody is absolutely beautiful, you want to sing along to the track every time you listen, and the unexpected nature of the dubstep element really does work well. The track is surprising in terms of what it throws at you, but it’s surprising in a good way; the dubstep drop is not something that you’d ever expect to hear in a Fall Out Boy song, but demonstrates that the band is not afraid of dabbling into a little bit of everything on this album, and I personally feel that this is the secret to the ‘Save Rock and Roll‘ studio album’s huge success; there’s a lot of variety on display here, and this is something that provides for a great deal of replay value. You finish listening to the ‘Save Rock and Roll‘ album and you immediately want to go back and listen to it all again. There’s not a single bad track present on this album, and variety is absolutely the spice of life here.
‘Young Volcanoes‘ is the third track that Fall Out Boy unveiled from the ‘Save Rock and Roll‘ studio album, and is also the third to last track on the album, a poppy-folk anthem from the band which furthers the borderless nature of the album. As the band jumps from genre to genre throughout this album, you never know quite where they’ll be going next, and ‘Young Volcanoes‘ is for me another absolute highlight of this release. Again, this is not a track that you’d necessarily expect to hear from Fall Out Boy, it’s nonetheless a sound that they do incredibly proud however, and once again Patrick Stump’s vocals are absolutely sublime. There’s a very uplifting guitar presence about the track, it’s another real singalong number from the album, and a track that’ll no doubt put a smile on the face of many. It’s a softer sound than what you’d expect from a Fall Out Boy single, an absolutely brilliant piece of music though, and a track that really does have a lot to love about it.
Courtney Love features on penultimate track ‘Rat A Tat‘ as Pete Wentz provides another pounding bass line and the track’s simple yet effective chorus packs a mighty punch, with final track ‘Save Rock and Roll‘ the band perhaps saves the best until last however, providing a collaboration with the world renowned Elton John. Just when you think the album can’t possibly top what it has already provided for you, Fall Out Boy somehow steps it up a gear with ‘Save Rock and Roll‘, a track which provides a fantastic piano presence absolutely perfect for a collaboration with Elton John, and an absolutely phenomenal vocal duet between Patrick Stump and Elton John. Both Patrick Stump and Elton John sound incredible on this final track on the album; their voices work sublimely together, and the first time I listened to the track it did in fact quite literally give me goosebumps. The band finishes off the album in absolute style with this Elton John collaboration, it’s a fittingly perfect title track for an absolutely mindblowingly brilliant album, and ends the release on a real high note. The lyrics are incredible, the vocals simply sublime, and everything about the track just provides for an absolutely perfect closing number. ‘Save Rock and Roll‘ is a track that surely has to be released as a single at some point, not just for its featuring a huge worldwide star in the form of Elton John, but for its absolute beauty as a piece of art. The presence of Elton John is not what makes this track, but it is what completes this track. Fall Out Boy demonstrates a fantastic talent for writing incredibly catchy and impressive music with the first ten tracks on this album, the final track of this release ensures that the band goes out with a bang however, and provides one final fantastic moment just when you think that the best of the album has surely already been and gone.
‘Save Rock and Roll‘ is, without doubt, the best studio album I’ve heard in 2013, and I really can’t see anyone releasing an album later this year that I’ll love more than this one. ‘Save Rock and Roll‘ is perhaps the best studio album Fall Out Boy has ever written as a band, and the band has returned from hiatus in absolute style by putting out an album of such incredible quality. Fall Out Boy is back and ready to take over, as finally the break’s over.
Having really not been impressed with Paramore’s ‘Now‘ single, I wasn’t at all sure what to expect with single number two from the band’s 2013 self-titled studio album. Whilst I’d still not personally perceive Paramore to be a band at their best right now, ‘Still Into You‘ does at least mark a definite improvement upon the last single.
The jerky introduction to ‘Still Into You‘ doesn’t sit particularly well with me as in my personal opinion Hayley Williams does not play to her vocal strengths here, the track certainly comes complete with an incredibly catchy chorus however, and Williams’ voice sounds absolutely brilliant throughout much of the track. ‘Still Into You‘ is not a single that I would say presents Paramore back at their very best, however it is at least a track that demonstrates that Paramore is still a band very capable of penning a catchy pop song. Regardless of whether or not you like the musical direction that Paramore has taken as a band these past few years, ‘Still Into You‘ is a track that should at least in some way appeal to fans of the band’s earlier material, at least with the punch that it packs with its chorus, even if nothing else.
Instrumentally I do not feel that this is the best track that Paramore has ever written as a band, in fact there’s a lot that I don’t like about this element of the music; the swirling synth sound present here is not a sound that I particularly like all that much and the track could certainly benefit from a really catchy guitar riff such as the band provided in abundance with its first two studio albums, there is however some brilliant drumming on display here, and also some absolutely superb bass lines.
For me, Paramore does not reach the heights that were reached in the earlier years here, this is nonetheless a pretty catchy offering of pop music however, and a track that will no doubt earn the band a few new fans from first time listeners in 2013.
Right from the haunting piano and impressive drum sound in the opening, you know that ‘Oil & The Water‘ is going to be something rather special. You can feel the track building right from the word go, and as the vocals kick in here the track certainly doesn’t disappoint.
Whilst Death In Texas may be a band without a guitarist to speak of, what we do have here is an instrumental section of keys, bass, and drums that fits absolutely perfectly with the vocal work of Ruth Power. Ruth actually also happens to be the band’s pianist; clearly an astute instrumentalist as well as a very impressive vocalist. Instrumentally the band’s music is understated yet absolutely perfectly presented, the main focus is on the vocals here, but nonetheless the instrumental work offered in the track is absolutely sublime at all times and the drumming in particular here really does suit the Death In Texas sound absolutely brilliantly. The bassist’s work is also impressively presented here, a lot of the time it’s easy to forget about the individual components of the music as the instrumental elements of the band’s sound all combine together so well, there are certainly times when the bass work really hits you however and you really begin to appreciate the talent that is on display here.
I mentioned before about the haunting nature of the keys at the start of the track, and Ruth’s vocal sound definitely compliments and works well with this. Ruth most certainly has a very powerful voice, it’s something that’s central to the track, and as ‘Oil & The Water‘ progresses a very impressive vocal range is demonstrated on her behalf. It’s very hard not to fall in love with this kind of a voice and I’m sure that there are many Death In Texas fans out there that hold her vocal ability in an incredibly high regard, and many further people out there that will hear her voice in the future and be absolutely blown away.
Death In Texas is currently signed to Last Meal Records, and I definitely feel that this progressive pop band from London has a very big future ahead. If ‘Oil & The Water‘ is anything to go by then this is most certainly a band with a huge amount to offer, and it’ll be interesting to see what 2013 has in store for the band as they continue to tour the country and look to release more music.
The Gaslight Anthem found their way into the UK’s hearts and record collections a few years ago, after taking to the stage at major festivals such as Glastonbury and Reading & Leeds. Their feel-good summery rock n’ roll anthems made for the perfect soundtrack to the festival season, but on a cold, dark evening, whilst heading down to see them play their first of two nights in London, all of that feels like a distant memory.
These guys are all about nostalgia though. Think hazy summer evenings, classic cars, dirty denim and faded photographs, and you get a pretty good idea of what The Gaslight Anthem are all about. With this in mind, it seems fitting that a band so heavily influenced by memories of days gone by are playing at a venue with so much history. Perhaps one of London’s lesser known venues, the Troxy is quintessentially British and about as far as you can get from the all-American ideals that have shaped The Gaslight Anthem into the band they are today.
In fact this majestic old cinema, with its sweeping staircases and plush carpets, is so far removed from the band’s New Jersey roots that it sparks a bit of culture shock in lead singer Brian Fallon. He pauses mid-set, pointing to a pink neon sign at the back of the room, which reads ‘cloakroom’, and muses; “To me, a cloakroom would be somewhere where Batman would hang his things, not where you would put a coat! But I’ve been learning that in fact, it is where you put a coat… And if you wait there before your soundcheck, Batman will not show up.”
Fallon’s humour is a hit with the crowd. He’s a man of few words but when he does speak, it feels more like he’s catching up with an old friend over a quiet drink, rather than addressing a room full of strangers that are hanging on his every word. He is effortlessly charismatic, strutting around the stage in sturdy brown boots and a red checkered shirt with the sleeves rolled up to reveal intricately tattooed arms. Despite his rough and ragged appearance, Fallon comes across as being a friendly, mild-mannered, very likeable frontman and it’s clear that his charm has the crowd wrapped tightly around his little finger.
The rest of the band seem happy to stay out of the limelight, and instead remain focused on giving the crowd good, solid example of exactly how live music should be. They’re loud, they’re lively and they sound incredible but more importantly, they look like they’re enjoying themselves. In between the raw, gravelly vocals and the wailing guitars, are smiles and a genuine sense of passion, which becomes even more apparent every time Fallon looks up from his guitar and fails to hide a huge Cheshire Cat smile at the sight of the crowd.
It’s hard to tell who’s having more fun – the band or the crowd! Every song prompts a singalong and there’s not a face in the room that doesn’t light up upon hearing the opening notes of ‘Great Expectations’. It’s not just the hits that get the crowd going though, in fact it’s quite the opposite.
After being compared to Bruce Springsteen in a million different reviews, it seems that The Gaslight Anthem are ready to start doing things a bit differently. Of course there are far worse people to be associated with, but a band as good as this shouldn’t have to spend their career in the shadow of another artist.
They launch into their set with a whole host of tracks from their latest album, all of which have a slightly rockier edge to them and feel much more accessible than some of their earlier material. Usually a set like this would make people glaze over or head to bar during the songs they don’t know, but these guys are better than that. They seamlessly blend their newer tracks in with well-known songs from ‘The ‘59 Sound’ and ‘American Slang‘, barely giving the crowd a chance to stop and catch their breath as they work their way through an extensive twenty-three-song setlist.
Each song is met with cheering, whooping and shouts of approval, a sure sign that Gaslight have mastered the art of pleasing their fans. Downstairs the crowd are going wild, singing at the top of their lungs, starting mosh pits and launching crowdsurfers out into a sea of sweaty, moving bodies. However the atmosphere upstairs could not be more different, with seated fans tapping their toes, smiling and clapping politely to show their appreciation.
It’s refreshing to see such a range of positive reactions from people of all ages and backgrounds though, rather than a bog-standard gig full of teens that are more intent on pushing and shoving than enjoying the music. This crowd are far more mature, but maybe that’s because The Gaslight Anthem are for those who have lived a little. The honest, heartfelt lyrics of title track ‘Handwritten’ are reminiscent of better days and as Fallon’s deep, gravelly voice sings “I know there’s someone out there feeling just how I feel” it’s clear that he’s right. Just one look at the crowd reveals fans sporting t-shirts emblazoned with the band’s logo, arms tattooed with lyrics to their songs and smiles spread across weathered faces that have all been there before.
Review and Photography by Liz Murray
With track number three from the ‘Save Rock and Roll‘ studio album, Fall Out Boy most definitely caught me more than a little off-guard. Expecting the band to continue in a similar vein to ‘My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light Em Up)‘ and ‘The Phoenix‘, Fall Out Boy instead unleashed a bit of a folkier offering with third single, ‘Young Volcanoes‘, despite the drastic change of style however, Fall Out Boy most certainly still manage to hit the spot here, and ‘Young Volcanoes‘ is perhaps even the strongest track that they’ve unveiled from the album thus far.
‘Young Volcanoes‘ is definitely a lighter track than the first two released from the album, a poppy folk infused number which comes complete with an incredibly infectious, singalong chorus. This is a real feel-good anthem for the summer, complete with a ‘woah-oh’ chorus and the incredible Patrick Stump vocal tone that we’ve all come to expect from Fall Out Boy over the years. Stump has always had such a soothing voice, and it’s certainly no different with this track; the style may be different, the vocals are still as silky as ever though, and Patrick Stump’s vocals are what stand out most strongly about the music.
Since returning from hiatus and hitting us with the news of studio album number six, Fall Out Boy has very clearly demonstrated that it’s not a band that has remained static since ‘Folie à Deux‘ was released in 2008. With each and every studio album Fall Out Boy has looked to progress its sound and come back with something different, a course that the band appears to be continuing to follow with ‘Save Rock and Roll‘. When Fall Out Boy went on hiatus in 2009, we had to be aware that if and when they returned, they’d inevitably do so with a view to moving on and providing something a little different, much like Blink-182 did when they released their ‘Neighborhoods‘ studio album in 2011. ‘Young Volcanoes‘ demonstrates that we can expect quite a variety of sounds to be on display when Fall Out Boy releases ‘Save Rock and Roll‘ on April 12th, and I for one am now even more excited than ever to hear what Fall Out Boy has to offer with this latest studio album.
For me, Man Overboard has long been a pop-punk band with a great amount of potential, but had up until now failed to really deliver at the highest level. They’ve always been a very listenable band, with ‘White Lies‘ they definitely seem to hint at a slightly higher quality with album number three however, and it sounds as though they’ll now be taking things to a whole new level, and probably a whole new greater audience too.
‘White Lies‘ is a very big sounding track, coming complete with a huge chorus and a great amount of fun about it. It’s not hugely different to what the band has come up with in the past, I just think that they’re doing it a little better now though; they’ve tightened up their sound, tightened up the production values, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if 2013 sees the band propelled to whole new heights. They’re a pop-punk band with a great amount of talent, and that really seems to be coming through with their music now. It really is difficult to listen to ‘White Lies‘ without having a huge smile on your face; it’s a fantastic summer anthem from Man Overboard, and even though the weather in the UK is pretty awful right now, ‘White Lies‘ has most definitely brought a little sunshine into my life just lately.
If you like a good uplifting pop-punk song then Man Overboard’s ‘White Lies‘ is most certainly a song that should go down well with you. Instrumentally the band is strong, vocally the sound certainly hits the spot, and the track also comes complete with lyrics that you’ll undoubtedly be singing along to in no time. I for one absolutely can’t wait to hear the band’s third studio album, ‘Heart Attack‘, and will most certainly be checking it out when it’s released at the end of May.
In 2011 The Story So Far burst onto the pop-punk scene with debut album ‘Under Soil and Dirt‘, 2 years later and the band is back again with album number two. Is ‘What You Don’t See‘ a sophomore slump though, or is it to be one of the comeback album’s of the year?
Parker Cannon’s passionate vocal approach was one of the things that impressed people so much about ‘Under Soil and Dirt‘, he had a huge amount of fire in his belly and with every vocal line he belted out you really felt he believed 100% in what he was singing about. With ‘What You Don’t See‘ the vocals are absolutely incredible again; Parker Cannon continues where he left off with album number one, and I really don’t have a bad thing to say whatsoever about his voice. Combine that with some very impressive musicianship and you have an incredibly solid studio album again here. The Story So Far is a band that definitely seems to have matured with studio album number two, and in my book this is definitely not a bad thing. The band’s first album was great and all, bit with ‘What You Don’t See‘ they just seem to really take things to a whole new level, building upon what they brought to the table last time and really refining their pop-punk sound whilst maturing as musicians at the same time.
The album’s opening track ‘Things I Can’t Change‘ eases you in pretty gently here; upon first listening to the album I was a bit worried with this opening that the album wouldn’t meet my admittedly high expectations after the standard that was set with ‘Under Soil and Dirt‘, the track has certainly grown on me with repeated listens however, and although it’s by no means one of the best tracks on the album, it’s still a pretty decent track from The Story So Far. As the swirling guitar riffs and powerful vocals hit you with track number two, ‘Stifled‘, you know that the band has begun to up its game, preparing you for a very impressive pack of pop-punk songs. As I said before, opening track ‘Things I Can’t Change‘ is a definite grower rather than an instant classic, and this is in fact something that’s true of the album as a whole. It takes a few listens to really ‘get’ the brilliance of this album, a pattern which has been true of some of my favourite pop-punk albums of all time. It’s a slow burner, but it’s well worth the breaking in period for the brilliance of the album that you come to know and love by the end of the experience.
It’s with third track ‘Small Talk‘ that the album really begins to explode, a track so beautifully catchy that it’ll no doubt have you hooked for a long time to come. ‘Small Talk‘ is an absolute belter of a pop-punk anthem; instrumentally hard hitting, lyrically brilliant, and, as ever, absolutely vocally outstanding. Right from the start of the track you know that this one is going to be something rather special, and it’s certainly not one to disappoint. The bass tone is absolutely phenomenal as always here, the song is incredibly well structured, and everything about the track just seems to really fit together absolutely perfectly.
‘Empty Space‘ is another absolutely pounder of a pop-punk track from this album, and in places it reminds me a little of ‘Deja Entendu‘ era Brand New, a comparison definitely to be proud of as that’s one of my very favourite albums. Again the track has absolutely superb structure, and it’s another track that I can definitely see myself coming back to a lot over the coming months and years. It’s hard hitting, catchy, and it’s just everything you could possibly want for in a pop-punk release; punchy, yet absolutely hits the spot with enough pop power about it to really get stuck in your head.
There’s not really a single bad track present on this album, there are of course some tracks that are better than others, the same as you’ll discover with any studio album, but not a single one of these 11 tracks is at all bad; they all have their merits, and all combine nicely to form the ‘What You Don’t See‘ studio album as a whole. ‘Framework‘ provides a powerfully uplifting and fitting sendoff for the album, and in listening to this album you really feel like you’ve experienced something truly special. The musicianship on display with this final track, and in fact throughout the entire album is absolutely sublime; the song’s are so well crafted that listening to this album is at all times an absolute pleasure. As I keep coming back to, Parker Cannon’s vocal tone is just something else on this record, he’s probably one of the finest vocalists in pop-punk right now, a true vocal star of the genre with a talent that young fans of the band can most definitely aspire to.
There are few pop-punk releases this year that will come with as much hype as The Story So Far’s ‘What You Don’t See‘, the young band certainly don’t crumble under the pressure of expectation here though, and do in fact seem to thrive under it as they come up with a second absolutely incredible studio release. If you were a fan of ‘Under Soil and Dirt‘ then I definitely recommend investing in ‘What You Don’t See‘ as the band once again have a huge amount to offer here, or if you’re a pop-punk fan and yet to really listen to The Story So Far then definitely take the time to do so now as you’re really missing out on something seriously special.
Remember those kids in school who used to walk into an exam grinning from ear to ear because they knew they were going to get every question right? Well that’s the sort of quiet confidence that emanated from math-rock four-piece Tall Ships as they took to the stage at London’s Scala earlier this month.
Despite being the last date of their UK tour, the band still managed to look fresh-faced and enthusiastic as they shuffled onto the stage, smiling shyly at the sea of eager faces in front of them. The crowd were buzzing after being treated to the psychedelic, synth-y sounds of Emperor Yes, and an energetic performance from the ever so slightly trippy Isla, who brought their immaculately styled moustaches, floaty clothes and vast array of instruments off of the stage and into the audience. It was a breath of fresh air, then, to see Tall Ships’ frontman Ric Phethean emerge with just a guitar, a laptop, and a loop machine. No wacky clothes, no gimmicks, just raw talent.
With their guitars and dodgy haircuts, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Tall Ships are just another indie band. On the surface they’re nothing special, but it soon becomes clear that these guys are full of surprises. The first surprise of the evening is their choice of opening track. The first single from Tall Ships’ debut album ‘Everything Touching’ has received acclaim from the likes of NME, Punktastic and The Guardian, and has even made it onto the Radio 1 playlist. For most bands a huge crowd-pleaser like this would be the obvious choice to end their set with, but these guys aren’t like most bands, so they launch straight into the catchy, grinding guitar riff of ‘T=0’.
When it comes to live shows, the same old formula has been re-hashed time and time again, so it’s refreshing to see a band like Tall Ships breaking out of that mould and doing things a little bit differently. Keeping their fans happy seems to be at the top of their agenda and that’s exactly what they do, from the juddery, jangly ‘Best Ever‘, to the pounding drum beats of ‘Gallop‘, right through to their climatic encore in the form of ‘Vessels‘.
When the band last toured the UK, they consisted of only three members and were virtually unknown. Older fans will no doubt argue that the original line-up was better but there’s no disputing the fact that, with the addition of keys, these four guys are making some amazing sounds now.
Many of these older, more hardcore fans were right down at the front of the crowd, belting out every single word with more passion than if they’d written the songs themselves. In contrast, there were also plenty of people who had maybe heard them played on the radio a couple of times, standing at the back of the venue, clutching a drink, smiling and nodding along to the odd song. Despite there being a very clear divide between fans, there wasn’t a single person in the room that wasn’t completely mesmerised by what was going on in front of them.
And when I say ‘in front of them’, I mean right in front of them. With no barriers and no wall of butch, high vis-clad security guards in front of the stage, the band were able to really engage with their fans and give a much more intimate performance. The front row gazed up in awe at Ric, whose soaring vocals, coupled with the complex array of noises made by the rest of the band, filled the entire room and captivated everyone within its walls. From start to finish, all eyes were on the band’s shy, understated, yet quietly brilliant frontman.
If the crowd’s reaction to their beautifully complex melodies, haunting vocals and polished live performance are anything to go by, then this certainly won’t be the last we hear of Tall Ships. These guys are going to be seriously big, and commanding a room full of so many adoring fans just goes to show that they’re more than ready to step up to the mark and take on the festivals they have lined up this summer, including The Great Escape festival in their hometown of Brighton. In fact, the likes of Reading and Leeds, the Isle of Wight festival and even Glastonbury are well within their reach… But for now, if they can make a room full of people smile and dance on a cold, wet Thursday night in King’s Cross then they must be doing something right!
Review and Photography by Liz Murray
With a chorus not too dissimilar to the early work of Linkin Park, ‘Sleepwalking‘ is a great new track from Bring Me The Horizon, and one that could well win the band a few new fans.
Whilst the ‘Sempiternal‘ studio album doesn’t actually officially come out until the start of April, it’s already available to stream online, a move undertaken by the band amidst controversy of the album having been leaked online 2 months earlier than its originally intended release date. The album may not officially be out yet, but ‘Sleepwalking‘ is already the third single to be released from the album out of the eleven tracks to feature on it. The band has quite an interesting variety of tracks on the album, and as previously mentioned, ‘Sleepwalking’ can certainly be seen to have more than just a hint of a Linkin Park vibe about it. Think of a slightly heavier ‘Crawling‘ and you’re probably not far off envisioning what ‘Sleepwalking‘ sounds like. It’s a pretty impressive track from Bring Me The Horizon, although I can imagine that whilst gaining a fair few new fans with this new single/ the ‘Sempiternal‘ studio album, the band may also alienate a few old ones that are a little too set in their ways to accept the change in approach of the band. ‘Sleepwalking‘ is an incredibly solid single from Bring Me The Horizon, but it’s also a long way different from the band’s starting point; Bring Me The Horizon is a band that has come along way over the years as the band’s members have progressed and matured as musicians, it’s commendable to see, but also understandable that not everyone will be down with it.
If you’re a Linkin Park fan, or general fan of catchy metal songs, then you’ll no doubt have a lot of love for ‘Sleepwalking‘ and it’s most definitely a piece of music that I’d highly recommend listening to. The track won’t be for everyone, and the entire ‘Sempiternal‘ studio album certainly isn’t in the exact same tone as this track, personally I think that ‘Sleepwalking‘ is a great piece of music though and comes from another very impressive studio album from Bring Me The Horizon in the form of ‘Sempiternal‘.
Give this track a listen, and also give the ‘Sempiternal‘ studio album a listen too whilst you’re at it; if you like what you hear then show your support for great British rock music and make sure that you pre-order it for the album’s official release on April 1st.