Tag Archives: Album

Album Review: James Bay – Chaos And The Calm

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James Bay – the winner of this year’s Brits critics’ choice award and the BBC Sound Of 2015 title ahead of the release of his debut album; for many this was first time they had heard this name. His surprisingly quick rise to fame has been ruthlessly efficient, driven by a shrewd management team who have succeeded in casting this young 22 year old into such a prominent position that he is bound to receive some pretty sharp criticism that would dent many a confidence.

Bay possesses a rasping voice, that also draws comparison to both James Morrison and Paulo Nutini. His hit single from last year Hold Back the River received plenty of airplay and has also been covered in the Live Lounge – praise indeed – by Ella Henderson.

He is an accomplished guitarist, and the album Chaos And The Calm is full of solid guitar-led pop tunes. The opening track, Craving is a catchy number that belies the message within, the upbeat tempo clashing with the songs lyrics that depict a frustrated artist confined within the routines of his hometown.

Bay clearly knows how to write lyrics and tracks such as Scars, Move Together and Let It Go expose his vulnerability, youth and the woes of broken relationships.

When We Were On Fire introduces a pleasant funk vibe

Best Fake Smile shows a grittier edge and hints at a rock vibe that is perhaps being hidden.

James Bay has come along way since his busking days in Brighton – this experience undoubtedly provided the building bricks for honing his ability to connect with the public and he will undoubtedly have the festival scene well and truly in his hands this year.

Although critiqued as ‘ androgyne’ and ‘run of the mill’ this album will sell. His music may be seen to be middle of the road, but his delivery of soft rock belies tougher influences that are clearly lying just below the surface; the interest in this newcomer and the attention that he is generating may ignite his confidence to expose this deeper rockier side and challenge him to develop the talents that he clearly does possess.

This first album is catchy and heartwarming. Let’s not knock him back at the start of his career but see what develops as this could well be the start of something big!

Track Listing:

Craving

Hold back the river

Let It Go

If You Ever want to be in love

Best Fake Smile

When we were on Fire

Move Together

Scars

Collide

Get Out while you can

Need The Sun to break

Incomplete

Written By: Lindsy Stott

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Album Review: The Maine – American Candy

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The Maine – the enduring American rock band from Tempe, Arizona that formed in January 2007 and who have now released their fifth studio album, American Candy (March 31, 2015)

The Maine could so easily been lost in the ageing plethora of american pop-punk bands but their last two albums have seen them forge their own, definitive Americana-style path with an indie-rock twist which has succeeded in maintaining the support of their fans as well as attracting many new listeners along the way.

This winning formula is clearly evident with their fifth album American Candy which displays another consistently strong bunch of songs to add to their rapidly growing collection but sees The Maine developing and adapting their sound further into a mature and substantial pop-rock album.

There are musical influences stretching back to the 1970’s, marking a departure from the brooding melancholy sounds of their last album Forever Halloween which featured a heavier and darker alt -rock vibe.

American Candy showcases the high energy pop punk anthems about love and youth and is a lighter, Summer album – clearly evident in the opening track Miles Away. The Maine acknowledge that they are no longer the twenty one year olds they were when they released Black and White in 2010, and the loss of the overused four-chord guitar riffs show that this band has grown up.

English Girls is pure, professional pop-rock that will have you dancing around the room. Another Night On Mars contrasts this perfectly with it’s piano-led overtones.

In the album’s second track Same Suit, Different Tie, it’ is evident that even the band recognise their transition but maintain that they have remained true to their roots throughout their career progressions.

The Maine ridicule authority in My Hair making clear that they are going to do whatever the hell they please, and the whole album portrays the band’s ‘We don’t give a f***’ attitude.

American Candy is another stage of The Maine’s musical evolution. They successfully maintain the playful energy that their hardcore fans love but have created a mature album and if you’re looking for a solid collection of unique pop rock anthems then look no further than this

Many fans will say that this is undoubtedly The Maine’s finest album to date. It may fall under the radar as their records so often do, but American Candy is a fantastic album that deserves to be heard and heralded this Summer. It is affirmation that The Maine never left, and have no intention of doing so anytime soon, and above all, The Maine have proved with this release that they can still kick ass–and that they kick it pretty damn hard!!

Track Listing

Miles Away

Same Suit, Different Tie

My Hair

English Girls

24 Floors

Diet Soda Society

Am I Pretty?

(Un)Lost

American Candy

Another Night On Mars

Written By: Lindsy Stott

Ones To Watch: EofE

1492233_231182207076158_2089118689_oTom Harris, 17,Vocals

Dan Bremmer, 19, Guitar/Backing vocals

Luke Bradley, 18, Bass/Backing vocals

Nicky Waters, 25, Drums

EofE certainly have potential and as the support act for McBusted the exposure could serve to launch them up the UK music scene apace.
They are all accomplished musicians and seem to work well together (although this is early days as the drummer who is a few years older than the rest of the band only joined the three teenagers in Feb 2014)

An accomplished first offering lust, especially as the songs have also been written by the band

Lust;
A very catchy first track to launch the band with
Offering more of a rock theme than current bands of their age
Solid drum beats dominates throughout the track, together with some accomplished guitar rifts
This band could easily fill a void in current music on offer

Kiss me like you mean it;
Starts with a good guitar rift rock vibe but then disappointingly descends into more of a ‘boy band’ production. Strong vocals – the talents of all band members are clear.

Piece of you;
Slower paced and measured delivery,
Vocals and strong clear at outset although these loose depth as song progresses and could be difficult to listen to for a long time – perhaps set in a lower key would be advisable!
Supported by strong and accomplished guitars and drums

EofE links Website | Facebook | Twitter

 

Written by: Lindsy Stott

Interview: The People The Poet – Brighton, Concorde 2 – 17th April 2014

The People The Poet-52We had a chat to Leon and Tyla from The People The Poet at the Brighton date of their UK tour supporting Deaf Havana.

Check out the interview below!

 

L: I’m Leon, I sing
T: My name is Tyla and I play guitar and do rubbish backing vocals

TNT: so you guys changed your name a couple of years ago, what prompted that and can you explain the reasons behind it?

L: We used to be a band called ‘Tiger Please’ and then we started writing an album based on our fans life stories and after like 2 or 3 years writing the album we didn’t really feel the band name ‘Tiger Please’ didn’t justify everything which we wanted to do, i think what we’ve done with the fans stories has become very serious so it didn’t feel like the right name to represent it, so The People The Poet was a nice insight to what we are and a nice tribute to the fans

TNT: as you just mentioned your album is based on fans experiences what was the inspiration behind that as it’s not something that’s really been done before?

T: How did we come across it?

L: I Think it was we’d just written an EP called ‘Seasons’ under Tiger Please and it was like a year of my life kinda thing and then it was kinda like I was 20 or 21 and it was kind of like what am I supposed to write about? I haven’t been through anything else and it was kinda like 90% of the songs I felt I was listening to were about love and I’d just written about heartbreak and love and it was kinda like I don’t want to write about this anymore so how can we come up with a way where we can write about stuff which is meaningful and so people can relate to something? I think it just came to me one day, yeah it just seemed such a simple idea but its way more than we ever expected.

TNT: hows the reaction been from the fans the songs are based on?

L: Amazing! yeah just

T: We were quite worried at first, obviously it was a lot of pressure on us but everyone, well I think everyone that the songs are about have all said its really cool and they’re really proud of it and stuff

L: It’s not even just like the people you write the songs about when you’re going we’re still a small, a very small band but the fans that we do have they’re all of a sudden we’re not just a band we’re someone who they’re gonna go and tell their life story at the table whilst you’re selling merch and they’re kind of, all of a sudden want to off load their whole entire life story on you, so yeah we didn’t expect anything.

T: We got a lot more response than we thought we would as well.

L: I think it was at first, like it was just an idea where it was like ‘That’s a good idea’ to just not have to really think about what I’ve gotta write about and go searching for inspiration, it’s a simple idea, no ones really don’t it before, awesome. It’s so hard, so hard.

TNT: Is there a particular song on the album that stands out for you guys?

T: We all have our personal favourites don’t we. I like um, I’ve actually forgotten the name of the song, the one with Francis Dunnery on

L: Nobody Else Like You

T: Oh Nobody Else Like You, just because, I can’t believe that, just because he’s one of my favourite singers and we just emailed him and asked him if he wanted to sing on it and he happily said yes. I think that’s my favourite, personally, whats your favourite Leon?

L: That’s really tough! I think my favourite is probably Pink Ribbon because it’s about a woman called Sam and of all the stories I’ve stayed in touch with all of them and we always see them at shows, on this tour we’ve seen probably like five of them, and with Sam her story was, like she originally sent in a story to me about 4 years ago and I couldn’t write about that particular story and then a year later she sent me a message saying do you mind if I send in another story and I don’t think I ever expected the story she was going to send in. She sent in this story saying ‘Ive been diagnosed with cancer’ and from that February she got diagnosed, which was like three years ago, I’ve stayed in contact with her like nearly every, at least every other week,  and sometimes it’s every week, just like a few days a week so its gone from being a fan to being a friend which I’m checking is ok kinda thing, yeah she got, she was given the all clear like 2 years ago and then it come back what a year and a half ago so its kind of a journey so she had that was given the all clear then heard the song and was like ‘yeah this is amazing, I’ve got this song to remember the fight’ and then she was obviously it spread and then this next time round she said she actually listened to the song whilst she was, well, whilst she goes through Chemo and whilst she was shaving her head and yeah so, its intense stuff kind of thing, but yeah because i’ve got really close with her it’s probably the biggest song and one of the songs we don’t play live

T: Yeah we don’t play it live

TNT: So now you’ve got ‘The Narrator’ under wraps, whats coming up in the future ?

T: Well, we’ve got a couple of festivals lined up, move on from here and concentrate on just touring and getting a name out there at the moment, we’re still writing the second album, hopefully it wont take as long to write this album, we’ve already done about half of it so

L: It’s nice to kind of write like other bands do, coz we’ve been writing in such a different way that its like to have almost no pressure in a way, because it’s a completely different process writing, so at the moment we’re just enjoying writing the songs.

T: and not worrying about having the torture of it

L: Not having the pressure that you have like yeah.

TNT: Whats been your favourite venue or city to play so far?

L: Brighton of course!

T: Yeah haha, I just had my grubbs burger from down the road, chilli and peanut butter, was good.  You know the best one on this tour besides Brighton, I don’t know, I’ve really enjoyed Newcastle Academy, it’s so big, and last time we played it we played the smaller academy and had a game of football in the actual arena so it was kind of cool to play the actual arena but for reaction it would be between Oxford and Wolverhampton, it’s all good, not going to complain

L: yeah the entire tour has been brilliant, its yeah brilliant!

TNT: Whats your favourite song to play live?

T: Heart of a Lion! just because I have a guitar solo now

L: Yeah selfishly it’s probably the only song on the entire album which is by myself, yeah I like playing Heart of a Lion, its kind of nice to just kinda be like ‘This is about me, you listen ok’ haha

T: It’s quite a dancey verse as well

L: Yeah I like it

TNT: Whats the best touring advice you’re received?

L: Touring advice?

T: erm Make sure you book Travelodges that have carparks

L: Received or to give?

T received

L: I don’t know, If it was Deaf Havana they’d just say drink, just drink more!

T: It’s been hard to keep up with them

L: Book Travelodges so you don’t have to sleep in a van, we’ve done that for 4 years, longer than that, I keep saying 3 or 4 years all the time, its like a habit, we’ve probably spent more like 6 years  in a van, just like sleeping in the top of it,

T: I love my free cup of tea in the morning with Travelodges, We’ve hit the big time now! Travelodges!

TNT: What bands are you most excited for in 2014?

L: Excited for?

T: erm in looking forward to hearing like new stuff by Twin Atlantic and the XX, We like a lot of Scottish bands

L: Probably the same

T: Foo fighters have a new album coming out

L: Foo Fighters, you can always, when you like think the rest of the industry is s**t you always go ‘Musics crap these days, ah don’t worry Foo Fighters got a new album coming out, every things gonna be fine, its gonna be rescued again!’

T: Well hopefully, yeah, the last one did well, my mind has gone blank there’s probably a lot more bands that I’ll remember once this interview is over

L: can you think of any? Who should we be looking forward to?

TNT: Kids In Glass Houses final tour?

T: Ah the final tour, I got tickets to that, their last show’s on Halloween, managed to get tickets so I’m looking forward to that

TNT: That’s all the questions we’ve got, so thank you very much!

Interviewed by: Samantha Stott

Album Review: Blitz Kids – The Good Youth

The good youthBlitz Kids was originally formed in 2006 under the name of ‘Rig Up Expolsive’. Following a name change in 2009, with Matt Freer (Drums) joining three of the remaining original members  – Joe James (Vocals), Jono Yates and Nic Montgomery in 2012, the now quartet quickly gained popularity throughout 2013 and are currently leading the way for new British Rock bands in  2014.

Their new album release ‘The Good Youth’ witnesses their continued liaison with producer John Feldman (All Time Low, Panic At The Disco) and it is undoubtedly their most exciting release yet.

The album, containing a plethora of rock songs that will undoubtedly feature on commercials and tv montages as well as the obligatory anthemic contagious choruses  such as ‘Perfect’ and ‘Keep Swinging’ with lyrics that will be quoted by teens countrywide. Strong, impressive vocals from Joe James and strong rhythmic drumming from Matt Free feature throughout the album and even though there is the odd weaker track (the ballad ‘Long Road’) they do still manage to pull this off.

The new single ‘Sometimes’ is uplifting and hard-hitting and together with the other two single releases ’On My Own’ and ‘Run for Cover’ showcase their enthusiastic  pop-rock delivery . The band give us energy, captivating choruses, superb vocals and accomplished riffs. This album is infectious, will certainly not disappoint and will see them riding high throughout 2014 !

Written by: Lindsy Stott

Album Review: Imagine Dragons – Night Visions

Night-Visions-Album-Cover-CroppedFollowing in the wake of their Las Vegas predecessors, The Killers, Imagine Dragons led by the only remaining founder member, Dan Reynolds are fast building a growing and dedicated fan base.

Night Visions is the band’s first studio album which was three years in the making. Known primarily as an alternative rock/indie band this album and covers a variety of genres including pop, folk, and hip-hop and tracks such as the It’s Time have received airplay on numerous radio stations worldwide, commercials and movie trailers.

Imagine Dragons have succeeded in writing an album which displays depth and power including many anthems that will be at home in their arena performances, attracting wide-ranging critical acclaim. Whilst they base many of the songs around rock-song structures they offset these with accomplished vocal harmonies and effective mixing acoustic and electric guitar.

Dan Reynolds, Lead Singer combines quality lyrics throughout with strong and impressive vocals. Radioactive the albums opening ‘stadium rock’ track features heavy drum rhythms set against a background of electro-pop. This is immediately followed by the uplifting feel-good track On top of the World which will have you singing along. This is then again contrasted a by Amsterdam featuring a sombre baseline and more reflective mood, and so this format continues throughout.

Hear Me is the track that could have been written and performed by The Killers and is the one that often sparks comparison between the two bands.

Imagine Dragons display a wealth of diversity and have succeeded in combining the various genres of indie, Alternative-Rock and Electro-pop that enables them to appeal to a wider market than some of their contemporaries, and will secure their position on the mainstream music scene for some time to come.

Written by: Lindsy Stott

Album Review: Fall Out Boy – PAX AM Days

fall-out-boy-pax-am-days-2013-1200x12008 songs, 13 minutes of gold. It is a short follow up to the band’s recent 2013 studio album, Save Rock and Roll, recorded after the band’s 4 year hiatus.

PAX AM Days seems to be heavily marketed towards the band’s older (“die hard”) fans before the release of their 2005 album From Under the Cork Tree. It has a similar sound to their 2003 mini LP, Fall Out Boy’s Evening out With Your Girlfriend, with its very un-polished production. Not to discredit the EP’s value at all, it is very appealing, with its nitty-gritty sound and machine gun guitar riffs.

If you are a fan of 70’s 80’s punk pop (with less of the pop), this is 100% for you. Partick 
Stump, (guitarist/ and vocals) has such a versatile sound, his voice can pretty much do anything from jazz, r&b to punk rock, this album shows something completely different for him, ‘Eternal Summer‘ (track 5) especially shows off his multi-talented range with its aggressiveness. Seconds in, you know Stump is for sure out of his comfort zone, but pulls it off perfectly. Think Scott Pilgrim VS the world, the sound of ‘sex bob-omb’, in comparison with PAX AM Days they are both very similar.

Pete Wentz (bassist) and Joe Trohman (guitarist) before the formation of the band both played in a local hardcore band, Arma Angelus together in their home town of Chicago, Illinois. The EP seems to be a project of great importance to the two band members, something of a nostalgia trip for the two, producing something they love that they haven’t until now been able to share with their fans, new and old.

Overall I would give the album a thumbs up, its distinct quick blasts of rough 2 minute songs have won me over and impressed me with their rare uniqueness you don’t hear enough of today.

Written by: Hannah Wallace