Sunday, 19 April 2015

Layby | Life's Great Illusions Review

The guys in Layby seem to have had a busy time recently. With the departure of their vocalist, Aaron John Bownes, who left to concentrate on becoming a dad, the vocals now lay in the hands of new member Miles Kent. The Nottingham pop punks are now releasing their second EP Life's Great Illusions after their awesome first release 'Bombsite' last year. If you're a fan of Neck Deep, ROAM or Six Time Champion, Life's Great Illusions is something you'd be silly to miss out on. The EP is pop punk with a heavier edge complete with a British accent...


The EP starts off with Soundcheck, a short-lived opener without any lyrics. It's upbeat, and is accompanied by chugging guitars which makes Soundcheck a great descent into the EP.

Chronic is up next which Layby recently released a video for (watch it below). The song has a deep-rooted heaviness while still maintaining a classic pop punk sound . Chronic is brisk, with enduring lyrics that will leave you singing along after only a few listens. The next song is Where I Stand. At first, the song appears to be a slower, more melodic track but the pace soon increases which creates a striking development throughout.  

Kicking & Screaming is the most sentimental on the EP, with honest and expressive lyrics. The song is unhurried and the gang vocals three quarters of the way through are a nice touch, emphasising the sentiment of the song. Finally, Losing Faith is one of the standout tracks from the EP, it has a perfect pop punk formula; a summery, crisp riff, an upbeat tempo and sincere, heartfelt lyrics. Out of all the tracks this is the one that's most susceptible to being put on repeat. The chorus holds a prominent vocal melody that will leave it implanted in your memory.

Overall, Life's Great Illusions is a great EP. All of the songs have a flawless pop punk construction with enough heaviness to add an extra compnent to the songs. The lyrics are heartfelt and the choruses are big. Layby have an excellent ability to tell a story with their songs. This, coupled with the awesome sound they've created, makes for a really engaging EP.   

Life's Great Illusions is out April 20th but you can stream it in full here.



Layby's Facebook | Twitter | Bandcamp | Instagram  

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Turnover Release New Song


Turnover's new song, 'Humming' is streaming over on Vice. The song comes from their upcoming album Peripheral, which is set to be released on May 4th via Run For Cover Records. Check out 'Humming' here.

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Miss Vincent | Reasons Not To Sleep | Track By Track Guide


With the follow up to their well received 2013 E.P Creepy, forthcoming Reasons Not To Sleep sees Southampton’s Miss Vincent switching it from creepy to gloomy. Playing their self-styled ‘moody punk rock’, paying homage to the likes of Alkaline Trio and AFI, RNTS see them take their craft to the next level. “The songs we wrote for this record have a much darker, aggressive, and unhinged feel to them,” says Alex Marshall, lead vocalist and guitarist. Set for release on 11th May via Engineer Records, you can get a taste of what to expect via their track by track guide now… 


“Reasons Not To Sleep is a dark record. It wasn’t a completely conscious decision to start with. The songs naturally took a gloomier direction, and we just went with it full tilt. All the newer material was much much faster, angrier, and more unhinged, and it felt more like “our” sound.

Production wise we really wanted to capture the frenetic energy of playing the songs live as well as the more ethereal, layered elements. Recording with Neil Kennedy at the Ranch in Southampton was a great fit, he really helped us layer the songs perfectly and created the depth and atmosphere we were looking for.

DNR: We toured a lot of these songs for almost a year before recording them, and the gang vocals in this one seemed to get people singing along almost immediately. Theme wise it’s just a panicked expression of hopelessness - it’s questioning whether everyone should just give up on you, but at the same time there’s a sense of hope that if you stick together you can rid yourself of that feeling.

Gradients of Grey: The roots of this song lie before Miss Vincent was even formed. It started as a little conversation with myself about perseverance, because at the time I didn’t have a band or anyone to form one with, just a burning desire to play. There’s a counterpoint between the relatively minimal verses and the big call and response chorus. We’re big Misfits fans too so any excuse for some good old “whoa”s really!

Disparate, Desperate: This wasn’t always a slow song. It was originally double the speed but didn’t sound quite right; Lawrie suggested slowing it down and the feel just clicked. It’s a lot of fun to play live because it’s sort of sinister and introverted in the verses, and the chorus lets out all that pent up aggression. And there's a rad guitar solo. The spooky riff at the start trails on perfectly from the weird segue from the song before. If you listen hard you can hear a little bit of eBow action underneath all the atmospherics that had Lawrie and Neil on their knees twiddling knobs on pedals for hours.

The lyrics in this are pretty broad. It’s that feeling of seeing people tread a known path in the hope of success and not wanting to follow, but having a horrible internal struggle that comes with it. When I wrote this I was questioning everything I was doing, wondering why this shitty feeling got worse as I got older. I was giving advice to someone very close to me, and I sort of stopped midway through a sentence because I realised that I could do with taking that same advice. In that sense there’s some positivity blended in. At the same time I was dealing with some health issues as well, that’s where the line about hospitals comes from.

Shogun Queen: Two and a half minutes of rage. It’s a pissed off song about how badly people can act towards each other, how they repeatedly take advantage of one another. We aimed to do as few vocal takes as possible to try and capture that raw, aggressive feel, and it worked out great.

How Much Further?: This was the first song from the EP that we played live. Even though no one had heard it it’s always gone down really well at shows and people seem to remember it, so for those reasons we chose it as the lead single. It was only once we got in the studio that we realised how fast we play it live, so it was probably the toughest track to record. The lyrics are essentially reflecting on the fact that life sometimes seems to wait until things are looking up to tear you down again. As though everything you aspire to is nothing more than a shadow that you’re chasing.

You Can't Spell Blame Without ME: This was the last song we wrote for the EP. It was a little strange for us recording this because it was the only song we hadn’t played live before, so it took shape purely in the practice room and the studio, but we were blown away by the outcome. We completely let rip on the last chorus and it's probably our favourite part of the EP. There's layers and layers of vocals and a super fuzzy drop tuned baritone guitar, which was more of Neil's input. It’s also a very personal song, looking at things in your life that are out of your control but you still blame yourself for. I have a lot of unexplained guilt that crops up in places on the EP, but more so here than anywhere.” 

Reasons Not To Sleep is out via Engineer Records on the 11/05/15! Check out the lead single 'How Much Further' here:                                             


Miss Vincent's Facebook | Twitter | Bandcamp 

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Up & Coming Pop Punk Bands | Guts


Today for our up and coming pop punk bands post we're bringing to you Guts who hail from Las Vegas. The band are about to release their new LP Matches Malone via Don't Leave California Records on April 14th. If you're a fan of fast-paced, up beat pop punk like Handguns or Forever Came Calling, Guts is definitely a band you should check out... 

WHERE ARE YOU GUYS FROM?
We are from Las Vegas, NV USA

HOW DID YOU FORM?
We were actually in a different band at the time. I [Kenny], was writing that other bands next album and I took a break and wrote a pop punk song. 
That is how our song ‘Hesitation’ came. I then sent that to to our singer, Sean, and he wrote lyrics and it actually came out really good so we quit the other band to pursue Guts. 

DESCRIBE YOUR MUSIC IN FIVE WORDS FOR SOMEONE WHO'S NEVER LISTENED TO IT BEFORE....
Energetic, Fast, Melodic, Youthful but Mature



TELL US ABOUT YOUR UPCOMING LP 'MATCHES MALONE'...
We had so many small releases in past 2 years that we wanted to bring them all together to make them more accessible. We also were on tour when we released the Matches Malone EP so we didn’t really get a chance to have a good release for it. We recorded a few new tracks and added them to the EP and a split we did with Anchorless(Ca) and now are releasing it thru ‘Don’t Leave California Records’. 


WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE SONG FROM MATCHES MALONE AND WHY?
I think we all have a different one.
[Kenny] Matches Malone 
[Andrew] Boxcutter
[Adam & Sean] House of Cards
[Doogie] Ogden Avenue


IF YOU COULD PLAY A SHOW WITH ANYONE WHO WOULD IT BE?
[Kenny, Andrew] blink 182 (with Tom Delonge tho)
[Adam] Pennywise
[Sean] Dru Hill
[Doogie] Bayside


WHAT ARE YOU TOP FIVE FAVOURITE ALBUMS?
Blink 182 - Take Off Your Pants and Jacket 
Blink 182 - Dude Ranch
Anchorless - Bridges Burned, Lessons Learned
N’Sync - No Strings Attached
Bayside - The Walking Wounded

Matches Malone is out on April 14th, but you can listen to 'Ogden Avenue' from the release here:



Guts's Facebook | Twitter | Tumblr 

Sunday, 5 April 2015

The Story So Far Release New Song

The Story So Far have released a new song titled 'Solo'. The song comes from their upcoming self-titled album which is set to be released on May 19th via Pure Noise Records. Check it out below:



Thursday, 2 April 2015

Up and Coming Pop Punk Bands | All For Amends

Today for our up and coming pop punk bands post we're bringing to you singer/songwriter Aaron Akeredolu who goes by the name of All For Amends. Aaron has just released a new EP titled 'Looking Out For When It Starts To Look Up' which is filled with 90s inspired indie pop punk tracks, influenced by the likes of The Starting Line, The Get Up Kids and The Wonder Years. Check out our interview with Aaron below:

WHERE ARE YOU BASED?
I’m based in London, but I currently torn between London and Northampton as I go to University in Northampton but my stuff is all in London.

HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH YOUR NAME ALL FOR AMENDS?
The name is kinda indicative of my cynical perspective of negative experiences whereby – I am all for positive things to happen in my life but until then I will deal with the all the negative and crap.

DESCRIBE YOUR SOUND IN FIVE WORDS FOR SOMEONE WHO'S NEVER LISTENED TO YOUR MUSIC BEFORE...
Well… that’s interesting I’d maybe say it’s: Loser Oddball Acoustic Pop Punk  , yeah I like that haha.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR NEW EP 'LOOKING OUT FOR WHEN IT STARTS TO LOOK UP'...
It has been a slow process releasing it. It’s basically three songs about the weird and transitional moments of 2012 which was an important year for me in becoming aware of the notion of the odd dynamics of the world that can squirm its way into the direction of a sixteen year old while they are trying to attempt to find their place somewhere. I’d definitely say it is a time capsule of that period. The EP was definitely on the backburner for a while due to delays with artwork and mastering and so on but it turned out exactly the way I wanted it to in the end.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE SONG FROM 'LOOKING OUT FOR WHEN IT STARTS TO LOOK UP' AND WHY?
I’d definitely say the first song “I’ve Got No Company Except Cynicism” which is about a brief period of insomnia I had where I was stuck in this haze of boredom watching snooker in the early hours of the morning and I’d just be thinking about nothing for hours. I think this song is my favorite because it was the first song where I became aware of the odd subtle nuances (in terms of songs structure) of the way I write songs, I’m not tooting my own horn or anything when I say that because I will never be like Chris Conley or Dave Mackinder but I think while writing that song it made me realize that hey, I have somehow encapsulated what I want to say accurately to how I had envisioned the song. Hearing the completion of that song was reaffirming in a way, when I heard it back it sounded gratifying hearing influences of the music I listen to supporting me in a way to voice what I wanted to in my own way.

DO YOU PREFER RECORDING OR PLAYING LIVE?
I think there is an immediacy that I have always been drawn to with recording. The practice of just capturing a moment sonically is just awesome, but again with playing live there is a definite sacredness about that moment in the fact that again it is immediate and it will only happen once, plus playing to people is cool. There are perks of both but I’d say recording.

WHAT ARE YOUR TOP FIVE FAVOURITE ALBUMS?

Well in terms of pop-punk I’d say 1) Frozen Over First In Line – Bangarang, 2) Through Being Cool – Saves The Day, 3) All I Have To Offer Is My Own Confusion – Fireworks, 4) This Time Next Year – The Movielife and  5) Brand New – Your Favorite Weapon

Look Out For When It Starts To Look Up is out now! Check it out below:



All For Amends's Facebook | Youtube 

Monday, 30 March 2015

Hit The Lights Interview


A few months ago, Pure Noise Records announced that they would be bringing their own tour to the UK. With Four Year Strong, Hit the Lights and Forever Came Calling, plus support from Light You Up, we knew this was one tour we couldn't miss out on.

We spoke to Nick Thompson, vocalist and former guitarist of Hit the Lights about their new album Summer Bones, his favourite albums and what he does to pass time on the road. Unfortunately, Nick was ill with a viral infection and was drinking some sort lemony drink as we spoke. Despite his illness, Nick very kindly answered our questions...   

HOW HAS THE TOUR BEEN GOING SO FAR?
It's been going good, besides the illness spreading around the van.

HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE BACK IN THE UK?
It's good. It's nice to be with the bands we're with. Light You Up, Forever Came Calling, Four Year Strong, they're all awesome bands to watch. We haven't had a chance to like super hang out yet but there's still time to tour and we can have some party time. I've had to go back to the hotel every night anyway so I've had no fun (laughs). I've got none of the good parts yet.

HOW ARE YOU FEELING ABOUT THE RELEASE OF SUMMER BONES? 
Well technically it's already been out because we streamed it and stuff but I'm excited because everyone seems to like it a lot though. It's very positive, it's awesome.

IN YOUR RECENT DOCUSERIES, 'THE SKELETON SERIES', YOU TOUCHED UPON THE RECORDING PROCESS OF SUMMER BONES, WAS IT AS STRESSFUL AS IT LOOKED? 
 It was very stressful but usually that's what making a record is. It can be really stressful. I think we all knew the outcome but it doesn't mean that we didn't get frustrated, you don't lose your mind sometimes, especially in little confined quarters for 16 hours a day. It definitely wasn't the experience we wanted (laughs) but we still got the same result that we wanted to get. So, in the end it was all worth it. 

YOU ALSO TOUCHED UPON HOW YOU WROTE THE WHOLE RECORD IN THE STUDIO, HOW WAS THAT?
It wasn't stressful, it was more new. It's always stressful with us because we have so many people in the band that write and always trying to keep people happy and that gets frustrating after a while. That can like wear down and after a while you're like 'I don't fucking care'. So that part's stressful but I think we've always been a band that does better under pressure, kept on our toes and stuff and we knew that going into it so we thought we'd try this out and it worked out really well.  

WITHIN THE WRITING PROCESS DO YOU WRITE RIFFS BEFORE LYRICS OR THE OTHER WAY AROUND?
I would say that riffs usually come first and then lyrics are written over it, especially for this album. I think a lot of the riffs were already there and then I did a lot of writing over the top. 

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE SONG FROM SUMMER BONES AND WHY?
That's a good question...I don't have one. It was one of the first records where our label (Pure Noise Records) asked us what singles we thought needed to be pushed and we were just like 'We don't know'. We spent all this time on it and we didn't really think about singles at all. We weren't thinking about radio or anything like that we just wanted to make a record. We kind of let them put it up for grabs and they kind of chose the singles. I think I love every song. It's like choosing your kids, I don't really have a favourite one at this point. I can't say that about all of our other albums but for Summer Bones, I like the record as a whole. I've been excited for kids to hear the whole thing rather than one song at a time. 

HOW INVOLVED WERE YOU IN PICKING THE ARTWORK FOR SUMMER BONES? 
Our label sent us some stuff and I saw it and I just was like 'it just doesn't feel right, it's not good'. We ended up having our good friend Mark mock up some stuff and he sent me the Summer Bones logo and I was like 'that looks like a bunch of other logos put together, but it makes a lot of sense'. We showed the label and it was just like one of those things where it clicked. He went with it and he'd never done an album layout before or anything and he killed it. He did awesome, it's one of my favourite album layouts and it's cool because it was done by one of our really really good friends who actually played bass with us last time we were over for Slam Dunk last year. So, it's cool, it's like keeping it in the family and was something that he didn't think he was going to be able to do and it came out awesome. 

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE TO TOUR IN THE WORLD AND WHY? 
Probably Japan. It's a really cool culture. Everyone's really respectful, it's very clean there, you walk the street at 3 in the morning and feel like the most dangerous person on the street. Everything's very at peace there. That's actually where we just came back from. We came from Japan over to here. It's a whole different culture, it's awesome, they're so efficient with everything. We've been over there six times now and it gets better and better every time. 

A LOT OF BANDS SAY THAT THE CROWDS IN JAPAN ARE VERY QUIET AND RESPECTFUL, IS THAT SOMETHING YOU'VE FOUND?
Yes, they're very quiet. It's something that you kind of get used to after a while and then you just roll with it. You're just like 'oh, it's okay, they're happy with us' they're just very respectful. 

IF YOU COULD TOUR ANY PLACE IN THE WORLD, MAYBE THAT YOU'VE BEEN BEFORE OR YOU HAVEN'T, WHERE WOULD IT BE?
We want to go back to Australia. We've been there a couple of times and we haven't been back in a while. I'd love to check out Indonesia, maybe some parts of South America as well I don't know, just any places we haven't really been yet. I'd definitely say Indonesia and South America we'd like to do.  

HOW DO YOU PASS YOUR TIME ON THE ROAD, DO YOU FIND IT GETS BORING TRAVELLING FOR ALL THOSE HOURS?
When you're in the US, if I'm driving I listen to music, that's like all I do. Otherwise you're on your phone all the time and stuff. Here, no one has internet service so usually we have videos and stuff to keep us occupied. So Adam's got Better Call Saul today and stuff. 

HAVE YOU CAUGHT UP ON ALL OF BETTER CALL SAUL?
We just watched the first two episodes. I liked it, I was into it so that makes the time go a lot faster. That's pretty nice.   

HOW DOES IT FEEL WHEN BANDS SAY THAT THEY USED TO LISTEN TO 'THIS IS A STICK UP...DON'T MAKE IT A MURDER' A LOT WHEN THEY WERE YOUNGER? DOES IT FEEL GOOD THAT YOU HAVE THAT INFLUENCE? 
Yeah, it definitely makes you feel older but it's very cool that kids look at that album how I looked at albums growing up. If it influenced people in any way that's more than I could ever have asked. We just started the band to get out of Ohio and play shows and we ended up taking it way further than we thought we would. It's just the icing on the cake now, and if people say they're influenced by it, that's incredible. That's the best thing that could ever happen. 

WHAT ARE YOUR TOP FIVE FAVOURITE ALBUMS?
This answer gets harder as I get older. I can do Deftones - Diamond Eyes, Saves The Day - Through Being Cool, New Found Glory self titled. Probably another Jimmy Eat World record. Jimmy Eat World is like my favourite band. As of recently even that 1975 record I can't stop listening to it for like the past 2 or 3 years. It's so fucking annoying but that one's really good too. I don't know, I have a bunch. Either that or maybe Hatebreed - Perseverance, that's a big one. Comeback Kid, probably their latest one. I don't know it's really hard now. Definitely New Found Glory self titled, Saves The Day - Through Being Cool, Jimmy Eat World - Clarity, those I can say are definite. Besides that, everything else is like really tight up. Those helped shape how I write songs and stuff.

Summer Bones is out now! Check it out below: