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Fall Out Boy

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Fall Out Boy will return with new music

Breaking, Editors Choice, News, Rock

30th August 2016

Playing the Reading Festival main stage on Sunday evening, Fall Out Boy’s bassist Pete Wentz announced that the rock band will be returning with new music. Though no dates were released, Fall Out Boy is approaching the two year mark since their sixth and latest studio album, ‘AMERICAN BEAUTY/AMERICAN PSYCHO’, which was released on 20th January 2015.

‘AMERICAN BEAUTY/AMERICAN PSYCHO’ proved a phenomenal hit, reaching 4x Platinum with help from singles ‘Centuries’ and ‘Uma Therman’. It debuted at the number 1 position on the Billboard Top 200 chart and reached the number 1 position on Apple’s iTunes chart in 22 countries.

Fall Out Boy, Reading Festival 2016. // @FallOutBoy

Fall Out Boy, Reading Festival 2016. // @FallOutBoy

We’re excited to see what’s next.

 

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Kaiser Chiefs announce UK Tour

Breaking, Editors Choice, News, Pop, Rock

26th August 2016

Last week the Kaiser Chiefs announced that they will be going on a UK headline tour next year – following the news of their latest album ‘Stay Together’, due out on October 7th 2016. This album succeeds ‘Education, Education, Education and War’ released in 2014. It will be the 7th record in total since the band formed in 2003.

Tickets are already on general sale for all 8 venues, commencing at Llandudno, Venue Cymru Arena on Wednesday 22nd February 2017, and ending in their hometown of Leeds at the First Direct Arena on Saturday 4th March.

Kaiser Chiefs Tour

Tickets:

TicketMaster: po.st/KCTKTM 

GigsandTours: po.st/KCGNT 

AmazonTicketsUK: po.st/KCAMZT 

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Three Albums Every Teenager Should Have

Editors Choice, Rock

20th June 2016

I don’t think anyone appreciates music as much as teenagers. Whether it be because we’re young and easily influenced, or because our angst allows us to quickly associate with down trodden rockstars’ depressing thoughts, there are three albums which I think every teenager should have in their collection to help them get through those famously difficult years.

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I don’t understand how anyone could go through their teenage years without having a copy of Green Day’s “Dookie” somewhere. Sure, some Blink-182 albums would suffice, but no one really captured teenage angst and disaffection as well as Billie Joe could in “Burnout”, “Longview” and “Basket Case”. Every time I listen to this album my favourite song changes – “Basket Case” and “When I Come Around” may have been what captured the punk rockers into mainstream success, but hidden charms on the record such as “Having a Blast”, “She”, “Sassafras Roots” and “Coming Clean” root so deep into the teenage psyche that the insanely catchy three-chord musings are hands down some of the best Green Day has ever done.

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Probably the best debut album released in the past twenty years, The Strokes’ “Is This It” is so disaffected, disjointed and powerful that it transcends being an album for teenagers and has become the basis for virtually every single indie rock band to come onto the scene since its release. However, I don’t think anyone can quite appreciate Julian Casablancas’ Lou Reed impressions as much as someone who has never heard Lou Reed. “Is This It”, “Barely Legal”, “Someday” and “Hard to Explain” not only provide the musical basis for your favourite 2000s indie band, but also lyrically encapsulate everything being a young has to offer, and what it can’t offer…why won’t you wear your new trenchcoat??

Now for the real Lou Reed. The Velvet Undergound’s Andy Warhol -produced and banana-clad infamous record may not be specifically for teenagers, or at least most teenagers who don’t like listening to two-note musings about hard drugs, but it’s basically a staple for every music lover. Reed’s famous drawlings coupled with Nico’s soft charms, overtly simplistic music and melancholy tones all join to form the phenomenal “I’m Waiting for the Man”, “Venus in Furs” and “Heroin”, some of the best pieces to come out of the late 60s. Listening to this record makes you romanticise a bunch of things you really shouldn’t (like New York brownstones), but it’s one of the most important albums ever created and Music 101 for any teenager – plus, Lou Reed was probably the first emo.

Article by Amy Eskenazi

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Album review: Max Jury // debut album

News, Pop, Rock

4th June 2016

I’m not even going to try to deny my love for Max Jury’s debut album. When you review, you sometimes just have to give in and just admit you blatantly love something “just because.” And while I’m aware that answer wouldn’t get you far in school, music simply makes us feel stuff, right?

So what’s the deal with this boy from Des Moines, Iowa? So many questions answered with even more questions. Because that’s what’s happening. As you dig into this debut album in the pocket of Max’s corner of the universe, it’s like when you were a kid and your dad built you pillow fort. That excitement when you first drew the blankets to the side and your imagination took you wherever you wanted to go.

‘Numb’ starts of the album, a slow smooth tune, eloquently showing off the vocal chords of this guy. There is a sweetness and lightness to his voice, something a little undefinable but inviting. It seems effortless with the choir on ‘Princess’ and the faster paced ‘Beg & Run’ where Jury sings “Say that you’re alone but you know better / don’t know where you’re going even though you have time / It’s not romantic to take this for granted” (the guitar riff has been stuck in my head for a good two days now.)

Songwriting-wise we’re going to have to touch the subject of the likes of Elton John and Gram Parsons. Drop this kid into the mix and perhaps a new generation will take notice to the art of songwriting before a riff or a beat. “Everybody’s always saying to look over your shoulder / the grass is always greener and I should do what I’m told” he sings on ‘Love That Grows Old’ which is the epitome of that those classics mentioned above. And with that voice, it would seem the soulful Americana was destined for him.

Max Jury fills a space that we didn’t even know was missing from the music scene. Besides the obvious phenomenal songwriting and melody, the final product; what he has put together as a whole — music, feel, atmosphere, authenticity, songwriting and so forth, that’s so rare to hear on a debut album.

You feel like you’re in good hands throughout the extent of the eleven songs. He raises a curiosity. Like peeking into someone’s diary where some of the letters and names have been crossed out. So you listen to the song again, because human nature tells us to continue looking for answers. So many questions answered with even more questions. The fine line of delivering to satisfy and connect with the listener while engaging and still leaving them with questions and want for more. He knows how to walk it.

Article by Flipse Flebo

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Album review: Sunset Sons // Very Rarely Say Die

News, Rock

4th April 2016

Remember back in the 90s when delusional music snobs proclaimed piano has no place in rock’ n roll? (They obviously didn’t know of David Bryan, Jerry Lee Lewis or Freddie Mercury.) Well if there was any doubt left, Sunset Sons definitely proves it’s got a place.

The quartet hailing from the surf destination Hossegor (members originating from both Australia and the England) released their debut album Very Rarely Say Die following up on a couple of EPs released last year. This album, however, is unquestionably made to be played live. From the slow catchy ooh’s on ‘Bring The Bright Lights’ to the hit ‘On The Road’ you can almost hear the crowd clap and sing along.

And it’s how the band was made as well. From rehearsing covers in the summer and playing gigs at ski resorts in the winter, the boys are well-versed in stage presence, energy, and musical capability. They supported Imagine Dragons on their latest European stadium tour and the words “best support act ever” kept being thrown around on social media.

There are longing, escapism, and a pinch of catchy rock n roll mixed with a laid back approach. Enough direction to fuse the catchy tunes with the laidbackness, enough escapism to balance the riffs. And that is how you come out on top. Older fans will appreciate the new takes on earlier songs like the beautiful and longing ‘Loa’ (man do this band know how to bring out the harmonies, well done Rob), as well as a predicted new crowd-favourite ‘Bring The Bright Lights’ which for me personally stands the strongest. Slow pace but with a big chorus and a guitar riff that gets stuck in your brain for days.

The band is still in its early years, so the compilation of songs range from old to brand new which suggests they have dabbled a little with the genres. Take ‘Lost Company’ that kind of has a folky vibe to it, and ‘I Remember’ which shines a light on what a brilliant guitarist Rob Windram is. The synergetic relationship between the four musicians is a result of the many live gigs they’ve got under their belt. Jed Laidlaw is a fantastic drummer, bassist Pete Harper and Rob as mentioned before, are on point. And Rory Williams has a voice you definitely want to hear more of.

They do save the best for last, at the end of the album we find ‘I Can’t Wait’ and it is just Rory and a piano. You can feel the end of the summer where the wind is getting a tad colder, the sun sets earlier than you would like, and you cherish the warmth before autumn comes and takes it all away.

Luckily spring is just arriving, you should go and hear the album live. Sunset Sons are currently on a headline tour promoting Very Rarely Say Die. For more info visit sunsetsons.com.

Article by Flipse Flebo

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The 1975 Ambitiously Respond To Their First Album

Dance/Electronic, News, Pop, Rock

28th February 2016

Fitting with the long list of English groups before them that The 1975 seem to be forging their way into, the Manchester quartet have created a second album that sounds and looks like a more mature version of their first.

This does not mean that the (the arrogant and annoyling titled) ‘I like it when you sleep for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it’ is a direct, boring and lacklustre copy of their debut (and better titled) ‘The 1975’. Rather, it means that what went right on their first try, such as the witty lyrics and experimental mix of electronic beats and rock synth guitar pop, is capitalised on and expanded, and what went wrong is done away with. It means that they’ve taken whatever they learnt after being thrown into fame from their debut after years in a career without any, after touring, dealing with fangirls, pop stars that “want to shag” lead singer Matty Healy, and apparent struggles with cocaine, and turned it into a sprawling, ambitious, and heavenly workable second album that both responds to the questions laid out on their first, and leaves room for The 1975 to grow into the iconoclasts that they seem to be itching to be.

Lyrically, ‘Ugh!’ is the new 1975’s response to the song that first catapulted them into success, ‘Chocolate’, making the first catchy anthem about driving around with soft drugs sound comparably tame to the singer’s electro pop tryst with cocaine. ‘A Change of Heart’ is another answer to their debut – Healy sings ‘never found love in the city’ after telling us on their debut that ‘If you wanna find love then you know where the city is’, perhaps literally making note of this response by telling us that he’s ‘just had a change of heart’. ‘She’s American’ and ‘Paris’ sounds like more tales of the women sung about in ‘She Way Out’ and ‘Settle Down’ from their debut, and ‘The Sound’ is the second album’s festival anthem answer to ‘Girls’ on the first. The link is literally evident by starting the album with a rework of the same track that did the first, ‘The 1975’, showing us from the get go that this album is similar to the first, but the jump into the powerful opener on ‘Love Me’ shows that it’s gone above and beyond what the debut made us expect.

Swapping black and white aesthetics and guitar driven pop for a rose tinted theme and Bowie-inspired riffs hasn’t answered all of Healy’s troubled questions, however. Just as he struggles with belief in God in ‘Antichrist’ on the ‘The 1975’, he continues to plead ‘I’m asking you Jesus, show yourself’ on ‘If I believe you’, contrasting these more serious tones with ‘you shouldn’t have made me atheist’, continuing the link of witty lyricism that is consistent throughout the album, making the scrawling mix of pop, jazz and 80s rock come to life in a way that is new to The 1975’s talents. Some of the record’s best tracks, ‘The Ballad of Me and My Brain’ and ‘Somebody Else’ show us deeper into Healy’s struggling psyche, while always keeping that hint of lightness to the lyrics, ‘I think I’ve gone mad, isn’t that so sad?’. Similarly, ‘Ugh!’’s upbeat tempo and sporadic mix of sound may make it seem like one of the more light-hearted songs on the album, but a closer look reveals that ‘I’m not giving it up again’ may not be as simple as he’s trying to convince us it is.

So much of the album seems unworkable – its 17 track length, variation of genre and style, and almost-too-much instrumentals, but what The 1975 have learnt from their first release has obviously paid off. It’s hard to think of what track they could have cut or where they could have simplified musically – the album’s beauty is contained within its euphoric music, coupled with layered vocals found on ‘Somebody Else’, ‘If I believe you’, and physically manifested on the album’s simplistic artwork. What is most appealing, however, is The 1975’s ability to capture the cultural climate in a way that is lyrically subtle, but visually obvious. In ‘A Change of Heart’ Healy amusingly sings ‘you took a picture of your salad and put it on the internet’, harking back to their video for single ‘Love Me’ where he mocks card board cut out celebrities. ‘Love Me’ is perhaps the album’s marking song – the most literal nod towards the Bowie influence, the characteristic mix of genres, the dazzling bass line (something they’ve thankfully carried over from songs such as ‘Chocolate’ and ‘Girls’ on their debut), and lyrics directly criticising the generation that they’re making music for. The more adept listener will question their own relationship with culture and the celebrities they worship in this internet age.

Healy struggles to find a sense of identity in a world where religion is absent, his friends are overtaken by fame, and his lovers are ‘looking through your phone and then leaving with somebody else’. It’s wholly empty, beautifully depressing and disgustingly perfect – fitting for a band that seem grappled between dichotomies of criticising the modern age and using it for their success. Each listen leaves me so fucking confused, but in the way that only great bands can.

Written by Amy Eskenazi

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Review: Hinds // Leave Me Alone

Emerging Artists, Pop, Rock

15th January 2016

The sound of the resurgence of garage and indie rock has a new face. A few new faces, in fact. The Spanish rockers Hinds have been growing momentum for the past few months through the release of low-fi tracks ‘Garden’ and ‘Chili Town’, and their debut album ‘Leave Me Alone’ is a near-perfect attempt at a bundle of messy nostalgia, a beautiful further nod towards the garage rock scene.

Hinds aren’t the only ones currently nodding in this direction, of course, but ‘Leave Me Alone’ signifies that Hinds are a little more special than the charming qualities of being all female, from Spain, and their obvious The Velvet Underground influence give them. ‘Bamboo’, originally created when Hinds were known as ‘Deers’ and only consisted of singers Carlotta Cosials and Ana García Perrote, is a hazy, acoustically inspired happy-go lucky anthem, while ‘Garden’ and ‘Castigadas en el Granero’ serve as the melodic centrepieces, rivalling with the simplistic funk of ‘Fat Calmed Kiddos’ for the quartet’s best track.

The simplicity of the songs is a highlight rather than a drawback – it continues throughout the album, creating a consistent hark back to their garage inspirations, with the added twist of Mac DeMarco style and much needed girl power. The riff of ‘Chili Town’ perfectly captures Hinds’ musical drawings, with their video encompassing their fun, laid back attitude, which is incidentally what saves the album from becoming too samey.

While the album does admittedly get a bit repetitive, the girls seem to know how to successfully combine their disjointed garage with endearing lyrics. Drinking out of cartons, smoking cigarettes like old Hollywood stars and dancing to an album called ‘Leave Me Alone’ may give Hinds a bit of a tough-girl character, but lyrics such as ‘I am flirting with this guy just to pretend I’m fine’ constitute as the girls’ lyrical equivalent to their similarly fractured, confused and emotionally charged melodies. There’s a mix of apathetic lovesick lyricism, ‘All I’m asking for is you to make a move’, and apathetic teenage musings, ‘you’re getting blinder taking drugs’, sung by voices that tend to crash into each other, rumbling over changing tempos and crackling percussion. All this is highlighted by an underlying sunny disposition, causing you to shift between all consuming thoughts of heartbreak to feeling carefree of such matters, lying on a beach somewhere in Spain. It’s messy, sure, but all good debuts are. Hinds are doing it right.

Article by Amy Eskenazi

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Opinion: Why Noel Gallagher Might Be Onto Something

Pop, Rock, Singer/Songwriter

9th November 2015

Noel Gallagher, Britain’s favourite I-Used-To-Be-Massive-Now-I-Just-Say-Shit-That-Makes-People-Angry washed up rock star (I’m a Blur fan), is Esquire’s December cover star, locked and loaded with a bunch of semi-offensive ranting that got some people from the NME and twitter really going.

Like I said, I’m a Blur fan, but aside from the fact that picking one over the other is a twenty year old phenomenon and therefore about as dead as rivalling bands themselves, I can’t deny Oasis’ major impact on the bands that followed them. I also admire the Gallagher brothers’, and particularly Noel’s, ability to truly act like real “rockstars” and take full advantage of all the sex, drugs and rock n roll that came with it, without ending up in rehab or selling their souls to the perfume-selling money-making career-crushing capitalist devil that so many wannabe rockstars do today. And this issue is where Gallagher really grabs me – I’ve not listened to his solo tries, and to be honest I’ve not gone too deep into Oasis’ albums, although I’ve loved the stuff I’ve heard on throwback-90s nights* – it’s not the first time he’s attacked modern musicians, but in his Esquire interview, he so accurately articulates what is wrong with the current musical climate.

What’s wrong is that everyone is a bit of a wimp. Gallagher hilariously told Esquire “I fucking hate whingeing rock stars…“Oh, yeah, my last selfie got 47-thousand-million likes on Instagram.” Yeah, why don’t you go fuck off and get a drug habit, you penis?’” What’s bottled up in this shameless sentence of spite from a 48 year old man with no filter is a feeling that’s been prevalent in the music industry for a while now – boredom. He continues with “fame is fucking wasted on these people. The new generation of rock stars, when have they ever said anything that made you laugh? When have they ever said anything you remember?… what I want, genuinely, is somebody with a fucking drug habit.” While drug habits are nothing to make light of, and while having one is not usually on anyone’s list for a good musician, you can see where Gallagher’s coming from. Think about your favourite current bands. Think about the last time they actually said anything truly interesting that wasn’t tweeted before being checked by their PR people to make sure it wouldn’t offend anyone. The modern musician – I hasten to call them rockstars – depend on their Instagram captions for any humorous insights, and if they say anything remotely controversial, something that you think a rockstar would be able to do, they get branded by everyone on the internet as ‘problematic’. I’m never one for the whole social-media-is-ruining-our-lives scare stories, but when it comes to bands, the internet age we live in really does make it all a bit… dead.

Take Alex Turner, who doesn’t even have a twitter. Remember the Arctic Monkeys’ 2014 Brit Awards acceptance speech when Turner dropped the microphone? The whole ‘invoice me for the microphone if you need to’ fiasco? That’s the last time I really remember a rockstar challenging the music industry and its followers, in a way that seems so beautifully unnecessary, so arrogant, so damn rock n roll. Still, Gallagher has something to say about Turner; “Alex Turner, Miles Kane, the guys from Royal Blood. They’ve got the fucking skinny jeans and the boots, and all that eyeliner. I’ve got a cat that’s more rock’n’roll than all of them put together.” I’m pretty sure none of those mentioned actually wear eyeliner, but again, Gallagher hits the nail on the head. Alex Turner isn’t actually that interesting, no matter how many leather jackets and sunglasses he has. Sure, the leather and the quiffed hair bring some sense of danger, but what’s really missing from the charts these days isn’t really anything to do with the songs, it’s the artists that are selling them. It’s true when Gallagher says “Record companies now can sell a billion Ed Sheeran downloads tomorrow morning. They don’t want someone like Ian Brown in their offices, or Liam, or Bobby Gillespie, or Richard Ashcroft, or me. They want professionals. That’s what it’s become now.” I’m not saying I want Alex Turner to get back with model Alexa Chung, develop a drug habit, and take to the streets of London at 3am scouring the floor for used needles. But, you have to admit, the Richards, the Dohertys, the Gallaghers of this world – they’re all a bit more interesting to the normal citizen; precisely because they act like real rockstars. We’re all a bit bored with Harry Styles.

Read Esquire’s article here

Photograph by

Article by Amy Eskenazi

*Oasis fans, I’m joking

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Album review: debut album // Nothing But Thieves

News, Rock

23rd October 2015

A couple of days before Nothing But Thieves released their debut, they signed with RCA Records, pushing the US release to early 2016, and while they will have to wait, it is without a doubt a great way to kick off one’s debut.

‘Excuse Me’ opens the album with some heavy and steady drums, singing “excuse me while I run” but my dear boys, there is no need for excuses. This introduction has singer Conor stretching his lungs and we have officially boarded the boat of rock. ‘Ban All The Music’ – an ironic title that does not necessarily sound like a hit single — ended up doing well on airplay earlier this year, as well as positive feedback from their fan base.

In the middle of the album, we find ‘Graveyard Whistling’ that was previously released on an EP in 2014. If there is a song you want to play someone to introduce them to Nothing But Thieves, it is this one. In three minutes and 52 seconds, you have an idea what this band is about. An absolute highlight has to be one of the quieter songs ‘Lover, please stay’ because A) Conor’s voice is outstandingly good, it is goosebumps-inducing, and B) here we have the Jeff Buckley Vibe, and that can never ever be a bad thing.

In an article earlier this year, I said lead singer Conor Mason “most of all reminds me of a 1992 young version of (a less disturbed and drug-free) Joshua Homme, mixed with Matthew Bellamy’s vocal range.” And it is true, there is a definite Muse atmosphere when he opens his mouth, and while the easy way out of a review is to compare them to artists before them and say “this I like this I do not like” it’s impossible to not address is vocal.  He falls into the same prestigious category of rock musicians alongside Homme, Bellamy, Bono and Thom Yorke. (All singers rock musicians with a broader vocal range than the norm.) That is all there is to it, and it should be applauded.

If you as an artist is strongest as a live act, it can be a downright nightmare to translate that to a recorded album. When you play live, you can feed off the audience, you are in the moment. But what about when you are in a studio? The technique is good and all, but you have got to mean it. You have to break the code and make the connection from stage to studio. Luckily, it sounds like Nothing But Thieves could do it in their sleep.

The closing song ‘Tempt You (Evocatio)’ is the song for your playlist when you are heading home after a gig. It is a comedown, a lure, it is a flirt and a siren drawing you in. And a beautiful one at that. It is splendid in how it builds atmospherically in contrast of lyrics, and if you had forgotten to breathe for a little while, this one is one big breath of oxygen.

They have achieved an album people want to listen to more than once. That might sound like a silly accomplishment, but it is vital for the listener. You want to listen and feel it out again and again. Whenever you click play on ‘Itch’ you discover new layers, you want to keep listening to that intro of ‘Trip Switch’. And with all this, it sounds like they haven’t made any compromises In terms of what product they wanted to attain and deliver.

Article by Flipse Flebo

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Ones To Watch: Pure Youth

Editors Choice, Emerging Artists, Ones to Watch, Pop, Rock

1st October 2015

There’s a new London sound from indie quartet Pure Youth. Having already released Jaws-esque electro rock single ‘New November’, newer single ‘I’m Not Yours’ bares resemblance to early Wombats with softer vocals that partner a swinging ‘oh-oh-oh’ chorus that play down otherwise energetic guitars. Pure Youth’s charm seems to come from their ability to write slow build melodies that are as powerful as they are calming, while building upon influences that are clear without distracting from their own unique style. This broad range of influences is shown in ‘Wasted Days’ and ‘I Just Wanted You To Know’ which see the band adapt to an ever so slightly grungier take on their melodic guitars and conversational lyrical delivery, whose vocals tie any loose ends together.

Pure Youth play Camden Barfly on the 28th of October and The Garage, London on the 3rd of December. Check out their bandcamp and souncloud for other tour dates, and have a listen to ‘I’m Not Yours’ here.

Article by Amy Eskenazi

 

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