Archive for August 2017

Bludy Gyres – ‘Echoes Of A Distant Scream’   3 comments

Bludy Gyres are a doom metal band from Atlanta, GA, USA. Founded in 2014, moulded by early Black Sabbath, also influenced by early English prog, ‘E.O.A.D.S’. is their debut full-length album, following a self titled 2 track in 2014, a single release in 2015 (both produced by Mike Froedge (Black Label Society, Dixie, Inc)) and a sample track in 2016, produced at Tommy Stewart’s Blue Ogre Noise Lab. Two members of B.G. (Chris Abbamonte and Tommy Stewart) are also members of thrash band Hallows Eve. The band are signed to SoMan records for this release only. They plan to continue gigging and make another album.

To Live Is To Bleed – Very Gothic intro there! Doom filled, bass laden, trenchant darkness. Strangely restful, in its deliberated slow pace, this is one heavy, leaden track, which’ll suit all doom metal fans down to the ground. A slightly Clutch-esque structure to it, the track length’s long enough to absorb and there’s something vaguely psychedelic about its arrangements. Its main feature, though, is its consistent doomy, stoner essence and extraordinarily heavy feel. So heavy as to evoke mental imagery of tombstones and mortuary slabs being moved, in the dead of night. Spooky, but affecting.

Kept Death Busy – Slightly lighter tone, incorporating vocal harmonies, but it does get darker again, this time, rocking a marginally Nick Cave-esque emphasis. Ideal fright night fodder, but this material’s only for the strongest of souls. Exceptionally doomy qualities make it an effective chill-out track, for darkened rooms and probably equally darkened minds. Again, the sliding notes and slowed pace do hold a strange sense of ambience, making it oddly relaxing, yet it never loses its edge. Doomier than most, if it ever enters a battle of doom contest, it will win. Just solid concrete, throughout.

Discipline Man – Nice bit of intro riffage! A more melodic slant to this one, even if the lyrics could just do with a bit more clarity. That guitar work’s well placed, adding a much-needed sense of tunefulness and lifting the tone, at just the right point, but again, without losing any strength. In fact, the heaviness is emphasised in all the right places here. Okay, so it may not be as revealing as its title suggests, but still…. you’ll enjoy the heaviness anyway).

Defy The Lie – Lovely gentle riffage introing, with a mesmerising tone, likely to suck you in, before moving, so fluidly, into a heavier, yet not quite so heavy section. Subtly sophisticated timing of vocals and instrumental arrangements and a slightly lighter feel, generally. Liking those musical riffs, that seem to penetrate your senses, as it moves towards the end. A definite permeating essence about them, especially as their gentler side is revealed. Timing has much to be said for itself, in this track and every opportunity is taken to maximise it, along with the rhythm.

OOD – (Ogre Of Death) – Slamming down the thunderous bass effect once more, this final track is really very much an ode to doom. They do throw in a very noticeably intense Slayer-esque riff sound aswell, though, which’ll undoubtedly resonate with all ‘Seasons In The Abyss’ fans. One increasingly clear fact is that B.G. are absolute unbeatable masters of timing. That skill alone contributes massively to the success of ‘E.O.A.D.S’. As if that wasn’t enough in itself, to cement their brilliance within this album, that acoustic finale ends it so perfectly, that it says it all.

Overall – An extraordinarily heavy slab of doom, so complex, it doesn’t end there. Revealing a huge capacity for intelligent song construction and versatile arrangements, with sophisticated tonal variations, ensuring intrigue at every turn, B.G. have proved themselves masters of doom, with unique twists and individual touches. ‘E.O.A.D.S’. is a dark, doomy masterpiece, of light and shade, against an intensely concrete background.

9/10 *********

For fans of dark, doom and stoner metal, eg Clutch, Witchcraft, Electric Wizard, Grand Magus, Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds and psychedelic rock, eg, The Doors.

Release date 1st February 2017.

Available on CD Baby and on SoMan Records.

Posted August 12, 2017 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Monkey Madness – ‘An Assfull Of Love’   14 comments

Glam Punk outfit Monkey Madness, from Germany, are keeping the flame of glam punk alive, with their unique combo of noise, insanity, lots of partying and a disturbing penchant for pink…. Influences include Motley Crue, Van Halen, Guns ‘N’ Roses and modern punk rock, such as Green Day, Blink 182 and Turbonegro.

Monkey Madness – Introing with a typically punky, alt type riff, but there ain’t nothing typical about some of the noises that come next. One thing this is is fun and what could safely be called refreshingly freestyle. Fans of The Offspring will enjoy the way this track rolls along and it’s really just a great little piece of escapist punk rock. Colourful and vibrant – a fun release.

Bang Bang Boom – Nicely unexpected opening, initially gentle, gradually heavier riff and the coarse, raw vocals to match. Borrowing from Thin Lizzy’s classic, ‘The Boys Are Back In Town’, for those impacting intro lyrics, carrying it off, with all the swagger and feeling to go with it, it’s another gem of real, affecting, light-hearted, yet passionate zeal.

Neverending Springbreak – Taking it up a gear here, to a harder rock slant, this is pure Green Day, with as much catch and it’s just a ball of fun and I love it.

Lumberjack Lesbians – Loaded with drum intensity, at that intro and there’s complete ease and no hesitation. Lyrically, …. possibly, the less said, the better, but you know what? Just enjoy the tune, cos it’s packed with great, upbeat melody and heaped with enthusiasm to kill. I think this is what you’d call uplifting peer pressure to rock out or die.

Orgasm Joe – Some more happy riffs and drum hits and a nice tasty, relaxed vocal, which is nothing if not open and outspoken in its lyrical expression! Sex Addicts Anonymous, anyone? Songs of this nature are what reviews are for, since their content unfortunately bars them from pre-watershed radio airtime, so they’re either gig based discoveries or post review private listening experiences, but either way, they’re are a whole lot of fun, with a capital ‘F’.

Allergy To Stupidity – Ah the title resonates already! Nice heavy drum roll and riff intro, opening it up to more of the same. Very Green Day-esque vocals and more resonant lyrics, for me, at least. How impressively brave and blissfully risk averse, to showcase such honest material. If only there were more like this. Anyone who’s ever been trapped in the scenarios expressed in this track will understand. More of this. The world needs it.

Hipsterland – Ooh, got to like that ‘Wicker Man’-esque riff intro! That glorious heaviness doesn’t last long, before the lightheartedness takes over again, but that’s no bad thing, in this case, as it’s just so much fun. Taking you back to all the best aspects of punk, from past eras and blending them with modern interpretations, it’s a recipe for success and just rolls along, in such a catchy way, you’ll get pulled in, despite yourself. Always the mark of a memorable band.

Sucker – More bluesy edged tone to this intro and it slides down nicely, like an ice cold drink. Capable, laid-back, but never complacent. Really? What can be said about this, except sincere, direct, clear, succinct and oh yes, that little term again – bravely outspoken. Truly, the music industry needs more like this. For all the wannabes, fakers and smug so and so’s out there in our midst, listen to this and then listen again, on endless repeat.

Luchador-El-Culo – Very Spanish, flamenco-esque intro, but a very rocked up one, with some yummy riffs thrown in, along with some equally yummy drum hits. Loving those riffs, especially and this one’s a bit of a wildcard, really, but no less powerful, for that. One thing that can be said for Monkey Madness is that everything they do, they do at full tilt and they do nothing by halves.

Motorboat Ride – Getting heavier now, with those drums and riffs and even those emboldened vocals grow stronger. Catchy as hell and here comes the pen drumming and I’ve already wrecked two pens and this is the third pen tonight, getting the violent desktop drumming treatment. You’re gonna get into this song, instantly and fully. If not, then your vital signs have obviously already left the building.

No Pants, No Problem – Eh? What’s just happened? Have things suddenly gone all serious? Oh … no, they haven’t. Well thank fuck for that! Just be thankful for the continuing fun loving thread that reassuringly follows the intro, characterising the rest of the track and solidifying your view of Monkey Madness as fun loving rogues. Cos really, what would the world do without them? M.M. to rule the world.

Sunrise – Now that’s one of those mind-buggingly familiar riff intro’s you know, but can’t place. It certainly doesn’t take anything away from the general buzz and excitement of the preceding tracks and though it’s thematic content might be gentler, its delivery is just as loud, just as expressive and just as real.

Overall – An ecstatically energised album, of endless, exuberant fun, which has imprinted itself on my memory forever. It’s brave, exploratory, acutely honest and willing to take risks and it does it all in the most powerfully, catchily expressive way. Refreshingly fun, it delivers a vital message, whilst not taking itself seriously, in order to do so. A gold standard example of what’s needed, in this industry, now, more than ever. Let’s have more of this.

10/10 **********

For fans of Green Day, The Offspring, The Kooks, The Levellers, The Superphone.

Released – Friday August 25th 2017

Posted August 11, 2017 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Kim Seviour – ‘Recovery Is Learning’   33 comments

Chiasma – Fresh sounding intro, with an airy feel. Slightly 80s-ish style, very melodic track, with a nice glockenspiel touch, in places. Pleasant vocals, plausible and light, despite the nostalgic sense of the song. Listenable and well performed. Difficult to extend it any further than that.

Call To Action – Noticeably more explosive intro, giving way to a similarly soft vocal, skilfully delivered. Imagine a lighter Evanescence and you’re there. Powerful instrumentals come into their own here. Unmistakably catchy, excellent sound quality and successfully appetite whetting, for more. It’s now moved up a gear, from listenable, to enjoyable.

Connect – Slight sense of film score intro material, though that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Those silvery vocal tones certainly have a highly catchy, even mesmeric effect about them and collectively, it’s growing, in appeal, with each track. There’s a lovely flowing essence to this and it’s just very smoothly cohesive. Impressive material so far.

Faberge – Gorgeous acoustic guitar intro and those hypnotic vocals are now taking on a haunting effect. Okay, so this track’s a tad downbeat, but it’s undeniably beautiful. So powerfully performed and such an emotional depth to it, whilst still soaring, in places. Demonstrating some deeply tuneful guitar melodies aswell, you can’t help but be affected by it. Captivated, even.

Mother Wisdom – Opening with an emotional piano intro, the melody here’s inescapably maudlin, but still well conveyed, with obvious passion. Some well-placed percussive elements, an easy pace to follow, again, it reminds of a film soundtrack and as such, is easy to visualise. Not one for low moods, but the performance is flawless and the sound, categorically beautiful.

The Dive – Changing tack here, it intro’s with a ticker timer sound, the significance of which, may reveal itself, lyrically. At this point, the song’s taken on a Nightwish sound, which is always impressive and always welcome. Building up to a crescendo of power, capably interspersing it with gentler sections; again, some truly heart melting riffs, through which, you can hear the guitar sing. A brief section, incorporating what sounds like sleigh bells, evoking imagery of magical Christmas scenes, it needs no help from anyone, as it glides on, through the song, to the end, having made that vital impression, of characterful, profound, believable music.

Where She Sleeps – A slower piano intro, bringing in those penetrating vocals, taking centre stage, so effectively, especially at those high-pitched, hard to hit notes, which is where Kim’s voice really comes into its own. Incredible, stunning vocal ability. Just breath-taking and will send shivers down your spine.

Recovery Is Learning – Another haunting piano intro, joined by meaningful lyrics, again, so strongly emotionally evocative and once those arresting riffs join in, it just takes you prisoner, as you lose yourself in the track’s power. Immense.

Morning Of The Soul – Is that a harp? Great touch, regardless. Almost angelic, in its sound. The vocals are relaxing here, but still, just as powerful. Like the imagined feel of a plane, touching down, as are those blissful riffs. Some spoken sections, returning, once more, to that seemingly relentless vocal strength and capacity. Cleverly constructed close.

Overall –  An absolutely stunningly beautiful album, skilfully and sincerely delivered. Loaded with passion, brimming with feeling and dazzling, in its light. It actually gets better and better, with every track. A delight to listen to, from start to finish and a joy to hear something with both true talent and energy matching the mood of the album. I could compliment it endlessly, but I’ll end on the term ‘heart-stopping’.

8/10 ********

For fans of Nightwish, Evanescence, Lacuna Coil, Delain, Edenbridge.

Posted August 7, 2017 by jennytate in Uncategorized

As Paradise Falls – ‘Digital Ritual’   25 comments

Digital Ritual – Slightly sinister gentle acoustic intro, soon replaced by a crash of aggressive metal. Sadly, it ends way too soon, but it’s hopefully, a good indicator of things to come.

Balance – As predicted, the noisy aggression continues, with a very deathy intro, complete with monster roars, heavy handed instrumentals and a touch of tech metal sounds. Another brief track, but plenty of loudness packed into it.

Star Blind – Opening differently, with a helicopter rotor blade sound effect and some lighter, yet greyish vocals. The angry death vibes soon take over, though, this time, they’re interspersed with more melodic ones. Slightly longer than the previous tracks, but still fairly short. Technically focused and competently so.

The Ultimate Consumer – Increasing the tech metal aspect, along with the deathy essence, one thing that can be said for this is that it’s hard and heavy. Still, carrying some softer, echoic vocals, interwoven in a ghostly way, with the rage and turmoil. Again, it ends there.

Automated Sacrifice – A sense of eastern mysticism in the intro riffs, though it’s blasted out of the air, by the returning death focus. Lots more of that and not much else, really. At this point, it’s in danger of losing the thread of its own point, through the incessant blood rage and thunder.

Glory To The Server – A battery of machine-gun drumming, more blackened anger and though it’s unarguably powerful and does inject some clearer, more melodic vocals, it needs more lyrical emphasis.

Reborn – A freer, more pleasant intro, now the track’s being allowed to breathe. The death angle still remains, but at least here, there’s some room for manoeuvre and changes of direction. An increase in melody, which does add greater depth of meaning, even if briefly. Yes, it’s still infected with that melancholic feel, but there’s a clearer strand, breaking up the death metal intensity. Slight improvement.

Dead Message – An intriguing sense to this intro, with hints of magical possibilities. Rapidly blotted out, once more, by blackened anger. However, there’s space, into which brief melody’s inserted, but it’s still not losing the melancholia at all. Unlike the rest, it ends on the audible lyrics, yet seems insistently depressive.

Hysteria – More melodic, power based riffs intro, but if anything, the screams and shouts are gaining in aggression. They do interweave between lighter, softer vocals, though and there’s a marginally more uplifting tone. It just doesn’t get chance to come out and show its chops, though, cos once again, the track’s over, before it’s had more than a couple of bars, to evoke the prospect of hope.

Pride & Disgrace – Throwing down the metal vibe, with a veritable thunder storm of steel, this may well be the strongest track. If nothing else, there’s plenty of emotion poured into it. It’s so brief, though, that yet again, there isn’t chance to experience anything else in or through it. At least this final track can be said to lose the misery. It’s audibly more upbeat, so gets points for that.

Overall – Passable, in terms of technical proficiency and audio quality. Its main issues are inadequately short track lengths and lack of variety. It’d just benefit from including a greater mix of melody and lyricism, otherwise, it’s in danger of losing any poignant meaning or messages, through violent noise and unchanging monotony. A bit of uplift would work wonders. For those who just want something to smash things to, though, this’ll do the trick.

5/10 *****

Posted August 6, 2017 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Reckless Jacks – ‘Alone’   22 comments

Reckless Jacks is an indie pop rock band, with old school emphasis. All members have past experience of session work with some esteemed artists. The thought-provoking messages in their music revolve around bygone eras, melody, emotion and catchy nostalgic déjà vu. Their debut was a well attended gig at Paris’s Bus Palladium, at which, Hozier, Kasabian and Mick Jagger previously played. It was a well-received performance, leading to various offers, from big-name agents, of support gigs and respected festival stage slots. At that point, though, they chose to utilise the next two years, rehearsing and preparing their music, to ensure quality productions would result.

Their EP was recorded at the Stereophonics’ new Studios in London, by Jim Lowe, the Stereophonics’ own producer. He was so impressed with their boundless enthusiasm, hard-working natures and their work itself, that writing collaborations began, between them. Jim Lowe claims that R.J.’s hold international appeal and the potential to go right to the top.

Alone – Undeniably catchy intro, with a strangely Bowie-esque vocal. It’s otherwise similar to Kasabian’s style, in its overall sound, with a slight Kooks aspect, but darker. Both visually and aurally, there’s a clearly contemplative streak running through it, enhanced by the darkness of the backdrop. Generally, there’s some element of light and shade within it and in production, presentation and sound quality terms, it’s impressive, though it’s evidently more pop/indie, than rock. In fan terms, more likely to appeal to the Brit rock, soft, alt and indie rock fraternity, but in itself, it’s got a good beat, with a good steady rhythm and makes for decent background music, for certain frames of mind. Musicality-wise, it’s sound, just more for those with gentler tastes.

5/10 *****

For fans of Brit rock, alt rock, soft rock and indie and specifically, The Luka State.

Posted August 5, 2017 by jennytate in Uncategorized

This Year’s Ghost – ‘Taxidermy Eyes’   6 comments

Old Familiar – Banging into life, with a hard-hitting, if slightly poppy intro. Light-hearted vibe, with a pop like melody, sung with solidly accomplished vocals, loaded with heartfelt meaning. Retaining the soft feel, despite its intense and somewhat darker message – it’s listenable, whilst being clearly more pop than rock and the strength of the vocal delivery and initial instrumental impact is its saving grace.

These Hills Can Talk – Nice riff intro, with a definite heavier essence. Still, there’s an inescapably melancholy tone, but the rocky melodic edge with which it’s performed makes it more tolerable and even, catchy, to a point. If nothing else, the overall performance is polished, which will resonate with some, even if it is lacking that human element that seems to make the difference between joy and tedium.

Self Made Throne – slower, more laid-back intro, creating space, to absorb it, but somehow, it’s just devoid of any real substance. As such, there’s not much more to be said about it. It’s just empty.

The Great Divide Of Head And Heart – Downtuned intro, with more bass emphasis and a clear emo streak, which actually works, in some bizarre, elusive way. Perhaps it’s just more emotionally honest and therefore, consistent with the lyrics. Again, though, it definitely leans more to the soft alt rock/generic pop rock side. So, in likeability terms, it won’t work well for a hard rock fan, but may well work for those more inclined to brit rock tendencies.

This Fog Can Sing – Opening with more of an electronic sound, there’s good vocal clarity and power in the instrumentals, for which they can’t be faulted. Slightly grey, in pitch and not much hope of variation, but a competent general performance.

Overall – An adequate output, with good sound production and effective delivery. Sadly, though, whilst its melancholy thread and generally morose tone may work well for the emo, dance and pop rock contingents, its hollowness overshadows it and any potential it may have, to break free from the mould of generic, derivative monotony is lost in the tedium. Flawless technical performance, but essentially flat.

4/10 ****

Posted August 4, 2017 by jennytate in Uncategorized