All posts by Darren Hardie

Album Review: Creeper – Eternity, In Your Arms

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Well this one has been a long time coming. When Creeper emerged with their brilliant self titled debut EP in 2014, people were already clamouring for a full length album. The want and anticipation was ramped up even further by follow up EP’s The Callous Heart (now a phrase that is part of the bands identity) as well as last year’s The Stranger, which seen the bands songwriting surpass all the conceptions people had held of this band so young in their career. A full promotional campaign that even the giants of music would be proud of as well as a brilliant debut headline tour, many big support slots (Andy Black, Pierce The Veil etc) and a recently released Kerrang cover and we finally have the debut Creeper album…

With hype being at fever pitch, there is a lot of onus on the band not to let the fans down here and, my god, do they deliver. From the moment Suzanne was released months ago and the album was announced, everyone should have known that Creeper were not going to let us down and they definitely don’t. Opening with the brilliantly theatrical single Black Rain where you get an immediate dose of the songwriting genius that exists within the Creeper unit as well as an introduction to the use of Hannah’s vocals, being utilised for the first time on this record. The combination of vocalists on the chorus here is huge, opening the album in truly outstanding fashion but the fun does not stop here.

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Following on from such a brilliant opener would have been nearly impossible for most bands, but Creeper are not most bands. Immediately following it with Poison Pens is a stroke of genius as the band throw a straight in your face punk-tinged track to show that the bite from their earlier work is going nowhere. Following this are the other two previously released tracks in Hiding With Boys and Suzanne where we see huge choruses as well as a sound that combines the pop punk style of The Offspring with the grace and vocal tendencies of Meatloaf, truly unique.

The album just does not stop at any point whatsoever, with genuine 10/10 tracks from start to finish. Down Below sounds absolutely massive, with Will wailing the chorus in such an honest way everyone will believe every word he says. Winona Forever has such a joyous nature to it that listeners will not be able to wipe the smiles from their faces when singing along to its absurdly catchy chorus.

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As good as all these songs are, what makes this record truly unmissable is the slower songs. The first one the listener will come across is Misery, which was previously released on The Stranger EP. This song is flawless, as well as being this writer’s top song of 2016, the emotion in the chorus, the reflective lyrics and the massive outro that the whole song builds to is just brilliant. There are two new slower songs on this record that show that Misery was not a one off however in Crickets and I Choose To Live. Both these tracks offer different perspectives on the slower songs as well as different lead vocalists. The former is Hannah Greenwood’s first chance at being the lead vocalist on Creeper and she takes her opportunity with both hands, with her emotional delivery creating what could be the best song of Creeper’s career so far. A genuine masterstroke of songwriting.

When this album comes to an end, one can’t help but sit there and wonder what just happened and how it has made them feel. Every song on this record will make the listener feel something such is the amount of honesty here, as well as the amount of fun you can have by listening to it.

Creeper are a band that nobody should pass up on, and every rock fan should take a sense of pride in. With this record they ensure that everyone will soon know who the best new band in rock music currently is. Not only that, they are doing everything on their own terms in their own way and it is only a matter of time before it is going to be too late to see these guys in small places. This band are going to continue to grow and when you consider that this is only one of the first steps on the journey, I for one can’t wait.

10/10 – Flawless, The best new band in music

Highlights – Crickets, Misery

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Album Review: Our Hollow, Our Home – Hartsick

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Metalcore has become quiet a controversial topic amongst metal fans recently, with many believing that the sub-genre has long gone by its sell by date. That said, whatever you think of the bands making the music, there is still a massive following for bands who combine breakdowns with massive choruses and that is exactly what south Englanders Our Hollow, Our Home are trying to provide here. Aiming to follow on in the footsteps of their successful peers in While She Sleeps and Architects, Our Hollow, Our Home are ambitiously self releasing this record and already have UK and European tours booked in as well as a lot of support from the mainstream rock media both sides of the Atlantic. Is it worth the interest though?

The answer to that is quite simple while also being a little complex. If you like metalcore from both sides of the Atlantic this is definitely for you. What the band achieve here is that they combine the American style of metalcore that is closely associated with warped tour and Sumerian Records with what British bands are doing currently by adding a more technical and heavier element to it while maintaining a melodic edge.

Songs such as second track Loneshark as well as the title track show off the bands ear for melody and massive choruses with the typical metalcore structure being used to great effect and the contrast of clean and scream vocals being utilised very well. What is impressive here is that, for the most part, these songs are not overproduced and you can hear personality in the tracks. The biggest problem for most bands who play this style of metalcore is that it is overproduced and this takes away the bite and aggression metalcore music has. However, Our Hollow, Our Home should be applauded for managing to avoid this when writing this style of track.

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While the band may be setting a good standard when writing songs more associated with the US, it is when they sound more like their brutish counterparts that we really see how good this band can be. Songs such as Throne To The Wolves and Fox Blood show a lot more variation in the bands sound and they are a lot better of because of it. The former track opens with a piano line that sounds like Coldplay before the song comes in with the breakdown style and use of ‘bleugh’ reminding the listener of Architects but while all of this is happening the band have choruses that are reminiscent of Mallory Knox on their best day. A truly brilliant track that shows off exactly what the band can do.

What we see here on this record is that Britain has another band on its hands who can step up to the plate and lead a new metalcore revolution. The time where America dominated this genre is long gone and when Our Hollow, Our Home focus more on that sound that has become associated with the exceptional British metal scene, we may have a monster on our hands.

8/10 – Really good song writing of multiple styles

Highlights – Throne To The Wolves, Fox Blood

EP Review: Hometruths: Open Your Eyes

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Hailing out of Manchester as a result of the shower of shit we find ourselves living in today, Hometruths are here to show everyone that we can stand up to the world of corrupt government officials and impoverished societies we find ourselves stuck living in. Hometruths are here to make a difference and although making all the right noises in interviews certainly will help with that, what will truly shine through is the music. The question now is; do the band have the music to make people stand up and listen to what they have to say?

You bet your bottom dollar they do. Intro track Embers succeeds in giving the listener a brief preview of the onslaught of sound that is about to by showing small signs of the groove-like hardcore the band specialise in before the first track proper, Feral, kicks in. Immediate comparisons are made to While She Sleeps styled metallic hardcore on this track but Hometruths have a much more raw edge to their sound which only helps the mosh ready riffs and vocalist Gaz Davies aggressive roars sound that more real, like this music the band are making means a lot more to them than if it was an overproduced mess.

The quality does not drop on the following tracks either but many of them offer different insights to the inspirations the band have, as well as all the different variations the band can put into their sound. Third track Divide offers a much more hardcore and punk styled approach to their sound while Vigilante offers a more slow and dark approach to the groovy metallic hardcore sound that Hometruths have managed to perfect in such a short space of time. The fact that the band can have all these different approaches and still maintain their own unique sound is impressive but when you take into account how well done it is here, the achievement cannot be understated.

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The most interesting take on their sound however, comes in the form of fifth track WMD. This track offers a sort of nu metal and industrial take on what Hometruths do so well with the main riff of the track sounding like a cross between Marilyn Manson and Rammstein of days gone by. Combine this with use of electronics which is reminiscent of artists such as Rob Zombie and you see that the band have a wide range of influences that they have managed to melt all into one style of music. The fact that they have managed to create such dexterity on their debut record is immaculate, to have done it so well is unheard of.

As the EP closes out with the relentless speed and frenzied assault of Genocide, the listener is left in a state of bewilderment at the sheer brilliance of the last 16 minutes of music they have just digested. This is only the bands first EP, so the fact that they have managed to write a record so brilliantly crafted at this stage in their career tells you that they have a bright future. Keep an eye on this band everyone, you will not regret it.

9/10 – Brilliant and creative take on a well worn out genre, near flawless

Highlights – Feral, WMD

Live Review: Bring Me The Horizon 6/11/16 Sheffield Arena/ 9/11/16 Glasgow Hydro

When these shows were announced it was a long time coming. A band that had been regarded as one of Britain’s best were finally getting their dues after so much hard work and some of the best albums heard in a decade. However, it was not always this way for the band. A history of being the internet trolls prime targets as well as numerous line up changes and different directions in sound means that it has been a tricky journey for BMTH up to this point but the band have survived it all and are closing this chapter of their career in style.

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Both nights offered different insight to the Bring Me The Horizon we are presented with today but more of that later as first up are relative newcomers Basement (6/10) who bring their alt rock tinged anthems to the still assembling crowds of both nights. The band do well enough up on the big stage but do seem genuinely overawed by the whole experience and the big stage they find themselves on and unfortunately seem to get lost in an arena landscape. Still, with a bit more innovation in their music and the experience they will have gained form this tour there is no reason the band can’t go from strength to strength.

The main support from the tour comes in the form of a band that are a bit more familiar with bigger stages in the form of Don Broco (8/10) who get an insane reception from the crowds both side of the border and seem tailor made to warm these crowds up. With a relatively impressive light show the band use the 40 minutes they are given brilliantly despite frontman Rob Damiani’s throat infection. Opener Everybody has, pardon the pun, everybody on their feet from its bouncy opening and the energy lasts all the through a very automatic orientated set with only Priorities being aired from their previous effort. Still, all in all the band will have gained many fans on this tour judging on the performances presented here.

The main event was yet to come though and with tensions rising in the half hour gap between Broco and BMTH, the band finally come to life onstage with opener Happy Song and what comes for the next hour and a half is almost indescribable. With a stage show befitting of genuine festival headliners and songs that can match almost any band on the earth today, Bring Me The Horizon (10/10) flatten both Glasgow and Sheffield with what seems like consummate ease. Following on from the chaos that is happy song, there is no let up with Sempiternal double Go To Hell For Heavens Sake and House Of Wolves sending the venues into utter chaos, ensuring everybody in the venue that, although Bring Me The Horizon may make different music now compared to all of those years ago, that does not mean they have forgotten how to create a frenzy, even in venues of this size and stature.

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The amount of effort that went in to the stage show presented on this tour cannot be understated and is especially noticeable during the tracks performed from last year’s That’s The Spirit with the seriously massive tracks such as Avalanche and Follow You being made even bigger by the mass of visual effects behind the band performing them. The band don’t rest on their laurels and let their set up do the talking for them though as the heavy as fuck 1-2 of Shadow Moses going in to Chelsea Smile showing that they don’t need anything other than some instruments to cause the frenzied chaos seen in the pits as Oli plays ringmaster, even encouraging the crowd to ‘kill each other’ at times, never forgetting where he came from.

It is towards the end of the set where we see what Bring Me can do in venues of this size. From the massive sounding Doomed and it’s almost David Attenborough styled spoken intro or the massive singalong and chaos from main set closer Throne you see that there is no limit for this band at this point. Every challenge they have faced, they have conquered it; every time they have changed style, they have mastered it and after the final song of the night in Drown, you only wonder what they could do next.

By attending multiple shows, you can find out a lot about a band and that was evident here also. It showed us that there are many different types of Bring Me The Horizon fans and that they are on consistently great form at the moment. Sheffield had a much more chaotic crowd than Glasgow, as it to be expected from the bands grand homecoming but Glasgow had much louder sing alongs, something that can be most likely be attributed to the new found mainstream attention and sound they have taken in their stride. What is even more clear though, is that the band do not care who they are in front of, with a show like they have here and the amount of fans they now have they will always show up and be nothing less than perfect. Bring Me The Horizon have shown on this run that they belong on these big stages and deserve everything that they have got. With this run, they have transformed themselves from one of the best bands in Britain to one of the worlds standout performers, so well done BMTH, you earned it.

10/10 – Massive stage show, perfect performances

Highlights – Doomed, Throne

EP Review: Youth Killed It – Welcome To The Happy Girls Club

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Youth Killed It have been incredibly busy this year, not only have they spent the time creating their unique sound but they have also been doing so in the shadow of their former moniker Under The Influence. With the Norwich boys now being based in London they are not resting on the laurels of their old names success but are taking a new direction and wasting no time with this being the second release this year following on from the previous EP Welcome To The Sad Boys Club ( read what we thought of it here: https://originalrock.net/2016/04/08/ep-review-youth-killed-its-welcome-to-the-sad-boys-club/ ). Now with this second release have the guys improved in the short space of time or is it much of the same?

The answer is that throughout the four songs present on this EP, there is definite progress on almost all fronts. Opening the EP is the previously single Molly which wasted no time in showing that the fun factor in the band has definitely not left but the sound is much more established. Combining the bounce of rock music with indie styles guitars that is all brought together by a vocal assualt clearly influenced by the grime scene we have a brilliant, unique and fun sound that is encapsulated brilliantly on this track. Not only that but the listener can tell the band love what they are doing here, a true songwriting talent to possess.

Following this is EP highlight I Ain’t Ready For It which opens with a short build up before exploding into life with an in your face riff and vocal delivery. Although it still contains all the genre-bending and melding mentioned above, this track feels a lot more focused and although it would still be fun in a live environment, it is toned down on this track. The song brings to mind the songwriting talents of Marmozets with the grime delivery giving the song somewhat of a punk aesthetic to add to the mix of sounds used by Youth Killed It.

The fun factor returns on the following track simple titled FUDGE. Discussing the use and importance of GCSE in a very fun sounding track the band utilise somewhat of a cheerleader chant to very entertaining effect and are sure to have fans singing it at the top of their lungs on the road. This song is radio ready and could see the band fired into the stratosphere if it reaches the right audience due to it’s smile inducing and accessible nature.

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The EP ends with the closer Lads In Love (Bowns Ballad) which although seems like it is going to be a ballad judging by the sounds of the intro, luckily it is not and launches into the same style of track that Youth Killed It are already marking their own. This track encapsulates everything that the band are all about with fun lyrics about how ‘sick’ their girlfriend is whilst keeping that fun bounce alive throughout the entire track. A vast;y entertaining end to an EP that is a genuine pleasure to listen to.

All in all, Youth Killed It are growing at a rapid rate with this EP giving more evidence that this band have the potential to go very far as long as they continue to evolve well within the sound that they have created for themselves and if there is more to come in the near future, it won’t be long before you see these guys on the covers of magazines and on the radio.

8/10 – Brilliant and fun, a genuine joy

Highlight – I Ain’t Ready For It

Live Review: Feeder live at the ABC Glasgow 28/09/2016

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Once upon a time Feeder were touted as one of the biggest bands in Britain. With arena tours and festival headline performances under their belts, it seemed like everything was falling right into place for the band. Unfortunately though, it all went downhill for a period culminating in a break for the band with frontman Grant Nicholas going away on his own to do some solo work with the future of the band in doubt. However, the band made a triumphant return this year with performances at Isle of Wight festival amongst others and are all set to release their new album All Bright Electric soon. They are also hitting the road on an extensive run of UK comeback shows and judging by the reception the band are greeted to, they were sorely missed.

More of that soon though, as first up are tonights openers, the very promising Reigning Days (8/10) who blast on stage with their garage rock swagger in full force. A lot of bands have had a go at the garage rock tag since the growth of Royal Blood but very few have done it as well as Reigning Days with brilliant songs such as My Demons and Empire showing that they have more than justified their 45 minute support slot and they will have definitely have gained a fair few fans this evening.

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If Reigning Days were the emerging young star, Feeder(9/10) are the returning veterans and they are on fire tonight. Met to a rapturous applause by all of their Scottish fans in the ABC tonight, which is sold out and packed to the rafters. Opening with a couple of new tracks off of the yet to be released All Bright Electric might have meant that it was a slightly slow opening but by the time they dropped Renegade the crowd were ready to party. The early airing of super single Feeling The Moment only seemed to confirm this as the song sparked mass sing-alongs from front to back of the venue with fans old and new roaring every single word right back at the band as loud as they could and it was only to get better.

From here on out it is joyous sing alongs to almost every track with Feeder doing their best to remind the audience how many brilliant songs they have written in their long career. Throwing out anthems such as High, Insomnia and Pushing The Senses mid set is a sign of how truly remarkable the career of the band has been with every single song getting a bigger reaction than the last.

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There was more to come however in one of the set highlights Just The Way I’m Feeling. The song was performed immaculately and with all the emotion that the track deserves but it was the crowds rendition of the song afterwards that makes this such a highlight. With the song long finished the crowd continued to sing the chorus with Grant looking visibly shaken by the reaction of the Glasgow faithful. A Truly moving moment.

The highlights were just to keep rolling in after this with Buck Rogers moving the entire venues and presenting one of the biggest sing-alongs you are ever likely to hear. Every word from start to finish is screamed out loud by everyone in the iconic piece that is largely responsible for the growth of Feeder in years gone by. When the band come back on for and encore of Seven Days In The Sun followed by the irresistible Just A Day the crowd are left thinking two things: firstly that they had just seen a brilliant and emotional marathon of a show (17 songs!) and secondly, everyone should be grateful that Feeder are back.

9/10 – Great Performance from returning heroes

Highlights – Just The Way I’m Feeling, Buck Rogers

Album Review: Boston Manor – Be Nothing

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Boston Manor seem like they’ve been around for a while with all they have achieved so far in their short career. Despite this being the bands first full length record they have already toured with the likes of Knuckle Puck and Moose Blood as well as having performed at 2000 Trees and Slam Dunk festivals and with a headline tour and another run with Moose Blood on the horizon, the future is looking bright for the boys from Blackpool. With this release the band are looking to join a crop of growing UK bands to emerge in recent years such as the aforementioned Moose Blood and Creeper but do they have the songs to take them to those heights?

You can bet your bottom dollar they do. The album comes roaring out the traps with album opener Burn You Up coming out in frenetic pace with drummer Jordan Pugh immediately putting his influence on proceedings before the bands signature sound that combines pop punk, emo and alt rock all into one big mix. The songs raw sound combined with the catchy melodies of vocalist Henry Cox creates a really entertaining, fun and emotional sound on top of the emotional landscape that is creating making a great opening to the album.

Lead single Laika ups the emo and pop punk styles of their sound and gives the album a lot more in the fun department before Kill Your Conscience comes in with an intro that sounds like an alt rock BMTH before a post hardcore like sound comes through in the verses that really shows of the vocal ability of the aforementioned Cox. The chorus of the song is also huge, reminding the listener of a lot of the work Neck Deep have been doing lately, good company to be keeping.

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As good as this all is so far, the highlight comes in the form of the 8th track, This Song Is Dedicated To Nobody. Although the track focuses mostly on the alt rock sound, wha stands out most again is the drumming of the previously mentioned Pugh. His talent shines through greatly on this song as his tempo changes and bursts of speed keep the reader well and truly on his/her toes long after the first listen. Combine all of that with the vocal melodies and instrumental landscape and we are given a brilliantly captivating song worthy or any British rock band.

The album closes with a more atmospheric alt rock number in the form of Fossa. With a slow building intro leading into a huge chorus, the song follows the alt rock structure of album closes very well but what Boston Manor have is enough talent to separate themselves from the bunch and that is evident on this track. The drums and guitar both stand out here as they make a more interesting proposition to this style of song and make it a very good way to end what is a very well written and entertaining album.

Overall, there are a lot of positives on this record that show signs of what a great band Boston Manor can become. The drummer and vocalist especially have the talent to ensure that this band can go all the way. Be sure to catch them on the headline tour later this year because these songs are gonna be huge!

9/10 – Brilliant album from a band with a bright future

Highlight: This Song Is Dedicated To Nobody

EP Review: Kamikaze Girls – Sad

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It’s been a massive growth in a short space of time for London/Leeds due Kamikaze Girls. With this being their debut EP (they had released single tracks up until now) the duo have already toured with the likes of Moose Blood, The Merzingers and Modern Baseball and have a series of shows lined up in support of this release. The band are here to make a difference both in ideals and in sound with their unique fuzz rock sound providing a background to discuss many unspoken issues including mental health and addiction and from start to finish to a very good job in doing so.

Opener Hexes wastes no time in establishing exactly what the duo are all about as a fuzzy rock riff comes in before Lucinda Lawson’s entrancing vocal switches bring the listener in. There are some comparisons to Becca McIntyre in Lucinda’s delivery on this track but she is very much her own person on the music here with this track dealing with the issue of anxiety, an issue that is not spoken about anywhere near enough. This is done in brilliant songwriting fashion though as the mixture of frantic and melodic sounds blends excellently and effortlessly together.

The next track, Stitches, brings memories of Everlong styled Foo Fighters and early Smashing Pumpkins influenced sounds ot the table but with the vocal delivery of bands such as L7 into the pot of musical wonders that Kamikaze Girls create. This song never seems to have a break and with the excellent songwriting and brilliantly crafted melodic chorus, it doesn’t have to.

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I Hate Funerals follows this with some of the most brutally honest lyrics you’ll hear all year with Lucinda talking about how she ‘hates everyone’ over a great grungy riff that adds to the bleak and honest nature of the song before Ladyfuzz comes in with a more 90’s based alt rock sound that is especially evident in the vocal melody. What this track shows though is that the vocals really come into their own when the more aggressive natured ones come blasting out the speakers as it gives the listener a taste of the passion the Lawson clearly has in her songwriting.

EP closer Black Coffee tackles addiction and has a much more fast paced intro than previous tracks and seriously highlights the ability of Conor Dawson on the drums as his strange beat in the verse creates a very interesting prospect of a song. The chorus of this track also sounds huge and really raw, something that the band have managed to create throughout most of the EP giving them a unique edge to their songwriting. This ends the EP on a big high as it shows off the talents of both members of the band and the songwriting in general is incredible.

Overall, this EP shows a band that are in their infancy but have a lot of potential to grow. The songwriting on this effort is very very good and the talent of the duo is extremely evident throughout. They also have the courage to tackle all of these issues with their music and when they fully develop and form into the band the really want to be, they will probably be unstoppable.

8/10 – Really good, A lot more to come

Highlight – Black Coffee

Album Review: The Blend – All Departures

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Coming out of the Devon area, The Blend are looking to launch an assault on rock’s mainstream with their most recent album, All Departures. The group have enjoyed a great deal of success and praise in their short amount of time in the sun with the band being given airtime on BBC Introducing and gaining praise from all the right places including Johnny Marr, Adrian Smith and Zak Starkley. Very high praise considering how much the band are compares to The Who. What is also worth noting is that the band are only aged between 16-18 so to be doing so well at such a young age is promising but does the music justify the attention?

Oh yes it does, especially on opening track Don’t Waste My Time. This track wastes absolutely no time in showing new listeners exactly what the band are all about. The comparison to The Who is very evident in the overall sound of the track with the keys and guitar giving a definite feeling towards that time. What is equally as evident though is the punk influence on the band, especially shown on this track as it has a very in your face aggressive style reminiscent of the early punk movement.

There is much of the same on the following track Cameron’s Motors where the 70’s sound is very evident again but there is a less frenetic sound. The strange screeching sound evident throughout the entire track is further evidence of the unique nature of this band in the modern music scene and you get the first feeling of the keys truly influencing the song here also. This songs repetitive nature is also a strength and will have crowds around the country singing along in riotous joy.

Mr and Mrs Womble then continues the 70’s punk styled sound with excellent guitar work before we are treated to an interesting prospect in the form of the instrumental title track. This track is seriously interesting and captivating as there is a brief in your face intro riff before a more trippy psychedelic sound comes into the music on the rest of a track that leaves the listener guessing at every turn and timing change. This is how to do instrumental music, let all of the instruments breathe and show off their talent all the while creating a brilliant song.

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The album gets even more interesting towards the end of the album with a two part song called The Flavour. Part 1 is largely instrumental with 3 minutes of the song being used as nothing but a build up for the second part before a small flurry leads into the 6 minute long second part that shows off why people are tipping The Blend for success. This track has a much less aggressive feel to it as the focus comes more on the songwriting. When the song breaks down a little and acoustic guitars and keys become more prominent you realise that this is a band who are still so young in their songwriting development yet are writing truly excellent songs, giving you a sense hope for British rock music.

Overall, this is a very good album written by people who have time on their side to improve. The way they incorporate all kind of influences from The Who styled rock to punk and psychedelic into one unique sound shows true songwriting talent and everyone should be excited about what into come from this band.

8/10 – Good album, more to come in the future

Highlights – Don’t Waste My Time, All Departures

Album Review: Bastille – Wild World

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When discussing who the biggest bands in Britain are at the moment, it is incredibly difficult to leave out Bastille. The band have made an exceptional start to their career with their debut album, 2013’s Bad Blood, selling over 4 million copies and comeback single Good Grief getting record streams in its first week before being certified silver despite only being released in June. Add to that mix the best selling tour by a British act this year (including two stops at London’s O2 as a result of the original date selling out in hours) and one begins to see how much success the band have had in their short career to date. The next step in the bands adventure is their sophomore effort, Wild World. Does this album have the potential to live up to all that the band have achieved?

You bet it does. What this album does from start to finish is that it maintains their core chilled out, uplifting cinematic sound but it also shows constant growth with the band willing to go to darker places and expand the horizons of their sound. First song and the albums first single Good Grief shows this perfectly as the song sounds like Bastille with uplifting choruses but sounds like a more grown up band, not only because the song is about losing someone but because the music is growing. The chorus in this track stands out due to Dan’s captivating vocal delivery, something that is often overlooked in Bastille’s career.

The Current follows this with a strange synth styled into before leading into a basic more stripped down verse with a very catchy vocal melody before launching to a chorus that is much more upbeat and has a tropical kind of drum beat to carry it along. Live crowds will eat this track up come October. Glory as well as the previously released Send Them Off! Come next and show off a much more pop orientated side of the group with the horn section on the latter track sounding especially brilliant. What stands out most about these two tracks is how relevant they sound in today’s musical landscape despite not having any direct comparisons to other artists on the charts. This is a true compliment to the songwriting ability and intelligence of the Bastille and their individual members.

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Fake It, another previously released track brings a much more familiar Bastille sound to proceedings with the pop styled uplifting and infectious track showing you exactly why the band have managed to get to where they are today. The track is impossible to dislike and will have even the biggest of sceptics singing along to the huge and catchy chorus where the band passionately deliver one of the biggest sounding moments of the record.

For all of the uplifting and enjoyable moments on this record, I believe the band are at their best when there is a slightly darker and subdued element to their sound. This comes in the form of two tracks, the first being Four Walls (The Ballad Of Perry Smith) and the other being album closer Winter Of Our Youth. The former opens with a drum and keys into before an captivating and passionate vocal performance from Dan drives the song home with such an emotional delivery before the former closes the album on a self reflecting moment on genius. This track is also emotionally driven but in such a way that it is impossible not to get invested into the story. These two tracks keep the Bastille sound but show that the band are capable of so much more than they’ve already given.

All in all, it is very difficult to fault this album. Bastille know exactly how to write songs and have got even better at it on this record. From the emotional delivery and uplifting songs to the more subdued moments, there is a strong amount of growth in the musicianship and songwriting that gives you the feeling that Bastille’s rise is only just getting started.

9/10 – Brilliant songwriting and vocal performance

Highlights – Four Walls (The Ballad Of Perry Smith), Winter Of Our Youth