ESCAPE IS NOT FREEDOM/dusK VILLAGE – ‘Split’

(Self-release)

Escape Is Not Freedom Split Release Cover

REVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

‘Split’ doesn’t just mean the title of the new EP from Escape Is Not Freedom, it means a whole lot more.

A four-track offering, two from the Chicago trio, and two more from Israeli outfit dusK Village, both of the songs provided by those outfits are markedly different from one another.

Escape Is Not Freedom are first up, with a follow-up to last year’s debut album, ‘Goldsmith’.

The band’s, and the EP’s, opener, ‘Boiling Nails’, is a heavy and intense affair, delivered at breakneck speed, and containing fuzzy guitar riffs, rough basslines, and hammering drum beats, also taking in elements of rock, noise, sludge and grunge.

All of this is accompanied to great effect by the angst-ridden vocals of the collective’s frontman, Mike Gussis.

In stark contrast, their next track, ‘We’re Wrecked’, starts off as more mellow fare, starting off with a slow and gentle riff that remains melodic, but gets progressively heftier as it moves forward.

Whereas ‘Boiling Nails’ was driven by the rasping, anguished vocals, the sound takes the lead on this, especially with a lengthy instrumental that starts halfway through and lasts around two minutes.

Emily Jancetic, a vocalist who featured on ‘Goldsmith’ and makes a welcome appearance here, really gets a chance to shine with a performance abundant in harmony and strength.

Escape Is Not Freedom’s half of the EP, by transiting between two uniquely crafted songs, is an effective vehicle for their diverse creativity, and that is something dusK Village aim for with their half, albeit with slightly less success.

Their first track, ‘Exolife Civilization Leak’, is constantly edgy and atmospheric, taking you down a very dark path indeed with moody riffs and hoarse vocals deposited at a gradual pace.

This is definitely the stronger of the two, as ‘A Self Fan’, even though done with more energy and pretty much the same level of intensity, is dominated by a guitar riff performed at such a loud volume that it becomes very difficult to hear what the band are singing about.

It’s a real shame, because it’s clear that they’re a talented bunch of guys, but I can’t help but think that it would have made for a much better listen had the vocals been stronger.

That aside, ‘Split’ is an offering that sees, for the most part, both collectives really stepping up to the plate, and serves as a solid introduction to fans of Escape Is Not Freedom who have yet to hear the work of dusK Village, and vice-versa.

(3/5)

CHECK OUT OUR INTERVIEW WITH ESCAPE IS NOT FREEDOM HERE.

 

 

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AEVES

Aeves band photo

AEVES (from l-r): Molly O’Malley, Matt Adam

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

In 2015, Molly O’Malley and Matt Adam, two long time friends from Kentucky, decided to join forces and embark on a new musical project, the result of which being Aeves, an outfit that combine politically-charged punk rock with vibrant electronic pop.

With the help of their late close friend and mentor, influential local music figure Bryan Puckett, the duo put together a debut EP, ‘Ignite’.

Since that came out in the summer of 2016, the band have been hard at work honing their craft and evolving their sound.

Now, almost two years on, they have released a second EP, ‘Desire’, which the two-piece worked on in Los Angeles with Marc Walloch, former member of indie rockers Company Of Thieves and alternative rock collective Awolnation.

Both Molly and Matt spoke to me about how their new offering was put together, what can be expected of it, and how they coped with the sad passing away of Puckett.

How did the band form?

MOLLY O’MALLEY: Matt and I went to middle school together, and we’ve been friends since then. We grew up playing music in separate bands and doing our own projects and such, until both of those said projects bit the dust.

We were talking about how we both wanted to continue to pursue music and our passions, and so we decided to work together, and that’s what happened. Now, here we are.

How did the name Aeves come about?

MOLLY: We wanted a name that we felt meant a lot to us, and also something that represented us. It means “those who fly” in Latin, and we both grew up taking Latin. We wanted this project to feel liberating and free, and we imagine that’s what flying feels like, and so we added in our own little symbol and that is where Aeves comes from.

What would you say was your songwriting approach?

MOLLY: Well, generally Matt writes the lyrics, and I adjust them and fix things accordingly, and write all the music and melodies, and lyrics. Obviously, we toss ideas back and forth and sometimes the roles are reversed, but for the most part that’s our magic formula.

We generally write to let out our emotions, what we’re feeling, and just to say what we want to say.

What inspires the band lyrically?

MATT ADAM: Lyrically, I take inspiration from things going on in my life. An example is ‘Wild Hearts’; it was right after the presidential election in 2016 when I wrote the lyrics. “You won the battle, but you won’t win the war” is what I felt about Donald Trump taking office, I wanted the song to be an anthem for those out there protesting.

In the summer of 2016, you brought out your debut EP, ‘Ignite’. How was the reaction to that?

MOLLY: It was generally pretty positive. Of course, not everyone is going to like what you do, and not everyone is going to be your number one fan. Heck, even sometimes your friends that you thought would support you in fact don’t, and it sucks, but you get over it.

However, when it comes down to it, the fact that anyone out there at all gives a fraction of a care is an emotion that I cannot begin to express. I have so much gratitude that anyone cares at all.

That EP was put together with the help of influential Louisville music figure Bryan Puckett, who sadly passed away a few months after its release. As he was a close friend and the band’s mentor, was deciding to end Aeves a possibility?

MOLLY: Definitely not.

MATT: I don’t think so. We knew immediately that we wanted to make Puckett proud. It took us a couple of months to gather what happened, with him being our closest friend. There is honestly not a day that goes by that we don’t think about him. He made such an impact on everyone’s lives.

MOLLY: Puckett believed in us so much. He was actually supposed to head out to the west coast with us when we went to record. Unfortunately, he passed before then, but that just made us want to try even harder. I miss that dude so much.

Today, the band has unveiled their second EP, ‘Desire’. You both flew over to Los Angeles to work on it with Marc Walloch, formerly of Company Of Thieves and Awolnation. How was the experience of working with him, as well as the overall recording process?

MOLLY: Marc is awesome. What a great dude. We all totally just got on well, and he got what we were going for, and he was easy to work with. We’re hoping to work with him again soon, if the fates allow. I’m super stoked for what he’s doing now.

The recording process was very fun. We were in the studio for like 12-16 hours every day, but it was well worth it. I am so proud of the way the songs turned out, and I cannot wait for everyone to hear them.

How will this new release differ from ‘Ignite’?

MOLLY: I feel like this time around, we were a lot more confident in what we wanted to do and what we were going for. We had things we wanted to say, and things that we wanted to share, and I think that while listening to the collection of songs on ‘Desire’, it shows.

What are your plans now the EP has come out?

MOLLY: We’re scheduling some shows, and we’ve already been writing for the next release. We’re scoping out the landscape of our future, and we’re riding the wave.

What is the band’s long-term aim?

MOLLY: Honestly, just to do what we love. It would be super sick to play music the rest of my life.

Aeves EP Cover

‘DESIRE’, THE SECOND EP FROM AEVES, IS NOW AVAILABLE TO STREAM, DOWNLOAD OR PURCHASE FROM SPOTIFY, iTunes, BANDCAMP, SOUNDCLOUD & THE BAND’S OFFICIAL WEBSITE www.aevesmusic.com

FURTHER INFO ON AEVES CAN BE FOUND THROUGH THE FOLLOWING SITES:

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/aevesmusic

TWITTER: twitter.com/aevesmusic

INSTAGRAM: www.instagram.com/aevesmusic

YOUTUBE: www.youtube.com

 

VEINS – ‘Blood On My Hands’

(Self-release)

Veins Single Cover

REVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

Straight from the off, it is clear that ‘Blood On My Hands’, the new single from alternative rock trio Veins, is an ambitious offering.

The sound is robust and atmospheric, driven by gritty basslines, comprehensive, layered guitar riffs, and drum beats that you can’t help but be drawn in by.

Along with the expansive choruses, this is well supplemented by the collective’s frontman Stevie Rees, who manages to convey the lyrical theme of “love is war” with a vocal delivery that is both upbeat and intimate.

Often when a fledgling outfit such as this one aim big, their lack of experience becomes obvious to all, as everything tends to spiral out of control, going completely over the top.

However, what prevents these guys from going down the same path is the fact that all three of them had played with each other in groups prior to the band’s formation, therefore, over the years, they have developed a mutual understanding, which enables them to effectively push forwards whilst also keeping things at an even keel.

If you’re a fan of The XX and Deftones, then ‘Blood On My Hands’ is definitely worth a listen, as the trio’s overall musical style sits quite comfortably between the two.

With this new track, Veins prove, once and for all, that ‘Ambi’, their debut single, released last year, was no fluke, and that they are a genuinely talented outfit who know exactly what it is that they’re doing.

(4/5)

CHECK OUT OUR INTERVIEW WITH THE BAND HERE.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FORBIDDEN SEASONS – ‘Promise’ TRACK-BY-TRACK

Forbidden Seasons band photo 2

FORBIDDEN SEASONS (from l-r): Danny Ghale (rhythm guitar), Paolado Clark Sergi (bass), Mark Seasons (vocals), Symon Ray (lead guitar), Federico Spagnoli (drums)

Exactly a month ahead of release, Italian metalcore/post-hardcore quintet Forbidden Seasons are ready to reveal, in detail, of what you can expect from their upcoming debut album, ‘Promise’…

‘ATLANTIS’

DANNY GHALE (rhythm guitar): ‘Atlantis’ is about feelings that destroy us and bring us down, just like the myth of Atlantis; because of the sins of its people, it was sank in the ocean by the gods.

However, our story differs from this myth, because bad feelings, bad people and so on, after all, give us strength. In fact, after the slow and melodic part in the bridge, which represents giving in to bad feelings, toxic people and relationships, the heavy part begins, like a reaction to this kind of stuff. For many people, it may be a burden, but for us, it’s a sort of fuel that gives us energy.

The song starts with fast sections, we thought it may feel like a storm, like the one that sank Atlantis. The melodic parts represent the “eye of the storm“, followed again by the destruction, which is the human response to these situations of despair.

‘THANK YOU FOR THE VENOM’

MARK SEASONS (vocals): I wanted to write ‘Thank You For The Venom’ for a long time. The lyrics address a topic really close to me, so it came out of my mind quite easily; then I gave it to the guys and I told them, “I want you to give this lyrics the song they deserve, with the right mood and anger“, and so they did.

Symon and Danny composed the perfect song, exactly the way I imagined it. It was spontaneous and direct enough, pushing the right buttons. It’s really one of the best songs of the album!

‘KEYS AND LOCKS’

FEDERICO SPAGNOLI (drums): ‘Keys and Locks’ is a very particular song; it merges old and new schools of metalcore. When listening to this song, you can recognise both of these elements; it’s like an evolution from the beginning to the end.

It starts with standard drums and classic screaming, like the old good times, then it turns into melodic, then it explodes with a heavy breakdown, all of this surrounded with atmospheric and mystic samples and keys.

At the end, a melancholic guitar solo makes its way through the wall of strings, guitars and drums, then suddenly choked into the clean and cold outro. Lyrics are like a reminder to wake up and look inside of you to find the keys to your answers.

‘GRAVITY FALL’

FEDERICO: ‘Gravity Fall’ is my favorite track of the new album. It’s the most aggressive song we have, but it also has a wonderful melodic chorus. It was the first song we made for this album, almost a year ago, and it defined the overall sound and mood that ‘Promise’ had to have. All the songs of ‘Promise’, everything you’ll hear, was born with ‘Gravity Fall’.

It’s also the most fun to play live, it’s so powerful, and gives a lot of energy; no matter how many hours you’ve been performing before, you’ll always find the strength to play ‘Gravity Fall’ once more!

The song talks about a relationship with a bad influence on the protagonist, which feels alone and trapped into this situation, he can’t move on, but he doesn’t give up.

‘WORMHOLE’

SYMON RAY (lead guitar): This song is a halfway between metalcore and pop culture. The chorus was written first, very open and epic, and I helped with the lyrics because it’s very personal to me.

I’ve got your demon inside” means a lot of things in different ways, and for this reason the song is developed between F minor and A# major, to describe the anger and the hope.

I wanted to create a pop sound and at the same time, strong and powerful parts, to catch all those people facing metalcore/post-hardcore for the first time.

‘THE HUMAN’

FEDERICO: ‘The Human’ is the perfect mix of hope and rage. You’ll be struck by its massive and emotional orchestral elements; strings and choirs make it sound like a soundtrack to an epic movie.

When I was writing them, I used to get very emotional; then Symon wrote the guitars, and took the song to the next level. Mark’s chorus came next, and it was just gorgeous. He did a great job recording it; it is in fact one of the highest of the entire album. I hope you’ll appreciate this song and its particularity as much as we do!

‘SORROW WON’T END’

SYMON: This song is really heavy and filled with breakdowns; it was born with the intention to bring you down in darkness, but at the same time, the lyrics suggest you to fight against your demons. The arpeggio and the breakdowns bring you in a very frightening ambient.

It has been composed following the old school metalcore lines, but still with a modern mood. There’s a lot of scream and growl, and only in the choruses, you can hear huge melodic vocals that will help you not to sink into darkness and obscurity.

‘I’VE SEEN THE END IN YOUR EYES’

SYMON: This song seems to follow the style of ‘Wormhole’; the phrase “look at the mirror” suggests us to find our identity, by taking a look in and outside ourselves.

I love to play this song; it has aggressive parts, and the silences between the end of the refrains and the beginning of the verses inspire me a lot. My favourite sections are the refrains with the huge choirs, and the clean guitars at the end.

I love writing clean guitar parts, in fact, you will notice that there’s at least one in almost every song on the album.

‘THE REJECTED’

MARK: ‘The Rejected’ is a song about the loneliness of men in the world. I wanted to address a topic the listeners could be reflected in, and in which they found themselves at least once in their life.

Danny and Fede first composed the song, then I wrote the lyrics according to what was arousing me. The vocals, especially the choruses, are like a sing-song outlining the boring life of the rejected ones, that are resigned to the judgments of others.

‘PROMISE’

DANNY: ‘Promise’ is a thought about all the promises made by people, but never kept, because of many factors such as casual events or, more often, ours or someone else’s own will.

Think about how times you lied to avoid responsibilities, and the reasons why you did this, and all of that is reflected on one particular promise, that a particular entity, in which you may believe or not, made but never kept: the promise of salvation from the original sin, made by God.

That one has never been kept because of the natural evilness of the humans. In fact, in any refrain, you’ll be able to hear the phrase “I can’t walk on the oceans“, and also “listen to my prayers“. This song is due to explain what we think about God and how people still believe in those promises that are nothing but empty nice words.

Forbidden Seasons Album Cover

‘PROMISE’, THE DEBUT ALBUM FROM FORBIDDEN SEASONS, WILL BE RELEASED VIA THIS IS CORE ON MARCH 16.

FURTHER INFO ON THIS, AND THE BAND, CAN BE FOUND HERE.

 

 

 

 

 

 

WEESP BRING OUT NEW SINGLE & VIDEO

Weesp band photo

Belarusian alternative post-metal outfit Weesp have today brought out a new single, ‘Not Over’, which the guys say is one of their heaviest sounding to date.

Along with the band’s last release, ‘Illumination’, on Christmas Eve, the new track is taken from their forthcoming album, ‘Black Sails’, which they will be unveiling at the end of this month.

The five-piece had this to say, “The single and album are about the endless struggle with darkness, the darkness that lives inside each of us, but in the end, it’s about accepting that darkness, and learning to control and co-exist with it, which gives us the strength to not go crazy in this world.”

In addition to the single, Weesp have also unleashed an official music video.

‘Not Over’ will be their first release of 2018, but it definitely won’t be the last, with the quintet promising to bring out at least one more track before ‘Black Sails’ is unveiled.

Weesp Single Cover

‘NOT OVER’, THE NEW SINGLE FROM WEESP, IS NOW AVAILABLE TO STREAM, DOWNLOAD OR PURCHASE FROM SPOTIFY, iTunes, BANDCAMP, SOUNDCLOUD, GOOGLE PLAY & AMAZON MUSIC.

FURTHER INFO ON THE BAND, AS WELL AS THE UPCOMING ALBUM ‘BLACK SAILS’ CAN BE FOUND HERE & HERE.

 

 

 

RXPTRS – ‘Bound’

(Self-release)

RXPTRS Single Cover

REVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

Bristol alternative rock quintet RXPTRS have been tipped to make a big impact this year, and they get an opportunity to show why this is the case with ‘Bound’, their debut single.

Beginning with short, sharp guitar licks, the track then bursts into life with a sound that is brutal but melodic at the same time.

There definitely seems to be a Fall Out Boy/early Panic! At The Disco vibe here, with engaging riffs and basslines, along with a subtle theatrical element.

This is set further in stone by Simon Roach’s vocals, which, for the most part, is reminiscent of the emotive deliveries of Patrick Stump and Brendon Urie, however, at two key points of the song, one about halfway through, and another taking up approximately the last 30 seconds, it suddenly becomes harsher and more aggressive, venturing into Marilyn Manson territory.

This fits in well with the dark lyrical matter, covering a passionate relationship that soon turns violent. An uplifting love song, it is not.

Overall, ‘Bound’ is a solid first offering from RXPTRS, an effective advertisement for their immense creativity and outright refusal to stay within the boundaries of genre, and as 2018 draws on, I’m sure we’ll be hearing a lot more well-crafted output from these guys.

(3/5)

 

SHETLAND ROCKERS FORGOTTEN SONS ANNOUNCE NEW SINGLE

Forgotten Sons band photo

Secluded amidst the rough waters of the North Sea, almost 500 miles north-east of the England/Scotland border, the heavy riffs and hooky melodies of Shetland four-piece Forgotten Sons ring out louder than nature’s elements around them. The band release their new single, ‘Ragged Sails High’, on Friday 23rd March, via Animal Farm.

Since their birth in 2015, the quartet have fine-tuned an unmistakably heavy rock sound that is fuelled by gratifying pop-punk melodies.

With Robert “Birdy” Burgess on vocals, Sandy Middleton handling guitar and vocals, Craig Watt taking care of the bass, and John Gair holding the fort on drums, the quartet have picked up favourable descriptors likening the band to Alkaline Trio, Rise Against, and Foo Fighters.

Whilst the emerging tunesmiths have a modern and very relevant appeal, their grassroots foundations are varied and diverse. Guitarist Sandy elaborates: “I started listening to music when I was very young; my mother always had her tapes on in the house. She’d listen to Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, The Clash, Prince…too many to name. I suppose that was how I first developed a love for music.

As like with many of his fellow bandmates, as Sandy grew older, he found new inspiration in heavier outlets such as Korn and Limp Bizkit, before turning to pan-Atlantic influences through the pantheon of pop-punk, including Blink 182 and Alkaline Trio.

Forgotten Sons have widely played throughout the Shetland Isles, and have also supported Scouting For Girls. Furthermore, the band have attracted interest from BBC Radio 1’s Newsbeat, who recently ran the following story highlighting their sheer determination and willingness to surpass geographic barriers – www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/newsbeat-42918051/the-struggle-of-being-a-rock-band-on-the-shetland-islands.

Momentum is building for the foursome, and is sure to intensify as they release their new single, ‘Ragged Sails High’.

Vocalist Burgess remarks about the track: “The song is about overcoming depression and anxiety. The ship represents who I am and the lyric “I won’t abandon ship just yet” says how I’m not willing to give up life. The video was shot in an old school giving it a dark feel, but the lyrics themselves are of desire and happiness to keep living.

For details on the band’s impending Scottish tour, and other updates, stay glued to
their social sites.

Forgotten Sons Single Cover

‘RAGGED SAILS HIGH’, THE NEW SINGLE FROM FORGOTTEN SONS, WILL BE AVAILABLE TO STREAM, DOWNLOAD OR PURCHASE FROM SPOTIFY, iTunes, GOOGLE PLAY, APPLE MUSIC & THE BAND’S OFFICIAL WEBSITE www.forgotten-sons.co.uk FROM MARCH 23.

FURTHER INFO ON FORGOTTEN SONS CAN BE FOUND THROUGH THE FOLLOWING SITES:

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/forgottensonsshetland

TWITTER: twitter.com/Forgottensonsuk

INSTAGRAM: www.instagram.com/forgottensonsshetland

YOUTUBE: www.youtube.com