CONSTRUCT

Construct band photo

CONSTRUCT (from l-r): Rich Howle (guitar), Sam Hunt (drums), Callum Howle (vocals), Chris Lovatt (bass), Mike Foxall (guitar/backing vocals)

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

Construct, a five-piece metal outfit from Stoke-on-Trent, were formed two years ago from the ashes of former rock bands Zero Divide and Terrestrial.

According to their Facebook profile, they “aim to create an atmospheric performance and push the boundaries of existing genres, while merging the most unlikely genres together.”

This musical approach, along with the talents of the band members, have made them a group to watch out for.

I decided to have a chat with them to discuss their past, present and future.

How did the band originally get together?

RICH HOWLE (GUITAR): Originally, we started off as a trio (me, Cal and Sam) jamming out in Sam’s living room after our previous bands Zero Divide and Terrestrial phased out, we’d been friends for quite a long time before.

After the old bands phased out, I started working on my own material in early 2013 and in the summer of 2014 Sam suggested we jam out some of the tracks at his place.

When we finished the lyrics for the tracks last year, we invited Chris and Mike to join to complete the lineup.

Why did your previous bands come to an end?

CHRIS LOVATT (BASS): I was in Zero Divide with Cal and Rich, and I left because of a disinterest in the music we were playing.

MIKE FOXALL (GUITAR/BACKING VOCALS): Mine was because we all felt it ran its course and there was nothing else we could achieve by remaining in that band, so it was all mutual.

CALLUM: I eventually left Zero Divide because everybody else did basically.

Chris and Rich grew uninterested and the rest of us decided to call it a day as a result.

RICH: Yeah, I didn’t feel that the previous band I was in suited my change in taste.

Although, we did have a lot of fun doing it and there’s memories preserved in the format of MP3’s and JPEG’s on the internet. We’re all still good friends and we regularly keep in touch.

SAM HUNT (DRUMS): Terrestrial split up because one of the guitarists started seeing the bass player’s girlfriend behind his back and that caused arguments between the members.

RICH: Well, it’s a bit more interesting than Zero Divide’s breakup to say the least (laughs).

How did you come up with Construct as the band’s name?

RICH: Funny story actually, it was Chris’s uncle who came up with the name.
We originally had differing ideas about what the name could be and so we had a list brought to us by Chris.

We wanted something with a meaning behind it that would suit the lyrical content and portray the band in a meaningful light.

One of the original ideas for a name was “Harlequin Scream”, as there was this contrast between two opposites i.e. good vs evil.

In the end, a “Construct” is neutral and could portray either side.

A Construct in the philosophy of science is an ideal object, where the existence of the thing may be said to depend upon a subject’s mind, as opposed to a real object, where existence does not depend on the mind.

How would you describe your music?

RICH: Powerful, emotional, melodic, heavy and energetic.

CALLUM: Also progressive!

What bands are you influenced by?

MIKE: The obvious mutual main influences are all there with bands such as Tesseract and Periphery having a big influence on our sound, but individually, we all take influence from bands such as Red Hot Chillis, Dream Theater, Protest the Hero, Monuments, Don Broco, Mastodon, as well as an overall like and appreciation of the whole Scandinavian metal scene.

What inspires your lyrics?

CALLUM: At the minute, the core lyrical concept is all about fighting inner demons.

In the album we’re currently working on, we sort of fuse that idea with a religious concept in that throughout the album, our protagonist is fighting a battle against his sins, he finds that this doesn’t give him the solace he desires and he eventually calls out to a deity for answers.

RICH: The lyrics were conceptual to begin with, as is the upcoming album’s title “The Deity”.

Who’s the main lyricist in the band?

CALLUM: That’ll be Rich, our resident genius (laughs).

He writes the majority of them, I usually add to his ideas but I’ve written the lyrics for a couple of the songs alone.

RICH: I’ve always had a “work on it, present it, then ammend it” kinda mindset.

Cal’s always been there to help out in times of peril, and if it weren’t for him, the lyrics wouldn’t flow as well for sure (laughs)!

You said that you have an album coming out soon. How was the recording process?

CALLUM: Very long!

RICH: Very long, tough and strenuous. It was a learning process for sure, and there’s definitely a lot we’ll be doing to shorten the process for the next album.

It was a hell of a lot of fun though! Just listening to the end results are mindblowing to say the least.

Exactly how long was it to record?

RICH: Oh God, this is embarrassing. It took longer than three years (writing rough demo tracks from scratch).

But bare in mind, we’ve only been a full band for a year, so we weren’t ready to fully and professionally produce it until early this year.

You’re from Stoke-on-Trent. What’s your opinion of the local music scene?

RICH: It’s blossoming with lots of new bands making appearances from out of nowhere.

We’ve already played with a few and it’s always been a great experience, and we’re enjoying meeting and getting to know new people having a stab at a creative hobby.

It is difficult to get up there on the stage, and we admire anyone with the confidence to do it, as people can be very judgemental.

How is it playing live for you?

CALLUM: A lot of fun! We always seem to get a solid reaction so that’s very encouraging.

It’s pretty technical stuff to play and the vocals are pretty intense, so we practice regularly to make sure we are all on good form ready for any upcoming gigs.

There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes that people don’t realise. We all practice daily individually and once a week together.

All this combined with working full time is a lot of work, but we love it regardless.

What’s the plan for the near future?

CALLUM: Well once we’ve got the album to a place where we’re happy with it, we want to send it off to a few record labels and hopefully get signed to help get our music out there.

We’ll be doing a local album release show and then we’ll more than likely go on a UK tour.

After that, we’ll be working on the next release.

We have also just shot a music video for our song ‘Reflection’, which we’re hoping to release within the next couple of months once all the editing is finished.

When’s the release date for the album?

CALLUM: Being honest, we don’t have an official release date. We’re really hoping to get it out in January next year, but that all depends on what happens with any possible record labels.

What’s the band’s long-term aim?

CALLUM: Just to keep doing what we love doing and make sure that it doesn’t eventually become a chore.

We also aim to get a good following too, so we know that other people are getting just as much enjoyment from listening to our music as we do making it.

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MACMILLAN FEST 2016 PREVIEW

Macmillan Fest Preview photo

by ZAK SLOMAN

On the surface, Macmillan Fest, taking place in Nottingham on the 3rd September, looks like any other UK music festival.

However, there is one crucial difference.

Almost seventy rock bands, both established and emerging, will be playing on seven stages in three of the city’s music venues, and all for a good cause.

The proceeds will go towards raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support, a charity that helps cancer sufferers in their time of need, and also raises awareness of a horrible disease that currently affects around 2.5 million people in the UK alone.

In the last seven years, the festival has grown rapidly, and has raised an amount in the region of £200,000, a figure the organisers are confident of adding to this year.

With a stellar line-up, including SikTh, InMe (playing a special setlist chosen by fans), The Qemists and many other bands, Macmillan Fest promises to be a great day for a worthwhile cause.

SikTh

SikTh band photo

InMe

InMe band photo

The Qemists

The Qemists band photo

ALMA

ALMA interview photo

ALMA (from l-r): Ian Simmonds (drums), Sam McCambridge (bass), Jack Kennedy (vocals), Kieran Breese (rhythm guitar), Ross Litherland (lead guitar)

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

ALMA, an alternative five-piece from Stoke-on-Trent, are a young band, but play a mature sound influenced by a wide range of musical genres.

They haven’t even released an EP yet, but they are making themselves heard, with a headline gig at Hanley’s The Exchange already under their belts.

With this and a fast growing devoted fan base, it seems there’s no stopping them.

I sat down and chatted with them about their success so far, and what the future holds.

How was ALMA formed?

KIERAN BREESE (rhythm guitar): Basically, I spoke to Sam about playing bass in a band we’d form.

It was originally going to be me playing guitar and singing and we’d found a drummer which wasn’t Ian.

All we needed was a lead guitarist who came in the form of Jack, who lied his way into the band saying he could play lead, but then clearly couldn’t.

He had a better voice than me though, and he ended up singing, while I dropped back to rhythm guitar.

Ross then came in on lead and Sam brought Ian in when our original drummer left.

How did the name ALMA come about?

JACK KENNEDY (vocals): There’s a pub called by that name near where we all live, and it seemed to be a good name to call ourselves.

Also, it’s a song by Morrissey, so it was just there for the taking, I guess!

What inspires your music?

ROSS LITHERLAND (lead guitar): Well, we play and create music that we all like and enjoy playing, so I’d say we’re inspired by bands like Arctic Monkeys, Slaves…

IAN SIMMONDS (drums): It’s a mixture.

We take aspects from certain genres and put what we like to call “our own twist” on it.

ROSS: Possibly even with elements of grunge and punk.

KIERAN: Yeah, I’d say we were indie with a punk twist.

ROSS: I suppose we create our own style to be remembered by.

IAN: That’s what we go for anyway.

You’re all from Stoke-on-Trent. What’s your view of the current music scene in the Potteries?

KIERAN: It’s sick! We love local gigs, whether it’s watching or playing and there’s always an electric atmosphere.

ROSS: It’s almost like one big community, in that everyone knows each other and are always supportive.

Local gigs are the best ones to go to, in my opinion.

IAN: I personally think the Stoke music scene consists of indie music and beatdowns, which is sad because there’s not a great deal of genres flying around massively, but it suits us down to the ground because we fit into one of these classes.

And yeah, everybody knows everybody.

How is it playing live?

IAN: It’s awesome, having the backing of the people we do and having regular people show up to every gig.

It gives us a sense of fulfilment, I guess.

ROSS: It’s always an incredible feeling.

It’s great seeing people enjoy what you do, we never want it to end.

KIERAN: At our headline at the Exchange especially, the crowd were nuts and it’s the best feeling in the world, seeing people have such a good time to songs you’ve written.

IAN: We’re doing something that loads of people love and enjoy which makes doing it better, because it’s not just for us, we’re doing it for the community as well.

SAM McCAMBRIDGE (bass): Everyone is incredibly supportive when we play live, from friends and family to members of other bands coming to watch and support.

It’s a great area that we were brought into and every gig has a different atmosphere, none at all are negative.

ROSS: As Ian has said before, there’s no need to be nervous, because you are doing what you love and you should go out and enjoy it.

In regards to lyrics, is there are a primary songwriter or is it more a collaboration between every one of you?

KIERAN: Jack is the primary songwriter, but we all pitch in musically, he’s just the lyricist.

ROSS: Jack always comes out with some amazing lyrics though, and they make the songs what they are.

What’s your process of getting a song from initial idea to completion?

KIERAN: Normally, we start off with a riff from Ross and then Ian puts his drums to it, followed by bass and rhythm chord, then Jack usually puts lyrics in when we’ve rehearsed it a fair few times, or even just a few hours before a gig, like he’s done before.

ROSS: We tend to all put in our ideas and opinions, so we are all happy with the final product.

What subjects do you tend to cover in your songs?

KIERAN: The most interesting one is a song called “Sad State of Affairs”, which is based on a girl who tweeted negatively about us even before our first gig.

There’s quite a bit of heartbreak in the lyrics as well, it’s quite angsty.

IAN: Making music for the haters.

What have you got lined up in the near future?

ROSS: We have a gig on the 19th August, and probably the biggest one coming up is the DJ set by Bez of the Happy Mondays we are playing at the Exchange.

KIERAN: We can’t announce a lot of things other than that.

ROSS: We have our foot in the door for a few other things as well.

KIERAN: All yet to be revealed!

How did you get the support slot for Bez?

KIERAN: The promoter for our headline at the Exchange is putting it on and so they asked us.

I’d never been so excited as to when I got that phone call.

You probably thought it was a wind-up at first.

KIERAN: I’m not going to lie, I was sceptical at whether it would fall through.

ROSS: When Kieran said we got the slot, I couldn’t quite believe it.

SAM: We were all going mad, because we’re all familiar with the Manchester scene and as soon as he mentioned Bez and support slot, we were so happy and excited it was unreal.

ROSS: We are all buzzing for it.

When is it?

KIERAN: 29th October.

ROSS: Should be a cracking night with some cracking acts on.

Will you be bringing out some music soon?

KIERAN: We’re actually recording our debut EP next weekend, so it should be out soon.

SAM: The tracks may be mastered before September to release, should be a cracker.

What’s your long-term aim?

KIERAN: I’d love to make enough money from the band to survive off of it.

ROSS: It would be great to do it full-time.

KIERAN: But at the moment, it’s all about having fun and not getting too ahead of ourselves.

ROSS: Sometimes you do have to be optimistic though.

IAN: To be honest, I’d be happy even if we didn’t make huge amounts of money, but I guess being signed would be sick, just live making music and making other people happy.

SERTRALINE

Sertraline interview photo

SERTRALINE (from l-r): Daniel ‘Hendo’ Henderson (bass), Mike Hawkings (guitar), Lizzie Sertraline (vocals), Tom Wilson (guitar) Not in photo: Si Douglas (drums).

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

Sertraline, a rock/metal outfit from Stoke-on-Trent and Leeds, are a band whose stock keeps on rising.

Since their journey began two years ago, they have been lauded by critics and fans for a sound that is intense but melodic.

They released a acclaimed mini album last year, ‘Bury The Ghosts’ and have just been on a successful nationwide tour.

Now, they have a new single out ‘Change Of Heart’, which has so far been well-received.

I had a chat with them, to gain an insight into how they work.

How did you all get together?

The band was formed in the summer of 2014, almost as soon as our old band folded.

Blue Origin had been around for a number of years with a number of different line-ups, and as soon as our singer announced that he no longer wanted to be a part of it, the rest of us decided that we did not want to stop, and the new band was formed within five minutes of him leaving.

Our current management were fully behind us on the decision, and in many ways, we loved the idea of starting a band completely from scratch, forming it exactly how we wanted, and doing something different.

How did the name Sertraline come about?

There were a few names flying around, but it was a suggestion we settled on after a little while, but generally speaking more of how the word sounded that we liked, rather than what it meant, there’s something of a mechanical sound to it.

You’ve just been on a nationwide tour. How was it?

It’s been a hell of a lot of fun! It’s always great to go out on a tour with brand new music, and Lizzie has recently started screaming some of the lyrics, something that our current fan base had never heard from us before.

The lineup has also changed since the last tour; we had two drummers who joined us this time, Aaron Youd and Si Douglas, who will be joining us for the foreseeable future, which is awesome!

It’s been amazing to meet so many new people and have the response we’ve had, and the next tour will no doubt be even better. We’re all quite sad to see the end of this tour, so we can’t wait to gig again in a couple of weeks time.

How would you describe your music?

This is a question we’ve struggled with for a while, easy though it may sound.

People often ask us who we’re similar to, but in truth we genuinely don’t know – perhaps someone who knows our music well could give a better answer!

We call it melodic metal, which is a little bit pigeon-holing but still gives a lot of wiggle room!

We don’t tend to think of ‘what we are’, but if we find it interesting or challenging or just good fun, chances are we’ll like it.

Heavy, rhythmic, tasty melody, that’s what we like.

What are your musical influences?

This varies from member to member, but there are influences spanning from classical and jazz to grime.

Most of the time these influences don’t appear in the music we write, but it’s interesting to note how varied we all are in terms of what we like to play and listen to.

In terms of what the band creates, the main influences could be said to be bands like Periphery, Marmozets, Tonight Alive and Tesseract.

In regards to songwriting, is it a group effort or is there a primary songwriter in the band?

It is certainly a group effort.

No element of any song is left unchanged, even when a full song or structure is brought forward during writing sessions.

It’s not a true collaborative effort unless the entire band is happy with what we produce, and we’re lucky in that we have musicians who are willing to try many different things in order to create the best results we can, in a way we’re all happy with.

Naturally, Lizzie deals with most of the vocal side of writing, but will still ask for our feedback and any suggestions we might have.

Lizzie seems quite open with us regarding what she writes about, which is helpful if and when she asks for our input.

What inspires your lyrics?

LIZZIE SERTRALINE (VOCALS): I suppose just events in my every day life.

Recently, I’ve been questioning human morals and doing some deeper thinking, which is probably dangerous!

You have a new single out. How was the recording process?

The recording process was much like how ‘Bury the Ghosts’ was recorded.

We enter the studio with a solid idea and an almost finished demo of the tracks we want to record, but in almost every case we find things that do not quite fit or need a little more adding.

‘Change of Heart’ was exactly the same, though perhaps with more emphasis on perfecting vocals and harmonies.

From what we remember, there wasn’t a great deal we changed from the demo when recording instruments.

We’re extremely happy with the end result, we’d had previous experience with the engineers we worked with, which we think helped the process greatly.

What have you got lined up in the near future?

We have a few gigs dotted around until the end of the year (some announced, others yet to be), the main one being Chebfest in Leeds on the 27th of August.

We’ve been honoured with the main support slot with some good friends of ours, namely Chasing Dragons and Pulverise.

This will also be our first show we’ve played in cosplay – always up for new stuff!

This weekend we’ll be doing a live lounge session down in Essex which we’re looking forward to a lot!

After that, our main focus will be on pushing the single and making preparations to release our second EP, which we’re very excited about.

What’s the band’s long-term aim?

Apart from the dream of spending much more time on the road, hitting bigger stages and festivals, releasing more music, reaching out further than we are now? Not a lot!

In essence, we just want to keep going, the last two years has been a little up and down at times but it’s still going better than we imagined it would in such a short time.

We’re now in a very stable place with members, we’re writing better music and playing better shows than we ever have, and we’re having an amazing time doing it.

Long may it continue!

SERTRALINE’S NEW SINGLE, ‘CHANGE OF HEART’, IS NOW AVAILABLE TO DOWNLOAD FROM ALL GOOD DIGITAL STORES.

RELEASE

Release interview photo

RELEASE (from l-r): Aaron Roden, Caleb Allport, Mayson Nicholson, Tom Price, Jack Mitchell.

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

It is difficult to determine the exact genre of music that Release play, as they have a very eclectic range.

This hasn’t put anybody off them though, as their sound, together with politically charged lyrics, has made them one of the most talked about bands on the Stoke music scene.

They’re now spreading their message across the country, recently supporting Clay in Manchester and are about to go on a nationwide tour.

I sat down with them to talk about their seemingly unstoppable rise.

How did you all first get together?

TOM PRICE: Well, myself and Caleb got to know each other more when we started at college.

CALEB ALLPORT: We were both looking for a band and we wanted to start writing similar music with similar ideas and backgrounds.

TOM: We both decided to have a jam some time, and when we were talking about starting a band together, I asked Mayson and two other friends of ours to come along and we all just got on really well, with Aaron joining us some time later.

CALEB: We all gelled musically from the word go.

We started off doing covers of the Buzzcocks and Joy Division, then after a couple of practices, we progressed on to doing our own shit, and now here we are.

How did the name Release come about?

CALEB: It took time to agree on one.

We’d all agree on a name, but then we just kept changing our minds!

TOM: I think it was actually Caleb who came up with Release.

CALEB: Yeah, I suggested the name because I wanted our music to provide a release for not only ourselves, but for others too.

I believe everyone needs a release of some sort, like a kind of escapism whether it’s through drugs, football, music whatever.

TOM: People can come to our shows and get out all the anger and stress of work or family issues and have a good time.

CALEB: I personally wanted to provide a release for people and I think the rest of the chaps do as well.

It’s a good feeling when you’ve been doing what we set out to do from day one.

How would you describe your music?

TOM: I’d say hard hitting rock with a mellow alternative sound.

We’re very influenced by many genres of music.

CALEB: Versatile, with a punk attitude and punk sounds and influences, yet melodic and with heavy blues influence from the guitar section.

Like Tom just said though, we’re heavily influenced by so many genres of music.

You’ve already mentioned the Buzzcocks and Joy Division. Which other bands would you say have had a significant influence on your music?

CALEB: The list is endless!

TOM: I’d say groups like Rage Against The Machine, Black Sabbath, Public Enemy and the Wu-tang Clan.

CALEB: For me, it’d be The Streets, New Model Army, Jamie T, Rage Against The Machine, Bowie, Red Hot Chilli’s, Bauhaus, Foals, even dance artists like Joy Orbison and Jamie xx, I could go on forever!

TOM: The 80’s synth era really hits us too.

CALEB: There’s a big metal influence from Tom as well.

TOM: Yeah, the big four and Pantera are great influences towards myself, as well as hardcore music.

In regards to songwriting, is there a primary songwriter in the band?

TOM: Caleb is the primary songwriter.

CALEB: I’m more lyrics and ideas for the songs, though I suppose I provide most of the backbone.

TOM: He can write what we all feel and put them into the right lyrics, we also write songs on political matters and stories from the past.

CALEB: And the rest of the four geezers do what they do best and mould the dollop of play dough I give them, if that’s a good metaphor!

Do you see yourselves as a politically motivated band then?

TOM: I’d say so yes.

We’re strong believers of politics in the UK, and also what’s happening in other countries.

CALEB: It’s a big part of a lot of our tracks, it’s something that we all have a passion for and we strongly believe in our views of fairness and various other political values, man.

A big political event that has happened in the UK already this year was the vote to leave the European Union. How do you see that affecting the British music industry?

CALEB: I can’t see it affecting the music industry in a positive way when it comes to the economy, whether it be record sales or ticket sales at gigs.

When it comes to leave the EU, personally I think that a number of huge organisations will move their HQs to a country that will remain in the EU.

Therefore, they will be job losses and quite a few people won’t be able to enjoy luxuries such as going to gigs, so that could be a negative.

But on the other hand, it could inspire some great music and various other politically influenced art forms which, as past history has shown, could create a great movement in this country.

But at the moment, who knows?

You’re from Stoke. What’s your opinion of the city’s current music scene and how do you think it compares with other cities in the UK?

TOM: I think that Stoke’s music scene has definitely progressed more over time and more bands now are trying different things, which gives Stoke a variety, rather than having lots of bands trying to do the same thing.

How does the band’s recording process go?

TOM: What we do is record as a full band,and then start with the drums, then bass and then guitar and vocals.

If there’s anything else in the song like synth or effects, then it’s usually done at the end.

CALEB: During the process, we usually have creative ideas pop up in our heads, whether it be using a drill on a pick up to create an obscure sound on the guitar or even just an added snare in one bar. It varies.

What have you got lined up over the next couple of months?

TOM: A lovely summer tour from the 1st to 6th September.

Where will you be playing?

CALEB: The tour starts in Cardiff, then we go to Bristol, Cheltenham, back in Stoke for a headline at the Underground, Manchester and we finish the tour off in London.

We’re also playing the Ashcomberry festival near Leek on the 27th August.

There’s some shit hot venues we’re playing at, so we can’t wait to get on the road, hopefully gain some more followers and have a good old time.

How has the reaction been from the venues you’ve played on the road?

CALEB: To be honest man, I couldn’t have asked for any better reactions from the crowds we’ve played to.

It’s such a heart warmer when someone doesn’t know you from Adam and comes up to you after a gig to congratulate you on how much they enjoyed our set etc…

It really does mean the world and also makes it all worth while in a lot of ways, as much as we do it for ourselves and our own enjoyment.

We also, like any artist, like having people who are on the same wavelength as us, it’s a great feeling and we’ve received that from many of the places we’ve played, so thanks a lot to them lot who have taken the time to come and see us and support unsigned music.

Other people think we need chucking in a mental asylum, but it’s all good fun!

What’s your long-term aim?

CALEB: I think I speak for everyone when I say we wanna take it as far as we can go, although never forgetting the main thing is that we enjoy it to the max.

I don’t want a normal job and I want to do what I love for a living.

Who doesn’t?

SERTRALINE – The Sugarmill, Hanley, 05/08/2016

REVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

PHOTOS by NICOLE BROWN

Sertraline Gig Photo 1

Sertraline came to Hanley for the finale of their nationwide tour promoting their new single ‘Change of Heart’.

For the majority of the members of the metal/rock five-piece, it was a chance to finish on a high in front of a home crowd.

They were helped by strong support, both Rage Cave and YOUYESYOU doing a great job at warming things up.

At some gigs I’ve been to, the first band have struggled to make an impact.

However, Rage Cave were far from this, immediately grabbing everybody’s attention by playing a confident set filled with some well put together tracks.

Watching them, I thought it was remarkable that they had only played their first gig towards the end of June.

YOUYESYOU, led by Stone the Alchemist frontman Chris Munday, were also good, playing with much energy and strength.

Chris showed yet again why he is good at what he does, making sure the audience were engaged and entertained, while at the same time putting as much effort as he could into creating a strong set.

This must have taken some pressure off Sertraline, as from the word go, they seemed to relish every moment they were on stage.

Sertraline Gig Photo 2

Everybody in the band seemed to be in their absolute element, playing a lively, fast and intense set, perfectly complimented by the sublime singing of vocalist Lizzie.

Sertraline Gig Photo 4

All this resulted in a positive atmosphere, with the crowd thoroughly enjoying themselves, some singing along to the tracks, others deciding to form a moshpit which grew as the night wore on.

Sertraline Gig Photo 3

Overall, it was a brilliant evening of hard rock where everybody was on top form.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LETLIVE. – ‘If I’m The Devil…’ (4/5)

(Epitaph)

Letlive Cover

REVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

If anybody was hoping that Los Angeles post-hardcore outfit Letlive. were going to pick up exactly from where they left off, then prepare to be disappointed.

‘If I’m The Devil…’, their fourth studio album, sees the band, led by straight-talking frontman Jason Butler, venture out of their comfort zone.

The sound, even though it can still be classed as post-hardcore, is more experimental, with an eclectic variety of influences, ranging from new wave, hip-hop and indie.

When Panic! At The Disco went down a similar route for their latest album earlier this year, it fell rather flat, whereas Letlive. succeed, mainly thanks to the group’s musical talents and the stewardship of Butler, who shows off a diverse vocal depth, successfully switching from crooning to ranting with relative ease.

In a recent interview, the band said that lyrically, this is the most politically and socially minded record they’ve ever put together, and they are exactly right.

Many of the tracks explore a lot of the political and social issues facing the USA at the moment, with the best example being stand-out song ‘Good Mourning, America’, chronicling the history of discrimination and misrule of authority across the pond.

However, you don’t have to be American to get the message Letlive. try to put across, as the topics very much apply to most other countries in the world right now.

The group made a big risk changing what was a winning formula, but they do enough to keep the majority of their devoted fanbase happy, and at the same time may very well win over some of those who have dismissed them in the past.

TOP TRACK: ‘Good Mourning, America’