SCORCHING WINTER – ‘Victim’ (4/5)

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REVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

‘Victim’ is the debut full-length album from Australian hard rock outfit Scorching Winter.

There has been much anticipation from critics and fans alike, eager to see if the Melbourne five-piece could build on the success of last year’s EP ‘Peripheral’.

Well, in my opinion, it seems that they have.

Everything, the sound, the vocals, the lyrics, the production values, has been taken up a notch.

The sound is rooted in metal, but also at times borrows from other genres, reflecting the band’s eclectic musical influences.

The majority of the tracks contain thundering guitar riffs and anthemic choruses at its core, but there’s occasional forays into more melodic fare.

An example of this is the song ‘Chapter VII: Devil In The Mirror’, where the electric guitars are ditched in favour of a more acoustic sound, which the band pull off well, mainly due to the abundance of talent within its ranks.

Scorching Winter have been likened to acts such as Evanescence, and it is easy to see why, especially in terms of the vocals.

The melodic vocal delivery of Tina Papadimitriou is a consistent presence throughout the album, fitting in well both with the heavier and more gentler output.

Another thing that is constant all through this offering are the lyrics.

Being a concept album, every track acts a chapter within a continuing storyline, which is good, in that rather than listening to just the two or three songs that the band will probably release as singles, the listener has to invest in a character and their journey from start to finish, in order to fully appreciate it.

Just by listening to one of the tracks, it’s clear that a lot of attention to detail has been paid to make ‘Victim’ the strongest it can be, and that the band have put a lot of hard work and effort into perfecting each and every aspect.

‘Peripheral’ was good, but this is a big improvement, and on this basis, it will be interesting to see where Scorching Winter go from here.

TOP TRACK: ‘Chapter III: From The Ashes’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KILKOVEC ANNOUNCE TOUR

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Rising UK alt-rockers Kilkovec have announced tour dates to support their stunning new EP ‘Plunge’, which arrives on Friday 27th January.

The Hampshire three-piece have racked up much acclaim for their intoxicating blend of alternative punk rock that calls to mind Brand New, Letlive, and the Marmozets.

The Brit rock hopefuls play:

26.01.17 – The Alexandra Beer Emporium, Southampton;

27.01.17 – Sanctuary Live, Basingstoke;

28.01.17 – Ice Breaker Festival, Portsmouth;

29.01.17 – Green Door Store Brighton;

01.02.17 – Tooting Tram and Social, London.

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For more announcements, stay tuned to https://www.facebook.com/Kilkovec/

THE GURUS

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THE GURUS (from l-r): Jonny Gosling (bass), Jamie Ball (guitar), Jack Stubbs (drums), Jimmy Hackley (vocals/guitar)

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

2016 has been quite a year for fledging Stoke-on-Trent indie/alternative rock band The Gurus.

They have enjoyed a rapid ascent, building a solid and loyal following with a diversely influenced sound that is a combination of catchy guitar riffs and well-crafted lyrics.

Also, the four-piece have been playing gigs all over the UK, supporting acts such as Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott and Bez from The Happy Mondays.

With their eagerly anticipated debut single and EP both being released in the next month, I chatted with them to gain some more insight into this, and how they work.

How did the band get together initially?

Me and Jack started the band in his conservatory and started playing, then Jamie joined us at a later date after a drunken conversation between him and myself, and then Jonny joined later because he worked with me.

How did the name The Gurus come about?

We spent months pondering various names. Some were longer and more creative and some were just a bit shit. But our first gig was approaching and I just pitched The Gurus, and we were so bored of deciding on names we just thought “fuck it”, we’ll go with that.

How would you describe your sound?

We’ve been compared to a lot of indie rock bands, so I suppose we’re indie. We’ve had lots of influence from the likes of Arctic Monkeys, The Libertines, The Fratellis.

We just want our music to put you in a mood to go out and have a beer kind of thing.

Your debut single ‘Revel’ comes out on December 2nd. How has recording it been?

It was sound. We recorded at Field Street Studios in Leek with Paul Yarrow. We also recorded all the EP at the same time, so we had a good week of recording.

What can we expect from both the single and the EP then?

Good lyrics, catchy riffs and songs that’ll make you want to sink a few pints and then head out for the evening.

What will be calling the EP? And when are you thinking of releasing it?

We’re calling the EP ‘A Good Idea, At The Time’ and that will be out on the 19th December. ‘Revel’ will be available to view on YouTube on November 28th, and we’re headlining The Sugarmill in Hanley on December 23rd to celebrate.

What is the inspiration behind your lyrics?

Just what happens to us on nights out. Mostly things that happen on a night out that I’ll laugh at a few days later or something.

What is your experience of playing live and touring?

We have played shows up and down the country and have supported acts like Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott and The Sherlocks.

Our favourite live venue to play is definitely The Sugarmill, as we feel it is a homecoming show for us and everyone is up for it there.

What was it like playing with acts like Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott and The Sherlocks?

Quality. Paul and Jacqui was a very different experience to The Sherlocks as you can imagine, but all brought good experience regardless.

Paul was very helpful in giving us advice and took a lot of time to speak to us about the music which we really appreciated.

You’re all from Stoke-on-Trent. What is your opinion of the music scene there currently?

Well, at about the same time as we started gigging, about seven other bands started as well, which created a real hubbub, and lots of people were attending lots of gigs.

It has since died down a bit, but there is some top class acts in Stoke, and some not so good acts, like any place I suppose.

What is the band’s long-term aim?

Like any band that starts gigging, we want to be massive.

We want to have people come to our gigs and buy our music, and we also want to play at the biggest venues with the biggest acts.

THE GURUS’ DEBUT SINGLE ‘REVEL’ WILL BE RELEASED ON DECEMBER 2ND (AVAILABLE TO VIEW ON YOUTUBE FROM NOVEMBER 28TH), AND THEIR DEBUT EP ‘A GOOD IDEA, AT THE TIME’ WILL BE RELEASED ON DECEMBER 19TH.

ALSO, THE BAND WILL BE HEADLINING THE SUGARMILL IN HANLEY ON DECEMBER 23RD.

FOR MORE INFO, GO TO THE GURUS’ OFFICIAL WEBSITE http://thegurusband.com/ OR CHECK OUT THEIR SOCIAL MEDIA PAGES AT:

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/thegurusuk/

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/thegurusuk

 

 

 

 

 

 

LEAVING EDEN

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INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

Leaving Eden, an experimental rock outfit from the American city of Boston, have made quite a significant impact on both sides of the Atlantic these last couple of years.

They have gained a substantial following with an eclectically influenced sound and live sets that have to be seen to be believed, supporting a who’s-who of rock and metal, including Black Sabbath, Alice Cooper, Avenged Sevenfold and many more.

Also, their latest album ‘Pinnacle’ has so far been met with universal acclaim.

I chatted to guitarist Eric Gynan about all things Leaving Eden.

How did the band get together?

I was looking for a female vocalist, ran into Eve, Johnny on bass came referred, and he brought in Ryan on the drums.

Quite simple really.

How did the name Leaving Eden come about?

Looking at the planet as Eden, it would be nice to visit somewhere else, thus Leaving Eden…

To somebody discovering your music for the first time, how would you describe it to them?

An eclectic mix of genres from rock, heavy rock, to metal with some acoustic peppered in.

What are your musical influences?

So many, but we like Black Sabbath, Suicidal Tendencies, KISS, Janis Joplin, Five Finger Death Punch, Disturbed…

What is the band’s approach to songwriting?

As crazy as it sounds, I utilize meditative techniques, closing my eyes, head down, arms in the air using my fingers as a connection to the universe. It’s all out there, just got to listen.

Once the ideas are in place, then the guys and gal, Johnny on bass, Ryan on drums and Eve on vocals add their unique swing, and press, there’s an album!

What is the inspiration behind your lyrics?

Leaving Eden’s lyrics are the forefront of what the band has to say, therefore, they are primarily based on real life experiences, furthermore having to do with the struggles between good and evil.

What is the experience for the band playing live?

Great question! Leaving Eden is best seen/heard live. Fronted by Eve, she connects to the crowd in a way that is purely universal.

A shared energy combined with some tribal nuances brings Leaving Eden and the crowd closer together, each participating in the experience.

What have you got lined up in the near future?

Touring the USA, Canada and Europe baby! Also recording as usual.

What is the band’s long-term aim?

Touring the world over and over again!!! Also as a voting member for the Grammys, we’ve been submitted to many categories so we got our fingers crossed on that!

Your album ‘Pinnacle’, released through Rock Avenue Records USA, came out earlier this year. How has the reaction been to it?

It has been Garrrreat!!! An overwhelming response worldwide.

Check out all our links and we certainly hope ta see y’all when we come through your area!!! This has been a pleasure and Peace!!!

LEAVING EDEN’S LATEST ALBUM ‘PINNACLE’ IS AVAILABLE NOW.

YOU CAN ALSO SEE THEIR LATEST VIDEO ‘MANIAC’ AT: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9xbL98czLM

CHECK OUT THE BAND ON THEIR OFFICIAL WEBSITE http://www.leavingeden.com/ AND ALL OF THESE OTHER SITES:

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/bandleavingeden/

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/Leavingeden

LINKEDIN: https://www.linkedin.com/in/leaving-eden-39320010

INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/leavingedenofficial/

YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/user/leavingedenband

SOUNDCLOUD: https://soundcloud.com/leavingeden

REVERBNATION: https://www.reverbnation.com/leavingedenmusic

MYSPACE: https://myspace.com/leavingedenband

BANDSINTOWN: http://www.bandsintown.com/LeavingEden

FILTH

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FILTH (from l-r): Lewis Fernyhough (guitar), Jack Melvin (bass/synth), Joe Van Marle (vocals), Adam Heath (drums)

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

Filth, an emerging four-piece from Stoke-on-Trent, only formed last year, but have already make a mark on their local music scene, impressing with a sound that is a blend of psychedelia with heavy rock.

Guitarist Lewis Fernyhough chatted to us about their journey up to now, and what’s on the horizon next for them.

How did the band get together initially?

Well, me, Jack and Joe originally started as a three-piece about a year ago, and then in June we roped in Adam on the drums.

How did the name Filth come about?

It just came about in a maths lesson one day and it’s stuck ever since.

How would you describe your sound?

Well we’d say hard rock with a psychedelic edge and Joe says ‘Fucking loud’.

Which bands/artists influence you?

Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Kasabian, it gets quite varied to be honest, but each of us has sort of their own influence.

Is there a message you are trying to get across via your music at all?

We don’t really have a message, we’re just four lads playing rock and roll.

You’re all from Stoke-on-Trent. What is your opinion of the music scene there currently?

To be honest, it’s good in some aspects but in other ways it’s absolutely shit.

No bugger comes out to see bands, and not enough money is being put into the music scene.

Also, a lot of bands aren’t really that great and it does kind of put a negative view on it and people judge the whole music scene just from a small view.

Stoke is overlooked too much as a great honeypot for talented musicians who put the graft in.

It’s a shame really, but not much can be done about it.

How is it for the band playing live?

It’s mint yeah, we love it, turn up to a gig, get pissed, play for half an hour, get paid £20 each, winner!

Anything coming up in the near future at all? (EP, album etc…)

Yeah, we have an self-titled EP coming out, but that won’t be until quite far into next year.

What can we expect from the EP?

To be honest, we haven’t done a lot with it so far, we only have the title song at the moment.

What is the band’s long-term aim?

We don’t have one to be honest, at the moment, we’re just happy to go out and play gigs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BRIT ROCKERS FRAGILE THINGS DELIVER REBOOT OF THEIR NEW EP

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Drawing from a slew of rock bands, panning from early Guns N Roses, Alice in Chains, and Dead Sara, through to Velvet Revolver and Bon Jovi, Fragile Things are poised to break out with a reboot of their compelling new EP ‘Broken Sun’, which arrives on Friday 17th February.

Based in Milton Keynes and consisting of Richie Hevanz (vocals), Mark Hanlon (guitars), Steve Lathwell (bass), and Hugo Bowman (drums), Fragile Things spit out immense riffs and soaring vocals laced with heart felt lyrics.

Already acclaimed for a live show that bursts with energy, the band have just completed a cluster of highly successful shows, as well as dates alongside Slam Cartel, and are now primed for the national scene.

The quartet have recently completed work on their new EP, and it’s a helping of modern day rock that will excite the masses.

Instantly, the up-tempo riffery and anthemic refrain of ‘Enemy is I’ pummels you into
submission; it’s the ideal cut to lay down a marker for the emerging rockers.

‘Open Case’ soon drops another banger right onto your lap, before the title track, ‘Broken Sun’, illustrates the foursome’s growing song-writing dexterity, complete with considered dynamics and structuring, as well as a colossal hook.

‘So Cold’ completes the EP, expressing a barrage of stout riffs and vocal lines that will ignite any true rock fan.

Stay tuned, as Fragile Things are currently working on a full tour which will be announced through all their social sites during the coming weeks.

THE NEW EP FROM FRAGILE THINGS ‘BROKEN SUN’ WILL BE RELEASED ON FRIDAY FEBRUARY 17TH.

MORE INFO AT THE BAND’S OFFICIAL WEBSITE http://www.fragilethingsofficial.com AND THEIR SOCIAL MEDIA PAGES:

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/fragilethingsofficial/

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/fragilethings_

 

 

 

 

 

WEAK13 – ‘They Live’ (5/5)

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REVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

‘They Live’ is the debut full-length studio album from Midlands rock three-piece Weak13.

Having initially formed back in 1999, it wasn’t until five years ago that the outfit, led by multi-talented frontman Nick J. Townsend, released their first EP, the critically-acclaimed ‘Live Ammo’.

Therefore, there has been a sense of eager anticipation for their latest offering from the band’s loyal fan base.

Straight from the opener ‘My Last Summer With You’, and right the way through to closer ‘Obey The Slave’, it is clear that it has been well worth the lengthy wait.

The sound is mainly a continuation of their experimentally-focused EP, drawing on a varied range of influences.

There’s a real mix of punk, grunge and metal, which in the hands of lesser talents would be a musical mess, but here, they effectively fuse the genres to create something that is truly a great listen.

The main lyrical themes deal with the criticism of the wealthy and powerful, and how they use their assets to manipulate ordinary people.

This is most evident in what is arguably the strongest track of the album, ‘Here Come The Drones’, which serves as both an attack on the establishment for forcing everybody else to act in their own best interests, and everyday citizens for not making enough of a stand against them.

Some of the songs do depart from this subject matter however, most noticeably ‘Loyal Coward’, which contains a more melodic sound and lyrics dealing with a man whose girlfriend has just walked on him.

Townsend’s vocals act as a liaison between the sound and lyrics, with a delivery that seems to be a fusion of Lemmy and Kurt Cobain.

‘They Live’ is an album which has much strength and depth, and serves as perfect justification for Weak13’s tag as one of the biggest names in contemporary British underground music.

Also, it provides a refreshing antidote to some of the shallow, poorly constructed popular music out there currently.

TOP TRACK: ‘Here Come The Drones’