EVERYDAY SIDEKICKS – ‘Hope’ (4/5)

(Self-released)

Everyday Sidekicks Cover

REVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

‘Hope’ is the sophomore EP from Bristol post-hardcore outfit Everyday Sidekicks.

The quartet burst onto the scene nearly eighteen months ago with their debut release ‘The Things I’ve Seen’, which impressed many with its heavy, anthemic sound, taken from a diverse range of musical influences.

With this new five track offering, the band have decided to use the elements of that and enhance it on a monumental scale.

Just by listening to opener ‘Glass House’, it is clear that they have aimed big, with the song beginning with a flourish of ferocious intensity and aggression, which becomes a major part of the make-up of the EP, with guitar riffs and drum beats both being delivered at breakneck speed.

Coupled with the pulsating, energetic vocal delivery of frontman Archie Hatfield, it seems that the tracks have been tailor-made for the moshpit.

However, with penultimate song ‘Lacuna’, the four-piece show just how flexible they can be with their music.

An almost two minute instrumental, the track differs from the rest of the output by utilising a sound that is gentler and more melodic.

It proves that the band can comfortably venture into other musical stylings, and manage to pull it off well, without it disrupting the rhythm of the rest of the EP.

Another thing Everyday Sidekicks pull off with success is with the diverse lyrical content, which deal with matters ranging from heartbreak to the state of the current world, all connected by a central theme of hope, for example, ‘Glass House’ concerns not having a choice in losing somebody close to you, whereas lead single ‘Fracture’ will appeal to those bemoaning the current state of the mainstream music industry, with Hatfield attacking those who prioritise artists and outfits who have good looks and more marketing potential over musicians who don’t necessarily have those attributes, but have an abundance of talent.

‘Hope’ is a substantial sounding offering that acts more effectively as a showcase for the band’s talents, and represents a real step up for them. The EP should also have a wide appeal, both for their current fan base, who enjoyed listening to their debut, and anybody who is just discovering them.

TOP TRACK: ‘Fracture’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HIGH TIDES

High Tides interview photo

HIGH TIDES (from l-r): Connor Rogers (drums), Alex Hiley (guitar), Chris Litchfield (vocals), Matt Bramley (guitar), Tom Slack (bass)

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

Nottingham five-piece High Tides have enjoyed a rapid rise since their formation two years ago, impressing critics and fans alike with a mature, well-crafted sound that the quintet have described as “putting emo into pop-punk“.

Having just released ‘I’m Not Giving Up, I’m Not Just Starting Over’, the eagerly-awaited follow-up to last year’s well-received debut EP ‘Home Truths’, I chatted with the band about their new offering, as well as discussing their journey so far, sound and influences.

How did the band get together initially?

Most of us have been friends since school, so we have known each other for many years. We’ve all been in separate bands both together and separately, and when deciding to start this project together, it just seemed to gel straight away and it all went from there.

How did the name High Tides come about?

There isn’t a particular meaning or story behind this, unfortunately. We were just brainstorming ideas, throwing things out there, agreeing, disagreeing, and when High Tides came up, it just had a nice ring to it which we all enjoyed.

In your own words, how would you describe your sound?

We like to think our sound is a kind of mixture, or balance, between happy, bouncy, and catchy pop-punk mixed with a raw and passionate emotional side, bringing both highs and lows to anyone who listens to our songs.

What are the band’s musical influences?

The main influences we have include the classics such as Blink-182, New Found Glory, Taking Back Sunday, as well as the newer wave of pop punk such as The Wonder Years, The Story So Far and Knuckle Puck, for example.

Individually though, we all have influences from a range of genres from the heavier artists such as Architects, through to artists like Brendon Urie.

What would you say was your approach to songwriting?

Our usual approach to songwriting is getting together once a week in the rehearsal space, we’ll jam our existing songs for a while, and then we’ll use a good chunk of practice time to write new songs. We’ll all show different ideas we may have written, and together we’ll just compile these ideas and mound them into a basic song. We’ll then keep jamming and jamming it and making little tweaks until we’re happy. It does come with its disagreements and arguments, but we feel that this way we all have an input to each song, so we can each put our mark on it.

You have recently released a mini-album, ‘I’m Not Giving Up, I’m Just Starting Over’. How was it recording it?

We actually recorded this release many, many months ago, but we had a lot of fun in doing so. We recorded with our friend Myroslav Borys at Jigsaw Audio just as we did with our last EP, he’s so good at what he does, and always turns out songs into something utterly next level with his ideas and techniques.

And what can listeners expect from the EP?

From this release, listeners can expect to be part of a journey. We wanted to make this mini-album not just a collection of songs, but more of a story. So with the lyrics and ordering of the songs, we feel it has a real flow to it, ranging from fast-paced, hard-hitting tracks to softer, more intimate songs.

How is it for you playing live and touring?

We love it, just love it. We recently returned from our ten day UK tour with Where There’s Life and it was insane. We experienced shows with a room full of people jumping, shouting, crowd surfing, and we had shows where we just played to each other and the sound man, but the whole experience was just incredible, we met so many good bands and good people along the way and we can’t wait to do it all again.

What else is planned for the near future then?

We’re going to be carrying on with playing shows all over the country to promote this release, as well as making a start on new material which we will shortlist and record for another release in the future.

What is the band’s long-term aim?

Our aim is just to make music we all enjoy, and that our fans enjoy. We just want to keep playing amazing shows and meeting amazing people. We don’t particularly have a long-term aim. We just want to keep having fun together and see where our music takes us.

High Tides Cover

‘I’M NOT GIVING UP, I’M JUST STARTING OVER’, THE NEW RELEASE FROM HIGH TIDES, IS NOW AVAILABLE VIA SCYLLA RECORDS.

DIGITAL: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/im-not-giving-up-im-just-starting-over/id1193987405?app=itunes&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

PHYSICAL: https://scyllarecords.myshopify.com/collections/cassettes/products/high-tides-im-not-giving-up-im-just-starting-over-cd-cassette

FOR FURTHER INFO ON THE BAND, CHECK OUT THESE SITES:

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

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/High_TidesUk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EMERGING INDIE FOUR-PIECE THE HUBBARDS TO UNVEIL NEW SINGLE ‘JUST TOUCH’

The Hubbards band photo

Drawing from a wealth of influences both modern and otherwise, the Hull-born, Leeds-based four-piece The Hubbards are making all the right moves. A smattering of single releases earned the band crucial early and continued support from BBC Radio 1 and 6Music, while support slots for the likes of Augustines and The Pigeon Detectives has seen the buzz that surrounds the band grow to an almost deafening level.

With a sound that falls somewhere between the polished pop of bands such as JAWS and The 1975, and the grungey, DIY ethos of their adopted city, it’s clear that The Hubbards have managed to encapsulate a vibe that feels both of the moment, yet ultimately timeless; an aesthetic bolstered by the band’s latest single ‘Just Touch’.

Building on the familiar hazy textures that populated last year’s debut EP ‘Cold Cut’, ‘Just Touch’ is a bold release from the band, one which makes good on their early promise, while managing to set themselves apart from their contemporaries thanks to a woozy, Pixies-esque delivery.

Though influenced by years of songwriting tradition, it’s clear that The Hubbards are a band very much with their eyes to the future. And with the past couple of years being as good to the band as they have, it’s looking like a bright future indeed.

The Hubbards comprise of vocalist/bassist Reuben Driver, guitarists Alex Green and Ronan Burns, and drummer Joe Orlowski.

The Hubbards Single Cover

‘JUST TOUCH’, THE NEW SINGLE FROM THE HUBBARDS, WILL BE RELEASED ON MARCH 31ST IN ASSOCIATION WITH SCRUFF OF THE NECK RECORDS.

FOR FURTHER INFO ON THE BAND, CHECK OUT THESE SITES:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE: http://www.thehubbards.co.uk/

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

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/thehubbards

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

SOUNDCLOUD: https://www.soundcloud.com/thehubbards

 

 

 

CATCH FIRE TALK TO US ABOUT THEIR NEW EP

Catch Fire band photo

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

Nottingham quintet Catch Fire, known for their sophisticated style of pop-punk, have just released their second EP, ‘A Love That I Still Miss’, the eagerly-anticipated follow-up to last year’s debut release ‘The Distance I Am From You’.

With their new offering promising to make a bigger impact on their already fast-expanding fan base, frontman Miles Kent spoke to me in detail about it.

How is your new EP, ‘A Love That I Still Miss’, different from your debut?

Musically, I’d say these songs are a lot more mature and “thought out” than our previous work. We devoted a lot of time to the little things and paid a lot more attention to detail, as we really didn’t want to release anything less than perfect to us. We wanted to music to be much more conceptual and artistic too, so there was a lot more going on than what you perhaps hear the first time around.

Lyrically, the songs are a lot darker and much more honest than anything we’ve done before. We wanted to tackle a lot of personal affairs in these songs, to hopefully try and connect with people going through some similar hardships.

How did you get the idea for the EP?

Generally, the whole EP is an apology for a mistake I made in a past relationship. She’s moved on and she’s happy now with someone else that isn’t me, and rightly so. This collection of songs is my admission, and my apology.

How was the recording process?

We recorded with Myroslav Borys of Jigsaw Audio. After having worked with him on ‘Wild Things’, we knew that he was going to help us achieve exactly what we wanted to with ‘ALTISM’. We spent three weeks in the studio with him, getting done what we could on the weekends and then cramming in what we could in the evenings after work. Some days we were all there, some days there were only one or two of us. We had to trust each other to do the best job we all could when tracking because we couldn’t all be there, which we weren’t used to. Any recording we’ve done as a band before, we’ve all been there together. We’re beyond happy with the result.

Do you think it was easier or more difficult to put together this time around?

‘A Love That I Still Miss’ came together very naturally. Nothing was forced at all. The only thing that maybe slowed things down, was trying to find the time to all meet up and get the songs written. We all have jobs, so finding the time to even practice can prove difficult.

What do you hope to get from ‘ALTISM’?

We just hope that we can connect with as many people as possible. Hopefully anyone going through a difficult situation in their life can listen to us and we can relieve some of that pain. We want to play these songs to as many people as possible and see some more of the world.

What can the band’s fans expect as well?

Maybe if we cheer up at some point, we’ll write some happier songs! (laughs)

Catch Fire Cover

‘A LOVE THAT I STILL MISS’, THE SECOND EP FROM CATCH FIRE, IS NOW AVAILABLE THROUGH ALL PLATFORMS.

TRIVERSE MASSACRE TO RELEASE NEW EP IN MAY

Triverse Massacre band photo

Rising UK riff slingers Triverse Massacre are shifting through the gears and ploughing through the ranks of the British metal scene. The quintet now drop a burly slice of resourceful progressive death metal in the shape of their new EP ‘Hades’, out on Friday May 26th.

Born out of Carlisle, and formed in 2010, Triverse Massacre are starting to assemble a loyal troop of fans. The band’s debut EP, ‘In The Jaws Of Deceit’, was released to great response within the metal underground community, drawing glowing comparisons to At The Gates and Lamb Of God. Their follow-up, ‘With Bared Teeth’ and ‘Truths’, offered four slabs of pit starting, abrasive metal, described by the mighty No Clean Singing website as “diving head-first into a nest of pissed-off hornets“.

Lofty support from Terrorizer Magazine, Planet Mosh, and Big Cheese Magazine has increased the band’s profile. So too has winning the Carlisle Metal to the Masses 2016 competition, where the five-piece won a coveted slot at last year’s Bloodstock Open Air, playing alongside the likes of Slayer, Behemoth, Mastodon, and Gojira. Live shows and support slots with everyone from
Aliases, The Sun Explodes, The Colour Line, Reign Of Fury, Anihilated, and a recent sold-out show with heavyweights Skindred and Raging Speedhorn, only further outlined the band’s growing reach and trajectory.

Triverse Massacre’s forthcoming EP cranks up the intensity and technicality. The guttural attack of Styx, framed by sledge-hammer blows and vicious guitar parts, sets the pace before the pummelling beatings of ‘Acheron’ ensue.

Next up, ‘Lethe’ is a stomping full frontal blast of deathcore, as its amps up on the brutality, with deep growls that stem from the pits of hell.

‘Phlegethon’ closes the EP and underlines just why you need to hear Triverse Massacre. This record will stamp its way through your skull, leaving a substantial imprint.

A special CD EP launch will be held at The Brickyard in Carlisle on Saturday April 22nd.

‘HADES’, THE NEW EP FROM TRIVERSE MASSACRE, WILL BE RELEASED THROUGH ALL PLATFORMS ON MAY 26TH.

FOR FURTHER INFO, CHECK OUT THESE SITES:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE: http://www.triversemassacre.com/

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

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/triversem

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CATCH FIRE – ‘A Love That I Still Miss’ (4/5)

(Rude Records)

Catch Fire Cover

REVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

‘A Love That I Still Miss’ is the sophomore EP from Nottingham five-piece Catch Fire.

Rather than bask in the success of their well-received debut ‘The Distance I Am From You’, released last year, the band instead went straight to work on this eight track offering, and now, the fruits of their labour are here for all to listen.

Second time around, the quintet have elected to retain the basic elements of their first EP, which consisted of a sound that was a fusion of pop-punk and emo, coupled with lyrics that were frank and relatable to the listener.

However, it is evident from listening to this new release that they have used it as an opportunity to evolve somewhat.

The compositions are more mature, and are probably a reflection of the band moving on from their teenage years and going into full adulthood. A good example of this is with the two contrasting instrumentals that bookend the EP.

Prologue ‘Poise’ is fast-paced, laden with heavy guitar riffs, and prepares you for the tracks ahead, whereas epilogue ‘Sinking’ goes at a more gentler pace, with a melodic strumming of an acoustic guitar, which gives you a chance to reflect on the songs before.

It is things like this that confirm Catch Fire are far from a generic pop-punk outfit.

The lyrics also show more maturity, delving deeper into a theme of emotional negativity, with frontman Miles Kent opening himself up more to the listener, singing frankly about his past negative experiences and how he found a way to overcome them, which is relatable to anyone who has or is going through the same things.

His lyrical talents shine through the most on the penultimate track ‘Thin Ice’, where he muses about how he thinks he will never be good enough for someone, despite their assurance that he is. He sings it in such a way that you can’t help but feel sympathy for him.

In conclusion, ‘A Love That I Still Miss’ has clearly been a labour of love for Catch Fire, with each track being given much care and attention, and it shows that they can effectively put together an offering that holds together the main elements of their debut and enhances it at the same time

TOP TRACK: ‘Thin Ice’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE LOUNGE ACT

The Lounge Act band photo

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

The Lounge Act, a five-piece from Stoke-on-Trent, may be a fledgling outfit, but their determined attitude and diversely influenced, alternative/indie rock sound suggests that they have talents a lot of outfits with more experience would kill for.

Comprising of vocalist/guitarist Callum Walters, guitarists Cam Degg and Ryan Day, bassist Liam Barker, and drummer Jack Adams, the quintet devote themselves entirely to music, and want their songs to appeal to as many individuals as possible.

Before their live set last weekend at The Underground in Hanley, I asked them some questions, and this is what they had to say in response:

How did the band get together initially?

CALLUM WALTERS (vocals/guitar): Me and Jack started the band, and we began thinking of people to join us. Ryan came in first, then Cam and Liam joined.

CAM DEGG (guitar): Me and Liam came in initially just as temporary members, and we sort of wormed our way in, this was in March last year.

JACK ADAMS (drums): We wanted a different genre from what we usually did, so we figured something a bit softer, more pop, more R ‘n’ B, and more suited to what we wanted to do.

How did the name The Lounge Act come about?

RYAN DAY (guitar): I’m a big fan of Nirvana, and the name was taken from one of their song titles, that’s basically it.

CAM: It is a cool name.

JACK: Sounds better than ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’! (all laugh)

In your own words, how would you describe your sound?

CALLUM: Fuck it.

CAM: Modern, big, pop…

CALLUM: I’m going with stick with ‘Fuck it’.

CAM: To be honest, it’s difficult to say, because we include a bit of everything. With each of our tracks, you’ll tend to get a different sound.

What are the band’s musical influences?

CAM: There’s quite a few from different places.

LIAM BARKER (bass): Jazz, metal…

CALLUM: Me! (All laugh) Everything and anything, it’s music we compile into one thing, using different techniques and genres. It’s all a bit of everything, really.

JACK: We all individually have different musical influences, but I think when it comes to writing songs and jamming, we play what we thinks suits the feel of the song.

CALLUM: We try not to put too much of one influence into a song, but to pin it down, one of the biggest bands, for me and Cam anyway, has to be The 1975.

CAM: Yeah.

What would you say was your approach to songwriting?

CAM: We all spend time at home writing little bits and pieces of songs, like it could be a verse, it could be a chorus, but rather than try and elaborate them on our own, we’ll bring it into the rehearsal room, and we’ll say to the rest of the band: “This is what I’ve got, and what can you guys do with it?” From there, it’s quite a fast process.

CALLUM: Yeah, it is. That’s usually how we will put a song together. Someone will come up with an idea, we’ll jam to it, then we’ll record it, take it home, and actually sit down and think about what we’re writing, how to develop it, and try to keep it as free as we can.

CAM: That’s where we’re able to bounce off one another, and the result, ultimately, will be a song.

JACK: Fortunately, we’re able to come up with things on the spot rather than really thinking it through, we’re pretty spontaneous about it, I reckon.

CALLUM: Yeah, I think we do well to make it look like it wasn’t just a jam, written on the spot sort of thing.

The band are all from Stoke-on-Trent. What is your opinion of the music scene there currently?

LIAM: I think it’s quite diverse. There seems to be a lot of metal bands at the moment, and there’s roughly around the same amount of local indie bands. The only thing I think that Stoke is lacking musically at the moment is a proper punk band, which I think would go down really well around here.

CAM: It’s mainly split down the middle, between metal and indie, but there are some incredible bands either side of that. I didn’t really realise how diverse the scene was until we went to the music awards a few weeks back.

LIAM: The music awards weren’t just for bands from Stoke, were they? They were also for Staffordshire and Cheshire, the surrounding areas.

CAM: It was still cool, though, and it was a really awesome night, as well.

You’ve already released a few singles. How has the reaction been to them?

JACK: It’s been really positive.

CAM: The reaction has been a lot bigger than any of us expected.

CALLUM: If anything, it’s made us more desperate to release new things.

CAM: Even with the YouTube stuff, we were only expecting around 200 views at the most, actually, we’ve had around 2,400 views, it’s been really good so far.

CALLUM: Incredibly well-received, and very heartwarming.

Will the singles potentially lead to an EP or album at all in the near future?

CALLUM: We’re leaning towards doing an EP at the moment, but it’s still under discussion whether it will be that or an album. We’re trying to think about it in accordance to what we’re doing in the next year, what our plan is, where we’re gigging, how we’re doing it, and all that.

JACK: It’s quality over quantity. One of the setbacks we thought of doing a whole album would be that there could be some filler in it, and we want absolutely everything to be nailed down and perfected.

CAM: We want to mean every song that’s on there, we want everything to be because we actually want it on there.

When would you be thinking of getting the EP out?

CAM: I’m just going to say in the near future, the coming months. Definitely this year, but I can’t really give an exact date.

How, for the band, is the experience of playing live?

CAM: It’s my favourite part of being in a band, for definite. When you’re on stage, everything around you disappears. The half-hour or so you’re up there is pure bliss, especially if you’re passionate about music, because you’re doing what you want to do, nothing else matters. It’s insane, it’s brilliant.

LIAM: Especially when it’s a good show, like last year with Scruff of the Neck.

JACK: We got a chant, didn’t we?

LIAM: That was amazing.

JACK: Yeah, Dave Beech from Scruff of the Neck told us afterwards that a crowd chanting for the first support band is virtually unheard of.

CAM: For us to hear that from someone was just amazing.

Apart from a possible EP, what else have you got lined up in the near future?

CAM: April is going to be an incredible month for us, we’ve got three shows, all in Hanley, on.

JACK: Three shows, that’s almost one every week.

CAM: On the 7th, we’re supporting China Tanks at The Sugarmill, on the 15th, we’re playing The Underground as part of the Your City festival.

LIAM: It’s a free gig, so come on down!

CAM: We’ll be playing alongside The Gurus and The Carriers, two very good bands from around here, on the 22nd, we’ll be at The Exchange, and we’ve got a few other shows after that. At the moment, it’s looking like it’s going to be a busy rest of the year for us.

Are you planning on playing any gigs outside of Stoke at all?

LIAM: We’re currently looking at getting transport sorted, so once that’s done, we’ll be looking into possibly playing some gigs out of Stoke.

What is the band’s long-term aim?

JACK: For this to become our main source of income.

CAM: Yeah, I think I speak for us all when I say we would like nothing more than for this to become our full-time job, playing music that people enjoy, and making a living from it.

LIAM: I think my biggest aim for the band would be for us to be something an individual can confide in, obviously like The 1975.

CALLUM: Yeah, that’s the dream, the end goal.

FOR FURTHER INFO ON THE LOUNGE ACT, CHECK OUT THESE SITES:

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

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/theloungeactuk