Hey Gigantic band photo


Hey Gigantic are a four-piece from London. They draw inspiration from an eclectic range of genres to craft an alternative/indie rock sound full of energy, which should appeal most to fans of The Dangerous Summer, Deaf Havana, and Lonely The Brave.

Having recently brought out a new single, ‘Passenger’, which the quartet say is the first to fully capture the loudness and fun of their live shows, I chatted with them about all of this and more.

How did the band form?

Hey Gigantic was started in South London. A few of us had been at uni together, as well as school many years before that, and when we all moved to London for work years later, we decided to start jamming some ideas. The main reason initially was to just hang out with mates, talk about music, have a laugh and drink a few beers.

We’ve been messing around with ideas since 2013, but we only really started to become focused on it in the last couple of years, as people started to take an interest and we realised that people were actually hearing the songs you had written in a dank old practice room, which was always awesome!

How did the name Hey Gigantic come about?

We were originally called Journals and it just didn’t seem quite right, we wanted a name that was abstract and had no meaning to it, then, while listening to The Pixies, it hit us! Their two songs played back-to-back, ‘Hey’ and ‘Gigantic’… and that was that!

What would you say was your approach to songwriting?

Each song is different, some start with a guitar idea and then it builds from there. A few have started from lyrical ideas, and we’ve then built the song around them, that was kind of the case for ‘Passenger’.

It started with lyrics loosely built around the metaphor of travel and movement, and the instrumentation of the song mirrored that with a driving tempo and energy to match.

What inspires the band lyrically?

Lyrically, all the themes are pretty much about day-to-day stuff, emotional experiences and interactions that hopefully people can relate to or find their own interpretation of.

Perhaps not all the themes are obvious, but it’s always interesting to hear people put their own spin on it.

Your new single, ‘Passenger’, was premiered recently on BBC Introducing from Essex. What can the band’s fan base expect from it?

It’s a continuation of our style for sure, still blending punk, indie and hardcore references, but I think the composition is more considered and simplified. The production is definitely better than anything we have released previously, we got to play around with tones and textures more to give it a more live sounding feel.

Thanks largely to Neil Kennedy (Milk Teeth, Creeper) at Ranch Production House in Southampton for his expert ear when it came to amps and pedals. It was an awesome experience.

And will the single lead to another EP or album at all?

We’ve got a few songs from the same recording session as ‘Passenger’ that we did back in the summer, it’s just deciding how best to release them, maybe an EP or maybe just release them as singles…You’ll just have to wait and see.

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

Live shows are the whole reason to be in a band, to play loud, and feel the energy of a crowd. So our shows are just that, loud, energetic and fun!

What have you got planned going into 2018?

To release more new music! And also, to get back to playing live shows, it’s been ages! We can confirm we’ll be supporting Faux and Polary at their London (Old Blue Last – 29th Jan) and Brighton (Sticky Mikes Frog Bar – 31st Jan) shows!

It’s so great to be supporting upcoming UK bands like these guys, who are both awesome! We can’t wait!

Hey Gigantic Single Cover



OFFICIAL WEBSITE: heygigantic.com

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/heygigantic

TWITTER: twitter.com/heygigantic

YOUTUBE: www.youtube.com

BANDCAMP: heygigantic.bandcamp.com






I Fight Bears band photo

South Wales bruisers I Fight Bears hit you with towering vocals, crushing riffs, and hammering beats. The highly-regarded quintet drop their self-titled debut album on Friday 16th February, but for now, the metal beasts have just released a lyric video for one of the album’s singles, ‘Lost The Fight’.

Pulling influence from Killswitch Engage, Parkway Drive, and Lamb Of God, and hailing from Bridgend, the same town as Funeral For A Friend and Bullet For My Valentine, I Fight Bears were formed just over two years ago, and since then, they have never looked back.

In the early days, the metallers crafted demos which spiked the attention of industry tastemakers, and live shows with When We Were Wolves, Skies In Motion and Perpetua, soon added to the band’s rising stock.

The five-piece continued their growth with the release of the singles, ‘State’ and ‘Believe In Me’, which were recorded at Tidy Studios in their home town with Gav Burrough (Funeral For A Friend).

2017 has seen the band commence work on their debut album, as well as releasing a new single, ‘Hammers’, to much acclaim.

The Welsh outfit mainly self-recorded their debut album, however, they also worked alongside Michael Paget (Bullet For My Valentine) on a series of tracks for both mastering and mixing. The result features ten thumping cuts of edgy modern metal, the record battering you from pillar to post.

From the pounding assault of ‘Hammers’, and their current single, ‘Lost The Fight’, which thrashes your ear drums into submission with a flurry of colossal riffs laced with full throttle vocals, through to their mesmerising future single, ‘Envision’, this is an album that will make people stand up and take notice.

Your new favourite band has just arrived. Welcome, I Fight Bears.

I Fight Bears Album Cover



FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/ifightbearsband

TWITTER: twitter.com/ifightbearsband

INSTAGRAM: www.instagram.com/ifightbears

YOUTUBE: www.youtube.com

BANDCAMP: ifightbears.bandcamp.com





Weak13 music video photo

FONZi NeuTRON photo

Underground British band rock WEAK13 have shocked many of their supporters due to a surprise collaboration with top hip-hop artist FONZi NeuTRON.

A music video for a song titled ‘Frequency’ emerged on the official Facebook and YouTube channel for the Birmingham rapper, which reveals WEAK13 frontman & guitarist Nick J Townsend and bassist Wesley Smith performing with him.

The song, which has a very underground 90’s feel, has already gone down well with hip-hop audiences and this seems to confirm that WEAK13 have no plans on staying quiet whilst they write the follow up to their well-received debut album, ‘They Live’.

Earlier this year the Midlands rock outfit surprised their audiences again by revealing a love for British band Depeche Mode after releasing the ‘Halo’ single, a rock-fuelled cover of the classic tune which first appeared on the 1990 ‘Violater’ album.

The single, which is now available in Europe, Asia and the UK on Spotify, Amazon Music, and iTunes, sparked much debate on the internet with fans from both camps arguing with each other.

Whilst some Depeche Mode fans appreciated how WEAK13 had made Halo their own song, as it was recorded in their style whilst simultaneously saluting the original, others objected to the heavier take on it. WEAK13 themselves, of course, were happy with the controversy caused by their version of the tune.

WEAK13 are still writing and recording their second album, but many fans are enjoying the surprise cover releases and collaborations that are emerging whilst they await it, and rumours are circulating of future cover versions by the three-piece of established songs.

For more info, go to the band’s official website: weak13official.com



Verity White photo


Verity White is a singer-songwriter from the Gloucestershire town of Cheltenham.

Having started out as a backing vocalist for progressive rockers Pendragon, in the last year, she has embarked on a solo career, accompanied by her multi-instrumentalist husband Alex.

Verity has impressed many with her powerful interpretation of lyrics dealing with past experiences, as well as a musical style that has rock at its core, also branching out into other genres, such as soul, blues and Motown, with ease.

With her recent debut album, ‘Breaking Out’, currently getting excellent reviews, and a UK tour planned for early in the new year, she chatted with me about all this and more.

You play in a band with your husband Alex. How did it start out?

I’d got back from a tour last year with Pendragon as their backing vocalist, and had been amazed at how many of their fans had asked to hear my music.

Although I’d been writing for years, I’d never released anything as I think I was too afraid, you know, but that kinda gave me enough confidence that people would be interested to say, “You know what? F**k it – lets do this!”

Alex is a multi-instrumentalist and producer anyway, so it made sense that we did it together, and so the musical idea was born!

At the moment, it’s basically myself and him, but we do use some session musicians when we play live, and we are actually considering making that permanent for 2018, that’s our plan, anyway.

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

Oh God, I get asked this all the time and I just don’t know!! There are elements of so many different styles in the music; though it does have rock at its core, you can hear electronica, metal, folk and industrial music in there too.

It’s kinda like a female-fronted Nine Inch Nails meets Veruca Salt meets Joan Jett meets…Oh God, I don’t know! Listen to it and tell me for God’s sake, someone help me!

What are your musical influences?

Well, Nine Inch Nails are an obvious influence, there’s a lot I love about their music, and the way they play with so many styles and intricacies.

There’s definitely some 90s rock bands in there too, like I said earlier, Veruca Salt are awesome, but there are also some glimpses of Le Tigre and Nirvana too, plus there’s a classic soul influence as well, I love the emotion and passion that you get with 70s soul music.

What is your approach to songwriting?

Alex, being a much more talented instrumentalist than me, writes the basic song structure which I then get in a MP3 and work on from there up.

Whatever lyrics and a motion I feel fits with the music comes to be, and then we lay it down in the studio, adding the enhancements like extra strings or synths, whatever the emotions.

What serves as inspiration for your lyrical content?

My life. I want the lyrics to speak to people, and remind them of a time when they were there, so that’s what I go for. Every song is based upon real experiences, and I think that truth helps the listener relate to them.

A few weeks back, you released your debut album, ‘Breaking Out’. How has the reaction been to it so far?

It’s been amazing! I have been genuinely blown away by the reviews that we’ve had so far! It’s great that people are hearing the songs, really understanding what’s behind them, and connecting with them. It makes me feel, well, I’m overwhelmed actually, and very, very grateful.

What is the experience, for you, of playing live?

Bouncy! We tend to stick to the song structures as per the recordings, but add little flourishes and fun new enhancements, as they kinda always happen as you get more used to playing a song.

I’m a very lively front-person, we talked about my playing guitar on stage too, but soon decided that that would detract from my mass jumping about…

What have you got lined up for 2018?

We’re going to be touring with the recent album in January, which I cannot wait for! It’s my first solo headlining tour, so in equal parts, I’m excited and terrified!

After that, we’re looking into the summer for festival season, and in between those things, you can expect more releases, and an exciting fan-based ‘Write Your Own Song’ adventure early in the year too! That’s going to be fun!

What is your long-term aim?

It sounds really boring, but in all honestly, I’d just like to make a decent living from doing what I love. Of course, I want to write more, gig more and tour more, but not having to worry about bills and things would be great.

Verity White Album Cover



Verity White tour poster


FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/veritywhitesinger

TWITTER: twitter.com/veebear

INSTAGRAM: www.instagram.com/original_verity

YOUTUBE: www.youtube.com/user/TheVeebear









CHORDS AGAINST CANCER II – The Old Star, Uttoxeter, 27/10/2017

Chords Against Cancer II poster



Last year, Matt Hudson and Rhys Bryan, the duo who make up Staffordshire heavy metal outfit Doomsday Sun, put on an evening of live sets performed by an assortment of talented Midlands rock and metal bands in their local town of Uttoxeter, in aid of Macmillan Cancer Research.

Following the huge success of that, it was inevitable that another evening would be on the cards, and so, towards the end of October, the town’s go-to place for rock, The Old Star, a pub situated just behind Uttoxeter’s market place, prepared to play host to the second Chords Against Cancer.

Birmingham sextet Failure Is An Option were the first band on, however, due to them being stuck in the Friday rush hour traffic, they were late arriving, meaning their set, and the evening, had a delayed start.

Failure Is An Option band photo

Nobody seemed to mind, though, to be honest with you, their lateness probably helped, as by the time they got on the stage, situated outdoors in the pub’s beer garden, the place was already packed.

For the majority of the gigs that I have covered in the almost two years that Muzak Review has been going, the opening outfit has often played to a sparse, slightly uninterested crowd, but this was truly an exception, as it seemed that every rock and metal enthusiast from Uttoxeter and the surrounding area was in attendance.

The Brummies launched full throttle into their performance, impressing with an intense mix of metalcore, post-hardcore and djent.

Brandon Hart, one of the band’s two vocalists, added some humour to proceedings, teasing Matt Jeffries, his fellow vocalist, for his support of fallen football giants Aston Villa, and asking the audience to express sympathy for him.

Also during the set, Brandon grabbed one of the yellow plastic buckets that were being used for the venue’s patrons to make a donation, pointed at it, and went into full Bob Geldof at Live Aid mode, shouting, “Put some fucking money in there!

Credit to the six-piece for getting the evening off to a good start.

Next up were an emerging local band by the name of Vox Populi. Doing some homework on the bands in the run-up to the event, I hadn’t been able to find much info on these guys, so their set was the very first time that i had heard their music.

Vox Populi band photo

They gave a strong performance, playing a sound that was reminiscent of Rage Against The Machine, with the inclusion of some lengthy instrumentals.

Their frontman, Lee Sellers, rather like Brandon before him, used the interludes between songs as an outlet for some humorous banter.

It was under Vox Populi’s watch that we had our first moshpit of the night, with some members of the crowd rushing up to the edge of the stage and engaging in some playful shoving, with one even taking the opportunity, when the band had finished, to get up and take a small leap off the stage.

As I was doing an interview with Failure Is An Option at the time Afterburn started to play, I missed the first half, which was a shame, but I managed to finish things just in time for a fantastic cover of the Steppenwolf classic, ‘Born To Be Wild’, which, along with their sound harking back to classic metal, had some of the more seasoned crowd members lapping it up.

Afterburn band photo

The Chesterfield quintet ended their set by premiering a brand new track, which they said beforehand was a little different to what they had done up to now.

However, the song got the same positive reaction as the rest of their set list.

The fourth band, and the second local outfit, of the evening were five-piece King Abyss.

King Abyss gig photo

Even before they had played a single note, they were cheered, and that’s the good thing about small town music scenes, like I saw with Anonymous at the same venue on a couple of occasions, and last year with Rage Cave in Newcastle-under-Lyme, the bands are well supported, and that would have been the case even if King Abyss had played their entire set completely out of tune and littered with mistakes.

However, that was certainly not the case, as they brought the place down with a mix of aggressive thrash metal and more melodic fare. With all five band members having different artistic styles, they managed to join it all up together well, to create a sound that was truly original.

Having chatted with two of the guys, Sam and Jay, prior to the start of the event, they had said to me that they prioritise playing the best possible live set. This determination, as well as playing on home turf, definitely helped them in pulling off a great performance.

Even though it will be harder for them to energise the crowd like they did here when they play in other towns and cities, where they are not as well-known, having watched them for the first time here, I had the same gut feeling that I had had when I first saw Anonymous three years ago, and I’ve seen since, first-hand, how well they have proved themselves in other places.

The final performance of the night came from headliners Doomsday Sun. You could immediately sense that their set wasn’t going to be a jolly one, with a placard saying “THE END IS NIGH” in big letters just in front of the stage, as well as the dark suits and make-up the duo were both wearing. However, their attire befitted their doom-enriched metal sound.

Doomsday Sun band photo

As they played tracks from their well-received EP, ‘Red Light Fever’, their output was thought-provoking, reflecting on a post-apocalyptic world. Judging by recent world events, the two were probably giving everyone a taster of what to expect, should any of the major world leaders press the big red button.

Doomsday Sun are an outfit that hark back to an age where musical talent was deemed higher than good looks, and I personally believe, if they start getting more exposure, then in a couple of years, they could be a real force to be reckoned with.

The Midlands was the birthplace of heavy metal, and it was good to see, even now, that the region still has an abundance of great talent in that genre.

It was a great night, made even better by the fact that it was all in aid of a good cause.











The Time Framed band photo

THE TIME FRAMED (from l-r): Britt Morgan (bass), Jeremy Benjamin (vocals/guitar), Brandon Chauncey (drums)


From the sunshine state of Florida, The Time Framed are an emerging three-piece who specialise in exploring their musical boundaries by mixing elements of a diverse range of genres, from progressive rock through to jazz.

This, as well as honest lyrical content dealing with their battles with personal demons, has made for a distinct sound, which has seen them make a big impact on their local rock scene.

The trio chatted with me in-depth about this, their recently released debut EP, “Chrono Dementia”, and the journey they have been on up to now.

How did the band get together?

The Time Framed formed due to Jeremy wanting to put his catalogue of songs to use. Britt and Jeremy met in a different project, and moved into The Time Framed together, as Britt was learning bass guitar as music therapy for domestic violence.

We met Brandon through another member that joined earlier this year. He was standing in on drums since the current drummer was learning how to play (Jeremy has a habit of teaching people to play instruments to fit best with the music).

The other members left for other projects and we loved Brandon so much, and he already felt like part of the family, that we wanted him to stay. He’s a musical genius and gets how we want the music to go, not to mention that he throws in amazing ideas, he’s a perfect fit for us, and the band feels solid now.

How did the name The Time Framed come about?

The reason we came up with The Time Framed is because music is art that is expressed through time. It’s our intent as a group to be both the artist when creating a song, and part of a masterpiece when performing it. Time is both the medium and product.

How would you describe your sound?

Considering our various levels of ADD (attention defecit disorder), we couldn’t pick a general genre to stick to as we like all kinds of different music, playing and listening.

We also wanted to avoid the notion of sounding like band Xand try to find ways to stick out from the crowd.

Using a lot of guitar effects, melodic bass, and progressive drumming, we wanted to go for a theatrical video game sound with music theory concepts and see how far we could push those boundaries.

What are the band’s main musical influences?

We have many influences, but one that sticks out are a band called Tera Melos. We really enjoy just doing weird things in our music and on stage, and Tera Melos are that kind of band. They’ve been experimental since day one, and that’s exactly the kind of feel we want to achieve with our music.

What would you say was your approach to songwriting?

We have an interesting creative process of having jam sessions to grab ideas. Usually, lyrics are floating around already, most likely due to tarot cards we have laying out, and then, we just have jam sessions in which we try to get as weird as possible.

When we practice, we record everything and pull out anything that we like, in order to create new songs. I think overall, our creative process involves the same ideas to use, but we change which idea we use for different songs. It all just depends on how the mood is between us at the time.

Where does the inspiration come from for the band’s lyrics?

JEREMY BENJAMIN (vocals/guitar): Most songs by The Time Framed are the product of my nightmares, and the lyrics to “Limited Infinity” are largely influenced by techniques I use to ground myself after waking up.

“Tiny Wolves” was inspired by my awareness of the patterns in the nature of fearmongers. There are so many different things to fear without hope that I got the mental image of millions of little itty-bitty wolves out on the hunt for my peace of mind and self-content.

“Weird First” is my outlook on life: let’s avoid the clichés, let’s be unique, and most importantly, if you start weird, you’re allowed to get comfortable with being that way.

“Inverted Timelines” was inspired by a dream where I kept dying and re-spawning before my previous self was fully dead. In a couple of these, I actually blinked into a copy of myself in a kind of instant replay where I got to see myself die too suddenly to have a dramatic self-reflective monologue with my new self.

The inspiration for “Split the Heavens” was both a dream and a concept that was stuck in my head. I dreamt of the universe turning off in segments, then exploding back to life in another big bang. I wanted to capture some of the emotions of that without doing a slow progression into silence just to have a noisy explosion.

At the same time, I couldn’t get the ideas of “a sword that split the heavens” and “the pen is mightier than the sword” out of my mind, so I smashed them together.

Recently, you brought out your debut EP, “Chrono Dementia”. How has the reaction been to that so far?

The reception has generally been great. We’ve had a lot of people interested and have been able to sell quite a few EPs.

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

BRITT MORGAN (bass): Total weirdness! In all seriousness, though, it’s totally normal for me to be walking around the venue while playing, our drummer dancing behind the kit, and our guitarist doing backbends and playing solos on the floor.

Jeremy likes to mess with different effects on his pedals and make strange noises you wouldn’t expect to hear from a guitar, and Brandon makes some of the best drummer faces!

With it being just the three of us, we have a rather stripped down visual aesthetic, so we don’t use lights or fog machines (yet), but we try to make up for that by making the songs look as differently when we play them as they sound to us.

What are your plans going into 2018?

We have several big shows coming up, as well as several radio interviews. We’re looking forward to starting recording again in January, and also to starting work on a new music video. We hope to also go on some short runs of gigs, in preparation for longer tours.

What is the band’s long-term aim?

The long-term aim for us is to be able to make this our career. We’re not looking to be the most famous by any means, we just want playing music to be our jobs. We hope to eventually sign to a label and hit the ground running from there.

The Time Framed EP Cover



OFFICIAL WEBSITE: thetimeframed.com

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/thetimeframed

TWITTER: twitter.com/thetimeframed

INSTAGRAM: www.instagram.com/thetimeframed

YOUTUBE: www.youtube.com

BANDCAMP: thetimeframed.bandcamp.com











Counterpoint band photo

COUNTERPOINT (from l-r): Martin “Ted” O’Neil (guitar), Ed Sutton (drums), Dom Lucock (vocals), Mikey Gaffney (bass)


Originally from Liverpool, but now based in Manchester, alternative rock/metal four-piece Counterpoint pride themselves on crafting a hard-hitting sound that is also colossal and infectious, taking influence from the likes of While She Sleeps, letlive., and Papa Roach.

With this, as well as live performances abundant in energy, the band have amassed a steady fan base.

Recently, they have been in the studio working on their debut EP, out next February, and Dom Lucock, the outfit’s frontman, spoke to me about how that went, as well as what can be expected from the release.

How did the band form?

Almost by accident, really. Me and Ted were writing all this stuff, so we turned to the internet and contacted a 16 year-old Mexican dude called Cameron and a jazz fusion bassist named Jack.

We muddled through as best we could, but eventually, we all sort of parted ways, but Cam then put us in touch with his mate Ed, who became his replacement. He just fitted straight in, and for a while, we worked well as a three-piece.

However, we were given a decent festival slot, but we had to find a bassist. We got in touch with Mikey, who we knew from college, who was definitely a guitarist, but we were sure he owned a bass, and so, we drafted him in. After just one practise, we felt something was a bit different, and we were just like, “Mate, this is it, isn’t it?

How did the name Counterpoint come about?

We went through about 70 different names before we started getting angry with each other, and we just ended up throwing Counterpoint on our Facebook page!(laughs) I do feel, at this stage, that it really suits us.

What would you say was your approach to songwriting?

Basically, one of us will come in with the skeleton of a song, usually a nice riff or melody, and we will savagely tear it apart and build it up, then strip it back and build it up again, then Dan will put some reverb on it. Done.

Our song, ‘Between You And Me’, is a prime example of this, as it started off life as a slower, almost acoustic song, but now, it has a filthy breakdown.

What inspires the band lyrically?

Well, I write around 95% of the lyrics, and I do try to put together songs that are positive and uplifting, whilst drawing from bad experiences. A lot of it is mostly trying to get people to believe in themselves, and to try and not be held back by those around them, where they’re from, or even themselves.

Next February, you will be bringing out your debut EP, ‘If Not Now, When?’. How has the recording process been?

It has been amazing. We recorded at Treehouse Studios, which is a stunning gem hidden away in Sheffield. At one point we were playing Bullet For My Valentine’s snare, Fightstar’s guitars, and using the same mics that bands like While She Sleeps had used, it was all really quite inspiring.

The producers, Dan Jeffries and Jim Pinder, are insanely talented at what they do, whilst making you feel really relaxed about the whole thing at the same time.

Recording went very smoothly, except for when I was recording the vocals. At the time, I had a lung cancer scare, so I was having really serious problems breathing whilst trying to scream out the lyrics, sometimes, I could only do two words at a time, so it was quite a job!

Fortunately, everything turned out well in the end, so that’s good!

What can be expected from the release?

Not a lot, really, you should probably give it a miss! (laughs) In all seriousness, though, there are some great songs on the EP, we have literally poured everything into it. There’s some big riffs, some catchy choruses, a bit of gang vocals, all that good stuff.

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

We’ve had a really good reception to our live show, we’re quite energised, and we like to get around the stage. We’ve just come away from playing with Crazy Town, and we’ll be going back on tour around the time our EP comes out.

What else have you got planned for early 2018?

EP launch, more touring, and new merch.

What is the band’s long-term aim?

We’re working-class northern lads, so we’re just happy that people out there want to listen to our music, listen to our experiences and also, what we have to say.

However, if 20,000 want to come down to Manchester Arena to see us, then I’m down with that, too.

Counterpoint EP Cover