Category Archives: Single Reviews

VEINS – ‘Blood On My Hands’

(Self-release)

Veins Single Cover

REVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(4/5)

CHECK OUT OUR INTERVIEW WITH THE BAND HERE.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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RXPTRS – ‘Bound’

(Self-release)

RXPTRS Single Cover

REVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

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

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

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

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

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

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

(3/5)

 

DAZE – ‘Sleep Paralysis’

(Self-release)

DAZE Single Cover

REVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

Currently making waves on the London live music scene, emerging indie rock four-piece DAZE have unveiled a new single.

The follow-up to last summer’s debut release, ‘Friends’, ‘Sleep Paralysis’ sees the band enhance a powerful, fast-moving, but carefree sound, reminiscent of Foals and Arctic Monkeys, driven by a mix of layered, echoing guitar riffs, deep basslines and heavy drum beats.

The lyrics deal with a situation the majority of young people have found themselves in where they feel grown-up and ready to take on the world in some areas, but reluctant to take on responsibilities in other areas.

This uncertainty, toeing the line between positivity and negativity, is captured perfectly by the emotional and melodic vocals of frontman Sam Hong.

‘Sleep Paralysis’ is a well-crafted offering, showing how far the quartet have already come since last August, and I’m sure as they get more and more confident, we’ll be hearing the further progress that has been made with their next single.

(3/5)

 

 

 

MELLOR – ‘Arms Length’

(Self-release)

Mellor Single Cover

REVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

‘Arms Length’, the new single from emerging Reading indie rockers Mellor, is a relatively straightforward track.

With a highly energetic sound mainly comprising of a compelling, soaring guitar riff and a thumping drum beat, the band take you back to a time, the mid 00’s, when Labour were in power and Brexit sounded more like a brand of breakfast cereal.

The lyrics are uncomplicated and easy to sing along to, accompanied by a raucous vocal delivery provided by the band’s frontman Gary Kingham.

This probably won’t be to your taste if you’re looking for music that is experimental and avant-garde, but if you want something that’s pleasing to the ears and can immediately lodge itself into your mind, then this song will be just up your street.

‘Arms Length’ shows exactly why Mellor have been tipped to make a major breakthrough this year, and also has the potential to be a lasting indie anthem.

(3/5)

 

 

 

 

 

 

BENGAL LANCERS – ‘Eclipse’

(Secret Dinosaur)

Bengal Lancers Single Cover

REVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

London-based alternative indie rock quartet Bengal Lancers have been tipped to make a big impact in 2018, and they get to show exactly why with their new single, ‘Eclipse’.

Starting with a gentle guitar lick and a pounding drum beat delivered at a slow tempo, the sound gradually becomes more urgent and intense as the song moves forward, a chunky bass line and a heavy guitar riff are introduced, and proceed to take musical prominence.

The lyrics, dealing with the difficult break-up of a relationship, are conveyed with real emotion by the band’s frontman Harry Sullivan, who you can’t help but feel sympathetic towards as he desperately hopes for a reconciliation.

Overall, ‘Eclipse’ is a very well-crafted track that covers a subject that a lot of people out there have experienced at least once in their lives in a manner that is mature, heartfelt, and refreshingly honest.

If Bengal Lancers can produce more tracks of this calibre, which I’m very confident they are capable of doing, then we’ll be hearing a lot more of them as 2018 draws on.

(4/5)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JET BLACK 3 – ‘The Beating Drum’

Jet Black 3 Single Cover

REVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

Exeter trio Jet Black 3 count themselves among a breed of innovative British bands/artists keeping rock music alive, and they get to show exactly why they consider this with their latest single, ‘The Beating Drum’.

The sound is a real mix of genres, including blues, grunge and punk, and the outfit do it in a way that is distinctive, mesmerising and organic.

The vocals, provided by frontman Rob Papworth, are varied, predominantly melodic, but at times, become more intensive when the music allows.

The same applies to the guitar riffs, bass lines and drum beats, with Phil Borrett getting to show just how versatile he can be, playing both the guitar and bass to a high standard.

It is clear from listening to this that the three-piece can mould genres together effectively to create something that is mature and a good listen.

(3/5)

FURTHER INFO ON JET BLACK 3 CAN BE FOUND HERE.

LOST LIKE ALICE – ‘Crooked Lines/What’s Missing?’

(Self-release)

Lost Like Alice Singles CoverREVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

‘Crooked Lines/What’s Missing?’ sees emerging Welsh singer-songwriter Ben Parker, under the guise of Lost Like Alice, take two more singles from recently released EP, ’20’.

First song ‘Crooked Lines’ is gentle and tranquil, with soft, tender guitar strumming, a delicate vocal delivery, and a sing-along chorus. This is accompanied by lyrics dealing with growing up, becoming more mature, and accepting the mistakes you made when you were younger.

In comparison, ‘What’s Missing?’ is more blues-led, delivered at a faster pace with an underlying hook and more angst-ridden vocals. The lyrics deal more with realisation then acceptance, taking you back to a moment in your life when you had realised you had gone off track and had to do better.

Built around the concept of contrast, the two tracks act as an effective showcase for the touching, deep, and powerful sound that Lost Like Alice is becoming known for, and it should see Ben establish himself further as an immensely talented young artist.

(3/5)