Category Archives: Single Reviews

HUSH MOZEY – ‘Trim The Roses’

(Set In Stone Music)

Hush Mozey Single Cover

REVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

Trim The Roses‘ – the new single from Bristol four-piece Hush Mozey – is an offering that keeps the powerful rawness and poetic lyrical content that formed important parts of their two well-received EPs – 2018’s ‘Tales Of Bigotry‘, and last year’s ‘Pretty Little Seance‘ – however, there is a noticeable change in the band’s sonic make-up.

The quartet, with the exception of an acoustic strum which opens the track, eschew the guitars in favour of a slower-paced, more melodic sound, containing an underlying orchestral layer, which combines effectively with a soft vocal delivery, that, at one point, is accompanied by a brief rendition of campfire favourite ‘Kum Ba Yah‘.

All of those give the song a real dream-like quality, putting the listener into a state of pure relaxation, just what is needed in these uncertain times.

Overall, ‘Trim The Roses‘ shows off, to much effect, another, more mature side to Hush Mozey, just how broad-ranging they can be, and should enable the Bristol collective to continue on their upward trajectory.

(3/5)

FOR FURTHER INFO ON THIS TRACK – AND HUSH MOZEY – CHECK OUT OUR INTERVIEW WITH THE BAND HERE.

 

 

 

 

 

SUBCULTURE – ‘Break Me Free/Think Again’

(Heavy Soul! Records)

SubCulture Single Cover

REVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

Having already impressed critics and fans alike across the UK, rapidly-rising Nottingham three-piece SubCulture have been hard at work over the last few months putting together what will be their debut album, ‘Tales Of A Teenage Mind‘, which won’t be released until the autumn, so in the meantime, the band have unveiled two of the tracks from it as a double A-side single.

The first number, ‘Break Me Free‘, sees the trio going head-first into a rather simplistic but effective combination of mod, punk, new wave, and power-pop. which moves along at a moderately energetic pace, with the guitar riffs, basslines, and drum beats all complimenting each other nicely, accompanied by a melodic, and at times beautifully layered, vocal delivery reminiscent of The Jam-era Paul Weller.

Following on from this is ‘Think Again‘, which has a lot of similarities, albeit with some key differences.

For a start, there seems to have been further emphasis placed on the instrumentals, which are evidently more prominent here, as they are heavier and done at a faster speed.

Also, the vocals are less melodic, and delivered with increased passion, with the layering playing a constant presence, rather than being intermittent.

When I chatted to the band recently, they told me that lyrics form a big part of what makes their songs, and the themes of the trials and tribulations of life, as well as social commentary, accompany the music well.

All in all, ‘Break Me Free/Think Again‘ are two short but sweet tracks that provide an insight into SubCulture‘s debut album, also come across as toe-tapping crowd-pleasers that should become staples of their live sets, and showcases an outfit that are truly on the up.

(3/5)

SubCulture Single Cover 2

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT SUBCULTURE BY READING OUR RECENT INTERVIEW WITH THE BAND HERE.

 

 

 

ALBANY -‘Smoke N’ Mirrors’

(Self-released)

Albany Single Cover

REVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

PHOTO by ELOISE FOY

Having ridden on the crest of a wave for much of the 2000’s – with talented collectives such as the Arctic Monkeys, Kasabian, and The Libertines all making a huge impact on the UK music scene – the 2010’s will not be looked back on fondly by lovers of British indie-rock, as its popularity nosedived, and fresh ideas were not forthcoming.

However, with the decade now drawing to a close, the genre is showing signs of making a miraculous recovery, and Albany are one of the bands who are pushing themselves to the forefront of this charge.

Smoke N’ Mirrors‘ is the latest single from the rising Lincoln quartet, and sees them craft an anthemic, toe-tapping sound that is full of chunky guitar riffs and basslines, as well as pulsating drum beats, and is drawn from a diverse range of musical influences, including the Foals, Nirvana, Green Day, and the Kings Of Leon.

This is coupled with lyrical content that is honest, relatable, and straight to the point, delivered by the powerful vocals of frontman Matt Duke, which is an effective combination of the singing styles of Alex Turner and Billie Joe Armstrong.

Smoke N’ Mirrors‘ is a track that is an enjoyable, uncomplicated listen, has a real melodic, sing-along quality to it, and showcases an outfit who, along with a host of other fledgling bands, are, slowly but surely, taking UK indie-rock back to its glory days.

(3/5)

FOR FURTHER INFO ON ALBANY, CHECK OUT OUR INTERVIEW WITH THE BAND HERE.

 

 

DANIEL PICKARD – ‘Tease’

(Self-released)

Daniel Pickard Single Cover

REVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

Tease‘ is the latest single release from singer-songwriter Daniel Pickard, formerly of art-pop collective Half Loon, and follows on from his debut solo EP, ‘The Promise Of A Face‘, which came out earlier this year.

Lyrically, the song – which Daniel admits he wrote out of embarrassment – is a self-deprecating review of a love letter he wrote to a person named Flo, which is written with intelligence and provocative wit, but in such a way that the lyrical content is relatable to anybody listening who has fallen deeply in love at some point in their life.

This is accompanied to much effect by a melodic, synth-heavy sound delivered at a gentle pace, which, along with mellow vocal tones, conjures up images of dreamy landscapes.

In conclusion, ‘Tease‘ is a well-crafted track that, with its relaxed approach, immediately puts the listener at ease, and acts as an effective showcase for a true musical talent who is not afraid to send himself up.

(4/5)

DON’T FORGET TO CHECK OUT OUR INTERVIEW WITH DANIEL HERE.

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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)