Click on the pic for the best in rock and metal radio!

Thursday, 30 August 2012

EP Review - The Rite of Spring - O.W.L.S

"feedback, bang & crash, shouting in tune, make with the funny, no precision solos or fireworks"
Yep, that pretty much sums it up. Thank you and goodnight.

Only kidding. I'd be doing this recording a huge disservice, if I didn't at least say a little more about it. Firstly, this is the first release from O.W.L.S, called The Rite of Spring. It was released on an unsuspecting public in April of this year.  Calling it an EP is also a bit of a disservice as, at a cool 7 tracks it's more like a full album.

From the first track, A Day At The Beach, we are left in no doubt of what to expect from the rest of the tracks. With a vocal combining elements of early Beck, and the mighty Kurt Cobain, it sets the stall out perfectly. The second track, Hurt Janine, is as good a track as any by either of the aforementioned artists. The truth is, this EP is almost like listening to a cd of Nirvana B sides. Now thats not meant to discredit the work in anyway, far from it! what I mean is that every track would fit perfectly with anything that Nirvana did, or any other band of their kind.

With the relentless storm that is Kibosh, to the much calmer waters of Vitamins (kind of), Tobe MacFarlaine shows that unlike a lot of other singers in bands of the ilk, he has a lot more versatility, and richness to his voice.

It's such a nice feeling when a band you've not really had the chance to listen to before, present you with their work, and when you listen to it you think, WOW!! This was one of those occasions. If you've not had chance to listen to O.W.L.S before, and I don't mean, stick your head out of a window and listen for distant Hoots, have a listen to these guys, you will not be disappointed. You can download it from iTunes and also from Amazon and HMV

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Band Of The Week - Guns For Girls

There is no greater buzz than that created by receiving an email from a band you've never heard of! What makes it even better, is when that band turn out to be AWESOME!!

Well, that was the feeling I had on Saturday, when I received an email from Gavin Herbert, singer and guitarist with Telford rockers Guns For Girls. With a sound resembling The Foo Fighters, but with a bit of funk thrown in, they've spent the 4 years they've been together, honing their skills and refining their sound. They've already released a couple of EP's and even been included on a compilation CD showcasing unsigned Shropshire talent.

They're most recent achievements have included slots on he famous 'Emma Scott Presents' events at Birminghams O2 Academy, and played on a Kerrang Radio charity gig last October.

With their energy going into gigging, it's no surprise that there are exciting times ahead. They record their first video for their new single, which will be released in the next few months.

There is an abundance of great rock talent in the West Midlands right now, and for some lucky promoters, there is the potential for some great live events ;)

Have a listen to The Death of Rock and Roll from Guns For Girls, and see what you think.

Guns For Girls are:-
Gavin Herbert - vocals, guitar, synth
 Michael Mooney - Guitar
Stuart Ball - Drums
Carl Haden - Bass/Vocals

You can find out more about the guys here:-

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

BritRock Q&A - Danny Smyth from Destroy The Skyline

The second of our Q&A victims, is Destroy The Skyline's bassist, Danny Smyth. For those of you unfamiliar with these guys from Yorkshire, firstly, they're a great band playing awesome music. Secondly. they're on the line up for the BritRockArmy Presents gig on March 14th 2013.

1 Please introduce us to the members of the band.
Ryan Walshaw - Vocals
Dom Murry - Lead Guitar
Joe Barker - Rhythm Guitar
Danny Smyth - Bass
Jamie Harrell - Drums
2 What musical genre would you say you fit into best?
We've been having this discussion recently and we came to the conclusion that we're too unpredictable to be put into a genre. We just write whatever feels good.

3 Who are your musical influences?
Our influences range from Parkway Drive and While She Sleeps to Deaf Havana and Brand New

4 How did you get together as a band? Well, Ryan, Dom and Jamie all knew each other through school and previous bands that they'd been in. I met the guys through a mutual friend who mentioned she knew of a band starting out and asked if I was interested. And as for Joe, Jamie met Joe in the toilets at the squash club in Dewsbury, then we brought him to a practice and have never looked back since.

5 If you could collaborate with anyone, past or present, who would it be?
I'd love to do a song with Myles Kennedy from Alter Bridge. That guy has such an amazing voice. I saw some live footage of him and slash at Download a few years ago and his voice sounded just like the recordings.

6 Would you rather play arena gigs, or smaller intimate gigs?
We love playing any gig! The size of the venue isn't all that much of an issue. Don't get me wrong, we'd love to be selling out huge arenas. But, we just genuinely enjoy playing our music to any size crowd.

7 If you could play any venue in the World, where would it be?
I'd love to play at Download Festival at Donnington Park. Would be such an honour to play on the same stage as some of the worlds greatest bands.

8 Where do you see the band in 5 years time?
In 5 years time I see us still writing music together and still enjoying every show that we play like its our first. Hopefully our portfolio will be a few albums heavier by then though

9 Signed or independent
We're currently independent. Our eventual aim is to get signed though (hopefully)

10 What's been your favourite gig you've played, and why?
My personal favourite gig was at The Old Turk in Dewsbury a few weeks ago. The band that were on before us were amazing and those guys knew how to put on a show! Initially they had us a little scared, we were all just like "sh*t! We have to follow that! Then we got on stage and the boys pulled out all the stops and we put on a show like we never have before. That gig made me realise that no matter what we're faced with, we'll always pull through. Couldn't be more proud of all the boys in Destroy The Skyline.

11 Where's the worst venue you've played?
I'm not going to name the venue but there's one particular venue that none of us like playing at. It's not really a bad venue and we supported Silent Screams there, (truly amazing band) we just don't like it because we've played there countless times and it never sounds great.

12 If you could cover any song, what would it be and why?
We were thinking about perhaps covering a Justin Bieber song, unsure as to which one yet. But we figured that his songs are catchy and we can only make them better with our own twist on them.

13 What song would you like played at your funeral?
It's not really something I've put much thought into really. I'm only 21 and I'm hoping that my time won't be up anytime soon. I think at the moment I'd have to say "for contradiction" by Destroy The Skyline, I realise that was a bit of a shameless plug, It's one of my favourite songs at the moment and what better way to send someone off than with their own music.

14 What song would you/did you have as your first dance at your wedding?
I'd have "the girl" by City and Colour as my first dance, I regularly sing it to my girlfriend and it has a lot of sentimental value.

Thank you to Danny for answering the questions.

Faltered - The Boys from Chester Bring Sexy Back!!

Now, it's not very often that a cover version is better than the original release, but ladies and gentlemen, we've certainly got one here!! The Brothers Calahane (Dan and Conor), have taken a dancefloor favourite, and shaken it firmly by the shoulders, turned it upside down, and twisted it around a little. The result is a dirty guitar driven alternative/indie/rock classic!! Not surprising is the fact that when the boys from Chester play it at their live shows, it goes down a storm!!

Sexyback (JT Cover) by - faltered -

I think it's great too!! OK, so tracks like Thanks A Million and Please Don't Take This The Wrong Way, may show off their creative talents a lot more, but for a great example of taking a song, and translating it in your own style, just click on the button above.

I'm certainly hoping the Faltered lads get down to Birmingham soon.

Monday, 27 August 2012

International Unsigned Artists - Message To Venus

Ok, so it's time for another look at the worldwide phenomenon, that inexplicably leaves amazingly talented bands and artists unsigned.

This week I'm going to share with you another band I found through Twitter, but I didn't discover them, (if I'd done that, I'd be a very rich man by now :-D). They are Message To Venus, hailing from sunny Miami, Florida, via Puerto Rico. They're another band who produce great music, through tight guitar work, fantastic vocals and alround fecking quality.

I first heard them in around april this year, I don't know how they came to my attention, I'd never heard of them before. But on first listen to The Show, I was hooked. That hooked in fact that I downloaded their most recent EP The Envelope. It's 5 tracks of greatness. If you imagine a mix of Alice In Chains, Led Zep, Linkin Park and others, then you come somewhere close to the sound these guys produce. Yet, it's a sound that is also unique to them.

Have a listen to a couple of the tracks, have a watch of a vid and judge for yourselves. But when have I ever been wrong, lol. OK, don't answer that one :)

The Show by messagetovenus Stripped by messagetovenus

 Message To Venus are:-
Jandre Nadal - vocals and guitar
John Feliciano - guitar
Edgar Ramos - bass
JuanMa Font - drums

Update - 09/09/12
Since this piece first went out, I've received 2 emails from Message To Venus' management company. The first one stating that the band had been nominated for a prestigious Latin Rock Award in the Slam Alternativo/Rock category. The ceremony takes place in the home country of Puerto Rico on September. BritRockArmy wishes the guys the very best of luck in this. They've got a great chance of walking away with the award!

In other news, the most latest piece of news to come out of Camp M2V is that their debut single Cold & Grey has been included on the soundtrack for the Puerto Rican produced horror film Unknowns, the band attended the movie premier this last week on September 6th. Once again, massive congratulations to the guys, thoroughly deserved!!


Album Review - Cancel The Astronauts - Animal Love Match

This weeks album for review comes from a band hailing from North of the border, Edinburgh to be precise. Cancel The Astronauts bring us Animal Love Match. This is their debut album, although they have released 2 EP's previous to this offering. Their first EP was released in 2009 entitled, I am The President Of Your Fanclub (And Last Night I Followed You Home), catchy isn't it? Their second EP was released the following year, called, Funny For A Girl. This is however, their first full length recording, and if I'm being brutally honest, I fecking LOVE IT!!!

02 Seven Vices by Cancel The Astronauts

From the tranquil, if misleading, intro, that leads into a thunderous, and magnificently catchy title track., via the absolutely brilliant single, Intervention, through to the fading completion of I Sold My Soul (And This Is All I Got), this is a work of supreme quality. Self recorded and produced over an 18 month period. It is an album all about love. How we find loved ones, how they find us, and how we treat eachother in the process. In sound it is very much in the same vane as Two Door Cinema Club. With catchy synth work, great twin guitars and a superb vocal through out.

 Currently described as "One of the local scenes best kept secrets", this cannot be the case for much longer. The music world will surely be doing Cancel The Astronauts a huge disservice if this band is not HUGE in the months and years to come. If this first album is anything to go by, we are in for a treat!!

Cancel The Astronauts are :-

Matthew Riley (vocals and guitar)
Kieran McCaffrey (guitar)
Chris Kay (drums)
Michael Craig (synth)
Neil Davidson (bass)

Full Track Listing:-
1 Animal Love Match
2 Seven Vices
3 Intervention
4  Love Backwards
5 Making Dynamite
6 Lekking
7 Shapes
8  Promises of Strangers
9 I See, Uh-Huh
10 While I Was Sleeping
11 Catch You If I Can
12 I Sold My Soul (And This Is All I Got)

Animal Love Match by Cancel The Astronauts is released on Monday 17th September, but you can pre order it here


Sunday, 26 August 2012

New LIVE Event Booked!!! Thursday March 14th 2013


With Support From
Temple Dawn
Destroy The Skyline
Crooked Dawn

The RoadHouse, Birmingham

£6 on the door

Unsigned Artist Q&A - Stuart Newman

This is a new feature that will look at asking our favourite unsigned artists, interesting and probing questions, to get to know them a bit better. There are the normal run of the mill questions, but on the whole I wanted to steer clear of them and ask more 'interesting' questions.

The first artist to feature in the BritRockArmy Q&A is Brighton based, mostly self taught musician and songwriter, Stuart Newman. During and before his Uni years he experimented with home production techniques and his own songwriting, and his music grew from there.

(We're Living In) Another Dimension by Stuart Newman by stuarttnewman

Stuarts Q&A goes a little something like this :-
What musical genre would you say you fit into best?
Well, my recent work can probably be called ‘Mellow-Rock’… my early work is more acoustic… but Mellow-Rock would be a quick description.

Who are your musical influences?
The Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel…60s… and more Rock/Pop-punk and the alternative areas… a lot of musical influences and it would take me a long time to discuss my thoughts on this. My listening habits are probably a little ‘angrier’ than the music I’ve created to date.

If you could collaborate with anyone, past or present, who would it be?
My standard answer to this is: I have a few ideas but don’t want to voice them as that may mean they become less likely to happen. That said, I’m focusing on what I do and what I bring to the world of music. Collaborations can happen when and if they do, but for now, I’m concentrating on establishing what I do.

Would you rather play arena gigs, or smaller intimate gigs?
I’m a songwriter and recording artist only at the moment. I tend to like to experiencing music through my headphones and I write with this in mind a lot of the time… Reaching people through headphones is quite an intimate thing, so I guess I lean towards that side of things. The craft of writing a song is what it’s about for me at the moment – writing music that expresses and explains ideas is something to aim for.

Where do you see the yourself in 5 years time?
Bigger, better, known.

Signed or independent
Everything depends. Whatever leads to more life and creative ambitions being realised.

If you could cover any song, what would it be and why?
I tend to step away from ‘covers’. People seem to be using them more and more as a means to ‘getting noticed’. Covers can be great – writing and performing and delivering a great song out of nothing, tends to be better. So I’ll try and do that thanks.

What song would you like played at your funeral?
Let me live a little more life and I’ll get back to you. Maybe others can decide that.

What song would you have as your first dance at your wedding?
I’m too drunk to dance, maybe later.. ?

Thanks to Stuart for taking the time out to answer these questions, looking forward to hearing what the future brings/

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Ones to Watch - The Indices

The Indices are an alternative rock band from Dorchester, UK. Comprising of Charles Carter (vox,guitar), Martin Carter (vox, guitar), Giles Baker (bass), and Oliver Cocup (drums). Listing influences such as Primal Scream, The Beatles, Rolling Stone, and Nirvana, its not hard to pick up on these influences listening to ther music. So far they've released 2 EP's, from June 2011 came In The Clutches of Minds, a cracking 4 track introduction. Opening track Spite You, straight away takes you back to the classic Brit Pop era of the 90's, full of Oasis, Primal Scream, and Nirvana-esque riffs and a cracking change of gear towards the end. The next offering, Only at The Weekends, kicks it up a notch. Great guitars, a cracking vocal from Charles and superb use of the twin guitars. It reminds me of summer Saturday evenings in my youth (lol), sat outside my mates pub, where he used to blast this sort of music out all the time, non of your crappy club classics there, oh no!! If Only at The Weekends was your Saturday night out, then Mystery Love is the Sunday morning hangover cure. A beautifully crafted song that, like every hangover cure, lures you in gently, but then shakes you awake by the shoulders. It's a cracker! The EP closes with Sing Her to Sleep starting with a good ol' dirty guitar intro, and again is a great return to the 90's, my personal favourite music era. It has Primal Scream and Oasis written all over it!! The first listen through of this EP is all you will need to be immediately drawn into The Indices world, its another great piece of work from another quality British unsigned band.  

Spite You by The Indices

The bands second offering came in the form of a 3 tarck, self titled EP in January of 2012. Heavy Rolling opens proceedings in typically driving style great use of twin guitars and an early Oasis feel to it. But it's the second track, that to me is the stand out track, with its Nirvana like intro, and smoother vocal work on the verses. It's also accompanied by a cracking video!! :) Once again we are treated to a quality, slower piece of wrok for the closing track, Other Than This. You can still hear the characteristics of In The Clutches Of Minds, however, there is also, as would be expected, a maturing of sound and production quality. It's another quality piece of work from a band who, I personally think, have got a very bright future ahead of them.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

The Tennysons - Ready to Rock N FKN Roll

I'm being asked to check out an increasing number of bands, and a lot of them I've not had the pleasure, (or on the, thankfully, odd occasion), misfortune of listening to. Now obviously, thats the case with a lot of unsigned talent, is that not enough people are getting the chance to hear there music. With these 3 lads from Leicester you can't help but hear them. Each track is in a shouting match with the last, to see which one comes out on top. If these songs were fans at a gig, they'd be the ones right at the front, getting in the bands faces, moshing, stage diving, and crowd surfing! Each one is a raucous affair of thumping drums from Ben Wolly, steady bass lines from Max Stafford, and catchy guitar riffs and John Lydon-esque vocals of Ryan Dunn. You can certainly hear a lot of influence from the likes of Cockney Rejects, Joy Division, The Stone Roses, The Smiths, Sex Pistols, The Clash.

Sometimes - The Tennysons by The Tennysons

It's impossible to pick one stand out track, as all 4 have the quality that could see it released as a single. Having said that, I do have favourite which is the superb George Smith. Follow this link to SoundCloud to hear all 4 tracks and formulate your own judgement. Personally, I think they're bloody awesome!!

George Smith - The Tennysons by The Tennysons


The Sinking Witches Project

The Sinking Witches is a progressive rock project started in April 2012 by Gregg Morris. It's motive is simple, world domination! He began, playing all instruments, but has since been joined by talented young guitarist, Tom Clark. Between them they played all the instruments on the recording of their 2 track demo. They are however looking for a rhythm section. In the video below, Gregg explains his intentions.


The 2 tracks, witch are both available for download from Soundcloud (did you see what I did there, lol ) are very polished creations, with a great guitar driven intro into a thundering drum line. The subdued verses lead into a thundering chorus, complete with crashes of cymbal lightening. As for the guitar solo, one word, brilliant.

The second track, has an intro reminiscent of early Metallica, and this theme continues throughout. They are 2 tracks of fine works, and I defy anyone of the driving guitar, thundering drums persuasion not to be impressed by both offerings.

I for one am looking forward to see what these guys produce on a long term basis.

Beneath My Skin - Full Track by Sinking Witches

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Album Review - Pint Size Hero - Get Your Kicks

 You know, it never ceases to amaze me, the quality of the music coming from unsigned bands out there. Since I've started this site/blog I've had even more opportunity to listen to some great music, and this weeks album review is no exception.

It comes from a a sunny South coast based 3 piece by the name of Pint Size Hero. Comprising of Chris Howley on vocals and guitar, Carl Bartlett on bass guitar, and Jamie Whitburn on drums. The album is a masterclass that a lot of today's 'mainstream' bands could do with listening to and learning from. It would certainly teach them a thing or two about how to produce quality, REAL music, playing REAL instruments, from unsigned artists with REAL talent!!

The album kicks off with some dirty guitar riffs over a killer bass line and great drums, and we are into the first track, 'Coda'. The vocals kick in from Howley, and the energy subsides, but only for a short while as when the chorus kicks in, it KICKS in! The title track 'Get Your Kicks' intro, again has some fine guitar work from Howley, and just when you think the track is going in one direction, it speeds round a hairpin turn and goes in a completely different direction. Relentless guitars, bass, and drums are enough to make your head spin but this is another fine piece of old school dirty indie rock 'n' roll.

The rest of Get Your Kicks continues in the same vain. Loads of awesome guitar work, killer bass lines, and relentless drums. I cannot stress enough how good this album is! It's a return to the glory of classic British rock music, in keeping with the likes of Led Zepp and The Who!

When you listen to this album for the first time, you will be convinced you're listening to a signed band that have been doing the circuit for many a moon. Not a self funded, unsigned band from Eastbourne.

In short, you need to have this album in your collection! and you can get it here from iTunes Pint Size Hero - Get Your Kicks

Full Track Listing
1 - Coda
2 - Get Your Kicks
3 - Fever
4 - Barbarella
5 - Tie Die Lullaby
6 - N.U.S
7 - Back From Below
8 - Nooses
9 - Warning
10 - The Only One
11 - Outro

You can keep up with Pint Size Hero through the usual channels:-

Twitter - @pint_size_hero
Facebook - www.facebook.com/pintsizehero/info
Website - www.pintsizehero.com

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

And Now For Something Completely Different........

OK, so this is gonna be a feature  where  I stick my neck out and share with you bands who wouldn't/shouldn't/couldn't normally 'fit in' with a lot of the other bands/artists that have, or will be, featured on this blog.

Now that being said, and it was by no means meant disrespectfully, what is normal? Why do we have to put bands or artists in brackets? Aren't they all doing the same thing? Creating, writing, producing great music for us to enjoy. Anyway, enough of that, on with what I'm here for, to talk about great music.

I got an email on Sunday August 19th asking me to check out a band called Eutopia, and asking me to have a listen to some of their music. Now, when the band are described as an electro-rock/power-pop duo, I was in all honesty, and completely wrongly, slightly sceptical. I didn't know what to expect at all, so was very pleasantly surprised when I had a listen to the 2 tracks that were on the email.

The first track, Satellite Of Love kicks off with a very catchy drum and synth backing, and then the vocals kick in. The lead vocalist, and guitarist Alexander Kotziamanis, has a voice reminiscent of the 80's synth bands a lot of us probably grew up with, with a great, smooth tone. The chorus is also a catchy little number, and Alex is joined in vocals by the other member of the duo, Leah Lenick, who is also responsible for the synths. We are also treated to a fab guitar solo as a bridge to the song. All in all, it's a great package and fine effort from the London based duo.

Satellite Of Love by Eutopia

The second track, is a much slower paced song called Life, but again features a great guitar solo from Alexander.

Eutopia-Life by Eutopia

Now, their music may not be to everyone's taste, but give them a listen, they deserve as much opportunity as every other great band out there!!

You can find them on Twitter, Facebook, ReverbNation, and Soundcloud.

Band Of The Week - Wideboy Generation

This weeks band of the week, are 3 twenty year olds from the North London suburbs. They've rocked more than a staggering 150 gigs in the last 9 month and, along with many others, I think they'll be playing a hell of a lot more, over a very long time. These boys are here to STAY!!

Wideboy Generation are comprised of Joe Finnigan on lead guitar and vocals, Jamie Wilsdon on drums and vocals ands last but by no means least is Aiden Eggenton on bass and vocals. Their sound is reminiscent of early Green Day, The Clash, and other riff driven guitar rock with attitude. There music is all self written,and there debut album No Time To Be Shy was released in May this year with stand out tracks including Sylvia,  and the title track No Time To Be Shy, although all 10 tracks could be considered worthy of single release.

Sylvia by Wideboy Generation

Don't be surprised to see some very big things from these guys in the furture. They have the kind of energy, and enthusiasm for their music that will keep them around for a very long time. They're playing about 3 gigs a week at the moment, to get their music out there, then they have they day jobs as a way of funding their music. Their ultimate goal is to be able to jack in the day jobs, and do what they love full time, play music, entertain their fans, and party like rock stars. And from the evidence I've heard, I for one am not going to doubt that they will make it.

The album, No Time To Be Shy, was produced by a legend of the music industry, John Cornfield, who has previously worked with the likes of Oasis, The Verve, and Muse. The album is a must have and is available for download from iTunes

I'm certainly hoping the guys to play a gig up in Birmingham sometime, I'll certainly be there in a shot.


Monday, 20 August 2012

Balls to Cancer Benefit Concert

in aid of


A night of ball busting rock music


Hells Addiction
Skeleton Kid
Sister Shotgun
The Ashun
The Bedroom Hour

Thursday 7th March 2013

Tickets £8 available soon

EP Review - Empire Affair - Sparks In The Dark

Now, this is gonna blow your socks off!!

These guys are GOOD!! This is Empire Affair's 2nd EP. Their first, 'Red Light' was released in July 2011, and received to very positive reviews. None to surprising when you have a listen. This young band, have a talent that way exceeds their years. Vocalist, Neil Tallant (very apt surname, lol), look like Alex Kapranos (frontman of Franz Ferdinand) and has a voice of great maturity, and enough energy and enthusiasm to power a street for a month. The twin guitars of Matt Park, and Jack Woolston are used to great effect, with Tom Parrett on bass and Darren Sheppard on drums playing with equal aplomb. The 4 tracks on this new release are all absolute stormers, from the opening Can't Get Through, to the anthemic chorus of the penultimate One Night In Munich. Tornadoes and Sunrise, are also single worthy.

If you onnly listen to one piece of my musical advice, listen to, download, do whatever you have to to treat your ears  to the potential stadium filling sound of Empire Affair.

03 - December by Empire Affair

 December is taken from Empire Affair's first EP, Red Light. Released July 2011.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Single Review - Stellify - Last Goodbye

To say that Stellify have only been around since the early part of this year,  comes as a big surprise when you listen to their music. They have a quality that normally only comes with being together for a much longer period of time. This is the second release from their upcoming album, following on the heels of There Is No Other Night, which had an almost Paul Weller feel to it. The vocals from James Howlett, have a quality that puts a lot of the signed artists that are inflicted on us, to shame. The feel of this new track reminds me, personally, of Hootie and The Blowfish, a US blues/rock band I've followed for many a year. This being said, Stellify still manage to create a sound all of their own. From the opening bars with the acoustic guitar and subtle keyboards in the background, to the rousing chorus, this is another great track from the guys from from South London. Check both their great singles out on Soundcloud. Both are available as FREE downloads.

Stellify are:
James Howlett - Vocals
Richard Costello - Guitars
Ben Clark - Bass
Tim McNicol - Drums

Last Goodbye by Stellify

International Unsigned Artist of the Week

This is the first in a new feature, looking at unsigned artists from around the world. To be honest, when I decided to do this feature, there was only going to be one artist I would first look at.

David Cook, to a lot of UK music fans, that name won't mean much. To a lot of US music fans, it will be a household name. You see, unlike our singing reality TV shows, where the winners are thrust down our throats, in magazines, TV adverts, chat shows, you name it, if the same were to happen to the US equivalents, David Cook would be a worldwide phenomenon!

He was the season 7 winner of American Idol back in 2008, after wowing the judges, and more importantly, the voting public, with fantastic performances of classic songs, throughout the series. The difference was, he succeeded, where many have failed, in making the songs sound his own. His versions of Billie Jean, Music of The Night, and Mariah Carey's Always Be My Baby, could quite easily have been his own songs. He'd been bitten by the music bug much earlier, during his college years when he formed a heavy rock band called Axium with a bunch of friends from school, after that he tried his hand at other projects, including a solo album called Analog Heart. But he knew what he wanted and he headed to Omaha, Nebraska to audition for Idol. He never looked back.

He has since released 2 solo albums, toured right across The States, and also in the Far East. But for some unfathomable reason, has never toured the UK and Europe. Now, strictly speaking, up until recently, He was signed to a label, but he took the decision to go it alone and release his own material. The first of his self released songs is the song you can see below called The Last Song I'll Write For You, performed live on the latest season of American Idol. There's also a couple of my other favourite songs of his.


The last video, Permanent, was written in 2008 whilst his elder brother Adam battled brain cancer. Tragically, Adam passed away the following year. It's a beautifully powerful song, and you can hear the emotion in his voice as he tells the story behind the song, and performs it live earlier this year.

Friday, 17 August 2012

Why Are These Bands NOT Signed!?

This post is gonna do 2 things.

Firstly it will show my naivety towards the recording industry and how it works. This will then subsequently open a whole can of worms, but hopefully spark a nice lively debate.

The first unsigned band I heard, back in April, were a group of 4 guys from Wakefield called Euphoria Audio. The first song of their's I listened to watch 'Gravity' a great track from the simple guitar intro, to the same, simple, guitar finish. But believe me, there is nothing simple about their music.

In fact, there is nothing simple about the music of any of the great bands I have had the pleasure of becoming acquainted with over the last 5 months. The fact that these bands take time out to interject with fans is testament to how important to them. Can you imagine having a conversation with Chris Martin about cows plotting to take over the world!! Well that's a conversation I've had with Skeleton Kid, another great band! It simply defies logic to me, and I don't mean the cows! I mean the fact you have ALL these bands out there, producing great, and I mean really great, music, and we're subjected to the same regurgitated shit on the radio day in, day out. You would think record companies would be biting their hands off to get their music out to the listeners earning them a fortune. Now, I appreciate that not all bands want to be tied to a deal and want to regain an amount of control, but it seems these bands also don't get fair chance to do something they love, and play their music!! It's seems like the days of Robbie Williams being "Rich beyond my wildest dreams!" are long gone I just don't get it!!

Below is only a small selection of fantastic music from fantastic bands. Of course, this is all MY opinion. :)

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Gig Review - Euphoria Audio - Cockpit Leeds Tuesday July 10th 2012

Now, I know it was sometime ago, but this the the first gig I'd been to in 3 years, I'd been waiting for months to see Euphoria Audio, and I now have the platform to tell people all about it.

After  driving for 2 1/2 hours from Birmingham, we got to The Cockpit just before the doors opened. Now, if you've never been to the venue, it's actually 'inside' a railway bridge! Don't ask me how, or why, it just is. It's a nice venue with a bar area leading through to a long narrow room with the stage at one end.

The gig was a heat for this years Futuresound competition, where 5 bands win the chance to play at this years Reading and Leeds festivals. This heat saw Euphoria Audio, Ourfamous Dead, The Spectre Effect, and Stations battling it out.

Before the bands started, Ben Lloyd (Lloydy, guitar), and Matt Shirtliff (Shirty, vocals), from EUAU came out and had a chat while they were sorting the last few bits out, But at 7:30pm it was time for business. Each band played for about half an hour, and EUAU kicked off their 6 song set with a new song called Your Tomorrow, it got the set off to a fantastic start, and it got even better with the next 3 songs, as they're my fave Euphoria Audio songs. Speechless, 3 Seconds, and Gravity had me singing at the top of my lungs, until I turned around and realised I was the only singing apart from Shirty! but Hey! I was enjoying myself :) Next up was a song called Time, which although I was aware of I hadn't heard it as much as others, along with the final song of the set, Fly Tonight. the latter of the 2 is an absolute cracker, that gives Shirty the chance to show off how truly fantastic his vocals are. The band play as such a tight unit, you can tell that they must be friends away from the stage too. This became more apparent as the other bands played, all of whom seemed like groups of comparitive starngers when they were on stage. The guys from Wakefield put on by far the best display of the night, followed closely by Stations, who I'd been totally unaware of before that night.

If you get a chance to get out and see Euphoria Audio at one of the current gigs, do it! You will NOT be disappointed.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Band of the Week - rumHoney

This is the first of a new feature, called Band of the Week! Can you guess what its about? That's right!! It's all about, in MY opinion, the best unsigned band of the week, and it is only my opinion. If you agree, great! If not, please don't hold it against me.

The bands that will feature here, are those, I feel, deserve the accolade! It doesn't mean anything other than I like 'em loads!!

Anyway, enough of that onto the important stuff. There was no hesitation in choosing this weeks Band of the Week. After kicking ass at the 100 Club, delivering, what I feel was by a country mile, the best performance of the night. This weeks Band of the Week is.........rumHoney!!

Formed in 2001 by vocalist Sky Wood and guitarist Jaime Blake, it wasn't until the release of the 2nd album, East to West, in February of this year, that things really took off for the bluesy-rockers from London. Although, there were European tours and the recording of a mysterious first album in between, lol.

The guys were first bought to my attention in May 2012 and I have to say, it took me a couple of listens to appreciate to how polished a piece of work East to West is. (Just MY opinion)

I had the privilege of witnessing their set at the 100 Club on Saturday August 11th 2012 and was totally blown away by their performance. Jaime was fantastic on the guitar, the whole band were superb, but for me it was Sky who stole the show! As mentioned in my gig review, he commanded the stage like a seasoned pro and had the crowd right where he wanted them. I was fortunate enough to get the chance to have a word with him after the bands set, and he couldn't have been more pleased that I enjoyed it.

If you don't own a copy of East to West, I suggest you get a copy. If you get the chance to see these guys live, I suggest you grasp it firmly with both hands. The ROCK!!

You can follow rumHoney on Twitter here @rumHoney
They are also on Facebook here http://www.facebook.com/rumhoney
You can get your hands on East to West and other cool rumHoney merchandise here http://rumhoney.bigcartel.com/

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Album Review - Zodiac N Black - The Aftermyth

Disclaimer: All the following views are purely my own :)

 When Zodiac N Black got in contact with me, to see if I wanted some CD's to use as giveaways, I jumped at the chance. Even though I'd only heard 'Bad Pills' before, I knew I was on to a good thing. This young London 4 piece had been tipped for for great things in 2012 and with their debut album 'The Aftermyth', its not hard to see why!
From the opening riffs of the first track 'Bastanido', that walks up and smacks you squarely in the chops, each track comes at you from a different direction, but achieves the same result. Jim and Hank, on guitar and bass respectively, are relentless throughout, whilst Jad's vocals show a great range and are reminiscent of Chris Cornell, without sounding like a clone. The album has signs of influences from Soundgarden, Black Sabbath, and Queen, but the combined result is a sound that stands out as completely thier own. The first 3 tracks, 'Bastinado', 'A Necessary Evil', and 'Only The Lonely', let you know exactly what to expect, whilst 'The Joke Is On Us' lulls you into a false sense of security with its much calmer start, and then kicks you back half way through. In all honesty, there is no weak track, the single 'Bad Pills' is an absolute stormer, (see the video below), and at just over 10 minutes long, the album closing 'Light On Blues' is EPIC!!
In all, 'The Aftermyth' is a fantastic album. If you like your rock great riffs, awesome vocals, loud guitars and the odd smack in the head, GET IT!! Its available here at  iTunes.
Full Track List:-
2-A Necessary Evil
3-Only The Lonely
4-The Joke Is On Us
5-Better Off Dead
6-Seems Like Better Times
7-Who's The Fool (Part One)
8-Bad Pills
9-Making An Enemy
10-Light On Blues

Monday, 13 August 2012

HGR Gig review 11th August 2012

The first gig to be featured on our reviews page, is the inaugral event from Home Grown Rock at the 100 Club in London. A venue steeped in music history, hosting such greats as The Sex Pistols, The Rolling Stones, and more recently Paul Weller. Fans that had listened to the 5 bands on the bill, probably knew what to expect, and my God, we were not disappointed!!

First up were Dollface who, due to being without a drummer, played an acoustic set to start the nights proceedings. Greg and James were on top form starting off with the brilliant "You to Lose" (my personal fave), and playing their way through the rest of the set to an unfortunately smaller crowd than the performance deserved. They really set the tone for the rest of the night and were a fantastic way to kick things off. 
After a brief intermission, to change over bit of equipment, etc, The Dead Stray were the next band to perform. After a riff from an unfinished track on their new EP, they dived straight into the title track of the previous release "Three Years". Having heard the EP version a few times and liking the almost indie vibe to the track, I was surprised at the far 'rockier' sound of the live version. However, it was surprise in a very good way. Brad, Nik, and Piete played their way through a storming 8 song set, including covers of West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band's track "A Child of a Few Hours" and a great version of Captain Beefheart's "Moon Child", as the 100 Club steadily filled with more rock lovers, and by the they'd finished playing "Sleight of Hand", the people couldn't get enough! It was a great performance from the band and no surprise that they have recently signed a recording deal. Check this video out!

After the equipment alterations, and to a now seemingly packed 100 Club, rumHoney took to the stage. To the delight of the crowd, Sky, Jaime, and the rest of the gang treated us to a performance that has to go down, simply, as AWESOME!! Playing their way through most of the "East to West" album, Sky Wood had the crowd eating out of the palm of his hand, commanding the stage like a seasoned pro. Treating the fans to favourites such as "T for Trouble", "She's so Fine" and "Since You Went Away", Sky even relented singing duties to allow Jamie to give a brilliant rendition of "Secret Smile". The crowd in attendance simply couldn't get enough of the soulful, bluesy-rock tunes and the people in front of the stage were grooving their way through each note played. By the time "Sunningdale Shoes" came on, (which happens to be my fave track on the album), the rest of the room and I were in rumHoney Heaven. A truly great performance from a fantastic band.
It was getting down to crunch time and with headline act Slam Cartel waiting in the wings, figureatively speaking, Voodoo Vegas took their place on stage to entertain. Now, I'd not had chance to listen to much of their music beforehand, apart from "So Unkind", which thankfully was on the setlist, lol. But I can safely say that after witnessing this performance first hand, I'm certainly looking forward to the release of the recently recorded debut album. They kept the crowd rocking, including a pocket of seemingly hardcore Voodoo Vegas fans, playing tracks including "Bullet", "King Without a Crown" and the previously mentioned "So Unkind". The set was so popular, that as they were about to leave the stage, the crowd were demanding more! But after a thumbs-up from the soundman, an encore was indeed what the crowd got. A great showing from the south coast natives. Here's a video of "Bullet".

It was now time for the nights headline act, Slam Cartel, and for those who had stuck around, they were not to be disappointed. From the opening riff of "Handful of Dreams", the title track of their album, via the brillaint "Wishing Eye" and "Once in a Lifetime" to "Powerstorm" and "Breathe", Giles, Terry, Adam et al, wowed the crowd with undiminishing energy. The fans were clapping, singing, shouting, and generally rocking out from start, the only disappoointing thing was, that it all had to come to an end.

All in all it was a great first event for HGR and their head honcho Lisa, one I'm sure she, along with the guests and bands in attendance will remember for a long time to come.

What is BritRockArmy?

BritRockArmy was born out of 2 things. Firstly, a love of real music, played on real instruments, by people with real talent! It was also born out of being sick and tired of manufactured, electronically enhanced rubbish!

I cannot remember the last time I listened to a commercial radio station to listen to music. Normally it's FiveLive for the footie results!

Already being on Twitter, I started to listen to some of the unsigned bands that are on there. These bands are desperate to play their music to a live crowd, desperate to get their music out into the public domain, but above all else, these bands have TALENT!!! As it became more and more apparant that there was a staggering number of bands out there that don't get the chance to do what they are good at, it also became obvious that there was something that needed to be done! Now, the last thing I'm saying is that one person can really change the face of the British music industry, but as long as I can go part way to making a small difference, I'll be happy.

On this blog, I will review gigs, EP's, albums, etc. I'll be posting pics, videos, new songs, old songs (but all great songs). I want to use this blog as another forum for getting this music out to as many people as possible!! If you like any of what you hear, please comment! Share with your friends, spread the word. If there's any unsigned bands, that you know of out there, who you think need to be heard, feel free to let me know.

You can either leave a comment on here, or contact @BritRockArmy or on Facebook .

Thanks and KEEP ROCKIN'!!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...