Saturday, 27 October 2012
Kent natives Ashes are no strangers to the music biz, Si, Steve, and erm...Steve have known eachother from other bands for over a decade. It wasn't until July 2011 that they got together to form Ashes, and they've not looked back.And why on earth would they! Their blend of metal/rock/blues is infectiously catchy one second, yet dark and eerily moody the next. The debut EP, Prelude, is a great example of this. Opening track Bad Boy Blues, with its catchy riffs, blended with some gritty guitar, crashing drums and darkly soulful vocal, is actually quite a catchy tune. You find yourself unable to stop your foot tapping along to.
Then we move onto Bad Hatter, and no, they're not singing of someone who makes oversized trilby's, but this is a somewhat darker take on the Alice Through The Looking Glass character. it's a much darker, moodier track than Bad Boy Blues, the quality is undeniable. There's some nice gritty guitar riffs going on, and the tyrack has a real edge to it. Mystery, takes a turn in another direction, on the whole not as gritty as the previous tracks, a far more bluesy feel to it, but with a vocal reminiscent of Talking Heads singer David Byrne, another belter of a track, showing off another side to the band. Then we move onto the final track, Bloodsucker. Now this track encompasses the three genres I mentioned at the start. A great bluesy intro, angry metal inspired chorus, and a rock-riff driven bridge. All in all, Ashes have put together a great piece of work, and it's no surprise they are getting more and more calls for gigs. It'll only be a matter of time before these guys will be on a stage in Birmingham for BritRockArmy, and then onto bigger stages, arenas, festivals, etc, these guys are gonna go far!!
Bloodsucker by Ashes_UK
Steve Hertz - Guitar and vocals
Steve Ward - Bass
Si Woodhams - Drums
Friday, 26 October 2012
Sheffield rockers Abandoned Faith, have until now sneaked past many ears, keeping below the radar. Well that is no more. They can hide no more. Founded in 2011, they have focused solely on writing and releasing original material. This is what makes it hard to compare them to anyone else. Sure you can here snippets of the likes of Metallica, Foo Fighters, Nirvana, etc, but the AF sound is like no one else's. Their track Defamation is a great intro to their style, with cracking guitars, including a wicked solo. Reform is much of the same, with throw backs, intrumentally to early Metallica, but vocally more like Linkin Park. I know this is said a lot about unsigned bands, but these guys really are gonna be ones for the future.
Here we find out a bit more about the guys, in our BritRockArmy Q&A
1 Please introduce us to the members of the band.
Jay: Hey, I’m Jay I am the vocalist in the band
Rich: Hey, I’m Rich I play Lead Guitar
Steve: I’m Steve, I play guitar
Roman: I’m Roman, I Play bass
Aaron: I’m Aaron, I play drums
2 What musical genre would you say you fit into best?
All: Heavy rock
3 Who are your musical influences?
Jay: Iron Maiden, Five Finger Death Punch and Alter Bridge
Rich: Jimmy Page, Slash, Tom Morello
Steve: Tremonti, Slash, Alter Bridge, Hendrix
Roman: Metallica, Dream Theatre
Aaron: Killswitch Engage, Sixth, Decapitated
4 How did you get together as a band?
Steve: I placed an advert on the internet looking for a guitarist to start a new band and Rich responded, we met up and hit it off. We just seemed to musically complement each other well. Jay was introduced to us by our original drummer. Roman and Aaron were brought in a bit later when it became apparent that they were available. I knew them both from a band that they had both played in previously. The rest as they say…
5 If you could collaborate with anyone, past or present, who would it be?
Jay: Myles Kennedy
Rich: Robert Plant
Steve: Jim Morrison
Aaron: Jesse Leach, Adam Dutkiewicz
6 Would you rather play arena gigs, or smaller intimate gigs?
All: Smaller venues, they just seem more intimate and the atmosphere can be electric. Not that we have had any experience of playing arenas!
7 If you could play any venue in the World, where would it be?
Jay: Rock in Rio
Rich: Whisky A Go Go
Steve: Glastonbury or Download
Roman: I don’t know
Aaron: Red Rocks
8 Where do you see the band in 5 years’ time?
Jay: I’d like to be playing in America
Rich: Loads of songs, a couple of albums a good following.
Steve: I’d love to have a couple of albums out and be playing bigger gigs all over the UK and maybe Europe and the US
Roman: It’s too big to see ;)
Aaron: Eating ready meals!
9 Signed or independent
10 What's been favourite gig you've played, and why?
All: We all agreed that our gig at Corporation, with one of our favourite local bands Doused, was the best gig due to the atmosphere and audience interaction. However, we have since played a gig at the O2 Academy in Sheffield supporting Benny Marchant that was just off the scale. Our fans, ‘The Faithful’, went proper nuts and blew the roof off the place. Following the gig we have been offered a slot on a music industry showcase event in London so all in all that has to be the best gig by far.
11 What has been your worst gig experience?
All: We won’t name venues but we had a proper rough night in Leeds where we played to the two people that we had taken with us and the sound engineer. Still, nice sound system for what was effectively a rehearsal.
12 If you could cover any song, what would it be and why?
All: We don’t do covers; we tried one once and we just couldn’t get emotionally involved with the song. It’s just not the same as playing your own stuff which is personal to you. We all contribute our ideas to every song we write so all feel some form of attachment to our music.
13 What song would you like played at your funeral?
Jay: Bob the Builder or our own track Buried.
Rich: Ramble on by Led Zep
Steve: In Loving Memory – Alter Bridge
Roman: I don’t want music at my funeral
Aaron: Element of One by Killswitch
14 What song would you/did you have as your first dance at your wedding?
Jay: Affirmation – Savage Garden
Rich: We didn’t have a first dance; we went for a fry up instead
Steve: With Arms Wide Open – Creed
Roman: Some pop shit stuff
The boys from South Wales are at it again!! The release of their second EP 'Mountains' see's them producing more of what has bought them the following that was started with the release of heir debut EP 'Changes'. Except there is one thing different with Mountains. The sound is even BIGGER!! (If that was at all possible). The twin guitars of brothers Ash and Tom Taylor are used to even fuller effect this time round, and you can't help feeling the 4 tracks just isn't enough :)
It all kicks off with 'One For The Weekend' which is a track all about the party lifestyle, which in itself sounds good to me, lol. Driving guitars and drums start us off and bring us into an 'almost' McFly type verse, apart from being a bit heavier than the McFly boys, it has that catchiness to it with both the verse and the great anthem like chorus. Fab start to this new release. 'Cherish What You Have' comes in next with a great riff to begin with. If you listen to the 'Changes' EP and then listen to this 2nd piece, you will notice a definate maturing in the sound. In the time that has elapsed between the releases, they have honed their sound immensely and what you end up with is another great EP. My favourite track, although only by a very small margin as they are all single quality tracks, is 'Not Alone'. It's a great track, with verses that are much more stripped back than the other tracks, and an almost slower feel to it, but the power comes in the chorus. Another KanC chorus that just screams out audience participation at live gigs. The pace and power returns with the final track on the EP, 'Soldiers'. Another track full of power riffs, great drums and then a great bridge brought to an end by more gritty guitar work from the brothers Taylor.
Ash, Tom, Matt, and Alex have certainly pulled it off again. Another great piece of work, 4 great, solid tracks, that need to be heard on UK wide stages, and sooner rather than later.
Although Breathe In Breathe Out features on the 'Changes' EP, the 'Mountains' realease is that shiney and new, there are no vids yet. :)
You can purchase your copy of 'Mountains', as well as King and Country t-shirts, vests, etc from their Big Cartel page here.
Monday, 22 October 2012
Here it is folks, the news you've all been waiting for!!
Applications are now being taken for tracks to appear in the BritRockArmy double album, in association with Freaky Pug PR & Records!!
BritRockArmy came about purely through social media, so band interaction and how bands interact with fans, etc, is the key to its success.
Once the application process has finished in 2 weeks, the bands not selected as part of 'disc1' will be posted on the BritRockArmy Facebook page. Fans will then have 4 weeks to vote for their favourite bands, but the tracks will remain a secret. The 15 bands with the most likes, will then be the chosen ones for 'disc2'
We are asking for as many of the tracks as possible to be new tracks, or 'exclusives', so tracks that are not currently available for download, streaming, etc, tracks that won't necessarily have been heard before. If that's not possible, then whatever you feel is the track that best showcases your music.
So, what are you waiting for!? Get emailing those tracks over to BritRockArmy and Freaky Pug. You've got until Monday November 5th to get your tracks in!!
Sunday, 14 October 2012
On December 13th, there's a real treat in store for anyone who decides to attend the BritRockArmy gig at Scruffy Murphys. The headline act are one of the Midlands' best known unsigned bands. Nottingham hard rockers Sinners Highway will just have completed their first headline UK. It will be a chance for those who couldn't travel to any of the tour gigs the chance to see a fantastic young, extremely talented and enthusiastic band perform on a live stage. The 5 piece have been going for just over a year and are already proving to have a major pulling power, when it comes to attracting crowds to gigs. At their EP launch, held at Rock City in Nottingham on May 31st this year, they wowed the local music scene with a fantastic show to a crowd in their hundreds who wanted to what the band were really made of.
There are you typical rockers, with twin guitars in full flow, rockin basslines, awesome solo's, and some anthemic choruses. The title track from their Sinners Highway debut release, is a fine example of this, from it's brilliant guitar riff opening, to the chorus which screams out 'Crowd Participation!' Si's vocals are in the mold of Jon Bon Jovi and Axl Rose, in fact, there a GnR feel to alot of the track.
Once the November/ December tour has finished, the guys will be focussing on the completion of their second release at some point in 2013.
Sinners Highway are :-
Si Ross - Vocals
Tim Everington - Guitar
Sam Heaton - Guitar
Jaemar Malavi - Bass
Alex Morley-Finch - Drums
Sinners Highways support on the night will come from Scottish rockers Toby Michaels Rolling Damned, Cheltenham punk duo GagReflex and Greater Manchester alt/rockers I Invented Fire. It promises to be a fantastic night of rock!!
BritRockArmy's second live event, takes us to a second venue. One no less auspicious than The Roadhouse, with a great name for bringing fantastic rock music to The Second City. Scruffy Murphy's stages the second BritRockArmy gig, and the headline act come to stage as one of the regions popular unsigned bands. Thunder Lion are from Redditch just outside Birmingham and they are no strangers to the local circuit, having played at Scruffys before amongst many other venues and also after playingthis years Loaded Festival with fellow BritRockArmy headliners, (from the launch party), Sister Shotgun. Their music is good old fashioned groove laden rock n roll. With an almost bluesy feel to some of their songs, the TLZ lads know how to make their fans groove and rock all at the same time.
Marshmellow by thunderlionz
The Loft, in fact, almost has a Led Zep feel to it, with a Robert Plant-esque vocal from Dave Zero. Who knows, is another track that kind of breaks away from the feel of a lot of their other songs, showing a greater depth and quality to Daves voice. Having never seen Thunder Lion live, it should be a great show on November 29th at Scruffy Murphy's.
Thunder Lion are:-
Dave Zero - Vocals
Norway - Guitar
Simon Donovan - Bass
Kris Allen - Drums
The support for Thunder Lion at this gig will come from North Wales/Cheshire based brothers Faltered, who have promised to treat the crowd to their awesome cover of Justin Timberlakes Sexy Back, up and coming London alt rockers Amaryllis, and friends of TLZ Severed Ties.
Saturday, 13 October 2012
They sing songs that cover issues such as gender issues, self harm, and the single Hollywood Waist deals with eating disorders. And there are no apologies for their choices of subject matter, and indeed why should there be? When these issues are so prevalent in modern society, is it just that other bands are scared to cover these matters. But hey, that's a topic for another discussion, on another day.
Make no mistake, this girls are no shrinking violets! Their live performances prove this. There is a crackling tension between Heather and Velma being completely unapologetic, and making no secret of thier sexuality. They are another marvel of the current 'underground' music scene, being completely self funded, and have recorded and promoted all ther#ir own material to date.
In April this year, they released their 2nd EP titled Homemade Plastic Surgery, under their own independent label, Sleazy Punk Records. It was released worldwide on iTunes, Amazon and Spotify.
They are another fanatstic West Midlands band. Adding to the current crop of ever increasing talent coming out of this part of the country.
Heather - Vocals
Velma - Guitar
Si - Drums
Saturday, 6 October 2012
You'll notice lately, that a lot of the bands I'm featuring on the blog are very new bands. Ones that more of you will be unfamiliar with, than familiar with. Black Sixteen are no exception to this. I only picked up on them a couple of weeks ago myself, as usual, via Twitter.
They're a four piece band from London who formed in 2010 when songwriter and guitarist Amir Khan, and drummer Matt Burn got together using the temporary name 'Rain Hits Concrete'. The quartets line up was completed in early 2011, when Amir and Matt were joined by bass player Alex Brock and keyboard player Laura Sepp. The band however, still needed a front man, and it was Amir who stepped into the breach as the songs the band had collected had evolved to be very personal to him.
Influenced by bands such as Nirvana, The Afghan Whigs, Ministry and Nine Inch Nails, the newly confirmed and renamed Black Sixteen set to work on the debut EP, which was released at the beginning of 2012.
Red Light Princess by blacksixteen
The self titled Black Sixteen EP is a cross section of many different rock styles, with a bit of punk, a pinch of grunge, a smattering of classic rock, and a whole lotta attitude. It's a 6 track offering, with 'Die For Me' kicking things off. It's a song that starts off with a good grungy guitar riff, which then blends into an almost distant vocal for the verse, but then transcends into a dark and angry chorus. Amir shows off a multi faceted vocal range which see him go from an almost gentle verse into a FFDP style chorus. It's a solid way to start off a debut release. 'Kira' follows which has a much moodier feel to it, with almost sinister, gothic overtones to aspects of the vocal and instrumental performance. As with a few tracks on the EP 'Choke' has a very dark punk/gothic feel to it, very akin to Marilyn Manson, although there are more melodic aspects to track 3 too. Again, much like someone with a split personality, Amir switches 'character' in the blink of an eye from a gentle, almost tortured soul, to the one doing the torturing. It's another really strong vocal performance which is carried over into 'Nude Model'. You could almost be forgiven for thinking 'Red Light Princess' is a change of pace, as the intro begins life as an almost lullaby-esque keyboard intro, however at the 30 second mark, if you're worried you may drift off, have no fear as the drums that kick in are a massive wake up call, and you are dragged back to exactly where Black Sixteen want you. Held captive by the thought of what is to come next. Kick has an almost industrial feel to it, with the way it is built up in layers from the intro, and with the final offering Ghost Kiss the EP is brought to a fitting end, with another powerhouse vocal performance from the ever dark Amir and a great keyboard track from Laura, giving aspects of the song an almost 80's feel.
All in all, its 7 angst ridden, angry tracks, with an order of bitterness, over a range of grungy, punk like riffs and great keyboard work floating in and out to give some tracks an all together different feel to what you would expect. It'll be interesting to see where Black Sixteen's sound takes them in the future, with what they currently have, it could go in one of many very interesting directions. I for one wish them luck, and will be monitoring their progress very closely.
Die For Me by blacksixteen
I'd like to do something to help out the BritRockArmy charity of choice, Balls To Cancer, as well as the charity gig in March 2013.
So what I though I'd do is, at the event on the 27th of December, have a raffle with ALL proceeds going to charity. If anyone out there, especially any awesome, generous bands, would like to donate any merchandise, cd's, anything at all, I would be hugely grateful!!
Please get in touch via any of the usual channels.
Thanks in advance.
P.S I've already had some fantastic donations from Coventry based band The Loaded, and when I say 'fantastic', I mean FANTASTIC!!!
Friday, 5 October 2012
Screams of Cold Winter are one of those bands that so perfectly combine a metal/rock backing, softened by a female vocal that gives each track that slightly less 'threatening' edge, but turns it into something totally different. In a way it turns hearing each song into something more like listening to a story. Imagine something along the lines of Within Temptation but with a vocal sounding more like Amy Lee. Wasted Memory is a great example of this sound, with Sarah Loftus giving a powerhouse performance on the vocals.
The band, who hail from the UK's Las Vegas, Blackpool, first formed in Preston in 2007, however, the line up has changed significantly from this first incarnation. The present line up only got together in January 2012, when after a brief hiatus, 2 founding members, Spike McKay and Paul Shepherd, were joined by new vocalist Sarah Loftus, and Brian MacDichian and Justin Clack on bass and drums respectively. Paul had originally played synths in the original set up, but he made the move to guitar in the new band, changing SOCW's sound into something with a more alternative/metal feel. This new sound has been received well throughout the local gigs the band have played during 2012, and they are currently recording a 'debut' EP which is set to be released in early 2013, closely followed by a series of dates throughout the UK.
I'm a big fan of female fronted rock bands as, like I mentioned before, I think the female vocal gives and entire different feel to the songs. I'm looking forward to hearing stacks more from Screams of Cold Winter, and who knows, maybe a spot on a BritRockArmy live event is on the cards :)
Vocals - Sarah Loftus
Guitar - Spike McKay
Guitar - Paul Shepherd
Bass - Brian MacDichian
Drums - Justin Clack
Thursday, 4 October 2012
Destroy The Skyline are a band who are pretty difficult to pidgeon hole as one particular genre. Their music has elements punk, metal, there's a bit of screamer in there, some thrash metal, and a bit of classic rock. but what you do have, in Witness, is a bloody good EP, bursting with character, brimming with confidence and sounding like something produced by a band that have been around a hell of a lot longer than this bunch of guys from Yorkshire have been.
We kick off with 'Legacy', with it's wicked riff beginning and heart pounding drums, we get a vocal that can be compared to the like of Dead By April, Five Finger Death Punch, and those other bands that so greatly combine a smooth vocal with the screammer. This EP will certainly be a huge part of DTS' legacy. Next up is a track that has been kicking around for a while, and been received very well by fans and other. 'For Contradiction' is a fine example of the bands 'gentler' side (if they really do have one, lol). It's very akin to some of Linkin Parks ballad-esque tracks, with the sort of melodic feel you could easily hear coming from Chester and the LP boys. The final track 'Rest in Pieces' is a cracking way to close the EP, it kind of blends elements of the other 2 tracks molding into a mash-up of Linkin Park beats, and FFDP vocals. It's an angry track, thats for sure :-)
It's a great EP, one which will please all DTS fans, and even people who may not be fans, if you like bands like previously mentioned, the likes of Dead By April, FFDP, Linkin Park, give these guys a listen, you will not be disappointed!!
Destroy The Skyline are:-
Ryan Walshaw - Vocals
Jamie Harrell - Drums
Dom Murry - Guitar
Danny Smyth - Bass
Joe Barker - Guitar
There's nothing more rewarding than getting an email from a band your unfamiliar with, that have seen and actually read the blog, and are interested in getting involved with BritRockArmy.
This was the case a couple of weeks ago, when I got a message from Mark Lehmann, singer and founder member of Brighton based rock band Nakedium. He also kindly sent a link to video for the new single 'Set Me Free'. Now being both the polite person that I am, and also out of curiosity, I clicked the link and watched the vid. Holy Britain's answer to Chris Daughtry!! It's a fantastic song, and you cannot help but make comparisons to the former American Idol contestant. It's got a great catchy riff, a rockin singalong chorus, and a cracking little solo.
If you see the name of the band, and think "I've not heard of them before, not bothered", well you're kind of missing the point of the blog all together. No, they haven't been shouted about a lot. No, you may not have heard their material before. But that's what blog's like this, and companies like mine are for, raising the public awareness of great bands like this. Making sure that people are hearing their music.
The single 'Set Me Free' and Nakedium's debut album 'Paint The World' are both available now from iTunes.
Hailing from Bridgend, South Wales, rock 4 piece King and Country are gonna be a force to be reckoned with. They're another band who I've been meaning to download for ages but not got round to it, but changed that last night when I downloaded the brilliant 3 track EP 'Changes'. Its worth noting that the EP was recorded with the assistance of Dan Lancaster, a producer whose other credits include working with Don Broco and also Lower Than Atlantis.
'Time Will Tell' is worth the download price alone!! It's a great rock track, awesome driving guitars, pounding drum beat and great vocal from Ashley Taylor. It's brother Thomas Taylor providing the awesome guitar work on the track with Ashley also chipping in on 2nd guitar duty. 'Breathe in Breathe out' kicks things off, setting the pace for what is a fantastic debut recording. A catchy but driving introduction to this young bands obvious talent, the chorus screams out for audience participation at gigs. 'Think Before You Speak' is sandwiched perfectly in between the aforementioned tracks, and again showcases the talents of the Taylor brothers and other band members Alex Williams on bass and Matt Smith on Drums.
King and Country are:-
Ashley Taylor - Lead Vocals/Guitar
Thomas Taylor - Lead Guitar/Vocals
Matt Smith - Drums
Alex Williams - Bass/ Vocals
Tuesday, 2 October 2012
I've listened to 'World for Company' on numerous occasions, and have intended downloading the EP on the strength of the one track. But I only got round to getting it last night. It's four fantastic tracks!! Full of guitars, solo's, catchy, almost anthemic singalong choruses and kickass vocals.
World for Company is reminiscent of Foo Fighters, with a bit of Biffy thrown in for good measure. It's a great song with the sort of chorus you can imagine standing in a packed venue, shouting along to in the middle of a sold out gig. Only When Angles Lie, slows the pace down, but retains the driving guitar and bass from Luke Boucher and Ian Savage, pounding drums from Matt Harper and powerful vocals and second guitar from Tommy Crisis. Reckless Choice is another driving guitar laden stormer of a track, with a heavy mix of great double guitar work and dark moody lyrics. The final track Last Way Out, is pure rock n roll escapism, reverting back to thundering drums, dirty, heavy guitars and more singalong choruses.
The boys from Coventry, have really set their stal out with this debut EP, which is already available for download, but is launched on Ltd Edition Tour CD in November. they continue to thrill fans with their live shows and have an almost endless string of dates between now and tthe end of 2012. This includes an appearance by Tommy at the BritRockArmy launch party, playing an acoustic set with just his guitar.
I sense a big future for these guys, and if the EP is anything to go by, I dare you to prove me wrong!!
Monday, 1 October 2012
The latest Q&A is from a band who make what I would perceive to be 'marmite' music. You either like it or you hate it. Now that being said, I'm gonna do another piece on these guys in the next week or so, after I've had a proper listen to their album 'Forgive Me'. The reason for this is because I'ver gone into it with the mindset 'I'm not going to like it, and nothing will change my mind!' But something has happened......and I'll leave that there :)
The Gifted are an 'industrial' rock band from Sheffield, using all manner of wizardry and magic to produce some great results. Here, bass player Izzy answers the questions.
1 Please introduce us to the members of the band.
I'm Izzy, i play bass and make a mess. Andy sings and plays the guitar and we have Gennie on Keyboards and synth.
2 What musical genre would you say you fit into best?We like to be as pretentious as possible,so we call ourselves post-industrial rock.
3 Who are your musical influences?Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson, David Bowie, Tool, Type O Negative, Manic Street Preachers, Big Black and White/Rob Zombie.
4 How did you get together as a band?Andy had The Gifted going for a while before he met me, our eyes met and we knew he had to have me playing bass. I do think we are a good team though.
5 If you could collaborate with anyone, past or present, who would it be?Trent Reznor. Andy could die happy if that happened.
6 Would you rather play arena gigs, or smaller intimate gigs?We like the smaller gigs for the crowd interaction and general larking about, but arena gigs could buy us more guitars.
7 If you could play any venue in the World, where would it be?I personally have always wanted to play Madison Square Garden.
8 Where do you see the band in 5 years time?Being a cultural icon.
9 Signed or independent
We are currently doing everything ourselves.
10 What's been favourite gig you've played, and why?Whitby Goth Weekend, it was imense.
11 What has been your worst gig experience?I won't name the place but it was a total shit hole with chavs fighting at the bar. Awful gig.
12 If you could cover any song, what would it be and why?Hip to be Square by Huey Lewis and the News
13 What song would you like played at your funeral?AC/DC - Highway to Hell
14 What song would you/did you have as your first dance at your wedding?
Thanks to Izzy from The Gifted for answering the questions. Below is the video to the bands single 'This Makes Me Feel Alive'. Give it a listen, NOW!!