15 September 2015

Various Artists - You Heard It Here First: Rock Vol 1


So over the last week or so I was contacted by Amazing Record Co (an off-shot of Amazing Radio & Amazing Tunes).  Basically they asked if we would be interested in doing a feature on the compilation, a review or looking at the main bands on the release.  This album is focused on up & coming UK based acts who are currently making a name for themselves, on this compilation there are acts who have played some of the UK festivals over the last year such as Reading/Leeds, some acts who are about to play the Van Warped Tour.  The press release states it was picked by the team from acts (and I quote here) 'to reflect the variety of music discovered daily at amazing'.  The way this review will work for me is to look at each act individually, give a brief background about them and us the singles marking for each track, following that there will be one for the album as a whole; I have also took out the usual amount swearing, there is a first for everything.  However the first thing I want to address is the cover.  I am sorry, but that cover does not grab the attention of people; it does not entice a casual passer-by to pick it up, a cover should grab the potential listen straight away - the cover is the first introduction to someone who is just looking for something new at times and a great image can do a new release many favours.  Look at some of the great complications by Relapse Records, Epitaph, Sub Pop and Road Runner (even the latest Classic Rock magazine has Frankenstein's monster with an AC/DC t-shirt on - if they go with a second one, I hope that is addressed because it looks like it was put together for a fiver.  It does not have to be dramatic, it can obviously have the company logo on (so they know where it is coming from).  I know it might be due to budget reasons or that it is this image they want, just make it a little more interesting kids.  Anyway, let's get on with the review and look at each act (BTW - all band photos are from their own Facebook pages & the copy right is held by the usual parties, etc)-

01 - God Damn - Vultures


God Damn hail from Wolverhampton and they have been going since 2010.  Much like Winnebago Deal and Royal Blood, they are a two piece.  Comprised of Thom on guitar and vocals, Ash on drums, this song starts off with a torrent of riffs going at a million miles an hour before it descends into a Pixies style verse section.  I can hear a lot of influence in this band; they have a huge rock 'n' roll style, with some metal, punk and attitude that makes this a dirty little bomb of a track to open the album with.  It does remind me a bit of the Crockets & Crimea, but on an acid trip like no other - they will be touring the UK soon and they have an album out called Vultures.

4 out of five - This is really good, just short of perfect

You can follow their activities on Facebook here

02 - VUKOVI - Boy George


Coming out of Kilwinning/Troon - Scotland, VUKOVI are described as noisy pop punk.  This four piece are Janine Shilstone on vocals, Hamish Reilly on guitars, Jason Trotter on bass/vocals and Colin Irving on drums. The song is as sugary as one of those massive lollypop's you used to get from funfairs; it comes across as a glam rock punk song and it is performed very well.  I can imagine it going down well with the Kerrang crowd, it is not quite to my taste - but it also did not make me want to run away either.  Not bad, just not for me.  This is also their debut single which can be purchased from iTunes and places like that.

3 out of five - Decent, getting there

You can follow their activities on Facebook here

03 - Bury Tomorrow - Man on Fire



Formed in 2006, Portsmouth/Southampton based Bury Tomorrow are actually signed to Nuclear Blast - this makes me surprised that our blogger Chris Jermyn has not been playing them as he loves that label.  The members are Davyd Winter Bates on bass, Daniel Winter Bates on vocals, Adam Jackson on drums, Jason Cameron on vocals/guitars and Kristan Dawson on guitars.  When the song started I was reminded of Def Con One and Killswitch Engage, it is an intense and powerful metal song with the right mixture of crushing riffs and one hell of a chorus for the pit to go mental about.  Will definitely be looking into these guys after I have finished this review.

4.5 out of five - This is really good, just short of perfect

You can follow their activities on Facebook here

04 - Gallery Circus - Supercell


A band from my neck of the woods - Newcastle upon Tyne (Also they have been based in Chicago & San Francisco according to their Facebook), this is the second two piece band and made up of a set of twins - Dan & Gra Ross.  Reading their information on their Facebook page, it sounds as if these guys are into their guerrilla gigs, lots of American whiskey and playing lock rock 'n' roll.  Their sound is dramatic to say the least, a sea of massive rock 'n' roll riffs mixed with a large slice of blues which had me floored from the first note to the end.  It is a strong contender for track of the year for me, a bit like Royal Blood in terms that they are a loud rock 'n' roll  act (not that they are a two-piece) that have shown me that UK rock is not dead; one of the best song off this compilation.

5 out of five - I wish I had extra ears to love this more

You can follow their activities on Facebook here

05 - Little Eye - Fighting the Future


From the banks of the Clyde in Scotland, Allan, Euan, Marcus and Jay have been making a name for themselves (much like a lot of the bands on this compilation).  There is something about Glasgow which always produces strong bands for me, no matter what style they have - they always sound as if they are ready to have a fight.  These guys come across as a punk version of White Lies who have been listening to the Foo Fighters a lot, they have created a very catchy song here which I am sure will go down a storm in their live set.  Another band which I will add to the list of acts I want to investigate further.

4.5 out of five - This is really good, just short of perfect

You can follow their activities on Facebook here

06 - Tellison - Tact is dead


Oh, there is something dark in the water on this one.  Tellison are from Bethnal Green, London and are made up of the following people - Henry Danowski, Stephen H Davidson, Peter Phillips, & Andrew Tickell (the photo shows five people, not sure if they had another member at some point).  They describe their sound as indie rock, but this song is a slab of alternative indie/post rock/goth and English irony that I have not heard for a long time; musically it is (as they stated) dark alternative indie rock - there is no light apart from the tube which is going to kill us as we are so beyond help.  Tellison, I applaud you for this dark anthem for the down trodden - please seek help (or don't as I want more gems like this one).

5 out of five - I wish I had extra ears to love this more

You can follow their activities on Facebook here

07 - Boy Jumps Ship - Makes You Proud


Another band from Newcastle upon Tyne (seriously, you cannot go anywhere without bumping into a Geordie), Boy Jumps Ship are a four piece emo/punk group made up of Si, Gav, Jonny Rob and JD.  Musically these men have taken their influences from Brand New, Taking Back Sunday, Death Cab for Cutie and acts of that ilk.  I can also hear a sound which is akin to Moose Blood and The Ataris, it is a song that is easy to get wrong and these guys are good enough to make it interesting.  Sounding like they are having fun when they are playing is one half of the battle and this will have people emotive punk (the old style, before it back a fashion statement - think Far, Hundred Reason, etc) go looking for their next heroes.

4 out of five - This is really good, just short of perfect

You can follow their activities on Facebook here

08 - Brawlers - Windowmisser


Coming from Leeds, Yorkshire, Brawlers (who took their name from the WWF/E wrestler, the Brooklyn Brawler) features members of Dinosaur Pile-Up, Beretta Suicide and Castrovala and formed in 2013 - no idea who was in which band, but the members are Anthony Wright on bass, Tom Knox drums, Matthew Wright on guitar and finally Harry Johns on vocals.  Described as punk, they share a similar style to Boys Jumps Ship on this song.  It is another good slice of punk, with a bit of a nod to Billy Talent to this blogger and sound like they are a very tight unit.  It is not quite reaching the highs of other tracks off this release, but it still sounds well performed and I am sure I will investigate shortly.

3.5 out of five - Decent, getting there

You can follow their activities on Facebook here

09 - Halo Tora - Age of Terror


Another band from Glasgow, this time it is Halo Tora who comprise of Chris Alexander on guitar/ vocals, Ian McCall also on guitar/vocals, Mark Young on bass, Chris McKeown on drums and Ryan Connery on keyboards.  Describing themselves as progressive rock, post rock and alternative rock is an accurate description; they have elements of all three styles sitting quite happily in their misery, albeit sounding hauntingly beautiful at the same times.  This is on the darker side of the modern rock spectrum and it might not hit the spot for everyone, but whilst it is not instantly winning me over I am curious as to what their full album sounds like; this type of music cannot be easily pinned down with one song.

3.5 out of five - Decent, getting there

You can follow their activities on Facebook here

10 - Press to MECO - Wasting Time

 
Is emotive grunge now a genre?  If not, it should be for Press to MECO; from Crawley/Croydon, the band form in 2010 and current consist of Luke Caley, Adam Roffey & Lewis Williams.  They have put their influences as everyone, I think that can be seen as a brilliant description.  In this song there is a mixture of hooks and style that merge seamlessly into one sonic explosion, it aims for dramatic and almost hits epic. It is a good song which despite not being to my current tastes, makes me take attention which is a win in my books.  And if no one has patented emotive grunge, I am on to a money winner!!!

4 out of five - This is really good, just short of perfect

You can follow their activities on Facebook here

11 - Metasoma - I Hide


Hail from London, Metasoma currently consist of lead guitarist Voytek Golbiak, rhythm guitarist Mishiek Es, bass player Don Merritt and drummer Hugo Terva (they are currently looking for a vocalist at the point of writing - the photo is obviously an old live photo).  Formed in 2009, they have been laying a metal trail around the country and are led by Voytek Golbiak according to their Facebook and their influences on that page is a mixture of classic and nu-metal.  They come across as a mixture of The Workhorse Movement, Alter Bridge and System of a Down, but the dynamics are not grabbing me to be honest; but it is still interesting enough to make me take notice, the band do sound very tight musically and I hope that they can find themselves a new singer soon.

3 out of five - Decent, getting there

You can follow their activities on Facebook here

12 - Burn Marilyn - This Town Ain't Big Enough


From Maidstone, Kent James Martin (Lead Vocal), Charlie Robinson (Guitars/Backing Vocals), James "Goz" Goswell (Guitars), Tim Morgan (Drums) and Jack Flann (Bass/Backing Vocals) give this album a dose of melodic alternative rock. They are another band who either love the Ataris or have been influenced by a band that love them.  It is a well-constructed song that is once again played very well, but much like Metasoma it is not for me.  It is by no means a bad song or performance, it is just not a song that makes me excited.  However, I am sure that there are other people on this blog who will love it.

3 out of five - Decent, getting there

You can follow their activities on Facebook here

13 - wecamefromwolves - Stallions, Foals, Foxes, Crows


We are back in Glasgow for this song from wecamefromwolves; classing themselves as alternative rock/heavy pop they are currently made up of Kyle Charles James Burgess on vocals/guitar, Rob Whytock on bass/vocals, Harrison White on drums/vocals & Taylor White on Guitars.  The heavy pop tag is actually spot on and that is not a bad thing at all, to these ears they sound like a mixture of Big Country, Biffy Clyro, The Wildhearts & Johnny Violent. This is the dark horse of the album, it sneaks up on you when you least expect it and has a massive hook to keep you sucked in.  Another brilliant number and another band to the list, seriously worth checking out.

4.5 out of five - This is really good, just short of perfect

You can follow their activities on Facebook

14 - Colt 45 - O.K.



From the west side of the Pennines in Cumbria, Colt 45 are a melodic punk rock trio made up for Neil Harper, Gareth Jenkins & Adam Lewis and they have listened to an awful lot of Americana punk by the sound of this song.  You can hear the heart being tied to the mast for everyone to see, you can hear the small town thoughts and mentality in this three minute slice of loneliness which will break the most stubborn of hearts.  A yearning has not sounded so poetic for a long time to these ears, beautiful.

4 out of five - This is really good, just short of perfect

You can follow their activities on Facebook here

15 - Man Make Fire - Pretty Face



Hailing from Chipping Norton, Man Make Fire are the loose cannon on this album; they are the only act for me that does something that is not quite mainstream, it has its heart in the alternative scene.  I had to check when it was released as I thought it was from the early days of Dog Fashion Disco mixed in with Alice Donut and Butthole Surfers.  They are a strange beast, the song never really settles on one style and it jumps from different alternative noises from moment to moment; it really should not work, but it for whatever reason that quantum has thrown up it sounds fantastic.  It is the right amount of chaos and style that is hard to achieve, for the insane, music lovers and creatures from out of this dimensions.

4 out of five - This is really good, just short of perfect

You can follow their activities on Facebook here

16 - The Spills - A Film and A Frame



Rob, Joe, Chad & Sam are collectively known as The Spills and they are originally from Wakefield.  It is their task to end this album and they do it with the song "A Film and A Frame".  This is an alternative rock number that takes more than its fair share of influence from Weezer, this is a very good thing to these ears and whilst it does not excitement me as some of the other songs, it is still a quality tune to end this complication.

4 out of five - This is really good, just short of perfect

You can follow their activities on Facebook here

I think it is safe to say that this complication has impressed me from beginning to end, there are some top quality bands on here such as Gallery Circus, wecamefromwolves, Tellison and Little Eye; however even the acts that were not to my exact tastes were still performed incredibly well and to have a mixture of songs that gels well together, which does not sound as if it has been created by a management team that are pushing their friends who sound average is unusual these days and the album is really impressive.  There is not one act on here which I would rather not hear again, they have all made songs which sound fresh and modern - yes some of them wear their influences on their sleeves, some of them are not 100% what I listen to on a regular basis (currently adjusting to the new Ben Folds as you ask); however they are all bring something to the table, they are all interesting and in some cases down right brilliant and what is wrong with that!  This is a great introduction to sixteen bands who will hopefully take English rock music further in the next few years - you did hear it here first (sorry, obvious line, they now owe me money..... or a copy of the Tellison album).

8.5 out of ten - Oh, now you have my attention and maybe my money, time and heart

Top song - Tellison - Tact Is Dead

Once this is available for purchasing, I will add a link here

You can stream the album on Spotify here

It is not currently on Deezer or Tidal, I will add links if this ever changes

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