- Posted Tuesday, 11 March 2014 at 12:31 by Rock Sound
Blistered's new EP 'Soul Erosion' comes out on April 8th via 6131 Records. For more head to 6131records.com.
- Posted Tuesday, 4 March 2014 at 14:39 by David McLaughlin
Wednesday, February 26
The last time Taking Back Sunday frontman Adam Lazzara graced a stage in London, headlining Slam Dunk 2012, he wasn’t quite himself. With his movements clearly inhibited – the result of a leg injury sustained after a tree fell on him (a bloody tree!) – it made for an oddly restrained performance. Tonight, he appears to be under no such duress and back to his old snake-hipped, mic-swinging best.
It’s a good thing too, because following Lonely The Brave is no mean feat. Just when you start to wonder when the Cambridge five-piece might begin to feel like just another band, they go and pull out all the stops and floor you all over again, same as they did the first time. As ever, there’s not much in the way of interaction, greetings or salutation, just soulful songs, played and sung from a place of sincerity that might grate in the hands of other, lesser bands. Instead, ‘Backroads’ is haunting, harrowing and heavy of heart, and ‘Islands’ is a rattle gun rallying call, while everyone in the room remains rapt for the duration.
Lucky then that Taking Back Sunday have an equally explosive arsenal of hits in their catalogue to call upon. Imagine the luxury of a song as essentially perfect as ‘A Decade Under The Influence’ as your starting point and then still having higher heights to hit afterward? Incredibly, that’s where Taking Back Sunday find themselves in 2014. Which really didn’t seem possible at that somewhat lacklustre Slam Dunk show. But it’s testament to a band reenergised, having found something of their old spark on upcoming sixth album, ‘Happiness Is’. That’s abundantly clear when lead single ‘Flicker, Fade’, slots sweetly between ‘Timberwolves At New Jersey’ and ‘Bonus Mosh Pt. II’.
With every shimmy, slink and slide, Adam drives fans young and not-so-young-anymore bonkers, and even if he occasionally strains to hit some of the notes, they’re right there and ready to fill in. The crowd hits their obvious but energetic peak at set closer ‘Cute Without The ‘E’ (Cut From The Team)’ and then rises once more for one final flurry on ‘MakeDamnSure’.
For a band that appeared to be running out of steam only a short time ago, a comeback of this kind is much more than anything anyone could have hoped for.
For a full gallery of shots from the night, follow this link.
- Posted Tuesday, 4 March 2014 at 13:30 by Thomas Lacey
After last month's look at the seminal album 'Damaged', Mr Lacey has switched things up with his choice of record review for March. Loosen those trousers, get out the chain link wallets, reach for the eyeliner and start working on that goatee beard as Tom takes a trip down the nu-metal memory lane.
In 1997, a young At-The-Drive released their startling debut album 'Acrobatic Tenement', to pretty much universal indifference and disinterest. The year heralded something of a high water mark for music in general – Radiohead reinvented The Dark Side of the Moon with their untouchable 'Ok Computer' record, the Verve finally released their third album 'Urban Hymns' featuring one of the greatest singles of all time, and the world met Mogwai whose speaker bludgeoning 'Young Team' signalled the return of punk rock to the UK after a long absence from these shores.
I mention this in passing as, being a greasy 17 year old, I was at a tipping point in my musical journey, and not one of these classic albums had yet to catch my mis-guided attention. Just growing out of adolescent bilge like Korn and The Offspring, but still unsure if I wanted to go down the dark path marked 'full time metalhead', or the flower lined road signposted to 'everything else', all it would take would be a nudge in one direction or the other.
In the end, I chose 'everything else' and the album that finally sealed the deal was Coal Chamber's self-titled debut. You could argue that a mere two years after Korn's genuinely fresh and scene invigorating first album debuted, Coal Chamber opened the gates to the cemetery and welcomed in nu-metal to blunder about and pick a tombstone.
Bobbing to the top of the down-tuned barrel like a turd with a stupid hair-cut, CC plopped into the world's consciousness with a slightly unconvinced fanfare from the rock press, helped in part by their then manager, X-Factor gargoyle Sharon Osbourne. They managed to cling onto the scenes withering coat-tails to fart out another two albums before affable frontman Dez Fafara came to his fucking senses and disbanded them, promptly starting a proper band, Devildriver. Distressingly though, they've recently reformed and threatened to start producing 'new material', which leaves their back catalogue open to some fresh critical analysis.
Nostalgia is one thing, but even with the spectre of my spotty youth hovering over my shoulder, I have to woefully admit that far from ageing gracefully, Coal Chamber's 'Coal Chamber' summons up as much blistering infernal majesty as a tube of deep heat does when applied to your privates.
Nu-metal is a simple creature, and when handled correctly, is capable of producing the occasional gem but here it's delivered in such a soggy, under-baked belch that calling it meat and potatoes is two ingredient too many. Plodding through 14 tracks, low-lights include a vocal performance from Fafara that nuzzles up against 'tired' after dry humping 'bored' to death, and lyrics so woefully simplistic that even poor old Fred Durst might suggest jazzing them up. There is a deeply unsettling sense of awareness from the band, a coldness that stems from knowing damn well that the music they're producing fills a gap in the market, nothing more.
With so much wrong with the record, it's one highlight 'Sway' towers above everything else like a unexpected erection on the statue of liberty. Through pure dumb exuberance it's chant of 'Burn mother-fucker, burn', still rattles the cages and makes you reach for that facial hair dye. What a pity then that not even hit single and album opener 'Loco ', fails to spark anything more than knowing sigh as it's two-note riff wheezes in, announcing the grim 45 minutes to follow. All the usual tropes of the genre are here, one word songs titles Pig, Stuck, Bradley), shirt wringing angst that goes nowhere and the inevitable whisperwhisperWAAAAARRGGH format that hobbles every song. The band even try their hand at some casual racism in 'Amir Of The Desert', complete with the a 'comedy' indian accent that even the cast of Mrs Brown's Boys would wince at.
A shame then, both for the record and for myself to see a talisman of my youth in such a sorry shape. Much like re-acquainting yourself with the school sweetheart to find her sniffing the loo brushes in public toilets for pleasure, the old girl hasn't weathered the storm of time well. With nu-metal seemingly acceptable again, and newer bands offering it up as a reference, we live in frightening times. Hopefully one listen to this trainwreck of a record will make everyone see some bloody sense and leave well alone for good.
Next Month: Letlive. – 'The Blackest Beautiful'
More from Mr Lacey next month, go visit him at facebook.com/yardsband or tomlaceyartdesign.bigcartel.com in the meantime to see what he's doing from now til then. Hey, why not treat yourself and buy a print? Your wall deserves it.
- Posted Tuesday, 25 February 2014 at 16:22 by Rock Sound
- Posted Thursday, 20 February 2014 at 18:55 by Rock Sound
We've sent a handful of these A3 posters (designed by Matt Daniels) to each venue on the Rock Sound Impericon Exposure Tour. If you see one on the wall then GRAB IT, take it home and send us a picture of where it ended up! We ain't printing anymore of these...ever, so get to the venues early and see if you can bag yourself a treat.
Go see We Came As Romans, Chunk! No, Captain Chunk!, The Color Morale and Palm Reader at the following shows on the Rock Sound Impericon Exposure Tour 2014:
25 - GLASGOW Classic Grand
26 - MANCHESTER Club Academy
27 - BIRMINGHAM Academy II
28 - BRISTOL Thekla
01 - BRIGHTON Concorde II
02 - LONDON Academy Islington
Tickets are priced at £13.50 regionally, and £14 in London. SEE YOU THERE!
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