Seething Akira – Nozomi

Nozomi Album Cover Art

Seething Akira – Nozomi
FiXT Music
Release Date: 11/11/22
Review by Dark Juan
Running Time: 38:40
7/10

Rather annoyingly, Shell Energy Broadband has more dropouts than the cast of an American high school slasher and it has been presenting me with difficulties with uploading fantastic new reviews for you, the beautiful people out there, to happily peruse. Combined with the bout of COVID bastardness which is still affecting your good correspondent with extreme fatigue and a work schedule that has been somewhat punishing, even the good work of keeping the world in touch with the Metal underground has been too challenging recently and I was forced to take a break from writing while I reclaimed enough energy to write again. However, I have sufficiently pissed myself and Mrs Dark Juan off by doing nothing to clamp on the cans and tackle the increasingly extensive review list I have. 

Today, we are remaining in jolly old Blighty and revelling in the stylings of a band from the (shudder) South of England, specifically Portsmouth. There’s a Portsmouth in West Yorkshire too, on the way to Burnley, but I can’t for the life of me understand why it is called Portsmouth because it IS NOT NEAR ANY FUCKING PORTS, and this fact pisses me off more than I can hope to explain to you. Nevertheless, I have now conquered my ire and I am ready to share views and opinions about talented people and their art again…

Seething Akira are a band of diverse and wide-ranging influences and it is important to note this from the beginning as they frequently take their music down unusual and challenging paths – these British bruisers gleefully smash Nu-Metal, Metalcore, Electronic Dance Music, Industrial, Emo and Drum and Bass together, shock it back to life with egregious amounts of amplification, set it loose upon unsuspecting record reviewers and sit there giggling like schoolgirls as said record reviewer tries desperately to make some sense of their day-glo painted Frankenstinian horror.

There’s a perfectly charming thirty-odd second opener that’s all synthwavey and gorgeous with female choral singing, and then the band crash into ‘Never Permanent’, keyboards chopping from left to right in my headphones and then…. Electric alchemy. Guitars slam into the back brain, and a very Emo vocal gives way to a (very Southern England-accented) Hardcore shouty bit, and then a staccato keyboard break links into a lighters-aloft chorus. It’s very glossy, highly polished stuff that will appeal greatly to any baby goths or Emos and people who also appreciate their Metal being a little different from the norm. This sad old goff is quite enjoying himself with Seething Akira’s music. It offers dimensions that Metal sometimes doesn’t. ‘Metaphors’ amply displays this – with a kawaii female vocal sample giving way to a punishing tempo and some fucking angry shouting and some pretty fucking stellar guitar work. The sample comes back in the break and forms the backbone to a pretty awesome Drum and Bass based (see what I did there?) second movement in the song. Also, absolutely COLOSSAL break with Star Wars laser noises and all sorts. This song is the highlight of the album, being bouncy and joyous and yet still possessing a spine of steel.

“Fuck it, let’s take the risk!” is a lyric from the aforementioned song and it could be Seething Akira’s motto as they ride wildly over genre and type and do donuts over the remains of them. However, next comes a bit of a weak point in ‘Lost At Sea’ where the guys channel their inner Britpop mop-tops for the chorus and verse and the noisier shouty bits feel a bit… Contrived really, but the keyboard work on this tune is fucking epic.

‘Internal Antagonist’ resets the balance though, with a meaty-as-fuck Metalcore / Nu-Metal stomper that should see pit virgins worrying for their personal safety, and with a massive chorus and absolutely slamming Drum and Bass break to boot that is melded seamlessly into the Metal to finish the song off.

I ended that last paragraph having written exactly six hundred and sixty-six words, which was incredibly pleasing.

This is a very intriguing album indeed, sonically, too. The production is some of the best work I have ever heard clarity-wise with every instrument perfectly placed in the mix and the vocals also forward, but not overpoweringly so, in the final work. Keyboard breaks and Drum and Bass sections join perfectly into the overall sound and the drums themselves (can’t tell whether they are sequenced or not – possibly they are) and the writing of the music is pretty fucking awesome as it melds influences that really shouldn’t work together but do – ‘Something In The Water’ transitions from Drum and Bass into an oh-so-very-Metal guitar solo and just works. The problem is that there is very little soul in the sound of the album – it is too clean and polished and there is a bit of a lack of quality control – ‘Frequencies’ is a pretty generic sounding Rap Metal shoutalong with added electronic wibbly bits and the chorus is rather bland and uninteresting.

Otherwise, it’s pretty good fun – the joining of Metal and Drum and Bass is an awesome sounding combo and reminds me somewhat of Cubanate and their attempted fusing of Metal and Techno, but I feel Seething Akira have tried to market to a more mainstream Metal crowd. And that might be their problem – the mainstream Metal audience is notoriously conservative and Seething Akira’s sound might prove too challenging for the bullet belt and black jeans brigade. If you’re willing to take a risk, though, Seething Akira are pretty fucking good technicolour, day-glo fun. You can dance and mosh – frequently in the same song.

Remember how I said ‘Metaphors’ was the highlight of the album? It shares that honour with ‘Dioxide’ that chucks an absolutely fucking slamming Drum and Bass keyboard bit into the mix that the guitar follows, and the result is something so breathtakingly bludgeoning that it has immediately found its way into Dark Juan’s favourite songs. But this is also the problem with quality control rearing its head again – if the band are capable of this absolute supremacy, why are they also writing heavier Britpop songs? And the terribly self-serving rap on ‘Reason To Breathe’ just sets this reviewer’s teeth on edge, even if it is about a baby girl. In fact, the whole song is tawdry Emo bollocks. Bleurgh.

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System awards Seething Akira 7/10 for a record of extreme peaks and troughs. When it is great its fucking sublime, and when the quality drops it is frankly horrible. Thankfully the good outweighs the bad.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Never Permanent (Intro)
02. Never Permanent
03. Metaphors
04. Lost At Sea
05. Internal Antagonist
06. Something In The Water (Intro)
07. Something In The Water
08. Frequencies
09. Punishment Instructions
10. Dioxide
11. Reason To Breathe
12. Stars

LINE-UP:
Kit Conrad – Vocals
Charlie Bowes – Vocals
Richard Ellis – Bass
Simon Williams – Guitar
John Corney – Guitar

LINKS:

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dark Juan and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Mad Symphony – Blood 2 Dust

Blood 2 Dust Album Cover Art

Mad Symphony – Blood 2 Dust
Self-Released
Release Date: 19/11/22
Running Time: 21:56
Review by Simon Black
10/10

Formed from the ashes of Grunge outfit Soulbender, Mad Symphony are firmly in the rising category of the New Wave of Classic Rock (another opportunity for us journo’s to prove that we really know our shit, with yet another easy-on-the-tongue acronym ‘NWOCR’). Mad Symphony also have a distinctly Progressive Rock edge that picks up exactly where the golden age of Rush from “2112” to “Moving Pictures” left off, although it all sounds thoroughly more modern than that, and a small amount of that deep and heavy Groove leftover from their previous act exuded in the mix is also helping, adding the kind of low-end rumble that makes my kidneys rattle and causes my kids to ask me to stop being so inconsiderate and please turn the fucking volume down. 

I think it’s fair to say that despite the short period of time that they’ve been around, I’ve become quite a fan of Vancouver’s Mad Symphony. This may be only their second EP, with the first crossing my desk last May, but it’s not often that a band ticks all my boxes in the way these guys did with that debut. So much so that it made its way to my top ten last year (and I normally exclude EP’s from that) and has been listened to a lot in the car ever since. A new act they may be, but old hands they also most definitely are, and my word does that experience show. This is far from being part of the retro wave of 80’s soundalikes littering up the Rock and Metal release schedules currently – you can hear the influences loud and proud, sure, but the direction of travel is firmly future focussed…

Last year’s “Mad Symphony EP” most definitely left me wanting more, so it is with great delight that this one also landed. Despite the disappointment that I am still going to have to wait for a full album from these chaps, I think it’s safe to say that the five new tracks we do get here today do not disappoint. If indeed they ever take that album route that is, as there’s a lot to be said for the more recent trend of acts producing only EP’s but with a much shorter gap between them than you would normally get in the traditional album cycle (and therefore ideal for people under 30 who seem incapable of staying still long enough to listen to a full album anymore). Little and often works as a strategy to build a band though, regardless of how attention deficit your audience may be…

The title track opens the piece, and from the get-go it’s clear that the tone of this EP is way more measured than the punch-the-air floor-filling catchiness of the debut, with some careful crafting and building of mood working brilliantly on this track and allows the listener to appreciate the sheer fluid progressive interplay between these six guys. I say six, because vocalist Kevin Wright adds perfectly to this. In this sort of music, the vocalist usually shuts up and goes for a nice long sit down and a cup of tea when the instrumental interplay interludes start at the half-way mark, but Wright adds his voice to this for the second half of the song. All the players are weaving nicely here, and the additional melody lines he includes make him feel as much an controlled improvisational instrument on the mix as any of the rest of the band. It’s very nicely done, and the subtleties of it grow with every listen.

‘I Can’t Remember Your Name’ is a moody post relationship ballad and takes the moodier turn a step further, and to be fair that slightly darker tone stays on throughout, and just when you think there’s another more upbeat moment coming, the EP beautifully twists you in the opposite direction. It’s a highly effective counterbalance to the original EP, and if the two sets of tracks were intermingled on one long play that difference would not be worth commenting on, but it allows us to explore another side to the band in sharp focus packaged this way, and one that works really well, as these songs build carefully and reward the repeat listener with the depth and subtlety of the song-writing that has gone into them. 

My personal favourites are the title track and the closer ‘Judgement Day’, but to be honest that’s a hard choice to make when the calibre remains as consistently high as it was the first time round. None of these songs outstay their welcome either, and all five tracks are delivered in a crisp twenty-one minutes of run time, and once again, I am frustrated as hell that five is my lot and left wanting more.  Focussed and punchy, but moody and mellifluous throughout, this is a more musically subtle and complex piece than its predecessor. “Always leave them wanting more” is the backbone of the entertainment industry, and Mad Symphony have hit it into the back of the net twice running. More please, chaps.

‘Do It All Over Again’ Official Video

TRACKLISTING:
01. Blood 2 Dust
02. I Can’t Remember Your Name
03. Reality Check
04. Judgement Day
05. Truth In The Shadows

LINE-UP:
Kevin Wright – Lead Vocals, Percussion
Dave Groves – Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals
Ted Tosoff – Rhythm Guitar, Backing Vocals
Mike Russell – Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Amrit Prasad – Bass
Wes Hallam – Drums

LINKS:

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Simon Black and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

EMQ’s With exPorter

exPorter Logo

EMQ’s With exPorter

Hi everyone! Welcome to another EMQs interview, this time with USA based Rock trio, exPorter. huge thanks to them all for taking part. 

What is your name, what do you play and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

Henry: Hello, my name is Henry Kish and I play drums.

Destin: Hey there, I am Destin Cavazos and I sing and play bass in the band.

Alec: And I am Alec Cavazos (yes, Destin and I are related) and I play guitar and sing in exPorter.

So exPorter as a band really got started in 2018 when Henry joined, but Destin and I have been playing in bands for a long time. We started as a three piece in 2015 consisting of us two, Alec and Destin, joined by our friend Jess on drums. That band was called Adjective (adj.),it was our first band that started this and it remained that way until mid 2017, when Jess got into school. We had our friend Owen play drums for a bit and changed the band name to “Porter” since “adj” used the first initials of our first group. 

Destin: Yeah, Alec and I have been playing music for more than 10 years, even longer if you count messing around on Rock Band. That’s some real exPorter trivia for you about our history and how we got started. Our dad came into the mancave and saw us rocking out on the Wii and said if you want to be real rock stars you better learn how to really play instruments. But exPorter was born when Henry joined. We had a show that we needed a drummer for, so we asked Henry to play, and you could tell this was a good line-up at that show. It was his first time ever playing in front of people, but he killed it and we decided to really pursue this music thing. 

How did you come up with your band name?

Alec: So after adj, we went to Porter based off of this college that Destin got kicked out of and off of John Porter who was one of the Smith’s first producers. Our dad is a huge Smiths fan, saw this documentary of the band and asked what we thought. It was pretty coincidental that those happened at the same time, but we really liked the name Porter. 

Destin: We had some cool marketing materials made up including our mascot “Porty” and everything. And, for the record, my getting kicked out of that school was total B.S. When Henry joined and we knew we wanted to started recording more of our own stuff, we found out there was already a band named Porter out of Mexico – so we had to change it again. We’re pretty big fans of Blink-182 and knew about their legal hassles with their name so why not change ours before we got sued? We talked about a couple of names, we thought about Porter-123 and then settled on “exPorter” … and we got to keep “Porty” which was cool.

What Country / Region are you from and what is the Metal / Rock scene like there?

Alec: All of us live in the U.S., though we’re in different states right now. We all grew up in Santa Barbara, CA and that’s where we started playing. SoCal obviously has a HUGE music scene in general and Santa Barbara actually has a pretty cool scene going on at the moment. There seems to be a cycle that happens with bands here with a lot of bands coming out of here like Toad The Wet Sprocket, you have reggae like Iration or Rebelution, Lagwagon… they were all like 90’s and early 2000’s and we’re hoping the next cycle is starting with exPorter. A lot of cool bands right now that we’re playing with… Loc Dawgs, Trout Club, Lizard’s Mouth. We’ve played shows with them and others and there’s just a good vibe with all these bands. 

What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)

Destin: We’ve got our debut album “NoBrakesNoBrakesNoBrakes” that just came out in May so we’re really working to promote that – hopefully people are listening to it already! If not, hop on over to your favorite streaming type site and give it a try. 

The feature single we went with is called “Your Boyfriend” and it did really well on radio getting up to #24 on the specialty charts. We’re figuring out the next single to feature but we think it’s going to be ‘Lusitania’. We did some low-key release with it and it got good response, so I think it’s time to get that one out there for you all. 

Who have been your greatest influences?

Henry: For me, The Who was one of the first bands I ever heard and they’re a pretty big influence on me today. I’m also really into Turnstile these days.

Alec: Tom DeLonge has probably been the greatest influence on me for sure. He’s why I play guitar and I love his stuff from Blink to AVA to Boxcar. Not a lot that guy does that doesn’t make an impact on me. 

Destin: I think it’s classic that Blink gets back together and now they’re doing probably the biggest tour next year with Turnstile. Two bands that easily influence us so how do we get exPorter on that show???

I actually have a ton of bands that have influenced me. Like how can I not pick all the Pop-Punk and Emo bands that I grew up listening to? Blink, early Green Day, Fall Out Boy, MCR, Panic!… I also grew up listening to a lot of 80’s bands too, because that’s what our parents listened to, so you’ll have a band like Crowded House in there. And I’m talking deep cuts and Neil Finn’s catalogue so there’s a ton of great music just from him that’s gotten into my brain. 

Finally, you have the Riot Girl era of female-led 90’s Rock bands also had a significant impact on me; bands like Garbage, The Cranberries, and Lush, they put out such a punchy, pithy brand of Rock music, I don’t think there’s a lot that really holds up to that genre in terms of energy. You see some of that flavour coming back these days too, with artists like Snail Mail, Cherry Glazerr, etc. and I think it’s exciting to see that fiery feminine energy becoming more mainstream again.

What first got you into music?

Alec: As Destin said it really does go back to the Wii for us. Once we started with lessons it wasn’t that long till we were writing songs together. Destin really picked up the bass easily, but it took me a while to figure it out with the guitar – but once I did I don’t think I’ve stopped playing. 

Henry: For me it was my parents that got me into music. I got my dad’s old drum kit as a way I think to keep me busy, but I loved it from the start.

If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?

Henry: I think exPorter would and should collaborate with just about anyone. We’re just starting out so we can’t be picky. 

Alec: Yeah that would have to be Tom DeLonge for me. Like maybe helping us produce our next album.

Destin: Man, so many bands to choose from here but I think my answer would have to be Danny Elfman, with or without Oingo Boingo. 

If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?

Alec: Riot Fest would be a cool one. It always has such a banger line up full of bands from various genres that I love including some of our idols so sharing a stage with them would be awesome!

Henry: Maybe the craziest festival that I know of is Woodstock 99. Though there were tons of absurdities going on, I can’t deny that the videos of those concerts are pretty awesome. Plus who wouldn’t want to share the stage with Kid Rock?

Destin: When We Were Young fest, it’s definitely our vibe. Those are ALL the bands we grew up listening to. I think that since Warped Tour is gone that would be the next best thing.

What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?

Alec: If you count words as a gift, I’d say a guy saying we sound like Green Day and the Sex Pistols is definitely weird. He came up to us after our last show this Summer at the Milk Bar (San Francisco) We don’t get Green Day all the time, but we will hear that every now and then and never have we gotten Sex Pistols, but hey San Francisco people know best! 

Henry: Maybe if I ever receive a gift, I’ll let you guys know, but as of now I’m just happy to see us play. That’s the greatest gift.

If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?

Henry: I think we really just want people to know that this is a real band, and we love playing together. Having anyone listen to our music really means a lot.

Destin: It’s very surreal and humbling to have someone listen to our music and say they like it. We’re not a manufactured band just putting out something cause it’s what’s cool at the moment. We’re three guys playing music that we love and to have you like it is more special to us than you would ever know. 

If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?

Alec: To me Kurt Cobain is the obvious answer. It would’ve just been interesting to see where Nirvana would have gone as the 2000’s came and now into 2020’s. I would imagine a giant reunion tour, like Blink and MCR.

Henry: I’d be really interested to see what Kurt would be up to nowadays.

Destin: David Bowie. The man is such an icon.

What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?

Destin: Well like I said before, we love playing. I love writing and playing music with these guys and getting to run around to different towns and rock out at different venues. Right now, I think the worst part is having to lug all of our equipment around to shows.

Henry: I love improving and learning from others and I absolutely hate making mistakes on stage (even if nobody notices).

Alec: I love performing most of all for sure and I definitely hate like writers block when I really am in the mood to write which is like always. I can’t stand when I have an idea and I know what I want to say but can’t say it.

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

Henry: I would love there to be less blah pop music and a way to make us somewhat more popular.

Alec: It would be great to have easier access to radio and streaming programs, it’s all very political and easily bought nowadays. We’ve been pretty lucky to have stations all over the country play us and we’re grateful for that, but getting on regular rotation is not easy. Same with playlists, super grateful for the ones that have us on but when you look at some you know it’s just paid for crap. 

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Destin: Ah man, these questions aren’t fair…how can I choose when there are SOOOO many great ones. But since you just want “one” of my favorites, Everything in Transit by Jack’s Mannequin.

Henry: “Songs for the Deaf” (Queens of the Stone Age) just came to mind.

Alec: Blink-182 “Untitled”. There are definitely others that I think sometimes challenge it, but it remains in top because with every listen it gets better!

What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CDs or Downloads?

Alec: I personally love CDs, I have so many now it’s crazy. I think physical copies of an album is so much more fun to show-off and enjoy owning it, but streaming makes it so easy.

Destin: Cassettes look cooler, but nothing really plays them anymore, so I’d go with CDs.

Henry: Vinyl for sure, no question!

Destin: Yeah, we’d love to put our stuff out on vinyl, but it was crazy expensive. Maybe we can add that to things we’d like to change in the industry – cheaper ways for small bands to produce actual records. 

What’s the best gig that you have played to date?
Alec: I’m kind of hoping that we haven’t had our best gig yet 😊 One thing we try to do as a band is to try and make each next thing better than the last thing. It can be a show or an album or even T-shirts so hopefully our best show is still out there. But if I had to pick one so far, I’ll go with one of the first shows we did with Henry. We got asked to do this Halloween show and it was for like 3 hours. We didn’t have a drummer and we’re supposed to fill 3 hours? But we pulled it off. We had people yelling for more and we’re like, “we don’t have anything else”.

Henry: I think the shows we’ve done at the Milk Bar have been great. It’s been the last stop on our last tour, and I think they’ve just been really high energy.

Destin: The Hinds show is a personal highlight for me just cause it was soooo cool opening for them. They’re a favourite band of mine and we got asked to open like a week before the show, but we were in for sure. Henry was in Colorado, so we flew him in, we had an hour to practice and then it was show time. There was another band called Hearty Har which is John Fogerty’s son’s so he was in the audience. It was pretty surreal, and I think we had an awesome set. All of the bands had great sets and all of them were so cool to us the whole time. A highlight for sure.

If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?

Alec: This question has come up before and I think it’s awesome that we all said we’d probably be teachers. Henry did this archaeology dig as part of school so he’s an archaeology professor. I have always loved history, so I’ll be a history teacher. And Destin was an English major, so he’d be an English teacher. We could all work at the same school and do the band thing on weekends. 

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Alec: Well for me it has to be every member that has ever been a member of Blink-182, I’ve always been curious as to how that would all turn out. I’d imagine it’d be awkward at first but at the end we’d all be hugging.

Destin: Jordan Peele, Chris Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Gerard Way and our friend and first drummer, Jess Lord.

Henry: Samwise Gamgee, Arragorn, Frodo, Gandolf, and Gimli.

What’s next for the band?

Alec: Right now our main focus as a band is to get out and keep promoting the debut album. Remember, we just released “NoBrakesNoBrakesNoBrakes” in May and we’re trying to get as many people to check it out. It’s about a year out of our lives so we’d love to have you take a listen. So far, the reception has been great from what we know, but we want more and more people to listen and let us know what they think. Then it’s figure out the next single to feature, probably ‘Lusitania’, just sayin’. And then it’s plan out some Winter and Spring shows. Hopefully get a nice little tour for Summer ’23. And writing, Destin and I have a bunch of new songs we need to go through. 

What Social Media / Website links do you use to get your music out to people? Please include any links

Destin: Instagram is probably the easiest way to see what we’re up to, we’re pretty active there – 
https://www.instagram.com/exporter.band/

For streaming, check us on Spotify – 
https://open.spotify.com/artist/3jfTdDZQ7SrLeQD9t9z8IZ

And to see us messing around, you can check out our YouTube channel –
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvx6hOKk578Wzau8PSNWkew

Time for a very British question now. As an alternative to the humble sandwich, is the correct name for a round piece of bread common in the UK either a Bap, a Barm (or Barm Cake), a Batch, a Bun a Cob, a Muffin, a Roll or a Tea Cake?

Destin: Awesome…as a 3 piece maybe we can get this right 😊 I’m going to go with – Bap.

Alec: Muffin? Maybe? My instinct to what I would say goes to roll, but I’m going to go with muffin.

Henry: I have absolutely no idea, I think this falls into the French fry debacle. In the US they’re called English muffins, but I hear that’s very wrong. I’ll go with crumpet because it sounds the funniest with a British accent.

Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?

Alec: Just to say thanks for having us here. Like we said, it’s pretty cool to have someone listen to our stuff and hopefully like it. Having people take any interest in our band is awesome and you should know how much we appreciate it.

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Ross Harding – Chapter II EP

Chapter II Album Cover Art

Ross Harding – Chapter II EP
Mongrel Records
Release Date: 11/04/22
Running Time: 21:45
Review by Simon Black
8/10

Good old-fashioned, Blues-based Rock is very much out of vogue at the moment. This pisses me off no end, because the fact is every splintered sub-genre across the Rock and Metal pantheons owes a very strong debt to this influential music through which Elvis Presley crossed the racial lines of post-depression America’s darkly racist South and out into the big wide world. Without it we would have no Rock, Metal or the million genre splinters thereafter. And to be fair, it was first coming across Blues and Soul music via an unlikely exposure to The Blues Brothers movie in the early 80’s that opened my ears and mind, sent me diving into vinyl second-hand shops with a vengeance and started a long musical journey that brought me to the point where I am sitting writing this all these years later. These days here in the UK, Blues seems relegated to a niché pub-jam environment catering mostly to an older audience, which is a damn shame, as for me it’s just as relevant, influential and moving as it ever was when it’s done right. You certainly would not have had Grunge in the 90’s either, as that brought a lot of the Blues sentiments after Rock and Metal had almost over-polished themselves out of existence in the late 80’s, and with it a more down to earth, accessible and soulful way of expressing yourself through music heavy enough to rattle internal organs.

Enter Ross Harding, who hails from Johannesburg in South Africa and is living proof that this is far from just being music for old men in pubs in the UK (he’s half my age), with this five track EP being the second he has released this year. Musically the Blues vein runs deep, but that’s in equal proportion to a soulful Hard Rock vibe, and enough of a dollop of that honest Grunge-ethos and down-tuning to appeal to the heavier end of the spectrum. For a man writing, playing and singing everything himself this actually has a surprisingly tight and cohesive groove, and I was slightly surprised to find this was not in fact a full band. 

These five tracks have a remarkable dark and moving depth to them, an experience that starts with his cracked, soulful and incredibly emotive voice which has a surprising turn of range to it. Add to that a remarkably heavy edge to the music, especially opener ‘Black Sun Blues’ which really evoked “Superunknown” era Soundgarden in terms of mood, tone and vocal timbre (he’s a dead ringer for Cornell as well). Musically this is underpinned perfectly, with bass work so deep, vibratory and heavy that my teenage daughter asked me to turn it down please. He’s also a rather talented guitarist, of the kind where controlled precise flow of sound carries you along the emotional path in a way that blistering shredding never will. One note held well can move hearts and mountains, as any Pink Floyd fan will tell you, and tracks like ‘Love And Time’ illustrates this perfectly. 

With a crisp and clear production, the subtleties of guitar and vocals are beautifully balanced and the songs just flow leaving you wanting more. Sometimes you just need to go back to your musical roots, and it’s rather fantastic that it’s taken a gentleman half my age to remind me of that fact.

‘Rest’ Official Video

TRACKLISTING:
01. Black Sun Blues
02. Blood And Bones
03. Love And Time
04. Fire Away
05. Let It Go II (Return)

LINE-UP:
Ross – Harding – All Instruments

LINKS:

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Simon Black and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

EMQ’s With Faint On Call

Faint On Call Logo

EMQ’s With Faint On Call

Hi everyone! Welcome to another EMQs interview, this time with Mexican Rock/ Shoegaze/ Post-Grunge band, Faint On Call. Huge thanks to Bassist/ Guitarist/ Keyboard player, Cristian Hernandez, for taking part.

What is your name, what do you play and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

My name is Cristian Hernandez. I play bass, guitar, keys, and a bit of everything I can get my hands on.

The band formed because we were in lockdown, we all started writing via a program called Spire and were sending each other songs and bits. A year later we had 30 full songs and recorded in Mexico with Sylvia Massy.

How did you come up with your band name?

Tobias came up with it. We were bouncing names back and forth and Faint On Call was one that jumped out from the rest.

What Country / Region are you from and what is the Metal / Rock scene like there?

Well, David (Guitar) and I are from Mexico. Metal and Rock here is very underground, but it exists. People are still faithful followers of Metal bands though. Tobias and Art are from California, Bay Area. San Francisco is one of the capitals of Rock and Metal. Lots to see there.

What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)

We released our first single, ‘Pearl’, from our upcoming album, “Swoon”, October 7th. 

Who have been your greatest influences?

I’m actually a big Classic Rock fan. As far as bass players, Sir Paul McCartney, John Paul Jones and John Entwistle wrap up the basics of my influences. As far as songwriting, Beatles, Pink Floyd, Stone Temple Pilots, Soundgarden, are some of the bands I grew up listening to. I guess The Police and Sting would be the song writers I most admire.

What first got you into music?

My parents, they’ve always been rockers. I grew up with their music all day, and when I chose to be a musician, they fully supported me. 

If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?

Hmm… I’d have to go with Sting. 

If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?

Lollapalooza but from 1992. That lineup was beastly.

What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?

In Pittsburg, KS we got like $2000 worth of fireworks.

If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?

Practice! Get good at what you love doing.

If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?

Maybe Taylor Hawkins, because it’s so recent and we all felt his loss. I wouldn’t want any of the rock stars of old back from the dead, because that’s why they are legends. They were gone too soon and never got to get old and write old fart music that sucked. 

What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?

I love being creative, the process of writing and recording. I also love a crowd going crazy over my music. 

I hate editing drums!! Takes so long.

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

I think that question is an interview in itself. I could spend hours talking about it.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Pearl Jam, “Vs.”.

What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?

I think the only one I don’t like is cassettes. They suck. All of the above has a purpose and is good. 

What’s the best gig that you have played to date?

Back with Onesidezero, we were opening for Adema in Milwaukee at the Rave. But we played the small room. It was packed to the brim, at least 100 degrees, people were jumping off the stage. Someone fell on my pedals and I saw all of them go flying everywhere. I grabbed my cable and went straight into the bass head. The whole show was utter chaos and just so fun. I love the out of control feel of a show like that.

If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?

I’d probably be some kind of engineer.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Fam, I’m good with that.

What’s next for the band?

Well, we’ll be releasing a few more songs before the full album, and hopefully we can actually play all these songs on a tour next year. It’s tough being a band in two different countries.

What Social Media / Website links do you use to get your music out to people? Please include any links

www.faintoncall.com
https://www.facebook.com/faintoncall
https://www.instagram.com/faintoncall/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6pRtEeoRFon9UPJn0fBtcQ
https://distrokid.com/hyperfollow/faintoncall/pearl

Time for a very British question now. As an alternative to the humble sandwich, is the correct name for a round piece of bread common in the UK either a Bap, a Barm (or Barm Cake), a Batch, a Bun a Cob, a Muffin, a Roll or a Tea Cake?

I have no clue. I only know tacos.

Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?

All good. Thank you for supporting us and all musicians, so we can leave a little mark in the world.

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

EMQ’s With Fourth Son South

Fourth Son South Logo

EMQ’s With Fourth Son South

Hi everyone! Welcome to another EMQs interview, this time with South African Rockers, Fourth Son South. Huge thanks to their Guitarist/ Vocalist, Peter Toussaint, for taking part. 

For those yet unfamiliar with you, please share with more about you, what you play, the bands you play in, and overall, more about your history?

My name is Peter Toussaint, I’m a guitarist / vocalist from the Netherlands and now living in South Africa. I’m frontman of the band Fourth Son South but I also play guitar for The Fake Leather Blues Band, guitar and vocals for Hoot ‘n Anny and several projects. Oh, and I also play solo shows. 

What country and region are you from and what is the Alternative / Rock scene like there?

I grew up in the Netherlands and lived a large part of that in the province Zeeland (in the Southwest of the Netherlands). Even though it is a small province, the music scene is very active there. Several of the most popular bands in the Netherlands hail from Zeeland. 

Tell us about your latest release, and upcoming releases.

Both are from Fourth Son South. The latest release was our EP “Machine” in January with the single ‘Tomorrow’s Better’. And 7th October our new single ‘The Cold’ will be released. 

Who have been your greatest influences?

I always find this a difficult question to answer and probably my answer will vary each time it is asked. But let me give it a go: The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Foo Fighters and Red Hot Chili Peppers.

What first got you into music?

I grew up in a musical family where everyone was expected to choose their instrument. But as long as I remember I wanted to play guitar and become a musician. 

If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?

That would probably be Dave Grohl / Foo Fighters

If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?

Of course, I’d love to play any of the big European festivals but maybe that’s just because it would be an indication of how far we are as a band. However, there is this small prestigious yearly festival in Southern Mozambique called STRAB. I’ve played there several times and it is the most wonderful festival I’ve ever been at. 

What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?

I have once been showered with underwear at a gig. Brand new and in all sizes. I really didn’t know where to look. 

If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?

Be kind to one another. Try to be the person your dog thinks that you are. 

If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?

Right now, I’d say Freddie Mercury. He was such a great singer, showman, performer and writer. But so many great artists have left us….

What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?

Doing what I love most, performing in front of people, being able to spend my time honing my craft. And (when we’re not on tour), not having to get up early. I don’t like the long hours we often have to wait at a venue. 

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

It’s an impossible one, but how forever companies (in just about all sectors of the music industry) are trying to maximize their profit at the expense of the musicians. 

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

He he he! Again there will be a different answer each day. Right now, I choose Pink Floyd – “The Wall”.

What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CDs, or Downloads?

I prefer CDs. You have a full album (as opposed to just the singles), there’s album art, lyrics, space for an autograph and they can withstand some rough handling (as opposed to vinyl).

What’s the best gig that you have played to date?

There have been so many memorable ones. Uhm, I think our show at the earlier mentioned STRAB festival is high up there. The atmosphere, the audience and our show were all really nice. 

If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?

I’d probably be working in IT and being very miserable.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

I’m most comfortable around “my people” so apart from my 4 band mates I’d choose one of my best friends. 

What’s next for you?

We all have the feeling that everything in the band is aligning and coming together so we fully expect our complete break out to come through. 

What Social Media / Website links do you use to get your music out to people?

All Links https://linktr.ee/FourthSonSouthLinks 

Facebook & Instagram @FourthSonSouth

Time for a very British question. As an alternative to the humble sandwich, is the correct name for a round piece of bread common in the UK either a Bap, a Barm (or Barm Cake), a Batch, a Bun a Cob, a Muffin, a Roll or a Tea Cake?

Isn’t that a barm?

Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?

We really hope that we can come play at a venue near you soon. And then of course to see you there! Thank you very much.

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Hunting Giants – Mythos

Mythos Album Cover Art

Hunting Giants – Mythos
Self-Released
Release Date: 30/09/2022
Running Time: 44:49

Reviewed by Alex Swift
6/10

The Canadian act Hunting Giants are excellent, but far too frequently maligned. This album features a wide variety of musical styles, from ferocious white-knuckle Metal to soothing ambient compositions laced with melancholy pianos and eerie cello, to gigantic ballads beautifully enhanced by chants, violins, and bells. Mythos examines archetypes that influence our world, both noble and monstrous, as well as the inescapable outcomes that result when these principles are egregiously embraced and exhibited.

The first track is the album’s title song. It resembles a hybrid of Progressive Rock and Alternative Rock. The chorus has vocal harmonies and soulful voices that are enticing. A little heavier and with more Contemporary influences is ‘Ancient Text’. They describe this song as being more of a visceral Metal track, but I’m still not sold on the vocal style. Nevertheless, the energy is quite constant. The brief song ‘Too Big to Kill’ has meter changes and more soulful vocals. The band truly shines in the chorus, eloquently contrasting with the gloomy verses.

On ‘Rituals’, the Alternative sound dominates, although ‘Among Thieves’ boasts one of the strongest melodies and great syncopation. The final orchestral touches are a great touch. The band’s talent is highlighted in the brief song ‘Whispers’, which has a mellow piano, harmonised guitars, and a robust bass line. Another brief tune is ‘Vanguard’. What the band has so far performed is quite original. The heaviness is present, yet occasionally the melodies aren’t fully realised. The classic weighted tones return in ‘Mantle’, albeit I must say that I don’t like the clumsy chord progressions used here. However, ‘Kindred’ stands out because to a powerful, sluggish riff that is wonderfully enhanced by robust bass tones and vibrato vocal harmonies.

The one-minute song ‘Epitaph’ scarcely leaves an effect. However, ‘Into Stone’ is amazing. Cymbals smash and drums roll while the bass nicely chugs along. The riff is what needs the most improvement in this song; it’s a little basic yet successful in that the melodies comes over. A strong riff from ‘Remnant’ is reminiscent of ancient Egyptian monarchs. This tune exhibits some hurry combined with some gloom.  vocals are utilised sparingly. The album’s final track is ‘King of Ashes’. It is the album’s last brilliant moment, with the concept contemplating the worth of a king who rules over ashes, and the instrumentation being imperious and multi-layered at the same time.

Overall, this was a sonically pleasing experience that had a few unusual stylistic fusions. Most of the time, it’s strong enough for Metal enthusiasts as well as being melodic enough for people like myself who adore theatricality. Additionally, they demonstrated some excellent playing. However, I found that thirteen songs lingered a little too long, and occasionally the melodic lines weren’t developed as well as they may have been.  This makes for an exciting if inconsistent listen.


TRACKLISTING:
01. Mythos
02. Ancient Text
03. Too Big to Kill
04. Rituals
05. Among Thieves
06. Whispers (instrumental)
07. Vanguard
08. Mantle
09. Kindred
10. Epitaph
11. Into Stone
12. Remnant
13. King of Ashes

LINE-UP: 
Corey Wharton – Bass
Stephen Atkey – Vocals
Bradley Trivett – Guitar
Daniel Beavington – Drums

LINKS: 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Alex Swift and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Chuck Norris Experiment – This Will Leave a Mark

This Will Leave A Mark Album Cover Art

Chuck Norris Experiment – This Will Leave a Mark
Transubstans Records 
Release Date: 18/09/22
Running Time: 35:00 
Review by Paul Hutchings
7/10

 
It’s Nicolas Cagefighter that takes the best or worst band name of 2022. Running them a close second is Chuck Norris Experiment. But dear reader, don’t be confused by action heroes, for this Chuck Norris is not the lone wolf martial arts expert, but the legendary American blues guitarist Charles “Chuck” Norris. Having cleared that up there is hell of a history to explore with the Swedish outfit, for the band have a discography that reads like my wife’s shopping list. Yep, it’s pages long, although there is less wine on it.

CNE formed eighteen years ago and have released numerous singles and nine full-length albums. I confess they’ve not crossed my radar, so we’re going in blind on album number ten. With a tour record that reads like a festival line-up, it’s evident that they have something about them.

It’s a short release, twelve songs shoehorned into thirty-five minutes, and it opens with a banger. ‘Dirtshot’, all swagger and sleaze, gets the toes tapping. It’s a raucous mix of Glam and Hair Metal with an undercurrent of Punk and Motörhead giving it a bit of heft. Ironically the band photos that accompanied this release belie their sound, albeit the dominant factor of dual guitars which grab the attention from the opening riff. 

You can pogo your arse off to ‘Landslide’, which features members of Sator. It’s vibrant, punchy, and ideal for a night out. The riffs keep flying, the pace is maintained and although the delivery is rudimentary, there is a certain appeal to the no-bull attitude that flows through the band. 

Most tracks are viciously short, at around two minutes each, so there isn’t time to mess around. Longer tracks do exist, such as ‘Spin it Round’, with its choppy guitar riff and driving bass line pushing the song along. It’s anthemic, bubble-gum Hard Rock with catchy hooks and choruses that refuse to leave hours later. It’s impossible not to nod along to this band. 

Leaving with a curved ball in the shape of the ballad ‘New Day Rising’, for me one of the weakest tracks here, there’s a lingering enjoyment left hanging. The sheer exuberance of a band after eighteen years certainly is impressive. Live, I’d imagine they are a scream. Beers and sweat a plenty. And that’s probably where they would work best.  

TRACKLISTING:
01. Dirtshot
02. Landslide
03. Kill The Night
04. In For the Kill
05. Turning Me Inside Out
06. Benefit Of the Doubt
07. Hand Grenade
08. This Will Leave a Mark
09. Spin It Round
10. Devils Lake
11 Bad Blood
12 New Day Rising  

LINE-UP:
Chuck Ransom – Vocals
Chuck The Ripper – Guitar
Chuck Dakota – Bass
Chuck Buzz – Drums
Chuck Rooster – Guitar

LINKS:

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Paul Hutchings and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.
 

EMQs With Ross Harding

EMQs With Ross Harding

Hi everyone! Welcome to another EMQs interview, this time with South African Singer/Songwriter, Ross Harding. Huge thanks to him for taking part.

For those yet unfamiliar with you, please share with more about you, what you play, the bands you play in, and overall, more about your history?

I’m a Rock / Blues Rock singer-songwriter from Johannesburg, South Africa. In my own band, the Ross Harding Band, I’m responsible for lead vocals and guitar, and am the lead singer and rhythm guitarist in Fear Of Falling. 

I became obsessed with Rock music at a young age, and that obsession (plus a bit of a rebelliousness) inevitably lead me to the electric guitar, which has been the most important part of my life ever since. I started singing later on, after listening to bands like Seether, Metallica, Black Sabbath, Soundgarden, and then onto blues and blues rock artists like Led Zeppelin, Howlin’ Wolf and BB King, where my passion for vocals, blues guitar and performing live was born.

What country and region are you from and what is the Metal / Rock scene like there?

Johannesburg, South Africa. In my opinion the Rock and Metal scenes operate independently. The general Rock music industry in SA is quite small, but it does have loyal followers. Great venues in the country are spread out quite far, so it takes bigger events to bring people together. As a touring musician I’ve seen a lot of the country and feel that it’s important to preach my music as widely as possible. Being in front of audiences has been my best way to build my fanbase, but it’s work that needs to be done consistently. There are fans of commercial Rock, all the way through to Death and Black Metal, so the task is finding those fans and inviting them to join our family.

Tell us about your latest release, and upcoming releases.

Earlier in 2021 I released my debut EP, “Rest & Resurrection”, although I’ve been a professional in the music industry for almost 10 years, having played in various Rock and Blues Rock bands throughout my career. The “Rest & Resurrection” EP was my first time creating and releasing music as a “solo” artist (although I perform live with my insanely talented bandmates – Merrick Kyle, our bassist and Matt Rennie, our drummer). The next EP is called “Chapter II” and I feel it’s a more mature sound, even though it was recorded less than a year after the first EP. There’s definitely growth in its sound, and artistically I’m really proud to be releasing it. I think Rock fans, Blues Rock fans, even fans of heavier music will be into it. The first single ‘Love & Time’ is out on the 16th of September, and the full EP will be available on the 4th of November.

Who has been your greatest influences?

Soundgarden & Chris Cornell, Alice In Chains, Seether, Metallica, BB King, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Mastodon, Gary Clark Jr, Kings Of Leon, Blues Music (and Blues Guitar in general), just to name a few. These artists and musical styles have all added a lot of value to how I play and think about music.

What first got you into music?

I can’t exactly remember the moment, but I remember hearing bands like Metallica when I was young, around 9 or 10 years old, especially the earlier albums like “Master Of Puppets”, and just becoming absolutely obsessed. I also remember Eric Clapton’s “Unplugged” album when I was about 4 or 5, and that having a profound effect on me.

If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?

Oh man, there are so many. Probably one of my heroes like Gary Clark Jr, Seether / Shaun Morgan. It depends on what I want to create. I’m into so many styles and love so many bands that I’d love to work with, from Kings Of Leon to The Neighbourhood, to Jerry Cantrell – I’d love to perform vocals on a Jerry Cantrell track, write some insane Rock music for a series or movie with one of these artists. I will endeavour to do that in the future!

If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?

Man, tough question, but it’s definitely a festival in the USA. It’s my dream to break into the US industry and play some of the biggest fests in the world.

What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?

So far nothing weird, to be honest. I’ve had birthday cakes, books for lyrics, bottles of whiskey (although I’ve been sober for 3 years now, ha-ha) so I’ve been lucky and blessed by my fans 😊

If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?

I’m just really grateful to be able to share my music and my art with them 😊

If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?

No one! I think bringing someone back from the dead might be really selfish 😊 (who knows what the afterlife is like, right?). To humour this question, however, I would have loved to watch Soundgarden with Chris Cornell.

What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?

I love everything about it. That started with me just loving the guitar. I still play guitar for hours every day. I love recording, writing, performing. I even love long full day rehearsals and press and interviews – it’s all part of the industry. I wouldn’t say I hate anything really. Maybe admin like social media and constantly trying to get my music heard, but it’s just part of the challenge I suppose.

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

More empathy and respect for one another.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

“Superunknown” by Soundgarden. Absolute masterpiece.

What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CDs, or Downloads?

I grew up with CDs, so for me that was what I knew. I loved my CDs so much. I think it really depends on what you want out of the listening experience.

What’s the best gig that you have played to date?

They’ve all got moments. I think that’s why I keep doing this. 

I’ve had amazing shows on big stages, but also tiny venues packed with fans can be incredible. All depends on the vibe of the audience and the band.

If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?

I might have gone into psychology. Probably criminal psychology. Extremely fascinating.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Beethoven, Russell Brand, Keith Richards, Jordan Peterson, Christian Bale.

What’s next for you?

Studio, tour, write, record, repeat. I wanna create and release the absolute best possible art and music that I can and share that with the world.

What Social Media / Website links do you use to get your music out to people?

All Links –  www.linktr.ee/rossharding 
Website www.rosshardingmusic.com 
Facebook @rosshardingofficial 
Instagram @rosshardingofficial

Time for a very British question. As an alternative to the humble sandwich, is the correct name for a round piece of bread common in the UK either a Bap, a Barm (or Barm Cake), a Batch, a Bun a Cob, a Muffin, a Roll or a Tea Cake?

I have no idea! I’m gonna have to phone a friend.

Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?

Thank you so much for this platform! I really am grateful to be able to share this with people, I hope the readers out there get in touch. Thanks to you all for the support. 😊

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Pistols at Dawn – Ascension

Ascension Album Cover Art

Pistols at Dawn – Ascension
Megaforce Records
Release Date: 19/08/22
Running Time: 33:00 
Review by Paul Hutchings
7/10

Formed in Atlanta, Pistols at Dawn are something of an internet sensation. Read any report about them and you’ll see an astonishing number of hits on their songs via streaming services. More than six million apparently. I recalled reviewing their EP “Nocturnal Youth” for another site just over 12 months ago, noting that the band combined a swagger and enthusiasm which made their music enjoyable. 

Their debut full-length continues in the same vein, with big chunky riffs and singalong anthems making it easy to see how they have achieved popularity, despite bringing little new to the table. That’s not to say this isn’t good stuff, for the musical performance is slick and confident, the songs catchy, and the performances all round of the stellar quality. Vocalist Cris Hodges channels his inner Myles Kennedy, at times echoing the Alter Bridge frontman, in a fine performance. 

The songs have their roots in the classic rock vibe, but with a powerful contemporary style that allows them to linger in the mind. ‘Keep Me Guessing’ for example, has a chorus that will refuse to leave when asked, whilst the opening song ‘Under the Surface’ brings a powerful opening to the album. This song  echoes a slightly slowed down Linkin’ Park feel, with emotional lyrics and a slightly nu-metal flavour. These are songs designed for arenas and big tour packages, and it’ll be interesting to see where they go from here.

The songs are short and snappy, instant enough to make an impression first time around, but also worth revisiting several times to enjoy again and again. The closing duo of ‘Get Away’ and ‘The Dictator’ certainly have a jump to them, both varying in tempo and intensity. With plenty of hooks, delicious melodies, and songs that will get people moving, Pistols at Dawn’s debut has plenty to recommend it.

‘Voices’ Official Video 

TRACKLISTING:
01. Under the Surface
02. Fly
03.Keep Me Guessing
04. For You
05. The Truth
06. Gravity
07. Get Away
08. Dictator

LINE-UP:
Adam Jaffe – Drums
Denis White – Guitar
Billy Sullivan – Bass
Tony Richardson – Guitar
Cris Hodges – Vocals

LINKS:

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Paul Hutchings and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.