Review: “Thrown To The Floor” by VALA

We were fortunate enough to be sent VALA’s first single “Thrown To The Floor” by their lead singer, Joe. We’d like to start our review by thanking Joe for sending this our way. Here goes!

The song starts off with a nice intro, a good bit of guitar and drums – a very nice guitar lick by the way. The build up just shortly after had us thinking it would be kicking off with a nice guitar riff, but alas it did not. The vocals were anti-climatic for this kind of build up. The band self styles themselves as a “rock” band but it is clear from this track they are not, they are more “indie-pop” than rock. That kind of misplaced genre labelling is like calling Van Halen a “heavy metal band” – they’re rock. It’s just not true. But anyway, on that note – we weren’t sure if the lyrics “Hit the ground running” in the chorus was a nod to Van Halen. Judging by the sound and feel of this song, it’s definitely not. The track itself is very bass heavy and the lyrics of the song are pretty industry standard, as indeed the structure and styling of the overall song – this song has ended up adding to an over-saturated market in the music industry.

There is some kind of breakdown after the first minute, only to have a completely different feel for the chorus. We were expecting some kind of guitar solo to follow along from the intro – but this wasn’t the case, we just had more of the same. The vocals towards the end were pretty well done though.

We were sent a link to their “official video” – at first you’re immediately certain this is VALA’s video as their band logo is right at the centre of the shot. We have seen this kind of logo with many other bands that sound and look very similar across the UK. Jack Grindrod made a visual masterpiece however, the scenic shots throughout the video were excellent and we are confident that Jack has a clear future in filming and directing music videos. It’s just a shame that this song sounds more of the same all of us tend to hear at many live venues across the UK. In other words – “Nice video, shame about the song”.

Overall it is a well mixed piece of music – it’s worth listening to if you’re into the indie scene. Otherwise it’s just more of the same.

You can follow VALA on Facebook, Instagram and their website

You can also listen to VALA’s debut single “Thrown To The Floor” on Spotify and iTunes

Review: “Autobiography of a Faker”

Straight outta Stouffville comes Peter M Mahahead with his 17 track album “Autobiography of a Faker”, this is perhaps one of the longest albums/releases we’ve reviewed thus far. It’s a very sombre album with some nice pick-me-ups around the halfway mark. We’re going to be brief here as we don’t want to spoil this album for you, it is 17 songs after all. Anyway! Without further ado here’s our review:

1. “The Faker”

This track is a very interesting piece, it has a kind-of musical theatre vibe to it. Some nice vocal melodies to compliment this track.

2. “Friends and Lovers”

The guitar used on this track has a very nice, clean, tone – it’s backed up by a very melodica bass track as well. Very good vocals on this one, there’s definitely a hint of Ivan Doroschuk (from Men Without Hats) but here Peter sings much better. Sorry Ivan. So much funk is going on with this track, nice.

3. “Sonnet Variations”

The melodic guitar track compliments the vocals very well, there’s some interestingly placed synth with some electric drums – a great touch. Overall this is a very interesting track – the song concludes calmly.

4. “Trendsetter”

Peter certainly had us at first but this track turned out very nice as it went along. Unexpectedly groovy! This is certainly our favourite of the album.

5. “Integral Song Theory La La La”

When this song started we thought this was some slowed down version of “Can’t Get You Out of My Head” – oh how we were wrong! This song is brilliantly composed with great bass, guitar and keyboard accompaniment with a very excellent sax solo included.

6. “The Seer”

Peter demonstrates his guitar playing here, nicely done. Vocals appear to be at the back of the mix which is laying background to the guitar rather than the other way around, very ambitious. This track begins the more Sombre feel of the album.

7. “Zooey Wrote The Letter”

There’s a good element of harmonica in this, well pulled off – the guitar and piano work well together. The song feels like a tribute to Bob Dylan’s earlier work.

8. “Starving Footprints”

This is a track that Bill Wurtz should seriously consider covering. Very nice, and well pulled off.

9. “The Playwright Oscar”

Very similar to Track 7, really quite a serious track and quite low-profile in terms of the vocals. Following along the sombre feel of this part of the album.

10. ” The Bird of Paradise”

22 seconds of a nice orchestral-esque piece. A little break from the sombre mood.

11. “The Politician Anne”

Sounds of war at the beginning, the track is definitely about war – or what we can make from the vocals, mentions of Gaza Strip and some anecdote about cancer. Perhaps a commentary of war?

12. “The Painter Vincent”

We weren’t really sure about this track, it seemed to follow along the theme and indeed sounded similar to other tracks on this album.

13. “The Poet Leonard”

A very nice pick-me-up at the start, really a nice draw in and then it drops off. A nicely mixed track with various instruments panning around your speakers!

14. “The Writer Gertrude”

Again, following along the exact compositions of the last few songs, it’s a sombre one! The difference is a theme recurring around five dollars.

15. “The Novelist Ernest”

So a slight variation here, there is some kind of pick-me-up in this track after the last few tracks. There’s a very grunge-kinda vibe that is in this track. The middle of the song features a well put together piano solo.

16. “The Narrator Virginia”

This track goes straight back to the sombre feel of the previous tracks.

17. “The Sophist Francis”

The final track, it just has the same feel as the previous few songs. That’s all we can really say.

Thanks to Peter for sending us his album and the artwork for use as part of this review! This was certainly one of the longer and more ambitious series of works we’ve reviewed.

You can purchase his music here, you can find him on Spotify and YouTube. Follow him on Twitter.

Autobiography of a Faker was released on July 22nd 2017 by Peter M Mahahead. 

Review: “Youth” by We’re No Heroes

Next month, We’re No Heroes will be releasing their new single “Youth” via Spiral Icon. We’ve been fortunate enough to have a listen, we were very impressed to say the least! The song has maximum funky vibes and is just a great song all around.

It starts off with a very chilled intro before getting right into it, wasting no one’s time. The chorus is just bliss, the guitar work is incredible and the bass track just rolls and really compliments the entire song. There are vocal harmonies that will make your ears melt that pop up here and there.

Towards the end of the song there’s a perfectly placed breakdown with a cracking bit of funk guitar, honestly a work of genius – at least that’s what we thought!

We honestly can’t get enough of this song and it will definitely be on repeat when it’s finally released to the general public.

It’s a solid 5/5 from us.

We’d like to thank We’re No Heroes’ manager, Adam Whitmore for sending this along to us and we’d also like to thank the band for the work they put into this song and for providing us with a fine bit of music. We look forward to hearing more!

You can follow We’re No Heroes on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and be sure to check out their website! Their song will be released September 1st 2017 via Spiral Icon. 

Album Review: Touch of Blue

Last year, guitarist extraordinaire, Bill Hart released his album “Touch of Blue”. This album is nothing short of genius and contains some of the best Jazz-Fusion pieces you will ever hear. Bill has an impressive resume, training under the likes of greats such as Mike Stern and has opened for the likes of Herbie Hancock. He is currently the head of the guitar department at the Atlanta Institute of Music & Media. It’s safe to say he is one busy bloke!

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Without further adieu, here is our take on Bill’s masterpiece.

1. “Deep Skies”

Bill starts this great album with this groovy masterpiece, the piano playing and bass solo (later on in the track) are really complimentary of each other. Makes for some great listening and is definitely one of the defining pieces of this album. This is very well composed and definitely sets us up for the rest of the album

2. “That’s Purdy”

This track hits us like a groove train, during the track there are some nice chords and the main riff works very well with the jazzy licks Bill lays down here. Once that’s done it’s back to some good ol’ soloing which just makes this track an exquisite piece of music, honestly we can’t find any fault with this at all. There’s a nice breakdown with some great soloing again then back to the main riff. Bill’s tone is incredible throughout this track.

3. “Inside Job”

As soon as this track starts you can tell it’s a great bit of fusion. There’s a great keyboard solo that kicks in just after the two minute mark. Bill, once again, lays down an impressive guitar solo just after. We had to pick our mouths up off the floor, it’s just incredible. There’s some evidence of slide guitar, or perhaps he’s just using his whammy bar effectively – either way it sounds great!

4. “Lost Parts”

In keeping with what we’ve heard so far, this track continues the jazzy/fusion feel. We sense some legato licks towards the halfway mark that compliments the track very well. Afterwards it picks up and there’s some more jazzy riffage to be heard, honestly it’s just great. (Have we said this album is great yet?)

5. “A Fine Line”

Straight away there’s some great keyboard playing with a nice clean guitar backing, great tone on that. The guitar riffing Bill does here is really funky and very well pieced together with the rest of the track, the outro solo is just remarkable.

6. “Touch of Blue”

The title track itself! Bill’s tone is incredible, he’s got that filthy strat tone with some distortion which really goes well here. The whole track has a great flow with some nice bass parts. This track feels like it would make a great montage track, maybe even in some kind of A-list Spy Movie. The main riff is just sublime. Honestly, we don’t think we can tell you how great this is.

7. “Minor Details”

You probably won’t be surprised, but this track has a very dark feel to it. That’s probably why it’s “MINOR Details” not “major” – get it?! Seriously though, the bass has a great tone and there’s evidence here of some kind of volume swelling from Bill which makes this track all the more remarkable. We’re just running out of words to compliment this album – it’s just too good and “Minor Details” is testament to this fact.

8. “Funky Do Funky Don’t”

The intro to this track is very well done. The keyboard playing in this track really compliments everything else that makes this incredibly funky, don’t say you weren’t warned. This is Funky Do! The bass playing is also incredible. Bill’s solo towards the end is just the cherry that makes this a great fusion sundae.

9. “All I Know”

Just amazing! The harmony of the bass and the guitar will make your ears melt. The guitar riff overall is just incredible. How can ya write something like that? Wow! The whole track is groovy, yet emotional. There’s also a great synthesizer just chilling at the back of the mix which really goes well. You won’t be disappointed.

10. “Swamp People”

This is our favourite track. This is immediately a hit with some great guitar playing, well the whole album is – but this is just the best evidence for it. The breakdown in this track with the synth is, once again, very complimentary of one another. You just can’t go wrong with this track. “Swamp People” makes for possibly the best listening on this entire album, it was tough competition.

11. “Not Now Juangui”

The final track on Bill’s album – it follows the same great audible path that this album has taken. The main riff on this track is great. The organ compliments the composition well. Bill’s use of his tremolo to make some tasty licks are just incredible. To top this off, there’s a great key change at the ends.

We’d just like to give thanks to Bill and to all who worked on this album as well as Blue Canoe Records for releasing it. This was really fun to listen to and review.

Bravo Bill!

You can listen to “Touch of Blue” by Bill Hart via Blue Canoe Records on Spotify and iTunes.

Review: The Dead Captain EP

Although the Captain doesn’t set sail until July 17th, this is something coming at you live off the port bow! We’ve been very lucky to be sent a preview of this great EP and all we’ve got to say really is Aye Aye Captain! Maybe that’s enough of the nautical puns, we’ll see…

1. “This Old Village”

We were really impressed by the nice use of keyboards that come in during the intro. The lyrics are beautifully written and paint a really nice picture in this, somewhat of a subtle social commentary and throughout the entire song (scratch that, the whole EP) the vocals are really impressive – soothing in fact. The acoustic guitar has a really nice tone and is very well played. The addition of an electric guitar in the middle is nice and reinforces the acoustic which is really nice on the ears. The keyboard outro/solo is a very nice fit and the bass line at the end is a nice cherry on the audible sundae that is This Old Village.

2. “Looming Moon”

There’s a very dark feel about this song, but it’s still soothing. The muddy guitar riffs compliment this song very well. Once again, the vocals are very impressive and the lyrics paint a very powerful picture. The guitar solo in this song is very effective and very calm. All in all a very impressive composition.

3. “Who Knows”

The bass slide, oh lordy, that bass slide was the perfect way to start this song. The tone on the guitar is incredible, along with the vocals (again). The drums have a very different feel to the previous two tracks, which is a nice change. Although like with the previous song, it has a very dark feel but it is very soothing. There’s some guitar riffing in the background which is very nicely mixed with the rest of the instruments which adds for an even nicer feel to this already great song.

4. “Toddler Democracy”

Who thought Ronald Reagan was dead? No! The Captain brought him back from Davyy Jones’ Locker! Ah we knew we could fit one more in.

Anyway, the guitar and keyboard playing behind Reagan’s voice is making him sound bearable to listen to. However after he’s done, once again there are some amazing vocals and this time round there’s some very overt social commentary-esque lyrics. Which we feel is refreshing and highlights many issues about politics. We would argue it goes further than just politics on the face of it, but rather the way we conduct ourselves on social media. We could be wrong but we feel that’s coming across. All in all a very eye-opening track. Very powerful, all brilliant.

We’d just like to say thank you to Dan Adams for sending over The Dead Captain EP and also to Stereokill Records.  This was brilliant. Top job.

You can follow The Dead Captain on Twitter and Facebook

The Dead Captain EP will be released on Stereokill Records on July 17th 2017. 

Gig review: CAVENDISH SNIFF

“Hated by your neighbours, loved by your girlfriends…” 

That’s what Cavendish Sniff say about themselves, and we couldn’t put it better ourselves!

Last night at the Hope and Ruin in Brighton, we happened to stumble across what can only be described as a return to raw rock. Edginess in a better light than what most come to expect from Brighton-based bands.

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The Sniff didn’t pull any punches, the lead singer was a return to a David Lee Roth/Vince Neil style of frontman. Immersing himself with the crowd at a point, getting the awe-struck audience involved. Even chucking his beer in the audience. Amazing. The rest of the band were equally amazing. The drummer was tight and very much on point. One of the guitarists had his Les Paul slung way down low, blasting some amazing solos and an impressive chord structures in his playing. The other, with not just an impressive head of hair – but also an Ibanez JEM! Woah! We forgot other guitars apart from edge-lord focused Fenders existed. The bassist was groovy as hell, laying down some impressive backing vocals (as the rest of the band too) and getting the audience involved.

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A big thank you to The Sniff for putting on an amazing show, we’ve seen many bands before we started this blog and this is some tough competition.

As of writing this article, Cavendish Sniff is definitely the best band we’ve seen.

You can find Cavendish Sniff on Twitter and Facebook.

You can also listen to their song “Cat’s Got The Cream” on YouTube

Review: “15 Minutes” by SISTERAY

From Vallance Records come the latest band you need to add to your playlist. This five-track EP is exactly fifteen minutes of pure audible gold.

1. “00:03:08 – Queen’s English”

At first we were surprised to hear her Maj’ talk. But then it turned into something very clever, we felt it was a nod to the Sex Pistols in a way, but with a (dare we say it) modern twist that is sorely needed. Definitely a fuck you to Austerity, or so that’s how we looked at it. Excellent guitar riff opens this up, the vocals are impressive, the bass is rolling and the drums rock on this track.

2. “00:03:00 – Nostalgia Trip”

The guitar has got great tone on this, the excellent work of these guys has an almost Motorhead feel to this. The backing vocals in the chorus absolutely compliment that of the lead singer. Marco (the drummer) sounds like he’s having a great time on the drums!

This track is definitely one of our favourites. We’re very impressed.

3. “00:01:57 – Faaast Food”

The amazing tone on the guitar really sets the song up for the great ride that it is. This song definitely is a commentary on consumer culture and the fast-paced nature of society. Or that’s how we hear it. The guitar solo is very impressive, it’s like a better version of what the flute solo from “Wild Thing” by the Troggs would sound like if played on guitar.

4. “00:03:02 – Famous For Nothing”

Oh my god, when we saw the title of this song – our first thoughts were “is this about Kim Kardashian?” Well when we listened to it, we felt it was a massive fuck you to those morons on Social Media who have fat stacks of cash and not much else to their personality. The outro on the guitar and bass are a dark, and well put together end to this absolute gem.

SISTERAY, you’ve said what we were all thinking – thank you.

5. “00:03:53 – White Knuckle Joyride”

We’ll be open about this, this is our favourite from this release. The vocals, guitar solo – everything is just perfect. This is just brilliant all together, a fine bit of music.

We thought Nostalgia Trip was our favourite, but no! SISTERAY has obviously saved the best of this great release till last.

We’d like to say thank you to Niall, Dan, Marco and Michael for introducing their great music into our lives and to Vallance Records as well.

You can follow SISTERAY on Twitter and Facebook. Listen to “15 Minutes” on Soundcloud and Spotify and thank us later. 

 

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