Wozniak – ‘Pikes Peak’ EP Review

10176247_313586332127494_5135561656356294536_n

Wozniak are a four piece band hailing from glorious Edinburgh in Scotland, it may not be glorious to others but I have always wanted to go. Pikes Peak is the new EP from the band, which takes influences from a number of places creating a special piece of work.

It’s easy for bands to adhere to the normal and play it safe with their music, so it stands more of a chance with a wider audience. Wozniak stuck to their guns with this EP as it seems they had a clear idea of what they wanted the EP to be, and the followed through with it.

‘El Maresme’ is the first track on the EP, and is gripping without being in your face and grabbing you around the throat. The song is an atmospheric which dips into dark places from time to time. Although there are no vocals to cling on to and familiarise yourself with, the song does enough as it has this huge presence when you delve into the high 80’s on your laptop speaker. ‘Paper Hat’ is the best song on the EP without doubt, with its infectious riff, thundering drums and the comforting simplicity the song grabs your attention and keeps hold of it.

The EP does this throughout as each song has a similar formula which works, and the changing of elements for each of them is refreshing. The songs have this hazy outside and only become increasingly blurred the further you go in, but it’s brilliant.

‘Kreuzberg’ would serve well as a hefty soundtrack and is a nice pit stop for the EP. ‘Columbus Car’ picks up the whole EP again as it introduces a  wondrous fuzz that surrounds you, and none use of lyrics adds to the dread the song has. ‘Gasamtkunstwerk’ ends the whole EP on a high with heavy distortion which brings a weird atmosphere to wherever you may be.

The EP is an excellent piece of work that the band can be proud of, as it seems the band carried out and created everything they set out to, which is a testament to their hard work. If you like what you have read and would be interested in purchasing the album, please do by going on http://wozniak.bandcamp.com/album/pikes-peak .

7.0/10

Word by Alex Wise @al4563

 

 

 

Poeticat – Smash the Floor EP Review

artworks-000078282264-rpq44k-t500x500

 

Poeticat are a band that WFM are quite fond of, mainly because of their unconventional style of music and how strange they are. After a streak of singles, Poeticat have finally released their debut EP entitled Smash the Floor, which seems to have been designed to complete exactly that.

Their interesting style of music is it at the heart of the EP, as it features in everything that the band completes. The contrast of the spoken words over heavy guitars and beats work increasingly well, as it is all pieced together nicely and not just thrown together.  This is evident in the opening song ‘Jetty’, as the vocals caress the heavy beat, and tame it, which is brilliant way of mellowing a strong guitar.

This is also happens in the following song ‘Centre of a Concrete Square’, as the words seems to dress up the heavier side of the music, without this it easily could be mistaken for just another rock –pop song, than an experimental one.

‘Rest Reprise’ steps away from this, as it slows everything down and the vocals lose their aggressive edge. This is where Poeticat are at their finest, as a giant microscope go over the vocals and they’re able to deliver, due to them being their best feature. ‘Kind Words Soft Kill’ and ‘3rd Arm’ complete the album, and their style lives on through the songs. ‘3rd Arm’ is a massive stomp on the ear, as it trudges on and the vocals clean it all up.

Smash the Floor is proof that Poeticat are not a one trick pony, and that they are capable of create a stable EP that can take hits, because it will receive them. Of course this will not be for everyone, as they’re use to their good old pop songs, but for the people who can muscle this, they will be able to appreciate this EP for what is, a good piece of work.

Words By Alex Wise @al4563

 

 

Unsigned: Miles Page- ‘White Space Conflict’ EP

artworks-000075196308-ijdzvo-t500x500

Being in a band can be bloody hard work. Artistic differences and overinflated egos can sometimes ruin the delicate fung shui required to make sweet, sweet music. But a musician from Birmingham decided to take away the bullshit and start his own band- all by himself.

White Space Conflict (which was officially released last April 1st) is Miles Page’s solo project and brain child of the past year or so. What makes this album totally unique is that Page provides all the vocals, instruments and computerised sounds you hear on the EP.

A genre which he describes as, ‘conservatory blues beat’, the whole sound of the album is very chilled and a little bit moody. Exploring themes from prostitution to interpersonal relationships, the lyrics paint compelling and romanticised ideas which reflects Miles own opinions and experiences. The vocals contrast yet compliment the uncomfortable and often erie sounds present on the album.

Before releasing the whole EP, Miles had been teasing his Facebook and twitter followers with previews to tracks and earlier in March he announced his first single, The Social Worker. A song about mental health and challenging relationships, the songs is probably one of Miles most personal and compelling. Computerised vocals and reversed guitars modernise what would otherwise be a very classic throwback to earlier blues and alternative rock.

Speaking to him in his studio, he explains to me the writing process, “I started writing and mucking about with sounds and ideas for the album nearly a year ago I guess. I’d come up here (to the studio) where I have no internet access and limited phone signal, and I wrote. I mucked about with sounds and tried things out. The things I talk about are ideas or experiences I’ve had or people I’ve know. The album has changed a lot, it’s had a fair few coats of paint but now it’s there and I’m really pleased.”

My personal favourite track on White Space Conflict is a track called ‘YAYAN’ also known as ‘Not As Young As Yesterday’. Probably the most upbeat track on the whole EP, it has an ambient, roots-grove sound to it and Miles tells me the sound was inspired by John Butler, one of his all time favourite musicians.

 

White Space Conflict is now available on Itunes, Spotify, Soundcloud and Amazon. Click the link below to hear the tracks now.

https://soundcloud.com/miles-page

EP Review: Atom Heart – ‘Sleep Patterns’

artworks-000072792633-nmand5-t500x500

After their success with their single ‘Atom Heart’, Go Native have released their debut EP Sleep Patterns, which is a promising piece of work.

Other than having rather an amusing name, ‘Beaten by Butterflies’ is an ideal opener for this EP, and for Go Native. They show their electronic roots by having a haunting riff at the start, mixed with some spaced out vocals and prominent drums.

The vocals are a key theme throughout the EP, as it is those that takes the songs and polished them up every time they grace the track. The second song, ‘Sleep Patterns’, is reminiscent of the drug-addled 80’s, but with a fresh finish and a 20th century gloss over it as explained previously the songs a much more polished, which was never a real thing in the 80’s.

Go Native are increasingly confident with what they do, as they stick with this set out style throughout the EP, which is a brave move as this type of music seems to be slowly decreasing from my email inbox. ‘Napoleon’ has lyrics that are so well worked and descriptive, that it is hard not to paint a picture in your head, and with the music to set the scene, it will take place in space.

‘Atom Heart’ has already featured on this website, but it would be rude not to give it another mention, as it is possibly the stand out song on the EP, as every element seems to be going full throttle, as ‘It’s not yours to take’ is being repeated over and over again.

‘Dunes’ has some impressive guitar work entwined in it, and along with the other instruments, it seems to take the song out there, somewhere. Unfortunately this gets the accolade for the worst song on the EP, as something just doesn’t sit well when listening to it.

The glamorous name ‘Electric Chair’ could win an award for most depressing song name, simply because of the only connotation that comes with it. However the song doesn’t follow this thought, as it seems somewhat inspiring and uplifting, due to the synths and the upbeat drums.

The EP has a number of songs and moments that the band can be undoubtedly proud of, as they seem to outgrow themselves in parts due to how big the songs are. This is also a good campaign for good song production, as it shows that independent bands can sound just as big and polished as some of the mainstream acts out there, which is encouraging to see. Maybe not one for the people who have their ears tuned to guitar bands, however if you are open and willing to listen, it is one to listen too.

7/10

Words by Alex Wise @al4563

 

Loredo – ‘Trawl’ EP Review

1798384_260019940844291_50414844_n-400x400

 

Trawl is the new EP from the North London five-piece Lordeo. The EP is an important one for the band as it is their debut, which as most know, is an important building block for any band.

The album starts off with ‘Habit’, which has a contrast of vocals with male vocals being well supported my female vocals, as they add this high pitched harmonies. The song carries a sing-a-long vibe with it as it seems to sway from to side, and you could picture the waving of arms in your head.

With a strong start the EP is carried along with ‘Trawl’, which is a twice as heavy as the opener, as the guitar seems to have distortion streaming out of it in the chorus. Once again that sing-a-long quality is there, as the chorus could easily be stuck in your head, along with the hook “Trawl Trawl, Trawl through it all”. The song takes a classic structure with each of the verse, chorus and breakdown seem to be in place, along with the big send off at the end. This takes nothing away from the song, as it’ done relatively well.

That sing-a-long quality is a constant theme throughout the EP as the words seem to bounce around with ease as they roll off the tongue. ‘Zany’ is the next track that is presented to us, and is arguably the best song on the album, as the pace and delivery of the song is contagious. As well as this the guitar part in the end wraps up the song relatively well as it gives this vast ending.

‘Walked out on a Wire’ wraps the album up, and after the energy from ‘Zany’ it leaves wanting that again, as the slow and steady start to the song gently drops you in. But often with these songs, patience is the key.  The sign off for the EP is a big, as the volume and drive is brought up a few notches. The vocals help the cause with their constant repeat of “Stick me on your mantel piece ,like all your ex-lovers gives you a release” .

The EP is a strong start for most bands, as this well produced piece of music could match most. However it’s the lack of something unique and distinct that will stop the EP from breaking any boundaries, which is a difficult task to do for anyone.  

6.5/10

Words by Alex Wise @al456

Oh Boy! – EP 1 Review

avatars-000071763035-m498rx-t500x500 

EP’s that start with a large squeal and pumping drums are always promising, because of the raw energy and emotion that is sent across with a single screech. OhBoy  have done this with their debut EP entitled EP1, and the promise was followed up with even more screeching and lo-fi pop songs.

The EP starts off with the amusing title of ‘Love and other Difficulties’, and the pace and confusion is carried out from the first second, and is never dropped. It’s a perfect song to win over most lo-fi lovers, as stomping drums and downed out vocals are delivered with perfection. The brief pause in the middle with the audio of a kid saying “No one listens to that crummy thing anymore” is well placed, as it doesn’t feel forced and deserves a little chuckle before the song blows up again.

‘Hand to Mouth’ takes the duty next, and with the loud screechy sounds at the start, I was already half won over. The poppy riff along with the “Ooooooo’s” work well, and with the odd scream lying around, the song won me over. It is possibly the best produced track on the EP, as every sound that burst seems to be larger than life.

Oh Boy show that they have sense of humour, even though it may be dry with their final song on the EP being called ‘Classic Self Doubt’. Easily the poppiest song on the album, as most of the screeching is lost and some harmonic singing takes place, which is pleasantly accepted.

The EP is a big statement from the Northampton based band, as they show how lo-fi indie rock is showcased to a good standard. Their style could be connected to America’s most interesting band Pavement, with their thrashing and vocal style, however it seems as though Oh Boy have put their own feel around it. We need more, and soon.

LISTEN BELOW

8.0

Words by Alex Wise @al4563

 

Superfood – MAM EP Review

1505184_267605803403813_43005053_n
When a band put out a record that is 75% already released material, it can be hard to get excited about. But when the group are surrounded by as much hype as Superfood have been, it can also be impressively easy to get swept up in all. Sure, the debut EP from the Birmingham four-piece might not hold much that we haven’t heard from them before, but it stands as a worthy testament to everything that they are – and what they are is great fun.
Crafting their songs out of more hooks than you’d find in a bait shop, Superfood certainly know how to keep their audience listening. Guitar-driven tracks with pop sensibilities, echoing with more nostalgia than a nintendo game (well, nearing it), the bands sound has wasted no time in drawing themselves a fan base. Compiling nearly all the tracks the band have released so far (their eponymous debut excluded), the MAM EP is certainly a crowd-pleaser.
 
Re-recorded in all its sprawling glory, ‘TV’ is a storm of infectious riffs, catchy choruses, and raucous energy. ‘Bubbles’ showcases the band at their best – contrasting hefty refrains with intricate melodies and intimate vocals, the track doesn’t let down for an instant. ‘Melting’ opens with the most deliciously bubbling guitar riff you could dream of, but it takes EP closer ‘Houses On The Plain’ to show us something different. Vocals drowning in effects, the track presents a softer, more delicate side to Superfood, along with demonstrating them at their rawest.
Premiering your first track on prime time Radio 1 is a big start for a small-time group, but Superfood have more than filled the boots they laid out for themselves. It would be easy to dismiss them as just another hype band, but with this release, the group have shown that they’re going to be around for a while. Heading out on the road with We Are Scientists, they clearly show no signs of slowing down either. And whilst they keep producing music at this standard, we’re sure that no one is going to argue.
Words by Jess Goodman @alotlikejessica

 

The Sea The Sea – Suba Rosa EP Review

artworks-000059519185-2k2kxr-t500x500

 

Dreampop is risky business. You could record your album in a garage and hope it works, your music could get boring after 5 songs into your album, you could even shower your project with so much reverb it’d give the listener a headache. But mix solitary dreampop with post punk, along with influences of lucid dreaming, Roald Dahl, and a band who made possibly the most heart wrenching concept album of all time; well you’re onto something there, aren’t you?

I honestly can’t remember the last time the opening track of a project got me as hooked as The Sea The Sea’s has. The sweet leads and (furious/lonely/depressing/everything I could ever hope for in a voice) baritone are pinnacle highlights for Sub Rosa. But these vital elements compliment each other throughout the whole EP. Don’t ever think The Sea The Sea only pull off their shit for a single or two, oh no…they know what they’re doing. They know exactly what they’re doing. ‘These Shadows’ boasts relentless amounts of jangle-pop, a gorgeous melody…it’s a wonder why Captured Tracks haven’t got their hands on these guys yet. Layered, well planned, well played, with the cleanest production holding hands with that dirty bass in the verse – a brilliant start.

Track 2 ‘System Sleep‘ is also pretty special. The vocalist completely submits to confession after an emotional enough verse to belt out “and this is my soul shaking.”  Repeated over and over again. Reminiscent of The XX all over the place, a bit of folk music here and there; despite the change in pace to the previous song it’s still quite lovely. The (mostly) inevitable decline of the EP comes at the next track. There just seems to be a loss in spark on ‘What Came Before’.  The majority of the song is quite cheesy, the chorus doesn’t shout anything interesting, in fact I’d go as far as saying it sounds like a hymn. That’s not to say there aren’t great parts to this song, though. The actual climax of the song does drive it somewhat forward, and the verse is awfully catchy.

Sub Rosa ends with the fitting name of ‘Anemone’. Starting soft and quiet, and ending louder, harder, angrier; reminds me of Interpol’s The New. Contrary to The New though, ‘Anemone’ has no awe inspiring bass line, in fact a very minimal bassline. And with a song that should create a thunderous end to such a stellar EP, ‘Anemone’ feels somewhat half baked without the noticeable bass and deep element to the song. The closer is built up by light cymbal crashes, solos, and reverb that makes me shiver. Vocalist whispers about the oddness and eventual explosive end to relationships, “at least if we were still passionate, we could be deafened by heartbeats”, which then actually leads to him replicating that same explosive end with his voice. Bitter and emotional, but somewhat truthful.

If I had any more negative points to say about The Sea The Sea’s Sub Rosa, it’d only be the slightly off pitch vocals, and the strange falsetto vocals in between the thunderous baritone. But really, The Sea The Sea have made something very special here indeed. The production is so clean and these lads know what they’re doing to point. Almost miraculously, reverb isn’t overused but neither does it sound out of place. They’re tight, succinct, clever, and just really fucking emotional. The mood is melancholy, the singing is melancholy, the lyrics are melancholy, but if melancholy sounds this beautiful, give it to me everyday.

7/10

LISTEN FOLLOW LIKE

Soundcloud 

Twitter 

Facebook

Words by Saagar Kaushik

@bhench0d

Armchair Committee – Imola EP – Review

Imola

Intro

Amrchair Committee are three-piece alternative rock band from Bristol. Starting out in 2011 the band said that they had one simple goal in mind to ‘make raw, loud, alternative rock, and to leave a trail of ringing ears in their wake’. The year following the band’s conception, they started gigging, and had the chance to  share the stage with a varied range of British and international acts such as Tubelord, Jim Lockey & The Solemn Sun,  along with this they played a number of Summer festivals including Worcester Music Festival, Hullabaloo Festival and Brisfest. At the same time they were reciving foo feedback from the music press, and being heralded as an ‘outstanding’ live band and ‘one to watch’ by BBC Introducing. After releasing some home demos, they got into Courtyard studio, where Radiohead have recorded, to work on ‘Imola’ the EP, which I’ve had the joy of listening to first.

In the band:

Tom Hackwell – Guitar, Vox
Dave Larkin – Bass, Vox
Dan Frost – Drums, Vox

‘Imola EP’

The EP starts with the extremely heavy ‘Boxcutter’ (Which you can listen to), which is bursting at the seems with catchy little riffs, loud sounding drums a sound so big it would make the Eiffel Tower look quite small. As well as all of the this noise and chaos in the opener you also have a nice break down part in the song, which works quite well because of Tom’s vocals. After the first couple of seconds of ‘Boxcutter’ you think it’s some heavy metal band because of the guitar, but shortly after that part they show they’ve got some melody and direction, oh and top this song off, the drum part at the end is special. ‘Codeine (A Plan Of Sorts)’ is the song that follows, which brings the pace down, with harmonies floating here and there. However there are some dark and daunting parts to this song that you never really expected at the start of the song. This well composed pieces is graced with a solo to tear people’s ears off, after listening to it a number of times, it’s convinced me that it should be in some top 10 solo list, purely because of the pace and scalding sound. As well as all of those elements of possibly my favourite song on the EP, the name is amusing to, A Plan Of Sorts. So how do you follow two songs like that, relatively heavy, with some guitar parts that stick out like a saw thumb (Maccabees Reference). Well they followed it with the song ‘To Arms’, a six minute blissful song, which starts with light floaty intro and is resolved by one of the biggest solos on the EP, just before they sing ‘Down to Imola’. There’s two parts to the song, which is split by this sudden stop and after that stop that’s where it gets interesting and where Tom starts working on the guitar, something that he’s done throughout the EP. The husky vocals compliment the song perfectly and help round off the EP perfectly. This is a piece of work that everyone should have the joy of listening to.

LIKE FOLLOW LISTEN

Facebook

Twitter

Soundcloud

Blind Drivers – It’s been a long time EP Review

EP2Introduction

This band got in touch with me a while back (I type that so much, becoming a bit of a catchphrase), and asked me if I could review their new EP, ‘It’s been a long time’, and after listening to it I was swung and I had to complete the review. The band hail from Sheffield, and taking in many influences which range from Reverend and The Makers to Oasis and The Stone Roses, so from that pretty good taste in music (except Rev’s new album). In the band you have:-

Paul Fletcher – Lead Guitar and Vocals

Matt Thompson – Vocals

Joe Doherty – Bass

Louise Patterson – Drums

The band has been together since 2011 and making quite a lot of progress with an arsenal of songs behind them and the willingness to get themselves out there by playing any gig they can. They have been considered to be one of Sheffield’s hardest working band, which you can see by the gigs they have played and the songs they’ve written, because none of those song would just come from a couple of sessions recording, okay on to the EP.

‘It’s been a long time’ EP Review

Apart from the pleasant cover of the EP, and it is because it made me make a cup of tea, the songs on there are quite powerful and catchy. The EP was released on the 2nd February, so a recent update for me. Unfortunately I’m not going to put the songs up on the blog because you will have to pay for them, so get on Itunes and get buying, okay the EP.

The EP is very versatile, the first track that features on their ‘Rich Tea and Sympathy’, was funky with the bassline and the rhythm of the guitar complimenting it, it’s quite Ska’esque with upstrokes of the guitar. Also the lyrics for the song are amusing with lines like ‘She needs some Rich Tea and Sympathy’, those can get stuck in your head for a while. Once I listened to that, I didn’t expect what was coming next with this guitar screaming out of the speakers and these very commanding drums building up a very good tempo.

156255_564077960273624_2054674123_n

‘Safe from Tigers’ is probably one of my favourite songs on the EP, because of how powerful it is instrumentally, and if that wasn’t enough it’s glittered with these forceful vocals from Matt which I think play an integral part to this particular song. Once I listened to that song I thought ‘Well anythings possible now, I don’t know what to expect”.  ‘Throwing Darts’ is a brilliant follow up from ‘Safe from Tigers’ because after that you’re quite built up and ready for some more fast-tempo songs. The riff at the start immediately gets you hooked, and it keeps you hooked throughout the whole song. It’s a blazingly well put together song, especially the guitar it’s really tight and well played, really good rhythm guitar.

603255_564078186940268_1642721312_n

The song doesn’t lose tempo throughout all of it until the very last part, I have nothing but respect for this because of how extremely hard it is to keep a fast tempo going for nearly four minutes is quite impressive.  To end the EP you’ve got this song that just slows it all down and brings it to a nice close with the song ‘Slow. Melodically it’s very attractive with the guitar just holding that rhythm and the vocals just gently covering it.

68629_564076886940398_1699015988_n

There’s a certain vulnerability in the vocals and the way the songs sung which sits well with me and makes it that bit more gripping and makes you listen that bit more intently. The lyrics are well written, and it seems to me like that this was written about something quite close to the heart.

Overall

It’s a great EP, one that I will be purchasing as soon as I get a bit money under my belt. I can only see this band doing more good things, as they can only better with time, and I think this EP exposed no weaknesses of theirs at all, because I doubt they have any. Get behind them, and get them out there…

Facebook

Twitter

Website