Albums/EPs

ALBUM: InnerPartySystem – InnerPartySystem

Release Date: September 29th, 2008
Label: Stolen Transmission
Rating: 7/10

Website: www.innerpartysystem.com
MySpace: www.myspace.com/innerpartysystem

InnerPartySystem profile

Admittedly upcoming US rockers InnerPartySystem aren’t creating an incredibly fresh and original sound. Infact, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to create a completely new sound nowadays with the use of Internet giving us better exposure to less commercially accessible bands. But, aslong as the band does what they do well then there’s no issue, and that’s exactly what InnerPartySystem manage to achieve with their self-titled debut effort.

It’s songs like ‘Die Tonight, Live Forever’, ‘Heart Of Fire’ and ‘Last Night In Brooklyn’ that gets your blood pumped and your muscles moving to the beat and rhythms, fueled by the bands energetic industrial electronic tinge upon alternative rock. No doubt there’ll be a few moments that get looped and caught in your head too, creating hooks that bands like Nirvana once achieved back in their day, proving they have the effort to draw the audience in. Then there’s ‘This Town Your Grave’ which is the biggest shove in your face this band have on offer, slowly building up to frontman Patrick Nissley‘s roar of “You will never change!” before immediately shifting into the breakdown mid-section which is as easy to dance along to as it is to start a mosh pit and cause havoc with, creating a moment that even the likes of Nine Inch Nails and Enter Shikari would be proud of. To keep a bit of variety with things, the record doesn’t miss out on more mellow offerings, such as the ‘Obsession’, and the dark and moving atmosphere shining off from ‘This Empty Love’, leaving a bitter meaning behind what should seemingly be a typical love song. Though this album has many pros, it also doesn’t go without its cons, namely the big explosively strong songs at the beginning of the record, before failing to let up quite as well until you’re just halfway through the album.

InnerPartySystem are almost undoubtedly going to swell and grow dramatically if they’re given the proper break to do so, and their debut gives evidence that they deserve such recognition and attention, with its strongest moments easily making up for those slightly weaker ones.

Written by Zach Redrup

Read More

SINGLE: InnerPartySystem – Don’t Stop

Release Date: June 30th, 2008
Label: Stolen Transmission
Rating: 8/10

Website: www.innerpartysystem.com
MySpace: www.myspace.com/innerpartysystem

InnerPartySystem profile

We all know by now that the combination of dance music with rock isn’t a newly introduced invention. Right back from when The Prodigy hit it big on the scene, up to the recent rise of Enter Shikari. Like other bands following a similar path, InnerPartySystem aren’t creating anything fresh or unknown to the music scene, but they are good at what they do, and ones to keep an eye on.

Debut single ‘Don’t Stop’ is a stomping track against today’s media and entertainment, delivering as much aggression as sincerity in an even dosage, and setting an impression that they a serious and emotional band in what they do. What’s more, the single shows the band’s ability to write a catchy chorus and pre-chorus that are likely to be stuck in your head for hours on end, and that’s not a bad thing. The bridge section is also one crafted to upmost perfection, slowing building up to kick you right back into the chorus, while vocalist Patrick Nissley sings the line “Dear future, I bought you. I own the rights.” in a calm yet furious fashion.

No, they’re not pioneers of any kind, but they deliver exciting and aggressive music with this single, with an in-built catchy and rememberal chorus. Prepare to hear more of these very soon!

Written by Zach Redrup

Read More

ALBUM: In This Moment – The Dream

Release Date: April 13th, 2009
Label: Century Media
Rating: 7/10

Website: www.inthismoment.com
MySpace: www.myspace.com/inthismoment

In This Moment profile

In This Moment are often known – and remembered by fickle listeners – due to lead vocalist Maria Brink, her combination of high-pitched banshee screams and growls combined with her melodic and harmonic vocals keeping a easy-to-recognise mark on the band’s material.

After the bludgeoning juggernaught that was brought upon us with previous album ‘Beautiful Tragedy’, sophomore album ‘The Dream’ from In This Moment takes a step back from the darkness, into a lighter hard rock approach. Lead single ‘Forever’ is an instant display of this change, bringing heaviness to a minimal and showing the talent of this band with less force. As ever with In This Moment, guitar solos offered from Chris Howorth are as exceptional as ever, such as that shown in ‘You Always Believe’ and ‘A Dying Star’, making sure that Maria doesn’t always steal the show from the male latter. ‘All For You’ is another strong point in the album, giving the perfect blend of harmony and musicianship to prove evidence enough of this band’s progression from their 2007 debut. Things are also made much softer than they ever really were on their previous effort. The album’s title-track is a perfect example of the melodic metalcore 5-piece being a little too melodic to keep the second-half of that genre classification. But, as they approach the more shallow regions of heavy water, they also hit the deeper ends with the likes of ‘The Great Divide’ and ‘Her Kiss’, showing the full potential and reckoning held in Maria‘s throat-scraping vocal work. With all this in place though, and the great variation and evolution this band have clearly gone through, ‘The Dream’ just seems on the end of it all to be an album that can be over-played pretty quickly.

‘The Dream’ is definitely an album to be sought after if you have their previous effort, or if you’re just a general fan of melodic metalcore. But don’t expect this album to be stuck on repeat in your CD player for months on end.

Written by Zach Redrup

Read More

SINGLE: In This Moment – Forever

Release Date: April 6th, 2009
Label: Century Media
Rating: 7/10

Website: None available
MySpace: www.myspace.com/inthismoment

In This Moment profile

After only a short period of time from their last album release, female fronted metal band In This Moment come back again with their second album ‘The Dream’, and lead single ‘Forever’ is a fantastic display of melodic metal.

The simple yet effectively loveable guitar riff opening reels you into what is an evolution and progression of what you’d find on a good amount of their previous material. It has an accessible element that manages to steer far away from the expectations of mainstream to keep it alternative and respected in their scene. Maria Brink‘s vocals have improved too, making for an insatiable performance and thirst to recite the chorus lyrics “Forever starts today / Forever we will be / Forever’s every day / Forever faithfully” everytime. The structure and blend of mellow and melodic and oozes of rock back and forth only add to the quality of the single, boosted with a short yet masterful guitar solo from Chris Howarth.

‘Forever’ almost dabbles towards mainstream, but stays very well in its intended metal scene. No matter what it is, this single is a fucking stormer.

Written by Zach Redrup

Read More

SINGLE: In Case Of Fire – This Time We Stand

Release Date: November 10th, 2008
Label: Search And Destroy
Rating: 7/10

Website: www.incaseoffire.co.uk
MySpace: www.myspace.com/incaseoffire

In Case Of Fire profile

As always, there are many rising acts in the music industry that just keep growing and growing. It’s a shame though that not all of them make it to a point of great recognition. But, In Case Of Fire may just be one from the latter that reaches the goal.

The band’s debut single ‘This Time We Stand’ shows off a band that wants to make it to the top, but do it without selling out and with their own sound. Adopting sounds across a board of bands like Lostprophets, Muse, Funeral For A Friend, and Feeder, the chugging menace riffs and soulful yet aggressive vocal work adds up to a great and powerful single release that should put them on the radar for a few new unaware fans out there.

Warning: In Case Of Fire are hot ones to look out for.

Written by Zach Redrup

Read More

ALBUM: Iglu & Hartly – & Then Boom

Release Date: September 29th, 2008
Label: Mercury Records
Rating: 2/10

Website: www.igluandhartly.com
MySpace: www.myspace.com/igluandhartly

Iglu & Hartly profile

If you’re a fan of amazing music that has truly amazing musicianship, meaningful lyrics, and is powered by passion and emotion both vocally and instrumentally then you’re best avoiding ‘& The Boom’, the debut full-length album from chart bothering group Iglu & Hartly. They’ve managed to enter the mainstream charts recently with their latest single release, but upon hearing what they have on offer it makes you wonder how they even got in there at all.

Perhaps the above was a tad harsh, as to be truthful there are moments where ‘& Then Boom’ would be considered a good piece of work from a hard-working band. The fact that it’s unarguable to say their tunes are really catchy, thanks to the inclusion of programmed electronic sounds, and pleasurable synthesized hooks that will no doubt keep the pop fans happy. However, as some people would say, you can’t really polish a turd. Everything encased in those electronic layers isn’t far from awful, and as shown in ‘DayGlo’, their music seems a little bit outdated to our time. Yeah, 1980’s fashion is ‘in’ at the moment, but that doesn’t mean 1980’s music is coming back. At times the vocal work from Jarvis Anderson and Sam Martin isn’t too far from a pre-puberty version of Phil Collins, especially in ‘Build’ and ‘People’. But, on a more positive note, their chart-breaking hit ‘In This City’ is probably the only thing that would be close to a gem on the whole record, and most of you might even be bored of that now with the amount of times its been aired on the radio. The chorus line is one that’ll probably get caught in your head though, or at least the line “… in this city”.

Iglu & Hartly have entered the charts with ‘In This City’, but with an achievement like that possible it makes you wonder how the public even thinks the music this band make is good enough to purchase as many copies to get them there. As said before, their material is incredibly catchy, but that doesn’t quite cover up how pants everything else is. ‘& Then Boom’ might be a contender for one of the worst debuts of 2008.

Written by Zach Redrup

Read More

SINGLE: Ida Maria – Oh My God

Release Date: January 26th, 2009
Label: Sony BMG
Rating: 7/10

Website: www.idamaria.co.uk
MySpace: www.myspace.com/idamaria

Black Lips profile

Britain has certainley caught onto the current indie/indie rock style being pushed into the mainstream at the moment, including the fashion style aswell as the music and artists. One of which Ida Maria is one of these popular acts, and is still on the rise, hoping to boost further with ‘Oh My God’.

It has everything a single needs to help hook onto the public’s eager ear; repeated lyrics and lines, rock and quieter sections ever interchanging, and a radio-friendly voice similar to that of Kate Nash. Despite it having all the makings of a successful single, which it undoubtedly will be, you can’t help but think that perhaps ‘Oh My God’ is a little bit bland, and that Ida Maria could’ve tried releasing a new single as opposed to re-releasing this one.

Written by Zach Redrup

Read More

SINGLE: I Left You For Summer – Play Dead, Wear A Mask

Release Date: August 1st, 2008
Label: Unsigned
Rating: 9/10

Website: None available
MySpace: www.myspace.com/ileftyouforsummer

I Left You For Summer profile

Not long after releasing their debut EP, I Left You For Summer are soon back with another piece of alternative rock revealing talent can crop up from the smallest and most unknown places of the UK.

In such a short space of time, the band have gotten nothing but better with their musicianship and songwriting skills. Opening with a slow paced string section over a mellow guitar riff and vocal teamwork of Rob Scrannage and Stuart Williams, delivering dark lyrics with a beutiful deliverance. It soon explodes into the main rythm of the song, again with dark lyrics like “Maybe you were misinformed / The cancer isn’t in your lungs” and “Spilling your guts across the bathroom tiles” bringing a bit of horror into the frame.

It’s not long before we soon see how the musicianship quality increases, with an impressive guitar solo and moment of chaos before being brought back down to Earth, again shot with dark and spiteful lyrics from Rob like “This is gonna hurt like a bitch” and “Let’s be honest, you deserve it”, before being thrown back into the violence again and brought to the end.

With a single like this, it makes you wonder if there’s any other undiscovered UK talent like I Left You For Summer. If the band can cook up something to this degree and improve so dramatically so quickly, who knows what else is on the cards for them.

Written by Zach Redrup

Read More

EP: I Left You For Summer – Midnight In A Dream

Release Date: April 27th, 2008
Label: Unsigned
Rating: 9/10

Website: None available
MySpace: www.myspace.com/ileftyouforsummer

I Left You For Summer profile

From the smaller and less-known areas of Cheshire in the UK, I Left You For Summer from Holmes Chapel formed together from the ashes of other fallen local bands, and using guitarist/back-up vocalist Stu Williams’ home studio equipment recorded debut EP Midnight In A Dream, and the results are nothing but impressive.

Right from the start, Midnight In A Dream displays energy, passion, and songwriting abilities that are rare to find in newly formed bands, even if the members have been in and out of many bands for the past few years. Lyrics that speak of various things, including a reference to Jesus Christ in the track ‘My Mannequin Can Slamdance’, asking “And were you there when they nailed him to the cross?” exploiting an area not found in many of the local Holmes Chapel bands. Vocalists Rob Scrannage and Stu Williams complement one another like salt and vinegar, offering a range of clean vocals and some harsh vocals here and there, such as the breakdown section in opening track ‘Midnight In A Dream’. Though there are elements that may make them come across as a somewhat emo band with this track, with lyrics such as “Waiting on your porch step in the rain”, “Wondering if this reflection could be me”, this is immediately countered with a sense of power, with lines like “You couldn’t stop me if you tried” shoving it right back in your face. The band name itself of I Left You For Summer just proves this further, but anyway, who says that emo is a bad thing?

One of the strongest moments on the album is closing track ‘Our First Date At The Graveyard’, starting with jerky but well-planned guitar work, a burst and blend of dual vocal work, great and advanced song structure, and a mixture of soft and heavy moments throughout, exposing the band’s diversity. It even has a humours outro dialogue between two of the band members.

On the whole, I Left You For Summer is a very advanced and impressive showcase from such a young band. Four tracks full of passion and labour, with various different influences and sounds, crafted to please most fans into any form of alternative music. If this is just their first release, then expect many great things to come.

Written by Zach Redrup

Read More

ALBUM: I Am Ghost – Those We Leave Behind

Release Date: October 7th, 2008
Label: Epitaph
Rating: 7/10

Website: www.iamghostmusic.com
MySpace: www.myspace.com/iamghost

I Am Ghost profile

With two Christian band members leaving before the recording of the record, surely California’s gothic punk group I Am Ghost should be open to writing much darker and more sinister material to suit fit their genre path. Surely enough, a more gothic feel is present on ‘Those We Leave Behind’ than there was on their debut ‘Lovers’ Requiem’, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that the band have improved since then, or even gotten worse.

Basically, to explain it as simple as possible, there’s very little difference aside from the darker undertone present within the lyrics and music. There’s nothing wrong with staying in safe territory at all once you’ve got into a position like I Am Ghost have managed, but is always important that a band progresses, adapts, or even just experiments with each continuing record. Despite the lack of change however, ‘Those We Leave Behind’ shows a band that’s passionate and knows what they’re doing when writing a record. They know who they are, and what they sound like, so the lack of change has without a shadow of a doubt pushed them forwards on the one-way musical scope they’ve set out for themselves, resulting in not brilliant, but fairly adequate gothic punk/post-hardcore record to call their own. The melodic singing and violent screaming duo battalion present on the likes of ‘Don’t Wake Up’, ‘Smile Of A Jesus Freak’, and ‘Make Me Believe This Is Real’ will push all the right buttons for most post-hardcore fans out there. Another plus side with the work is the increasingly dark nature within the band’s lyrics, such as “But it was too late, the killer’s home / And knows you well, I assume” from ‘So, I Guess This Is Goodbye’ shedding the twisted lyrical nature Steven Juliano possesses.

It goes without saying that I Am Ghost are sticking to safe ground with this one, using the ‘if it’s not broken, don’t fix it’ ethic of doing things, and though it’s a sure way of pleasing their current fanbase, it’s not the best tactic when wanting to acquire others.

Written by Zach Redrup

Read More

Search

Video of The Week

latest reviews

latest interviews

sponsors