Tales Don’t Tell Themselves: Funeral For a Friend Live Review and Goodbye

So,  if you were getting into punk and heavy music around 2005-2008  you’ll probably be aware of who Funeral For a Friend are. But If you’re not aware Funeral For a Friend are a Welsh Post-Hardcore/Melodic-Hardcore/Emo/Metalcore/Any Genre Buzzword for punk or heavy music at the time, they’ve toured the world, had two gold records in the UK, they’ve influenced countless UK bands such as: Fightstarfuneral
, Creeper, Rise to Remain and many more and now they’re breaking up. Which sucks.

I mean a band breaking up is inevitable it happens, whether it be by death, internal conflict or simply things just reaching their natural conclusion. it happens, it’s not the first time and it certainly won’t be the last time a band breaks. I’m glad Funeral For a Friend are doing this on their own terms though. From the outside anyway there doesn’t appear to be any bad blood within the band, as a band they’ve just decided its time. As a fan I’m happy for them for doing that after releasing the immense album “Chapter and Verse” last year, they’ve decided to go out on a high note do a final farewell tour (which I’m about to head out to right now) and call it quits. I’m really sad to see these guys go, British heavy music wont be the same with out them, and may not be what it is today  without their influence. With how band breakups are these days, maybe give it a couple of years and we’ll be seeing a reunion tour in two or three years. But for now…

farewell boys, good luck in the future and well done for showing what a bunch of village kids from Wales can do.

Show Review,funeral 2.jpg

Funeral For a Friend were FUCKING AMAZING! From the second that they stepped on stage to the room was pure electricity, energy and a feeling of completion. The show perfectly encapsulated the idea of it being better to go out in a blaze of glory, than simply fade into obscurity.

The set consisted of the band played their second album “Hours” in full before going into a set of newer songs and fan favourites including “1%”, “Into Oblivion”, “Juneau” before ending the set with “Escape Artists Never Die”.

The sound for the night was great, I’m personally a big fan of the 02 ABC as a venue and the sound in the room is always pretty good. The band’s performance was Incredible at this point where their tenure as a band is coming to a close , they absolutely gave their all as a band.  Frontman Matt Davies nailed every song, was really engaged with the crowd too and the crowd was engaged with him, creating a great exchange of energy between band and audience to fuel both . Overall a fantastic performance.

So to conclude. It would be pointless for me to recommend going to see a band who are doing their swan song right now, but if you do get the chance to see Funeral For a Friend on tour do it, Just Do It! And again well done! boys see you on the flipside

9.5/10

If your interested in checking Funeral For a Friend out they’ve got a great back catalogue of music. My personal favourites are the albums: “Casually Dressed and Deep in Conversation”, “Hours” and “Chapter and Verse”

 

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Letlive., Good Mourning America

California post-hardcore band LetLive. just released the first single from their new album “If I’m the Devil….”: “Good Mourning  America”. The single deals with the topic of police brutality in America and this message is verylet live.png well put forward, while being catchy and a nice song.

The song starts of with a gospel/protest style chant, it kind of flies halfway between both before the bassline for the song kicks in. After the bassline Kicks in frontman Jason Butler comes in with a his verse which has a clear influence come from soul music, but maintains a visceral punk rock venom to his delivery. Another noteworthy thing about Butlers performance on the song is him constantly matching the intensity of his vocal performance to the intensity of the song.

Instrumentally the song starts off with a latin feel, before morphing into a melodic hardcore chorus. The song then continues to alternate between these two styles as the song progressing, with the guitar parts becoming  more and more complex as each verse goes on, before erupting into the out middle section where the song shows off a fuzzed out punk explosion of riffs.

On the production side of this song is very cleanly produced, but doesn’t feel sterile for it. The drums feel huge, the bass is really fat and the guitars sound nice and glassy where they’re clean and then when they get dirty they sound heavy but
there’s still plenty of clarity behind them.

Overall this song sounds really nice. The chorus is amazing,  and I’d recommend it on this alone

7.5/10

Review: CHUMP, Treat Me Mean

Heres some good music from Glasgow town: CHUMP.

Chump are a grungey alt rock/shoegaze band from Glasgow and they’ve just put out their first EP Treat Me Mean.

This EP is sulky, angsty and strikingly beautiful in its delivery of their music. The first track “Brain” relies primarily on a clean guitar drums and this plodding bassline backing up the ghostly reverb drenched vocals. The effect is  a really uneasy tense vibe before the song explodes in a crescendo of tremolo picked treat me meanguitars and the drums and bass playing a lot harder, then dying down to move the next song. This uneasy feeling follows on to the next song “Out of It” Which some fuzzed out guitar added to the mix and lifts the song into a new direction when it’s added. The third song “Shut Eye” which is the shortest song on the Ep and has the same sulky atmosphere until the fuzzed guitars come in and wake the song up. Next up is the title track “Treat Me Mean” which has distorted guitars throughout, and has a far more passive aggressive feel. At the middle point of this song it becomes very dissonant, and very much feels like the song is spiraling out of control before the instruments stop and are just left to feedback. The Last song “It’s All Fucked” starts in a similar fashion to “Treat Me Mean” without the dissonant middle section instead opting to layer dreamy feeling leads over the chorus section.

The production of the EP is very hazy and this plays to the l0-fi aesthetic the band are going for, this hazy production also help to add a lot of the moody dark atmosphere to the music. The instrumentation of “Treat Me Mean” is pretty bare bones an minimal for the most part, but uses bringing more instrumentation to dynamically shift songs.

Overall Really enjoyed this EP , I’d say it’s for fans of bands like: The Pixies, My Bloody Valentine, Life Model and Nirvana

8/10

Listen to and buy it here: http://whatachump.bandcamp.com/album/treat-me-mean

Review: BabyMetal, Metal Resistance

If you listen to rock music and havent heard of Babymetal, what rock has your head been under for the last 2 years. I mean they’ve played some the biggest metal festivals in the world and even toured with Lady Gaga (weird right?). To describe Babymetal think cutesy Joriginal.jpgapanese idol pop much like the intro song for an anime, fused with melodic death metal and fronted by 3 teenage girls. At first glance its like srsly?, after you  listen to it though it makes sense and its fun. Yes heavy music doesn’t always have to be serious, it can be fun. From the get go with Babymetal it is important to remember that this band was constructed much like another pop act within Japans music industry.  With that does come the stigma that this band is just a novelty act, and maybe that is the case. To be honest, I don’t think authenticity of their music is relevent to say whether Babymetal is good or not. Because their first album is really good, catchy hooks, good riffs and just good music.

But does “Metal Resistance” live up to the standard of the last album ?

…I’d say it does, yeah. “Metal Resistance” starts off with the track “Roads of Resistance” which features leads from Dragonforce guitarists Herman Li and Sam Totman, so it’s a total shredfest. Stylistically their fingerprints are all over the track too, but it doesn’t sound like Babymetal covering Dragonforce. Stylisticly Babymetal really picks and chooses a little bit from everything modern heavy metal has to offer this record, with the tracks “Karate” and “Gj” borrowing a lot from Djent, Roads of resistance being a straight up Power metal anthem and Theres a big prog metal influence on the track “Tales of the Destinies” which feels like a Dream Theatre song with a J-Pop Chorus.

You get a vibe of alot of songs being influenced by Contremporary japanese rock aswell, the song “Yava” sounding like the intro to a Shonen anime. Theres also a few nods to japaneses bands Like Dir En Grey on the track ” Sis. Anger”, Crossfaith on the track “From Dusk Til Dawn” and  “No Rain, No Rainbow” feels alot like one of X Japan’s ballads.

So My opinion on this album is it’s pretty solid, it really satisfys alot of of musical craving for me. Theres metal theres the poppy moments, but it doesn’t at any point feel like a parody of either it feels very genuine despite being constructed by a label. The performances on “Metal Resistance” are stellar as well with the Kami Band (Babymetals backing band) puting down some of the best metal riffs I’ve heard in a while. And despite there being alot of songwriters on this record it manages to stay very cohessive as well.

The letdown for me on Metal resistance is the ballads which are too cheesey for my liking, and seemed to just to have been tacked on to meet the labels requirement of having at least two ballads on the record. Aside from this the record is really strong

Recomended tracks: Karate, Roads of Resistance, Yava, Tales of the Destinies, Gj and From Dusk till Dawn

9/10

 

 

Review: The One Hundred, Subculture EP

So my introduction to The One Hundred was on the Glasgow date of the recent Crossfaith tour, and those guys had it locked down. Their sound was great, they performed super tight and they provided an absolutely amazing start to the night. I decided to pick up their EP: “Subculture”,  which is a great EP with some really unique and creative ideas on some awesome songs.

So stylistically the best way to describe The One Hundred is MetalcThe-One-Hundred-Subculture-600x600.jpgore with a influences from hip hop and electronic music. While this blend of styles could very easily go wrong (see 90s rap metal), it can be done to great effect with bands like Hacktivist and Enter Shikari having a great deal of success playing about with these sounds while making really good music. Over the course of “Subculture” The One Hundred really do this sound justice.

So the EP starts with the track “No FXK”, which serves as an opening for starts with a very old-school hip hop style beat before kicking into a nice rage against the machine style riff and sets the tone for the whole EP. Frontman Jacob Field gives an absolutely phenomenal vocal performance, he’s got a great tone going for when he screams  and when hes rapping his flow is great. I really enjoyed the lyrical content  of the album aswell a lot of it dealing with themes of social inequality on the track “Tale of Two Cities” and the track “Kingsman” appears to deal with the idea of people being blind to being manipulated by the powers that be and not questioning it.

Production-wise it’s really good to none of the instrumentation really clashes or muddies up the others and everything sounds very cohesive, and as mentioned before the vocals are phenominal.

overall I really enjoyed the “Subculture EP” and would encourage recomend it to fans of: Rage Against the Machine, Stray From the Path, Enter Shikari and Hacktivist

8/10

Review: The Qemists, Warrior Sound

The Qemists are a British Drum’n Bass/Electronic Rock band, and they KICK ASS! They’ve just came out with their debut album “Warrior Sound”, and there is not a track on this album that is not an absolute banger. Honestly this is one of the most high energy albums of the year, and its so good.warrior.jpg

After a brief intro track “Warrior Sound” opens with track “Jungle” which feature J Hurley and Ben Marvin from Hacktivist and the groove  on this track is insane, the guitar riff is really catchy too. Aswell as all this the singalong on the track is great. After this the album ramps up the energy with the track “Run You”, which is my favourite track on the album. I love the chorus its so infectious if your listening to it you wont be able to help but sing along to it seriously. After this the album continues to put out track after track of music that would feel as at home at a rock festival as it would in a club.

The featured singers on the album are really a really nice touch too. As I mentioned before they’ve got J from Hactivist on “Jungle”, after that Kenta Koie of Crossfaith apears on the track “Anger” and then get Charlie Rhymes and Ghetts on the tracks “Push the Line” and “No Respect”. The best thing about these features is that they feel natural, and not just like heres a guy on our song. These features are very becuase they are a part of the fabric of the song instead of just something tacked on to get the interest of fans of these other bands.

Another great thing about this album is the overall sonic landscape of it.
Which is mostly very dense and heavy, but this can also be pulled back to build anticipation and atomosphere further adding to the hyper-active energy this album puts forward.How they handle instrumentations is awesome as well. The way in which the digital and organic instruments interact helps to define, that despite all the electronic insanity going around it of its still very clear where its a guitar and a synth part. The vocals aswell, despite having alot of processing on them at points still sound very natural and very human.

Overall I am loving this album. I personally think this album will apeal to fans of: Pendulum, The Prodigy, Enter Shikari and Crossfaith

8.5/10

Review: Asking Alexandria, The Black

Asking Alexandria are U.K metalcore act. They’ve made a name for themselves for playing a high energy style of metal with influences from eighties  cock rock and dance music. In my younger more emo fringed days I was a big fan of these guys, and I still enjoy their second album “Reckless and Relentless”. But as cliche as it sounds I grew out of their music and never really went back to them. This most reccent album “The Black” which boasts some of the best cover art of the year so farcancer ,and is the bands first album with new frontman Denis Stoff after the departure of their old singer Danny Worsnop.

So Whats it like?

Denis is no where near as good as Danny as a singer, the sheer amount of processing and tuning on his vocals for clean singing has made his vocals is nausiating to listen to. His screams are much the same, hes trying to do this really high scream which totally incoherant in a bad way. He’ll be screaming a line and I’ll maybe catch one or two of the words that hes singing.

The instrumentation isnt that bad actually the big let down is the vocals really, but the instrumentation is actually good at points. Its paint by the numbers metalcore for the most part, but theres nothing wrong with that if its well executed I take no issue with something not being the most unique idea ever. However the song “The Lost Souls” makes Asking sound like an Avenged Sevenfold cover band, Which shows a severe lack of creativity on the bands part. Dont get me wrong  there are flashes of where Asking Alexandria show they have some song writing chops “Sometimes it Ends”,  minus the interview samples they put at the start of the is a really good song and I’d probobly listen to it again. I enjoy the use of strings on the album, it adds an amospheric feel to an otherwise very sterile album. 

I really cant think of much else to say about this album my favourite part was the cover art was my favourite part.

3.5/10

Favourite songs: Sometimes it Ends, The Black, Just a Slave to Rock’n Roll

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Album Review: Killswitch Engage, Incarnate

This is the hardest review I’ve ever had to do. The reason being I have to look at my favourite band from and objective standpoint.

That shit is hard…..incarnate.jpg

But I’m going to try….

So Last week Killswitch Engage released their latest album: “Incarnate” and so far its my ALBUM OF THE MOTHERFUCKING YEAR
.

But I can provide well reasoned and justified reasons that are in no way fanboying.

This album without being overt about it had alot of experimentation on it. Which is great because Killswitch are guilty of sounding to much like Killswitch at times and not really diverifying their sound. Songs Like “It Falls On Me” which had a realy slow sludgey feel but still felt like a Killswitch song, and “Just Let Go” which had a great dynamic shift between frantic verses to slower very open almost clean guitars on the chorus and the opening track “Alone I Stand” played with switchiung up the grooves and time signatures during the song aswell.

The production is amazing, it feels really heavy and has a ver live feel and a real warmth to it . The mix on the album is very even, everything fills and sits in the in the correct place in the sonic landscape. The production also has a very warm feel to it, which in an era of sterile and over produced albums is refreshing.

Moving onto instrumentation: The drums dont have that nasty sounding clicky quality alot of metal records have . The bass is very present and clear, when songs open up and become less dense it really shines through and holds down a solid groove. Guitars are really tight, as a guitar player this album is ear candy, with an onslaught of really awesome riffs and really good guitar tones. The vocals on the album are awesome aswell, Jesse Leech on every song puts down consistantly strong and emotive performances, and theres not a chorus on this album that isn’t worth a singing along to.

Recomended tracks: Hate by Design, Quiet Distress, It Falls On Me, Triumph Through Tradgedy(Deluxe Editon only), Cut Me Loose

Overall this is a fantastic album which i will recomend to each and everyone in the universe ever.

8.5/10