VANT: Dumb Blood Album Review

VANT are one of the most politically driven indie rock bands to have risen from the recent surge in alternative music. Fronted by Matty Vant, the outfit have been releasing singles for a couple of years now, with a few making the cut for the final record. ‘Do You Know Me’ and ‘Parking Lot’ are two of my favourite tracks they have dropped and I feel they add an extra thump and dimension to their debut LP.

You can tell that this has been an album long in the running for the four piece and one they have put their heart and soul into recording. VANT are a band that simply care, whether this is about the broken political climate our world is in or the music they produce. Lyrically, the band are statement driven and seem to raise an issue in every number, ‘I don’t believe in God’ and ‘Peace and Love’ show this as much as any of their tunes.

The album kicks off with a minute long blend of ferocious guitar fuzz and amplified bass lines, showing their musical capacity as well as lyrical complexity. The opening track is called ‘The Answer’ and references the despair of UK-US involvement in the Afghanistan and Iraqi wars.

Ambitious, Important and truly raw, the tracks will go down a storm in their already raging live set, an album like this has been long in the waiting for their fans, but definitely worth it.

RATING: 7/10

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Cherry Glazerr release new album ‘Apocalipstick’

Cherry Glazerr could be compared to any bands in the vein of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Cure or even the Kills. The Los Angeles indie outfit today dropped their second full length LP, following the impressive 2014 release ‘Haxel Princess’. With new members, but a similar teenage empowerment aesthetic, the band have taken the thrashing, fuzzy tracks off of their debut album, like ‘Whites Not My Colour This Evening’, and blended it into an unbelievable project.

Artists as famous and unique as Tyler, The Creator are worshiping the work of Clementine Creevy and her mates. She even featured on the final song of the rapper’s latest album ‘Cherry Bomb’, the track is called ‘Okaga CA’ if you want to check that out as well.

The likes of 6 music have been playing lead singles from the new album a lot recently, ‘Nurse Ratchet’ and the title track from the new LP are my personal picks and to me portray everything that is so brilliant about the rockers. Smashing guitar riffs, sumptuous vocals and drony bass lines run all throughout their stunning 2nd album. They are definitely ones to watch, and should be appreciated a lot more than they are at the moment.

Rating: 8/10

LISTEN: Rat Boy’s new single ‘Lovers Law’ is Annie Mac’s hottest record.

Featuring on the set list of his latest tour, Jordan Cardy’s new Gorillaz-esque single has just had its first ever official spin. The DJs at Radio 1 have been supporting Rat Boy ever since the release of his first mixtape, titled ‘The Mixtape’, and this song is sure to enhance the Chelmsford born boy’s loyal following.

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The track is in the vain of everything from The Talking Heads to The Human League, any project of Damon Albarn’s, who is proving to be a big influence on Jordan’s music, and even The Streets. It is an unbelievably captivating and addictive song; the direction Cardy is going in is hard to fault, his tracks are more hip hop and synth based but still stay true to his indie roots that got him the recognition he deserves. Personally I think this is one of his best tunes yet: rich in jangly melodies, guitar hooks and unusual samples; the clip features a short interview with himself and Liam, his bassist, so go and give it a listen.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04ddwy0/player

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Jaws have a new one called ‘Right in Front of Me’

Announcing a new track and album in the same night probably gave most Jaws fans a heart attack. The 3 lads from Birmingham are back with a new release following up last years indie anthem ‘What We Haven’t Got Yet’ and ‘Right in Front of Me’ is certainly their catchiest yet; it’s been in my head all day today. Supported by DJs such as Huw Stephens and pretty much any alternative music magazine, it is fair to say that Jaws have a bright future ahead of them and if they keep combining the heaviness of some of their tracks with the soothing, grungy atmosphere of this one then they will have no problem maintaining their greatness.

When listening to Schofield and Co’s new material I feel they are lying on a spectrum smack bang in the middle of Peace and Mudhoney, they deviate between the thrashiness of some 80s/90s grunge and modern indie but this versatility makes the band very unique and like no other outfit out there. Twangy guitars, softening lyrics and drone like bass lines; what more could you want in a song on a rarely sunny afternoon in England? They are certainly a band forever on the rise and hopefully the release of the new album, ‘Simplicity’, will only escalate their success even more.

Preorder the album here and listen to ‘Right in Front of Me’.

The track listing for ‘Simplicity’ is:

1. Just a Boy
2. What We Haven’t Got Yet
3. Right in Front of Me
4. 17
5. Cast
6. Interlude
7. On the Sunshine
8. Work it Out9. In the Morning
10. A Brief Escape from Life
11. The Invisible Sleep

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The album artwork for ‘Simplicity’

 

Album Review: Atomised – Virtual Strangers

‘Atomised’ is the project of a Cambridge based band,  featuring singer/song writer Andrew Ashworth and fellow song writer/guitarists Paul Ambrose and Greg Reid. Featuring  a DIY aesthetic that has been lacking recently in the music industry, ‘Virtual Strangers’ is an LP rich in emotion and blends of guitars from a spectrum of genres.

Melodic, dreamy and uplifting, the tone of the album makes for easy listening with intriguing lyrics subtly emphasising the pain of living in the ‘modern world’. ‘Tinselhead’ stresses this immediately through mixtures of rhythmic minor chords and infectious lead guitar riffs; the lyrics in the chorus are pretty catchy too as Ashworth mourns “this is real life” over his band.

Although it sets up the album well, the first track is not my favourite cut from the LP; the evident mainstream indie influences in ‘Slipping On Tightropes’ really stick with you. The orchestral elements complement the acoustic guitar, making the song flow effortlessly, whilst helping you to remain intrigued by the instrumental elements of the track. A distinctive feature of the album is its reference to space and extraterrestrial themes, the delay on the guitar in the concluding track arouses a psychedelic feeling and with lines like “the stars aline” you cannot help but feel this way.

Not knowing what to expect, I went to Atomised’s most recent gig in the upstairs of a local pub. The six members were crammed at the front of the room, playing to a congested crowd of mixed ages, but this just shows how versatile a record ‘Virtual Strangers’ is. The variation in instrumentation is why the record is so entrancing, but sometimes it seems as if certain layers of the music are thrown into the album to make the LP sound more complex, when really less would seem more in terms of the way many of the tracks pan out. The use of the trumpets in ‘No More Secrets’ doesn’t necessarily add to the song and thus it sounds a little over-produced. However the trumpets work in  a different way on ‘Virtual Strangers’, the title track of the album, where the brass instruments create an ironic sense of social triumph that Ashworth often states is lacking in today’s World.

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Originally, after my first play of the album, the drum patterns felt all too comparable throughout the record and thus the tempo was initially very similar. Listening to the album again I found that in tracks like ‘Impossible World’ Ashworth and Co proved me wrong. This song is certainly one of the most intriguing, the female vocals set a different tone to the record and harmonise with the piano to amplify a more mystical atmosphere than any of the other songs.

This album deserves more success than it is receiving now, you can listen to my favourite track ‘Slipping On Tightropes’ here:

 

 

R.I.P Viola Beach

Today brought the tragic news that up and coming indie band Viola Beach had died in a car crash whilst in Sweden. Hailing from Liverpool, the group were meant to be touring with bands like Blossoms this year and playing gigs in the Brighton Concorde and even the BBC Introducing stage at SXSW, all potentially defining moments for the boys.

It came as a shock to the world of music and many bands have left their condolences for their friends and family: Peace, The Courteeners and Jack Garratt all took to twitter to pay their respect. As well as the band, their tour manager Craig Tarry was in the car that fell 80 feet off a bridge and into the canal. It is devastating to hear of such a tragedy especially as we have lost the likes of David Bowie, Lemmy and Glenn Frey in the past month. The band from Warrington released an ep last month featuring the tracks ‘Boys That Sing’ and ‘Like A Fool’, two very catchy songs and both great follow ups to their debut single ‘Swings and Waterslides’. These songs were not the only signals of their coming success – they were praised regularly from Radio 1 and DJs like Huw Stephens who highlighted the 4 piece as one of the rising stars to watch out for in 2016. This recognition then lead to the band recording a session in the famous Maida Vale studios in November 2015.

The band had just played a music festival in Sweden called ‘Where’s The Music’ in Norrköping and Psykofant, a 5 piece punk outfit, hailed their set: John Hugo said “they gave an amazing final performance”. Compared to the likes of The Beatles, there is no doubt that Viola Beach had a huge career ahead of them and although they’re lost, the band will never be forgotten among Liverpool’s thriving indie scene.

Respect goes out to the family and friends of Kris Leonard, 19, River Reeves, 19, Jack Dakin, 24, 27-year-old Tomas Lowe and Craig Tarry, 32.