Album of the Month... April 2014

Spaz Out and Life Spent (Split)

29 Mar 2014

Manners: 'Pale Blue Light'

Manners - 'Pale Blue Light'

If you are unaware of Manners, they are a fairly recent melodic hardcore band from Connecticut US who seem a bit more favourable in this genre. With melodic hardcore I think you know what to expect but Manners take this style to a new level creating the most miserable, disheartening sound you can think of. Their lyrics are also incredibly sad and depressing and sets the tone for the whole record. I thought the previous EP Apparitions was very emotional and filled with despair but the latest release Pale Blue Light tops this by far.

I feel that is record is heavily influenced from 90’s style lyric-wise but they have taken away the metalcore sound and replaced it with melodies and structured guitar sequences. This album is heavier than their previous release which has only enhanced Manners sound. This material with the mixture of emotion and instrumental heaviness would be fantastic to see live and i'm sure will get a positive reaction from the audience. There is a perfect balance between the melodies of the talented guitar playing from Ian and Jay and emotional piercing screams from Chris. Some bands use the vocals to their advantage and others sometimes use instrumentals to theirs but Manners do an awesome job of using both to create a sound that is satisfying to the ears.

On the tracks Family Portrait, Binge and Equinox there are parts that are very post-hardcore sounding showing huge potential and variation. This band set out to go above and beyond with their differential song structures and the pure passion and raw emotion portrayed through the vocals. I can’t even put a finger on my favourite track as they are all as impressive and powerful as the next. Boiling point, Nothing to Fear and The Sun Won’t Rise are all fantastic tracks and show amazing musicianship with crisp guitar melodies and pummelling drum beats but I particularly enjoyed the harmonies in the final track Living Will.

Manners provide a refreshing sound and capture the perfect elements of this style to create this successful melodic hardcore record . The amount of passion, anger, rawness and grittiness of this band will go far, as this release is spot on and I really hope they keep doing what they do to develop even more in the future. Check it out on the below links.


15 Feb 2014

Expire Headlining Show in London Tonight!

If you're about London or travelling down then this is a hardcore show not to be missed. Expire, Coldburn and Forsaken in Highbury and Islington area (Venue: Upstairs in the Relentless Garage. I saw Expire last time they played London and they put on an impressive performance so definitely looking forward to them gain. Forsaken are always fun to see live and this will be the first I have seen of Coldburn so should be interesting. Doors are open at 7(ish) I think, last tickets on the door are available from 6pm so don't miss out. The price is a nice round tenner, see below for band details:

Expire - Heavy hardcore from Milwaukee (US) currently on Bridge 9 Records

Coldburn - Hardcore from Germany currently on Cobra Records and BDHW Records

Forsaken - Crossover/Metallic Hardcore from UK currently on Neutral Words Records

12 Jan 2014

Wolf Down: The Grosvenor, London 09.01.14 Review

It’s been a while since I have been to The Grosvenor in Stockwell but for my first show of the year I was sure I was not going to be disappointed. From first entering the front of the pub it was evident nothing had changed here and probably never will. The venue has a dodgy damp smell coming from the carpet and walls and the toilets are a dingy small cell like room and as always if the show sells out you can’t see hardly anything as it is all on one level. Nonetheless it is still a venue that holds great atmosphere and is a perfect venue for hardcore shows.

The opening band Employed to Serve were greeted by a half full room but still there seemed to be a decent turnout near the front of the performance area as they took to the stage at around 19:50. This fairly new UK outfit do a huge number on providing crazy technical riffs and breakneck speed drums throughout their set. Generating quite an energetic response from the front members of the audience (including myself) I thought they played a fantastic set. As I had never seen these before (I’m not sure why) I was shocked on how awesome they sounded especially with no set time sequences and an attitude of pure misery and negativity. If you haven’t yet seen these then you need to get to their next show!

Let it Die were up next and I maintained my spot up in front of the stage area while everyone else seemed to go to the bar and drink. The performance they put on was pretty good and use this term as I thought they have played better performances in the past. Playing heavy down tuned hardcore mixed with thrash elements the front section of crowd were banging their heads frantically and overall I thought they deserved a better turn out.

Pariso were up next and caused a bit of a buzz for the first time of the night. A few kids at the front of the crowd were going crazy for them. Although their set was quite short they still maintained their heavy and fierce chaotic style throughout. Their crazy instrumental parts mixed with searing vocals really showed a decent performance but not one of their best I have to admit. A short but sweet set that leads on to the next bands who are on tour together.

That’s right Benchpress one of the night’s most obvious hardcore bands jumps on straight after Pariso and is the first time they have been to UK and what a freakin’ performance they put on. I knew they wouldn’t disappointment me. The delivery of each song they played was on point to the very detail and the aggression and confidence of the vocals added a fantastic edge to the performance. The intensity of the riffs and breakdown parts caused quite a ruckus in which there was plenty of movement and moshing towards the front and middle which I was participating in.

The final act for the night was after this and to be honest I think the whole night the audience was waiting for Wolf Down. From when I reviewed their first release I feel they have grown majorly as a band musically and lyrically. As their sound check was going on you could see the amount of people building up in the venue especially towards the front section of the venue. This band are hard as fuck and every song they played on this night went down as well as the last. Every single track played had everyone moshing away, moving side to side and jumping on one another. Their set created such an amazing atmosphere to the night and to me was going to be probably one of the best sets of the year already. Crazy heavy breakdowns were played 10 times heavier than what they sounded like off the records, the vocals contained so much emotion and there was so much passion from this band it was just amazing. Even after they had finished the crowd wanted one more song which they happily played. For such a fantastic and hardworking band it was so worth busting my hand jumping into the crowd, missing my last tube and buying more merch.  If you were there I’m sure you already know how good this show was.