Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Ras Tinny - The Warning (track review)

Ras Tinny - The Warning (Track review)
Genre - Reggae
Year - 2017

The Warning - A reverb haven of relaxation and clear talent

Ras Tinny is a reggae singer from Dublin, Ireland, The Warning is his debut release - and it's a strong start.

inny's vocals are relaxing and ghostly, fitting and moving with the smooth instrumental tracks. Tinny clearly fits his genre with his vocal style as well as having a deep bass line bumping along combined with simplistic but effective drums, but to not be a typical copy and paste reggae artist Tinny and producer Dan Taliras add in modern dub elements that only enhance the extremely relaxing chilled out tone of the song, but also typical of reggae tropes The Warning has deep and topical lyrics written in a very poetic way, which is a great thing has it battles the stereotype that all reggae is about is cannabis, a label that truly undermines the talent of reggae artists and their lyricism. The flow of the instrumental track and how the vocals intertwine with the music are key to this song and making it what it is, an undeniably good track. both the vocal and dub track versions of the song are equally as relaxing, both making good use of reverb and a decent drum beat to create a catchy song that is easily accessible for an listener.

A strong release from Echobus Records, Ras Trinny has shown huge potential for the future with the warning .

Monday, 29 May 2017

The Dives - Everybody's Talking

Everybody's talking - The Dives (EP Review)
Year - 2017
Genre - Hard Rock

The Dives are a New York hard rock band and Everybody's Talking is their debut, is it good? better.
The Dives open with Make it like the movies, a catchy little radio-rock song that feels straight out of the early 80's, now to some that's a bad thing, personally there's nothing better. Singer and rhythm guitarist Evan Stanley is the son of Kiss frontman Paul Stanley, and much like his father he shows off a wide vocal range that is easily accessible to any listener, with Make it like the movies something you can sing along to by the second chorus if you've never heard it before. while Stanley does show traits of his father a listener must understand that he is by no means a copy and paste, Stanley has a unique talent in that he recreates the 70s/80s rock sound in an uncanny way, offering a new tone to the genre while still retaining a Bruce Springsteen/Paul Stanley-esque style. Stanley is a charismatic singer ready for the levels of superstardom that his father has.

The Dives aren't just a one trick pony though, with their second track, Anticipation, The Dives are even stronger. The undeniable thing about all these tracks is the band's ability to write a hook but also the great guitar skills of Mike Lefton, who along with the rest of the band add backing vocals to give a full and powerful sound. A defiant and strong track to really kick the EP into gear.

Third track in is the title track, and it starts off in a typical rock n roll drum beat by Jimmy Meier that seems fitting as Lefton's melodic guitar comes in. a song this good certainly will make everybody start talking about how great The Dives are.

Closing the EP is Man, oh Mandy, and it is by far the strongest track, with every member showing off their massive level of talent, the guitars are not too flashy but are by no means underwhelming, less can be more. the vocals are at a new level with Stanley showing off his talents with the rest of the band doing an amazing job with the harmonies, the drums are tight and complimented by Sergio Ortega's precise and thudding bass work. Man, Oh Mandy is a hard rock track that easily could be a huge hit single!

The Dives truly show that rock music is not dead as they recreate and pay homage to the incredible sounds of past bands and make it their own. it is clear each member is talented and well deserving of credit, do not feel as if this is a band famous because of Stanley's family, The Dives have earned their rising popularity due to their undeniable talent, shown fully on Everybody's Talking. If you love catchy rock - check out The Dives.

Daniel A. Clarke

I Saw the Dives last night as they opened for KISS on their world tour, easily the best opening band I've ever seen (with the exception of Alice Cooper for Motley crue...however seeming as he is an already established artist that isn't a fair competition!). The whole band were energetic, charismatic and were clearly happy to be there, for the first time ever I actually bought the opening band's merch as well as the headline act's, I was that impressed.
After their set The Dives were doing a meet and greet signing, they proved to be extremely friendly, humble and grateful, taking a photo with everyone who wanted one, signing CDs and making conversation - The Dives were a pleasure to meet and added to the experience of the gig like no other up and coming  band ever have - I personally hope these guys make it big. they deserve it.

Meeting The Dives

Friday, 26 May 2017

Anal Trump - That makes me smart (album review)

Anal Trump - That Makes Me Smart (Album review)
Genre - Grindcore
Year - 2016

Anal Trump are an American Grindcore duo that, as their name suggests, parodies Grindcore legends Anal Cunt and also mocks far-right American President Donald Trump. 

Each song is around 3 - 10 seconds long, something similar from bands such as Napalm Death, with a heavy distorted guitar,  quick blast beat drumming and  harsh screamed/squealed vocals.
Each song is hilarious in their mocking of Trump and his questionable opinions/political standpoints.
a particularly brilliant track is Dave Mustaine is cool  which features Megadeth's bass line to peace sells.

Anal Trump may be labelled a joke band but it is undeniable that the duo have a talent and a market, appealing to all the left-wing who hate Trump, with Rob Trump playing all the instruments, doing an excellent albeit very small job (the whole album is only 3 minutes 10 seconds long) and the same can be said for Travis Trump and his deep brutal vocals. Anal Trump are a band that are relevant, funny and most importantly; talented .

while That makes me smart is short, it is definitely an album worth checking out and will not disappoint (unless you voted Trump....). Buy it and make Grindcore Great again.

By Daniel A. Clarke

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

The Viscous EP - SuperHooch (EP review)

Image result for superhooch bandThe Viscous EP - SuperHooch (EP review)
Year - 2015
Genre - Stoner rock, psychedelic, hard rock

The Viscous EP is the debut released by Coventry based rock band SuperHooch -
SuperHooch were formed primarily from 3 Coventry bands that have now disbanded (with the exception of Chris Worsley and Steve Clarke's project "Octogoth"), from this collective of experienced talents SuperHooch were formed, and it shows on The Viscous EP.

Opening the EP with lead single Tamed, Chris Worsley's slide guitar sets a lurking southern rock feel to the track that is quickly joined by the steady beat of Peanut Marshall's drums - this is then completed by an explosive attack as all the band members start playing together. The riff to Tamed is energetic and has an authentic raw feel to it, Clarke's bass riffs bounce through and work with Marshall's fast paced drums. Jonny Worsley's vocals are unique with a higher fuzzy feel that may be a choice taste to some but they clearly work with the band's style, with a snarl that cuts through explaining the traumatic feeling of getting used to the rigid prison system and then being alienated by the outside world after the song's character is free, but "tamed" to the system that controlled him previously. With great lyrics and high quality musicianship - tamed is a great example of how to open an EP.

Followed by the fast paced attack that is Neon Shine, by no means a bad song, yet not on the quality of the opener, with a more straightforward hard rock approach and a weaker chorus that lets the song down Neon shine is easily the weakest song on the EP, however it is not a bad song, it has qualities that work very well, the drums,  guitars and verses are very good and show the skill of the band.

The band swiftly go back to top quality again with Remission - opening with a rumbling bass line from Clarke and Worsley's vocals are on top form The Viscous EP is from this point onwards consistently as strong, with Kingham and Worsley's guitars adding a heavier deeper edge that connect with Worsley's vocals, which he shows a new skill in his range here, going higher than the previous two tracks, truly showing his improvement since, now disbanded, Monochrome State.

The Wit of the staircase follows, and it is the strongest song on the EP, with Worsley's vocals sounding their best, especially during the chorus as he wails with force "it's complicated! I should've known". Kingham and Worsley work well together on this track - their playing seems to intertwine together to make one big sound that shows that symmetry between the musicians can bring a song to another level.
The drums are fast and powerful, crashing through furiously adding to the songs venomous attack, "Wit of the staircase" shows the band at full form, embracing different styles and being heavier than before but still retain their initial uncanny sound that is unique yet familiar, while not the first single (however it was released as one), "Wit of the Staircase" is the EP's definitive track.

Charm offensive comes after with blaring a guitar riff that is instantly memorable, SuperHooch take a new approach, using a group-like chant that makes the song catchy to any listener. The strongest part of the song comes from when Clarke plays a fast and defined bass line along with Worsley's vocals that are sang in a upbeat rhythm. Charm offensive shows even more musical expansion in the bands style, being fast paced hard rock to a heavy, almost doom-esque, breakdown that juxtapose each other but still work, a common thing featured in SuperHooch's music.

Closing the EP is Cosmic Shotgun, an ever-changing mix of almost aggressive "Banananana" chanting that is then switched to a smooth calm section, then kicked straight back into the fast paced aggression, with Chris Worsley adding to this with a quickly shouted backing vocals, they're only brief but they add to the song immensely. Kingham then plays a solo that is fiery and shows off his vast ability as a guitarist. Cosmic shotgun is a 4 minute song that swaps style several times, keeping it interesting, clearly a strong way to end the EP.

Overall The Viscous EP is an incredible debut formed from the talents of experienced musicians and it clearly shows, SuperHooch never stick to one genre, instead swapping between numerous influences to make a band that is unique and promising.  

By Daniel A. Clarke

Monday, 15 May 2017

In Silence - King Sloth (track review)

In Silence - King Sloth (Track Review)
year - 2017
genre - alternative rock

In Silence is the newest track released for King Sloth's "demos" release -  and it may be the best yet.
Opening with a thudding fuzzy bass line that seemed absent from the previous two released tracks, adding a low end rumble that fills up the song.
The Guitar comes in strong and loud, then stops, so (Mole) Carey's melodic vocals can come through, sounding as great as before, then the whole band kick back in to really get the song in full swing.
Feeling like an immense cross of modern rock titans Arctic Monkeys and Royal Blood, the band appear uncanny, being familiar yet unique at the same time - In Silence has the fuzz and energy to be a single ready for the masses to hear, despite being demos, that are, as mentioned before, of an unbelievably high quality.
In Silence works well, fitting and adding to the previous two released songs but the band feel tighter and musically more slick than before, with interesting high backing vocals, melodic guitar being thrown in at just the right moments and a catchy chorus - musicianship this high of standard is a rarity in unsigned bands, just showing the determination and talent of this Scottish rock band - record labels should be fighting over unsigned talents such as King Sloth.

In Silence is a brilliant addition to their already released "Demos" and is easily the best of the now 3 tracks, hopefully the band will have more soon as In Silence is extremely promising.


by Daniel A. Clarke

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Lost in the sky - Superhooch (track review)

Lost in the sky - Superhooch (track review)
year - 2017
genre - psychedelic, Stoner rock

Lost in the sky is the latest single released by Coventry stoner-rock outfit, Superhooch -

Lost in the Sky is an ambitious move by Superhooch as it shows a stylistic change from their debut EP, The viscous EP, being an 8 minute single that feels like a progressive journey telling a story about drug abuse/use ("The monkey on my back became the kraken"), heavier guitar riffs that feel akin to doom metal that then change to a smooth reverb that'd fit right on a pink Floyd album  - the many style changes within this song are used in a way that doesn't appear uncomfortable or out of place with each change to the song being unique and musically very skilled - keeping the song interesting.

The vocals also take a new dynamic, lead singer Jonny Worsley being joined by guitarist Chris Worsley on co-lead vocals that add a melancholic deeper sound that clash but also compliment the lead singer's high pitched style. It is heavier but still retains melody - something many modern metal bands fail to do. Lead Guitarist Johnny Kingham and Drummer Peanut Marshall add to the backing vocals as well to give a fuller sound.

Like any decent band a strong rhythm section is required and Superhooch do not disappoint on Lost in the sky, with Marshall's drums and Steve Clarke's bass playing working together furiously adding a huge driving force behind the song.

Lost in the Sky is fast, slow, unique, strange and complicated - and it surprisingly works! Adding a new dynamic to modern rock music and breaking the ideology of sticking to one genre, Superhooch are an extremely promising band that offer something new to the scene instead of  the monotonous "scream-grindcore" bands that are filling the local underground music scenes now.

With a catchy chorus that makes reference to the bands name, presumably as its named after an alcoholic drink, a fast and aggressive solo by Kingham and overall a general progression in the band's writing SuperHooch have released something special here.
highly recommended!

Daniel A. Clarke
Superhooch have an EP coming out on the 13th of May as well as having their first EP, a live album and Lost in the Sky all on Bandcamp. (Lost in the Sky lyric video)

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

King Sloth - Demos (review)

King Sloth - Demos (review)
year - 2017
Genre - alternative rock, hard rock

Demos is a two track demo collection by Dundee (UK) alt-rock band King Sloth - and it is extremely promising!

opening with "Not Unknown" King Sloth introduce themselves with a bluesy yet modern riff and ferociously fast drums that lets listeners know they're entering something worth their time. King Sloth then slow down for the vocals to enter, and lead singer Mole Carey does an amazing job - it is incredible to think the band consider these demos when the musicianship and mixing is of such a high quality.
Throughout opener "Not Unknown" and second track "something in the water" guitarist Daryl Robertson is able to show off his skill with memorable riffs and precise playing, all being beautifully complimented by Jamie Butler's drums and Connon Watts' keyboard work. Everything fits well and works smoothly.

With the huge popularity of Royal Blood, there is a clear  space in the rock music world for King Sloth who have a similar sound in some aspects - fans of Royal Blood will certainly enjoy this band.

Demos is
definitely worth your time and shows huge potential for a band that I personally hope will make it big - as having Demos this good is a rarity! let's hope the band will release an EP or album soon that can hopefully thrust them into the limelight - in short, check out this band!


Daniel A. Clarke

I love pogo and beer - The Defectives (album review)

I love pogo and beer - The Defectives (album review)
Year - 2016
Genre - Punk

The Defectives are a punk/hardcore punk band hailing from Milan, Italy.

starting with the appropriately titled opener, "we are the defectives", the listener is invited to their signature  hardcore punk guitar riffs that make the listener want to jump around and "pogo", with trashy shouted vocals and harmonies that juxtapose each other but fit so well together in an odd and honestly brilliant way.

The Defectives have hit the mark with this release as it captures exactly what a punk album needs - the fast guitars that are simplistic and wild but also The Defectives utilise the often ignored punk rhythm section, with fast pounding drums, best shown on "Pogo till we Oi", and thudding picked bass lines, best shown on "we have a shitty face".

The Defectives are a middle finger to anyone who dare say "punk is dead" as they are a promising revival of the genre and with current political situations in the USA, Europe and the UK the world truly needs punk rock again, this band can fill this place and hopefully lead the way for a possible continental punk rebirth. The band's music, image and lyrics may be slightly ridiculous but that's the beauty of punk, it doesn't always have to be a serious manifesto to make an impact and to challenge the norm.

Great band, great album and well worth listening to!


Daniel A. Clarke

this album is available on Bandcamp, I decided to get the black 7" vinyl version with the digital album included, this came to around £5 something plus £9 delivery, so if you've got £14 spare, get this on vinyl with a free digital download - you won't regret it!

Monday, 8 May 2017

Snowy Dunes - Atlantis pt 1 (track review)

Snowy Dunes - Atlantis pt 1 (track review)
year -2017
genre - psychedelic, stoner rock

Image result for snowy dunes atlantis part 1Snowy Dunes are a psychedelic rock band hailing from Stockholm, Sweden. Atlantis Part 1 is a (nearly) 20-minute song, and the only track on the band's first part to the recently announced part 2 which will (hopefully) be released soon.

Opening with a hazy guitar riff, you can tell from the get go this is going to be a journey - a journey Snowy Dunes do not disappoint with. Atlantis pt 1 is a dreamlike song that entices listeners with the smooth guitar riffs, thumping bass, steady drums and incredible vocals, the band add a huge twist in your musical journey as they switch from gentle nirvana to a harsher sound that is heavy yet not to a point that it completely throws off a listener and ruins their experience.

Atlantis part 1 is a song that is extremely promising and shows huge potential for the band, Snowy Dunes deserve to be the next big rock band.

Daniel A. Clarke

*note* this is not part of the track review but instead a recollection of how I discovered Snowy Dunes; the band were playing a gig at the Arches, Coventry UK, in which they had the second slot on the bill, opening for another band I sadly did not get to see as I had to leave, I originally only went to the gig to see my Step brothers' band Superhooch as they had the first slot on the bill, after they did their slot (which I will add, was amazing) Snowy Dunes came on, and I was going to leave, but instead decided I'd stay for the bands set, Snow Dunes had me captivated in minutes, with a cool atheistic and a dreamy sound anyone could get lost in. the gig is very special to me as I'm not very comfortable at pub gigs and I was kind of standing on my own in the middle looking awkward but my Brother's Girlfriend pulled m next to their group at the front so I wasn't just standing on my own, and for the first time I felt completely involved and comfortable at a gig. The band were inspiring for anyone who is a musician who aspires to be playing gigs one day (like me), after their set I went straight to the merch stand and got their CD. I will clarify I am not biased towards this song just because of that incredible night, this band genuinely are something else, a band that will hopefully get the recognition they deserve.   

Sunday, 7 May 2017

CKY - Days of Self Destruction (track review)

CKY - Days of Self Destruction (track review)
Year - 2017
Genre - Alternative metal.

Image result for cky days of self destructionDays of self Destruction was a surprise release from West Chester alternative "skate rock"/metal band CKY, after being absent from making new music since 2009s poorly recieved "Carver city", since then original vocalist and rhythm guitarist Deron Miller has left the band leaving Guitarist Chad I Ginsberg as vocalist for the now three-piece. 

Opening with heavy distorted guitars that are instantly recognisable as being CKY, being complex but grounded, not going over the top like bands such as DragonForce do, there's a clear return to roots on this track. The bass work by Matt Deis rumbles below the main riff very similarly to the bass work on CKY's first album; Volume 1. This return to roots is pleasing for any fan on the bands incredible late 90's/early 2000's work.
As always Jess Margera does an exceptional job with the drums, arguably the most talented member of the band from a musical ability point, Margera never goes over complicated and dominant but instead drives the song with precise and unique playing that is unmatched and irreplaceable in the CKY sound.

The issue for many is Ginsberg's vocals, many feeling that they are too different to Miller's, which is true, they are different but equally as good, Miller orientated himself around heavy metal style vocals that were rough and angry (with exceptions obviously) whereas Ginsberg, on this track, uses a more sleazy vocal style that is smooth and feels more dreamy, feeling similar to Stone Temple Pilots, which fits with CKY's dreamlike synths that they utilize on "Days of Self Destructions" as well as using various unique effects on their guitars/bass to give a truly one of a kind sound.

Catchy chorus, interesting instrumentals and great vocals, all topped off by a fast and technical guitar solo by guest musician Brent Hints (Mastodon). This is what CKY fans wanted and the band have made a surprising delivery, just in time for their May 2017 UK tour.

An incredible single, if the rest of The Phoenix (CKY's new album out in June) is like this song, it will definitely go down as a cult classic among Alternative metal fans.

Daniel A. Clarke.

6/8 - Blink 182 (track review)

6/8 - Blink 182 (track review)
year - 2017
genre - pop-punk, alternative

6/8 is the newest single to be released for the soon to be released deluxe edition of the critical and commercial success that is "California", the first album by Blink 182 to not feature founding member Tom Delonge.

Opening with an A Day To Remember-esque riff that is clunky, distorted and somewhat fast, the listener straight away knows this isn't another "all the small things", after the stomping opening Mark (Hoppus, bass) comes in with his vocals that are feeling stronger and more emotional in tone, a vast improvement as Hoppus' vocals could sometimes come across as toneless and weak, but here Hoppus is on top form, singing "Learn to swim in rushing rivers, crashing on the shore" with great dexterity.

This song feels heavier, with Matt (Skiba, Guitar) giving emo like shouts for the backing vocals to the extremely catchy chorus which thankfully doesn't feature any of the "na na na na's" that sometimes dominate Blink's music

Both vocalists shine on this track and feel very interdependent on each other to give a full impact on the intentions behind the songs meaning as well as making it enjoyable to listen to, as this sounds like a band that are working together well, it can be obvious through the music when a band is falling apart internally ("sympathy for the devil" - Guns n Roses for example?) and Blink, despite the hardships sound like a band that truly click and connect and 6/8 shows this very well.

As with the majority of Blink tracks, Travis Barker's drum work is fast paced and energetic giving Blink the pop punk energy that got them to this position and the fast paced semi-technical drums are a perfect compliment to the alternative/modern-pop punk sound that dominates the song.

6/8 is a promising track that is of an incredibly high quality, giving an Blink fan an incentive to buy California Deluxe edition, 6/8 will be a welcome edition to an already great album.


Daniel A. Clarke