By Edward Burnett
After another lengthy hiatus, the world’s favourite polar primates have returned from musical hibernation to release a new album. This latest offering, simply entitled ‘The Car’, consists of ten new tracks and is the seventh studio album from the Sheffield outfit.
It is no secret that Alex Turner & Co are my personal favourite band and, with being a Yorkshire lad myself, the prospect of new music got me reet excited. I was not disappointed. Whereas many had hoped for a return to the rocky heights of ‘AM’, I rather hoped for an advancing on their previous album, ‘Tranquility Hotel Base & Casino’. Again, I was not disappointed. In what can only be described as a groovier and loungier sequel to their last offering, Arctic Monekys’ latest chapter adds something important to the THBC era that was somewhat missing: emotion.
There is a haunting sadness that drifts through this new album, with its presence being all the more noticeable thanks to Turner’s powerful vocals, which manage to convey every feeling, even when the lyrics do not. Nowadays most bands or artists would use topics of love and lost love and as subjects for the sadness in their songs but not the Monkeys, they do it differently and in style. Turner sings about music itself often and gives the off a notion of a singer who has given everything but is shutting up shop, and with this, the sadness cuts deep. It is common knowledge that many fans and listeners were upset with the shift from the popular rock tunes of old to the groovy tunes of TBHC and that is evident in this latest album.
Turner & Co pride themselves on creating something unique and this challenge to outdo oneself clearly shows on the magnificent ‘Big Ideas’. A song that, with an orchestral sounding backing, instantly gives the feeling of a closing spectacle. Turner talks through all of his plans for making the perfect music, only for him to reveal that he has forgotten how they go. For something so trivial, the band manage to make the listener feel genuinely sorry for the singer who has tried so hard to provide for the fans, and achieves in its aim to provoke an emotional response from the audience. Lyrics such as “We had 'em out of their seats, Waving their arms and stomping the feet“, ring so familiar as Turner reflects on the past, and there is a truth here as the band have had so many gigs, shows and festivals with adoring crowds singing back every word. “Really, it’s been a thrill,” sings Turner, giving off the notion of a final bow and a denouement for the Sheffield quartet.
Yet there is a return to a heavy, darker and dare I say it, rocky, theme with the album’s third song, ‘Sculptures of Anything Goes’. The best way to describe this unique track is moody. It toys with the listener, building up its part with a foreboding introduction, only to be guided down this ghost train of vocals by Turner’s cutting lyrics. Whether it’s something as elegant as “Puncturing your bubble of relatability with your horrible new sound,” or a simple ‘your mother’ joke, Sheffield’s finest do not disappoint. Turner is so clearly digging at those who doubted the band’s creative choices of late and pokes fun at the notion of staying in one lane when it comes to the available styles and genres. As the lyrics rightly, and vaguely, suggest, music should not have to constantly be relatable for its effect and talent to be truly heard. Of all the songs on the album, this is definitely a hark back to the festival anthems and show openers which still have the ability to send goosebumps down a crowd’s collective spine, such as ‘Do I Wanna Know’.
This along with the final section of ‘Body Paint’, helps to show that some heavier music still exists on a Monkeys album, showing Turner was right in 2014 when he proclaimed at the Brits that rock n’ roll was going nowhere. Yet the majority of the rest album is both upbeat and melancholic, with string sounds and piano, which all give the idea of grandeur and showmanship. Most songs in the collection could be perfect goodbye themes or simply played at the end of a film to end a journey. Very fitting one would have to say for a band who have truly done it all when itches to musical experimentation over the years.
Songs like ‘There’d Better Be A Mirrorball’ and ‘Mr Schwartz’ almost give a Beatles vibe off, with that scent of whimsical mystery being bottled up perfectly in this collection of tunes. This feels like a performative, classy and grown-up addition to the Monkeys’ catalogue of records and could not be more fitting as a follow up to ‘Tranquility Hotel Base & Casino’.
So is this new album a flop? Does it not reach the pearly heights of their previous records? The answer was in a word is no. The band are older now, living far away from the Sheffield motherland, and that reflects in their music. They’re mature artists who are testing their creativity to the full, hopping over labels and genres like a kangaroo on speed.
If you are still waiting on them to return to the rock genre then you will be waiting longer than those hoping for an Oasis reunion, but appreciation has to be shown to this latest mesmeric concoction of songs. Each ballad has its own vibe and soul, giving a feel of real quality that’s been signed, sealed and delivered from four Yorkshire lads who continue to amaze and excel despite their critics. ‘The Car’ definitely deserves more than a four stars out of five rating and of course, that’s unheard of.
To have such a one point perspective and denounce Arctic Monkeys for their ever changing and developing style would be unfair and I’m afraid that’s where you’re wrong. Whether it be taquerias on the moon or Jet Skis on a moat, that certain romance remains eternal with the band’s ever enchanting music.
By James Bentley
Back on the 14th of January; Hamish Hutcheson, Niall Goldie, Conor Goldie, Carlo Kriekaard and Alex Pearson; five Scots residing from Glasgow - better known as VLURE, released their 5 track EP, ‘Euphoria’. Combining Indie with Electropunk, it feels as though VLURE are taking us on a journey back to the 90’s with this EP. With clear inspiration from the likes of The Prodigy and Underworld, the band attempt to restore rave culture back to its origins and educate their listeners in the process.
Like strapping dynamite to a vault in Fort Knox, the EP makes an explosive entrance with its empowering opening track ‘Show Me How to Live Again’. You’ve heard the slogan ‘If Carlsberg did…’, well I’ve got a new one ‘If Begbie from Trainspotting did…’, and if Begbie from Trainspotting did FIFA Football game soundtracks, well, it would sound a lot like this.
Although minimal with its lyrical content, the song celebrates a post lockdown society. It is a rally call, gathering up the troops and encouraging the youth to invade the late-night town and take back what is rightfully theirs. Furthermore, as Hutcheson repeatedly roars the six-word title with such passion and aggression, it is clear he is using the track as a platform to protest the government’s amoral authority.
The next two tracks on the EP are ‘Heartbeat’ and ‘The Storm’. What I love about these songs is that they almost tell a story that follows on from the first track; a trilogy if you will. Where ‘Show Me How to Live Again’ is the exciting build up to the night – when you’re sitting at work on a Friday afternoon and think ‘not long now’, ‘Heartbeat’ is when the night has officially arrived. It’s around 11pm, pre’s are over and you’re now officially in the club. Although still Indie, this song possesses elements of trance about it, and with repeated lyrics such as ‘Give me a release’, it blends beautifully to make the perfect rave anthem.
Furthermore, although still fast paced, the drums are slower than that of ‘Show Me How to Live Again’. I personally interpret this to reflect that point of the night where every individual in attendance is now on the dancefloor, when you look around, all that is in sight is luminous glow sticks and dilated pupils. Everything is going on as normal, but you’re suddenly seeing it at a slower speed. You’re unsure whether it’s the alcohol and / or the jittery flashing effect of the lights, but either way, you know you’ve never felt so amazing.
However, after every incredible night is the morning after. Ladies and gentlemen, I bring you ‘The Storm’. What can I say about this song… it is beautifully disturbing. With the slow tempo representing the weak pulse of a self-diagnosed dying individual, the violent crash of the drums symbolizing the roaring car alarm that rings repetitively inside the walls of a foolish cranium, and the aggressive vocals screaming lyrics such as ‘rain keeps falling, that’s what I’ve been told’ conveying intense feelings of regret and anxiety – this song is a masterpiece. Not only the song of all songs for hangovers, but a brilliantly accurate conclusion to such a well-known and familiar story.
Not only the next song on the EP, but what I also consider to be the most interesting is ‘I Won’t Run (From Love)'. There’s a couple of reasons why this is the case, but I’ll start with the most obvious – the sound. Sound is a very generic word for a music review article, I know, but hear me out. Where the first three tracks possess a sort of dark, up to no good tone about them, ‘I Won’t Run’ has a more uplifting feel to it. The instrumental alone is a lot more indie, pop-rock, and something I would expect more from the likes of Blossoms, or The 1975.
Furthermore, what I also admire about this song is its depth and the ability to make you think. As I stated previously, the first three tracks on this EP are like their own trilogy. However, with the content of this song being about no longer avoiding love, it begs the question, does it symbolise maturity. That moment in your life when you realise that all the crazy nights, all the alcohol consumption, it’s just been you running away and ignoring your own troubles. That moment when you realize partying is no longer a solution, and what you really must do is look your insecurities in the eye and address them, and as scary as it might seem, you suddenly feel like brighter days are ahead. That moment when you must accept the red hand mark of adulthood that has just slapped you right across the face (I swear, I wrote that before the Oscars).
If that is the case here and there is a link present with the previous three tracks, not only does it fit the uplifting profile beautifully, but it also illustrates the true genius of this band, and just how complex they can really be as musicians.
Finally, not only the last track of the EP, but also my favorite, is ‘Euphoria’. I consider this favoritism to be no coincidence. As the track that the EP is named after, and the headline act, I can only assume this was done intentionally by the band, and thus I am far from the only one with this opinion. As the song starts with the lyrics ‘Monday morning when we wake / we fall and we hate’, ‘But Friday night, I’ll be alright, although I might die’, it’s clear that you are listening to a summarised analysis of the previous four tracks. This is further illustrated by the way the track enables itself to sound both identical, but opposed from the rest of the EP. It’s both dark and uplifting at the exact same time. I interpret this to symbolize the sheer bittersweetness that links back to ‘I Won’t Run’.
When you reflect on your youth, and despite the many, many funny moments, you can’t help but look back overall and cringe. But this is followed by clarity, as everything you have been told by your parents and older peers not only starts to make sense, but it also feels right. That is 'Euphoria'.
Finally, what I love most about this song is the chorus. Simply just the words ‘This is your Euphoria’, but it’s the vocal delivery, I find it spine tingling. Like a cross between a choir singing and a football stadium chant - it reminds me of the Pet Shop Boys. It fills me with motivation and drive, to stand up tall and let my own voice be heard. There aren’t many songs that can do that, especially nowadays, and just for that reason alone, I credit it as being superior.
In conclusion, this EP has made for a very unusual experience when writing this article. With previous articles, I find that I personally enjoy the project, but objectively speaking, there isn’t anything particularly special about it. However, in this case, I find it has been the complete opposite – I personally wouldn’t go out of my way to listen to this band, or this EP, it’s just not my cup of tea. But from a neutral perspective, I really admire them, I have a huge amount of respect for what they are doing and their ability to formulate their own innovative unique sound. I think VLURE are entitled to and are more than capable of gaining a huge amount of credibility, and everybody should give them the time of day at least once!
If you would like to find out more about VLURE or listen to their music, you can find the links to all their social platforms below via the icons:
By Laura Mills
Four secondary school mates from around the UK but just like steel, Lostboy was born in Sheffield. Lostboy are an indie rock band composed of four secondary school friends: Max Clutterbuck (singer/songwriter), Jack Berry (lead guitar), Henry Robinson (bass) and Ethan Reeves (drums). They released their first EP ‘Luna’ in 2019 which featured the tracks ‘Luna’ and ‘Lita’s Place’. Once they started making music, luckily for us, they couldn’t stop! Over the space of a few months Lostboy were releasing one track after the other within just a matter of weeks between. For a band with a small fan base on the rise, this was an incredibly achievement. This is a band that seems they won’t stop til they’ve got exactly what they want.
Lockdown didn’t stop Lostboy. Max used this opportunity to put his all into the band and it really paid off. During the misery of Covid, the cheeky chaps gave us the gift of ‘Fool’, ‘Potluck’, ‘Charlie’ and ‘Kid’. The following year of 2021, Max and the crew gave us two singles and an EP, not to mention several live performances around the UK too. 2022 has seen them release one single already called ‘Weight’ – a song I would call utterly brilliant.
For me, I have never believed that a band can make it so much, and I will do my utmost to support them.
Enter 'Lover', released today. We are introduced to this track by guitar strings chiming like a clock at the hour then follows a rhythmic, driving beat from the drums. The sound and pace of the instrumental makes me feel like I’m going on a journey and this song is heading somewhere, tensions are rising with every single beat of the drums. Max enters the track singing “Lover” in the most masculine, velvety tone. As we move further into the track that familiar guitar riff guides us through and keeps making itself so present in our ears. As the tempo of each instrument increases, those velvety vocals reappear again singing “But it’s a strange old thing”. The drums start to crash and smash heavier each time they are hit while those electrifying guitars support the beat. The slam of guitar chords screeches into a melodic show stopping riff, the instrumental decreases in pace but the heaviness of each instrument increases into what would be a mosh pit at the live shows. Max’s unique vocals join us again singing over messy rock in the background, you can hear every single person on this track giving it there absolute all. The track finishes with the same guiding beat we heard right at the start, this time slowly leading us out of the track. Lostboy, you’ve done it again.
If you would like to find out more about Lostboy, you can find the links to their socials below via the icons:
By James Bentley
Back on the 29th of October last year, the front man of The Verve, and one of Manchester’s very own; Richard Ashcroft released 'Acoustic Hymns Vol 1.'. The album consisted of 12 acoustic covers of some of his previous and greatest work, both solo and with the band.
For anybody who has read any of my previous work, you will know that I am very much a man of tradition. So, whenever I put pen to paper and delve into a new album, I always like to begin with the first track.
The first track on this album, and although somewhat predictable is 1997’s ‘Bittersweet Symphony’ from 'Urban Hymns'. However, on this occasion we will not judge because… well, it’s ‘Bittersweet Symphony’. I totally understand why Richard decided to introduce the album with this, and how right he was in doing so.
Not only is this the signature song of both Richard's and The Verve's career; it’s just a magnificent masterpiece from start to finish. But those famous strings throughout (made famous by Andrew Loog Orchestras’ cover of The Rolling Stones' 'The Last Time'), illustrates that this song has always shown incredible potential as an acoustic track. Combine that with the numerous acoustic performances Ashcroft has done of this song in the past, whether it be on radio stations or live gigs, it has always been certified gold dust. Suffice to say, going into an actual studio to record it didn’t impact Ashcroft in the slightest.
Where the original makes me want to take a leaf out of Richard’s book and bowl down the street passive aggressively, with a face like a slapped arse, and think deeply into the meaning of life, this version is different. It’s slower, more mellow, more intimate, the strings are still very much present, but it’s just not as in your face.
Have you ever had to let go of someone you love, because you love them, well, this version reflects that beautifully (hence, bittersweet). But where the previous version depicts feelings of anger and aggression, this version is swayed more towards, hurt, upset and acceptance. It’s the type of track that makes you want to pour an alcoholic beverage and sit alone in a room. With a smirk on your face and a tear in your eye, you reminisce on all the good times followed by the reminder that they are no more. Furthermore, the oxymoron behind the lyrics ‘I can change, but I’m here in my mould’ gets me every time, I don’t know why.
But nonetheless, although interpretations of songs can be subjective, one thing that cannot not be argued is the quality of Ashcroft's vocals. After almost 25 years, I think it’s safe to say that the 50-year-olds voice remains near to untouched.
Another song, that I would like to discuss, and again, somewhat predictable is ‘C’mon People (We’re Making It Now)'. There are numerous reasons for why this is the case: unlike 'Bittersweet Symphony', this is one of Ashcrofts solo pieces, and it is the only track on THIS album where he has collaborated. Another bloke from Manchester apparently, Liam Gallagher I think his name is… no I’ve never heard of him either.
But in all seriousness though, this is quite an interesting track. Now admittedly, between the original and the acoustic, production wise they don’t sound too different (perhaps the original has a bit more of a beat to it). However, what this song lacks in originality, it makes up for completely on the vocals. As expected, hearing two Manchester icons on the same track is incredible (BIBLICAL as Liam would put it). As soon as the track enters the 00:20 second mark, and you feel the vocals of Mr Liam Gallagher enter your ear drums, it’s immediate chills down the spine, followed by a burst of adrenaline.
What further emphasizes the greatness of this track is the relevance of the subject matter in today’s world. Despite the easing of restrictions, we are still very much in Covid times, follow that with a government that would make Joey Essex look intelligent, it’s safe to say that we all very much still feel the presence of anxiety in our day to day lives. So, take the message of uniting and succeeding, articulate it through something as therapeutic as music, and have it illustrated by two local and talented icons that we associate with simpler times. Put all of that together and I think it’s fairly safe to say that, as the listener, for 4 minutes and 54 seconds, you no longer feel concerned or alone, but instead replenished with reassurance, and confident that everything will be alright eventually.
Furthermore, with lyrics such as ‘Where have you gone, I’ll never know / I am alive, I wanna grow’, it teaches us that, a lot of the time when you’re feeling down or depressed, the healthiest thing is to realise that what you want might not necessarily be the same as what you need.
Overall, I think these two geniuses should collaborate more often, perhaps on one of Liam’s or Oasis’s songs next time. I think an acoustic version of ‘Acquiesce’ would sound phenomenal between the two of them.
In conclusion, as much as I love and welcome anything by Richard Ashcroft, I just didn’t feel that ‘Acoustic Hymns Vol 1.’ was particularly necessary. I enjoyed listening to it, don’t get me wrong, but like I said with ‘C’mon People (We’re Making It Now)’, a vast majority of the tracks on the album didn’t really sound different from the original. My personal take on this is that many of the tracks on the album were covers from ‘Urban Hymns’, although an undoubtable timeless classic, the album itself is mostly soft rock, which doesn’t really sound too different from acoustic.
My personal advice to Mr Ashcroft if he does a Vol 2, is that he takes more songs from other Verve albums such as ‘A Northern Soul’ or even ‘Fourth’. I feel that tracks like ‘Love is Noise’ would have a lot of potential as an acoustic cover, comparable to Blur’s ‘Girls & Boys’, there is much more that I believe can be done with it.
Overall, although I’m always glad to hear and see Richard Ashcroft back; when you compare it to the likes of Liam Gallagher’s 'Accoustic Sessions’ album, I just felt it lacked any sort of originality or difference from the previous versions of his tracks.
If you would like to find out more about Richard Ashcroft or keep up to date with the legendary musician's music, you can find the links to his socials below via the icons:
By Edward Burnett
Brighton three-piece band Tigercub ROAR to life with latest single, ‘I.W.G.F.U.’
I first came across Brighton band Tigercub a couple of years ago when I listened to their debut album, ‘Abstract Figures in the Dark’. This album, released in 2016, did something that very few albums can manage these days- keep the listener hooked all the way through, track by track. Yes this is seemingly something one would come to expect from an album but finding it is another challenge all together. I remember thinking what this band do so well is they keep the style fresh. From song to song, thematically or lyrically the band switch from the dark, such as ‘By Design’ to the lighter sounding songs, such as ‘Up in Smoke’, effortlessly. Naturally, I knew that when I heard that the band were releasing their latest single, ‘I.W.G.F.U.’, yesterday, I had to listen and see if the magic remained. It didn’t disappoint.
On the back of studio album number two, 2021’s ‘As Blue as Indigo’, the band have followed up with potentially their darkest sounding song yet. Whereas the title track of their sophomore was one of mesmerising beginnings, ‘I.W.G.F.U.’ wastes no time getting to the heavy with an intense drum track pounding from the off. This makes for a strong start that is only enhanced by the almost instant addition of the electric guitar which rages at the same pace. Layered on top of this, frontman Jamie Hall’s soft vocals instigate a cross-switch in tone. This collection of contrasting sounds works so well, leading into the chorus. From there on in, the song climbs the decibels and becomes more unhinged than a grizzly bear on a bender.
All in all, the latest offering from Tigercub is as strong and as hard as they’ve ever gone and certainly represents a tonal shift from what we have come to expect from the Brighton boys. They’re on the prowl and the competition best watch their backs.
If you'd like to find out more about Tigercub and listen to their new single now, you can find the links to all their socials below via the icons:
By James Bentley
Jake Bugg is a young singer/songwriter from Nottingham whose first opportunity to dabble with fame and dip his toes into the mainstream media came back in 2012, at the age of just 18 years old, with his self-named debut album. Since then, the young musician has released 5 albums in total, the most recent being ‘Saturday Night, Sunday Morning’ back on the 20th of August this year. Just like it’s last two predecessors, the album consists of only 11 tracks. Bugg claims that when he created the album, he took a wide range of inspiration from the likes of ABBA, Britpop, Jefferson Airplane etc, whilst still trying to maintain his indie style and singer/songwriter abilities that he has become so well known for. However, is this reflected on the final cut, and does it live up to the standards of his previous work?
Now, as I have stated in previous articles, I (like so many) consider the first track of an album to be the most important. So, in keeping with traditions, I will begin there. In this circumstance, the first track is also one of the most (if not, the most) notable tracks on the album, and I personally do not believe that to be a coincidence. The track is of course ‘All I Need’. As well as being released as the third single from the album, not only is it the opening act, but it also steals the show as the main headliner, and it only takes one listen to understand why.
If I could describe this song in one word, it would be ‘up’; ‘upbeat’, ‘uplifting’, ‘up-tempo’, you get the idea. Bugg spoke about the song himself, stating it to define a moment of satisfaction and clarity; and the melody alone reflects this brilliantly. What I personally favour about this song is Buggs’ astounding effort to meet his own criteria that I spoke of in the introduction. When you listen, you can hear him teasing elements of ‘pop’ and the ‘top 40’ whilst remaining loyal to his singer / songwriter roots. However, I do feel as if maybe he has tried just a little too hard to achieve this. As an unfortunate result, the track manages to tip itself over into the cliché category. By this I mean, it almost sounds as if it would be perfect for some sort of car or sky sports commercial. I can almost see myself at the pub at half time contemplating a tactical wee when I hear it.
My next song of choice is my personal favourite off the album, and that is ‘About Last Night’. There are multiple reasons for why this is the case, but I will start with the main. As somebody who considers himself an avid listener of 90’s Hip Hop, I find that my brain naturally craves a specific BPM (Beats Per Minute) usually between 85-95, and this song certainly succeeds in hitting that spot. It’s the type of song where you feel almost obligated to remain cool, composed, and do nothing other than bop your head to the beat whilst you listen – a ‘bop’ I believe it’s called. Furthermore, I admire the way that song bares a subtle resemblance to that of Arctic Monkeys' ‘AM’ (possibly my favourite album of the last 10 years). Whether the young singer/songwriter did this intentionally or not is unknown, but nonetheless, I felt elements of that Alex Turner ‘Teddy Boy’ swagger throughout, and I loved it. Undoubtedly a boss of a song, and as I practically see Tommy and Arthur strutting through the doors of the Garrison when I hear it, I consider it a definite contender for the next series of 'Peaky Blinders'.
The third and final song that I would like to discuss is ‘Scene’. Now, throughout this article I have made several references to how the Nottingham singer saw this album as an opportunity to explore other areas and step out of his comfort zone. However, there wasn’t any way that I was going to publish this article without talking about the sheer brilliance of his singer / songwriter abilities. With that in mind, I found myself torn between ‘Scene’ and ‘Downtown’, but when push came to shove, it had to be ‘Scene’.
Content wise, it might not be the most original; man finds himself on the receiving end of a broken relationship, trust is lost, tears are shed, confidence is shattered etc; nor is it quite up to the standards of ‘Love, Hope & Misery’. But nonetheless, this is a truly beautiful song. With lyrics such as 'Cause I saw another side of you that night / Did I ever really hurt you?’, ‘In the middle of the bar with all your friends there / Painting me to be the villain and it ain't fair’, it can be argued that you are listening to the victim of a toxic relationship, fed with the false beliefs that it is themself who is to blame. However, as sad as that might sound, it is a very bittersweet moment, and the soft and slow composition only further contributes to this.
When you listen to the song, you hear a person who is heartbroken, depressed, exhausted, and basically just completely fed up. Despite all this, you can’t help but feel an enormous sense of happiness and relief towards them. From an outside perspective, you know that there is no longer anything holding them back, and that they will come out of this a stronger person, with bigger, better and brighter things ahead. That is exactly what makes this such a beautiful song. Furthermore, I admire the way Bugg uses the ‘na-na-na’s’ as an opportunity to reference and pay homage to the Beatles' ‘Hey Jude’. I haven’t read about any such link, but I personally don’t consider it a coincidence.
At the beginning of this article, I delved right in by asking two simple questions:
Unfortunately, my response to this will have to be a simple and clear cut no. This might seem somewhat surprising and unfair seeing that I have given relatively positive reviews to the selected tracks. However, it is only those selected few that truly pinpoint what makes this album worth listening to.
Furthermore, the only other tracks where I felt inspiration was present were ‘Lonely Hours’ and ‘Maybe It’s Today’. ‘Lonely Hours’, I felt had a touch of The Boo Radleys / Elastica Britpop feel throughout, which I put down to its electric guitar riffs and drumbeats. As for ‘Maybe It’s Today’, well I think it’s safe to say that Phil Spector certainly played an influential role here. I feel Bugg channelled his inner Noel Gallagher on this one by putting his own spin on the Ronettes' classic ‘Be My Baby’, and if truth be told… I like it.
Overall, If I were to review the entire album track by track, then I’m afraid the entire article would just be me repeating what I felt let the opening track ‘All I Need’ down – it all just sounded a bit cliché. Pretty much every song sounded like it could have been used for an advert. Whether that be a car advert, sports advert, video game advert, pension advert, even an ITV2 Love Island / TOWIE advert etc. It wasn’t necessarily bad per say, it just wasn’t particularly original, and in brutal honesty, it got old very quickly. I don’t consider this a negative review; I consider it more a back handed compliment to the singer / songwriter because I know he can do much better.
If you'd like to find out more about Jake Bugg's new album then the links to all his socials can be found below via the icons:
By Emma Furrier
Throughout the past year and a half, the world has seemed to fall into a near standstill, while time doesn’t cease passing us by. In its wake, the pandemic has left many of us feeling as if we are playing a waiting game for life to return back to normal, and for us to finally feel like we are truly living again. Munich-based alternative five piece, Wait of the World, is no stranger to this feeling. Formed nearly eight years ago, the band is made up of childhood friends Mike Sigl (guitar, keys and second vocals), Marco Eckl (guitar) and Tom Patchett (bass), Elias "Push" Bohatsch (drums) and frontman Ben Hutchison-Bird. Despite the stress of the year and the uncertainty of what lies ahead, they’ve still managed to continue putting their heads together to pen new songs and ideas for the band going forward. Presently, the band has released five official singles, and is planning on releasing their next song the first week of September. Looking ahead, they’ve barely let their foot off the gas, and will spend the remainder of the year recording for a double EP or full-length debut to be released in 2022.
Taking influences from each of their five members, Wait of the World is a heterogeneous mix of the styles they all love, including hip hop, metal, modern rock, and bubblegum pop. Although constituting so many diverse genres and having so much drive to create, it took them some time to get where they are now. Their latest single, ‘If Only Tonight’ is a direct result of the band’s tendencies to allow things time to rest. The initial idea of the track itself goes back a few years, but it was put on the backburner for a later time while the band pursued other ideas. It wasn’t until this past year that it was brought back up and fully constructed. Recording the track came together in a patchwork styled construction, having been recorded both in lead singer Ben Hutchison-Bird’s basement, and a recording studio in Hamburg. Thematically, the song reflects on youth, growing up, and the mourning changes it brings. Hutchison-Bird reflected on the song, stating,
“The lyrics are about growing up in a sense, or the end of growing up. Hitting adult age and suddenly being confronted with this fear of uncertainties that you can’t do anything the way you used to be able to, as freely as you used to be able to when you were younger. It’s scary growing up… I’m always concerned about what the future’s going to bring. The verse is written as if it’s a person being seduced by all these things you used to be able to do. Being free, acting dumb and whatever. And the chorus is kind of a release to it, saying well if only tonight we could just let go and we could be as we are. We can run and let go of it all and be free in that sense. Just not caring, if only for one night we could just not care about anything”.
To coincide with the topic of the song, musically each band member contributes to create a full, alternative-rock-pop sound that feels almost anthem-esqe to teens and millennials alike. Citing acts like Nothing but Thieves, Bring me the Horizon, While She Sleeps and Thrice as their favourite bands and musical influences, it is clear that Wait of the World are keen on remaining energetic and innovative in their sound. Bending genre has never been something they’ve shied away from, but rather embraced. Having started off making funk-rock music, they pivoted and reconstructed not only the genre and style in which they wanted to create, but the name and essence of the band. This new single is clear evidence of that journey and a bit different than anything they’ve released to date. As their fifth single, the structure of the song is more in-tune to their personal tastes and their desire to create something fresh. The verses are rather electronic, while the chorus on the other hand is a poppy, ear-worm of a hook that grabs you and embeds itself into your brain, forcing you to sing along. Unafraid to be placed in one box, the band have explored various other sounds, venturing into harder rock and touches of metal, which they plan to release later this year.
Accompanying the single is a music video the band filmed near Hamburg, Germany. This is the first video they have not filmed and produced themselves, which added an extra layer of excitement and energy for the band. The video, directed by Timmi Thaler, also features actors alongside the band, and tells the story of a night running through a grandiose forest, being confronted with different possibilities. Various darkened spaces are opened to run into, only to get lost, in a subtle metaphor for life. Their prior music video release for their past single, ‘Bite My Tongue’ was filmed completely DIY by strictly the band, as Bohatsch (drummer) is talented in not just music, but cinetampgraphy as well. Adding this new experience of filming with a crew and actors is something that excited the band and solidified a promising trajectory for them. Hutchison-Bird stated:
“Everything is primarily about the music. Playing live and getting out to show it on stage. But you also have this creative aspect in the background as well. The artworks, videos and everything. All of it comes together to shape the band, and shape what you do. Getting to do these kinds of things is really fun to do”.
It is clear in talking to Hutchison-Bird and watching the band perform in their videos, that despite the often melancholic theme to their music, the band is focused on eliciting emotion and creating a lively, intense musical experience. No matter which direction they take, Wait of the World promises to keep you on your toes throughout their journey of musical exploration. While we eagerly await their next releases, you can stream their music on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, and Youtube.
If you would like to find out more about Wait of the World and keep up to date with their latest releases, you can find the links to all their socials below via the icons:
By Edward Burnett
It is no secret that the Arctic Monkeys are my personal all-time favourite band. This is for a plethora of reasons but we can whittle these down to their poetic lyricism, complicated-yet-catchy tunes and of course, me being a Yorkshire lad myself like the rocking four-piece. Yet the focal point of this article is a strength of the Sheffield band that is not listed there but rather one that leads to a certain theory I’ve harboured for some time surrounding Alex Turner and Co.
Before we get into the theory itself, firstly I must discuss the strength which prompts this. What really makes Arctic Monkeys shine is their alterations in style and sound from each album to the next. No two releases are ever the same with the band going from indie-punk tones on their debut to a more sonic, stylised rock on the multi award-winning ‘AM’. This knack of changing their image and sound with every album while managing to also succeed in such transitions shows why the band are one of the very best around. The Monkeys’ talent evidently has no ceiling.
So what’s the theory then? What has the Northern English group’s multiple regenerations got to do with anything? Well pardon the pun but let’s build this theory up ‘Brick By Brick’. Firstly, the base-point of my thinking is that there are several songs per album that don’t belong there but rather on the succeeding album instead. This act gives an air of foreshadowing for what is to come in the next album.
One major instance of this is between 2009’s ‘Humbug’ and 2011’s ‘Suck It and See’. I would argue that out of the entire AM discography, these two albums represent the biggest jump in changing themes from both a lyrics and a genre perspective. On one hand we have the aggressive, moody and sonic ‘Humbug’ which encompasses mystery and some dread through its enticing lyrics of danger and mystification. On the other hand we have the band’s fourth studio album, ‘Suck It and See’- a romantic collection of songs that give a quieter, acoustic vibe. Just from these two descriptions, never mind from listening to the two differing albums, one can tell that the band had changed monumentally in just three years. Was there any signs though to suggest this change was coming and thus support the overarching theory of foreshadowing? Yes, yes there were. Take the seventh track, ‘Cornerstone’, from ‘Humbug’ as the key example. This track doesn’t possess the darker themes that show to be the norm in its fellow songs. Instead the song is a far softer romance ballad that feels out of place next to the heavier songs like ‘Crying Lightning’ and ‘Dangerous Animals’. It’s cute and enchanting aura suits the songs of ‘Suck It and See’ far more with it being extremely similar in content to ‘Piledriver Waltz’ in particular.
Another example amongst many others to point out is the jump to ‘Humbug’ itself from the group’s second album, 2007’s ‘Favourite Worst Nightmare’. The Monkeys’ sophomore album brought about the introduction of their now uniquely iconic lyricism which featured symbolic language and references. This was a step forward creatively when compared to their very down to Earth and realism-heavy debut ‘Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not’. The second album therefore thematically, although changing the way in which the themes were presented via abstract comparisons, did stay the same as the first with a punchy attitude and a positive sound. However, there are some signs on the album which indicate the dip to the darkside that the band were due to take with ‘Humbug’. Namely ‘If You Were There, Beware’ springs to mind at an instant. Here we have a song riddled with imagery of serpents, witches and regret. All these gloomy motifs are painted against a deeper background beat which features sharp and almost unplanned musical twist and turns resulting in an unsettling nature. This very atmosphere is shown regularly throughout ‘Humbug’ and is what the album is of course characterised by.
Whether all this is planned or merely experimental chance, it matters not. What does indeed matter is that it occurs and intriguingly has a long track record of it. Therefore we might all need a closer listen to the Monkeys’ most recent studio release, 2018’s ‘Tranquility Base Hotel and Casino’, to see what’s in store for us when the band finally reconvene for AM7. I hope my sharing of the theory has added another level to your enjoyment of listening to the band and now we at RNRR aren’t the ‘Only Ones Who Know’ about it.
If you'd like to find out more about Arctic Monkeys and keep up to date with their latest releases and the rumoured AM7, the links to all their socials are below via the icons:
By Emma Furrier
Third albums are notorious for allowing artists free range to explore and solidify themselves for who and what they are. After they shake off the nerves of a debut, and the pressure to prove themselves in a successful follow up album passes, the third go-around is almost always significantly less unsure and more true to the artist’s authentic self. In their third effort, ‘Blue Weekend’, indie-rockers Wolf Alice explore a new realm of rock, focused on plaintiful songwriting and anthemic-shoegaze tracks. In their most progressive, honest, and ambitious record yet, lead singer Ellie Rowsell penned each of the album's 11 tracks with an earnest approach that balances a range of emotions and complexities, all with a skillful and critical eye. Wolf Alice had established themselves as a big name in the indie world, with the success of their first two albums, accompanied by a string of shows as supporting acts for big names like Liam Gallagher, Queens of the Stone Age, Foo Fighters, and The 1975, and of course their own headlining gigs around the globe. With each tour, they proved themselves as one of the greatest, current live rock bands, garnering the praise of many industry professionals.
Having won the prestigious Mercy Prize for their sophomore album, ‘Visions of a Life’, the band set out to create a bigger and bolder record after spending their time exploring the range of their sound on this previous effort. One thing Wolf Alice has always excelled at, is dissecting the vast range of human emotion, in a prudent context that wears its heart on its sleeve and feels approachable by all walks of life. There is a keen awareness to their music, which continues to excel as they mature both in life and in their sound. Building off of the success of their first two LPs, ‘Blue Weekend’ creates a universe of its own full of eccentric personalities, heady nights on the town and stark self reflection. Ultimately it is acceptance of the good with the bad and embracing the present for what it is. They dream big, while not letting the payoffs of their success dictate who they are. Many of the tracks on this album revolve around the simple things in life, reflecting on quaint moments at the beach with friends and family, and the longing for a traditional happy ending. Themes of loss are explored frequently, without dwelling on any particular moody grievances. Even in the most heartbreaking tracks, Rowsell still approaches them with a sense of gratitude for having experienced such feelings at all. Lost love, lost sense of self, and feeling small in a large city like Los Angeles, all circle back to their humble beginnings in Camden, which they’ve proven formulate the heart and soul of the band. 'Blue Weekend' is accompanied by a visual album, where a music video has been created for each track and portrays a night on the town in London. This time around, the band have heavily focused on visuals and a cohesive aesthetic throughout. The album artwork, photographed by Jordan Hemingway, creates a daze of primary colors and a dreamy quality that perfectly suits the album. For Spotify users, there is a storyline with accompanying images for each track, reading like a script that plays along. Wolf Alice has ensured that no matter how you consume the album, via streaming platforms or a physical copy, you’re immersed in the world they’ve created, both sonically and visually. They’ve reached a new, creative peak that enables a variety of artforms to exist both independently and together.
Wolf Alice offers up their rougher, garage-rock ideations for slightly more transcendental and polished production value. The album is masterfully engineered and produced by Markus Dravs, a frequent collaborator of Florence and the Machine and Arcade Fire. Together, they haven't compromised their DIY integrity, no. Rather, they’ve proven their genius in the manner in which they’ve meticulously crafted and manipulated their sound. It’s an all-hands-on-deck effort, which has always been a requisite for the band. Each member is spotlighted in various moments throughout the album, taking turns to each have their moment to shine, as exemplified in the album’s first single, ‘The Last Man on Earth’. They are stronger than ever in their unity, and know their instruments better, as well. There is a clear sense of craftsmanship and synergy here that is clearer and more compelling than ever before. After ten years of being a band, it has been proven that they are masters of a fiery, electrifying chorus, the gungey, fuzzy riff, and revel in the dichotomy between a stark whisper and a rebel yell. The album is constantly shifting between each of these Wolf Alice essentials, yet it still holds a quality that is bigger and refreshing to their sound, as they explore new territories. In the opening track, ‘The Beach’ there is a sense of gentle familiarity, as the track eases into a repetitive sturm of guitar that steadily builds in rhythm, almost like a kickdrum, while Rowsell’s soft vocals carry you into the chorus with ease. They guide you into the album before a hymnal chorus of beautiful vocals crescendo and sets the mood for the lavishness and grandeur that the rest of the album holds. They let listeners know right off the bat that they are still the same Wolf Alice we know and love, yet they’re not willing to remain complacent. This opener is relatively short, clocking in at 2:35, serving more of a purpose as an opening credit, rather than a stand-alone track.
We seamlessly flow into the following track, ‘Delicious Things’ with an equally delicious kick of drums and change in tempo. Right from the start of this track, it exudes the essence of something entirely different from any other Wolf Alice song we’ve heard before. Layered vocals dance around in a choir of enchanting sound, before lulling to a stop when the pairing of drums and a wah-wah influenced electric guitar snap us out of our trance. Drummer Joel Amey excels on this track, creating a luscious pace that sets the groundwork for every other intricate component that comprises this stand-out track. There is a palpable energy and swagger, as Rowsell’s vocals nearly rap along to the beat in the most gracious way, and eventually pick back up into her harmonious, gravely cry. The basis of the song finds her lost in Los Angeles, exploring the Hollywood Hills. She finds herself in a similar scenario to many greats that came before her, although she doesn’t feel that Hollywood glamor as she stumbles into a bar and gets accosted by its sleaze. The track paints the perfect picture from this moment in Rowsell’s life, exploring her normality and distaste for grandeur in an ironic setting. Along with many of Blue Weekend’s tracks, it appears as a page ripped from her personal diary, but we’re all invited to read. It is humble and Rowsell is forthright in her honesty, singing, “I don't care, I'm in the Hollywood Hills/ I'm no longer pulling pints, I'm no longer cashing tills/ And I'm alive, I feel like Marilyn Monroe/ If you're all poppin' pills, you know I won't say no/ I won't say no, I'll give it a go/ I won't say no, I'll give it a/ Shot for the spot at the top/ A girl like me, would you believe I'm in Los Angeles?” Despite her claims, her mind is still elsewhere. As she reflects on her travels and missing home, coming down from the thrill of it all, she sings, “Extravagance disguised as elegance is boring/ I don't belong here, though it really is quite fun here/ "Hey, is Mum there? It's just me, I felt like calling". The plaintive lyricism here rivals the emotions in some of Wolf Alice’s best work, which has always hinged on their ability to capture Rowsell’s experiences and emotional complexity in a way that feels all-consuming and relatable. This track also proves the growth in her vocal range, exploring territories she has yet to venture into, up until the freedom she found in this album. Almost like a cathartic release, she freely transforms into a bolder frontwoman. In this one track, she shifts from tender sparsity in her tone, to the luxurious sonic opulence of layered cries.
Rowsell’s vocal delivery has significantly embarked on a journey of its own in the process of the album’s creation. While there are still tender, pentalive moments where we find her whispering her infamous, nearly poetic, breathy vocals into the mic, there are always moments where she soars in confidence and clarity, unlike ever before. She further plays around with what she can achieve in the third track, ‘Lipstick on the Glass’. The pre-chorus finds her in a near operatic state, her vocals soaring like an aria amongst a delicately layered instrumentation. It’s rich in composition, and impossible not to be captivated by in each of its manly layers. This track proves that the more you listen to it, the more layers you can peel away to reveal something unheard before. Once again, Rowsell’s lyricism balances between the fine line of poetry and memoir, in a heart-achingly beautiful way. The rawness of her vocals and lyrics contradict the lush production of the track, in a complex duality this album masters.
Contradicting the lavish, polished sounds heard up until this point, Wolf Alice drag us back into the mud with them on their fourth track and the second single, ‘Smile’. A gritty, 90s-grunge-influenced cut, we’re reminded of the band’s roots and earliest tracks, while still showcasing how much they’ve evolved since then. It slaps you in the face with its heavy, fuzzy baseline and steady percussion. This song screams self-assurance and IDGAF attitude, as Rowsell penned the track as a diss towards the plethora of sexist critics she’s faced the brunt of. “And now you all think I'm unhinged/ But wind it up and this honeybee stings/ Did you think I was a puppet on strings?/ Wind her up and this honeybee sings” she spits, before the chorus hits and revels in opulent vocals. It is a fun, tongue-in-cheek, feminist manifesto that truly shines in its unabashedness, and it will certainly be a staple-live track going forward.
‘Safe From Heartbreak (if you never fall in love)’ is a sweet little number, full of bright, plucked acoustic guitar and hymnal vocals similar to the ballads in their previous effort, Visions of a Life. Sonically, it is ethereal despite its subject matter which is anything but romantic. This is yet another track that proves how the band is focused on harmony and pristine melody more so than ever before. The 80s-tinged ‘How Can I Make It OK?’ is a catchy pop song, produced with a high attention to detail. Once again, Rowsell’s vocals soar in this track, proving that changing direction was on the forefront of their minds. It is ambitious and risky, but pays off as the track builds into an anthemic chorus that crowds will blissfully sing with no inhibitions, as intended. Keeping live music in mind, ‘All the Greatest Hits’ is another energetic, loud and brash track that demands your full attention. It is this album’s own ‘Yuk Foo’; is what it is, without trying to be anything more. Plus, we get to hear that iconic, nearly ear-piercing scream that begs listeners to join in. ‘Feeling Myself’ projects an even greater sense of exploration and confidence. It is the single “electronic” cut on the record, without being house enough to deter fans. There is a jazzy vocal delivery up until the chorus, where synth-driven-percussion and even an accompanying orchestral section merge together to create a, you guessed it, electronic burst of sound. If you did not think that Wolf Alice were unafraid of genre-meshing before, this track will certainly make that known. My favorite line on the album is nestled within one of the verses on this song, as Rowsell cheekily sings, “Keep my name on your lips, and let the double L feel like a kiss”. She has never been so poised and self-assured before, and it’s a wonderful new side to see.
The leading single off the album, ‘The Last Man On Earth’ was released in February to instantaneous praise and an uproar of hype for this new side to Wolf Alice. There is much to be said about the power of this track, which was penned by Rowsell after reading Kurt Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle, and tells its own tale on the arrogance of humans, self doubt, and ultimately, rebirth. It is a sharp and critical assessment of humanity, disguised in a moving, rock ballad. Rowsell’s vocals soar throughout the chorus, but halfway through the track, the song takes a new direction as drummer Joel Amey, bassist Theo Ellis and guitarist Joff Oddie emerge from behind Rowsell’s shadow and send the track soaring to new heights. It’s an unexpected but necessary shift, as a vintage, psych-style guitar solo rips through the pristine piano, and a larger-than-life wall of sound erupts like a choir. It is the album, and the listener's, own moment of sonic climax. The track cocoons you in its warm embrace, before setting us free and allowing us to emerge from its chrysalis, newly transformed. That is the ultimate gripping power this song has, and Wolf Alice knows it. A modern day opus, it has transfixed listeners around the globe in a beautiful, inclusive way.
Coming down off the high of Last Man, ‘No Hard Feelings’ remains soft and easy, flowing gently in a serene melody. It is short and simplistic, consisting of just acoustic guitar and vocals, proving that less is more. While there are lavish moments throughout this album, Wolf Alice have always been self assured in the fact that they don’t need to overload you with complexities and over-produced sounds to create a full-sounding track. They truly are at their best in these softer, more intimate moments, having started off their career laced in folk-inspired songs. The last track, ‘The Beach II’ is a continuation of the opening track. The pair of songs keep the album together like musical bookends. It’s soft, yet still rumbles and sends us into a shoegaze-daze while it delivers Rowsell back to the beach where she started this whole journey, yet is now joined by her girlfriends and shrouded in pure happiness. After the rollercoaster of emotions, and the miles traveled throughout the expanse of this album, we are brought back to the simpler, everyday moments of life, and reminded of what matters most. “The tide comes in/ As it must go out/ Consistent like the laughter/ Of the girls on the beach/ My girls on the beach/Happy ever after” she sings, entrancing listeners into a dreamlike state that plants us beside her in the sand. As the track fades out, we are left to revel in the ebb and flow that this record has guided us throughout. It is highly emotive, intricate, and pure.
'Blue Weekend' has proven that Wolf Alice will not be placed in one box, and they certainly have a lot more to offer than what has been heard in the expanse of their 3 Eps and 3 LPs. They are not done experimenting and evolving, and this album exemplifies that while giving us an alluring promise of more to come. Bold and unapologetically themselves, there is a distinctive sense of everything clicking into place on this record. We still find them in the entanglement of folk, garage rock and shoegaze, although they have certainly left their comfort zone and traded in any industry-formulaic approach for steering deeper into the unfamiliar. Each and every track showcases the prominent sophistication and self awareness of Rowsell's writing and vocals, as well as the complexity of the band's sound. They were never lost in a search for their identity, but rather ambitious in exploring their options, and in 'Blue Weekend' they’ve finally found the perfect middleground.
If you'd like to listen to the album or keep up to date with the latest news from Wolf Alice's camp, you can find the links to all of the band's socials below via the icons:
By Emma Furrier
Hailing from New York and freshly signed to Unispan Records, Weird America is a name you are going to want to remember and with a name so catchy, how could you ever forget it? The four-piece rock band may still be bounded in their youth, but the sound they have created is highly reminiscent of bands that came years before them. With musical inspirations that you’d likely find on a Dad Rock playlist, the spirit they harness in their music is anything but outdated. Formed in 2016 by rhythm guitarist/vocalist Billy Vas Pappas, lead guitarist Daniel J. Caprio, drummer Peter Scarpitta and bassist Bobby Joe Finnegan, the band have honed their craft and chemistry in the crucible of live performance and writing over the past five years.
The heart of the band lies in their live performances, where they get to let loose and exuberate the spontaneous energy that gave them their namesake. In the wake of COVID-19 and the elimination of live music from the entertainment sphere, bands had to learn to pivot and accommodate audiences in new, inventive ways. Harnessing this digitalized world of livestreams and online concerts, Weird America used this new landscape to their advantage. I was kindly invited to attend one of their virtual shows in April, which was held over Zoom to raise money for UNICEF and the global water crisis. Utilizing their platform not only to spread their music and invoke positivity, they also helped out a great cause and further impressed me with their humanity— not to mention the high-energy of their performance that left me satisfied in the way only live music can. The setlist for their virtual show consisted of 12 tracks, many of which are yet to be officially released. Having since garnered a Battle of the Bands win under their belt from Hofstra University’s “Label’d” competition, the band are set to record a double single as they return to the studio this June.
Upon first listen, Weird America maneuver around their instruments to embellish a modernized classic rock, southern rock, and alternative rock hybrid. Implementing many classic guitar riffs and drawling vocals, their sound invokes a particular, intoxicating reflection of American rock music. With their own unique styling, you are immediately immersed into this new, weird Americana. While the band’s lyrics, mainly penned by frontman Billy Vas Pappas, often are centralized around youthful affairs like first dates, forming relationships and getting out of your town, it is the power of their instrumentation that grounds them and reminds listeners of their youthful energy masked in a highly mature sound.
Weird America has the central goal to utilize their music to make their audience “feel, move and get weird”. Another indicator of their youthful spirit that is highly utilized in their songs, is that they clearly are eager to explore different sounds, styles and genres, fluidly gliding in and out without any harsh juxtapositions. Their no-holds-barred approach to music is exemplified in their debut EP, '$5 Omelette' (June 2019), which contains five original songs and was engineered by Mike Makowski (RoyalTMixes) at Livin Live Studio in Queens, New York.
The structure of the songs themselves is anything but conventional, and leaves listeners hanging on to every note. Just when you believe a song has come to its end, the pickup of guitar or the final snare of drums wakes you up again and guides you into the next track with ease. The EP’s opening track ‘Medicine Man’ kicks off the EP with a contagious blues riff before being joined in with percussion in the chorus to invigorate listeners. The breakdown of the song is slightly sedated, but Pappas’ vocals strain with powerful emotion and the tempo picks back up in a way that perks you up and pulls you in deeper. The song fades out with a clutter of spoken vocals overlaying the music and blends seamlessly into the following track, ‘Danny Killed a Man’, almost as if it is a continuation rather than an afterthought. These two opening tracks are the strongest in their effort, blending blues guitar with rock inflections, and topping it off with a killer jam session fueled by electric guitar and persistent percussion. Thematically, these songs are stronger, and are shrouded in a darker, deeper meaning that is left up to interpretation. The finale of ‘Danny Killed a Man’ refuses to be disregarded, leaving listeners in a headbanging state of being. The dark haze lifts as the third track, ‘How to Start the Show’ begins and finds its footing in a lighter and slower production reminiscent of early 2000s pop-rock blends. There are moments on the EP where I am just for a second reminded of acts like Red Hot Chili Peppers in Pappas’ vocals and their musical arrangement. ‘Movie’, the fourth cut, gravitates in a similar realm, while adventuring into a groovier side of their sound that is both effortless and charming. The final track, ‘Take a Walk’ nicely ties up the EP with a similar lighter sound, and concludes with the pretty intonation of piano. From start to finish, Weird America encourages listeners to embrace each shift and get weird. If this first EP is anything to go by, it is a strong start for a promising new rock band.
If you would like to find out more about Weird America and keep up to date with their latest releases, you can find the links to all their socials below via the icons: