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Album Reviews

Slipknot

The End, So Far

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SLIPKNOT – THE END, SO FAR – ALBUM REVIEW

There has always been a mystique surrounding Slipknot, from their early days as unknown masked maniacs through to present day’s constant speculation on their future. The latter was fuelled further by the title of their seventh album, ‘The End, So Far’.

This album signals the end of their working relationship with Roadrunner which started way back in 1998. The purposefully triggering title however will leave fans wondering what the future holds. Promotional tactic, genuine end in sight, or just fun and games, perhaps not even the band themselves know.

What we do know however is that we have just shy of an hour of new Slipknot music to sink our teeth into, and as demonstrated by interesting album opener, ‘Adderall’, we also know this will be another divisive album for fans old and new.

Bands the size of Slipknot almost always become a victim of their own success. For some they can do no wrong, for others they can do no right. The reality, as is usually the case in life, is often somewhere in the middle.

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Slipknot – ‘Adderall’

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‘The End, So Far’ is one of those albums. There are some stunning moments, some weaker moments, some songs built for their old school fans and some material so far removed from the realms of Slipknot that it may alienate portions of their fanbase.

Ultimately Slipknot have always been anti-establishment in terms of the music industry, and they remain so now even if they’ve become that establishment! Slipknot are going to do whatever they want to do and they’ve earned that right.

The question to ask here is perhaps if this (which is very unlikely) is the final stand of Slipknot, does this album do them justice. The answer is yes, there is more than enough quality on this record to ensure this isn’t in the bottom few of any ‘All Slipknot albums ranked’ lists.

Almost predictably at this point in their career, it’s also not going to trouble the top of that list; which brings us back around to that point of the truth often being in the middle! Fans just need to enjoy this album for what it is, and make the most of the band whilst they are still around.

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Album Reviews

The Snuts

Burn The Empire

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THE SNUTS – BURN THE EMPIRE – ALBUM REVIEW

2021 saw The Snuts snag a surprise number one album with their debut, ‘W.L’. Since then the band has hit the road hard, touring all over and gracing plenty of festival main stages. If world domination isn’t their aim, then they may want to slow down!

Read our review of ‘W.L’ from The Snuts

That however is very unlikely to happen as the band return with sophomore album, ‘Burn The Empire’. This is a naturally important release for the band, and not just because of good old fashioned second album syndrome.

No, ‘W.L’, whilst a huge hit for the band was a collection of tracks from the bands career thus far, honed and crafted on the road. This is the band’s debut album in terms of writing and recording in a short period of time. This may then be the first true snapshot of the group’s talent and potential longevity.

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The Snuts – ‘Burn The Empire’

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Starting with the politically charged duo ‘Burn The Empire’ and ‘Zuckerpunch’, it’s clear that this also signifies a shackles off moment for the band. Having recently also called out their own record label, clearly The Snuts have no fear, and that’s refreshing considering the often maligned, play it safe culture in music these days.

The themes that run through the album feel particularly relevant right now and the band certainly get credit for their open and direct dialect. They also deserve credit for their musical bravery, showing a willingness to experiment away from the lad rock that has got them this far.

For a band to grow and evolve they need that willingness to experiment and can be forgiven for the odd misstep, such as ‘Cosmic Electronica’, which doesn’t quite hit the spot that they were no doubt aiming for.

All too often when bands have a highly successful debut, subsequent albums only require a hit or two to add to the bands legacy with the rest of the album often instantly forgettable. ‘Burn The Empire’ definitely provides a handful of hits to bolster the setlist, but whilst there is the odd tedious moment the rest of the album also holds up well.

This album will do exactly what it needs to do for The Snuts, as they continue their momentum towards world domination. We’ve needed a new breakout indie band for a while now, and don’t put it beyond this band to be the one to do it!

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Read our review of The Snuts live in Colchester

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Live Reviews

Frank Turner

Junction, Cambridge

Friday 30th September 2022

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FRANK TURNER – CAMBRIDGE – LIVE REVIEW

You know that gig season is in full effect when you head along to a Frank Turner show. Yes, the man that is always on tour is on his rearranged ‘Never Ending Tour of Everywhere’. Tonight that means the Junction in Cambridge and another sold out show.

It’s almost a guarantee at a Turner show that you’ll be greeted by some fantastic support acts and this tour is certainly no different. Up first are Truckstop Honeymoon who serenade the crowd with their entertaining bluegrass folk sound, and their whimsical quips! The duo will be picking up many new fans on this tour as they introduce themselves properly to the UK.

The main support act on this tour is non-other than Pet Needs, who have featured on both our ‘Discover’ New Music and Full Pelt Music Podcasts. The band are intrinsically linked to Mr. Turner at the moment. He has produced both their albums and taken them on tour around the world. That said, it really feels like the band are breaking out and solidifying their own name.

Shows like tonight will go a long way towards that and it’s telling the amount of Pet Needs merchandise on display in the audience. Early fan favourites such as ‘Tracey Emin’s Bed’ and ‘Kayak’ intermix with new songs ‘Ibiza In Winter’ and ‘Fear for the Whole Damn World’ as the band showcase their enormous potential.

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Pet Needs – ‘Get on The Roof’

Read our review of ‘Primetime Entertainment’ from Pet Needs

Closing their generous time on stage with ‘Overcompensating’, ‘Toothpaste’ and ‘Get On the Roof’, anybody not yet alert to Pet Needs now surely are. The crowd give the band a huge ovation as they depart ready to continue to plot for world domination.

The audience is hot tonight and as Frank Turner takes to the stage the atmosphere is palpable. Imagine then the reaction as Turner bursts straight into a run of ‘Four Simple Words’, ‘The Gathering’, ‘Photosynthesis’, ‘Punches’ and ‘1933’ – hardly time for band or audience to breathe!

Turner’s latest album, ‘FTHC’, is a punk record and that ethos is certainly captured on this tour. Thankfully for Turner his audience are open to this change in pace and band and crowd are one tonight making this a great Friday night out.

Frank Turner is known to take particular care over his setlists and tonight is a typical career spanning affair with fan favourites, deep cuts and new tracks all on offer. Highlights tonight include ‘A Wave Across A Bay’, ‘Be More Kind’ and ‘Non Serviam’.

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Frank Turner – ‘Non Serviam’ (Live)

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At this point you know what you are going to get from a Turner show, and that’s an amazing time. Realistically that makes him a very difficult person to review, his consistency and endurance are unrivalled and you never really get a misstep.

Tonight the show climaxes with an encore of ‘I Knew Prufrock Before He Got Famous’, ‘Recovery’, ‘Try This At Home’ and ‘I Still Believe’, which drains every remaining drop of energy out of the venue. Don’t take Turner for granted, get down to a show and have a great night!

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Read our review of ‘FTHC’ from Frank Turner

Watch Episode 1 of The Full Pelt Music Podcast with guest Frank Turner

The Full Pelt Music Podcast – Episode 1 – Frank Turner

Read our review of Arkells live in Norwich

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Live Reviews

Hard-Fi

Craufurd Arms, Milton Keynes

Thursday 29th September 2022

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HARD-FI – MILTON KEYNES – LIVE REVIEW

Tonight is a hot ticket, with venue staff stating that they could’ve sold the venue out four times over, and that people had been inquiring about just listening from outside the venue.

The reason for the excitement is that tonight indie rock standouts Hard-Fi will be playing their first show in eight years. Not just that but it takes place in the intimate surrounds of one of the UK’s premier independent music venues – the Craufurd Arms in Milton Keynes (or Wolverton as singer Richard Archer points out).

Yes, the return of Hard-Fi is very welcome and given the lyrical content of some of their early material, it’s somewhat apt that the band responsible for ‘Cash Machine’ return during one of the most tumultuous weeks of the ongoing cost of living crisis.

Tonight serves as a warm up for their big return shows in Manchester and London, but before Hard-Fi arrive on stage we have the warm up for tonight. Eddz channels his inner Ian Brown, performing solo to a backing track. In front of a baying crowd, Eddz styles out the performance well and certainly leaves the stage with more fans than we he arrived.

The venue is rammed tight by the time the returning heroes arrive on stage and opener ‘Middle Eastern Holiday’ instantly engages the crowd. The atmosphere is electric as the band find their feet through the likes of ‘Can’t Get Along (Without You)’ and ‘I Shall Overcome’.

There is a slightly misguided rendition of The White Stripes classic ‘Seven Nation Army’ early in the show which feels oddly placed and generally unnecessary, however the next tracks ‘Tied Up Too Tight’ and ‘Good For Nothing’ ensure that the crowd remains firmly onboard.

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Hard-Fi – ‘Cash Machine’

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A run of ‘Better Do Better’, ‘Bring It On’, ‘Fire In The House’ and ‘Cash Machine’ is fantastic, and just shows the depth of the bands back catalogue. Despite only having 3 studio albums to their name, Hard-Fi certainly have the proverbial bangers for days!

Whilst there are times that it’s clear this is their first show in a very long time, the band shake off any gremlins to deliver a memorable night for their fans. ‘Suburban Knights’ and ‘Hard To Beat’ close out the main set for a three song encore which ends of ‘Living For The Weekend’.

The band are living for this weekend and their big return shows, but after this performance, fans will be hoping that Hard-Fi stick around for a while longer!

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Read our review of Ash live in London

Categories
EP Reviews

Oakman

SCP

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Oakman

The evolution of Oakman in recent years has culminated with the release of their third EP, ‘SCP’. The French pop-punk trio have given deeper exploration of the pop element of the genre and the outcome is majestic.

Opening with the statement dancefloor filler ‘Night’, the six track record is an uplifting yet brutally honest and personal collection.

‘Murder’ and ‘Fantasy’ knuckle down on this formula and exude vulnerability and strength in equal measure.

Oakman sound natural on this EP and are able to showcase their superb songwriting skills with freedom. Their pop-punk roots remain, but the band appear ready to elevate themselves both artistically and professionally with their new sound.

Watch Episode 22 of our ‘Discover’ New Music Podcast with guests Oakman

Read our review of Arkells live in Norwich

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News Report

News Report

Every week we roundup the best music news from the past week!

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News Report

Arctic Monkeys set for huge UK Stadium Tour

Welcome everyone to another edition of our weekly music News Report!

We start this week with the latest live announcements and they didn’t come any bigger than the revelation that Arctic Monkeys will be performing a huge UK Stadium Tour next Summer.

The band will perform 13 dates in May and June 2023 including double dates in London and hometown Sheffield.

Making the events even more unmissable will be special guests The Hives and The Mysterines!

Ticket information is here.

Read our review of Reading Festival

Roger Waters reveals UK ‘This Is Not A Drill’ dates

The legendary Roger Waters also had UK Tour news on offer this week as he revealed three dates for next Summer on his ‘This Is Not A Drill’ Tour.

“This Is Not A Drill is a groundbreaking new rock and roll/cinematic extravaganza, performed in the round, it is a stunning indictment of the corporate dystopia in which we all struggle to survive, and a call to action to Love, Protect and Share our precious and precarious planet home.  The show includes a dozen great songs from Pink Floyd’s Golden Era alongside several new ones, words and music, same writer, same heart, same soul, the same man. Could be his last hurrah. Wow! My first farewell tour! Don’t miss it”.  Love R.

Tickets are here.

Read our review of Lonely The Brave live in Cambridge

The Dead Daisies reveal UK Tour dates

Rockers The Dead Daisies have this week revealed new UK Tour dates for December.

Support comes from both FM and Graham Bonnet Band.

Tickets are here.

Read our review of ‘Patient Number 9’ from Ozzy Osbourne

Black Honey announce Halloween show

This week also saw Black Honey reveal details of a special Halloween show at Colours Hoxton!

Tickets here.

Read our review of Black Honey live in Norwich

News Report

Red Hot Chili Peppers debut ‘Eddie’

Red Hot Chili Peppers – ‘Eddie’

We move our News Report on now to the best new releases from the past week and we start with the iconic Red Hot Chili Peppers!

The band debuted their latest single this week from upcoming new album, ‘Return of the Dream Canteen’, which is out October 14th.

You can listen to, ‘Eddie’, above now.

Pre-order your copy here.

Read our review of Red Hot Chili Peppers live in London

The Smashing Pumpkins debut ‘Beguiled’

The Smashing Pumpkins – ‘Beguiled’

Another iconic act with new music out this week was The Smashing Pumpkins who revealed new single, ‘Beguiled’, which you can check out above.

The track comes from new album, ‘ATUM’, which is out 21st April.

Pre-order your copy here.

Read our review of The Hella Mega Tour live in London

Fontaines D.C. share video for ‘The Couple Across The Way’

Fontaines D.C. – ‘The Couple Across The Way’

Fontaines D.C. shared the video for their single, ‘The Couple Across The Way’, this week and you can check it out above.

Speaking on the track and video, frontman Grian Chatten says, “I was living in a tiny little flat in North London with my girlfriend and there was this Hitchcock – esque view of an elderly couple across from us. They had these blazing arguments that sent pigeons flying around, and after each one the man in the couple would come out onto this little balcony he had and just breathe for about 10 minutes. I couldn’t help but imagine it as a reflection of myself and my girlfriend in years to come, and ourselves as a reflection of a younger, happier version of them”

Order ‘Skinty Fia’ here

Read our review of ‘Skinty Fia’ from Fontaines D.C.

Disturbed debut new single ‘Unstoppable’

Disturbed – ‘Unstoppable’

Our News Report continues with the latest single from Disturbed. You can check out, ‘Unstoppable’, above.

The song comes from newly announced upcoming album, ‘Divisive’, which is out November 18th.

Pre-order your copy here.

Read our review of Download Festival

Saxon share new single ‘Black Is The Night’

Saxon – ‘Black Is The Night’

The mighty Saxon have released a new single to preview their upcoming tour. You can watch the video for ‘Black Is The Night’ above.

Frontman Biff Byford comments: “Looking forward to the Seize The Day Tour. See you all on the road and enjoy the new video for Black Is The Night!

Tickets for the tour are here.

Listen to our ‘Hard & Heavy’ Spotify Playlist

Skid Row share new single ‘Time Bomb’

Skid Row – ‘Time Bomb’

Skid Row also had a new single to share this week, and you can check out, ‘Time Bomb’, above.

The track comes from new album, ‘The Gang’s All Here’ which is available October 14th.

The video for ‘Time Bomb’ was helmed by director Dale ‘Rage’ Resteghini who Rachel Bolan sought out to realize his artistic vision for the song about humanity’s continuing struggles with self-indulgence and monotony.
 
“What would it be like to be in that position?” Rachel asks. “Just be completely going about life, your normal everyday thing, but you’re thiiiiis close to just completely losing your shit?”

Pre-order your copy here.

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The Last Internationale debut ‘Hoka Hey!’

The Last Internationale – ‘Hoka Hey!’

There is plenty more new music to come in our packed News Report this week and next we turn to The Last Internationale.

This week saw the group debut their latest track, ‘Hoka Hey!’, which you can check out above.

More here.

Read our review of Pearl Jam at BST Hyde Park

Poppy shares ‘FYB’

Poppy – ‘FYB’

Poppy shared her latest track this week. Listen to ‘FYB’ above, which will feature on her ‘Stagger’ EP out October 14th.

More here.

Read our review of Reading Festival

AWOLNATION share ‘Freaking Me Out’

AWOLNATION – ‘Freaking Me Out’

AWOLNATION have debuted their new single, ‘Freaking Me Out’, which you can watch the video for above.

Aaron Bruno shared his inspiration behind the song: “I had a sense of a hopeful paranoia of sorts in creating this song, plus you can disco dance to it, or bang your head. Or both. It’s up to you.”

More here.

Listen to our Spotify Hot List!

The Murder Capital share new single ‘A Thousand Lives’

The Murder Capital – ‘A Thousand Lives’

We continue our News Report with The Murder Capital. The band this week debuted new single, ‘A Thousand Lives’, which you can check out above.

The band also revealed that their second album, ‘Gigi’s Recovery’ will be out January 20th.

Front man James McGovern had the following to say about the themes behind the new single:

“Knowing that the day is only X-hours long, alongside my understanding of how love can be the true restorative seed, means that if and when you are so lucky to find it (and it is true) the seemingly small glance that is our lifetime could never contain enough of those days or those hours. Even a thousand of those lifetimes would never be enough.”

The band had the following to say about the new album and next year’s tour:

“For us, having worked on Gigi’s Recovery over the past two-plus years, now knowing every detail of every room in this house that we have built together, all we want to do is invite everybody in. We can’t wait to reveal more and more of what we’ve been creating with this record, and eventually in the new year, to reveal the full story.

The greatest thing about making a record is touring a record. The connection we make and the energy created at our live shows is the highest point for us. We can’t wait to meet new faces in the crowds, and to see this record under the new light that each and every one of you will shine on it. No better place to be than in the centre of it all.”

Pre-order your copy here.

Read our review of Ash live in London

LIFE share video for ‘Shipping Forecast’

LIFE – ‘Shipping Forecast’

Following the release of their latest album, ‘North East Coastal Town’, last month, LIFE have shared the video for, ‘Shipping Forecast’, which you can watch above.

Speaking on the single, singer Mez Green:

“The ‘Shipping Forecast’ is a track that is awash with Hull’s nautical heritage. The music channels the power of the waves somewhere between Dogger and Humber.

It’s an urgent and powerful track that grapples with the need to get home and pins themes of toxic social media and control to its mast.

The track was one of the first to be written from North East Coastal Town and its energy and mood very much set the scene of our recording process.”

Get your copy of the album here.

Read our review of Arkells live in Norwich

October Drift share video for ‘Waltzer’

October Drift – ‘Waltzer’

October Drift will soon release their second album, ‘I Don’t Belong Anywhere’, with the record available on October 14th.

This week the band revealed the video for their single, ‘Waltzer’, which you can watch above.

Regarding the video the band say, “We wanted to make a video which visually encapsulated what the song was about. We knew we wanted to film it at an empty seaside location, so we got up at 3am and drove to a beach in Dorset to shoot at sunrise. Somehow we roped a friend into getting up that early to pour the water over Kiran, but managed to misjudge the sunrise so ended up standing around in the dark for two hours before it was light enough to film anything. Not sure how many takes we did in the end, but it was enough to give Kiran mild hypothermia.”

Pre-order your copy here.

Watch Episode 10 of The Full Pelt Music Podcast with guests October Drift

The Full Pelt Music Podcast – Episode 10 – October Drift

Read our review of October Drift live in Norwich

Courting debut ‘Famous’

Courting – ‘Famous’

Courting have just released their debut album, ‘Guitar Music’, and this week shared the video for new single, ‘Famous’, which you can check out above.

Speaking on the new song, frontman Murphy-O’Neill says, “Famous is about growing up, finding comfort in smaller things, It is a song about nights forgotten and days of just watching sitcoms with your friends. Musically, we wanted to create something truly euphoric, something we could cry to. We intended for this song to be the centerpiece of the record, a bit like a carousel.”

Grab your copy here.

Listen to our ‘Discover’ New Music Playlist on Spotify!

PVA share video for ‘Bad Dad’

PVA – ‘Bad Dad’

Our News Report turns now to PVA who this week share the video for their recent single, ‘Bad Dad’, which you can watch above. The track comes from new album, ‘Blush’, which is out October 14th.

Speaking on the themes of the single, Ella Harris says “Bad Dad explores the internal world of a new father checking in on his son at night, afraid of the lineage of masculinity and how it might impact someone so untainted.”

Pre-order your copy here.

Read our review of The Xcerts live in Cambridge

The Hot Damn! share new single ‘Live Laugh Love’

The Hot Damn! – ‘Live Laugh Love’

Closing out this section of our News Report are The Hot Damn!. This week saw the rockers share their latest single, ‘Live Laugh Love’, which you can check out above.

Physical copies are here.

Listen to ‘Live Laugh Love’ on our ‘Hard & Heavy’ Playlist

News Report

As always, we conclude our News Report with the latest additions to our ‘Discover’ New Music Playlist!

Softcult – ‘One Of A Million’

Set to support Incubus on their UK Tour, Softcult this week shared their new track, ‘One Of A Million’.

On the track Mercedes says, “Originally, I was writing from a frustrating perspective, expressing my feelings about the people in our society who think they are the exception and can justify repeating selfish actions, no matter who they harm in the process.

As the song began to take shape, it also became about my own personal insecurities and fear of being ordinary and unexceptional, but the more I thought about it and wrote about it, I realized that accepting how similar we all are as human beings is a comforting sentiment, if not a vital one.

The more we relate to each other and acknowledge our similarities, the more empathy and compassion we will have for one another. The more divided we are, the longer these issues get drawn out instead of solved. It’s important to not only celebrate our diversity and unique-ness, but also to remember that at a very basic level we are all more the same than different.”

No Windows – ‘Shout (Red Song)’

Edinburgh duo No Windows share their new single, ‘Shout (Red Song)’, from newly announced debut EP ‘Fishboy’.

Morgan had the following to say about the themes behind the track:

“Shout (Red Song) felt loud, thrashy and noisy – which to me felt most like the colour red. Red reminds me of things that are intense like anger or love which, and while neither of those things are explored directly, they feel present as an undercurrent in the melody and sonic set-up of the final recording.”

noyou – ‘Love is Enough’

Synthetic Pop-Rock band noyou have dropped just dropped their debut EP ‘This Game We Started’ amd alongside the EP comes new single ‘Love Is Enough’.

“’Love is Enough’ explores the challenges often faced in the world of an independent artist. Whether it be battles with egos, gigs to no one or overwhelming self-doubt, the song is a reminder to ourselves and to anyone who can relate to soldier on and keep doing what it is you enjoy, for as long as you continue to enjoy it.” – Connor Jobes

Listen, Follow and Discover your new favourite act now with our ‘Discover’ New Music Playlist

Then find our the stories behind the songs on our ‘Discover’ New Music Podcast!

Watch Episode 32 of our ‘Discover’ New Music Podcast with guests noyou!

‘Discover’ New Music Podcast – Episode 32 – noyou

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Read our review of ‘EMB’ from Editors

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Album Reviews

Editors

EBM

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EDITORS – EBM – ALBUM REVIEW

Editors debuted the single, ‘Heart Attack’, back in April with the announcement of Benjamin John Power joining the band. New album, ‘EBM’ was set for release and a number of subsequent singles have hinted that Power’s arrival on keys, synths and electronics coincides with a focus on such from the band.

Born in the indie landfill mid-noughties, Editors always stood apart and above from their contemporaries by infusing an electronic element into their dark guitar-centric sound. Throughout the next decade or so they’ve continually evolved with the times and that has seen guitars and synths swap places in the mix.

What has helped Editors both grow their audience and retain their core following is that they’ve done so well with quality music at the forefront. They’ve never abandoned their beliefs for the glory of chart success, but have found chart success nevertheless.

The shift of focus almost fully into the world of electronics hinted at in the pre-album singles is fully borne out on ‘EBM’. This is now far removed from the all out indie rock of debut album, ‘The Back Room’. It helps that the transition has been gradual and not the instant transformation that many bands have tried and often failed to enact.

LISTEN TO ‘HEART ATTACK’ ON YOUTUBE
Editors – ‘Heart Attack’

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‘EBM’ feels like an honest record from the band, in that this is clearly what the band want to be doing. Sonically this is Editors being themselves, after all they’ve never been the pandering type of band. For some of those indie rock fans that bought into the band early doors this may prove to be a step too far, but for those that have enjoyed the journey this is another collection of solid tracks.

Whilst some fans may be turned off, this isn’t a bad album. This also isn’t a great album. When you’re consistently unique, you eventually are bound to become generic. You either die a hero or see yourself become the villain. The tests of time will ultimately judge ‘EBM’ on Editors’ behalf, and I feel they are unlikely to be either cruel or kind. Again, when all your work is memorable, eventually parts of it become forgettable.

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Read our review of ‘Will of the People’ from Muse

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Live Reviews

Lonely The Brave

Junction, Cambridge

Wednesday 21st September 2022

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LONELY THE BRAVE – CAMBRIDGE – LIVE REVIEW

It feels like an eternity ago that Lonely The Brave burst onto the scene with their incredible early EP, ‘Backroads’. That’s probably because that actually was almost a decade ago, and wow has the world been through some tough times since then.

It hasn’t all been smooth sailing for the band either, with the switch of vocalist in 2018 a major hurdle. Thankfully the band secured the talented Jack Bennett to fill the very big shoes of David Jakes.

The problem for the band now is that just when they would need momentum the most, the world stopped moving. The pandemic disrupted all people in all walks of life with the music industry hit very hard.  Imagine then the impact on Lonely The Brave as they looked to move seamlessly into their new era.

New album, ‘The Hope List’, was released in the midst of lockdown in January 2021 and plans to tour in support were naturally delayed. That time has belatedly arrived now and tonight they play a special hometown show at the Junction in Cambridge.

There are two support acts on tap with VLMV up first, captivating the early audience with a sonic smorgasbord of guitars, synths and vocals. Cult icon Jamie Lenman then blasts though a short set of new material which ramps up the intensity in the venue. Both acts have done a good job warming up a slightly lethargic crowd ready for the hometown heroes to arrive.

Welcomed warmly onstage Lonely The Brave instantly mix new tracks such as ‘Keeper’ and ‘Distant Light’ with old favourites like ‘Black Mire’ and ‘Trick of the Light’. This is a theme that continues throughout the evening.

WATCH ‘TICK OF THE LIGHT’ ON YOUTUBE
Lonely The Brave – ‘Trick of The Light’

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Bennett as we say has had big shoes to fill vocally and he manages to do those old favourites justice tonight whilst also adding new layers both sonically and corporeally.

There is an unusual tense atmosphere in the venue tonight, which feels highlighted by this being a hometown show. It’s only really when the likes of ‘The Blue, The Green’, ‘Backroads’ and ‘Black Saucers’ appear towards the end of the show that the audience relaxes a bit.

Performance wise the venue witnesses three strong sets tonight from three acts at varying stages of their careers. The industry is in a tough spot right now, but you’d hope there is enough talent on show here that these acts can kick on from here.

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Read our review of The Xcerts live in Cambridge

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Live Reviews

The Xcerts

Portland Arms, Cambridge

Tuesday 20th September 2022

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The cost of living crisis currently strangling the UK has become the latest threat to the future of our independent grassroots music venues. The Music Venue Trust had already engaged with The National Lottery for the #ReviveLive campaign in answer to the pandemic, but now it takes on even greater meaning.

It’s venues such as the Portland Arms in Cambridge where we are tonight that are vital to the music ecosystem. No introductory venues – no cultivating superstars. No regional venues – unsustainable travel to gigs for fans. No new superstars and unaffordable costs for fans – the collapse of the music industry! That may seem dramatic, but it’s the short, sharp and real threat that we are facing.

Tonights #ReviveLive show features Scottish rock band The Xcerts and has been pushed back a day to avoid the Queen’s funeral. Despite the change and the lack of a support act, the venue is suitably stocked with audience members come the time for the band to hit the stage.

The setlist tonight comprises tracks from all four of the bands studio albums but focuses heavily on latest effort, 2018’s ‘Hold On To Your Heart’. ‘Drive Me Wild’ and ‘Daydream’ from that album start us off and ease the audience into the show, before ‘Shaking in the Water’ really gets things moving.

WATCH – ‘DAYDREAM’ FROM THE XCERTS ON YOUTUBE
The Xcerts – ‘Daydream’

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That album is a masterpiece so fans are more than happy to hear multiple tracks from it. There is an audible delight however at the presence of two brand new songs in the set tonight. Both ‘Everything I Cannot Live Without’ and ‘Jealousy’ sound promising for more stunning work to come from the band.

The Xcerts deserve all the success in the world and the final run of ‘Show Me Beautiful’, ‘There Is Only You’, ‘Crazy’, ‘Hold On To Your Heart’, ‘Aberdeen 1987’ and ‘Feels Like Falling In Love’ is a real testament to their quality.

There are great nights like this happening in every major city and town in the UK every night of the week. The venues these are happening in and the bands killing it onstage need your support now. If you are able to, get yourself to a show and ensure that when all our problems hopefully dissipate, we still have venues and bands to enjoy!

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Categories
EP Reviews

The Skinner Brothers

Lonedon

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If you attended a UK music festival this year you would’ve had a high percentage chance of catching The Skinner Brothers. The hotly-tipped band have kept busy since supporting Kasabian last year and now feels an ideal time for them to release some new music.

Well, that’s exactly what they’ve done in the shape of new four-track EP, ‘Lonedon’.

The title track is up first and showcases their Britpop influenced indie-rock perfectly. Second track ‘Mellow’ demonstrates their dexterity and ‘Loaded Gun’ sounds like it was recorded for the FIFA video game soundtrack.

Final track, ‘Make It Count’, is a superbly crafted softer sing-a-long anthem which ensures that this is a well rounded collection.

In fact, if your looking for a short taster of this much hyped new act, then this EP is exactly what you need!

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