Reviewed: 57 EP

Reviewed: 57 EP

The Background Info

This EP comes early to PPP as an exclusive from North London indie newbies Gilly Lovel. The band consists of Angus on lead vocals and guitar, Matilda on synths, bass and vocals Alex on guitar and James on drums. The 4 met at the Institute of Contemporary Music, London and pretty quickly ended up writing some decent material and things have spiralled since then. I’ve been waiting about a year to hear what this lot have been preparing to put out and I’ve been waiting for Angus to get himself a recording band to listen to for about 8/9 years now since we first met!

 

1) Intro

This is the epic opening of the record as the name well suggests, with a choral and instrumental that develops from placid to moving into an electronically influenced sound and back again to just long enough to grab your attention before pulling away again and leaving you wanting that little bit more. It marks a classic indie opening, establishing well the record and tone of what is to come; a chilled-out good time.

2) 57

The opening riff to this track is not only jolly but incredibly catchy and it quickly moves into a punchy, fast moving alternative/Brit-Pop hybrid sound that contrasts Angus’ vocals immaculately. With Matilda’s harmonies coming over the top of the lead vocals, it provides a neat and polished vocal sound almost reminiscent of The xx in their prime yet individual in their own way, which brings a really lovely depth to the track emotionally.

3) Moxie

This track is the most solid track on here and my personal favourite, with an instant fix from the heavily-played kit, which leads into fuzzy rhythm and clean lead underpinning a delicate vocal through the verses as Angus begs to “come save me” in every chorus. Towards the end comes a repeated chorus with huge harmonies in a joyous delirium of crash cymbal ringing which ends the track immaculately as the fuzz fades to a finish.

4) Something More

You may sense a theme here when I say there’s yet another fantastic riff here at the opening of this one, backed up well with synths and eventually vocals which are mastered perfectly with reverb to give a sincerely immersive feeling especially when guitars cut out and Angus is left with the synth and drums to show the clarity and purity of the words here. Lyrically, I think this is the best written track on the record and there is real feeling behind the words “throw away the life you have” and after this I’m thinking twice about what I really do want in life.

5) Lights

Opening with a drumbeat of perfect time and overlapped with harmonising synths and guitars that back up the vocals perfectly. The guitar solo at 2:12 (backed up with what I can only describe as sounding like a faint war-movie-style bomb dropping) gives me shivers down my spine  every time I hear it and the song wraps up  This track more than any other of the five shows these guys have musical knowledge far, far beyond their late-teen years and it really rounds off the record in the continued style and flair while not going overkill in any way as so many bands do.

To Summarise

This is a killer 5 songs that are not only relaxed and technically fantastic, but are very much thought-provoking lyrically and musically. They’re perfect for just chilling out after a long day or to keep you going through that next slog through module’s revision, and I would be stunned if these 4 don’t make it a few rungs up the ladder in the very near future.

 

57 Release & Gigs

The EP is available to preorder now on Bandcamp and Amazon Music, and will hit iTunes, Google Play and Spotify too, with the release date set on April 6th.

Check them out live at The Water Rats in Kings Cross on April 6th to see this EP in full plus even more stuff they’re working on! Follow this link for more info, like them on Facebook and follow on Twitter

I’d love to thank Angus for hitting me up and giving me the chance to do this before anyone else gets the chance to hear it and the rest of the band for bearing with me being a crazy fanboy for the last year, hopefully this review makes up for that a bit!

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Reviewed: Neck Deep’s World Tour

Reviewed: Neck Deep’s World Tour

6th Feb 2016 marked my trip to London’s O2 Forum in Kentish Town to see Neck Deep supported by Light Years, Creeper and State Champs (supposed to be ND/SC coheadline but it was all about Neck Deep…). This was my third time seeing the Wrexham lads and I can honestly say they have got better and better every time (first time was with All Time Low in Wembley in March 2015, second with BMTH in November), and the second I’d seen Creeper (though my first being a real fan!) and my first for the other 2.

Light Years

Setlist: Are You Sure, I Can’t Relate, Living in Hell, Summer She Broke My Heart, My Whole Life, Let You Down

Before this show, I hadn’t even noticed a fourth band were playing but I have to admit, they played a stunner. Always thanking us for getting there early and going against every pop punk rule by talking about how they love their home town Cleveland, they were very much in control of the crowd. Despite a couple of guitar issues mid-set, they warmed up the crowd well and they were definitely the right band for the opening slot.

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Creeper

Setlist: VCR, Black Mass, The Honeymoon Suite, Allergies, Gloom, Lie Awake, Henley’s Ghost

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Walking through the doors to this show, I would have said Creeper were one of my favourite bands and their new single Black Mass was the song I was most looking forward to hearing during the show, bar none. I’d seen them briefly before as they played the underground bar stage at Alexandra Palace for Warped UK last year but since then I had become pretty obsessed. As they walked out on stage, I had butterflies just waiting to see how awesome they would be and they didn’t disappoint. Tearing through VCR with their fiery punk attitude, the crowd were going crazy already and leading into Black Mass that energy didn’t drop off. Strong instructions came from vocalist Will Gould which inflicted the biggest circle pit the Forum has probably ever seen, and from a support act that’s not bad going at all. They then got started on cracking out The Callous Heart EP with The Honeymoon Suite and Allergies before a debut break for Gloom and back to finish with an emotional recital of Henley’s Ghost which really did strike a chord with the crowd, along with much swaying and singing along. Sadly it was then time to bid them farewell, and just to remind myself that I’d be missing their next London show (*cries*) but hopefully seeing them again soon as they get bigger and even better!

State Champs

Setlist: Secrets, Simple ExistencePerfect Score, All You Are Is History, Hard to Please, Easy Enough, Losing Myself, Remedy, All or NothingElevated

SC are a band I’ve admired for a long time as champions of modern pop punk. The genre has been growing out into post-hardcore, emo and various others, and core pop punk has been starting to be forgotten in recent years but State Champs and Neck Deep have been more or less single-handedly led the revival so obviously I was pretty happy to see them walk out in such good form and play a solid set. After the success of their latest record Around the World and Back, they’re very much seen as an up and coming band in the alternative scene, common features of Rock Sound magazine and Kerrang! too, though more rarely. Set opener Secrets got the singalong vibes going right from the off and following it up with old favourite Simple Existence was a good move. DiScanio stopped for a chat break then announced Perfect Score, much to the delight of the 5-man mob stood just in front of me… Rattling through it with ease, the response they got was insane and then came the best moment of the set: the huge drop in the beginning of All You Are Is History, which led to mild hysteria in the sea of bodies filling the floor. They then pushed through a few more before slowing it down for the end with All or Nothing and Elevated to finish in style.

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Neck Deep

Setlist: Citizens of EarthLosing TeethGold StepsCrushing Grief (No Remedy)Over and OverSerpentsKali MaLime St.Growing PainsSmooth Seas Don’t Make Good SailorsWhat Did You Expect?A Part of Me, Head To The Ground (Ben Solo Acoustic), December, Can’t Kick Up The Roots

The lights went down fashionably (10 minutes) late for the little intro that Neck Deep had prepared, before they came storming on for a wall-shaking rendition of Citizens of Earth – BEN DID THE F*** NECK DEEP MATE, THEY’RE S*** BIT!!! – and carrying on with few breaks to smash out Losing Teeth, Gold Steps and Crushing Grief.They then had a typical pop punk speech about how they’ve been a band for about 4 years and that they’re grateful to all of us for being there blah blah, then went on with Over and Over which frankly half the crowd didn’t know. They then came back to a LNOTGY run with Serpents, Kali Ma and Lime St. which were all fantastic as expected and had a huge crowd response with screaming fans and even a circle pit which was unexpected and led to Ben kicking out a couple of guys who started a fight as he told them “get out or I’ll knock you out” which gathered huge cheers from us all (though this bloke would’ve had him in a fight…). After that, more singalongs with Smooth Seas and What Did You Expect, followed by an emotional, flashlight-filled A Part Of Me with Creeper’s Hannah (see link in tweet below) before going off and taking a surprisingly long time before coming back on, but when we did see movement on stage again, it was only Ben which brought some confusion though that was quickly ended as he announced he’s be playing an acoustic of a “ditty [he] wrote a f*** of a long time ago” known as Head To The Ground, then the band came on again for the full-band version of December and Can’t Kick Up The Roots and finishing with a real bang then coming on for a dance party on stage with photographers and various band and crew members to our amusement.

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Finally to round off the night, we went to try to meet Creeper as I’d tried to arrange on Twitter and I was pretty sad when we got sent out of the venue by security but thankfully Will was hanging around outside to meet us all so I went and had a decent chat with him and I went to take a photo but I couldn’t stop shivering/shaking (bit of both probably…) and he took it for me! He’s a lovely lovely guy and he knew who I was and told me he was looking forward to hearing my cover of Black Mass I’m currently writing/recording so I’m pretty happy about that!

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Reviewed: BMTH @ Ally Pally

Reviewed: BMTH @ Ally Pally

Sorry for the hiatus (I can hear all you MCR fans crying still…)!

Onwards with the post:

On Saturday, I went to Alexandra Palace, London, to see the one and only Bring Me the Horizon play the biggest show of their lives so far and I must say they definitely didn’t disappoint.

We arrived at 9.15 am, far earlier than anticipated, with high hopes of meeting at least one member of one of the three bands but after hypothermia, most people singing along to Bieber, and 9 hours, we realised that wasn’t going to happen as doors opened, but no matter.

From the front of the queue we all flowed excitedly into Palm Court and then the West Hall, to see it kitted out with the usual street eat stalls and a huge merch stand, which showed it was going to be a good night.

Slowly filling up as the 10,000 people were making their way round from the other side of the enormous building, I picked my spot just behind the barrier on stage left, close enough to see perfectly but not so close I’d die in the first crowd surge, which was to follow fairly shortly.

At around 7.00pm, Pvris came on stage. I must admit, I have never been their biggest fan; getting into Kerrang and Rock Sound magazines with little effort while producing nigh-on pop music seems illogical to me in every way, but no matter. The crowd went crazy and waves of pogo-driven metalheads started flowing along with the likes of Mirrors and St. Patrick, coming to a mighty climax in My House, which really does show off (vocalist & guitarist) Lynn Gunn’s voice to an extreme.

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After a bit of hardcore interval music over the PA came the turn of Wrexham pop-punks Neck Deep. I love Neck Deep and I don’t care who knows it. They entered with the the opener of 2015 LP Life’s Not Out To Get You (which is a stunner of a record, may I add… produced by ADTR’s Jeremy McKinnon, their producer Andrew Wade and former guitarist turned producer Tom Denney), Citizens of Earth, which featured a surprise guest performance from one of the best in the business in ARCHITECTS’ Sam Carter, who came and screamed his heart out for 10 seconds then vanished once more. Crashing through other songs old and new, most notably Gold Steps, Can’t Kick Up The Roots and Kali Ma (all from LNOTGY), climaxing in an emotional rendition of A Part Of Me followed by the staple set-closer What Did You Expect? to finish off an awesome set (BRING ON THE FORUM!), despite what the guy behind me was musing…

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Then came the turn of the hosts. They’re the biggest band in the UK at the moment, one of the biggest in the world and they’re knocking on the doors of the various record books, and their name is Bring Me the Horizon.

The lights fell, the screens all piercing the gloom with a bright white glow and sure enough, the BMTH boys came bouncing onto the stage, with 10,000 of the most hardcore fans of any band ever screaming, cheering and all round being stoked for the next couple of hours.

Jordan Fish kicked off proceedings with the sampled opening of That’s The Spirit‘s intro track Doomed, following with Oli’s (rather appropriate to the weather) vocals, ripping through the verses that turn pain to pleasure as the screens displayed artworks from the TSS era of the band recently, and naturally the singalong had already started.

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Then came the first single of TSS, Happy Song. Lee Malia (guitar) ripped through the leads with precision and feeling as per usual, creating an absolutely killer atmosphere right from the off, but we all knew from the final chorus with Oli’s scream of “so let’s sing along a little f***ing louder” that they meant business and that this gig wasn’t going to be another average metalcore gig like so many on the scene these days: for this was a Bring Me gig and they never fail to impress.

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Then came a little Sempiternal interval in the shape of Go To Hell For Heaven’s Sake and The House Of Wolves, during which Oli did the usual speech about this being an amazing gig and how much we mean to him, which only motivated the crowd that little bit further, and he knew he had us wrapped round his little finger, using this to his advantage as he ordered “circle f***ing pits” in the same scream as normal (and everyone joined in, we knew the drill…).

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Oli spoke about the “band for 10 years” thing, then asked us the unnecessary question “Are any of you fans of [BMTH’s 2008 deathcore LP] Suicide Season?”, which only led to more screams as we realised what the next words were going to be: “this one’s called Chelsea Smile”.

(I’ll say now, Chelsea Smile is my favourite song of all time and whether that makes me “emo”, “scene” or “weird” then great, I love it anyway.)

With Oli tearing through the opening lines with little backing from the band (the fan favourite has morphed into a far more rounded song from its deathcore teenage roots…) and blasting into its iconic breakdown riff, there sprung up instant pits and mania among the lot of us which only made it the atmosphere all the more insane. The pause after the first verse came and Oli looked out over us, all 10000, and used the power he had in that moment to enforce a wall; 5,000 people on either side of the room with a gap of about ten feet down the centre, only to be closed with the words “f***ing kill each other” in his usual half-screamed violent fashion, which obviously led to the closing and violence that was expected, as he roared for repentance and the End. Another verse through and as per usual, during the synthesised 16 bars (doubled from its original 8 on the LP) he ordered us to sit down, and more or less every single person in the entire venue sat down on the floor. 10,000 people just sat down in the main hall of Alexandra Palace, awaiting orders which soon came in the form of “three, two, one” and the huge galloping breakdown we all know and love with all our hearts and once again the crowd were one in the pit.

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Another short speech before second TSS single was announced, Throne. The industrial electronic intro and verse absolutely thundered through the giant room and everyone just had a huge party really.

Then back as a short sharp reminder of the album that made them who they are today in the form of Shadow Moses’ scream of “THIS IS SEMPITERNAL” followed by Sleepwalking, which was a huge sing-along moment yet again.

Next up was perhaps the most hardcore of the new LP in True Friends, with the crowd shredding the semi-screamed pre-chorus and the vicious chorus with aplomb and delight, followed by Sempiternal favourite Can You Feel My Heart.

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The set closed with a fiery rendition of Antivist with the crowd declaring as always that they “don’t give a f***”, and keeping the pits rough right up until the final note.

Stupidly, some people decided this was in fact the end and started to leave, which meant they missed the most emotional performance of Blessed With A Curse in BMTH history, with 10000 of London’s finest singing through the tears dragged out by Sykes’ heart-wrenching words.

Then came the set-finisher Drown, the song that turned the band from a metalcore band to rock superstars and the entire crowd went nuts to end the night in style, and the band stayed on form.

After a long set of goodbyes and throwing kit into the crowd, we all made for the exit to the sound of Paramore’s Ain’t It Fun which led to a little bit more of that party atmosphere we had experienced that night, but alas it was over.

I can safely say it was the best gig ever and one of the best nights I’ve had in my life, so thank you to everyone involved!

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Reviewed: That’s The Spirit

Today’s the day all BMTH fans will finally be able to tell whether the talk about the album being so “mainstream” was at all true, so here’s my take on it:

DOOMED: The song begins with a bizarre electronic sequence that drifts back later in the song, but there are a fair share of gruff vocals as Sykes exclaims “come rain on my parade”, and Lee Malia’s guitars are stronger than most people than expected right from the off as he riffs away through practically the whole song which gives it a tight, emotive sound to the end

HAPPY SONG: Originally released on July 13th, this tune has already torn up Reading & Leeds festivals and the warm up gigs as the new set opener, which the crowd took as a cue for it to hit the fan from the off. With it’s masterful chorus riffs from Lee, awesome clean vocals as well as screams from Oli and great thrashing drumline from Matt, it seems to be a pretty perfect song, then it’s finalized with the pre chorus from Jordan; polished and masterful electronics creating a brilliance most bands can only dream of.

THRONE: Again, released in July, this song marked the tone of the album before it was announced at all. Right from the beginning, one can hear that this record definitely won’t be as hardcore as Suicide Season or as all round crazy as There Is A Hell… but it is a great track for all sorts of places.

TRUE FRIENDS: Another early release, this song is bordering on a My Chem-esque emo sound, with insane clean vocals with the classic Sykesian shrieks in the prechorus, which really does bring it together. The finishing touch to this tune, however, is brought by the string section which creates a light descant to the power of the vocals and almost blues riffs coming from Lee’s fingers. I think lyrically, this is one of the dark songs on the album, and clearly Jordan and Oli have had battles with those they believed were true friends, and that really does come out in the words.

FOLLOW YOU: One word for this: Jordan. It begins with a very electronically processed section, moving through to a verse with Sykes’ uncharacteristically clean vocals and a choral harmony behind him, leading to a beautiful ballad chorus where the vocal tones go through the roof with a crystal clear falsetto, later undercut with overlapped gruff harmony vocals.

WHAT YOU NEED: Instantly, a kicking blues riff starts hitting, turning into an overdriven blues rock lick that compliments Sykes’ vocals incredibly. For the first time on the record so far, the electronics really let Matt’s bass line shine through, showing his clear mastery explicitly. All of a sudden the instruments cut and leave Oli on his own to start singing the haunting lines “you make me want to slit my wrists and play in my own blood”, which shocked me really, it seemed to come out of the blue but overall, solid tune.

AVALANCHE: Oli’s personal song about being diagnosed with ADHD is produced and crafted by the hands of an expert, and it appears that master goes by the name of Fish. He has added fully mixed string section and tasteful electronics over the top of the prechorus, then the chorus comes in literally like an Avalanche in that the verses are very clean and mellow then the chorus and odd riff just come beating down with real power.

RUN: This is the first one of the unheard songs that sounds anything like Sempiternal-era BMTH. The processed chorus gang vocals that is oh so frequent on the 2013 album makes a dramatic return to support the classic Sykes sing-growling and Malia trem picking, combined with a light touch of keyboard behind the lot creates a real throwback to what is considered the making of BMTH a couple of years ago.

DROWN (NEW): A rerecord of the single that split the fanbase, mixed in a more similar, polished manner than the original, which actually makes it more listenable and sound more “brought together”, with the choral line endings more apparent than originally.

BLASHPHEMY: Bluesybluesybluesy. I have to say, this isn’t what I was expecting but this really is a masterpiece of a track. Lee shows his real class in his riffs as he slowly punches away at the strings, as Jordan and Matt create a dual bass-choral electronic sounding beat through the verses and Sykes’ voice is the best it ever has been on this track, not just this album but ever.

OH NO: Ibiza has led its influence to this track, indefinitely. With Sykes’ vocals removed, this song wouldn’t be recognisable at all, but even with them playing, I wouldn’t know who this new band were. Like, at all. This is definitely not a bad song, but their bridging the gap between pop and rock is definitely made apparent in here. It could get played in a club and fit in as well as a new Will.I.Am or Jay-Z track would, yet it can get away with being what it is because it’s BMTH, and I’ll be genuinely fascinated to see them play it on tour in November.

Overall, I’d say it’s not what I was expecting at all. It’s blues, rock, EDM, metalcore and pop all at once and despite that, it’s still a very Bring Me record somehow, and I love it! Here’s to the Spirit, let’s go for number one…

Rating: 10/10
Songs to check out: Avalanche, Happy Song, Blasphemy
For fans of: anyone or anything, honestly

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