Wednesday May 14, 2013
Written by Frances Roach
After a well paced and welcoming introduction through There, There, the songs that were first to hit several media outlets a few weeks back, Passing Through A Screen Door, Dismantling Summer and The Bastards, The Vultures, The Wolves, continue the well established TWY sound gained from past releases and assuring fans of the strong quality of what is to come.
Taking a slow turn with The Devil In My Bloodstream provides a softness to the record before picking up a notch, or five, halfway through. Definitely the I Won’t Say The Lord’s Prayer of this album, with Madelyn being (loosely) the Hey Thanks of ‘The Greatest Generation’, a gentle acoustic accompanied by delicate chimes.
What I love most about this band is the complete honesty possessed lyrically throughout and frontman Dan “Soupy” Campbell has a way of successfully portraying the thoughts of what everyone else is thinking but rarely saying. This can be heard in the last and longest song I Just Want To Sell Out My Funeral, singing “I’m scared shitless of failure and I’m staring out at where I want to be”.
This 7+ minute song continues by summarising the album through a medley of the prior tracklisting, which for me, is by far the stand out track of the album.
With tight drums, particularly in Teenage Parents and An American Religion (FSF) and the infectious catchiness and consistency of guitar lines in every song, The Wonder Years are able to continue to furthermore develop their established name in the genre of pop punk.
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Written by Frances Roach
5 years ago today saw the US release of Paramore’s sophomore full length, Riot!, it is hard to believe that it has already been five whole years since it was let loose into the world, as the album still holds so much relevance to many today and is probably still receiving the same amount of CD rotation (or iPod playback) by dedicated listeners as it did back then. Yet, when you see the amount that the band have accomplished and conquered in those years post-Riot!, it is now much more clarifying to see the significance of the foundation that this rock record was able to provide.
With a stable debut ‘All We Know Is Falling’ on Fueled By Ramen, an extensive touring history, several Warped Tour appearances and the aid of legendary producer David Bendeth (Hawthorne Heights, The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus), Paramore produced with a punch. In a rather saturated market of rock and pop punk, this band of Tennessee teenagers brought something fresh to the forefront, including an outstandingly talented and true frontwoman, adored by girls and guys alike, along with creatively crafted melodies and anthemic choruses that are just waiting for an audience to sing it back, and they most certainly did- in their masses. Straight in with ‘For A Pessismist, I’m Pretty Optimistic’, right until ‘Born For This’, the 11 track album is packed with easy listening rock tracks that you can’t help but sing along to, not matter how hard you try.
Many may have known the then four-piece band pre-Riot!, however they won over millions with this release. Emerged some of their biggest songs to date with ‘crushcrushcrush’, ‘That’s What You Get’, ‘Hallelujah’ and breakthrough single ‘Misery Business’. With satisfaction from the fans, Riot! also won over maybe not all but several critics, with AbsolutePunk.net calling them “the next incarnation of No Doubt’ and John Mayer calling Ms. Williams “the great orange hope”. Many made criticisms based on their youth and lack of experience however the potential was always there and was prominent. Many knew that this band were on their way to something incredible.
Fast forward to June 8, 2012 and the band have added one official member and lost two original members, yet have managed to stay stronger than ever. With several sold out tours across the globe, multiple appearances at the summers biggest festivals, Grammy nominations, selling out the 23,000 capacity O2 Arena in London, TWICE, and not forgetting a #1 UK album with Riot!’s follow up, ‘Brand New Eyes’. With a new album expected to drop in the latter quarter of the year, we expect Paramore to continue their way straight to the top.
Friday May 18, 2012
Written by Frances Roach
A week to go until that time of year yet again, what I assume is one of the best days out of the entire year for many English pop punk enthusiasts, as well as for those whose enjoy more of a harder sound to the ears.
Slam Dunk has been a success over recent years, minus the slight crowd control hiccups experienced in Hatfield back in 2010, leaving many Southern attendees angered and disappointed. However, last year, Slam Dunk HQ seemed to have alleviated the problem by introducing an outdoor staging area, adding a new dimension to this growing festival.
The lineup this year is far from disappointing, with many newcomers invited into the SD family, such as pop punk’s incoming, The Story So Far, Transit and Make Do & Mend, as well as bringing back festival veterans including Hit The Lights, Cartel, The Audition and previous headliners Set Your Goals & The Blackout. Also, make sure to check out Into It. Over It. over on the Punktastic stage, it will be worth your time.
This year’s Honour Over Glory stage looks mighty strong with Cancer Bats, Every Time I Die and Architects closing the bill. Despite the diverse range of live music provided across the stages, one act stands out. Taking Back Sunday. These pioneers have been in the game for well over a decade and have hardly lost any fans along the way. This is likely to be the highlight of the night for many attendees. Given the longest set length out of every band at the festival, they will surely have enough time to punch out all of their rock nostalgia, spanning across their album cycles throughout the years.
There are probably several interesting names on the lineup that you’re probably dying to check out, some you may know like they’re your family, others may merely be an unknown curiosity. However, various social networking sites (you know the ones!) experienced quite the uproar as the set times were released for this year. Seemingly, it is always the down side of a festival. Bands you want to see will clash and clash and clash until the night is over. On top of that, queues and the slow moving traffic of feet between stage rooms do not provide any help to the matter. So, here’s an obvious hint. Be prepared. And godammit, wear a watch.
There is such an impressively diverse mix of acts on the bill and the great thing about a relatively intimate festival such as Slam Dunk is that bands whom deserve to be noticed, discovered and appreciated, actually are. There are many bands playing during the earlier half of the day that are likely to return as headliners, given a few years. Added to the fact that previous headliners are back to the festival for even more insanity, it is evident that this is a festival supported both by fans and bands alike. Not to mention that the North date is completely SOLD OUT.
So, if you’re reading this a bit too late and sans ticket, then I’m not going to lie, it must suck for you. You’ll be missing out big time. But hey, there’s always next year, and by the looks of it, it will be just as impressive, maybe even better!
Saturday February 4, 2012
Review by Frances Roach
Support for tonight consisted of two UK hardcore outfits Brotherhood of the Lake and secondly Last Witness, whom many seemed to be there for, donning their matching Witness beanies. Their set is slightly reminiscent of a young Your Demise, with room for growth.
The American metalcore band, commonly abbreviated to TDWP, create uproar as they walk onstage, starting with title song from their latest album ‘Dead Throne’. Even by the second song, you could already begin to feel the musk of evaporated sweat rising to the roof.
With the tour being titled The Dead Throne Tour, aptly named after their latest 2011 release, they also mention that it is their first headlining tour in the UK and express their gratitude. They play an intense set of songs, such as ‘Born To Lose’ ‘HTML Rulez D00d’ and ‘Dez Moines’, with impressive front man Mike Hranica asking for crowd participation, which resulted in the crowd also giving back with utmost energy.
The lightning in this venue is never the best- so much coloured lighting that half the time made the band look like smurfs and the other half, like 6 pieces of flubber. Nevertheless, the brightness matched the energy in the room. The lack of a front barrier evermore encouraged stage-diving and a continuous pit dominated the room, with people who did not want to participate left standing at the edges.
With a quick break before the encore, they return with a brief yet concise speech about their beliefs and their purpose for being in a band, and continue with the relatively milder ‘Chicago’. Audience reaction to the final two songs illustrates how these six guys from Ohio will be more than welcomed back the next time they return to English shores.