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Thursday, 28 July 2016

TBFM EP Review - Seven Stories High - Take The Long Road Home

This review was written for, and is reproduced with the permission of TBFM Online. You can also read it, and other reviews, as well as listen to 1000's of independent rock/metal/punk bands at www.tbfmonline.co.uk

Taking their influence from the likes of A Year To Remember and Blink 182, Swansea based punksters, Seven Stories High, could well win over serious numbers of metal fans with their own brand of hardcore pop punk brilliantly encapsulated in their recently released EP, Take The Long Road Home. Once the opening intro is done, the riff laden, double kicking first bars of opening track, CTRL hits, which definitely draws many elements from their aforementioned influences. But it’s the heart pounding drum breaks that differentiate them from the ‘run of the mill’ pop punk outfits. Its a cracking opening track. That’s No Moon keeps upbeat attitude going, and the vocals from Rhys Hyett-Ferrier have an almost Robert Smith tone to them in parts. Working For Wednesdays adopts a more guitar driven sound, but the familiar double kick presence of Dave Bevan is always there. What the chorus defuses from the tracks pace, is more than made up for with a switch from a deceptively smooth tone, back to the aggression of the hardcore punk side, with guitarist, Matt Davis, providing the backing vox which leads us perfectly into the second half of the album.
Wait For It, features the vocals of Charlotte Gilpin, lead singer with fellow Welsh band, Dream State and it’s the addition of Charlotte that helps make this track a real stand out. It really is a massive, rollercoaster of a song from the very first tones of the guitar heavy intro, through the almost haunting opening coal provided by Rhys and Charlotte. It builds into its massive more hardcore chorus, with the female vocal leading the way for Rhys to follow. It’s all then stripped back to just a guitar and Rhys’ solo, before crashing back into the closing chorus. The penultimate song, Skin Me Alive, shows the bands diversity and ability to demonstrate a far mellowed sound. Acoustic guitars, piano and vocals are all that are required here, and it’s beautifully executed. But it’s soon back to what the guys do best. Assaulting your senses with a barrage of guitars, drums and great vocals, and Fools Paradiseis a great way to bring the curtain down on a great follow up to their self titled first release. As with all forms of art, Seven Stories High draw elements from those who inspire them, Sum41, Four Year Strong, etc. But these guys are carving out a niche for only themselves to occupy. Their combined talents, although influenced by others, creates a sound that is out there on their own.

Saturday, 11 April 2015

BritRockArmy Update - Saturday April 11th 2015

It's been a rough couple of months in camp. Not having a PC is proving to be a real pain, not being able to do a lot of stuff to its full potential, but hey ho, these things are sent to try us, lol.

Over the last couple of months, we've lost 2 bands from the ranks, with SynaptiK and Target Renegades exploring other avenues. It was a blast working with both bands, and I wish them every success in the future. On the upside, Idlehour have released their new single 'My Familiar', with the track receiving some great feedback, and regular airtime on US radio.

So, we will not let things get us down!! BritRockArmy is still the place to be for kickass unsigned rock music, and things will most definitely march on from here!

Monday, 1 December 2014

Sweden Rock Festival 2015 Band Competition

Great opportunities are few and far between for unsigned/independent bands. However, 4 BritRockArmy bands have been presented with a MASSIVE opportunity to play at one of Europes biggest rock festivals.

Organisers of Sweden Rock Festival have shortlisted, from the thousands who applied, 150 bands, who have been put forward for a public vote to win a chance to play at the festival. Target:Renegades, SynaptiK, Kill For Eden, and our Danish brothers Diretone, are amongst those 150 bands.

Voting begins tomorrow at www.swedenrock.com and runs through to January 9th 2015 when the top 25 bands will move onto the next round of voting. From there, the top 3 will go on to play the festival, plus a 'wild card' entry that will be chosen by festival organisers.

Check out the bands already announced!!

This is an international call to arms!! To all supporters of BritRockArmy, and all unsigned/independent bands. Please visit www.facebook.com/pages/BritRockArmy/448261431861305 and check out the details on how to vote. Then, please spread the word to friends, family, loved ones, acquaintences, next door neighbours, and anyone else you can think of to vote!!

It would be amazing to have BritRockArmy represented at this huge event, and if we work together, we really could make it happen!!

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

BritRockArmy Update

Ok, so it's April 2014, and I'm sure there's literally 10's of you out there who are wondering how things are going, lol.

Firstly, on the whole, things are going very well. I'm being kept busy by the sheer number of messages/emails that the job entails, lol. Some of you may have realised through Facebook that there have already been changes to the original roster of bands. Whilst Burnthru, Wasteland, and Idlehour have remained from the start, due to some commercial differences I parted company with Salvation and brought in the awesome Head Thirteen as replacement. More recently, Faltered decided to bring the project to an end, but already have plans for a new project that will hopefully see the light of day in the Summer of this year. Keep an eye out over the next week or so, as there will be pages appearing, dedicated to each of the bands on the current roster.

In light of this, I am currently in the process of discussing with a number of bands about working with BritRockArmy. Obvioisly I can't disclose who these bands are, but what I can say is that any of the bands would be awesome additions to the Army, but discussions are still in the early stages.

There is also another avenue that I am exploring, which involves working with non UK bands, but purely on a PR level. Again, I'm in discussion with a number of interested parties, we shall just have to see where things go.

All in all, its been a very exciting and busy first few months in the world of management, and I'm seriously looking forward to what the rock gods have planned for the rest of 2014. The BritRockArmy says "Bring it on!!!"

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Times are changing!!

2013 has been a great year for BritRockArmy. 28 gigs, over 100 bands, and some absolutely amazing nights. Massive thanks must go out to all the venues I have used, Scruffy Murphys, The Flapper, The Boars Head in Kidderminster, and above all The Roadhouse in Birmingham for giving me a shot at this crazy thing!

But progress is a strange thing, and something can very often warrant change. So for this reason, things are going to be slightly different in 2014. The live events will be scaled back, although there will be a series of Boars Head Roxk Nights and, hopefully, a Battle of The Bands. The main focus of BritRockArmy will be band management, namely taking care of gigs, radio airplay, and basically anything the bands want me to do. I was really pleased with the initial response to this, and have had to pick from a great list of bands.

Over the course of the next week, I will be adding full page details of all BritRockArmy bands with links to Facebook, music, etc. For now, here's the quick version :)

The 4 bands I will be looking after are, Birmingham hard rockers Salvation. I had the pleasure of having this guys play a gig for me and they were truly awesome. Next up we have Wiltshire based heavy hitters Burnthru. Again, I was blown away by these guys when they came up to Scruffy Murphys a couple of months ago. They really destined for great things in 2014. Brothers Dan and Conor Cahalane are the driving force behind Chester alt/rockers Faltered. They head back to the studio in early 2014, to record the follow up to Fortune Favours. Last but by no means least!! Nottingham based heavy hitters Wasteland. 4 awesome bands now. 

I'm really looking forward to the future adventures, and seriously excited to be working with everyone in the future.

I will add all the info about the bands soon, dedicating a full page to each band :)

Here's to an awesome 2014! 

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Album Review - Skeleton Kid - It's A Funeral, Not A Fashion Statement

I've had the pleasure of meeting Skeleton Kid on a couple of occasions, and I have to say, they're a genuinely great bunch of guys! September 22nd sees the release of their debut album, It's A Funeral Not a Fashion Statement, (in case you hadn't seen the image above, lol). Fans would argue it's been a long time coming, but believe me, it is well worth the wait, as this is a fantastic album!!

Coming in at 9 tracks and playing for just over half an hour, my only issue is its not long enough, lol!! We start things off with Goodbye. Now traditionally, the opening track of an album should set the stall for what to expect for the remainder, and Goodbye is no exception, it's an instant classic. With Timmy C and Frankie G sharing vocal duties, as they do throughout most of the album, the smoother tone of Timmy's voice making way for a Frankie's screaming chorus. But that's not the whole story! There's a neat little twist to the end of the track, and it finishes it off beautifully. On that note, I'll say no more, you'll just have to listen. You Army, has a more metal feel to the intro, but the punk influences crash right back in with Timmy and Frankie's vocals, and the song almost becomes a vocal fight between the two of them, but it's another cracking track. Going Nowhere Fast is another mix of metal/punk that keeps the pace frantic and the mood angry, the recent single Memories has had somewhat of a facelift for obvious reasons, as when it was recorded Skeleton Kid were a 4 piece. Since then, there have been personnel changes, and they have dropped to a 3 piece, losing the second guitarist and installing Josh D behind the drums. It will be obvious to fans the difference that these changes have made to not just the sound of SK, but to the whole dynamic. For what it's worth, the facelift/remixing to Memories, have made it an even better track :)

We Stand Tall, sees Frankie take the lead in the vocals. It has the kind of anthemic chorus, that in a local venue filled with adoring fans would have the whole place bouncing and shouting along. It also allows Frankie to show off his guitar skills with a cool little solo. Theres a brief respite in pace with Bones Beyond, but no respite in intensity, with almost another power struggle in the vocal department. Miles From Home, in my opinion, is the stand out track on the album. It has an almost Queenlike feel to the guitar work from Frankie, and there's a cracking solo in the mix too. The track is quite a departure from the normal punk/metal theme of the rest of the album. There's an awesome drums only chorus that sounds like a group of mates sat singing in a pub, it's just a great track and should seriously be considered for release as a single. Save Us Now (The End) takes us back to the punk roots, and theres a glimpse of some eighties influenced electronica in there too. Tear It Down, brings the album to a close, and is a menacing mixture mix of rock/punk/metal with a bit of deathcore screamo vocals thrown in for good measure. Again, Frankie shows off his guitar skills with another great solo.

It's A Funeral Not A Fashion Statement, is a great mix of different styles, with punk/metal/gothic/rock/glam all having a say somewhere along the line. The nine tracks are all release quality, with nothing in the way of fillers in sight. Fans are simply gonna love it, and I'm pretty certain it will also help the guys raise a whole new army of support.

Full Track list:
1 Goodbye
2 You Army
3 Going Nowhere Fast
4 Memories
5 We Stand Tall
6 Bones Beyond
7 Miles From Home
8 Save Us Now (The End)
9 Tear It Down

Album Review - Pain! - Waking The Dead

US dark punk rockers Pain! Have had a remarkable 2013. Besides multiple festival appearances, they have appearances with the likes of Saliva, and an opening slot for Black Veil Brides still to come.
For the Pain! Uneducated amongst us, the guys take a fusion of metal, horror punk, rock, and rockabilly, blast it out as loud as your ears can take it. They are well known in the States for high octane live performances, and are signed in the UK to horror/goth indie label Arkham Records (formerly Freaky Pug Records).
Their latest release, Waking The Dead, is a great introduction for UK fans who haven't heard any of their previous material. What you get is 11 tracks that combine rockabilly beats and instrumentals, powerful rock/metal vocals, and lyrics with a horror feel to them, with themes such as Dr Frankenstein in the album opener, through to werewolves, vampires, and other spooky offerings. 

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