I don’t actually know who Sleeping With Sirens are, but they’re on the cover of this month’s Rock Sound with their proper haircuts, proper denim and proper looking at the cameraman. Go figure. Everything except Escape the Fate is worth checking out this month, so buy all the albums by the others bands because they’re rad.
The Dillinger Escape Plan – Nothing’s Funny
Hello, we’re The Dillinger Escape Plan and here’s a song that sounds like Faith No More! Whilst the tech-metal bat-shit bonkers is played with; Nothing’s Funny drips with twinkling keyboard-weirdness, rumbling bass, jerking, anti-social guitar stabs, whilst vocalist Greg ‘Shitting in Bags’ Puciato howls, spits, croons and barks like Patton recording one of his experimental albums inside a bathroom. The cry of “DON’T! BE! SCARED!” is anything but welcoming and this is just another example of just how superb, warped and beautiful, Greg’s voice is. On the strength of this, I need to check out One Of Us Is A Killer.
City And Colour – Thirst
I can’t help but feel Dallas Green needs a hug – he always sounds so sorrowful. Not that being sad is a bad thing – some of the best music is created from despair. Thirst is a stunningly heartfelt track – draped in smooth-sounding synths, Green’s brittle, but distinctive vocals andÂ fuzzy, folk-pop guitars. If his new album The Hurry and The Harm contains tracks as good as this, it well worth investigating.
The Black Dahlia Murder – Into The Everblack
Crazy metallers The Black Dahlia Murder return with more weirdness to bestow upon us all. Vocalist Trevor Strnad is almost incomprehensible in his death growls, whilst the blast-beat drums are tight, intense and inhumanly fast. The breakdown just past the 2 minute 20 mark is gloriously over the top – a howling solo that gut-punches back into the ferocious riffage and damning caterwaul of scything metalcore.
Escape The Fate – You’re Insane
Hats off to Escape The Fate for frankly having the balls to release music as insipid, generic and frankly piss poor as this. They’re on their 4th album and this – this is the best they can come up with? I mean, post-hardcore is the kind of genre that tilts constantly like a damaged pinball machine, but this load of absolute turdballing horror is beyond the pale. Avoid at all costs.
Chunk! No, Captain Chunk! – Restart
A Goonies reference apparently – got to love the 80’s huh. Mixing pop-punk and hardcore beatdowns ain’t easy – executing it with enough style and minimizing the jarring clatter the genres create when they mash together is even harder. Chunk! No, Captain Chunk! (never trust a band with too much punctuation) almost get it right in places – I unashamedly quite like what they’re doing on Restart – sucker for big-chorus pop-punk, which sounds like Four Year Strong, with the Cookie Monster roaring over some blast-beats. Odd.
Man Overboard – White Lies
Blink 182 fans apparently – who isn’t? Boxcar Racer fans probably. This is pretty damn turbo-charged, drenched in killer hooks and that fresh, pop-punk sheen. It should be mandatory that you wear shorts and jump off speakers stacks when listening to Man Overboard – dripping with early-New Found Glory zest and summery choruses, White Lies is a spirited sing-along anthem and an absolute belter.
The Wonder Years – The Bastards, The Vultures, The Wolves
From one pop-punk to another, The Wonder Years are absolute kings at three chords and lyrics about travelling/being super-positive. Vocalist Soupy has some of the best set of pipes that side of a microphone and the huge, anvil dropping blasts of emotive punk rock bounce from this gloriously ecstatic and zealous sextet. “I CAME HERE LOOKING FOR A FIGHT!” will be bellowed at all their concerts to come I’m sure.
Polar – Create
Surrey-based mob Polar are all about the shouting it seems – a rasping, raw bark emanates from vocalist Adam Woodford, who’s breathless tirade is a sharp, serrated wake-up call. The grooves are slick and laced with spiteful metallic fury, whilst scrappy hardcore energy, akin to Give Up The Ghost burns brightly. Woodford’s roar of “I WON’T GO QUIETLY – SING! AT THE TOP OF YOUR LUNGS!” is a mighty rabble-rousing call of contempt and gnarly punk spirit.
Sharks – Portland
Surprised to hear that Sharks sound like this – I always had in mind a stroppy, punk rock band for some reason. This is more in line with Dan Sartain (Walk Among the Cobras-style) with that swagger of The Swellers, deliciously summeryÂ “la, la, la-la-la-la” harmonies and some surf-guitar licks for good measure. Pleasant, heartening rock music done with such a carefree and positive attitude – ones to watch.
Templeton Pek – Wake Me Up
Everyone, here’s the next massive pop-rock band for you to worship and enjoy. The chorus of Wake Me Up is as earnest as they come and the glossy-production is absolutely dazzling. Yes, it’s squeaky-clean, yet it has that wiff-of radio-friendly, but it’s an absolute banger – a triumphant, blast of melody-laced rock, burning with the emotive warmth of Jimmy Eat World and the spirited pop-bounce of Moneen.
The Summer Set – Boomerang (acoustic version)
Safe to say, if The Summer Set even got within spitting distance of the top 40, they’d be burning a bubblegum tornado through the charts. I’d be lying through my teeth if I said I didn’t find their teeth-rotting, sugary-sweet pop-rock an absolute delight. Losing considerable man-points for liking this, but then I’d only waste them. I mean, this is the opposite end of the rather thin pop-rock spectrum, but it stands out a mile compared to Templeton Pek’s riff-orientated anthems – The Summer Set know that this is daft and cheesy, but they all know how to write aÂ hit, which is more than can be said for some. Fuck it, I’ve listened to this 4 times in a row now.
The Hype Theory – Captives
I’m an absolute sucker for this kind of thing – The Hype Theory tick all the boxes in the big book of bouncing, passionate pop rock – killer hooks, soaring vocals from Katy Jackson and We Are The In Crowd-melodies. Captives feels somewhat sour in places, yet the vigour and feisty-determination it has makes for an infectious listening experience.
Erlen Meyer – Nuit
Possibly a reference to this German chemist? Born from pain (their original drummer was killed in a motorcycle accident) Erlen Meyer are an ardent and chilling blast of chaotic metal. Think Cult of Luna meets Black Sheep Wall – both at their lowest-end; guitars are scrapping the ground – grim, rusty and menacing, whilst the garbled and choked roars of emitting from their vocalist brim with rage and despair. Chilling and atmospheric, this is metal unlike I’ve heard before – the spiralling depths of immersion and disturbance being expressed is haunting. A happiness vortex of doom.
Press To Meco – Wasting Time
Lots and lots of vocal harmonies going on here that are hitting each other at high speeds amongst the weird turbulent riff-tastic breakdowns, squealing guitars and discordant early-Biffy time signatures. Kind of feels a bit like Straight Lines in execution, with the big sappy-emo rock bits being a nice foil before they hit home with the scrawling and weighty metallic elements. Lyrics are the only real duff aspect, but Press To Meco show real promise on some intriguing and experimental heavy rock.
Banquets – Little Shallow
New Jersey’s band Banquets hit that emotive punk rock style right between the eyes. The Gaslight Anthem better watch their backs, because this 4-piece have essentially gone and beefed up an outtake from The ’59 Sound. A weird feeling of old-school 90s emo runs through this – very Deep Elm recordsÂ punk rock, with a hint of The Menzingers morose but hopeful song-writing. Top stuff all round.