Moving Moscow – A Shape has a Concept – Single Review

Moving Moscow’s new single A Shape Has a Concept is one of the best tracks I’ve heard in a while and I’m very impressed. With an infectious quality to it, the song reminds me very much of Mallory Knox’s boisterous spirit, which is perhaps one of the reasons I enjoy this track so much.

The vocals hold power but also a more delicate tone which creates a magical effect with the powerful guitar playing and drumming. The build up to the chorus is brilliant and the piano surprising blends in well despite the rock vibe. The song finishes on a slightly slower note but this only adds to its striking impact. Definitely worth checking out!

Alisha

Shakedown Stockholm – Who Say I? – Track Review.

Latest track Who Says I? is my prolonged overdue encounter with Shakedown Stockholm, and for a six piece who are ceaselessly ‘touted’ as rock, conflictingly all I can construe is an undefined, illusive elegance.

Tainted melodies; gristly, quelled guitar work and galvanizing drums; evidently, that radiating rock influence resides profoundly entrenched within the musicianship. So, why oppose its unshakable rock tag? Well hold on, I’m getting there – the irrefutably distinguished component here is the voice; take the enchanting authority of Siouxsie Sioux, supplement with hypnotic Cocteau Twins harmonies and not only do you get the silky grace of Shakedown Stockholm (whose vocalists coincidentally are also twins) but personally, you achieve complete isolation from any orthodox musical classification. In one word, unique.

Finn

Venombase Presents; Luke Gallagher, Bonamalis and The Black Widows @ The Exchange

First gig in Hanley for Wrexham lad Luke Gallagher, first ever gig for Bonamalis and one of The Black Widows last gigs, it was a night presented by Venombase studios at The Exchange.
Smartly dressed, friendly faced Luke Gallagher kicked the night off. For a young fella, he has grown into a great songwriter and intriguing solo performer. Luke takes influences from the 60s and 90s era heavily and for just one guy the music is raw and pure. As well as musically talent and captivating, Luke’s stage presence for an intimate gig is spot on, his cheery personality and charming charisma is something that you come away and remember, he makes every gig personally which the local crowd love. Someone to definitely  keep your eye out on.

Bonamalis were well and truly welcomed into the local music scene on Friday night. Their promising sound, didn’t disappoint the crowd or anyone for that matter, I saw no miserable faces. There is a raw natural feel about the four piece, the connection together for the first gig was electric and the talent musically was great. Something that grabbed my attention was the decision of covering The Animals House of the Rising Sun. I’ve never seen that performed live and they twisted it into a modern Bonamalis way. There is an obvious indie rock, 60s era 90s britpop era influence that seeps through their music. The popular crowd and good vibes from the audience massaged the lads egos and gave Bonamalis a stand out personality. They’ve ticked off a solid first gig as this band.

One of The Black Widows last gigs turned into a headline due to Suburban Radio pulling out. They never disappoint with their good old folky rock and roll sound. Over the past four years they’ve created some vibrant songs, especially in the album Love&Lust. All five members tell the tales behind the songs through their talent, they all add a different texture and create a different sense of musically drama in each individual track. The Black Widows are excellent live performers, especially fronted by Scott, his friendly personality makes the band loveable and memorable. The crowd were loving the live music, dancing and singing along with the good old favourites!

Lucee

I’m a Stone – Lazy Eye – Single Review

Not only is Scott Powell a special local talent, but with LazyEye’s new single I’m a Stone he also proves his good heart by donating all its sales to the Douglas Macmillan Hospice. It’s nice to see someone out there who is doing music for both their passion but also for good, so make sure to grab yourself a copy if you can.

The track itself is superb. It has a refreshing country feel to it and has a cracking chorus. Scott’s vocals are the icing on the cake and give the track a very authentic sound. A nice guitar solo also fits well into the song and I can’t really fault it. A* for both talent and the ability to hit the nail on the head every time!

Alisha

The Rebellion – EP Review 26/09/14

Finally the long awaited EP from The Rebellion has been released, with its wonderful concoction of classic indie rock infused with the lively tones of funk.

The first track, Is She The One its my personal favourite from the EP, it has a quirky sound to it from the start. The energetic guitar playing throughout really engrosses you, yet the vocals and drumming provide that balance that pulls everything together nicely.

Next is the track Home With Me Tonight and again you can instantly hear that quirky, funk influence. It’s a catchy song; I found myself remembering quite a few lyrics after the first few listens. The track transitions well and has a great sound to it.

The last song on the EP is Fade Away. It has great energy and is simple yet also ingenious. It finishes up the EP with a very cool, laid back feeling to it, like a band who know exactly where they are heading with their music.

Overall, the EP is definitely a great debut and really defines The Rebellion’s sound, which is consistent in every track. It’s full of pretty impressive songs and shows that funk is definitely on a comeback.

Alisha

Suburban Radio – EP Review

After seeing them live with Dirty Money No.5 the other week, Suburban Radio haven drawn my attention.

Their is 3 songs on this free CD I got given to me. The first one is Step Out, this tune is Suburban Radio’s signature song that gets everyone together. The song has a nice catchy riff to it with a happy Ska feeling to it. It’s nice and upbeat, the lyrics are also wrote to fuel a bit of happiness and kick to your currently mood. Vocally it works well even though it took me a while to get used to them.

Isolation is a calm song that has great lyrics yet a quiet music background. The little guitar riff is a sweet one, and the singing going along with it. There’s nothing more to the song than that, instrumentally it’s basic and it does take a while to kick in. When it does kick in it proves to be a pretty decent song, in my opinion I wish it kicked in and then returned to it’s sweet self earlier in the song.

We All deserve To Be Free is a brief little chant song like We Will Rock You. It seems to be the band slogan, it’s a good track that’s good for a chilled listen.

Matt

The vocals squealing during songs aren’t my cup of tea to be honest, but it’s mostly a decent chunk of songs that put you in a good mood.

The Personas @ Sugarmill 23/09/14

Sugarmill was a successful night for introducing live music back into the younger generation, especially with 3 incredible bands.
Kicking the night off was Shakedown Stockholm. One of the few bands that can wow me live and on record. The chemistry on and off stage for a 7 piece band is electric, it’s like their very own little family. The connection they have as friends, family and band members adds to the enjoyable atmosphere of their music.The indie rock sound is always labelled to bands like Arctic Monkeys or Kings of Leon -male dominated bands. Shakedown Stockholm are changing it, with the double female fronted look and sound it’s the future in indie rock! My personal favourite tune is Peace but the new material written in the song writing and musically, its alot more heavier. Shakedown Stockholm opened the night spot on, the harmonies between Joanna and Davina seem like they are digital mastered together on stage, its incredible and the lads who back the girls are massively enthusiastic about the talent they have, superb live band. Their next stop is London for one of Alan McGee’s nights; DISTRICT 359 RECORDS, LIVERPOOL £5, 3/10/14.
A four piece from Lichfield were next to wow and entertain – Cold Ocean Lies. It was my first witness of them and I can simply say, yes I will see them again. The grungy dynamics and hazy guitars are spot on and the younger generation seemed to love it. They shyness of the band contrasts with the confidence of the music, its ear hugging and captivating. Cold Ocean Lies have the intriguing hooks which keeps you wanting more.
It was the last headline for The Personas, they sure went out with an amazing performance. Walking onto the stage with White Noise by Disclosure in the background got the party started and the crowd wild. It was by far personally the wildest crowd i’ve seen at The Sugarmill in a long time. As a young band, they balance arrogance and confidence extremely well. They are your typical indie boy band sound but this time around they are growing a lot more mature into their music. The old tunes, new tunes and the odd cover saw an excellent last headline set by The Personas.
LC

Incarcerate @ Sugarmill 21/09/2014

With it being Incarcerate’s first headline set you’d expect the pressure to be well and truly on, yet when arriving at the Sugarmill I was greeted with a distinct buzz of excitement in the air, perhaps from the heavy metal whirlwind about to unravel.

Kicking off the night was Bet It All, providing an edgy, hardcore rock performance brimming with energy and enthusiasm. Vocalist Charlie gave an interesting approach to getting into the spirit of things, leaving the stage to join the crowd for a few songs, before the band finished off their set with a truly monumental track.

Next was Of Legions, a local hardcore/metalcore band, with pounding breakdowns and riffs that sent their loyal fan base crazy. It’s safe to say i’ve never seen such madness erupt in a crowd at the Mill, with both the crowd and the band unleashing mayhem. This coupled with powerful vocal talent and intense playing made it an unforgettable set, charged with personality and confidence.

Just before Incarcerate came on, a decent crowd gathered ready to witness the pinnacle of the night. In no time the heavy metal sounds erupted, with raw, earthy vocals and dramatic playing from the band. The whole combination set the place alive, with the crowd yet again going crazy and the vibrations from the pure loudness created could be felt all around the room.

Although this music was not my particular scene, I was still impressed by both the musical talent and the show put on by all 3 of the bands. Any fans of the metalcore genre who love a bit of hardcore moshing and missed this show really did miss out on an electric night.

Alisha

Dirty Money No5 @ Sugarmill 10/09/14

Another night of local music gives us another night of 3 bands giving a performance that they think would get them more fans.
It was a decent night, and it started off with Digging For Clouds.
They’re an indie sounding band with a singer with wonderful hair that puts mine to even more shame.
They had a nice sound to them, however their presence wasn’t anything eye catching due to the lack of any movement unfortunately there was barely any crowd interaction.
They picked up near the end, but throughout the gaps of their songs there was this awkward silence that could have been filled with audience conversation or even some wonderful stage banter.
Technically Digging For Clouds seemed spot on.

Suburban Radio were next, it was my first time seeing them in over a year.
They have matured as a band since I last saw them, they have a more lively set than I originally remember.
They had the best crowd reaction and the better following on the night.
They did have a few sound problems but they maintained their ground to give a pretty good performance.
Step Out is their signature song, and to be joined by the lovely Nicola Jayne made that song stand out, even the likes of the line up switch around during the cover of Blitzkrieg Bop.

The headliners take their place, Dirty Money No.5 prove to be very refreshing. They add a new vibe to the local scene, they don’t need breakdowns or to try to sound and look like Oasis to get the message across.
With a band that is accompanied by a DJ, it gives the local music scene a little flare.
From the rapping to the powerful female vocals, this band know how to kick arse.
The riffs are nicely funky and the DJ’ing keeps the music structured for a greater live presence.
The on stage banter did alienate the audience on one occasion, but it’s all part of the fun, and I am glad to have seen Dirty Money No.5 live.

Matt Clewley

You Always Want What You Can’t Have -Pickering White – Track Review 10/09/14

Pickering White boasts a beat that’s utterly exciting. The musical talent is thrashing and fierce, this new track takes the band down an alternative, mature, experimental melodic path. Two minutes and half in and we fall down the rock and roll avalanche whilst the hard-hitting beat and husky-Chicago- like harmonica picks us right back up to the stunning vocals of front girl – Jen.
There’s a striking rhythm and blues influence which is packed with a series of lyrical metaphors of all sorts of things you don’t want before landing on the title phrase, ‘you always want what you can’t have’. Pickering White has a precocious knack for hooks in song writing.
Overall, possibly their best track released yet.