We Few – Push 

Opening with a short build up lead by a rough, grungey guitar riff, Push is in no way a song you’d sit and listen to whilst relaxing by the fire. It’s a head banger and a crowd pleaser.

Striking the song, and ultimately giving it a punch of something different, are the vocals. Although not the lead instrument in this track, they give the song different levels and dimensions making Push sound busy and loud. Naturally the guitar pulls you through this track, with the bass and the power of the kick drum providing footing for everything else to fall into place. I’m a massive fan of guitar riffs, and this song did not disappoint. Featuring at the end, the guitar sounds as though it’s a caged animal waiting for the moment it’s released into the wild. Short but sweet, combined with the sudden change in tempo, it’s a fantastic way to end a great track. 

Clearly this is yet another band that know how to utilise the talent of each member and throw that into a song. Push is the next song you’ll be air guitaring to and We Few should definitely be the next band you should see live – just to see them play this fantastic track. 

Em.

Two Type Error @ The Exchange 28/02/15

Easily one of the busiest gigs i’ve been this year was Exchange on Saturday night. No wonder it was sold out with Thieves Asylum, Tempest, Divine Youth and Two Type Error on the line up.

What a band to kick the night off, Hype Chart No.1’s – Thieves Asylum. There was no loss of momentum with the cocky confidence of debut single, Kataplut. It’s been released roughly a month now and still gets my feet taping. The swagger of the song fits perfect with the indie swagger of the band. I love the mysterious dark sound of Thieves Asylum. The set for their second gig pushes Thieves Asylum down the path where music speaks for itself. When they put their brash heavy sound on Chemical Brothers tune, Galvanize we hear a surprising rap from Alex, backed with the stomping, twinkle consolidating build up; this just gives away the talent and technically capability all four members have.  The initial blueprint for these guys was the laddish indie rock sound however they have now stretched into this intriguing, experimental, confident band who are gradually dipping their toes into the pool of success.

It was my first encounter watching three piece Tempest, originally from Stoke but now based in Manchester they take on the alternative indie sound. They have that fashionable sound, addictive punchy beat, charming guitar riffs and the intense bass line. It sounds a nice underlay that can and has been experimented with if you check them out on Soundcloud. Live, they have this uplifting sprit where they get lost in the melodies and seem like genuine music lovers. The crowd were left wanting more as an uproar of, ‘we want more’ exploded, Stoke can’t wait for them to play again.

Divine Youth, the main support are again genuinely lovely guys with an honest passion for music. Whether they choose the name from the Manic Street Preachers ballad-like tune or not, they sound completely opposite. Except the fact Dan has a superb vocal as well as James Bradfield. It was a spice up from the past bands with the melodic scream paired with brother Mike then topped with aggressive beats and bass. The image, as much as bands don’t try, these don’t have to, they look good and as a bonus they match their sound. A sound which is going to shake the unsigned music scene up a bit.

As educated by a fellow music lover Tom Machin, Two Type Error, the headliners, are the remains of indie rock band Cooper Temple Clause. They were once describes as Oasis meets Radiohead, after watching them performance and listening to them Saturday night, it’s for certain these lads have grown up. It’s the hard hitting energy that wakes you up to good music, which is what we need nowadays. Each tune has its own original stamp, whether typical indie, bouncing indie pop or the grunge gritty alt rock. Two Type Error shouldn’t leave it too long to come back to Stoke, excellent live performance.

If the performances from all bands and atmosphere from the first step into the door didn’t intrigue you, you don’t know what good music is.

Lucee

The Blue Collars – Cheater 

The opening moments of The Blue Collars latest song reminds me both of early noughties Indie and late 70s Punk….Why? The call and response Guitar intro, very reminiscent of the early Razorlight and The Libertines for more modern day listeners and yet it might bring back the Nostalgic feel of the early Clash records for the older listener with hints of Television put in for good measure.
  
However something that both sets of listeners will relate too is the swaggering vocals given to us by frontman Rob Morris, while Liam Gallagher is the obvious comparison, one can also tell a striking resemblance to the likes of Johnny Rotten and Henry Rollins.

The Track itself is a catchy one with a belter of a chorus, the more you listen to it the more you realise why The Blue Collars are fast becoming one of the strongest bands in the area.  

The band’s next stop is The Sugarmill on the 4th of April, if all Blue Collars fans enjoy the record as much as I have then I’m absolutely confident that it’s going to be anthem for all Blue Collars fans for ages! 

Ryan Evans – Amongt the Masses

From the first fifteen seconds of this brand new track from Ryan Evans, it’s clear that Amongst The Masses is a song for all fans of indie rock. One of my favourite parts about this song is the slight pause before the chorus, which holds you in the verse for just a second longer. From the guitar in the verses, it’s obvious that the chorus will pick you up and drop you in a nostalgic wave of indie inspired rock – and of course, it does. The bridge brings a whole new dimension to the song, yet still carries the rising feeling felt in the previous verses. Whether this was intentional or not, Evans has built the song up ready to be dropped instantly in the chorus. Simply put, the chorus is a big deal and I love it. Every bit of this song is strong, and has obviously been planned and thought out down to the last detail. Vocals from Evans are just as striking as the song itself. Yes, they carry the sound expected from an indie artist, but Ryan Evans manages to bring something new to the table.

This is definitely a song to blast in the summer sun, with friends or on a long drive out. For now though, it will have you dreaming of warmer weather and pressing repeat on this great track.

Em

Moral Panics @ Sugarmill 13/02/15

The Hinds, Bonsai and Moral Panics – potentially some of the best indie rock bands Stoke has to offer. So I think it’s definitely fair to say the night looked to be pretty impressive, and despite the fact that unfortunately LIVES had to pull out due to illness, the show still went on.

The Hinds have really nailed their sound; a whirlwind of indie rock with a sprinkle of alternative country thrown in there. The result is pretty accomplished and one that appeals to everyone on some level, which made them perfect for opening the night. The mixture of pulsating melodies and the intuition of their material was a nice sight to behold, and you could see what genuine lads they were and that they were having a blast. Seeing their personality shine through made it that bit more personal which really paid off and everyone seemed to enjoy it. At this rate things are only going to continue on the up for The Hinds as they ooze potential and I’m looking forward to seeing what else they have lined up for this year.

It’s safe to say things are looking promising for Bonsai, who were next on. After their recent appearance on BBC Introducing from Stoke it seems that the spotlight has finally turned to the local 4 piece. They exerted just the right portion of classic indie rock influences and also drive as they stormed through their set, and the vocals held a nice edge that complimented the whole vibe they had going on. There’s something charming about their presence on stage, and their cover of Kings of Leon’s ‘Use Somebody’ promoted a frenzied stir within the crowd and everyone seemed to be in their element belting it out. As they finished they left behind a buzz of excitement and a spark of potential, and with a gig at the Underground next month I’d definitely suggest you get yourselves down there and check them out.

Moral Panics are always a band that is eagerly awaited for with their home shows at the Sugarmill. After an eventful past year being on tour around the UK and with the success of their EP ‘Wlvs’, it’s fair to say they have earnt their renowned place in local music. Having been to a fair few shows of theirs over the past year, the progression they have made is impressive. They possess the perfect amount of eccentricity, and with that comes the effortless cool quality that they are known so well for. The fast drumming and quirky riffs produce a Foal-esc sound which is constant throughout their set, and everyone seems to love it. And who can blame them? There’s nothing more exhilarating than hearing that hooking sound that many of us have grown to love. Despite the energetic and rhythmic pulse to their tracks it’s also worth appreciating the lyrical work that has gone into them which rounds them off to be something so alluring and meaningful. ‘February’ unleashed a state of madness into the crowd yet they also balanced this energy with more calming tracks, although it has to be said this didn’t stop the crowd from going mental at every opportunity. Moral Panics are a prime example of a band that always brings something new to the table and they have definitely grabbed everyone’s attention. With a Manchester show on the horizon it’s inspiring to see local talent go on to such impressive things and this is only the start.

Alisha

Adam Shaw – I Like Dat

I don’t think there’s ever been a better time to be a house artist than the present. For the past few years house music has dominated the charts, with the likes of Skrillex and Calvin Harris both having top 10 hits.

That’s why when you hear Adam Shaw’s latest single, you know instantly that he’s created something good.

I Like Dat is definitely something you want to hear in a club on your nights out. Throughout every aspect this song delivers, a constant yet sometimes distant rhythm remains making it fun and catchy. The track rises and falls exactly where it should, taking you along with it. Whether you like to dance your heart out on a Friday Night, or sweat your socks off in the gym every week, this song has it covered.

Adam Shaw has managed to combine a range of samples, sounds and beats to create something great. I Like Dat is so ridiculously catchy, it will have you pressing repeat as soon as it finishes.

Em.

Pale Waves – The Tide

You might think you’ve heard everything that indie music has to offer, but when you listen to the new track from Pale Waves you’ll be proven wrong.

The Tide is instantly my new favourite song. Not only does it get you singing along almost straight away, but this track carries a real feel-good sound that leaves the song lingering on your lips for some time. The main aspect of this band that singles them out from the rest is vocalist Heather Baron-Gracie, who delivers each line with passion and a sound that when combined with the electrifying echo of the guitar, provides Pale Waves with a sure fire winner. A short breakdown in the middle of the song momentarily takes listeners to an eerie new level, leaving the guitar to paint a misty picture from somewhere deep within its core, yet gradually building the song back up to where listeners were originally left hanging on. A similarity could possibly be drawn between the four piece and The 1975, although there’s something about this band that really sets them aside from anything else I’ve heard.

It’s hard to explain how you know that a band have got something special just by listening to one track, but that is exactly how you’re left feeling as the final chords play. The Tide is definitely the start of a long list of high quality tracks that’s sure to come from Pale Waves. Personally, I can’t wait to hear them.

Em

The Assist – In Your Ear – Single Review

Being labelled as the ‘next big thing’ these days can be a bit like a half price sticker in a supermarket, it can be less of a blessing but more of a warning. It might be too soon to give this tag to Walsall’s ‘The Assist’, but its definitely one step up rather then two steps back. The band have supported the likes of The 1975 and The Happy Mondays, and it wouldn’t be surprising if the band support even bigger names by the end of the year.
It maybe easy to guess who the bands influences are, but it’s hard to guess who the band would listen too prominently, the influence sounds like it ranges from mid 60s Garage Rock to modern day quirky indie like Jamie T, The Fratellis and early Arctic Monkeys. The intro riff is very comparable to the modern day bands mentioned, it’s an incredibly catchy riff that mixes well with the vocals. The song on a whole is both very catchy and very enjoyable and it leaves a lasting impression.
This isn’t your run of the mill indie band with catchy riffs and observant lyrics, this is a band moving up a level that their contemporaries couldn’t even reach with a metaphorical step ladder.
With a lot of bands you can listen to a track and forget about it later on in the day, However I find that this song gets better every time I listen to it.
Tom K

Suburban Radio – We All Deserve to be Free – Single Review

While listening to Suburban Radio’s latest Punk offering, I couldn’t help but notice a striking similarity to the early Ramones records, I’m sure the lads would take this as a compliment as the Ramones are noted as one of their influences on their Facebook.

But these aren’t a band that listen to the early Punk records as a hobby, from the fast paced nature to the Political nature of their lyrics, this is a band that take Punk seriously and not only as a genre and as a tradition, and while it might not be the most original work I’ve heard this year, who said Punk was about originality anyway?

The song itself is an extremely catchy one, and it must strike as an early contender for catchiest chorus of the year by a local band, its no surprise that the band see it as the Mantra of their set and its quite obviously a highlight for the fans as well.

In a way like the great Punk bands they see themselves as a band for the people, we would all like to live our lives in our own way, go by our own rules and make our own decisions, and if ‘We All Deserve to be Free’ is as much a statement as it is a song then its quite obviously a statement of intent!

Tom.

Logical Drama @ Sugarmill 23.01.15

Bonamalis were the first band on, and I have to say I was very impressed. Immediately their tracks and stage presence reminded me of the euphoric sound of Oasis, and despite the fact that they are big boots to fill, I could also see their own spin woven into their songs. Filled with clever drumming and quirky guitar riffs, they definitely set the bench mark for the night.

Next on was Divine Youth, and despite suffering a broken guitar string they still pulled it off. The drumming was superb, forming the backbone of the band and everything else just slotted together perfectly to make it a powerful set full of energy.

True English Gents were third on, and having seen them many times before, I had high expectations. Yet once again the punk rock trio pulled it off. Their cover of Jamie T’s Zombie and also a classic Beastie Boys track meant the crowd broke out into chaos, but a good chaos that reflected the bands energy and charisma.

Lastly, headliners Logical Drama. Their set begun with a dramatic western theme as they walked onto the stage which grabbed everyone’s attention. Their set continued to hold on to this, with thumping rock riffs and stunning vocals that proved that rock n roll will always live on. Violinist Eloise added a nice streak of individuality to the set and to the band, and they definitely stood out in their own right.

The night was fuelled with energy and enthusiasm, and this combined with great local talent meant the night was destined to be something exceptional.

Alisha