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Band Review: Audio Mime

392020_224476100970952_1405134575_nFounded in 2011 and classing themselves as Alternative Rock with a funky edge, Audio Mime are an up-and-coming foursome from Lewes. They pride themselves on their guitar-prominent work and intricate bass as well as their live music being better than tracks they record. Having been compared to The Stone Roses and The Smiths, the band makes use of a number of styles and techniques to form their Radiohead and Massive Attack-inspired work.

The bass in ‘Sophisticated G’ is so funk based, it obviously takes a heavy influence from Blues music, but with the vocals being so prominently spoken and peculiar, it is difficult to take the track too seriously. Audio Mime’s weird style and obvious Thom York encouraged vocal detail does not hit the same heights that Radiohead achieve so naturally. The fact that just prior to a guitar solo making an appearance in a track, the listener is informed about it also takes any heart away from the music, however  innate and unscripted the recording is.

‘Television Face’ brings a more mature sound overall, but is all top speedy and repetitive without much awareness of the importance of sentiment in music. However, the guitaring is exceptionally rapid and elaborate, reflecting the respectable talent that the band possesses. Lyrically, Audio Mime’s work leaves a lot to be desired but their use of various genres including influences of country and heavier rock give them more potential when it comes to pin-pointing a market.

Although ‘Honest Man’ makes an attempt to throw some emotion into the mix the lyrics simply seem to lack heart and come across as rapidly produced. Melodically, the quartet’s music is a great deal stronger than it is vocally speaking, but it is difficult to truly connect to listeners with somewhat feeble attempts at story-telling through their songs. Some of the guitar solos however, really give the band the capacity for a fairly bright future in the industry.

If Audio Mime opt to focus on who they are with regards to genre and consider precisely who they want in their audiences at live shows and buying their records, they are likely to be fairly successful. But currently, the listener is likely to be unsure what direction the band is going in; Alternative, humorous, Blues or Indie.

2/5

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EP Review: The Rebel Light- Goodbye Serenade

282358_396845767040947_1181980866_nThink you know Indie music? Think again. Hailing from L.A., Indie/Electronic threesome The Rebel Light recorded and mixed their debut single ‘Goodbye Serenade’ utterly independently, specifically in their bathroom and wooden shed, worlds away from the likes of apparent Indie-kings Arctic Monkeys.

Their self-titled and first EP was released on the 13th of November last year and can be downloaded for free via iTunes. The band is made up of brothers and their cousin and their influences include The Beatles, The Libertines and Mumford and Sons.

‘Goodbye Serenade’ is truly an example of natural musical talent singing through despite the penny-pinching recording and production process. It opens with a simplistic, beautiful melody, a soft beat and one of the most comforting vocal styles you will hear in a long time. With the addition of brash drumming and fierce guitar, the track is clear proof of what raw passion and ability can achieve. The Rebel Light are also a humbling, prime example of the power of the internet and how those who use it have the power to push truly talented bands and artists into the spotlight they deserve.

The band’s organic flair bursts through the song, although it’s unfortunately easy to lose the lyrics behind rowdy yet uplifting instrumentation. ‘Goodbye Serenade’ is ultimately reflective of what it’s like to lose someone from your life and for your days to become cyclic and somewhat meaningless along the way; “Silence in my sleep; it’s the death of what I’ve done, a coma for your love.” With generally hard-hitting lyrics like, “It’s not the notes that you play, it is the silence in between”, the boys’ music-driven lifestyle really shines through.

Despite some world-renowned inspirations, The Rebel Light have achieved a rarity within the industry; a distinctive, unique style. ‘Goodbye Serenade’ does precisely what a debut single intends, and leaves the listener eager to hear more from them!

You can download ‘Goodbye Serenade’ and the rest of The Rebel Light’s Self-Titled EP for free here. 

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News: Misty Miller To Release EP

408133_316356531737571_1029630995_nSouth London artist Misty Miller has been writing her own songs since she was eight, drawing inspiration from the likes of Patti Smith, Iggy Pop and The Stooges, The Velvet Underground and Lou Reed. At the age of fifteen, in 2011, she recorded her first album, which then went on to sell 60,000 copies.

Now, signed to Sony label Relentless, she’s set to continue that success with the Girlfriend EP, a collection of songs embracing her gritty, 70s rock inspired sound. It’s out February 25th.

Consider this your first taste of what’s to come.

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Video Review: The Self Help Group-Needles

5087_95610823619_7165425_nWith a single as dramatic and layered as The Self Help Group’s track Needles, it is only natural that the accompanying video carries the same weight. Interesting and beautiful, this video finally delivers something different in the music video genre. It is as pleasing to the eyes as the track is pleasing to the ears and fans of The Self Help Group (aka, you after watching this) will not be disappointed.

The single comes off of their debut album Not Waving, but Drowning, now available for your listening pleasure from iTunes, Amazon, and other fine digital media retailers.

But hey, why read about it when you can check it out for yourself right here?

Album Review: Funky Circus Fleas-California

389523_251521231574249_1650644918_nFunky Circus Fleas. Heard of ‘em? You should have by now, so pull up your chairs kiddies and sit down for a rock album that makes an impression and leaves you begging for more. The group’s most recent release, California, has the chill backbone of a sunny day jam session, with the edgy accents of System of a Down, and the sonic power and lovability of a classic rock album.

As the album opens, we’re treated with a laid back and lovely first two tracks, The Freezing Process and Betty’s Pen. As we get into the latter track, the band showcases their love of percussion, cool bass and guitar infusions, and the dynamic pipes of FCF’s vocalist. It’s one of the highlights of the album, as you get to experience the equal influences of chill stoner rock and high energy classic rock. Aok follows with a heavy 80’s influence and a great thrumming to surround the piece.

With winding Avenged Sevenfold-esque opening riffs and stadium borne vocals, Out of Sorts plays up to the sensibilities. Suspending time and space for a moment, the track drops an epic bass line without missing a beat. The tribal prevalence of the drums throughout the album continues as a trend here.

Fans of System of A Down will invariably appreciate ironically named Opaque, with a repeated reverie of “You’re so clear”. Fast, rough, and edgy vocals are well complimented by equally edgy riffs and borderline tribal percussion. Taking things down a notch, the track goes for a brief interlude of what could easily be the soundtrack for an out-of-body trip session.

Sonically random Dramamine starts out as a sort of party anthem, complete with group claps and light, straightforward riffs. This quickly transgresses into a chest beating testosterone fest, deep, fast, and accusatory.

Lyrically adopting a more pensive and dark note, Taken gallops in with lines such as “My dysfunctional pathetic mind/has once again betrayed me” and determined claims “You can’t break me”. In a Karnivool meets System of a Down meets hardcore jamboree, this track keeps listeners intent up to the last beat.

Sticking with the theme are tracks Finding Emo, Mr. Positive, and Diary of a Therapist, the quietest of them all. Rounding out the album is the aptly named closing track Thaw, in which we’re treated with a random anecdote and some nifty fun on the guitar.

Overall folks, we couldn’t recommend this album more. The numerous influences and emotions that the album evokes make it palatable to music lovers from a wide range of camps. The only thing left is to wait and see what these guys throw at us next, and we’ll be more than ready when it comes.

Check out the Funky Circus Fleas on their Facebook and be sure to grab California, now available on iTunes and Amazon.

Video Review: The Chapman Family– ADULT

408651_10151404332037139_736722451_nDescribed by NME magazine as “Angsty, cliché-free brilliance’, The Chapman Family have already experienced various line-up changes and industry-related restraints, but have ploughed on to return with a tour that begins a week today. A 5-piece family band formed in 2006, and joined by their sheer passion for music, the band are currently focusing on developing their work to a more mature level.

Opening with a strong Indie vibe, The Chapman Family’s official video for their new single ‘ADULT’ is almost eerie with thick, red smoke until vocalist Kingsley appears. Clearly the group know the market they’re targeting due their fearless, smart dress sense, mirroring bands like The Hives. However, Kingsley’s acting skills do leave a lot to be desired, but certainly do not take away from the strong musical abilities shown.

The soaring, yet subtle guitaring opens the way for The Cure style, semi-spoken vocals and primal drumming. In general, the vocal charm does exactly what it says on the tin and provides listeners with a track nothing short of angsty, broody and frustrated, particularly as it builds to a blinding climax. The Chapman Family appear proud of what they do, and do it well. Their music is slow-burning, sluggish but energetic. In the same way, the post-punk music video itself develops from a figure in front of a red backdrop to a creepy, early Panic At The Disco! Style use of make-up.

Despite their mature flair, the lyrics of ADULT come across as adolescent in their generalisation of emotion, “You can use me anyway you want to, but I will make mistakes all the time. I want to be alone, I need to be alone.” However, they are relatable, and the instrumental aspects of the track are on par with some of the biggest bands in Indie and Alternative music. ‘ADULT’ can be downloaded for free right now!

The Chapman Family’s Tour Dates:

07/02 THE HOP, WAKEFIELD

08/02 THE STUDIO, HARTLEPOOL

10/02 KRAAK GALLERY, MANCHESTER

11/02 FRUIT, HULL

12/02 HOUSE LIVERPOOL, LIVERPOOL

13/02 CLWB IFOR BACH, CARDIFF

15/02 ELLIOTS, ABERDARE

16/02 JOINERS, SOUTHAMPTON

17/02 THE WESTCOAST, MARGATE

18/02 GREEN DOOR STORE, BRIGHTON

19/02 ARTS CENTRE, COLCHESTER

20/02 SURYA, LONDON

22/02 THE RAINBOW, BIRMINGHAM

23/02 THE COCKPIT 3, LEEDS

24/02 THE CLUNY 2, NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE

08/03 GEORGIAN THEATRE, STOCKTON

Watch the video for ‘ADULT’ here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLK5Eo_m0aI

Get a free download of the track: https://www.facebook.com/TheChapmanFamily/app_190322544333196

Purchase tour tickets: https://www.facebook.com/TheChapmanFamily/app_123966167614127

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Album Review: Harry George Johns – ‘Post-Breakdown Blues’

268463_387920757961387_284600032_nAll good songwriters draw from their personal experiences, often using their songs as a way of challenging the myriad demons which those experiences often can lead them to confront.   One week in December 2011 not only provided Harry George Johns with enough demons to take several lifetimes to challenge, but with enough lyrical inspiration to fill dozens of albums, never mind just this initial mini-album (as he chooses to call it).

During the time period in question, Johns lost his house, his job, his girlfriend – and, as he candidly explains himself, “pretty much my mind”:  the circumstances brought about by alcohol and drug addiction, the result saw him sitting in a bar in his hometown of Leeds, “with a bag of clothes and my skateboard trying to figure out not what went wrong, but simply where I was going to sleep that night”.  Slowly, with the help of friends, doctors and therapists, he started to rebuild his life – and now, just over a year later, Johns has released a batch of songs written during that time, and thus serving as its soundtrack.

Unsurprisingly, ‘Post-Breakdown Blues’ is a collection of deeply personal songs, mostly delivered via Johns’ voice and acoustic guitar, which is both introverted – such as the laconic, bittersweet opener ‘Drink Myself To Sleep’, which uses cello to add to its morose density – and uplifting, such as the catchy ‘Sleep Is The Cousin Of Death’, or both at the same time, such as the bluegrass-infused foot-stomp of ‘Tie Your Own Noose’.

What is surprising is that, despite their introspection, their darkness, the songs manage to avoid coming across as self-pitying:  instead of feeling sorry for himself and the situation in which he found himself, Johns uses his songwriting skills to look to the future – “OK, I’m here, and this is how I got here… now where do I go, and how do I get there?”  It’s an approach that is refreshing and honest, and makes for an all the more rewarding listen as a result.

‘Post-Breakdown Blues’ will be available as a ‘pay-what-you-want’ download from Harry’s Bandcamp page from February 11th. Go here for more info. 

Harry George Johns also plays the following live dates:

March 7 – Wakefield, The Hop

March 9 – Norwich, Olives

March 14 – Leeds, Sela Bar

March 23 – Coventry, Inspire

April 06 – Carlisle, The Royal Scot

April 20 – Edinbrough, Hendersons @ St Johns

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Live Preview: Ragweed/ Ham Legion/ Cells/ Rock Paper Panda @ Cowley Club, Brighton Feb 1st

19319_10151232937388262_452302286_nRagweed kick off their tour at Brighton’s Cowley Club with Ham legion, Cells and Rock Paper Panda.

With influence from The Distillers, Nirvana, Slipknot, Butt Hole Surfers and the Pixies, Ragweed, a heavy, surf-punk trio from Brighton are known as a fantastic live band, with powerhouse drums, insanely loud guitar and scuzz bass. Their varied influences create a sound that’s quite surprising, a hybrid of raw metal and punk infused grunge.

Ham Legion’s sound, influenced by Pink Floyd, Burning Witch, They Might Be Giants, Lemonheads and Charlotte Hatherley, is a real progressive sound, one punctuated by sharp guitar, psychedelic breakdowns and an outburst of cold, hard prog rock. With plenty of male and female harmonies thrown in Ham Legion are a treat for the eyes and for the ears

Cells are an edgy and modern alt/electronica, indie duo from Brighton that blend and absorb the unexpected into their hard to imagine sound, with distorted and glitched drum patterns, jangling indie guitars, booming synth bass and atmospheric vocals.

Rock Paper Panda, owners of the world’s greatest band name, are a four piece from Brighton.

KICKS OFF 8:30PM / TICKETS £3

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Live Preview: Funeral For A Friend/ Such Gold/ I Divide/ Major League @ The Haunt, Brighton Feb 4th

282354_10151178528159376_1409962654_nFuneral For A Friend make a triumphant return with this February 4th show at Brighton’s beloved The Haunt, with support from Such Gold, Major League and I Divide.

A band that need no real introduction, Funeral For A Friend released their sixth album, Conduit, on January 28th. The first to feature former Rise To remain member Pat Lundy in replacement of their drummer Ryan Richards, the record has already received praise from critics, with Rock Sound giving it a 9/10 rating. Funeral For A Friend have had an undeniable influence on the British post-hardcore scene since the release of Casually Dressed & Deep In Conversation, with bands like Fightstar, The Blackout and Kids In Glass Houses all taking inspiration from them.

Rochester, New York melodic hardcore four piece Such Gold are no strangers to playing alongside big name bands, and have toured extensively, with shows in the US, Australia Europe and Japan. Their debut, full-length album, Misadventures, reached number six on the Billboard Heatseekers Chart.

With fast paced, raw energy fuelled performances that leave crowds gasping for air, breakthrough rock act I Divide, hail from the dark depths of Exeter, their standout sound gaining them followers by the bucket load. Sing-along choruses that hook listeners and melodic anthems define the band.

New Jersey pop punk five piece Major League released their album, Hard Feelings, on November 13th.

DOORS 7PM / TICKETS £14

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Live Preview: Jason Lytle (Grandaddy)/ Aaron Espinoza (Earlimart)/ Seadog @ The Haunt, Brighton Feb 9th

254945_10150984688877827_375000533_nAn indie rock legend in the shape of former Grandaddy vocalist, Jason Lytle, is coming to The Haunt February 9th, with Aaron Espinoza and Seadog eagerly in tow.

Frontman of American indie rock pioneers Grandaddy, Jason Lytle is an often stated influence to many big name bands. Solo since the group split he’s released two albums and had guest collaborations with the likes of Sage Francis, Donovan’s Brain, The Crystal Method and The Band Of Blacky Ranchette. Released in October of last year Lytle’s second full-length record, Dept. Of Disappearance, has been received well by critics, with many seeing it as proof that, despite a career spanning more than twenty years, he continues to cement himself as a standout name in the indie genre.

Earlimart vocalist/guitarist Aaron Espinoza shares a place with headliner Jason Lytle in Cali indie rock four piece, Admiral Radley, and has had his sound compared to Elliot Smith, as well as to his fellow band mate.

Brighton post-folkers Seadog are a four piece combining separate ideas and influences into a myriad sound of lullabies with anthemic electric and acoustic textures. Over the years they have supported the likes of Blue Roses, Pink Mountain Tops and David Bazan.

DOORS 7PM / TICKETS £13:50 + BF

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